Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Welcome home Chickenhawk

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

So the Toronto Blue Jays roll into Fenway tonight – seemingly healthy and rid of dead weight mistakenly referred to as the “Big Hurt” (unless that was directed at Frank Thomas destroying buffet tables). Things should be looking up for the team Hazel used to cover – but they aren’t. The Blue Jays are in the midst of a 1-5 road trip with the likelihood of finishing 2-7 or 1-8 if Roy Halladay doesn’t get it done tonight against Jon Lester.

The talk of the town over the weekend was that Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi (forever to be known on this page as “The Chickenhawk”) would have left Manager John Gibbons’ (aka Boomhauer) “ace” in Kansas City had the Jays been swept. The Jays won the final game of the series, but the feeling is that this team is “too good on paper” to be playing this poorly and a change is needed – guess getting rid of an over the hill DH who was hitting .167 wasn’t enough of a change.

For once, Blue Jays fans are right about the situation their team is in – they need a change, a major one, one much more meaningful that simply getting rid of a manager that (depending on what you hear) the players may or may not like. A sweep, or even a series loss, in Boston could very well result in Boomhauer being relieved of his duties with the standard sound bite from the Chickenhawk –

“it’s a competitive business, and its tough to keep up with teams like Boston and New York with those payrolls. Gibby did a good job, but we’ve got to do something to shake this team up and start playing like we can. It’s not Gibby’s fault though.”

Yes, it isn’t – as a matter of fact the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Chickenhawk – the chief architect and builder of the perennial also-rans. Ricciardi’s bad decisions on free-agent signings have netted the Jays’s fans a big fat zero and Ted Rogers’ chequebook a whole lot of red ink. The Jays are a team without a defined identity – they are a patchwork of underachieving veterans like: Wells, Burnett, Rolen, and Stewart, past their prime (if they had one) guys like Zaun and Stairs who are taking up valuable playing time from younger players who could have some upside, and decent players who are overvalued and overpaid by the Chickenhawk, see Ryan, Overbay and Ecsktein. Sure he signed Rios and Hill to extended deals – which should be good ones – but for every deal like that, there is a Frank Thomas, an AJ Burnett, a BJ Ryan, a Rod Barajas, a David Eckstein – pieces to the puzzle that never quite fit.

It seems like Chickenhawk’s goal is to field a competitive team – which has meant finishing third and pointing to the big boys and their big payrolls. The original plan was to gut the Jays and build a winner – mission one accomplished, mission two – impossible. His track record would suggest that the Jays are doomed to have an average team; one that may tease for a month or two, but in the end, never really be a threat. Maybe its time the Jays take a good hard look at their GM and realize that it isn’t going to work out, not now, not ever. The Jays, being the classy organization they are, could thank the Chickenhawk for his services by dropping him off in his native New England…right after they get swept by Boston.

A split yesterday, thanks to a sub-par performance by Habs G Carey Price; oh well, back at it again with a few more suggestions:

New York over Pittsburgh (hockey) – this has been a home team series this year, and it should stay that way with the Rangers playing for their playoff lives. Lay $100 on the Rangers - $145.

New York over Pittsburgh (baseball) – Santana over Snell was one of yesterday’s picks, I’ll keep the pick. Lay $100 on the Mets - $170.

Los Angeles over Oakland – you have to think the Angels will get back on track after getting pounded last night by the A’s. Lay $100 on the Angels - $135.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in.

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

I’m Out!

The future is bright

With the second leg of UEFA's Champions League semi-final set to go today in Manchester - I'd be remiss if I forgot to mention that for the second straight year, Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Professional Footballers' Association's Player of the Year award, as voted by players in England. Pretty heady stuff for a kid that is only 23 years old and still a few years away from being at the top of his game.

In terms of dominating his sport - he is right up there, if not above, the likes of Sidney Crosby, LeBron James, and Tom Brady.

Back later with a look at Hazel's hometown Toronto Blue Jays who visit Fenway tonight.

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

I'm Out

Monday, April 28, 2008

Just what is "tampering"?

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

Leaf Nation is still trying to make sense of things in the wake of Brian Burke’s announcement that he would fulfill the final year of his contract with the Anaheim Ducks and forego any existing or potential opportunities for employment with other clubs around the NHL.

A number of theories are flying around about Burke’s decision – or “about-face” as viewed by some – to remain with Anaheim and not even entertain an offer that was rumoured to be coming from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The latest theory has the NHL intervening to put an end to any discussion or negotiation regarding the issue and potential ripple effect of Burke leaving his current job (in which a valid contract is in place)_ to sign a more lucrative contract with the NHL’s flagship franchise – that’s right THE flagship franchise of the NHL.

The NHL was quick to deny the allegation, with the NHL’s Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly simply stating (via email) that

“Both clubs and employees have a right to rely on contracts, That matter is between the club and the employee -- it's not an issue for the league."

Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment Limited’s President/CEO (and chief architect of the Leafs demise into the abyss) Richard Peddie reaffirmed that the league did not intervene in the matter. Peddie went on to shoot down the notion that the organization would be paying anything near the $5M/year rumoured to be on the table for Burke;; Peddie stated that the MLSEL had not yet interviewed any candidates and that their salary offer to a new GM would be commensurate with what most GMs are currently earning - $1M annually.

In typical MLSEL fashion, they are downplaying (denying) that they had put together, or were even considering, a lucrative offer to convince Burke to leave California to come right the ship in Toronto – was it the worst kept secret in Toronto? Or was it an outright fabrication on the part of the media? Unfortunately it is a tough call as neither side is trustworthy – as with most things of this nature, the truth lies somewhere in between and Leaf Nation gets screwed again. To add insult to injury – as if missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons wasn’t injury enough – it is being said that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is quietly championing the cause of Colin Campbell to be the Leafs next GM.

With the organization finally seeing the need for a proven GM with a winning background – Gary Freaking Bettman wants someone to give Colin Campbell a chance to succeed as a GM. Thanks Gary, but no thanks – if you want to get rid of Campbell as the league’s disciplinarian, then do it yourself; don’t give him what amounts to golden handshake by dropping him off at our doorstep like an abandoned baby.

