Meaningless Wednesday Power Rankings: The Mike Keenan Interruption
November 2, 2011 3 Comments
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 at your own peril.
I don’t think VERSUS gets enough credit for trying something new with the whole “studio desk” thing on NHL Live. Host Liam McHugh and analysts such as Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Pierre McGuire get to be like coaches standing in front of the chalkboard, able to dissect plays on that funky big screen TV inside the desk. It’s a nice new change to what you typically see from these kinds of shows.
28. NY Islanders
My favorite Halloween candy isn’t something that really counts, but have sort of been relegated to Halloween-only: Tootsie Roll pops. Particularly cherry Tootsie Roll pops. I don’t care about candy corn or anything else (but for the record, pumpkin candy > candy corn) just give me a bunch of those and I’m quite content to not steal from my brothers’ candy bags.
26. New Jersey
TV! I went to Conan O’Brien’s taping in New York City at the lovely Beacon Theater on Monday. It was fantastic. In my opinion, Conan should have never left New York. He’s perfect for the city. He’s so odd, yet New York is a place where everyone is odd, so he fits in perfectly. He just sticks out like a sore thumb in Los Angeles … Misfits is a British series about criminal teenagers who have superpowers. It is one of the funniest shows ever, and if you haven’t found it yet, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. A definite recommend if you’ve become bored with action-comedy.
23. St. Louis
Mike Milbury noted that the Ducks play during last night’s Anaheim-Washington game “doesn’t matter if [Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller] sucks.” Here’s the thing – when Mike Milbury isn’t talking about fighting and visors, he’s often the most honest analyst in the room, unafraid to say what he feels. Maybe calling out players dogging it like that is worth the crazy he dispenses every Saturday.
I’m so sick of hearing Detroit fans and executives express this whole notion that the Red Wings are entitled to get put in the Eastern Conference. First of all, the whole travel excuse is mute in a world where these players are flying fairly luxuriously across the continent. Secondly, Columbus absolutely needs to be in the Eastern Conference more. They’ll start a natural, regional rivalry with the Penguins, it’ll get Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa (all close enough for a trip to Ohio) into the building three times a week, and they’re a new club, they could use fewer games that start after 9 p.m. more than Detroit, who tops the local ratings anyway. Besides, with the realignment CBC shed light on Saturday, no matter what conference you’re in, you’ll likely be taking the same number of trips out to the west coast. The Detroit entitlement needs to end. They’ve won four Stanley Cups since 1996, so the travel’s not exactly killing them.
During the intermission of the Caps/Ducks game on Tuesday, Pierre McGuire said that, to rectify their woes, the Capitals need to “manage the puck. I know it’s just a bunch of words, but it’s important.” This is essentially the NHL version of the Blades of Glory line “no one knows what it means, but it’s provocative!”
How has no one done an “Occupy Roberto Luongo” sign at Rogers Arena? Something to go with his save percentage. “We are the 86.9%”. If you guys could rip off green man, you could certainly take that joke and run with it.
17. NY Rangers
New York is a very interesting city to be in on Halloween, but if you’re wearing a Rangers jersey – or any team jersey – for the day and claiming to be an athlete, you are absolutely cheating. If it is something that you would wear on a normal day, it does not count, and you should not get candy. I say this as someone who did this twice in a row during high school. Learn from my mistakes! For the record, past Lepore costumes have included George W. Bush, Howard Stern, cowboy, skeleton … eh, I don’t really do the Halloween thing. It just seems like a completely pointless holiday, since you don’t even have to really try that hard to get candy.
15. Tampa Bay
BIASED DEVILS FAN MOMENT: During Thursday night’s Phoenix win over New Jersey, the first goal was scored on a clear kicking motion by Patrick O’Sullivan. Like, it was obvious via all camera angles shown that O’Sullivan had no choice but to kick the puck into the net. However, the goal still counted because it deflected slightly off a New Jersey player. Is it just me, or is that completely unfair and stupid? I mean, is the NHL rulebook essentially saying that I can kick the puck from anywhere I want from the ice, and as long as it grazes Bryce Salvador, it’s a good goal? In the very least, it should have to go off of your teammate’s stick, so it can appear as if it was just a regular deflection. I’m sure I’m just looking at it from Devils-colored glasses, but … it still seems completely unjust.
13. San Jose
MUSIC! Hey, do you like those hip hop songs Chris Martin awkwardly sings the chorus to? Well, if you’ve ever thought “I’d love to hear that for 45 minutes,” the new Coldplay album is for you! … I don’t even hate Coldplay, but I really hate how FOX baseball host Chris Rose ended Game 7 of the 2011 World Series. He closed the broadcast by saying “Appropriately, we leave you with Coldplay.” Explain to me, Mr. Rose, on what planet does the mopiest, falsetto-iest British rock band on earth serve as the apropos end to a baseball game?
Has anyone noticed how often Mike Keenan interrupts people when he’s on the air? He made his season debut on NHL Overtime Monday night, and during the first segment alone I counted seven instances in which the Stanley Cup-winning bench boss broke in while host Bill Patrick or fellow analyst Chris Therien was saying something, and it didn’t even sound like they were wrapping up a couple of times. Someone has to have to have talked to him about this, right? I know Keenan seems like an intimidating guy, but you can tell the man to let up when somebody’s trying to finish up a point.
Nobody Cares About Your Fantasy Team – Handsome B. Wonderful continued their dominance of the Kearny Elitserien last week, winning 9-1 on the strength of goaltending by Marc-Andre Fleury and Johan Hedberg in the absence of James Reimer. The club stands at 23-4-3 with 49 points, in first place in both Division II and the league, with an 11-point lead on the next closest competitor.
7. Los Angeles
Keith Jones was a solid addition to the “Inside the Glass” position on Tuesday night. Jones, who serves as a studio analyst for VERSUS and a color analyst for CSN Philadelphia, did a solid job chronicling how Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau sat Alexander Ovechkin late in the game, instead going with Nicklas Backstrom and some of the grinders on the club to tie the game late in the third against Anaheim. Jones, Brian Engblom and Pierre McGuire all do a pretty solid job in the position, but it’s always fun to see a new face in a new spot.
One assumes that at least one of Toronto, Edmonton and Chicago won’t continue their excellent early season play, and one would have to bet that club is Edmonton. There’s no way Khabibulin continues playing this well, and their defense just doesn’t have the depth to make the post-season. That doesn’t mean they won’t be must-see TV on GameCenter every night, because the offensive talent is there already with Nugent-Hall, Hopkins and Eberle. You just get a sense, however, that these guys will hit a wall.
Pittsburgh’s probably the only Eastern team with much beef as far as realignment goes, because they’d lose games against the Caps, Flyers, Rangers and other rivals. But hey, it’s not like they haven’t been in the same division with Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa before, as they were before realignment in 1998. The point of all this talk is that rivalries evolve with time, and all 30 teams will find and reignite rivalries both new and old, especially if the league returns to divisional playoffs, which is something that never should have left. The NHL’s playoffs should be as unique as they are intense. They already present an alternative to the NBA and MLB with the 2-2-1-1-1 series format, this would just make the Stanley Cup Playoffs even more exciting.