Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

A Positive Spin

February 22, 2011

I like the taste of a cold can of Diet Coke. Really cold. Straight out of the fridge cold. Or out of a really good vending machine.

I like soda crackers. I don’t know what it is – they’re such a simple little food. But I can eat the damn things a sleeve at a time and not even notice it. I’m pretty sure they’re not supposed to be eaten that way. Maybe they should start marketing them as a snack food?

I like the cold and snow, because it means people don’t mill around in front of the restaurant behind my house. I can’t believe I forgot this in my post on civility, but there’s little I find more annoying than the people who plant themselves in large groups smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk. Amazingly, when it’s cold out, they manage to find other places to wait for their tables, or to smoke. I like this.

I like when someone sings a piece at karaoke, and does a better job of it than the original artist. I’m sitting at karaoke as I write this, and this woman just rocked “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. I’m not a Stripes fan at all, and don’t particularly like the song, but it was fantastic – she had her own interpretation of it, with a bit of flair. It was a joy to listen to.

Conversely, I take a bit of perverse pleasure when someone gets up clearly thinking they’re god’s gift to music, and just shits the bed. But I’m just mean that way…

I like the taste of a Krispy Kreme donut, original glazed, fresh off the conveyor belt, while you’re waiting in line to place your order. The donut itself is amazing enough, but the fact that they’re giving it to you for free – well, it’s like the bartender comping you the first shot of the night, or the drug dealer giving you the first hit to get you hooked.

I like Twitter. Yes, obvious to those who know me, but it’s really true. First off, it forced me to imagine from the group up how I consume information. Second, the 140-character online world brought a wealth of interesting people into my ‘real’ world. Most importantly, though, is the range of amazing sports writing to which I’ve been exposed – some new, some who I’d only read infrequently in the past. Local writers like Bruce Arthur, who’s turning out some of the most intelligent coverage of the Canadian sports scene I’ve seen in years. Ex-pats like Jonah Keri, who I used to read when he was at Baseball Prospectus, but who I’d drifted away from over the last couple of years. The incredible Joe Posnanski, who’s unquestionably the best writer of this generation using sports as a lens. Seriously, while I love Joe the most when he’s writing about baseball – or about life as informed by baseball – but I’d read 3000 words by him on bullfighting, or cricket, or tiddlywinks. Anything. Joe is the late-’50s Montreal Canadiens. He’s Coltrane. He’s Kristin Chenoweth in “Wicked”. He’s Elle Macpherson. He’s “The Rabbit of Seville”.

That same woman, by the way, just crushed some Sam Cooke. Versatile – that’s solid.

I like Brian Burke. Look, it’s easy, even fashionable, to crap on him for the free agent signings that didn’t work out – Komisarek and Lebda foremost among them. Ripping the Kessel trade is low-hanging fruit, and equally lazy. But for the first time in I can’t remember how long, I honestly believe that the Leafs’ GM is doing everything within his abilities to improve the team. That every loss is a punch to the gut, just like for the team’s most loyal fans. That other than his family, nothing is more important in his life than doing what’s necessary to bring Toronto a Stanley Cup, and not just at the corner of Front & Yonge.

I like Alex Anthopoulos. Dude’s a ninja. Sure, the Jose Bautista contract worries me, but it’s not my money – actually, that’s not true. With the amount Rogers gets from us for cable, internet, home phone, cell phones, Jays tickets – well, I figure I’m responsible for just a little less than 1/10th of one percent of his salary this year. But if this is a mistake, it’s his first one as far as I’m concerned. Pretty good batting average.

I like Mini-Wheats. They’re sweet. They’re crunchy. They’re really everything you could want from a breakfast cereal. Or an evening snack.

The point of all this? I often get accused of being too serious, of not having enough fun in life. I just wanted to take a bit of time and space to describe just a few of the things that bring happiness to my life. There are many more, which is another thing I like. What do you like?


