Monday, November 6, 2006

Publishers Clearing House

None of these tidbits seem developed enough to warrant their own post, so in the tradition of lazy newspaper columnists everywhere, it's time to fire them off in point form.

-BoA has started a fundraiser to help pay off MacT's fine. Though I'm generally in agreement with Lowetide when it comes to the actual content of what was said, this seems a good idea all around, and I intend to donate once I figure out how to sign up for PayPal.

As a by the by, anyone who actually believes MacT's fine was because he used the words "spastic" and "retarded" is re—oh, wait. Well, no, seriously, I don't know if any NHL types have tried to paint it this way (I've only seen it mentioned in comment sections or fan boards), but obviously the NHL fines people site unseen for criticizing the refs. I'm of two minds on the subject: on the one hand, most referee mistakes are simply errors of judgment that, while regrettable, are human, and a ref afraid to make a call is far worse, as someone who made lunch money reffing peewee games way back when, than a ref confident in his calls who happens to make a bad one every so often. On the other hand, some form of criticism is necessary to improve situations—particularly if that critique is about something systemic, though for the record there was nothing wrong with the system on Friday, just Magoo—and I don't necessarily think limiting it to GM meetings is always effective, or even good public relations, for that matter. For most things, I think, coaches should probably let it be, though the fact the NHL takes the de facto position that refs are infallible (ie, by not accepting criticism of them) is, like so many of their decisions, short-sighted and ignorant.

-The last thing I'll say about Friday: with more sober reflection, perhaps the strangest thing to come out of the Magoobacle is Matt's assertion that Magoo is a "well above-average ref"; I would argue the fact he's as well-known and noticeable as he is (and he always was well before this) proves the opposite, though the NHL's (mysterious) faith in him is a counter-argument. I hope this incident generates enough bad publicity to get him out of working the playoffs, though, for everyone's sake. Oh, and that a Magoo call totally screws over the Flames.

-Have you seen Hockey Recap yet? It's essentially a one-stop shop for individual statistics, including exhaustive reports of the previous nights games (admittedly, it's more impressive and effective when there's more than one game played in the night previous). He's also ready and willing to incorporate suggestions, which should make it even better. It's good for general curiosity, and great for pools. Check it out, now.

-With the Oilers starting their yearly CFR road trip, I was getting even more worried about our sagging fortunes. We are, after all, a fairly pathetic 1-5 on the road this year, and nothing hurts you more than poking an open wound. Curiously, though, the Oilers record almost always improves during and after our November swing. Over the past four seasons, we've gone 29-16-5-1 (W-L-T-OTL) in November since the start of the CFR swing, going at least .500 in each of those seasons. It's more impressive if you ignore 2003/04 (the Salo conundrum, as you'll recall), where we slumped at the end of the month: without that year, we're 24-11-3-1. Looking at our opponents (MON, DETx2, COLx2, CLB, STLx2, CHI, CAL and the big ANA game with the return of Pronger) and an 8-3 rest of November doesn't seem entirely unreasonable.

-For all our vaunted offence, one player (Sykora) is scoring at a better than a point-a-game pace, and only 5 others (Hemsky, Smyth, Stoll, Magni and Lupul) are over .5pts/game. Does anyone have any ideas why? Just throwing it out there, but how much do you think a better puck-moving defenceman would help our point totals?


Matt said...

Magoobacle? No one expands the lexicon like you, Pleasure. Kudos.

More to the point, I'll stick with my statement. While I suppose it's possible, you don't generally get a long career, multiple SCF assignments, etc. based on charm. Also, I think the "antics" thing is overblown. I don't think he takes over games or acts like King Shit any worse than any other referee. So he waves off no-goals with more vigour (and range of motion) than other refs? Big deal. At least everyone in the building knows what the call is.

mudcrutch79 said...

multiple SCF assignments,

Do you mean multiple games? Because, hilariously, in light of claims that McGeough is a self-aggrandizing chap, one of his kids wrote a letter to Phil Coffey, of that was published in a Mailbag:

Yes, we know it's all about the players, but it's worth reminding or calling attention to the fact that my father, Mick McGeough, will be working his first Stanley Cup Final,

As if anyone ever needed to call attention to McGeough's presence.

mudcrutch79 said...

That was from this year's SCF, btw.

James Mirtle said...

Just throwing it out there, but how much do you think a better puck-moving defenceman would help our point totals?

I think quite a bit...

I hear Nolan Baumgartner is available.

Randy in the Med hizzo said...

McGeaugh is well-liked among the older guard because he is consistent...and adorable. Just look at him and not smile. I dare you.
Furthermore, I've always felt that the Heritage Classic was the real problem with Nov. 2004.
The Oilers are surprisingly bad in games following anything that honours the dynasty teams (i.e. jersey retrements, giant 57,000 person cricle jerks).

reporterbrock said...

The Oilers 'vaunted' offense can't score hemmed in the D-zone. They also can't score when Jason Smith and Steve Staios send wobbly passes six feet in front of them on the breakout.

So, yes, a puck-moving defenseman would greatly improve the Oilers' fortunes, IMHO.

Pleasure Motors said...

I'm not sure what it says about the efficacy of the Heritage Classic that I entirely forgot that game was ever played, a mere three years after Jose wore the toque (I'm pretty sure it was Nov. 2003, since 04/05 was the lockout), until Randy brought it up.

Weren't, like, other teams going to copy the format, it was such a "success"? What ever happened to that?

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

But if Stoll, Smytty and Hemsky all get two points tonight they will be on a point a game pace, no?

But you're right - whether due to injury (Pisani), confusion (Torres) or just being in a plain good old slump (Horc and Lupul) - this squad has a few guys who need to break out in a big way.

A decent power play (cue the rants and counterrants) might help. Hell, even half decent would do.

dare said...

I was chatting with a guy in my lab about the (latest) Magoo debacle, and he added some interesting perspective from a referee's POV. I hadn't really ever thought about how sanctions happen to referees all the time, but we don't hear about them because for a random assortment of reasons (newsworthiness, trying to "move on" from situations, etc.). He mentioned how easy it is to "casually" suspend a referee - the next three games you were supposed to work just suddenly don't happen. I'd be curious to see if there is any sort of blip in the Magoo refereeing schedule, or what.

Gave me something to think about, at least.