Saturday, March 31, 2007

Gordie Howe is 79 Today


Art Ross Trophy (1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1963)
Hart Memorial Trophy (1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963)
Lester Patrick Trophy (1967)

Played an incredible 33 season until age 52.

Bowling Accident



Lesley, here is another sport you might want to avoid.

Provincials Pools/Schedule

Midget B - Pool A

Lambton Shores
North York Storm
Orillia Hawks
Russell Invaders


Click here for schedule.

All games are at Vaughan Sports Village.

Offense Fires Blanks; Storm Drop Semi Final

The potent Storm offense was shutdown for the first time since the last game of the Sarnia tournament last night as Storm narrowly lost to the Markham-Stouffville Stars by a 1-0 score. The Storm threatened all game long but was unable to get anything past the Stars goalie. She was assisted by a couple of goal posts and the crossbars but that was as close the Storm shooters could get.

There were numerous scoring chances as the Stars has 11 penalties to kill throughout the game including 3 instances where there were 2 players in the penalty box and the Storm had a decided advantage in shots on net. To a certain extent there was some revenge for the Stars who fell to the Storm last year in the Consolation Game and played the last half of the game without their goalie as the Storm won 2-1. This year she made it through the game flawlessly despite some Storm players crashing the net.

The result of the game do not take away from what has been a tremendous season so far - and it's not over yet. Tonight the Storm face Mississauga once again in a Consolation Game. Two years ago the two teams face each other with the Storm winning in overtime 3-2. It can be said that winning isn't easy but losing can be harder -especially this time of the year. Mississauga certainly discovered that last night as the also lost by a 1-0 score to Orillia - their first North Metro loss this season. Orillia and Markham-Stouffville will play in the Championship Game.

40 Years of "Please play again next year"


Thanks Cathy

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Hockey News Player Poll

The Hockey News Player Polls results are online. Here some of the highlights. Please note how many free agent or potential free agents signed by JFJ received votes as the most overrated NHL player.

If you could play for any NHL team (other than your own), which would you choose?
1) Toronto Maple Leafs (34) 14.4%
2) New York Rangers (29) 12.3%
3) Detroit Red Wings (19) 8%
4) Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks (18) 7.6%
5) Dallas Stars (15) 6.3%
6) Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens (14) 5.9%
7) Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning (10) 4.2%
8) Phoenix Coyotes (9) 3.8%
9) Calgary Flames (8) 3.4%
10) Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers (5) 2.1%
11) Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins (4) 1.7%
12) Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks (3) 1.2%
13) Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres (2) 0.85%
14) Carolina Hurricane and Edmonton Oilers (1) 0.42%

To what city would you least like to be traded?
1) Buffalo Sabres (40) 16%
2) Edmonton Oilers (28) 11.2%
3) New York Islanders (24) 9.6%
4) Pittsburgh Penguins (18) 7.2%
5) Florida Panthers (17) 6.8%
6) Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues (13) 5.2%
7) Washington Capitals (12) 4.8%
8) New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers (9) 3.6%
9) Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens (8) 3.2%
10) Calgary Flames (7) 2.8%
11) Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings (6) 2.4%
12) Nashville Predators (5) 2%
13) Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators (4) 1.6%
14) Philadelphia Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes (3) 1.2%
15) Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs (2) 0.8%
16) Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning (1) 0.4%

Who is the most respected player in the NHL?
1) Joe Sakic (166) 63%
2) Nicklas Lidstrom (30) 11.4%
3) Brendan Shanahan (19) 7.2%
4) Martin Brodeur and Chris Chelios (7) 2.6%
5) Rod Brind’Amour, Jarome Iginla and Scott Niedermayer (6) 2.2%
6) Sidney Crosby and Jaromir Jagr (3) 1.1%
7) Teemu Selanne and Mats Sundin (2) 0.76%
8) Zdeno Chara, Rob Blake and Martin St. Louis (1) 0.38%

Who is the most hated player in the NHL?
1) Sean Avery (168) 66.4%
2) Jordin Tootoo (14) 5.5%
3) Darcy Tucker (9) 3.5%
4) Jarkko Ruutu (8) 3.1%
5) Marc Savard (7) 2.7%
6) Chris Neil (6) 2.3%
7) Sidney Crosby (5) 1.9%
8) Donald Brashear and Matt Cooke (4) 1.5%
9) Matthew Barnaby, Jason Blake, Zdeno Chara, Ben Eager, Steve Ott and Brendan Shanahan (2) 0.79%
10) Derek Boogaard, Dany Heatley, Ryan Hollweg, Sean Hill, Cam Janssen, Paul Kariya, Ryan Kesler, Kirk Maltby, Dominic Moore, Steve Ott, Michael Peca, Dion Phaneuf, Chris Pronger, Maxime Talbot, Raffi Torres, Ryan Whitney and Brandon Witt (1) 0.39%

