Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Potpourri for 10,000 x $11.95

**I'll be watching Flames-Avs tonight (stay tuned for Game Day), but I'll be interested to hear the reviews of the Oilers PPV telecast tonight. Duhatschek says (Þmc79) that the Oilers are expecting 10,000+ additional purchases of the broadcast.

Clearly these additional purchasers are interested primarily in witnessing the home crowd's treatment of Pronger, so the question is, will the PPV producers give them what they want? Apparently some Edmonton media-types are embarrassed in anticipation; no doubt at least some in the pre-production meeting are pushing for treating it just like every other telecast. That'd be nutty, though: while they don't have to give screen time to filthy and/or libellous signs and T-shirts, there's no reason why they can't document the reality of the evening.

If I had to bet, though, I'd bet that a misplaced sense of propriety rules the day, and that consequently thousands of first-time PPV customers are also last-time customers. Keep me posted.

**Some minor backup to yesterday's take on Trent Yawney: one rough, somewhat unfair measure of "discipline" is (PPOpps minus Times SH). The Hawks are 29th in the NHL this season and were 30th last season, when their opponents had 130 more PPs than they did. That can't be attributed to injuries and loft as easily as their record as a whole; at least, it's more of an indictment of Yawney than not giving enough shifts to Tony Salmelainen.

**Another follow-up to a post yesterday: Increased Player Movement - Myth or Reality? Tidor in the comments said that it explains why so many franchises' Iron Man streaks are from so long ago. I won't be convinced unless I see data. I've been hearing the same complaint from self-described Former NHL Fans since I was 10 years old: "The players these days move around so much I can't keep track of them; it's not like it was."

Add more in the comments if you think of any, but here's a list of players with long, long stretches with one team:
Perhaps you can look back at any given time during the 40s-70s and there is a much higher number of players (relative to the # of teams) with long service time at their clubs. But like I say, show me.

**Dennis at IOF has a terrific post today about Pronger, Peca, and the fan-athlete relationship in general. I normally either shrug or roll my eyes at a statement like this...
It just triggered something that I'd known for awhile but something I hate admitting because it really tempers my love for the game and sports in general: the players don't care about nor respect the fans. That's a blanket statement and I guess a few players care but they are in the vast minority.

...but as an element of whole piece, it's pretty compelling.

**Last: not to be forgotten about the Prong Show at Rexall tonight is that the man himself is playing as well as he ever has, Rd1vWings-good. I watched the last two periods of Flames v Ducks on Sunday, and there's no way there's a tougher guy to play against in the league.

His pass to Selanne for the 3-2 go-ahead goal was phenomenal. There was a sequence where a puck caromed off someone's leg and created what looked like a 2-on-1 for the Flames, and Pronger just enveloped Lombardi before he had a chance to do Thing One with the puck. I tried to keep count of his mistakes, or even "imperfect plays". The total was 1 (a bouncing puck got over his stick at the point on the PP).

Earl has a nice breakdown of his numbers compared to Niedermayer. Since their TOI breakdown is virtually identical, it's fair to include special teams GF/GA, and by that measure, Pronger is +30, Niedermayer is +13. As Earl says, those numbers "really aren't that close".

Pronger is 4th in the WC in scoring (4-22-26). He's T-2nd in the league in +/- (+16). He has but 14 PIM (another early-season Lady Byng run?). And, his team has 40 points in 25 games and sits in 1st place in the conference (6 points clear). He's the Hart Trophy front-runner, and I fully expect that this sentiment will be near-unanimous by Christmas. So, Oil fan? Good luck with that tonight...


I was thinking that same thing Matt, but I think that every PPV. As a fan I always want to hear what the players actually say to each other, and wish they didn't edit out the swearing and taunting.

It would be great fun if they focused the camera on as many awful signs/shirts as they can, but I doubt they will. Too bad, could be a new low (high?) for TV.

I'll let ya know if anything cool hits the SoCal broadcast, as I don't think we do television without sensationalism in this state.

Matt - just for kicks I checked out the 70/71 Chicago Blackhawks - picked a team out of a hat.

