Saturday, January 31, 2009
Everyone else was comically, preposterously bad. Preposterous in the literal, etymological sense of the word: cart-before-the-horse, backwards, ass-about-face.
The Czar had a problem, noted during the telecast by Darren Eliot, watching every play and responding to passes. Which is just as well, I suppose, because he's the best passer on the team and no one else seems to have any idea how to accept his passes. This team has a long way to go before it has even half the on-ice vision and awareness required for an NHL game.
Tuomo Ruutu is an asshat, much like his brother. Such a brave, honorable thug, picking on giant bruisers like Toby Enstrom and Slava Kozlov.
Getting shut out is officially standard procedure.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Okay, dig this everybody. Our first category today is Aesthetics.
On the one hand, you've got:
Gold-painted Charlize Theron
Anna Pavlova (a fellow Aquarius! If only I'd been in Moscow around 1908)
The Kelmscott Chaucer
and Ron Hainsey.
On the other hand, you've got Rod Brind'Amour.
Now that I have your attention, our second category today is Competence, which might briefly be defined as "basic fitness for one's job."
On the one hand, you've got owners who can actually run a sports franchise properly. There also exist owners who may not run their teams well, necessarily, but who meet a minimum level of non-disaster.
On the other hand, you've got these guys.
Interesting. Happy Friday, everyone!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
So your Chronicle scribes witnessed most of the first period (Shooter, Monsieur, and myself were in our customary seats on the upper level; Razor had the opportunity to enjoy patrician wining and dining in the club section tonight), realized the Thrashers must really suck if they'd given up 4 goals to the Islanders, and decided to wander around Philips Arena until death came.
Our first stop was the pretzel place. After that, we sat around drinking beer in the huge concourse on the lower level. Shooter and I noted what a gorgeous arena Philips really is as Monsieur spewed bile about how much he hated the Thrashers and how they'd ruined his life, forever.
We eventually went to Taco Mac and ate a FULL MEAL and discussed astrology with the waitress. Your Chronicle editor has to admit he sort of believes in it. If you must know, Shooter is a Cancer, Monsieur is a Taurus, and I'm an Aquarius. Pretty sure Razor is a Capricorn. If you did natal charts on all of us they'd be pretty accurate.
ANYWAY, we were totally sitting in Taco Mac when three Thrashers scored goals and narrowed the Islanders' lead to 4-3. We demanded checks, paid most of what we owed, and ran like hell back to our seats.
It was then that we realized the Thrashers' main problem. We, the Chronicle, bring them bad luck. We were there for the Islanders' 4 goals in the first period, we weren't there for the Thrashers' comeback, and wouldn't you know it? As soon as we got back the Islanders scored again and we all had a sad.
I'm flirting with the idea of starting a poll: "Do the Chronicle scribes bring the Thrashers bad luck?"
And ways, if you're a hockey player that plays for the Thrashers, to seriously inflate your personal statistics against the Islanders.
This means you, Slava.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Vasily Livanov. He played Sherlock Holmes in over 20 Soviet-made films. Yes, for some reason the Soviet regime allowed Sherlock movies...anyway, some people consider him a better impersonator of Sherlock Holmes than most of his English counterparts. That redoubtable anti-Communist Margaret Thatcher even awarded him the OBE. Not that Livanov ever cared about the silly official ideology in the Soviet Union.
Do it, sir.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The greatest ambassador any sport has ever had, Wayne Gretzky, has repeatedly defended fighting as a necessary part of the game. Rather than being a "brutal" aspect of the sport, it actually keeps hockey more civilized. No suspension or fine that the league could levy against a player for a dirty hit can match the deterrence factor of Big Georges Laraque's fists. Because Marty McSorley was always there ready to drop the gloves, Wayne Gretzky never had to worry about somebody crosschecking him in the face.
Now the Canadian Press has conducted a poll of America's Hat and found a small majority of Canadians in support of banning fighting in the game they love almost as much as curling.
Coach's Corner this week should be a rare gem indeed once Don Cherry learns about this. I especially can't wait to hear what he has to say about the fact that - big surprise here - Quebecois support the ban more than anyone else in Canada. Must be the French tendency to surrender.
Yes, there is a danger inherent in fighting. The biggest danger is exactly what we saw recently; a player falling to the ice without a helmet can hit his head and suffer fatal injury. That is actually what happened to Donald Brashear when Marty McSorley hit him in the head with his stick. If you watch the video in slow motion, you can see his helmet ride forward on his head so that the back of his skull was unprotected when it hit the ice. That's what did the damage, not McSorley's stick. This isn't to defend that hit, just to clarify what part of the incident caused the most physical damage.
There's a danger of a helmet coming off anytime there is a collision or fall. Should we ban checks, lifting the puck off the ice, and skating faster than 10mph as well?
You know, the Thrashers have a history of goalie groin injuries. We should outlaw goalies going down to their knees to stop shots. Danny Briere had the flu last week. We should outlaw NHL players having children because of the danger of catching diseases they bring home from school.
But last night, I have to admit, Monsieur and myself missed the ENTIRE game against the Dallas Stars because we were getting blaggered in a hideously tacky hotel lounge high above Buckhead. There were many hideously tacky females on hand; strangely enough, they didn't seem impressed when I told them I was the editor of a marginal blog about the Atlanta Thrashers. Why is this?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I mean: really, Scott? I'm calling you out right now. Do you read the news? Do you actually turn on the television? Do you listen to what Kovy actually says? Do you really call yourself a sports journalist? Should I rather now associate you with Hockey Buzz? Are you Eklund?
Where is this information that you have about him leaving? He says "Elvis has left the building and so have the majority of Thrashers fans." You know, I'm still here. I'm still going to be here, and I hope Kovy will want to be here and work with the team and lift it. These type of comments are starting to get personal. I'm sorry but why would someone make him captain if they knew he was going to be gone immediately? DW has done some interesting things, as we all know, but he's not completely delusional.
