Thursday, February 14, 2008

Value Added Journalism

Perhaps the biggest play in last night's game against Atlanta was Marian Hossa's goal that broke a 1-1 tie in the final minute of the second period (yeah, there was a pretty important goal later on, but go with me on this one).

Here's how the AP described the goal:
Hossa gave the Thrashers the lead with an unusual assist from Lehtonen with only 56 seconds left in the second period. Lehtonen made a stop and then quickly shot the puck straight up the ice to Hossa, who had only Kolzig ahead of him before scoring the breakaway goal.
Yep. That's more or less what went down.

Tarik wrote about the goal in this morning's WaPo thusly:
It began with Lehtonen gloving down Milan Jurcina's shot from the slot. He quickly dropped the puck and fired it down the rink to Hossa, who had sneaked behind the Capitals' defense and was cherry-picking at the Washington blueline. Hossa snagged the goalie's heads-up pass, broke into the zone and slipped the puck underneath Kolzig (26 saves) with 57 seconds left in the second period to send Atlanta into the third with a 2-1 lead.
A better description of the play, to be sure, but just that - the "what" of the Hossa tally.

Corey, however, delivered on the "how" and "why" as well in his article in the WTimes:
Atlanta added one more before the second intermission. Lehtonen gloved Milan Jurcina's shot from the left point, then astutely fired a perfect 110-foot pass to the opposite blue line, where Hossa was waiting behind a slow line change by the Caps.

Hossa skated in alone, faked a slap shot and went left to slide the puck under the goalie's leg, faking out Kolzig in the process.

"Our guys stayed out way too long, and they didn't have the energy to come back to the bench hard," said Boudreau, referring to the line of Steckel (1:17 shift before the change), Matt Bradley (1:31) and Donald Brashear (1:27).
All three reporters, in all likelihood, were in Bruce Boudreau's post-game presser. All three, in all likelihood, got that same quote. But Corey not only used it to explain why Hossa was able to break free (it was more than just cherry-picking), he went a step further and did the research so he could give us the shift lengths of the guilty parties. And that's just great reporting.

The point is not to bash anyone - everyone's on deadlines, editors hack articles to pieces, etc. - but to commend a subtle, but not unnoticed, extra effort on Corey's part to bring more than just a straight play-by-play recap to a deserving fan base. Dave Fay, no doubt, would be proud.


Garrett said...

Corey is quickly becoming my favorite, just wish the Wash Times sports section was better.

Jan said...

I used to check Dave's stories every single day, in the online version, which was not always easy to do. Because I loved his way. I haven't been checking Corey as regularly, but I believe I will do so now.

Your post reveals the difference between journalism as a job and journalism as a passion. Damnit, if you're going to do something, do it the best you can. Bravo to Corey and I agree about Dave smiling somewhere. Thank you, JP!!

maruk said...

Damned good post, JP.

Anonymous said...

Another contributing factor -- instead of Juice's wrister, he could have made an easy drop pass to a fresh guy right off the bench who has a few goals to his credit.