Ray Ratto

Adjustments to the NHL's points system?


Adjustments to the NHL's points system?

With the Sharks just beginning their Tour Of America and Bits Of Florida Too, you can already hear the faint whiff of complaining about a long trip in February, when the playoff races are just hotting up.You can also hear the folks in Anaheim complaining, because the Ducks have been one of the leagues best teams since turning Randy Carlyle into Bruce Boudreau while knowing it almost certainly wont matter come playoff time.
These are two separate problems that actually have the same solution, and since you probably need a pint of Everclear to get your head into it, we can wait.San Joses problem is a nine-game roadie in February. Chicago has the same problem, only slightly ameliorated by having a couple of one-day trips back home to burn luggage. Anaheims is that the current two-points for all wins, one for overtime and shootout losses dont allow for a lot of standings movement. Their slow start kills them even after theyve fixed the problem.RELATED: Sharks scheduleresults
Some smart folks are making noises about going to a three-point regulation win system that would increase all-important standings volatility. This wont happen any time soon because hockey moves with the speed and alacrity of an antique armoire.But if youre talking real change, heres what you might be after a system that rewards teams like Anaheim, who bloom late but bright.Put simply, here it is. For the first 25 games of any teams season, regulation wins are two points, overtime or shootout wins are one each, and all losses are zero. Being valiant in defeat is still defeat, and that winner-takes-some system means everyone goes home a little too happy.But for the last 57, the fun begins. Three points for a win, two for an overtime win, one for a shootout win, and nothing for losing. The game builds in pressure and anticipation, and so does the season. Its as close as a sport can come to Relegation Sunday, the greatest day in all of sports.Does this diminish games in October and November? Yes it does, in keeping with the general tone of the season as it is perceived even by those who play it. Everyone knows that games are bigger later in the season, even the coaches who say they all count the same.But that isnt the benefit here.The benefit is that crunch time starts in December rather than March, and going 10-22-6 to start the year like Anaheim did doesnt doom you before the fun starts. You get your business straightened out and you at least have a chance in March.Now how does this help the Sharks? Well, this system would make it incumbent upon the league to either give teams a nine-game road-trip before playoff season, or not at all. It means that franchises like Chicago and New York that like to book long-running shows in their arenas would have to rethink that idea, or get more creative about it.Either way, the standings chaos of February, March and April could only be good for the game, and long trips in February would not undermine a good start because there wouldnt be long trips in February especially since road trips are not created equal based on the laws of continental geography.Hey, its a thought. Unless what you were after was a Torrey Mitchell-for-Alexander Ovechkin trade rumor. For that, you need to see Comrade Kurz.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

If eclipse ends life on Earth, it's bad news for fans of one Bay Area team


If eclipse ends life on Earth, it's bad news for fans of one Bay Area team

If the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe is right and the total eclipse of the sun is actually a harbinger of the end of life on earth . . .

- It’s good news for the Giants, who have been eliminated from the National League West race for less than 24 hours, or that they will not have to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers put their feet up on baseball for the first time in 28 years.

Besides, there won’t be any more years, so time becomes meaningless.

- It’s good news for the 49ers, who won’t have to endure a harsh week of practice from freshly irked head coach Kyle Shanahan, who finally saw exactly why the job came open for him in the first place.

- It’s good news for Raiders’ fans, who won’t see their team move to Las Vegas, and because they won't be soul-crushed if they can't beat the Patriots -- who will also die en masse despite Bill Belichick's entreaties to ignore the noise of seven billion terrorized shrieks.

- It’s bad news for A’s fans, who will never learn in what location their fabulous new franchise-saving stadium will not be built.

- It’s good news for the Warriors, who can say in their death throes that they were the last NBA champions ever, and that the Lakers will never get LeBron James.

- It’s good news for the Lakers because they cannot be found guilty of tampering with Paul George. It’s also good news for Jimmy Kimmel because he can’t lose a draft choice (some faceless F-list actor as a guest) as a result.

