Posted on: April 29, 2009 12:35 am

NHL.com failure, again

So OK I didn't see all of the games tonight. I wanted to but didn't, sorry.
Anyway I just got home, and I wanted to see who scored the first two goals in the Capitals - Rangers game.
Bypassing all other sites I went directly to the source - nhl.com.
This is what I got.

Something is amiss!

Another nhl.com malfunction.
Category: NHL
Posted on: April 26, 2009 9:41 am

Fighting for hockey

Because I fight for hockey where ever I go, I saw this.

Alexander Ovechkin's highlight reel goal on Friday.

The story. So I walked into a Buffalo Wild Wings Friday night to watch the Capitals - Rangers game. It wasn't already on. I knew it was about halfway through though. The bar wasn't extremely full, and only a few patrons were watching a game - a couple of baseball games and the basketball game. A few more were playing online trivia or poker. So I picked the least likely place to sit so as to not disrupt the statusquo. "What'll have?" asked the bartender. "I'll have a Diet Coke if you can change one of these TV's to the hockey game." "We can probably do that." "Great, I'lll take a Diet Coke then." Get my drink, but no hockey is on. This doesn't bode well. B-dubs is busy. I got it. I make sure nobody next to me is watching the Cubs - Cardinals game. They're not. They're fully engrossed in their online games. It takes a bit longer, but finally the hockey game is on. A plasma TV and the projection screen. That didn't set well with the Cubs or the Cards fans in the rest of the bar, nor the two guys who came in after me and sit a few seats down. They howl in protest So then it's back to baseball, including the plasma TV in front of me. The hockey game is on a TV at the other end of the bar - too far for me to see. I complain. "I'm not ordering anything else until hockey is on one of these TVs." There were about five of them, so it was in the realm of the possible. "As a matter of fact I'm getting ready to leave. I mean Icould've gone anywhere to eat, but I came here to see a hockey game too." The bartender didn't hear it all I'm sure as she turned on her heels to change the station. She changed it or had it changed, but I hadn't looked up. I was still fuming. She came back prepared to write my order. "I said I'm not ordering ... oh you changed it." So I order my food. About that time Alexander Ovechkin scored his highlight reel goal.  It was like my own little reward for influencing B-dubs to change the station. Did anybody else see it live? Did it make the four-letter's top 10 plays of the day? Really I don't really care if anybody else saw it. I know in my heart that it was the number one play that day, and it was probably better than anyLeBron James alley-oop or baseball home run or catch.
Category: NHL
Posted on: January 21, 2009 5:33 am
Edited on: January 21, 2009 6:04 am

Wings lack focus

In my opinion the Red Wings have lacked focus lately, and especially in the back-to-back losses to San Jose and Phoenix
It's been apparent throughout the season, but it really showed through tonight. When your all-star defensemen and headline-grabbing, offseason signing are making mistakes that I notice then something is definitely wrong.
Nicklas Lidstrom's attempt to clear the puck through the slot on the penalty kill led to one goal for the Coyotes.
Marian Hossa extra stick handling led to a three on one break and a goal for another.
Those are downright horrible mistakes a team with focus shouldn't make.

On the bright side it was the Wings first back-to-back, regulation losses of the season. That's pretty amazing. The All-Star break seems to be coming at the right time for the Wings.

Also did anybody see Dany Heatley's first goal for Ottawa in the Senators - Capitals game last night? I can't believe that goal was allowed as another Sen was in the crease and caused goalie interference. If that would've been Tomas Holmstrom, the goal would've been disallowed.
Posted on: January 16, 2009 12:11 am
Edited on: January 16, 2009 11:46 am

NHL fans need more Versus coverage

Many hockey fans seem to think Versus' NHL coverage is lacking. That the announcers, cameramen, producers, etc. are sub par. I don't get that thinking.
In my opinion Versus' coverage has improved every season since 2005-2006. It's getting better all the time. I sincerely believe the quality of the telecasts has improved over time.
That doesn't mean Versus is perfect. My biggest criticism of Versus coverage is that games are only on two nights per week. There are games just about everyday. More games on different nights should be broadcast nationwide on Versus.
Wednesday night's game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins is one such game.
A rivalry is budding between Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, and another between Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. These players are arguably three of the most exciting, young players in the League too.

From the Canadian Press.
PITTSBURGH — Alexander Ovechkin let his play do the talking in what is becoming one of the fiercest interdivisional rivalries in the NHL.

The game reads as if it was pretty chippy too.
It's no secret Ovechkin and fellow Russian Malkin, who went Nos. 1 and 2 in the 2004 draft, have been feuding. In the two team's previous meeting Oct. 16, Ovechkin repeatedly sought out Malkin to deliver a hit to his former roommate.
Also, it appears the relationship between Crosby and Ovechkin - who entered the league together during the post-lockout 2005-06 season and were hailed as league co-saviours - might have soured. The previous two NHL scoring champions jawed at each other while the teams came onto the ice to begin the third period.

The Caps eventually won in a 6-3 shootout.
So there's a high-scoring, feisty NHL game, yet many hockey fans outside of Washington and Pittsburgh probably didn't see it. They should have, and the game should have been on Versus.
Category: NHL
Posted on: April 20, 2008 11:55 am
Edited on: April 20, 2008 11:56 am

More Bettman-regime fascism

Fascism = extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
The NHL's latest decision - banning Al Sobotka from retrieving and twirling a thrown octopus from the Joe Louis Arena ice - certainly seems intolerant and authoritarian to me.
From the linked Detroit Free Press article:

In an e-mail to the Free Press, NHL spokesman Frank Brown gave this explanation: "Because matter flies off the octopus and gets on the ice when he does it." The Wings wouldn't comment.

Ducks general manager Brian Burke complained about Sobotka's swinging last year. Before Friday's game, an octopus landed on the ice, as usual, and Nashville defenseman Greg Zanon whacked it aside with his stick.

The NHL's favoritism toward Brian Burke rankles me to the core. I'll save that for another blog entry.
The Free Press has more today.

UPDATED: Dr. Steve O'Shea director of the Earth & Oceanic Sciences Research Institute at the Auckland University of Technology told me in an e-mail, "There's no 'matter' that could fly off and cause a hazard to players, but should a twirled octopus rupture and send its guts over the face or clothes of a player I can imagine there'd be an element of yuckiness." True, but I imagine avoiding yuckiness isn't the primary concern of hockey players as they dodge hip checks and flying pucks.

Other fascistic examples just this past season - the heavy-handed institution of the RBK Edge jerseys and dismissing an 84-game schedule option.
Many fans, and more importantly the players, have raised concerns over the new sweaters.
Yet in Gary Bettman's reign, the NHL stood by the new easy-to-tear jerseys. Bettman claimed just one player liked them. Many players complained about them. The Washington Capitals players received all new configurations of the new sweaters. Check toward the bottom of this link, it's titled Autumn Sweaters. More complaints are about them here, but now all links aren't available.
Bettman also frowned upon the Red Wing organization's suggestion of an 84-game schedule for next season. This would have allowed every team to visit every other team's arena at least once in a season, while extending the season two games and trimming the pre-season by the same number.
Sometimes its not even the choices Bettman's NHL makes, it's Bettman's know-it-all attitude and the way he forces his choices unilaterally that perturbs fans, players and many others in my opinion. The decisions and in some cases the lies, spins and cover-ups to make them palatable, certainly seem fascistic to me. Hardly fantastic.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com