Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More Pukey than Funky

6th Billion Can of SPAM and Counting

Hormel Foods recently produced the 6th billion can of SPAM.

So who eats this stuff? Well. a can of SPAM is consumed in the U.S. every 3.1 seconds.

An entire 16,500-square-foot museum in Austin, is dedicated to SPAM.

OK. That's enough about SPAM.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dryden's Number Retired

Backstopped Montreal to 6 Stanley Cups in the 8 seasons he played. Individual awards:
Calder Memorial Trophy (1972)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1971)
Vezina Trophy (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Not exactly paying attention

I'm so confused

New Item at Hardees

I'm back on interesting food south of the border. The new Monster Biscuit at Hardee is made using three half-strips of bacon, a sausage patty, four slices of shaved ham, a folded egg and two slices of cheese all on a biscuit. Just 790 calories and 57 grams of fat. What a great way to start the day.

Tier 4 Standings

With 2 weeks left in the North Metro season, the Tier 4 standings look like this when going by winning percentage:

Mississauga .921
Georgina .733
North York .694
Markham -Stouffville .688
Whitby .639
Durham .605
Oshawa .588
Orillia .583
Vaughan .417
Scarborough .305
Etobicoke .083
Clearview .055

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Whitby Dunlops: 1958 World Champions

On February 3, Whitby is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Whitby Dunlop team that won the World Championships in 1958.

The original Whitby Dunlops were founded from the remnants of the former Oshawa Generals team of 1952-53. After the an arena fire destroyed the Generals home ice, the team was disbanded.

Some of the players followed team manager Wren Blair to form the Oshawa Truckmen who were relocated to Whitby in 1954. The team was soon sponsored by the Dunlop Rubber Company, and renamed the Whitby Dunlops. The team started as a Senior B team, winning its division the first year. The following year the Dunlops moved up to the Senior A league.

The Senior A team would go on to win two Allan Cups (in 1957 and 1959) and a World Hockey Championship (in 1958). Notable members of the team are, former Whitby mayor Bob Attersley, former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Sid Smith, Boston Bruin president Harry Sinden and my father-in-law and former Toronto Marlie coach and general manger Frank Bonello (in picture below). Harry Sinden was captain of the 1958 Dunlops, while former Leaf captain Sid Smith was a playing coach. The Town of Whitby honoured this great team for their incredible achievements with their induction into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame.

The Dunlops were Canada's representative to the 1958 World Championships in Oslo, Norway, as the defending Allan Cup champions. The team took an ocean liner to the championships in Norway because team manager Wren Blair was terrified of flying. Everyone was sick for six days because of the rough waters but the chance to restore Canada's pride was worth it.

Darcy Tucker to be Traded?

Scott Burnside of ESPN has a list of impact players that may possibly be traded before the NHL trading deadline. I thought I would warn all the Tucker fans out there (admittedly I am one), he is on the ESPN list. Which means that ESPN is speculating the Leafs will be sellers and not buyers this year (see my earlier post).

Lorne "Gump" Worsley: 1929 - 2007

Hall of Fame goalie Gump Worsley passed away on Saturday. He played 21 years in the NHL and finally retired because the NHL schedule required too much air travel and he had a life-long fear of flying (Coach Bruce can relate to that). Worsley led the Montreal Canadiens to 4 Stanley Cups and didn't wear a mask until his final season. He also won the Calder Trophy and the Vezina twice.

He picked up the nickname "Gump" as a child because his hair stuck up like Andy Gump, a comic-strip character at the time.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Vanessa!

Why You Should Stay in School

Well for one you will be able to spell and you might also find yourself a better profession.

You can find us on Google

If you Google "Storm Nation", the blog is the #2 listed hit (out of 3,430 hits)!!

Storm Hold Onto 2nd Place

A big 2-1 win over Orillia at Booth arena on Saturday allowed the Storm to gain a strangle hold on 2nd place in the division. Another win will clinch 2nd place as well as establish a team record for wins and points in one season. The key to the win was some clutch goaltending by Alisha who allowed the only goal at the :44 mark of the 1st period as well as outstanding penalty killing. The Storm took 2 penalties in the last 5 minutes of the game but the penalty killers smothered the Orillia offense which was unable to mount any scoring chances.

