Archives for February 2010

Thoughts (again) from Sun Tavern, NJ: USA vs Canada..where are YOUR Gold Medals?

OK, so who else has simply LOVED these Olympics this year?? I know I have…. Hell I even got into the curling, and all that wacky stuff (I almost even know all the rules)….and the hockey what can I say?? The women’s tournament was a ton of fun (and I’ve made the Lady Finn goalie with the best eyes EVER into an international STAR…. now if only I could bring her and her power left hook home… hrrrmmm….go ahead, bring on the jokes about me and foreign women… I can take em!)… I’m actually kinda sad to see them go this year… but if you’re going to end an Olympics… THIS is how…. US invading Canadian soil…. one game… winner takes all…. “one shall stand…. one shall fall” (if you guys can whip out Princess Bride quotes I can go with the ONLY acceptable Transformer movie ever made!)… and in a few short hours if Kurt Angle walked up to one of these teams and said “where are YOUR gold medals??” they can turn and go “RIGHT HERE BEATCH!!!!”

And since I have some time here… and while I did like the Olympics… time to air some annoyances here…..
— I DON’T CARE ABOUT POLITICS or any crap show on MSNBC I’m only watching your shit channel because you MADE ME and no matter how many times you shove the ED show commercials down my throat I ain’t watching…
— in this trend if I see one more commercial for the goddamn census I am going to stab a kitten…. we get it… it’s important … we need fill it out… stop shoving Tina Faye in my face!!
— Though in some happy news, hockey fever is running wild in the Sun Tavern, this is gonna be a damn near football Sunday crowd 🙂
— and since I already took one shot at Michael Bay here… the only thing scary about the new Elm Street is that it’s Michael Bay’s awful dream :p

  • First Period
  • — Wow Doc looks OLD… and just when you think it… they show Al Michaels circa 1980… now THERE is a dude who looks old now :p (though as much as NBC annoys me and pushes shit down your throat… that Ice Vision thing is hella awesome!)
    — Both goalies make the first saves in the game and no Kipper flubs!!
    — No real advantage in play back and forth by either team… but some SERIOUS one-liners going back and forth at the bar!
    — Orpik SLAMS Heatley HARD AND HEAVY into the bench… no truth to the rumor that Ron Wilson offered him a US jersey and a chance to turn heel and join team AMERICA (fuck yeah!)
    — Crazy scramble in front and it’s PUFFY PAD SAVES OF DOOM BY LUONGO…and a stick save and cover… for extra drama-flavor!
    — They showed the replay of the puck on the line and I swear to God if that was curling the US would have won!!!
    — Dammit.. so much for the American burger helping :p

    (1 – 0, Can) Teows[1] (Richards) {12:50}
    Richards gets through two US defenders and works hard to get the shot through… Miller the good save, but the rebound to his left and there’s Teows and he grabs and fires the rebound up and over…. and a nation up north exhales!!!

    — Seems 18,000 people want a beer all at once since they’re yelling Miller!!!!
    — And they call Bobby Ryan for CHECKING… really… he CHECKED the dude!!
    USA kills the penalty pretty easy… they didn’t respond after the goal, but hell they didn’t pull a Finland at least!
    — Callahan a mini-break with time running out… but he’s a Ranger…. he sucks… two more periods and we can hate them again!!

  • Second Period
  • — the people behind us are getting a little bit too much into EVERY time a US player comes down the ice (and representing the US in a Scott Stevens jersey… really?? )
    — Ryan Malone to the box for FACE-CHECK!!! (Hell they might call that in the NHL too!!)
    the people oversell the Miller save like it was a gunshot…. I be happy no points for Cindy!! And I’m busy talking US beer va Canada beer with my Ottawa friend Sara!
    — WOW WHAT A SAVE BY MILLER…. oops as I was gonna say it was Richter-like… the result might be :p

    (2 -0, Can) Perry[4] (Getzlaf) {7:13}
    Getzlaf makes a centering pass… Marleau to the net…..Whitney gets a stick on it, but bad luck… good bounce…. it goes right to Perry and he turns and just FLIPS it… and Miller had NO CHANCE

    — US gets another pp but when you put Langs, Parise and Rafalski on it… YOU GET DEVILS RESULTS SUCKS… EVERYONE KILL EACH OTHER!!!!!!!!!!!
    — Team USA is getting with it now… J.Johnson the rush.. around the d… in front… KICKED OUT LUONGO !! DAMN YOUR BLOATED LIKE WOMAN ON PMS PADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    — Doc sets Olympic record… most times mentioning Cherry Hill, NJ … that’s gotta be some kinda first!!!
    — KEEP MENTIONING CHERRY HILL DOC!!!

    (2 – 1) Kessler[2] (Kane, Rafalski) {12:44}
    Simple play but damn it worked… Raflaski leaves for Kane… across to Kane… centers and Kessler swats at it… and Luongo doesn’t….
    see it’s off the ice… this is a good thing… FUCK YEAH!!!

    — HERE COMES PARISE…AAAAAAHHHHH!!! But Luongo comes out and gives him the logo-buster on a Rob Tonnesson level!!!
    — USA off side on the goal?? Well that call seems random in the Olympics now :p
    — Good Lord people it’s a fucking shot on goal… STOP SCREAMING… hockey idiots!! (see why I like hockey being a cult sport???)
    — Nash with the WRAPAROUND BUT THAT’S MUH-TOE MUH-TOE even a Devils fan can cheer!!!!!
    — Stretch pass and RANDOM NUMBER 21 CUTS IN BUT MILLER MAKES THE SAVE AND JOHNSON SACRIFICES HIS STICK BUT HELPS GET IT OUTTA THERE!!! END OF SECOND PERIOD… wow… we gots us a GAME peopless!!!

  • third Period
  • — Wow, that was a good play for Canada… why is she cheering this… doesn’t she…..
    I instantly cut her off and say NO…. no really the woman behind us can’t tell a hockey puck from a curling stone (thanks for the setup Tasha!)
    — Team Canada starts the 3rd period with a nice start…. if we were playing GOALPOSTS!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!!!!
    — Ohhh Drury’s hurt!!! 11 minutes until RANGERS SUCK time anyway!!!
    — WHAT A SAVE BY MILLER ROLLING THE RIGHT LEG OUT ON THE REBOUDN CHANCE!! How come that NEVER works for me dammit!!!!!
    — Fuck Drury’s back…. well we only need him 9 more minutes anyway, right??
    — Malone a shot… people behind us scream like it’s Parise…. but it’s not to be!!
    — OK the save was LESS epic because it was on Thornton and Heatley… the only time Heatley hits the target is when driving kids :p
    — “I never watched a full hockey game before” (from behind us)
    me “WE NOTICED”
    — Rafalksi pounces on a loose puck… but BLOCKED BY BOYLE… if only he kept his house from burning with that passion….
    speaking of… WTF is with the random goal horn?!?!?!
    — FUCK YOU CROSBY POKE CHECK MILLER!!! All I yelled was ANYONE BUT CINDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    — Wow, the hockey geniuses want us to pull Miller with 2 minutes left… CMONNNN!!! (again this is why I love that no one loves hockey :p)
    — I wish I could tell you what happens, but the front run idiocy is killing him…. “Hey Luongo can’t catch”… ummm… asshole, he’s a butterfly goalie… ALL HE DOES IS CATCH asshat!!!!!
    — Miller to the bench… people freak out that the puck WAS NINETY FEET FROM THE EMPTY NET!! Good god!!!!
    — DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES… AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    (2 – 2) PARISE[5] (Langenbrunner, Kane) {19:35}
    WHO GIVES A FUCK HOW IT HAPPENED.. ZACH PARISE TIES IT UP WITH 30 SECONDS LEFT!!! THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO FUCKING KNOW BITCHES!!!! BRING ON OVERTIME!!!!!!

    — Confirmed FACT, they’re even yelling AHHHHHH, PARISE IN ARGENTINA FUCKER!!!!!

