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A Moment Of Silence-Please

9 Sep

My bat phone rang last night and no it wasn’t Kris Letang calling me to sing me to sleep – or whisper sweet French nothings as I drift off and dream of Ovi finally returning to Pre-2005 form.

A girl has her limits …Ovi!

Did that really happen?

Did that really happen?

I thought it would be just a bad dream. But no. It really did happen.

Yes, Dawn, I retired. I'm sorry.

Yes, Dawn, I retired. I’m sorry.

A moment of silence please as I morn the retirement of Miikka Kiprusoff. I’ve already made him the exalted and honored Foxy Friday. Everyone knows I love goalies. I’ve already said all there is to say about this God of Net-minders; this Wall of determination who could literally make the puck turn away from his net by sheer mental fortitude.

But I will smile for you once, ok maybe twice.

But I will smile for you once, ok maybe twice.

See?

See?

Calgary – that was the last nail your coffin dudes. You don’t miss someone like Kiprusoff. You morn the loss because there are few and far between goalie talents like him.

I bang my stick and thank you Kippy for the years of hard work and dedication you gave to the sport, to your teammates and Calgary without worrying about jumping ship to win a cup.

Enjoy these highlights. There won’t be anymore.

Mean Girls Club 2.0

23 Apr

After this weekend, the heat intensified over how Brendan Shanahan decides suspensions and disciplinary action. But for us women, there’s no secret. After the Campbell empire of nepotism and favoritism crumbled there was hope for a clean start. But after almost a year in the position it looks like The Plastics are back with 2.0 edition.

Here is Shanahan and Bettman at a press conference discussing the recent Torres suspension:

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1384659

This is what it must be like behind closed doors when they are deciding on disciplinary action. “Well Brendan, you have the physique of a 20 year old Zack Parise shooting down the cold freshly zambonied ice on a winter classic day with a crazed Shea Weber chasing you trying to smash you head into the boards.”

shanahan simply calls it in

“Oh it’s Shea Weber? He’s popular and cute, did he hurt any one? Not really? Oh shiny objects …What were we talking about again? How manly I am? Yes. I am pretty Bad Ass. Fine him. Next. Make-up! Make sure I’m not shiny like that last video. And my hair – PLEASE!”

ask henrik if this was worth $2,500 bowl full of crazy

“Who? Bits? P-iddy? My kids love him. I went to his White party in the Hampton’s. Really – Bitzs – Oh. don’t care. West coast? SRSLY. Two games and no video and just copy what ever I said last time this happened. Rinse-n-repeat.”

My point is, discipline should be like justice, blind, fair and across the board. A hit should be judged on its own. Not if someone is hurt, not if someone is a popular or famous player, but as a stand alone on its own merits – as it were. This is simply not happening. I realize people are human but come on.

And don’t use Matt Cooke is the poster boy for this system – it was the Penguins who sat him down and said it’s your job or you’re out. That was the reason he change, NOT Shanahan or the new system.

Shanabanned: Who’s Not?

18 Apr

At Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, TX, every Sunday night they play Chicken Sh*t Bingo.  It’s exactly what it sounds like – feed a chicken, turn it loose on a tabletop bingo board and wherever it takes a crap, that number goes on the board.

I’m pretty sure this is also how the NHL is deciding suspensions.

James Neal – 1 game for charging [Shanahan video]

The chicken really likes James Neal, because he gets away with the Couturier hit like a bank robber with a sack of money.  He leaves his feet to run two guys in one shift and manages to earn two disciplinary hearings for only 42 seconds of play!  Someone please tell me if that’s a land speed record.  You know I love the Pens & Neal (still so pissed), but even I can’t believe this. No I don’t want a huge suspension handed out to my guy – but I don’t know other players running my guys with zero fear of consequence.  This works both ways and next time, it’s coming instead of going.

