Saturday, December 29, 2007

The TooToo Turtle

In an otherwise slow week in the NHL, Jordan TooToo somehow managed to get his name into some headlines again this week. "Was it for a dirty hit?" you likely asked, no it was just another event in the chronological diary of why Jordan TooToo should NOT be in the NHL.

I think adding my own dialogue and opinion might only dilute the reality that is Jordan TooToo's patheticness, so instead I will just show you two videos from back to back games this week that displayed Tootoo's "toughness". (And by toughness I mean ability to turtle and/or ability to act as a human punching bag).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tiger Torching

With Dontrelle Willis now signed to a 3 year deal, the Tigers are undeniably the greatest team in baseball. With a rotation that already boasted the likes of Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman, Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson, the Tigers instantly made themselves fall classic contenders by bringing in the two biggest names on the block in baseball. (Willis and Cabrera)

The rotation of the Tigers will dominate barring any injuries, and not just because they're young and studly, but because they now have three left handed arms. Verlander and Bonderman proved two years ago to be among the most devastating pitchers in the league, with a solid complement of Rogers and Robertson. Bring Willis into the equation and things will get even rougher for opponents.

The only rotation that will rival (and maybe surpass) the Tigers rotation will be the RedSox, and that is only if they are able to rob the Twins blind and somehow bring in Santana.

Adding Willis to the mix was one thing. Also bringing in Cabrera? That's the dagger in the heart. Not only will the Tigers shut teams out with solid pitching, (not just from the starters but from the pen too), they will be able to put up incredible runs. It will be scary to see a guy like Cabrera at the plate in situations where he actually has some protection; not like the Marlins who tried to protect him with Ramirez and Willingham (seriously??). Put Cabrera between Sheff's and Ordonez, and the guy will light it up.

The Tigers will outscore every opponent, and shut down even the best lineups, and THAT's why the Tigers will be the best team in baseball in 2008.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Please, someone tell me there is a difference.

It seems everyday there is a new "incident" in the NHL to talk about. Instead of a behind the back Sidney Crosby pass, or a Sam Ganger dangling shootout goal, it seems there are new obsceneties to talk about. Instead of players like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin or Vincent Lecavalier making headlines for great goals or assists, players like Steve Downie, Mattias Ohlund and Chris Simon litter the headlines.
The most recent incident is Chris Simon's "stomp" on Jarko Ruutu. Without a doubt this is one of the worst things I've ever seen happen on a sheet of hockey ice. Chris Simon's intent was obviously to hurt Ruutu, and to hurt him badly. Simon should be removed from the game of hockey and be given a lifetime ban from any connection to hockey and the NHL. He should be not only permanently suspended as a player, but he should also be banned from working as a figure in the media, or any position with the NHL in a management role. This may sound harsh, and maybe even frivelous, but what Chris Simon has done, (and done in previous years) has tainted the image of the NHL so severely that every action should be taken to keep him away from the game.
That said, I'd like to revisit another incident that occured this year in the NHL and ask why it is any different. When Mattias Ohlund "slashed" Mikko Koivu this year, (I put "slash" in parenthesis because that is a very modest way of saying "tried to break his leg") there was obvious intent to hurt. I would even go as far to say that his intent was of equal obviousness to the Chris Simon stomp. Why Ohlund received only a 4 game suspension is completely beyond my comprehension and a huge blunder of the NHL (Colin Campbell).
Burnsy, why are you so intent on coming down hard on NHL players?
Because NHL players are the role models and leaders of Canadian culture. They shape and influence the future of Canadian hockey and society in general. Every little boy in Canada who watches hockey worships the NHL's best and brightest, and unfortunately will see the actions of Simon, Downie and Ohlund far more than he'll see the actions of Crosby, Lecavalier and Ovechkin. This shapes the way they will play and what they will feel is acceptable to do on a sheet of ice.
It's for this reason ever player like Simon and Ohlund should never play in the NHL.
Now, watch these videos, and try and tell me there's any difference in intent.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hockey Canada has no Love for the Pats??

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas growing stronger and stronger each day, the true Canadian hockey fan likely becomes more excited for what comes AFTER Christmas, then what comes ON Christmas.
The 2008 World Junior Hockey Championship is just around the corner and I can't think of anything I'm more excited for this Christmas season. The annual Boxing Day celebration that occurs for the World Junior tournament is arguably the most exciting annual hockey event in Canada. With the Stanley Cup months away, and the Olympic hockey tournament happening only once every four years, the Canadian hockey fan has his/her appetite whetted each and every boxing day.
Earlier today the 37 player list for the annual selection camp was released and being the Pats fan that I am, I felt snubbed by the lack of Regina players on the list. Logan Pyett was our one and only player who made the list, while players like Eberle, Ross and Teubert were all given the snub.
Certainly on a team that is first in the Eastern Conference of the WHL, there is more than one player who deserves the nod, even if only to the selection camp. Among many hockey people the one player who was the biggest shock to not making this list was Colton Teubert. Colton has put together a strong campaign this year with the Pats and despite not putting up great numbers so far has been a defensive mainstay and shutdown man game after game. His absence from this list seems inexplicable.
To add to my shock was the absence of Nick Ross on the list for the selection camp. Not to slight Colton Teubert and the campaign he has put together, but Nick Ross is a first round selection who has put up the points and played very well for the Pats. So where is his invite?
Lastly, the absence of Jordan Eberle is slightly more understandable. Jordan is a younger player, and less experienced but has still put up the numbers to at least be part of the conversation for the selection camp, which I don't think he was. He's a top 15 scorer in the WHL this year, and that should at least arouse some conversation.
All I'm saying is that on a team where several players can be considered as junior league stars, where is the love?

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