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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Van Horne’

Hockey Talkie: Hodgson Hype, DiPietro’s Judgement Deficiency, Collapsing Thrashers, Franzen, Ovie, and TSN’s WWF Playbook Move.

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

For the Canucks’ sake, Cody Hodgson better turn out to be the second coming of Crosby, like Vancouver media would have you believe. He seems like a good kid, and a really good player, but the more that Sportsnet West jams him down all our throats, they more I start to undeservingly hate him by default. Just let him season a little, or at least get the birdcage off before the greatness assessments start flying; that’s all I’m asking.

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He'd played 20 games already, he was due for a rest.

So after years of unplanned injuries, New York Islanders’ goaltender, Rick DiPietro, voluntarily pursued one the other night when he squared up with Pittsburgh’s Brent Johnson; where he found himself a broken face, twisted knee, and another visit from the Injury Fairy. You would think that someone that’s clearly so fragile would try to avoid blatant threats against his health; especially with the dark cloud of trying to live up to his first-overall draft selection and his lengthy/exorbitant contract hanging over his reputation, and contending against his minimal activations, frequent and lengthy IR stints, and overall average performance. I’d say Islanders’ GM Garth Snow and owner Charles Wang are almost ready to one-punch him too.

A thought on goalie fights… as even casual fans seem to love them, why can’t NHL goalies that fight just sit in the box for 5 minutes to serve their penalty like everyone else? There’s no real reason why teams couldn’t just put their backups in until the penalties expire; both would be coincidental penalties, giving the goaltenders opportunity to reset after they are released. I’m sure the reason it’s frowned on is all to do with something along the lines of “not encouraging that kind of behaviour” or another hypocritical cliché.

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Another Atlanta Thrashers’ player collapses during a game? As much as I wouldn’t want to, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about a Performance Enhancing Drug scandal in Atlanta in the future, especially now that it has happened to two players on the same team.  Had their been two seperate instances involving unrelated players, this might fly under the radar, but it’s hard not to wander towards suspicions after this revelation.  These are the most elite athletes in the world; you don’t just collapse for no reason while doing something your body has been trained to do for its entire existence.  With Freddy Meyer now experiencing a similar mid-game fainting episode to that of Ondrej Pavelec’s invisible banana peel slip earlier in the season, I’m going to go ahead and speculate with nothing beyond my own opinion that these guys are putting something into their bodies that is causing their systems to operate in an unnatural way – and is causing unnatural reactions. Regardless of whether my suspicion turns out to be true or not, it’s always dangerous to put things into your body that alter the normal operations of your heart or your brain; and if we can look to MLB for any indication of what drug scandals can do to your sport, I hope I am completely off-base, for the players’ and the NHL’s sake.

that's messed up.

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I really think Detroit’s “Mule”, Johan Franzen could be the best player in the NHL if he could be consistent. 5 goals in one game? A 4-goal game in the playoffs last year after being benched by Mike Babcock the night prior? Who else do you know that scores in bunches like that? He’s got a well-known streaky dominance, but an equally well-known follow-up of extreme average-ness for extended periods of time.  After the 5 goal game, Detroit was shut out by Columbus the next night, and Johan missed at least one wide open net.

A further player assessment; for a one time “best hockey player in the world” candidate, Alex Ovechkin’s…. kiiiiiiinda average at hockey now. Well, among the top 30 players in the world that is.  Even with an injured Crosby, Ovie’s still 8th in NHL scoring, and 15 pts off first place overall.  His hardest shot round at the Skills Competition was nothing short of comical; broken stick, unregistering radar, and swimming through tripped over TV cables and all. I wonder how rattled CCM was that Ovie blew up his CCM stick and then borrowed an Easton stick to finish the shootout? Luckily for CCM, the Easton blast was nothing spectacular. Still, having your poster boy tote someone else’s product in a globally viewed performance review couldn’t possibly be an option written into the product endorsement contract.

Also on the All-Star Game, I never understood why the NHL’s “All-Star” level goalies get so bad at stopping pucks in that showdown. I get that the defence and physicality is limited, while the offensive output is maximized, but isn’t that scenario the goalies’ show-off time too?

