PLUS/MINUS: Why we now love the Flames and other Fun Stuff!!
March 12, 2017, 1:58 PM ET [82 Comments]
Washington Capitals Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
"PLUS/MINUS is the NHL's best stat, and the only one I use"
- Craig Button*
PLUS: The NHL Playoff race. The season is long, but it starts to get really exciting at this time of year, and while I don't like how the NHL tracks it's standings - to my knowledge, no one does - it does make for a pretty intense stretch-run.
Point of fact: You have to go back to a certain 2011-12 three goal collapse to find a game that I personally felt was as intense as last nights overtime Leafs victory.
MINUS: Gary Bettman going to Arizona and asking tax payers for more money. I personally think it's disgusting. The poverty rate in Arizona is well above the national average and they already have about 42 arenas and stadiums. Multiple studies have shown that there is no benefit financially for cities to spend tax money on arenas or stadiums.
Furthermore, if the Arizona market represents the great untapped bonanza that Bettman has always said it was, why not get the other 29 teams to chip in for an arena, since if the market is so wonderful, it will benefit the entire league?
Or here's a crazy idea: build a high-speed rail system to get people from downtown Phoenix to Glendale so that weeknight games can be easier to get to for people who work.
PLUS: The movie Paycheck, the greatest underrated movie of all time.
You shouldn't be surprised though, because pretty much all movies made from Phillip K Dick stories are also the best: Total Recall, Adjustment Bureau, Minority Report, Next, Blade Runner etc.
PLUS: I thought this was cool.
MINUS: Ovechkin. What is going on with this guy? He has gone 17 straight games without a goal at 5v5. He only has one point in his last eight games and, after going 300+ straight games with at least a shot, he has gone shotless in three games since the streak broke.
MINUS: All the movies nominated for the Oscars were crap. I didn't like the ones I saw and the ones I didn't looked super-depressing. Who wants to watch movies so that they feel like shit?
Here's my top seven movies of 2016:
1. Popstar: Never Stop Stopping
2. Batman v Superman
3. Suicide Squad
4. Hail Ceasar
6. Blonde Chick fights Shark
7. The Nice Guys
If anyone reads this and wants to hire a real film critic, I'm your man.
PLUS: It's funny how we get used to things. Already it seems "normal" that the Leafs have Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner, even though if you add in Sundin and Kessel, that is three of the five best players the franchise has had since they first traded Doug Gilmour in 1997.
PLUS: With their 5-4 Win last night vs the Devils, the Coyotes tied their team record for the season of consecutive regulation victories at one. They get the chance Tuesday against the weakling Avalanche to finally hit two.
Pretty cool to see Taylor Hall stopped on a penalty shot with only two minutes left.
PLUS: Seeing the Flames pass the Oilers. While I find it hard to cheer for the Flames because of their association with Burke, who, as a Leafs fan, I have long standing animosity towards, the Oilers are even worse.
Peter Chiarelli is like having twenty Burkes on your team, so I'm a Calgary man now, and I'm pumped to see them doing so well. Hamilton is a pleasure to watch and I hope he isn't hurt after what looked a little crazy last night when that skate came up on him.
MINUS: Aaron Ekblad getting another concussion. I just can't believe that we can't come up with technology to make helmets better. Or Something. It just really sucks to see a guy who's 21 take so many shots to the head. Hope he's OK.
MINUS: Criticism of Morgan Rielly is total BS in my opinion. The kid is great. He's a talented, smart, fast player with tons of offensive ability and a really, really high ceiling.
The Leafs have played him as their #1 all year, even if, at this point in time, Gardiner is clearly better. It's a move designed for the future, and if he's struggling at all, that's why. People ought to relax.
MINUS: People doubting Jake Gardiner: He's on pace for about 45 points and he leads his team in shots, scoring chances and goals against.
If you like advanced stats, he's your guy.
If you don't, he's got 35 points and is +25.
To be clear: he leads his team in offense and defense. What does he have to do to be perceived as the star he is, learn Karate?
PLUS: If you haven't been paying attention to the Sabres lately - and let's face it, why would you? - you might have missed Jack Eichel's emergence as one of the best players in the NHL.
First, I think this is probably the greatest consolation prize in the history of the NHL, and second, I don't think he's going to be much worse than McDavid or Matthews. I don't even think it's impossible he becomes the best of the three. Not likely, maybe, but not impossible.
MINUS: All the NHL players talking about Olympics. My opinion is shut up and do the jobs you are paid millions of dollars to do.
The Olympics are completely arbitrary. The World Cup features the exact same players playing the exact same game, it just doesn't happen to be put on by the third crookedest organization in the world after FIFA and the Trump Organization.
You can play the same game against the same people, only you will make more money and can do it at times when your fans will be awake. Someone ought to tell these guys they sound like idiots when they talk about the Olympics.
This is the one and only issue I have ever sided with the owners on. I ain't not fat-cat, so hopefully it's the last one too.
PLUS: He's no Dog the Bounty Hunter, but I am nevertheless a huge fan of Dog the Goalie. He's definitely better than Jonathan Bernier.