Monday, June 14, 2010

dion named leafs captain and other things we already knew

the country's worst kept secret in ages: that dion phaneuf was going to be named captain of the toronto maple leafs. the most surprising part was probably that it happened on a monday.

what, you weren't surprised by that ??? yeah.... you're right. me neither.

while i do believe it's totally possible for dion to succeed in toronto (brian burke put all of the betting money on his #1 defender thriving if applauded for being an egotistical loudmouth, and brian burke is no stooge), i also think it's hella early/late days to be saying shit like this:

"... He's a puck-moving defenceman with a gift for scoring, while at the same time is an imposing presence in his own end. The team played much better after he arrived, and his enthusiasm in the room was noticed by coach Ron Wilson."
----------toronto star

here's my commentary:

1. throwing around terms like "puck moving defenseman" and "imposing presence" are not necessarily false ---and they were pretty much bang on back in 06/07... currently, i'd say that dion definitely moves pucks towards the net (albeit about 5 feet overtop) and there's no dodging the fact the dude can hit. unfortunately, the hits often come at the expense of the play, and occur mere moments before the puck finds the back of the net he's meant to be defending... plus, i think kaberle is a far stronger puck mover, though nobody seems to want him wearing the new/old stripey leafs sweater.

2. "the team played much better after he arrived," while true, PROBABLY had more to do with the fact that js giguere arrived at the same time. also, ridding ones' team of vesa toskala could be a big contributing factor. oh, and there was also a 'changing of the guard', so to speak, with hagman, stajan, mayers & white's spots being usurped by newbies (which no doubt made some sort of difference). ie: inferring that dion's arrival was the key to a better team might be.... well... embellished (TBD).

3. "a gift for scoring" must be referring to elisha cuthbert, cause there's no way in hell it's referring to anything hockey-related. even leaf fans aren't gonna eat that tripe.

speaking of leaf fans eating tripe: how's that "new" jersey ?



mikeH said...

1. "puck moving defenseman" - I don't remember him ever being an equipment assistant, maybe in Toronto that is part of the captain's job description.

2. "team played much better..." - In all seriousness (and smugness), how could they play any worse? The Leafs (sic) were horrid.

3. "gift for scoring" - do you think this adds support to the rumour about Dion hitting it with someone's wife before getting shipped?

4. We all know why he made captain... Because he's such a good singer: Phaneuf Karaoke

By the way, this story even made the radio news on the Q in Victoria. I swear this just proves that Toronto is losing on purpose. All I can hope is that the flames don't sink far enough next year to be looking up the standings and see Dion's ugly mug staring back.

Arik said...

Haha, good stuff WI. Phaneuf being named C is just a new level of bizarreness. Remember when he was "The Future" Captain for us?

PS You'll get the whole story behind the hat and the scarf and Pronger at some point this summer when things are really depressing and we can't even laugh at the Leafs.

mikeH said...

Something else we already knew? Soccer is garbage. I just looked it up, out of the first 11 games, 6 have been draws. Seriously, more than half ended in a tie. How is this interesting to anyone?

Plus, the author of "Soccernomics" was on the radio the other day saying (Kent will like this) that the winner of the World Cup is basically decided by chance. The game is so low scoring, that at the highest level a fluke goal basically decides the entire tournament. He actually said on the radio that the champion of the World Cup is rarely the best team. Might as well watch gymnastics or some other quasi-sport.

walkinvisible said...

didn't we dub that a smort ?

mikeH said...

smort (n.) - Any of a group of athletic and artistic endeavours which are judged in competition (e.g. diving, gymnastics, figure skating, ballroom dancing). The word is a contraction of "smiling" and "sport" because of the apparent scoring benefit (or reduction) realized in these events from smiling (or not smiling) throughout the performance.

Unfortunately, I would have to concede that soccer still qualifies as an actual, fully fledged, team sport. Just a very, very, very, VERY boring one.

awildermode said...

i am so glad i got that 06/07 flames jersey with phaneuf's name and number on it.

maybe i should wear it the next time i am in toronto.

Kent W. said...

Haha, "smort". Couldn't have come up with anything better myself.

My first serious girlfriend competed in Highland Dancing, which itself was a highly competitive little niche. It was, of course, judged. She told me about all the unseen politics that constantly operated beneath the surface of the competitions.

Personally, I couldn't fathom "competing" in something like that.

As for soccer...I just don't get it. I watched about 20 minutes of it recently and the only goal scored during the game was a stupid penalty kick.

adamH said...

There's a sport where they play 5 on five. Have a big ball. And a small net placed way up in the air. These guys manage to put that ball in the net 30,40,50 times a game (assuming a 100 point game being a mixture of 2 or 3 point shots).

Soccer incorporates 11 per side, a small ball, and a big net. 0-0 or 1-1 are acceptable scores after 90 minutes of play.

Either basketball needs better defense or soccer offense. I can't watch either.

mikeH said...

No doubt, soccer and basketball are pretty dull when stacked up next to hockey. Personally, I also like football and dislike baseball, but I guess I can kind of see why people take the opposite positions so I'm not quite so militant.

As far as smorts, generally I think they're a waste of everyone's time. How it could possibly matter in a competition whether your skating costume has lots of sequins or your makeup stays on in the synchro pool (so weird, eh?) is well beyond me. People like to talk about how much training and physical ability go into them, on which I would never argue. Its just that its fundamentally impossible to decide who is the "best" in any meaningful sense.

At the winter games this year they actually found that in freestyle aerials, if you fist pumped as though you personally thought you had a good jump, your score went up accordingly. They gave us medals for this crap. Unbelievable.

mikeH said...

Wow, soccer just came out of the closet:

Soccer officially announces it is gay

Another thing we already knew.

Kent W. said...

At the winter games this year they actually found that in freestyle aerials, if you fist pumped as though you personally thought you had a good jump, your score went up accordingly. They gave us medals for this crap.

I guess this shouldn't really be surprising. After all, in hockey where the outcome is more or less objectively determined (depending on who's reffing), there's still people who watch the Flames and decide that, because Nystrom is likable, he's also a pretty good hockey player.

walkinvisible said...

i'm pretty sure that's exactly how/why we ended up with staios.