- It’s good news for the Kings, because they’ll never have to have the difficult meeting about Zach Randolph.

- It’s good news for the Chargers, because they won’t have to answer any more questions about why only 21,000 people were announced as the crowd for their second practice game, or to confront the very real possibility that they could become the NFL’s Washington Generals.

- It’s good news for the Jets, Mets, Nets and Knicks because the end of the planet is the only just solution for them all.

- It’s good news for Cal because it can stick its middle finger to the sky and say, “Here’s your $400 million debt. Try to collect it while we’re all dying.”

- It’s good news for Kevin Durant because he doesn’t have to slalom through the Internet trolls any more.

- It’s bad news for Roger Goodell, because he sure left a boatload of money on the table as he was hurtled into space like the rest of us.

- It’s bad news for Nick Saban because he will have never seen it coming. On the other hand, it’s good news for the people who cover Alabama football because they’ve endured their last journalism lecture from Prof. Nick on why they do their jobs so poorly.

- It’s bad luck for Jim Harbaugh because he will feel like a complete nitwit as he learns just what “an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” really means – the end of mankind.

- It’s bad news for all the sixth graders in America who are being offered scholarships that they will never be used by college coaches they will never meet. Of course, that would have been true even  if the world doesn’t end.

- It’s bad news for the hackers who have been spoiling Game Of Thrones because this is Game Of Thrones, only the dragon is the sun incinerating us all.

- It’s bad news for Kyrie Irving, because he will have died a Cleveland Cavalier.

- It’s good news for America, for the obvious reason that the planet will expire before our current political class can murder it.

- And finally, it’s good news for dignity, because the Mayweather-McGregor “thing” will never happen, and that alone means that even as we are torn asunder, we will know that the deity loves us all because both McGrogor and Mayweather are being torn asunder too.

Of course, if you’re reading this Tuesday, you’ll know the world didn’t end, and we’re just as screwed as we ever were. Oh well. Try to find your happy place, and drink like there’s no Wednesday.

Phrase that Matt Joyce left out of his apology is key to talking the talk

Phrase that Matt Joyce left out of his apology is key to talking the talk

Matt Joyce said the word, he did the apology, he’ll do the time, and then we’ll see if he’ll get the forgiveness he asks.
Joyce’s two-game suspension by Major League Baseball for using a gay slur at a fan during Friday’s Athletics-Angels game in Anaheim is well within industry norms (though it might have been more tactically impressive if the club itself had issued the suspension), and his apology did not deflect blame or contain the always-insincere caveat “if I offended anyone.” He did offend people and he knew it, so he didn’t couch it in the phraseology of “I don’t think what I said was improper, but I’ll do the perp walk just to get this over with.”
He even offered to do work with PFLAG, the support group that supports the LGBTQ community, thereby putting his time (which is more meaningful than money) where his mouth was.
In other words, he seems to have taken his transgression properly to heart, which is all you can really hope for, and now we’ll see if he is granted the absolution he seeks.
You see, we’re a funny old country in that we talk forgiveness all the time but grant it only sparingly, and only after a full mental vetting of important things like “Do we like this guy?” and “Is he playing for my favorite team?” and “Do I feel like letting him up at all?”
In other words, forgiveness is very conditional indeed.
Joyce said what he said, but his apology seemed to be given freely and unreservedly rather than crafted to meet a minimal standard of corporate knee-taking/arse-covering. If he follows through on his offer to do face-to-face work with PFLAG or an associated group and absorbs the lesson of not using other people as a weapon for his own frustration, then he ought to be acknowledged for doing so. That’s what forgiveness is.
But if the principle you adhere to is “once guilty, forever doomed,” then you’ve succeeded at giving in to the mode of the day, which is jumping to a conclusion and never jumping back because it’s just easier and more convenient to do so.
It’s up to him. But it’s also up to you.