The two most powerful forces in society; Guy Lafleur and Disco

This video is awesome on so many levels...

- The CBC reporters' hair.

- 'The Baryshnikov of Hockey'.

- Leather pants with 4 inch stilletos. Yummy.

- The album costs $100K to make exactly why?

- I bet he made money on the thing. Afterall, he got free advertising from CBC!

- Lafleur loves disco, but can't dance. Who knew?

- It's hockey exercises set to disco. With a concept like that, how could you lose?

Cam's WD2 List Adjustment

Phew, good to know now eh?


Forsberg rules out NHL comeback this season
Friday, 01.30.2009 / 8:38 AM / News Canadian Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Peter Forsberg has ruled out a return to the National Hockey League this season.

Forsberg told Sweden's national broadcaster SVT on Friday that if he's able to play at all, it will be for his hometown club Modo in the Swedish league. "There won't be any NHL this season, that's totally clear," Forsberg told SVT. "If I can play it will be in the (Swedish) Elite Series and Modo."

The injury-plagued forward has been back on the ice in recent weeks to test his ailing right foot.

Forsberg, 35, made a late-season return to the Colorado Avalanche last year, but injuries kept him out of half of team's final 18 regular season games and three of the four games in the second round of the playoffs.

SVT reported that Forsberg had also declined a spot on Sweden's national team for the LG Hockey Games tournament Feb. 5-8.

"I will be training with Modo during the national team break and I hope to make a decision after that," Forsberg said. "Modo understands that I'm still not sure I can play, but the foot feels better today than it did at the start of the week."

In addition to winning two Stanley Cups with the Avalanche, he won the NHL's MVP award in 2003 after scoring 29 goals and adding 77 assists.


As bad the feeling was looking at that graphic of Kipper's save %, this made me feel a ton better.

'Course, I can't get the song out of my head now...

This one is for the Wolves...

...and for Flames fans everywhere.

This link is not for the faint of heart.

The Return of Z

He still has a ways to go to reach 10 on the season, but the Zednik tally above is definitely a candidate for goal of the year.

Note, of you have any nominations for GOY feel free to post them to the blog, or e-mail them to me and I can do so for you. I'll re-post the finalist candidates at the end of the season and we can put it to a vote.

In other news, Phil Kessel returned from his bout of Mono earlier than anyone (especially his GM) expected, and registered a pair of assists in his first game back after missing 6 games. Heads mgt had been expecting a month long layoff and a slow return to form after that, so this is definitely good news.

The best news (for everyone but the Personal Vendetta) is that both Lidstrom and Zetterberg were suspended for a game for skipping the All-Star game. The three Red Wings on the PV roster have been absolutely killing it lately and any kind of slow-down in their production is a godsend to the teams chasing him.

John Tavares seems to have responded well to his new team-mates in London, as he has been blitzing the opposition routinely since he arrived and has regained his status atop the OHL scoring leaders including goal a game production rate overall, and a ridiculous 13 goals in his first 7 games (to go with 7 assists for 20 points) as a London Knight. Chances of him not being the first player picked in next years NHL-ED are growing smaller each day.


Still gives me chills

Peter Mahovlich scoring shorthanded against the Russians in 1972

Franchise Building

Pop Quiz;

Q - What do the following players all have in common?

Ryan-R Ana, Kessel-R Bos, Backstrom-C Wsh, Doughty-D LA, Mueller-L Phx, Little-C Atl, Setoguchi-R SJ, Green-D Wsh, Eminger-D Pha, Stastny-C Col, Kopitar-C LA, Kane-R Chi, Hudler-L Det, Toews-C Chi, Voracek-R Clb, Biron-G Pha, and Ericksson-R Dal

A - they are all prospects promoted to contribute to their FUNHL teams this year (in the case of Kessel and Stastny it is assumed they would be contributing if not injured/sick)

It's quite a list and it spans no fewer than 9 of the 12 teams in the league (Corey, Chris and Richard are the only Gms without promoted prospects on their rosters). The Highlanders and Wolves both lead the way in that they have no fewer than four prospects as part of their squads (to divergent results).

All of which speaks to two things IMO.

