Sunday, April 29, 2007

Steve Simmons Cannot See Little Red Lights.

The beauty of Sundays is that I can devote the entire day to sports. I do this without guilt (I also do this with full spousal approbation BTW...'cause otherwise I'd be mowing the lawn, re shingling the shed, planting a new hedge or any number of other things on my honey-do list). But Sundays...Sundays are all mine baby. After a long week, and a Saturday of running around like an idiot getting all of the errands done...Sunday is all mine.

And one of my favourite things to do to kick off Sundays is to watch TSN's The Reporters at 10:30 Sunday mornings. Why? For the loquacious stylings of one Steve Simmons, lead sports "reporter" for the nation's largest tabloid, the Toronto Sun of course.

WATCH! as the other panelists cringe at Simmons' non-sequiturs into the land of the painfully obvious! MARVEL! at the depth of the Toronto bias running through almost all of his comments! GIGGLE UNCONTROLLABLY! at his seeming inability to figure out which camera he should actually be talking into!

And if you want real fun, pick up a copy of the Sun (pretty much any one in the chain...the little weasel runs in all of them on Sunday) and compare what appears in his Sunday column and what he said on the show.

Two things become apparent when you do that: 1) His "column" is almost entirely composed of worthless one sentence pap masquerading as astute observations and 2) No matter how irrelevant that pap is to the topic being discussed on the show, he'll try to shoe horn it in somehow.

So, as a recurring (ish) post, I would like to take this opportunity to share Mr. Simmons' Sunday nuggets of intestinal gaseousness.

And so, without further ado (and without even mentioning the whole Leaf Bias...that's be next week's rant), we humbly present 29 April 2007:

The CFL Draft goes Wednesday: The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are on the clock ... Ah, I see. Channelling our Inner Berman. Very clever. How long before the bad comb over and ridiculous pick up lines?

Mike Keenan has gone to work for Swedish hockey. Word is he won't consider trading Henrik Lundqvist to another country ... I have NO idea what this means. Little help?

Tough time to be a defending champion: The Carolina Hurricanes are out of the playoffs and the Miami Heat are just about done ... Breathless! Astounding! J-school was SO not a waste of your time...and your parents money.

I amuse easily: the Atlanta Falcons drafted Jamaal Anderson yesterday ... Um, okay. Any particular reason why you find this amusing? Just askin'...'cause, you, you know, didn' us!

And my favourite part? He always ends his Sunday column with a "Hey, whatever happened to ..." and then pulls the name of a former sports notable who has since faded into obscurity. But he never, never, tells us what actually did happen to them. Ooooh, how very drole!

Hey, whatever happened to that talentless hack who used to "write" for the Sun?

Deaspin Hall Of Fame: You're With Me Leather []

Feelin' Easy. Easy Like A Sunday Morning

Alright, we've had a chance to sleep on last night's result and after a brief session with Legal, I've been allowed back to play.

So...what to make of last night? Well, it's not quite the disaster it felt like at the (beer and despair fueled) time. We battled back from 2-0 down to tie it. We probably should have won it in OT but Brodeur stood on his head. A bad bounce off of a Corvo clearing attempt lost it for us. And more importantly, we're coming home with home ice.

The fine gentlemen at Battle Of Ontario (where I spent most of the game on a pretty amusing open thread...I'll recommend it to anyone) keeps it all in perspective.

So, we're okay. For now. Promise.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Raving Lunatic

The Running Smart-Assness of the 2nd and 3rd periods will not be available. Unfortunately the author is filled with fear and loathing for what he imagines is about to transpire and the Five For Smiting legal department has deemed a hiatus necessary to mitigate any potential libel issues. We apologize for the inconvenience.

In a completely unrelated note, Five For Smiting would like to offer an apology to Bill McCreary and his family. You are not, in fact, a fuckstick. You are an idiot.

Thank you,

Five For Smiting LLC

Game 2, Period 1 -- We Thank You For Disgracing Our Nation

-- Of the 79 people in the stands in Jersey, a small few are booing the Canadian anthem. Alffie says to self: "Hey, are we were playing this game in Montreal?"

-- Rather pedestrian version of the Star Speckled Banana. Might be because the singer is a fat white guy. C'mon, would it kill ya to go a little Mariah for a bit?

-- I sit corrected. They just mentioned that the game was actually sold out. First sell out this year too. Congrats Swamp Dwellers! Of course you deserve a team...especially one that has won 3 cups in 10 years. Winnipeg is very happy for you.

-- Here we go...

-- Millen mentions Brodeur has a brand new glove. Well I guess he fixed that little 4-goals-to-the-glove-side problem, now didn't he?

-- Goal Jersey on the PP. And we now settle in for three hours of trap hockey...

-- Rayzor does not look sharp...0-8 looms, me thinks. Don't panic. We'll be long as the beer holds out.

-- Bob Cole keeps referring to Ottawa as "they", but the inflection is hilarious. Kind of like the way your 73 year old aunt refers to gay couple who just moved in next door..."Well, THEY're very affectionate...aren't THEY?" Hey...come to think of it...I think Bob Cole is my 73 year old aunt!

-- Are you fucking kidding me?!?!? Jersey goal with two goddamn TENTHS of a second in the period! SUMBITCH! On a 5-on-3 to boot. A 5-on-3, it should be noted, was the result of an absolute BULL-FUCKING-SHIT!! slashing call on Fisher. Hey McCreary!! Why don't you check with Neil and Volchenkov and their partially severred hands if you want to know what a fucking slash is you fuckstick!

-- Man...I gotta calm down.

Eastern Semi Game 2 -- Pregame musings

--Saturday night hockey. When it should be. HNIC. Where it should be. I guess we should be more thankful that Martin Brodeur isn't all that good looking...otherwise NBC would have wanted to play the game at 3.

--And here we go again...Ottawa is 0-7 in second games after winning the first one. We know. We get it. Can we let it go now??

--The Nickleback/Kid Rock cover of Saturday Night's Alright For Fightin' is possibly the greatest change HNIC has made since ditching the powder blue jackets.

--How seriously does New Jersey take it's hockey? Well, in order to get the ice in optimum condition for tonights game, the Meadowlands hosted a basketball game last night, then a figure skating exhibition at Hockey! The Fastest Game On Slush.