To me this shows the NHL believes the Pens/Flyers series is over tonight, so the chicken did her business on the 1 because there’s only one game left in Neal’s season.  God, I hope they’re  wrong.

Be honest if you can see the sense in this: Carl Hagelin got 3 games [video] for elbowing Daniel Alfredsson and Andrew Shaw got 3 games [video] for hitting Mike Smith.  If those are 3-gamers, why is Neal’s only one?  Alfredsson was injured, Smith was not.  Neal could much more easily have avoided Giroux than either of the other hits.  And neither Hagelin or Shaw threw another questionable check less than a minute before.

Aaron Asham – 4 games for cross-checking [Shanahan video]

The chicken was angry – fine with me. This is a terrible move in a terrible game that could repeat itself tonight.  For all the bitching about Schenn cross-checking Crosby from behind a few weeks ago, this is obviously a hundred times worse and deserves a sit-down.

Nicklas Backstrom – 1 game for cross-checking  [Shanahan video]

A stick to the face for a Backstrom-less game 4?  Deal of the century!  Thanks a lot, chicken!

This play is no dirtier than a million uncalled penalties in this series.  But it is, as Shanahan calls it, “excessive and reckless” – because he can’t say “stupid and pointless.”  Nicky’s not going to fight Peverly anymore than I’m going to be proclaimed Queen of Canada.  He has been run constantly in this series – because he’s the Caps best player.  And he gave it away for nothing.   The Caps got through 40 games without Backstrom this year, here’s hoping they have one more in them.

Raffi Torres – Awaiting the Chicken

You need 5 in a row to win bingo.  Just when the NHL had suspended 7 players in the first round (only 6 suspensions in all of last year’s playoffs), Phoenix’s Raffi Torres does this.  Marian Hossa was stretchered off the ice and taken by ambulance to a local hospital, from which he was released last night [link].  He got into a waiting car under his own power.  Torres has been suspended twice and fined once in the last 13 months [link].

What do you think the chicken will have to say about this one?  If suspensions are being doled out based on some other system (say, player popularity?), where on the bingo board does this load land?

PS: You should all read The New York Times’ Slap Shot blog for this scathing piece on the state of player safety.  Writer Lynn Zinser says: “If you can follow the logic through those four [Asham, Neal, Shaw, Backstrom] — particularly how the Penguins’ James Neal earned only a one-game suspension for head-hunting two players on a single shift — you belong at M.I.T. Or Shanahan’s next dinner party.”

 

Mayday!

12 Mar

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

Help!

The Bruins are teetering precariously on the edge of the abyss…and they are threathening to take me with them.

Saturday, they lost to the Capitals.  Yesterday, they got violated by the Penguins.  Patrice Bergeron and Adam McQuaid both got injured.  With Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley, Beniot Pouliot, and Tuukka Rask already out, it only to the dire situation the Black and Gold find themselves in late in the season.

Can I get a prayer circle?

Never have I seen a sadder face. Never.

McQuaid took a hard hit from James Neal in the 1st and did not return for rest of the game.  Bergeron took a shot off the leg and labored badly to try to battle through, but did not return.

Obviously, goaltending is a SERIOUS issue for the Bruins.  Serio, people.  I knew losing Tuukka would be tough but I had not fully realize it until this weekend.

And when I did, this was me.

Luckily I managed to pull myself together and attempted to analyze this mess of a situation the Bruins are in.

In an ideal world, Tukkaa would have played Saturday’s matinee versus the Caps, allowing Thomas to rest up for the game against the Pens.  But with Rask recovering from a groin injury, the Bruins were up Crap Creek without a paddle.  

Hell, they didn’t even have a boat.

Then you add in the clocks springing forward for daylight savings, and  you have a recipe for a grade A+, #1 disaster of epic proportion.

Yesterday’s game was that unmitigated disaster.

The Pens jumped all over Thomas from the first whistle scoring 3 goals in the first.  It was ooglay.

