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A big puck up!
January 5, 2007 5:42 PM   Subscribe

One of the worst and best hockey plays you will ever see - all within fourteen seconds. Former first overall pick, Patrik Stefan of the NHL's Dallas Stars, gets an open shot at an empty net with fourteen seconds left in the game...and misses. The Edmonton Oilers regain control of the puck, make a long pass down the length of the ice and score to tie the game with two seconds left!
posted by Jaybo (96 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know this is just a Tube post and you will be most likely pilloried for it, but I want you to know that I appreciate the link and found the play(s) to be well worth my 14 seconds. Thank you.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:51 PM on January 5, 2007


CAN YOU
BE LEEV
WHAT WE
JUST SAW
posted by cortex at 5:53 PM on January 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Some other unbelievable hockey goals...
-> The Oilers' Steve Smith banks it off his own goalie to score on his own team during a playoff game against Calgary.
-> Rob Schremp attempts a lacrosse-like goal in a charity shootout
-> Sidney Crosby scores a similar goal to the last one in a real game.
-> Alexandre Ovechkin scores a goal while falling and facing away from the net.
-> Belarus upsets Sweden with a goal from centre ice.
-> Japan score on their own net during an international game.
-> Bobby Orr's Stanley Cup winning goal in mid-air is considered the best goal of all-time by many people.
posted by Jaybo at 5:53 PM on January 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's a 1/50,000 stroke of bad luck for Stefan.

First, the puck skips over his stick on some choppy ice... and then, they get the puck all the way down the other side, and score. I've never seen anything remotely approaching this in hockey.

'Course, the Stars won in a shootout, but it did get the Oilers a point, and a crazy highlight.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2007


I saw this play yesterday. As a Canucks fan, this coupled with the Panthers late-game collapse against the Flames killed a little bit of me that I'll never get back.
posted by The God Complex at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2007


Might I suggest that highly-compressed video isn't the best medium for tracking the movements of a small black dot?
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


This is my favorite goal call ever.
posted by dfan at 6:02 PM on January 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Whatever happened to that glowing puck that was supposed to revolutionize teevee hockey?

Oh, and one of the more cool goals I've ever seen was Stephan Yelle of the Colorado Avalanche laying on his belly, pulling his feet up out of the crease (that was the rule then) and blindly shooting the puck into the net.
posted by Eekacat at 6:05 PM on January 5, 2007


Might I suggest that highly-compressed video isn't the best medium for tracking the movements of a small black dot?

Would you like a glowing blue halo around it, that morphs into a firey comet-like tail during slapshots?
posted by CKmtl at 6:06 PM on January 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Every, every, every coach will tell you.

Finish. The. Play.

Stefan didn't.
posted by eriko at 6:07 PM on January 5, 2007


I was an avid hockey watcher for a number of years and I maintain that, had they gotten rid of the comet tail and turned down the blue glow about 50%, the FOX trail wouldn't have been all that bad.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:07 PM on January 5, 2007


Here's a replay with a pretty agitated Sportsnet commentator.
posted by travosaurus at 6:12 PM on January 5, 2007


How's hockey on HDTV? I imagine it would make a huge difference, but I haven't seen it yet...
posted by mr_roboto at 6:12 PM on January 5, 2007


How's hockey on HDTV? I imagine it would make a huge difference, but I haven't seen it yet...

Much much better. I am not a hockey fan and I find it a ton more watchable in HD..
posted by dfan at 6:14 PM on January 5, 2007


Hockey's great in HD... even better when combined with surround sound. The booming of a good check into the boards enhances the puck contrast, or something...
posted by CKmtl at 6:19 PM on January 5, 2007


I have to say, that Bobby Orr was a wicked little critta.

He shoots, he scores!
posted by washburn at 6:25 PM on January 5, 2007


I don't even understand what happened. Why didn't the guy in the white shirt put the little black circle in the empty net?
posted by dobbs at 6:36 PM on January 5, 2007


The Leafs suck.

That is all.
posted by docgonzo at 6:36 PM on January 5, 2007


well that replay definitely cleared things up for me. there *was* some choppy ice there!
posted by phaedon at 6:40 PM on January 5, 2007


The thing about Hockey in HD, aside from the the clearer picture and CKmtl's booming surround sound system, is the opportunity to watch the game in the wider aspect ratio. Gives one an opportunity to see plays develop ("Lookit that guy racing up the wing! He's gonna be open soon...!").
posted by notyou at 6:40 PM on January 5, 2007


That was amazing. Thanks for posting it.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:42 PM on January 5, 2007


This is my favorite goal call ever.
posted by dfan


Holy cow! Instead of a soccer game, run a porno flick with that audio and you can listen to that announcer scream in orgasmic ecstacy.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:47 PM on January 5, 2007


Very cool.

Did anyone else get the link to "Santa's Super Naughty Helper" when the video was done? Yowzah.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:47 PM on January 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened to that glowing puck that was supposed to revolutionize teevee hockey?

It was a novelty, and hockey fans saw it as a joke. You don't normally watch the actual puck itself any more than you watch the actual football itself or baseball itself in those respective sports. You watch the flow of the game/players overall.

And Hi-Def renders the glowing puck obsolete, because it's now much more visible. Hi-Def seems tailor made for hockey, seeing how it's a lateral moving game, and the widescreen really opens things up in TVland.

And one of my alltime favorite goals is Gretzky batting the puck into the goal like a baseball. Couldn't find it on Youtube though. Damn.
posted by afx114 at 7:33 PM on January 5, 2007


Oh, and don't forget the spin-o-rama shootout goal by Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
posted by afx114 at 7:37 PM on January 5, 2007


Bobby Orr's Stanley Cup winning goal in mid-air is considered the best goal of all-time by many people.
So what happened?

