- A few notes
- All that is Solid [Brain Matter] Vanishes into Thi...
- Fleury outduels Brodeur
- Mass Movement Continue to Rock the Arab World
- .....And Justice For All
- NHL Injury Updates and thoughts on NATO
- Great response by Penguins
- Obama should put Libya engagement before Congress
- Monday Morning Notebook (03.21.V3-3)
- Another Twist in Libya
- UN Authorizes Action in Libya
- Quick Hits on Budget Battles; Clinton in Eygpt
- Monday Morning Notebook (03.14.V2-4)
- And so it begins...
- What place has a worker?
- Sports, Politics, and Partisanship
- Understanding Iran and the North African Uprisings...
- Monday Morning Notebook (03.07.V1-4)
- Free Speech and Manners of Life and Death
- The U.S. Government will stay open. For now.
- Six Times Steckel
- ▼ March (22)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
As Burress pointed out here in the wake of the Cooke suspension, Bertuzzi is the one guy in the league with a bigger reputational footprint from being a dirty player than Cooke himself.
“Irony would also rear it's beautifully hideous head when Matt Cooke would serve the first game of his suspension against a Red Wings team featuring the aforementioned Bertuzzi. Prior to the game, Red Wings Alternate Captain Henrik Zetterberg weighed in on the Cooke situation calling for Cooke to be shelved for the remainder of the season and much like everything else in the NHL, the Red Wings got their wish. Zetterberg clearly overlooked the fact that his choir boy organization employs a guy who once came up behind another human being, grabbed him by the back of his sweater, wound up, and delivered a gloved punch to the back of his head sending him plummeting to the ice face first. The result was merely a concussion, 3 broken neck vertebrae, facial lacerations, and 5 months in a hospital plus a year in a neck brace. Nothing major, I guess. Heck the most storied Red Wing ever, Mr. Hockey himself, was known to throw an elbow or 10 during his career, so at least they have that going for them!”
“For all of Steve Moore and his family's suffering, Todd Bertuzzi was suspended for only 3 more games than Matt Cooke for an elbow that didn't even sideline a guy for a period. Since the "Steve Moore Incident" Bertuzzi has played in nearly 400 NHL games and pocketed nearly $18 million dollars for his troubles while Steve Moore can skate, but that's about it. While his neck has healed but he still suffers from the concussion he received when Todd Bertuzzi held the back of his jersey, cocked his fist, and sucker punched him in the back of the head so hard that he fell helplessly to the ice face first and unconscious. For that, Bertuzzi got only 3 more games than Matt Cooke for his stupidity in finishing a check with a dirty elbow. Get my drift?”
And yet despite that history and prior reputation, and the heralded new found revelatory focus and immense attention paid to protecting players from vicious, brutal, concussing headshots, the league DID NOT BAT AN EYEBROW OR RAISE ITS TINIEST FINGER toward an incident that was similar in every way shape and manner to the elbow that Cooke put into McDonagh’s cranium. That duplicitous roar you are hearing is absolutely deafening. And please, spare me any sort of super slow motion instant replay analysis and breakdown establishing intention and intricacies of the incidents at hand. The bottom line: both guys were trying to finish checks after the puck had left, and both ended up inserting their elbow directly into the skull of the opposing player.
If the NHL is serious about eliminating headshots, they must take a hard stance on these flying elbows as they do on high sticks. From my understanding of the league’s rules in that situation, it is that the player responsible for wielding his stick must be in control of it at all times, and any contact, even the most unintentional and incidental, with an opposing player is an automatic penalty. Of course, my understanding of such a solid rule was brought into question last night when James Neal of the Penguins was clipped in the face by Claude Giroux of the Flyers. Giroux was following through on the puck and, under his own power, lifted his stick into Neal’s mouth and cut his lip. Instead of an ensuing 4 minute power play, the officials on the ice huddled and waived off the infraction. It was a fitting end to a perfectly baffling day.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Fleury stopped 21 shots for his third shutout this season, and James Neal scored in the shootout for a 1-0 Penguins' win.