The first goal was scored on the powerplay by Jackie who tipped in a rebound after a shot from the point by Leslie who made a great play to keep the puck in the offensive zone. The winning goal was scored by Jasmine early in the 3rd period on a wrist shot from the face off circle that went in off the crossbar. The win also maintains a 2 point lead over Whitby and Durham for 2nd overall in the tier. The 7 game winning streak provides great momentum going into the tournament next week.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Toronto's Goalie of the Future

In case you were wondering how close the Leafs' goalie of the future, Justin Pogge, was to being called up, there is Star article about him. Well lets just say he is a work in progress. His first professional season has had its ups and downs. But he's not even close to being called up to the NHL just yet. Although many goalies are ready for the NHL, Pogge isn't one of them.

On the Marlies he has appeared in 22 games and has a 7-14 record with one shutout. His goals against average is 3.23 and his save percentage is .894. These numbers are very close to those of Raycroft.

So I guess we will have to patiently wait for the next goalie saviour.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why You Need to Wear Face and Neck Guards

Should the Leafs be Buying or Selling at the Trade Deadline

When the Leafs resume play on January 27th there will be exactly one month until the NHL trade deadline. That’s one month for the Leafs to figure out if they’re buyers, sellers or if once more they’re going to make a series of useless, lateral moves.

The Leafs may be tied for the 8th and final playoff spot, but they’ve also played more games than their competition. If you look at winning percentage, the Leafs currently sit 11th in the East:

1. Buffalo .714
2. New Jersey .656
3. Atlanta .620
4. Montreal .602
5. Ottawa .580
6. Carolina .560
7. Pittsburgh .543
8. Tampa Bay .540

9. Boston .522
10. New York .521
11. Toronto .510
12. Washington .490

Presuming it will take 92+ points to qualify for the post-season, the Leafs will have to post at minimum 42 points in their next 33 games. That’s about a .636 winning percentage, something that I just don’t think this club is capable of, especially if you look at the Leafs’ performance so far this year.

Factor in long-term injuries to Wellwood, Peca and Tucker, the odds of the Leafs stringing together a serious winning streak seem about as likely as Antropov threatening Doug Jarvis’ 964 game iron man record.

It’s time for Ferguson to look at the assets that are on this club that have the potential to walk for nothing in the off-season, to look at the big picture of where this club needs to be to seriously challenge in the post-season and to move these assets now.

If Ferguson wants to be treated as a serious GM, it’s time for him to show that he’s capable of doing something grander than Tellqvist for a fourth rounder or Perrot for a sixth and that he’s smarter than, oh say trading a top ranked goaltending prospect for a guy who can’t crack the top 30 in goals against or save percentage.

Darwin Awards

Yes, it's again that magical time of the year when the 2006 Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us. And this year's glorious Winner is:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

And now, the Honorable Mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat- cutting machine and submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. A Texas teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer: $15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?)

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

9. The Ann Arbor Michigan News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.


10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd had in a very long time.

Don't You Love Dumb Criminals

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Case Against Raycroft


I'm not a bit Raycroft fan. I have nothing against him personally of course. It's just that you can't win consistently in the NHL with a goalie of his calibre. My view is backed up by numbers. His goals against average is 3.10 which ranks him 31st among NHL goalies. His save percentage which is less of a team thing and more or a goalie stat is even worse. It is .892 which ranks him 36th overall. You can't say he is playing in front of a weak team. The Leafs are slightly above .500 despite having a large number of their better forwards injured and most nights they play hard. And I don't accept the fact that their defense is weak. It is much better than last year's defence (no Khavanov, Berg or Klee) but the team is giving up more goals. Three defensemen have played in All Star games (Kaberle - 02, 07, McCabe - 04, Kubina - 04). Although they have 3 rookie defensemen, they were all star players as Juniors and Bell was the outstanding Junior Canadian defenseman in 03. In fact the entire defense is an overall +7 and the 3 rookies are +5.

So the forwards are better and the defense is better. The problem is in net.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mike Bossy Turns 50 on Monday

Bossy played 10 seasons and scored 50 or more goals an incredible 9 times.

Calder Memorial Trophy (1978)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1982)
First All-Star Team Right Wing (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1983, 1984, 1986)
Second All-Star Team Right Wing (1978, 1979, 1985)

It's Picture Day!