I was ready to rage every time the Penguins touched the puck out of sheer frustration.

Normally, I have no issues with the Penguins.  While they are not my favorite team, I respect them and like alot of their players but yesterday, I want to kick all of them in the shins.

Like really hard.

Bruins managed to stauch the bleeding somewhat at the beginning of the 2nd period by pulling Thomas and putting in Marty Turco.  TURCO TIME, YA’LL!

Turco played well in his first NHL game in over a year and no one threw smelly fish at him.  He only allowed 2 goals (if that can be considered a postitive) and made some great saves, including this gem on JStaal.

Poke Check.  Stack the pads.

I don’t know how it could get any worse for the Bruins but if they hope to have any chance to make a run for defending their Stanley Cup, they need to do something.

I have a suggestion.

Bubble wrap.

And lots of it.

Call Mike Green.  I’m sure he has some extra lying about.

An Open Letter To Ted Leonsis

9 Mar

I simply have to vent this and get it off my, ah, proverbial chest ladies. As the resident Ovi fan and Captials fan, I know this will come as shock, but I AM SO MAD AT HIM, at them, at the WORLD and have been for some time and I just have to say and get it out.

An open letter to Mr. Leonsis,

I say this with as a fan of Alexander Ovechkin, first and foremost, and then of hockey.  When you fired Bruce Boudreau, a little piece of me died because no matter how the mainstream media spun it, we all know that it was because of player issues – e.g. Ovechkin.

Boudreau is a great coach. He will probably be the best coach you will ever have. He was not the problem. We all know “What the problem is with the Washington Capitals.” The real question is what is going to be done about it?

For five years I’ve watched Ovechkin go from a great player to a player with a great attitude. It pains me to say that but having been an athlete myself on a team, and a captain as well; you have to lead by example.  

I had hoped Mr. Leonsis would have bucked the system and shook things up by NOT firing Boudreau, showing some loyalty, having some balls, and fixing the real problem. If he had, his team may have actually had a shot at the play-offs. Sometimes the Alpha dog needs a good swat to the nutsack to get back in line and lead the pack.

But as it stands, the fans have watched Boudreau excel in Anaheim, their beloved team implode under the tutelage of Dale Hunter’s mess and Ovi still stands around on defense, stands around on offense, waits for his teammates to pass the puck to him and still misses it when they do. His attitude that he has to do it all has got to stop because guess what? He can’t, he certainly doesn’t and there are guys out there who can and are doing it better now.

He still has time on his contract where he can be traded. Perhaps before you fired Boudreau you should have used that bargaining chip to get your Alpha dog back in line. Now he’s the Rick Nash of the East Coast. No one will want that bad golden apple, no matter how good it might taste. He’s still too costly, you don’t know how he’ll perform and there still might be a worm in there somewhere. It’s not an imponderable conundrum. It’s just a conundrum.

FIX IT. PLEASE.

 Missing BB,

DC

Had a Bad Day

28 Feb

Yesterday’s NHL Trade Deadline was a snore.  I thought Twitter might melt from all the ennui and complaints, or Alyonka Larianov’s increasingly desperate attempts to hold our interest.  Here’s how things shook out [link].

John Scott was “shocked” to be traded to the Rangers, and was in the middle of doing laundry when the call came.  Bonus points for Foxy Fridays Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, who led the Avalanche love-fest for players both coming and going by Tweeting their teammates hello and goodbye simultaneously.  Brian Rolston goes back to Boston, where he played 4+ seasons.  The winners are anyone leaving the Islanders or Jets, and anyone going to the Canucks.  The abstainer was The Washington Capitals.  The loser?  Rick Nash.  Let’s discuss.

The Washington Capitals made zero trades, surprising a lot of people.  This seems to say that GMGM either 1) thinks the team is fine the way it is or 2) has given up on this season.  In my opinion, it’s more likely that no one was buying at his prices.  The Caps chemistry is flawed and inconsistent, but it doesn’t need to be burned to the ground.  GMGM showed continued/expensive faith in stars and fragile pandas (Sasha Fierce, Mike Green).