The scored was 0-0 after regulation and overtime.
Brodeur turned aside 26 shots, but couldn't stop Neal in the shootout. Brodeur did pick up 116th career shutout, even though he lost, 1-0. The shootout goal doesn't count against Brodeur's record.
The Penguins will hand out their team awards Sunday before their game against the Florida Panthers, and Fleury should grab team MVP. Not bad for a guy that was supposed to be a liability. Fleury is underappreciated and underrated.
He deserves most of the credit for Pittsburgh's success after Sidney Crosby went down with a concussion.
I was glad to see the Penguins beat the Devils at their own game.
Crosby had a 45-minute workout Friday, and the coaching staff is hinting at the superstar making a comeback before the end of the season. To not have Crosby is not only tough for the Penguins, but for the league as well.
Sometimes you question professional athletes' determination, but there is no doubting Crosby. I have always been impressed with his work ethic. He doesn't take his abilities for granted.
The Penguins are two points back of the Philadelphia Flyers, who play the New York Islanders tonight. The Flyers also have two games in hand.
Brooks Orpik is supposed to play against the Panthers.
Mike Comrie made his return to the Penguins' lineup Friday.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I am going to provide a real-time analysis of tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
Philadelphia enters with 97 points. Pittsburgh has 92. To say this is a big game would be an understatement.
7:08 p.m. The puck drops in Philly. The orange has never shown so bright. I predict a very physical game with lots of penalties. Marc-Andre Fleury in goal for Pittsburgh. Sergei Bobrovsky for Philadelphia.
7:13 Tyler Kennedy with a nice shot. Bobrovsky with a good save. Pittsburgh needs to get traffic in front of Bobrovsky.
7:19 The Flyers draw a penalty. First call for either team. The Penguins struggled without Matt Cooke on the penalty kill during Monday's win against Detroit. No big hits to report... yet.
7:24 Pittsburgh kills the penalty. Philadelphia has one shot on goal, but several chances to the left of Fleury.
7:26 With 7:37 remaining in the first period, the Penguins are outshooting the Flyers, 6-5. Not too many chances. Both teams playing a tight, defensive game.
7:32 Philadelphia's Mike Richards scores at 15:18 of the first for a 1-0 lead. The play is being reviewed, but should count. A possible high stick above the crossbar. The goal counts. Flyers score on their sixth shot.
7:41 One minute remaining in the period. With 22 seconds remaining, the Penguins' Ben Lovejoy draws a penalty. Pittsburgh on the PP. James Neal attempts a weak shot with one second left.
7:42 End of the first. Flyers 1, Penguins 0. Pittsburgh will have a power play when the second begins. The Penguins had a decent period, but still trail. The PP has to get going, or they'll not go far in this game, or any for that matter.
7:45 I'm at work putting together tomorrow's sports pages or I'd grab a beer and some pretzels. Instead, I'm going to use the restroom, grab a Pepsi, and yes, I can partake in pretzels. See you in a few. BYU-Florida, UConn-San Diego St. on right now if you want to watch something during intermission. I don't know the channels. Find them yourself. It's either CBS, TNT or TBS.
8 p.m. The second period should be underway. I am, however, at work and not controlling the TV. Sorry. I should be commended for doing two things at once. Plus, I'm expecting a call from a baseball coach, so I may leave for a few.
Sometime around 8 and 8:06 p.m. The Pens have tied the game at one. I believe Kennedy got the goal. I don't know if it was a PP goal or not. I will let you know later. Pittsburgh holds a 13-8 lead in shots on goal.
8:08 p.m. Big save by Fleury on a Jeff Carter shot with 15:12 remaining in the second.
8:11 p.m. Thanks to penguins.nhl.com, I found out Kennedy (18) scored at 1:01 of the second on a wrist shot. Chris Kunitz (23) and Kris Letang (40) pick up the assists. Power-play goal. They must have heard me.
