How should the Devils find Martin Brodeur's successor?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Top 10 Video Special - Sean Avery Fail Moments

TOP 10 SPECIAL #11: In case you aren't aware, this site is named "Down Goes Avery ."  'Avery' refers to a model/pest/idiot/part hockey player, Sean Avery, that has played for the Red Wings, Kings, Stars, but most importantly, the New York Rangers.  As a Devils fan, I've always hated Sean Avery, especially during his time with the Rangers.  The fact that he might not be on an NHL roster this season saddens me.  I'll miss his idiotic antics, his chirping at players, his verbal threats, his abusive remarks, his terrible acting skills (on and off ice), his absurd tactics to district goaltenders, his hilarious destructions during fights and even running away from true enforcers, but most of all, the easiest player to make fun of in the NHL (aside form perhaps Brett Lebda or Vesa Toskala).  If this is the end of the road for Avery, let's celebrate his colorful and controversial NHL career by looking at 10 of his greatest failures.  This truly is the Top 10 Down Goes Avery moments.


#10: Avery gets Hordi-chuck'ed - Sean looked more like a turtle than an NHL enforcer on this play.





#9: Avery cries "boo hoo" to Ruutu - Jarkko Ruutu becomes angry at Avery, so he steals his stick.





#8: Maltby crushes Avery - Sean Aver's mood goes from bad to worse after he's disposed of.  *Please note: Avery did not get killed here, despite him trying to sell that he did.





#7: Always keep your head up - Mike Weaver spots Avery with his head down and properly slams him into the boards.




#6: Delay of game - Sean Avery delays the face-off due to an equipment malfunction.





#5: Avery gets a tough lesson from Hartnell - Sean Avery builds the courage to fight Scott Hartnell, but that probably wasn't the best idea.





#4: The best in-game beverage goes to... - Jody Shelley and Sean Avery aren't willing to exchange punches, but they are willing to have a bit of a drink fight.





#3: Welcome to hell - Sean Avery has had some memorable moments against the Devils.  He'd probably like to forget this one.





#2: Goaltender interference - Sean Avery decides he doesn't like Tim Thomas very much.  I sense that feeling is mutual.




#1: You won't fight me?  Too bad. - Avery declines a fight with David Clarkson, but that doesn't stop Clarkson from attacking him (if you listen to the NESN commentary in clip #2, they refer to this fight).





And of course, last but not least: Brodeur vs. Avery - I didn't forget the epic battles Brodeur and Avery have had over the years.  Here's a sample of the rivalry between the two.




I hope you enjoyed the failures of Sean Avery.  As always, if you have an idea for a Top 10 or a blog post in general, leave a comment or send me a tweet.  Thanks for watching.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top 10 Video Special - The Devils Season That Was

This is the 10th installment of Down Goes Avery 's Top 10 Video Series.  In this edition, I'll take a look back at the best moments from a bad Devils season in 2010-11.  Despite missing the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons and only the second time in 21 seasons, there were some memorable moments for the Devils.  Here's the top 10.  *Note: All YouTube videos taken from DevilsHQ and NHLVideo.


#10: Going out on top - The final regular season game of 2010-11 saw the Devils beat the Bruins, 3-2.  In that game, Alexander Urbom scored his first career goal, thousands of Nordiques fans made the Prudential Center sound like an arena in Quebec, Vladimir Zharkov shot a puck and didn't fire it into the crowd and Jacques Lemaire won in the final game he ever coached.  That's pretty memorable...at least the Zharkov part.




#9: Eight Straight - The Devils' nearly historic run through the Eastern Conference last season featured an eight game winning streak, and the eighth win in a row came in Dallas, 1-0.  That game also extended Ilya Kovalchuk's point streak to 12 games in a row, with half a dozen game winning goals coming during that time.




#8: Opening night magic - It didn't take the Devils long to catch the John MacLean Plague that decimated the team for the first half of the 2010-11 season, but for the first 10 minutes of opening night, they looked dominant.  Here's Zach Parise's pretty goal off of an odd-man rush.




#7: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 1 - The Sharks were dominating the Devils at the Prudential Center, but minutes after tying the game in the third period, the Devils were able score the eventual game-winning goal on a shot that looked like it would only have space to get through Michael Leighton's five-hole...or Antti Niemi's blocker.




#6: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 2 - Two nights after losing the puck in the shootout with the game on the line, Ilya Kovalchuk had a chance to redeem himself against Edmonton.  The Devils rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to send the game to overtime, where after playing some catch with the puck, Kovy eventually sniped the Devils to a victory - a term that most Oilers aren't even aware of.