So no Brian Burke – it goes without saying that those donkeys that run the show at the ACC will likely hold on to see if San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson comes available, or maybe Doug Risebrough in Minnesota. As bad as that sounds, it is definitely a better option that hiring the likes of Colin Campbell or super agent Don Meehan. It is hard to believe that former Stars GM Doug Armstrong would still be interested in the job with this calamity known as MLSEL.

Forget Harold and Kumar – Toronto has Dick and Gordon Kirke searching for their own White Castle.

So with the 2008 Entry Draft six weeks away – the geniuses at MLSEL have not yet interviewed anyone.

Hands up, those of you looking forward to the 08/09 season? Ugh

Today’s suggestions:

Arizona over Houston – The Dbacks send Dan Haren to the mound against Chris Sampson– good enough for me. Lay $100 on Arizona - $170.

New York over Pittsburgh – Will the real Johan Santana please step forward? Better be tonight against Ian Snell and the Pirates. Lay $100 on the Mets - $220.

Montreal over Philadelphia – anyone who has followed these two over the years knows that the away team normally does very well. The Habs are still smarting from the Flyers “narging” of them (check out Carbonneau’s comments after game two). Lay $100 on the Habs + $115.

That’s it for today gang – the page goes back to being updated daily…like it or not.

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

I’m Out!

NFL Draft

So how was your NFL Draft Weekend?

The hands down winners were the Dallas Cowboys - welcome to Big D Pacman.

Back later - have a great Monday all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lessons Learned

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

So what have we all learned after the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, other than the heartbreaking news that Brian Burke isn’t coming to Toronto to rescue the Maple Leafs?

1) Even the most well thought out prognostications/predictions are a crap-shoot at best;
2) The regular season in the “new NHL” doesn’t mean all that much, it all comes down to your six best players against the oppositions six best; and
3) The collective fan bases of the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers are the biggest bunch of douchebags in the world of hockey - unfortunately, we’ll have to put up with one group for another week or so. Hopefully the other will be gone by mid-May.

That about sums things up on lessons learned from the opening round - other random musings:

Should Bruins coach Claude Julien be questioned about his decisions this post-season?

The answer is a resounding yes. While the Bruins are being given credit, rightly so, for giving the Habs everything they could handle - Julien should have to answer as to why he adopted a “play not to lose” strategy against Montreal for the first four games. Once the B’s backs were to the wall - it was only then that Julien called on Phil Kessel to inject some life/offense into a team sorely lacking in both departments. Would Kessel have changed the series from the outset? Maybe not. But with nothing to lose, why didn’t’ Julien give him a shot from the outset - who knows, a goal here or there could have changed the face of the series; not to mention the experience the kid would have gotten from the outset – you have to find out if he is going to be a front-line player who responds to challenges. Julien was fired by the Devils with three games left in the regular season - Lou Lamoriello’s explanation was that the didn’t like the way the team was playing, despite them being in first place. Maybe the miserable curmudgeon was on to something. Either way, Julien has to answer as to why he didn’t pull out all the stops when he (and the Bruins) had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The Tards faithful are questioning whether or not their window of opportunity to win a Stanley Cup has closed after watching their beloved Tards get swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ummmm how about another resounding YES? This is no longer a “young up and coming team” – the core of their team has been around long enough to have won something if they ever were going to. This team still has questions in goal, on defence, and with secondary scoring up front – areas that can’t all be addressed in the off-season given Tards’ cap issues. They might become marginally better with a few player moves – but they are starting to look more like the Tampa Bay Lightning than a legitimate cup contender. The competition in both conferences is fierce, with younger, cheaper teams having much more upside than the Tards who have locked up six guys to long term deals – a reward for winning nothing. Welcome to the downturn Tards, it’s a fast drop to the ranks of “also-rans”.

Is it time for Minnesota to part ways with Jacques Lemaire? Another year of playoff disappointment for the Wild – yes they were banged up, but at some point, Lemaire has to get them over the hump. Lemaire is the Western Conference version of Claude Julien – or maybe Julien is the Eastern Conference version of Lemaire. Either way, both guys seem incapable, or just plain unwilling, to change the game plan on the fly.

Good Ol’ Iron Mike Keenan - why can’t he ever get along with his goalies. Following the Flames loss in Game 7 to the Sharks, the slick one pulled no punches on why his team lost. Keenan addressed the media and basically hung goalie Miikka Kirprusoff out to dry – “I thought Kipper would come up with a big game for us, but the fourth goal really hurt.” This will certainly carry over into next year – the Flames are going to be faced with a decision by the end of the 2008/09 season; it is going to be Keenan or Kiprusoff, because it is becoming painfully obvious that these two are not going to be able to co-exist together.

Round 2 picks
Montreal in six
Rangers in seven
Sharks in six
Avs in seven

A sign of the Apocalypse – Part I
Sharks C Jeremy Roenick scores two goals and assists on two others in the deciding game against the Flames and is actually humble.

A sign of the Apocalypse – Part II
Eric Hinske seems to be flourishing in Tampa Bay – 5 HRs to start the season.

An abbreviated week, but it will be a profitable one. Tonight’s suggestions:

Los Angeles over Arizona – Dodgers P Chad Billingsley has to pull it together sooner or later (or he’ll be dropped from Maeple Leafs roster), who better to do it against than a team he is 4-2 against? Lay $100 on the Dodgers - $140.

Toronto over Tampa Bay – The Jays have once again failed to live up to all the pre-season hype – big surprise – but they should pick up a win tonight to make up for losing last night with Roy Halladay on the mound. Dustin McGowan likes pitching against the Rays. Lay $100 on the Jays - $120.

Detroit over Colorado – the Avs came off a tough and physical series against the Wild and will feel the effects for a few days. This will be a great series, but the Wings win the opener tonight. Lay $100 on the Wings - $200.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in.

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

I’m Out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Now What????

Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke announced today that he will remain with the organization, foregoing any impending offers.

One would have to assume that the Ducks have told Hockey God that he must fulfill the remaining year on his contract - which might have Hockey God looking like this for the next 12 months.

For all of the Ducks talk about not standing in his way should he want to leave - ahhhh crap.

