Ring Around The Blogosphere

While was just sitting here enjoying night #2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Round 1…I thought I would gather up a small sampling of items floating around the blogosphere and share them with you. But before I do, I ‘d like to take this opportunity to thank the Detroit Red Wings for making sure that the Thrashers still are not the only team in the NHL still looking for it’s first playoff win…even if maybe for just a few more days.

Also, I’m gonna be taking the weekend off after posting this piece. If you wanna catch up with me you’ll have to go to the Big Shanty Festival in Kennesaw where I’ll be hangin’ Staurday and Sunday. In my absence here, I’ll leave the most mature and responsible one of you in charge…looking around and finding none…Ahhhhh, I’ll just leave Trixie in charge.

Did Anyone Check For Any Dangling Chads?

First up…this jewel from Puck Daddy. Seems a St. Louis Blues fan took a “T.J. Oshie For Mayor” write-in campain a bit too far and now he’s facing the possibility of jail time and $2,500 fine.

Let’s keep this in mind next year in case some of you start up a “Kovalchuk For Georgia Governor” campaign.

Anyway… so far, there are no reports from St. Louis on whether or not the Oshie for Mayor campaign will be filing suit demanding a re-count.

Follow The Leader

Ryan Dixon of The Hockey News opines that Sidney Crosby is setting the standard for Alex Ovechkin to follow. Maybe so, but if you gave me a choice between the two right now…I’d take Ovie in a heartbeat.

Take Five

Phil Foley of Atlanta Thrashers Examiner explains what he feels are the five biggest off-season needs facing the Atlanta Thrashers. Oh…and he’s posted the Hawks playoffs schedule. I sure would like to see both teams that call Philips Arena home having to work around each in the post-season next year.

Live…From Fargo! It’s The U-18 Championships!

Holly Gunning and Falconer are both reporting from the U-18 championships. Take a look at some of the photos Falconer has posted when he ventured out into Fargo, ND where the community is facing a very major threat from the rising waters of the Red River.

The Next American Star

Tom Ferda has this nice piece about the Blackhawk’s Dustin Byfuglien…who has gone from a late-round pick by Chicago in 2003 to fixture in the Blackhawks lineup.

Forget Where’s The Beef…Where’s The Gravy?

And finally…Billy Bob Thorton’s band, The Boxmasters, had to cut it’s Canadian tour short last week . A note was posted on Willie Nelson’s web site…whom the band was performing with…citing that the the cause was “due to one band member and several of the crew having the flu.”

Well…that ain’t exactly the whole story.

Seems as though Billy Bob angered Canadians by likening them to…now you may want to shoo the kids away from the computer here because this could get a little saucy…he likened them to “mashed potatoes but no gravy“. These vile and egregious words took Canada by storm and they were run out of The Great White North after being booed and heckled from enraged members of a Toronto audience.

Can you believe that… The utter unmitigated gall of that guy! Does he kiss his babies with that mouth?

Sheeze, Toronto…lighten up! We got your gravy right here!

I’ve got an idea…to prove Billy Bob correct…that we here in America do have the “gravy” on top of our mashed potatoes…heaping spoon-fulls of it even…what say next season when the Thrashers play a Canadian team, we show up at Philips Arena with boxes of mashed potatoes and cans of gravy? Maybe we can get Billy Bob to drop the ceremonial first puck before one of ‘em and have The Boxmasters perform after the game. I’m sure the Atlanta Food Bank would appreciate the donation, too.

Waddaya say…eh?

29 comments Add your comment


April 17th, 2009
8:30 am

I think you are misjudging Toronto and Canadians. Nobody here is upset, people are amused, we boo the Maple Leafs and we still love them. This is funnny story of an out of control Hollywood ego, the responses are light hearted and in fun. I think the issue is not that Billy Bob got upset, the issue is that he should own up to it and apologize. Canadians love his acting career (that was just to annoy him…)
We created a fun response T-shirt here, thousands of people checked it out and we even sold a few. http://www.artik.com/bob/


April 17th, 2009
9:55 am

Saul – First, thanks for reading and taking the time to post.

