Thursday, May 29
Wednesday, May 28
Two things of note this morning:
1. That the Penguins played a great game, and, as I predicted a mere post ago, won game three at Mellon against the Red Wings.
2. That the title above is the first time I've mentioned vagina's on this blog. Can you believe my restraint? It's not that difficult really, as my other blog is called "YOU, ME, AND VAGINA MAKES 3" It's a non-judgmental users guide to a woman's most secret parts.
I briefly took part in a pre-game live blog by the great people of and on Melt Your Face Off. I'd never done that with them and everyone was really nice and very welcoming. It made me feel kind of like when I first met Moose and his friends. If, when I met Moose and his friends, it was good, I had fun, and didn't want to kick his head in in the first 5 minutes.
Oh yeah, right. The Penguins played a great game, getting bounces, getting lucky and won 3-2. My feeling going into the game was that you can't and won't hold a player of Crosby's magnitude off the scoresheet for that long. His team HAD to win and he responded as a captain and best player should by scoring twice and leading all the way down the line. My god that kid skates well, doesn't he? Not as in pretty, but he's so powerful on his skates. His center of gravity is so low he could be a snake. You always hear a lot about how powerful Sidney's legs are, and tonight you really saw it. You know what you don't hear a lot about though? My ability to salsa dance.
Poor Chris Osgood. Only in the NHL is news that one of the hottest pieces of ass in Hollywood fantasizes about you in the bathtub the worst thing that could happen to you. Chris was sailing along, two shut-outs in tow to a Conn Smythe trophy, when Kristen Bell comes out and admits that she literally used to write "Mrs. Osgood" on her high school duotang. No-ooo, that's not distracting at all. Even less so when every news outlet this side of Brisbane, Australia picked up the story and asked Osgood about it 200 times a day. Want proof? Well, Osgood went from a combined 2 game save percentage of 1.000 in games 1 and 2 to an Andrew Raycroft like .875 in game 3. Nice one, Kristen. You just cost Mr. "Sad Eyes" a chance to make history. On a realted note: Can you imagine the shit Osgood is getting for this at home?
Speaking of Kristen Bell, she brings up another thing I wanted to mention. He Score, He Shoot! is expanding again! First it was blogging, then it was podcasting, and now, we're proud to announce, magazine publishing! I know, I know, right?! And who do you think is on the cover this month? Well, sexy, it's the aforementioned goaler lover Kristen Bell! Have a look at HS/HS #1. Vol. 1:
We had a little deadline trouble. As you can see this was supposed to come out at Christmas but we went through some financial hiccups, which thankfully got cleared up. But hey, it's Christmas somewhere, right??
Our business lawyer feels we're expanding too quickly, but I don't think so. It just feels like it's the right time for a small, hockey based blog to come out with a men's magazine. It was either that, or what Moose was pushing for, a line of personal lubricants. "All in good time, Moose", I said. "All in good time."
Monday, May 26
It's amazing to think that oh so long ago, in the distant past, hockey pundits all over North America...sorry, Canada, were stepping over themselves in excitement over what they all believed would be one of the best and highest scoring Finals ever. That was last Friday. Who would have ever thought what 3 days, a warm veteran goalie and an intimidated Russian former Conn Smythe trophy candidate could do.
Is it that Pittsburgh have played that bad, or is it simply that Detroit is that good? Parts of both, I think. For example: In game 1, Marc-Andre Fleury was bad for two periods. Fist period, super solid. Second period, he bobbles a catchable puck and gets lucky with that double post. He wasn't the same from that point on. He was bad on the Samuelson (game winner) wrap around and he HAS to stop the Zetterberg snap shot. This isn't November. Ty Conklin is not coming in in case you have an off night, Maffer. This isn't even the semi's. This is the 'F' word. Final.
Down at the other end, Chris Osgood has two shutouts, and has played... okay? That's not to take anything away from him. Two shutouts, back to back is awesome in October, let alone in the final, but he just hasn't really been tested because everyone else on that team is so fucking good. The irony in this is that Osgood will now win the Conn Smythe and we who read about hockey in the spring will have to endure even more lazy journalists writing terrible punny headlines like: "So Far, So Osgood", and "Osgood, Os Great" and "Osgood As It Gets". I'm looking at you, everyone who writes for The Sun media.
