This was a good year on the ice in the National Ringette League. There were 245 games played. Most of them very good. Some of them incredible. These are the Ten Things I Thought about the NRL’s 2010-2011 season.
1. I think that the NRL trade deadline showed that a change in scenery can be very helpful sometimes. Julie Primard, for instance, notched 22 points in her six games after the trade deadline deal that sent her to the Montreal Mission.
2. I think that Julie Primard and Julie Blanchette, both of the Montreal Mission, accomplished something rare this season. They scored a point in each and every one of their team’s games. Due to Primard’s trade from Rive Sud to Montreal, she actually played 32 games this year, so her streak is one game longer than Blanchette’s 31.
3. I think that home advantage was not a big help this year. Throughout the season, the home teams were a mediocre 115-130, defying the conventional wisdom that home ice is a big help.
4. I think that the chair of the NRL Committee, George McKenzie along with conference commissioners Jim Feasby and Maurice Jean have a job that is….. hard. They do great work for the league and for our sport and are not recognized nearly as much as they should be. I hope this entry helps make up that deficit, if only a tiny bit.
5. I think that if you watched the league on a regular basis, you saw a lot of shootouts. There were 26 shootouts this season, or 11% of all league games. And, I think if you saw a shootout, you saw a lot of goals, with the shooters successful on 56% of all shootout attempts.
6. I think that scorekeepers in the NRL got a workout this year. The league averaged a little over ten goals per game, up more than a full goal per game from last year.
7. I think that, having said that, there is a big difference between the eastern and western conferences in terms of offensive/defensive emphasis. Games in the west averaged more than three goals fewer per game than in the east.
8. I think that the last time the Cambridge Turbos lost a game in regulation time was the final of the 2010 NRL Championship. That’s a long time.
9. I think that a tough playoff series is a good reason to kick back and relax for at least a day or two. The Richmond Hill Lightning do not think that way. After sweeping their playoff series against the Whitby Wild in two games, the Lightning, as a team, headed out and ran a half marathon together. Impressive stuff!
10. I think that these are my non-NRL thoughts for the season:
a. Glee had a shaky season, but it got better whenever Gwyneth Paltrow was around.
b. If the ringette that was played at the Canada Winter Games was any indication, we best keep an eye on the rookies that have started in the NRL and the new ones who will be soon to join. We have some firecrackers on the ice.