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Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management. Photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and nature who is exploring the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found.
Author and Blogger. They are not the same thing. Sports occasionally spoken here, especially hockey. Veteran of Sun, Apple, Palm, HP and now Infoblox, plus some you've never heard of. They didn't kill me, they made me better.
Person with opinions, and not afraid to share them. Debate team in high school and college; bet that's a surprise.
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Monthly Archives: April 2007
Two for Elbowing: Playoff Predictions:
Here in the west, there are no underdogs, there can be no cinderella, no upsets. the teams are too closely matched. Of course, having said that, we’re going to lose at least two teams in the first round that will consider that a season failure. that’s how strong the west is.
My cut on the matchups:
First, a look at how I did in the first round…
Detroit/Calgary: I chose Calgary in 7.
I’m a little surprised Calgary didn’t do better. Veteran motivation beat out younger legs; Calgary just didn’t seem able to compete; too defensive, not enough offense. Too much of the Sutter thing, perhaps, without Sutter behind the bench forcing it to work through force of will. Not that I’m blaming Playfair — this team merely didn’t over-achieve like a Sutter coached team does.
Anaheim/Minnesota: Anaheim in 5
Minnesota simply couldn’t trap Anaheim to death.
Vancouver/Dallas: Vancouver in 5
We can stop wondering if Turco can get it done in the playoffs. Even in a loss, he was the only thing between Dallas and disaster. The only way he could have helped the team more was skating up to Luogo and breaking his arm… It’s time for Modano and Lindros to ride into the sunset — to standing ovations.
Nashville was a better team than last year. the Sharks were a MUCH better team, once the kids got their playoff sea-legs. I think the big risk for sna jose going into the playoffs was whether the younger players could handle the pressure. They exit this series bloodied and battle hardened, and the rest of the west is not going to send the Preds flowers for doing this. It makes the Sharks scary tough, as long as they stay focussed and healthy. Nashville’s main fault was a lack of discipline — or perhaps it wasn’t doing a good enough job of making sure the players they whacked stayed whacked. Either way, the team needs some tweaking, but not major retooling. they’re ALMOSt there.
3-4. Not bad.
Buffalo/NY Islanders, Buffalo in 5.
The Islanders played much better than expected to me, and turned themselves into a team that we didn’t expect to serously compete into one that looked like it snatched defeat from the hands of victory. And for once, that’s a compliment.
New Jersey/Tampa: Devils in 5
Tampa simply doesn’t have the depth, and gassed out. can’t win a 500 mile race by driving real fast for 490 miles. Tampa needs to re-think how it pays players so it can add depth. New Jersey was beatable, and then Brodeur realized it was the playoffs and woke up, and it was all over.
Atlanta/Rangers: Atlanta in 76
And Atlanta proves that it’s different in the playoffs, and the pressure can get to people who aren’t used to it. They’ll be back, but I’m not sure they have the right mix of players.
Ottawa/Pittsburgh. Ottawa in 6.
The penguins pushed the senators harder than I expected, but the better team won. But pittsburgh is close.
so I’m 6 of 8 in the first round. Not bad at all.
Detroit/San Jose: San Jose in 6.
Going to be a fun series, but I think San jose is better. but Detroit worries me if the Sharks falter a bit, and Hasek is, well, Hasek.
Anaheim/Vancouver: Anaheim in 7.
I’m tempted to pick Vancouver; I think Luongo is the better goaltender — but I also think Anaheim has enough to overtake that different. But I think it’ll be close.
Buffalo/Rangers: Buffalo in 6.
honestly? the rangers are playing better than I expected. but I don’t think it’ll be enough, but it’ll be a series, and one worth watching.
New Jersey/Ottawa: Ottawa in 6
well, Brodeur is awake and making folks crazy. But Ottawa should win out. I won’t be surprised if they don’t, though, not much. Probably the closest series in the 2nd round.
We got together tonight with a friend to watch the game.
In a move that will put a grin on the faces of members of our former San Jose Sharks mailing list, earlier in the week I was up in the city visiting a client I’ve been working with, and had the opportunity to pop by the Ferry Building. If you haven’t been there since the re-did it, you must: it is a wonderful place of small restaurants and high-end foodie shops now, as well as the ferries coming in from Alameda and the North Bay. One of those shops is Cowgirl Creamery. I came home with a nice selection of artisanal cheeses.