1. The system we have put in place with regards to prospects and their contract length is definitely working. Good young players have both been spread throughout the league AND have a contract length sufficient to see them succeed before hitting the RFA/UFA marketplace. In short they were EXACTLY the currency we needed to replace the trading of entry draft picks as our asset of choice to facilitate trades.

2. More than ever investing in scouting at the prospect draft pays off. Even if an asset doesn't mature in time to produce for your own team, they represent a potential return via trade that can't be ignored. This would also correlate further to the trading of high slot prospect draft picks, as netting a higher pick gives a team better selection options on prospects, creating more value on ones farm team, etc.

Last but not least; Dion Phaneuf and Evgeni Malkin (and maybe Anze Kopitar). The first two players are prospects just exiting their contract situations who are all but guaranteed to be selected as a Franchise players. Kopitar is having a step-back in production this year, but has an outside shot of reaching this status as well.

So not only do prospects make up important contributors to FUNHL teams, they are occasionally THE important contributors.


The Appalling Abuse Of Mr. Hockey

Its stories like this that make my blood boil.

Three cheers for his kids, Marty and Mark Howe.

Lecavalier a Hab?

This image is from 'Puck Daddy's' Jersey Foul section - which is always a fun read and was for sale at an All-Star game kiosk.

Iit speaks to the ongoing speculation-that-will-not-die of a Vinny to Montreal trade. Last I heard the deal being considered was; Plecanek, Higgins, prospect P.K. Subban, Komisarek, and two first round picks for Big Vinny. To which if I am the Lightning GM Brian Lawton, I say 'Must get more' as there isn't a first line player in the bunch to replace any of the scoring Vinny provides.

I have to believe the Rangers would be willing to pony up a better offer including the equally ridiculous contract of Scott-occasionally-contains-1st-line-like-ability- Gomez to get a deal done, but would have to include Mark Staal in the package to get me interested.

Philly could likewise include their otherwise untradeable contract of the recovering from surgery Daniel-one-season-wonder- Briere, and prospect Luca Sbisa, but with Briere not playing that would seem unlikely.

How about Calgary? Can they enter the derby? Would Langkow, rookie D-man Pardy, Boyd and one of either Backlund or Irving plus picks get the job done?

I suspect that speculation will not die until the trade deadline passes or a deal gets completed.

Malkin scores All-Star Games best goal

As the Brits would say, 'cheeky'.


Ovechkin +Malkin = Comedy Gold

Week 17 Line-ups

Since I won't be in the country as of tomorrow, thought we should post this a little early. See you all soon.


Anyone got this kid as a prospect yet?

OK, so the goalie is about par for the age, but still

this kid has moves...

Week 16 Ends with All-Star Game Tie

The Personal Vendetta continue to hold a 20pt lead over the Highlanders as we reach the All-Star break. The Highlanders themselves have a 25pt lead on the Severed Heads/Bladerunners who have jockeyed back-and-forth for third place over the last few weeks. The Shadowmen have taken advantage of a rare poor week by the Scourge to take sole posession of fifth place. The top half of the league, all now with more than 500pts, are separated by less than 90pts but the teams are spreading themselves out.

At the bottom of the table, the Edge and Lost Boys, less than 15 pts ahead, seem destined to challenge for the Herbivore though the Wolves are only 26 pts out of the cellar themselves (a huge change from last year at this time when the Wolves were one of the contenders for their first Cup). While the Great Whites are still well ahead of the bottom slot, there may be some concern about how far they have slid down the standings of late.

In the Omnivore Race the Bladerunners continue to dominate, though the Personal Vendetta are also showing quite well. Everyone else is is "in the red" with the worst offenders being the Wolves and Great Whites.

While the Challenge Cup race has taken the week off, it will begin again soon with the Bladerunners holding off three challengers for the top seed and the Personal Vendetta, Highlanders and Severed Heads all trying to maintain their playoff position.

In this week's All-Star Game the edge in play goes to the Calgary All-Stars but the game itself, for the first time ever, ends in a tie.

I'm off for a week in Mexico so I do not anticipate being able to do stats - though this internet thing seems to be everywhere - but I should be ok starting up again in February.

Have a great time away from your fix and I'll talk to you all soon.



