Saturday, February 28, 2009

Annoying sound used by stores to drive teenagers away

Train Horns

Created by Train Horns

Worst food product ever has been found

Could it be the worst food product ever? It does have 1170% of your daily cholesterol per serving.

Energy Supplements?

Top 10 NHL players most likely to be traded

I think these 10 players are most likely to be playing for new teams this week. The Sean Avery move is inevitable. Most of the other moves are non-playoff teams looking to rebuild. The exception is Philadelphia that is having salary cap problems and will need to move some salary. Metropolit is most likely to move.

1. Sean Avery (Dallas)
2. Jordan Leopold (Colorado)
3. Nik Antropov (Toronto)
4. Chris Neill (Ottawa)
5. Bill Guerin (NY Islanders)
6. Glen Metropolit (Philadelphia)
7. Tomas Kaberle (Toronto)
8. Radek Bonk (Nashville)
9. Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis)
10. Olli Jokinen (Phoenix)

Top All-Time Toronto Maple Leafs by Jersey Numbers

#1 - Johnny Bower
(Turk Broda, Jacques Plante, Gerry Cheevers, Harry Lumley, Cesare Maniago, George Hainsworth)

#2 - Carl Bewer
(Bob Goldham, Larry Hillman, Red Horner, Babe Pratt, Sylvain Lefebvre, Ian Turnbull)

#3 - Hap Day
(Todd Gill, Brad Marsh, Marcel Pronovost, Bob Rouse, Al Arbour)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Should the NHL ban trick shots during shoot outs?

Last night Jason Blake scored a shoot out goal using a spinorama (see below) move that is supposed to be illegal but doesn't appear to be enforced. Early in the season Nikolai Hagman also scored on sort of a trick shot(see below). Some people feel that these moves make a mockery of the game, embarrass goalies and should be outlawed. But somehow I think fans like them. In fact it is addressed in the NHL rulebook (rule 25.2):

The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete.

The lacrosse-like move whereby the puck is picked up on the blade of the stick and “whipped” into the net shall be permitted provided the puck is not raised above the height of the shoulders at any time and when released, is not carried higher than the crossbar.

The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal, shall be permitted as this involves continuous motion.

So do you think that the NHL should outlaw trick shots during shoot outs?

Leaf fans are nothing like Boston Celtic fans

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

NHL franchise updates

  • By now everyone has heard about the Toronto Maple Leafs announcement that Leaf ticket prices for next season will increase by 3.5%. Natually there is outrage that prices would go up while they are icing a lousy team during a serious economic recession. Get with it folks, someone has to pay Brian Burke's obscene salary. Besides if you can afford Leaf season tickets, then you can afford the 3.5% increase. And remember there are 4,000 individuals on the Leaf's waiting list for season tickets. Admit it - you're a masochist so pay up.
  • From the obscenely wealth to the nearly bankrupt. The City of Glendale has acknowledged that the Phoenix Coyotes play virtually rent-free. Sources say that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the city of Glendale have come to terms on an agreement that will see Glendale concede at least $15 million per year to the Coyotes towards a new lease deal.
  • Disgraced former Nashville minority owner William J. (Boots) Del Biaggio III pleaded guilty to fraud recently and this week it was announced that Calgary billionaire Brett Wilson has a handshake agreement in place to buy shares of the Nashville Predators. Wilson's share will be "nominal," so this isn't a buy in of the size that one Boots Del Biaggio had in the summer of 2007. Of course Boots's shares are still mired in bankruptcy court.
  • The latest revelations, contained in La Presse, indicate that Belarusian brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, as well as Czech defenceman Roman Hamrlik, had social ties with 38-year-old Pasquale Mangiola, who stands accused of conspiracy, drug and weapons charges. The entire season is unraveling in Montreal - oh yes, happy 100th birthday Habs!

Dominic Moore could always take up soccer

Toronto Maple Leafs: After 60 games

Well this most painful season is winding down for the Maple Leafs. The last 10 games have been as unpredictable as any stretch during the season. They played some awful games but they had some strong games too. In fact, two out of the 3 wins over the past 10 games led to opposition coaches being firings. So the Leafs earned 10 points over the period and had a record of 3-3-4.

