Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ROAR SMASH!

You thought I was just going to let thing thing play dead? Never.

So apparently Martin Brodeur threw a bit of fit last night because the Canes scored on him with .2 seconds remaining. It was almost too perfect. Like something Hollywood would do. I have to say I live for goalie freakouts and meltdowns. And Marty really should have went for. Perhaps considered shouting "You will remember this day as your last for I will end your existence!" And the he could have lit candles around a pentagram like in The Craft. Do something Devilish, you know? But no, he did this;

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Erik Cole back in Carolina

I'm apparently not the only one excited.



Since his return, 'Canes outscored opponents 15-5. Srsly.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dan Bylsma: Fashionista Extraordinaire


Hey, look! it’s new Pittsburgh Penguins coach Bylsma talking to the media, being his average Joe self, saying things like “‘till” and “real quick” and aboot while he verbal diarrheas out of that cute little mouth of his about things like our brandie new aggressive north/south system, all that new time in our offensive zone, his love for Kris Letang, little clich├ęs about Sidney Crosby figuratively “answering the phone” and how we still have one more road ga…

 Wait… I must have been in a trance. Where’d he go?

BAM! It’s game time, bitches! And Dan Yves St. Laurent Bylsma doesn’t fuck around. My fashionista hockey coach is going to kick your ass with his neatly shined patent leather shoes that perfectly match his belt, and his supple squad of burley boys, one line at a time.


Dan Chanel Bylsma is going to deflate your offense in his purple power suit with the shiny flair accents on his matching (but not too matchy-matchy) quirky purple patterned tie and his grey tweed jacket.

And you’d better believe that Dan Marc Jacobs Bylsma is going to going to hand some ass whooping it to the referee, because that holding call was the most bullshit thing he’s ever seen since the return of the poncho in like 2004, and by the way, black and white vertical stripes are so last season, you got that, honey?

Dan Dolce and Gabbana Bylsma with his deep, crimson tie and the trendy steel framed glasses is going to teach that kid some goddamn manners about chewing with his mouth open, and he’s going to do it with a snap of the fingers and a flick of the hips, because when you’re anywhere near Dan Prada Bylsma’s Pittsburgh Penguins bench, you bring the fucking class.

Since Dan Michael Kors Bylsma took over as the Pittsburgh Penguin’s head coach, he has recorded a 7-1-1 record. Maybe the Penguins just needed a new face… or a new wardrobe

Look out, Sean Avery, look out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To the Avery Lovers:


Look deep into my scarf Heather. It can see into your soul!

Well looky looky! The Avery drama ended just the way everyone said it would. With all the recent events surrounding the Rangers, I am beginning to think they are being run by the media. First everyone called for Torts and they got him, then everyone demanded a side of Avery and it was served up fresh. If teams are beginning to actually listen to the MSM, is it only a matter of time before we bloggers get to start calling the shots?

Just in case that time is now: "Gee, it would make a lot of sense if Pittsburgh traded New Jersey Evgeni Malkin for Jay Leach and a 7th round pick. I think that would really free-up the Pens salary structure and give them another shot at drafting a great player."

Watch TSN for that impending gem of a trade. Speaking of TSN, check out this hilarious quote from Glen Sather in their article on international Sean Avery waiver day.

"Rangers' general manager Glen Sather sees Avery as a boost to a struggling Rangers squad and believes that his coach and new acquisition will be able to co-exist.

''He doesn't have the history with Sean that we do,'' Sather said on a conference call last week. ''Over time, you learn to love him, just like I do.''"

I dunno Glen. Marty and him got a lot of quality alone time together last season, and he doesn't seem to love him "just like" you do. Although they might have just been hiding their love for each other during the handshake line incident to throw off eagle-eyed NHL analysts.

I've got it! They didn't shake hands because they were already playing footsy in the handshake line! (this would normally be the time where I would photoshop such an incident, but said photoshopping program is not really feeling like opening today. I leave it to your imagination instead.)

Between the Devils actually making a trade (for a depth defenseman) and the Avery situation ending exactly like everyone said it would, this trade deadline is really getting my pulse up.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Team USA in: Olympic Crapshoot


Zach Parise won't let a pesky wall of paper stand in the way of him
winning the gold!

So even though the games don't get underway for another year, many a media outlet is already starting to yap about the upcoming Winter Olympics. In fact, certain jackasses are already beginning to flaunt the embarrassment of riches the Canadian team will have to deal with. Joe Thornton as the teams third line center! Isn't that humorous! The same goes for Sweden and Russia who are going to have some serious challenges on their hands deciding which superstars are going to occupy their 3rd D pairings. Good luck with that guys.