I’m sure you’re 100% spot-on regarding the situation…I, too, was just having some fun with it. Besides…some of my best friends are Canadians! :lol:

BTW…great link!


April 17th, 2009
10:20 am

Various and sundry:

I freakin’ hate Sidney Crosby. And I think it’s kind of insulting to put him in the same category as Ovechkin. There are those players who are naturally extremely talented, and who can effortlessly do very well. They also tend to be physically superior. I would point to Brendan Shanahan, Jaromir Jagr, and Jeremy frickin’ Roenick (who I also hate — but he’s ridiculously talented). Crosby is talented, but he’s not that kind of talented. He is pretty good and I’m sure he’ll have a full NHL career — he’s not, however, instinctively as solid as even some of the other players on his own team. He’s not as big or as instinctive as Ovie, and on an individual level he can’t compete. Now, on a team level, he can compete, and that is because Pittsburgh has a much better team configuration that allows Crosby to be relatively free to succeed. Washington doesn’t have that — if there’s no Ovie, there’s no Washington. Plus, Ovie’s not half the whining crybaby or cheap shotter that Crosby is. So I also would take Ovie over Sidney.

Are you guys watching the playoffs? So far I’m not too surprised, except that I really expected San Jose to pummel the Ducks more. And yay Rangers! We’re having a major grudge match in our house, since Mr. Nikita roots for Washington.


April 17th, 2009
10:54 am

I really lost all the respect I may have had for Crosby and his ball punching this season. The league looked the other way when it could have been any other player and they would have been fined or suspended.

Spud Webb

April 17th, 2009
11:07 am

Love it, Ovie is the best (my opinion) and you can keep Cindy.
LOVED watching the Ducks last night, only 1 game, but I predicted the overall upset, hope it comes through!!!
St.Louis blew some GOLDEN opportunities Wednesday night, in particular a 1:43 2 man PP & got NOTHING out of it. Can’t expect to win a game/series if you don’t cash in on those!!!
Loved seeing Hartnell go bananas against Pitt, at least philly (love em or hate em) show heart!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, anyone see the frogs playing George on the first line at times last night and for a full 13 minutes???????????????????? CLASSIC, hate both those teams, but I guess Boston a “little” less!!!! Going to be a PHYSICAL series.

Mr. Willson

April 17th, 2009
11:24 am

Will hope to see on Saturday at the Shanty, Bill.

In regards to the St Louis story, seems his biggest mistake was photographing his ballot. I think the DA is pushing a little hard tho for such a non-issue, IMO.


April 17th, 2009
11:52 am

Nice t-shirt, Saul. Funny. But what I really liked at your link was the SUNshine Girl.


April 17th, 2009
3:33 pm

where the heck did some of you learn hockey? Picking between Crosby and Ovechkin is like choosing between a date with Selma Hayek or Scarlett Johannsen. Sure, they’re different, but good Lord yes they are certainly both in the top 2 players of the NHL, you can’t go wrong with either one.


April 17th, 2009
3:52 pm

They’re in the top 2? They are not. Ovechkin is in the top 2. Crobsy’s in the top-10. Crosby’s not that hard, individually, to shut down. But Ovechkin is practically unstoppable. Ovechkin is a better skater and shooter (he has nearly double the goals that Crosby has); Crosby is a better two-way player and passer and faceoff taker.

But let’s boil this down to what’s important: Would Scarlett Johansen fake a faint, or bash your cojones while you’re talking to her sorority sister?

Tony C.

April 17th, 2009
4:11 pm

What’s her sister look like?



April 17th, 2009
4:15 pm

I’ll take Selma Hayek any day – THAT’S TALENT!

Oh, I’d have to disagree with you Bob, a little anyway. Ovie is at a higher plane of talent than Cindy (1A versus 1B), plus he’s appears to be a much better leader. “Leader” is not a word I’d assigned to Crosby.