With 6:35 into the second, Matt Niskanen headed to the penalty box and the Flyers are on the PP.
8:15 Pittsburgh kills the penalty. Philadelphia is 0-for-2 on the PP. The Penguins' PK has been strong, and will need to remain strong. Special teams are necessary in post-season play.
8:18 Commercial break. Game tied, 1-1. I smell a shootout, which wouldn't be good for Pittsurgh. They need a regulation victory.
8:21 With 8 minutes remaining, Kennedy with a nice shot that seemed to fool Bobrovsky, but the Russian is up to the task. The Penguins cycle the puck well down low. Constant pressure for about 45 seconds.
8:23 A great shot by Alex Kovalev, but Bobrovsky is up to the task, again. Geez, why do these young Russian goalies play out of their minds against the Pens?
8:27 Claude Giroux takes a penalty that puts Pittsburgh on the PP.
8:30 The Flyers kill the penalty. The Pens are 1-for-2 on the PP.
8:54 Sorry to leave for so long. Got a call from Albert Gallatin's baseball coach. That's Fayette County for all of you that don't know. Nice guy. I hope they do well.
The two are tied at 1 after two periods of play. Penguins hold a 20-15 edge in shots.
8:56 Arron Asham sent to the penalty box. Flyers on the PP. Not a good penalty. You have to stay out of the box boys.
Shorthanded chance for Pittsburgh's Max Talbot, but Bobrovsky makes a pad stop. The Penguins deny the Flyers' PP again.
9:13 With 6:54 remaining, the score is still 1-1. The Penguins need to win this in regulation. Pittsburgh needs to bury some of these chances.
9:21 The Penguins' James Neal is stopped by Bobrovsky with a nice glove save. This young kid is keeping his team in it.
9:23 One minute remaining in regulation. A point is nice, but doesn't do the Penguins any good in winning the division and the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference.
9:24 Let's play five more minutes. Game tied at 1-1 after 60 minutes.
9:26 Overtime starts. Both teams have grabbed a point. I predict a shootout. I am very surprised that nobody dropped the gloves. I thought fights were inevitable when the Pens and Flyers get together.
9:31 Unbelievable puck control by the Penguins. Unfortunately for the flightless birds, no real chances were taken.
9:33 I was right. Shootout time. Flyers get several chances around the net as time expires in OT.
9:36 Philly's Ville Leino stopped by Fleury. Leino goes for the five hole. Pittsburgh's Letang stopped by Bobrovsky. Fleury stops Giroux. Alex Kovalev scores on the forehand to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Danny Briere answers for Philly to tie it at one. Briere finds the fivehole. Neal stopped by Bobrovsky. Richards stopped by Fleury. The Penguins can win it.
9:39 Chris Kunitz beats Bobrovsky as the Flyers goalie can't block the five hole. Kunitz continues to impress in Sidney Crosby's absence.
Final score: Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1, SO. The Penguins (94) pick up a point on the Flyers (98).
NOTES: Briere's goal was only the second time in Fleury's career that he didn't stop a game-winning attempt in the SO.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
If you know me, I love and appreciate irony. I love that the Winklevoss twins are being sued by somebody for allegedly cutting him out of profits for the sale of ConnectU to Facebook after they sued Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly cutting them out of Facebook altogether. I love Mike Huckabee saying it was inappropriate to comment on Bristol Palin's out of wedlock teen pregnacny in 2008 yet blast Harvard grad and 29 year old Natalie Portman for also being pregnant out of wedlock. Irony would also rear it's beautifully hideous head when Matt Cooke would serve the first game of his suspension against a Red Wings team featuring the aforementioned Bertuzzi. Prior to the game, Red Wings Alternate Captain Henrik Zetterberg weighed in on the Cooke situation calling for Cooke to be shelved for the remainder of the season and much like everything else in the NHL, the Red Wings got their wish. Zetterberg clearly overlooked the fact that his chroiboy organization employs a guy who once came up behind another human being, grabbed him by the back of his sweater, wound up, and delivered a gloved punch to the back of his head sending him plummeting to the ice face first. The result was merely a concussion, 3 broken neck vertebrae, facial lacerations, and 5 months in a hospital plus a year in a neck brace. Nothing major, I guess. Heck the most storied Red Wing ever, Mr. Hockey himself, was known to throw an elbow or 10 during his career, so at least they have that going for them!
