Sunday, March 28, 2010

we don't want to be those people

Before we head to the night's awards show, we'd like to direct your attention to the blue stage, where we'll be addressing the Post-Gazette's reportage that the 2011 Winter Classic will be at Heinz Field between the Pens and the Caps.
First thing's first, that is just ridiculous.
Okay, seeing a Pens/Caps game with vintage unis in Pittsburgh would be cool. But not in 2011. The overexposure of Sid and Ovechkin has already reached the point of absurdity. All this does is cause the rest of the league to complain about a paper list of the Pens roster being Gary Bettman's favorite masturbatory rag, and cause RIVALRY commentary from idiot people on television, and create an awesome high-octane hockey game that could have been a lot less annoying about three or four years down the line. Sid and Ovechkin are going to be forces far beyond next season, so why not create anticipation around this event?
If this does end up being the case, that the game is at Heinz Field between the Pens and the Caps in 2011, the League just becomes even more of a joke. Again.
There are other teams that could have a chance.
Doing the double-header with a game in Canada between the Flames and the Oilers is an okay idea. . .but why shouldn't that be the main event?
Maybe wait until the Caps franchise has actually done something before letting them into the Classic. . .?
J/k a little on that last bit but still.
Flames/Oilers as the main event for Winter Classic 2011 sounds just about perfect to us as Pens fans.
Just saying.
Maybe in a few years we should have the Classic at PNC Park. The attendance is a lot less but it would be nice to use that beautiful stadium for something exciting. And it is a fucking gorgeous stadium with an amazing view of the city. Can you imagine hockey being played there in a few years, maybe the Pirates can have a winning season, and the Pens can kick the Caps' asses as downtown sparkles above in the winter sunshine.
Of course the NHL won't put it at PNC Park despite obvious advantages because it means that more tickets will be sold at exorbitant prices for people to sit in annoying yellow chairs with a bunch of drunk asshole yinzers who didn't know the Steelers weren't playing.
Okay, we like Heinz Field and we like the Steelers but this would just be puke.

And let's not forget the eternal dream to have Pens/Flyers at Beaver Stadium. Might have to wait until like 2016 or something for that since both teams have just been in a Classic but what a game that would be.

Not next year.
We don't want that.
Not that we won't sell our organs to get tickets because we tend to be in Pittsburgh over New Year's, but still.
It's a stupid idea and we'd rather have that moment in a few years so that it means more, so it feels like more than a stupid marketing/TV ratings ploy, so that it has the magic that it has the potential to have.
And so other great franchises in the NHL have a chance to experience the Winter Classic.

Which segues really well into the awards show, don't you think?
The Leafs would be a fun Winter Classic for Canadians. They have a lot of vintage unis to choose from, for example, and they have a lot of fanboys, and their story of the last few seasons has been pretty rollercoasterpukecanIgetoffnow.
A Classic in the next few years for Toronto would be a fun boost for the franchise and its fanbase. But, Bettman continues to be a complete asshole and roll our franchise out repeatedly, with all of its genuine heart and loving fans, for the benefit of everyone's wallets.

Tonight was a good game for both franchises. Toronto has been a great spoiler here at the end of the season, taking points from teams who are fighting for their playoff lives. The Pens want the #2 seed over Jersey, in short because Jersey blows and we don't care about them.

We shall see. . .on the red carpet:

If anybody's awake at 5PM on a Sunday we question their sanity. It's pretty much the most useless time of the entire week.
Home fans bust out a Let's Go Pens chant right before someone touches up when the Leafs ice it. Bizarre.
Out of nowhere some Leaf gets a breakaway and tries the Forsberg move on Fleury. He has to go down to make the save; Colton Orr thinks he's at the bowling alley with Wayne Primeau and it ends up in the net.
1-0 Leafs. Ugh.
Both teams go through the motions to get chances after that but both goaltenders look sharp.

Adams and Rupp go out with some extra energy in the form of Tyler Kennedy. Rupp and Adams do the hard work and Kennedy grinds his way to the front of the net. Still so weird to see the puck in the net behind #35 in a leafs uni who isn't Vesa Toskala for PH staff.
Apparently President Tyler is emulating a celebration for a gift pony he didn't particularly like:

. . .much better.
In a continuation of last night's theme, we bring you a pony in a sweater:
are those seriously booties?
. . .and now back to our regularly scheduled program. . .

