(Tampa Bay Snarking is a new feature that will appear periodically on Raw Charge. It intends to reward silliness with the glaring light of internet scrutiny, focusing on the Lightning, the broader NHL and the hockey blogosphere.)
Welcome to the inaugural post of Tampa Bay Snarking, Raw Charge's new outlet for wise-crackin' and sarcasm. The intent is to allow our writers to have a little bit of cynical fun with the constant swirling nonsense of the hockey world.
We have a brief moment before the second round begins, so let's give this whole thing a try. And in the spirit of good sportsmanship, we will make ourselves the subject of the first Snarking post. And we'll do that by pointing an accusing finger at the one writer who has earned the title of worst writer in the boltosphere (or at least the worst writer on Raw Charge): me.
While I provided occassionaly laughs with my pithy little comments on my own blog, my contributions here on Raw Charge have been infrequent and misguided. After proving myself incapable of scrounging up an hour a week to do the Southeast Division Roundup (admirably taken over by Don't Trade Vinny), I became something of a "roving commentator." Or in other words, I kept my name on the roster but rarely dressed for games. Or even showed up for practice. I basically wrote nothing.
Except for two posts, which were both mega-jinxes.
The first was a post about Steven Stamkos (The Bright Side of Stamkos' Outburst, Jan. 16) where I suggested that a misconduct taken for arguing with the refs late in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes was actually a sign that Stamkos was growing up, and sticking up for himself more. No doubt this was a good sign, and the kid was going to start tearing up the league like never before.
The game was early in Stammer's second-half slide, and was not at all a sign of better things to come. Stamkos was scoring at 1.33 points-per-game rate before the outburst. From that game through the end of the season, his PPG was 0.83.
Good call, Nolan. Praising something unpraiseworthy, suggesting he's on the way up when he's actually struggling. Well, does it count as a jinx? I don't know, but it didn't help.
Next, I tried to sabotage Dwayne Roloson. He started out hotter than hell after being acquired from the Islanders, picking up three shutouts in his first ten games as a Bolt. Naturally, I suggested he would get four more in the thirty or so remaining games, and tie or break Nikolai Khabibulin's team single-season record of seven. (Can Roloson Break Khabibulin's Shutout Record? Jan. 26)
Roloson managed one more shutout in the regular season.
I don't want to get into the exact detail of what constitutes a "jinx," but I'm pretty sure that one qualifies.
The other Raw Charge staff have been kind in not mentioning these things, and since the team is doing so well, there's been no need to makea fuss. I'm an UFA at season's end, and I'm not sure they'll be tendering me a contract. I might well be blogging in the East Coast league next season, if not the Ivory Coast Ice Puck League.
(Nolan Whyte writes about the Lightning at Raw Charge and at Frozen Sheets Hockey. Follow his tweets @nolanwhyte.)