#5: Speed from a Swede - One of the world's fastest production cars originates from Sweden, as does one of hockey's young speedsters.  Mattias Tedenby got behind the Caps' defense like a wide receiver and drew his first career penalty shot.  This penalty shot goal was just one of the many highlights in this 5-0 win over Washington.




#4: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 3 - In the midst of the Devils' second half comeback in 2010-11, Ilya Kovalchuk became the dominant offensive player he showed himself to be in the past.  Here's one of his more decorated goals of the season, coming in overtime in Toronto, which also turned out to be Jacques Lemaire's 600th career win as a coach in the NHL.




#3: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 4 - After being 27 points out of a playoff spot at the season's halfway point, the closest the Devils got to the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference was 8 points.  That point came after this dramatic win over the Penguins.  Of course, it wouldn't be an overtime victory unless Ilya Kovalchuk had something to do with it, which he did.





#2: Hat Trick for Patrik Elias - Elias is approaching the Devils' franchise record for goals, and he already has the most points in franchise history, as well as the most hat tricks in history.  Last season, three goals were hard to come by as a team, let alone by one player in a game.  Here's Elias' eighth such hat trick, against the Flyers, late in the season.




#1: The Ilya Kovalchuk Show, Pt. 5 - Truth be told, there are few greater feelings as a Devils fan than beating the Rangers.  Shutting the Rangers out in a thrilling 1-0 game featuring the season's most exciting goal would top simply beating them.



What did I miss?  Think I missed something?  Have a better idea for a Top 10 Video Special or do you have something to say?  Leave a comment here or send me a tweet and let me know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What can the NHL do to prevent 'dirty' hits?

Brendan Shanahan has had plenty of opportunity to exercise the power that his new position offers this pre-season, as Brad Staubitz, Jody Shelley, James Wisniewski and many others have already been suspended for illegal hits this pre-season.  Well, suspensions are fine, but the bottom line is that these type of hits are still occuring in the NHL on a regular basis.  I've come up with some options (and hi-tech gadgets) the league could have to eliminate dirty hits completely.


Option 1: Immediate payback - NHL jerseys are kind of boring.  They're not hi-tech or anything.  Well, here's the solution: install electronic springs into the back of players' jerseys with boxing gloves attached to the end of them.  That way, as a player approaches another player and makes contact, the player's jersey that is being hit senses the illegal contact and releases the spring, which then punches the hitting player in the face and wipes him out.  Problem solved.

Option 2: Multi-functional helmets - For those who might think the punching gloves are a bit "extreme," how about helmets that have rear-view mirrors?  Just as cars have rear-view mirrors to help drivers get out of the way of lunatics, NHL players' helmets should have rear-view mirrors so that they have time to react before they get drilled.  Players will be able to get out of the way just before the charging player flies into the boards and completely misses the targeted player.

Option 3: Warning signs - Another formidable possibility is for numbers on the back of NHL players' jerseys to be replaced by a digital monitor that detects how hard a player is charging the targeted player from behind.  After it has detected the force of impact and potential injury to the targeted player, a number will appear on the digital monitor, which will indicate the number of games that he will be suspended following the hit.  This all happens in less than half a second.

Option 4: Spandex torture - If the previous gadgets don't work out as planned, there is still hope.  After a player has distributed an illegal hit and is facing a possible suspension, the player will be summoned to wear green spandex suits and dance around the visiting players' penalty box during upcoming games.  This is how the Vancouver Green Men were formed.*

*Not factually accurate.

Option 5: Hot pursuit - If the NHL wants to go with an intimidating approach to eliminating hits rather than embarrassing, as the spandex suits could be, here is the preferred option.  After the ensuing period has concluded following the dirty or questionable hit, have the player stand facing center ice and then release the zamboni and have it chase the player around the rink until the ice is cleaned.  This provides the zamboni driver with a more entertaining job.  Note: This only works if the guilty player's last name is not Grabner.

Option 6: National pride - This option only works if the player is not a good public speaker/singer.  Before the game following a questionable or illegal hit, the arena should arrange for guilty player to sing the national anthem[s].  This can also save the arena money on hiring a singer, which is timely because so many NHL franchises are bankrupt or close to bankruptcy.  Also a good idea: the home team should make that night "earplug giveaway night" in order to keep fans' ears functional afterwards.

