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JR Ewing

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Everything posted by JR Ewing

  1. Were the Taylors living next door to Mario Lemieux, or did her brother deliver the paper to Kevin Stevens? I'm just trying to figure out how this is related to the Penguins.
  2. Am I missing something? The article linked to a list of celebrity-owned booze brands.
  3. ... I *did* say my thinking was that they ought not to do the playoffs.
  4. I don't know if they should hold the playoffs. Generally, my thinking was no. Either way, it's pretty fair to point out the differences between things in the US and Canada:
  5. They've been mostly good since 2015. They don't have any fans, but they're far from belong in this discussion.
  6. If the vote was for most toxic owner, I would create an alternate account and vote twice for the Senators, but since it's just for the worst organization in the NHL, I agree that it's the Devils. I have faith in Yzerman's ability to rebuild his team, and while Tom Fitzgerald's been an Assistant GM for a long time, he's still a rookie in the main job.
  7. @WordsOfWisdom At least Clark and Sundin had been in the playoffs by his age. Yes, it was easier to qualify in those days, but Eichel's teams have been so far out of reach of the playoffs that it's not even funny. If it was raining soup, Sabres management would be out there with a fork and knife. Also: LOVED Wendel Clark.
  8. @SpikeDDS I agree completely. It's not right. Edmonton was in solid playoff position but could get bounced in a short series after not playing for months and somehow wind up getting a franchise player out of the deal. I imagine that this was a concession made to the play-in teams for having to play against clubs that probably wouldn't qualified for the playoffs if things hadn't gone as they had with Covid. As ever, life is often not fair at all.
  9. Great book. I'm really not trying to crap on Lowe; like I said, I have tremendous respect for him as a player. He has 6 Cups, was a key player on 5 of those winning teams, and (according to teammates) was the adult in a room full of boys. More mature than his partying teammates and took everything very seriously. He showed up for every game perpetually in a bad mood and ready to defend his end of the ice to the death. He HATED to lose as much as anybody ever in the history of hockey: once during intermission of a game which was going badly, he threw his stick in the dressing room, and it broke off and embedded itself in the newly renovated ceiling. When his brother Ken (head athletic trainer) gave him sh|t over it, because it's just a game, Kevin was so offended that they ended up in a fist fight over it. Given the changes in the game, I think that Lowe is most likely the last of a dead breed (the defense-only defenseman) to get into the Hall.
  10. When people don't agree that Player A belongs in the HOF, a great amount of extremely heated debate often takes place. This can happen between rabid fans of that player, or even people that, while they weren’t necessarily this guy’s biggest devotee, believe he’s HOF caliber. HOF arguments are many, but generally comprise the following sorts of arguments, and are used on there own or sometimes even all at once. There are probably a million different sorts of arguments that could be made by a million different people, but these are five easily identifiable points of debate that come up again and again. The Selective Reasoning, or Bernie Federko Argument “Who’s the only player to ever record 50 assists in 10 or more consecutive seasons?”. This is a perfect example of using very selective statistics to “prove” that a player is more qualified than other players, with its biggest falling point being that it’s the sort of logic that can make ANY player into a HOFer, and tell us as much about the skill of the arguer as it does the player being debated. This question really only leads to more questions. Did somebody have 45 assists for 10 or more seasons? Did another player have at least 60 assists for 10 or more years? The Championship Argument “He won X Stanley Cups. He’s a champion. How can he not go into the Hall of Fame?” This is fine enough, but has to be taken in context with other factors. The Stanley Cups isn’t the heavyweight championship of the world, it’s a team championship. There is nothing wrong with raising the point of a player’s involvement in Stanley Cup victories; however, it can’t carry a lot of weight if it’s the main thrust of the pro-HOF argument. Conversely, a lack of Stanley Cups cannot be at all fairly used against a player that didn’t play for a club strong enough to win championships. The Clutch Play Wild Card Here’s the Ace of Spades that’s used when a guy is really in trouble. If he’s been unable to make a fair case (or even if he did), it’s then time to bring out the player’s superior qualities