Friday, March 14, 2008

This Week in the NHL

Remember the post "Luongo on the Wrong Meds"? The date on that post was February, 15. That was also the last time the Wild scored on a shootout. They went 0-3 last night against the Devils, 0-3 against S.J. on Sunday and 0-3 against the Thrash a week ago. Last night when they absolutely needed a score, Jacques puts Brian "Watch my Slapper" Rolston out there who missed the net. Rolston and Demitra were absolutely invisible last night. Fortunately for both of them, Doug Risebrough will most likely reward that play with a three year, nine & a half million dollar contract at the end of the season. So who will the 7 seed be playing this year?

Marty Brodeur was amazing last night. Kind of reminded me of Justin. On the second shootout attempt, Brent Burns tried to wrist one past him. Brodeur gloved it but the puck slipped out and up, so Marty caught it on the paddle. He seemed bored last night during the third. There were a few saves where he had already moved before the shot - he was that dialed in. I thought I saw him save a puck with the edge of his skate - the front edge.

Another Wyld Chyld that was invisible last night was Chris Simon - not necessarily by his doings. Michael Russo from the Strib wrote "Jacques LeMaire asked for a much more physical Simon." So after pounding Sheldon Brookbank and answering the bell against David Clarkson in the first period, Simon got a total of four more shifts including one in the third period in which one second elapsed. One second? Here's the fight.

Apparently Clarkson got five for fighting, if you want to call it that.

Steve Kelly got hurt last night - Benny Pouliot is next! I say "Bring Up Cal Clutterbuck". Great rhyming opportunities.

Elsewhere, Chris Pronger took a page from Simon's book and stomped on Ryan Kesler.

Of course, Colin Campbell took a page from his own book and didn't suspend Pronger. Perhaps Campbell was afraid that Brian Burke would remove him from his MySpace friends list. Remember, Simon got 30 games. Fortunately, the NHL may consider further review. God, I hate Pronger.

Sean Avery, another douchebag, launched some water bottles in the penalty box against Boston on Sunday.

Panger's right, another team will come up and throw 3.5 million at this ass-clown next season. Avery's response to whether the Rangers will suspend him? "They should give me community service". Uhh, Sean... you don't get to choose. Thank God for Lindsay Ruff. The next night Avery made his return to HSBC Arena and Ruff he told his tough guys to "let their emotions get the better of them".

Watch the very beginning of the clip - that's #16 getting double teamed into the boards. Of course, Colton Orr comes to Mrs. Avery's rescue and fights Andrew Peters.

Finally, the third douchebag is Jim Souhan. He shows how little he knows about hockey in this piece in Wednesday's Strib. A piece of advice, Souhan? You need to watch more than four hockey games a season in order to know enough to write about it.


slag said...

You're the ignorant one! Souhan is 100% right with his comments. The High School tournament is about skill, teamwork, and sportsmanship. It's fun to watch. The goonery in NHL hockey is ruining the game.

TR said...

Ohh... Mr./Ms. Slag (not sure of your gender or identity, but glad to have you here anyways) where should I begin...

1.) Souhan argues that high school and college hockey is exciting, end to end action yet because the Wild go and get Chris Simon to go along with Fedoruk and a (non-playing) Boogaard that the Wild & NHL are "worse the quality of play and the more thuggery and defensive systems are rewarded". I know it reads awkward, but I used his quote.

Anyone who has watched more than one recent Wild game can tell you that the Wild's problem isn't scoring chances, it's converting them. I went to the state hockey tournament and enjoyed it, but there wasn't any more or less dumping the puck. Scoring wasn't any more or less than any other NHL game (catch the 7-1 Pitt vs. Philly drubbing today?). The Wild's scoring has been decreased as of late, but as I said before, the chances haven't. And by the way, when has defensive hockey been unenjoyable to watch? I would guess that those three Gophers games this weekend were boring to you since they were 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 even though there was an extra game and a half of overtime.

2.) Souhan keeps his flapper moving by writing that "Gaborik should spend his ice time trying to score." Unfortunately, you can't compare Gabby to Tom Brady - he's got to play both ways. If he's absent on the defensive end, he can try to score all the goals he wants, but the other team will be filling up the net behind Backstrom.

3.) "What the NHL needs is far less defensive responsibility", Souhan writes. What kind of asinine statement is that? Grant me a solid and defend that statement. So the point is not to win games, but to score pretty goals? Let me ask you something. When the Ducks pounded the poop out of the Wild in last year's playoffs, what was the common explanation as to why? Yup, it was because the Wild were outmuscled. So we pick up Fedoruk and Simon and groom Voros, guys who can play (unlike Boogey who I saw fall during a game last fall without being touched) contribute, and fight and now everyone is crying that they won't be able to bring their kids to games anymore? How ridiculous is that?

Do me a favor. Watch Ryan Getzlaf play a game. He's the next big thing. The guy is skilled, but physical as hell. He is impossible to knock off the puck and won't think twice about pounding your head into the boards to pick up the puck. He's fast and has a wicked shot. So in order to keep him from scoring on you, you need to beat the hell out of him more and sooner than he's going to beat the hell out of you.

The point? It's a physical game. Scoring pretty goals is nice, but scoring grinders is what wins games and in order to score grinders you've got to be willing to beat someone up. Fights are intertwined with hockey simply because the more physical team has an advantage.

Oh and did you see the end of the Roseau - Hill Murray game at the state tourney? That would be considered a fight.

There are far too many people who claim to understand sports without the slightest understanding of hockey. Souhan and yourself included.