Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Uh, yeah

Bad call to give Philly a powerplay and they score the winner. But the refs are biased in favour of Montreal.

Pittsburgh makes the finals. Lock it up and throw away the key. Neither Montreal or Philly looks like much competition for the Sid and Geno.


For the love of Pete

The only way that R.J. Umberger is going to be stopped is if he is taken out by a sniper. And once again Montreal dominates only to have Philadelphia get the first goal. Pittsburgh has to be loving this - they either get a Montreal team who have a goaltending crisis or a Philadelphia team that was outplayed by their opponents consistently but rode luck and a hot goaltender to victory.



No liveblog tonight, but Jaroslav Halak is starting the crucial game 4. Guy Carbonneau has to know something (is Price hurt? That's the only logical answer to this). I'll probably check in and officially freak out at some point.

(On the down side, Steve Downie is out of the lineup, which means the Canadiens will lose 1/2 of their powerplays.)


Monday, April 28, 2008

Holy crap

P.J. Stock is talking sense here. Carey Price is not looking confident and that is causing the entire team to lose confident.


For crying out loud

Don Cherry just admitted to be watching the Toronto Marlies over the game he is being PAID TO WATCH!

(Also: way to not show the times Biron was bailed out by the posts and instead say "Oh, it was easy because he wasn't screened".)


Final thoughts

Philly got lucky. Really. They were outplayed for 50 minutes, they could have been called on another 18 penalties, and 3 hit posts could have been goals.

And yet, Philly is going to win the series if Carey Price doesn't start showing why the Habs traded Cristobel Huet for a bag of pucks. Hey, sometimes that's how it goes. I'd love for there to be justice and the Habs to be up 2-1, but in that case, Boston probably should have been in the second round, not Montreal.


I have to take it back

First, the refs are starting to call the Flyers on their, uh, not so legal plays.

Second, Mike Richards is just as much of a prick as anybody else on the Flyers. That punch to Halak's head is a stupid move that only a prick would make. Add that to the knee on knee hit that was a "shoulder to a hip", and it turns out that I was right: the NHL's worst nightmare would have been an Anaheim/Philly final (think San Antonio/New York in 1999 in the NBA).


I need to see the replay

If Plekanec just tried to hip check Umberger and missed, so be it. But if he tried to hurt Umberger, then the NHL should do what they need to (which is probably nothing). With that said, Hatcher might get a game suspension for his very dangerous hit from behind on Boullion.


ITP: Jason eats crow

There is no chance that Montreal is going to win with the crap play of Carey Price, the inconsistent defensive effort of the team in general, the bad breaks that prevented this game from being 3-0 Montreal in the first, the saves that Martin Biron has been able to make, the refs letting the Flyers manhandle the Canadiens, and the general lack of ability to, you know, put the FREAKING PUCK IN THE NET! You won the Eastern Conference, START PLAYING LIKE IT!

Labels: ,

Dear Bob Cole

It's really easy to score when the goaltender blows the save.


Make a note

Tom Kostopolous is "cowardly", while Steve Downie is sugar and spice and everything nice about hockey, no matter if he's delivering flying shoulderblocks to unsuspecting (and non-puck carrying) players or tripping defenseless goalies in dangerous ways.

Yup, stay classy Philadelphia.


God wants the Philadelphia Flyers to make the Eastern Conference finals

How else do you explain the bouncing puck which can't be put into an empty net, and yet another goal post hit?

(PS Bob Cole and Greg Millen are awful. Millen says that Umberger's play and a faceoff won were the keys to killing off the penalty. You don't think that a puck bouncing over a stick had nothing to do with it? Cole says that Biron is looking like he's going to be hot again tonight, even though he was beat on two separate occasions and was saved by pure luck. Come on now.)


Monday, April 21, 2008

Live Blog: Canadiens/Bruins Game 7

Preamble: How did this get here? Seriously, I think the Canadiens thought that the 8-0 record meant that they got a free win or something. The Bruins have outplayed the Habs since Game 1, and it has not been pretty to watch. But no worries! I am significantly less worried now that I've found out that Guy Carbonneau is wearing his lucky tie.

(Okay seriously, I'm either going to be really giddy or have a breakdown at the end of this. Either way, fun should be had by all.)

7:03 pm - Hey look, Jean Beliveau in the stands looking rather serious. Come on, do you want to disappoint him?

