Thursday, October 29, 2009

Headhunt Witchhunt?

I'm getting fed up with the cliché "admiring a pass." Mac-T used it three times in his refusal to condemn hits like that delivered to David Booth by Mike Richards over the weekend. Keith Jones also used it on their panel discussion about the issue on Wednesday night hockey last night on TSN.

Come on! Why does it always seem that it is former 3rd/4th liners that are getting to opine on these kind of things (Cherry and his lackeys too). These are the people who, in their conservative ways, feel like hockey is going to be ruined by making the game safer. They want fighting and hitting and running the goalie and brawls, just like the good old days. Hell, they even have the ability to come to a consensus that a fighter knocking a ref down trying to stop a fight shouldn't be suspended! What the fuck do you have to do nowadays? But such is the place of fighting in the NHL.

Hockey is hockey. And though I enjoy it's current form, I wouldn't enjoy a reformed hockey any less. It just seems too simple to me.

The hit in question:

First, these blindside hits over the middle of the ice. These are professional hockey players. They don't admire passes, it's a stupid saying. They fucking look to see how the play is going to develop. Does a player on a two on one pass the puck over to his linemate and then put his head on a swivel. (Well maybe he should, since hitting from behind is legal in the NHL, but I'll get to that later). No! He looks for the return pass / rebound. Is this what we want hockey to be? Guys shooting the puck away, scared about what's coming from the other direction. I guess that's what Booth should have done: passed the puck, come to a complete stop, and then proceeded when it's safe. It's like crossing the street, kids!

Solution: Fucking outlaw hitting players who do NOT have the puck (AND outlaw headhunting which is exactly what this looked like to me). I'm always astonished as to how glorified Scott Stevens was for his ability to deliver cheap shots. And that's what the Booth hit was. Anyone can go and find a guy who got rid of the puck and who's not looking and absolutely cream him. Mike Richards is 5'11 195lbs. He's about the size of Wayne Gretzky. If Richards can do it, anyone can. The fact Stevens dwarfed Paul Kariya and Ron Francis makes some of his hits even cheaper.

So, (as the hardened hockey crowd will easily be able to pick out) I've never played hockey. Which means I'm clearly out of my league here. But somebody please explain to me what purpose the rule of allowing players to be hit within a second after they get rid of the puck has? Is it for entertainment? Is it so that the NHL can showcase it's third line checking talent? Seriously. It is legal interference. Wouldn't the game be better served if there were less interference? Oh, but who likes skill when we can watch grown men assault each other!

Most of the time, you see a defenseman in his own end play an outlet pass or rim it around the boards, with a forechecker coming in, and then stand there waiting to absorb the hit. Now clearly this defenseman needs to play the puck quickly or he's going to get hit and potentially lose the puck. So what effect does allowing the forechecker to hit after the puck's gone serve? Seems to me it serves the forecheckers team by allowing it to punish the other team in the form of injuries. And hockey is a physical game right? So therefore trying to injure/punish opponents is a winning strategy.

I guarantee you if Crosby is the one hit (or Ovechkin, as Richards tried a repeat hit Tuesday), people would sing a different tune. In that case, "we need to protect our marquee players." Hypocrites.

Take hitting after puck's gone out of the game! It serves little, if any, purpose and only encourages devastating hits.

And what about fighting? Entertaining? Not really. Maybe back in the days when guys fought through emotion. Now it's either fighting because you have to (aka, someone broke "the code" of running the goalie, hitting a star player, etc.) or it's two 4th liners trying to make themselves useful (aka, earn a paycheck).

I say toss the fighters from the game, just like in World Juniors, which I must say, is some damn fine hockey. But wait! They'll say enforcers are needed in there so ensure things don't get out of hand and they can police the ice. Right, because when those guys are in the box for 5+ minutes after fighting each other, it's utter mayhem on the ice with guys karate kicking each other and shit. Tossing them from the game would just mean more time for actual hockey players and, you know, actual hockey playing.

Hitting from behind. Legal? Sort of. It's OK as long as you don't do it very hard and they guy doesn't fall and break his neck. Otherwise, HO HO (think Costanza)! You're in deep shit, buddy.

I'm pretty sure I'm not dumb, so why can't I figure out why I'm wrong on this one? Why not penalize any hit from behind as long as the hitting player isn't stationary. More penalties? Yes. But the reason you have penalties is to discourage behaviour. And allowing 90% of hitting from behind into the boards isn't discouraging any behaviour, it is ENcouraging it.

Also, nearly every big hit I see in hockey is borderline charging.

That's about all the hockey bashing I have for today.

Nope, there's more. Apparently this is illegal:

Not sure why. It looks like a hipcheck coming in from the front. But again, the theme here? It's a late hit, which is purely unnecessary. If there is a rule against this type of hit, I'm unaware of it.

And if you ask Nick Kypreos (hey! another 3/4th liner at the analyst's desk), this one is bad because he can seriously injure Colaiacovo's knees. But throwing your shoulder into someone's head is ok. That's not liable to ruin anyone's career.

Thank God there is some sense out there in Jim Kelley and Bob McKenzie (note: neither is a former 3/4th liner!).

Thoughts on Swimming

I get frustrated because I can't swim well, despite having a friend who is head coach of a local swim club. In fact, Heather is a better/faster swimmer than me. Athletically, this is hard for me to take.

But really, why should I be upset? The worse I am at swimming, technique-wise, the more of a workout I'm getting in less time! It's like my refusal to give up my 1994 mountain bike. Along with the fact that no-one in their right mind is going to want to steal it, it's shoddy mechanics and heavy frame give me a better workout in my summer commutes to work.

