Tuesday, September 23, 2008

History Not on Bogosian's Side. Meanwhile Bogosian May or May Not Be on Bogosian's Side

Someone told me the easiest way to get attention for your blog is to pick a fight with a much more famous one.

Allow me, readers, to preface this whole Bogosian argument by saying that I actually like James Mirtle's blog quite a lot. He's always interesting and knows much, much more about hockey than most living beings.

Meanwhile, I might as well post my reply (edited, slightly) to his post here:

When I was referring to the "facts" that told Mirtle that Bogosian won't make an immediate impact, I didn't mean necessarily facts about 18 year old defensemen in the NHL in general; I meant to make him consider (not literally; I had no clue Mirtle even read this blog) which facts about Bogosian as an individual player told him he wouldn't make an impact.

The point of the post wasn't to say that I'm dead certain he'll make an immediate impact; the point was that we simply don't know that much about Bogosian as a specific player. I SUPPOSE it makes statistical sense to think of him as just another representative of a general category called 18 Year Old Defensemen, but surely that's reductive and ignores specifics about him and him only.

Does that make any sense?

On the other hand, I DO take his point about Bouwmeester. Cautionary tale indeed.

There's no arguing Mirtle's point that "If he makes the team and plays a full season on the Thrashers blueline, he's certainly in some pretty rarified company." That's certainly true, but I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that he could do decently on the third pairing.

What is arguable, of course, are the ages of Rob Blake and Chris Pronger: Pronger sort of was 18, and Blake pretty much was 18 if you don't count two years of his life. So there. I win.

But seriously kids, the overall nugget of wisdom I wanted you to take away from the post was that when it comes to NHL predictions, oftentimes we simply don't know how things will turn out. Mirtle predicted the 07-08 Thrashers would make the playoffs, and so did I. On paper, we had a magnificent team: not just Hossa and Kovalchuk and Kozlov and Lehtonen, but power play wizard Alexei Zhitnik as well!

No one knows anything. Yet. We'll see. And shit.

As for the folk who are confused about what "the South Ossetia of the Hockey Blogosphere" means, I can offer two clues, and two clues only. One is that I live in Atlanta, and Atlanta is most of the time located in the US state of Georgia. The second clue is the existence of Ilya Kovalchuk. Go figure.


FrenchCatalogues said...

I like this alot. I want to get in arguments with other bloggers. It makes my break in between my Immigration in the 19th Century United States class and Human Geography class easier.

Maali said...

I also want to find bloggers to pick fights with. Are there any with bad spelling and grammar? Because some bloggers just make it too easy.

And for what it's worth, I'm on your side. I don't see any reason why Bogo COULDN'T crack the lineup and succeed. And frankly, I'll also point to Eminger as yet another cautionary tale of the great junior defenceman gone wrong. I have a great thesis someone wrote about 9 or 10 years ago about fast-tracking players in their early to mid teens into junior, and then on into the NHL. I'd be fascinated to see it revised to dovetail with the current conditioning and training levels.

But all said and done? I think Bogo's got the required skill and mental toughness to make this work. His maturity is a question mark, but I guess we'll see. We've got 10 games, yes?