Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Hazies - The Champs and Chumps

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

For those of you who haven't been here before, The Hazies take a look back at the week or so that was in the world of sports, highlighting some of the more notable performances - to those who have risen above the rest, we award them with an honourary "Hazie" - the lucky few have the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them. While Hazel hasn't officially OK'd this week's winners, we'd like to think she raise her glass and say "This Bud's for you!" (Budweiser is a sponsor at Fenway huh? Ugh, can't the guys in Boston approach Guinness as the "Beer of the Red Sox"?)

As I mentioned this morning, I didn't really keep a close eye on the goings on in the world of sports last week; while this week's entry is shorter than most, the winners accomplishments are stellar nonetheless and merit some recognition.


Former Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden had his number 29 retired last night and raised up to the rafters at the Bell Centre. Dryden's playing career was relatively short, but he made an impact as he backstopped the Canadiens to six Stanley Cups between 1971 and 1979. Dryden won five Vezina Trophies for league's best goalie, one Conn Symthe for MVP in the playoffs, named a first-team all-star five times, and backstopped Canada to a memorable win in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. He finished his career with 258 wins, 57 losses and 74 ties.

The say with age comes wisdom and that was never more evident than in the case of Dryden, who came out of retirement years later to accept the most presitigious job in the world of hockey - President and General Manager of Hazel's Toronto Maple Leafs (that's right Bruins fans - I said "Hazel's Toronto Maple Leafs"...think about that when you tune into The Buzz).

Toronto Maple Leafs Captain Mats Sundin scored his 19th goal of the season on Saturday night in a 4-1 win over the aforementioned Canadiens. The goal was Sundin's 1220th career point, good enough to put him in the top 40 all-time leading scorers.

Pittsburgh Penguins RW Mark Recchi had three goals and three assists in leading the Pens to two road wins.

Columbus Blue Jackets G Frederik Norrena (gee, and I thought his first Hazie would be his last) beat the Sabres and the Wild last week - posting a GAA of 1.88 and a save percentage of .949.

Edmonton Oilers LW Ryan Smyth had two goals and three assists as the Oilers split a pair of games.


Ok, Hazel probably wouldn't like this one, but we call them like we see or read them. This week's chump is Boston Bruins coach Dave Lewis. For those of you who are not aware, the Bruins have been mired in a slump recently and there are no signs of them emerging from this funk anytime soon.

The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa wrote that when asked about what the team needed right now, Lewis' response was "Hmmm, what is it? I'd like to see someone on this team grab the team and say 'Follow me', I don't care who it is...be it a kid or someone or someone you don't expect it to be...someone."

When asked if that wasn't the role Bruins' Captain Zdeno Chara should be fulfilling, Lewis responded "I'm just looking for somebody, let's put it that way. I am looking for someone to say 'Follow me, boys, and I'll show you the way."

So where do you start with this? Is Lewis looking for Moses to visit the TD Banknorth Garden and part the sea of empty seats? Is he looking for the reincarnation of John Wayne? Has he been watching too many old war movies? (insert your Adolf joke here)

I always thought it was the role of the coach to "show his players the way". Good coaches adjust lines or bench guys who are underperforming to send a message; they send a message by giving fourth line energy guys more ice time. A good coach will challenge his players behind closed doors, but will have their backs in front of the media and talk about how they are going to get through this. Good coaches don't call out their players with innocuous statements about looking for a leader - good coaches know who the damn leader is and get the best out of them. If you are a fan of the Bruins, I feel sorry for you. I feel even more sorry for Hazel who has to cover these guys. Bruins fans, if you love your team - send Lewis a tape of what good coaches do when their team is facing adversity.

Toronto Maple Leafs' coach Paul Maurice handled the media very well when the Leafs were mired in the abyss. He very matter of factly stated that his team wasn't playing well, identified areas they had to improve on, and challenged certain guys to step up...one of the notables was young center John Pohl. Maurice called him out by saying that he had to be as good as they knew he could be, that the team was counting on him to replace Michael Peca. Maurice never hung is team out to dry by implying they had no character or guts.

Dave Lewis was always regarded as one of the league best assistant coaches - he's in way over his head right now.

That's about it for tonight gang. Have a great one peeps!

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

Song of the night on Hazelspeeps - for my "cousin" Caterina who called me today after reading this morning's entry to say "couldn't you have picked Nelly Furtado?"

Say It Right - Nelly Furtado

In the day,
In the night

Say it right
Say it all

You either got it

Or you don't
You either stand
Or you fall

When your will is broken

When it slips from your hand
When there's no time for joking
There's a hole in the plan

Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me
No you don't mean nothing at all to me
Do you got what it takes to set me free
Oh you could mean everything to me

I can't say that I'm not lost and at fault
I can't say that I don't love the light and the dark
I can't say that I don't know that I am alive
And all of what I feel I could show
You tonite you tonite

Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me
No you don't mean nothing at all to me
Do you got what it takes to set me free
Oh you could mean everything to me

From my hands I could give you something that I made
From my mouth I could sing you another brick that I laid
From my body I could show you a place God knows
You should know the space is holy
Do you really want to go?

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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