A sad day for Leaf Nation, as Pope Brian I won't be making it to the NHL's Vatican anytime soon.

Now what? Colin Campbell? PUH-LEEZE

Friday, April 18, 2008

SenaTards post-season presser today

SenaTards brass (from left to right) VP of Hockey Operations Roy Mlakar, Coach Bryan Murray and owner Eugene Melnyk will address the Ottawa media and Tards faithful today at noon to explain why the team the guaranteed "would compete" for the Cup fell apart to the point of being swept by the Penguins. The Tards faithful haven't yet demanded a public apology from the team...maybe they are finally starting to see that their boys aren't that good. Team1200 DOT com at noon...it'll be worth it.

Good (SHOCKING) win for the Bruins last night over the Habs - Bruins fans should be calling for Hazel Karma at the Banknorth for Game 6. No need to recap the game last night - if you are reading this page you probably watched it. The Bruins took the game to the Habs last night - Carey Price, for the first time in the series, made a crucial mistake, but to dwell on that would be taking credit away from the Bruins. Good win for Boston...

Hockey God's Ducks fell again to the Dallas Stars - could an early exit by the Ducks hasten his departure to Toronto? While Leaf Nation would prefer to see Burke come to Toronto fresh off a consecutive Cups wins...we aren't picky, we'll welcome Burke with one Stanley Cup ring.

Haven't talked much about baseball yet - but seriously, Blue Jays fans, do you really think THIS is a team that can contend? There was a buzz in the air when the Blue Jays swept the Red Sox a couple of weekends ago - oh, THIS was a team that could compete. Since then, they have been slapped around by the likes of the Oakland A's and now the Texas Rangers - for all the offense this team is SUPPOSED to have, they make decent to good pitchers look like Cy FREAKIN Young - last night it was Vincente Padilla's turn to look like a Hall of Famer. What a joke these clowns are.

Just wondering - how stupid is Mike Mussina? Last week Manny Ramirez took him deep and hit a solid double off of him to lead the Sox to a win over the Yankees at Fenway - last night, Mussina decides to pitch to Ramirez again...two home runs; sweet.

That's it for this morning gang - thanks for taking the time to check in. Back later (through the good graces of Tilt's work access) with the Three Play.

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

I'm Out!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Salming

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

Former Maple Leafs great Borje Salming celebrates his 57th birthday today - while Willie O'Rea is acknowledged as the NHL's first player of African descent, Salming pretty much blazed the way for European players to make it in the NHL. He was the first European to spend any length of time, never mind excel, in the NHL - players like Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, and Nik Lidstorm all mention Salming as one of their role models and someone they admire.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHAMP - I might just have to put on my Salming Jersey today.

In other news - THE TARDS GOT BOUNCED!!!!!

That's it for this morning - back later with more on the Tards and the Three Play.

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

I'm Out!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The most wonderful time of the year

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in on Leaf Nation’s favourite day of the year.

The Tards face elimination tonight at Scotiabank Place knowing full well that the last time they were swept, their legions of fans (aka Sens Army – or heretofore referred to as The Tards) demanded an public apology from the players, coaches and management for letting them down. Yes, you read that correctly – these retards actually DEMANDED a public apology for “allowing” themselves to be swept by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For members of Leaf Nation living amongst the Tards one of our favourite days of the year occurs when the Tards get bounced out of the playoffs after yet another season of unfulfiled promise (their words…not mine). A few years back, one of the on-air personalities at a local sports radio station vowed to stay up after the game and take every single call from frustrated fans who wanted to talk. The year they were swept by the Leafs, the calls went all night and last well into the next day – the dude was EXHAUSTED by the time it was over. He has pledged to do the same this year, and Leaf Nation is hoping it is tonight.

For those of you in New England who listen to Glenn Ordway’s whiner line – you may want to have a listen to the Tards lamenting another disappointing season; a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t find it 100 times funnier than Ordway’s line. Go to team1200 dot com after the game tonight and have a listen. Unfortunately for our guy here – he won’t have the lovely Hazel Mae to present an award to the biggest whiner amongst the Tards.

With thoughts of yet another playoff disappointment for these jokers – we harken back to the Fan 590’s playoff song for the Tards, some of the names have changed, but the message remains the same. For those of you who haven’t heard it and want to sing along – the melody comes from Adam Sandler’s Chanuka Song. I give you - Three Cheers for Ottawa

Heres a little storyabout a hockey teamwho may just win the stanley cupbut only in there dreamsThe team is from ottawathe senators is there namesoon to be inducted in the golfing hall of famethey say they'll beat our leafersHA now there's a funny jokecause every year at playoff timethe senators always chokeSo 3 cheers for ottawaa real team they are nottawathey can give all that they gottawabut the stanley cup will never go to OttawaOttawa has their Parlamentand MPs in the newsand its kinda like their hockey teamthey talk a lot but don't producethere not the brightest eitherI really have to saywhen the capital of our countryspells Canada with a K (hey thats kanata)Oh 3 cheers for Ottawathey think they got a shottawathey must be smokin pottawacuz the stanley cup will never go 2 ottawau better press your flood pantsits that time once again2 here that familar ottawa senators sayingT off is at 10so get ready for the cryingtake out your hankerchiefyou're about to get your ass kicked by the toronto maple leafs (insert Malkin and Crosbyyyyyyy)Oooh 3 cheers 4 ottawaa lesson they'll be taughtawaHossa and Havlattawayoull soon be golfing alotawaWhat the hell else rhymes with Ottawanot a whole heck of alotawathere the team we already forgotawacuz the Stanley cup will never go to Ottawaaaaaaaa

The mood in the city is palable – somber - they know its over, it is going to be a long,beautiful summer of silence.

Finally, a good night, a perfect 3-0. The trend (if you can call it that) continues tonight with the following:

Los Angeles over Pittsburgh – Red Sox West P Brad Penny is off to an uncharacteristically slow start; the perfect cure for a pitcher in a funk is the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lay $100 on Big Blue - $220.

Atlanta over Florida – the Braves should avenge last night’s shutout loss to the Marlins with Tim Hudson on the mound; Hudson’s lifetime mark against the Marlins is 6-1; good enough for me. Lay $100 on the Braves - $165.

