Saturday, January 31, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Sens Unable to Deal With Outerwear

Found this on in my Google Reader this morning. The tag says it's from Sportsnet, but it's an AP article.

This one is just too easy. I figured I'd do my duty and create some sub-headlines that might be relevant.

Sens Can't Solve Mason, Jackets...

...Team plans to use hoodies next time.

...Rubik's Cube proves to be much simpler.

...Malfunctioning zippers leave team out in the cold.

...Bricklayer's riddles too hard to handle.

...Complexity of problem gives Alfredsson migraine.

...But were able to successfully locate opposition's net.

...Plan to sue Columbia Sportswear.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Things we don't understand

Last night after a tough day of work at Real Job Inc., some of my coworkers and I decided to invest in some wings at the local Buffalo Wild Wings. We sat around and cracked jokes about our jobs (meteorology humor is awesome. I wish I had time to share some), had a couple beers and took off. When I arrived home, I had the second most bizarre encounter with a fellow tenant of my apartment complex (the first was last center when I arrived home, and a creep waiting by the door asked if I was a detective or something. After I told him I wasn't he insisted to his friends that I was).

I have a garage for the winter, so I pulled in the garage (my spot is right next the garbage shaft, which is awesome) and got out of the car. There is a keyed door to get into the area with the elevator, and I was just about to unlock the door, when I heard someone coming out. I stopped and let them open the door so I wouldn't have to. I grabbed the knob and pulled the door all the way open so A) it would stay open and I could get in and B) I'm frickin chivalrous.

Anyways, this girl steps through the door and I say hi, because again, I'm polite and chivalrous. She takes one look at me and gives me the universal "as if" look and goes "psh."

The hell?

I mean, she was wearing her bad ass snowboarding jacket (I'm sure she had an oversized belt with giant holes in it too. I didn't see), and I was still dressed up in a collared shirt and khakis, so maybe she was just showing how awesomely independent she was and what a square I am. I'm not sure I understand it at all. But there's a lot in life that we don't understand. Like, for example, Don King in a Florida Panthers jersey.

The Florida Panthers are a happy bunch right now

click photo to enlarge
pic credit = Reuters

Carrie Milbank Pays Another Visit to Barry Melrose

Today, we've gotten our hands on a brand new commercial that is set to air during games this weekend. It once again features Carrie Milbank, as she catches up with Barry Melrose since he has been let go by the Lightning.

Carrie Milbank: I'm telling everyone about the new and today we're in Bristol, Connecticut to catch up with Barry Melrose.

*walks into ESPN headquarters*

Security Guard: Ma'am, I'm going to need to see some identification.

*Carries walks past him like nothing happened*

CM: We're telling everyone about the new because it's full of super awesome amazingness.

*walks onto ESPN set in the middle of a live Sportscenter. John Buccigross and Barry Melrose are discussing the night's action in the NHL.*

Barry Melrose: ...and then things really got ugly. George Parros squares off with...

Producer: What's she doing here? Get off the set lady!

BM: Oh, I not this witch again.

CM: Hey Barry! Hi John! Have you guys heard about the new

John Buccigross: Um, hi.

BM: Can't you see we're on live TV? You've already cost me one job now get out...

CM (interrupting): It's amazing, really! It can do all your segments for you!

BM: Yeah? Last time you told me it could do all of my scouting and look where that got me! I'm back here with Bucci!


CM: No really, Barry. It can do all your work for you! It can even generate opinions if you need them!

BM: Wait... Really? That could actually be pretty helpful.

JB: BARRY! We're in the middle of a show!

BM: Right, right. Carrie, I'll talk to you when I'm done. So anyway, George Parros squared off with Daniel Carcillo and...

*two weeks later*

Producer (over intercom): Barry, could you come into my office please?

BM: Sure one minute...... What's up Producer Guy?

PG: Look, Barry. I'm really sorry but I'm going to have to let you go. With the economy the way it is and, frankly, I don't even know what you're doing on the set anymore.

*plays tape of Melrose on Sportscenter set*

BM: So, I says to Chris Berman 'No! You're the drunk!' And he goes, 'No! I'm with leather!' It was hilarious. You had to be there.

JB: /shakes head

*tape cuts to another scene*

Scott Van Pelt: OK, now it's time to head over to the hockey desk with Barry Melrose. Barry, what can you tell us about tonight's action?

BM: Your Mom is some good action!

*back to Barry and the Producer*

BM: Oh, yeah. Those weren't my best days. But it was just stuff I was getting from reading the blogs on They're full of good information.

PG: I'm sorry, Barry.

*Barry cleans off his desk and walks solemnly out of ESPN headquarters. He reaches the parking lot, drops to his knee and throws his fists to the sky.*


Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Iowa, Hockey Games Make the Kids Frisky

Do pink ref unis get you in the mood?
Robert Meyer/

I never really thought that minor league hockey in Iowa could be much of a turn on for a young couple. Maybe it isn't for you or me, but for the two folks in the picture to your right, it sure is. Either that, or pink referee uniforms flip some kind of reproductive switch in our brains that scientists have yet to discover.

So there you have it, guys. Forget the candles, roses and Barry White music. Apparently, the quickest way to a girl's heart is to take her to a hockey game.

Now if I could figure out why the hockey angle doesn't work for me. Maybe it's canceled out by the blogging from my parents' basement thing. Yeah, that's probably it.

