Sunday, June 04, 2006


Sunday Slam

Oh, dear... Ted Montgomery of USA Today is back and he's at his best/worst in crappy hockey commentary. There are about 20 bloggers out there who could do a far better job than him without even putting much effort into the job. How did Ted ever get a job in the first place?

From his latest 'masterpiece':

Can't you just envision Gary Bettman tossing and turning at night, wringing his hands over the fact that Carolina and Edmonton will compete for the Stanley Cup? Yes, Gary, the first year under the new CBA was very successful on many fronts, but a Carolina-Edmonton final will garner almost no interest from fans who don't live in North Carolina and Alberta. The master plan — showcasing this great sport to potential new fans — won't happen now. Believe me, more fans will tune in to a Kansas City Royals-Seattle Mariners matchup than any of the Stanley Cup Final.
Aaaahhh, yes. It's the old 'this matchup sucks for the NHL' cliche that we've heard about 10,000 times these playoffs.

(BTW, I prefer not to have thoughts of Gary Bettman doing things in bed. Perhaps that floats your boat Tim. We don't need that kind of image in our heads)

Why do sportswriters care at all if the finals have good ratings or not? Do they work for the NHL? Do they worry that low TV ratings might put them out of work somehow? I just don't get why writers need to care so much who makes the finals for ratings?

As a fan, all I ask for is GOOD hockey. Sure, a Rangers/Leafs final would get great ratings, but so what? I don't need hockey to get good TV ratings to enjoy the sport, nor do any other hockey fans. Maybe Bettman is happy that this final showcases a 'small market' club in Edmonton and a non-traditional market in Carolina. This can show (in Gary's mind) that his CBA works.

BTW, Tim, the NHL ratings could mirror the NFL's ratings and you'd still be undeserving of your job.

I think this year's Edmonton Oilers are much more similar to the 1989-1990 Gretzky-less team than the great dynasty of the early and mid-1980s. That team was about overwhelming the opposition with its offense; this year's version is more tenacious and has enjoyed success by dint of its hard work ethic.
Thank you, Mr. Obvious. Gee, I had no idea that this 8th place/.500 team wasn't similar to a superstar laden Oilers dynasty. Somehow, I mistook Shawn Horcoff for Jari Kurri and Mike Peca for Mark Messier.

I hope the Carolina sportswriters have tracked down Blaine Stoughton and Mike Rogers to ask them what they think of the Hurricanes' great run. Both players were key cogs in the nascent Hartford Whalers teams of the early 1980s. For that matter, they should also talk to Pat Verbeek and Ron Francis. I think they can probably pass on interviewing Zarley Zalapski.
Um...what the hell are you getting at??

Oh, do you also realize the Canes made the finals a few years back? Hmm? Just sayin...

Pass on Zarley Zalapski? Why? Are you anti-Slav? Is that name too hard for you to pronounce?

The 1987-88 Oilers had eight players with 30 goals or more. The 2005-06 Oilers had one player (Ryan Smyth) with more than 30 goals. More than any other statistic, this demonstrates the difference between the game 20 years ago and today's game.
Well, duh, but the Oilers also had more stars and superstars than most franchises could have ever hoped for. Other players on the old Oilers teams became 30-goal men simply by breathing the same air as Wayne Gretzky.

The 1990-91 Oilers added bruising right wing Max Middendorf to their roster in the hopes that he would add a different dimension to the team in their quest to win a consecutive cup. Max maxed out at three games, scoring once and not adding much of anything to the team
Again, what the hell? Is this 'Useless facts that don't mean anything' day?

The 1989-90 Oilers were the first team to have two black goaltenders (Grant Fuhr and Pokey Reddick) on their roster. They also had three other goaltenders play for them during the season — Mike Greenlay, Randy Exelby and Bill Ranford, who carried the load in the playoffs.
Yeah, I guess it is.

No Carolina player wants to win the cup more than Glen Wesley, who first played in a game for the Hartford Whalers in 1994. Except for a very brief stint with Toronto, Wesley has been the longest serving Whaler-Hurricane.
O RLY? Did you quantify this with that secret formula I never seem to be able to find? How do you know that Doug Weight doesn't want it more? Hell, even young Eric Staal may want it more. Glen Wesley might not even care that much about the cup. He may be more interested in bass fashing. Again, these kinds of comments are just stupid. Age does not corrolate with desire.


Unfortunate headline of the day from the Financial Times: "Oilers find foothold on ice hockey’s greasy pole".


If it's useless facts about Glen Wesley he wanted, he might have pointed out that the last time the Oilers reached the Stanley Cup finals way back in 1990, they played against...Glen Wesley.
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