Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo!

Count Floyd says, "Is very scary. This time no kidding. Is ze scariest monster ever!" A Whoooooooo!!!! Whooo-oooooh!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Coach Torts Rampage

Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me-Galileo, galileo, Figaro...

Hi all-I did a little post over at Southeast Shootout about John Tortorella's bench rampage last night that looked might have started with Paul Ranger and extended into the post-game presser.
One thing I forgot to mention in the post was a little vignette the Lightning broadcast crew did on Coach Torts' time as a Ranger assistant. The video was pre-gray and goatee for Tortorella. Tell me he isn't spot-on, separated at birth Freddie Mercury, circa Live Aid. I bet he left the MSG in tight white jeans and a wife beater tank-top.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Chris Simon-Sociopath

Hassan, Chop!

How does career troglodyte Chris Simon still find his way into any NHL lineup? This is a guy who has been suspended six times-his last a 25 game suspension for going Saudi Ministry of Justice executioner on Ryan Hollweg's neck.
His double-fisted head shot on Rod Brind 'Amour in the third period Saturday night wasn't physical hockey, it was simply predictably sociopathic behavior from a sociopath. He may love sunset walks on the beach and cute little puppies off the ice, but he's unpredictable and prone to incredible violence once he laces 'em up. Yeah, Roddy was in the process of falling down, but I'm not willing to give this career assclown any benefit of the doubt. Not that the head shot hurt Roddy. His face is probably the toughest part of his body.

A few throwback quotes from the remorseful one after the machete attack on Hollweg last March:
"I've always been known as a team guy, and I feel real bad about letting the team down. ... I think I'll wait until I talk to the league office, and then I'll answer all questions afterward."

"I want to apologize to my team and Islanders fans everywhere," Simon said in a statement released Saturday night during the first game of the suspension. "My actions Thursday night played a major part in our team losing a crucial game. I also want to apologize to the National Hockey League for the damage I have caused this great game of ours."

Notice that the dude's first instinct was to plead the Fifth. And the unwritten message is, "Hollweg and the Rangers can kiss my arse."

Nice game Saturday night from Dennis Seidenberg and the entire Stay Puft blueline crew. I've always been quick to slag the kid, but now I'm rethinking. I will have to start showing more respect. From this point forward, he is "von Seidenberg."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Death by PP

Was anybody playing left defense last night? Did I really see the Habs drop one of those municipal golf course driving range AstroTurf rugs around the faceoff circle and then take turns teeing off from 15 feet on just about every PP? How can these boys go from the stifling team defense of the Slug game to last night's defensive debacle?

Matt Cullen was especially ill-disciplined last night. Stupid cross-check, breaking his stick on a slash and then giving up on the puck to allow the empty netter. Hey Matt, make sure you play a vigorous game of concourse soccer before tonight's game.

I want to see the long-overdue debut of "the Hobbit line" tonight on the Island. Aucoin, LaRose and Hamilton.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chuck Norris Factoids

Canada has Jordin Tootoo. We have Chuck Norris. I heard Dennis Miller talking about this on the drive to work. The site is called chucknorrisfacts.com and here's a sampler of these not-so-well-known tidbits about America's enforcer:

  • When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
  • Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
  • There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.
  • Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.
  • Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
  • Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a DeltaForce marathon on Satellite TV.
  • Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy, it is a Chucktatorship.

A Frothy Mug of New Season Justice

No Erik Beckhamcole-no problem
No Scott Walker-still no probem
No Dennis Seidenberg-point suddenly losing momentum

By the way. If Cole got hurt playing soccer, why didn't they just drop him on a stretcher and haul him around 20 yards away from the game? Then he could miraculously heal and pop up ready to go back in the game. That's how things go in Euro soccer. Injuries that appear career-ending usually get healed by the time the strecher gets to the sideline.

This from the Buffalo News-Oo0oo0hh, our boys had to play without Spock-check and Ka-Klingon. The Sabres would have won if they just had a complete team. The still proud and heavily oxidized city of Buffalo deserves it. We've suffered thru horrible winters for generations without a Cup. The only folks left here are Bills and Sabres fans. Everybody else has fled to Phoenix or Boca. We can't even get Snake Plisskin to come here any more. Carolina is not worthy. We want it more! Wah, wah, wah ...