See you after the first. Oh...and Go Sens Go!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Eastern Semi, Game 1, 3rd Period -- Random Thoughts From A Very Nervous Mind

--HEY!! Axe Shower Gel People!! For the VERY last time, I would much rather see Maria do the girl's backside than some greasy fry guy! Get it?!? Um...but keep that Schoolgirl/Beach/Sorority/Poker commercial. That was very, And warm.

--GOAL! Redden! Breathing...loosened...bronchial tubes...clearing...acne...remains.

--Where the hell are all the fans?? Hey Lou! There's probably some of those Oscar seat-fillers around and looking for work. Do something would ya? I mean...Jeez...this is just embarrassin'...

--12 minutes left and we are now in Trap Hell. Ottawa to protect a two goal lead...and Jersey, well, mostly because the team has been together so long they don't know how to play any other way. If you listen close you can hear t.v. sets all over the Greater Trenton Area being turned off. And Gary Bettman weeping. You can hear that too. Suhhhweeeeeet....

--8 minutes left. CBC is plugging a soccer game, and then it hits me: Hey,Toronto has a Major League Soccer team!! Well, good for youuuuu!! How adorable. Good luck with that. Really.

--7 minutes to go and Jersey just about scored on an exact replica of Friesen's Game 7 goal in 2003. I sense the Karmic Fates aligning against us. I tell ya, you plop your home arena in ONE Indian burial ground...I mean...C'MON! We said we're sorry!!

--5 minutes to go. I would probably buy one of those And-And-AND Bars...but then again, I'm just a 36 year old brainwashed by corporate whores for most of his --WHERE'S THE BEEF!!--life.

--4:30 left. Just saw an update: San Jose is beating Detroit 2-0, in Hockeytown. The Wings equipement guys have locked Stevie Y in a closet to keep him from getting on the ice. "Dammit Steve, when the Wings retire a number, they fucking MEAN it!!"

--1:25 left. Time out Jersey, Brodeur on the bench. Reminded of Bowser And Blue. What does a Canadian call choking the chicken? Pulling the goalie.

--29.2 seconds...Goal Jersey. Oh. My. Fucking. God. This is NOT happening. 5-4 Sens.

--0:06...faceoff outside Jersey line. Spezz wins it.

--Aaaaaannnnd....scene! Jebus-Jumped-Upped Christ on a side car. WAY closer than that had any right to be...and yet, oddly anti-climactic. We're up 1-0 in the series, taken home ice away, and can expect to get right clobbered in game two on Saturday.

With that, I will bid you a good evening. I'll get my head around almost blowing a four goal lead, I'll google some funny (and very offensive) reference material involving New Jersey/Trenton/the Mafia and/or Lou Lamiarello and be back tomorrow. Big picture kids...5 wins. 11 to go.


Well This Is Obviously Don Cherry's Fault. Right? Am I Right People?

This is actually my fourth attempt at this post. It was 4-0 and we were flying high! Then it was 4-3 and we were sinking low. The Lucifers (yeah, I know, pretty lame. I'll try to do better before the end of the series) pressed and pressed but the second ended at that same 4-3 score. So after the high and the low, we settled for the creamy middle.

As I catch my breath, nervously awaiting the third (and flipping through my rolodex for Crazy Voodoo Priestess Woman...oh, we're not finished yet Brodeur. Oh no. Not by a long shot. You and me.), I go through the first two periods in my head, looking for the turning point. Where was the spark that got Jersey going? And then it hits me: Don Cherry said the game was over. After the first period.

So, the inevitable conclusion here, is that if we lose, it's the Leafs fault!

I knew it! See you after the game. I hope. Unless the Leafs get to me first...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Death March Of The Penguins.

When game time rolled around, roughly 3 hours ago now, we debated whether we should do a quasi-live post on this game, as we did for 3 of the first 4 games. After much soul searching, and a beverage or three, it was decided that it would not be a good idea. Not because of any obvious biases which would be inherent in the posts themselves (Biased? Fuck yeah!), but because the range of emotion on this end would be impossible to articulate and thus, pretty goddamned boring.

But now the game is done. The Senators are through to the second round. That is a lovely turn of phrase...try it for yourself. The Senators are through to the second round. And the best news of all? Of the remaining Eastern teams, the only one the Senators are guaranteed not to meet in Round 2 is the team that poses the biggest threat: Buffalo (thank you Rangers).

And so we will spend the next few days basking in the glow of a series win and the salivating possibilities of the weeks ahead. Personally, we're kind of hoping for a series against the Rangers, if only to find a use for 671 boxes of Jello.

And we bid a fond farewell to the Happy Feets. Rest assured your day will come, but you'll need to pay a much higher price if you want to succeed. Ottawa has paid that price. It's our year, at least until the next round.


This Rangers Cheerleader-Islander Ice Girl Thing Is Really Getting Out Of Hand. YAY!!

Before waxing philosophic on the relative merits of the phrase Death March of The Penguins as a potential title to our post about Ottawa's inevitable throttling of the Happy Feets, we offer you this as an...hors d'oeuvres, if you will.

Now, I'm sure I speak for all hockey fans when I say that I am shocked, SHOCKED!! that attractive women are being used in such a fasion. And, it would seem that it is a premeditated marketing ploy aimed at we males!! Nefariousness such as this can not be taken lightly: The skaters claim Prince pretended to simulate sex on the ice during one practice and regularly coached skaters to appear more "f---able." She also grabbed other skaters' breasts and used explicit terms to describe their anatomy, the skaters said.

Sadly, without photographic proof of such duplicity, this can only be considered rumour and heresay. And it's obvious to us that this vicious rumor must be in retaliation on the part of the Rangers Cheerleaders to the scurrilous attacks by the Islanders Ice Girl on the Rangers poor, misunderstood and mucal-deprived goaltenders. And it's equally obvious to us that this can only be solved by an open, frank discussion, respecting all parties.

And by that, of course, we mean a long cathartic evening of full contact Jello wrestling. No need to thank us, we are here but to serve.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Whither Mellon??

