2007 Archives http://www.jibblescribbits.com/table/2007-articles/may/ Mon, 22 May 2017 15:25:14 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Goaltenders highlight games one and two. http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/goaltenders-highlight-games-one-and-two.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/goaltenders-highlight-games-one-and-two.html
Going into this series the purveying thought was that Ray Emery was the weak link that would keep the Senators from winning. Multiple experts agreed that the teams were even but that Giguere is that much better than Emery, so the Ducks would prevail. I think Emery has earned the right to tell them to put a sock in it.

He has been spectacular. Last night he was the only reason the game wasn't 3-0 or so. Giguere made 5 saves on the 5-vs-3 and then pretty much was allowed to take the night off. Emery has emerged as a force dfor this Senators team, and if they had been able to sneak one in last night he may have stole them a game. He needs to in order for the Sens to come back.

That being said, I think the Sens are going down. They look outmatched. Pahlsson looks like the Selke is going to be his for the next 5-10 years. He has been fantastic. Maybe having the last change is going to help Murray get the ASH (Alfie, Spezza, Heatly) line away from Pahlson, Niedermeyer x2, Pronger and Perry but the Ducks look like they are well on their way to giving the Stanley Cup a nice tan.

I think the most telling sign is that the Senators came out, and had some good (REALLY GOOD) chances against Giguere last night, and when he was able to stone them with some fantastic saves well that was the end for them. the wind was taken out of their sails and they looked cooked. You never know until both teams get a home game, but the Sens look done.

That being said I am impressed with Ottawa's Defense. Redden, Volchenkov and company have done a pretty good job. They can still salvage the series, but the need to dump-and-chase more. Anaheim is just punching them in the mouth and taking their lunch money in the neutral zone.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Thu, 31 May 2007 15:29:00 +0000
Jibblescribbits Stanley Cup challenge http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/jibblescribbits-stanley-cup-challenge.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/jibblescribbits-stanley-cup-challenge.html
1. Kelvin 179.00 (Scott Niedermayer)
2. Alanah 170.00 (Chris Pronger)
3. Shane 170.00 (Jean-Sebastien Giguere)
4. CJibblescribbits 167.00 (Jean-Sebastien Giguere)
5. Mike 164.00 (Scott Niedermayer)
6. Faux Rumors 146.00 (Scott Niedermayer)
7. RJ 139.00 (Teemu Selanne)

In a suprising twist... Shane has caught Alanah (go Avs) and Mike and I are within striking distance. Kelvin seems to have a strangle hold on that top spot, unless Giguere has a couple shutouts.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Wed, 30 May 2007 15:28:00 +0000
Stanley Cup Finals.. Who to root for? http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/stanley-cup-finals-who-to-root-for.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/stanley-cup-finals-who-to-root-for.html
Sure there are individual players I want to root for, but for every J.S. Giguere that I want to win there's a Brad May who can go to hell. For every Alfredsson there's a Chris Neal. Anaheim is the US's team, but they employ Brian Burke. They are also a Western Conference team... but they employ Brian Burke.

Since we on the left coast aren't really able to follow any Eastern Conference teams, well there's quite a bout of apathy for them. I'm not Canadian, so I could care less if a Canadian team wins the Cup. I like Alfredsson, and Spezza but not enough to really care. (Alfredsson has had a couple nasty hits that have made me like him less this postseason).

So I figured I would just wait for the games to begin. As soon as the game starts, I will find someone to root for right? Wrong. I was cheering for whoever happened to be behind. I want to see good hockey and a close series... but I really really don't care who wins.

So there you go.. I don't know. The good news is that the Hockey is fantastic. These are the two best teams and they were fun to watch in game 1. So even though I can't muster up any emotional attachment the quality of hockey is making up for it.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Tue, 29 May 2007 15:12:00 +0000
Can the blackberry bring down Gary Bettman? http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/can-the-blackberry-bring-down-gary-bettman.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/can-the-blackberry-bring-down-gary-bettman.html
Well, and these are my hopes, maybe the purchase of the Nashville Predators by a Canadian based businessman, who seems hell-bent on moving the team to the great white north, will be the event that we can look back and say "This was the beginning of the end for Gary Bettman". Nashville, and its fans, could be the first domino to fall in a long line that would bring down the commish.

The reason Gary Bettman is still in power is because his vision, his legacy, is built on growing the game in the United States. Despite reduced US viewer ship, and overall support lower in the United States he has been able to dupe the owners into thinking that these are all short-term losses for the greater good of the game. So Gary Bettman has attached himself to growing the game in the United States.

It's not the goal that's the problem though, it's the incompetent execution. Gary Bettman saw the Northstars leave Minnesota and head to Dallas and become a success, so he decided Dixie and the west was Hockey's next frontier. Expansion teams and small market northern teams popped up in Anaheim, San Jose, Nashville, Miami, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Phoenix, Colorado, Columbus and Atlanta. He pulled up moderately successful franchises in Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Hartford in order to do this. He also bypassed reasonable hockey markets like Seattle, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland and other Midwestern cities where hockey actually has a foothold to head to Dixie. To his credit he hit Minnesota, Columbus and Colorado, and has had success in San Jose, but the franchises that don't see ice outside an arena have struggled mightily.