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I find TSN’s stealing signing of rival sports channel’s broadcasters (Darren Dreger, Steve Kouleas) like the WWF stealing underutilized WCW talent in the 90’s. To be fair, Sportsnet did pick up TSN patriarch Jim Van Horne at one point in time too, so it’s not like it’s a one-way street. Interesting talent joust. Sports channels are possibly the most entertaining they have ever been nowadays. Viewers win.

NHL 1st Round Playoff Thoughts,TSN Commentator Commentary, and The Pwning of Pierre McGuire.

April 27, 2010 9 comments

As the first round of NHL playoffs comes to a close, 5 SDC Blogs readers have had their picks advance to round 2 of the Double Championship contest.  Congrats to Adam Whitmore, Grant McMillan, Casey Fodor, Rob Cunning, and Rich Abney for living to fight another day.  I am a little hurt by Drew Doughty and LA’s early exit, but I’ll get over it.  Good thing I specified that contestants have until the completion of the final first round series to make their selections.  Still time to vote!

Now, on with some hockey thoughts….

As many long-time readers will know, I have a healthy distain for TSN/NBC hockey announcer, Pierre McGuire.  It’s generally due to his hyper-sensationalizing of insignificant plays, and ludicrous and completely incorrect game assessments.   He’s got a reputation for creeping out other announcers, like Darren Dutchysen.  From time to time, he gets paired up with former NHL player, coach, and GM, Mike Milbury.  Though no stranger to schizo opinions himself, Milbury put Pierre right in his place the other night, saying to McGuire, “Let’s have an intelligent conversation about this, so you keep real quiet.”

Beautiful.   Absolutely beautiful.  Exactly what everyone else wants to say to him, but can’t because they’re worried about staying professional.  When in doubt, get a former NHL cementhead tough guy to do your dirty work.  What’s doubly great is that Milbury’s so much physically bigger than him, that when he verbally belittles him on a TV broadcast, Pierre looks like he just got his lunch money stolen, and though he’s mad, he knows retaliation will mean being housed in a locker, or having his hair washed in the toilet.   

How Pierre McGuire continues to be employed as a broadcaster boggles my mind.   I know I’m not the only one who thinks so either; there are multiple facebook groups dedicated to his stupidity and/or professional demise.  Dave Hodge is another guy that I can’t figure out how he keeps earning a paycheque.  The guy’s hosted way too many shows that have all gone up in smoke, and his hair’s way to grandfatherly looking to be allowed on the air still.  It’s like he keeps convincing the TSN brass to give him another chance, “Look, I know ‘That’s Hockey’, ‘Inside Sports’, and ‘The Reporters’ , were all bad gigs, but I’m telling you, I can make the next one work, honest! Please-please-please-please-please come on I really need this… I got these cheeseburgers man!”

I long for the “Sportsdesk” days (pre-ESPN corporate buyout ‘Sportscentre’), the days of Gino Reda, Michael Landsberg, Teresa Hegert, Paul Romanuk, and the all powerful moustache of Jim Van Horne.  Merge them with the likes of today’s talent, Darren Dutchysen, James Duthie, Jay Onrait, Dan O’Toole, and Jennifer Hedger, and you’ve got a roster that’ll send McGuire and Hodge their pink slips quicker than Vancouver and Montreal fans hang their star players out to dry after they are eliminated from the playoffs every year. 

Speaking of eliminations, the Devils are gone.  But did you see some of the saves Brodeur made in that series against Philadelphia?  I guarantee that if Brodeur had made more saves like this one during the Olympics, Canada would’ve rode him to the gold medal:

From that same series, don’t you hate it when dusters like Dan Carcillo score; especially OT winners? These guys contribute nothing offensively all year (unless you count the ways he offends everyone with his appearance and playing style), and then they happen to find themselves playing on a line with 2 good players to protect them, they’re in the right place at the right time once or twice, score, and then always act like their dirty style and roster spot is so justified after; like there weren’t a million players that couldn’t have scored those tap-in’s  just as easily. 

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Does it amaze anyone else that after 23 years of Coach’s Corner, Don Cherry still doesn’t know how much time he has left for his segment, nor is he able to say everything he wants to in the amount of allotted time that has been the same since the beginning?

Serenity Now!!

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