Saturday, June 11, 2011

Broadcasters witout a clue

After watching Boston Gregg's new video (he is hillarious) I youtubed Raffi Torres to see if I could find a compilation of his hits and was surprised that I couldn't...he's had so many memorable ones and his physical play along with the acquisition of malhotra prior to the season is the reason the Canucks are in the finals.

I was also shocked by what I heard in the replay of the two individual hits I did watch: The Eberle Major and the hit on Seabrook.

In the Eberle hit the Oilers commentary said the hit was to an unsuspecting player.

In the Chicago series we see the puck roll around the boards to Seabrook behind the net.  He is waiting for the puck on his backhand being a righthanded defender and as it skips past him he reaches for it, only to be obliterated by Torres.

I didn't have to re-watch the Horton hit from game three by Aaron Rome but clearly Horton is admiring his pass in a high-traffic zone.

"That is a dirty play....Seabrook hadn't even touched the puck....he might have stuck the elbow out.   It's a dirty play....Elbow in to the jaw...this is what's disturbing, if Seabrook had've stayed down and milked this." CSN broadcasters


"Torres clobbered Eberle...I think for Raffi Torres you can say goodbye to the first round of the playoffs....that's a clip, that's an unsuspecting players....definitely looked like a high can't tel me that's not a head shot..." CBC Broadcast Crew in a mean-nothing game, one of many established by the NHLs flawed draft process as shit teams like Edmonton ice the worst line-up possible to win the "Fall for Hall"


"Right after he distributed the puck (yes it was, thanks for calling it like it really is)...that is a late hit by aaron rome (pardon?)....that's rule 48...a high hit to a vulnerable player"


In all of these plays a physical player in a contact sport made a hit that is now deemd "predatory".  Can anybody tell me

"That's why the league put in rule 48 to protect players in that situation"  - - I'm sorry, where I came from people were taught how to play.  Taught how to take a hit.

Don't watch your pass Nathan!  Don't reach for a puck Jordan!  Don't reach back and not look on the dump in Brent!  Sorry, but this league and some of those around it are all to happy to spin-doctor these hits to make it look like those dishing them out are horrible evil players, but the nature of hockey is to punish those getting comfortable making plays that should be restricted by the very nature of this physical game.  This isn't even hockey anymore.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rome Hit Sensationalized

I read a story on my homepage this morning about the Aaron Rome hit that ocurred in the early part of the first period of last night's Stanley Cup Final Game really got under my skin.

The report claimed Rome left his feet to make the hit when in actuallity his feet were firmly planted on the ground at the point of impact.  It was a borderline late him, sure, but don't make it worse than it actually was.  When a big impact like that happens on the ice in the trolly-tracks both players involved will lose their footing, which did happen after the hit, but that is too often mistaken for intnentionally leaving the feet to make the hit.

Don't make these hits worse than they are.  The reason Nathan Horton suffered a severe concussion (and any hockey fan, Canuck or Bruin, should feel horribly for the result of the hit and for Horton) is because the impact in neutral ice is so insanely huge now without obstruction.  The NHL is punishing it's own players by playing the game under the new rules they implemented to try to make the game more interesting to the casual fan, and they did this with utter disregard for the poeple on the ice.

Monday, June 6, 2011

tired....oh, so tired

I felt exhausted after the mid point of the second period. Tired of one of the NHLs biggest let-downs: it's inabillity to let a series develop organically.  They've taken the wonder and amazement out of the best championship of any organized sport and reduced it to the WWE.

For the most part the end result is unchanged but the script is so blaze, I feel like I'm watching 'The Contest' episode for the 16th time...only when Kramer bursts through the door fifteen seconds in to the challenge I don't laugh, instead, I hoh-humm as yet another player is thrown out of the circle.  It doesn't do much to the course of a game, but add it up and eventually a miss-match in the dot and boom, a goal.  One team is way ahead, better try to make it close with make-up calls.  And what is an icing anymore? I challenge one person associated with the NHL to give me a clear answer. 

The league has done a great job to add to the ambiguity to give more options in pulling the strings of an NHL contest like a master pupateer...the problem is their great creation is indeed not a real boy.

Aaron Rome's clean open-ice hit on Nathan Horton was the perfect opportunity for the NHL to extend it's biggest showcase.  Conveniently the newly created five minute interference penalty gave the host team a whole five minutes on the PP and shorted Van a depth d-man, a position that's already lacking, but it backfired, so we had to see a slew of brutal calls, and to wrap up this hockey equivelant of a wet-fart fans were subjected to a bizarr-o ejection fest.

I'm not so hard-edge to think that someone is profittin illegally from this, other than the NHL playing their hand to their advantage, but someone is definitely getting ripped off: the fans.  Shouldn't it be about satisfying the paying customer?  Or like in successful hockey markets will the NHL just continue to turn it's hardcore fan bases in to it's own personal whipping post?

