Everyone hates power rankings. So why shouldn’t Puck the Media have them too? Seriously though, this is a chance for me to make jokes about various hockey and non-hockey issues from the past week. Enter with your own peril.
The Blue Jackets have the 5th highest payroll in hockey? How on earth does that happen? That’s like the Pirates ending up with baseball’s highest salaries. I mean, I guess Carter and Wisniewski were big but … really? No, I refuse to believe this is true. Anyway, the team is gross, which is a shame because there’s been a budding little hockey community in Columbus that likely can’t take much more discouragement. They came into the league a year after Atlanta and have had essentially the same results aside from the dirtbag ownership. It’d very interesting to see if CBJ (By the way, most annoying NHL abbreviation on the planet. CLB is fine, TV networks) could ever turn into a traditional NHL power. They have at least one fan.
I’m grateful I wasn’t born in a “traditional” hockey market like Montreal. I would be the most insufferable human being alive (er, more so) if I grew up there. The poorly-spoken French, the 24/7 Habs talk, and literally nothing else to live on but said Hab? I’d probably be dead by now. Most likely in one of those riots.
So, how long do the Jets have to be this bad until we start seeing empty seats at MTS Centre? Two years? Three? Five? Ten? Ever? This team is the Thrashers, and people need to start recognizing this.
MUSIC!: Go get the new Florence + The Machine record, Ceremonials. That lady’s voice scares the bejesus out of me, but the drumming and overall mood of the album is wonderful … Death Cab For Cutie should not be allowed to have remixes … Enough, John Fogerty. Just continue to cash in on mediocre films using “Fortunate Son” and retire … Anytime a musician lines up “filmmakers from around the world” to shoot music videos for every song on an album, it’s probably bad news.
26. NY Islanders
Mike Milbury thinks that there shouldn’t be mandatory visors in the NHL because there is “excitement in danger.” Every time Mike Milbury says something foolish, I am going to post a Mike Milbury General Manager fact.
Mike Milbury General Manager Fact: Mike Milbury once traded Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen from the Islanders to Florida for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.
How is Ottawa only one game under .500? Oh, Columbus, Carolina and Winnipeg. Yeah, the Sens will be back to bottom feeding soon enough, possibly even before a brutal November where they see the Sabres and Leafs twice, plus a road trip that takes them through Toronto, Western Canada and Pittsburgh.
At work on Sunday, the Great Pumpkin visited various children. That’s right folks, The Great Pumpkin – a character that a cartoon made up and then turned out to not even be real in a cartoon. You know Halloween is stretching when a figment of a blanket-sucking, illustrated eight-year old needs to be trotted out.
The Bruins will be fine. They were in ninth place in the Eastern Conference at this time last year. Though one would think Tukka Rask will definitely play a little bit more than last season. IMPORTANT TUKKA RASK FACT: Our family has a half-maltese/half-Scottish terrier named Rascal, whom we often call “Tukka Rascal.”
I still don’t know what to think of Nashville’s new jerseys. I like that the Western Conference used to have more “out there” colors than the East (Kings in purple, Wild in green and red, Coyotes in Picasso acid trips) but now that teams have re-modeled to more traditional colors, the Preds just seem odd. The design is a definite improvement, but I wish they’d just used their third jerseys from last year (the blue checkered numbers) as the regulars this season.
21. St. Louis
A Somewhat Funny Moment Between Me and My Dad From the Past Week
[While watching Game 5 of the World Series]
Dad: “I thought the Texas Rangers were blue.”
Steve: “Sometimes they are red.”
[Dad leaves the room]
This has been a Somewhat Funny Moment Between Me and My Dad From the Past Week
20. NY Rangers
TV! Happy Endings on ABC is a show that I’ve never heard anyone discuss, but is fantastically funny, well-written and equally well-cast. I don’t care if any of the things I write connect to hockey in this, but Dion Phaneuf’s lady Elisha Cuthbert is in this show. Also, Damon Wayans has a nearly-30-year-old son who is on Happy Endings. How many of you feel old reading that? … Suburgatory is also an excellent little comedy, and features my favorite joke of any show this Fall TV season. ABC Wednesdays, and comedy on Wednesdays in general (Up All Night, Modern Family, South Park) is starting to rival comedy on Thursdays (Community, Parks & Rec, The Office, Always Sunny) and that’s great. I’m glad people seem to want to watch comedy again.
18. San Jose
Frank Oz wasn’t satisfied with the script for the upcoming Muppets movie, therefore he refused to perform in it. That’s right, the same Frank Oz who had no objection to any of the Star Wars prequels couldn’t do Fozzie Bear again because of a fart joke.
Roberto Luongo will be fine. At least I hope so. I’m totally banking on the Devils trading for Cory Schneider to replace Marty when he hangs ’em up. I’m not reliable on this stuff.
