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Canada’s Olympic Roster

 

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, yesterday was the grand unveiling of the Canadian Olympic team, or as everyone in a small town Tim Hortons across our country is calling it THANK YOU LORD FOR SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT.

Talk about pressure for these guys. They have the opportunity to make/break/define their entire careers in about a ten day span. Win and you’re a hero. Lose and we’re making you play pond hockey with cement skates in the Fraser River. And hey – we’re all really interested in who has been picked by what team.  It’s a chance to back someone from Canada and to support them on their way to an Olympic medal. I’m sure some people will already be headed to their book makers or going on party poker and putting money down on who they think will win. Even if you aren’t sure how well Canada will do, give them the support they need to succeed.  Betting is fun. :)

The Roster:

Goaltenders:

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins

Forwards:

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
Jerome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
Dany Heatley, San Jose Sharks
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Michael Richards, Philadelphia Flyers
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Defensemen:

Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
Chris Pronger, Philadelphia Flyers
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

And like every other Canadian, I have my praise, and I have my gripes.  Here’s the main one of each:

The Gripe:  Scott Neidermeyer over Mike Green

The case isn’t that Neidermeyer isn’t good enough for Olympic hockey, because like countless other Canadian players, he is.  Problem though, is there’s only seven defense spots.

I rock a mohawk.

Neidermeyer, as we know, is a smallish, talented offensive defenseman, who plays a smart game.  What he isn’t, is a tower of defensive presence – he’s responsible, but certainly not tough to play against.

As well as working the powerplay, he transitions the puck well, giving his forwards the opportunity to play in the offensive zone.  In short, Scott Neidermeyers strengths are offensive ones.

My joints ache.

My joints ache. Like, constantly.

If that was something Canada wanted (and it should be – they’ve had their powerplay struggles internationally in the past), then why look past a guy who is possibly the single best offensive defenseman in the world today in Mike Green?

Neidermeyers value as a leader is worth loose change at best, since the team already has 10 or 11 NHL captains wearing the Red, White and Black (with more that could fit the mold - can’t give a ”C” to both Marleau and Thornton right? Or Pronger and Richards.).  They missed a chance to have one of the worlds best quarterbacks out there, and a young one at that, in favour of the romantic notion of Neidermeyer as a staple of Canadian international hockey.

{Probably an unecessary point, but I’ll be the pouting ten-year old and say it: Aren’t Yzerman and Neidermeyer both from Cranbrook?  Hmmm.}

The Praise: Duos

When you try to take guys that’ve played together in the past, you risk ending up with some hobos on your team.  Canada didn’t.

It just occured to me... how can the Sharks afford all that talent?

In a ten day tournament (or however long it is), you hate to spend four games figuring out the nuances of a linemate’s game.  Guys have tendencies, and in those “red button” situations (panic, emergency), it’s nice to know where to blindly throw the puck. 

Often, those little bits of information help transition the puck quickly, or keep possession of it, creating chances and opportunity for your team instead of theirs.  Having that on D is huge - Keith and Seabrook are a mobile, dangerous tandem for any team to contend with.  I love that duo.

Similarly, you have to love having Getzlaf and Perry, the trio of Marleau, Heatley and Thornton, and a number of players that’ve played together internationally before.  There was never any doubt that whoever Yzerman picked was going to make for a great roster, this just helps push it towards being a great “team”.

In the end, one the best points I’ve read was written here, saying that despite all the discussions Canadians are having over question like should we have, say, Bergeron, instead of whoever, what winning really comes down to is your top couple lines coming through when it counts.  You need your performers to perform, and whichever country has their guys peaking that week wins.  They’re all great players.

Winning is neat!

(Though he starts the article in the most ridiculous way, claiming to be “perplexed” as to why everyone is discussing who should fill out the “bottom end” of the roster.  Really, you’re wondering why?  Yeah, fuck it, lets just throw whoever down there, grab Justin Bourne and two friends actually, we’ll just roll three lines”.  Impressive to disrespect three players on every team in one fell swoop.}

Overally, I’m really, really happy with the roster.  I love a guy like Rick Nash getting the chance to play hockey with adults.  It must be so confusing after being a Blue Jacket since he was a fetus.  I bet each year he plays there his vision narrows into more and more of a tunnel shape as he realizes “damn, we’re much better off if I just do this myself…”

So there ya have it folks – the Bourne’s Blog take on the roster.  Now, for the prediction:

Canada to win gold, silver and bronze, then melt down the silver and bronze, cool them into puck shaped pieces of metal, and practice one-timers at the flags of the other countries, all while the medal ceremony is still going on.  And then respectfully shake there hand, eh, and give ‘em some maple syrup and a Labatts Blue.

Lundqvist as Bond, Slam Dunks as Athletic Feats

 

I’m now accepting votes for which sport has the worst highlight package.  Specifically, which sport has the most redundant one.

Fisher-Price style: tha dunk has been slammmmmmed.

Fisher-Price style: tha dunk has been slammmmmmed.

I used to think it was baseball – diving catch, double play, home run.  Home run, diving catch, double play.

But, I mean, basketball…. right?  OH, HE SLAMS A DUNK!  THE DUNK HAS BEEN SLAMMED! 

THAT 6’7″ ATHLETE WITH A 40 INCH VERT AND THREE FOOT ARMS PUT THE BALL RIGHT INTO THAT TEN FOOT HIGH ORANGE CIRCLE!  HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT!  NO, THE WEEK! THAAA DECAAAAADDDDDDDE!

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I love me some Billy Guerin, but how will we ever know when he’s done being useful?  I mean, he’s never going to lose that great shot of his, and 3/4ths of the time he’s on the ice with Malkin or Crosby.  He could be effective until he’s a hundred with those linemates, so, that’s like, um, 27 more years of guaranteed effectiveness from the guy.  Not a bad break at the end of your career.

Jeez, I can't believe I was open. They must have been paying attention to MALKIN CROSBY AND GONCHAR.

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It’s rare that an analyst will get worse as he gets more comfortable in front of the camera, but then, Kevin Weekes is a true pioneer in the field.

