07 May 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You know, it's really a shame the IIHF World Championships don't get more press coverage. I don't know about you, but it is one of the most wonderful times of MY year. The thrill of (the inevitable Canada-Sweden-Russia-Czech-USA) victory! The agony of (every other team's) defeat! It's even in Canada this year!

However, it has come with some sad changes. The first, and saddest change, is no roster pictures. Seeing the IIHF Worlds roster photos is like, a highlight of my year, and it never ever fails to be an excellent source of amusement. Come on, most of the players look A) exhausted from the playoffs, if they were lucky enough to even make them, B) bitter that their NHL team did NOT make the playoffs, C) thrilled beyond all belief that their country picked them, or D) faintly confused by the entire process and wondering when dinner is.

Also, sadly, Team Russia kicked off my favorite Russian Petr Schastlivy, which made me quite upset because since he plays in Russia, I get very little chance to actually see him play. But here's the thing--the coach who punted him is his coach in the Super League. I sense some drama going down! I'm still going to cheer for Team Russia, though, because I am a huge sucker for the superfast skating and the passing and oh my goodness, I can't help it. I mean, for heaven's sake, they have Ovechkin AND Kovalchuk AND The Sergei Fedorov Accept No Substitutes, plus a whole host of less-well-known NHL and Super League players, oh my God they are SO GOOD. Man, somewhere along the line I fell in love with Russian hockey and now I can't stop--look, I don't even like Atlanta but if I'm down, watching RDS's Top Ten Kovalchuk Goals or one of the most perfectly-placed shots ever or just about anything by Ovechkin, and you know, life is good again.

But I digress, because I just got off on a tangent there of watching about thirty minutes' worth of highlight-reel goals.


Belarus is thanking their lucky stars that Montreal got knocked out and they can avail themselves of the services of the Amazing Flying Kostitsyn Brothers. And so am I, because it brought the best interview ever into my life. One question: Apparently Sergei Kostitsyn watched Saw IV eight times. EIGHT TIMES. Why? WHY? I am simultaneously horrified and amused. Around Viewing No. 5, wouldn't you get bored? "Oh, this is the part where the guy pours red-hot battery acid into his own eye. You know, that reminds me, I need to make an appointment with the optometrist." I'm just speculating because I've never seen any of the Saw movies, but...EIGHT TIMES? Get a hobby, man.

Did you know that in Sweden they love Peter Forsberg so much they put him on a stamp? Personally he freaks me right out so I would never buy a stamp like that. Anyway, this is a pretty roundabout way of asking have you ever listened to Swedish hockey highlights? Now there is a language with a LOT of syllables. It sounds like they're trying furiously to get in all the words before the action moves on.

If Craig Anderson doesn't get a chance to play in this tournament I will cry. Tim Thomas is pretty awesome, but come on! Craig Anderson! TEAM USA PLEASE PLAY HIM BEFORE I HAVE TO FLY TO HALIFAX TO BECOME HIS ONE-PERSON CHEERING SQUAD.

28 April 2008

Playoffs in full swing; blogger falls off face of planet

I will freely admit that I have not been able to pay the strictest attention to the playoffs this year, save my beloved Senators' early exit. Unfortunately other things like "final exams" and "a social life" and "moving" have taken up huge chunks of my time, and undoubtedly "looking for a job" is next on the list. As much as I would love to be paid for my spittle-flecked bloviating about hockey at anyone who will stand still long enough, the actual job listings for "misanthrope who adores awful European hockey players and harbors an irrational hate for quite a number of teams and players and enjoys ranting at length" are quite thin indeed.

I'm kind of contractually obligated to be cheering for the Wings from now on, thanks to "that's the way I was brought up" rhetoric from my parents. Apparently Colorado has made the command decision to go old-school this playoffs and bring back some players everyone had forgotten about--Adam Foote being one and the eternally-broken Forsberg the other. I won't lie, I've been laughing at their mishaps--Forsberg can't play! Jose Theodore is sucking so badly that he's been pulled in two straight games and they still can't seem to start Budaj! Meanwhile, everyone at the headquarters for the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation is praying for Theodore to permanently fall ill, or for Carey Price to break his legs, or something, so they can finally have the prestige of being able to say a Slovak goaltender is a National Hockey League playoff-starter caliber player. Looks like we'll still be waiting on that.

