Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Starting Again

Last season, the Carolina Hurricanes lost one billion man-games to injury. It's still October, and it looks like that pattern is happening again...

...RW Justin Williams popped his achilles in training camp, and will be out at least through February
...F Scott Walker injured his hand on Oct. 6, and will be out at least through mid-November
...F Tuomo Ruutu has already missed three games, although he played Saturday against the Isles
...C Brandon Sutter suffered a concussion Saturday, and may miss some time this week
...D Frantisek Kaberle suffered a broken leg on Oct. 17, and could miss another month
...D Joni Pitkanen had knee surgery after Saturday's game, and will likely miss about a month

Please, someone find the sacred burial ground the Canes training facility or stadium is built on, and do whatever it takes to appease the angry spirits.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Puck the Vote!

Go away for a week, and all hell breaks loose when you're not there to watch it. Let's overlook the strangest delay to a game ever, courtesy of Swedish hockey fans. Let's even get past the possible return of Claude Lemieux to professional hockey, albeit at a somewhat lower level than he may be used to. No, instead let us focus on two examples of the uncomfortable and hopefully soon-to-end mix of politics and hockey.

Example one, from St. Louis. By now, you probably know that Sarah Palin was asked (again) by another Republican team owner to drop the puck for the ceremonial faceoff, this time at Friday night's Blues/Kings game. What you may not know, however, is that Blues goalie Manny Legace reaggravated a hip injury while entering the ice on the ceremonial carpet laid down for the event. He left after one period, and the Blues lost the game. Video below:

Example two comes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where early voting took place last Sunday. The Washington Times' Christina Bellantoni was there to capture that and the folks who came to protest. Protest voting. Among the animated know-nothings was one Roger Farina, the NHL fan of the year from 2003. Farina, an (apparently former) Islanders fan, was in NC protesting the "cheaters" who wanted to vote on a Sunday. Never mind that he himself voted the day before. Listen to his largely incoherent comments in the video below (skip ahead to the 2:36 mark if you don't care to hear the whole thing).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Start of a Long, Dark Journey

While reading a recent tribute to Paul Newman, I found out that the American Film Institute recently published a list of what it claimed to be the top ten sports films of all time, a list that did not include Newman's classic Slap Shot! Perplexed, I went to see for myself what they considered better than the best damn sports film ever. In the few seconds that it took for the page to load, I thought, "Why don't I blog about the movies they picked? I could rent each film -- starting with #10 -- and review them right here! Brilliant! Sure, I'll probably have to watch some boring old crap, but since I'm a boring old guy, I'll hardly notice it."

Little did I know.

In case you've been too lazy to click on the link above, here is the AFI's list, from #10 to #1, and my first reactions:
#10 -- Jerry Maguire O God NO. I have made a point of never watching this film, wishing to remain uncompleted. But Renee Zellweger's squinty chipmunk face beckons.
#9 -- National Velvet I wipe the soda and spittle from the screen. Wtf?!? I don't think I can do this. What's next, Black Beauty?
#8 -- Breaking Away Three for three in films I've never seen. But at least here's one that maybe I should have. Okay, we're trending up at last.
#7 -- Caddyshack Ahhh, at last something I've actually seen. Although I'll have to watch it a hundred times to get my Man Club card back after #9.
#6 -- The Hustler My wife has many happy thoughts about potentially seeing a young Paul Newman on our TV screen. Haven't seen this one, yet.
#5 -- Bull Durham Okay, good movie, but listening to Kevin Costner is like nails on a chalkboard to me. In a flat, nasal, boring kind of way.
#4 -- Hoosiers Another good one, if a bit sappy. Okay, a lot sappy. At least it's not freaking Rudy.
#3 -- The Pride of the Yankees Bring the Kleenex for this one. Can't I just watch some Lou Gehrig highlights and then his retirement speech at Yankee Stadium instead?
#2 -- Rocky Okay, I'm ashamed to admit I've never seen it. Now,maybe I will.
#1 -- Raging Bull DeNiro is so scary in this movie, I may have to leave the lights on when watching. And he gets to smack around Joe Pesci.

So, what do you think? Should I go through with it? I'm assuming everyone will say yes just to make me watch #9. As long as I can drink as much as I want, I'm okay with that. Really.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The New Beginning

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" -- Eddie Pola and George Wyle

Okay, so what if Eddie and George were writing about Christmas? The NHL opened for business this weekend, and once the puck drops in Edmonton tonight, every team will have at least played their season opener.

More important, after their opening weekend twofer, the Carolina Hurricanes (who, if you haven't guessed it yet, will feature prominently in this blog) are a perfect 2-0. Bonus: they've kept the Mullet winless. Two wins against division opponents, both come-from-behind affairs, and -- best of all -- NO MORE LONG-TERM INJURIES. Yet. Bring on Detroit!

Quick hits...
...The NHL hates Michael Peca.
...Memo to Philadelphia: THANK YOU for booing.
...if you're going to join a fantasy league, try not to miss your draft. Otherwise, you end up with Glen Murray on your team. Sigh.