So Forsberg is coming back
December 30, 2001 12:18 AM   Subscribe

So Forsberg is coming back and it means the Avalance could once again be a force to be reckoned with. Can anyone beat Detroit? And in the East, the Bruins are looking good. I care, but do my fellow nerds? It seems there's a serious dearth of computer geeks that follow hockey. Is the gap between ESPN and ICQ that big? Do any of you other nerds watch hockey, or is it dead?
posted by Samsonov14 (30 comments total)
somebody's recent hockey experience. if you were interested.
posted by moz at 12:29 AM on December 30, 2001

Thanks, Moz. That's what I was afraid of.
posted by Samsonov14 at 12:34 AM on December 30, 2001

Samsonov, you mention the words geek and nerd as if you are coming out of the closet. What gives?

As for the hockey, I live in the UK, and follow some of it as best I can, but coverage is limited.

Go Leafs.
posted by Frasermoo at 12:35 AM on December 30, 2001

You will be assimilated by ForsBORG.

Story behind why I call him ForsBORG: my brother created him in NHL 95 for Super Nintendo, misspelling his name "Forsborg" instead of "Forsberg". He was too lazy to change it, so it stuck.
posted by sillygwailo at 1:01 AM on December 30, 2001

I don't think many Americans watch hockey, period. I read recently that professional bowling was getting higher ratings. And to tell the truth, I would personally probably watch bowling over hockey. It probably has a lot to do with how much you play it as a kid.
posted by owillis at 1:13 AM on December 30, 2001

Frasermoo - Re: The Closet: I was nervous about pledging my allegiance to the NHL. In high school, you didn't want to express your love for computers. In MeFi, you don't want to express your love for sports.

Go Bruins! BTW, Thanks for Byron Dafoe.
posted by Samsonov14 at 1:16 AM on December 30, 2001

Why watch hockey when there's football.
posted by Aikido at 3:05 AM on December 30, 2001

Nothing new in this story, at least not for us Swedes. He's been practising on ice for over a month, back in Ornskoldsvik.
Still no comment from Forsberg.
Consensus here is that there's not enough time left to get in shape for Salt Lake City. There are better alternatives for Team Sweden than a "Foppa" with no match training.
posted by ushuaia at 5:35 AM on December 30, 2001

Why watch hockey when there's women's basketball?
posted by Carol Anne at 5:35 AM on December 30, 2001

I like hockey. It's men on skates wearing big Baby Huey diapers and refusing to play nicely, hitting each other with sticks and then punching each other until an adult comes over, breaks it up, listens briefly to the "mom, he hit me first" lines, and makes them both take a time out to cool down and mope. [Leafs this year? or Detroit?]
posted by pracowity at 6:06 AM on December 30, 2001

I've been playing NHL Hitz on my X-Box, and like it so much I might watch the games. I just don't know who I should pick as a team to watch. No, before you think it, I'm not a fair weather fan. I pick a team and stick with it. Sadly I had an XFL team picked out too, but then the whole gig went defunct.

I'm leaning toward the NJ Devils to support for a few reasons, not too far away(couple hours driving) and their logo is simple and very crisp.

It's pretty fun to watch people beat the crap out of each other, I just hope they can smack people through the boards like you can in the game.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:38 AM on December 30, 2001

Forsberg's a solid player when he's free from injury. I spent last winter cheering for him and the Avs in Denver. Except, of course, when they were playing the Devils. GO DEVILS!!! Bit of a bummer recently, being a NY Giants, NJ Devils, and NY Yankees fan. The last three world championships have been lost by these three teams.

Good luck, Forsberg. Nice guy off the ice. Not many forgo salary so easily when they need a break. He's a beast on the ice, when he's all there. I hope to see him forechecking those San Jose whelps into the boards again soon. Go Avs!

Ice Hockey will be the most televised team sport in the winter olympics this year, and I hope to be watching.
posted by particle at 6:47 AM on December 30, 2001

Hockey rules. You can't appreciate the speed of the game on TV though.

posted by Macboy at 7:18 AM on December 30, 2001

Hockey is LIFE.
And I can't even skate.

Peter is a golden god and though all reports to date are simply "from an unnamed source close to the NHL", I'm confident he'll be back. Hopefully better than ever.

I moved from Boston to Colorado a few years ago, so the Ray Bourque saga was a dream come true.

I don't *totally* agree that you can't appreciate the game on TV, but I do think it's worthwhile for new fans to attend a game - and to spring for some seats close to the glass. Having been to a game in person will enhance the TV viewing experience.
posted by Jako at 9:19 AM on December 30, 2001

Hockey is a sport that requires one to be in top, top, top physical condition (why else is Forsberg being denied a spot on the Olympics team if he only has 3 months to prepare for it?).

