Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Grab My Feed!Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Subscribe to Comments

It’s Friieeeday, Friieeeday

 

New Puck Daddy: taking a look at the league’s “mis-seeds” – as in, the teams who are far better than where they sit in the standings, and will be a handful for top dogs.

*****

Hahaha, I have to do this, just one last time.  It’s been fun making fun of this for weeks on end (it has almost has 50 million hits on Youtube BTW. Not even cat videos get that), then today she comes out and donates every penny of profit from this song (something like a million bucks thanks to iTunes/Youtube) to Japan relief funds and her school.  Incredible.  Now we’re all the assholes. 

Ah well.  Mock away, one last time!

*****

Not sure if you had the chance to read my little prediction yesterday about yesterday’s Habs/Bruins games not being a fightathon, but apparently I was right.  Not with fisticuffs, not in the game, there was just no fight in Montreal.  If anything, the police in Montreal should investigate what the B’s did to the Habs as a group last night, cause that was assault, brotha.

As Jack Edwards put it (in cribbage terms): an absolute skunking.  Doesn’t bode well from the Canadiens; can’t imagine the dressing room was a fun place to be after that.

*****

James Mirtle compiled the man-games-lost to injury list here - If the Isles grab another top five pick and have some injury luck, the future might actually be kinda damn bright.  Exciting stuff for Isles fans, seeing how they trucked through that.  Now if they could only find a way to stay in Uniondale…. - let’s just hope we don’t have some Quebec to Colorado to Cup type thing brewing.

*****

I’m in for a treat this afternoon – Playing a round of golf at Eagle Mountain with Larry Melnyk (cup winner with the Oilers).  But don’t worry – my PD column today is well over a thousand words, so that should keep you busy!

On a Viral Song, a Conspiracy, Stand-up Comedians and New York City

 

Join me for a hockey chat at 1 PM EST on Puck Daddy.

Heyyyyyy, it’s finally “back-to-normal-for-good” time!  I ain’t goin’ nowheres, no-mores.  Just straight weekday bloggin’ for the rest of the NHL season.  Let’s strap in and come out swinging this morning, with the infectious, oh-so-viral Cee-Lo Green song you’ve probably already heard. 

Mom, if you’re reading this, you have two options:  skip hitting play on that song because of profanity, or listen to it and love it, because profanity doesn’t actually bother you as much as you pretend it does.  (Love you and hope your feeling better, BTW).  ….Just hit play:

*****

And now, for your tongue-in-cheek, NHL duh-duh-duuhhhhh conspiracy talk of the day….

Friend of the blog Paul Grundy wrote me an email about the Kovalchuk contract situation, volunteering some form of this theory:  is it possible that Lou intentionally drew up a contract so ridiculous that the NHL would have to red flag it?  Y’know, so the league, owners and old-school GM’s could get the stupid-contract insanity to stop?

Kovy trying to sell soul to this Devil

Paul’s theory was more along the line of “maybe Lou and Brian Burke were in cahoots to stop the madness and force the league to revisit other team’s stupid deals”.  Mine (if I were to swing at a wild pitch) would be more that “maybe Lou and the league had some sort of mutual back-scratch agreement on that 17 year thing”. 

(Note: judging by the NHL’s rejection of a follow-up contract, it’s safe to say there’s no “agreement” there, Bourne)

Paul’s idea stemmed from Lamoriello admitting at the presser ”contracts like these” shouldn’t be allowed (did he know at the time that the Kovy one wasn’t going to be?), and Burke’s testimony against the deal (as a GM with a relationship with Lou, who also hates those contracts).

Of course, I don’t actually  think this is why the Kovalchuk contract thing happened.  But it’s fun to think maybe Lou used it as an add-on to the “hey, why not” flavour the deal had - basically, they either get away with a criminal deal, or he gets the criminal deals stopped.  Who knows, maybe that did cross his mind.

Either way, it’s fun to bat around (because remember, this blog isn’t exactly a news source).  Especially since, if there’s any three NHL names you’d expect to be a part of some Skull ‘n’ Bones society, it’s guys like Lamoriello, Burke and Bettman. 

What’s up tinfoil-hatters?  They cook up this scheme on purpose?

Also…. JOSE BAUTISTA MIGHT MAYBE BE POSSIBLY ON STEROIDS.

*****

Y’know what’s awesome?  Those walking cane things with seats that fold down.  Every time I’m in the lineup at like, the Post Office or something I immediately curse not being old.

*****

I only spent about four hours all-told in the city when I was in New York last week, but man-oh-man do I love it.  I took a few pics on my fancy new phone, so I’ll run those at the bottom of the blog if you’re interested.  I immediately knew I was back in the heart of the city when a six-foot gender-neutral human passed me on a crosswalk, turned around and said “haaay white boyyyyyy”.

*****

As a long-time stand-up comic connoisseur, I’ve thought about this before, but never really jotted it down:

Being a well-known, top-end stand-up comedian is goddamn hard.  Well, you knew that.  Let me elaborate.

"I'm Telling You For the Last Time" is my all-time stand-up favourite.

It’s like trying to be one of the world’s best soccer players versus trying to do the same in hockey – the odds are against you in soccer based on sheer numbers.

What’s the ratio of people who grew up playing soccer versus hockey, like, 859:1?  Had everyone in the world grown up on skates, we surely would’ve found a bajillion more talented people who were built to be studs at the game (and I’d be even less relevant).  We even play soccer in Canada.  That’s how big that game is – it’s played on frozen tundra.

Thus, stand-up comedy is closer to soccer than hockey.  Think in high school – in every clique, the most well-liked kids are usually the ones that make their friends laugh.  Goths, nerds, jocks, band kids, nerdy goth band kids, whoever – funny matters.  And that’s where stand-up comics come from.  The funniest of the funny.  The cream rising to the top of all the crappy swing-and-a-missers in each and every group.

Whether you realize it or not, we spend years weeding out the funny people, making it part of who they see themselves as being, and thus, all of life has basically been a comedy tryout for everyone.  Comedians were originally found by their friends.  You’re so funny.  You’re hilarious.

Comics epiphany: Wait a sec – maybe I’m really funny.

Sure, any socially unaware idiot can go try to be a stand-up comic (which is why small-town comedy clubs are a crapshoot for your fun factor), but none of those people actually make it.  The best of the best – your Seinfelds, say - had to overcome insane “funny odds”, since everyone has tried to be funny.  Except I assume, in like, North Korea or somewhere.  Maybe they keep the guffaws to a minimum there.

I dunno.  That was rattling around in my head.

*****

Okay, my New York visit.  I try not to do too much tourist stuff there (because I am one, thus, I’m hated) – instead, my preference is to wander aimlessly and people watch. 

But this time, just to say I did it once, I happily “got robbed” for 20 bucks and went to “The Top of the Rock” (Rockefeller Building), so that’s where those pics farther down are from.  The rest are just random pics, mostly of the Gillies’ dogs, soooo…. enjoy.

St. Pat's Cathedral

 

Clearly doing renovations, but still, love that place.

Bri's niece Autumn with the eldest dog, Hunter

My cell phone takes panoramics. Badass.

 
 

Honestly, glad I went up there, tourist trap or not.

 Mmmm, long-distance cell phone video of NYC…. 

A few seconds of my playing wit a wittle puppy named Cash.

Cash is over a year old now, and over 150 lbs, I’d guess.

This is Bruce, the “small” one of the three.

Mmmmarf!

That’s it that’s all.  See ya tomorrow!

Ice Edge, Bobby Orr, and Dougie. …No, Not Dougie G, Cali Swag Dougie

 

If any of you have ever blogged for an entire year of your life, and barely cleared $600 in total ad sales in the process, you’ve had your card declined before.  Even if you’re not a blogger, it’s happened to most of us.