Make Suspensions Mean Something

February 13, 2011

There’s a much longer post kicking around in my head – actually, it’s taking shape in my Moleskine, which is also its own separate post someday. The other post is about the whole mess in the Islanders/Penguins game on Friday night, and it’s basically taking shape around the idea that Trevor Gillies is a moron. Because I like to start with an indisputable fact, and work out from there…

In the meantime, the NHL has announced tonight the suspensions resulting from that game. On the whole, not a bad job. Eric Godard’s 10 games was prescribed, so it can’t really be argued. I’ll say, though, that I’d take that suspension every day if I were him and twice on Sundays, if it meant having my goalie’s back. I wish the 4 games that Matt Martin got was more – 6 or 7 felt more appropriate. I can’t argue with 9 games for Trevor Gillies – I’m actually surprised it’s that long, but he deserves every game of it and more because, as I mentioned above, he’s a moron. Nice $100,000 hit to Charles Wang’s pocket, which is just fine. Only thing that surprises me is the lack of any kind of discipline for Isles coach Jack Capuano.

But my purpose here is to throw an idea out for your consideration. It doesn’t feel like it ought to be a new idea, but I’m quite sure I’ve never heard or read it anywhere. So here goes…

NHL teams dress 18 skaters and 2 goalies for every game. When a player gets suspended, they still dress 18 skaters and 2 goalies – they just grab a body out of the press box or, assuming they haven’t completely buggered their cap management, call a guy up from the minors.

But how about this? How about, instead of just losing the suspended player, they lose the spot on the active roster? In other words, for the next 4 games while Matt Martin and Trevor Gillies are suspended, the Islanders would only be allowed to dress 16 skaters and 2 goalies. For the other five games of Gillies’ suspension, they could only dress 17 skaters and 2 goalies.

Think Trevor Gillies is going to think twice before charging a guy with elbow high if he knows that the guy next to him in the dressing room is going to have to double-shift for half the month? More importantly, think Jack Capuano is going to think twice about putting Trevor Gillies into his lineup to begin with is that’s the potential result?

The only way we’re going to get this crap out of the game – the ONLY way – is peer pressure. So let’s use the supplementary discipline system to put some pressure on those peers, so that they’ll put the necessary pressure onto their jackass teammates.

My P90X Journey – Days 22 to 24: Taking Fallen Soldiers off the Battlefield is Called “Recovery” Too

June 18, 2010

I’m not sure what’s harder – the P90X, or keeping a regular blog about it.

Day 22 – Yoga – So, we’re in week 4 now. They call this ‘recovery week’, I assume the idea being that you get to take a break from all the ab work and all the heavy resistance work and focus more on cardio and flexibility. Which is nice, I suppose, except the week includes yoga and kenpo, both of which we’ve done before and neither of which are exactly easy.

Something different about yoga this time around, though. Not easier, exactly, but I guess there’s just enough extra flexibility now that the stuff I can do, I can actually do, and do some of it pretty well. I still can’t do the stuff I can’t do. And the stuff that I can kind of do, I can kind of do it a little better. So, that’s all good, right?

Wow, that was some tortured writing…

Day 23 – Core Synergistics – Ooh, our first new routine since day 7. Yeah, nothing remotely easy about this one either. Pushups with the hands out of alignment and the feet stacked on top of each other? Walking pushups? Rolling bananas? Alternating supermans and bananas? WTF? Recovering my breath maybe, and only barely. This week is not at all as advertised.

Day 24 – Kenpo – Ah, my old friend. Welcome back. I know it’s only been 5 days, but I’ve missed you so. We get along so well, with all your punching and blocking and kicking. Just sheer raw, naked aggression, sweat and muscles rippling, breath heavy…

Whoa… when did this turn into a Harlequin romance? Yikes…

BTW, on a completely non-P90X-related note, I saw some discussion floating around today about whether or not Eric Lindros should be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame when the new class is announced on Tuesday. Let me state, for the record, unequivocally, no, he should not be. Not in this or any other lifetime. There is nothing in his career that remotely suggests he’s deserving of this honour, and I defy anyone to convince me otherwise.

I may yet have more to say about this, but for now, NO.