What I am really excite for now, and by really excited I mean really frothing-at-the-mouth, lying-awake-at-night excited, is the World Hockey Championships, that start in about three days. IIHF.com has graciously had a countdown clock down to the second up on their website for about eight straight weeks now, and we're down to three days, eighteen hours or so. Not that I have been obsessively checking it or anything.

This year all the teams will be playing at one point with vintage jerseys. I hope I won't lose my honorary Canadian citizenship by saying that the Canadian jerseys look like the tragic aftermath of an autumn leaf-blower accident, but they do. More hilarity can be found with the French jersey, which has a rooster on it for real. I love how they have to say right on the website that the rooster is a "proud and noble" animal in France. Perhaps this will forestall some of the ridiculing that will be coming the French players' way, but I doubt it. Oh, come on! They put the chicken RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE JERSEY. I can't make this stuff up!

The rosters are also up, which is awesome. I know what team I'm going to be cheering for this year--Russia, man. Ovechkin and Fedorov and Kovalchuk and the Morozov-Zaripov-Zinovyev line from Ak Bars that has been absolutely tearing up the Super League? And one of my favorite players ever, Petr Schastlivy (and yes, I know they spell it with two Y's on the website, but in general North-American-published literature it's with the one Y, my personal theory on this is that it's to differentiate it from "schastlivyy" which is the transliteration for the Russian for "happy"), perhaps back for another stint as captain? I can hardly stand the excitement!

Unfortunately, my favorite team from last year and most of the years before that, Slovakia, is not looking so hot this year. With Marian Hossa still competing in the playoffs, and Marian Gaborik out with an injury, Satan turning down his invite, Meszaros having walked off a cliff after the Sens' demise, that leaves the outstanding lights of Marcel Hossa, Andrej Sekera, and Lubomir Visnovsky as the big names on the team. Clearly, I am using "big names" with the largest possible interpretation. Supler, obviously, is returning as coach, and their three goalies this year will be Lasak, Krizan, and some U20 kid, Hudacek. Lasak didn't play last year, and I don't know why, and Budaj has refused several invitations to play for his national team in the past, which meant last year Krizan got the top spot. In a couple years I'd be looking for Halak to challenge that, but this year he's otherwise occupied waiting for Carey Price to fall down some stairs or slip on a banana peel.

Sweden has a guy playing with the last name of "Warg." How much would that rule? "And now, down the pike comes WARG!!!!!" "Warg" is something I use as a general term of exertion--"warg, I'm so tired." Heh. I'd want to watch the games just to listen to them say his name. But then again, Italy has a player with the last name of "Hell." Frankly, I don't know which is better.

In other exciting goalie news, the USA will be starting Craig Anderson, my perennial favorite backup goaltender. Oh, Craig Anderson, why are you so awesome? I've been keeping an eye on him ever since he backed up in Chicago, the hometown-boy-makes-good story of the year, and this is an awesome opportunity for him. I don't know if he has the raw talent to get a starter's spot, but this will probably make his stock rise a bit anyhow.

Finally, as for Switzerland, who generally nobody cares about, they have two guys with the last name of "Gerber" on the team. One is Martin Gerber, my beloved Sens' goaltender with the fantastic bald spot, and the other goes by the name "Beat Gerber." IT'S FUNNY, PEOPLE. Martin Gerber and Beat Gerber? I hope no one in the Ottawa media gets hold of that, or it will be a field day for them. (Switzerland will also be featuring the talents of Julien Vauclair, who played for the Sens a few years ago when they had that league record of five guys with names starting with "V" playing for them. Not that anyone cares/cared about him except for me, but it's nice to see he's still doing well in Switzerland. (Which, apparently, is where Sens players go to die, seeing as how last I checked, Alexandre Daigle was playing there as well. (I need to stop with the parenthesis now, I think.)))