Many people don't realize this but the players don't usually stay on the ice longer than two minutes per shift. They go back to the bench for another one or two minutes before coming back.

Why? It's not because the coach wants to give everyone an opportunity to play as if it was a little-league team but because it is DAMN tough to be out there skating at full-speed, giving and absorbing hits, and the entire time, concentrating on controlling the puck as well as keeping their heads up for a pass and/or incoming hit.

And hands down, Michael Jordan was the Wayne Gretzky of basketball. How good was Gretzky? He was just 160 lbs, couldn't even bench press 135 lbs. and yet, holds the NHL records for most career assists, goals, and points. In addition to that he holds 57 other records.

In one night, Gretzky scored, not once, but twice from behind the goalie's net. Rumor has it that the goalie is still in therapy.

If you think hockey sucks and you've never been to a game, then I don't blame you. Television never shows the entire ice at once- when one player is skating toward the other goal, you're missing out seeing the other team's defense skating to form a line of defense (it's an awesome sight). The rink also looks a lot smaller than it really is but that's because the players skate fast.

Probably the most exciting part of the game, other than watching the goalie make several wild saves nightly, is when a player breaks through the defense and finds himself on an one-on-one situation with the goalie.
posted by msposner at 10:05 AM on December 30, 2001

Hockey has the biggest gap of any sport between watching it live and watching it on TV. Seeing a game (junior, NHL, minors, Olympics, European) in person is a completely different feeling than seeing it on TV. I haven't had a chance to see a game in person for about 3 years, so I've started to drift away from the sport (towards baseball, the best TV sport). However, I did receive a ticket to see a Leaf game this year (with my dad, Jan 19, vs the Flyers) and I'm very excited about going.
I'd see more games, but the price of Toronto Maple Leaf tickets is insane. They know the demand is there (virtually sold out every year since 1972, even when they were the worst team in the NHL) and they just keep raising the price of the tickets. My ticket has a listed price of $170Cdn. I can't justify paying that much for a ticket on my own. As well, that isn't even CLOSE to the top price for a ticket to a Leaf game. I think the rinkside tickets go for over $250Cdn/ticket.
And don't even think about scalpers....
posted by Grum at 10:21 AM on December 30, 2001

I used to be a big hockey fan, but the NHL has lost me. Too many teams, too many moves from real hockey towns (Winnipeg,Saint-Paul/Minneapolis,Hartford) to US cities that have never seen snow (Phoenix,Dallas,Raleigh). 'Avs' suck, Nordiques rule!
posted by qbert72 at 12:14 PM on December 30, 2001

I think American disinterest in hockey has a lot to do with the poor quality of the tv broadcasts. Living in Canada I'm very used to really good production values with really good camera guys and good direction. But when ABC shows a game or when a game gets shown from the "southern" teams using the in-arena camera guys, it just sucks. You can't see the puck or the numbers on the jerseys. Some of these guys have this awful compunction to keep the lens on as much ice surface as possible even though the action only takes place in a small area. Do these camera guys know how to zoom in?
posted by dreamer98 at 12:16 PM on December 30, 2001

To msposner:
Forsberg still has his spot in the Swedish Olympics team.
He was one of eight players who was nominated in the first round (I think it was in June), and he's still in the squad.
The Swedish coach Hardy Nilsson confirmed last week that Forsberg keeps his invitation, even though his latest game was in the early stages of Stanley Cup in April or May (when he injured his spleen).
posted by ushuaia at 1:37 PM on December 30, 2001

Hockey is the greatest sport ever... I'm a blackhawks fan, and I gotta say... it's good to see a real team playing again... No, I don't have delusions of a stanley cup.. Detroit is too unstoppable... However, if there's anyone that's going to stop Detroit - I suppose I'd have to say it would be the blackhawks, as the series is currently at 2-1-1 in favor of the hawks!

I'm happy for you Avs fans if Forsberg comes back.. but... they have a lot of shaping up to do if the game they played against the hawks last week was at all indicative of their play this year...
posted by twiggy at 1:42 PM on December 30, 2001

Hockey is The One True Sport. Keep your football...we don't want it. Who wants to see a bunch of drug-riddled pantywaist cavemen grunting at each other? I never understood the appeal of football. It's just uninteresting. Very little action. I have seen good football games, yes, but they're rare.