The goal, when that happens, is to not have anybody but the cashier know, and to discreetly pull out some other card, or to slink away entirely unnoticed. 

You got this, Ice Edge boys, c'mon!

Can you imagine trying to buy a professional sports franchise if you didn’t know you could pull the money together?  I simply wouldn’t take steps one through done if there was some chance my card could be publicly declined at the last second.  Could you swipe that again, please?

I haven’t been following the Ice Edge group’s purchasing of the Phoenix Coyotes in the last few weeks, since I’ve been home in Canada tending to other things.  Thus, I have no authority or information to speak on the matter, but my blog is more of a conversation than a speech, so I hope to learn something today.  Is it true that they don’t have the money?  I’d be heartbroken.  I really liked these guys, but this weirds me out.

I chucked my support behind them, I liked what they were doing, etc. etc.  I just can’t imagine bidding on a team with money I wasn’t sure I could get.  Embarrassing if true.  So, Coyote followers…. whasstheword?

*****

One of the neatest things I get to discuss with our Fantasy Camp pros every year is their reverence for Bobby Orr.  I bring him up every year, cause it’s fun to watch them transform into little kids.  It seems to me that while other sports-heroes fade or grow tainted, Bobby’s star just continues to grow brighter.

The classy classersons of classerama

Not only is Mr. Orr about the right age for our pros to have grown up watching, but he treats them all with his own special brand of respect, admiration and class.

My Dad tells two stories – one, where he was in a golf tournament and Bobby was there.  In these charity events, a pro (in this case Bobby) will be on a par three, he’ll hit a shot, and after, you can decide whether to use his shot (for a donation) or your own.  Dad says he was so nervous he could barely grip the club with his idol watching.  Full on shaking.

And years later, Dad talks about sitting in a hotel room with Gilmour, Semenko and other idiots after a charity game having bottles of wine, with helmets on their heads backwards and empties all around.  Orr knocks on the door to hang out, they see him through the peephole, and silently rush around trying to tidy up and pull it together.  One of very few men on the planet I know beyond a president that could get those guys to do that.

Semenko says he still remember when he met Orr for the first time and he knew his name, he nearly peed his pants.  Bobby Orr knows who I am…. You should see that huge man tell that story.  Like he opened a choo-choo train on Christmas morning.

Ask any old pro, and they’ll tell you Orr has a mystique and status above any and all in the history of the game, including Gretzky (a well-respected man in his own right).

*****

I often read my BlackBerry at urinals.

*****

Remember when I wrote about my Dad getting outbid on golf shoes at a charity auction by Mike Commodore, Commodore not liking them, giving them to Dad, and me being excited cause they were my size so I’d probably end up with them?  Well get this:

They were donated to be auctioned off by my brother, who got them from my Mom, who got them from her garage, where I left them because I didn’t like them, after my Dad had bought them for me for Christmas.  Follow THAT who’s on first.

The Stones love the ice wine, apparently.

*****

Our Fantasy Camp has formed a partnership with Ex Nihilo Vineyards for our wine sponsor next year, and ohh myy godd is it amazing (as is our beer sponsor, Okanagan Spring and their delicious 1516.  That’s beyond pandering BTW, we really do have badass drinks sponsors). 

One of the owners is Jeff Harder, a hockey guy in his own right, who happens to be buddies with Jarome Iginla and Chuck Kobasew, and oh-by-the-way is also the Rolling Stones personal vinter. 

Our gift bags included his shmancy $40 bottle of “Night” (a cab-sauv/merlot blend), and our final gala included a dozen assorted, excellent bottles (the pinot gris made people’s heads explode), which he personally served.  Check out his vineyard via the following link (it’s located beside my other personal fave, Gray Monk), and order yourself a case or six:  Ex Nihilo Vineyards

*****

So much more to write and say now that I’m feeling fresh and alive again, but I’ll save it for the remainder of the week.  I’m recording a podcast with none other than Bloge Salming (who pronounces that “Bloggy Salming”, if you were wondering) tonight, and I’ll have a fresh new column out for you guys on Hockey Primetime in the next few days.

So for now, enjoy the dance stylings of the Boston Celtics Big Baby Davis, and the reply done-up by none other than Krypto-Nate Robinson:

The Original:  Cali Swag District – Teach Me How To Dougie

Table Scraps, At Best

 

Gooood morning hockey fans, and everyone else (is there an “everyone else” out there that reads my blog?  I hope so, for today’s sake).  Let’s get rambling:

*****

Has there ever been a white guy in the NBA’s dunk contest?  I mean, 3/4 of a black guy won the thing in 1986 (Spud Webb, 5’8″), and Nate Robinson is the three-time champ (5’9″), but there hasn’t even been one white contestant?  Why is my race so bad at dunking?  I mean, Eminem got us in the rap game (his new CD is badass, BTW), but we’re still stuck heaving threes on the court?  C’mon guys, pull it together.

*****

Jeff -->

*****

You’ve all heard me rave about Bruce Arthur’s writing lately, and for good reason.  If you’re not reading his stuff, get on it.  His recent take on Lance Armstrong is the perfect example of how good writing can make you read about a topic you’re barely interested in.  (See: Bill Simmons, the NBA. Okay, I like the NBA, but not enough to read 4,000 word columns on it, normally)

Also on my Great Reads List is Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts“.  I only recently discovered it, and I’m at the point now where I get all prepared to read it.  That’s how you know I like something – I make a ritual out of it.  A snack, a drink, TV off, get comfortable, maybe a stress ball to fidget with…. GREAT.  Also, I like it because it’s basically the same concept as my blog – just noteworthy things that stuck in his head during the week like “man, I don’t think there’s ever been a white guy in the dunk contest”.

What about you?  What’s on your must-read list? 

Honorable mention: Ryan Lambert’s “What We Learned”

*****

I think I want to see Inception.  I love DiCaprio, and the reviews have been ridiculously good.  Roeper went straight A+ on it.

*****

 I’ve been pro-Kovalchuking all over my shoes for the past couple weeks, but WTF, man? 

Ilya, if you really are holding out for a number around ten shmill a year, go eff yourself.  That’s great that you’re “the most unique free agent to ever hit the market”, but in this market, no player that isn’t named Crosby or Ovechkin is worth that much money.  This isn’t baseball, this isn’t basketball.  Hockey players make “good enough to never work again money” not “good enough to never work again on your own island” money.

*****

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Conway Twitty…

*****

The British Open was suspended due to high winds today.  Which, as most of you probably know, is what makes links golf links golf.  Some of the best tweets:

While not his most elegantly phrased… @shanebacon Next up, the Phoenix Open will be suspended because of too hot and the Masters will be suspended because of too green.

@Bruce_arthur They’re suspending the British Open because of wind? What’s next, suspending the Masters because of white guys?

And the winner, as always…. @danjenkinsgd The R&A said it suspended play because the golf balls are “oscillating” on the greens. And Old Tom Morris is oscillating in his grave.

Actual British Open Scoreboard

*****

HHHHHHHH…”

“AHHHH….”

“HHHHHHHHHHH..”

“AHHHH….”

“HHHHHHHHHHHHHHH..”

“AHHHH…..”

“HHHHHHHHHHHHHH..”

“AHHHH…..”

“HHHHHHHHHHHHH..”

AHHHH…….”

“HHHHHHHHHHHHH..”

“AHHHH…….”

“HHHHHHHHHHHHHHH..”

“AHHHH……..”

(Gag pilfered from www.progressiveboink.com)

…..Don’t worry, it’ll be hockey season again soon.  Wake me when Kovalchuk signs.

