Sunday, November 29, 2009

Top Ten Most Annoying Things In Today's NHL


1. Broadcasters Still Complaining About The Shootout: Whenever a game goes to a shootout, 8 times out of 10, one of the TV analysts will inevitably say, “I hate seeing a game decided in a shootout”. Sports talk radio is even worse. It probably gets mentioned by someone at least once a day. The fact is that the shootout isn’t going anywhere and that most fans love it. So get over it folks.

2. Broadcasters Still Complaining About The Delay Of Game Rule: See above. I don’t really understand why everyone gets up in arms over this rule. It’s the same for both teams yet when one team gets the penalty, the TV analyst will imply that it’s an unfair rule. Essentially, this rule forces defenseman to make a play rather than wildly shoot the puck out of the zone. It creates more opportunity for turnovers and penalties, thereby creating more offense in the game. And that’s always a good thing. It sucks when your favourite team gets called for it, but it’s just as fair as a tripping or hooking penalty. Get over it.

3. Broadcasters Still Complaining About The Two Referee System: This isn’t as talked about as the above two rules but it still creeps up from time to time. How anyone can pine for the old days of the one ref system where obstruction was rampant is beyond me. The NHL will certainly never go back to the one ref but some diehards out there still prattle on about “the good old days”.

4. Goalie Equipment Is Still Too Huge: It seems like an issue that’s gone away in many people’s minds, but the Michelin Men are still out there. Have you seen the catching gloves lately? Tell me one reason why the gloves have to be that big? It certainly isn’t for protection. The NHL should finish what they started and shrink that equipment even more.

5. The Endless Head Shot Debate: Whenever a hockey player gets hurt, Canada goes into an outright panic. It’s funny that the public was unanimously against the players union in the lockout debate and constantly complain about inflated salaries, but if one of them gets hit, we cry like it’s our union brothers out there. Give me a break. The rules can certainly be tweaked to give more protection, but do we really need to talk about it every single day like it’s an epidemic? Those huge hits are actually pretty rare and at least half of them are perfectly legal. The sport it rough. Get over it.

6. Arena Name Sponsorships: I find it personally aggravating that every time I want to mention the rink the Senators play in, I have to give a plug for Scotiabank. It’s also next to impossible to identify the rinks where other teams play from year to year. I realize it’s not going away so maybe I should take my own advice and stop complaining about it.

7. The Thing That Everyone MUST Mention When Talking About Alexei Kovalev: Do we really need to hear it every game? “Kovalev is the most talented player in the NHL...when he wants to be”. “Which Kovalev will show up tonight?” We get it. It’s not something we haven’t heard before. This is almost as annoying as the “Keys To The Game” that nearly every broadcast feels the need to shove down our throats. Kovalev will never change. Get over it.

8. Trade Rumour Web Sites: In a league that has no trades, the existence of these sites seem to finally be waning. Yet they have probably permanently wrecked the reputation of bloggers everywhere.

9. Hamilton: No offense to the thriving metropolis of Hamilton, but it’s getting old hearing how every southern team might end up playing out of Copps Coliseum. It’s an aging, tired rink that the NHL will never embrace. I have no problem with another team coming to Canada but it’s also a little repugnant for Canadian hockey snobs to be openly cheerleading for other markets to lose their teams. What makes the fans in Phoenix any less important than the ones in Canada? It’s a tragedy when a city loses a team. Canadian fans should know that all too well.

10. Ugly Uniforms: You just have to shake your head sometimes. We’re lucky that vintage style uniforms are popular right now because it looks like Buffalo and Edmonton may be soon reverting back to their classic looks. But when vintage goes out of style, the NHL will no doubt be hiring some company like Reebok to design some more wacky pajamas for their athletes to wear.

***

Another tough shootout loss for the Senators on Saturday night. Yet, they keep getting points and otherwise playing tough, consistent hockey.

It was interesting to see Erik Karlsson get called up and Brian Lee sent down. I expected to see Karlsson back with the Senators but not this soon. I really like this move by Bryan Murray and he's made the Senators better for it.

Lee can certainly skate and move the puck but his upside is a fraction of what Karlsson's is. If Karlsson is good enough to play in the NHL, and he certainly is, then why block his way with Lee?

The Senators are not going to get close to a Stanley Cup with this defense. Why not start moulding your defense crew for the future? Karlsson is going to be this teams number one defenseman in a year or two and he offers more than Lee even at this early stage.

Of future moves the Senators might make, you have to think that Jonathan Cheechoo is going to start being made a healthy scratch soon. There can be no justification in the world to take Jesse Winchester out of the lineup, and Peter Regin and Ryan Shannon have improved of late as well. Winchester and Regin are going to be core players going forward and Shannon has so much more speed than Cheechoo that it's barely even worth arguing the point.

