Jim Nill, Assistant General Manager, Detroit Red Wings, agrees that predicting how a player will develop, and if he will at all, is one of the toughest parts of amateur scouting. The varying development cycles of prospects, not only physically but mentally and emotionally, too, all make amateur scouting a head spinner.
–The Art of Scouting, Shane Malloy: John Wiley & Sons (2011), p. 17.
Many of my difficulties with Shane Malloy’s The Art of Scouting are in evidence in the passage from the book quoted above. These criticisms relate to matters of both style and substance. Malloy’s effort is stricken by so many technical issues, for example, that one might seriously question whether anyone at Wiley & Sons was tasked with editing the manuscript. Proper names are – maddeningly and inexplicably – italicized throughout the book. I know of no other work of literature in the English language that observes this convention. Don’t even get me started on the haphazard manner in which punctuation is deployed; commas in the above-noted passage, typical of the work on the whole, appear to have been applied with the degree of care and precision that one generally associates with the use of a potato gun. Content-wise, did I really just read a (tortured) sentence that struggled to relate to me a piece of un-information, namely that one of the hardest parts of amateur scouting is predicting whether an amateur player will be any good in the future?
Whatever, right? Nobody reads a hockey book for the writing. It’s ultimately about the hockey content, isn’t it? For the record, I disagree. I can think of at least three hockey books off the top of my head that I consider to be enjoyable primarily on account of the writers’ craft. The writing need not play a starring role, perhaps, but without skilfull storytelling and clarity of expression the reader’s immersion in any subject material is inhibited. The importance of a certain amount of technical merit is underscored by its absence, when (as in this book) that is the case. Frequently awkward and almost juvenile, Malloy’s text is from an aesthetic perspective frankly something to be endured rather than enjoyed.
Obviously, though, the marquee feature of a book about scouting, especially one that is subtitled “How the Hockey Experts Really Watch the Game and Decide Who Makes It”, is the promise that a light will be shone on the obscure habits and arcane methods of the (mostly anonymous) bird dogs in scouting circles. In this regard, it must be said that – as perhaps the passage quoted above might suggest – Malloy’s book fails almost as spectacularly and almost as completely.
The concept of the book is, in my opinion, a strong one; it is in the execution of that concept that this book falters. Malloy is, according to the jacket on the book, a columnist and broadcaster who has been covering hockey prospects “for the past decade.” He is apparently a co-host of Hockey Prospect Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio, though I have never heard of either the show or the author. I gather that he has been involved in scouting for some time. His concept was to take what he had learned about hockey scouting and complement it with the wisdom of others; as a member of the scouting fraternity, Malloy was able to interview his peers and hoped to get them to talk about what exactly it is that they do for a living. I was very excited by the notes on the book jacket (a work of “tremendous substance” according to Doug Wilson; an inside look at what scouts do, per Bob McKenzie); I thought that I might enhance my ability to watch hockey critically by reading about what exactly it is that the scouts look for when evaluating talent.
You may have noticed that this blog has fallen dormant over the last little while. I am a ninja, and I am here to tell you about that. Why has a ninja been sent to explain these things? Fool! It is not the right time for you to ask questions. When will that time be? Sometime shortly after the next Atlanta Thrashers Stanley Cup parade will do fine.
The Junior, Lord and Master of the Juniorvanian Realm, has been a busy Lord and Master. Not just “I need to fix the trailer tire” busy – as you have seen, he can find time to write while being that kind of busy – but Very Busy In A Work Related Way busy. Also, you may have heard that there has come a child to Juniorvania. So, Very Busy In A Work Related Way has also been augmented by Very Busy In An Emptying Diapers Way. All of which is very busy indeed.
I would think it’s fairly obvious now why a ninja has been sent to speak to you. Yes, that’s right, because of global warming.
