Friday, April 25, 2008

Bengals Pre-Draft Rant

I used to dig Ocho...errr Chad Johnson's act. It was fresh. Dude was irreverent. It was all in good fun. After a season of watching Johnson throw hissy fits and drop balls at crunch time, this Bengals fan (since 1968) has had enough. I've had enough of the Bengals being a sideshow. I've had enough of seeing this team and evn finer city ridiculed for the parade of thugs and misfits who've donned the multistripe-ed jersey.

Last fall, Colin Cowherd did a bit on his ESPN radio show asking folks to suggest tag lines for the City of Cincinnati. You know, stuff like "America's Finest City" (San Diego). Herd got suggestions like, "Cincinnati - you have the right to remain silent." Great bit...but the underlying truth behind the comedy still stings this emigre Cincinnatian.

The other day Colin did another bit of analysis on the proposed trade that would send Ocho to Washington for two picks-including Washington's first round pick. He said the Bungles were stupid to pass up the opportunity. I concur.

Chris Henry and Odell Thurman are thugs. Chad is no thug. He is however a prima donna and a man totally absorbed in the larger-than-life alter ego he has concocted for himself. Ocho has become the Hyde to Chad's Jekyll. I say let some other franchise with deep pockets and the willingness to try stupid things (Washington) have Ocho and all his theatrics. Get some players in return that will help rebuild this franchise. Rebuild the patchwork Bengals linebacking corps. Get some run stoppers for the D-line. Hell, turn these picks into trades with other NFL clubs willing to pay a price to move up.

Come on Marvin, Katie and Mike, screw yer foolish pride and do something to make this team a contender. With a little luck, yet another Bengals rebuilding cycle could parallel that of the 49ers. How sweet would a third Super Bowl rematch be for those of us who remember 1982 and 1989? Only this time, the Bengals might have a Hall of Fame quarterback to lead the two minute drive at the end of the game.

Just to add salt to the wound here is a quick look back at the Bengals 31 picks since 1999
1999-Akili Smith -BUST
2000-Peter Warrick -BUST
2001-Justin Smith - BAILED
2002-Levi Jones - GOT PUNKED IN A BAR BY KEVIN PORTER AND HIS POSSE
2003-Carson Palmer - STUD
2004-Chris Perry - BUST
2005-David Pollack -BUSTED NECK
2006-Jonathan Joseph - GOOD COVER GUY/CAN'T CATCH
2007-Leon Hall - DEVELOPING SITUATION

From the draft team that brought you Ki-Jana Carter and Chris Perry, here would be a sign of a yet another Bengal draft apocalypse:
With the ninth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select night club brawler and lotsa babyses daddy, Darren McFadden.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Finally, a Craptacular Friday!

It is better to play good than look good. Now we know the real reason he wore that one-way visor back in the day. Go Craps.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

That Burns-ing Sensation

With three years left on his contract, Peter Laviolette seems far from safe. In today's N&O, Jim Rutherford calls out Lavvy on several fronts. Seems like a very public beatdown for a guy you want to keep on board for three more years. The question in situations like this is, if the Canes do axe Lavvy, who is out there available and better? Awhile back, I floated the name of Brian Sutter. He is a former Jack Adams winner, but his track record as an NHL head coach is unspectacular (around .500). Couple that with the fact that his brother's kid will probably be in the lineup next season. Bad idea.

Hey, how 'bout Pat Burns? If this squad needs and infusion of accountability, he might be just the guy. And he's itching to get back behind the bench. This from the Globe and Mail on April 8:

"Burns, a three-time winner of the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's coach of the year, would consider a return to the NHL coaching ranks if the opportunity presented itself in the fall."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Jack and Timmayyy

Year one of the Jack Johnson era in LA didn't go so good. His 11 points on the season placed him in around 9th place among rookie blueliners. That places him only 6 points above Tim Conboy. And Johnson played in 55 more games that the slightly psycho Conboy. Jack led all rookie defensemen in penalty minutes and had the worst +/- among rookies at -19.

The Canes acquired Timmayy Gleason and Eric (hardly knew ye) Belanger for Johnson and Oleg the human traffic cone Tverdovsky. Johnson logged more ice time and more PP time than Gleason this season. Johnson had around a 200 minute advantage in total ice time over Gleason. Jack played around 185 of his 1,600 minutes of ice time killing penalties. Gleason spent 239 of his 1,400 minutes of ice time ice killing penalties. That's around 27 addition pks for our boy. Gleason logged 19 points and was a +5 in a stopper role. As noted above, Johnson scored 11 points as a puck-moving and aggressive defenseman.

Next season might be the breakout year for Jack Johnson. Blueliners take longer to develop ya know. Yeaahhh well....Tobias Enstrom of the ATL and Tom Gilbert of Edmonton didn't seem to struggle all that much. JR's genius remains intact.

