Posts Tagged ‘Sidney Crosby’

Jay Feaster’s Playoff-Bound Calgary Flames?

October 9th, 2011

As I sat watching the Calgary Flames home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, I kept asking myself what the hell Jay Feaster was talking about. Context: Earlier this summer Feaster was quoted saying his Flames will make the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Several. Times.

“We’ll make the playoffs this year”
Jay Feaster, Calgary Flames General Manager | Source

Yeah, for realz.

Look, no one’s putting a gun to the man’s head. Maybe Feaster is trying to light a fire under the asses of the entire Flames roster. Or maybe he truly believes what he’s saying. Frankly it doesn’t matter. He’s wrong.

» Read more: Jay Feaster’s Playoff-Bound Calgary Flames?

Crosby’s Concussion Luxury Makes You Wonder

August 24th, 2011

Sidney Crosby’s health has been in the news a lot recently. More than he’d like it to be, I’m sure. Some news outlets have him missing the start of the 2011-2012 season (due to his ongoing concussion troubles), while others expect to see him play in the Pittsburgh Penguin’s season opener come early October.

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh PenguinsThe truth is, who the hell knows? I doubt even Crosby himself truly does.

Full disclosure: I’ve never had a concussion. I don’t think.

While it’s refreshing to hear everyone associated with the Nonchalant Headshot League putting Crosby’s health ahead of the needs of the Penguins or the league, it’s kind of a given. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but if we’re being honest, the league can’t afford to screw this up. Not this one. This is the highest profile concussion the league has ever had. (In a morbidly ironic way, this injury was sustained in the highest profile regular season game last year too. Talk about bad timing.) The NHL needs to treat this one properly, but to their credit, the Penguins have done just that, and the league has followed suit.

That’s the thing. We’re talking about Sidney Crosby, the world’s best hockey player. Not some “replaceable” third line grinder. (I say replaceable respectfully, of course. But there will always be other capable players waiting for their chance to prove themselves.)

From a public perception standpoint, the league can’t tread carefully enough. Crosby is the league’s top ambassador and biggest asset. As much as he means to the Penguins, he means more to the game itself. If he needs to take a year to recover, so be it. Give him the full year. Even then there’s no guarantees he’ll be any better than he was last week. Crappy. But at least Crosby’s fortunate enough to have that luxury.

» Read more: Crosby’s Concussion Luxury Makes You Wonder

If LeBron James played in the NHL

July 9th, 2010

Finally the LeBron James fiasco is over. James, Dwyane Wade and some other “star” have all signed with the Miami Heat. I guess that’s the NHL equivalent of Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Manny Malholtra all signing with Washington (or some other team). Man, what a disaster for sports. Anyways I’m sure hockey fans around the world were wondering the same as me on Thursday night: “What if LeBron James played in the NHL?” Luckily, you have your answers:

  • TSN would air a day-long broadcast complete with instant analysis from Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and two former NHLers named Mike who no one remembers.
  • The Ottawa Senators wouldn’t show interest in a non-Russian born star who isn’t far removed from his prime.
  • If Darryl Sutter hasn’t signed him before, he’s not going to now!
  • The Vancouver Canucks would offer to retire his jersey with a nice ceremony set for next season. Even if his career ends up being just OK.
  • Simon Gagne would still be asked to waive his no trade clause for completely unrelated reasons.
  • The Los Angeles Kings wouldn’t have interest in him. But then they would. And then they wouldn’t. And then they would… Oh god! Make it stop already!
  • LeBron James is definitely the solution to get the Lighthouse Project afloat.
  • The Montreal Canadiens bid for James would inevitably come up short.
  • Strangely, Philadelphia-based “insiders” would rate the odds of James ending up a Flyer a solid e4 or higher.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs would have little to no interest in James. Not because he’s an excellent player or financial commitments to other players but because he’s not a defenseman.
  • Gary Bettman would declare the intense coverage of LeBron-gate a successful part of the NHL’s expansion strategy.

