Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Best time of year

Baseball playoffs, CFL games mean more, NFL heading into fourth week and NHL about to start for real.  Some observations
  1. Baseball - I love that the Red Sox are out.  "Best team of all time"  Perhaps they believed the hype.  I am sorry to see Francona go - he'll be picked up quickly.  Do you think he and Ozzie Guillen will just change teams? 
  2. Baseball - predictions - I have no reason to really believe they can win but I sure hope the Diamond Backs get to the World Series - I'll be in Phoenix later this month and it will be a blast if they are playing.
  3. CFL - wide open in both the East and West.  Only thing we know is the Riders and Argos will not make playoffs.  Argooooos .......Suck!
  4. How about those Bills?  Great year to give up my season ticket.
  5. Will Indy win a game?  Will the Vikings bench Donovan and then win a game?  How about those Dolphins?
  6. Leafs - they will get more points this year than the Habs (and I am not talking about games between the two 'cause that is a given)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another season with no playoffs

Howdy everyone.  Stirring finish by the Leafs with improved play from D, Reimer standing on his head and Phil Kessel getting wake up call after being last pick at the all star game.  Clearly we need a stud center.  Joffrey Lupul a great addition - not only can he shoot, he gets to the net and has good vision on the ice.

Playoff predictions.  Sabres will play Phili in first round and have some bad playoff history against the Flyers (Cup final loss).  Sabres the hottest team going into the playoffs.  Look for them to upset. 

Chicago not in yet - they need a point today.  If they get in, they play Vancouver.  Now Vancouver has a terrible record against Chicago.  If you are in a hockey pool, think twice about loading up on Canuks

Habs come 6th and play Bruins.  What a rivalry here - one sided in recent games.  Habs go down quickly (5 games max)

Washington versus Rangers - hmmm - can Caps go all the way?  Not sure but the Rangers are not going to take them out - bank on it.

Detroit versus Anaheim?  Tough call - Anaheim seems to have Wings number. 

And how about those Blue Jays!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Toronto Raptor Game - What an experience

I was lucky enough to score 4 tickets to last nights Raptor/Timberwolves game at the ACC.  What a different experience than a Leaf game.  First of all, I'm a huge Toronto sports fan.  Raps were in the midst of a 13 game winless streak (nice way of saying 13 losses in a row)

Minnesota ranks just below Cleveland in term of inept play.  You would think the arena would be half empty and the fans would be sitting on their hands.  Well think again.

The Raptor management and Toronto press have not really set high expectations for this year's team.  Injuries continue to plague the team and last night we were without Leandro Barbosa, the Brazilian Blur and Jerome Bayless. 

The crowd for a Raptor games is much different than a Leaf game.  Many more females, much younger crowd in general and fans are appreciative of the effort the team puts forth.  You would think a 13 game losing streak would create some unrest in the crowd - frankly it seemed the opposite.  Not once did I hear a boo from the crowd directed toward the Raps ( a few directed at the referees as they called significantly more fouls on the Raps)

The Raptor dance pack does a great job of energizing the building.  The team is showcasing the dance pack more and having fewer goofy time out games involving selected participants from the crowd.  I've said this before and I'll say it again  - the Raptor is the best mascot in sports.  Both funny and athletic and fan friendly, the Raptor is the best.

In terms of the game, Demar DeRozan was almost flawless from the floor and put up a quiet 20 points on predominantly outside shots.  Andrea clearly was the center of attention for the Raps offense and put up 30 on 26 shots.  I can't believe Minnesota kept falling for his fake shot then fake drive and shot.  Andrea is not going to drive much.

Amir Johnson got into early foul trouble but came back in midway through the second quarter and stayed out of trouble for the rest of the game.  Jose Calderon tied a club record with 19 assists but struggled with a couple of outside shots that would have been daggers for the Wolves.

I thought one of the key moments in the game was the last 4 minutes of Q3 when Jose and Andrea were out of the game and we had a six point lead.  With 10 day man Tre Johnson at the point position, we were able to maintain our lead going into Q4 when the starters came back into the game.

Nice night out - great job by the Raps and their organization to entertain the crowd. 

