Monday, October 13, 2008

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!! -- Caps vs. Canucks, October 13th

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!!

And we're live here at Peerless Central on this Columbus Day holiday in the U.S. of A., where we celebrate that man who didn't really "discover" America as much as he had a better literary agent. Tonight, the Caps host the Vancouver Canucks. It's been awhile since the Caps have defeated the Canucks in Washington. It's been since November 22, 2000, in fact (a 3-2 win in overtime). It is so long ago...

There was no Lu-on-go in Vancouver. He was enduring the first year of his incarceration in Florida with the Panthers, sentenced to toil in front of a team that can't score...sort of like now.

The Canucks of that vintage had, as their second leading scorer...Andrew Cassels, who would go on to glory with Washington in his memorable year of 2005-2006 (31 games, 4-8-12, -3).

Todd Bertuzzi hadn't yet scored 30 goals for the Canucks (and hadn't yet jumped anyone on the ice yet, either).

Donald Brashear was on that team. So was Jarkko Ruutu...and Matt Cooke. We're betting they fought over rolls of tape on that team.

The Sedins were rookies.

It's been a while.

As for these Canucks, we'll borrow (steal,'s called "steal") a page from the pop-up videos and bring you some things to know about the visitors...

History repeats itself. Even Halley's Comet stops by every 76 years. And so it will be tonight, as the Men in Red defeat the visitors from the far northwest.

Caps 3 - Canucks 2

Gimme gimme gimme...

It’s early in the year, not much has transpired, schedule-wise, so we were clicking through the clubs to see what they’re doing in terms of promotions to see what caught our eye…

Anaheim…only four “promotional nights?” Shirt, hat, magnet schedule, team photo. Ducks…starts with a “D,” and that’s what they get for imagination.

Carolina…flags on opening night, a magnet schedule, and bobbleheads (Eric Staal, Tim Gleason, Justin Williams, and Cam Ward). Carolina…starts with “C.” They get the gentleman’s grade for lack of imagination but volume of bobbleheads.

Chicago…team calendar, magnetic schedule, “welcome back Pat Foley” pin (Foley was the Hawks play-by-play guy who was not picked up when his contract was to be renewed after the 2005-2006 season), Patrick Kane figurine, replica banners, Blackhawks hat, Steve Larmer collector’s pin, Patrick Sharp Bobblehead, reusable tote bag, MPH Line collector’s pin, St. patrick’s Day green hat, Patrick Kane bobblehead, Glenn Hall memento. The Hawks get an “A” for embracing their heritage.

Columbus…the Blue Jackets are big on food. They have ten “all you can eat” package evenings and five dollar hot dog nights. As far as chotchkies, the Jackets have a John H. MConnell commemorative hat (McConnell was majority owner who passed away last April), magnet schedule, Rick Nash t-shirt, 2009 calendar, white-out t-shirt giveaway, and a team poster. The Blue Jackets get a "B" for giving fans a break on food and for some variety on the giveaways.

Edmonton…The Oilers will have a “Caps for Cancer Night” – pink and blue caps signed by an Oiler for a $20 contribution to fight cancer. They’re also having a “Shirts of Our Backs” Night…in December. And, it’s the ladies. The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and Edmonton Oilers Ladies will be conducting a raffle, winners getting a signed Oiler jersey. What, you were expecting…get your mind outta the gutter. A St. Patrick’s Day Puck Surprise has the ladies sponsoring a sale of autographed pucks for a $20 donation for selected charities. The Oilers get a “B” for their community support efforts.

Los Angeles…The Kings are giving away a calendar, something called “Enforcer Series Poster #1 presented by Waste Management,” an alternate jersey mini-banner, string backpack, Zamboni piggy bank, Anze Kopitar play puck series, “Enforcer Series #2,” Dustin Brown player puck series, a hat, school binder (in February?...isn’t that a “back to school” thing?), Alexander Frolov player puck series, lunch box, and the third “Enforcer Series” poster. The Kings get a “B” for variety.

Montreal…The Habs have a magnetic calendar and a car flag. They do have a series of “centennial jersey” nights, which aren’t technically giveaways, but which should be interesting, since they will feature players wearing vintage Canadiens sweaters. But, this being the centennial of the club, they could have done more in this area…”D.”