At the pace the Leafs are going they will finish with 77 points which is 6 points fewer than last season. Personnel changes as a result of trades next week probably won't change that by much. The Leafs seem to play the same no matter who is in the lineup. The loss of Mats Sundin has surprisingly had no impact on their offense. They are scoring on average 0.2o more goals this season. Although scoring is up across the league (by 0.26 goals per game or 0.13 per team). The Leafs have given up 0.4 more goals per game this season. This clearly underscores where the Leafs have to improve next season - goaltending and defense.

During the past 10 games Justin Pogge got a few starts and convinced everyone that he is just not ready to play in the NHL. However playing in front of such a weak defensive team would be tough for any goalie. Jason Blake continues his torid pace and Nik Antropov woke up from a terrible slump. Blake has had 10 points (5 goals and 5 assists) in the last 10 games while Antropov has scored 7 goals.

Next week is the trading deadline and Brian Burke will try to make some moves. However, he has few assets that would interest other GMs. The biggest bang for the buck would be to move Tomas Kaberle which is why he is the veteran you would least likely want to move.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't give up on Jiri Tlusty

Over the past few seasons I have repeatedly suggested that Jiri Tlusty would benefit from time in the minors. After being drafted in the first round by the Leafs, Tlusty played only 37 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds before being assigned to the Marlies. But only 8 games into the AHL season he was called up by the Leafs last season. Probably the worst thing that happened to him was scoring two goals in his first NHL game. It contributed to his extended stay in the NHL that stretching into this season. Fortunately he was finally demoted back down to the Marlies earlier this season. After a slow start he is now one of the hottest players in the AHL. In the last 10 games Tlusty has scored 12 goals and 9 assists and he leads the Marlies in goals scored. If Brian Burke moves a few veteran forwards next week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tlusty recalled to the Leafs. But then when it comes to developing young players, patience is a virtue. So if it’s not now it will be sometime in the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Reaction to Sundin's returned has been hyped to the extreme

Yes the media love to comment on the over-hyped hockey atmosphere in Toronto as if they are the victims but lets face it they are the cause. The four daily papers, two sports networks, two talk radio stations and countless other radio, print and television outlets compete for Leaf coverage.

So no surprise that all week long the media has been talking about Mats Sundin's return to Toronto. And how much is there really to talk about? Will he be cheered? Will he be booed? What will be louder the cheers or the boos? What boos be louder in the lower bowl of the upper bowl of the ACC?

Come on do we really care? Not me. Once a player moves on to another team he is just another opposing player. I imagine that after retirement Sundin will return one day to be honoured by the Leafs. He played longer and produced more than either Douig Gilmour or Wendel Clark (though he will never be revered as they are). No one ever criticized previous captains for not taking the Leafs to the Stanley Cup finals. Sundin holds team records for most points, most goals, most goal winning goals, most overtime goals, and more.

But all anyone talks about is his refusal to be traded last year for some prospects. Get over it everyone. Since when is it the responsibility of players to rebuild a team? I thought it was their job to bust their butt while on the ice - which Sundin did. It's not the players' fault that past mangement was incompetent and they should not be expected to come up with a fix. How do we know Cliff Fletcher couldn't have pressured Sundin to move on? Maybe Cliff was to busy trying to make nice with Mats.

Brian Burke is on Twitter

If you're not that into the social networking scene outside of Facebook or Myspace, you may not know about Twitter, a text-based posting system that allows users to type a message up to 140 characters.

Twitter has been gaining steam in the past year, with businesses and even celebrities hopping on board to voice their thoughts and opinions to the world.

One hockey person who's jumped aboard the Twitter bandwagon is Toronto Maple Leafs general manager "Brian Burke", who has given his followers some insight into the thinking of a hockey executive. Now I can verify that this is really Brian Burke but it sure is funny.

Just saw Sundin at the Toronto airport, waiting in line for the shuttle bus. Guess he doesn't believe in rentals.

@BryanMurray: Next time you want to trade a first round pick for a bag of crap, give me a call. I have several bags available.

Can we just pull our goalie for an extra attacker during the shootout?

Really looking forward to the Blue Jackets coming to town. We can show Rick Nash where his locker will be in 2010.

Tomas Kaberle and I are working together on his trade deadline options. He gave me a list of 10 teams. I gave him back a list of 20 more.

Thinking about following Gainey's lead and telling the underachievers to just stay home. Would we be allowed to only dress Schenn next game?

