Home > Hockey, Uncategorized > Hockey Talkie: Brodeur, Byfuglien for Norris, HBO 24/7, Sutters, Spengler, Waffles, & The DiPietro Deficiency.

Hockey Talkie: Brodeur, Byfuglien for Norris, HBO 24/7, Sutters, Spengler, Waffles, & The DiPietro Deficiency.

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Could the New Jersey Devils’ situation be any worse? Dead last in the entire league (as of Dec 28/10), their bazillion-dollar signee, Ilya Kovalchuk sucks, and their former best-goalie-in-the-world is anything but, often injured lately, and having a tough time doing the most important thing about the goaltending position job description – stopping pucks. You gotta think Martin Brodeur is, at least, contemplating retirement at this point. No disrespect to him, but I mean he’s won everything for a goalie to win (3 Stanley Cups, Olympic Gold twice, 4 Vezina’s, multiple All-Star selections; holds 20 NHL records, including most wins, shutouts, most games and minutes played, even scored a game-winning goal).  But really, at this point, what is the purpose in him hanging around, especially when he’s  now playing for the worst team in the league? After all his accomplishments, it’d be a shame to see him fizzle out and get Chelios’ed in his remaining time.

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secretly, NYI owner Charles Wang was trying to get the NHL to outlaw outlandish contracts all along.

Speaking of bad teams, how many more stints on the IR for Rick DiPietro until the New York Islanders decide buying out the remaining 11 years on his contract is actually the better option?  Tough for the Isles to get the most bang for their $67 million bucks out of a constantly injured goalie who hasn’t played an entire season since around the time he signed that contract. 

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Dustin Byfuglien’s the early favourite for the Norris Trophy, no? He’s 13th in league scoring as I write this, and there is not another defenceman on the list until Nicklas Lidstrom at 26th. He’s even got more points than Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal, Alexander Semin, Jarome Iginla, Jonathan Toews, Dany Heatley, Evgeni Malkin, Teemu Selanne, Joe Thornton, Martin Havlat, Rick Nash, and Patrick Kane, to name a few. To be fair, he is currently 65th in +/- rankings, which may or may not be a more important measure of a defenceman’s worth, depending on who you are. He’s still got my vote, for now.

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Like many of you hockey folks, I’m loving the HBO 24/7 Penguins/Capitals Road To The Winter Classic miniseries. I know lots of people are talking about it, so I’ll try to raise a few points that aren’t being beat to death, too badly.

One – Bruce Boudreau has been getting a lot of heat for his constant cussing in the dressing room and on the bench. My response to this is that the only people balking at this have to be people who are either over-sensitive, or just have never been in a hockey dressing room before; because, and I hate to break it to the weak at heart, but that’s exactly the way hockey dressing rooms and coaches are during the game. They get frustrated when things don’t go right, and when you’re as emotionally invested in the game and the success of the team as a coach has to be, f-bombs begin to flourish, especially in a slumping team situation. Personally, I love the fact that he’s not pulling any punches or walking on egg-shells just because there’s cameras around him all the time.

Two – I love seeing that NHL players are pretty much like every other hockey player that plays on every other team in the world and every other level (minus the skill level and multi-million dollar contracts, of course). It should be pretty obvious, since they all came up through all the same developmental leagues that all other players do to get where they are, but there’s something humanizing about seeing a teammates pulling hotel pranks on each other during road-trips, coaches telling players to “pack up your stuff so we can get the f— outta here” after a road loss, generally being jokers off the ice, and then really dialling in their serious side when it’s time to perform on the ice.

Three – as cool as this build-up to the Winter Classic has been, and as amazing as that game will be, this kind of TV series is tailor-made to a Stanley Cup Finals showdown, is it not? I know the big sell is the Crosby-Ovechkin matchup for American viewers by the networks, but isn’t the confrontation for the Cup, aka the biggest prize in the sport, even easier for fans to invest their advertisement-susceptible eyes to, compared to a gimmicky mid-season outdoor game?

And further, isn’t it a testimony to how unnecessary it is to advertise hockey in Canada that, compared to the Winter Classic media blitzkrieg, there has barely been a mention of the upcoming Heritage Classic outdoor game between Calgary and Montreal? You mean to tell me the mention of Jarome Iginla vs Josh Gorges isn’t enough to put butts in seats, and eyes on TV’s?

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Even though I’m an avid Calgary Flames hater, it’s unfortunate to see Darryl Sutter “resign” as team GM, after team CEO Ken King asked him too.  Seems like an either-quit-or-you’re-fired face-saving situation for Sutter; which, if you’re going to publicly announce that you ask a guy to quit, you might as well just fire him.  I don’t support Flames success, but I have to admit, Sutter has been the only guy to get any out of that organization in recent history, including brother/head coach  Brent, who barely batted an eyelash at the situation, citing his family’s unparalleled ability to separate family from business.  Man, that’s got to be an awkward family to be around at Christmas.

