Here we are, another Monday...And this Monday, that Rangers fan above, and I will be rooting hard for our Rangers to reach down, grab themselves by their balls, and start scoring some goals...Otherwise, this great season they have had, will be a big fucking waste...
This week I've got plenty of Hockey talk...The big topic that has been buzzing around hockey, has been the violence...It seems every hack out there has something to say about the violence/physical play, since the playoffs have started...
Columnists like USA Today's Christine Brennan, and some douche from Sports Illustrated have decided to take on the physical play, and condemn the NHL for it...Why? Because these assholes haven't watched Hockey all year, but now that the playoffs have gotten some big TV ratings, so these dopes tine in, and get all upset when they see the gloves dropped a few times a game...
Listen you dolts, Hockey is a physical game, and sometimes the physical gets cranked up even more during the playoffs, when everything is on the line...But these hacks don't know that because all too often, they're writing little columns about golf, or tennis, or women's college basketball...Nothing against those sports...But they aren't hockey...And you don't pay attention to hockey...So don't jump in during the playoffs,and start pontificating...You're an asshole!
Now yes, not all the physical play is good...There are some guys who have shown a complete lack of respect on the ice...Number one right now is Raffi Torres, who took out Chicago's Marian Hossa this past week with an illegal hit to the head...And the NHL came down hard on him...
Some agree with this punishment, but there are many who feel it wasn't enough, considering Torees' long history of being an asshole...The worst part is at one time, Torres was a talented player with some real skill...Now, he's just an asshole!
One last bit of playoff hockey...Boston Bruins fans can't be happy with how their team has struggled with the Capitals...Well, I'll tell you who to blame...Tim Thomas...Call me superstitious, but any goalie who changes his pads right before the playoffs start, is asking for trouble...Yep, Tim Thomas switched his pads, and clearly signed a deal with Warrior to strap on their new goalie gear...It sounds crazy, but believe me, the B's are done.
Now for a bit of baseball...Indians closer Chris Perez was fined $750 and is the first victim of MLB's new social media policy, after he blasted off this tweet...
"Huge team win tonight, time for a sweep of the Royals. It's not 'Our Time,' it's TribeTime. P.S. You hit us, we hit you. Period."
This was after a heated exchange between the Indians and Royals...Sparked by Shin Soo Choo getting drilled for the 5th time of the short season...Choo already sensitive to the bean ball after it ended his season abruptly last year...
I'm annoyed that MLB is jumping on players tweets, and fining them chump change for it...I'm also annoyed that baseball has a problem with a player saying something, that we all know is true...It's just stupid...
I want to go on, but I need to sleep before my first day at the new gig, so that's it for now...Have a week...
What does all of this mean? Probably not much to many of you, but it means $100 to me. Earlier this year when the leafs were in first place in the Northeast Division, Flyer Fanatic was confident that the leafs would make the playoffs. He was so confident in that fact that he decided a $100 bet would backup his assertion that the leafs were a playoff team. I was adamant that they were not, stating that the maple leafs defense was not strong enough and they did not have enough secondary scoring, or heart for that matter, to make a difference in the post season. As of Tuesday, the leafs were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. As a result, I am now $100 richer. Well, that all depends on if Flyer Fanatic is a man of his word and doesn’t back out on his wager.
So, Flyer Fanatic, get in touch with me and I will provide you with my paypal address so that we can complete this pleasant transaction. I think this will clarify my viewpoint from the start of the season.
So now, we will see the lack of mettle of this current batch of leafs on display. I don’t think the leafs will go out of their way to win another game this season. Not to say that they are going to intentionally tank the season for a better draft pick; I would hope pro athletes would have some pride. It is kind of ironic that all of a sudden, James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson are out with injuries. As a result, the leafs are turning to Jussi Rynnas to finish the season for them. Yup…that is how deep they are in the nets Flyer Fanatic. If they are planning on tanking the season, I hope they get a draft pick like Alexandre Daigle that shits the bed. It’ll look good on them. The leafs have 2 games left against Buffalo, 1 against Tampa Bay, and they finish up the season with the last place team in the Eastern Conference, the Montreal Canadiens. Folks, I wouldn’t turn into that game if I was you. I would much rather slam my balls in a dresser drawer for three periods than watch that shit.
