08 November 2007

In praise of bad teams

First off: The other day as I was sitting and eating my lunch at my illustrious university, a couple of guys sat down beside me and were clearly watching the same TSN feed as me, except they were having an entirely different conversation about it.

Guy 1: Fucking hockey, man.
Guy 2: I know! What a stupid sport!
Guy 1: It's too hard to follow.
Guy 2: They move too fast! And they don't score enough.
Guy 1: Yeah! If they could like, make them score more, or something.

Note: As far as I could tell, neither of these guys were high as kites, drunk, or otherwise impaired. They were wearing Engineering coats, though, so that probably says something.

But anyway, leaving aside the question of "but the sport needs more scoring! It's too boring, and the goalies are too huge! Make the nets bigger! It'll be more exciting!" which is flawed in many, many ways and also far too boring for me to go into right now...what the eff were these guys going on about? Hockey, God bless it and its myriad virtues, is not the most complex of sports. Cripes almighty, it's one of the easiest-to-follow sports out there! See those guys on the ice? Their job is to put the puck in the other guys' net. The other guys? They try to stop them. There you are. Done. Now you understand hockey.

These guys were apparently basketball fans, which...all right. Not to knock basketball or anything, except that I hate it, but...okay, basketball and hockey? Different sports. Shut up, stupid guys, stop trying to make hockey more like basketball. I know the day I see the score Ottawa Senators 132, New Jersey Devils 75 I will have to walk off a cliff, because that will just be the end of my life.

Furthermore, how weird is it that the Blackhawks are actually above .500 right now? They don't completely suck! It's that whole "youth movement" thing they've got going on. They're all about twelve years old and need rides to the games, but hey, if they can produce on a consistent basis...who cares? (Why do I keep forgetting Duncan Keith is only 24? I have some mental block there where I'm convinced he's actually about 67 and constantly on the verge of retirement.)

Sens try to make it eight straight wins tonight. Washington isn't looking so hot, having gone 0-2 on their road trip prior to this game, and the Sens are 8 and 1 at home. Emery's in net tonight, which should be good. I was at the preseason game against Washington, (I don't know why, either), and Gerber played and won. However, it wasn't like Washington was being the most threatening team you've ever seen, either.

I'm going to Montreal this weekend, and Montreal is playing Ottawa, so I think I may leave my beloved Sens sweater at home lest a crazy drunk Habs fan accost me and beat me up. Actually, it's better for the sweater (ha!) that I leave it at home anyway--I've had it for several years now, and I wore it religiously all through high school, and now it's developed all kinds of holes and sad-looking unravelling. And it's not very warm because all the lining has worn away. And I'm not much interested in having the snot beat out of me in Montreal, mostly because my French isn't good enough to file a police report. So the sweater stays at home.

"Eric Lindros expected to announce his retirement from the league on Thursday." Jesus, not a moment too soon, either. I know people who had no idea he was still technically an active player. They thought, along with the rest of the world, that he had fallen off the face of the earth back in 2001.

02 November 2007

Long break, eh? Midterms have been getting me down here at Casa All Hockey All The Time, and it's been really busy. I was lucky enough to be at the game last night, Atlanta Thrashers vs. Ottawa Senators, which was pretty embarrassing as the Sens managed to blow a 5-0 lead. Nice, guys. Keep up the good work. Not.

You know, I love many, many players. I know more about some of them than is really healthy. If I could devote half the brain space I have to hockey to my schoolwork, I could be mistress of the planet. And as I was paging through the depth charts in the latest THN and realizing I knew stuff about even the most ridiculously obscure player, I thought "well, I may be a huge nerd, but at least I don't have a stupid name." And I don't. Many, many players? Stupid names. Yes.

Let's start with the Grand Master of Stupid Names, whom I saw play last night: Garnet Exelby. Garnet is not a NAME. It is a NOUN. It is a ROCK. You have GOT to be kidding me. (Actually, garnet is my cousin's birthstone.) And hey, "Ex," is a stupid nickname as well. Garnet Exelby sounds like a snowboarder's name. Not a hockey player.

And really no one should even get me started on Toni Lydman. Yes, I know he's Finnish. But in North America, "Toni" is a GIRL'S NAME. And it's usually a girl's NICKNAME. For heaven's sake. Jocelyn Thibault, as much as I desperately love him, also has a girl's name. And Marian Hossa. And Marian Gaborik. Yeah. Girls' names, the lot of them.

From the "How do you introduce yourself to people with a straight face" files, I give you Dallas Drake and Wyatt Smith. I think they should be friends. I think they should fight crime. And have their own television show. Damn, I'd watch that show. They could play it at three in the afternoon for the after-school crowd, and have episodes like "Today, kids, Dallas and Wyatt investigate Who Stole Vincent Lecavalier's Jewelry Out Of His Locker While He Was In The Shower And Left A Poorly-Spelled Ransom Note Entreating Him To Put Down The Bling Because He Looks Like A Moron?" Good question, incidentally. Not so much a good look, Vinny. You already look like a corpse, no need to decorate.

Shaone Morrison and Shean Donovan. No, neither of those are misspelled. Unfortunately. They do both suck, though, you're right.

Pavel Kubina. Not so much a stupid name so much as I can never, ever resist calling him Pavel "Funky Cold" Kubina. And now I have to turn in my Cool Card, don't I?

Lee Stempniak. That doesn't sound like a hockey player's name. That's some guy you went to summer camp with. And didn't like very much.

Colby Armstrong. Rule 1: No nouns as names. Rule 2: NO TYPES OF CHEESE AS YOUR FIRST NAME.

Lasse Kukkonen. Jesus, how do they possibly not make one million jokes per day? I know I would. "Crap, we're down seven-nothing! Lasse! Get help!" Can you imagine if he grew up to be the savior of the Flyers organization? The newspaper headlines would be, simply put, the best thing I've ever seen. "Lasse Pulls Flyers Out of 7-0 Well--Good Boy!"

Vern Fiddler and Jed Ortmeyer both belong in the "Sorry, we made a wrong turn, we're actually looking for the NASCAR blogs, have you seen them?" file.

Tuomo Ruutu, Jay Bouwmeester, Jonathan Cheechoo and Jordin Tootoo all belong to the Extra Vowel Club, while Andrej Meszaros and Wojtek Wolski are members of the "Silent J Club."

Finally, Joffrey Lupul? Please. THAT'S NOT A REAL NAME. Joffrey. Good heavens.