The ESPY’s, and Breakaways by Floating vs. Timing

 

I watched the majority of the ESPY’s last night before losing out to Bri and her DVR’ed Hills finale… whatever, shut up.  Anyway, I made a few notes on it.  So, without any ado, really, let’s launch into them!  (Oh, and some good news for you puckheads: there is a hockey blurb in today’s entry – the last segment.)

Makes SportsNation tolerable

THE ESPYS

Michelle Beadle bails Colin Cowherd out on a regular basis, and it was never more obvious than during the pre-show lead-up.  I get that Colin’s thing is being a bit ”unfiltered” who’s (A) not afraid to say anything and (B) will say anything contradictory to get a rise out of people, partially because he knows it’s not that hard to argue any viewpoint in sports.

But everytime he spoke it was like someone threw honey in the show’s cogs, and she kept having to swoop in and clean it up to get things flowing normal again.  She’s good at what she does.  For the record, I feel like Cowherd is someone I might like in person, but he greatly benefits from Beadle being around.

*****

This morning I tweeted: Marisa Miller was so smokin’ hot at the ESPY’s last night I almost didn’t notice Chris Bosh’s shirt/tie combo. …almost.”  She’s a freak of nature, that woman.  But on the other side of things – who the eff is letting Bosh wear a red-and-white plaid shirt with a solid olive-green tie?  Individually they were nice, but c’mon, man you can’t do that.

Staff Sargeant Dignam thinks your family is dug into the Southie projects like ticks.

*****

Mark Wahlberg’s movie characters are consistently ten times better than his real life personality, which, from what I can tell, full-on sucks.  He seems bland, over-confident and humourless.  Which KILLS me since I love him in so many movies, specifically The Departed.  And Marky, stick to your lines at awards shows.  “Tie Domi” at the NHL Awards was a massive swing-and-a-miss.

*****

Ummm, randomly handing out unimportant ESPY’s during interviews?  That’s awkward, ESPN.  “And we’re here with Shaun White - one sec here lemme get this outta my pocket here ya go take that – who just won an ESPY!  How does it feel Shaun?”  Glamorous?

*****

I’m a biased fan, but I thought Seth Meyers killed during his opening monologue, especially the Tiger bits (who, by the way, is five under after the opening round at the British Open.  Nice).  My question though – what’s with so many Grumpy Gus’s refusing to smile for jokes, even if they miss?  Half the “stars” seemed like empty shells. 

Stuart Scott, whatchu thinkin, boo-ya man?  What’s up in your head, Favre?  There would be some joke getting great laughs, and they’d cut to people who weren’t flinching til they realized the camera was on them.  Ohhh, you’re too cool, I get it.

Isn’t that kind of an insight into someone’s real personality?  Like, if I go to the Tempe Improv and the guy sucks, I can usually tolerate the jokes enough to humour the guy with odd laugh.  Even the bad jokes usually make me smile, at the very least.  But nope, not for half the ESPY audience.  Stone walls.  Like a King and his jester – MAKE ME LAUGH, BUFFOON!

Orbitz. Mmm, smooth. ...and chunky.

*****

{HOLY TOTALLY RANDOM THOUGHT:  This just struck me – remember All Sport?  The carbonated sports drink?  Man, wasn’t that the worst idea EVER?  Oh god I’m so thirsty after that long run, just let me take this out of the fridge and crush OW! OW. Ow that hurts. 

Can’t believe that idea didn’t survive.  Or Orbitz, it disappeared too.  Geez, I guess not every great idea can make it.}

*****

Right, the ESPY’s: I’ve got a real problem with advertising worked into my programming.  At least commercials don’t put on glasses with a fake nose and ask you to try Chex brand cereal.  Real commercials just go with: BUY CHEX BRAND CEREAL.

I could’ve done without plugs for Outback Steakhouse (while a funny-ish parody, it annoyed me), and even using Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink for telling people how to vote rubbed me the wrong way.  It probably shouldn’t, I dunno.

*****

Soooo, we’re just gonna use some weird/mediocre musician for every song?  Thank you DVR, FF.

*****

Eh, that’s about as far as I got on the ESPY’s.  One hockey thing before I go….

For you rec leaguers (I think I just discovered that’s Canadian speak – beer leaguers?) that want breakaways, there’s a huge difference between floating/cherry picking and anticipating a turnover and flying the zone early.

All about the timing.

A lot of teams will have one or four players that are always “open” in rec hockey.  But you learn, after awhile, that when you move the puck up to that guy, he either has to stop to not go offside, stop to wait for help, or start from a stop because he’s been waiting for a pass.

This is exactly why coaches at higher levels preach that everyone come back low into their own zone and come up the ice together, and with speed.  Otherwise you get all discombobulated, with some guys not moving and some flying up the ice.  It usually ends up that the guy with the puck has to beat someone one-on-one for the rush to have any hope.

So then, the solution for those of you that still want breakaways, is to be in a responsible position in your own zone, but SEE that their guy is about to make a risky play, and f**king take off.  If your team doesn’t get possession, you can always turn around.  If they do come up with the puck, you’re moving while their d-men are flat-footed.

Don’t worry about looking stupid if you’re wrong.  Just go dude, take off.  Just don’t head out there and stop (or worse, not come back in the first place).  It’s all about timing, and you just have to guess when your team is about to take over before your opponent does.

I run this pic a lot, I know - it's my favourite on-ice one.

 *****

And last but not least…. sorry about eating up the next ten minutes of your day.  Try to stop watching this, it’s mesmerizing:

Via @bruce_arthur, via @ToureX

One-Touch Passes, Zero Theme

 

Y’know what I don’t need when asking for directions?  Options.  “Well, you can either take the 40 to the 105, or you can just stay on 3rd street and take it up to -” NO.  I obviously don’t know WTF I’m doing, which is why I’m asking.  Narrow it down to one route for me and go with that set.  THANKS.

*****

Y’know what else is stupid?  When a bunch of people go out for dinner, the bill comes, and one or a few of the people don’t address it immediately.  It’s not that they don’t want to pay, they’re just not in any rush to deal with it.  The no-rush comes with a hint of “I’m so rich I could care less what the final number even is.” 

I sit there and stress out about the server coming back and looking to run cards or cash, and we haven’t addressed the situation.  WHY ARE YOU ALL SO CASUAL ABOUT THIS, THE BILL IS HERE!  {Also, don’t call it “the cheque”.  You pay bills, you get paid with a cheque.} *nothing to do with this past weekend Char, it’s a saved note in my phone

*****

I recently met Fred Couples ex-girlfriend (who had apparently just installed FJ’s, by the way.  …As in, fake jammers).  Freddy’s been my favourite golfer for as long as I can remember, but I’m a little weirded out by how he was living – at her house, with her roommates.  Hardly the palatial situation I saw for Freddy, his money, his smooth swing and his flowing hair.

*****

I busted out a column for USA Today on how being a free agent is like a choose your own adventure novel.  Spoiler: I didn’t finish the novel without failing the first time.

*****

I like that baseball’s All-Star Game means something.  All fans of other sports (hi, hockey fans) do is complain about their sport’s ASG, so it’s nice that there’s some relevance in one sport.  I don’t necessarily want to take away from the team with the best record, but surely there’s some reward we can give the NHL conference that wins.  Last change in game one?  A designated hitter that gets to roam the ice?  Extra ice girls?  Just something.

*****

Puck Daddy Live Chat at 1 PM EST, lets do dis like Brutus.  Puck Daddy

*****

It’s almost time for the British Open!  I’m pumped – I’ll actually be around the place this weekend, and my good ‘ol DVR machine is gonna let me watch Tiger’s triumphant return to glory (yes, I just predicted he’ll win).  It’s too bad golf’s majors get less interesting as the year goes on (okay, the first two are probably tied), but at least there’s always the, um… Fedex Cup?  Boo.

