Archive for the ‘Peter Forsberg’ Category

All Decade Team: Deirdre’s Picks

March 2, 2009

So I should have been the first person to whip these out, because I have to admit, while there is a little room for argument…really most of these are blatantly obvious and have already been picked.  So no earth shattering picks on this one.  The Puck Huffers beat me to the wacky picks (nice post by the way).  Plus, nice arguments by everyone on the already chosen players…so that being said here are my picks and my brief explanations.  

First some ground rules.  I personally think to be on the AD Team, you have to have a few qualifying things:

-a Stanley Cup

-an individual award (i.e. Art Ross, Conn Smythe)

-a couple of playoff appearances

-success at the international level

Center:  Peter Forsberg

Alright, since this is basically a fantasy team.  I want to set up my fantasy.  Forsberg is totally healthy: no ankle/spleen/wrist/flu/african sleeping sickness.  He’s also shirtless and bearing a whip, but I suppose that’s a different fantasy.  

The argument is simple: when he’s healthy, he’s a beast.  Of course in reality Forsberg is the poster boy for injured reserve.  But the bottom-line is that he makes the people he plays with better.  My grandmother could score 50 goals on a line with Forsberg.  Stats, facts and figures have been tossed around a lot, but I leave you with this.  

Whoa dudes, I can’t feel my spleen!”


Two Stanley Cups, Art Ross Trophy, Calder Memorial Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, 7 All-Star selections, 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 2 Gold World Championships…all from a guy who is known for being injured.  

Wings: Jaromir Jagr and Martin St. Louis

Really there is not a lot to be said about Jagr.  Yes, he’s had issues with motivation and temperament (as nicely as I can put it).  But he’s a legend in this sport.  I know his glory years were mainly in the early 90’s, but he also was among the best players in this decade too.  I think that’s more reason to put him on this team.  

I don’t feel the need to list all of his accomplishments, but multiple cups, multiple personal awards, multiple NHL records….he’s a no brainer.

St. Louis is a slightly different story.  I almost picked Iggy, but I had to give the nod to St. Louis. Statistically, the two have similar points to game totals, but Marty’s got the cup.  Plain and simple.

The Pearson is taller than St. Louis


He was a standout college player.  He’s got the Hart, the Art Ross and a Lester B. Pearson Award and an Olympic medal.

Defense: Nik Lidstrom and Scott Niedermayer

I refuse to even make the case for Lidstrom because if you don’t think he belongs on this team, you are plum crazy.  The only question is will the league rename the Norris trophy the “Lidstrom-wins-this-every-year trophy.”  In fact, Lid is the captain of my AD Team.  He’s also the guy who visits children in the hospital and kisses the babies.

Niedermayer is nearly as much of a no-brainer as Lidstrom.  Pronger is left out in the cold for the same reason as Iginla: hasn’t won the big one yet.

Goalie: Marty Brodeur

Seriously, no competition on this one.  As of this writing, Brody has put in the books his 100th career shutout.

I think that Brody may actually be made of metal


Coach: Mike Babcock

Hasn’t been fired in the decade and won the big prize.  His teams end up in the playoffs.

Fighter: Chris Simon

This is a weird one, but go with me on it.  I am lumping fighter/goon/pest into this and I think for my money it’s Chris Simon.  The man is pure evil.  In fact, he’s anti-Lidstrom.  He’s drop kicking babies and unplugging the IV’s of children in the hospital.  Would I want him on my team: no.  Do I think he could kill Sid the Kid: yes.  This guy has a cup!  Can you believe that?  Iggy’s got nothing.  Proof we live in an imperfect world.  

So why is he winning this category in my mind.  8 Suspensions totaling 65 games missed.  He’s missed nearly a full season in suspensions and to my knowledge all the suspensions have occurred in this decade.  So maybe he doesn’t win the fighter award, but he does win the horrible human being award.

Loudmouth: Jeremy Roenick

I *heart* JR.

So that’s the AD Team.  Hope you enjoy them!

–Dre

Advertisements

Deirdre on Club Scarlet, aka the Washington Capitals all-female fan club

February 26, 2009

(Editor’s note: Cycle like the Sedins is glad to welcome Deirdre back into the fold. If things go as planned, she should provide the female perspective [but not just the female perspective] twice a week in order to sprinkle a little logic in our meathead stew. Puck Daddy featured a pretty solid summary of the Scarlet Club if you need to get up-to-date.)

Cameraman to Fedorov: “Make the face you made when you walked in on Anna Kournikova and Pavel Bure.”

So I’m a girl. Now that’s out of the way, I can also say I’m a hockey fan. Or maybe I’m a female hockey fan. Or a fan that happens to be female. Or the dreaded hockey scarlet letter “puck bunny.”

I have to admit, sometimes it’s maddening. When men like the sport and know a reasonable amount of information about it, it’s nothing special. Yet if I can hold an intelligent conversation about last night’s game, some men feel the need to balance a biscuit on my nose and tell me what “a good girl” I am.

