05 November, 2005

CarniStaal of the NHL #12 -- Reality Checks cashed while you wait!

Eric Staal’s been 21 for a week, the ‘Canes had their Dads’ Weekend, and it’s time for Carnival of the NHL #12—and I assure you that, unlike the drunken bums and crack dealers that Wade Amusements had working for them during the NC State Fair last month, I am 1) sober and 2) not the owner of a rap sheet a mile long (unless you count speeding tickets, but we won’t discuss me treating a ‘97 Chevy Cavalier like it’s a Saleen S8).

This carnival has no fanfare, no rides, no deep-fried Snickers bars (who came up with those, anyway?), just some good old hockey commentary of the "What the hell are you thinking? Are you thinking?" variety from those crazy kids out there in hockey blogland.

We’ll kick it off with CasonBlog, who wonders what the hell Keith Jones is smoking before OLN’s postgame shows.

Over at the Canucks Hockey Blog, JJ wonders what was going through the minds of the genii that came up with the “$75,000 Rule” in the new CBA when he examines the interesting saga of Rob McVicar’s and RJ Umberger’s callups to The Show.

Brushback over at Sidearm Delivery takes a couple shots at Pavel “Krispy Kreme” Brendl in this recap of a game between the Hartford Wolfpack and the Lowell Lock Monsters. Makes me wonder why the hell the dude was fourth overall pick in the first place (Krispy, not Brushback).

In the “Angry Fan Rants” building, Jason Kirk at Predators’ Den uncorks a spectacular rant about the folks that bash southern teams (specifically Los Predatores de Nashville).

Not to be outdone, puck_it pops off at people who slag the Hurricanes and the fans.

Mike Chen has no love for Doc Emrick (which breaks my heart, because I love Doc), and he has even less love for OLN’s crappy camera work. He also wonders WTF Calgary was thinking when they signed an over-the-hill Bryan Marchment.

Meanwhile, at the medical station--Christy over at Behind the Jersey wonders what it will take for players to start wearing visors, especially given what happened to Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper.

Jes Gölbez wonders the same thing. In fact, he wonders why it’s even a matter for debate.

Chris Rock once said, “Laws were made for a reason”. GrampaPinhead says, There’s the law, and then there’s being a ticky-tack asshat.

Fellow Caniac David Lee over at Red and Black Hockey gets all bent outta shape over Messrs. Fraser and Peel and their butchering of the calls in the recent Carolina-Toronto game (which, this time around, was not pre-empted by Rogers Sportsnet’s desire to show Neckcar to their viewers who reside north of 49). He also fires off a slapshot at the virtual head of former Hurricane Jeff O’Neill before the game.

Roddie Hassan over at A-Flat offers up His Top 5 list of alternatives to the shootout (which I loathe—the shootout, not the list).

And speaking of shootouts, over at Odd Man Rush there’s an amusing take on the shootout—which includes a funny exchange in the comments between me and OddManRush over OddMan's thinking that C H A R L O T T E spells “Raleigh”.

Matt over at The Battle of Alberta up and blasts Bob McKenzie for kissing Bettman’s ass re: the gag order rule that saw Pat Quinn fined for bitching. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Michael Fedor joins in the pile-on.

A Quiet Girl takes a hard look at a very unpleasant aspect of junior hockey culture within the context of this blurblet about the Windsor Spitfires hazing incident (for which Spitfires coach Moe Mantha was suspended).

Grumpy ol’ Tom Benjamin at Canucks Corner has a few things to say about the state of fighting in the NHL these days.

I found this little gem about the current fear of hitting that plagues the NHL over at Puck Update. Very interesting (and, sadly, so true).

Unibrew over at Sisu Hockey about made me spray Diet Big K Cola all over my monitor with this hilarious entry where he asks Bristol “WTF are you thinking with this pronunciation guide?”

James Mirtle takes a hard look at Sid the Kid and says he ain’t all thatand points out several rookies that are doing far better than El Sid is (at least at this stage of the season).

Eric McErlain says, “Why did this kid get Player of the Month for October, when Ovechkin pretty much kicked his ass?”

And finally, because every carnival has to have a midway, I include this link from Brett Mirtle--who says “Enough already!” to EA Sports about their NHL 06 title and the eleventy-billion and fifty-eight bells and whistles that it contains.

