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The Lloydminster Jesus

Monday, March 31, 2008

The idea of leaving happy, sunny SoCal and returning to the land of passive-aggressive, malicious Ottawans does not sit well with TUC's crew. But alas, to the capital we must return on Monday night. Sigh. We took in some great beer league hockey in La Jolla this afternoon (more on that when we get back) as well as the Kings game from Saturday that'll come with plenty of photos. Our synopsis from the L.A. game: Contrary to popular belief, SoCals know how to do hockey...and they do it with far more panache than any Sens fan has experienced.

An interesting tidbit from Saturday: We were listening to the Kings post-game show (yes, they have one) and the subject of defence came up. The hosts were very hot on Wade Redden -- referring to him as a blue-chip UFA and an elite superstar...basically they think he's a pseudo-deity with chiseled cheekbones. Another interesting side note: Kings fans are jacked up about the draft -- and they know plenty about Steven Stamkos. There's a surprisingly positive vibe around this team despite its current woes, and it's really nice to see.

Unfortunately, that's it for us from California. We'll see you back in Ottawa late Tuesday (Wednesday if our punk ass is jet-lagged).

Eye roller

Saturday, March 29, 2008

People with too much time on their hands in Boston's hotels for the well-heeled apparently can't take a hint -- don't you have a franchise to salvage? Aren't you on deadline?

On the docket today: Stars-Kings at Staples Center. I'm so amped up to watch a live game that has absolutely nothing to do with the Eastern Conference or the Senators.

More later.

Greetings from Del Mar, California.

Last night on ESPN's SportsCentER, I think I caught a split second glimpse of The Manatee. Honest to God, it was so fast I couldn't quite tell if it was him. The only mention of Sabres-Sens game came over the ticker. On the other hand, I saw Bobby Knight in a pastel pink sweater (no, really) giving his thoughts on NCAA upsets this weekend at least four times.

More later.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just a heads-up: This space will be rather quiet over the next few days. The Driver and I are flying out to Los Angeles tonight for some downtime on the West Coast (where the hockey is relevant from a post-season perspective, and the people are much nicer). There may be a few bits and blurbs, but failing that, we'll see you back here around next Tuesday or so.

Behave yourselves.

Yeah hey,


Take your time, 6

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From the "No, no, no!" files:

Wade Redden hasn’t ruled out a return to the lineup tomorrow.
The Senators defenceman, who left Monday’s 7-5 loss to the Montreal Canadiens with a knee injury, was on the ice this morning at Scotiabank Place and could play tomorrow against the Buffalo Sabres.

While Redden wasn’t in the lineup for the club’s 6-3 victory over the Sabres Tuesday at the HSBC Arena, he was still feeling some soreness after practice today.

He’ll take part in the club’s optional morning skate and then make a decision. If he does play, it’s possible that veteran Luke Richardson could come out of the lineup.

“It was a little stiff,” said Redden this morning. “There’s a chance. We’ll assess it tomorrow and see how it feels. It felt better overnight. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

Hands up: Did you really miss Redden while he was gone last night?

Meanwhile, posters at the HFBoards are giving all kinds of love to Babyface Lee. It's a knee-jerk reaction after one game, but to be fair, the kid didn't do too badly for himself out there. Also interesting to see reaction to his post-game interview. Personally, I didn't find it that surprising -- most of the American prospects I've interviewed react and speak that way. They bounce back very few clich├ęs, and take the time to give you a thoughtful answer.

More later.

Apologies for the lack of attention paid to last night's game -- things are a bit busy around TUC HQ. A win's a win, even if I wasn't overly convinced. Is it just me, or did the tandem of Meszaros and Commodore lead to involuntary muscle twitching for all viewers? No matter...let's give credit for the win to Sherry's new mascot and Brian Lee's overgrown haircut.

