Sunday, October 12, 2008

Random Musings

Random musings while watching the Jets score three touchdowns in a six-play span, with only one of them counting...

- I was talking with my buddy Rich at work last week about the Islanders' new goal song. He said something like, "I'm sure it's wonderful. Too bad we won't hear it until their third home game."

Well, then.

Last night's first period would have to rank up there with any period of hockey this team played last season. They just did everything right. The four goals were wonderful, but that only tells part of the story. The players just played. They didn't spend two minutes on the power play looking for the perfect shot. They reacted to the situations that presented themselves, didn't think too much, and simply tried to do their best to keep things going. It worked. Nobody tried to do too much. Every hit was finished. Opporunities were cashed in, the Coliseum was rocking, and everybody was happy.

The other two periods weren't like this, and I'll attribute that to the three-goal lead. You can't help but change the way you play when you've got a considerable lead, even if going more conservative isn't the best idea. But that's a good problem to have. So, heading into tomorrow's game, the challenge is to keep up the intensity we saw during the first 20 minutes last night. This time, though, let's hope it stays around for the duration of the game.

As for the actual goal song itself... it works. Not saying I'm going to download the MP3 or anything, but they could have done worse. It just reminds me too much of the Rangers' goal song - and that's not good.

- Lots of good stuff coming out of last night's broadcast, but the best part was the coverage of the Rick DiPietro injury and the TSN story about swelling around his injured knee. Both Howie and Billy insinuated that the report was false, stating that if DP wasn't healthy enough to be a backup, he wouldn't have dressed for the game. They also went on to slam the league's new injury policy, which lets teams choose how they want to disclose player injuries. Howie suggested that these not-so-reliable reports will become the norm now that there will be so much speculation about injuries. And he's right.

This new policy isn't really going to solve much. One one hand, you're not going to hear stupid things like "upper body injury" and "general body soreness" anymore. But on the other, teams are going to keep as much in-house as they possibly can, and now that they aren't required to disclose anything, they're not going to. How many teams are going to volunteer that their players are banged-up if they don't have to?

There's no real right answer for how to handle injury information. But I don't think this is any better than the old way. If anything, it's worse.

- Last night's entertainment was the band Seven Mary Three. Which would have been great if this was 1995. Hey, if we could get Bill Guerin and Doug Weight back to 1995, that would be really great. We can only hope they played "Cumbersome", their one big hit. Still, I guess they were a better choice than the crappy cover bands that used to play at every game a couple of years ago. The same can't be said for Kevin Connelly at the opening faceoff. Now, I don't watch "Entourage" or anything, but I'm sick of seeing the same people over and over again. Speaking of ubiquitous celebrity fans, Christie Brinkley sure disappeared quickly, didn't she?

- Is it just me, or is scoring way up around the league this year? I know it's way too early to tell, but I think the modifications made to the goalie equipment are having an impact. Saves that used to be easy ones are now a little trickier, and even the shots goalies stop are finding their way into the net. Time will tell if this is just a temporary thing or if goalies will adjust as the season progresses, but it's been enjoyable so far. On the topic of the season's first weekend, I've watched a fair amount of hockey, but I have yet to see my first fight of the season.

- Tomorrow is Columbus Day, which means you may or may not be stuck at work tomorrow. If you are, check out NHL GameCenter, which is free until the 15th. The game broadcast will almost certainly be blacked out because it's a local game, but you can at least follow along. If NHL.com is blocked at work, you should be able to find a game tracker on CBS Sportsline. Feel free to post any other sites that will let you follow the game. And if these options fail you, do the right thing - call in sick.

EDIT: I forgot a couple of things. First, MSG Plus dropped the ball yet again last night with the lack of pre-game show. So we miss an entire period of play on Friday and we don't even get a pre-game show before our home opener. That's nice. Secondly, I think my daughter has a crush on Martin Brodeur. She kept smiling while his interview with Stan Fischler on NHL On The Fly. I'm officially worried. I'd sooner her have a crush on The Hockey Maven himself.

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