Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Ottawa Senators v Washington Capitals

Not that long ago, the editor of Grantland.com, Bill Simmons, wrote about the disconnect between how sports (and athletes) are generally talked about, and how they’re covered. When you and your buddy Jimmy are watching sports in a basement with pennants on the wall you’re never going to think “boy, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ray Lewis did steroids, but I don’t want to falsely accuse him, so I’ll sit on this thought.”

And so it goes:

“That dude definitely did steroids.”

“Oh, no doubt about it.”

That’s something that’s always going to be there. The media have sources to protect, they have to avoid dangerous speculation, and they have standards to adhere to. Even when they think X is happening it, they have to print Y until they can prove X. The rest of the sports world does not.

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10 weeks ago Erik Karlsson had his achilles tendon sliced 70% of the way through, and we were told he was out indefinitely. It was assumed his season was over and the Sens would have to make do without him. In an interview in March Karlsson himself gave this quote:

Last night, he played over 27 minutes (more than any other Ottawa Senator), fired eight shots on net (more than any player in the NHL last night), tallied two assists, and was +16 in Corsi terms. I believe in football terms that’s described as “Beast Mode. Also: day-um.

Generally, I’d write about the phenomenon that is Erik Karlsson and how miraculous and cool what he just did was, because HOLY BANANAS AND APPLESAUCE, did you read the above paragraph? Heavens to Murgatroyd. Only a premier defender can do things like that (in his first game back after 10 weeks, no less), only a special human is built to do such things, holy smokes is he logic defying.

But here’s where we come to the disconnect between what people write and what people say. I’d happily write about the show he put on last night. But judging from my Twitter feed, email inbox and personal interactions, plenty of people think he did performance enhancing drugs or took human growth hormone to get back so quickly. They really do. Too much too soon, too unbelievable. Read the rest of this entry »

Montreal Canadiens v Philadelphia Flyers

P.J. Stock wants Don Cherry’s job.

True, I don’t know this for a fact, having never been to the bucolic paradise that is the inside of Mr. Stock’s head, but let’s consider the evidence. Firstly, there’s the clothes. True, Stock has not gone so far as to come on TV in purple plaid- yet- but he’s clearly laying the groundwork for it. How else to explain the inexplicably popped collars, deep burgundy hues, and disco-shiny fabrics Stock has slowly been working into his wardrobe over the past season, if not as a slow progression towards Cherrywear? Secondly, consider the spluttering. Of all the men in hockey broadcasting, none is more likely to repeat the same point three times in three unfinished sentences than P.J., save for the old man of the first intermission. But the third and most damning piece of evidence for the Cherrification of P.J. Stock is that he’s increasingly drawing Ron MacLean’s patented “there is a crazy person sitting immediately to my left” expression.

That expression was on full display last Saturday evening when, in the Hockey Tonight segment setting up the Habs-Bruins game, Stock launched into yet another of his signature P.K. Subban is everything that’s wrong with hockey rants. For purposes of evidence, I have transcribed this rant and his co-panelists reactions to it:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes

The NHL schedule is officially in the home-stretch, with a few teams having as few as seven games left to play before the clock stops on the regular season. Only two teams have a full ten games left, and that’s the St. Louis Blues, and unfortunately for them, the Calgary Flames.

What that means in these tight tables, is that a winning streak can go a huge way to getting a team into playoffs or into the playoff spot they want, and a losing streak can see a team freefall out of contention.

A good number of teams are mid-streak right now, and the standings reflect that. Here are those teams, and starting with the hot ones, and working down towards the Carolina Hurricanes, who are as cold as the ice they play on.

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Washington Capitals – 5 straight wins

Victims: Caronlina, New York Islanders, Florida, Tampa Bay, Montreal

Commentary: It’s not just a five-game win streak, they’re 9-1-1 in their last 11. This was supposed to be the season that the Southleast division dropped the “l,” and used it to spell legit. The Hurricanes made some deals to contend, the Caps are still the Caps, the Panthers won the division last year, the Lightning have high-end talent, and the Jets weren’t all that terrible, except…they were all terrible. Every last one of them. All it was going to take for some team to claim the division was to put together a streak and roll over some weak teams, and the Caps, the team with the most real talent in the division, got it together first.

I’m a believer in Adam Oates, and I’m impressed with the way he’s pulled this team together after their rough start.

St. Louis Blues: – 5 straight wins

Victims: Minnesota, Chicago, Colmbus, Detroit, Nashville Read the rest of this entry »

roy

Update: Just wanted to make something clear. It was brought to my attention in the comments, and I just saw for myself, that the wonderful Down Goes Brown recently broke down the same clip on Grantland. This was entirely unintentional as I totally missed his article and had no idea that it existed. Read his much funnier, more informed, and all-around better breakdown here.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about weird stuff on the Internet and how social media and things like YouTube make weirdness so much more relevant, viable, and/or drilled into our collective consciousness. For example, I will always remember April 8th, 2013 not as the day when we moved into our new office (though we did and it is incredible) but as the day that we first heard the genius that is Accidental Racist. If you haven’t heard the song yet, stop reading this, go to YouTube, and change that. There is a hole in your life you did not even know existed that this song will fill. It is the best. I have read the lyrics around 28 times and I could go on for like 20,000 words on LL’s verse alone but I’ll spare you the inner workings of my brain.

I bring this up because in the age of YouTube and Twitter, infamy can be instantaneous. Look at the mere existence and celebrity of the Denver Nuggets’ JaVale McGee. Yeah, he had a lot of amazingly stupid plays last season (and I will love him forever for it) but the cult of JaVale lives on because of his clips being on YouTube and his utterly bizarre Twitter account.  YouTube allows crazy-ass plays to live on forever in our memories and allows us to discover plays long since forgotten (or at least ones that haven’t shown up on a Sportscentre Top10 for a couple of years).

Really, all this is just an excuse for me to talk about this play that I had totally forgotten existed that I found on YouTube and now I can’t stop watching because it’s just as densely packed with weird greatness as Accidental Racist (well, maybe not quite as much). Because we’re talking about weird, old stuff we’re of course talking about the great Patrick Roy. If you know where I’m going with this, you should be excited. Here is the play in question: Read the rest of this entry »

For my money, Daryl Reaugh is the best colour guy in hockey (great on Twitter too, by the way). I enjoyed his commentary on this Drew Doughty hit on Alex Goligoski.

(Stick-tap to Kukla’s Korner)