7:04 pm - Kovalev AND Gorges in the starting lineup? Gorges skating? I guess it works for Kovalev since Chara is on the bench right now.

7:07 pm - It took the crowd a second, but they eventually started singing their hearts out.

7:08 pm - Carey Price has a faux hawk. How did I not notice this before?

7:08 pm - A big thank you to Bob Cole for putting the jinx on the Canadiens by pointing out that they have never lost when up 3 games to 1, and the Bruins have never won when down 3 games to 1.

7:09 pm - Chara out and our top 2 lines are now Kovalev/Koivu/Higgins and Plekanec and the brothers Kostitsyn.

7:12 pm - Things I never get tired off: Peter Schaeffer controlling the puck for minutes on end.

7:13 pm - Kovalev pulls down Chara's pants, and then Komisarek shoots the puck and the puck goes into the net! Unbelievable! Now they just need to keep it up!

7:14 pm - Begin has a break but pushes the puck too far ahead.

7:15 pm - BTW Mitch Melnick is right: HIT KESSEL!

7:16 pm - The Koivu/Kovalev line is dominating right now!

7:17 pm - HIT KESSEL!

7:18 pm - No seriously, HIT KESSEL!

7:22 pm - Come on, you are getting dominated by Glen Metropolit!

7:23 pm - I did not see Kessel get hit yet again while he was on the ice. JUST DO IT!

7:24 pm - That was a poor time for Brisebois to bring back the brain farts.

7:27 pm - So, the penalty kill (or as I like to call it, most of even strength play), huh.

7:28 pm - Kovalev on the penalty kill.

7:29 pm - Wow, that last 2 second of play the Canadiens actually hit a lot of players.

7:30 pm - Is it really a surprise that Koivu's line is the only dominant line? And that was a horrible call on Markov - he was just trying to get up!

7:32 pm - I will continue to repeeat it: HIT KESSEL!

7:37 pm - Begin with the hit, and then Stuart takes the retalitory cross-checking penalty.

7:38 pm - Holy crap a shot on the power play!

7:38 pm - I spoke way too soon. Now they are back to looking horrible.

7:40 pm - Sergei needs stiches, which is fortunate because we are near the end of the period.

8:01 pm - Back at the game to see a great chance for Kovalev.

8:02 pm - Briesbois is not having the best of games.

8:09 pm - Carey Price is like the guy who is plugging the hole in the dam with his finger.

8:12 pm - Sergei with the moving pick and he gets called for it. Then again, Sergei got hit in the head with a high stick and was stunned so he didn't move out of the way. I guess he got framed.

8:14 pm - Kovalev with the 1 on 5 rush on the penalty kill.

8:15 pm - Yep, Metropolit and Schaeffer are at it again.

8:17 pm - WHAT AN AWESOME PLAY! Kovalev with the outlet pass which puts Lapierre in on the break, and he drops it of for Streit, and Thomas is totally to blame for not making the save on that one.

8:18 pm - A bit early for the singing considering what has happened in previous games.

8:21 pm - Jean Chretien, Stephane Dion, Ken Dryden and Paul Martin with a toupee(?) are all at the game cheering their hearts out! Where are you Prime Minister Harper?

8:25 pm - Chara with the penalty. A PP goal is a killer here.

8L27 pm - That little skirmish reminds me that there hasn't been too much hate in this game (beyodn the Canadiens' fans booing Chara).

8:30 pm - New game plan for the PP - get Chara to draw all of hte penalties.

8:30 pm - ET LE BUT! Andrei Kostitsyn! Thomas didn't even see that shot.

8:33 pm - One good thing about Streit and Dandenault playing forward is that it lets the defensemen get deep, while they can cover for him. Boullion generated a great chance because he was able to play behind the net without worry about somebody getting caught.

8:35 pm - I might have called Frank Mahovolich "Paul Martin with a toupee". Oops. At least they mentioned M. Dion.

8:37 pm - Andrei got too cute there. BTW, go Washington (and the Semin/Backstrom combo)!

8:40 pm - PP for Boston, but Montreal is actually playing better.

9:00 pm - They kill off the Kovalev penalty, but Francis Boullion becomes my favourite player because he HIT PHIL KESSEL! (Okay, it was boarding, but still, somebody HIT KESSEL!)

9:02 pm - Kill off the penalty.

9:05 pm - Sergei wiht the highstick.

