Friday, April 11, 2008

Picking his spots

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

Proponents of fighting in the NHL will argue that the time honoured tradition of settling on ice differences with a good old fashioned beat down is a part of the that and should not be legislated out of the game. They contend that most NHL coaches will use the threat of sending out a tough-guy or actually “suggest” that their designated “nuclear deterrent” go out there and pound someone, for a variety of purposes that are all within the confines of the game; these include, but are not limited to:

Intimidating the opposition with the threat of more of that to come if they don’t back down/off

Changing the momentum of the game to inspire teammates to get up off the canvas and start playing

To send a message for the next time the teams meet – this is especially true in the playoffs where you are likely to meet your opposition less than 48 hours later.

The question of the day goes to the “Sen(aTard)s Army” – where was your hero (wanna-be tough-guy) Chris Neil on Wednesday night against Pittsburgh. With Ottawa being dominated in every facet of the game – where was Neil? According to him, part of his job is to bring toughness on the ice, protect teammates, and instill energy life into his team. If you look at reasons for fighting – certainly “Neiler” could have picked two of the aforementioned three, to stir up some trouble on Wednesday night.

In typical Neil fashion, he was more than ready to go with Maxime Talbot when the Penguins energy guy was grappling with Tards forward Martin LaPointe – you could see how badly Neil wanted to let go of Sidney Crosby and “give his team some life” by pounding on Talbot, who isn’t even considered a milddle-weight in the grand scheme of things. Neil “could” have sent the Penguins a message at the end of the game, when Penguins LW Gary Roberts was challenging the Tards to drop the gloves at the end of the third period. One would think the tough-guy would have been itching to drop his gloves – but as the camera pulled back, it was clear to see why Neil was yapping, instead of getting into it - Georges Laraque just happened to be on the ice.

When confronted with questions about why he didn’t drop the gloves against the opposition’s tough-buy in any given game – Neil standard line is “I want to help my team on the ice – Coach (insert name) doesn’t want me going for no reason. I’m just here to help my teammates and contribute any way I can.” This reasoning goes out the window when Neil publicly challenges/threatens middle-weights like Darcy Tucker – but it is his credo when faced with any one his size or bigger.

Maybe the Tale of the Tape has something to do with Neil’s choice in potential dance partners.

Talbot – 5’11” 190, lbs 53 Penalty Minutes
Laraque – 6’3” 245 lbs 141 Penalty Minutes

Neil – 6’1”209 lbs 199 Penalty Minutes

Or maybe it was the Brashear fight – see youtube clip.

Today’s donkey – Chris Neil…maybe tonight he’ll score a goal or two, you know, “to help the team and contribute anyone he can” or maybe he’ll just go out and be a non-factor because George Laraque will be on the ice with him.

Tough night last time out with the Sharks dropping Game 1 against the Flames – tonight’s suggestions:


Pittsburgh over Ottawa – to hear the Tards fans, they have the Pens right where they want them, feeling good about their game and feeling good about dominating the Tards – perfect time to “flick the switch” and show what kind of talent the Tards have…notice no talk about “heart” or “guts”? Lay $100 on the Pens - $230.

Washington over Philadelphia – the Flyers hope the young and inexperienced Caps will feel the pressure of their first playoff experience – maybe they haven’t met Alex Ovechkin? Washington continues their hot streak tonight. Lay $100 on the Caps -$155.

Minnesota over Colorado – the Wild have to win tonight, a loss and they can pretty much mail it in. Lay $100 on the Wild - $135.

Los Angeles over San Diego – Word out of LA is that the Dodgers’ grounds crew have removed rasin bags from the mound – bad news “Mr. Clean” (aka Jake Peavy) who spun a beauty against LA last week with dirty hands (from sweat and rasin…NOT pine-tar). Brad Penny is always a good play at home. Lay $100 on Big Blue - $120.

Cleveland over Oakland – after sweeping the stinkin’ Blue Jays, the A’s will find that Cleveland is considerably tougher – Sabathia brings this team back to the Mendoza line where they were before roughing up “The Enigma” (aka AJ Burnett) and Company. Lay $100 on the Tribe - $165.

Arizona over Colorado – hate to go against Canadian boy Jeff Francis, but he is in “way tough” tonight against Brandon Webb. Lay $100 on Arizona - $150.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Keep the faith Bruins fans – Hazel Karma at the TD next week…she’ll get you one win against the Habs.

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

I’m Out (maybe for the weekend – belated birthday celebrations for yours truly start at 5 pm tonight with Guinness…likely ending sometime Sunday night).


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