This kind of admission of defeat and the loss of Kovy would mean naming Army or somebody else the captain. This is Kovy's team, and he knows it. He has love and pride for the city and the team. His family likes it here. He likes it here. We love him being here.
We love players like Bogosian and Brian Little, but there is only one Kovalchuk. The team knows it, DW knows it, JA knows it, the fans know it, and hell, even the Spirit knows it. Trading Kovalchuk now is Sherman marching to the sea once again, figuritively speaking of course. So Scott, I ask you one more time: Did you talk to Kovy? Did he tell you he wants to leave for Montreal? Where is YOUR source? Don't just speculate. He isn't Hossa.
Monday, January 26, 2009
In case you missed all the fun:
- Your Chronicle's liveblog of the skills competition, featuring cameos from Carrie Milbank and the Shamwow guy.
- Your Chronicle's podcast, recorded after those same proceedings.
- One more reason the Czar is the Czar.
Apologies for the lack of new material today. Amazingly, your Chronicle editor actually has real-life deadlines to meet. No applications to be the Czar's favorite concubine will be accepted after February 2nd. Go figure.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
First, something about how Kovalchuk is inevitably, assuredly going to leave. Who cares if this doesn't exactly sqaure with the empirical evidence we have? Then something unpredictable and daring and contrarian about how Todd White would be a better captain than Kovalchuk. Then something about how illogical this all is. No sir, nothing logical at all about the Thrashers making their best and most charismatic player captain. Makes no sense whatsofuckingever.
1. By, characteristic of, or designating routine or commercial writing: hack prose.
2. Hackneyed; banal.Phrasal Verb:
hack out Informal
To produce (written material, for example), especially hastily or routinely: hacked out a weekly column.
You have to admit it, you are loving all the showmanship the Russian delegation is putting on. From The Handshake to The Gatorade Squirt, the Ovechkin-Malkin kiss-and-make-up melodrama is easily the top story of the All Star weekend. Well, one thing you should probably know is who was behind the truce. It was none other than Ilya Kovalchuk, the noble southern gentleman and the upright family man that he is.
Friday night, during the dinner with other fellow All Stars, Kovalchuk got the two of them together and proposed to finalize the peace talks (which began earlier that day with the handshaking incident) and make it all official. "He poured it for us", said Malkin after the Super Skills last night, talking about a Russian peacemaking ritual, the deep-hidden essence of which you can easily guess.
"Yes, he poured us some water," added Ovechkin, just to clarify the deep-hidden essence of the Russian peacemaking ritual for those of us that are slower on the uptake.
Of course, it was also Kovalchuk's idea to let Malkin dress Alex (and give him a squirt of Gatorade) during the final Breakaway Challenge. Alex wanted to take the props out himself, but Ilya convinced him to use Malkin, thus putting the final touch on his peacemaking efforts. Between his gold-medal goal at the World Championships last year and his mediation of the Ovie-Malkin dispute with the Olympics looming ahead, Kovy is on the fast track to becoming Russia's favorite son right about now.
Kovy came up with the whole Malkin-dressing-up-Ovie extravaganza! He brokers peace between warring factions! He truly is the Czar of all the Russias. Always seeing the bigger picture, that Kovalchuk; will he be his country's captain in 2010? We think so.
Ladies and gentlemen, here is the All-Star Game podcast featuring Big Shooter, Morty, and myself French Catalogues. Razor could not be with us on account of him having previous engagements. Enjoy nonetheless. There is a special shout-out to the AJC's Rawhide.
Podcast #4 - The Chronicle
Saturday, January 24, 2009
This game is totally on TV right now. I was reading the Wikipedia entry on Montreal the other day...my, how I want to visit there. Big Shooter has already done just that, being a man of the world, but I'm not familiar with the Underground Magic City of McGill University and the Bell Centre.
Holy shit Joe Thornton and Jarome Iginla sitting in the same corner of the locker room. Can anyone say "HOTTT!"?
Joe Thornton talking to Chris Simpson. He's one chilled out dude. Joe just pointed at Chris' tits and made some excuse for pointing them out to everyone on the other side of the TV screen. Something about the English language. What a sexist bastard.
Some band with a chick lead singer playing U2's "Vertigo" (not one of their finest songs, in my opinion)...
Oh my God some crazy guy on an organ-like machine. PLEASE LET IT BE MEAT LOAF!
EHHHHHH-OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Canadians like their moose noises.
Not Meat Load on the organs. That's some too bad, man.
What happened to the Hives? Your Chronicle witnessed the Hives in the naked flesh at last year's All Star Skills Tournament. Who are these crazy sinners?
OOOOOOH I'M BI-LINGUAL. VIVA MOI!
Introducing the players. Keith Tkachuk is still bald. Iginla gets a big cheer. Ryan Getzlaf looks like a guy who could murder your mom. Patrick Marleau=puppy on ice. Joe Thornton looks like he just smoked a quality joint. Shane Doan is God.
Scott Niedermayer is soooooooooo olllllllllllllllllllllllllllllld. He looks a bit like a geography professor.
Bon soir, Jean-Sebastien!
Ladies and gentlemen, we've sighted Thrash. He was giving Sheldon Souray a hellacious cheer. He's sitting with the common people.
Patrick Kane looks a bit like Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Shooter and Monsieur don't like his long hair; I do. Why is this?
Vincent Lecavalier gets an amazingly loud and ferocious cheer. Wonder if he'll be playing in Montreal soon? Great French-Canadian playing in Montreal. Needs to happen.
Ovie kicks ass.
Heatley gets a mix of boos and cheers. Tomas Kaberle gets booed like a mofo.