The Joker

April 17th, 2009
4:18 pm

Salma Hayek is more likely to keep you well nourished.

The Joker

April 17th, 2009
4:19 pm

Crotchby could double as a nut cracker at Christmas parties.


April 17th, 2009
6:26 pm

Bob, can I have both?

Hayek and Johansen, I mean.


April 17th, 2009
7:36 pm

You know, I almost feel bad for Tampa Bay.



April 17th, 2009
11:08 pm

These are the tough decisions that have to be made guys. Me, I’d go with Scarlett Johansson. But heyyy, that’s meee. I also want Brayden Schenn at #4, not Kane or Duchene. But hey, those are good options, too. These are good kinds of problems to have.

10 years ago, who would you want more, Joe Sakic or Steve Yzerman? Does it really matter? The point is, you got a legitimate foundation player. I doubt Penguin fans are upset with Crosby, or Cap fans with Ovie. I clicked on the Tampa Bay link Alan provided, and even that author is trying to spread rumors that Lecavalier and his 11-year, $85 million contract might be shopped before the puck drops on the 2009-10 season.

No, I won’t allow myself to even think … for a second … that #4 could be #17’s centerman. It would surely cost us this summer’s lottery draft pick to make reality. But wow, Stamkos last year, then Hedman ANNND (pick one) Kane, Duchene, Schenn this year. If Tampa truly wanted shift gears, moving Vinny would allow them to clean up at the draft. I don’t personally believe a word of those Lecavalier trade talks. If Vinny wanted out of TB, he wouldn’t have put in that no trade clause. I think he likes it there, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with no state income tax on his $85 million deal.


April 18th, 2009
12:18 am

Here is TSN’s rundown of our top 12 prospects if anyone is interested. Disagree with the order somewhat, but it seems at least some thought went into it.


Get The Puck Out

April 18th, 2009
10:28 am

Draft a D- man and try to buy a center, if the owners can squeeze out enough money to get someone that will help keep Kovy happy and scoring 60 goals next season. Sign who you want to keep and trade for what you need. Now that doesn’t sound so hard does it?

ranallo10 (in AT)

April 18th, 2009
3:11 pm

Trading Lecavalier would be such a big mistake it’s not even worth discussing. I file that in the “Not Happening Anytime Soon” drawer.


April 18th, 2009
5:17 pm

Brendan, what do you think Thrashers should do with their goaltending? I find the present situation worrisome. My money long-term is on pavelec, but he is not ready yet. Lehtonen looks like another Theodore at best, i.e., the goalie you can’t rely on during the post-season. Besides, none of the three can fetch much in the trade deal, it appears, especially since the goalie market is stii a buyers’ market.


April 18th, 2009
5:39 pm

I file that in the “Not Happening Anytime Soon” drawer.

You forget who’s running the show in TB. Really, thinking about it, plus considering my link posted above, makes me feel more sorry for them.

…Almost. Hard to feel bad for a rival.

Tony C.

April 18th, 2009
7:46 pm

That Bear Mountain resort is gorgeous I was actually planning a trip up there…might not now that I know I’d be paying St. Louis’ contract.


April 18th, 2009
7:52 pm

Midfield, I’d try to hang on to Pavelec and further develop him. Pavelec was acquired, pretty much EXACTLY, where a goaltender should be procured, with a high 2nd round pick, where the GM is already in the “crapshoot/shot in the dark” portion of the draft. I hope he isn’t traded, unless it’s for an absolute “fleecing” of some other GM. But if an offer came for him that filled a serious need, I’d have to consider it. I just don’t think goalies can fetch enough to be worth their loss. I’d cut Hedberg loose, except that I cannot count on Lehtonen to be healthy. So, I’d carry all three goalies, with Moose up in the pressbox, filling in when Lehtonen is out. Moose won’t gripe about that arrangement, either. He’s team player, all the way.

Dang, Red Wings up, 3-0, in the 2nd period, over Columbus.

