Archive for the ‘Battle of California’ Category

Gut Reactions: The Pacific

October 1, 2009

My gut reactions post for the Pacific division is up on Battle of California. Check it out here.

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Rudy Kelly shares his LA Kings’ entry draft thoughts

June 19, 2009

If you don’t know Rudy Kelly or the Battle of California crew by now, I’d be damn astounded. Aside from a few side projects here and there, BoC is where I started blogging (and still do, albeit sporadically) and the Rudy/Earl Sleek combination is what makes it such a force of hockey blogging nature.

Sleek provides statistical analysis, healthy snark and adorable cartoons while Kelly showcases his deep knowledge of the Kings and all the acidic, acerbic wit that comes from following a team that hasn’t managed a Cup victory in its 40+ years of existence.

Over the years he’s made some of the darkest, most brilliant jokes you’ll find anywhere in the sports blogosphere. Although, I must be honest: I enjoy it just as much when he writes lighthearted stuff comparing hockey players to dogs. (Seriously though, read that post. It’s gold.)

Either way, make sure to follow Rudy’s stuff at BoC. Like you haven’t already, you silly geese.

1. If the Kings hold onto the pick, who would you expect and/or prefer the Kings to select? Why?

RUDY: I expect the Kings will take Brayden Schenn because Dean Lombardi loves Western Canadian boys and hates Europeans that aren’t from weird places like Germany. Schenn is a good kid and would set the Kings’ center position up for the next 10 years. I personally like Svensson-Paajarvi, but I also like sniffing glue so you shouldn’t listen to me.

2. Obviously you’ve heard the rumors of the Kings packaging their first round pick with Jack Johnson for Chris Pronger. Going beyond the credibility of the report, how would you feel about such a move? How much would Pronger change the Kings goals and ceiling as a team?

RUDY: I personally feel that trading the 5th overall for an elite player is a good move for the Kings. They have about a 3-year window opening up where they can compete for a Cup and a player like Pronger or Lecavalier or Heatley would definitely help. I don’t think Pronger for the 5th overall AND Johnson is a good idea, though.

3. Looking back, describe some of your favorite Kings drafting memories. What are some of the team’s biggest steals/franchise altering moments?

RUDY: Lubo is one of my favorite draft picks, although getting Kimmo Timonen in the 10th round in ’93 was pretty good. Imagine having both of those guys on your blue line? And, of course, Luc.

4. On the other side, take us through some of the less pleasant moments in their drafting history. Which moves/overlooked players make Kings fans kick themselves?

RUDY: Aki Berg, Josh Green, Olli Jokinen, Mathieu Biron (not Martin), Andrei Shefer, Alex Frolov, Jens Karlson, Denis Grebeshkov, Dustin Brown, Lauri Tukonen. From 1995-2004, the Kings drafted pretty terribly. Berg ended up being an NHL regular (albeit a bad one), Jokinen was traded for Ziggy Palffy, Grebeshkov is meh, Frolov and Brown ended up alright, but everyone else sucks. Also, the Kings once drafted Tom Glavine once, so yeah.

5. Take this opportunity to get on a soapbox. Feel free to share your thoughts on the upcoming draft, off-season or whatever else that’s going on in the NHL.

RUDY: The Kings will make some sort of move this off-season. They have too many assets and too many opportunities to do nothing. There’s trades (Vinny, Danny, uh Illy-y), free agents (Marian, Marian, or someone with a boy’s name) or draft picks (Brayden, Evander or MAGNUS). The Kings will be much better in some way next year. I love the off-season

Looking back at the BoC trip (part 1): Sleek is a beast; I’m just a monster

May 8, 2009
Cartoon by: Spade from Victorhell of BoC commenting fame. Oh, also, it’s O’Brien 🙂

California. What could I say about this place after spending one week there when the Red Hot Chili Peppers have covered every base already? Perhaps my naked inexperience is exactly why it’s taken me so long to write more than a superficial mini-post of my trip.