Because all that video shows -- to me, at least -- is a bunch of hockey players moving around the net. And then, clearly, someone has scored, because they all start acting like it.
It was a novelty, and hockey fans saw it as a joke.
This strikes me as faux elitism.
posted by Flunkie at 7:48 PM on January 5, 2007


Marek Malik's between-the-legs shootout goal. One of the prettiest moves I've ever seen.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:55 PM on January 5, 2007


Bobby Orr scored the goal before being tripped and launched into the air.

Jesus Saves! (and Esposito scores on the rebound.)
posted by Gungho at 8:12 PM on January 5, 2007


Pink, I got that link to the Naughty Santa. Is that what they think a hockey fan is thinking about? How right they are.

The missed open net is only significant because it is coupled with an amazing play afterwards to get the length of the ice and score with 2 seconds left. Did you see the goalie's reaction after the goal?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:16 PM on January 5, 2007


Bobby Orr scored the goal before being tripped
Let me get this straight.
  1. He shot the puck.
  2. Then he got tripped.
Right?

That's the greatest goal of all time?

Because he got tripped?

After having shot the puck?
posted by Flunkie at 8:17 PM on January 5, 2007


This strikes me as faux elitism.

Thanks. If a glowing purple comet is not a novelty, then lets see some flaming golf/tennis balls while we're at it.
posted by afx114 at 8:20 PM on January 5, 2007


I will take advantage of this very rare MeFi hockey thread to say a few things that clearly need saying:

1) There was no redeeming the Fox GlowPuck. It was the antithesis of watching hockey. It was Wrong. It is Gary Bettman's shame summed up in a single pop-cultural footnote.

2) (following somewhat from above) When you watch hockey, you do not follow the puck zealously, any more than you'd try to pick up the ball leaving the pitcher's hand in baseball. You follow the flow of the play. That is why the Fox GlowPuck was Wrong, and why people who complain they can't see the puck don't understand hockey.

3) This is the greatest goal call of all time: Paul Henderson, Canada-Russia '72.

4) The Leafs do not suck. They and the Cubs are the only great tragicomic melodramas left in North American pro sports. docgonzo, you're either a liar or a Senators fan, and there's no excuse in either case. You're on notice.
posted by gompa at 8:25 PM on January 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


If a glowing purple comet is not a novelty, then lets see some flaming golf/tennis balls while we're at it.
Neither golf balls nor tennis balls are notorious for being difficult to follow on TV, especially not to a degree that it causes a lot of potential fans to dismiss the game out of hand.

And, as was noted above in this thread, it wouldn't have to be as ridiculously in-your-face as it was made to be. For example, the scrimmage and first down lines that have recently been added to televised football seem, to me, to be unobtrusive.
posted by Flunkie at 8:28 PM on January 5, 2007


tragicomic melodrama? what tragicomic melodrama?
posted by phaedon at 8:29 PM on January 5, 2007


When you watch hockey, you do not follow the puck zealously, any more than you'd try to pick up the ball leaving the pitcher's hand in baseball.
Seriously? I've watched a lot of baseball, and I always watch the ball as it is being pitched. Do you not?

Of course I am not picking up its spin, and so forth, as elite batters say they do, but that's an entirely different story.
people who complain they can't see the puck don't understand hockey.
If this is not faux elitism, then let's see some flaming golf/tennis balls while we're at it.
posted by Flunkie at 8:31 PM on January 5, 2007


bobby orr rocks.
posted by brandz at 8:33 PM on January 5, 2007


5) Here, on the other hand, is one of the most disturbing pieces of hockey video ever committed to tape. The Super Bowl Shuffle of hockey videos. Stick with it at least long enough (ca. 00:48) to see Lanny Macdonald's big ole beaver tail of a moustache in close-up profile lip-sync mode.

On preview, Flunkie, it's not faux elitism. It's the real deal.
posted by gompa at 8:36 PM on January 5, 2007


Neither golf balls nor tennis balls are notorious for being difficult to follow on TV

You must have Superman eyes, because I can never see the damn golf ball, unless the camera happens to zoom and follow, which of course hockey doesn't have the luxury of doing. And I don't write off golf simply because I can't see the ball - I'm not that shallow.

MeFi - Your favorite sport sucks.
posted by afx114 at 8:37 PM on January 5, 2007


On preview, Flunkie, it's not faux elitism. It's the real deal.
There's nothing elite about watching a game. Hence "faux".
posted by Flunkie at 8:39 PM on January 5, 2007


And I don't write off golf simply because I can't see the ball - I'm not that shallow.
You're all doing a fantastic job of convincing me of your non-elitist attitude towards this.
posted by Flunkie at 8:40 PM on January 5, 2007


So who won in overtime?
posted by Pacheco at 8:41 PM on January 5, 2007


Awesome!

Fire MacTavish.
posted by mazola at 8:41 PM on January 5, 2007


Flunkie, find me a hockey fan who complains that they can't see the puck and you win. The fact of the matter is that the only people who complain they can't see the puck do not watch hockey and are therefore not fans. It's not elitism, it's fact.
posted by afx114 at 8:42 PM on January 5, 2007


gompa! You call me a Senators fan? Them be fighting words, my man.*

And notyou is right. Just like an NFL game can only be really appreciated on television, a hockey game can only be understood live. Standard tellies are too small to get the real speed and flow of the game. I will never forget going to my first NHL game; it was as if I was finally seeing it the real game.

* I am a proud longtime supporter of God's team. My brother, unfortunately, is a member of Leafs' Nation -- in fact, he just named his new dog 'Tucker', which guarantees he'll forever be nipping at our feet and peeing on our legs. But my family doesn't discuss his allegiance in polite company.
posted by docgonzo at 8:51 PM on January 5, 2007


There's nothing elite about watching a game. Hence "faux".

