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HITS OF THE DAY
- In a one sided annihilation, the Bruins show the Habs and their following of fans, politicians and police what they think of the over the top, out of line, and stupid reaction to Zdeno Chara rubbing out Max Pacoreitty …. 7-0 Bruins win. They chase Carey Price …. And league wide joke Scott Gomez really shows big Z Chara what he was talking about last game, by getting drilled and wiped out himself … see hit of the day for more details …..
- Interesting comments about the difference between former Oiler coach Pat Quinn and current bench boss Tom Renney … and the fact that Renney is working with more talent than Quinn, but is coming up with another last place performance …. Surprisingly, Renney allowed his young players on the ice, even into the opposition end of the rink … but the Oil are very young, to be fair. Would they have been better with Pat Quinn ? The Oilers were crushed by St Louis, 4-0, and put forth a very lame effort …. It is worth some serious thought, having Tom Renney continue as coach
- Not sure who exactly deserves the credit for the Penguins remaining a contender with their two big stars on the shelf, if it is coach Dan Bylsma or GM Ray Shero … maybe it is Kris Letang, a player who has emerged as a true star with the departure of Sergei Gonchar … the Pens are hanging around, and playoff bound, despite having two of the top 10 players in the NHL out of the lineup for half the season …. They pick up a win over the floundering Flyers, gaining a bit of ground for a top three seed …
- The “ Crisis on Ice “ program from CTV Sportsnet … hmmm … it is good that everyone is becoming more aware of concussions, everyone is getting educated, that is good, for sure … but the media sure are whipping this for every bit of worth they can get out of it … and their intent is not to educate folks, but to get viewers by stressing the game of hockey …. By portraying hockey as a dangerous, violent and out of control sport, more people are watching hockey channels and stories, and talking about the game as though it is played by barbarians … this is wrong, self serving and foolish. Hockey is a great sport. And like all sports, there is a risk of injury. For the people freaking out about how dangerous hockey is, first be honest with yourselves. Have your kids hurt themselves playing in your house ? Fall of a bed or couch ? Trip in a hallway and bang their head ?? How safe is your house ?? Are you a dangerous and reckless parent ??? Lets get a bit of perspective here …..- Hit of the Day : Scott Gomez was doing his usual ankle skating through the neutral zone when Bruin forward Brad Marchand stepped up and flattened the Habs wanna be … awesome hit, and as usual, Gomez turned over the puck …. This was a great hockey check, and now we will see how the Hab fans and following of politicians and police freak out regarding this latest “ outrage “ …. Still waiting to hear if a police investigation is being opened into Chicken Turd Cammaleri hitting Neiderreiter in the face with his hockey stick last fall ….
- Have to acknowledge the solid rookie season put together by Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler. The young blueliner scored the overtime winner against the Stars, and looked good doing it. Fowler was at one point considered a top 3 pick for the 2010 draft, but watched his name slide down the board on draft day …. Then made the team, and has played his consistent and steady game all year …. The former Windsor Spitfire plays a quiet style of game, not physically dominating …
- Love Mark Recchi’s comments regarding Max Pacoreitty and the Montreal Canadiens … good on him for speaking out and telling it like it is …. Too bad the big media types don’t have the courage or integrity to do the same … shame on Kevin Weekes especially for his foolish reaction after the play that left Pacoreitty crumpled on the ice … that is what happens sometimes in sports ….. Funny that no updates on Pacoreitty have come out, and that no more information has been made available about his injuries/ Does he even have a broken vertebrae, or is that just more bs from the Habs ?
- What exactly is Scott Gomez going to say to big Z Chara tonight ?? Gomez is one of the most useless players in the NHL as far as physical presence, so to see him running his mouth at Chara after big Z wiped out Pacoreitty was pathetic ….
- The Flames have run out of wins at a bad time, but with how tight the West is, don’t write Calgary off … that conference will be settled during the last 2 days of the season … the tv guys need to say something, so they are always saying stuff that is silly …. Like the Flames are done … we all thought that in December, but there were 40 games left, and the Flames made the most of them … to say the Flames are done already is premature … of course, getting pummelled by the Sharks 6-3 doesn’t look good …
- More on Colin Campbell’s plate … Dany Heatley returns from a suspension and promptly runs a Calgary Flame from behind, after the Flame wipes out one of his teammates …. Almost a carbon copy of the Trevor Gillies play on Cal Clutterbuck. Nobody is talking about it though …. Nobody got hurt, so what if it was a dangerous play ?? And Heatley is a goal scorer, so Colin Campbell is not going to want to sit him down … this hilites the problem with Colin Campbell. Different sets of rules for different players ….