Who is the most overrated player in the NHL?
1) Sean Avery (17) 8.5%
2) Bryan McCabe and Brad Richards (16) 8%
3) Pavel Kubina (9) 4.5%
4) Marc Savard (8) 4%
5) Jaromir Jagr (7) 3.5%
6) Shane Doan and Ed Jovanovski (6) 3%
7) Jonathan Cheechoo (5) 2.5%
8) Todd Bertuzzi, Kevin Bieksa, Rick DiPietro, Bobby Holik, Sheldon Souray and Alexei Yashin (4) 2%
9) Sergei Fedorov, Hal Gill, Derian Hatcher, Cristobal Huet, Dion Phaneuf, Sergei Samsonov, Jeremy Roenick and Saku Koivu (3) 1.5%
10) Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Cloutier, Sidney Crosby, Adam Foote, Shawn Horcoff, Olli Jokinen, Paul Kariya, Olaf Kolzig, Rick Nash, Marcus Naslund, Petr Nedved, Vaclav Prospal, Jose Theodore, Joe Thornton, Darcy Tucker and Marty Turco (2) 1%
11) Daniel Alfredsson, Patrice Bergeron, Joel Bouchard, Jason Blake, Martin Brodeur, Anson Carter, Zdeno Chara, Mike Comrie, Peter Forsberg, Dominic Hasek, Nikolai Khabibulin, Alex Kovalev, Matthew Lombardi, Roberto Luongo, John Madden, Evgeni Malkin, Willie Mitchell, Chris Neil, Alexander Ovechkin, Brendan Shanahan, Bryan Smolinski, Ryan Smyth, Eric Stall, Mats Sundin, Alex Tanguay, Tim Taylor and Doug Weight (1) 0.5%

Markham-Stouffville Captain practicing face offs


Reminds me of Paige at a 7 am practice

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ESPN's Fan Satisfaction Ranking

Each year ESPN surveys about 80,000 fans in four major sports - baseball, football, basketball and hockey. Here is the hockey ranking. The Buffalo Sabres rank #1 out of 122 professional sports teams based on what they give back to fans who invest their time and money in the organization.

The Toronto Maple Leafs rank #99. Here are the Leaf rankings in each category. Please take note of Affordability. Also expectation to win a title is very low.

Bang for the Buck #74
Fan Relations #80
Ownership #67
Affordability #122 (out of 122)
Stadium Experience #78
Players #80
Coach/Manager #53
Title Track (titles already won or expected) #111

As for other Toronto teams, the Blue Jays rank #41 (an incredible 11th for Affordability) and the Raptors are #45.

Bottom line is - Leaf fans are too loyal and management takes advantage of it.

Playoff Race

UPDATED w/ Tuesday's games.
Here's a look at the record each team needs to attain that projected point mark and (essentially) guarantee a playoff berth. Since none of the contenders for the last two playoff spots appear to have fallen out of the race yet, the guaranteed point level is back up to 93. But for the Leafs it may even be 94 points since with fewer wins than the other contenders they would lose out on a tie breaker. Still with Carolina, Tampa Bay, the Rangers and the Islanders losing last night, the Leafs remain alaive.

Eastern Conference (93 points)
1. Buffalo - Guaranteed as of Mar. 3
2. New Jersey - Guaranteed as of Mar. 15
3. Ottawa - Guaranteed as of Mar. 18
4. Pittsburgh - Guaranteed as of Mar. 18
5. Atlanta - 2-3-1
6. N.Y. Rangers - 3-2-0
7. Tampa Bay - 3-1-1
8. Montreal - 3-1-1
9. Carolina - 4-1-1
10. N.Y. Islanders - 4-1-1
11. Toronto - 4-1-1
12. Florida - Eliminated (max 90)
13. Boston - Eliminated (max 88)
14. Washington - Eliminated (max 75)
15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 65)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sidney Crosby has his own Action figure

Upper Deck has launched two Crosby themed superhero-inspired vinyl action figures – in road and home versions – each will be extremely limited. Only 1,500 home and 500 away versions have been produced.

Midget Tryout Schedule

Midget B
April 22, 6:15 pm - 7:15 pm
April 24, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
April 25, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Midget BB
April 22, 4:15 pm- 5:15 pm
April 23, 9:15 pm - 10:15 pm
April 24, 8:15 pm - 9:15 pm

Midget A
April 19, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
April 23, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
April 25, 8:45 pm - 9:45 pm

All tryouts are at Beatrice Ice Gardens at York University.

Forest Gump Lives!


