Sunday, April 19, 2009

First two games: a reaction.


That's my reaction. EFF.

Jonas Hiller is doing the same thing Giguiere did back in 2003, and it's pissing me off.

Down 2 games, the Sharks need to figure out how to get more than a couple pucks past this guy. Powerplay needs to improve and Nabokov needs to get his swagger back.

I've got a massive sore throat, so the yelling, though massive in quantity, was quite subdued.

Come on, Sharkies. I freakin believe in you - you can do this.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flying Monkey Report - Playoff Mission 09-01: Complete

McPhizzle wanted us to get this posted yesterday, but we had a bit of a change in plans when we arrived at the inner sanctum of You see, normally, being flying monkeys and all, we’re pretty good about getting in, getting what we want and then getting out. However, McP failed to warn us about the canine that has been added to Finny’s family. We hate dogs – especially dogs that don’t fall for our “go fetch” distraction techniques. Luckily, one of us had some beef jerky in a pouch that gave us enough time to move the photo of the Quacks hoisting the cup in 2007, console one member of the squadron who went into hysterics about how it should’ve been the Senators, and crack the code to (STRIKE) steal(/STRIKE) *ahem* borrow the list Ms. Finny had been keeping safe for Randy Carlyle. P.S. Finny, You should really change the combo on that safe. 37-55-55? Ducks-Lightning-Canucks? Anyone who has half an O’Brain cell would figure those jersey numbers out... If you’re picking up what we’re putting down.

The Flying Monkeys.

Intercepted Communique Labeled Top Secret.

To: Randy Carlyle
From: Christy Finn

RE: Top 10

  • 10. Cup Count. Anaheim: 13 players, total of 17 Rings. San Jose: 6 players, total of 9 Rings. The Ducks have more than half their roster full of men who’ve fully experienced the bitter battle and tasted the sweetness of Victory, drinking it freely from Lord Stanley’s Cup. They know what it’s like to heft that three foot trophy into the air, claim it as their own, and spend an entire summer celebrating their conquest. They also know the pain of watching something they’ve lain claim to pass on into the hands of another, the hands of an opponent, the hands of someone else. They’ll be driven to do what they can to give them another chance at re-claiming their lost treasure. And, more importantly, they know what they need to do, what kind of sacrifice, what kind of superhuman ability will be required – not asked – of them come puck-drop. Now, it’s go time.
  • 09. Quacks No Longer. Once ridiculed as a joke, the Ducks long dropped their image as diminutive quacks trying to get people to take them seriously. Instead, they’ve adopted a rep for being a bully. It’s just like that kid you poked fun at when he was smaller, fatter, slower than you… until he grows up to become a lean, mean, hefty, muscled grown teenager with a long memory and a complex from all the teasing you put him through. Then, the funny business ends and the revenge of the one-time loser begins. Same story. Anaheim went from joke to yoked in a couple of seasons, bulldozing their way to the Cup in 2007. The 2009 Ducks aren’t too different from that squad. Some of the players have changed, but not the formula. Anaheim still boasts a line-up that doesn’t fear a pair of fists from the expected (George Parros) down to the unexpected (Bobby Ryan).
  • 08. The Big 8. What can I say? I love Teemu Selanne. He’s a former Shark, so there’s a little added incentive to gain the upper-hand. Nevermind that the Sharks have a couple ex-Ducks who were part of the Cup-winning team in 2007, so clearly they have some added incentive to up their game against Anaheim. Still, with Selanne entering his waning years in the league, I’m sure he’ll be pumped up to make this run a good one. If anything, he’ll definitely be a problem for the Sharks if he gets the chance to. He’s ranked 5th in the NHL with 16 PPGs.
  • 07. 4-on-4. No, not the play. I’m talking about Claude Lemieux’s four Cup Rings vs. Scott Niedermayer’s four Cup Rings. Lemieux, at age 43, may not have enough gas in the tank to push him through a grinding series against the Ducks. He’s one of those guys who can elevate his game when it comes down to playoff time and can provide veteran presence for the young Sharkies, but he’s got nothing but his age to beat out Anaheim’s four-time Cup winner, Scott Niedermayer. Scotty’s got a 8 year advantage on Lemieux at the ripe, youthful age of 35, and who’s still at the top of his game, all day, everyday. Scotty’s won every single major hockey championship in his career, from the Memorial Cup, World Junior Championship gold, World Championship gold, Olympic gold, four Stanley Cups, and the World Cup of Hockey. Advantage: Niedermayer. Come to think of it, Scotty always comes with the advantage… So, advantage: Anaheim.
  • 06. Double D. As in, defense. Anaheim’s got the blueline special backing them up all the way to the crease, and the line runs deep. Two Norris Trophy winners beef up the blueline in Scott Niedermayer and rough-and-tough (maybe too-tough) Chris Pronger, and the newly returned Boom-Boom specializer, Francois Beauchemin. Added into that mix is Ryan Whitney who played a big role in defending his former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, to the Finals in ’06.
  • 05. Streaky Sneaky. The Ducks fumbled through much of their season, until they pulled it together to run a hot 7-2-1 record in their last 10. The Sharks, on the flipside of things, fumbled a bit with a 5-4-1 Last-10 record. If they keep that up, they’ll end up repeating history and being shown the door by their younger, southerner siblings. If the Ducks keep up their hotness, they’ll streak right on past the Sharks, but it definitely won’t be easy.
  • 04. You Score, I Score. Anaheim’s offensive talent tips heavily in the direction of the Big Boys on the Numero Uno line, yet Scott Niedermayer, Rob Niedermayer* and Chris Pronger nailed over 10 goals each, indicating that offense can come off any line and at any given time. Most of the opposition will cite the chunk of goals bearing the Perry-Ryan-Getzlaf or Selanne name to mean that if they can shut them down, they’ll lock the quarterfinal up in their favor. I wouldn’t be so sold on that argument if I was San Jose since the name of the game is Step It Up (also known as: Win or Go Golfing), I’ll guarantee some playoff heroes will emerge when others are overly-focused on the moneymakers. [*No word on how many of those goals were empty-netters. Safe to say, a lot of 'em were.]
  • 03. Monster Goalie. Okay, so he’s had his crappy moments this season, still J.S. Giguere has the ability to steal some games if need be (since it's a safe bet that Jonas Hiller will get the nod before J.S. does). But he’s done it before, he can definitely do it again. In 2003, he tossed the whole of the bench on his back and heroically carried them to within one game of Cup glory. In 2006, he brought us to the WCF where we lost to the eventual Cup-winners. And in 2007, he backed us up the distance and enabled us to snatch the Cup from Ottawa. Despite his less-than-impressive season, Jiggy still has it in him… he just needs to lay it all out on the ice and get the job done. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
  • 02. Chew Up Cheechoo. That’s not necessarily a real reason why Anaheim ought to win, but really, something’s got to be done about that little sniper. Anaheim’s got the manpower to do it. The question that remains is will Anaheim find a way to take Cheechoo-choo down?
  • 01. SoCal > NorCal anytime, anyplace. ‘Nuff said. Bring it on, NorCal. The Ducks are hella ready.

