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Monday, March 10, 2014

Hockey Night In Canada featuring George and Don

Rogers first major decision as NHL partner has included the hiring/promotion of George "how the hell do you pronounce his last name" stroumboulopoulous (thats a mouthful). Anyone know anything about this guy? What i know is he has a talk show or something, he's a huge Canadiens fan (just our luck) and he had a failed showed on CNN for a few months. 

He will be partnered up with Don Cherry. This should be fun. Apparently he's like Cherry himself and won't stand pat like Ron Maclean. 

Whats the vibe I'm getting from this? Its Rogers strategic way to get rid of our beloved Don. Paired together, they are hoping for a fallout between them so they can have an excuse to fire cherry. 

I don't know about you wonderful people, but hockey night in canada is and will always be Don Cherry and ron maclean you just can't replace them. I guess time will tell

Monday, October 29, 2012

NWHL

NWHL--> National Womens Hockey League. Lets face it, women unjustly, are not given the same opportunities as men, especially when it comes to sports. Name me one female GM or manager in the 4 major North American Sports. Thats what i thought. If I had it my way, there would be a replica Womens NHL as a sister league to the NHL.

They would play the games in the same arena as their Brother league.  For example you have the NHL's TML, you would have the NWHL's Toronto (something lady like). The brother league wouldnt oppose the idea, in fact they would embrace it because of a rule that the NWHL has to follow: pay your brother league a portion of your profits and in turn they will help to keep you financially afloat, sorta like revenue sharing, but with your sister.

Where would the players come from? The various female leagues around. The most intriguing thing to come out from this idea would be that the league would be female run, from top to bottom, no men allowed. The commissioner would be female, so would the coaches, trainers, even the water girls. It would give women a strong voice in sports, something thats lacking dearly.

Would it work? Ask yourself this: What happens when you have a room full of women together? lol all hell will break lose (jk). It could work or it could be a disaster but all I know is that it will sure as hell be fun to watch.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Out of kool aid


Lets get one thing out of the way here. Im not a pessimist by any means but that being said i do believe i am a realist. How on earth are the leafs going to go anywhere next year without making a move? All the teams in the NE division have gotten bigger and stronger with the exception of the Sens and Leafs. Boston is Boston, MTL got bigger by adding prust and a couple other players,  Ottawa has skill that makes up for their size. Buffalo. Buffalo has owned us for how many years now? They are only going to play better against us now that they have added steve ott. leafs will roll out their first line and buffalo will counter with their 3rd line which includes ott. We have enough trouble scoring against miller and now it will only get harder. Frankly im sick and tired out hearing burke repeat the same BS time in and time: "we are not going to overpay" If your not going to overpay and then how in the f*** are you going get a bonafide 1st line Centre???!!?? Teams arent exactly lining up to trade these type of players to the leafs. As mentioned today on TSN 1050, Burke is like that kid that an elementary teacher temporarily leaves in charge for a couple of minutes. He tells the other kids to stop talking because its not allowed and the other kids just tell him to shut up. I dont see the leafs going anywhere this season, i predict a 14th place finish in the east. You cant get better by sitting still and waiting for the pieces to come to you. "we dont want to overpay?" Well im sure last year he grossly overpaid for Connolly (3yrs/9 mill) and the year b4 for armstrong. I hope that we dont make the playoffs one more year just so burke can lose his job and we can bring someone in here who can do a proper rebuild. Id rather wait another 5 years for a proper rebuild then pretend we are going somewhere next season. Im done sipping his kool-aid.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mr. Coach

Hey! Haven't posted in a while and thought I'd take the time to post something new and refreshing for my 18 readers. It couldn't be better timing too as a whirlwind of events have avalanched regarding the Maple Leafs. Not counting today's win over Montreal, the leafs had a disastrous record in their last 10 games. Only 1 win in that span and it cost Ron Wilson his job. Any real hockey fan, not just a leafs fan would know that Ron Wilson was replaced with Randy Carlyle, a man much like Wilson who had a track record with Brian Burke, albeit a better one. And those are a few of the similarities between the two coaches. Lets Compare shall we?