A 40-year-old British man will on Tuesday become the first person recognised as having run around the world, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Robert Garside will run into Picadilly Circus, where he began his first attempt to jog around the world in December 1996, to be presented with a certificate by authorities from the publication. While traversing the world over five years and eight months, Garside ran across 30 countries on six continents, covering more than 30,000 miles (48,000 kilometres). During that time, he slept in the snow in the Himalayas, and at a monastery in Tibet, and also had to out-run thieves in Mexico and gunmen in Panama. He even spent five nights in a Chinese jail for not having the right travel documents.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

4 Stages of Life

Dairy Creates Wine-Flavored Ice Cream

A central New York dairy is raising eyebrows with their latest creation: wine-flavored ice cream. They have developed three different wine flavors: Ala Port Wine, Peachy White Zinfandel and Red Raspberry Chardonnay. Unfortunately, no Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you want to taste the new ice cream flavours, better bring along your ID. The ice creams each have an alcohol content of five percent and won't be served to minors.

Playoff Race

Eastern Conference (92 points)

  1. Buffalo - Guaranteed as of Mar. 3
  2. New Jersey - Guaranteed as of Mar. 15
  3. Ottawa - Guaranteed as of Mar. 18
  4. Pittsburgh - Guaranteed as of Mar. 18
  5. Atlanta - 2-4-0
  6. N.Y. Rangers - 3-3-1
  7. Tampa Bay - 3-3-0
  8. N.Y. Islanders - 4-3-1

  9. Carolina - 4-3-0
  10. Montreal - 4-2-0
  11. Toronto - 5-2-0
  12. Florida - Eliminated (max 90)
  13. Boston - Eliminated (max 90)
  14. Washington - Eliminated (max 77)
  15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 65)
Leafs are not dead yet but winning 5 of their remaining 7 games (to reach the 92 point mark) appears to be out of reach for this team. There is also no guarantee that 92 points will secure a playoff spot. Remaining games are: Carolina, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Rangers, Philadelphia, Islanders, Montreal.

Storm Playoffs Update

Congratulations to all the North York Storm teams that have advanced to the North Metro and Provincial Championships!
Playoff active teams are:

Bantam AA - North Metro

Bantam C - Provincial

Midget B - North Metro and Provincial

Senior A - Provincial


Note: The arena assignments for Provincial games have now been made. All Midget B games are to played at Vaughan Sports Village.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Storm Sweep into NMGHL Championships


The Storm swept the Whitby Wolves in 2 games with identical 2-1 scores to advance to the Championship weekend for the 3rd straight year. Alisha who had 2 straight starts in net because Nicki was fighting a virus, had a strong game and shut down Whitby when ever they threatened. Scoring for the Storm was Vanessa on the power play early in the second period. One of the biggest goals of the year and the game winner was scored by Sheri who buried a lose puck from the slot late in the second. That goal turned out to be an important one as Whitby scored with the less than a minute to go in the same period after some sustained pressure. Whitby continued to press throughout the third period and the game could have gone either way until with just over 2 minutes remaining Madeleine went around a Whitby defenseman in the neutral zone and was pulled down. The penalty pretty much snuffed out any chance for a comeback by the Wolves.

The series showcased what has become a very cohesive and confident Storm team. There are many teams that talent but only special teams can combine the talent with teamwork and determination. From my view on the bench, this is a squad that never panics in a game. Being behind in a game, bad officiating, and rough play has no impact on this team. They have a mission this season and nothing detracts them from their goal.

We should all be proud of what they've accomplished.

Note: Couldn't help from noticing that since handing out the "Penalty Free Hockey" wristbands, the team has not taken a single penalty.

Lost in Translation


So what is a dangerous wealthy person lump?

More Ugly Hockey Sweaters

Milwaukee Admirals on St. Patrick's Day

Storm Tough it Out

The Storm once again showed the same traits that have carried them through a tremendous second half - resilience, confidence and grit. And it paid off again with a come from behind 2-1 win to take the lead in the best 2 out of 3 series against the Whitby Wolves. With Vanessa Nicki and Rebecca B out of the line up and a number of other players under the weather, the team had to dig deep come up with a win. The defensive part of the game was outstanding as the Wolves were limited to only 9 shots in the game and none in the last 5 minutes as they pressed to tie it up. Both Storm goals were scored by Jackie in the third period, only 1:14 apart.

Next game is Saturday at Risk.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Congratulations to Dubreuil and Lauzon!


Canadian champions Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon were second for the second year in a row at the world figure skating championships in ice dancing.

North Metro Championship Weekend

The schedule for Midget Tier 4 is:

Semi Final #1 - Friday, March 30, 6:30 pm
Semi Final #2 - Friday, March 30, 7:40 pm

Consolation Game - Saturday, March 31, 7:10 pm
Championship Game - Saturday, March 31, 8:20 pm

All games are at Vaughan Sports Village.

Go Storm Go!!