While we're on the subject of pets -- I know some of you have noticed an addition to the "About Me" section in the top right-hand corner. I guess it's about time she makes her debut:

The beagle shown here is Miss Eleanor Southworth Ewing -- better known as Miss Ellie. She's named after Barbara Bel Geddes' epic matriarchal character on Dallas, and appears to be fitting in nicely at TUC's household. She's a bit of a tomboy, so we imagine she could eventually take after Kent and offer her own take on the entry draft.

TUC is a firm believer in helping out animals in trouble -- Miss Ellie was discovered at a shelter in Almonte through Petfinder, but going directly to the various chapters of the Humane Society is also an excellent choice for anyone looking for a pet. Please check out any rescue options first before considering a breeder or pet store -- stray animals need homes too.

Thanks for listening. More later.

Where's your bitch now, Ottawa?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How hilarious to hear the incessant trumpeting from fans and local media prior to last night's game. "Boston is Montreal's bitch, but the Habs are owned by the Sens!" Okay, so I'm paraphrasing, but that was the obvious implication. Woman, please. First off, if you're going to have a bitch in this league, Montreal wouldn't be your top choice. Being speedy and skilled up front may help in the short term, but don't forget about their lack of size. Even if Montreal is fortunate enough to come out of the East -- and bank says they don't -- someone in the West is going to clobber the living crap out of them.

Again, it was late night viewing for me, but my cell phone was going off like crazy during the game itself. I'm hearing the same thing from friends and colleagues alike: They hate the way the Sens are performing, but part of them secretly enjoys the team's agony. Why? Well, it largely has to do with the way the franchise behaved after their Stanley Cup run last year. A lot of toffee-nosed behaviour turned people off -- both media and fans. Many (at least the ones who write me) deem this to be a hearty dose of humility for everyone involved...from the front office, right on down. Not only do I wholeheartedly concur, but I would encourage these bitchslaps from opponents to continue. You know what they say -- sometimes things need to get a lot worse before they can get better.

More later.

Ben Blood (reprise)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Don't quite know what's prompting it, but lately TUC has been receiving a lot of searches on Sens' prospect Ben Blood. In case you missed it the first time around, here's my interview with him from July '07. Enjoy.


Blood on the ice may help Sens

After a heartbreaking loss to the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup final last month, newly minted GM Bryan Murray decided he wanted the Senators to become bigger and tougher.

What better place to begin than at the 2007 NHL entry draft, where the foundations for teams are created?

In the fourth round, the Senators selected Ben Blood, a 6-foot-3, 212-lb. Minnesotan blueliner from Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault. Shattuck has been at the forefront of producing some of the most anticipated prospects in the last few years -- Sidney Crosby's road to greatness went through SSM. Los Angeles defenceman Jack Johnson attended Shattuck, as did Blackhawks centre Jonathan Toews.

With a surname that immediately conjures up images of a skull-crunching scrapper, you assume the young defenceman's moniker will add to Murray's vision of the future Senators.

But there has to be more to a player than a name, especially one that encourages preconceived notions. Blood, all smiles after his first few drills at the Senators' developmental camp this week, had something to say about that.

"I'm used to it. People see the name and think I must be a tough guy. But I can play tough, and I can also make a play if we need a goal," Blood insisted.

But what about that leap in penalty minutes from 32 in 2005-06 to 144 last season?

"I like to battle hard in front of the net," Blood said, with a sheepish grin. "A lot of them were probably roughing calls."

Blood still yearns to be seen as more than his name implies. Off the ice, he is articulate and poised -- likely the result of a 3.8 GPA achieved in school this year.

On the ice, he demonstrates offensive potential with soft hands that were displayed in statistics (36 points in 63 games last season) and during this week's camp.

However, the 18-year-old took away other valuable lessons from his time at Shattuck.

"The hockey's great and obviously my education as well, but being able to mature was so important," Blood said.

"Playing for (coach) Tom Ward -- he makes men at Shattuck. I went there and I was a little immature when I arrived. But I've grown a lot since then."

Blood has accepted an offer to play for the University of North Dakota in the near future.

