This and That
A variety of thoughts on a variety of subjects:
1) A sloppy, wild and hugely entertaining World Series game distracted me from hockey (and another forgettable Canuck performance) last night. That the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers played a sloppy, wild and hugely entertaining hockey game the same night gives rise to the question, “Are poorly played games more entertaining than well played ones?” Ironically, the answer is probably yes.
At least Ladd scored Winnipeg’s winning goal late in regulation. Giving both teams a point in a 9-8 game would have been a travesty.
2) Tyler Dellow dug up a nice little contradiction between what Gary Bettman has been saying about the league involvement with the Dallas Stars and papers filed in the bankruptcy case. I don’t think it is a terribly large surprise that the league has been footing the bills. (Somebody had to picking up the tab and it was neither Hicks nor his creditors.) It also it isn’t a huge surprise that Bettman lied about it. Why would he want us to know the league was running two franchises rather than just one?
The more important issue is the fact that Tom Gaglardi is apparently going to get the team for a song. Where were the bidders willing to pay, say, a short melody? Why would the prospective owners of the Blues or the Coyotes pay more than Gaglardi paid in the better market? The fact that the creditors are taking a bath will probably make it even harder for potential buyers of NHL franchises to obtain financing is another concern for Gary.
3) Bush league move of the season so far: Pierre Gauthier’s decision to fire Perry Pearn because the Habs got off to an awful start. I can understand the pressure to do something, but nobody can possibly lay the blame for the start at Pearn’s feet. What about Pearn’s family, his career? He did not deserve his fate. That Gauthier would do such a thing leaves me with less confidence in the quality of the Montreal organization – a critical factor in winning, in my opinion – than any bad start ever could.
4) I refuse to say anything about visors in the wake of the Chris Pronger injury simply because we all know how it will play out. Pronger will lock his barn door by donning a visor and nothing else will change. I’m not sure why Eliotte Friedman thinks goaltending masks will be treated differently. Goalies will wear what they want just like players will wear a visor or not.
5) Apparently an $850 MM renovation at Madison Square Garden is doing everything except fix the ice. Is it impossible to make a good surface for hockey in some places? I think one of the reasons offense has deteriorated over the past 20 years is the average quality of ice has gotten much worse.
6) If the Canadiens are off to a bad start, the Leafs, the Oilers and the Sens have all, to one degree or another, surprised. In my opinion, Toronto is the only one with a decent shot at the playoffs, and won’t that be a feather in Brian Burke’s cap? A year ago, the Toronto media was all but declaring his rebuild a failure.
I’m always amazed by how suddenly a team goes from being lousy to being pretty good. (The next leap – if it happens – from pretty good to very good will happen suddenly, too.) A team gets better gradually – one player at a time – but it often doesn’t show up as improvement in the standings until enough additional talent is acquired. Then there is a sudden leap.
7) Goaltending controversy? What goaltending controversy? I’d just like to see the Canucks start showing up with their “A” game. Like, maybe on Saturday night?