Saturday, January 19, 2008

NFL Sunday and more

Tomorrow presents an interesting dilemma for yours truly. Like everyone else, I entered a couple of playoff pools - naturally, I had the Cowboys going to the Super Bowl and beating New England - while I thought the Cowboys loss cost me a pretty big pool, I found out that IF the Giants manage to beat the Packers, I stand in line to get a share of the big prize. So, I'm faced with a dilemma: do I put aside my hatred of the Giants and hope they pull one out and win a few bucks, or do I remain loyal Cowboys fan who hopes to see them crushed in Green Bay. I'm going with the latter.


San Diego + 14 over New England - giving up 14 points may be a bit too much for New England for a couple of reasons: 1) they haven't won by more than 11 points in their last five games; 2) the Chargers are a team that can pose problems for New England, their defence is physical and fast and their offence is predicated on the run - something the Patriots have had trouble stopping; 3) this could be the kind of game where Belichick pulls his starters early to rest them for the Super Bowl. New England will win this game, but it stinks of a back door cover. The Chargers cover the 14.

Green Bay - 7.5 over NY Giants - the word is that Tony Romo hurt his thumb early on in last Sunday's game against the Giants; that would explain his sub-par passing day. The Giants are banged up in the secondary, so Brett Favre should have a big day against them. Green Bay should be able to slow the Giants pass rush down with running plays and quick slants against a patchwork secondary that will try to avoid giving up the big play. Green Bay wins this one by at least 10 points.

The Toronto media won't stop talking about how Toronto should be looking to conduct a fire sale - even in January. Everyone likes to criticize the media for one thing or another, the collective "we" here certainly do, sometimes our criticisms may be unduly harsh - but other times...

Case in point - the prevailing thinking amongst the media is that Toronto MUST trade Mats Sundin for draft picks. This is a shining example of jackasses throwing something our there as well thought out, reasoned, "expert" analysis of what Toronto is lacking. Their solution is to trash the team and get younger in a hurry - while it looks good on the surface, the logical question these morons ignore is:

What kind of draft picks are the Leafs going to get from a team that is a contender for the Stanley Cup? What kind of players are these teams going to give up?

To trade Sundin to a Cup contender for a package of players/draft picks would at BEST bring back a draft pick in the 25-30 range - hardly where you expect to get an impact player. The only "NHL Ready" players the Leafs would get back are young third or fourth liners with potential (emphasize potential) to become top six forwards.

You'd expect these donkeys to know this and more - if these donkeys knew half as much as they professed to know, they'd be calling for the ONLY logical trade for Sundin (provided he waives his no-trade clause - which he doesn't have to). The only team the Leafs should be talking about trading Sundin to is Anaheim - the Ducks own Edmonton's first round pick in 2008 (projected to be the best draft in a decade with at least 5 can't miss prospects - any trade discussion would start with the first round pick acquired from Edmonton (likely to be a top 5 pick), and prospect Bobby Ryan with another player to be added.

Trading Sundin to any other team wouldn't bring back half as much as Toronto would get from Anaheim - but then again, when you think about it, the donkeys in Toronto who are suggesting trades for Sundin are the same guys who would love to see the Leafs blow it so they would have material for years to come.

The situation in Toronto is akin to figuring out a Rubik's cube - smart Leaf fans (like yours truly) know that the only way out of this mess is going to be to part with the few decent players Toronto has as part of a package with other overpaid guys. The Leafs, in order to try and get rid of the likes of Jason Blake, Darcy Tucker and/or Pavel Kubina are likely going to have to include a player like Alex Steen, Matt Stajan or even Tomas Kaberle with one or more of the overpaid free agent busts. Unfortunately, JFJ has put the organization in the position of taking THREE steps backwards, to take one step forward. There have been rumours that the Blackhawks are showing interest in Tomas Kaberle - if I'm Toronto's GM, I'm listening, but any deal for our best defenceman would have to include Jason Blake going to Chicago with Kaberle. See what I'm getting at?

This issue will be further explored in the coming days and weeks - tonight though, the focus is on beating the Sabres and trying to claw our way up the standings.

Tilt checked in from Vegas this afternoon - he staggered into his hotel room at 6:30 am Vegas time and had no clue of where he had been or what had happened to him in the previous six or so hours. I'm thinking - GREAT, this is the dummy I'm trusting to lay down some coin on my picks. Geezus. I'm going to let him sober up and put something in for tonight - he got his ass out of bed late today so the Rangers and Blues were out as today's feature picks. We'll see if I ended up hating Tilt or thanking him for saving me some money.

Calgary Flames C Daymond Langkow had three goals to lead the Flames to a 6-1 pasting of the Kings.

Carolina Hurricanes C Eric Staal also had a hat-trick in a 7-2 beatdown of the Edmonton Oilers.

Buffalo Sabres C Derek Roy, coming off an injury, had three goals and an assist in a 10-1 hammering of the Atlanta Thrashers - going with Roy over Stafford, because Roy is on the Maeple Leafs roster in yahoo fantasy pool.

Tilt blew my first two picks today - so here's the best of the rest:

Montreal over Pittsburgh - the Penguins lost Sidney Crosby last night and rolled over for the Lightning without their captain in the lineup. Things don't look good for them tonight against a rested (and hot) Habs team. Lay $100 on the Habs - $170.

Vancouver over LA Kings - the Kings got hammered last night, and I expect it to continue tonight against Luongo and the Canucks. Lay $100 on the Canucks - $240.

Philadelphia over NY Islanders - the Flyers have played the Islanders well this year, expect it to continue tonight. Lay $100 on the Flyers - $115.

Tampa Bay over Ottawa - the SenaTards have some injury issues, the latest being questionable status of Krusty the Klown, aka Daniel Alfredsson - the Lightning are coming off big win over Pittsburgh and should carry momentum into Ottawa tonight. Lay $100 on the Lightning + $180. Upset special.

That's it for today gang - thanks for taking the time to check in.

Hazel, here's hoping things are groovy in your world.



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