A lot has happened since the last semi-irregular installment of Wrist Shots, so let's get into it.
* Tom "Robot" Renney was fired as the New York Rangers coach, after losing to a terrible Toronto team in overtime, adding to the teams' recent slump. The most poignant parting video clips of him were when the Rangers tied the game with 25 seconds left, and then lost in OT: HE DIDN'T REACT AT ALL. Not a fist pump, not a grimace, not a sigh: NOTHING. Now, I know it's not necessary to show emotions to succeed as a coach (see: Joe Torre and Bill Belicheat), but this guy was a complete flat line. When asked for comment after the game, Computing Operational Athlete Control Hardware (COACH) Renney streamed the following message to the media: "010011010010010011001010." I'm sorry, but that just does not compute. When a team is reeling as badly as this one is, you have to hold someone accountable, or at least exhibit some sort of pulse, and the Renney 5000 did neither.
ROBOT BINARY SOLO!
John "Asshat" Tortorella was hired to replace him, and he immediately paid dividends last night: got Wade Redden to score his first goal since 2002! No, actually, they lost to the same terrible Toronto team, but they made it all the way to the goal-off shootout this time, so they're much improved. (Hey, Torts can't score goals for them . . . or can he?) It remains to be seen if the players decide they want to play for their new coach; regardless, I'll be DVRing all of the press conferences hoping to catch a random expletive. If the Rangers fail to make the playoffs, next up on the chopping block: Glen Sather. I heard a comment on XM the other day that he's starting to make Isiah Thomas' tenure at MSG look competent by comparison. Ouch.
* Meanwhile, somewhere in western New York/southern Ontario last Saturday, Sabres goalie Ryan "Genuine Draft" Miller sprained his ankle on an unfortunate, but not intentional, collision behind the net with Gomez. If he's hurt for an extended length of time, there go the Sabres' playoff chances. (Though even a limping Miller with one arm could probably outduel Fleury at this point.) While backup Patrick Lalime is a known entity (as in: we know he's medicore at best), who the hell is Jhonas Enroth? Is he one of the Jhonas Brothers? The one Miley Cyrus let get to 2nd base? Whoever he is, he's apparently not as good as a flu-laden Lalime. Not a good sign.
* In happy news for Devils fans (e.g. me), Martin Brodeur is back. His rehabbed arm will be tested tonight against the Avs, and I will be there in The Rock to witness it. He claims to be "in the best shape of his life", and in fact switched from bacon double cheeseburgers to bacon double turkey burgers. (I keed, I keed, because I love.) At this point, with 22 games left and a respectable playoff spot well within reach, I just want him to play well. I'm not asking for him to be shutout-brickwall-Vezina Marty . . . at least until the playoffs. Even though he had to be sent down to the minors as a result of taking Brodeur off IR, let's never forget Scott Clemmenson. His name is Scott Clemmenson.
His name is Scott Clemmenson!
(BTW, I did the math, and it would be cheaper to drive to Newark and park for $20 than to take the train--which is annoying since I'd PREFER to take the train. If they really wanted to give us an incentive to take mass transit, I should get a discount on the train just for showing my hockey ticket. But alas.)
LET'S GO MARTY! LET'S GO DEVILS!
(LET'S HOPE MY CAR IS STILL THERE AFTER THE GAME!)
We don't do a "Saves of the Year" here, but maybe we should. This stick save by Kiprusoff, stopping a sure Kyle Wellwood goal en route to a 4-3 goal-off Canucks win, is just amazing.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
A lot has happened since the last semi-irregular installment of Wrist Shots, so let's get into it.
I started writing a big long piece on Sidney vs. Ovechkin, then I realized I don't care that much. Sidney does whine. Sidney has been known to dive. Sidney plays his game like it's a job that he doesn't enjoy very much.
Ovechkin is a caveman. He is arrogant but he plays like a kid at recess. And holy fucking shit, he has some sweet moves.