Deja vu back to the late spring of 2006 and the Eastern Conference finals. Suddenly, it's a lot easier to forget the Canes 0-fer season vs. da Slugs last year. Suddenly, it's getting easier to forget last season entirely.

Some real good stuff last night. First of all, forget what I said the other day about the Stay-Pufts. I was misquoted or taken out of context...by myself. All the blueliners delivered last night-bodies in shooting lanes-sticks in passing lanes and no quarter given along the boards. The "D" was an aggressive and attacking bunch of roid-raging Imperial Storm Troopers last night. They didn't just sit back like a human Maginot Line. They aggressively attacked nearly every Slug rush. Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican must have spent their off day with Wilford Brimley in that pool from the movie Cocoon. Maybe that old pool is the real secret to Heddy's rehab and Wes' renewed on-ice vigor and youthful mop of blazing red locks.

Eric Staal experienced total recall night. Duuude, I really am a power forward!?! Lookie what I can do with this big old body and wicked long reach. They can't drive me off the puck if I really want to hold on to it.

Keith Aucoin impressed as well. Kid was always in position to make a play last night-offensively and defensively. I see some Chad LaRose in his game. Hope he doesn't have to suffer thru the hands of stone phase LaRose had to endure.

Through it all, Cam Ward did his best Keith Carradine, as the stoic and wandering Kung Fu monk impersonation. Yessss young Vanek. Try and sieze the pebble from my hand. Thwaaack-glove save. One thing I notice about his game this year is how he almost seems to move in slow motion-even while he stays ahead of the play. One clumsy pad save from his belly was the only blemish on yet another grand performance by the kid. The really great ones always make it look easy. I'm not saying Cam's great or gonna be great, but man he's looked great thus far (knock faux wood laminate).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Killer Bees and Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men

Hey, Hey, Hey, I'm Here to Shut Down Your Cycle Game!
I'm seeing one trend in the Hurricanes play thus-far I like and one I don't. Carolina forwards are back to being the killer bees of 2005-2006. They are a bunch of swarming and opportunistic fargin' bastiges. The Roddy thru pass to LaRose last night was a thing of beauty. It reminded me of the kind of passes that used to spring Cullen and Cole during that Stanley Cup season. These guys have a feel for each other on the ice-the passing is much better than last season. You add a healthy Cory Stillman and that bronzed-god George Hamilton ripping one-timers on the PP, and I think the Canes have an offense that will score enough goals to win games...

...if the defense can start imposing its will on opposing forwards. That's the trend I no-likie. Cam Ward is the defensive-defenseman keeping the Canes in games right now. Hedican, Gleason and Wallin seem to roll off opposing forwards like Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men-like they are playing in inflatable Sumo wrestler suits. They are not imposing their will in the defensive zone. Mike Commodore is the only blueliner delivering any meaningful punishment on a nightly basis. "Journeyman" forward Brad Isbister used up Heddy enroute to setting up the Canucks only goal last night. Wallin is solid when he gets to the puck first, but unlike David over at R&B, I see a lot of frenetic activity from Gleason, but not much solid defense. Timaaay seems to operate on a two-second delay. He constantly seems to be catching up with the flow. Maybe it's a maturation thing many young defensemen must endure.

The buzz of a few weeks ago had JR shopping for an offensive defenseman. I'd rather see the focus on landing a big, smooth-skating and defensively responsible cave troll. Let the offensive upside come from Kaberle, Tanabe or one of the newbies playing in Albany.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday HS Sports Rant

I'm working my way back to Hurricanes hockey, but I've just been busier than a one-armed paper hanger the last few weeks. I've got two kids playing HS sports at different schools right now. Every evening extends to at least 7pm-game nights, we go until 9 pm or later. Last night, I was at the JV football game 130 miles north in Fountain Hills (northeast of Phoenix) while my wife was 30 miles south of Tucson at the volleyball game in Nogales.

