Monday, May 15, 2006

No "I" In Team

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae.

Another weekend recap and the Monday edition of the "Hazies", for those of you who haven't been here before, Monday entries take a look back at some of the more notable performances from the past weekend. The outstanding performers are awarded a "Hazie" and have the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them. While Hazel hasn't officially OK'd the selections, we'd like to think she would smile and give a thumbs up to this week's winners.

This week's Hazies are all about team performances. The NHL was front and centre this week, with three teams that weren't given much of a chance this year moving on to secure a place in the Conference Finals - the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and the Anaheim Ducks are all prime examples of what it takes to succeed in the new NHL.


Have I mentioned that the Buffalo Sabres drop kicked the Ottawa SenaTards out of the playoffs? I'm still lovin' this one...for two reasons - 1) It puts me in a great spot to win both of my hockey pools; and more importantly, 2) I love listening to the SenaTards and their fans whine and make excuses for another early exit.

The Sabres won this series without the services of, arguably, their best player in this year's playoffs - Tim Connolly, who is said to be suffering yet another concussion (this one could spell the end of his career). Buffalo, a team lacking a star player, has been getting it done with the likes of Chris Drury, Mike Grier, Derek Roy, J.P Dumont, Ryan Miller and an unheralded defence corps. Buffalo kept finding a way to win and got contributions from every man on the team.

I would like to think that Hazel, as a member of Leaf Nation, would gladly hand out the hardware to any team that knocks the SenaTards out of the playoffs.

The Carolina Hurricanes dominated Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. Many of the so-called experts picked the Devils to win this series, based on their view that Brodeur would outplay Cam Ward and get the Devils into the Conference Finals. A quick check of Carolina's scoring statistics shows a number of players at the top of the list contributing, but more importantly - their defence chipping in at key times to lead them to victory. While many will rightfully point to the emergence of Eric Staal as a superstar in the league - it didn't start out that way; no one expected Staal to have this kind of year. The Hurricanes have done it with a team concept of youth mixed in with a few vets (Recchi, Brind'Amour, Weight, Hedican and Wesley), good team defence (their players fly up and down the ice faster than our old stand up hockey games with the levers), 18 guys that can skate like the wind, and a deadly power play that will make you pay for taking dumb penalties.

The Hurricanes, along with the Sabres, have to be this season's biggest regular season surprises - and kudos to both of them for carrying it into the playoffs.

The Anaheim Ducks weren't given much of a chance to beat the Flames (except by me of course); and while many picked them to beat Colorado, few expected the Ducks to sweep Colorado. The Ducks used their team speed to beat Colorado all over the ice, they used their size to lean on the Avs and punish them when they got the puck first, and they used good team defence to make sure Bryzgalov wasn't tested too much. Teemu Selanne, who was thought to be washed up, has stepped up and been a leader on this team. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have Scott Niedermeyer on defence...just ask the Devils how much they miss him.

The Ducks are legit - and by all accounts, for years to come. The Hazie for the Ducks has to be presented to Brian Burke, the best GM in hockey...I think Hazel would agree.

Roy Halladay of the Blue Jays was named the American League Player of the Week. Halladay pitched two complete game victories, with an ERA of 1.00 this past week. In a game against the Devil Rays, Halladay faced 28 batters - one over the minimum. He also shut the Angels down in a game that lasted 1 hour and 59 minutes. Roy is now 5-1 on the season.

A Blue Jays player getting a Hazie has to put a smile on Hazel's face.

Albert Pujols and Nomar Garciaparra were named co-winner of the National League Player of the Week.

Pujols finished the week with a batting average of .429 with 3 HRs and 10 RBI. Pujols leads the majors with 19 HRs and 48 RBI. Pujols or Big Papi - take your pick for the best hitter in the majors.

Garciaparra hit .480 with 3 HRs and 8 RBI this past week. Garciaparra had 25 total bases to record a slugging percentage of 1.000 for the week, an on base percentage of .519 - and scored 5 runs for good measure.

The title of the Monday recap is "No 'I' In Team" - so what is the thread that binds the MLB winners this week? Roy Halladay, Albert Pujols and Nomar Garciaparra are all proud members of Hazel Mae's Hackers - of the Hazelspeeps Fantasy Baseball Pool on yahoo, and were the main drivers in our push from (never mind) up to fifth place. As "Hubie" aptly put it on the message board "looks like Hazel Mae's Hackers opened up a can of whup-ass on us this week." Speaking of the Hazelpeeps Fantasy Baseball Pool - I have been told to post the standings for the week ending May 14th.

68.5 - The Bronx Zoo - (owned by "Sparky")
68.5 - Tom Sawyer - (owned by our resident Steinbrenner "Hubie")
66.0 - Tina's Team - (owned by our rookie GM "Tina")
62.0 - Shuggysux - (owned by "Shuggy")
56.5 - Hazel Mae's Hackers (owned by El Prez...known here as "Pogue")
50.0 - Naughty Girls - (owned by none other than "Renee")
50.0 - Banana Peels - (owned by the "Golden Banana")
46.0 - GB's Steam Boys - (owned by "George")
41.5 - Fighting Bobcats - (owned by Commish "Drisc")
41.0 - Leprachauns - (owned by"Irish")

We haven't decided on what first prize is for the pool - we're hoping someone can come up with an autographed picture of Hazel...all bets are on Renee to deliver - we hope!

Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world...and that my team isn't doing a disservice to your name - we're making our move to the top of the standings.

Song of the Night on Hazelspeeps - because it's playing in the background right now

Koteja (Oh Ballilo) - Stewart Copeland...if you didn't download it the first time I suggested it...good luck finding it now. Maybe I'll G-Mail it to you if you want.

Peesth Out..Buh Bye!


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