Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Saku Koivu: He alone will destroy the entire culture in Québec

Ok, so I'm French and I get the whole "gotta keep the culture alive" thing. And I'm completely fine with that. All the power to the people who speak French as their primary language and all that jazz. Especially in Québec and New Brunswick, the two provinces that have French as an official language - the people living in these provinces have a right to French materials, especially materials of the government kind.

What I don't get is the whole separatist movement in Québec. What I hate is when Francophones think that they are better than Anglophones. This whole thing is just reeking of prejudice. They accuse Anglos of being prejudiced, but they should look in a mirror.

Today, the separtists decided to focus their attacks on the non-Francophone Habs players, and they specifically mention Saku Koivu. They say that the players should basically be forced to learn French. They criticize Koivu for not speaking French to the media, even though he has spent the last 12 years in Montréal. Sure, Koivu does speak French, and he uses it at home and when visiting sick kids, but why should he be forced to speak it to reporters? I don't blame Koivu at all for wanting to stick to English in interviews. The Montréal media people are always in the Habs' business, and they are always poking around. If I was a little insecure about my language skills, I wouldn't want to be using them in the spotlight. I bet Koivu doesn't want his words to be twisted and the likes, especially as the captain of the team.

Besides, who are these idiots for telling him what language he can and cannot speak???

Why not give him credit for learning English when he came over to North America?? Why throw him under the bus to further a political cause? Why not talk about the good things that he's doing with his charities?

The separatists make me sick. They whine and cry about how Québec is different from the rest of Canada, but they take all kinds of tax money from the Canadian government. Don't they realize that, should they get a country of their own, Canada won't be lining their pockets with cash? And France ain't gonna give a crap, either.

Separatists say that Québec should decrease multiculturalism, and basically make it a uniform race of people in order to preserve their culture. Hmm...where have I heard of this before?


02 Nov 07 - I have read many articles/blog entries on this subject in the last few days, but none are as well written as this one, on the Four Habs Fans site.

Crazy football fan, with his "I wanna be Mr. Grey Cup"

I get excited when I see the crows outside my window. Okay, not really, but I get more excited about that than the Grey Cup, or football in general.

However, there was a headline on my homepage that caught my eye. It said "Bombers' fan vows to change his name to Mr. Grey Cup."


See, I guess there's this 24-year-old kid who's a 'super fan' of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers who decided that he was angry at all the abundance of playoff tickets available. So, to 'motivate' the team, he has declared that if they win the Grey Cup, he will legally change his name to 'Grey Cup' the very next day.

And he's not kidding. He got all the details from the Vital Statistics office and they were fine with it. No biggie.

His family isn't so crazy about it. They think he's an idiot. As do I.

And I'm not being biased against the football fans out there, and I know there are plenty of you walking around. I'd have the same reaction to someone wanting to change their name to "Stanley Cup". Or "Memorial Cup". Or "Olympic Gold Medal".

My guess, though, is that this kid just wants to get his 15 minutes of fame. I'd like to see if he actually goes through with it if the Bombers win the Grey Cup on November 25th.

He'll probably chicken out.

Who knows, maybe he's one of these guys with the blue cheese heads. My guess is the guy with the jersey.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crosby and Malkin take the 'Wild' outta Minnesota - Pens win 4-2

Did I watch the Pens/Wild game?


Did I listen to Lange and the ol' 29-er?


Maybe I should have, though, cuz the Pens won, baby! Yeeeahhh!

Ahh, I know it's only October 30th, and I know that there's a whole boat-load of games left before the Pens even make the playoffs (assuming that they will, of course...that's not exactly a guarantee), but it's still nice to get the two points. Y'know, it's nice to win, especially against a team that has been doing so well so far. Always good to kick some butt.

If you look at that nice stats sheet, it seems as though the Pens' young guns played well - well, at least Sid and Geno did. Two goals and an assist for the Russian, and a goal and three helpers for the Canuck. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

Almost makes me want to do this:

Well, except for the whole pink sign, the shirtless-ness, and the paint...yeah..that's why I wrote 'almost'

Next up: Sakic, Smyth and the rest of the Avs. Go Pens!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Patrice Bergeron hurt

Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron was hurt in this afternoon's game in Boston. He was hit from behind by defenceman Randy Jones of - guess which team? - the Philadelphia Flyers and went face-first into the glass.

He fell to the ice and showed little movement. Medics cut away his jersey and shoulder pads, put him in a neck brace, strapped him to a stretcher and took him to hospital as his parents watched.

Jones will certainly be suspended for his actions. He used his forearm to drive Bergeron's head into the glass - how can he not be suspended?

What will be interesting to see is how Coley deals with the Flyers. This is the third time that such an incident has happened - this season! Now, I have to have faith that GM Paul Holmgren and Coach John Stevens do not want this thing to happen, but enough is enough already. There is something going on in the Flyers' organization and it needs to be stopped. They are having a great season, but this mess is just taking away from all of that success.

Perhaps it's time for the organization to be slapped with a hefty fine for apparently not keeping their players in line.
Update: Coley and the NHL big-wigs have suspended Randy Jones for 2 games. Wow. Harsh...and in other news, Bergeron might be out a month or longer.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ups and Downs in Pens-Country.