Some big hits going on and Steiggy and Errey start discussing the merits of Saskatchewan since Kunitz is from Regina and Schenner is from Saskatoon.
"Ever been to Saskatchewan?"
"No, never been. Never been to Saskatchewan. Lotta hay there I think."
Bob Errey is our reason for living.

Pens go on to kill a 5-on-3.
Giguere apparently doesn't know his team is on the PP and thinks we iced the puck and Errey mocks him. Watch your karma Bobby.
31 straight PKs for the Pens.
The Poni-Sid-Dupes line goes out and destroys lives but the period had to end eventually.

Leafs get some zone time but can't do much with it.
Then Kessel enters the zone.
God damn how did that go in
2-1 Leafs

Shortly thereafter Brooks gets the puck to the net like a man and Crosby gets body position on Schenn in front.
It's really funny watching Schenner trying to play hockey with Sidney Crosby.
We love Schenner and his dumb face with all of our hearts but the way Crosby outworked him was hilarious.
Sid's in division-winning mode, he has no feelings.
Getting some shades of Steve Mason's Calder year what with the murdered hookers and shit.
Go Sid Go.
And haaaay Brooks got an assist.

The Pens come back from the break with some amazing faceoff play. Brooks drags the puck down the wall and feeds it to Sid.
Goal #2.
If Crosby does manage to win the Rocket Richard we want yunz guys to know right now that the award is still a meaningless regular-season achievement that counts in our hearts a lot less than the Art Ross.
Great leaders know which trophy in the NHL matters.
Still, would be cool if Sid can keep putting up the points.
That's a yummy goal.
3-2 Pens.
Afterwards Tang takes some penalty, Pens kill it and even get some shorthanded chances. If this penalty kill were a condom no one would ever get pregnant.

Some dude named Carl Gunnarsson scores. Apparently they found him when they went snipe hunting for Gustavsson in the Swedish league.
No picture of the goal but we're pretty sure the dude's an android.

Crosby and TK make some amazing play after which Errey calls "brute strength." They should call it that when they draw it up.

Tail end of period Pens get a too much man. TK will serve, which seems appropriate.

Ever get the feeling that Sid only gives intermission interviews because he knows it's his job? He'd probably rather be taping his stick and imagining his future as the ruler of his own island nation in the Arctic Ocean. No one knows how many prostitutes you have to kill to earn your own island but we'll ask Fat Steve, he probably has a tally.

Cooke gets a breakway and Giguere doesn't even give a shit because it's Matt Cooke. Mistake.
Talbot lures the Leafs into a false sense of security by carrying it up slowly and then takes it quickly to the net. Giguere says no. Killed after that.

Colton Orr bowls over Fleury and pins his neck to the ice, and Fleury decides that he's had enough of this shit and takes a penalty trying to fuck up Colton Orr. Colton Orr then just grabs onto Orpik for no apparent reason. Awesome sequence.
Poni will serve this one.

With five seconds left on the penalty, Goalie Karma gives Marc-Andre a slap in the face:
Bozak whatevs
4-3 :(

We get a PP but nothing happens. God damn.

So the aluminum pint from Miller Lite is so goddamn trashy we can't process it.
FSN brings it to us on a "fake commercial break." Amazing amount of fail late in the game. Steigerwald is nonplussed.
Who the fuck wants a pint in a can of Miller fucking Lite? God Miller Lite sucks.
Moving on.

Crosby undresses Phaneuf and almost gets the HT.
The crowd gets into it.
The Let's Go Pens reaches playoff volume for a sweet second.

Jordan Leopold?
Jordan Leopold hears it. He sends a rocket to the net which is expertly deflected in by Mattie Cooke.
Poni taps Matt on the head on the bench to show some love.
The arena is loud.
Lots of fast skating on the late period push. It's scary, but no go. OT.

OT is basically Fleury saving the motherland.
Then Crosby gets a breakaway.
Beauchemin makes the diving play, throws his stick.
That's a penalty.
Remember the outside chance that the Pens would sign Beauchemin in the offseason?
Aren't you glad our defensemen haven't thrown any sticks yet?
God damn.