The 10 Worst Hockey Plays

Lots of awesome badness in this list.


Totally Awesome

The Pittsburgh Penguins sign an 8 year old to a 1$ contract.

He has Cystic Fibrosis and the deal was arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

And reading about it just made my day.

Quote of the Day

"If he could light the puck on fire, or himself, back-flip and then go top shelf, I think he'll win."

- Rick DiPietro on what Ilya Kovalchuk could do to win the trick-shot competition at last years All-Star game.

Tuesday Night Stats


Week 16 Gets Underway

Glenn Anderson Vs Ryan Smyth Vs Kirk Kuller Vs Trevor Linden

Tyler from mc79hockey crunches the numbers to make some sense of where Glenn Anderson fits vs the other three.

He comes to a conclusion (Smyth is underrated because of the time he plays in) that seem counter-intuitive, but the argument is strong.


Week 16 Lineups

Please copy your Week 16 lineups into the comments section for easy retrieval.

Don't forget to include your ALL-STAR selections!


The End Of Fighting Is Near

Don Sanderson was a 21 year old defenseman living his hockey dream and playing for the Whitby Dunlops (yes, they are a team named after the character played by Newman in 'Slap Shot'), when he got into a fight, struck his head on the ice, lapsed into a coma - and died.

This seems to me to be the inevitable result of fighting in hockey. Yes its extremely rare, but like the slapshot that got tipped into the stands and killed a little girl, it was also predictable.

Cue the outrage from journalists looking to ban fighting. Opportunistic, grating, and also predictable.

Personally, I have always loved a good tilt. Probert, Neely, Tocchet, Nilan, Hunter, Lindros, and others were all among my favourites in part because they throw the meat when push came to shove. I'm not alone in loving them for it, nor am I alone in standing and cheering when a good tilt breaks out during a game. For years I have not only enjoyed a good fight, endorsed its presence, but positively celebrated them.

But I was always aware of the darker side. The trade-off would come in the form of the death of John Kordick, or the career ending bout of Nick Kypreos;

...even if they are a rarity, they are still a heartbreaking tragedy.

As a fan I love fighting. As a dad, I realized recently I now have more mixed feelings. The idea my kid could be the one who breaks his head open on the ice makes me sick in ways that can't be described. The good news is that Oliver's tilts are still likely years away.

As for banning fights, that is unlikely to work - afterall fighting was already banned in the league Sanderson plays in, and whats more it is still a deep part of hockey culture. But it will be leaving us. Count on it.

What is ultimately going to kill fighting in the NHL once and for all is the insurance costs. As sure as Sanderson's death is a tragedy the people who insure hockey players are going to take note of it at a level beyond what the fans care and crave - and they are simply going to price it out of the game.

Not this year, not the next, but soon.

And after thinking about it for a while, I'm ok with that.

Why So Serious?

Lehtonen makes it clear he would like to play for the Shadowmen

Week 15 Stats

As always, please double check the stats. If you do find that they are still off - Brian, I think this is correct now - then let me know and we will try and figure it out.



Saturday Night Stats

Bobby Ryan returns to the Severed Heads

How do you feel about returning to the team that drafted you originally?

Well alright then!


Stats for Week 15

Sorry for the delay people, strangly took longer to set up everyone's roster than usual :-)

If you notice any mistakes, let me know.

FYI Next Week's Line-ups will include your ALL-STARS for the Challenge Cup All-Star Game.



It's official, the last post put the FUNHL blog at 1000, and this one takes us over the Millenium mark. Thanks to everyone in the pool for their contributions so far!

To celebrate, here is Linus Omark (Oilers prospect) scoring one of the sickest top-shelf goals you will ever, ever, see - 34 seconds of pure undiluted goodness.

And here is Sheldon Souray taking on the Wild's Craig Weller (who?).

Boom Goes The Dynamite;

Quote of the Day

"The power forward is the Holy Grail of hockey archetypes, the perfect confluence of everything Canadian hockey fans want: the imposing size, aggressive temperament, and fanatical work ethic of a beloved fourth-line grinder combined with the scoring instincts of a first-line superstar. Once human cloning is perfected, within three years the first two lines of all six Canadian teams will be comprised entirely of Jarome Iginlas and reverse-Iginlas flanking Sidney Crosbys. In the meantime, however, the quest for the power forward remains one of the prevailing aspirations of almost every GM."