Third period meltdown - that describes the Pens' game against the Leafs on Thursday night.


By all accounts, the guys were playing well in the first two periods, then something happened to lead to a collapse. Perhaps Talbot's injury took the wind out of their sails. One bad thing, then two, then the game was over and the Leafs won 5-2.

Michel Therrien decided to blame the players for the meltdown. Hmm...maybe he should invite himself to the blame party. How can the players develop chemistry when MT juggles the line combinations game in, game out, and from shift to shift? I've never been so lucky as to play hockey before, but seems to me that you'd need a little bit of time to adjust to new linemates. You know, to get timing and communication right.

My advice to MT? Give the line combos some deep thought. Think about how each player is playing and where they deserve to be playing. Once you get a lineup, keep it as is for a few games to really see how things work, then if something needs to be changed, take it one step at a time.

Now it's not like the Pens would've won all 82 games this season, so I'm not suggesting that they should win every game. However, last year proved that teams can miss the playoffs by one game - one point - so if the Pens are going to lose a game, I'd much rather it happen with them playing their hearts out for 60 (or 65) minutes. And I'd rather that MT not panic and switch things up every 2 seconds.

For the record, I give the Leafs a lot of credit for scoring 4 goals in the third last night. They have been huge so far this season when it comes to scoring goals - unfortunately for them, the goals have been coming on both ends of the ice.

Thumbs up to Jiri Tlusty, the young kid who scored two goals in his first NHL last night. Not a bad debut, if I do say so myself.

Tomorrow's a new day and a new game for the Pens. They will meet the Habs for game 2 in the season's series with Montreal. And take a wild guess who the starting netminder will be...

Let's hope the Price is wrong.
Update: The Price was right...again. I bet Carbo will start Price each and every time the Pens are in town, mark my words.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


(clears throat)


I'm not a puckbunny,
Or a cheerleader.
And I don't wear pink jerseys,
Mini-skirts, or booty shorts to the Arena.
And I don't know Sidney, Jordan or Geno from the Pens,
Although I'm certain they're really, really nice.

We have a Commissioner
NOT a leader.
I speak English, French, and Hockey
NOT Soccer.
And I pronounce it 'Bee-ek-sa'
NOT 'Bee-es-ka.'

I can proudly sew the Pens' logo on my backpack.

I believe in forechecking, NOT goalie interference.
Shot blocking, NOT shots to the head.
And that Lemieux is a truly proud and noble owner.

A 'biscuit' is a puck,
A 'sin bin' is a penalty box,
And it's pronounced 'Pie-yay', not 'Pale', 'PIE-YAY'!

Hockey is the second greatest passtime! <-- 2nd only to sleeping
The only thing to watch on Saturday night!
And the greatest sport in the World!

My name is Ashley, and I AM A HOCKEY FAN!

Thank you.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The 'Female Hockey Fan' is not a Puckbunny.

Just to make myself clear, I hate using the phrase "female hockey fans", because it somehow gives the impression that girls are less knowledgeable, less enthusiastic, etc. about hockey. That being said, I'm going to use it today just to differentiate between guys and girls.

That girl in the middle, holding up the "Priceless" sign: what's your impression of her? For that matter, what's your impression of female hockey fans in general?

I bet someone out there will say, "Oh, that puckbunny just wants to get with Dion Phaneuf." I know you people exist, and I'm giving you all The Glare (TM).

It's a problem that girls face every day when others realize that we love the game. We can't possibly love hockey, right? Only guys go crazy over sports. We're the 'fans' who don't know what an offside call is, but who would love to get 'onside' with one of the players, eh? Uh, no.

You could fill a stadium with people who have given me odd looks when I told them that I love hockey. It's not as bad if I say that the Canadiens are my team, because that's just accepted in this part of the world - if you love hockey, you're either a Habs fan or a Leafs fan. Things get interesting when I mention that I love the Penguins. I bet you can guess what comment they make then, eh?

"Oh, you just have a thing for Sidney Crosby."

Um, what the frig??

My hypothesis is that when I tell people that I am a Habs fan, they just assume that I inherited this from my family - which may be partly true since I'm French-Canadian and all of my uncles are Habs fans - and that I don't really know anything about hockey. It's kind of like saying you're 'French', but your vocabulary consists of 'oui', 'non', and 'voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?' - but you're not even sure of what the last phrase means.

Saying that I'm a Pens fan, however, is different because I am going against the grain. People in these parts are not naturally Pens fans, so if you're a fan of that team you must either (1) be a legitimate hockey fan who appreciates the team, its history, and so on, or (2) a puckbunny who would like to get up close and personal with a certain someone on the team. Since it is against nature for girls to be hockey fans, the correct answer must be reason 2. Naturally.

The NHL doesn't help matters by offering these hideous 'jerseys':

Seriously, is this some kind of a joke? Apparently not, since I see girls on TV wearing these and bouncing around like lunatics. If I'm going to spend what little money I have on a jersey, I want to buy the real deal - or an exact replica of the real deal. I want it to be in the team colours. This pink and white thing just screams, "I want to be fashionable when I go to a hockey game." Well, guess what. Hockey jerseys are not meant to be 'fashionable'. We buy them to show our allegiance to our team. It is wrong to have a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey that is not black (or white) and gold.

