“On the ‘Mark’” returns with another look inside the perspective of Mark Binetti, the “Voice of the Rush”. In today’s episode, Binetti reviews the week that was and the weekend that will be, talks about “The Eh Team”, nicknames, and Christmas:
1) Last week was once again a phenomenal week of hockey. The Rush took on two quality opponents in the St. Charles Chill and the Quad City Mallards, and came out with 4 of a possible 6 points on the week. The game against St. Charles was probably one of the most perfect games of hockey I’ve ever seen in my career as a broadcaster. Konrad Reeder nets the 14th hat trick in team history, Jesse Schultz goes off for a crazy 4 point night (G, 3A, assisting each goal of Reeder’s hat trick), Justin Faryna scores a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal, and Keaton Hartigan earned his third professional win in as many starts in his rookie season. As Coach Ferras always points out, it’s great to see contribution from all three lines up front, and as Tim Acheson has said time and time again, this team has the best effort of anyone from the goaltender all the way up to the forwards.
2) The Quad City series was a slight change of pace. League analysts have said that the Mallards are a sleeper team, and I fully believe that after seeing them play us three times. They, just like us, are a deep team with shifty, fast forwards, and d-men that can shove their weight around. The Rush came right out of the gates firing on Friday night, but unfortunately they didn’t get the bounces they needed, and ended up falling 2-0 for their first shutout loss of the season. Despite the loss, both teams played arguably one of the most even games played this season. Saturday’s game was a completely different story, as the Rush dominated from start to finish for all 60 minutes, cruising to a 5-1 win. Great to see the team rebound after a loss.
3) Which brings me to my next point…I dropped a stat on “The Rush Hour with Coach Ferras” last night that is incredibly impressive. In their very next game after a loss, the Rush out-score their opponent 13-3 (4-1 W @ Wichita, 4-1 W vs Denver, and now 5-1 W vs Quad City). I know it’s elementary to point out, but this team hates to lose, and they show it in full force in the next game. I also chalk that up to the fact that Coach Ferras is arguably one of the best coaches in the CHL when it comes to making adjustments.
4) I was fortunate once again to have Tim Acheson in the booth with me for both home games against the Mallards on Friday and Saturday last weekend. Tim is an absolute class act when it comes to his demeanor in the booth, his enthusiasm for wanting to be in the booth, and his knowledge of the game is off the charts. Our chemistry is great as well, as I can tee him up for anything, and even when I don’t he knows exactly what he wants to say and point out to the fans listening. I have a great partner in the booth for my road games, and it’s great to have him at home when the occasion arises. Very blessed and thankful for that gentleman.
5) On top of being a great analyst, Tim happens to be a great defenseman. He suited up with my rec-league team, “The Eh Team”, and was working saucer passes all night. He set me up for three breakaways in the first four minutes of our game (unfortunately none of them went in), and it was really fun having him out there with our team. For the record I would eventually score in case you were wondering, as our captain would send me a pass in between the faceoff dots, and I would bury it top self…so I did have a solid game after all, as did our team in a 5-2 win to end the season.
6) Nicknames are a fun thing to have in hockey. They’re EVERYWHERE. In some special instances (a.k.a. the Rapid City Rush), the radio guy (that’s me) gets a nickname too. Tim Boron has been on a crusade to give me a nickname that will stick. Some popular choices of his recently have been “Binsy”, “Binner”, “Pee Wee”, and who could forget “Bin-doggie”. As you can see, so far he has failed in his attempts.
7) When we aren’t in the booth, Tim Acheson calls me “Benny”, even though the start of my last name doesn’t have an E in it. Every time he calls me that I immediately think of one of my favorite musicians and songs: Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets”. He even got Romeo hooked on calling me that too…and now I can’t get the song out of my head.
8) Coach calls me “Marcus”, and there’s actually a funny connection behind that. My dad will call me that at times, including the notable variation of “Marcus Aurelius” after the sixteenth emperor of the Roman Empire. Other players will call me “Radio”, or simply just refer to me by my last name.
9) Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday out of all of them. I am extremely thankful this year that I get to go home and see my family and friends in Charlotte, but must quickly turn right around and come back to call the three game set against the Mavericks. Although it is a short visit, it’s a visit I am extremely excited to make next week.
10) Like I said on “The Rush Hour with Coach Ferras” last night, one of my favorite all-time Christmas gifts was the only NHL jersey I have ever owned, and still own still to this day. When I was in the 6th grade I got a New York Rangers Brian Leetch jersey with the captain’s “C” on it (Mark Messier had gone on to play with the Vancouver Canucks and Leetch stepped into his leadership role, having previously worn an “A” on his sweater for a number of years). Brian Leetch is arguably the greatest defenseman in Rangers history, becoming the first American to ever win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the 1993-94 season, the last time the Rangers won it all. His number 2 is retired in the rafters of Madison Square Garden and he also happens to be my favorite hockey player to ever play the game.
11) While we’re on the topic of favorite Rangers, my favorite name in all of just so happens to be former Ranger defenseman, and Brian Leetch’s partner on the blue-line, Jeff Beukeboom. Just saying “Beukeboom” is just incredibly awesome and feels good. Coming in close at second behind Beukeboom is former Carolina Panthers running back from their second season in the NFL in 1996, Tshimanga Biakabutuka. Try saying that five times fast.
12) This weekend the Rush travel to Denver to take on the Cutthroats once more, thus signaling the return of rivalry weekend. The last time both of these teams squared off was around Thanksgiving, when the Rush took two out of three game on home ice, and look to continue their winning ways over the Cutthroats. By virtue of points, the best record at home in the CHL (Denver’s 9-3-2 record) goes head to head against the best road team in the CHL (Rapid City has yet to lose a game away from home). It should be an exciting matchup.
13) To close, Tim Acheson mentioned over the weekend on the air that this Rush team is all about streaks, whether it be setting them or breaking someone else’s. The Rush are nearing another CHL record and another streak: most consecutive road wins. They are the last team in the CHL that has yet to lose a road game, and should they sweep Denver out of their own building this weekend, the Rush will set the record for longest road winning streak at 11 games.