Stay classy, LeBron James.

Signs you’re ready for the next NHL season to start

June 15th, 2010

It hasn’t even been a week since the final NHL game of the season and already it feels like an eternity has passed. I’m so bored and I don’t remember what I did last summer or the one before that to pass the time. I also don’t recall feeling this lost less than a week after the hockey season ended.

In between spouts of depression and anger I’ve come to learn hockey fans want their hockey. Here are a few signs you know you’re ready for the next NHL season to start. Feel free to add yours below.

  • You miss Bob McKenzie’s insider analysis so much the HF Boards trade suggestions don’t actually look that bad.
  • In addition to announcing Dion Phaneuf as their new team captain on Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs showcased their new brand new jerseys. Most people didn’t realize this since they looked exactly the same as any other blue Leaf jersey made in the last 30 years. This is hockey news in mid-June folks…
  • You actually know how to spell and/or pronounce “vuvuzela.”
  • You just found out about this hugely popular TV show called Lost that apparently ended a month ago.
  • Never in a million years did you think you’d actually be interested to hear what Taylor Hall says on draft day.
  • Upon further thought, maybe Jim Hughson wasn’t as annoying in the Playoffs as originally thought??
  • Reading one of Eklund’s “why I need three iPad’s to blog about hockey” was almost worth the annual $20 membership fee.
  • You actually read that article about Peter Forsberg nearly playing for the Flyers this season and didn’t want your last two minutes back.
  • You are bankrupt so you are pretty much ready to get back to work right away to pay for that tanking family construction business.
  • Wait. “Sports Talk Radio” actually exists in the summer?
  • Hey it’s been a week since you last saw a Sidney Crosby commercial!
  • You wonder if  a Rangers/Islanders  3-D NHL broadcast would be exciting to watch. Oh wait. No it wouldn’t. There’s no way the NHL would ever do something that gimmicky.
  • You unexpectedly enjoyed a quiet and relaxing last few months, you know, because your name is Carcillo.
  • Suddenly you realize going two full months without shaving isn’t that awesome and kind of gross.
  • Hey it’s been a week since you last saw a Bruce Boudreau commercial!
  • You watch CBC’s great Playoff montages to get pumped up for the World Cup.

Stay classy, NHL off-season. My god this is going to feel like forever! Is it October yet?

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Some overdue NHL rants

June 1st, 2010

It’s a bit of a strange time in the hockey season. While we’re seeing the biggest games of the year being played this week, there isn’t much else going on. But despite this — and the mind-numbing debates on Chris Pronger’s puck stealing “incidents” — there’s still plenty of things that have me all hot and bothered…

  • I don’t know if I’m angry or impressed with Daniel Carcillo’s ability to get so wound up for any/every hockey game he plays in. Within seconds of a game starting, he’s already lost his mind worse than that epic Jim Playfair meltdown earlier this year. It’s double points if I dis Carcillo and rehash that coaching freak-out, right?
  • Last week’s NHL Combine in Toronto made me laugh. Hockey players don’t generally give very good interviews. To further my point, Jason Spezza is an experienced hockey interviewee and look what you get with him. TSN putting a microphone in front of an 18 year old Cam Fowler minutes after completing the excruciating VO2 max test was a hilariously bad idea. Interview fail?
  • “It’s mad in the Madhouse”…
  • Today the six-time Norris trophy winner and 40 year old Nick Lidstrom signed a one year-$6 Million contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings. That’s exactly $1 Million more than what 27 year old Anton Volchenkov (reportedly) wants for five or more seasons. Since you already know my views on Volchenkov’s (reported) salary demands, I thought it would be fun to look at other things you could buy for $5 Million:
    • One year of Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury’s current contract
    • Half of the rights to Sidney Crosby’s new Reebok endorsement for the next seven years
    • This house (complete with 11 bedrooms, six bathrooms and nearly 9,000 square feet in Vancouver – a perfect hiding place for Senators to stash Alex Kovalev)
    • Like, 1/150th of that ridiculous Phoenix Coyotes Arena lease (according to the ever-reliable Yahoo answers…)
    • More than two Brent Sopel’s (current salary cap hit: $2.33 Million)
    • Half of the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Club/Don Waddell’s Poor Decisions Ltd. (Probably).
  • Thinking about it, I’d pay a 50 year old Nick Lidstrom $5 Million per season before doing the same for a 27 year old Volchenkov. OK, I’m done ranting about Volchenkov… for today.
    • … “It’s mad in the Madhouse”…
    • How awkward/hilarious was Marian Hossa’s goal celebration last night? Yikes… can you image how awkward/hilarious it’s going to be when he finally lifts up the Stanley Cup? Actually, that’s going to be must-see TV!
    • Not hockey related but check out this article on Lebron James. James says the Cavaliers have an “edge” in trying to resign him because of his history and personal connection to the city of Cleveland. As sports fans, we’re all stupid for allowing athletes to get away with saying stupid crap like this. What the hell…
    • … “It’s mad in the Madhouse”… see Jim Hughson!!!! It get’s really annoying when you keep repeating it!

