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.

Here we go, folks...

Tonight's tilt against the L.A. Kings could be considered the kickoff to the "Do or Die" stretch of this NHL season for Predators fans. With 10 games left after tonight, and a gap to make up relative to the Northwest Gang that sits ahead of them in the standings, almost every single day brings at least one important game to the Western Conference playoff picture. It's time to bite those nails down to the bone, nervously click "Refresh" on the out-of-town scoreboard every 30 seconds, and live or a die a little with each goal for or against the Preds for the next 3.5 weeks. And if they succeed? You guessed it, more stress to come thanks to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Roller Coaster
Hold on tight, this is gonna get bumpy!


Some might think this is too much to ask of devoted fans who have had to deal with stress and turmoil surrounding their team ever since Craig Leipold put the franchise up for sale last May. Between the Tomas Vokoun trade, the Balsillie-ness, and the haggling over the Sommet Center lease, hockey fans here have been in crisis mode for almost a year straight. Now with the business-related aspects of the team settled for the time being (the paid attendance target for revenue sharing is supposedly a slam-dunk, and the team took back the option of breaking the current lease if 14,000 isn't hit), we have a team sitting in 9th spot, in jeopardy of missing the postseason for the first time since 2003.

But you know what? This is the reward for all that struggle, by individual fans digging deeper than perhaps they should and buying more Predators tickets, or jawboning friends into trying out a game. The reward is having a competitive hockey team that's playing hugely important games down the stretch. These are the times that years down the road, you look back on as a fan. Whether that's with fondness or disappointment, only time will tell. But the next few weeks will assuredly carve out a new, dramatic chapter in Predators lore.

Last night, Anaheim knocked off Vancouver 4-1, and Washington topped Calgary 3-2; thankfully, both games were decided in regulation, so no cheapie points were awarded to the losers.

Looking ahead to this evening, the Flames are in action again, this time in Atlanta, while the Devils go down to Minnesota (which has lost four straight), and the Oilers visit Colorado. Vancouver plays in Phoenix. Here's to hoping that the Battle of the Northwest saps the strength of all teams involved...

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…