Sports by Randy Charles Morin.
Copyright 2005-10 Randy Charles Morin
Owned by Rapid Spiral Development Inc.
There was 3 scenarios today of game results that would've required a game 163, but none of them materialized. That would've been weird having 3 game 163s.
The 1st place Orioles, having already made the playoffs, threw Derek Jeter (right-handed batter) an outside batting practice fastball while playing their 2nd baseman directly behind 2nd to hold the runner. WTF!? This resulted in Jeter getting his 7th walk off hit of his career, his last game at Yankee stadium. It was the only walk off hit of his career where the other team won the division (obviously not a stupid team) while playing a hall of fame slap hitter to pull the ball. Unrelated, it's really easy for a hall of fame slap hitter to hit a batting practice outside fastball to where the 2nd baseman should be standing.
Toronto sports teams should be embarrassed. The ownership group mostly includes Bell, Rogers, Bell and Rogers. Go Leafs Go!
|James Van Riemsdyk||Tyler Bozak||Phil Kessel|
|Mason Raymond||Nazam Kadri||Joffrey Lupul|
|Nikolai Kulemin||Dave Bolland||Carter Ashton|
|Jay McClement||Colton Orr|
|Frazer McLaren||David Clarkson|
|Carl Gunnarson||Dion Phaneuf|
|Paul Ranger||Jake Gardiner|
|Morgan Rielly||Cody Franson|
David Clarkson is suspended for 10 games. I'm guessing that Lupul will move back to LW, Raymond down to 3rd line and Kulemin back to RW when Clarkson returns as the 2nd line RW.
McLaren currently has a broken finger. McLaren will slot in on the 4th line when he returns.
Assuming he clears waivers, John Michael Liles can be called up at any time when he fits into the salary cap. If Rielly is sent down to juniors, then Liles fits in. If Ashton Cater is sent down, then Liles fits in, but they would be carrying 8 d-men. If Ranger is sent down, then Liles fits in.
Update: I don't understand why you would keep Ranger over Liles. I assume, if Liles is claimed, then the Leafs bring up one more forward. Otherwise, Liles is kept on the team and Ranger is sent down.
Here are my choices with a couple games left in the NHL season for the individual award winners. In a couple cases, my choice is partial based on the assumption that the team will or will not make the playoffs and if that changed, then my opinion would change. But I doubt it. You'll find my choices a little different that the conventional people who think they know hockey.
Had Craig Anderson not been injurred, his sneeking the Senators in the playoffs with a 1.71 GAA and .941 SV% would've won him the Hart, but I can't give it to a goalie that only played half the season? Can I? Without Anderson's heroics early in the season, this injury riddled team could very well be competing for the 1st overall pick in this summers entry draft instead of being in the playoff race. Still, I can't believe
How about a forward that played only 3 quarters of the season? Sidney Crosby was still leading the NHL in scoring and 2nd in assists with 3 games left in the season. His linemates are #1 and #2 in the plus-minus leaders (he's currently 4th) and he's in the top 15 in faceoff wins.
Can you give it to two forwards, Martin St Louis and Steve Stamkos, who may win the Art Ross for most points while leading their team to a lottery pick instead of a playoff spot? These two players rank last and 2nd last on their team in plus-minus for forwards. This isn't new territory for this pair. These are two players that I would absolutely not consider for the Hart. In fact, I doubt this team will ever make the playoffs until they break up their core group of offensive players who don't skate in their defensive zone.
Alex Ovechkin is by far the Hart winner in the 2nd half of the season, but is that enough to overcome a very bad start? Remember 2 months ago when everybody was saying OV was washed up? Now he's gonna win yet another Rocket Richard trophy and is a prime candidate for the Hart as well.
Other players I would consider voting for are Ryan Getzlaf, Jonathan Toews and John Tavares. All four elevated their teams to new heights this season, but none stood out as much as Crosby or Ovechkin.
Winner: Sidney Crosby
Let me start by repeating the same argument that Craig Anderson would've won here too had he not been injured.
That said, people are starting to talk about Sergei Bobrovsky as the prime candidate for the Vezina. And I agree. Without Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets would not be in the playoff picture.
I'm also gonna make a case for another goalie that took a team that hasn't made the playoffs in a decade into the playoffs this season; James Reimer. In the game that clinched the playoffs for the Leafs, they were outshot 50 to 22 by the Senators, yet won the game 4-1 on 49 saves by Reimer. Getting outshot isn't a rarity in Toronto these days (years).
Winner: Sergei Bobrovsky.
He's hated, just as much as he's loved, but this year he became a true all-star and Norris candidate; P.K. Subban. He hits hard, he leads all d-men in goals and points and has a nice plus-minus to boot.