To the cheeses, we added a selection of crackers, and we opened up a bottle of 2000 Argyle Willamette Valley sparkling (A pinot an Chardonnay blend), which was perfect with the cheeses and quite tasty on its own. AFter, when the Sharks had won out, I pulled out of my special cache a 2005 Paradise Ranch (Okanagan Valley) Ice Wine made from Pinot Noir grapes, and there was much rejoicing. I’m starting to run a bit short of B.C. Ice Wine, so I’m going to have to finagle a trip north so I can sneak over the border… (fortunately, I now have a reliable supplier that has Oregon and Washington Ice Wines, and that’s not bad, either).
A good time was had by all. Among the cheeses sampled tonight — the Cowgirl triple creme and red hawk, an young italian Peccorino that had been washed in balsamic with infused juniper berries, a Point Reyes real blue cheese, a pug’s leap (Healdsburg) soft and rinded goat’s cheese and one other triple creme who’s attribution was unreadable, but was from the north bay somewhere.
Of them, my favorites by far were the Cowgirl triple creme, the Point Reyes Blue (very tangy, very sharp, truly awesome) and the Pugs Leap. The Cowgirl Red Hawk, which had an interesting red rind caused by bring washed in a brine that changed the bacteria on the surface, was very complex and nutty, but just didn’t hold up to the others. The Pecorino was also a lot of fun and interesting.
Damn, I wish Cow Girl had a closer outlet…. Although not inexpensive, it’s nice having access to what the local and regional cheese makers are doing now, and there’s some amazing stuff.
Oh, yeah. Hockey. This pretty much summed it up:
From Behind the Mask: Put a fork in the Preds – I heard Mark Smith and the Fat Lady singing Pura Vida:
Is Scott Nichol retarded? If you are the Preds, how can you bring this guy back next season? What a selfish bonehead move in an elimination game.
That, in a summary, was the series. The Predators were undisciplined and it cost them penalties, players and games. The Sharks avoided falling into the retribution trap, and while the power play wasn’t exceptional, the Preds kept digging holes and the Sharks kept saying thank you. The two teams otherwise were exceptionally close in talent and execution, although Kariya as a key guy simply didn’t get the job done well, and the Sharks key guys did. And Mike Grier to me is an early candidate for the Conn Smythe, if the Sharks make it that far and he keeps it up. Amazing play.
To me, the Predators started the game in “I don’t want to get hurt going into the summer mode” — the absolute sell-out intensity of play was missing. That turned after a really good scoring chance by Kariya that didn’t go in, and they started to play with more urgency — but then they started doing stupid things and taking stupid penalties. And that (again) included Peter Forsberg, who (again) took really obvious penalties, and complained to the refs about them being called all the way to the box. (“hey, do you know who I am? That rule doesn’t count for me!” Rob Shick: “tonight it does, dude!”)
I’m not sure who to blame for the lack of discipline. The coach? The players? everyone? What’s should be disconcerting to Predator brass is that after they got it under control after the first two games, it leaked out again tonight and pretty much sealed their fate, after they woke up and fought to a lead.
So, the Sharks get a few days off, and onward, to… well, someone. My guess: Detroit, while Anaheim gets Vancouver. Anything that helps beat the crap out fo Anaheim before the Sharks have to play them, I’m for. Detroit is very beatable. In fact, with back to back games saturday and sunday, it’s not a foregone conclusion it’ll BE detroit. Now, as long as they don’t start early enough for game 3 to happen next week, I’m good.
And now, back to Peterborough Pete, for your enjoyment…
I feel bad for Peter Forsberg, I hope that was not his last game in the NHL.
You know? I don’t. Talent or no, he was part of the problem, taking bad penalties, whining about them, and playing fairly dirty at times and at other times diving. Sorry, if nothign else, he set a bad example that this team followed into stupidity and suspensions and game misconducts…
Sean Hill was caught using a performance enhancing substance. Have any of you seen Sean Hill play? Somebody whisper to him, whatever he was taking wasn’t working. He and Bryan Berard are free agents…they would be perfect d partners for each other. I’m thinking Chicago or Columbus is dumb enough to take them as a package.
(line of the night. Wish I’d thought of it…)
Is the NHL retarded? Who the hell schedules back to back home and away playoff games between Calgary and Detroit? Obviously someone who has never flown before. What’s up with that?
Why? Because Detroit hosed the series with other committments in the building. Don’t blame the league here, blame the teams for stuffing things into the building knowing they might need them for hockey.
How about the NHL not committing to a game time for Tampa’s home game on Sunday due to TV schedules (wanting the Pens on in prime time if they had won) until after the Ottawa – Pens game last night? But Tampa was forced to sell tickets to the game earlier this week with a day set but no time slot? What kind of mickey mouse league does that and rude is that to the hockey fans in Tampa?
That’s normal. The Sharks game 7 this round was the same way.
