Posts Tagged ‘Drew Doughty’

Please Shut Up, Bob

May 14th, 2011

Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson bitched and moaned on Friday after Canada was eliminated by Russia at the 2011 World Hockey Championships earlier this week. Nicholson’s comments – saying the results are “totally unacceptable” – are fueled by the fact that Canada hasn’t won a single medal in the last two tournaments.

Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada

Nicholson also took a shot at several young Canadian players who declined playing in the tournament for reasons that were a “little lame.” Thanks, Bob. That was very insightful. Here’s another gem of a quote from Nicholson:

“This team was good enough to win, but with one or two more players (it could have been different). You know what, Hockey Canada and Canada have been pretty good to those players through the under-18, the juniors and an Olympics Games. I thought they would have thought about that before refusing to come this year.”

Is this guy freaking kidding me? That has to be the most ridiculous and obnoxious thing I’ve read in weeks. In my opinion, that’s worse than anything Jeremy Roenick said over the last few days. Let’s break down several reasons why Nicholson’s comments are so absurd:

» Read more: Please Shut Up, Bob

Things NHL.com stats didn’t tell me

November 15th, 2010

Sometimes when I get bored I look up stats of NHL stars or young up-and-comers to see how they progressed through their minor league careers and into the NHL. In some cases NHL.com has stats going as far back as Bantam and Midget for some players. For example, take a look at Taylor Hall’s minor hockey stats:

Taylor Hall's minor league stats. How hilarious is that top year in Kingston? 85 points in 29 games? Bahaha!

I find it amusing to see how dominant players like this were in very good AA and AAA leagues, prior to hitting Juniors. And that’s when it hit me. Looking at stats like this, it doesn’t give you the full picture of a player. It doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s almost like there’s a need for advanced information… or better yet, advanced stats!!! (Dun-dun-dunnnn).

And thus, here’s some examples of things NHL.com stats didn’t tell me:

  • Nazem Kadri – As you would expect, Kadri’s stats are impressive. While it’s hard to be critical of a guy who regularly scores more points than games played, I’m not seeing any numerical figures for how many times Kadri will say he believes he’s ready for the NHL after no visible change in attitude, demeanor or play.
  • Taylor Hall – Looking at Hall’s stats (see the image above), you’ll see this kid is a star. He’s been a star at every level he’s ever played at. What the stats don’t say is how good of an impersonator he is. Taylor’s stats this season show a damn good Shawn Horcoff impression, but I’m ready to see Hall play himself.
  • Garth Snow – Everything about Snow’s stats reveal he’s an independent thinker who comes to conclusions and decisions on his own. However, the stats don’t say that the Islanders are being run any differently with him “managing the club” then before he was part of the organization…
  • Drew Doughty – I think Doughty’s stats are great, but to be honest, I can’t be certain. Every time I try to view his stats, this annoying pop up comes on my screen and says “You are limited to 2 views of this player per year because of local blackout restrictions.”
  • Brett Sutter – The weirdest thing happened when I looked at Brett Sutter’s stats. I actually thought GP stood for “glasses purchased,” A for “assaultings,” P for “pints” and PIM for “punching incidents (while) messed up.”
  • Marc Savard – According to his stats, Marc Savard has been a point-per-game player at virtually every level he’s ever played at. Unfortunately, there appears to be no evidence that he was ever “not a pussy.” **
    ** Quote from the NHL’s Wheel of Justice guy.
  • Andrei Markov – OK. I looked pretty hard in Markov’s stats for any kind of injury warnings, but I didn’t find anything beyond “skates very well for a guy who’s right knee is made of glass and silly putty.”
  • Gregory Campbell – While stats tell me Campbell is a secondary/checking scorer who takes the odd penalty here and there, there was no count on how many times his father complained and sent nasty emails about minor stick infractions on Greg’s behalf.

And there you have it! Perhaps there is a need for advanced stats in hockey. Hmmmm. Even after I just finished saying otherwise. Damn me!

Stay classy, advanced hockey stats.

P.S – To read a serious blog I wrote earlier today (I’m on a tear, I know), check out “Long-Term Faith” on The Score. It’s an article about locking up core players far earlier than teams want to and the differences between teams like the Blackhawks and Penguins, and the Vancouver Canucks. It’s probably the best thing you’ll read today. Well, maybe. Thanks!

Overall impressions of the Olympic Hockey (so far)

February 19th, 2010

Happy Friday, everyone!

