The 31 Thoughts Podcast rolled out another excellent episode, meeting with two members of the Nashville Predators. One on and one off the ice.
If you like hockey but don’t listen to any podcasts, you’re not doing yourself any favors. There are a couple different ones that cover multiple topics. For prospects, I heavily recommend the “Next Ones” by Sportsnet, if analytics are more your thing, then the PDOcast by Dimitri Filipovich is a must listen. But let’s say you don’t have as many hours in the day and you just want to focus on the Nashville Predators, well, of course, Predlines has our own podcast but another great one is anything from Penalty Box Radio.
But if you only have one free hour during the week, you have to listen to the 31 Thoughts Podcast. Jeff Marek and Elliotte Freidman are two of the best in the business and always bring new and enlightening thoughts to the world of hockey. They also get some great guests. Kyle Turris was on this week as he discussed what Ottawa meant to him and his family, and while you can tell he loves Nashville, Ottawa was his first ever home away from home.
One of the other great things about this podcast, in particular, is their willingness to accept bloggers and outside ideas.
5. The great blogger war, and how Nashville fits in
Long ago, the traditional medias existed in harmony, but all that changed when the bloggers attacked. In all seriousness, bloggers started to make their mark in the mid-2000s. You had guys like Greg Wyshynski create Puck Daddy, Tyler Dellow and more start to create and track stats, and just more critical voices come to the forefront.
Traditional media could create better day to day coverage because they had credentials, but couldn’t say anything too negative because they’d risk turning the organization against them. Bloggers could speak their minds freely because they had no real ties to the organization and it didn’t matter if they got “frozen out”. Then, there was the analytics. Corsi and Fenwick were created and popularized, and things have never been the same.
I remember hearing a phone interview between Dellow and Steve Simmonds (most known for falsely creating the hot dog story about Phil Kessel) where Dellow couldn’t convince Simmonds that Mikhail Grabovski was a good player to have on the ice because his goals scored far surpassed his goals against and his primary points were higher than anyone on the team. That’s pretty much plus-minus and saying that Grabovski was the reason a goal was happening. But neither side would yield because traditional media wouldn’t admit they weren’t infallible while bloggers came across like stuck up jerks. Granted, Dellow was and kind of is a stuck-up jerk, but the point is both sides were wrong.
So, where was Nashville during all this? The Predators accepted any and all to their games. They were just happy to have people interested in the team that less traditional outlets were able to make the jump. Penalty Box Radio might be the biggest example of a successful blog that is a now a well-respected outlet. This wouldn’t have happened anywhere in a more traditional market.
Unfortunately, there will always be conflict. Some people are jerks who think your opinion isn’t valid if you didn’t #playthegame and will look to undercut your opinion because they’re an “important hockey person”. I won’t mention names, but the PWHA hasn’t been on their best behavior over the past few weeks and it’s sad. We should be inspiring people to bring their voice to the table. Without blogs, I would be stuck screaming my opinion to my friends and family and let me tell you, that’ll get old for them quick. Whether you dislike what blogs have brought to the table, their new voices have kept a game rooted in tradition somewhat fresh.
4. Burrows suspended, will not appeal
Remember how I said bloggers can say whatever they want and don’t have many consequences to face? Well here’s the payoff. Alexandre Burrows is one of the dirtier players in the league and a rat. He’s a dirty player and has repeatedly towed the line, whether it’s been in Vancouver or Ottawa. Seriously, if you have any doubts, go look up when he bit someone’s finger in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
Anyways, Burrows repeatedly kneed Taylor Hall‘s head into the ice after an extremely clean hit by Hall. This wasn’t a situation where Hall “refused to answer the bell”, but rather a situation where a dirty player decided to try and injure a player. The DOPS handed down a 10 game suspension and Burrows will not appeal, at the recommendation of the players union.
While my first impression was to suspend him forever, I am totally ok with 10 games. Make no mistake, I would rather Burrows receive a half-season suspension, but I’ll take this as a win for the DOPS. They’ve been somewhat consistent over the past week or so.
3. McDavid four-goal game
Hooray, Connor McDavid did in over 120 games what Auston Matthews did in his first game, so who’s really better? Jokes aside, if any of you watched the Oilers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning, you were in for a treat. McJesus put on an absolute show as he single-handedly carried 20 guys to a victory despite the Oilers falling apart around him. He’s the best offensive player in the world and can be an absolute world beater.
You can’t stop McDavid, you can only hope to contain him, and sometimes you can’t even do that.
2. Guess who’s back, back again
Filip Forsberg is back and in a sink or swim situation, the Predators stayed afloat. They collected 4 of 6 points but lost the latter game in a back-to-back and were beat by a Vezina performance from Frederick Andersen. Let’s hope the Predators come out strong in Montreal with a full and healthy lineup.
1. Turris makes his return
Kyle Turris was honored with a video during his first game back in Ottawa. He was a beloved figure for his play on the ice, but also his involvement in the community. While his scoring has cooled considerably as of late, he’s still an effective player and the best second line center in Predators’ history.