Hopefully you'll have better luck than me. At least this guy did at a USHL game between the Waterloo (Iowa) Black Hawks and Omaha Lancers. At a game like that, it's completely possible that they were the only fans in the arena.

Photo credit: Robert Meyer,

h/t for the find: Illegal Curve

The Versus [drinking] Game of the Week (Washington at New Jersey)

Mike Emrick in an undated photo
I have to say, in regards to Kevins post yesterday, I'm rather glad this isn't a dorm room as well. That would mean I would be the creepy old dude on his 8th year. I appreciate anyone who thinks they would be happier on the "Ryan only" feed. You must be a very unhappy person. It's a good thing I have a drinking game for you. (Alternate game, 1 beer for every year of Henrik Zetterberg's new contract)


... during player interviews when the words "I" "rock" "your" or "momma" are uttered.

... when you fall in love with Brian Rolston's boyish good looks. We miss you in Minny, Rolie! *sigh*

... if you plan on going to Doc Emrick night tomorrow. You know, in honor of guys who sound like kazoos.

... if Michael Nylander swears on air.

... every time they spend more than 5 seconds on a team not featured in this game. Twice if it's your team!

More rules in the comments, please

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Canadian Gay Rights Group is Not So Fond of Mike Milbury

Remember last week when Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury looked like they were going to actually fight each other during an intermission debate about fighting? You know, the one where Milbury said eliminating fighting would 'pansify' the sport.

Well, not only was it a hilarious exchange, but this story isn't going to go quietly into the night. The Globe and Mail is reporting that Milbury pissed off a gay rights group in Canada, where he has used the term 'pansification' on CBC a couple times this season.

Egale Canada, a gay advocacy organization, protested last week. But Scott Moore, the head of CBC Sports, said through a network spokesman yesterday that commentators are free to make their own decisions whether to use the expression.

"That's ridiculous," said Helen Kennedy, the executive director of Egale Canada. "So it's okay for people to go around using these slurs — derogatory, stereotypical terms against a group in society? That's outrageous."

A fair point, no doubt.

But to be honest, I'm not sure these folks know who they're dealing with. This is Mike Milbury. He has unbelievable wisdom. Take for example this 'pansification' exchange. It allowed him to agitate Pierre McGuire, ignore the recent death of Don Sanderson completely and anger homosexuals all in one fell swoop. It takes a special kind of person to be able to do that, folks.

Get to Know Your Bloggers

As you probably know, there are now four of us sharing this here blog. Let me say I'm really glad this is a blog and not a college dorm room. That would be a wee bit crowded and lots of things would get broken during Ryan's drinking games.

So, as you also probably know, it's rather annoying to have to scroll to the bottom of every post to find out who wrote it. I'm working on that, but it may take a bit. Blogger is uncooperative.

In the mean time, to make things easier if, say, you want to ignore everything I write because you hate my guts and only read what Dave writes, there's now an easy way to do that. If you check out the staff list on the left side, there's now a link to everyone's posts next to their name. Hopefully this helps. If anyone has any other ideas, shout them out of course.

And on another subject, you may notice that the blog now redirects to when you type in the blogspot address. This is because you should get that domain memorized in case we ever leave blogger. Cause it sucks. And we should. And then of course there's that $7 or so I paid Go Daddy. Wouldn't want that to go to waste, especially with the economy the way it is.

/possibly the most pointless post ever

Hey, what's wrong with the Leafs?

People around here and across the hockey loving planet seem to despise the Toronto Maple Leafs, making Loser Domi cry. I don't get it. They seemed perfectly willing to let my offensively inept team score 6 goals on them last night.
Unless.... Yes, the problem must be...
Brad May is a douche

In the Year 2020...

Today, I present to you a glimpse into the future. And of course, I must credit Conan O'Brien with the original idea here.


...Gary Bettman will eliminate the 2-minute minor. Instead, every penalty will result in a penalty shot.

...When playing video game hockey on the Wii Version 3 with your friends who are in the same room, you will actually have to punch each other in the face when fighting.

...Detroit Red Wings fans will get upset but it won't be over a suspension. This time, they will be upset to see Chris Chelios finally retire.

...New York Islander fans will have reason to feel good about their beleaguered franchise. That's because the Lighthouse Project will be acknowledged by the Town of Hempstead.

...Bloggers will get even lazier when Wordpress pioneers a new technology that allows them to blog without typing. They will simply think about what they want to type and it will appear on the screen. Sadly, they still are still relegated to living in their parents' basement.

...Kansas City finally gets an NHL franchise when the NHL expands to 50 teams.

...The Minnesota Wild will score three goals in a game for the first time in franchise history.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Never Has a One Game Suspension Given So Many People Ulcers

Honestly, I feel like half of the city of Detroit is waking up today with some kind of painful medical condition. That has to be the only way that this many people could be so upset about a one game suspension (or whatever it's being dubbed).

The way people are reacting to this, I thought Chris Pronger had swung his stick, knocked off Pavel Datsyuk's head and only got a one game suspension for it. That would be a reason to get upset.

Allow me to go all Allen Iverson up in this bitch for a minute.

It's one game. One game. Not losing your job. One game.

We ain't talkin about two games. We ain't talkin' about three games. We ain't even talkin' about TEN GAMES!

