Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Random Ramblings on a sunny Tuesday

After a long playoff absence, the Flamers are certainly making up for lost time as Cinderella is one win away from the big ball. Even Flames fans in Liberia(!) are pumped up about things.

My co-worker commented that the Flames are a symptom of "Today�s" NHL, and I couldn�t agree more.

If you have a good goaltender (not: Cloutier, Dan) and a rock solid defence, all you need is to do is choke the opposition to death in order to have some form of playoff success.

The Canucks failure to adapt and assimilate to these conditions has them on the golf course instead of on the ice. Until the flow of play and pace of the game opens up in the NHL, we�ll continue to see more Cinderella teams succeed in the playoffs.

Now, I don�t mind the underdogs doing well, and I certainly hope to see the Flames succeed and bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada, but it would be nice to see the most talented teams fighting it out for the holy beer mug.

As happy as a Cinderella story sounds, it generally leads to boring hockey series. The best series always have the talented teams fighting it out. People don�t want to watch Anaheim, Carolina, Washington, and those types of teams in the finals too often, because it�s not great hockey to watch for anyone not cheering for those teams.

On a side note, I enjoyed the pre-game 1-on-1 interview between Elliot Friedman and coach Sutter. Sutter didn�t have the hard-a$$ coaches face on (see Tortarella, John), and he gave some good answers to some thoughtful questions.

�wilka91� posted a translated segment of an interview with Russian Hockey president Alexander Steblin in this thread at HFboards.com. Some interesting excerpts:

Q : So who will coach our (national) team at the World Cup?

Steblin : At the beginning of next week we will reveal the name of the national team's general manager. It is going to be a Russian. The composition of the coaching staff will mainly depend on him.

Q : Does Tikhonov have any chance of keeping his job?

Steblin : At the World Championship some players, especially NHLers, expressed their discontent regarding the coach. We can't close our eyes on such facts. The World Cup is organized by the NHL. Most of the players on the Russian team will be from the NHL (...). The World Cup will be played under NHL rules, on smaller rinks, and that the coach must know how to play against other NHL players.

Of course, Tikhonov refuses to give up �his� team without a fight.
I�m sure most Canadians like myself would love to see the cold-war relic still coaching the Russian squad at the World Cup. With Tikhonov at the helm, Russia�s chances for success are drastically hampered.

Germany announces its World Cup entry here

Definitely a deep step down from the Top 7...Germany has to import marginal Czech (Martinec, Martin �the other� Reichel) and Canadian players, as well as a goalie born in South Africa.

Until the Germans learn to develop players from within (ie. Stop giving every German League roster spot to a foreigner), they will continue to swim far below the big sharks.

Canucks Rookie Review

Sukhwinder Pandher has a nice review of the rookies who played for the Canucks this past season.

I will say that if the Canucks insist on wasting a roster spot on a useless goon like Wade Brookbank, then they should at least play him at forward, and not defence. That way, he�ll hurt the team less.

Perhaps Nonis can make his first move to dump Brookbank and the vastly overrated Fedor Fedorov for a good 3rd line defensive defenseman.

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