Skip to main content

Endorsements

Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

Harlow Salon - one of the very best hair salons in Nashville TN.

Back in the saddle again...

It's been a long time since I've written regularly about hockey, but with the dawn of a new era on our hands, it's high time that I start this blog.

First, some background. Back in the mid- to late-1990's, I dove into the newsgroup phenomenon as the popularity of the World Wide Web was getting off the ground. People would write back and forth regarding issues of the day, longstanding "barstool" sports arguments, and of course, good (and bad) natured smack over rivalries between different teams. Responding to a message looking for online correspondents, I signed up to write columns for a hockey magazine called "In the Crease", which covered minor and major pro hockey through local columnists in various cities. It was a great opportunity to interact with readers from all over the world, and while it didn't pay a dime, was rewarding strictly from the hobbyist sense.

Of course, it didn't hurt when we actually scored some press passes through the NHL office to cover some games. My first was the infamous March 26, 1997 game between Detroit and Colorado at Joe Louis Arena, when Darran McCarty exacted some revenge from Claude Lemieux. The next year, I got to cover Games 1 & 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Detroit. Game 2 ranks up there as one of the greatest games I've ever seen, with the Wings coming back twice from 2-goal deficits to beat Washington in overtime.

Later that year I got married and moved south to Indiana, with only my satellite dish to provide my link back to Red Wings broadcasts and Hockey Night in Canada. I wrote occasionally in my journal over at Slashdot regarding hockey, but mostly let other things take precedence in my life.

But after so long without writing, and especially so long without NHL hockey, the time has come to launch this column - where you'll find commentary on league happenings, speculation on what's to come and (this is your part), lively discussion between some of the most rabid fans in all of sports. The NHL and NHLPA have done a number of incredibly stupid things over the last year to wipe out a season over labor negotiations, but they can count on a hardcore, loyal fanbase that is ready for a new day.

So drop the puck, already, eh?

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Hooray for PythagenPuck

Back in November, around the quarter-mark of the NHL regular season, I wrote a piece looking at Expected Winning Percentages for each team, based on their Goals For/Goals Against ratio, using the PythagenPuck method as outlined in Alan Ryder's "Win Probabilities" article over at Hockey Analytics. Since we're approaching the end of the campaign, I thought it worth revisiting the two assertions I made back in November - that the Ottawa Senators were capable of getting back into the playoff race, and that the Boston Bruins were in danger of a freefall to the bottom of the standings.

Just to review, the basic idea behind win probability models like PythagenPuck is that over the course of a season, the Goals For and Goals Against numbers can be used to derive a team's winning percentage, within a a surprisingly narrow margin of error. For instance, if you only had GF/GA information, you could make a very good stab at projecting what the standings would look like. The w…