Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Forgotten Man

Which NHL coach has ties to both Steve Tambellini(Vancouver) and Kevin Lowe(New York), has extensive NHL coaching experince, has won a championship, runs a good bench with an offense first mentality, and is a little bit of a hardass who might also be looking for work in coming weeks?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

High Expectations

So, who thinks Hemsky and Penner have better season offensively next year? What about Horcoff? Anyone? We don't even know who the coach is yet - but I'd bet some of you (all 10 of my readers - thanks Mom) raised your hand, or at least nodded knowingly.
I think the complaint that most fans had about MacTavish, whether winning or losing, was that he couldn't coach offensive players. Fact is, he asked his offensive guys to also be responsible defensively and favored a 2 way game. Did it limit the counting numbers of a player like Hemsky - I think it's fairly safe to say it did. But MacTavish would prefer to have a 70 point outscorer than a 90 point giveth and taketh away guy (or should that be taketh and giveth away?) Hemsky himself vented about it near the end of the season - if the new coach turns him loose does he hit 90 points in 09-10?
What about Penner - were the fat jokes hurting his production? probably not. But being left off the PP and playing with MacIntyre certainly did. Does a new coach turn a blind eye to the occasional lazy backcheck and burger wrappers in the dressing room? Does that coax 30 goals out of Refridgerator Penner?
And Shawn Horcoff - new extension in hand next season. How is he used? We've seen Horcoff under MacTavish put up near point per game numbers. Last season, with no other defensivley capable centers, Horcoff wasn't let loose. He had to play in a ton of D first situations, and it IMO wore him down. That's not on the coach - not totally. Can Horcoff put up good numbers again next season if a faceoff man and penalty killer is brought in to shoulder some of that burden?
Is there any pressure on the new coach? And yeah, the playoffs would be nice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day. I think I can make it now, the pain is gone All of the bad feelings have disappeared Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin?for It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day. Look all around, there’s nothin?but blue skies Look straight ahead, nothin?but blue skies I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alone on an Island?

Another failed season in the books and save for the glory that was the spring of 2006, the Oilers are now into their 19th year of futility. That's a long damn time. The last time I watched the Oilers hoist the Stanley I was in grade 10....grade 10! Wow. Now we've still got a long road to get to Toronto levels but the comparisons are beginning to creep in, how the Oilers have become the Leafs of the West - with the one difference of course being everyone wants to play for the Leafs! And in some ways you can see why the notion of another 20+ years of hockey free Junes is becomming a concern. But when I look at this team I don't see the Leafs, I see the Islanders, and that's scary.

The similarities between the franchises are many, not just the use of blue and orange. The Isles, like the Oilers, tasted success early and rode a lineup of young supreme talents and older smart veterans to a dynasty. Owners burrying hockey profits into other money losing ventures saw the talent bases erode and once proud franchises began to lose, and lose alot.

The mid to late 90's weren't pretty for either team, more losses, ownership changes, and the beginnings of the Mad and Vish eras. Mike Milbury went from ex NHL D-man(in Boston) to assistant coach to head coach, to GM. Kevin Lowe, well, pretty much did the exact same thing. Both men were active traders, with varried results, although Kevin Lowe could probably trade Chris Pronger for Joffrey Lupul 3 or 4 more times and still have the better track record overall. Neither man was given a competitive budget to work with (prior to the new CBA) and both franchises were in a constant state of turnover. Both men have a made headlines for insulting peers, with Lowe's "moron" and Milbury's "village idiot" being among the most notable rants.

After Charles Wang bought the Islanders, Milbury eventually moved into a Senior Vice President position of Wang's sports holdings, although he appeared to still have his hand in the day to day Islanders dealings. After Darryl Katz, Kevin Lowe, well, again, pretty much the exact same thing. Wang is trying to get his Lighthouse Project moving in order to get a new building for the Isles and revitalization of the surrounding area....and there's this rumor in Edmonton about Katz and his desire for a new arena? Not sure if anyone else has heard anything? Milbury eventually resigned from his position saying he missed the everyday hockey decisions. Kevin Lowe - well a fella can hope right?:o)

I'm telling you, we're this far (I'm holding my index finger and thumb ever so close together) away from hiring Kari Takko and Pokey Reddick to run this team - and scouting Sumo wrestlers to replace Roloson.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Speaking of Bad Career Moves....

Is selling a "performance enhancing" energy drink really the best choice for Lance Armstong? Really?

Is "cheetah" in his future plans?

Maybe he can do an add telling everyone how great it is to have 2 testicles ala Rick Hanson telling Canada that getting in shape is easy - just try hiking or taking your family out for a walk. Am I just that cynical, or does no one think anymore?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Brian Burke Effect?

Or is it the Chris Pronger effect? Maybe association with Cory Perry? Perhaps it's just living in So-Cal (I hate that BTW - why can't people say Southern California? I don't live in Nor-Al and I didn't grow up in Wes-Newf!, but I digress). Whatever it is, somewhere along the way, Teemu Selane turned into an asshole of grade A proportions - witness his comments following last nights failed stick measurement - "Whoever thought he spotted it, maybe should have signed the stick for him." You're all class Selanne, all class!