It's not that a game in Toronto is a bigger deal than a game in, say, Phoenix. (Not to me, anyway. Sorry.) They're all worth two points. Or, in the NHL's "The People Demand a Winner" inflationary scheme, sometimes they're worth three. (Weeeee! Ties confuse me!)
But the amount of coverage of our favorite niche sport in Canada's giant population center means we get more stories (some good, some mundane), which in turn makes it "feel" like a bigger deal -- heh, particularly to those reporters who have to work even harder to create a different angle.
What follows are some bits on the Islanders as they hit Toronto, which occasions more Isles filings in a day than our solo beat Newsday otherwise provides in a week. (Thanks to everyone who has posted some of these in comments and FanShots -- that's exactly what those are for.)
- Did you hear the one about how Burke wanted Tavares all for his own? No really! [Toronto Sun]
- Did you hear the one about how Tavares is used to this hype overload? [Toronto Star]
- Is Greater Toronto Area native Tavares still a Leafs fan? "No, not anymore." [Newsday blog]
- Media hype does not equal a pre-made excuse for coming out flat. [Point Blank] (To confirm: tonight I'll guest on Chris Botta's in-game chat there, but in-game threads here remain the norm.)
- Treating this Islanders game as another factor for whether Burke waives some vets and makes some trades (like accepting Chicago's Sopel in a cap move?) [Globe and Mail - Shoalts] And more on the Chicago theory from the Sun.
- Speaking of the G&M, our From the Rink pal James Mirtle files this for the paper on Tavares's Toronto debut.
- Staple has something about the Isles being good. That'll be $5. [Newsday]
- Scott Burnside takes his turn at the Matt Moulson story [ESPN]
- Lineup: Looks like Tambellini and Schremp remain scratches, plus Andrew MacDonald [Newsday-blog]
Spliced from those, two quotes that are fun for different reasons:
My favorite fun-to-take-out-of-context quote from the above is this, in the first Sun piece:
"I don't think you should be picking where you want to go," Tavares said. "Finding out who takes you is part of the fun of the draft. That's the way it should be. You wait your whole life to get drafted and see where you end up -- Canada, out west, the U.S."
Is he saying the west isn't part of Canada, or the U.S.? Or both? Either way, cue some Western populace's outrage, just for the hell of it. More seriously, though: I love that JT has this stance, as it's one I firmly believe in. The league a teenager wants to join :cough Lindros: would be a mess without the draft. So respect it and pay your dues.
And from Chris Botta, on this annual/quarterly The Story is The Story phenomenon:
Hopefully, they’ll write and talk about the game, too. Moving on…