Now that we’ve seen each of the men’s Olympic Hockey teams play, I have a few overall impressions from the first couple days of the tournament.

  • Last night’s Canada-Switzerland game last night was way more exciting than I expected. Perhaps it was unsettling or too close for comfort for Canadian fans, but it was a fun game to watch.
  • The quality of hockey played in every game so far has been amazing. I’ve enjoyed each game I’ve seen. When it’s all said and done, I think this tournament will go down as the best hockey tournament ever.
  • How awesome is it to see Jaromir Jagr, Sergei Fedorov, Peter Forsberg and others playing hockey with younger great players like Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby?
  • A few Tiger Woods brain cramps… (sorry in advance) … Did Tiger Woods really need to hold a press conference in the middle of the Olympics? Does he crave attention that much? What’s with calling cheating “sex addiction”? He’s a man and he’s horny. Wait, I’ve got it! Every man has an addiction to sex. Got it.
  • Everyone has talked about the offensive depth of the Russians and how it could result in a Gold Medal win. I’m starting to wonder if the Russian stars are having trouble playing 10-15 minutes per game when they are used to 20-25 in the NHL.
  • I’ve read a few things about Drew Doughty’s mistake last night being a result of his age. I think that’s garbage. Don’t blame it age – chalk it up to an error and everyone makes them. It wasn’t a mistake for Doughty to be selected for Team Canada.
  • Did anyone else notice that slight glove drop by Martin Brodeur on the game winning shootout save last night? That little drop was probably enough to distract Martin Pluss. Clearly, Pluss wanted to hit the high left corner and didn’t get the shot where he wanted it. Sometimes, that’s all that it takes to screw up a shooter’s plans.
  • I was very surprised the Russians didn’t use Alexander Radulov in the shootout last night against the Slovaks. You have to think Radulov was pretty upset about not getting to shoot, given Ovechkin got three attempts.
  • Despite different circumstances, I can’t decide which goal was better – David Backes breakaway goal (fast forward to 0:17)or Pavel Demitra’s shootout winner.

Which goal do you think was better? So far, this tournament has been amazing. What other storylines have you enjoyed from the Olympics (hockey or otherwise)?

Stay classy, Olympic Hockey.

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Canada’s Olympic team… Finally.

December 30th, 2009

As the title says, Canada announced their men’s hockey Olympic team, finally.

Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock are classy men.

While a country like Canada will always have more amazing players than available positions, I’m pretty happy with the final roster. Many can and will say ‘he should have taken him over him’, but I feel this is a pretty solid set of players. That can’t be improved that much.

I’m also pretty happy that the television coverage has ended – TSN can make a half hour special on anything, so I’ve come to learn this holiday season. Anyways, here’s the final roster, barring any unforeseen injuries.

Goalies
Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury

Defencemen
Dan Boyle, Chris Pronger (assistant captain),
Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook
Scott Niedermayer (captain), Drew Doughty
Shea Weber

Forwards
Rick Nash, Sidney Crosby (assistant captain), Jarome Iginla,
Brenden Morrow, Mike Richards, Patrice Bergeron
Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal
Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley
Jonathan Toews

Of course, there will be debate as to who should of made the team and didn’t. Below is a list of notable omissions

Mike Green, Mike Fisher, Shane Doan, Marc Savard, Jeff Carter, Jay Bouwmeester, Stephane Robidas, Vincent Lecavalier, Dion Phaneuf, Patrick Sharp.

Anyone else I’m missing? What are your thoughts on Team Canada? Can Canada capture gold with this squad?

Stay classy, Steve Yzerman and Team Canada.

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Classy interview with Sportsnet’s Eric Gage

December 11th, 2009

Is there a better way to end a work week than reading a brand new Classy Interview? Today, we’re lucky enough to sit down with Eric Gage, Rogers Sportsnet’s King of Fantasy Hockey insight. I’m telling you right now, Eric has a great pulse for nearly every player in the NHL and will help you win your hockey pool.

One thing about Eric that I hope comes across in the interview below is his great sense of humour. It’s been some time since I’ve met a sports media professional this light hearted. Eric’s sense of humour is refreshing and helps him stand out in the hockey world. That’s not a critique on anyone else, but Eric’s done a nice job finding a unique niche. Unique niche. Sounds like  Burgundy warm up exercise.

Anyways… enjoy the Classy Interview with Eric!

Stayclassy.net: How did you first get involved with sports broadcasting?

