Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Vancouver Canucks' Pavol Demitra, right, of the Czech Republic, and Sami Salo, of Finland, celebrate after Salo scored the game winning goal during the overtime period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday Nov. 24, 2008. It all started with Marty going down with an injury for the first time in a billion career games. Then, GABBO's groin kept him out for all but 2 games since the start of the season. Then as soon as my trade for MAF goes through, he goes down with a "lower body injury". (Could you be more specific? Hangnail? Water-on-the-knee? Sprained scrotum? What?) To put the icing on the puck, Brenden "The Sun Won't Come Out To" Morrow (my leading PIMmer) tore his ACL asunder, and is done for the season.

The reports are in, and it's confirmed: I am the KISS OF DEATH. Now I remember why I don't play fantasy sports. Sure, I might be in second place due to a lucky 5-4-1 win by Kris, but that's also because half the managers in the league don't pay attention to their teams.

* In one of the most hilariously pathetic moments I've ever seen in a hockey game, the Canadiens' Ryan O'Byrne scored a game-tying "own goal" when he passed the puck back towards where JESUS PRICE used to be . . . not realizing he already left the goal for an extra skater on a delayed penalty.

Wow, that was a perfect backhand into the centre [sic] of the net! I couldn't do it better myself. (Honestly, I've tried.) Naturally, the Icelanders would end up winning in the shootout, causing the Bell Centre faithful to derisively chant his name from the rafters as he dejectedly exited the arena, embarrassed by his huge hockey boner. (Yeah, I'm trying to bring that word back into the lexicon to mean "gaffe" or "mistake".)

* In other news, JESUS PRICE IS HURT! Hurt that I didn't choose him on my NHL 2009 All-Star Ballot! I chose Timmy Thomas, who overall has better numbers and had to be written in. Apparently, crazy Montreal fans (redundant, I know) have stuffed the ballot box to put 5 of the 6 nominated Habs in the voting lead, despite the fact that none of their skaters are in the top 48 in scoring, Price isn't in the top 10 in GAA, and the team is below the Devils in goals scored. Not to be out-homered, I chose Elias and Parise from the Devils, and more overlooked yet deserving players like Devin Setoguchi, Marc Savard and Shea Weber, and not a single damn dirty Canadien. (They're allegedly hiding the votes over the last 2 days, so your votes don't really count as much as you thought they did.)

* Rob might be right: this current Rangers team plays an incredibly boring brand of hockey. They may not be up there with the 1995 Devils (who I actually enjoyed watching, because they won it all--ha) or the 2007 Red Wings, but they really have no exciting players and very little spark.

* Programming note: It's happened several times this season where there were three hockey games on local TV in the New York area on Saturday night, and they were all on SIMULTANEOUSLY. In fact, the Rangers and Isles each had their OT and shootouts going on at the same time, so it was impossible to follow. Hey NHL, if you want me to watch, STAGGER THE GAMES A LITTLE. Spread out the start times 15 minutes or so, that's all I ask. Last night was perfect: Rangers at 7, Islanders at 7:30 PM. One game was going on while the other was in intermission, and they didn't end simultaneously. (MSG probably does it so they can use the same postgame show and not pay those guys to work extra time, because those Cablevision-owning douchebags are notoriously cheap, but it seriously stinks.)

* SALO POWER! Canucks don't need no stinkin' Luongo (week-to-week with/without a groin) to beat the champs, with Sami Salo setting up the tying goal in the 3rd and scoring in OT to take down the Wings 4-3. This is the first time I've ever been impressed by anyone with the last name "Salo".

* GOAL OF THE WEEK. Yeah, it's a kid you might have heard of. Sidney Crosby, vs. Atlanta on 11/20/2008.

* NEW JERSEYS: The verdict is in and I think the new Tampa and Ottawa 3rd jerseys, with BOLTS and SENS written across the chest, are awful. They look like they're from the AHL or a beer league. If the point is to make more money, how many of those BOLTS jerseys are going to sell in South Florida? The Coyotes' new 3rds are slightly more appealing, but only because it reminds me of the Johnny Cash-voiced space coyote in "The Simpsons".

* There have been a lot of ugly hits so far in the league and so little done about them, and I've gotten to the point that I don't want to talk about them anymore. How about we take away the hard, fiberglass shoulder pads and replace them with old school foam ones? I guarantee you won't have anyone slamming guys face first into the boards from behind any more.

* Malcolm Gladwell, author of the interesting, thought-provoking (though somewhat flimsy) books The Tipping Point and Blink, has a new book out called Outliers, that begins with a study about Canadian junior hockey players, to try to illustrate how certain young boys get a headstart in their hockey careers due to both their talent and their surroundings. But the fact that I found most interesting is that it turns out that most hockey players were born in January. In other words, if your kid isn't born in the winter, don't bother buying him skates.

* TOTALLY UNRELATED MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK. Kris passed along the video for Kathleen Edwards' "Hockey Skates" so I thought I'd post it. Yeah, she's Canadian, in case there was any speculation.

"I'm tired of playing defense and I don't even have hockey skates." This reminds me of Sarah McLachlan, a not-unpleasant song that you forget immediately after it's over. It's the aural equivalent of drinking Molson Ice.

In closing, even though I complain a lot about the NHL, I'm thankful for the sport of hockey. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! (Except the Canadians, who already had theirs.)

1 comment:

Kris said...

Hey, good news. As as admin I have the right to change your blog posts. I didn't, of course, but I was trying to comment and it gave me the "Edit this blog post" page.

You'll be newly impressed by someone with the name Salo when I win that bottle of Johnny Walker Blue (maybe if I say it enough, it will actually come true?) for the OHBFHL.
The problem is that the 10-45-10 teams out there are not going to kick in for a prize at this point, because it's basically down to the two of us (Max Power could make a stunning comeback I guess if he pays attention).