From the very excellent Habs blog, 'Theory of Ice', where philosophical insight and loggorhea co-mingle with a die hard Habs passion. It's essentially the polar opposite of the awesome Oiler blog 'Lowetide' where historical tidbits and Hemingway-esque concision is the rule.

When Fans Rub Their Crystal Balls


Duncan Keith Hit By Bus

The bad news, well, watch the video.

The good news for everyone not cheering for the Personal Vendetta was that prior to this he was killing us with his +/- performance.


Standings At End of Week 14 - Before the Storm

Hi Gang,

Here are what I have for stats after Sunday night, the end of week 14. Please double check - pay extra attention to any extra pts I may have given you by mistake for players who played on Monday (in week 15) as I had to manually correct the stats and take out Monday's contribution. This may be an issue with goalies that played Monday (where I may have taken away too much). Also a couple of GMs have noticed minor problems with a couple of goalie stats that I haven't been able to pin down (while only a fraction of a pt, let me know about it and I'll see if I can track the problem down).

With the deluge of trades headed into week 15 please understand that I'm going to be a little delayed getting those stats out. Thanks for your patience.


Evgeni Malkin Learns Good English

Check out the record of his interview skills in English here.

And I thought Inspector Clouseau was funny!

Datsyuk scores another beauty


Top Ten Reasons The SeveredHeads GM Traded John Tavares

10. Tavares' lack of footspeed in the WJC finals raised doubts about his ability at next level of competition.

9. Likelihood of having an FP on the Islanders made existing indigestion problems noticeably worse.

8. Absence of elite play-making ability to go with his surreal goal-scoring prowess.

7. Steady drop in ppg and goals per game since breaking Gretzky's record numbers as a 16 year old.

6. The fact that Taylor Hall had eclipsed Tavares as OHL overall scoring leader - and that Hall was already in the Severed Heads stable of prospects.

5. Package of prospects, including Phil 'One-Ball-Good' Kessel, Drew 'Ray Bourque Part 2' Doughty and a 1st rnd prd pick was too rich to ignore.

4. Blinded by possibility of repeating as Predator Cup Champions for a record second time

3. Further blinded by the possibility of becoming the leagues first 4-Time Predator Cup champion

2. Sexual favours on the part of the GWs GM were so mind blowing it eclipsed both his powers of rational thought and determined heterosexuality.

1. Gm of the Severed Heads is an idiot.

Jersey FAIL

How and When Not to wear a hockey jersey.

Lots of good advice, and not just a few chuckles in that column!


Week 15 Line-ups

{The Week 15 Shadowmen Line-up contains scenes of violence, coarse language and suggestive material; viewer discretion advised...}

Highlander commentary on the Shadow's FP swap -> "bob , the also-ran":

Fantastic trade Cam. Malkin and Luongo for the next decade. Nice.

You lose at left, draw or win at center, give up pts and toughness on D and, even if injured until the WD, still win now in net. Futures it is no contest - Luongo is a top fp and is still early in his Hall-destined career. Barring any concerns about Luongo's groin long-term, this is a Severed Heads coup.

Cam doesn't even cripple his run this year and with Heatley (an fp slot reserved for Malkin) and Tavares (no longer destined to be a Severed Heads fp) the Predator Cup is very much in view for this season. Well done sir.

Bob gets what? Elias is having a great year but is he really on the same fp level as Luongo? No, but it is still a win for now on left. Maybe Lecavalier turns it on in the second half and outshines Savard so let's presume a win at centre too. Bieksa is a win on D and in the tough guy department as well. With Luongo still hurt, you can - if you squint really hard - see how your goaltending can survive the hit in net for the short term. Still, was this the best that Luongo could garner?

The problem, IMHO, for Bob is that Bob is not in the fight for the Predator Cup this year, in part because he has been rebuilding since his last cup win. He's been fighting the future so long that he's now fighting the recent past and the distant past is on the sched for next season. So if this was a trade for this year the goal is what? A top-3 finish? Luongo is a lot to give up for a few places in the standings.

