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6 Reasons Why a Goalie Controversy is a Good Thing


Guest terp
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honestly, that's one of the most incoherent pieces i've read in a while. no offense to you, but dan kelley appears to be really crappy at making "6 reasons..." articles.

i mean, in order:

1. Bryzgalov Has to Earn His Stripes...

bullshit. he has a 9 year contract for a lot of money and a NMC. holmgren handed him his stripes. that's the big big big downside to large dollar, long term, movement restricted contracts for goalies. stupid stupid move by holmgren, sure, but does anyone *really* think bryzgalov is going to be warming the bench for anything resembling the long haul?

2. ...And Bobrovsky Gets to Show off

i don't even know what the guy is trying to say with this one. i'd say he's talking about boosting trade value, but that one is listed later. dude was stuffing his # of reasons on this one.

3. Bryzgalov Has to Give Back

and i don't know what this one means, either. he finishes it off with, "Otherwise, Paul Holmgren’s shifty maneuvering will find Bryz a new home; whether it’s in another city or simply a long stay on a cold bench." again, does anyone really believe the flyers could conceivably have a $5.75mil backup for the next 8 1/2 years? alternately, if bryzgalov shows the team (and thus the league) that he is really just backup material, does anyone *really* think "holmgren's shifty maneuvering" can find a team who wants a backup at $5.75mil/yr for 8 more years, with a NMC that will follow the contract? is there *really* a chance that bryzgalov loses this little competition? if not, what is the advantage to this charade?

4. Bob's Trade Value Is Bolstered

ok, first one i agree with. taking advantage of bryzgalov's stumbles in late november to showcase bob and pick up some wins from the better and way cheaper goalie makes sense. it'll stop making sense sometime around the all-star break where one guy is going to need to know he is the man and can start getting himself into playoff form. continueing the confusion and showcasing past that will cause problems.

5. Bryzgalov Feels the Philly Pressure

yeah, he does. and our manic general manager has ensured he'll feel it for 9 years. the best plan for dealing with it to add more pressure to him? add actual punishment on top of the cat calls and editoral pieces? that's the plan for getting the most of the flyers $51mil investment?? like i said before, bryzgalov's problems are not that he isn't trying hard enough. they aren't that he isn't motivated, or needs to work harder, or grind it out, or whatever. successful goaltending comes from things clicking on a subconcious level. reading the way a shooter's stick moves tells you where the shot is going. it's too fast to actually pay attention to and think about, your mind just has to register what it saw and *know* what is happening. if that isn't happening for bryzgalov, punishment won't fix it. it's a matter of focus and confidence in what your brain is telling you. getting him in front of pucks in game situations and letting him get that edge back, get that subconcious processing working again and believing in it are the only solutions. reporters in the pregame asking if you are going to suck again doesn't help. fans booing doesn't help. both of those are inevitable in philly, though. what's not inevitable is additional second guessing coming from your bench. it's a bad idea to voluntarily add that to the mix in the name of "motivation" or "pushing" or whatever other euphemism you want to use.

6. It's the Right Kind of Goalie Controversy

lol, no, it's not. and neither is vancouver's. LA, they have the right kind of goalie controvery. they have two very good young goalies, and are not married to either for any length of time. they can make an actual decision, and so testing the mettle of both is a good thing. the flyers don't have a decision to make. holmgren made it. the only thing that can be done from here is make it worse by breaking bryzgalov's confidence and sending him into the lockerroom sulking. "but aziz, bryzgalov is a professional and should man up". yeah yeah yeah, whatever. he's a guy who is going to get paid for a LONG LONG time. he is not the one who faces consequences if this signing is shown to be an absolute disaster. he will get paid for sulking, he will get paid to play. the flyers can either get something from that payment or not, and threatening him with extended bench time gets them nothing.

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@aziz

honestly, that's one of the most incoherent pieces i've read in a while. no offense to you, but dan kelley appears to be really crappy at making "6 reasons..." articles.

