Posted on: June 15, 2009 11:27 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2009 11:30 pm
After completing the worst modern day collapse in NHL history. Blowing a 2-0 and 3-2 lead. And losing Game 7 in their famed Joe Louis Arena, weasel and all around loser Kris Draper, who rode Steve Yzerman's coattails to glory, made a silly comment that simply won't go away. Perhaps the Penguins should've used some Ortho Max Defense on that annoying and arrogant Redheaded Gnat. Humilated by the fact that they choked on their own ego, the Red Wings were trying to pull a Lebron. by rushing the traditional handshake.
Last year, though devistated by a home Cup-clinching game by the Red Wings, the Penguins stared and waited patiently for Detroit to complete their celebration before lining up for the handshake. It was a long time as the Penguins soaked up the entire moment as added motivation to get them back to the Finals and win. But the Red Wings gave the Penguins two to three minutes at best before lining up and demanding that they get it over right. How is that the Penguins' fault. I know if I won the Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion. Joining the '71 Montreal Canadiens as the last team to clinch the Stanley Cup on the road, I'd be on Cloud Nine. Estatic. I'd be way too busy hugging each and every player from the regulars to the significant part-timers like talented Alex Goligoski go helped keep the Penguins afloat while Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar were hurt. Not to mention Assistant Coaches, Equipment Mangaers, Trainers and family members. The list goes on and on. That would at least take 10 minutes. Not three.
I know it's difficult to lose. Especially when every expert except for Jim Down and ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Radek practically guaranteed the win to Detroit. Intelligent coach Mike Babcock kept on preaching experience and it's significance. But the problem is the roster had never played a winner take all Game 7. His decision to skip the morning practice might've been a bit of overconfidence. Sure the Joe Lous Arena has been a House Of Horrors for Marc-Andre Fleury who looked lost outside of The Igloo. But never underestimate the athele's will to overcome. Though he was a hard-luck loser at the World Junior Championships twice. One to Team Russia. One to Team USA, scouts pegged Fleury a winner and I guess all of them couldn't have been wrong. Mike Milbury's comments about him last year were a bit too harsh. But in the long run, it made #29 better. I'm so happy for him. He's the ultimate winner now. Something no one can take away from him. But the media automatically thought Osgood would win. That the Penguins' underrated defense of Rob Scuderi, Brooks Orpik, Sergei Gonchar, Mark Eaton and Kris Letang threw a Steel Curtain Defence of their own. Instead of admitting defeat they scower for excuses.
Then came Kris Draper's ridiclious comments. I know you're crushed by losing to someone you still think is inferior but do you have Aleismer's Disease or something. Do you recall last year? Though fighting off tears Sidney Crosby waited 10+ minutes for the Red Wings to be ready already before leading the Handshake Line. If you showed common consideration and allow him his 10+ mniutes, wouldn't he return the favor?
The fact that classy Niklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg didn't just admit that they tried to rush the traditional handshake process speaks volumes. "I hope Crosby learns from this?" Are you serious. give the kid time to hug each and every person the same way he waited for you in 2008, Niklas and Henrick.
Posted on: June 15, 2009 9:39 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2009 9:44 pm
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Posted on: June 13, 2009 9:07 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2009 9:12 pm
After coming oh so close to winning a Stanley Cup, Marian Hossa's agent made it clear that he was interested in returning. So Ray Shero (unwise to say the least) would have to juggle salaries and perhaps let go hard-hitting anchor Brooks Orpik or mutli-talented Jordan Staal. Luckily. Yes luckily, Marian Hossa was an Indian Giver. He scorned them in favor of Swedish average player-rich Detroit. Meanwhile, perenial 20-goal scorer Ryan Malone (who was invisible in the Finals, missing Crosby passes left and right) took Tampa Bay's ludicrious 7 million a year offer. Though playing with twin Supestars, he could only manage about 60 points. That's it? You're kidding right? Steve Larmer averaged 38 goals/84 points playing with Spin-O-Rama Superstar Denis Savard. Since Malone is physcial. Shouldn't we expect Keith Tkachuk-type numbers? He was a perenial 45 goal scorer when he played with Superstar Teemu Selanne and underrated Alexei Zhamnov. But Tkachuk is a superstar and a future Hall Of Famer. Malone isn't fit to carry his jock strap. Hope you enjoy playing golf in the Sunshine State, Ryan.
Posted on: April 30, 2009 10:48 am
Mats Sundin is perhaps the most overrated player in the game today. Labeled a superstar, some will attest to his lofty point total. 1,321 points in 1,305 games. Yes. Very impressive. But the numbers are more a testiment to his durabilty and consistancy, rather than true greatness. He is the captain of one of hockey's most storied franchises, yet has never demenstrated any of the traits which go along with the title. Despite his career totals, his seasonly point output has been suspect. After an impressive 114 point season with the Nordiques, where he played alongside the likes of superstar Joe Sakic, Owen Nolan and Valeri Kamensky, he dipped to 85. Following a blockbuster trade, he went to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his 11 full seasons with The Blue & White, he has averaged a grand total of 78 points a season. 78? That's it? Yet he was given captaincy and called a superstar? Superstars produce. They don't complain about their linemates. Especially when they played with the likes of Alexander Mogilny, Wendel Clark, Dmitri Khristich, Sergei Berezin, Steve Thomas & Bryan Berard. The true hallmark of greatness is making the players around you better. Dale Hawerchuk, Denis Savard, Jaromir Jagr, Steve Yzerman, Peter Stastny & Sidney Crosby. These gentleman would easily have racked up 100+ point seasons playing with this stellar cast. The glaring difference from a star and a superstar. Sundin's leadership also must be examined. While with Toronto, Team Sweden is the only place where this trait was demenstrated. Mats is the captain. Captains usually lead by example. However he seldom does on a consistant basis. Mats doesn't buzz up and down the ice, creating scoring chances galore while putting his head down & backchecking like a demon. Does he? Instead of gazing into oblivion while on the bench, Sidney Crosby & Adam Oates would frequently commune with their fellow linemates. Motioning with their hands where to go and what to do. That's the dedication necessary in order to become great. Talent without devotion and hard work is meaningless. His leadership was equally inept in the playoffs. Sundin never strapped the Maple Leafs on his back and excelled. Though clearing not a superstar, The Blue & White paid him a premium salary. Often in the seven million dollar price range. Yet, when the Maple Leafs asked him to waive his no-trade clause. He would not. Sundin couldn't see himself playing for another team at that time. His devotion to the team. Even though he could always just resign in the summer. After receiving a facsimile award for "leadership", Sundin announced his intent to explore his opportunities. Where's the devotion Mats? The devotion that cost the Maple Leafs young, blue chip prospects? Would the great Darryl Sittler pull such high jinx? Would Borje Salming? The Toronto Maple Leafs are a great franchise. They invested a King's Ransom into Mats Sundin. They and their loyal fans deserved a better return. The dividends that Crosby, Hawerchuk, Jagr, Savard & Dionne deliver(ed)on a consistant basis. Is Mats Sundin overrated? I leave the answer to you, the reader.