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Hockey

More Disgraceful Than Saban

trippingAfter reading NYBobby’s article about that scumbag Nick Saban I had no idea that another coach would out do Saban’s douchebaggery.  When I woke up this morning I stumbled upon an article about a Canadian Youth Hockey coach who got sentenced to 2 weeks in jail for assaulting a 13 and a 10 year old hockey player.  Yes you read that correctly, a grown man who is supposed to be shaping our youth through positive athletic programs ASSAULTED two boys that only Jerry Sandusky would have been willing to lay his hands on.

sanduskyThe Vancouver pee wee hockey coach, 48-year old Martin Tremblay, was clearly upset with his opponents and he decided to take that anger out during the post-game handshakes as he stuck his foot out and took down two kids at once.  The most astonishing part about Martin’s assault was the fact that his team actually won the game.  Here is the video of this horrendous act taking place.

tremblayIf you laughed at that video it was probably because of the reaction of the man filming it or because you are a sadistic SOB who enjoys watching kids get hurt.  This ‘trip heard around the world’ occurred last summer but Trembley’s sentence was given this morning.  I find it hilarious that this confused Canadian will have to explain to his cellmates that the reason he is incarcerated was due to him tripping two children.  It doesn’t seem like that will give him too much street cred.

hockey stickThe Judge of Trembley’s trial, Patrick Chen, went on to say “The tripping of the boys was akin to a cowardly sucker punch on an unsuspecting victim.”  I’d agree with that but the fact that it was an adult assaulting a 10 and 13 year old makes it even worse.  If I saw this move at the end of an NHL game I would be thrilled because the player who got tripped would stand up and fight back.  There is never a reason that an adult should lay their hands on a kid and the fact that this adult was in a mentor type position takes it to a whole other level.  I do not agree with the punishment of 2 weeks in jail.

I feel that instead of 15 days in jail, Trembley’s punishment should 1 week in jail but the whole time he is locked up he needs to wear a shirt that reads “I touched little boys.”  Then on the day he is released I think the 10 and 13 year old boys that were tripped should get one free shot with their hockey sticks to hit Tremblay anywhere they want.  To me, that would be a sufficient punishment.  All of that being said, Martin Tremblay is a HUGE piece of trash and he never deserves to be within 5-feet of any kid under the age of 18 ever again.

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NHL Lock Out Underway

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Hockey – the Buzkashi of US sports

I’m the puck-head in my group of friends.  For years, I’ve been saying “give hockey a chance” or “it’s one of the toughest, most exciting sports out there” and “there is nothing like playoff hockey”.  I only have two buddies who watch hockey as passionately as I do, and I am friends with a lot of sports freaks.  Last April, when I went to the bar to watch some postseason action, I was rocking my Ryan Callahan Jersey around a whole lot of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Jerseys.  I’ve been a huge advocate for the sport because I can see the skill, athleticism, toughness and beauty that it contains.  However, thanks to Gary Bettman, the NHL owners and the NHLPA, I no longer believe I can defend hockey.

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Hockey iced. Gets cold shoulder from fans. This is becoming a vicious (i)cicle.

As of 11:59 last night, the NHL has locked its players out as a result of the league’s failure to reach a  new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  It is the fourth lockout in the past 20 years, and comes only a few years after the entire 2004-2005 season was lost to a labor dispute.  This is literally the last thing in the world that the NHL needs and it might possibly be the straw that breaks the leagues back.  This past season was one of the more exciting on record.  You had teams in big markets competing, Los Angeles won its first cup in franchise history, free agency was followed closer by main stream media than in recent years, NBC Sports Network showcased a product that was on the Versus Channel for too many years, and just what appeared to be an overall enthusiasm returned to the game.  Momentum was carrying the NHL in the right direction until today.

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BURNING Gettman in effigy. Now THAT’S irony!