More pictures found here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Storm Shows Off its Offense

The number 2 offense in the tier crushed Leaside 6-0 this afternoon to extend its winning streak to 6 games. The overmatched Leaside team has now lost both regular season games by identical 6-0 scores. Leading the charge was a former Wildcat, Heather, with 2 goals. Other goals were scored by Rebecca B, Vanessa, Paige, and Madeleine. Nicki was again not very busy but held up her end to record her 5th shutout.

Since starting the season with 2 losses, the Storm have only lost 2 games in the past 15. With 23 points and 3 games remaining, this season's team may surpass the highest point total by a Storm Midget B team (26 points) in 05/06. In addition, the team has scored 44 goals and will definitely finish with the most goals scored by a Storm Midget B team in one season. The04/05 team scored 45 goals.

The area with the best improvement has been in penalty minutes. Despite the crack down in obstruction penalties, this team has reduced its penalty minutes and is 9th in the tier. Last year, the Storm was the most penalized team in the tier which reflects the quality of the skating and passing being played this season.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Impact of Global Warming


$8500 and it didn't include a monitor or mouse.

Yeah, It's Gross....

...but over time it will blend in with the road.

Ever wonder what the serve at McDonalds in India?

There is not beef on the menu so everything is either chicken or vegetarian.

A rich B├ęchamel eggless sauce mixed with exotic vegetables like broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms, red capsicum and freshly baked on rectangular spiced bread with a cheese topping.

2 Grilled chicken patties with a smoke-flavoured mayonnaise, fresh onions, tomatoes, processed cheddar cheese in a toasted sesame seeded bun.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winning Streak Extended to 5 Games

The Storm squeaked by Etobicoke 3-2 today to extend their winning streak to 5 games. Rebecca R. scored with less than 5 minutes remaining to preserve the win. Other goals were scored by Madeleine, on the powerplay, and Sheri. The Storm moved the puck very well throughout the game but failed to capitalize on some good scoring chances. The game also saw the return of Heather from a rib injury. Out of the lineup were S. K. with an knee injury and Nicki with a concussion, She chipped in with 2 assists and showed little rust from her month long lay off. The win means that 3rd place Orillia is now 3 points behind the Storm. As well, the Storm is now tied with Durham for 2nd place overall in Tier 4 which means home ice advantage in the first 2 rounds of the playoff.

Looking for a career?

Have you considered starting up a dot-com company? Larry Page, 33, and Sergey Brin, 32, started up Google a few years ago and are worth a combined $25.7 billion. Not bad for under 35.

Less successful but not complaining are co-founders of Yahoo, David Filo, 39, and Jerry Yang, 37. But they are only worth a combined $5.3 billion.

There must be some way I can make money off this blog.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Leafs Lose Raycroft on Waivers

Andrew Raycroft was put on waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight following the Leafs 6-1 loss to the Canucks. Raycroft was successful in stopping only 15 out of 21 shots in his last game with the Leafs. The CNIB team was quick to grab Raycroft from the waiver list. Mike O'donnell, head coach of the CNIB team was quoted at saying, "Raycraft will be a great asset to our team. Our starting goalie is for the rest of the season and although Razor's save percentage is a little below blind Billie, we think he can still help us".

Friday, January 12, 2007

More Thoughts on Steve Yzerman

I was thinking about what an accomplishment it is for Yzerman to play his entire career with one team. With free agency and salary caps that has become quite rare. For example, Peter Forsberg would likely still be playing for Colorado if it weren't for the cap. And Zedno Chara and Marian Hossa would still be Senators. So I was thinking how many current players would likely finish their career with the team they started with. I looked at players still with their original team for more than 10 years since which takes them beyond prime free agency age. Here is the list:

Sakic (Colorado) - 17 years
Modano (Dallas) - 16 years
Lidstrom (Detroit) - 14 years
Kolzig (Washington) - 14 years
Bradeur (New Jersey) - 13 years
Smyth (Edmonton) - 11 years
Brylin (New Jersey) - 11 years

That's it! Just 7 players. Although there are a small number of potential players that could fall in this group who aren't over 10 years (Elias, Koivu and Alfresson). There are also a group of players that have played for over 10 years with one team but did not start with that team (Sundin, Naslund, and Maltby).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Storm Takes 2nd Place

Last night the Storm took on undefeated Mississauga and for the 2nd time this season (3rd time if you include the Aeros tournament) walked away with a 1-1 tie. The Storm are the only team to take 2 points for the powerful Mississauga squad - the only other team to gain a point is Oshawa. The game was entertaining and included speed, physical play and great goaltending. Jackie scored the only Storm goal with 1 second remaining in the 2nd period. You could say it was a vindication for the goal that did not count as the game ended the last time the two team played each other. It also demonstrates why you never let up in a game because goals do get scored in the dying seconds of a period or game.

