Monday, April 6, 2009

Afternoon Cycle: Sometimes we're wrong (except about NBC)

A few concessions are in order this afternoon.
  • First, it looks like the Tim Thomas contract is not nearly as Bruins-friendly as it originally seemed.
As mentioned at Stanley Cup of Chowder, the elder Swede's dude from Michigan's (thanks: SCoC) deal is considered a 35+ contract so if he gets injured, retires or turns into the second coming of Roman Cechmanek then too bad so sad for Boston. Thomas has been great this season - without getting deep into research, he might be our gut reaction Vezina winner - but Mirtle astutely points out that the NHL isn't exactly heavily populated by older goalies these days.

Ultimately, the contract should be judged by how it affects the future of the B's. Will they have the cap space to retain Phil Kessel, David Krejci and - eventually - guys like Milan Lucic and Marc Savard? Time will tell, but Krejci/Kessel might be sacrificed to the offer sheet gods before this is all over.
  • Our other concession: Alex Ovechkin probably deserves the MVP. For quite some time, we've been promoting Evgeni Malkin as the Hart winner but Ovechkin's goal scoring ability is more of a "game breaker" than Geno's all-world passing. Not to say it isn't a very close match and we could always pull a 360 if Malkin scores 8 points this week.
But, really, the question is: will either be worthy of the "Staal" trophy?

  • One thing we have a hard time imagining: CLS ever pumping up NBC when it comes to NHL coverage.
It's bad enough that NBC decided to show Minnesota vs. Detroit, a game that managed to be bland on two levels: the "familiarity" of seeing the Red Wings again combined with the tedium of watching the Wild. Could we call NBC "talented" at sucking? At least Bettman and NBC had to eat some crow, though, because Puck the Media reports that the game was NBC's lowest rated match of the season. Shocking, we know.

  • Oh, but it gets MUCH worse.
You may or may not have heard that, in a move that's just another slap in the face in a series of injustices, the peacock will be televising Games 1, 2 (good) and then 5, 6 and 7 if necessary of the Stanley Cup Finals. That's right, the NHL might not even have the raising of the chalice on an American national network. Unbelievable.

After NBC's stunning decision to move a heated Eastern Conference Finals overtime game to Versus for a horse racing preview show, they pretty much were dead to us. But give NBC credit for finding new and exciting ways to pour salt in the wounds of hockey fans.

Illegal Curve makes a good point about another flaw in NBC's programming decisions: the lack of anything resembling consistency. A casual hockey fan truly can never know if they're going to get to watch a game each Sunday as there is no clear reasoning to indicate when the NHL will be on NBC and when it will "take the week off."

With the continued struggles of Versus to find a uniform home on basic cable, finding the NHL is starting to become like a sad sports version of Where's Waldo. Despite what crazy Boston announcers tell you, the NHL needs one nightly ESPN game so people can at least find one game per week.


Interesting to see that Don was once considered "Dick's brother" in their home town. You have to wonder if Don Cherry never reacts to being called a dick simply because he assumes the person's trying to scream at his bro instead.

GHL has some other great posts too, with a look at the evolution of the Cup and also a discussion regarding a female hockey player who looks A LOT like Owen Hart.

6. Columbus
7. Anaheim
8. St. Louis
In case you're wondering what my voice sounds like (most common response: "Do you have a cold?") you might get the chance.

Look for a link, unless it ends up being a disaster. If that happens I'll claim it was a different James O'Brien with the same lust for puns and disregard for personal hygiene and tact. Seriously, there's about a million James O'Briens/Bryans/Brians out there.


jamestobrien said...

Informal comments poll: is this post too long? I've always had a problem with brevity, but I'm curious if this can hold people's attention. What do you think?

Vance said...

Hehehe Dick Cherry.

jamestobrien said...

Is his middle name "Pops"? Har Har.

AmyB said...

Your posts are lovely. Seriously.

But AO for Hart? Come on.

jamestobrien said...

@ Amy: I'm a Pens fan, but I've got to give credit where it's due. It kills me to say it, but I give Ovie the slight edge.

AmyB said...

Come on! Ovie just managed to eek out a plus rating (despite his OMG goalz). He leads in giveaways last time I checked. He's a big fat (Don)cherry picker and an attention whore to boot. He should have more goals than Geno because Geno is a play maker and Ovie is a winger.

Vance said...

Then technically shouldn't Malkin have more than 2 more points than Ovechkin if he's a "playmaker" and Ovechkin just a "scorer"?

jamestobrien said...

According to the Super Sophisticated James Postulate (created as I type this), here's how they break down:

Goals (x .5) + Assists (x .33)= a completely arbitrary way to judge a player. LET'S GO TO THE VIDEO:

Malkin: 14 + 24.42= 38.42
Ovechkin: 27.5 + 16.83= 44.33

So there. I just completely made that formula up and it doesn't prove anything. H-Hooray?

Vance said...

Shouldn't you have to weight primary assists more heavily than the vaunted secondary assist?

[[(Goals x .5) + (Primary Assists x .4) + (Secondary Assists x .3) - (Empty Netters x .01)] - (Giveaways - Takeaways)] x (Plus/Minus x Shooting %) = MVP

I have a headache.

jamestobrien said...

My God, Vance, you're completely right. We're going to have to scrap the Postulate for now.