Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wizard... News of the Weird

Burrows Calls the Kettle Black
Well the big news this week is Alex Burrows calling out referee Stephane Auger. Here's what gets me, why are we all shocked and outraged as we pretend not to acknowledge that this happens all the time. Sure, this is the first time in a while where its so blatantly obvious, but bias is something that is a part of us all, no matter how impartial we claim to be. The only way to be completely impartial is to not give something any thought at all, but that's impossible in this case. I'm not letting Auger off the hook, because those calls were bullshit no matter how you slice it, but I'm not going to single him out either. Everyone in the world has favorites, preferences, dislikes, and outright hatred towards certain things, including refs towards particular players, coaches, or teams in general. Referees and linesmen have a tough job to do in the fastest sport, they are constantly screamed at, cursed at, in the line of fire, from pucks to punches. And yet its a big deal when we hear about referees cursing back at players, talk about a double standard. Auger's a shitty ref, but don't we think they're all shitty refs when they make the wrong call.

Kovalchuk Headed Anywhere and Everywhere
In the last few days, I think every team blog on SB Nation has had a post about whether their team should make a move for Kovy. Before the floodgates opened, when contract talks in Atlanta came to a screeching halt, I've heard some of the most candid, straightforward, and honest reasoning that I've heard in a long time from the Falconer at Bird Watchers Anonymous. This guy nailed it on the fucking head, and made me come to my senses with regards to what Atlanta should do with Ilya.

"Let's say Kovalchuk accepts the rumored offer of 12 years for $10 million each. Many fans would rejoice and proclaim their happiness--I'm not so sure. Can you win a Stanley Cup with 20% of your entire payroll invested in a guy who is great on offense but who contributes very little on the defensive side of the equation? Have teams won the Stanley Cup with one sided offensive players? Yes. Has anyone won the Stanley Cup with with a one-way player who consumes 1 out of every 5 payroll dollars? I don't think so. As a fan I'd trade one Stanley Cup for ten 50 goal seasons." - The Falconer, Bird Watchers Anonymous from the post Decision Day Looms for Kovalchuk, Waddell and Thrashers

The very next day he follows it up with a post the next day of two clear cut examples of why you don't lay down that kind of money for a blend of offensive brillance with defensive apathy. A post he titled, Would You Pay $10Million a Year for this Defense? Great stuff, I tip my hat to you sir.

Now I'll admit, I've been under the assumption that Waddell should pay this guy whatever the hell he wants, if nothing more than for the stability of the franchise. But after reading the Falconer's examples, that might do the exact opposite. But if he trades Kovalchuk and doesn't get enough value in the eyes the pundits, will that be better or worse than keeping him? On the other side of the coin, if Don does get what is deemed 'fair market value,' or better even, that doesn't guarantee success or at the very least, playoff presence, either.

Bottom line, Waddell is fucked. He's mired in indecision, he's in the middle of an ownership mess with a floundering franchise, and the best asset of said franchise ready to walk out the door. Kovalchuk doesn't care where he goes, he'll be rich as fuck wherever he goes, whether that's one of the other 29 cities in the League, or to one of the 25 (and soon to be more) teams in the KHL.

First off, dude, you're a fucking idiot. Its too bad the rest of the crowd sitting around you didn't kick the shit out of you, even if it was to give their team the advantage. Sutter should have made a bigger stink about this during the game, then we would at least have a name and a face for our venom. Read, over on hit the post, that supposedly green lasers are far worse than the red ones, able to burn through plastic. Whether that's hubris or not I don't know, WI is known to write her share (Ha!). Besides we want green man not green lasers!

FSN Pittsburgh Doesn't Share Footage
I don't want to get into this but, it was a goal, no question. It didn't matter, Philly still one, but still, its fucked up. My beef is why its the responsibility of the sports network to send their footage to the War Room. If this is really what the office in Toronto is using to determine questionable plays, then why isn't there an official in the broadcasting booth responsible for collecting it and distributing it to the review officials? Some producer gets fired, and we stop huffing, end of story.

Matt Bradley, Capital Hero
Steve Downie tried to goad Ovie into a fight in last night's game when it was clearly out of reach. Alex was a willing participant, dropping the gloves, and even removing the visored helmet (classy), but that was all before Matt Bradley came flying in from the bench to spare those magical Russian hands from denting Downie's stupid face. Ovechkin obviously never asked Bradley to step in and handle his light work, but I have no doubt Matt received direction from Gabby to do so. In the end, Bradley is seen as a hero in the Washington locker room, and idiots (like Downie in the video) will call Ovechkin a pussy. At least until he actually fights someone.

There's odds and ends but I'm tired, those are the big entries. Enjoy slobs.

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