- The Canucks continue to pull away from everyone for the President’s Trophy … they beat the Wings, and even Luongo played good. Vancouver has kept on winning late in the year, while the Wings and Flyers have stumbled … Philly looked to be in a good position to take the trophy, when they had more wins than Vancouver with games in hand. But the Flyers have been only a mediocre team over the past month, while the Canucks have been rolling right along ….
- With a 4-1 loss to the Bruins, the Devils seem to have returned to a level of play more in line with the names on their roster … the wicked run they had looks like it is coming to a close ….. so much for Kovalchuk/Grossman as a catalyst for a Cup … the icing on the cake for us Devils critics could come in the form of Zach Parise leaving the fold, and wouldn’t that be fine …. A solid two way player, a better player than Kovalchuk/Grossman, leaving town after the selfish primadonna comes to Jersey and wrecks the team …
- Another shutout for Hank Lundquist’s huge equipment … save the accolades. Until all these tall and scrawny goalies wear equipment that is appropriate for their body sizes, none of them will be acknowledged as great goalies … that list includes Luongo, Miller, the above named Lundquist, Giguere, and any other goalie that looks like the Michelin man or a lacrosse goalie … pad sizes need to be reduced by about a foot above the knee, as right now, what goalies are doing is cheating by wearing massive gear ..
- No fast start for the Flyers in their marquee matchup against Washington, as the Caps get a fast 2-0 lead, and stretch it to 3-0 before the Flyers wake up …. Philly come back to lead 4-3, and then blow the lead, allowing the Caps to tie, and then win in a sham shootout …. The Caps are winding things into gear for the post season …. The Flyers are kind of sliding into the playoffs sideways …. For Philly, they need to get Mike Leighton back in the fold, instead of Brian Boucher … Boucher is too erratic. Leighton would make a better backup for Bobrovsky heading into the playoffs ..
- The Leaves are giving fans just enough hope to build them up for the usual let down … beating Minnesota 3-0, thanks once again James Reimer … for the Leaves, the real question isn’t playoffs in 2011, as much as opening night, fall 2011 …. What to make of James Reimer ? He will be a likely number 1 goalie in T.O next fall, but how long does he last ? Still looking for a true top line centerman, what do they do to bring someone in ? Will Burke get carried away in the bit of success the Grabovski and Kulemin have had, and give them stupid contracts ? That is what their slimey agents will be pushing for, but it would be stupid. Plain stupid. You don’t give guys big money after only one successful season. Just ask Kevin Lowe about that. Oh yeah, Lowe doesn’t even realize how badly he screwed up in giving Horcoff and Pisani those idiotic contracts. Back to the Leafs, there is the Kadri issue. After watching him play a bit at the NHL level, he looks like he is about 3-4 years away from being able to handle the NHL from both a physical and mental standpoint, if he is ever going to be able to handle it. The real hot prospect for Toronto is d-man Keith Aulie …
- With another victory, the Coyotes look playoff bound again … the real shame in Phoenix is that the team, as in the players on the ice, have got their act together …. The ownership, or lack of, is what is holding this team back. If they can get some solid backing, this team could finally get settled into the fine city of Phoenix, based out of an awesome sports complex and arena in Glendale … don’t bash Phoenix or the Coyotes until you have been to a game in the desert …. They have a great setup, and despite what some media types say, they have their fans, too
March 21- Travel Day
- Interestly, as the Habs pummel the Wild, putting up some big numbers, the ankleskater, Scott Gomez, still fails to come through …okay, he grabbed a vintage Gomez garbage assist …… of all the overrated players in the league that have had their reputations brought into check over the past few years, Gomez leads the pack, even ahead of Luongo …. What makes Gomez such a shame is the huge contract, and the fact that he paid an agent a truckload of money to pass him off as an impact franchise player …..
- Bruins – Habs in the first round would be awesome …. That would be a barnburner of a series, and a test for the Habs, as they would be going up against one of their nemesis …. A bigger, faster, better, tougher and more skilled team ….
- James Reimer is the huge story right now in Toronto, but another player that should be getting some notice is former Brandon Wheat King Keith Aulie … the towering blueliner has played very good hockey for the Leaves, after somehow playing the last few years under the radar as far as top prospects are concerned ….
- The Devils break out of their losing skid, but remain 7 points out of the playoffs, with 10 games remaining …. This is some good drama, an incredible run to be sure, but they likely waited too long to get going … Kovalchuk / Grossman needed to play a full season to earn all that cash, that might have helped …. So who is the coach next year ? Grossman ?