I, the Ninja, will now bring the message to you. It is in several parts, which I have not bothered to count yet, because I have been busy sneaking around instead. You may not know this, but sneaking around is a major part of pretty much any ninja’s day. I didn’t know, before I went to ninja school. For some reason, I thought there would be a lot more singing and dancing, but I suppose I was mixed up and thinking of Broadway actors by mistake.
Anyway, here is the message:
There has NOT been an unfortunate tire repair-related explosion; The Junior is alive and well;
The Junior does plan to return to regular – or what passes for “regular”around here, anyway – blogging, probably sometime in September;
In the meantime, The Junior has written a something, once again, for Maple Street Press’ Maple Leafs Annual. The book is available for pre-order online now ($9.99 plus shipping). It will appear on newsstands throughout the GTA and in Chapters bookstores across Canada beginning August 30th.
It doesn’t take a Ninja to figure out that 112 pages of content with no ads, for less than ten bucks, is a pretty good deal. As Alec Brownscombe (esteemed editor of the mag and Resident Padishah of Maple Leafs Hot Stove) pointed out, you were probably going to spend that ten bucks on a crappy calendar anyway.
Anyway, I gotta get back to skulking around invisibly, or I’ll have to answer to my boss. Ever had your work environment supervised by a Master Ninja? Let me tell you, it’s no day at the beach; you can’t get away with anything. You can’t ever tell when he’s in the room. At least I think my boss is a male. Not sure, now come to think of it.
Noted fishwrapper/parakeet cage liner the Toronto Star has news today that is guaranteed to fan the already raging nationalistic fire that burns so brightly among many about the state of professional hockey. According to the Star, a report published today by the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation at the University of Toronto argues that the league “should focus on bolstering the game in Canada where demand is greatest”.
Canada’s six teams account for nearly one-third of league revenue. Most of those loonies end up in the United States, which has 24 teams, through revenue sharing.
The report, titled “The New Economics of the NHL,” uses potential gate revenue as a measure of economic success. It looks at 10 Canadian cities and ranks each as a potential host for an NHL team, based on size, wealth, geographic location and other factors.
There are six Canadian markets where a new NHL team would thrive, the report found, citing Greater Toronto as the best one.
In fact, with 9 million people, the larger Golden Horseshoe could successfully support as many as three NHL teams. The study found that another team would be successful in Hamilton, London or Kitchener-Waterloo.
Montreal and Vancouver also have enough demand, as do Winnipeg and Quebec City. Teams in any of those cities would generate higher gate revenues than the average U.S. Sun Belt team.
DISCLAIMER: I haven’t read the report. It follows, then, that in reacting to this news, I am relying heavily upon the Star to have accurately summarized the content of the report in question. I am well aware that there is little compelling evidence to suggest that such reliance is warranted.
I was rushing home from the office with a hot meal for a sickly Spouse (I cook only the best take out dishes), late for an appointment at the bank to clean up the latest of my absurd little financial disasters.
It was Tuesday night. The Leafs were set to face off at 7:30 (ed. showing my age here) 7:00 that night against the Capitals, needing to claim all the points left on the table, and further needing the Sabres to go oh-fer, in order to have a shot at the playoffs. On April 5th, with three games left on the schedule, the Leafs were – for a change – playing a game that mattered.
I was excited, I was tired, I was harried. I was charging along possessed by that momentous urgency that develops, seemingly of its own accord, out of the need to get too many things done in too short a period of time. In addition to my pending nutritional errand and the dollars and cents issues, my mind was idly grappling with any number of a series of problems I’ve been trying to solve in this enormous and rapidly approaching assignment at work.
As I sped along Park Rd. north of Brantford, having relegated tasks concerning the operation of a motor vehicle to the hypothalmus, I was jolted from my near automatic state by a glimpse – just out of the corner of my otherwise occupied eye, mind you – of the sign pictured at left.
The car charged further north along the road, and I found myself glancing in the rear view mirror trying to make sense of the incomplete image of the letters left in my mind.
