Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Brodeur, Modano, Semin, Crosby, and Other Random Around the League Rumblings . . . [updated]

As I've already beaten the Rangers talk to death yesterday. . . sigh. . . I will keep my chatter to talk around the rest of the league.

- Rumors are going around that Martin Brodeur is going to be out for four months. I have nothing to confirm this (will update when I hear more). But I am going to say a few things. One, I read somewhere Kevin Weekes said it looked like something he did once. And he was out for a lengthy time. Two, that Brodeur wouldn't talk to the media after that game. Three, he never seems to get injuried or leave a game. He must have really been hurting.

Now that being said, I am not a fan of Brodeur by any means. I credit him when it's due, and more often than not, I do credit him. He's arguably the best of all time. More importantly though, I don't like to see players go down to injury like this. I never do. Is he due, perhaps, after years and years and years and years of healthy seasons where he played 78 games? Maybe so. Did I want this to happen or am I happy it happened? No. I really am not. As a Rangers fan, I want to beat the Devils when they are playing their best. And they are their best with Brodeur in nets. For years the Rangers got their butts handed to them (7 years I think) and it was sad for me. It was sad to not have a rivalry be competitive. It was one sided. Last year definitley (and perhaps even for most of Hank Lundqvist's tenure in NY) the shoe was on the other foot. Did I think that was awesome? You bet I did! Because the Rangers were due. Their fans were due. That was the universe righting itself.

But. . .ideally, I'd like there to be some competitive balance. Not have one team win ALL THE TIME. Even if it's my team. It's boring. Again, I'm saying, last year, from regular season to playoffs was nothing short of sweet. Because it hadn't been that way in so oo oo long. But if that were every year, it would get boring. I'm sorry.

Whether he's out or not, let's explore something. I think most people would say, done, season over. But, maybe not. Their biggest problem - always - has been their greatest strength. Marty hides flaws. He does. He keeps them in games they shouldn't be. And sometimes if he lets in one goal, that might be one too many if their team can't score. Zach Parise is the only guy I hear scoring over there right now.

But their defensive consistency is in jeopardy. They haven't had to be tested with out Marty. Now, I'm a huge Kevin Weekes fan. And I'm arguing he's NOT going to be the problem here. His team was shellacked last night. Outshot 20-3 in the first period. They left Kevin Weekes out to dry. And he stood up. He stood up and only let in 2 and got 3rd star of the game honors. Will he be able to every single night? No. But he's a better goalie than almost anyone gives him credit for. (After all, he's the guy who beat Brodeur & Co in 2002 when was with Carolina).

Do not get me wrong. I am not a Devils fan and will not be rooting for them. But, I'm a Kevin Weekes fan. And I hope he does himself proud.

- Mike Modano apparently said a bunch of stuff after the Boston/Dallas game this weekend. Highlights were:

"Tonight, it was idiotic and stupid, it was one of the most embarassing things I've seen. If that's what we're going for, then they need to find me an off-ice job."

"It was dumb penalties, dumb situations, that's kind of been the trend all season," Modano said. "There's no mental toughness. We're allowing the refs to get involved in the game with and spending more energy on them than the details of winning the game."

As per tsn.ca ( http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=254725) later came to talk to them about it and re-clarify what he was talking about. Credit Modano for being a man. But, you have to wonder, just how bad was it? Is it just not being used to Avery yet? I mean yapping to the fans? That is part of the package. Just ask Buffalo! I just wonder what he said to make Modano so...mad. Or is this just not in Modano's nature. And I'm sure it's not. I have long respected Mike modano and will continue to do so. I still hold true that it's early in Dallas. For Avery versus his team maybe. For the team itself - shambles right now. Damn me and thinking Turco was going to have a good year. ehhhhhhh. [note, I saw some of the scrums, but I didn't see the game, unfortunately].

- Speaking of the Sabres, I don't pick Ryan Miller for my fantasy team this year for the first time in probably 2 or 3 years. And Buffalo starts like mad! And Ryan Miller is playing awesome. I should really give up thinking I know how to play this stuff. There is no way to predict.

- Alex Ovechkin has returned from Russia and feels thankful he got the chance to go home and see his family. He feels re-energized and ready to go. Alright, go! Start piling up points now. :) I give you permission.

- A little dated but Alexander Semin took a shot at Sidney Crosby the other day:

"What's so special about (Crosby)? I don't see anything special there," Semin, who leads the NHL with 16 points, said in an interview with Yahoo.com. "Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there's nothing else. Even if you compare him to Patrick Kane from Chicago ... (Kane) is a much more interesting player. The way he moves, his deking abilities, his thinking on the ice and his anticipation of the play is so superb."

I think it's funny. Immediate reaction. Funny. [And we know I love Pat Kane!] But seriously. Let them fight it out. The Capitals/Penguins have no lack of animosity in their games. Ovechkin v. Crosby. Ovechkin v. Malkin. Add this one to the list. Semin v. Crosby. It's interesting. Do I agree? I mean, I don't know. I think I am apparently the poorest judge of whether a player is good or bad. I really am. But. . .while Crosby is definitely one of the best players in the league - Is he THE best? I don't know. I really don't know. And to Semin's point, the NHL focuses on Crosby as the next coming of Wayne Gretzky and the source of almost all its NHL Marketing. And I think that's narrow-minded and short-sided. The NHL has the best crop of young talent in a long time right now, playing night in and night out. They should embrace ALL OF IT. Is Crosby a part? - yes. The entire entity of the NHL? - he shouldn't be. Gordie Howe alluded to it at the NHL Awards - the league is in "great hands." Let it be. Let them be in great hands. And that is more than just the two belonging to #87.

- What would we do with out hockey? :)

***Updated: As of 12:35, Tony and PJ on the Team990 in Montreal say Brodeur will have surgery and be out around 4 months. confirmed on tsn.ca http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=254775&lid=headline&lpos=topStory_main **

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