Eric Gage: After graduating from University with an arts degree, I “creatively” got myself into Ryerson University. From there, I followed my passion for Racecar Driving and ended up being a web producer for the PLAYERS Indy Racecar team. I spent 7 years doing online videos (in the days of dial up modems!) for PLAYERS before getting into Rogers Sportsnet.

Stayclassy.net editor’s note: I’m sworn to secrecy on what Gage did to get into Ryerson. It may or may not involve a hammer, a 1940s typewriter, a dozen cases of beers, and a large picture of Ian Mendes.

SC: Do you have any specific career highlight(s) that stick out in your mind?

Gage: I love getting positive feedback from readers/viewers, coworkers, etc… and I love the fact that my job at Sportsnet allows me the creative freedom to do what I want. To me, that’s a highlight in itself. Having said that, getting Marian Gaborik to apologize to Fantasy Hockey fans for playing a defense first system In Minnesota was great. Working with and getting to interview the late and great Paul Newman was an amazing experience, as well.

SC: You are the Fantasy Hockey buff. Pick your 6-man dream roster for the new year to the end of the NHL’s regular season (the 6th player must be a rookie).

Gage: Good question! OK… wow… this is tough!

(I’ll avoid saying the obvious names like Crosby-Malkin-Ovechkin, etc…)

Goalie: Craig Anderson
Defencemen: Erik Johnson, Drew Doughty
Forwards: Marian Gaborik, Rich Peverely, Ryan Kessler
Rookie: John Tavares

SC: Have you ever read punctuation incorrectly from a teleprompter in your career?

Gage: Absolutely! All the time, in fact. And everyone else who says they don’t use teleprompters is lying! No one likes admitting they use them… but the people who deny it are probably the ones who rely on teleprompters the most.

Stayclassy.net editor’s note: (LOL) That’s great! That’s exactly what we all thought!

SC: It seems you are a big baseball fan. Who do you cheer for and why?

Gage: No matter what sport, I always root for one team from each Conference. Being from Ottawa, I couldn’t cheer for the Toronto Blue Jays (as a matter of principle), so I started following the Detroit Tigers for the American League. The Pittsburgh Pirates are my National League team.

Stayclassy.net editor’s note: I like your principles, fellow Ottawa resident.

SC: What do you think Sex Panther (Anchorman cologne) really smells like?

Gage: The aroma of Brian Fantana having sex. I mean really, what else would it smell like?

A huge thanks to Eric for taking the time to sit down with us and answer our ridiculous questions. I urge everyone reading this to follow Eric on Twitter (@EricGage100) for all your fantasy hockey tips, news, and updates. Catch him daily on Sportsnet’s Fantasy Hockey Updates.

Stay classy, Eric Gage.

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Thoughts on last night’s Senators-Kings game

December 4th, 2009

Los Angeles Kings- 6, Ottawa Senators- 3

There was a moment last night when Pierre McGuire asked Cory Clouston, “So, you enjoying the West Coast?”, to which Clouston responded “Absolutely.” What the hell. No you’re not. The west coast has been nothing but evil for this team. Unless they’re spending all their time on the beach, which might seem plausible given they way they played, the Sens have no reason to be enjoying the west coast.

As it turns out, the Sens have not had a very good record in Los Angeles. So why mess with history, right? A fast goal from the Kings seemed to deflate the Sens initially, and while they seemed to be storming back and showing some fight, Los Angeles just seemed to score at the most inopportune times as far as the Sens were concerned.

Anyways, two games in California. Zero points. Let’s hope Arizona treats us better.

So here it is; the Classy, Non-Classy and Could-Have-Been-Classier.

The Classy

You know, it’s nice to see that this whole Mike Fisher thing might not be an experiment after all. I don’t know if I was alone, but I remember thinking when he got injured that perhaps this might just take the wind out of his sails, so to speak. Well, two goals last night had me thinking I was wrong. Fisher seemed to be buzzing again last night, including those two goals, and some great physical play. He absolutely crushed Drew Doughty on the side boards last night, which kind of gave me a tingle. I won’t say where.

The Co-Classy of last night’s game was Ottawa actually killing off those three penalties at the end of the 1st and into the 2nd period. I really don’t know what else to say other than it should have been a TSN Turning Point. Nevertheless, the Kings would have been kicking themselves had they not won this game, because they had ample opportunity in those 5 minutes of PP time.