“I’m sure,” I told myself, “that the sign contained a message addressed to Brian Burke.” And I was pretty sure that part of the message was something to the effect that our “prayers have been answered.” I had to fight the urge to turn the car around and go back for a second look. “I am a grown up person,” I told myself, “late for a meeting and with a starving and sick wife at home.” This last bit, staring at myself sternly in the rear-view mirror, as I very determinedly did not slow down. Willing myself to let maturity prevail over juvenile excitement and curiosity.
I am as shocked as you are to report that my car did not slow down that night; I really wasn’t sure I had that in me.
The following morning, however, it was amazing how easy it was to talk myself into the naturalness, the reasonableness – no, the necessity of taking a slightly adjusted path to work. One that took me past the sign, with my cell phone camera armed and ready.
Of course, most anyone who’s reading this is well aware by now that the jerkstore Tampa Bay Lightning were unable to conquer the Sabres that night and the Maple Leaf playoff dream died with about two minutes remaining in the Leafs/Caps 3rd period. The game was tied, the issue between those two teams not yet sorted, but the conclusion of another season foregone and unhappy. Still, with the play of James Reimer leading the way, there is much to be hopeful about among Leafs fans. It is possible to believe that the team may have turned a very important corner since the All-Star break.
We’re not in the playoffs again this year, but I am happy that this team has instilled in me a sort of hope and excitement that feels youthful. My love for the team has been re-invigorated over the last two and a half months. There is a freshness for me about the idea of being a Leafs fan again; I’d say I’m not alone, judging by the sign pictured above.
Cole mentions that during the intense discussions surrounding today’s NHL trade deadline, many people availed themselves of the opportunity to have a little fun; some folk decided to create Twitter accounts that appeared to emanate from real hockey media personalities. Down Goes Brown decided to spice up a dull morning by using the new media to organize the 21st century (ahem) grownup equivalent of a class clown prank. Following the lead of an old high school classic, the “co-ordinated, math-class-derailing pre-arranged 11:45 coughing fit”, DGB suggested that at 12:50, everyone should send the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul) a tweet that appeared to refer to his “trade” to Long Island (that trade being, of course, an entirely fictitious event which had not occurred). The tweets were sent en masse. Lupul appears to have played along with the gag, tweeting shortly afterwards that he was “Long Island bound. So I hear…”
I didn’t see it, but apparently the “Lupul trade” was, for a time, being reported by some as an actual event. I saw some Tweets indicating that it was briefly posted on the Philadelphia Flyers’ website, and – according to Cole’s article – Gord Miller and TSN briefly fell for it too, relaying the information to unsuspecting viewers watching their Trade Deadline Special.
At first, Cole’s article reads like a more or less good-natured look at these virtual hijinks in the social context within which they occurred. The first two thirds of the article, at times, read a bit like a barely concealed admiration for the inherent hunour in the Lupul prank in particular:
Fake Twitter accounts impersonating hockey reporters moved April Fool’s Day ahead by a month and pranked the National Hockey League’s massively over-hyped trade deadline, briefly duping both those trying so feverishly to be first with the news and those hungering to get it — and, in the process, greatly enlivening a day of sparse activity and mostly minor deals.
Got it? The Twitterers “pranked” the NHL and lampooned the “over-hyped” deadline, “greatly enlivening” the day. Pretty good stuff, huh?
In the end, though, Cole ends up clucking his tongue at those involved like a disapproving schoolmaster:
The actual Bob McKenzie (TSNBobMcKenzie) has 114,000 followers. BMcKenzieTSN and TSN—BobMcKenzie? They have fooled 957 and 549 gullible followers, respectively, by attaching McKenzie’s photo to their Twitter accounts, and yes, there ought to be a law against that.
But there isn’t. So they are free to live in their parents’ basements, plotting to bring the world to its knees with their cleverness, nibbling away at the social network’s credibility — as if it cared — one little white lie at a time.
Really? Is there really a need for either (a) another “blogger in the basement” joke or (b) a law prohibiting the creation of spoof Twitter accounts?
