Friday, December 15, 2006

I think our powerplay sucks/Should you vote for Rory?

Well, over a month, and the only things I managed to put up were some dire predictions about our ability to win and homoerotica: this was the longest stretch of uninterrupted, all-nighter essay writing/test taking of my life, and I'm starting to understand why all those people drop out of school with a half-semester left.

Anyway, that's boring.

By way of easing back into this blogging business (thanks for holding the fort, Mikey), an old complaint: our powerplay really blows. Or, I'm pretty sure it does, anyway. The fact we're .1 percentage point above the Flames, who I have seen put Jeff Friesen (one assist all year, folks) on the powerplay, certainly corroborates that. But I'm looking for something specific: yesterday on the CHED's open line, the host, whose name I can never remember—not that it matters, I'm sure one of those birds that balances itself with water could do the job, if you gave it a looped tape of "Great job by MacT and the boys" and put it over the "disconnect call" button—rebuffed a caller's exhortions to fire Craig Simpson because our powerplay, specifically last night's 5-on-3, is terrible (yes! yes! A thousand times yes!) by claiming that, "The Oilers have been very effective 5-on-3 this year." Now, disregarding the fact that defending an inept powerplay coach by saying our team scores a lot when the other team is as handicapped as it can legally be in a hockey game, even if the caller brought up the example, is like defending a racist because he doesn't hate Ukranians, I really don't think that's true. However, I lack the necessary time or inclination to look this sort of stuff up. As such, I have a request: could one of you dudes what has all the fancy info-gathering stuff (Tyler? Andy? Vic?) track down what the average success rate for 5-on-3 is, and what the Oiler's this year's is? (If you really want to get ambitious, I'd love to see it over the course of Simpson's entire tenure, but I'm not greedy.) If someone could find that down for me, I'd appreciate it; all I can really offer in return is my thanks and the warm feeling you'll get from adding one more nail to the nail gun I hope to one day shoot Craig Simpson with.

Now PP aside, something else has been bothering me: I've supported the Rory Fitzpatrick campaign with a few votes in between watching paper come off the printer, but I'm not sure that I'll continue. On the one hand, the hockey purist in me completely agrees that fan voting for the All Star game is dumb as hell, generally because people are likewise, and ultimately makes it a meaningless, empty affair of which many deserving players (and Oilers) don't take part. However, I'm not convinced that's necessarily a bad thing for the All Star game to be. On the one hand, sure, it's supposed to showcase the best in the game, but I would argue it's supposed to showcase the best in the game for the public that isn't already obsessive hockey fans—arguably, in fact, for the people who will normally be watching short white guys in t-shirts clank threes during March Madness, or putting their Bears hats in storage come our All Star break. The All Star game, I think most would agree, is about marketing the game to those who don't watch hockey, or at least not much, and the best way to do that is probably by letting anyone pick who they want to see: sure, Mike Modano is being outscored by about a quarter of the league, but I'll watch Ales Hemsky or Martin Erat play most nights anyway, whereas Dallas suburbanite/Mavs fan will probably only tune if he's one of the dudes passing pucks from the goal line in the "Most Accurate Shot" competition.

Given how much all of us (rightly) deride the NHL for its marketing efforts, it seems maybe a little hypocritical to bitch that they can't sell the game, then undermine one of their attempts to do so. I suppose you could argue that marketing stars isn't where they lag, which is certainly partially true, but then, you don't really fix a flat tire by slashing your other ones. I don't know: what are your thoughts? As I've said, I've supported it before, and I'm certainly partially inclined to do so still (I'd definitely prefer a real all-star game to watching 38-year-olds suck wind while Alex Frolov sits at home), but maybe we're being unnecessarily had on the marketing department? Or am I just being an apologist?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Regarding Rory, at the end of the day, the only thing I care about is points. Now it would be a nice (and deserved) honor for 83 or 94 to be chosen. Hell, 35 deserves a look too. However, if they want to send our entire division (excluding us) on an uneccessary one game/no points possible road trip to big D that would sit better with me.

CD

teebeeplayer said...

We should pencil in Don Cherry. Then if he made it to the All-star game, he could boast twice as many NHL games played.

Pleasure Motors said...

ZING!

Art Vandelay said...

I can't think of a worse game to showcase to fans - purists or casual acquaintances of the game - than the putrid NHL All-Star Game. The purists are sending a message that the game is a farce, so might as well ice the most ridiculous skater available.

the weaz said...

To tell you the truth, the all star game is sort of like watching the Leafs play the Habs. I like hockey, and I like watching hockey, I just don't really have any emotional connection to either team that's playing. I agree with anonymous, the allstar game is sort of a waste of time. Although I am proud that some of our players were chosen for the ballot.

E said...

if, in theory, any non-hockey fans did end up watching the all-star game, they're not going to know enough to judge who deserves to be there or not. the specific players chosen only matter to hockey fans- everyone else will just accept that whoever shows up are 'stars' because the title says they are.

Nick said...

I say vote for Rory! It could become a yearly All-Star tradition for the fans to elect a no-name player to each team, as a tribute to the Regular Guys who bust their humps every night and get no recognition. The NHL to me seems to be the league most populated with Regular Guys, and I think that spirit of Regularness is deeply entrenched and even revered by anyone with a connection to the sport. It would be cool and completely unexpected if the league decided to honour this, but then again, it's fundamentally at odds with the concept of an All-Star Game. So hey.

Luce said...

Yo Rory blows the all-star is just like any other allstar game just like baseball but before basball had a rivarly with each side but it's just to see the top faces of the year it's worth watching since there is no other hockey on

Luce said...

Yo Rory blows the all-star is just like any other allstar game just like baseball but before basball had a rivarly with each side but it's just to see the top faces of the year it's worth watching since there is no other hockey on

Luce said...

Yo Rory blows the all-star is just like any other allstar game just like baseball but before basball had a rivarly with each side but it's just to see the top faces of the year it's worth watching since there is no other hockey on

Luce said...

Rory sucks the all-star game is like any all-star game it's just to see the top stars that's all like baseball

teebeeplayer said...

Rory sucks the all-star game? Impressive. And it must be true, you posted it four times...

uni said...

Wow...just when I thought the English language was safe again someone like Luce comes out of the shadows to plunge another dagger into it. Do yourself a favour and never visit his or her or whatever's blog; it's like reading a 9 year old's rantings, a poorly educated and immature 9 year old at that.