As for the future? Did he even get a Tavares for the top-rated goalie fp in the league? No. What he got was another in a long line of mediocre fps to replace next season. The The nailed it: "And the whole, goddamn thing starts all over again." Last season with the acquisition of fp Luongo and prospect Backstrom the Shadowmen suggested that the was a new commitment to ending the culture of mediocracy surrounding the team - so much for that dream.

The Shadowmen will finish ahead of many teams this year. Bob is too solid on draft day and too on top of day-to-day changes to fall in the standings to the basement but there is clearly no plan to challenge the top franchises in a serious, ongoing way - which is disappointing because the Shadowmen should be a perenial contender and they are just a perenial also-ran that make frequent trades.

The Joker playing with his deck of cards and playing Russian roulette with Sylar and then asks him, Why so serious? Is it because YOU HAVE NO PATIENCE!?

The Shadowmen finally blows the injured FP LUONGO [again] out the Airlock [perchance a wee bit too early?]...Sylar needing that trade fix like a heroin junkie may cause the Shadow pain long-term because of that trade with the return of FP ELIAS [again]...Sylar then makes a trade with one of his harsher critics [see above for the critique of the bob the also-ran], we'll see about that one...Moriarty wonders about that too...

Hunwick's Rookie Tilt

A. He cleans Williams' clock with a clean open-ice hit

B. When the dust of the scrum clears and Williams and Hunwick are dance-partners, Hunwick gives Williams a few freebies before one-punching for the victory.

Not to shabby Rook.

Lucic Vs Komisarek

There's a little too much showboating for my tastes (at least he didn't do the Domi belt buckle gesture) but he does clean Komisarek's clock with efficiency.

Saturday Night and the Vendetta Return to View, if not the Pack


Vendetta Continue To Roll

There seemed to be some problems with the stats I posted yesterday - it looked like the Edm-Van game never made it to the stats - so please double check your stats as of last night and let me know if we are all sync-ed up now. Thanks.


Mid-Term Report

Hi Everyone,

My apologies for not getting a team review up earlier this year (i.e. after the draft) but its a bit time intensive and the kid likes to play with the keyboard while daddy blogs so it didn't get done. Mea Culpa.

Here instead is an abbreviated Mid-Term Report for your enjoyment!

12. The Edge

Why They Suck: The defense wasn't strong to begin with and injuries to Schneider and Zubov robbed it of any potential it had. One of the teams best wingers Paul Kariya has just had hip surgery that will threaten the majority of his season. The right wing has also been bad. Very, very bad. Add in to this an early injury to Nabokov has factored in to their slow start along with a two week suckage/vacation by Ovechkin while he dealt with his Grandfather's illness. Once again the injury gods mock the Edge.

Will They Dance With Herbi?: Unlikely. The team has two boffo FPs in Ovie and Thornton both of whom have turned it on lately, and Ovie in particular still looks like a threat to win the scoring title despite his early season absence. #2 center Jokinen is still a stud - if underperforming so far, and while the right wing is a disaster it has Frolov at the top end and he could easily kick it back into gear.

11. The Lost Boys

Why They Suck: Both Kovalchuk and Nash have been inconsistent and below expected performance so far. Each misses out on having an elite line-mate to compliment them and is often forced to be the primary, secondary and tertiary offensive options for their team. The LB's set of pivots is also less than dominant now that Miiko Koivu is hurt and their weakness down the middle at what should be the teams highest scoring position (outside of their FPs at LW) is often glaring.

Is This A Gobble Gobble Year?: Probably not. Nash broke out of his slump in a big way recently and he could easily go on a massive tear. They have above average goaltending, an excellent LW, and average defensemen. A return to health by Koivu would help and a hot streak by Giguere could see them pull away from the basement, as could a trade of Kovalchuk to a team with more firepower.

10. The Wolves

Why They Suck: Its never good when both FPs are on the shelf for prolonged stretches. Cornerstone Phaneuf has also been less dominant than last year even as he leads the league in ice-time. A lack of depth at all forward positions hurts more than a Johnny Cash song after a nasty breakup and a whiskey bender. Dealing Alfreddson for prospects hasn't improved their chances at all.