I know I tend to talk about the sports analysts I dislike rather then the ones I do (guys like Ron Mclean, Bob Cole/Harry Neale, Kenny Mayne, Scott Van Pelt, Johnny Miller, Chris Berman/Tom Jackson etc.), but come on.  This guy is trying way too hard.  I’m not sure who he’s trying to pattern himself after, but I have a hunch it’s Don Cherry.  And that’s a sad, sad state of affairs (“Pay attention to this part right here, kids…”)

Describing the Coyotes play just now, he said “they really prevailed tonight”.  God I hate him.  After LaBarbera’s post-shootout win celebration, he went with ”I didn’t know he played the guitar!”  This guy isn’t good for my blood pressure, or the wear and tear on my mute button.

I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis

I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis

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So, is Henrik Lundqvist auditioning to be the next Bond in those “You are watching the NHL Network” ads?  Why is he the only human in the NHL selected to do those ads in a suit?  He should be selling cologne, or planning an art heist or something.  Christ Henrik, even Brosnan didn’t take himself that seriously.

 

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What are the odds Jason Spezza still plays with action figures alone in his room?  They’re possibly Ninja Turtles, and he’s definitely making sound effects for the imaginary explosions. 

 

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It’s rarely okay for reporters and commentators to use the nicknames of players, simply because they don’t know them “like that”, so it comes off as sort of desperate.  Dude interviewing Bobby Ryan asks him if he knew he needed to step up in “Getzy’s” absense. 

Whatever that dudes relationship with the Ducks and “Getzy” may be, he only knows surface-Getzy.  He wasn’t there the time he killed a hooker in Vegas, or the time he sent his twin brother on a date for him, or the summer he ate HGHios instead of the “Cheer” ones he eats now.  Use his adult name, sir, this isn’t the locker room.

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Happy Wednesness friends.  It’s spend your IKEA/TARGET gift cards day at the Bourne compound.  I’m thrilled.  For those of you who didn’t catch my Hockey News column yesterday (on slightly crazers hockey parents), you can click those crazy coloured letters and your fancy internet machine oughtta take you right to it.

UPDATE: Canda’s Olympic team was named.  I will now commence standing on guard for thee.

Couple Blurbs ‘N Links

I know it’s been a long time -  I shouldn’t have left you… without a dope beat to step to, but I was having some holiday hullabaloo with the fam.  Had my brother in town which was cool.  We rocked a lil Buck Hunter, a Coyotes game, hit the zoo, the whole deal.  I’m back on the Bourne’s Blog horse today.

Tyson’s Lolcat tribute:

 

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1000 NHL games.

1000 NHL games.

The Coyotes game we went to was great.  Major thanks to Doug Moss for taking care of my family.  And congratulations to Shane Doan on his 1000th career game… that’s crazy man.  My Dad played 14 years and got to 962, and my father-in-law-to-be played 14 years and hit 958 (though it might be worth noting that they combined for over 300 playoff games too, compared to Shane’s 32, but still, wow…. his achievement makes me feel old, I feel like I remember his whole career.)

Far and away, the highlight of the game was the blanket giveaway – we had three girls at the game, and nothing ruins everyones mood like cold girls.  So that was sweet.

*mumbling* AlsotheCoyoteslookreallygoodthisyear,Ireallyamimpressed… it turns out I WAS WRONG.

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We have a gay superstar.  Only, not on this continent.  One of Rugby’s biggest stars, Gareth Thomas, has come out.

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You must be pining for a new column from me, it’s been ages.  It’s tough to focus on hockey around the holiday season.  Let me tell ya aboot the players take on how that goes.  (If you like the article, feel free to comment or click “recommend” – I’d love to contribute more to their newpaper than a column every two weeks.)

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He hangs out with richer people than me, it looks like.

Name-dropping:  I sent Goligoski a text complaining about his fantasy hockey performance of late (he’s been hurt a few times), and he told me to trade his stock while it’s still worth something, cause he sucks. 

What other sport do players so consistently turn to self-deprication?  I have to believe it’s because we play such a humbling sport.  Just when you think you’ve got it figured, some guy puts it through your wickets, you toe pick and chip a tooth.  Or this whole “nobody’s bigger than the game thing” is really working out well, one of the two.

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Oh, and then there’s this -  the puppy dog re-creation of the Snooki punch from that high-quality TV drama “Jersey Shore”.  Pure, unadulterated win.

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 More to come later – I gotta catch up on the work that earns me money!  Thanks for readin!

Merry Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas, blog readers.

The Bourne family Christmas, for the first time ever, is taking place in Phoenix, Arizona (missing Dad and Aunt Kathy, I must mention).  And to further the stereotype of the unprepared male, I need to do some wrapping.  The blog will be back in action Monday the 28th.  Until then, I’ll be spending time with the family.  Hope it’s a good one for you and yours!

Tiger Woods sits down on Santa’s lap to ask for his Christmas presents.  As he sits down, Santa goes “Ho Ho Ho!”

Tiger goes “Where Where Where???”

The Sedins, Free Skating at Fenway

 

When the Sedin brothers got drafted 2-3, it was a bit hokey.

As in, yes Mr. Burke, it would be neat if there was this pair of odd-looking Swedish brothers with crazy twin-sense that could dominate the league, but come on.  Tons of brothers have played in the NHL, and nobody got to call “we’re a package” before.  Lame.

Would you be more surprised to find out Tigers a cheater or they're robots? Tiger thing, right?

Would you be more surprised to find out Tigers a cheater or they're robots? The Tiger thing, right?

A lot of Canucks fans, used to being dumped on by their team, figured they were too soft.  They started calling them “The Sedin Sisters” and all that stuff.  College kids were taking a shot every time one of them got knocked off the puck, and were needing their stomachs pumped by the third period.

Well, for those of you who hadn’t noticed yet, the investment has been seriously paying off.

Fans in Vanvouver definitely know by now, but is the rest of the league’s fan base aware?  Aware that these guys are in the leagues top 20 players, and there’s probably only a couple player-pairs on other teams you’d rather have?  They were scary good last night.  Again.  In the past, I’ve just said “scary” (read: appearance).  But they’d make me damn nervous if I was a defenseman and they had solid possession.  They certainly don’t need it long to score.

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 I just read Deadspin’s article about free skating at Fenway before the Winter Classic.

What a neat thing that the people putting on the game have done for the fans (the article is about how scalpers got the free tickets first and are selling them for human babies + a Kings ransom).

I just wanted to mention something about the skate, and it isn’t meant to take away from the intent of the promoters letting people skate – it’s a really nice solution actually.

I’ve gotta believe they’re having people out there skating, because (not sure if this is common knowledge) new ice is awful.

