Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Post-Clinch Lovefest

Where are your Bruins Now??
Lot's of love today for the 'Canes today on espn.com. All of a sudden Peter K., Lavvy and JR are geniuses. Cap gurus, peerless motivators, unmatched talent evaluators, now they are.

A much different tune than the ESPN crew (Hradek, Buccigross, Burnside, et al)were singing at the start of the season. Tried to get into the archives for specifics of their predictions from last fall, but the ESPN media machine has sealed their archives to all but the paying "Insider" customer.

Back in the Fall, Jes Golbez posted the table up and above showing the predictions of a bunch of hockey pundits and media outlets. If memory serves me, this is pretty representative of the FSN, ESPN, talking head prognostications of the time. Lots of love for the Pens and Boston at the time. Bully for James Mirtle, who was at least enough of a visionary to put the 'Canes into the eighth spot. I too had the 'Canes making the playoffs, but somewhere behind the 'Ning. Like many, I also overshot with my Bruins and Pens predictions. In the Pens case, I overshot very badly...

Back in the fall, there were lot's of questions about Marty Gerber. Lots of questions about the 'Canes blueline. I seem to remember John Buccigross's pre-season prediction included the suggestion that the Hurricanes were both too old (Brind 'Amour, Wesley) and too young (Staal, Williams) to compete for the playoffs. Many prediction columns ended with the suggestion that the franchise's lack of spending was indicative of a team that was at best just treading water, and at worst, on the verge a death spiral.

Honing an Edge for the Playoffs
Good to see the brawling over the weekend vs. the Thrash and last night vs. the Craps. Dougie Weight jumping into the fray tells me the playoff brotherhood is being forged. Not that I dig fighting as a stand alone feature of the game. Quite the contrary. I would love to see the remaining goons of the league like Donald Brashear, fade into the sunset or a county lockup. I like to see fighting in hockey when it can be tied directly to team mates standing up for each other and taking things personally. That element has been missing from the 'Canes on-ice presence until now. I looks like the boys are beginning to embrace righteous violence just in time for the playoffs.

Big Joe made his presence felt as well. One of nhl.com's three stars last night. Couldn't help but notice the timing was a little off on a couple of hits, but he's only going to get better.


roddie said...

Phooey - I was going to post that chart this week and comment on the predictions (I still might). Good job.

Of course, I can't blame anyone for any predictions that were made this season. I don't think anyone knew what the impact of the rule changes would or wouldn't be, and a lot of it came down to guessing and using last season's final standings as a base.

The Sabres & Rangers got little respect, too.

CasonBlog said...

Right on brother. Not much to go off of with the lockout, rules changes etc. The crux of my commentary was focused on pundits who thought they had it wired instead of just saying at the time that the game was about to fundamentally change and that was gonna make predicting problematic. Some folks in the media just can't say, "I don't know." They act like they'll loose the room if they don't come with a strong take.