Immediately, teams are canceling training camp and exhibition games will be soon to follow.  Opening night is supposed to be on October 11, 2012, and the closer that we get to that date without any resolution, the more likely it is that we will begin to start losing regular season games.  Some experts are estimating the season to kick off around Thanksgiving while others are seriously doubting whether or not the puck will drop at all this season.  If that happens, it is safe to say that both the players and owners will be to blame and the NHL will never recover.The NFL was in a similar situation last season, though there is one marked difference between the two lockouts…the NFL has such an immense fan base that we would have all come back to watch football no matter how the lockout played out.  The NHL is in a complete opposite situation.

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Which one of hockey’s fans will get up to get the beer for the other one?

Sure, the die-hard hockey fans will return to game whenever this dispute is settled, though even though this fan base is as passionate as any in the sports world, the problem is that it’s numbers are minuscule when compared to the other main sports in the U.S.  The NHL will lose all of the casual fans that they may have gathered in the past few years.  This includes the fans who watched in the 80’s and 90’s but stopped after the last few work stoppages, as many of these observers may have been coming back as they missed the pure excitement hockey brings.  Also, there are a number of new fans who had never been exposed to the game, but got hooked during the postseason.  For the NHL to gain the popularity that is so desperately desires, it must keep these groups of fans in their favor and a prolonged work stoppage will guarantee that these casual fans will lose interest quick.

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Behind the veil of anonymity that is the NHL lies the dark curtain of who the f%@# cares.

The really sad thing is that because of the MLB Pennant Race and Week 2 of the NFL Season, the average sports fan has no idea that the NHL locked the players out last night.  There is brief mention of the situation on sports networks, but in the realm of the sports world, it is a mere footnote.  Like previously stated, the diehards like myself will wait impatiently for these buffoons to come up with a plan  to save their sport, and if and when they do,  we will tune in.  I was incredibly amped up for my New York Rangers to go on another run for the Cup, and if they have the chance, I will support them.  However, I can’t say that I will keep promoting a league that doesn’t really seem to have to same ambition.  If the NHL wants to fall back into obscurity, what can us, the real hockey fans do about it? Until these knuckleheads figure things out, I’ll be thoroughly entertaining myself with the Yankees, Jets and Brooklyn Nets.  Gary Bettman, your product will be missed by some, but forgotten by most.  Work with the owners and players and please give yourselves a chance to grow hockey to where it should be.


Let’s Make a Deal

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What’s behind curtain number 3?

After quite the bender this weekend, I got home from work today and closed my eyes for a little nap.  I woke up a few hours later to a number of missed calls, messages and ESPN alerts.  I’m not sure what I dreamt about in my deep sleep, but no matter what it was, it couldn’t have possibly been as sweet as the news I received when I regained consciousness.  As I’ve stated before, the three teams I am most passionate about in no particular order are the New York Rangers, the New York Yankees and the New York Jets.  Today, as I was peacefully sleeping, each team made a deal to bolster their respective rosters.  It was by far the best nap I’ve ever taken.

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Ranger Rick will stop the teeth Nashing about goal-scoring for NY fans

The first news flash I saw on my phone was that the Rangers completed a trade for the highly touted Rick Nash.  Nash was the hottest player on the trade market and he greatly improves the Rangers in an area that they sorely needed help last year…goal scoring.  Nash scored 30 goals and had 29 assists for the last place Columbus Blue Jackets, but he was on a team with very little support around him.  He will have the opportunity to play with players like Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards next year, and I expect his production to increase.  Look for Nash to light up the net next season and I think this trade has to make the Rangers an early Stanley Cup favorite.  They were a first place team this year, made it all the way to the Conference Finals and improved on their one area of weakness.  The Rangers gave up a decent package in Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixson and a first round pick, but Nash will be well worth it.  He is a difference maker for a team that is on the verge of greatness.

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Yankees will ride their new Suzuki.