Each one of these posts will be heavily tangential and full of wild assumptions. Hopefully you will find these at least slightly interesting.

Meeting Earl Sleek

One thing I’ll never forget (even if the forgiveness came instantly) is my sister absolutely losing her mind when she found out that I’d be staying with people I MET ON THE INTERNET.

Because OBVIOUSLY I would end up hacked to pieces in some SoCal dumpster by this HOMICIDAL MANIAC who … blogs about hockey and draws adorable cartoons. (Naturally)

She had seen an episode of “Oprah” that featured online sexual predators. Keep in mind, growing up, my sister is the LAST person I’d expect to freak out about anything … especially based on the workings of big momma ‘O.’ This prompted a freak out from my wildly unsupportive brother and my nun-like mother. Typically, I can coast quite comfortably under the radar with these people, but never underestimate the power of technophobia.

If nothing else, my family should have worried for Earl Sleek.

Not sure how much personal, identifiable information is appropriate here, so I’ll keep it to a healthy minimum. Sleek showed up to (very nicely) pick me up from an Amtrak station and had the “Katamari Damacy” soundtrack playing in his car.

It was a little bit awkward at first, but my God, the guy owns a soundtrack to an obscure video game I LOVED in high school. Talk about an amazing ice breaker. Otherwise, we would have probably been a little less relaxed. Here’s a simulated thought process, thwarted thankfully by the dual wonders of nostalgia and Japanese pop music:

Me: Weird, I’ve never seen this guy before. He’s tall and seems way too normal to be a blogger.

Sleek: Jesus, this guy’s fucking fat.

Luckily, we were able to avoid such thoughts and chat about a game where you roll up human beings and enjoy visuals clearly targeting the college stoner/Autistic crowd. We eventually watched hockey and segued into “Mr. Show” (a program I had never seen before that night, which blew my mind).

My original plan for the trip was to spend time with both Sleek and Fear the Fin‘s Mr. Plank, but things fell through with Plank. (Or Plank thought, “Wow … this guy is a serious douche bag. Time for Plan B.”) Unfortunately for Sleek, I ended up crashing at his place for pretty much a full week. This meant heavy exposure to my flippant style of pontificating and unquenchable need to make a joke out of everything.

Certainly, if I were to plan the trip again, I would have done things quite differently. Regardless of whether or not I annoyed the piss out of Sleek*, he was incredibly gracious to allow me to stay at his spectacular bachelor pad. Thanks for everything, Sleek.

And keep rocking that Katamari.

* – I totally annoyed the piss out of him.

Five Questions: Couch Tarts (Sharks)

April 17, 2009

(Our pals at Couch Tarts sent a Five Questions our way for the Sharks, so even though we’re not going wall-to-wall for the BoC at CLS, we at least will have a hearty bowl of preview soup for the two teams. Make sure to follow the saucy pairing as they follow the strongest San Jose team ever.)

What will your team need to do to beat the Ducks?

Gray: Brass knuckles. Someone needs to put Pronger and Perry in their place. Also, airbags for Nabby. When Perry tries to tackle him (and he will) the airbags will shoot out protecting Nabby in a comfy, airy bubble while Perry gets knocked back into the Stone Age. I’m also in favor of anti force field spray for whichever of the two Ducks goaltenders gets the start.

Mina: The Sharks need scoring from at least their top two lines. They need to make sure they keep their special teams playing the way they have been late in the season. But most importantly, they need to score even strength. They have not scored an even strength goal in goal in almost 3 games and that needs to change in order to secure victory.

They need to match the Ducks in physicality and make sure not to take any stupid retaliation penalties. While it’s true that the Sharks are benefited from a closely called series, they need to no panic if the refs let the Ducks play their game. The Sharks are big and powerful and they can stand up to any team in the playoffs. If they don’t let the Ducks push them around and have their scorers score, the series could be short. But it won’t.
What would need to happen for the Ducks to win?

