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-   -   5/13 Discussion - Lucky v. Good (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=775834)

GopherState 05-13-2010 05:30 PM

5/13 Discussion - Lucky v. Good
 
One of the things which gives the NHL playoffs an aura of excitement is the feeling that any team can go on a run at any time. Unlike the NBA, where only a handful of teams are legitimate title contenders (there have been three sweeps out of four series this round), it seems like there is at least one 6, 7 or 8 seed in the NHL final four every year. With Montreal beating the Capitals and Penguins and facing the 6th or 7th seed in the ECF, I'm wondering whether it is better to be lucky (having a mediocre regular season but good playoff run) or consistently good but coming up short.

As Minnesota hockey fans we've been in both positions. On one end there is the North Stars being the worst team to make the playoffs in 1991 and reaching the Stanley Cup finals and the Wild's magical 2003 run. On the other, there is the 2008 Northwest Division championship run which ended in a first-round knockout and essentially the entire 1990s for Gopher hockey (for those of you who are Gopher hockey fans).

Both contain different highs and lows. As you can see today from many of the Montreal fans, lucky gives you a great high for the moment; however it doesn't last as long as being a consistently good team. Sooner or later, the eighth seeded team shows up as one can see from Edmonton after their magical eighth seed run.

Good, on the other hand, gives you a more consistent high but a rather deep low if things do not turn the way you want it to be. With that said, it is far easier to get back up on the horse and try again (as teams like the Wings have shown).

So what is better? Would you rather be lucky and have one long playoff run or good and have a few smaller runs?

Jbcraig1883 05-13-2010 05:41 PM

Good as you define it equals consistency so I prefer consistency, which is more important for the reasons you have already stated. I would much rather be an annual contender rather than a one-hit wonder.

Even though the 02-03 playoff run was quite fun, I would rather have a team that is in the playoffs every year.

mnwildgophers 05-13-2010 05:51 PM

I think I'm in the bandwagon of being good. I'd much rather take a team that is continually good (like the Red Wings) than the couple magical runs that happen every so often, but if you are good and continually keep losing in the fist couple of rounds, that kind of sucks too. I'd rather be playing in the playoffs every year than doing what we're doing, watching the playoffs with our team not in it.

As an aside, the NBA playoffs are generating way higher ratings than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Why do we think that this is? Because ESPN is available to more people? People find hockey less interesting? I'm not sure why, but the ratings for Vs. have been horrible when considering how great these playoffs had been.

GopherState 05-13-2010 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mnwildgophers (Post 25805675)
As an aside, the NBA playoffs are generating way higher ratings than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Why do we think that this is? Because ESPN is available to more people? People find hockey less interesting? I'm not sure why, but the ratings for Vs. have been horrible when considering how great these playoffs had been.

Two reasons:
1. NBA games get a higher ratings than NHL games as a whole. Part of it has to do with popularity and part of it has to do with the fact that the vast majority of their fanbase is in one country while hockey is split across two. But I'd go mostly with popularity.

2. Actually the ratings on VS have been higher than ever.

mnwildgophers 05-13-2010 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GopherState (Post 25805867)
Two reasons:
1. NBA games get a higher ratings than NHL games as a whole. Part of it has to do with popularity and part of it has to do with the fact that the vast majority of their fanbase is in one country while hockey is split across two. But I'd go mostly with popularity.

2. Actually the ratings on VS have been higher than ever.

I suppose hockey is "Canada's game." I meant the Vs. ratings were significantly lower than the ESPN ratings, but that's because most people seem to like basketball better simply. Football has got to be the biggest sport here, they get crazy ratings, maybe because of only 16 games? I've heard rumblings that ESPN wants the NHL back, do you think this would be good or bad? (I don't mean to jack the thread)

GopherState 05-13-2010 06:16 PM

It depends on what the deal is. ESPN has a higher profile than Versus, but it doesn't always matter. There's better promotion and distribution (i.e. it's on a better channel and more people get it); however that doesn't always matter. If you put all the games on ESPN2, there's no difference in ratings than having games on Versus. But if there's good promotion and games on ESPN, then there is a good possibility of increasing exposure and television ratings (at least on national television).

