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Alex Kovalev leaves the prom unfulfilled

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

From Ian Mendes's Twitter last night:

"(Alex) Kovalev on scoring OT goal to break 12-gm point drought: 'I didn't have a slump. That's what you guys call a slump. I'm just doing my best.'"

Oh, alrighty then. Nice to know his best involved sucking up air on the bench for 12 games, to the tune of $731,707 (give or take -- he also gets a stipend for hair products).

It's odd how things can trigger weird memories. Kovalev's latest offering made me think of this quote from the brutal 90's blockbuster, The Rock. I think it fits the bill. Take it away, Mr. Connery -- and mind the Velveeta (language NSFW):

Twitter-related announcement

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Please note the following change: I am now known on Twitter as @erinnicks. The other account was lost, so if you wish to keep following, add the new name instead. Sorry for the inconvenience.

More later.

Tuesday morning Deglaze

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

...because I have the "talking pillow."

It's rare for an incident involving Steve Downie to get lost in the NHL shuffle, but it seems like that's exactly what has happened over the past few days. In the midst of another round of Ovechkin-mania (involving his hit from behind on Chicago's Brian Campbell and subsequent two-game suspension), Downie's slew-foot on Sidney Crosby received nowhere near the same amount of attention -- and I wasn't the only one who noticed.

We can hypothesize that Downie's behaviour didn't garner as much outrage because Crosby emerged unscathed (whether that stands as a justifiable reason is a discussion for another time). But the incident itself got me to thinking about Vincent Lecavalier's harsh words for Matt Cooke after his head shot on Boston's Marc Savard.

In speaking with the media, Lecavalier said that "(Cooke's) been doing that his whole career. He’s been hurting a lot of guys."

You could definitely say the same thing about Lecavalier's own teammate, Steve Downie. Funny that.

One has to wonder what Vinny truly thinks about his fellow Bolt and his questionable behaviour. Things get complicated when you have to suit up next to the guy on a daily basis.


Hey, look: This dancing machine is going to duke it out with the Neckbeard for the starting QB position with the Denver Broncos next season. C'mon now, what have I done to deserve this? On the bright side, it led to Phil Simms's son getting the boot, but if you had told me two years ago that Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn were going to be my top two choices at quarterback, I would've suggested that you go fornicate yourself twice over. And I don't really give an arse that Brady and Josh McDaniels share a bond over the round mound of rage known as Charlie Weis. This whole New England thing is getting as bad as Bryan Murray's hometown boy obsession (and so far, just as effective). For the record, Brady completed only 53% of his passes last season, and Pat Bowlen has said that he would like to draft a passing QB next month.

Oh, you mean like Jay Cutler? I guess the point is moot if you have no one to throw to. Regardless of his talent, WR Brandon Marshall is out on his ass for multiple reasons, and we all know it. Sigh. What a hot mess.

More later.

Haitian man smuggled in a hockey bag

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mall purchases, check. Spare tire, check. Dude in a hockey bag...um....

We've all done it: You're hanging out with friends, you have one too many rye and gingers, then you come up with the brilliant idea of attempting to stuff your smallest friend into a hockey bag.

And that's fine -- as long as you don't try to smuggle him across the border in such a fashion.

Two sisters from Virginia have been charged with alien smuggling after they attempted to bring a Haitian man into the U.S., via the Alexandria Bay border crossing.

Benjamin Pierre had initially entered the U.S. illegally in 2003. He was ordered deported in 2006, but fled to Canada before the American government had a chance to send him back to Haiti. He had been dating one of the sisters during this period and planned to marry her -- you know, assuming that they were able to get across the border. I don't think we'll be needing to register for that wedding at Pro Hockey Life any time soon.

As for Mr. Pierre, I hope the ladies had the decency to Febreze that thing out before he got in. Montreal to Alex Bay isn't a 15-minute car ride.


Link: Border Police find man in hockey bag -- Watertown Daily Times

Your Tuesday afternoon Chewable

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

For all the talk about head shots in the game -- what's clean, what's not and so forth -- there's a highly relevant issue being overlooked.

How many NHLers are truly wearing their helmets correctly, in order to protect themselves from injury?

The most improperly used piece of equipment on the ice today isn't the referee's whistle; it's the chinstrap. Think of all the times we have seen a player get clocked and hit the ice at full throttle, only to have his helmet pop like a champagne cork. What good is head protection if it isn't there when you need it most?

Mark Messier is attempting to make strides with his M11 helmet, which is designed to prevent head injuries. But if a player refuses to wear it correctly, one has to wonder how much difference it will make in the grand scheme of things (assuming we remain at status quo).

Go ahead and chew on that. More later.

You never really know what you're going to find in your junk mail these days. Today's offering: A portrait on Linda Staal in a mini-magazine/advertisement for cheese. (No, really.)

