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…