*****

So far in the “easier to get a passport in Canada or the US” debate, the US is wayyyy out in front.  Chill, Canada, it’s just me, Justin.

*****

Okay, I’ve gotta go chat with the boys at PD!  What’s up in the hockey world that we can discuss today?

Bonus Content, Lebron, and CUTE ANIMALS

 

For those of you who haven’t been with me since day one of the blog (you bandwagoners): here’s the truth: I’m a hockey writer by default.  I started out just…. blogging.  Stand-up comedy, animal pictures, football rants, and the occassional mention of a sport I sometimes followed, hockey.

Glenn, Bri, Mom and Jeff, hangin' out in AZ

Blogger Bourne was like Hockey Bourne - I loved me some stats.  I had thirty “views” my first day, and wanted the number to head up.  I checked progress religiously throughout the day as A) it was super-easy when I had a wordpress.com account and didn’t have to go through the whole Google Analytics rigamaroll and B) I was confined to the couch for a couple months thanks to my shattered face, and was f**king bored.

What I noticed was, every time I wrote about hockey, things kaboomed.  Ahhh– since I actually knew what the hell I was talking about on that topic, people were more inclined to care.  Noted.

And here we are today.  It’s just me, jumping around waving hockey sticks, wearing a helmet and visor, yelling “HockeyHockeyHockey!  HOCKEY!  HHOOCCKKEEEEEEY!”

On that note, it’s summertime, and you’re going to have to periodically deal with the fact that the roots of this blog are not fully planted in ice.  But don’t fret too much – if something puckportant comes up, I’ll still be here to jump on it.

*****

A question:

Would you pay for bonus content?  As in, if I did a weekly video blog and a bi-weekly podcast, would you pay 3/4/5 dollars a month to listen/watch something like that?  (Potential podcast guests: Greg Wyshynski, Cabbie Richards from “Cabbie on the Street”, some player friends like Eric Nystrom, Charlie Kronschnabel, um… Clark Gillies and Bob Bourne?)

I personally know I refuse to pay for anything online.  Like, I followed the Islanders beat writer Katie Strang on Twitter this year, and refused to pay the $5 a month Newsday asks to read her blogs.  I figured if it was important news, I’d find out about it one way or the other.  So I understand if the answer is no. 

Please click this link and answer the poll so I can figure out if I should do that stuff for next season.  The “donate” button has helped (thanks to you generous readers), but doesn’t wield anything consistent.

*****

LEBRON. 

Let’s talk Lebron.

Lebronathan

First off, check out Bill Simmons great column for some context - Lebron has spurned three things for what Simmons thinks appears to be a cry for basketball help:  Home (Cleveland), “Global Icon” status (New York Knicks), and the best chance at winning (Chicago, in BS’s opinion).

So go ahead and read that if you feel like reading about his free agency decision from a more serious sports standpoint. 

But how about the human side of it?  What the f**k is this guy doing?  He’s letting some new agent DESTROY him… and he can’t see it?  His new agent’s name, by the way, is Maverick.  Neato. 

After the launch of his new website, the announcement of his ESPN show ”The Decision”, and the start-up of his twitter account, I thought I couldn’t take anymore.  Then he’s tweeting stuff like “submit a question to #lebrondecision for me to answer tonight”?  Now I KNOW I can’t take anymore. 

I really did like this guy before, but the whole transforming into a brand thing is nauseating.  Corporate-advised tweets?  I mean, c’mon, man…. 

Everything his camp has done has made it so Lebron HAS to win a title.  Anything less is Space-Shuttle-Challenger-level failure.  I don’t care what league you’re in, or what team you’re on, titles are NEVER a given.  Yes, basketball is the sport where the best team usually wins, for sure more than the other three big leagues, but with nine minimum-salary players, winning it all is no gimme.  Why pile onto your own pressure like this?

“KidCanada” tweeted a question for Lebron today: “Have you crossed over from regular villainy to cartoon super-villainy? #lebrondecision“  Fair question. 

***** 

If I were a gambler, I’d – wait, I am. ….. If I had the money to gamble, I’d put it all on Ilya signing today.  Don’t you think?  More than enough time has passed for him to figure out his choices.  Now that you know your options, pick one buddy.  We’re tiring of this. 

I recently lost a lot of weight, turned green, and grew spikes.

***** 

Tomorrow I head out to LA to meet with my producer/friend, first and foremost to get the Justin Bourne Hockey Show underway so we can get the pilot out, and try to have it on TV for next season.  I figure mentioning it on the blog and twitter is a great way to generate some buzz, and “groupthink” some ideas. 

What were your favourite things I’ve discussed in column/blog form over the past year?  What new ideas would you like to see me break down in a segment?  Basically it’ll be me, some highlights, some conversations, some demonstrations and possibly some beer tasting.  …In every segment.  And before the show.  Admit it, you’d watch that 1000% more often than ”frozen in time” games. 

***** 

And, while I’m reaching back to my blog roots, here’s one for all of you that write “stop with the animal pictures”.  

EAT IT. 

haha-omg2 

 

ilikekittens2 

helllo 

tiny-homp 

 

 

Hey look, it’s Chubbyguts Tyson!
<—–

Poll Questions and Reader Explanations

 

So, the Bourne guest room is ”booked” every weekend in the month of June.  I live in Phoenix.  Don’t you people know this place becomes the surface of the sun that month?  What is wrong with you?!  (Kidding, kidding, always excited to have guests).

As for me, I have zero intentions of staying in AZ very much this summer.  I’m booking a flight to Minneapolis (may have to do a “get Bourne to Minny” fundraiser first) for the July 4th weekend – my junior teammate, college opponent, fellow Kelowna boy and country music star buddy Chad Brownlee is getting married.

Check out his website at www.chadbrownlee.com

Then I’m heading to Kelowna in late July to put the final couple of weeks of prep work in for our Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp.  And by the time I get back in mid-August, it should be cool as a cucumber here…. right?  Guys?  Okay, probably not, but whatever, it’ll almost be over.

*****

Yesterday I wrote an article for Puck Daddy on what makes the Chicago Blackhawks so effective.  There’s like, 135 comments or something on it already (most of which assure me that I am, in fact, completely retarded), so it might be worth a peek at if you haven’t already read it.

*****

Atta kid, Nash.

The Phoenix Suns tied up their series with the Los Angeles Lakers last night, making it 2-2 heading back to LA.  You have to love that.  If you’re not from LA and you like the Lakers, congrats on your Yankees winning it all last year, and best of luck to your Cowboys this fall.

Phoenix was always my favourite basketball team, long before I ever moved here.  Can you imagine how sweet it would be for Steve “facial lacerations” Nash to win it all (PS, can we name the NBA title something cool yet?  Admit it, you barely remembered it was named the “Larry O’Brien Trophy”  And please, nothing involving the word “World”, since it’s just in North America…. yes I’m looking at you, baseball).

Either way, the NBA playoffs will be a nice fill-in this week while the NHL players take vacations in Tahiti or whatever it is those lazy bums are doing right now.

*****

Question and answer time.  Lets find out where our readers are at.  (Not sure why there’s an “other” option on the first one, since everyone would just pencil in “Ryan Miller”, so try to avoid that option).  I’m hoping to get some explanations in the comments section.



*****

“Teach me how to Dougie, teach me teach me how to Dougie.” 

I’m going insane.  One too many listens and I can’t beat this song out of my head (note: it’s hip hop, 90% of you WILL hate it):

*****

In tomorrow’s post I’ll explain why I picked who I picked, but for today, the forum is all yours.  Why’d you pick who you picked, Peter Piper?