After talking to a few fellow Ranger fans about our new acquisition,  I caught another headline that the Yankees traded for Ichiro Suzuki for basically a bag of balls and a few bats (Thank you Ed B!).  Now, we all know that Ichiro’s production has gone down over the past few years, but he’s also been on awful teams.  I believe that both Ichiro and the Yankees will provide a spark for another, as there really is no downside to this trade.  Ichiro will provide the Yankees with solid defense, great speed and the ability to work his way on base and steal a few bags.  He is an absolute upgrade over the Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones platoon, which has performed really well.  Ichiro is batting .261 this year, but I believe that a change of scenery will help Ichiro perform closer to his .322 career average.  Ichiro has done everything imaginable that a player can possibly accomplish except play in the World Series.  When you place him on a team like the Yankees, who are in first place in the bigs even after being swept in four straight one run games by Oakland, the possibilities are endless.  I predicted the Yankees to win the Series this year prior to this deal and this transaction only fosters my belief that we will have a special fall in the Bronx.

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Otah humanity! Maybe now we can see what happens with Sanchez 10 seconds after the hike while he’s still on his feet.

How could a day that lands Rick Nash and Ichiro Suzuki get any better?  How about finding out that the New York Jets upgraded their single biggest weakness, trading for Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Jeff Otah.  Otah has battled injuries throughout his career, including playing in only 4 games last year, but the Jets seem confident that he will be available to start this year over the atrocious Wayne Hunter.  The Jets had one of the best offensive lines a few years ago and as soon as they inserted Hunter into the right tackle spot, it crippled the team.  Sanchez was on his ass all season long, the running game struggled and Hunter was often spotlighted by TV analysts as possibly the worst starting Tackle in football.  If Otah is able to stay healthy, he has the ability to make the Jets offensive line one of the best in football again, which can possibly lead to a reemergence of the team as a whole.  If he gets injured again, well then the team is in the same position as they were in yesterday regardless.  In an offseason in which Mike Tannenbaum has received a lot of criticism (Tim Tebow), this is possibly the move that will save the Jets from another embarrassing season.

Overall, I am one very pleased sports fan.  Hoping tomorrow I wake up and find out Dwight Howard is somehow a Brooklyn Net!  Either way, can’t wait to see what my next nap brings me…


Kings are Kings and I Don’t Care…

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The Stanley Cup runneth over, and I don’t give a puck

The Stanley Cup Finals finally came to an end last night.  The Los Angeles Kings, behind the play of goaltender Jonathan Quick and captain Dustin Brown became the first #8 seed in the history of the NHL playoffs to win the cup.  The Kings had an improbable run, steamrolling the Western Conference before handling the Devils in the finals.For Los Angeles, the question during the finals was never really if they were going to win, but rather when would they win.  The Kings had a chance to clinch in both Games 4 and 5, but were unable to seal the deal.  However, last night in Game 6, they were able to jump out to a 3-0 lead with 3 power play goals on the same penalty after Steve Bernier cost the Devs by taking a 5 minute major penalty in the first.  All the life the Devils had garnered in winning the last two games was quickly extinguished, and the Kings went on to win a 6-1 game.

As a Ranger and hockey fan, as soon as the Devils beat the Rangers and then lost the first 2 games of the finals in New Jersey, there was very little for me to follow.  I have very little respect for fake fans of any sports, especially hockey.  Though the fans of Los Angeles celebrated hard last night as if they understood the tradition of winning the Stanley Cup, I’m pretty sure that the major interest of the city has already shifted towards the Lakers offseason.  The Kings went on a magical run and I don’t want to take anything away from the players on the team, but the Kings fans who have emerged in the past few weeks certainly don’t deserve it.  As a Ranger fan, listening to the fans in the Staples Center chanting MAAAARTY, after Brodeur gave up a goal was down right disrespectful.  Kings fans who know shit about hockey have no right to mock the greatest goaltender of all time.

