Thursday, May 31, 2007


Photo of the Day: Bettman and Snoop Dog, BFFL

by Jes

This photo is just plain weird ...

Not only are these guys pretty much polar opposites, but Gary appears WAY TOO HAPPY to be posing with Snoop Dogg.

I'm sure some of you can come up with some witty captions.

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The Senators Aren't Hungry Enough

by Jes

How can you explain getting less than 40 shots in 2 games? The Sens are sleepwalking, turning over the puck like it's the new fashion, and pissing away a great opportunity.

Perhaps some of my inspired recipes will generate some hunger in these fools.

You know, Bryan Murray has done a great job with his team up until this series, but I can't help myself to think that he's 'choking' again. Murray has a history of sucking in the playoffs, and now the Sens are being outcoached, outplayed, outhustled, and out-whatever.

When your weakness, Ray Emery, is your best player, then it's either a wasted opportunity, and/or the sign of the rest of the team sucking.

For all of the talk about how the top line has been nullified, how about the supporting cast? Where are they? Spezza/Alfie/Heatley should be shoulder the entire blame when the others on the team aren't lighting the lamp, either.

As for the Ducks, they are simply playing their aggressive style to a 'T'. The Eastern Conference is definitely not nearly as physical as the Western Conference, and the Sens are having troubles with the Ducks physical mosh-pit style of hockey.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Sartorial Slam: Anaheim Ducks

(This is the first in a mini-series analyzing team uniforms, logos, colours, and other fashion items.)

The Anaheim Ducks underwent a radical facelift this off-season, which is how we do things in the OC, bitch!

Gone was the 'Mighty' from their name. Gone was the duck-mask logo and teal/purple uniforms. Gone was the backwards nature of their name (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim). Gone was the Disney ownership and constant reminder that the team was named after a horrible movie.

Today's Ducks have a sleeker, cleaner, and modern look to them. While the old uniforms stood out (good or bad, depending on your point of view), the new uniforms don't leave much room for one to look at them with utter disgust.

In going to their new logo and uniform, its as if the Ducks were ashamed of their past and their nickname. Do you notice that there is no actual duck in their logo? Without completely changing the name, the Ducks have become a whole new team with very little 'duck' to them.

The uniforms? They are clean, but also tremendous bland and boring. The colouring, font, and style are uninspired and don't give the Ducks much of a unique look. The Ducks were so afraid of looking bad that they went 180 degrees in the opposite direction to appeal to the LA-Anaheim crowd. It's as if they took the easy way out.

How does a Ducks fan see the change? Well, I asked Earl Sleek from Battle of California, a noted Patrick Swayne Fan and Microsoft Paint Extraordinaire, for his thoughts:

I hate our new logos, not so much the actual design itself, but I hate that we were pressured to change. I hate the timidness and the cowardice and the resulting blandness of the whole process.

The Disney Duck wasn't demeaning (to me, at least). It had nothing to do with the movie any more--this was a forged identity by players on the ice. Mighty Ducks were an NHL team, and shame on you if you still mocked the logo; that just means it will hurt a lot more later when they eliminate your team.

Anyway, as for the "design" there's nothing terrible about it, but it is awfully bland. It's one step above putting the team name in COURIER font or something. Pretty much I assume this is from the same desire not to be offensive to league purists, but there's not even really a logo.

My blogging partner Greg, to my surprise, presented a contrary view:
I like them. I think -- along with the Wild's third jerseys -- they represent a slightly more traditional outlook, without just aping old school fashions. It's the pendulum traveling the other way after the sins of the '90s (the first Ducks uniform, the Lightning, the Sharks, the Stars uterus, the Bruins and Predators alternates) -- realizing that restrained does not mean boring.

It's not my favorite uniform, but it doesn't make me wince. There's a lot of good things going on with the Ducks.

Overall, the Ducks went from wild and gaudy to clean and boring. Given how the Ducks play the trap and play a very "Canadian" crash and bang game, perhaps the new uniforms are reflective of their very cold and brutal personality.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Game One Ramblings: Ducks, Wings, and Pigs

by Jes

If Games 2-4 and perhaps 5,6,7 are as good as Game 1, then this series is gonna rock more than the Dschinghis Khan reunion concert in Moscow.

While I don't have a dog, or duck, in this fight, I am still watching the games and was pleased to be well entertained by the action on the ice.

Some random thoughts

1. Does CBC hate hockey fans? It's bad enough that we get the stale Leafs-homer Harry Neale and dinosaur Bob Cole in the booth, but why is Greg Millen(!) the third man in the booth?

Does CBC not listen to the fans? Does CBC not surf the internets? How could they not know that Millen is the most despised colour commentator in this country?

Is this a conscious decision, or are they simply trying to milk their sunken investment in the guy? Ugh. Millen was definitely at his best/worst last night.

2. Note to self: If you have a kid, make sure s/he befriends a super-rich and generous athlete when they are young.

Teemu Selanne kept a promised and flew 16 of his childhood friends to Anaheim to watch him and the Ducks smack around the Sens.

Yeah, what a guy!

I got the full dealio over at The NHL Fanhouse.

3. Red Wings fans are a classy bunch, eh?

If you ever wanted a fine example of male chauvinism and pig-headedness, check out Helene Elliot's article on what happens when a female reporter dares to not pick the Wings to advance.

Here are some of the samples of the fine writing Red Wings fans are capable of ...
"If Detroit wins, your gonna be gettiing a [ton] more emails from me you [prostitute]. Why don't you report on your own teams from now on. Like the Kings, where are they? Or the Lakers? Women should stick to writing articles about cooking and homemaking and NOT sports, cuz its obvious you have no idea are talking about, [Don Imus word]."

"You have no idea what your baby ducks are in for! A woman writing about hockey in southern California! Leave the hockey to us sweetheart!"

"You are one cocky writer. I am going to remember that damn story and if the wings win the series, I'm gonna laugh in your face via e-mail. If there's one kind of writer I have no respect for, it's a writer exactly like you who writes worthless … like that.

"I'm surprised your man let you out of the kitchen long enough to write this article. You don't know much about sports, so you should stick to cleaning the house."

"Of course what do women know about hockey anyway. Go back to the kitchen and make me something to eat."

Ahh, the anonymity of the internet lets people show their true colours with no fear or retribution.

Helene Elliot has always been a classy, intelligent, award-winning writer who has shown NO inkling of being a 'puck bunny'. Why she has to put up with crap like this is beyond me. Does being female preclude one from having an intelligent perspective on the game of hockey? Of course not!

I'm going to resist calling Wings fans a bunch of spoiled pigs. We know they are spoiled, but these kind of comments could have come from the fans of any hockey club. It's pretty sad that some male fans feel threatened that a female might actually *gasp* know more about the game of hockey than they do.

Anyway, Helene goes on to point out that Wings' fan anger should be rightfully pointed at owner Mike Ilitch, who priced tickets so outrageously that the average commoner could not afford to attend. The Wings have also been notoriously media-unfriendly and fan-unfriendly, for what it's worth.

(hat tip to Wayne for the story pointer)

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Monday, May 28, 2007


Ducks vs. Senators Series Preview Post Thingy

by Jes

Just because every blogger is obligated to have their series preview in by 5PM EST, I might as well post mine before I get smacked with a farmed salmon.

I went 2-for-2 in Round 3, giving me a 12-for-14 record overall (86%). Greg is at like 21% or something.

Of all the bloggers and writers, I am the bestest!

Here's the shakedown, kiddo.