But that's only one prong of where the NHL needs to go to increase their stature and widen their footprint in the US.

mnwildgophers 05-13-2010 06:26 PM

What else do you think they will try?

I know that the Minnesota teams don't get very much recognition because we are a "smaller" market teams, but I wonder what NHL will do to expand because the games are super exciting to watch, and I would have to think a lot of people would like it, but maybe it's too low scoring for them. I just wish I could get more hockey talk on the radio, but that's not what people want to listen to. I'll have to invest in satellite radio one of these days.

GopherState 05-13-2010 07:40 PM

Again, it's a very complicated subject but like all niche products, you build from within. I'll try to explain the NHL's strategy for growing the game in very simple terms, but please remember this is a generalization.

First, you build up the individual teams by getting them to games and becoming fans. The #1 way people become hockey fans is being through family and watching a live game. This obviously takes time (look at the Devils' attendance and how they have a large group of younger season ticket holders proportional with their streak of success), but it's a proven method. That also works in increasing rink access and getting young kids to play the game, which is something that helps the league two-fold (more hockey players and athletes from more locations - this is something you see in the LA area right now twenty years after the Gretzky era - and more fans).

You then take your base and strengthen it by getting them interested in watching games which don't involve your team. That's a big problem for the league as the majority of games are watched by fans of the two teams. Due to that, the league has the "history will be made" commercials which play on a sense of nostalgia and the joy of watching the playoffs and are targeted towards hockey fans who might not be willing to watch playoff games between two teams.

Finally, you take your strong base and then build upon it with a casual fans. Obviously the NHL is not entirely there yet, but once there's more national support, that's when you get the media coverage (both local and national) that many people on here piss and moan. Coverage is a two-way street and there needs to be a want by the fans. It doesn't come out of nowhere and in the US (as opposed to Canada where the NHL essentially competes with the CFL - a league which plays in its offseason - and local Toronto teams to compete) there's a crowded landscape. We're seeing more coverage of the NHL by ESPN and other national outlets because of the higher ratings and more colorful players (I'm looking at you Alex Ovechkin), but the ongoing goal would be to increase it yearly and cause a higher demand for television rights.

GopherState 05-13-2010 07:41 PM

So anyways...I'm going with lucky mainly because I want that high of winning a championship. If it happens with good, that's great too.

Wildlife 05-13-2010 07:49 PM

I went with lucky just because I want that cup! After that we can work on being consistently good. Haha

saywut 05-13-2010 07:49 PM

Wasnt really an upset when Colorado beat us. They had the healthiest Forsberg post-lockout and we had Todd Fedoruk on our 1st line.

GopherState 05-13-2010 07:57 PM

Yeah, the Wild also had a second line (and Nick Schultz) out of action with injuries that year but that's the only NHL hockey series we've been favored in twenty years. Actually that on its own is sad; thank god there's the excuse of having seven years with no team.

Jarick 05-14-2010 01:36 PM

To win championships, you've got to be both, but I believe in the saying that hard work brings good luck.

UMD05 05-14-2010 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarick (Post 25818568)
To win championships, you've got to be both, but I believe in the saying that hard work brings good luck.

JFC, beat me to it. I was just going to say you largely create your own luck.

Jbcraig1883 05-14-2010 01:54 PM

Well, if we are defining lucky as winning the cup, then yea, I want the cup.

But if lucky just means getting lucky once every few years and making a run at it versus being an annual contender, I still say I'd rather the Wild be "good".

Good=consistency which increases the odds of being lucky that one run! =P

rynryn 05-16-2010 09:42 AM

good guarantees you the playoffs...with everyone else who is good. Being lucky makes up for a relative lack of proficiency too often to be ignored. Everyone has seen the team who is sorely getting outplayed get that one lucky bounce in the third and win it; sometimes whole series are like that. I think I'd take lucky just for the sheer drama.


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