NHL Playoffs

April 13, 2009

STANLEY CUP

I am excited for the real season of the NHL that begins on Wednesday.  The Playoffs.  Hockey is a great sport and the Playoffs are where you really see teams dig in and where hot goaltending can lead a team to the promised land or to an early exit.  This year will be a different watching experience, I am not sure how much the playoffs will be on TV because of Americans’ lukewarm reception to this great sport.  

Up in Vermont, with the 3 Canadian Channels, fans are treated with a doubleheader each night.  Not only is there hockey on television, you have intelligent commentary, previews, and of course Don Cherry.  Not only does CBC provide us with great coverage, the style in which the game is called is far superior.  Great announcers that know the game, do not over analyze, call the action almost with a radio feel.  Also, the way the microphones are jacked up so the fans, the ice, and the boards are all illuminated makes the game experience awesome.  Something I will miss tremendously.  

Luckily I will get to watch my Montreal Canadiens, as they are matched with their rival the Boston Bruins.  Albeit a second class station, NESN will broadcast all these games.

Here is the order in which I will root for teams in the NHL Playoffs:

1. Montreal – Not to far from home, love the tradition, Go Habs Go!

2. Calgary – Love the people from Western Canada, GREAT FANS

3. Vancouver – Beautiful City, when in doubt, root Canada

4. Boston –

5. Chicago –            ALL ORIGINAL 6 TEAMS – love that tradition.

6. Detroit –

7. New York –

8. Pittsburgh- Sidney Crosby

9. Washington – Alexander Ovechkin

10. New Jersey – Martin Brodeur, solid fan base for United States

11. Philadelphia – Hockey matters in PHI

12. St. Louis – Hockey matters in the STL

13. San Jose – 

14. Carolina –             IF between games you are sunbathing or your fans cannot have a homemade rink in their                                                  backyard, YOU CANT  WIN THE STANLEY CUP!!                                     

15. Anaheim –

 

16. Columbus –  Columbus has a team and Winnipeg/Quebec City doesn’t?


Thriller!

April 10, 2009

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Last night’s Frozen Four Match-up between the Boston University Terriers and my school, The University of Vermont, was an absolute thriller.  An EPIC game.  The Hockey East Rivals met for the 4th time this season, and produced a wild 5-4 game in which we witnessed 4 lead changes, 2 late BU goals for the victory, and an absolute inspired effort by Vermont.

I was so excited to watch the Catamounts on the big stage.  Vermont Hockey is the state’s team.  Without a professional team, or a dominant College Basketball Team, Vermont Hockey represents us on the National scene.  And what a year it was in 2008 – 2009.  Consistently ranked in the Top 10 all year, Vermont beat a solid Yale team and then outlasted Air Force to arrive at its’ 1st Frozen Four since the St. Louis/Perrin/Thomas era of ’96.

By all means, Boston University was the better team, but in a 1-game playoff anything can happen.  I was expecting a low-scoring, neutral zone war by Vermont that would try to keep BU’s high scoring offense in check.  But I was dead wrong, in signs showing us that Vermont is becoming an elite power, they went toe-to-toe with the Terriers for the entire game.  And could of easily moved on to Saturday’s National Championship Game.

In the end, the Terriers powered past Vermont with a couple late goals, the winning goal by Colin Wilson who NHL scouts are drooling over.  Both teams left everything on the ice, made their coaches, fans, and alumni proud across the country, and left me wishing for another match-up.

Vermont is a step away, but being in the bright lights will only help Vermont attain that next step.  Looking forward to 2009-2010!


The Same?

April 9, 2009

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Loving to see Baseball back.  But am I back in love with my Boston Red Sox?  As many of you guys know, I boycotted the Red Sox after the trade of Manny Ramirez.  I felt like both the Red Sox and Manny were to blame, but in no way should it of ever come to the trade of the greatest right-handed hitter in our modern history.  Regardless, I boycotted the team from July 31st on, of course I was watching in the ALCS, but held strong to my boycott.