The Czar looks handsome, gets a reasonably good crowd reaction. He is the Czar, after all.
Thomas Vanek has a faux-hawk.
The Bruins are getting booed like whoa. Chara is hated. Savard more so, perhaps.
Here come the Canadiens. WOOOOOOO VOILA LES GENS AIMENT LES CANADIENS!!!! ET MOI ET MOI ET MOI
OMG Marc Savard is talking into a haunted microphone tube in his ear. He's speaking to North America, in English, from his place on the ice. How is technology possible?
Zach Parise is talking to the continent as well. From the ice. Big Shooter has a serious crush on Zach Parise.
Fastest skater competition about to begin. Big Shooter going on about how badly he wanted Zach Parise on the Thrashers. Seriously folks, can you imagine how even more awesomer he'd be if he played under John Anderson or Lindy Ruff or some such man?
Speed competition a bit different this year. You all know that. Parise is talking to us again.
Jeff Carter. Oh who cares? We'll check back in after the skating thing.
WOOOOO Andrew Cogliano is super-fast. The Thrashers could have owned that man. Or Devin Setoguchi. Or Marc Staal. Or Anze Kopitar. Or Martin Hanzal. Or Marc-Eduord Vlasic. Or Paul Stastny. 2005 draft. Look it up. Alex Bourret and Chad Denny. WOOOOOO
Alex Ovechkin sitting right next to our Czar. Those two are so adorable together. Ovie LOVES hitting his head on things.
BIENVENUE À MONTRÉAL!
omg DID YOU KIDS SEE MARTIN ST. LOUIS ON THE BREAKAWAY CHALLENGE? He pulled all manner of balletic craziness. I have a new respect for him. Highly imaginative stuff.
Steven Stamkos is not impressing the Chronicle. Ryan Getzlaf was more interesting. So far no one compares to Marty St. Louis.
Ovechkin finally. Let's watch.
YES. YES. EVERY SO OFTEN A HOCKEY PLAYER REALLY DELIVERS. Malkin dressed Ovie in crazy hat and sunglasses (complete with Canadian flag flapping in the wind) while Kovalchuk looks on and laughs. Joe Thornton is tripping balls.
You have GOT to respect Ovie's use of props. Showman and genius. Big Shooter would like to announce he's replacing Big Georges Laraque with Ovechkin. As in Ovie's taken BGL's spot in his heart. All things change.
Carey Price standing around with Chris Simpson, who just used the word "sucks" on live American television. Where's the FCC? They need to force her to mop floors at Pinkerton headquarters, for her sins.
Kovy and Ovie still sitting together like they're bestest friends or something. Gordie Howe suddenly on the TV screen, looking like a decrepit English duke on Bond Street.
Young Stars Game about to start. HOLY SHIT THAT'S LUC ROBATAILLE, COACHING THE ROOKIES.
Bryan Little NEARLY scored a goal. He and Setoguchi and Cogliano are all playing on the very same team. How awesome is that?
Bryan Little nearly scored, once again. Stamkos scores, dammit, and the Rookie are handing it to the Sophomores.
Ilya Kovalchuk has an excellent taste in clothing. A real sense of style. Seriously, look at his gear on the All Star webpage thing. LOOK HERE, AND KEEP CLICKING 'TIL YOU SEE HIS BEAUTIFUL FACE.
Marc Staal, who's a member of the Staal family, just scored a goal and the Sophomores are learning how to cope with a post-industrial economy.
Jesus, Versus is almost as bad as Sports South. Mason Raymond just scored for the Sophomores and their cameras were too busy eating clay to notice. Anyway, Stamkos just scored again AHHHH WHO CARES
Luke Schenn scores. Rookie trouncing Sophomores. Setoguchi nearly set Little up for a goal, but it did not happen. Uh sad, uh sad.
OK. The Young Stars Game is cute, but why can't this thing finish up and move back to the actual All Stars? The Staal family is SO blonde. Blonde. BLONDE.
Grandma trout porn, says Monsieur Catalogues. "Grandma, she fists those trouts," remarks Big Shooter.
Pat LaFontaine on the TV machine. He thinks he's helping sick children by defecating on their brains with video games.
Kidding. Good man for doing what he does. At some place called St. Justine Hospital, or something. If your Chronicle editor ever has a daughter, her name will be Justine. Seriously. YOU THINK I'M LYING? YOU CALLIN' ME A LIAR? I AIN'T NO...
Little and Setoguchi belong together. Can we please trade Chad Denny for OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH LITTLE PASSES TO SETOGUCHI AND THEY SCOOOOOORRRRRE!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
Little and Setoguchi. Together. Wow.
Cogliano nearly scores, doesn't. Damn fate.
Drew Doughty has a nice shot. The Rookies are so winning this game. Big Shooter would like you all to know that he thinks Pat LaFontaine should be honored with a national American holiday, in the United States. His service on the fields of New Orleans and Bull Run and Verdun and My Lai demands it.
Dude on the TV screen says that our Bryan Little is the Young Stars MVP. I would dig that, but that's just's can't's be right. It's not, in fact. Blake Wheeler rather.
Mark Messier on TV, bald. Talking about (aside from "OOOH I'M MARK MESSIER") dining with the President. BUT HE'S NOT EVEN AN AMERICAN CITIZEN! How dare he? Big Shooter claims that Razor Catch Prey doesn't find Carrie Milbank attractive. I find this hard to believe. If true, I think our friend RCP needs electro-shock therapy.
At least three out of your four Chronicle scribes appreciate her.
The Czar trying to interfere with Marc Savard's haunted hell microphone. Savard pushes him away in cold fury.
Kovy time. Excuse me.
Fact: Dany Heatley has an A on his jersey. Ilya Kovalchuk has a C.
Players competing in the Accuracy Contest are compelled to destroy McDonald's and hate global monopoly capitalism and advocate a more health-conscious style of eating.