True enough, perfesser, but at the same time, vis a vis a hockey game per se, watching a thing is not the same as understanding it.

I refer you to Cleese, et al. (1988):

Wanda: But you think you're an intellectual, don't you, ape?

Otto: Apes don't read philosophy.

Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don't understand it!


Not all perceive the game with equal comprehension, and I posit that the ones who complain about puck visibility are unenlightened viewers, and should probably be fed to their superiors for sustenance or possibly just for kicks. Ergo: true elitism. QED.
posted by gompa at 8:51 PM on January 5, 2007


Flunkie, find me a hockey fan who complains that they can't see the puck and you win. The fact of the matter is that the only people who complain they can't see the puck do not watch hockey and are therefore not fans.
That's circular logic. They're not fans because they don't watch, and they don't watch because they're not fans.

It ignores the fact that a lot of people don't watch -- and therefore don't become fans -- specifically because of the difficulty of following the puck.
It's not elitism, it's fact.
It may be a fact, but that doesn't mean it's not elitism.

I mean, really. The argument that I've seen from you people is not that making the puck more viewable, in an unobtrusive manner, would be detrimental to the enjoyment of the game.

Rather, the argument -- from more than one of you people -- is that wanting to see the puck means you're not a fan, peon.

If that's not faux elitism, flaming golf balls yadda yadda.
posted by Flunkie at 8:51 PM on January 5, 2007


Pacheco: The Oilers lost in the shootout
posted by docgonzo at 8:52 PM on January 5, 2007


Not all perceive the game with equal comprehension, and I posit that the ones who complain about puck visibility are unenlightened viewers, and should probably be fed to their superiors for sustenance or possibly just for kicks. Ergo: true elitism. QED.
I suggest that we replace the puck with a transparent version. Then we'll separate the men from the boys.
posted by Flunkie at 8:52 PM on January 5, 2007


I won't come down on either side of the glowing puck/elitism debate. I remember seeing it once and thinking it wasn't as bad as advertised; however, because of the reasons I've mentioned above, I don't think making the puck glow is the solution to making hockey easier for non-fans to follow/understand.

What I think has to be remembered is that the glowing puck debacle came at a very specific point in the history of hockey. Bettman, the NHL commissioner, had begun a campaign to expand the league into the US, specifically the US south. Shinny in Texas was a bit much for many Canadians to swallow; especially as it came at the same time as Russians and Europeans came to dominate the league. We -- us Canucks -- like to think of it as our game, as much as Yanks think the same way of baseball (or soccer in England.) The glowing puck was another shot to the goolies.
posted by docgonzo at 8:59 PM on January 5, 2007


It's not only fans who disliked the FoxTrax , apparently players as well as fans complained that the puck behaved differently to regulation pucks.

Personally, I haven't seen the thing in action (it was long gone before my interest in hockey) and although it sounds cheap and gimmicky, it might actually come in handy for those poor souls whose only access to NHL games is on Google video
posted by backOfYourMind at 9:01 PM on January 5, 2007


I am a proud longtime supporter of God's team.

The '84-'85 Oilers?

*ducks*

Rather, the argument -- from more than one of you people -- is that wanting to see the puck means you're not a fan, peon.

I resemble that remark.

*nyuk-nyuk-nyuks*

posted by gompa at 9:02 PM on January 5, 2007


docgonzo - a hockey game can only be understood live. Standard tellies are too small to get the real speed and flow of the game. I will never forget going to my first NHL game; it was as if I was finally seeing it the real game.

I couldn't agree more. After watching games on TV during the winter Olympics I was totally underwhelmed, but after watching a single local-league game live, I was totally hooked - to the extent that I'm prepared to accept pixelated video and dodgy radio coverage to follow the NHL.
posted by backOfYourMind at 9:06 PM on January 5, 2007


Are you allowed to type that in Calgary, gompa?

Lanny's mustache is gonna getcha. Or, along those lines, a Grabowski.
posted by docgonzo at 9:08 PM on January 5, 2007


Are you allowed to type that in Calgary, gompa?

Only as long as I don't feel it in my heart. If I did, I'd be locked up in a windowless vault with Hakan Loob and made to sit through his reminiscences of the glory days stone cold sober while he hoovers a pile of coke the size of Lanny's moustache.

Besides, I'm a Leaf fan who grew up adoring the Lafleur-era Canadiens, I'd cheer for T.O. over the Flames but I prefer Iginla to Sundin, and I live so close to the Saddledome I could sell parking spots in my backyard come playoff time, so they don't know what to make of me.
posted by gompa at 9:26 PM on January 5, 2007


the puck more viewable, in an unobtrusive manner

Unobtrusive being the operative word. The puck was turned into a freakin' purple comet. That's not obtrusive? Can you say with a straight face that it was not a novelty gimmick?

I have no objection to doing things to open up the sport to new fans. I LOVE all of the new rules. They've worked. It truly IS a "New NHL" now. The game has opened up, and with it so has the action, scoring, and enticement, and therefore attendance numbers.

But a glowing puck? Come on... Turn fans onto the game because of the speed, the skill, the excitement. Not because of a glowing purple comet. That puck was the very definition of gimmick, hence the backlash (and your perceived "elitism") of the fans.
posted by afx114 at 9:28 PM on January 5, 2007


When HDTV is everywhere, and the producers don't have to accomodate a 4:3 aspect within their 16:9 shots and are really cut loose to shoot HD only angles and cuts, then hockey should prepare itself for a nice long comeback in the ratings.

It's fast, it's violent, there's scoring, and most players share a common skin color with the largest market for potential viewers/advertising victims. Looks like a natural for Dodge truck and Miller Lite ads to me.

All the NHL has to do is let every single game be broadcast by anyone willing to do it correctly, and you'll have a local fanbase at bars and frats before you know it.