The ones that were criticized the most sharply were Nashville and pretty much the entire Southeastern division (minus the Capitals). The more Bettman defended these franchises, the more his stewardship of the NHL became ultimately linked to the success, or failure, of these franchises. His legacy as a commissioner hinges on these franchises, and their ability to eventually draw more US-based money and players into the league. Carolina and Tampa Bay have been mild successes, but overall these franchises have failed to get a foothold in their markets. Gary Bettman was able to quell the concerned owners with expansion franchise cash and the promise of "We're building the game here".

Now? Florida is struggling heavily, and so is Atlanta. Nashville may fall end of next season. If Mr. Balsillie moves the franchise to Ontario, exactly how is that growing the game in the United States, especially in the Sun Belt? Canada is pretty much saturated when it comes to support, EVERYONE plays/follows hockey there. Moving the franchise to Canada is not going to build the sport, help it grow, or any other cliché Bettman likes to say.

Bettman doesn't have any excuses either. Nashville's owner put a pretty solid effort into the city. He spent ten years reaching out, and losing money, to try and build a fan base. He may have made mistakes, but you can't argue that he didn't truly try to make the Predators part of the community. Bettman can't defend himself with a "Poor Ownership" excuse. The truth is... he's run out of excuses and defenses.

If Nashville moves to Canada, and Atlanta and Florida also move to colder climates it will signify to the owners that Bettman has failed as an NHL commissioner. All their investments, short-term losses they suffered through, poor US TV deals, and monetary losses will have been for nothing. Bettman's legacy will be that of a failed science experiment and he will have done the sport of hockey, hockey fans and frankly the southern states, a disservice.

Nashville's impending move can be avoided, and Bettman can get a stay of execution if the Nashville fans come out in droves next year. Bettman might also be Abel to convince Basillie to move to Kansas City instead of Southern Ontario, thus saving what little face he has left. Basillie could be the man to bring down Bettman though.

Maybe he can even rename his franchise something symbolic. I suggest the Hamilton Dominos.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Fri, 25 May 2007 19:26:00 +0000
Where will the Preds move to? http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/where-will-the-preds-move-to.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/where-will-the-preds-move-to.html
This is also a good time to mention he tried to buy the Penguins and got rebuffed because he wouldn't guarantee that he wouldn't move the team to Canada (more specifically Ontario.) The Predators (and Florida Panthers) are also the teams most likely to move, so let's look at potential options of where a team could move.
♦ Ontario He's from Ontario so it seems logical that he'd try to move a team back here. The question is where? Hamilton? Toronto? The Toronto-Hamilton metro area has 6.141M people. That's smaller than: Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington DC/Baltimore. While Canadians love their hockey, is that enough to support 2 teams?

♦ Quebec City Ahh a replacement for the Nordiques. Quebec's metro Area has 717,000 people in it. Buffalo, NY has 1.25M. I think we know why Quebec City lost their team the first time around... it's too small to support a team.

♦ Winnipeg-While they are a bigger city than Quebec City... the metro area (a better indication) is smaller at just under 700k people. By the way that's about the same size as Akron, OH.

So I think the only possible Canadian option would be Toronto, but even that is pretty risky. I just don't think the city is quite big enough to support a second team. I think there are plenty of American Cities that can support a team though:

♦ Nashville I think they are staying put. First they need to go lower than 14k average attendance to break their lease. They averaged 15k+ last season. Second they need approval from the league, and I'm not so sure Bettman is ready to give up his southern expansion ideals just yet. He has seen successful franchises in Carolina, Tampa, and Phoenix, and the golden model of Southern Franchises.. the Dallas Stars. The Preds seem to be gaining some local support and I don't think Bettman is willing to give that up yet.

♦ Kansas CityBalsillie may be a Canadian, but he's a businessman too. K.C. has a great sports town, no winter competition and a sweet arena deal waiting to be gobbled up. Any team that wants to move, well this is the first location.

♦ Seattle If the Sonics move, this would be an ideal place for a hockey team. Near Canada, a great sports city, and it would have no winter host for its arena.

♦ Las Vegas being the first league to move here would be enough to make positive headlines and Bettman is a sucker for short-term positive headlines no matter the long term consequences.

♦ Chicago I don't think it would ever ever ever get approved, but if I were an owner looking for a great Hockey town I would try everything to move here. The locals are great hockey fans (~8k per game for a minor league team) and they are so fed up with the Wirtz's I think they would come out to the games just to spite the Wirtz's. They support 2 baseball teams in the summer, and have a huge metro area. It will never happen, but it should.

So in the end, I think it's either Nashville or KC for the Preds. Basillie may try to risk it in Canada, but I just don't think Canada has another metro area big enough to support a team.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Thu, 24 May 2007 14:29:00 +0000
WWDCCF? http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/wwdccf.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/wwdccf.html
Normally this would be easy. Let's break this down.