May 2nd can not come fast enough.

07 April 2008

Playoff Matchups

Every other blogger on the planet is giving their picks on who will win the first-round series we have coming up. Instead, I will be ranking the teams based on the highly scientific HMETGM scale, or "How Much Entertainment They Give Me" scale, which I have carefully calibrated from zero to Tyler Arnason, e.g., the most hilarity you can possible have.

Montreal Canadiens v. Boston Bruins
Well, let's have a look at this. Jesus Price v. the Boston Bruins "Gotta B Here" (who came up with THAT? Fire them. Immediately). Now, I am wanting to lean towards Boston here just based on the fact that they have three ex-Senators, Andrew "The Most Annoying Man In Hockey" Ference, and the goaltending duo of Tim Thomas and Alex Auld, the latter of whom is so bad that in that absolute drubbing the Capitals gave them he got put in in favor of Tim Thomas and then got pulled again. He has played for four different teams in six years.
On the other hand, Montreal has chosen to go with the obviously superior goaltending pairing of Jesus Price, Savior of All Hockey in Montreal and Jaroslav Halak, the hideously ugly yet strangely endearing Slovak kid whose stock just shot up sky-high when Cristobal Huet got traded.
Hilarity Advantage: Boston.

Pittsburgh Penguins v. Ottawa Senators
This one is a little closer to my heart. Oh, Ottawa, you have faltered so many times this season---the Ray Emery garbage, the "our captain gets injured and we play like lost kittens," the many, many terrible losses they have endured this year. And I seriously hate Pittsburgh--a LOT--they have Sidney Crosby whom I would not be sad to see disappear from the planet for ever, possibly taken away by some kind of large alien spacecraft, they have a mutant Staal brother, they have the disgusting Jarkko Ruutu, Marc-Andre "I have two full sets of teeth!" Fleury, the list goes on and on and on. Unfortunately, they appear to have no sense of humor at all, about anything, and their fans are wicked annoying.
Hilarity Advantage: Ottawa. Always Ottawa.

Washington Capitals v. Philadelphia Flyers
I'm obviously going to cheer for any team with Alex Ovechkin on it, Alex "Girls where are you?" Ovechkin, the one who met his girlfriend on the Internets. And Philadelphia's playoff slogan is "Vengeance Now." VENGEANCE NOW? That is some scary-ass sloganing going down right there! Marty Havlat is somewhere cowering in terror!
Hilarity Advantage: Washington. Perhaps they will ride into the first game on Segways.

New Jersey Devils v. New York Rangers
Martin Brodeur recently started in his 40th consecutive start. Please, no one be alarmed when he drops dead FROM SHEER EXHAUSTION. Dear Marty Brodeur: You are not the Terminator. Sooner or later you will need to sleep. Also the Devils feature my Favorite Useless Player, Karel Rachunek, who has missed the past few games on behalf of a neck strain. (Yes, I know.) They are playing New York, which in my extremely professional opinion has been super boring all season.
Hilarity Advantage: The Devils.

Detroit Red Wings v. Nashville Predators
Well, the Preds are disgusting. Obviously. Contrast them to Detroit, who is being led by He Who Represents All That Is Good And Pure In Hockey, Nick Lidstrom, the awesome-yet-aging Dominik Hasek, Ironman Chris Chelios, and featuring the hilarity of Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula (nobody told me he could totally pass for a younger version of Art Alexakis!), and the hairpower of Henrik Zetterberg.
Hilarity Advantage: Detroit, no contest.

San Jose Sharks v. Calgary Flames
Let's look at this seriously. San Jose has the beyond-awesome Nabokov, who refers to himself in the third person in interviews (and please everyone go watch this clip and laugh and laugh), and they USED to have Vesa Toskala, who carries a man-purse--that, right there, is a clip worth watching. Calgary? Calgary has Curtis Joseph and I know people who thought he was dead.
Hilarity Advantage: On the strength of the goaltender matchup alone, clearly San Jose.

