Friday, October 31, 2008

The first two outings have been brutal...

...but I'm trying to get those creative juices following so I can show you my "O" face. Probably won't be posting everyday like this, but in an attempt to get my feet wet, and instead drown, the thoughts are rushing to my head like a good acid trip.

The reason for today's snoozer is the Forbes NHL Team Valuations ( that was posted on Wednesday. Toronto made the top of the list at $448 million (I would normally make a joke about the Canadian Dollar here, but the American Dollar is much more of a joke), which just goes to show you that profit has nothing to do with the on-ice product, or lack thereof. Behind them by over $30 million are the Blueshirts, which is more than likely the reason for Wall Street's economic collapse. Followed up by the Centenarian franchise of Les Habitants who are behind New York by over $75 million, and then the reigning Cup Champs at another $30 million behind them.

Going back to the Leafs, and following some rumors in the NHL dreaming big, but moronically, there was talk this week of adding an additional team in Toronto. Now with the Forbes report, its obvious the money is there, but it seems a little ridiculous at this point to add, or even move an existing team where one already exists. Most outsiders don't believe that existing Leaf fans will jump ship for a new franchise in town, but there are a lot of rumblings from the "common man" that it has become unbearable to deal with soaring ticket prices, and feuding management in a power struggle to control the team. However, if Brian Burke does end up landing in Toronto things could turn around pretty quickly in Leafland, and opinions might change, if he can run the team his way, which may be difficult in a volatile front office. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Burke puts the right pieces together, and its up to the guys on the ice to make it happen.

But I'd also like to discuss the bottom dwellers of the value chart. Howling in pain in the desert are Wayne and his Coyotes at $142 million. Just above them at $154 million are the New York Isles who win the award for the lowest generated revenue at $64 million, (compared to top earner Toronto with $160 million). Columbus, Ohio tops Long Island at $157 million, and above them by another mil are the Southeast Division powerhouse Atlanta Thrashers. You know I've always thought that Atlanta has been the worst run team in the league, but I think a few other teams may be vying for that coveted position. Atlanta is definetely a big enough city to support a professional hockey team, and there's plenty of northeast transplants down there to do so, but unless they start putting the right people on the bus to run that team, and put together a competitive lineup, then that organization is bound for collapse. That brings up another interesting point regarding pros and their desires to play for winning teams. Teams like Phoenix, and Columbus, and Long Island can't even entice players to flick boogers in their direction let alone get them on their bench. Although Phoenix has been picking up young talent through the drafts, and they've got the Great One to help cultivate their games, so I believe within the next few years you will see a rise of their level in the standings, but whether or not the city gets behind them is another thing, even when they're winning. But you look at the Isles who snatched up teary-eyed Captain Canada at the Trade Deadline from Edmonton to gear up for their annual first-round 5-game playoff dismissal two years ago. Smyth was running away from Long Island before July 1st was even a thought. Now they pull in has-beens like Bill Guerin and Doug Weight making the team look like a graveyard for past-their-prime players. Milbury drove that team into the ground trading away what is now prime talent of the league. Their fanbase has stuck with them over 20 years after the Dynasty ended, but now with the aid of Milbury, a delusional owner, and a run-down building, the crowd's had enough. Attendance levels are case in point of that, not to mention, two-for-one ticket nights that barely draw 10,000 people. I just don't see franchises like this surviving much longer without either A. better business practice in all levels, or B. aid from the league, and whether or not that's educating the people steering the ship on how to steer the ship, or invading the country to spread democracy, I don't know.

Well I'm salivating for Saturday night, 12 games on. Oh by the way no Hockey Night in Canada on the Center Ice Package anymore, you'll have to flip over to the NHL Network, if you have it, to get that national institution.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

10 Games In...

...and I'm already pretty excited about this season, even though there's another 72 or so to go. A full night for the league, almost every team is playing tonight, but first up, Tampa and Buffalo. Tampa is starting to look like the team that everyone expected them to be with the house cleaning, and Buffalo looks like a playoff team that just keeps coming up empty. Stamkos registers his first goals, the first a tip off a Lecavalier shot, and the other a rifle from the top of the circle on the PP. Everyone was trying to dish it to Stevie to get that pressure off of him. Vanek is still on fire with his ninth goal in the losing effort, but I worry about Miller's durability throughout the season.

Rangers/Thrashers. Columbus is gnashing their teeth watching Zherdev making moves like the one tonight in his new Broadway Blue. If the Thrashers needed any more bad news than the fact that they have to host their home games in Atlanta, Bogosian fractured his fibula with no idea of how long he'll be out.

