Monday, November 30, 2009

What's In The Home Cooking

Inside the concrete confines of 40 Bay St. is a place opposing goalies come to shine. I don't know if it's just me but it seems like every game we play at home we get stymied by the opposing goaltender. Let's take a look at some numbers.

Oct 1 - Carey Price - 43/46 - W - .935 vs .909

Oct 6 - Pascal Leclaire - 26/27 - W - .963 vs .901

Oct 10 - Marc-Andre Fleury - 18/20 - W - .900 vs .903

Oct 13 - Craig Anderson - 30/31 - W - .968 vs .918

Oct 17 - Henrik Lundqvist - 34/35 - W - .971 vs .912

Nov 3 - Antero Niittymaki - 40/41 - W - .976 vs .932

Nov 7 - Chris Osgood - 23/28 - L - .821 vs .897

Nov 10 - Niklas Backstrom - 37/39 - W - .949 vs .910

Nov 14 - Miikka Kiprusoff - 38/40 - W - .950 vs .922

Nov 21 - Semyon Varlamov - 38/39 - L - .974 vs .919

Nov 23 - Dwayne Roloson - 58/61 - W - .951 vs .916

Nov 30 - Ryan Miller - 38/38 - W - 1.000 vs .933

That is a list of all the starting visiting goaltenders, the number of saves/shots faced, the outcome of the game for them and their save percentage in the game vs their save percentage on the season.

The visiting goalies made a total of 423 saves on a total of 445 shots. That's a .951 save percentage!

In 12 home games, the Leafs only won two, one coming against a bad Chris Osgood and the other against an amazing Semyon Varlamov. The only time the Leafs faced a goalie who didn't play way above of way below his average was in a loss against Marc Andre-Fleury. On average, the opposing goalie posts a save percentage that is .032 higher than their season average! Tack on .032 to Toskala's save percentage and he's the owner of an almost respectable .897 save percentage. Do you know how hard it is to make Toskala almost respectable? Yeah...that's how our luck at home has been.

On the contrary, we are shooting a dismal 4.94%. To put that into perspective, remember how bad Jason Blake was his first season here? Well, he shot a mere 4.5%. We are basically watching a group of Jason Blakes!

Remember when the Yankees dug up their new stadium to get rid of that Ortiz jersey? Well, they ended up winning the World Series. My only explanation is that somebody buried a Georges Vezina or Jacques Plante jersey here and the curse is finally taking effect. That or Ken Dryden's stench is still in the building. Blow up the ACC is you have to, this must end. Until the Leafs get a new arena, we can only hope that the law of averages eventually evens things out because I am getting sick and tired of playing against what looks like a Vezina candidate night after night.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Paul Pierce is a Douchebag

Whether you are dropping down to block a slap shot or standing in the lane to take a charge, it takes cojones to play pro sports. You wouldn't know it from the following clip though.

This whole video just makes me sick. Let's break it down.
1. Rasho Nesterovic is guarding Paul Pierce on an ISO play. How the fuck does this happen?
2. Paul Pierce's dirty fuckin slam on Bosh. Now when I say dirty I don't mean it the same way the hip kids do. The way he sticks out his knee out to catch CB4 in the nuts is plain dirty.
3. The stare-down. You're a real tough guy, Pierce. You didn't posterize Bosh, you kneed him in the balls. Need I remind you that you're the same guy that did this?

4. The score. It was 87-72 before the dunk. The dunk was totally unnecessary.
5. The Kevin Garnett pan away. From one big douchebag to the biggest douchebag.
6. 4 fuckin Raptors who stood around and did NOTHING!

Rasho Nesterovic, Jose Calderon, Hedo Turkuglo and Jarrett Jack should hang their head in shame for not standing up for their team leader and all-star, Chris Bosh. None of them even wanted to make eye contact with Pierce. This is why teams like The Celtics aren't afraid to step all over the Raptors. They know that they won't have to face the consequences if they do. I haven't seen a Raptor get animated over a play since Charles Oakley. What this clip doesn't show is the only guy who stood up for Bosh, the only guy who gave a shit, the only guy to go after Pierce; that guy was Raptors head coach and good ol' Canadian boy, Jay Triano.

Speaking of balls, Phil Kessel might only have one but he is the fuckin man.

When was the last time you remember seeing a player going coast to coast and scoring a beauty like that on the Leafs? As great as Sundin was, even he didn't have that speed and quick release. There's only one possible reaction to a goal so pretty.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Movembrance Day

In Niklas Hagman's last 4 games he has 4 goals and is a +3. Now Hagman isn't a bad player by any means but he won't be a 50 goal scorer anytime soon so why the sudden surge? Well, roughly around that time, he decided to go the way of the White and grow a stache. Due to his blondness, it isn't very visible in the above picture but take a closer look. There is indeed some fuzz above his upper lip.