Detroit over Nashville – the Preds are coming off an improbable comeback win against the Wings in Game 3; that’s about all you can expect from them. Lay $100 on Detroit - $145.

That’s it for today gang – remember, team1200 dot com tonight.

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

I’m Out!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What the F***'s a SenaTard?

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

You may be wondering why the Ottawa Senators and their fans are referred to as "SenaTards" here? Check out what these retards put together, to a rousing ovation, as their pregame "pump the Tards and their fans up" ceremony.

There is no point recapping the game after watching this abomination - no wonder those donkey's lost. Forget the historical inaccuracies associated with the ceremony - it just speaks to how retarded they all are. Two more days and we'll all be singing Three Cheers For Ottawa.

A SenaTard is...

For those of you keeping track - last week ended up with a minimal gain, so the total is still ugly (-$3500 or so). Tonight's suggestions:

Montreal over Boston - the Habs dropped the one game I thought they would (Hazel Karma at the Banknorth???), they won't go back to Montreal tied up at 2. The clock strikes 11:59 for Boston tonight. Lay $100 on Montreal - $135.

San Jose over Calgary - the Sharks crapped the bed against the Flames on Sunday night - squandering a 3-0 first period lead; they'll make up for it tonight. Lay $100 on the Sharks - $130.

Toronto over Baltimore - the Jays should rebound tonight with Shaun Marcum on the mound - the O's have to come back down to reality sooner or later. Lay $100 on the Jays - $135.

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

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

I'm Out!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A FIFA sanctioned event?

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

If you have read this page in the past - you know what the feeling is when it comes into international football (soccer) events. Whether the tournament is sanctioned by FIFA or UEFA, you can be sure that there will a number of questionable calls that will impact games and derail the hopes and aspirations of those competing and the fans who pour their heart and soul into the event. If football, it is an inevitability - however, fans of the NHL have long expected that come playoff time, the officials would "let players decide the outcome of the game".

This year's playoff have been a complete and utter joke - with the questionable (bordering on horrible) officiating primarily to blame. The officiating has been inconsistent at the best of times and downright horrible at the worst. Check the linescores of the first two games of every series and it doesn't take an expert to see that the rules have seemingly changed from game 1 to game 2. Just ask fans of the Calgary Flames who saw their team take six straight penalties against the San Jose Sharks in game 2 - SIX straight penalties in one period. Ask the 10+ fans of the Predtors who watched as the officials disallowed a good goal for the Preds and sealed their fate by putting their whistle away on a play that resulted in a goal against them. Ask Hazel Mae and any fan of the Bruins how they felt about last night's game - with the Bruins having to kill TWO five on three penalty situations on some questionable calls and a cheap one in to give the Canadiens a power play in overtime.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear FIFA is running the playoffs this year. Going back to predictions I made earlier this week - saying that is officials called "ticky-tack" penalties, the Bruins would be eliminated quickly - I never thought it would impact as many series as it has.

Welcome to the new NHL - ugh.

After a good Friday night - the total for the week is even. Probably best to stay away from the NHL today, unless you are in Boston and see Hazel going into the Banknorth Garden to catch the game 3 - then call your book and bet the Bruins...Hazel Karma. Today's suggestions:

Los Angeles over San Diego - Chad Billingsley has gotten off to a tough start this season, but he dominated the Padres last year. Lay $100 on the Dodgers - $140.

Cleveland over Oakland - it is time for the A's to realize who they really are. They won't sweep the Indians, not with Chad Gaudin on the mound. Lay $100 on the Tribe - $155.

Tampa Bay over Baltimore - see above, the O's are playing way over their heads...its about time they come crashing down. Lay $100 on the Rays - $125.

Back later with some night game picks - thanks for taking the time to check in.

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

I'm Out!

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).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

For the SenaTards

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

Something for our friends in SenaTards' Army to think about this morning - remember this guy?

Have a nice day Tards...enjoy your next few days.

Back later with more - just had to remind the Tards about who is boss.

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

I'm Out!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

NHL Predictions from the desk of Pogue

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

Methinks our resident SenaTard/delusional Blue Jays fan Shanley checked in last night to show Tilt some love and take a shot at yours truly – methinks because he didn’t leave a name. Well Shanley, if that was you applauding Tilt, let’s talk in May when AJ Burnett is on the DL AGAIN, and the duo of Shaun Marcum and Jesse “Rojo” Litsch start to pitch to their capabilities as fourth and fifth starters. Let’s not get into where “big Frank” will be in May – because we both know he’ll be jumping back off the plate on pitches that are on the inside corner. How is the Chickenhawk’s five-year plan going? What year are you in?

As for the shot at Quikdraw’s playoff predictions – the opinions expressed are those of the offer and do not necessarily reflects the opinions of this blog...though I agree with him on most of his picks.

NHL Playoff Predictions from the desk of Pogue:

The Eastern Conference series will come down to goaltending and overall team speed – with three of the four matchups having one team with a decided advantage in both areas, the exception being the Rangers and Devils who are pretty evenly matched in both. The Eastern Conference isn’t likely to produce any surprises – apologies to the SenaTards faithful that point to the 2-7 matchup as historically being one which produces an upset. In terms you may understand – a 2-7 is the worst starting hand in poker, and this year it applies to the playoff seedings; forget past upsets, it isn’t going to happen this year, in either conference.

Montreal over Boston – Bruins fans should be celebrating the fact that they got in the dance, they SHOULD NOT be looking forward to Patrice Bergeron possibly suiting up; two words: Tim Connelly. The Habs dominated the Bruins because of a clear and distinct advantage in overall team speed and superior goaltending. Things haven’t changed from game 82 of the regular season to game 1 of the playoffs. Montreal’s overall team speed will put too much pressure on Boston’s D and will lead to scoring chances off turnovers. The only way this series makes it past five games is if the officials put their whistles away and both teams play 5 on 5 for most of the game. Montreal in five games – I’ll give Boston one home ice win with Hazel in the crowd…Hazel Karma for one night only.

