Left-field commentary with an emphasis on the tech and media aspects of the fantasy hockey universe. Published every second Sunday throughout the season. View the RN archive here.
Hey, if anyone out there needs any extra goals, Taylor Hall scored three from my bench last night, so I'm not using them. Fucking hell. I had my reasons, and they were logical, but still...fucking hell. If you didn't catch Hall's head-on collision with the post in the third period, it sums up everything you need to know about this kid. Up 9 -2 with a hat trick already under his belt, Hall almost KILLED HIMSELF looking for goal number four. Just awesome.
Much disgust in the direction of the shameless PR behind Georges Laraque's new book, The Story of the NHL's Unlikeliest Tough Guy, alternatively titled Throwing Former Teammates and NHL Legends Under the Bus. Look, if you want to try and make some money with a Cansenco-esque steroid rat-out, whatever. But dragging Wayne Gretzky through the shit in the name of selling units? That's just plain slutty. Apparently Laraque believes that The Wayner is "the worst coach I've ever played for", and a point was made of leaking this juicy tidbit to the press just days before Laraque's book release. Seriously, Georges, this is the best you can do? You know when you watch a movie trailer, and you say to yourself, "nahhhh I'm not gonna see that one". Yeah. This is like that. So, if you believe in all that is good and holy and right in this world (in short, Wayne Gretzky), then leave Laraque's sensationalist nonsense on the shelves and instead celebrate the upcoming Gretzmas season with something from simpler and cheesier times.
As per Facebook, the New York Islanders would like to invite you to Hurricane's Grill & Wings in Syosset for a wing eating contest and game viewing party! Wow. Super. I guess this explains the whereabouts of the 10,000 people missing from Nassau.
After the jump: dwarves, mushrooms, mules, Bambi, tweeting vs. squawking, selling high vs. staying high, and a little bit more.
Cam Collingwood's "Occupy Guy Boucher" is the funniest description I've read of the Nov. 10 Lightning / Flyers 1-3-1 standoff. Although Biznasty's tweet, "chipping away at our escrow 1-3-1 at a time" was pretty sweet too.
Barry Trotz is only the 4th coach in NHL history to coach 1000 games with the same team. I like Trotz because he's an amazing coach, but also because he reminds me of a crazy looney toons character. And he's not getting any less crazy-looking with age. I like to think of him as a kind of powerful dwarf magician, using his unearthly powers to build a playoff team without a single first line forward. Or... maybe it's just the mushrooms talking.
Speaking of Twitter, Brian Burke joined up in the last couple of weeks. Because we just don't get enough Brian Burke through conventional media. Although it will be nice to see him tweet instead of squawk.
I liked Shanahan's (lack of) response to the Milan Lucic / Ryan Miller incident. People have to remember that Officer Shanahan racked up 2489 PIM in his career, which ranks 22nd overall on the all-time list. Shanny tallied 100+ PIM in an amazing 17 seasons. Lean back, relax, and travel back in time with me to Shanahan's 1993-94 bottom line: 52+50=102, 211 PIM, 397 SOG, 42 PPP. Motherfucker.
This incredible fact from Bill Roose via NHL.com: "in the 59 career games that Johan Franzen has fired five or more shots on goal, he has scored 46 goals in 32 of those games - that's an astonishing 54.2% rate". I love obscure stats like that.
I went to the Canucks-Islanders game last Sunday. While it was fun watching the 'nucks play keep-away for 50ish minutes of the game, I couldn't help but feel for John Tavares, who, if he hasn't already, should ring up Rick Nash for his therapist's number. Such good players on SUCH bad teams. At least the Isles are young and should get good, eventually. There is hope there if you can wait.
From Rotowire via Yahoo!, posted Monday Nov. 14: "Milan Hejduk has 12 points in 17 games so far this season, a pace that would easily eclipse the 56 points he posted last year". Um, hang on. Easily? 12 points in 17 games this year puts Hejduk on pace for exactly 57.88 points, and that's assuming he plays 82 games, something he's done only once in the last six seasons. He's not about to eclipse anything easily. Shut up.
I actually laughed out loud when John Garrett referred to Michael Frolik as "Bambi Legs" after Frolik collapsed and slammed headfirst into the boards in the Canucks- Hawks tilt last Wednesday. Bambi Legs! It was said with a certain disgust too. Perfect.
As a Patrice Bergeron owner in three different leagues, I'd like to extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to Mr. Tyler Seguin, who is seeing to it that there is no longer a defined "first line" in Boston. I hung on to Bergie as a keeper through his Dead Zone years, always hoping/believing that he might one day return to his early career 70+ point form. While that might still be asking too much, the emergence of Seguin has at least turned it from a pipe dream into a possibility.
From Dobber's Nov. 15 ramblings: "Scott Hartnell has just one point in his last five games, so the ‘sell high' window has closed. You know what you're getting with this guy, so dreaming that he would get 80 points was just that - a dream." Well, after Scotty's three point performance yesterday, he's on pace for 69 points. That surely won't last, but if he sticks with Giroux all year and continues to see decent PP time, is it that unrealistic to see Hartnell getting 60? He'd need 44 points in his remaining 63 games, a .70 PPG pace. His average over the last four years is just over .60 PPG. If anyone can help make up that deficit, it's Claude Giroux. Hartnell hit 60 points once before, in 08-09, and three times that season he had stretches of five games or more with just a single point. Slumps are normal, even for high achievers. Those who "sold high" on Hartnell that year probably lost championships because of it. My point is this: when Hartnell's upsurge can be so obviously attributed to one factor (Giroux), for me Scotty becomes more "stay high" candidate than "sell high" candidate. Or, put it this way: are you going to win your pool this year because you took Stamkos 4th overall and he got you 90 points? No. But if you took Hartnell in the 9th and he ends up with a career year on Giroux's wing, well, that's the type of surprise that could really make a difference.
See you in two weeks. Cheers!