Some might consider it a mere coincidence. After all, it's just facial hair, right? Wrong! Is it a coincidence that Ian White goes from marginal NHLer to top four status after growing his moustache? Is it a coincidence that Wendel was always awesome because he was born with a stache? Face it, ladies and gents, the stache does wonders for your NHL career!

In case you didn't know, this month is the month of Movember. Now I could attempt to grow a moustache but it would look worse than Sidney Crosby's...when he was 13. So instead, I went out and purchased the Stache Generator 2000 and ran the Leafs roster through it. Can you say greatest Leafs team of all time?

It all starts with a good front office

Followed by solid goaltending

Continue building from the net out with the defence

Top it off with some skilled forwards

Monday, November 23, 2009

Highway 61

Highway 61. Often called the Blues Highway because it runs through the heart of blues country, the Mississippi delta.
To quote a great bluesman

"If it wasn't for bad luck
I wouldn't have no luck at all"

-Albert King

Oh yeah. Fuck off, Vesa.

A Tribute to Vince Carter

So you may or may not have heard but Vince Carter was apparently approached by the Raptors before Sunday's game to be honoured for their 15th anniversary but he declined the invitation. I don't blame him, why would he accept it? He's not going to win over any fans and will just be serenaded by boos. He's also playing on the opposing team! C'mon, Raptors...I mean are you really going to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the team? Most superstars that played on the team are still in the league! Wait another 10 years when some of them actually retire!

Make no mistake about it though; Vince put Toronto on the NBA map. Along with Mats Sundin and Carlos Delgado he headed one of the deadliest triple threats the sporting world had seen in the early 2000s. This is why I would hate for him to not get the recognition he deserved. Luckily I know a guy who knows a guy that works in the Raptors media room so I got my hands on the tribute slideshow. I present to you the Raptor's tribute to Vince.

It all started in the draft of '98
Picks were swapped and the rest was fate
At 6'6 Vince was quite the high flier
He had no fear. He dunked over guys 7 foot or higher
In the year 2000 the Raptors were still a relatively new addition
But Vince put us on the map by winning the slam dunk competition
However, all wasn't rosy as the team still went nowhere
I'm sure Vince knew it. He had a great view from his chair
But let's not turn this into a rant, we're not here to pick you apart
Because no matter where you went, Vince, you played with the

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fuck This Shit

Another game, another loss. This time it stings even more because it was to the now second last place Canes. That's right, we're last AGAIN. We couldn't even beat a team who had ONE win in their last sixteen coming into last night. A team who signed Manny fuckin Legace because Cam Ward got hurt. A team with Paul Maurice as a head coach for god's sake...

This has got to be the unluckiest team I have ever witnessed. Up 3-0 in the first and we manage to let the Canes right back in to it with 2 real stinkers in the 2nd period. Sorry, Gustavsson. The honeymoon is over. Get your shit together and control a fuckin rebound.

Thanks, refs for giftwrapping this game to the Canes. That four minute penalty to White was just terrible. If you're going to make such a game changing call late in the game, make sure you get it right and don't call one just because you see somebody falling to the ice.

No biggie though, Ian White will redeem himself! That moustache isn't just all show, you know. What do you know? He scores with 30 seconds left! Pop the bubbly because there's no way we can blow this. Not when it's against the pathetic Hurricanes...


How the fuck do you let the Carolina fuckin Hurricanes score in 28 seconds? I could centre a line with my grandmothers on wing and my sisters on defence and that wouldn' happen. Seriously...What. The. Fuck.

Ah well, at least we got the extra point in OT.

Huh? Intent to blow? How does anybody rule this? How does anybody besides the fuckin ref know he really intended to blow the whistle? If you watch the video, the ref clearly is in place and even has his whistle in his mouth the entire time. Why are you going to wait almost 2 fuckin seconds after the puck crosses the line to blow it?! Nobody was in the crease wacking at the puck. The only guy in there was Hagman and he got bowled into Legace by Erik Cole! Is Ian Wallace the son of Kerry Fraser? FUCK!

Eh, the game went to shoot out and we all that the Leafs have a clause in their goalie contracts that states they must be terrible in shoot outs...


