Two Sets of Eyes, Not Four

I keep hearing about how four sets of eyes missed the Torres check last night, but this is a misstatement.  Two sets of eyes missed the play, and two had no influence on it.  Like it or not, the job of the linesman is to call the lines, not penalties like this.

Coming out of the lockout, the director of officiating at the time, Stephen Walkom, and the league told the linesmen to stick to calling the lines, and a few other penalties, like too many men on the ice.  They can stop the play for a premature substitution (like a skater getting on the ice before the goalie is off the ice), or consult on the delay of game puck over the glass, but other than that, they don’t have a voice on these penalties.

Part of this is because of the increased speed of the game.  You have to get the lines right, or else you have situations like the Briere goal in game one of the Penguins – Flyers game.  And yes, they don’t always get it right, but they are not being pulled away from the lines by other things that the refs are supposed to be covering.  To err is human, but to be doing someone else’s job is unprofessional.  The linesmen have their job, so they do it.

You may not like it, and I understand that.  I mostly of like it, but in situations like this, some consultation would be helpful.  The linesman next to the Torres hit saw it, and was protecting himself from getting blown into (although he doesn’t seem to be looking right at the hit, like the snapshot from the video above shows).  It would have been good if he could have gotten the ref to call the penalty.  I’m sure they discussed what had happened while Hossa was being attended to.

But a ref can’t call a penalty that they didn’t see with their own two eyes.  They can’t have someone else’s judgement be their influencing factor on this stuff.  So the questions are, where were the refs?  Were they in the right position?  Were they too far away from the play?  The speed of playoff hockey and the way turnovers in the neutral zone have been happening and transitioning may have pushed the refs further back into the ends of the rink than they want to – or should – be.  So where were they?  If I could zoom an image of the rink out to see where they were, I would be able to say if they had the best shot at making the right call.

But just so you know, don’t blame the linesmen.  They have their duties.  The league asked them to stick to those duties.  They are doing their job.  As for the other two guys, it’s hard to say.  They certainly missed this one.


What do you mean, We?

One of the big reasons I want to see bloggers get their place in the press box with the Avalanche is so we can stop reporting on the reporting, and start really generating our own.  In Colorado, we wind up with fodder like Dater Watch.  I don’t care for it, but here I am, doing it myself.

I’ve talked about what bugs me about Dater’s approach to the team and reporting before, but today’s wrap up of the woes and the end of the playoff push (or lack of push in the end) neatly sums up what I don’t like and fail to understand about his writing about the Avalanche, and it does it in one word:


From the All Things Avs blog:

We’ll give the Avalanche players, coaches and management one last moral-victory, we-tried-hard-but excuse. Really, arguably, they didn’t deserve another one this year. They had a very good chance to make the playoffs down the stretch, but let’s face it: they blew it. All they really had to do, in hindsight, was take care of business against the worst team in the league, Columbus, at home. But the Avs lost twice to the Jackets in the final 20 games, including Thursday’s dismal 5-2 loss.

And in the last paragraph:

We’ll buy into the excuses one more time, and look for better things next season. But the clock is ticking…

It’s not the negativity.  It’s not the accountability question.  I agree with him for the most part – even if I tire of the same tone post after post.

Who is “We?”  Who is this we he is lumping himself in with?  That’s the part I don’t get.

Dater tends to stand on one side of the fence, wagging his finger at the fans for not showing up, for not being excited, for being jerks, for anything the fans do, then climbs over the fence and stands next to the fans to yell at the team.  Dater is or isn’t a fan of the Avalanche, but I can’t actually tell which one he is.  When he is a blogger, he is acting like a fan, but when he is reporting as a beat writer, he acts like a reporter.  And never the two shall mix?

Blogs are nothing more than a publishing platform.  They aren’t one style of writing or another.  Much like mp3s, that the music industry tried to paint as evil when they didn’t have control over them, are simply a file format.  There is nothing inherently anything about them.  That the Denver Post uses the same blogging software I do may be ironic, it isn’t an indicator of any similarities in tone or style.  To say “well, this is a blog, so…” should be meaningless.  Dater can blog from his parents basement just like everyone else (and as I said on twitter, if you bring up a blogger in their parents basement to win an argument, you might as well have played the Hitler card, because you just lost).  That you are allowed switch hats when you switch platforms, all under the banner of the Denver Post, is ridiculous.

So the two questions I have are, who is the “we” Dater is including himself in, and what are the consequences he alludes to?  What happens if this “one more time” doesn’t pan out?  Is there something Dater will do?  Is he going to pull out pictures of the Avalanche in compromising positions from a manilla folder?  Do they even make manilla folders anymore?

And let’s say things don’t go well next season.  Will Adrian Dater get mad at the fans for not showing up for what he calls:

– A tired game-night atmosphere that employs horrible music, uses horrible lighting, has really lame stops-in-play and between-periods entertainment and insults today’s tech-savvy, modern fan with 1999 scoreboard technology.
The Avs can hide their heads in the sand all they want and their corporate lackeys can pretend like it doesn’t exist, but the team continues to have a BIG problem with the local fan when it comes to going to games and really feeling entertained. The bad attendance of the last few years doesn’t ALL have to do with the product on the ice.

Because I totally agree with him on this.  TOTALLY.  But as a paying customer, all I can do is not go to the games and vote with my wallet.  And that is a problem as well for Dater, mad that we as fans don’t show up to support the team.  That I would rather watch the game on a big screen TV than go to a game for the exact same in-game entertainment year after year is a problem as much as going is.  We can’t seem to do anything right.

I don’t know who ‘we’ are, but I can tell you, I don’t hear a clock ticking.  No matter what the Avalanche do in the off season, they will be around, they will play games, and they will make the decisions.  The actual “We” are going to be along for the ride.