Puttin' on the Foil

...Of Trades, Free-Agents, and Foiled Knuckles: an armchair scholar's hockey blog . . . "Let 'em know you're there."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rory Fitzpatrick and All-Star Crappiness

With all the hullabuloo about the Rory Fitzpatrick thing, and now that it's over with him not quite getting in, I would like to point out that, if he made it, he would still not have been the crappiest defenseman to play in the All-Star game - and the crappier one was selected by the coaches.

NHL Totals
Petr Buzek: GMS 157 Pts 31
Rory Fitzpatrick: GMS 239 Pts 28

And Buzek was supposed to be an offensive player. The year he went to the All-Star game he was -22. Rory is currently +3.

I hope Gary, the media, the coaches, and everyone else realize that it's the league that has made the All-Star game a joke, not the fans.

The fans can vote for whoever they want, and that's the way it should be. I voted for Rory about a half-a-dozen times. I'll be going to Vancouver for a week's vacation but I'm still going to go out of my way to watch the game. If I want to see Rory then that's my business, or my fault, take your pick. But if they give me Justin Williams, Yanic Perrault, and Bill Guerin, that's their fault.

The fans voted, and we wanted Rory, not Williams. But if we can't get Rory, why couldn't we have a Kovalchuk or Savard instead?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Underused Crosby

Tuning in with the hopes of seeing some slapping-around by Crosby, I was fortunate enough to watch last night's Pittsburgh-Philly game. Nice playmaking performance from Sid. Crosby looked dynamic but not particularly dangerous, nifty but unthreatening, yet the passes from his stick always seemed to find an open guy for a scoring chance. It's kind of Gretzky-like; you don't particularly notice him, yet at the end of the game, he's got six points.

In other observations, Crosby needs to shoot a lot more. Last night, he only had 1 shot - the blind backhand that bounced off Hatcher and went in. That was it. He's averaging less than 3 shots a game. Shooting more would make him even more effective, as it would force opponents to not just play the pass all the time. Gretzky was never afraid to shoot. Gretzky made his teammates afraid to shoot because they always wanted him to shoot.

And somebody needs to teach Crosby how to take a good slapshot and get pucks through from the point. Pittsburgh's powerplay rotates around the offensive zone a lot, occassionally leaving Crosby to man the point. He just didn't do a very good job at it last night. He had a few weak slapshots from the point during the powerplay but those were blocked.

One point brought up by the TSN panel was how Crosby seems to be underused, and I agree. He plays only about 19 minutes a night, and that could easily be 23 minutes. Same with Malkin; he plays about 15 and that could easily be 19. If I were the coach, I'd give them both more time, with most of this bonus time together. It's really hard to defend both of them - remember how dangerous Malkin was when he was playing with Crosby a lot earlier in the season?

If Crosby plays more, especially with Malkin, and shoots one or two more shots a night, he could score six points almost every game.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ziggy helps in Coyotes romp

I'm going to stop updating whenever Mike Zigomanis scores. It's finally becoming no big deal, as Ziggy had an assist and iced the game with 2 goals in the 3rd period as Phoenix romped over LA 7-4 last night. He's finally driving to the net and good things are starting to happen. Just no more cross-checking goalie in the head; that's a little too much drive to the net.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dreger Doesn't Know About Ice Time

Last night on TSN, Darren Dreger was gushing over how good Sidney Crosby was. No problem there; Crosby is awesome. But specifically, he was talking about Crosby's intensity and effort level, how he plays hard for "sixty minutes every game," to quote Dreger as closely as I can remember. Crosby doesn't play that much, Darren.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Anaheim has a Wall for a goalie...

...and it's not Giguere or Bryzgalov, as good as they've been. It's a real honest to goodness Wall.

Michael Wall, in fact.

He's the new rookie backup goalie for Anaheim. Now that Bryzgalov has been hurt and Giguere also hurt himself mildly, it was decided that Wall would get the start against Calgary. So in he went. Now, Wall isn't supposed to be a great prospect, a career backup perhaps, but he lived up to his name, backstopping the Flames to a 5-3 victory. To be fair, the Flames were playing Noodles in net, so this was far from the epic goaltender duel you would expect from these two teams. Against the Ducks' stellar defense, they could only manage 22 shots, but what do you expect? Without Kipper, it's just not the same team.

Stupid Wall, I had Giguere in a hockey pool. Lousy rookie cost me a bunch of points.

I'm just wondering when we'll start to get a bunch of jokes from sportwriters eager to make funny with his name.

If it was Phoenix playing against Anaheim, we could say that Ziggy hit the wall, so to speak.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ziggy Scores for Real Real

My old highschool classmate Mike Zigomanis finally scored a goal that meant something. His goal, assisted by none other than Georges Laraque, drew Phoenix into a 2-2 tie with Chicago, a game which they eventually won in a shootout. Prior to that, he had an assist against Minnisota, and yesterday, against Anaheim, he scored again while logging 5 shots and tying the game at 4-4, only to have the Ducks pull away to win 6-4. That's 3 points in four games. Though he has a long way to go to justify being drafted in the 2nd round ahead of Cammalleri and Pominville, he might make a career out of this hockey thing yet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Darren Dreger is a 'Tard

TSN's new "Hockey Insider" (What the hell does that even mean?), Darren Dreger, is a complete moron. Last game, the panel was discussing Ottawa and how bad they've been. Naturally, the talk turned to Muckler and his free agent signing of the goalie whom my wife likes to call "Gerber Baby," and the tremendous flop this has turned out to be.

So why is Dredger a retard? He maintains that Muckler "did his homework" on the signing and that "every GM out there will tell you that Gerber" is a real good goalie, and that it should have been a great signing. As someone who is a nerd and did extremely well at school, I can tell you there is a difference between simply doing your homework and doing it well. Muckler obviously did a rushed job on his homework so he could finish it quickly and go play XBox with his friends.

If he had done his homework, he would have seen this:
- 1 year as an NHL starter
- Career record of 125 games-55 wins-37 losses-13 ties with a GAA of about 2.5 and a SV% of about 0.91
- Discarded from Anaheim for a 3rd round pick and Tomas Malec
- Even though he has a Cup, no guarantee of playoff ability since he was backup to Cam Ward and not physically well during the playoffs
- 32 years old

Yup, those are definitely the kinds of credentials for which you give someone $3.7 million a year for 3 years.

Now, you can excuse Muckler a bit because, although Gerber should never have been considered a saviour goalie, he should have been at least a little better than Emery at this point. His struggles this season are completely unexpected. But in any event, it's a bad deal. It handcuffs the team financially and it's wasted money. Further, Emery, if not quite ready this year, will be ready to be the starter next year, so even if Gerber turned out to be good, you still have the issue of paying a backup goalie way too much for another 2 years.

I've already signed the Fire Muckler petition (firemuckler.ca). Where do I go to sign the Fire Dreger petition?