4-on-3 OT PP is business.
Sid has the hat trick and the game on his stick more times than we care to count but Giguere thinks it's 2007 and time to make some big saves.
Shootout time!

Shots 45-29, if not for some defensive lapses we have the Leafs crying to the locker room a long time ago.
Also just take out Colton Orr. Shame Godard wasn't around to drop him.

There is some delay to the shootout as the zamboni wants to frolic in the lights some more.
On top of his three assists Orps caused Tanger to make some kind of face before he did his little move.
Tanger didn't score but we still consider this moment significant in terms of the game's thematics and overall narrative arc. Pic via Empty Netters.

Fuck off.

Lols of course.

Kulemin? Eat us. Nope.

Duper can win it. Why is Pascal Dupuis the third shooter, you may wonder?
God damn, Pascal.

Iconic picture.
Unreal, amazing sweater in the front row.
It's always the 1990's in Pittsburgh and we love it.

5-4 SO

With Jersey choking on dick versus Philly tonight we have a tenuous and possibly temporary hold on the division, but we'll beat it out of somebody. We can do it!



1. Dupes - holy shit who are you
2. JLeo - sex on a stick
3. Jean-Sebastien
probably should have had a real one

Tomorrow, we've planned a post that probably only matters to us and no one else in the world, but you'll just have to deal with that.

Leave your thoughts on the game and the proposed Winter Classic at Heinz Field in the comments. If you like the idea we'll probably make fun of you but whatever.



Katie said...

do i think the pens/caps thing is hella overexposed? yes.
do i think that they need another winter classic so soon? no.
am i gonna do everything in my power to get tickets to this thing? you bet your ass.

i'd love a pens/flyers matchup at beaver stadium. but, as many people have pointed out, joe paterno ain't lettin' that happen.

resigning dupuis just proves that ray shero is the best gm ever.

Bradford said...

I love the idea. It should have been the classic this year! How boring was the boston classic??? Fricking uninspired boring hockey. At least we know with Caps pens it will be intense and exciting. However i agree with almost all of your points. It does make me throw up a bit in my mouth when i think about how bettman exploits our fine team for his own agenda. However next season is a HUGE season for the pens. New arena. 4th cup banner going up. It seems appropriate to celebrate us by allowing our team in a second classic. I do like the beaver stadium flyers idea much more though. That would be something special. At the end of the day though i prefer any classic that includes our team for no other reason than i get to see the pens on tv from down here in atlanta where they don't care much for hockey even though their team is actually playing with heart and may actually make the playoffs this year. You gotta remember p huffers staffers not all of us have the luxury of proximity to penguins broadcasts and or games. So the league giving us one that is exciting and on tv is a real gift even if its for all the wrong reasons.

Will Gino and gonch ever play again? I feel like they have been gone for years. Our powerplay is suffering without gonch. Our balanced scoring is suffering without gino. We are getting our shit together and winning games though and MAF is a god so all and all its good stuff but we need our whole team back soon if we want to enter the playoffs red hot and looking for blood! Speaking of blood the refs sucked today. They missed 2 high sticks that bled our players and granted us far too few PPs. It was kinda annoying given how close the game was. thank god sid scored a pair since OV got one today. Yes we all know the Cup is the only award worth anything but MVP, the scoring title and goal scoring title aren't half bad in a league full of talented forwards. It isn't easy to win those awards and call me selfish but I want Sid to win every award every year for the rest of his career so one day idiots will stop yelling nasty shit at me for wearing a crosby jersey and will finally give the man the respect he so deserves even now. I mean hes 22 and hes already a hall of fame player if he retired tomorrow. Not many players could pull that off. Not even my personal hero for life Mario could say hes accomplished more at 22. He is quite simply the most amazing athlete on the planet. Period!

bluzdude said...

I'm not crazy about the Pens getting a 2nd shot at the Classic, before more teams have gotten their first shot. It just gives the dicks more ammunition to talk shit.

That said, I'd sell my soul to be there and will be glued to the TV screen if said soul-selling is unsuccessful.

EHisCDN said...