With the trade deadline passed, teams are struggling to find a suitable replacement for injured starters. The New York Islanders recently felt this pinch after having Nabakov go down. As a result, the Islanders are going to ride Al Montoya into the sunset this season with a recently signed John Grahame as a backup. Bruins, Lightning, Hurricanes, River Rats, Omsk and Monsters fans should remember him. The Islanders must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel to sign the goalie coach for the USHL Sioux City Musketeers. The NHL lockout did one thing for hockey fans; allowed the game to pass by players like Robert Esche and John Grahame. Don’t get me wrong, Grahame did a good job backing up Dafoe to start his career, but then an injury and difficulty returning to his previous form marked the beginning of the end for his time in Boston. If anyone is interested in watching the Islanders play out the string, it should interest you that you can watch Matt Martin build on his record breaking 357+ hit season. Martin is a solid, in your face type of player. You could say I’m a Matt Martin fan, since I enjoy the way he plays the game.
There have been a few teams that have clinched playoff spots so far, and as I am working on this on Saturday afternoon, the Rangers, Penguins, Bruins and Flyers have clinched in the East, and the Blues, Canucks, Predators and Red Wings have clinched in the West. In the East, there is an interesting race for the 8th and final playoff spot between the Sabres and the Capitals. Buffalo has been going on a tear lately, and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. They are tied with Washington at 86 points, and both teams have 4 games left. However, tonight Washington will be getting a boost from the return of Nicklas Backstrom after he missed 40 games after taking a high elbow from Rene Bourque.
In the West, San Jose is on the outside looking in. They have gotten progressively worse the past few seasons, and are currently 1 point out of the final playoff spot. With 2 games left against division rivals Dallas, and 2 games left against division rival Kings, these games are a must win for the Sharks. That being said, that top 3 positions in that division are ridiculously close. The division leaders are the Kings with 90 points, the Stars and Coyotes have 89, and the Sharks have 88. This division finish is going to be great. The knock against the Sharks in seasons past has been their lack of ability to get up for a big game. Well, they have 4 games left to prove to their fans that they have that now. With no significant injuries, the Sharks should have the tools to make their push. But do they have the will? We will have to watch and see.
Jordan Carver yoga pose of the week:
Fight of the week:
Erik Gudbranson vs Ryan White; always nice to see a 3rd overall draft pick take on a regular occupant of the sin bin and do okay.
I know that I said I was going on vacation, but I decided to post one more blog before I take my break. I found some rather interesting reading today in my local newspaper the Flint Journal on the record the Wings will break tonight if they defeat the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis tonight. It was a rather revealing interview by Ansar Khan who writes for Mlive.com.
I found it rather amazing that one of the quotes from Mike Babcock goes like this: "This group has surpassed what I thought we were. We're a better team than I thought we were, and so we reset your bar and you keep pushing to be better." Hell if he wants to know the truth, they have already surpassed how good I really thought they was going to be this year with all the changes that they have made due to retirement and the death of Ruslin Salei in the tragic plane crash last fall. Also for the record, they absolutely stunk during the month of October when they could have been beaten by any team in the world during that month then something happened, Mike Babcock called them out......
This team has always taken pride in defending their home ice, because in order to be a successful team you have to win there and break even on the road. Here are some stats from the current streak. last season they 21-14-6 at home with a 3.10GAA; this season they have already surpassed their win total from a year ago, and are allowing 1.73 goals against which is second only to St.Louis' 1.61 at home. The Red Wings have outscored their opponents 81-30 during this streak, and I would like to thank Tim's Rangers for continuing to push the Wings for the President's Cup this year by remaining consistent with 77 points to the Wings 78. Without this motivation, I believe the streak may have ended a while ago.
Even though this is a sign of a real good team, the Wings need to get a little better on the road, even though they only have a few games left on the road this season. You have to be able to win a few on the road during the playoffs in order to win playoff series, good teams cannot rely on home dominance in order to win Lord Stanley's Cup.
ScottJax reminded me in a response to my Sunday blog, that Pitchers and Catchers report this week to Spring Training. So in turn, I thought I would share this information with you......
Using a formula combines statistical analytics and scouting,MLB Network named Detroit's Miguel Cabrera the top third baseman heading into 2012 season. The choice is likely to raise a few eyebrows of those who are unsure of what kind of defensive player Cabrera will be with the move back across the diamond. Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria, Boston's Kevin Youkilis, Texas' Adrian Beltre and Washington's Ryan Zimmerman followed Cabrera on the list. Mlive.com
I know this is going to raise the ire of some of you guys here on the gab, but remember when the Marlin's drafted Cabrera he was drafted as a third baseman. He only moved to first base when he was traded to Detroit, so he should be comfortable with the position again by Opening Day when Boston comes to Comerica Park.
