By the way, I asked him if he was OK with me publishing this, and he said he had no problem with it, so long as he wasn't "disparaged." I immediately agreed, which is why I have selectively edited out all of his statements detailing his love for German fecal-porn.
Eric is actually a very knowledgeable hockey fan and a smart guy. I have no evidence that he has any disposition towards fecal porn of any kind, German or otherwise. Still, I will say that if he was into fecal porn, it would probably be German, seeing as he's the kind of guy who appreciates the best things in life. From wine to beer to food to music to sports to art, he's a class act, and if I applied his appreciation for the other passions he has in life to fecal porn, I'd think he'd go German. I'm just saying that from what little I know about the subject, if you're going to go for fecal porn, the German variety is pretty much universally considered top of the line.
But he's not into fecal porn.
As far as I know.
That's not disparaging, is it?
But I digress- here's his original email:
Subject: Numbers Game
12--The number of shootouts that the Devils have participated in this season. So they play 65 minutes of conservative, "not to lose" hockey so that their hall-of-fame goalie can win them an extra point.
27-The number of consecutive non-sellouts (including last night's game vs. the Rangers) at the Continental Airlines Arena.
Think there's a correlation??
Here's my response:
I dunno- I was in and out of the room, but I thought last night's game
was a pretty good one.
In terms of playing "not to lose hockey" and the negative effect on
turnout, you're playing a bit of a rhetorical game there. I mean, sure
"playing not to lose" sounds boring, but "playing a tough defensive
game with great goaltending" sounds pretty good to me.
I only bring this up because I am against troop buildups in Iraq, yet
Plus, if anything, the Devils defense, at least along the blue line,
has been weaker than it's been in years. When Jagr came out of the
corner on the power play in the last two minutes of overtime and
Brodeur laid down and stopped him, it was every bit as exciting as a
two-on-one break the other way would have been.
(NOTE: That play was inexplicably omitted in that highlight package I found above. Get your heads out of your asses, NHL.)
And, yeah- the Devils don't score much, but they're using what they
have, which is a great goalie. Gauging by the amount of fan jerseys
with goaltenders names on the back around the league, it's hard to
argue that winning with a great goalie is something fans dislike. I
think it's a damn risky strategy, but they seem to have the goalie to
pull it off in the regular season. Whether that's enough to win four
playoff rounds is entirely another.
If I had to pick one factor that negatively effects the gate, it's
probably the fact that the game has officiated out some of the
intimidation that makes it feel just a little bit dangerous.
There were two factors that made me excited to tune in last night, and
it was the addition of Sean Avery and Cam Janssen in the line-ups.
Fights and violence in hockey are the naked pictures in the early
years of Playboy. The fantastic athleticism, grace, speed, finesse,
passing and goal-scoring are the great articles. So- do I read Playboy
for the articles? Yes, I do. But I picked it up for the pictures.
That said, I hear you that losing a game like that in a shootout has
got to be frustrating as hell, and I certainly don't like the way the
points are handed out in the OT/shootout.
Intuitively, it seems to me that there should be only two points up
for grabs in every NHL game. Just as they once argued that a team that
loses in overtime deserves a bit more than a team that gets blown out,
shouldn't a team that wins in overtime get a bit less than a team that
gets it done in 60 minutes? If two teams play to a tie, they each get
half of one point. If there are only two points awarded in every game,
then at the end of regulation, one of the points is gone. OT and the
shootout if necessary, allows them to play for the remaining point.
Therefore, an OT win is not as good as a regular season win, as it's
only worth a point and a half. A team who loses in OT doesn't go home
totally empty. They get half a point.
And he replied:
I thought that Jagr's move out of the corner was his best stuff of the season and that last night's game was pretty darn good, as was the game against Buffalo.
However, would you pay $65 a night to see a team play cautious offense and stifling defense? Great goaltending is only great if the goalie is forced to face quality shots.
I think that three points should be put up for grabs. Win in regulation, get three points. Win in OT or a shootout, get two, with the loser getting one. Make teams play for wins. Or, just play overtime until someone wins, like baseball or basketball.
I'm sure Ben (Devils fan) has something to add to this, and I'm curious about others thoughts on the OT extra point issue. Any ideas, comments, or links to exterior articles or blog posts on the subject are welcome.
PS: Thanks to the Forechecker for giving us props on his Heavy Hitters of the hockey blog list. Also to Jes Golbez, who tagged me on a thread that I didn't have time to respond to. If you're not reading his site, you're missing out.