24 Apr 2009 @ 11:29 AM 

Wow.

Last night’s game was possibly the best game of the first round. Seriously. It was a classic goalie deathmatch, where only one mistake would mean certain doom for one of the combatants–that mistake came in the second period, where David Clarkson found a chink in Cam Ward’s armor and managed to get one past him.

It was a great game, it really was. I’m disappointed that the Hurricanes lost, but I really can’t fault them except for one thing:

Kaberle?  Really?  Really?  Who decided on that? Last night was a game where Anton Babchuk’s slapper from the point would have been a great weapon to have in the arsenal, rather than Atlanta Frankie’s “couldn’t outrun a comatose tree sloth” excuse for a slapshot.

But eh. The game was exciting, the kind of excitement that had me going outside for a smoke afterward and left me with a satisfied afterglow–and I don’t feel guilty, either. ;)

Sunday’s game is going to be a brawl; I can’t wait.

 22 Apr 2009 @ 10:23 AM 

OK, now you’ve all gone and done it. You’ve all gone and pissed me right the hell off.

Hurricanes: HOW THE FRELL DO YOU BLOW A LEAD LIKE THAT?!  I was ready to march down to the RBC Center and slap some people, starting with Paul “defensive shell” Maurice. Really–when you are up 3-0, you DON’T sit back and camp the lead, especially against a team whose top line has outscored yours by 10-1! You press the attack. You keep it moving. You DON’T camp your own zone and pray that the clock runs out before your lead does! Even I know that, and I’m not a coach!

ATTN CHAIRMAN MO: THE DEFENSIVE SHELL SUCKS. STOP USING IT.

And then we have the game-winning goal, which has all and sundry Devils fans (and Marty Brodeur) crying and whining “WAAAAAAAH INTERFERENCE WAAAAAAAH!”  Yeah, I really loved turning on Hockey This Morning on XM and hearing that tool Charles from Texas talking about how “Bro-DURR” was interfered with when the video shows that the contact was incidental AND that Brodeur was outside the crease by two and a half frellin’ feet! This is NOT Republican Rome, and Martin Brodeur is NOT one of the Plebeian Tribunes. He is not inviolate, people. No goalie is inviolate when he leaves his crease. Get over it. Now our third goal?  OK, there you could make a very compelling case for interference. But the game-winner?  That’s just sour grapes, right there.

MEMO TO DEVILS FANS AND CHICO RESCH: THERE WAS NO FRELLING INTERFERENCE. NOBODY OUTSIDE OF YOUR LITTLE BOX AGREES WITH YOU, WHICH SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETIHNG. WATCH THE VIDEO INSTEAD OF CRYING.

My final dose of ire is directed at the classless bags of mostly ass that decided to embarrass me by throwing crap at Brodeur after the game.  What the hell were you morons thinking?!  Were you thinking?  By what frakking measure is it acceptable to throw things at an opposing player?  I wouldn’t even condone acting like that toward the Detroit gods-damned Red Wings–AND I HATE THEM! I would love to see one of you drooling garbage-chucking idiots try to justify to me how it is acceptable to throw things at an opposing player as he leaves the ice. Really. And try to do it without calling me a puckbunny or telling me I don’t know anything about hockey (thus exposing yourself as a complete know-nothing).

And, in closing, I just want to say thank you to Mike Keenan for trading Roberto Luongo OUT of the Southeast Division. Sorry, Blues fans.

 20 Apr 2009 @ 8:50 AM 

Two things are going to have to change if the Hurricanes want to have a chance to win this series:

The top line has got to be the top line. They have got to score. So far, they have one point–Eric Staal’s game-tying goal in Game 2. That’s gotta change before Tuesday’s game, or the Hurricanes don’t have a snowball’s chance in Timbuktu of coming out on top. We can’t expect guys like Chad LaRose and My Man Ryan Bayda and Tim motherfrakkin’ Gleason to pick up all the slack.

The defense has gotta get their head straight. Brian Gionta’s goal in the first doesn’t happen if Joe Corvo clears the puck like he’s supposed to rather than lobbing a softball that Gionta snapped up while skating past Ray Whitney (who, for all intents and purposes, just stood there and watched). Travis Zajac’s game-winner in OT doesn’t happen if Anton Babchuk gets his stick on it rather than letting his stick deflect it right onto Zajac’s stick and just watching as he picks up his own frellin’ rebound and pots it in.

So…yeah. The ‘Canes played decently in front of the fans at the RBC last night, but the defensive lapses and the lack of scoring from the top guys are going to kill them if they don’t act now to correct it.

Just sayin’.

 13 Apr 2009 @ 9:03 PM 

I finally get a decent amount of time to devote to the blog again (now that I’ve finished my first six months at the yob), and my back goes kablooie again.

I spend 2 days flat on my back and another 2 weeks trying to stretch and traction it back into shape with the help of meds, and the ‘Canes make the playoffs.

The ‘Canes make the playoffs, and I finally have a decent amount of time to devote to the blog again.

And we’re facing the Devils again. What a coincidence among coincidences.

I’m not very happy that the ‘Canes decided to lay down on the job in front of Michael Leighton on the last day of the season. I caught bits and pieces of the game while I was at work, and wasn’t really thrilled with what I was hearing.

HOWEVER:

I will give Paul Maurice due props for the work he and his staff have done with the team so far. Make no mistake, I miss Peter Laviolette and I will never speak ill of him (unlike, say, the Great Leader)–but he should have been allowed to leave after the 2006-2007 season. Coaches like Lavi and my favourite Spicy Italian, John Tortorella, who coach very aggressive and unadaptable styles of play, have a very short half-life unless everything goes just right all the time. The minute things go wrong, the rate of decay begins to speed up until you have what amounts to gold turning into lead.