    Stay classy, NHL news that get me all hot and bothered.

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    Saturday Chat Roulette Sessions (May 29 edition)

    May 29th, 2010

    Good Saturday morning or afternoon! Today is a beautiful day – the weather is great and game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals begins in a few short hours! Before getting to the game, I urge you to treat yourself to a few laughs (at me or from someone actually funny!).

    This week’s Chat Roulette escapades feature Sidney Crosby-Alex Ovechkin, Chris Pronger-Dustin Byfuglien and Steve Yzerman-Montreal Canadiens. Enjoy.

    Stayclassy.net's Chat Roulette weekly feature starring Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin for the 2011 Winter Classic game.

    Stayclassy.net's Chat Roulette weekly feature starring Chris Pronger and Dustin Byfuglien.

    Stayclassy.net's Chat Roulette weekly feature starring Steve Yzerman and the Montreal Canadiens.

    Stay classy, NHL Chat Rouletters.

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    Burgundy’s 2nd round NHL playoff predictions

    April 29th, 2010

    Stayclassy.net's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

    With no real break between rounds, tonight marks the beginning of the Stanley Cup Conference Semi-Finals! The 1st round was a blast and featured the elimination of the top 3 seeded teams in the Eastern Conference. The way the Washington Capitals were eliminated was surprising to many, while the defeats of the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils was predicted by a number of people. The Western Conference saw some interesting developments – the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings gave the Red Wings and Canucks a few scares but ultimately couldn’t hold on. And oh yeah, the San Jose Sharks are through to the next round, no thanks to Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

    For those of you wondering, I went 5 for 8 in my 1st round predictions. Here are my 2nd round predictions:

    Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs Montreal Canadiens (8)
    The Montreal Canadiens shocked the entire hockey world with their amazing series come-back against the Washington Capitals. I don’t care what the truest of Habs fans say: no one saw them coming back after going down 3-1. Having said that, and as well as Jaroslav Halak has played, there’s no way the Pittsburgh Penguins will fall victim to the Canadiens the way the Capitals did. The Penguins are proven winners and have Russian stars that actually know how to show up in the post-season. Sidney Crosby is on another level in this year’s Playoffs and I don’t think the Hal Gill-Josh Gorges tandem will be able to contain him, despite their tremendous play so far. Pittsburgh will figure out within minutes of the first game how to not shoot directly at the two or three Habs defencemen who are trying to block shots…
    Verdict: Pittsburgh in 6 games.