Lets start with Ron Wilson. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a stat shark. I love hockey statistics and I'm sure most hockey fans do. Ron Wilson Coaching Statistics*: GP 1401 W 648 L 561 T 101 OTL 91 Pts 1510** In 3 and a half seasons with the Leafs, Ron Wilson never finished higher than 4th in the Northeast division. Its not exactly a cakewalk division but at the same time it is far from the strongest division in the league. He missed the playoffs in all 3 seasons prior to this one and if he were to stay on as coach it's very likely (even today) that the leafs would miss the playoffs again. You can easily build a case for Ron. Oh he didn't have the proper players like he did in San Jose when he put up 108 points in a single season and won the presidents trophy as the leagues best team (statistically) numerous times. Excuses are excuses though. In all 3 and half years of Wilson's tenure as coach, the leafs had a terrible PK unit. PK is executed by by the players but the strategy is all planned out (or at least should be) by the coach. When it's not working its up to the coach to make the necessary changes to get the tires kicking again. Wilson failed to change on the PK and when he finally did at the beginning of January it a tale of too little too late. His experience in the league is unquestionable. How many people can say they have coached more than 1400 hundred games in the NHL? Not many, well i shouldn't say not many as you have Lindy Ruff, who has been coaching since... wait, what year did he start again? 1970?

Anyways in my words,"Wilson's experience was both an asset and a liability (i wrote an accounting exam today so you will have to forgive my accounting terminology). When you've been in the business as long as Ron has, you pick up a few tricks along the way but at the same time it can hurt you as you can fail to adapt to change. You can becoming egotistic, not listening to anyone else because they don't have the same level of experience as you do and your way is the only way and i think that's what happened to Ron Wilson. He got caught up in doing things his way and the players failed to response to him and stopped playing for him. When players stop playing for you, its a tell-tale sign that your are going to get the boot as a coach sooner or later. Ron was a good coach but he failed to meet expectations. Simple as that.

Randy Carlyle Coaching Statistics* GP 516 W 273 L 182 OTL 61 PTS 607 Randy Carlyle took over Ron Wilson's job as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday March 2, 2012. The moment news of Wilson being fired and Carlyle being hired sent Twitter into ablaze. Leafs fans were tweeting about the coaching change left and right and i was afraid that twitter might of actually crash and it chaotic! But you can't blame the most loyalist fans in the league for letting out a sigh of relief, fans who have suffered too much for too long but still show up every other game. Lets look at Carlyle's track record with Anaheim, the only team he had ever coach up until Friday.

He's only coached about half the number of games that Wilson has coach but he has managed to do more in that time. He has been to the playoffs in all but 6 (excluding this year, 2011-12 as he was fired at the beginning of the season) of the seasons as coach of the Mighty Ducks and now just Ducks due to a lawsuit by Disney over the "Mighty Ducks" name. That says a lot about a coach. Yeah he had the Getzlaf's and the Ryan's and the Perry's but now he has the Kessel's, the Lupul's and the Grabovski's. Randy Carlyle also has a Stanley Cup ring, which Wilson does not own. The ring was scored in the 2006-07 season with Burke at the helm as GM. So the GM-Coach relationship in Toronto is alive and well and that is a great thing to have.

 A similarity between Carlyle and Wilson is that they are both "no-non-sense" coaches but here's the kicker, which by the way was evident before Carlyle even step foot behind the Leafs bench, and further cemented in his 3-1 victory over the hooser Habs and that is that HE ACTUALLY TALKS TO THE PLAYERS! He talked to them in the hotel room and during the time outs his hands rather than being crossed were on the drawing board talking to the players. That makes a huge difference to the player because i don't care who you are, you need a coach to guide you, show you the way, and the execution is up to you. Carlyle  is a great coach with a great track record.

He has ring and know what it takes to win. It my opinion the leafs are not going to the make the playoffs, the hole they dug for themselves with their atrocious run of late has cost them a playoff spot. Smart move by Burke to bring in Carlyle now instead of at the beginning of the season. This way he can implement his system and get the Leafs into the playoffs next year. Here's hoping it works out with him and the Leafs but... Only time will tell.
-abdullah 

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Wilson_(ice_hockey_b._1955)
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Carlyle#Coaching_record
** The numbers for Ron Wilson's total career points as a coach is correct on Wikipedia and not on http://www.hockey-reference.com/coaches/wilsoro02c.html. How do i know? I calculated it my self (and people say Wikipedia is not reliable, pshh!)