Would you want to a green Canadian flag, or a perhaps a purple and pink American flag, to fly outside your home?

Didn't think so.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jordan Staal vs. Eric Staal series, tied at 1.

Today, right around 4pm, I listened to the news on the radio and they mentioned the Pens/'Canes game tonight. That was all fine and good - until the guy talkin' said something that made me frown and scratch my head. He said that this was the first time the two Staal brothers have met in a game this season. Um, huh? This is the 2nd game in as many weeks between these two teams. Somebody was fed the wrong info..

Anyways, after the New Jersey Disaster the other night, the Penguins needed something to go right in tonight's game against the 'Canes. Anything.

With Sabourin in goal, I thought I'd better keep my fingers crossed and pray for a miracle.

I didn't watch the game, and I didn't listen to Mike Lange's play-by-play online, but I read a few recaps and it seems like it was a hard-fought game. A game that saw the Pens win 4-3 in a shootout - by scoring on all three attempts. Not too bad.

The news flying around in the last day or so is that Ray Shero is looking to maybe, perhaps, pick up another goalie. A trade? A free agent signing? Who knows. And who knows if this story is even true.

No, I'm not saying that TSN's Bob McKenzie is feeding us a bunch of lies in the hopes that we gobble it all up. What I'm wondering is how serious Shero is about this potential goalie trade/signing thing. Is this something that he is actively pursuing, or is he just kind of throwing it out there and hoping that MAF is scared into playing better hockey? Or maybe Shero said no such thing and it was just someone in the Pens organization overheard talking to himself. I guess we'll find out in the coming weeks. If he makes changes to the goalies, then we'll know he was serious.
Tonight (or, I guess last night since it's now Saturday morning) was the 50th anniversary of the Rocket's 500th goal. He was the first to do it, as he was the first to set many scoring records. He was, and always will be, one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.
Tomorrow night, Pens and Caps, in DC, in front of a crowd of Pens fans (haha).

I'll be here watching Leafs/'Hawks on HNIC, waiting for next week's matchup - Habs/Pens. Sweet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WWGRD? Teach the refs how to do their jobs.

Tonight, I found myself alone and yelling at the TV. Yes, it may be a sad sight, but I was mad. Not at the TV, but at the game on TV. The Pens/Devils game. Or, more specifically, the refs at the game.

What in the world was THAT? Did the NHL decide to make a video on how to not ref a game? Maybe they have an issue with the Pens, or maybe they wanted to give the Devils a little boost while they're on their 9-game road trip. Who knows, and who cares. The only thing that matters is that the refs cost the Pens the game.

First, Sykora was called for "hooking" - though you could argue that his stick didn't even touch the guy - just as Sid was breaking away for a shot on Brodeur. If that was the only issue, then fine - I could have lived with it.

Then Malkin scored a goal, which was promptly taken away because the Pens had too many men on the ice. Okay, fine, I get it and I understand. I'm not going to argue that call. What I will argue, however, is the fact that New Jersey had about 10 guys on the ice involved in the action around the benches. The Devils should have been penalized too.

After that, Gionta decided to make his way into the crease and wound up on top of Fleury and in the net, while everyone else pounded away at the puck and the Devils scored. MAF had absolutely no chance at making that save because Gionta was practically sitting on his face and pinning him to the ice. The ref, who had a perfect view behind the net, should have waived the goal off. But no, of course not, that would've been the right thing to do.

And to cap it all off, the Devils interfered with Army right around the time the Malone penalties expired, but the refs turned a blind eye yet again.

But alas, there are some good things about this game.

First, Crosby was ON FIRE! Tonight, TSN stood for "The Sidney Network." - (c) McGuire. He was Pierre McGuire's Monster of the Game, and I would have to agree. That hit on Parise near the end of the third - nice. Those absolutely sick passes around his back or while sprawled out on the ice...I swear, he's better than last year. Thank goodness he's playing for my team.

Second, who would've ever thought that Talbot would be leading the team in goals? Good on him.

Third, Gary Roberts. He lays down the law after the opening faceoff, scores a PP goal late in the first to tie the game, has an assist to boot, and gives Asham a taste of GR anger in the third after Crosby is crosschecked and punched. Asham's lucky to still be walking.

Fourth, Malkin. Two goals tonight, but only credited for one. Add an assist to that total. Not too shabby.

On the minus side of things, MAF needs to work on rebound control. He's a great goalie who can make some incredible saves, but when the pucks keep bouncing into the slot, he's going to get beat.

I think I have vented my anger and frustration...for the time being. Morton and LaRue should be ashamed of themselves...

The Toronto Make Me Laughs

Oh, how I love to pick on the Leafs...

So I found this video someplace the other day. I'm not quite sure where it was posted (maybe pensblog? commentorblog?), so I apologize to whomever for not giving you a shout out, because this video seriously made my day.