As for Lehtonen, I really think he’d be in a much better situation if our blueline were something like (”Tier I guy” – “Tier I guy”), Bogosian-Enstrom, Hainsey-Valabik. But it’s not. And probably won’t be for quite a while. What I’m saying here is … Kari doesn’t suck. He’d have much better numbers with a better system and better defenders in front of him. Uhh, I realize … that’s true of ANY goaltender. I’ve forgotten how old Kari is, but he’s nowhere near 30. Which means … his PRIME YEARS are still ahead of him. I’d re-sign him to a 3-year deal. That’s a happy compromise. He can’t fetch $5 million a year. He’ll wind up somewhere between $3.5 million to $3.75 million. Perhaps, as much as $4 million-per-year. It’s easy to point to Lehtonen and declare “him” to be the problem. It’s easy to look at Waddell and declare “him” to be the problem. But in the bigger picture, there’s a lot of blame to be spread around. Things are the way they are for this Thrashers team for a REASON. And worst part of it, is that Atlanta wounds are “self-inflicted.”

For my $0.02, I’d try to go with Lehtonen-Pavelec as the “1-2 punch” for the coming years, until it become obvious that one or both of them just can’t get the job done. The good news for both of these goalies is … there’s no “playoff ultimatum” hanging over this team. Quite on the contrary, I think there’s a VERY UNANNOUNCED “4 year building project” that is now halfway completed. What BETTER TIME to develop goalies than during a time when the team is expected to finish in the lottery draft, with salary cap FLOOR payrolls? (The uhh, “problem” with that, is selling it to Kovalchuk, who has waited entirely too long for this team to try to gun for the Stanley Cup. But that’s another topic.)


April 18th, 2009
9:58 pm

I agree, keep them Kari and let Pavlec develope, by the time he’s ready Moose will prolly be thinking about retiring. On the Crosby/Ovechkin subject they both are great players but I’d take Datsuyk or Zetterberg any day. Unlike like Ovie and Sid THEY have a Stanley Cup AND wicked skills.


April 18th, 2009
11:09 pm

Shifting the topic somewhat, but still talking globally about goalies, should any of the teams currently down, 2-0, switch netminders?

Before you say, that’s crazy!! Ya stick to what “brung ya” to the dance. I remind you all of the 2006 playoffs. In those playoffs, Carolina lost BOTH games, at home, against Montreal, with Gerber in net. Head Coach Peter Laviolette turned to Cam Ward, resulting in a gasp, “Who???,” for Game Three in Montreal. The results? Carolina won the next four games, en route to winning the Conference, en route to winning the Stanley Cup over Edmonton in seven games. The Conn Smythe Trophy winner that year??? Answer: Cam Ward, a rookie.

Columbus trails Detroit, 2-0. They’ve been outscored 8-1. Time to make a change in net? Or not? Montreal trails Boston, 2-0. Young Carey Price has come under fire. Boston has outscored Montreal 9-3, and Halak has actually made an appearance in Game Two. So, do the Habs stick with Price, or go with Halak the rest of the way? Or just for Game Three?

What about the Capitals? This should “stir it!” Should Head Coach Bruce Boudreau do like Bob Hartley did in Game Three of 2007, and return with his “mainstay” goaltender, Jose Theodore, for Game Three in New York? You’ll all recall that Moose played a very solid Game Two for Atlanta and was declared to be the goalie from that point forward by Hartley. In Game Two, Boudreau turned to Varlamov, who turned in a solid performance. Point of fact, he surrendered but ONE (1) goal. He didn’t get much production from the O-ffense, as the Caps were blanked by Lundqvist. So, what should Boudreau do? Stick with the hot backup, Varlamov? Or go with Theodore? When Hartley returned with Lehtonen, the Southeast Division Champions were blanked 7-0 at the Gahden. In Game Three, the 2009 Southeast Division Champions will be playing a “must win” game. With they be more like the 2006 Southeast Division Champions, rally for four (4) wins, take the series, to reach the Finals? Or will they be like the 2007 Southeast Division Champions, and be SWEPT?