And now we leave the Steel City, and its quaint little rink, with a sweep in our pocket and a 3-1 series lead. All things considered, we are happy. There is a certain peace in the universe when one's predictions come to pass. Well, at least allmost. And to our pre-teen friends at ThePensblog...While you may think us "FAGS!!", you have that right. But bare in mind...these fags are going to the second round.


3rd Period -- Eyes Wide Shut -- If We Watch Through Our Fingers, Nothing Bad Can Happen

-- 13:26 to go, still tied 1-1. We can't count backwards from 20 anymore...too nervous. Reduced to pathetic "witticisms" during commercials.

-- Bob Cole: "Brilliant job by Ray Shero, GM of the Penguins". Um...yeah. Sure. Takes real genius to finish dead-last 3 years running to make sure you have the best odds in the draft. Result: Crosby, Malkin, Staal. My GOD! How ever did you unearth these diamonds in the rough?? GENIUS!!

-- GOAAAAALL! After an Anti-Christ interference non-call too! A-Train with the BLAST! And I mean this in the nicest way...BOO-YAH FUCKSTICKS!!

-- Ten minutes to go. Hubris may yet kick me in the ass...

-- Oh goal game, late, and Murray has Spezza out against Crosby...nothing good can come of away with it. This time.

-- Fantastic shift by Suprykin, drawing a penalty. Say what you will about the deadline deal, he's at least been more of a factor that Tyler Arnason ever was. Not that that's saying a whole lot... 5:00 to go.

-- Game over, we can breathe again. Sens up 3-1, heading home. Might even temper my considerable rage at how many hits from behind the AntiChrist got away with.

2nd Period -- In Which We Secretly Pine For The Dulcet Tones Of Don Chevrier

-- Right off the start, pp for the Feets. Not much happens. Holy CRAP does Malkin look like a lost waif. This message brought to you by the Alexei Yashin School of Playoff Performance.

-- Oh-oh!! That reminds me: Note to self: tomorrow, do that Yashin post you've been mulling over. Or some time this week.

-- Crosby just can't skate. So naturally this results in an Ottawa penalty. Anybody else getting tired of this??

-- Oh dear Lord, Cole is singing the Senators praises. Surely Armageddon can't be far behind.

-- Ottawa still isn't HITTING!! C'mon Bryan!! BRASSE TA GANG!!! Um...that's French BTW.

-- 8:08 Goal Feets. Staal with an assist to the Anti-Christ. Inevitable. Too many guys standing around Emery, not enough Feets on their respective asses. Second time in two games Roberts feeds Redden his lunch. Yet, we do not despair. Yet.

-- I do believe Bob Cole just said that Don Cherry is in love with an 18 year old boy. CBC adds another 7 seconds to the delay.

-- Pace is absolutely nuts! Acid reflux kicking in...Can barely handle...crowd absolutely bugshit loud...YeathoughIwalkinthevalleyoftheshadowofdeath...

-- Jesus H KeeeeeRISTE! After about 4 minutes of end-to-end, Ottawa gives up a PP. Man, this is playoff hockey folks! Not sure I can take this...

-- End of the 2nd. Feets are on the PP, thanks to an Oscar worthy performance by Jordan Staal. Apparently the Sydney Crosby-head snap back-big "OW"-on-your-face method of penalty encouragement is catching on. Ahem...I promised I wouldn't. I promised I wouldn't descend to Pensblog levels...and I won't.

So...a moment to collect ourselves...a moment to ogle the Sunshine girl perhaps...and we'll be back after the game.


1st Period -- In Which Our Intrepid Hero Declares -- Mmmmm...Pizza Good!

-- Canadian Anthem...didn'! And no booing. Thanks Pittsburgh. We'll put our tanks away now.

-- Full marks to the crowd. On Emery right from the start..."Let's Go Pens!!"...Excellent. They realize the importance of this game. Very well done grasshopper...a worthy opponent (author reserves right to be less magnanimous as evening progresses).

-- GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL!!! 3:25 of the first. Spezza of the half-boards on the PP. Wait...under review?? WTF?!?!

-- It's a goal kids. Let us celebrate by adding pizza to wine.

-- Wow. Philips just blew on Malkin to knock him off the puck. Literally. Blew on him. I even saw Chris purse his lips and blllloooow. Soft as ice cream, that boy.

-- PP to Ottawa. Hilarious sequence on HNIC where Bob Cole called it on the wrong team, then had no clue if a penalty was going to be called, then expressed bewilderment upon noticing the ref had his arm up. Stellar work Bob! There isn't a 70 year old Newfie alive who could do better!

-- WHEEE! Charging against Ruutu...on his own guy! Brilliant!

-- Crosby flops and flails and carries on. No call. High dudgeon at the Mellon (Seriously. Can't find a better naming sponspor?)

-- Ottawa has stopped hitting. This seems to be contradictory to a winning strategy. In other words: HIT THE BASTARDS UNTIL THEY CRY FOR THEIR MOMMIES! I mean JESUS! These guys are 12! How hard can it be?!?! Ahem...I mean...perhaps a re-think is in order.

-- Crosby falls on contact (as usual), Malkin runs Emery, Roberts yaps off to everybody. We're gettin' spicy...and angry. But mostly spicy.

-- End of the 1st, 1-0 Sens. Momentum hangs in a precarious balance. And the Author needs to visit the rest room.

Enjoy the Don and we'll see you after the 2nd!

It Is Five Minutes Before Game Time As All Of My Special Places Tingle

We're almost there children. We can't tell you how much we're looking forward to this. In the last post, we relayed a conversation with a certain doubting Thomas (but who assures us that he is a regular viewer of this site...really!). What wasn't mentioned was a declaration by a certain blogger...ahem...that Ottawa has what it takes to take it all, and that the fans in this town are more committed to the bandwagon this year.

And so I stand by it...unless we lose. Then I'm going Chicken Little on EVERYBODY's ass.

See you after the 1st!

Do Not Go Smugly Into That Good Night

Well, here we are. Three hours before game 4.

I had an intersting discussion today with a friend of mine. We were debating whether this editon of the Playoff Senators was any different from the those of playoffs past (cough, gag...ack!...choke). I told him that I was beginning to sense something altogether different on this team. Something completely intangible, mind you, but it expressed itself with crystal clarity when Gary Roberts 472 year old ass hit the ice following a throw down with the Captain on Sunday.