We talkin' 'bout one game.


One game.

Y'all didn't lose your jobs. Y'all didn't get hurt. Y'all aren't playing in one game. One. Game.

C'mon now.

/Allen Iverson

I really never thought there were so many people in Detroit who couldn't handle the slightest bit of adversity. Now, to be fair, there are still a ton of level headed people in Detroit. Actually, they're the majority. It's just the very, very loud minority that are making their voices heard at the moment.

The Detroit Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup four times since 1997. They have won the central division seven years in a row. They have won the President's Trophy four of the last six seasons.

The organization and the fans have always been a class act, as far as I'm concerned. Never have I heard any whining. Never have I heard any complaints when Datsyuk and Zetterberg don't get the attention they probably deserve.

And then Datsyuk and Lidstrom get suspended for... Wait for it... One game. One. Game.

Not only is it one game. Not only is that one game against the Columbus Blue Jackets who the Wings hold a 36-8-1-3 all-time record against. But Pavel Datsyuk said that "he probably wouldn't have played anyway."

So it pains me -- it really does -- when I hear all the whining coming from Detroit.

When folks like Wojnowski of the Detroit News complains that the league doesn't want to hype up the Red Wings, look at the facts. When Chris Osgood says the same, look at the facts.

What are the facts, you say?

The facts are that the league NEEDS the Red Wings. The other 29 teams NEED the Red Wings.

FACT: The Red Wings have the highest road attendance in the league. Don't think for a second that doesn't cross the minds of the other 29 teams when the Wings come to town. Don't think for a second that all those people are coming to the arenas across North America to root against the Wings.

FACT: The league needs to market it's stars and the Red Wings have stars. Yes, Ovechkin and Crosby get most of the attention. But the league suspended these two because it couldn't market ANY of the Wings' players at their biggest sponsor event of the season. Don't like it? Sorry, that's the price of admission to be an NHL club. If you want to play with the big boys, you have to take care of your responsibilities like a big boy.

But man, the main reason I wrote this is because some people are simply going off the deep end. And for what? A one game suspension.

Yes, I understand that unlike the All-Star Game, this game counts.

Yes, I understand that you feel slighted because Crosby gets the hype.

And yes, you're falling victim to what a handful of folks in Washington have -- that just because the media hypes up Crosby till folks are blue in the face it means you have to take it as a personal shot at your players.

Here's a message for the folks in Detroit, Washington and everywhere else in the league.

Stop worrying about what is said about Sidney Crosby in the media. Stop taking every compliment he gets, every accolade, every commercial as a personal insult. In fact, if it pisses you off this much, use it as motivation. Rise above the hype instead of trying to fight it. Fighting it only makes you look jealous of the attention.

But sometimes, in the places you would least expect it, people go crazy. In this case, it's of the overboard-message-board-troll-ish kind of crazy.

"Due to the Cap that Gary created, and the suspension that he levied because two respected players got injured and decided to skip his corporate kiss-ass fest? Detroit will play a regular season game that actually means something in the standings with an incomplete roster. "
Let's remember that the commish works for the owners. Let's remember that this is a cap that the owners wanted and got Bettman to implement. If the Red Wings didn't like it, they should have spoken on that four years ago. Oh, and Gary never made the Wings spend to within $250,000 of the cap ceiling.

"Forfeit the frigging game. Forfeit it because it’s unnecessarily unsafe. This isn’t a case of two forwards getting hurt in the midst of a game. It’s a situation where the league knowingly placed ten other skaters at jeopardy by keeping two players out of the lineup without any possibility of replacement. Intent to injure. Hell. The Wings could legitimately sue the league. "

Sue the league. Do it. Please. I could use a good laugh.

But for all the complaining, the groaning, the moaning there's still one point to be made.

This is a one game suspension because the league wanted to market the Wings' players. That's what the All-Star Game is. One big marketing and fund raising opportunity.

I just hope folks calm down. Really, I do. Even if you don't agree with me please, calm down. I don't want World War III to start if the Wings are ever on the recieving end of a bad call like this:

You can ask the folks in Buffalo how that compares to a one game suspension. Seriously, ask them. It would be hilarious.

Without Ice Girls - this is what you would get

And if you also have a "Show Your Beer Gut for a Free Beer Night", you'll get this anyways.

The NHL and Carrie Milbank lied to us all

Back on opening night in the States, we can all recall the nonsense of Def Leppard's lead singer setting the holiest of holy trophies upside down. The fact that those limeys did what they did overshadowed a promise made by one Carrie Milbank in her introduction of the band that night:

"the song "C'mon, C'mon", poised to become the new anthem for the NHL..."

What happened there? Did anyone hear that song being played during the All-Star game festivities last weekend? I don't get it. Every time I head out to see my local team, the crowd eagerly awaits our chance to sing along with our new favorite from the greatest band in rock 'n roll history! WTF? I memorized all the lyrics, bought the guitar tablature book and even downloaded it on Guitar Hero... for what?

I don't understand, Carrie. If it is to be the new anthem for the NHL - then why aren't we hearing it anywhere? Sad face.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"I like Quebec and I like speed"

Those are the immortal words of Arttu Pihlainen, men's champion of Red Bull Crashed Ice '09 in Quebec. First off, I'm glad this is a blog so I don't actually have to pronounce his name and fail miserably. Secondly, please check out the video below of Mr. Pihlainen's victory.

