Toskala stood in front of it out of force of habit
Host: Hello everyone, I'm a little too excited to be here. With me is our panel of experts.
Management: I'm the former coach and/or front office executive. Everything I say will be driven by grudges I still hold from my failed career.
Player: I'm the recently retired player. I'm still friends with most of these guys, so I'll never say anything interesting.
Media: And I'm the media guy. I will take every moment of the game and force it into a larger narrative for storytelling purposes.
Host: Who are you picking to win tonight?
Management: I'm picking the home team, because the visiting team fired me in 1983.
Player: I'm taking both teams, because I don't see why everyone can't be a winner.
Media: I'm taking the visitors, because I'm working on a story about concussions.
Host: Makes sense. Let's send it up to the play-by-play announcer and the analyst.
Play-by-play: Good evening. I'm a shameless homer, but will make a half-hearted attempt to disguise that if this is a national broadcast.
Analyst: And I will say things you already know, five seconds after you yell them at your television.
Play-by-play: We will now show you shots of both goaltenders, followed by a slow zoom on the referee who has his hand in the air.
Analyst: Don't forget the shot of a coach staring into space.
Play-by-play: Something interesting has happened right off the bat, although you didn't see it because you were trying to read the line combinations that we flash on the screen in three-point font. Let's go down to the guy we've stuck between the benches. What did you think of that play?
Bench: I have no idea. You can't see anything down here and I'm terrified of being hit with a slap shot.
Play-by-play: Well, thanks anyway.
Bench: I will now go silent just in time for the players around me to teach your children some new swear words.
Play-by-play: Very educational. Let's send it back to the panel for the first intermission show.
Host: Welcome to the first intermission show, where we ignore everything that's happened in the game so far and instead have the discussion we'd already prepared in advance. The home team has recently lost two games in a row. What fatal flaw would you randomly attribute those losses to?
Management: I'm going to say a complete lack of intelligence on the part of everyone who has ever been employed by the franchise.
Media: I'm going to attribute it to a lack of character, brought on by the disintegration of the traditional nuclear family.
Player: I'm going to chalk it up to small sample size.
Player: Just kidding. Let's go with character.
Host: Now over to the highlight guy, who is in the same studio but has to stand ten feet away from us for some reason.
Highlights: I resent you all terribly.
Host: Back to you guys in the booth!
Play-by-play: Welcome back. Here's a scoring chance … he scores! Let's bring in the former goaltender that we're legally obligated to include on every broadcast.
Ex-goalie: That one was totally not the goaltender's fault, it was deflected in off a stick.
Play-by-play: The goal came on a breakaway.
Ex-goalie: Exactly. The shooter deflected it into the net using his own stick. Those are the hardest kind to stop.
Play-by-play: Have you ever seen a goal that was the goalie's fault?
Ex-goalie: Not yet, no.
Play-by-play: Let's send it back to the panel for the second intermission.
Host: When you last saw us, we were telling you how terrible the home team was. Now that they've had one good period, let's pretend that never happened and instead go overboard in praising how well they're playing.
Management: Here's a play from that last period, filmed from 15,000 feet above the ice. I will now scribble randomly on the screen with a magic marker.
Player: Everyone tried really hard on that play and seemed to have fun.
Media: Global warming!
Host: Highlight guy?
Host: Back to the action!
Play-by-play: It's a 1-0 game, which means you're in for 20 minutes of plodding defensive trapping that we'll pretend is entertaining.
Analyst: I will make vague references to a defensive "system" without ever explaining what that actually means.
Play-by-play: And now a fight has broken out. I will attempt to win a Gemini by pretending to be completely horrified.
Analyst: This is an overwrought comment about how nobody likes fighting, which you are unable to hear because the fans are cheering so loudly.
Play-by-play: And there's the final buzzer.
Analyst: This game went much faster than usual.
Play-by-play: Shut up.
Analyst: Here are tonight's three stars, which don't make any sense since we had to pick them with twelve minutes left in the second period.
Play-by-play: And now let's send it back to the studio for the post-game.
Host: Panel, before the game we all unanimously agreed that the home team would never win another game. Now that they've won, is it fair to say that it is in fact the visiting team that will never win again?
Management: Not unless they hire some new blood to the front office. Hint hint.
Player: I brought orange slices for everyone.
Media: Trapped miners!
Host: Highlight guy?
Highlights: Die. All of you.
Host: Thanks for watching everyone. Stay tuned to watch anchors narrate highlights of the game you just saw!