Around View From My Seats, we enjoy great writing almost as much as we enjoy the sport we cover. Each week, there are excellent writers doing their thing all over the hockey blogosphere—so many, in fact, that it’s easy to miss some of the good stuff that gets published each week. Each week throughout the season, we shoot to bring you some of the best writing from around the web. Some will be from the mainstream media and some will be from talented bloggers doing it for the love of the game. Some entries will come from beat writers around North America and still others will come from national writers bringing a “big picture” perspective. We don’t care. We’re just looking for great hockey writing. Everything else can go to hell.
If you find anything that catches your eye and you think should be included, feel free to contact us and we’ll consider it for next week’s installment!
Without further ado, here is our weekly trip around the hockey blogosphere bringing you some of the best articles that you may have missed.
“The franchise, though, has – at times unnecessarily – created a more complicated dynamic. Anytime a coach is fired, it creates tension. That’s unavoidable, even when the coach is a franchise loyalist like Paul Maurice. Coaches might be hired to be fired, as the old saying goes, but that doesn’t make it any easier when the time comes.
Firing Laviolette, as the Hurricanes did in the fall of 2008, always was going to make proper acknowledgement of his contributions to the franchise difficult.”
“I’ve been beating myself up for a while about not watching enough and not writing enough and that’s pretty darn silly. Blogging is like sports. If it’s not fun, what’s the point? In this period of my life, I need to embrace a more casual fandom. I’ve been afraid to do that for some reason, but it’s time.”
“Let me repeat that. After the Leafs CHOSE to send Orr down. Nobody made Burke do it. It wasn’t about a cap consideration. If Orr was so beloved and his role so important, the Leafs could have kept him.
It was Burke and Ron Wilson who decided not to use Orr this season and, more to the point, he and Wilson who decided another, younger tough guy, Jay Rosehill, was more valuable to the team. Burke will have to explain this to team ownership, why a $1 million player will be getting that money to skate in the AHL, although my guess is that is a small part about what pained Burke about this decision.”
“The speed of the game has become such a hot topic, the general managers plan to discuss whether the game needs to be slowed at their next meetings. Maybe they reinstitute the red line for two-line offside passes. Maybe they get rid of the trapezoid so goalies can come out farther to play the puck. Maybe they allow defensemen to fence off again at the blue line so forwards aren’t able to fly into the offensive zone at warp speed.”
“But, to my mind, the NHLPA’s refusal was less about the upcoming negotiations per se and more about living under the current CBA, which gives the players various rights concerning the conditions of their employment. For longer in its history than not, the NHLPA didn’t do much with these rights and rubber-stamped the NHL’s proposals or didn’t even bother to question them. But by insisting on raising realignment issues that troubled the union, the NHLPA has indicated it’s not going to function that way any longer.”
“Their helmets are simple: silver, and bisected front-to-back by a black-and-white-framed scarlet stripe. It’s a scheme that has become eminently recognizable ever since it was debuted in 1968 for the football team at, as the cadence goes, THE Ohio State University. But the nationally ranked team sporting the iconic look this weekend, in a chilly outdoor game against heated rival Michigan in front of tens of thousands, won’t be playing the football that Ohio State is famously known for. They’ll be playing hockey.”
“St. Louis isn’t the biggest media market, and I don’t doubt that a few folks might look at the Blues’ success with a jaundiced eye, given the surprising nature of the goaltending they’ve received. Those out-shooting numbers are quite sturdy looking, though, and David Backes is at the heart of that dominance. He might not even get a mention at year’s end, but through half a season, he’s a worthy Selke candidate, and in a just world, a very worthy All-Star.”
“We can blame injuries, the coaching staff, the new additions or the old core. But it doesn’t matter. We just want the team to do well. Dammit, Pegula said we would win the Cup, so where is the team that will bring it to us?”
“So why fire the coach? Because he is the guy everybody focuses on. Six other NHL teams had fired their coaches this season, and they all had better records than the Jackets. Arniel’s survival had become a story.
That’s where general manager Scott Howson failed. All the while, he was giving Arniel a benefit of the doubt he hadn’t earned. The players were probably at least subconsciously thinking the same thing the public was, wondering why management hadn’t noticed that the team needed new leadership, why it wasn’t doing something to provide a burst of adrenaline.”
“The opposite is true for Columbus: you don’t fall short 116 goals purely by bad luck, as this would be a 3.5 standard deviation event, having roughly 1 chance in 5000 of occurring by chance. I wish Todd Richards the best, but the fact is that he’s been trusted with a team of decent players with below-average finishing talent at the NHL level. The nights where the bounces don’t go the Blue Jackets’ way are not over yet.”
“This is a team built without foundation or direction, drawing inspiration solely from the masturbatory hype surrounding top prospects now that a certain Canadian cable giant has turned the World Junior Hockey Championship and the NHL Draft from fringe to made-for-TV events.
Wherever I go to discuss hockey, the prevailing sentiment about the Edmonton Oilers is “they’ll be good next year” and if not next year, “soon. They’re going to be very fun to watch.” This is all based on the early career successes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (and hopefully Nail Yakupov, apparently).”