Thursday, July 2, 2009

Free Agent Frenzy

It’s no coincidence that the first day of NHL free agency happens to fall on Canada Day (or is it? Either way, it’s quite fitting, don’t you think?) Yesterday didn’t blow me away, but there were some interesting moves. I spend most of my time worrying about the Capitals, so I’m no expert on other teams and how their moves might play out…but hey, has that ever stopped me before?

CAPITALS: Lose Donald Brashear to the Rangers, Sign Mike Knuble

Being a hockey fight enthusiast, I’m sad Brashear is leaving. But honestly, compare Knuble’s stat line with Brashear’s and it’s a no brainer. Replace a guy who had 4 points in 63 games, and averages 8 minutes a game, with a 47 point scorer who played all 82 games and averaged 18 minutes a game. Yes, they play different roles, but it’s not as if Knuble is all soft hands and scoring prowess. He’s gritty and he’ll drop the gloves if he needs to (thank god, because as much as I love Matt Bradley, if he’s our tough guy, we’re in trouble.) Most importantly, he’ll set up in front of the net, which means I won’t have to lose my voice screaming “GET IN FRONT OF THE NET” during every Caps power play. Is Knuble going to replace Sergei Fedorov? No. But he’s a good substitute for Kozlov.

As sad as I am to see Brashear go, it was the right move. Early on the Capitals needed that veteran enforcer to protect their young guns. But this season the Capitals ranked 28 of 30 in number of fights. Is that because we had Brashear to frighten potential opponents? I don’t think so. I think it’s a reflection of how players like Ovechkin and Backstrom have started to stand up for themselves now that they’re more comfortable. All in all, this is a good move for the Capitals and one they needed to make. The price is right and the team is adding something they lacked, which should help ease the pain of cheering for a former Flyer…

DEVILS: Lose Gionta, John Madden, Mike Rupp, Scott Clemmensen, Re-sign Johnny Oduya, Andy Green

Nash Brown should take this into the details, since this is her team. But I'm glad to see Clemmensen, who played so well when MB30 was hurt, get a chance, even if it is in Florida. It wouldn't have been fair to keep him in the AHL wile Marty chases the shutout record, so good for him. But I am sad to see Brian Gionta go. He was sassy, and one of my favorite things to do at Devils games was get drunk and yell “He’s so leeeeeetle!” Now that he’s a Hab, I have to hate him, which is sad. Speaking of…

MONTREAL: Lose Mike Komisarek, Sign Gionta, Hal Gill, Mike Cammalleri, Jaroslav Spacek

Woah, someone was busy. Before the frenzy began, I asked my co-worker, who happens to be a Rangers fan, how much tequila Sather had buy Bob Gainey before he agreed to take Gomez. I figured that massive hangover came into play when he signed Jaroslav Spacek to a pretty hefty contract. Not going to lie, had no idea who he was. His numbers aren’t bad, but, $11.5M over 3 years? Then again, these people are paying Gionta $25M over 5 years so…The only really solid addition I see is grabbing Hal Gill from the Pens. As much as I hate seeing the Habs shore up their blue line, I won’t miss the U.S.S. Gill during those heated Caps-Pens games. Picking up Cammalleri was a good move, I think, although again it seems like a lot of money ($30M/5 years). All in all, I have no idea what this means for Montreal. Clearly they needed to shake things up after last season’s embarrassment, but I’m confused by their desire to be the tiniest team in the league. Hopefully this will work out as well as the Lightning's signing orgy did last years. On the other side of things…

RANGERS: Lose Scott Gomez, Colton Orr, Fredirk Sjostrom, Add Brashear, Marion Gaborik

I though the Rags were brilliant getting rid of Gomez’s big money deal. Then they went and signed Marion Gaborik. From what I read yesterday, it kind of seemed like they wanted to get rid of Gomez so they could pick up Heatley. But maybe when it was clear that wouldn’t happen, they grabbed the next best thing out there? There’s no in between for this deal. If Gaborik finally gets/stays healthy, the Rangers could be going places fast. If not, someone’s getting fired. I wonder if there’s a no trade clause attached? Perhaps the Rags will be saddled with a Nylander like mess in a few years….wouldn’t mind seeing that at all.

LEAFS: Toronto steals Mike Komisarek from Montreal. If he and Luke Schenn pair up on D, they’ll have to keep the temps at the Air Canada Center subzero to stop them from melting the ice every night. I mean, holy hotness Batman! (Sorry, were you expecting hard hitting analysis there?)

I’m not even going to pretend to know about the West, but I do have to add my two cents on Chicago. They quickly became my favorite team out there this season…

CHICAGO: Lose Matt Walker, Khabibulin, Pahlsson, Havlat, Sign Hossa, Kopecky, John Madden

So I was less than pleased with their moves. First of all, letting Khabibulin go could be bad. Maybe they have a good prospect ready to come up, but I don’t think (based on this season and his last in Washington) that Cristobal Huet can carry the starting workload alone. Plus, the Bulin Wall is the best goalie nickname out there.