The Storm Will Bury the Wolves

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NHL Continues to Market Violence Over Talent


The night the Devil's Cam Janssen leveled Maple Leaf Thomas Kaberle with a late hit and concussion, the players vowed to get even by coming back in the game to beat New Jersey. They did just that in a shootout but that's not how it works in the NHL. There is still the unwritten code that someone has to punish Janssen beyond the 3-game suspension handed out by the NHL.

So last night, despite public pronouncements that there would be no payback, Wade Belak challenged Janssen to a fight the first time the two were both on the ice. The officials allowed the fight to proceed for almost 2 minutes without intervening. The players and coaches watched with approval. The Toronto fans went wild chanting "Belak! Belak!" Of course no action or comment will from the NHL.

Hockey has always condoned this type of violence while other sports do not. And hockey is no where as popular as these other sports but the NHL sees no connection. The action taken by Belak has similarities to the attack by Todd Bertuzzi on Steve Moore. It was retribution for an earlier foul on a star teammate. The difference was Bertuzzi attacked from behind while Belak challenged his opponent face to face. No suspension for beating the crap out of a guy if he sees you coming.

The NHL continues to cling to the belief that fans want fighting. Well perhaps their small fan base like it. But maybe they would be more successful in expanding that base if they eliminated fighting from the game. Just look at the start of the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast each Saturday. The theme song is "'Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting".

In the NHL, every night is alright for fighting.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Perfect for the Two-Finger Typist

Who is going to get into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference?

Well who ever gets good goaltending except most of the teams fighting for the last 3 playoff spots have been getting atrocious goaltending. The Lightning have been outscored 27-14 in the last seven games. The Islanders' Mike Dunham has allowed 16 goals in three games since Rick DiPietro's injury. Toronto's Andrew Raycroft has allowed five goals or more four times in his last nine starts. Montreal's tandem, meanwhile, have had 35 goals sneak by them over the last eight games. Only Cam Ward's replacement John Grahame seems to be doing alright as is Lundqvist for the Rangers.

Goaltending since the trade deadline:
6. Tampa Bay - nine games, 3.67 GAA, .870 sv%
7. Carolina - nine games, 2.11 GAA, .918 sv%
8. Rangers - 10 games, 1.70 GAA, .939 sv%
9. Islanders - nine games, 3.78 GAA, .898 sv%
10. Toronto - nine games, 3.33 GAA, .881 sv%
11. Montreal - eight games, 4.38 GAA, .858 sv%
12. Boston - nine games, 3.00 GAA, .915 sv%
13. Florida - nine games, 3.11 GAA, .899 sv%
Who's going to make the playoffs in the East? At this rate it won't matter, because with netminding like this, no one has a chance to get out of the first round.

Bobby Orr Turns 59

Only NHL defenseman ever to win the scoring championship (twice).

Art Ross Trophy
(1970, 1975)
Calder Memorial Trophy (1967)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1970, 1972)
Hart Memorial Trophy (1970, 1971, 1972)
James Norris Memorial Trophy (1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975)
Lester B. Pearson Award (1975)
Lester Patrick Trophy (1979)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

John Tavares tops Gretzky's record

John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals scored twice Friday night to break the record for most goals in the Ontario Hockey League by a 16-year-old.

Tavares tied and then broke the old record of 70 set by Wayne Gretzky, and he still has two games remaining to add to his total of 71. He also added an assist.
he next Next One has certainly lived up to that billing so far.

Given he's not draft eligible until 2009 and already has 206 points in junior hockey, Tavares should serious challenge the all-time OHL points record of 479 shared by Stan Drulia and Dale McCourt. He really has to wait an extra year because his birthdate is five days later than the 2008 draft cutoff. Seems silly in his case.

Playoff Race

Below is the record teams need to guarantee a playoff spot. In the East, the point total required has been downgraded from 93 to 91 points because the schedule and the absence of a dominant team, has kept the group of 5 teams close to each other in the standings. Going into the weekend the Leafs were in great shape since the Islanders, Canadiens and Hurricanes were all without their starting goalies. However, they are now in deep doodoo after dropping both games. The Leafs cannot lose more than 3 more games the rest of the way and the still have to face Pittsburgh, Buffalo (2), Atlanta and New Jersey. So .500 hockey just isn't good enough.

