Fusspot rants, embarrassing photos of yourself and general correspondence go here: universalnicks@gmail.com

...because TUC - doubtful (Kleenex and pseudoephedrine dependency).



No, I'm not trying out for the NHL -- I have a miserable cold. Hence the lack of posts as of late. I basically have had enough energy to text message, watch '70's British comedies, and fawn over Prison Break. By the way -- Dr. Tancredi cutting her hair off with a razor blade? Come on now. I considered letting The Driver take over the joint, but he would have filled the place with a bunch of Chargers propaganda. Lately he's been proclaiming LT (or LDT for the purists) to be the best football player ever. Not RB -- football. On the plus side, he hasn't mentioned the Buzzsaw or Matt Leinart in a few weeks. Lover's quarrel, I'm assuming.

Alright, enough nonsense. Let's get to it.

· For those looking for the last week of Dress Up Jake: Take a hint. It's not happening. There wasn't much left for me to do, short of tracking down a miniature pink casket to lay him in. I think I've humiliated us both -- it's over. Bring on Cutler! Now, I remember Jaws talking about Cutler at the draft, claiming that he was the best QB available (in a year that obviously also had Vince Young and Matt Leinart up for grabs). Now I'm hearing the Brett Favre and John Elway comparisons. Fantastic buildup, boys! Why not just put a Ryan Leaf mask on the kid and spare me the trouble?

And just for old time's sake...



· Everyone keeps talking about someone since I've been away...Ger...ber? Whaa?

Alright, look -- I called the media line a couple of days ago to find out who was starting the Carolina game, and had just enough strength to throw my cell phone across the bed, in a manner that is expected of my gender. After seeing him play tonight, I had one reaction: Meh.

Did he get the win? You can oversimplify and look at the scoreboard. But how impressed can I be when Carolina didn't bother to show up, and John Grahame appeared to be borderline-feeble?

In short, the Senators' offense garnered the victory -- Gerber did not. But the win should help to buoy his confidence and begin to repair his fragile psyche.

I think some people assume that I don't like Gerber. That's not the case. Martin's not a bad guy. He's pleasant enough, and is a good teammate. The worst Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Ottawa has seen thus far was an oenophile who cursed at Scott Oake on live television. That's not Gerber.

The problem with No. 29 doesn't reside completely with him. It's the result of the enormous salary that John Muckler chose to pay him, and the astronomical expectations that have come along with it. We've all expected him to earn his keep. He hasn't yet. Not even close. Would fans be more lenient if he were making 1.5 million, for example? Doubtful -- this is Ottawa, after all. But no one can deny that the rage directed towards Gerber during his slow start was largely sparked by that 3.7 million dollar kindling. You just don't pay that kind of money to someone who, as another blogger pointed out, possessed a worse GAA and save percentage than Curtis Sanford last year.

Some critics were placated by Gerber's play last night, saying that he didn't appear as small in the net as he usually does. I did notice that he wasn't situated as far back as he had been previously. But there are still aspects of his game that I find troubling. He still goes down too fast, and his lateral movement from his knees is painfully slow. He also has issues when the puck goes behind the net, sometimes feeling the need to follow the Ottawa defender with his head and body completely around the cage's side (he did this last night with Meszaros). The communication with his own defenders is still not at the level it needs to be, to assure a higher level of comfort and confidence.

The smart pundits will see this win for what it was: A start, but not a convincing victory for No. 29. The rest may be swayed by false hope. Right now, it's too early to call. Gerber hasn't swayed me yet.

· One more thing on the game (and past few games): Corvo and Redden chew it as a defensive combo. The skating towards each other during an opposition's rush, the pylon-esque nature, the complete lack of physicality...

In other news: The sky is blue.

Okay...this is getting long...stay with me...

· Sportsnet's Jason Portuondo late Tuesday night: "Ottawa is looking to catch Buffalo in their division!" I don't know...maybe they should concentrate on catching Montreal first? Is there any wonder why hockey fans despise the media?

· Did you know AHL players can multitask? It's true. The Chicago Wolves' Fred Brathwaite was recently spotted doing the weather on one of the city's local networks.

· Speaking of the AHL: Go check out Patrick Williams' stellar (and brand new) AHL blog on the SLAM website.

And finally....

You'll be happy to know that this cold has not suppressed my sarcastic nature:

The Driver: "Get some sleep." (Proceeds to turn on my alarm clock/sound machine, and programs it to play "Summer Nights" -- white noise largely composed of cricket chirping.)

TUC: "Sounds like the Sens' pre-game show to me."


(Here's where the young kids say, "Oh, snap!")


Later cynics. I'm off to guzzle Neo Citran and lead the Tony Romo backlash.

1 response to "Wednesday morning deglaze"

  1. No more Dress Up Jake? Say it ain't so!

    Can we please have Dress up Jay? I'm sure you can find a picture or something of him to use until his Todd McFarlane figurine is out...

    Pretty please!

    Clay from PA