I suppose the drama, aside from the Dany Heatley saga, was Hosssssssa. I was a fan of this guy in Pittsbugh and cut him slack for picking Detroit. But last season made him into a less than favorite and I feel like he’s sullying the Blackhawks. Maybe they need a veteran guy in the room, but is Hossa a leader? Is he worth a 12 year!!! contract? Plus, his deal seems to have forced Martin Havlat out of Chicago, at least according to Havlat’s tweets last night. That’s too bad. The Blackhawks look different and that’s probably a good thing, but I’m wondering how they’ll manage re-signing Towes and Kane next season, especially if the cap goes down.

All in all, not a thrilling first day, but some solid moves and some head-scratchers. Unfortunately we have three more months to wait until we see how it all plays out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farewell Sergei

News that Sergei Fedorov is leaving DC for the KHL has me bummed and so I offer this tribute, to both #91 and the dearly departed Michael Jackson. (Yeah, I was bored on the train today, can you tell?)

To the tune of "I Want You Back": 
When we had you to ourselves, we just dicked around,
We thought you had made enough to stay just for the crowd, 
But Russia took you from our bunch, three mill was all it took,
Now it's much too late for us to take a second look 

Oh Sergei give us on more chance (to show that we love you)
Won't you please come please, back to the Caps?
Oh Feds we were blind to let you go, and now since we see you in their colors (we want you back)

Russia House without you will be just a stupid club, 
And before you go please show Schultz how to play D right, 
Every rink you skate on we'll freeze tear stains on the ice, 
Crying for the champ we couldn't keep around....

Oh Sergei all we need is one more season, (to show you that we love you)
Won't you please come please, back to the Caps?
Oh Feds were blind to let you go....

Feel free to judge, but don't tell me you don't like a tiny bit.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009


i just wanted to clear up something Gordo mentioned in her last post... Ok. So.. BU winning this game was a definite, much like Colin Wilson's dreaminess. Yes, BU did so in a dramatic fashion, but it shocked no one. NO ONE!

well.. maybe it shocked brooks orpik. douche.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Playoffs and Bad Juju

The start of the playoffs is only minutes away, instead of hours or days. Finally.

Less than a week ago the BU Terriers shocked the nation (or the couple of thousand people who watch college hockey) by scoring two goals in 40 seconds to force over-time. As OT began in the Verizon Center I couldn't help but flashback to another game that went to overtime, one year ago this month. Another team rocking the red skating onto that same ice. Overtime began and then thousands of Caps fans had their hearts broken by Joffrey Lupul's wrister.

So you can imagine my dread when the Terriers took the ice. But then, minutes into that battle against Miami (Ohio) Colby Cohn scored a fluky but incredible game winner. They won! The Terriers won! And suddenly I started to wonder....could the magic carry over? Could Colby's goal, on the same ice, in the same barn, get rid of that bad OT juju? Could the luck and the glory transfer over to the Caps, with BU Beanpot MVP Tom Poti on the blueline? Only time will tell, but I'm, dare I say, hopeful. GO CAPS!

(Yeah, Rag/Terrier Chris Drury won a Hobey Baker and the Beanpot MVP too.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Draft

The draft lottery is this evening and while I really could care less, I'll probably tune in just to get a dose of puck. The top two prospects are crazy good and you couldn't go wrong with either, but if I were a GM, I'd take Victor Hedman. Not only is he skilled; he looks like a young, dreamy, puck-moving Brad Pitt:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

At Eastern Motors...

At tonight's Thrashers game, they showed this clip. I think it's pretty funny (and in good fun, since Kovy and Ovechkin are friends. Plus, they mocked Colby and showed a clip of my fav NHL commercial ever.) But Cap's coach Bruce Boudreau wasn't laughing in the post game presser.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Brooks Orprik

In hockey, as in life, you will encounter souls so insufferable, it's easy to wonder how they have survived. More often than not, these individuals have spent a few years of their life residing along a stretch of Commonwealth Avenue in and around Boston, Massachusetts.

It's been about a week since I've had my most recent run in with one of these miscreants. His name: Brooks Orpik. His goal: pissin' me off.

So, it all began innocently enough when Mumbai and I wanted to do something special for our 25th birthdays, which are exactly a week apart. We decided, totally rationally, that a trip to Pittsburgh to take in Pens-Flyers was a must. The game was an experience in itself; but, I'm not going to waste my energies on that. Alas, I'd like to focus solely on the Orprik.

After some quality autograph signing by some upstanding Penguins, out strolled Brooksy. I don't think it was coincidence that he was one of the last players to leave. You know he looooooooooves the attention. So, as I'm politely standing around for #44 to work his way down the line, Mumbai joked about how Orpik went to BC and how I, on principle, shouldn't get his autograph. However, my jersey was getting up there with the signatures, and I could use him, even if he was an Eagle. At the time though, Orpik was more than an ear shot away and could have in NO way heard our childish rumblings.

