February 16, 2009

Deep Thoughts Vol. 17: Sorry, Michel...

I'm not sure what it is about the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they sure as hell bring out the best in our Toronto Maple Leafs, don't they?

Including Saturday night's dominant ass-kicking, the Leafs ended up taking three of four from the Pens this season. That's six points Therrien and co. left on the table. Against the Maple Leafs. Six points that I believe, in the end, cost Michel Therrien his job.

Sorry, Pens fans. And Pens bloggers. The Leafs didn't mean to drive the final nail into the Therrien coffin. Frankly, I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did.

As a coming-out-of-the-closet Pens fan, I think Dan Bylsma for Therrien is a good move. The Penguins are too talented a squad to miss the playoffs. Period. There's a lot of hockey left to play, and the Pens are only five points out of eighth, and seven points out of fifth, in the Eastern Conference. I'm not worried. The Pens are making the playoffs. ComeBackCity2009.

And, for the record, I may or may not be the owner of a Penguins jersey. And I may or may not have found it in the depths of a closet at my parents' place over the weekend...

Jason Blake and the Fist Pump

Back to my first and true love, the Leafs (don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise).

I had a George Costanza moment in the third period of Saturday night's game. After my hero Jason Blake scored his second goal, an absolute beauty, in only 19 seconds, to put the Leafs up 3-2, my right arm involuntarily fist-pumped. It just happened. I didn't realize it until after the fact. And it freaked me the fuck out.

But deep down, I kind of enjoyed it. And I want it to happen again.

Speaking of #55, isn't he just a dear? So much so that even ardent Blake-hater Down Goes Brown is coming around. And if DGB is beginning to see the light, you know Blake truly is playing out of his mind.

John Ferguson Jr.'s Greatest Move

His name is Dominic Moore. He's got 38 points in 56 games, including a team-leading 27 assists. His career high in points, prior to this season, was 18, back in 2005/2006 when he was a New York Ranger.

Moore's been nothing short of a revelation, and has found chemistry alongside the fist-pumping wonder, Blake.

Picked up off the waiver wire, Moore hands down represents JFJ's finest hour (it was a looooong hour). He's making only $900 K, and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent come July 1st.

Here's hoping Brian Burke doesn't let it get to that point. Moore may be somewhat of an attractive commodity come trade deadline day, but I'd rather the Leafs get his autograph on a new contract. There's something to be said for a guy who works his tail off every night and is able to shed the label of "defensive specialist."

Moore's good people. A Toronto boy. He'll be 29 in August. He can surely teach some of the younger Leafs a thing or two, especially in the faceoff circle. Even during a rebuild, I believe Moore's proven he's the type of guy you want to have stick around.

15 comments:

Escaped Lab Rat said...

How badly did Hossa spurning them hurt the Pens? It seems they have two superstars, a solid goalie, and maybe a good offensive defenseman (or two)...but not much else. They won't trade either of Gino or Sid (yet), but don't other teams who need a star try to make an offer? Say, the Leafs?

Then again, I don't think we have anything that would get the job done.

debrisslide said...

In the offseason, Hossa and his agent reportedly miscommunicated their wishes to the Penguins management. Ray Shero offered Hossa a multi-year deal under the impression that a short-term deal would not be an option. Hossa then signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings. By waiting for word from Hossa, who had seemed relatively game to stay in Pittsburgh, Shero watched the free agent pool get thinner and probably wasn't able to put together an altogether elite supporting cast for his superstars. At least, that's how Pens fans tend to see the issue.

bkblades said...

Not that a lot of guys could help offset Gonchar's loss, I still maintain that Therrien's merely a middle of the road coach. We'll see how the Penguins respond. After all, changing coaches doesn't magically solve their lack of overall team toughness and chemistry, especially on Crosby's wings, that have been plaguing them all season.

Lori said...

You forgot to mention the PENS ALERT texts that you signed up for....

Therrien was a scapegoat. We need wingers. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

eyebleaf said...

If Pittsburgh's learned anything this season, it's that you don't sign guys from the Islanders. Miro Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko are shit. Absolute shit. They've got $30 million tied up in Malks, Sidney, Gonchar, MAF, and Staal. These are the realities of the salary cap era. How do you fill out of the rest of the roster with people who aren't shit? You have to have a great farm system.

And, you're right, we have nothing that could get a huge deal with the Pens done. But I still think they could use any of Kaberle, Hagman and Antropov. Or a combination of two or three.

@ debrisslide: Fuck Marian Hossa. Period.

@ bkblades: Therrien's a scapegoat. You can't fire the team. The injuries to Gonchar and Whitney have been under-represented. Those two combined for 100 points last year. The Pens simply don't get production out of their defense without those two, and it shows. Especially on the power play. And, yes, you don't sign former Islanders to play on the wing.

@ Lori: Shhhhhhh about the PENS ALERT. If you want wingers, you can have Antropov. And maybe even Hagman. He'd look fucking gorgeous with Sidney or Geno.

debrisslide said...

Nav, Satan is pretty shit but Fedotenko was a solid producer until his injury. I'm not like scrambling to re-sign him or anything but for what he's worth he's clicked very well on a line with Malkin and Sykora if he's allowed to play with them for more than 25 seconds. If the Pens were your #1 team, you'd know that. ;)

eyebleaf said...

Zoe, honey, give me some time. And educate me along the way. I've just never really liked Fedex, and I've been waiting forever for Satan to end up on the Devils.

I still think Antropov would look great on the wing with Geno and Sykora.

bkblades said...

Therrien got a raw deal of sorts, but check out his overall record. Aside from an overachieving Montreal team one season (Jose Theordore's MVP season) and last season's Stanley Cup Finals appearance, Therrien's teams have either been mired in .500 records and/or underachieved (early round losses in the playoffs). Therrien was ranked in the lower half of victories amongst the 30 coaches in the NHL. Never mind that Ron Wilson was about one or two spots above Therrien, ahem.

bkblades said...

By the way, the Leafs signed Blake from the NYI. Looks like you're showing your hand. ;)

eyebleaf said...

You know, I've never really thought that Therrien was all that great a coach. But I think he did get a raw deal in terms of injuries. And you can't fire the whole team, like they say. He's got a track record of having a team tune him out. That being said, I'm not that sold on Ronny Wilson, either. His schtick is like Therrien's. It gets tired, and fast.

And, re: Blake, he was one of the "good" Islanders. He was coming off a monster season, he was going to get paid. Satan and Fedex both scored an underwhelming 16 goals last season. They were type-C free agents. I would have steered clear of em. But, hell, this is hindsight, and hindsight is as easy as scoring on whoreish Vesa Toskala.

woodpeck said...

Satan was/is a HUGE flop. though we picked him as a late option, waiting 4 him to break out in pitts killed some of our fantasy teams. you might be onto something with your anti-Isles theory.

bkblades said...

I believe in the anti-Isles plot. Except for one player - Ziggy Palffy. He was boss.

Stan the Caddy said...

you should get that fist checked out!

Karnage said...

the whole issue with fedo the pedo and satan was that by the time hossa decided to fuck us in the ass, all the b-list ufas were gone.

shero was left with c-listers, and thats pretty much the day that sealed our fate for this season...

god i hate hossa...

eyebleaf said...

Woodpeck: I'm still waiting for Satan to play for the Devils. That's all I really want from that fucker.

bk: Palffy was pretty sick. And a Penguin, too, right?

Stan: I've got an appointment with one of the best doctors in the city. Lloyd Braun hooked me up.

Karnage: Hossa really did a number on you Pens fans. He's a prick, always has been since his Ottawa days.