    Boston Bruins (6) vs Philadelphia Flyers (7)
    I’m not sure how many of us figured we’d see the Boston Bruins playing the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2nd round of the Playoffs, but this should be an interesting series. I really liked how Tuukka Rask played in the 1st round and I felt like the Bruins got stronger as their series with Buffalo went on. Milan Lucic seemed to wake up towards the end of the series and key players like Michael Ryder, Miroslav Satan and Mark Recchi stepped up in the big moments of each game. The highly anticipated return of Marc Savard should provide the Bruins with a nice emotional boost and perhaps a bit of additional scoring. Looking at the Flyers, although they are rested, they will be without the services of three very valuable players: Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter and Ian Laperriere. I’m not convinced Brian Boucher is for real, nor do I believe he can outplay Rask. It’s a shame we can’t see each game of this series played at Fenway Park… or can we? No, nevermind. We can’t.
    Verdict: Boston in 6 games.

    San Jose Sharks (1) vs Detroit Red Wings (5)
    The San Jose Sharks are now at the critical point of their season. Let’s be honest: the 1st round was a formality. While the Colorado Avalanche gave them a quick scare, it was a foregone conclusion the Sharks would/should easily win that round. For the most part, the Avalanche were badly outplayed. Evgeni Nabokov played very well too – something we can’t say has always been the case in the post-season for the Sharks. Devin Setoguchi and Joe Pavelski really elevated their play in the 1st round, and yet again, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau continue to fight the Playoff pressure. Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings enjoyed a scare of their own from the Phoenix Coyotes. Detroit’s leaders got stronger as the series wore on and stepped it up when it mattered most. I really liked Jimmy Howard’s play and attitude (for the most part) against the Coyotes too. My gut feeling lies with the experience of the Wings and I’m still not sold San Jose are the real deal. Still.
    Verdict: Detroit in 6 games.

    Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs Vancouver Canucks (3)
    This is easily the best series of the 2nd round. A rematch from last year’s Conference Semi-Finals, with a slight reversal. Last year, I’d say the Chicago Blackhawks were the stronger team. This year, I’d have to say the Vancouver Canucks are the stronger team. I believe the Canucks may have the most complete forward roster of any team in the Playoffs. All the lines are firing well and appear to be healthy. While the Blackhawks offense is more lethal and battle-tested than the young Los Angeles Kings, I still give the advantage to the Canucks. Both team’s have some injuries on defence, but I think this is a series that will see Roberto Luongo will steal a game or two for Vancouver. And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I’m looking forward to Byfuglien & Luongo’s battle royale rematch. I can’t wait for this series to start!
    Verdict: Vancouver in 7 games.

    There you have it. These are my 2nd round predictions. What are your predictions?

    Stay classy, NHL Conference Semi-Finals.

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    The Other Captain

    April 26th, 2010

    Sure, a lot of great things have been said about Sidney Crosby’s stellar play in the Ottawa-Pittsburgh series. And a lot of it is well deserved. How else can you describe the dominance of a single player, and even getting away with high-sticking referee Stephen Walkom in Game 6?

    Crosby is simply in another dimension. I had to chuckle reading the CBC Livestream chat during Game 6, with Ottawa fans making thoughtful, insightful comments such as “Crosby sucks”. Seems like the Olympics was only yesterday, but some of us have shorter memories than others I guess.

    Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and his stomach.What hasn’t been as much in the forefront during the series is the play and heart-and-soul determination of Daniel Alfredsson. At 37 years, he played like he was somehow out of sync, yet was the only Senators player to have at least one point in every game. Turns out he was playing with a torn stomach muscle, severe enough to possibly require surgery in the off season.

    How many other players would have bowed out with an injury like that? How easy would it have been for him to sit out and take care of himself instead of his team? Why fight it out against a powerful offence such as Pittsburgh when he could have simply opted out?

    Torn stomach muscles are apparently extremely painful. We’re talking about shooting pain, restricted movement, muscle spasms. I only know this because I’m reading about it on the internet. Fortunately for me, I don’t have any stomach muscles to tear. Stomach muscles have names like “rectus abdominis”. That sounds painful just to say it.

    The team needed him as a captain. The Senators needed his presence, his calm, his leadership. And he came through with the heart and determination worthy of his reputation.