I'm tempted to bounce a check and buy a team.
posted by dglynn at 9:31 PM on January 5, 2007


Unobtrusive being the operative word. The puck was turned into a freakin' purple comet. That's not obtrusive? Can you say with a straight face that it was not a novelty gimmick?
I guess you missed where I said:
And, as was noted above in this thread, it wouldn't have to be as ridiculously in-your-face as it was made to be. For example, the scrimmage and first down lines that have recently been added to televised football seem, to me, to be unobtrusive.
posted by Flunkie at 9:32 PM on January 5, 2007


if you're at the game and sober enough to follow the puck, you're doing something wrong.
posted by sonofslim at 10:22 PM on January 5, 2007


As a fan of college hockey, I've always been kind of pleased that the best goal I ever saw as it happened was this one. But as a Wings fan, this one has to be the most joyful, albeit one that's a lot less meaningful out of context.
posted by aaronetc at 10:25 PM on January 5, 2007


I agree, backofyourmind. Hockey, more than any other sport, is improved by being there live. You can't fully appreciate the speed or the intricacy of the game till you see it in person. College hockey is the most underappreciated sport in the US.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:28 PM on January 5, 2007


It's fast, it's violent, there's scoring, and most players share a common skin color with the largest market for potential viewers/advertising victims. Looks like a natural for Dodge truck and Miller Lite ads to me.

And thus, why hockey exploded in the South in the 1990s. See also the Dallas Stars, Atlanta Thrashers, Nashville Predators, and the Central Hockey League (where Oklahoma City's attendance averages 8000 a night, 12000+ for games against Tulsa).
posted by dw at 10:56 PM on January 5, 2007


I love hockey.
I live in Cleveland again.

Alas, the latter makes the former next to impossible sans expensive hockey package on cable. As I'm swearing at the (absurd, awful...and that's just the a-adjectives) Columbus Blue Jackets, I pray that I'll be moving back to New England sooner rather than later!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:13 PM on January 5, 2007


Here's a story about why the Bobby Orr goal was considered so amazing. Part of the reason it holds a special place for fans from that era is that it happened before 24-hour sports networks and YouTube. So the defining moment is the singular photographic image of Orr sailing through the air, completely horizontal like Superman flying, but with his stick held vertical in celebration.

I rushed with my list of great goals earlier in this thread knowing other comments would be coming. So here's a few more famous and/or amazing goals...
-> Mario Lemieux lets a pass through his legs so Paul Kariya can score in the 2002 Olympics
-> Peter Forsberg shootout goal to beat Canada
-> Jaromir Jagar skates through a whole team to score
-> Owen Nolan pulls a Babe ruth and calls it during an All-Star Game
-> Maxim Afinogenov 360 degree spin, between-the-legs goal
-> Montage about Wayne Gretzky scoring 5 goals against Philadelphia to set a record with 50 goals in 39 games (50 in 50 is considered a major accomplishment!)
-> no goals but Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf team up for a series of non-stop one-timers during a 5 on 3 powerplay against the Oilers

And it wouldn't be a hockey thread without a brawl video. I happened to be at this game with my wife in Calgary and the Flames were losing badly with a few minutes left. People were streaming for the exit and my wife asks "Should we go?" I reply, "Might as well stay - you never know what might happen."

Little did we know that the game would literally turn into a real-life Slapshot with 300 minutes of penalties, both goalies being run by the other team, line brawls, the Flames captain flipping the puck into the stands to allow their goon to get out of the penalty box for a faceoff...where he promptly chases down a turtling non-fighter for the Anaheim Ducks. (Almost enough to make me embarrassed to be a hockey fan - except I was screaming "kill him!" too loudly!)
posted by Jaybo at 11:55 PM on January 5, 2007


A bit more searching led me to the only clip showing the glow puck on YouTube. As someone above said, it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be but it was still pretty intrusive for people used to watching the game the traditional way.

As Corb Lund says in his additional verse to Stompin' Tom Connors' "The Hockey Song:

Well goodness me, Fox TV,
where did you get your sight?
Can't you see, the puck is black
that's why the ice is white.


The glow puck may have gone over a bit better except for the fact that it was introduced along with the Fox TV NHL Robots gave the distinct impression that you were no longer watching a sports event but some weird children's video game. (Nah, on second thought, the glow puck sucked. Simple as that.)
posted by Jaybo at 12:22 AM on January 6, 2007


Montage about Wayne Gretzky scoring 5 goals against Philadelphia to set a record with 50 goals in 39 games ...

God, I remember that night. All us Edmontonians went freaking berserk.
posted by bwg at 3:21 AM on January 6, 2007


'OMG' doesn't quite cover the sheer emotion that must've stirred up in viewers supporting either side.

I've never had any problems following the puck in hockey games, and like gompa said, if you're just following the puck you're not watching the game.

Also, as we're sharing hockey trials and tribulations I'm still bitter about this '03 match against Sweden. Went from a 5-1 lead to 5-6 and we lost the match. I can't bring myself to watch the latter half of that clip. It still hurts. One of the comments in that youtube video sums it up nicely: "Suomen historian paskin kiekkomatsi!" (The shittest hockey match in Finnish history!) Not to mention all the million other times the fucking Swedes have stolen the medal from under our noses...
posted by slimepuppy at 3:39 AM on January 6, 2007


And thus, why hockey exploded in the South in the 1990s.

Please tell me this is dry satire. The move to southern markets has been largely a disaster for the NHL, one that jackal Bettman refuses to admit because it's his "legacy".
posted by The God Complex at 3:55 AM on January 6, 2007


A disaster? Check attendance records. Many southern teams are outselling NHL stalwarts like Pittsburgh, Buffalo and ,gasp, even the Bruins.