Gray: Perry sits on Nabby and deflates him. Pronger’s elbows go on a rampage and take out half the arena, including fans in attendance.

In all honesty, the Sharks need to respond to what will likely be physical play from the Ducks. No sitting back, no getting beat by a few rough hits. Hit back and keep going. Also? Score more.

Mina: The Ducks need to play their game. By physical, create space for their scorers, and hope that the refs let the players play. A free-for-all series will help the Ducks to win. Both of their goaltenders can steal a series and the Ducks need that too. Even though they look different from the Cup winning team, they aren’t a long way off from that group. If they get scoring from all lines and keep the Sharks on the ice with physical play, they and their goaltenders can steal the series from the Sharks.

Fan Favorite

Gray: Sharks fans have so many people to choose from. From the loveable brick wall that is Douglas Murray, the ever puzzled and slightly worried Captain Patrick Marleau, to the awesomeness that is Seto. Not to mention JR, who has settled in well here and has a huge fan base in SJ. Shelley and his can of beans perhaps?

Can I say everyone?

I’d love to highlight some of our rookies, but I’m not sure which of the woo-sta Sharks will be seeing playing time. (Go McGinn!)

Mina: The Sharks fans love themselves some JR big time. Since arriving with the Sharks last season, he has been an injection of pride and passion into the team. Plus having a guy who has so much fun with every game gets the fans excited. I love myself some Doug(las) Murray and owe him $1 for every big hit that he gives (a promise that I made last year). But I have made no secret I would love to see Torrey Mitchell get into the game sometime during the playoffs. He is my favorite and the favorite of many of the ahem..younger girls. (I would rather see the Sharks win than see Torrey play though.)

Your team’s Goat-to-Be:

Gray: I think most people would choose Semenov, since he’s been the fans favorite whipping boy all season. But I feel kinda bad for the guy so, I’m going to say Semenov’s beard instead. His beard is an independent entity. It will take an important 2 minute penalty and cost the Sharks a goal.

Mina: Despite improved play from both of them, both Alexei Semenov and Christian Ehrhoff look ripe for goat hood. Semenov has had his issues: the glove of doom, being a teal traffic cone, and just all around looking like he doesn’t belong. But somewhere in the middle of the year, the Russian Bear really picked up his game has and has had some impressive moments. But the moment he takes a stupid and costly penalty, the fans will forget all that good work and remember the old Alexei.

And despite a career year (8G 34A), Christian has an amazing and terrible shot. Sometimes it hits the net, the goalie, or even goes in, but more often it goes somewhere miles from the net. If he continues to shoot wildly, he may hear some boo birds.
Top storyline:

Gray: The brutality that will be shown in this series. If the brawl at the end of the last regular season match-up between these two teams is any indication, this is going to be an MMA style match up.

Mina: Can the Sharks show the promise that they showed during the regular season and dispatch the Ducks in a manner befitting of the President’s Trophy winner? (In all honesty, I expect this series to go at least 6 or 7 as the Ducks aren’t really a typical 8 seed.)

Five Questions: Girl with a Puck (Ducks)

April 16, 2009

(Although we’ve decided to leave the San Jose – Anaheim blogging to the experts [see the Anaheim vs. San Jose tab on the right … also, if you have a San Jose/Anaheim blog that you feel deserves representation e-mail me at jamestobrien@hotmail.com], we DO have a Five Questions post from one of our favorite Anaheim bloggers, Christy from Girl with a Puck. Christy is one of the many talented female bloggers in the hockey blogosphere, so make sure you check her stuff out. I mean, she carries a puck in her purse! If that isn’t commitment, then what is?)