For all of Steve Moore and his family's suffering, Todd Bertuzzi was suspended for only 3 more games than Matt Cooke for an elbow that didn't even sideline a guy for a period. Since the "Steve Moore Incident" Bertuzzi has played in nearly 400 NHL games and pocketed nearly $18 million dollars for his troubles while Steve Moore can skate, but that's about it. While his neck has healed but he still suffers from the concussion he received when Todd Bertuzzi held the back of his jersey, cocked his fist, and sucker punched him in the back of the head so hard that he fell helplessly to the ice face first and unconscious. For that, Bertuzzi got only 3 more games than Matt Cooke for his stupidity in finishing a check with a dirty elbow. Get my drift?
Truthfully, I feel that the Cooke suspension is exactly what he deserved for his selfish actions. He has had umpteen chances to keep his focus on winning puck battles and doing the things that make him a valuable hockey player and he only has himself to blame for being out for 17 games. Bertuzzi, as far as I am concerned, got off light. So did Chara and Heatley amongst many, many others in the league.But Cooke, and the Penguins for that matter, are the only ones who face league wide scorn. The Pittsburgh Penguins are not the only team who employ a Matt Cooke type player and frankly it would be a shorter list of teams who don't and anybody who says otherwise is a bigger homer than I am.
With the Cooke punishment handed down from the father of Boston Bruin Gregory Campbell ( just thought I would mention that tidbit), the NHL has set a precedent that targeting the head is not going to be tolerated. That is awesome, that is progress. BUT, the NHL has also put themselves in a precarious position for future suspensions. Will Alex Ovechkin get the book thrown at him the next time he leaves his skates to hit somebody? Will Mike Richards finally get a suspension for one of his trademark blindside hits to an unsuspecting opponent? Will Zdeno Chara get off scot-free the next time he hospitalizes a player with whom he has a grudge and no longer has the puck? I would have to go with an emphatic NO on that one. If there is one thing we can ascertain about the NHL's policy on consistency, it's that there doesn't seem to be one.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Brooks Orpik should be returning to Penguins practice soon from a hand injury. The huge news for the Pens is that Sidney Crosby has been skating and working out with no return of symptoms from his concussion. There are also whispers in the Burgh that Evgeni Malkin is making 'amazing' progress rehabing from his knee surgery.
The Conference leading Flyers will be missing chief pugilist Chris Pronger with a broken hand till early April. Jody Shelley also went hard into the boards and is suffering with facial injuries.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are missing foward Ryan Malone who hopes to get back at some point in the playoffs.
The Detroit Redwings have been dinged up for months, but the vet heavy squad expects to have pretty much all hands on deck come playoff time.
The Wings primary rival, The Chicago Blackhawks, lost leading scorer Patrick Sharp to a 'lower-body' injury for the next two weeks.
The Vancouver Canucks lost Center Manny Malhotra for the rest of the year with an eye injury that required surgery. The Nucks have also has a boatload of blueliners go down.
Finally: The Edmonton Oilers have lost Ryan Whitney for the season with an ankle injury. But the last place squads loss has been the world's gain as @ryanwhitney6 has officially surpassed @BizNasty2point0 as the most amusing hockey player to follow on twitter.