Do They Like Turkey?: My personal bet is they should get used to being sleepy from the Triptophan. Gaborik has been a no-show most of the year and looks to miss a lot more time. Brodeur has already missed months of action and there is no word on when he will return from his torn bicep. Prospects Toews, Hudler, Voracek and Biron are all logging way too much time on the top lines and in net for this to be a comfortable situation. They would all be excellent complimentary players on a deep team, but its not good to have them trying to run the show.

9. The Ramapithicines

Why They Suck: More than anything else, FP Turco was for a long stretch the worst goaltender in the league by a wide margin. The left wing's best guy is sophmore goon Dan Carcillo, and while he has been 'ok', he just isn't good enough to lead a teams portside. The right wing has one nice piece in RFA Corey Perry - and he just got suspended, essentially decapitating the position. Getzlaf is an elite centerman, but he is the lone bright spot at the position as the team is forced to use Pavelski and Horcoff - a pair of AHL caliber guys - to fill active roster spots.

Is Their A Flightless Farm Bird In Their Future?: Probably not. Thomas has shored up the net for the time being, and Turco has rebounded lately to provide acceptable numbers. Chara still leads one of the deepest defense corps in the league, and while the forwards are still a mess, there is enough offense to keep them from falling off the map. It ain't pretty though.

8. The Great Whites

Why Aren't They Better?: An injury to Alexei 'girl punch' Semin came at the worst possible time - when he lead the league in scoring. The center spot has Staal underperforming his potential most nights and not receiving much support from I-Hurt-Myself-Demitra or Saku the Elder on the others. The defense corps gets corkscrewed more than a frat house winery and hasn't reliably provided offense from anyone other than 'Ride-Me-Big-Sheldon' Souray.

Do They Have A Turkey Sandwich Future?: Unlikely. Parise has been out of his mind lately and has established himself as one of the leagues brightest young stars (another former Heads prospect draft, 'pat' 'pat'), and Phil 'One Ball Good' Kessel has finally developed into the elite goal scoring threat he promised to be at the WJC way back when. Lunqvist has remained a solid top 5 goaltender for the team even as Carey Price waits in the wings for his shot. All in all too much talent for them to slip into Herbivore teritory unless the Injury Gods take a dislike to the GWs.

7. The Knights Templar

Why Aren't The Better?: Mostly cause the FP's stink. Tanguay has been injured much of the year, though he was reasonably productive when healthy. Hejduk continues his slow decline into mediocrity and has lost the wheels and laser shot that made him so deadly early in his career. Losing both the playmakers tinjury (Sakic, Stastny) he typically lines up with hasn't helped either. Goaltending is a going concern as well with Bryzgalov facing a nighly abuse of shots most netminders would wilt under.

Is Average The Best The Best They Can Be?: Yes. Patrick 'Denis Savard' Kane is a thrilling future elite FP at RW and Kopitar (despite recent average play) looks to be at least an average center FP moving forward. The defense corps is solid if unspectacular, and in particular Shea 'Dion Phaneuf part 2' Weber looks to be rounding into a Norris caliber defender with a booming slapshot. Too many good things to fall too far, but not enough help from long term contract players to advance much higher.

6. The Shadowmen

Why Arent' They Better?: Mostly because elite FP Luongo has been hurt for much of the year and the team has had to rely on Mike 'John Doe' Smith's goaltending in Tampa Bay to keep them afloat. The defense unit could use an influx of offensive support at the top end, though Shane 'Roughhouse' O'Brien is a nice piece of the puzzle, FUNHL teams cannot subsist on goons alone. Their other FP Martin 'Waterbug' St Louis has been merely 'ok' for large stretches of the season, and has to be a little dissapointing so far in his production.

Is Average The Best The Best They Can Be?: Yes. But...the GM has a knack for making lots (and lots) of trades and with an understanding of the teams weaknesses could well address them by this route in a way few teams could. Savard has been nothing short of amazing for the team, and is the early candidate for Shadowmen MVP. A decent set of forwards that includes Savard and a breakout season for Jeff Carter should keep them average or better moving forward.