No offense taken. I don't always post articles because I think they are wonderful. In this case, I found it interesting that someone had enough sense to take a shot at the topic. On the other hand, I thought we did a much better job than Dan of exploring the situation. Dan should follow the lead of the rest of the Flyers press corps and read this blog.

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unfortunately that problem of perception is widespread - blogs posing as news articles, or being quoted as such. Blogs should be forced to post in comic sans ...

in this case it is pretty obvious - there's no "news" here at all. And the opinions expressed in the article are hard to follow at best, incoherent in many places. I'm not sure what Dan Kelley thinks is so great about having a ~$6 million backup - or even a ~$6 million starter who gets "lost in the woods" every 6 games...

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Can we get a new tag for "blog posts". This is definitely not a "News Article". The bleacher report is a blog, stop acting like it is a legitimate new source.

I think the problem is that philly.com links to Bleacher Report off it's main pages - giving an additional air of legitimacy that clearly isn't earned.

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Can we get a new tag for "blog posts". This is definitely not a "News Article". The bleacher report is a blog, stop acting like it is a legitimate new source.

You are saying that blogs have a lower standard than articles from actual publications. I dispute that. For example, how much better than Dan Kelly are Sam Carchidi and Frank Seravalli? I think they all suck and it is difficult for me to give the nod to the later two. Still not convinced? OK, who provides better, more knowledgeable hockey coverage, Frank Seravalli or Bill Meltzer? I rest my case.

The distinction between blogs and "news articles" is not necessarily or even usually quality.

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@terp

exactly correct. 99.999% of hockey "journalism" is worthless tripe that should be discarded as the meaningless and uninsightful fluff that it is. the only major difference between a "blog" and an "official" article is that the latter was done to meet a deadline while the blog was written because the writer had something he wanted to say. obligation versus passion. i suppose the professional writer has an editor and some schooling to make their piece more presentable than your average blog, but lipstick on a pig and all that.

give me numbers and factual details, all of the rest is opinion and filler. can be good, can be bad, but none of it is any more authoritative than anything written here.

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@terp

exactly correct. 99.999% of hockey "journalism" is worthless tripe that should be discarded as the meaningless and uninsightful fluff that it is.

To you it is, and that's fine. Readers decide for themselves what's fluff and what's interesting. In any case, to the extent you see it as a problem is a function of the reporter(s) in question; it's not endemic to reporting in general (as you know).

The difference is reporters are expected, in fact obligated to actually interview their subjects; they have direct contact with them. Blogs can be about anything or anyone and nobody expects any of it to be fact-based.

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@canoli

i dunno. the interview stuff is, to me, indicative of how useless most of it is. what is the value in hearing how giroux feels about the team's powerplay? what possible insight could we, as fans, possible gain from hearing some canned thing about movement and getting pucks to the net? or laviolette hedging about his goalies? or pronger refusing to give any details about anything? hockey writers lean on their access to fill their pieces with the same generic garbage over and over and over again. instead of telling us anything actually interesting or actually insightful, we get paragraphs of this guy said this and that guy feels that.

i'm just completely disinterested in the personalities on the team, the whole tabloid approach the majority of sports writers have taken. sports may be the male soap oprah, but i don't need that rubbed in, you know? frankly, i'd rather read a writer who does not have lockerroom access. the only thing he can write about is what happens on the ice, be it in-game or in-practice, and that's all i really care to know.

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You are saying that blogs have a lower standard than articles from actual publications. I dispute that. For example, how much better than Dan Kelly are Sam Carchidi and Frank Seravalli? I think they all suck and it is difficult for me to give the nod to the later two. Still not convinced? OK, who provides better, more knowledgeable hockey coverage, Frank Seravalli or Bill Meltzer? I rest my case.

The distinction between blogs and "news articles" is not necessarily or even usually quality.