DO IT, THE CZAR! DO IT!
The Czar got 3 of the bastards. Apparently Heatley went 4 for 4. Ugh. GO SAVVY! The man's a passer, he and I say.
Can you imagine Joe Thornton and Keith Tkachuk passing pucks to the Czar on a regular basis? Imagine that line: Kovalchuk-Thornton-Tkachuk. WOOOOOO
Malkin beats Heatley. Good. Savard is talking up a storm. Malkin wants to replace all McDonald's restaurants with Russian coffee houses.
Shea Weber is a badass. A bad badass. Big Shooter is predicting that Sheldon Sourray is going to clock in around 106. We'll see.
Sheldon Sourray. Let's see. Hm. He's disappointed Big Shooter.
Chara's slapshot is hellacious. 105! JESUS.
Tim Thomas is quaking in his pads. He was supposed to face all the scary Russians: Malkin, Ovechkin, and Kovalchuk. But he traded Kovalchuk for Kovalev blah blah blah....what's going to happen in the Elimination Shootout? Let's watch.
DO IT SHANE DOAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO IT! SHANE DOAN! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
SHANE DOAN SCORES ON LUNDQVIST! WOOOOOOO!!!
Zach Parise. DE-NIED BY BACKSTROM.
Dustin Brown has failed. Very nice move, didn't geterdun.
Toews has returned to the locker room in abject shame.
Niedermayer scores, but the refs say he didn't.
Sourray scores five-hole. WOOOOOO
Chara misses. Savard? SCORES! Man he's talking again.
Patrick Marleau eats Backstrom alive.
Heatley DOES NOT score. WOOOOOO
Kovy doesn't score. Why? Why? WHYYYYYYYY?
Big Shooter: "Timmy Thomas is not going to let in a single goal tonight."
Oh man, it must suck to be Mark Streit. He just fell. Ha ha ha ha. Ha ha. HA.
Nothing, not even gingers, get past Timmy Thomas. Starting goalie for Team USA in 2010?
Marc Savard is 31, looks 12.
Mike Modano is teh suck.
Joe Thornton: "Dude, what?"
Ryan Getzlaf with a wondrous move, but Timmy is TOO good.
Timmy de-nies Malkin.
Now that I think of it, Patrick Kane needs to cut his hair.
WAHAHAHAHA Thomas traded Kovalchuk for Kovalev and Kovalev scored on him oh hah ahah heeeeeeee
Marc Savard is all like: "Everyone's right-handed." Future colour commentator/
SHANE DOAN SCORES AGAIN! WOOOOOO! Scott Niedermayer also. Also.
Savvy with a NICE move. He was squeeking all the way.
PATTY MARLEAU SCORES!!!!!!!!!! HE'S A GREAT SERVANT OF THE HOCKEY!
Milan Hejduk with a SICK MOVE, as the kids say.
Mike Modano is weeping because Willa Ford would rather sleep with Jeremy Roenick and Mike Grier, at the same time.
Ryan Getzlaf scores again.
Timmy denies Kovalev.
Down goes Niedermayer, Shane Doan scores AGAIN. WOOOOO
Did Savard just score? Wow.
Patrick Marleau eliminated by Tim Thomas, who brings his lunch to work or something.
Milan Hejduk is a killing machine. Getzlaf is out.
Shane Doan, Marc Savard, and Milan Hejduk are the best hockey players of all time. WOOOOOOOO SHANE DOAN
Savvy scores. NOT his Kovalchuk move this time.
Milan Hejduk out. Down to Doan and Savard.
SHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOANSHANE DOAN SHANE DOAN
Friday, January 23, 2009
- How many comical misunderstandings is the Czar going to have with the French fur traders along the St. Lawrence this weekend?
Et moi et moi et moi - Jacques Dutronc
Thursday, January 22, 2009
If the NHL Players Association has its way, we may soon see the end of the NHL All-Star Game as an annual event.
The union, you see, has a grander plan, one in which an annual break in the NHL season would take place every February, and depending on the year it would be filled by the Olympics, a World Cup, an all-star game or perhaps a spectacular hockey convention.
“It would be a win for everybody,” said former NHL goaltender and broadcaster Glenn Healy, now the NHLPA’s director of player affairs. “We’ve got to sell the game.”
And "sell the game" that would. Your Chronicle editor has to admit that he finds All Star Games, at least every year, a little dull. He did enjoy himself at that one in Atlanta last year, though.
Point is, your Chronicle editor would like a bit more surprise and variety in the yearly break from the NHL.
Your Chronicle editor also heartily endorses the NHL Players' Association on this issue. In fact, he thinks that there ought to be a World Cup of Hockey every 4 years, much like what those soccer fellers in the Foreign Countries practice. It would be a fine and refreshing change, almost as fine and refreshing as this.
How a regular World Cup Tournament would affect the role of NHL players in the Olympics is an interesting question.
I have to admit I'm really enjoying Rich Peverley right now. I get really excited when watching him and Kovy together. He is fast and moves the puck really well. He is also very creative and finds interesting areas or ways to put the puck to another player or to the net.
Remind you of somebody else on that line? Kovy moves at his will and skillfully moves around traffic. We thought Christensen was going to be the guy that could do that, but he doesn't do well in high traffic areas. Last night was a heartbreaking loss. Yet, did anyone see the play that lead to Kovy's goal? One great pass to Army and another to Kovy, it was wonderful.
So my question is this: If we go for those top two guys in the draft, which one would you want? If Kovy feels confident and pleased with Peverley then should we stick with him, and build more upon our young defense and get Hedman? We could then focus on getting another right winger. The thing is, I'm really happy with our top two lines right now. Army has been playing well with those two, and he hasn't done anything for me to think otherwise right now.