The true reason NHL hasn't taken off is that the major networks couldn't figure out how to market the sport. The NHL used to be a mess of a few skill players surrounded by goons. Every game would have one or more major fights. Career ending low hits (see Cam Neeley) were all too common. Talent was surrounded and pummeled to the ice. So now comes the New NHL. The regualr fans hate it because all the penalty calls have slowed the game. But guess what? Talent is coming on that has the speed and skill and can be protected from the goons of the past. So we get the best of both. Old time hockey. Now all we need is for one of the Original Six to win the cup to re-legitimize the game in the eyes of the casual observer, and for God sakes get the Versus Network on a standard cable package or get out of the business of 'broadcasting' hockey
posted by Gungho at 6:14 AM on January 6, 2007


gompa: that does not even come close to being "the most disturbing pieces of hockey video ever committed to tape."

This is. (WARNING: Not for the squeamish. No permanent injury resulted.)

And I'm glad someone included Afinogenov's goal.
posted by Doohickie at 8:01 AM on January 6, 2007


The regualr fans hate it because all the penalty calls have slowed the game.

I beg to differ. I've been watching hockey since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and I love it.
posted by Doohickie at 8:03 AM on January 6, 2007


Please tell me this is dry satire. The move to southern markets has been largely a disaster for the NHL, one that jackal Bettman refuses to admit because it's his "legacy".

I wouldn't consider it a disaster at all. Here are the current attendance figures. Note that while Anaheim, Florida, and Nashville are in the bottom third in attendance, they are ahead of such non-disasters as Chicago, Boston, Washington, and New Jersey, and St. Louis -- all well-established teams. Nashville's attendance has actually increased since the strike. Just from a quick glance at the numbers it looks like the Southeast and Southwest teams didn't see that much attendance erosion compared to the Northeast US.

Where are the Pens talking about moving? An old-fashioned Canadian small market town like Hamilton? An old WHA market like Cleveland or Hartford? Seattle? Portland?

Nope. Kansas City. And if it weren't for the Hornets and Sonics fighting over moving there, you bet that Oklahoma City would have been at the front of the line.

I think calling it a "disaster" is like saying Seattle isn't a "baseball town" or Los Angeles isn't a "football town." It smacks of a certain regionalism and elitism.
posted by dw at 9:33 AM on January 6, 2007


And personally, I want the Seattle Metropolitans to come back.
posted by dw at 9:35 AM on January 6, 2007


Seconding doohickie. It is a slice of the hockey punditocracy that hates it -- people like Ron McLean and Grapes. Why? Beats me. They're purists? They're idiots? Both hypotheses have evidence.
posted by docgonzo at 9:52 AM on January 6, 2007


Surprised nobody posted the incredible Rob Hisey spin-o-rama shootout goal.
posted by Succa at 10:03 AM on January 6, 2007


dw: I agree that the push south hasn't been as big a disaster in gate receipts as some of us northcountry purists would suggest. However, a bit of a quibble with some of your evidence:

"Note that while Anaheim, Florida, and Nashville are in the bottom third in attendance, they are ahead of such non-disasters as Chicago, Boston, Washington, and New Jersey, and St. Louis -- all well-established teams."

Well-established? Sure, both Chicago and Boston are Original Six.

Really, really bad teams? Why yes. Chicago hasn't made the playoffs since slick Willie was in office; Bostonians have other successful teams to watch that are not owned by moneygrubbing cheapskates; Washington has never been good, never will be, Ovechkin be damned; New Jersey lived and died with the trap and St. Louis -- I don't know why, but I do know they suck. In other words, the suckitude of your sample may be the reason they are behind newer teams in the south in terms of attendance.

I whined loud and long about the rank stupidity of Bettman and his push south. (It's why I will still argue Gretzky is the player with the greatest gap between intelligence on and off the ice.) But my argument was that expansion had so diluted the talent pool, talent-poor GMs had to rely on the trap, thus making the NHL about as exciting as a mid-May game between the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. With the rule changes, and the arrival of a new generation of skilled youngsters, I think that situation has largely evaporated, praise be to Allah. At the end of the day, do I care whether hockey is played in Carolina or Texas? Not as long as it is good hockey, no. (And Carolina fans are quickly getting a rep for being, if not the most knowledgeable, certainly among the most enthusiastic in the league.)

(Mind you, I readily admit that my optimism for today's game versus a decade ago may have something to do with the fact that God's team sucked donkey balls for most of the mid-1990s to, oh, about three months ago.)
posted by docgonzo at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2007


Flunkie, find me a hockey fan who complains that they can't see the puck and you win.

I think that's it. Hockey fans can follow the puck because they know where it's going and, more importantly, can otherwise gauge its location by reading the body language of the players. I'm not kidding about this--next time you watch a game take note of how many times the puck disappears from view. Imagine that you know nothing about hockey (Call yourself "Gary Bettman" for added verisimilitude.) Now imagine trying to follow the puck as it not only appears and disappears among the players but as the camera angles change.

That said, and while I have you here, the greatest goal ever for emotional reasons was Henderson's in the '72 series (with added goodness of being announced by Foster Hewitt), Bettman is an asshole who is hell bent on ruining the Canadian game, and the FoxTrax was bad only because it didn't go far enough: they should have had animated flames shooting out of the players' assholes to bring even more 'excitement' to the game.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2007


Turtles, exactly. People who know the sport, for example, can easily figure out where the puck is even when it's hidden by the near side boards. Knowing approximately where it is makes it easy to pick it back up when it pops out, as well as being able to predict the velocity it's coming out with (whether a pass, kicked out, poke-checked loose). That's something that happens about once every three minutes, and it's really hard for people who are new to the game to follow.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:36 PM on January 6, 2007


A disaster? Check attendance records. Many southern teams are outselling NHL stalwarts like Pittsburgh, Buffalo and ,gasp, even the Bruins.