Was so psyched to see a Pens game on TV, although I will say I missed Steigy and Errey and listened to the fricken Leafs announcers. (although the Sportsnet analysts hate the Leafs, no home town bias there.)
I missed TKs goal as I was upstairs getting my Leafs jersey (I was rocking a Crosby t-shirt underneath. I gotta cheer for both my teams!).

As for the winter classic. I don't think they should double it up. Have one a year, I don't want this thing becoming too commercial. It would lose all it's charm and what makes it special. I would like to see a winter classic in TO though, and I would try so hard to get tickets to it. I would watch a Pen-Caps Winter Classic, not gunna lie.

Bradford has a point, any excuse to actually see a Pens game on TV is good enough for me. I get like 5 a year.

Nysha said...

If I have to listen to one more goddamn announcer talk about the Ovechkin/Crosby rivalry, I will puke... Which I do realize means I will become bulimic starting now, from the point race, until some time in the playoffs when we smash them into oblivion.

At any rate, a Pens/Flyers Classic would be pretty amusing, too. However, I don't think it would the sort of classy hockey game the NHL would like to show off to the rest of America.

I also agree that PNC would make for an absolutely gorgeous place for the Classic. Again, sadly too to possibly become true, evar.

Oh, and has anyone seen Harold Priestly Gill on the gateway page for the Habs, recently? Holy intense face. "Je suis Gill"? They should add "and I will fuck your day up." However you say that in French.

MyDearestObsession said...

I miss Daddy Gonch on the PP. Goligoski just isn't that...useful. He doesn't have Gonch's magic slapshot that always seems to find the back of the net. This game was absolutely nervewracking and I did nothing productive...which is why I'm still up doing my homework now. I'm gonna say that man cards go to Brooksy, Duper, and Sid for being fucking beasts out there. Fleury had some unreal saves, too, but Brooks had three assists for the night, Sid had two goals (three, actually, but the one in the shootout doesn't get credited to him because of some shitty rule those higher-ups in the NHL came up with), and Dupuis has just been a beast recently. And I was a little disappointed that Brooks didn't kill someone today; after Tanger took the penalty, he had that look on his face. You know the one. The one that says "I'm out for blood". Sadly, none was drawn, except for poor Mark Eaton's. I feel like he should get some kind of award for taking a puck to the face and playing the rest of the game...

@Katie: That's exactly the way I feel about the idea of a Pens/Caps Winter Classic. Pens/Caps is totally overexposed, overdone, whatever. The media needs to get the fuck over it and find something else to talk about. However, I would sell my soul to get tickets. I live about 5-10 minutes from downtown and it would be amazing to watch. I also agree on the Pens/Flyers matchup at Beaver stadium - I was at Penn State during the playoffs in the '07-'08 season and I sat and watched the Pens/Flyers game in a room filled with Pens and Flyers fans. We were literally divided straight down the middle and it was almost as amazing as watching a game at the Igloo. Granted, nothing got out of hand (or even all that heated, for that matter) because 99% of us were high-schoolers and the remaining 1% were our chaperones for the science competition we were attending, but was fun.

TP said...

Apparently Canadian and West Coast teams are not an option for the Winter Classic-- or NBC in general.

sodfarm said...

Uh yeah anyone notice there hasn't been a winter classic in Canada yet? Home of Hockey = pissed off. I totally agree w/you bitches another Pens WC so soon after the first would DEFINITELY best-case-scenario raise a few eyebrows, worst-case inspire a whole hate campaign against the Pens organization & NHL. If they really want the Caps to play, do a Ottawa/Washington WC, one nations capital agianst another. That'd be great to see.

EHisCDN said...

@ MyDearestObsession
I miss Gonch too. I want his "unspecified illness" to go away. I think I miss him more than Geno! I'm not really a big fan of Gogo, I think he has far too many turnovers.

A game of the two nation's capitals would be awesome. Even better if it was in Ottawa because I could go and stay with my cousin who is in university there!

Anna. said...