1. What will your team need to do to beat the San Jose Sharks?
Um, win. No, seriously. WIN. Anaheim only nabbed two wins out of the six showdowns we had with San Jose this year. In two of those four losses, San Jose successfully shut down all offensive attempts and shut us out. We’re gonna need all our boys taking every possible shot and really working to get that puck past Nabokov. The series, if the year was any indication, will be a pretty physical one and since Anaheim’s never been a team to take bullying all to lightly, they’ll need to be aware of their tempers and reactions. By no means do I mean to say that the Ducks ought to settle back into some kind of comfy zone. No. In fact, I want them to crash and bang bodies all over the Shark Tank… I just want them to do it without elbowing someone in the head, slashing someone’s face, or taking a penalty pile-up and migrating the bench to the box. They’ll have to be physical without being stupid, and they’ll definitely need to find a way to get past Evgeni Nabokov. Oh, and they need to keep that puck off the stick of Jonathan Cheechoo and Big Joe Thornton. I’d be wary of Michalek too.

2. What would need to happen for San Jose to win?
If San Jose shuts down Anaheim’s offense, we’re done-for. Or, if Anaheim’s netminder (whoever gets the nod) collapses in net, we’re totally screwed. San Jose doesn’t seem to have a problem getting past the first round, but going deeper than that has historically proven to be very daunting for them. The last time San Jose lost in the first round was 2001 to St. Louis. For Anaheim, the first round early exit is still a fresh memory from last season when the defending Cup champions were unceremoniously given the boot by the Dallas Stars. San Jose may need to get down and dirty to dominate Anaheim before they can swim away from this first round, but like Gatorade asks, “Is it in you?” No, Sharkies, I think not.

3. Fan Favorite
The Ducks are pretty packed with fan favorites, beginning with the flashy, cheeky Fin Teemu Selanne and spanning the bench to the big-hearted brawler with a brain-behind-the-‘Stache, George Parros. You can’t discount the fandom power of fearless leader Scott Niedermayer, who gets the job done one way or another, or fever-pitch fan-love for all things Bobby Ryan who’s just about usurped the place of Ryan Getzlaf in the hearts of teenyboppers everywhere. (Hey, it sort of helps that B-Ry’s got hair and Getzy’s got that glaring bald spot working against him.) Perhaps a personal playoff fan favorite would be Francois Beauchemin, who’s been missing much of this season with a torn ACL, but came back to play in the home closer in front of a crowd that cheered his every stride on the ice! Beauch is a big boomer who’s past playoff performance nicknames include “Boom Boom” and “Rocky” thanks to instrumental huge hits he’d punish the opposing team with, not to mention that fantastic house-rocking fight he had with Jarome Iginla that is still considered a pivotal turning point in the series — and perhaps, even the fate — of Anaheim’s 2006 run.

4. Your team’s Goat-to-Be
This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but I don’t have a goat-to-be anymore. In fact, perhaps the only person I am nervous about when they touch the puck are the netminders. Why? Because there have been a number of blunders behind the net when a goalie is trying to handle the puck — or even when a netminder makes a decision to play the puck and it ends up backfiring. The playoffs sometimes have what seems like an inordinate amount of odd bounces, strange goals, and goalie miscues or misplays. I shudder each time I think about a goaltender doing anything else except stopping the puck! How many times have I seen a goalie accidentally pass off the puck to an opposing forward who then scores on a defenseless net? How many times have I seen a goaltender get caught out of position when he was just trying to clear the puck from behind the net? No, no, no… that’s the stuff of nightmares, my friend.

5. Top storyline
The San Jose-Anaheim showdown will be the first time ever that these teams have battled against one another in the post-season. Why is that a big story? Well, none of the three California teams have ever squared off with one another, and the last true Battle of California happened with a team I never knew existed. The Oakland Seals played the Los Angeles Kings in 1969, back when the Kings were, you know, kind of good. And I wasn’t even born yet, so it’s like it never happened — at least in Finny-land. Nevermind that this is the #1 team in the league vs. the #8 Western seed, these teams already have an established division rivalry going for them. Playoffs will only deepen the despise each teem feels for the other, and fuel fueds between the fans. For once, California hockey might get a little raucous as each fandom wages its own private war against each other in one another’s respective arena — surely since the teams are separated by a mere 6-hour-drive, there are bound to be fans of each team present in both arenas. This one is bound to be physical and for the passionate fans residing in sunny California, it just might cross over into personal. May the better fandom and team (ahem, ANAHEIM) win!