An NHL Weekend Catch-Up

 

Okay, I’m back from a nice weekend here in Phoenix, did I miss anything?

….oh boy.  Really?  Wow.  Let’s get crackin’ then.

*****

The Vancouver Canucks eliminate the LA Kings

Despite the NHL’s apparent referee rigging, goal judge hustling and sun belt favourtism, the slightly better team won by a thin margin in a predictable number of games.  Crazy times.  I assume Bettman (and cronies) are in his head-shaped Dr. Evil-like lair, doing the whole “drat, foiled again” thing, and firing up the Mr. Burns “excellent” fingers to cook up their next evil scheme.

But in the meantime - great series.  Great series, because the two teams were pretty evenly matched, and neither sustained any serious injuries, so we got to see their full lineups do full battle – a treat we’re rarely afforded in the later rounds. 

On to play the ghost of '09 playoffs past... and Kane's backhand.

In the end, the Canucks edged out the Kings in two crucial areas – one, for all the abuse he takes, Roberto Lunogo is a pretty damn good goaltender, and he outplayed Quick down the stretch.  Bobby Lu is one of those players that struggles under the weight of his own contract.  As soon as you sign for that much cash, fans expect you to not only earn it, but to be one of the elite few in the league.  And rightfully so.  I mean, otherwise, why did we pay this guy that much money again?

So when he ends up being simply “good” or “above average”, it’s easy to feel disappointed.  When really, there’s probably 25 teams in the leauge who’d love to have that greasy-haired goalie starting between the pipes for them (and I’d bet that includes New Jersey, with their Vezina candidate and all-time-great in net).

Hmm. Well that was fully crazy.

Also, the Canucks top line of Sedin, Sedin and Sameulsson are 2nd, 3rd and (t)6 in playoff scoring, while the only Kings on the front page of the 30 person leaderboard are the two defenseman, Doughty and Johnson (an impressive seven points each).  Sooo, Kopitar, Smyth, Brown, Frolov – while mostly young guys, save for Smyth - didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

I feel bad for the Canucks that they have to play the Blackhawks in round two.  That fan base is getting real tired of Flyer-esque post season runs (always good, never great), and the Hawks are probably the tougest opponent from the West.  So ‘nuck fans… get cheerin’ for Nashville tonight! (Or at least injuries.)

The Wings win game five in Phoenix, the Coyotes win game six in Detroit

For the fans that have stuck with this squad through (recently) thick and previously-really-thin times, you’re in for a real treat.  A game seven in the NHL playofs.

Howard may be vulnerable yet....

Against one of the most exciting teams in the game, no less.  It means another game of revenue for the NHL, another game of fun for all of us, and the chance to move on, and quite frankly – wouldn’t half the pundits pick Phoenix to beat San Jose? 

Even though, yes, it “should be fun”, as I almost flippantly left this, a win means a favourable matchup against the Sharks, and then what?  Maybe a conference finals berth?  One game at a time and all that stuff, but I’m a writer now, and allowed to look beyond.  Wouldn’t Phoenix love to play a lackluster playoff team with a healthy Doan running bucknasty all over the rink and scaring wittle Joey T?  Go get ‘em tomorrow ‘Yotes, and as always…

Throw.

The.

Snake.

Marian Hossa half-shove-touch-pushes Dan Hamuis’ back, who’s racing for the puck near the boards

You guys are sick of/over this hit by now, so I’ll be quick with my two cents:  one of the first major incidents this year that I thought was called perfectly.

Identical to Phil's first-Masters-win jump

What boggles my mind, is giving up a shorthanded goal with 18 seconds left in a 4-3 playoff game.  Chicago shouldn’t have even had to score in overtime.  The NHL should’ve stepped in, taken the puck and been like “sorry, Nashville, if you can’t hack it that situation, we’re just gonna give tonight’s contest to Chicago.  *bum pat* Now go rest up for game six.”

After that goal, I tweeted “Dying to know how long Keith was on the ice before Kane’s game tying shorty. He can barely muster Steven-Wright-level excitement.”

Thanks to friend of the blog JD, I got this back:  “According to nhl.com shift chart, Keith played 4:23 of the final 6:16 of regulation. Thats a decent weekend for Colton Orr.”   (Ha.)

4:23 of playoff-paced hockey in the final 6:16?  Caaaa-rap those are some serious minutes. 

Anyways, long story short, Nashville lost the series the second Kane scored.  The major penalty call was fair.  Now someone get Keith an oxygen tank to strap on for game six.

Sharks win, Penguins win

I just got frustrated looking through the individual stats part of the nhl.com, hitting “next page” trying to find the top players on San Jose.  I realize I could’ve just gone to their team stats, but I figured, “I already have this open, and their top guys can’t be TOO many pages deep….”

Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau combined for 18 games played, and one goal.  They also own ten total points – two of which came on the fifth goal in a 5-0 win.  WTF?

As a comparison, Joe Pavelski (a singluar human) has eight points, five of which are goals, two are game winners and one was a crucial game tying goal.  Douglas Murray is ahead of all three of those big guns (bums?) on the playoff stat list.  I’m done defending Thornton. 

*****

Ottawa, like Phoenix, got a tough playoff draw against a team much better than their final standing.  I’m just surprised they took it to six.  And weren’t they up 3-0 in the final game at one point?

Scary, scary good.

I watched zero minutes of game six.  Whaddya want from me, an analysis? 

*****

That’s all for today – enjoy the intense games tonight.  Spoiler alert: Washington, Chicago and Buffalo are going to win.

{Random – I follow Joel Stein on Twitter, who writes for TIME (and does it really, really well).  His first sports tweet I can recall was this morning: “If you’re not rooting for the Phoenix Coyotes, then you’re not a fan of incompetently managed businesses. #NHL“   Ouch.}

Weekend Catch-Up: All Hockey, No Golf

 

This is going to blow your mind, and probably make you happy, but….. I’m gonna leave the Masters blogging alone for today (though I’m not quiiiite done with it).  I’ma do what I do best.  Nooo, not make fun of the WNBA.  I’m gonna write about hockey.

Sweet, glorious hockey.

It’s that time of year, people.

So let’s cover the exciting events of the weekend, starting with…..

He's, um, happy. Weee!

THE ROCKET RICHARD TROPHY

 GOALS

Crosby 51
Stamkos 51
Ovechkin 50

Though it’s sort of become what I do for a living, I hate “serious” sports arguments.

You know, some guy makes a point that’s supported by some random factoid he read somewhere, puts it in defense mode, and the conversation never advances.  This happens everytime you talk Richard Trophy.  Ice time!  Powerplays!  Games played!  Linemates!

Whatever.  They all had remarkable years.  Plus, this trophy shouldn’t leave much to talk about.  It’s black and white; based on totals. If we’re arguing about who the best goal scorer in the game is – that’s Ovechkin by a mile. 

But still, I feel inclined to make two points:

1)  Why isn’t there a tie breaker so someone can actually win it outright?  Give the trophy to the guy who had the least games played (Sid has one less), or to the guy who had less empty netters? (as has been mentioned a number of times, Puck Daddy included).  Orrr, am I just suggesting that because both stats favour Sid (only had one, to Stamkos’ three) and I was rooting for him “2 – 4 – 6 – 8″ style. (Who do we a-ppre-ci-ate!)

They're laughing at the play working.