Strangely, watching how dynamite this Wings team is in a way shows you how good the Pens are. Detroit is clicking so well, you see that if this were any other team playing them, the scores so far wouldn't be 4-0 and 3-0, they would have been 8-0 and 6-0. This series is over though. Pittsburgh will take one of the two in Mellon, (probably game 3) which conveniently sets up the Wings to win it at home.
Oh, hey, can any sports network out there produce and air a package about Nick Lidstrom? I certainly haven't seen any, and I'd love to see what it's like when every hockey personality on Earth waxes rhapsodic about Lidstrom's skills as a defenseman. Or go on and on about how classy he is. Or go on about how he leads not with words, but by example. Or go on and on and on about how he might be the first European to Captain a Cup team. Wow, the media really hasn't picked up on this under-the-radar player.
Here's something: Versus reports that game 1 Final rating is up 157% over last year. Raising the total number of U.S. viewers to 157. Whoa, whoa, let's not break out the bubbly too quick, Commissioner! These "good" numbers will disappear when the series shifts over to NBC for game 3. Moving a show around the schedule is horrible for its ratings potential, and moving networks is fatal. The average sports viewer can't use the channel changer with his left hand let alone traverse the cable line up from channel 267 to 4. But hey, at least Commissioner Gary opened up the Sunbelt, right? Click on the flow chart below for the whole, awful ratings story:
Sunday, May 25
Wins Destroys Memorial Cup
The 2008 Mastercard Memorial Cup is in the books and apparently the Spokane Chief's don't want there to be one in 2009. In quite possibly the funniest moment I've ever witnessed in a hockey arena (save for Greener mummifying his groin region with six rolls of tape each week), Spokane Captain Chris Bruton, hoisted the Cup...
Where's the P.A. system with "We Are The Champions" when you need it? The look of embarrassment and horror on Bruton's face doesn't need any words, but just in case, here's four: Ice. Swallow. Me. Whole.
As for the game, the Chief's scored a convincing 4-1 win over the hosts and OHL Champion, Kitchener Rangers. But the real story was once again Dustin Tokarski - that's "Toka" to his friends. The kid has been nails since the start of the playoffs, and earned every bit of his Memorial Cup MVP award with a 53 save performance today. He was awesome in the third period when the Rangers threw everything they could at him. You have to think his draft stock is only going to continue to rise in the coming weeks.
In my my last post on Tokarski, I wondered how so many goalies could be rated ahead of him. So, I wanted to post some scouting comments from Kyle Woodlief of Red Line Report, whose opinion I really respect:
"As for Tokarski, Red Line has been skeptical all season, but the numbers he's putting up and the mental toughness he has shown are getting hard to ignore. He still reminds us a bit too much of other average WHL goaltenders with terrific defensive teams in front of them (think Kelly Guard on Kelowna's 2003-04 club or Brent Belecki on Portland's 1997-98 team). There are other goaltenders we like better in the middle rounds, but we acknowledge that Tokarski will certainly go much higher than we have him ranked."I tend to disagree, somewhat. I know the Chief's are a good defensive team, but the saves Tokarski made throughout this tournament were not of the sharp-angle, "we'll take what you give us" variety. He made more than his share of 5 bellers, and his positioning is so solid, that he's always there to make the 2nd save when needed. I guess time will tell.
It was the 2nd Memorial Cup win for Spokane, who went 4-0 in the tournament and beat Kitchener twice in their barn. Well deserved. They got great leadership from Bruton and David Rutherford (blocking shots all over the place), big goals from Drayson Bowman (tournament leading 6 goals) and how about Jared Cowen? If this kid keeps improving like he should, John Tavares and Victor Hedman better look over their shoulders. He already looks like a lock to go top 5 in the 2009 draft, possibly higher. He has "Franchise Defenceman" written all over him.
Besides the obvious guys for Kitchener (Boedker, Halischuk, Azevedo), the kid that really impressed was Nazem Kadri. Lot's of skill and poise with the puck. He's another for the 2009 draft and it should be interesting to watch him progress next year. Have to think he's got first round talent as well.