NATO was set up as a defense pact by Western Nations during the Cold War in order to coordinate and provide symmetry for the defense strategies of Western Europe and the United States. Its mission was very clear: to keep the West safe despite its disadvantage in conventional forces by leveraging its members advanced weapon systems in a unified manner. Now the Cold War is over two decades gone, and the once elite status of NATO membership has given way to a sprawling bureaucratic nightmare of cross purposed nations. It is a relic that has outlasted its political usefullness and is only strategically valuable for the command stucture it gives its member nations in joint military operations. If the combat in Libya has proven one thing, its that NATO has become unruly and redundant and needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history next to the Warsaw Pact.
The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period, scored two more, chased Jimmy Howard, allowed the Red Wings to tie the game in the third before James Neal won it in the shootout.
I was very impressed with how Pittsburgh responded after losing to the New York Rangers Sunday. Also, Cooke's suspension, although warranted after another cheap shot by the LW, gave the Pens a "us against the world" approach.
Cooke was suspended by the NHL Monday for the remainder of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for his elbow to the head of the Rangers' Ryan McDonagh Sunday.
Cooke got what he deserved, Mario Lemieux and Ray Shero had to support it, but the players will go that extra mile for their teammate, even if they're upset.
Chris Kunitz had another great game. Kunitz and Jordan Staal have elavated their game. Brent Johnson was strong, and didn't really let in any bad goals. The Red Wings started to take control in the third. I believe that can be attributed to the Penguins playing back-to-back games against two quality opponents, but take nothing away from Detroit. That team is loaded with talent and Mike Babcock is one of the best coaches around.
Pittsburgh has big games coming up against New Jersey and Philadelphia. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the game with the Flyers is important. (Understatement of the year). I don't think the Penguins will win the division, but who knows. I doubt Philadelphia will struggle going into the playoffs.
We shall see.
Keep your head up!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
*Matt Cooke's hit yesterday on Ryan McDonough of the New York Rangers was ill-timed, dirty, and really selfish when you consider the situation both within the game that was in progress and efforts at large by his team, and others, to eliminate these cheap shots from the game. The fact that McDonough was okay should be no consolation to anyone with the power to determine Cooke's fate. The Penguins should step up and send their own message to Cooke that these actions will not be tolerated on top of the already certain forthcoming league discipline. The GM and coaching staff of the Penguins must also take into serious consideration whether Cooke is a potential liability come playoff time with these increasingly frequent unnecessary hits that cost his team significant penalty minutes.
*Yemen seems to be the next Country in line after Libya to go down the road toward political freedom through mass movement protest. The army today announced they will support the protesters legitimate complaints in that nation, and several of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s administration members are also turning against him quickly. Saleh, who could be out of power by tomorrow, has been an ally of the United States in trying to root Al Qaeda out of his Country, but perhaps a more free, open, and prosperous society in Yemen will reduce the recruiting base of the terrorist forces in that region long term. Yemen is the most poor and desolate Countries in the Arabian Peninsula, and one of the most beleaguered in the world. It would be the first Country outside the geographical barrier of Africa to succumb to the protest movement that has rocked the Arab world.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
* Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a compelling speech yesterday in Eygpt, then announced today she wouldn't seek a 2nd term as Secretary, nor would she run for President in 2012. Her speech is worth going to CSPAN and listening to, it is a perfect blend of pragmatism in approach, while holding up the best of American ideals and values for the rest of the world to live up to and for people seeking freedom anywhere tyrants rule to strive for. Poweful stuff from someone whose role in this administrations foreign policy efforts has been massively under reported.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
*Right now, no news is bad news for the Pittsburgh Penguins in regards to Sidney Crosby's health. With him still suffering symptoms this long from a concussion that occurred in early January, I now have significant doubts we will see him play again this year. You can't rush back a franchise guy for this year’s playoffs; it’s too risky long term for his health. Without Crosby, or fellow superstar Evgeni Malkin, the Pens should be an easy first round out for the Bruins, Capitals, or Lightning.
Crosby did skate today for the first time since early January, a sign that off ice work has been going well for at least a week. If he continues to progress with no setback of symptoms you can expect him to practice with no contact in about another week.