There are many things I could write about this topic, and not nearly enough hours in the day, but here are a few brief issues I take with your stance.

1.) Pittsburgh, despite popular belief, has never been an NHL stalwart. In fact, for my money they're one of the more embarassing fan cities in the NHL. Before Mario arrived they barely suppored their team. They get the most talented player in league history in the mid 80s, and a few years later they manage to snag another of the top fifteen in Jaromir Jagr and all of a sudden they have fan support. It doesn't take much to keep fans in the seats when you're winning Stanley Cups. Everyone loves a winner.

After Mario left (the first time), the exact same thing happened, even when they weren't terrible. We're not talking abouta small downswing in attendance when a team has bad years (as a Canucks fan, I know what a few truly awful years can do to attendance). Now they, embarassingly, are blessed with Crosby and Malkin and they're still slow to come back. But they will, provided they work out an arena deal, and everyone will, once again, fall all over themselves to praise Pittsburgh for being such a great hockey city.

2.) Carolina was an out-and-out disaster. Their attendance was terrible, even after their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals. Bettman moved the team out of a good Hartford hockey market because it didn't have the corporate sponsorship and high television saturation that his dream Future NHLâ„¢ required. If not for a bit of providence in the form of a Carolina cup victory, people might already be talking about moving the team. As it is, I'm still not convinced the team stays long term.

3.) The Bruins, like the Blackhawks, have been disgustingly mismanaged, to the point where I fervently wish it was possible for ownership of franchises to be revoked. Chicago doesn't show home games on television. Think about that. That's some backwater, living-in-the-70s type bullshit right there. You get your product out there. They also have a recent history of poor drafts, poor coaching highers, and poor free-agent pick-ups. Luckily for them, Chicago is by all acounts a fantastic sports town and will likely come flocking back if they ever show the fans there the respect they deserve.

Boston hasn't had a real goaltender seemingly since Andy Moog, and they traded away Joe $*ing Thorton!

4.) Anaheim has the best team in the NHL right now, with the possible exception of Buffalo, the two best defenseman in the NHL (with apologies to Lidstrom, who I'd place third this year), and went to the cup final in the past five years, and they can't get a good crowd. This is the idiocy of the NHL at its most glaring. There appears to be little or no foresight. It's not that Southern California Team won't work, it's that Southern California Team in the wrong market won't work.

San Jose, for example, turns out to be a great hockey market. Maybe they did their research, or maybe they got lucky. I'm inclined to say luck, because they tend to look at a map of major television markets and then throw darts at the cities. They chose Anaheim because of a shitty movie tie-in, for heaven's sake.

5.) As yet, there's no guarantee hockey will work in Nashville, either. They have one of the five most exciting teams in hockey (for my money), a great record for the past two seasons, and a lights-out goaltender... and they still languish near the bottom third of attendance. In fact, support in Columbus seems much better than it does in Nashville (which makes sense, as Ohio has a wonderful university hockey program and thus some sort of hockey base to build from), despite the fact that the team isn't very good.

6.) Nope. Kansas City. And if it weren't for the Hornets and Sonics fighting over moving there, you bet that Oklahoma City would have been at the front of the line.

And why are they talking about Kansas City? Because they have an arena they'll let them use essentially rent free (as partners). Because it's a big media market. Because they know Gary Bettman would love into that market and would more likely approve a move there than he would anywhere else. For all the same stupid, infantile reasons they always choose big media markets in the south.

I mean, we're talking about a guy, in Bettman, who thought it would be better to strike a t.v. with the outdoor live network instead of ESPN because they'd get a bit more money. ESPN! Perhaps the only major sports organization in the states that actually, you know, showed some respect for the NHL game, in highlight packages and otherwise, instead of shuffling them off like a drunk uncle you're embarassed to be seen with in public.

/predator scream

I'm going to stop now, for the sake of my own wavering sanity.
posted by The God Complex at 12:49 PM on January 6, 2007


(hires, not highers--that was egregious!)

Oh, and I forgot to respond to this:

I think calling it a "disaster" is like saying Seattle isn't a "baseball town" or Los Angeles isn't a "football town." It smacks of a certain regionalism and elitism.

You might be right. Perhaps it is elitism. But given the history of hockey in the south in the past decade (less hits than misses), I'm willing to say it's just sound advice. I don't think it's because people in the south couldn't like hockey, but the desire has to come before the product. You don't just plunk and NFL franchise down in the middle of Nowheresville Canada a market that knows nothing about the NFL and expect them to show up because, "hey, it's the NFL, they're big league".

A large part of the problem is Bettman's inability to properly market the game. Look at the commercials post lock-out. Instead of using some of the game's superstars to market the league, they came out with some bush-league B-roll gladiators-on-ice campaign. Can you see any big league doing that, aside from the NHL?

Bettman's leadership is a joke. The fact that he's praised for "fixing" a league that he broke is a joke. So I'm sorry if there's some elitism or regionalism or whatever in there, but it's shameful to see what is truly one of the most exceptional sports on earth reduced to B status because of inept decision-making.
posted by The God Complex at 1:00 PM on January 6, 2007


Where are the Pens talking about moving? An old-fashioned Canadian small market town like Hamilton? An old WHA market like Cleveland or Hartford? Seattle? Portland?

Nope. Kansas City.


Which - FYI, dw - is an old-fashioned failed-expansion-franchise NHL town. Kansas City Scouts, 1974-76. (Later the Colorado Rockies before becoming, perhaps finally for good, the New Jersey Devils.)

The nearest analogue, then, would be Atlanta, which shrugged away the Flames to a real hockey town that lives and dies by them, only to get a second chance under the Bettman masterplan, which now finds them sitting in second place overall in the Eastern Conference in the standings and 19th (out of the playoffs, if you will) in your attendance rundown.