As Beyonce says so aptly, if I were boy, all of this wouldn’t freakin’ matter (I may have paraphrased that a little).

I hate to admit it though, and men, brace yourselves for the shocker of a lifetime…women are fickle. Plain and simple. What one woman loves; another will hate and decry as “sexist.” What offends one; will thrill another.

I am a perfect example of this. I loved hockey from birth. It’s in my blood. I was born in Pittsburgh to a father who lived and died everything gold and black especially when it was on ice.

It wasn’t about how dreamy a young Mario Lemiuex was or Ron Francis’ ripped abs (can’t believe I just wrote that), but about spending time with my dad and genuinely growing to love the game.

Ronnie Francis: Clearly the inspiration for those ill-fated tight fitting Reebok jerseys.

During my prouder moments, I have explained icing and off-sides to clueless men, won three fantasy hockey championships in predominantly male leagues and cursed dumbass officiating to the point that would make even the saltiest sailor blush. I hate that “female” jerseys are pink and gag when women show up to hockey games in high heels and dresses because they think they are on a “date,” when really the guy they are with just wants to go to the damn game. But at the end of the day, I am still a girl, so there are those moments that I am not proud of…at all.

These are those moments that some men wait for because it erases credibility faster than a Mr. Clean magic eraser. I personally, as James can attest to, am a recovering hockey beard addict (see Peter Forsberg). In fact, I believe it was James who coined the phrase “you’d be all over him like he was made of beard.”

I notice that men go for the metaphorical low blow when women like players they find less than worthy (looking at you Todd Bertuzzi). Again, another classic James/Deirdre argument about Bertuzzi ended in James saying that “you just want to pork that ogre.”

But I can’t deny that some of these players are downright good looking. I think some of you guys need to get a grip and admit to that fact too. It’s the equivalent of me saying that Maria Sharapova is a great tennis player, but just OK looking. I would be a liar and delusional. The key is that good looking men aren’t the reason why I watch hockey, it’s a pleasant side effect.

I think the funniest thing is that people assume all women find the same thing attractive (insert that fickle comment here). When I checked out Club Scarlet, I laughed when I realized I was looking a glamour shot of Michael Nylander giving me his best soap opera stare.

A few years back, Jason Arnott (for the record reasonably good looking guy but not my type) got into a scuffle on ice that left him pissed off, sweaty and bleeding from a gash along his hairline. I am pretty sure I went through puberty again watching them escort him off the ice. That was a man right there.

So Alex Ovechkin can have his GQ photo shoot in a tuxedo with white tigers laying about, but I say give me the real sport any day of the week. There is no one size fits all idea for the elusive female hockey fan. At the end of the day, I say try anything and everything, even if it is goofy pink jerseys and Club Scarlet.

Because for the love of god, the sport needs some more fans and if it gets asses in seats then so be it.

All-Decade Team: Worthy Centers

January 14, 2009

As we consider how the All-Decade Team will be determined, let’s get started on considering candidates for each position. For each player listed, there will be relevant stats and awards with a dash of opinion thrown in. It’s important to not try to sway opinions too much but we still need to have a little fun with this.

See a glaring absence? State a case for that player in the comments.

Joe Sakic

Stats from ’99-’00 to current: (656 points from 250 goals and 406 assists in the REG; 94 points from 41 goals and 53 assists in the playoffs)

Awards from that period: Hart Trophy (2001); Pearson Trophy (2001); First-team All Star (2001, 2002 and 2004); five All-Star appearances

The amazing thing (actually, one of the many amazing things) about Sakic is that he scored almost 1,000 points before the time frame of consideration. As difficult as it may be, try to consider Sakic’s most recent decade of work instead of his entire career.

Besides, Sakic still brought a level of grace (a “quote-less” grace) to the game that is rare for even a hockey player. Most people will remember Sakic for his wicked wrister, but he was also a very good playmaker to boot. An absolute clutch performer, Sakic is one of the best centers of his era.

Joe Thornton

Stats from that period: (760 points from 232 goals and 528 assists in REG; 48 points from 11 goals and 37 assists in the playoffs)

Awards: Hart trophy (’06); Art Ross (’06); First Team All-Star (’06); 5 All-Star teams

One of the leading point producers of the decade, the common knock on Joe Thornton remains his playoff output. Many would counter that Thornton’s post-season play is quite good since coming to San Jose (30 points in 35 playoff games).

Regardless of playoff critiques, Thornton is one of the NHL’s most consistently dominant players. His combination of size and playmaking are a nightmare for defenses. With a career average of 2.14 shots per game, it’s usually pretty obvious what Thornton is going to do on offense.

But like a pick & roll between Karl Malone and John Stockton, knowing what Thornton is going to do and stopping that act are two enormously different things.