This needs to be released to radio or something... or maybe shown on MuchMusic. I see it as a number 1 video.

Thrashers Coach is shown the door.

Bob Hartley, Head Coach of the Atlanta Thrashers, will be looking for a new job. GM Don Waddell fired Hartley today after the Flyers handed the Thrashers their sixth consecutive loss of the season last night.

The news of Hartley's firing was not particularly surprising. In fact, what would have been surprising is if Hartley had stayed. I know it's still very early in the season, but Atlanta's in a tailspin. They ended the 2006-07 season on a high by winning their division, but they were promptly swept from the playoffs by the NY Rangers, and now they are the only team without a win (or a single point) under their belt this season - every other team in the NHL has at least 2 wins and 4 points. The team needed a shake-up, and that's what they got. Waddell should hope that improvement is on the horizon (I mean, how could you get worse?), because the next one to be shown the door will likely be him.
Yesterday, I wrote about the big Habs/Panthers matchup on TSN. Indeed, the Panthers seem to be Habs-killers.

It seemed as though the Canadiens were going to take the game 1-0, after Kovalev scored on the powerplay less than 3 minutes into the first period. Montreal fans must've been going nuts as the seconds counted down in the third period....and then Horton tied the game with 11 seconds left.

What a way to kill the mood.

Just to make sure the Habs were really dead after that, Florida won the game in a shootout. I'm sure there were grown men crying over that one.

Even Kovalev was upset over that loss, and he chose to vent his anger by criticizing Coach Carbo for not calling a time out late in the game. Frankly, I'm surprised by Kovalev. He went a whole 5 games before criticizing Carbo and the team.

In other Habs news, RDS is reporting that Carey "The Next Patrick Roy" Price will be starting in goal tomorrow night for their game against red-hot Ottawa. Wow, what a way to test the kid. First, you put him out on the ice to face the Penguins, and now he has to face the top line in the NHL of Spezza/Heatley/Alfredsson. Should he put in another great performance, Habs fans nationwide will certainly be lobbying for his promotion from backup.
If Habs fans are going nuts over their shootout loss to Florida, then Calgary fans are probably rioting in front of the Saddledome. Why is that, you ask? Well, last night, the Flames were up 4-0 against the Avs - and it was an away game! Imagine that, it looked like the Flames were actually going to win a game away from Calgary.

Then things fell apart. Colorado started to play.

The Avs scored. And scored. And scored. And scored again. All 4 goals game in about 13 minutes, give or take, and only one was a PPG. The game went to a shootout, with Wolski getting the game winner for Colorado. Ouch.

I wouldn't want to be in practice with the Flames today. Iron Mike wouldn't be too happy, and I'd prefer to live.
Tonight is TSN's Eastern Conference Matchup Part 2: Pens and Devils. The Pens had a breakout game in Toronto last Saturday, and hopefully they'll catch Marty Brodeur on a bad night tonight. I also hope that the D is a little better tonight than they have been so far this season. Always room for improvement there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

TSN's Eastern Conference Matchup of the week - Part 1: Habs and Panthers

Tonight's NHL game on TSN features the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers. It should be an interesting game to watch, since the Florida Panthers tend to be 'Habs Killers' - they won last year's series 3-0-1, and have gone 7-1-3 (+1 tie) since 2003-04.

The Panthers started off slow this season, losing a handful of games, but they're starting to pull things together. A pair of back-to-back wins this weekend definitely put them in the 'upswing' category.

The game will be in Montreal, and the Bell Centre can be a hard place to play for visiting teams. Montrealers like their Habs - and they can be a tad, uh, vocal. That being said, it's not like the Habs are hot like the Sens. They're 2-1-1 so far, which isn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but they're coming off a hard 3-1 loss to the 'Canes on Saturday. Carbo is mixing things up a bit and sending messages to those who are still on summer holidays. Out are Latendresse and Begin, and in are Murray and rookie Grabovski. Huet will start between the pipes, fighting to prove to Canada that he has the goods to be the number 1 goalie. Price, on the other hand, is just waiting for another shot to prove that he has the goods to be Montreal's numero uno (or numéro un).

Can the Panthers make it a streak of three wins tonight? They'll need some good ol' fashioned Montreal help for that one - perhaps a Bryan McCabe-like brain fart by Brisebois? Oooooohh I can hear the crowd now...BOOOOO!

Tomorrow night's Eastern Conference matchup (part 2) on TSN features the Pens and the Devils. Got me-self a TV reserved for that one!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Offside! Sweet.

If you get a chance, check out Ken Henderson's website. Here's a peek at what you'll find. Wow Bettman, really?? I never even thought of doing that! This, ladies and gents, is a brilliant man.

Comrie's a bad man.

Remember the first game of the season, when the Ducks and the Kings battled in London? Bernier was great in net for the Kings, and I said that he should stay in LA and anchor the team. Well, looks like this was another case of me jumping to conclusions.

Yes, Bernier was really really good in that game. No, he will not stay with the team this year. The Kings have decided to go with someone else this season (or maybe five someone elses), returning Bernier to the Q in the process. He may be disappointed, but hey, now he’s available for Team Canada this December! That’s good news, eh? We’ll need all the help we can get if we’re going to go for the 4-peat.

