Behind the Blog: Scarlett Ice
Q.1 â€“ Scarlett Ice only started up in September of this year. What made you create a hockey blog and why the name Scarlett Ice?
Iâ€™ve been writing all my life and even played with the idea of going into journalism but realized that I wouldnâ€™t be good at it, haha. I was debating about whether or not to start a hockey blog since the summer. I live blogged the Stanley Cup Finals in my original blog for a couple of my friends who couldnâ€™t watch it but I think the rest of my friends got annoyed at reading all of the hockey content. I didnâ€™t really have anyone I could rant and rave about hockey to and then I realized, hey, this is the Internet, I can rant and rave to whoever I want. Fortunately, there are a lot of people out there who actually like to read my crazy ramblings. You people all need lives.
The name is sort of a long story. In short, it basically encompasses all of the blood, sweat and tears that goes into hockey and it reflects my tendency to wax poetic and be melodramatic.
Q.2 â€“ What do you hope to achieve with your blog over the next year?
Hopefully have it keep on running! I tend to give in to laziness but Iâ€™m really committed to this venture and Iâ€™d like to keep it to a pretty high standard. I really am surprised by the amount of people that are reading it and how many of my favourite blogs that Iâ€™ve been reading for awhile actually think Iâ€™m worthy to be linked. Iâ€™m not a professional or anything and I really donâ€™t expect anybody to use it as a news source but Iâ€™m hoping itâ€™ll be something people will enjoy reading on a regular basis. Readership is one thing, but Iâ€™ve really met a lot of great people through the blog-o-sphere [especially the ladies at HLOG, represent!].
Q.3 â€“ When and why did you become an Ottawa Senators fan?
It really was just a matter of being the right place at the right time. I grew up a couple of minutes outside of Toronto so I grew up a Leafs fan, but over the years I just sort of stopped caring about the team. I felt like there was nothing to look forward to with the Leafs anymore. It also coincided with me falling more and more out of love with Toronto the city and more in love with the city of Ottawa. I watched a Sens game against Pittsburgh for the first time a couple of years ago and everything sort of just clicked. I really appreciated what they did on the ice; how they mixed the bare bones of hockey that we all know and love with style and entertainment. Despite some changes to the team, Iâ€™ve been a devoted fan ever since.
Q.4 â€“ The Senators have gotten off to a rough start this season after leading the Eastern Conference this year. Why do you think this drop in the standings happened and do you see them turning the corner?
There are about a million reasons fans will point out for their drop. Their lack of goaltending, Murrayâ€™s a horrible coach, Mucklerâ€™s a horrible GM, Spartacatâ€™s lame, etc. etc. I think there are a ton of reasons we can point to for the drop and actually make a convincing argument for but the real reason is probably in the playersâ€™ heads. You canâ€™t dispute the talent on this team and why thatâ€™s not translating onto on-ice success is anyoneâ€™s guess. Perhaps theyâ€™ve finally caved in to the constant pressure of being perrenial Stanley Cup favourites and always coming up short. Maybe the players have the pressures of the playoffs hovering around in their heads and forgetting the fact that they still need to play 82 games to make it to the big dance.
In large part, I think the team is still adjusting to one another. They made more changes in this past off-season than theyâ€™ve ever had previously and hopefully are just suffering through some growing pains. I havenâ€™t had any objections to Mucklerâ€™s signings in the off-season and I actually thought Martin Gerber was a good pick-up. Iâ€™m in the camp that think Mucklerâ€™s a good GM, but maybe itâ€™s time that the Senators saw somebody new upstairs. I also feel that Murray has great hockey sense but if heâ€™s done all that he can with this group, than maybe he should move upstairs and get a new bench boss. Itâ€™s not a pretty sight to watch this team go through its awkward adjustment period but perhaps, somewhat naively, I believe this team can succeed in the end. I do see them being able to turn the corner and start winning more games, but the team has to make a lot of changes to their work ethic in order for it to happen.
Q.5 â€“ Like me, you are turning 20 in the next couple of months. Do you find it hard to maintain a blog while trying to succeed in school as well?
At times, but Iâ€™d think Iâ€™d have a hard time succeeding in school regardless, haha!
Maintaining a blog and making sure itâ€™s not just another lame website from somebody with too much time on their hands really takes a lot more time than I had originally expected. I figured my natural brilliance would have taken care of that.
Seriously though, I try to have fun with it and if I didnâ€™t have an hour or two to devote to reading the blogs and writing in it, Iâ€™d probably go insane from all of the schoolwork I have to do. Itâ€™s a welcome distraction. School is all about time management anyways and itâ€™s good practice for when you go into the real world and have to manage between work and recreation.
Q.6 â€“ Are there any changes you would like to see the Senators make this season? What about the NHL? These changes can include team play, players, marketing and advertising, rules, etc.