Looking forward to a rocking pro-Leaf crowd for tonight's game against the Sabres. Oh wait, the game's not in Buffalo.

The only untouchable on this roster is Mike Van Ryn. Because if you touch him, he goes on the injured list.

Just found a copy of Jason Blake's contract that says he still has three years left. Must be a typo.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The agony of being a Toronto Maple Leaf fan

It’s not easy being a Maple Leaf fan. We are loathed and ridiculed right across Canada. Each season we hope the team exceeds expectations but most years they disappoint us by underachieving. Some years it’s like a car crash – horrible to watch but you can’t seem to stop looking.

The organization has rarely provided fans with value for their money – or their loyalty. Let’s face it Harold Ballard sucked dollars out of the pockets of fans without putting a cent into the product on the ice. This practice has been continued by subsequent owners though not quite as blatantly. In recent years the organization has been much more aware of their image and concerned that future fans may gravitate to other sports. This year’s Fans First Game was an attempt to repay fans loyalty. The Maple Leafs have the highest ticket prices in the NHL and have had operating profits as high as 40%. No wonder the rest of the country laughs at us.

And let’s not forget the darker moments that Leaf fans have had to put up with. The Gardens sex scandal where star-struck boys were molested by Gardens employees. There have been ticket-scalping scandals. The circumstances that surrounded the departure of former captains Dave Keon and Darryl Sittler stung fans as much as the players. And how about the history of hiring incompetent managers and coaches. We have had to put up with a lot.

There are three groups of Leaf fans: Purple Koolaid Fans, Broken Ankle Fans and the Leaf Hating Fans. It’s hard to estimate the size of each group or which is the largest. The first group is the loudest but the second group may be larger.

Purple Koolaid Fans

These fans have never met anyone wearing blue and white that they didn’t like. They will find positive in every player and can elevate marginal players to star status (eg., Tie Domi). They call into radio call-in shows to debate the future of the team on a daily basis. They will form impromptu parades on Yonge Street following each Leaf playoff win (yeah there hasn’t been one of these in a while). Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Early this season following a modest win streak I heard one of them declare on the radio that the Leafs had turned the corner and would not only make the playoffs but be a Cup contender. This despite the fact that management had advised fans to be patient and that a rebuild would take several years.

Broken Ankle Fans

As the name suggests this is the group of fans that tend to jump on and off the bandwagon. Every sports team has them. They support the team when it is doing well and disappear when things go bad. The Maple Leaf version can reappear even after one big win. Though most of this season they have remained below the radar for obvious reasons. They can be confused with the Purple Koolaid group when the Leafs are doing well and are inclined to join those victory parades during the playoffs. But when things are not going well they may not just disappear but can be quite vocal. The fans who booed and razzed rookie goalie, Justin Pogge after giving up some soft goals this week are Broken Ankle Fans. When they turn on a player (Andrew Raycroft) they can be tough on them but they also can be won back (Nik Antropov). They were the first to support a rebuild a year ago but now are complaining about how bad the team is.

Leaf Hating Fans

This interesting group of fans claim to hate the Toronto Maple Leafs. They will also claim to enjoy watching the Leafs lose and that they support other teams. Most are in denial but who can blame them. They carry around 42 years of frustration and disappointment. Now I know people who have been Hab fans or Flyer fans their entire life. They do not fall into this group because they actually aren’t Leaf fans. Because the Leafs have had so little success over the past few decades, many people are convinced that these fans actually do not like the Leafs. However, during those few seasons when the Leafs appear to be contenders (eg., 1992-93 season) they eventually come around. The problem is that the Leafs eventually slip back into mediocrity and they go back to “hating” the team.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trade Rumour #311

Tim Wharnsby of The Globe and Mail is suggesting that Antropov will be swapped for Penguins defenceman Ryan Whitney. Another option was a first-round selection and young blueliner Alex Goligoski in exchange for Antropov. There also was belief that if the Penguins acquired Antropov, he may have been used as part of a package for a trade to the Atlanta Thrashers for scoring whiz Ilya Kovalchuk and Colby Armstrong.