It could be worse, in basketball the referees take bribes to make questionable calls that do little other than effect the score of a game not the Win-Loss column, in NHL it's a mandate of their employer. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sad but true

As a Canucks fan I'm void of satisfaction with my's my own fault, and I'm sure it's the cross that all Nux fans bare.  If you're like me, atleast, you're to a degree able to enjoy this cup run (first of three in which we are the favourites), but with the dismantling of the last year's cup champ still fresh in the memories of all NHL fans it's hard not to think ahead to the aftermath. 

The Canucks used the most players this year, a testament to our depth, and as the President's (and soon to be Stanley) Cup Champions we should be sufficed with our teams capabilities, but one glaring upgrade to make is our five-on-five play and where that can especially be improved is depth of offensive threats beyond Kess and the top-line.  If our power-play and PK weren't so strong we definitely wouldn't be where we are today, and if we don't upgrade then the dynasty dream won't be a reality despite the great moves by management to lock up our core players long term.

Our top line and PP can score, and all of our forwards are capable defenders, but we need secondary scoring at even strength. Luckilly we have a ton of assets (again thanks to great signings and scouting by nux staff) but unfortunately we're also right up against the cap limit. 

Kevin Bieksa's inspired play in this postseason and solid regular season mean he'll be back, and no other d-man brings more offense (a key to our success) than Christian Ehrhoff, also a UFA, so the two must return to join Edler and Hamhuis next season, and we have a glut of good young prospects ready to make the leap, and with Aaron Rome still under contract for one more year it's become apparent that to make room on the back-end and under the cap we must somehow trade Keith Ballard.

I am not a Ballard-hater.  His offensive numbers weren't great but I feel most thought he didn't perform just because he was in AV's doghouse, when in reality he was plus-ten and played through injury when he came over hurt.  And on most teams his cap hit isn't too bad.  Compare him to other defensemen in his income bracket and he doesn't look too bad, he's just a victim of the Nux deep D pipe-line and the salary cap.  I think he is totally tradeable, and unfortunately we need to move him to make room.

Next the Nux have to trade Mikael Samuelson and Mason Raymond, two very servicable players but Cody Hodgson needs to play top-six minutes and will be a great addition as a winger to our second line and second PP unit.  This sets the table for the next move, trading Cory Schneider.  He deserves it and if we don't he'll walk, also, Eddie Lack (another smart signing by Nux brass) is ready for NHL duty.  he's worth more at the draft then the deadline so it will be sooner rather than later so I expect Mike Gillis will have a summer comparable to Stan Bowman's last year.

Who Needs a goalie and what can we expect in return?

Two teams in our own backyard, the North West Division, Edmonton and Colorado, both loaded with prospects but it would be tough to see Schneider succesful with teams that are direct rivals. David Jones posted 27 goals for the Avs last year and could be available...I don't have enough time to list the Oilers assets, but would Gillis really move within his own division?

Three teams in the Atlantic will need a keeper: The Isles, Devils and Flyers.  We need immediate impact players, so the Devils are out, and the Isle's would be remiss to move any of the prospects they have that have turned out, which makes the Flyers the most likely dance partner, with a glut of offensive players that could be moved including: Jeff Carter, James Van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux.  Carter, recently signed, is cap hit of 6mil which we can fit if we move Ballard, if not it's foreseeable keep Ballard and sacrifice Ehrhoff or Bieksa and still fit Carter, but that's unlikely.  There's no way the Flyers should move JVRD which leaves Grioux's managable contract of 3.75.  Also he's a playmaker whic a second line in Vancouver will need rather than a power forward goal scorer like JVRD or Carter.  Any of the three will make Vancouver a significantly better five on five offensive threat, and that's a scary thought for opposing teams.

Columbus may have lost faith in Steve Mason and they have a few good second line players like Antoine Vermette, Derek brassard or Jakob Voracek...Ditto for Tampa Bay with names like Teddy Purcell and Steve Downie.

The Flyers and Ilya Bryzgalov are professing an interest to sign, but, with the Flyers cap crunch I don't think it's feasible.

With these moves the 2011-12 defending champs should look like:

Sedin  Sedin  Burrows
Carter Kesler Hodgson
Torres Malhotra Hansen
Tambelini Bolduc Oreskovich

Ehrhoff    Edler
Hamhuis  Bieksa
Rome      Tanev
Sauve      Connauton

Lou and Lack

Torres and Hansen need to be resigned, both at small pay increases....this team needs their physicality.  Tambelini needs to comeback because he can play up and down the line-up.  Bolduc looked great before injury and has size and footspeed, same for Oreskovich, so they can replace Raymond's PK time.

All of this improving the team and restocking the cupboard with draft picks and prospects for players like Ballard, Raymond, Samuelson.