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meeting The Monster and XLB

Exelby & Gustavsson Q&A

I just got back from the interview and autograph session with Garnet Exelby and Jonas Gustavsson. The event itself started at 1 pm but doors opened at 12 pm. I got there a little bit before 12 and there was already a line up of around 30-40 people. I immediately recognized Monika. That long blonde hair...mmm she smelled so good...
/Jizz in my pants


My stalking aside, here's how the rest of the event went down. The interview session was all done with fans. People either asked questions there or sent Monika questions through twitter. Here are some of the Q&A's I could remember (paraphrased of course).

Q: Are you guys on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook?

Both: No so if you see any claiming to be them, they're phonies!

The Mad Hatter with The Monster

Q: (To Exelby) I notice you wear a lot of hats, particularly the fedora, is there a reason for that?

XLB: I guess I started it when I started growing my hair long. After showers and such, I needed something to keep my hair on my head so I decided to find a hat. I just hate it when we go to cold places and players wear a suit and wear a beanie or toque with it so I wanted to find something stylish.

Monika: and your style, Jonas? I notice you have a more Euro look.

Monster: Well, you know, you have to keep it Swedish.

Q: How is the attention you're receiving now compared to how things were last year?

XLB: Playing in Atlanta, there is definitely more attention on the team here than there were in the southern US. There are like 400 guys covering the same team so sometimes you get asked a lot of the same questions but I love it. Bring it on.

Monster: We got some attention last year but only during the playoffs. We get that same attention here everyday, like even in the preseason. I think it's great that so many people are into the team.

Q: How do you get pumped for the game?

Both: On game days, we like to take it easy, take a nap and relax until the game.

Not now, Chief. I'm in the fuckin' zone.

Q: Do you guys have any superstitions?

XLB: I don't have any that I'm aware of but I'm sure that subconsciously I do certain things like putting on my equipment in a certain order.

Monster: I like to put on my equipment the same way everyday. It just feels right. I also like to be by myself after the warm ups to collect my thoughts.

I can't wait til you pull one of these, Exelby

Q: Who were your role models growing up?

XLB: I really liked Scott Stevens. He was a good defensive defender and laid out some big open ice hits.

Monster: My role model was Patrick Roy. I believe he was the best goalie to play in the NHL.

Q: What do you like to do in the offseason?

XLB: I like to travel (then he named a shitload of places he's been to).

Monster: I haven't been to too many places. Mostly places in Europe only. I just like to take it easy and hang out with friends.

I have no clue what kind of t-shirt that is but it is awesome

Q: Who do you room with on the road and do you have any funny stories to share?

Monster: Well, nobody likes me so I have my own room. Nah, the Leafs actually gives the goalies their own room so I'm by myself.

XLB: I share a room with Finger. We actually don't see each other too often since we're the ones usually in and out of the line up. When he plays I try to stay out of his way and when I play he does the same for me. As for funny stories, I had a roommate in Atlanta so snored so bad, I had to go to the front desk to get a room for myself. (Now to find out who he roomed with in Atlanta)

Jonas, if you pull a Vesa, I will ship your Nordic ass on the first flight
back to Sweden faster than you can say Ikea meatballs!

Q: If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be?

XLB: Leonardo da Vinci. I just thought he was interesting with his views on life and religion (and he went on and on about it but I was trying to take a picture of The Monster at the time).

Monster: Jeremy Piven from Entourage. I would love to try to trash talk him.

There were a couple more questions that was asked that I don't remember the complete answer to them so I didn't recap them. They both seemed like cool guys. Exelby was the funny guy while Jonas seemed a bit shy with a more subtle sense of humour. Jonas also disses a Habs fan there about having to learn French.

It may be a little hard to read but Gustavsson wrote 'The Monster' beside his signature.

I believe the event will be up on Leafs Space some time next week so keep an eye out for it if you want to catch it in it's entirety!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lucky 13: Scariest NHLers

Cross any black cats yesterday? See anything strange? If you weren't aware by now, yesterday was Friday the 13th. In fine Friday the 13th fashion, I will run down some of the scariest players to ever lace them up. Here are 13 NHLers that you won't want to find in your nightmares.

#13 - Zdeno Chara

At a hulking 6'9, 255, Chara is built more like a power forward in the NBA than an NHL defenceman. While he doesn't fight often (probably because nobody is dumb enough to drop the gloves with him) you will not like him when he gets angry. When he's not busy crushing opponents or tossing them like ragdolls, he enjoys eating a good set of twins.

#12 - Gordie Howe

Here's a guy who has played in four different decades and had many offensive records until Gretzky broke them. You would think that somebody with such longevity and offensive prowess didn't like to mix it up too much but there's a reason why the Gordie Howe hat trick is a goal, assist and a fight. If you want to go into the corners with Mr. Hockey, you are guaranteed to come out with one thing; his elbow in your face.