I just want to know what Tim is smoking down there at the Globe. The idea of Pittsburgh giving either Whitney or Goligoski for Antropov is simply absurd. The second part of this is even more unbelievable, in that the Penguins could use a newly-acquired Antropov as part of a package to land Ilya Kovalchuk and Colby Armstrong from Atlanta. Lets not forget that Antropov is essentially a rental player. He becomes a free agent in July so no one is expected to overpay for his services for only 2 months.

Yawn, another Ovechkin highlight goal

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh My! Trouble in Habsville

This was supposed to be Montreal's year. They were celebrating their 100th anniversary. They had hosted the All-Star game. They were going to win the Cup this year. But slowly the season has begun to unwind.

Last season's top powerplay unit is 25th overall this season. Key players like Carey Price and Alex Kovalev have been in slumps. There have been rumours that Canadiens players like to party. Chris Higgins, Carey Price and Sergei Kostitsyn have been singled out. It didn't help that the picture above has been circulating on the Internet. It is apparently from a trip to Mexico that Price and a few other Habs youngsters took last summer but they have caused quite a buzz with Montreal fans (who can often make Leafs fans appear comatose in comparison).

So this past weekend the Canadiens gave up some draft picks to bring back an aging Mathieu Schneider to help the powerplay. But the shit hit the fan today. Kostitsyn was demoted to the AHL today. Later in the day star Alex Kovalev has been given a leave of absence and will not be travelling with the team this week to Washington and Pittsburgh. As of now, the team is saying the reason is that he is tired and not playing well. This is a team that has already lost Alex Tanguay and Robert Lang to injuries.

I don't expect to see Kovalev ever put on a Habs jersey again. Bob Gainey is likely going to try to salvage the season so we may see a rare blockbuster trade real soon. This is what happens when there are 100 years of expectations placed on a team.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jason Blake was robbed of hat trick on Saturday

After Jason Blake scored two goals against Pittsburgh in just 19 secondes, he nearly came up with the hat trick. However, Andre-Marc Fleury robbed him later in the game.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Closing Maple Leaf Gardens: 10 years later

It was 10 years ago that I witnessed the final hockey game in Maple Leaf Gardens. I landed a seat in the Greens to witness a little bit of hockey history. The Leafs looked dismal losing to Chicago 6-2. For you trivia fans, Bob Probert scored the last goal in the Gardens.

The place must be dark and depressing these days. Most of the seats have been auctioned off. The doors have seldom been open to the public these last 10 years. Who can forget the crude metal urinal troughs, the voice of announcer Paul Morris, and Harold Ballard's bunker in the end Golds. It used to be a hockey shrine for decades but in the final 30 years its been a place burdened with futility, frustration and scandals.

But there 11 Stanley Cups won there, the 1972 Summit Series was played in the Gardens, both Elvis Presley and the Beatles performed there, Muhammad Ali fought in the Gardens and where even Winston Churchill spoke there. It was a cultural icon in its day. Something the Air Canada Centre will likely never achieve.

Sharks defeat Storm again

The powerhouse Storm team was virtually knocked out of Playdowns with a second consecutive defeat to the Scarborough Sharks. Give the Sharks credit for sticking to their game plan that prevent the Storm from taking advantage of their strengths. The Sharks continued to dump the puck deep in the Storm end and check relentlessly. In their own end they formed a wall in front of their inexperience goalie to cut off most scoring chances.

At the end it was almost a repeat of last night's game. It was a scoreless game until midway through the third period when the Sharks scored yet again on a scramble in front of the net. With just over 2 minutes remaining in the game Amanda drove towards the next off her wrong wing to finally beat the goalie. Sheri took a roughing penalty with 98 seconds remaining and with a man short Mari almost scored the winning goal. But with time running out on the clock the Sharks scored to sweep both games of the round robin.

The results were disappointing but it doesn't take away from the outstanding season this team has had. Two tournament championships proves this team can win in the clutch despite what happened this weekend. We should all be proud. And the season is not over. The LLFHL playoffs are just underway which provides the Storm with an opportunity to redeem themselves.

Storm open playdowns with a thud

Yup it was a stinker. The Storm could not regain the speed and intensity of the previous weekend and lost their first playdown game to Scarborough 4-2. To add insult to injury, the Sharks were using a callup goalie from their Bantam C team. But the goalie was rarely forced to make more that a routine save.

