December 29, 2009

Deep Thoughts: 5:00 am

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 ...


Loser Domi said...

#6 totally makes sense to me. I wonder if they watch soap operas together. Cheers, Eye! And happy new year!

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I agree with you about Chelios. Although I still dislike him, I respect the fact he just wants to play.

Plekanec and Boyes are such teases. Keep Duchene, or trade him for value.

I find I'm paying more attention to the NFL. I think fantasy football has helped. And perhaps, the fact that we might one day get our own team (probably not).

Wells will do fine next year on our sub-.500 team.

I agree, the relay seems like a bit of a waste, or at the very least, kind of excessive.

Rask and Pogge. Those were the days.

I think Jack should start over Jose. Turk seems to play better with Jack in, because he has the ball in hand more and looks to make plays more.

Johnny G said...

Bang on about the World Juniors.... I ended up turning the games off early, its not fun watching what was going on. I will give the Swiss credit the first period they put up a decent fight and their goalie stood on his head for a few saves but it didn't matter in the end.

Ian H. said...

Eyebleaf, my friend's sister carried the torch and he said it costs around $400 to keep the torch. Apparently there are thousands and thousands of torches on hand, because a lot of folks opt to keep the torch, but they disable it so you can't light it back up and recreate the run at your own home.

Chemmy said...

More book recommendations, woohoo. Grabbing the one about Iraq on my Kindle right now.

Mattt said...

#5. Yes. Thank you. Until Toronto gets a team, who cares. Happy New Year to you. It's been great visiting your blog and I look forward to continuing in 2010. Cheers!

psamms said...

As much as I have loved Jose, I'm reasonably sure the best fit for the Raps right now is Jack, for the same reason previously mentioned. There is just not enough ball for Jose and Turk. Turk is at his best when he's running the offense and Jack has seemed more than willing to let that happen.

Truth be told though, I think the Jose/Jack argument, while entirely valid, is the least of their problems. But at least the Raps have a very real shot at PLAYOFFS!!!!1 even though it almost surely leads to obliteration :(

Steve G. said...

#7 - Peter Gammons was on Boston's WEEI the other day for an hour, and apparently, Wells was also one of the best players they had in to co-host Baseball Tonight during the playoffs and off-season. Gammons said he would get there early and be totally prepared. So, if not for the fact that he's stinking rich, he would probably be headed for a broadcasting booth after his "playing" career is over.

#15 - God, I'd love to see that happen. A couple years ago, Don Nelson coached the Warriors to an upset, 8 vs. 1 victory over his former team, the Mavericks, which was quite an "Eff You" victory. I would be a full-fledged Toronto fan for that round. Vince Carter is everything that is wrong with NBA basketball now, but old white guys are too busy complaining about tattoos on players and marveling at his old dunk highlights to REALLY call him out on things.

#16 - Is Damon Stoudamire a free agent...?

Zack said...

#5: Amen to that, just be glad you're not America and being told how it's your "favorite" sport.

#6: If that rule is true, then I don't think Mike Fisher should be allowed onto the team, what with moving into his future wife's shadow and all.

eyebleaf said...

@ LD: Mario may well be his dad.

@ Escaped: You know our pool. I wouldn't get a damn thing for Duchene if I tried to trade him. I just traded Laich ... for JASON BLAKE!!!1 I love Blake. He's going to be huge in the second half, and will lead the Leafs to the playoffs.

About the NFL, I don't know, this was the first year I really participated in the survivor pool, but I still don't give a shit. I don't understand America's fascination with the game, to be honest with you.

Wells will be an All-Star. You heard it here first!!1

Oh, Pogge. Now he was a tease.

I still go with Jose, but Jose has to realize that what Jack did was get Hedo more involved. Jose's got to do the same.

@ JohnnyG: Hopefully Slovakia will put up more of a fight.

@ Ian: I was wondering what the entire torch process costs, to run it across the country. It's got to be a pretty penny. And it sucks that you can't re-light the torch. Would have made for one helluva lighter.

@ Chemmy: It's common knowledge that the U.S. totally fucked up post-invasion Iraq. They had no plan. But that book is shocking in its detail. It's amazing just how badly they handled the occupation.

@ Mattt: Thanks for reading and for regularly commenting, mate. See you on the other side.

@ psamms: Like I said, hopefully Jose learned some valuable lessons while sitting and watching. As for making the playoffs, it looks like a real possibility in the pathetic East. And while it will likely end in obliteration, I like to think that we could somehow pull off an upset of epic proportions, and add to Vince Carter's miserable existence.

@ Steve G.: Vernon Wells is good at everything. Although some jerks around this town would argue that his "playing" career is already over.

I remember that Warriors upset over Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. I like to think Raptors fans could emulate the Oakland fans, they were crazy, but it probably wouldn't happen. We're too subdued; too Canadian.

I think Damon Stoudamire's days are done, my friend.

@ Zack: That's what I mean. I just don't understand America's fascination with the game. Hockey's way better.

As for Fisher, I'm sure he's got his own place. It's got to be a hoot when Crosby brings a girl over to Mario's basement. But, shit, he's Sidney Crosby. Millionaire and Stanley Cup winner. I should stop calling him out.

daoust said...

another great post dude, you're on fire.

my wife was born in iraq, but has been a canadian citizen for 29 years. she's gotten hassled going into the states on multiple occasions. it never stops being annoying/infuriating.

brad boyes is also currently screwing my fantasy hockey team.

i haven't cared about the NFL - beyond cheering against the Bills at super bowl parties in high school - in many years. embrace your newfound sunday freedom.

never mind the torch relay, the whole olympics are a collosal waste of money. how governments can justify throwing money at the god damn luge or pole vault or some shit when there are people dying of starvation and disease in their country is mind boggling.

i hate the oilers, but i hate seeing pat quinn let down like this even more. they don't deserve him.

happy new year man. .500... dare to dream...

William said...

Nice post, eyeb. I care too much about football. It's number three behind baseball and golf...and golf hasn't been a whole lot of fun to care about lately.

Vernon Wells is going to have a very good season. I believe.

Hey, did you see that Dave Steib is on the Hall of Merit list? It's a list made up of one guy's opinion of the best players ever. Cool huh? Do a google search on baseball hall of merit. Posnanski had a post about it a couple of days ago.

Happy New Year and apologies because I still can't get into hockey.

I enjoy your site, sir. Keep up the good work.

Hungry Leafs Fan said...

I'm with you on the NFL. I used to be a huge fan but every year my interest fades a bit more. I'm taking up the CFL next year. Book it!

André said...

This is a great post.

eyebleaf said...

@ daoust: You're right - the border hassles never stop being annoying/in-fucking-furiating. Fuck Boyes. I'm dropping his ass. I've never understood the Sunday NFL tradition. My Sunday tradition is watching the Raptors on CBC at 12:30. I honestly love the Olympics, to have em or not, debate. The Leafs gave Quinn a gift tonight, eh? He deserved it. Happy new year to you too mate, and those t-shirts are coming, because .500 certainly isn't.

William: that what that Tiger Woods guy plays? And I did see that Stieb/Hall of Merit stuff. Stieb was pretty much the shit. Happy new year to you as well, and thanks as always for reading and commenting.

@ Hungry: If you blog about the CFL ... I don't even know what the fuck is going to happen, dude.

@ Andre: I'm blushing!!!!1