I don’t wish to position myself as a defender of mendacity, but if Mr. Cole and the rest of the world can’t stomach the thought of people lying to one another over the Internet, I sincerely hope he never has occasion to be made aware of Internet dating sites. Also, he would be well advised to avoid taking up fishing for sport, as the ability to spin a tall tale, though far from rare, is very much a quality to be nurtured and developed among anglers. Maybe it would be best to stay out of the “fiction” section of the library, and the cinema too, just to be safe.
Now, I’m not here to tell you that I understand why some people would get their jollies concocting fake trades to whirl around the Internet, and I’m not suggesting that DGB’s little prank is the comic equivalent of Newton’s contribution to calculus; I can tell you, however, that people discussing things amongst each other, having fun, and taking the piss out of one another is probably nothing to be terribly alarmed about. It’s been happening wherever people have gathered socially for thousands of years. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that somewhere, deep in an unexplored cave in northern Europe, there is a cave painting that is now difficult to comprehend, but which – back on the day it was first splattered on the rock – was the functional equivalent of a Star Wars Kid mashup.
My point is not that I think “fake Twitter accounts” are desirable and necessary, but rather that social media platforms represent a meeting place, not just another broadcast medium. Twitter is a conversation; the content may be partly based in the news, but it is wholly about entertainment. Journalists who choose to rely on it and rebroadcast it unfiltered and without any value (such as fact-checking) added – in my opinion – do their readers or viewers a disservice.
Lastly, the final point about “nibbling away at the social network’s credibility” is so astonishing I honestly don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. It’s Twitter; it HAS NO CREDIBILITY in the first place.
The logic is so confused in this article, it’s honestly difficult to follow Cole’s reasoning as to why he feels that the legislative process needs to be invoked. It’s very hard, however, to escape the general feeling that the Cam Cole No Pissing Around on Twitter Law is necessary solely to protect lazy journalists who are in such a breakneck rush to report the news that they’re basically just reading their Twitter feed directly into the camera without doing some basic fact-checking first.
Evidently, the Damien Cox example didn’t take. You remember the Toronto Star (now also Sportsnet) columnist who broke news of former coach Pat Burns’s death in September, two months before it happened, because of an honest mistake? Oh, the copycats who leaped on the story that day and spread it without making sure it was true were duly apologetic at the time, and a little cautious for a while afterward, but that was more than five months ago.
All kinds of highly respected, earnest reporters were duped, if only for a matter of minutes, and a lot of effort was wasted trying to chase down the truth, revealing the mean-spirited side of the pranks, which all had one thing in common: none originated with mainstream media, but rather with those trying to make the MSM chase its own tail.
Do you follow that? Damien Cox made an “honest mistake” when he wrongly reported Pat Burns’ death, but “highly respected” and “earnest reporters” were “duped” when they failed to do the minimal checks necessary to make sure @ForREELZESPN_LeBrun – the account reporting the trade of a puck moving defenceman for a bag of doughnuts – is actually related to the hockey journalist in question. To review: Damien Cox makes an honest mistake, those engaged in that line of work fail to learn from it, and – by breathlessly reporting gossip overheard in a virtual barroom as fact – are victims of “mean-spirited” and socially destructive users of the Internet. Heads I win, tails you lose.
The part I have a very difficult time understanding is how Cole misses the point. He actually points out, in the middle portion of the article, how easy it is in most cases to spot a fake Gord Miller Twitter account merely by reading the contents of the page on which the tweets appear (Gord Miller’s Twitter account has probably been around for more than two hours, likely contains more than eight tweets, and it’s highly likely the real Gord Miller has more than 52 followers). In other words, Cole identifies the ease with which these “frauds” can be discovered, but swerves right past the legitimate target – so-called reporters relying on random stuff posted on the Internet for Christ’s sake as accurate – and instead delivers a confusing, poorly reasoned and somewhat startling conclusion generally indicting humans for just fucking around.
Yes, I really wish the Leafs could’ve managed to hold on to either:
(a) a one goal third-period lead vs. Pittsburgh on Saturday; OR
(b) a two goal lead vs. Atlanta this afternoon.