The Sharks scored first with a goal on a scramble early in the second period. Later in the period Mari tied up the score with a shot from behind the net that banked off the goalie. Early in the third Gabby put the Storm ahead on an excellent cross ice feed from Sheri that she fired over the goalie's pads. The score held until 2:15 remaining in the game when Scarborough scored on a powerplay goal. Just a minute later the Sharks scored again on another scramble as the Storm could not get the puck out of their own end - problem they had all night. The final goal was scored in the empty net.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What is Brian Burke up to?

The big shake up everyone was expecting with the hiring of Brian Burke hasn’t happened. The salary cap almost forces teams to freeze their rosters because trades involving an exchange of significant assets always have salary cap implications. So major roster moves occur during the offseason. The only exception is during the days leading up to the trade deadline when desperate or panicky GMs temporarily lose their minds.

Now I never said there are no trades during the season. In fact 40 players have been traded so far this season. Three players (David McIntyre, Nick Tarnasky, Clay Wilson) have been actually traded twice this season. What, you’ve never heard of these guys? Well how about big names like Wade Belak, Steve Downie and Matt Carle? In fact the player who had the most points and was involved in a trade is Lee Stempniak.

But expect Burke to be active in the days leading up to the March 4th deadline. He has stated that besides Luke Schenn, there is no one on the roster essential for a rebuild of the Leafs. So look for a fire sale in the next few weeks. Everything must go!

So you might ask what about the recent rash of waiver moves by Brian Burke? Last week Stefan Kronwall was lost on waivers to Washington. Jeremy Williams was put on waivers but not picked up by anyone so he was demoted to the Marlies. Then Burke used recallable waivers to bring up Bates Battaglia and Boyd Devereaux. What’s that all about?

Besides the fact the Burke is known for constantly tinkering with his lineup (as opposed to Ferguson who rarely touched his roster), he also likes to give veteran players who are not in his plans a chance to catch on with another team. No team would actually trade for one of these players but they might consider a waiver claim. So why give up something for nothing? Why not keep them on the Marlies?

Well there is also a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that limits the number of players (50) a team can have signed to a contract. The number includes signed players in the minors. So Burke is providing himself with some roster space for when he makes his deadline deals by putting players on the waiver wire. Remember he is likely trying to move veteran players like Antropov and Kaberle for multiple prospects. If he has 50 players on his reserve list, then he can only make one for one deals.

Will the Montreal Canadiens make the playoffs?

I haven’t been impressed with Montreal this season but then I was also expecting them to slip back in the standings this season. I questioned whether Kovalev would be able to put together back to back MVP seasons – he has not. I wondered whether Price would be able play with consistency at such a young age – he has not. Price has been phenomenal at times but other times he has come unglued. Like last year during the playoffs or did you see him on Wednesday night? I was also thinking that some of their younger player might regress some rather than step up to that next level – Tomas Plekanec is one several key players that have disappeared.

Add to this mess is the incredible pressure to win in their 100th anniversary season. In Montreal slumps like this are elevated to the level of a national emergency. The Habs are in 6th place in the East but are now just five points away from falling out of a playoff position and will be on the road until the February 21. They have lost four games in a row and seven of their last nine. They've dropped two games in Alberta by a combined score of 13-4, including 7-2 to Edmonton on Wednesday night which was the kind of game you would expect from the Maple Leafs and not the “Stanley Cup –bound” Canadiens.

This team will still make the playoffs but is likely headed for a first-round loss to a top-ranked opponent. But they could also lose Tanguay, Kovalev, Lang and Komisarek to free agency in the off season.

But then again they could also fall right out of the playoffs unless Gainey can find a veteran goalie to stabilize their goaltending and some help at centre and the powerplay. How would Nik Antropov and Tomas Kaberle look in Hab jerseys?

Scarborough Sharks are going to run into some bad luck tonight

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Phoenix Coyotes ticket offer is better than Atlanta's

Wow, $20 for lower bowl seats. Adn you wonder how they are losing $25 million per season. Another deal they are offering is the Family Pac which includes 4 tickets to a game, 4 hotdogs, 4 drinks and free parking for $160.

Heavy discounting in Atlanta

Hey Leaf fans, the Thrashers are no better than the Leafs but the lower bowl tickets are $30 compared to about $200 at the ACC. In fact Thrasher tickets can be bought for $15 if you commit to next season.

How do the NHL coaches compare?