2)  While on the empty-net / pro-Sid talk….. Let’s all admit it.  Stamkos getting his 51st on a set play from a d-zone faceoff was a little cheesy.  I seriously do like Stamkos (just wanted Sid to get at least one Rocket in his career), but come on.  Up 2-1, your centerman wouldn’t push the puck forward in a normal game, for fear of giving it to your opponents d-man, who’d bomb it back down your goalies throat.  So to call a play you wouldn’t normally call, strictly to get your linemate a goal – while I would have done THE EXACT SAME THING - is still corny.  We’re allowed to acknowledge that, while acknowledging the fact that Stamkos’ season was mind-blowing. 

Congrats to all.  Except Ovy, who’s a complete and total third-place failure.

*****

I’d be remiss if I didn’t quickly mention the Evander Holyfield Kane punch on Matt Cooke (video), because nothing says “justice” like getting knocked the eff out by an 18 year old.  In the cartoon version of that fight, Cooke would’ve held up a “HELP’ sign just before the punch, and absolutely would’ve had little stars and birdies floating around his mini-ice-nap.

Saved to my computer as "Kablammo!"

 *****

So, I sat down at my favourite pub after work on Friday, and Breezy joined me.  To my left, some chaps were chatting about hockey, so of course, I chimed it.  Turns out the gentleman beside me scored the first goal in Canucks history, and had a 15 year NHL career – Mr. Barry Wilkins.  Here’s our conversation:

- it's where you stop on your way home. Get it?

BarrySure I know you’re Dad!  He was on the Islanders team that beat us (Pittsburgh) when we were up 3-0 on them in the playoffs!

MeAh!  Oh.  Sorry bout that.

Barry: Not a week goes by without it bothering me.

MeMmm.  Um… probably doesn’t help that my father-in-law was on that team too, huh?  Clark Gillies.

BarryHe broke my shoulder/collar bone with a big hit.

MeThis isn’t going well.  ….I’ll text my Dad and see if he remembers playing you.

Barry:  He’ll probably remember me as a d-man with rock hands.

Dads Text: “BARRY WILKINS? LEFT-HANDED D-MAN, STONE HANDS?”

Me: Sorry, he’s not writing back for whatever reason….

  *****

Flyers get in AND avoid Washington.

The Flyers/Rangers play-in game was exciting, but Rangers fans… if Henrik Lundqvist makes 43 saves, you’re shooting on Bobby Boucher, and you can’t win… you don’t deserve to.  NY should ship Torterella and Sather out, grab an experienced GM and the best AHL coach, and just start over. 

Although, I must admit: as an Islanders fan, I think you guys should keep the same personnel and keep plugging.  You’re good enough.  You can do it Rangers, I promise.  No changes.  Just grab that shovel and start digging towards next season….

*****

Of all the eight teams to make playoffs in the West, only one team isn’t a plus in the “goal differential” category (which matters) – that being Nashville.  Their failure to get it done down the stretch buried their playoff hopes - now they play Chicago, who’s goal differential looks like my two round score if they let me try to make the cut at the Masters: +62.  Here comes a beat down from Chi town.

*****

Though you may not have been following my fantasy hockey league (okay, you haven’t been.  Like, at all), I made a late season charge to grab the last playoff seed (8th in a 20 team head-to-head league).  Then I won round one.  Then I won the semi’s.  And last week was the finals, where I……

Got SMOKED.  Badly.  Congrats to Pat of “The Kindrachuckers”, to whom I know owe a bottle of Crown Royal.  Curses.  Thanks for playin’ everyone, that was a blast.  I’ll be doing it again next year (a pay league, so I can buy the winner something cool…. or just give him/her the cash), and mayyyy end up doing something for playoffs if I have time to set it up.

*****

 Henrik Sedin won the Art Ross this year, with 112 points.  I have nothing to say except congrats.  That, and I’d like to subtly imply he’s a cyborg by asking people if anybody has ever actually witnessed him bleed blood.  Just a question, that’s all.

*****

Number one of five. Count it!

Congratulations are also due to Boston College, who beat Wisconsin 5-0 to win the NCAA National Championship.  After watching Wisconsin play RIT, I was pretty sure they could handle the Maple Leafs with relative ease, so I was a surprised they got thumpled so bad.  But then I realized “is being better than the Maple Leafs that great of a measuring stick, at any level?”

 

*****

Okay, THAT’S ENOUGH.  Especially since playoff predictions are baking in the oven.  The deliciousness shall be ready soon!

 

Masters Thoughts From Thursday + Wisconsin/RIT

 

First and foremost, all golfers using yellow golf balls are disqualified (even though I like you, Furyk).  This is Augusta, not a course you can play in jeans while drinking a Bud Diesel.  You might as well be carrying a ball retriever to fish other people’s stray’s out of Rae’s Creek.

Instead of jamming up everyone’s Twitter feed yesterday (which would have been SUPER easy to do, considering that I’m a smart-ass, and was watching the golf alone.  You have no idea how nice it is to have an outlet for my sarcasm.  Without Twitter, just my friends would think I’m a dick.  Now all the world gets to know.  Okay, 600 or so of you.), I just put all my “tweets” into a blog post for today.  Which is twice as awesome, cause I avoid the 140 character limit. 

But first, I’m off to do my taxes.  Sighhh…. 

Hereeee we go!

*****

(-4) 68 to start for Le Tigre

 Sometimes I forget I’m supposed to be rooting against Tiger, which means I’m probably not.

What it does tell me about myself (and apparently all the patrons in attendance), is that I’m probably more interested in watching greatness than I am into reading gossip magazines.  If Mozart was a sleazy a-hole too, his music would be no less beautiful.

Please don’t read that as “I condone what Tiger did”.  I just happen to like watching Picasso paint. (Also – there’s seems to be a gender divide on those type of thoughts.)

Nice kicks, brah.

*****

 My boy Freddy Couples bad back kinda killed his style Thursday, huh?  I thought he was rocking a pair of Vans at first, but turns out he’s wearing no socks and spike-less ECCO’s.  Hey, whatever it takes, dude. 

The second I finished that sentence, Freddy rolled in a long curling birdie to go to -3.  You win, buddy.  You win again.

*****

Favourite text I got yesterday (after Tiger rolled in the birdie on nine):  “Tiger is immortal.”

*****

A little known fact about yesterday: Shingo Katayama pants and shoes were actually a magic eye.  If you blurred your vision, you could vaguely make out what I think was a cowboy hat.

*****

Every time I saw David Duval putting, I thought the wind was blowing and filling up his shirt.  Seriously.  It was only later I saw him standing beside someone else, and realized he was filling it up all on his own.

*****

A Freddy Couples things I like:  Just like me, his mustache looks like it grows in about five times as fast as the rest of his facial hair.  Then there’s the salt n pepper hair, which I’d start rocking at about 30 if I could.  And last - I like his buttery swing…. just a smidge.

Noon o'clock mustache shadow. I feel ya brother.

*****

College hockey:

"Great play by... uh.. the guy in orange wearing a cage!"

RIT has no namebars.  The intent of which is to show unity amongst the team – that it’s about the name on the front, not the one on the back.  Hey, the Yankees do it.

Difference is, the Yankees aren’t trying to get to the “next level”, like kids who play college hockey.  And the Yankees play 162 times a year, not 40, so it’s a little harder for fans to know who’s who over 20 home games.  The cages don’t help.

All in all, it’s a really, really silly thing their program thinks has a point, but doesn’t. 

*****

If you’re the underdog – as in RIT – turnovers aren’t good.  D-zone turnovers, then?  Like, more turnovers than a bakery, in your own end?  You lose 8-1.

*****

The stupid Wisco goal song still hurts.  I’ve been on the wrong end of an eight-goaler there.  Pretty helpless feeling.

*****

Despite the beatdown from Madtown, I think I enjoyed watching the college style of play more than any NHL game I’ve watched this year.  Totally surprised that I forgot how fun the college game is.