Playing professional hockey means playing in a big buildings, which also tend to host concerts, basketball games, conventions and all that other jazz.  For the most part, they’re able to just lay boards over the ice and make that the floor, but occasionally you’ll play somewhere that they just put the ice back in.

Pleasedon'tlettheFlyerswin, pleasedon'tlettheFlyerswin...

Pleasedon'tlettheFlyerswin, pleasedon'tlettheFlyerswin...

ITS HORRIBLE.

The ice comes up in big chunks, the puck slides like it does on a driveway, and it feels like the rink is uphill in every direction.

Only once it gets carved up, flooded, hacked apart, flooded, scarred and healed does it function like a normal sheet, which, I’m sure, is why the promoters have the rink in early and are “letting” locals have a free skate on it.  Well played, good sirs.

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Congrats to Michael Vick for winning the Eagles award for commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courageppppfffffffffffff!!!  Haha, sorry, I almost kept it together there.

He really won that award though. 

Commitment to sportsmanship and courage, or to not breaking parole and paying off his debts?  Yep, kids, there goes a shining example of how to do it right.

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Here are some of my thoughts on shot blockers.  Oh, and check back tomorrow for an extra special Christmas edition!  Santa is guest blogging!  Or Jesus might – still waiting to hear back from his PR guy.

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Thats all for today folks.  Happy holiday shopping.  I’m gonna go buy my fiance a knife set, because it’s the easiest present you can wield to make the line shuffle left… OR ELSE.

Clark Gillies is the Chardonnay of Men, Apparently

 

I can’t help but laugh at this:

The NHL Alumni Association is selling wine.  It appears they’ve partnered with “Ironstone Winery”, put the names of a few random NHLers on the bottles, and are giving an unspecified “percentage” of the sales to the charities of the players on the bottles.  But that’s not the funny part.

"A chilled glass of refreshing, fruity white wine, please"

"A chilled glass of refreshing, fruity white, please"

Clark Gillies….. is on the bottle of Chardonnay? 

How did they chose to assign guys to types of wine, comedic value?  I love that their description of Clark as ”a ferocious competitor whose rugged play led his teams to win championships” is one of the first lines under “Clark Gillies: Chardonnay”.   …Ooo, you beast, you.

On a somewhat related note, his charity – the Clark Gillies Foundation – does raise sizable chunks of money (recently gave a million dollars to a local hospital) and can always use your help.  Forget “percentages” – check out the video about his charity here if you haven’t seen it yet, and feel free to donate… the money will go straight to helping children on Long Island.  Also, I’ll give you a dollar if you don’t cry after watching it.

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 Marty Brodeur is the NHL’s all-time shutout leader, taking over the lead from Rollie Melanson.  Or some other old goalie.  On a somewhat serious note, the most impressive part about Marty’s career has to be his durability, right?  70-75 games a year at that high level? 

So, whaddya think?  Best in the history of the NHL?  (By the way, can we really try to compare Brodeur to guys like Johnny Bower?  What a wasted conversation that is.  Let’s keep it apples to apples, not apples to no-mask-stand-up-goalies-taking-shots-from-guys-using-tree-trunk-sticks-on-roller-skates-in-a-completely-different-game.)

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For the first time since Richards decapitated Booth, the Flyers played the Panthers.  And thank god, the Panthers beat the stuffing out of the Flyers – four goals and four fights is a decent response to Richards knocking four months of Booth’s lifespan.

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The Blues hung seven goals on the Oilers, exacerbating the misery that is being an Oilers fan in a year where the Flames don’t suck too.

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The Coyotes won their seventh straight home game.  A certain blogger is starting to think they’re good.  How could he not?  Have you seen their roster??

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 Congrats to Nate Thompson for scoring his first of the ye- … wait.  So that empty net miss would have been his first of the year?  *head in hands* …ho-ly shit.

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That’s all I got for now folks – my brother is here, and since its the 22nd, we need to start Christmas shopping, dude-style.  ….At Lowes.  (Ratchet sets for everyone!)

Fantasy Hockey Checkpoint

 

Happy holidays everyone!

I hear it’s been a tad, um, blustery out on the east coast.  Which sounds fun and all, but I ran in shorts and a t-shirt here this weekend…. so I’ll just go preemptively eff myself.  Thanks.

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The old "having an edge" vs. "being an idiot" tightrope.

The old "having an edge" vs. "being an idiot" tightrope.

Did anybody else think the punch Barret Jackman snuck in on Alex Burrows last night was a bigger deal than the commentators made of it?  Judging by the lack of video of it online, I’m sure I’m over-reacting here, but I was hoping some Canucks or Blues fans saw the play and could shed some light on it.

Basically, it looked to me like Burrows crashed the Blues crease after the whistle, so Jackman snuck off his right glove to give him a solid suckerpunch to the lips.  It all happened so fast it looked pretty inconspicuous, but if that’s really what happened, that’s some vicious intent right there.  Maybe the league should give the play a quick once-over.

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The Bourne’s Blog Hockey League has reached the halfway point.  Mile 13.1 of this marathon (week 11 of the regular season), people, and it’s time for a little review.

This is my first year playing fantasy hockey, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m loving it.

I went with head-to-head as the format, because I figured that way it would stay interesting throughout the whole year.  Even if you’re getting shellacked, you can still play (and bet) against your opponent from the week to salvage some joy from the torture (I was looking out for MY best interests going into the season).  I’m sure some fantasy league are down to four or five players actually playing by the end of it, and nobody wants that (especially in our 20-team league).

The problems with the format are clear.  Some people *ahem* do really well statistically *ahem*, but have some bad luck in their matchups *A-HEM!* 

I’m sticking with my theory that the format becomes an elaborate game of “war” (the card game).  You can win with a seven if your opponent has a six, which is no more valuable than winning with an ace if you’re opponent has a two.  You just hope that eventually you get to play that ace you still hold at the right time.  And while I’m not-so-subtley masking my bitterness, I hate you all.

Kopitar - seen here 200 feet from contributing anything of value to my fantasy team.

Kopitar - seen here 200 feet from contributing anything of value to my fantasy team.

I’ve guaranteed that I will finished the year in the top five (I’m currently in FOURTEENTH of 20), and I’m not wavering from that.  My goalies are finally on the ball (I lost save percentage 2.23 to 2.22 last week thanks to Detroit pulling Howard against Dallas in the last couple minutes, apparently a few seconds too early), I’m close to getting healthy, and if I don’t start winning, I’ll just knock all the checkers off the board and declare that nobody won.  I am commish, after all.