as a clutch player. This is the argument where people will try to make you believe that players aren’t merely NHLers due to their being bigger, stronger, faster and more athletic, but because they possess greater character than the rest of the mere mortals. Not only are they better athletes, but better people than us, as is “proved” by their ability to “raise their game when it really counts”. A player’s reputation (or lack thereof) as being clutch is generally based on a very small selection of plays, is mostly trumpeted by the media first, and then the fans pick up on it. This idea has not once been shown to have consistency or any real evidence of existing, and makes for a poor HOF argument, though many people lean on it heavily. The use of clutch skills as a debating tool is the bridge that people use to span the distance that they can't cover with reason or sensibility. The “Numbers Don’t Mean Anything” Argument This argument would have more substance if it went something more like “numbers don’t mean everything”. Statistics DO mean something. They give identity to the unidentifiable and meaning to the abstract, and other than video, photos, articles and memories, are all we have left to tell the story of what happened on the ice. As long as statistics are viewed in their proper light they are completely relevant in a sports conversation, and don’t deserve to be thrown out automatically. I guarantee you that the “numbers don’t mean anything” crowd check their pay stub every two weeks to make sure that the numbers are what they should be. The Comparative, or Clark Gillies Argument "Clark Gillies is in the Hall of Fame. How can you not put Player A in?" This debate is centered on how the player in question compares to other players in the HOF. This argument takes form in the use of “X, Y and Z all made the HOF, and A was a better player than them”. This also happens a lot when folks mix in other forms of the above arguments to back up their case. This is the Clark Gillies HOF doctrine in its purest form, leaving us cursed forever to endure how other players compare to him. There are a number of players more qualified to be in the HOF than Gillies, and we’ll see many more people use the Gillies argument. The question to ask is this: Should the Gillies example be used to allow easier entry into the HOF, or be accepted for what it is and put an end to comparisons between him and prospective players?
  11. It's that time of year again: time for the Keltner Test, this time for Kevin Lowe. 1. Was he ever commonly thought of as the best player in hockey while he played? No 2. Was he ever commonly thought of as the best player at his position while he played? No, there were always a good number of better defensemen in the league in every year of his career. 3. Was he ever among the top 10 leaders in any key stats? (G, A, Pts, W, SO, etc) No 4. Did the player ever lead the league in any key stats? (G, A, Pts, W, SO, etc) No 5. Did he ever have an impact on a deep playoff run? Yes. Numerous times. (1) 6. Was he a key member of a Stanley Cup winner? Yes. Lowe was a top-pairing and tough-minute defenseman for 5 Cup winners. Won a 6th in NY, but was a depth player by that time. (2) 7. Was he ever a team Captain? Yes. (3) 8. Was he ever team Captain of a Stanley Cup winner? No (3) 9. Did many regard him to be an excellent defensive player? It was never his offense game that brought him to the dance. Yes (4) 10. Did many regard his physical play/hitting to be an intimidating factor? (NOTE: We're not looking for pests here) Lowe had an extreme tolerance for pain, and consistently played through injuries that would have seen many other players placed on IR, and in that sense was tough. He certainly wasn't intimidating, though. This is a "no" for me. (4) 11. Did he play alot/well after he passed his prime? Lowe's body had a ton of miles, and his impact on his teams really diminished after he was 30 years old, which showed in GP and minutes being drastically reduced. No. (4) 12. Was he ever elected to the 1st or 2nd All-Star team? No. (4) 13. Are many any other players with similar statistics in the HHOF? Of the 10 most statistically similar player, not one is a HOFer. (4) 14. Did he win a Hart, Lindsay, Norris or Vezina Trophy? (NOTE for goalies: prior to 1982, use 1st All-Star selections) No (4) 15. Did he win a Conn Smythe Trophy? (pre-1965: see resources) No (4) 16. Is there any evidence to suggest (due to circumstances beyond his control) that he was significantly better than is indicated by his statistics? (NOTE: We're looking for things like time missed due to global conflict, world politics, league wars, etc... NOT INJURY!) I don't see it. (4) 17. Did the player bring bring positive and intense focus on the game of hockey? The Wayne Gretzky/Babe Ruth question. Almost impossible to get a point here. No. (4) 18. Was the player innovative, inspire a new style of