Now its time to say good bye, its Valentine's Day and time to take my wife to lunch. I wish all you gabber's or your wives and girlfriends a Happy Valentine's Day. This time I will say for real, I am starting my break. I will still be popping in to view your blogs and respond to them like I always do, just won't be blogging as much or doing my Sunday thing with Hotchnuts......
Until I speak again, everyone have a great week and thanks for reading my post.......
There are some people that suit moustaches. Lanny suits one, but that was his trademark, and he also played in the '70's. However, some people do not and I am one of those people. Movember is for a good cause, and this is coming from someone that has to endure those special inspections once a year from their doctors.
Notice a common theme....moustaches are associated with a finger in the ass. But really, Movember is in the rear view mirror, so shave already. I've had a moustache before. I made this dumb shit rule for a weekend that if you wanted to fish in my boat, you had to have a moustache. Fuck, I know...dumb. Nowadays, the only people that wear moustaches on a regular basis (more commonly known as year-rounders), are pedophiles, truck drivers that love lot lizards, and members of the alternative lifestyle community. November is done...shave that fucking ridiculous looking shit off of your lip.
Except you...you just keep being you.
So...Ryan Miller came out a week or so ago and stated that he didn't think he was "concussed" by the hit from Lucic. I figured as much. As someone that is not a doctor, I feel comfortable stating that Miller did not lose conciousness, remained thoroughly active after the hit, did not appear "out of sorts", so attaching the concussion label to it was preposterous. In my unprofessional opinion. So, last night Tootoo made contact with Miller, and for once Buffalo wasn't a bunch of pussies about it. Listen, if someone even "bumps" your goalie in local scrub leagues, that person has to pay. You don't wait a fucking week and a half to take care of business. You fucking deal with it on the spot. Even though Buffalo didn't have anyone that could stand up to Lucic, or even Ference for that matter, you still put the effort in. If you step in for a teammate and get your ass kicked on National TV, someone is buying you a lot of beers. Buffalo responded quickly this time. No week and a half of embarassment in the National media after this one.
Okay...how come no one is making the obvious "prepare to be Sherminated" jokes with this guy? His fucking comeback against Boston was so overhyped in Canada, that it was making me sick. I was hoping that the Bruins put the hurt into the leafs last night, and they did. There is so much talk about how good Reim-job is for the leafs and how he is a legit number one goalie in the league. I however, disagree wholeheartedly with that statement. Lets look at his numbers...
7 GS, 4-1-1, 18 GA, 2.80 GAA, and a .900 sv %. Overall, not bad numbers. Number 1 goalie numbers? The toronto media is so fucking deluded it is humourous. Want to know who else has good numbers? This guy.
And his numbers?
8 gs, 4-3-1, 17 GA, 2.09 GAA, and a .920 sv%. Yup...slightly better than a so-called number 1 goalie. And Rask is a capable backup. Reimer is a bum. What happens when the leafs play a competent and competitive team? They get buried. I am fully aware that I am on here complaining about the amount of media coverage that the loafs (not a typo) garner in Canada is sickening. So why am I doing it? The answer my friends is quite simple. I am doing it for those on this site that I happen to have a bet with in regards to the loafs (once again, not a typo) making the playoffs. I am using this platform to point out their obvious shortcomings, which there are many of. For example, the loafs only have 8 players on the correct side of the infamous +/- stat. And only 2 of them are defensemen. Yup...a porous defense to say the least. The whole point of winning hockey games is scoring more goals than your opponents. For example, a team like Pittsburgh has a goal differential of +21, Boston has a goal differential of +34, and even Florida has a goal differential of +12. Toronto? -2... and as of last night, they are now in 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Barely in front of a Buffalo team with Miller returning and a Washington team with a new hard ass coach in place. Next week, I have a feeling the loafs will have fallen into 7th, maybe even 8th place, and with games against New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and the aforementioned Washington Capitals, the loafs will be lucky to win 1 of those games.
There are only a few things that I love more than hating on the loafs. And as I was telling Sully this morning, getting divorced did wonders for my sex life.
And now for your punch in the face of the week...
Hordichuk vs Boll
Time for the return of the whale tail of the week.
