Monday, June 29, 2009

But I wanted the "REAL" fake glove!

Michael Jackson may be the King of Pop, but when I was in the 3rd Grade he was the king of everything, especially my heart. The girls in my class constantly fought over who was gonna be his future wife, but we were united in thinking that slut Billie Jean had better hit the curb. I had a beautiful foldout poster I procured from the Day & Night convenience store that I pinned up in the spot of honor directly behind my bed. I would lovingly give my 2-D Michael a goodnight kiss before bed. The ubiquitous Beat It jacket was for sale at the local Jamesway (your way!). The boys section had a liberally stocked rack featuring every size from toddler to teenager. As badly as I wanted it the price tag and the obvious male location of the item kept me from outright asking for it, but I did have my heart set on the very poor facsimile white glove they were hawking. I just had to have it if only to moonwalk in the privacy of my own bedroom, but no go. My parents countered, "What do you need one glove for? Where will you even wear a single glove?" There was no convincing them, but I must have pestered them enough that my mom (channeling Eddie Murphy's mom) said she could make me a better one herself. Despite her best efforts, the resulting glove was a travesty - a thin cotton sheath with maybe 3 silver sequins glued to it. At least she insured that it would not be worn outside the house. Today when I asked her to set aside any MJ memorabilia she comes across in the house she had the temerity to say to me, "I think you have a glove somewhere here..." Yeah, a fake fake glove. Thanks a lot mom. Anyway I never mastered the moonwalk, never became Mrs. Jackson, never was known as the Gloved One, but I did meet Michael Jackson and he was a delight. Very sweet, polite and respectful and I'll miss him.

What does Michael Jackson have to do with hockey? Not much except I believe he would have enjoyed watching the draft for the same reasons I watch every year. This 2009 edition had some buildup, some energy but as the evening wore on my excitement wore out. Still I'm happy with our pick, the top high schooler Chris Kreider. So it may take him a few years to even contemplate the NHL, but I'll wait. He's rocking an old timey WWII look I really dig - and he's fast. We're gonna need some speed in the wings especially now that Sather has bypassed a qualifying offer to my dear Freddie Sjostrom. The utter willingness to not only dismantle but totally disregard the 4th line is appalling and inexplicable to me. I know we have young kids who could fill those spots but will they comprise the leagues' top penalty kill and feature one of the top enforcers? I doubt it and I mourn. Word is Renney wants them in Edmonton. I tell you if he completely transports Freddie, Blair Betts and Colton Orr to Canada I'm on board as an Oilers fan. This is a double blow with Pronger joining the Flyers. Who's gonna protect Henrik? Orr may not be physically in the crease muscling out intruders, but his right arm keeps many attempts to assassinate our King at bay. With this news I'm not sure I'm up for any more surprises when free agency hits this Wednesday. Prove me wrong Sather, I dare you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

no diablos, no mariaches

Yesterday was a banner day for Brian Leetch. He was named as a first ballot inductee for the Hockey Hall of Fame along! Congrats #2, very well deserved. Enjoy it even if you have to put up with Brett Hull the whole time.

Unfortunately it was not such a banner day me, Miss Dollie Banner. Getting ready for work I noticed smoke coming out of the outlet above my oven. Great, chances are there's a fire in the wall. I call my landlord in a panic and he sends up the 2 Spanish brothers who have been doing an interminable amount of home construction in my building. Everything's already a bit dicey when I notice the younger brother has a red and black jersey on. Sure enough he turns around and it's sporting a blasted Devils logo. Now I'm in a literal and figural hell. When my landlord came up I complained about it and he told him, "No Diablos!" Turns out my kitchen wasn't burning, but was embarrassingly dirty

It's hard to get away from the Devils, right Leetch? That club refuses to let the Rangers celebrate anything on their own. First Scott Stevens gets inducted along side Mark Messier now Lou Lamoriello is also included in this year's festivities with a special innovators citation. Whatever. I'm surprised he'll have the time what with his nearly constant search for a Devils' coach. With Sutter off to Calgary, Lou's gotta look over the available candidates, his main criteria being a hardass who's bigger than Brodeur so the prize goalie isn't the fattest guy in the locker room. I'm thinking Michel Therrien.

