Four things to think about this weekend…

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1. Phoenix veteran D Ed Jovonoski has been suspended a whopping one game for hitting Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik in the melon. He’ll also surrender $34,000 for it. Think about how long it takes you to earn $34,000.

2. The guy who replaced Hanlon to coach Washington was an extra in Slap Shot. Think about how much more you like this guy now that you know this.

3. Anton Volchenkov, the Senators’ shut-down defenseman and the league leader in blocked shots, is out for four weeks with a broken index finger. Think about the last time you broke a finger. Think about those ten seconds when you considered not playing beer league…before changing your mind.

4. Both of Calgary’s goaltenders have appalling save percentages (.885 for Kiprussoff, the lowest of any starter in the league; .872 for back-up Curtis McElhinney.) Meanwhile, Calgary’s offense has scored more than any other team in the division…and they remain in second-last place. Now think about Mike Keenan and Darryl Sutter. Think about which underused, great back-up goalie they’re surely hunting for and who they’ll give up to get him. Think about the name Kristian Huselius, written in bloody semen at the top of Keenan’s shit list. Think about this list, which is really a Torah-like scroll of parchment made from the skin of an extinct species.

Profiles In Nepotism

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What happens when the tightwad owner of a once-great franchise now mired in a decades-long slump of uninspired play and budgetary line-toeing hands over the reigns to his reticent, not-ready-for-primetime son? Mostly, more uninspired play and budgetary line-toeing. But, also, zany antics ensue!

In case you were watching the Cowboys game…

Last night in the NHL:

predators_79453.jpg Predating a steaming pile of awesomeness?

Ottawa: Oy. JP Dumont pots one and sets up three. Heatley, Alfredsson, and Spezza each score a pretty one. Martin Erat, however, roofs one over Gerber with 22 seconds left in the third for Ottawa’s fifth consecutive loss. We never thought “Ottawa” and “fifth consecutive loss” would ever appear in the same sentence. Since you don’t get to do that very often…it was Ottawa’s fifth consecutive loss. Nashville 6, Ottawa 5.

steen_77177.jpg Smells like Steen spirit, or just Astroglide

It was a snooze-fest in the South as the Leafs played the we sucked/we ruled/and now we suck again Thrashers. Some good moments in there, such as Belak‘s fight and Sundin‘s wicked backhand goal on the short side. It didn’t look tic-tac-toe or anything but the skill level to do something like that is retarded. Similarly, Ilya Kovulchuk‘s 20th goal of the season (he’s now the NHL’s goal leader) came from a laser from the high slot. Ten-game goals slumps were shattered for the likes of Alex Steen and Matt Stajan but who cares? They broke a four-game losing streak on a shitty team. These guys are still fucked. Toronto 4, Atlanta 2.

luongolong_1725.jpgHey buddy, why the Luong face?

Roberto Luongo posted his third consecutive shutout over Columbus tonight, a personal and franchise record for him. The Canucks are still without any offense, (they’re going to rely on the Sedin sisters and a mercurial Naslund as a top line?) but a conscious strategy to do as little as possible offensively seems to be working rather well for the Rangers. If Van’s last three games are any indication, if they get a top-line power forward in a trade and their D remain healthy, Vancouver could be a pitch-black horse. Vancouver 2, Columbus 0.

getzlaf1.jpgGetlaf, with guy who’s last name is vaginal

Jarome Iginla played his 804th game as a Flame, set up a beauty goal for Tanguay…and then promptly went to sleep. Getzlaf danced around Phaneuf like he was cast in stone and Perry put one in just over the line. Later, down 3-1 and on a powerplay, Keenan pulls his goalie (heh heh…in public, even) for a 6-on-4. This might be a good move if Calgary wasn’t 21st in the league on the powerplay. To no one’s surprise, probably not even to Keenan, Rob Niedermayer intercepts, scores from his own blue line, and pretty much ends it. It was Calgary’s third straight loss. Anaheim 4, Calgary 1.

zetterberg.jpg Red Wangs

Detroit are like the bad guys at the dojo in The Karate Kid: Swift, disciplined, scary, and prone to sweep the foot in a bind. Currently the top team in the NHL, they outshot Tampa Bay 17-1 in the first period alone. And yes, we hear a lot about Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Lidstrom. But it’s guys like Jiri Hudler (a goal and an assist tonight), Holmstrom‘s fearlessness when he parks it in front of the net, that smooth QB of a defenseman Rafalski, and Chris Osgood‘s career-best goaltending that’s handily filling in the blanks, handing Tampa it’s SIXTH CONSECUTIVE LOSS. WE CAN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER, AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE SHOUTING. Detroit 4, Tampa Bay 2.

Pencils Up, Please

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It’s not often that we discuss the wonders of college hockey on these pixels. That’s because most of us are from Canadia, where a hyper-efficient youth hockey system has done away with the need for universities altogether. But down here in the States, college is still one of the only ways for a young turk to get recognition for the academic skill it requires to skate, which leads to some great hockey and, more importantly, some great hockey rivalries. Tomorrow night, perhaps the greatest of these rivalries will take the ice when Boston University (4-7-2) and Boston College (4-3-5) meet for the first time this year. Continue reading

Ruutu Arrested, Mistaken For Robbery Suspect

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The Chicago Blackhawks’ power forward, Tuomo Ruutu, was arrested and detained this week after Chicago police mistook him for an attempted robbery suspect. Turns out Ruutu was just out for a jog at the wrong place, and wrong time. Ruutu was wearing a black sweatsuit and matched the description of the suspect. He was released…but not before he gave an officer an autograph. He was not detained for his douchey hair-do, however.

Gainey to death inquiry: “It’s no fucking good”

one_gainey01.jpgBob Gainey

Another reason why we like Bob Gainey, the hall of famer and Habs GM, is this: This public hockey figure didn’t have to talk about his 25-year-old daughter’s death at sea, seeing that it has nothing to do with hockey, but he did.

And when he did, he had this to say about a report that somewhat excused the negligence that caused his daughters death at sea last year: “Through our legal help, we were in touch with them,” he told the Canadian Press. “…[we] told them, ‘It’s no fucking good, this isn’t going to fly with us.”‘

Eyewitness Account: Oilers Sucking Worse Than Ever

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I don’t want to kick the Oil when they’re down. But they’re perpetually down, and periodically we must all kick, and here we are. Tonight I saw the Oilers play the Avs. The crowd was pathetic as ever. They didn’t even hassle fans wearing Oilers jerseys, which is heavy on the weak sauce, nor did the ushers hassle us when we snuck down to the 7th row.

Up close, I learned this: TV does not capture the utter disaster that is this team. Hemsky was invisible. Penner a lazy disgrace. Staios a -2 turnover artist. Gagner a premature tadpole. Torres a piece of neutral zone flotsam. It should have been a 7-0 blowout but the Avs eased off in the final ten minutes. Look at the shot count alone:

First period shots: 17-3, Avs
At the end of the second period: 36-9, Avs
Total shots: 43-13, Avs

Kevin Lowe is probably all over monster.com this very minute.