If you were the GM (Pacific division)

March 4, 2009

(With the trade deadline upon us, Cycle like the Sedins decided to ask about 30 or so friends in the blogosphere to represent his or her team and answer the question: “What would you do if you were the GM during the trade deadline?

Since things change in a heartbeat, the date of each person’s submission is listed next to each entry. So before you start screaming “BUT THEY TRADED HIM!” while food spills out of your mouth, we’re showing what they thought at the time.

Don’t like it? Psh.)

San Jose Sharks

Mr. Plank from Fear the Fin
(2/24)

If I’m Doug Wilson, I stand pat at the deadline unless I’m moving prospects (Lukas Kaspar in particular) for a UFA who can contribute with bottom line some scoring punch. Jonathan Cheechoo’s name is bound to be tossed around, but moving him this year would be a mistake in my opinion- he’s a solid third line winger who gives us scoring depth, and has brought too much to this franchise to deal in a year when the Sharks are poised to make yet another run for the Stanley Cup. The potential problem with the fanbase/locker room coupled with the fact that we probably wouldn’t be receiving a high-profile gamebreaker in return makes me leery of that type of deal.

The funny thing about the deadline however is that the Sharks might be in “read and react” mode. Detroit is still the team to beat of course, but the Sharks have held onto that top spot in the West for the entire season. If Detroit picks up a guy like Manny Fernandez/Vesa Toskala, do the Sharks react and try to add some depth and sacrifice a little of the future? Does Dous Doug Wilson join the Toronto firesale and add Nik Antropov? What if Dallas, Chicago, or Calgary makes a move?

Interesting possibilities across the board, but at the end of the day I say stand pat and go with the roster. You have the high profile stars in Thornton and Marleau, a second line that could be a top line on many teams in the league, depth, experience on the blueline, Cup rings, agitators and veteran leaders. The list honestly goes on and on.

But hey- DW has pulled a rabbit out of his hat before. That’s why we call him The Godfather.

Chris Kontos: Like Detroit, don’t mess with success. It’s actually good that the Sharks haven’t been as dominate recently as they’ve been all year… it reminds them that there is still the playoffs ahead. With Grier and Roenick out until the start of the playoffs the Sharks don’t need to pick up any veteran players (remember how well Bill Guerin worked out) and they should 100% keep Cheechoo around. That’s a not a bad player to have on your 3rd line for a Stanley Cup run.

James O’Brien: This team is as good as it’s going to get. Just suck it up, Sharkies.

***

Los Angeles Kings
Rudy Kelly from Battle of California
(2/28)

I’ll tell ya, the thing about the trade deadline is, the thing you need to understand, is that it’s all about boxes. You got your boxes and you can’t deviate from that plan. A guy like Kopitar, you see, he’s in the Center #1/A/Sec. 43-B box. That’s a good box. A guy like O’Sullivan, on the other hand, is in the 32-1=”Box O’Shame” box, so we’ll see where that goes. I could see us trading Erik Ersberg, although everyone knows the old saying, “The sands of time go only down,” so I don’t know if we’ll trade him. Denis Gauthier might also go, but he’s a Stallion so I don’t know if I want to part with him. And maybe we’ll trade for a gamebreaker, but only if he knows how to work from the backend, because, as we all know, “Eagles only fly in fair wind.” Plus, you know, the boxes.

-Dean Lombardi

Chris Kontos: Who cares about the Kings? That team SUCKS!(how awesome would it be if they pick up Ryan Smyth for a young defenseman/goaltender? I wonder what box of Lombardi’s that would fit in?)

