Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Hair Club for Hockey Men

Men of hockey, you know that getting your hair back will make you look good and improve your self-confidence like no diet or exercise program. Its a proven fact that having a thicker, fuller head of hair makes you look and feel younger, healthier, and sexier. You can get your hair back (sort of), just by calling Hair Club for Hockey Men.

Call Now!

Hair Club offers all proven hair loss solutions, including surgical and non-surgical options, (mostly non-surgical).

"What seperates us here at the HCFHM, is that we don't have all that fancy, new fangled technology of the more reputable hair replacement companies, no, no. We use the more traditional methods of shamefully hiding your baldness with tried and true methods that for some reason, continue to exist despite their ineffectiveness." - Dr. Pepper

Take, for example, our first success story, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman...

The infamous Commissioner Bettman choose to elect the oldest known baldness remedy known as the toupee. As a New Yorker, the Commish decided to go in the style of one of his favorite New York sports announcers, and selected the "Marv," made famous by the cross-dressing, back biting Knicks sportscaster, Marv Alberts. Look at the confidence, and shear pleasure it gives Gary just by wearing it.

Here at the HCFHM, we know that some cue balls are on a budget, and we offer cost effective solutions as well, like Jerome Russell's Spray-On-Hair!

Coming in a variety of colors and shades of humility, Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf chose this method to "fill-in" his growing lunar landing pad...

Can you see the differnence its made in his game and self-confidence? He's ready for a post-game celebration, ladies. Just remember to wipe up those drips Ryan!

And here we have one of our senior members of the League, veteran forward Keith Tkachuk. For Walt, we chose a different method of self-assurance to help him through his senior years, we used the "situation relocation" program. Look at how sad, and depressed he is in that shade of blue, with spotty gray hairs on his dome...

And now, in a different shade of blue, (slightly better). And we just used a simple helmet to cover up the in patient's head, and voila! A big, (fake) toothy smile!

On occasion, situations are so dire that we will need to resort to surgical procedures. In this case, we will contact our largely (un-)qualified doctor from Honduras to step in and make the appropriate adjustment. In this instance, you see hockey analyst Pierre McGuire's expression after just being told he looks like a tortoise...

A little nip here, and another there, and there you have it! "Turtle-replacement" therapy, getting this little feller back where he belongs in the wild.

Here at the HCFHM we are a non-segregating organization and will allow pretty much any ol' asshole who is somewhat involved in hockey to receive our state-of-the-art treatments, so that they can go on to live a happier, fuller life.

Take billionaire Jim Balsillie who recently received word from the League that he would no longer be eligible to own a hockey team. You can see the utter frustration, and unresolved feelings he retains in that massive forehead of his. Well don't tell this man to stop believing!
Look at that! Sometimes the cheapest methods work the best for the richest bastards. We call this method "Occam's Razor," realizing that sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. And that a razor is the only way to make someone's head that shiny.

Of course there are times when even those tried and true methods won't work, and we have to resort to what we here like to call "media perversion." The mainstream hockey media has learned that the best way to eliminate Mike Keenan's baldness (without completely eliminating him from relevancy) is to cut off his head in photos. Sorry Mike, it doesn't work for everybody.
Like we said, any ol' asshole.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Selke Selections

Similar to the Vezina, there are a handful of candidates that are worthy of Selke honors this season. Its a very debatable award, considering what merits the qualification of a "forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game." There's the work in the faceoff circle (or not), ice time against the best lines of the competition, penalty killing, takeaways, you name it and it probably garners some attention when thinking about who to select. I'm not a big stats guy, so I rely on watching these guys night in, night out, and which is why you should hold no accountability when I'm spewing unsubstaniated opinion.

Pavel Datsyuk is the reigning award winner for two years straight and its easy to see why when looking at his game. Almost on every shift, you can see the opposition heading up ice only to have Datsyuk backchecking hard, make a quick stickcheck and head back the other way, usually to dangle some poor unsuspecting defenseman, and flip it behind the goaltender. As offensively skilled as he is, he is solid in his own end as well, working in all special team situations, averaging 20:23 time on ice per game, the most for any forward on Detroit. He's tied for the lead with teammate Zetterberg with 23 goals on the Wings, 8 of them coming on the power play, and 60 points overall on the season. He's +14, the highest +/- for Wings forwards, with a 55.7% faceoff percentage proving that he can just about do it all.

Jonathan Toews was the unsung Canadian hero of the Olympics, making several crucial defensive plays throughout the tournament, while looking like a poised veteran and yet one of the youngest members of the team. He has been heralded as a tireless worker, attempting to improve any weak areas of his game as few as they may be. He leads all Blackhawk forwards in time on ice, and is good for third on the team with 59 points (22G, 37A) with 8 power play goals. He carries a +19, and has a 57.3 faceoff percentage, tops on the Hawks and in the top ten of the entire League.

Ryan Kesler was actually a 2009 Selke nominee who lost out to Datsyuk. Known for being a relentless, agitating forward, that stirs it up from the ice and the bench, his knack for disrupting the play often produces plenty of favorable turnovers. Kesler's having a career year with 68 points, (22G, 46A) and was handsomely rewarded by the Canucks with a new six year, $30million contract extension before entering restricted free agency. He leads all Vancouver forwards in ice time with an average of 19:52 with a 55.6 faceoff percentage, but a -1 will pull his voting down.

Mikko Koivu, captain of the Minnesota Wild is one of those names that could easily be tossed into the ring. He leads the Wild in points with 66, (20G, 46A), seven goals on the power play, one shorthanded, leads all forwards in time on ice (20:29), has a 56.9 faceoff percentage, but is only a +1 on a Minnesota club going through some growing pains.

With underrated speed and great hockey sense, Patrick Marleau is a beast on the penalty kill, potting four shortys this season. Add that to his 12 power play goals, and he's the leader in goals for the Sharks with 42, his career best. Second in points on the Sharks with 80, he leads all San Jose forwards in time on ice with a 21:12 average, good for 10th in the League among forwards.

Another strong penalty killer is Jordan Staal, who is cast in the shadows of a Pittsburgh team under Crosby and Malkin. He's third on the team in points with 48 (21G, 27A) behind those two, with two shorthanded goals on the year, and is third for forwards in time on ice (19:15) with the Penguins. Staal, more than likely doesn't have a realistic shot of getting a nomination, but I have no doubt that he will one day.

The first three mentioned are who I believe will be nominated for the Selke, but there's a good chance that Kesler could be replaced with Koivu or Marleau. For a while it seemed as if it was Toews to run away with, but lately he's hit a mild slump that has had a larger impact on that Chicago team. His Olympic performance was excellent, but since then he's been struggling. Award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, so its always subject to the popular name being bantered about, for better or worse.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Norris Nominations

It appears as though its a real changing of the guard for this year's Norris contenders, out with the old and in with the new. No more perennial favorite Nick Lidstrom hogging up all the votes, and Scott Niedermayer's beard is probably going to have a lot more gray in it as those two ride into the sunset known as the Hall. And last year's winner, big Zdeno Chara, has had a small year in terms of offensive production, leaving a new crop of blueliners to claim the top defenseman of the year.

Mike Green was actually a candidate for last year's award but was unceremoniously snubbed (mainly for looking like Rick Vaughn at the awards ceremony), as Boston earned their third trophy of the night. Leading all defensemen in goals (17), assists (53), and therefore points with 70, and is second among defensemen in plus/minus with +30 behind teammate Jeff Schultz (for what its worth). Green is definetely one of the premier offensive defensemen in the League on a very offensively potent team, but his strengths in his own end have been criticized.