The Montreal/Minnesota game looked like a combination of shootout drills, and odd-man rushes but Price looked sharp, as did Josh Harding, just nor sharp enough letting 2 past on 21 shots.

Man does Florida play some ugly hockey! If Ottawa wasn't stinking it up I think it would be a lot more obvious.

The Sharks look to be firing on all cylinders, but the key for them, as its been for the past few years, is whether or not they can keep it up in April and into May. Detroit has that never say die mentality getting a late goal to tie the Ducks, but lose in OT the night before, and another, more meaningless, late goal against the Sharks tonight. The Wings had to be spent from the brawl with the Ducks the night before, but nonetheless the Sharks were moving the puck well and finding one another in front of the net. Marleau marks off his sixth goal this year, a significantly better start than last year, with a beautiful feed from Gentle Joe behind the net. Great vision he's got.

Philly is starting to come back to their senses with the help of some soft scheduling lining up two confidence boosting basement dwellers into their rink. Mopping up the sorry Thrashers in a 5-0 blowout, but needing OT to beat the pesky, but still pathetic Isles.

Mason gives up a squeaker halfway through the 3rd, and wonders if its better to be a Blue or a Pred.

But it couldn't be any worse than being Andrew Raycroft who gives up 4 goals on 14 shots, two of which would give justification to a mercy killing, or at least a trip to the woodshed. But the real hero of the night is Jared Boll for Columbus who racks up 22 minutes in penalties, in a hugging match with Ian Lappy, and picking on gingernut Cody McLeod earning a trifecta of a 5 minute major, 10 minute misconduct, and a 2 minute instigator. Nice job Jared!

Calgary is on a roll with their 5th straight win over the B's who visited the Saddledome tonight. Calgary has significantly upgraded in the offseason, and looks like a very different, but still that mucking workhorse team. The Bruins are another team moving the puck well, but came up short tonight.

All NHL games have been postponed until we discover the seriousness of Sidney Crosby's undisclosed injury. Fleury tried to keep the Pens in it, but had no offensive support against a .500, (its still early) Phoenix team.

Mason Raymond skated around the Kings to the front of the net for a beautiful individual effort, as Vancouver easily handled Los Angeles at the building where the Lakers play. Kyle Wellwood will remain on the roster for another week, netting a PP goal for immunity.

And finally Nashville scored one in each frame for a 3-1 victory over Edmonton. Shea Weber looked to single-handedly control the game, while Garon did not look as sharp as Roloson has in the last few games.

Can't wait until the circulation comes back in my appendages, and oxygen returns to my brain. Until next week!

I've been guilty of it before...

...and if I don't hit the nylon with this one, I'm going to break my composite over the iron. Nah, there's no way I could afford another one of those, let alone tickets to a game.

Welcome to my blog of everything hockey and the National Hockey League, and anything else I deem suitable to post. I've been recently inspired by the die-hard hockey fan, and the lack of intelligence of most hockey writers. Specifically the recent Covered in Oil spectacle, and the continued ramblings of hacks on ESPN and at The Hockey News, (worst 50bucks I've ever spent). I've discovered that the saavy hockey fan has gone underground in a modern system, and I feel lucky to even attempt to be a part of it. Besides I love it, and I love playing a small part in intelligent hockey conversation.

I feel like I should use this first post to give you some background on my hockey knowledge, which will more than likely just incriminate me. I was born on Long Island, at the start of the Glory Years at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Too bad I was too young to recall any of it, damn infancy. Was relocated to Jersey, where I spent the majority of my years. Took to the ice a few months later, and rarely came in to warm my feet. Had to suffer through the ignorance of Ranger fans, their sickening hoisting and dropping of the Cup, the rise and trap of the Devils, and their non-sequential Cup runs. Had to escape Jersey and moved to Southern California where the hockey knowledge, and fan is almost as hard to find as an unenhanced pair of breasts. Was fortunate, or unfortunate depending on how you look at it, to be around for the Ducks capturing of the Cup, and the attending of my first Stanley Cup Playoff games. I've joined a beer league where I've found some pretty decent hockey players, and do my best not to embarrass myself by functioning as a stay-at-home defenseman. And while this gives me no more credibility than the next guy, it gives you an idea of my vantage point of the professional hockey world. I think my take is pretty unbiased, and fair (except when I'm speaking of the Rangers), which is why I choose to write about the league in general, as opposed to backing a specific team. (Supporting a consistently worse than mediocre team that even pros don't want to play for will do that to you.) But I can assure you that these posts will be a hell of a lot more interesting, and I hope funnier than this one. This is so boring I can actually smell my brain farting. Enjoy!