Maybe this is all a sacrifice for a good draft (or a good Wimbledon). My friend Mike was joking the other day that Sather should trade down just to get rid of Wade Redden. Redden and a 1st round pick for a 7th round from Edmonton sounds great to me. At least I'm pretty sure Henrik and Avery aren't going anywhere. Speaking of Avery I cannot post without some Aves content. Here's a clip of him from Bonaroo last week. Loving the remix edition of his glasses with the lavender lenses. Very Mike Viola circa 2000. I'm thinking we should hook him up with Jack the Roadie.

Here's to an exciting and successful draft. I hope this one actually makes it to the team.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

NHL all growed up

For a week without any games, there was a bunch of hockey. Sean Avery started it off with a a visit to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. While it sweet to see him getting even more mainstream media exposure, I'd rather see him in glasses. Plus I miss the old, shall we say franker, Sean Avery. I hope Torts didn't see that segment because somebody's not been practicing his shot. And I've seen him chain smoke this off-season. Might as well live it up until August, right?
Thursday night brought the NHL awards, snatched from the CBC's semi-professional clutches and relocated to Las Vegas. I wasn't sure how the upgrade would translate. There was something adorably ridiculous about the Canadian produced specials. Ron MacLean's corny jokes and constant references to Don Cherry set the perfect tone for the low-rent affair. Basically expectations were low, so the audience could never be too disappointed. This year the awards were much fancier, so much so that it made for an even more awkward show. I think some of the winners were so overwhelmed by the set and the setting that they could barely speak straight. Or maybe it was making Steve Mason follow Chaka Khan! Two winners did acquit themselves with aplomb, Ovechkin and Tim Thomas. Ovechkin's jokes are just as corny as MacLean's, but his crazy teeth and clipped English just plain sells it. Thomas was by far the highlight. He was funny and sincerely emotional when excepting his two Goalie trophies. Did I wish it was Henrik? You bet, but I'd much rather Thomas get his due and truly appreciate it than Brodeur adding just another accolade. Speaking of Fatso, he must have been so upset at not being up for the Vezina that he forced the State of New Jersey to celebrate him that very day. I celebrated "Martin Brodeur Day" by watching the 2008 handshake line again.

In an attempt to spice up the awards I tried to figure out a drinking game before showtime. Maybe every time the camera lit on Sidney Crosby? But saints be praised he didn't even show up - must be still splashing around in Mario's pool for the kiddie swim. Anyway three prime drinking opportunities blossomed during the show:

1. mildly drunk - every time someone willfully mispronounces a player's name. I'm not even sure who it was, but it sounded like they had never even seen the name Pavel Datsyuk let alone said it aloud. It went something like "Pavement Datsun"! I know no one watches this thing, but you might want to practice before hitting national TV. Don't feel bad though dude, the Chyron operator spelled it wrong too!

2. undoubtedly drunk - every time you spot Michael Buble in the audience, on stage, in the bathroom. This dude was all over the awards. I know he's Canadian and looks good in a jersey, but he didn't even sing. Why was he even there?

3. excessively drunk - two words Jeremy Roenick. I thought I had Buble overload until Roenick introduced at least 4 segments and was in every other audience shot. Wait a second Bettman, this notoriously loudmouthed grandpa can be the poster boy of your new NHL, but Sean Avery can't be anywhere near a camera? Have you seen the amount of press Avery's generated in the last month? The Penguins couldn't even make the full cover of SI!

At least let Ovechkin host next year. You could have Don Cherry translate everything he says. Comedy gold I tell you.

Well I'll be moving on to greener pastures of Wimbledon tomorrow, or at least until the draft next week. I believe in you Roger, let's get number 6.

Monday, June 15, 2009

everything's coming up roses

First off it sucked. Gave me a bad case of Bylsma. But really, when Maxime "Bad Hands" Talbot is your number one star in a game 7 you know something has gonna horribly wrong. Right Marian Hossa?