Option 7: Reverse steroids - Steroids make people stronger, which makes them more of a threat on the ice, so another solution to the dramatic number of illegal hits in the NHL is to develop a reverse steroid that makes players weaker.  For example, injecting a reverse steroid into Chris Pronger's elbows make him an ineffective player.  Injecting this reverse steroid into Alex Burrows' teeth makes him less effective on the ice as well. 

Option 8: Philly treatment - Philadelphia sports fans are sometimes a bit crazy, to be perfectly honest.  The NHL could use this to their advantage.  Any player found guilty of an illegal hit shall be brought to the next Flyers home game.  He will stand at center ice and will be shrouded in stink bombs (for those not familiar with this reference, please refer here).  After this painful experience, he will leave the arena and find that his car has been destroyed, due to the NHL placing a Quebec license plate on it.

Option 9: TV ratings - Another form of punishment to players, which serves as a threat, would be to have the guilty player's TV set to a channel they wouldn't normally be watching.  For this experiment, let's lock the player's TV to the Food Network for one week.  Note: If the guilty player happens to be Kyle Wellwood or a player whose diet resembles that of Kyle Wellwood, set their channel to a fitness program instead.  Likewise, Dustin Byfuglien's TV should never be set to a boating program and anyone on the Oilers, Islanders, Leafs and Panthers should be banned from the Golf Channel, because these are already their respective specialties...at least in the late springtime.

Option 10: Do nothing - Of course, if all else fails, the NHL could just sit back and do nothing, which would continue the league's precedent.

Friday, September 16, 2011

DGA Exclusive: The phone call between Bettman and Vanderbeek

What are you are about to read is completely made up and has absolutely no truth to it.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. Jeff Vanderbeek, the Devils' principle owner and a tiny bit for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as well.  With that said, I was able to obtain a written transcript of a phone call between Jeff Vanderbeek and Gary Bettman, following the report that the Devils are going bankrupt.  Here's how it all unfolded.  Welcome to the bizarre, completely ridiculous, yet highly entertaining and brutally amusing world of the New Jersey Devils.

Gary Bettman: Hello, Mr. Vanderbeek, sir, I am so sorry about the unfortunate news about your team's financial situation.

Some random guy: Hello?  Who is this?

Gary Bettman: This is Gary Bettman, isn't this Jeff Vanderbeek's office?

Some random guy: I beg your pardon...

Gary Bettman: Oh dear, I have the wrong number.  Dammit, Colie!

Colin Campbell: I did not screw up your phone book, Gary...

Gary Bettman: Hello, Mr. Vanderbeek, sir, I am so sorry about the unfortunate news about your team's financial situation.

Jeff Vanderbeek: Wait, what?!

Gary Bettman: Oh, come on now, don't be in denial...

Jeff Vanderbeek: I think you have the wrong number.

Gary Bettman: No, that already happened to me today.  Listen, bankruptcy happens.  It's not entirely your fault.  Your general manager made an ill-advised signing with that Kovalchuk guy last year and now it's going to bite you guys.

Jeff Vanderbeek: Actually, I was the one pushing for Kovalchuk.  Mr. Lamoriello was trying to convince me that Eric Belanger would be a better fit for us.

...

Jeff Vanderbeek: Well either way, it's too late.  Kovalchuk is a Devil and he will be for 14 more years.  We'll simply have to work around that.

Gary Bettman: I see.  You do intend to sign Zach Parise too next summer?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Oh dear.  I may have made some miscalculations.

Gary Bettman: So you have no money to keep Parise?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Oh no, I do have money for Parise, but I seem to have figured we would be $549 million under the salary cap for 2012-13.

Gary Bettman: I don't think it will go up that much, unless we move the NHL to Zimbabwe.

Jeff Vanderbeek: So the salary cap is $61 million, not $610 million?!  Dammit, Lou!  *shatters jelly jar*

Gary Bettman: Anyway, back to your bankruptcy situation.  My report says that you plan to sell 47% stake of the team, Brick City's stake, for $200 million?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Yes.

Gary Bettman: Do you realize that your team is worth a total of $218 million?  You're doubling your team's value?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Not believable, is it?

Gary Bettman: Alright, that's a $30 million fine and ten first round draft picks as a penalty.

Jeff Vanderbeek: Dammit!  *throws nearby bench onto the ice*

Gary Bettman: You'll have until June to sell the stake to avoid bankruptcy, but no more avoiding payments.  You understand?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Through the spirit of the collective bargaining agreement, I can honestly say that I have no idea what you're talking about.