*Fridays "Day of Rage" in Saudi Arabia passed by without so much as a whimper. "There were so many police in the streets you could not even think of protesting," said one anonymous dissident. Security forces got way out in front of this one in the Oil Kingdom, but the question remains, how deep is the bottled up rage in the world's leading oil producer?
*The New Jersey Devils won yet two more overtime games over the Thrashers and Islanders over the weekend, proving my law of averages predetermined downfall theory for them off once again. They have climbed back to .500 for the year and are within definite striking distance of the 8 seed in the East with 14 games left. I still predict they fall short of getting in, but only because the also hot Maple Leafs do...
*The massive triple disaster earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in Japan pulled all attention away from the crisis in the Arab world. Absolute total destruction from nature has all humanity feeling for the Japanese, but the stock market was up on Friday with hopes of $$$ from reconstruction efforts. Ladies and Gentleman: Market Capitalism at its finest.
*The 4-12 spots in the Western Conference are so tightly packed that there is no way of telling how it will shake out. The only thing we can do is wait, watch, and enjoy the race.
*It looks like the showdown over funding the Federal Budget for the rest of this fiscal year will continue to drag on in a week to week mode. Both long term plans failed to even come close to garnering the needed 60 votes in the Senate, so another 3 week short term plan has been floated to keep the government running. Who knows what it will take to find a middle ground between the GOP house, White House, and something 60 Senators can agree on. Right now they aren't even touching the vast majority of the budget and haggling to death over domestic discretionary funds, which is like an argument over the change jar while the fiscal house burns down around them.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Now the Bruins are on the opposite side of a controversial hit. Mamouth Defenseman and Captain Zdeno Chara was thrown out of a game last night against the rival Montreal Canadiens after shoving Max Pacioretty face first into the divder between the Bruins bench and the score keepers booth. Like Savard, Pacioretty had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher and right to a local hospital. I want a Bruins fan to come forward and really explain to me how the Chara hit on Pacioretty was different from Cooke’s hit on Savard. Neither was done with an intent to possibly end a guys career, but both were dangerous hits in the “gray area” between establishing a physical game and gladiatorial chaos on ice. I’m not saying this to condemn Chara, I’m saying it because I’m sure the self-righteous and pious Bruin fans will see no problem with the hit last night, while they continue to push for public flogging, Abu Ghraib styled tortures, and ultimate crucifixion of M. Cooke.
In this way sports is alot like politics. If a guy (or girl) on your team, party, or side of the aisle or spectrum, is embroiled in a scandal its always viewed as a rightous public servant being harrased or persecuted by the other side, media, corporations, unions, or whatever boogeyman is a plausible explanation. While if it is someone that you don't like, they are a dirty, rotten, corrupt politician who oozes slime as they slither down the hallways of power making shady backroom deals by the dozen as they go. Like so many things in life, perspective plays a larger role in our judgements then any sort of objective evidence. Some days it seems like the worlds of both sports and politics can be boiled down to a giant rorschach test in which we view exactly what we always want to see.
Monday, March 7, 2011
*Ryan Callahan had the game of his life on Sunday afternoon as the New York Rangers whitewashed the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Flyers, who all of a sudden seem eminently beatable after dominating the first five months of the season. Goalies in Philadelphia tend to thaw out as the birds return and the flowers bloom, and April, May, and June are the harshest months for Orange and Black clad netminders. Henrik Lundqvist meanwhile remains a rock solid rubber stopper for the Blueshirts and hasn’t let up more than 3 goals since January 25th, the thinking here is that he may be able to vault the Rangers into darkhorse Cup contenders this Spring.
*The US Senate will take up two proposed bills to provide funding for the rest of the federal government's fiscal year, the GOP passed House Bill, and the New Democrat compromise plan. Both cut billions from President Obama's budget, but neither is predicted to bridge the 60 vote threshold needed to get out of the Senate. They are however expected to lay out the groundwork for future debate and compromise.