Going into 2009, I was ready to be a fan again.  I got myself all set up for last night’s game, cheese and crackers, frosty glass, and tuned into Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy for the first of many Red Sox telecasts.  

But something was lacking.  Either 1 or 1a of the brightest lights in baseball (Yankees are right there) Boston has a HUGE personality for the superstar, a sold-out stadium every night, and a monstah payroll.  

Gone are the personalities, the talent, the flaymboyance.  Pedro, Manny, Orlando Cabrera all out the door.  Derek Lowe is in the ATL and Ortiz should put his Boston real estate on the maket as soon as he can.

Bottom line is this, the Red Sox have turned into a machine, a cookie cutter team that is good, but we are yet to see if they will produce a Championship.  Something that Pedro, Cabrera, and Manny all did in a city that hadn’t tasted the World Series trophy in 86 years.  Manny twice.

The Major League Baseball Season is a novel, so would you want it to be a 900-page look into Karl Marx thoughts or To Kill a Mockingbird?

I will have to wait and see.


The Player

April 5, 2009

No Hype Sports welcomes Guest Columnist — Magoo!

Bears Cutler Football

So after over a month of constant turmoil as a Denver Broncos fan, the franchise has finally traded their disgruntled quarterback.  It is just in time too, because if I had to read another article on the Denver Post or the Mile High Report which included the term McJayGate I may have lost it. 

Josh McDaniels, the new 32 year old coach in Broncos Country, is partially responsible for this mess.  He could have easily explained the situation like so:

“Jay, you remember your former QB coach Jeremy Bates whom you were so close with?  Well let’s say that he gets his first head coaching job in the NFL.  He has a lot of pressure on him because of the city he is in and the legend that he is following.  Jeremy is approached with the opportunity to trade for you, the player that he helped to draft and groom as a quarterback.  Do you think that he wouldn’t love to begin his coaching career continuing the relationship he formed as an assistant with his guy?  This is the opportunity that I was given, and I have decided that I would rather move forward with you as our quarterback.”

Pretty simple.  When explained in such a manner it is hard to argue with the thought process.  Of course the young and naïve coach didn’t explain it this way; instead he lied and attempted to save face.

The player (#6) is truly a remarkable talent.  Unfortunately for him, there is more to this game and especially this position than talent.  It is arguable that he has the best arm in the entire NFL.  However, he has also proven to be immature both on and off the field.  His reaction to the Broncos attempt to trade for Matt Cassell was an absolute embarrassment.

Bears Get:

The Player

2009 5th Round Draft Pick

Broncos Get:

Kyle Orton

2009 1st Round Draft Pick

2010 1st Round Draft Pick

2009 3rd Round Draft Pick

Surprisingly enough, I am thrilled with this trade.  It has been clear for sometime that he was not returning as the QB of the Denver Broncos.  I think the front office did a remarkable job getting what they did for a Type A diabetic, immature and disgruntled QB. Now hopefully they follow this performance with an excellent draft in 2009, if they do, this pathetic soap opera will soon be forgotten.  Who wants a QB with a double chin anyway?  


Xtreme Golfing

April 2, 2009

New Course, the 19th hole, designed by a handful of pros.  30 seconds for the ball to land!!  Heli ride to tee off!  South Africa!


What you know about that?

April 2, 2009

WCUP U20 World Cup Soccer

Jozy!  The young phenom scored a hat-trick as the United States dismantled an unispired Trinidad & Tobago side on Wednesday Night.  As I previous blogged, I believe that Jozy Altidore is the best US Soccer player and last night he was outstanding.  The amazing announcing duo of JP Dellacamra and John Harkes sparked up a debate about Altidore.  JP asked John Harkes, “who does Jozy remind you of in the History of US Soccer.”  John Harkes responded, ” He is unlike anything we have ever had before, strong, fast, tacticial, nose for the goal, so exciting.”

I had the pleasure of seeing Jozy and the young American players in Montreal in the U-20 World Cup and one thing about Altidore is how BIG he is.  Freddy Adu is a a talented player, but was locked up by physical defenders.  Jozy wacked away defenders like they were black flies.

One step closer to South Africa!