Since I missed blogging about the game on Saturday, here are the belated 3 Stars:

Black Aces Senators 3 Stars

1. Milan Michalek
2. Daniel Alfredsson
3. Brian Elliott

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I disagree with a lot of this post.

Headshot debate is legit, in my view. Call the arenas whatever you want. Call SBP the Palladium, if it bothers you. Many people still call Rogers Center the SkyDome.

You're obviously like the vintage unis, so go vintage on arena names.

The thing about the unis is that Ottawa's are among my least favourite. They're brutal.

The Karlsson move is retarded in a cap world. Absolutely retarded. Two years from now, when his agent wants a $3M-$4M contract with term, we'll be wondering whether we want to pay a 185lbs 21 year old that kind of money. He may be our highest paid d-man. That's Phillips kind of money, and he ain't going to be as good as Phillips in two years.

Cheech makes too much dough to be benched. We have to get him going. I like Regin and Jesse. But, I think it's a stretch to call them core players.

One last thing. I often criticize the Sun. But, I gotta give it up for Don Brennan for suggesting that Vermette deserved a little more appropriate reception on Thursday night.

I'd like to see the Sens become a team that players around the league respect because of the way they are appreciated even after they leave.

dzuunmod said...

Seems to me this whole post is just one, long complaint, actually. Complaining about other people complaining is still complaining.

PvR said...

And now we have people complaining about your complaining about all of the complaining. But not me, I'm not complaining about the people complaining about your complaining about all of the complaining, I'm just enjoying it all.

phil said...

#11 has gotta be the word 'truculence'

hambown said...

@ phil: agreed, but it's a minor quibble.

@jeremy: Lee can certainly skate and move the puck but his upside is a fraction of what Karlsson's is. If Karlsson is good enough to play in the NHL, and he certainly is, then why block his way with Lee?

I think you're being generous in your assessment of Brian Lee. He can move the puck in so far as he can skate with the puck on his stick, and can direct the puck to other players in a "pass" like motion, but I've never seen him rush the puck out of the defensive zone. I've never seen him trouble forecheckers with his stick handling or speed. I've never seen him disrupt a trap with a clever pass, or deke and burst of speed. Yet Karlsson has done all of these things in just a handful of games.

I wish that Brian Lee was a puck moving defenseman. To my eye though, he's just a defenseman who will pass, and who doesn't seem very comfortable with the puck on his stick.

Canucnik said...

2. Delay is a great rule! You guys don't remember the defencemen freezing the puck on the boards and ya couldn't reef him!

4. Goalie's equipment should be an on going battle...downsize every piece of gear that does not give demonstatively more protection.

5. Guys like you should get a good one up side the head every Tuesday night at Beer League...not to concuss but just to remind how delicate your brain is!

7. Kovy is terrific, love the guy worts and all. I do like the "Keys" to the game reminds me how little the broadcasters think of the general hockey knowledge of the fans!

8. These guys make me look bad because they make me so "mad" I sometimes (always)say something stupid.

9. Leave Hamilton alone...they don't need anyone else knocking "em down.

10. Played in the classic Buffalo uniform...is/was the nicest in hockey...Ottawa has a great red sweater it just has to be simplified...too busy!

Read my lips Volchy is loved,there shall be no trade!

Note: Special "K" was brought up to get his promised shot with Kuba...the rest of the discussion is enlighted bullsh&t!

NoteII: The Picard "Experts" can talk to my arse my ears are tired!

Anonymous said...

Canucnik,

I don't get the emotional attachment to Picard.

I'll give you that he's played OK of late. But, his entire body of work still questionable. The verdict is not in yet, in my view.

GelatinousMutantCoconut said...

No. The NHL really needs to crack down on headshots and cheap knee-on-knees. How many players have suffered long-term injuries because of these preventable situations?

It's easy, 20 games minimum for first offense, 41 for 2nd, and 82 for third. Anytime a player hits another from behind or makes clear contact to the head.

Hamilton hockey fans don't matter more than Phoenix fans...they just outnumber them 10-1.

Burgundy said...

The headshot debate is a legit NHL issue if the league is willing to make changes to protect players. But talking about it simply isn't enough. We've been doing that all season. There's no new talking points coming from it - only new highlights.

As far as #7, I can't believe you didn't use the word enigmatic at least 13 times. I agree with you 100% - we can't hear AK27s name without hearing "...when he wants to be..."

-burgundy out.

looper said...

I like the blog...GO SENS!!