Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thanks Mats

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

Two simple words that are on the lips of almost every member of Leaf Nation - be it heartfelt or full of sarcasm, everyone is saying Thanks Mats after news broke that the Leafs former Captain had agreed to a one year deal with the Vancouver Canucks.

Many in the media have been critical of Sundin's decision to join an NHL 30+ games into the season, when his reason for refusing to be traded last year was because he didn't want to be a "rental player". Sundin has been accused of many things in his career - selfish was never one of them. To call a guy that gave his heart to an organization "selfish" because he didn't want to give up on his team and bail on them is inexcusable.

Thank you Mats, good luck in Vancouver and we'll see you back in Leaf Nation next summer.

Leafs slap Crosby and the Pens around last night - good.

Cowboys lose to the Ravens - I want to puke in my mouth right now.

Tough week last week - total stands are + $800 (or so). The winning starts early this afternoon.

Cincinnati +2.5 over CLEVELAND - no way the Browns should be favoured today, the Bengals have been playing better of late...just ask the Redskins. Lay $100 on the Bengals plus the points.

San Diego +3.5 over TAMPA BAY - ya, the Chargers don't travel well when they head east, but with their season on the line AND Brian Griese in charge of the Bucs offense - Chargers keep this one close...actually, I think they pull off the upset. Lay $100 on the Chargers.

Leaving it at two games for this afternoon - page will be update throughout afternoon with picks. Thanks for taking the time to check in - good luck if you play them.

Hazel, here's hoping things are groovy in your world - enjoy your NFL Sunday.

I'm Out!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Game of the week

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

Much has been made of the internal turmoil in Big D this week with Terrell Owens going off on Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and the coaching staff - in any other city, this would be a huge distraction to the team, but in Big D?

Boys will be boys and the good guys will beat Manning and Co. tonight.

The total is back over $1,000 - thanks to going 2-1 yesterday.

Today's 1:00 pm picks

MIAMI -6 over San Fran - don't like the 49ers going east, Dolphins in the middle of division race. Lay $100 on the Dolphins.

ATLANTA -3 over Tampa Bay - Falcons have been a surprise team at home, Bucs find that out today. Lay $100 on the Falcons.

Green Bay -2.5 over JACKSONVILLE - the Jags have quit, Green Bay is out of the playoff mix, but Aaron Rodgers still has something to prove. Lay $100 on the Pack.

That's it for the early games - back later.

Thanks for taking the time to check in - good luck if you play them.

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

I'm Out!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Leaf Nation's Christmas Wish List

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

Well, the Maple Leafs keep chugging along towards Christmas with the knowledge that President and General Manager Brian Burke (does that not sound wonderful?) will not make any roster moves until after the holidays. The Leafs have suffered some potentially devastating injuries - with Luke Schenn and Niklas Hagman being the most significant - but it has definitely given Burke some options for January.

While it is too early to start celebrating a couple of unheralded call-ups, Jeremy Williams and Jamie Sifers, it is a sign that perhaps, we have more down on the farm than we have lead to believe by hockey experts.

Jeremy Williams isn't flashy, he isn't projected as a top-line, or top-six forward - he just finds a way to score, plain and simple. He has found a way to score at every level and deserves a real shot to show he can do it in the show. Jamie Sifers has shown himself to be a steady, if not solid, stay-at-home defenceman who won't make any catastrophic mistakes that will result in the red light going off in your own end. Like John Mitchell before them, these guys have some upside, and with expectations for this year's team relatively low - though we (and Hazel) hope for the best - it would seem like giving unheralded guys a chance to show they can contribute.

Burke is likely looking at his options come January - he has some assets that he can move to speed up the rebuilding, both in terms of acquiring prospects/draft picks and lowering the cap hit as we move forward. Burke, Nonis and Associates will undoubtedly do the right thing. Who would Leaf Nation like to see moved? hmmm

1) Jason Blake - perhaps the worst contract John Ferguson Jr. signed (after Bryan McCabe). Here's hoping Burke can pull the Easter Bunny out of his hat at the trade deadline and get this guy off the books - come March and April, Blake may be a fit with teams like Washington, Pittsburgh, or maybe even the Blackhawks, who may be looking for a speedy veteran heading into the playoffs. Dare to dream.

2) Pavel Kubina - he is a respected and admired leader in the locker room, but that hasn't transcended on the ice. It could be the lack of options he has when moving the puck out of his own end, but he just can't seem to get it done. Kubina has looked a half step slow this year and looks like he is often out of position. Mike Van Ryn has proven to be much better than expected, and at $2M less per season than Kubina, can step in and fill those minutes. As mentioned earlier, Jamie Sifers looks like he can take care of his own end, so moving him up to a number 5/6 guy wouldn't hurt.

3) Alexei Ponikarovsky - if/when/once he gets moved, Leaf Nation knows this guy is going to blossom like former Leafs LW Fredrik Modin did when he was moved to the Lightning a number of years back. But the truth of the matter is that he hasn't fulfilled his potential in Hazel's hometown - the return for Poni isn't likely to be a bonanza (maybe a late 2nd round pick - for a playoff bound team looking for depth), but moving the $2M+ off the books will help. Jeremy Williams could provide what Poni does for much less $.