Gary Bettman: Don't make me extend the trapezoid to center ice...

Jeff Vanderbeek: Alright!  I understand.

Gary Bettman: So we're all clear now?  No more stupid, short-sighted signings of star left wings, okay?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Uh-oh, I'm losing the connection...

Gary Bettman: Call was lost?  Oh, right, he's from New Jersey and he has T-Mobile.  It figures.

Colie Campbell: Hey, Garr, I got Paul Holmgren on the one line with an opening bid for the Prudential Center if it goes to auction and Glen Sather on the other line saying he'll spend an 'absurd' amount of money to outbit everyone else.

Gary Bettman: The opening bid is $800 million.

Colie Campbell: Isn't that double its value?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Top 10 Video Special - Players Who Changed Teams This Summer

Okay, the Top 10 DGA Video Series has returned for the ninth edition of the blog's existance.  This one is a bit random, but since readers enjoy them, I'll give this one a chance.  If you feel that this post is stupid and pointless, please leave a comment below, tweet to me, write on my Facebook page or e-mail me with a better idea for next time.  Until then, here's a look at ten players who switched teams during this past off-season and one moment that they aren't necessarily proud of with their old team, although some of these moments are something to be proud of.  Whatever...


10. Niclas Bergfors

Old team - Florida Panthers
New team - Nashville Predators

Steve Ott crushes Niclas Bergfors back when Bergfors played for the.......umm, well let's just call them the Winnipeg Jets.



9. Ilya Bryzgalov

Old team - Phoenix Coyotes
New team - Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers haven't seen a decent goalie in nearly 15 years.  Now they have the league's richest goalie.  What he does here is a little unusual, but effective nonetheless.



8. Jeff Halpern

Old team - Montreal Canadiens
New team - Washington Capitals

Jeff Halpern gets crushed in Game 7.



7. Eric Belanger

Old team - Phoenix Coyotes
New team - Edmonton Oilers

Eric Belanger isn't just a third line center, just as this isn't just a boring fight.



6. Maxime Talbot

Old team - Pittsburgh Penguins
New team - Philadelphia Flyers

Eric Brewer mistakens Talbot for Gary Bettman and destroys him.



5. Christian Ehrhoff

Old team - Vancouver Canucks
New team - Buffalo Sabres

There's one thing in common between Ehrhoff's new team and old team: they combine to have the same number of Stanley Cups as Sean Avery's IQ number.



4. Jamie Langenbrunner

Old team - Dallas Stars
New team - St. Louis Blues

Langenbrunner shows his play-making abilities in a unique way against the Islanders (only watch the first goal).



3. Brad Richards

Old team - Dallas Stars
New team - New York Rangers

Is Richards just another Glen Sather mistake?  Well, I can't say that now, but I know he can do this.



2. Dany Heatley

Old team - San Jose Sharks
New team - Minnesota Wild

I'm not sure what's more common: Dany Heatley requesting a trade or Niklas Kronwall doing this.



1. Tomas Kaberle

Old team - Boston Bruins
New team - Carolina Hurricanes

Many people felt that Kaberle didn't have a strong stint with the Bruins.  This particular moment doesn't exactly disprove that notion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teams and players that need to bounce back in 2011-12

Ilya Kovalchuk's stick...probably about to snap in half.
The 2010-11 NHL season was a dream season for the Boston Bruins, but for 29 other teams, it failed to produce a championship season.  Of course, that happens every year, however, some teams (and players) are due for a big bounce-back season in 2011-12.

Martin Havlat - He hasn't even come close to his 77 points in 2008-09 since he left Chicago, but he leaves the offensively inept Minnesota Wild in favor of the San Jose Sharks.  This assures Havlat that his linemates will accumulate more points than the league's average goaltender.

Jamie Langenbrunner - He saw his point total nearly slice in half from a season prior between the Devils and Stars, and he probably won't rebound this season either.  Luckily, he'll be teammates with Jason Arnott again, and together, they can sing the Blues...

Ottawa Senators - Last year could not have gone much worse for the Sens, but they traded some of their older players away to build draft picks (and to satisfy country music stars).  They also signed Zenon Konopka to center their second line, which is nice, because last year Konopka put up 307......oh wait those are penalty minutes, not points...

Ilya Kovalchuk - Like many Devils, he didn't exactly thrive under John MacLean, but Kovalchuk will look to bounce back from his worst offensive season since 2002.  He's also under a lot of pressure from fans and media, but if he struggles again in 2011-12, he might not be able to get a big contract when his current one is up.