*****

The Phoenix Coyotes came from behind to beat the Kings last night, leaving LA in a tie with Detroit for fifth.  PHOENIX: STOP BEATING LA AND NASHVILLE NOW, SO YOU CAN DO IT IN PLAYOFFS. 

*****

I love watching guys go out in a big way.  There’s nothing worse than careers ending on a whimper.  It’s like a bad handshake at the end of a good day with a buddy.  Taints it.

So I do wanna see Modano retire.  If he’s not an offensive threat, he’s not that valuable – this year, he was still that threat.  And man…. watching that game last night, you couldn’t help but have a few tears.

He’s a talented, classy dude that had a great career.  The game will miss him.

 

*****

I’m a writing fiend today.  Bri’s lappy on lap (somehow I still don’t own a computer), snacks nearby, and the Masters in the background.  Game on.

Heckling Tiger, Huet vs. Niemi, The Frozen Four

G’mornin!

For those of you who prefer my writing in “column form” (y’know, with a coherent thought process, and usually some point to make beyond the “I THINK GUY FIERI BLEACHES HIS HAIR!” blog format), you can check out my latest for USA Today, on Why the Coyotes are nervously watching the Red Wings progress

Cool.

*****

Today is the Masters Par Three tournament warm-up thingy, which you’d have to be a pathetic, desperate fan of the Masters to watch, so I’ll probably set my DVR and go by some extra bags of Orville Redenbacher’s salt and pepper popcorn.  Which, by the way, is to popcorn what the Masters is to golf. 

Le Tigre

Deadspin makes it’s case for someone to heckle Tiger at the Masters like he rightfully deserves.  At first, I was all nose-in-the-air, gasp, not at the Masters-ey about it.  But man, when you write a convincing article, you write a convincing article.  Check out the link… and as always with Deadspin, if my blog is rated R, theirs is…. whatever’s worse than that. (Read: he doesn’t put asterisks in the word f**k…. how uncouth).

*****

Duke beat Butler to win the National Championship.  In other news you don’t care about, my cats breath still smells like cat food.

*****

Looks like Chicago’s going with Niemi for the stretch run here, hey?  He’ll make his fifth straight start tonight versus Dallas.

Huet

I understand that he had back to back shutouts in that stretch, so it’s impossible to not let him run with the ball for a bit.  But I’d be starting Huet.  Here’s my logic:

At this point, it’s hard to make the argument that Niemi is that much better than Huet (or vice versa).  Niemi may be better in future years, but as of the 2009-2010 playoffs, he’s not.

You’ve committed to Huet with a big contract.  He’s earning the big dough, so there’s obviously a reason for that.  At some point in his 277 NHL games (or 16 playoff ones) with Montreal, LA, Chicago (and I think briefly Washington), he’s shown flashes of multi-million dollar brilliance.

The experience I just referenced helps.  He’s 34 years old.  Annnntttttiiii (sp?) Niemi is 26 – prior to this season, he had 3 NHL games under his belt, which brings his total to 38, career.

I’m all for playing whoevers best on any given day, but if you’re having trouble deciding, give the reigns to the guy you put all your chips on before the roulette ball started spinning.

*****

I slid a “Go RIT!” in at the end of yesterday’s blog, but it was kind of a joke.  I’m glad to see other lesser-known programs going deep, for sure, but at heart, I’m a WCHA loyalist.

Sooo... Geoffrion got good since I left, I hear....

See, when you’re record is like, 14-28 every year, you tend to explain to people that it’s because the league you play in is the best in college hockey (yes, CCHA and Hockey East-ers, you have some argument).  The fact is, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association has won 36 of the last 58 National Championships, and there are six college conferences.  My second year in college, of the (something like) 58 Div. 1 college programs, the frozen four was ALL WCHA teams.

These are the things I cite to defend myself, and thusly, let me slowly, in all caps, type out my hope and pick for the National Title this year:

WISCONSIN BADGERS

My playoff record against those Badgers is 3-3 — had Pavelski and Robbie Earl not single-handedly earned NHL contracts in the third period of game one my sophomore year, it would be a lot better.  But then…. I guess those guys were on their team, so it is kinda fair…. crap.

*****

Time to wake up the houseguests!  Enjoy what NHL.com is calling “Super Tuesday” (is that even a thing?)  Who’s Detroit playing?  Can I bet my kid’s yet unearned college fund on them winning tonight?

Best Week Ever – The Sportsgasm

 

ITS MASTERS WEEEEEEEK!

And every other great sports week.  Let’s dive in:

The twenty-team BBHL (Bourne’s Blog fantasy Hockey League) is down to two, and somehow, someway, I’m still alive (didn’t expect to add that to my BWE {best week ever}), did ya?  And that’s with Carey Price as one of my two goalies.  Yeesh. 

I’ll admit, I got muchos lucky in the semi-finals – drew the guy who wasn’t paying attention enough to start the right guys or even have a chat (read: make a bet), but I’ll take it.  Also, if you’re the dude who wasn’t paying attention, you have no chance of being invited back into the league next year (…without heavy bribery).

But whatever, I’m still happy.  On to the finals!

*****

Le Tigre has a press conference at 11:00 a.m. my time (2 EST) – I’m not going to live blog it, mostly cause I have other stuff I’m supposed to be doing (like, um, my job), but still, expect a tweet barrage.  Expect that all week, really.  I predict Tigs to announce Dr. Drew as his new caddy.

*****

The funniest thing George Lopez does is call himself a comedian.  Sorry, I had to get that out of my system.  Back to being positive…

*****

Sick camera angle.

The Detroit Red Wings are only two points out of fifth in the West, just behind the Nashville Predators – If they catch them, Phoenix plays them in round one, which would but about as lucky as Ben Stiller in Meet The Parents (that poor guy just can’t catch a break!). 

 …..Oh god I just checked the schedule… Phoenix plays Nashville on Wednesday.  Who’s Phoenix’s ECHL affiliate?  Can they call those guys up?  Can I sign a one day deal to help them lose?  Can we dress reader “zyllyx”?  Make the Coyotes wear rollerblades?  SOMETHING?!?

*****

The worst thing to happen to the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup hopes is drawing the Flyers in round one, which as it stands right now, they would.

If it’s Boston or Montreal (Montreal especially), they’ll breeze through that first round.  Philly, unfortunately for the Caps, plays a bit of a physical game, and is suffering from the frustration of earning the awful moniker ”best team that never gets it done” in the East (maybe the league – San Jose has had a couple playoff collapses, but the Flyers have been legit contenders for a decade and never got it done).  It’d suck (for them) to have their dangly skill team to face a group of hungry, aggressive dudes.

*****

I got the right guy in the picture.... right?

This whole “Henrik Sedin leading the league” thing is pretty awesome.

Nobody in the league has chemistry like him and his brother, as evidenced by his highlight reel.  When you watch Sid or Ovy’s, for the most part, you get the miraculous one man rushes, nifty moves, clever dekes and the lightning shots.

Henrik’s reel is far more impressive from the “utilizing your teammates” standpoint.  He fires behind-the-back no-lookers that end up directly resulting in goals.  Not neat “almosts” or plays that guys go to the bench and say “that woulda been awesome”, but tape to tape, spinning, no look, tap in goals.  They (Daniel and Henrik) almost never have to shoot the puck through a goalie, since they can just dish it around him.

Very impressive stuff.

*****

THE MASTERRRRRSSSSSSS!

The par three tournament is tomorrow, the press conferences are today, my orgasm is Sunday and the tournament starts Thursday.

For last years list of “Why I Love The Masters“, follow that link – that was puked out stream-of-consciouness style, so I’m sure I could add even more to it. 

