When you think about the New Jersey Devils organization and its broadcasting history, one name truly stands out. Mike “Doc” Emerick was a treasure to hear every night. Whether he did a Devils game on Fox Sports or MSG or was the national voice for the NHL on NBC Sports, we all agree he is the best hockey announcer ever. Calls like “HENRIQUE IT’S OVER” and “MARSHALL IN OVERTIME,” or just his traditional “SCOOORRRE” call, will remain with Devils fans forever. However, some calls might not be as memorable but are still very well done in their own right. So, here are three very underrated calls from Mike Doc Emerick’s time as a Devils play by play announcer.
October 20, 1998, vs. Flyers: “LIFTED ONE, HE SCORES, WHAT A GOAL!!!!!”
When your skill impresses Emrick with a crazy goal, you have to be pretty proud of that. For center Brian Rolston, that moment happened on October 28, 1998, against the Philadelphia Flyers. After Randy McKay took a slashing penalty, the Devils went out there shorthanded. When Scott Stevens cleared the puck in the Flyers zone, Rolston hustled to get to the puck. Trying to control the puck, Flyer defenseman Dave Babych attempted to trip Rolston with his body. When Rolston lost balance and falling to the ice, he took his stick and lifted the puck over Flyers’ goalie John Vanbiesbrouck for the goal. This goal gave the Devils a 2-1 lead in this game, as they went on to win the game 3-2. As for Doc and this call, you can quickly tell he was impressed by Rolston’s efforts to get the goal. With Doc saying. ” LIFTED ONE, HE SCORES, WHAT A GOAL!!!!!” showed that not only was he impressed, but it showed his passion for the Devils.
December 10, 1998, vs. Flyers: “SAVE HEXTALL, REBOUND, THEY SCORRREEEE!!!
The 4th meeting against the Flyers that same year turned out to be one of the best games of that season. With the Devils losing 4-1, they would come back to tie the game, thanks in part to their special teams. When the game went to overtime, it came down to a scramble in front of Ron Hextall for the Devils to win. It began with several chances by Dave Andreychuk and Randy McKay, but Hextall stood firm. Then, Lyle Odelein hit the post causing McKay to grab the puck back. After Scott Stevens tried a slapshot, Andreychuk finally put home the rebound in front of Hextall to win the game 5-4 for the Devils. In this call, you can be impressed with Doc’s ability to keep up with the scramble. Along with a classic “HIT THE POST WITH A SHOT” call, the way the call ended with a “REBOUND, THEY SCORE!!!!” need, followed then by a few seconds to catch his breath, really shows the emotion that Doc has to make this kind of call.
November 16, 2000, vs. Bruins: “GOMEZ!!!!”
Another OT winner involving the Devils, this one was also clutch because it broke a losing streak. The Devils had lost six games leading up to this game, and they felt enough was enough. Tied at two going into overtime, the Devils added the pressure to win this game with several chances to get a puck past Boston Bruins goalie Bryon Defoe. But Defoe kept standing his ground as the clock kept ticking down. With under 10 seconds left, Brian Rafalski attempted a shot while falling, which was stopped by Defoe. Then, Scott Gomez buried the rebound home to win the Devils game with just under 2 seconds to go. Doc sounded so excited in this call. Hearing Doc saying “GOMEZ!!!!” reminded me of Grant Marshall‘s goal in 3OT against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003. It shows how emotional and exciting games are for Doc when they go to overtime.
When it comes to Mike Doc Emerick, he is perhaps the king of hockey broadcasters. He is one of the things that made hockey a sport people enjoy. As Devils fans, we should feel fortunate that we had this man as our broadcaster on MSG and Fox Sports. With his type of character and catchphrases, he is one commentator that we will miss having around. But we will always remember these calls as well as many others. I can officially say that we loved having Mike Doc Emerick in our lives, and we hope commentators like Steve Cangialosi and many others can make hockey fun watching just like Doc did.