There are two reasons to do this. One is because TV might want to change the teim. The other is that there’s another event going on that you might need to change the time of, and you don’t want to have to change that time until you have to. In San Jose, for instance, that’d be the Lacrosse team, the Stealth, that might have an evening slot, but if the Sharks need it, get moved to a day game at the last minute. But you don’t want to announce that kind of schedule change until you have to….
Again, not the league. It’s the team…
Two for elbowing went through a bit of a dry spell where I wasn’t doing much posting. Part of it was because of outside factors, things that were sucking up my time and energy and not leaving me much in spare to blog with.
But to be blunt about it, I got really pissed at hockey for a while, and I just didn’t feel like spewing about it on the blog. Or talking about hockey — or watching it very much.
Now that I’m back and a hockey fan again, I think I understand the core reason why hockey has struggled to catch on in the U.S. and why, if things don’t change, hockey is going to continue to be a marginalized sport south of the border.
Hint: it’s not fighting. At least, not directly.
I was already thinking my way through this before I hit the wall — it’s been a rough year for the league in terms of injuries, and more importantly, injuries caused by non-hockey action and action that is generally detrimental to the game. I even brought up the phrase “stop the stretchers”, which I realize now was an early indication that the league was heading in a direction that I was very uncomfortable with, very quickly.
But what finally put me off hockey were two situations — the Chris Simon/Ryan Hollweg problem, and the Mike Modano/Jordan Tootoo/Stephane Robidas problem.
But probably not for the reasons you expect.
Let’s revisit the Hollweg/Simon hits. If you watch the video (and it’s easily available on Youtube), Hollweg has Simon lined up early, and is aimed straight at the numbers. He had plenty of opportunity to pull up, to avoid the hit. He never intended to, and his hit was always clearly lined up as a hit from behind. That’s illegal, it’s dangerous, and it shouldn’t ever be an acceptable hit. Simon went into the glass head first and went down, then got back up and went after Hollweg — and took his stick to him.
That is clearly ALSO never acceptable. But lost in the call for Simon’s blood is this fact: Hollweg’s hit severely concussed Simon. A number of pundits noted that the stickwork by Simon wasn’t characteristic of the player, that it wasn’t how he normally played or acted. In fact, that’s literally true — being concussed, he wasn’t thinking clearly.
Hollweg wasn’t penalized, much less suspended.
The hit by Hollweg was, in fact, very similar to the hit that Radulov put on Bernier earlier this week, with a few minor differences. One, Radulov left his feet, while Hollweg didn’t. But Hollweg is a much bigger, stronger player. Oh, and Bernier didn’t get up for a while, but both players ended up with concussions. Radulov gets one game off, where Hollweg got — nothing.
In other words, the league condoned Hollweg’s hit, both at the time by the refs, and later by league review. Simon got 25 games, despite there being strong evidence that he was significantly concussed at the time (he wasn’t allowed to fly home with the team, and Ted Nolan has come out afterwards to note that Simon was showing significant concussion effects weeks later).
In fact, the league suspension on Simon was merely for show — in reality, Hollweg’s hit put Simon out for the rest of the season, and probably ended his career, since he’ll be a free agent with a heavy suspension waiting for any team looking to pick him up.
And then, when Simon tried to contact Hollweg to apologize — Hollweg declined.
Eric @ Offwing commented on this with a quick “Can you blame the guy?’
My answer: hell yes.
Me? I call bullshit on Hollweg and the league. Hollweg is they type of player that is significantly hurting the league; he’s a low-talent player who’s primary role is creating chaos and trying to hurt people. Worse, he’s one of those players that doesn’t particularly care what the side effects of what he does is. He caused a significant injury to Simon, and when Simon went to apologize for his part in this disaster, Hollweg claimed a moral high ground.
I say, the hell with that. Hollweg should have been given a match penalty for that hit, he deserved a suspension, and he should have been apologizing to Simon for attempting to turn his head into a squashed watermelon. The league was so busy trying to look proactive about the obvious act of violence that they suspended the INJURED PLAYER, took no consideration into the injury and how it might have affected his reaction (or his ability to think through his action, for that matter), and then went off and congratulated itself on being tough on unacceptable play. The initiator — the player who effectively MUGGED Simon from behind, not only got off without even a warning, he got to stand up in the press and play martyr. And everyone buys it.
That’s bullshit. It was a cheap shot from a marginal player who knew what he was doing was dirty and dangerous, and plain old didn’t care. And the league stood up and told the world that was okay.
Then there’s the Tootoo hit on Robidas.