Any jackass can through a blog together. At least "news articles" are written by people who have credentials, a reputation and have to deal with the consequences of putting crap out there. There are people who can lose their jobs if news articles are BS (writers, editors, management etc). Not to say there aren't bloggers out there who put quality stuff together, but I will definitely say there are bloggers who write out of their asses and couldn't care less.

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@canoli

i dunno. the interview stuff is, to me, indicative of how useless most of it is. what is the value in hearing how giroux feels about the team's powerplay? .

Sure, hockey reporting - in Philly anyway - is abysmal. But it doesn't have to be that way. A good reporter would press Giroux for a better answer instead of settling for tired old clichés about "playing for 60 minutes" and whatever other useless tidbits players like to throw around. If the PP was bad that night, if it didn't cash in, a good reporter - who had been at the practices all week - would confront Giroux with the extra passing, the perimeter play and the lack of shots and demand an answer. It's as simple as that.

"Claude, you guys put a lot of effort this week in practice getting pucks to the front of the crease and then swarming for garbage goals. Craig had both units running the same drill over and over, on Tuesday, on Wednesday and also yesterday - a big point drive and then 2 forwards would crash hard to the net. What happened out there tonight? We didn't we see any sustained pressure in front of Price all game. Specifically on the PP, why didn't you guys attempt to run those drills on your 4 opportunities?"

Unfortunately too many reporters believe access is enough, that it separates them from the bloggesphere. They're right, but what they do with that access is what's important. Too many of them are lap dogs, willing and even eager to print quotes, regardless if those quotes enlighten anyone. At the expense of genuine reaction by a player we get "we need to come out with more intensity." Yeah, no sh!t Claude, Danny, Chris.

So a good reporter follows up with "Why didn't you guys have any energy in the first 15 minutes? It seems like it's becoming a pattern, have the coaches addressed it that way? How much of your free time is dedicated to preparing for the next game? What time did you get to sleep last night?"

etc etc

"Chris, you've been in the league a lot of years, ran many PPs. Do you think the Flyers have a winning strategy on the PP right now? Do you think maybe you're relying on heavy shots from the point too much, given the fact that only you and Matt Read seem to be able to get point shots through to the net?

yes/no/I don't know.

Reporter: "Because frankly your PP units appeared to be doing their best to avoid running the drills I saw in practice this week."

Etc etc.

There's a world of good hockey reporting just waiting to be done, especially in the big markets. Gary and his commission want to generate interest, increase ticket and merchandising sales ... they would advance that strategy by pressuring the print media - however they can influence them - to employ serious reporters who actually enjoy the game.

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you're right, though i don't know i've ever seen a writer with the balls to press a player or coach like that. (except maybe brooks when egging tortorella on...but that's a whole other thing, and i keep hoping tortorella lays zombie-face-guy out)

i just don't know that i even care, though. i'm not interested in giroux's candid thoughts on the PP, even if he were likely to give them.

for myself, everything i could want to know is available by watching the games, watching the practices and watching transaction reports...and any on-the-block announcements a GM might want to make. the rest...to me, the rest is all "as the world turns" fluff drama that doesn't mean a whole lot.

to me. there isn't anything wrong if some people are into it, i'm just not. thus, the advantage a credentialed reporter has is really no advantage in my eyes...and with the cop-out way it tends to be used, it's a bit of a disadvantage, imo.

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At least "news articles" are written by people who have credentials, a reputation and have to deal with the consequences of putting crap out there.

This is the same point restated and I still disagree with it. Meltzer is the example I think we can all agree with: he is credentialed, has a reputation to protect and suffers consequences if he posts stuff that is seriously off base or simply untrue. The consequences he has to concern himself with are ruining his reputation with readers to the point that they don't care about him any more and he ceases to be a draw for the sites that post him. Then he loses his paycheck. There is really no practical difference between these consequences and those that an employee might suffer: either way, his livelihood is at risk.

