Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thoughts on A Sunday

In my first blog back after a week of recovering from the best hockey tournament of all time (The 2010 Winter Olympics) I've decided to go ahead and hammer out "thoughts" blog until I can get my legs under me. I know a couple of you are eagerly waiting for me to spank out my analysis of Malcom Gladwell's book "Outliers", specifically the portion where he asserts that birthdate in Canada leads to success in juniors, to that I ask that you be patient. I'm running the birth dates of every single Canadian NHL-er, and my computer is making strange noises.


On with the show.

-The thought that is going to stick with me about the USA vs. Canada game isn't that it was one of the best games that I have seen (It was). Nor is it that I am proud of the American squad for coming together and playing lights out against a team that iced at least 12 future Hall of Fame players (I am). It is that I wish it would have ended better.

For Sidney Crosby to score on what amounted to a "trash" goal has left a bad taste in my mouth. Worse is that the media on both sides of the border took it upon themselves to elevate Crosby to a god-like status. Surely Crosby did the smart thing by turning and throwing the puck at the net, but Jarome Iginla deserves as much or more of the credit for getting him the puck in the first place. The shot didn't surprise Ryan Miller, it just squeaked by. Those are the breaks I guess. Any way you turn it, it was an ugly goal, and for Canada to win like that (in a game they were supposed to win anyways) was more of a letdown than anything.

-After a week of Avalanche games (including yesterday's 7-3 dismantling of the Blues) I can't help but think that whatever special "medicinal" crack Joe Sacco has that team on, needs to be distributed to the rest of America in an effort to get the economy going. This is a team that as of last summer looked to be at minimum three years away from even making the playoffs. Now I would pick them for a first round win and possibly a second round upset.

-Speaking of the dismantling of the Blues, can somebody, anybody explain to me what the big problem was in consistently playing Chris Stewart before this season? Was it Joel Quenneville and Tony Granato's plan to keep Stewart down in the minors until the chip on his shoulder was so big that he is now able to use it to fire lightning bolts from the blue line at a dead sprint? If that is the case, then kudos. But I suspect it had more to do with waiting for the power forward to mature for a bit too long before bringing him up to the show.

-Mueller....Mueller? Who wants to bet Peter Mueller goes for 70 points next season after watching his resurgence this week in Colorado? Here is a first round talent who had a breakout rookie season, only to have his momentum stopped by a concussion, and then never really got back on track under Dave Tippett in Phoenix. Certainly players tend to perform better in the first couple of weeks following a trade, but the way Mueller is gunning perhaps all he needed was a change of scenery.

-Count me as one of the people who shrugged their shoulders upon the departure of Wojtek Wolski. Certainly being good in the shootout is nice, and his ability to smoke the rest of the league in points for the first quarter of every season is tantalizing. But after four power play goals in 150 games, enough was enough. I still think that if Wolski is able to put on some more weight and learn to consistently charge the net he could be great, but I'm not holding my breath. Unless of course he discovers like I did the fattening power of the carne asada burritos Phoenix.

-Finally, a big welcome back to Stephane Yelle! I missed his hustle almost as much as I missed his grit.

I'll be back with more later this week. Until then, to steal a line from legendary astronomer Jack Horkheimer, "Keep your feet on the ground, and your head in the stars!"