There were some tense moments in the 3rd period as the Storm took 3 penalties but successfully killed them all off. As well, it appeared that Mississauga had scored the winning goal but one of the referees waved it off. The puck had slid under Nicki but hit her skate and bounced underneath her pads. The tie moves the Storm into sole possession of 2nd place. The only disappointment was a knee injury to S.K. who had to be helped off the ice in the 3rd period. No word yet on the seriousness of the injury but lets hope she is back soon.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mark McGwire and the Hall of Fame

I don't get the righteous indignation and hypocracy regarding Mark McGwire, the former baseball now denied entry to the Hall of Fame. It is symptomatic of a certain kind of schizophrenia that we demand our heroes. If baseball fans hadn't salivated over the McGwire-Sosa home run derby, and appreciated Ichiro's style of baseball more, steroids wouldn't have taken over the big leagues. That's where the big salaries are going. The 1998 McGwire / Sosa home run chase is credited with saving baseball. I don't know if I'll go that far but it did serve as a huge turnaround for the game.

McGwire never testing positive for banned substances or admitting to using them. The only substance he admitted to using was andro which was not banned at the time. McGwire ruined a reputation he took a lifetime to build by not admitting he ever used steroids and refusing to deny that he used them. There is no proof whatsoever that Mark McGwire broke the rules that existed during the years he played Major League Baseball. There remains only the terrible advice he received in regard to his testimony at the March 18, 2005 Congressional Steroid Hearings.

Frank Mahovlich is 69 Today

Involved in the most famous Leaf trade of all time. Traded to Detroit by Toronto with Pete Stemkowski, Garry Unger and the rights to Carl Brewer for Norm Ullman, Paul Henderson, Floyd Smith and Doug Barrie, March 3, 1968.

Ever Missed an Empty Net...

...then the other teams goes down the ice and scores.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Pluto Supporters Are Becoming More Organized

MacDonalds Violates New York's Trans Fat Ban

Ronald MacDonald was taken into custody earlier today in New York City for violating the city's trans fat ban. The chemically modified ingredients considered by doctors and nutritionists to increase the risk of heart disease. Later in the day he was released and MacDonalds restaurants across the city were reported to be selling fruit salad and yogurt with their burgers by day end.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I see Alaska has snow

What's nearly three stories tall, cold as ice, yet has a smile that will warm your heart? It's Snowzilla. The giant snowman has made a comeback in Anchorage, Alaska with a height of about 25 feet -- up from 16 feet last year. It has a giant hat made from tomato cages, corncob pipe and beer-bottle eyes. The builder of the snow monster spent an entire week on it.

And I thought I had no life.

It's Called Having a Blonde Moment

Congratulations to All My Friends in Philly

Eagles 23 Giants 20

The Difference Today Was Just a Penny

I know there are those who don't believe in the power of the lucky penny, but some of us. The penny was passed on to Rebecca R. who scored the only goal to preserve the second win of the weekend for the Storm. Alisha had her third of the season and had to make a great save on a breakaway with less than a minute left in the game. Special mention to the Sharks' goalie and a former Storm player, Adrienne D. She played a strong game and kept her team in the game.

North York is now tied for second place with Orillia in the Central Division and tied for fourth place with Georgina in the combined standings. The Storm has the 3rd best goals for percentage in the Tier and the 6th best goals against. Big test coming up this week against Mississauga.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

With a Little Help From a Lucky Penny

First game in the New Year was against second place Orillia who had only allowed 10 goals in 13 games so a low scoring game was expected. In fact the two team split their 2 games last season with each team winning a game by a 1-0 score. The Storm started the game strongly and dominated much of the first period and took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Madeleine set up by a great shot by S.K. from the point. The Storm had an even stronger second period in which they outshot Orillia 14-3. Orillia scored a goal midway through the period but Madeleine restored the lead with her second goal of the game. Late in the period Paige scored a powerplay goal as the Storm coasted to a 3-1 win. The Storm are now 2 points out of second place with a game in hand.

