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The Rangers vs. The Islanders, The Four-Cheer Theory

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Quick personal life update before puck stuff:  I’m feeling very American these days, as Bri and I are doing our best to stimulate the economy with money we don’t have.  Bri bought a sharp little 2008 Volkswagen Passat yesterday (white, black leather, tint), and I’m heading to Verizon today to get the Droid 2 that came out yesterday (with my “free” upgrade). 

I’m going to be USELESS to the world for the first week or two I have it, since I clearly get far too engrossed in trying to figure my new toys out.  I spent the entirety of my Kelowna – Phoenix flight customizing settings on this year-old dell my Aunt just oh-so-generously donated (thanks again!).  BOOM, NEW WINDOWS OPEN AS TABS NOW. (UPDATE: Not eligible for an upgrade after all.  Excuse me while I swan dive into a wood chipper)

Also on the personal front, AHHHHHHHOMGARIZONAHHHHH!

I'ma name it Brooklyn Decker (deadly back-end)

It was dead, so we’ve hypothesized that Tyson (our owl-eyed kitty) ninja-snapped it’s neck before it could do any harm.  And then, um, removed it’s neck, or something.  HI-YAH!

*****

Since this is, in fact, a hockey blog, we should talk a little puck.  (Duuuude, sports are almost happening again!)

First off, yesterday I tweeted the question: Who’s going to finish higher in the East, the Rangers or the Islanders?  According to my @’s, it appears that the NHL doesn’t even need to play the games this year, because the Rangers will clearly finish higher.  OBVI.

This dude is DEADLY.

I asked the question, because I think it’s gonna be pretty close.  I think the Rangers will finish seeded in the 7-9 range, with the Isles in the 8-11 range.

After the 2009-10 season, I had thought that the Isles were going to be a lot better team heading into 2010-11, and could contend for a playoff spot.  All their young stars would be starting to become actual stars (that’s the big one), the d-corps would be better (didn’t realize that would be even more true thanks to aquisitions, which was a bonus), and the team had money (it now needs) to spend. 

The problems have been: (a) They haven’t really spent that money yet, at least not in a way that meets the “here’s what they could’ve done” standards most fans have.

(b) Their goalie situation is stressful.  It’s been the summer of available goaltenders, and I’m not comfortable counting on Roloson or DiPietro.  DP for the obvious (you have to protect him with another starter like last year), and Rolly, while great in 09-10, is quite frankly getting old, and that scares me.  I know Brodeur is old, but he’s also one of the best in the history of ever.

Dude is a BULL

And (c) the biggest reason I’m not as stoked on the Isles as I could be, is EVERYONE ELSE got much, much better.  Especially the lesser teams from the East, which increases both teams degree of difficulty factor.  Toronto improved more than the Isles.  Tampa Bay improved more than the Isles.  Atlanta got a whole hell of a lot better.

So this NYR vs. NYI debate is legit because…. did the Rangers somehow get a ton better?  I got messages about Lundqvist and Gaborik (72 and 76 GP respectively last year, BTW), but…. weren’t they there and healthy last year?  So is Frolov going to be enough to push that team above and beyond?  I dunno, but when you only have a few cogs to count on (same goes for the Isles), it really comes down to which team has better injury luck.

I think the Rangers will probably finish higher, but not by much.  They’ll be highlighted in the same graphics after 70 games that show “games remaining” and “points” for bubble teams.  And for Ranger fans, let me plant this seed…. after watching the heart and grit it took to get teams into the finals last year (think Richards, Pronger, Toews, Bolland, etc) are you comfortable having your two studs be Gaborik and Frolov?

I know I’m comfortable with Okposo and Tavares.  Go Isles!  :)

*****

*****

I talked to someone who used to manage a team in the AHL/IHL, and he said he made sure his owners did one thing so he could take care of his job filling the seats - they needed to take care of the “four-cheer theory“.

That being that basically, fans feel like they’ve got their money’s worth if they can cheer hard at least four times in a game.  Ideally, that’s a minimum of two goals, one fight, and a win.  If your team can take care of that, you can sell tickets.

This came about during one of the ten million “Coyotes Attendance Solution” talks that happen everyday, featuring Joe and John Blow.  He brought up the four-cheer theory as an addendum to my point, which was that since Phoenix isn’t a rich hockey culture, you need at least a star that people can look forward to watching. 

They try to do here what they should do in Edmonton – get great value out of up-and-coming players (and an honest workhorse in Doan), play a solid team game, have great work ethic etc.  Everyone appreciates that in Canada.  Here, it’s less valued by the casual fan.  Would they be better having one Datsyuk over a bunch of Pyatt/Hanzal/Korpikoski/Ebbett’s etc’s?  I think they might.  But I do know that Coyotes fans should be able to get those crucial four cheers on any given night next season, so they’ll be worth checking out.

(I’m gonna be sorry I started that thread, aren’t I?)

*****

That’s it for today folks, off to buy my first fancy touchscreen machine that I’ll inevitably wreck within the first month (serious hunch that I’ll be running that sentence again, only in quotes, and like three weeks from now to start a tale of woe).

