Monday, May 21, 2012

Odds and Ends

Hello! Here are a few brief (we can only hope) grades for some recent work found on the Denver Post. Enjoy!

Deadmarsh, Lefebvre looking set to return

Few people remember what
great, great hair this guy had
In this blog, Adrian Dater uses some very odd logic to explain why he believes that Avalanche assistant coaches Adam Deadmarsh and Sylvain Lefebvre will be with the team next season. He begins by explaining that the Avalanche do not allow their assistants to speak to the press, nor do they announce any upcoming coaching changes. "For instance, if an assistant coach is not coming back, they will not release that information publicly." With him so far? He then tells us that when he asked somebody (he doesn't say whom) about Deader and Lefebvre, he was met with silence. His conclusion from that is, oddly enough, that they are coming back... despite the fact that he just wrote that when the Avs say nothing, it usually means a coach isn't coming back.

Confused? You're not the only one. When a few commenters questioned this very issue and raised a couple very good points about it, the response was the tired-out "It's a blog, he can write whatever he wants." Even Dater (or somebody using his name, anyway) himself chimed in, writing "I just love getting lectures on "accountability" from people who don't use their real name." Well, even though a blog can be used to inject some more opinion into things than would be proper in a regular article, a blog is not an excuse for amateurish journalism from a professional journalist, whether he uses his real name or not.

The remainder of the blog is made up of a few of Dater's recollections and impressions of both Deader and Lefebvre from their playing days with the Avalanche. The second half of the entry is light on any real info but it's OK, a decent use of the blog format... but it's not enough to make up for the lousy quality of writing, logic, and/or journalistic ethics that plagued the first half.


Dater Whining about Tortorella Whining

In this blog entry, Adrian Dater takes on New York Rangers coach John Tortorella for his treatment of the media, in particular his treatment of the media after Ranger losses. Dater gets himself in a real snit about the Tortorella's impatience and shortness during interviews, and at one point calls for his "media brethren" to "boycott [Tortorella's] tired act." At times this approaches Dater's classic anti-ESPN rant, but doesn't quite get to that level of childish stupidity.

Here I am torn a bit... Tortorella IS a bit of a douchebag, and I can certainly see how he'd be a difficult man to deal with after losses. But on the other hand, it's the media's job to cover the team, and that means covering the good and the bad. Tortorella's demeanor after the game is a part of the story, and here's Dater complaining about it. The reason we fans know that Torts is a deeb is because the media covers him accurately. Not every story is rainbows and sunshine, Dater, and while it's a part of an NHL coach's job to speak to the media, it's not part of his job to make your job easy.

This is essentially Dater just using his blog to complain about his job. That's what his bartender is for. The best use of this particular blog entry is as an example of unintentional irony: Dater uses the term "petulant" (among others), to describe Tortorella's act, while the same terms can just as accurately be used to describe Dater and his silly -- albeit somewhat amusing -- rants like this one.


In this follow-up blog the following day, Dater offers a transcription of Tortorella's press conference, in which the coach had gained some space from the loss and was thoughtful and (evidently) polite to the media. I'm glad Dater included this, because it's important to note that Torts is not always the way he was characterized in the earlier blog entry. It really makes Dater's earlier blog seem even more silly and knee-jerkish... a guy just lost a fairly important hockey game, and Dater expects him to be just as nice as can be just minutes afterward? It reminds me of a blog from earlier this season, when Varlamov was less-than-sociable after a tough loss, and Mike Chambers ripped him for it. Journalists need to keep their personal feelings out of their job and remember that the people they cover are human beings... Chambers failed at that with Varly, and Dater failed with Tortorella.


Avalanche Player Grades--Matt Duchene: Incomplete

Here we get Adrian Dater's overview of Matt Duchene's year. Dater writes that he hates to resort to the "copout" of an incomplete grade, but that in order to give a guy a grade "he can't have missed a huge chunk of the year with injuries."

Fair enough, I guess... if not for the fact that only eight days earlier, AD had given Peter Mueller a rather generous B- grade, despite the fact that Mueller's various injuries only allowed him to play in 32 games, which is 26 fewer games than Duchene appeared. Although one could argue that Duchene's effectiveness was limited by injuries even in some of the games he did play, the same exact thing can be said for Mueller.

It's Dater's deal, and if he wants to make up rules on the spot, it's OK with me, but there should at least be some sort of consistency from one player to the next. The rest of the recap of Duchene's season is pretty good, actually... but after going way soft on Mueller, Dater completely wusses out with his "incomplete" for Duchene. Both these guys should either have received the copout "incomplete" grade, or they should have been graded just as harshly as some of the other disappointments on this team... I would have given them both Ds myself, because they were counted on to do so much more than they did.

This team was very average this year, but there really hasn't been a grade lower than a C so far... are we to believe that Kevin Porter is really the only guy who performed below average expectations this season?


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