Expect Tiger to start slow, but be a threat if he can find a way to make the cut (even when he’s been active, his first round at the Masters is his worst, with a stroke average above 72 on day one).  I’m pumped!  I’ll be live blogging it Sunday from one of those Cover It Live things if you want to watch it with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predictions coming Wednesday.

*****

What a way to start the baseball season – with a Yankees loss (in Fenway).  Ahhh, spring.  Inhale, exhale that loss…. smells fresh.  Go Mets!

*****

My buddy Nick gets to my place tonight, so I don’t expect a lot of double blog entries, even though this is the ultimate week for it.  But, like I said, expect the tweet barrage.  You’ll be hearing from me!  (Go RIT!)

Hockey Snippets

 

Bottom O’ the mornin’ to lots of ya, today!

It’s time for our regular feature, the yet un-named blogs where I mind-puke random mostly-hockey-based thoughts (thoughts on the Wisniewski hit in the comment section).  Let’s do this.

*****

St. Patrick Elias

You know what’s gonna be unfortunate?  The inevitable Devils fans heartbreak when they lose a best of seven series to Pittsburgh.  It all looks so pretty right now.  SIX AND OH against the defending Stanley Cup champs this year.  I know a good chunk of you fans will disagree, and you have every logical stat backing you up. 

Which is why it’s gonna hurt so, so bad.

*****

Is it just me, or are Simeon Varlamov and Jose Theodore basically Kyle Orton?  Spent some years on a good team, nobody thinks they’re that good, only nobody can prove they aren’t, cause all they do is win.  I remember early in the NFL season watching Orton grenade the ball around the field for some wins, and people were going “hey, maybe we are better off with Orton than Cutler.”  …until they realized they were huge liars, to themselves.  Same with Huet.  I’m sure he’s going “What more do you want me to do than win?” and Chicago’s fans are thinking “BE BETTER AT PLAYING GOAL”, because he’s not Nikolai Khabibulin (…..but at least he’s sober, zzzzzzzing!)

*****

The Phoenix Coyotes are five points out of FIRST IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE.  Thank god I wasn’t the only tool to pick them to finish 31st out of 30.    Good on ‘em.

*****

Weee, goals are fun!

I’d be interested to hear Ponikarovsky talk about the difference in mood/daily stress going from the last place Maple Leafs to the dressing room of the defending champion Penguins.  I’ve been on teams at both ends of the standings, and it’s amazing how much your start builds momentum.  The season snowballs, good or bad.  You start winning, people are in a better mood, you’re more relaxed, you play better, and you win more. 

I can’t imagine being in a negativity vortex with Brian Burke and Ron Wilson.  They’re like the car or cow that flies out of the tornado and wrecks your house.  Shit was already gonna get damaged, but you know those two are major forces of destruction just waiting to happen, flyin’ around inside that tornado (BTW, I’m a major Burke fan with mad respect for him, but that’s a firey dude that I’d hate to explain my plus/minus to after a loss).

*****

Promotions that need to be stopped:  colored ice for anything.  I think Ms. Conduct mentioned playing on (or seeing) green ice the other day.  All I know is, it’s an effing nightmare to play on pink “breast cancer awareness” ice.  Maybe for a charity or exhibition game, but if I got hit with my head down in a real game, trying to fish the puck out of the hallucinogenic colors below me, I would’ve punched the first woman I saw in the breasts.  We’ve all been affected by it, it’s a great cause, but making my job frustrating and less safe kind of defeats the purpose of being charitable.

A tad gimicky, even for the ECHL

*****

The elusive brandless twig.

I like that announcers are trying to carry on the “boy these one-piece sticks breaking is an epidemic!” tradition that they all loved to shout when the transition from wood happened.  You couldn’t find a single player in a single NHL dressing room that would say a wood stick lasts longer (secretly, I think it’s the cost of the sticks that blows the commentators minds – they should never break at that price!). 

The rare guy still using wood (Paul Stastny) would tell you the exact same thing.  For him, it’s a feel preference, but I’m sure he still uses a stick a game, minimum.  Guys on the mic know those are 200 pound muscular men swinging them as hard as possible at the ice and a frozen puck simultaneously right?

*****

That’s all today guys!  Hope you enjoyed the video blog yesterday, and go check out my latest column at USA Today when you get a chance!  It’s on the Common Sense Rule for Head Shots, which means it has very little chance of being successful in professional sports.

*****

Random picture I like:  C’mon Cristobal, you can this!  (I actually believe that, for what it’s worth.)

Avatar, Figure Skating, Lockouts, Milbury, Tiger

 

I finally got around to seeing Avatar last night, on a Bri-sponsored date.

A must-see.

We did it the right way – IMAX, 3D, a sack of popcorn bigger than the screen, all that good stuff.  And I’ve gotta say….  WOW.  Just wow.  That movie was unbelievable.  I was 90% certain I would leave going “meh”, but I gave it a fair shot, and man, I thought it was just great.  It’s like Planet Earth on acid, splashed with a pretty cool story.  Check it out before you have to watch it on your 18″ RCA at home.

*****

 

I don’t get why male figure skating has to be so flamboyant.  I really don’t.  It’s the same as “why doesn’t Norway have a good hockey team?”

Okay, Weir's an exception, but good god man...

Why all the glitter and jazz hands to distract from one of the most unbelievably difficult events in individual sport?  Triple spins on skates?  And you need SEQUINS to make it impressive?

I understand not wearing something loose, as that would detract from your ability to perform.  But I find all the pomp and flash detract from my attention on what they’re actually able to accomplish.  There’s too much substance buried under all that style. 

But, I guess every sport has a culture.  The American snowboarders are rocking the jeans and plaid look (because the Cobain/grunge/Seattle look needed to be revived…. okay, I actually like the their gear), so I guess the figure skaters can rock bedazzled unitards and sparkles, if that’s what the culture is.  What they do is still ultra-impressive (just look at this pages bottom image for proof).

***** 

 

In all of ESPN’s holy-crap-there’s-nothing-to-coverness, they’ve been chucking around the possibility of NFL and NBA strikes.  Do you think all those fans would immediately forgive “us” for the hockey lockout if that happened?  Would they come running back?  They would right?  Please pay attention to us.  Please!  I desperately want to make love to a schoolboy.

 

*****

NBC's star

 So Roenick and Milbury are the newest Pierre McGuire and Milbury.  As in, duo who argues because they’re both so opinionated they both have to be somewhat wrong.  I think the reason we’re seeing more Inflamatory Mike is that he’s starting to get comfortable on-air.  He probably started as a decent GM too *gag*, but now that he thinks he’s safe in his analyst job, he’s starting to say the stupid red flag things that make people go “…pardon?” (like that time when he started saying things like “Do you think we can turn Chara, Luongo, Jokinen and the future Spezza pick into some real Yashiny/Kvasha/Parrish-ish type guys?”).

My first taste of this was when Inflamatory Mike explained in a sentence or two to Clark Gillies that, since he had been with the Islanders for 13 years, and Clark played there for a mere 12, he was as much or more of an Islander.  This was spurred on by a bit of Grandpa’s cough syrup, it’s safe to say, but there were some mighty unhappy ex-Islanders in the room after that.  Since, y’know, Mike said it on the microphone while hosting an event to a bunch of them.

Let’s not launch a Milbury hate parade in the comments section.  We’ve covered he’s not the most popular guy, I just wanted to tell the “Mike’s a true Islander” story.

*****

Last for today: Tiger speaks tomorrow.  Holy crap.  This means a return to golf.  Before the Masters.  Holy crap.

I sure hope he apologizes to us for cheating on his wife.  Wait… why’s he holding a press conference again?

*****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact:  You can’t do this.

Next Page »

Login