Dear Atlanta ...



Q & A

Someone sent in a question to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Summed up the question was: "Do you think the Penguins are missing Ryan Malone?"

Here's my answer: No.

I truly believe Ryan Malone was over-hyped and overrated within the past year or so. His current one point (a goal) in seven games helps back me up. Sure, it's early. Maybe he'll be a super star. But anyone playing alongside some of those guys in Pittsburgh can put up points.


Michigan Who?

I hope some of you caught the BU/UMich game last night because it was fun ... fun if you were cheering for BU. After losing to Michigan 6-3 last season, the Terriers got some revenge with a 7-2 win in Boston. It was more of BU being unreal (you gotta see these kids this year!) than anything. Michigan played decently throughout the game, but they simply weren't as good.

Two things about the game:
+ I had to check how many penalties were called. It seemed like the entire game was spent on special teams. There were 30 penalties -- 15 in the third alone. It was kind of crazy. It felt like something was whistled every five minutes. Anyway, BU killed off 10 of 12 Michigan power-plays which is pretty good. On the other hand, they really need to start being more disciplined. BU takes way too many penalties every game, and that will eventually tire you out no matter how good you are.

+ I saw my first legit college fight. Fighting isn't allowed in the NCAA, but after a 7-2 game (with some chirps mixed in) things boiled over. I believe it started in the corner with Brian Strait and a UMich guy just shoving each other around ... then someone got suckered and all hell broke loose. Somewhere in there freshman Vinny Saponari and Brian Lebler took off the cages, dropped the gloves and went at it. Nothing too exciting happened; the refs were doing all they could to stop it. Those boys will not be permitted to play in their next game.

Photo Credit: Michigan


Watch It!

No. 6 BU (number one in our hearts) hosts no. 5 Michigan tonight. It's being broadcast live on CN8 at 7 pm.

It's going to be a great game! Watch it!



A Lackawanna County judge dismissed charges against former WBS captain, Nathan Smith, for indecent exposure and lewdness.

Basically what happened was: Smith lost a bet one night while the boys were out goofing around, and he had to strip down. Unfortunately for him, he ran straight towards a police officer.

People in Wilkes-Barre will probably be losing their heads (in fact, one comment is already saying how it was a joke he was let off), but let's get serious here. Sure, it was stupid, but it was around 2 in the morning -- it's not like any children were running around outside and saw it. Go to any college frat, and you'll see this too. It would be ridiculous to follow through with the charges.

Props to the judge who let this one go.


Really Ron Wilson?

As you may have heard by now, Leafs' coach, Ron Wilson, decided to play Curtis Joseph in the shootout after Vesa Toskala played the entire 65 minutes before that. Apparently this is because Joseph has a better shoot-out record. Okay, fair enough. But really though?

I think it shows a lack of confidence in Toskala. The kid played the entire game for you -- and kept the Leafs in the game (granted he only faced 21 shots). You say thank you by putting Joseph in? I know it's totally legal, but it's just strange to me. It'd be different if both goalies had seen action during regulation, but that was Toskala's game. Let him finish it.

Needless to say, the Ducks ended up winning the shoot-out. Way to go Ron Wilson.

Photo Credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images


B's vs. Pens

I headed over to the Garden last night to catch the Boston Bruins' home opener against my Penguins. Every time I go to an NHL game, I am reminded of how sick it is. The atmosphere was awesome. If they didn't sell out, they were super close. Boston fans are a riot. You can just tell that the majority of people there legit love the Bruins. I was with two diehards who were reminiscing about the last time the Bruins won a play-off round. Sigh.

Anyway, Pittsburgh came out on top with a 2-1 win after a shoot-out. Boston outplayed them the entire game. They had way more energy. If it weren't for a ton of missed chances (and I mean really close chances), Boston would have had 8 goals. Credit also goes to Dany Sabourin who played great. I was happy to see him get a solid win in. He needs it considering he only plays about three games a year.

The Beantown fans got the 'CROSBY SUCKS' chant going a few times. I sat there pouting and calling everyone jealous. Which they are. Tell me one team that wouldn't want Crosby on its roster. I don't think you'll find one.

Also: Crosby and Malkin on the same line is like watching a ballet. It's a work of art. I love it.

Bottom line: Boston is going to have a good year -- at least better than the seasons in the past few years. They're a really fun team to watch. Once they learn how to capitalize on some huge chances, they'll be good to go. In the meantime, I'm not sure what was with Pittsburgh. I hope it wasn't an "elitist" attitude I saw peeking through. You can't do pretty things all the time boys.

Photo Credit: Boston Bruins


Quote of the Day

I think if the economy can pull the kind of 180 that Paul Bissonnette achieved in the last year, the country would be a much happier place.

- Ben Lovejoy


Headline of the Week

How can you not love this headline? Like I said earlier, no one hates Northeastern. They're not really a rival of BU even though they are neighbors to the Comm Ave school. So it's okay for me to be really proud of them in their win over BC Saturday night. It sounds like NU goaltender, Brad Thiessen, continues to do well. Just goes to show BC isn't 'perfect.'

BU won their game against Merrimack 5-2 on Friday night. There was a beautiful goal thanks to a perfect pass to Brandon Yip who easily shot it into the glaringly empty net in front of him. Poor Merrimack. One of these years I really hope they have a good season. They're way overdue. Anyway, BU pairs up against UNH tonight in a game that will be a bigger challenge for them than Merrimack.