Chairman Mo, on the other hand, has surprised me by showing that he’s learned to adapt to what he has to hand. I still see fragments of the defensive shell that drove me barking mad during his first go-round, but this time it’s actually doing something that I never thought I would see.

It’s working.

That said; for me to eat any crow when it comes to Paul Maurice as Hurricanes coach, the crow’s going to have to be served in the bowl of the Stanley Cup after a Game 6 win. And if it’s delicately seasoned with the bitter tears of Red Wings fans, so much the better.

Which brings me to my next topic as we head into the playoffs: Hate vs. Respect. For this, I will bring out Crown’s Exhibit A: The Detroit Red Wings.

As anyone alive knows, I hate the Red Wings and have for almost 30 years. I hated them when the Norris family was running the team into the ground. I hated them when they went from asstacular to decent. I hated them when they won their last 4 Cups. I’ve always just flat never liked them.

But I respected them.  I respected them when they were shitty, because of their history. I respected them when they started getting decent, because they were trying. And I respect them now, because they’re an example of what happens when you formulate a plan and stick with it. They’re an example of great scouting (take a look at when Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were taken in their drafts–not even Lou Lamoriello could pull off something like that). They’re an example of astute management. And they’re an example of outstanding development and coaching.

Do I wish my team was the Red Wings?  If you mean, “do I wish that my team would actually try to emulate a team growth model that works” (hint to ‘Canes manglement: that means “knock off the penny-ante bulldada and invest in some actual scouting and development”), then the answer is yes. If you mean, “do I wish that the fanbase was loaded with the hockey equivalent of Wal-Mart UNC fans”, then the answer is of course oh hell no. I’d like to not be embarrassed by my fellow fans, thanks.

(aside: What do a State fan and a UNC fan have in common?  Neither of them went to UNC. *rimshot*)

Thank you, I’ll be here all playoffs. Pass the mead.

 15 Apr 2008 @ 9:07 AM 

For those who have been living under a rock, here’s the videotape:

If you don’t want to watch the video: Sean Avery decided to camp in front of Martin Brodeur–FACING the guy, with his back to the play, and do this psychotic little dance in an attempt to screen Brodeur while the Rangers were on a 5-on-3.

It, like the Babylon Project, failed. Chris Drury even had to skate up to him during the freaking play and tell him “STICK DOWN”–and when your captain does the equivalent of tell you “You’re doing it wrong”, that is saying something.

So on Monday, the NHL issued the following statement:

NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 14, 2008) — National Hockey League Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell today issued the following advisory on the interpretation of Rule 75 – Unsportsmanlike Conduct: “An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender’s face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to  positioning himself to try to make a play.”

Predictably, a vocal handful of Rangers fans are crying that the League made this announcement specifically to protect Martin Brodeur (or as one fuckhead on X Random Messageboard calls him, “Brodiva”).

My comment to that, of course, is: Bullshit.

What Avery did went way beyond creative. It went to clear to the “what the fucking fuck were you thinking, you stupid fucking fuckhead?” end of the spectrum. I mean, really. There is a point where you have to admit that something a member of your team did is indefensible, and that point was reached Sunday night with Sean Avery’s egregiously fuckheaded display of unmitigated fucktardery.

Damn, think I dropped enough variations on the F-bomb there?

Anyway. My point remains: Rangers fans can spin this any way they want to. They can cry and whine and hop on the martyr bus all day if they want to. I don’t care. Avery’s little shenanigans on Sunday have zero place in the game, they go way beyond agitation, and when even Don Cherry (who normally loves you) calls you a “jerk”?

That is saying something right there. Maybe my boy Malik will beat his dumb ass down in practice again. I’d love to see that.

 27 Feb 2008 @ 12:20 PM 

Yeah, so last night was Tuomo Ruutu’s debut in the Sightless Eye.

I knew it was going to be interesting when I heard 96Rock’s Foster dub him “The Bishop” as I was driving home from work. I just didn’t know how interesting it would be.

Second shift, Ruutu rocked Colin White with a big hit (that he really should have been levied a boarding call for) and immediately endeared himself to the TSB Goon Squad (and everyone else in the arena). Mike Rupp responded by Orpiking Tim Gleason, who had to be helped off the ice with an unspecified head injury and didn’t return, and that little tease Bret Hedican made me think he was going to throw down in defence of his sidekick–but no, such was not to be. It was all just a tease. Get me all excited for null comma nichevo. Damn elves…can never trust ‘em. Especially when they own-goal and spoil the shutout.

So it was up to Wade Brookbank, who stepped to Rupp and administered a partial beatdown (I say partial, because it was more wrasslin’ match than fight). And that was the end of the first–more or less. The game settled down, more or less, in the second and third. The crowd was up in arms when three Devils basically held The Chosen One back while that whiny little bitch Marty Brodeur took a couple shots at him–Staal responded by going RAWR! and putting Brodeur on his ass (to the delight of the crowd and the dismay of Devils homer colour dude Chico Resch). Ruutu wound up leaving the game toward the end of the third after Patrik Elias accidentally-on-purpose (IMO) clipped him by one eye with his stick.

The game went to OT, and Sergei Samsonov wound up potting the game-winner. And the Devils, after the game, actually had some praise for the ‘Canes:

“They played a lot better game — that’s the bottom line. That’s a different team than we’ve seen in the first three games. They played like the Carolina team we know. They were playing hard, they put a lot of good things out there, they were aggressive, and we didn’t come with the same desperation they did. And it showed.” — Jamie Langenbrunner

Why thank you. Thank you very much.

9 games to go until I render my final opinion of the Ruutu trade. Go Canes.


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