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I love the Spengler Cup.  I wish it could be rescheduled so it actually got some coverage, instead of being overshadowed by the WJC.  With personnel like Mark Messier coaching, Hockey Canada obviously supports the team; why aren’t they allowed to sport the official Hockey Canada jerseys like every other legit Canadian team representing Canada in international play?  Surely HC just doesn’t want to desecrate the uniform with all those euro ads, right?

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a little suspicious that this rink guy has an entire box of Eggo’s….

And finally, I’m loving the waffles being thrown on the ice at Toronto Maple Leafs games. It’s just such an amusing item to throw. It causes a delay of the game, bla bla… some one could get hurt, yadda yadda… let’s be honest, if the Leafs keep sucking, and Kessel keeps not scoring, they’ll be thanking their lucky lifetime season-ticket holders that something as soft (and delicious) as waffles is all that’s being thrown on the ice.

  1. Shane Marsh
    December 29, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I agree, but when deciding who is the best D man the usage of points is overrated. There has been countless Dmen who have put up great numbers but who are defensive liabilities…Jovanovski. I would much rather look at plus minus to determine who is the best Dman and Bie-fooh-glian is tied at #65 with many others on the list. now, i am not saying that should be the only thing that should be taken into consideration, but it still should be taken into consideration.

    • SDC
      December 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

      Sure, +/- is a good measure too. He’s 65th, yes, but that is out of 258 other defenceman, and he plays for Atlanta, so that ain’t half bad either considering.

      • Shane Marsh
        December 29, 2010 at 8:45 am

        that is not half bad, but that still means there is 28 ahead of him who should also be in consideration. putting up points is good but there has been many Dmen who have put up points, who were nominated for award but fell short to a Dman who may not have put up as many points but was still in many peoples minds more of an impactful player on the ice. And yes he plays for Atlanta, but he isn’t even the plus minus leader for Dmen on his own team.

  2. Shane Marsh
    December 29, 2010 at 8:47 am

    as for DiPietro, they need to just cut their losses and buy him out…and maybe fire garth snow and shoot the owner

  3. December 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Brodeur’s already gone downhill.

    • Max Fireman
      December 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

      I mean he lost to the leafs… That is no easy task. The leafs are one of the worst teams right now.

      • SDC
        December 29, 2010 at 8:54 am

        not only did he lose to them, he got pulled! Tough task, indeed.

        • Max Fireman
          December 29, 2010 at 8:55 am

          Makes the leafs look good once in a month!

  4. December 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

    The whole run-to-the-cup idea is a good one. It’s tailor-made for reality TV because it is real. The problem is that it could be very expensive to follow all the teams through the playoffs – and you’d have to because you just never know who’s going to go on to the next round. But it would make for very good TV story telling to follow a team and capture the drama of the road to the cup or the road to getting knocked out of the playoffs.
    A reality TV show I’d like to see is following a scrapper up through the ranks – like Volpatti’s emergence as a Canuck. I remember a guy I played with who spent most of the time in the dressing room with ice-bags on his face :)

    • SDC
      December 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

      interesting ideas. I was thinking of just highlighting the Cup final teams, but doing the whole playoffs offers an intriguing dynamic as well. Would’ve been cool to see inside Montreal’s dressing room last year after eliminating Pittsburgh and Washington. The raw emotion of achievement in winning the Cup/dejection of losing the Cup would be incredible drama to capture. Hopefully HBO thinks it’s good enough to sell to the American audience too :\ I think that toughguy drama has some potential as well; a very niche position that very few can fill, full of guys willing to do something not a lot of others are in order to earn their spot.

  5. December 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    The thing about Sutter is he had the right idea for the team pre-lockout. Post lockout he screwed up BIGTIME. We have some horrible contracts, although I think we have better prospects than people are giving us credit for (Check our AHL team’s playoff run last year). One thing I will stand behind is Brent Sutter is absolutely the BEST coach out there for this team, ESPECIALLY if they rebuild (which I assume, barring a miracle, will happen). Brent Sutter’s greatest success has come with young players. World Juniors and Rebels championships are a clear result of this. If we start packing the team with potentioal prospects, yeah it might be dark for a bit, but it could turn out alright!

    • SDC
      December 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

      I agree Brent has had a lot of success as a coach at every level, but his record in Calgary is pretty out of character. Are you contending that the issue is due to the personnel his GM/brother has provided for him, or is there something deeper amiss with your squad?

  6. Stacy
    January 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I just really like the Eggo box. Interesting… :)

    • SDC
      January 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      I was never clear on whether the box got tossed on the ice with the waffles, or the rink guy happened to have an empty box of waffles. Odd either way.

  7. Stacy
    January 16, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I didn’t even think about someone throwing an entire box on the ice…I was sure the rink guy was in on it! :)

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