This is where it gets interesting... So, several minutes pass and Orpik finally made his way to me. I gracefully handed out my jersey for him to sign.. and.. he passed right over! He signed for the guy next to me on the left, and then came back and signed for some kid on my right. Then he signed my jersey? NO! Instead, he passed me again and signed for some chick down the line. Awkwardly, the middle aged man next to me (whom, by the way, knew way more about Sidney Crosby's whereabouts than any middle aged man should) asked if Orpik had signed for me. I, even more awkwardly, chuckled out an 'um.. no.' Orpik, now, begrudgingly scooped up my jersey.

To make the situation lighter, I joked. 'Is it because you know I'm a Terrier. ::pause:: 'Cuz, ya know, BC sucks!' At this point, Orpik puts Sharpie to jersey and scribes a 'B'. Then. He pauses. Stops dead in his tracks. The pause felt like an eternity. What was he going to do?! My mind, it raced. My palms! They sweated! Was it going to scribble over my jersey, ruining all my creeping?!? Was he going to, Eruzione forbid, write 'BU SUCKS!'.

However, the professional in him reigned supreme and he graciously signed his name before scowling and eerily chirping out 'Yea, ha ha, BC sucks'.

I felt awful and violated and will never look at Orpik the same way. Yes, I was honored that he spent the time to sign autographs. Others didn't even do that (Malkin.. I mean you!). But, honestly, he could have made light of the situation and joked with me. Hell, BC is the reigning NCAA champion, it's not like he didn't have material.

What Mumbai and I didn't know at the time of this encounter was that Orpik's little brother, Andrew, is a member of the current BC squad. The same squad that had, earlier that weekend, been booted from the NCAA tournament courtesy of my Boston University Terriers. Big old 'OOPS' on our part.

But. Yes. The event, as a whole, was unique and something I'd much not want to endure again. If only Orpik could spend a little time with Scott Hartnell. It's just a game.

You can never forget that.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Strong Side/Weak Side

Here at Sugar & Ice we love a good hockey joke. Which is why we squealed with delight when we saw The Onion had a new, Martin Brodeur themed Strong Side/Weak Side up. It rivals the Sidney Crosby mock-up for comedic genius. And with too much time on my hands this afternoon (and a mountain of work that I just couldn't face)....I set about creating my own version for everyone's favorite rookie goaltender, Steve Mason.

(Forgive the poor photo editing skills/the floating hand and stick...)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Edit: (Don) Cherry Pie

Sigh. Unfortunately, the Caps proved me wrong. At the end of their second turrrrrible game in a row, Federov scored with about 2 minutes left to make it a slightly less embarrassing 5 - 2 loss. I'll let the WaPo take it from there...

After Fedorov scored, he threw his arms up in the air, then fell over while hugging Ovechkin and Morrisonn. "I was really disgusted when we scored our second goal and we were all excited about it," Boudreau said. "I turned to [assistant coach] Dean [Evason] and said, 'What are we doing?' We just made it 5-2 and we're jumping on each other like we won an overtime game. It was pretty embarrassing. If I was on the Carolina bench, I would have been going, 'Look at these idiots.' "

I couldn't agree more. I'm all for celebrating with flair and aplomb, but you have to know the right time. It rubbed me the wrong way, even though after looking at replays, I think Federov actually fell accidentally. It doesn't matter though, that's not the kind of goal that needs a hugging scrum at center ice. Just high-five the bench and get back to the game.

The Caps have played like the CRAPitals twice in a row now, against SE opponents they should be beating. Last night should have been just as crucial to the Caps as it was to Carolina. If we had won, we could have kept pace with the Devils and basically put an end to Carolina. Too bad...

Monday, March 2, 2009

(Don) Cherry Pie

This will be covered to death in the next few days, but as the resident Ovechkin-devotee, I thought I’d weight in on the Don Cherry on Ovechkin controversy (even at the risk of alienating Nash Brown, who says it’s bad for our “marriage” to talk about the Ovie/Crosby divide.)

Because I am just that cool, I happened to be snoozing on my couch Saturday night when Cherry went on his Coach’s Corner rant against Ovechkin. My first instinct was to heckle my television, which I did with a few choice curse words. But I didn’t dwell too much on it because, well, it was Don Cherry. In my mind, that’s like getting riled up when listening to Bill O’Reilly. After reading PuckDaddy’s thoughts on the matter, however, I attempted to force myself to be objective, put the Ovie love on hold, and take a look at things from the other side.

Listening to Cherry, he’s talking about two totally separate things.

  1. Oveckin’s “over the top” goal celebrations.
  2. "He’s got a free ride, he runs at guys, does this stuff. I am predicting somebody’s gonna get him and somebody’s gonna get him good.” I’ve heard this a lot lately, and I guess people are picking up where Canada’s golden child left it after last week’s game when he said Ovechkin is “hitting to hurt guys in the head.”