The description of the video says that it was -33*C (-27.4*F) and there were 95,000 people in attendance. First off, it's a sad day when anyone is getting their facts from the description of a YouTube. But you're know where not above those kinds of research methods here. Secondly, I'm going to assume that they said it in French somewhere during that video. True or not, those are some wild statistics.

So now I've figured out exactly what I'm doing with my winter vacation next year. Vegas is too expensive and Vancouver is too far/expensive/might be hard to get tickets. I'm going to Quebec for Crashed Ice! It's better than the All-Star Game and there's a lot more contact.

The All-Star Shootout

I don't know what it is with the NHL, but the league always seems to get great games when it needs it. First it was the Winter Classic last year with Crosby winning it in a shootout and then this year's Classic was a great game between the Hawks and Wings. The league got another one last night, when the All-Star Game ended in an 11-11 tie. It went to shootout and if you missed it -- like me -- here's what happened. For the record, I was so bored by the game during the second period I put on the WWE's Royal Rumble. Yeah, I know how that looks.

Anyway... Here's the full video of the shootout. Good stuff.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I was working during the all-star game...

but could someone share with me how this happened?

Ways to Make the NHL All Star Game full of WIN

As another all-Star game comes to us, I have seen many other bloggers saying things like "Oh man, it's so boring, I won't be watching it" or "who's gonna watch when most of the big stars aren't even there?" Fear not, as I have some suggestions to make the all Star game more like the all-AWESOME game:

1: Make it a drinking game
One of the main issues with the ASG is that it ends up being a shelling on goalies. To help mitigate this, I suggest the following set up: if you score a goal, you must shotgun a beer on ice before you can play again. If you assist on a goal, you must also shotgun. If you don't want to drink, taking two monster ("monster" as judged by Pierre McGuire) bong hits is also acceptable

2: Play naked
Mandatory coed teams, with players wearing only a helmet, gloves, skates and a cup (come on, we're all about safety in the NHL.)

3: Keep the trick shot competition, but have the players go down this with the goal at the bottom:

4: Adopt any event from American gladiators
Look, the ASG is just a gimmick anyway, so why not take inspiration from the most gimmicky thing ever, American Gladiators (even though Bill hicks would roll over in his grave Just adapt almost any Gladiators event to ice, but personally I think either Assault ("Contenders must avoid getting pelted by tennis balls being shot at them from a Gladiator by navigating a course filled with counter-strike weaponry like air cannons and cross bows. When a contender nails the target they not only get 10 points, but the Gladiator is launched at over 100 mph off his perch where he was firing balls, and sent into the water below.") or Snapback ("Contenders are hitched to a bungee cord at their backs, with Gladiators pulling the other end. On the whistle, the contenders try to race down their respective 50-foot lanes towards a scoring pod while the Gladiators provide resistance by pulling back on their bungee line. The farther they get down the runway, the more points they will receive. Their ultimate goal is to hit the buzzer at the end of their lane and launch the Gladiator ") would work the best.

Well, that's what I have. Any other suggestions can be left in the comments.

Not So Fast, Steve

OK, so this is a small snippet from Steve Simmons' article today in the Toronto Sun. May or may not be reflective of his body of work. However, I beg to differ on the following point:

The euphoria over the possible drafting of John Tavares, and what he could do for an NHL team, is overblown. Think about this: Rick Nash and Jay Bouwmeester were the best two players drafted into the NHL in 2002. Six seasons later, neither has been in a playoff game...

Sure, John Tavares could easily be the next Alex Daigle. We'll never know until he spends a few years in the NHL.

However, this is an unfair snipe at Nash and Bouwmeester. Yes, the 2002 draft was pretty darn crappy. But how about a show of hands as to how many people would still like either of these two players on their team?

Thought so.

And who is one of the most talked about free agents to be right now?

Case and point.

Sure, they're no Ovechkin and Malkin -- the top two picks in 2004 -- but I don't think there's a GM in the league that would pass either of them up today.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Crazy, High Speed, Red Bull Sponsored Death Race Returns Tonight

Courtesy Red Bull

I've heard all the different theories about what to do with the All-Star Game and frankly, they all suck. Have the game in October... Make the Stanley Cup Champion play an All-Star team... Whatever. Those are some pansy ass ideas.

Here's one that could work.

Saturday night, take a bunch of hockey players, suit em up and take away their sticks. Then push them down a gigantic ice luge that's set up in the middle of Quebec City somewhere.

Oh, wait. That's exactly what's happening tonight in Quebec City. And it's FREAKING AWESOME.

For the third year in a row (I think?), Red Bull will be sponsoring an event called Crashed Ice which is exactly as crazy as it sounds. Folks in full hockey gear -- basically looking like they're ready to play minus a stick -- going down what's basically a modified luge track. Put it smack in the middle of the old timey part of a Canadian city, pack in as many drunk spectators as you can, and there you have it. Insanity on ice.

Who needs the skills competition? I'll be watching this!

Now if only I got TSN... Darn. For those of you who do have TSN, you can watch the finals tonight at 8:30 PM EST. If you're like me and live in the States, check out this YouTube video from last year's event. At the end of the race, all the competitors collapsed. I guess they didn't have enough Red Bull in 'em.

And one more thought, why isn't this part of the X Games?