What is that? Is it something as cliche as "heart", "wanting it more then them"? Not sure, but if I were the Happy Feets I would be very, very concerned going into tonight. Because by all appearances, that something means that Pittsburgh is but a bump on a much longer road. Granted, a road that all Sens fans have sworn they've seen before, but THIS TIME, they pray, THIS time, it will be different. THIS time, the Boys know what it takes. The comeback on Sunday proves that, the MacAmmond/Talbot fight proes that and Gary Roberts getting knocked on his ass proves that.

As our esteemed friends at Ice This say: Enough prayer. Just win the fucking game. See you at puck drop.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

3rd Period -- In Which We Wish ThePensblog A Fond Adieu. Do Let Us Know When You Post Something Other Than "You're a FAG!"

-- 3rd underway, and the Feets are finished. They look finished, they feel finished. If it walks like a flightless bird...

-- Just noticed the graphic in the ice at Mellon. "Greatest Fans In Hockey!" that why there are suddenly a lot of empty seats in the lower bowl 7 minutes into the period? What, they're all up in Mario's box offering salary cap advice? Leafing through "Scenic Kansas City" brochures? What? Enquiring minds need to know!!

-- Millen bringing up an Ottawa choke job angainst the Feets during the regular season. Thanks. Thanks loads. Jerk.

-- A small piece of advice to the Greatest Fans In Hockey. When one of your boys falls down, you don't necessarily need to scream for a penalty. Sometimes...people just...fall down. I know! I had trouble with that too. It's o.k.

-- A-Train on Orpik! BEEEEAUTY! Orpik seems a little sore. Schubert in the box, don't know why, but p.p. for the Feets.

-- WHEEE!! Alffie levels Roberts! There's a NEW Order now old man! I find myself curiously aroused...

-- Rugby scrum in front of the Sens bench. Chris Neil chewing through the boards...Memories over how the Feets gooned it up on the Thursday before the playoffs are stirred. We may not be done after all.

-- Goal. Happy Feets. Crosby, sliding on his back. Have to admit, it's pretty. And in a few years he is going to be one dangerous hombre. But not tonight. Please God, not tonight, not again.

--4:30 to go. Crowd's awake again. Looks like the party in Mario's box has broken up.

-- Schubert creams was questionable to say the least. Feets on the p.p., 3:00ish to go. We grow very very concerned.

-- Ooops. Should have known better than to listen to Bob Cole. Whitby gets two for going after Schu, so we're 4 on 4. Less concerned. Feets have pulled MAF.

-- Frantic around the Rayzor. Whistle with a minute ish to go. Malkin loses his freakin' head! Tsk-tsk. Such a temper in one so young. Philips and Malkin off on coincidentals. I'll take that trade.

-- Pittsburgh calls time out with 1:17 to go. My god, I swear if Sydney whined anymore than he does, people would start calling the SPCA over an abused animal.

-- AAAAAnd we're done. Game's over, Senators win (YAY!!), home ice is back where it belongs and all is well with the world. I'll absorb this win tonight, go spend some time with my beautiful wife and expound on the meaning of it all tomorrow. HUZZAH!! And Gary Roberts still SUCKS!


2nd Period -- In Which Our Intrepid Author Will Be Saying Less And Eating More

-- GOAL!! 17:42 to go! Comrie! Bad rebound by MAF. 2-1 Sens! Woo-Hoo! And now, back to my pork roast...

-- Crosby...NO goal! And why not? Because the whistle had gone. And why was that? Well because Roberts was trying to prove him manhood to Spezza with some continuous, yet entirely inappropriate touching. Now it's four-on-four. I say if somebody scores, Roberts gets an assist no matter which team it is.

-- Corvo on the BREAKAWAY! Defencmen falling everywhere! Aaaaaand...he misses. Here's hoping Joe doesn't always have that much trouble getting it up.

-- 14:07 to go. Ottawa pp.

-- GOAL!! Alffie off the half-boards! MAF looks his 12. Greg Millen saying "He's gotta have that shot." Something for the PensBlog perhaps? MAF or sieve? Discuss.

-- Sens have forgotten how to hit again. I grow impatient.

-- Youch...Eaves absolutely killed by the side of the net. Colby Armstrong (FLORKSONOFABITCHINGCORKSORKER!!!) , shoulder to the head. As much as I think Armstrong needs to be taken out behind the woodshed and sodomized with a cattle prod, I have to admit, the hit was clean. Eaves is being put on a stretcher. God Speed.

-- Not a bad job by McAmmond agains Talbot. If it was pay back for Eaves, he had the wrong guy, but for a small guy, he throws down pretty well.

-- Nice gesture by the crowd, applauding Eaves as he gets wheeled off. O.K., so maybe you're NOT all classless pukes who want to sleep with their cousins... Doesn't mean we're picking out curtains or anything, but thanks. But I still hate Roberts!!

-- Back to the game...

-- Chris Neil to Armstrong...Clean or not, keep your ratfaced head up...

-- WOW...Referree by guy in stripes, 18,000 in the crowd. Comrie for holding when in fact, I think he was tying his skates. In Erie. Powerplay Happy Feets.

-- GOOOOOAAAAAL!!! 2:35 to go! Alffie again! Short handed? Maybe. Millen says STANCHION. We DRINK!! WHEE!

-- End of the second, and if you look real close, you can almost see L'il Syddies bottom lip quivering. All is right with the world.

-- See you in the 3rd! I have to do my dishes now...

1st Period...In Which John Muckler Begins To Re-Think The Month of March

-- 19:08 -- Guess who? 52 seconds in. Perfect. Followed by the 1st "Please do not throw anything on the ice" warning. You'd think the fans would be less...destructive, after going without the playoffs for so long. 1-0 Feets.

-- Emery looking a little shaky. Focus Ray...what would Mike Tyson do??

-- Well, hitting is picking up so at least there's that. I mean Roberts has gotta realize eventually that his 453 years old and self combust, right? Sooner or later, it has to happen, eh? RIGHT?!?!