Linda's feature included the prerequisite impish photo of her foursome in their younger days, and tales of how the boys used to go through three bags of milk -- that's 4 litres -- a day. (Confused by the "bagged milk" conundrum? Watch this.) The Staal matriarch also referenced making egg and cheddar sandwiches for her boys after school. Seems normal enough, right?

Then I turned the page.

The second part of the story included "Our guest's recipe." I've posted the page below:

Bananas, ricotta, chocolate and mozzarella? I wanted to run screaming from the room.

Now, as this is an advertisement, it's quite possible that Linda told the interviewer, "I used to make the boys chocolate chip pancakes with bananas," only to have some cheese honk modify the hell out of it. But if by chance this is a Staal recipe, you should know that I have never seen anything like it during my 19 years in the Lakehead. Something effed must be going on up at Mink Mountain, kids.

More later.

Bad things happen when you let your D thin out. The babyface is back for another go.

22-year-old Brian Lee was signed to an extension by the Senators today. Details of the deal have yet to emerge -- I'll update this post as soon as they come out. One would assume that it's got to be either a one-way contract, or a half-and-half (first year two-way, second year one-way). For the record, Lee has two goals and one assist in his 18 games with the big club this year.

So far, the informal reaction received by yours truly has been -- shall we say -- ambivalent. Some don't know whether to start drinking now to numb the pain, or head directly for the shower rod and get it over with. Ack.

P.S.: Top comment so far from the HFBoards: "This might be a buffer in case we lose (Anton) Volchenkov." Where's a big freaking gong when you need one?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The Team 1200 is reporting that the deal is indeed one-way. No terms yet, though. Also, a request from reader Ryan B. for a popular TUC "Brian Lee" photo shall now be fulfilled. Here ya go:

According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the deal is for $1.75 million over the two years.

Over at Twitter today...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

All microblogging, all the time...or at least for part of it. Click here to follow along. Come for the freak, stay for the food.

(P.S.: There will be no food.)

An incredible aural experience, taped from across False Creek. The big moment happens at 1:20, but it's worth watching the entire video, as you can hear Cuthbert's call and the chants for Roberto Luongo.

(Rack bump to Elliot P. for the find.)

Filip Kuba. Erik Karlsson. Matt Carkner. Brian Lee. Chris Campoli. Chris Phillips.

These are your other defencemen as of today. Feel confident? Yeah, I know. Me too.

I know what the rumour mill is churning out, and I find it exceedingly hard to believe. If the Senators are to be taken seriously by their fans, they need to not only make the playoffs, but at least make their presence known in the first round, win or lose. After that, they're likely playing with house money.

1) How does anyone expect them to do that without one of their best stay-at-home defencemen and 2)How do you expect the Senators to get back fair value for a UFA? It never works that way, kids.

Bryan Murray is going to be forced to hash this out until July 1st. Not doing so hurts his team too much, both in the short and long term. He said he's not going to do it -- we'll have to take him at his word for the next 25 hours and change.

More later.

P.S.: You can now add Andy Sutton to the list, as he was traded to Ottawa for a second-round pick (previously owned by the Sharks). Ooh, I'm tingling.

When I think back on the last 17 days in Vancouver, there was one athlete who resonated with me the most, and it is Olympic women's bronze medalist, Joannie Rochette.

Sure, I can be happy for the hockey players -- both male and female. I can get into snowboarding, ski cross and bobsled for a while. But I'll never understand what their Olympic experience was really like.

Granted, I've never been an figure skater, either. But I was -- and still am -- a dancer, and like Joannie, I lost my mother before the biggest competition of my life.

Skating moms and dance moms are very similar. They're the glue that holds the whole operation together. They work two jobs so you can afford your lessons, they fund-raise for the trips for out-of-town competitions and events. They're the ones who sew your first costumes, and they're always the first to embrace you with a bone-cracking hug, win or lose.

I heard so many people ask, "How can she go out there after such a tragedy?" Speaking from experience, it really was the best thing for her to do. Many people will say, "It's what her mother would have wanted." It's probably true, but there's more to it than that. To continue with her day-to-day life, albeit during a period that included an Olympic performance, was the likely the easiest thing for her brain to handle at that time. She had literally prepped for years, it's what she was expecting to do. Performing for an audience, regardless of whether it involves competition, brings an awesome sense of peace to the mind. It's one of those rare times where you don't have to think -- you just do. I know for me when I performed that day, those few precious minutes allowed my headspace to free itself from what had just happened. As soon as I stopped, it all flooded back, and I know it did for Joannie, as well. The reaction after her short program obviously spoke volumes.

To understand the fog you're in, and to comprehend that your strongest supporter is never going to be there for you any more takes some time to grasp. You just have to do it, and get through it. As for bravery: I don't have the ego to admit to that, but I sure as hell think Joannie Rochette has got it, and then some. I'll always feel special about her bronze medal win, because although it was steeped in tragedy, it gave me an Olympic moment that I could truly relate to.

More later.