I don't wanna see the Classic in Pittsburgh. As mentioned, the hype over Ovie and Sid is too much. I'm personally sick of hearing about it and I've talked to many people who were potential hockey fans that were turned off because of there being too much talk about Sid and Ovie. Put the Classic somewhere where other teams and other players can get exposure. Plus, despite of elementary it sounds, everyone should get their chance to be in the Classic before a team gets a second turn. (Now this is not saying I wouldn't be first in line for tickets to the Classic at Heinz Field)

Back to hating every other team and every other player in the NHL...
-Duper is just on another planet and I'm in love with it.
-Leo/Mattie's clutch goal is basically what I live for.
-Even though Toronto's PP is dreadful... Our PK is so solid.
-I'm really missing Geno and Gonch. :( I really miss Gonch sexing up the blue line on the PP.


Anna. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna. said...

Harold Priestly Gill on the Habs page = WHOA. That face makes him look actually intimidating. I don't think ole Harold would hurt a fly. He just always stuck me as that kinda guy..

Strudel said...

It's too soon for the Pens to get another Winter Classic. And I really don't like the idea of it being against the Caps. I'm really sick of all the rivalry hype.
Of course, if it does end up in Pittsburgh, I'd start saving every penny I come in contact with to make the trip out there.

@sodfarm: I like the idea of Ottawa/Washington. That'd be pretty cool.

I'm loving how awesome Dupuis has been, lately. And I miss Gonch and Geno, too.

MyDearestObsession said...

@EHisCDN: Ah, finally someone who agrees with me! I say I don't like Goligoski and they all look at me like I'm crazy (I probably am, but that's beside the point...). I agree that he turns the puck over too often; I seem to recall a point in time last season where I would yell at the tv, "Goligoski, don't screw up!" every time he touched the puck. It didn't work the majority of the time. I would love to see Danny B bench him in favor of McKee because I just don't understand what Goligoski DOES. McKee blocks shit ALL THE TIME and is a beast - he leads the team in blocked shots, I think? But whatever. I'm not the coach and there's a very good reason. Namely that I have no idea how to coach hockey. Swimming, yes; hockey, no. Also, I really doubt that the boys would listen to a girl that's several years their junior and young enough to be their daughter (well, in Billy G's case, at least...). But I hope Gonch is back soon. Our PP is kind of abysmal.

Katie said...

@obsession::glad to see we're on the same page. =) alas, i live five to six hours away from pittsburgh. but i already made an envelope that says "winter classic money" on it and drew snow flakes on it. i am five.

i know i already commented, but jordan leopold, man. that guy doesn't get enough credit. so, here's love for leopold.

MyDearestObsession said...

@Katie: There's no shame in commenting multiple times. =] And, yes, Leopold definitely deserves lots of love; he's fitting in quite nicely here in Pittsburgh. I was a little nervous when he first got here, but I'm starting to get used to him. Not to mention he's already got a spot in my heart for being really goddamned cute: I went to one of their open practices, waited for autographs afterwards, was one of the first people in line and he was one of the first players to leave, I asked him to sign my pennant and he looked at me like, "Do you really want ME to sign it? I haven't been here that long..." - I guess nobody wants autographs in Florida because their team is kinda...not the Pens, to put it nicely. Anyway, it was really cute and he signed stuff for everybody that wanted it. So he can stay. Forever. Ray Shero = freakin' genius.

As for being five...I still drink chocolate milk every morning, take afternoon naps, and sit and watch Disney movies in my spare time. I feel like college is simply a regression back to kindergarten.

catyfaver said...

Cookie definitely needs a "Why he is a Man". All the Bruins bullshit aside, the dude is still playing awesome and holding nothing back, all while having to protect his family from douchey comments.

@TP: try living in the south. Think the Stars or Predators will ever get to play a Classic? Think anyone would actually care if they did?

@Obsession: I started incorporating Disney movies into my research papers so I wouldn't feel so bad about sitting around watching them all the time. It's just like kindergarten except instead of "Ariel's so pretty" its "Physicality and Otherness in the Little Mermaid."

MouthGuard said...