Speaking of young Canadian hockey players, it looks like the London Knights are going to lose another star player this year, as Sam Gagner will likely stay in Edmonton (if I’m wrong, don’t blame me – BLAME DREGER!). This young guy barely made Team Canada for last year’s World Juniors, and he was virtually absent from the scoresheet. Fast forward about 7 months and Gagner was tearing it up in the Super Series. His performance there was rewarded by a good look in training camp, and then lo and behold, he proved that he can handle the NHL too, becoming the most consistent player for the Oilers so far this season. He’s currently playing big-time minutes for the Oilers’ top line, logging over 20 minutes in a game against the Canucks late last week. But if he stays with Edmonton, he won't be available for Team Canada in December. *sniff*

And now, let’s talk about Mike Comrie. The guy was a hero in Edmonton, then a villain (along the lines of Chris Pronger and wife), then he played in Phoenix and Ottawa, where he was, um, mediocre? - I guess that describes Comrie. After a Cup run with the Sens, Murray hands him off to Ted Nolan on the Island. So how is the little rich boy doing with the Isles?

Well, he’s doing pretty darn good.

Seven points in five games good.

And Comrie hurt someone in the process. A young boy who has a very influential father with a ‘thing’ for Anna Kournikova. That father is James Duthie, TSN hockey know-it-all, and he recently revealed that Mike Comrie stole his son’s woman! *gasp* And Comrie’s not even ashamed of it! How dare he…doesn’t he know that a 7-year-old boy’s love for Hilary Duff is a special thing that shouldn’t be messed with? Or at least that’s what I get from Duthie’s column…

How can they sleep at night, knowing what they've done to poor Duthie Jr...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New principal at school - Paris Hilton?

Ever wonder what your high school principal would look like in pink shoes, a mini dress and pink hair?

Well, I did. And my wish came true when I saw this photo in my hometown newspaper.

Doug Prescott lost a bet with students. He said that he would dress up in pink if they raised $15,000 for CIBC's Run for the Cure. It was tight (and I'm not just talking about that dress...), but the students came up with the money just before the race started.

For those who do not know Doug Prescott, this is totally and completely out of his character - but I guess it's a good thing that the principal doesn't usually wear pink mini dresses to school. Hard to take him seriously if he looks like a clownish Paris Hilton every day, eh?

Anyway, thank you Mr. Prescott for being such a good sport. And thank you current students for raising the money to allow me to have this photo saved on my computer for eternity...oh, and for raising all that cash for breast cancer research. You rock!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pens and Leafers on HNIC. Sweet.

PENS WIN 6-4!! Even sweeter!

Sabourin had an eventful first period. He started in goal, let a couple of pucks get past him, and got hurt when Orpik pushed Tucker right into him. Bring in MAF, who looked a bit more solid in the net. He still let in a few goals, but eh.

The Pens' offense was ON FIRE. Six goals, and over 50 shots on goal. Toskala kept it from being a complete blow out.

But just where has the Pens PP been? I think it's still on summer vacation. Hope it decides to come back this season because it's greatly missed. And then just as I wrote this, Sid scored on the PP. Figures.

Speaking of Crosby, he finally broke the big goose egg by scoring his first and second goals of the season. Nice. He's also kicked ass on faceoffs, winning like 75%. Very nice.

Don Cherry still thinks that Crosby shouldn't be captain yet because it's taking his focus off the game a bit. Cherry criticizing Crosby, what else is new..I'm just surprised that he didn't start flattering Jordan Staal, saying how he should've won the Calder Trophy.

A lot of the players were cuddly tonight. Kubina had a couple of holding penalties, McCabe was a grabber too. I think McCabe made a nice little home in the box tonight because he kept doing things to go back. Maybe he put a nice fuzzy teddy bear in the box.

Poor Brooksie. He went to hit the Leafer, and got a big ol' glove and stick in the face and was hurt bad. He looked dazed and confused when the guys practically carried him off the ice. Looked like a concussion to me.

So, the Pens' offense showed up tonight, but I think the D slept late...or didn't wake up at all. Perhaps not as bad as Toronto's D, but still - if the Pens have any slim hope of making it far into the playoffs, the D needs to wake up and actually play a defensive game. I'm just saying..

You have to give Toronto fans a lot of credit for continuing to support their team, even when the product is, um, less than perfect. The Leafs organization has been messed up for years, and they've messed the team up pretty good, but the people still come, and they cheer like they've won the Stanley Cup - even those most of them don't know what that's like.

Thumbs up to the little girl in the Mooseheads jersey and the sign saying that Halifax loves Crosby. Nice to have the Maritimes represented in the crowd.

Ok, so Sid got the first star of the game, I totally agree, but Talbot didn't get any love by CBC?? He only scored 2 goals tonight...
Next Pens game on TV = NJ/PIT on Wednesday night. Can't wait. Go Pens


Ottawa continues to dominate, winning again tonight against the Rangers. In fact, they won the game in less than 1 minute by scoring 3 goals in 52 seconds. Heatley got his 6th - he could end up with 60+ goals this year. Yikes.