Pittsburgh over Ottawa – for all of the Tards bravado about relishing the role of underdogs, the underlying tone is that they know they are dead in the water. When teams talk about playing with “no pressure on them” it is a sign that they don’t deal well with pressure – HELLO SENATARDS. Even if these jokers were to some how get up in the series, you know they won’t close the deal. The Tards goaltending is a mess, with a guy who doesn’t like pressure situations and is playing like it; their defence is slow and susceptible to quick breakout rushes, and their forwards aren’t scoring with the exception of the big two (please SenaTards, don’t give me the Andre Vermette spiel). The Penguins aren’t playing fire-wagon hockey, but they have two forward lines that represent an offensive threat to a Tards team that has forgotten how to play in their own zone. There is no switch to flick in Ottawa – the Pens avenge last year’s loss in five games.

Washington over Philadelphia – the Flyers only hope in this one is to get outstanding goaltending from Martin Biron and impose themselves physically on the Caps – neither of which is likely to happen. Ovechkin and the Caps are on a roll – a crazy roll that isn’t likely to come to a stop anytime soon. The trades that brought Sam Jones (aka Sergei Federov) and Cristobal Huet have solidified the team and given them some playoff experience (see Sam Jones). The Caps won’t be intimidated by the Flyers size and their speed up front is too much for the Flyers to deal with. The Caps have a decided edge between the pipes, in offence from the back end, and speed up front. I’m expecting a split over the first four games (each team winning a road game) before the Caps turn it up and win games 5 and 6.

New York over New Jersey – the toughest first round series to pick, it is a coin toss either way. While Martin Brodeur is acknowledged as the league’s best, Rangers G Henrik Lundquist is a top 7 or 8 and, when he is on, is capable of matching Brodeur save for save. There really isn’t much to choose from (unless you consider that the Rangers dominated the Devils this season. What it comes down to is that the Rangers have more game breakers than the offensively challenged Devils. The Devils won’t be able to rely on the counter-attack against the Rangers as the Blue Shirts play the exact same style as New Jersey – so you have to look at what teams can generate more scoring chances. Jagr, Gomez, Drury and Shanahan get the nod. Rangers in six.

The Western Conference is a little tougher to predict, with the combatants being more evenly matched – again, with one notable exception, Detroit vs Nashville. The eight teams vying to be the Western Conference representative (read: Stanley Cup Champs) all feature good goaltenders (with the Avalanche being a little suspect) and good overall team speed. The deciding factor will be overall scoring balance and what team can physically impose themselves on the other – while home-ice advantage in the deciding game could be a factor in one of the series.

Detroit over Nashville – The President’s Trophy winners will undoubtedly disappoint their fans once again, but this time it won’t be in the opening round. The goaltending is relatively even – Hasek and Osgoode can be very good, but they can also be donkeys when the pressure is on. Nashville accomplished some pretty amazing things considering the personnel losses and off-ice issues that impacted the team, but Detroit just has too much offence for Nashville to contend with. Detroit gets it done in five games.

San Jose over Calgary – An ugly matchup for the Sharks, they lost the season series to the Flames and they are sure to come out physically battered and bruised after this one. The Sharks have been playing their best hockey of the season over the last quarter – they are starting to get goals from different players and Brian Campbell has played like a champ since being traded from Buffalo. The issue for the Flames is what it has always been – secondary goal scoring; outside of Iginla and Huselius, they don’t have much. San Jose should be able to contain the Flames top line and get enough out of their second line, with Patrick Marleau having come back from the dead, to win this one in six games. In years gone by, Calgary would rely on Kiprusoff outplaying Nabokov, but they can’t do it this year; Evgeni has been great for the Sharks and led the league in wins. San Jose wins this one in five games.

Minnesota over Colorado – The deciding factor in this one is likely to come down to the Wild having home ice in game 7. The Wild get the edge between the pipes with Niclas Backstrom being more consistent and reliable than Jose Theodore, but the Avs have the advantage up front with a relatively healthy Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg. The Wild are tough to beat at home and I can’t see the Avs winning there once, let alone twice. The Wild win in seven games.

Anaheim over Dallas – have you heard the theory that Brian Burke will walk away from the Ducks to run the show at the Air Canada Centre if the Ducks win the Cup? The Ducks have the Stars beat in every facet of the game. Anaheim in five games.

There you have it – fearless predictions from the desk of Pogue. Book it.

Enjoy your NHL Playoffs – Leaf Nation is looking towards the June Entry Draft and wondering why is there even a draft lottery in the NHL? What a joke.


Last week wasn't very good - it was downright bad, but a couple of gimmes on the first night of the NHL Playoffs.

Pittsburgh over Ottawa - a lot of gamesmanship on the part of Brian Murray about how the Pens wanted to face Ottawa in the opening round; Pens will show everyone why it was the right thing to do. Lay $100 on the Pens - $210.

San Jose over Calgary - the Sharks absolutely have to win game one, or face the ugly questions about whether this will be another Sharks team that underachieves. Lay $100 on the Sharks - $200.

That's it for tonight/today (depending when you are reading this). A few baseball games to be suggested later. Thanks for taking the time to check in.

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

I'm Out!

Monday, April 07, 2008

One Hell of a Series..

This weekends trip to Toronto to catch the Jays play host to the Red Sox was awesome. Those Boston fans who came to Toronto wondering what happened to their beloved Sox, while Toronto fans got a chance to gloat after sweeping the defending world series champs in their opening home series.

The home opener started off with a honouring of Roberto Alomar and Paul Beeston, the former club president who was the club's first employee in 1976. Both had their names placed onto the Level of Excellence. It great to see Toronto play homage to two of the key individuals in the Jays back to back series wins. I'm sure that in the future both will receive consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The game was a near sell out (empty seats thanks to the scalpers unsold tickets). Definately a rowdy bunch and a good mix both Toronto and Boson fans. I liked seeing the Jays powder blue uniforms return. The Jays will be wearing these every Friday. Our seats were up in the 500s, but we got a great view of the field. Marcum pitched a great game, going seven strong innings with 8 k's. I have to admit that Boston did look sluggish out on the field.

The Saturday game featered Clay Buchholz vs. Jesse Litsch, and the Jays youngster outpitched one of Boston's young arms for the win. Buchholz did strike out seven, but the Sox bullpen struggled. Frank Thomas hit his first home run of the season and Alex Rios showed that he was going to be a big time threat this year with two doubles.

