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Heckling Tiger, Huet vs. Niemi, The Frozen Four

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

Comments

9 Responses to “Heckling Tiger, Huet vs. Niemi, The Frozen Four”
  1. ms.conduct says:

    The other way to look at Niemi v. Huet: Ride the hot goalie (cuz I just can’t find enough opportunities to say that) until cracks start to appear, and then throw Huet into action.

    If all that experience makes him so much more reliable at crunch time as to make it reasonable to put your hot goalie on ice, then he should just as well be able to jump in when Niemi falters, right?

  2. jtbourne says:

    Well sure. I’m just saying if you get to playoffs and it’s six in one hand, half-dozen in the other, here’s your tiebreaker. If one guy is playing better, well then…. play that guy.

  3. Alan says:

    In spite of Deadspin’s encouragement, it’ll never happen at Augusta-I suspect(only half in jest) that the “Patrons” who frequent deadman’s corner and the balance of the hallowed surroundings are not even permitted to pass gas discreetly-Tiger may relish the decorum this week in hindsight since a similar tune won’t necessarily prevail elsewhere regardless of the outcome at the Masters!

  4. MWL says:

    How about the Tuukka Rask starting over Tim Thomas. Thomas won the Vezna last year and has had a good year, but Rask might win the Vezna this year. Gotta go with the hot hand…

  5. ms.conduct says:

    Ah, yes, in that case, I agree.

  6. minnesotagirl71 says:

    We need to send that vocal hockey parent that someone mentioned last week to heckle Tiger at the Master’s. Tiger could use a reminder to “MAKE BETTER DECISIONS!”

  7. Josh says:

    Sorry man – you’re wrong on the Tiger thing. The only person that has a right to scream at Tiger, or for that matter has any right to the details of what went on at all, is his wife. She the only one with any claim to a right to “crucify” him (to take Deadspin’s words). She’s the one who go hurt in all this, not the public, not other people. Anyone who claims that Tiger hurt them or the public by sleeping around needs to grow up and be an adult. He’s just another human being, he has no obligation to you or me. Just because he’s a really really good golfer doesn’t give the public the right to know whats going on in his private life or to judge his private life. I’m sure plenty of the people who have screamed righteous indignation at whats gone on have plenty of crap in their private lives that they wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times, so what gives them the right to bash Tiger for doing the same things they do? They’re all the sudden superior because nobody cares what they do? The guy is just human and the fact that he has had to have his entire life dragged through the mud publicly because he plays golf is beyond ridiculous. I know its a sign of the times we live in, but that doesn’t make it right.

    Personally, I was never a big Tiger fan, I marveled at his skills but always hoped someone would step up and beat him. But, for this Masters, I’m hoping he comes out and shoot 18 under and runs away from the field just like he did when he won it the first time. I’m hoping this for two reasons, because I want to see him be that great again, and because maybe if he does that then all of this bs about him will finally stop being the talk of the town and we can get on with our lives.

  8. Josh says:

    Justin,

    Tiger is just a bad guy. I don’t get it. Tiki Barber gets crucified for divorcing his wife who is pregnant with twins, and now we’re supposed to forgive Tiger for whoring it up because its The Masters. The wome…errr…whores are coming out of the woodwork still, and this douche spends 45 days in rehab and I’m supposed to root for this guy? I feel bad for his children. I feel bad for his wife. Tiger is pissed because he was caught, full stop.

  9. Ben says:

    Blimey, that was confusing. Two contradicting Josh’s. I agree with the first. Tiger owes me nothing and I’d love him to win easily. In five years, when he’s passed Nicklaus’ record, this will just be a joke, a blip.

    As for Huet/Niemi, I really wanted Huet to step up and prove people wrong. He gets much shorter shrift than Niemi on the Hawks message boards and there is often an undercurrent of anti-French sentiment, but it’s just not worked out for him. I don’t think he’s been treated that well and he was unlucky to be ill after a couple of strong games when he could have nailed his spot down, but JQ has painted himself into a corner now because Huet hasn’t been given a chance to work it out before the playoffs.

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