Duncan Keith, on the other hand, is gifted on both sides of the puck, second in points (65, 13G, 52A) behind Green, while logging time in all situations. In fact he's second in time on ice with 26:45, with 3 goals on the power play, and one shorthanded, no easy feat. He's solid positionally, and he's known for both his breakout pass, and his shutdown abilities.

Drew Doughty, the second overall draft pick in the 2008 Draft, made the Kings roster in the following season as an 18 year old. He was twice voted the OHL's top offensive defenseman in Juniors, and has continued that success in the NHL ranked third in points with 53 (14G, 39A). He has emerged as a leader from the back end on a very young, and promising Los Angeles team, but may have some time before he earns the Norris.

The Norris Trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and will therefore have some bullshit tied to it. The most common inclination is that the award will be handed over to Mike Green, who already earned a nomination last year which exists as a non-spoken formality in the voting.

The better choice in my mind would be Duncan Keith who is a complete player and not a liability in his own end. The award is given to the top defenseman "who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position," not just offensive contribution.

Doughty has a long, successful career in front of him and will no doubt see many more nominations in the future, but will have to put in his time to show consistency in his game.

I'd also like to point out that both Keith and Doughty were selected to play for Team Canada at the Olympics this year by Steve Yzerman et al., while Green was left off. I think that was a smart decision on Canada's part, and I think it may go a long way in determining the winner of top defenseman of the League.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Luck of the Draw
How is it that at the end of the year, there always ends up being one of those games that pits two teams who are fighting for the same playoff spot, against one another? Here we are with 10 (or 11) games left to play and we've got the underachieving Bruins with 76 points clinging to the eighth and final seed, against the underdog Thrashers with 75 points who have won their last four to give them a shot at peeking at the playoffs. That's peeking, not peaking.
In truth the B's don't deserve to even sniff the playoffs after looking like complete dogshit for most of the year, even before Savard went down with two injuries. With a lineup like their's, there's no reason they should be in this situation, and likewise they're all equally responsible. Atlanta, on the other hand, has soldiered on after dealing their franchise player, and have come together as a team rather than relying on their offensive dynamo to bail them out. Even with 10 or so games left to play, this game tonight in Blueland could very well determine who extends their season and who extends their recliner.

Remember the Good Stuff Too
One of the few members of that aforementioned Bruins team that's still got some pride in his game went to visit a 15-year old hockey player who broke his neck during a game. Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a similar fate, came with an autographed Bruins jersey and his Gold Medal to show Matt Brown who crashed head first into the boards back in January. Brown is a sophomore on his Norwood High School hockey team in the Boston area, who was transferred to an Atlanta hospital for rehabilitation after successful surgery.

The Sharks Do It Again (Sneak Preview)
Having now become the perennial playoff joke, the Sharks have found their postseason slump just before the end of the regular season for a change. They've lost their Pacific Division lead which took a two-part miracle to unfold with the surge of a nine game winning streak from the Coyotes, and a piss poor effort from the Sharks to lose five in a row. They now sit, in what appears comfortably, in fourth with 96 points, seven ahead of the fifth place Kings, with time to work things out. Now with their recent history of playoff flops and the uninspired play from this team lately its easy for everyone to stick a fork in them but I think it spells trouble. For everyone else.

The Sharks still have 10 games left to play, are in no danger of missing the playoffs, and sit only a point back of retaining the Division lead, and also the Conference. On one hand you could see them stumbling into the post in fourth and have a date with a much tougher middle of the pack team like Los Angeles or Nashville, but still avoiding Detroit and all that pressure. On the other, you could see them getting pissed off, turning the ship around, and carrying that momentum into the later rounds. Its a crap shoot, and no one knows what Sharks team will show up on what night, but like the NHL moniker says, "is this the year?"

Its Just One of Those Years
Nothing is going right for the Edmonton Oilers this season, who are now looking for someone, anyone to act as backup goaltender/door opener for tonight's game against the Canucks. Jeff Drouin-Deslaurier is going to get the start tonight, but Devan Dubnyk is out with an infectious gastrointestinal disorder, and Nikolai Khabibulin is still racing around Phoenix drinking to his good health. No one else in the farm system is available, so the Oil need someone to fill Dubnyk's 6'5" frame to use his NHL approved equipment.

Oh and some Chiropractor who treats some of the Capitals has been busted for selling steroids, and associated with the last asshole who named names in an attempt to save his ass when the hammer fell. But we'll get to that another time, the games are coming on...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gary Bettman on Head Shots

Yeah that's right, I'm phoning it in today on shitty Photoshop Monday! Hit the play button on the video below, stare into Gary's eyes, and bounce your head to this.

Dustin Slays the Mighty Goliath

How does my tie look? Hey! Don't throw rocks, it'll hurt my head.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vezina Conclusion

There doesn't seem to be much to this year's Vezina candidacy, as it appears as if Ryan Miller's the runaway winner with his sharp play over the regular season, and dominance in the Olympic tournament. Yes, yes, the Olympics aren't supposed to count, but it'll be hard to remove those memorable performances from the memory of the 30 General Managers who will vote on the winner. And the controversy that entails.

First off, the Buffalo Sabres are first in the Northeast Division earning the bottom of the top three seeds in the conference berths. That doesn't happen without Miller between the pipes. He leads the League in save percentage with a .931 and trails Rask (who's started in half as many games) in goals against with a 2.16. He's ninth in the League in starts (56) and has gone 33-15-8 which puts him at seventh, with 5 shutouts posted. And this is on the Sabres, a team that, in my mind, has no earthly business being that high in the standings, let alone leading the Division. Plus he's got that Silver Medal he's been toting around to every corner of the country, and, not to mention because it doesn't count, was named MVP of the tournament with the best hockey players in the world that we dare not speak its name.

Now here's where it gets interesting...

The Florida Panthers are once again an abyssmal team with a self-admitted letter from ownership to fans that they will be re-making this team. They currently sit in 12th in the East with a record just below .500, and are all but assured missing out on the postseason once again. All this and yet Tomas Vokoun sits second in save percentage with a .930, earning 23 of the Panthers' 28 wins, and is also tied for second in the League with 7 shutouts. He's got a 2.36 goals against average which is good for ninth, but he's made 1,741 saves which puts him behind only Craig Anderson. That means he's averaging about 31 shots per game, where as the majority of the top goaltenders are facing somewhere in the 26-28 range. That's some whip cream on shit right there. He didn't have a horrible Olympic run either, not sayin', just sayin'.

Craig Anderson has been one of the partners of the turnaround success story of the Colorado Avalanche. Finally given the chance to be a #1 goaltender, he's taken the opportunity and run with it after showing signs of brillance in Florida behind Vokoun. Anderson's stats aren't as good as the other netminders mentioned here, but he's gotten some conversation even though he'll probably be the odd man out on the ballot. Anderson's started 60 games going 35-19-5 with 7 shutouts, and carries a .924 save percentage, and a 2.45 goals against. He doesn't have sparkling averages but he's a workhorse and he's added stability to a young team who's on their way to returning to the postseason.

Ilya Bryzgalov's part of the 'Cinderella' story out in Phoenix, that's helped Dave Tippett's chances for a Jack Adams. Another guy who finally got his #1 status, after struggling mightily at first, he's rebounded this season, and has helped to put the Coyotes in playoff position. With 59 starts under his belt, he's gone 36-18-4, leads the League with 8 shutouts, while posting a .921 save percentage, and a 2.27 goals against. Not bad numbers for a team that no one wants. Russia may have faired a little better if they had elected to go with Bryzy as opposed to Nabokov, but that's neither here nor there.

I expect the ballot to have the names of Bryzgalov, Vokoun, and Miller on it, but there's plenty of names that could be thrown about, like Luongo after his gold medal tournament and surging Canuck team, Nabokov with his perennial placed Sharks at the top of the West. But in the end, I think its Miller's already.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Vancouver 3 vs. Calgary 1
And it wasn't even that close. In a game that the Flames needed to win to prove that they are a legitimate playoff team, they fell flat.