If I’m John Tortorella, Head Coach of the Rangers, I now know this is my series to lose. There are potentially five (5) games left, with three (3) at the Gahden. Failure to close out this series with the Capitals will result in a “roasting” of the Broadway Blueshirts by the New York media. Nevermind that this is a 7th seeded Ranger team. Right now, I’d wager that fans on the Rangers blogsites are ALLLLREADDDDY sizing up a 2nd round series matchup with their arch rivals, the Boston Bruins, who are also up, 2-0, in their series. If the Rangers do win, and Habs don’t rally to take the series from Boston, then the Bruins (1) would face (7) the Rangers in the Conference Semi-Finals. And won’t that please Commissioner Bettman? If the TV-ratings on Boston vs. NYR suck, then hockey is in trouble. These are “original six” markets, steeped in hockey tradition.

NJ and Carolina are tied, 1-1. But Pittsburgh is up, 2-0, on Philly. I don’t think the Flyers will turn to Niittymaki in Game Three. But if the Penguins win that game, they’re almost certain to advance to Round II. The Penguins would host the Devils/Hurricanes winner, if Boston beats Montreal and the Rangers defeat the Capitals. Pens vs. NJ/Carolina winner would be a great matchup for the 2nd round.


April 18th, 2009
11:20 pm

I’m sorry. I mean “play” not “host.” If Carolina wins, Pittsburgh would host. If the Devils win, they are the #3 seed, and they’d host Pittsburgh. Sorry about that. Of course, nervously chuckling, I have the Capitals in that series with New York. It’s not quite over yet. And Montreal fans would argue that their series with Boston is far from finished, as well.

Tony C.

April 19th, 2009
12:06 am


Did you guys watch that Bruins-Habs game?

I havent seen a team play such a dominating physically, positionally and skillfully game in a long long time.

I mean we’ve seen Datsyuk & Co. (Don’t look but he’s the MIP in hockeytown now-appologies to Perfect Nic) undress teams and then stymie them with 20-minute sessions of keep-away.

San Jose has shown flashes of it in past postseasons, but Boston tonight just looked like world-beaters-such a convincing win. I remember some Dallas and NJD teams that dominated games like that where the other team just never had a prayer, but all of those were more machine/Borg-like.

Boston just playing good hard-nosed fast hockey. Wow. I didn’t think Bob Gainey was going to get fired.

Montreal turns just one more performance like tonight’s (and honestly, they just can’t seem to be able to-Markov’s absence is growing by the minute) and he’ll be shown the door I believe.


April 19th, 2009
12:20 am

Remember, Tony C., Montreal was the #1 seed last year. Can they really say, “we’re moving in the ‘right direction?’” Shaking head, “no.” Bob Gainey isn’t an idiot. But I do think he’s going to get fired if the Habs don’t at least make a fight of this series. It started to unravel with the shipping of Huet to the Capitals for a 2nd round pick in 2008, at the trade deadline, for a 2nd round pick. Alex Tanguay needs to be more of a presence in this series, too. You’ll recall that Montreal acquired Tanguay at the 2008 Draft, and a 5th round pick, from Calgary. In the exchange, Calgary got a 1st round pick in 2008 (I think it was pick #25??, but I can’t remember now, and Calgary took a sniper,) AND Calgary also got a 2nd rounder in 2009. So, the Habs still aren’t done paying out for Tanguay.

And right about now, how sorry are the Capitals that they shipped out that 2nd round pick to Montreal for Huet, and DIDN’T KEEP HIM? I bet that (former, lonnnngtime Capitals goalie) Olaf Kolzig, somewhere, is laughing. And where is Huet? Riding the pine, backing up Nicholai Khabibulin, in Chicago.

Trixie (Rawhide's Secretary)

April 19th, 2009
10:33 am

An update from St. Louis…According to Andy Strickland, the Oshie fan that got himself into a little hot in the mayor’s election water will NOT be prosecuted.