OPINIONS (not onions) ARE WELCOME!

Monday, January 31, 2011

And the last pick of the 2011 NHL Fantasy Draft is.....

Yeah i saw it just like everyone else but i did not like it one bit. Of course I'm talking about the 2011 NHL Fantasy Draft in Raleigh. Don't get me wrong i loved the new format with the draft and all and i also enjoyed the skills competition and the all star game but the Fantasy draft really annoyed me. If you didn't watch Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs, my favourite player from my favourite team, was picked last but that was only part of it. He and Paul Stastny from the Colorado Avalanche were the last two remaining  in the Fantasy draft and you could see Kessel was a bit nervous.

This is were one thing happened that really irked me. Eric Staal's team had the next pick and Staal announced the selection: "Since there's no hockey market in Toronto, we're going to take Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche. I understand the all star game is suppose to be "fun" and i have absolutely no problem with that, in fact i enjoyed the fun atmosphere around the all star game. My problem is with Eric Staal announced his selection. He could have simply said "with our final pick we take Paul Stastny from the Colorado Avalanche, sorry phil" and at the same time give Kessel a friendly smile. That would have been so much simpler and the fun would have been still there. Why in the world would Eric, a Thunder Bay Ontario boy use that opportunity to take a jab at the greatest hockey market in the world and a jab at down-to-earth, shy, but deadly goal scorer in Phil Kessel, even if it was in a joking matter? There was absolutely no need for that and I don't think he cares and I don't care if he does but Eric Staal lost a lot of respect from me for that remark.

Now on to another thing that pissed me off. Ironically enough this time it was the other captain, Lidstrom, who i had a ton of respect for and still do but my respect for him diminished a bit. The problem i had with Lidstrom was how he handled the whole "last pick situation". James Duthie from TSN, who was a great, great host by the way, asked Lidstrom at least 5 times to make the selection of Phil Kessel, "the last pick". If you saw it live or if you watch the video on youtube ( *i will post a link) you can see Lidstrom does not budge whatsoever! He does not move! He has no interest in picking Phil Kessel. After James Duthie finished asking Lidstrom for the 5th time, Lidstrom simply said "ok" and did not budge to the Mic. Instead Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks made the selection. Lidstrom hung Kessel out to dry. Totally unacceptable. A real classless move by a once classy player in my opinion.  Props to Kessel who handled the whole situation extremely well. He had a smile on face the entire time but no one except for Phil himself knows what he really was thinking on the inside. I loved the new format of the Fantasy draft for the all star game. I thought it was a great idea and should definitely be continued in years to come but they really need to change the format of "last pick(s) for future games so players don't get hung out to dry like poor Phil did.

So now what does this mean for Phil from here on in? He has got to realize that everything that happened to him at the Fantasy Draft in Carolina has a deeper meaning to it. He has got to realize that the league and the players around it have a "hate" for the Maple Leafs Franchise and anyone that plays for them, so that includes Phil himself. Fact is that both the Maple Leafs and Kessel have to start getting better before they get any respect in this league. For the Leafs and Brian Burke, they have to realize that building through the draft is success formula for gaining respect around the league. Trading away draft picks will never help you win, it rarely does. All the successful franchises today, The Penguins, the Capitals, the Red Wings have built through the draft. As for Phil himself he needs to start becoming a less predictable player and a more dynamic player. He needs to make the team and the players around him better. How can he do this? Focus on the defensive aspect of his game. You could see it at all star game. This was Phil Kessel's type of game, all offense, no defense, but correct me if I'm wrong Phil Kessel did not register a single point. A reason for this is because Kessel just doesn't play defense. He sort of plays like me (no wonder hes my favourite player!) when i partake in sports. He just waits in the defensive zone, just standing there, waiting for a pass instead of going to  where the puck is and aggressively taking it out of the defensive zone and into the offensive zone. Imagine if Kessel focused on his defensive game as much as he focused on his offensive game. He would be more of an unstoppable player then he is currently. Phil Kessel playing defense would also help the Toronto Maple Leafs a ton 1) it would give them a greater chance of clearing the puck during times of an offensive onslaught by the other team (far too many seen in recent years) 2) it would help create chances for the Leafs and Phil Kessel himself. Think of it this way, if Kessel plays defense and strips the puck he can easily take it the other way with the speed he has and turn the play into a odd-man scoring chance for the Maple Leafs. So i guess you could say there is a third thing: 3) Creates more opportunity for Phil Kessel=more goals=more points= maple leafs winning=maple leafs in the playoffs=happy Leafs fans =).

