December 24, 2002

NHL Week Whatever Beat Report

(More inside)

posted by Samsonov14 to hockey at 04:51 PM - 6 comments

I haven't done a report in a while, because the Bruins have sucked - like the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked (wav file, popups). Like a nervous ostrich, my head has been in the sand. I only came up when I got my Christmas present. Still, the best teams in the league are tied for first with 45 points, and the Senators and Redwings have played the least amount of Dallas, and Boston are in there as well, and the surprising Wild are just one point away. In a poll of the best coaches in the league, only Lemaire (Wild) and Crawford (Canucks) made the top five. Where's the love for (I hate to say it) Jacque Martin of the Senators? Granted, there's been a lot of movement among coaches here, but Lemaire should be tops on that list, and Martin needs to be recognized. In other news, career criminal Billy Tibbets is playing with the Rags. I guess if Theo Fleury deserves another chance, so does this guy. I'm sure we've all screwed up a few times in our lives, but I wouldn't hire this guy to work for me if I ran a convenience store. I'm sure you're all getting tired of PJ Stock by now, but until you decide to write a weekly NHL update, you'll have to hear about him from time to time. This guy is the Anti-Billy Tibbbets. Tell me you don't want this guy as a neighbor. And, he's gone from talking about hockey to rating movies in his always entertaining journal. Yeah, it's Bruinscentric, but just be glad that I'm not talking about how Joe Thornton will challenge Mario for the MVP this year. For the record though, he will. I'll leave you with two gifts for Christmas. Since not everyone is a Bruins fan and I always neglect our friends from the Western Confrerence, the first is a poem written by a Calgary writer. Open it. The second is a gift to all hockey fans everywhere. If you know a better tune about monkeys and hockey, I'd like to hear it. Happy Holidays. If that last link doesn't work, click here and go to the Hockey Monkey MP3 link. I've never been very good at wrapping presents.

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:56 PM on December 24, 2002

Sorry about the run-on sentence in the second paragraph. Eggnog.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:00 PM on December 24, 2002

I would suspect that Martin's poor showing in the poll is almost wholly to do with his lack of success in the post-season. Change the question to "Who's the best regular season coach in the NHL?" and he'd probably fare better.

posted by filmgoerjuan at 12:12 PM on December 26, 2002

With the top two teams in the league being Ottawa and Vancouver, this doesn't bode well for the NHL's bargaining power come 2004. Two small-market clubs are first place! Both teams have tanked in the playoffs in recent years though, so maybe all is not lost in the battle of Bettman vs Goodenow. Jacques Martin probably didn't make the list because he hasn't really "done" anything this year. He's been the Sens coach for eight seasons. His system is the same, and improves slightly from year to year. Right now, the Senators are playing the best hockey I've ever seen them play, and I've watched hundreds of their games over the years. But as filmgoerjuan mentioned, Jacques will be judged on playoff performance alone (the same can be said of Sens fans' support, and of their respect from fans of other teams). I don't know what's causing the Bruins slide from greatness, but...let it continue! I have a bet to win, here. While we're at it, let's see those Leafs slip a little further in the standings, say, to 10th in the East or so. Minnesota carries on. If Jacques Lemaire isn't the best coach in the NHL, I don't know who is. Unbelievable, how much success he's bleeding from such an inexperienced team. And all this without Wild Bill Muckalt! I'm rooting for the Wild. Tom Barrasso is on waivers yet again. Anyone want to field a guess as to where he'll end up?

posted by Succa at 05:27 PM on December 27, 2002

Barrasso will step in for the first playoff-minded team to face a goaltender injury. It's impossible not to root for the Wild. They're underdog cinderellas from a hockey mad town. I too would like to see the Bruins slide, but only out of spite. What can I say, I'm an asshole. And speaking of ... The Leafs are talking again. I'm a Toronto apologist and certainly the game was scrappy, but this is why they have a reputation for whining. Wa-Wa. Wa-Wa. And the Rangers need to get rid of Billy Tibbets. The season is lost. Hopelessness abounds. I cry myself to sleep. Why on earth stain the year that much more?

posted by 86 at 09:28 AM on December 28, 2002

The Leafs are always under constant scrutiny and every little thing they say is over-inflated in the media, so it can't help but look like whining. If it was Lindy Ruff saying that about a hit on Satan, nobody would care because ... well, it's Buffalo. The other big hockey thing right now, at least, in Canada, is the World Junior Hockey Championships. The tourney has long since supplanted stressful-bargain hunting as the true Boxing Day tradition. A lot of future talent on display there, including the massively hyped Ovechkin -- who, despite still being two years from draft eligibility, started the tourney with a hat trick against the US. He's the hockey world's LeBron James.

posted by mkn at 03:08 PM on December 28, 2002

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