Saturday, May 24
About 15 minutes from the drop of the puck for Game 1, and sitting here at a Memorial Day (weekend) BBQ. Thought this would be a good time to get away from the damp weather, carcinogenic meats, and a bunch of tattooed hipsters I've never met. Let's get down on the record for the Stanley Cup Finals.
For all the comparisons of these Penguins to those Oilers, people forget there first came the Islanders. The young Oilers took the league by storm, until they ran into an experienced, veteran-laden, and talented bunch from Long Island. The lessons from that failure ultimately turned the Oilers into the great team they would become. I think the Red Wings will teach the Penguins how to become champions. Detroit in 5.
Greener wanted me to pass on that he likes Pittsburgh in 3. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 22
Say, I wonder whatever happened in the Stanley Cup playoffs of 2008? I can't remember who won the Cup, because they were playing so long ago. They must've awarded it by now, right? It's like trying to remember when you were a baby...when you're 80. You're pretty sure it happened, but it's real, real fuzzy.
The reason for this is because the lawyers who run the NHL thought it'd be totally fine to have a weeks layover between the last conference championship game and game 1 of the final. Of course, this makes sense; The NHL's American profile is so big it can afford to be off the minds of every sports fan in the U.S. during its best and most important time of the season. The average American fan, so coveted by former NBA great Gary Bettman, will never forget that hockey exists, right? That's the sport where they go round and round in a circle until someone dies in a fiery 10 car crash, right? Yes, Gomer, that's right.
Here is an illustration designed by scientists, now found in textbooks and used to demonstrate to students from K-12 just how much of a joke the NHL is:
Man, scientists make learning fun! When I get big, I want to be a scientist! No, wait. I want to be a lawyer!
Here's another way to see it: Baseball's playoff is the October Classic. Football's is the Super Bowl. The NHL's is a week of Will & Grace re-runs on NBC. But again, it doesn't matter, because it's on everyone's lips. The Stanley Cup Final. Detroit and Pittsburgh. Superstars of past, present and future. Youth vs. Experience. Motown vs. Steeltown...
(GRACE IS SITTING ON THE COUCH READING A MAGAZINE WHEN JACK ENTERS.]
JACK: Hi. Is Will back from his date with that cop guy?
GRACE: No, still out.
JACK: He is? I figured by now he be curled up in his bed crying himself into a Snickers bar. [GIGGLES]
GRACE: Why do you do that, Jack? You're his friend. Why does Will's pain always amuse you?
JACK: 'Member that time his date went so badly, he came home and started writing a play? [LAUGHS]
GRACE: Ah! You mean, If Gay Means Happy, Why Am I So Sad? Yes, that--
[GRACE AND JACK LAUGH HYSTERICALLY.]
Tuesday, May 20
Just watching the Memorial Cup this week, and one guy has really stood out: Spokane netminder Dustin Tokarski. The guy has been on a tear since the WHL playoffs started, and hasn't dropped off in this tournament.
"Dusty" or "Toks," or whatever highly imaginative nickname his teammates have given him, had a great regular season. He ranked 5th in the WHL in wins (30), 3rd in GAA (2.05), 2nd in shutouts (6), and first in save percentage (.922). But he was even better in the WHL playoffs, going 16-2, posting a 1.38, with a .944 save percentage and 3 shutouts. Those are pretty gaudy numbers. He reads the play well, his positioning is great, and he seems to make that timely big save.
I can't get my head around the fact that this kid is ranked 9th by Central Scouting among North American goalies for this years' draft. ISS has him ranked 5th among ALL goalies, which seems a tad more accurate, but if there are a handful better than him in this draft, then it must be a very strong crop. Want proof? Here is Central Scouting's #1 ranked goalie Thomas McCollum:
Good to see the Chiefs back in the Memorial Cup Final. I became something of a minor fan back in the Falloon-Whitney days. More Memorial Cup thoughts in a couple days.
Monday, May 19
Never satisfied with sitting around on our laurels, mainly because we heard once that laurels go on your head, your friends here at He Score, He Shoot have gone and done what no one, especially themselves, thought they'd ever do again. No, not have another homosexual "experiment session", I mean record another episode of HS/HS Radio!