Ray Emery: 15GP 12-3 1.95GAA 91.9SV%
J-S Giguere: 13GP 9-3 1.87GAA 93.1SV%

Sugar Ray Emery (oooh, what an original nickname) was rather ordinary in the first two series, but was just fine in the semi-finals. His SV% is actually in the lower half of playoff goalies, for what is it worth. The Sens play great defense in front of him, and he is their biggest weakness.

Obviously, Giguere is the better of the two and has the experience Emery does not. At least Emery is no Patrick Lalime, and Sens fans aren't nervous about his potential performance.


Anaheim: 10 goals, 23 assists, +14
Ottawa: 8 goals, 24 assists, +22

I'll take the Big 3 + the unsung Sean O'Donnell over the Senators group any day of the week (even Wednesdays).

The Sens, to their credit, are playing way more than the sum of their individual parts. Wade Redden is a fairly nice chip (even though he looks like a big puss), and "The Butcher "Meszaros is a fine young cannibal, but the Sens should almost be not playing as well as they are, given how ordinary their D looks on paper.

I just feel that the Ducks physical forwards will have their way with the likes of Schubert, Corvo, and Preissing.



The Sens are known as a 1-line team, but that one line kicks some serious ass and the players are #1, #2, and #4 in playoff scoring. The Ducks' top forward scorer is Ryan Getzlaf with 13 points in 16 games.

Guys like Andy MacDonald, Dustin Penner, and Chris Kunitz have been rather disappointing. The Sens can throw out Mike "The Brick" Comrie, Mean Dean McAmmond, Chris "The Real Deal" Neil, Peter Schaeffer and Antoine Vermette if they want some secondary scoring.

Sens depth > Ducks Depth


Special Teams
Anaheim: PP = 15.3% (7th), PK = 87.5% (6th)
Ottawa: PP = 20.0% (2nd), PK = 88.6% (4th)

Anaheim also averages a league-high 6 shorthanded opportunities against per game, while the Sens are more disciplined at 5.27.


Anaheim = None. Bastards!
Ottawa = Andrej Meszaros.


Greg picked ... Ottawa

Overall prediction: Anaheim Ducks in 7.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007


Vancouver Giants Win the Memorial Cup

Just as the title suggests, the Vancouver Giants got the ultimate revenge for losing the WHL title to the Medicine Hat Tigers by winning the Memorial Cup by a 3-1 score tonight.

This caps off a dream season for the Giants, who will now face the loss of many of their great veterans to the AHL, University hockey, or other pro hockey outlets.

The tournament also set a Memorial Cup record. Yep, it was nice to get a taste of some hockey success in this city. Perhaps the Canucks can take a cue.

From the website:
The Vancouver Giants won the 2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup in front of a hometown crowd as they defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers 3-1 in the Championship game on Sunday, May 27th at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, B.C.

Czech winger Michal Repik broke a 1-1 tie with under five minutes to go in the third period, beating Tigers’ netminder Matt Keetley with a wrap-around that went through the five hole, while Spencer Machacek put the game away with a late empty-net goal.

With the victory, the Giants – the tournament’s host team - exact some revenge on the Tigers, who won the 2007 WHL championship with a dramatic double overtime win in Game 7 over the Giants in Medicine Hat.

The Giants stormed out of the gate, out-shooting the Tiger by a 17-5 margin in the opening period, but could not solve Keetley, who was superb in turning aside 37 of 39 shots he faced to keep his team in the contest.

Tyson Sexsmith made 14 saves for the Giants in the victory, turning aside only two Tigers shots in the third period.

Giants’ winger Milan Lucic, who picked up an assist on Repik’s game-winner, was named the MVP of the 2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament. The Boston Bruins’ prospect from Vancouver scored notched two goals and eight points in the tournament, and set the tone for the Giants in the Championship game with several big hits early on.

Yes, congrats to Milan "L-Train" Lucic to winning the MVP award for the tournament. The rest of the country got a true chance to see what kind of beast this guy is.

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Ziggy Palffy Unretiring?

by Jes

Ever since Zigmund Palffy's (nice hair!) sudden retirement from the NHL a season-and-a-half ago, there have always been rumblings and rumours that he'd come back.

Any time Palffy would put on skates for the hell of it, the Slovak media were gaga that Palffy might play again.

Well, I got an email from Brushback this morning about Palffy, and according to Russian media reports, it appears that Palffy is, indeed, unretiring ... to the Slovak League

*cue Price is Right loser music*

Brushback translates a couple of Russian sites that quote Palffy as being bored of out of his skill and signing with HK36 Skalica.

Now, I am having loads of trouble finding any confirming reports in the Czech or Slovak hockey media, so I wouldn't start popping down the Slivovice just yet.

Still, it would be kick-ass for the Slovak Extraliga and Slovak hockey fans to have Palffy play for his hometown team. Skalica has been one of the league's crappier teams for the past few years, and needs some serious injection of talent.

For more on the career of Palffy, check out my post reflecting back his accomplishments.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Chelios: Explain Thyself!

by Jes

When Chris Chelios skipped the post-series handshake line at the conclusion of the Wings/Ducks series, his enemies in the hockey world used this as fodder for their Anti-Chelios stance. Certainly, I was thinking "Typical Chelios" after I heard the news.

Chelios, known as one dirty old guy, was an easy target for those who "respect the fine traditions of the game."

Well, Chelios gave his side of the story.

Reasonable? Yeah, I think it certainly is. (Fanhouse Link)

Chelios will spear you if he ever gets the chance, but he never struck me at the kind of guy who would act like a spoiled brat on purpose. Chelios never usually dodges the issue, so to speak.

Still ...

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Friday, May 25, 2007


Video of the Day: 2-Man Advantage

by Jes

What do you get with a Capitals fans that likes to show off his arms, and a Bruins fans who looks like a Zamboni driver in Nintendo's Ice Hockey with too much time on their hands?

2-Man Advantage: A new hockey show where two guys analyze a game in their living room. Why the hell not, eh?

Funny stuff, but their Anti-Slovakness and Modano fandom deserves an elbow to the head.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


American Idol Castoff Riding the Tootoo Train

by Jes
Kellie Pickler

Ahh, it seems Jordin has grown bored of his bunnies and has moved on to someone a bit more 'famous: American Idol reject Kellie Pickler

Yeah, the girl looks like a doe-eyed empty-headed blonde with a boob job. Way to be original, Jordin.

Small Town Girl Kellie Pickler has something new to sing about - her blossoming relationship with Jordin Tootoo.

The country music star and the Nashville Predators hockey player have been dating since January when Jordin asked Kellie to watch one of his games.

The former "American Idol" contestant told Us Weekly magazine, "We've been seeing each other since January, but we kept it under wraps. I am this country bumpkin and he's an Eskimo."

Ahh, nothing like romance between a 4th line grinder and a generic mediocre karaoke singer.

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The Nashville Predators Sold to ... a Canadian?

by Jes

Yeah, talk about a real switch! An American NHL team is bought by a Canadian investor who seriously wants to move a club to Canada.

From the Nashville Post: has learned that Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry electronic communication device) is purchasing the Predators from Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold. Leipold has owned the club since it first took to the ice in 1998.

According to sources, a press conference has been scheduled for Thursday to announce the sale of the team for reportedly $220 million. At the time of publication of this article, officials from Predators could not be reached for comment.

Over at The NHL Fanhouse, Eric believes that this sale means the inevitable move of the club North of the 49th parallel. We know Balsillie was looking to move the Penguins to Canada, and may have targetted the Predators as Option B.