"(North Dakota) has a remarkable program and so many of their players have gone on to play in the NHL," he said. "I thought it was the best place to help me reach my own goal of playing in the National Hockey League."

But with an overstock of Fighting Sioux blueliners currently at UND, Blood will be sharpening his skills with the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers next season.

"I wanted to play a year of junior just to get better; to become an impact player and carry more of a role when I get to UND," he said.

The young prospect followed his new team through the majority of the playoffs. While admittedly a fan of the New York Rangers, he insists he cheered for Ottawa after the Blueshirts were knocked out.

"I like (Patrick) Eaves a lot. (Eaves) played at Shattuck as well," noted Blood -- ever loyal to his alma mater.

The Minnesota native aims to model his game after Matt Smaby, a Tampa Bay prospect with the Springfield Falcons.

"He's a big guy who plays physical but can also move the puck," Blood said.

Surely the Senators could benefit from such a presence in their system.

In the meantime, Blood will continue to polish his game while taking pride in the fact that he's now part of a top NHL franchise.

"It's really fun being here. And getting that call, telling me I was drafted (by the Senators) -- it made my year."

This week's column has sparked a discussion over on the HF Boards regarding fan behaviour at SBP. Thoughts?

Remember when everyone was talking about Colgate University forward Jesse Winchester? Well, Garrioch says the college kid is on his way to Ottawa:

"The Senators are expected to announce the signing of college prospect Jesse Winchester as early as today....There's a strong belief that Winchester has a chance to play in the NHL, however, he might need some time in the AHL to get adjusted to the pro level."

You can read more at the above links.

Update: According to the Sens' website, Winchester is now an Ottawa Senator.

Happy belated Easter. Now then...

The blog has experienced an influx of oversexed puck bunnies who are all aflutter over the Phaneuf-Cuthbert post. I refuse to link to the site because the vulgarity and childish antics are a bit much. I just felt the need to mention their presence, lest they foolishly assume I am one of them.

I haven't posted anything in a bit because I came away from the Thursday home game with a lot of material that subsequently ended up in this week's column (these things happen when there isn't a lot to go on). If you want to check it out, click on the column index link on the right-hand side. And as for all the readers who felt the need to point out the misspelling in the title...all I can tell you is that I'm not responsible for that part of the column. Like it matters though, right? My freaking name's all over it (sigh).

As for the Toronto game, I won't lie to you: I recorded it because I was too caught up in March Madness. But when I did get around to watching it, I felt like projectile vomiting. People can bag on the Toby Jug all they want -- yes, his tenure here was ultimately unsuccessful, but dude knew how to implement a defensive system. The disorganization at the blueline makes me want to throw things. They're too busy chasing the puck around and forget to play the man. They swap sides for no apparent reason. Their physicality is completely inconsistent, and to top it all off you've got guys like Phillips attempting to direct the play because everyone's scrambling, but no one will listen to him. It's an unprecedented cluster(expletive). You barely beat St. Louis and can't keep it together to kill off the Leafs? Who in their right mind sees this team coming out of the first round?

I've been saying this privately for some time, but I'll say it publicly now: I'm so over it. Call me when free agency starts -- let's wipe the slate clean of all the scrubs and start fresh next year (unfortunately, Fisher will have to be the overpaid third-line mistake they're forced to live with -- he'll never be a second-liner, no matter how much you pay him). Wish they'd hurry up, though. Alfredsson isn't getting any younger.

Finally, I just wanted to mention this -- I'm not big on self-pimping, but I did see this over the weekend and thought it was a really nice thing to say -- especially on a board that's known for its vitriol towards the writers. I know a lot of you send me similar sentiments via e-mail, and your support is always appreciated. Thanks again.

More later.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sorry for the lack of posts -- I'm caught up in a bit of bracket madness. Only I would take two weekends to sort this out (one to decide which sites I'm signing up for and the other to actually fill out the brackets themselves). The whole thing is kind of ironic because I'm a total "Miss Chalk", as Michael Wilbon would say. Have I mentioned how much I love March Madness? The nonstop action...the one and done...the ability to get down...the cinderella stories...the ability to get down...