…but I’m really more worried about James Reimer. He’s looking more and more like the future of our team between the pipes.
Couldn’t help noticing that all those whose tongues were loudly clucking at the end of the recent Boston game (the one where Grabovski played after taking a couple hard hits and wobbled coming off the ice) were nowhere to be found tonight; no one was applauding the Leafs’ apparent cautious regard for Reimer’s health. Despite desperately trying to climb into a playoff spot, and with the young Leaf netminder nursing a shutout through most of two periods, Reimer was replaced by J.S. Giguere after taking an apparent knee to the side of his noggin from Evander Kane.
One other thing that went mostly un-noticed (though, to be fair, the Sportsnet crew was on it) was this: Dustin Byfuglien is a jerkstore. With time expired at the end of the third period, he skated up behind Freddie Sjostrom and speared him in the back of the knee. Every hockey player knows that’s a dick move that risks injuring the opponent. This particularly spear behind the knee was a cowardly attack from behind after the period had ended.
About an hour ago, everybody watching the World Junior Hockey Championships (including the half dozen viewers south of the border in Bronzeland*) saw one of the most gutsy comebacks in the history of junior hockey unfold on our television screens.
Trailing 3-0 at the outset of the third period of the gold medal game, a gutsy group of teenagers stormed back to claim a stunning 5-3 victory over a traditional rival. If you’re reading this blog, there’s a safe bet you got redirected here from a hockey-centric site, so it’s an equally safe bet that you know the result by now. The kids who walked out of Buffalo with the gold medals were wearing Russian, not Canadian, sweaters.
You can bet your sweet ass (yeah, you…I been lookin’, I confess) that if the roles were reversed, those of us here in the Great White North who like to write about hockey (and for sure those who get PAID to do it) would be trumpeting to high heaven the virtues of the brave Canadians who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. We would be right about that. It’s no less true tonight because the kids who stormed back from oblivion were yelling Russian (rather than English) swear words into the camera during the post game. Give these Russian kids their due: it took skill, guts and heart to come all the way back in such dramatic fashion in front of a building filled with 18,000 people desperate to see you fail. Enjoy that win, Boris, Igor and Dmitry: you earned it.
There are those – in the media, in the coffeeshops of this nation, and in the blogosphere – who will want to call the Canadians “chokers.” The word “gutless” will get pulled out. Synonyms will be sought for “embarrassment” and “travesty”. Give it a rest.
Look, I think I understand the proper role of sporting events like this in our culture: they’re a diversionary entertainment. Part of the fun of watching is rooting for your team to win. Part of rooting for your team is caring about the result, and part of the fun of rooting and caring is trading good-natured jabs with your rivals. In the run-up to the Canada-U.S. game, our American friends were doing a little shit-talking about the beating their defending champion team was going to put on our entry. It was fun to watch virtual Canadian gums flap back at our Yankee brethren as the game unfolded and it became evident that our red and white rocked, while their red and white just blew. There will be some chirping back and forth now and in the future that refers to this stunning collapse, and that’s as it should be (though it seems to me that the ones who’ve earned the right to do the chirping use a cyrillic alphabet; anybody who lives in the land of White Castle and bronze medals, on the other hand, would do well to remember their place in the Pecking Order of Puck).
All of that heckling and kidding around is as it should be. But don’t let anyone try to seriously tell you that the group of kids who wore the red and white for us this time around should be “ashamed” or “embarrassed” or anything like that. Yes, they got their asses handed to them on a plate. Yes, it was because they stopped skating at the critical moment and allowed their Russian adversaries up off the mat long enough to administer the knockout blows. But watching Brayden Schenn, Ryan Ellis and Mark Visentin look into the camera and own all that just minutes after suffering what must have been a profound disappointment – at their young age – speaks volumes about the character that was in that dressing room. Before you disagree, think back to when you were 18 or 19 years old, and imagine how you would have behaved if YOU had suffered that kind of setback on national TV.