  • Overtime!!!
  • — Wow, the woman behind me called Parise the best there is the best there was and the best there ever will be… hey that shit’s Canadian dummy!!!!
    — also that kinda fitting that an Olympics I don’t want to end has an extra session!!
    — Parise comes in 1 on 3… me “so the sides are even!!!”

    (3 -2, Canada) Crosby[4] (Iginla)
    Well we all know what happened and why… dammit Miller should have had this shot too…. and Gary Bettman too busy jacking off in the NHL luxury box… and the fucking golden child does it again :p…. mb30 fakes joining in the Olympic Pile like a Jewish woman on her wedding night…. yay Canada… hate you Crosby and RANGERS SUCK AGAIN!!!!!

    — well back to the Devils grind soon and often!!!!

    Thoughts from snowed in Roselle Park: USA vs Finland, Olympic Semi-Finals!

    Hey looks like they finally got the Canadian girls off the ice (and CMON guys you know it’s hot to see a bunch of hockey girls partying and lighting stogies, screw it if a few are under-age 😉 )…but now it’s time for what everyone wanted to see….the right to fight for the right to wear Olympic gold (and make Kurt Angle jokes all summer… it’s true, oh it’s true!!), you’re all snowed in anyway, so LET’S GET OLYMPIC, eh??

  • How they got here:
  • We mostly know the US Story by now… unless you live in a ditch…. or South America (but she ain’t gonna read this anyway, it’s over 25 words)… so it’s pretty simple… Ryan Miller… timely goals and away they went! The Finns are similar but different, they play a more smothering old-school NJ Devils type of hockey, defense, defense and more defense (but yet no player EVER in Olympic hockey has more points then their own Teemu Selanne)…4 goals allowed in 4 games and 2 shutouts… yeah that’s pretty tight, and Kipper is maybe the best goalie in hockey that no one talks about…. so this should be an epic battle today!!!

  • First Period
  • (I like this way or writing a little better… it adds some flow and the jokes make a bit more sense this way… opinons??)
    — Slow start to the game but loved Ryan Miller coming out and putting a courtesy check on a Finn to clear the puck, I love when goalies do dumb things like I do!…. and just as I talk about dumb shit that I do in goal….

    (1 – 0, USA) Malone[3] (should be Kipper, and Kessel deserves one too… but no one gets one) {2:04}
    Malone chips it out and off goes Kessel to come fetch it….Kipper comes WAY out to get it and makes a TERRIBLE pass that goes right to Malone… sweeps the shot past and it’s one-zip just like that!!

    — and the next few shifts after, the Americans turn up the heat (Rafalski all over the damn place)… not a good sign for the Finns when you NEED to answer the bell after such a gaffe!!
    — and people PLEASE stop texting me that Kipper pulled a Scott… I’d have cleared the zone on the bonehead pass, thanks!!
    — the Finns look VERY nervous here… alot like the US Women did last night….
    — Man the US speed and forecheck is all over the Finns and it drew an interference call…and right off the faceoff!!

    (2 – 0) Parise[3-pp] (Statsny, Rafalski) {6:22}
    AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Rafalski’s shot is blocked, but the Finn who gets a stick on it kicks it right to Statsny who waits and cuts the pass through three people and right on Parise’s stick… holds… flips… TOP SHELF and the Finns are in it and DEEP already!!!!

    — and the Finns now doing their best team Russia impression and US right back to the pp

    (3 – 0) E.Johnson [1-pp] (Pavelski, Malone) {8:36}
    Kipper can’t handle the dump in and punches it to the corner…Malone hustles and gets to it… pops it behind the net… Pavelski to it… throws it in front.. and in American fashion it’s KICK/WHAM/STUNNER!! 3-0 and time out Finland… and maybe bye-bye Kipper!

    — 6 shots on goal…. 3 goals… WOW
    — and keeping with the every other shot thing…

    (4 – 0) Kane[2] (none) {10:08}
    Patrick Kane is dominating the play here….Kane the shot… Brown kicks it back to him…. cuts around everyone… looks.. dump… SCWWWAAAARRRR…. and this is a beatdown!! KIPPER TAPS OUT AND RUNS FOR THE BENCH!!!

    — the only way the US could beat them down so savagely would be simply to invade them and take over :p
    — Enter the Backstrom!!!! And he actually makes a successful save without letting a goal in!!
    — Err nevermind what I said!

    (5 – 0) Kane[3] (Rafalski) {12:31}
    He just walks in, wide open… cuts wide, shoots far side… and I think they can put BOTH goalies in net and we’d still pound them!!

    — I CAN’T KEEP UP!!!!

    (6 – 0) Statsny[1] (Langenbrunner, Parise) {12:46}
    2 goals in 15 seconds… and they had to change goal songs now it’s so ABSURD!!! Parise to the corner… leaves for Langs in the faceoff dot… across to Statsny… and BAM… can … you…. dig… that… SUCKA!!!!!!!! I’m running out of catch-phrases!!!!

    — the Finns would run off the ice and go home right NOW if they could …. really…..’
    — by the way… fuck you NBC, your exclusive crap with the highlights made seeing what happened in the late games impossible and it was a damn near needle in a haystack finding your crappy scoreboard!!!! It’s been annoying me all Olympics and now I can say it!!!
    — Great line from no-longer-cousin Rob… “programming note: the role of the Finnish goalie is now being played by Vessa Toskala”… sure looks it don’t it??? I think Rafalski may shatter Selanne’s scoring record in this game alone!!
    — Shots were 13-4 in the period… and holy God that was just a brutal beatdown!!

  • Second Period
  • — I needed that whole intermission to double check all the goals… and what’s up with no goals in 10 minutes of play?? Really??
    — Rob’s now trying too hard to be funny cause this game is in trash time (though the US is putting the foot off the gas a little soon here)… “who had the worse day… Kipper or Sea World?” Least Kipper only killed himself in this one… Sea World left thousands scarred and I think Finn-Nation is used to this kinda Olympic FAIL
    — Ruttu takes a penalty and a misconduct… at this point it’s for pretending to be a hockey player, totally against the rules on team Finland when medals are on the line 😛

    NEWSFLASH… USA DOESN’T SCORE ON POWER PLAY… they’re partying in the streets in Finland I swear!!!

    — Man if this game was somewhat close I’d be raving about Kessler’s block on that play… at this point I’m just trying not to type for the sake of typing…..
    — It’s the second period and Doc is talking about preggo Dogs and pups… oh boy it’s going to be a SLOW third period…..

  • Third Period
  • — Really ain’t much to say here unless something absurd happens right? Least the US is getting some penalty kill practice here…
    — Ryan Miller pulled for Tim Thomas (who should have played one prelim game if you ask me)… I get the move… it’s classy and to protect the goalie and all…but geesh I have issues doing that with a shutout on the board……
    — uh-oh Bobby Ryan (maybe the one guy who didn’t score today) takes a puck to the noggin… that HAS to hurt… save him for Sunday… he should be alright….
    — See what I mean about the shutout ??

    (6 -1) Mettinen[1] (Lepitsto) {14:46}
    The Finns actually pretend they can play some hockey and pass the puck around…. the long shot comes from
    Jack Johnson tries to block it and it hits his knee (OW) and it kinda goes bullet-time Matrix style from going right to going left…Tim Thomas can do not a damn thing about it on that one….. but still kinda sucks to lose the “zero”… an annoyance at best at this point

    — and that’s gonna do it!!! IMPRESSIVE win for the US… not too much fun to watch once the wolves feasted on the carcass but you can bet Sunday’s gonna be one HELL of a slobberknocker!!!!

    Your Olympic Medal Thread and Preview!

    I’ve been a busy boy since the weekend and I’m going to be out and about for the US game today (and to be honest the only game that is really recap-worthy today would be the Russia-Canada game, but I don’t think I’ll be near a computer for it)…. so instead of writing it up… I’ll just preview it and let you guys talk about it as it happens…. I can think for sure I’ll be doing a period by period write up like I did for US/Canada Sunday… one for the Bronze…. one for the Gold (and for God’s sake people… root on my Finnish goalie as she goes for the Bronze! — tomorrow 2pm, DO IT!)….but this thread’s all about the men, cause it’s all about the NHL here… so let’s get ready for some A-List hockey!!

