1) Very rough week for several NHL teams in the injury department. Something I expected to see in this shortened season was a spike in bumps and bruises type injuries with players playing more games each week. I, however, did no expect to see so many long term injuries. Evgeni Malkin, Dan Girardi, Craig Anderson, and Artem Anisimov were all hurt on accidental, hockey plays, while others haven’t been as (un)lucky. Cal Clutterbuck was obliterated by a greasy hit from Taylor Hall. Last night Max Pacioretty ran Ryan McDonagh from behind forcing him to leave the game. Marion Hossa took a UFC forearm to the head from Jannik Hansen. The NHLs list of injured players is quickly becoming the best looking roster in the NHL and it will soon begin to hurt many teams in the standings.
2) Sticking with the NHL, I’m really losing interest in John Tortorella. I’m way past caring about seeing him bitch and complain everytime he has to talk to the media. Can we give this fucking idiot a pass on all press conferences for the rest of the season? He sighs, whines, rolls his eyes and offers up a bullshit answer for every question. I saw a clip of a reporter asking him if he had any sympathy for the Senators after watching Craig Andersen get hurt on an accidental net crash by a Ranger player. Tortorella couldn’t simply say “it is unfortunate to see a player get hurt on a play like that but that happens in hockey.” but instead he had to offer up some asshole, non commital response and proceed to look pissed off. Get over it Tortorella, it’s your fucking job.
3) Was listening to the Backhand Shelf podcast the other day. Love the show, the guys have a good perspective on hockey and are pretty hilarious at the same time. I recommend checking it out if your looking for a good listen.
4)Been paying close attention to the NFL Scouting Combine this weekend. One thing that stands out so far is that this is going to be a very athletic draft year. On day one, 5 Offensive lineman ran sub 5 seconds in the 40 yd dash. Compare that to last year when only 2 O-lineman ran sub 5 seconds. The Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Runningbacks work out today for NFL scouts. Through the first few hours this morning all results are unofficial but 2 WR have run 4.25 40s, which is .01 away from the all time record.
5) The biggest news from the combine so far has sadly been the Manti Te’o hoax phenomenon. Yesterday Te’o held a 36 question press conference where he had to defend his personal life for 20 of them. I understand the interest in this story but I really believe that it has received its share of attention and we should move on. At the end of the day the person truly hurt most by this is Te’o. He is the one who looks like the idiot with the made up girlfriend. People may not like the fact that he deceived everyone even after he found out about the hoax but in my opinion he was being the ultimate teammate by hiding it until after the BCS National Championship. I just hope that the teams that interview him give him a chance to talk football X’s and O’s instead of a story should already be an afterthought.
6) Not a NASCAR fan by any means, but I will definitely be checking in on the Daytona 500 tonight to see if Danica Patrick can make some history by becoming to first woman to win NASCAR’s version of the Super Bowl.
7) Max Pacioretty has a hearing today with Sherriff Shanny to discuss his hit from behind on Ryan McDonagh last night. I’m a Habs fan and truly feel he should be suspended for atleast 2 games for this one. McDonagh had hit Patches from behind earlier in the game and it seemed to me that Pacioretty had a little revenge on his mind when he made the hit.
8) Lebron James and the Miami Heat have been on an absolute tear as of late. They will certainly be the #1 seed heading into this years playoffs but that doesn’t mean they will have an easy road through the Eastern Conference. I look at the Indianan Pacers as a team that could give LBJ and company some trouble. Roy Hibbert and David West will create size problems inside for the Heat while the Pacers have the ability to use multiple defenders on Lebron throughout the series with Danny Granger and Paul George.
9) The San Antonio Spurs look to be the best team in the NBA’s Western Conference right now but could also have a tough time in the playoffs. With an aging roster and playoff games becoming a lot tougher, the Spurs might not have the ability to play at such a high level long enough to sustain a playoff run. They remind me of the New England Patriots who, in recent seasons, have dominated the regular season but haven’t quite had the finish in the playoffs.
10) A lot of NHL and NBA on today so I’ve got my afternoon set. A few games i’m looking forward to seeing are:
Detroit Red Wings vs Vancouver Canucks: 2 great Western conference teams. Should provide a good, physical duel.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus is fucking terrible and they sure don’t deserve to be watched on TV. I’m picking this game solely because I want to see how long Chicago can keep winning.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Pittsburgh Penguins: Even with Evgeni Malkin not in the lineup this game bolsters an insane amount of scoring power and some pretty lacklustre goaltending. Sometimes its fun to catch a game where the red light could get burnt out.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Chicago Bulls: Really the only NBA matchup of the day with 2 good basketball teams.