Thursday, 24 April 2008

Rapid Fire Blogging

Because real-life has been nothing short of pandemonium lately, this article will be written in "rapid fire mode". Basically, there will be no long-winded explanations. There will be no breaking down of any ideas. There has been a ton of hockey stuff going on outside of the NHL, and this article will be an attempt to update as much as possible. Ready? Let's get at it.

  • Team Canada's Under-18 team brought home another gold medal after they thrashed Russia 8-0 in the final the World U18 Championships in Kazan, Russia. Jake Allen recorded the 29-save shutout for Team Canada, and was named the tournament's top goalie and the tournament MVP for his performances. The Russians had defeated Canada in the preliminary round by a score of 4-2, but the Canadians responded well. Head coach Pat Quinn credited his team's quick start as the key to the victory. Congratulations, gentlemen, on your gold medal victory!
  • Team USA, who Russia defeated to get to the final of the World U18 Championship, defeated Sweden in the bronze medal game. Congratulations to the Americans, and to all the teams!
  • Team Canada also unveils their new jersey design today in Toronto. Eric Staal and Patrick Sharp will be there as both men were named to Team Canada for the upcoming 2008 IIHF World Championship. Gillian Apps will also be there as the women's representative, and sledge hockey gold medalists Paul Rosen and Bradley Bowden will also model the new jerseys. Rumour has it that they aren't very impressive, but I'll hold my thoughts until I actually see the new threads.
  • Former player agent Mike Gillis was introduced as the new general manager for the Vancouver Canucks. I cannot comprehend this hiring. They fire Dave Nonis - a man who was trained under the tutelage of Brian Burke in the ways of being a shrewd GM - and replace him with a guy who has zero front office experience aside from sitting across from GMs during negotiations. Much like Barnett in Phoenix, I don't see Vancouver improving much from this past season as Gillis will be learning on the fly.
  • As much as I've praised the Montreal fans for their passion for the Canadiens, the rioting that went on in La Belle Province after Montreal's Game Seven victory is absolute garbage. It's the first round of the playoffs, people. Rioting? Looting? Vandalism? Grow up.
  • NBC announced that they will pick up the option in their contract with the NHL to continue televising games in the US. Ratings were up 11% from last year for Sunday games which is a positive sign for the NHL in terms of growth. Having Ovechkin and Crosby play on NBC every weekend doesn't hurt either, but with the Winter Classic game being a monsterous marketing event, it would only make sense for NBC to remain onboard. The deal also includes the option to televise some playoff games.
  • Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Nicklas Backstrom are the finalists for the Calder trophy this season. Kane led the NHL in scoring by a rookie with 72 points. Toews recorded 54 points this season, despite missing time with a knee injury. Backstrom was second in rookie scoring with 69 points, and played in every game Washington played this season. Ideally, I'd like to see Toews win, but Patrick Kane seems to be a lock for this award.
  • Niklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara, and Dion Phaneuf are the finalists for the Norris trophy this season. Lidstrom is shooting for his sixth Norris trophy as he recorded 70 points this season to lead all defencemen. Chara has recorded 51 points, including 17 goals, to garner his second nomination for the award. Phaneuf recorded 60 points, including 17 goals, for his first nomination. Personally, it appears that Lidstrom should win this one with ease.
  • Henrik Lundqvist, Evgeni Nabokov, and Martin Brodeur are the finalists for the Vezina trophy this season. Brodeur, a three-time winner already, posted a record of 44-27-6 with four shutouts, a GAA of 2.17, and a save percentage of .920. Nabokov posted a record of 46-21-8, a GAA of 2.14, and a save percentage of .910. Lundqvist posted a record of 37-24-10, a GAA of 2.23, and a save percentage of .917. Due to the workload he carried this season, my guess is that Nabokov will win this, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Lundqvist pull off an upset.
  • Former CHL president Ed Chynoweth passed away Tuesday morning after a courageous battle with kidney cancer. He was 66. Chynoweth has been credited as the man who is responsible for making the CHL a multi-million dollar business. He simply loved the game, though, and worked tirelessly to make it better. One son, Dean, was an NHL player, and is now the GM and head coach of the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL. His other son, Jeff, is a high-ranking junior executive. Mr. Chynoweth also leaves behind his wife, Linda. May you rest in peace, Mr. Chynoweth. The game of hockey will always hold you high.
  • Anaheim Ducks' GM Brian Burke is officially off the market. After meeting with owner Henry Samueli and chief executive officer Michael Schulman, Burke will fulfill the last year of his contract with the Ducks, and is looking forward to staying in Anaheim. The search for the next GM in Toronto will now continue after MLSE was reportedly willing to offer Burke $23 million over five years.
  • TSN's Bob McKenzie was invited to a special charity hockey game the other day, and I commend the people of St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School in Whitby, Ontario for doing all they can to help a youngster. Grade 1 student Joshua Liscio is currently battling a disease that is both difficult for him, and costly for his family. Kudos to Mike Hamill, Janine Bowyer, and the rest of the staff and students at St. Marguerite d'Youville Catholic School for doing what is right. Kudos to the community of Whitby for helping Joshua out. And kudos to Bob McKenzie and hockey itself for helping out a little Montreal Canadiens fan. A huge thumbs-up from this writer for everyone's efforts to make Joshua's life much better.
  • I feel kind of bad for the Nashville Predators considering that Alexander Radulov basically contributed to his team's demise in the series against the Red Wings. Remember that huge goal that Jason Arnott scored over the shoulder of Dominik Hasek? Arnott missed the next two games with what was described as "flu-like symptoms". However, it was post-concussion symptoms. Nausea, balance problems, blurred vision - all relevant to a minor concussion. Take a look at the video, and watch how Radulov jumps on him on the corner, and smashes his head into the boards. Follow that up with his struggle to simply step into the bench, and we have a classic concussion scenario. Here's the video:

  • Round Two Predicitions from me will come later today. I haven't had much time in the last two days to examine all the stats and comparisons, but I'll have them up later.
Ok, that's all for now! Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

jon c said...

teebz, just please don't pick the sharks in round two.