Archive for the ‘blogosphere’ Category

The Joe Sakic Collection

July 9, 2009

Aside from maybe some Red Wings fans here and there, it’s probably safe to say that the hockey world was universally bummed out to hear that Joe Sakic announced his retirement from the NHL.

There are some fragmented sub-stories here.

We’ve always sort of wondered where hockey fans stand on the “who would you choose” debate (that only exists in our heads) between Peter Forsberg (the dynamic, fragile bruiser) and Joe Sakic (a player who – until his last two seasons – was unique both for his talents and his reliability).

With the trade of Ryan Smyth, the drafting of Matt Duchene and Sakic’s retirement, the Avs seem like they’re finally beginning an overdue rebuilding process.

But those are stories for another day. Although we greatly admired Sakic, it makes sense to leave his career obituary to the experts. But we will say this: even hampered with injuries, Sakic still was a considerably productive player. It wasn’t long ago that he produced his last 100-point season. Perhaps it was best that Sakic decided to leave with his head held high. At the same time, few would have begrudged him if he decided on a swan song season.

Anyway, that’s all WE have to say about Sakic but let’s take a look around the blogosphere to see reflections on the man with one of the most lethal wrist shots in NHL history:

  • “I know that this is the right time, that it would be wrong to ask Sakic to endure what would no doubt be a difficult season next year. Yet I still feel like a teenage girl who has broken up with her boyfriend right before the prom; I just want to lock myself in my room tonight with a bowl of ice cream, fighting back the tears as I clutch his picture in my hands.”

David from Mile High Hockey

  • “There are two types of heroes that are typical of stories told in frontier towns. One western hero is the the brash, cocky son-of-a-bitch who takes on the establishment and all that get in his/her way, like Billy the Kid or Molly Brown (the Avs would fill this hero role later with Patrick Roy). Then there’s the noble lawman, the Teddy Rooseveltian hero who speaks softly and carries a big stick. No one speaks more softly than Joe Sakic, and no one carried a bigger stick.”

Jibblescribbits

  • And, finally, Bangin Panger provides a little comic relief (hopefully this won’t be too big a part of Burnaby Joe’s legacy, though):

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Quick hits

April 15, 2009

OK, there’s a LOT that’s going on right now so keep your refreshing instincts keen. Outside the blog I need to buy plane tickets to California and pay my taxes, but inside the blog there’s a crapload going on, too.

Check out the sidebar for the posts that are up so far, but I’ll put up some fancy little intro’s for those who need a little taste of what’s in the mini-blogs. We might have a friend of the blog cover the Chicago/Calgary series but there’s still a few left if you’d like to jump on board.

In the mean time, check out Bangin Panger for our reverse guest posts in the “Onus” series. Also, Vance put up a great little post about blogging that is worth reading.

By the way, with all that’s going on I haven’t been able to keep the blogroll current. Please e-mail me if you’d like to be included.

Finally, it sounds like Spade in Victor Hell of Battle of California commenting fame will be joining me for Game 4 of the BoC, so that’s one big relief. Hopefully he’ll be kind and leave my bulbous gut out of any potential cartooning.

Afternoon Cycle: Brodeur and Friends

March 16, 2009

  • Before we get to the meatier portions, CLS must acknowledge its namesakes when they are in the news. In case you were unaware, the Sedin twins are at some sort of impasse with the Vancouver Canucks when it comes to twin contract extensions. (Spector by way of Puck Daddy)

The Sedins are more than a novelty act, but my feeling is that the pairing should probably knock a million off their asking price if they want to continue to be a package deal. And it would be wrong if the two were split up. Wrong and foreign. Like a pair of male ginger twins dancing at your bachelor party.

Two three-year contracts for $5.5 million per year strikes me as a reasonable compromise. I mean, they only have one digestive system anyway, right? RIGHT?

  • Things might be a little light on the contributor front for the next week or so. Chris Kontos is going on a wild’n’crazy five week adventure, our other contributors are possibly kidnapped in a trunk somewhere and the Next Decade team process will be pushed to the summer.

Hopefully my limited brain power can produce a few worthwhile posts in the meantime. Please don’t leave me. This world is cold and lonely.

