What’s the only thing better than one Toews on your team?…Answer: Having two Toews on your team!!! I have never seen David Toews play, but if he is half as good as his brother then he is the second best player in the NHL. Stan Bowman is just making a mockery of the other 29 GMs. Blackhawks dynasty set to commence. Gas up the party busses.
PS: The Stanley Cup Parade needs to end at North Ave Beach this year. Total booze fest beach party and they can put the stage on top of Castaways. No Steeger to drop sick rhymes on us this time unfortunately so I think the Brothers Toews need to do “Boats & Hoes”.
PPS: Check out Sergeant Serious with the laser stare on the right in the top photo.
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I want Brad Richards. That’s all there is to it. People are saying they shouldn’t give him a big contract because it would be the same cap burden as Campbell. That’s a ridiculous line of thinking. How can you be “burdened” by a top 10 player in the league? Richards would get a 100 points for the Blackhawks and would give the Hawks the best 1-2 punch of centers in the league. I think the Blackhawks should offer Richards either 5 years and 35m, or 7 years and 42m. The time to win is now. The Blackhawks have cap space, and Richards at 7m a season provides more value than Brooks Laich or anyone else at 4 or 4.5m. The Hawks can afford Richards and still have enough money to sign another defenseman and give Patrick Sharp a raise.
Patrick Sharp(5m, assumed contract extension) Jonathan Toews(6.3m) Patrick Kane(6.3)
Rusty Olesz(3.125m) Brad Richards(7m) Marian Hossa(5.275m)
Ben Smith($812,500) Dave Bolland(3.375m) Michael Frolik(2.275m,assumed raise)
Kyle Beach(1.171m) Marcus Kruger(900,000) Bryan Bickell($541,667)
Brent Seabrook(5.8m) Duncan Keith(5.538m)
Nik Hjalmarsson(3.5m) Nick Leddy(1.117m)
Chris Campoli(1.5m) 6th Defenseman(1.2m)
Total: 64m. And that’s rounding up. The real total is a couple hundred grand less than that. This team as presently constructed would probably go like 82-0. Just do it Stan.
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Can we just fast forward to October? The summer sports scene is brutal now that the NHL and NBA are done. Baseball just isn’t doing it for me these days. Maybe because Chicago is like a black-hole of baseball talent. Is it me or was baseball better when guys were roided up? The Blackhawks schedule is out for 2011-12 and these are games that I won’t be putting on StubHub.
Saturday October 15th vs Boston Stanley Cup champs roll into town very early in the season. Marchand and Seguin will probably still be hung over and worn out from all of their paternity hearings. Great chance for the Hawks to announce their presence with authority as they begin to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Thanks for beating Vancouver and everything, but I hope they did those engravings in pencil…
Sunday November 6th vs Vancouver There is NOBODY I love beating more than Vancouver. Hopefully Luongo will be in net so I can dance to Chelsea’s Dagger all night. The Hawks nail Luongo, nail him right in his mind.
Friday December 2nd vs Islanders The Islanders are my darkhorse team to make the playoffs this year. They have a good thing going with Tavares, Grabner, Okposo, etc. They are an entertaining team to watch. Hawks better put on the foil for that game because the Islanders aren’t shy about throwing down. The game should have lots of talents and some fireworks.
Wednesday December 21st vs Montreal I love a good Original 6 match-up and the fact The Habs don’t come to the UC every year disappoints me. Both teams can really skate and it will be a battle of French-Canadian goalies.
Friday December 30th vs Detroit The crowds for the games over Christmas break are usually extra rowdy. College kids come home and drink and get a little excited. “De-Troit Sucks” will be said so loud that they could probably hear it in Michigan. Couple that with this being a Friday and right before New Year’s Eve and this might be the best party game of the season.
Monday January 2nd vs Edmonton Similar to the Islanders, the Edmonton Oilers are an exciting young team. Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are great entertainment. Should be a high scoring game.
Wednesday January 18th vs Buffalo Shockingly, at least to me, the Buffalo Sabre fans travel about as good as any fan base in the league. They are kinda cute in a way. Trying to get their little chants going whilethe Blackhawks are smashing their faces in all over the ice. The Sabres are kinda soft in my opinion, but their fans are good people. I always enjoy hanging with them at the West End before hand.