#11 - Stu Grimson

Stu Grimson was one of the premier enforcers of the 90's. With a 6'6 frame and the nickname, The Grim Reaper, what isn't there to fear about? While his points total was rather lousy (39 points in 729 career games), he knew what his job was and amassed over 2,000 penalty minutes doing it.

#10 - Dave "The Hammer" Schultz

Schultz was a part of the infamous Broad Street Bullies teams. With Bobby Clarke being one of the biggest pricks to play in the NHL, the guy protecting him had to have had his hands full. As a result, Schultz holds the single season record for most penalty minutes with 472.

#9 - Georges Laraque

Georges seems like a nice guy, one may even think he is a gentle giant...until they see him bust some faces. Laraque is one of the best enforcers in the game today and a simple youtube search for him will verify that. Is there a scarier vegan on the face of the earth?

#8 - Dave "Tiger" Williams

Here is a player that Tie Domi idolized. That should tell you all you need to know about his toughness. While he was labeled as an enforcer, Tiger could score as well. It wasn't uncommon to see him finish a season with 40-50 points and 300 penalty minutes.

#7 - Tie Domi

By far one of the smallest enforcers to ever play the game, Domi wasn't afraid to drop them no matter how much bigger his opponent was. Domi's fighting strategy usually involved jerseying the guy and dropping bombs on him. Whether foe or fan, nobody is safe from the wrath of Tie.

#6 - Marty McSorley

There's a reason Gretzky scored 2,857 points, that reason is because he had this psychopath patrolling the ice. Lay your hands on the great one and he will get his hands on you. Just take a look at his stats and check out the teams he played on with Gretzky and without. You will notice the difference in penalty minutes.

#5 - Derek Boogaard

With a 23-9-4 fight record (according to the voters at, The Boogeyman is no joke. He is regarded as one of the top fighters in the game today. He only has 10 points in 198 games and believe me, it had nothing to do with Jacques Lemaire's coaching style. The 6'8, 257 lb enforcer only has one job and that is to destroy opponent's faces. Just as Todd Fedoruk.

#4 - Red Horner

During his playing days, there were few tougher than Horner. He led the league in penalty minutes in 8 of his 12 seasons. Horner amassed total of 1,264 penalty minutes in 490 career games. Now that might not seem like a ton but you must remember that Horner played in the 30's. To get a penalty you practically had to two-hand a guy over the face.

#3 - Bob Probert

A hockey enforcer? Scary. A drug addict? Scary. Combine the two and you get Bob Probert. In my opinion, Probert was the premier enforcer (note: I didn't say fighter because we all know who that king was) of the 90's. As insane as Probert was on the ice, he was equally as psychotic off the ice. In 2004 he had to be subdued with tasers and stun guns and in 2005 he assaulted a police officer. I definitely wouldn't want to be in this guy's bad books.

#2 - Eddie Shore

Eddie Shore is a nutcase. I'll let his wikipedia entry do the talking

"During their first practice with the Bruins, Shore strutted back and forth in front of Coutu and Cleghorn. Coutu body-slammed Shore, head-butted, elbowed, and tried to torment Shore. Coutu picked up the puck and made a rush at Shore. The two players collided. Shore held his ground and Coutu flew through the air violently crashing to the ice. Shore's ear was almost ripped off but he barely noticed it. Coutu was out cold and was out of commission for a week. Shore visited several doctors who wanted to amputate the ear, but found one who sewed it back on. After refusing anesthetic, Shore used a mirror to watch the doctor sew the ear on."


#1 - Wendel Clark

Wendel Clark was the scariest hockey player to ever play the game, hands down. This guy was basically Ovechkin before Ovechkin but with balls. He scored goals, he hit hard and dropped you faster than you could say 1967. He is also the feature of THE GREATEST YOUTUBE VIDEO OF ALL TIME!
Did I miss anybody? Who gives you nightmares? Mike Ricci? Drop em in the comments!

As an aside, 7 of the 13 players on the list are from Saskatchewan. If only I stayed in Saskatchewan, I could have became a hulking 6'4, 240 lb professional face smasher. TRUCULENCE

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Goose vs Monster

There seems to be a bit of confusion over what to call Jonas Gustavsson. I know modern day nicknames are typically lazy and uncreative and usually the short form of the player's name. Kipper (Kiprusoff), Kabby (Kaberle), Lou (Luongo) and recently I have heard people calling Gustavsson, Goose. Well I'm here to set the record straight.








Let's put an end to calling Gustavsson Goose because he is