Gerber's an absolute wall. He should have gotten a shutout, but the powers-that-be took that away from him. Stupid war room people. Jagr's goal shouldn't have counted.

Emery's close to coming back to the nation's capital. He just finished his second 'rehab' game in the AHL, where he faced 48 shots, stopping 46. He'd better hope that he keeps it up with the Sens, because Marty's making a really good case for taking his job.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Bad Boys of Philly, Part 2

You would think that players would have learned from Steve Downie's hit on McAmmond a few weeks back. Okay, so maybe not everyone will learn from that hit, but you would expect that the Flyers would be a little extra cautious in the 'dirty hits' department.

I guess that's asking too much of Philly.

Two nights ago, Jesse Boulerice of the Flyers crosschecked Ryan Kesler of the Canucks in the face, breaking his stick in the process. Here's some lovely video of the incident, courtesy of YouTube, the bestest site in the world.

What's going on in Philly? Why are their players running around and taking people's heads off? Are they on some kind of mind-altering drugs?

Right now, all eyes are on Philly, and it's not the kind of attention they want. The Flyers' organization definitely needs to do something about this team or the NHL bosses will hand Head Coach John Stevens a nice hefty fine. Guys need to know that they can't crosscheck someone in the face. Or skate half the length of the rink, launch yourself into the air and smash your shoulder into someone's head. It's just common sense - which some people apparently lack - and the Flyers' organization hasn't done much to make sure their players know the rules.

In order to drill some common sense back into Boulerice's head, NHL Disciplinarian Colin Campbell has hit him with a 25-game suspension - which ties him with Chris Simon for the longest suspension in NHL history. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to be known for...

We'll see if this suspension 'rehabilitates' Boulerice, but somehow I doubt it. He was handed a 1-year suspension from the OHL in the late 90's for swinging his stick like a bat at Andrew Long's head. Long ended up in the hospital, fighting for his life, and Boulerice was charged with aggravated assault.

It's sad to see this total lack of respect for others in hockey. Maybe 25 games is not enough. Maybe players have gotten used to this type of suspension and don't think it's that bad. Maybe Campbell needs to start putting his foot down and handing out season-long suspensions.

Maybe then guys would think twice before assaulting another player on the ice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Start saving for the Olympics now!

Who wants to go to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver/Whistler??? MEEEEE!!!!!!

But wait, I'll have to part with something dearly precious in order to attend. Perhaps my left kidney?

That's about the only way most of us will be able to afford the tix for the Games. VANOC announced their ticket prices today, and some of these prices are more than what I make in a month.

Do you want to attend the kick-ass party also known as the Opening Ceremonies? Fork over between $175 and $1100, and the ticket's all yours.

Perhaps Men's Hockey is more your thing. You'll have to part with $755 shiny loonies to get the best seats at the gold medal game (or only $450 and $350 for nosebleed seats), making this the most expensive (sporting) event to attend at the Vancouver Games.

Women's Hockey? Those tix are being sold for as little as $25 a pop. What the frig? This speaks volumes as to the status of women's hockey compared to men's hockey. I bet these el-cheapo tickets are for the Italy-Japan games anyway - there's no way these tix would get you in to see Wickenheiser and the girls play the so-called evil enemy.

About half of the tickets will be under $100, which ain't too bad, considering it's the OLYMPICS...and the Games are in OUR country. I'm guessing that most of these cheap tix will be to outdoor events, like cross-country skiing, where you can watch people ski past you for only $25. Once in a lifetime, peoples, once in a freakin' lifetime...

But if you're like me and you are drooling at the idea of watching the competition live and in person, you'd better start saving those loonies now. Tickets go on sale October 11th...2008. And they will sell out fast, real fast.

You might also want to work on finding a new friend in the Greater Vancouver area, because something tells me that it will be hard to find a hotel room, or even a vacant cot in the lobby of a shaddy motel.

Pens and Habs, Habs and Pens...who won? Not us.

Yesterday was a day of excitement. People across North America and around the world were thrilled that the Pens were playing. Never mind that it was only their 3rd of 82 games in the regular season - we always get excited when our team plays! I, myself, had a little extra spring in my step. I turned on the internet radio to listen to Lange and Bourque call the game, and I switched on to Game Day Chat so that others could tell me what happened 30 seconds before I actually heard Lange describe the play.

Then, it happened.

Carey Price happened.

True, yesterday I was a tad cautious by not calling him the second coming of St. Patrick, and I'm not quite ready to go there just yet. But wow, Price certainly did put on a show last night at the Igloo. If he keeps it up, Gainey will look like a genius for keeping him in the big league and Price will be knocking on Huet's door for the number one spot. Montreal fans are always looking for a top-flight player to cheer for, and they may force Carbo's hand if Price plays like an MVP.

I really like this kid, and he deserves a lot of credit for standing tall last night.

But did it have to be against the Penguins??

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is the Price right in Montreal? I'm not so sure

Tonight = game night. Habs and Pens. It's gonna be a rough one.