-- 12:52 -- First Crosby whine to the referee. And I am further convinced that Ruutu is the illegitimate offspring of Diane Fossey and one of her "favourite" gorillas.

-- 12:22 -- First Ottawa powerplay. Mario is not amused. You really can't buy good help anymore.

-- One shot. One lousy shot on the PP. Nice to see brilliant coaching in action.

-- 8:35 -- Second Ottawa powerplay following a pretty good scramble in front of MAF. Ottawa bench furiously attempting to decline. Informed that this is not, in fact, a football game. 78 fans leave with Terrible Towels tucked between their legs.

-- Heatley cross-check to negate the pp. He was just demonstrating to his slower line mates, how body contact actually works. You know guys, you are allowed to hit somebody. Just sayin'...

-- Bullshit call on Fisher for "holding" on Recchi. Much whining from the Feets bench. "You Must Be THIS Old To Take This Dive". Hmmm...must have missed the sign.

-- GOALL!!! 1:56 to go!! Crash the net, MAF can't control the rebound, Preissing gets pushed in, howls of outrage from crowd. My humble advice? Read a rule book fucksticks. Oops...sorry, I promised my wife I'd be nice today... Tie game 1-1.

-- Phew. End of the 1st. Quick impressions? Sens weather the 1st 5 minutes of the Feets' natural high about playing at home. And again, for the rest of the period, the Feets do nothing to convince me they're the better team. That said, Emery still looks pretty shaky. Oh...and apparently, there are precisely zero hot women in Pittsburgh. C'mon Camera Dude! Get with it!

Don's comin' up, gettin all Canucklehead on your ass... See you after the second!

Well, The Happy Feets Certainly ARE Excited, Arent' They?

Well, following yesterday's Roberts-ing of the Senators in Ottawa, here we are for game three. We'll see how our boys respond, we'll see if our friends over at Pensblog have come down off the ceiling yet, but most of all we'll spend most of the period looking for a stake to pound through Gary Roberts' heart...

See you after the 1st!

Friday, April 13, 2007

I Do NOT Have A Short Attention Sp—Hey! That Dog Has A Fluffy Tale! Hee-Hee!!

When the NHL came out of its self-inflicted dark age, they promised us a new game, a fast, breathless, whiz-bang game. To that end, the Gary Gang made a few changes. Animatronic referees were programmed to call every tiny infraction according to the rulebook, context and judgment be damned, and brought in to replace the aging lugs we had come to know, hate and ridicule. And we, the Purists applauded wildly.

Then the Gary Gang removed the 2 line pass, and re-instituted the tag-up rule, thus restoring speed and flow to the game not seen since the days of The Rocket. And we the Purists applauded wildly.

And for their Piece-Day-Resistance, the Gang said “Let there be…SHOOTOUTS!” and we the Purists…well, didn’t do much really. We mostly held our collective nose and gritted our teeth and agreed that it would be best for the game. It would bring excitement to an otherwise brutal 1-1 New Jersey/Minnesota game played in the middle of February. Keep (American) people in the seats, keep (American) people glued to the t.v. The only proviso we the Purists had was that under no circumstances would Gary’s Gang even contemplate the merest suggestion of the thought of bringing in shootouts in the playoffs. Ever. And the Gang agreed. Until Wednesday night.

For those of you who may be unaware (and if you are unaware, just what the hell are you doing on this site), the Canucks/Stars game on Wednesday night went to overtime. Four of them to be exact. And the game was on the west coast, meaning that a game that started at 10:00pm in Ottawa (or as the NHL sees it: NEW YORK!!) finished at 3:30am in NEW YORK!! Of course, what this also means is that, in the big money markets (NEW YORK!!) all of about 8 people, six of whom are insomniacs, actually saw the end of this game.

Which means...well...this. There are SO many things wrong with Muir’s arguments that to debunk them here, one at a time, would waste way to much of my time, not to mention that they’ve already been put forward (with much passion) by the commentors on his blog. Just let it be said that I, for one, am fucking sick and tired of bending over for a “potential” market that may (probably will) never embrace the game the way Canada has. Hey Gary! WE are your bread and butter. WE are the ones keeping your game on any radar and WE are the folks that couldn’t give two rat’s asses whether Aunt Rudy in Tuscaloosa gets to see the end of the hockey game before Dancing With Washed Up Has-Beens comes on. Stop listening to your marketing cockroaches and start listening to US. We’re the real fans. Remember?? Thought not.

A Matter Of Time []

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Now Then. Were There Any Questions?

For reasons beyond my control (but which will be revealed in the fullness of time…let’s just say there damn well better not be anymore Wednesday night games) I didn’t actually see the game last night. I did, however catch the highlights on SportsCentre and by all accounts, a thorough schooling was given to the Happy Feets.

Then there is this little exchange from a chat transcript posted on the Post-Gazette website:

Iceburgh: Considering the way Ottawa run at our guys all night - when it got to 6-1 why not take a major penalty or two, just to send a message that we aren't going to let them play like that the rest of the series?

Jerry Micco: Good question, Ice. Seems like if you're going to put a uniform on George Laraque, then late in the game is the time for him to hammer some people, which he did, but it was too little, too late. And it did show that the Pens are not the most physical team in the NHL. In the playoffs, that's a part of the game.

Without pointing out the relative grammatical failings of your average Feets fan, I fail to see how playing a physical game constitutes “run at our guys all night”. Or, perhaps, this only applies when the Feets are the ones dishing rather than taking?

Or maybe after watching Ruutu run around like the gutless fucking puke he is all season, they can’t recognize a clean hit when they see one. Yeah, my money’s on that one.

Ottawa Never Looks Back In 6-3 Win [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Jerkoff Of The Day…So...Um... How Does A Former District Attorney Fare In Pris -- Oh! I see. That's Gonna Leave A Mark.

This has nothing to do with hockey, but I felt the need to add my nickel to this story, as well as avail myself of the opportunity to haul the Asshole of the Day tag out of the closet. The rape case against the three members of the Duke lacrosse team have been dropped and the players can now rest easy, free to imagine how they’ll be spending former DA Micheal Nifong’s money following the civil suit.

The North Carolina state bar filed ethics complaints against Nifong in December and January, accusing him of withholding DNA evidence from the players' defense attorneys and of "making misrepresentations to the presiding judge."