And for the Beezer, I would be remiss if I did not showcase the Great One's daughter. Unfortunately, she has deleted her Twitter account, but here are some of her pics that she was posting. Enjoy.
Am I motivated? No. Have I been motivated lately? Not really. Motivation is a fickle creature that can have some serious implications when it rears its ugly head. I had a hard time last night, even getting motivated to go to a friends Halloween party. Was I motivated enough to go? Barely. Was I motivated enough to wear a costume? Nope. Was I okay with it? Yup. Were my buddies okay with it? Yup. So that is where the motivation problem becomes contagious.
Is motivation the problem in Boston? Is motivation the problem in every Stanley Cup Hangover? In all seriousness, it must be hard for the winning team to move on while the Cup is still in the building. The Bruins need to forget about last season, forget about all the public appearances they were doing at the start of this season with the Cup, and simply get motivated once again. That is where the value of a Mark Recchi was evident. Maybe the Bruins need a veteran leader right now, that can look at the problem objectively and try to right the sinking ship. The main key players that the Bruins lost last season were Recchi and Ryder. Was Ryder the positive influence on the young players on the Bruins? I can definitively say no. Recchi provided some much needed leadership and dedication that the Bruins seem to be lacking right now. Peter Chiarelli needs to do something quickly, before the Bruins get themselves into a hole so deep, that trying to climb out of it provides them with a defeatist type of attitude. What are Chiarelli's options? The Bruins have the cap room and they have the resources to go and find that veteran leader that they are sorely lacking. Does it mean going out and getting a player like Recchi? Yes it does. Does it mean going out and getting a player that may have played with Recchi and had won the Cup with him? Maybe that is where the value in a player like Ray Whitney lies. Consistent scoring, veteran leadership, and someone who has been in the game long enough and can be relied on to help augment the current leadership group in the Bruins dressing room. That's right augment...because after all, it still is Chara's team
This is an occurence we have seen all season long, and this issue has been around in smatterings for the last few years. Shanny is coming in and trying to repair the damage that his predecessor caused. The players just aren't getting it, and it makes perfect sense. Let me use an analogy here. Lets pretend there is a school that has a principal close to retirement. When there is a little dustup on the schoolyard, the principal is content with phoning the kids parents (GM and coaches) and bringing the students into his office for a meeting. The principal then scolds the students involved, and in severe cases, tells the student that he is going to have to spend a couple of days at home. The word starts to get around that this principal really doesn't care, he's going to be retiring anyways. Eventually, that person retires and a new principal takes over. This new principal is younger and new to the job. Maybe this new principal worked under the old principal as a vice principal, and maybe the whole time he was taking notes on how he would have handled the different situations. Once the new principal takes over, he sends a letter home to all the kids parents and advises them of his expectations. Now, it is his time and his chance to clean up the issues that he had spent the last period of time seeing handled improperly. So he comes out hitting hard, suspending students that were getting away with their little dustups for the last couple of years. Now the students are looking at each other and thinking, wow, that was a suspension? The new principal now has to change the culture of behaviour in his school, and he now has the golden opportunity to fix what he saw as being incorrect.
Would Campbell of suspended this type of hit last season? Maybe. Will Shanahan suspend this type of hit? You can rest assured he will. It is going to take a few more consistent suspensions before this starts to right itself again, and the players start to respect each other once more. This could be the year of the first time offender, and it is already shaping up that way. Players that have never been in trouble with the NHL before are now finding themselves called onto the carpet, so to speak. Something that the NHL had been lacking in the past was consistency and transparency. With Shanahan in place, hopefully they have the correct person in charge. Personally, I have always been a fan of Shanahan. It takes a lot of balls to stand in front of a camera and justify his decisions to his fans and to his players. That in itself, provides Shanahan with more respect from me. For a long time now, I have been an advocate to the "Fire Campbell" movement. Now that he is gone, it is now Shanny's league to enforce how he pleases. And as it would appear, he likes to do it with consistency and transparency. Will he do something that I will disagree with? I can guarantee you he will. But you have to respect what Shanahan is trying to do. Shanny has to change the culture of behaviour that has been prevalent in the NHL for the past few seasons, and it will not be an easy job. We are going to see many more suspensions this season, and some of them may be from players that have never had contact with the NHL discipline offices. But it is going to happen. And it may have to be a suspension to a player like Datsyuk or Crosby for the rest of the league to really understand how serious Shanahan is about his new job.