Tootoo, who like Hollweg is a marginal talent player who’s primary role is creating chaos and hitting people, put a hit on Mike Modano. Unlike the Hollweg hit on Simon, the Tootoo hit on Modano was clean and legal.
Unfortunately, it’s not good enough to be clean and legal any more — Stephane Robidas took exception to the hit, pulled himself out of the action as the game continued, and skated over to Tootoo to, well, given he’s not a big fighter, I’m not sure what he intended to do against someone like Tootoo, but he clearly intended to enact some frontier justice of some sort.
Jordin Tootoo saw someone coming at him, and defended himself. He caught Robidas on the chin, putting him down like a sack of flour. Modano, who was not hurt by the hit, then got up and among other things, whacked Tootoo with a two-handed stick. Other stars players, hockey forgotten, converged on Tootoo, including Marty Turco, who had to be restrained by the refs.
Tootoo got five games. Modano was later called “a saint” (quote unquote) by Bill Clement (of XM and Versus, on XM Home Ice) and wasn’t penalized for that stick, or any of the stickwork he gave to Tootoo earlier in the game. Robidas got his bell rung because he was stupid enough to lead with his chin.
Once again, I call bullshit on the league. Tootoo’s hit was legal. It actually wasn’t all that hard, things considered. he put Modano down to the ice, but that was about it. The referees correctly made no call and let the play continue.
That was unacceptable to Robidas. He tried to take justice into his own hands — and he got clocked for it. And the result: the league, and many fans decided to rip Tootoo a new orifice. Why? Because he defended himself, and did so more successfully than they liked.
Lots of folks have said that Tootoo shouldn’t have gone for the rabbit punch. There seems to be an implied belief that he should have just taken the punishment. Others claim he should have dropped the gloves and “done the manly thing”. Nobody seems to have bothered to think that he was defending himself from an unprovoked attack, and that Robidas, the aggressor, had no intention of dropping gloves or “doing the manly thing”, but that’s evidently okay.
Complicating this is the reality that Tootoo has a less than stellar reputation in the league. He’s one of those guys who gets in people’s faces, and isn’t always clean about it. Just like Hollweg. He is, in some ways, a mini-Marchment, and we all know that Marchment rarely caught a break from a ref, the league, the fans, and players on any team other than his own. And, to put it bluntly — didn’t deserve to catch one most nights.
But in this case, Tootoo was innocent of anything but defending himself. Most of the criticisms of him are biased and unfair; no, he didn’t drop his gloves and “follow the code” (whatever that is) — but neither did Robidas. Yes, he rabbit punched Robidas, but Robidas had every intention of, basically, mugging Tootoo. He wasn’t planning on tapping the kid on the shoulder and saying “let’s go”, he was attempting to jump him from behind. The expectations that Tootoo should have caught movement of someone coming up behind him and figured out some way to avoid being mugged, while not doing anything “unmanly” — is ludicrous.
Robidas actually left an active play to chase down and attack Tootoo and Tootoo defended himself (and Robidas lost, big time). This has somehow been spun into the idea that Tootoo did something bad. What about the bad things Robidas did? Oh, he was defending his teammate, that’s different (and okay). The fact that was Tootoo did was clean and legal is irrelevant.
This is bullshit. Once again, the league condones a number of actions that are illegal — and severely penalizes the REACTION, which might have been aggressive, but it was a person defending himself. The instigator, who, among other things, showed up the refs by acting on his own to judge to his own tastes a perfectly legal play, who came up behind a player with intent to wreak havoc, who didn’t, and had no intention to, “do the manly thing” of dropping his gloves and challenging Tootoo, but instead catch him from behind and mug him, and who was stupid enough to not stop to think that Tootoo might just decide not to stand there and take it (which seems to be the REAL reason behind most of the Tootoo criticism; there seems to be a strong belief that what Robidas was doing was somehow the right thing, and that Tootoo should have allowed it to happen. bah). Modano had spent the evening being pested by Tootoo, and responded more than once with stickwork; later on, he tried to lumberjack Tootoo — and not only wasn’t penalized for this (although a number of media types at least talked about whether he should have been…. ), guys like Clement declare him to be a saint?
You want a more perfect example of the screwed up priorities of the league and the double standard on enforcement that exists between “our favorite players” (like Modano) and the rest of the spearcarriers?
this is bullshit. Robidas attempted to circumvent league rules and initiate some frontier justice — and got his clock cleaned. Because of this, Tootoo gets suspended.
