One of our persistent concerns with Sam Carchidi's tweets has been that too often they involve off-the-cuff opinions, yet his standing as beat writer for the Inquirer gives them a greater perceived authority than they deserve. We've mostly focused on how this relates to opinion-based questions -- such as guessing how many points Jaromir Jagr will score this year without seeing him play or looking up numbers -- but it shows up in other areas as well.
There have been a number of instances this season where he has taken the team's word for something as gospel, when he could easily look up the answer himself. After the jump, we'll give you two examples from just this week and show how these answers take a bite out of his credibility.
Carchidi reported that this year would be the first time since '93 that the Flyers featured three rookies in their opening night lineup. Someone asked "what about 2005 with Richards, Carter, Niittymaki, Umberger, and Sharp?" The best option for Carchidi was to quickly pull up those players' game logs from hockey-reference.com or Yahoo or wherever and give a definitive answer. If he didn't have time for that, then he should have just ignored the question, or re-tweeted it to see if anyone else could look it up.
Instead, he replied that the team said '93, so some of those five must not be rookies. This undermines the purpose of the writer going on Twitter; a dismissive brush-off of your readers' questions doesn't make them feel like your buddy or want to read your work. More to the point, his unfounded guess turned a correct answer (it was the first time they had three rookies in the opening lineup since '93) into an incorrect answer (the problem wasn't that only two of those five were rookies in 2005; it's that only two of the rookies were in the opening night lineup).
The second example came when he said this would be the first time the Devils opened their season against the Flyers since 1989. When a reader said it happened just two years ago, he again relied on the information from the team and guessed that maybe the user was thinking of the home opener. Why? We don't expect him to double-check everything the team tells him, but when someone alerts him that he might be wrong, when checking the answer takes seconds, why not look it up himself?
By not putting in that tiny bit of effort up front, he took yet another small hit to his reputation, as it became apparent that the reader was right. The Inquirer beat writer platform gives him a lot of credibility to trade on, but he shouldn't squander it on simple matters of fact like this.
Which brings us to the prediction round-up. This week we can close the book on a number of roster-related predictions. Carchidi is off to a very slow start at 2/8, but the coin isn't doing any better.
|Carchidi says||BSH response||Coinflip vs Carchidi||Results|
|Lilja will be the #6 D, Bartulis #7||Mixed opinion. Travis and Eric agree; Geoff thinks Walker is in.||Tails = disagree||Walker has had the #7 spot over Bartulis|
|Read is a lock to make the team||Agree.||Tails = disagree||Read made the team, in top 9|
|Read takes Nodl's roster spot||Maybe his lineup spot, but not his roster spot.||Tails = disagree||Nodl didn't lose a spot|
|Betts is on the roster bubble||Disagree. Betts is a near-lock; his fourth line skill and cap hit are very favorable.||Tails = disagree||Betts got waived|
|Schenn is very likely to make the team, Couturier is 50/50||Schenn likely starts in AHL to make room for at least a 9-game Couturier tryout.||Heads = agree||Schenn started in AHL, Couturier in NHL|
|Cap constraints make it hard to keep Couturier or Walker||They can both fit if Schenn is in the AHL, which seems increasingly possible.||Heads = agree||Schenn is in the AHL, both made team|
|20% chance Nylander makes the team||Won't happen; already have too many 1-way offensive players||Heads = agree||Cut the next
|Betts, Shelley, and Nodl are in danger of losing jobs to Couturier, Sestito, and Read.||Disagree. Sestito won't make team and Couturier and Betts play different roles. Read may take Nodl's role, but not roster spot.||Heads = agree||Betts lost job to Talbot. Sestito didn't make team; Nodl and Read both did.|
There were only a couple of new predictions added this week; here are the cases that are still open:
|Carchidi says||BSH response||Coinflip vs Carchidi|
|Rinaldo will go to the AHL when Shelley's suspension is over||Agree - no room on roster for both, and Shelley isn't going anywhere||Heads = agree|
|Schenn will come up to the NHL in a few weeks||Agree, though it's still unclear where he fits||Tails = disagree|
|Odds are 95/5 against Betts playing for the Flyers again||Agree, but still not happy||Tails = disagree|
|Rinaldo is very likely to make the team||Decent chance for first five games, unlikely beyond.||Heads = agree|
|Bob might be the opening night starter in four years||He'll either regress or get traded, but Flyers won't have a solid #1 goalie on their bench for four years.||Tails = disagree|
|Jagr will have 18 goals, 50 points||Higher, more like 22 and 60 over a full season||Tails = disagree|
|Bryzgalov's only weakness is getting too revved up for the playoffs||Let's not talk about clutch, especially for a goalie with a .916 career Sv% and .917 in playoffs||Heads = agree|
|Flyers will not be better this year, but are better suited for the playoffs||No. Worse teams are worse. And since the lockout, offensive teams have done better than defensive. And didn't you just say you think Bryz is bad in the playoffs?||Tails = disagree|
|Simmonds will contribute more on offense this year, with 50 points.||Disagree. Expect ~35 pts on a checking line with a rookie center.||Heads = agree|
|The Flyers want Bobrovsky here, and are not showing him off to other teams.||Flyers may intend to keep Bob, but must also be thinking about trade with Bryz locked in as starter.||Tails = disagree|
|Bobrovsky will play about 20 games this year.||Agree. That's what his backups have gotten the last three years.||Tails = disagree|
|No worries the Flyers miss the playoffs.||Disagree. BSH expects playoffs, but it's not guaranteed -- could be hard to replace Carter/Richards' defense, elder defensemen could slow down or get hurt, etc.||Heads = agree|