(I totally should be in Vegas right now.)

On a semi-related topic, did you read The Sports Gal's column on the NCAA? I want to be friends with Bill Simmons' wife. Here's a sampling:

Tennessee (2) over Butler (7): Bill was watching Memphis play Tennessee recently and said they were the two best teams, so I remember that one. He doesn't think I pay attention, but I do. Unless he's having an annoying sports call with his friends. Then I start slamming cabinets and thinking of ways to make the dogs bark.

Take note: This is how you play the dumb chick role in sports for the purpose of humour. The only thing is, I don't think she's joking.

In other news, I'll be hitting up the St. Louis game tonight (and am fully relieved by the news that The Manatee will be starting -- it'll prevent me from heckling during the starting lineup announcements). Seeing as that I've been blogging a lot more lately, I fully expect a franchise rep to track me down and throw me out of the building.

(That's a joke, OSHC lurkers. Just because you don't have a sense of humour doesn't mean the rest of us must follow suit.)

A couple more things...

Surely you must have heard about this by now. Two questions: 1) How many kicks at the can does the CFL need in Ottawa and 2) Why is this city so hellbent on repeatedly humiliating itself?

And finally...for all those who cry, "What does this have to do with hockey?!?" whenever lighter fare is presented, may I present the following statistic: The post currently with the highest hits for searches and views on TUC is this one. No hypocrisy there, I'm sure.

More later.

Elisha Cuthbert and Phaneuf?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Calgary Sun says yes, as does this blog, which posted the news first.

(Thanks to Scott B. for the heads up.)

P.S. This isn't overly relevant, but I figured I'd pass it on -- my favourite description of Cuthbert came from someone who met her when she was running with Sean Avery: "She's very short, and very stupid."

Sens win (with tongue action)!
Goodnight Angelina, goodnight...

Joe Corvo to Ottawa media: "Eat it"

(Okay, he didn't say that -- but his play sure as hell did.)

The Driver was cheering for a hat trick, and I have to admit -- part of me was as well. I've made my stance on Corvo quite clear: I don't think he should have been a Senator to begin with, but I didn't condone the way he was treated. Is everyone through obsessing over the former No. 7, and can we put a stop to the juvenile name calling by the mainstream media? It's about time people grow up and let it go. Corvo's got scoreboard. Allow the guy have his day in the sun for Christ's sakes. He deserves it.

You want to throw a defenceman under the bus who's still with the team? I nominate Andrej Meszaros and Wade Redden for starters. The former might cause more blatant errors on a regular basis, but the latter makes me (expletive) bonkers. What the hell is Redden's damage, anyway? His words said he wanted to stay, but his play indicates anything but. His game is utterly passionless; he looks like he's barely going through the motions. This may seem harsh, but to me Redden personifies every negative sentiment that this team has been subjected to -- the soft, passive choking losers that naysayers expect the club to turn into come playoff time. I can't say that about other veterans on this team: Phillips always cranks it up in the post-season, and we all know what Alfie has done to redeem himself (and then some). I'm sure Redden must care, but damned if I can see it -- it doesn't look like he gives a (expletive) about his play for this team, but he has to realize it's going to have an effect on his future contract. Shouldn't he take that into consideration?

A couple more things for tonight...

How killer is that Carolina crowd? They used to get all kinds of crap for not showing any enthusiasm. They make the fans in SBP look like a joke -- granted, that isn't difficult to do. And by the way, their Howard Finkel kicks Stuntman Stu's ass.

The Manatee reserves the right to trip every Sens player boarding the plane home with his flippers. They hung him out to dry in Raleigh. And for the record, I've spoken for everyone and said that the fans love Gerber. Love him, damnit!

Did you get a look at Patrick Eaves' new shoulder pads? (I meant to take a pic but The Driver deleted the recording before I could get to it.) I'm surprised he doesn't get stuck in doorways with those things -- at one point, he was sitting on the bench and he looked like he was waiting to audition for a part in Dynasty.