  • With an malnourished inbox, the quest for the best Brodeur clips will just have to amount to what I’ve come across so far. However, if you stumble on this list and feel your work is missing simply drop me a line and it will probably be updated. Probably.

Perhaps the most comprehensive Brodeur study was made by friend of CLS Joe Pelletier. He did a great job of breaking down Brodeur’s career against the work of his best contemporaries Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek.

Eyes on the Prize featured an amusing take on the Brodeur vs. Roy debate: “Ten Things Martin Brodeur will never have on Patrick Roy.”

James Mirtle picks Roy by a hair at From the Rink.

John from in Lou we Trust points out that while career milestones are nice, the goal for this season is for the Devils to raise their fourth Cup. He also makes the point of saying, “what good is a 2.00 GAA if you only win 20 games a season?”

Much like ESPN following Barry Bonds until he broke Hank Aaron‘s home run record, NHL Network will follow Brodeur until he slides above Roy for the all-time wins record. At this point, I love NHL Network to the point that if it beat me up, I’d be back the next day with sunglasses to mask my black eye and a fresh “I fell down the stairs” excuse. Yup, it’s my umbrella.
Whenever someone quits an online NHL 09 game early so my team cannot record a shutout, my message is always a snarky “Stay Classy.” Apparently, Frozen Fiend shows that you can use the term in a non-derisive fashion. Go figure.

The New York Times hockey blog rightly questions Greg Millen’s strange statement made right after Brodeur tied Roy’s record: “You think this isn’t a hockey market?” Finally, the Montreal Canadiens show that hockey can work in Montreal, the NASHVILLE of CANADA! Seriously, though, what was Millen thinking? People rioted in Montreal after they won a first round series. Hopefully Millen was drunk.

Maybe the “but he has shootout wins!” argument would matter more if this was Brodeur’s retirement tour, but MB will probably pad his record pretty comfortably as long as he remains durable. Can we please stop with this argument unless he retires with less regulation wins? Please?

Lastly, the Program has some Brodeur videos for your viewing pleasure.

Internet trends: One Good, One Bad

March 13, 2009
Blogging trend (almost) only guys like: hawt babes

In our endless quest to inundate you with semi-recurring features, we present “Internet trends.” This is a vaguely loose post in which we’ll point out one good idea and one that should be erased from the Web for all of time.

Good
Weekly/daily headlines

Puck Daddy is the reigning king of the hockey blogosphere, but PD is a good king to its subjects. (I’m writing this while watching “Role Models” if the royalty stuff needs explanation) Greg W and Sean Leahy post their Puck Headlines twice a day and they don’t just link the big guys. Bloggers big and small get listed and it is a fantastic way to give back to the blogosphere.

Greg W looks different without the cigar, doesn’t he?

PD’s not the only link-giver, as blogs like The Program, Stanley Cup of Chowder, (the possibly still defunct?) Going Five Hole and many others do that thing on a weekly basis. We try to offer something similar in the form of a weekly Morning Cycle.

That doesn’t even include the countless cross-linking that takes place in “gameday” posts. The blogosphere is a beautiful place.

Bad
Cheap ways to “get more click-thrus”

No doubt about it: I’m an endlessly shameless self-promoter. Things that I once derided are now daily occurrences, from Twitter updates to Facebook status and annoying links.

And, naturally, I want people to stay on CLS as much as possible.

But some things are just flat-out lame, particularly stupid Web site gimmicks that add extra links just to boost stats. This came to mind while searching Rotten Tomatoes, one of my go-to movie dork sites. The Web site has a great “Five Favorite Movies” mini-interview feature with big names in the industry and this time, they asked one of my favorite jumbo jugged actresses, Carla Gugino.

IGN is one of the worst culprits in these “click thru maze” schemes


To see Gugino’s five favorites, the site forced me to click on movie thumbnails. And I clicked … one until it occurred to me that her movie choices mean nothing to me.

Doing (minimal) research, it wasn’t surprising that RT is in the same network as IGN.com, a video game site infamous for posting photos that link … to another link before you can get to the article.