I’m proud of those kids. I wish like hell the result had been different, but there you have it. Things like this happen in junior hockey. We’ve seen them before; things like this are what the legend of Jordan Eberle is built upon. We had seen some pretty epic comebacks from this very Russian team earlier in the tournament. In fact, during the 2nd intermission, Dmitry Chesnokov was lamenting the apparent death of the Canada/Russia hockey rivalry here in Canada (guess what, Dmitry? It’s ON, brother). He then opined that “this loss will hurt.”
I was struck by his apparent certainty that the Russians would go down. I tweeted back at him:
@dchesnokov Not trying to be a jerk here, but are you writing off your guys even though they pulled off those comebacks vs FIN/SWE?
@dchesnokov Of course I hope you’re right, but things happen fast in junior hockey. I never thought Canada would come back in ’09.
No sooner had I hit the “post” button, it seemed, and Russia pumped home a goal. Then two. Not long after, there were three. You know the rest.
Ironically, TSN’s telecast began tonight with James Duthie taking viewers on a tour in the Team Canada dressing room. The tour ended in the vicinity of a quote from Aleksander Yakushev (a Russian player from the ’72 Summit Series) to the effect that Canadians “never stop” trying until they get what they want. It was a reminder for the players of what we like to see reflected in ourselves by way of our approach to this game, a tribute from a respected rival. The Russians have earned from us a tribute to their heart; their determination; their guts. Focussing on what happened on the Canadian side of the ice ignores and diminishes the significance of the accomplishment on the other bench. Russia, your guys played a hell of a period when the chips were down.
In the end, this was a game for the international junior hockey scrap book. For every collapse, there is a comeback. There are those who will want to make this about the failure of Team Canada rather than the success of Team Russia.
See it for what it was: the best of sport, both in the drama of the competition between two great rivals and in the dignity, class and respect for the game and their opponents that the losers showed in the aftermath.
* Oh relax, my American friends. It’s a joke. You know, like your team’s defence.
A few minutes after I posted the video (and my writing on the subject) last night, I saw another clip on TSN where the panel discussed Zack Kassian’s hit on Petr Senkeris. As you’ll see in this clip, to Bob McKenzie‘s credit, he’s no longer really disputing the fact that Kassian’s hit on Senkeris was high, calling it a “pretty obvious” penalty. Good for him.
As for our friend Mr. McGuire, it would appear that he has abandoned his novel Chinstrap Impact Postulate (by which the wearer of a helmet may – remarkably – cause himself to be struck in the area of the teeth, otherwise known in this logical construct as “the chest”, simply by loosening the chin strap). Ah well, theories and theses are often abandoned rather summarily in the hurly-burly world of exploratory physics. Replacing the Chinstrap Impact Postulate, however, is a Theory of Temporary But Extreme Random Opacity, according to which some unknown physical phenomena appeared near centre ice at the HSBC Centre last night, and then briefly disrupted the properties of all light waves emitting from the general vicinity of this collision, causing certain portions of the event to be temporarily but totally obscured from view.
I wish him better luck with this theory.
Oh, and to the YouTube commenters who want to talk about the Czech player “having his head down”, “needing to be more aware, etc.” – please wipe the spittle off your chins and go back to watching Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em 9. You’ve missed the point again.
Like most of Canada this time of year, I was watching Canada/Czech Republic at the World Junior Hockey Championship from Buffalo last night on TSN. For the second game in a row, Team Canada started in a bit of a sleepwalking mode and surrendered an early goal. Also for the second game in a row though, the young men on this team (to their credit) sucked it up and stormed back to dominate the game. By the end of the first, though the score was only 2-1 for Canada, it was clear that this game was going to be a rout; in the final half of the period, long stretches of play had unfolded without respite in the Czech Republic’s zone. It was only a matter of time before the Canucks lit the lamp a few more times, and the Czechs were showing no signs of any offensive spark.
