Tuesday, May 13, 2008

If you are like me, this will not bore you.


I hope, for your sake, you are not like me.

Also, as it always works in the world, the day after I point toward Tom Benjamin he writes a post that irritates the hell out of me, which would be a first in the three or four years I've been reading him since being pointed in his direction by the Great Sir Douglas the Hockeywise. This post is a sort of Don Cherry-induced observation on the "boring" Red Wings. I won't go much into the meat of it ... the comments will suffice. But I don't get how the Red Wings are supposed to be solely responsible for being exciting when they are kicking the shit out of their opponents. Betters opponents, better games, I say. And anyway, I take some pleasure in watching a team playing that well.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The smartest thing you will ever read about NHL oh!fficiating

From Tom Benjamin ... .

A snippet: First, fans have to understand that no matter how the game is enforced there will be many fouls that are missed. We know this is true because the officials will call a stick to the mouth in overtime of the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final. Yet how often do we see high sticking missed because neither referee saw it? We have to accept that all fouls will not be called. The referee's job is to assure insofar as is possible that the game is played safely and fairly.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Briefly, Part II

The opinions of Rev. Zamboni do not reflect the opinions of the rest of the Palm Isle, at least in terms of the West. I'll be rooting for a Dallas-Pittsburgh final. I'm not sure why, but I find it impossible to root for the Red Wings.

Is Osgood the only real ex-Islander still left in the playoffs? The only other one I can think of is Jim Dowd, who barely played for the Isles.

Briefly ...

I will be shanking my previous rooting selection of the Stars in favor of the Osgoodian Red Wings. I remember fondly his stint with the Isles, and I like Mike Babcock and have grown to prefer skill in the skill v. Brad May argument Canadians and Flyers fans are so fond of initiating.

Go Osgood. Go Wings. Go to hell Philadelphia, too, while I'm at it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Thoughts Gone -- Life of an Islanders Fan

Update, Wedneday 10 a.m.
From Islandermania. (you might have to register -- but do it -- it's a good board.) This doesn't make me any more excited for the summer of indecision. (I know, I know, very snarky, very negative, Buzz Bissinger is upset -- I apologize -- I am cranky today.)

This, "Botta resigns as Isles' VP of media relations," should not make me nervous, or cast any more doubt on the already doubtful direction of the franchise. But it do. Oh, it do.

Botta was good at connecting with the small group of Internet-savvy, rabid fans who read his blog, http://nyipointblank.blogspot.com/, and is well-liked amongst those who dealt with him on a regular basis, from what I understand. He was pretty frank, and surprisingly open in most of his dealings, which seemed to be a good thing, especially last year. The Isles may have stunk, but the franchise was ahead of the curve with Isles TV and other initiatives, and received some recognition for the efforts.

In the Newsday story there is some mention of Wang's son-in-law having an increased role in operations, although it is likely coincidental. Or not. At this point, I have to realize I am a tit crazy for trying to dissect the resignation of a PR guy.

But this, of course, is the Islanders. Any fissure in the already leaking, flowing, white water facade of the franchise, especially with the Lighthouse stalled and free agency creeping up, is disconcerting. Stability would be nice. Crazy fans notice these things and worry, but I'm guessing players do, as well. Botta did serve 20 years, so this isn't necessarily bad turnover. But, something seems off. Not a surprise, but what else is there for the Islanders fan in the playoffs, especially with the Rangers gone?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Thoughts

We (I) bitch on this blog to the degree that you might think I do nothing but bitch when I discuss hockey. You might also think I do nothing but bitch.

You'd be correct.

But, on this the morning after a hockey event second only to an Islanders win in the glory of fandom, a meaningful Rangers loss, I am not going to bitch. Instead, I will list some things that make me happy, and then bury them in a field never again to be discussed.