If you're not a Sidsburgh fan, it's hard to argue with Ovie's enthusiasm. I am not a fan of either team, but I find the Pittsburgh fans nearly as insufferable as the Boston fans. The Washington O.V. fans grate on me less so. Excepting the Pittsburgh fans, I think it's fairly given that Ovie is probably the most complete player in the league right now...Malkin is great, Sid is very good, but OV is the face of a very good Caps team and he can do it all.
On a somewhat lower level, I went to see French Division I hockey over the weekend. The Bordeaux ("The Boxers" - like the dog) team is currently 3rd in the league. They played the Jokers from Cergy; and I'll tell you, the Joke was on Cergy's goalie. The skill-level was probably equivalent to my college's hockey team (NCAA D3), but the goaltending - not some much. These guys (esp. the goalie from Cergy) probably couldn't play in a lot of Canadian beer leagues.
Needless to say, I used to be on the fence about ads on jerseys - yep, that's over. It is fucking hideous. No NO NO. Bettman, you do that and I will condone a sniper dropping your sorry ass. The Bordeaux team has so many ads, that 1) You can't see anything on the front, it's just this overload of graphics and 2) The players name is on his ass because there's no room up top. FUCK THAT!
The rink here has no side glass. I was a little afraid of that when we first arrived, because we were in the second row...But it turns out that the guys don't shoot that hard, so the puck never got up into the stands - still weird to only have glass behind the nets.
I haven't seen college or non-NHL level hockey in a long time, so it's tough to get re-accustomed the reduced speed, but it's still fun. No-touch icing is kind crappy. The refs handed out 5 minute fighting majors for simple gloves-in-the-face. The guys don't really check much and there were no open-ice hits. But overall, it's still hockey and there were 10 goals in 60 minutes (7-3 for Bordeaux).
I tried to take a few pictures with my new DSLR, but being this is the first SLR I've ever owned and I never was very good with the whole ISO/Apeture/Focal Length what have you, the pics weren't great. I've put up a few of the better ones.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
If you've never heard me blather on about Ginger Man before, all you need to know is that they focus on beer and get it right, featuring 70 taps and hundreds of top notch beers on their menu. During our Jeffuary visit, we were once again we were greeted by bartender Kate The Adequate (if you can call her emotionless inquiries a "greeting") who served us up some fantastic beers. (Quick question: when someone says they are involved in "various artistic endeavors, let's just keep it at that", doesn't that mean they're stripping on the side?)
Dogfish Head Red & White. I'll say one thing about Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery: though their brews can be hit or miss, even when they miss at least they're throwing it out there. However, they definitely have a hit on their hands with Red & White, a white ale aged in red wine barrels. It's smooth and full bodied with carbonation like a fine champagne, with a fruity, wine taste at the finish. Definitely the tastiest and most complex DFH beer I've ever had (and hard to believe it's 10% ABV).
Brooklyn Black Ops. In case I haven't mentioned this before, Brooklyn brewmaster Garrett Oliver is my hero. I'm going to have to meet him just to say "thank you for getting it", and flying in the face of the macrobrews of the world and succeeding. As for the Black Ops, as the label exclaims, this beer does not exist. If it did, it would be a bourbon-y, chocolatey, fantastic brew like . . . I imagine this one might be. And at 10.7% ABV it (allegedly) packed a wallop, sending us walking out into the brisk winter night.
(Little did we know, the walk from Ginger Man to Lansdowne Road was 1.2 miles across town. We won't make that mistake again. Unless there's a REALLY good hockey game on.)
Speaking of Garrett Oliver, this is a great video:
"You show up in your average decent restaurant, and you get a beer list that looks like it came from a gas station."
Monday, February 23, 2009
Last night, animator Kunio Kato won the Oscar for Best Animated Short "La Maison En Petites Cubes" last night. Never mind that a Japanese guy drew a French cartoon; he got extra points for making this hilarious speech:
I didn't think it could get better than, "Sank you all my stuff", but that was a great closer.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
This is it.