Edmonton Oilers - Edmonton finished last season true to form: last place and another first overall draft pick.  Many people believe that the Oilers will be a much better team, though, which has GM Steve Tambellini wondering if he should cancel the party he planned for late June 2012.

Florida Panthers - Many people think the Panthers went on their free agent spree to put a better team on the ice, when in fact, they signed those people to sit in the stands so it looks like people go to games there.

Scott Gomez - He had his worst season ever (by far) last year in Montreal, and it has people wondering if he'll ever live up to the huge contract he signed with the Rangers in 2007.  Well, since he probably won't, let's hope the hometown fans will be very forgiving of his struggles in Montreal.  They would never, say, throw waffles at him...

Alexander Ovechkin - For the first time in his career, he failed to score at least 40 goals and 90 points last season, proving that even the great Alex Ovechkin can be a victim of defensive hockey.  Even so, he managed to score 19 more points than Sidney Crosby.

Marian Gaborik - Scoring just 22 goals a season ago, he'll be looking for a bounce back season, and he'll have some help.  Having Brad Richards center him should help, until he inevitably has a season-ending injury after he gets checked by Nathan Gerbe.

Teemu Selanne - Last season, he put up just four more points than he did goals during his rookie season with the now-reinstated Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93.  He needs to make his decision about his playing future soon, because Brett Favre is officially retired (for now) and ESPN has no time available for a live special for him.  ESPN reportedly has a poker commitment every night until the hockey season starts.

Winnipeg Jets - Last time they existed, they finished the season with 78 points, and their leading scorer (Keith Tkachuk) has since retired.  Luckily, Dustin Byfuglien added a few extra pounds during the off-season, making him almost big enough to play on the Jets' offensive line.  Oops, wrong sport...

Mike Richards - His leadership was questioned at times last season, but he has a fresh new start as the face of the Kings.  Unfortunately, he wasn't even LA's most desired hockey player with the last name "Richards" during the 2011 off-season.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Signs that hockey season is approaching

I didn't lie.  The title of this post is "Signs that hockey is back."  Here's a sign.

Whether you're celebrating your team acquiring a big free agent, mourned in the sorrow of tragedy that struck so many times this year or just wondered what the hell your team was thinking, we're all hockey fans and hockey is back.  Well, it's almost back.  It's close enough to being back that I felt like writing this post.  Here are some signs (figuratively) that hockey is back.

  • Your team's official website has real news on a daily basis.  Instead of summer-quality news, such as "this game will be moved from 3 PM to 7 PM," there's real news, such as "check out this player's new skates."
  • ESPN starts talking about pre-season basketball.
  • All of your friends are participating in fantasy football drafts while you wait for your fantasy hockey league's draft.
  • Hockey fans stop tweeting about how their lawn looks too overgrown and more about possible line combinations.
  • You feel an earthquake, but soon realize it's just Dustin Byfuglien arriving in Winnipeg.
  • The Islanders' first round draft pick arrives at Nassau Coliseum for the very first time...and vomits when he sees it.
  • John MacLean is sighted in a local Newark parking lot with a bag full of jelly jars with him.
  • The Stanley Cup completes its summer with the championship players and returns to Toronto...to the Hall of Fame, of course.
  • Marian Gaborik starts to feel a pain in his.......somewhere.
  • Don Cherry buys a large bucket of tie dye paint and some plain suits.
  • TSN's journalists discuss the annual "Is this the year a Canadian team wins a Cup" article, considers the teams that play in Canada and burns the article.
  • The Florida Panthers start releasing marketing campaigns that sound like they were thought of by Gary Bettman on a bad day.
  • Fires start breaking out in Vancouver again.
  • People in Florida think hurricane season is over, but people in North Carolina know that Hurricane season is about to start.
  • Ridiculous hockey bloggers start to get back to their strict routine of posting whenever they feel like posting.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

NHL 2011-12 Preview - Players to Watch

With a new season approaching, it's time to take a look at some notable players to watch.  Whether they changed teams, had a bad year or were injured or just happen to be fun to watch in general, you won't want to miss what these guys may have to offer.  And here's why.


Brad Richards - The word on the streets of New York City is that Richards is a skilled playmaker, which should come in handy since Broadway Theater has been in a bit of a slump.

Sidney Crosby - Crosby is always one to keep an eye on, but if you do this year, you'll probably miss the game, since you'll be looking into the press box.

