Scott Hall wrote:
The Oilers vs. Stars series of the late 90's was the best hockey I've EVER seen. I'm not a fan of either team obviously although I've had affairs with the Oilers as my Western Conference team periodically (lol) but if I was to show a non Hockey fan a series to get them interested I'd show them the Oilers vs. Stars series. I saw it on ESPN Classics a few years ago and it still holds up. God I miss 90's hockey and hate how there's next to no checking or fighting in todays game.
That's great that you've passed/shared your interest/passion for the game to others and your family. It must irk you to hear other Americans say "Nobody cares about hockey here" etc.
The game seems to do well regionally but not nationally and I don't get it... I don't get why the TV ratings are that bad?
I should say I did lose a lot of interest in the 2000's to early 20teens... There was a severe talent shortage after the Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman, Sakic, Modano, Roy, Coffey, Francis, Hawerchuk etc etc era retired, the 2 lockouts, the changing of the point system, shoot outs, division realignment, home teams wearing dark sweaters at home etc really bothered me...
But the Stanley Cup Playoffs always sucked me in and they ALWAYS delivered every frigging year. The NHL "may" have the most boring regular season but man it goes from worst to first every playoffs.
I'm not American so I don't know why the Sport doesn't get more attention and not much media spotlight other then a lot of hockey players have boring personalities and don't cause much drama but I'm curious to what American hockey fans think the biggest problems are?
Also Otis I saw you retweeted by Tim Cowlishaw today haha
I’ve said for years that part of the problem with hockey’s growth in the states can be traced back to the 80’s - when you had two of the great dynasties in the history of the game... and the average sports fan down here never saw them. That was when the NHL was rarely if ever on OverTheAir TV and cable was still in its infancy. Then as Cable grew, broadcasts went to the rumored Sports Channel which hardly anyone got. Missed out on the end of the 70’s Canadiens... the 80’s Islanders and the heyday of Gretzky and the Oilers. Awful hard to sell your product and the great players in it when no one can watch.
I love the playoffs. Even when the Stars have been on the sidelines, the playoffs always deliver - as you note. With all due respect to my beloved Mavs and the inevitable nut kick I get annually from the Rangers, I will pay scant attention to the NBA & MLB playoffs if those two aren’t in them. I am riveted to the NHL playoffs. I have “friends” from the old SI Fan Nation forum that are Pens fans... Caps fans... Red Wings fans... Flames fans... Habs fans... Blues fans... even a couple of lowly Laffs fans - and when the playoffs start our Email group is buzzing for two months. Hockey fans are the best.
Now - the Cowlishaw story. In 1999, Game 7 against the Avs. Cowlishaw wrote an article detailing why he felt the Stars were going to win. He had 5 bullet points and the first letter of each bullet point spelled K-E-A-N-E.
I still have a copy of that article somewhere...