Misplaced faith?  Ask me in six weeks when the Caps don’t make the playoffs.  But what they had to sell (Knuble, Hamrlik) really only matches the Rolston/Mottau deal, and that was for prospects.  The Caps need players who can deliver immediately.  To get those guys, GMGM would have had to give up some of the few things that are actually working for the Caps.  I don’t want Laich, Chimera, Perreault or anyone else moving when they seem to be the only hopes left for March and April.

Then there’s poor Rick Nash.   Chuck and I are biased because we love his smiley lumberjack ways.  Also because he’s incredibly talented and seems like a genuinely nice guy.  But he’s no fool.  All Nash has to show for 9 seasons with the Blue Jackets is one trip to the playoffs, swept by the Red Wings.  The only place this captain is going is down with his ship – so he finally wanted off.

Columbus GM Scott Howson revealed yesterday that Nash asked to be traded [link].  This refuted talk the Jackets were shopping him of their own accord, and came as the clock ticked down on the biggest fish in the trade pond still trying to bite a hook.  But no team would put out enough bait.  Howson defended his astronomical asking price by pointing out he is neither required nor compelled to trade Nash just because he asked nicely.

How many of these are left in Columbus?

Now, I’m mad.  Howson threw Nash under the bus.  “Think you’re miserable now?  See how it feels when I turn the fans against you!” (Obviously not a real Howson quote.)  If Rick can’t get out of Columbus this summer, my heart will break.  He wanted to anchor that team and be the franchise guy that built a winning club.  Columbus has not delivered.  The Jackets are talking about “rebuilding” – rebuilding what?!  You have one Nash-shaped support beam and no house!  You never did.

In truth, the Jackets can’t afford to sell Nash unless they immediately start winning in return.  Rick’s price tag is something between a ransom and a bounty.  He’s all they have right now, after supposed big moves like Jeff Carter are quickly forgotten.  Columbus ranks 26th overall in NHL attendance, due in part to being so close to other teams (Pittsburgh fans call match-ups in Columbus “home games.”).  Nash is putting bodies in seats on nights when no one else can.  Without him….

I also feel for the Jackets’ fans; of course they don’t want to lose their one bright spot.  These fans, all the more precious for being in an expansion market, have stuck with the team like Nash has.  I hope they understand the position he’s in.  They can still get solid players in a Nash trade.  Come summer, teams struggling to make the playoffs now will have time to figure out what a fresh start with Nash is worth.  After what will be the Jackets’ 11th rough season in a row, it’s certainly worth a try.

From: Pants, Re: Your Pants

24 Feb

Nicky B and iCarly hosted a hockey school yesterday.  First John goes on vacation with Mike, now this? [video]  It’s like an all-out offensive being launched against me and Gator.

It’s great to see Backstrom doing anything these days.  We have not heard that he’s skating or even working out, though he looks energetic here.  Apparently iCarly’s dorky high-five doesn’t count as contact.

As happy as this makes us… Nicklas, we need to talk about your pants.  John’s are excellent color and fit, plus “distressed” or “vintage” if you must.  But yours… is that stonewash?  With black shoes?

They could almost be skinny jeans – I’m not really even sure how you got them on over those legs.  If they’re borrowed from Ovi, you should give them right back.  Unless you’re trying to make that girl in the head-to-toe shamrock romper feel better about what she wore to work.

There are certain things we’re willing to put aside for the love of hockey – Mike’s problem with ‘your’ vs. ‘you’re’ and James Neal’s personal pronoun confusion.  But these jeans and that camouflage Under Armor on Matt Duchene are close to the line.  You’re so perfect and European but even we have limits.

Regardless, we love you.  Come back soon.  Wear hockey pants, they look weird on everyone.