Non-Classy

As I mentioned earlier, it was the inopportune timing of goals that were Non-Classy last night. The Kings’ 1st goal game so quickly into the game, I had barely settled into my fantabulous couch to watch the game. While Ottawa tied the game up, the penalty shot game just at a time when Ottawa was finally showing some life again. Even when Ottawa tied the game 3-3 in the 2nd period, Drew Doughty had to unleash a cannon to take the lead. After that, there was no looking back.

But I have to think that if some of those goals not gone in when they did (aside from the simple math), it would have been a very different game.

Could-Have-Been-Classier

Oh Brian Elliott. I hate to throw this on your shoulders. I really like you and I really think you’re going to be a great goalie for us in the future. But you have to have a few of those goals man. I mean, you’re solid. Don’t take any of this the wrong way. I’m not throwing you under a bus, and I don’t want to suggest that you should be thrown there. Even Pascal Leclaire has been here, so you’re in good company. But please be classier moving forward.

- -

Next up for the road-weary Sens is a game against the Hamilton Blackberries, or Phoenix Coyotes. They had an attendance level of just over 9,000 last game against the Flames, and that’s an inter-conference game! So Saturday should raise the roof, right?

This is kind of a must win for the Sens, and I hate to say it. But they really do need to come away from this road trip with some points. I do believe they’ve now lost 6 in a row on the road, and that ain’t good come point-counting time in April. Perhaps we can get Corningstone, who hails from Arizona, to give us an extra special preview of this tilt?

Stay classy, California hockey teams (including you Anaheim Ducks *shakes fist). Now I remember why I hate you.

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Will Steve Yzerman make the hard decisions for Team Canada?

July 29th, 2009

I’m not sure if this is news or not, but earlier this week, it was noted that there would be no long shots for the mens Canadian Olympic hockey team, when the games hit Vancouver in 2010.

Translation: if you weren’t asked to the 46-man orientation camp later this summer, you have better shot at getting on Megan Fox than you do getting on Team Canada.

OK – This isn’t really news.  And I guess its a 45-man roster, now that Joe Sakic has announced his retirement.  And not that it helps much – deep down, I think everyone knows their favorite players not on that list stand little chance of making the squad, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

I’m disappointed.  I’m tired of seeing “seniority placements” in Canadian Olympic teams.  That was the biggest problem with the 2006 Torino team.  Part of the reason Yzerman was brought in to build this hockey team was to add a fresh feel with younger talent who would make the team better for that tournament and that tournament alone.  I always thought one of Yzermans’s underlying mandates was to pick the best team without worrying who’d be offended.  As a proud Canadian, I want Canada to win and I don’t care who has to be on and off the team for that to happen.

So if Robyn Regehr has a slow start to the 2009-2010 NHL season, should he really be on the team?  Should he really take the place of Shea Weber, Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook even if he has a strong start to the year?  It’s time for change and it’s not like any of the three guys I just mentioned lack international hockey experience.

There will always be guys that are locks to make the team.  But that should be because they have consistently shown they can play at world class levels throughout their careers.  So when I see names like Ryan Smyth and Joe Thornton on the orientation roster, I have to wonder why.  They are great players that I’d love to see on my team any day – but honestly, are they the best players for Team Canada come February 2010?

I’d rather see some of these guys replaced with younger and faster upcoming talent.  These are the guys I’d consider seniority placements.  First thing’s first: replace Smyth with Brendan Morrow – an absolute must if Morrow is healthy.  Next, there are atleast 4 centerman that are more effective than Joe Thornton (Vinny Lecavalier, Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal,  Mike Richards) and I’m assuming the younger guys won’t make the squad and Sidney Crosby will be playing left wing.  And Marc Savard and Jason Spezza are considered ‘long shots’ since being omitted from Yzerman’s orientation list.

As far as defence goes,  Regehr, Chris Pronger and Dion Phaneuf shouldn’t make the team.  Not when you have players like Weber, Scott Neidermayer, Dan Boyle, Duncan Keith, Brent Burns, Jay Bouwmeester and Drew Doughty who right now, are stronger hockey players for the kind of up-tempo/fast moving style Canada wants to play.

For goaltenders, despite Martin Brodeur being the all time most winning goalie in the NHL ever, I’d like to see Roberto Luongo named as the started.  Despite his career achievements, Brodeur’s season last year wasn’t good and ended horribly in the Devils disasterous collapse against the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the playoffs.  I still think Marc-Andre Fleury should  be the third goaltender on the roster.

Please, Steve Yzerman, don’t just pick the team based on who’s been on it before.  Let’s see the very best of what Canada can offer at that very moment.  Not the best of what once was.

Stay classy, Team Canada.

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