    3pm EST (ask NBC it’s the only time zone that matters)
    USA vs Team Swiss:
    Yes the US Team got the “weakest team in the pool”… but be CAREFUL with this team… they took Canada to the skills competition, but also in that they needed a shootout for Belarus and let Norway score 4 goals on them… but yet here they are… and I did say to be wary of this team in this spot in my preview last week… Jonas Hiller is good enough to steal any one game on any one night, but an American loss here DESTROYS any good will or momentum (or any chance of NBC showing the games… you know… on NBC, and not showing curling re-runs instead)…. and when you go 3-0, even when expectations were low coming into the Olympics, you GOTTA medal at least… and that means winning THIS game here, from what I’ve seen of both teams I do think the US is going to take this like 5-2… but I’d not be shocked to see the Swiss up 1-0 at sometime in this game and make the Americans EARN it (and damn I am rooting for them, it’s nice to have an American team that is dirtbag-free, yes I look at you Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Upchuck, and Mike Modano and his $3000 a month dog food :p)… get out of work early… and be sure to tell your West Coast friends EVERY detail since the game will be on tape delay (do they still use tape for that, really?? It’s 2010, CMON!) for the lesser coast!

    7:30pm EST
    Russia vs Canada:
    The REAL Main Event of the day…..it’s Crosby vs Ovechkin version 2.0 (again), it’s the big bad Russians with their stacked forwards against an ENTIRE NATION crammed into a hockey rink, and a stacked team, that maybe had that big exhale and found it’s own hockey game last night in beating German like a bastard child (hell my line of the night last night was Canada let a beatdown on German people not seen since the BearJew from Inglorious Basterds!)… this is a tough game to judge… you have mister choke artist in Nabby for the Russians (the dude never seen a playoff series that he didn’t like to fold in)… against a man maybe playing the biggest game of his life (well until the NEXT game if they win) in Luongo ….and yes you guys know I fully endorse the humbling and benching of mb30 for him… he looked lost and average, something we’re all too used to in even best of 7 tournament-type play. I think people are selling Canada short and ignoring the psychological edge they got in feeling better from an easy win… and that this year while the Russians would love to win now… the NEXT Olympics they get home-ice, THEY get what Canada wants to do this year… and the Canadians seemed more settled with Luongo in net as opposed to being forced to adapt to mb30’s game (this too could be a small issue we’ve had in Jersey the last few years), and I really like the home team to win here and turn the pressure from going against them to being motivated having a passionate hockey NATION in their back pocket!

    10pm EST
    Finland vs team Czech:
    Boy did the Czechs look shaky last night??? (Well Canada aside all the qualifiers struggled and now they play AGAIN 24 hours later, in a way that’s good… no time to think about it)…meanwhile Finland has been quietly dominating sitting in the shadows while everyone pays attention to Canada, Russia and now the US team…. this Fin team is dangerous (unless they play Sweden, then they just roll over and die), and it’s no secret that I am a big Kipper fan (and of his wonderful female counter-part)… Jagr is still feeling the effects of Ovechkin owning his soul in the MORTAL KOMBAT body check of the season! The Czechs are good and solid… but I think it might be one game too many for Vokun here (I can say the same for Hiller above), but I also think their gas tank will be running low…and it’s gonna be tough to follow that Russia/Canada game from a watcher’s perspective….but I do like the Finn’s here

    Midnight EST
    Sweden vs team Slovak:
    Again the Slovak’s struggled mighty (maybe I pissed off Norway slamming them for being a country of ice and not being able to put a hockey player worth a Rat’s damn eh?? Probably not, the only player I ever really unnerved was Bobby Holik…. well Jason Arnott too), but they got there… and Halak’s not gonna be as shaky two nights in a row as he was last night… and the Swedes are deep, talented and rested (and they won their 3 games pretty easily)… and I am putting a big premium on this less deep teams playing that extra game and them running out of gas right here and right now… this again is one of those nights….it’s a tournament designed to favor the teams that do well in the prelims, and this game will be no exception…. Fret not East Coast, you should be in bed about 1am knowing this game’s in hand for the Swedes and with Kenny Albery and Joe Micheletti calling a Henrik the THIGH PADS OF DOOM Lundqvst, the Ranger shill may put you in a coma by the 2nd intermission :p (I had to by rule throw a Rangers shot in there!)

    ENJOY THE GAMES TODAY!! This is why the NHL takes two weeks off for this kind of hockey!!!!!

    Canada vs Team AMERICA (puta si!)… thoughts soon-to-be from Sun Tavern: Roselle Park, N

    I’ve been toying and messing with the ideas of how to change things up in the post-game write-ups since I think we’ll all admit it’s gotten a bit stale… and honestly with no one else LEFT here writing (it’s no fault of mine as much as anyone wants to believe it).. and I’m gonna try to mix it up some and keep things fresh… also one of the other things I wanted to put out there… an open casting call to be a special “Guest Host” (stealing the idea from Raw) for Devils ROAD games… add some more coverage here… you don’t need to follow a style or a format, you don’t need to worry about pissing me off (the whole idea we follow hockey and read about it is we ALL love and enjoy it after all)…. and I do want to get some OTHER voices on here but MINE…. I went way way OCD in the pre-lockout days with the old CRASHER Line days…. and I don’t want that and I want to have a life OUTSIDE of this stuff…. though I’ve been kinda left with the keys to car… I don’t mind someone else driving and adding to the site when things allow….. so all that aside…. this is clearly the biggest non-medal game of the tournament…. so might as well have some fun with it at the bar and with friends (hell it’s 2 hours from now… CMON DOWN if you can!)

    I have no idea how I will be covering this game… or what I will be writing… I’m really just making this damn thing up as I go right here… so please please do chirp in and get involved!!!

  • What’s on the line tonight??
  • The US comes in at 2-0 and with a win tonight they take a top seed in the medal round, and I think only behind Finland over all as the best team in the Prelims, which will give them a nice patsy in the first medal round game they play in… and even with a respectable loss (more so if it goes to Overtime) the Americans will have an excellent shot at the “bonus bye” for the 4th best team in the pools…

    Canada comes in with two not-so-good efforts in their opening games and an inexcusable shootout game against the Swiss who they are WORLDS better then (though Hiller did play out of his skull)… the shootout and the 2 points for the win (you see that NHL… PENALIZE a team for going to the Skills competition dammit!)….and if Canada doesn’t win regulation (depends on the score)…. they may have to play into the event which would be a DISASTER for a team that was supposed to DOMINATE here and not squeak in…. and all the pressure on the world is on them now!

      First Period

    — So far the best thing about watching the game at the bar…. JR and Milbury on MUTE… and the damn car race ended in time so all the NASCAR heads are leaving!
    — Speaking of bad TV Coverage I could totally go into the disgrace job that NBC is doing with these Olympics but I am trying to be a lil kinder/gentler here and enjoying the ride… least the games today didn’t get stuffed in the corner for more curling…..
    — Also damn, those USA jerseys look WAY too Ranger-Like… I get the 1980 Tribute and all… but booooo!! The Blue ones not so much….

    — SCAWWWWRR!!!

    Langenbrunner tips the Rafalski shot pass and it’s … one… NOTHING… NEW… errr.. USA!!!
    Correction… Tip by CROSBY… score unchanged!!

    — Crosby stuffed on the breakaway… MORE pouting ensues!!!!
    — Getzlaf to the box for a cross check to the skull… ouch!!!
    — USA has all sorts of jump and pressing like hell on Canada…. they’re feeling the pressure….San Jose fans, this look familiar to ya’s? 🙂

    — Well Canada ties it up but still looks kinda crappy, but still a NICE tip by Staal (damn that name) on a Seabrook long shot….

    — And speaking of Staal…. mb30 lets ANOTHER Rafalski wrister far side with Langs giving the ol’mb30 stink face!!!!!!
    — 2 goals on 4 shots for the Americans…. wow… that’s the mb30 we got used to in the clutch :p
    — What a hell of a first period for the US team….and judging by TSN on Facebook, the world is mutiny-ing against ol’mb30 here….