- Colin Campbell has the opportunity now, thanks to Matt Cooke, to suspend a regular player for a long, long time. Will he do it ? Anybody’s guess. Even Colin Has no idea what number he will pick out of the hat. Here is the thing : Campbell showed a cowardly character in suspending Gillies, an easy target. Cooke is also an easy target, but the difference is that Cooke plays a regular shift, and is a full time member of the team. It will hurt the Penguins if he is sat down for 15 or 20 games. The true test for Campbell is Nik Kronwall, the biggest headhunter in the NHL, who is always going airborne looking for the big hit …. Until Campbell sits him down for a long term, the message to NHL players is this : If you are an alleged thug, you may be suspended. If you play on a team that doesn’t have any designated hit men, you will not be suspended. If you play on a team with a heavy Euro flavour, the rules are not really going to apply to you, and you can hit players in the head with dangerous hits …
- Luke Schenn made like Bobby Orr, scoring a fantastic goal on solo rush, and set the tone as the Leafs put it to the Bruins … rookie goalie James Reimer was solid in net once again, and the Leafs won this game decisively, chasing likely Vezina candidate Tim Thomas and flustering former Leaf prospect Tuuka Rask …. Where the Leaves will need to improve can be seen when watching a power play that features the likes of Tim Brent on the point … that isn’t going to scare anyone …
- Philly clinch a playoff berth, and for the second straight year it is via sham shootout … this year it comes a month earlier … the Flyers played their usual game of late, grabbing an early lead, then blowing it … Mike Richards hit the 20 goal mark for the Flyers, with Jeff Carter also scoring. The Flyers are powered by some key free agents, savvy trades, and unmatched drafting from mid to late first round picks … Richards, Carter, Claude Giroux, all solid picks … late first round pick Luca Sbisa was dealt for Pronger
- In a highly physical contest, the Predators top the Wings, 3-1 …. Shea Weber was a nasty force in this game, exactly what the Wings don’t enjoy in an opponent …. There are so many rumours about where Weber will end up, but the best place for him is Nashville …
- When you let Torrey Mitchell score on you, you deserve to lose. And the Sharks did beat the Blues. Best known for an unbelievably cheap play on Kurtis Foster that resulted in Foster suffering a badly broken leg, thanks to Mithcell’s vicious and dirty push from behind in a race for a puck, the Shark’s resident spaz basically plays a game in which he buzzes around the opponent, with no real idea why, or understanding of what he is doing …. For the Blues, the year has been a disaster on most levels. Jaro Halak played well early, then tailed off …. The bright spot would be the play of Alex Peitrangleo, who has emerged as an up and coming impact player …
- The Sabres really dismantled the Thrashers, who have come totally undone … 8-2 … looks like Tyler Ennis could be a 20 goal scorer, a nice feat for the former Medicine Hat Tiger …. Not sure what will have to change in Atlanta. They looked to have things figured out in the first half of the year. Is it a problem with Craig Ramsey ? The roster looks decent, and their young players should only be better next year …
- Lots of stuff to catch up on …. Start with the New Jersey Devils …. The Devils have now lost 3 in a row, so a little reality and balance has hit Jersey. The too good to be true turnaround had to hit a wall at some point … the Devils could still slip into the post season, which would be incredible. Where this story will get good is next fall, seeing if it was a fluke, or if the Devils really have a team based around Kovalchuk / Grossman …
- Okay, the Subban – LeCavalier thing … brutal call by the zebras, who obviously felt the pressure of the Montreal situation, you know, Pacorietty, the incredibly biased fan reaction, the idiotic reaction of politicians and public officals, the stupid reaction of sponsors …. So Subban walks LeCavalier across the arms twice after trying to slew foot the big Tampa captain … the refs are effectively neutered by the Montreal situation, so they let it go … Big VInny wacks Subban across the well padded pants, and gets the boot …. Good job by the ever incompetent blind bats ….. they got the wrong guy …. Subban should have been given a game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct after the lame dive … to hurt a guy with a shot to the hackey pants you pretty much need a Louisville slugger …..