Also: Go Leafs hell, that is. (the Yankees of hockey)

posted by Succa at 2:38 PM on December 30, 2001

Also, I went to the Senators game the other night against the New York Islanders, where Alexei Yashin made his much-anticipated return to Ottawa, and it was unquestionably the most fun I've had all year. The boos for Mr. Yashin were loud and heartfelt. The bodychecks were numerous. Andre Roy scored a goal. What more could I ask for?
posted by Succa at 2:45 PM on December 30, 2001

JakeExtreme- What about the Sound Tigers, Man?!
We got a Junior league team right down here in the gritty park city only forty minutes from work, and Junior hockey is if anything, more wild and violent than the NHL.
qbert72-I couldn't agree more, I used to love going to see the Whalers back in the day and the fans were positively rabid back then, whereas when I lived in Miami for 2 years the Panthers won the cup and nobody gave a shit.
It seems that the small, industrial old-style cities and their teams(Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Red Wings, Cleveland Browns and Indians, Green Bay Packers) always breed the most devoted fans. I know that the Bridgeport Bluefish(baseball) and now the sound tigers are doing wonders for my beknighted(but still beloved) hometown.
posted by jonmc at 3:13 PM on December 30, 2001

for anyone confused by the last post-me and Jake are co-workers..
posted by jonmc at 3:15 PM on December 30, 2001

Hockey's big breakthrough is going to come from a combination of coverage of Olympic hockey(tighter calls on the rough stuff, makes for better hockey), and the transition to coverage of hockey in HDTV.

The 2006 or 2010 Olympics, followed up by good solid camera work at high resolution and 16 by 9, and what we have is a brand new sport as far as television is concerned.

Make it an international league, instead of a bunch of artificial teams in manufactured markets, and there could be some hella rivalries.

Oh, and make the rink 240 by 110. Spread 'em out, open up the game. It'll be just like Rocket Richard. ;)
posted by dglynn at 6:49 PM on December 30, 2001

Also: Go Leafs hell, that is. (the Yankees of hockey

That is the most inane thing I've heard in a while. The Yankees win championships. The Maple Leafs have not won the cup in 30+ years.

As for the comments that hockey is unpopular in America, that is simply untrue. The Cold War filled the MSU football stadium to capacity. I have attended several NHL games in Columbus, OH, each of which have sold out (so far all of the Blue Jackets home games have been sellouts). One would assume Ohio is merely football country, but the Jackets have done this, even though having one of the worst records in hockey. Hockey may seem unpopular, but that is merely a matter of perception on the part of non-fans, because the media does not give it the attention it deserves.

And yes, Samsonov14, Detroit can be beaten, and it will be the Leafs that do it, in the Stanley Cup Finals! (Go Leafs Go)
posted by insomnyuk at 8:21 PM on December 30, 2001

That is the most inane thing I've heard in a while. The Yankees win championships. The Maple Leafs have not won the cup in 30+ years.

True, but their fans are still annoying as all get out. The Maple Leafs are not "Canada's Team", as many Leaf fans are prone to asserting. Even with their Yankee-esque budget.

In certain ways, I like the shamelessness of Leaf fandom, in that they'll never refuse a rousing chorus of "Go Leafs Go!" I draw the line when the blue-and-white is equated with holiness, though. "God's Team" they ain't.
posted by Succa at 9:19 PM on December 30, 2001

Die hard Kings Fan here......ah the memories of ousting the Red Wings in the first round last year....Deadmarsh the Red Wing Killer....and a former Av to boot. Hockey is great. Go Kings Go! See a game live and then judge the sport, TV just does not do it justice.
posted by faithnomore at 9:44 PM on December 30, 2001

Hockey may seem unpopular

Hockey seems unpopular only in cities that don't have an NHL team. In Detroit, there are probably more Wings partisans than Lions, Tigers, and Pistons fans put together. Of course, this might be because the Redwings are actually a good team.
posted by kindall at 8:35 AM on December 31, 2001

I think the reason hockey isnt catching on more is that it is the worst sport to watch on TV. How often do you watch a game and the hand held camera is bobbing around while trying to follow the puck [if the camera man isnt trying to find the puck].

Plus you can only see the 10-15 feet around the puck. Football, baseball, and basketball all allow you a great view of what is going on. With hockey you have to know what is going on, have 20-20 vision, or wait for the replays.

Use a curved lens for the main [mid-ice] shot to get a wider field of view, use more stationary cameras, show length-wise shots so you can see plays develop.

Do something to make it watchable and more fans will tune in to see Marchment lay out 6,2 230 pd. Donald Brashear mid-ice, more fans will tune in to see a goalie glove a 100 mph MacInnis slapshot, more fans will want to see Bure deek a goalie 3 times and then roof a backhand goal.
posted by swenson at 12:25 PM on January 5, 2002

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