Minnesota Wild v. Colorado Avalanche
Colorado has the triple threat of Tyler Arnason, Peter Budaj, and Jose Theodore, which is comedy right there. Unfortunately they also have the completely insane Peter Forsberg-Adam Foote thing going on, which sucks all the funny right out of them. Minnesota, on the other hand, I have heard rumors of some kind of some weird Slovak feud thing going on between Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik. I don't know whether it's true, although I do know that for a long time Gabby about worshipped the ground Pavol Demitra walked on, but I think if it was true it would be the most amusing.
Hilarity Advantage: Minnesota, by virtue of the fact that they don't have Peter "Made Of Glass" Forsberg.

Anaheim Ducks v. Dallas Stars
Ugh, Anaheim disgusts me. They are not funny at all. The only funny thing is that Ryan Getzlaf is balding, and he's like, twenty-two. However, Dallas just bores me, and I know nothing about them.
Hilarity Advantage: Dallas. Based on Mike Modano.

25 March 2008

The Ides of March have come...and gone...but things still suck

Sigh. I don't know if you've noticed, but the Sens, after having a brief resurgence, seem to have decided that the season is as good as over and they are bound for sunny Mexico or Florida or Arizona or wherever they want to go in just a couple of weeks. I, and many many many other Sens fans, are not so pleased with this idea. Look, I understand that the weather has been just godawful, and the high today was 0 and it's snowing again when usually by this time it's 7 on a regular basis, but...okay. Really. And, AND, Eugene Melnyk, the owner of the Sens, is getting into hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission, proving that when it rains it pours for this organization.

So, to cheer myself up, I've concocted a list of Headlines That Could Possibly Make This Slump Worse. (Um, these are all NOT TRUE NOT TRUE NOT TRUE.) (Yet.) (Thank goodness.)

Martin Gerber Quits Team To Seek "More Rewarding" Career As Astronaut

Ray Emery Quits Team To Seek "More Lucrative" Career As Model
(ok, well, this one would bring a lot of visual joy into my life. That's all, though.)

Anton Volchenkov Discovered To Be Communist Agent Sent To Infiltrate Canada. Volchenkov, 26, said to "pummel" his intellectual opponents. He declined to comment.

Wade Redden Decides Hockey Career Meaningless, Returns to Lloydminster To Family Farm. Mr Redden, winner of the 1987 Lloydminster 4-H "Best In Show" ribbon for his prize calf, Bossy, is trying to seek out the "simple life" after making millions of dollars as a professional hockey player. Lloydminster Daily Telegraph.

Christoph Schubert Injured In Freak Schnitzel Accident. Schubert will be sidelined indefinitely after being tragically injured in a freak schnitzel-eating incident Monday, March 25th. "Don't ask me, I don't even know," Schubert said.

Luke Richardson Breaks Hip Executing In-Depth Stretching Routine. "I told him that was dangerous!" the Senators training staff howled as one as Richardson was taken to the hospital. "He's not twenty anymore! You can't DO that!"

Andrej Meszaros Accidentally Walks Off Cliff.

Chris Phillips Cuts Off Hand While Doing Minor Home Repairs--Expected To Be Out 6-8 Weeks. Phillips, an amateur handyman, built his entire neighborhood from scratch. Last night, however, replacing a lightbulb proved to be his Waterloo as a broken shard of glass took his whole hand clean off.

Mike Commodore Sells Out, Agrees To Wear Number 64 In Return for Lucrative Ad Campaign. (What am I talking about? This news would fill me with glee!)

Popular Winger Shean Donovan Quits Team To Produce His Own Reality Show. The show, imaginatively titled "The Shean Donovan Reality Show," will focus on Donovan's mishaps in his daily life. Its first episode, slated to air at 9 AM Monday morning, will be entitled "Shean Donovan Goes To the Grocery Store And They're Out of Canned Tomatoes."

Dany Heatley Out For 16 Weeks While Getting Bionic Teeth Implanted. This experimental process carries with it a high risk, but also has the added benefit of being able to channel XM radio through the bionic false teeth.