Eastern Conference (91 points)

  1. Buffalo - Guaranteed as of Mar. 3
  2. New Jersey - Guaranteed as of Mar. 15
  3. Ottawa - Guaranteed as of Mar. 17
  4. Pittsburgh - 0-10-1
  5. Atlanta - 2-6-1
  6. Tampa Bay - 4-5-1
  7. N.Y. Islanders - 6-4-1
  8. N.Y. Rangers - 6-4-0

  9. Toronto - 6-3-1
  10. Carolina - 5-3-1
  11. Montreal - 6-2-1
  12. Boston - 9-2-0
  13. Florida - 9-1-0
  14. Washington - Eliminated (max 83)
  15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 71)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Glenn Healy Stays Out of Politics

The Conservatives tried to entice former Leaf Glenn Healy into running as a star candidate in the next election -- an invitation the former-goalie-turned-TSN-commentator declined. The Tories had hoped to put Mr. Healy up against Liberal MP Mark Holland in Ajax-Pickering, one of the sought-after Greater Toronto Area seats. It would have been a coup for the Tories (the Liberals have goalie legend Ken Dryden) and it is not surprising they set their sights on a hockey star. Healy, born in Pickering, played with the Los Angeles Kings (with Wayne Gretzky), won a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers and spent four years with the Leafs before going into broadcasting.

Examining the Yanic Perreault Trade

At the trading deadline I pointed out that the Leafs likely paid too high a price for rent-a-player Yanic Perreault. That is quickly becoming apparent. Remember Perreault didn't address or fix any of the core needs of the club (penalty killing, defensive play, goaltending) and the price was too high.

Well, 7 games into the Perreault trade I have two more things to add to the list:
  1. The supposed depth on the Leafs defense is gone when they need it most.
  2. The Leafs knowingly traded Bell and a 2nd rounder for damaged goods.

If there's one-lesson to be learned from last year's playoffs it's that there's no such thing as having too many defense ( eg., Buffalo).

Now with injuries to Kaberle and Colaiacovo the Leafs had to rush back an injured Pavel Kubina and dress Wade Belak. McCabe logged 29 minutes against the Caps and will have to be good to go again Saturday night. I'd much rather have Bell available to fill-in on the blueline right now, but instead we have Perreault and his bum shoulder. Yes, JFJ picked up an injured player for his drive to the playoffs.

So to recap, that's our suddenly much needed depth on defense and a second round pick for this:

GameGA+/-Total TOIPP TOIPK TOI
at Washington 00-17:4700:3800:00
Tampa Bay0006:2400:5800:00
Ottawa---------Scratched----
at Ottawa00010:532:1400:00
Washington10+16:5100:4500:00
Buffalo00013:102:5300:00
at New Jersey0*0-113:384:1600:00

Dressed for six out of seven games, one goal, no assists, -1, average 09:47 ice time per game with no ice time killing penalty and 1:40 per game on the powerplay.

Wow. Nice work JFJ!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cricket World Cup

A very loyal fan no doubt.

Was that Christina Aguilera at a recent Storm game flirting with the mascot?

Modano Scores #500

Mike will be the American-born career goal scoring leader when he reaches 503 goals (passing Joey Mullen).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

King of Suspensions

For his vicious hit on Ryan Hollweg, Chris Simon of the New York Islanders was suspended an NHL-record twenty-five games on Sunday. This bests the twenty-three games Marty McSorley was punished for taking his stick to the head of Donald Brashear.

In the NFL last season, Tennesee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth received a five-game suspension for stepping on the head of an opponent. I should mention the opponent was not wearing a helmet, and Haynesworth was wearing cleats. That was a record punishment for on-field conduct. Now keep in mind that five games is more than 25% of a football season.

In the NBA, Ron Artest’s eighty-five game suspension in 2004-05 is best-in-class. He earned this distinction for fighting with fans in Detroit.

In baseball, Pete Rose – later banned for life for gambling – took thirty games off in 1988 for shoving an umpire. In 1977, Lenny Randle punched his manager in the face and also got thirty games.

Happy Birthday Captain Crunch!

Monday, March 12, 2007

NHL Signs Broadcast Deal With Food Network


NEW YORK—Flanked by Food Network president Brooke Johnson and cooking-show host Rachael Ray, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced yesterday that the NHL has opted out of its contract with the Versus cable channel (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) and has reached a long-term broadcasting deal with the Food Network starting in the 2007-08 season.

"In all my years as commissioner, I have learned that our diverse group of fans and players all enjoy food of some sort. Italian, French, barbecue, quick-and-easy 30-minute meals—you name it, one or more of them eat it," said Bettman, adding that Iron Chef French host Hiroyuki Sakai will join play-by-play announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick and analyst Brian Engblom to form a new lead announcing team for all Food Network games. "This partnership has been a long time coming. If the Food Network would have been around in 1991, we would have left ESPN in a heartbeat."

“It’s great to know we will be on television next year,” Bettman added, smiling as the NHL’s new studio team, consisting of Rachael Ray as head hockey anchor and Bill Clement as game analyst, collaborated in an attempt to equate the offsides penalty to “zesting up” a pan-seared T-bone steak. “Thanks, Food Network.”

Though Bettman maintained that the Food Network was always the league's first choice, sources close to the commissioner confirmed that the NHL also considered broadcasting games on E!, the Golf Channel, and Cartoon Network before eventually deciding to go with the network offering the best combination of financial incentives and airtime.