Hockey things that make me happy:

1. The Islanders winning.
2. The Rangers losing. There is a difficult calculus here in determining what combination of these events can lead to happiness. For instance, given two scenarios, a) the Islanders make it to the Eastern Conference Final, but the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, or b) the Islanders don't make the playoffs, and the Rangers don't make the playoffs. I'll take b. I know that makes me something bad. I'll take it.
3. Geno Malkin getting angry.
4. Playing ball hockey outdoors at an old, abandoned tennis court on a beautiful Saturday morning.
5. "Vintage Games" on the NHL Network. Although it would be nice to not see the Oilers beat the Islanders for the 160th time this year. Let's not forget the Isles won a few before '84 ... .
6. Hearing a Fleetwood Mac song and thinking first of "Slap Shot," then wondering why Stevie Nicks didn't sing every song.
7. Reading a story about the nonsensical border policies hurting US-Canadian economies in border cities, and thinking, "well, the occasional Canadian hockey announcer/writer may annoy the piss out of me, but I might have to buy a Hockey Canada hat to show solidarity on the 'no passport' issue."
8. Hockey blogs: Today's best, theoryofice.blogspot.com.
9. This:

10. The smell of ice and popcorn.

Expect more today. But I am tired for now. 10:55 a.m.

Tuesday. I'm back with more ... .

11. This gives me mixed feelings, but in my new, calmer state, I will take some joy in others' happiness. And I will take some joy in not having D. Phaneuf skating at me full throttle with his stick up. Mike Keenan annoys me to piss, but I still have a soft, Falconerovesque spot for the Flames. Maybe it's the old orange ... .


13. Knee hockey.
14. Bubble hockey. Only counts if the game features the Russia v. USA. Others are imposters.
15. The Creeker in Ithaca -- the first bar we knew of to carry The Satellite Thing.
16. The Old Ithaca Sports Club. Another place with Satellite. For many of us, this led to our first exposure to Hockey Night in Canada.
17. NHL 94.
18. Diamond Dave Edick's Start-O-Matic hockey collection.
19. Tom Mees.
20. Cornell v. Harvard at Lynah Rink. But remember, BYOB.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Exhibit A: I Fucking Give Up

So, The New York Daily News royally Got Wrong the Sean Avery story yesterday. When I first read the update, like many people, I really thought he might be on his way to Dead. I even considered posting a sort of "please keep our previous juvenile ridiculing of Mr. Avery in context considering the events of this morning" message. Turns out he hurt his spleen and will be A-Ok, at least by next season.

Whoops. Time to apologize. Or, if you're a newspaper and don't understand how the previous standards governing your business might apply to the newish, but not no much so, Internet, you could just pretend you didn't do a fucking thing wrong. Like the TV stations you (me) made fun of for decades.

In the wake of the paper's wrong web reporting and subsequent lack of recognition of that wrongness, they were rightfully criticized by other media outlets, and even a few bloggers (full of shit as they all, unequivocally, undeniably, without variation, are).

The response? This piece of shit, which includes this piece of shit:

"Finally, for all those from other media outlets and newspapers who have sarcastically dismissed our initial web story about Sean Avery’s hospitalization since the Rangers refuted it Wednesday afternoon, I wonder:

Was your initial reaction that the story couldn’t have been correct or did you simply race up to the MSG Training Center to get player reaction? And, did you call the hospital and/or Avery’s representatives to get the real story or did your “reporting” simply consist of taking the team’s word for what happened?

Fortunately, the intrepid men an women of the press who have exposed baseball’s steroid problems didn’t similarly regurgitate what they were told by people who understandably want their businesses viewed as beyond reproach."

What? I think he's saying, "we got it wrong because we do actual, real reporting instead of taking the team's word for it, because they lie, the motherfuckers. And you got it right because you're lazy and waited until some kind of source that would be named gave you a comment."

Point missed, then distorted, then shat on.

Here: If you get an unnamed source telling you a hockey player might be close to death, get that verified by a real person who can give their name before you post it on the web. If he is dead, they will tell you at some point. Stake out the hospital, be the first there, whatever.

That's it. Simple Simon. Simon simple. Simple simple. Don't rush.

Of course, do you think having this "exclusive" might have helped web hits (revenue) for a day or so?


Update, 2:04 p.m.

Upon reading this again, I noticed this line: "Fortunately, the intrepid men an (sic) women of the press who have exposed baseball’s steroid problems didn’t similarly regurgitate what they were told by people who understandably want their businesses viewed as beyond reproach."

If anyone deserves a big Thumbs Up for their role in the exposing of baseball's steroid problem, it certainly must not ever be the guys who spent 14 years in the dressing rooms of the MLB, watching, at one point, as Mark McGwire fondled a fucking bottle of something steroidish, and din't do a goddamned thing. I can't even get sarcastic about this. Good lord.