Friday March 9th vs New York Rangers Chicago vs New York, always a good rivalry. The Rangers have a nice young core of guys that I’d like to see in person like Steppan and Dubinsky, and also plenty of guys to hate like Sean Avery and Marian Gaborik.
Sunday March 11th vs Los Angeles This could be a big match up in terms of seeding for the playoffs. I feel like LA may finally take the next and win the Pacific division so the Blackhawks could need a few points to lock down the number 1 seed. LA also plays hard and fast. Going to be a good show.
Sunday March 18th vs Washington This could really go either way. Saint Patrick’s Day…on a saturday followed by what will probably end up being like a noon start for the Blackhawks game. I am thinking that maybe I just won’t sleep and keep the party going through the end of the game. Hannge Uppe basement until 4am. Try to find some other party until like 6am. Head over to Nookies on Wells for an omelette bigger than my head. Take a shower, throw the Hawks sweater on and start heading towards Madison. If I fail at sprinting that marathon…there’s a real good chance I miss this game entirely. Ovechkin will be a blur regardless.
So I got into a discussion with a couple of people on the old twitter machine about NHL realignment now that the Winnipeg Jets are on their way back(side note: if True North calls them something besides the Jets that would be so stupid. The fans are Jets, and once you’re a jet you’re a Jet all the way). The discussion spiraled out of control into some discussion about the overall strength of the NHL. The guys on twitter want the NHL to contract a couple of teams, where as I think the NHL should expand. The game is growing. More and more kids are playing. Just signed a big TV deal. More teams=more fans=more money=a better league. It’s just so simple. Here is what I am proposing to “fix/enhance” the NHL.
Add two more teams bringing the total to 32. I propose that the two new cities should be Seattle and Quebec City.
- Seattle is a major US Market with corporations like Boeing, Apple, and Starbucks that would be able to support a team financially.
- The NBA packed up and left so hockey would be the only show in town
- The WHL team does well in Seattle
- It would be a nice geographical rival for the Vancouver Canucks
- It’s a great sports town. Even the MLS team gets 18K fans a game
- Building a new state-of-the-art stadium
- It was always a great hockey market and many of the reasons why they had to leave before have been resolved(exchange rate, salary cap, venue)
- It would just be sweet, who are we kidding. Great colors, great rivalry with Montreal, and I love the odd occasion where the only broadcast they have for the Canadiens is the french feed on NHL Center-Ice. I don’t speak a word of french, but I find it entertaining and having a second french team would make that situation far more likely.
Some of these cities just aren’t working. Phoenix is a mess and Miami is the worst sports town in America. Time to just cut bait and find new cities for those clubs. The Islanders need a new venue too and they should really just move to Brooklyn and share that brand new building with the Nets. Brooklyn is kind of an island, right? Name still works. For relocation cities, I would say Southern Ontario and Houston. Houston is an enormous market with big money and some hockey history.
In this scenario the NHL would have two more teams and 4 new cities. I propose 4 divisions of eight. Naming the divisions after the four greatest hockey players in history; Orr, Lemieux, Howe, and Gretzky. The divisions would be as follows:
- Quebec City
- Southern Ontario
- New Jersey
- New York Rangers
- New York Islanders
- Tampa Bay
- Saint Louis
- San Jose
- Los Angeles
84 games with a somewhat balanced schedule. Each team plays 4 games against their division (7×4=28), 3 games against the other division in your conference (3×8=24). The teams would just alternate years where one team has the extra home game. Then a home and home against every team in the other conference (2×16=32). Pretty sure that is a total of 84 games(28+24+32=84). Everyone plays everyone and I don’t have to wait 3 years to see Crosby come through Chicago only to be out with a concussion.
Rivalries are born in the playoffs. I want to create scenarios to make rivalries happen more often. The top 4 teams in each division make the playoffs. For the playoffs, I would like there to be essentially four mini conferences. Top seed plays the 4th seed and no re-seeding. Teams would have to beat their division rivals in the playoffs to get to the Eastern or Western Conference Finals.
This is pretty much genius and how Gary Bettman should play it. Somebody forward this to him please.
