Figures I head to Jersey just in time for a blizzard that dropped a foot and a half of snow on the grimy Garden State. While I’ve been bustin my ass on surprise ice patches and shoveling my girlfriend’s driveway, the Leafs have had most of the week off after a tough loss to San Jose. The rest of the league has been closing out their remaining games before the Olympic break. With the Leafs’ season in shambles, it will be nice for Toronto fans to actually be able to watch a game that has some actual meaning.
Speaking of Olympics, can someone with a brain please get over to NBC headquarters ASAP? I had almost forgotten about the whole Leno/Conan fiasco, and then they go and announce that the USA vs. Canada preliminary round matchup will be shown on NBC subsidiary MSNBC, while the main network will broadcast (get ready for it) ice dancing, women’s speedskating, men’s freestyle skiing and the giant slalom. No, I’m not kidding. [Puck Daddy]
I’ve long gotten over the fact that the Leafs will not be making an appearance in this year’s postseason, as have most other Leaf fans capable of rational thought. However, it is still mathematically possible for them to make the playoffs. James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail, of whom I’ve become a regular reader and follower over the past few weeks, has a unique breakdown of each NHL team’s playoff chances, based on set point totals for both Eastern and Western Conferences. An interesting read, but don’t get your hopes up: to reach Mirtle’s cutoff of 87 points for the East, the Leafs would have to go a redhot 19-3-0 down the stretch. [Globe and Mail]
Has anyone else heard the ludicrous comments made by Vesa Toskala since being traded to Anaheim? After posting some of the worst numbers in the league during his stay in Toronto, the bastard had the audacity to say he was hoping to wash the blue and white out of his equipment as soon as possible. Really, Vesa? Thankfully, DGB has written a nice goodbye letter to the NHL’s worst goalie. By the way, DGB celebrated its 2nd year of existence this week. Congrats, and keep ‘em coming. [Down Goes Brown]
I love slideshows. Who doesn’t? They’re quick, generally contain interesting information, or, at the very least, 10-15 hot babes in bikinis, and are a great way to kill 10-15 minutes of any work day. Sports Illustrated put together a great set of hockey quotes from hockey legends like Don Cherry, Conn Smythe and Brett Hull. And, over at the Bleacher Report, Eric Warren gives us his list of the greatest 20 Maple Leafs of the last 20 years.
With the addition of Dion Phaneuf to the blueline, and the lack of any starpower assistance for Kessel up front, I’ve got to admit that I have been pretty much fully in favor of trading Kaberle for either a top line forward or a high first round pick. General Borschevsky from PPP clearly hasn’t been caught up in all the hype, and made me actually take a step back and think about it, with this piece on the situation. [Pension Plan Puppets]
Finally, I didn’t get a chance to watch the Caps-Habs game last night, but a good friend of mine is a huge Washington fan, and he was none too happy about the overturned goal in Montreal. I understand why after watching the highlights. Ovechkin decks big Hal Gill in the slot, the big defenseman lands on Carey Price, and the puck somehow finds its way into the net. Originally ruled a goal, after review, the call was overturned, with no real explanation given. There was no penalty for interference called against Washington, and there was no movement of the net, so I can’t understand why the goal was disallowed. Unfortunately, the call came at a crucial time in the game and the Caps 15 game win streak came to an end in overtime. I’m not the first to bring this up, as the Capitals have some of the most active and interesting bloggers out there, [DC Sports Bog, Japers Rink] but take a look at the goal for yourself, and see if you can come up with a reason why this shouldn’t have counted. I got nothin’.