First, the goal celebrations. Cherry is old school and he doesn’t like wild goal celebrations. Ok, that’s his opinion. Maybe Ovie is the poster child for this because he scores more than anyone else, thus giving him more chances to celebrate. But Sidney with me. And for the people who say it detracts from the team – I challenge you to find a player who is more excited when his teammates score. has launched himself against the glass too. Malkin goes down on one knee and does the fist-pump. And why shouldn’t they? These are young guys getting paid millions to play the game they love. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see this devolve into the crazy, choreographed NFL end-zone dances. But anyone who has the privilege of watching Ovechkin day-in and day-out can tell that he’s just excited and HAPPY he scored. He doesn’t do it on every goal, he doesn’t taunt goalies or d-men, he just speeds over to his teammates and celebrates with them and the fans. And for the people who say it detracts from the team? I'd challenge you to find a player more excited for his teammates when they score. Ovechkin isn’t a showboat, nor is he a selfish player. He’s a goofy kid with a wealth of talent who isn’t afraid to show how much he loves what he’s doing. He’s a new kind of Russian, which may be what has Cherry confused. (Also, can I note that when the 1980 US hockey team beat the Soviets, people were so thrilled see the kids whooping it up. People didn't like Soviet hockey because they were dour and mechanical and didn't look like they were having fun...)

On to the second, more serious part. These allegations that Ovechkin “runs at people” and “hits to hurt.” I’m still not sold on this, and I think any player claiming publicly that someone is hitting high and dirty without proof is unfair and a little dangerous. Maybe my fandom is clouding my judgment here, but I’m not convinced. Ovie is a monster and he hits hard. Yes, in some of the earlier games against Malkin, he went after him just to go after him, which was stupid and uncalled for. But it’s not like Ovechkin doesn’t get run at night after night. I’m not saying that makes it ok to leave your feet or board someone. And yeah, Ovechkin has done that. But he gets called and that’s how it should be. And it’s not like he’s the only one who gets carried away and crosses the line. (See Crosby.) I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying he’s not Steve Ott, so RELAX a little.

I guess I just feel like Ovechkin doesn’t get a fair shake (I know, it sounds ridic, but….) He’s the most exciting player in the league (we could argue forever over who has more talent between him, Crosby and Malkin, and aren’t we lucky we’re watching hockey while three greats grow up and into the game?!) If he were Canadian, he’d be lauded for being the full-package of goal scoring prowess and checking grit. But he’s Russian, so he can’t win. (And I guess the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette agrees slightlyThe thing about this is, if Ovechkin's name was Alan Olberbacher and he was from Moosejaw instead of Moscow, Cherry isn't nearly offended by it. And something Cherry and others who get huffy over this stuff tend to forget about this game is that it's entertainment.)

At its heart, this is not another chapter in the Crosby-Ovechkin rivalry. It’s a testament to how xenophobic and closed-minded Cherry is. He’s a little like my grandfather, but the difference is that my grandfather doesn’t get to broadcast his outdated and, well, let’s be honest, wrong, opinions to the world twice a week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Insanity Of Us

Nash Brown and I love to dream about getting jobs with the NHL. But maybe we’re setting our sights on the wrong league, maybe our particular brand of crazy is made for somewhere else….somewhere like the AHL, where they hold promos like this:

Don't Be Like Mike" Night
• All fans who are graduates of a DARE program can get into the game for just $2 by bringing their DARE graduation certificate to the Admirals' office or the Bradley Center box office.
• Anyone with the name Michael, Phelps, Mary Jane, Cheech, Chong, Weed (Wied) or anyone who has won an Olympic Gold Medal can also get their ticket for only $2.
• The team is giving away a weed wacker from National Ace Hardware, signed by the Admirals.
• If the team scores with 4:20 -- a number that's synonymous with pot culture -- on the clock in any period, one fan will win a season ticket for the following season.
• The team is providing a document shredder outside of section 225 for fans to destroy their own incriminating, Phelps-like photos.

When we apply for jobs with the AHL Admirals (love the jersey, btw) we'll attach the following to our resumes as a testament to our insanity/hilarity. (The background: I’m driving up to Jersey to spend the weekend with NBMD and take in the Bruins and Sharks games. Consequently, she asked what I wanted for dinner.....)

(click for larger images, and props to puckdaddy for the AHL scoop).

EDIT: More .... Sloppy Joe Thornton and Dustin Brownies, Don Cherry Pie, Orr-ver easy eggs, Pekkan (Rinne) Pie, Bourque chops.....we could do this all night!

Oh Mike Green

Mike Green’s hot streak means more media coverage, which is a win-win for everybody. Dan Steinberg had this gem: Green was being followed around Saturday night by the NHL Network for a Day-in-the-Life segment; I asked if his performance jazzed up the producers. "I guess so," Green said. I think they were more excited about our little event before the game, when me and Ovi were driving in a cart and we almost crashed into the door. You'll see it. We were just driving this little golf cart thing, we almost took our heads off. Actually, Ovi did, he almost killed me."

