Monday, June 23, 2008

How to: Write a hockey blog post

Jes Golbez just posted a blog post over on AOL Fanhouse about how average player salaries are going up. I think it's an interesting Case Study in hockey blogging. And with that, here is the first in what I hope is a series of "How To" items. After all, there's a long offseason ahead, and Eurocup only lasts so long.

Anyhow, here's the breakdown of his post:

Open with the subject of your post. Include snarky commentary if possible, and unless you're part of the Gawker network, link to the article to which you're referring:

Hello, my name is Captain Obvious, and I'm here with some news that will not leave you shocked, and/or appalled: The average NHL player's salary is going up ... WAAAAAAY UP!

If it involved more than one player's contract, or the Collective Bargaining Agreement, then the next step is easy: Crap on Gary Bettman.

While Gary Bettman and his evil council of rich bastards wanted cost certainty, I'm sure they didn't want to be certain that costs would just continue to inflate drastically each year.

Blockquotes: The master stroke of any post is the block quote. Choose the two most relevant paragraphs that are next to each other from the linked article. Mirtle is the master of this. It makes you look professional (hey, Wyshinski does it!) even if you aren't (see above blockquotes.)

Finally, you should ride out the end of the post with some opinion and commentary. If you can kick a southern team while it's down....GO FOR IT.

Now, if Jes Golbez actually reads this (Hi!), he may think I'm trying to say he's doing a bad job. I want to set the record straight: This is not the case. Jes is on Fanhouse for being a good blogger. They have a definite feel for their articles, which is comforting.

You can tell a professional blog and a less-than-professional blog by how quickly it ends, and if it does end slowly, how useful the last bits are. In fact, look at me ramble off into the sunset. See below:

The NHL is trying not to show weakness as the KHL is being turned into Russia's attempt at glory. They rewrote labor law such that KHL players can't give two weeks notice to leave for the NHL, and I believe I read somewhere that KHL players from the NHL will get paid tax-free, and won't take up cap space in the league. This is a WHA-esque threat, probably, and I agree with Jes: We should move teams north to protect them from the failing US Dollar.

Also, R.I.P. George Carlin.

Hossa, Please.

Theoretically good news from today. Actually, that they're even talking about this as a possibility is good news. Will he forgive the team for hurting him in his Pens Debut?

Just think of it:

"Chara...passes up to Savard, to Hossa- HE SCORES!"

Just makes me smile. An elite sniping winger would do well with the original black and gold.

And from the Pensblog:

Sunday, June 22, 2008


The New York Times wrote a nice blog post today explaining why the draft isn't that exciting to me. Read the Slap Shot post here.

The Gist is, The kids getting picked right now (except the first 3-5 picks) aren't expected to be joining the big leagues for at least 5 years. I'll yap about rookies all day long, but the draft itself doesn't really catch my attention right now. Andy Brickley went last a long time ago, after all.

Today: Italy/Spain.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Longest Playing Goalies

I was browsing today, and I thought to myself, what's the longest amount of time anyone's played in goal? As the fine folks at keep track of playing time in minutes, I'd figure I'd just look it up. Unfortunately, they didn't have a page set up with that information already, so I looked at who had played the most time and then add it up myself. I included regular season and playoff minutes, so let's take a look:

NameSeasonPlayoffsTotal time played
Patrick Roy60,23515,20952 days, 9 hours, 24 minutes
Martin Brodeur: 57 20810 52247 days, 50 minutes
Ed Belfour55 6959 94545 days, 14 hours
Terry Sawchuck57 1946 29044 days, 2 hours, 4 minutes
Curtis Joseph53 2138 10642 days, 13 hours, 59 minutes

So there you have it, folks: Patrick Roy is the longest-playing Goalie in the NHL, ever. Also, HR doesn't sort by minutes played.

Also, the draft is happening this weekend...Neither the Bruins or Wild had very good picks (I care a lot about that division title now...vomit.) I didn't watch it last night, and I'll be reading other blog's coverage, but the whole thing doesn't have me refreshing every minute for updates. Besides, Netherlands plays Russia at 2:45!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Glen Murray

There are rumors that the Bruins may buy out Glen Murray's contract. I say go for it! He used to be a lot better, but I've been looking at his numbers, and here is a telling graph:

I deleted the years off the bottom. Sorry. It shows his career numbers (started small as he spent some time in minor leagues) And the peaks are a year after the Bruins got him back from the Kings. Regardless, he's been in decline since then, or for about the last 5 years. He hasn't had a positive +/- since before the lockout. And his playoff performance...big goose egg this year, with a -3 +/- rating. His all time playoff +/- is -15.

Which is not to say I think he's in the same luxury yacht as Bobby Holik. He's basically a decent player, but he's eating our cap space up right now and we can't afford to let that continue.

A tip o' the hat to Mirtle for the notification.