The first period looked as if they were still waking up from their pre-game nap, as the Canucks charged hard to the net, and put in three behind a heroic Kiprusoff. They came out harder in the second, challenging the Vancouver rush and stomping out before it could gain enough speed, but they couldn't mount any kind of sustained attack. In the third, at least halfway through the third, they just played pissed off, and that was the best they played the whole game.

The Canucks had just returned from their road trip from hell, and played their first home game since in a 5-1 beating of the Senators the night before. That reason alone should have given the Flames enough of an edge to tackle the Nucks. It wasn't. Vancouver came out the fresher squad, coming right at the Calgary defense with speed, and confusing them to the point of looking really stupid.

The Flames sit a point back from the Red Wings in the eighth and final seed. They'll face them tonight at the Saddledome, and I'm sure they'll be coming out harder than they did last night.

Just a couple notes and thoughts from the game last night...
  • Mark Giordano does it all. He hits, he makes a good first pass out of the zone, he sticks up for teammates, he makes that timely rush, but most importantly he can sense the game. He can sense when the game needs a big hit, or when the defense is sitting back he can skate in and take it to the net. He's pretty humble about his game right now, I wonder if he will still be after he gets a new contract in 2011.
  • Speaking of Giordano, when Kesler came in on him one-on-one, he knew the only way to try and beat Gio was to attack him with speed and give him less time to think, and still it didn't work.
  • How many times do you think Sutter used the word "amateur" when talking about the Flames and "pussies" when referring to the Canucks after that 1st period?
  • There's been plently of opinions on this one... After the Canucks had scored their third goal, there was still a flurry of chances on Kiprusoff and he bailed their ass out without any help from the defense. There was a point where it looked like he basically said 'Fuck this' after he finally got a whistle. He was definetely pissed, but I think he told Brent at the intermission, 'Fuck it. I'm done, these guys aren't giving me any fucking help out there' and took himself out. Others have seen it as Brent saying the same thing to the rest of the team, and pulling Miikka out of mercy. I think if that was the case he would have done it sooner. Maybe he didn't, so it didn't look like he was pulling him because it was Kipper's fault.
  • John Shannon from the Rogers SportsNet Calgary broadcast made a good point about how Sutter wouldn't have been able to do that two weeks ago. McElhinney would have no doubt made that look a lot worse than it already was. By the way, everything else Shannon said was bullshit, ranting again about how Iginla was tired from doing all those commercials for the Olympics.
  • I've always wondered about Luongo's durability since he seems to flinch or flop anytime anyone comes near him. I wonder if Vancouver will regret that 12-year deal if he starts coming up DiPietro as his age starts to climb.
  • Mason Raymond had a breakaway in the second going down on Toskala, I think the only reason he stopped that shot was because he didn't react fast enough. As stupid as that sounds.
  • Do they not show replays of offsides calls because it would show that linesmen get it wrong half the time? I've ranted about this before, but I liken it to a replay being shown for a close call at a base in baseball. Sorry for the baseball reference, but I think it needs to be shown.
  • Ian White had a golden opportunity to rush the net after the Flames won a faceoff outside the offensive zone, and elected to make a bad pass instead. He seemed like he was holding back that whole game, and thinking in a defense first mentality when the Flames desperately needed offense. Is that Brent's doing?
  • I love how White took #3 and its like Phaneuf was never there. And I also love Gio and White being paired together on the power play, and I don't care how many times I say it.
  • Not until the Flames started playing pissed off did they get back into the game, as I mentioned before. Perfect example: Iginla rams Raymond into the boards in the defensive zone on a Calgary powerplay, he grabs the puck and heads back the other way, I forget if he shot it or what, but he lost the puck comes around the net and smashes Kesler. Then he takes this long look back at the referee with a look like 'I don't give a shit if you call that or not, but you better not fucking call that.'
I'm really pulling for the Flambes to get in but this shows a not so good outlook, I'm not ready to write them off yet, but they'll once again, NEED to win tonight against the team they're challenging for the last spot, and keep that up for the following 13 games to get in.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jack and Coach

The candidates for this year's Jack Adams seem to be pretty cut and dry with the usual cast of characters coming from teams that everyone expected much less out of. Hence the reason for the award, the coach "adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success." Getting more out of less, shouldn't it then be called the Barry Trotz? (The structural instability of putting a Barry Trotz replica or even a photo was deemed unsafe due to the high loadbearing weight at the top of the trophy.) And sadly that man's name doesn't appear anywhere on the trophy.

And it doesn't look to have a chance this year, as I'd probably put him fourth behind Dave Tippett, Joe Sacco, and Cory Clouston. Nashville's just not flashy enough to get the votes, I guess.

I, for one, did not expect Ottawa to have the success and competitiveness that they've shown this year. With the Heatley dilemma and the low return Bryan Murray got when the trade finally came to pass, not to mention the lack of a bonafide #1 goaltender with Leclaire's issues, it just didn't seem like Ottawa would be in the hunt, let alone be challenging for the Northeast Division lead. But Cory Clouston has done it, now with the elephant out of the room he's got command of it, and the Senators have listened, getting balanced scoring, and a buy-in to his attacking offensive strategy. But I've still got to rank Mr. Clouston third behind the two "feel good" stories.

The first of which being Joe Sacco and the Colorado Avalanche. Sacco was also involved in somewhat of an awkward situation when Patrick Roy was originally offered the head coaching job before the then current coach, Tony Granato had even been fired. Roy passed on the offer, Granato still got the axe, and Sacco was named head coach the following day. Promoted from the AHL farm team, the Lake Erie Monsters, he was credited for his work in grooming the younger players into NHL-caliber which fit perfectly with the youth that was filling the Colorado lineup. He's inspired that group to challenge for the Northwest Division lead when almost all experts picked Colorado to finish in the bottom of the standings. With the changing of the guard taking place on the Avs from veteran to youth, Sacco has made that transition appear seamless.

Dave Tippett was unceremoniously dumped and used as one of a few scapegoats for Dallas' miserable injury-plagued season of 2008-09. But Phoenix couldn't hire him as the new coach until Gretzky officially stepped down. Once that occurred on September 24th of last year, halfway through the preseason and nearing the start of the regular season, Tippett was officially hired just a few hours later. The situation in Phoenix was a constant distraction in the years prior with court precedings, low attendance, and the constant bashing by Canadian media to bring the team back north. Now that the League has officially taken over the team, the grumblings have quieted, but in some cases still remain. And that has allowed Tippett to guide this group into the postseason with a 40-22-5 record. There's no chance of challenging for the Division lead with a 10 point cushion for San Jose, but they all but have a playoff berth locked up for the first time since the 2001-02 season. This playoff appearance might be the evidence that the greater Phoenix area needs to prove to the rest of the League that the Coyotes belong there. On the other hand, it could prove the exact opposite if the City does not get behind the team in a playoff run.

In any case, it is a huge victory for the franchise thanks to the patience of Don Maloney, and the leadership of Dave Tippett, this year's 'Cinderella' story and my pick for the Jack Adams.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Calder Race

I wanted to get this out before the trophy talk started to hit the airwaves but that's obviously too late.

Rookie of the Year honors seemed to have a runaway favorite in the first part of the year with the Buffalo Sabres 6'8" defenseman Tyler Myers. As of now, Myers has 9 goals, and 27 assists for a 36 point total, and averages 23:40 in ice time leading all rookie defensemen in those totals. Despite his hulking 222lbs. frame, he's shown a lot of patience on the blueline for the Sabres, and looks to have the right tools for a long productive career in the League. But right around midseason, his pace started to slow down as the Sabres hit a bit of a rough patch leading up to the Olympics. With a four point (1G, 3A) night against Dallas last night, he's re-affirmed his position within the race.

