Friday, December 25, 2009

Twas the night before Playoffs.

'Twas the night before playoffs when all through the rink
Ed Belfour was stirring himself a hard drink;

The fans in their seats look on in despair,
In hopes that Saint Nicklas would score on Giguere;

The children in Nashville, cheering the Preds,
With visions of Tootoo bashing in heads;

The 'Hawks in Chicago, with an eye on the cap,
May trade Brent or Brian, and keep those name Pat;

Then after the whistle there arose such a clatter,
Vokoun was just hoping it wasn't Keith Ballard;

Away to his homeland, he'll fly like a flash,
If Kovy is not re-signed by the Thrash;

New York on behest of GM Garth Snow,
Upturns his snow globe named DiPietro;

At the East's bottom rankings, what should appear?
A 14th seed Flyers, yet a healthy Briere;

With a little old scorer, so quick and lively,
I knew by the size it was St. Louis;

Some fans trying jeering the opponents at the game,
And oft-times chant Goalie when they don't know his name;

There's Hiller! And Miller! Now, Schneider and Salak!
And Conklin! And Huet! Two Masons and Halak!

From Luongo and Lundqvist and the Bulin Wall,
Stick save and a glove save and a pad save for all!

As the van leaves for Ottawa, the Wild had to fly
In some new equipment, as fire lit the sky;

And down the league standings, the Red Wings, they flew;
With the Canucks, and Ducks, and St. Louis, too;

And then in an instant, the Wachovia roof
Was the unconscious vision of the kid they call Booth;

He just turned his head, and was turning around,
Down came an elbow, Booth's brain was not found;

Let's hear it for Richards! Let's hear it for Perry!
'Cause where you were born's what matters to Cherry;

Running his mouth, I shake my head no,
When is McLean taking over the show?

Todd Fedoruk is missing some teeth,
And when you see his x-ray, you'll shout Good Grief!

He had a broad face and a big, fat belly,
Some called him Kyle, his friends called him Welly;

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old fuck,
They don't get much fatter than ol' Keith Tkachuk;

A wink of Marc's eye, and despite the bad wreck,
Big Bert skates on, even with Steve's broken neck;

He doesn't save often, and puts it poor worko,
We filled all the nets when guarded by Turco;

And pointing my finger against their best wishes,
The Kostitsyn's told me I'd be sleeping with the fishes;

He sprang to the bench, to his team with much thunder,
"Hundo on Dallas" said Tocchet, "and I'm takin' the under";

And we heard that Letang, when Hartnell and he did fight,
"Happy Holidays to all, and my finger he did bite"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Words I Hate and Other People Moments.

Sometimes you read a word and that word might not immediately crack your brain eggs and scramble them about, but they at least grease the pan. "Tie" in combination with "Domi" is one example. Today, that word is "clutch".

Look, no one denies the existence of a clutch goal or a clutch performance, but to say a certain player is "clutch" and "always comes through" is simply nonsense. I'm not going to go off on why because I shouldn't have to. If you are a good player, you'll be good when it matters. If you aren't a good player, you'll be as good as you are in any situation. The ability to suddenly improve because it's more important is ridiculous. What is keeping these players from being this good all the time? Wouldn't you want to be good all the time if you had the ability to suddenly get better?

Jason Botchford likes clutch players.

For generations, one creature which has seemed to elude sports statisticians is the clutch performer.

A cryptic statement. Techincally, a clutch performer is someone who gives a clutch performance. That is pretty easy to statistically represent. This guy had 2 goals in a Game 7, I would call him a clutch performer, for that game. Let him play 5, 10, 82 more game 7s and we'll see how many 2 goal performances he has. I'm guessing somewhere south of 5, 10, and 82. But maybe not. He's clutch!

Crunching numbers — even Derek Jeter’s, Michael Jordan’s and Mark Messier’s — has yielded the same results for stat geeks that cryptozoologists have turned up in their search for Ogopogo.

Classic, man, classic! Or like the Gaylord Ponderosa's search for the Wolfman. Ice cream was everywhere.

Maybe if you're Canadian this makes more sense, but I'm not so I'm going to make fun of what is to me an obscure and unfunny reference.

People are sure they’ve seen one, but proving it with hard evidence has proved to be difficult. Are clutch performances accident or ability? A state of mind or timing and circumstance?

Jase, my man, you're getting so close to logic and understanding, I'm not sure I can take it. You're so close to cognition. Don't stop now!

“Obviously, there is [such a thing as clutch performers],” Vigneault said. “When you’re up by 4-2 and you make it 5-2 and 6-2, those goals really don’t mean a lot.

Obviously? Is it really that obvious? Well, if you buy into the nonsense, then maybe your team doesn't have any.

“What do you do for us when the game is 2-2 or you’re down by a goal or you’re up by a goal? Can you make the difference?

This reads like an ad for the military. What can you do for your country? Can you be all you can be? JOIN THE ARMY.

“That’s when you can tell the difference [and see] a professional, a clutch player, and a guy who wants to be out there.

Let's run down the roster and see if we can spot any professionals or clutch players.

Ryan Kesler - American. Hates hockey. Likes Jersey Giant. Unprofessional.
Henrik/Daniel Sedin - Twins. Unprofessionally European and therefore hate hockey.
Roberto Luongo - 0 career game winning goals. Unprofessionally cries after playoff losses.
Kyle Wellwood - Ate the puck once. Waited until game was over so he wouldn't be called for a delay minor. Not a pro.
Alex Edler - Said, "No" when asked do you want to be out there.
Willie Mitchell - Canadian. Not very good at offense. Uses a long stick, very unprofessional.

