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Changing Tires, San Jose Trying To Keep The Wheels On

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The Brooks Laich changing a tire story is great.  Our tendancy is to blow things out of proportion, so lets not do that here – it was just a really refreshing thing to hear.  As I’ve been saying, it makes me proud to be a hockey player.  Or maybe just a human.

Laich

I learned to change a tire in the summer of 2008, because I read somewhere it’s one of the basic things you need to be able to do to consider yourself a man.  That, tie a tie, and something else…. climb a frozen waterfall in bowling shoes or something.

The year I was taught (and by “taught”, I mean holy-crap-its-so-easy-Paula-Abdul-could-figure-it-out) I was staying at the Gillies and training before my AHL tryout with the Hershey Bears.  Mapquest told me it was about five hours from Long Island, and our check-in and first meeting was around 3:00PM.  I was on the road by 7:30AM to give myself lots of time.  Sadly, my GPS took me down Manhattan’s 34th Avenue, which slowed me considerably.  The second I got through the Holland Tunnel, I saw open road, and hit the gas.  Got ‘er right up to 70 before hitting a pothole deeper than a Jack Handy thought.  Immediately, my car started pulling hard to the right.  F**k.

I’m talkin’, car packed with literally everything I owned, and I had to unload the trunk to get at the spare.  Baseball glove, lamps, pillows, the works.

Anyway, because I knew what to do, I coasted into town on a bike tire just in time to check-in, and start the hellacious injury-riddled season that led to me being a writer.  Shoulda known that was “don’t go” sign.  At least I got a Hershey chocolate bar at check-in, I guess.

Wonder if the climate in SJ is better than his college days at Wisco

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings 

This is a tough one to call, because of the mental gift the Sharks have been given; this time, hardly anyone expects them to win.

Even though they’re the one seed, they’re playing the perceived one seed.  And for Thronton, Boyle and crew, they’ve never had the luxury of even semi-underdog status before.  70% of people are picking Detroit to win, which is SO. NICE. if you’re on San Jose.  It free’s you up to just play.  Not sure why it’s different, but it is.

So then it’s obvious that I’m picking…..

DETROIT IN SEVEN

Wait, what?  Here’s how I made my pick:

Goaltending: It’s a pick ‘em, as far as I’m concerned.  Evgeni Nabakov is supposed to be better, and has lots of experience.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t exactly built a reputation as a clutch playoff performer during those experiences.  And we have no idea about Howard in playoffs yet.  We do know that in the same game he can be good, he can give up a shot off the draw to Vernon Fiddler that hasn’t gone in since pee wee hockey.  Sure, it’s a factor that could affect the series if one guy gets too hot or too cold, but I’m expecting them both to be right around par.

Defense: Slight edge to Detroit.  Studs like Lidstrom and Rafalski are getting a little older, but they can still get it done.  Niklas Kronwall is one of my new favourite players (I LOVE THIS COMMERCIAL), and Brad Stuart is above average.  San Jose has Dan Boyle, but after that all you have is the corpse of Rob Blake and Douglas Murray.

Oh right, thaaat's what scoring feels like.

Offense: Both teams have great forwards, just in different ways.  Datsyuk and Zetterberg are unlike any other two forwards in the NHL – talented, shifty, f***ing crazy smart, and defensively aware.  San Jose’s top dogs are good at… getting goals.  But, there is three of them.  Then there’s the bonus guy: Joe Pavelski.  He’s the wild card (who’s off to a great start in the series) that can put SJ over the top.  Can he keep being super-human?  Will Detroits gritty studs (Holmstrom and Franzen) prove to be too playoff-built to be stopped? WILL I STOP ASKING RHETORICAL QUESTIONS?  (I only “kinda like” this commercial in comparison, but still good)

Coach: Babcock.  BabcockBabcockBabcock.  I’d pick him vs. a super-coach that combined the know-how of Scotty Bowman, Phil Jackson and Bill Belichick.  Mclellan is apparently a good coach, but Mike B could coach the Jersey Shore cast into British accents.

So, when it came down Detroit’s experience and confidence vs. San Jose’s first crack at mental underdoggery, I gotta take the uber-beast, Zetsyuk.  Datsberg.  Whatever…. they are just way too special to pick against.

Other series predictions explained later, but I’ve picked Boston, Pittsburgh and Vancouver for my other three.  The Vancouver pick goes against everything I said about Chicago all year, but after watching a series where goaltending mattered so much (the Halak v Varladore trial), I’m taking Luongo over Niemi every time.

TGIF, kids.  Our weekend plans have been taken care of with the $26 we spent yesterday – a $13 inflatible pool float with a cup holder, and 18 Coors light for $13.  Weeee!

*****

One more thing – Just tinkering around this morning, and I discovered a lil conversation between Ovechkin and the evil genius from his home planet, who sent him to Earth to capture the elusive Stanley Cup.  It’s pretty intense.  Watch it here.

Comments

16 Responses to “Changing Tires, San Jose Trying To Keep The Wheels On”
  1. Dave says:

    So, with all the bad blood between the Hawks and the Canucks, are they going to come out swinging or will the Hawks try to keep their cool and not get a bunch of penalties so as not to give up alot of power play time. Should be a great series to watch!

  2. Dave says:

    I don’t agree with you regarding Vancouver-I think they are going to be their own worst enemies and play with 4 men on the ice most of the time!!

  3. Sioux in the Cities says:

    Is it just the crappy Internet Explorer here at work, or do those links to commercials not work? Those are supposed to be links, right?