We listened to the Sunday game driving home from Fallsview Casino, as the Jays (ok mostly Frank Thomas) shelled Josh Beckett for 5 runs in his first start of the season. Facing Doc, Beckett sounded like he was in good form until he left something juicy for Vernon Wells to drive out of the park. Beckett was pulled in the 5th inning after loading the bases. Frank Thomas, who looks far from having a "slow" start promptly parked a Delcarmen pitch in left-centre field for a grand slam leading to the Jays first sweep of the season and Doc Halladay's first win of the season. Halladay looked impressive again going 8innings with 6 k's.

I'm sure that Boston fans reading this will say that the Red Sox are suffering from being on the road for nearly a month, but I have to admit that the Jays looked really good. Marcum and Litsch seem to be great out of the 4th and 5th rotation spots and the Jays offense seems to have found its steam. Wells, Rios and Thomas are all hitting well. One thing is for sure...the Jays are not scared of the Red Sox and look to be sending a message that they are going to be everpresent in this years race for the American League East title.

Intersting Note: Ortiz was hitting .115...ouch.

New beginning? Or beginning of the end?

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

The NHL Playoffs are set to start Wednesday night on four fronts – while the participants had been decided, seedings were still up in the air going into yesterday’s games; and if you are a fan of the Bruins or SenaTards, you have every right to be upset with the Pittsburgh Penguins who tanked it against the Flyers, opting to finish second in the Eastern Conference and match up against the Tards on Wednesday. The Penguins decision to mail it in means the Bruins get the worst possible first round opponent - the Montreal Canadiens.

The Bruins don’t have much to pin their hopes on – other than tired clichés: “what happened during the regular season means nothing” / “the playoffs are a new beginning” / “if we stick to our game, we can give ourselves a chance to win.” While it may be the beginning of a new season, it hasn’t changed the fact that the Bruins, as defensively responsible as they are, are grossly overmatched in terms of goaltending and overall team speed. If regular season officiating carries over to the playoffs – where touching a guy with one hand constitutes anything from interference to holding – the Bruins will be done in four (maybe, maybe, maybe five games).

The Tards faithful is still looking for their band of jokers to flick the mythical switch as they play the Penguins. The “Sens Army” seems completely oblivious to the fact that their team was amongst the worst in the second half of the season, and were it not for a blistering start would be on the outside looking in. The false sense of confidence is almost laughable – pointing to how they match up well against Crosby, Malkin and Associates. No point in getting into the particulars today – playoff predictions to come tomorrow and Wednesday – two words for Tards’ fans: GARY ROBERTS.

Things aren’t much better for hockey fans in Western Canada – the Avs win over the Minnesota Wild means that they jump over the Flames and face the Wild in the opening round; while the Flames get a first round date with the San Jose Sharks, who are playing better than anyone right now. The Flames had to be feeling good about their chances against the Wild, a team they have owned this year – instead, they get (arguably) the favourite to win the Cup. Bad match up for both teams, the Flames have little, if any shot of winning; while the Sharks are likely to come out of the first round battered and bruised, before another physical series with Minnesota or Anaheim being the likely opponents.

The Ducks will send Brian Burke off to Toronto in fine fashion – with a Stanley Cup win.

Just wondering:

Did the Tigers just kiss their chance at winning the American League Pennant goodbye? While six games do not a season make – getting swept by the White Sox and especially the Royals starts them off in a hole that will be tough to get out of – especially with their ace losing his first two starts. The Tigers still remain the odds on favourite to win the AL Central – but if they wind up a game or two – or four – behind Boston for the best record in the AL, they’ll look back at last week as the turning point.

Back later this afternoon with the Monday Three Play suggestions – tough week last week.

That’s it for this morning – thanks for taking the time to check in.

Hazel, here’s hoping things are groovy in your world – enjoy your special day.

I’m Out!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

NHL Stanley Cup Play Off Predictions

The chase for Lord Stanley's Cup begins this week. 16 NHL teams square off for the honor of hoisting the famous mug at center ice.
Here are my predictions for the first round in that Battle Royale.

Regular Season Series Winner...Montreal 8-0
The Boston Bruins make it to the playoff dance for the first time in 4 years an achievement all its own for the Bruins who dealt with injuries to all its key players more notably Patrice Bergeron.
Boston won't have much time to enjoy their playoff taste as the square off against Arch Rival
Montreal Canadiens who beat them during the regular season to the tune of 8 wins to nothing.
In this series I think Boston will win at least one game then pack it in for the summer.


Regular SEason Series : Ottawa 3-1
Ottawa's playoff chances sunk like a rock when key offensive stars Alfredsson and Fisher were hit with injuries last week. I like Pittsburgh and want to see Crosby/Malkin take on Ovechkin for the Eastern Conference title.


Regular Season Series: Tied 2-2
Every hockey fan except those in Philly are pulling for the Caps Alex Ovechkin to prevail in this big series. I am too-but will it be enough?


Regular Season Series... NY Rangers 7-1
I like the Rangers here folks. The Rangers offense is starting to heat up at the right time.

Winner.....NY RANGERS in 6

Regular Season Series......Red Wings 5-3
Red Wings are firing on all cylinders as they secured the Presidents Cup last week.
Look for the spoked Wings to roll over the Preds in the first round.


Regular Season Series...Calgary 3-1
This is the best series to watch in the Western Conference and it will be a helluva battle.
I like the Sharks here.

Winner....SAN JOSE SHARKS in 7

Regular Season Series...Minnesota 5-3
The return of Peter Forsberg to the Avalanche give Colorado a team that has a better chance to win a Championship than its Colorado Rockies who were swept by the Red Sox in the World Series...


Regular Season Series -Dallas 5-3
Anaheim like Colorado was another team bolstered by the return of veteran players (Neidermeyer and Teemu Sellanne).

Winner....ANAHEIM DUCKS in 6

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday Night "Threep"

For those of you checking in - tough start to the day with the Sox and Yankees losing; Yankees might come back, Sox are done and will look to avoid sweep tomorrow at the Rogers Centre.