How about Brooks Orpik? If he could only score. But how about 10th in hits and 6th in blocked shots? This guy is a true unsung warrior.
And then there's Dion Phaneuf. Twenty-sixth in blocked shots, 6th in hits, 6th in points, 3rd in goals, 5th in ice-time. Now those are some impressive numbers.
Ryan Suter is another possibility, but his team has under-performed even with Ryan playing his best season yet and they don't look playoff bound.
My finalist are Phaneuf and Subban.
Winner: P.K. Subban.
Jonathan Huberdeau leads all rookies in goals and points and he's nearly leading a bad Florida offense in both categories as well.
Justin Schultz leads all rookie defensemen in goals, assists and points, but he does have a lot of offensive help on a very talented Oilers team.
Cory Conacher is a nice story and does lead all rookies in assists and points. That said, he accumulated most of those points playing along side the offensive-minded Lightning.
I'm deciding between Huberdeau and Schultz.
Winner: Justin Schultz.
I don't really care.
This is by far my favorite award. Mostly because I think it's histerical that the most recent winner of the award doesn't even play much on his teams short hand unit. Pavel Datsyuk may very well win this award again, but in my opinion he isn't even in the top 20 best defensive players in the NHL. If he's so good defensive, then how come he only ranks 3rd on his team in short-handed ice-time per game for forwards? And how can you even give the award to a player that isn't played much in defensive situations like power plays?
Let's look are real defensive players, not just great offensive players who are reasonable defensively. The real great defensive players are those that hog most of the short-handed ice-time and are on the ice in the last minute when your team is winning by a goal.
This guy should've won the Frank J Selke most every year he's been in the NHL. No other player even needs to be named. He leads the league in short-handed ice-time by a forward with 163 minutes. No other player has more than 131. In those 163 minutes, the power-play has only 11 goals. His new team joined this season had their penalty kill go from 24th last year to 3rd best this year. He plays every shift against the other teams best offensive players and maintained an even plus-minus. And does he play in the final minute in one goal games? He must. He has 3 empty net goals this season. No player since Michael Peca has scored such a high percentage of his games into empty nets (just saying, didn't double check that stat).
Winner: Jay McClement.
The Ottawa Senators have been devastated with key injuries, yet the team still managed to stay in the playoff hunt. Paul MacLean deserves consideration for the Adams for holding this team together all season.
John Capuano deserves a gold medal for managing to put the worst managed hockey organization in the NHL into the playoffs. His team has Tim Thomas, Alexei Yashin and Rick Dipietro accounting for $11-12 million of the cap space. Without these players, who aren't even on the team, they wouldn't meet the CBA team salary floor for 2012-13.
The Columbus Blue Jackets suck. If they make the playoffs then Todd Richards is another candidate for coach of the year. This team is made up almost entirely from players unwanted otherwhere in the NHL.
All three coaches have taken a bad team to the promised land.
Winner: Paul MacLean.
The Penguins added Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Douglas Murray and Brenden Morrow to an already stacked team. Ray Shero must be using a different math then the other General Managers in order to fit so many stars into the same salary cap every other team struggles with. Their backup goalie Tomas Vokoun is better than most NHL starting goalies and he signed him for next to nothing.
Not as impressive as the Penguins, but the Bruins added Jaromir Jagr and Wade Redden at the deadline. Peter Chiarelli also managed a very skillful trade to free up salary room by trading Tim Thomas to the Islanders. The trade was clearly made to circumvent the salary cap for both teams, as the Islanders were under the salary floor and the Bruins needed some room to work with.
I can't put my finger on a 3rd GM that stood out as much as these two.
Winner: Peter Chiarelli
This week, my son and I attended the Blue Jays v Royals Blackberry Tweeting Tuesday game. Every Tuesday is Tweeting Tuesday. We sat 11 rows back down the 3rd base line. The tickets were less than $90 for both of us.
Driving there was a nightmare as I stupidly drove right thru the Exhibition grounds, where the annual Canadian Exhibition was being held. Still had to buy tix. Lucky I was way early and we still caught the 1st pitch. The walk up crowd was big, but they still only had 20,000 fans at the game.
First inning, we bought two required hotdogs. Mmmmm. Ketchup for the son. Mustard for me.
Later in the game, my son wanted a poutines. Very disappointing. The gravy was so thin that it simply runs to the bottom of the container forming a gravy soup. Rogers Centre needs to learn how to make a poutine.
The CN tower view from inside the Rogers Centre.
