- I listen occasionally to PuckDaddy's podcast, and a recent episode made me laugh out loud. Marek and Wyshynski were talking about the Winnpeg Jets and Marek pointed out the absolute greatest scoring summary in NHL history;;
'Wheeler, Little, Clitsome'
*snicker*, just typing it makes me giggle like a 6 year old talking about farts.
- Ten+ years ago the Severed Heads had a triad of Penguins (Jagr, Lemieux, Kovalev) that elevated them to the Predator Cup. This years team has a similar near-fistful (Malkin, Neal, Letang, Jokinen) and now that Letang and Neal are healthy the 'Heads have stopped their freefall in the standings and begun the slow climb back to the top.
- In my last N+N I took a crack at the Barbarians set of pivots, a shot that Mike took exception to. So, yeah. I got it wrong. When assessing the roster I missed on Tyler Seguin - total whiff. Obviously a top tier guy like Seguin improves a below average set of guys into something much better. My bad.
- That said, everybody pointing at Nielsen's scoring stats can shut up. They are an unsustainable mirage and I'd be shocked if he crests 60 points on the season.
- Speaking of unsustainable, Alex Steen is on pace for 68 goals this year. Which, is just not going to happen. He might get to 40 though, and with a UFA contract is in line for a ridiculous pay day.
- So we are four games in to the FUNBA season and the Skywalkers are 1-3, and have not one, but two injured all-star point guards (Rose, Rondo). Sigh. At least we have Lebron-Love.
- One major difference this year in the FUNBA is that everyone plays every week. Holy crap that is making a huge difference to my attention span for basketball.
- The Reto Berra 'round-the-world' save is an absolute jaw dropper. Just sick. For a guy who was reviled as being a 'throw-in' in the J-Bo deal, he's proving that he may well have a future. He's big (6'4"), athletic, and aside from some rust and growing pains, appears to be a legit NHL starter caliber guy.
- Even with decent goaltending, the Flames are now having too many injuries to be competitive. Losing Giordano was a serious blow, but having Wideman and Monahan go down after blocking shots is pretty much the coup de grace for the Flames season.
- Another pleasant surprise for the Flames, Kris Russell. Not big, not a burner, but solid and productive with a crisp pass and a nice shot. He's a keeper.
- If I were a GM I would invest in at least one player (Jusi Jokinen, I'm looking at you) who is a shoot-out 'specialist'. Finding a guy who is money in the shoot-out is about the most efficient method possible for creating points in the standings. A guy like Jokinen might make the difference between missing the playoffs and making them - and given Jokinen could have been had off the waiver wire last year, the investment to get those extra points is actually quite small.
- Feaster traded a 3rd rnd pick to get Corban Knight, and a 4th rnd pick to get Joe Colborne. These are flat out ridiculous deals in Feaster's favour. Knight and Colborne are big, young pivots on entry level deals and both have very legitimate shots at long NHL careers. The picks represent a collective 15% chance of producing a single NHL player. To recap, two useful centerman with size, youth and high ceilings for the 15% chance of an NHL player. Massive. Win.
- Malkin is entering 'beast mode' with 19 points in his last 12 games and the league lead in assists.
- Watch out for the Lowlanders in the FUNBA, they've been a roll lately, and show no signs of slowing down. Also beware of Darrel's Goodfellas, they finished 2nd last year and are looking to make another run at the top.
- The Oilers won three in a row recently, but that may have more to do with a soft spot in the schedule than with an actual improvement in how they are playing. Once Chicago showed up in Edmonton the blowouts returned.
- Tyrion Lannister is my favourite character on TV right now, with a solid second place to Johnny Lee Miller's recovering heroin addict Sherlock Holmes on 'Elementary'. Game of Thrones blows me away. First because it is just so very good tv, but also because it represents the living embodiment of all those hundreds of hours of D+D I played through my teens and early twenties.
- Watch for the Leafs to go into a major tail-spin despite their very good record. The advance stats (especially Corsi and PDO) indicate they have been getting outplayed in almost every game (often by a wide margin), and living off unsustainable shooting %s, hot goaltending, and horse shoe shaped suppositories. With the recent spanking by Columbus (6-0) and a followup SO loss to the Penguins where they blew a 4 goal lead and didn't record a shot in the 3rd period or overtime, the advanced stat chickens are coming home to roost.
- My son and I invented a new chess variation, 'Hilton Chess'. Oliver starts with; a King, a Rook, a Bishop, and a Knight, while Dad gets a King and three pawns. Oliver has to checkmate Dad before he advances a pawn to Oliver's home row. I love this because it gives Oliver a chance to experience a very good chance of killing Dad, while stressing the differences in how Rooks, Bishops and Knights move on the board. I think this game could catch on. Watch for it at your local game stores.
- It doesn't look to me like there is any way possible for Jason Spezza to make the Canadian Olympic team. Too many pivots ahead of him, and Spezza doesn't bring anything extra to the table outside of his playmaking.
- So Rogers just dropped $5.2B on NHL hockey rights and then turned around and made a deal with CBC to keep Hockey Night in Canada on CBC while all the revenue from those games goes to Rogers. Total. Victory.
- Does Bob MacKenzie jump to Sportsnet now? Please? TSN will be dead to me without wall to wall hockey coverage, and Bobby-Mac is by far the best analyst in the business, so while everybody moans and wails about what will happen to Don Cherry, I'm actually more concerned about a MacKenzie deficit.
- I like Brent Seabrook at ton, but I wouldn't put him on the Olympic roster ahead of PK Subban.
- If I were the Capitals, I'd be very, very, interested in finding out what the cost of acquiring Ryan Miller would be.
- I'd take Claude Giroux ahead of Eric Staal for the Olympic team.
- I checked out the Grey Cup for a bit while it was on. It was never on doubt, and with Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady on the other channel it wasn't a close choice as to what to watch