Twice I’ve lost weeks where I’ve bet a temporary team-name-change, only to not hear from my opponent again (what, like I’m gonna seek you out?), and the two bets I have won have brought me much joy.

For next year, the Bourne’s Blog Fantasy League will be a pay league, where I’ll fly the winner out to hit a Coyotes game or two with me or something like that.  Whatever it is we decide, it’ll be a non-profit deal where you a-holes all have to pay attention to what your team is up to.

 So that’s where I’m at.  14th.  In a 20-team league. I have Datsyuk, Kopitar, Hossa, Stastny, Backes, J. Stall, Booth, Keith, Goligoski, and Kronwall, but can’t win.  So much for the advice I spew on an XM radio fantasy hockey show

I will now brace myself for the comment section of abuse.  Also, I will now prepare to deny the claims of the two teams who want to retroactively claim their “re-name Bourne’s team” prize. 

Hope the holidays are going great for everyone, my family is all here as of today for our first warm Christmas. (unfortunately exluding my Dad and Aunt who were unable to make it – boo - but including my brother who recently pump-faked us all on the whole “dying” thing then decided to just go back to being well by his 30th birthday.  So I’m pumped!)

 See ya tomorrow!

 

Tyson frequently sleeps on his back.  And no, that has nothing to do with my blog.  Happy holidays!

Tyson frequently sleeps on his back. And no, that has nothing to do with my blog.

 

The Gillies pup "Cash" on his one-year b'day. No, it's not a bear.

The Gillies pup "Cash" on his one-year b'day. And no, it's not a bear.

Merry... holidays, from the Bournes!

Merry... holidays, from the Bournes!

Dustin Brown, The Flyers, The Preds

 

Did you see the Kings/Flames highlight package from last night?  Mark Giordano pwned Dustin Brown so many times I thought they accidentally clipped one highlight and ran it on loop.

Brown’s a fantastic player, but by the third time he was in the neutral zone trying to hustle around a forward wide with the puck all I could think was ”…dude, even a puppy learns from a few newspapers to the snout…”

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Villains always lose in the end...

Villains always lose in the end...

Not sure if you saw the Deadspin article about the Flyers yesterday, but it was stirring the pot about rumours than Jeff Carter is, um, affiliated with Scott Hartnell’s wife.  TMZ stuff aside, I actually learned a few things about the Flyers in it, and I was wondering what was true.

Do Pronger and Richards actually not get along?  Does the team party too much?  Do they simply hate each other?  I gotta call some people.

I will say this about the Flyers (especially in the wake of Neil’s Flyer-hating comments on the “sports hate” blog) – it feels right that they’ve resumed their role in the league as the WWE-like heel.  Just bad guys being bad guys, villains that every team wants to destroy.  After going through their roster, I can tolerate four players.  I like Gagne and van Riemsdyk, while admiring the skill of Briere and Carle.  That is all.

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The Predators of Nashville have accumlated a record of 235-6, or something.  (21-11). Say wha now?  I’ve been doing Power Rankings every two weeks and was utterly oblivious that they were doing so well.  And you know who else is still rocking the party that rocks the party?  The Phoenix Coyotes.  Tell your friends.  Go buy tickets.  Do something.  The West is chaos!  The East is chaos!  THE NHL IS CHAOS THIS YEAR!

"*sob* it was horrible *tear* ...they made me wear 17!"

"*sob* it was horrible *tear* ...they made me wear 17!"

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Our rec league team has accpeted the challenge to play a local midget team (not little people.  High school juniors/seniors.  I wish it was little people.)  Full contact.  I’ll post pictures of the black eye I have from fighting some kid who had the audacity to hit me.  Or of my collapsed lung, from having to actually hustle.  Whichever happens first, I’ll take a picture of it.

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Dear Flo, from Progressive commercials:  I loved you, we had our fling, but it’s over.  Stop making commercials now, please.

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(The clipped line is: “But is having this minor skill worth being so unattractive?”  …all jokes people, just jokes.)

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Big ups to Islander not great Nate Thompson, for reaching number one on ESPN’s Not Top Ten.  Here’s bad footage that doesn’t do his empty net shot proper (in?)justice:

“…and SOMEHOW Thompson missed!” — Gotta admire that hustle though.

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Have a great weekened everyone!  Thanks for reading!

Relationships in Sports

Yesterday was awesome.  It was just one of those rare, things-are-going-great days.

On top of that, I dug up a good half-dozen topics, a few of which are column worthy.  Let’s attack the rest in a happy awesome Thursday party edition.

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First, here’s some shit I’d straight up dance alone to.

…it was that or Ice Cube’s “Today was a good day.”  Beggin’ won.

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Nordic women headbutt people for fun.

Nordic women headbutt people for fun.

How about Tiger winning Athlete of the Decade (as voted by the Associated Press) yesterday?  Does that come with a cash prize to split with his soon-to-be ex-wife?  Or does he at least win a new girlfriend or two?  Somebody help a playa out, the guy must be in a serious drought (Ohh, we’re all having fun at his expense.  Check out the Sports Pickle entry after Tiger announced he was taking a leave of absense from golf, titled: ”Elin Woods Taking Indefinite Leave of Absence From Tiger’s Penis“).

He definitely deserves the title “Athlete of the Decade”.  Dude won a dozen majors and conquered everything in his path.  …Eh?  Eh?  You’re readin’ my mail on that, …aaaalright!

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But speaking of Tigeresque men…

CBS Sports writes a must-read article on infidelity in the NFL.  It’s a pretty depressing look at the ho-hum attitudes some guys have about the girls on the side that some of the players admit to having (the article set out to see if the death of Steve McNair at the hands of his mistress had an effect on guys.  It did for a bit, but then that one chick was soooo hot, and they totally forgot). 

Because this is how normal adults act.

Because this is how normal adults act.

I’ve always liked Kris Jenkins of my NY Jets, who I think gives the most likable, reasonable view on the topic: (which, incidentally, is the same one a 13 year old would give) “If you’re going to be married, be married.”  The views that were least valid came from Kurt Warner, strictly because choosing to have seven kids proves you’re utterly devoid of the tiniest sliver of good judgement.

Reggie Bush makes a good point about how so many NFL marriages crumble after players leave the game.  He says guys should do some mandatory counselling to help the transition from being at the compound 40 hours a week, in the spotlight and glorified, to family men.  Which is a really good point, but I think they edited the part where he said “and I dated Kim Kardashian cause-a that fat ass.”

