Sep 9th, 2014
6:41AM UTC

Twelfth Night

After watching the first two episodes of the new series of Doctor Who last weekend, I’d originally written up a series of tweets talking about it. However, it quickly grew well past the point where a Tweetbomb made any sort of sense, so I decided to do things the old-fashioned way, and write a blog post. I got busy this past week, so between then and now I’ve also watched episode three. My feelings on series eight so far are…mixed. Let’s take it from the top.

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Aug 5th, 2014
3:00PM UTC

Rose-Coloured Glasses

With the Twelfth Doctor’s adventures premièring in less than three weeks, I’d initially had the brilliant idea of trying to rewatch the revived Doctor Who from start to finish, since it’d been years since I saw a lot of the older episodes. This quickly proved to be a fool’s errand, what with the whole “moving across the country” bit, among other things. However, at the very least, it may prove to be a useful exercise to re-evaluate the Russell T. Davies era in light of more recent criticisms of the Steven Moffat era. Plus, it’s as good an excuse as any to simulwatch Who with Torchwood starting in series three, since I’ve never actually seen Torchwood and always figured I should fix that.

Doctor Who returned to regular television on March 26, 2005. In Canada, it aired on CBC – which co-produced the first series – on Saturday nights in lieu of Hockey Night in Canada, due to the NHL lockout. It caught my attention beforehand, but I forgot to watch until “Aliens of London.” I think missed “World War Three,” picked up with “Dalek,” and watched all the way through. I then caught the rest of the episodes on the re-air. Then when the DVD came out, I watched it probably a couple dozen times, including special features, including Confidential. I didn’t so much consume it as make it an element of the fabric of my being. Hell, when I made my first World of WarCraft character, I tried to call him “Blaidd Drwg”: Bad Wolf in Welsh. When WoW objected, I switched to “Meddyg Pwy”, Doctor Who in Welsh. Yes, I was rather stuck on that show and its first series in particular, especially given the time in my life when it aired.

So this rewatch gave me the perfect opportunity to dust off these now decade-old episodes and see just how well they held up, with the benefit of some distance and perspective. After rewatching the first five episodes (mostly; I only half-paid attention to “Rose”), I have a few scattered thoughts.

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Jun 4th, 2014
5:00PM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2014 Stanley Cup Finals

For all the marbles!

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-2 4-3 4-2 4-3
4-2 4-1 4-1 4-2
0-2 0-2 2-0 W-L
7 7 2 GO
0 0 0 PS
10-4 5-9 10-4 W-L
23 40 24 GO
3 0 1 PS


I suppose this is what I get for abandoning my April pick for the Cup for a spurious reason, but given that the series went to G7 OT, I feel pretty okay about getting it wrong, especially since I still have that tiebreaker in my back pocket. The Habs…sigh. Let us not speak of that prediction again.

Last series of the year. I think we all know how these picks are going to go, but let’s go through the motions, anyway.

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May 17th, 2014
10:00AM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2014 NHL Conference Finals

This is the most placeholdery post I've ever chucked into the queue.

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-1 4-2 4-2 4-3
4-1 4-0 4-1 4-2
4-3 4-2 4-2 4-3
4-2 4-2 4-1 4-3
3-1 2-2 3-1 W-L
6 9 7 GO
0 0 0 PS
10-2 5-7 8-4 W-L
16 33 22 GO
3 0 1 PS

I feel kind of robbed, you know, and I don’t just mean the miniscule turnaround time, either. Seriously, why’d Chicago have to go and win Game 6? They robbed us of four Game 7s. How rad would that have been?

Anyway, at the start of the playoffs, I think most analytics types had LA, Chicago, Boston, and the Rangers as their final four, and three out of four ain’t bad. Certainly, Boston’s ouster by Montreal was an upset, though not a totally unpredictable one. Regardless, given how we got here, I think this is pretty much Chicago’s Cup to lose at this point. The Kings and Rangers have both played 14 games already, and historically no team has ever played two seven-gamers and gone on to win the conference finals. It’s certainly possible this time around, as both teams are well-matched against their opponents, but if things hold true to historical form, we’re looking at Chicago-Montreal in the Finals, and that’ll be a fast series in more than one sense.

But hey, that’s why they play the games, right? So, let’s get to it and make some hasty calls.

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May 1st, 2014
4:00PM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2014 NHL Division Finals

I'm sorry, I don't have anything pithy to add this time around. Tight turnaround.

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-3 4-0 4-1 4-2
4-3 4-2 4-2 4-3
4-2 4-1 4-1 4-3
4-3 4-1 4-2 4-2
4-1 4-3 4-0 4-1
4-3 4-2 4-2 4-0
4-2 4-0 4-3 4-2
4-1 4-3 4-2 4-3
7-1 3-5 5-3 W-L
10 24 15 GO
3 0 1 PS

So, that happened. (And yes, I know, those are no longer our tiebreakers. But the spreadsheet and table templates were already there and I’m lazy. For Entertainment Purposes Only™.)

The first round sure was weird, huh? I mean, it started out West with St. Louis vomiting up their division championship, and San Jose failing to take advantage of a faltering Anaheim down the stretch, losing to a bunch of shit teams in March and April to accept second. With those placements, instead of four dead easy picks and two second-rounders for the ages, we had four coin-flips that ended with two contenders dropping and two pretenders moving on. I’m still in such disbelief about the San Jose-LA outcome that I started writing up a preview of Anaheim-San Jose until I realized halfway through that they had actually lost. Then out East, we had the 3-1 lead become the most dangerous in hockey, the 2014 Canadiens unpredictably and inexplicably looking like the 1977 Canadiens against Tampa Bay, Steve Mason looking like a competent goaltender, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

What’s that leave us with? Zero compelling match-ups in the Campbell (see you in the conference finals again, San Jose LA and Chicago), and two compelling rivalries that both seem to have seemingly predictable results, though we shall certainly see.

Note also that my write-ups aren’t nearly as in depth this time around, in part due to time constraints, and in part because a lot of the core information hasn’t changed since round one, with the exceptions duly noted. Note also that in accordance with tradition, Matt’s picks will be late.

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