Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Here's that energy drink TV spot with goalies Ryan Miller and Jean-Sébastien Aubin that debuted during the so-called Winter Classic.

Fittingly, almost as a reminder that there's little that can be done to spice up the NHL regular season, the outcome was a 2-1 final decided in a shootout. There wasn't a lot to see in between Sidney Crosby's great play to set up the Penguins only real goal and his shootout winner nearly three hours later, but oh well, it's not like the game is supposed to be enjoyed.

All in all, it was moderately exciting when you put it up against the backdrop of numbing boredom that is the first six months of the NHL regular season. Imagine if they had played this on Feb. 1, with only a month left in the regular season and real stakes.

Telling indicator of the glacial-like pace of change in the NHL: Did anyone think, with all that room, of maybe doing a one-game experiment with a wider or longer ice surface? With all the snow build-up, swift skaters could have used an extra 15 or 20 feet.

(Deadspin's take is up; the Vancouver Province has a good one. Isn't there an irony that an energy drink rolled out a commercial that looked professional sponsored an outdoor game involving a NHL team that the ex-Cheetah maven expressed interest in buying?)


Dennis Prouse said...

Boy, someone's cranky today. :-) I thought the Winter Classic was great entertainment and a lot of fun. James Mirtle put it pretty well at his blog -- this was rather like bad weather NFL games, where the quality of the game itself may not be terrific, but the fans are amped up anyway, pardon the pun, due to the elements.

I also think the whole "boredom rap on the NHL these days is a little unfair. Ever watched any tape on the NHL Network of a regular season game from the 70s or early 80s? It wasn't exactly "classic" either. The players were noticably slower, and the game was markedly less physical. The goalies were light years behind where they are today. Give me today's game any time.

sager said...

Yes, but those games actually had something called "goals."

Who wants to watch a game where someone knows he's going to fail before he attempts his move? That's like watching me on New Year's Eve.