5. The Scourge

Why Aren't They Better?: Low producing seasons from both FPs have hamstrung what is otherwise a well built squad. Coupled with a lack of depth at both wing positions where guys like O'Sullivan and Bobby Ryan are playing too prominent a role has also hurt their situation.

Is Average The Best They Can Be?: Nope. Any kind of pickup in the play of either Brad 'I Was Once Elite' Richards or more especially Jason 'The Spaz' Spezza could see them surge upwards. The team hasn't had great goaltending yet from MA Fleury and that could also be in the cards down the stretch as he returns to full health. Vanek has been nothing short of awesome as a righwing gunslinger for them and a continued hot hand from him would also help. An above average defense corps rounds out the teams assets. Impressive, but still just shy of the elite clubs.

4. The Bladerunners

Too Legit Too Quit?: The numbers say 'Yes', but I remain sceptical. That said they have the best RW in the league by a wide margin in Iginla, Hossa and Alfie - any of whom would be the top RW for any other franchise. Solid goaltending has been provided from the tandem of Ward and Miller, and the Bladerunners have a deep set of offensive minded defenders to compliment the attack.

Achilles Heel?: I'm not sold on the forward units outside of the RW. The Sedins have been exceptionally good of late, and the track record shows they aren't elite producers for a full season. After them the forwards are lead by Nik Backstrom and not much else. Nor do I think the goaltending will hold up for the whole year as neither Miller nor Ward has ever had a full season of top 5 numbers.

3. The Severed Heads

Too Legit Too Quit?: Yes. They possess the leagues leading scorer in Malkin, two excellent complimentary pivots, a high scoring pair of LW FPs and at least an average set of defensemen. Added bonus is the return of Sundin-C RFA Vcr who can gives them enough depth at center to make a trade. Last but not least they hold the rights to future FP John Tavares as a bargaining chip to make a blockbuster down the stretch.

Achilles Heel?: The right wing was supposed to be lead by Miro 'Prince of Darkness' Satan, but he has fallen off the map almost completely of late. Chris 'The Pugilist' Neil has also failed to provide any offense to go along with his PIM, and shockingly the teams top starboard gunner has been the unexpectedly healthy Havlat. A prolonged scoring drought by both the Senators and Penguins over the holiday season has also hurt the team since they rely so heavily on both squads for offense (3 Pens, 4 Sens), and the goaltending has been little short of terrible all season long. They are good, but still need work to be a repeat champion.

2. The Highlanders

Too Legit Too Quit?: Without a doubt. Despite a horrific scoring drought from FP Crosby the team has a wicked defense unit lead by Chris Pronger and Mike Green, and recieved lights-out goaltending from Miika Kipprusoff. Patrick 'Second Fiddle' Marleau has ressurected himself with the team and gives them a more than adequate #2 behind Crosby. Any kind of rekindling of Crosby's offense and the Highlanders are a major threat.

Achilles Heel?: The Kilted Dirt Farmers get less than adequate support from their wingmen, especially with the untimely injury to the resurgent Simon Gagne. Both wings now feature prospects playing on the top lines who at best should be third liners in Mueller and Setoguchi. That said, as both are performing well they could each bring significant help if they were traded.

1. The Personal Vendetta

Can They Keep It Up?: No reason why not. Despite a less than awesome performance by Lidstrom they have arguably the leagues best defense unit, a top 3 goaltender in Backstrom, and a group of scoring forwards the envy of the league featuring Datsyuk and Zetterberg in starring roles.

Achilles Heel?: The Right wing is a little shaky as it is lead by Ales 'Bridesmaid' Hemsky, and they have recieved unexpectedly excellent performances from Lang in a fill-in role while Stastny convaleces. Dnucan Keith's +/- performance borders on the absurdly fluky as well, so despite the fact they lead the league they aren't likely to run away with it.

Week 14 Stats - Vendetta Cross 500pt mark

Iggy Vs Big Vinny

An oldie but a goodie;


Canada Vs Sweden For Gold

The last two games Canada has played have been amongst the best hockey games I have ever, ever seen.

