Friday, January 25, 2002

Rat supports the Patriots: That dirty rat John Miller at The Corner asks "Who could cheer against the Patriots these days, for crying out loud?"

Me, John, me. See you on Sunday, chump.
Time to park your butt, Oleg: Peter Botte says it is time for the NY Islanders to bench that lazigoodfonothin' Oleg Kvasha.
Kenny Hitchcock Presents ... the Unemployment Line: The Dallas Stars just gave coach Ken Hitchcock his pink slip. Looks like dismantling time for the Stars... YAY!
Why we keep watching: Brother Karsh writes on about why we keep watching, despite the pain:
You know, perfectly well, that this team will come home and fall flat on its face. It's Lucy pulling the football out from under Charlie Brown. You know it will happen. You are absolutely, one hundred percent, almost positive of it.

So you curl up alone, and you tell yourself that this is the last time. Absolutely. Positively. It will be different this time or else.

Because this time they mean it.

You know it's not true, but you decide that you'll just wait and see. After all, you've come too far to give up now. Besides, the Penguins play again tomorrow night.
Old news: While looking over the Igloo Report, I came upon their history of Penguins trades. What a time warp!
Morozov ain't no chump: Courtesy of The Igloo Report:
The Pittsburgh Penguins, down 4-2 with 8 minutes remaining and headed for certain defeat, scored two third period goals before Aleksey Morozov scored in overtime to give the Penguins an improbable 5-4 win.

The Penguins were playing with what looked like a preseason "B" team. Lemieux skipped the game, Hrdina and Richer were out with injury, and JS Aubin got the start. But the Pens somehow pulled out their most unlikely victory of the season.

Janne Laukkanen started the comeback when he scored a power play goal with 7:07 remaining to make it a 4-3 game. Laukkanen, cutting to the net, took Robert Lang's perfect pass and literally stuffed it under Garth Snow. Exactly four minutes later, Aleksey Morozov deeked past a defender and put a backhand pass onto the stick of Beech, who was in deep on the play. Beech cut towards the net and beautifully flipped a backhand over a flopping Snow.

Morozov then won it in overtime. Milan Kraft dived to the ice and pushed a loose puck up to Morozov. Morozov streaked down the right side and somehow got a hard wrister behind Snow.

The Pens comeback was totally unexpected. They were down 4-2 thanks to the lack of discipline, defensive breakdowns, bad goaltending, and lack of offense that has plagued the team. The Isles took an early 2-0 lead off goals by Yashin (a power play goal as he was left uncovered in the slot) and Aucoin (soft goal from far out).

But the Pens kept coming back. Randy Robitaille scored early into the second to bring the Pens to withn one. Aucoin scored a power play goal late in the second to make it 3-1, but Lang scored 6:17 into the third to again get the Pens back to within a goal.
Jody Hull is back! The Ottawa Senators signed free-agent winger Jody Hull to a one-year contract on Thursday. The 32-year-old Hull, who hasn't played this season, last played in Philadelphia from 1998 until the end of last season. In 736 career games, he has 199 goals and 127 assists. Hull, a right wing, played for Ottawa during the team's inaugural 1992-93 season and was in the starting lineup for their first regular-season game against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 8, 1992. Hull was acquired by Ottawa on July 28, 1992, from the New York Rangers for future considerations.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

The little ball of trouble: The NHL fined Theo Fleury $1,000 and gave the troubled New York Rangers winger a stern warning for making obscene gestures at the end of Tuesday night's game on Long Island. "Mr. Fleury's gesture lacked professionalism," NHL vice-president Colin Campbell said in a statement. "He has been advised that any similar incident in the future will be dealt with more strictly and he will be considered a repeat offender." (Canadian Press)

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

On Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis: Off-topic, I know, but after seeing the footage of Mike leaping across stage and swinging punches and Lewis and his entourage, I just had to say something. Instead, here is the commentary of my friend Dan Cork, boxing afficionado and caretaker, along with David "Soda" Algrannati, of "The Sweet Science":
I haven't looked at the footage of the "fight" in any great detail. Unequivocally, though, Tyson's subsequent profanity-and-tear-laced rant afterwards is probably a more telling indicator of his mental state. My personal position with regard to him since I've gotten interested in boxing is pretty straight-forward: this guy bit off a piece of another human being's ear (and I reached up to feel the top of my ear while writing this, just to keep in mind the tooth force necessary to achieve this objective) while in the ring, therefore this guy ought not be in the ring with anyone else (and being paid exorbitantly to do so). Stranger things have happened in this game, I know, and the MGM Grand folks will have a reasonable case for the need for a high-revenue fight in light of Vegas' current less-than-fully-stellar economy, but I'll be surprised (and very disappointed) if the Nevada athletic commission doesn't turn down Tyson's license request next week. We'll see.
San Diego Padres new stadium stymied by anti-subsidy activists: Boo-hoo for the Padres. reports:
The San Diego Padres have faced some of the best players in baseball, but their toughest opponent in recent years is a graying 58-year-old man named Bruce Henderson. Henderson — along with a handful of other activists — has kept the Padres out of their new $452.5-million stadium, and possibly clouded their future in the sunny Southern California town.

