Monday, January 8, 2007

DEADLINE DAY

As someone said to me earlier, today might be the most anticipated day in Eagles' hockey in a long time. Fans, players, and management alike are all quite eager to find out what exactly the final edition of our hockey club is going to look like, and I'm sure most have now grown tired of rumours and speculation and are interested only in learning the facts. We have to wait just a few more hours. Will that big trade with Moncton go down, in any form? Will we make a trade nobody saw coming? Will there be no trades at all? STAY TUNED.

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In their last game before the trade period, Saturday night at the Moncton Coliseum, the Screaming Eagles rebounded from their loss in Halifax with a gutsy 6-5 overtime win over the Moncton Wildcats. This was a back-and-forth game in which the lead changed hands a number of times, and things weren't looking good for Cape Breton when they trailed 5-4 late in the third period, but former Wildcat Oskars Bartluis managed to burn his former team with both the tying goal and the game winner in overtime to give the Eagles a much-needed victory after their upsetting loss the night before. Bartulis's overtime winner was a bit of a lucky one. His shot looked to be going over the net, but Moncton defenceman Nick Emanuele stuck a hand out to try and glove it down and ended up gloving it into his own net.

James Sheppard continued to be absolutely scorching hot for the Eagles, as he notched a hat trick in this game, his third hat trick of the season. He now has an absolutely unbelievable 11 goals in his last five hockey games. As well, a lot of credit has to go to Scott Brannon and Chris Culligan. Despite most likely playing with trade rumours on their minds (both have been frequent subjects of rumours), Brannon ended up notching three assists, and Culligan scored a goal and helped out on another. Dave Davenport earned the win in goal, improving his record to 8-2 in his role as #1 in the absence of Ondrej Pavelec.

The Eagles go into the trade period with a record of 28-13-2 for 58 points, tied for 2nd overall in the division and in the league, but seven points behind the league-leading Lewiston MAINEiacs. The Eagles sit at 1st overall in goals scored, and 2nd overall in Goals Against Average. Their powerplay ranks 2nd in the league, while their penalty kill is tied for 4th. All of these figures suggest a team that is contending for a league title, and today we will find out just how much (or how little) the Eagles improve their chances, and just how much the team gives up (or doesn't) to get a deal done.

As already said, today is one of the biggest days in years for the Eagles and their fans. In the event of any Eagle trades today, they will be announced on here immediately after they become official.

5 comments:

Robye said...

I wait with anticipation today for that 1300 AST trade deadline. It would be nice to have a Luc Bourdon on our D, if it means giving up guys like Culligan and Brannon I think the price would be too high. It irks me to see 8000 to 9000 plus at the Metro Centre. In halifax there is so much night life and things to do and they still manage to fill the rink in support of a less than entertaining performaances this season. Here we are with one of the hottest teams in the league in an area where there's nothing to do but hang out at the watering holes, and all we can manage to bring in to Centre 200 is 2000 to 3000. We always seem to get a good crowd when Lewiston comes to Town. Maybe we missed the boat when these guys were drafted by the Q. Come on people, lets fill the rink and make some noise to let the team know we appreciate. Leave conversation about last Summer's ball games outside the door

cb~eagle~fan said...

I totally agree with you on the attendance for our home games. Mind you, we don't have the seating capacity of the Metro Centre, but we could certainly fill up what we do have! And as far as making some noise, yes we should do more. The last time that Eastlink broadcast from Centre 200, I taped it so that I could watch the game again when I got home, and could hear the comments and interviews. One of the comments made by the hosts that really struck home was when they noted how quiet the crowd was. He said he hoped that the fans here realized what a good team they had in the Eagles. In response to that, seeing as Eastlink will again be back at Centre 200 to broadcast the game this Friday, I think, as fans of the best team in the Q (my opinion anyway), we should raise the roof in support. Maybe we could have something said in the CB Post requesting people to bring noisemakers (what about the Kraft Dinner boxes that could be left for the food banks? We did that before, and everyone benefitted!)
Anyway, come out Friday, as robye said, and fill the rink with noisy bodies!! GO EAGLES GO!

tommy said...

One of the main reasons the rink is not full at C200 for eagles games is poor marketing. I barely see an Eagle ad on TV, except for the TV guide channel and local news paper. The team should be marketed per home game, build up some hype and give people a reason to come to the rink. I also believe the pricing is a factor. If a family of 4 want to attend and Eagles game, it's gonna cost close to $80 or more for tickets and food. Who can afford to do that on a reg basis. I don't even have to pay for my tickets and I don't go to everygame, mainly because even though they have a great team and are doing well, they play a very boring style of hockey. There are hardly any good hits, and the lack of intensity makes for a yawn of a game. The org also needs to make an attempt at creating an event out of the games, dim the lights 10 min prior to the game starting, build some tension leading up to puck drop. My 2 cents

Section 5 said...

I disagree with the "boring style" comment. I think this is the intention of the "new Hockey" in general. High scoring and less obstruction, which leads to less hitting.

As for boring, I hate to say it, but the only thing boring about these games is the poor and lack of reactions in the stands. I haven't been to many Q games outside of Sydney but I would be surprised if Sydney was not one of the quietest rinks in the league.

The only thing that seems to get a rise out of most of the fans is a couple of bad calls in a row. And even then only if we're losing. Bad call with a 3 goal lead barely registers a boo !!

From the marketing point of view, I think there was greater effort put into marketing "the big team" of 3 years ago. Most of us reading this do not need to be told the importance of the Lewiston games coming up but not everyone knows it's going to be the two top teams in the league. A 2 minute build up by Ken McNeil 20 mins before the game is not going to sell tickets !!

Also if you check some of the other team sites the pricing is pretty much the same across the board. However, there are a number of inventive discounts available, student night on school days, family rates on Sun afternoons etc..

Larger crowd makes for a more exciting experience.

tommy said...

Reply to Section 5's comments, the reason the rink is quiet is there is no hype, no build-up and the fans avg age is close to 45. It's an older hockey crowd that fills the C200 rink for the most part. I think one of the main reasons for this is the pricing. At one time, they used to have separate pricing for upper and lower bowls, I also seem to remember having a special price package for younger kids in the upper bowl.

For reasons only known to management they would rather have less fans at a higher price than more fans at a lower price. This makes no sense at all to me as more fans at a lower ticket price means more purchases at the concessions.

Another reason for the lack of support, and this leads back to the hype comment I mentioned earlier, not too long ago the local radio station used to broadcast pre-game and post-game shows right from the rink and allowed fans to ask the post-game guests questions. This all disappeared that horrible year they were supposed to win it all and were spanked out of the playoffs in 5 games. Everyone wanted Pascal's head in the last game, and due to a so-called "glitch" the post-game show was cancelled. I personally believe that a lot of fans were turned away by that one action (and the Lassard trade).

And it is common knowledge that Pascal is not a fan favourite as head coach of this team. I think he is a great GM, but I do think his coaching skills are somewhat over-rated. You may wonder how I could even make that statement with the success the team has had thus far, but I personally attribute that to special teams (Durocher) and good goal tending (one of the best goal tending tandem in the league).

This is the year for Pascal to prove the locals wrong, if they don't go far in the playoffs this year, they will be calling for his head again, and I can guarantee that if his head doesn't roll and they bring him back, there will be even less fans at the rink next year.