Despite the outcome (ps You're welcome Roger Federer!) there were a few things I did enjoy during the finals. I always love hating on Marc-Andre Fleury and when the Pens consistently refered to him as "Flower" throughout this series I simultaneously rolled my eyes and ground my teeth. Not a pretty picture, but better than looking at the Flower. I would have nicknamed him "The Bite". Have you seen the mouth on that guy? The Pens did manage to coin a fine nickname for one of their own. Of course they tried to keep it a locker room secret until Jordon "The Elf" Staal let slip that Rob Scuderi earned the moniker "The Piece" when he mispoke to the press. I was hoping it was in honor of the size of his weapon, but the real story is just as classic.

I will admit that I made some peace with Malkin during the course of the playoffs. At least he seems to be a genuine human, unlike that automaton Sidney Crosby. He was so wooden during the post-game festivities than even Doc and Eddie spoke at length on NBC that they had hoped for a bit more enthusiasm from the champion captain. It seemed like he was responding to questions after a loss than the biggest win of his career (may it stay that way!) It was probably because he spent half the game on the bench. Sucks to be you Sidney, expect that it totally doesn't you lucky bastard.

In better news, it seems the non-sports media is as in love with Sean Avery as I am. Vanity Fair has a new and highly amusing interview with our man in blue. I didn't really think I had an Avery problem until I was talking hockey with my mom this weekend and after going on about him for nearly 20 mins she commented, "I think you really like this guy!" As if he was my BFF and it was time to declare my secret love. This from a women who used to regularly inquire after "Sean". We've all got it bad, but I think it's in more of bromance sort of way. I just find him awesome, and I love his take on nearly everything, except maybe fake tanning.

Also he's on Jimmy Fallon tonight. This guy gets around. Good work Sean. Do you think Bettman will DVR it? I know I will.

Here's to the Rangers in 2010!

ps. I would feel better about a parade in Pittsburgh if The Office was real and Michael Scott coercd everyone at Dunder Mifflin out to celebrate. Of course he's be sporting his "From Dwight" jersey. Yes, that would make it go down a bit easier.

Friday, June 12, 2009

rockin' and rollin' and whatnot

Just one more Federer nugget (with a bit of Murray from Flight of the Conchords for added pleasure!) Love these guys.

Do you think there was celebrating at Warren 77 when the Dallas Stars fired coach Dave Tippet? I bet there was if Avery was even there. It possible he was off to the wilds of nowhere for the 2009 Bonnaroo Festival which he's covering for Fuse.

Avery's everywhere these days. He even made one nameless team's sometimes cryptic combine questionaire to weed out the incoming draft picks. Projected #3 pick Matt Duchene let drop to Jeff Marek on Hockey Night Radio that the strangest question he was posed was, "Would you rather have dinner with Barack Obama, Maria Sharapova or Sean Avery?" I wouldn't let Gary Bettman hear my honest answer to that one. Duchene went with the diplomatic answer - Obama. Wise choice you don't want to end up on a watch list before you're even drafted!

The most precious piece of silver will be lifted tonight, please let it be the Red Wings. Here's to Lidstrom and Co. (plus the Hersey Bears) tonight!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

one championship at a time

When Nadal bowed out of the French Open in a fourth round defeat I made a devil's bargain with myself: If only Roger Federer could prevail and hoist the French Open trophy I would not concentrate any energy on the Penguins failure in the Stanley Cup Finals. Although I find the thought of Crosby's name etched on the cup infinitely distasteful, the promise of Federer's on the coupe des mousquetaire, the last missing piece in his quest for the ultimate place in tennis history, was too sweet to deny. That it would be handed to him by my other tennis sweetheart Andre Agassi, the last man to win all four, was an image I ached to see realized. And here it is to your left. Look at those pair of cheeks (and for once I mean the ones on their faces)! You can hardly tell Roger had already been crying for a good 10 minutes. He really is the Mark Messier of tennis, but I love his emotions and his inability to control them at times of both victory and defeat. For someone who can almost surgically disect his opponents it can be easy to forget just how much his success means to him.

Can you imagine the relief Roger must have felt in finally overcoming this one hurdle? It's the kind of accomplishment I want so badly for Henrik, Avery and the Rangers and it would be sweet justice if Crosby never achieved it. Unfortunately he's one game away, but so are the Red Wings, even if Lidstom's already been immortalized 4 times. Let's hope for 5!