Monday, October 31, 2011
If you are a Toronto Maple Leafs fan (and this feels odd, since as I am writing this piece, I am wearing an Ottawa Senators jersey as a result of last night's Battle of Ontario tilt), then save the date of February 11, 2012. Why? On that date, the Maple Leafs will raise a banner to honor the player you see in the picture. Yes, Mats Sundin has been either really loved or really hated in his time as a Maple Leaf. Even before he suited up for the Leafs, the opinion has always been divided, largely because he was acquired in a trade in 1994 with the Quebec Nordiques that saw Leafs' fan favorite Wendel Clark go the other way. This trade obviously didn't sit well with some Leafs fans. In 1997, he was named the captain of the team, and would hold that distinction until 2008. It was in the last year as a Maple Leaf that Sundin's detractors really let themselves heard, for Sundin refused to waive his no-trade clause that would have allowed him to be sent to a team that had a chance to win a Stanley Cup. It is this act that many of his detractors point to as a reason to dislike him immensely.
Sundin's time as a Maple Leaf didn't end with a Stanley Cup, or even a Finals appearance for that matter, but when you think of the Maple Leafs and their run of good fortune in the early 2000's, for better or for worse, Sundin was the face of that team. Even when the team wasn't (and still isn't to this point) very good after the lockout, Sundin remained, going down with the ship until after the 2007-08 season, when he became a free agent and eventually signed with Vancouver in the middle of the 2008-09 season. Despite the criticism (fair or unfair), Sundin did everything possible to represent the Maple Leafs in the best light, and now, he will be honored along with the likes of Syl Apps, Doug Gilmour, and yes, Wendel Clark.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
And this mask got me to think about this gem of a Looney Tunes cartoon:
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
On an interesting side note, parts of this movie was made in the Lawrence, KS area, so anyone in the Kansas City/Lawrence area, this would be a decent pick up for the local enthusiast in your life.
Friday, October 21, 2011
VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Yes, there is a Stanley Cup hangover, but no, it won't mean anything in the long run. Remember, the Canucks didn't start too hot the past two seasons, yet they still won the Northwest Division. No need to panic here.
CALGARY FLAMES: Until their 2-1 victory over Edmonton, the Flames had played well for the first two periods, yet failed to turn it on in the third period, as evidenced by the loss to the Maple Leafs last Saturday. All hands need to be on deck as far as offense, and clearly, this is a make or break year for Jay Bouwmeester, who hasn't lived up to expectations since a trade in 2009.
EDMONTON OILERS: We know they're going nowhere this season, but you have to admit, you didn't see Ryan Nugent-Hopkins getting a hat trick this early in his career. If he sticks around for the whole year, look for big numbers from Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, if they stay healthy.
COLORADO AVALANCHE: Okay, raise your hand if you thought the Avs were going to win all five games of their recent road trip. *waits a second* Put you hand down, liar! This is what the Avs can be if Semyon Varlamov can stay healthy, something he couldn't do in Washington. Of course, having Peter Mueller healthy again will also be a big factor here.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: So, James Reimer is continuing his great play from last season and Phil Kessel looks like a lock for 50 goals this season. Whoa, there! Let's see if both can keep up the pace by the All-Star Break, then we can talk.
MINNESOTA WILD: It's going to be another long year for Minnesota. There's nothing here that suggests the offensive problems that have existed since the beginning of the franchise's tenure have been fixed. Dead last in the division is possible, even with the Oilers occupying the same division.
OTTAWA SENATORS: They've been hemorrhaging goals in the first two periods, and yet, they could have taken at least one of those games with some great third period play. This speaks more to the opposing team's penchant for letting the foot off the gas than the team's resiliency. Ottawa has issues on defense, but that can be solved as the kids on the team (i.e. David Rundblad and Jared Cowen) learn the speed of the game at the NHL level. They won't get far this season, but look out for this team in the future.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The trips back to Kansas City always seem to bring some sadness, no matter where I make the return. The morning ride to the airport via the Rail was a peaceful as advertised, and it offers a nice scenic ride through the city. Then, there's the airport, where no matter what, there's a sense that the temporary peace will vanish once back home. Maybe it's the staleness of Kansas City...
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I suppose the biggest regret of the day was not hitting the Winterhawks game that evening. Then again, I lost track of when the game started, as I had also lost track of the start of the Winnipeg Jets' home opener that was on television. Time sure does fly when you don't keep track of it.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday began with breakfast (read: part of a footlong from WINCO, beef jerky, and Bridgeport Highland Ambush) before heading out east for more book deals. This day was relatively uneventful in the time leading up to day three of Fall into Darkness Festival. The "real fun" would begin on Sunday...
Friday, October 14, 2011
As for a lighter side to this most recent health issue, well, here's my excuse to put this up:
Thursday didn't have a great deal of things going on, besides the first day of Fall into Darkness. This was the feeling out process day, as it was a general readjustment from the previous place to stay, which was in the northeast part of the city, but after a day, things do fall into place.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Yahoo) regarding the Dallas Stars and their Phoenix Coyotes-esque fall into irrelevance yesterday. Their game yesterday versus the Phoenix Coyotes had an announced attendance of 6,306. No, your eyes are not deceiving you, that was the actual announced attendance for that game. Yes, there was a baseball game going on about the same time and the start time of this game was 5 PM local time, but that hardly excuses the Stars for this pathetic of a turnout. To not even make 10,000 fans in a game is an embarrassment. Obviously, the ownership situation will bear watching, as it could help them out, as will their past history of winning, although that feels so long ago. Should relocation talks be circling around the Dallas Stars? No, but with attendance like this, it could be a reality, just ask the Atlanta Thrashers and Phoenix Coyotes, the latter of which has always been mentioned as a candidate to move. If the Stars want to make hay soon, this season is it, as the NBA is looking at a lost season, and the Stars would be the only game in town once the Rangers and Cowboys finish their respective seasons. An honest effort will go a long way in helping the team get back a few of its lost fans, but ownership must be settled before it can go further.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Buffalo News. This development comes just before the Sabres hit the ice in Finland for their opening games against the Anaheim Ducks, and this will be Pominville's first full run as captain, as he had previously been captain in a rotation for the 2007-08 season. He is not the superstar that Ryan Miller or Tomas Vanek are, nor is he an up and comer that Drew Stafford is, but he is a dependable player that you can pencil in for at least 30 goals a year on an average year.
As of this writing, only Colorado and Florida have not named captains.
As of this writing, only Colorado and Florida have not named captains.
With Parise being named captain, that leaves as of press time, Buffalo, Colorado, and Florida as the only teams without a captain.