Tonight's suggestions:

Washington over Florida - Ovechkin is going to the playoffs, he'll make sure of that tonight with a win over the Panthers who left it all on the ice last night against the Canes. Lay $100 on the Caps - $340 (forget the number...its a done deal).

Boston over Buffalo - the Bruins are in, but they are playing for positioning tonight (read trying to avoid 1st round match-up with Montreal); they'll get it done against a battered Sabres team that has packed it in for the year. Lay $100 on the B's - $140.

Los Angeles Angels over Texas - I'll take Weaver over Kevin Millwood. Lay $100 on Vlad and the Angels - $165.

That's it for today - good luck if you play them; enjoy your Final Four weekend.

I'm Out!

Jump Around

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in.

This was all anyone was talking about after Thursday night's game between the Leafs and the SenaTards - a game in which the Leafs brought nothing and got spanked by a count of 8-2.

SenaTard fans were incensed and calling for the death penalty against Leafs forward Mark Bell who laid out Tards captain Krusty the Klown (aka Daniel Alfredsson) with a vicious but CLEAN open ice hit. The reaction from Tards fans ranged from claiming that it:
  • was an elbow to the head, to
  • a hit from behind, to
  • much to late, to
  • a cheap shot for laying a hit on a non-physical guy like Alfredsson.
Tards fans have selective memory of course - they were having no comparisons between Bell's hit to Chris Neil laying out Sabres captain Chris Drury last year. When Neil annihilated Drury, Tards fans were quick to defend Neil the punk by saying "he was finishing his check" and "that's the way Neiler plays...gotta keep your head up." Tards coach Brian Murray spoke to the NHL about the headshot - his take on the hit was laughable.

Mark Bell on Alfredsson - no elbow on contact.
Notice at 17 second mark of tape at top of screen, Dany Heatley kicks at Darcy Tucker. Heatley of course wouldn't answer the bell...guess you can't blame him, he's already missing one of his front teeth.

Chris Neil on Andy McDonald - Hockey God speaks!
Guess Brian Murray has tried to forget last year every happened. Neil has a history of exactly this kind of stuff.

Chris Neil on Chris Drury - how many times has it been mentioned here that Neil skates around like a shark waiting to explode on someone. Memo to Tards fans who see this - think Alfredsson was thinking about Drury when he was tapping the ice?

"Tough Guy" Chris Neil and Brashear - why Neil wants to concentrate on being a "better hockey player" and stay out of the box.

Bottom line - the refs and linesman were quick to call "clean hit" when Bell destroyed Alfredsson. The hit was legal - should Bell have let up? Maybe you should ask Chris Neil, who was noticeably quiet, if Bell should have let up.

Leafs soften the Tards up for the Bruins who took full advantage last night - Tards go into the playoffs without their Captain and their "army" has been whining non-stop. Man-up Tards - the Leafs beat you in the playoffs without Sundin - remember Roberts and MacAulay?

Three suggestions for early afternoon games - will post night games later. Total for the week is - $180.

New York over Tampa Bay - after being embarrassed by the Rays last night, the Yankees should respond against Edwin Jackson. Lay $100 on the Yanks - $210.

Boston over Toronto - see above, the Sox weren't embarrassed, but they should have hit Shaun Marcum harder; Clay Buccholz gets the nod. Lay $100 on the Sox - $120.

Detroit over Chicago - because the Tigers have to win eventually. Seriously, Dontrelle Willis will be out to impress his new teammates today, expect him to give the White Sox a lot to think about and little to hit. Lay $100 on the Tigers - $155.

Cleveland over Oakland - Sabathia should rebound from a shaky first start today against the A's. Lay $100 on Cleveland - $155.

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

Song of the Day, for the Tards

Jump Around - House of Pain

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

I'm Out

Friday, April 04, 2008

In AHL..Bruins Tops Over Toronto's Marlies -Calder Cup Showdown Looming?

Toronto's best chance at a hockey title may lie in the hands of its Maple Leaf minor league club the AHL Toronto Marlies unfortunately the Boston Bruins AHL leading Providence Bruins stands in the way.
The Marlies are tops in the AHL's Western Conference with Chicago Wolves at 103 pts.
Bruins minor league affilliate Providence leads the AHL over all with 107 pts in the Eastern Conference.

Could be another chance for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization to fall to the Boston Bruins organization in 2007-2008.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Welcome to Leaf Nation

Membership in Leaf Nation has grown by approximately 1% as we gladly (ok, somewhat grudgingly) welcome the collective fan bases of the Bruins, Flyers, Capitals, and the Hurricanes who will all be hoping that the Leafs can duplicate their effort of a couple of weeks back and pull out a win over the SenaTards tonight at The Hanger.

The sense of fear amongst the “Sens Army” is palpable today – for all their bravado about how their team will be up for a game against their arch-rival, the underlying sense of doubt is evident. The game lost a bit of significance, thanks to the Flyers losing 4-2 to the Penguins last night, but there is still a chance that the Tards could fall out of the top eight with a loss tonight to Toronto and a loss to Boston at Scotiabank Place on Friday. The Tards are in free-fall mode so it isn’t out of the question.

The bad news for our newest temporary members of Leaf Nation is that Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov won’t be suiting up tonight – both have been shut down for the remaining two games of the season. The good news is that Vesa Toskala is expected to make the start, AND the Tards have a long and well-documented history of losing to under-manned Leaf teams in big games – keep the faith gang, our boys will get it done for you tonight.

There isn’t much left to say other than – Go Leafs Go!

Boston Red Sox P Jon Lester threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball, giving up three hits and three walks while striking out three to lead the Sox to a 5-0 win over the A’s. Honourable mention goes to Big Papi who hit a HR – the Maeple Leafs GM says “It’s about time David.”

Toronto Blue Jays CF Vernon “Dr. Evil” Wells had three hits, including a two-run HR, to power the Jays to a 5-2 win over the Yankees.

Carolina Hurricanes RW Chad Larose had a hat-trick in a 6-2 win over the Lighting – good for the Three Play.

Tough day yesterday going 2-2 and winding up in the red – the White Sox loss was particularly horrible, costing yours truly 500 big ones on a long-shot Pro Line ticket. A few suggestions for this afternoon with the night games coming later.