More later.

P.S. Memo to the North Carolina readers being sent this way: I wasn't at the game yesterday -- the television coverage provided more than enough evidence in regards to your crowd. And while you're here, you also might want to check the pronoun usage in the "About Me" section in the top-right hand corner of the blog. Much obliged.

Killing the misconceptions

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm bothered whenever people bark at my refusal to refer to the Sens as a "young" team. I'm not insinuating that they're all headed for a midlife crisis, but the way some talk, you'd think the average age of the team was along the lines of a university senior.

Tim Wharnsby's post over at the Globe On Hockey blog proves otherwise. Take this down for future reference: Currently, the youngest team (by average age) is Phoenix (26.5 years). The oldest is Detroit (32.0). And Ottawa...is 22nd on that list (29.0).

For the record, you can see how little age has to do with effectiveness as a team (which is Wharnsby's point).

A funny moment

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sportsnet's Ian Mendes during tonight's post-game interview:

Mendes: "That's Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators -- they win three straight games for the first time since the first week of January."

Alfie (just as the camera turns off): "That long?"

TUC's friend (and charter member of Butterknife Row's Scott Norwood section) Patrick Williams has been busy making his mark in the big leagues -- check out this feature piece he did on Kings prospect Teddy Purcell for The Hockey News.

Patrick also has a blog over at THN -- you can find it here (and his SLAM! blog is still available at the links on the right).

Seeing a respected publication like The Hockey News pick up quality young writers pumps me up -- the industry covering this sport is in desperate need of some new blood.

Just a couple of random bits and pieces...

Can we squash the idea of Sean Avery coming to Ottawa as a UFA next season? I've seen the media float this out there once or twice, and my reaction is always, "Woman, please." It's not that I would have a problem with it-- the idea is, as they say, "good on paper". However, did anyone stop to consider that Ottawa probably doesn't have all the attributes that someone like Sean may be looking for?

Too vague for you? Well then, let me put it bluntly:

The women from Ottawa are not hot enough for Avery to drop the hammer on.

There, I said it. (And I can say it because I'm not from here. Not that I'm saying I'm attractive enough to...wait...what was my point again? Eject! Eject!)

And here's a little Avery non-sequitur for you Northwestern Ontario types: Did you know his dad played for Lakehead University? Chris Pronger's dad, Jim, is also a Norwester alumnus. Maybe the Crystal or Bare Point water buggered with their DNA, thereby allowing them to eventually produce such notorious (expletive)-disturbers. 'Bay rage!

If you want to know more, here's a nice piece about Lakehead fathers who suited up for the Norwesters (George Letowski, Henry Staal etc.) and their NHL-playing sons.


Quick question: Hands up if you think the Sens need to do away with Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On" as Dany Heatley's goal song? Frey's "hit" came out in '85 -- Dany Heatley was 4 at the time. I dunno...maybe we could find something that's a bit more recent and a billion times less cringe-inducing? Heatley looks like he wants to hide every time they break that out. Maybe I'm expecting too much. After all, they played Kris Kross ("Jump") for Nick Foligno as opposed to House of Pain ("Jump Around"). And don't even get me started on their incessant need to play "Alley Cat" on the organ -- I feel like I'm watching games from the old Montreal Forum.

(If you need a refresher to experience the hell that is "Alley Cat", search the song's title along with "The Emeralds" in iTunes. I'd rather watch Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole on a continuous 48-hour loop.)

More later.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Apparently profanity has been allowed to invade the commentary on mainstream media blogs? Classy.

(Don't read too much into the title -- it's an inside joke.)