Friday, January 23, 2009

At Long Last, Identity of Flyers' Sign Guy is Revealed!

If that isn't the 1970s version of Mr. Feeny, I don't know what is. Philadelphia Flyers Archives

If you can remember all the way back to last spring, you might recall that I took up an interest in a Flyers' fan seated behind the net who held up lots of different signs and always managed to get photographed by the Associated Press. The interesting part of the situation was that he had an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World, or to those of you over the age of 25, actor William Daniels who played the part of KITT on Knight Rider.

Anyway, thanks to some amazing journalism -- and I mean no sarcasm whatsoever there -- from Bill Fleischman of, we now know the true identity of the Sign Guy. He is a teacher in Willingboro, New Jersey named Dave Leonardi. Sadly, it appears as though he is not and has no relation to one William Daniels (but the resemblance is still unbelievable!).

However, I still admire Sign Guy -- or Sign Man, whatever -- for his commitment to his duties. He's been doing it since 1972 and apparently brings 100 signs to each game. 100!

Leonardi brings about 100 signs to each game. He has about 300 more at home in the Trenton area. Each sign is 19-by-22-inches. Some of his sign ideas are derived from listening to what the fans say. “I think the signs have been accepted because they reflect what most people are thinking,” he said.

100 signs? How do you carry that many? And is this some sort of weird construction paper fetish we're dealing with? Gah. I have so many unanswered questions!

Fleischman provides a lot of different stories about Sign Guy and on the whole they're pretty boring. I guess that's what happens when we're talking about a professional arena sign maker. Not quite the most exciting job. But hey, Bobby Orr knows who he is. That's not something most of us can't say.

During the 1979 Stanley Cup finals matching Montreal and the Fred Shero-coached New York Rangers, Leonardi had done some work for “Hockey Night in Canada.” He was sleeping on the couch in a “Hockey Night” suite in a hotel near Madison Square Garden. One morning, Orr arrived for a production meeting. Leonardi heard someone say, “Sign Man, wake up.” Looking up, Leonardi saw Orr.
“I thought, `I’m being awakened by Bobby Orr,’" Leonardi said.

A wake up call from Bobby Freaking Orr. That sounds way cooler than it should.

We Be Twitterin' Y'All

Hey! Yeah, you over there with nothing to do. Why don't you check out the BMR twitter feed?

What's that? No, there's no blackjack or scantily clad women.

But there is entertainment. Miles and miles of it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reason #42,348 why I miss college

So it friggin' snows 6 inches across the coast and piedmont of NC for the first time in 5 or 6 years and everyone goes guano-crazy. Behold: the 200 or more ECU students in this EPIC snowball fight in front of my old dormitory from earlier this week:

In the Washington Capitals' locker room

[Barack Obama enters]

Brooks Laich: Whoa, what the hell is Brashear doing in a suit?!

Donald Brashear: The hell? I'm sitting next to you, that's Barack Obama, President of the United States.

Obama: Hullo friends. I am new in town and I am a huge sports fan. As such, I am determined to meet all the local sports teams and get to know them. Going from Chicago sports to DC sports will be a change, but its change I can believe in.


Eric Fehr: Wait. Who the hell is this guy?

Milan Jurcina: I think it's the Prime Minister of Washington

Shaone Morisonn: No no... they use presidents here. He's the President of Washington.

Alexander Ovechkin: Hold on. What happened to Reagan? I thought George Reagan was the President.

Mike Green: You're thinking of George Bush. And he was the Foreign Minister. That's why he was on the news when America invaded Iraq.

Jurcina: So this guy, I Rock Your Momma or whatever is the foreign minister of Washington?

Morissonn: I'm pretty sure he's the president. Maybe George Bush is still the foreign minister.

Jurcina: Pssh. Wake me up when Ivan Gasparovic gets here.

Fehr: Wait, the President of Slovakia is coming HERE?!

Obama: /looks concerned

Brashear: /slowly shakes his head

The All-Star Drinking game

It's time for the All-Star Game. This means a Sunday afternoon drinking game, because frankly, I don't want to write a drinking game for the Skills Competition. With it being the All Star Game, and having it fall on the first football free weekend of the year, Versus can expect a few more viewers. Will they see more viewers? Maybe, but they will definitely EXPECT more viewers. With that in mind, let's go get wasted on a Sunday.


... If they pan to Keith Tkachuk, who will likely be a healthy scratch.

... If they have to spend time explaining exactly who Jay Bouwmeester is.

... If they have to spend time explaining exactly where Canada is.

... For every goal. For extra fun, drink three times for every goal after 10!

... For any French word uttered. Finish you drink and have another if it's by Zdeno Chara

I'm sure there are many other opportunities to add rules to this one. Have at it in the comments.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Developing Story: Scientists Discover Local Hockey Players on Long Island

Breaking news out of BMR Labs tonight. It appears that scientists have discovered real, live hockey players on Long Island, New York.

Previously, the New York Islanders had inhabited the Island but they had mysteriously gone missing since defeating the Ottawa Senators on November 29th. There had been no signs of hockey on Long Island since and opposing teams at the Coliseum had been given a free two points by confused NHL officials, who were wondering why they were even assigned to games with only one team.

Tonight, news has broken that the Anaheim Ducks -- who expected to earn a free two points on Long Island -- are apparently playing in an NHL game on Long Island. It is unclear at this time who they are playing, but stay tuned to BMR all night for updates.