The Battle Of New York. The Clash Of The Inconsistent. We'll see what these two teams are made of tonight, if the Rangers can right the ship, if the Sabres can play their own game and cling to a playoff spot, and other cliches along those lines. For the first time all season, they could tie each other in the standings (BUF would be lower with one extra loss, but the same point total). I think this will be a good game, which could only be better if they played it on Lake Erie. I'm not sure why this rivalry doesn't get more press coverage, after these two teams played an inspired playoff series in the first season after the lockout. They could meet again in the first round of the playoffs this season, and I'd be all for that.
Adding to my fantasy league KISS OF DEATH roster: Manek Vanek broke his jaw, which has nothing to do with his skating/shooting ability, yet he's going to be out 2 months? Vanek is a sissy Eurobitch twunt.
Pop quiz, asshole: which duo has more goals this season?
1) Sid/MAKLIN, 2) Elias/Parise, 3) Marianne/Zoiderberg
If you said, 1 or 3, you're wrong! Zach "Attack" Parise and Patrik Elias (58 combined goals, vs. 47 and 55 for 1 and 3 above) have been astonishingly consistent this season, and are a big part of why the Devils are playing so well as of late. They're also 7th in the league in scoring, a stat you can use to shut up those idiots who insist they play a "boring brand of hockey". I honestly thought without Brodeur they'd struggle, but I forgot about how deep this team is (thanks, Sweet Lou Lamoriello!). Once they began to gel defensively, they took off. Beating Boston and San Jose in one week was a highlight, and although they predictably have played slugglishly against the two Floridian teams so far this week, I like their chances with Marty coming back in a month and not having to be pressured into winning right away. (Having said this, they will probably struggle tonight on Strong Island.)
One other note about Boston sports fans: before the Bruins resurgence the past two seasons, they were all but ignored by fans and the media alike for about a decade. Now, there's suddenly this GO BRUINS! bullshit everywhere you look. I hate to say it (no, actually I love to say it), but Boston fans are such frontrunners. Basically, they're all Red Sox fans who pretend to be huge fans of the other local teams only when they're succeeding. Eat it, Beantown!
Regardless, I'm going to Ginger Man this afternoon for the continuing Jeffuary celebrations (more to come). Afterwards I'll be visiting Lansdowne Road for the post-Ginger show, which would be the first bar I've ever been to that has the NHL Center Ice package. I can't believe there isn't an excellent hockey-centric bar in Manhattan or any of the boroughs; that's about the only thing the city lacks. I think it's time to open a bar appropriately named TOP SHELF.
In closing, the young hockey player from Mystery, Alaska who gets knocked out during practice and declares upon, er, "coming-to", "I'm a premature ejaculator!" -- he looks exactly like Sidney Crosby. Methinks they have a lot in common besides hockey.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I don't even know what to say any more, because this guy is ridiculous.
Yes, it's OVIE! scoring his Earth-leading 42nd goal vs. Jesus Price and the Habs on Jeffuary 18, 2009, which just might be the Goal of the Year.
He makes a great backhand pass off the boards to himself while spinning around to start the breakaway, and after being pulled down as he skates towards the crease, while sliding on his right side he somehow guides it in. "Unstoppable!" Indeed.
Okay, that's it, I'm dusting off my skates and playing some hockey again. (I'm not saying that I'd even be able to skate at all, but watching this guy makes me want to try.)
Friday, February 13, 2009
Puck Daddy over on Yahoo! Hockey! is running a Create-a-Card Contest. I had on and off thought of submitting something, but couldn't come up with anything of interest. Then in a moment of procrastinating mindlessness (some Talisker may have helped matters), I realized I had the perfect solution. My infamous Sabretooth kicking the shit out of the Jersey Devil would look great as a trading card. A few shameless jpeg grabs off the interwebs later, history was made.
