Here are a few quick thoughts that have been circling in my head for the last couple of days:
1) Hockey is back. I hate to say it but I was the ultimate NHL pundit from the outset of the lockout. I watched a lot of hockey and almost every playoff game last season and as a fan I felt betrayed and insulted. Clearly things have changed. I’m not gonna discount the fact that the NHL lockout hurt a lot of people, most of whom do not make 6 figure salaries and have long off-seasons every year, but I’m really glad to have our national past time back on television every night.
2) I would like to give a huge shout-out to the Halifax Mooseheads. Missing NHL hockey seemed a lot less harsh with all the buzz around Halifax surrounding the Mooseheads. Nate MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin lead a group of young talented hockey players who put on a great show for the fans and have made the Mooseheads relevant in Halifax again.
3) I’ve been keeping a close eye on the Roberto Luongo trade rumours that have been floating around and would like to float my own theory out there. Luongo remains in Vancouver for the remainder of the season. Now give me a chance to explain myself: Tying up $9.33m in Goalies seems like a bad idea but i don’t think i’m sold yet on Cory Schneider and I don’t think Vancouver GM Mike Gillis is either. Luongo has been a class act about this whole entire scenario and Gillis shouldn’t fear Bobby Lou hurting the Canucks in anyway. If Luongo does get traded I believe it will not be until the trade deadline.
4) Crazy to see 19 year old Sloane Stephens beat Serena Williams in the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open. The 29th ranked Women’s player in the world, from Plantation, Florida, has to quickly forget about beating her idol as she is scheduled to face off against world number 1 Victoria Azaranka.
5) Staying on the topic of Serena Williams, I would like to point out that she, and sister Venus have faced each other many times over the years but most importantly in 8 Grand Slam Finals matches. With all the excitement surrounding the NFL’s “Harbaugh Bowl” it almost seems as if we have taken for granted the level of competition between Serena and Venus while managing to stay such close siblings.
6) I think Baltimore will win the Superbowl on Feb 3rd against the San Francisco 49ers. My opinion on this game may change several times as I break it down over the next few weeks but my theory starts here: Jim and John will have a great deal of time to analyze one another’s teams and they will quickly find that they share many similarities. Both are big physical teams who rely on the run on offence to set up the pass and the big play, while intimidating their opponents with physical, relentless defensive football. This creates a scenario in which one or two things could determine this game and I think the advantage will fall to Baltimore because of one man, Ray Lewis. Lewis, in the last 3 weeks, has stared down rookie sensation Andrew Luck and NFL superstars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and not even flinched. He made all 3 players change their game plans while he controlled what he wanted them to do. I have all the respect in the world for what Colin Kaepernick has done this season but Ray Lewis has seen it all and won’t let himself or his teammates be fooled by the read-option.
7) Does anyone else think the Pro-Bowl should be moved back to the week after the Superbowl? I am continually frustrated when the best players on the best teams miss out on the Pro-bowl because they are preparing for the Superbowl while other players drop out because their bodies have endured a long, hard season. Many players might be more willing to attend with an extra 2 weeks to allow their bodies to heal.
8) My final hit of the week is to pass on the most outrageous stat of the week: the 2-14 Kansas City Chiefs have 6 players playing in this weekends Pro-bowl. I found it hard to believe they had one player even worthy of being called a professional.
That is it for this week. Please email with any questions you would like answered or segments you would like to see added!