Jason Spezza Misses Six Weeks While In Intensive Learn-To-Read Program.

Mike Fisher Quits Team to Become Full-Time Hockey Preacher.
(Actually, this one would also make me deliriously happy, just to get this @%#&#@* off my team. What he does on his own damn time is his own damn business.)

Randy Robitaille Inserts No-Trade Clause Into His Contract

Martin Lapointe Declares Team "Hopeless," Seeks Counsel With Legendary Detroit Red Wing Steve Yzerman

Chris Neil Suffers Yet Another Random Accident

Dean McAmmond Retires Early To Become Motivational Speaker.
His first clients will be his old teammates, the Ottawa Senators, who stand to benefit quite a lot from his speech.

Brian McGrattan Discovered To Be Physically Incapable Of Scoring Goals.
(That would explain a LOT.)

Antoine Vermette Suffers Critical Hair Injury; Out 4-6 Weeks For Repairs

Daniel Alfredsson "Gives Up" On Team, Flees To Sweden With Wife and Children.
"You people! I can't do this any more! You make me crazy!"

03 March 2008

It's a car, not a Life-Maintaining Device

Yeah, you've done it--left your car running while you went in to return a movie or something. But there's a good reason why you're not supposed to leave your car on while you do an errand that takes more than 2.5 seconds to complete--a reason I think Dion Phaneuf could tell you a thing or two about, after he got his SUV stolen while he went into Starbucks. I would be lying if I told you I didn't absolutely laugh my face off at this news.

The best part of this story is that he was at Starbucks. What does Dion Phaneuf order at Starbucks? I have a feeling he'll tell you he was ordering "plain black coffee," the way manly men drink it, but I'll tell you what, Manly Men don't get coffee at Starbucks, they get their Manly Man coffee at 7-11 or White Hen or Tim Horton's. I don't think he'd get a lot of respect from other league defensemen if it turned out his truck got stolen because he was ordering something stupid like a "double chocolaty chip frappucino blended creme" (which would also not be very good for his diet, because I definitely had to look up a Starbucks menu to write this entry, and apparently one of those things has 510 calories. In a medium. My goodness.) I imagine the conversation would go something like this:

Dion Phaneuf: Hey! Hey, Cheli! Hey, old man! How does it feel to play for a team that [edited] the [edited] [edited]?
Chris Chelios: Well, you [edited] [edited], it feels better than getting my [edited] car stolen after I was stupid enough to [edited] [edited] [edited] [edited] [edited] while I was getting [edited] [edited] [edited] from [edited] Starbucks, you [edited] [edited] [edited] pansy-ass.

(That's an approximation, never having actually met either of them. But I like my imagination.)

And it leads me to this question: What does your favorite player order at Starbucks? If he even goes to Starbucks, that is--hockey is full of Manly Men who, I'm sure, wouldn't be caught dead in a 'Bucks. They get coffee at Tim Horton's, the way God intended it. But hey, Tim Horton's serves Iced Cappuccinos, which are not the most testosterone-laden drinks I've ever seen, either.

Martin Havlat probably isn't allowed to have caffeine because it'll interact with the 238579325 meds he's taking for whatever Injury Du Jour he's battling. But because he's a badass, he drinks it anyway. Because he's European and "classy" he probably goes for a nice cafe au lait in the afternoon.

Mike Comrie is like, the NHL's poster boy for high-maintenance, and he hooked up with Hilary Duff, for heaven's sake--I think he enjoys Frappucinos on a fairly regular basis.

Nikolai Khabibulin I think has his picture up at all Chicago-area Starbucks, Caribou Coffees, White Hens, 7-11s, and independent coffee shops with big labels that say "Do Not Serve To This Man." But in the privacy of his home I think he drinks high-octane, 8-shot espresso. And a lot of it.

Daniel Alfredsson strikes me as the kind of guy who drinks lattes in the afternoon. Maybe, because he is a very efficient kind of guy, he buys them in the morning and nukes them in the team microwave.