I don’t doubt that Ovie at the wheel of a golf cart is a recipe for danger. (This is, after all, the guy who allegedly got pulled over for going 165 to get to a game) But it seems that Mike Green and small motorized vehicles just don’t go well together, as illustrated by the Great Segway Incident of ’08.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I'm mostly a purist when it comes to fan gear (read: no pink!) But some of these hats are just too cool to hate.

There's a red and black pin striped Devils hat I could totally see Nash Brown rocking....


I don’t know a ton about how the Olympics work, but the final qualifying games were played over the weekend. Here’s the list of teams that will play in Vancouver.

Group A: Canada, United States, Switzerland, Norway
Group B: Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia
Group C: Sweden, Finland, Belarus, Germany

What I want to know is how the teams work going forward. There are all these NHLers who are going to play for their home county: Nick Backstrom for Sweden, the other Nick Backstrom for Finland, etc., etc., etc. But especially in some of these smaller counties (say Belarus, which can claim the Kostitsyn brothers), who are the players on the team now? The ones who are worked their asses of to make sure their country qualified? And what happens to them when the pros join their ranks….?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Got My Credit Card Bill Today...

...and besides a random $3.68 charge at Target (yea.. I don't know either), it was all Starbucks, gasoline, and hockey tickets.

Yup, sounds about right.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Heaven, I'm in Heaven...

Oh hey, that's me, skating on the ice at the Verizon Center. The very same ice that Ovie scored his 7th career hat trick on just an hour earlier. Yeah.

I skate at the Caps practice facility, so I often skate on the same ice as the Caps (and it always seems cool). But skating in the VZ Center, looking up at my seat, standing at center ice....simply amazing... Also amazing: the number of people who attempted to throw themselves against the glass Alex Ovechkin-style, with varying degrees of success. I did not try that, but I did touch the ice and run my hands along the glass and the boards.

I love that the Caps do stuff like this for season ticket holders and I'm going to miss it next season, when I'm too poor to renew my seat. One of the coolest parts was that some of the players (Laich, Fehr, Backstrom, Johnson, maybe one or two others) came out to the bench and signed autographs for about 30 minutes. It wasn't planned, and Fehr was pretty much dragged off by the staff, who kept reminded the players that they had a Super Bowl party to get to. I love that the team appreciates the fans so much and that the players do little things like that.

Only I Can Make Myself Look That Dumb

So, mere hours after I posted touting Steve Mason's talents, he lets in 3 goals on 8 shots and receives the first early dismissal of his NHL career. It was later revealed that Mason had been diagnosed with mononucleosis.

I wonder if he got it from Phil Kessel...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

An Open Letter to Steve Mason


Hello there, Stevie Franchise, I come to you with a proposition it will be hard for you to turn away. Now I know you are just a 20 year old rookie, not wanting to step on toes; but the truth is you are a star. Any demand you have should be met, and this is why I believe you should change your jersey from 1 to 0. Now, I don't suggest you do this because you are a zero, but do so to reflect your propensity towards shutouts. My goodness, Stevie. Your are a shutout machine. Does your mom not make you dinner if you let a goal in? I'm beginning to think that is the case. You lead the league in shutouts with 7, a task that hasn't been done since Chico Resch in '76 (back when the Isles were not a total joke). With over 30 games left in the season it is not unfathomable that you will surpass Tony Esposito's record of 15 in his rookie season. You have only played 32 games and with 19 wins, over a third of your games are shutouts. If you truly want to wear the 1 on your back, you might want to let a few more biscuits into the basket. I think it would take a complete breakdown to let the Calder slip away from you, and if you keep up the status quo, your name will replace the standard 'Martin Brodeur' on the Vezina.

Think about it,
Nash Brown, MD

PS.. I know you probably spent a few dollars getting that totally rad 'MASE1' license plate, but with some hard work you'll surely land a Gatorade endorsement to help you pay for 'MASE0'.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Open Ice

I finally got on my game and ordered Jack Falla's "Open Ice." There's a great bit that made me giggle on the bus -- very apropos because Nash Brown and I were talking about the Beanpot this afternoon:

I once coached varsity hockey at a nearby private school, where during a brief break in a practice, an assistant coach pointed to a corner of the rink ... There, three of our better players had opened the door leading to the dressing room, stepped briefly off the ice, and then, one at a time, turned and jogged back toward the open door and jumped through it, fairly exploding onto the ice surface.
"Would you go see what that's all about?" I asked the assistant coach who returned a moment later with the answer.
"They say they're practicing their Beanpot entrances" he said, laughing.
Years later I was at the Boston Garden when one of those former high school players, a BU defenseman, skated out for his first Beanpot game. I found his entrance smooth and stylish with only a trace element of self-consciousness.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stupid Sports Writers

God it pisses me off when people who don’t know about hockey write about it. Today’s gem comes from the Wa.Po, which should clearly tell its staff to step off the Caps and leave the wonderful beat writers alone. “Sports Columnist” John Feinstein writes about how the Caps should get over whining about the ASG and focus on winning the Cup. Valid point, although if you’d paid attention to anything going on in the past week you’d know that the Caps coach and team has already gotten over the All Star “slight” and is focused on tonight’s game against the Bruins. He also says the Caps need better goaltending. To pluck a phrase from 1990, NO DUH! This guy acts like he’s giving brilliant advice, but makes points that anyone paying attention to the last four months has heard a hundred times before.

