I was there live and with about 5min left people started leaving in droves. Its funny, I whispered to my cousin "I dont know why people leave with time left in a 3-1 game, anything can happen" and then we see one of the best finishes in years. Such a good game!
Seats will be empty when your team sucks. But a mixture of a bad team and not being in a hockey market is a disaster. I saw that FLA-OTT game last night and it was BAD. Honestly though, Wings have had their share of attendance problems too. Not as bad as Florida but there are some nights the empty seats are kind of embarrassing. The other night against Anaheim was one of those nights.
I don't think he does. There is so much turnover in the roster going on that he's basically getting a whole new set of players to coach. He may have been here for ten years, but most of his team will only be with him two or three years. You had to jump when you had the same roster for 10 years but already we're seeing a changeover, and I expect some retirements and trades to make the roster that much different the next year or two.
Why the hell wouldn't you want to make the playoffs? This isn't pre-lockout days where unless you had the hottest goalie in the history of the game did you even have a hope of causing an upset.
LA were the number 6 seed in the west this year. 2 years before that they were the number 8 seed. The Devils were the 6 seed that year vs the kings. In 09-10 the Flyers were the number 7 seed in the East and they made the Finals.
The point I'm making is, if you're roster is good enough to make the playoffs right now, why blow it up, because as we've seen, anything can happen. If you looked at the Rangers roster before the season began, and even after they traded for St Louis, would you still have picked them to beat Pittsburgh?
This team is good enough to make the playoffs. And if anyone thinks that making the playoffs even if only to play 5 games is less valuable for the young kids experience than missing them completely, then you want your head testing.
Last season, there were a few mistakes early that were costing us, and then the injury bug hit like Ive never seen. You cannot lose key players for extended periods like that an expect to keep competing, yet somehow we did. All of that experience is frankly, invaluable, such that when Pavel and hank come back healthy they'll be able to lead the way, and our kids last year will be able to provide depth and secondary scoring that every team needs to win.
There will be ups and downs, but this team is trending up. The fact that we didn't sign a big name free agent on 1 day of the year doesn't mean otherwise.