    Stay classy, Daniel Alfredsson. I hope your rectus abdominis feels better soon.

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    Burgundy’s 1st round NHL playoff predictions

    April 14th, 2010

    Stayclassy.net's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

    Tonight marks the beginning of the NHL’s 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Like everyone else, I’d like to make my predictions for the 1st round. Before breaking down each series, I have two things to say. Firstly, I don’t hate any of the Canadian teams, however, I don’t like Vancouver, Montreal, or Ottawa’s chances. Secondly, I’m far more interested in the Western Conference series than the Eastern Conference series. This means two things. 1- I won’t be getting much sleep for the next few weeks. 2- I’ll be on Twitter a lot and look forward to talking Playoffs with all of you!

    Washington Capitals (1) vs Montreal Canadiens (8)
    I read about Tomas Plekanec’s quotes from the other day. I don’t understand why he’s playing these silly games, but whatever. He better bury a few goals on Washington or egg will be on his face, goatee and turtleneck. Sure, Montreal probably has the edge in goaltending, but Theordore’s play this year has been pretty good. Honestly, I don’t think Montreal has any chance in this series. Even if Jaroslav Halak plays like he did at the Olympics, Washington will be too much for Montreal’s slow defence. Alex Ovechkin has something to prove and Nickolas Backstrom is fresh off his best season in his young NHL career.
    Verdict: Washington in 5 games.

    New Jersey Devils (2) vs Philadelphia Flyers (7)
    This series could go either way. On one hand, you have a legendary goalie in Marty Brodeur versus 3rd-stringer Brian Boucher (advantage Devils). On the other hand, you have Ilya Kovalchuk/Zach Parise versus Danny Briere/Jeff Carter/Mike Richards/Simon Gagne and more (advantage Flyers). I like Philadelphia’s defence a little more than New Jersey’s, too. And because Chris Pronger has a strong reputation for helping teams over the hump in Playoffs, I have to side with the Flyers as my upset team in the East.
    Verdict: Philadelphia in 7 games.

    Buffalo Sabres (3) vs Boston Bruins (6)
    Boston’s well documented  scoring troubles and Buffalo’s all-star goalie Ryan Miller combine for a tough challenge for the Bruins. In addition, the Bruins announced the possibility of Marc Savard’s return to the team no earlier than in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Given the challenges Boston has faced this year (off years for certain players and injuries), making the Playoffs is a considerable feat. I don’t think they have any chance against the well oiled machine that is the Buffalo Sabres. On a slightly different note, it should be interesting to see which rookie proves most valuable to their respective teams between Tyler Myers and Tuukka Rask.
    Verdict: Buffalo in 5 games.

    Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs Ottawa Senators (5)
    This is a tough match-up for the Ottawa Senators when you consider a 6th place finish would have put them up against the Sabres, a team they’ve dominated for years. The obvious storyline for this series is goaltending: Brian Elliott versus Marc-Andre Fleury. As a fan of the Senators, I’m under no illusions, Pittsburgh will win this series, the question is how many games will it take. SensChirp (a blog I respect) believes Ottawa stacks up pretty closely with Pittsburgh. Some of the points are valid, but I’m not sure Ottawa’s defence is that much better than Pittsburgh’s, nor do I believe Ottawa can out-coach the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
    Verdict: Pittsburgh in 6 games.

    San Jose Sharks (1) vs Colorado Avalanche (8)
    I really like the Colorado Avalanche and no, I didn’t think they’d come remotely close to making the playoffs prior to the 09-10 season starting. Having said that, I see the Sharks experience and grit over-powering the young Avalanche. The Avalanche strike me as a team very satisfied with their season whereas the Sharks have known all year that their Playoff results is what really matters. I like some of the role players San Jose has acquired between last season and now (guys like Jed Ortmeyer, Scott Nichol, Niclas Wallin, etc…). I believe these guys, along with Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Rob Blake will be difference makers in this series. Also, I’m concerned for Colorado that star goalie Craig Anderson might be a bit burned out from his first regular season as a starting goalie.
    Verdict: San Jose in 6 games.

    Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs Nashville Predators (7)
    Most of us could make a living from underestimating the Nashville Predators. And although the Predators are a team built so well for the Playoffs, I simply cannot bet against the Chicago Blackhawks. People will question the Hawk’s goaltending and while it’s been suspect at times this season, I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It’s easily the weakest part of the Hawks roster, but that’s easy to say when you look at their forwards and defence depth. Chicago’s hurting with injuries to their defence, but I believe their talent up front will carry the load in this series. I look for Patrick Kane to lead the way in points and clutch plays.
    Verdict: Chicago in 6 games.

    Vancouver Canucks (3) vs Los Angeles Kings (6)
    Alright Canucks fans, don’t hate me for saying this, but I think the Kings are going to beat the Canucks. Don’t get me wrong, this is the best team (by far) the Canucks have put together in years. But with all the pressure on them, their injuries at defence and Roberto Luongo’s inconsistencies, I don’t have a good feeling for the Canucks. I know the Canucks beat the Kings three times this year, but I think the Kings move pucks better and faster than Vancouver and have a quick transition game that will burn the slower Canucks defence. I know Jonathan Quick’s play recently hasn’t been good, but I don’t see that as a factor in this series. Simply put, the Kings are loose and Vancouver know they need a solid post-season run this year.
    Verdict: Los Angeles in 7 games.

    Phoenix Coyotes (4) vs Detroit Red Wings (5)
    This might be the most intriguing 1st round match-up this year. Like I said with the Avalanche, I believe the Coyotes are satisfied with their season and won’t have the same drive the Red Wings will. Ilya Bryzgalov shed his reputation of burning out down the regular season stretch from previous years, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s at all fatigued from this season. He’s finally gotten used to playing 60-70 regular season games per year, but that’s without playoffs. I think Detroit are too strong and too experienced for the young up-tempo Coyotes. And with Jimmy Howard’s play over the second half of the season, he looks poised to have a great Playoff performance. I don’t like betting against this Phoenix team, but dislike betting against Detroit even more.
    Verdict: Detroit in 6 games.

    There you have it. These are my 1st round predictions. What are your predictions?

    Stay classy, NHL Playoffs.

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    The Golden Save

    March 10th, 2010

    I know it has been a few weeks now since the gold medal game, but I can’t resist. (Hey, I’ve been really busy, ok?).

    You can easily run out of superlatives when describing Sidney Crosby’s gold-medal winning goal. It was not a fluke, not a lucky shot against a talented Ryan Miller. The pass from Jarome Iginla wound up behind Crosby, so he had to reach back and pull it forward. Secondly, Miller, seeing that Crosby had his head down to find the puck, makes a quick decision to poke-check. This opens up a split-second opportunity for Crosby, who sees Miller’s move in his peripheral view and fires a shot, low, five-hole. At full speed, this was pure talent. The rest, as they say, is history.

    The analysis has been pretty intense since that goal. Everything from comparison to Henderson’s goal in 1972, to how Canadians all held their pee.

    I think one event that has been grossly overlooked by the media was the play that immediately preceded Crosby’s goal. At 12:43 of overtime, Jack Johnson (Los Angeles Kings) feeds Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks) as he streaks up to center ice.  Scott Niedermayer plays him well as Pavelski hits the hash marks in the Canadian zone and strips him of the puck. As Niedermayer goes around the net to turn back up ice, Pavelski forces a turnover and gets a really decent scoring chance against Luongo. He shoots high, glove side as Luongo goes down, and is able to stop the puck with his shoulder. Niedermayer recovers, and hits Crosby as he turns back up the ice. Watch the video — that could have been the end of the game right there and Niedermayer would have been the goat.

    Amazing stuff.

    Now if Crosby can only find his missing stick. I’ll bet Ovechkin took it.

    Stay classy, Roberto Luongo.

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