Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcoming new faces to the Devils

Hello.  My name is Tony (just kidding, my real name is Down Goes Avery).  This might be your first time visiting this site, or you may have followed along over the past three seasons when I used to blog regularly.  I have returned from my blogging hibernation, at least for now to bring you a look at some of the new faces on the Devils, and a glimpse at their transition from last season to this season.  We'll see how this goes and maybe I'll even do another post in the near future.  Thanks for stopping by!


NorthJersey.com
Every time I see a picture of Jagr in a Devils jersey, I think "uh, yep, that's photoshopped."
When I realize I'm wrong, I then wonder why this couldn't have happened 10 years ago.

Cory Schneider

CBS New York


Previous team: Vancouver Canucks

How he was acquired: Stolen Trade from Canucks

Transition to the Devils: Has essentially gone from backing up a well-known goalie from Montreal in Vancouver to backing up an even better known goalie from Montreal in New Jersey.

Season forecast: Will likely spend the season wondering why Devils players don't cringe every time someone says the word "playoffs."



Damien Brunner

Previous team: Detroit Red Wings
Yahoo Sports

How he was acquired: Signed from tryout

Transition to the Devils: Goes from the team with the most playoff success over the last 20 years in the Western Conference to the team with the most playoff success over the last 20 years in the Eastern Conference.

Season forecast: Will perform well, and will enjoy city life this year more than last year, now being in Newark.



Rostislav Olesz

Sport Aktuane
Previous team: Chicago Blackhawks/AHL

How he was acquired: Signed through free agency

Transition to the Devils: Once again coached by Pete DeBoer, as he was in Florida, becoming the 349th (a lot) player to come to the Devils after previously playing for DeBoer.

Season forecast: Is almost guaranteed to be at least the fourth best Czech-born player on the Devils this season.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Watch Reid Boucher score some goals for Sarnia

I think this is worth me coming out of my blogging hibernation: 2011 Devils' 4th round draft pick Reid Boucher is absolutely tearing up the Ontario Hockey League this season.  Even without teammates like Yakupov and Galchenyuk anymore, as they've moved on to the NHL, Reid Boucher is on the verge of breaking the Sarnia Sting's single-season goal scoring record.  Who holds that record?  Steven Stamkos.  Not to drop names or anything.  I spent some time on YouTube trying to gather some footage of Boucher in action, and I came up with 19 of his 22 million goals with Sarnia.*  Some are pretty, some aren't.  All I know is that this kid loves to score goals.

* slight hyperbole implied.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 NHL Lockout - The Final Straw?

Chances are that if you're reading this or have ever read anything I've posted on this blog before, you're probably a pretty big NHL fan (either that or I've paid you a large sum of money to view my blog just to keep ratings up...not that I'd ever do that).  As a result, you're probably very...let's be kind: unhappy with the NHL and its players right now, as more than half of the 2012-13 season has been axed to date with the entire season lost being a reality in the near future.  Hell, even the U.S. Government can bang out a deal faster than the NHL.

Somehow, this doesn't really feel strange.  Lockouts have simply become a routine with the NHL and its decorated commissioner over the years.  Of course, there are conspiracy theories that NBA commissioner David Stern sent Gary Bettman over to the NHL to ruin the league and take away the NBA's main competing sport this time of year.  You may agree with that (after all, it does sound good), but I maintain that Bettman and his partners are idiots.  The NHL and its players are each trying to get paid like they're MLB, NFL or NBA players.  Guess what?  They're not.  The NHL doesn't have the revenue to pay either side like any other "major" North American sport (which is an indirect result of three lockouts!).

Anyway, I didn't write this and log into Blogger for the first time in months to ramble on about who's to blame for this most recent lockout, even though that's exactly what I've done.  I've written this to make a statement about my fanhood and loyalty, or lack thereof, to the NHL at this point.

I wasn't the NHL and Devils fan that I am now until after the last lockout (just to confirm, I am referring to 2004-05, in case you got mixed up with the other many lockouts this glorious sport has endured).  I discovered the NHL on my own.  None of my family or friends got me interested in it.  It was something that I found fascinating and exciting.  I was fortunate enough to get involved with the only team I've ever rooted for in the NHL and after a couple of years, became part of their cutting edge social media program, the Devils Generals.  Add that to a run to the Stanley Cup Finals, and you might imagine that my interest in the NHL couldn't be any better.  And you'd be right.

Every time I talk to a fellow NHL fan about this lockout, they express sadness, anger, withdrawl and many other related adjectives describing how much they miss hockey.  That's understandable, but the problem is, once the lockout ends, all of those people will be excited to start watching and attending games again, which is exactly what the league is banking on happening.  There's no other way of looking at it: NHL fans are falling right into the league's trap (not neutral zone trap, the last lockout took care of that).