- The Rangers chase Carey Price in a big 6-3 win over the Habs …. I have heard some talk of Price as an MVP candidate …. Come on already with this kid …. Give him some time to prove himself …. He has had a decent year, establishing himself as an NHL goalie, and right away, the media want to put a gold wreath on his head … the media tried this two years ago, and he flopped the next season …. Let the kid string together a few good years and show long term consistency before getting all wound up in glorifying him …. In a 6-3 loss late in the season, here is the impact of two very different former New Jersey Devils. Captain Brian Gionta, the mitey mite, shows up with a goal and an assist …. $7 million dollar powder puff Scott Gomez, the ankleskater, brings nothing, mostly zero physical presence .. Gomez has 34 points in 70 games
- Faceoff stats need to be clarified a bit …. When you hear a color guy talking during a broadcast, if he is bragging up a guy who is winning 51 or 52 percent of the draws, put a dirty sock in his mouth …. If he is bragging up a guy who is at 55%, tell him to shut up ….. when you get to 60%, you are getting a noticeable advantage, 20 wins per 100 draws …. You get a pivot winning over 70% of his draws, that is worth talking about …
- A bit of a sketchy play as Alex Burrows gets his stick across the back of Vern Fiddler going into the boards …. Fiddler hams it up to great effect, Burrows walks the plank, and Luongo is porous when his team needs him, as usual, Phoenix picking up the win in Vancouver ….. what this play really hilites is the poor officiating in the league. Analyst Mike Johnson of the NHL Network was at a loss as to what Burrows should have done. That is why Johnson is no longer in the league. Burrows simply had to tie Fiddler up, play the body with his body. Not lay the lumber on the guy, which the blind bat refs have allowed for years. Not crush the guy from behind. Just ride him into the boards, pin him, and take him out of the play. Nothing dangerous, nothing pansy, not giving up position in his own end ….. March 15 – 17- Injured Reserve
- Love the Southwest battle featuring Phoenix and Anaheim …. The Coyotes win, rocketing up the standings to 5th spot …. Phoenix – LA would be an intriguing series, if the teams were to end up as they are now, in 4th and 5th spot. The overachieving well coached Coyotes against the up coming Kings …. Could call it the battle for bragging rights of the Mohave ..
- April 8 thru the 10th will basically set the playoff picture, with the West being pretty much set by the 9th …… though not a fan of parity brought about by the salary cap, the West playoff race is getting to be a wild ride, one of the best playoff races in memory
- The loser point really has to go … three point games are garbage … the BlackHawks lose to the Caps, but pick up a point ….. it has been pointed out by numerous sources how the loser point can drastically alter the standings …. It has really made it hard to compare a team that racks up 90 points now to teams from the past that might have compiled 75 or 80 points …. The casual fan does not realize how the loser point can skew a teams final total so drastically, by 10 points or more …. Take the East race for example … without loser points, the Flyers are at 84, and the Capitals at 80 … with the loser point, Washington are able to close the gap to 1 point ….
- Columbus is pretty much done in the West, along with the Oil, Avs and Wild …. In the East, write off the Senators, Islanders and Panthers …..
- The change in goaltending has had a massive impact on the game in last few years …. With all the goalies now being dressed up in such massive gear, the impact of a truly great goalie has been pretty much nullified .. What goalie right now seems headed for the Hall of Fame, other than Marty Brodeur ? Not a single one. Tomas Vokoun might be an impact goalie, but we won’t know unless he leaves Florida for a contender, and is given a reasonable hope of team success. The last goalie to have an undeniable effect on his team’s fortunes would be the Dominator, circa mid to late 90’s through the first 5 years of the current millenium
- To think that the New Jersey Devils, a laughingstock for the first half of the season, have gone 22-3-2 during their hot run, well, they are the bizarre story of the year, hands down. The questions that arise when looking at the turnaround are just weird. How can a team reverse fortune so dramatically ? What does it say about either John MacLean or the guys on the team …. Such a strange story …. And they win again, another one goal game ….
- Fight of the Night : Avalanche blueliner Ryan Wilson drops the mitts with fearless Predator Jordin Tootoo, and the two go at it, all business …. These two guys love the physical aspect of the game, bodychecking or scrapping ….
- The way the Flyers are playing, they will be lucky to win a single playoff game. Another fast start, another blown lead, another loss to a team they should beat handily, on paper …. To blow a 4-1 third period lead on home ice to the struggling Thrashers accentuates how badly the Flyers game has fallen apart …. Of course, Atlanta can use the victory and effort as a rallying point …. Goat for the Flyers was Kris Versteeg, taking a stupid penalty in the third that led to a goal, and them making an icredibly stupid play with the puck, basically throwing it at his own net, leading to the tying goal in the last minute …. And they gave up a 1st and 3rd round pick for the guy ….
- Battle of Florida had the Panthers beating the Lightning, 4-3 in overtime …every time I watch Vinny LeCavalier play, his immense natural talent jumps right out …. How can this guy not be a dominant player ? He has all the tools … In 2004, fresh off a Stanley Cup win and a World Cup title, LeCavalier looked like he was ready to be one of the top 5 players in the world …. But that seems to have been his peak …..