Stan Mikita - 22 seasons with Chicago
Bobby Hull - 15 seasons - then the WHA
Dennis Hull - 13 seasons - then last season with Detroit
Pit Martin - 11 seasons in the middle of his career
Keith Magnuson - 11 seasons
Cliff Koroll - 11 seasons
Chico Maki - 15 seasons
Tony Esposito - 15 seasons (+13 games with Mtl.)
Eric Nesterenko - 16 seasons plus some games with T.O. at start

So four guys who played their entire careers with one team plus three others who played all but a handful of NHL games (Hulls and Espo) plus Martin and Nesterenko

And Pat Stapleton, Bill White, Jim Pappin and Doug Mohns all played 7 or more seasons with Chicago.

That's one team. I bet if you picked other teams you'd find similar situations.

I'm hearing that the previous record for PPV buys was 16,000 and that they're already at more than 30,000 so far.

The comparison isn't really fair with the number of teams in the league, though. With 6 teams it isn't too suprising that there wasn't alot of movement.

I don't think many people are pining for 6 NHL teams again, but there seem to be more than a few that believe that era of hockey was somehow superior because of the by-products of having so few teams.

Black Dog: that's interesting -- certainly appears to be some strong anecdotal evidence. Without having looked it up myself, is that years of service as of 1971? What I'm getting at is, clearly there are players right now who will go on to play 10+ years on the same team, but haven't yet.

I suppose I could veer back toward the original point here, too: the reason player movement was brought up by Tidor was to propose (a la Skrastins) that consec-games streaks still happen just as much and/or as long, but are broken up between two or more teams. Again, I'm skeptical: is there examples besides Skrastins of contemporary players who have Iron Man streaks spread between two teams?

pronger would disgustingly have the last laugh if he won the lady byng. it would put yashin and lindross out of the running for "worst nhl bum ever".

limey - well, a lot of those guys started their careers when their were six teams but quite a few either started after expansion or played the majority of their careers after 67 so, more teams to get moved to

Matt had asked for any given time from the 40s to the 70s - growing up I was a Hawks fan so picked a name out of the hat

Matt - no that's a snapshot of that particular team - iirc Mikita, the Hulls, Nesterenko, Maki and for that matter Pappin and Mohns were all at 10+ for the longer service guys and maxed out for Pappin and Mohns who retired soon after

Martin came over in 67 and played until 78 or so etc.

And so on - now that's just one team but I would bet money that into the late 70s that would be a normal situation - I grew up in the 70s and was hockey crazy as a kid and I remember guys being with the same team forever

A buddy of mine out of town has bought this game on PPV, and instant messaged me about 20 minutes ago pissed off beyond belief that after spending that much money on the cable box the PPV is broadcast only in standard def. and not HD.

So I think you can count him in the "last time customer" category.

I think I'll just get into it.


Earl, how exactly do you stand your play by play and colour commentator guys on SoCal broadcasts? I just watched the SDOC (I believe) broadcast, dear lord.

They turn down the on ice volume so it's only a dull background swoosh, like the sound of your computer humming near silently. That forces you to focus on the dull commentators that almost lulled me to sleep several times if not for their inane banter.

Here were a few gems from the colour guy that I didn't manage to tune out:

"When looking at the stats for Neidermayer and Pronger in an article they referred to them as NeidProngs"

"That's the 4th time Smyth has done that, when he's coming out from behind the net and he's vulnerable like that you need to get your shoulder up and nail him in the chin"

Classy calling for head shots, but my personal favourite:

"Torres, the local Edmonton native, tore up the playoffs last year with 14 goals but only has 4 this year"

Which the play-by-play guy didn't even notice as he followed up with

"Torres is an agitator...".

Understandable seeing as how similar the names Torres and Pisani are.

Earl I don't know how you stand it, and all I can say is that it's a miracle that anyone can watch hockey in SoCal if they don't already love the game.

"If I had to bet, though, I'd bet that a misplaced sense of propriety rules the day, and that consequently thousands of first-time PPV customers are also last-time customers."

First time, last time for me. What a lousy broadcast. What do they think all of us suckers bought the game for? Well if it wasn't to see fans express their free speech on signs, it must have been to watch a "non-commercial" telling us to get a ScotiaBank savings account for my kids so they can enjoy a sainvngs rate just lower than inflation - but they'll get a puck! For an organization so focussed on "the customer" they sure missed the boat last night.

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