  4. airborne moose says:

    wait, an 18 pack of coors light is sposed to last an entire weekend? Good grief, i see your wife-to-be is holding your man card and wont let you sign for it the weekend. HA HA!
    As far as Nabby and Howard are concerned, who do you think has a more stable mentality going into the series? Howard has a bunch of stable, experienced, been there before kind of guys in front of him so is he more relaxed and confident or does it make him more nervous not to f*ck it up for them?
    Nabby has….guys in the same sweater as him….but since they are not expected to win, can he hang it all out there and basically say “hell with it, if tukka rask can do it, so can i”?

    about the tire changing thing, wow. thats awesome when you see something like that. I read something a few years ago about tony romo doing the same thing. Doesnt make me like him anymore, but glad to see there are a few athletes out there that are not above it all….. And the fact he plays for the &%*$(*&^ cowboys…..
    http://www.star-telegram.com/2008/09/11/899904/a-fine-sunday-indeed-for-tony.html

  5. jtbourne says:

    Sioux in the City – I got the links fixed bud.

  6. greg says:

    Only 18 Coors Light’s? What are you going to drink tomorrow????

  7. jtbourne says:

    Haha, I openly love my blog readers. Everyone’s mad at my beer consumption. Don’t worrrrry fellas, I got a lil mini-bar halfway stocked too. If things end up getting weird, I’m always prepared.

  8. Mike says:

    Great blogging today- rich with stuff. Human interest, personal recollection, picks mixed with analysis and heart. FYI- 36 Coors Light at Costco are usually about 20 bucks. Check it.

  9. Steve C. says:

    …ask for booze donations.

  10. Nadeau says:

    Nice Vid Bourne… and Hawks in 7 their PP is far more Dangerous than the kings and look what LA did!!!! plus Andrew Alberts is awful and Kane and Co Will get there 20 cents against him

  11. Madeleine says:

    That was an adorable story about Brooks Laich. Makes me proud to be a hockey fan.
    I liked the second commercial a lot better, and the Ovy video was hilarious, I’m stealing that.

  12. KarenfromRochester says:

    Loved that story about Brooks Laich! He is a good guy and a good representative for the team. This is why I say hockey players rock it out so much better than baseball or football!

  13. Travis says:

    Charrisa Thompson or Lindsay Soto? Anyone? Anyone???

  14. Dooz says:

    Love the flat story. Yours, that is. I’ve had to empty a trunk full of crap before to get to my spare and it’s embarrassing and a colossal pain in the ass. I’d love to tell you I learned a lesson and now keep my trunk clutter -free but that would be a lie.
    So I tried a new approach tonight in reading your blog. I started out telling myself I’d go back and check the links AFTER I’d finished reading the entire entry. Trying to feed my kids, watch the Penguins pick apart Montreal and read proved too challenging. Here’s how it went…
    Kronwalled–> Kronwalled by a 3 year old –> Kronwall hits Havlat (TKO) –> Tie Domi destroys Martin Havlat (I hate Domi which led to the next few) –> Domi gets drilled –> Nicholls destroys Domi –> 1999 – 2000 Scott Stevens drops Tie Domi –> (get the theme yet?) Stevens HUGE hip check on Tie Domi –> Peca nails Tie Domi–> Back to blog–> then had to watch the Ovy returns home video. Funny stuff.
    I’m working on it. It only took me about 45 minutes to complete the above journey. Clearly I’m improving.

    Side note…As a young kid growing up on Long Island, and a huge Islander fan, I used to wear #14 thanks to your pops. He was one of my faves for sure. I made the jr. Isles team that played in the Pee Wee tourney in Quebec in 1984 and as a treat we got to meet a few Islanders. I remember sweating the meet hoping your dad was there and what the hell would I say to him. He wasn’t there and I can’t, for the life of me, remember who was there. Some fan I was.

    Anyway, keep up the great work. I enjoy following the blog.

  15. Alanna says:

    I had a similar flat-tire-while-moving experience, except I didn’t know how to change it myself. I was about 200 miles into a 2200 mile drive from California to Michigan when I blew a tire on my truck in the middle of Deliverance, Nevada. After a two hour wait for AAA dude and close to an hour of AAA dude screwing around he realized that he needed a doodad that fits on the end of the doohickey wand/bar thing that you use to let the spare tire down from under the truck bed. Where might that be? The glove box. The one that’s crammed behind my every earthly possession and my 2 dogs? Yes, that one. So, on this balmy 120 degree (I’m not even kidding) August day I’m standing on the side of I-80 in the middle of the God forsaken desert (f–k you Nevada) unpacking heaps of crap from the passenger side of my truck (unpacking is an exaggeration….really I just opened the door and most of it unpacked itself) to get to the friggin’ thing so that I could stand there like a useless idjit while some 16 year old changed my tire. The next day I blew another tire on a pot hole laden stretch of highway in the middle of Deliverance, Wyoming (f–k you Wyoming), still not knowing how to change my own gd tire and now without a spare anyway, so I had to limp it to a truck stop and beg them to repair my sh*tty tire (f–k YOU Big O). The pisser of the whole story is that all of the time I wasted screwing with around with tires used up all of the time I had allotted for sleeping, so I had to drive straight through for 3 days. I really need to learn how to change a tire.

    On a totally unrelated note, if you haven’t seen the Cap’s Rap video, you need to. Cap’s playoffs = Epic fail. Cap’s Rap video = Epic win
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgl-nyg4Obg

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