PITTSBURGH - It was 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Consol Energy Center and Joe Micheletti was present and accounted for, as usual, coffee cup in hand, as usual.
Normally this would not be news because announcers usually attend playoff teams' morning skates. But many journalist friends who passed by asked him how he was feeling.
That is because Micheletti, MSG's Rangers analyst, had worked a triple-overtime game between the Predators and Blackhawks on Tuesday night in Chicago, gotten to bed at 2:30 a.m. Central Time and had a wakeup call at 4:30.
That sort of turnaround is manageable for one night. But Micheletti has been at this for a week, working both Blackhawks-Predators for NBC and Penguins-Rangers for MSG -- including going from a double-overtime game in Nashville to a game in New York.
His only day off from a game was last Saturday, when NBC deployed its No. 1 team, with Ed Olczyk as the analyst for Game 2 of Pens-Rangers.
So, how was Micheletti, 60, feeling Wednesday morning?
"It's another day of work," he said.
Why not at least skip the morning skates before Game 4?
"Because it's the right way to do the job," he said. "So you have to do that. I do, I think, anyway."
He did plan to take a nap Wednesday afternoon.
Micheletti is not the only announcer with a nutty first-round schedule. Kenny Albert worked the Capitals-Islanders overtime game at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday and also was here in Pittsburgh for the morning skates in preparation for calling Game 4 on Rangers radio.
But Micheletti's itinerary has been extreme, complicated by the two long overtimes. Yet he said last year was even more difficult because he was juggling three series, taking him to Pittsburgh, Columbus and Dallas.
"I know the first round is crazy," he said. "Let's face it, we all get fatigued at some point. But I feel good. Listen, this is a special time of the year and I understand my responsibility for all this. As the old saying goes: Drop the puck, let's go. Let's play."