Posted tagged ‘Playoffs’

Is Parity Sustainable in a 30 Team NHL? and The NHL NEEDS to Fix the Point System

April 19, 2010

The NHL playoffs are underway and there have been multiple ‘upsets’ and some tight and exciting games in this year’s opening round.   I think it shows just how much parity there is in the league.  Yes, the Eastern Conference had a 33 point spread between the first and last placed playoff teams (an 18 point spread in the West) but the playoffs are showing that when the Cup is on the line, a 33 point spread might not mean all that much.   

In some ways, we should expect this.  With salary caps and a league that holds 30 teams, it makes sense that concentrated talent on a team, like that which was on the Edmonton Oilers of old,  is something that will be hard to build.  Add to that the AHL, from which NHL quality players (NHL quality for a 30 team league) are shuffled back and forth at will and the talent pool that the NHL utilizes is deep and broad.

This means that teams, even if they are injury riddled, can stay competitive and pickup points, until playoff time.  Then if they can stay healthy through the playoffs, expect them to make some noise, even if they don’t have the horses to make it to the Cup finals.

Is this good or bad?  In some ways it’s great for hockey but it also means that the NHL/AHL network, broad as it is, probably isn’t as Elite as we’d like to think it is.  Sure, great athletes are in the mix, but in general, it’s the teamwork that makes the teams, and teamwork doesn’t sign contracts for millions of dollars -dollars that have to be made somewhere, usually in rising ticket prices.

So, in a weird twist, even with salary caps, this huge league network may have the seeds of  becoming unsustainable because the distinguishing element of the league is not tied directly to team income.

Bizarre, isn’t it?

Speaking of bizarre (more…)

Wolves Run Aground Against Admirals -Out of Playoff Hunt

April 5, 2009
The Man Behind the Helm of the Wolves

The Man Behind the Helm of the Wolves

With the calmness and coolness of the Captain of the Titanic, Coach Don Granato let his team drift into oblivion for the ’08-’09 season after never getting control of the ship all year.

With the loss to the Milwaukee Admirals today, the Wolves have failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in their illustrious history.  As I sat in Milwaukee watching today, I found it hard to believe that the team I was watching took 57 minutes to finally  play with something resembling desperation. 

The fans of the Wolves, and the AHL, deserve better.

A Winning Work Ethic? It’s Not What I see, Coach Granato.

March 31, 2009

Ok, at first I was going to do a video rant about last nite and ask twitterville to make it viral, but I decided against it.  So,  I waited 24 hours after the debacle so that I could cool down and not say something I’d be sorry for.

I wouldn’t be so ticked about the loss to Milwaukee (Ok, maybe I would be) if I didn’t read the article entitled “Work Ethic” in the new, Breakaway magazine (which is a great idea and looks great!).

You see, the article is about Head Coach, Don Granato and discusses his philosophy.

“My coaching philosophy is simple: it is based solely on work ethic, and this team has proven day in and day out that the philosophy works.”

Ooookay, now it’s clear someone doesn’t see what I (and others!) see. 

This Wolves team is only three games above .500 and 3 points out of the final playoff spot, tied for 5th place with Iowa only 2 points ahead of Quad Cities.  In the worst case, but still realistic scenario, the Wolves could finish in 7th(!!!) place.  

Is this indicative of a work ethic that is good? 

If so, your standards are waay too low, Coach.

Call us Wolves fans spoiled, but I see (more…)

Incentive Proposal for the NHL and AHL

January 17, 2009

While speaking with an usher at the completion of the Wolves game  tonight, we hit on something that personally, I kind of like!

“Since it seems so many NHL teams are made up of so many AHL’ers, how about if the Wolves win the Calder Cup again this year they go up to the NHL?” he said as people passed him by heading for the exits.

I paused and responded:

“And whoever has the worst record in the NHL moves into the AHL the following year!”

No we’re on to something.  Worst NHL team goes AHL, and best AHL goes NHL.

 The kicker would be if John Anderson and the Thrashers finished worst in the league. 

What a kick in the head that would be!

What do you think of this idea??