Saturday, December 23, 2006

Weekend Potluck

Game for this All-Star

The whole Rory Fitzpatrick situation is very one sided. You are either for the fans voting process or you are against it. Isn’t the saying, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Right now the NHL needs all the publicity they can get. A fan group of Rory Fitzpatrick creates a website with the intention of sending Rory to the All-Star game in Dallas. As of last night Rory
is 2nd in all star balloting right behind Scott Neidermayer in Western Conference defensemen, the top 2 vote getters are starters for the All-Star game. This is what All-Star games are all about. Has anyone watched or cared about the game itself, or is everyone to busy talking about the skills competition. Who am I kidding no one talks about the All-Star game or the NHL. If NHL steps in and removes Rory Fitzpatrick from actually getting into the All-Star game then what is the point of letting the fans vote. 400,000+ fans want to see this man in the All-Star game. That could be 400,000+ less viewers of the NHL. Fitzpatrick when selected should say, ‘thank you everyone who voted. I appreciate it but I will not take part as a starter, but I will play if the Western Coach selects me to be apart of the All-Star game.’ That would be the politically correct thing to do. But how likely is it that he will have another chance at playing and competing in the All-Star game? Most likely never, and he should take this chance to show why he has 27 points in 231 games.

MLS Deserves respect

Being Canadian and privileged enough to play hockey. It is a given that I am not a soccer fan. I watch roughly 3-4 matches every 2 years. Particularly Ukraine or Germany in the World Cup and in Euro Cup competition. Other than that I could care less that soccer exists. Although women playing soccer is hot to watch. The great, and I do mean great city of Toronto (Swirsk needs a better tag) now has an MLS team rightfully called Toronto FC. Recently someone informed me that I was wrong and that FC stands for Football Club. I had a laugh and realized that makes more sense. The Team is owned and operated by MLSE the same people who own the Maple Leafs and Raptors. Initially how can that be, MLSE is about pinching and choking the life out of a penny, why would they invest in an MLS league team when the whole league has lost $350 million since its inception over 10 years ago. To much surprise MLSE puts up the money for a state of the art ‘soccer only’ stadium that will seat 20-25,000 people. Not to forget that it will be hosting the 2007 world junior soccer competition. Toronto FC is busy signing Canadian players to promote the sport at home, they have traded for some ‘hooligan’ type players with good work ethic and the ability to score, basically the Chad Kilger’s of soccer. If this brand of football was any good you could say like Peter Forseberg but I think you get the comparison. The team also had a recent ‘open’ tryout to find ‘diamonds in the rough’. There is no shame in doing this, it just cost a everyone $110 to participate and some kids who came for a tryout flew in from Brazil and other countries in South America. A little bit of a cash cow, but training camp is coming up soon and I am actually excited about this. I have paid attention to the likes of Freddy Adu and the DC United who are like the Montreal Canadians and the New York Yankees of their league. Having a team in Toronto is economically viable for this league that has only lost money. And the fanfare they are creating even out of the very casual soccer fan may be enough to get out and purchase a ticket or two when the Real Salt Lake comes to town and it is the Freddy Adu show. Here's to having more than one team break even this year, and how about actually turning a profit. MLS could use the break.

Blackhawk’s soaring under Savard

I actually got home last night to watch the second and the third period of the Leafs and Blackhawk’s game. I am not a Leafs fan anymore, nor am I a Blackhawk’s fan. I am a fan of Brent Seabrook, and having Martin Havlat in fantasy hockey. After learning that Michael Peca went down with what appeared to be an accidental knee on knee collision with Blackhawk defenseman Jim Vandermeer, it seemed to signal a defeat for the blue and white even though they were up 1-0 via a power play goal from John Pohl. There is something said about losing a player during the game, I swear the leafs have not won a game in 3 years when a player goes down during a game, especially a Peca, Sundin, Kaberle type of player. Of course that stat will be proven wrong I will even look it up myself. The Leafs do not have this intensity around them the makes them win one for their fallen comrade. Maybe not seeing the Blackhawk’s that often hurt them as well. The Blackhawk’s were by definition a wimpy team. This season and especially under Denis Savard have they seemed to beef up and start throwing their weight around. The Hawks hit the bottom and started running and now no one can derail their momentum. It is about the same as the Blue Jackets now under Ken Hitchcock. A boss bench that has a storied career in Chicago, who never coached a day in the NHL has taken the team on a 7-3-1 run and has a recorded a point in all but one game. 17 points out a possible 22, those are Anaheim Duck like numbers. Oh yea does anyone still want to call them a fluke with the Twin Towers on defence, a fourth line that looks and plays like a second line and a goalie who is phenomenal. Oh and an underrated coach leading the way.

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