This section from the Nashville Post article really caught my eye:
It is believed as of now that the team will remain in Nashville for the foreseeable future.

There is a way out, however. Because average game attendance for the season recently ended was below 14,000, the team has 60 days from its final hockey game to exercise an exit clause. That move, which would have to happen by mid-June, would trigger a one-year cure period in which the city must bring ticket sales up to 14,000 per game. Otherwise, after the year, the team could leave.

The NHL still has to sign off on the deal. Balsillie's last effort to buy a team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, ended abruptly last December when he didn't like the terms sought by the NHL -- one of those reportedly being that he was to keep the team in Pittsburgh. That deal, in which he agreed to pay a reported $175 million for the team, ended in mid-December.

Now, we know the Preds have been a failure off of the ice with low attendance and corporate support. It would make perfect business sense to move them to a stronger market.

Still, I cannot see Gary Bettman allowing any team into Canada, nor the move of one of his expansion pets. Yes, Bettman already swindled the club for the expansion fee, but how would it look to plunk a team into a city, have them cough up big dough for an arena, and then simply let the team move away quickly? If any team was going to move, it's likely to another US market, and it's likely to be a team that isn't quite so young.

The one-year cure period would certainly put the onus on the Preds to show that they want the team, but would it really show that the town wants the club in the long term? What if the team gets 14,100 in average attendance? That is still weak, right?

The deal might just fall through if Balsillie can't get the terms he want. Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


More Playoff Ramblings

by Jes

So, the Stanley Cup Finals are set, and we'll have another Canadian team (Ottawa) face off against a non-traditional market (Anaheim) in another year where the Canucks and Leafs win squat.

Our favourite blogger from Alabama, Wayne, emailed me some of his playoff musings, to which I'll respond ...

Speaking of playoff beards, where's Daniel Alfredsson's? Is it me, or did he miss the memo on how to grow a beard? He looks like a high-school English teacher...
Well, some of us (including myself) don't grow facial hair very well or very fast. It looks rather childish to go around with peach fuzz, rather than just keep a clean shaven look.

Daniel Alfredsson has clearly gone from the Muppet to the clear-cut look, and it's working for him. He's all business, and his play speaks volumes about his commitment. Playoff facial hair is definitely more of a North American trend, methinks.

During the post-game presser last night, a reporter noticed that Chris Chelios only shook the hand of the Anaheim coach, but did not go through the line like everyone else...Would there be a fine for not waiting in the post-game line like everyone else?

The handshake is a tradition, and nothing more. There is no rule that says you need to shake hands at all, and a team could easily just walk back to the locker room to cry their heads off without acknowledging the other team. Why Chelios decided to shake just one hand is beyond me, but perhaps he agrees with Andrew Dice Clay that shaking hands is the most disgusting habit known to man.

Do you know where those hands have been, other than in sweaty hockey gloves and playing around with blood-stained jocks? Cheli may just be looking out for his own personal hygiene for all we know.
Dick Ebersol (head honcho at NBC Sports) has got to be wanting to jump off a ledge at 30 Rock right now for the Ottawa/'heim matchup...Not only do most U.S. people not know where (or what country) Ottawa is in, I don't think the majority of the L.A. market will tune in, either. (Remember the '02 World Series involving the Angels? Not many people watched, either...) I'm afraid this will get late-season XFL ratings...
I'm hoping Ebersol does decide to jump. He's just another rich executive the world could live without.

Honestly, I wish the NHL would tell NBC to go screw themselves instead of bending over backwards to accommodate a network that doesn't really care about the game.

Why are we waiting 5-6 days for the Cup Finals to start? The series should start by Saturday at the latest, and this just kills any momentum and hype the series would/can generate.

Up here? Leafs fans are staying away en masse and the ratings can be expected to be less than awesome. In the USA? Yeah, Anaheim is not a popular market, and the Ducks don't play a style that is exciting to casual fans. (Neither does Ottawa these days)

The NHL should have simply told NBC that the Finals would begin on Saturday. If the NBC wanted to broadcast quilt making, then the NHL could move the game to Versus, or simply play on without NBC broadcasting nationally. It's time for the NHL to put up a little bit of a fight for once.

As for my prediction, it'll come a bit later. Suffice it to say, now that Greg picked the Sens to win (see the post below), you can pretty much guarantee that they wont.


Over at The NHL Fanhouse, Greg Wyshynski tooks a look at Paris Hilton's hockey career, I take a look at how the Oilers benefited from the Ducks making the Finals, and Eric sees what scares the NHLers worse than a puckbunny with herpes.

PS: You want to talk about the impossible dream? Try finding a Nintendo Wii here in Canada. If I see anyone walking out of a Future Shop with one of these, they can expect a good mugging. (Or maybe I'll just beat up Ingmar and steal his)

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And Then There Were Two

By Greg

There was (for someone rooting for the Ducks) a sick sense of historical inevitability around the third period of last night's game -- when Datsyuk made it 4-2, I figured Anaheim was going to lose, and when he made it 4-3, I just shrugged as if he'd wrapped it up. A strange reaction in a game where his team was still actually losing, but it was a strange series, from the parts I saw -- it never seemed like the teams that should be winning were actually ahead.

So when time finally ran out on the Wings' comeback, I was a bit befuddled -- really, weren't they going to win? I just gave a weak "hooray" and went back to drinking beer and eating quesadillas, unsettled and confused.

Now it's Anaheim versus Ottawa, a series that really has something for everyone -- Canadian vs non-traditional markets, a team that's looked pretty unstoppable despite my nay-saying (Ottawa) vs a theoretical powerhouse that blundered its way through the conference finals (Anaheim), a European captain (Alfredsson), a superstar who's now despised by pretty much everyone except for Duck fans and me (Pronger), and the opportunity for more Emilio Estevez jokes.

Who's gonna win? After relentlessly picking against them through the first three rounds of the playoffs, everything now says Ottawa. Their ruthless dispatch of the Devils and Sabres has made a believer out of me. Much as I'd like to see Pronger and Selanne carrying the Cup, I'm for Ottawa, and I think they're gonna take it.

Of course, I've been wrong about everything else up to this point, and I just checked back to confirm that I did indeed think Nashville was going to win it all this year. So put your rubles down on Anaheim, is what I'm sayin'.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Players Partying: Preds on the Prowl

by Jes

Sure, I could do some hardcore statistical analysis showing how Pavol Demitra is, by far, the most valuable player in the NHL, but I know what you people really want.

NHLers getting their party on.

Here are some pics of the Nashville Predators partying with some find upstanding members of society.

Jordin Tootoo - Found some lice on that bunny?

Scottie Upshall and Generic Smithson

One partier lets Upshall know what he thinks of his pre-trade play

Way to keep it classy, Jordin

Young Alex Radulov in a bunny sandwich


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Monday, May 21, 2007


Photo of the Day: Derek, the Flying Slug!

Pretty self-explanatory ...

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Separated at Birth: Harold and Earl

by Jes

One of the features I am looking to bring over at The NHL Fanhouse is a series of NHL Separated at Birth posts.

Here's a good warm-up: Harold Snepsts and the d00d from My Name is Earl.

Got any ideas for a pair? Let me know ...

(Yes, news is slow. I do have a post about the Lightning ensuring their goaltending sucks again next season over at The NHL Fanhouse)

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Saturday, May 19, 2007


Photo of the Day: Alyssa Milano, Devils Fan

Ok, this wretched franchise has ONE redeeming quality ...