*The New Jersey Devils continue their most unlikely of quests for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East, which if they could claw their way into, would be one of the most incredible in-season turn around stories in the history of professional sports. I still believe they will burn out from playing each and every game as if it is the 7th of the Stanley Cup finals, and the law of averages states that they inevitably will start losing some of these 1 goal decisions. The authoritative statistical probability website, Sports Club Stats, still only has them listed as being a 1.8% chance to make it into the playoffs this season, but if they can complete this absolutely astronomical turnaround, the Devil will be a very scary matchup for one of the top 4 seeds in the East.
*Speaker of the House John Boehner is putting together his legal options to challenge Obama's plans to not enforce DOMA laws. This little culture war salvo is a bit unexpected given the current focus on fiscal issues and the laser-like focus on job creation promised by GOP leadership.
*It seems like Mario Lemieux was once again right, and the NHL and pompous Canadian media blowhards were wrong in regards to a situation with the League. After Mario blasted the league for not throwing the book at Trevor Gillies and the New York Islanders in the wake of an absolute travesty of a contest on February 11th which saw Gillies concuss young forward Eric Tangradi with a blindside elbow to the head, continue to pound on him as Tangradi lay helpless on the ice, and mock him from the runway as the training staff attended to the injured skater. Tangradi has yet to return to action, but after the league mandated 9 game suspension, Gillies was back at it again on Wednesday night. He saw less then 4 shifts and 2 minutes of ice time before he once again took a blindside flying elbow to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck, who is now out with a
*Both sides in the debate over the State budget and the future of public sector unions remain entrenched in their hardline positions. Governer Scott Walker continues to insist upon stripping the unions of their collective bargaining powers and forcing them to recertify every year. Democratic State senators stay in self imposed exile so that legislation remains at a standstill in Madison.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Supreme Court today upheld the Free Speech rights of this extremely unpopular minority view. Did it hurt to see those bastards 'win' a victory in the Highest Court in the Land? Of course it did. As I mulled it over however, I came to a recognition that it was the right decision. The Courts are not there to protect popular people saying popular things, they don't need the help. The Courts are there to protect the rights of unpopular people who do not violate any laws. As much as I despise their point of view, the church protestors have been very careful not to violate any established laws while making their obnoxious and rancid statement at the worst possible time and place. The right to free speech supersedes good taste.
The importance of this point was really driven home by another event half way around the world in Pakistan, where Shabaz Bhatti, the Government Minister for Religious Minorities, and the only Christian in the Government was brazenly gunned down and murdered for his vocal opposition to the countries harsh blasphemy laws. Here was someone who willingly forfeited his life over a manner of speech. It is obvious from what happened to him that his message made him extremely unpopular with some in his homeland. But he was willing to take a stand and die for his deeply held convictions in the power of free speech. That we all could be so bold.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
According to a DC sportswriter being interviewed by Mark Madden last Monday, Capitals bench boss and resident NHL whiner Bruce Boudreau apparently gets hot under the collar anytime a reporter merely mentions the Steckel hit. Of course, there is not shortage of subjectsthat raises Boudreau's blood pressure; standing up is probably a daunting task for him. But my misguided point in this post is whether or not the Penguins will seek any further retribution against Steckel now that they will see him six times a year?
My guess is NO. The shorthanded Pens have already met the Caps twice since the Winter Classic and while the Penguins tough guys continued to challenge Steckel to a fight during the first matchup( Much to the ire of Boudreau of course), he did finally drop the gloves against the much smaller Tim Wallace. That would seem to settle the score if there is such thing as a finite hockey code, but as we learned last month on Long Island, enough is not enough for some people. The Bruins haven't gotten enough of Matt Cooke still challenge and target him every chance they get so what's to say the Pens don't call up Ogie Ogilthorpe and have him take a Flying Gillies at Steckel before pummelling the back of his head while he is unconscious on the ice? the answer to that would be simple : organizational class.