And what finally pissed me off beyond my limit and made me walk away from hockey for a while was that nobody in the league hierarchy seemed to see just how screwed up this all is. The league condones players that show up and disrespect the referees and the rules, they don’t protect players from serious, injury causing, illegal hits — but suspend players for hits that make the ESPN highlight role where idiots with an attitude expound on how chump hockey is.
the core problems with hockey are not only accepted — but lauded — and the victims of those dangerous and illegal acts, if they happen to be of the “our league can live without this guy” type, get the book thrown at them so the can claim they’re doing something about the violence in the game.
This is bullshit, adn it’s bullshit that goes to the core values of the game, which means it won’t change until something really serious and nasty happens, just like the league didn’t get serious about stick fights until AFTER Wayne Maki attempted to remove a significant part of Ted Green’s skull. Will someone have to die before the league gets serious about this?
It sure seems so. And that’s why I stopped being a hockey fan for a while, because I have great problems supporting a league that is so unwilling to address some key, core problems in how the game is being played. Worse, it’s a league were significant people not only condone it, they applaud it as the way the game OUGHT to be played.
We can start with Don Cherry on Coaches Corner, one of the most influential people in the game, coming onto the TV during a playoff game this year, and one of the first things he says, in that patented voice that’s a combination coaching baritone and 5 year old whiny bleat, “Common, refs, let the boys play!”
And that concept is why this league is so screwed up. it is also a core value among the elite that run and comment on the league, to the point that I don’t think they see how much it’s f–king up this league, and why this attitude, and the attitudes that spread out from it, are the core reason this league isn’t taken more seriously here in the united states.
It’s not — because it doesn’t deserve to.
I’m not the only person who seems to understand that things are spinning out of control:
Moose droppings: Fightin’ words – Featured Writer – Bellowing Moose – NBCSports.com:
Things have changed in the NHL, but not that much. Last year, Edmonton’s Raffi Torres unloaded a brutal elbow on San Jose’s Milan Michalek, knocking him out of two games.
Incredibly, Torres was not suspended.
There is a genuine fear among players that with the stakes so high, the risk of severe injury has never been greater. And the only way to curb it is to make sure that the players understand that serious offences will carry serious consequences.
The players have the guts to do what it takes in the playoffs.
Does the NHL?
My answer is, unfortunately, no. And that likely won’t change until someone dies on the ice from one of these hits, or ends up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life after his spine gets snapped. And by then, it’ll be too late.
As to why “let the boys play” is the core of the league’s problems, I’ll leave that for another post and another time.
And while I’ve gotten over the worst of my “I don’t want to be here any more”, I still have issues with the game and how it’s played, and I’m not sure I want to be around if, and when that player finally dies and everyone stands around wondering how we got to this point. “I told you so” won’t bring him back to life…
And we’re much closer to that point than people want to admit, and that really, really bothers me. Just look at the serious injuries that have already happened in the playoffs this year — two for the Sharks, another for the Senators today, and I’m sure I’m missing one in one of the series I’m not watching quite as closely… This is what we love the game for?
God, I hope not.
Chuqui 3.0: (Wheeze) Luke (Wheeze) I AM your father…. (love me, love my CPAP):
Yesterday, I got the results of the apnea study, and it wasn’t pretty. I also got my CPAP machine, which I’m lovingly modelling above. The details of the study were a lot worse than I expected — averaging 50 events an hour, with a worst-case O2 drop to 58% (the O2 scale runs from 50-100, with 90-100 being normal).
And — results are very, very early, but I was up a bit late, and we had to set the alarm earlier than normal (5:30), so I’m running on around 6 hours instead of 7-7:30 today, and despite that, I feel more energetic and rested than I have in weeks. It’s a subjective feeling, and after one day, way too early to tell, but — it sure seems like a noticable and huge change for the better.
I’ve been wearing the CPAP for a few weeks now; I adapted to sleeping with it fairly well, it seems — according to the nurses I talked to, a lot of folks struggle with getting to sleep with the beast. In my case, that part wasn’t a problem. On the other hand, the change in quality of rest threw my sleep cycle for a loop, and that first weekend I got up at 4:30 AM to take the Point Reyes birding trip and did way more walking than I was really up for, and then that night was daylight savings. And the combination of the three just seemed to confuse the hell out of my sleep patterns — imagine being jet lagged to hell, and you get the feeling. Took about ten days to start settling down, and most evenings, I was happily zombied on the couch, hence part of the reason for relative lack of blogging.
These days, I’m generally crashing between 11:30 and midnight, and sleeping fairly quickly; the alarm is set for 6AM, but I’m normally waking up sometime between 5 and 6. This has worried me a bit, because I haven’t been convinced that’s enough sleep, but I haven’t succeeded in going back to sleep waiting for the alarm, either, and I haven’t felt particularly tired in the afternoons or evenings, so something positive is going on. That is, in general over an hour less sleep than I needed before the CPAP, while at the same time, I’m much more rested. Imagine getting a “free” 30 hours a month back to do things in….
