Saturday, January 24, 2009

Killin' Time: Friday Night Edition

After staring blankly at my computer for a few hours trying not to write the same NHL-All-Star-Game-is-a-complete-waste-of-time piece, I figured I would revive the Killin' Time feature from this summer, which featured some random ramblings. So here are five thoughts on this late Friday night:

*On the All Star Game, with the suspensions (or non suspensions depending on where you read it) of Pavel Datsyuk and Nick Lidstrom do you think this was a calculated move? Ken Holland is a well acknowledged hockey genius and before the season started had to know that some of his top guns would be selected to the ASG. So you think that he petitioned the NHL at the time to schedule Detroit's first game after the break against a perceived softie of a team in Columbus? Let's face it, before the rise of Calder Trophy contender Steve Mason, the Jackets were a joke (even with the offseason additions, and especially compared to the Wings). Hmmm ...

*Here is a terrible thought: What would happen if Henrik Lundqvist got hurt this weekend in Montreal? If anyone is up to build a lynch mob to storm the NHL Store to find Bettman, lemme know. And doesn't the pic of Gary to the right just say it all? Smug SOB.

*Even though it was not important enough to make the game story in the local paper, the Canadian rags are jumping all over the Klotz story from Philadelphia where an AHL player suffered seizures after being knocked out during a fight. The subject of fisticuffs in hockey has been a hot topic of late and with the big guns congregating in Montreal, Klotz going down certainly does not bode well for us fight fans. And that is especially so since it comes days before a game that, no matter how bad it really is, the NHL will hail as a complete success. And you can be sure that the heartless display of the league's greed will pass without a single bout. So if you can have such a 'successful' game without any fighting, why should they allow fighting regularly??

*While a lot of eyes in Montreal will be on West Islip's Mike Komisarek, I randomly came across a news tidbit about another Long Island native - goaltender Bobby Goepfert. Goepfert, a goaltender from Kings Park, has apparently left the toil of the North American minor leagues to join the Red Bulls in Salzburg, Austria. Yes, there is a hockey team named after the energy drink and yes, it is a professional organization. Best of luck to Bobby in his new world.

*And if any of you are betting folks, and are really hard up for stuff to lay your money on in this disgrace of a hockey game, take a look at the experienced mid-level stars for your MVP. Taking a look at prior MVPs - aside from Wayne and Mario - many of the players to take the honour came into the game with little to no expectations. The big stars usually have a ton of press commitments so the game is an after-thought and the young players are in too much awe to play their best, leaving quality players with some experience under their belts to rise up - guys like Briere and Staal the last two years, and Bill Guerin, Mark Recchi and Vinny Damphousse among others in years past. That being said, since I would hedge my bets, my picks are Shane Doan from the West and Marc Savard from the East ... enjoy the festivities!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am sure Holland, the wise hockey guy that he is, thought 'hey, that team is a joke' we aren't going to worry about them...right...That is certainly a quality of a successful leader--to disregard and disrespect opponents....

FYI, the jackets were 3-5 vs. the mighty cup champs last year, and if not for the JOKE goal that Leclaire let in in the dying seconds, the jackets would have taken at least a point from them in their first meeting.

Their 2nd meeting saw the jackets with 7 regular players (4 of their top 6) out, and a post, a crossbar and Peca missing an empty net, the mighty wings were lucky to not be down 3-0 after one to the 'joke' of the team that is the blue jackets.

The only thing that was a joke about the blue jackets this year early was the blue jackets goaltending. At .869 over the first dozen games, what team wouldn't struggle? Now Mason has come in and stopped all the shots he should and given them a chance to win games, they are within striking distance of their first playoff birth.

Because you clearly have only seen one jackets game this year, let me inform you that other than the 2-1 victory over SJ in Columbus and the first period in washington, Mason hasn't HAD to stand on his head. He has made the saves that he should, and maybe a few good ones, but his success is very much a byproduct of the team in front of him. The shutouts are just gravy.

You should really watch a game or two before you make ignorant comments like that. As of last week, the jackets had the 3rd best record in the west behind only the wings, the flames and ahead of the sharks. Are those teams records a result of purely goaltending too?

Mason has allowed them to be in games and they have done a hell of a job sustaining a substantial amount of injuries. It is what good goalies do for teams. Any team would appear a 'joke' in the sports section if their goaltending was ECHL calibre. Watch a game or two and then comment on how much of a 'joke' they are.

It is ignorant comments like that that chip away at people's credibility. Such a shame because you usually provide much better quality than that. Disappointing, really.

Scotty Hockey said...

Wow, a passionate, if misinformed Columbus fan. I guess I would want to be anonymous too if I followed the Blue Jackets. But to address your comments, first off, I have seen the Jackets about a half dozen times this season and about 10 times last year. As most readers can see, I don't only watch Ranger games and have a wide base of knowledge of the league.

Secondly, the schedule is made prior to the season - when no one had ever thought Mason would be carrying Columbus. And I floated a half-serious conspiracy theory that Holland, at that time, would want a lesser opponent. And in Detroit's division, that means your team. Sorry but how have the playoffs been for you guys? Oh yeah, that's right, you've never made them.

But thanks for playing!