Matt Duchesne has slowly but surely been building his reputation even before he was drafted 3rd overall in 2009, threatening to go first in some scouting reports with his well-rounded game, and great attitude. He's helped to prove the doubters wrong with a fresh, youthful group out of Colorado to challenge for the Division when most experts picked the Avs to finish in the bottom of the Conference. Now he leads all rookies in goals (23), assists (24), points (47), and shooting percentage (16.7%), after a slow start to the season.

Jimmy Howard's name has recently been added to the list of prospective Calder candidates, which would make back-to-back goalie Calder winners following Columbus netminder Steve Mason. Playing in 48 of Detroit's 66 games up-to-date, going 24-15-8 in the process with a .923 save percentage, and a 2.38 goals against average. He leads all rookie goaltenders in games played and wins, but trails Tuukka Rask in save percentage and goals against. But Detroit is battling for their playoff lives, and given how important goaltending is in this game, they will need Howard to be strong in the stretch run. But much like Mason's campaign, making the postseason will make or break Howard's chances.

Now what's interesting about this race is that it only includes one of the top three picks of this past year's draft. Duchesne who, as I mentioned earlier, was a viable threat to go first overall, is the only one of the three below who is a legitimate challenger for Calder honors.

Victor Hedman, who went second to Tampa, was the big, Swedish defenseman who had already spent time in Elitserien playing against men and was fending pretty well for himself. He is fourth in points among defensemen with 18 (4G, 14A), and is averaging the second most time on ice per game with 21:34 behind Myers, but his impact on the Lightning blueline has had much less significant than everyone expected, and certainly less than Myers in Buffalo. One would expect that his experience in the Swedish Elite League with former, and potential NHLers would have prepared him better for the NHL game.

John Tavares, carried with him the buzz that the Islanders needed to generate excitement in their fans, which is why he was selected first overall. Tavares is second in points with 36 (18G, 18A), a total many expected to be much higher, but considering the anemic offense of the Isles (-38 goal differential) it is not all that surprising. Critics at this point are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a bye this season, predicting a much more productive sophomore season after acclimating to the NHL game. Similar to what we saw this season with Steven Stamkos who had a miserable first season riddled with pressure from shoddy ownership, who has rebounded with a 40 goal campaign, and climbing.

But despite all the excitement, Duchesne has proven that he is a more complete player in every aspect, offensive, defensively, on the ice, and off it, making charitable appearances and donations to his hometown and Denver communities. He is a franchise player for all the right reasons, not for high point totals or highlight reel goals, but because he does it all by bringing the intangibles of leadership and a strong set of values.
Matt Duchesne is my choice for this season's Rookie of the Year.

The Road Out of Vancouver

The longest road trip in NHL history has come to an end. Fourteen games in total and a shit ton of miles, kilometers, paces later and the Canucks have gone 8-5-1 earning 17 of a possible 28 points and taken outright control of the Northwest Division lead.

I think you could call that a mild success.

The Canucks were required to get out of town and hand over their diggs to the Vancouver Olympic Committee at midnight on January 27th, just a couple hours after they defeated the St. Louis Blues. With eight games before the break, and another six afterwards they left Vancouver for technically six and a half weeks, before they return this weekend for a back-to-back against Ottawa and Calgary. Speaking of back-to-backs, they had three on this epic road trip, (one before the break, and two after) in the compressed NHL schedule.

Let's take a look at how they did...

Pre-Olympic Swing
Jan. 30 at Toronto - WIN - Came back from a 3-0 deficit from the 1st period, to a 5-3 win featuring the Sedin show with four goal outburst in the 3rd. This of course before the newly revamped Maple Leaf lineup had reared its ugly head.

Feb. 2 at Montreal - LOSS - Lost a 3-2 game singlehandedly from the heroics of Jaroslav Halak in net for the Habs. Kesler scored with just a little over 5 minutes left to go in the third to make it a one goal game and keep it interesting.

Feb. 4 at Ottawa - LOSS - Luongo took the night off, while the Senators marched on to a 3-1 win, in what would be their last of an 11 game streak. Raycroft played admirably in relief against a hot Ottawa team in his first start in two months, but sadly hit the 100th career loss milestone.

Feb. 6 at Boston - WIN - Overcame a 2 goal deficit from the 1st period to win in a shootout. Mason Raymond had a nifty goal, and Pavol Demitra tied it with less than 5 minutes to go and then added the only goal in the shootout for the win.

Feb. 9 at Tampa Bay - LOSS - Marty St. Louis staged his protest of his Olympic snub by throwing together a three point night against the team from the host city. Two goals in the third, and a helper on Stamkos's goal in the first propelled the Lightning to a 3-1 win against the Canucks.

Feb. 11 at Florida - WIN - Roberto Luongo pitches his 4th shutout of the season with the Panthers hitting 6 posts throughout the game. The Canucks scored at even strength and short-handed in the second, and then added a power play goal in the third for a 3-0 victory over the Panthers.

Feb. 12 at Columbus - WIN - Andrew Raycroft gets his 1st win on the roadtrip in his second start, as the 'Nucks rally back to beat Jackets with a two goal third period. Mikael Samuelsson with the lob for the game winner in a 4-3 win.

Feb. 14 at Minnesota - LOSS - In the last day of NHL hockey before the Olympic break, the Wild took it to the Canucks in a 6-2 loss, an outright schalacking in the final game of the pre-Olympic swing. Canucks managed to finally net two in the third to keep it respectable. Speaking of respect, the Wild announced the Olympic members of both teams in a classy move that earned applause for all competitors.

Post-Olympic Trek
March 2 at Columbus - WIN - Defensive lapses in the first gave the Jackets a two goal lead from Columbus bullying their way to the front of the net in on Raycroft. The Nucks responded in the second tying it up at two with some big saves from Raycroft, despite going down a goal later in the period. But Wellwood tied it up at three with just over five minutes to go to force it to overtime, where Ehrhoff would net the eventual winner on a rebound for a 4-3 win.

March 3 at Detroit - WIN - In Luongo's first game in net since the Olympic break, the Canucks took a definitive lead in the second after a breakaway goal by Kyle Wellwood, which would be followed by two more for a three goal middle frame chasing Jimmy Howard in the process. Ryan Kesler with a two goal effort opening up the scoring in the first, and adding a power play goal in the third for a 6-3 win over the Wings.

March 5 at Chicago - LOSS - After handing out a 6-3 beating, they take one from what has now become one of their fiercest competitors after last year's second round series with Chicago. The Hawks had 5 goals on 14 shots in the first period to chase Luongo, and sit back on the comfortable lead from then on.

March 7 at Nashville - WIN - Down 2-1 going into the third, they needed a ten minute warm-up before they opened up the scoring and pot three goals to take a 4-2 win. Samuelsson ripped a shot past Rinne on the wing, Hansen got a rebound on his breakaway chance, and Henrik added an empty-netter.

March 9 at Colorado - WIN - Giving up a three goal first period, Samuelsson charged back with a hat trick in the second to get Vancouver back into it, and cut the lead to one going into third. They followed it up with a power play goal from Burrows in the third to tie it, followed by a lucky bounce off Hansen to take the lead. Henrik with the empty-netter to take a come from behind 6-4 win and maintain outright control of the division lead.

March 10 at Phoenix - SO LOSS - In a very close, evenly matched game, the final date on the roadtrip came down to a skills competition that required 12 shooters. Andrew Raycroft played well in his fourth game on the trip, making an incredible no-look save with the paddle in the first period. A goal for each team, each period led to a missed Mason Raymond shootout attempt for the Coyote win.