Any card manufacturers out there should contact the OH staff through the comments section. I'm not sure how this works, but I'm sure we could come up with a fair solution for all parties involved. Free hockey tickets (NY Metro, Buffalo and anywhere in Europe (no KHL) will be fine) and alcohol (nothing less than single malts and/or small batch bourbon) would go a long way to securing the rights.
We await your proposals.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
This one is just ridiculous. Richard Zednik vs. the Islanders on Jeffuary 5th, 2009.
That's unreal. The amount of skill, athleticism and concentration that went into scoring that goal is simply off the charts.
Rob pointed out that during "power skating" classes that we both took, part of the drill required you to "jump over the blue line". Well, it might sound easy but it was nearly impossible to do, so I can't imagine jumping over a sliding defenseman (even if it is an Islander defenseman, and one who happened to be crowned the worst player of the year at the All-Star break).
Monday, February 9, 2009
Here's a nifty dangle followed by a through-the-legs move by Sabres winger Drew Stafford vs. Toronto's Mike Van Ryn to score against goaltender Justin Pogge, on Jeffuary 4, 2009.
It seems like an inordinate amount of highlight reels come at the expense of the Maple Leaves defense, so we can all thank god they're awful.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
HULU is AWESOME.
"GOB's program" cracks me up every time.
Any web site that has full episodes of "The Simpsons", "Arrested Development", "Colbert Report" and "Fantasy Island", and full length movies like Slacker and the original The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, all whilst simultaneously flipping off the French is okay by me!
This is an open letter to anyone who may be looking to imbed a video. Don't use Hulu. Those fucking pricks don't allow me to watch the video because "My region is not supported."
Especially a video for a superbowl ad or something. That stuff can be found on the Youtubes.
I'm assuming that Hulu offers to fellate you (or something...) if you imbed their videos, but they can fellate me because I am unable to watch them.
In summary: Youtube = acceptable. Hulu = Fuck off.
Thank you for your attention.
Monday, February 2, 2009
JEFFUARY is upon us once again! Though it will still be all about me for the next 28 days, it's going to be hard to top 2008 when the Giants became SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS in the GREATEST SUPER BOWL EVER. (Quick notes about this year's game: no, it wasn't a great game until the thrilling 4th quarter, which ended with a questionable TD call and miserable non-replayed finish.)
So what's in store for this JEFFUARY? I'm glad you asked! I've already bought myself a new watch (a rather large Invicta that you could kill a small rodent with) and went skiing (my thighs are burning right now). On the list for the rest of the month: dinner at Wasabi or Lanterna (or both!), a beer night at Ginger Man, watching hockey (and possibly attending a game), drinking, skating, watching golf, getting a massage, drinking, eating chocolate, playing with my PS3, drinking, picking up new golf shoes (for my upcoming March trip to Florida), watching LOST, and much much more. And as you might have noticed, there will be drinking. And though it's only flurrying right now, I've got my fingers crossed that there will be a major blizzard in the next 4 weeks.
But the latest and greatest JEFFUARY news is that I will be getting an HD DVR tomorrow. (Because let's face it, I'm not lazy enough and don't watch enough TV.) I thought about getting a TiVo HD, but it's just not cost-effective (between the cost of the box, the monthly fees for the subscription and CableCards, plus the cable company makes you pay for installation). Besides, I've played around with this box at my sister's house and it's sufficient for what I want it for, to record shows while I'm busy drinking. And at only $10 a month it's the best choice.
If there are any other gifts that you feel I might appreciate, or drinks you wish to buy me, do not hesitate to send them my way.
HAPPY JEFFUARY EVERYBODY!
UPDATE: On a related note, Jeffuary 11th will be set aside for KRISUARY this year, so mark your calendars. This holiday can be celebrated the same way you would any other day in Jeffuary: by drinking.