Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fay-thless Street

I read Dave Fay's WTimes column about Hershey's playoff run at work this morning and was excited to get home this evening and write about it. Then I read Ted Leonsis's take on it (complete with an emoticon!) and figured that there wasn't much I could say that he didn't hit on. Still, one point bears (get it?) mentioning. Fay writes:
"The Bears are basically the same team that last season, as the Portland Pirates, failed to make the playoffs,"
as if to imply that these guys aren't as good as they are playing now. Which they may not be. But they're likely a lot closer to what they're showing now than what they showed last year for the simple reason that most prospects LEARN and IMPROVE with EXPERIENCE. That's what they do. An additional (or first) year of pro hockey for a teenager or a kid in his early twenties can make any young player a superstar, a wash-out or anything in between. If you don't believe me, watch how good what's-his-name is next year.

Further, they're really not even close to the same team as last year's Portland Pirates. For example, Eric Fehr and Mike Green - two of Hershey's most important cogs in this playoff run - were still in juniors last year. Tomas Fleischmann was in his first professional season. Kris Beech was stuck in the hell-hole that is Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Lawrence Nycholat was in Hartford. Dave Steckel was in Manchester. The coaching staff is entirely different. I could go on, but won't. It's a dumb, poorly-researched point by Fay and we'll leave it at that.

Overall, Fay's talent assessments - both of the Bears players and the Caps' lineup - are woeful and this unnecessarily skeptical article on the eve of, perhaps, a Calder Cup Championship is an utter waste of paper, pixels and newsprint. He shall get no emoticon from me.


Anonymous said...

The Fay piece was trash, you can tell he didnt even put any effort into it.
When was the last time you read an newspaper article that was just a bullet list?

Bears won the Calder Cup...Awsome

The Puck Stops Here said...

There is some truth to the fact that this year's Calder Cup champs are not as good as last years. Last year the NHL was in lockout. The Philadelphia Phantoms won the cup with about 5 guys on their roster who would have been in the NHL if they had one to play in.

JP said...

Where was that point made and/or refuted? And isn't there, by defition, truth to any fact? ;)

The Puck Stops Here said...

I take Fay's point to be that this Hershey team is not any better than the Portland team last year that missed the playoffs - even if personnel has changed some. And there might be some truth to that position.

I don't think Washington will see as many players making a contribution next year as Philadelphia did this year. In that interpretation Fay has a point.