Few things are as fun as watching your kid perform-sports, dance, music, it doesn't matter. In our family it's dance and sports. Few things are as aggravating as watching your kid playing for a team that is an absolute train wreck. My daughter's high school team is not lead by a coach. It's run by a group of alpha females. It's the perfect storm of four skill and leadership-challenged seniors who are used to volleyball being what you do when it's not basketball season, coupled with four juniors who've played just enough bad club ball to think they are all that, with two talented sophomores who are the real future of the program. These prima donna juniors run roughshod over a coach who seeks only survival at this point in his storied two-schools-in-two-years career. He wants them to like him-he really needs them to like him.

The telltale signs of a team in mid-train wreck are everywhere. The team decides when, if and how hard they want to practice. The team treats practices like the sleepover scene from that Valley Girl movie from the 80's. Then these same girls who giggle, goof-off and conspire in whispered voices throughout practice absolutely lose their composure the minute things don't go their way in a match.

Through it all, my daughter has suffered the slings and arrows of fratricidal adolescent females who routinely make her the target of their venom. Yeah, there's a lot to hate. She loves and respects the game. She practices hard and treats her coaches and teammates with respect. She smiles way too much on the court. She's 6' 1" and can jump nearly 10 feet. She hits the ball so hard she brings pain to opponents' hands and arms. She trained last summer in a national development program. She's tall, smart, athletic and beautiful (maybe a bit of Dad-bias there), and all these things don't sit well with the mean girls. How dare a sophomore have so much game and take away so much of their glow. Girls are much more aggressive and cruel now than they were in my youth.

On the other side we have my son's JV football experience. He's got great coaches and a good bunch of kids. There is no doubt who runs the football program.

Unlike my daughter, C/B Jr. only has one hardcore knucklehead to deal with on his team. This kid is a sophomore who tries to intimidate the freshmen off the gridiron to cover his sorry lack of vigor on the field. Last night, the knucklehead finally got yanked after a half of service as the game's officially licensed speed bump. This gave my kid his chance. He went from 4 plays last week to nearly 30 last night. First play, he drew a holding penalty after busting thru the guard and tackle gap on a pass rush. Later that series, he made a bottom of the pig-pile tackle in the gap. He's 5' 11" and 200 lbs-tough to move when he wants to hold his ground. His sister is an Impala. He's a glacier. Love 'em both.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thrash Fire Bob Hartley

You all know I've been a Thrash hater for a long time. I think consistent underachievement, resorting to thuggery and a grandstanding prima donnas will be the lasting legacy of the Bob Hartley era in the ATL. That being said, I can't wait for the architect of this debacle to get whacked. Don Waddell "crafted" this roster. It's been his program since June of 1998. He drafted Patrik Stefan with the first pick in the 1999 entry draft. It was Don Waddell who gave up on prospects Braydon Coburn (#8 in 2003) and Alex Bourret (#16 in 2005) in February of last season for Alexi Zhitnik and Pascal Dupuis respectively. And it was Don Waddell who gave Thrash fans Keith Tkachuk for Glen Metropolit, first and third-round picks in 2007 and a second-rounder in 2008 at the deadline last season.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No Heddy Hating Here


Today's nhl.com Frozen Moment is classic. Heddy makes a crotch save. Guess Bret and the missus have all the family they want. Timmay's flinching like a soccer star on a direct kick. What a wuss. Love those Frozen Moment images.

Would have loved seeing the game when I got home last night. Think I would have learned by now not to count on my teen-age son to manage the DVR.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Week One in the Can

Hiatus Retrospective

Hi again friends...if there's anybody left reading this blog after my long hiatus. Spent last week in SoCal. Did Santa Monica, the La Brea Tar Pits and the LA Zoo with the munchkins-then Paso Robles and Cambria with the missus. My oldest got home Saturday night after a two-week Euro trek that included Rome, Pompeii, Florence and Slovenia with her aunt. I've placed one of her pics from the land of the Kopitarz on this post. This is the riverwalk in Ljubljana.

One Good Game to Build on
Watched the Canes/Pens tilt on Friday night. Picked a good one to watch. I went ahead and deleted the Habs and Pens games when I got home Saturday night. We're-mailing-it-in-tonight was a recurring theme for the 2006-2007 Hurricanes.

Tanabe
Well he does come cheap. This blueline looks a lot like last season's blueline. I still don't think that is a good thing. How much does it suck to be Ryan Bayda? Screwed again to start the season.