Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday's Hazies - The Champs & 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 that was in the world of sports and single out some of the outstanding performances. The lucky few are awarded a Hazie and have the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them - which is better than any recognition they may have gotten elsewhere. While Hazel hasn't officially approved this week's winners, we would like to think that she'd give her trademark smile and thumbs up to our nominees.



The NHL Playoffs are in full swing and a few players have distinguished themselves above all others, no surprise that goalies are topping the list of champs.

Anaheim Ducks G Ilja Bryzgalov spent most of the season backing up J.S Giguere, but he has established himself as the Ducks go-to goaltender in the playoffs - much like he did last year. Bryzgalov's play is a big reason why the Ducks are up 3-0 over the Wild in the opening round of the playoffs - he has a goals against avg of 1.34 with a save percentage of .948. As the guy who drafted him in the yahoo pool - I'm a little upset he didn't get this kind of consideration during the regular season.

Vancouver Canucks G Roberto Luongo is a playoff rookie, never having made it with the awful Florida Panthers, but he is playing like he's been there before. Luongo is main reason the Canucks are up 2-1 in their series against the Dallas Stars - he has kept Vancouver in two games they had no business being in, winning both in overtime - including a 72 save performance in quadruple overtime in the opening game of the series. Vancouver's playoff fate rests in Luongo's glove hand - I wonder if Mike Keenan still likes the trade he made for Todd Bertuzzi.

Tampa Bay Lightning C Vincent Lecavalier been a playoff monster through the first three games of their series with the Devils - many, including yours truly, didn't give the Lightning much of a chance to win the series; but Lecavalier's four goals and one assist is the main reason why the Lightning will wake up tomorrow up 2-1 on New Jersey. What did I tell Lamoriello and the Devils last week? Karma Lou...Karma.

Honourable mention goes to Detroit Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk who is off to a good start against Calgary - Dats has been criticized for being one of those guys who is great during the regular season, but disappears come playoff time.

We didn't mention it last week - but the yahoo group's fantasy sports Commish Drisc won this year's Hazelspeeps Fantasy Hockey pool. Drisc pretty much led wire to wire this year - good show Drisc!


The 2007 season is into its second week - time to start looking at the Players of the Week.

Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler was named the American League Player of the Week. Kinsler started out the season on the wrong foot, but seems to have found his form again. Kinsler (who was picked up last week by the Maeple Leafs in the Hazelspeeps Fantasy Baseball Pool) posted a .476 batting avg (10 for 21) with four home runs and eight RBIs. His six home runs on the season put him behind the guy you love to hate in pinstripes.

Atlanta Braves P Tim Hudson was named the National League Player of the Week. Hudson was 2-0 on the week, pitching 14 innings with an earned run avg. of 0.64. Hudson came into the season with loads of questions about whether or not he was still a top of the rotation starter - after a couple of sub-par seasons - so far the answer is yes.

Cleveland Indians P C.C. Sabathia is off to a great start this season and is the main reason Cleveland is off to a quick start this season. C.C. is 3-0 with an earned run avg of 2.14 and 19 K's in 21 innings of work; a pretty good start for a guy who was supposed to start the season on the DL.

Boston Red Sox P Josh Beckett is also off to a great start after a disappointing 2006 season, displaying the form that had National League fans thinking he was one of the game's best. Beckett is also off to a 3-0 start with an earned run avg of 1.50 and 18Ks in 18 innings of work - granted two of those wins game against light hitting lineups (K.C. and Seattle), but you have to give him credit.

Cincinnati Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr gets a Hazie this week - not for his performance on the field, but for being the man who first approached MLB Commissioner Bud Selig with the idea of wearing number 42 on April 15th to honour the memory of Jackie Robinson. Griffey has always struck me as a guy who respected the game - this proves it.

Honourable mention goes to Boston Red Sox P Curt Schilling who rebounded from an awful performance on Opening Day and posted two wins in which he dominated on the mound. He isn't one of our favourites...but we'll give credit where its due (unless you are a SenaTard). Roy Halladay's 10 inning win over the Tigers also deserves mention - in a day and age where we applaud starters who go seven innings - Halladay pitched 10 when his team needed him.


Yes, we are talking about world football or soccer.

Manchester United Winger (and yes of course Portugal International) Cristiano Ronaldo makes the list again this week. Ronaldo led Man U to two big wins last week: scoring two goals and setting up two others in the Red Devils 7-1 thrashing of AS Roma in Champions League play; finishing the week with a goal and setting up another in a 4-1 win over Watford in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. News from England today is that Ronaldo is up for two awards in England - he has been nominated for the Professional Footballers Association's Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. He is a lock to win the Young Player of the Year, and should win the Player of the Year given what he has meant to his team - two of his peers, teammate Ryan Giggs and John Terry of Chelsea, have said he is the best player on the planet right now (haven't I been saying that for weeks?); we'll see if the rest of the players in the English Premiership agree. If Ronaldo wins both awards, which we obviously think he should - he has a pretty good chance of winning three Player of the Year awards; he should be nominated and win either FIFA'S World Player of the Year or UEFA's European Footballer of the Year. Wouldn't all four look good on the young gun's resume? We think so.



The opening round of the playoffs have seen a few ugly incidents - but there was one that stood out enough to have the main actor called this week's Chump.

Nashville Predators F Alexander Radulov had been one of the Preds best performers through the first two games of the series - the rookie had 4 points in two games and was one of the primary reasons the Predators escaped Nashville with the series tied at one. Radulov wiped it all out though with a cheap hit on San Jose Sharks' LW Steve Bernier over the weekend. For those of you who didn't see it, Bernier had the puck along the boards when Radulov comes out of nowhere, charging and leaving his feet as he pastes Bernier into the glass - Bernier had to leave the game. You can check it out on youtube - cheap.


No explanation needed - Pacman Jones and Chris Henry. How will the NFL ever get along without these two jokers?

That's about it for tonight gang - have a great one.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

Song of the Night on Hazelspeeps - now playing.

Barely Listening - Pilot Speed

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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