Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tards Shootin' Blanks

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

Don't ever believe the hype - or most of what you read (except this page of course). We're coming to you from the great province of Nova Scotia (where membership in Red Sox Nation is HUGE) - but I digress. We're in Halifax tonight after spending last night incommunicado in a small hotel in a town that isn't even worth mentioning - sometimes travelling for work sucks. Anyway, the hotel claimed it had wireless internet access - I say "claimed" because when I got there, NOTHING. I went to the front desk where the desk person (is that what you call them?) is chatting away on MSN and looking at another page. When I asked about connection - she just looked at me and says "It should be working." Nothing...so she says, she'll call someone, but it isn't likely that she'll be able to get the tech guy to the Inn because its after 7 pm. Gee thanks. So after driving 200 + miles back to Halifax we have internet. All wasn't lost last night - they did have cable TV so I enjoyed a few Guinness and watched the hockey game.

Ah Game 1 of the Cup Finals - the Tards went into the game saying they felt good and that the layoff wouldn't hurt them. The media and fans were coming up with clever catch lines like "Duck Hunting" "Duck Hunting Season" "Roasting Duck" etc...you get the idea.

The Tards started out just fine - they came out and drew an early penalty against Scott Niedermeyer - actually, it was a pretty weak call; but the Tards took advantage and got lucky on a puck that J-S Giguere misplayed. I could almost hear the Tards in Ottawa screaming. The Tards continued to take it to the Ducks for a few minutes until a game changing hit.

The national media credited the fourth line with getting the Ducks going, Brad May and Todd Marchant were singled out for a great shift against the Tards. But in my humble opinion, the hit that changed the game happened a couple of minutes earlier. With the Ducks trailing 1-0, Sami Pahlsson dumped the puck into the Tards end, forcing Wade Redden to retreat to try and move the puck out. Redden was absolutely crunched by Ducks checking C Rob Niedermeyer and gave up the puck along the boards which lead to a scoring chance for Pahlsson. The Ducks didn't score, but they seemed to be energized by that hit and started to take the play to the Tards.

The Tards had a chance to go up 2-0 with a 5-3 advantage for almost 1:30 - but their power play let them down and you could almost see the wind come out of their sails. The momentum had shifted to the Ducks - they continued to dump the puck in and smash the Tards D; by mid-way through the second, you could see the Tards start to pull up a bit to avoid getting smashed into the boards.

The Tards did manage to take a 2-1 lead with another power play goal - but the looked like the same old Tards that Leaf Nation has come to know and loathe. The Tards were playing like they expected something to go wrong - the media chalked it up to the Tards "being rusty" "not playing their game" and "didn't have game shape legs" - Leaf Nation knows better. The Tards, for as much as their fans think they are tough, still fold when things get physical. The number one line of Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson were invisible at even strength - call it the Pronger factor.

Tards fans can say what they want about how their team didn't play their game - but isn't that what the opposition is supposed to do...taking you out of playing your game? The Ducks used their size to intimidate the Tards, their speed to create scoring chances, and their heart (19 Canadians) to will themselves back into the game and win it.

Almost as good as Nova Scotia lobster.

We're guessing that if Hazel wasn't watching Game 1 (Leaf Nation will let her off for that sacreligious act) she was pretty happy about the events in MLB. The Sox and Jays (we think she still likes them) both won - to make things even sweeter, the Jays got a great performance from Dustin McGowan to beat the Yankees. Sox and Jays win, Yankees lose (to one of them) - doesn't get much better for Hazel we think...oh wait, Tards lost. Perfect night in the world of sports.

As good as things were in the MLB - if Hazel is still a member of Leaf Nation, she'd understand why we are nominating three Anaheim Ducks today.

Center Ryan Getzlaf scored the game tying goal and could have had two more by a matter of inches - he also imposed himself on the Tards defence; he hit them, he took them off the puck, and went around/through them when he had to.

Centre Rob Niedermeyer had the momentum changing hit in the first period, and made a great play along to boards to slip a check by Mezaros and get the puck out to Travis Moen for the game winner. Oh yeah, did we mention his line shut down Spezza, Heatley and Krusty?

Winger Travis Moen he scored the game winner to bring Leaf Nation (and Ducks fans I guess) to their feet. Moen threw his body around all night.

We were 2-1 last night - unfortunately, the balance sheet shows a minimal gain; + $45. Tonight's suggestions

LA Dodgers over Washington - Brad Penny goes for Red Sox West tonight, and we really like him against Cardinals' cast-off Jason Simontacchi. Lay $100 on the good guys - $165.

Boston over Cleveland - a little scary to go with Beckett after the layoff, but he'll get run support as the Sox knock Jeremy Sowers around. Lay $100 on the Sox - $200.

NY Yankees over Toronto - yes the Yankees stink, but so do the Jays (ignore the little streak they are on) - we'll take Pettitte over Marcum. Lay $100 on the Yankees - $160.

That's it for this afternoon gang - sorry we're late.

You are on a roll, so keep the momentum going. Travel, education and experimentation will pay off. Utilize everything you have learned in the past. Don't let a personal problem consume you -- it's time to get ahead not stand still. 3 stars

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - we're in a latin/reggaeton kind of mood today.

Vamos Pa La Disco - Guanabana

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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10:36 PM  

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