Overall, the postseason was really terrific this year and I’m hopeful that it will spark the nation’s interest of hockey.  However, to say that I’m not disappointed with the how it concluded would be a lie.  If the Devils had taken the title I would be satisfied, as New Jersey fans appreciate hockey and the Devils would have earned it.  Also, if there was a team in Canada that was competitive and gave their entire nation a reason to celebrate, the league would have benefited.  However, to see a fair weathered city like Los Angeles, where the celebrities and entitled citizens act as if they give a shit about hockey was hard to watch.  The Rangers have renewed my faith this season and even if I can’t wait for the puck to drop next season, watching this season finally end does not sadden me.


Crowning Glory

A 6-1 victory says that LA wanted the cup more than NJ

Their first ever Stanley Cup since they entered into the NHL fray 45 years ago – something for which the Kings have every reason to be proud.For a town that experiences most of their ice in their drinks by the pool or under the trays at the buffet, you have to hand it to Los Angeles for turning out strong in support of their Kings. Unlike the disappointments suffered by each of the other NHL crowds this season, this sell-out LA audience was treated to a demonstration of sheer power by their team.

I’ll leave it for the more versed in hockey-analia to spell out the specifics of the game; for now leave it said that the LA Kings are truly kings today. And now the Angelistas can get back to the pool and remember why they like ice in the first place.

All they are is Dustin the Wins …


We’re Going Going, Back Back, to Cali Cali

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The Devils you say!

Damn, these Stanley Cup playoffs are hard to predict.  Last night, with the Devils facing elimination for the second consecutive game, New Jersey found a way to squeak out a 2-1 victory.  With the win, the series is now 3-2 in favor of the Los Angeles Kings and both teams must board a plane and fly across the country once again.  The Devils are the first team since 1945 to even force a Game 6 after trailing 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals.  Heading into last night, the Kings had been 10-0 on the road, so for the first time LA had to actually hear rejoicing from an opposing team’s home crowd as the Devil fans celebrated loudly in the Prudential Center.

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Parise makes Quick work of LA’s goalie

Throughout the playoffs, I’ve been praising Devils Captain Zach Parise.  I’ve constantly stated that his leadership and overall play reminds me very much of Ryan Callahan, and when the two faced off in the Conference Finals, Parise got the better of the matchup.  Last night, Parise took a lot of pressure off his team, when he snuck behind the net to intercept a lazy pass by the Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and snuck the puck between the goalies skate and post to give the Devils a 1-0 first period lead.  It was one of the rare mistakes that Quick has made during the playoffs and as a captain is supposed to do, Parise took full advantage.

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Yes hello Dali – Salvador paints LA into a corner

The Kings Justin Williams knotted the game at 1-1 three minutes into the second period, as he beat Martin Brodeur on a wrist shot from the point.  It would turn out to be the only shot Brodeur would let past him, as he saved 25 of the 26 shots he faced.  A few minutes later, Bryce Salvador gave the Devils a 2-1 lead on a shot from the blue line that was weirdly deflected and found a way past Quick.  The crazy thing about Salvador is that the defenseman has now scored 4 playoff goals, but during the regular season he found the net 0 times.  “We’re looking for him to score a goal all year, so he peaked at the right time if you ask me,” Brodeur said of Salvador after the game.  Salvador’s goal ended up being all the Devils would need to send both teams back to LA.

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The Kings had the Devils on the ropes and like most people covering the series, I wrote New Jersey off heading into Game 4.  They looked like a lost team, but inside the locker room they never stopped believing.  “We could have packed it in two games ago. That’s the bottom line,” Brodeur said. “But you see we have a bunch of resilient guys that want to try to make history and try to win the Stanley Cup. We’re not going to give up.”  With last night’s win the Devils are 10-1 in Games 4-7 in the postseason, which will give them extra confidence to extend this series even further.  If the Devils can win Game 6 and force the Kings to travel across the country for the 5th time in 2 weeks, after losing 3 games in a row, I believe the Devils will win Game 7.  Therefore, I think the winner of tomorrow night’s Game 6 will determine this Series, and with no basketball on the schedule, you better be watching!