Taking painstaking hours to put together, and using the skills worthy of the finest craftsmen,
Norte Wash Moose I offer up something delicious to finally take the place of that awful Counting Crows album in your iPod. You know the one. Its got that terrible song on it. No, wait. Its got those terrible songs on it.
Just click on the post title above, and begin possible enjoyment. And for God's sake, tell us what you think of it in the comments section. Moose can take it. To set the scene, here's a picture we snapped during recording. Thanks!
Thursday, May 15
As soon as Richard Peddie goes all "Jerry Jones" and names himself GM, we can get this party started. When the Toronto media starts floating THAT rumor in a few days, remember where you heard it first.
The Leafs need to revamp their top 6 forwards, and could use a physical injection on the blueline. Help up front becomes even more pressing if Sundin decides to call it quits.
The RFA: Jeff Carter
I'm pretty sure this is Jeff Carter (right). It was one of the first photos that came up in my Google image search. I mean, I'm not quite sure why a professional hockey player has a photo up on manzone.yuku.com, but whatever. Ladies, don't ever say HSHS has nothing to offer you.
The Flyers have nearly $50 million in salary already committed for next year, and have Carter, R.J. Umberger, and Randy Jones to sign as RFA's. With Umberger due for a 7000% raise, a $5 million offer sheet to Carter could put the Flyers in a tough spot. Carter is from London, and with Richards and Briere as the 1-2 punch down the middle, he may relish the chance to take on a bigger role elsewhere. If Sundin comes back, he makes a great #2 until the Swede calls it quits. An offer sheet of $4.99 million would cost the Leafs two #1's, a #2, and #3 pick. That's probably palatable. $5 million or more would cost them four #1's - a little steep for a rebuilding team.
The UFA: Brooks Orpik
The Leafs have a lot of cash tied up in their blueline corps, so instead of chasing the big name UFA d-men like Campbell and Redden - whose skill set is already duplicated among current Leafs current - they would be best served by adding a mid-range, physical presence like Orpik. I've heard Jason Smith's name tossed about, but Orpik is much younger (26) and shouldn't cost too much more. Besides, after making the huge mistake of trading Smith 9 years ago, signing a slower, aging, rim-it-off-the-glass version is a good way to remind fans of your incompetence.
I'm going a bit off the board here, because the big-name forwards on the UFA market can be grouped into three classes: Overpays (Hossa), Risky (Prospal, Huselius, Ryder) and Diminishing Returns (Morrison, Naslund, Straka). There are guys like Brian Rolston and Cory Stillman, but they don't exactly make the Leafs any younger.
Bouchard is a dynamic offensive player who hasn't always been a happy camper playing for Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota, and apparently the feeling is mutual. Let's face it, Jacques Lemaire would have turned the Tet Offensive into a left wing lock. Bouchard is an RFA, but a 'fair' offer sheet would likely be matched, and any offer that wouldn't be matched would have to be considered an overpay.
With Marian Gaborik on the verge of UFA status, the Wild are in need of a chemistry shake-up, and adding some "win now" veterans might be valuable in convincing Gaborik to stay. Think the robotic Wild could use a guy like Darcy Tucker? Bouchard went 13-50-63 last year. With the right linemates and PP time, he'd be a consistent 70 point guy.
The RFA: Shea Weber
The UFA: Ryan Malone
With the Pens needing to re-sign Fleury this year, then Malkin and Staal next year, it's unlikely they'll be able to match what Malone will fetch on the open market. He's a local boy, so he could take the hometown discount to stay with what looks to be a perennial Cup contender, but go ask Ryan Smyth how that works. If the Oilers move Torres, Stoll, or Pitkanen to acquire a top flight defenceman, Malone could fit into their salary structure. He'll likely get $4 million plus from someone.
The Trade: Jay Bouwmeester
The Panthers are a mess. Despite having a great young core to build around (Jokinen, Horton, Bouwmeester, Booth, Weiss), you just know they're going to do something Luongo-esque that they'll regret later. Hopefully it's trading Jay Bouwmeester to the Edmonton Oilers.