Boston and Chicago are ultimately hockey towns even when the product's utter shite for years on end, and Winnipeg, Hamilton and Quebec City are hockey towns even in the complete absence of big-league product. Whereas Atlanta, Kansas City, Nashville, Charlotte, Phoenix and freaking Anaheim will never be hockey towns. They may fill the stands briefly, during a Cup run built on the best free agents money can buy that year, with fans frustrated by the fact that they can't see the puck clearly, and if they are anything other than contenders for a year or two thereafter, they'll be back to fighting for column inches with high-school football in the local sports pages.

San Jose, for example, turns out to be a great hockey market. Maybe they did their research, or maybe they got lucky.


I've heard this is at least partially because the population of expat Canadians in the Bay Area is so large. The Canadian consular trade office in Silicon Valley, for example, organizes the purchase of huge blocks of tickets every time a Canadian team's in town.
posted by gompa at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2007


Bobby Orr scored the goal before being tripped

Let me get this straight.

1. He shot the puck.
2. Then he got tripped.

Right?

That's the greatest goal of all time?

Because he got tripped?

After having shot the puck?


It wasn't just the goal itself. IIRC, it also happened to be game 6 of the playoffs and that helped to win the game.
More than that, it became iconic for the image, like Jordan's soaring through the air. It brought Orr from just being the best damn player in the game at the time into the realm of icon.
posted by jmd82 at 2:25 PM on January 6, 2007


"Many southern teams are outselling NHL stalwarts like Pittsburgh, Buffalo and, gasp, even the Bruins." ~ Gungo

As to Buffalo, that may have been true in past years, but this year they've sold out the entire reglar season I believe.

In any case, thanks for the great videos everyone. I had never seen the Malik between-the-legs SO goal before - amazing. I love that the announcer calls him "not a noted goal scorer" right before he takes off. Beautiful.

Jaybo - do you happen know how long Sawyer was suspended for running the goaltender. That was pretty - uh, blatant.
posted by Eyebeams at 2:26 PM on January 6, 2007


via youtube:

DAG YO
w00t
this guy is a n00b
posted by iamck at 2:30 PM on January 6, 2007



In any case, thanks for the great videos everyone. I had never seen the Malik between-the-legs SO goal before - amazing. I love that the announcer calls him "not a noted goal scorer" right before he takes off. Beautiful.


If you want a better one, check out Vermette's between-the-legs goal. He does it in game action, and pulls the puck from behind the goal line, through his legs, and then beats the goaltender on the shortside (all while being checked).

I believe Lemieux also did the Malik goal on the Canucks' goaltender Kirk McLean about ten years ago (on a breakaway).

Another goal I'm a fan of is the first time Pavel Bure did his stick-to-foot-to-stick goal: on a breakaway, moving in from the right side of the net, he cut across the front, dropped the puck back to his feet in order to throw the goalie off, then kicked it back up to his stick and slid it around the goaltender.

As a pure goal, Ovechkin's goal last year has to be the best goal of all time, though, and Ovechkin is easily the most exciting goal-scorer to enter the league since Bure.
posted by The God Complex at 2:31 PM on January 6, 2007


1.) Pittsburgh, despite popular belief, has never been an NHL stalwart.

Pittsburgh is all about the Steelers, world without end. I'm still surprised the Pirates got their stadium and stayed.

2.) Carolina was an out-and-out disaster. Their attendance was terrible, even after their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

But they went from the finals straight into the cellar, and still drew 15K a night in 2002-03. And this with all the arena shuffling, bad teams, and the strike.

Bettman moved the team out of a good Hartford hockey market because it didn't have the corporate sponsorship and high television saturation that his dream Future NHLâ„¢ required.

It was also a tiny market with a tiny arena. The Whale was not long for Connecticut.

If not for a bit of providence in the form of a Carolina cup victory, people might already be talking about moving the team. As it is, I'm still not convinced the team stays long term.

OTOH, elsewhere in this thread we have mentioned that Carolina fans are actually getting to be pretty fervent and knowledgable. And they have the usual heavily incentivized but airtight multi-decade lease.

3.) The Bruins, like the Blackhawks, have been disgustingly mismanaged, to the point where I fervently wish it was possible for ownership of franchises to be revoked.

That's not an excuse. The Leafs have been intermittently terrible the last twenty years, and they're still a consistent draw. Ditto Vancouver.

4.) Anaheim has the best team in the NHL right now, with the possible exception of Buffalo, the two best defenseman in the NHL (with apologies to Lidstrom, who I'd place third this year), and went to the cup final in the past five years, and they can't get a good crowd. This is the idiocy of the NHL at its most glaring. There appears to be little or no foresight. It's not that Southern California Team won't work, it's that Southern California Team in the wrong market won't work.

LA is just a weird sports market. They love frontrunners, but they don't necessarily even show up for them. Thus the lack of an NFL team. The LA area should be able to easily support two NHL teams; why Anaheim isn't drawing better is a mystery.

San Jose, for example, turns out to be a great hockey market. Maybe they did their research, or maybe they got lucky.

Maybe it's the only game in town. The Giants are a long drive north. Ditto the Niners. The A's, Raiders, and Warriors all play in south Oakland, which is an hour in good traffic from SJ. The Sharks, though, are pretty conveniently located if you live in Silicon Valley.

It will be interesting to see how the Sharks do when the A's move to Fremont.

As yet, there's no guarantee hockey will work in Nashville, either.

Nashville may have been a mistake, but that was all the Gaylords throwing their money around. I think they'll move in the next five years or so.

And why are they talking about Kansas City? Because they have an arena they'll let them use essentially rent free (as partners).

Well, duh. That's the reason KC spent all that public money on that new arena -- to lure the NHL or NBA. They've been talking to the Portland Trailblazers as well.

