Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Hazies - The Champs & The Chumps

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

Time to take a look back at the week that was in the world of professional sports and highlight those who made headlines for all the right reasons - the champs are awarded an honourary "Hazie" and have the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them. On the flip side, we'll shine the light of shame on those who were in the news for all the wrong reasons - the chumps get nothing.

Our man Quikdraw checked in last night with news on an Japanese player who could very well by the toast of North America - check it out after this post.



Atlanta Thrashers LW Ilya Kovalchuk was named the league's First Star for the month of November. Kovalchuk had 14 goals and 8 assists in leading the Thashers to a 7-5 record for the month - no small feat considering the bad start they got off to. Kovalchuk is deadly - he can beat you with a bullet of a shot, or make your defencemen look likes donkeys when he takes them on one on one.

Vancouver Canucks G Roberto Luongo was named the Second Star for backstopping the Canucks to an 8-2-2 record. Luongo posted a GAA of 1.56, with a save percentage of .940 and had four shutouts. Luongo set a Canucks record by going 210+ minutes without allowing a goal. We mentioned last week that the Canucks play crap hole hockey, but you have to give it up for Luongo who has taken over for Martin Brodeur as the league's best goalie.

Tampa Bay Lightning C Vincent Lecavalier was named the Third Star, scoring 9 goals and assisting on 16 others in 14 games. Lecavalier also set a franchise record with an eight-game multiple point scoring streak. What does this guy have to do to get the First Star? We've said it before, Lecavalier is the most complete player in the league - which makes him the best player in the league - with apologies to Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton. On another note, he is the only one of Tampa's big three, with Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards, who doesn't have a no-trade clause in his contract. JFJ could save his job in Toronto if he managed to pull off a trade for the big guy - preferably one that would involve Bryan McCabe going the other way.

Toronto Maple Leafs Captain Mats Sundin set a franchise record by recording a point in fifteen consecutive home games to start a season - if continues to play as well as he has been this season, the big guy would have to get some consideration for league MVP - stop laughing, its true; Sundin has been a champ this year...ask Hazel (we think she still watches the Leafs).

Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist on Saturday night - what made his performance notable was that he recorded his 700th career point. Ignila is one of a handful of players in the league that could truly be considered franchise players - he doesn't get the recognition he should playing in Calgary.

San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 177 yards on 23 carries and had two touchdowns in a 24-10 win over (Hazels???) Kansas City Chiefs. Looks like Norv Turner has finally figured out that he is better off putting the game in L.T.'s hands rather than trusting Phillip Rivers.

Minnesota Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson completed 18 of 24 passes for 204 yards and two touchdown passes in a - pretty good stuff from a guy who has many (including us) questioning whether or not he can get it done at this level - though it helps when you have Adrian Peterson in the backfield.

Tampa Bay QB Luke McCown (officially third on the depth chart) completed 29 of 37 passes for 313 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception come from behind 27-23 win over the New Orleans Saints. He got a lot of help from his running game and his defence - but you have to give it up to a guy making his fifth career start.

Seattle Seahawks MLB Lofa Tatupu had three interceptions, including the one that saved the game, in a 28-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles - the team that drafted the blueprint to beat the Patriots...remember? We'd talk more about Tatupu's performance - but it had more to do with the performance of one of this week's chumps; read on.


Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo scores both goals in a 2-0 win over Fulham at Old Trafford, rescuing the Red Devils from a lackluster performance. Ronaldo should have had a third goal - but a bad decision saw him get a card for diving instead of the penalty he deserved.

Ronaldo was also runner-up to Brazil's Kaka for the Ballon D'Or.



The Philadelphia Flyers are at it again - this time its LW Riley Cote. Cote was suspended for three games, which in his case means about 10 minutes of total ice time, for a shot to the head on Dallas Stars forward Matt Niskanen. Cote is the fifth Flyers donkey to be suspended this year for questionable/illegal hits. Bob Clarke must be proud of this team.

Philadelphia Eagles QB A.J. Feeley followed up his performance against the Patriots with a donkey like performance against the Seahawks on Sunday. Feeley wasn't just bad - he was Eli Manning-bad - he was awful and was the main reason why his team lost. Feeley threw four interceptions, including one as the Eagles were in the red zone at the end of the game. Former Cowboys FB, and current Fox NFL Analyst, Darryl Johnston couldn't put into words how bad Feeley was on Sunday. Thanks to Feeley, Tatupu caught more passes than three Eagles receivers and had more yardage than all of them, save for Kevin Curtis.

New Orleans RB Reggie Bush made the bonehead player of the year yesterday with an ill-advised pitch on a reverse play, that lead to the game winning drive by the Bucs in a 27-23 win over the Saints. Bush is an impact player - both for his own team and the opposition, as he has made a couple of awful mistakes that have resulted in losses.

It is often said, mostly by former coaches who are now in the broadcast booth, that coaches can't lose game - "they don't run the ball, they don't throw the ball, they don't catch the ball, they don't make tackles" etc (you've heard it all before). Well, we are going to disagree with the likes of John Madden who maintain that credo - coaches can indeed win or lose games.

Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs calls two timeouts to ice Buffalo Bills PK Ryan Lindell - Gibbs "didn't know" that that was against the rules and incurs a 15 yard penalty; Lindell, thanks to the 15 yard penalty, makes a 36 yard kick to win the game. Joe Gibbs blew the game - from that boneheaded gaffe to ultra-conservative play calling that lets teams come back on his team. Gibbs was brought in to make a difference, he has done nothing to improve his team - not that we mind, we're just pointing it out.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton calls a reverse play with less than a minute in the game and his team up by three - Reggie Bush gives the ball away and the Saints lose another. Payton has somehow built a reputation as a great offensive mind and thought of as one of the up and coming coaches in the league. We don't see it - he was just ok as an offensive co-coordinator for the Giants and Cowboys. A number of New Orleans' losses this year can be attributed to awful play calling by Payton, who looks like he more intent on trying to outsmart everyone rather than playing to his team's strengths.

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid has endured a tough season, both on and off the field. The off-field stuff involving his sons must be a distraction - but this guy has been terrible all year. As bad as A.J. Feeley was, a lot of it had to do with Reid's decisions - from going for a TD on a 4th and 1 with one second left in the first half - to terrible play calling on the last drive of the game. Reid was as much to blame as Feeley - again, not that we're complaining, we're just pointing it out.

We'll be back later with more - thanks for taking the time to check in.

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We're Out!


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