Bouwmeester is an RFA, and will likely command near $6 million. Do the Panthers want to pay that? Do the Panthers even have $6 million dollars? I'm not sure of the answers to those questio...holy shit, is that longest fucking stick you've ever seen in your life?! Is that an optical illusion? It looks like Jay-Bo grabbed that straight out of Sergei Bubka's closet and headed to the rink.
Bouwmeester would be the perfect first pairing guy for the Oil. He can skate, he's got some offense, and he can play against the other teams' top line. Pitkanen, Torres and Schremp? Does that get it done? Toss in a pick or another prospect? The Panthers are in dire need of change and the Oilers are one of the few teams that have an excess of NHL talent to make a deal with. Aside from a few rumors here and there, I'm not sure if the Panthers want to deal him, but the Oilers are in a good position if they do.
Monday, May 12
Does anyone out there have contact information for Braydon Coburn? I want to send him the URL for an article on ESPN.com "The Leader in something something", which told me in no uncertain term that Kobe Bryant's sore back won't keep him from playing game 5 in the Western semi-finals on Wednesday! Wow, what a warrior!!
According to ESPN's
fawning tribute impartial article, the sore back had Kobe "wincing in pain" during the game. Ouch! That smarts, huh Kobe! Did that happen when that guy bumped into you? Or was it when that other dude tossed you the ball, and you had to jump? How do those b-ballers do it? I guess it just makes sense that NBA ratings...well that the NBA actually has ratings, and the four people here in the U.S. who watch hockey: me, Chemmy, Moose and Heather from Wrap Around Curl have to listen to "NHL on Versus" host Bill Patrick try to assuage the anger of the mouth-breathers waiting for bullriding to come on when the Stars/Sharks game goes into overtime.
Meanwhile, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told the (probably all Canadian) media that Coburn is "doubtful" for game three against the Penguins. Why? Just because a slapshotted puck tore the top of his head off, almost killing him? Yeah, whatever Coburn. Don't expect to be back in a Flyers jersey next year, pussy.
This is the same media which venerates baseball players. I'm telling you, I think I once heard Bob Costas (whom I really like and respect) once say that baseball players were the best athletes in the world. I mean, am I crazy? I really remember hearing him say that. I'd say the average poll vaulter is a better conditioned athelete than the average ball player. You ever see a baseball training camp workout? It starts with a spirited game of catch, followed by excruciating toe-touches, then, off to the showers, boys, because those beers ain't going to drink themselves!
Right now Braydon Coburn isn't pissed off because he looks like Zombie #6 in Dawn of the Dead, it's because he knows he's "doubtful" for game 3 against the Penguins. I guarantee you that has him "wincing in pain" a lot more than Kobe Bryant.
Friday, May 9
Hey everybody, you know that feeling where you've said you were going to do something for a long time, and then you actually get off your ass and go do it? Well, now we know that feeling too! We're excited to bring you He Score, He Shoot
Not content with simply writing our third hand hockey opinions and poorly doctored photos out for you, now we want you to listen to us talk about it! It's a win/win, if one of those "win"s was a "lose"!
Please just click on post title above and hear things you've never dreamed of hearing, like:
- How much of a bossy, overbearing windbag I am!
- How much of a monotonous, boring milquetoast Moose is!
- What the acoustics in the office in my home sound like!
- And many, many more!
In spite of that, we hope you guys listen and enjoy it. We had a great time doing it, and if they go well, we'd love to do more. We appreciate your participation, and we'd love to hear what you think.
Wednesday, May 7
After the firing of Paul Maurice, Cliff Fletcher called a news conference for three o'clock yesterday afternoon. Intense speculation swirled in the air, a brisk breeze of hope and possibility catching the joy-starved masses of Leaf Nation in its musky embrace.
Maurice was fired, sure, but why now? What else had Fletcher to say at the news conference? Is there a new GM?! A new coach?! A new coach/GM?! OMFG, it's Fab Brunnstrom, isn't it? The Leafs landed Brunnstrom! I'm going to call him FB from now on! Wait, maybe he's the new GM?! Maybe they... (ellipses indicating this type of speculation literally going on into infinity)
And then, the hour came. George Clifford Fletcher took the podium. Oooo, I'm all excited! What bombshell is gonna explode?!? Here is the complete official transcript of Fletcher's address:
Subject walks onto dais, takes seat at podium.Cue the sound of a deflating balloon. Cliff spoke for 24 minutes and didn't say another word. Once again we all got caught up in the delicious possibility of something positive happening to the Leafs that we ignored our instincts and thought with our hearts. You can't blame us, though.
