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Islanders and Coyotes Thoughts

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Dad’s observation on hockey coverage, from yesterday: “It’s interesting that between all the hockey analysts on TSN, ESPN, NHL Network, Sportsnet and Headline Sports, not one of them has ever really won – let alone a Cup.”  I’m not sure if he’s right about that or not, but I certainly can’t think of one.  Kevin Weeks?  Ray Ferraro?  Mike Milbury?  Maybe Bob McKenzie has one? 

By the way, I still can’t mention Pierre McGuire’s name without having the other half of the conversation get spitting mad. As my buddy Neil mentioned on here, he’s “polarizing”… only thing is, I’m yet to hear anyone be on any pole other than “that guy’s an idiot”.  “You see what Evander Kane’s thinking HERE?  He’s thinking ‘I’ve got big Ron Hainsey backing me up, two forwards caught deep, a defenseman that struggles doing an eagle-pivot to the left, and I’m coming down on a goalie with damaged confidence from last weeks shellacking when he got pulled in the second period, so I’m gonna drive it wide and fire it off the back wall so it comes out to my lightning fast linemate streaking on the other side, who’s gonna BURY it.’  How good is this kid, Gord?  Only 18 years old.  EIGHTEEN!”.

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Couple slew-foots in the NHL lately.  I hate the f***ing play.  How cheap is that?  It’s the one-man equivalent of having someone kneel behind a guy and pushing him, only twice as dangerous.  That play isn’t regarded with a whole lot of respect in the hockey community, as I’m sure you could’ve guessed.  Ovy’s wasn’t that bad (the “borderline slewy” can be tough to gage), but Arthuykykykykyku-e-i-e-i-o-kin’s was.

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Gotta love the uni's, at least

Gotta love the uni's, at least

My Isles, they’re a-strugglin’.

When I watched the highlights, and saw some of the namebars, I was a little less surprised at their struggles.  I had been so caught up in their positive names (ie. young guns Tavares/Okposo, supposedly better goaltending in Rolo/Biron, d-man Streit), that I forgot they were occasionally dressing guys like Thompson and Reichlicz. 

They have officially given my friends on the team enough “development”.  They need Comeau, Tambellini and Neilsen to be good now, not “up-and-comers”, or they’ve wasted their time on them.  Tim Jackman has been consistently good, but his “good” is different from those guys I just mentioned, that are supposed to provide some offense.  Tim isn’t.

It’s like some of the guys on that team have free passes to be NHLers, and they’re just happy to be there.  Not that Bailey won’t be a good NHLer by the time he’s old enough to legally consume alcohol, but would he have played on any other NHL team last year?  This year?  I keep waiting for somebody to grab an opportunity by the balls and run with it on that team.

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Trying to cover Ballard in college led to the line "Somebody getta f**king leash on that guy!"

Trying to cover Ballard in college led to the line "Somebody getta f**king leash on that guy!"

And last, after the Coyotes hot start, and me writing an article saying they’d suck, I hadn’t backed down.  Then they beat the Bruins.  Then they beat the Red Wings.  At some point (speaking of cutting losses) I’m going to have to say I was wrong.  But I’m just. not. ready yet.

The Coyotes will still miss the playoffs, but instead of 15th, they’re looking at 9th/10th.  TSN has them ranked somewhere in the NHL’s top three.  Hard to argue – they’ve handed Pittsburgh their only loss, and even their own losses were games they could have won.

So I’m sitting down to do USA Today’s power rankings…. and the boys cracked the top ten.  Right now, I’d be an idiot to claim otherwise.

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Last, you can now sign up for membership on HockeyPrimetime.com (www.hockeyprimetime.com).  In November, HPT will be unveiling it’s discount shopping portal to it’s members (certain percentages off at stores like Best Buy, Home Depot and more when you buy online).  They support me, so definitely support them.  The latest piece I wrote for them is on bad travel experiences, from the mouths of the players that live them.