I think it's too soon for the Pens to star in another Winter Classic given that they triumphed over Buffalo the first time around barely two years ago. It's only fair for other teams who have not yet had their turn at a WC to be given a shot. Remember that notwithstanding even the lamest WC (i.e., the Bruins-Flyers game) for television viewers, the event itself has morphed into a significant tourism/promotional opportunity for host cities. And those fortunate enough to partake in person have a blast, even if televised coverage blows (as per usual). So spread the love and spread those germs, I say. Personally, I think it would be kewl if Pittsburgh was awarded the All-Star Game in the short term. And perhaps an ASG-related event could occur at the PNC as part of those festivities. In that context, the city itself would be the star attraction and the focus would be about celebrating the game rather than hyping certain teams.

While the CapiTOOLS need more free press like a hole in the head, they haven't yet had their WC turn so why not give it to them and pair them up with another WC-virgin team capable of bitchslapping them, like the Sharks? And why not feature a WC left of or along the Mississippi? Like maybe the Predators against the Rangers at Graceland? Fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches for everybody! And Sean Avery could have his very own custom Nudie suit made just for the occasion! Spread the love and spread those germs, people! If snow can be trucked into San Francisco's AT&T Park for a sold-out snowboarding event, anything's possible.

It is shameful but sadly predictable that the best marketing plan the NHL can come up with to promote the game to Americans (i.e., seriously, hockey is cool and go buy hockey stuff) constitutes over-saturation of a handful of teams and too much face time with the same few players. The League just wants people to buy hockey crap/trinkets. It's insulting, pathetic and lazy and it once again affirms just how out of touch and cotton-headed the League brass really are. I'm a broken record, but I'm sick and fucking tired of these assholes taking Americans for hockey fools. Evidently, they weren't watching the Olympics because if they had been paying attention to the core story they would have noticed that USA Hockey's crowning achievement wasn't winning the silver medal. It was winning the country's undivided attention and unbridled enthusiasm. The hockey tchotchkes and trinkets are interesting to some, but they don't maintain a fan's long term interest: The game is what really ropes people in and makes them want to keep coming back.

Need Ice In Phoenix said...

I agree! No Winter Classic in Pittsburgh . . . . yet . . . maybe in a few years.

So . . . I will offer up Cardinal Stadium in Glendale, AZ. It will feature a matchup of Doaner's Coyotes and Luuuuuu's Canucks. That's right, hockey in Arizona!

Our stadium has both a retractable roof and floor. We can slide out the turf and lay down one of those waxed plastic surfaces and then pump in a blizzard of manufactured snow through the open roof.

It will be like NOTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE! And I guarantee big ratings for NBC. Who the hell would miss this?! LOLZ!

I hope Bettman reads this blog.

MouthGuard said...

@Need Ice: Good plan!

Instead of your average vanilla tailgate, can we instead congregate ahead of the game at one of the many world-class mini-putt courses the Phoenix metropolitan area has to offer for a spirited (read: DRUNKEN) mini-putt five-hole/clown hole hole-in-one free for all?

Will Cabo Wabo sponsor us?

Would it be wrong to invite local son Alice Cooper and any given member of Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Rush and Kool & the Gang to join us?

Bradford said...

So lemme get this straight all of you hate the idea of a winter classic in Pitt but would die for tickets if it happened? Lol I mean if you don't like the idea so much why would you wanna be there? Do you really care about fairness to other teams? I mean isn't it supposed to be all about us? Should we start sharing our cups with the teams that have none as well? Isn't it a high compliment that they would want us in another classic only a few years after we played in one? I mean the league is basically saying we are the shit and the ratings say ppl want to see us. Why is that such a bad thing? Seems to me if the ppl tune in for us and don't want to see Calgary Ottawa then give the people what they want. This is the penguins world the rest of the teams are just living in it! :)

debrisslide said...

@Bradford - it's bad business for the League. No, it isn't all about us. It's about the National Hockey League. If the League is mismanaged it is to the detriment of all sports fans in a way that outweighs any personal joy we might get from having our team be the "poster team" of the League. Of course we would want to go if that event took place in a city that we know and love, but that doesn't mean that we think it's the right move. Basically focusing nationally on a handful of franchises and names is a reprehensible disrespect to the game and the sport as a whole. In no way is this "all about us." Any fanbase who thinks the game is "all about them" is just a collection of selfish fanboys. Sorry, no.

MyDearestObsession said...