The only thing fans can do to make their voice heard is to not come back.  Throughout this entire lockout, I've been doing my best to ignore the NHL and not give them any of my attention.  It's been my coping mechanism.  I've stopped blogging, stopped reading about the NHL and most importantly, I've stayed off Twitter.  The weird thing is that not only have I been able to deal with the lockout, but I've come to the point where I probably will never be as big of a fan as I was last season, which is a shame, because had there not been a lockout, the NHL probably would have gotten quite a lot of money out of me this season and beyond.  I was starting to think about getting season tickets for the first time, I probably would have ordered a new jersey (incredibly unoriginal pun definitely intended) and all of the other sources of revenue that come along with going to games.

But now I won't be doing any of that.  In fact, after going to 29 games last season and spending all of the money that goes along with going to games, I'm enjoying the extra cash this season.  Even if the lockout ends today, I don't have any desire to get back to being the fan I was last season.  Sorry, NHL, but in the grand scheme of things, you've lost a fan (not that you care about your fans, anyway).  I'll still watch Devils games on TV, but I won't lose sleep if I miss games altogether.

The only reason I'm not giving up on the NHL completely and having a fire sale on every NHL-related item I own as well as deleting my Twitter, Facebook and blog right now is because of how good the Devils organization has been to me personally.  I've met a lot of great people within the organization, fans and in the media, and I'd hate to throw all of that away.  However, my involvement and participation will not be what it was last season.  I just can't justify letting the NHL treat me like this as a fan anymore.

So here I am after promising not to ramble on and on, and I've done just that.  I guess that's why I have a blog...

Oh right, this blog.  "Down Goes Avery" may become another casualty of the 2012 NHL lockout.  As many other bloggers who must be far more talented than I have continued to blog regularly throughout the lockout, I've absolutely ignored mine.  I haven't decided what I'll do with this blog if/when the league does resume, but I'm probably done blogging on a regular basis.  To those who are upset by this, you can thank the greedy idiots who run the brilliant sport of professional hockey for that.

Finally, I'll end my post/rant/eulogy to my fanhood/eulogy to my blog by saying thank you.  Thank you for reading Down Goes Avery.  I've had an unbelievably fun time running this blog over the past few seasons.  When I launched DGA in November 2010, I had no idea that 100,000 people would have read it by January 2013 and nearly 3,000 people would be following my Twitter account.  It's truly been surreal.  Thank you for laughing with me, thank you for mocking me, thank you for reading along.  I don't know if this is the end of DGA or not yet, but if it is, thank you for reading, even if this is the first and only time you've ever been to this blog.

Isn't it sad that things have gotten to this point and that the greatest sport in the world is run by the biggest morons in the world?  I hope you consider this when the lockout ends.  I know I will.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Charles Wang's notes from the Brooklyn press conference

Charles Wang indicating the number of people
who are sad to leave Nassau Coliseum.
Once upon a time, the 1980s happened.  Gas prices were cheap[er], people were having terrible crises with their hair and the New York Islanders were relevant.  But since winning four straight Stanley Cup championships to kick off that decade, they've pretty much been a joke.  Nowadays, a trip to the playoffs for the Islanders is as rare as Rick DiPietro playing consecutive games (that's your unoriginal and quite honestly terrible joke about Rick DiPietro for the day).  Now though, the Islanders have decided that the best way to forget their misery is to move west and abandon Nassau County and the awful concrete slab of an arena that sits in it.  The Islanders are moving to Brooklyn.

Islanders owner Charles Wang held a press conference to announce the move to Brooklyn to those who don't have Twitter accounts.  I wasn't there, but thanks to some friends in the media business, I obtained a copy of Charles Wang's notes from the presser, and I'm here to share them with you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The NHL will lock out, and they don't care about you or me

I was heavily debating what to write about on here regarding the inevitable 2012 NHL lockout.  I thought about discussing who is to blame and why they're even negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in the first place, but every other blogger and beat writer has already tackled that, so I won't bother.  For most of you, none of what you're about to read will be breaking news, but for those who don't know, maybe this will be a little bit helpful.  If not, I've wasted 15 minutes of my day.  Oh well.

Instead of any of that, I've decided to write a brief piece directed towards fellow hockey fans.  Obviously, every hockey fan is disappointed that in all likelihood, at least part of the 2012-13 NHL season will be lost to the lockout.  Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing we, as fans, can do to get the NHL and NHLPA to work out a deal.  It's just not going to happen, no matter what we try to do.

Recently, many hockey fans have been taking to Twitter and other social media outlets with hashtags and other pleas directed at the league in the hopes of making a statement to the NHL that fans don't want another lockout.  The bitter reality, though, is that doing these kinds of things is hopelessly pointless.  The important thing to remember is that NHL owners and league management know how passionate hockey fans are, and they know that regardless of how many fans threaten to boycott the NHL, fans will come back after the lockout, and business will resume as usual.  And even if the league loses a few thousand fans, they can compensate for them rather easily.