As we all know, our PK is awful. Truly awful. Right now, maybe Hedman is the ticket. It wouldn't hurt to have Hedman, Hainsey, Toby, Bogo, Boris, X and presumably Oystrick and Kulda (maybe). Then we could also go for a another stay-at-home defensemen just for good measure.
But, John Tavares is John Tavares. He is going to be a big deal, and could you imagine him with Kovy? It's all endless speculation. I go back and forth on both players, but we have wanted a number one center forever. I guess if we pass, then we are foolish. In theory we could make it Kovy, Pevs, and Tavares on the wing. That'd be pretty cool man....
I honestly don't think we are going to get the number one. The Islanders will most likely get that. So it all matters on who they get, and I think we should just win as much as we can to show progress. That'd really defeat the purpose and idea of Peverley being the center. So, hopefully we'll get higher up in the standings because no one wants to finish like we did last year two years in a row.
I'm curious as to what people think. I remember reading on a website, that great centers are wonderful, but stud defensemen come around only so often. Yet, Hedman doesn't center Kovy, and Tavares just kicks ass.
Side note: There is an article about Daultan Leveille on how he is playing very well at Michigan State in his freshman year.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
If you want to blame someone, blame...who do we get to blame? The wicked god that presides over hockey? I swear the Thrashers have the most terrible luck in all of sports.
That game was like being sentenced to death, then five minutes before your scheduled execution being told you'd be allowed to live, followed by the announcement that the authorities thought they'd just kill your dog and your entire family instead.
We, here at the Chronicle, are not known for self-referentiality or gazing up our own backsides.
But we'd like you to know that today is our first birthday, and we'll be having a celebration at Chuck E. Cheese's. It doesn't matter which Chuck E. Cheese's you go to; just enjoy yourself at the nearest one.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
3 wins in a row. Bogo with another goal and another assist. The Pev Dispenser keeps on dispensing. Even though he didn't register a point, Kovalchuk was solid all night. Kari Lehtonen was nothing short of brilliant.
WHO IS THIS TEAM?
P.S. Am I the only one that thinks our new First Lady is smokin' hot in that First Lady sort of way?
P.P.S Get well soon Jimmy Slates! We miss your crazy dashes up and down the ice. But you spent most of the game looking on with the Ice Girls, so your situation couldn't be that bad.
Well there you have it, another win. My goodness, something is up. It'd be foolish to think that Kovy getting the C wouldn't have something to do with it. There seems like a sense of direction, hell, even purpose. Then you have these two guys.......... Bogo and the Pevs Dispenser.
So, these two get back at the same time and start producing. These were two players I wasn't expecting much from immediately. Bogo is so young that I was willing to be patient. Pevs on the other hand, I was expecting Eric Christensen part two. But my, I was wrong, and I am always willing to admit when I'm wrong. I am, despite what some might think. Look back down to the Vegas Leafs post where Rawhide laid it out for me in the comments. Then you have Kari who has been playing mighty well himself lately as well. That second period wasn't quite up to par, then in the third Kari came up huge.
It was a thrilling game. Tomorrow we go to our "Achilles Heel," the Philadelphia Flyers. Nittymaki, as we know, makes us look like fools. It'd be nice to make him look like a fool for once.
While this is all eerily familiar to us Thrasher fans who suffered through the post-lockout season when Pasi Nurminen's career was ended by a knee injury, I still can't help but laugh because it is the Islanders.
Aside from the comedy inherent in all of this, it brings up the point that this is a team that absolutely has to find a decent netminder as soon as possible. Along with Edmonton, Atlanta is one of the most prominent teams with an overabundance of NHL caliber goalies. The Oil moved one of their extras this weekend, and they may still re-gift Sabourin. He looks to still be an AHL goalie, but is better than what the Isles have now.
I would say that it is a given that Garth Snow (hee hee) will be calling DW this week to talk about acquiring either Pav or Kari. The question I have is whether or not the Islanders have anything (other than the top pick in this year's draft, which they're NOT desperate enough to trade to us) we'd want.
I could see swapping first round picks (likely meaning Atl would get the #1 and the Islanders the #4 or 5) and taking a highly touted prospect or young roster player for Pav. The Isles being what they are, I just don't know enough about any of their players other than Commrie, Weight, Guerin, and DiPietro. Do they have anyone under the age of 30 who would be worth trading Pav?
Enjoy Coach's Corner. I haven't even seen this yet myself. The trip to Nashville kind of got in the way. Hey, by the way... I saw Joesph Crabb in what I thought was the ridiculously large beer line. As it turns out, he was in line to get a pretzel (I was not there for the pretzel). Oystrick was in line with him, and the Crabb man was complaining how fidgety he was. Things ended up badly for our friend Joe, as he only wanted a pretzel if it had cheese on it. Sadly, he left in disappointment. NO CHEESE FOR YOU! Oystrick left as well, apparently only there for John Anderson's rule of using the Buddy System while on the road.
Joesph, if you get scratched at a home game might I suggest a Wetzel Pretzel... you don't even need the cheese.
For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.
Monday, January 19, 2009
...after the buyout process is resolved and the legal feuding ceases, the fate of the Thrashers eventually may hang in the balance. Unlike the Hawks, the Thrashers are not tied to a 30-year bond payment-agreement for Philips Arena and could be moved.
Some fans worry about that prospect, given Atlanta’s pro hockey history. The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in 1980, leaving the city without a hockey team until the Thrashers arrived in 1998.
“The difficult one long-term will be hockey,” Hope said. “I think hockey is certainly the sport at risk...
Hope being Bob Hope, who is described in the article as "a long-time public relations executive who at one time worked for the Hawks and Braves." Exactly what his current relation to the Atlanta Spirit is, and how credible and knowledgeable a source he is, isn't made clear by the article.