9:07 pm - Lapierre would have had a break if Hnidy didn't hold him. But of course that did not get called.

9:09 pm - Hey, Ference gets called for interference (or cross-checking). About time.

9:10 pm - What a pretty goal by Ovechkin

9:11 pm - Dennis Wideman missed a powerplay because he had to get his skate sharpened.

9:11 pm - Sturm likes his breakaways on the PK.

9:13 pm - Boston is playing with desperation now.

9:19 pm - The Habs are utilizing the Pittsburgh Penguins penalty kill circa 2000 to great precision right now.

9:20 pm - Ovechkin with the amazing shot and it looks like that game is going to go 7 games.

9:23 pm - Boston looks like they've given up on the game.

9:24 pm - Marc Savard runs Carey Price. All class, those Boston Bruins and Claude Julien.

9:26 pm - The goal now is to not have somebody get hurt.

9:27 pm - Andrei Kostitsyn with his second goal, this time definitely on the power play. All on Thomas, who gave up yet another horrible rebound. When Boston needed him the most, Thomas folded like the mediocre goalie that he was thought to be before this year.

9:30 pm - You know, around this time Bob Cole says that he is going to let the cheers tell the story and then shuts up. Not this time.

9:31 pm - Well, that was unfair. The Brothers Kostitsyn both have two goals and Montreal basically say "SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT US"

9:33 pm - Salute of the fans by the Canadiens, and NOW Cole shuts up.

9:34 pm - I just realized that Carey Price looks very similiar to Ozzy from Survivor. Hopefully he proves to be just as dominant as Ozzy, but less of a dick.

Final thoughts: Boston fans, blame Bill Simmons. He became un-widowed from the NHL and then declared himself ready for "the stomach punch" (his term for a heartbreaking loss).

Okay not really. Montreal got lucky with 2 of the wins, but Claude Julien not putting Phil Kessel into the lineup until game 5 was huge. When you are struggling to score goals, it's always a good idea to keep one of your best threats in the press box. And Carbonneau managed to come up with the genius plan of putting Koivu and Kovalev together, which hadn't worked previously.

So what happens next? If Philly wins, Montreal faces them, and Montreal faces a team which is a better version of the Boston team they just faced. If Washington wins, then it's the Rangers for Montreal, which poses a greater problem. Hopefully the 5-0 comeback puts doubt in the Rangers, but I doubt it. It would be nice to hear the boos rain down on Avery though.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Live Blog: Canadiens vs. Bruins Game 1

7:11 pm - I haven't even gotten the first post done and Sergei Kostitsyn scores 34 seconds in. Great hustle to break for the net as soon as he saw the shot get set up.

7:14 pm - Andrei doesn't want to be shown up by his brother, and thus he gets the Habs second goal. What a pass by Plekanec. Unbelievable.

7:17 pm - If you want to see a professional writer with a live blog, hit this link for Mike Boone's take on the game.

7:18 pm - Earlier call of a game being over: the fans in the Bell Centre or Billy Packer in the UCLA/Kansas game?

7:20 pm - First power play of the game goes to Montreal. This is going to be a key point of the game.

7:22 pm - Boston kills off the penalty. We'll see if this swings some momentum their way.

7:25 pm - And there it is. Deflection by Hnidy, and Price doesn't close his 5 hole to make the game 2-1.

7:29 pm - Boston has some more jump here, which the Canadiens need to stop quickly. Montreal has been more physical though, which is a bit surprising, but good to see.

7:33 pm - Something I wanted to mention before I forget: Greg Millen is a much better analyst than Harry Neale.

7:36 pm - Holy crap. Thank goodness for Mike Komisarek and his love of hitting people. But the Canadiens are getting very jittery in their own end, which does not bode well.

7:38 pm - A delay of game penalty for Markov is not good.

7:42 pm - Canadiens kill a penalty, and then we get offsetting minors (what penalty are they calling on Komisarek?)

7:46 pm - Period over, and I liked the first 10 minutes more than the last 10. All in all, I can't complain about a lead, but I'm not as calm as I was after the second goal. Boston isn't going to go away.

8:07 pm - Second period has started, and Montreal seems to be employing the Pittsburgh penalty kill strategy (if the puck is in your opponents end the entire time, they can't score on you). Price has looked better on the shots he has seen this period.

8:09 pm - Hey, Andrei! Could you angle the opposing players away from your goalie?

