“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

February 11, 2008

Breaking: Canadiens Players Busted For Purse-Snatching, Seriously

While not nearly as amusing as the Staal brothers' run-in with the law during the off-season, the arrests of Ryan O'Byrne (who?) and Thomas Kostopoulos (no kidding) for purse-stealing and resisting arrest, respectively, is high on the humor scale.

The two Canadiens players were busted outside a Tampa nightclub early this morning, in town prior to their team's game against the Lightning tomorrow.

Seriously, though, stealing a purse? I know the CBA after the Lockout was supposed to crack down on inflated player salaries, but it can't be that bad. Can it? Seriously guys, get new agents if you're that hard up for cash.


Hockey Skates Sharp, Dangerous

Hockey players might be a cut above other athletes, and the game itself might be a little slice of heaven for fans, but recent injuries caused by skate blades (wait for it) could sever the game's illusion of safety for a while (hold your applause, please).

On Saturday, Steve Downie added another person to his growing list of victims this season, when his skate blade struck lineman Pat Dapuzzo in the face. The soon-to-be-retiring official dropped to the ice, which he quickly decorated modern art-style with his own blood, and was later treated for a laceration that required numerous stitches. He is expected to be fine, and chicks dig facial scars.

Then, yesterday, Panthers star Olli Jokinen was upended during a game against the Sabres. As he fell, his skate blade struck teammate Richard Zednik in the neck. Thankfully Zednick had the composure to skate to the bench instead of falling down, and was immediately treated by paramedics and is now in stable condition at the hospital.

My thoughts are with Dapuzzo and Zednik and hope their recoveries and returns to the ice are swift. Hang in there, you tough bastards.

I'll cut right to the chase here: hockey players live on the edge, for sure. Wait, where are you going?


February 7, 2008

Capitals Excitedly Surging Toward Major Playoff Disappointment

You know that now-old comparison between arguing on the Internet and running in the Special Olympics? Well, the same can be applied to winning the Southeast Conference (and its associated top-3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket).

The Capitals have improved significantly, as of late, and that's gotten the heads a-talkin'. The local boys are seeing stars. The big guns are lining up with pats on the back and whatnot. The bad news is, it's all going to end with a serious let-down.

Remember the Penguins last season? They made the playoffs with Crosby at the helm, only to get royally stomped in the first round when it dawned on them that they were just a mediocre team with a few really talented, inexperienced little kids in the lineup. Before their implosion, everyone was already convinced it was Their Year. Uh, no.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe a team still barely above .500 with less than 60 points in the standings and less than 30 games left to play, is destined to win the Cup. Or maybe the city of Washington hasn't had anything sports-related to cheer about in a while.


February 6, 2008

The Maple Leafs Are Really Good

Seriously? 8-0 against the Panthers?

Holy shit Brett McLean scored five points. He only had 11 points in the 39 games he had played prior to last night; the poor guy scores less than I do.

And it costs $300 to see the Leafs play at home. Honestly people, is the city of Toronto comprised entirely of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging morons or did Boston start up some kind of citizen exchange program?


February 5, 2008

Teams Stalking Euros Instead Of Rentals As Trade Deadline Nears

This hot piece of Euro tail is Fabian Brunnstrom. Who? I don't know who the hell he is, either, but he's apparently the second coming of Swedish Jesus (the first was Peter Forsberg).

Brunnstrom is 23 and was never drafted, but he represents the NHL's alternative to throwing away draft picks and valuable utility players on under-performing rental players at the trade deadline. All a team has to do to get Brunnstrom is get him to sign a contract and get a passport. No more betting the farm (literally) on some off-and-on veteran with a bloated salary. F' you Marian Hossa. You can suck it.

The Avalanche already pulled a stunt like this by signing Czech league stud Jaroslav Hlinka during the off-season. His six goals and 22 points in 50 games might seem pretty lousy, but at least Colorado didn't lose any draft picks acquiring the guy.

Euro poaching. It's the wave of the future.


January 24, 2008

Kovalchuk Suspended For Maximum Pwnage

You might think that Ilya Kovalchuk's 37 goals, 63 total points and slim 38 penalty minutes would suggest that he's a player who only concentrates on offense. Don't be fooled. He's not afraid to totally wreck a dude if he has to, and now the NHL is all whining and griping about it.

Kovalchuk has been suspended for one game after introducing Michal Rozsival's face to the glass at Madison Square Garden. So what if he totally hit a guy facing the other way? So what if his feet left the ice to do it? What's the big deal?

Said Kovalchuk, "It's a contact sport. I wasn't trying to kill anybody." Yeah, you stupid vaginas. Relax already. Then Kovalchuk said, "if anybody needs me, I'll be at the All Star Game embarrassing Roberto Luongo Manny Legace." Or he should have.