      Second Period

    — How awesome would an Olympic hockey fight be, eh??
    — And right as I was about to say how GOOD Miller’s been….

    Teows behind the net… comes to the front… shot… save Miller… juicy rebound and Heatley stuffs it home (and insert bad driving jokes here about Hot Rod Heatley)….2-2 game, blame Canada!

    — good Lord Donald Sutherland looked like cold hard brutal death there didn’t he???
    — mb30 ANOTHER one off the mask… THIS IS THE HOCKEY GODS TELLING YOU SOMETHING!!!
    — Hot damn the game intensity is getting AWESOME….STAAL TURNS HEEL AND TAKES OUT PERRY!!! He’s gonna win the Royal Rumble!!!!
    — did ya ever think you’d cheer THIS???

    Bobby Ryan the shot… save…..Backus the next shot… is blocked…rebound comes loose… HELLO CHRIS DRURY and he stuffs it past mb30 for an all-too familair sight eh??? Just this one was kinda nicer to see… 3-2 US… FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    — WELCOME TO THE OLYMPIC BREAKAWAY COMPETITION!!!!! Kane, then Thornton…. then BOBBY RYAN!! Oh what a SAVE FEST!!!!!
    — attaboy Rafaslki….get that back elbow in when Staal tries to ride you like an awful country music song!
    — This game has been all the intensity and fire I was hoping for… ANYONE who’s anti-Pros in the Olympics needs this game as proof!!!

      Third Period

    — Cindy to the box, someone get the diapers and a bottle!!
    — Best thing about being in a half-full bar like this… the Olympics are on and the ice dancing is on… NOT ONE FUCKING PERSON IS WATCHING THE ICE DANCING… suck it NBC!!!!
    — Damn if the US scored on that delayed call, would the broken stick have gotten an assist??? US back on the power play!
    — and Rafalski 3:16 says…..

    I JUST LIT UP YOUR ASS!!!!! Puck to the point….Parise and Langs in front… looks like Captain AMERICA is right there to be AMERICAN PAIN IN THE ASS TIPPING IT HOME!!!

    — And then Ryan Miller is just CLUTCH CLUTCH CLUTCH… SUCK ON MY STICK SAVE CINDY!!!!!!!!!!! And a nice flop and spin-a-roonie… SUCKA!!
    — So ya think with each goal the smile on Luongo’s face gets better??? (as I say this MBxxx makes a HUGE stick save)
    — Canadians on a HUGE pp… missed on who… sorry
    — ok, so we did the KILL KILL KILL chant in the bar… even Andy was involved… he got a kick being on the other side of it 🙂
    — seeing Joe Thornton with the puck makes me think the Canadians have more chokers on the roster then the Benoit family did ……
    — and HOLY SHIT RYAN MILLER MAKES ME REGRET MY BEER CHOICE OF SAM ADAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Least it’s an American beer.. screw your Molsons!!!! (only for tonight :p)
    — but just when you think the game is over…..

    Nash from the corner… sees Cindy in front… the old no-touch rule is in effect…. Cindy taps it home and gets it through the pads of Miller…. well it’s gonna be a FUN finish eh???

    — NIEDERMAYER OFF THE OUTSIDE POST!!!! 3:00 of a hockey game to kill!!!
    — Jesus TWO STRAIGHT MINUTES OF BLITZ BUT MILLER AND THE AMERICANS HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE!!!
    (30 years later, Miracle 2.0??)
    — Why did Wilson NOT call tiem out there???
    …maybe cause of this!!

    Kesler jumps OVER THE CANADIAN PLAYER and taps it into the empty net… the goal was so ridiculous and crazy, Parise gets the back door assist!!!

    — Deportations, riots and mb30 sent to the American team out of SPITE soon to ensue!!
    — CMON LET EM FIGHT!! SCREW THE IOC RULES!!

    LET’S GET OLYMPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So by semi-popular demand (and my own need to keep busy during this Olympic Break… and well the fact I hate when this site becomes a Ghost Town… but I am the last one standing here… not by design… believe me one of the reasons I joined here was to be a supporting member not the featured writer… but seems with anything I do I end up running the damn show anyway no matter how much I DON’T want to… so here we go again….)…anyway,…. I don’t think I’ll recap any games till we get to the medal round….so insert quality filler here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and as a reference point… I bolded all players in the NHL)

      Teams that could only win if Tommy Salo made an Olympic Return
      (aka, Dark Horses/the teams that suck!)

  • BELARUS
  • Goaltenders: Vitali Koval, Maxim Malyutin, Andrei Mezin
    Defense: Andrei Antonov, Andrei Bashko, Vladimir Denisov, Viktor Kostiuchenok, Ruslan Salei, Nikolai Stasenko, Vadim Sushko, Alexander Syrei
    Forwards: Oleg Antonenko, Sergei Demagin, Mikhail Grabovsky, Alexei Kaliuzhny, Konstantin Koltsov, Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn, Alexander Kulakov, Andrei Mikhalev, Andrei Stas, Alexei Ugarov, Sergei Zadelenov

    Alright… be honest you barely know anyone on this team either (though one or two of the people who love to piss and moan at me, hell they probably blame me for every one else retiring)… the only reason I remember Mezin is I think he was the goalie when Tommy Salo headbutted team Belarus into one of the biggest upsets in Olympic History… they have a few NHL players, and none of them are exactly all-stars…. I ain’t wasting much time on the cannon fodders……

  • GERMANY
  • Goaltenders: Dennis Endras, Thomas Greiss, Dimitri Pätzold
    Defense: Michael Bakos, Christian Ehrhoff, Jakub Ficenec, Jason Holland, Korbinian Holzer, Chris Schmidt,
    Dennis Seidenberg, Alexander Sulzer
    Forwards: Alexander Barta, Sven Felski, Marcel Goc, Thomas Greilinger, Jochen Hecht, Manuel Klinge, Marcel Müller, Travis James Mulock, André Rankel, Marco Sturm, John Tripp, Michael Wolf

    FYI, Thomas Greiss is Nabby’s backup in San Jose in case you wasted time reading this part (no I didn’t need to look it up :p)… Strum and Hecht are functional NHL’ers… but again…. they ain’t got the guns… they are improved from the days of it being the “beat on Ollie Kolzig show”… but they’re stilla LONG way from being competitive in a top-tier way…..

  • LATVIA
  • Goaltenders: Edgars Masalskis, Ervins Mustukovs, Sergejs Naumovs
    Defense: Oskars Bartulis, Guntis Galvins, Rodrigo Lavins, Georgijs Pujacs, Krisjanis Redlihs, Arvids Rekis,
    Karlis Skrastins, Kristaps Sotnieks
    Forwards: Girts Ankipans, Armands Berzins, Martins Cipulis, Lauris Darzins, Kaspars Daugavins, Martins Karsums, Gints Meija,
    Aleksandrs Nizivijs, Mikelis Redlihs, Aleksejs Sirokovs, Janis Sprukts, Herberts Vasiljevs

    Ah… WORLD FAMOUS Latvia (ok you had to read the facebook status to get that), but like I hinted there and the two teams above….. there’s not much here to brag about… and this is one of them teams that will have a parade if they win a game in the prelims and call it a GREAT SUCCESS on a Borat type level (hopefully without the hairy naked man-wrestling scenes :p)

  • NORWAY
  • Goaltenders: Pål Grotnes, Andre Lysenstøen, Ruben Smith
    Defense: Alexander Bonsaksen, Jonas Holøs, Tommy Jakobsen, Juha Kaunismäki, Lars Erik Lund, Ole Kristian Tollefsen, Mats Trygg
    Forwards: Mats Zuccarello Aasen, Morten Ask, Anders Bastiansen, Kristian Forsberg, Mads Hansen, Marius Holtet, Mathis Olimb,
    Martin Røymark, Per-Åge Skrøder, Lars Erik Spets, Patrick Thoresen, Tore Vikingstad, Martin Laumann Ylven

    Funny that a country that is so friggin COLD all the time sucks so bad at ice hockey… but they do…. the only reason I know Tollefson is I grabbed him on waivers in NHL 09 and he was a nice 6th D on the video game… and admit it that’s more then you know about him unless you cheer for the Winged Wheel…. the rest of this team… yeah right, there’s a reason they’re in the jobber category…..