Then we get this: Here is what we know about the NHL: home ice in the playoffs often means little. Teams win seventh games on the road frequently -- witness the Philadelphia Flyers in the Verizon Center last April -- and there really isn't a dominant team in the league right now.

I am slamming my head on my desk right now. Technically, his point is true – teams do win game 7 on the road, Flyers, Wings, etc. - but it reeks of someone who just looked up some stats without an understanding of what actually happened. Home ice in the playoffs is supremely important, not just for Game 7. It’s important to win the first game, to come from behind in Game 4, to force a Game 7. Especially if you’re the Caps, who have the best home record in the East, with just 3 regulation losses (19-3-1). The Bruins are 17-3-2 and if it comes down to those two in the Eastern Conference final, don’t tell me home ice isn’t an advantage.

And “there really isn’t a dominant team in the league right now?” I assume he means on home ice? Try San Jose at 22-1-2 at home. Forget the home ice part. The Sharks are 5 points ahead of Detroit and 13 points in front the 3rd place Flames. If that isn’t dominant, I need a new dictionary.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ok. i can't wait...

i was undecided for a hot while but i hate the idea of nash being sid's winger. nash is a star and needs to shine. he doesn't need to be outdone by the brilliance of sidney's sun. i just can't seem to get over the idea of nash in a pens sweater.. it feels so wrong. like parise in a blueshirt. i couldn't handle it. i always think that nasher needs a better team around him, but when i try to think of other teams he could go to, my mind is always blank. he should stay in columbus when the time comes for him to sign. what needs to change is the players around him. strides have been taken with brassard, umberger and most notably mason. the puzzle is coming together, and i like what columbus is bringing. hopefully they will make the playoffs this year. i don't even think it matters if they are out in 5 games during the first round. they just need to be there and get their feet wet. i sense good things are coming for the cbj's. i'm so sure of this that i'll bet you a bottle of mad dog that they make the playoffs this year. game on?


The Caps are in Boston gearing up for tomorrow's game. Tarik has some stuff from their practice, which was at BC. (Eagles suck!) This made me jealous/is why I adore the Caps organization so much:

*The Boston College hockey players were invited into the Caps' dressing room after practice for some pizza and small talk with the Washington players.

"Isn't that cool?" Boudreau said. "I wish when I was playing junior that the NHL teams that came in gave us words of advice."

Just A Quick Thought

so i'm probably just riding an asg high. but as i was dealing with my soul sucking commute on the nj turnpike today. i had a thought.. which progressed into a daydream.. which became a drool inducing man coma.. which almost resulted in a multi-car pile up. so. picture this. rick nash playing wing for sidney crosby. i won't expand now. i'll wait a few days until nasher undoubtedly unleashes a highlight reel goal. that man is a true talent and flies so under the radar he could have a second career as a stealth bomber. think about this, tell me what you feel and i myself will do the same while trying not to hurt innocent suburbanites who pollute the roads.

Hey Now, You're An All-Star

Over at ESPN, Scott Burnside writes about Lidstrom and Datsyuk’s decision to skip the ASG: The punishment has nothing to do with whether Lidstrom has been a great ambassador for the game as a whole and a tremendous supporter of the All-Star event after playing in it 10 times. He is not only one of the finest defensemen of all time but also one of the classiest individuals ever to play the game. But this event is fighting for its very life. Never particularly relevant at the best of times, the NHL All-Star Game is even less so when you hold it up against the likes of the Winter Classic, which has become a showcase event for the NHL after successes in Buffalo and Chicago the past two seasons.

That’s true. So maybe the Wings were making a statement; maybe they’re saying what so many said over the course of this weekend … the ASG isn’t that great. Maybe the die-hard fans and the players find the game a dull distraction. But the Bell Centere was packed all weekend and I’m willing to bet the NHL won’t/can’t let go of the marketing revenue that this thing brings in. Yeah, the Winter Classic is much more exciting considering it, you know, actually counts. It should be the premiere event of the season, and probably will be in another few years. But until the NHL has teams that can pay their own way (cough, Phoenix, cough) and can get itself back into the hearts and wallets of a wider audience, the ASG is here to stay.

So why don’t the players see that and work their tails off to give the fans a good time? All people wanted was a little flash, some laughs and some trick shots. Give up your weekend for the good of the game that has made you a millionaire. Sure, I understand why they didn’t want to go. Why waste your time and energy playing in a game that doesn’t matter, especially when the playoffs are looming? But the fans voted for you, they wanted to see you, and you let them down.

