Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dion Phaneuf Traded to the Leafs

I'll just duplicate what I said on Twitter for now:

Dion Phaneuf is gone from the NW division? Happy day. But now he'll be on CBC every Saturday night. Crap.

via almost everyone on Twitter:
Leafs send Hagman, White, Stajan and Mayers to Calgary for Phaneuf, Sjostrom and Aulie

Monday, January 18, 2010

Colorado @ Edmonton - The "Not Watching" Edition

Colorado plays host to Edmonton tonight and I won't be watching. Why? Because I refuse to pay $15.95+fees and taxes to watch a single game on PPV.

I know there are online feeds but after watching 99% of my sports in HD, I can't handle a 320x240 window of pixelated hockey.

To whoever decided that putting games on PPV was a good idea: screw you and the horse you rode in on.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Speaking of Unbeatable Records

One of the common bar room discussions is focused around unbeatable sports records. Gretzky's points total, Cal Ripken's consecutive game streak, Martin Brodeur's shutout total (yeah, I said it). It's been hashed, re-hashed, then hashed again and has likely been the cause of a few fights. Good times.

Tonight I was reading the 2010 World Junior media guide - because I didn't have time to read it until now - and spotted a few records that should be in people's repertoire during any future discussions:

Most Points, Career - 42
Most Points, One Tournament - 31
Most Assists, Career - 32
Most Assists, One Tournament -24
Most Points, One Game - 10

Any guesses as to who this prolific junior phenom might be? If you said Bjorn'd be wrong. In fact, it was our very own Peter "Foppa" Forsberg.

Over the course of 14 games in two tournaments, he put up an amazing 42 points including 32 assists. The majority of those points came in the '93 tournament when he put up 31 points in seven games including a 10-point night against Japan.

In case you don't feel like doing the math, that's an average of over four points per game. Even Jordan "F'n" Eberle only put up 26 points in the 12 games he's played. That's barely two points per game. Peter Forsberg laughs at that kind of scoring pace.

No matter what Red Wings fans might say, the hockey world is worse off for not having Peter Forsberg at full capacity for the last decade.

I've got one more world junior thought on my mind before my focus (probably) will shift back to the Avalanche. I might get it out today. Or maybe tomorrow. But it will definitely be before the end of the decade. Probably.

And I still heart Jordan Eberle.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

World Juniors Wind Down

The World Juniors are over and so is Canada's streak of gold medal wins, just shy of a record six in a row. It would have been amazing to see Canada set that record - especially with myself in attendance - but the pressure is finally off. Well, maybe just turned down a couple notches.

I don't know how many of you caught the game tonight (or do I...?) but if you didn't, you missed some of the most exciting hockey you'll ever see and you should be ashamed of yourself. It seems when Team USA and Team Canada meet at the World Juniors, it's destined to be a classic and this one did not disappoint. For Canadian fans, there's no way it beats their 2007 semi-final matchup, but I think US fans will be happy to call this one their favorite.

Before the puck dropped, I had a feeling Team USA would win - and I have the winnings to prove it - but damned if Canada didn't still have some magic left in the tank. Or maybe it was just Jordan Eberle that did.

Jordan Eberle has been a god amongst teenagers these last two tournaments and what I wouldn't give to see him back for one more run. Instead, I'll be falling out of love with him while he provides some of that magic to the Edmonton Oilers next season.

Unfortunately Eberle's dramatics weren't enough this time, but I was very happy for Team USA as they celebrated. Throughout the tournament they faced adversity, pushed it all aside, bonded together and came away with a hard-fought gold medal win. No better way to do it.

I was at the rink nearly every day these last two weeks and it was an utterly enjoyable, if not mildly exhausting, way to spend a vacation. Not only did I work with great volunteers, but I got to meet the great talent that makes TSN run as tight as it does. And I even got to rub shoulders with Ray Bourque. Literally. Eat your hearts out, Avs fans.

I do have a few notes to share before I sign off and hopefully fall back into a normal routine.

First, to everyone who decried the Canadians fans as unclassy - that'll be enough, eh? Yes, they boed the US in every game they played, even against Team Sweden who was the only other real contender the US faced.

There was no doubt Team USA was the rival for Team Canada this tournament and the fans recognized it from the start. But when all was said and done, the 15,000 strong stood up and gave kudos to an extremely talented US squad. There wasn't a boo bird in the house once all was said and done.

Look at it the same way most people look at any sporting even. When you're in the thick of the battle, there are only enemies. But once all is said and done, you shake hands and say "Well played."

The fans at this tournament showed amazing support for their team and for all the other teams as well. Nino Neiderreiter (no spell-checking, it's too late) of Team Switzerland became a folk hero and when Team Latvia finally won a game, you would have thought Team Canada had just won the gold medal. Team Sweden also got an ovation heading off the ice after winning bronze tonight and even saluted the crowd as they left.

So don't try and tell me Canadian fans have no class.

Second, to Zach Parise - I'm a fan of yours, I love the way you play and think you're a severly under-covered star in the NHL. But your note to Team USA was just plain dumb. To say that everybody is" tired of 'Hockey Canada' and its arrogance" is as short-sighted as believing that radio jockeys pranks actually mean anything. (yes that's me commenting there)

Team USA won tonight by putting together a squad that Hockey Canada would be proud of. That's in large part because USA Hockey looked to Hockey Canada as a model for development and player selection.

Maybe you're upset that you are one of the elite talents in the game but all anyone talks about is Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. But that's not Hockey Canada's fault. Blame the media for that one,

And finally, to the referees. Never have I felt or believed that a group of referees ever had it in for a team. But after that first period, I am 100% convinced that this squad had it in for Team Canada and nobody will convince me otherwise.

And before you jump on me, I'm not blaming them for the loss. Jake, the team..did that just fine by themselves. But I do blame the German linesman a bit (inside joke)

But what a great way to lead in to next year's tournament in Buffalo. I've already booked the days off only this time I'll be watching from my couch. Here's to the start of a new streak in 2011. Until then, enjoy being on top of the junior hockey world, USA.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Adam Foote's Called Shot

In Elliot Freedman's latest 30 Thoughts column, this story made #27:

Adam Foote was booed every time he touched the puck Saturday night in Columbus. Down 2-1 after two, he told his teammates, “It’s going to be that much sweeter when we win this game.” Colorado rallied to win it.
Nothing like calling the win. Maybe it's time to get over it, CB fans?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Quick Check-in

For those wondering, I'm still alive. Even though it was Christmas/New Years, I've been keeeping myself nice and busy volunteering for the World Junior tournament here in Saskatoon. I've probably got one of the cushiest assignments in the whole tournament as I'm stationed in the TSN announcing booth watching the game over the shoulders of Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire.

I've been able to watch about 40 minutes of Avalanche hockey in the last two weeks as I caught their win over the Ottawa Senators on a day where I was able to get out of the rink before 10:30 at night. It was fun to watch a win and frankly it was exciting even as they were losing the lead late in the third. I guess when you don't see it happen night after night, it doesn't have the same frustration.

I'll be busy with the tournament until January 5th when Canada wins its sixth-straight gold medal, but who knows what 2010 will bring as far as work and health.

Happy new year to all and I hope to see you kicking around here whenever I'm able to form coherent sentences.