Tag: National hockey league
The Foley of Late-Season, Cross-Conference Play in the NHL
Such a major contest at the venerable Ice Palace known as Amalie Arena on Saturday night. Late-season play only brings more rival bitterness and tense contests between the sworn enemy likes of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Winnipeg Jets.
It’s an annual rite for the National Hockey League to hold contests like that one. Two Conferences are in their last throes of the regular season play, with clubs jockeying for playoff position or respectability (or prime draft slots), and fans get fed healthy doses of games baked fresh in Could-Give-A-Shit-ville.
That’s not a shot at Winnipeg, That’s a shot at the NHL schedule. When results matter the most, cross-conference play, and regular-season contests between Easterm and Western Conference teams should be over.
It’s not rocket science, it’s marketing. Right now is when the Eastern Conference would draw more media and fan attention with Eastern play, likewise for the Western Conference clubs. Gameplay and results now factor in broadly as opportunity is so limited. Add to it how results carry more direct weight — division rivals! – and attendance desire/viewweship (and sis dollar signs) tick up.
This isn’t saying cross-conference play should be ceased in the NHL in full. Nope. What’s needed is for East-vs-West play to be over by or around March 1. Five months of time to play the opposite should work fine.
I realize a schedule is a complex beast as all sorts of events and other sports factor in to venue availability, and those involved in the task of compiling the regular season schedule want to shake things up from time to time (not the same thing year after year)… But cross-conference play is not the gateway to the playoffs. It isn’t an interest-grabbing mechanism most of the time, and there is no solid chance fans are witnessing a forthcoming playoff series; A Stanley Cup Finals to-be. Surely the Lightning game held that weight?? Or was it more likely the New Jersey Devils playing Seattle on Saturday that is a prebiew of things to be? Hmmm… :-p
In simplicity, games matter too much at the end of the regular season to have the contests be against opponents who have no position/status in the conference. Opponents matter in general, but it’s a poor marketing of the league to play games against teams who aren’t more direct opponents in the standings.
2019 NHL Playoffs: Oh, how the mighty have fallen
Ring around the Rosie
Pocket full of posies
We all fall down!
- Ring Around the Rosie
I told you I ain’t a betting man and while I stood and fell with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 NHL playoffs, while ridicule was poured heavily on the franchise (by fans and general sports followers) for their exquisite failings… Well? The best of the best have failed.
All of them.Read More
Will the start of Steve Yzerman’s tenure in Detroit bring transactions with Tampa Bay?
I could be dead wrong on this but I’ve also got a certainty tied to it, so here goes: I have an inkling, this feeling, that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn is Detroit-bound.
If it ain’t Killorn, it’s going to be somebody wrought through the Tampacuse system. All with thanks to the fact what Stevie Y wants, Stevie Y gets.Read More
Lightning’s success generates all too much silence in the Tampa Bay sports media
There’s a outspoken and upset Florida Panthers fan who voiced their discontent with the Panthers organization in a post on Reddit’s hockey community. A mix of words invoked nostalgia and made me upset in my own fashion.
[…] At the start, things looked great. The team had great players in Scott Mellanby and John Vanbiesbrouck, took a Cinderella trip to the Finals which got all of Miami absolutely BUZZING in 1996, started a notable fan tradition of throwing rats, acquired a superstar in Pavel Bure, acquired future superstars Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo, had very great and notable players pass through here… […]
Ah, 1996! Yes, the Florida Panthers looked upright and had a future optimism shown in only their third season of play in the National Hockey Lague. But ’96 didn’t show a dim picture on the other coast of Florida. No, no, the 1995-96 Tampa Bay Lightning did something foreign in the Tampa Bay metroplex in the sporting sense of the term: They were a pro team that made the playoffs. It was the first time in 13 years that a top-level professional franchise in the Bay area had done that [author note: this isn’t an attempt to truly look pat the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team; soccer is not traditionally pitched as a top-four major sports league in the United States.] It was also the Lightning’s first-ever playoff appearance.
There was a sense of optimism and hope invoked in the local press coverage from WTVT, WFLA, WTSP, and WFTS. The St. Peterburg Times and Tampa Tribune did it too: The Tampa Bay Lightning was the sports team in Tampa Bay, and they were the entity to rally around. Brian Bradley, Mikael Andersson, Petr Klima, Paul Ysebaert; with the future (or so it seemed at the time) franchise ties to Roman Hamrlik, Chris Gratton, Jason Weimer, and Rob Zamuer. All these (and so many more names that I’ve forgotten off the top of my head) and the last line of defense, the stalwart in goal #93 Darren Puppa.