The Padres had expected to be playing in their new facility now, after San Diego voters approved a referendum in 1998 supporting construction of the team's new facility, and the city council hammered out a deal. Instead, the structure sits 30 percent complete and with an uncertain future, largely because of Henderson, and the 15 lawsuits he and other anti-stadium activists have filed.

The anti-stadium activists have lost every suit, and every appeal, but the court battles have stymied construction.
Nylander all happy and stuff: Chicago Blackhawks center Michael Nylander is headed to the Olympics in place of his injured Swedish teammate, Peter Forsberg. The decision leaves Panther Kristian Huselius and Lightning Freddie Modin hunting for some Kleenex.
Bench clearing brawl! It is about time. I have been waiting months to see this happen in my Eastside Hockey Manager game, and finally it hit - in a game between my Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins. The third period was one big melee. Just look at this penalty summary. My goalie, Iain Murray, got tossed from the game! Luckily, my Caps still won the game 3-1...

42:52 BOS Bobby Allen (2 min for high-sticking)
43:47 WSH Eric Kessel (2 min for roughing)
43:47 BOS Kyle McLaren (2 min for roughing)
45:29 WSH Turner Stevenson (5 min for fighting)
45:29 BOS Brian Rolston (5 min for fighting)
45:29 WSH Turner Stevenson (10 min game misconduct)
45:29 BOS Brian Rolston (10 min game misconduct)
45:29 WSH Jeff Halpern (5 min for fighting)
45:29 BOS Mike Knuble (5 min for fighting)
45:29 WSH Jeff Halpern (10 min game misconduct)
45:29 BOS Mike Knuble (10 min game misconduct)
45:29 WSH Calle Johansson (5 min for fighting)
45:29 BOS Sean O'Donnell (5 min for fighting)
45:29 WSH Calle Johansson (10 min game misconduct)
45:29 BOS Sean O'Donnell (10 min game misconduct)
45:29 WSH Jon Distler (2 min for roughing)
45:29 BOS Nick Boynton (2 min for roughing)
45:29 BOS Byron Dafoe (2 min for goalie leaving crease)
45:29 WSH Iain Murray (2 min for goalie leaving crease)
45:29 WSH Iain Murray (5 min for fighting)
45:29 BOS Byron Dafoe (5 min for fighting)
45:29 WSH Iain Murray (10 min game misconduct)
45:29 BOS Byron Dafoe (10 min game misconduct)
Sports subsidy shenanigans pit New Orleans against Charlotte: The Charlotte Observer follows the urban warfare over who will get the NBA Hornets.
Thanks to Hawspipe: I suppose I did not expect much hockey interest among the bloggers, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself mentioned by H a w s p i p e. I certainly love the Flyers team photo, though I think only a Philly fan truly would appreciate it...
Another glass ceiling smashed: Shannon Szabados has made history as the first young woman signed by a junior hockey team in Alberta. The five-foot-eight, 130-pound, butterfly-style goalie has been signed by the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where she will be given the opportunity to compete just one step away from the professionals as early as next season. (National Post
More fighting? Nah... The Ottawa Citizen reports that "Through Monday's games, there were 155 more fights than a year ago at the same time: 989 total fighting majors compared with 834. It breaks down to 1.3 majors per game, up from 1.1."

Wow. And in a year where more and more minor league goons have been getting playing time thanks to expansion and a depleted talent pool? Never would have guessed.
Trade, Kevin? Oilers fans and others are clamoring for GM Kevin Lowe to start wheeling and dealing to help his team. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal says 'don't hold your breath on that one, bub.'
Two loser teams trade two loser players: The Minnesota Wild on Tuesday acquired left wing Hnat Domenichelli from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Andy Sutton.

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Stadiums mean jobs: Time and again, I hear this argument. Sorry, but it just doesn't hold water. Here is a letter to the editor in the New York Daily News complaining, wrongly, that the paper doesn't understand stadium economics.
Golden Geese,
Brooklyn: All these people who complain about the Yankees and Mets getting new ballparks don't understand that the New York baseball teams are bringing in big-time money, plus thousands of jobs. Dennis Olsen
Hockey's Future ... HEAT: I had a column posted on the website Hockey's Future on Friday, but they got so much hate mail in response that the editor decided to pull it. Where is the courage?

So, for other people's edification, here it is. I revisit an old question. With all the Olympic hullaballo, why is there no Team Quebec?