Two fans stormed the field and were tackled by security and escorted by police. The police shown took forever. The 1st cop had his guy off the field before this guy finished his donut. LOL
Night view of the CN tower after the fame.
The Blue Jays always lose when we go. They were down 6-0 in the 5th. Lost 6-4. Escobar hit a 3 run homer, which was the highlight of the game.
We just updated all the MLB 40-man rosters. We removed all the retired players and those no longer in the MLB. We will also update the minor league rosters in the near future. You should see your favorite rookies on the rosters.
What undermines everyone’s effort when entertaining any conversation that puts forth anything resembling the above is the idea that you can sell it. Don’t! You can’t! It’s purely entertainment!
If you want a team in Hamilton, then we need to stand up against the people who are truly fighthing this. That's the Toronto Maple Leafs. Again, I'm not asking you to forfeit Leaf tickets as that would never work. Instead, I'm asking you to tell Toronto FC, the soccer team owned by the same MLSE as the Toronto Maple Leafs, that you won't buy tickets until there's an NHL team in Hamilton. Unfortunately, TFC doesn't have any electronic contact method, so the best we can do is put a messages on their Facebook fanpage. Please goto the fan page and write that you won't buy tickets until there's a NHL team in Hamilton.
How do we get a team in Hamilton? Stand up to the NHL. Stand up to the Leafs. I'm not gonna bother asking people to forfeit their Toronto Maple Leafs tickets because that's pointless and I doubt you'd do it anyway. Instead, I'm asking you to hit the Maple Leafs where it might actually hurt; the Raptors. You see, both teams are owned by the same parent company.
I'm asking you to send a message to the Raptors and tell them that you refuse to buy any more tickets to Raptor games until there is an NHL team playing in Hamilton. Go to the following webpage.
Click the Ticket information or Fan mail contact link or BOTH (yes, do both). Their security certificate is invalid, so you might get a warning. Ignore the warning and continue. Submit your name, email and a short message telling the Raptors that you will not buy another Raptor ticket until there's an NHL team in Hamilton.
It's too bad that the media simply reports the lies coming from the NHL about the Coyotes. It wouldn't take much courage to sit there and being laughing at them. Sure the NHL would black-balled you, but you represent integrity. When they report stuff like this, then you should laugh.
Weeks ago, the NHL reported they were not in control of the Coyotes. When the Coyotes declared bankruptcy, the NHL changed their mind and claimed they had taken control of the team from the owners. A month later, the courts disagreed as the NHL couldn't produce the documents they claimed to have.
Then the NHL claimed they controlled the rights to a second southern Ontario team and that this had nothing to do with the Sabres or the Leafs. Yet how many teams have moved in the last 10-20 years? Hartford? Winnipeg? Quebec? Dallas? How many times have we heard rumors of southern U.S. teams moving to Kansas City? Why was it made public that the Leafs would allow a 2nd Toronto team solely if they paid rent at the ACC? Why did some U.S. politicians petition the courts with concerns about the Sabres franchise?
Everybody knows it's just the NHL being the NHL again. Just as they did with Nashville (which is still in trouble). The Trashers are still in trouble. The Leafs gave $millions to the Lightning late (also in trouble) in the season and Bettman didn't seem to have any problem with that blatant circumvention of the NHL rules.
Why does the NHLPA put up with the NHL protecting broken teams at the expense of their revenue share?
I know why! Too many chickens. Nobody with the guts to stand up to Bettman, the Leafs and the Sabres. What we need is someone with the balls to do it. Like Balsillie. He's the solution to the current NHL problem. Let's support him. And let's stand up to the NHL and tell them that we want a team in Hamilton. Let's stand up to the Leafs. Let's stand up to the Sabres.
Here's my final grades on your 2008-09 Toronto Maple Leafs.
I feel I have to explain hockey to the people who write for the local Toronto newspapers. Check out this moronic article written last month. Sorry, for the bad picture. You just need the headline and score to get the point.
So the Leafs lost because they turned over the puck? I don't think so. The Leafs lost because they scored zero goals. Every NHL team turns over the puck every game and many of those turnovers will lead to goals. That's hockey! A great team limits their number of turnovers, but still turns over the puck. Regardless, it doesn't matter how many times you turnover the puck when you don't score any goals. If you don't score, then you lose. The turnovers weren't costly. The lack of goals cost them the game. Period! Send this sports writer (Rob Longley) back to hockey school. I wonder if he owns skates?
This week, I started a bunch of websites. They aren't complete. Many are just started. Enjoy!
Thanks to my brother for spawning this idea.
We just updated the NBA players for the 2008-09 season.
We just updated all the AHL rosters for the 2008-09 season.