I thought with the recent discussion regarding the coaching ability of Ron Wilson on talk radio, I thought it would be interesting to compare the coaching records of NHL coaches. Suprisingly Ron Wilson is just in the middle of the pack. Though when you examine the list closely you will find that the chart is skewed by coaches with limited experience. So rookie coaches like Todd McLellan looks good but he has only coached 50 games in the NHL. Meanwhile John Anderson and Scott Gordon have terrible records.

Coach Yrs GC
W L T OL Pts

1 Todd McLellan 1 50 36 7 0 7 79 0.790

2 B.Boudreau 2 115 71 33 0 11 153 0.665

3 Mike Babcock 6 463 266 129 19 49 600 0.648

4 Dave Tippett 6 462 261 140 28 33 583 0.631

5 Brent Sutter 2 136 80 46 0 10 170 0.625

6 Randy Carlyle 4 302 165 98 0 39 369 0.611

7 Claude Julien 6 374 199 123 10 42 450 0.602

8 Tony Granato 3 186 97 60 17 12 223 0.599

9 J.Quenneville 12 886 466 295 77 48 1057 0.597

10 Ken Hitchcock 13 954 495 315 88 56 1134 0.594

11 G.Carbonneau 3 218 118 78 0 22 258 0.592

12 Lindy Ruff 11 874 425 322 78 49 977 0.559

13 Peter DeBoer 1 52 25 19 0 8 58 0.558

14 J.Lemaire 15 1101 527 403 124 47 1225 0.556

15 Terry Murray 12 788 383 298 89 18 873 0.554

16 Mike Keenan 20 1357 657 519 147 34 1495 0.551

17 Tom Renney 7 421 201 167 9 44 455 0.540

18 C.MacTavish 8 627 289 240 47 51 676 0.539

19 Ron Wilson 15 1144 538 450 101 55 1232 0.538

20 M.Therrien 7 460 211 181 23 45 490 0.533

21 Andy Murray 9 668 297 254 58 59 711 0.532

22 A.Vigneault 7 482 221 197 35 29 506 0.525

23 John Stevens 3 208 91 86 0 31 213 0.512

24 Barry Trotz 10 791 349 333 60 49 807 0.510

25 Cory Clouston 1 3 1 1 0 1 3 0.500

26 Paul Maurice 12 867 359 368 99 41 858 0.495

27 W.Gretzky 4 300 131 147 0 22 284 0.473

28 Rick Tocchet 1 37 13 17 0 7 33 0.446

29 J.Anderson 1 54 18 31 0 5 41 0.380

30 Scott Gordon 1 52 16 31 0 5 37 0.356


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The weekend in Erie

It's started with Amherst.

And ended with Buffalo.

The shopping was real good.

The girls were model citizens.

In fact they were boring.

Parents tried to get the party started.

Not sure what this is about.

With the trophy in our possession.

Our work was done so it was back to Toronto.

I'm confused

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Who has the ugliest jerseys?

1. Montreal Canadien retro jerseys

2. Plaid tablecloth jersey

3. Pirate jersey

4. Ronald Mcdonald jersey

5. Leaside Wildcat jersey

Storm trample Buffalo for second tournament championship

Other than a jersey mix-up, a flat tire and a couple of dead batteries it was a perfect weekend in Erie. The Storm qualified for a tournament final for the third time this season taking home a second championship. This tournament turned out to be one of the finest team efforts you are going to see. The Storm out scored the opposition 18-2 but a total of 11 players out of 15 skaters scored at least one goal in the tournament. Maybe the biggest surprise were the emergence off players like SK who had 3 goals and 2 assists, Lauren F who had 3 goals and Genevieve who finished the weekend with 1 goal and 4 assists.

The championship game against Buffalo turned out to be a pretty one-sided affair as the poor Buffalo goalie faced 45 shots in a 9-0 loss. The opponents could not cope with the Storm speed and passing. If Wayne had been their recording highlights, he would have filled up his DVD. Leading the way was Mari with a goal and 3 assists. Lauren F had two goals and Gabby also had a pair of goals as well as an assist. Sheri chipped in with three assists. Other goal scorers were Lauren N, SK, Paitra and Kailee. Asia earned her second shutout of the the tournament.

The Dream Season continues next weekend with a pair of playdown games against Scarborough.