See you later, some NHL players

Well, the transfer agreement between the NHL and the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) has not been re-signed, and it makes me worry. Hockey is starting to gain ground in the USA, (thanks for being good, Detroit and Pittsburgh) and now there's nothing in place stopping the IIHF, including the Russan "super-league" from grabbing players from the NHL. Granted, not a lot of fans are exactly crying over Chris Simon leaving for Russia, but where he has gone other players will follow, especially if a player thinks they can make more money in Euros than they do in Dollars, and live at home rather than in this strange country that I - and 24 teams in the NHL - call home. I see young players coming to the NHL if given the opportunity, but people taking the route of Sami Kapinen and retiring to play in a European league of one kind or another.

I don't think we'll be seeing Sydney Crosby playing for the Gagarin Cup*, but depending on how his career goes I could see Pavol Demitra or Marion Gaborik leaving for somewhere in Slovak Extraliga if the money's right.

In 30 years, if the NHL and CHL play their cards wrong and right, respectively, I could certainly see the Stanley Cup and Gagarin Cup winners squaring off somewhere they both want to boost hockey fandom. Israel?

*Best-named trophy, to date. Disagree?

IIHF - NHL transfer deal expires.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Well, let's just say I'm not surprised. The wings were going to win this one. They dominated in the regular season. (remember that?) They dominated in the first round, after trading out the dominator Dominik Hasek for "backup" Chris "The Wizard of Oz" Osgood. They dominated in the second round, sweeping the possibly even more ancient (and beaten up - thanks for the memories, Chris Simon) Colorado Avalanche. They went up 3-0 against Dallas, and then decided not to repeat the mistakes of their 1942 forbears, despite losing 2 in a row to them. Then came the finals.

Game one embarassed the Penguins. Shutout. The Mule came back in game 2, still probably experiencing "Concussion-like symptoms." That worked out for Pittsburgh about as well as game 1. The series came back to Pittsburgh, and the Igloo (and two Sydney Crosby goals) turned the series into, well, a series. Detroit won game 4 away, leading to a threat of Detroit winning in 5, which would have been even more domination from the boys in Red and White.

Then game 5 happened. As discussed previously, I fell asleep pretty soon after Emrick said "we've seen 100 minutes of hockey" and so I missed Petr Sykora's thrilling PPG to win the game. I did, however, see Maxime Talbot's equally important goal with 34.x seconds left in the third. Fleury turned in 55 saves, 55 cup-winning goals turned aside (and I do mean turned aside...that man should consider controlling his rebounds).

In the end, in Game 6, we learned why Mike Babcock looks like he could be a mafia don: He sent out the red wings with one mission - kill. Get that cup. And they did. And how. Detroit continued to dominate, and while pittsburgh did a great job of getting goal number 2 on the 6-on-4, they couldn't repeat the feat that has only occured twice and tie the game with one minute left.

Zetterberg deserved the Conn Smythe - his defense against Crosby quite possibly defined the series. 10 European players helped the first European Captain lift the stanley cup, and Newfoundland managed to win it's first. I ALMOST forgive his dad for being such a class-A dickhead in Pittsburgh after game 4. No seriously, what a fucking asshole. I don't care that your kid played a part in winning game 4, doesn't mean you get to be an ass to the opposing fans. Or maybe it just means you deserve to have beer "spilled" on you. Who knows.

Regardless, the awarding of the Stanley Cup means one thing: It's the offseason. Shave off those playoff beards and take in a baseball game or something. Heck, I'm going to go live on a beach for a few days.

And one thing I've been waiting to say since the riots up in Montreal:


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I've got a bad feeling about this...

All of you 0 readers out there, this could be it. Today, June 4, could be the last day of the Stanley Cup Finals, and of the 2007-2008 season. However, it's not over until it's over, as Maxime Talbot proved on Monday, with that MONSTER goal with 34.7, 34.3, 34.1 seconds left in the period. (Which was it, again? Answer: WHO CARES? IT WAS AWESOME!)

So, with that, here's some thoughts on tonight's game:

- Everyone is playing hurt. I think Gonchar's mom's nose is broken at this point.
- Chelios still hasn't been playing. I think he won't play again tonight.
- will the Igloo melt, or will the Pens burn it down in front of the home crowd?
- They might be shutting off the outdoor JumboTron if there's a chance of lightning, which would cut down on the number of fans outside the building. No word on whether the Umbrella Corporation's Pittsburgh branch will be using the lightning for dastardly deeds, or to keep Hasek/Chelios alive.

I am looking forward and dreading this game in a big way. In one scenario, we get a game 7 of the stanley cup finals: Everybody wins, except whoever loses. In the other scenario, we get the red wings waking up against the penguins.

Everyone didn't practice yesterday, everyone's still tired after Monday's triple-overtime win, and somebody get Petr Sykora some more PIZZA!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Game 5 snoozer, for all the wrong reasons

Ok, so I'll admit: I fell asleep during the overtime. Petr Sykora did it, there's really nothing I can say about this game that hasn't already been said by the Pensblog. I guess the real question is how did he know? And will there be free pizza in the locker room for game 7 if necessary?

P.S. from WhoWins
series record, all best-of-7 sports, all rounds: 25-3 (.893)
Game 6 record, NHL only, all rounds: 7-6 (.538)