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Doc Emrick excited to call Rangers-Islanders from amid crowd

Sports commentator Doc Emrick waves to fans as

Sports commentator Doc Emrick waves to fans as he is presented with a car from the New Jersey Devils during a ceremony to honor him before their game against the Vancouver Canucks. (Feb. 24, 2012) Credit: AP

Doc Emrick was in Brooklyn on Wednesday for only the third time in his life, looking forward to spending the afternoon exploring the Barclays Center and then working his first event in the borough at night.

The NBCSN play-by-play man and unofficial Voice of Hockey in the United States said that among other things, he was looking forward to calling the game from a broadcast location that is set amid the crowd, not in an upper-level press box.

“I like that, because then you feel a part of it,” he said. “It’s not like you really need to manufacture being part of an Islanders-Rangers game, but I like the fact that we’re out there where we’re really going to hear it and feel it.”

Emrick understood that replicating the noise of a big game at Nassau Coliseum would be difficult. He said he never has heard a crowd louder than the one that celebrated John Tavares’ overtime goal in Game 3 of last season’s first playoff round against the Capitals.

“I’ve been in the Shark Tank [in San Jose] and I’ve been at the Forum [in Montreal], and I realize that decibels get lost in comparison, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a louder crowd than that one,” Emrick said.

“So we’ll see what this one is like. All of these [games against the Rangers] are just like the ones at the Rock. It’s a house divided, and those are always interesting things to sense, too. But we’ll have a better sense than if we were sitting up in a tower somewhere.”

Emrick said he planned to sit in seats around the arena during the day Wednesday to get a feel for what the fans experience in different locations.

“In Phoenix the best seat in all of hockey was that first seat in the balcony, because you could see all four corners,” he said of a setup similar to the one in Brooklyn, in which some seats offer obstructed views behind one goal.

“As it turned out the second seat was one of the worst because now you were blocked off. It’s not like we’re going to trash that [in Barclays]. I just want to get the perspective of the fans who are going to watch the game.”

Emrick said the NBCSN telecast will open at 8 p.m. with a geographical overview to give fans a sense of the distance between old Ebbets Field and the Barclays Center.

He said his only prior on-site Brooklyn education came about a decade ago when MSG’s Stan Fischler, a Brooklyn native, gave him a tour.

“He took me to where the Dodgers used to play and we stood outside what was the rightfield fence where the gas station used to be,” he said. “So we basically got out and envisioned where the park was and where kids huddled near the radio to see if a ball was going to come over and all of those things.”

Emrick said the Ebbets open is designed to “pinpoint where it was on the map and then pinpoint this place, because for much of North America that’s at least older, Brooklyn was associated with a Major League Baseball team and now it’s a major-league hockey team plus the basketball team.”

Mostly, Wednesday would be a new adventure for a fan and student of the game who has had hockey take him around the world.

“It’s special for me,” Emrick said. “I’ve got the whole day to be in the building and I’ve been advised there is a place called Junior’s that makes a really good sandwich not far away, so I’m set.

What, no Junior’s cheesecake?

Emrick said he filled his quota for that on Thanksgiving. “I have to watch the cheesecake until Christmas,” he said.

New York Sports