Mats Sundin drinks whatever coffee they serve on the Mothership. Or I don't know, maybe they don't serve coffee in outer space, where he's from.

Pat Kane isn't old enough to drink coffee, his mom probably told him it'll stunt his growth. So he drinks hot chocolate, even thought I have it on the best authority that Starbucks hot chocolate sucks. Maybe chocolate milk, then. Or juice.

Trevor Linden seems like a very laid-back kind of guy who probably drinks tea. With milk. And hey, he plays in Vancouver, they have some really really good tea shops there. (If you're ever in Vancouver, visit Murchie's and have your horizons expanded.)

Martin Brodeur drinks black coffee, but Carey Price needs half a cup of coffee, half a cup of milk, and plenty of sugar until it tastes like coffee ice cream. It's okay, he's still a kid, and he'll get on the caffeine train like the rest of us sooner rather than later. Although maybe it's best he stays off it, so when Montreal dies in the playoffs, he won't sit around drinking coffee and staying up until four AM every night, reliving every painful goal. (No, I don't think it was a good idea for Montreal to trade Huet, why do you ask?)

What does Dominik Hasek drink? Whatever he [edited] wants--he's Dominik [edited] Hasek! Come on people, do you not know me AT ALL?

28 February 2008

Why Hockey And Food Are Better Partners Than Gretzky and Messier

Food and hockey. They go together so well. What's a game without a selection of tasty snacks to accentuate it? And hockey players enjoy their food as well--Zdeno Chara eats like it's going out of style, but he has six feet, nine inches, and 260 pounds to keep in motion. Other players, like Tyler Arnason, are more like the rest of us and eat because it's delicious. (True story: Tyler Arnason is forever and ever one of my favorite players because he told the Blackhawks magazine if he wasn't a hockey player, he'd be a fry cook or food critic. Normal players say things like "firefighter" or "police officer" or "architect" or "golfer." Not Tyler. Fry cook it is.)

There was one goalie whose name I cannot for the life of me remember, but got into trouble with the league because he was sitting backup one night, got hungry, and got one of the trainers to bring him peanuts or something that he sat, eating out of his glove. Apparently you're not allowed to do that. And Jeremy Roenick got a slush one time while sitting in the penalty box--also did not go over too well with the officials.

But for you there, Joe Hockey Fan, I know you're asking "tell me, oh wise one, what is the appropriate food to eat during hockey?" Here. I'll tell you.

Hockey Foods

First things first:

Don't serve this. (Photo from cska-hockey.ru, a website that I love beyond all reason because I have grown attached to the Red Army team. Also they keep me updated on Petr Schastlivy, who I like very much, and was glad to see he's finally shaved. Ahem.) Anyway, I understand the motivation one might have to serve a cake shaped like a jersey, but...don't do it. Just, don't do it. It's too much like symbolically eating your body. (Nice cake, though, CSKA.)

1. Pizza. And lots of it. Pizza is like, hockey's perfect food--you can eat it with your hands, it comes in a box large enough to share (or not, if you're so inclined), and you can get it delivered to your door! Or if you're feeling gourmet, you can get one frozen and cook it in your own oven! Now don't get me wrong, I love cooking, but not on game night. I can only keep track of so many things, you know?

2. Chips. Now this is where Canada excels--chip flavours. Recently dill pickle chips have become available in the States, at least in my neck of the woods, and have become exceedingly popular in my family. THEY ARE SO DELICIOUS. And KETCHUP chips--I was only introduced to ketchup chips when I moved to Canada, but I cannot believe I spent my whole life without them. Ketchup chips are a gift straight from God. And there are so MANY chip flavors--bacon chips! Curry chips! Roast chicken chips! Salt and pepper chips! Cheeseburger chips! You see, the fun never ends. Just be careful not to get really excited and knock your bowl of chips all over the couch and into the carpet. (Not that that ever happened, Mom. To me.) Bonus: dip!

3. Other snack foods. I'm putting in this category things like popcorn and pretzels, things I don't really care for, but lots of people I know do.