Vincent Lecavalier

Stats: (612 points from 277 goals and 335 assists in REG; 33 points from 18 goals and 15 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Richard trophy (’07); three All-Star games

It took awhile for Lecavalier to become a star caliber player and that whole “Michael Jordan of hockey” thing probably will not come true. Still, the 6’4″ Lecavalier is the prototypical franchise center. He has great size, skates well, can make plays and is terrifying on a breakaway.

How much does playing on a Tampa Bay that – excluding their Stanley Cup run and a season or two around that time – is middling at best and awful at worst affect Lecavalier’s numbers?

Mats Sundin

Stats: (608 points from 260 goals and 348 assists in REG; 41 points from 16 goals and 25 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Four All-Star games

Before the free agent soap opera that eventually took him to Vancouver, Sundin was known as a big, talented Swede and a model of consistency. Even on a Toronto Maple Leafs team that failed to make the playoffs since the 03-04 season, Sundin still managed to record nearly a point per game. And unlike many franchise centers, he rarely had a quality winger to finish the scoring chances he could create.

Peter Forsberg

Stats: (445 points from 121 goals and 334 assists in REG; 92 points from 33 goals and 59 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Hart trophy (’03), Art Ross (’03) First All-Star Team (’03) and two All-Star teams

At this point, we’re entering a quality versus quantity discussion. Even though injuries kept Forsberg from putting up massive overall numbers, he’s only two playoff points behind Sakic and was one of the most captivating playmakers the hockey world has ever seen.

He also was like an injury prone Alex Ovechkin in that his game was extremely violent for a player of his star quality. Sadly, that tendency toward ultra-violence probably lead to a fragility that only Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr can relate to.

Still, when Forsberg was healthy he’s arguably the best forward of the decade. Is that enough to overshadow the fact that he missed so much time?

Guys who are just too young/don’t have enough games under their belt: Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin

Honorable mentions: Mike Modano, Marc Savard, Scott Gomez, Brad Richards

Don’t forget the ‘fame’ in Hall of Fame

November 12, 2008
Bure was one of the most dynamic players the NHL’s ever seen

Pavel Bure was a Dominique Wilkins on ice. He had highlight reel goals, locomotive speed and an excellent sense of The Moment. Maybe he didn’t persist with Recchi-like longevity, but he dazzled like few others.

Eric Lindros was supposed to be The Next One. Few will forget – and many will never forgive – Lindros for holding out as the #1 pick of the Quebec Nordiques only to be traded for a bunch of players, including the superior Peter Forsberg. His parental over involvement and squabbles with Bobby Clarke certainly did not impress.

But for a brief period of time, Lindros was an irresistible force. Even Cam Neely didn’t provide a more unreal combination of brutality and deft artistry. With fellow power forward John LeClair and hockey trivia filler Mikael Renberg, Lindros lead the feared Legion of Doom line (which, by the way, is the last hockey line to have an awesome nickname) to dominance. My hockey youth was spent hating Lindros and reveling in Darius Kasparitis taking advantage of Lindros keeping his head down, but there might not be a player in sports who scared me more.

Bure and Lindros couldn’t be more different – everything from their playing styles and national origin are complete opposites. They do, however, share at least three traits: they both fell a round short of a Stanley Cup, had injury ravaged careers and most importantly … they both deserve to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Sports pundits get wrapped up in numbers, whether they are Stanley Cups, point totals or Vezina trophies. But they lose track of the fact that they’re voting to decide who makes it into the Hall of Fame.

These two players transcended their sport in the ways that only super stars can and that’s what they were: super stars. There’s only a handful of players every generation who can change the course of a game or playoff series by sheer force of will. Bure and Lindros were two of those players, even if they didn’t do it for 15 years.

Evil, but effective: the “Legion of Doom” line

Still, if you really need it, there are some numbers that help their cases for a HoF induction.

Both Bure and Lindros fell well short of 1,000 career points, but they both averaged more than a point per game in the regular season (Bure: 779 in 702 GP; Lindros: 865 in 760 GP) AND in the playoffs (Bure: 70 in 64 GP; Lindros: 57 in 53 GP). At their best, both players were near unstoppable in clutch situations.

In the trap-ravaged, obstruction era of the NHL Bure still managed two 60 goal seasons (92-93 and 93-94), as well as 59, 58 and 51-goal seasons. Keep in mind, two of those 50-goal seasons came as the only real offensive threat on profoundly awful Florida Panthers teams. And Bure also managed one of the greatest scores a Russian athlete can hope for: Anna Kournikova. If that’s not HoF worthy, then what is?

Few hockey people would question Peter Forsberg‘s rightful place in the HoF (whenever he realizes that his seemingly young but eternally injured body is no longer capable of NHL work), but Lindros fails to garner that same level of respect. Even though, as Joe Pelletier points out, their career numbers are surprisingly similar.

In the old tale, the tortoise beats the hare. But the HoF should smile upon that hard charging hare, not promote a “slow, but steady wins the race” type mentality. Besides, if you were playing a hockey pickup game, who would you rather have: Recchi or a healthy Bure/Lindros?

If you answered Recchi, go away. Just get the fuck out of here.