On the other side of the coin, the Inquirer and Daily News reporters don't know a damn thing but I don't see a lot of "consequences". The same mediocre reporters have been churning out the same "tripe" for a few years now.

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well okay that's fair. But maybe think about last year after the AS break. Suppose reporters had been doing a good job for years, and the standard, the expectations for player interviews was much higher. Maybe Kimmo, in his interview in mid-March, instead of basically just complaining in general flat out says, "There are a couple guys on this team that think they can get away with anything, that they don't have to prepare for games like the rest of us. I won't name names but there are 2 in particular who have their own little club. They don't take care of themselves in their free time so they can't prepare very well for games and they don't give much of an effort on the ice unless they feel like it. Frankly Jim (the reporter) it's beginning to suck around here."

I doubt anyone would be that candid but maybe only just shy of that. Good reporters establish trust and it works both ways, so quotes like that aren't as pipe-dream as you might think. Information that Kimmo might have provided, were he comfortable doing so would've opened up quite a few eyes long before the embarrassment that was the Flyers PO season. A good reporter who had developed a strong relationship with Player X gets that player to reveal things he hasn't told anyone. Player X's teammate reads the story a day later and an interview with Player Y goes a little deeper into the trouble...

...Eventually Lavy is forced to address it publicly and maybe the story unfolds closer to how we (we philly.com forum members) discussed last year - that the whole team was mailing in the effort and it wasn't just "injuries and goaltending." Instead of what we heard for 2 months we might've known a more accurate story all along, one that would've brought the big trades this summer into specific relief and provided the context, as opposed to leaving the fans speculating on the "real reasons" Richards and Carter had to go.

I'll go a step further. Maybe by the time Boston sweeps us out of the playoffs Ed Snider has been publicly "educated" (embarrassed) enough about the trouble with the team and who's most responsible for it. Maybe he doesn't overreact to the shaky PO goaltending (and includes Lavy's part in producing it) and doesn't make those ultimatum statements to the media about "never going through that again" as if it was all the goaltenders' fault. Maybe he doesn't demand Homer go out and "get a legit #1 no matter what."

...and so we don't sign Bryzfkngalov for 9 years...we make the moves we have to - Carter and Richards are gone, Versteeg and Leino too - but then we focus on our real needs, our longer-term needs like defensive depth.

Granted that's a lot of "maybes." But you just never know how things will go once you change something so fundamental as the team's "voice" to its fans, in a word its PR. You made the case awhile back for the importance of PR surrounding the Bryzgalov trade. Aspiring to excellence in hockey journalism fits right into the larger picture. A sports franchise is so much about its PR and its interaction with its fans. A team's PR informs not only those outside the organization but also the storyline within the walls; it can change the decision-making behind the scenes. Who knows, better reporting might've saved us from a 9-year, $57 million dollar mistake.

Good reporting serves a unique function in a free society. Extend that to a closed society like professional sports and nearly all of the "rules" could still apply if reporters cared enough to do their jobs well, and if their bosses and peers held them accountable to a much higher standard.

Edited by canoli
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A good reporter who had developed a strong relationship with Player X gets that player to reveal things he hasn't told anyone. Player X's teammate reads the story a day later and an interview with Player Y goes a little deeper into the trouble...

on the one hand, i get what you are saying, and agree that if it worked that way, it would be a good thing for us to see.

on the other hand, you are talking about a player driving a public (though conceivably annonymous) wedge into the team. there are guys out there that might do that, but most players -timon being a strong example imo- wouldn't. even beyond the PR-corps-trained-canned "skate harder" kind of vaguery, what you are talking about is crossing a good-teammate boundry that isn't often broached by even the most trusted reporter/player relationship.