 It’s typical for these NFL players to come from nothing, get rich, and get married.  Unfortunately from there, the article says players seem to immediately place their wives in the role of  their mothers, which de-sexualizes the wife, and hyper-sexualizes other women. 

Anyways.  Worth a read.

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Thanks for reading, "tweeps". ...f**k.

Thanks for reading, "tweeps". ...f**k.

Sooo, people use Twitter now, and I don’t sense it’s going away anytime soon.  Since that’s the case, can we contact the good folks running the show and have them take the pre-teen factor out of the site?  Do I really have to call a post/entry a “tweet”?  I’m still not over this.

People occasionally make really good points, or link to wonderful articles through Twitter.  I reeeeally don’t feel like it’s necessary for the site to embarrass it’s users with all the pretty-blue-bird-tweety aspect.

 So stop putting the “tw” in front of normal words.  I follow the New York Times sports section, TIME magazine and NHL news sources, yet I’m supposed to refer to these respected people as my “tweeple”.  Rot in hell and die, Twitter.

*****

Yayyy, fun Thursday edition!

Videos and Conversation Starters

 

WAKE UP!  Let’s get today goin’ with three must-see videos:

You only need the first 30 seconds or so of this next one. A “fake robbery” prank gone wrong… I love how shady the guy is after, like “nothing to see here…”:

Have you seen “Jersey Shore” yet?  God I hope not.  Unfortunately, some of us live with east coast girls who think reality TV is hilarious, and I’ll admit, this one is tough to turn away from for all the wrong reasons. For my Canadian friends, here’s a sneak peek at the high-quality television MTV is running these days (by the way, a million thanks to the news anchors for their insightful commentary on the show.)

(*high-pitched* WHAT GUY DOES THAT??)

*****

Thinking: "I haven't used this thing in years, since I discovered hockey."

Thinking: "I haven't used this thing in years, since I discovered hockey."

 I understand how some things are tough for countries to change, like for the US, it would be expensive to switch to the reasonable system of measurement, metric.  What I don’t get, is why it would be a huge, raging difficulty for both Canada and the US to simply change our national sports to what our countries national sports actually are

Really, Canada?  Lacrosse?  At least Americans can debate over a couple stupid loopholes, like the word “pasttime”.  What’s our excuse for ignoring the obvious?  And not to sound like Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler, but REALLY, USA?  Baseball?  Can you be proud of yourselves being represented by A NON-CONTACT sport?  That doesn’t seem very American to me.  What gets better ratings, the Superbowl or MLB playoff “action”? 

The toque can't overcome sabotage, bastard.

The toque can't overcome sabotage, bastard.

*****

 

Jose Theodore spent two months sabotaging my fantasy hockey team from the inside, like a double agent.  After the discovery of his bad intentions and his subsequent release, he went back to his true owner, whoever it is I’m playing this week (I believe that’s you, AiH). 

 Theodore nearly put up a shutout for my opponent (head-to-head league) in a 6-1 win with a huge save percentage.  I wanted to like you, Jose, I really did.  In the prime of your career, you wore a toque on your helmet for an outdoor game.  And now, all you have are reservations for one at Justin Bourne’s Sports Hate Bar and Grill.

*****

 

Isn’t having “divisions” in sports just a generally horrible idea?  In all seriousness, why do we need them, just to lower travel expenses?  What would be so bad about just having two conferences and the top teams making it?

Yeah that seems fair.

Yeah that seems fair.

It just makes no sense to me that you can get the three seed in playoffs when you don’t have the third best record in your conference.  It also make no sense to me that good teams like the Toronto Blue Jays routinely have to take the no-jock crotch-kick of being in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox, while teams like the Washington Capitals get 20-some night-off-free-W’s a year by being good enough to coast past Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay or Atlanta once every few games.

*****

 Happy humpday.  Time to start holiday shopping?

Sports to Writing Done Right – Paul Shirley

 

I’ll keep it short after yesterday’s marathon, promise.

After reading Paul Shirley’s book, I got in contact with him about the road from player to writer.  We’ve exchanged a couple emails here and there, so I thought I’d do a little email interview with him for the blog.  The following are a few excerpts from that:

(For those of you who don’t know, Paul spent some time on four NBA teams before playing all over Europe, hence the title of his bookCan I Keep My Jersey? – 11 teams, 5 countries and 4 years in my life as a basketball vagabond“.  He now writes for ESPN and runs Flip Collective.com)

One of those "too smart for sports" guys.

One of those "too smart for sports" guys.

I’m not fully sure on your playing status.  It sounds like you kinda wanna play/kinda don’t?  Only if the right thing comes along?

 
That makes two of us who are unsure.  The summary is that I’m staying in shape and open to the possibility of joining a European team for some part of this season.  Sadly, no one has put me in charge of one of those teams, so I have no way of knowing when or where that might happen.  I do know that I’m not willing to play in outposts or border towns, making my farewell tour the “No More Outposts” Tour.  I don’t think it will look good on T-shirts.

 

Are you able to be a fan of basketball, what with knowing what you know about how it’s run, how certain guys play/act, etc?

 
I’m only a fan because it’s entertaining to see players and coaches I
knew on television.  Because I’ve seen behind the proverbial curtain,
and understand that the NBA – like most things in life – is wholly
about turning a profit, the childlike glee that others are able to
affect when they watch a basketball game is remarkably absent from my
face as I sit in my basement and watch the Warriors and Clippers
bastardize the game.

Six feet, nine inches of journalistic prowess.

Six feet, nine inches of journalistic prowess.

 

You get one consequence-free face punch.  Who’s your recipient?

 
Bono.  I really, really liked U2 growing up.  Now I really, really
don’t like U2.

Want more Paul Shirley?  You can check out his weekly (mostly music) column for ESPN here or his newest non-sport based writing venture, Flip Collective.com

*****

On Friday, I did a little entry on Chad Brownlee.  We caught up yesterday, and apparently things are going even better than I originally thought.  His single cracked Canada’s Top 25 country chart, and he’s meeting with a few people about being a full-time singer/songwriter.

***** 

He shoots! He --- wait. ...Nope, no he doesn't...

He shoots! He --- wait. ...Nope, no he doesn't...