James O’Brien: The Kings are a year away, so if they can stock up on a few more draft picks/prospects then so be it. As Rudy said on BoC today, they could also be interested in that no-name Russian guy in Hotlanta.

***

Phoenix Coyotes (no guest entry yet)
Odin Mercer from Five for Howling:

As GM of the Coyotes right now, I’d be in a tough spot. On one hand you’ve got a decent group that could use some better coaching quite frankly. Derek Morris would be resigned it whatever deal got the job done, but right now the Coyotes can’t be saddled with a big long term deal until they get their books in order. Olli Jokinen has done alright for us, but I’d trade him in a heartbeat if I could get a good deal for him. Also, I’d trade Jovanovski for a bag of pucks to get rid of that money and give it to Morris. Just take a look at Jason Arnott’s goal against us on 2/26 and you’ll see why I’m eager to do that. After the recent losing streaks, I’d just grab as many high level picks as I could since the playoffs are out of reach again. Which sucks! So long as we don’t go trading for players we don’t need just to dump money.

Chris Kontos: Sell. Sell. Sell. Sign Gretzky and Grant Fuhr to player contracts for the remainder of the season. Then sign Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Charlie Huddy and you have the makings of the 1990 Los Angeles Kings.

James O’Brien: I’d be against selling, but they clearly are in some kind of financial bind. So, sell away I guess *sigh*.

***

Anaheim Ducks

Sorry, Brett.
Earl Sleek from Battle of California (March 2)

Option A (not that silly):

— Anaheim Ducks trade Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin, and Drew Miller to Buffalo for Drew Stafford, Nathan Gerbe, and a 1st
Option B (a little sillier):
— Anaheim Ducks trade Scott and Rob Niedermayer and an embarrassing photo of Brian Burke to Vancouver for Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Brotherhood is preserved.
Option C (whatever):
— Anaheim Ducks trade Brett Hedican to the Anaheim Angels for the right to a few more parking spots.

Chris Kontos: This is an interesting one. New GM Bob Murray is thinking about the future… witness last weeks trade with the Penguins. And if he’s able to get the farm for Pronger… an amazing defenseman, but someone on the 2nd half of his career… I think you have to go for it, right?

James O’Brien: The Ducks are going to be really interesting to watch. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are one of the best bang for your buck duos in the league. Do they stick with veterans or go young? It’s looking like the latter, but who knows.

***

Dallas Stars

The Stars are clearly in able hands

Brandon from Defending Big D (March 2)

If I were Les Jackson and Brett Hull I would be resisting every urge possible to make a big splash on Wednesday. The Stars are in the midst of six game skid and are in grave danger of not making the playoffs.

n a city that craves success, especially from the Stars, the G.M.’s are to going to be feeling the pressure to do something, anything that would put them back in the middle of the playoff hunt. Yet the Stars must be careful to not mortgage the future of the team by giving up draft picks, prospect or young wingers just to find a temporary, soon to be unrestricted free agent solution.

The Stars aren’t in trouble because their main lineup is bad, they’re in trouble because of some debilitating injuries some very key players. Ride out the season with what we have and hope for the best.

Chris Kontos: They should get Avery back. This team has been in a tailslide since they made arrangements for him to go to New York.

James O’Brien: Just a real tough couple of breaks for the Stars. If I were their GM, though, I’d run a firesale on the veterans. Sergei Zubov is about to be an unrestricted free agent. Convince him to pull a Keith Tkachuk back-and-forth. Mike Modano? Keep him for the whole “lifetime player” thing. But Jere Lehtinen? Feel around. This team needs an injection of youth.

Pronger or Niedermayer for the All-Decade Team? Sleek chimes in…

February 14, 2009

Hey, CLSers. It’s Earl Sleek, resident Duck fan at Battle of California, here to offer my thoughts on James’ All-Decade Team. Specifically, Who gets to play alongside Nick Lidstrom — Scott Niedermayer or Chris Pronger? In a lot of ways, this is really a Coke vs. Pepsi debate — no real wrong answer — but I’ll offer some perspective from a guy who’s watched a lot of them the last couple of years. Perhaps if I’m convincing enough, we can leave Nickleback Lidstrom on the sidelines (kidding, of course).