I don’t know how bad Sid’s knee is – I think that he tends to overplay some of his injuries -- but at least he showed up. He gave interviews and waved to the crowd and you have to respect that. He understands how important that stuff is and he made the effort. If Lidstrom and Datsyuk didn’t want to play, they could have at least showed up to glad-hand with the fans. And hey, here’s an idea, if you think you’re going to be too tired, or too banged up, ask to be kept off the ballot. There were some great players (Mike Green) who would have loved be in Montreal this weekend.

But in the end, I think it was better to replace the surly stars than force them to attend. It was nice to see the enthusiasm from some of the guys who might not have otherwise been there. And you know, the players seemed to really be enjoying themselves – with the exception of Vinny, who looked like he had stage fright the entire time. Not re-thinking your impending move to Montreal, are you VLC?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Russian Machine Never Breaks

i know times are tough but could the NHL not afford to write a new script? a shootout winner from the game's greatest talent? does this seem a little winter classic '08?

it was good then, but now it just seems cliche.

in my blue eyes, if the league truly wants to reach more markets it can NOT solely rely on 2 stars. you can not convince me that game wasn't scripted tonight. you can not. for a moment there, i thought kovalev was going to score the game winner. and that would be pretty boring, but i could appreciate it. had it been vinny, i would have been on my feet. that would be an amazing way to have him ring in his new term as the head of the habs. because, if you didn't get the memo, he will be one before march 4. but making it ovechkin that won the game.. just seemed painful. i'm really tired of the league catering to sometimes viewers and not to the true fans. any of those true fans would know ovechkin is nowhere near the best in shootouts. (see here: ) if the league wanted the public to think the game mattered, zach parise should have been out there. and i understand that it is an all-star game and you want to display the STARS.. but these guys all earned their spots there. well, maybe not mark streit. and i think putting OV above everyone on the rest of the team goes against everything he and his beloved russia stands for.

and don't worry. one of these days i'll figure out how to probably link in other sites and videos. it wil just take time. but i promise it will be before i ever dare own a detroit red wings player tee.

Your Starting Lineup

Tarik says Vinny is replacing Sid in the starting lineup tonight....

I know the entire city of Montreal has a hard-on for Vinny, but really? I get that Ovie shouldn't have won the breakaway, but can at least ONE event this weekend be decided on merit? It should be Ovechkin or Carter.

Break It Down

Just a few random thoughts and observations from last night…

Final notes on the breakaway challenge: I’m all for fan participation, but this was just another example of the turribleness of fan voting. Also, to rebut Nash Brown’s earlier post: Getzlaf was not the worst (cough, Stamkos, cough). His behind the net move was nifty.

  • LOVED that they had players mic’ed: Zach Parise, Tim Thomas and of course, Marc Savard. Fabulous.
  • Almost felt bad for Mark Streit when he fell over that sign. As if the Isles need more embarrassment...
  • I swear I heard them announce Ilya Kovalchuk as KovalCHUNK.
  • Guess last night did achieve one of its goals -- I really enjoyed seeing guys like Andrew Cogliano, Sheldon Souray and Shane Doan. They’ve got some talent out west…who knew?
Speaking of Shane Doan, did you see him during the elimination shout? He was grinning after every shot and when he would skate over to the bench his daughter would wrap her arms around his neck. Adorable! Actually, despite the fact that I was most excited for the breakaway challenge, I ended up enjoying the elimination shootout much, much more. I liked that there was a rhythm and a buildup (that's what she said), lots of participants, and some sick moves. (See, Vanek, Thomas).

I loved Marc Savard’s running commentary and was laughing my ass off when Tim Thomas let him score. I’m glad Doan won, but it was nice of Timmy to give us one more round.

From PuckDaddy: Thomas grinned. "He had me completely fooled," he said. "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. That's the one I'm taking to court. That he had me fooled." Savard played the role of co-conspirator afterward. "I think he was giving me a little bit, but he says he wasn't, so I'm sticking to his story too."

At one point, Bruin’s coach Claude Julien (also the ASG coach) leaned over to Savard and said “you think you can do this when there’s pressure?” Savard’s reaction was too cute…. “like there’s no pressure here?!” The Bruins did get some pretty loud boos….glad to see the Montreal-Boston rivalry is still strong.

PuckDaddy’s got a great (more organized) wrap up, but their line of the night was: An aside: Why didn't Sidney Crosby ride out in the passenger's seat on one of the Zambonis? Isn't that what they usually do with sick kids?


Yesterday my dad accused me of being an apologist for Obama (b/c of Tim Geithner. Whatever, I still think he's the right guy to head up the Fed). So as not to get accused of the same thing twice in two days, I'll say straight off the bat that Ovie shouldn't have won the breakaway challenge.