      Teams that can Scare the Piss out of you, but Not Win
      (should clear the prelims and maybe medal but not expected to do much)

  • CZECH REPUBLIC
  • Goaltenders: Ondrej Pavelec, Jakub Stepanek, Tomas Vokoun
    Defense: Miroslav Blatak, Jan Hejda, Tomas Kaberle, Filip Kuba, Pavel Kubina, Zbynek Michalek, Roman Polak, Marek Zidlicky
    Forwards: Petr Cajanek, Roman Cervenka, Patrik Elias, Martin Erat, Tomas Fleischmann, Martin Havlat, Jaromir Jagr, David Krejci, Milan Michalek, Tomas Plekanec, Tomas Rolinek, Josef Vasicek

    See, now we’re talking some teams that can make a little noise!! Vokun is a legit top-tier goalie (but he’s also erratic enough he could implode at any time… he’s been solid to flat out REALLY GOOD of late though)…. the defense corps are solid too, the forwards have some serious talent in them (Elias, Jagr, Erat, etc…)… they can score some goals, the D is a little weak… but they won’t be a walk over for damn sure, and the Czechs are nowhere near as deep as some of the other teams in the tournament….

  • SLOVAKIA
  • Goaltenders:Peter Budaj, Jaroslav Halak, Rastislav Stana
    Defense: Ivan Baranka, Zdeno Chara, Milan Jurcina, Andrej Meszaros, Andrej Sekera, Martin Strbak, Lubomir Visnovsky
    Forwards: Lubos Bartecko, Martin Cibak, Pavol Demitra, Marian Gaborik, Michal Handzus, Marcel Hossa, Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Zigmund Palffy, Branko Radivojevic, Miroslav Satan, Jozef Stümpel, Richard Zednik

    Goaltending is questionable here, but for Halak the pressure of carrying his country on his back is probably less then playing in Montreal :p… being able to roll Chara out there every other shift will make up for some shortcomings on D… the Slovacs also have some nifty scorers (who will all look better if Gaborik plays… he’s allowed to get hurt in the last Olympic game 😀 )… and just seeing Ziggy Palffy again made me chuckle a little again! It’s a shame them and the Czechs had to split… if they didn’t they might be a medal worthy combination team… if Halak is on though they won’t go down easy either……

  • SWITZERLAND
  • Goaltenders: Ronnie Rüeger, Jonas Hiller, Tobias Stephan
    Defense: Goran Bezina, Severin Blindenbacher, Rafael Diaz, Roman Josi, Luca Sbisa, Mathias Seger, Mark Streit,
    Yannick Weber
    Forwards: Andres Ambühl, Thomas Déruns, Hnat Domenichelli, Sandy Jeannin, Thibaut Monnet, Thierry Paterlini, Martin Plüss, Kevin Romy, Ivo Rüthemann, Raffaele Sannitz, Julien Sprunger, Roman Wick

    Jonas Hiller is good enough to make this team a contender on his own (hell David Aebischer almost did a few Olympics ago), there’s not much else here….hell only one other NHLer and some almost’s and never-were’s… but if Hiller was good enough to purge Jiggy-Pout from the PondScum… he’s good enough to take the Swiss outta the “jobber” category in the Olympics… and he’s not the guy you wanna face in the first game of the medal round… he’ll make it WAY tough on you…..

  • USA
  • Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick, Tim Thomas
    Defense: Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Tim Gleason, Ryan Whitney, Brooks Orpik, Brian Rafalski, Ryan Suter
    Forwards: David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ryan Malone, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny

    I struggled with making the US an “elite” team in the pool, but maybe as I overrated the Swiss, I may underrate the US team here… but it makes for easier reading to have 4 teams in each bracket… so NYAH!!! One of only two teams to sport an all-NHL roster, the US team is stacked with good young, fast forwards (well and Langs and Drury)… and that youth is a big advantage… sometimes being young and too dumb to realize you don’t belong there is the best thing you can have… the US team also boasts the goalie who’s playing the best hockey in the NHL all-season long, the D is a little soft, but in the Olympics it’s more about speed, movement and recovery then crash ‘n bang… so this too may suit the US team well…. this team is the most likely to make medal noise of the non-elite eight I’ve previewed so far and I am fully aware of that… but with this roster and it’s youth and inexperience… it seems like a “next time” type of team more geared for 2014….

      Teams that if they don’t win Their Country Will Riot
      (aka: the Favorites)



    CANADA
    Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur, Marc-André Fleury, Roberto Luongo
    Defense: Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber
    Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews

    Well this one is obvious…. not only an ALL-NHL… but a freaking all-star one too!! The Canadians can put two all-star level teams and still have players to spare… after all… it’s their freaking sport man!!! But add that and the intense pressure of home-ice and the high-end demands of their fans and country wanting “gold or don’t come back”… the biggest opponent they could face is their own issues….not to mention EVERY move is gonna be second-guessed as they first happen… Scott Niedermayer… ain’t he too old… hasn’t he sucked this year?? MB30 vs Luongo… hey both have struggled the last few weeks… what about Fleury??? This team may have too much talent for it’s own damn good… and the first line is all-Sharks… we know how they do under pressure and duress, but still… any thoughts of cutting this team down are a reach….anyone who doesn’t think they can win it all and maybe not lose a game is fooling themselves…..


    FINLAND
    Goaltenders:Niklas Bäckström, Miikka Kiprusoff, Antero Niittymäki
    Defense: Lasse Kukkonen, Sami Lepistö, Toni Lydman, Janne Niskala, Joni Pitkänen, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen
    Forwards: Valtteri Filppula, Niklas Hagman, Jarkko Immonen, Olli Jokinen, Niko Kapanen,
    Mikko Koivu, Saku Koivu, Jere Lehtinen, Antti Miettinen, Ville Peltonen, Jarkko Ruutu, Tuomo Ruutu,
    Teemu Selänne

    Strong in goal… finalists last time around… solid defenders… decent enough up front….and Selanne gets hot and they can be dangerous….Kipper’s carried teams on his back before in the Olympics and the Stanley Cup Playoffs….but also in contrast… if Kipper goes ass-up (he’s done that too)… and Selanne and the Koviu’s do nothing… this team is cannon-fodder (no I am not ignoring Jokinen, I’m just stating the obvious on how he is under pressure.. hence him being the perfect Ranger!)…. certainly not a team to be taken lightly either


    RUSSIA
    Goaltenders: Ilya Bryzgalov, Evgeni Nabokov, Semyon Varlamov
    Defense: Sergei Gonchar, Denis Grebeshkov, Dmitri Kalinin, Konstantin Korneyev, Andrei Markov,
    Ilya Nikulin, Fedor Tyutin, Anton Volchenkov
    Forwards: Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Fedorov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Viktor Kozlov, Evgeni Malkin, Alexei Morozov, Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Radulov, Alexander Semin, Danis Zaripov, Sergei Zinoviev

    Any team that has a SECOND line with Kovalchuk and Datsyuk on it… you just look and go WOW… not a packed with NHL-talent team… but you can make a case they have more top 10 players in the NHL then anyone else in the event… so what they have is absurdly GOOD talent, the strength of this team is up front (you can say in goal, but Bryzgalov only did it once in the playoffs… and that’s one more then Nabokov ever did…. and Varlamov got exposed by the Penguins last year… so I’ll give the goalies a maybe grade with a chance to stand up and prove themselves)… the D is mobile and finesse which is Olympic-style hockey, so that’s not a minus… and admit it… this is a fun team to watch… thankfully the Cold War is over and we can say that without being called Communists or worse :p.. probably the co-favorite with Canada… not medalling at all would be a MASSIVE fail for this team….