For more, we turn to our Senior Frozen Pond Expert, Larry Filbert.

Larry Filbert: Thanks, Kevin. A source close to the situation tells me that an AHL team has taken up residence in place of the long lost New York Islanders franchise.

Kevin: Do you have anything other information, the score of the game, maybe?

Larry: Actually, I do. I'm being told that the Ducks are losing 2-0 right now.

Kevin: Wait. The Ducks are losing?!?

Larry: That's correct. The fact of the matter is that this is a very dangerous and confusing situation at the moment, but there is very little information. One thing that I can say, is that this could be dangerous if there are any spectators at the game. They haven't seen a visiting team losing by this much in nearly three months. This may inhibit their cognitive abilities, especially their ability to reason.

Kevin: So is it possible that a superhuman race of zombies is being created?

Larry: Yes. Yes it is.

Kevin: Thank you Larry, a scary situation indeed.

Animal Terrorism: Quick, Run and Hide Before the Big Ones Start Attacking (yeah, go figure)

This isn't hockey related -- so don't hate -- but it's humanity related. This is about the collective interests of the human population. Specifically, that we're done for and the world is over so start building those bomb shelters (or if your house was built prior to 1950, you may already have one!).

By now, you've all probably heard about the geese that tried to take down a US Airways flight in New York City. Thankfully, the only people that died that day were the geese (and geese aren't people, so yeah). Their attack on America was thwarted by two quick thinking pilots.

But you know all that. And if you're like me, you probably thought it was an isolated incident.

Boy, was I wrong.

Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen, it was anything but isolated. We may have suppressed Al Queda, but now we face a common enemy. And not just those VH1 reality shows. After years of oppression on the lower rungs of the food chain, the animals are fighting back.

Today, another frightening story from animal terrorists. In Jones, Oklahoma a squirrel set itself on fire and attempted to set fire to a local school. The school was spared, but five acres were burned including some trailers.

A squirrel caught fire, sparking a blaze Wednesday morning that resulted in the evacuation of an elementary school in Jones, fire officials said.

Investigators said the squirrel touched two power lines at the same time and fell to the ground near Britton and Hiawassee roads. That fire burned 5 acres in the Jones area, forcing the evacuation of the elementary school...

Several trailers burned in the fire. However, there were no known reports of injuries.
First geese and now squirrels. We can only hope lions, tigers and bears don't join in on the action.

Welcome to Crease Chat!

***Welcome to the official Chatroom of professional hockey goalies!***

Emery_bored: Man, I hate Russia. Like, I look at these road signs and It’s like Klingon or somethin.

Cowboy_Curtis:well, it is in RUSSIA, maybe they’re in Russian

Emery_bored: doncha have a russian goalie over in TO?

Cowboy_Curtis:there are Russian players, but not a goalie. Toskala is from Finland.

Emery_bored: Finland’s IN Russia, ya dumbass

*** Miler_time has entered the chat room***

Miler_time:’sup fools?

Emery_bored: sup honkey?

Miler_time: yo Curtis, whose bed have YOUR boots been under? Mine been under your MOM’s!

Cowboy_Curtis:Shut up, Miller

Emery_bored: But man, Curtis, you gotta come over here. The women are crazy, like tranny hookers

Miler_time: Tranny hookers like your mom?

Cowboy_Curtis: what is it with you and people’s moms?

Miler_time: I dunno it just started after I did that ad for AMP. I can’t stop drinking the stuff. Guess how many cans of Amp I’ve had today

Cowboy_Curtis:I dunno, 3, 4?

Miler_time: 36

Cowboy_Curtis: in a row?

Emery_bored: Shouldn’t you be in a coma or something after that? What kind of stuff happens so you drink 36 Amps?

***welcome to Miller_time flashback chat***

: So, Mr. Miller, will you be in our commercial?

Miler_time: What is it I’m selling again, ad person?

Ad_hole : Amp, an energy drink. Here’s a sample

Miler_time: Golly gee, this stuff tastes like battery acid. Is it healthy?

Ad_hole :oh, of course…all natural…no harmful side effects at all…and all the profits go to children

Miler_time: really?

Ad_hole : well, we’re all somebody’s children. Now, the concept of the ad is one that is edgy and urban. You and another NHL goalie will participate in a “yo momma fight” and you win after drinking Amp energy drink.

Miler_time: “Yo momma fight”? But if our moms are fighting, why are the other goalie and I there?

Ad_hole :No Ryan, you trade insults about each other’s mothers.

Miler_time: That’s terrible! Why would I insult some stranger’s mother?

Ad_hole : siiiigh…Vinny, do your work

***VinnyTheThug has knocked out Miler_time***

*** Miler_time is now strapped to a chair, eyeballs taped open, IV of Amp in each arm, with multiple screens playing the show “Yo Momma”***

Wha…what happened to me?

Ad_hole : Ryan, this just seemed to be the easiest way to acquaint you with our concept. Miler_time :Why is Fez insulting my mom?

Ad_hole : well Ryan, that’s what a yo momma fight is. And since we need you addicted—I mean, familiar with our product, we have you on some Ivs of straight Amp


the next day...

Emery_bored: Miller? You there Miller?