I think you get the gist of it. Nothing that involves A) elaborate preparation or B) utensils.

To Drink

1. Beer. Duh. I don't particularly care for beer--it's all right, I guess, though I do really like Rickard's Red--but beer is like, The Face Of Hockey. I think it's Molson's entire advertising strategy at this point. And given the absolute rivers of beer that flow at hockey games, I think this one is a gimme.

Bonus Drinking Game! : Get an alcoholic beverage. (Preferably more than one.) Watch a Pittsburgh game. Drink every time they say "Sidney Crosby." With a bit of luck you'll be hammered well before the halfway point of the first period, at which point you'll forget you're watching a hockey game and turn it off in favor of the Home Shopping Network. In which case you'll be better off anyhow.

2. Gatorade. Only recommended if you really, really, really identify with one of the players and want to be Just Like Him. Even so, you're better off with water--you won't come off like such a tool. Let's face it--they're playing an extremely physically demanding sport, you are sitting on the couch like a shlub, and probably eating pizza. (True story: One time Tomas Holmstrom inadvertently soaked himself in blue Gatorade on the bench and had to borrow a jersey from a fan, there being for some strange reason no other white jerseys around for him to wear. He signed it and gave it back to the fan later. Luckiest. Fan. EVER.)

And For Dessert Thankfully, we've established those cakes will not be on the menu.

1. Those chocolate puck things. You know, the ones that look like a hockey puck. These things. They're not very tasty, and sit in your stomach like a rock so you'll think you HAVE eaten a puck. Very timely, though.

2. Any other dessert, ever. You could serve a triple chocolate mousse to the drunkards in the 300 row of a stadium and it would be more appropriate than one of those awful chocolate hockey puck things.

3. A cake. Just out of curiosity now, I googled "hockey cake," and this cake came up. I like it so much I'm going to make myself one for my next birthday.

26 February 2008

Trade Deadline roundup

Today was an exciting day, the Christmas of the hockey world--in fact, in many ways it was MORE exciting, because you don't have to buy gifts for people you hate, or worry about gaining fifteen pounds in dessert weight, or drag a plant larger than you into and out of your house as it sheds needles in the process that will live in your carpet for the next seven to eight months.

In fact, today was so exciting that I skipped classes because of it. That's not entirely true, I also skipped to study for a psych midterm I have tomorrow, and I was very productive in terms of chores and things. But no lie--trade deadline? VERY EXCITING DAY.

Deals that went down:

Brandon Bochenski to Nashville for "future considerations." This is not really important, and only noticeable because Bochenski used to play for Ottawa, and used to take public transportation around, and people would see him bumming around town on the bus with the rest of us lowly mortals. Unfortunately he's suffered a Reversal Of Fortunes and has played for about four teams in four years now.

New York Rangers get Sjostrom, Gratton, and Lenevue for Marcel Hossa and Al Montoya. So look, both Hossas were in the works on trade day! Unfortunately for Marcel, he got sent to Hockey Hell in Phoenix, poor kid. Hopefully he will be able to get some decent playing time in there. And as for Al Montoya, I approve of him--he's from Chicago and went to the University of Michigan, and is one of the very best young American goalies. So best of luck to both of them in Hockey Hell.

Detroit acquires Brad Stuart for two draft picks. I think Brad Stuart is on a plane somewhere, praying to whatever hockey gods there are that he won't fall off a cliff or electrocute himself or get beaned in the head by a falling brick because the Detroit defense corps are all broken right now.


Carolina receives Tuomo Ruutu for Andrew Ladd. Poor Ruutu. I really liked him in Chicago, for the 2.5 weeks he wasn't broken or injured or had a horrific hair injury or some other damn thing that kept him out of the lineup.

New Jerseys gets Bryce Salvador in exchange for Cam Janssen. I will be honest, the only reason I cared about this one was because I wondered what it means for my favorite lousy defenseman, Karel Rachunek. He didn't get shipped out of Jersey, which is good news, but...okay, sometimes I feel like his only fan on the planet and even I say things like "well, he isn't very good." Before he was scratched he wasn't doing terribly, either--I mean, he wasn't Nick Lidstrom-style stellar, but he was putting up some points and playing physically and getting about twenty minutes of ice time a night. Um, this one kind of got away from me, didn't it?

