Sunday, September 11, 2005


Weekend Update: No Return of the Mac

Hockey season is Czechia and Slovakia. Unlike last year, I won't need or want to do to EuroUpdates so often as most of the NHLers are safely tucked away at NHL training camps and pre-camps.

Still, I'm getting a bit anxious now that NHL hockey (real NHL hockey) is a month away and I have to settle for checking boxscores over the Internet for awhile.

1. Al "Chopper" MacInnis made his retirement official today and will take a front-office marketing job.

The Puck Stops Here has a good recap of his career (A Wings fan talking about a Blues playa? Oh my! What has this world come to?), and I'll add in my own 2 cents Canadian.

To me, Al was the perfect franchise defenseman for the Blues. Al logged big minutes (25-30 every night), played well defensively, didn't take boatloads of penalties, lead by example, and provided offensive output that most mere mortals would trade 20 years of life for.

Still, let's face the facts...people loved the BIG shot. Big Al won the All Star Skills 'Hardest Shot' competition SEVEN different times.

Every time the Blues had a Power Play, fans and foes alike would wait in anticipation for Al to unleash a cannonating shot that would pierce kevlar. While the Blues had plenty of weapons, the opposition was always so focused on what Al would do that it opened up more space for the other Blues players on the ice. Not many defenders have ever had that much of an intimidating factor while they on the ice. Even Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey didn't scare the crap out of opposing goalies like MacInnis did.

A perfect example of Big Mac's power is this video clip of one of his usual Power Play blasts. Right-Click and "Save As" for best results.
(thanks to Duc's Video Game Reviews for hosting the clip)

MacInnis blasts the puck from the top of the right circle, and the puck goes right through Jocelyn Thibault's glove. While Thibault's glove disintigrates into dust, his pinky finger ends up being broken as the puck just goes right through it. There isn't anything T-Bo can do to stop the awesome power.

How did Big Mac develop his patended slapper? He used to shot 1000's of pucks against his family's barn every day. Good thing barns don't have feelings.

So long Mac, I'll miss ya. We'll see ya at the Hall of Fame in a few years.

2. Evil Swede Peter Forsberg is injured again? Wow, we didn't see that coming.
Humpty dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses
And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again
They ought to cryogenically freeze Forsberg until about March, when he'll really be needed. I think the Flyers will make the playoffs without him...they have more than enough centers as it is.

Oh, and Derian Hatcher is also injured...couldn't happen to a nicer dude.

3. Jan Marek, a skilled little dude I once wrote about for the Blueshirt Bulletin, has decided to stick with Sparta Prague and Europe for the basically the rest of his career instead of sign with the Rangers. It's too bad...I would have loved to see him get a shot in the NHL, and I think Rangers fans would have enjoyed his stickhandling forays.

This week's Zlata Helma (Golden Helmet) video clips open up the new season and Jan Marek puts on another show.

4. Savage Split of the Day

Althought I recently pointed out how Brian Savage hadn't been "Mr. October" in the past 2 seasons, his career numbers do show that he really does his best work early in the season.

I'm not a wings fan. Not anymore than any other team. Not sure why you would think I am a Wings fan.

I thought you were part of the team that did On the Wings blog... I had that idea in my head. Sorry.

You are cleared of all charges ;)
It is interesting when people become characatures of themselves. The chopper had a great shot, and he will go into the hall for it, but it overshadowed some of the best secrets of Alan's games.

first, like hull, it wasn't the SHOT, heck Al lost the blues team hardest shot skills competetion once or twice(to bryce salvadore of all people one year)but none of those pretenders made the all-star game lol. bryce is the perfect foil for the hardest shot view. Bryce has a MONSTER shot. can't use it in a game (well i can remember twicehegotit off undergame situation, hasone goal onthose two shotstoo!). mayers has great speed, he can't use it. Al, Like Brett Hull, honed a skill AND had the intelligence and ability and vision to be able to use that skill EVERY night even when the other team keyed on stopping him! THAT made him a hockey god.

oh..and i know its a secret, but Alan was a mean slasher. We had Pronger so he got the media attention as the tough, mashing guy et al, but really... after seeing Al for a thousand games? Al was the mean one. SMART mean too. Pronger? whack and sit. AL? whack, wait,whack again, wait, hook, wait whack. trip MAYBE sit

The guy was a master of being physical in a decidedly non physical way and getting away with it more than most.

its vision!

and intelligence.

and practice.

so i wonder who al practiced the subtle arts of nhl defense on cos it wasn't a barn :)
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