Monday, March 31, 2008

 

Monday Baseball Standings

**Congratulations to the Minnesota Wild on winning the Northwest Division; you can pretty much mark that in ink now. They have clinched over Vancouver, and to finish ahead of the Avs they need to either earn 1 point in their final two games, or have the Avs surrender one point in their final two (Avs can only tie the Wild, but hold the "more Wins" tiebreaker).

If the Flames finish 2-0-1, the Wild lose their last two in regulation, and they tie at 95, Minny has the tiebreaker (more Wins). If the Flames finish 3-0-0 and the Wild finish 0-1-1, the Flames hold the tiebreaker (equal Wins, better H2H record).

For the Oilers to qualify, they need to catch (not pass) two of Calgary, Vancouver, and Nashville. For it to be CGY and VAN, they need both teams to lose all three of their remaining games, excepting the Saturday night game where the Canucks would need to beat the Flames in regulation (then all 3 teams would have 90 points, and the Oil has the most Wins).

The most depressing scenario -- which really rams home what a bloody disaster this weekend this was -- is that it's possible for Saturday's Flames/Canucks game to be meaningless, i.e. with the Flames already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. That's where they'll be if Nashville wins Tue/Thu/Fri, VAN wins their next two, and CGY loses their next two.

The tiebreakers are a bit mucky with these three teams: it all depends on what point total they tie at and how they get there. The good news, such as it is, is that the Flames completely control their own destiny, not just for making the playoffs but for finishing 6th; with some help, they could finish 5th or 3rd.

**Yes, Andy and I were in Toronto on Friday (he's still there) participating in a recurring CBC special called Test the Nation. When there's a firm air date, I'll post about it, or you can check the CBC site periodically. [UPDATE: it will be airing on Saturday, June 14th. Check your local listings.]

There's a few thrills that keep me going on this site, apart from the ongoing/daily feedback of comments and traffic. Sometimes I see a friend from meatspace who mentions that he's been reading and enjoying the site, maybe even bringing up some post in particular. And once in a while, the site comes up in conversation (or my wife's conversation), and the person says, "You're [or Your husband is] the Matt on Battle of Alberta? Wow, I read that site all the time!" I love being reminded that there are people out there paying attention to what we do beyond the few dozen regular commenters (God bless you all).

I love stuff like this, too: finding out that the BoA was what got a very good hockey blogger into it in the first place. Anyway, I bring this up because, without giving anything away (and violating the release I signed in blood), this weekend provided the biggest thrill I've had since firing this sucker up.

In the course of being at the CBC Broadcast Centre to participate in this TV program, Andy and I got to meet Ron Maclean, and he had some very nice things to say about us. Not just, "I've read your site, keep up the good work!" -- which might nevertheless have been the biggest thrill in these past 3 seasons -- but some very nice and complimentary things. I don't want to drool too much here, but it was terribly gratifying, and I appreciated it a lot.

**This is a related thought, but I'm not passing anything on here, just offering my own opinion (based in no small part on personal experience):

If you're doing something that has value here in the hockeysphere, it'll find an audience, and it will seep into the overall conversation. It really will. It's not for everybody: good baseball stats are 20+ years ahead of hockey's, and yet there are many fans whose opinion of a particular hitter is informed entirely by their own perception of how often he has grounded out in the late innings of close games. I don't even begrudge them that, at least until they get on the TSN panel and insist to the world that that's the way it is.

But it's a big world of hockey fans, and there is a plenty significant segment of them who want to understand the game beyond the Healyisms. Beyond that, there is an even more significant segment of them who worship the "boxcar stats" [G-A-Pts-(+/-)-PIM], but are ready -- one of these years -- to know more and understand things better (especially since the salary cap has made pro scouting and value-for-$$ that much more important). And almost everyone with the nice platforms and the big megaphones, who make a living analyzing hockey for the occasional benefit of us fans (with the exception of a few ex-players and old guys), fall into one of those two segments.

Go Flames.

Comments:

Congrats Matt.

Add me to the list of bloggers who were (are?) deeply influenced by what you guys have done here. I didn't (don't?) have much of clue about what I was doing when I started up a few years ago and the BofA was definitely a beacon in the darkness for me.
 


BoA and Perez Hilton are why I started blogging also. Perez mostly.

But Congrats!
 


I bet it was my beard shots that got McLean all fired up, right?
 