And last, the Islanders Josh Bailey has gone seven full games without recording a shot on net, as I tweeted yesterday (info provided by Isles beat bloggette, Katie Strang).  I’m sure you’re looking for some insight and analysis on what that’s like, what’s going on in his head, why the struggles… just something from a players angle.  Here’s what you get:

That’s just really, really effing awful.  I mean… the guy plays a regular shift.  I’m sure he’ll have some bright spots along the way, but man, as an offensive forward, if you aren’t even generating hope, you might just not be good enough.  Not saying he can’t get “there”, but I’m telling you, there’s no “yeah, but’s” that make that stat better.  It’s brutal.

*****

 Check out my article on playing sick for USA Today!

Settle In, It’s The YEAR IN REVIEW

In all my Chad Brownlee-related excitement last Friday, I forgot to do my year in review.  It’s been, to be less-than-tactful, a fucking roller coaster.  Settle in for the ride, if you dare.

*****

26 was my “grocery stick year”.  …For those of you who don’t know, “grocery stick” is one of my all-time favourite hockey terms.

Most satisfying moment of my life: google imaged "grocery stick" and teammate from last year came up. No one more deserving than Sparre!

Most satisfying moment of my life: "Google imaged" "grocery stick" and a teammate from last year came up. No one more deserving than Kris Sparre!

When you make a line change in hockey, you generally come in the bench through the gate, and the next line jumps the boards from the middle.  As the tired guys are coming off, everyone schooches towards the middle and waits for coach to call the next line by the center’s last name.

What this all means, is that if a coach doesn’t want to play a particular line or guy (it usually ends up being just one guy for a bunch of reasons), he scooches down to where the defenseman are, then never gets called.  Hence, he divides the forwards and D for the whole period like a grocery stick dividing items on the little converyor belt.  “I turned it over a few times in the first, so I was the grocery stick for the next couple periods.”

And that metaphor describes my last year perfectly.  That being because everything up til 26, like, until that exact day, was based around my life as a hockey player.  I spent the entirety of the past year making the transition from player to whatever-the-hell-you-call-what-I-do-now.  And fittingly, in the week surrounding my 27th birthday, I have a couple interesting/neat businessy things in the works.  Stay tuned.

So without further ado, the review.  Welcome to a year in the life of a hockey player gone wrong.

*****

December 10th, 2008: After a month off with a torn MCL (the first injury that caused me to miss games in almost a dozen years), I find out I’m cleared to play and the team will be taking me on the road trip to Alaska, my old college stomping grounds.  Only slightly tainting my excitment is the fact that the ice sheet up there is the size of Glacier Bay, I haven’t skated in four score and seven years, and the trip is in December.  In Alaska.  Yeah.

December 12th, 2008:  Details and drama aside, a puck spiderwebs my jaw on the right side and breaks it clean down the middle of my chin in the front.  They wire my jaw shut, put a ten-screw plate on the right side and an X-plate in my chin.  I instantly decide to be a writer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 14th: Around 4:00 a.m. a group of still-drunk teammates piles into the shuttle with me to the airport, where we head back to Boise, and I start to recover.  By sheer luck, Brianna had booked a flight from NY to come see me starting that day for the week.  In a shocking turn of events, I don’t turn out to be a good host that week.

December 20th: Bri and I fly to Kelowna, BC, for Christmas.  Our layover is in Seattle.  Upon arrival, we learn I’ve forgotten my passport (see: prescription drugs).  She carries on at my intense urgings, as flights are scarce and the weather is bad, while I wait for my passport to be sent on the next flight out.  The airport closes due to weather before it arrives.  I spend 44 hours with my jaw wired shut on the airport floor, existing by buying clam chowder and having them blend it in the airport bar’s margarita blender so I can slurp it through my teeth.  I take lots and lots of painkiller.

December 27th:  Jaw swells.  Infection.  An ugly “don’t describe that here” incident occurs at the emergency room where they try to right my sinking ship.  They schedule more surgery to remove infected parts.  I schedule more bitterness for the guy who shot the puck.  Also, I try really hard not to puke, AKA choke myself and die.

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Early January:  I endure surgery two of three to remove the problem parts in the jaw, one of which just happens to be bone.  At some point, I’m so hopped up on painkillers I tell the receptionist that our coach is an asshole, but his wife is hot.  Bri politely escorts me home.

January 17th:  A text and an email from my uncle encourage me to check out two blog sites, “WordPress” and “Blogger”.  I choose WordPress, and make my first entry.  The highlights are almost titling the blog “Hermit the Blog” (cause I never left my house) and my mention of discovering Chinese stress balls, followed by “I’ll keep the blog above ball-fondling jokes.  Curses, too late.”

January 22nd:  I write my first good column, a tribute to my team captain the year before, Travis Rycroft, which gets three comments. This tricks people into thinking I have a future in writing.  Somewhere around here I have another surgery, and my wires come off (just under seven weeks in wires, all said and done).  I chew some perogie filling, and it tastes like baby angels.

Rycroft retirement video:

 ’

 February: I continue to spend the majority of my time watching documentaries and stand up comedy, while writing about whatever the hell I want.  Turns out I like writing.  Turns out I like animals.  Check out this entry for pictures of all things “awwww”.

Mid-February:  Somewhere around here I trick The Hockey News into letting me write for them.  Y’know, for free.  My readership occassionally skyrockets from the usual 40 visits a day to 100, thanks to that break.  I tap out on playing hockey for the year after the team’s oral surgeon says I’m “cleared for contact” while the dentist who x-rayed my chin says the bone is “still three millimetres away from making contact”.

Late February:  Having spent two months indoors staring at this glowing rectangle, Bri and I spend a week in Phoenix at the place my parents just bought so I can regain some semblance of sanity.  Hmm, we like it there.   Hell, we don’t wanna leave.

 

 

 phoenix golf

 

March: I spend a bunch of time in New York in the next little bit, and fully fall in love with it.  I fall in love with stuff the locals hate – the Long Island Railroad, the fat “Brodeur-ey” pigeons, and the people you bump that say “ay, yo, git the fuck outta heah”.  Oh, and the pizza.  It’s a great place to be, but not the right place to start as a broke, struggling “writer”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What it is right for, is connections.  Between my family, my fiance’s family, and my uncle (St. John’s grad, Stan Fischler intern and sportwriter), I’m mafia-style hooked up in hockey.  I meet some great hockey people kickin’ around the city, and decide I want to stick with the dumb sport.