Another team getting quite a bit of attention, but for completely different reasons, is good ol' Team USA. Ever since the 2002 silver medal in Salt Lake City, the American team has been in a state of decline. Former mainstays like Rick Dipietro, Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick are either past their prime or facing injury issues. The USA team, more then any other is facing a very sudden turnover in talent and will most likely be one of, if not the, youngest team in the tourney. More important than the age shift however is another change that has been slowly taking place for years, and just might reach its fruition with this roster.

If you name a country with a strong presence in the international hockey community, there is always a certain style of play that can be associated with that country. Canada brings to mind strong two way play and physicality, Russia is synonymous with speed and goal scoring acumen, and Sweden lies somewhere between the two, but generally with more emphasis on play making. If we were to follow this line of thinking to the point I'm trying to make (and hopefully one does get made), when someone says "United States Hockey", what exactly is it that you think of? For a long time I would say that most people would name the same qualities that they would for Canadians, but maybe with more of an emphasis on a grinding two-way game and less flash. But take a glance at the probable top line for the Americans and that perception doesn't seem to hold anymore. Zach Parise, Paul Stastny, and Patrick Kane are not exactly grinders. Oh, and one other thing: none of them are over 6 foot.

Lets think back to former team USA greats for a moment: Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin, and Jeremy Roenick are the 4 that spring to mind most quickly for me. With the semi-exception of Roenick, those players are all big dudes. Modano is 6-3 and Tkachuk and Guerin both weigh over 220 pounds. More important then their physical size was the type of game they played: hard-working, gritty, and tough in the corners. Now, do you see Patrick Kane (who weighs around 170) throwing big checks in the corners? How about Zach Parise? Stastny has the weight to play that kind of game, but that certainly isn't his most notable skill. No, the new generation of USA players is showing us a new look: one more about speed and creativity but with the same foundation of hard work and persistence. Brian Gionta was seemingly an anomaly on former USA squads, but now he is starting to look like the forbearer of what was to come.

Brian Burke, team USA's GM, has some interesting choices to make. While the previously mentioned trio of Kane, Parise, and Stastny are locks (as well as LA's Dustin Brown) it will be interesting to see how much he decides to run with his new talent. Burke has already stated that some veterans will most likely be returning, but depending on what roles they are given, this team could either be a glaring mash up of incongruent styles (aka- bad) or a transition to the smaller faster game with some veteran leadership to help the youngins (aka- good). Either way, it should prove to be an interesting showcase of what the USA's hockey program has to offer.

My only worry? Check out the co-GM's who will be helping Burke chart the future of the countries hockey identity:

David Poile - The Co-GM and probably the only good NHL GM besides Burke in this group. He has consistently constructed competitive rosters for a Nashville team that is perpetually trying to shed salary.

Ray Shero - If you consider sinking a franchise that just recovered from rebuilding and has Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on its roster an achievement, then Shero is a shoe-in for this job. The season isn't over yet, but I don't think the Pens will be making much noise in the playoffs (if they even make it).

Paul Holmgren - Alright. He is actually pretty good. Philly turned it around very quickly and he played a big part in that.

Dean Lombardi - Did an okay job with the Sharks, but hasn't done anything for a very average L.A. team. With the amount of top 5 picks the Kings have had, they shouldn't be on the playoff bubble anymore.

Don Waddell - Possibly the worst GM in all of hockey. The only competition he has for that title is Jacques Martin. Consistently makes poor trades, has very little fore-thought, and is about to lose what little star power he has left on his team. How he got this position (and how he even still has a job) is beyond me.

Hopefully grouchy old Burke will be listening more to Holmgren and Poile then the other two. Actually, Lombardi can have in on the meetings too. I just hope that Waddell finds himself too busy trying to run Atlanta out of business to put much thought into ruining team USA.



Thursday, February 5, 2009

it's for the children;

You know, despite my alleged callousness, I am totally in support of charities. Especially in the NHL with the ridonkulous salaries. However, signing a check just doesn't quite do it for me. I mean look at Brad and Angelina, they are totally about charities. I don't care if they are in Prada, but they trudge through third world countries, build houses, the paparazzi take pics and peeps donate money after that. Sometimes Anderson Cooper is there making it a trifecta of awesome. Also, I am a sucker for pics of players visiting children's hospitals. It's the kind of visibilty that should take place more often.