@Bradford: Basically, we don't want to be the NHL's bitch; I'm pretty sure it was covered to some extent in the post. We want it to happen...just not right now. Maybe in a few years, after the hype from the Cup has died down. But if it DOES happen, we WILL be selling clothes, organs, siblings, souls, whatever we've got to get tickets. Other teams deserve to have some fun, get the revenue, be in the limelight; we have our own right now and we don't need to steal their thunder.

wmh said...

I don't want the Classic again, not yet at least. And has anyone thought about the Steelers still playing at Heinz Field around January 1? How would they get around that?

That said, like everyone else, if it does happen, I will be there. No matter what.

Bradford said...

@wmh they already said they would adjust the steelers schedule to give the NHL the two full weeks they need to prepare for the game. So that part is easy.

@debrisslide you make some very good points and i agree with you that the league should do a better job marketing its other stars and not just focus on a select few. However you are making the assumption that currently focusing on the two best players in the league and their rivalry is not an effective way to attract more fans to the sport in general and that to do so would be mismanagement. That i think is very debatable.

The ratings indicate people are most interested in this matchup right now. If you look at the ratings for the classic this year you will see a decline and that can't be ignored especially when you look at how many people tuned in for the caps pens game on super bowl sunday. You will see there is a ton of interest even outside pitt and dc. It isn't about fairness or what hardcore hockey fans think would be best even if it should be. We are already sold on the sport and would watch any winter classic matchup. Florida NY Islanders? Sure i'll watch it but i love hockey so much id watch any classic they put in front of me. They are trying to get the people who are on the fence or haven't experienced the game yet. For those people is there anything more exciting in hockey right now than OV vs Sid? The ratings say no there isn't. The ratings say this is what the people want.

More people turned out to watch the superbowl sunday game than any other game this season with the exception of the classic itself. For those people a Florida LA classic would not be good enough to get them to watch and pairing two canadian teams would be ratings death. Those people want to see the most exciting highest quality hockey possible and prolly won't be interested in less. Is that fair? No. Isn't that just the reality though? The fact is that Sid and OV are the two best players in the game by far. It's not even close. Those two players exist on a completely different level than the rest of the league and when you add to that all the drama between the clubs and the playoff history/hype and so on its quite simply the most exciting matchup possible for fans outside dc and pgh. It's only logical that the league would want to make that the classic and capitalize on the high interest reflected in the ratings. If anything this interest will only grow by next jan if the caps and pens meet in the playoffs again and its another great series like last year.

The "its all about us" comment was actually something i read a phuffer staff writer post but i can't remember who wrote it. I do not deny im selfish in that i want as much pens as i can get as often as i can get. Like i said before i live in atlanta and its hard for me to see pens games live or on tv. So any opportunity for the pens to be on tv i will always support. I do care more about the pens than the rest of the league. No doubt. Does that make me a homer? Sure. That's just how i feel. To me the NHL revolves around my penguins but i recognize that isn't the case for many other people and i also recognize that isn't always what is best for the NHL as a whole. I don't think the ratings can be ignored though. If i were an NHL executive i would have to go with what the people in general will be most interested in watching.

Bradford said...

@mydearestobsession I don't want that either but i don't see how playing in the winter classic would make us the leagues bitch. If anything the NHL is our bitch. If we are the ones winning cups, have the best player in the world and attract the biggest audiences then i think that puts us in the drivers seat on most things. We say jump and Bettman says how high because we are the ones producing the highest quality product in his league. I guess it comes down to how you see things. I def see us being overexposed and used for marketing purposes but then again i don't mind it because i can't see enough sidney crosby commercials. I find them endlessly entertaining and love max's commercials too. I love seeing my fav player on billboards. I really don't mind that kinda stuff but that's just me and im the type of person who reads us weekly and enjoys it. :)

debrisslide said...

@Bradford - "ratings." lol. you're just proving my point. sorry, nope.

MouthGuard said...

The NHL is telling the uninitiated who they want to see - which teams, which players - and which team logo'd toilet paper dispensers they need to buy before the Christmas rush on If the League decided to obsess on Andrew Murray and Kris Versteeg (instead of O-Felch and Chachi), then everybody would be snapping up Murray Footie Jammies and Versteeg Custom Crowbar Oakley Goggles and tuning into Dinner Jacket/'Hawks match-ups every other day on FARTSUS.