January 23, 2008

Leafs Firing Ferguson Not At All Overdue

Sure, the Toronto Maple Leafs have missed the playoffs the last two seasons, and sure, they're well on their way to another hugely disappointing year (19-22-8), but for some reason the organization blames now-former general manager John Ferguson.

When I think about the ownership and control of the Leafs organization, the image of Chicago politics come to mind. It's something so deeply entrenched and in control that to oppose it means you end up in the lake sleeping with the fishes, or at least voted out of office by an army of deceased voters.

Anyway, the Leafs have more problems than a lousy GM, but Ferguson was definitely not helping them. Maybe they should actually try to sign a decent player or two during the off-season. Or maybe develop some talent in their farm system. I know, that's crazy talk, but it just might work.

Said president and CEO Richard Peddie (this guy?),

"Our team performance has fallen short of what is to be expected ... We need to forge the start of a new beginning for [the] Toronto Maple Leafs."

Ha! Good one!


January 18, 2008

Mike Ribeiro Considers Career As MLB Leadoff Hitter

Rumor has it that Dallas Stars center Mike Ribeiro is considering offers from teams in Major League Baseball to become a leadoff batter. Or, if he isn't, he should be, since he's batting .328.

Ribeiro has only taken 67 shots on goal in the 46 games he's played this season. But he's scored 22 goals, good for 32.8%, which is f'ing ridiculous. Ilya Kovalchuk, arguably the best goal-scorer this side of Alex Ovechkin, is cruising at an even 20%. That's good, but it's nowhere near Ribeiro.

Now, as for what field position he'd play, well, at 6-0, 178, I forsee a brilliant future for him in right field...


December 6, 2007

Bucci's List Of Drummers Beats The Hell Out Of Me

For the record, I like John Buccigross. I like his writing style and I like him because the man has a definite love for hockey. I even look past his ridiculous knee jerk approval of the Bigger Nets Would Be Better delusion because I think he has a good heart.

But a response to an email in this week's male bag (oops, mail bag) went too far. First, the email, in its entirety, from "Daniel Murray" (if that is his real name):

U2's Larry Mullen, Jr., is the best drummer in the last 30 years. That is all.

No he isn't. That is all.

Even worse than that ridiculous opinion was Bucci's response, which both pleased me greatly and made me want to punch something:

Travis Barker, Neil Peart, Lars Ulrich, and Danny Carey also in the mix.

It is almost impossible to argue that Neil Peart of Rush is not one of the greatest drummers of the last 30 years. He's a master of the craft. His solos are legendary. And it's also tough to argue against Danny Carey, whose technical perfection makes Tool the amazing band that it is---almost more so than Maynard Keenan's voice (but not quite). And I'll forgive the Travis Barker comment if only because the guy has a Dag Nasty tattoo on his chest and Blink 182 at least had a sense of humor despite being pretty terrible in general.

But Lars Ulrich? Is Bucci fucking insane? Forgetting for a moment that Metallica hasn't released a good record since the very early 1990s, and forgetting that they are possibly the most annoying group of people in the entire music industry, Lars Ulrich is, hands-down, the most overrated drummer in modern rock history. He's ridiculed by serious drummers everywhere and has been for decades, literally.

I submit to evidence Item A, this horrendous "drum solo," in which James Hetfield outplays Ulrich at the end, that unfortunately continues to exist on video despite my personal efforts to destroy it.

I'm sorry but it must be seen to be believed.

And to put Ulrich on a list with Danny Carey (while excluding Mike Portnoy) is absolutely atrocious. To make up for Bucci's transgression, I submit to you a hodge podge of Carey and Portnoy clips. Hopefully that will heal the pain he's caused.

I think Bettman needs to consider a two-game suspension for John Buccigross.


Court Documents Finger Crawford, But Not In The Good Way

I know this is going to come as a huge surprise to everybody, but it appears that former Vancouver coach Marc Crawford may have ordered Todd Bertuzzi's attack on former Avalanche player Steve Moore back in 2004.

I know, it's hard to believe that Moore, who had never done anything at all to Bertuzzi, nor really done anything wrong in general (his earlier hit on Marcus Naslund was clean and perfectly legal), would somehow be the target of a psycho coach's revenge fantasy.

Trust me, I'm an Avs fan, I know all about Crawford's bouts with insanity.

But let's not leave out Brian Burke. Though he may not have ordered the attack as the Canucks GM at the time, he certainly didn't make any kind of denouncements after it was done. And Bertuzzi is still his boy to this day.


November 27, 2007

For Crying Out Loud Wait Until January, At Least

Obviously, mainstream hockey columnists are running out of ideas. Take, for instance, the recent glut of features at ESPN doling out the hardware this early in the season.

