Yankee Stadium could be transformed into a hockey rink next season. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)
Welcome to the adopt-a-pet blog, a handful of small treasures in need of a good home:
• The only problem I have with an outdoor NHL game at Yankee Stadium next year is any backlash the game may incur from baseball zealots whose feelings are being bruised by the notion shinny may close the shrine.
Point taken. I could see Habs fans being a little miffed if Celine Dion were the last attraction at the Forum.
If the controversy balloons, the league could always play at Giants Stadium, or do Fenway or Wrigley in 2008-09, followed by a game at the new Yankees stadium the ensuing year.
That said, if it were me and I were a disgruntled Yankees fan, I’d try getting over myself. The final Yankees’ game at the Stadium will be eminently special regardless of an NHL foray; it’ll be whatever the spectators and viewers make of it.
Besides, a Rangers’ game gives us all the chance to bid a final farewell to the House that Ruth Built without having to see A-Rod.
• You often hear cynicism from media members and fans when an athlete sheds tears after being traded, announcing his retirement or being inducted to a Hall of Fame.
Brett Favre is a recent example of a player who caught flack; frequent crier Mark Messier had the waterworks going in November and was the subject of some ridicule, especially on the Internet.
I have no problem with the sobbing; in fact, I embrace the raw emotion. Too often we chide players for being bland, mouthing platitudes and uttering clichés, so when they give us the real deal, I accept it and respect it.
They’re honoring the passing of an important era in the lives, reminiscing on good times and living in the moment; they’re not asking anyone to feel sorry for them.
• It drives me nuts when a player is whistled for a penalty late in a game and there is little or no consequence for his action.
An infraction within the last minute or few seconds, one that may have eliminated a good scoring chance, can lead to a very abbreviated power play or none at all if time runs out while the delayed call is in progress.
What disincentive does a player have for mauling an opponent as time expires, or holding his stick on a faceoff with a couple seconds left?
One solution: like soccer, add time on for penalties taken in the last two minutes if the game isn’t already tied. If players had to serve the full two minutes, it would curb their enthusiasm for breaking the rules.
• The more post-lockout stretch runs we endure, the more I’m convinced the NHL points system needs an overhaul.
That some games are worth three points and others two is just plain messed up, it skews the standings and impinges the integrity of the game.
The best format I’ve heard is the 3-2-1-0 proposal: three points for a regulation time win, two for a victory in OT or the shootout, one for losing in extra time or the shootout, and zero for an RT loss.
I don’t care about the additional columns in the standings or the impact on the league record book. I care about the here and now and this is the fairest and most logical method of doling out points.
• If you’re curious about your team’s chances of making the playoffs, check out this site that does the math for you, in intricate detail: sportsclubstats.com.
Jason Kay is the editor of The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears every weekend.
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