A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

And It’s Over…

Chicago is the better team and proved it in the series.

Now look for the Sharks to start building a team to beat Chicago (Sharks spent the last four years building a team to beat Detroit).

Just a few last gripes to get in now, though.

–The Chicago fanbase is second behind Pittsburgh as the most UNdeserving. So many bandwagon fans, and I hope they get swept in the Finals.

–Niemi is not that great. He is your run-of-the-mill Cam Ward. Success in his rookie year before fading into mediocrity. Sorry. I just don’t see anything special in him. He had a lot of luck this series.

–Byfuglien is getting hyped beyond belief, and he is awful. By next year, he will be as overrated as Tomas Holmstrom.

–Who the heck is this Dave Bolland? He earns the mosquito award for being the biggest pest.

–Hopefully NBC can find some new commentators to do playoff games. There’s no excuse to have a Blackhawks analyst in the booth. That’s clear bias. Not to mention all you ever hear about is Chicago. They’re the Pittsburgh of the West.

The rest of Chicago is good, although I think Toews is incredibly arrogant. There’s no way they can keep all those players after this season.

As for the Sharks, it’s time to find a new goaltender. Nabokov does not have what it takes to get it done. The Sharks need to start stockpiling draft picks because that’s how it seems championships are won these days. Suck for ten years and get first overall picks.

Maybe this will somehow help the Sharks. They did finally realize how to get out of the second round. Coming back against Colorado and destroying Detroit will always be remembered for me.

Thanks, Sharks!

–Ray

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May 23, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ITSC, Round 2, Sharks vs. Red Wings

It’s unfortunate that this matchup had to happen, but I wouldn’t expect anything less.

There’s a 0% chance of the Sharks winning this series.

Detroit in five or six.

–Ray

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ITSC, Game 2 vs. Avalanche

WOW!

They finally smarted up and came to play — well, all except two players.

Everything was against the Sharks tonight; it’s like the Sharks are banned from winning and banned from getting in breaks in the playoffs.

Countless times, I hear dings from Sharks shots going off the posts, pucks fumbling away from Sharks players, pucks bouncing right toward opponents, bogus penalties on the Sharks when they aren’t called against opponents, the list continues….

But somehow, these men picked up their lunch pail and went to work. I’ve never seen a harder working Sharks game ever. Constant battles along the boards, players moving their feet and winning 50/50 battles.

There’s no doubt the Sharks deserved this win.

It took overtime to do it, though. 6-5! That’s right, 6-5!

The two reasons why it wasn’t 5-1 or 6-1? Douglas Murray and Evgeni Nabokov. It’s quite possible they played some of their worst hockey in their lives.

They single-handedly were the cause of four goals. Murray blew coverage twice giving Nabby no chance to stop shots. Then on two others Nabby had brain farts and couldn’t make simple stops.

San Jose annihilated Colorado in every aspect of the game besides those plays. The Sharks are too big and on this night, too determined.

I haven’t even mentioned how bad the referees were. There were so many holding, hooking and interference penalties on the Sharks that went uncalled. But then of course when Rob Blake lowers the boom on a precious Av, it’s a penalty.

Ovvverrr Nine Thousssaaannndddddddd!!!! (From SJSHARKS.com)

In the overtime, the exact same play Rob Blake did happened to Ryane Clowe; an Av came in a decked him into the boards, and it was a clear interference call. Nope, not called.

Luckily, the refs smarted up for one play when Adam Foote bolted Jed Ortmeyer into the net, which was called a penalty.

Devin Setoguchi cashed in on that power play by deflecting a shot and sending the Sharks to Colorado with a 1-1 series tie.

Fantastic work by every forward. I can’t state that enough. I’d like to single out Scott Nichol. That man has some engine in his body. I think he was the reason the rest of the Sharks worked as hard as they did. And guess what? Nichol was rewarded with a goal in the game.

Craig Anderson is not that great. A random thought, but I need to say it. Guarantee he will go back to being a nobody, average goalie next year. One-hit wonder.

One can only hope the Sharks can bottle this energy up and unleash it again in Colorado. This could be an organization-changer.

You know those NHL commercials where they show old highlights in reverse saying “What if so and so didn’t happen?

There could be one in 10 years showing Setoguchi’s overtime goal.

Hard work needs to be rewarded, and thankfully it was tonight.

–Ray

April 17, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time MLB to Change Postseason

Every year I question why on earth the season has to be so long. There are obviously many reasons for it; some are understandable, others not so much. People enjoy baseball a lot and are willing to pay to go to every game.

Then you have the higher-ups who just want as much money as possible with television contracts and ticket revenues.

The logic of a 162-game season and just an eight-team postseason doesn’t make sense. In the other major sports, more teams have the opportunity.

The NFL allows 12 teams out of 32 into the playoffs; the NHL allows 16 teams out of 30; the NBA 16 out of 30.

Now obviously for baseball purists, having that many games and so few postseason participants is what makes the game special and unique. I can’t argue with that. It’s a great game.

But I can’t help but wonder how teams with 90+ wins don’t get in simply because there’s not enough room.

And what’s the incentive for bad teams to continue competing past July?

“Hey guys, it’s not looking good for us 82 games in. But it’s almost over—oh wait, we have 82 more games to play. Damn.”

I enjoy parity and while baseball has gotten better with parity, it could use a more consistent format to bring it more to fruition.

This may seem like a crazy idea, but rock ‘n’ roll seemed like the dumbest idea ever at one point too.

This also comes on the heels of talks of having an amoeba-like division system; smaller market teams have a chance to switch divisions because they can’t compete with teams like the Yankees who fork out money like it’s cheese samples.

I’m not sure about that idea, but a new postseason debate needs to be started.

So, submitted for your difficult-to-get approval, here are some options for a new format:

1. Shorten the season by about 30 games (a month) and add two teams from each league to the postseason. This would take on an NFL-type format with the top two teams receiving byes. That doesn’t sound like baseball, but it does give two extra teams a chance.

2. Shorten the season by 30 games and add four teams from each league. This is the NHL and NBA style of doing things. The early series would have to be five games to keep things short.

3. Shorten the season by 30 games and keep the existing four-team postseason, but allow the division series to be seven games. Hopefully, this way November games would disappear, if not be few and far between. It also allows for more intense division and wild card races, with the shorter season.

4. Shorten the season by 15 games and allow five or six teams from each league in the playoffs. Then, execute a round robin format and have each team play the others four-five times. It’s the most radical suggestion so far, but have to throw everything out there, right?

5. Keep it as is.

There’s probably some variations of those options you can do to make it unique to baseball. I’m guessing I’ll see 95% opposition to this, but go ahead and let me know what you think in the comments — if it should be changed, any options you like, options of your own.

Let’s get the debate going.

–Ray

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Baseball | , , , | Leave a comment