Comments

12 Responses to “Islanders and Coyotes Thoughts”
  1. Beckmann says:

    My drunken $100 bet that the coyotes will make the playoffs isn’t looking so bad now………..

  2. Azyotes says:

    the only reason I’m reading your blog is another Coyotes fan likes to read your stuff. I hope you eat crow on your 9/10th prediction =)

    I’m not sure why you keep putting them down, and why your not ready to admit they have come out a completely different team with the new coach.

    guess we will wait and see.

  3. Josh Ciocco says:

    I have a couple thoughts on the Isles and Coyotes… First, the islanders strike me as the AHL team that gets to play in the NHL. Its like how over in europe the winner of the 2nd league moves up to the top league-thats what the islanders did, they won the AHL last year. Or for some other reason I look at them as the 1980 olympic team, minus the winning. Russia goes over with their big timers, and the USA played amateurs picked from college… That is what the islander remind me of, great college free agents and players too young to be in the league, names that come to mind are Moulson, Hillen, Bailey, Meyer, Schremp, and thompson. When other teams are tired of “developing” players and move on, the isles go get those guys and put them on the PP. Why is trevor smith not in their lineup? Why was Iggulden not resigned?

    Your right on pheonix, Im not buying it either. Right now i view them as the sober guy at the party picking a fight with the guy who cant stand up because their so drunk. Eventually teams are going to stop playing Pheonix hung over and they will not be able to catch teams off guard, and i think that time will come very soon. When detroits coach walks into the locker room and says, “pheonix is legit this year, we have to come ready to play.” im sure datsyuk and zetterberg just role their eyes and think, “oh yah, because this is the year shane doan will become and actual threat.”

    And one final comment, I hate Pierre Macquire, Ive never seen someone so biased towards canadians with the exception of Don Cherry, but Cherry would admit it, Macquire pretends its just factual. But at the same time no one gets me more interested than Pierre, because I get so mad at his views-which in turns means hes actually pretty good…

  4. pocket_jacks says:

    I’ve been a Coyotes fan since they moved to Phoenix, and this is my third year as a season ticket holder. Only a close fans of the team saw the significant changes that really came together in August and Septemer. Some key veteran aquisitions, Tippett as the new coach, and management admitting that some of the kids still need some work in the AHL have all produced a team that bears little resemblance to last year’s sad lot. But, I am drinking the Kool-Aid™ slowly. Watching them on the ice, it’s hard not to get swept up in their confidence. They seem like world beaters that could win every game, but I’ll keep reminding myself that the playoffs are a long way off. Still, it’s a fun start…

  5. SDC says:

    They put Pierre McGuire in that little neutral zone for one between the players’ benches because NO ONE WANTS TO BE AROUND HIM and his sensationalized and ludacrious assessments, not even his broadcast staff. I’m sure Gord Miller’s blood boils everytime that little red light blinks in the booth upstairs, meaning Pierre’s got something to say again.

    “It’s blinking again! Quick keep talking so there’s no holes in the conversation! We can’t afford him anymore airtime! Get McKenzie, Hodge, the Philly Phanatic… anyone! I’m running out of material!”

  6. Frank says:

    thank you for confirming what everyone that I know thinks….that Pierre MacGuire’s comments during a game make you immediately search for the remote and frantically try and find the mute button……and would be just as relevant if they were played randomly during a NASCAR broadcast at any given moment.

  7. tiggs says:

    Amen to all. Pierre McGuire must be stopped. He’s just an unneccessary part of the broadcast. NBC (in the USA) makes a damn mockery of the sport when they have him between the benches. His pro-canadian banter on his Canadian tv gigs is a tad overboard, although Kevin Lowe might be in the same league. Anyone that knows hockey doesn’t need that kind of analysis during the game. Do you think Pat Quinn really wants to talk to this guy during a game where his team just got scored on short-handed? We KNOW what exactly is going on. We know if the pp sucks, or the breakouts are horrid, or if the coach is pissed. He’s gonna get sniped one of these days in that little booth…..just wait.
    As for the Isles Mr. Bourne, I’m with you on the fact that they keep “developing” players that are, shall we say, developed, They’re just not NHL’ers yet or never will be. If they get some more grind in their game, they can certainly steal some wins with a consistent collective team effort. Tavares will score 35 goals.