8:11 pm - Alex Kovalev almost loses the puck at the blueline, but instead does a spinarama pass right onto Plekanec's stick for an awesome chance. Kovalev is amazing.

8:13 pm - Smolinski!!!!!! Thomas has been giving up a lot of rebounds, and that's the difference in this game.

8:16 pm - Chara is so hurt he can't shoot a good slapshot. Not a good sign for the Bruins.

8:17 pm - Kovalev missed a gimme there. And Plekanec is hurt. Uh-oh.

8:18 pm - Phew. Plekanec is on the bench looking only angry.

8:22 pm - Hamrlik, or HAMMER-lik?

8:24 pm - Ryder gets the penalty for...something. I didn't see it at first blush, but I'm sure we'll get to see the replay.

8:25 pm - Ah, there it is. A good call by the ref.

8:35 pm - It's sad when you can give Chara space and basically bait him into taking a weak shot.

8:36 pm - Bad stoppage by the ref cost the Canadiens another scoring chance.

8:38 pm - The refs have put their whistle in their pocket. And Smolinski picked off a pass but gave the puck right back to Boston.

8:58 pm - Goin into the third, I like the play from the Canadiens in the second. Price is much more calm, and the Canadiens are only giving up a chance every 3 minutes or so. If they keep this up, they will win.

9:10 pm - Another power play for the Canadiens, and another successful penalty kill for the Bruins. One one hand, it's bad because the Canadiens' PP is so good. On the other hand, the Canadiens have been really good at even strength, which is much more important for winning the game.

9:13 pm - Tom the Bomb! My super sleeper pick (which I didn't actually make) for the playoff pool I'm in with the goal!

9:20 pm - Oh for crying out loud. The fans are ding the wave.

9:34 pm - Game over, a win for the Habs. If this is how they are going to play for the rest of the series, it's going to be a very short series.

Labels: ,

Dreams do come true!

About a year ago, I mentioned teaser footage of a possible Ghostbusters game, which at the time was nothing more than a pipe dream.

Well, the game is officially a go! And it's on all the platforms that count! Whoo hoo!

Labels: ,

Monday, April 07, 2008

It's awesome night at the Muse

James Brown and Pavarotti doing "It's a Man's World". 'Nuff said.

Labels: ,

The things you learn

This is awesome.

First, I honestly thought that Charlie Daniels had passed away, so it is awesome that he is still alive. Second, that he is standing up against Guitar Hero using the song that he made famous in a way that he doesn't like? Also awesome (though he's probably got no legal leg to stand on, and he needs to realize that the song is included because it is loved, not because it's an opportunity to introduce the devil into Guitar Hero).

And finally, his web site is awesome and reminds me that I need to pick up some of his albums.

(h/t to The Feed from G4TV.)


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Your fair where fair is due post

So, uh, how about those Blue Jays?

Okay, they looked pretty good against the Red Sox. If the Jays continue to get this sort of starting pitching through the season, they will make the playoffs.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Your snarky Toronto Blue Jays post of the day

Hey, do you remember when the Jays had an amazing defense, possibly the best in the league? Good times...

(Edited to add: Hey, do you remember when home plate was the same size for both teams?

Oh, and I've already remembered what makes Rod Black so "special" as a play-by-play guy.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Blue Jays Opening Day thoughts

With a preview still to come, a couple of quick thoughts about today's disheartening loss:

  • This was a great example of how baseball is a game of inches. Melky Cabrera's homerun clears the fence by 6 inches (don't listen to Yahoo's boxscore - that ball barely cleared the fence). Marco Scurtaro hits a line drive that would drive in the go-ahead run, if it wasn't in the upper limits of Jason Giambi's leap, or was a foot to the left or right of Giambi. Joba Chamberlain would have struck out Vernon Wells, if the pitch was 6 inches lower (wait, that was called a strike?) If those plays fall 6 inches in another direction, the Jays win the game.

  • With that said, the Jays managed to once again revert to their non-converting ways, not capitalizing on men in scoring position when they had the opportunity. Hill was on second base with none out in the 7th, and nothing came of it. Rios works Chamberlain for the walk in the 8th, and then Wells and Thomas strike out. If the Jays are going to contend, they need to take advantage of every opportunity they have to score, because there aren't going to be that many. Right now, they don't seem to have improved on last year.

Labels: ,