April/May/June: I buy a ring, attend the Clark Gillies Invitational, get fully into organizing the Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp, get a job at Hockey Primetime.com, do some radio work, meet with Sports Illustrated, meet with NHL.com, write my “Hockey Players Life” series for Max Hockey, and ask Clark for his daughters hand around 9:00 a.m, half corked on Bacardi/OJ, while he drives a golf cart and I stand on the back of it.  I also interview with the Phoenix Coyotes marketing department in the midst of the “will they move?” chaos.  “Chaos”, by the way, is an apt way to describe my life for these months.

 
 

Shiny, significant finger circle

Truth is, its the size of a grapefruit, but her hands are HUGE.

  

June 25th: I take Bri up to between the two houses we grew up in on a “pictures for the blog” guise, and put my leash around her finger for the first time.  Hearts break worldwide.

July: Crunch time for the Fantasy Camp, so I spend it in Kelowna planning that and playing golf.  As a sidenote, one spot in this years camp is going towards a strictly ”Bourne’s Blog raffle” — the cost of the raffle ticket will go to A) cover the spot and B) Any extra will go to Canadian Spinal Cord Research (don’t worry, if we figure out spine stuff up there you’ll benefit too). 

Still rockin 1 - 2

Still rockin 1 - 2

 August:  We run the Fantasy Camp, or as multiple guests called it “the best week of their lives”.  I get a job at USA Today.  Bri and I move to Phoenix, where everything I’ve ever done boils down to “make money through your computer, and pay bills”.  It’s 115 degrees of awesome, and it never occurs to me that I’m officially closer to Mexico than the NHL. 

September/October/November: Why are the names of the later months so long?  I cover the ’Yotes home opener for NHL.com, and weird doors start to open.  The straight community beats the gay community to hating me, I do more radio, I attempt video blogging, I drive an RV for money, I write real estate copy, and I wait for two openings in….

Tyson Davidson Meowsercat Bourne

Tyson Davidson Meowsercat Bourne

December! While I continue my march towards certain obesity, there are two very exciting career opportunities I’m a part of that are pending.  And I can’t divulge just what until they develop further.  THEN you’ll hear about them.

December 12th, 2009:  I have the compete opposite birthday from a year prior.  I’m in Phoenix, where it’s 60 degrees warmer.  My jaw doesn’t break.  I’m engaged. Instead of nutrients-by-IV,  I eat Ahi tuna and drink some beer and some vodka.  I go to a dueling piano bar.  I dance (as all my guy friends go, “you did whaaaaAA?”)  I eat an  In ‘n’ Out burger that’s the size of my new kitten.  Only one thing was the same – just like the year before, I don’t remember the moment I first lost consciousness.

And here I am today.  To all of you, thanks for being a part of the ride.

In the most sincere, honest voice I can muster, support from readers  justifies what I do.  Ideally, I’d sell enough advertising to make my blog my sole source of income so I could rock it out all-day every-day.  But until I get THAT level of readership, I’ll keep grinding the good grind.  Thanks for being one of the roughly 20,000 people that stops by “Bourne’s Blog” every month, and thanks to Hockey Primetime for building and hosting the site!

 - jb

 

Chad Brownlee – From WCHA Captain to Blossoming Musician

 

A couple pre-Brownlee thoughts: “Andrew” wrote me about the etiquette of throwing rib shots in a fight.  Short answer?  Swing away.  It’s not MMA, but you’re trying to hurt your combatant any way possible, as long as that “way” is by bashing him with a fist.  So, bash some ribs.

*****

I’m aware that you can get a good sweat going in like, three minutes.  But all these machines that promise you can “get ripped in just 11 minutes a day” don’t mention how you have to live the rest of the day to achieve that. 

Obviously, that’s assuming you’re grilling chicken breasts and eating salad for the entirety of your daily intake.   So then what’s the qualification you need to declare a “length of time” for you using the product?  I mean, if you were eating chicken and salad and drinking water all day you could work out NO minutes a day and see results.  So are the people selling these machines just picking arbitrary numbers?