    SWEDEN
    Goaltenders:Jonas Gustavsson, Stefan Liv, Henrik Lundqvist
    Defense: Tobias Enström, Magnus Johansson, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidström, Douglas Murray, Johnny Oduya, Mattias Öhlund, Henrik Tallinder
    Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Bäckström, Loui Eriksson, Peter Forsberg, Tomas Holmström, Patric Hörnqvist, Fredrik Modin, Samuel Påhlsson, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Mattias Weinhandl, Henrik Zetterberg

    OMG IT’S HENRIK LUNDQVIST!!! HE REDEFINED THE GOALIE POSITION… HE MAKES SAVES WITH HIS MASK!!! HE’S GROUNDBREAKING!! (sorry I watched the Ranger game on Sunday… and listening to them beat up on Tampa the way the announcer shills were I thought they made the conference finals :p)… but that aside Henrik DID carry this team to Olympic Gold last time around….and like with Chara, when you can put Nik Lidstrom out there every other shift it fixes many flaws….and with the Sedin’s playing out of their skulls good this year, supporting players like Alfredsson, Zetterburg and maybe the biggest wild card in the tournament in Peter Forsberg… this team is dangerous too…. and another team with much medal pressure on them……

    This should be a fun two weeks of hockey… hopefully you get out there and ENJOY IT!! (not to mention when the women’s hockey gets to the medal round that will be good stuff too!!)… We’ll let this sit for a while and once I check the schedules… I’ll decide what games I’m gonna pick, choose and write about… I’d say the first game is likely the US/Canada one…. well unless it’s Sat night, then I’m in Delaware having a life…. we’ll worry about that when it’s about to happen soon enough….

    Thoughts from Section 209: Devils vs Preds, 2/12/2010

    Hey folks… no I didn’t fall into the abyss like the rest of the staff did :p… I had a REALLY bad… umm… “digestive situation”… wasn’t much fun, but of course I got all better for work… and then the damn snow hit… so that was another mess… and my thoughts from Apartment A-1 would have been a more angry rant about the only fan noise being that idiot “Ranjahs suck” chant on TV… so anyway… all is well…. all is good… and it’s the damn Olympic Break… though we were given hats tonight, and a good chunk of us didn’t leave with them… more on that later!!!

    The Good:
    — WE DIDN’T BLOW A TWO GOAL LEAD…. hooray!!!!!! In fact this game was a massive 500 pound gorilla off their back and the liberation to it I can only compared to losing a 5’11” blonde gorilla right before my birthday 🙂
    — Jacques Lemaire…. yeah he’s been dealt a crappy deck with this team and the injuries… and he overplays the vets… but HE FINALLY did it and got a message across… Jay Pandolfo sat out tonight… healthy scratch!! THANK GOD, no longer is it ok to shoot pucks right into the logo… no more will be matching lines and putting tpye-2 viagra level stiffs on the ice when it matters!! We have GOOD YOUNG PLAYERS WHO NEED TO DEVELOP, and sitting dead wood for young legs is what we NEED to do more of now!
    — Kovalchuk…. I mean yeah I’ve seen him when Atlanta would play us… but you don’t really WATCH HIM…. Jesus Christ I think he’s got the hardest in-game shot in this team’s HISTORY…. when he clanked that post in the first period… Tammie heard it… on the escalator…. on the other side of the building :p…. when he hit that defenseman in the HELMET with it… he damn sure FELT IT (during the next PP Ilya went back to the dude… and I have no idea if he apologized or in his best Ivan Drago voice went “next time I must break you”)… and then of course… the goal…. and go figure I was just bragging about the power of my WEEKES jersey winning me another Super Bowl box this year… and kick.. wham… GOAL!!!! (I wanted to get a HEY… KOVAL-CHUK over the YOU SUCK… but it didn’t get there!)
    — Hell all the big names we need to score…. scored tonight!!! And it’s a POWER PLAY GOAL… fuck you Sam Rosen!! (and arena security too :p ), Murphy and Fraser got good minutes and I REALLY liked what I saw from Corrente on the RW… like another converted defense-person (oh that will piss her off)…. he did really good… he got his shit dirty… he HIT PEOPLE… and he showed some real promise as a RW… and replacing Pando… the bar was set low….

    the Bad:
    — Jason Arnott was a -3… oh wait… everyone forgot about him and hell he was damn near invisible on the ice, thank God too… the reunion tour HAS to stop and I don’t want that mess back in Jersey :p
    — Brian Rolston played 1/4 of the game and the only reason you’d know it is his time on ice….
    — Poor Zharkov… he’s snakebitten again…. we just don’t like our Russian Wings in Jersey….

    the Funny:
    — I was being vague and message sending today (so was my mp3 player) and after having Freebird come up three times on the device today (and then the Micro SD card is gone… weird)… I decided to post the lyrics for reasons only known to me… and this starts a whole bitch-fight essentially, and anyone who knows me…. they know how much and WHY I hate country music…. so now they’re all like… well that’s a country song, and I’ll be double damned if:
    A. them get away with it (I’ll stab myself… or worse.. watch a Ranger game….. before liking country music, country music SOUTHERN ROCK)
    B. Let them have the last word
    C. Listen to the Who over them!!!!
    — so it started in warmups (though amazing I didn’t have ONE incident with a self-deluded bag of balls bothering me during warmups… yay!)… Patrik Elias WIPES OUT… I wanted to call it a header but I get yelled at by the soccer nation…..and I just panic… all I do is yell OH NO, DON’T YOU BE HURT PATRIK WE NEED YOU NOW DAMMIT!!!! Thankfully he was ok and my cursing fit was only for the amusement of a few!
    — Ah, our lovely Pete moments of the night… though his pesty friendship with dear Clutch is strained (oh let him yell at you… the options are brutal)…. but as always… he asks me the goalie’s name it gets ugly:
    “Hey Scott what’s the goalie’s name?”
    “Rinne….”
    “HEY WEINER YOU SUCK!!!”
    — Josh Burnett (on our 5 on 3 FAILS):
    “Well thank god the whole we-can’t-score-on-a-2-man-advantage thing held true, or the we-can’t-hold-a-2-0-lead thing
    would be in play.” … and we only blew a one goal lead and still won!!!
    — Gotta love a fan base so desperate for offense that when Kovie FINALLY did score… and we as a TEAM scored three goals… hats come flying on the ice… um no guys, slow down there… I was actually half amused (and like Josh)… half stunned by the dumb of it… her lordship goes into a curse filled tirade over and over again YOU FUCKING MORONS STOP IT BEFORE WE GET A FUCKING PENALTY (I swear it was like watching a game with Pat Burns!)… screaming and raving like crazy to the point it annoyed the guy in front of us with his three kids (really the fuck bomb was dropped more times now then any weapon used in Iraq… accept this and don’t get me started on the fucked philosophy of this country where we can show horrific acts of hate and violence all the time and it’s ok .. BUT OH MY GOD HE SAID A NAUGHTY WORD and the world’s supposed to end… fuck you.. lighten up, the WORD means NOTHING unless YOU empower it!)

    …. and just when she stops ranting… Goomba steals the rant… but nooooo we don’t complain about him using it… because we’re a pussy and he could hurt you… douche bag!!!

    Well I know it ain’t much but it was a lot of fun… and don’t worry… I’ll be doing some kinda thoughts and maybe even an Olympic Preview as we go get all Kurt Angle and GET OLYMPIC for the next few weeks…. stick with me… it’ll be fun, I guarantee it!!!!

    ….picked a helluva night to be playing hockey eh???

    …. so as I was out re-proving myself to a bunch of hockey loving fools in Morristown…. I get the news of a little trade….

    ANSSI SALMELA IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    … errrr…. yeah…. right!!!

    Well I played good in goal at least 🙂

    (I know I know, I’m just putting it off now)

    and by now you ALL know the details anyway, so now the Devils have the most dynamic Russian born right handed shot winger this side of Ovechkin in the league… THIS IS GOOD….though to remind some people of the crap I heard today before hand…

    “Lou never makes this kinda trade….”
    You guys forget Doug Gilmour?? Maybe that Moginly guy rings a bell…. maybe trading for Richer and Lemieux don’t count either anymore?? The reason the Devils ain’t made this kinda trade in like…. a decade… they DIDN’T HAVE THE PROSPECTS TO DEAL (Even giving them Oduya, and in the NHL Bergfors… looks like that Parise/Bergie sandwich my friend was hoping on is gonna have to wait now…)… the cup board needed to be refilled before Lou could cook up a deal… pretty simple….

