Five random thoughts. My favorite blog topic. Why should I paint myself into a corner with actual blog themes? I prefer to let my mind wander.
5. Good reading? You bet. This wins my award for best article of the day. It also wins the award for scariest article of the day. But I don’t think it goes far enough, because an NFL destroyed by medical lawsuits has a trickle down effect to college football, the NHL, minor league hockey, baseball and basically every other sport under the sun. Because it’s sports. It’s dangerous and specialized. And only a select few can play them at a high level. And permanent damage from it is practically GUARANTEED. And that will never change.
4. In my ESPN.com fantasy playoff challenge for the Condors office, I am in trouble. Premise: you pick players and if they score for you, you get points. After the first round I was in 1st place. I was killing it. Mainly because I had Flyers and Penguins all over my roster. Before the second round we picked again, and what do you know, I’m still in 1st place. However, before the third round you pick again, except you don’t get to pick before the finals, so you’d better choose wisely. I went with all Devils and Coyotes, as @BroadcastHolt pointed out on twitter this morning, and I’m in trouble.
Eventually I think the Devils will prevail in that series, but after watching the Kings/Coyotes game the other night, I think that’s going to be a short series that doesn’t end well for Phoenix.
3. Speaking of the finals… The Wranglers and Everblades have commenced the final series in the ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs, and the Wranglers took Game One last night, 2-1. Mike Tyson ushered in the start of the finals without punching someone in the face, but ringing an air raid siren (which I have to admit could turn into a cool tradition in Vegas).
Florida was one of the best teams in the league in the second half of the season and should give Vegas a run for their money. Former Condor Matt Marquardt is the second leading Everblades scorer in the post-season, and good for him, he’s a good guy and made some fans quickly here in Condorstown. He had a really inconsistent season, but he is now a part of a pretty balanced Florida attack.
The Wranglers are balanced as well, an although they boast two of the top three playoff scorers, they only have two of the next 19 leading scorers in the league. Bizarre considering they are in the finals and no team has played more games. Florida has nine players in the top 22 in scoring, Vegas has four.
2. Hey man, there’s a beverage here! Not for nothing, but I was appalled this morning when I discovered that not only has broadcast partner Ryan Holt NOT seen The Big Lebowski, but neither has Condors Assistant Coach Kevin Barrett. And yes, I mean to say I was APPALLED. How does a guy like Holt go through college without seeing The Big Lebowski? I thought college was the time that you familiarized yourself with cult flicks and are drawn to movies that include booze like it’s another cast member.
1. Last week I wrote about how the game of hockey always fixes itself. Enter Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella with this beauty.
I think he’s wrong to want it back, but still, he has a point that rolls with my point last week, and that is that whatever the league does to open the game up seems to backfire.
Let me take it one step further in the opposite direction from Tortorella (who notably is a hockey expert, while I’m just a radio guy) I will use this opportunity to promote my thoughts on the red line: get rid of it altogether. Right now it’s being used only for icing. I think the league misses the point on eliminating it. It’s not a three-zone game as long as that stupid line is there – it’s a four zone game, with the neutral zone split in two. I think it should be gone altogether and icing should be determined when you fire the puck all the way down from your own zone. Otherwise you’re penalizing teams for missing the mark slightly on neutral zone passes. Teams that can transition well will be rewarded, because once the puck is taken away at your own line, you can immediately move it up without fear of retribution by simply missing your guy.
Then next they can apply regular icing rules to penalty killing, which wouldn’t seem all that cruel if you just had to escape your zone with it. When you’re shorthanded, why do you get different rules? In a way, that never made sense to me. You’re shorthanded. It’s a penalty. You are being penalized. But you can ice it? Especially after making the no-line-change rule after icings, doesn’t it seem silly that the PK can send it whenever they want? It’s like being sent to your room grounded but your parents let you stay up later and watch movies in bed. Well you ARE stuck in your room for the night, so here’s the TV?? No, that’s not how it works.
Kevin Bartl is the VP of Communications and part of the Condors broadcast team, entering his 10th season in #Condorstown. His opinions are clearly not reflective of the Condors organization. His blog comes out every Tuesday, or whenever he gets around to it. For not-always-hockey-related thoughts, follow him on twitter @KevinBartl.