It was 22 years ago tonight that Patrick Roy made his NHL debut with the Habs against, you guessed it, the Pens. Seems as though Carey Price is going to get the start tonight against the Penguins. Jump to whatever "jump to conclusions" conclusion you want, who cares.

To be truthful, the whole Price thing is confusing me.

At the beginning of training camp, Carbo said that he wasn't going to have Price on the team as a backup goalie because he's only 20 and he could use time in the AHL to develop. As a backup, he'd be sitting on the bench most of the time, so Carbo was right on this one.

At the end of camp, Huet got the nod as starting goalie, but Gainey overruled Carbo and put Price in as backup, sending Halak back to Hamilton. Huh?

Why would Gainey do this? We all know that Price is going to be the franchise goalie in Montreal, and we know that he won the Calder Cup with Hamilton last season (and he was playoff MVP), along with tons of other honours. Blah blah, whatever. What matters is that Halak has more experience and has proven himself to be capable of playing in the NHL - he stole Abby's job at the end of last season (though that's not exactly hard to do). Price had a hard time in the pre-season games and could use a lot more playing time in Hamilton in order to polish his skills. Everyone knows that goalies take longer to develop, and this lack of play could set him back even further.

I have to wonder what Carbo's motives are for starting Price in tonight's game. I know that the Pens haven't come flying out of the gates this season like Ottawa, but it's not like they're a crap team. They have one of the best offenses in the NHL, led by the best player in the world. I think that Price will have to stand on his head like no other, or risk disaster. Does Carbo think that Price will falter tonight, and could this be his way of sending him to Hamilton in exchange for Halak? It's possible. I just hope that the Montreal crowd doesn't get on Price if he does crash and burn - we all know how critical they are of their own.

One thing's for sure though: at the end of the night, we'll know if Gainey's a genius, or if he made a really stupid mistake.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gerber's no Swiss cheese

Martin Gerber, backup goaltender for the Ottawa Senators, is having a great time between the pipes. He is one big reason why the Sens are 4-0 right now. Check out his stats:

SV% : 0.949
GAA : 1.73
SO : 1


Sure, the Sens' season is only 4 games old, but that's pretty impressive. What gets better is that Gerber is 14-0-2 (2.02 GAA, 0.931 SV%) since December 23rd.

Bigger wow

Some people are quick to say, "Hello?! TRADE BAIT!!" but I wouldn't jump the gun here. Emery's still out with a bad wrist (and who knows how it will hold up) and Ottawa is going to push for the Cup again this year. They have the offense, the D, and Gerber just might be what they need to stabilize the goaltending situation. I know, I didn't think I'd be saying that, but whatever, I change my mind. Deal with it.

Don't be surprised if the Sens decide to play Gerber a little more and Emery a little less. And if Em starts to show leakiness-a-plenty, his job will be to warm the bench. Ottawa wants the Cup, and they won't let bad goaltending get in the way.

A great hockey player retires from the game

It is official: a former NHL player, who was drafted first overall, has retired from hockey.

Who is it, you ask? Is it Mike Modano?


Perhaps Mats Sundin...maybe he really does have a serious hip problem.

Nope, it's not a Swede, but you're getting closer..

It's...and get ready for's shocking...Patrik Stefan.

The casual hockey fan would ask, "Huh? Who's that?" Well, this is the guy who did this in January 2007 in a game against the Oilers.

"Oops, that was supposed to go in the empty net."

Unfortunately, that is what Stefan is famous for...well, that and the fact that he was expected to be a great hockey player, the kind you could build a franchise around. He was great - a great, big, fat disappointment in North America. He probably would have done better in a European league.

Stefan wasn't wanted in the NHL this season, so he packed his bags and headed across the pond to play in the Swiss league, where he promptly suffered a major hip injury to add to his list of (past) hockey injuries (mostly of the concussion variety). Guess he weighed the pros (playing mediocre hockey) versus the cons (all the boo-boos...and maybe the booing from the fans) and decided to hang up the skates for good.

So long Patrik Stefan, you were no Sidney Crosby...or even an Alexandre Daigle. I wish you the best in your new career, whatever that may be.

Monday, October 8, 2007

NHL Standings - October 8th

Never a time like the present to check out for the current standings. Sure, it's so early in the season that it's worth nothing, but it's good for a laugh. It's good to laugh at teams who are only in a playoff spot in early October - they will fall out of contention by, say, October 20th.

And the results are.....*drum roll*

Eastern Conference
1. Ottawa (duh. they are beating everyone here. and they're 4-0)
2. Washington (ugh. they can take a nose-dive now)
3. NY Islanders (wow...wouldn't we all look stupid if this wasn't just some lucky fluke? don't know about you guys, but I'm not about to look like an idiot..)
4. Tampa Bay
5. Montreal (they're just happy to be ahead of Toronto)
6. Carolina
7. Toronto (Toronto fans are still celebrating the OT win over MTL on Saturday. one win down, one more to go...and six losses)
8. NY Rangers (ugh. at least the Isles are beating them)
9. New Jersey
10. Philly (ugh, they improved, darn)
11. Boston
12. Pittsburgh (people are already freaking out..we'll climb the ladder this season, don't worry)
13. Buffalo (long way from the President's Trophy)
14. Atlanta
15. Florida