Kings Bedeviled; Devils are Kings for a Day

Sometimes when you are skating on thin ice, the guys in front fall through first.

Hockey, the sport of Kings. Or at least that’s what everyone thought going into last night’s game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It appears that the Devils had something to say about that with their 3-1 trouncing of LA. So all you Jersey fans who had already locked up your, well actually, your NJ JERSEYS, its time to take them out of the closet and get yourselves ready for another Saturday night of hockey in Newark. And all you non-believers who were psyched for a Kings’ shutout, let’s just say that you’ll probably have to wait one more game. I mean who are we kidding if we think New Jersey is going to turn this all around?

For those of you who actually pay attention to this, the outcome of last night’s game must have been really exciting! And for everyone else – you know there is another NBA playoff game tonight in Boston, right?


L.A…The Birthplace of Hockey

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I asked my friends and they said “Holly would!”

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Sliding into history on the thin ice of LA

Los Angeles!  The city of Angels!  The home of movies and the millionaire stars who act in them.  Where it’s 85 degrees and sunny 365 days of the year.  A city that embraces the flashy Lakers and the high flying Blake Griffin.  A city that will support the Dodgers until the 6th inning, as traffic is so brutal that staying through the 9th is not an option.  But most of all when I think of Los Angeles, I think of hockey!  All over the city, millions of kids are strapping up their skates and looking for a piece of ice to hone their skills.  Kobe Bryant posters have been taken off walls, to be replaced by Anze Kopitar’s smiling, toothless mug.  All of the millions of die-hard Kings fans are finally coming out of the closet.  LL Cool J finally has a reason to celebrate!

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Bodies beautiful meet their pucking match

For those of you who have not been following, the Los Angeles Kings have jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals.  After last night’s 4-0 beat down, it is inevitable that the Kings will capture their first cup in the history of the franchise.  As I watched last night’s game, it was clear that the Devils have lost all faith in their chances of making this series remotely interesting.  The Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick outplayed the legendary Martin Brodeur and I would be shocked if the Devils were able to avoid the sweep tomorrow night.  The real joy I will take away from watching the Kings celebrate will be watching David and Victoria Beckham embrace afterwards, as their happiness is really what the Stanley Cup Finals is all about.

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Wiki-leaks news flash: Redwings are drowning in this pissing contest

Fans in cities like Boston, Minneapolis, Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary think they know more about hockey then the puck heads in LA.  Guys, just because it doesn’t snow or produce ice in Los Angeles doesn’t mean that your passion for hockey is any stronger.  Detroit has given itself the nickname “hockeytown”, but that doesn’t mean the Redwings are a more storied franchise than the Kings.  Did you know that Wayne Gretzky actually played games for the Los Angeles Kings?!?!  He never played for the Redwings!  So based on that fact alone, Los Angeles is clearly a better hockey city than “hockeytown”.  The Redwings have 11 Stanley Cups, but as far as Kings fans are concerned, they will have 0 in 2012.

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Now them butterflies in my stomach won’t stop stop … And we gon’ keep keep climbing to the mountain top

Ask Jack Nicholson and he’ll definitely be able to tell you that it took 24 years for the Kings to win a division championship, but LA fans didn’t even know about the franchise for the first 20, so it really only took 4 years of support for the Kings to bring home their first division title in 1990-1991.  Two years later the Kings lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Montreal Canadiens, though Kings fans celebrated as if they won the Cup.  Apparently they did not realize that Canadian teams played in the NHL, and they thought the games with Montreal were exhibition “victory tour” games.  Imagine the festivities this year that will take place when they beat an American team in the Finals and actually be able to hoist the Cup.  Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg will probably lead the charge, as they have awaited a Kings’ Stanley Cup for the entirety of their lives.  It’s going to be a wild celebration, though the real party will probably take place in between the second and third periods, because of course, traffic getting out of the Staples Center is just as bad as it is getting out of Dodger Stadium.  Enjoy Kings fans, you guys deserve it!!