Now, there may come a day when we sell out and do the same thing. Joining Twitter was a point of no return. But that being said, this is an annoying trend that we’d love to see end.

So, next time you come across these shameless re-routing links, go ahead and read the article. But then make sure to spend more time on their competitors’ site just to turn the knife in on those gold-brickers.

Because greed is good, but being a douche doesn’t serve anyone well.

What happened to …?

February 28, 2009

1. Our sense of shame? That’s right, Cycle like the Sedins is now a-twitter. Yucky.

2. The end of day post? Too busy e-mailing the whole damn hockey blogosphere about our Seriously Going to be Fucking Massive Trade Deadline special.

(By the way, if you write about the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning or any team, really, drop me a line. jamestobrien@hotmail.com)

3. The Oilogosphere depth chart? There’s still some great Edmonton blogs, but man, they’ve been dropping like flies.

4. Guy Ritchie? “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” is playing in the background as I e-mail said blogosphere. OK, so, Madonna’s gym bag coot happened to him. I admit I know the answer to that one.

(No. 5 would be Jason Statham, but every shitty sequel he makes is probably a payday that exceeds my lifetime salary expectation. So we know question who the winner is there.

Mirtle on tandems

February 19, 2009

James Mirtle expanded very nicely on those two “goalies equal running backs” posts from yesterday, something any interested parties should check out:

“By my count, only nine goaltenders will get to 60starts this season, and manyof the better teams in the league have had a lot of success with two netminders sharing the role. Only two of the eight teams on pace for 100 points – San Jose and Calgary – are leaning that heavily on one goalie, and the Bruins lead the NHL in points while employing a tandem of Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez.”

Good stuff, as usual, from Mirtle. We’ll try to keep an eye on that comments section along with posts around the hockey blogosphere on the subject (so e-mail me at jamestobrien@hotmail.com if you run across any other interesting takes).

It’s good to know that we aren’t the only ones who find this trend intriguing.

Fanhouse gets a re-design

January 16, 2009

Interesting day in the blogosphere. Noticed today that NHL Fanhouse got a face lift. It’s probably shallow to say that this happened because of the Puck the Media article, but regardless it’s great to see that a big member of the blogo-verse might return to power.

Do NOT fuck with Mirtle

January 16, 2009

I don’t have much to add to that situation, but felt obliged to pass along Mirtle’s utter destruction of “The Masked Avenger.” Wow.

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.

Is there ANYTHING cool about the Florida Panthers? … The news cycle!

November 6, 2008

My take on All-Star Voting: why not simply take a kitchen sink approach and provide a drag-and-drop list of active NHL players? This would allow the process to be much more Democratic and might even encourage smart, logical voting. (Probably not)

As far as the Hockey Hall of Fame goes, sports HoFs are far too inclusive and stats-driven. The key to a good voting is to not limit the amount of people elected per year, never mandate inductions per year and to go on a “no-brainer” plan of selections. Of course, sports HoFs often are looking to make money and entice visitors, so they probably are doing the right thing.

ANYWAY, since I won’t be in Florida, this list is merely for fun. But Puck Daddy asked the hockey public to name 10 things that are actually cool about the Florida Panthers. Let’s see if this is possible:

1. Move over, Avery Rule

In the long-ago days when the Florida Panthers made a deep playoff run, fans celebrated their scrappy team’s goals by showering the ice with plastic rats. It was a charming, if somewhat obnoxious neo-tradition that prompted the league to create a delay of game penalty so the rat showers would stop.

Rats > Avery windshield wiping

2. They fired Mike Keenan

Mike Keenan’s extensive, yet glaringly unsuccessful post-Rangers coaching career boggles my mind. If you were to believe what’s written in the book “Messier,” that historic ’94 Cup run happened in the middle of a mutiny against the hateful coach. Yet he still keeps getting jobs.

But the one silver lining about hiring Keenan is that a team will inevitably fire him.

3. Jay Bouwmeester in video games

He’s not a household name, but he should be if you have a video game console. Going back to the PS2 days of NHL 2K, Bouwmeester’s always been a diamond in the rough because of his blazing speed. His end-to-end digi-prowess prompted the creation of the term “Poor Man’s Orr.”

