Stanley Cup playoffs: Time to clean up the ‘SpitCam’

April 16, 2012 | By Bruce Bennett | Sport

I guess in the coverage of ice hockey, we started with netcam, moved on to raftercam and somewhere along the line we added dashercam and goal-light-stanchioncam. All of these varied views expand the breath and width of our coverage that our clients have come to expect from Getty Images.

So when the NHL started to limit the use of the netcam to 10 games a season, it was time to come up with something different. Based on a similar view from one of our Florida-based stringers, Eliot Schechter, and utilizing the same basic housing as the netcam, the benchcam (more affectionately known as spitcam) made its debut last season. 

I trigger the camera remotely with radio, and at most games shoot blindly — so I have no idea what is on the digital card before I download it. I just hit the button at random intervals, varying whether the bench is full, or if the players are on a line change.

Sometimes you can catch coaches advising players:

Assistant coach Craig Berube of the Philadelphia Flyers handles bench duties in the game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 15, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Sometimes the camera gets noticed:

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Evander Kane #9 of the Winnipeg Jets watches the game against the New York Islanders from the bench at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 5, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 
 
Sometimes  you’re lucky enough to get two of the best in the league in one shot, Evgeni Malkin #71 and Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins:
 
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Evgeni Malkin #71 and Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins watch from the bench during the game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 29, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

And sometimes you can get a rough idea on how the camera got so wet:

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Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders takes a water break during his game against the Washington Capitals at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 13, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Nestled under the 6-inch lip of the boards in front of the player’s bench, and comfortably wedged in between an assortment of Gatorade and water bottles, the spitcam does take an occasional kick in the glass, taping over by mischievous players who wish for some modicum of privacy, and yes, more than its fair share of bodily fluids.

Oh, I so long for the good old days where an assistant would be standing by to do my dirty work and retrieve my remote cameras!

 

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