Other ethics complaints said Nifong had made inappropriate comments to the media about evidence, testimony, and the students' character and credibility. Nifong will be tried by the bar in June and could be disbarred if he's found guilty, AP reported

This was the perfect storm of rich, white, very drunk fratboys, a crack ho, and a bottom feeding lawyer’s political ambition. Based on what I’ve heard and read, I personally believe that something happened in the house that night, but also that the three players brought up on charges had nothing to do with it. The biggest angle to this is the sleazy, unethical, totally unacceptable conduct of Nifong.

Of course when the players' group of equally bottom feeding lawyers say that the accuser won’t be included in any suit because she’s a “troubled soul”, you know that they actually mean is "because she has no money”.

Shakespeare was right after all.

Duke Charges Likely To Be Dropped []

Pittsburgh?!?! Stupid Monkey.

In a follow up to my post Tuesday about Maggie the Monkey, it seems I was a day early in condemning her to the dustbin of prognosticatory history. Apparently TSN has not, in fact, Kerry Fraser-ed* her. Behold, her picks along with the other TSN "experts". The monkey is the only primate on the panel to pick Happy Feet over the Senators. We are concerned.

*Sudden and surprising disposal of a familiar, yet no longer useful item.

Fear the monkey! []

They’re Still Pissed At Us For Celine. Are We Sure This Is A Good Idea?

Oh lordy-lord, is this going to be fun/terrifying/fascinating to watch. Our very own Donald S. “Grapes” Cherry will be adding his special sense of je-ne-sais-quoi to NBC’s playoff telecasts.

On one hand, this may vastly improve the NBC “experience” for our hockey neophyte cousins down south. On the other, this may bring calumny of biblical proportions (along with a goodly portion of the 1st Airborne Division) upon the Great White North. There is no middle ground.

"In the States, they wanted me to go on one time in Pittsburgh. Jaromir Jagr, it was when he had long hair and he was with Mario Lemieux and I said, 'There's Mario and his daughter.' It didn't go over too good. That was my last time in the States."

If calling Jagr a girl (and really, who hasn’t done that) is enough to get you banned from the great USofA, what are they going to do the first time he calls out an entire race on national television for being commie lovin' peacniks? I very much doubt the U.S. has a public official powerful enough to put a muzzle on Don. Only Canada’s Official Languages Commissioner has that kind of clout.

But fear not, tender hearts! To ensure that the Bombastic One maintains a calm demeanor, he is being teamed with…Brett Hull. Really, what could possibly go wrong with that?

Cherry to Make Debut on NBC []

p.s.: “Better get some plaid” is one of the best quotes of the year and would make an excellent blog title, if I do say so.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

To Our New Friends At The Pensblog, A Fond Good Night

Finally tonight, I'd like to draw attention to the fine piece of PhotoShop the geniuses at The Pensblog have conjured:

Ordinarily I'd be a tad more outraged, but as it's a picture of the Detroit Red Wings limo Vlad Konstatinov was nearly killed in following the Wings win in 1997, and not a picture of Heatley's accident, I can let it slide.

Because, obviously, it was meant in light hearted jest, right? I mean anything that invokes a tragic car accident, whether or not someone was either permanently disabled or even killed in that accident couldn't possibly be in bad taste, could it? Nope, not at all. Buckle up Pittsburgh. And stay classy.


From Those Who Should Know Better But Yet Insist On Being Mocked By A Monkey

Not sure yet if TSN is bringing back Maggie the Monkey or if they’ve relegated her to the same place Kerry Fraser’s hair went to retire but here’s a round up of learned opinions from around the hockey world about the Sens/Pens series…

“Sens/Pens”…Man, is THAT going to get old fast…

CBC: Lays natural Toronto bias aside and beseeches the Ratings Gods: Ottawa in 6.

FoxSports: Al Strachan, finally acknowledging that he is the love child of Don Cherry and Lester Patrick, picks Ottawa in 7

ESPN: Showing typical ESPN decisiveness, Scott Burnside says Ottawa in 5, while John Buccigross picks Flightless Birds in 6. Paul Martin smiles in approval.

Deadspin: The NHL has a team in Pittsburgh??

Five For Smiting: Sydney Crosby whines himself into Intensive Care and Gary Roberts finally comes to his senses and quits in the middle of game 3 to become a rodeo clown. Ottawa in 6

No Playoffs for Kerry []

Cry “HAVOC!”, And Let Slip The Dogs Of War!

And now, the real season. The little boys have taken their toys home to Mommy, leaving the field of battle to their betters. The greatest prize in all of Sport awaits the victor. It will sit patiently, waiting, as it has for 108 years. It will wait to see who can meet its only demand. 16 wins. 16 wins bought and paid for in blood, sweat, teeth, heart, soul and tears. That is all it asks. And yet it will demand more than 15 teams have to give. Only one team can remain standing at the end. Only one will have earned the right to call themselves “Champions”. This is why we watch. This is why we love and this is why we cheer.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in Canada now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Stanley's day.

With apologies to the Bard, it's Playoff time. Now let’s get it on.

Now Then Where Were We? Ah Yes! Gentlemen, To Evil!

My original plan, hatched as it was in the moments of rage and confusion (and lots and LOTS of beer) following the last second loss to Snivelling Syd and Co. on Thursday night, was to start a board war with the first Penguin’s fan site that popped up on Google.

Sounded fan-freakin’-TASTIC! Best idea I’d had since I tried to make Crown Royal in the bathtub. That was, right up until the point when I realized that, in order for one to start a board war, one needs…well…boards. And friends. More specifically, one needs friends who know about one’s site AND who are willing to take up battle to preserve one’s board. Um…I have neither. There’s just me.

So I guess I’ll just have to settle for watching the series on CBC and emailing snide, and anonymous comments to these guys.

Come to think of it, the Crown in the tub thing didn’t work out all that hot either…

The Eagle Will Fly At Dawn…Right Into The Backseat Of A Police Cruiser

This being April, it’s time to celebrate all that makes spring the magical time of year it is. The first robin appears in the back yard, the first crocuses and tulips bravely poke their little heads above ground, and of course, Ed Belfour gets arrested for being…well, Ed Belfour, really.

