Oct 18 2012

NHL makes a proposal

It’s nice that they made a proposal. Brilliant PR move to put the screws to the NHLPA. But still it feels like the owners are picking up where they left off in 04-05 and trying to take things away from the GM’s and the players.

Oct 14 2012

KHL on ESPN #2 Dynamo Moscow vs. Amur Khabarovsk

Well, it looks like Dynamo Moscow is a featured team for us here in the States, kinda like how the Penguins get crammed down my throat every year. Amur

Observation 1: Dynamo seems to have more than a few fans dressed as empty seats tonight – probably because of the Saturday night game . That said, the atmosphere still seems a little upbeat. I think it’s the flags.

Observation 2: Memo to Barry Melrose and Steve Levy – THIS IS HOW YOU CALL A HOCKEY GAME. In all seriousness, if I wanted to hear a couple guys talk about anything but the hockey game while I’m watching a hockey game, I’d go to the sports bar.

Observation 3: No TV timeouts makes ESPN cry. Also, why on earth are they putting in the ESPN Trivia to fill space during the commercial breaks and between periods? Is there some law against actually cutting the breaks out on replay and just showing the whole thing without any breaks?

Observation 4: NHL’s Eastern Conference can quit whining about their west coast roadtrips…now. When Amur has to go 7 time zones west pretty much constantly, I’m sure the boys in the NHL can handle a quick jaunt to LA now and again.

Observation 5: Still don’t like Dynamo’s logo, especially compared to Amur. Don’t ask me why, but there’s something kinda stylish about a coat of arms type logo. Maybe if Winnepeg ever gets their act together they could rock something like that. Their current logo is just kinda off somehow.

Observation 6: More whistling on an Amur power play. Dynamo up 3-1, but they got their cushion back. More American stadium rock music. Awesome/funny to hear stadium music in Moscow that I’d think was coming out of The Can here in Denver.

Dynamo up 4-1. Any bets on whether or not the Amur starting goalie gets a ballcap and a great seat for the third?

“Don Cherry, a well known hockey commentator…” This is a phrase that really tells me just how much the average ESPN watcher knows about hockey. When you have to say what Don Cherry is known for? Your audience is the casual-to-cluesless-about-hockey.

Random string of consciousness things – I think ESPN hates hockey fans. This stream is very iffy for me insofar as quality, and I have a decent rig here. And I’m really not doing much else here, no other streams or anything else hogging bandwidth. Just as a test, I paused it and went to check another thing on replay…and it’s definitely better. Sigh.

So for some actual quality, check out Matty Duchene’s absolutely sick spinorama pass for a goal.

So that said, I think I’m done watching ESPN for a day or 2. Maybe I’ll rock something a little better for the next game.


Oct 11 2012

AvalancheOpening Not.

This was supposed to be the night I’d been waiting for since April 8th, after watching last years Avalanche club go out with a whimper 6 months ago. There was a feeling that things were going to be different. Despite the horrorof things, it felt like this year was going to be the start of a climb back to being a club that the division wasn’t going to simply look at as 2 more points. New captain, with the wily veteran Hejduk (and believe me when I say that felt weird to write) stepping back to take an A for his sweater. Things were looking up from a mile high.

And then the lockout. It’s like the ownership group doesn’t want people to invest emotionally or financially in their franchises, because every time people start coming back, they have a snit and start keeping their shiny ball away from us. The owners and their representatives start making noises about how they feel so terrible that this has to happen, but the game’ll be better in the end. The world will be better, hockey will be back, and magic unicorns will fart rainbows across the sky. 

It doesn’t have to happen. Look around. Baseball didn’t have a work stoppage. They got a deal done, and not even a whisper of it in the press. Just a note that there was a new deal for 5 years. NFL had a stoppage, but they got their act together and got a deal done in time for a full season. The NBA had a harder time of it, but they got their deal and a half-season.

It’s becoming a ritual for the NHL. Bargaining agreement ends, and the schedule gets interrupted. This doesn’t have to keep happening, but realistically, there’s no substitute for the NHL. I like hockey in general, but there’s a certain cachet about the NHL that makes it just a little bit better. Maybe it’s the cup. For now, I’ll content myself with writing and sipping the diet soda that is the Denver Cutthroats and the KHL. And when the NHL comes back, I’ll be watching. But there’s going to have to be something really good from the NHL for them to earn my forgiveness. And more importantly to the NHL, my money.

Oct 10 2012

Watching the KHL

You know…I’m watching the ESPN showing the Dynamo Moscow and HC Lev Praha game, and really, the lockout talk  is making me want to go up the wall. I mean, honestly, it felt like I was at the bar with a couple guys – which is good, in that I felt comfortable, and bad in that I couldn’t say “Guys, shaddup and lemme watch game!”

All in all, here’s some of the things I noticed right off:

  • The flags being waved behind the nets. Not just little things either, I’m seeing hu-mangous-big flags being waved, mostly for HC Lev, but I saw at least one Canadian flag there as well, which I thought was awesome.
  • No trapezoid. Well, I guess if they don’t have Marty Brodeur, they don’t need the box.
  • Fewer brutal hits. The funniest part of the broadcast was listening to the announcers talk about how there’s no physicality to the KHL game, and how it’s all skill, and then Zdeno Chara lays someone out. Good call there Melrose.
  • Ads everywhere. I’m thinking this could very well be the NHL in 5 or 10 years. On the one hand, you’ve got tradition. On the other hand, you’ve got people waving money in the faces of executives. Guess which hand wins that fight?
  • So much love for HC Lev’s logo. Dynamo Moscow…not so much. 
  • Whistling instead of boos. At least I think that’s the KHL boo.
  • No TV timeouts.

That said, I’m writing this between periods, so it may get a little funky. 

Breaking out the discussion of the announcers themselves – they do know they’re supposed to be calling the game, right? Start of the third, and they’re giving me a how-to on Twitter. Really? Annnd more lockout talk through the third. I mean, there’s so much better filler – once again, shaddup and call the game. I’ll give them some credit for trying, but overall they really aren’t making me think that hockey is a sport that the 4-letter-network can really handle broadcasting. Which does a terrible disservice to their web-team, those writers are flipping sharp. Damn shame, Barry Melrose and Steve Levy missed a decent game.