Six come from behind victories to lead the League with 10 on the season, on a road trip that provided red hot Mikael Samuelsson with his first career hat trick, gave silver-medalist Ryan Kesler his first video game cover, and undrafted Alex Burrows his 30th goal on the year. Pretty impressive for a team that had seven of their players honoring their countries in the Olympic Winter Games.

Everyone knew this trip would define their season, especially this late in the year, but I don't know if anyone expected this kind of success. While its not a remarkable record in that stretch, its remarkable that it was done on a roadtrip like this, where so many intangibles were achieved, and that's confidence heading into the stretch and onto the postseason.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Burke's Blueprint

Brian Burke is not a subtle guy, he's blunt and he tells you exactly what he thinks about what you just asked, what's on his mind, and whether you suck or not. We all knew that, and it wouldn't be any kind of surprise if, when he got hired as Toronto's new General Manager, that he'd be re-making the team the way he saw fit. Shit, we were thinking that he was already involved in the inner-workings of the organization before he even left Anaheim when Ron Wilson was hired as head coach, and trades were made by interim GM Cliff Fletcher. But did anyone expect this much turnover to happen in that plan, or at the very least, in that time?

Burke took over control of the Leafs on November 29th, 2008, since then he has removed...
Robbie Earl, F - Traded to Minnesota for Hamilton, 1/21/09
Nik Antropov, F - Traded to New York Rangers for 2nd in 2009, 3/4/09
Dominic Moore, F - Traded to Buffalo for 2nd in 2009, 3/4/09
Richard Petiot, D - Traded to Tampa for Kolzig/Heward/Rogers, 3/4/09
Pavel Kubina, D - Traded to Atlanta for Exelby/Stuart, 7/1/09
Tim Stapleton, F - Traded to Atlanta for Exelby/Stuart, 7/1/09
Justin Pogge, G - Traded to Anaheim for 2011 Conditional Pick, 8/10/09
Jiri Tlusty, F - Traded to Carolina for Paradis, 12/3/09
Vesa Toskala, G - Traded to Anaheim as part of Giguere deal, 1/31/10
Jason Blake, F - Traded to Anaheim as part of Giguere deal, 1/31/10
Jamal Mayers, F - Traded to Calgary as part of Phaneuf deal, 1/31/10
Matt Stajan, F - Traded to Calgary as part of Phaneuf deal, 1/31/10
Ian White, D - Traded to Calgary as part of Phaneuf deal, 1/31/10
Niklas Hagman, F - Traded to Calgary as part of Phaneuf deal, 1/31/10
Alexei Ponikarovsky, F - Traded to Pittsburgh for Caputi/Skoula, 3/2/10
Lee Stempniak, F - Traded to Phoenix for Jones, 5th &7th in 2010, 3/3/10
Joey MacDonald, G - Traded to Anaheim for 7th in 2011, 3/3/10
And since then he has added...
Brad May, F - Trade from Anaheim for 6th 2010, 1/7/09 - Left via FA
Ryan Hamilton, F - Trade from Minnesota for Earl, 1/21/09
Martin Gerber, G - Waivers from Ottawa, 3/4/09 - Left via FA
Erik Reitz, D - Waivers from New York Rangers, 3/4/09 - Left via FA
Garnet Exelby, D - Trade from Atlanta for Kubina/Stapleton, 7/1/09
Mike Komisarek, D - Free Agent Signing, $22.5mil/5yrs., 7/1/09
Colton Orr, F - Free Agent Signing, $4mil/4yrs, 7/1/09
Francois Beauchemin, D - Free Agent Signing, $11.4mil/3yrs., 7/6/09
Jonas Gustavsson, G - Free Agent Signing via Elitserien, $2.5mil/1yr., 7/7/09
Rickard Wallin, F - Free Agent Signing, $800k/1yr., 7/10/09
Wayne Primeau, F - Trade from Calgary for Stralman/Stuart, 7/27/09
Phil Kessel, F - Trade from Boston for 1st & 2nd in 2010, 1st in 2011, 9/18/09
Phillipe Paradis, F - Trade from Carolina for Tlusty, 12/3/09
Dion Phaneuf, D - Trade from Calgary for Hagman/Stajan/White, 1/31/10
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G - Trade from Anaheim for Blake/Toskala, 1/31/10
Fredrik Sjostrom, F - Trade from Calgary for Hagman/Stajan/White, 1/31/10
Keith Aulie, D - Trade from Calgary for Hagman/Stajan/White, 1/31/10
Jamie Lundmark, F - Waivers from Calgary, 2/13/10
Luca Caputi, F - Trade from Pittsburgh for Ponikarovsky, 3/2/10
Matt Jones, D - Trade from Phoenix for Stempniak, 3/3/10
Chris Peluso, D - Trade from Pittsburgh for 6th in 2010, 3/3/10

And those are just the bigger hits, not even really looking at the up and down work he's done with the Marlies, or players he's flipped. That's 17 guys sent out, 21 brought in, and a few of those have since left, all that in less than a year and a half.

BB always says he works from the goal out, so the first thing he did was steal Francois Allaire as Goaltending Coach from Anaheim. Allaire was one of the first ever goaltending coaches around the League, and has since revolutionized the position with his teaching methods. Burke then went out and grabbed Gustavsson from the Swedish Elite League as a free agent, dealt underachieving Toskala for Stanley Cup winning Giguere just before the Olympic break to solidify the posts.

As for defense, he traded for Garnet Exelby from Atlanta dealing Kubina in the process, signed American defenseman Mike Komisarek and the underrated Francois Beauchemin in free agency, and just recently added Dion Phaneuf from Calgary via trade. Not to mention the skilled Tomas Kaberle, overpaid Jeff Finger, and the young Luke Schenn that were already in the stable. There's a pretty solid defensive core there, despite what you might think of each of those individual players.

The offense is still a work in progress with the most notable acquisition being Phil Kessel for the best draft picks of the next two years. But if you want a dramatic overhaul to turnaround a team, you're going to do things that build your team better now, not in a few years when picks mature into NHL ready players. Players like Bozak, Stalman, Kulemin, and Kadri that are just coming of age into hockey maturity, are complemented with slightly more seasoned NHL players like Sjostrom, Grabovski, and Wallin, and no doubt more through trades and free agent signings in the offseason.

I will admit that I foolishly picked the Leafs to make the postseason this year, maybe I was giving Burke too much credit in too little time. But if I make the same assumption next year, I might not be as foolish.

Then again I could look like a fucking idiot.

That's Chocolate

Seeing as I'd like to do anything but discuss the Cooke hit on Savard, (as the hockey world will re-hash, ohhh, for the next 30 days I would assume) why not talk about the other big news. The NHL's partnership with Hershey Canada, and their assemblage of a solid chocolate mock up of the Stanley Cup that weighs approximately 150lbs.

First off, I'm not sure why this is such big news. I mean the chocolate Stanley Cup is cool, but we're not talking news as big as Willy Wonka opening up the doors to his factory. But I guess any big partner with the NHL is a good thing. Arenas around the League have no doubt been hawking their multitude of products for years.

And when I say multitude of products, I do mean multitude... 5th Ave, Almond Joy, Mounds, all those Cadbury Eggs, Bar None, Heath Bar, Oh Henry!, Kit Kat, Milk Duds, Mr. Goodbar, all the Reese's products, Rolo, York Peppermint Pattie, Skor, Payday, Zagnut, Bubble Yum, Ice Breakers, Jolly Ranchers, Whoppers, Whatchamacallit, Good & Plenty, Krackel, Twizzlers, and not to mention all those Hershey products of kisses, and miniatures. Just to name a few.