Belfour pulled away from the officer trying to arrest him and grabbed his shirt. The hockey player then fell forward on the ground, kicking and refusing to place his hands behind his back, the report said.

Belfour had slurred speech, blood shot eyes and smelled of alcohol, police said. He was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.

As the article also notes, this is the second go-round for the Eagle, following a similar incident with a hotel security guard in 2000 (this uniform fetish is starting to get out of hand, there Big Fella). Although, I’m sure the Panthers organization is thrilled that his teammate vandalized a fire truck in solidarity. Now THAT is putting the “me” in “team”.

And as a public service, I would like to point out to everyone that in the fine city of Miami Beach in the Great State of Florida, grabbing a cop’s shirt, then falling to the ground kicking and screaming while refusing to put your hands behind your back does NOT in fact constitute violently resisting arrest. Good to know.

Belfour Arrested For Scuffle With Cop []

Thursday, April 5, 2007

See You Next Week, Bastards.

Um...o.k. Game is over. Pens win. I'm okay. I can deal... So, what have we learned kids?

Well, we've learned that Bic pens explode in a spectacular fashion when hurled against a wall.

We've learned that the Gary Roberts' Ottawa head fuck has followed him from Toronto.

We've learned that Colby Armstrong's secret past as (please God I hope so) a pedophilic clown will be exposed before Wednesday because that little shit is firmly planted in the Senators collective heads.

We've learned that an entire page of glib and gleeful notes (including the word "BOOBIES!") which were to be posted here for your enjoyment, can be delayed until tomorrow while I get my head around losing home ice advantage to a team that, between you and I, scares the crap out of me.

We've learned that the Habs/Leafs game on Saturday night will be HUGE. And by HUGE, I mean "Canada closed 7:00pm" large.

We haven't yet learned, but we will, where the most fervent Penguins fan sites are, and how best to tease them into insanity before the playoffs start next Wednesday.

And we'll learn to deal with tonight...and KNOW that it is absolutely NOT EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME WAY THE SENATORS HAVE PLAYED FOR THE LAST 10 PLAYOFF YEARS. Yeah...we'll learn to deal. See you tomorrow.

Go Time Continued -- Notes from the 2nd Period

  •'s official. Colby Armstrong is a dick. First the run on Emery in the 1st. Then, drawing an interference penalty on Scheafer by flopping like a harpooned trout. Then a blown breakaway (nice hands jerk). Now a high stick. There's an apt saying in French: Il y a une face a bucher d'dans. Literally translated: His face is built for pounding. Coloquial? "Mr. McGratten? Paging Brian McGratten".

  • 4:20 -- HEATLY!! Goal #49!!!

  • 6:25 -- first "This game is getting SPICY!" from Dean Brown. We drink!

  • Chris Neil SMOKES Malkin then Whitney CREAMED by Dean McAmmond. Message? Not in Our House Bitch! Collin Campbell tsk-tsks quietly to himself.

  • Sens are really gettin' into Fleury's kitchen. My, my, but the young man does rattle, doesn't he?

  • Oh look! Leafs are losing!

  • Oh look! Habs are losing too!

  • Period is over, game tied 2-2. Still hate the Penguins. Roberts and Armstrong are still douches.

What's my wonderful, awful idea? Well, in a nutshell, and to quote Mel Gibson before his drunken anti-semetic ranting days (or at least before those days became public knowledge), I want to pick a fight. How is that going to happen?? I have some idea. Will I have a better idea after the 3rd? I certainly hope so. Do I curse the soul of Donald Rumsfeld for making the habit of asking yourself rhetorical questions and then answering them a way to stall for time in the face of a hostile audience the norm in a sound-bite world? You bet your ass I do!

Why Yes, Now That You Mention It. I Do Believe It IS Go Time.

I wasn't going to do this tonight, I really wasn't. I had settled in to watch the Ottawa/Pittsburgh game with nothing but sugarplums and easter bunnies dancing in my head. First evening of a 4 day week-end. I had the beer. I had the snacks. I had the mellow. Honestly, I did.

I didn't expect to hate the Penguins as quickly as I have come to hate the Penguins. They seemed like such a nice group of young men, well Gary Roberts notwithstanding -- LEAFS SUCK!! (um, sorry, force of habit. More of a reflex really).

Anyway, they did seem nice, if a little immature. The teams would play tonight, the Senators would win, the first round of the playoffs would therefore be set and over the next three weeks, the Senators would kindly, yet sternly school the youngsters from the Steel City on playoff pain and disappointment in say...5 games. Sorry lads, nothing personal you understand. We have bigger things to do, better goalies to fry. Better luck next time, wot, wot, and firm, respectful handshakes all around.

Well all of that was before tonight's 1st period. Before Colby Armstrong attempted to take Emery's spleen out with a blatant charge. Before Christian Ruutu goaded Jason Spezza (Spezza!!) into 7 minutes of penalties with a flying elbow to the head in the corner, then dropping like the European soccer pussy he is when Spez bopped him with a well deserved shot to the schnozz. Before Snivelling Sydney Crosby gave Christoph Schubert a (unpenalized) cross-check to the kidneys after Schubert happened to touch His Tightness after a whistle. Oh yes, that was before all of that.

We are now about to go into the second period. I now officially hate the Pittsburgh Penguins. Messages will continue to be sent. Scores will be kept, and numbers will be taken. I will be back after the 2nd. I have an idea. An AWFUL idea. A WONDERFUL AWFUL idea.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

More Evidence Gary Bettman Is A Crack Head

Remember that “deal” with NBC the NHL signed right after the lockout? You know, the one where no actual money changed hands because after being treated like a syphilitic whore by ESPN and its slightly less-evil Mini-Me-esque offspring ESPN2 the League had to beg pretty-pretty-please with chocolate and a cherry to get on a U.S. network? And then after signing the “deal” NBC went and dumped most of the games on its specialty cable channel Outdoor Life Network, that at the time had about 27 subscribers, most of whom had never seen anyone do anything with ice but put it in drinks, and who only signed up to see which hot chick would crack up first during Eco Challenge? And then OLN followed the advice of three marketing cockroaches it found in the staff lunchroom and changed its name to Versus thus losing 24 of those subscribers? And then Bettman looked upon all that he had wroth and declared it good? Remember that one? No? Me neither.