Because it's a big media market.

You're kidding, right? Because it's between Columbus and Nashville on the Nielsen DMA list. Portland, Orlando, Baltimore, and Sacramento are all ahead of KC.

Because they know Gary Bettman would love into that market and would more likely approve a move there than he would anywhere else.

Honestly, that's not true. KC is no better or worse a choice than Houston or Cleveland or OKC or Sacramento. He'd like to approve a move because someone will give the Penguins a new arena for free and the NHL bags of public cash, but it's not about Kansas City being some stellar market.

For that matter, Oklahoma City has decided that KC and the Hornets be damned, they're going to bid for the team.

I mean, we're talking about a guy, in Bettman, who thought it would be better to strike a t.v. with the outdoor live network instead of ESPN because they'd get a bit more money.

I thought ESPN bailed on the deal, not Bettman. I'm certainly not going to argue that Bettman hasn't been a disaster for the NHL and should have been fired years ago, but I thought ESPN didn't want to pay the money.
posted by dw at 3:55 PM on January 6, 2007


Eyebeams: Saywer got 5 games for running the Calgary goalie. But apparently he has a bit of a goalie-fetish and got two more for running a different goalie later in the season!

iamck:
via youtube:
DAG YO
w00t
this guy is a n00b


Sean Avery
, is that you? I'm not sure who (or what) you're referring to with this comment considering it's your first in the thread and is pretty much unrelated to anything that's being discussed. But if it's aimed at me because I loaded this post with YouTube links (as I suspect it might be), why don't you click on my name and see that I was registered on this site about a year before you. So you're the rookie here, not me, n00b. And in my opinion, posting comments that add nothing to a thread is a much worse offence than posting YouTube links that generate some interesting discussion or show people things they may not have seen before.

"Two minutes in the sin bin for interference, iamck."

(Uhm, if it wasn't a reference to me, I'll give myself two for delay of game.)
posted by Jaybo at 4:44 PM on January 6, 2007


The Washington Capitals were pretty good in 97-98. Peter Bondra!
posted by nathancaswell at 4:47 PM on January 6, 2007


I would like to thank Flunkie for showing all of us the error of our ways. Sorry for being "faux elitist." Perhaps we should all be "faux interested" in this topic instead. It's obvious that you don't care about hockey, have no interest in finding out about the sport, you're only here to bitch about our sport and its fans.

Your comment on Bobby Orr's goal is the worst though. "so he scored a goal and then was tripped, what makes it so great...blah blah blah"

I could say that about any "great sports moment." So Bill Buckner made an error...big deal. So Joe Montana threw a touchdown to Dwight Clark...ho-hum. It's all about context. Bobby Orr just won the Boston Bruins their first Stanley Cup in overtime. AND due to the trip some photographer took a picture of a man seemingly defying gravity with pure elation on his face:

That is a defining moment in hockey, but because you only saw a bunch of guys in front of the net and then one guy jump it's no big deal. I'll alert the presses.

As far as Foxtrax goes, the youtube video doesn't do it justice. It was FAR more obtrusive in a non-overly compressed format and it pissed the hell out of all the current hockey fans. Sure it may have attracted a few new ones, but once they became accustomed to the game (and it doesn't take that long) they would be equally as annoyed by it. Following the puck is just another excuse for people to slag off on hockey. Does not being able to follow a fly ball in baseball hurt the experience? No because you watch the outfielder and judge by his motions what's going on. It's the same for hockey.
posted by crashlanding at 6:13 PM on January 6, 2007


I actually heard an interview with Orr not too long ago, and he wasn't tripped at all. He lept in the air out of celebration of the goal. It makes for a so-so video, but it is one of my all-time favorite sports pics.
posted by Doohickie at 10:51 PM on January 6, 2007


I just looked up Orr's Wikipedia page - in 1970-71 he was +124. That's ridiculous.
posted by Eyebeams at 8:12 AM on January 7, 2007


jaybo, via youtube comments, please go remove the chip from your shoulder, your metafilter street cred is intact yo.
posted by iamck at 11:02 AM on January 7, 2007


So you added that dumb comment just to prove that people post dumb comments on YouTube? Uhm, okay...thanks for playing.
posted by Jaybo at 11:06 AM on January 7, 2007



posted by jeblis at 2:08 AM on January 8, 2007


Pretty soon, one might hope, the ability to have a glowing puck for non-fans like myself will be like a subtitle channel -- you can turn it off if you like, or keep it on, whatever.

It'd be nice to have a number of helpful overlays to assist spectating. I'd like to see 50 yard dash times overlaid on top of wide receivers and safeties, where-he's-looking cursors on quarterbacks, estimated-time-to-sack progress bars...
posted by felix at 10:25 AM on January 8, 2007


I'm guessing that will come with HDTV. Eventually. But then you'll get used to the flow of the game and you'll bitch about the glow puck like the rest of us, you hockey snob!

;- )
posted by Doohickie at 8:48 PM on January 8, 2007


The last revision I'd seen of the glow puck was actually kind of nice -- they'd lost the comet effect and only turned it on when the puck was behind the boards, giving one the feeling of having superman powers. Helped to figure out who was fighting for the puck and who just had their stick pinned.

HD definately makes this less of an issue as you can see more of the play and contextually figure out what the hell is going on. As in many sports while the goal of the game focuses around the puck (or ball, as you like it) the critical elements of the play do not necessarily center around the game object: players getting open, pressure coming in from the opponent, opportunities opening and closing.

With the limitations of current broadcast technology, so much is lost so you only see a couple of guys scrabbling over the puck (ball, whatever) and miss out making the play difficult to follow especially in a game like hockey where the puck is often lost purely to speed. HD doesn't really add that much, but the extra perspective does let you get a better feel for how the play is developing.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:31 PM on January 10, 2007


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