Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Great article on Eklund

Chuck passed this from the Toronto Star along to me today, and I got a good laugh out of it.

Since the lockout is long over, Ek seems to be nearing the end of his 15 minutes. He helped me and many other fans get through the lockout, but since then he's been more miss than hit on his rumors. It's almost to the point now when I hear him mention one of the Jackets in a trade rumor, I'm relieved because now I know they're not going anywhere.

"4:50 p.m. More food is delivered to the Sportsnet set. It isn't clear whether Eklund had predicted the arrival of more pizza."

Monday, February 26, 2007

Berard on waivers

I've mulled this one over all day, and for the life of me can't see the advantage of this move. If there are no trading partners on Feb 25th, what happens late on the 26th or early the 27th when somebody decides, "Hey, we could use another d-man for our playoff run, and this Berard guy has scored in the past. I could part with a 4th rounder."Well, putting Big Bry on waivers pretty much ends that scenario.

It's not that Berard going on waivers is all that shocking, it's the timing of the whole thing. Why now? Hours before the deadline? With people throwing draft picks around?

I really can't see where this is going. Straight up salary dump won't happen by sending him through waivers if somebody doesn't grab him. Waivers still exists after the trade deadline, send him through then.

I'm just not seeing the advantage here. Hopefully there's a reasonable explanation tomorrow.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The doghouse fills up

Seems Mr. Berard landed himself in Hitch's doghouse with his little, "I'm not one of his boys," comment. Though, if that made it public, I wonder what's said behind closed doors?

Well, it's getting crowded in there as Zherdev found himself back in the doghouse yet again. Barely a week after getting the boot from practice, Z gets scratched for not doing what was asked of him following the Oiler game. The kid is already on a short leash, seems the choker chain is being attached now.

Neither Berard nor Zherdev seemed to be terribly missed in the 3-2 win over the Rangers, though. Nice effort tonight, and two shorties to win it is pretty impressive.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What to do with Freddy Mo

Now that Anson Carter is safely in the Eastern Conference where he can pollute somebody else's line-up, there are still two guys left on the block: Bryan Berard and Frederik Modin. Of the two, Modin's value has to be infinitely higher, since he's actually played more than 10 games this season, and his back didn't just come off surgery.

Rumors in the paper are that the Jackets are trying to retain Freddy Mo, and honestly I'd be OK with that. The guy does it all - top 6, PP, PK, natural leader, etc - and never, ever takes a shift off. Ever. In this train wreck of a season, Modin has been one of the few bright spots. No, it doesn't show up on the score sheet, but the Jackets are 29th in the league in scoring, NOBODY is showing up on the score sheet. (29th for now, we're locked in a battle with Chicago and are separated by a goal at the moment.) As a building block, having Modin around for 2 or 3 more years wouldn't be a bad thing.

On the other hand, I hear today that the only serious offers coming in to 200 W. Nationwide Blvd. involve dealing Modin. Not that this is all that shocking. Other people will want him for the same reason we'd like to resign him. But, are these offers worth considering? Will they outweigh what Modin will bring to the table next season in Columbus? Could he be traded and resigned in Columbus in July?

I'm still on the "keep Freddy" bandwaggon, but wouldn't be upset if he was moved in the right package.

Stay tuned...

Anson Carter traded...THANK GOD!

TSN is reporting that Carter has been traded to Carolina for a 5th round pick in '08. We can get to how much the Canes overpaid for him later, for now let the cheering begin.

Coming in to the season, I thought a lot of Carter. Thought him a solid winger who could really help out. I didn't really think 100% of his output from last season was all on the Swedish Twins, but it appears they were good for about 98% of it. I really figured he would help, but he never really bothered to show up. And last night just took it all. Maybe he knew he was gone, I don't know, but it was the laziest game I've seen on Nationwide ice in 6 seasons. Games like that make me wish Kevin Dineen had never retired and was there to tear a hole in somebody...

Update on Carter

Turns out Anson wasn't shipped out of my fair city while I slept...pisser.

However, there is hope! Ek stated yesterday that:
"Also word out of Columbus is that Zherdev and Modin are now likely to NOT be dealt prior to the deadline....Carter and Berard likely will be."

WHEW! I feel better now that Eklund has put it out there. I am wondering how he came across that ultra-secret rumor? Reading the Columbus Dispatch?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Carter traded yet?

After sitting through yet another joyful Jackets game where about three of them showed up, I am wondering why Anson Carter hasn't been traded to any where else for two pucks and a roll of tape. (Hey, they raised the price of tape at the Chillers to $5 a roll, trading him for a roll would be a steal!) He hasn't been apparent on the ice in weeks. He's been on the fourth line since mid-January, and he's been ineffective for pretty much the whole season. OK, the whole team has been ineffective, but Anson has taken it to a new level.

The kick in the bag for me tonight was seeing him in a 2 on 1, with Chimera I believe. Chimmer breaks to the middle, Anson up the left wing. Jason gets the puck to AC in the neutral zone, Anson gets into the Oilers zone and takes one stride. That's it, a 2 on 1 and the guy takes one effin' stride inside the zone. Great way to drive to the net...coasting like week 2 in a learn to skate class, feet shoulder width apart.

For holding such promise early in the year, he hasn't worked hard since long before Christmas. After all, the guy's got 3 goals since Christmas, and 3 whole points in February.

Happy 27th Anniversary!

It's February 22nd, so it's time for the anniversary post of the USA taking down the Soviet Union in Lake Placid. Why this isn't a national holiday yet, I don't understand. OK, well, it's based on hockey and this is the United States, so I guess I can see why it's not a national holiday, but it SHOULD be.

So, run out and watch Miracle, read the wikipedia entry on Herb Brooks, or learn now to spell Eurzione. Do your part to commemorate not only one of the greatest hockey wins ever, but one of the biggest upsets in sports history.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The emergence of Svitov?

Are we finally seeing the Alexander Svitov that warranted the 3rd overall pick back in '01? The scoring isn't totally there yet, but it appears that Alex has realized he is 6'3", 230-ish pounds and now attack the offensive zone like a bull in a china shop.

It appears Hitch has taken note of this, too. Since Dec 16th, Svitov hasn't dipped below 12:40 of ice time in a game, and has only fallen below 20 on the shift count once. 12 of his 16 points have come since that time, too. Prior to that date, shift counts in the 8 to 10 range and TOI under 10 minutes weren't all that uncommon for him.

Coming in to the season, Svitov had 21 career points, and a giant question mark over his head after spending last year back in the Russian Super League. He snapped up a contract to come back over here, and didn't exactly set the world on fire early on. However, it appears Hitchcock knows which buttons to push, and that Svitov is responding. He's on pace to out pace his career point total just this season. His ice time is up, his play is up, his points are up, his puck control is up...everything is looking up for Big Alex.

Which is good, because not much looks up in Columbus at the moment...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The care and feeding of a backyard ice rink

After thinking I had missed my chance to put it up this year, last week I constructed the back yard rink. This is it's fourth season, though last year's edition was an engineering failure, and turned out to be too warm all winter, anyway.

The big cold snap over the last 4 or 5 days has it frozen solid. It's been too cold to skate on it in the evenings with negative wind chills, so no skating prior to yesterday's snow piling up on it. I got home too late last night to scrape it off, and didn't do so this morning either...which meant today's sun turned a portion of it to slush. Which then froze. I'd say a good 15% is presently unskatable. The whole rink now needs some serious attention with the hose. It's supposed to be 3 tonight, so I think we'll be back in business tomorrow evening.

More on this as the rink progresses. The trial and error process of this takes years... :)