Team A: Sits in the heart of Canada, in the very symbolic seat of power for the entire country. Represents the only Canadian team left in the playoffs, and possibly the first Canadian winner in 14 years (or so) and the first NON-French Canadian, Canadian team in 17 years to win the Stanley Cup. The franchise was nearly bankrupt, but pulled out a nice existance. Plays 4 lines deep.

Team B: Originally named after a team coached by Emilio Estevez. Invented the Flying V. Was in the first of a wave of expansion franchises in the 1990's. Is based in a southern, war weather city. He's never said this, but I can't imagine Don Cherry being a big L.A kind of guy. top scorer is a Finnish skill-skater.

Obviously Cherry would be pulling for team A right? Not so fast.

Team A has a European Captain and plays more finesse "New NHL" hockey that he hates , and Team B plays the rough "Broad Street Bullies" style hockey that Cherry craves. What ids poor Don Cherry to do? will he cry on live TV? He may just kill himself, only to be disapointed to find out that inot only is it a cold day in hell, but in his personal hell that cold day has two European teams playing for the Stanley Cup.

Seeing Cherry cry when Bettman is handing the trophy to either, Daniel Alfredsson or a team named after a disney movie, will be a wonderful day.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Wed, 23 May 2007 20:48:00 +0000
Ding-Dong the Wings are dead http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/ding-dong-the-wings-are-dead.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/ding-dong-the-wings-are-dead.html
To be honest though, I am excited about these Red Wings. With what appears to be the re-emergence of the Avs (hopefully some wise Free-Agents will make the Avs a very strong team next year). We can hopefully look forward to another decade of a very strong Avs-Beige Wings rivalry. Nothing is better than a good rivalry, and having a team to hate playing your favorite team makes every game much more fun and exciting.

So here's hoping the Wings stay good.. just good enough to lose to the Avs for years to come.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Wed, 23 May 2007 17:39:00 +0000
Brilliant line http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/brilliant-line.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/brilliant-line.html
But that's been the ongoing mistake of the Gary Bettman regime, forever changing the sport to fit his marketing plans rather than change his marketing plans to fit the game.

Amen Dan Wetzel. Amen.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Wed, 23 May 2007 00:29:00 +0000
Conference winners. http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/conference-winners.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/conference-winners.html
So how can the NHL make it seem like their players are, you know, happy to actually win. I mean going to the finals is a big deal. So since other hockey columnists are busy supporting a bunch of ridiculous on-ice changes, let's havse some fun thinking of some stuff to do for the conference champion to get it to be something meaningful.

First stop calling it the conference championship. Hell stop calling it a conference. That lame corporate speak inspires no one. At least the NHL didn't change the name of the Stanley Cup to the NHL Championship Trophy, but come on.. inspire us. It used to be the Campbell Conference and Prince of Wales Conference... So how about the "Campbell confederation" and the "Prince of Wales Coalition" or something to that affect. Much more romantic and inspiring.

Next stop calling them championships. They aren't champions. They have earned the right to represent their confederation/coalition in the championship. So let's stop calling them conference champions, and take a page out of baseball and call them pennant winners. This holds even more true since the teams barely play each the other confederation/coalition. The Campbell Pennant is awarded to the Ducks. Last time I checked the Giants didn't win the National League Championship, "The Giants win the Pennant!!, the Giants win the Pennant!!".

Let's not award a trophy either. First of all trophies are for champions, they haven't been crowned champions yet. Let's actually award a pennant, not just to the confederation pennant winner, but we'll give the pennant to every team in the same confederation/coalition and make them hang it in their rafters for the following season. (okay confederation and coalition are strarting to sound stupid already.. but we need something other than conference.)

Let's make it a noteworthy accomplishment instead of a second fiddle to the Stanley Cup. It will always be a second fiddle, but hell if players are going to completely ignore the trophy, let's at least make them care about it, just a little.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Tue, 22 May 2007 15:34:00 +0000
Wild Horses drag the NHL away http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/wild-horses-drag-the-nhl-away.html http://www.jibblescribbits.com/2007-articles/may/wild-horses-drag-the-nhl-away.html Here's a good post on why the NHL, and not NBC, is at fault.

So what's the NHL supposed to do? I think this gaffe, more than anything, should be the wakeup call that the NHL needs to say "Versus we like you, you've been good for us, but it's time to move on." I like Versus but until they get into more American homes they will be a second rate network. As long as the NHL is there, the NHL will be seen as a second rate league.

I am particularly opposed to getting on the 4-letter. They were terrible for the NHL and treated it as a second class sport for a long time. So they can go to hell. The only reason to go back would be more Gary Thorne.

What the NHL should do is get a deal similar to TNT's deal with the NBA. While they kind of have that, they need a different network. there are a ton of networks there that would be perfect for them, TBS, USA, even one of the NBC news (CNBC, or MSNBC). One of those networks could do an adequite job of getting hockey into more homes without caving to the demands of the network that makes sports no-fun. We could get a nightly hockey-highlight show that you could see from any hotel room in the country.

The NHL needs to work on this, as getting access to more american fans is one of the best ways for the sport to continue healing from the lockout.]]>
jibblescribbits@gmail.com (Jibblescribbits) May Mon, 21 May 2007 18:48:00 +0000