Hello hello all once again,
I’ve just got a short installment of EToS for you here. Another flowchart. The title of the post should explain it.
Hello hello all once again.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted something about hockey here, but since my undergrad is done here at UW and I have nothing to do for the next two weeks … I figured, “Why the heck not”. So here we are. Back to the ol’ drawing board.
Have you missed me? Don’t feel the need to answer that. Because I like to think you did miss me in some capacity. But you probably read things that actually taught you something - so I guess it was for the better.
Ahem. So it’s almost the end of the season here in this shortened NHL campaign, and it looks like our Toronto Maple Leafs are well on their way to being in the top 8 in the East. But normally around this time of the year, Leafs fans are getting really excited for the next big event in Maple Leafs hockey. The Summer Entry Draft.
Little did we know there was actually something worth playing for after the season has ended. And apparently, if you win that, you get some big shiny trophy! Gee whiz, that’d be something to see, eh?
But actually, the last time we saw the Blue and White lift the Silver Grail given by Lord Stanley was 1967. And by “we saw”, I mean the people who were alive in 1967 - because I was not born until 22 years later.
Go Leafs, right?
Oh, and to make it better, the last time that the Leafs were in the playoffs was in 2003-2004.
That is 9 years ago.
That is before I started high school.
And now I’m done University.
So today, in honour of what may be a momentous occasion for Leafs fans, let’s compare some of the players on that 2003-2004 roster to that of the roster today.
Goaltender: Ed Belfour and James Reimer
The starting goalie for the Leafs in 2003-2004 was Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour. Aside from being well known for his antics off the ice like ripping doors of their hinges and eating them before a game (earning his other nickname of “Crazy Eddie”), he was also a pretty darn good goaltender. In 2003-2004, he posted a 34-19-6 record with 10 SO, 2.13 GAA and a .918 SV%. Pretty spectacular stats actually.
Comparably, James “Optimus Reim” Reimer is pretty crazy in the sense that he doesn’t lose his temper, or get angry, or show any negativity whatsoever. But when he isn’t busy partying it up at church with his wife (whom I understand he loves very much), he’s stopping pucks in the Toronto net. This season, Reimer has posted a 16-5-5 record, with 2 SO, 2.46 GAA and a .922 SV%. Surprisingly comparable to Belfour when you think about the changes in goalie equipment and the shortened season. He’s probably a big reason that the Leafs are where they are right now. Go James!
Honourable mention: Mikael Tellqvist and Ben Scrivens. Because mentioning Trevor Kidd makes me uncomfortable.
Defense: Bryan McCabe and Dion Phaneuf
Bryan “Scored in My Own Net” McCabe is most well-known for having the largest Leafs fan base of any player to subsequently have that fan base turn against him because of one mistake (See HERE for details – I mean, Ottawa fans still love Chris Phillips, and he screwed up way worse than B-Mac ever did. But enjoy the rap nevertheless). Anyways, McCabe put up great numbers scoring 16 G, 37 A for 53 P in 2003-2004, and he was a major threat on the power play … and in front of his own net apparently (sorry, it’s just so easy).
Dion “That’s a Double Dion” Phaneuf is pretty comparable to BMac. Both like to put their hair into cute faux hawks before the game (Seriously though, compare THIS to THIS), and both are pretty lethal on the power play. Both Bryan and Dion have had their fair share of embarrassing moments too, making it even more fun to compare them. Dion has scored 8 G, 17 A for 25 P this season. Half the numbers of McCabe, in half of a season. Pretty comparable right? (You have no idea how lucky I am with the similarity of these stats so far).
Honourable Mention: Tomas Kaberle and John Michael-Liles. Because they both like to pass … and their numbers aren’t as comparable.
Right Wing: Alexander Mogilny and Phil Kessel
In 2003-2004, Mogilny only managed to score 8 G and 22 A in 37 GP. He was known as a goal scorer who managed more assists than we may have expected from him, but scored fewer goals as the Leafs would have liked. But either way, he ended up being a solid player for the Leafs that season.
Sounds a lot like Phil Kessel from this year doesn’t it? 15 G and 27 A (in 41 GP this season). Sure, it’s a little better, but it’s pretty tricky to compare Phil Kessel to Gary Roberts, Owen Nolan, Darcy Tucker, or really to anyone who actually makes physical contact with other players in a hockey game. In fact, Darcy Tucker actually matched Kessel’s career hit numbers in a single game against the Islanders once.
Honourable Mention: Alexander Mogilny and Joffrey Lupul. Both so good. Both so injured.
Left Wing: Gary Roberts and James Van Reimsdyk
Gary “Still More Fit Than You’ll Ever Be” Roberts was known for his ability to drive the net, score some dirty goals, and cause havoc in front of the net. He was also loved by fans all throughout his time in Toronto. In 2003-2004, he put up 28 G, 20 A for 48 P.