Sure it's easy for me to sit here and say how Kessel needs to improve. I'm not the one playing in the tough NHL everyday, but he is my favourite player and i want him to be the best he can be. After all, he is only 23 years of age so there is lots of time for improvements for both Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Feel free to comment, hope you enjoyed my post

*Here the Lidstrom link i was talking about earlier (from 0:35-0:50)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scg8Vzu7PK4

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A blessing in disguise

As the title of the blog says "a blessing in disguise", it is just that for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Losing their 2 best players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, it seemed that the Penguins were done for. Playing without their 2 superstars for the first time since 2006-2007, a span of 437 games, im sure Penguins fans don't want to reminisce the state of their franchise before these two superstars arrived (with the exception of the Lemieux era). Without Crosby and without Malkin, the Penguins are trying to desperately to stay aloft in the tightly-congested Eastern Conference, and they are doing a good job so far. The Penguins, as of Jan.30.2011, have gone 5-4 without Crosby in the lineup (out since Jan.1.2011) and 2-1 without Malkin in the lineup (out since Jan 19.2011). The records are average but nonetheless they are still winning records and in this league that is all that matters. The Penguins, as of Jan 30.2011, sit 4th in the Eastern Conference, 1 point away from the 2nd place Tampa Bay Lightning, pretty impressive if you ask me. The sole reason as to why the Penguins have been able to stay alive in the East is because of their depth players. Players such as Kris Letang (41 pts, 2nd behind crosby) Chris Kunitz (33 pts), Alex Goligoski (26 pts) have been able to step up and provide valuable points game in and game out for the Penguins. In fact the Penguins (without Crosby and Malkin) have 12 players in double figures (more than 10 points). With injuries to Crosby and Malkin, these role players have been stepped up big and have kept Penguins fans believing again.

As I stated at the beginning of the season, more in the off season, the Pittsburgh Penguins will win the 2011 Stanley cup. They will beat the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games in the final. I personally was very impressed with the moves the Penguins made in the off season with the additions of Martin, and Michalek, after losing Sergei Gonchar to Free Agency and i believe that they got stronger as a team, even more stronger than when they won the cup back in 2008-09 season.

The "Blessing in disguise" for the Penguins comes in the form of the injuries to Malkin and Crosby. Casual fans will right away assume that injuries to the two superstars are devastating but fans with a love and sense for the game will ponder all possibilities of the injury and the effects on the team before coming to a rational decision. This is exactly what i did. I pondered and pondered. At first i too was guilty of thinking that the injuries were "bad" for the Penguins but then i gave it some thought: "With all the hockey that these two play, with a special emphasis for Crosby, the injuries might not be a bad thing after all because it gives these two players some very much needed rest" It is evident how much and how hard these players play. Just watch Crosby's NHL Commercial on Youtube where he is working on balancing on the board and simultaneously catching a ball. Also another funny example i found was on The Hockey News website. One of the cool features of this website is that it lets you find any player's strength and weaknesses, past or present. Its called "player bio". For Crosby one of his weakness ( i know shocking) is the fact that he works himself too hard. This is taken directly from the website, under weaknesses: " Could stand to pace himself a little." And this true. Between all the hockey he plays during the regular season and the deep runs in the playoffs with the exception of last year, and coupled with playing for Team Canada at the Olympics in Vancouver, Crosby definitely needed some rest one way or another.

With the Injuries to Malkin and Crosby and the Penguins managing to keep aloft in the Eastern Conference, the Penguins are looking to make yet another serious run in the playoffs. We all know for a fact that they will make the playoffs its just a matter of how far they are going to get. And think of it this way, a healthy and well-rested Crosby and a healthy and well rested Malkin come post season time is just what the "doctor" ordered for yet another cup for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I'd like to hear from you. What are your opinions and ideas on the injuries to Crosby and Malkin? Do the Penguins have enough for another cup run?

Please feel free to comment and hope you enjoyed my post

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Just a guy trying to make a living on the internet. Have had no luck with other jobs.