TGIF, hope it’s a great weekend!

Comments

26 Responses to “The Rangers vs. The Islanders, The Four-Cheer Theory”
  1. Willc77 says:

    I just got the Droid Incredible (and if its not too late, I’d seriously suggest you at least check that out before the Droid 2), and I have to say it really is nothing short of its name. Its my first smart phone, though I’ve used my gf’s iPod a lot. I can’t say enough positive things about it.

    Either way, the apps on the Droid Market are sick. If you need any suggestions as to what to download, I can definitely help out. Immediately download ESPN Scorecenter though, its a must for any serious sport fan with a phone.

  2. jtbourne says:

    Yeah, do you know the difference between the two? I saw the Incredible, it looks badass (I think it was backordered). The 2 JUST came out, and reviews have been wicked so far. A little nervous about a touch keyborad though, since I send full emails from my phone occasionally.

  3. RewskiUVA says:

    Hey man the Droid 2 should be nice. Check out the Incredible and the Droid X as well before you commit. All three are great phones with slight variations. The only way to choose is to pick them all up and try them each out. I’m a fan of the X and my gf loves her incredible so its just up to the user.

  4. ms.conduct says:

    If the 4 cheer theory is valid, then it doesn’t matter who’s on the ice, right? Just win baby!(?)

    I dunno. You’re on your own, Phoenix.

    You people with your fancy phones can bite me and my pay-per-minute POS phone. *jealousjealousjealous*

  5. Hooks Orpik says:

    I liked the Brooklyn Decker joke. You should have saved it for like the Washington Capitals or San Jose Sharks (you know, really top heavy).

    OK, I’m showing myself out now.

  6. Kennedy says:

    The four cheer theory works differently in some markets, for example Ottawa:

    Cheer 1 – Leafs score.

    Cheer 2 – Leafs score.

    Cheer 3 – Leafs win fight vs Ottawa sack of pucks.

    Cheer 4 – Leafs win.

    Sadly Ottawa can’t play Toronto at home 41 nights a year.

  7. jtbourne says:

    Turns out I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade. Also, turns out I’m angry.

  8. PotvinRocks says:

    I’m not sold on the Isles vs. Ranger debate. I think that Roloson did not play a lot earlier in his career, which has giving him a better shot at a longer career. Just look at what they are doing with young pitchers now days. I doubt the Ranger’s depth. Since the lock out teams tend to trend upward with youth and for every team trending upward there is another team that has to trend backward. I feel that this year the Sharks will be one of those teams that trend back (and not because of Nabakov who I thought was overrated) but because other teams in there division have made improvements. I don’t think that the Ranger’s improved themselves so they will trend backwards.
    The Islanders have greatly improved their blueline. If their young forwards like Comeau, Bailey, Tavares and esspecially Okposo (he has to be at least a point a game player) improve on last season and Moulson matches what he did it could be a great year. Just need a little luck and the question mark, DP.

  9. James.P says:

    Being in Canada we don’t get those snazzy phones like the Incredible and the Droid 2… on the other hand we just got the HTC Desire which is just as wicked. I have one since launch (last week) and it’s awesome. Definitely a good move to switch to Android.

  10. Kennedy says:

    In protest, you should now refer to the home of Washington Capitals as the “No Upgrade Center” in all future blog posts.

  11. anthony61 says:

    like you said Justin, it all comes down to grit toughness and depth. Agreed on your point that the Isles actually improved their D. Got NHL depth d-men for once and wont have to worry about seeing Reese or Kohn even if the injury bug hits there ass usual. Gaborik and Fro-loaf are SOFTIES! No heart there unless they are playing for their countries. I’ll take the Islanders North American toughness in KO, JT, JB, Moulson, heck even Schremp and Comeau are tough for their size. This is the yr that the Rangers see the true Gaborik, and by that i mean MAYBE 40 games played. Can u say GROIN INJURY??? REMEMBER I CALLED IT!

    Isles 6-8th seed this yr, could have done it last yr if injuries and goalie probs didnt occur i Jan. They were as high as 5th in JAN last season.

  12. Willc77 says:

    When does your contract run out? If you’re due for an upgrade any time between now and Dec 31st, you’re eligible for the upgrade right now for the Droid 2. Some of the sales people are asses and don’t even know Verizon is running that promo.

    As for the differences between the Droid 2 and Incredible, theres a number of differences but for me it comes down to 4 main points: 1) Keypad, D2 has a physical keyboard, Inc. has touchscreen. I’ve always hated touch screen texting but love the Incredibles. 2) Internet speed, Inc’s Snapdragon processor makes it much faster. 3) Camera; D2 has a 5megapixel, Inc has an 8. Self explanatory. Though D2 I believe takes better quality videos. 4) Homescreens; D2 uses Motorola Motoblur and Inc uses the HTC Sense. I’ve never used Motoblur, but most places I’ve read up on it say the Sense is better. You can get an app though that changes your phone to the Sense homescreen (gives you touch screen pages to fill with apps and widgets).

    Are you on a family plan with Bri or anyone else? If so, you can actually switch your upgrade with theirs if they’re eligable. Usually takes some bribing though.

