Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Five Thoughts for a Tuesday Afternoon

I was looking to post something today and as luck would have it, I have five things to talk about and a little to say about each one...

1. As tired as I now am of hearing about Ryan Smyth, I have one last thing to say. It's been said recently that Kevin Lowe is the perfect example of what a GM needs to be today - totally focused on the business end of the game, with no attention paid to the intangibles a player may bring or what he means to a team and its fans - and that may be true, and in reality, probably is. So if the NHL becomes only a business, then why would I still watch or follow it? The truth of the matter is that the salary-cap era means an end to loyalty within the NHL and the sports world - both a player's loyalty to his team and a team's loyalty to their players. I think the sad reality of the "new" NHL is beginning to set in for me.

2. The NHL's overtime 3-point allocation system (2 points for a win, 1 point for an overtime/shootout loss) is simply absurd. "Welcome to the New NHL - Points for Everybody!" How can teams possibly catch up in playoff races or pull away, when the majority of games it seems are 3 point games. Last week on Thursday night (March 1st) there were 9 games in the NHL. In those 9 games, 15 of the 18 teams involved got a point. Now, I'm no mathematician but it seems if there are only 9 games there would only be 9 winning teams. So by my calculations, 6 of the teams that played on Thursday lost and all got a single point still. The statistical analysis firm of Cooper, Cooper and Cooper recently did some research on this subject and found that over 200 points have been given out for overtime and shootout losses this year. I know a tie is like kissing your sister but this is getting out of hand.

3. Is there a team in any major sports league that is more fun to watch right now than the Toronto Raptors? Admittedly, I am not the biggest NBA fan in the world, but if there is a Raptor game on, I'm watching it. This is one of those rare occasions where a professional sports team actually likes one another. And this fact is evident in the way they play and interact with one another on the court. Chris Bosh is just a pleasure to watch. He seems to be the ultimate team guy and is out there killing himself for the team every night. The development and progress of Andrea Bargnani has been great to watch as well. Is this team capable of making any noise in the playoffs? Maybe. But let's face it, whoever ends up representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals is just going to get shamed by the Western Conference representative. The difference between the two conferences is just staggering.

4. As per my earlier entry here (scroll down) about the NHL and cheap shots and player disrespect, see New Jersey Devil Cam Janssen's ludicrous hit (you can click on that link, that's how high-tech we are here) on Tomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This was an absolute embarrassment to the NHL and the game of hockey. Two other things about that hit: A) There was no penalty assessed on the play (there are two referees and two linesmen on the ice and no one saw that - what function do these people serve out there if this doesn't get called), B) The 3 game suspension give to Janssen as "punishment" is a joke. See David Shoalts' great column from the Globe and Mail (and globesports.com) about what should have been done about this hit. The NHL needs to do something soon or whatever little credibility they have left as a professional sports league is going to rapidly disappear. What a disgrace this whole situation was.

5. And finally, the last word today goes to Regina-based, Edmonton Oiler pundit Doug O'Brien, who believes that Oiler GM Kevin Lowe's next big move is going to be writing a sure-thing bestseller called, "How to Dismantle a Stanley Cup Contender in Eight Months."


Trebor said...

Just got to this great blog and it was a great read though, it seems to be mainly a hokcey theme.. I'm sure that will change with March madness soon to start and the champions league, and sadly baseball.

You did mention the Raptors and I agree with what you said if there's a game on, the tv is set to that channel. This recent slide they are in is tough to watch though, I don't mind it too much when they get beaten by a last second dunk by some no-name,hussle player with an afro (damm cavaliers), its at least entertaining. Lets hope they can pull it together tonight and shut down gasol.

parting thoughts- headshots in the NBA??? Kobe at it again and actually getting a punishment

?? cooper, cooper and cooper....damm there's got to be some kind of joke there i'm just to slow.

Anonymous said...

Hey Luke good commentary. Enjoyed the links.

McBrent 1957