From Don Brennan's column today:

CREASE CROSSINGS: The sun was not shining in Ray Emery's world yesterday. He barely flinched at shots during a morning skate he was too quick to leave, especially for a guy who would be serving as his team's backup goalie that night. He didn't utter a word to one media member who said hello to him, and this particular greeting came from a scribe who often defends or deflects some of the heat from him. He was bashed on radio programs all day, which was amusing, really, given the more pressing issues facing the struggling team for which he plays. Which brings us to the saddest truth of the matter -- if this Senators' season ends in wthe messy wreck it appears targeted to become, the majority of the blame will no doubt be placed on the shoulders of an immature goalie who couldn't deal with his fall from grace. Emery will be the sacrificial lamb, as many other culprits will get a pass they do not deserve. Really, though, if this team's slide has so much to do with Emery showing up late for practice and admitting to motivational problems, it wasn't of championship calibre to begin with.

Quick question: Who's going to forget about the fact that the majority of the defence has been utterly subpar, and will require a major retooling in the offseason? Who's going to let Mike Fisher's repeated disappointments slip from their memory? Don't you think people will notice that Dany Heatley will be finishing with less than 50 goals -- fans will recall the injury, but they should also remember the way his stick became allergic to the puck during certain points of the season. And what about the regression of tandem two-way players Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly, or the vanishing act of Dean McAmmond?

These names represent barely a handful of examples, because there's more than enough blame to go around -- and yes, some of it deserves to fall upon Ray. If people choose to throw the spotlight upon him, how can you blame them? After all, which Hummer-driving, dressing room-splintering, water bottle-chucking, oversleeping backup does the media choose to cover with breathless abandon? They were the ones who constantly referenced Emery whenever things went sour. Hell, they often found ways to bring him up even when the team was treading water.

Thanks to the media's incessant coverage of Ray Emery, the fans have been encouraged to strike at him first. That being said, there are plenty of targets to choose from, and I think people realize that -- however, you can't blame them for wishing to criticize in a particular order.

Isn't he eloquent?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Good God, is he still here? Ray shows remorse...or whatever. Money quote:

"I was upset, I felt bad because I felt like I kind of affected someone else's life or job or whatever," Emery said yesterday, speaking out for the first time since Paddock was fired on Feb. 27.

Did he give this clip with his head down, shoulders slumped and sneakers shuffling on the floor? Did he wish he could just get this over with and get back to playing "Guitar Hero"? Did he roll his eyes and sigh? For Christ's sakes, he's four years younger than I am, and his vocabulary makes me feel like an octogenarian.

And whom, pray tell, is this directed towards?

P.S. Don't misunderstand me -- that swipe wasn't meant for the author.

Monday night mini-deglaze

Monday, March 10, 2008

...because don't you want to be friends with this guy? (In case you were wondering -- yes, he is holding a little pink purse. It all stemmed from this story.)

· You have to be intrigued by the stories appearing today regarding The Manatee's status as the No. 1 guy (here's TSN's, here's the Citizen's and here's the Sun's.) I guess most felt the need to to hold back on "making a call" after what's been going on in net this year, but as someone who watched all games of the West Coast swing, I'll tell you that it seemed pretty bloody obvious after the San Jose game. Gerber is doing things right again -- he's not cowering in the back of the net, and he's also positioning himself to cut off the angles with greater success. However, this time around, there's been one additional "improvement": He's freezing more pucks. I know normally you wouldn't want to encourage that type of behaviour, but it's like someone (I dunno...Ray's boy, perhaps?) said to him: "Look, dude...if you can't control the rebound, just stop the damned thing for now and we'll take our chances on the faceoff." Jason Spezza and Antoine Vermette are currently 12th and 17th respectively in faceoffs won overall. Obviously No. 29 has to still deal with subpar play in his own zone, but I'm guessing he somewhat feels he has a leg (or flipper) up on the situation when the puck is dropped -- hence the plan of hanging onto the rubber for the meantime.