- Watching James Reimer backstop the Leaves, the obvious question is if he is a flash in the pan, or if he is a player bursting on the scene a la Patrick Roy, beginning a spectacular career …. The Leafs haven’t brought any great talents into the league in years, so they are due …. Giguere and Gustavson will be question marks if the kid keeps up his level play …
- Another Satelite Hotstove on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, another chance to wonder how and why Mike Milbury is on television …. Milbury is the worst GM in the history of the NHL …. That is pretty much accepted as fact ….. and yet there he is, mouthing off about how if he were a GM, he would do this, or he would do that ….. Mike, you had a chance, and you made incredibly stupid decisions. Milbury destroyed the New York Islanders franchise …. So who exactly is in charge of letting him go on tv and act like he knows what he is talking about ????
- Kick in the guts for the young Oilers … they had Detroit on the ropes, a 1-0 lead, only for the Wings to tie it late in the third … of course, Detroit would win in overtime, the Red Wing way …..
- Another blown lead, the Thrashers also lose in overtime to the Devils …. The Atlanta collapse in the second half of the season is enough to make one break down and weep … looked like the Chicago boys had turned that team around
- Regarding the Pavel Kubina suspension …. 3 games …. Alright, he did elbow the guy in the back of the head, can’t deny it ….. still seems like Colin Campbell is just picking numbers out of thin air …. Campbell can act all high and mighty, like he knows what he is doing, but until there is some degree of consistency, which he has never shown, and when all players get suspended for crossing the line, even supposedly soft or clean players like Red Wings or Chicken Turd Cammaleri, then other players will still take their chance on putting a good lick on another player or they will lose their temper and swing their stick carelessy, right Chicken Turd Cammaleri ????
- The heavily criticized Gary Bettman nailed a couple of items …. Chara riding out Pacoreitty was bad luck for the feisty Hab, nothing more, and if big sponsors want to dictate to the game, they can take their sleazy cash and shove it …. Good on you Bettman, you got that so right that your critics wont even know it for years …..
- Love the vintage game footage on the NHL Network …. Watched the Islanders teams from the early 80’s …. A largely forgotten dynasty …. Fans now would never associate the Islanders with the Stanley Cup, or superstars like former Swift Current Bronco Bryan Trottier, or super sniper Mike Bossy, hardshooting hip checker Denis Potvin, or Battlin Billy Smith ….
- Jaro Halak beats his former team as the Blues score 4 straight to beat the Habs … Chris Stewart did not tally, though he has 9 goals since coming over from Colorado … former Hab Matt Dagostini scored on a nice pass to ice it …
- Speaking of the Habs, things have gone stupid in Montreal … You want to talk about supporters of a team getting way out of control, then the head cheese prosecutor in Quebec, and the Montreal Police are prime examples … A criminal investigation ?? For a guy finishing his check and riding a guy out ?? Idiotic….. Where was this outrage when Mike “ Chickenturd “ Cammaleri was smacking Nino Neiderreiter in the face with his hockey stick ??? Habs fans are letting emotion cloud their judgement, and public officials are looking like vengeful mickey mouse clowns …..
- Through this incident, with the over the top reactions, it might be time to declare that the pansy-ization of hockey has begun … Reading comments from folks on news sites, many people say they won’t let their kids watch or play hockey, they are going to have them get involved with kickball instead ….. hmmmm ….. What happens if their kid gets hurt in that ? Or if the kid falls off a bike and gets hurt ? What if some kid beats them up at school ? Homeschooling the answer ? The emotional response to this from Hab fans, fringe observers, critics, and talking heads in the hockey biz has been foolish …
- James Reimer is one of the out-of-nowhere stories this year, starting again for the Leaves …. Toronto gave the Flyers a game, having the Flyers on the ropes at times, but Philly emerged with a 3-2 win, as they try to get back on track as a contender .. another incident in this game, as Mike Komisarek wipes out Dan Carcillo with a crosscheck from behind … loved the Leaf scored by Grabovski, deflecting a Dion Phaneuf slapshot with his face
- Lots of scraps in the Bruins – Sabres Adams division battle … guess these guys didn’t get the memo about playing like pansies …. 3 bouts, including true full time heavy Milan Lucic putting a beat down on Cody McCormick … in overtime, the Sabres had picked up the win, coming back from a 2-0 deficit …
- The NHL Network interviews are usually fairly scripted, sugary and vanilla, or more to the point, shlock, but today they had the Dropkick Murphy’s on for an interview …. Love the Baastin accent … the band are huge supporters of the Boston sports scene, namely the Bruins and Red Sox …. Check it out if you get the channel, it is a fun and decent interview …