Some interesting stuff up there. Needless to say, this will be a good series, filled with emotional, rivalry-filled games and a few choice texts and tweets swapped between McP and Finny. Yes, we’ve got plenty of beer in the fridge for game-watching. It’s a good thing, too – we’re on 24/7 patrol - Casa McP is on lockdown after the Radical Redhead herself found an intruder from GwaP hacking into her precious new laptop. Maybe Finny was up to the same tricks we were. Well played, Quack-fan, Well played.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ask and Ye shall recieve!

I called it in Hammer's Liveblog last week!


*does a little dance*

*Ding dong*

"Hello, Quack quack?"
"Candy gram."
"Quack what??"
"Uh... Flowers."
"I'm allergic to flowers, Quack..."
"Stale bread?"
*duck opens door* "Oh no! Quack! Landshark!"

So it begins. The civil war of hockey in California. North versus South. McP versus Finny. We've already discussed it. Both returning to hockey blogging at the same time, this was bound to happen. We've vowed to remain friends no matter what the outcome is.

She's scared - as well she should be. My Sharkies won the President's Trophy this year - that's pretty impressive! Having a record of 32-5-4 at home this year bodes well for the fishes.

HOWEVER - The Sharks and Ducks have battled it out all year. I'm not thinking the Quacks are going to swim right over to an exposed dorsal fin or anything. The Sharks need to want this. The need to play for it and they need to work as a team to get there.

I'm not skipping ahead to any thoughts on the second round, because, well, the first hasn't technically started yet. Let's just say I have confidence in my team. And I'll be on my couch sporting the 27 of My precious JR every game I can catch.

Edouard says "me too, mama." (which sounds an awful like "meow")

Night night WHL playoffs...

Well, it’s over. Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons. It’s almost ironic that my favorite sport, my “social life” and the place I feel most at home is someplace I only get to spend the Fall and Winter.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make this entry or not, but after putting the sign up in my office that reads, “Yes, the Americans lost. Yes, the season is over. No, I don’t want to talk about it.” I figured I should get a few feelings out so that I didn’t flip out on the Corporate Express delivery guy when he will inevitably ask me how I’m doing with the outcome of the season despite the sign.

So the Rockets did some damage. Ok, a lot of damage. This time it was to the boys on the ice – not me. “Que?” you ask? Well, last time these two teams faced off in round 2 (2004) I got hit in the foot with an errant puck during OT. Bruised the bone – luckily I was wearing boots that night instead of my standard flip-flops. About two weeks later, I dot to gracefully walk onto the Miss TC stage for my audition with a lovely moon boot (aka walking cast). They beat us a few days later at home. Easter Sunday, as it were. Hmm... Maybe Jesus hearts Kelowna on his resurrection day?

It’s bittersweet, really. So many young men poured their heart and soul into this season, some veterans, some rookies. It’s going to be strange not to see a few faces on the ice next year.