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Friday, May 18, 2007


Photo of the Day: Carol Niedermayer, Proud Parent?

by Jes

As the NHL tends to do, it did a little fluff piece on how Carol Niedermayer is so proud of her two sons for bringing her millions of dollars.

Now, couldn't they have used a better picture than this?

It looks like she's frickin bored out of her mind!!

Yes, we know she's seen her sons play 100s of times, but show a little enthusiasm, babe!

Thank you to reader Jeanne for the assist.

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Mike York's Wife Will Kick Your Ass!

by Jes

Mike York's wife is a real catty one ...

Story Link:
A judge Friday convicted the wife of Philadelphia Flyers hockey player Mike York of assaulting her sister-in-law at Lake Columbia at a Labor Day weekend get-together.

"I believe she decked her sister-in-law and a cat fight ensued," Jackson County District Judge R. Darryl Mazur ruled after a bench trial.

Aimee York and Gilbert Cousino were charged with assaulting her sister-in-law, Julie Cousino. After hearing a half dozen witnesses for the prosecution and defense, Mazur found Gilbert Cousino not guilty and his daughter guilty.

Aimee, a certified teacher, testified her brother, Eric, and his wife, Julie, ganged up on her father during a heated argument and she came to her dad's rescue.

Both Aimee and Julie described a hair-pulling, kicking, punching brawl on the kitchen floor. Mazur concluded Aimee attacked first, without justification.

Witnesses also claimed Eric Cousino choked Aimee, and that brother Ryan Cousino also got involved. No one was hurt seriously.

The fight started when the family agreed they would spend the night of Sept. 2 at a karaoke bar. Julie and Eric Cousino said they decided to return to the Detroit area, because they did not want to be left alone at the lakefront home with their daughter.

Aimee York and Gilbert Cousino contend the couple was just angry they could not find a sitter and go to the bar, as they had the night before.

Wow, they couldn't find a sitter? Better kick some ass!

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Thursday, May 17, 2007


You Broke My Heart in 17 Places

by Greg

I'm a crap hockey fan, I'll admit -- thanks (mostly) to work, I've seen parts of two games of the conference finals series, and nothing else. (Well, six seconds of a third -- but turning on the TV after I get home to see "Detroit 4 Anaheim 0" was upsetting to my delicate sensibilities)

So hockey's present doesn't hold that much for me. The future undoubtedly holds better things. But lacking second sight, and with a healthy dose of nostalgia (fueled by a recent re-read of Peter Gzowski's "The Game Of Our Lives"), I'll look backwards for a bit.

Backwards... at the players that disappointed me. Players that I was certain were destined for stardom, but who never even came close. (I'll leave Tomas Kloucek out, because I write too damn much about the guy already.)

Jamie Storr -- In pre-Coyotes Phoenix, he was one of the most promising players on the IHL Roadrunners, and seemed destined for great things when we'd trek up I-10 to that horrid old barn the team played in. A girl I nurtured a giant crush on had a thing for Jamie. Looking at his stats now, he did end up with a longer-lived NHL career than I thought, but given that we all expected a straight shot to the Hall of Fame, disappointment was perhaps inevitable.

Jocelyn Thibault -- Honest to God, I thought the Avalanche made a big mistake in giving him up for Patrick Roy.

Rene Corbet -- One of the most exciting and entertaining players on the late-'90s Avalanche, with a spastic skating style, a knack for timely goals and a willingness to fight (and lose to) anyone. I thought he was the next great Av -- so did Stan Fischler. In a period of unbridled optimism, I thought Fisch's support was a good thing. Eventually did become a superstar -- unfortunately it was in Germany.

Josef Marha -- His trade to Anaheim for Warren Rychel remains one of the low points in my hockey fandom. I still think it was a big mistake, even if the stats don't back me up. Last seen with bags packed for Switzerland.

Vladimir Vujtek -- One of the most recognizable names (to me) on the first-year Thrashers, there was (as I recall) a fair amount of buzz around him. He continued his knack for utterly bizarre injuries by taking a skate across the face in the pre-season, and only ended up playing three games for Atlanta. Bonus fun fact: for several years afterwards, the Thrashers inexplicably kept a giant -- we're talking wall-sized -- photo of ol' Skate-Face up in the team store.

Vitali Karamnov, Igor Korolev, and Vitali Prokhorov -- The Blues' first foray into Russian players, taking up the first three picks in a early-'90s draft. Like most of the Blues' draft moves in those years, it was an enormous mistake. Beyond Korolev, who even remembers the other two?

Patrik Stefan -- Patty and I came to Atlanta in the same month. In the long run, I probably had more of an impact on the city, at least in helping to keep local bars solvent.

L'ubomir Vaic -- Oh, I cheat here. I didn't pay much attention to ol' Lubo until after his North American career has ended. He has apparently left his Czech team this off-season, which can only mean one thing -- he's coming back to Vancouver, Canucks fans!



Photo of the Day: Ottawa, Canada's Team?

Another goodie from The Instigator ...

Neil MacRae (talk radio dumbass here in Vancouver) made a good point this morning that if the Vancouver Canucks were in the semis instead of Ottawa, CBC wouldn't be trying nearly as hard to pump them up as "Canada's Team".

As much as I like/want the cup to come back to Canada, for purely selfish Anti-American reasons, let's just cut this crap with "Canada's Team".

The Senators are Ottawa's team just like the Oilers are Edmonton's team. I am not a Sens fan, nor do their fans deserve the disrepect of us trying to leap on their bandwagon.

Ottawa is a much different city than Vancouver, and their hockey team is also much different than ours. (Theirs can score goals...) Ottawa and the Senators do not represent Canadian hockey any more than the Anaheim Ducks, who have a roster full of Canadians.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Steve Yzerman: Your Team's Next GM?

by Jes

With Stevie Y leading Team Canada, as GM, to GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!!!!111 at the recent World Championships in Moscow, you know that the media is all swooning over Yzerman as a potential GM of some NHL club.

Yzerman says he's not ready, but you know it's a matter of time before he's offered such a post by some team.

Let's face it, Yzerman is the face of class and dedication in the NHL, is working with the Wings in the front office, and probably has more connections and good relationships than most players.

It certainly appears, from the outside, that Yzerman is aiming to have a big front office role some time in his future. Unlike Mark Messier, who simply puts his name out there to inflate his own ego, Yzerman has been working actively to ease himself into the NHL's rooms of power, and has done so quietly.

With that, I have a look at Yzerman's present qualifications over at The NHL Fanhouse.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Another MSM Cheap-Shot at Hockey

by Jes

While surfing around ESPN's Page 2 site, I came across this little cartoon at the bottom of the page.

As you may or may not know, Robert Horry committed a cheap and violent technical foul on the Phoenix Sun's (and Canadian) Steve Nash.

So, the cartoonist makes a point about his reputation before and after the incident.


But why is Robert Horry, a basketball player, wearing hockey equipment?

What does Horry's cheap shot, or Robert Horry, have to do with hockey?

In a hockey game, you'd get your clock cleaned if you ever pulled such a stunt. In the NBA? You get a few slaps and growling, but nothing much.

To say that hockey is the realm of this sort of activity is just plain stupid. Basketball, Baseball, and Football all have their fair share of cheap shots. Is there an act more cowardly than a bean-ball?

Just another example of the idiots in the media making hockey to be the 'bad guy' sport. We're all sick of these no-nothings who only ever mention hockey as
1. A sport nobody cares about.
2. A violent bloodbath where everyone hacks and whacks people to death.

