Alright! I spent way too much time arguing the merits and drawbacks of the CHL lawsuit which likely will not see the light of day for a long time. The good thing was I got to dialogue over the issue with people who work for teams, former NCAA athletes, former Junior hockey players, and others with a lot more time invested in Junior hockey than I have. Sure one guy called me despicable, but I've been called worse, and plus that makes me a hilarious cartoon character:
Lets move on!
It sure looked like the IceDogs were turning the corner a couple of weeks back after wins over Belleville and Sudbury and then a hard fought loss versus defending champions Guelph on the road. However, last week was a setback for the Dogs. Three straight losses, all in regulation and two of those games were at home. Even worse the team gave up 19 goals in those three losses, and the power play has gone so far south that it has started to develop a drawl and a hankering for grits! Long story short, the powerplay is 3 for 50-something, and has given up two short handed goals too! The good news is that the IceDogs did a lot of things right on the power play in Saturday's 6-2 loss to North Bay.
What do you do with a team that is physically beat up, missing three top players, and likely emotionally beat up? No need to put lipstick on this pig. 2-10 is not pretty and moral victories mean nothing.
Here is your IceDog light at the end of the tunnel. There are 56 games left in the season and the three this weekend are home dates versus Ottawa (Thursday), Sudbury (Saturday), and then a road game in Mississauga on Sunday afternoon. These are all three winnable games ,and you might think that I've been hanging out in Snoop Dog's basement too much, but the lofty goal should be to claim minimum 4/6 points on the weekend and the IceDogs are 0-8 on the road, and that must change.
I believe it was either Nietzche or Kanye West who said "that which does not kill us , makes us stronger". Translation: There's a lot of talent on this team, so rolling over is not an option.
- Since opening night, the Meridian Centre has averaged between 3600 - 3900 people, a more than reasonable number considering the plight of the team. Plus, IceDog attendance traditionally does not pick up unti the after the holidays. There has been some grumbling about ticket prices, and the IceDogs introduced $20 Senior/and Student ticket prices. I will say that the $25 is a tad excessive, in my opinion, even for a new arena. It is not grossly out of whack with what I expected though. Maybe the price point will get lowered as the season goes on.
- TSN put forth an interesting argument on allowing elite level OHL'ers who are not 20 to be able to play in the AHL. The parameters suggested were first round draft picks, played three CHL seasons, and had a nine game AHL or NHL tryout period to prove that they have outgrown the CHL. It would only affect a limited number of players, who are listed on the link below. Bill Daly was not a fan of the idea, and I am guessing CHL teams would not like to have their best players taken away from their teams. Still, if you have 19 year olds at the NHL level, why not the AHL. My take is that if ain't broke don't fix it, and players should go down to their CHL team. Still, its a good, out of the box idea put forth by TSN. Details are here:
- Holy cow, I cannot believe the amount of grousing that people are doing about Rogers NHL coverage. Don't people realize that you get more games for free? People are having trouble finding the games. Don't people realize that Rogers puts out a channel grid letting you know where you find the games? People are complaining about Strombo, skinny jeans, announcers, intermission features. You name it people are complaining about it. A little sanity please! It's month one of a twelve year deal. That's not even enough to call it a work in progress. The announcers are not all that different than what you are used to seeing, and I am sure the tweaks are being worked out in terms of what has worked on air and what has not worked on air. Serenity now to quote Frank Costanza!
See you at the rink!
Steve Clark- TV Play by Play Niagara IceDogs/ Hamilton Bulldogs