I'm a huge Ovie fan and I thought what he did was funny (although he needs some Gatorade chugging tips from Steve Mason). I liked that he tried to recreate "The Goal" and I though he did that better than Kane/Stamkos. But honestly, he should have tried more, you know, actual tricks. It's not like he doesn't have the skills. (I've seen him goofing around at the end of practices. He has a great one where someone feeds him a high, cross-ice pass and he literally bats it into the net.) Marty St. Louis should have won, and Kovalev had some good moves too... I would have given Ovie 3rd.

Also...why was Steve Stamkos in that challenge?

For your comparison:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Call the cops, because St. Louis was robbed

Let's get this straight. I do not dislike Alex Ovechkin.. I just think that the NHL is trying to make him the silver boy.. next to Crosby's golden boy. Work with me here. I believe he is an amazing talent and I know that the public picked the winner of the breakaway challenge but there is no way that Ovechkin was better than St. Louis. NO WAY! Just cuz Ovie threw on a hat and crazy glasses he deserves to win? Heck, MSL had a prop in his crazy blown out hair. What was with that, by the way. Also, the whole thing where he used Malkin to give him his props? Seriously, Ovie, you're better than that. It seemed all too sub-plot in a John Hughes flick for me. I hope that they truly didn't make up and that tomorrow they get into a same team fight at center ice. Just think of the attention it would bring to the NHL! I'm sure Bettman would love that. And, selfishly, if they both got hurt it would do wonders for my fantasy team rankings.

I had fully intended on attaching the video of all the athletes showing off their skillz (or lack thereof.. getzlaf.. i'm looking at you!!) but since i'm not as skilled at this whole blogging thing as Ms. Mumbai, I must default to her and hope that she will post it for ya'll.

Hope you enjoy tomorrow's festivities as much as I will!

Twitter: The Ovie Files

ZOMG. Ovie is Twittering. (Tweeting? Whatever, like all things Ovechkin, it's hilarious.)

Can't. Wait.

I'd like to order some food...

Just a little something to get you pumped for the All Star weekend...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cool It, Caps fan.

hey hey heyyyyyy. nash brown reporting for duty. so before my fellow bloggy can take control of this place, let me tell you about myself.

So, the skinny on nash brown.. i love hockey. adore it. can't get enough. orderedcentericeoncableandhopedmymomdidn'tnoticeit kinda love. i'll watch any game, any time. some people think intermissions are boring. me? oh no, that just means i get to watch another game for 17 minutes.

I started this love up at BU.. GO TERRIERS!.. but not until late. a fact that my brother will never let me live done. he never lets me forget that i could have been bff with sid the kid if i had just listened to him. ok.. he's probably wrong there. everyone knows sidney only loves hockey.. well hockey and cleaning mario's dishes.

so. the things that make hockey great for me: d-men who can score, scrappy left wingers, modesty, hard work, the brisk atmosphere that is an arena pre-game, organ music.

i'm also infamous for my unfounded dislike of European players. i can't tell you what it is, i just love myself a good north american boy.

ok. its time for dinner, so i better go.


Oh Ovie

Tarik (the WaPo's fantastic Caps beat writer/blogger) has a great Q & A with Ovie from Montreal. Some highlights...

Q: Who's going to win the Breakaway Challenge?
A: I'm go to try. Not[hing] special, just simple move. Nothing new. [He's cracking up]. Everybody. Kovalev, Kane, everybody.

Q: When Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas drew your name for the Elimination Shootout, he kind of grunted and said, 'Oh no'. What are your thoughts about facing Thomas?
A: I know a couple of things about Thomas. I'm probably going talk to him because I need a little help. [Ovechkin was making a reference to his not-so-spectacular 9 for 34 career shootout record in games that count.]

Speaking of Timmy, please enjoy his impression of a flying squirrel. Also, I love how Jason Blake yells "What the fuck was that?" at 0:12. (Props to HubHockey).


Is there a better time to launch a hockey blog than the All Star Weekend? I think not. There’s plenty going on up in Montreal, and the question of whether the ASG is farce or fab could take up the whole weekend alone. But don’t worry, that won’t be all we talk about.

Before we get down to business, in the words of Austin Powers (a much better Mike Myers movie than Love Guru), allow myself to introduce myself…

I am Gordon Mumbai. Obviously, not my real name, as I am a) a chick and b) not an Indian Emilio Estevez. Regardless, it is how I will be known to all of you (at this point hypothetical) readers. You should check out my bio, but here’s the cheat sheet: I live in DC and love the Caps. I was raised in New England as a Bruins fan, but only became a die-hard hockey fan recently. Nash Brown and I met when we were in college in Boston, and our mutual love of all things puck has brought us together in the years since. In fact, Nash’s sister jokingly (right?) refers to me as "the wife." (We’re even making plans to spend Valentine’s weekend together in NJ, to see the Devils play the Bruins and the Sharks. It fits in with my life motto: Love Puck, Will Travel.)

Nasher and I spend ¾ of every work day e-mailing each other about the latest puck-related happenings and taunting each other over the standings in our fantasy league, so a blog seemed like a logical next step. Now we just have to get people to read it…