The playoffs! Such a rare feat in this burg was being embraced by a local team and that generated a degree of local pride for sports fans. It was something accomplished by Tampa Bay and invoked such a good vibe, even if the Bolts were a one-and-done team in the 1996 NHL Playoffs (the Philadelphia Flyers bounced the Bolts in the first round). Contention was such a foreign term and it was finally translated! Yessir! Yessir!
It seems foreign now, doesn’t it? No, I don’t mean contention. I’ve already written about that for the Bolts before this season. The Lightning themselves have proven it, night in and night out, through 76 games and the feats achieved.
I’m talking about coverage and the lack thereof from the traditional media people in town. There is no buzz. It’s not a priority. It’s filler.Read More
The NHL on NBC and NBC Sports Net needs broader appeal
The following tweet sets the standard for this blog post. It was posted during a telecast by NBC Sports Net and with thanks to me hearing the all-too-common complaints aimed at the network for their coverage of a National Hockey League game.Read More
Eugene Melnyk and the suffering of hockey fandom in Ottawa
With the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline now passed, fans refkect on moves made by their respective franchises. and what was, what is, and what could be in the NHL’s pivitol second season (the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs).
Yet in Ottawa, Ontario, the reflection is of the demise of their love for the game of hockey and the perpetual rebuilding of the Ottawa Senators.Read More
A tweet of note regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2019 NHL trade deadline
Via Joe Smith of The Athletic, a quick remark about things at this coming deadline (and deadlines in general):
The Lightning storm of the 2018-19 NHL first-half
There are many in-depth details to go through with the Tampa Bay Lightning season so far in the 2018-2019 NHL season; they haven’t even reached the midway point of the regular season but the club in setting records and living at the top… Y’know, they’re a dominant storm.
How dominant? It’s one number that has led to this posting, one number that people would sooner forget or brush off. It’s a number that deep sports fans should be taken aback by, though: A .756 win percentage.
After their 6-3 victory in Edmonton on Saturday, Tampa Bay’s season record is 28-7-2. 28 wins in 37 games played. Now do the math with that win percentage and you see the Lightning are on a pace for 62 wins in 82 games played. That’s one hell of a first half.
Now, the cold-water factor: You can’t and shouldn’t expect things to keep riding this high. Injuries were already overcome early this season but hey could easily thwart things in the months to come. The NHL’s silly-season is forthcoming, where physical play nadc altercations become more regular. That could easily factor in and spoil the party at Amalie Arena.
It also obliterates the franchise record for wins in a season; it’s 12 games b
And, of course, this doesn’t mean shit when the playoffs arrive. The proverbial second-season is just that, a second chance to shine for all remaining and contending clubs.
The Bolts last three games of 2018 and the first half of the NHL season are split between Eastern and Western Conference clubs. The Lightning host the Flyers and Les Habitants De Montréal before heading west to
The Tampa Bay Lightning thrives while the Tampa Bay media look elsewhere in sports
Late this summer, before the NFL season was underway, the Tampa Bay Times did the Tampa Bay-media thing and played up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers season ahead. “Most talented offense ever?” discussion before a regular season game had been played seemed like… well, an attempt to raise expectations.
I’m not here to judge the Buccaneer season as it nears a conclusion, I’m here to ask about the Tampa Bay Lightning.
See, with that hype about the Bucs, there hasn’t been the same headline-priority work for the Bolts in the Tampa Bay media, at least not from what I’ve seen. All while the Bolts are doing what counters Tampa Bay college and pro sports teams most of the time: Winning and winning. And winning.
Q and A with Calgary Flames blogger Kent Wilson of FlamesNation
I got Kent Wilson from FlamesNation to participate in the hockey blogger Q and A that I’ve been casually conducting this month. Kent’s one of the strengths of The Nation Network and blogging in general, having his hand in the 2014 “summer of stats”.
What follows is a little insight in how Kent found his way into blogging and his views on the season ahead for the NHL.
NHL fans versus “Mad” Mike Milbury
Let me start with a link to an old article on Raw Charge by one Mister John J. Fonts Esq. (me, it’s a pseudonym ): Suffering Mike Milnury and the NHL on NBC. It’s an issue that doesn’t get highlighted enough during hte regular season. That, or a base group of fans complain on and off about Milbury, but things stay the same; there are issues with the style of Mike Milbury (whom had his own issues during his NHL career) and yet he continues on with television coverage on US Network TV (ESPN and then Outdoor Life Network / Versus / NBC Sports Net
The last few days have put a special spotlight on NBC Sports broadcasts as the NHL was at its climax – the Stanley Cup Finals of 2017. Leave it to Mike Milbury to line-cross and give his personal dislike of a player just enough attention in coverage to sully things and make the way for the spotlight to be his in the worst way possible. Read More