Category Archives: hockey

It’s All One Song

Last week was the second anniversary of this blog. I would like to thank all my readers; especially those who have taken time to comment like Craig, William, and Mattbert. The rest of you can feel free to jump in. The water’s fine!

I set up a Pandora station recently that is mainly 40 plus years old instrumental rock; stuff like Booker T and the MGs and a lot of surf guitar. Tuesday, I heard a song by The Blue Men called “Orbit Around The Moon.” It was off a concept album called I Hear A New World. That disc was the brainchild of the fascinatingly bizarre Joe Meek. The melody sounded hauntingly familiar. I believe that Neil Young used it for the verses of “Like A Hurricane.”

Neil’s father, Scott Young, was a sportswriter. According to WIkipedia, he wrote occasionnaly for Sports Illustrated. I went into their vault and couldn’t find any articles credited to him, but I believe that this is one. The cover to that issue came up when I searched for him. I was hoping for some Angellic prose, but it was nothing more than a game report. I was hoping for something more. Anyways, hockey is starting to grow on me. I may write some about the Bruins as the season goes ob. That kid Tyler Seguin seems to be coming on strong so far.

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Hockey Afternoon in New England

Brodeur and Savard were two of the three stars of the game, but it wasn’t the NHL. It was my annual (or thereabouts) trek to an AHL game. This time, I went with the lovely Mrs. Designated Sitter to the MassMutual Center. It is a good thing that I went there instead of Bridgeport. the Sound Tigers game was postponed until today because of bad ice conditions.

I’ve been to the XL Center (nee Hartford Civic Center) and the DCU Center, but this was the first time in my life that I set foot into the MassMutual Center despite the fact that Springfield isn’t that far up I-91 from the greater Hartford area. It seats a little under 7000 for hockey and appears to have a similar seating capacity as the DCU Center. The XL Center is cavernous in comparison.

The Falcons had snapped a 12 game losing streak the previous nite in Worcester. They had gone almost a month between wins. Binghamton was also a winner last nite in Providence. The AHL qualification system is complicated. I think that Springfield is still alive despite that streak, but barely. Binghamton is 5th in their division, but they would qualify if the season ended today.

Not only was this my first time at the MassMutual Center, but my wife and I sat in the front row behind the Falcons bench allmost at center ice. I had never done that and you get a perspective you wouldn’t get elsewhere. You see a lot of things that you wouldn’t on TV or up higher.

1. The players wear corporate logos in the AHL like the Europeans do in soccer. The Falcons wore Mass Mutual patches on their sweaters and a similar sticker on their helmet. The Senators advertised M & T Bank and TeamWorld.

2. You can really see the spray of ice when a skater brakes to stop his momentum.

3. Each player has two or three spare sticks. One Falcon also swapped out his gloves.

4. At least one Falcon was missing teeth.

5. Hockey coaches have whiteboards like basketball coaches, but I didn’t see Springfield’s coach use his.
Here is a game story. And here is the gamesheet. I don’t really have much to add other than Springfield’s goalie, Dainton, is an amatuer, AFAICT. They are giving him a tryout. this site explains the system. I was also surprised to learn from that site that minor league hockey players have a players association.

A few other observations: One of the Zambonis was sponsored by Big Y, a local supermarket chain. It looked like a shopping cart. The arena had the aroma of popcorn and stale beer. There were a lot of Shriners at the game. Must ‘ve had a convention. One of them got hit on the top of his fez with a puck. The Binghamton boosters travel well. They filled a section and banged cowbells when Bingo scored or Brodeur had a good save. But the crowd was at it’s loudest during intermissions when tshirts were being tossed into the crowd. It sounded like Beatlemania. I hate the tshirt giveaway. I think that it gives kids the wrong message; if you scream loud enough, you will get what you want. Last, but not least, the ref tapes the whistle to his index finger.

All in all, it was a good time. Despite not knowing much about hockey, I do enjoy it.

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Sports Stats Sites: A Quick Compendium

1. Baseball Reference
2. Retrosheet
3. Fangraphs
4. Baseball Prospectus

1. Basketball Reference
2. College Basketball Reference
3. Basketball Prospectus

1. Pro Football Reference
2. Football Outsiders

1. Hockey Reference
2. Puck Prospectus

I think those are the major non-mediaconglomerate stat sites. Am I missing anything?

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Filed under baseball, basketball, football, hockey

Life Imitates Art

Old time hockey leaves Johnstown. After ol’ Reg Dunlop died, it was only a matter of time.

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Monday Morning Shortstop

Comment of the week comes from digamma who discusses what happens when you bring at risk kids to an athletic event.

My old girlfriend once took a bunch of troubled kids from this craphole to see Woodsville host Tilton in high school basketball. A fight ensued, and it ended with the dramatic scene of her escorting the group out past bleachers full of people all screaming at them.

It’s Winter Olympic time and has been for over a week. I’ve been catching bits and pieces of the games, but not much. Mainly I’ve been watching curling because it happens to be on when I get home from my day job. I suppose I could watch some stuff online, but I have yet to think of a computer as a substitute for a TV. I won’t click on a YouTube video longer than 2:00. By the way, get off of my lawn.

Anyways, Joe Posnanski has a curiously short post about Miracle on Ice. That was 30 years ago? Back then, 30 years earlier was the Truman Administration.

Some Sabermetrics 101 stuff
, if you are interested and do not know much about wOBA.

The main thing you missed this weekend that I didn’t miss was the Smoky Joe Wood Chapter of SABR’s winter meeting.

Larry Levine discusses what it was like growing up a Giants fan in the Bronx during the ’40s and having to deal with Yankee and Dodger fans. This made 1951 feel that much sweeter for him (it also cancels out my feelings of impending old age after reminiscing about the Miracle On Ice.) This presentation sort of reminded me of Fever Pitch (the book, not the movie) and was probably the highlight of the afternoon. It was also early on in the meeting.

Joe Runde made a presentation of various tabletop baseball simulations like APBA and Strat-O-Matic. I should do a presentation someday on Earl Weaver Baseball.

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Filed under baseball, basketball, beisbol, hockey, Hoops, what the puck?