So I started thinking about all the hockey themed Hershey products you could make with chocolate...

Chocolate Pucks seem too easy, but whenever I think of chocolate pucks I think of Hostess Ding Dongs with creme filled centers. Maybe do it with caramel centers like a big ass Rolo. Or do a York Peppermint Puck for those with discerning taste.

A chocolate stick seems to make a lot of sense. Maybe Hershey could come out with a similar product to Wrigley's Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape that you could actually tape your stick with. That would be pretty bad ass. Or sickening, depending on how you look at it.

Or use some of the other Hershey products, Twizzler strawberry hockey laces. Market Good & Plently like Chiclet's and call them Hockey Player teeth or some shit like that.

What if Hershey got involved with the other concessions offered at NHL arenas? Can you say chocolate covered hot pretzels? Chocolate covered popcorn, or gourmet popcorn as they like to call it, is all the rage now.

And tell me you're not going to see Hershey Kiss Cams all over now. Or marketing the League with Ice Breakers, that's not an obvious fit?

There's plenty of opportunity if you just look for it.

(Ed. Note: And this too. Prepare for stomach turn.)

Statement Games

You could look back at almost every game last night and see the implications for each team in their quest to extend the season. Their wins or losses all made statements as to the season behind them, and their chances in front of them. The standings as they sit now are very different from what we would normally expect, and certainly from what we predicted at the beginning of the season. Of course, that's more so from the West than the East, with teams like Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Colorado in the mix, and teams like Detroit and Calgary fighting for their postseason lives. But last night's results spoke loudly as to who's in it and how bad they want it.

Vancouver 6 Colorado 4
The Canucks are on the tail-end of an epic 14-game road trip that required the team to get out of town for the Olympic setup and cleanup. They've got one game left to play against Phoenix and have gone 8-5 with 6 come from behind victories on that stretch that gives them the League lead with 10. This game meant even more, giving them a four point lead on the Avs in the Division. Everyone knew that this road trip would determine their season, but they've only climbed in the standings because of it. Right now, this team looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.

On the other side of the coin, no one expected the Avalanche to have the kind of season they are having, but with the infusion of youthful speed, a now proven #1 goaltender, and solid direction from rookie head coach Joe Sacco, they sit sixth in the Conference and are almost assured a playoff spot. But games like last night show that they have a lot to learn, letting off on the gas with a 3-0 lead in the first frame.

Calgary 4 Detroit 2
The Flames have struggled mightily after passing the halfway mark, and Darryl has tried his best to really shake up the team with questionable trades. They are starting to show a little more life with this new look, winning four of their last five with wins over Jersey and Detroit, their 8th seed competitor. Their schedule to April is none too kind, with 11 of 16 games against playoff-caliber opponents. Their playoffs start now.

Detroit has nearly the same story, with their down year coming from the injury plague. The Wings are a dangerous team year in and year out, and if they can get in they'll play that scary 7 or 8 card that knocks out the top seeds in the first round (*cough*Sharks*cough*). But I'm not convinced that they can do it, even with a number of their better personnel returning to the lineup and Jimmy Howard's improved play, they look like a team disinterested.

Toronto 4 Boston 3 OT
This game says more about the Bruins dropping like a rock than it does about the Leafs slowly improving. In all honesty, the B's had their best chance last season, and fell apart in the playoffs, and then in the offseason losing key contributors on their team that were viewed as spare parts. In terms of production, everyone on that team is down, Chara's scored something like 4 or 5 goals compared to last year's 19 or 20 total, Savard's been in and out of the lineup with injuries, and Kessel took off for Toronto. Savard now looks to be down for the count with that concussion, and the Bruins just don't have enough offense already, to carry on without him. Thomas hasn't looked all that great either, just to make matters worse.

Nashville 2 Atlanta 1
Clinging to the seventh spot, the Predators are pulling out wins despite the fact that they should be handling teams like the Thrashers rather easily. Always playoff contenders but never a Cup threat, the Preds are right about where they normally are. No-neck Trotz is a magician at producing a lot from a little, but one day when there's financial backing behind this team, they'll realize that they'll need to spend some money to get some key personnel to push them over the edge.

Atlanta is still technically in it, four points behind Boston in the eighth spot, but losing the last four does not bode well for your cause. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see that team in it, that team needs something to be proud of, and to do it without Kovalchuk would be monumental, but they just can't seem to get it done. Just a team in what seems like perpetual re-building.

Philadelphia 3 New York Isles 2
Philly came from behind to win this one, against a team they should have easily beaten, especially given the prospect at the beginning of this season that they should be Cup contenders. Coaching changes and freak injuries aside, games like this show that while Philly got themselves back into the race, they're still a ways away from being a legitimate threat. Of course, anything can happen in the postseason, but goaltending and fortitude will be the concerns for this team heading into the extra season.

I believe that this loss puts the Islanders out of the race, mathematically.

Montreal 5 Tampa Bay 3
The Habs have won their last three and look to make the lower seedings. Technically, they could get knocked out with a dramatic fall from grace, but they've played well on their road swing West taking 2 of 3, and the pressure from the bottom doesn't seem to be strong.

Cue the pressure from the bottom. The Lightning are 5 points out at the moment, but with the resurgence of Marty St. Louis teamed up with 40goal Stamkos, and Steve Downie of all people, the post is possible, but highly unlikely. Lecavalier has been half the player he is this year, and I wonder if we'll hear about a season-ending surgery when their officially out of it.

Ottawa 4 Edmonton 1
The Senators could have beat up on the Oil a lot more last night, but held off instead. Ottawa is tied for the Northeast Division lead with Buffalo at 79 points. I've never given them much credit this season and they've proven me wrong. They'll definetely make the post but will be battling it out for the top seed of the Division. They'll need that killer instinct in the playoffs to get beyond the early rounds.

What can you say about Edmonton aside from a team that is looking forward to the draft. They look absolutely lost out there, chasing after opponents in their own zone, and not producing any kind of offensive attack. Its pretty embarassing, and teams are feeling sorry for them as this score shows.

Columbus 5 Anaheim 2
I think this is pretty much the nail in the coffin for the Ducks playoff chances. They're seven points back from the eighth seed, and they badly to a team having a miserable season. There's no reason the Ducks should be out of it with a big handful of Olympians on the team, despite the fact that their defense has been depleted. Without Hiller's performance in the Olympics people would be questioning Bob Murray's decision to send Giguere to Toronto for essentially Blake.

Sophomore slump doesn't describe Steve (not Chris) Mason's fall from Calder honors last year. Hitchcock was tossed after his philosophy got tired on the bench and the team just gave up. Its a shame that this team couldn't build on last year's postseason appearance, but at least they can add some future talent at the draft.

Skipped Florida's 3-2 shootout win over Minnesota for the futility of it all.

Playoff Seeds
In the East, I think the spots are pretty much set with the exception being the eighth and final spot. Boston should make the playoffs but they're in such a funk right now its easy to see the Rangers or Thrashers or even the Lightning slipping in past them. Gaborik is out for the Rangers virtually eliminating their offense which dramatically affects their chances. I'll bet that Boston stays in, but it could go either way.

One through eight goes like this...
1. Washington
2. Pittsburgh
3. Ottawa
4. New Jersey
5. Buffalo
6. Philadelphia
7. Montreal
8. Boston

In the West, I think Dallas is already out of it and it really comes down to Nashville, Calgary, and Detroit. All logic would say that the Predators and Wings get in, but I think the Flames will gut it out and join the Preds at the dance. Probably more hope, than think, but...

The Western eight fall like this...
1. San Jose
2. Chicago
3. Vancouver
4. Los Angeles
5. Phoenix
6. Colorado
7. Nashville
8. Calgary

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

Continuing with our t-shirt series we give you 'Blazing Happiness' featuring the famously frowning Sutter Brothers...

