Game Day Food For Thought: Is Pierre McGuire Biased Toward the Penguins?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 27: Pierre McGuire poses for a photo just before the start of a NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals on February 27, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

opinion When the Capitals played their first playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, Capitals fans were forced to listen to the NBC broadcasters, as the Comcast Sportsnet team of Joe Beninati, Craig Laughlin, and Al Koken is done for the season (CSN only covers the first round of the playoffs).

While most NBC broadcasters are usually informative and formal, there is one member of the crew that is intolerable to hockey fans: Inside the Glass analyst Pierre McGuire. A former NHL Assistant General Manager and Head/Assistant Coach, McGuire’s input usually involves background information on players, breakdown of plays, and other information. But whenever the Capitals play the Pens (or any team for that matter), McGuire – a former assistant GM and coach with Pittsburgh – seems to say more about the Penguins than the Capitals. While he does compliment the Caps, his former affiliation with the Penguins makes him bias.

For example, during the breakdown of Washington’s first goal against the Penguins (a rebound buried by Andre Burakovsky), McGuire attributed the goal to some “bad luck for Pittsburgh”. In actuality, Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray may have had a chance to cover the puck, but stuck out his pad. Throughout the game, McGuire continued his, at times, opinionated commentary, continuously making statements on Pittsburgh while adding an occasional compliment or two to the Capitals. When doing his usual coach interview with Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan, one of his questions to the Penguins bench boss went something like (not exactly what was said): “They seem to be targeting your bigger players, how can you counter?”

Another example of his possible bias was when Caps right-wing Tom Wilson delivered a potentially dangerous knee-on-knee hit to Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary. While both play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert and McGuire expressed their displeasure with the hit, McGuire continued to state the danger of the hit and how there should have been a penalty assessed. It simply was more than should have been said, no matter how true it was. Other examples included Pierre saying that the Caps had placed “a target on Penguins defenseman Kris Letang’s back, in particular Wilson”.

Perhaps it’s just the way he presents himself, or his past affiliation with the Pens, but McGuire has become disliked by not only Caps fans, but hockey fans across the NHL. No matter how much fans complain, it looks as though Pierre will be with NBC for the foreseeable future.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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12 Responses to Game Day Food For Thought: Is Pierre McGuire Biased Toward the Penguins?

  1. SP says:

    He’s a Pansey Loser who Praises pens & “Cindy” Crosby Any & Every chance he gets Even in a loss! It’s frustrating to watch & nearly makes me not want to but being in South Florida, the only games I get besides the cats are Nationally televised broadcasts.

  2. Greg Munson says:

    Tom Wilson delivered a potentially dangerous knee-on-knee hit to Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary and Pierre can be seen in the background making gestures at the ref basically saying “did you see that?” Pierre is horrible but the between the period show announcers are just as bad. The Caps owner could do us all a favor and let the regular season game announce team do their play by play at Verizon Center while we watch on the big screen.

  3. Sal says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. For me, I’ve resorted to muting the TV and listening to the Caps radio feed.

  4. T Horner says:

    All the NBC commentators seem biased to me!!

  5. Joe S. says:

    Always has been. He gushes over them like a love-sick school girl


  7. Dave says:

    This article sounds very whiney. Your statements about Pierre sound nitpick and aren’t even bad. And you can’t even quite him exactly when he talked to Sullivan. Over heard numerous times coacues being asked how they can counter a situation. So what? Pierre sucks overall and I don’t know anyone that likes listening to him. To say he is bias is absurd and just reaching for drama.

  8. Mark says:

    He calls Kris LeTang Kristopher LeTang. Nobody else calls him that. Pierre seems to have a live affair with the caps

  9. Anonymous says:

    He was an assistant coach for the Penguins in 1992….

  10. Anonymous says:

    All that and he even looks like a penguin or if Col. Klink was part penguin.

  11. Patty Kennedy says:

    It is evident, it is difficult for ANY Commentator to hide their biases forward their favored teams. Take Mike Milburry for example. Some hide it better than others.

  12. Pingback: Why Do I Hate The Penguins? Let Me Count The Ways | NoVa Caps

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