I remember Don Waddell saying the exact opposite, that the Thrashers were very much tied to both Philips Arena and the Hawks, at the season ticket holders' town-hall meeting just before the start of the season.
A) Don Waddell doesn't know what he's talking about.
B) Don Waddell wasn't being totally truthful.
C) The author of the AJC article, one Kristi E. Swartz, (with some help from a Tim Tucker) doesn't know what she's talking about.
D) Bob Hope, a former PR man for the Braves and the Hawks, has some inside knowledge that Waddell doesn't.
E) Bob Hope, a former PR man for the Braves and the Hawks, is an idiot.
F) My awkwardness with legal-bureaucratic-financial jargon has led me astray and I'm misunderstanding all of this in some fundamental way. I remember Waddell talking about a 100-year lease on Philips Arena and some business about the Arena, the Hawks, and the Thrashers all being bound together in some sort of agreement that wasn't likely to be sundered. I'm not even sure what "bond payment-agreement" means in this context, so if any of you savvier minds can fill me in (Razor is a legal feller; can he help?) I'd be much obliged.
I have always done my best to make sure that I give as much time as possible to people who are nice enough to ask for my autograph and if I have time for a short chat, it will happen. Unfortunately in today's professional sports there are far to many athletes who don't show the appreciation back to the fans. It's not very difficult to take a couple minutes out of your day to sign an autograph, shake a hand, or just simply say hi and flash a smile. If it weren't for the fans, all of our jobs would be diminished to basic men's sports leagues with a designated post game beer supplier.
It truly amazes me how many people are curious about who is reading and responding to the emails they are sending me, and my reaction to that curiosity is that I can't blame you, because usually there is no response or an automated response. My mission is to be different, one personal response at a time!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We wanted to go out after the game, but there was nothing left of Nashville after the Thrashers' relentless shelling.
Sat dangerously close to Don Waddell; Shooter ran into Joseph Crabb and Nathan Oystrick in the pretzel line; Razor ran into Dan Kamal in the men's room.
In all seriousness, four short points:
2. Rich Peverley, I mean, Pev Dispenser=Jesus
3. Atlanta needs to find some way to put Philips Arena in the middle of a ton of bars, in a good walking area. Walking down the street in Nashville, it's all like Bar, Bar, Bar, Bar, Hockey Arena, Bar, Bar, Bar...
4. The Preds fans support their hockey team extremely well. The game was sold out, and the crowd was passionate but extremely polite to us opposing troops.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
What we wanted to say though was that we want to thank Rawhide so much for letting us sit with him at the game. It was quite the experience. He was quite the gentlemen, and so accommodating. What a wonderful game it was.
We do want to acknowledge the fact that Richard Peverley is now called the Pev Dispenser ( I say Pevs) . Pass it along. Spread it like wildfire. This name came from Razor, and we are going to run with it.
With that all said, it was a fun game. It was extremely exciting. It was too bad to see what happened to Moose. Kovy, Little, the Pev Dispenser, Hainsey, and so on played quite a game. Good game boys.
Tomorrow the Chronicle goes to Nashville to watch the team. It should be quite the trip. At least tonight we won, and we "did it clean."
Do It Clean - Echo & The Bunnymen
Friday, January 16, 2009
We promise Know Your Blogger's imminent return. It's a matter of when, not if. The holidays threw us off a bit (a lot), and things have been a bit busy and distracted round the Chronicle's main office lately, but I can assure you it'll be back next week. And every week after. Srsly.
We hope you have a happy hockey weekend; all four of the Chronicle's scribes will be making our way up to Nashville for Saturday's game against the Predators. After that, drinks with Merle Haggard and "Islands in the Stream" karaoke.
I'll leave you with a French dame. Don't forget to read Razor's and my farewells to President Bush, here and here, respectively.
- Bach's "Goldberg Variations" played by the great Canuckistani pianist Glenn Gould, because it's Glenn freaking Gould for God's sake.
- "Quand les hommes vivront d'amour" by Raymond Lévesque, because I know absolutely nothing about French-Canadian music and this one kind of reminds me of actual French singers like Serge Gainsbourg and Jacques Dutronc. Sort of.
- "Departure Bay" by Dianna Krall, because she's married to Elvis Costello.
Vote for your favorites here. The HNIC staff needs your help.
Just following up on Razor's benediction.
Goodbye forever, President Bush. God bless you, sir, for keeping us safe from angry bearded types with designs for spectacular mass murder, for doing what you could to keep all of our major cities intact, for improving our educational system, for upholding the Bill of Rights and minimum international standards of civilized behavior, for being a responsible steward of the economy and environment and of America's reputation in the world, for combating nuclear proliferation and other strands of dangerous weaponization, for at least trying to find a reasonable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and for all the cool wars and stuff that will no doubt make very interesting reading in 100 years' time. Assuming that the human race still exists by then. And that if we do, there's still a segment of the population that can read.
This is yet another of those teams that the Thrashers should still be able to beat. Well coached, but lacking in real talent. Last time the Leafs blew into Atlanta, the Blueland Boys put up an absolutely pathetic effort. We'll see tonight how well John "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal(But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)" Anderson has whipped them into shape, and the effect of the officially-in-charge Czar.
On an unrelated note- and I know Morty will be, well, mortified- I'd like to extend thanks to President Bush for all he's done for us over the past 8 years. His goodbye speech last night was characteristically humble and on point. I sincerely hope that history treats him better than his contemporaries have.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The venerable CBC, home of the single greatest night of hockey coverage on the planet Earth (it doesn't get any better than Don Cherry, Ron MacLean, Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock) is asking our hockey-loving, Beaver-worshiping, Moose-riding brothers and sisters north of the 49th to make your newest President a playlist of classic Canadian songs. How cute.
Your Chronicle editor wants plenty of Arcade Fire and Leonard Cohen.
