Thursday, June 14, 2007

Howson is the one

So, according to the Dispatch, the Jackets have hired Scott Howson to be the next GM of the Jackets. Unless Scott pulls himself out of the race in the next 24 hours, it looks like he's the man in the chair.

Personally, I think it's great. I don't have a huge bit of comparing to do of Bob Murray v. Scott Howson. But, I have this: Howson has spent the last 7 years in Edmonton, the poster child for small market NHL teams who seem to win more often than they lose. Bring that small market talent to Columbus, a mid-market team who needs a few wins to stretch that to upper mid-market team and we could have something here. With Priest watching the books and Howson stretching a dime, the Jackets could prove to be a major pain in the ass for Cup runs in the coming seasons.

Will it happen this season? I'm not hanging my hat on it, there are some pretty big holes in the roster. A full season of Hitch is a good thing, but is that enough? There will be improvements over last season's roster, I'm sure, but good enough for the 23 point jump needed to get to the playoffs? 12 wins? We'll see...

For now, I'm glad the GM search is over, and I do like the idea of Howson at the helm. He's an up and comer with front office experience, and decent experience at that. The draft will be his first big item...and it's in his new backyard. Can't wait.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Hockey Gods

We've all heard about or referenced the Hockey Gods at some point. For the most part, the Hockey Gods see that things go evenly over the course of time. Hockey Karma, if you will.

Well, the Hockey Gods have a little work to do in the future. I'm usually not one to blog about the beer leagues, or even worse complain about beer league officiating. After all, beer league refs go to jobs the next day like the players do. Tonight, however, the Hockey Gods are not smiling...

In our league there is a rule that a player can score at most 3 goals in any one game. After the third goal, the player's goal won't count. The purpose of the rule is to keep upper tier players from playing down and scoring all they can to help their teams win.

So, this evening's game in the beer league got a bit interesting. There was a certain player on the other team...well call him "Douche"...that was at least a league above, probably two. Douche scored the first three goals for his team, two breakaways and a cross crease tap-in. The game was 3-3 after said tap-in, but now he's done scoring. He had three breakaways after that, we backed off because he couldn't score. He knew it, didn't even bother shooting on two of them and put the puck off the side of the net on the third. Even better, after scoring his third goal Douche was taking the face-off when one of his teammates said that he couldn't score any more. He replied, "I know, but I'll keep shooting for rebounds, go to the net." Fair enough, I thought.

Well, late in the game, we have a 5-4 lead after a great put back by Zach. There was less than a minute left. Douche's team calls time out and pulls the goalie. 20 seconds later, Douche scores and all hell breaks loose...

The refs check the scorebook, they credited his third goal to the wrong player. Apparently during the time out Douche's team checked on that, so when he scored, all was well with them.

But, here's the thing...Douche grew up next to one of the guys on our team, and wouldn't even look him in the eye after it was all going on. There was a huge argument, as you can expect, that included our goalie telling the ref's each puck he stopped and didn't stop. The scorekeeper or the ref screwed up earlier, and that was OK with Douche's team because they had just tied it up. Even though everybody in the rink KNEW he had three goals, they allowed the fourth to stand and sent the game to OT.

In the mess, we drew a couple penalties for various expletives, so we ended up losing the game in OT...but did we lose? We played by the rules and attempted to have said rules enforced and were thrown in the box because of it. We had a guy with three goals, he made passes the rest of the game, set people up, and had he put an fourth in would have said, "Hey, that was my fourth one."

So, somewhere Douche is happy with himself for winning a beer league game by breaking the rules. Good for him...but the Hockey Gods will likely set it straight, and at a time he least expects it.

The best part, even if it works out for them, the most they get is a t-shirt. I know I want to cheat for that $10 t-shirt...nice work Douche and Co.