One more thing on Gerber: I've been noticing how the media likes to point out that he plays best when he's not being pushed by someone else. Look at it this way: How would you feel if your job was constantly being threatened by a disinterested layabout (a.k.a. Ray Emery), because the staff figured he deserved multiple grabs at the brass ring (which was only due to past performances Emery has yet to replicate, and a salary that can't be explained away)? This isn't last year, where Emery was the hot young hand and a swap was justifiable. This season was about two goalies with problems: One was willing to put in the work; the other was not. And the one who busted his ass wasn't allowed to redeem himself, thanks to Paddock's "win and you're in" system. It wasn't about the pushing, kids. It was about the circumstances surrounding it, and frankly, I think any netminder in the league would have a problem with it if they were in The Manatee's skates.


When things are going wrong with a team, you naturally want to look back to when things were right -- thankfully, I kept a PVR clip from the Ottawa-Buffalo conference final last season. Going back to look at the recording is like night and day. Their passing is effortless, whereas recently it's become so laboured and inconsistent. They were fighting along the boards. They won the puck battles. They played a physical game. And most importantly, they charged the freaking net. We're talking run-of-the-mill hockey basics, all of which have mysteriously fallen by the wayside this year. It's the first time I've watched that clip and felt truly sad.

More later.

Fighta! Skate-a! ...and so on...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

From the "I Couldn't Make This Up If I Tried" department:

Al Jourgensen, the lead singer from Ministry, is a huge Blackhawks fan and wanted to do something to help build momentum for the team's young stars. His idea: Create a new sports anthem for the franchise. The song is entitled, "Keys To The City" -- it debuted on Wednesday during a home game versus the Ducks. Here's a clip from the Blackhawks site:

Though containing trademark intensity and guitar riffs, "Keys to the City" is less a traditional Ministry song, but more a classic sports anthem in structure. Built around a drum/bass line that recalls Garry (sic) Glitter's "Rock n' Roll Pt 2," the song is a rallying cry for Blackhawk fans. Name checking the past Hawk greats like Hull, Mikita, Esposito and Savard, the song celebrates the resurgence of the Blackhawks and the quest to bring home the Stanley Cup to Chicago. It is already popular among the young Blackhawks players upon which the team is building its future championships.

Alarm bells should be going off in your head over the idea of lifting from Gary Glitter, right? Just wait -- it gets much worse. Here are the lyrics:

Let's Go Blackhawks! (3x)
Want to rock! Want to rock! Want to rock! (3x)

If you're a Blackhawk you skate with pride
So many legends have played for our side
Mikita! Hull! Esposito! Savard!
To name a few, that's why we play so hard

Want to rock! Want to rock! Want to rock! (3x)

We're gonna get the Keys To The City
Gonna give it all in every name
We're gonna get the Keys To The City
I want to hear you scream our name

"Let's Go! Blackhawks!"
"Let's Go! Blackhawks!"

Out players bleed red, white and black
We play for the crest, and not the name on the back
The best fans in the NHL
United Center -- it's time to raise hell!

We're gonna get the Keys To The City
Win the Cup and have a big parade
We're gonna get the Keys To The City
Show them all how real hockey is played...real hockey is played

"Let's Go! Blackhawks!" Fighta Fighta Fighta
"Let's Go! Blackhawks!" Skate-a Skate-a Skate-a

Sweet merciful crap, that's unbelievable. If you want to read more about the song, click here. Heads up: At the top of that page, there's a 30-second preview you can click on from iTunes. I suggest you have something nearby to bite on if you choose to do so.

P.S. I know this was posted on Deadspin yesterday. I'm sick, so it's taking me longer to get to things. Bugger off.

Swiss sea cow in the sand

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Manatee returns for his fifth straight start tomorrow night in Phoenix.

"He has just been terrific. He has been outstanding," said (Bryan) Murray.

Nice praise. Too bad he's the only member of the team who deserves it.

SoCal nostalgia

Thursday, March 06, 2008

With a game against L.A. tonight, it's as good a time as any to relive Bryan Murray's meltdown on Kings colour man, Jim Fox. Get ready to bust out the umbrellas. (Warning: Audio NSFW)

There's a sigh of relief over the fact that your team won't be facing Jason Labarbera in net tonight.