Subject takes sip of water, clears throat.
Subject: "Today, I'm here to announce that the Toronto Maple Leafs have fired coach Paul Maurice."
Subject rises from seat and leaves room.
I'm not sure who I feel worse for: Maurice (and assistant Randy Ladouceur) who were brought in to the Leafs at one of the teams' worst junctures, and because of that always seemed to be swimming upstream, or Cliff Fletcher. For it's Fletcher who has to get up in front of all of us and be the teeth-gritting mouthpiece for the Creep Cabal known as the board of MLSE. I mean, look, he signed up for it, but still. Fletcher (like Maurice and JFJ) is a class act, and you just get the sense that he knows how incompetent the people who run the team are, how they may be good business men, but they're not good [hockey] people.
Fletcher went through the motions and answered as well as he could (or wanted to) about what this means to the Leafs. For good measure he's assured us that this is the "start of a new era" for the Leafs. We can all assume he intends that to be true, but when the business model is as (financially) sound as it is for the corporate drones upstairs, how much "new era" can we all expect to see?
Temporary Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher fired temporarily unemployed coach Paul Maurice this morning. The obvious question to be asked right now, "Why do this now?" Is it so that the new GM doesn't have to unsheathe his blade and cut Maurice loose on day one? Does that mean there is a new guy, or is this just another tentacle of the immense dysfunction of MLSE? Isn't everything around this team?
It's 12:30 EST right now. Fletcher is scheduled for a press conference at 3. There is already speculation that Cliff will have more to announce than just the firing at that time. Also, I'm already hearing all these ugly stories come out about Maurice and his dressing room. I'll have more after the press conference.
Posted by Greener at 9:20 AM
Monday, May 5
With news this morning that one of the candidates on the (media's) short-list to take over as Leafs GM - Doug Armstrong - is alive, well, under 80 years old, and best yet, apparently VERY interested in the job, it occurs to me how much time and space Monsieur's Peddie and Kirke are giving themselves to put a man behind the desk at the ACC.
Doug, or Dougie, as I'm sure everyone calls him, is late of the Dallas "It Says Dallas Right On The Front" Stars. The team that a lot of people are suddenly picking to win the West. He of, "I drafted all those guys". He of, "I was so good, after I left they had to hire two guys to do my job". Whatever he is, he's the next heir apparent to the greatest job in hockey next to being my linemate.
Although he said all the right things about the magnitude of the Leafs GM job, when Sarina-born Dougie (Oooo, it just rolls of the tongue!), was asked about working for the Leafs, he said,
"I'm from Ontario. I grew up there. My father worked in the NHL, and I spent a lot of times at Maple Leaf Gardens."Not exactly "I bleed blue and white", is it? It sounds more like, "I grew up worshiping the Red Wings", but, whatever. Armstrong gets it. Leafs GM is the biggest job in the sport, and if he comes in knowing how big a task he'll face, all the better. Personally, my top choice is Jim Nill, because of the way the Wings draft, but hey, hey, hey, we're still a long ways off from anyone getting the job.
As we sit here totally relieved that no Canadian team will win The Cup, can't we all feel Peddie and Kirke starting to fuck up the task of finding the GM? Is it just me, because I've got this dread creeping up my spine. I just know those two walking advertisements for scotch and hubris will go down the same path they did when they hired JFJ: That being bringing in someone under qualified who they feel MLSE will be able to micro-manage into the ground. That happens, and we'll all have to have this very same conversation in 5 years. Or, more accurately, you'll be having it with Loser Domi as I'll have long moved on to blogging about the most exciting sport on the Versus network: professional bullriding.
To wit, please reflect on this graph showing Peddie and Kirke's modus operandi between now and the next most important event in Leafs history: Draft day this June.*
*accurate to +/- 0.00000000000001 of a percentage point
Posted by Greener at 10:53 PM Labels: When you think of professional bullriding think of Versus