The Big Trades

Washington gets Huet in exchange for a second-round 2009 draft pick. First of all, I believe I speak for all of eastern Canada when I say this: "WHAT THE HELL?" This means Montreal is going into the playoffs with the excellent goaltending of twenty-year-old Carey Price (Hockey Jesus, the Second Coming of Patrick Roy, etc.) and 22-year-old Jaroslav Halak, known to Slovak hockey fans as "Karol Krizan's backup at the World Championships." And he lost the one game he played. You know, I was pretty sure Montreal had opened the door for some really awesome three-way goalie trading with this, but now I'm just concerned that the management didn't think this one all the way through. On the other hand, if you can still get him for your fantasy teams this year and next year, DO IT.

Colorado acquires Adam Foote for some ridiculously complicated series of picks and crap. This one was just unnecessarily confusing--"if Foote gets on a plane with a flight number that ends in an even digit, you can resign him for the 2010-11 year provided he isn't yet dead; if he is dead, you can resurrect him using clippings of Joe Sakic's hair, etc." Also, with the acquisition of Peter "Yes I Will Play/No I Won't/Yes I Will/No I Won't/Split Personality" Forsberg, it's like they're trying to re-create the 2001 team that won the Cup. Except many years older.

Washington gets Sergei Fedorov for Ted Ruth. Don't you think it's a blow to Sergei Fedorov to be considered an even trade for some D kid no one's ever heard of? Of course, I think Alex Ovechkin about creamed himself when he heard about this. There's a sizable Russian contingent on the Caps now, which is pretty cool. Unfortunately their average number of STDs floating around that room just increased by a factor of about twenty.

The Name Trade:
Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to Pittsburgh for Erik Christiansen, Colby Armstrong, Angelo Esposito, and a first round draft pick. I can discuss this one rationally now that I've stopped vomiting. As sad as I am to see a player I really love like Marian go to a team I hate like Pittsburgh (whose name I have a very hard time not replacing the first syllable of with an unfortunate and profane noun), I am quite evilly excited to see how much Pittsburgh gave up for what will probably (I hope and pray) be a rental. As much as I hate Colby Armstrong, which is a LOT, you need players like him to do well in the playoffs, as Ottawa ably saw in last year's playoffs. Erik Christiansen is nothing special and pretty ineffective, but might grow up to be a 20-goal scorer. Esposito is a rookie with some promise. The draft is going to be absolutely loaded this year. Enjoy sucking, Pittsburgh, I will laugh pretty hard.

The Sens trade:
Martin Lapointe to Ottawa for a 6th round pick. I was flabbergasted at this trade, because everyone was yammering on and on about leadership--you know, I'm really not sure "leadership" is what the Sens are missing right now, so much as "goals" and "goaltending" and "defense" and "forechecking" and "competent coaching" and "a copy of Hockey for Dummies" and "stick tape" and "food" and a long long list of other things. I'm curious to see who he'll play with, given that the lines are being shaken up lately. Ah, Lapointe, I know him well, he played for Detroit when I was younger, and he's been in Chicago after that after a stint in Boston, so let's just say I expect very very VERY good things out of him (and the rest of the Sens) in the upcoming weeks.

Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore to the Sens for Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo. Sigh. The Corv was never very happy in Ottawa, that's no secret, but it hurt me a little bit to see them give up Eaves, who the organization has been bringing up. Cory Stillman has been doing fairly well on a line with Vermette and Kelly, so I can't complain about that, and Mike Commodore? The hair? The hair on the ice at the same time as Andrej Mezsaros? AWESOME. That alone consoles me to the loss of Joe Corvo. (As does the fact that the average alcohol intake in the locker room probably dropped about fifty notches after his trade.)

Thank goodness the deadline is over and we can all quit losing sleep over this.