Nashville…magnetic schedule. They do have a lot of theme nights, though…college night, hockey fights cancer night, fellowship night, scout night, sci-fi night, golf night, jailhouse rock night, NASCAR night (go figure), YMCA night, Nashvill Zoo night, hot dog night. And the Predators have set aside a section for their “drives”…school supply drive, food drive (two), toy drive (two), Salvation Army, new and gently used sports equipment, books, and diapers/baby supplies. For the paucity of giveaways, but trying to get by on a “no-cost” strategy for themes, the Predators get a “C.”

New Jersey…magnetic schedule, team calendar, youth poster, hockey puck ski cap, baseball cap, youth jersey. A “B” for variety and going “old school” with some traditional giveaways.

Ottawa…a red metallic pom-pom and “cool Sens luggage tag” on opening night. That’s it for the giveaways, but the Senators do have “sport chek kids games” (50% off tickets for kids) and vouchers for food at McDonalds. Still…looks like a “C” effort.

Philadelphia…the giveaways on their promotional schedule – three of them – are marked with an asterisk, but they don’t indicate what the giveaway is (maybe they don’t want to telegraph to fans anything they could throw), but they do have a “dollar dog night.” We’re trying to figure out the “Go Green Night” on October 22nd. Maybe they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day according to a different calendar. “D” for the Flyers. Oh, heck…give ‘em an “F,” it’s Philly.

Phoenix…Olli Jokinen bobblehead, short-sleeved t-shirt, winter gloves (in Arizona?), fleece blanket (in Arizona??), “build a bear,” and a Coyotes hat. They had three nights on which they gave away magnetic schedules – all preseason games (incentive to attend, I guess). They make a point to say that “season ticket holders are guaranteed all promotional giveaway items.” Well, hey…sign me up. “C”

Pittsburgh…schedule mouse pad (in Pittsburgh, they think that’s a condo for rodents), team calendar, “vintage shirt” (we’re thinking that means, “unwashed”), baseball cap, Pennsylvania Lottery scratch off coupons (only in PA), gym bag, vintage pennant, and a Penguin Lil’ Webkinz. Another “C”

St. Louis…team calendar, magnet schedule, “glow rally towel,” Blues coffee mug, team poster. We’re betting the March 15th game will be popular….”FREE FOOD GAME” (in caps on the Blues promotions page). Not a large offering, the food thing gets them a “C”

Tampa Bay…magnetic schedule (they have two nights for this), Marty St. Louis mini-bobblehead (life size), Mike Smith mini-bobblehead, Vinnie Lecavalier t-shirt, Chris Gratton mini-bobblehead, Steven Stamkos mini-bobblehead, pennant, Ryan Malone mini-bobblehead, Marty St. Louis t-shirt, Evgeny Artyukhin mini-bobblehead, Gary Roberts t-shirt, Barry Melrose mini-bobblehead (mullet accessories sold separately?), green Lightning hat, Vinnie Lecavalier mini-bobblehead. The Lightning do the “stuff” thing very well. They get an “A”

Vancouver…the Canucks appear to shun giveaways in favor of contests…a “pick ‘n’ win” contest where you win tickets based on predictions, a “VIP chalk talk contest” where the winner gets a copy of the game plan from the coach (we’ll try to score and at the same time try to keep the other guys from scoring) before watching the game in a suite, and a “lucky traveler” contest that offers game tickets an trips (not to hockey games, apparently). Sorry, we want freebees…”D”

Washington…replica division championship banner, magnetic schedule, Bruce Boudreau bobblehead, Alex Ovechkin with trophies bobblehead, Mike Gartner commemorative giveaway, calculator, lunch box for the kiddies, autographed player photo (again, for the kids), and a beach towel. Interesting touch on the Ovechkin bobblehead, and fans might need a calculator to tote up Ovechkin’s goals. We’ll give ‘em a “B”

We just hope that beach towel on Fan Appreciation Day isn’t for crying into.

edit: After we posted this, we came across this one, courtesy of James Mirtle.