I checked my email 23 minutes ago, because that's when I rolled out of bed, and saw this;



WHAT?! I can bid on an already overpriced phone because it was touched by a NHL player for about four minutes and then scrawled on with a silver Sharpie?! Well sign me up! Uhm, in case you were not aware, that was me, dripping with sarcasm. Who the balls thought this was a good idea? As if some people don't act douchey enough because of their phones, I'd know because I have an Android. Oh god, you see what I just did there? I named dropped my awesome phone in a post that is supposed to be about helping the plight of children! Now imagine some doorknob who gets a phone that Ovie autographed Blackberry? DUDE HAVE YOU SEEN MY PHONE? IT'S SIGNED BY OVECHKIN WOOOO THE GREAT 8!....NO I DIDN'T MEET HIM....HOW MUCH DID I PAY? I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU THAT...DUDE BUT LIKE, IT'S SO AWESOME. GO UHHHH CAPS RIGHT? HE PLAYS FOR WASHINGTON?

You know that the Sharpie will just rub off, right? And you'll look like one of those dumb fangirls who has players sign her wallet. No really, I saw this happen. At a signing for my junior hockey team. She was totalllllly psyched that her hot pink wallet was signed by 3 players who are drafted and then 3 players who are like 4th liners. And no, she was not 7. So does something else come with this phone? Besides like the charger and the instructions? Some wearable items? Game tickets? No? Well ok...Also, this totally explains why during the All Star Game you only saw the plebians in the crowd who were emailing the office on their Blackberry and not like you know, enjoying or watching the game.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

chat me up.

Dear NHL Store,
I know we have had our tiffs in the past. I hate your sissy girl merch. I sooooo am not down with the Alyssa Milano Touch stuff. But sometimes I think you are trying. Other times. No. I find it ridiculous that merch is not available across the board for all teams. So I like this jacket. Shut up. I do. But I want it available in other teams. Why can't you do that? I'd buy it if it was the team I wanted. The economy is totally sucking. I'd help prop it up, support it and the like if you carried things I wanted to buy. But nooooooo. You make team scarves available for the warm teams and not the cold ones. You know what, I am done wasting brain cells on you. Call me when you stop sucking. Thanksssss.

Love and kisses,
Wrap

Pinch me...

I'm not sure what I'm happier about today; the fact that Barack Obama went to bed in the White House last night, or the fact that George W. Bush didn't.

Barack Hussein Obama is president of the United States of America. Look into a mirror and say it five times. Nothing happens. Dick Cheney doesn't magically appear behind you, and begin to waterboard you.

Barack Obama. Leader of the mother fucking free world. Incredible, isn't it?

I wasn't able to catch the inauguration on the tele yesterday, as I was on my way back to Toronto from the lovely city of Kingston, Ontario. Let me tell you, though, it was a blessing in disguise. Instead, we tuned the dial of the "Magic Bus" to CBC Radio, and took in the festivities over the airwaves.

When Obama stood behind the podium and delivered his first speech as president, it felt like we were alone. The two of us. Just me and him. I couldn't see the 1.5 million people (!!) who had gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Nope, when I closed my eyes, it was just Barack and I, and he was talking only to me.

It was, as usual, another masterful oratory performance. I could go on and on about how parts of the speech, especially about his father, were very emotional. Or how apt it was that he asked Americans to roll up their sleeves and get to work, because it's the only way they can get themselves out of this mess. Or how he, in other words, told the terrorists of the world to go fuck themselves. And, of course, how he said that after eight ape-shit years, America is "ready to lead once more."

You know what the best part was, though? When Barack showed the "non-believers" some love.

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers."

Don't worry, I'm not about to get all religious on you. I'm an agnostic. The existence of God cannot be proven, either way. As a betting man, however, I know where I'm putting my money. When it comes to religion, I'm just not sold. And you know why? Because of my dad.

You see, my father is an entrepreneur. A businessman, in every sense of the word. Even if God does exist, I want nothing to do with religion. If there's one lesson my father taught me, that I'll never forget, it's this: get rid of the middleman.

It was a testament to Obama's openness, and a sign of progress, to hear him mention the non-believers in the same breath as the Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus in his first address as the 44th President of the United States of America.

Yep, I'm still smitten. I'm still drinking the proverbial "Obama Kool Aid." I'm still left shaking my head in awe everytime he speaks in public. And I can't help it. 

I found it fitting that, while cold as hell, the sun was shining down on America's capital yesterday afternoon. I think January 20th, 2009, will go down in history as one of the brightest days in the history of Washington, D.C, and in the history of America.

Dubya is gone. Change has arrived, and hung up his coat.

I'm proud of you America. A black president. You did good. You did really, really good.