It would be the same as a hockey cartoonist drawing Ray Emery as a gangsta rapping NBAer the next time Emery goes bonkers on an opposing forward.

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What? The Senators Don't Suck?!

by Jes

DANIEL ALFREDSSONIs anyone else surprised by this year's version of the Ottawa Senators? They have this whole 'Team of Destiny' vibe to them that I felt with the Carolina Hurricanes last year. It's very weird to see a team coached by Bryan Murray actually not suck in the playoffs.

I have more on these surprising Sens at The NHL Fanhouse.

As for the Sabres, they've looked like a team that hasn't quite been there during these playoffs. Oh, they won their first two series without much in the way of casualties, but there was always that feeling that they weren't playing their A-game. Well, their special teams have failed them, Tallinder is hurt, and they can't generate offence. I never figured THIS Sabres club would have problems scoring goals.

Back to the Sens, I find myself tempted to join the bandwagon. Oh, I hate the city of Ottawa, but I gotta support the one lone Slovak remaining in the playoffs (Meszaros).

I'd love to see the cup come to a Canadian city, especially over Murder City, USA, or Anaheim, the city of hotel after hotel.

Also at the NHL Fanhouse:
1. A funny video of a pizza commercial starring Martin Brodeur and Luc Robitaille.
Unlike Gretztky's boring-ass commercials (Save for the Brian Leetch as a figure skater), this commercial is actually GOOD.

2. A look at the Minnesota Wild's goaltending glut.
Worst-case scenario, they are stuck with Fernandez/Harding.
Best case scenario, they re-sign Backstrom for fairly cheap, trade Fernandez for a draft pick, and go with Backstrom/Harding.

Either way, they can't really lose, can they?

3. One little Sabres fan who won't give up hope!! - Obviously, someone hasn't been jaded by years of failure...

4. ... Unlike Tom Luongo, who's seen enough Buffalo sports teams fail to drive him to drink straight out of the keg.

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Tigers Claw WHL Title from Giants

by Jes

You'd never know that both the Medicine Hat Tigers and Vancouver Giants were both already guaranteed a spot in the Memorial Cup as they went the distance to settle the WHL Finals.

Game 7, Double OT...too bad the Tigers came out on top with a 3-2 win. :^(

This series was tremendous, with both teams giving everything they had, and the Tigers fighting back from a 3-2 series deficit to take the final 2 games at home. It didn't help that Cody Franson was out with injury, and the Giants were playing with 5 d-men for most of the final game.

The Giants had a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period of Game Seven, but the Tigers showed a lot of desperation and basically took the tide of the game from then on. The loss prevented the Giants from repeating as WHL champs.

The game featured quite a few fog delays in the overtimes, reminiscent of the Buffalo Sabres foggy playoff games of the 70s. The refs called on the players from both teams to skate around and dissipate the fog.

Matt Keetley, the 20-year old goalie for the Tigers, was named Playoff MVP.

In terms of playoff performances among Giants prospects ...

Michal Repik, who slid in the CSS final rankings, led all playoff scorers with 16 assists and 26 points in 22 games. He was using his speed well to create offence all playoffs long.

Kenddal McArdle and Wacey Rabbit led all goal scorers with 11.

Cody Franson was either injured or not nearly as effective with just 7 points in 19 games. Ever since he came back from the WJC, he hasn't been the same player as he was before. What happened over there?

Mario Bliznak, the late Canucks pick, had 12 points in 22 games and was his awesome defensive self. He's still a long shot, but definitely one for Canucks fans to keep an eye on. He works very hard and showed some offensive ability in tight situations.

Now, both teams need to recover for the Memorial Cup, which starts here on Friday.

So, congrats to the Tigers, and may you have bad luck in the Memorial Cup ;)

PS: Bonus points to the Tigers music director who played Boney M's Rasputin before the first overtime, as well as some other 80s hits. The Giants or Canucks need to hire this guy.

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Monday, May 14, 2007


Photo of the Day: Canucks Team Playoff Picture

by Jes

Forwarded to me by some co-worker ... (credit goes to The Toque)

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Jaromir Jagr: Off the Market?

by Jes

Ooooh, here's some hockey gossip for my peeps.

It appears, according to this article, that Jaromir Jagr has finally got himself a woman to 'settle down' with.

From a poor Russian translation from this here linkage, it would appear ...

  • The lady is Ina Pugaykovoy, born in 1986 in Ukraine (21 years old)
  • Two years ago, she won the Czech title of "Miss Internet"
  • The ceremony will be held on July 7th in Karlovy Vary.
  • The marriage will be performed in the Orthodox Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

  • Of course, we know Russian tabloids aren't always that reliable, but I see a Slovak tabloid, Bleskovky, is also reporting the same news.

    Talk about robbing the cradle ...

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    Sunday, May 13, 2007


    Do the Flames Not Appreciate Lombardi?

    Whilst surfing on a sleepy Sunday morning, I came upon some WTF article by Eric Francis.

    The subject: Matthew Lombardi

    Early in his stint at the world championships, one could easily have assumed the 'A' he wore on his jersey yesterday was there simply to appease French politicians barking up Shane Doan's tree.

    However, by scoring twice in Canada's quarter-final win over Switzerland yesterday -- his fifth and sixth goals in seven games -- it's clear the 25-year-old Montreal native has earned it.

    By using the tourney as his coming-out party it appears -- at the moment -- he belongs among the world's elite.

    However, as Flames fans know, the only thing consistent about Lombardi is the tough love his bosses, GM Darryl Sutter and Jim Playfair, shower him with at every turn.

    While tremendously gifted, it seems no one knows what to expect from the speedy centre night after night.

    On the heels of a breakthrough 20-goal campaign that gave fans glimpses of his junior greatness, Lombardi was signed to a contract extension that will pay him $5.5 million over three years. Exactly who will pay his salary is anyone's guess as it appears he'll be used as trade bait this summer as the Flames go looking to add grit and character to a team finally stocked with offensive talent.

    Even when it appeared to the casual observer Lombardi's flashy neutral-zone speed had him poised to make a Daniel Briere-type emergence, Playfair would shrug it off, suggesting he needed 'Lombo' to drive the net and muck around in the "dirty areas" more.

    Am I reading that right? The Flames are looking at giving away Lombardi?

    Look, I know the guy is a bit frustrating to some Flames fans, but he's a player I'd love on my team.

    D00d is just 25, and has the need for speed...

    Year Team GP G A Pts +/-
    03-04 CGY 79 16 13 29 4
    05-06 CGY 55 6 20 26 -1
    06-07 CGY 81 20 26 46 10

    When the Flames played the Canucks this year, Lombardi was a constant thorn in Luongo's side, using his speed to create scoring chances and annoyances for the Canucks D.

    I saw a guy put on the 3rd line often, with linemates would couldn't pass a puck to themselves off the boards.

    For a guy getting paid $5.5mil over 3 seasons, I'll take 20 goals and good penalty killing ability.

    Go ahead, Calgary, get rid of the guy. You don't need him. We'll give you gritty Matt Cooke for him.

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    Saturday, May 12, 2007


    Video of the Day: Beware of the Big Snake!

    No, it's not a hockey player fighting a snake, it's Martin Lojek fighting Robin Big Snake, a junior hockey player with the coolest hockey name of all time.

    When Big Snake played with here the Vancouver Giants, he was extremely popular and, for obvious reasons, the biggest seller of personalized sweaters.
    He was also an incredibly good fighter, and rarely lost.

    Sadly, he got a big head and thought he was a rusher, and not a crusher. Thus, he ended up in the OHL, and pretty much obscurity after that. Despite his pugilistic talents, he was a poor skater and not a good player.