Western Conference
1. Nashville (wha? Nashville?? what happened to them being lame ducks - uh, predators?? oh well, it won't last)
2. Edmonton (WHAA?? EDMONTON?? but seriously, I hope they kick ass this season)
3. San Jose (can anyone be surprised here? nope. Thornton and the boys will bring it on this year)
4. Minnesota
5. Colorado (Stastny's starting the year off good...real good)
6. Detroit
7. Anaheim
8. Columbus (hahaha...this is the closest they'll make it to the playoffs this year)
9. St. Louis (they'll definitely be competitive this year. Andy Murray is awesome)
10. Chicago (and now they're without Havlat for a good long time. any chance of a miracle season is all but dead)
11. Phoenix (this will be the highest Gretzky's boys will make it in the standings this year)
12. Vancouver (they'll climb the standings, no worries. they have someone named 'Luongo')
13. Los Angeles (if they keep Bernier, they might have a chance to make the's a big maybe, but still..)
14. Dallas
15. Calgary (Iron Mike's system hasn't done much in southern Alberta so far, but I suspect that things will turn around)

Pens win home opener Saturday night, sweeeet

I didn't actually watch the game (yes, I know, it's sad). I did, however, catch the Leafs/Habs game on CBC. It's so nice to see HNIC back on the air for season 55. It brought a smile to my face. I missed it.

As I watched the NHL's biggest rivals battle it out for the first time this season (and my, it was certainly a hard-fought game), we - the millions of viewers in TV-land - got a little snippet of info from Ron McLean - Sidney Crosby blocked a shot with his right foot and left the ice in pain. My first thought? "Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh. Not again." I remember that shot that broke his left foot, and I sure hoped that he didn't break his right foot in the second game of the season. The Pens could survive without, say, Rex in the lineup, but without Sid? Things would be a little harder...

Seems as though the X-rays on the Pens' captain's foot were negative. Certainly something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend.

Free-agent signing Petr Sykora (aka Syko) seems to be kickin' some ass. Again, I didn't see him play these last 2 games, but I've been hearing good things about the new guy up front. If he keeps this up, I'm gonna look like a frickin' genius for picking him up in the fantasy draft. All those suckers thought I was crazy for snatching Syko up for my roster, but who's laughing now? Well, except for the guy who got Paul Stastny...

On a serious note, I was absolutely stunned when I heard that new Leafer Jason Blake is battling a rare form of leukemia. From what I gather from this TSN article, it seems as though Blake is taking a chemo-like pill to fight the leukemia and he will continue to play for the Leafs this season. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope Blake beats this thing for good. We may not like all of the teams out there, or all of the players for that matter, but nobody likes to see this. Good luck buddy.

Shea Weber, one of the only good things still left in Nashville, is out 3-6 weeks after dislocating his knee in Thursday's game against Colorado. A few dozen memories of mine say ouch - to say the least... Nothin' like a knee cap stuck on the side of your leg to make you crash to the ground (or ice) and cry like a baby.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend...

Eat some turkey

Gobble Gobble

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Downie's warming the least for October.

The Steve Downie saga continues.

The NHL hit Downie with a 20 game suspension last week. Then Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said that the team would deal with the suspension in chunks, by sending Downie down to the AHL to play, and then calling him up to the big team when the Phantoms weren't playing. This way Downie could serve his suspension while still playing hockey.

Creative? Yes.

Screwed up? Absolutely.

The AHL responded by issuing Downie with a 1 month suspension, making him eligible to play in early November. How do the Flyers respond? By calling him up to the roster, of course. If Downie can't play in the AHL, then he might as well start serving his NHL suspension.

You have to give credit to the AHL for actually doing something, and not completely welcoming Downie with open arms. I'll take this over nothing. However, I would rather see the AHL saying to Downie, "If you aren't eligible to play in the NHL due to suspension, then you won't be suiting up for our teams." As it stands, Downie can start playing hockey again before his 20-game suspension is over.

The NHL's attitude in the last week has been, "Oh, we're definitely doing something about shots to the head. We can't have this happening in our game because guys are getting hurt." Right...I'll believe it once they prove it.

Downie means nothing to the NHL.

Let's see what happens when Chris Pronger does the same thing. Will the NHL lay down the law, or will they buy the, "Oh, but I'm so tall and he's so short so he just ran into my arm," excuse?

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's Garytober Time

I wish for the Penguins to be healthy and happy
In their quest for Lord Stanley's Mug.
Please let the Pens win all of their games this year
And sweep the competition in the playoffs.
I hope that the Western Conference Champion
Will have a long and extremely hard playoff run
To make them extra tired when they face Pittsburgh.
I want Crosby to take the Cup from Bettman
And hoist it over his head
And bring it home to Nova Scotia for a kick-ass party.
Alexander Keith would go oh so well with Stanley.
I yearn for the Pens to win "La Coupe"
For the first time in 16 years.
But if it is not to happen this year,
Please oh please don't let me whine and cry like a baby front of anyone else.

The 2007-08 season begins.

Time for Gary Roberts to do what he does best - Kick Ass.

Go Pens