Miler_time: /guzzles Amp

Cowboy_Curtis: I’m only gonna say this once and I want no discussion as to how I know this: between the toes or under the tongue with CLEAN needles.

Miler_time: thanks man, my urine’s so acidic it could probably eat through walls.

***world_of_Raycroft has entered the chatroom***

***Cowboy_Curtis has left the chatroom***

***Emery_bored has left the chat room***

***Miler_time has left the chat room***

aw shucks, not again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

BMR Fantasy League Update - Week 15

The West Coast Mafia consisting of Earl Sleek and Mr. Plank are off and running with a sizable lead. Pensblog Charlie held his own last week in true underdog fashion defeating one said sleek one 6-4. Kevin actually won last week by curb stomping E-Mac's squad, 8-3. Loser Domi and her basement cleaners continue to lead the way for the Tavares sweepstakes. I'd like to congratulate her on the selection of Martin Gerber as her fantasy goaltender this year.

Great job LD!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who Wants to See ESPN's Pierre LeBrun Naked?

With all due respect to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, I'm not sure that there's any hockey journalist we would like to see running naked in the press box at the Stanley Cup Finals. Unless, of course, Eric Erin Andrews develops a sudden interest in hockey.

Mr. LeBrun does a great job writing about hockey for ESPN and when he first heard about Claude Lemieux's comeback, like a lot of us, he was skeptical that Lemieux would ever see NHL ice. So skeptical that he said he would run through the press box at the SCF naked if Lemieux were to make it to The Show.

Today, some rather interesting news broke.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has reassigned forwards Brad Staubitz and Tom Cavanagh to the Worcester Sharks, the team’s top development affiliate in the American Hockey League and recalled forward Claude Lemieux.

From Pierre's latest column at ESPN:

Before we continue, crow must be eaten. We promised to run through the press box naked at the Stanley Cup finals if Claude Lemieux's NHL comeback bid came to fruition. Ahem, media colleagues, you've been forewarned. Please make sure to have eaten dinner before we make good on our promise next June.

"That's why we called him up," Sharks GM Doug Wilson, joking of course, told us Monday.

We weren't the only ones to make fun of this comeback bid. The laughter was universal around the hockey world. And Lemieux took notice.

"I got into this with my eyes wide open, knowing that most folks out there would think that I was out of my mind to attempt to do something like this," Lemieux told a bunch of us media folk on a conference call Monday. "But it's OK. I've had no problem taking criticism along the way. It motivated me even more. It's been a fun road."

Obviously the promise was made tongue-in-cheek, but just to be safe, I'm going to watch the Finals from my couch this year (OK, you got me, that's what I do every year).

Milbury: McGuire Wants to 'Pansify the Sport'

If you didn't watch the Penguins/Rangers game on NBC yesterday, well, you didn't miss a whole lot.

If you didn't watch the intermission report, you did. What you missed was Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire having a big hissy fit about fighting's place in the sport. McGuire's point was that we need to rethink it and evalute it. Not necessarily get rid of the thing, but think about where it's going in the wake of Don Sanderson's death.

To which Milbury retorts-- in classic Milbury form -- "Pierre, you're trying to pansify the sport."

It's a hilarious video and it likely would have come to blows if McGuire didn't have to report back to his post between the benches. Now that would have been must see TV!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pseudo Fantasy Hockey Update

Since apparently all I'm doing today is posting links to things other people have written, I think I'm going to keep doing that for at least one more post.

Teebz from the great Hockey Blog in Canada has posted an in-depth look at his fantasy team in the free-for-all league. It's especially significant given that he has been sitting in first place for the last couple weeks. So head on over to HBiC if you'd like to see exactly how he's been whooping up on us.

Al Strachan Says Something Intelligent Regarding the CBA, Salary Cap

Wow. This paragraph actually makes total sense. So what the hell was with all that nonsense the other day, Al?

Modify the collective bargaining agreement to allow salary retention (33 precent): The general managers want this change so that they can make more trades. At the moment, you can't trade away a player and continue to pay part of his salary, so trades are harder to make. Teams that suffer injuries find it hard to fill roster spots. Furthermore, fans, who love trades, get short-changed. The problem is that any change in the salary-cap rules would mean changes in the CBA and those are not easy to effect. They require approval of the NHL Players' Association and that usually doesn't come without a price tag. That doesn't mean that the PA is always unreasonable, but the owners don't want to set the precedent of tweaking the CBA.

How Did We Not Find Out About This Sooner?!?

JR's got a blog. What the hell man? When were you going to tell me about that?

It's nothing like his rants on player interviews, but it's something. If you missed that last week, here's the cut.

"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 (expletive) enthusiasm during interviews," Roenick said. "I see too many interviews where young guys say the same thing night after night after night. It's (expletive).

"You know what, guys? Don't just give us the usual clich├ęs. 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!'"

More to come on these developments, of course.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Long Island's Running Joke -- Islander Goaltenders

This is seriously the funniest thing this side of Al Strachan right now.

Just when you thought the Islanders' goalie situation couldn't get any worse. Just when you thought this franchise couldn't provide us with any more unintentional comedy (backup goaltender becoming GM and what not), they do.

Here's the timeline:

Wednesday: Joey MacDonald gets injured, out 2-4 weeks (I actually called that, oddly).

Thursday: Islanders sign former goaltender Wade Dubielewicz, who was playing in the KHL this year and got cut.