Detroit over Kansas City – while it is still to early to say “team X” won’t get swept, you have to think this would be the case in this series – Kansas City can’t possibly start the season by sweeping the much-heralded Tigers…can they? Lay $100 on Detroit - $200.

Philadelphia over Washington – burned yesterday by an outstanding performance by Tim Redding – but see above, the Phillies can’t start the season by being swept at hone. Lay $100 on the Phils - $180.

San Diego over Houston – former Dodgers P Randy Wolf takes the mound against Houston, while that shouldn’t be of great comfort, what should is that Shawn Chacon is pitching for Houston. Lay $100 on the Padres - $155.

That’s it for this morning gang – thanks for taking the time to check in.

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

I’m Out!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The irony of it all - ask Boston and Ottawa

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

The irony of where things stand in the NHL’s Eastern Conference playoff race has not been lost on Leaf Nation.

Last week, the now hated Bruins officially eliminated the Leafs from a chance at the post-season by sweeping a home and home series with the good guys. The loudest cheers came from the “hockey country” – aka the land of the SenaTards – followed closely by what remains of the Bruins fan base in New England.

Funny how things work out – one week later and the Leafs find themselves in a position to derail, or at the very least obstruct, the playoff hopes of one of their divisional rivals.

The Tards visit Toronto tomorrow night, fresh off ANOTHER loss to a team that was severely undermanned – for those of you counting, the relatively healthy Tards have lost games to Montreal (twice), Toronto, Boston, Buffalo and Carolina – knowing full well that a loss at the ACC could allow a number of teams to get by them in the standings; thus leaving Friday night’s game against the Bruins as a must win. Conversely, a Bruins loss tonight coupled with the Leafs losing to the Tards will make things pretty tough for the Bruins with the Canes and Caps having some creampuff games to end the season and the Flyers playing better of late. Who knows?

The thought of the Leafs dealing a deathblow to the Tards playoff hopes would ease the disappointment of not making the playoffs – plus it would give members of the Nation here in “hockey country” something to laugh about all summer. Those loud mouths are no longer comparing this year’s edition of the Tards to the Habs of the 70’s.

Tonight Leaf Nation puts aside our hated of conference rivals like the Bruins and the Flyers – we want to see both win; just to put a bit more heat on the Tards. Go Leafs Go.


Montreal Canadiens G Carey Price stopped 32 shots in a 3-0 win over the Tards – good times when you hear the “Sens Army” booing their team off the ice.

Boston Red Sox P Daisuke Matsuzaka limits the A’s to 1 run on two hits over 6.2 innings while striking out nine in a 2-1 win.

Los Angeles Dodgers LF Delwyn Young knocked in the winning run in a 3-2 win over the Giants – hours after undergoing a root canal.


Tough night last night with Pedro getting hurt early in the game against the Marlins. – total for the week stands at - $110. Tonight’s suggestions

Philadelphia over Washington – I’ll take Cole Hamels over Tim Redding every day of the week. Lay $100 on the Phillies - $220.

Chicago over Cleveland – as good has Fausto Carmona was last year, his numbers against the White Sox are ugly – worth an upset shot with Javier Vasquez. Lay $100 on the White Sox + $160.

Toronto over NY Yankees – While I’m not buying this notion that AJ Burnett can be healthy for a full season, I’ll trust him tonight against Mike Mussina (yuck). Lay $100 on the Jays + $150

Carolina over Tampa Bay – the Hurricanes absolutely need this game – they are tied with the Caps and in danger of being overtaken. Lecavalier and the Lightning have packed it in for the season (see Atlanta game). Lay $100 on the Canes - $200.

That’s it for today – thanks for taking the time to check in.

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

I’m Out!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools Blue Jays fans

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

I am resisting all urges to discuss the Toronto Maple Leafs today, especially after having read thoughts and opinions of one Damien Cox of the Toronto Star – no more Leafs talk until the June entry draft or Brian Burke’s official appointment as GM of the Leafs. It’s baseball season now.

“If ‘its and buts, were candies and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas” or in the case of the Toronto Blue Jays, a playoff berth in October. The Chickenhawk’s five-year plan (currently in year 7) is getting rave reviews from media types in Hazel’s old stomping ground.

A number of notable media personalities have gone on record as saying the Jays are legit in the AL East; if not to win the division, then certainly for post-season play. While many of you will laugh this off as misguided optimism (yours truly would be part of this group) the Jays “legit playoff hopes” are based on a bunch of “ifs”. The thinking is as follows:

IF Roy Halladay pitches the way he is capable of pitching

fF AJ Burnett is healthy for the whole year and pitches the way he can

IF Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum duplicate their second half performances

IF Vernon Wells rebounds from an off year

IF Frank Thomas gets off to a quick start

IF they don’t suffer any major injuries

Then they can certainly compete for a playoff spot. If you think that is a bit much to ask for (especially with Burnett) the “ifs” don’t stop there. Even if those things were to happen – the Jays would need to see a few more “ifs” come to pass.

IF the Boston Red Sox suffer a catastrophic injury or TWO


IF the Yankees suffer and injury or their pitching staff falters

THEN the Jays are legit.

Did I miss something? Has the Chickenhawk expanded his role as GM to become the team’s PR guy – feeding the party line to the media in Toronto? With that many “ifs”, can a team really be considered legit? I think not.


Los Angeles Dodgers P Brad Penny started the season off in fine form throwing 6.2 innings of shutout ball in a 5-0 win over the hated Giants. IF Brad Penny wins 25 games, and is able to pitch 3 games in the NLCS, the Dodgers have a legit shot of making it to the World Series.


Tonight’s suggestions:

Toronto over New York – while I’m not subscribing to the “IF” theory, history says that Roy Halladay gets off to good starts, he’s worth taking a flyer on over Wang. Lay $100 on the Jays + $140.

New York Mets over Florida – Pedro Martinez has been getting good reviews this spring – you have to like him tonight against the Marlins. Lay $100 on the Mets - $210.

Los Angeles over San Francisco – IF Derek Lowe pitches like he did last year at Dodger Stadium, they’ll win. Lay $100 on Big Blue - $155.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Special thanks to Tilt for posting for me.

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

I’m Out!

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