I kind of understand a mid-season piece on potential trophy winners, but it's not mid-season. Hell, it's just barely quarter-season. Most teams haven't played 25 games yet, but already the big wigs at the Four Letter are already tossing out the shiny bits like doing so means a damn thing whatsoever. There's even a poll so fans can chime in with their equally meaningless projections. I voted for Kipper for both the Hart and the Vezina. Not gonna happen.

And sure, George Johnson, I agree that Vincent Lecavalier has had a great start to his season, but he's still got almost 60 games left to play, and his team is above only basement-dwelling Washington in the Southeast Division standings. A lot could still happen, genius.

Can we at least wait until the All Star Game to start this meaningless exercise? Seriouslah.

Ballhype: hype it up!Digg!


November 26, 2007

Don't Hire The Maple Leafs As Your Financial Advisor

Why did nobody tell me the Maple Leafs are paying Pavel Kubina $5 million a year? Why did David Amber have to clue me in late last week with his column about over-priced players?

Just look at the photo above. The asshole bought a Ferrari.

Seriously, Pavel Kubina? $5 million a year?! Sure, he's having a decent season so far, but it's not like he's Scott Niedermayer or anybody like that. Kubina is a career -85, and that includes his time on the Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning. Speaking of which, that's about as close to the Cup that most of the Maple Leafs are ever going to come.

Blame Kubina's salary, or his Ferrari.

Ballhype: hype it up!Digg!


Nobody Likes A Show Off

photo courtesy of AP

The Dallas Stars sure have it rough. While some teams in the NHL barely have one serviceable starting goaltender, the Stars have the unique burden of having two much-more-than-just-serviceable (some would say "superb") netminders backing them up. Boo hoo.

Marty Turco, the starter for the Stars the past few seasons, is a great goalie. There's no question about that. His extended duel with Roberto Luongo in last year's playoffs is now the stuff of legend. But Turco, as great as he is, may actually be fighting for his job against some young punk named Smith. Mike Smith.

That's right, the owner of the Most Boring Name In The NHL, Smith is proving himself to be just as amazing as Dallas fans have claimed. He's won his last four starts and has a very impressive 2.19 GAA and .916 save percentage. Oh, and last night, he made 39 saves against the Rangers.

The Stars currently lead the Pacific Division and look to be solidifying their lead on the backs of two star goalies. And that is why I hate them.

Ballhype: hype it up!Digg!


November 22, 2007

Briere To Critics: STFU

photo courtesy of Gerry Broome/AP

When he signed an eight-year, $52 million free agent contract with the Flyers over the summer, hockey talking heads were apprehensive. That much money for a guy who's only 5-9, 175-pounds? That much for a guy who'd only had a couple of really good years in Buffalo? Briere instead of Chris Drury?

Well, the Flyers didn't sweat it, and now they look like friggin' geniuses.

Briere scored a hat trick and an assist in the Flyers' 6-3 crushing of a very, very good Carolina Hurricanes team last night. Danny Boy now has 10 goals and 24 points in 20 games, and his team is second in the Atlantic Division with 25 points and a 12-7-1 record.

Former teammate Chris "Avalanche Ex-Girlfriend" Drury, on the other hand, has just 13 points (three goals) in 21 games. Though the Rangers are playing very well and lead the Flyers in the standings by two points, Briere is looking like the better free agent deal, by far.

Briere says his critics can suck it. They'll probably have to kneel down pretty low.

Ballhype: hype it up!Digg!


November 20, 2007

Gratuitous Tuesday!!

I'm not really a fan of country music rising star Kellie Pickler (pictured to the right while at the American Music Awards), but I do wholly support her dumping Predators antagonizer Jordin Tootoo. That guy is a jerk, but in a "Sean Avery Lite" kind of way. I'm glad that Ms. Pickler is free to pursue other romantic possibilities. As in, me.

In other critically important news, Mike Comrie's much better half Hilary Duff has been all over the news lately, as usual. Near the beginning of the month she was seen being a very, very bad girl, providing young Mike with a series of very public lap dances, albeit fully clothed lap dances. Clearly impressed with her talents, Mike was then seen shopping for an engagement ring (under "Quick Hits"). Everybody knows that dating for six months is by far enough time to decide you want to marry someone.

Then, in the past day or so, Duff was seen at the Hollywood celebrity trash hole Hyde, hanging with friends until being "escorted out of the club" by an apparent buddy of Comrie's, whatever that means. This wouldn't be worth mentioning if Elisha Cuthbert wasn't also at Hyde that night, god bless her. I'm not sure what she's doing hanging out with fire crotch Shaun White, but I assume it's just for tips on snowboarding or something. And I won't even justify the rumors she's still messing around with Sean Avery. Elisha, please come home now.

Ballhype: hype it up!Digg!


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