The one worry I’ve had is that this new energy level and reduced sleep requirement is temporary, and aspect of the change in my sleeping habits. It’s been going on long enough that I’m comfortable it’s “real” — and I’ve had a couple of times where I’ve pushed it even harder, and found myself getting tired, but in a normal way. So that makes me feel this is how it’s going to be moving forward.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve never been a morning person. When I moved to Strongmail, to make the commute more rational, I shifted into the early drive. Now, going on six months later (has it really been that long? wow), I find I am really enjoying it. I’ve seen a lot of really awesome sunrises and fantastic bay area weather, I have a chance to enjoy my evenings — and now that we have the apnea diagnosed and under control — my energy levels are way up, and not only do I have that extra few hours a week from sleeping less, I feel up to using them for more than just sitting at the computer or vegging out.
It’s funny, in a sad way — when I talked to the pulmonary nurses that were working with us on the apnea, they noted most folks fought accepting the machines (and many don’t use them or lie about using them, they say) — me, I saw this as an attempt to make my life better, and in fact, it’d made a huge difference (I see no advantage in asking an expert to help, and then arguing with or ignoring them; don’t bother asking, or pay attention).
My one hope is that when I get this weight off, it reduces the apnea enough I don’t need the machine again. we’ll see. if not, not. I certainly don’t want to go back to the “tired me”, that’s for sure. Or see my blood pressure go up again; that, alone, tells me how much the apnea was affecting things — in a scary way.
And besides, I’d hate to miss all of those sunrises. Do you have any idea how beautiful the drive is up 280 when the sun is coming up and the fog is swirling across Crystal Springs? Probably not — from what I can see, most people on the freeway are far too busy being in a hurry to notice.
Their loss… but God, this area’s beautiful, if you slow down and look.
I am hesitant to advise that the Sharks start running Predators players (not that they’d listen to me anyway). Who knows which Sharks we might lose if the league suddenly decides to tighten up on this sort of thing and throws around serious suspensions?
The genie is out of the bottle. The league won’t be able to put it in, just do damage control.
The Predators aren’t going to suddenly go back to playing hard, clean hockey. That bridge is crossed, and burnt.
The Sharks have two choices. They can step up and push back, refuse to be intimidated, and yes, that means return the favor in kind, in an eye for an eye kind of way, or they can let the Predators push them around and lose the series.
The league won’t like it, but we’re now at the point I know they don’t like to be, but it’s an inevitable side effect of the “let the boys play” mentality.
All I can say to the Sharks is this:
I don’t particularly enjoy this kind of hockey — this isn’t the hard hitting of Scott Stevens or Cam Neely, This is Broad Street Bully crap. But now that we’re in it, either finish it or go home.
I suggest the Sharks finish it. Let Barry Trotz whine and posture, let’s play hockey and make the Predators stop us, if they can.
To be honest? if I were Ron Wilson, I’d dress Doug Murray as a forward, and I’d put two pictures up on the board — Vokoun and Forsberg. And I wouldn’t say a word to the team before the game, let the pictures talk.
And personally, for as good a player as Forsberg is, I’m already very tired of his dirty play and stickwork, and his incessant whining every time the refs call him on the blatant penalties he’s been taking…
james mirtle: No-touch icing’s eternal advocate – A hockey journalist’s blog:
“That’s what I’d like to know. Because to me it just makes sense that they would put no-touch icing in.”
Kehl, the Caps’ communications VP, and I offer a few words in agreement.
“They’ll put it in,” I say. “It’s already in junior hockey.”
I’ve long been a supporter of the no-touch icing rule.
Over the last few months, however, I’ve talked to a lot of people about it, listened to a large number of the “hockey experts” out there discuss it, and I have to admit, I’ve changed my mind.
Part of the reason I’ve changed my mind is that the situation where a player chases down and breaks an icing IS a very exciting one in hockey, and has the potential to generate a significant scoring chance. I don’t like to see that taken out of the game if there are alternatives.
Injuries in this situation are rare — but generally very serious. It seems all or nothing here. From my study of this, it seems that almost all of this injuries occur when the contending player fouls the player that ends up getting injured — a push causing a loss of balance, a stick into the feet, a trip, a hook. In other words, actions that, once it’s clear the icing isn’t going to be broken up, are unnecessary and avoidable.