play, or cause the league to change any of its rules as a result of the way he played? No, but almost nobody ever gets a point on this one, either. Total -> 4 points. The scale which I've been using for many years: 13+ = Best of the best 11-12 = Unquestioned HOFer 9-10 = Great player 7-8 = Belongs in HOF -------------------- 5-6 = Borderline 3-4 = Weak Argument 1-2 = Completely Unqualified That borderline range of 5 or 6 means that supporters for the player in question can make arguments, but that they seem to be falling short in a major aspect or two. It takes a lot to get those additional points. Scoring 5 or 6 is more in the range of "that guy was a hell of a hockey player", but probably not great. It's important to remember that we can't take the final number too literally. It's just an attempt to bring some objectivity to the debate, which is usually sorely lacking, and mostly comprised of very abstract ideas about how "he was a clutch player", etc. But even then, if a person doesn't like the above range, it can be adjusted to suit his notion of how difficult it should be. We want to make access to the Hall a truly difficult thing, but it's also not fair to make it so that you have to be Wayne Gretzky in order to get in. Anyway... I always had respect for Kevin Lowe as a player, but much of his HOF argument comes down to environment. Three of his points come from being surrounded by some of the greatest players to ever put on a pair of skates, and the fourth comes from being captain for 55 games during a period where every other player from that dynasty had been sold off. I don't think this was a great look for the committee.
  12. ANOTHER rookie GM for the Sabres? At some point they need to bring in somebody with some on-the-job experience.
  13. Look at how much better Justin Schultz has looked in Pittsburgh, being used in a way which plays to his strengths, than he was in Edmonton, where he was asked to be Ray Bourque. He has skill, but he's simply not a minute-muncher, and deploying him like that was a huge mistake. I think you're probably right about Middlestadt and how it changes the daily lineup decisions for the coaching staff. I love balance. In a perfect world, the Sabres could even out the batting order, but they were just too good together to split up. When they're on the ice together, the Sabres are getting 56% of the goals scored. Away from each other? 45% Since Skinner scores a lot more with Eichel than without, I don't know what choice you're left with but pair them. Jeff Skinner can score goals, but has also never cared that there were two nets on the ice. If he's not scoring goals for you, he's hurting you.
  14. Absolutely The goalies aren't good, but Ristolainen surrenders the blueline far too easily: he's AHL-calibre at allowing zone entries, but he's playing top pairing minutes. To me, guys like that, but who can put up some points on the power-play are my definition of guys you want to shelter. Others may have a different way of making that definition.
  15. No, I don't think he is either. I also don't think that a PP-specialist who needs to be sheltered is anything approaching the solution. I'm doing well, thank you. When you weren't around for some time, I (like all around here) was worried. I hope all has been well. Well, you're quite right that strong goaltending is the tide that can raise all ships. A prime-aged Dominik Hasek would suddenly make the Sabres a lot more dangerous.
  16. Random thought on this... -If there's one thing I've seen a lot of in my time as an Oilers fan, it's bad management. With respect to hockey ops, it would seem that if brains were lard, Sabres management couldn't grease a pan, so... -I can't blame Jack Eichel for his frustration here, because he sees that, too. They make strange decisions: paid a premium price to keep Jeff Skinner and then didn't even bother to keep playing him with Eichel. -Jack Eichel trade speculation will likely run rampant now, but the Sabres should do everything they can to keep him. Risto? The Sabres have incorrectly labelled him as a player-type that he isn't, and will ride him to losing seasons until they figure out playing a defenseman who can't defend for 25 minutes a night isn't such a hot idea.
  17. Jack Eichel let 'er rip, and I can't blame him: And while we're at it, Ristolainen spoke up as well: "Buffalo has a bright future, but we've been saying the bright future for 7 years now when I've been here, and I'm not sure when it is."
  18. That's close to what I said to my wife several weeks ago: "The Panthers have a big advantage. Their fans have been distant for years now."
  19. My guess has been that if those cities had been in the top 16 already, then we wouldn't be looking at this 24-team silliness.
  20. It's always nice to be reminded that intelligence is oh-so thinly spread between men and women equally.

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