Which, incidently, is why Mrs. Sacamano is terrified of someone saying "You're the wife of sacamano from BofA?
 


Alright, I'll join the lovefest. I don't blog, but the reason I read hockey blogs more than MSM is due to sites like this one, and this one stands out among 2 or 3 for the combination of high-quality and amusing writing by all involved on this site. I have to say what made me a regular reader of a blog that doesn't cover--and often disparages--my team, one of my absolutely favorite posts ever, was Matt's take on the Andrew Ference trade, and the "Peplinski Underwear Theory". That was some good shit (and I'm not even a Calgary fan). I keep thinking about that for other teams.

Props to all!
 


Nobody has ever said "you're the Lord Bob of the South Smythian Rolo-Gator?!?"

Of course, a) last time I updated Howie Morenz was a promising prospect, b) I don't live in Edmonton, and c) "Bob" isn't my real name. But still!
 


Looks like you're on the air on Sat., June 14 @ 7 p.m.

http://www.cbc.ca/testthenation/mt/
 


Congrats, all you BoA-ers.

Occasionally I'll get that "Oh, you're Earl?" moment, but then it usually gets followed with a strong caveat. "I thought you would have been _____-er." Amusing, still.

Nice, though, to be patted on the back by somebody that matters. Count me among the BoA converts--Good work!
 


It'd be a disaster if anyone knew I was GT from the Oilbloboshpere. I mean, that site is a dump. Shit, it's even Pink, now. Reading it will definitely make you gay.

All that aside, congrats for everything, it must have been one of the coolest hockey-related things you've ever done - and good on Grabia. He's becoming quite the little media whore but we love him for it!

:)
 


Occasionally I'll get that "Oh, you're Earl?" moment, but then it usually gets followed with a strong caveat. "I thought you would have been _____-er." Amusing, still.

I'm trying to fill in the blank appropriately there. Friendlier? Funnier? Blacker?
 


I bet it was my beard shots that got McLean all fired up, right?

He knew all about you, my friend.
 


I'm trying to fill in the blank appropriately there. Friendlier? Funnier? Blacker?

Actually, a common fill-in is "shorter". I'm not a giant by any means, but I guess nobody's ready for 6'2" Sleek.
 


Did MacLean come up with one of his classic lines as your conversation was over? Something like, you're site really grabia'd my attention, it was nice to finally matt you guys.."or something along those lines?
 


Oilman: Saturday, June 14th
 


Well, after conquering the internet, newsprint media, and now television...what's next?
 


Dinner theatre.
 


Well, after conquering the internet, newsprint media, and now television...what's next?

direct to video porn
 


Wait a minute. You come into my house, my party, to tell me about the future? That the future is tape, videotape, and not film?
 


I am one of the people out there who have been paying attention (that attention is all I have to pay for all this great information and discussion is amazing). Anyway, I've been reading all the various blogs (mostly Oiler ones) for some time now and quite often I think to myself that it would be nice to let these folks know that I really enjoy reading their stuff. But, when how much I enjoy their stuff isn't really related to the post I'd be commenting on, it seems a bit too off-topic - especially since I don't really have anything substantive to say. Ever. Well, rarely.

So this is all a long-winded way of saying that I love the site and have been entertained, amused and enlightened by it on a regular basis.

I will also take this opportunity though to comment on how odd it is that no topic seems to evoke more discussion and passion than the new downtown Edmonton arena topic. Don't get me wrong, I probably don't disagree with anything Andy has written about this topic (perhaps one of the few topics on which Andy and Paula Simons would agree - or maybe I am extrapolating way too much from the very limited information I have - in the interest of full disclosure, I agree with Paula Simons quite a lot), I just find it interesting how much people want to write and talk about it on a site about hockey. But then one of the most enlightening things about this site and others is the extent to which people want to discuss the business /financial side of the game and so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised by this intense interest in the downtown arena issue.

Anyway, keep it up. You guys all do great work and I really appreciate it.
 


Videotape - not even digital
 


For what it's worth, I think this site is terrible.
 


Matt,

"Long time reader, first time commenter".

I am not one to leave comments and to get involved in the debates, but as a regular reader I really enjoy the BoA.

What I particularly like is the good natured tone of the board. I know we all hate the Flames/Oilers (but really the Flames) but I also know that deep down (and for some of us it is pretty deep down) there is a respect for the other team and their fans and I for one can't wait until both teams are seriously competitive and the BoA takes its rightful place as the one true rivalry that matters in the NHL.