    Still, he will always live on in the memories of Giants fans.

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    Friday, May 11, 2007


    Friday's Frothings

    by Jes

    So long, Ted!!

    Yeah, Ted Saskin was booted out of the NHLPA for being a total greedyputz and biling the PA out of $2mil a year without having the majority support of the people (and here is the key) that he was WORKING FOR. Just like a politician, Saskin seemed to think that he was at the top of the pyramid, and had the right to all of the glorious benefits that a position of power can give.

    Instead of truly caring about the people who put him in that position of power (although he wasn't democratically put in), Saskin was more concerned about setting himself up for life, no matter what the players wanted.

    Sure, the players came out (most of them, anyway) pretty well in the last CBA, but the way it was done was anything but on-the-level. I equate Saskin to Alan Eagleson's level. Yes, he really is that level of shyster. At least Bob Goodenow, for all of his stubbornness, did the best he damn well could for his peeps. It was Gary Buttman's refusal to deal with Bob Goodenow

    Did we see Bobby check his players emails? Divert money for his own legal defence? Hmm? Apart from the whole David Frost thing (creepy), Goodenow was the bestest boss the NHLPA could have.

    So, Teddy, too bad, so sad. (NHL Fanhouse Link)


    I decided to weigh in on the Ricky Williams (busted, again...) story from a Canadian point of view over at The AOL Fanhouse.

    Judging by the comments therein, the average IQ of an NFL football fan is about 35.

    Yes, Canada is an evil place where every guy is gay and we spend 90% of our income on public health care while watching inferior football and dealing 30 meters of snow every day of the year.

    How many Canadians have watched NFL football? Plenty.

    How many Amerikans have watched CFL football? About a dozen, not counting the players themselves or their families.

    Nevermind that my original theory is quite valid.

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    Video of the Day: HAKA!

    by Jes

    The New Zealand All-Blacks rugby squad is world famous for their intimidating Haka dance.

    Now, how about the New Zealand "Ice Blacks", who have brought the same ritual to the ice?


    YA RLY!

    Sure, they suck at hockey, but they can stomp your ass to death!

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    Thursday, May 10, 2007


    Greg's Third Round Predictions

    by Greg

    I'm not sure why I still bother, since it's apparent that you could get equally good results flipping a coin. I'm still stinging from my bold pronouncement that the Ducks and Canucks were evenly matched -- maybe I just meant that their names rhyme. In any case, I'll soldier on, with the caveat that if you use these picks as the basis for gambling, you're a moron.

    Buffalo vs Ottawa

    I've done nothing but pick against Ottawa so far, apparently in the belief that Alexei Yashin is still on the team. I've been nothing but wrong. And, I'm sort of rooting for the Sens at this point (which dooms them -- sorry, Ottawa fans). As Jes pointed out, the Sabres looked a lot less convincing than the Senators in round two -- and against an inferior opponent.

    So why am I sticking with the Sabres? Stubbornness? Stupidity? Ryan Miller? Take your pick.

    Sabres in 7

    Anaheim vs Detroit

    Like the Sens, I've learned that picking against Detroit is very foolish. And in fact, I've started to wonder if picking against the Wings is motivated by my distaste for them, and that, in a roundabout way, makes me think I should pick them to win. Following all that?

    In the end, though, Anaheim looks pretty damn good.

    Anaheim in 6

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    Tuesday, May 08, 2007


    Photo of the Day: Payback is a Bitch

    by Jes

    You'd think I'd learn from the example of a particular blogger and not make stupid bets.

    Well, I got brave and made a bet with Earl Sleek, aka "Patrick Swayze's #1 Fan", and lost ... no thanks to the stupid Canucks Power Play.

    So, here is the last shred of my dignity flying away to the Galapagos Islands...

    Jes Golbez

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    Gőlbez's Third Round Predictions

    by Jes

    So, I was 4-for-4 in the 2nd Round while Greg was 2-for-4. Obviously, this makes me twice as good as Greg. HA!

    In the 1st Round, Greg was 50% (4-for-8) and is 6-for-12 overall. Moi? I went 6-for-8 and am now 10-for-12 (83%).

    You may now lick the jam from in between my toes.

    Now, let's ramble about Round Three.

    I see a total lack of Cinderella teams, as all the semi-finalists are strong contenders for the cup with very deep rosters and a lot of talent. It's been awhile since we could say that.

    Buffalo vs. Ottawa

    Two high-powered offensive squads go head-to-head in what should be a fun series to watch.

    Ray Emery has not been bad for the Senators, but his 91.9SV% is actually the lowest, by far, of the Final Four goalies. Ryan Miller has been spectacular thus far, and has answered the critics with strong play against some offensively talented Islanders and Rangers squads.

    The Senators have been relying heavily on the Heatley-Alfredsson-Spezza trio, while the Sabres have spread out their scoring like a good peanut butter. If the Sabres can hold off the Sens' top line, they'll be well on their way back to the Finals.

    One point against the Sabres is their woeful 79.6 PK% in the playoffs. They weren't all that good during the regular season, either. The Sens have the 2nd best playoff PP% at 22.7%.

    While the Sens have played like a steamroller, the Sabres have looked rather shaky, despite the fact they've lost only 3 games. There is always the though that the Sabres could play better, but it could be just the fact that their team isn't packed with the same defensive presence up front that other teams have.

    Prediction: Senators in 7. I'm going Canadian.

    Detroit vs. Anaheim

    Two very nice contrasts: the mechanical, finesse, euro-heavy Red Wings vs. the crash-and-bang, in-your-face, euro-light Anaheim Ducks.

    Dominik Hasek is back to his old self with a 93.0SV% and a bit of goofiness in the crease. J-S Giguere has a eye-popping 95.2SV%, albeit built up against the Canucks' pathetic offence.

    After years of playoff suckiness, Pavel Datsyuk is now 2nd on his team with 11 points in 12 games. The amazing Nick Lidstrom is first, and is controlling games just as well as he ever has. The rest of the offence hasn't been spectacular. The Wings have actually generated the most shots on goal, by far, with 445, but have a low 7% conversion rate. Unless Bertuzzi and Holmstrom can generate more chaos in front of the net, Giguere won't have a tough time handling outside shots, just like he did against the Canucks.

    For the Ducks, they kind of have the same issue. Chris Pronger leads the team in scoring, and Samuel F. Pahlsson (!) is second on the team with 7 points. The Ducks' big guns (MacDonald, Selanne, Getzlaf) are capable of more.

    The Wings PP was bad during the regular season, but has been effective in the playoffs. With the Ducks tendency to take some undisciplined penalties (they lead the NHL with 191 playoff PIMs), the Wings will have to do what the Canucks couldn't, and score Power Play goals. According to Yahoo!, the Ducks have a 94.6% success rate on penalty kills, and are also more effective with the man advantage.

    Given the Ducks amazing defence, goaltending, and superior special teams, I'm going to have to call this series in their favour. That, and the Red Wings suck!

    Prediction: Ducks in 6.

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    Monday, May 07, 2007


    Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have our Villains!

    by Jes

    I was worried that I'd have nobody to cheer against in the 3rd round. Sure, the Ducks are somewhat thuggish and dirty, and San Jose is full of pussy-boy software designers, but I can't work up a lot of hate for them, or the Sens/Sabres.

    Well, the Detroit Red Wings won tonight and have given us a reason to cheer for the Ducks.

    Let's face it, if I can't have the Canucks, I need to have a reason to care.

