Friday, November 25, 2016


Warmup from Section 105, Row J

Man, its been a long time since I watched hockey in an arena. It's like visual overload -- all the things you never see on TV are right there and distracting, such that I found I was rarely following the actual "action" per se.

Being there was a curious experience. There seemed to be as many -- if not more -- Boston shirts and jerseys than Ottawa ones. And even though this is supposed to be the big 25th Anniversary season, things didn't feel like anyone was making a big deal over... well... anything. File me under those who think not bringing back Lyndon Slewedge was a big mistake. It somehow feels like things were more involved back in the early days of the Corel Center.

As to the game, I thought that Boston was getting better chances than Ottawa was, even if Ottawa got more of them; also the wheels seemed to come off of the Boston game somewhat in the third, as the game was pretty tight up until then.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Everybody's Been Fired

Well OK so Murray "retired" to an "advisory" position... well ok.
But really, this is the same pattern that we've had since Clouston:

  • find some guy who really isn't expected to do well and install him as head coach; 
  • team performs a miracle because they have nothing to lose, give zero fucks, and none of the other teams take them seriously;
  • fete this guy as a miracle worker, watch as he wins a coaching award, and sign him to an extended contract
  • the next year (or two) later, the team starts performing back (down) at their actual relevant level;
  • the current guy gets fired and some random interim guy is parachuted in to replace him;
  • go to step (2).
Clouston. MacLean. And now Cameron.
The problem isn't behind the bench.
Well OK, the only problem isn't behind the bench. The only problem isn't on the bench. The problem is all the way up and down the food chain, and because of that you really have to park ownership of the problem in the owner's suite.
I don't know if Melnyk just let Murray run rampant with his old-school hockey feels, or if the problem in that relationship ran the other way with Melnyk's budget (that wasn't a budget in the end) and/or meddling hamstringing Murray's ability to do anything.
The results are Torontonian-levels of mediocrity.
And frankly, even with the changes of the last few days, I don't have any faith that anything will be different next year.
Or the year after that.

Friday, January 29, 2016

John Scott, All Star

One thing that bugs me through this whole John Scott, All-Star saga is that once Scott got elected to the game, fans were making a big deal out of how the league was being disrespectful to Scott in trying to get him to step down. The whole point of the make-Scott-an-All-Star exercise was to make the league look dumb, and while the NHL has conclusively proven through this that there is no bad situation that they can endeavor to make worse, treating Scott with respect was never in the cards.

The point of the exercise was to send a face-puncher to skate with the league's best and make him look silly, thereby making the league look silly. But the butt of the joke was always supposed to be Scott, and crying now that Scott was somehow disrespected seems somehow like crocodile tears.

John Scott has come out of this looking far better than he had any right to expect, and that's a marvel of timing (and I presume of media message). The league ends up being the bad guy, and I presume that the league circumstance will conspire to ensure that the All-Star game is the last NHL game that Scott plays.

But maybe the most important thing is -- people are actually talking about the All-Star game.

For once.