Friday: Dubie expected to backup Yann Danis Saturday night against New Jersey, become starter next week.

Saturday: Dubie claimed off waivers by Columbus due to a loophole in the CBA. Islanders desperately search for a backup for tonight's game (Garth Snow and Mike Dunham expected to not be an option).


This whole thing is so sad it's hilarious. The John Tavares Express just keeps rolling along.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Al Strachan Doesn't Have a Clue About the Cap Crunch

OK, so that title is pretty harsh. I'm sure he's a nice guy and does have a clue about some things. After all, you don't get a job writing for Fox Sports for nothing. That being said, his most recent article gets filed under the category of 'Are You Freaking Kidding Me?!?' for an egregious way of thinking (Warning, dear reader: long post ahead).

Mr. Strachan's piece yesterday that was so eloquently titled 'Cap having negative effect on teams,' is having a negative effect on my eyes. It hurts me just sitting here and reading it.

The NHL's salary cap has ballooned from $39 million when it was instituted in 2005 to the $56.7 million mark it current sits at. That's a 45% increase in only three seasons! And as the salary cap ballooned, so did contracts for players. Somewhere along the line, everyone decided it would be a good idea to not only had out a lot of money but also to do it for a long period of time. Now, given the economy and the possibility of the cap decreasing (oh, the horror!), some teams are in a bind.

To be fair, a lot of us did not see the severity of the current economic crisis coming. To be fair, NHL GMs probably did not either. However, to assume that the salary cap would continue to go sky high through leaps and bounds each year was simply foolish. At some point, recession or not, it's going to level out even if only for a couple years. And now NHL teams are paying for not doing their homework.

In an NHL where everything that goes wrong is blamed on Gary Bettman -- by most people including myself -- and everything that goes right isn't necessarily credited to him, it's natural to blame Bettman for cap concerns. But Mr. Bettman isn't the one to lay blame on this time.

Because of the salary cap that Bettman imposed, the Lightning and Senators are toast for years to come. How is that good for the fans? More important, how is that good for the National Hockey League?

When the Lightning gave a mega-deal to Vinny Lecavalier, Gary Bettman was not the one forcing either side to do so. It's not his fault either party signed the deal and it's not his fault the Bolts may not currently have the money to back it up. And honestly, how do you sign someone to that kind of a deal if you don't? The Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators mis-managed themselves into a mess. No one made the Senators commit $19 million to their top three forwards. No one made the Bolts spend$2.5 million on Oldaf Olaf Kolzig, $4 million on Andrej Meszaros and $2 million on Jeff FREAKING Halpern.

And there's no guarantee that these two teams are the only ones that will be adversely affected. They're just the first. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers, among others, could soon find themselves in the same boat.
Sorry, tough luck. This is why some teams fail and others flourish. It's all about how you play the game and in the NHL that game isn't only the one on the ice, it's also the one in the board room -- managing the salary cap. The rules changed and different teams took different approaches. If your approach failed, well, that's life.

No, Bettman did not print up a manual saying that teams must sign star players to mega deals to be successful under a salary cap. The whole principle of a cap system is that it takes away the advantage of being able to simply throw money at players -- that's what was happening before the cap was implemented. Now, under a cap system, there's more emphasis on who can draft well, grow their own talent, and most importantly, decide which free agents are worth the money and which aren't. Misjudge a player? Sorry, get a better scouting staff.

When Vinny Lecavalier, Thomas Vanek, Danny Briere, Alex Ovechkin and a whole host of others were signed to monster contracts by their teams it wasn't Bettman holding a gun to their head. The rules of the NHL had changed and for a while everyone decided to play follow the leader -- the leader being Charles Wang giving Rick DiPietro 15 years and a truck load of cash -- and lock up big names to big deals. They did so instead of studying the cap and trying to come up with a best course of action. What may be best for the folks on Long Island, may not be the best for Philadelphia or Tampa Bay.

I've been an advocate of the cap since about 1997 and I think what we're seeing here is that nobody really did their homework on it.

In the NFL, teams have a 'capologist' whose job it is to know anything and everything about the cap. While the NHL's cap isn't that complicated and teams may not have money to hire someone like this, it isn't the worst idea in the world to at least study the darned thing. I think everyone is slowly waking up to the realization that many teams just assumed the cap would continue to rise and never really bothered to look at the long term outlook.

What is happening in Tampa Bay is another variation on the same salary-cap theme. Thanks to a number of quality players, the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004. Thanks to the salary cap, they couldn't keep those players. Out went Brad Richards, Nik Khabibulin, Pavel Kubina and Dan Boyle.
That's where I give up, Mr. Strachan. If you honestly believe the situation unfolding in Tampa Bay has to do with Bettman's imposition of a salary cap, I don't know what to tell you. In a matter of six months, the Lightning have become the poster child of how not to run a franchise under these conditions. If they're not the only ones who don't know how to do it, well, that's business. Just like on Wall Street, some businesses thrive while others fail. It's simply the way of the world.

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather sit here and listen to Mr. Strachan complain about how teams are mismanaging their money under a salary cap than listen to 20 teams complain about how they can't afford to keep up with the buckets of cash big market clubs were throwing at free agents before the lockout. Think about it. Is that really what we should go back to?

This system was designed to save the owners from themselves. Sometimes, there are people that you can't save.