In my mind, then, injuries during the icing chase-down occur because of this “lack of respect” issue that’s cropping up all over the game — a player who intentionally puts the other player at risk, because he’s basically doesn’t care what happens to the other player, and there’s nothing in the game (other than a player scrum) to force them to care. The vast majority of situations that I looked at where an injury happened in this situation there was also a callable-penalty, and at best a careless (or openly hostile) act by a player on the other team.
So, rather than take away this play from the game, I would suggest another tactic: give players a reason to worry about injuring someone in that situation. To me, the answer is fairly simple: take a very strict enforcement here, and set up the rules so that any penalty taken during an icing situation behind the goal line is an automatic 5 minute major and a game misconduct. It doesn’t matter if the icing is washed out or not — if a player does something that is a legal penalty, and most of these sitautions seem to occur when a stick gets in the feet of the player skating to make the icing, thereby it being a trip or a hook, the player who does it is gone for the game. That will cause players to be more cautious about their play in the risk zone.
It won’t prevent fights for the puck — if a player can get into a situation where they can wash out icing safely, they can still compete. What it will reduce is the likelihood of a guy who realizes he’s beaten, so he stuffs his stick into the other guy’s feet, just because he knows there’s really no risk in doing so.
That allows us to keep this play and the excitement it can generate, but still work to improve player safety in a situation where, ultimately, a selfish or uncaring or hostile play puts them at risk. Shift the risk back onto the chasing player; put his team at risk if they try such a dangerous play, and you’ll see players get more careful, and coaches MAKE their players get more careful, without taking another step towards making hockey a no-hit game.
After hearing various people talk today and various discussions, I made a decision: I shoot photographs for pleasure, write programs for money and don’t want to make my ‘other’ hobby into another job.
It was only ever a fantasy world, since I’m far from certain that I’m anything like good enough to sell my work, but here’s the rule: the programs pay for the camera toys and the camera toys don’t have to justify themselves. Easier and more fun that way, I think.
Fraser’s made a very important discovery. Sometimes, taking something you really enjoy doing and turning it into a job merely removes the fun from doing it. Be careful with your hobbies — because you always need something that lets you get away from work.
Way back when, when I was publishing OtherRealms and writing book reviews for Amazing Stories, even though I was a life-long, hard-core reader, I came to realize there was no bigger hell than a deadline tuesday, a stack of books, and a sad realization they were all crap. I finally stopped writing to deadline, and instead went back to writing for fun (I have this stack, maybe 4′ high, of books waiting to be reviewed — seriously — but with all the other stuff I’ve been trying to catch up on, it hasn’t happened yet.)
Worse (or maybe “changed”) — between my fiction writing and my reviewing, I started reading everything with a more critical eye — it became very hard to just sit down and read a book to relax and enjoy, because the writer in me started taring it apart and studying it. For a while, I pretty much stopped reading fiction, because all fiction became “work”. I’m not nearly that bad these days, but I still have a strong preference for non-fiction, because it doesn’t trigger the critic in me (as often….).
Fortunately, I’ve come to love reading history and military history — because much to my surprise, unlike my belief in high school and college, history is not boring; how history is taught to students is, unless you get really, really lucky.
When I was doing the sci-fi circuit, the most common question I got about the reviewing was “you got paid to read books?’
and the answer is no, I didn’t. I got paid (not a lot) to write intelligently about books I’d read. A much different reality, and not nearly as much fun…
Be wary of turning your hobby into your job; you may find out it’s no long fun, just work, and that you merely lost a hobby. Not always a good tradeoff.
Jeffrey McManus: How to run a technology community:
To my mind, the most important rule is that there should be one person in your organization who is responsible for the health of your community. We call this role the “community manager”. It doesn’t have to be a full-time job, particularly if you’re a startup or an open-source project, but once your community starts numbering in the thousands of active users, it’s time to start thinking about hiring or outsourcing the management of your community.
The community manager is responsible for the health of the community. This means taking whatever steps are necessary to grow the community, making sure that the community is in alignment with the goals of the business or project, and helping to put out fires when they occur.
Or as Laurie and I have always put it “someone has to be the mommy”. Running a community that’s working well is easy. Where a community manager earns their keep is when the troublemakers arrive or when things start to stagnate or go sidewise; and communities where that manager or owner doesn’t take an active hand will inevitably allow a few dominant individuals to do the management instead.
As I like to say, if you don’t fight to keep the trolls out, they’ll move in and drive everyone else out. Do we really want to expend resources so the trolls can play on our dime?
News – Sharks Goaltending Coach Warren Strelow Passes Away At 73 – San Jose Sharks:
It is with great sadness that the San Jose Sharks organization must announce the passing of goaltending coach Warren Strelow, following a series of illnesses.
Strelow, 73, passed away peacefully early this morning in Worcester, Mass., surrounded by his family.
