Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hard Day's Night

A long time off with nothing to actually say about sports. Sure there was the NHL All-Star game but that is not a big deal anymore. Did anyone actually watch that thing? There is no NFL news of note as it is Indianapolis vs. Chicago in the Super Bowl. The game is still a week away and the biggest news is a Peyton Manning X-Ray being negative. Sure it is news because it would be a wonderful story for Peyton to get that monkey off his back and then all of a sudden be unable to play in the Super Bowl. The Toronto FC isn’t doing much all though their coach Mo Johnson has reported on the FAN590 that there will be two Captains in the upcoming season. One being Canadian and the other being a European that has not been officially signed to the team, the suspense is killing me, almost like The Simpson’s, who shot Mr. Burns murder mystery. The Blue Jays dove into the free agency pool by signing Tomo Ohka. This may be one of the smarted free agency signings because it gives veteran presence to the 4th or 5th spot. Ohka has the potential to be a 10 win pitcher and out of the back of the rotation can only help the jays catapult to another 2nd place moral victory. This leads me to the Toronto Raptors who have reached the .500 mark last night by defeating the Boston Celtics 96-90. As if the city of Toronto needs to celebrate more mediocrity, isn’t there enough of that with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Chris Bosh named starting All-Star. Good. Raptors going 4-1 on their home swing. Good. Raptors leading the Atlantic division. Good. Making a splash in the playoffs? Maybe not so much. But at least they have a very good shot at making the playoffs, but I will give the team credit if they can just go 5 or 6 games over the .500 mark for the remainder of the schedule, I am sure that will make Bryan Colangelo and MLSE very happy. So why write and post if you seem to have nothing to say. Well as I type the Toronto Rock who have been the most victorious franchise in Toronto over the last 8 years, maybe not by winning percentage but 5 Championships in 8 years is very impressive. Is currently losing 10-9 to the Philadelphia Wings with under 30 seconds left in the game. Toronto starts 0-3 in the year 2007. The team is definitely not the same as previous years, but it is no time to worry as they started 0-4 last year only to finish 8-8. Not to worry here folks, as soon as April starts and the leafs are on the golf course, the Raptors are forgotten because no one notices the NBA playoffs, and Halladay throws his first strike of the season the balance of the universe will be restored. So ¾ of a page and nothing of note. There are two things that are of interest in the NHL right now believe it or not.

Living Legend and 3 time Stanley Cup champ Martin Brodeur posted his 30th win of this season, extending his record to 11 straight seasons with 30+ wins. Very Impressive. And he did it in… well maybe not so dramatic fashion but he also posted his league leading 9th shutout, and his 89th of his career. Now defence wins championships and Brodeur has proven that. Has anyone taken a look at his G.A.A? His G.A.A. is 1.97 and he is leading the league in that category as well. But Devils play the trap and he doesn’t face many shots. Oh yeah, now I remember he is also leading the league in SA, ahead of Roberto Luongo. Who faces more shots than Roberto Luongo. Whether or not the Devils and Brodeur win another Stanley Cup his numbers will never falter and he will keep owning the NHL. Rock on Brodeur. Rock on indeed.

The other story is Peter Forsberg. This man is my idol. Many scoff and laugh when this is said out loud but it is true. He may be past his prime due to all his injuries: Spleen removal, concussions, shoulder surgery, back surgery, ankle surgery, foot surgery etc but this man, when healthy, is still one of the best players in the game. As the trade deadline approaches there is serious talk about the Forsberg sweepstakes. What will Philadelphia be able to get in return? With their season, if they haven’t called it off yet, they should definitely pull the plug and do a good yard sale and sell off everyone. The key strength to the Philadelphia Flyers has always been their drafting strength. No matter what position they have had in the draft they have made quality picks that have provided strong offence and defence and a great building block for success. Do you need proof of this? Well if you said no, too bad I think everyone needs to know about their great drafting abilities, lets just start with their top prospects that of course have or will make a huge impact in the NHL.

2005- Steve Downie (Kitchener OHL), Josh Beaulieu (London OHL)
2003- Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Colin Fraser (Norfolk AHL)
2002- Joni Pitkanen
2001- Jeff Woywitka (Peoria AHL)
2000- Justin Williams (Carolina NHL), Roman Cechmanek (Hamburg DEL)
1998- Simon Gagne
1997- Todd Fedoruk

That is a pretty good list, and it may be scoffed at but the franchise has done a great job of drafting and should get all the pics they can for some of their older players that are just dead weight and dead money. And that unfortunately includes Peter Forsberg. Here is hoping that he ends up back in Colorado and the crisp clean mountain air provides him with the fountain of youth to be the number 1 player in the NHL again… unfortunately it probably wont happen but he will get to retire in the proper jersey.

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