4. The veteran free agent/trade disappointment du jour

The Florida Panthers signing a washed up semi-big name is becoming a time-honored tradition.For years, “Scary” Gary Roberts broke the hearts of Panthers fans with seasons marred by injuries but he’s been followed by luminaries such as Todd Bertuzzi (in the disastrous Roberto Luongo trade), Joe Nieuwendyk and now Cory Stillman.

Remember, misery builds character.

5. The logo/mascot actually isn’t half-bad

New NHL logos – and sports logos in general – are often dominated with sharp edges and the wet dreams of Mountain Dew marketers. So it’s always nice to see a team come up with a relatively simple design and the Panthers have a solid, inoffensive logo.

It’s often annoying when teams lace their logos with ‘tude, but shit, Panthers probably are growling and mean much of the time so this works.

Bonus points for including an endangered species and not trying to force the Panther to awkwardly hold a stick or sport other hockey gear.

6. Tomas Vokoun

He might not be the most exciting goalie on the planet, but he’s the closest the Panthers can get to a legitimate All-Star caliber player.

7. Nathan Horton

One of the hidden gems of the NHL, Horton might never put up big numbers but he’s a talented young power forward. Still, he fits in with the Panthers affliction of potential never meeting production.

8. John Vanbiesbrouck’s helmet

I remember playing the actually kinda shitty NHL ’97 on the Playstation One and thinking that the Bieser’s helmet was the shit.

(Definitely grasping at straws)

9. They didn’t hire Barry Melrose

10. Sure, the Lightning won a Cup … but the Panthers beat the Mario Lemieux – Jaromir Jagr led Penguins

As you can see, there probably are only about five things that are actually cool about the Florida Panthers … but hey, it was nice to at least give it the old college try.

Seriously, though, it brings up an interesting question: who IS the best American hockey player to lace ’em up? Mike Modano leads many of the big scoring categories, but Pat LaFontaine‘s brilliance is probably unmatched.

If Pat Lafontaine played today, is there any doubt this movie would be involved in a genius PhotoShop?

But Jeremy Roenick is unquestionably the most gifted, electronically. Since I’m distantly related to Brian Leetch in a “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” kind of way, it is my duty to abstain.

My assumed “#11 American” Phil Housely probably shifted in his seat when he (hypothetically) learned that he was not included in this discussion. (Tough titties)

It boggles my mind that Americans cannot seem to mind their own damn beeswax when it comes to sex and marriage. Seriously, how can anyone be so sanctimonious about something that straight people only have a 50 percent success rate with? Whatev.

Interesting take on the issue and the film “Milk” at CHUD.com.

/politics

  • The biggest news in hockey this week is that Martin Brodeur is expected to miss three to four months because of elbow surgery. Sooner or later, the seemingly invincible “fatso” was going to get injured although this year seemed the most jinx-tastic with all the talk about Brodeur breaking Patrick Roy and Terry Sawchuk‘s big goalie records.

Could it be the Avery curse?

  • Sid the Kid “responded” to Alex Semin’s interview where the forest fire-hot forward asked what was so special about Crosby and expressed his preference for Patrick Kane‘s game (as well as Pavel Datsyuk‘s stickhandling abilities). Crosby must love dealing with these “he said she said” comments all the time, although that’s the price you pay for big Reebok contracts and media adoration. My guess is that Semin – known for being quiet though that might be a language barrier issue more than anything else – simply let his guard down in the company of a fellow Russian.

To the delight of anyone who read the interesting and revealing interview, of course. Not sure how big Sovetsky Sport is in Russia but their interviews are a real gem for the blogosphere as they allow us to get a rare glimpse of Russians including Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin.

One thing’s for sure: whether Semin’s snipes were blown out of proportion or not, adding that to Alex O headhunting Malkin and the media coverage of Sidney vs. Alex O makes for quite the rivalry between Pittsburgh and Washington.

Please, Hockey Gods, give us a Battle of California and Pittsburgh vs. Washington in the playoffs this year. We’ll sacrifice Alexei Yashin if necessary.