Friday, February 9, 2007


It's that time of year, when football is over, baseball hasn't started yet, when HOCKEY takes center stage! Eh, who am I kidding? Here's what I've got.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby ( 87) falls back after being elbowed in the face by Montreal Canadiens Francis Bouillon (51) during third period NHL action in Montreal February 4, 2007. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi (CANADA)• I might mention it too much, but after watching Marty's 10th shutout last night I have to announce that he's pretty good. He's having a tremendous year, even by his standards. Okay, I'm done.

• The perception out there is that Sidney Crosby is a crybaby, to the point that he's even been booed in the hockey mecca of Montreal. Fans think he and the coaching staff are complaining about opponents taking shots at him because he wants superstar treatment, but he's got a point. The fact is that he's hockey's Golden Boy and the league's highest scoring player, so he's naturally going to be a swiftly skating target. He's also more of a finesse player, unlike Ovechkin who is a bull-in-the-china-shop who can also dole out hits (some of them questionable). Perhaps he could use some protection out there, just like Gretzky had (what's Todd Bertuzzi up to?), but that's up to the GM who can't even get a stadium deal in his own city. Yeah, I hate to say this but maybe there is a place for enforcers in the league. But despite the fact that a record number of penalties are being called, I think a backlash is inevitable and games are going to start getting more chippy. The fact is that they can't call everything, and it might reach a breaking point and all hell breaks loose (or not, what do I know?). Regardless, great job embracing the best player to come around in a decade, hockey fans!

Sabres fans are very loyal and emotional lot, and occasionally obnoxious when visiting other rinks. Kris "The Biggest Sabres Fan In France" Salo even thought the Madden goal against Ryan Miller that opened the flood gates in New Jersey's 3-2 win last week was akin to "cheating". Slow down there, Maestro. He never really had his glove on it, and you have to play to the whistle. Instead, Miller showed his inexperience by letting it bother him, and before you knew it the offensive juggernaut (not) that is the NJ Devils had 3 goals in 2:41. He's just a kid, but he has to learn to let it go and focus on the game.

• The Avs Karlis Skrastins is about to set the Iron Man record for defensemen by playing 487 consecutive games. That's amazing. I didn't realize that Tim "Bits" Horton held the previous record before being killed in a car accident.

• The Gary "Fucking" Bettman Death Watch has begun. His contract is up in 2008, so I think it's time to cut the cord and start fresh. Who would be a worthy successor? How about anyone who actually knows hockey? No, not some businessman from Texas. This is a pretty good evaluation of Bettman's Reign of Error as NHL commish. Overall, not good.

• I like John Buccigross, but the NHL DOES NOT NEED BIGGER NETS. Please stop saying this crap.

• It's interesting that Peter Forsberg's foot suddenly feels great and he's scoring again (8 points in his last 6 games), just in time to be traded to a Stanley Cup contender. He's complained all year about not being able to find a comfortable skate. Are you kidding? In the entire world, no one could custom make a skate that fit his ailing foot? What a joke. Hockey's toughest bastard, my ass!

• What happened to the New York Rangers? Are they who we thought they were? Was last year's playoff appearance just a fluke? They sputtered to the finish last year, and are struggling even earlier this time around. All I know is that it's going to take more than Avery and Krog to right the ship. Although they finally dumped KasperMINUS, which is a start.

Ottawa is making a push for the playoffs, just in time to lose in the first round. Sabres: be very afraid if you meet Carolina in the first round.

• I had an ephiphury the other day: Chris Gratton, Todd Bertuzzi and Eddie Belfour are still in the NHL? They're on the Florida Panthers? Who knew? Is that where hockey players go to retire? Can we get rid of the Florida teams already? No one supports them, and I'm not buying this whole "Hockey Bay" nonsense in Tampa.

• When you comment on an article on ESPN, it directs you to ESPN Conversation (whatever the hell that is) which has a filter that automatically removes objectionable words, and replaces it with "####" in your post. All the obvious dirty words are censored, but it gets a little weird after that. For instance, an NBA player that no one has ever heard of announced he's gay, which would come up in a post as "Amaechi is ####". So what about former UConn player Rudy ####? What does #### Vitale have to say about it? Here's the funniest one: Ryan Fitzpatrick is edited to read "Ryan ####". Maybe it's because the word starts with "F" and ends in "CK"? It looks like Fitzpatrick is the new "F" word!

• I'll close with one of the stupidest "hockey related" things I've ever seen: Claude Lemieux on "Pros vs. Joes" on SPIKE. The idea of the show is that "regular guys" play against retired pro players, usually baseball or football players. This is the first time I've seen the contestants have to play hockey, if you can call it hockey. It's so far from the current NHL, it was disgusting. The idea was to skate from behind the goal, pick up one of the 5 pucks placed within the zone, and try to skate in on an empty net and score . . . with Lemieux in your way. Interesting idea. So what does he do on the first attempt? He hit the kid in the mouth with a highstick! And on the one goal he let up, he crosschecked the kid and knocked him down. I've got news for you: that's not hockey, despite the dorky announcer's claims, that's called a penalty. Yes, I rooted for Claude when he was a Devil, because he was such a clutch playoff performer. But I'd be the first to agree that on top of his tenacity and goal scoring talent, he was a dirty player and a complete asshole. Thankfully, the NHL didn't have anything to do with this asinine show.

UPDATE: I'm going to see the Devils play the D.C. Ovechkins on 2/24. This might be my last appearance at the Continental Breakfast Arena, so feel free to alert the media. I just thought of this, but the Devils might be the only team where you want to buy tickets on the side where Marty will be defending twice, and not on the side where they attack twice.


Jeff K said...

Apparently, Bettman's contract isn't up until 2011. Screw that little ugly troll.

Kris said...

Whoa! I never dropped the "C-word" on Madden...I said that I thought the ref shoulda blow the play dead and that the Devils go away with one, to which the Devils fan's in the audience whined that Elias had one turned down prior.

I do however agree in full that Miller let it get to him and that it's his own fault.

Don't matter, I don't foresee the Devils playing for anything more than rounds of beer at the golf course after the beginning of May

Jeff K said...

Hmmm, correct me if I'm wrong, but your email said: "When cheating is must think of New Jersey." So you didn't call Madden a cheater, you accused the whole state. My mistake.

The people over at Buffalo's Original Sports Blog crack me up: this is a scary 1st place team, and they're talking like the sky is falling. Not to mention that that running buffalo is completely mesmerizing . . .

One other note: The Devils switched to the suddenly fashionable "Olé, Olé Olé Olé" song after they score a goal. As far as hockey goes, it stinks. They should go back to Blur's "Song 2" or Gary "Kid Toucher" Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2". Or any arena song with a 2 in it, while we're at it.