Taylor Procsychen – I remember when that kid was a tiny, carrot-topped rookie taking photos with Wendy, Tawnie and I at post-game skates. Always more than willing to stop and say hi to fans big and small and offer a blessing over the meal and attendees at the Booster Club’s annual Christmas party.
You gave your very best effort on the ice to us for five years and led the team in so many ways. Please be very proud of yourself and the man you’ve become - we are. Let the Lord guide you in your future endeavors and please come back and visit whenever possible.

Jason Reese – It’s hard to even think that he once wore a Giants uniform. All I can think of now is the vocal forward in red, white and blue. As close as we’ve gotten to a “local boy” in a few years, it was great hearing his mom scream his full given name when he would drop the gloves and seeing his proud little sister always wearing his button and becoming a familiar face around the rink.
Thanks for helping me choose the quesadilla that night at Applebee’s – I’ll think of you every time I order it now – especially with a “Brewtus” sized beer!

Mitch Fadden – The other half of this year’s “Red Headed Wonder Twins”. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been a fan of this kid since he played for the Thunderbirds (shut up, we all know I’m a traitorous whore). I’ve never seen an Am with better puck handling AND a great personality. When he asked McNephew for “knucks” after a post-game skate, he had my Auntie-heart on a platter. Now, whenever he has his finger up his two-year-old nose, we giggle and tell him to stop giving the “Mitch Fadden Salute”.
Good luck in your promising career, Mitch, and even though you only spent 52 games here, please don’t forget how much we love and appreciate how hard you worked for our team.

Chet Pickard – This one hurts. He’s most likely played his last game in an Ams sweater, and while I’m excited for him to move on and for his professional career to flourish, it’s hard for me to celebrate him not returning to us. One look at him skating back and forth after being scored on or up to the stands when Dan was in town to get feedback (via the famous hand signals) tells you how committed he was to playing well for the Ams. The same held true about his celebrations when a game had gone well. Possibly one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met with his level of talent. That’s not surprising after meeting and becoming friends with his family.
Chet, you have no idea how much joy you brought to your little buddy, GoCamGo. Getting to skate with you is something he still talks about. There aren’t many little boys who can say that they took their first lap around the rink with a first round draft pick when they weren’t even two yet.
To the Pickard family – Thank you for sharing your son (and brother) with us and for sharing yourselves as well. I can’t wait to see you next year even though you’ll be cheering for the TBirds – Especially you, Kelly – I know this is supposed to be about your brother, but you’re one of the most fun people I’ve met in a long time and know I can always count on you for a laugh when I need one the most. I wish I had a hot, single brother for you to marry so you could be in my crazy-ass family.

I’m not going to speculate on which 19-year-olds will be back next year as it hurts my heart too much. Needless to say, with my “son” Jarrett being one of them, the 20 y/o deadline will be a nail biter for me.

To those returning to camp in August to earn their jobs back, have a good summer, but please be safe. There is so much talent brewing in each of you! I have a whole different perspective of the young boys this year for some reason this year. Maybe it’s because it has been three years since I’ve shared a house (and bathroom) with a rookie and have finally let go of the hurt that a certain player caused after leaving the team. Play hard, work out harder, do things that make you a little bit uncomfortable to broaden your comfort zone and do something nice for someone once in a while. (And Spencer, spend some time with your little sister – You’ll be gone from home for good in a few years and it really will mean more to her than you could imagine).

So, night-night, 2008-2009 Tri-City Americans. Thank you for an amazing year and another US Division Championship.

Oh yes, one more thing. GO GIANTS! BEAT THOSE DIRTY CHIEFS!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ma McP and I cover the ACMs

After the Sharks game (and after Ma called to comment on Carrie Underwear) I turned on the ACMs in HD - which took a few minutes since I had to hook up an air-antenna - stupid Dish Network and Fisher Broadcasting fued...

Our text-fest started when Miss Carrie was performing "I Told You So" wearing that beautiful, billowing, red dress.

Ma: That dress is either over-the-top or just all over!
McP: I want to be her when I grow up... You think the red dress was to symbolize "standing by her man?"
Ma: For sure.
Ma: He was hiding under there with the whole team.
Ma: (re: her acceptance speech saying she knew she was forgetting someone) Um... "my boyfriend?!"
McP: LOL!!! So True!
McP: (re: Blake Shelton) This guy called me Darlin' when I met him after the concert here.
Ma: You so sick.
Ma: (re: Taylor Swift) What's with wearing one dress all night?
McP: she's young, we'll forgive her.
Ma: Just this once.
Ma: Maybe Underwear can give her a yard or two off that train. Like she would miss it.
McP: I bet she would, she's a good Christian girl. I'll ask her - after all, she is my sister wife (refering to her relationship with myhusband Mike Fisher)
Ma: She's makin all you compound dresses - and all the sister children.
McP: As long as those compound dresses look like the white one she's wearing now, I'm down.
McP: (re: her acceptance speech for Entertainer of the Year) "mike, baby, I wish you were here!" what about me??
Ma: Wrongo. The cup - oh wait. She's got the fisherman soon!