Storm cruises to Erie final

The energy line of Lauren F, Genevieve and Alicia each scored a goal to carry the Storm into their third tournament final this season. The Storm were sluggish for the early morning game but thank goodness one line was fired up as the Storm beat the Binghampton Blizzard 4-1. The fourth goal was scored by Amanda on the power as she came in from the point to fire a feed from Kailee into to net. Genevieve was the top scorer with two assists to go with her goal and she had several other good scoring chances.

The final game will be against the Buffalo Regals.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Exciting goal by Richard Zednik

Zednik came in hard again and New York defenseman Brendan Witt went down on the ice in an attempt to stop him. Zednik jumped over Witt, pushing the puck forward in the process. Zednik somehow was able to regain the puck, regain his balance and beat Joey MacDonald for Florida's third goal of the night.

Flames get scorched by the Storm

An early morning battle between the Storm and the Ohio Phantom Flames may just end up being the highlight of the tournament. After some intitial confusion when both teams skated out in dark jerseys, the two teams got down to some exciting hockey.

As they game progressed it became very one-sided as Storm forwards swarmed around the Ohio net firing pucks with increasing frequency. However, the little goalie from Ohio was clearly the star of the game as she made one after another save - some quite spectacular. Certainly just in the third period she robbed Lauren F, Mari and Genevieve of goals. The margin of shots was likely about 40 to 10.

Suddenly the big break came with less than one minute left in the game. Lauren N picked up the puck deep in the Storm end and fired it cross ice towards the far boards. The Flame defenseman was tried to pinch but didn't come up with the puck and it was picked up by Maddie in the neutral zone. Meanwhile Kailee was streaking up the right side which created a two man breakaway. As a result the Flame goalie was backed up in her net when Maddie fired a wrist shot just inside the far right post to finally get one past the goalie. There was only 16.4 seconds remaining on the clock.

Next game is early tomorrow against Binghampton.

Pool Standings
North York - 8.5 pts
Ohio - 5.5 pts
Amherst - 5.5 pts
Binghampton - 0 pts

ESPN asks the players

ESPN contacted all 30 teams and surveyed 193 players, or roughly 21 percent of active players. Here is some of what they heard:

Jerome Iginla (22%)
Nik Lidstrom (17%)

Sidney Crosby (52%)
Chris Pronger (8%)

Philadelphia (24%)
Montreal (13%)
[I've been to a Flyers game and they are nuts]

Las Vegas (47%)
Winnipeg (16%)
[it seems the American bias extends to the players too]

Patrick Marleau (8%)
Mike Green, David Krejci (4%)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Welcome to Erie

Well the first day at the Sarah Tournament in Erie went quite well. Game 1 had the Storm matched up against the Amherst Lady Knights. The Lady Knights had some terrific players but team play was non-existent. Consequently, most rushes failed to develop into legitimate scoring chances. The final score was 4-1 for the Storm.

The Storm jumped into a early 3-0 lead and scored on their first two shots on net. The opening goal was by Kailee who jumped on a loose puck to whistled it past the Amherst goalie. Shortly after Mari wired an excellent feed from SK over the shoulder of the goalie. And later SK connected on a pass for her firsts of two goals. That's right our converted defenseman finished the game with two goals and an assist. The first period score was 3-1 but that was misleading as the Amherst team started the game strongly but was repeatedly thwarted by Bianca who had an exceptional game in net. She finished the game with 23 saves on 24 shots.

The current standings arer:

1. NORTH YORK STORM - 4.5 pts
OHIO FLAMES - 4.5 pts
3. ERIE LADY LIONS - 4 pts

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Could Gary Bettman be any more annoying?

At a recent presentation at the National Club in downtown Toronto, Gary Bettman continued his tired, worn out act. You know the one - how everything is great. The economy's melting, but Bettman keeps insisting the NHL is on solid ice.

At one point the moderator played this game of word association with Bettman. His responses only make you shake your head in disbelief.

Moderator: 26-team NHL

Bettman: Never

Moderator: Phoenix Coyotes

Bettman: They'll be fine

Moderator: Three teams in New York, two teams in Los Angeles, one team in Toronto

Bettman: OK

Moderator: Copps Coliseum

Bettman: I've been there - it's very old

In just under 60 seconds Bettman rejected contraction, dismissed concerns over the Coyotes, and once again threw cold water on the notion of a second team in Toronto.