    “what about him walking at the end of the year??”
    Kovalchuk (and damn me I gotta add his name to the spell check now) said he wants to WIN… so lets let him do some WINNING here, and I am talking a serious playoff run … and maybe those contract demands shrink (or he signs a one-year cheapie deal like Hossa did in the Detroit to try at it again)

    “wow… we’re kinda good now… again… huh??”
    Umm… yeah!!! When you can roll out a top 6 of:
    Parise-Zajac-Langs
    Elias-Zubrus-Kovy
    and have Rolston and Clarkson on the 3rd line…. yeah that’s damn good…. and buckle in… looks like we may be riding his horse through May this year (for once)…. it’s gonna be fun tomorrow night ain’t it???

    NJ Devils Month in Review: January 2010

    Well that was a rough month wasn’t it??? Too many games in too short a time… and not enough good healthy bodies….But yet with the major OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE panic fits in Devils fan Universe (we do have fans out there right??)…. I’m shocked the mass suicides haven’t started piling up…. Or do people ACTUALLY realize this team is still pretty safe when it comes to the playoffs (though I often wonder that missing the playoffs one year might actually be GOOD for this team and a re-focus on life)….until then it’s survival time until we get some Olympic Rest…. And I think I’d say “tired and overplayed” for about everyone… so I’ll just say it here and re-reference it later and remember even though the sky is falling, 7-7-1 is still a .500 month :p

    Forwards:
    #9 Zach Parise-A: (15 games: 8g, 7a = 15pts, +6)
    He got his goal scoring touch back and not soon enough!! Back to being a good steady, consistent point-getter on this team… hell at this point he and Travis is all we gots!!! It’s hard to complain about Zach or anything he’s done this year… so I won’t do it and all I will say again is… AAAAHHHHHHH!!! Elite player and PLAYING like one!!
    Grade: A+

    #15 Jamie Langenbrunner-C (15 games: 4g, 9a = 13pts, +1)
    We had been saying for over two months now how Jamie’s play has been spotty but he was still getting points and it covered a lot of holes and mistakes in his game… well the points (least the goals)… are starting to drop a little…. Maybe this whole “Captain America” thing (great nickname BTW) is wearing on him a little… I don’t know.. and ONE goal since January 2nd… that’s just awful….it’s not all him… it’s a collective WTF going on with this team and only 9 and 19 seem immune to it of late…..but he’s one of the guys who can elevate and fix this mess….
    Grade: B-

    #19 Travis Zajac (15 games, 7g, 9a = 16pts, +7)
    Again, like Parise… it’s been a two-man show on the Devils between those two guys… and to make it tougher on Travis… he’s THE ONLY GODDAMN CENTER WORTH A SPIT ON THIS ROSETR… so the pressure is even bigger… but night in and night out there’s no one more valuable on this team then Zajac (and people wanted to trade him two years ago.. nice…..) It’s funny how you can say TONS about the guys who suck but the dudes who got it going on… it’s quiet… well no one like good news… (which is why they get fascinated with my love life right??)… Invaluable player on this team!!!
    Grade: A+

    #12 Brian Rolston (15 games, 3g, 3a = 6pts, -1)
    Might as well have been put on the fucking IR with Elias… he’s pretty much worthless without him now… I was defending him earlier in the year based on getting shots on net and doing things… but man that’s gone… he’s a virtual zombie (minus the nifty Indy Pro Wrestling gimmick and costume)….I’m trying to think of anything good he adds to the team and I ain’t sure I got anything for ya… *sigh*… 3 more years…..
    Grade: F

    #18 Niclas Bergfors (14 games, 0g, 1a = 1point, -4)
    OH MY GOD!! One point in the WHOLE MONTH… I knew it was bad… but Jesus….He didn’t hit the wall he smashed into it at like 250 MPH, forgot his seatbelt and the airbag was defective…. Rough month for the kid and don’t wanna shoulder the blame on him when there’s stiffs like Rolston, tired legs like McAmmond and Niedermayer on the team, and I know he’s been messed with playing with the Pando’s, Pelley’s and other no-offense guys…. But man, gotta be better then that kid…a big reason the offense is drying up is the kid’s outta gas… hurry Olympics, hurry!!!
    Grade: D (it’s not all his fault though)

    #26 Patrik Elias-A (7 games, 2g, 3a = 5pts, +3)
    What a coincidence…. Elias gets hurt and the whole team goes to shit….without Patty in the lineup, teams just line up and defend Parise/Zajac and the team is cooked… I’m not gonna sit and piss and complain about the hit, it was clean, it was legal, it was HOCKEY, but damn it was DEVASTATING to this Devils team….if only he had lined up Rolston we’d be in a lot better shape now….hopefully he’s back soon, the team will benefit from it in so many ways…..
    Grade: B+

    #21 Rob Niedermayer (15 games, 1g, 3a = 4pts, -2)
    Getting 18 minutes a night, and this number is going UP as his performance level is going DOWN… what?? I know there’s not a lot here and I know he looks like Scott… but Jesus, the minute totals are going in reverse… he still does some little shifty things, but there is more “few and far between” moments on them… and frankly he just plays too damned much and could use a night or two off also… but it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna happen….especially with our “all-IR team” growing in numbers….he’s not been good, but he’s still being asked to do too much, and dammit all to hell, the idea of a checking line is DEAD in the NHL… even more so when 21 and 20 are on it, which means “offense is futile…..”
    Grade: C –

    #11 Dean McAmmond (15 games, 2g, 1a = 3pts, -1)
    Ah what a wonderful world it would be if we could rotate him and Nieds each game wouldn’t it??? This is really what these guys should be doing… but we ain’t got the bodies to make that happen (though sitting Pelley and playing these guys makes me PIST too)…the production is about what you expect, but when you think on average HALF THE GAME that Nieds or McAmmond is on the ice… that’s frightening…..
    Grade: C-

    #20 Jay Pandolfo (15 games, 1g, 1a = 2pts, -4)
    Ah, back to the old school bashing Pando days… but still…. Stiffer then a tragic Viagra accident in an old folk’s home… he’s WORTHLESS on the offensive side of the ice, the whole shut down thing is dead in the NHL… though he is a part of what is a good PK unit, so I guess saying he should be executed… but holy hell….those 15 minutes a night ain’t pretty ones…..
    Grade: D

    #10 Rod Pelley (10 games, 0g, 1a = 1 point, -2, 9 PIM)
    He’s been ok enough in his spot role… has actually grown into a one big hit a night guy and does some things too…probably should be getting a few of those minutes that are being sucked up by McAmmond and Nieds…missing a few games from injury hurt too but again… ain’t his fault, he is what he is… but his legs are younger and it would be nice to see him get a little more ice time… and NOT with Peters
    Grade: C+

    #28 Vladimir Zharkov (13 games, 0g, 1a = 1point, -3)
    I feel bad for this kid… he tries… he puts out a good effort.. his shot’s decent… just the damn thing NEVER goes in (or rolls across the goal line yelling SUCK IT!!).. and his play DID drop in his second month of being a regular player… some of that too is the lack of useful centers to play with, I think he’s just more snake-bit and trapped playing with players that don’t fit his skills more then his own failings here…..
    Grade: C (get a goal already though!!)