Sadly, I didn’t make this picture. Credit to Hodge from Waiting For Stanley… ages ago.
I’ve decided to do a point-counterpoint format, as I apparently like arguing with myself. SN is the Niedermayer supporter in me, and CP is the Pronger advocate.

SN: In the 2007 postseason, when the Ducks won the cup, captain Scott Niedermayer won the Conn Smythe trophy. He scored the OT-winner to eliminate the Canucks, an OT-winner to even a series with Detroit, and the biggest goal of Anaheim’s postseason — the last-minute game-tying goal in G5 against the Red Wings, which ironically enough, deflected off Nick Lidstrom’s stick. Pronger wasn’t around for G5s against the Red Wings or the Senators thanks to his elbows, but Scotty led the team to victory each time.

CP: Sure, Pronger’s elbows disqualified him from trophy consideration, but quite simply: nobody was better than Chris Pronger in the 2006 or 2007 postseasons — he arguably could have won back-to-back Conn Smythes. Sure, Niedermayer scored some big goals, but in the 2007 postseason, in all situations, Scotty was on the ice for 24 GF and 26 GA. Pronger, in all situations, was on the ice for 32 GF and 15 GA. In the Ducks’ toughest playoff series, the Red Wings didn’t score an even-strength or a power-play goal when Pronger was on the ice.

SN: Leadership matters, though — remember when Alfredsson shot a puck at Niedermayer and he did nothing? That story could have unfolded quite differently had hot-headed Pronger been the target. And that’s the other aspect to the story: while Pronger has had good results, he’s always been paired with a veteran. Scotty, on the other hand, has been shepherding first- and second-year partners around and still keeeps his head above water. He probably hasn’t played with a veteran since his days back with Ken Daneyko.

CP: Sure, leadership matters, but so does training camp. Anyways, since we know that we’re talking about being Lidstrom’s partner, let’s talk about skillset. Pronger definitely brings a nasty edge that Lidstrom lacks, and with Pronger’s booming cannon (something that Scott Niedermayer doesn’t have in the least), a Pronger-Lidstrom combination would be murder for opponents on both ends of the ice. Perhaps literally.

SN: You’re definitely right about the shooting — that’s not Scotty’s specialty at all. But mobility and puck-smarts definitely would make a Lidstrom-Niedermayer pairing a joy to watch. Niedermayer would run goal-line to goal-line, disrupting defensive coverage like crazy and letting Lidstrom anchor and orchestrate from the blue line. Defensively, they might not own the front of the net as well as Pronger would, but there’s no out-racing Scotty. And they wouldn’t take many penalties, either.

CP: That’s it. Get over here where I can stomp you.

So, I dunno. Scotty’s got more cups, Pronger’s got a Hart, I really could go either way on who really deserves it. I think what probably decides it for me is the notion of partnering with Nick Lidstrom. Certainly both candidates would make an awesome pairing with the Swedish Hockey Robot, but I think in the end I’d go with Scott Niedermayer. The two cup-winning captains would be dazzling, I have to think.

But I’m only 56% convinced. What say you, comments section?

The New BoC

December 8, 2008

Congrats to my homies at the Battle of California: after 2 1/2 years on indie label blogspot, the band scored a major record deal with SBN. The new site is here and will be updated it the blog list as soon as I’m done here.

As far as my eternally unclear role, I expect to post semi-regularly there much like I did before. Basically it’s been difficult to post anything about the Stars this year since it’s kind of kicking the “These Guys Really Suck” horse to death but we’ll see. Maybe an Avery-free Stars team will start to make noise.

ANYWAY, just wanted to pass that note along to the 2 out of 5 readers who didn’t come here from BoC. The future is so bright we gotta wear shades, you cocksuckers.