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Milestones, a retrospective, and… hockey?

February 7, 2007

Milestones 

Thanks go out to The Chief Canuck who reminded me in a recent comment that I’d passed the 10,000 page view mark here at WordPress.  I no longer have the stats saved from my old Blogger site (which I think I’ll be shutting down here soon), but I know I didn’t get that many hits there.  I’ll conservatively estimate 15,000 page views in the past year.  This surely won’t win me any awards (and also makes me quite ineligible by Eklund’s standards to obtain media credentialing should I desire… sorry, couldn’t resist), but it’s considerably more than I ever expected. 

I made the switch to WordPress in mid-August, so I had six months with Blogger, and now almost six months at the current address.  Which brings me to the next minor blogger milestone…

As of last Friday, I’ve been writing at the End of the Bench for one full year.  173 posts and 223 comments later, I’m still going.  Sometimes (like lately) the content leaks out a little at a time, and others it pours out to the tune of four or five posts a day.  I started out as a general sports blog with a focus on hockey, and it seems I quickly morphed into a blog primarily about hockey.  I know it had a lot to do with the fact that I primarily link to hockey blogs, which means that the few readers I get were looking for hockey content.  I’ve been more than happy to oblige.

Highlights of year one (in some particular order)

  • I wrote a post in late March regarding a visit to Joe Louis Arena.  IwoCPO of Abel to Yzerman linked to that post and I received more traffic in that day than the entire month leading up to it.
  • The Spotlight Series written after the Jackets’ season ended.  I listed each rostered player and (in my opinion) their strengths, weaknesses, and what I’d do if I were GM/coach.  This was good fun to write, and I will be doing this again after the 2006-07 season (which is coming faster than many Jackets fan would wish).
  • I tried “not-so-live” live-blogging during the Stanley Cup Finals.  It was an interesting exercise, and one I’d like to do more often if only because it makes me watch a hockey game little bit differently.  Of course, it’d be more fun if I were able to write about the Jackets in the playoffs.  Someday…
  • I made my first ever pre-season NHL predictions.  This was another huge post in terms of hits received.  With less than 40% of the season left, it’s not hard to see that I was wrong in quite a few places.  But I never claimed to be Nostradamus or anything.
  • I conned Truth Serum into coming on board at End of the Bench to produce columns at his leisure.  I continue to feel that his depth of knowledge regarding the game of hockey and the NHL provides a different feel from my commentary, and is a great service to fans of Blue Jacket hockey.
  • I feel like I’ve made some good (if faceless) acquaintances/friends through the sports blogging community.  I have yet to actually meet any of you in person (though I have stalked Michael at a CBJ game recently), but it’s nice to know that there are people across the country, continent, and world that share an unhealthy obsession with the game of hockey.

Actual hockey news

I didn’t get a chance to watch the game last night against Phoenix.  You can catch the game recap at CBS Sportsline.  I’d like to pull a few quotes from the story and talk a bit about them, if I may.

Originally scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET, the game was delayed 35 minutes because the Coyotes were stuck in traffic traveling from their team hotel while a severe snow storm blanketed Greater Columbus.

First, don’t hockey players usually get to an arena a few hours before the game?  It’s not like it started snowing at 5:00 yesterday.  It was coming down steady from 2:30 on.  I know many hockey players are used to their pre-game naps and all, but if you looked outside at 3:00 and saw what was going on you might think about a group wake-up call to get on the bus and head down to the arena early.

Second, there are many quality hotels within walking distance of Nationwide Arena (less than one mile).  Do all visiting teams actually stay so far from the arena that the normal drive time puts them 15 minutes out?  Do they stay at the airport?  (Update: According to the Dispatch, they stayed at Easton which is essentially the airport)  Again, I’m not in the logistics business, but wouldn’t it make the most sense (especially if you’re already in town) to stay at a location as close as possible to where you’ll be doing your job?  And it’s not like this storm snuck up on us, people were talking about it days beforehand. 

I was never in the Boy Scouts, but I know that you should probably be prepared if you know you have to have an opening face-off at 7 PM.  Just saying.

“We didn’t play with a sense of urgency throughout our lineup,” Hitchcock said.

Sense of urgency, competitive composure, playing hard… the terms of battle change every so often, but the end result is all too familiar: a franchise record 12th shutout of the season.  The door to the playoffs is nearly closed.  It wouldn’t be tough to pass final judgement on the team on this early day in February, but I’ll wait at least a week (you know, to keep you all in suspense).

Thanks to everyone for stopping by, dropping a line, and making End of the Bench one of your frequent stops on the web.  It’s been a pleasure being read, and I look forward to the future.  Come back soon.

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3 comments

  1. Congrats on your milestones! I haven’t had quite the traffic you’ve been getting, but I like to think I’m on my way there.

    The Coyotes did stay at the Hilton at Easton, which is unusual. Teams usually stay right in the Arena district. I think it would be fair to assume that the downtown Hilton or the Crowne Plaza would be the primary hotels for the away teams.


  2. […] CBJ bloggers also blowing off steam: Army of the Ohio End of the Bench The Jacket […]


  3. Tyler,

    Keep writing and you’ll get there. For me, traffic isn’t a goal but rather a byproduct. A very interesting byproduct. 🙂

    Take care,
    Drew



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