I like that NHL Overtime edits in west coast highlights for the 2 a.m. ET rerun, but I kind of wish they’d just re-do the whole show. It comes in really awkwardly, and often – for the west coast games at least – it’ll seem like they have no idea what they’re talking about based on what just happened in the edited highlights. Last week, they did a “What’s wrong with the Rangers?” piece that made sense with the team struggling early on in the game, but not after the victory the team eventually garnered. I’d like to see the show maybe move to Midnight ET or 1 a.m. ET, and stick on until all the games are over, a la MLB Tonight. It just seems like an extended post-game show.
14. New Jersey
The Devils are going to make the playoffs this year, and many of you are going to look foolish for thinking they wouldn’t. “Hey, let’s pick a team that went 28-10-3 during the second half of last season, and then added Zach Parise in the off-season to miss the playoffs.” Look sharp!
13. Tampa Bay
Pierre McGuire interviewed Vincent Lecavalier after Lightning-Sabres on VERSUS last night. He briefly touched upon Lecavalier recently having a son born. I liked this, as it briefly humanized a player who has always struck me in the sort of “Captain Serious” role that Jonathan Toews became famous for. I like that McGuire can occasionally get personal with the players in a way the other interviewers often don’t.
Agree with Lambert on Hockey Night in Canada’s treatment of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the Oiler kids. HNIC hasn’t exactly had a banner season so far, with Grapes stirring up even more trouble than usual, and announcers mocking Atlanta fans during Winnipeg’s season opener.
BEST GAME ON NATIONAL TELEVISION NEXT WEEK: Tuesday night’s Anaheim-Washington game is being overlooked by VERSUS promos, which have instead focused on Monday’s San Jose-Rangers and Wednesday’s Philadelphia-Buffalo match-ups. They shouldn’t, because having the offensive firepower of Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan and Teemu up against Ovechkin and the Caps will be Must-See TV.
My pal Katie Baker’s weekly Grantland “Cold Hearted” column is easily one of my favorite reads of the week. If you’re already tired by this nonsense, I highly recommend you read her much more intelligent musings.
Dumbest Facebook Status to Appear on My Newsfeed This Week: The 5 million people who posted about seeing Paranormal Activity 3 on my wall this week. As Hannibal Buress explains, if you are scared by those movies, you are baby and should reevaluate what you consider to be a unfortunate, scary event. The Paranormal Activity series should be called “White People Problems: The Movie.”
Leafs fans have an inexplicable dislike of Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play man Jim Hughson. When I tweeted that Hughson – for my money one of the best on the planet – would not be calling this Saturday’s Leafs game, at least five Leafs fans were celebrating. They seem to think Hughson a Vancouver-homer. This is utterly silly. Jim Hughson is, next to Chris Cuthbert, Canada’s best play-by-play man, and aside from Doc Emrick and Dave Strader, one of the best in hockey. Leafs fans are ingrates.
7. Los Angeles
Ken Baker of E! Online is now blogging about hockey for NHL.com. There’s nothing wrong with this. He’s written a book about his earlier days as a goaltender, and the NHL needs more west coast voices. Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose are all elite teams for the first time in the 20-year history of having three teams out in California, and there needs to be more coverage. VERSUS/NBCSN is only airing one game from the state of California this season, and that’s a real shame. Especially in LA, where the Kings are now selling out pretty much every night, and have the coolest game opening on earth, in which Eric Cartman from South Park chants “Go Kings Go!” with the crowd.
MOVIES! Didn’t see any this past week, but saw three movies recently. Drive was a total trip, and Ryan Gosling gives a perfect, unemotional, almost robotic performance. Plus, Albert Brooks is fantastic … The Ides of March is easily the weakest Gosling film of the year (he’s been in, like, everything this year) as the movie takes itself way too seriously, but is still entertaining … 50/50 is funny, but has an despicable ending that I won’t spoil here.
Mike Milbury may have gone against mandatory visors, but there were also Tony Amonte and Jeremy Roenick on NHL Overtime, who claimed that the league should make visors ILLEGAL, claiming that players would keep their sticks down more if they did. Yes, but they still wouldn’t keep them down all the time, and would therefore cause more injuries like what you saw with Chris Pronger. Who scares people more in this league than Chris Pronger? And yet, a completely accidental play put him out for two weeks and nearly damaged his eye, proving that even the most-feared player in the league could have it happen to him by accident. The idea that sticks would all go down if there were no visors is a total fallacy, and Roenick and Amonte should know better.
I was at New York Comic-Con about 10 days ago, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought it would. Yes, it is eight hours at a convention hall in New York with a lot of people you’d never want to see again in real life, but I’m deeply interested in cultures of obsessive, and the whole event was real fascinating stuff. Plus: Muppets and Simpsons comics, which I am a sucker for. Also, I met Dot-Comm from 30 Rock, who is apparently running for President.
Nobody Cares About Your Fantasy Team: Handsome B. Wonderful, thanks to the amazing starts of Phil Kessel and Marc-Andre Fleury, are currently 14-3-3, first in Division 2 and second overall in Kearny Elitserien. Key move of the week: picking up Johan Hedberg after James Reimer went down day-to-day.
There’s not really much to say about Washington because we all know that everything before April doesn’t matter for these guys. A 7-0 start will only raise the heights from which the Capitals will fall if they can’t come up big during the chase for the Cup.