    #14 Patrick Davis (7 games, 1goal, -2)
    He’s been off to an OK start… seems to be more comfortable in the NHL in his last 4 games opposed to his first three…. But playing with Pando and Nieds ain’t gonna get no one Calder Trophy consideration….had a shifty little goal move to get his first NHL tally a week ago… and is showing drive and attack to the net and young legs are gonna look better then old legs at this point of the year…and he’s at least getting 12 minutes a game to do SOMETHING with…I’ve been almost pleased with him on the ice….
    Grade: B-

    #25 Andrew Peters (2 games, no points, Even, 9 PIMs)
    I know he only played two games, but him even being on the team is still a disgrace… though the tie the jersey down so hard that it rips was funny shit at least….still.. the man does nothing right, well except get punched in the face… I think we’d all like to try :p
    Grade: F

    #17 Ilkka Pikkarainen (6 games, no points, Even)
    Well he’s gone… and in case you missed it… we paid him fair tribute on his way out:
    “The Devils assigned right wing Ilkka Pikkarainen to CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League today. We here at two man spent hours upon end compiling FOR YOU, the special THREE DVD, Ilkka Pikachu, GLORY YEARS SET!! In this awe-inspiring DVD set, you will see hit LONE GOAL and botched suicide attempt by Carey Price (the knife bounced off his glove and into the net!)… and SO MANY OTHER 5-Star Classic Pikachu moments!!! For example… THAT HIT with THAT GUY… or his inspired smiles from Jacques Lemaire pep talks!!! Or MORE!!!! The Third Disc is FULLY DEVOTED to his LONE GOAL….EVERY camera angle is presented in this special package and at the end…we have an EXCLUSIVE Bullet-Time Matrix-Style rendition of that MAGICAL goal-scoring moment!!!! How else could such a LEGEND say good-bye to the NHL right????
    Grade: A (if for no other reason then to let me re-hash the Braden Walker bit :p)

    Defense:
    #6 Andy Greene (15 games, 0g, 1a = 1pt, +3, 24:27 TOI)
    The offense has dried up and the Lidstrom-like minutes are catching up to him (GET THE HELL BACK PAUL MARTIN…. Goddamit….)… the defense has still been pretty good, he makes heady and smart type places… gets the puck out of trouble… yeah he can be beat up and taken out physically (go ahead kids… have fun with that comment <3 ), but also possibly having to key all this time on defense is certainly hurting his offense…it’s not his fault really, he ain’t got much help…..
    Grade: A-

    #24 Bryce Salvador (14 games, 1g, 2a = 3pts, -2, 19:16 TOI)
    Not as obvious as an anchor to this team as Greene’s been… but just as important (if not more so because his job in road games is usually to go out there with Fraser and protect him during those bad matchups he can be faced with in road games)… maybe playing a few minutes too many… but WHO ISN’T?? There’s plenty of people to foot the blame for this month… this guy ain’t one of them…..
    Grade: B+

    #5 Colin White (15 games, 0g, 2a = 2pts, -2, 15 PIM, 20:08 TOI)
    Had a rough middle of the month… but he really is what he is at this point a very solid and steady 2nd pair defenseman who can bang, muck and clear the puck and on occasion make a nice pass or get a big shot on goal… and now he’s fighting again a little too… guess he finally mastered that famous “one-eyed kung-fu” style.. could be a little better, but the idiot penalties are more lost in 2000 then the fools idea of bringing Petr Suckora back to this team… and another guy who is in the “not his fault” category….
    Grade: B

    #27 Mike Mottau (15 games, 0g, 4a = 4pts, Even, 22:27 TOI)
    A new-found whipping boy of late… but again his issues are a symptom of the whole damn team right now…the mental tired factor on this team is HUGE, and it’s even worse then being physically tired… it makes you that one step slow that makes you miss that shot with one minute to go in the 3rd period…. It’s that one missed play reversing to a guy on the other team without turning to double check…. It’s that one stride slower that stops you from covering a breakaway… but yet oddly enough he improved from a -7 last month to even this month… sometimes stats are weird man… but there’s no clearer example on this team (well maybe the goalie) then Mottau… in more irony, the 4 points he had this month were also his best numbers of the season….but still the numbers and the minutes are piling up on him… and it’s shown with some MAJOR gaffes in key spots over time…and that odd mix of him and Colin White is just deadly fail against fast lines… still… and always will be…. He wasn’t all that good the last two months… but we got nothing else…..
    Grade: C-

    #29 Johnny Oduya (15 games, 1g, 2a = 3pts, +3, 21:11 TOI)
    Well at least his offense is picking up… a little.. it’s still not enough and if there is one guy on this team who should have enough in the tank to be able to better himself and help this team get through these struggles, it HAS to be Oduya now… Greene’s gone above and beyond… and no one else has the skill set to do it… his only REALLY bad game was the Toronto one and still seems out of place with Fraser.. I don’t want to say he’s been lost without Martin, because he wasn’t good this year WITH Martin… it’s been a tough year for Johnny, but I do really think and hope he’s starting to pick it up (if not he is a useful and tradable commodity at least)
    Grade: C+ (starting to turn the corner)

    #2 Mark Fraser (15 games, no points, -2, 19 PIM, 12:01 TOI)
    People have grown to like this guy because the coaches have been VERY careful to protect him and he hits people and fights as well, personally I like the guy too… but when he gets caught out there against the top talent… geesssshhhhh…. It might be a small part of the wear-down problem on the Devils defense… things get tight, his minutes get cut and the other 5 can’t handle it… I’m not blaming him, I’m not saying he’s being handled wrong… I’m just saying it’s an issue….like I said I liked the guy years ago when he came up and he will grow into a Colin White-type player (with two eyes mind you), I wish he had inspired more confidence in the coaching staff… the time is gonna come sooner or later though….
    Grade: B-

    Incompletes:
    ** #23 David Clarkson (DNP in January)
    ** #8 Dainius Zubrus (4 games, 1g, 3a = 4pts, +2)
    Just didn’t get enough games in to be rated, but God DAMN his 4 games back have been impressive (time with Zajac and Parise helps though)… next month we’ll get a better feel of what the king of the Zubbie-Counter brings to the table!
    ** #16 Nick Palmeri (6 games, 1 assist, Even)
    Has a good nose for the net and getting his shit dirty, and I love that kinda player, but still probably isn’t ready for the NHL (like most of our wealth of prospects), but still not enough of a body of work to rate him fairly
    ** #22 Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (4 games, no points, -1, 5 PIM)
    Again I like the kid, but didn’t see enough of him… he fights, and probably spent a lot of money on his “healthy scratch suit”… so they wanna make sure he gets VALUE out of it eh?

    Goalies:
    MB30 (7-7-1, 2.35gaa, 91.5%, 3 SO)
    Well you gotta say he was pretty damn good this month… but he’s certainly showing signs of running out of gas (LA game much ??)….it’s hard to rip on him now with this team sorta in shambles around him… but they can’t run this horse into the ground and expect him to get up again… maybe it’s the nature of my job and how I make my money at work… but PREVENTIVE maintenance is the key here… rest him BEFORE he gets tired and it’s too late! And hell he did get the first game off in Feburary… that’s a sign that maybe he is gonna be saved for what matters the most this time….
    Grade: A

    #35 Yann Danis (3 games played, 0-0-0, 0.87gaa, 96.3%)
    One goal allowed in 69 minutes of mop-up work… that’s not bad, and I guess in an odd way it’s a show of faith in Yann, that Lemaire will even pull mb30 to let him in the game at this point and has CERTAINLY earned more starts in the future… I just hope this kid stays around and we have our possible successor here……
    Grade: A

    Coaching:
    Well it’s easy to bag on Jacques…. “He’s playing guys too much”… “He’s fucking with the lines…”… he’s why we had so much snow in January… you name it and he got blamed for it… but to use a poker analogy, he was the big blind who got dealt a 2/9 off-suit hand and just said AW SHIT and is trying to play his way through it… the only thing he could do is maybe rest some vets, but the kids ain’t ready yet…. He’s not been perfect but I don’t think this is a total fail on the coaching staff… though playing 20 and 21 till they bleed isn’t helping ANYONE…..Jacques has a bad hand, but he raised off the flop which was kinda foolish too….
    Grade: C+

    Front Office:
    Lou’s in a weird spot too… we have this pack of 2-3 years away type players that will be good in the future.. just not yet… so he got some stop-gap players… who ran out of gas…. So what does he do?? I do think a trade is coming… or does he ride out the suck and know the team will be better down the road?? Awfully hard to throw away a season from a 37 year old HOF goalie (he’s done enough of that in the past though)… the next few days will be VERY key into what we think of Lou’s job this season…..
    Grade: C-