Sunday, November 11

Greener, Greener, Norte, Norte, Wash, MOOSE?!

Ooooo, but he's back! He's the man behind the mask! And he's out of control, He's back!
The man behind the mask! And he crawled out of his hole!

Now just there, was I:

  • a) Talking about Moose writing on this blog again
  • b) Stealing Alice Cooper lyrics from his theme song to Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
If you circled either of those two, please pick up your purple Participant ribbon from Mrs. Skell because you're correct!

Yes, he is back, although in my Moose version of the song, it says the man who should wear a while out shopping or in a school zone. He's back with us again! Yay! A man who takes orders from a guy called Tony has decided to pleasure us once again by giving us the hairy palmed reach-around he calls his writing.

Just a note on whatever his new post will be: Whatever is funny in it, he took from me. I spent time with Moose this afternoon and made him laugh from about 3:10 till about 8:45. We talked about the blog and I used a little thing I call wit to tell him what should be in his next post. He admitted as such when we (finally) parted.

: If you don't see at least 10-12 little stars (*) after his jokes, leading you to an elaborate footnotes section at the bottom listing me as the one and true author of the joke, please know that I will run Moose into the boards from behind at our next game, in spite of the fact that he's the #1 defenseman on the team I share with him and actually makes 10-12 huge plays for us per game giving us a chance to win every night. But still. That plagiarizing asshole's going down!


That aside let's talk about something I actually care about. The Toronto Maple Leafs. I pay attention to the details of the game, and while some observers would pay special mind to the fact the the Leafs lose at ACC, straight up, on Saturday I had a different obsession: Steve Valiquette. Seen here as an Islander thanking someone for something I'm sure is boring that apparently changed his life, I knew there was Leaf trouble afoot when it was made ABUNDANTLY clear by the good people at HNIC that Steve Valiquette is in fact from Toronto. That was bad news because as any observant Leafs fan will tell you, judging by the fact that 96% of t players in the NHL are from the GTO if not Southern Ontario, those players LOVE to come in to our building and play their goddamn little hearts out in front of Mum, Dad, and Uncle Thomas, all of whom took the subway to get to the game.

As just one example, Toronto boy Kevin Weekes. A goalie who's had a 10 year NHL career playing for 7 NHL teams, played a game at the ACC in 2004 when he was with the Hurricanes, and stood on his head shutting us out 2-0. Kevin Weekes just isn't up for that, anywhere, at any time. Let alone there and then.

Valiquette, a guy who played literally 1 game for the Oilers in 03-04, playing 13 minutes for a 9.23 GAA and a .714 save percentage, played well enough in front of said relatives to get the Rangers to the shootout, where apparently hitting the net with a shot is important in order to score the goal in order to win the game. Who knew?

Also, was there not ONE Leaf parent or relative or pet in the stands for HNIC to interview/show on camera/do a special package on? Not one? I endured numerous in-game visits with Valiquette's parents, Brendan Shanahan's mother (who I had to sit and watch celebrate as her Toronto born kid scored), and the piece de resistance, clearly the worst parents in Canada, Sean Avery's. At Least on LeafsTV we usually get the very comforting shot of Worlds Greatest Grampa Johnny Bower smiling his sweet, benevolent smile, or at worst a shot of Doug Gilmour wearing his leather jacket.
Can I get a shot of Matt Stajan's Aunt? Can I get a shot of the guys from Colaiacovo's Trattoria? Can I get a what-what?

Finally just some in-game notes. Jiri Tlusty started on the second line last night. Fantastic for him. Considering he was playing in the Soo last year, sticking with the team this long and being tested on the second line suggests that the Leafs have made a great pick, and we have ourselves a hockey player. He's not looked out of place or been embarrased that I've seen, so, brilliant.
Pavel Kubina hurt his MCL, so that means the dinner bell is ringing for Anton Stralman. Maybe Kubina's injury isn't too bad. It's a shame because he's played by far his best hockey as a Leaf, scoring 11 points in 18 games. Lost in all the Stralman speak has been Steffan Kronwall who I don't hear about or see mention of as much since young Anton came around. Jay Harrison may get a sniff too, although I don't know why as the Leafs are playing Andy Wozniewski, and Woz is basically the same as Harrison minus the toughness.

In closing I'd like to comment on one of the coolest fucking things I've ever fucking seen: Darcy Tucker's comments between periods about POS Sean Avery. Tucker is a dividing line with me, and that line breaks down like this: Darcy Tucker is a fucking Warrior and a real teammate and if you agree with that then you are fucking brilliant and you can be a friend of mine, and if you don't, then you can go fuck yourself and move to Ottawa.
Below is the Coaches Corner piece they did on the Tucker/Avery incident with Tucker's comments at the end. Even Don Cherry, who in his video intro has his goddamn dog trying to bite the nuts off the cameraman shooting him, doesn't respect Avery. He says that Avery is what gives hockey a bad name, and he's right. Watch Tucker not put up with what's wrong in the game, and see why we are lucky to be hockey players.

Oil 4, Flames 2

Moose rallies troops with Messier-like guarantee.

What can I say, I'm a leader. I'm also a bit tired from backing-up ANOTHER win guarantee. This time in our beer league this afternoon, so this post is likely to be more boring than being Greener's accountant.

The Oil answered the bell again last night, with arguably their best effort of the year. Some execution might have been lacking, but they were full of try. Quick thoughts:

Garon: Ate the puck up all night and tossed in 3 or 4 felonies to boot. I would go back with him in Vancouver.

Horcoff: People who criticize this guy are mental. He's been a fantastic player on some good Oiler teams, but on a very mediocre team he's indispensable. Players should be measured by how many things they do to help their team win games. Horcoff does arguably more things than any player on this team. If you're expecting #1 center numbers you're missing the bigger picture.

Tarnstrom: Great stick position all night, was physical when he needed to be, and got the puck to the net for both of Horcoff's goals. Should be benched in Vancouver.

Nilsson: At the beginning of the year I said that the Ro-Bear would be one of the keys to the Oilers success this season. If you've watched the last couple games you understand why. The guy was electric last night, and when he's going the Oilers have two dangerous lines. He was a threat every time he touched the puck, scored a PP goal, set-up countless chances, and was even in good spots defensively. I honestly think he's a better passer than Hemsky. Hopefully the growing pains are over.

Grebeshkov: Holy shit. Brought his usual bag of tricks - fanned passes, defensive zone giveaways, bad pinches and sketchy decisions. But this time MacT was actually watching! I guess the trade showcase is over then? Rats, there goes Marian Hossa...

Gagner: If the only thing the kid does this year is score every Battle of Alberta, that'll do me.

Rourke: Thought he looked pretty good. Made quick decisions with the puck, sound defensively, and won a scrap with Nystrom. Looks like a serviceable 3rd pairing guy until some injuries clear up.

Lastly, I just want to go back to what I said about Pierre McGuire yesterday. A fine journalist by the name of Howard Berger, in his column today, had this to say about McGuire:

"Though Maguire knows the game inside and out -- and is the most famous hockey media personality not named Don Cherry -- he occasionally stops short of calling out NHL executives, many of whom he's befriended (or worked with) over the years."

Hmmm, interesting. I would probably substitute the word occasionally for never, but that would be splitting hairs. According to TSN's website bio:

Not one to sugarcoat anything, Pierre McGuire "tells it like it is" as the colour commentator for TSN's national NHL broadcasts.

I'm challenging McGuire to come on this blog and "tell it like it is". I guarantee he won't.