I leave you with the words of Robert Kennedy, who 40 years ago, back in May 1968, so prophetically predicted this day:

"Things are moving so fast in race relations. A Negro could be President in 40 years. There is no question about it. In the next 40 years, a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has. Prejudice exists and will probably continue to do so...but we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo."

You know, after all the speeches and sermons were done yesterday, I didn't just listen to a choir sing The Star-Spangled Banner. I sang it as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A post about nothing...

The content over here at Getting Nifty In The Clutch has been left, I think, to the whims of each specific blogger. In this case it's your boy, eyebleaf, from Sports And The City. Usually there's hockey involved. This time, however, there isn't.  

Sorry.

Anyway, how are you? Oh, me, I'm doing well; I can't complain. The recession is a bitch, but I've still got a job, so I'm counting my blessings (total: two). 

Let me not waste another second of your most valuable time, and get right to the point. For those of you who don't know me, or don't know me well (holla!), I love Seinfeld. It was, bar none, the greatest show to ever be broadcast on television. It was a show about nothing, yet at the same time, a show about so much. What an idea. 

I have, for years, been advocating for a 24-hour Seinfeld channel. Its creation would render useless the most abused phrase when it comes to television: "there's nothing on."

Now, let me tell you, there's nothing I enjoy more than life imitating, or mirroring, or emulating, or whatever you want to call it, a Seinfeld episode. It happens more than you'd think and, when it does, it is one of the universe's finest and most special moments.

So, basically, there's someone at the office who, essentially, wears the same sweater everyday. Not that I really give a damn. If it's a nice sweater, by all means, wear it everyday. It's a free country. Anyway, a colleague pointed out this person, and their lack of clothing diversity, to me. Well, I took a look, and did a little reflecting. My colleague, in all his or her wisdom, was right. Same sweater. Everyday.

My apologies. I can't be overly specific. 

For national security purposes. 

Surely you understand. Don't blame me. Blame the terrorists. Look, you're either with us or against us.

Anyway, all of this reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where our dear friend Jerry was dating a woman who was always, even in pictures, wearing the same dress.

Here's my main man, Sein:

"What in God's name is going on here? Is she wearing the same thing over and over again? Or does she have a closet full of these, like Superman? I've got to unlock this mystery!"

So do I, Jerry. So do I.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Canada is going to crap their pants. LOLZ

Team Canada spent part of Sunday stickhandling around the opinion of Swedish forward Magnus Svensson Paajarvi, delivered earlier in this world junior hockey championship, that if his country ever got a chance to take a 2-0 lead on Canada, the Canadians would soil their pants.

The phrasing wasn't that genteel, of course.

I'm pissed Chet isn't starting. I could add a bunch of links that say if Canada even stands a chance then goaltending needs to step up. I've said what a solution could be. I may or may not even watch the game.

Imaginary Christmas cards

Imaginary Christmas cards

In the tradition of imaginary letters, I set out to write Christmas Cards to NHL people. Unfortunately, a power outage fried my mom’s computer, so I had no Internet access for about a month. So here they are, several weeks late, imaginary Xmas Cards!

Dear Carey Price,
Even though you play for Montreal, I’d sure like to check you for ticks Here’s a George Strait box set.


Dear Sidney Crosby,
I SENT YOU A MUFFIN BASKET. I’VE NEVER SENT A GIFT TO AN NHLER BEFORE. DO NHLERS LIKE MUFFINS? (glove tap to this Puck Huffers post )

Dear Sean Avery,
Here’s a ball gag. Merry Christmas!

Dear Matt Stajan,
Happy Birthday! I imagine that people forget it since it’s so close to Christmas. Here’s some whipped cream, Nutella, handcuffs and directions to my house. Call me!

Dear Tomas Holmstrom
Happy Holidays! Beware those cookies—I’ve heard they go straight to the arse area. Here’s a Jane Fonda workout tape to ward off those unsightly love handles.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

accesorize!

You know, if you looked at the Christmas gifts I got, you'd shake your head. Because I'd look like a completely terrible hockey fan;

-a Tampa Bay scarf
-an Avery Dallas Stars shirt
-a Leafs hoodie

Oh and a few days ago Versus sent me a super rad jersey and some pucks and a Stars shirt.

In my defense;
The scarf is to go with my Tokarski Lightning jersey. Though I found it quite odd there were scarfs available for the warm teams and not the cold ones. Maybe chicks in Florida wear scarves ironically/moronically.

The Avery shirt? Well I love the shit out of him and that shirt is now a collectors item!

The hoodie is super rad and warm and I totes loves the Leafs and want to make kissy faces with Luke Schenn. For those curious what team I decided to call mine, Toronto it is. Sorry Pens fans, you really tried...