A strong Flames makes the Oilers better and a strong Oil will make the Flames better (which given the way they have been playing lately can't come too soon).
 


For what it's worth, I think this site is terrible.

Thanks Dave. By the way, why did you drop the Pleasure Motors handle, and start using your initials with *my* initials wedged in the middle? Are you crazy in some way?
 


He wants you all wedged up in him

but I guess that goes without saying...
 


I like this blog, and the reason other Canucks fans have started checkin it out, is cause its got a little of everything.
Good job, i'll never be an Oilers (again) or Flames fan, but I like readin your takes on the hockey world. I guess you've never thought of expandin to include your mighty cousins from the West :) He he
 


As a wise man once said "Calgary sucks. Vancouver doesn't matter."
 


By the way, why did you drop the Pleasure Motors handle, and start using your initials with *my* initials wedged in the middle?

Deep-seated admiration.

Actually, as Littlefury pointed out, MF stands for "Motherfucking," which incidentally is a phrase that comes up a lot whenever I talk about you.

Actually actually, those are my real middle initials and I changed the name because we're blogging at work, and I'm too lazy to start a separate Google account.
 


Actually actually, those are my real middle initials and I changed the name because we're blogging at work, and I'm too lazy to start a separate Google account.

David, this is most boring thing you've ever written.

PS: I love you?
 


At some point, the former Pleasure Motors is going to be recognised in the street, and the guy's going to say "hey! you're that dumfffbehfafgwryhthrghthhh" and his head will explode.

So that'll make all the boredom worthwhile. Probably not as worthwhile as hearing some lawyer say the words "Pleasure Motors", but...
 


Nobody has ever said "you're the Lord Bob of the South Smythian Rolo-Gator?!?"

Of course, a) last time I updated Howie Morenz was a promising prospect, b) I don't live in Edmonton, and c) "Bob" isn't my real name. But still!


Also 2/3 of the blog name is no longer on the team and the last 3rd was relegated to backup status for quite a stretch there. If Rollie gets traded or bought out you're looking at finally being the South Blankian Blank-Blank.

I suppose you could have gone with the more enduring South MacTavishian Huddy-Lowe, but admittedly that's not nearly as snazzy.
 


Looking forward to the show guys - and Matt, sorry I missed you in T.O.

For some reason, the hockey gods sent me to Columbus the weekend you were here.
 


For some reason, the hockey gods sent me to Columbus the weekend you were here.

I think "for some reason, the hockey gods sent me to Columbus" worked fine without any modifiers.
 


One of the frustrating/surprising things about the Flames has been the fact that they haven't suffered through a horendous stretch of loses since November. It always seems like they are back on their heals with the bottom ready to fall out, or they look like a contender. This feeling makes sense when you look at their rolling records over any 10 game stretch. When you look at their last 10 game records over the past 50 games, in 48 of the past 50, they've earned at least 10 points or more. Unfortunately one of those is right now where they are sitting at 4-6-0. They haven't gone through dominating stretches nor have they been terrible. Just 6-4, 4-4-2. 5-5.. etc, etc.

Their trends since December suggest that they'll win the next two, then lose the final game against the Nucks and lose game 1 to whomever. Or the bottom will emerge at the worst possible time... I guess we will soon see..
 


Congratulations to the Minnesota Wild on winning the Northwest Division; you can pretty much mark that in ink now.

Thanks! Everyone in Minnesota is excited about the prospect of hanging our first banner of any sort.

For the record, I'm all about the Oil making the playoffs and making Calgary and Vancouver look like idiots.

Good luck to your team, and I'm a big fan of the blog.
 


I've said it many times, but I'll say it again. Both Andy and Matt (and Sacamano when he appears) do a great job with this site and keep it entertaining and informative.

I stop by and enjoy reading it everyday, even if it is partly occupied and dedicated to the Flames;-)

Keep up the great work guys.

GOILERS!
 


Dinner theatre.

A friend of mine runs the dinner theatre in Canmore, I'm sure I could put a good word in... ;D

Good job guys, I would write how you guys got me blogging, but that would probably be seen as an insult comparing your frequent intelligent analysis to my occasional mindless drivel...

And seriously, how come no Flames bloggers were informed of your trip to the T-dot?
 

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