Go Terriers!


October is Hilarious

Okay, so the beginning of the regular season is so amusing to me. Can I just point out some examples?

+ The Maple Leafs beat Detroit in their first game. Sure, that's been their only win so far -- but it's still funny. Suck it Detroit.

+ The Ducks are 0-4. Not one point. Zero. Awful. Hint: stop taking penalties like it's your job ... it's not.

+ Chicago already tossed out their coach.

+ The St. Louis Blues are in first place in the Central Division.

+ I really don't care if the Rangers have been sick so far this year. They will choke in the post-season as they always do.

Just some Friday musings after a week of midterms. Gross. Bu vs. Merrimack tonight. Pittsburgh vs. Boston on Monday. Sooo excited.




Reports are starting to come in that 19 year-old Alexei Cherepanov collapsed and died at his hockey game. He was drafted 17th overall by the New York Rangers in 2007.

He will be missed.


They're Baaacckkk...

Last night I was able to catch the Boston University/North Dakota game at Agganis Arena. Going into it, I wasn't sure what to expect. North Dakota is always a force in the NCAAs, and this year they were ranked 5th in the nation compared to the Terriers' 9th.

Well forget rankings because BU dominated. Final score: 5-1 Terriers.

I was like a kid in a candy shop watching this game. Freshman goaltender, Kieran Millan looked spectacular. He made a few huge saves that reminded me of the John Curry days (although I'm not going to jump the gun on that one). The Terriers skated well, had some sick moves and all in all just worked hard. They got under ND's skin too which is always fun. Right now I think it's all about BU's freshman and sophomore players.

I really hope last night's game wasn't a fluke. They go at it again with Michigan State tonight. If they can keep playing this way, they're going to have a good year.

I made a prediction before the game last night that if BU won, they would make it to the Frozen Four. I guess we'll have to wait and see ...

Photo Credit: Dominick Reuter


Talk About Bad Luck

Remember Clint Malarchuk? The goalie who had his jugular slashed open by a skate during a hockey game in 1989 (youtube it if you dare!)?

Well he accidentally shot himself in the chin with his rifle the other day. Fortunately he's okay and recovering well.

Talk about having bad luck. I mean did you break a mirror somewhere along the way bud?



Here's what I have to say about my WBS boys' 8-4 loss to the Hershey Bears in their season opener:

+ Give me John Curry asap.
+ It's good luck for WBS to lose on opening night. Some of their most successful years have come when they lost the opener.
+ Don't take penalties.
+ Remember boys: you are basically the same team as last year. That means that you really don't have pure skill. You need to work hard to earn your wins. You did it last season. Do it again.

Phantoms > Flyers

This is funny.

The Flyers lost to their AHL affiliate by a score of 4-2. Phantoms had Antero Nittymaki in net though, so that probably helped them. But maybe we should rethink those rosters?


Honda Hearts the NHL

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the official vehicle of the NHL:

I'm secretly wishing it was BMW. I lust over those cars.


Criminal Mismanagement? How dare they.

Atlanta Thrasher prospect, Ondrej Pavelec, was recently demoted to their AHL affiliate in Chicago, and apparently he's not going (so says his agent). This happens from time to time :cough:Kris Beech:cough:, but this is interesting to me because if the Thrashers lose Pavelec, it will be a mistake. They'll be losing a lot of talent.

I saw Pavelec play in the Calder Cup finals with the Chicago Wolves this past year. He was sick. I looked at him, and I saw him playing in the NHL one day very soon. I thought he could have used a bit more time in the A for some minor improvements, but overall he was fun to watch because he was so good. He's only 21, so I don't know that this fit his agent is throwing (accusing the Thrashers of 'criminal mismanagement') was entirely necessary. His agent is claiming he wasn't given a fair chance at making the team. I haven't been paying too much attention to the Thrashers camp, so I don't know if that's true or not.

But they are the Atlanta Thrashers. I realize they have two good goalies in Kari Lehtonen and Johan Hedberg, but from what I've seen of Pavelec, he could probably compete with them. Why not give him a chance?

More on B.Ry.

For anyone watching the Pittsburgh/Ottawa game on Versus right now, how good does it feel to have hockey back? It brought a little smile to my face.

Anyway, more on the Bobby Ryan issue I briefly brought up last time. The kid is hoping for a trade, and I don't really blame him. At the same time, it's not as if they're sending him down to be outright dicks; they just don't know how to handle money very well. There were rumors about Toronto being interested in him; that would be interesting considering Brian Burke will probably end up there after this season. No matter where Ryan ends up, he still needs to adjust the attitude. I still stand by what I've said before: he has unreal hands that help him score but has offered little else. He has size, he should use it. And now that he's a skinny minnie, he should be faster.

Bottom line is, the Ducks probably saw beforehand that this problem would arise. Why did they hype him up so much and 'pencil' him in then? It makes them look bad. That might be my PR education speaking, but it is what it is.

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen, Getty Images


This Makes the Afternoon Interesting ...

I'm way overdue for an afternoon nap, but the Ducks sent Bobby Ryan down to the AHL today.

Although I have my complaints about him, it does hurt to be sent down for 'salary cap reasons' -- especially after everyone in the Ducks organization has spent basically all preseason talking him up.

Bobby Ryan often feels like he's owed the NHL, so there's no doubt he is complaining right now. And for once, I can't really blame him.

Poor kid. Maybe he should take a nap too.

More on this after some zzz's.

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