To put it mildly, JR is bored by the (after a win) "We played a good game. [Insert goalie nickname here] made some great saves and we kept our feet movin.' Hopefully we can keep it up"and (after a loss) "We played alright but we just couldn't finish. It's important to play all 60 minutes of the game and try hard" school of question-answering. For all the NHL players who I'm certain are reading, I think you'd be well-advised to consider JR's tips for making yourself more interesting:
“There are two ways players can be better interviews,” Roenick said. “No. 1: speak your mind. If you feel passionately about something, then grow a pair, grow a thick skin, and say so. Don’t be afraid that you’re going to say the wrong thing. If it comes from your heart, if you know that you’re right, step up and let people hear what you have to say.
“And No. 2: for christ’s sake – for christ’s sake – show some fucking enthusiasm during interviews,” Roenick said. “I see too many interviews where young guys say the same thing night after night after night. It’s bullshit."
“You know what, guys? Don’t just give us the usual clichés. Don’t do interviews where your eyes are just staring off into space when they should be looking into the camera. Say something funny once in a while! And if somebody scores a sick goal, it’s OK to say ‘damn, my teammate scored a sick goal!’ ”
“I think and I hope guys like Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg will learn that there’s a way they can be brash and emotional when they’re away from the ice,” Roenick said. “It’s got to be for the right reasons, of course, but anybody who says there’s no place in our sport for honesty and personality is out of their minds.”
That last paragraph is most interesting and important, I think. It's one thing to be a cocky douchebag who can't cut off their own flow of stupid self-aggrandizement (something you see a lot of in other sports, and an ever-present danger for colorful hockey characters like JR), but there is a place for, as the Man says, "honesty and personality."
For some reason the more colorful hockey personalities are mostly coaches: Ron Wilson and Craig MacTavish would be examples.
Of course it can become excessive, but right now the NHL has an excess of vanilla stars who, for whatever reason, refuse to speak their minds or give interviews with even a modicum of liveliness. We need more JRs (a role that the Russian players are performing very well in their Russian-language Puck Daddy interviews, all of them, from Viktor Kozlov to Alexander Semin to Ilya Kovalchuk to Malkin and Ovechkin) and less Sidney Crosbys. More flair and frankness and theatricality, less "Uh, we played a good game but my knee really hurts I hope I won't miss too many games."
4. Dancing with Ellen
3. The Jet Blue interview with Letterman:
2. Buying a New Apartment
1. On Ecstasy
We'll miss him. Godspeed, Jason; you've given us a lot of memories.
Hit it Enya.*
Only Time - Enya
*Yes, that joke was stolen from the Pensblog.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Your Thrashers actually had a chance tonight. The Senators are a bad team and there's a lot of hate in Philips Arena that might have propelled the Thrashers to a blistering win...the Thrashers beat the Sens several times when they were one of the best teams in the league.
At some point tonight I think we had a lead.
Rich Peverley will be great for the Wolves. Kari Lehtonen needs help.
Oh yeah we traded Jason Williams to Columbus for some guy and a draft pick and who gives a shit.
UPDATE: So I'm watching NHL On the Fly and the panelists basically stop the show to deliver the longest, most in-depth analysis I've ever seen on the NHL Network. The game they were analyzing? You guessed it.
They were offering suggestions for effective ways to kill a penalty.
So I's sitting here studying the San Jose Sharks vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning game, illegally, thanks to our beloved commenter Swegs, and I'm all like: "My, sirs and mesdames, I've been drinking a lot of wine tonight and I daresay my Sharks have beaten the godawful Lighting 7-1 or something like that."
But that's not the point. I'm happy the Sharks (who are like SO my second favorite team after our hapless Thrashers) won, but it bears pointing out that Todd McLellan's Sharks were extra-classy in the closing minutes of the game. Why? Because instead of putting Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau onto the ice, your Todd McLellan (my Todd McLellan?) sent out the 3rd and 4th line guys so as not to humiliate the Lighting TOO much.
Joseph Thornton could have had a hat trick, for all we know. But T-Mac decided to pit the less offensively-brilliant players on the SJ Sharks against the less talented players on the Lightning (not that Vinny or Marty are slouches; I'm referring to the penalty-soaking others)
By the way (speaking of class and gallantry), if you love Israel's massacre of impoverished brown-skinned children in the Gaza Strip, in the name of "counter-terrorism," you don't deserve to be alive.
Meshuggah! I hate Hamas too, and Jewishness is one of the most important things in my life (if you want detail on this I ain't gonna give it to you) but Jesus H. Christ...I hate fundamentalists of all stripes. Violent folks. Where are Baruch Spinoza and Joseph Roth and Charles Reznikoff and Hannah Arendt and Albert Einstein when you need them?
I'll probably regret typing this kind of thing in the morning. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Now then. On to Business:
Our esteemed comrade the Falconer has all kinds of things to say about Rich Peverly. He's far more optimistic about this young man than your Chronicle, and for good reason:
A club like the Thrashers would be wise to give a cheap minor leaguer like Peverley, Haydar, Krog, Chris Kunitz or Brett Sterling a legitimate shot each year. These players typically come with flaws but if you can squeeze a 40-50 point season out of player making close to the NHL minumum--that means you can make those cap dollars go further (like paying your super stars the going rate).
Scorers always end up getting paid in the long--a GM earns his keep by finding value in cheap players before they start making the big bucks (the Red Wings find guys like Mikael Samuelsson and Dan Cleary). A revenue poor team like Atlanta really needs to exploit cheap offensive guys like the Rich Peverleys and Chris Kunitizs of the world.
I'm actually encourage that Rich Peverley is going line up with Kovalchuk on Wednesday night. That tells me that the organziation is being realistic about where they are and they're using games and ice time wisely to look for bargains and players who could help in next season.