"We liked the idea of having hockey because it has two halftimes," said Food Network president Johnson . "Our debut coverage will include a halftime show hosted by Giada De Laurentiis, who will recap the game's events while guiding you through the preparation of Sicilian penne with swordfish and eggplant. Or, if you are in the mood for something more immediate, on-ice reporter Paula Deen will spend timeouts showing you certain tactics to enhance the flavor of your traditional southwestern dip."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Playoff Race

UPDATED w/ Sunday's games. Carolina loses, both to the Rangers and their starting netminder Cam Ward. Somehow, New York looks like they might now sneak in there, given Henrik Lundqvist's strong play.

Eastern Conference (93 points)

  1. Buffalo - Guaranteed as of Mar. 3
  2. New Jersey - 0-12-1
  3. Ottawa - 4-9-0
  4. Pittsburgh - 4-9-1
  5. Atlanta - 5-6-1
  6. Tampa Bay - 5-6-1
  7. N.Y. Islanders - 7-6-1
  8. N.Y. Rangers - 8-4-1

  9. Toronto - 9-4-0
  10. Carolina - 8-3-1
  11. Montreal - 9-2-1
  12. Florida - 11-2-0
  13. Boston - 11-2-0
  14. Washington - Eliminated (max 86)
  15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 77)

Boring Class?

Lost in Translation

NHL Gets Serious With Chris Simon

New York Islanders forward Chris Simon has been suspended for the remainder of the 2006-07 regular season and the entirety of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Simon is suspended a minimum of 25 games. If the Islanders do not qualify for the 2007 playoffs, or play fewer than 10 playoff games in the 2007 playoffs, Simon would serve additional games at the start of the 2007-08 regular season to satisfy the minimum term of the suspension.

The Chris Simon suspension moves ahead of the Marty McSorley suspension in terms of length. I wonder what you have to do get a full season?

Here is Chris Simon's apology. He indicates that he suffered a concussion when hit into the boards by Ryan Hollweg which has been confirmed by team doctors. He claims that as a result of the hit he was completely out of it and does not remember attacking Hollweg. Interestingly, a New York news website took a poll asking their audience if they believed Simon's story. Here are the results:

Yes
33.0%

No
66.0%

Some people take this stuff way too seriously

I was at tonight's Leaf game


...but as you can see I didn't have good seats.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Longest Suspensions in NHL History

  1. Todd Bertuzzi - suspended for rest of season and 2004-05 lockout for sucker punch to head of Steve Moore on Mar. 8, 2004
  2. Marty McSorley - suspended for rest of season (23 games) for slash to head of Donald Brashear on Feb. 21, 2000
  3. Gordie Dwyer - suspended 23 games for abuse of officials on Sept. 19, 2000
  4. Dale Hunter - suspended 21 games for blindside hit on Pierre Turgeon on April 28, 1993
  5. Tom Lysiak - suspended 20 games for tripping linesman on Oct. 30, 1983
  6. Brad May - suspended 20 games for slash to head of Steve Heinze on Nov. 11, 2000
I'm sure Chris Simon's suspension will not fall into the group above.

What I wear when my wife has errands for me

Chris Simon Suspended Indefinitely

The NHL has suspended New York Islanders forward Chris Simon indefinitely pending a hearing with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell. Simon struck New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg in the face with his stick in a game Thursday night. Simon was immediately ejected from the game, slapped with a match penalty for deliberate attempt to injure. Fortunately Hollweg recovered, came back in the game, and needed only a few stitches to repair a cut on his chin. It could have been a lot worse.

Let's see what Colin Campbell does about this incident. My guess is that the suspension will be ridiculously short. Hollweg is not a star, his head was not removed in the incident and was able to play again in the game. That means 3 to 5 games. Not even close to sending a strong message.

Here is the incident:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Interesting Stuff from The Hockey News