and...i'm not sure that would be the important thing, anyway. snider's PR-motivation was driven by the fans' reactions to headlines. i'm thinking the best reporting *doesn't* focus on emotional reaction side of things, but rather explores the reality. make it obvious, through factual reporting --not get-the-player-to-open-up human interest/inference reporting-- that there is a chemistry problem with the team, and that goaltending is not the biggest issue to be addressed. i have to think intra-personel issues were there to be seen at practices and in the tunnels between periods, had the reporters felt it was their job to be there to see the former and pay attention to the later. there was a ton of in-game data and historical comparison to illustrate the goaltending itself did not end the flyers' postseason, had the reporters felt it their job to analyze and relate it.

the story doesn't all have to come in the form of quotes and player/coach/gm/owner reactions. to me, those are the weakest and least compelling parts of it. before i come across as *too* much of an asshole, this is obviously just my opinion. i'm just completely not interested in what a player might have to say to a reporter. i skim over all the quotes in the stories i see, i don't watch intermissions or postgame interviews.

execpt every once in a while someone keeps it really real. like zherdev's last year in columbus with all the, "zherdev's a diva" stuff coming out of the lockerroom. that was good stuff.

http://www.funnyordi...al-goes-wrong-1

Edited by aziz
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I'm not advocating Oprah sessions after the game. All I'm saying is good reporters would've found out much more about what was going on inside that locker room. You're right Kimmo is the last guy who'd break unwritten rules. But you saw what happened, the fact that he expressed what he did shows not only how far gone the Flyers were but also how much of the story was missing. If that story isn't interesting to you I respect and understand that. If you're saying it couldn't possibly have a bearing on the team, on the fans and ultimately on the Flyers roster well I disagree. I'm interested in what makes the Flyers run; I think you are too. I can see why you boycott (kidding) the pressers and intermission interviews but can't you at all imagine hearing interesting stuff from the players?

What did most of us spend time talking about on this board over the summer? Richards, Bryzgalov and Carter. Naturally. You wouldn'tve been interested in hearing firsthand accounts of what was really going on before it came to that? Before it came to dismantling the team?

Like I said I'm not hoping for confessionals just accuracy - more about what the hell is really going on with the team.

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no, no, i'm with you, if someone could be made to start naming names to a guy they know will then go and print it, perfectly willing to deal with the icey lockerroom before the next practice, then by all means, i'd love to hear it. i guess i'm discounting it because i don't see it happening. at least not from a guy you would actually want on the team, you know? can you imagine even an asshole like chris pronger calling richards out to the press? even to a really skillfull and dedicated reporter? remember how philly divided down the middle when primeau got frank with the press about barber? there are people out there who hate him to this day for that...and i think even the rest of us figure maybe he needed to keep things a little closer to the chest on that whole thing. sean avery runs to the press, and it's one of the reasons you don't want him around.

i pay a little more attention to the coaches. if anyone is in a position to call someone out, it's them. and it happens once in a while. like tortorella regarding avery. that's kinda more about the coach deciding to make a public thing, though, than any reporting genius. and i love holmgren's season ticket holder Q&A. people bring recaps or even transcripts of that here, and i'm facinated. for reasons i don't understand, actually, holmgren drops all the bullshit and talks about the team's situation candidly. this guy didn't work out, this guy did, this messy stuff was happening, this is what we think will straighten it out. though again, it's an event, it's planned that he's gonna do that. insightful reporting didn't dig it out of him.

anyway. i just don't think that there's a ton to be gained from reporters focusing on the player/coach access. if a guy isn't inclined to spill the really interesting beans, he isn't going to spill them. and if a guy has decided he wants to say something, he's gonna find a microphone to say it to.

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well sure, a guy who starts naming names wouldn't be popular. That's why in my little Kimmo scenario I stopped short of that and used "there are 2 guys in particular..." Last year's Flyers were in a serious funk last spring...I was half-expecting to see some Barber/Primeau type stories come out...

Maybe it's better this way but it would be nice if more than once a year - at the STH meeting - you got to hear "the real story" about a team...

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