That is indeed how the game unfolded, with Canada cruising to a 7-2 win. So dominant were the Canadians in this game that it became a bit of a dud as far as entertainment value goes; with the result never really in doubt after the first ten minutes, there wasn’t much to keep a viewer glued to the tube in this one.
What little excitement there was ended up being provided by Zack Kassian’s second period hit on Petr Senkerik. Specifically, the excitement arose from the fact that Kassian hit Senkerik in the head (not to mention rather late). Kassian’s bodycheck appeared to knock the Czech forward unconscious. He was removed from the ice on a stretcher, and Kassian was assessed a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
Now, I have watched this tournament and cheered for Team Canada every holiday season for as long as I can remember. I want Canada to reclaim the gold medal pilfered from us last year by a plucky American squad. I have nothing against Zack Kassian.
But Kassian’s hit on Senkerik was a blow to the head. I saw it. The referees saw it. Probably something like 4 million Canadians saw it. For some reason, though, TSN analyst and notorious loudmouth Pierre McGuire either didn’t or wouldn’t see it. Almost immediately following the play, he began braying that Kassian was being penalized unjustly. As he did so, TSN’s own replay clearly showed – from two angles – that McGuire was wrong. It is not possible that he failed to see these replays, which were shown numerous times by the network. Having noisily and publicly committed himself to a differing version of reality, however, the obnoxious McGuire continued to assert something that was, and is, obviously not true: that Kassian had hit Senkerik in the chest with his shoulder. To my eyes and ears, McGuire came off as stubborn and ridiculous as he repeatedly decried- and I do mean repeatedly, no horse being too bereft of life for Mr. McGuire to administer yet another beating – the inequities visited upon Kassian by the presiding officials. Silly and annoying, but mostly harmless.
Where McGuire took things to another level was during his post-game analysis as part of TSN’s panel. Unsurprisingly, the stubborn McGuire clung to his misguided version of events; incredibly, however, he actually claimed that the impact was caused by Senkerik’s failure to properly secure the chinstrap on his helmet. It was good of TSN’s Bob McKenzie to gently, if only implicitly, chide McGuire at the outset of the panel segment (McKenzie claimed that when he first saw the clip, he thought Kassian had struck Senkerik’s chest, but that after reviewing the clip again, he had begun to believe it was a head shot), but someone on the panel, either moderator James Duthie or McKenzie himself, ought to have called McGuire on the ridiculous assertion that Senkerik’s loose-fitting headgear was responsible for the impact. McGuire’s assessment of these events makes about as much sense as a person believing that John F. Kennedy would have fared better that fateful day in Dallas if only he had been wearing more sturdy footwear.
Nobody on TSN called McGuire on his ridiculous blabber; HiR:tb’s elves in the A.V. department, however, took a wee break from chug-a-lugging egg nog and sleeping under their desks to bring you the following video summary of the incident:
Tyler Seguin will outscore Phil Kessel tonight. There is an outside chance that it will be mentioned that Toronto traded a draft pick that became Mr. Seguin in order to obtain Mr. Kessel tonight. The over/under on the number of total references to this fact is the first Vegas over/under line in history to be expressed in scientific notation, owing to the enormous size of the number involved;
Tuuka Rask will continue to exist, while Andrew Raycroft opens the bench door for the Dallas Stars, and John Ferguson Jr. continues to have a job in the National Hockey League;
Milan Lucic will fight – and break – Mike Komisarek again.
As an aside, I noted that Boston is expected to give tonight’s start in goal to Tim Thomas; no doubt the insertion of the burly and aggressive backstop is Claude Julien’s attempt to defend against the Leafs’ offensive plan. You know, the one where Colton Orr bowls the opposing goalie over and Tim Brent shoots the puck off him and into the net.
Sweet Jesus, I hope Kessel gets a goal tonight. Just out of curiosity, I wonder what it would take to actually shut the media up on the “Kessel can’t score against Boston” front? A hattie? A five-spot? A Sittler-esque ten point night?