(My question to Brett is: WTF is up with the pinkness?)

03 November, 2005

AQ throws down gauntlet, film at 11.


I notice, “good” sir, that you address Christopher Hutsul’s article in the 31 October edition of the Toronto Star about you—and yet you refuse to say even one word about Chris Young’s post in his blog about those of us who have exposed you as the fraud that you are.

Why is that?

Is it because you know that you haven’t a leg to stand on, and that you’ll only wind up further contradicting yourself?

I wonder if the powers that be at Rogers Sportsnet know about the strong evidence that you fabricate your “hot insider info” from whole cloth and like to lift your “inside information” straight from the message-board posts of others?

Show some sack, boy—face those of us who have exposed the cracks in your armor, and let’s see your bona fides.

You’re on the clock, so I suggest you get on it.

01 November, 2005


So I’ve been thinking..

(No Jes, the neighbours didn’t call the fire department.)

I’ve been thinking about this whole Bertuzzi mess and the aftereffect of it. Since my sister is an Avs fan, I feel like I’m somewhat qualified (in a very roundabout, half-assed sort of way) to talk about it.

Or not.

Anyway—people need to just friggin’ let it the hell go already. Do I think that Bertuzzi got off somewhat lightly because of the lockout?  Yes and no. I look at it this way—lost wages or no, he still wasn’t able to play last season because the IIHF (and, by extension, the leagues in their member nations) and all the lower leagues agreed to abide by the NHL’s suspension.

On the other hand, NOBODY was able to play in the NHL last year—so his suspension didn’t amount to a whole lot.

On the gripping hand, there are guys that have done things that some would consider worse—and yet they’re not getting even half the crap that Bertuzzi (and, by extension, the Canucks Nation) is still getting.

People, you gotta let it go.

Does this mean that Steve Moore should be swept under the carpet and forgotten (which, I get the impression, is what Avs management would like to see happen)?  Of course not. Steve Moore should be an object lesson in what happens when you have a sports league that isn’t very proactive, just as Dan Snyder should be an object lesson in what can happen when you drive recklessly and Andrew Long should be an object lesson in what can happen when a player decides that his stick is to be used as a means of retaliation rather than a tool for passing and shooting the puck.

Letting it go does not mean forgetting. It means taking the lesson—hard though it may be—and moving on.

What is the lesson, in this case?  That this whole sad mess, this leviathan of a debacle that has now dragged on for close to two years, could have easily been prevented. The recriminations, the hazing of anyone—fan or player—wearing a particular jersey, the ultimately foolish legal drama….all of it could have been so easily prevented had the NHL simply said “no” and done their level best to nip the whole thing in the bud.

The instant talk of bounties and “payback” surfaced, Colin Campbell could have--should have—stepped in and said, “None of that crap, or the whole team’s going to get fined—from the GM on down, if need be.”

At every single Avs-Canucks game for the rest of the season, the referees could have—should have—been given specific instructions to keep a sharp eye on things, and if need be to tell Tony Granato to simply not put his man on the ice when Bertuzzi (or any Canuck that had talked payback) was out.

Even pointing out that honor was satisfied after Matt Cooke gave Steve Moore a legitimate (in the “five for fighting” sense of the word) beatdown in the first period and that there was no need for any further action on either side would have been better than just letting things play out the way they did.

Just a little foresight would have been so much better than the hindsight that is all too often on display in the NHL offices.

And what, you may ask, of Todd Bertuzzi?  What of his tearful apology and his attempts to contact Steve Moore and apologize personally?

(Lest you get the wrong idea, folks, I am not saying that he is a wronged party in this matter—unless you consider the idea that he wronged himself by allowing his temper to get the better of him.)

I’m ready to forgive him—but he has to show me that he’s sorry by never doing anything even close to that again. Anger management counseling, Zen meditation, whatever—but before I as a fan can forgive the guy for what happened on that February night in Colorado, I need to see some tangible sign that he’s truly remorseful.

And what, in the end, of Steve Moore?  I can hear Avs Nation now—what justice for this man who’s fortunate to even be walking again?

He’s a smart man, and still young—he’s in a position where he can get the best revenge of all:

He can live, and (more importantly) live well.

For STB2, I’m The Acid Queen.