Heads up: The Manatee will be getting the start tonight in L.A., according to the Sun.

Spot the pissed off GM/coach

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Here's a hint: He's orange. Hey, Bryan Murray...we know you're hitting SoCal on this road trip, but that's no reason to succumb to the Mystic Tan.

Some abbreviated and belated thoughts from Monday -- I'm under the weather, Blogger is acting up and I'm fading fast...

First of all...yes, I was one of those delinquents who stayed up to watch the Anaheim game -- keep in mind that traditional bedtime for the city is 9:30 pm...10 if they're feeling "naughty". This is a phenomenon The Driver and I refer to as "Large Vanilla Cone Syndrome". In short, when it comes to breaking out of their shell, Ottawans can't even do that right. It's like living amongst hundreds of thousands of Ned and Maude Flanders clones.

Anyway...about the game itself. Not a lot of surprises if you ask me, save for the score. I figured Ottawa would score one goal, but assumed the Ducks would garner 4 or 5. The only reason they didn't was due to The Manatee's relatively consistent play, and he deserves credit for that.

I kept hearing a lot of talk about how the Sens showed "so much emotion" during Monday's game. News flash: Frustration and fear are emotions, but they aren't the ones you want to be seeing during a game like this (or any game, for that matter). It's blatantly obvious that the Ducks are in their heads, and they aren't going away anytime soon. And keep in mind the latest victory was accomplished without Chris Pronger, after Lakehead boy Patrick Sharp disposed of him late last month with a hearty (but accidental) stick boosh to the jaw.

So what happened? The Sens got pushed around, and the fans subsequently freaked out over a lack of grit. Now all of sudden you've got people referring to Chris Neil as the second coming of Christ, and demanding that Brian McGrattan dress...or better yet, that the team call up Jeremy Yablonski from Binghamton. (That last suggestion kills me, by the way.) I even heard one radio host on the post-game show suggest that the Wild's recent attempt to turn into "Goonasota" was brought on Anaheim's physical dominance.

Look, Mensas: I know it may seem like semantics after the ridiculous officiating job on Monday, but there's a big difference between icing a bunch of scrappers who can't skate worth a damn for 6 minutes per game, and the Anaheim Ducks. Make no mistake: Anaheim is a dirty team, but it's their skill and balance over four lines that sets them apart. Yes, they do play "on the edge", but they're also willing to sacrifice their bodies to protect the puck, fight the battles along the boards, rock the trap and beat your ass in a foot race. I saw none of that from the Sens on Monday.

And for all this talk of how effective players like Phillips and Vermette (!) can be when they do choose to hit -- it's a bloody joke. When they "choose" to? Why are they choosing? Why aren't they simply doing? Here's your answer: They're soft. And personally, to say something like that about a player like Phillips bothers me, because given his size and decent speed, he'd be amazing as a physical blueliner. But dude doesn't have a mean streak, and it takes him far too long to get angry.

The Sens achieved post-season success by grinding down the opposition's defence. Anaheim takes that technique to another level -- throw in the trap, some balanced scoring and a fairly capable goaltender...it's over. Show me one team out of the Eastern conference that could handle that over a seven-game series. You think Pittsburgh won't have their snipers flattened? You think Hal Gill is going to save their ass? Montreal plays the Ducks on Sunday -- can't wait to see that.

One final note: I will say this about Anaheim -- their goal horn flat-out destroys. It's so powerful and resonant...just fantastic. Ottawa's goal horn reminds me of Ottawans themselves -- nasal and annoying. In fact, if Ottawa's goal horn were a person, it would sit right beside you in a restaurant when all other tables are vacant, then bitch to you about its rheumatoid arthritis without any prompting whatsoever.

More later (assuming that I'm semi-lucid).

Sorry...have been tied up with other duties. My belated (yet still relevant) thoughts regarding the Monday night game should come later on today...maybe. I'll tell you this much: My happiest moment came when The Manatee raged on The Faucet. Don't (expletive) with the Swiss Sea Cow, kids.

More later.