The game vs the Americans is one that will live in infamy. Down 3-0 to the Yanks, Canada's John Tavares scored twice to bring the game close, including one of the sweetest goals you will ever see;

To top that off the Canadians completed the comeback by winning 5-4!

I watched the comeback start with Oliver next to me, and the crowd noise (not to mention his father's irrational exuberance) initiated a heretofore unseen spasm of unfettered joy from him. He squealed with delight, and then shouted 'Yes'! - the first time we have ever noted that word escape his lips! Lets just say that all things considered- at least for Oliver's dad, winning the game was merely tasty icing on that awesome cake.

The game had many claiming it as the best world jrs game they'd ever seen. That is until Canada played Russia in the next round!

Canada took leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3 before falling behind 5-4 with only minutes to play. Cue John Tavares...

He wins the battle along the boards, and feeds a backhand pass towards the net, it's blocked ineptly by the Russian defender and Jordan Eberle (a Joey Mullen clone if ever I saw one) makes the nifty backhand goal to save the day with only 5.4 ticks on the clock left.

So. Awesome.

Next up the Swedes, who have an excellent club backstopped by Jacob Marcstrom, a guy who may be the best Swedish goalie since Lundqvist or Pelle Lidstrom, and anchored by two awesome defenders in the goliath Viktor Hedman, and the tournaments leading scorer on defense (and Severed Heads prospect) Erik Karlsson.

At forward they are nothing short of lethal. Moller, Tedendby, Backlund, and the super skilled Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi will key their attack.

Lest anyone think this will be a cakewalk, the Swedes pounded those self-same Russians 5-0 earlier - the same Russian squad we needed a miracle goal and a shoot-out to beat.

Game starts at 5:00 Mtn time on TSN.

Highlanders look to expand prospect roster

Hi guys,

Thought I should let everyone in on the good news.

Christina and I are expecting our second child this August.

Sophia has been predicting the imminent arrival of her baby sister for months now - apparently due the Sunday after next - and it would appear that she will need to learn to share mommy's time. We will have to see how she reacts to the news if it turns out that she will be getting a brother instead of a sister (we don't know yet) but so far the brother option has only been acceptable should one be included in a baby sister package. A true Mike Mitch trade strategy - get more - if I ever saw it.

Anyhow, did want to let you all know why I'm more distracted than normal and hopefully little Ziggy the Zygote can enter a world with the Highlanders defending the Predator Cup. Regardless, we are looking forward to the arrival.


Week 13 Stats - Happy New Year Edition


Week 14 Lineups

Great Whites:

Hmm - should I play Semin Tough Girl? :-)

LW Parise (NJ), A. Kostitsyn (Mtl), Semin (Was) Bench: Hagman (Tor)
C Staal (Car) - FP, Demitra (Van), Plekanec (Mtl) Bench: Koivu (Mtl) - RFA inj
RW Sykora (Pit) , Kessel (Bos) - P3 , Horton (Fla) Bench: Boll (Cbs) - RFA inj
D Souray (Edm) - TG , Hunwick (Bos) +/- , Rozsival (NYR) Bench: Doughty (LA) - P1
D Johnson (Chi) +/- , Ballard (Fla) - RFA - TG, Oduya (NJ) - RFA +/- Bench: Meszaros (TB)
G Lundquist (NYR) - FP Bench: Valiquette (NYR) - RFA

TG Ballard (Fla) , Souray (Edm)
+/- Hunwick (Bos) , Johnson (Chi) , Oduya (NJ)

Esposito C (Atl) - P3
Staal C (Pitt) - P3
Kessel RW (Bos) - P3 promoted
Alzner D (Was) - P2
Price G (Mtl) - P2
Comeau L (NYI) - P1
Couture C (SJ) - P1
Doughty D (LA) - P1 promoted
Lepisto D (Was) - P1

PrD picks
Minus: 2nd
Plus: Edge 3rd

Competition for Crosby

No offence Dan - still would be happy to get the guy one day (and hey Doug, if you are ashamed of Crosby, just call ;-)

I'm not sure how to embed video so sorry - you'll have to use link.

(note: embed fixed. CH)


Top Ten Ridiculous Stat Lines Of The Year

Click here to read some of the more bizarre stat lines generated so far.