So this caught our eye today through Deadspin (I know. I said no more Deadspin, but what can I say…I’m a sucker for a witty face…and for the record, Lindsay Lohan played no part in this. Nope. None at all.)

We are very disappointed that Charter customers may lose VERSUS. We hope to resolve this carriage issue with Charter as soon as possible so that NHL fans don't miss any playoffs action, PBR fans don't miss any events in the coming weeks and so that field sports viewers don't miss out on the best field sports programming available. We hope for a quick resolution so that VERSUS viewers can continue to enjoy their favorite VERSUS programming. To contact Charter call: 888-438-2427.

Putting aside, for the moment, the fact that we have NO idea what the hell “so that field sports viewers don't miss out on the best field sports programming available” means (it’s a “rink” you idiots. “Arena” will even do in a pinch), we continue to be baffled by the League’s almost dogmatic and most certainly irrational belief that if only the great American unwashed would watch JUST ONE GAME regardless of the third-world quality of the production, they would be absolutely enthralled with the Greatest Game On Ice and immediately begin throwing money away on jerseys and foam fingers and those stupid PuckHead hats and calling their first born Sydney.

Um…not so much, it would seem. Gary Bettman: Driving satellite channels off the air since 1994.

Yeah, About That Versus Deal [Deadspin]

Run Over My Mother With A Golf Cart For Hideously Unfashionable Men’s Apparel? You’re Damn Straight I would!

I love golf. There. I’ve said it. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in that (Ed.—Um…except that this blog is supposed to be about hockey. Auth.—Shut up. It’s my blog and it will be about any damn thing I want it to be about. Besides, it’s not like I’m taking a chance on offending my vast audience. It’s GOLF. And I have no audience).

I love everything about it. The etiquette, the snappy clothes (Plus-Fours do attract the ladies), the fact that you can still call it “exercise” while buying your fourth can of Blue from the hottie on the beverage cart. I love that players call fouls on themselves, which, it can be said, is a rather…er…rare…occurrence in any other sport (Barry Bonds to Bud Selig: “Yeah, I’m giving up all of my home runs because I’m a cheat, and an asshole and a disgrace to the game. Now I'm off to a Tibetan monastary.") I love to watch it, and I love to play it, even when it breaks my heart, as it inevitably must.

Which brings us naturally to…The Masters. By far, The Masters is my favourite major, and not just because you can repeatedly use the word “Hootie” in polite conversation. I have to admit, I’m a sucker for all that grand tradition (well, the Azaleas-Amen Corner-Eisenhower Pine kind of tradition, not the other Old Rich White Guys Buying Slaves To Run The Clubhouse kind). Why, I’ll bet if you walked 50 feet in any direction into the woods behind the 12th green, you’d see a plaque that says “Bobby Jones Peed Here”. Seriously. I bet you would.

I love the fact that Hootie (see? Try it. It’s fun!) held his ground against Martha Burk and told her to go play in her own sandbox, this one was boys only! And I especially loved it when Hootie (WHEEE!!) took his golf ball and went home after advertisers rebuked him for telling Martha to get bent. Don’t like it? We’re now commercial free! Huzzah!

So I would encourage everyone to relax and raise a beverage to Hootie this weekend and take in at least a few minutes of the serene glory that is Augusta National “televised for 54 out of every 60 minutes”. And please be rest assured that the urge you’ll have to jam that tinkling piano up Jim Nantz’s rectum just to shut that saccharine filled hole in his face will eventually go away. Promise.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Um…So North Korea Punches Iran In The Face. Remind Me Again Who I'm Supposed To Cheer For?

I cannot stand Sean Avery. I cannot stand players who play LIKE Sean Avery. Hell, I can barely tolerate players who play WITH Sean Avery, my propensity to assign guilt by association being that strong. He is the epitome of everything I consider wrong in a hockey playing primate.

You’ll often hear some homer sportscaster (Ed. – Bob Cole on line 1…) say something like “He really gets under the other team’s skin” or, even worse, “He’s the type of player every team hates to play against but would love to have!” to which I always add “Yeah. If only to be able to hold him down after practice and cave in his skull with a shovel”. You know the type I’m talking about…a big mouth, a spear here, a rabbit punch there, wail like a colicky baby any time someone touches you, then run behind your team’s tough guys if the other team comes looking for some payback. (Ed. – Claude Lemieux on line 2)

Well, I must say that I dislike Sean Avery slightly less today. Why? Why for this, of course. And the fact that as much as I don’t like Avery, I absolutely LOATHE Darcy Tucker…to an extent that borders on the pathological. Seriously. So in a scrap between the two of them? Let’s all just say “Go Great Leader!!” take a shower and be done with it.

Pest Patrol []

The Devils Are In 1st?? Playoffs a week away?? Well, That's Gotta Mean It’s FIRIN’ TIME!!

Lou Lamoriello is generally regarded as a pretty smart guy. How smart one needs to be to know that you’ve pretty much got one half of a Stanley Cub in your pocket by keeping Martin Brodeur in enough booze and hookers to keep him happy (‘cause that’s pretty much the only thing that would keep me in Jersey for 13 years. Well that and impressive parking lot parades…) is a matter for some debate. That said they’ve been rather successful over the last…oh…DECADE…or so…(Ed.- No-no-no 2003 absolutely did NOT happen!!) This year was no different. 102 points, first in the division, second in the East (assuming they can hold off Pittsburgh). Which naturally means, of course that for the second time in seven years, the Devils have fired their head coach with less than two weeks to go in the season.

No reason was given, but there are a lot of rumours floating around this here interweb this afternoon. Coach Julien not getting along with Brodeur is one of them (and the likeliest, one would think), but we’d like to get in on some of the fun, so we’ll start one ourselves. Julien was fired for Breach of Contract, to wit: Refusing to make his daily trip into the bowels of Continental Airlines Arena to feed Scott Steven’s evil twin brother. Not after being accosted by a crazed Jimmy Hoffa, who dumped the bucket of fish heads all over Claude and then touched him in his naughty place. Again.

Devils Fire Julien []