TAMPA – Kenny Albert does it all, and now he’s seen it all.
Tuesday night in Anaheim, Albert was calling the play-by-play of Game 2 of the Ducks-Blackhawks Western Conference finals series when Chicago center Andrew Shaw headed the puck into the net in double-overtime, seemingly scoring the winner.
But the goal was waved off because Shaw had initially redirected the puck, so Albert remained in the booth until Marcus Kruger ended it for the Hawks 16:12 into the third OT.
“You always think you’ve seen everything,” Albert said Wednesday of Shaw’s non-goal, which officials – and Albert – first called as the game-winner. “And that’s something I’ve never seen before.”
The no-goal call was especially significant for Albert, though. He recounted this story – no joke – Wednesday morning at Amalie Arena, having taken a red-eye flight cross country to call MSG radio play-by-play for Rangers-Lightning Game 3.
“It was a 6 p.m. game in Anaheim, and I had an 11:45 pm flight from LAX through Miami and on to Tampa,” Albert said. “There was nothing direct. I knew the whole time that if the game went one overtime I’d be good. If it went two overtimes I might still be ok, and if it went beyond that, I knew there were two other flights.
Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw headbutts the puck into the net past Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and goalie Frederik Andersen in the second OT.
“I still subscribe to the monthly flight book and I pretty much have this thing memorized,” Albert added. “I knew there was a 12:30 and 1:45 am both to Miami. So I got on the 1:05 – the flight was packed – landed in Miami at 9 a.m. and made the same connection to Tampa at 10:10.
“The game ended at 11:07 p.m. Pacific and I landed here in Tampa at 11:04 a.m. Eastern,” he concluded. “I figured out I was on the ground in Tampa 8 hours and 57 minutes after Kruger’s goal.”
This followed the same ludicrous travel schedule that Albert kept last weekend to call Game 1 in Anaheim and return to New York for Game 2 of the Rangers and Bolts.
Did he at least sleep on his flight to Miami overnight?
“I think for about an hour and a half, two hours, maybe,” Albert said. “You never know on a plane, you nod in and out.”
In. Out. Albert’s always on.
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