Well, James “More Useful than Schenn” Van Riemsdyk, has put up comparable numbers this year too. JVR has notched 16 G, 14 A for 30 P this season, and most of those have been a result of driving the net like Roberts used to. But if we could just get him in shape like Gary … In any case, fans really like JVR because he isn’t Luke Schenn.
Honourable Mention: Darcy Tucker and Clarke MacArthur … because Darcy needs at least one more mention in here.
Centre: Mats Sundin and Nazem Kadri?
So I am not actually going to compare these two seriously. But would you prefer if I put Bozak up here for comparison? Really, there is no good comparison for Mats Sundin, nor do I think there will ever be quite such a comparison. But for now …
Mats had 31 G, 44 A, and 75 P in 81 GP. Nazem has 17 G, 22 A, and 39 P in 36 GP. If we extrapolate Kadri’s stats over 81 GP, he would have 38 G, 49 A, for 87 points. If you then account for a cold streak to slow Kadri’s rate of scoring … those numbers are surprisingly comparable.
Not that I’m comparing them.
Honourable Mention: Joe Nieuwendyk and Tyler Bozak. Because they both play centre.
So there you have it. Some comparisons from 2004 to 2013. Let’s just wait and see if the Leafs can break the streak, and get themselves into this mythical, magical thing that other hockey fans refer to as “The Playoffs”. Sounds like a hoax to me (Apparently LA won them last year … yeah … right).
Cheers - and Go Leafs Go!
p.s. Some other fun thoughts:
Tie Domi and Colton Orr: They both like to fight. And they both wear #28. Enough said.
Ken Klee and Mike Kostka: Both guys’ last names start with K … andddddd they both play defense. Pretty much the same guy, because 9 years from now, I’m not sure if anyone will remember Mike Kostka either.
Aki Berg and Mike Komisarek: Both look good in the press box or the minors, rather than the blue line.
Jay McClement and No One: No one compares to this beauty. Not a single one. #HardWork #NorthSouth #DumpAndChange
This is one of my favourites recently. I’ve been meaning to post it.
We miss hockey.
Well. It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here, and understandably so. There is a lockout, and there really isn’t much to write about.
Ok. Bad excuse.
I’m actually just completely uninspired to write about Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman fighting like kids over who has deeper pockets. What they do with those deep pockets … well, I’ll leave that to their discretion.
But I’ve hit the point where I’m really missing the NHL, and I just want it to be back. I’m missing it so much, that I’ve started to develop these 10 symptoms of depression and desperation known as careogeluludus (Latin for: lack of [careo], ice [gelu], sport [ludus]).
I’ve decided to release this list of symptoms for you fans out there who think you may have contracted a serious case of careogeluludus.
So here they are.
10 Signs and Symptoms That You Are Missing the NHL
10. You have an alarm set for 4:00am (during my Christmas holidays) so that you can wake up and watch the World Junior Games from Ufa, Russia, in live, and glorious HD … and you cannot wait for it.
9. You occasionally wrap yourself up in a blanket, light some candles, get a box of a tissues, and … watch … 24/7 - Flyers vs. Rangers on a Friday night.
8. You’ve put up hundreds of FREE ads on Kijiji saying, “Want a new 60” plasma tv? Just call the number below”. You have also set your cell ringtone to the “Hockey Night in Canada” theme.
7. Sometimes you turn on the XBox 360 with NHL 13 … and just simulate games to watch on Saturday nights with your equally depressed friends.
6. You’ve downloaded radio broadcasts of old hockey games, and listen to them while you go to bed. And you justify it by labeling them as “Bob Cole’s Late Night Lullabies” in your iTunes.
5. You’ve become … a Marlies fan.
4. On Wednesday nights you often go to your therapy support group alongside fellow members: Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie, James Duthie, Ray Ferraro, and Pierre McGuire (who was recently spotted, and arrested, for spending too much time at minor hockey games).
3. You actually miss Sean Avery and Trevor Gilles.
2. You are currently sitting first place in your KHL hockey pool.
1. You are actually planning on watching the Spengler Cup this year … and the thought doesn’t even repulse you.
So there you have it folks. If you are exhibiting any of these 10 Symptoms, please, go straight to ESPN Classic to get temporary relief. It’s the best we can do. We’re all in this together.
Hello hello all,
So with the hockey lockout gradually squeezing the life out of sports fans like a boa constrictor around a wild boar , a lot of people have found other sports to watch (you know, to stop the bleeding and the tears). Have you found a replacement sport yet?
It’s not easy to replace hockey with something else, but there are some options available. The NFL is great for Sunday and Monday. The NBA can fill some nights in there. The AHL is … well it’s around someetimes. The CHL is good for cheap live sports (and hockey to boot!). But if you want something that has drama, skill, and some glorious moments, why not look into some European Football action?