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Call it Karma, a higher power, or whatever you want, but clearly there is a God…and he is a sports fan. The NHL and NBA Finals proved this beyond a doubt. Two teams who cried, flopped, took cheap shots, and were led by fraudulent superstars made it all the way the championship series before God stepped in and said enough is enough. The Universe wouldn’t allow teams like the Miami Heat and the Vancouver Canucks to win a championship. There were times these series where I thought I was watching the sequels to “Angels in the Outfield”. Dirk’s improbable shots going in. Thomas’s improbable saves. It was amazing. The Bruins and the Mavericks saved America.
These Finals showed the world two “superstars” who have no class and no character. Lebron James and Roberto Luongo. So similar in so many ways. Epic failures define their careers. Former captains who just completely and utterly failed their teams, their cities, and themselves on the biggest stages possible. They are basically the same person. They are…LuBrongo. I’d love Lubrongo to become like an urban dictionary definition of an epic failure.
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Vancouver Canucks +130 @ Boston Bruins -130
I have so much confidence in the Boston Bruins tonight. The NBA proved that there are sports gods, and at the end of the day they will never let gutless teams like the Vancouver Canucks and Miami Heat win championships. They just aren’t worthy. The Bruins have too much pride to let Vancouver skate the Cup on their ice.
Everyday the Canucks give people another reason to hate them. After game 5, Roberto Luongo basically said that Tim Thomas sucks and that he would have saved that shot easily. I guess it was just the other 12 shots in games 3 and 4 that gave Roberto Luongo trouble. Then when the media pressured Luongo about those comments he cried because Tim Thomas hasn’t been telling the world how great Roberto Luongo has been. Luongo is just a greasy, count chocula look-a-like, cry baby. Tim Thomas is Wyatt Earp, Dominick Hasek, and Jack Bauer rolled into one. Then Aaron Rome says that even if he had a time machine, he’d still trying to give Nathan Horton brain damage with a late blind side hit to the head. There is nothing to like about this team.
For whatever reason the Bruins were unable to bring the same level of intensity in Game 5 that they brought in games 3 and 4. Now, with their backs against the wall and skating on home ice the Bruins will use their forecheck and hitting game to punish the Canucks and control the game. I love the Bruins as the favorite, and if they score first I would put a paycheck on them. The Canucks are front-runners and will quit in Game 6 if they get down early.
Boston Bruins +150 @ Vancouver Canucks -170
This line scares the absolute hell out of me. Anybody who saw the last two games would never have spit out a line like this. That makes me think Costa Rica knows something I don’t know…but then I realized that is impossible because I don’t think they even have the internet down there.
My biggest fear is that the Canucks will play Cory Schneider. Not only do I think that Schneider is just the better goalie, but he is also mentally stable. The Bruins would still have the edge in goaltending obviously, but not a 12-1 edge that they have enjoyed the past two games. Even if Costa Rica knows that Schneider is the starter, is Schneider and home ice really worth -170 on the moneyline? I don’t think so. My gut tells me Elaine will stick with the Veteran grease ball goalie with all the mental problems, but Luongo will have a short leash.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Sedin are terrible. They are like -32 combined in the series so far and I don’t think Henrik has a shot on net. Chara and the Bruins team defense has completely shut them down and Marchand is getting under their skin like only Dave Bolland has been able to do in the past. The Canucks are a gutless team and home ice won’t change that. Give me Captain America Tim Thomas and the rest of the Boston Bruins.
For more gambling picks go to www.youronlinesportsline.com
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I am not going to sit here and say I told you so, but I totally did. The Canucks are a joke. The softest team in the league. Unworthy of being in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Canucks are a classic “fake tough” team. They will push you and try to get under your skin by diving, chirping, biting, throwing head shots, and complaining. If you stand up to them and push back at them they will completely crumble. The Bruins took it to the Canucks physically and they whimpered away.
NHL Network was really rushing to the defense of the Canucks last night. “Kesler must be hurt. Luongo has vertigo. Burrows is menstruating, blah blah blah”. Truth of the matter is that this is just who the Canucks are. They are a group of cowards who barely beat an injury depleted Blackhawks team in a rebuilding year. They just suck.
Now I even think Vancouver is delusional. Bieksa called Tim Thomas “leaky” in the post game and said that they were showing him too much respect. Yeah, real leaky goalie in net for the Bruins. The Canucks have scored under 2 goals in three of the 4 games and on top of that Thomas has more hits in the series than the Sedin Sisters combined. Showing him too much respect? How, by trying to slash the stick out of his hand and running him every chance they get? Burrows even tried to fight Thomas. Who fights a goalie? Burrows is pathetic.