Americans don't demand to see anything when it comes to hockey - Canadians demand hockey. There is a golden opportunity/wide open window right now (post-Olympics, in particular) to expose Americans to all sorts of hockey fare (good, bad and ugly), and the League is instead opting to masturbate on the toilet, staring at Fatheads of O-Felch and Chachi.

Sad, sad sad.

Bradford said...

I just mean ratings are one of the best indicators of what the people want to see. If they tune in more for pens caps than any other matchup then that's what the people want to see. Again I'm not saying Its fair and or that I don't want to see any other matchups. I'm sold on any matchup. I love hockey and will watch whatever they decide to put on. However the target isn't me. The NHL isn't trying to attract me to watching and enjoying their product. They are trying to attract the people on the fence. The people who are undecided on the sport. Those people want to see the best the NHL has to offer. Once they are all fans then you can get away with a less appealing matchup but the league is trying to grow right now. If they don't show the world the best most exciting matchup now they risk losing the people they are trying to convince to watch. Right now the pens are champs. They have the best player in the world. They are what is best in the NHL. Their biggest rival right now is Washington. They have the 2nd best player in the world and every matchup between the teams is played like a playoff game. These teams really go at it. The two best players in the world really want to beat each other and that is a compelling story. That's why people want to see it outside dc and Pitt. It's got everything. Great offense great defense playoff drama intensity history subplots. It's all there. I agree I'm kinda sick of it too but I'm not the target audience. I won't tune out if the matchup is Florida la or whatever. I'm not saying it's right I'm just saying that is the reality. As much as we are sick of hearing bout caps pens ppl outside our fanbases aren't. You got people who love sid. You got people who love ov. You got folks who just wanna see those guys go at it. If this wasn't what the rest of the country wanted to see why did they tune in on superbowl Sunday to see it? Why was a classic that included the pens much more successful than one that included Boston and Philly? I am on your side on most of this debrasslide. I think an all Canadian matchup would be awesome. I think it's not fair to not give other cities a chance before us again. I am sick to death of caps pens. More than you know as I'm from dc and my friends there won't shut up about it. However the rest of the country wants this based on the information available. If the NHL doesn't try to please new fans or on the fence fans by giving them what they are asking for don't we run the risk of shrinking NHL growth? Won't that mean the NHL loses gate money and tv revenue? If enough of that happens won't we run the risk of small market teams like Pitt being put in jeapordy of being dissolved? Do we want to return to the original 6? That's all I'm saying. Don't think for a second that I like it. I really don't. I just think what helps the league grow and thrive most is what's best for all teams. The bigger the sport gets the more kids pick up hockey sticks as kids. The more kids that get inspired and end up playing the bigger the talented group to choose from when filling rosters. In my opinion that will only increase the quality of the hockey everywhere and make the sport even more competitive and great. It's not like I enjoy or particularly like the ratings system. Many a fav show of mine has been cancelled bc of ratings. So trust me Im no fan of them but they are one of the ways to gauge interest and there just aren't a lot of ways to figure out what people want the most or what will turn people into lifelong hockey fans. For me it was Mario. Mario inspired me as a kid. He turned me into a lifelong pens and hockey fan. Who's to say some kid in Alabama or Arizona doesn't see sid or ov on tv and get inspired?

debrisslide said...

We still think it's the most asinine decision the NHL could ever make regarding the 2011 Classic. Not entirely sure why you care so much about us agreeing with you. If you're going to continue to write comments that are so long without paragraph breaks maybe you should have your own blog.

Bradford said...

Sorry. Yeah I def needed to break that up. It's not that I want you to agree with me. I just thought you misunderstood what I was saying so I tried to be more clear. Maybe I was just more confusing. I do agree with what your saying for the most part. I just think if the goal is expanding the league interest the NHL can't really afford to take many risks on matchups. I don't fault them for suggesting caps pens bc I know that's what is hot right now and that's a slam dunk ratings wise. I don't think it's right but it seems to be the reality of the situation. I'll try to be more concise in the future. Dammit we are down 2-0 and our pp looks like shit. Come on pens. We need two points tonight!

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