    Ganked from:

    Like most warm-blooded Ruthenians, I hope Dominik Hasek chokes on pork chop.
    Chris Chelios? He's dirtier than my kitchen sink.
    Nicklas Lidstrom? He gypped Rory Fitzpatrick out of an All-Star berth.
    Henrik Zetterberg? Evil Swede.

    There are just so many reasons to cheer against this team, and I'll relish their defeat like a good hot dog.

    (Yes, I know I am going to Hockey Hell for this post...)

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    More Politicians Trying to Cash In on Hockey

    by Jes

    It seems that whiny Quebecers aren't the only politicians trying to use the sport of hockey for their own political gains.

    Manitoba's provincial election campaign has turned its attention to hockey with the Conservatives promising to bring the NHL back to Winnipeg.

    Standing alongside former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen, Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen said he'll work with the private sector to bring back the team, who left Manitoba a decade ago.

    McFadyen won't say how much taxpayer money he'd be willing to put up, but says the government could follow Manitoba Hydro's example and raise money by issuing bonds.

    He also says he would consider a special lottery to raise money as well as a players tax similar to one implemented in Alberta at one time.

    The Tory leader says an NHL team would make Manitoba more attractive to young people and help stem the tide of university graduates who leave for Alberta.

    Hmm, how can we chop this up?

    1. How much do you think Gary Bettman and the Powers That Be want another team in Canada, much less Winnipeg? Not gonna happen, folks.

    2. Why should taxpayers and bond investors be footing the bill for a hockey team? Unless the team is generating profits for the people (highly unlikely), then the government has no business spending money on a 'toy' like a hockey team. If a private investor can make money in Winnipeg, let THEM make the investment.

    3. Manitoba is not attractive to young people because the weather sucks, the place is full of mosquitos, and the economy pales in comparison to Alberta's. Having a hockey team is not going to entice people to stay. They can get hockey in Alberta, anyway.

    Hugh McFadyen should just go back to bullshitting his province and sucking up to his corporate masters like he should be.

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    Sunday, May 06, 2007


    Say, What Happened in Europe, Anyway?

    by Greg

    Thank God that Ottawa won last night -- they inject a little bit of likeability into what's become (for me) a depressing playoff season. The Ducks aren't as innocent as their name would have you believe, the only way the Wings could get less charming is if they dressed Pol Pot for a game... I'm not going to actually root for the Senators, since the teams I adopt are getting stomped like cockroaches this off-season, but I wouldn't complain too much if they won.

    With only clinical interest in the playoffs, and less in the World Championships -- I found myself wondering over the weekend who the hell won in most of the European leagues. I started off following the playoffs over there, then -- as is usually the way -- got distracted by sunlight or whatever, and turned my attention elsewhere.

    In any case, a quick roundup:

    Czech Republic -- (the only postseason I actually ended up following) HC Sparta Praha, for the second straight year. Jes would have you believe that they're all sorts of evil, but don't believe him. (ex-NHLers: Ladislav Benysek, Jan Hlavac, Michal Sivek)

    Russia -- Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Brushback covered the shit out of these playoffs, and you should check that out. (ex-NHLers: Ravil Gusmanov, Alexei Kaigorodov, Igor Korolev, Travis Scott)

    Slovakia -- HC Slovan Bratislava. I'll leave it to Jes to weigh in on whether this is good or not. (ex-NHLers: Roman Tvrdon)

    Sweden -- MoDo. The team webpage indicates ex-Thrasher Per Svartvadet won the "guldpucken," which I bet is great. (Former NHLers: Svartvadet, Mattias Timander, Hans Jonsson, Pierre Hedin, Andreas Salomonsson, Niklas Sundstrom, Robert Dome)

    Finland -- Kärpät. At least, I think so. I can't even laboriously translate Finnish with Babelfish, and the team website is remarkably understated if they did win. Presuming I'm right, they managed to overcome the loss of Petr Tenkrat to do this -- no mean feat. (ex-NHLers: Hannes Hyvonen, Josef Boumeddiene)

    Switzerland -- HC Davos. Making my life much easier than the Finns, they helped out by showing the team logo smoking a cigar on the webpage. Personal favorite Josef Marha is on the team, and I can only assume that's why they won. (ex-NHLers: Marha, Alexandre Daigle(!), Petr Taticek, Michel Riesen, Reto Von Arx)

    Germany -- Adler Mannheim. Looks like they tore through the regular season, too. Captained by another old favorite, Rene Corbet. (Half the team is ex-NHL -- Corbet, Blake Sloan, Pascal Trepanier, Nathan Robinson, Sven Butenschon, Jeff Shants, Jean-Marc Pelletier, Rico Fata, Colin Forbes, Jason Jaspers)

    Austria -- EC Red Bull Salzburg. At this point, we get into the leagues I really know nothing about. (ex-NHLers: Reinhard Divis, Juha Lind, Frank Banham, Darby Hendrickson)

    Britain -- Coventry Blaze. Their web page lists only five players on the 2006-07 roster, so either it's a secret who played for the team, or they have very strict roster restrictions over in the UK.

    Denmark -- Herning Blue Fox. Nothing to say here, other than that Nielsen fellow on the Islanders used to be a Blue Fox.

    Norway -- Vålerenga IF. Judging by their Wikipedia page, they actually win this every year.

    Italy -- Breaking a five-year run by Milan, SG Cortina.

    That's all I can really scrape together (I've got some other things to do). Anyone have any more insights on these playoffs -- or ideas of who won in Ukraine, Slovenia, France, wherever?)


    Friday, May 04, 2007


    Roberto Luongo(d) Deserves Your Love

    by Jes
    Roberto Luongo

    One of the few Canucks players that doesn't need to hang their head in shame after last night's debacle is Roberto Luongo.

    If it wasn't for his total Edge & Christian-like awesomeness, the Canucks wouldn't have made the playoffs, let alone beat Dallas in the first round.

    His play inspired my girlfriend, Aurian, to write a poem/song, something she wouldn't even do for Jiri Slegr *sigh*

    Louie, Louie,
    Go Goalie go.
    Louie, Louie,
    Go Goalie go.

    A fine goalie, deserves MVP;
    Stood on his head, for the C,
    Sitting on the bench all alone,
    The rest of the Canucks have gone home.

    1.77 goals against,
    .941 save percent.
    On the team you were the best;
    And a better goalie than all the rest!

    The fans shout out their love and cheers;
    We'll get some scorers for the next year.
    We know you'll play like you could win alone,
    And next year we'll bring that Cup home!

    There's a bit more on Roberto Luongo over at The NHL Fanhouse.

    I also have a little story on former Ducks enforcer Garret Burnett, and some trouble he had at a local nightclub.

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    Canucks = Duck Pooped

    That's it. That's all. The Vancouver Canucks are out like George Takei.

    Last night's loss pretty much summed up the Canucks playoffs: Sedin's couldn't score, the Power Play sucked, Luongo was awesome, Ducks are just too good.

    Before the season, I predicted the Canucks just to squeak into the playoffs. Given how they finished the season, I'd say it was a successful one for the franchise.

    "What if Bieksa, Salo, Cooke, Kesler, and Fitzpatrick didn't suffer injuries?"

    It's too easy to ask "What if?", but I don't see how a healthy Canucks lineup would necessarily just leapfrog a Ducks squad that just has more talent and more will.

    The Ducks? Part of me doesn't like them at all because they are very thuggish. It's obvious that guys like Brad May are out there to simply hurt and injure people. The Ducks took a lot of bad penalties, but the Canucks weren't the ones to make them pay.