4) Curtis Joseph - the experienced backup experiment has been an abysmal failure this year. Cujo, a former fan favourite, has looked over matched this year and doesn't give the team any hope of winning. While factions of Leaf Nation who want to see the team tank this year are calling for Joseph to play more - it is time to thank him for his service and call up Justin Pogge to see if he has a future in the NHL.

Weeks back, I asked Tomas Kaberle to consider the possibility of waving his no-trade clause - the return for him would be huge - but being one of the more sentimental members of the Nation, I'd like to see him stick. Kaberle's contract is more than reasonable, at $4M+ and his puck moving ability is excellent. Ron Wilson should get off this guy's back and play him with someone who will (and can) take care of the back end while Kaberle picks his spots to join the rush.

There you have it - Leaf Nation's wish list. Speaking of which, much has been made about where Mats Sundin will play this year - the Leafs aren't an option. While the media was quick to jump all over Brian Burke's statement that "the Leafs didn't fit Mats' profile" - the conveniently left out Burke's last word on that statement - he said YET. I was going to post this when Burke got hired, but here it is - Mats will not sign with Toronto this year, but those who think his days in the Blue and White are done, are nuts. Burke is going to move some veterans this year - no doubt - and clear some cap room to allow him to make a couple of free agent acquisitions, likely from his old team, and resign Sundin to a reasonable two year deal to try and give the Leafs two legit scoring read it here first, Sundin signs with Toronto for the 2009/10 season.

In the realm of odd/funny/stupid news - New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman has once again proven he isn't the brightest star in the sky. After signing CC Sabathia to a monster deal, Cashman threw EIGHT MILLION PLUS DOLLARS at "the Enigma" AJ Burnett. The Yankees are going to regret signing this guy - $16M+ for a .500 pitcher. It is to laugh.

Going back to NHL picks - after last week's football picks, the total for the year stands at + $950 - it goes up today.

Minnesota over Los Angeles - the Wild have some injury issues, but they'll be able to frustrate the Kings and score on the counter. Lay $100 on Minnesota - $125.

Columbus over NY Islanders - the Jackets had been playing well at home before going out west and getting smoked - home cooking is what they need to beat the Islanders. Lay $100 on Columbus - $200.

Detroit over Phoenix - the Wings lost to a pretty bad Stars team last night, they'll make the Coyotes pay tonight. Lay $100 on Detroit - $150.

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

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

I'm Out!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Afternoon "Threep"

For those of you checking in for late game suggestions - afternoon seems to be going ok so far.

Miami + 1.5 over BUFFALO - Dolphins are the play, Bills are inconsistent and have issues, so go with the fish. Lay $200 on the Dolphins.

New England -7 over SEATTLE - Patriots need to win this game. Belichick will have them prepared. Lay $100 on the Pats.

Dallas +4 over PITTSBURGH - Marion Barber is out, so everyone is picking the Steelers to romp here, but they are 1-2 vs winning teams at home. The Cowboys were going to have throw the ball to win this game, so Barber's absence doesn't mean as much. Lay $100 on Jerry's boys to take it down today.

That's it for this afternoon...good luck if you play them.

I'm OUT.

Leafs loading up for future

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

While many in the media and in Leaf Nation predicted that new President and GM Brian Burke would introduce himself to Toronto with a flurry of trades to rid the Maple Leafs of "soft" Europeans, Burke has surprised the Nation by sitting back and evaluating the team first.

Burke, no doubt with an eye on the future, has been loading up...the front office. The Maple Leafs announced the Burke's best friend, Dave Nonis, has joined the front office as Senior VP of Hockey Operations. Burke's team is up to five, with Cliff Fletcher staying on in an advisory role and Joe Nieuwendyk, Al Coates and Jeff Jackson remaining with the organization - while we would never assume that Burke was copying anyone, it sure looks like he is looking at the Red Wings management team as he moves forward in rebuilding Hazel's beloved Leafs

The future looks bright - even if the present kind of sucks.

Tough week last week, 1-2, meaning the total (for those of you playing along) is down to + $ is about time we go 3-0. Today's suggestions:

TENNESSEE - 14 over Cleveland - hard to see the Browns scoring any points today, the Titans are the play today. Lay $200 on Tennessee minus the points.

CHICAGO - 6.5 over Jacksonville - the Jags have packed it in the for season, expect the Bears to ram the ball down their throats with Matt Forte today. Lay $100 on the Bears.

NY GIANTS - 6.5 over Philadelphia - big game for the Eagles, which means McNabb will be terrible - Giants won't have Burress, but they'll still run the Eagles into the ground today. Lay $100 on the Giants and kiss those counterfeit Eagles GOODBYE.

That's it for this morning gang - thanks for taking the time to check in. Back later for the 4 pm games.

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

I'm Out.

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