This week's issue of The Hockey News ranks the NHL's 30 general managers, from worst to first. Our own JFJ is not quite at the bottom.
  1. Ken Holland, Detroit
  2. Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey
  3. Brian Burke, Anaheim
  4. Darcy Regier, Buffalo
  5. Jim Rutherford, Carolina
  6. Jay Feaster, Tampa Bay
  7. David Poile, Nashville
  8. Darryl Sutter, Calgary
  9. Doug Risebrough, Minnesota
  10. Doug Wilson, San Jose
  11. Kevin Lowe, Edmonton
  12. Paul Holmgren, Philadelphia
  13. David Nonis, Vancouver
  14. John Muckler, Ottawa
  15. Bob Gainey, Montreal
  16. Garth Snow, N.Y. Islanders
  17. Ray Shero, Pittsburgh
  18. Dale Tallon, Chicago
  19. Don Waddell, Atlanta
  20. Doug Armstrong, Dallas
  21. Dean Lombardi, Los Angeles
  22. John Ferguson, Toronto
  23. George McPhee, Washington
  24. Glen Sather, N.Y. Rangers
  25. Peter Chiarelli, Boston
  26. Jacques Martin, Florida
  27. Francois Giguere, Colorado
  28. Mike Barnett, Phoenix
  29. Doug MacLean, Columbus
  30. Larry Pleau, St. Louis
Here's a look at how THN sees all 30 NHL team's prospect systems, as defined by players under 22 years of age as of Jan. 31. Keep in mind that these rankings were done prior to many teams moving a lot of their prospects at the trade deadline. The Leafs don't seem to have much of a future which is why they should be trading older commodities for prospects. But then their GM ranks 22nd.
  1. Pittsburgh
  2. Washington
  3. Nashville
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Chicago
  6. Boston
  7. Anaheim
  8. St. Louis
  9. Montreal
  10. N.Y. Rangers
  11. Columbus
  12. Phoenix
  13. Florida
  14. San Jose
  15. Colorado
  16. Calgary
  17. N.Y. Islanders
  18. Edmonton
  19. Minnesota
  20. Buffalo
  21. Philadelphia
  22. Detroit
  23. Dallas
  24. Vancouver
  25. Ottawa
  26. Atlanta
  27. New Jersey
  28. Toronto
  29. Carolina
  30. Tampa Bay

It's Official

Midget B
(Single Round Robin, 10-10-12,1 Advancing)

Team # GP W L T GF GA Pts. +/-
North York #3003 ADV 3 3 0 0 9 1 6 8
Leaside #3754 2 1 1 0 2 2 2 0
Etobicoke #436 2 0 2 0 0 6 0 -6
Scarborough #845 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 -2

Schedule


Arena Date Time Team1

Team 2

G1 Mimico Feb 17 3:15p Etobicoke 0 Leaside 1
G2 Grandravine 20 10:00p North York 5 Etobicoke 0
G3 Rinx Mar 3 1:00p Leaside 1 North York 2
G4 Grandravine 6 9:00p North York 2 Scarborough 0
G5 East York 9 9:00p Leaside
Scarborough
G6


Scarborough
Etobicoke

The Widsom of Don Cherry

You just had to watch those Proponents of Aggression, Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, on Saturday's edition of Hockey Night in Canada to see how tortured the rationales for acts such as Janssen's have become. While acknowledging a cheap shot on Kaberle, both announcers also blamed Kaberle for not expecting a head hit from an opponent well after the play. Blaming the victim . . . a time-honoured tradition in hockey, war and domestic violence.

Apologists for actions like Janssen's don't want to come down too heavy on "effort" guys like the Devils enforcer because "they don't want to eliminate the physical nature of the sport." At the same time, they don't mind eliminating skill players like Kaberle or Chris Drury or Tim Connolly with severe concussions.
This tripe continues because the hockey culture is saturated with guys who either never made it or else survived only by accepting thuggery as their meal ticket. Don Cherry and Colin Campbell want their proteges in the game. Taking guys like Janssen or Tie Domi or Chris Neil out of the sport would be like taking them out of hockey, too. Better to let skill players get concussed than lose marginal agitators from the sport.

The 3 game suspension to a marginal player like Janssen has less of an impact on the Devils than a 2 minute penalty. Meanwhile lenghty suspensions like the one served by Bertuzzi has had an noticeable impact on his career. More of these types of suspensions and agitators will think twice before hitting someone in the head. By the way the National Post reports today that Kaberle is gone for the season.

Kudos to Paul Maurice who recognized it was more important to get two points out of the Devils than get even for the Janssen hit.

A final question: How come referees can see a tiny hook in the corner from centre ice but no one can see Janssen run halfway across the ice and belt Kaberle into the boards? Just asking . . .

Playoff Race

Eastern Conference (93 points)
1. Buffalo - Guaranteed as of Mar. 3
2. New Jersey - 2-12-1
3. Ottawa - 5-9-1
4. Pittsburgh - 6-10-0
5. Tampa Bay - 7-6-1
6. Atlanta - 6-7-1
7. N.Y. Islanders - 8-7-1
8. Toronto - 10-5-0
9. N.Y. Rangers - 11-5-0
10. Carolina - 10-4-0
11. Montreal - 10-3-1
13. Boston - 12-4-0
14. Florida - 13-2-0
15. Washington - Eliminated (max 90)
16. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 79)


What is this?

It's all based on the premise that, if you get 93 points in the standings, you'll make the playoffs. There's a chance you can sneak in with 92, but beyond that, it's going to be pretty unlikely under the NHL's kooky everybody-gets-a-point system. The above list indicates what each team in the East must do in their remaining games to reach the 93 point level.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

WE'RE IN PROVINCIALS!!