    Yet, I have to realize that the Ducks have superb PK, a well-rounded club, and a lot of speed to go with that beef. Unlike the Canucks, who have many forwards who can't score, the Ducks can throw out at least two complete units that can bury the puck at any time.

    It's disappointing to see the Canucks promising season end in such a frustrating way. We get the feeling that the Canucks could have done more if they could score a Power Play goal, or had less injury problems, or got a decent effort from the Sedinbots. It didn't help that most of the Canucks played Game 5 as if they wanted to be golfing the next day.

    Still, when all is said and done, I can say that I'm happy with how the season went. With the exception of a couple of players, the team played exceptionally well and banded together like the Crawford-era Canucks never would.

    Now that my hometown team is out of the running, I can relax and just watch the games without the potential for cardiac arrest. I'd prefer the pain, but I'll take relief, anyway. Just as long as the Wings or Rangers don't win, all will be fine.

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    Thursday, May 03, 2007


    Harold Ballard = Worst Canadian Villain?

    While Canadians are generally regarded as nice people, we certainly have our fair share of villains and assholes (Conrad Black, for example).

    In the world of hockey, can any be worse than Harold Ballard, former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

    Well, Beaver Magazine is running a contest to see who the Ten Worst Canadian Villains of all time are, and Ballard is a favourite (or not-so-favourite) to win the contest.

    As much as I might like anyone who screws with Leafs fans, even Ballard leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
    "History is not just about the celebratory stuff," said Deborah Morrison, president of Canada's National History Society, which publishes the magazine. "Sometimes the most important things we learn are from what doesn't work well. Most people see it as a different way to think about history."

    Morrison said early nominees for the "nation's worst" poll included criminals, sports figures and celebrities, including former Toronto Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard, singer Celine Dion and convicted killer Paul Bernardo.

    Go over to their website and stick in your vote.

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    Hockey Night In Kandahar

    A feel good story for today.

    A group of Ex-NHLers, including bruisers Tiger Williams and Bob Probert, beat up on some Canadian soldiers, 7-1, in a game of desert shinny.

    Under a blistering sun, a group of Canadian hockey heroes faced off against Team Task Force, with hundreds of fans cheering them on. With the Stanley Cup on display, players like Bob Probert, Mark Napier and Yvon Lambert put on a show for the crowd, handling the squad of soldiers 7 to 1.

    It was so hot that midway through the third period, goaltender Ron Tugnutt had an iced cappuccino delivered to him in the crease.

    Legendary enforcer Tiger Williams was also up to his old tricks, taunting the referees and getting into a playful scrap with Cpl. Mike Loder of the 2nd Newfoundland Regiment.
    Playful scrap? Even at Tiger's 'advanced' age, I wouldn't want to be messing with the guy.

    Then again, the soldiers have been fighting against guys a lot leaner and meaner than Tiger.

    You can view a full gallery over at


    Wednesday, May 02, 2007


    Video of the Day: Kozlov on "The Simpsons"

    Ahhh, it's been awhile since I saw this clip.

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    When Politicians Think They Matter

    Oh, boy ... your tax dollars at work.

    Some Canadians know, although it's not a big thing in the ENGLISH media, that the Canadian government has summoned officials from Hockey Canada to explain why Shane Doan was named captain of Team Canada at the WC's.

    Shane Doan, as you might remember, called a referee a 'Fucking Frenchman', and then some Quebec politician, as they always do, decided to raise a big stink about it. The French media, in their quest to whine about being oppressed by the Anglosphere, crusades on against this so-called injustice.

    So, since the Canadian government is always working overtime to appease Quebec, the province that always demands more and whines about not getting enough special treatment *eyeroll*, we have to waste tax dollars on something unimportant like this!

    The issue erupted on Parliament Hill this week as opposition parties criticized Doan's selection as captain. Members of the Conservative government agreed with them that Hockey Canada should be asked to tell their side of the story and voted with the opposition to schedule a hearing before a parliamentary committee to explain why Doan was named captain.

    Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, chairman Rene Marcil, and senior director Brad Pascall will appear Thursday before the House of Commons' Official Languages Committee.

    The issue first surfaced in December 2005 when federal Liberal MP Denis Coderre, the former minister in charge of sports, asked Hockey Canada to reconsider Doan's selection to the Olympic hockey team for the 2006 Turin Games because of the alleged slur.
    Yes, the Canadian government gives Hockey Canada money. Fine. Still, why do they care about what Shane Doan once yelled to a referee? If somebody were to call me a Fucking Slovak, I'm not going to write to my member of Parliament and whine to the local media about it.

    Big. fricking. deal. Shane Doan is not the first hockey player to yell out something profane and stupid. Live with it.

    Instead of worrying about oil companies gouging consumers, environmental issues, the widening income gap, and other important issues, we get ... this...

    Tell me, again, why did we ever stop executing politicians?

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    Tuesday, May 01, 2007


    Hockey's Finest Album

    by Greg

    Jes asked/pleaded with me to write something, anything. I can hardly blame him -- my name's up there in the masthead, but I write about as often as the Blue Jackets make the playoffs.

    The problem is, right now, that I'm strangely dispassionate about this year's playoffs. Last year neither of my teams really had a chance -- the Avalanche made the second round, but were obviously not a contender -- yet I was rabid throughout. This year... ehhhh. I found last year's Oilers and Hurricanes compelling -- not so this year. This was best illustrated Sunday night, when I got a text message informing me of the Canucks' loss (my new favorite team, you'll recall) from a heartbroken Vancouver fan. My response was to shrug, go back to drinking sangria, and sing Pogues songs at friends who would have preferred I didn't.

    And the playoffs are really the only subject worth writing about, unless I want to feign interest in Mats Sundin's health, so I had to look around.

    Thankfully, inspiration struck in the form of an old, half-forgotten CD -- a CD that's possibly the finest hockey-themed album ever made.

    Late in my college career, a small package from Canada showed up at the paper where I was working, and inside: "Johnny Hanson Presents Puck Rock, Vol. 1". I knew about the Hanson Brothers, of course -- but a compilation of a whole bunch of different punk bands playing hockey songs? Hotcha!

    I hadn't heard of any of the groups aside from the Hanson Brothers, SNFU, and DOA before this ... and really, I haven't heard of most of them since. They were, I'm pretty sure, mostly from western Canada (there's a sort of Edmonton/Vancouver skew in the song subjects), and doing google searches on 'em (Glenn Ford and the Piers, for instance) turns up very very little.

    Whatever -- it's great. The aforementioned Piers and their "What's Wrong With Lumme?" are still a frequent player in my mental jukebox (meaning that ol' #21 still takes up valuable mental real estate, while I can't remember where I left my keys each day). DOA and the Hansons are fantastic as always. And there's a retrospective wistfulness to the Smugglers' "Our Stanley Cup," written in 1994 -- dreaming of the imminent day when Vancouver would have the trophy. Whoops.

    The packaging is a gem, too -- each band gets its own hockey-style logo, and "Johnny Hanson" gives snotty little reports on each band. They've got Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockies, and Kansas City Scouts hanging in the back of the photos -- A+ for that.

    Unfortunately it's long out of print (Amazon has it for a kind of loony $67 Canadian), as is volume 2 (also well worth a listen, though a bit of the novelty had worn off). If you can find one, though, snap it up and play it this playoff season. Much better than listening to the announcers.



    Video of the Day: My Big Fat Obnoxious Canuck

    The things you find just by randomly surfing the YouTubes ...

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