The Strelow family plans to hold a memorial to celebrate Warren’s life following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.
Damn. My sympathies to his family and to the Sharks organization.
As far as I can tell, you won’t find a person to say anything bad about Strelow, on or off the record. I only met him once, and his openness and friendliness was amazing. He clearly loved what he did, and the players he worked with. If you ask Nabokov and Toskala, they’ll both tell you that their success is because of him.
Strelow was the first full-time goalie coach in the NHL, with the Washington capitals back in 1984. He was the goalie coach for the 1980 miracle on ice. He’s been with the Sharks since 1997, and despite health problems, has stayed as active with the goalies as he could, even when he couldn’t travel (Wayne Thomas, asst. GM and former goalie, has pitched in, also). This year, he was finally able to travel again, and was in Worcester working with teh minor leaguers when the stroke hit.
I have to admit, after the second update that he wasn’t healthy enough to be sent back to Minnesota, I was worried. And today, my worry was proven right. I guess you could say it was with the people he wanted to be with doing what he loved doing — and that’s not so bad.
The hockey world has lost a big part of its success today.
And now the second season begins, and it should be a classic. Two months of — what we wish the rest of the season was like (although, to be honest, the last couple of weeks were pretty good, too).
Here in the west, there are no underdogs, there can be no cinderella, no upsets. the teams are too closely matched. Of course, having said that, we’re going to lose at least two teams in the first round that will consider that a season failure. that’s how strong the west is.
My cut on the matchups:
Detroit(1) vs Calgary: For a team that “snuck” into the playoffs and eliminated Colorado at the last minute, the Flames are a dangerous team. This series comes down to whether Kiprusoff can outplay Hasek, and whether Hasek can stay healthy through the grind of the series. Detroit has more offense, but Calgary has younger legs. It can go either way, honestly, but I’ll pick Calgary in 7. Why? Mostly a hunch, honestly. I just think the young legs will win ot.
Anaheim(2) vs. Minnesota(7): this one could be interesting, in the way a good pitcher’s duel is in baseball — it could go 7 games, each one 1-0 in overtime. But I think the goaltending in Anaheim, plus the Selanne-Penner-Pronger-Neidermeyer talents, will win out. I’ll take Anaheim in 5, but toughly fought. Anaheim was the ONE team I didn’t want to see San Jose play in the first round, mainly because while they handled Selanne pretty well, it seemed Penner gave them fits and he was a key factor in the season series.
Vancouver(3) vs. Dallas (6): Is Turco up to the task of taking Dallas deep into the playoffs? Maybe. But playing against Luongo, does it matter? I’m not so sure. I really like the canucks, and I really like how they match up against Dallas. I’ll take Vancouver in 5.
Nashville (4) vs San Jose (5): flip a coin. It’s hard to quantify advantages here. I could give a slight edge to San Jose goaltending, but it’s very slight. I think San jose is a little faster, a little bigger, a little more physical, but Vokoun and Kariya and Peter Forsberg have even more to prove than Joe Thornton does. I just hope there’s enough left of the winner to go deep, but these two teams could take each other apart such that the winner can’t survive round two. I’ll take six games, and flip a coin (San Jose, heads. please). And, of course, whoever wins out probably sees Anaheim in round too. Joy.
My choice out of the west: San jose, followed by Anaheim, followed by Vancouver, followed by Nashville. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the eight get on a roll and come out of the west.
Eastern Conference: Not so tight, and without the strength in goal across the board. But still some interesting match ups.
Buffalo (1) vs. Islanders(8): the Islanders made the playoffs — good for them. Now, will they win a game? I hope so. But Buffalo in 5.
New Jersey (2) vs. Tampa (7): As long as Brodeur stays healthy, it’s no real contest. New Jersey in 5.
Atlanta(3) vs. New York Rangers (6): Congrats to the thrashers for making the playoffs. Good luck to them, because I think they can take the Rangers, but this will be the closest matchup in the east. Rangers could well win this, but I’ll go Atlanta in 6.
Ottawa(4) vs. Pittsburgh(5): and let’s not forget how amazing it is that the Penguins are playing in the playoffs at all. In theory, Ottawa should win this fairly easily, but the Penguins are playing with someone else’s money (so to speak), and have nothing to lose, and that’s scary for the opposition. If they get on a roll, watch out. But I’ll go for Ottawa in 6, if only because I’m planning on betting with my senators-fan friend if they go deep, so I hope they do.
My choice out of the east: it’s buffalo’s to hand back. I don’t think they will. If they do, I’d bet on Ottawa, with Atlanta an interesting dark horse.