He's referring to Chris Kunitz for a reason:
Every so often there is a guy in the minors who is given a shot by NHL team and he turns out to be a useful NHL player...
[An] example of this is the "fish that got away" aka "Chris Kunitz" whom the Thrashers wisely claimed off waivers only to have Bob Hartley refuse to give him a real opportunity in the NHL. Anaheim got Kunitz back when the Thrashers tried to send him down to the AHL and after he was given a realistic shot in the NHL he posted 40, 50 and 60 points in the NHL. Again, he's no All-Star but he is decent complimentary guy.
I honestly didn't know that the Thrashers once owned the rights to Christ Kunitz. That hurts me. Deeply. Dear God that sucks.
Oh. Oh. Woe Betide.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I'm not getting my hopes up. I did that with Christensen, who Peverley, skill-wise, reminds me of. Hmmm....I'm seeing a pattern here.
From there, he asks the fans of your Atlanta Thrashers which start time they prefer. Judging from the comments, it seems quite a lot of Thrashers fans are unhappy with the 7:00 start time during the week, for good and obvious reasons: the horrific traffic in and around Atlanta, the horrific traffic, and, and, the horrific traffic.
Your editor thinks all weeknight games should start at 7:30, for many of the same reasons, plus the fact that a later start time would give him more time to down the megalith beers from Gorin's in the CNN Center.
I absolutely detest afternoon games. I don't mind the 5:00 Sunday games, because 5:00 is technically early evening, and it gives one plenty of time to debauch oneself while staring at a gigantic Wolf Blitzer. For whatever reason I can't even go to a movie in the day-time; it just doesn't feel right. Hockey games, movies, etc. ideally have to wait until after dark in my personal universe.
At any rate, what do you folks think? Do you have a preferred starting time? If so, WHY?
Some dude in the comments suggested they move the arena out to the suburbs. Worst. Idea. Ever.
UPDATE: What do you think of national anthems before every game? Necessary? Which do you prefer (aesthetically speaking, not in some nationalist way): The Star-Spangled Banner or O Canada? Shouting "Knights!" during our anthem? As the kids say: pass or fail?
- ESPN feller and Byron Young patient E.J. Hradek says that a new World Cup tournament could be just around the corner. It would certainly be bitchin'.
- Mikka Kiprusoff is on pace for 50 wins. This season, that is.
- Bryan Murray has no idea what to do with the Senators. Might as well just sell them all to sex traffickers in Romania.
- The Phoenix Coyotes are in almost as much financial trouble as the people who make shitty American cars, and they've imposed a few "austerity measures" on their employees. For example: Coyotes' scouts' travel fun has been reduced. That sucks, man.
I don't see anything happening to hockey in the desert, though. The Coyotes are here to stay, whether or not Winnipeg gets another franchise, and to any pissed-off Coyotes fans who might be reading: I feel your pain. Keep the faith, my friends.
- NHL.com has posted a mid-season report on which players seem likely to win all those shiny trophies at the end of the season. Predictable stuff. Why no Patty Marleau for the Lady Byng or the Hart? And for God's sake, as great as Lidstrom is, I don't think he deserves the Norris this year. There are at least five defensemen who deserve it more than him...who, you ask? Off the top of my head: Duncan Keith, Zdeno Chara, Dan Boyle, Shea Weber, his teammate Brian Rafalski...
- Your Chronicle editor heartily endorses the Buffalo Beast's list of the 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2008. Your editor's favorite President is number 50.
Monday, January 12, 2009
We haven't done The News in a while, so here goes:
- On TSN, I read that the Tampa Bay Lightning--our divisional rival in the Tavares/Hedman Sweepstakes--are considering trading Vincent Lecavalier to the Montreal Canadiens for Christopher Higgins, Tomas Plekanec, draft picks, and a top prospect.
Being a Thrashers fan I don't have much enthusiasm for Lecavalier, but I have to admit I think it would awesome to see him playing in Montreal. It would be great for the sport to have one of the NHL's biggest stars (and best players) playing in his hometown, and there's a certain romantic quality about the idea of Lecavalier joining the ranks of Maurice Richard, Jean Béliveau, Guy Lafleur and other great French-Canadian hockey stars who've played in Montreal. I say do it. But then again I'm not a Lightning fan.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins are suffering. James Mirtle and Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy with diagnoses here and here, respectively. No doubt the absence of Sergei Gonchar is hurting them badly, especially on the power play. Your Chronicle says they could use a little Mathieu Schneider. If the price is right, of course.
- As I mentioned, our Thrash-blogging comrade the Falconer will be spinning stats and issuing oracles at SB Nation for the foreseeable future. I have to say I dig both the name of his new blog and the logo with the Atlanta skyline.
- The Pensblog appear to have up and moved as well. Update your blog-rolls accordingly.
- You've all seen the photos from the KHL's game in Red Square, haven't you? You haven't? Lookee:
- As far as our own Winter Classic goes, the Canadian Press is reporting that it received the highest ratings of ANY regular-season NHL game in 34 years. Like the cow that jumped over the moon, the NHL can do anything it sets its mind to. Think of the Chronicle as Kermit the Frog, standing by with trench-coat and microphone.
- Lots of photos from last night's Casino Night sexy party/Czar-crowning all over the place. Ben Wright has posted some fine ones here, as well as videos of the whole thing, including the coronation.
You know what? I take back what I said about bad haircuts and ill-fitting tuxedos. I just forgot that Mark Recchi is no longer on the team.
Ron Hainsey and Johan Hedberg = HANDSOME men.
Watch the video interview with Mathieu Schneider; I'm pretty sure he's just riding this out until he gets traded to the Penguins or the Canadiens. I've never seen a more relaxed (stoned?) hockey player. Not even Joe Thornton compares.
I kind of like his lady dealer sidekick.