“It’s as if somebody decided that speaking English makes for bad broadcasting,” sneers the Stars’ Chris Zelkovich after days observing the NHL and the NCAA men’s hoops tournament. “Or maybe it’s that all these guys heard somebody else use these phrases, figured he must know what he’s talking about and followed suit.” Mind you, this was without any exposure to MSG’s Kelly Tripucka.

A weekend of hockey-watching produced a torrent of mind-numbing phrases. There were references to puck presence, puck support, puck poise, puck pressure and net presence. Outside of an obvious love for alliteration, those who utter these words may have no better idea of what they mean than do the poor saps at home.

On Saturday night, Hockey Night In Canada’s Kevin Weekes talked about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ “neutral zone posture,” which apparently had nothing to with straight spines.

Later in the evening, analyst Garry Galley praised the Florida Panthers’ “comeback capabilities.”

And when did the boards become “the wall” and what the heck is “a saucer pass?”

The mysterious musings of CBS’s Bill Raferty from Sunday’s NCAA coverage will no doubt end up as part of some university curriculum. When a Tennessee player scored a basket, Raftery growled, “Taking his Ritalin.”

When another brought down a rebound, Raftery told viewers the player “provides a little bit of a lift and load-up.”

After a charging call, he offered this: “Those black chargers are bang-bangers.”

And when a player scored while driving to the basket, he thundered: “To the conclusion, with the smooch.”