James van Riemsdyk - Yes, JvR is an exciting player, but Flyers fans should especially keep an eye on him because he recently signed a big contract.  Watch him now, or he'll be traded before you realize it.

Michael Ryder - It's not Ryder you should be watching, but the Stanley Cup right before Ryder picks it up, because that might be the last chance you have to see it in one piece.

Michael Grabner - Grabner is exciting to watch, but know this: a) you'll need a magnifying glass to find him and b) you'll need to practice your horizontal neck moving, because not even your friend's Corvette could keep up with him.

Rick DiPietro - Watch DiPietro closely while you still can, and you might even be able to predict where he'll get hurt.  In fact, I can almost guarantee you that you'll be right about his injury...eventually.

Phil Kessel - You'll want to watch Kessel...in your fantasy hockey league's draft, but don't pick him right away.  He's used to being picked last.

Nicklas Lidstrom - Watch Lidstrom while you still can, because he's bound to retire someday.  Either that or the world will end, but one of the two events will happen at some point.

Dustin Byfuglien - I'd be keeping an eye on Byfuglien, especially during pre-game.  You never know, he just might get charged with a ZUI (Zamboni-ing Under the Influence).

Dany Heatley - Here's a guy that you won't necessarily want to watch on the ice, but come March and trade deadline season, 29 28 27 a few other General Managers should be watching him after Heatley requests his annual trade.

Taylor Hall - He's no longer the "first overall pick by the Oilers" anymore.  Those honors go to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (for a year at least).  Next year, we'll be saying the same about Nugent-Hopkins not being the most recent Oilers' first overall pick...in all liklihood anyway.

Brian Rolston - Islander fans will enjoy watching Rolston, because in the time it takes him to load up his slapshot, you could cook a turkey for Thanksgiving and do your Christmas shopping without pressing pause, and you wouldn't miss a thing.

Patrick Kane - Rumor has it that Kane's shooting has become so precise that he could shoot a puck through the net, between the panels of glass and into a fan's beer...in the upper deck.

Alex Burrows - Some say that Kyle Wellwood tutored Burrows during the summer.  He was giving Burrows biting lessons.

Martin Brodeur - Just two losses away from the NHL's all-time record, Brodeur and NBC are negotiating naming rights to a potential TV show.  "The Biggest Loser" has been tossed around.

Jeff Skinner - Skinner reportedly looks even younger than he did last year, so presumably he looks like a fetus.  He's no longer a rookie, however, which means he'll have to grow a playoff beard...by the time the Hurricanes reach the playoffs again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quick Story: The Night I Changed MSG Telecasts

I'm not one that causes trouble, but there's one memorable episode that I must share.  You know those dull Wednesday night hockey games where your team is facing a bad team and it's just a really awful game?  Well, it was one of those boring Wednesday nights (if I recall, it was during the 2009-10 NHL season), and the Devils were losing midway through the game.  I went to the MSG website to vote on their question of the night poll.  I'm pretty sure it was a multiple choice poll asking about which player that played for the Devils and their opponent that night was the most important to the Devils or something.

For example, which player who played for the Rangers and Devils was most important?  Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Brendan Shanahan or Mike Mottau (it was actually different, I just don't remember).  So I picked Mottau for fun.  I was the only person who voted for him.  So I voted again.  And again.  And about 4,000 more times (if anyone from MSG reads this, I really am sorry).  Now usually 200 or 300 people vote on these polls, but now 4,000 votes had been casted.  Here's what happened.

Post-game: "Okay, let's check tonight's MSG.com poll...the reponse was quite telling as thousands of you voted tonight," Steve Cangialosi said.  "98% of you voted for Mike Mottau."  To be honest, watching that on MSG live was one of the funniest moments of my life to date.

So during random weekday nights when there was nothing to do, I'd skew more MSG.com polls.  I skewed a few Rangers polls, in fact, I specifically remember the Rangers' poll was "Will the Rangers make the playoffs?"  Of course the Ranger fans were biased (as I was...the other way), so I skewed the poll to about 55% "No."  That also made it onto MSG.  I skewed a few Islander polls too, but the first two are most memorable.

By the start of the 2010-11 season, each computer was restricted to a single vote per poll.  I was heartbroken, but I also realized that I had actually caused that.  It was a somewhat satisfying moment, to be honest.

I guess the lesson learned here is that next time your team is losing a bad weekday night game, just turn it off and leave, or tweet to me and tell me you wish your team had an online poll you could skew.