The only chance the Canucks have to salvage this series is to start Cory Schneider, but even the Boston native Schneider sounded like he wanted to part of the Bruins. ”None of the goals were Roberto’s fault. He deserves to be in there for game 5.” Come on now, Cory. You went to Phillips Andover and graduated from BC with honors in 3 years, you’re smarter than that. Luongo’s legs were more open than Lindsay Lohan’s on the Peverly goal. Ryder’s shot looked like a peewee shot it. The only goal that wasn’t on Luongo was Peverly’s second goal. Other than that Luongo was responsible. Maybe Schneider doesn’t want to alienate his hometown team. Maybe he is afraid of the Bruins. Maybe he is just as delusional as the rest of teammates.
This series is over. I originally predicted the Bruins winning in 7 games, but now I don’t think it will take that long. Long live the Original 6. AMERICA.
PS I love Milbury in between periods. Calls the Canucks “smug and arrogant” during game 3 and has the line of the year when he referred to the Sedin Sisters as “Thelma and Louise”. Just perfect. If NBC could replace Pierre McGuire with Darren Pang it would be the greatest hockey broadcast crew ever assembled.
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That felt great. The Stanley Cup Finals has displayed to the greater hockey world what the Vancouver Canucks are all about. They love to chirp, they play dirty, the dive, they bite, and they throw gutless blind hits to the head. Finally, somebody besides the Chicago Blackhawks has the sand to stand up to the Canucks and punish them for disrespecting the game of hockey. Now the Bruins have discovered the final piece to the puzzle that will let them beat Vancouver. If you punish them physically, out work them, and frustrate them…the Canucks will lose their cool, take dumb penalties, and quit. Luongo looked completely rattled for the last 40 minutes.
Last night’s game was an absolute beat down. The Bruins physically and mentally dominated the Canucks from the second period on. I feel vindicated by this series and I am 100% on the Bruin bandwagon. The Bruins are the opposite of Vancouver in so many ways. They have tough guys who are confrontational, but they are more than willing to answer the bell when challenged. I love the way they play. Even Tim Thomas got into the hitting game last night when he checked one of the Sedin Sisters.
The Bruins most likely will not score in abundance like they did in game 3, but they need to duplicate the level of intensity they brought for the duration of the series. They are still trailing and they must continue to attack Vancouver across all 200 feet of the ice surface. I was completely wrong about Shawn Thornton. I wanted Seguin in the lineup and I undervalued what Thornton brings to his teammates with his toughness and energy. Thornton is just flat-out scary and the ref tossing him out of the game mid way through the 3rd period may have save somebody’s life.
I have one final thought on last night’s game. Game exemplified why I love hockey and the NHL more than any sport. The NHL has an element of frontier justice. Burrows was a punk(and a difference maker) so Shawn Thornton smashed him early in the game to set the tone. Burrows takes a swipe at Tim Thomas late, so Milan Lucic turns into hockey’s version of Wyatt Earp and doles out the punishment immediately behind the net. No other sport or league has this mentality of self policing and standing up for your teammates. I can’t wait for Game 4 as I am sure the hatred between the teams is about to boil over.
Bruins in 7
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Vancouver Canucks +105 @ Boston Bruins -125
The Bruins are coming home after having their hearts ripped out in consecutive games in Vancouver. The Bruins have played much better than I thought they would and definitely deserved better in Game 2. Alex Burrows getting 2 goals and an assist in a game for which he should have been suspended for biting has got to be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Bruins essentially played the Canucks even in both games and are a good bounce or two away from maybe being up 2-0 heading home. The Boston Bruins have too much pride to bow out in 4 games and they will use their crowd made up of 18,000 guys from “Southie” to push them over the top.
It’s also time to give Seguin some bigger minutes. Skate him with Bergeron’s line every once in a while. He could give the Bruins an added dynamic and it could also keep the aging Mark Recchi more fresh if he takes a few shifts off during the game.
This is a must win game for the Bruins and they have the sand and the skill to get it done at home. The Sedin Sisters will fold like always in the face of a hostile environment. Bruins and the under tonight.