zaba*****

Onto the good stuff.  A couple ex-teammates/WCHA boys have had some recent success, albeit in different ways.  Yesterday Matt Zaba (Colorado College) got called up to the Rangers from Hartford, so major congrats to him.

~~~~~

 

One of my closest friends (despite the male tendency to never pick up the phone to chat without purpose), Chad Brownlee, has had an interesting career path. 

We were junior hockey teammates for a couple years with the Vernon Vipers.  There, we managed to be two of three guys that made it from training camp in ’01 to our BCHL title in ’03.  Chad’s about a year and a half younger than me and was our team’s captain, largely due to the fact that he worked insanely, nauseatingly hard at everything he did.

Oh, and for some reason, girls like him.

Oh, and for some reason, girls like him.

He was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks (his favourite team growing up in Kelowna, BC), and earned a full ride scholarship in the WCHA, with Minnesota State @Mankato.  After battling through more than a few shoulder problems, he ended up wearing the “C” once again, and was a rock solid defensive piece of some pretty good teams in Mankato (see teammates: David Backes, Ryan Carter).

When we were in junior, Chad started playing guitar.  I remember him learning at the back of the bus, and me wanting to bust off some of the strings and choke him out.  He could always sing, and certainly wasn’t afraid to at any occasion.

Well, Chad spent a year playing in the ECHL, hating his life, and realized hockey wasn’t exactly his only passion.  He quit, and decided to fully throw himself into his music, which by then was an impressive free concert to hear anytime he decided to pull out the ‘ol gitfiddle.

Ironically, Chad realized his dream of being on the ice for a Canucks regular season home game last night – singing the national anthem.  His music career really is taking off - You can check his stuff out on iTunes or Facebook Music.  Even though it’s *gag* country music, it’s truly incredible to hear music like this come from the donkey I played hockey with.  Very proud of the guy.  Writes his own music, plays guitar, the works.  Enjoy:

Personally, I suggest clicking “next” a few times to get to “Carry On”, but this first one is a nice little vocal showcase too.

 
Quantcast

Thanks for reading folks.  Have a great weekend!

 

Hockey Quick Hits

 

(Yes, that’s Dustin Byfuglien and TWISTA playing NHL 2K9 in the preview picture.  Twista hardly looks stoned.)

UPDATE: I forgot to mention this earlier, because I have the memory of a goldfish, but I was supposed to plug THIS.  My brother is auctioning off an autographed Bryan Trottier Hall of Fame stick for charity.  Bryan gave it to Jeff to help raise money for Kelowna Sledge Hockey.  Go place a bid, you Isles-loving bastards!

*****

Look, I’m all-Isles over here, and not trying to sabotage my own team, but… HEY. REST OF THE LEAGUE.  Tavares is lurking backdoor on the powerplay for tap-ins.  Might wanna address that in your pre-game discussions.

*****

Sickkk jersey.

Sickkk jersey.

The first heavily circulated Tiger joke, as I tweeted yesterday: “What’s the difference between Santa Claus and Tiger Woods?     Santa stops at three ho’s.”  Ba-doom-boom-ching!

*****

As Bill Simmons explained, sports hate and real hate are different.  Sports hating a player has nothing to do with needing a reason or an explanation, sometime you…. you  just… god I HATE that Bob Barker Milan Lucic.  Who do you inexplicably sports hate?

*****

Head to head fantasy hockey is like the card game “war”.  This is how I’ve justified performing worse than Ashley Simpson on SNL.  Sometime you play your ace against a two (y’know, put up 30 points in a week your opponent has like, 12), and it feels like a total waste.  Sometimes you play a queen against a king.  The draft is really just the “deal”.  Looking forward to contrarian comments from other league members (whom I sports hate.  Like, all of them.)

*****

If you billet junior hockey players in hopes of saving a nickel on the money the team gives you for boarding a kid, you’re pure evil, and should let the kid move out today.

*****

Beer of the completelyarbitrarylengthoftime: Yardhouse Pale Ale.  Maybe I was just in the mood for one, but man, I thought it was great.

*****

Lumpy.

Lumpy.

The only thing more frustrating than Dustin Byfuglien is the spelling of his last name.  I do like that there’s a “fugli” in there, because he is.  And the hint of “alien” at the end would explain his general on-ice appearance.  I figure it’s a mish-mash word, like Butt-f****ing-ugly-alien or something.  I sports hate him.

*****

Don’t you get the impression that Toews reputation for being Serious Steve makes the Blackhawks that much more of a legitimate playoff threat?  He can keep 20-Cent and The Butt-fugly One focused on the right goal, you know?

*****kings uni

Do the Kings have the most underrated jerseys in the league?  Those whites are sick.  Other than the original six (we all get it, they rule), who has the leagues most underrated jersey in your opinion?  All votes for the Panthers will earn you permanent site dismissal.

*****

And last, I’d like to thank Handsy Kopitar for snapping his 214 game goal-less drought last night.  He morphed into a crappy fantasy pick-up faster than Kirstie Alley circa Cheers.

(Thanks to Jeff from Illinois for helping keep the blog in business with a donation.  Happy Thursday, all!)

103 For MB, Groundhog Year For The Flyers

 

Marty Brodeur tied Terry Sawchuk atop the all-time shutout list at 103 against Buffalo on Monday.  That’s more than an entire seasons-worth (playoffs included) of shutouts.  A mind-boggling accomplishment.

BrodeurBrodeur is simply a great talent who was put in the best possible situation to accomplish feats of goaltenderly greatness.  New Jersey in the ’90′s?  I could’ve taped magazines to my shins and used a baseball glove and put up a couple doughnuts.

So kudos to the guy.  Everything he does is so likable that it’s easy to forget he once had his own Tiger Woods moment on the way to winning one of his cups….  Doing his sister-in-law?  That blew over quick, didn’t it?

I recently read this article in TIME (sprouted from Tiger’s fiasco) that explains how, if an athlete is still able to make the fans cheer, they tend to be willing to forgive, forget, or both.  Loosely paraphrasing the article, Mark McGwire was done hitting home runs, so when the scandal broke, we were done with him.  Same with Pete Rose and anybody else who’s sins were discovered after their playing days.  But with people like Kobe Bryant and A-Rod, their sins have been “buried under the confetti of their latest championship”.

Marty has proven time and time again that there’s reason to root for him, from his talent to his personality.  I guess we all have our faults, and I really want to end this with “so I still love Marty”. ….but your sister-in-law?  Thats a pretty big hurdle for me to clear, there, “fatty”.

*****

A winner that hasn't won yet.

A winner that hasn't won yet.

 I tweeted something last night along the lines of “Being a Flyers fan is similar to being the chef that fights Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber. It seems like everything is going well TIL YOU GET YOUR HEART RIPPED OUT.”  …I stand by that.

To me, they seem like they’d be the hardest team to suit up and play, yet they can’t seem to get over the “pretty good team” hump.  (Every year they wish for another Sharks collapse to take the spotlight off them.)

Richards is a beast.  He can score, and he’s mean.  Carter, Briere, (and now Van Riemsdyk), these guys are deadly.  And a d-corp that has Pronger, Carle, Timmonen?  Seems like a team nobody would want to play.  

And yet, it seems like we’ve been here before, and seen this already.  Haven’t they already tried the “good team, playoff four-seed, question mark in net” second/third round elimination thing?  They must be making money as an organization, so that’s cool, but don’t they wanna win a Cup?  You can’t stop the bleeding with Ray Emery.  He’s good, he’s just not enough. (note: Emery is out six weeks to have ab surgery)

*****

We’re that house.

As of December 6th, we had lights up.  We have tree scented candles rockin’.  Santa is up.  And apparently, we’re tree shopping in the next day or two.  It keeps getting earlier.

This is my first year in a warm place for Christmas, sans snow.  Seeing as how I’m not sure what to expect, I thought I’d solicit some first-hand accounts from people who celebrate the season in warm climates.  Does no snow suck?  Awesome?  Does it feel as Chrismassy?

*****

Hockey Greats Camp

Hockey Greats Camp

With Christmas on the horizon, it’s always a little more nerve-wracking financially than the usual grind.  Throughout the past couple months, I’ve received a few donations to the blog, and they make a huge difference to me.  It buys me time to legitimately pursue my new goal of writing, without having to sell Big Macs from 9 to 5 (or having to join the legion of people the Coyotes hire to dress like seats at home games).  Or sometimes, it simply buys me one of those Big Macs. So thank you to those gracious people, and thank you to my regular readers.  I always look forward to the comments.

 

(I just feel like putting this picture up – my brother is a travesty of a human being when trying to get the lime to the bottom of his Corona.  I mean disaster-level, call-in-FEMA-for-cleanup style situations occur.  On the right is Jeff’s buddy, Isles trainer Shakey, doing a little heckling.)

jeff corona

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