UFAs/RFAs I'm bullish on going into next year:
1. Sergei Samsonov (UFA)
2. Tuomo Ruutu (RFA)
3. Tim Gleason (RFA)
4. Aucoin/Bayda/Larose (UFA)
5. Tim Conboy (RFA)
6. Michael Leighton

Guys I'd like to see the Canes release:
1. Trevor Letowski
2. Jeff Hamilton
3. John Grahame
4. Wade Brookbank

Guys who should retire with full honors-special night and a number hoist to the rafters:
1. Glen Wesley
2. Bret Hedican

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hello Newman

You take 46 shots on goal, enjoy an 18 minute PP advantage, and lose 4-3. You lose three of the last four games when everything is on the line, and I think you probably should go home early. Got to hand it to the Panthers even though they tried their best to hand it to the Canes.

It's been a season on the ledge and that ledge gave way tonight. I spent the first hour or so after the horn pretty pissed off that my boys couldn't seal the deal. It's now around 9:30 in the desert and I have to say I concur with Andy of Hurricanes Insider. Regardless of what happens in Craptown tomorrow, this was a season to be proud of for your Carolina Hurricanes. Here are my top-ten things Caniacs can be proud of:

  1. The boys thrived for months at the top of the division despite extensive injuries to captain Rod Brind 'Amour, Justin Williams and Matt Cullen.
  2. JR's acquisition of Joe Corvo, Sergei Samsonov and Tuomo Ruutu helped the Canes compete until the last day of the season. The addition of these guys and Patrick Eaves might also set the franchise up nicely for years to come.
  3. Keith Aucoin and Ryan Bayda become legit NHLers.
  4. Timmay Gleason stepped up and became a rock on the blueline. I like the Jack Johnson deal much more now than around 7 months ago.
  5. Bret Hedican not only defied the detractors (like me) to made it thru the season, he was a stud. Thanks Bret. And thanks for another great final season Glen Wesley.
  6. Tim Conboy and Wade Brookbank added that missing element of on-ice psycho the Canes needed to keep league thugs at bay.
  7. Eric Staal deserves all the glow he got all season in the hockey media. He's become a power-centerman and one of the league's premier talents. Sign him long-time ASAP JR.
  8. Scott Walker showed up every night and every shift. He took a ton of punishment and delivered quite a bit as well. He was the heart and soul of the all who aspired to grind for the Canes.
  9. Trevor Letowski served admirably in perhaps the least glamourous role on the roster.
  10. Peter Laviolette proved he still had this lockerroom.

Now that we're all feeling warm and fuzzy...damn it sucks to lose to the Newman's tonight of all nights. Thanks for the negative psychic energy vibe Mary Beth Wrenn...bitch.

But tomorrow's another day, right guys? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Go Panthers! Beat the, the.... aw screw it. Go Jayhawks.

Traitorous Pyschics and Bitter Newmans

Hi. Memba me?

If fading memory serves, it was these same Florida Panthers who dropped a bit of mathematical elimination on the Canes last season. How interesting that they get to a shot at the spoiler role yet again. To cry baby Jacques Martin and the Kitties, the Carolina Hurricanes are Seinfeld to their Newman. The Canes are sleek, successful and charming. The Kitties are boorish and bitter about their penchant for missing opportunities. The Kitties' venom for the Canes seems to know no bounds and you can bet Olli and the boys would love to break their hideous streak of 15 losses in the big ATM tonight. Should be physical from the puck drop. Look for an Ollie Jokinen hat trick - a goal, a slash/trip and a cheap shot in a scrum.

In a valiant effort to bring fresh to an otherwise dismal season of Panthers coverage, Sun-Sentinel writer Steve Gorton called on a pyschic for her breakdown of the contest:


If you believe in psychic power, they will finally beat the Hurricanes tonight at RBC Center. Mary Beth Wrenn, a professional psychic in Charlotte, N.C. since 1987, envisions it happening."I do feel the spell will be broken," Wrenn said by telephone Thursday.

.....Wrenn, who doesn't know any of the Panthers or of their streak before being told Thursday, nonetheless senses a "negative energy" around the Panthers in Raleigh.


Negative for whom there Mary Beth? That little detail seems somewhat important if we are to bank on pre-game psychic analysis. Oh, by the way....shut up Mary Beth you freaking Charlotte Copperhead. Now is not the time to hate on Raleigh.

In my ideal world of tonight, Florida folds up like a card table a la Tampa and both the Craps and Canes get into the postseason. The Canes "deserve" the spot for excelling despite all the injuries to key players. The Craps deserve it because OV8 and the boys are playing the best hockey in the Eastern Conference right now and they are the feel-good story of this hockey spring.

A Washington/Montreal first round match up sounds mighty tasty to me. Speaking of traitors, wouldn't it be great to have Montreal Gazzette columnist Jack Todd covering a Habs/Craps series? His take on DC and it's hockey fans could incite some epic rage in the District.

Keys:

  • Solid positional defense

  • No softies from Wardo
  • Soft and quick hands around Vokoun

  • Physical play right away

  • Fall down and draw penalties (oops, that was supposed to be a secret)