So here's to poor technique. Keeping what should be obese people overweight since 2008.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Today's the Day!

yes, admittedly, it is also the day John Gormley really reveals how much of a douchebag he is, but that happens every Friday. No, my friends, what I'm talking about happens only once a year, like Christmas and Lent. It's Wendy's Kick For A Million Day!

Normally I'm not so excited because I continually get SCREWED over by not winning this contest in which I have literally (.... LITERALLY) HUNDREDS of entries. But over time, my loss is actually their loss and my gain. Because it becomes party time to celebrate the pathetic kicking efforts of old, bald, fat men.

Unfortunately, that is not the case this year. It's some 25 year old grad student from Edmonton (BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (breath) BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!). But all in all, he's still a loser; just look at his profile:

Steven is also a big fan of the Edmonton Eskimos and never misses a game on TSN.
You're going to miss Steve. Those are my field goals you are stealing. I'll have a kick-off with you any day of the week, or in your case, day of the weak! Here's hope for the success of your failure!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Schadenfreude Thursday!

Oh, what a great morning this is. Up early, enjoying the morning's darkness getting illuminated by the rising sun. The perk that this non-coffee drinker is getting isn't from a caffeine laced beverage though, it's from the fact that the Maple Laughs are now the only winless team in the NHL. I don't know what it is about enjoying their misery, but I do.

It's probably related to my unhealthy dislike for Brian Burke and everything he represents. Admittedly, I thought it would be a good move for Toronto based on Burke's past successes. And it is way to early to judge how his tenure will go there, but his moves to bolster their defense with the signings of Exelby, Beauchemin, and Komisarek haven't worked out in the slightest. And he still has to worry about repairing what has to be the worst offense in the league. And the best kicker is, if they stay in the basement all season and get the first overall pick in the draft, it actually will go to Boston because they traded that pick for Kessel.

So now the Leafs are resigned to retooling their offense in the absence of any high draft picks in the next two years. If you look at the really shitty teams of the last five years, they all succeeded through big names in the draft (the Islanders were a little late with Tavares); the Penguins got Crosby and Malkin, the Caps got Ovechkin, TBay got Hedman and Stamkos, and they are all way better teams because of these moves. Toronto now has to bank on Kadri to be that guy?

So what I'm really hoping for is them going out and getting another Jason Blake to help out; going back to their traditional ways of picking up elderly free agents. This is going to be fun.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Southern Exposure

Having attended Collective Soul this evening, live, for the first time, I can easily say, despite what Americans might think, they are a national treasure. CS are the equivalent of The Tragically Hip South. They represent rock south siiiiiide and I can see why they have such a strong northern following given THPs adoration here. If I were asked to describe American rock, I would say Collective Soul. And Yes, Foo and PJ and RHCP would take a back seat. Love it.

Gareth Barry. Not a big fan. He may have some foresight into balls played forward. But as a distributor and defender, not so sure. I may be biased, but give me a Hargraeves any day. As hard as that is to say.

And on that hard to say topic, Peter Crouch is a threat. For Spurs and otherwise. I like him in a weak opposition type role. He is dangerous in desperation. Birmingham have seen that this year. And Belarus are discovering presently in my time. Nobody is stronger in the air going forward.

England fans remind me of Rider fans.

Dustin Penner is a new man and Mike Comrie is a man renewed. Pleasant to see the Oilers getting some economy for a change.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Was the Dana Carvey Show actually the greatest show ever?

It had both Steves! Still, all I can remember of it is Kurtis Thick repeatedly saying "Tea, tea, tea, tea" while doing an impression of Prince Charles. Weird.

The Dana Carvery Show - Waiters Who Are Nauseated By Food

Dana Carvey | MySpace Videos

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Save of the year

It's OVER!

Oh, we've all been there!

This just keeps getting better and better the longer you watch it. It's kind of like one of those internet games where you toss the dummy around and watch his limp body crash into shit.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you McCabe Clear

It's a play on Pepsi clear, get with the program.

No Mo love

I may be letting my "love" of Maurice shine through a little here, but I feel the need to bitch about this stupid canned statement, from the Star Phoenix ...

Upgrades to a facility such as Credit Union Centre provides an “impetus for youth” to get into hockey, said Maurice Vellacott, MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin.

“It gives them something to aspire to,” Vellacott said.

“If you didn’t have places like this, you wouldn’t have places at a lower level where people want to do this kind of stuff. You’d get a bunch of couch potatoes and people sitting around.”
Don't get me wrong, I love hockey and I don't mind money being spent on projects like this. But to suggest that without an UPGRADE TO THE JUMBOTRON and ADDING SOME LED SIGNS that people might not want to play hockey is ludicrous. And if you want to combat child obesity, then think about building a giant soccer specific stadium. Soccer is the most participated in sport for youth in this country and in this province. So why not invest big in it if health is really a concern here? I mean hockey is great, but even I'm one of many kids out there who were or are priced out of this expensive sport. Soccer is easily among the least costly sporting activities around and one of the best for cardiovascular health.

Vellacott, get your head out of your ass. We invest in hockey arenas because they make money. And they make money because it is the sport in which the most people will go out and spectate. This is not an impetus for youth to join hockey. Subsidize the costs or help the organizations who help underprivileged kids play if you want an impetus for youth to join hockey. This is money to make our arena look cool to rest of Canada and the world, period.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009