December 29, 2009
In no particular order ...
1. Chris Chelios loves playing hockey. So much so that the 47-year-old refused to sign with an NHL team in a limited role, and chose to continue riding the bus in the minors. I used to hate Chelios. I don't really, anymore. Life is short. I like to think that if I was professional hockey player, and had a career that mirrored his, I'd be doing exactly what Chelios is doing. I hope he plays forever.
2. I have no plans to travel by air to the USA over the next little while. But I'm already looking forward to that security check. As someone with brown skin born in Kuwait City, it's going to be a hoot.
3. Fuck. Tomas. Plekanec. I traded him in my fantasy keeper league last season. For nothing. And he was one of my four keepers. After posting 69 points in 2007/2008, I figured he was ready to break out in 2008/2009. But he struggled. Put up only 39 points. And I, shockingly, showed remarkably little patience. Today he's seventh in league scoring with 44 points, and it physically hurts to see him sitting in the top-10. To add more misery to my life, a staggering 18 of his points have come on the power play - more points on the PP than Henrik Sedin, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Dany Heatley. And you know what? I could have used those valuable power play fantasy points, instead of relying on the the Brian Rolstons, Cory Stillmans and Marco Sturms of the fantasy hockey world.
4. Speaking of my fantasy team, keeper Brad Boyes has one fewer goal than everyone's favourite Toronto Maple Leaf, and soon to be unrestricted free agent, Lee Stempniak. In his career, Boyes has registered seasons of 26, 17, 43 and 33 goals. He's on pace to finish his current campaign with 19. He needs to find his God damn equilibrium. Regardless, I'm in a pickle. Moving forward, do I keep him? As of today, my four best fantasy points performers are Sidney Crosby (1365 points), Tomas Vokoun (1031 points), Jamie Langenbrunner (855 points), and Brooks Laich (745 points). Laich's no keeper; he's been awful after getting off to a great start. I'm leaning towards keeping Matt Duchene; 24 points (630 pool points) as an 18-year-old is nothing to sneeze at. In conclusion: fuck both Boyes and Plekanec.
5. As I grow older, I care less and less about the NFL. And I'm totally at peace with this development.
6. Does Sidney Crosby still live at Mario Lemieux's place? I ask in all seriousness. Because if he does, he's not allowed to be captain of Team Canada. You must live in your own place to captain Team Canada. Enough's enough. Otherwise he'll never leave.
7. I'm sure you already noticed, but the Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System has been lowered to GUARDED. He does yeoman's work in the community, and for those less privileged, and deserves some props for it. Look within your heart; you can learn to love Wells again. Just let him in. I have.
8. Does anyone know how much the Olympic Torch Relay costs? My attempts to find out (read: I googled it) have so far been unsuccessful. I understand the desire to unite this massive country behind the Vancouver games, but the whole production seems like a giant waste of money. And a giant waste of news time, too. I guess when the Olympics cost that much money, what's a few million more?
9. Have you seen highlights of Pat Quinn recently? He looks like he could use a scotch. A double. Coaching the Edmonton Oilers does not seem to be a lot of fun.
10. Inspired by MF37 at Bitter Leaf Fan Page, the best book I read in 2009 was, without a doubt, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. The runner-up: Imperial Life in the Emerald City; Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
11. The sample size (15 games, 14 starts) is about half that of most starting NHL goalies, but Tuukka Rask's save percentage is a sterling .933. Vesa Toskala can't even dream a save percentage that impressive. It's looking more and more like the team that drafted Rask 21st overall in the 2005 draft - behind guys like Benoit Pouliot (4th overall), Glibert Brule (6th overall), Brian Lee (9th overall), Marek Zagrapan (13th overall), Sasha Pokulok (14th overall), Ryan O'Marra (15th overall), Alex Bourret (16th overall), Ryan Parent (18th overall), Jakuk Kindl (19th overall), and Kenndal McArdle (20th overall) - got a steal. Hey, Pat Quinn, pass the scotch.
12. It's amazing how quickly some of my fellow Leafs fans forget that Jason Blake had the second-best season of his career in 2008/2009. His career.
13. I wonder what the money line is on whether Janet Napolitano will resign ...
14. I enjoy watching Nazem Kadri play, but Canada's first two games at the World Junior Tournament were boring to watch. It's not Team Canada's fault. What are they supposed to do, not score? This one falls on the tournament organizers.
15. The Toronto Raptors have played more games than just about every other team in the NBA, but their 15-17 record has them in playoff position. The 6th seed, to be exact. Seed number three? The Orlando Magic. Vince Carter. Perhaps it's because I'm a glutton for punishment, but I want this to happen.
16. Who's your starter - Jose Calderon or Jarrett Jack? I still have faith in Jose. Although the Jack signing, with Calderon injured again, might be more important, at this point, than the Hedo Turkoglu signing.
17. Cheers, and Happy New Year. Thanks for reading in 2009. You'll never fully understand my gratitude. Here's to 2010 ...