Sorry 'Nucks fans, you're fucked.

The Canucks lead the league in “those goals [that] really don’t mean a lot.”

So, when they're up by 3 should they just pack it in? Ya know what they should do? Get up by 3 and then shoot 2 in their own net with under a minute left! That'd make that 6th goal worth something dammit!

They’ve also played the fewest one-goal games — just eight, and they are 4-4. “So far this year, we’ve either won real big or we haven’t been able to get those [clutch] performances,” Vigneault said.

“But at the end of the day, I think we have those players. We have the goaltender who can make the timely saves. We have the players, whether it be up front or on D, who can be those players in key moments.

The team is +14 in goal differential. Sounds like they are getting unlucky. It has less to do with 'clutch performances' and more do to with a sample of 30 some games and being on the unfortunate side. Having 0 OT losses is pretty remarkable.

“We have done it in the past. If you look at our record in the past, they’ve all been one-goal games. For whatever reason, right now, we’re just on the wrong side of that.”

Wow, way to waste this whole clutch blackhole by admitting you have no idea what is really going on.

"For whatever reason" - Canucks fans, this is your coach.

Vancouver had pressure moments late in games against Chicago, San Jose and Carolina. There were chances to get those games into overtime. But each time, the Canucks failed to make something happen.

And last night, they couldn't tie it against Nashville late either. Cannot believe they couldn't handily beat those chump teams Chicago and San Jose. Ryan Rypien where were you??!?! Nashville is 10-3-1 in their last 14. Carolina I'll give you, but that's just one game.

This season, the Canucks have scored seven goals in the last five minutes of games, excluding empty-netters.

It’s good for 12th in the NHL. But the only one which mattered was Mikael Samuelsson’s game winner Oct. 21. None of the others won or tied a game.

Useless information.

“The games we’ve been losing lately, these are the kind of games we need to push to overtime,” forward Alex Burrows said.

“If we lose in a shootout or overtime, at least we get a point.

I once asked Alexandre Burrows if he knew NHL rules regarding overtime points, his response?

"I KNOW HIM" know him?


Ok.....all right.

“There are a few guys in the league, who have that gift, who make things happen when it matters most. They are able to step up at the right moment. And right now, that’s what we need to do.”

Can you name them, Alexandre? Who Sidney Crosby? Alexander Ovechkin? Malkin, maybe? Henrik Winnerberg? Certainly not Hossa, but any of those other players would qualify. You know what else? They are all star players. They are great players and great players play great whether it's Game 7 or it's tonsil hockey on blueberry hill. Nobody thinks this guy is clutch or great (except for this guy). Let's all just get off the clutch boner, mmmkay! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Henrik Zetterberg: the most intangibly gifted player in the NHL.

Intangibles. You've heard all about them before. Derek Jeter is the king of intangibles in baseball. He just has that leadership ability that most people don't have that allows him to continue to be relevant year after year in MVP talk. He doesn't necessarily need to have stout numbers because all of his intangibles guide him along. Have you ever wondered who the king of intangibles is in the NHL? Well, wonder no longer.

A recent study shows that Henrik Zetterberg is the league leader in Intangible Resourcefulness Rating to Exhibit Game Altering Rational Demonstrations of Leadership Excluded from Scoring Sheet with a whopping 85.6 rating. Second on this list is Jason Spezza with a 79.1 IRREGARDLESS, with Jordan Staal finishing in third, just behind Spezza with a 78.3 rating. Joe Corvo and Chris Drury round out the top five with 74.6 and 73.1 ratings, respectively.

Surprising? I think not. Just by taking a look at King Hank, it's not difficult to notice how hard he plays every shift. Add to this the fact that he's just a winner, damnit. I'd rather have him on my team than plenty of players.

A few notibles include Scott Gomez's IRREGARDLESS of just 23.9, and Marian Hossa's surprisingly low rating of 12.6. Gomez's rating is surprising considering his steep contract and the fact that he's not really an elite scorer. You'd figure there would be plenty of intangibles that justify his salary, but apparently that's not so. As for Mr. Hossa, the only explanation I have is that he just isn't clutch when it really matters. He definitely hasn't proven himself as a winner, and that's where intangibles are born. The Blackhawks are proving to be a scary team this season, but if Hossa is unable to pick up his IRREGARDLESS throughout the year, they might struggle when it really comes down to it: the Stanley Cup Finals.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fact fun.

Exactly half of the NHLs 2009-2010 season games will have been completed whenever the 1st of 3 7:00 start-time games ends on January 2nd, 2010. Those 3 games are TOR@CAL, ATL@NYI, and COL@CBJ. The one that ends first will be the 615th game which is exactly the halfway point. (82*30)/2=1230 NHL games.


Expect a midseason breakdown post right as that game ends but before the 616th game ends. Accuracy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Savard must be out of Semin...

Because Peter Chiarelli must have spent alot of time on his knees in order to get Savard to sign a seven-year deal worth around $4.2 mil per season. I know he's 32, but I don't expect him to become useless when he reaches 36, like certain upset Maple Giggles fans now predict.

Oh, and I'm sorry if that little play-on-words makes me a Grossman.