-Today marks my second anniversary of Eye on the Sens and I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the fact. I’ve published 861 articles (including this one) over that time, with the most popular remaining those about the NHL draft and the Sens prospects (either profiles or things like the development camp). The coverage of prospects in the blogosphere has marginally improved since I started (greatly so in regards to the development camp), but local media remains far behind. The site’s traffic is largely via search engines or people re-posting on HFboards (along with a solid core of regulars who come here every day–thanks to you folks, especially Sensfan90 and T-Money, who comment most frequently; Lachy buddy, who was here first, wherever you are I hope things are going well). Here are a few things from the past two years that stand out for me:
-Lyle Richardson (the man behind Spector’s Hockey) coming to the site after I jokingly suggested he was drunk for agreeing with Don Brennan’s roster speculation back in 2012
-I used to chide The Silver Seven‘s Bobby Kelly on some unforced errors in his articles (to which he responded with good humour); he’s become that site’s best poster
-Speaking of chiding, WTYKY‘s Varada did not take kindly to some good-natured ribbing from me back in February when he was discussing the Sens rebuild; I haven’t heard from him since, but both he and WTYKY are well worth checking out so I encourage you all to do so
–The 6th Sens Scott got very agitated with me back in November when I took Marc Spector to task for a sloppy opinion piece on the lockout; all three of us (five including the NHL and NHLPA) have managed to survive
–Twitter followers were slow to accrue until my friend Brianne went to bat for me–anyone who doesn’t follow her should
-Back in the beginning of the blog The Silver Seven‘s Peter Raaymaker told me he was going to reference the site…and then had to be reminded of the fact a number of times before he did so; may his vowels grow like the mighty oak
-Periodically someone will find my undrafted success stories article and a slew of non-Sens fans will flood the site to check it out, which is gratifying
-The draft remains the most fun thing that I do here; I’m proud of my predictive success and I enjoy the process that goes into it–this year’s addition awaits Bob McKenzie’s list before appearing
-Lastly, there’s no point in a site like this unless people are reading it–thanks to all of you
Back to the usual Sens news:
–Nichols echoes the point I made on Wednesday that there’s nothing new about Bryan Murray discussing the possibility of moving up in the draft and I like his point that Murray has taken a page out of Joe Sakic’s playbook:
At the very least, Murray’s following the Colorado Avalanche’s lead in using the mainstream media as a mechanism to let teams know they’re interested and open to making a move.
The organisation has worked hard to downplay the chances of moving up, but I’m sure the speculation will remain ripe well into draft day.
-After missing more than a season and a half due to post-concussion syndrome, Sens prospect Jarrod Maidens (3-82/12) will be ready to play in the OHL next season. Much like Mark Stone in 2010, Maidens slide far down the draft due to injury–will he pay off in the same way? It’s hard to say given how a player’s performance after a serious concussion is difficult to predict, but (according to the article) much like Sidney Crosby many of his issues are neck-related and that at least is being treated.
-There are still a few Sens bloggers clamoring for the team to pick up Daniel Briere and I remain mystified why they think his game is suddenly going to improve (even Don Brennan doesn’t like the idea).
–Scott Burnside examines the NHL’s goofy approach to officiating and offers the following:
This from an NHL team executive with ties to the NFL competition committee: An NFL referee relays a story from a preseason meeting in which the message to football’s on-field officials was this: Don’t officiate the games like they do in the NHL, where calls change based on the time of season and situation in the game. In other words, enforce the rules regardless of calendar, clock or score.
Maybe the game isn’t the worse for this if players and coaches are on board. But here’s the problem: If it’s OK with coaches and players (and, presumably, the league), it merely adds to the notion for the casual or novice fan that hockey is an impenetrable fortress.
It’s the ultimate in passive aggressiveness to say we don’t want referees to interfere with the game and yet by not interfering referees of course sometimes play an integral role in the outcome.
It would be nice if, someday, fans didn’t have to adjust their sensibilities when watching the playoffs, just as it’d be nice for officials not to reset their meters once the puck drops in the postseason. And it would be nice if, someday, the league weren’t held up as a negative barometer by other pro sports leagues.
I’m not sure what more needs to be said, although articles like this will continue to be produced year after year because internally the NHL prefers this system.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)