Not since the Smothers Brothers has anything the Sutters' done been this funny, aside from all those silly trades Daz made, which prompted us to create this style...

I think it will be a popular seller, of course we can put any head you like on there. Yes that's right, any head, any slogan, any color, any size, any day, any time, anything.


Still Crying, Flooding Over Riverbanks

Following along with my previous post on Bob McKenzie's 'Cry me a river' quote about owner's whining about Phoenix's trade activity...

Normally I like Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts on the game on cbc.ca, but I found some comments a little misplaced this week, and I wasn't the only one.

In his fifth "thought"...

"If the Phoenix Coyotes make the playoffs, I’m very, very curious to see what the ninth-place owner in the West has to say. They deserve to get in, and if the team was actually run by a person and not the NHL, we’d all be saying, “There’s an owner who’s really committed.” But everyone else is paying the bills, and is causing hard feelings among the other contenders."

Uhhh, I'd like to call bullshit.

If any owner is delusional enough to think that Phoenix's trade activity at the deadline keeps the Coyotes in the top 8 and that "ninth-place" team out, than either...

a)you don't understand the NHL's standings and point systems, or
b)you're a fucking sore loser.

The Coyotes have been nestled in the mix for a postseason berth almost all season long, I fail to see how trade activity with 20 games or so left to go keeps another deserving team out. This isn't Field Day in elementary school where everyone gets a purple participation ribbon. This is pro fucking hockey, one team's success does not deem another's failure, you make your own success.

(Please notice that Shane Doan's hind parts are directly over a Calgary Flame, who are (sadly) in ninth place in the West. I need you people to laugh at my jokes, because I'm small, and can only win participation ribbons.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

'Cry Me A River,'

... says Bob McKenzie when asked about the uproar from owner's in regards to the Coyotes aggressiveness and spending at the deadline.

How stupid are these owners?

'Ohhhh, grumble grumble grumble, you know where that money comes from? Hrumph, hrumph, hrumph, out of our pockets! I've got kids too, you know.'

Greedy fucking bastards.

Don't you think it would be smart and maybe even a marketing vantage point to the next potential owner, to have this against-all-odds team make the postseason and gets some fervor going around Phoenix? Don't you think that might drum up some business for the franchise?

Besides, what did Maloney spend? An extra $2.5million? Big fucking deal, its been running on League fumes for years what's another drop in the bucket. I think the only way to tell if this team's even marketable in that area is to see the turnout they get for a playoff series, even if its only two games in a series. Won't that give you a little more evidence to go on to decide whether it should stay or go?

The Coyotes sit fourth in the West with 81 points and are almost assured a postseason birth at this point with the bubble teams trailing by about 10 points back. They were the most active team at the deadline, involved in seven seperate trades that brought in some key personnel that can only help in the postseason. They're well coached by (more than likely a Jack Adams candidate) Dave Tippett, they've got good leadership in Doan and Jovo, solid goaltending with Breezy, and obviously have been playing well despite the circus surrounding the team.

And they're still managing to have fun while doing it, participating in exercises with the Maricopa County SWAT team (video here), and piloting F-16's at nearby Luke Air Force Base.

But I don't know who's fitting the bill for that.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


We wish we could be funny and more original on our own, but we just can't compete, kinda like the Maple Leafs. So we prefer to thieve good ideas, classic lines, or things we can pawn to make it look like we have a place in the universe, and maybe even in Heaven, cause the rent's due in Hell.

Anyway, we give you the 'Czechmate' because the only thing more fun than seeing Jagr get hit, is laughing about it. Or maybe hitting him yourself. Or taking scissors to his curly mullet of yesteryear. Or shaving off his soul patch.

Well I guess there is more than one thing, but try it on, you make like it since you can't actually hold him down and take a pair of clippers to the man. This style here is called the 'Manicured Landscape' inspired by walking skeleton, and Gorillaz song, Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.

We've featured these styles on the Team Russia format, but they come in all colors including Commie Red, Siberian White, and Hopeless Blue. The one below we call 'Communist Rule'.

We love the genious over at Pucking Hilarious, who actually sell hilarious hockey t-shirts, and we stole this bad boy from them and the cast of Swingers, for their notorious use of the Sega Genesis NHL 94 game. We give you the 'Head Hemorrage'.

Get yours while supplies last!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hockey Rumor Christmas, Postscript

Why not start with my uniformed, unqualified, unsubstantiated opinion...

Thought we'd make it more funner this time round. And now for the hits...
Most One-Sided Trade: Derek Morris to the Coyotes for a fourth rounder in 2011.
I think the value is very lopsided in this one, chances are, you're not going to conjure up much in the fourth round, and while Morris hasn't had the best year in Boston, in combination with Phoenix's other trades, it makes an impact.
Best Trade for Both Teams: Wojtek Wolski going to Phoenix for Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter in return to Colorado.
The double cliche in the ol' change of scenery move for two 'enigmatic' forwards. Wolski's going to get the kick in the pants from Dave Tippett that he didn't get from Joe Sacco, and Mueller's going to get some guys his age to play around and hopefully re-invigorate his game. I think both are excited to get out of town and head to a new team.
Strangest Trade: Milan Jurcina going back to Washington for a sixth rounder.
This move started to make a lot more sense when Bob McKenzie announced that he's been diagnosed with a sports hernia. This is the return of damaged goods, and although he'll only be out 4-6 weeks, that pretty much covers the rest of the stretch run.
Most Active Team at the Deadline: Phoenix Coyotes, believe it or not.
Additions include Derek Morris, Wojtek Wolski, Mathieu Schneider, Lee Stempniak, Alexandre Picard, and Peteri Nokelainen. The League is desperate to make this team succeed and appear to be profitable to the next potential owner. Making a good run in the playoffs is the best way to achieve that goal.
Most Inactive Team at Deadline for the Best: Chicago Blackhawks.
The Hawks already are one of the frontrunners to go all the way, and goaltending was the only real question. Huet and Niemi have never won a playoff series, but neither did Cam Ward when he led the Canes to the Cup with some help from Martin Gerber. You have to look at the logistics this way, Huet has a yacht of a contract that is virtually unmovable, and Niemi is an RFA at the end of the year, even if you go after a goaltender, the Hawks are pressed to the cap, so if you reel in a Rolosson or even Biron there's no guarantee that those guys could do it either, as we've seen in the past. Hell, look at Khabibulin, he couldn't even pull it off last year and he's already got a ring. There are no guarantees and Huet/Niemi have played well enough behind a good team to go to the post with them.
Most Inactive Team at Deadline for the Worst: Boston Bruins
The Bruins are in freefall, clinging to the last spot in the East. They've looked like shit since well before the Olympic break and a lack of scoring is primarily the issue. Chiarelli couldn't address it, but by the sound of it seems like it wasn't for a lack of trying. Nothing is working for the Bruins, not even the deadline.
Surprising Lack of Activity:
Doug Wilson in San Jose and Bryan Murray in Ottawa are always making deals at the deadline, and Andy Sutton doesn't cut it. And Glen Sather is always doing something stupid for New York.
Randy Sexton in Florida, who explained he was having a firesale, and only moved three guys.
Garth Snow on the Island since he has all those goalies everyone hailed as great signings in the offseason. And DiPietro's injured again.
Odds and Ends:
  • Denis Grebeshkov gets dealt to Nashville from Edmonton, and then has to play his old team in the same night. Has that ever happened before? By the way, he was the first star on the night with a goal and an assist for the Predators.
  • Ponikarovsky and Fedotenko, both from Kiev, Ukraine could have some interesting chemistry with Malkin.
  • Ducks deal two former Toronto netminders (Pogge and Toskala) in same day, and get another (MacDonald). In last month, have made moves with just about every goaltender in organization, (signed Hiller, traded Giguere, etc.)
  • I could go on and on about the panel on TSN, from how big of an asshole Mike Keenan is, to how close Pierre McGuire needs to stand next other men, but I won't. That material could fill up a whole post alone.
Here's the trade tracker of the day if you want to be all snippy about it.