A lot of us are already into it. Specifically into the English Premier League, the most accessible and highest quality football available to us. Dancy, Ty, and James are Manchester United fans. Papa C-Bear is cheering on Tottenham Hotspur (though I feel he is an Everton closet fan). Mr. Klassen and Mr. Coady are Arsenal fans. I myself am I Newcastle United fan. And Captain Dutch, Eric Postma, is a Chelsea fan.
And that very same Mr. Postma has written a special report on European football - to help you all make sense of it. So here it is below(With my commentary in there in bold as well):
In Europe there are a lot of different leagues … mostly because there are a lot of different countries. Geography lessons are available to those who need them. To name a few of the top ones there is the English Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Italian Serie A (Italy), Ligue 1 (France) … and I think you get the point.
These leagues are the top-tier teams of their respective nations with 2nd and 3rd division teams also existing. In the league matches each team plays one home, one away game with each of the other teams. They get 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. Whoever has the most points at the end of the season wins the league. Kind of like the President’s Trophy in the NHL. There are also Cups that can be won such as the League Cup and Football Association Cup in England. These are pretty different from the Stanley Cup … but that is beside the point. These cups include the teams in the top tier league of the nation they’re playing in as well as higher ranking teams from the other divisions. These cups are played in a knockout, single-elimination format with a draw determining what teams play each other in each round as well as who plays at home.
The Champions League
The Champions League is a competition for the top teams from the previous year, of the top leagues from each country. The number of teams that each country has in the Champions League is determined by their UEFA coefficient which is a measure of the quality of the league. 32 teams total play in the Champions League starting off in a group stage where each team plays each team in their group twice, once at home and once on the road. Using the same point system described above, the two teams with the most points in each group make it to the knockout round. The knockout round is a two-game knockout with each team playing one home, one away game. The winner decided by the number of total goals over the two games. The final is one game played at a pre-determined venue.This is the biggest game in football outside of the World Cup final … but even then, this may be bigger.
The third placed teams from the group stage of the Champions League as well as teams ranked lower the previous year in their respective leagues play in the Europa League. The format of the Europa league is much the same but with an increased number of teams.This is pretty much a tournament for the teams that aren’t Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid.
UEFA Super Cup
The winner of each year’s Champions League and Europa League play a one game match at a previously determine venue to determine who wins the UEFA Super Cup. This is just a way to draw out oneeeeeeee more game for the fans. Kind of like an all-star game.
FIFA Club World Cup
The winners of the Champions League as well as the winners of each other regions equivalent (South America, Africa, North America etc.) play in a single-knockout tournament in a pre-determined host nation to determine who wins the FIFA Club World Cup. To be honest, don’t worry too much about this one. You get into it more after you pick your team.
So there you have it folks. A brief explanation of how European football works. Thank you to Mr. Postma for that well versed explanation.
Now then, off to watch some NCAA Football to see if that is worth my time or not.
“The course of true love never did run smooth”
William Shakespeare wrote this in his play, “a Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and I can attest, the man was right. So very, very right.
It was a case of love at first sight with you and I. There was a sense of belonging I could only find when I was with you. I know was young and naive then, but still, I was sure that this would be a lifelong, lasting, and loving relationship.
Do you remember those nights in early June traveling between Los Angeles and New Jersey as we chased the ultimate prize? Excitement was in the air as our relationship seemed to be at it’s strongest point. Things were truly perfect.
I can remember resting on the couch in the basement, and you were always there beside me. Always present, affectionate, and there for me at any hour of the day. Sometimes we’d stay up until early morning, just enjoying the company of one another. It was just meant to be.
It was destiny.
But don’t talk to me about destiny.
Because here I am now, lonely and cold … sitting on that same couch … waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Waiting for something.
Waiting for anything.
Waiting for it to go back to the way it was.
We’ve gone through this before, but we survived it despite some trials and tribulations. A mere seven years ago, you pushed me to the edge of my sanity. Maybe further than that. I was on the cusp of giving up on you forever. But you figured out the error of your ways, and we collectively agreed to try again. And soon, we found ourselves sharing in a bond that was stronger than ever.
Perhaps this was meant to be then?
Perhaps I was always going to take you back?
Perhaps I couldn’t have lived without you?
Things seemed to move faster than ever after that, our relationship was exciting again. Things were right again. What more could I want?
But now seven years after we almost went our separate ways, we’re at it worse than ever.
So I’ve got a some things to say to you.
How can you put me through this? How can you lie to me like this? How can you just disappear, but still be so present in my life?
Well my dear. This is it. I will remain locked out no longer.
You are way offside. You’re benched. This is a misconduct.
I’m over you. I don’t want to see you again. At least, not for a while. Not until you can figure out how to treat me and my friends right.
No more lies. No more broken promises. No more greed.
I’ll always care for you, but that won’t stop me from leaving tonight, my dear sweet NHL.
Goodbye for now,
p.s. go get stuck in a rusty bear trap you bunch of gutless tyrants.