The goal scored by Paige was the first of the season for her with an assist by a lucky penny. Prior to the Coach Willie found a penny on the floor of dressing room which according to the Penny Priestess is a lucky penny. Because Paige had been without a goal this season, he passed the penny on to her.

Post-Holiday Minipoll

Beantown Meltdown

OK. I have to acknowledge that the 10-2 thrashing that the Leafs inflicted on the Bruins was impressive since they were missing Darcy Tucker, Mike Peca, Kyle Wellwood, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov. I can't explain it except the Bruins are in worse shape in net than the Leafs. But the last 2 times the Leafs won blow outs, they followed up with a 3-game and 7-game losing streaks.

Let's keep this in perspective. They will be hard pressed to make the playoffs. The Leafs are 5th overall in scoring with an average of 3.15 goals per game and an impressive 1st in shots per game. But they are 25th in defense with an average of 3.24 goals given up per game. Their powerplay is also 5th overall but their penalty killers are 21st. But looking at Anaheim, they are 2nd overall in both offense and defense.

So with weak goaltending and defense, you can't get too excited about one game.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Canada Wins GOLD!

Congratulations to the Canadian Junior National team who won a third straight world junior hockey championship today with a 4-2 win over Russia. It was Canada’s fifth straight trip to the gold-medal game, where they haven’t lost since the United States beat them in 2004. Since then they have run off 18 straight victories. Very impressive!

Global Warming Blowout Sale

For sale! Slightly used consumer items no longer required in The Great White North. Best offer accepted.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy 68th Birthday Bobby Hull

His shot was timed at approximately 120 miles per hour.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Colorado Couple Selling Snow from Blizzard on eBay

Jim and Mary Walker are selling snow on eBay. Starting bids were holding steady Friday at 99 cents for samples from "Blizzard I and Blizzard II."

The Walkers got the idea for selling snow after shoveling mounds from two storms a week apart that together dumped more than 4 feet along the Front Range. "I figured eBay has ghosts and all sorts of weird stuff, so why not snow?" said Mary Walker, who teaches business workshops on employee communications. How much snow 99 cents or whatever the winning bid gets depends. Walker's auction notice suggests avoiding shipping and handling charges by stopping by their home and picking it up -- in a dump truck.

Only 10 offerings of snow are available, and the proceeds are earmarked for a used snowblower for Jim or a pair of shovels.

Yzerman Tribute, Part 2

If you saw Yzerman tribute on the CBC last night you would have heard both Red Wing owner Mike Ilitch and senior vice president Jim Devellano both indicate that back in 1983 when Yzerman was drafted, the team had targeted him as the player they wanted to rebuild the Red Wings around. Being an ancient hockey fan, that is not my recollection. Back in 1983, American teams were keen to draft American players to use for marketing purposes. The first pick by Minnesota that year was American Brian Lawton although he was not the best player available. The Red Wings who had the 4th pick were very interested in Pat Lafontaine who was from the Michigan area but was taken 3rd by the Islanders so they settled for Yzerman. Second pick went to Hartford who selected Sylvain Turgeon.

In hindsight, the Red Wings couldn't have done better. Even though Lafontaine had a great career, he played half the number of games that Yzerman played as you can see from the stats below. As well, Yzerman scored almost as many points as the 3 players selected before him.

1. Brian Lawton, 483 games 112 G 154 A 266 Pts
2. Sylvain Turgeon, 669 games 269 G 225 A 494 Pts
3. Pat Lafontaine, 865 games 468 G 545 A 1013 Pts
4. Steve Yzerman, 1514 games 692 G 1063 A 1755 Pts

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Thanks for Clearing up the Confusion

Happy Anniversary Maple Leafs!

Yzerman's Number is Retired by the Wings

It was an incredible ceremony organized by the Red Wing organization for an incredible player. Steve Yzerman was the consummate captain who played hard every game, played sometimes in serious pain and never took credit for his team's success. He played 21 season all for one team which is an amazing accomplishment in sports today. Here are some pictures to highlight his great career.