By extending their undefeated streak to an incredible 13 games, the Storm closed out the Provincial Playdowns with 3 wins and once again qualified for the Ontario Provincial Championships being held April 13-15. The Storm out played Scarborough throughout the game but the outcome was not decided until the final 6 minutes. Special teams were the difference this evening as the Storm opening the scoring with 5:45 left in the 3rd period on a powerplay goal by Heather. Then the penalty killers took over in the final 2 minutes to close out the win. Rebecca R. stole the puck at the blue line and took a shot on net. She picked up her own rebound and held the puck behind the net fighting off checkers. Rebecca fed a perfect pass to Madeleine who was breaking to the net and was able to fire it past the goalie with 1 minute remaining in the game. The final score was 2-0, the 10th shutout this season.

On this night the Storm displayed its many strengths - most importantly strong teamwork and work ethic. Where the Storm moved the puck well all night long and created numerous scoring chances, the Sharks players rarely passed and negated their own scoring opportunities.

Tonight's win was also the 10th consecutive win in Provincial Playdown competition over the past 3 season. Next up after March break is a best 2 out 3 game series with Whitby in the quarter finals of the North Metro playoffs.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Kaberle Hit

There has been some debate as to whether the Janssen hit was an elbow and late. The 3 game suspension appears to have settled the debate to a certain extent. I watched the video below several times and not only was it a late hit but Janssen didn't start to skate towards Kaberle until after he made the pass. It's obvious Janssen was trying to hurt Kaberle although not necessarily trying to injury him (although as a write this I'm not sure what the distinction is) because he was aiming for his head. But it was not a case of just finishing a check.



The clip below includes the infamous Domi elbow to the head of Scott Niedermayer which was perhaps more grievous than the Janssen hit. That earned Domi an 8 game suspension. This type of stuff just doesn't belong in hockey. The NHL has to come down hard on hits to the head. That's is the issue in both the Janssen and Domi hits. The other similarity is both involved injuries to star players caused by players with marginal skills.

Best Billboard Ever


[click on picture to enlarge]

Storm Wins a Nail-Biter Over Leaside

It was close but the Storm prevailed in their second Provincial Playdown game against the Leaside Wildcats. The 2-1 win kept the Storm in contention for the one spot in the Provincial Championships in April and was their 12th game without a loss.

The game couldn't have started any better with the Wildcats taking 4 penalties in the first 5 minutes of the game and playing 3 on 5 for over 2 minutes straight. But the Storm powerplay struggled to control the puck and finished the period with no goals. The Storm had difficulty getting going throughout the game as the Wildcat checked aggressively and won the battles along the boards. Early in the 2nd period Jasmine was able to unleash a wicked slap shot from outside the blue line that dipped in the last second to beat the Leaside goalie on the glove side. It was one of the few times that Jasmine was able to shake loose from the 2 checkers that were always on her to get a shot on net.

However, late in the period the Wildcats scored on the powerplay. On the play, the scorer collided with Alisha who was forced to leave the game with a neck injury and concussion. The Storm was able to take back the lead early in the 3rd period. Rebecca R. won a face off in the Leaside end and got the puck over to Madeleine who was driving to the Leaside net and able to lift the puck over the shoulder of the Wildcat goalie.

In Provincial Playdown games the Storm are now 2-0, Leaside is 1-1, Etobicoke is 0-2 and Scarborough has yet to play. Click here for current standings. A win on Tuesday against Scarborough guarantees the Storm a spot in the Provincial Championships.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Plea for Help

Sidney Crosby Sets NHL Record

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins became the youngest player in NHL history to reach the 200-point plateau Friday night.

Crosby recorded his 200th career point with a goal in the Penguins’ game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Crosby achieved the milestone at the age of 19 years, 207 days, breaking the mark set by Wayne Gretzky in the 1980-81 season.

Not a very nice Birthday gift

...but your team mates got you a win.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Pizza from a Vending Machine

Now I would be very impressed by a vending machine that sold chinese food.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Not Soon Enough Buddy

Deadline Deal

The Leafs lost out on the Gary Roberts sale and it appears scrambled to make a last minute deal to pick up Yanic Perreault. I like Perreault. He is very smart with the puck, one of the best in the league on faceoffs, and has "soft" hands. But he is also soft in the corners, can't kill penalties, and is easily pushed off the puck.

And the Leafs gave up a number 5 or 6 defenseman in Bell and a 2nd round pick for a player that will only play 20 games for them. The Leafs could have had him for nothing at the start of the season. No one wanted him. Now Perreault has had a great year but he is looking for $2 million next year so the Leafs will likely let him walk.

Too bad he can't play net. That's where they really need help.