  8. Neil says:

    Everyone seems to agree on the Islanders, it makes you wonder…. Garth Snow is not an idiot, there must be something compelling keeping him from spending that 16 MILLION in cap space he’s sitting on when guys like Zherdev, Babchuk, etc. are going overseas over money disputes. Is there a financial component to this, are they limited in salary because the money just isn’t there, or is there a plan?

    I so badly want to proclaim Phoenix to be well out of the race, I feel the same way looking at Colorado’s roster. The stats in Phoenix are hard to argue with (12 GA in 8 games!?), I think they will suprise doubters who totally wrote them off, but the West is too competitive to go all season with Phoenix’s top six forwards. Nice to see them fly out of the gate but on paper there is no reason for that team to consistently beat anyone in their division, and teams like St.Louis, Columbus, Dallas, Calgary, Vancouver, even LA are going to set the bar a little higher than the Coyotes can currently handle. Or, Bryzgalov wins the Vezina, Tippet takes coach of the year, and they get bumped in the first round by my Canucks.

    You guys are crazy, Pierre is awesome :o |
    …he was a lot easier to handle a few years ago, he’s a little too confident for his own good now (there were reports being thrown around a few months ago that a GM position had been offered to him). The other day on TSN he declared that Craig McTavish was “sitting beside me now” on the show because “the young guys in Edmonton let him down”, as though they had been talking about it beforehand or something. Mac T politely waited his turn and said it wasn’t a fair comment and was far too much responsibility to place at the feet of young players but kept it at that. It is getting harder every year to defend him, this is approximately year 4 of his 10-year transformation into the Glenn Beck of NHL broadcasting.

  9. Megan says:

    “I keep waiting for somebody to grab an opportunity by the balls and run with it on that team.”

    I pray to God Bergenheim does, fitting you used that picture. I think he’ll start to get shit done. Soon. He has to get a point first.

  10. Maria says:

    sooo totally off topic (well not really it has to do with hockey hah) but going back to an early blog about tapping your stick on the ice…well I go to the Univ. of Minnesota and we had a game this evening against Denver…and I noticed several times throughout the game both teams tapping their sticks on the ice…or more or less smashing there sticks to the ice to try and get someones attention and I thought back to what you said and each time I just wanted to laugh (literally out loud laugh) but no one would get why so i just didn’t…either way…with the perspective you gave before I found it a very comical act. Thank you for your insight! :-)

  11. Officer Koharski says:

    McGuire is a complete tool. When he works between the benches he always tries to pal around with the players and associate himself with them, it just makes him look like a tag-along. I admit he does have good insight sometimes, but he gets carried away, starts talking like he knows better than the guys actually involved in the game. Also, his head is disproportionate to the size of his body, he looks like he’s wearing a fatsuit.

    It’s true the Isles need those guys you mentioned to step up right now, but I think it’s too early to close the book on them. Any way you slice it they are at the top of the depth chart amongst the organization, and to move them or give up now would just be counter intuitive to getting the team to compete. They’ll either start producing, or make the team bad enough they draft players good enough to replace them. Hopefully they’ll pick it up as the year goes on, as I think they all have the skills to be solid enough players to back up Tavares, Okposo and Bailey.

  12. Blake says:

    Glad to see Timmy Jackman getting some love from you!

    Tim went to high school with one of my best friends and I’ve never met a nicer guy. The part I love about his success story, though, is that he went from a scorer to a grinder to a fighter. He had some great hand and scoring ability in high school, but he just loves to play the game and is more than willing to do whatever he needs to do to continue playing the game.

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