Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

On winning vs. boring

I am leaving this as an open thread for comments, since I am somewhat interested in reader perspectives. As a Duck fan, it is difficult to distance myself from the team's ups and downs, but now that we find ourselves playing crummy hockey on a national stage, here's the question:

How can the NHL better ensure that important hockey (conference finals) is watchable hockey? How can it make winning hockey not a distinct thing from exciting hockey?

I don't know who outside of Edmonton or Anaheim is captivated thus far by what they've seen, but if you're watching (or importantly, have stopped watching), write a comment.

Feel free to write something about "this post wouldn't be happening if you were UP 2-0", because that might be true. Again, though, I can't be an outsider on this one.


sacamano said...

I dunno. I think it is just the nature of the beast that some matchups will be more watchable than others.

The Oil vs Detroit and San Jose was terrifically watchable.

Plus, I haven't minded watching the Oil smoke the Ducks at all - ;)

Earl Sleek said...

I think it is just the nature of the beast that some matchups will be more watchable than others.

Sure, but to what degree? And does it have to be the case that more watchable matchups happen in the first round than the third?

I think this has the potential to be a huge problem for the league, and importantly for us less-popular teams as well. If we cannot stylistically entertain hockey fans of 28 other teams, there is little incentive to have us back again.

Note: by 'exciting' I am not implying that there needs to be more scoring, necessarily, but it would be nice if there were more urgency to stretch a one-goal lead into two goals.

Anonymous said...

In this case, I think it is just situational... you've got a team that has been in two very tough series, had no rest before this one due to Olympic induced time constraints, and then has to battle the flu, so I think it's natural that they are going to play a more conservative game, especially on the road... then you have them playing a team that had an extended layoff and has had trouble getting back into their groove...

I think it's safe to say that neither team has come close to their best games in this series... in fact, as an Oiler fan, I would say they have been two of Edmonton's worst games so far this playoffs... but the best is yet to come. There's a lot of hockey to be played yet, and these two teams definitely have the ability to make it exciting. Although of course, the Oilers will still win... :)

sacamano said...

Sure, but to what degree? And does it have to be the case that more watchable matchups happen in the first round than the third?

I don't get it. It seems random to me. Or are you suggesting that more watchable matchups consistently happen in the first round rather than the third. That hasn't been my historical viewing experience.

I don't see it as a problem, and think that there are probably more problems caused than solved by trying to engineer great hockey in some rounds as opposed to others.

Earl Sleek said...

That hasn't been my historical viewing experience.

Right. There used to be something different, wasn't there? Something before the Ducks and Wild met in '03, something before the Flames in '04, something before us here today.

What I meant by 3rd round is that teams are clogging their way further towards a Cup. By the time we get to the end there seems to be more of them.

True, "defense wins championships". But lately we seem to be at an extreme where it also loses interest.

Anonymous said...

It's not the style of hockey that matters, it is the teams that play that make the game interesting. I don't care about the Sabres/Hurricanes series because I don't think Carolina deserves a team and likewise with Anaheim. Although I like Edmonton so I watch these games. Had San Jose beat Edmonton I would not be watching any hockey save for the Memorial Cup.

Anonymous said...

It looks like all the moons aligned to make for a much more entertaining game. Better ice, Anaheim playing with desperation, Pronger seemingly taking ill and playing less minutes... It all makes for a shootout of sorts.

Earl Sleek said...

Better ice.

This was very apparent.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, that was a scary game. I knew those guys had it in 'em to make me sweat.

Good on 'ya.

The Ghost of Snotboogie said...

I think what you're seeing now is partially the by-product of an 82 game season, 2 weeks of olympic hockey and a months worth of insane playoff hockey. That'll beat the crap out of anyone...

For me, good playoff hockey is more about 2 teams going at it tooth and nail, and less about the cumulative final score. When it takes one team until the last 10 min of G3 to finally show up (um... Ducks?) you get 170 minutes of bad playoff hockey.

Or 170 minutes of really kick-ass playoff hockey, depending on if you're biased, which I am... but only a little bit.