Wednesday, May 16, 2007

These Sens Are Scary

It was the crazy Leafs fan in me that made me choose Buffalo over Ottawa, not the rational level headed hockey connoisseur I normally am, I swear. Ottawa is obviously the best team left in the playoffs. Obviously. They didn't so much as blink while dusting off New Jersey and Pittsburgh, and it's not like those teams are bunch of stiffs either.

Ottawa is the complete deal right now, and I just hope you, as the reader, can understand how hard it is for me to type those words. In picking Buffalo, it was more because I wanted them to win, than because they deserved to win.

Ottawa has done something special this year. I don't know what it is exactly, but I've always gotten the sense that past Ottawa teams tried to hard. They compiled great regular season numbers, and then when they got to the playoffs, folded quietly. This year, they're regular season was anything but smooth, and I don't know, I guess it made them more... human? That sounds stupid, but what I mean is it's a lot easier to sympathise with them this year than in any other year previous.

Buffalo won last night, which isn't that surprising, I mean, they didn't get to where they are without being a decent team, but Ottawa will take control, like they did in their two previous rounds, and clamp down on the Slugs.

This really hurts to say, but I think Ottawa will win the cup. Even worse, I think I want them to.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Third Time Lucky

I might as well make my predictions known before its too late, and before I look like to much of a moron for choosing Buffalo. So I have Buffalo over Ottawa, in seven games now I guess, and Anaheim over Detroit, for the record.

Keep your sticks on the ice,


Sunday, May 13, 2007

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

When JP Ricciardi fessed up to lying about the extent of closer B.J Ryan's injury, and that the little elbow tweak would actually require Tommy John surgery, it was kind of hard to imagine that the Jay's season could somehow get worse. The season long loss of B.J was really supposed to be the cap on what had been a disastrous few weeks for the Jays.

Then Roy Halladay went down with appendicitis.

At this point, with the season already gone, all you can really do is laugh. Appendicitis! You can't make this stuff up. If this was a movie, this is the part where you'd say, "Ok, they're really stretching it here." But no, Halladay's appendix really did swell up, and the Jay's have already placed 11 players on the disabled list this season, which matches the total number for all of last year.

Also, any time Ted Rogers feels like firing Ricciardi won't be soon enough for me. I have finally decided that he is a smarmy, self-absorbed blowhole. "It's not a lie if we know the truth"? Don't spit on my deck and call it varnish.

For those scoring at home, that's two Toronto GM's now that need to be axed to one that deserves to be sainted.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bad News, In Bunches

So to recap, the Raptors are out of the playoffs, Sam Mitchell might not coach next year, Fergie Jr is still GM in Leafland, the Jays can't even win a game when Doc Halladay starts, Roger Clemens is back in the AL East, Toronto's new soccer team have yet to score a goal after an embarrassing number of games, and Barry Bonds will break the home run record sometime soon.

On the other hand, well the weather is nice.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So Four French-Canadian Referees Walk into a Bar...

There's a crisis in the nation's capital these days, and at the centre of it is Shane Doan.

No, Parliament has not launched a Royal Commission to investigate how an only slightly above average hockey player who consistently puts up less than spectacular numbers is both Phoenix's franchise player, and current captain of Team Canada, but rather, certain politicians have taken issue with a two year old incident in which Doaner was alleged to have aimed an anti-French remark at a French ref, in Montreal no less. Politicians from Quebec, actually. They seem to have a problem with Doan's captaincy, despite that the allegations were never proven, the NHL did not punish him, and to quote Jeremy Roenick, Doan is "the kind of guy who says 'fudge'."

This is a non-issue. Doan's not the kind of guy who would say something like that, and frankly, I think most people had forgotten about the incident, except of course Quebec, where their freaking motto is "Je me souviens".

If you want to get angry about something Parliament, get angry about the fact that the best we could do for a captain was Shane Doan. Now that's a cause I could get behind.

"Mr. Speaker, how can we justify, in this day and age, making a player like Shane Doan, with his history, captain of Team Canada? The international community is watching, Mr Speaker. Do you know how many points he scored last season? It's embarrassing."


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Verdict For April: Meh

The Jays have played one month of ball, and have yet to clearly define themselves. Their record is a hair over .500, and they've proven that they can play with Boston and New York, however, they've also proven that they can just as easily be swept by Baltimore.

Injuries are a problem sure, as losing closer B.J Ryan has meant that every late inning lead is in danger, but for the most part, the substitutes have filled in nicely. Adam Lind could likely stay in left field all season now, regardless of whether Reed Johnson ever comes back; John Macdonald, a guy we've always had a soft spot for and now displaced by the return of Troy Glaus was hitting .500 for a little while there; and Jason Phillips, the back-up catcher with the glasses (I don't know, I can't help but like an athlete who wears specs) filling in for Greg Zaun's broken hand knows when to lay down a clutch hit.

So the replacements have been probably no worse than the regulars would have been, which makes us wonder if we should take 13-12 April as indicative of what we can expect of the long haul. there have been some standouts, though. Roy Halladay has been money in the bank, sits 4-0 and leads the league in innings pitched, Vernon Wells is his usual sublime self, and Aaron Hill is having his breakout season.

This team, as always, comes down to pitching. Josh Towers didn't last the month, and Victor Zambrano will get his next start. Gustavo Chacin is suddenly injured, and Dustin McGowan gets that start. Tomo Ohka threw his best game of the season against Texas the other day, and seems to be improving with every game. These are the pitchers Toronto needs to worry about, at least until Halladay can figure out a way to pitch on a days rest. Wouldn't that be something?