Now You're Gonna Get It Carey...

Continuing our t-shirt "sale" this week, we come out with the 'Happy Carey'...
Its easy to steal great lines from movies, and we love easy, so we give you this clip to explain ourselves, (as if we had to).

We'll take a look at all the trades that did and didn't happen today when the dust settles, but for now, if you order this shirt in the next 20 minutes, we'll give you two for the same Price because we can't give 'em away!

Order NOW!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mr. Mo Mentum

Plenty of crazy shit happening with the deadline, but there are far better sources to cover that hoopla than here. We'll just hit a couple then move to the carry over from the Olympics. Mostly bullets today folks, still feeling lethargic.
  • Ray Emery is done for the year with avascular necrosis of the hip. 'What the fuck is that?!' you say. Look at the damn link, that's what's its there for. Basically its a disease that causes loss of blood flow to the bone, in this case the head of the femur, which renders the bone dead. This is the same thing that killed Bo Jackson's double-sport career. Some of the causes are pretty interesting, at least when it comes to Emery, alcoholism, excessive steroid use (also shrinks your balls), sickle cell anemia, lupus, and others or it could be undiagnosable. With regards to the Flyers, can they ride Leighton, or do they go after a cheap replacement like Rolosson?
  • Second round picks for defensemen are the new black. 2nd rounder to the Isles for Andy Sutton to Ottawa, another to Edmonton for Denis Grebeshkov being sent to Nashville, and yet another to Florida for Jordan Leopold going to Pittsburgh. There's only 30 of those this year right?
  • A few signings took place over the Olympic break, and still on-going, Zidlicky stays with Wild for another three years, Ott's staying in Dallas for another four, Stajan likes Calgary and inked a four year deal with the Sutters', and Rinne won the Nashville job apparently and got a two-year deal.

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games
Spectacular. And the hockey was even better than that. The perfect matchup materialized for the Gold Medal game and we weren't disappointed in the least. Everything fell into place, Canada won Gold with the poster boy notching the winner, the Americans proved they were better than everyone thought, and we were treated to an amazing tournament of the best in the world. Can't really ask for too much more than that.

  • What the fuck happened to Sweden? Seriously. I kept expecting them to fly under the radar, and then just bash the shit out of someone on the way to the Gold Medal game. It never happened, the Slovaks beat them instead, and sent their Scandinavian asses home. They just did not show up at all.
  • Switzerland showed the world that they can compete with the best. Maybe not win, but they can sure give you a run for your money. Hiller is the #1 reason for that, and the Ducks obviously made the right choice. A big, young, athletic kid with a good attitude will have a lot of success even behind a halfway decent team. His teammate Luca Sbisa really plays with a chip on his shoulder, I liked the way he played in that tourney a lot. Where would the Isles be if they didn't have Mark Streit on the blueline? How bad would they be? A seriously underrated defenseman with smart hockey sense.
  • The Slovaks were also a nice suprise in the tournament, fighting their way back into a medal game, but giving up the lead in that Bronze Medal game to go fourth. A team with some pretty decent depth, and some star power to boot.
  • The Finns got schelacked by the Americans but came back to claim bronze. Again, another team with good depth and a little less star power, but great goaltending. I wonder if Backstrom had replaced Kiprusoff earlier had Suomi had a chance to get back in that game.
  • The Russians, oh the Russians. Well they've got motivation for Sochi now right? Actual Russian President Medvedev (not KHL President Medvedev) called off his trip to the games after the loss, and then called for the resignation of Team Russia's coaches and trainers. I miss the old Soviets where they all would have been killed. Kind of depressing to see Ovie be so upset, as he got all Hollywood and knocked a fan's camera out of the way, that guy is always smiles. Goaltending blew it, and again, I wonder if Bryzgalov had gone in sooner that the Russians might have been able to get back in that game. Look for Nabokov to show that same kind of poise for the Sharks in the postseason. He's a dirty Kazakh anyway.
  • Ryan Miller should just be awarded the Vezina right now, amiright?! He was incredible, and the reason why the Americans got as far as they did, and beat the Canadians in the round robin. People bashing him for the OT goal are fucking idiots.
  • Luongo backstopped Team Canada to Gold, but he will still have his critics. They can't say he never won anything, but they will still be questioning him if he can't deliver for Vancouver in the postseason, you can count on that. But what's the point, he's not going anywhere with that long term deal, and who would you want instead?
  • We've already mentioned Hiller, but Halak was also very good for the Slovaks, and a big reason why they were still in it. He's either earned a trade, or smarter for the Habs, an extention. I get the impression that Gauthier's not going to do shit, probably because he doesn't know what to do, so he'll keep both Price and Halak, and let someone else figure it out later when he gets replaced.
  • Vokoun played admirably behind a lackadasical Czech team, but it still looks like the Panthers are looking to go in another direction. Vokoun has played well even though his numbers don't show it due to playing for the Cats.
  • Lundqvist played well, as always, but proved once again that he can't do it alone, whether its for Sweden or the Rangers.
  • Do Burke and Wilson get a little breathing room from the Toronto press for the production in Vancouver? I don't think either of them are in any type of hot seat, Burke's got a plan, and Wilson's part of it, but its not going to happen overnight like everyone expects. Those two can handle the media, but is any credit going to be given where credit is due?
  • Speaking of coaching... Can you imagine being on a team coached by Babcock, Lemaire, and Ruff? Or Wilson, Tortorella, and Gordon? Pretty awesome. Wilson and Torts, is that ridiculous or what?! Where the hell does Gordon fit in? He must have been playing the good cop.
  • Its a good thing Ryan Getzlaf's got a Gold Medal and a Stanley Cup ring 'cause he's bald as fuck at 24.
  • A lot of the stickwork that's been eliminated from the NHL was back in the Olympic game without calls from the refs. Letting the play go was cool, but you see all those hacks at the hands and wrists and you realize how ridiculous it is. Takes a lot of the skill out of the game, and I'm glad to see it gone. Although some of the calls nowadays are brutal.
Hot or Not Lists
And who's carrying it over...

Chris Pronger
Marty Brodeur
Marty Havlat
Team Sweden
Alex Radulov
Paul Stastny
Phil Kessel

Drew Doughty
Jon Toews
Rick Nash
David Krejci
Mikko Koivu
Jonas Hiller
Pavol Demitra
Zach Parise
Ryan Kesler

Monday, March 1, 2010

Do You Know Why I Pulled You Over?

Khabby: "Speed."

Officer of the Law: "Do you know how fast you were going?"

Khabby: "80."

Yeah I know its late for this one, but I don't feel like putting forth the effort to go over 'The Game' yet so I'm phoning it in, and posting this half baked idea. I thought I would do a series of these t-shirts to fill the bottomless void that is this blog, but I'll probably give up at 2 after I get no response.

Wow, all that optimism and I haven't even started drinking yet. We Americans are taking it hard.

Well don't worry folks the 'Nikolai' comes in a variety of colors and styles, but today its featured in Oiler blue. Only available in XXXL so that you can be like the bruthas who wear t-shirts past their knees to cover up their pants hanging down by their ankles. Barely.

The style above is called 'Broken English' but there's also the 'Insurance Scam'...

And we all love when sports and movies crossover, so here we have 'the Fast and the Furious'...

And of course, 'Tambellini's Legacy'...

Get Yours Today!!!