  13. jtbourne says:

    You just DOMINATED the sales guy I asked those exact question too. Seriously, muchos, muchos appreciated!

  14. Brian says:

    I hate to advise you of this…….. but the Rangers have been allowed to draft players as well. You sound as if the Islanders have a quota on all the good young players in the league. Fact is… The Hockey News ranked the Ranger system (and young players 21 and under) better than the Islanders in the Future Watch 2010. What is so great about Okposo? Maybe he’ll score more goals than Brandon Dubinsky this year?

  15. Willc77 says:

    lol no problem JT. A lot of the guys that work at those stores don’t know many details until the phone is in store and they get to play around with it. I’m just like you said, I get a new techno-gadget and my life revolves around finding out all the cool things I can get it to do (just ask my gf lol). I left off that D2 ships with Froyo (Android 2.2 operating system), while the Inc is on 2.1. Verizon will send that update over the air though to the Inc in a few weeks, so its really not that big of a deal right now.

    I’ve turned into a total Android-whore in the 3 weeks since I got my Incredible, so if you wind up with either feel free to shoot me an email (I assume you can see it right?) or write something on the blog if you have a question, likewise if theres any other pre-purchase questions.

  16. Bard says:

    Ehhh, Rangers are an injury to the Queen or Gabornik away from being one of the worst teams in the league. I really don’t see how Rollie can fall off this year compared to last year. But picking up Boogard probably puts the Rangers out of reach of the Islanders

  17. big audio says:

    The Rangers will finish better than the Isles this coming season, but not by that much. The Isles still have some growing-maturing to do, their best players are still very young, and the NHL (in spite of all the rules changes etc.) is not a league where young players can come in and dominate very often. The Isles are on the right track in my opinion, but they still have a lot of road to cover. The Rangers have a few established players of decent talent, and of course they have the great goalie which the Isles lack. So I say the Rangers will finish a bit higher than the Isles this season. However, another year of learning for Tavares, Okposo and the rest will certainly help the Isles looking ahead, and in a year or two they will be a much better team on the ice. In the NHL, as in life, there are some things that experience does more to help than just pure talent.

    Hector Marini’s kid writes a blog I heard, do you know him? LOL :D

  18. jtbourne says:

    Long story short, Brian, you have the Rangers finishing BETTER than the 7-9 block this year?

    As for Okposo, he’s a strong, 22 year old bull with scoring touch, hockey sense and a great locker room guy. Yeah, boo.

  19. Sherry says:

    Late to the party today… I know this has probably been covered ad nauseum, but I just read Burnside’s Aug 11 blog entry and found it thought provoking (http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/nhl/id/5455767/will-there-fallout-kovalchuk-ruling).

    Pretty unnerving to have a scorpion in your house inn’it? It’s happened a couple of times here (in freakin’ San Diego fercryingoutloud!) and it just gave me the creeps. Once, it was right by my dog’s butt and I was just about to launch him into the “Do you want your dinner?” dance – jeez!

    Congrats to you and the lovely Bri on your recent acquisitions (black seats – yikes! Wear long shorts!). Bummer about that rent increase – and the nerve of them doing it in the could-any-place-in-the-world-be-hotter-than-AZ-right-now season! Hubby and I are heading to Palms Springs in a few days instead of Tucson for our anniversay (boycotting AZ), and he just about freaked when I checked the weather and found it’s supposed to be in the 100-teens the entire trip. Perhaps that reading out by the pool (in the shade) we love so much, will fall victim to the heat (more ice cold beverages please!).

    Have a good weekend all!

  20. Neolgizer says:

    Last season for quite a few games the Isles had 3 Dmen who started the season in the AHL. Alot of their dead wood (Witt, Tamby) are gone and I challenge you to name a solid starting NHL goalie that hasn’t had a major injury in his entire career (hint hint DP backs him up right now). As for the Rangers when 20% of your offensive output comes from a guy who has a history of injury trouble you’re rolling the dice…..

    PS
    Hockey news future watch is for prospects that haven’t play in the NHL. Almost all the Isles prospects spent time in the NHL last year

  21. Ballgame says:

    iPhone FTW

  22. MattyJ says:

    How can you possibly *not* wait for this on September 30?

    http://www.droiddoes.com/r2d2/

    Put some money in my boss’ pocket. :)

  23. mikeB says:

    I don’t know if this has been floated around yet…

    http://www.sbnation.com/2010/8/15/1624428/patrick-kane-reads-twilight-breaking-dawn#storyjump

    But if you did an NHL player poll as to which ones read twilight I think that it would be in the single digits.

  24. jtbourne says:

    You think there’d be a second, Mike B?

  25. mikeB says:

    sid?

  26. St. Cloud Gopher says:

    Phones…can you call someone? Go with that one…

    On a brighter, and apparently completely overlooked note: NANNERPUSS! Maybe this blog’s readers have had too many nights like I’ve had in the past two weeks (wedding, honeymoon, guys’ fishing weekend, camping all back to back..to back…to back) and we forgot about the Nanner. Thanks for the laugh once again.

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