Demar - keep on driving the ball

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Observations from Leafs win over Panthers

  • The Leafs are starting to move the puck a lot better.  They are clearing the puck from their end and having fewer turnovers in the neutral zone
  • Exception to this is Phil Kessel - he really struggles when he gets the puck on the boards in the defensive end.  Doesn't handle pressure well from pinching D nor did he show much grit on the boards.  Phil we need ya to start putting the biscuit in the basket - great speed and move to create the breakaway chance late in the game but man a goal would be nice.
  • I have to give Beuachemin some credit for his game last night - blocked shots and decent puck movement.  Phaneuf made some good offensive moves and Kaberle made a brilliant wrist pass on the Grabovski power play goal
  • Keaton Ellerby with the Panthers is going to be a stud D in the NHL.  He absolutely crushed Mike Brown along the boards with as good a check as you'll ever see.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How about those New Year's Predictions

December 31st post featured 10 predictions for the New Year.
  1. Kadri is not even being mentioned as a possibility for call up.  We're using Crabb,Rosehill, Bryce and of course James Reimer in net.
  2. Sid not winning scoring title looks like it is coming true also - too bad it's due to a concussion.
  3. Leafs and Raptors not making playoffs - well Raps have lost 11 in a row - injuries and D is too weak with the scorers out that they need to consistently score 100.  Leafs have to play 700 hockey - not going to happen.
  4. Vernon Wells was traded making Jose Bautista the man for the Jays.  40 Home runs - we need 'em now.  Wow has the bullpen ever deep now too.
  5. Yes Hamilton City Council, lead by Mayor Bob Bratina, announced plans to redo Ivor Wynne Stadium.  Blown opportunity to get a great new facility. 
  6. Argos coach nominated for Coach of the year - clearly everyone thinks they suck.  Argos give up 60 more points than they score and just cause Barker makes some funny commercials, he's coach of the year candidate cause he's got a bunch of chumps playing for him?
  7. Habs 3 ahead of Canes.  Yes things are getting tight in Hab country.
  8. Yankees - tbd
  9. Saints sucked against a Seahawk team that played for pride.  Steelers and Pack will make a good Super Bowl.  Prediction to follow next week.
  10. Tiger looks out of sorts this weekend - played 5 over par Saturday and Sunday with one hole to go today. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

This and That

Here's hoping Sydney Crosby's concussion is not too bad.  Innocent enough looking hit that seems to have caused it.

Atlanta Thrashers Ben Eager had more penalty minutes than playing time in recent 9-3 ass kicking put on by the suddenly potent offense of the Leafs.  You have to love Colby Armstrong - he simply called Eager a "meat head" for the sucker punch he delivered to Colby's right orbital.  “I can’t believe he missed my nose,” Armstrong laughed.

Habs got lucky with late comeback against Bruins.  Max Pacioretty's overtime goal gave the Habs the win.  The rookie then gave Bruins captain Zdeno Chara a little shove well after the goal.  What is it with the Hab's young guys that they think they can do crap like that to veteran players?

After yesterday's NFL games I have no idea what to expect today although I am picking both Ravens and Eagles to cover.    We'll see.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First player going in as a Blue Jay

Congratulations to Robbie Alomar for being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame today.  He deserves it - better offensive stats than one of the all time greats already in the Hall - Ryan Sandberg. 

He was the best fielding second baseman I've ever seen with an uncanny ability to go to his left make a catch while sliding and get up and throw the runner out at first.  And I remember lots of spectacular plays he made up the middle too. 

Most Blue Jay fans can still remember his key playoff homerun off Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley back in the 92 playoffs.  Eckersley was the most feared reliever of his day.  What a moment!

Think back to when the Jays acquired Robbie - we gave up a lot - Fred McGriff a guy who always seemed to hit 30 plus home runs and Tony Fernandez one slick fielder who could also handle a bat.  Tony used to turn around to bunt and then slap it by the charging infield.  Great play!  Anyway we give up Tony and Fred and get Robbie and Joe. 

I remember seeing Joe at a game in Detroit when he first broke in with Cleveland in 1984.  You could tell Joe was going to be something special. 

We were lucky to have all four of these players in a Jays uniform.  Robbie will be the only one to get into the Hall.  Who knows, maybe we've got the making of some other Hall of Famers on the 2011 Blue Jays roster.