I think there are a lot of holes the Senators have tried to fill over the years without a lot of success. Goaltending has always been an issue with them but I donâ€™t want to give up on Gerber yet, but Emeryâ€™s clearly earned the playing time and I hope that the Senators donâ€™t feel compelled to play Gerber more, simply because he has the bigger contract.
An actual second line centre would also be nice. I love Mike Fisher but heâ€™s more suited for a specific role on the third line and I think a veteran or someone with a lot more experience could take off some of the pressure on Jason Spezza and add some more scoring touch.
We seem to have an overflow of mobile, puck-moving defencemen which is well suited for the new game but having someone with a bit more grit could really help energize the team and give them some more sandpaper, for lack of a better word. Nobodyâ€™s going to replace Zdeno Chara save for a tree, but a more physical player will probably help.
As a marketing student, I actually pull out my hair at how horrible the NHL marketing can be at times although they seem to be making some changes in that department. They have enough resources financially to put together a great advertising campaign but theyâ€™ve used it in the wrong way. They have the ultimate asset: the product on the ice and theyâ€™ve got players who are extremely marketable. Thereâ€™s a specific way to market everything and they need to find who their target is and how hockey is viewed within the mind of their consumers.
Like most other people are sayind, Iâ€™d also like to see the schedule changed so we can see more Western Teams. I have no objections to Toronto and Ottawa battling 8 times a season because I live in Toronto, but it does get kind of stale after awhile. Iâ€™m actually also a fan of San Jose so I definitely would like to see the West more.
Q.7 â€“ Do you believe NHL players should have to wear a partial visor or do you think they should have the option to make their own personal choice?
I can definitely understand arguments for both sides but I believe that the NHL should try to make an effort into grandfathering visors into the league. I may be a little bit biased because my brother almost had his eye gouged out when he played hockey. If anything, I think the bigger issue is to teach players from a young age to be a lot less reckless and to try to have more control over their sticks so freak injuries donâ€™t happen. We saw in the playoffs last year that itâ€™s still possible for sticks to go up and under visors. Asking players who arenâ€™t used to play with them to automatically make the adjustment could be asking for too much, but if itâ€™s something thatâ€™s slowly phased in, it could be eventually just become the norm.
Q.8 â€“ Which player has surprised you with their start to this season? Disappointed you?
From the Senators, probably Chris Neil. Heâ€™s not the type of guy who will score highlight reel goals, but heâ€™s consistently a hard worker and adds some much needed grit to the team. For the West, Iâ€™ve really been surprised by Taylor Pyattâ€™s performance so far on Vancouver. He only scored 6 goals last year in Buffalo and heâ€™s already scored 8 on a team that definitely needs some offensive punch.
Of course Martin Gerber hasnâ€™t turned out to be the stud we had hoped he would be, but itâ€™s still early and with Emery back, we can ease up on him for awhile. Right now I think itâ€™s just a matter of earning your starts with these two and Emery has made a strong case for himself.
Q.9 â€“ What do you think the role of a hockey blog should be admidst the team, media, and fans?
I think the teams should be thrilled with the amount of hockey blogs and how vocal their fans are. Considering how fast information moves and far reaching the Internet is, having a blog wholly devoted to your team is advertising that you donâ€™t even have to pay for. Because the fans are a large part of how each team as a business is run, I think itâ€™s important for teams to listen to what the bloggers are saying because most of the credible hockey blogs out there actually have a lot of great things to say. Those with reputable blogs have very well-informed opinions and actual useful input that the brass at each team could actually use. Granting bloggers press-passes is a great idea because youâ€™re proving that youâ€™re fan friendly but at the same time, you canâ€™t be granting it to every chump with a keyboard. Blogs in general have become extremely culturally relevant and reading them and working together with them, I feel, is a very improtant part of understanding your fanbase.
Q.10 – Is there any hockey blog or website that you look to for inspiration?
About a million! Every single blog I have in my links section I try to read on a regular basis and they all have something great to contribute. James Mirtleâ€™s Hockey Blog was the first that I ever read and I really enjoy it because itâ€™s both informative and humorous. Golbezâ€™s Hockey Rants is another classic. â€œBehind the Jerseyâ€, Hockeygirlâ€™s â€œDouble D(ion)â€ and Jordiâ€™s â€œGirls Donâ€™t Love Hockeyâ€ are blogs that really inspired me to start my own blog because it was nice to see a movement of female hockey fans with actual things to say getting their voices out there.
Any additional comments?
Definitely thanks to everybody whoâ€™s been reading so far and leaving me such nice comments. Thanks to Christy for allowing me to take part in this wonderful feature! If you havenâ€™t noticed, I tend to talk a lot about things Iâ€™m passionate about. A special thanks to all of those hockey bloggers out there who have welcomed me with such open arms. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Iâ€™ll try my best to make my blog not suck if you guys promise to still love me.
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