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Wednesday, February 01, 2006 

Sound, Unsound and Refound

Sound Thinking?

This has really been the season of highlites in the NHL this year. We all remember the Ovechkin goal, and Malik's shootout goal, big saves by Aebischer and Fleury, and countless pretty plays by Crosby, just to name a few. Well, the hockey highlite real grew tired of being limited to the NHL lately, and recently decided to recruit some AHL action into the fold. In particular a goal by Robert Nilsson of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers is making the rounds this week. A first round pick in the 2003 NHL entry draft, Nilsson has split his time this year between the Islanders (6 points in 25 games) and Bridgeport (20 points in 21 games). What better way to give note that you want to be called up again than to score a goal that will be shown over and over again across the nation? CNN Headline News even aired it twice an hour during its daily run sportscasts. Reminiscent of the Crosby goal from his time in Rimouski, Nilsson took it to the next level. If you haven't seen it yet, follow this link: Nilsson's Goal . I'm sure most of you have seen it already, but it's worth another look. Not only was it a highlight real goal, but it also helped Bridgeport hold on and eventually take the match in a shootout. Their defeat of the first-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins allowed them to hang onto the final playoff spot in the AHL's Eastern Conference.

You don't hear much about the AHL these days, up to and including what exactly is going on with Alex Mogilny , and there may be a reason why. As Sean Bergenheim, one of Nilssons teammates, explains "There's not too many players with that much skill in this league." So deep is his skill that he was able to get a whole 6 points in 25 games in the NHL this year. And with that, until I hear something more about Mogilny, so closes my commentary on the AHL for the year.


Backlash

Apparently Celtics fans are very, very vocal. Concerning my post regarding the Celtics coming up on the short end of their trade, I received more emails telling me I'm an idiot than I knew I had readers. Like 10 times as many. That is to say, 20 emails, but that is still an extreme amount. The long and short of the details (leaving out the profanity) is that Celtics fans are happy to be rid of both Blount and Banks, no matter the cost. This is an interesting perspective, I had no idea that Blount and especially Banks had done enough to warrant such hate. But 20 emails when you only have 12 readers doesn't lie. I clearly underestimated the negative effect that those players can have on both their teammates and fans even. If they really are such a negative influence, then getting an expiring contract and a first round pick in return might be a pretty good deal. I also still think, however, that the trade works out well for Minnesota. With a fresh start, Blount and Banks might ride the results of their actions in Boston to more sound and professional careers in the land of the lakes.

It's also not like Boston is getting choir boys in return. Or any quality outside of Wally, who I still feel is slightly less valuable than Ricky. Bill Walton said it best when he said:

"Anytime you bring Michael Olowokandi on to your team, disaster is soon to follow"

Trading two malcontents for only one could be looked at as positive, but I think 29 GM's out of 30 would take Blount over Kandi any day. They could also think that given a chance, Banks could turn into a very good player. If the Celtics, however, have already given up on this season, and are looking to next year, this trade is a good one for them. But only if they have committed to giving up on this year. The level of talent in Boston in the short run has certainly decreased. As Charles Barkley said:

"This deal totally shifts the balance of power in the East. Now we can add the Celtics to the list of teams that UConn could beat"

Blount wasn't an excellent rebounder, but could get 12-15 points a night. A Kandi, Perkins, LaFrentz tandem is a huge downgrade in on court play, and I also think it will be hard for the Celtics to find someone as good as Blount in the offseason. The state of centers in the league right now is beyond sad. Just ask the Raptors how easy it has been to find a center since Keon left. But again, the backlash from Celtics fans has me really questioning the hearts of and negative impact that Blount and Banks could bring. Only time will tell if they will work out in Minnesota. But if trading for below value just to get malcontents out of town is what Boston fans enjoy, then I know a certain Babcock or two who might be good fits if the Celtics are ever looking to hire a new GM. He is the king of devaluing and giving away malcontent players, and may be a great fit in Boston.

McCabe Watch

Bryan McCabe was back on the point for the Leafs tonight, and his effect was felt immediately as he brought the old Butt Bomb out of retirement, laying a huge bomb early on. Fittingly, the announcer had the following to say about it:

"That's something that's been missing from the lineup - the old double cheeked hit. The last one was Carlo Colaiacovo's, and he still hasn't recovered from it"

That is referring, of course, to Carlo's attempted hip check that he unfortunately telegraphed from 10 feet away, allowing the intended hit to slip out of the way while he bounced off of him and went concussing head first into the boards. Outside of the butt bomb, however, McCabe's presence was felt on the point, both on the power play and in the defensive end. The Leafs only picked up a single point in this game, losing in a shoot out, but you could tell the team plays a lot more comfortably with Bryan on the point. The defensive end of his game is under appreciated , and justifiably so, based on his mediocre play there early in his career. But his game has turned around, and the play last night really looked different in the Leafs end than it had in the previous 9 games. Welcome back, Bryan, the Leafs missed you way too much.

It was great to see McCabe back tonight. I think we'll see the Leafs make a little run here over the next few weeks, before the Olympics.

I don't know, at one point in the final five minutes it looked like the Leafs were short handed, and it was 5 on 5. I did not see the rest of the game though I heard McCabe made a bad defensive play that cost the second goal.

Man I hate shootouts!

It was great to see McCabe back.
0 points,-1 lousy defense,some things never change.

no points and -1 from a guy who is a plus and over a point a game... yeah, that falls under some things never change, doesnt it? nice contribution shitbrain

I *heart* BOOBS

Shitbrain and boobs, huh? Is that really what this has come to? Like really really?

To the shitbrain reference, i think what the poster was implying was that the begining to this season was a fluke, and mccabe was back to his old ways. Trust me, it took like 30 games into this season before i was willing to drop the fluke label from mccabes play. honestly, i am NOT a mccabe fan, as much as this blog would suggest otherwise. his play just convinced me to change my mind. 5 or 10 games like past years again and who knows.

anyway, the point being that shitbrains comments are valid in that context. lets just all wait and see how mccabe comes off of the injury after a few games, THEN we can start the name calling. Deal?

McCabe is just a powerplay specialist taking advantage of all the penalties being called this year.Lets see what he does in the olympics,maybe the same as cujo did.

And to I *heart* BOOBS.
must be a McCabe fan.

man, when i posted the "I *heart* BOOBS" i was just trying to lighten things up a bit...i wasn't even refering to McCabe...doesn't anyone watch SNL?? help me out here Kent!

yeah, and it did lighten it up..... must be a mccabe fan = mccabe is a boob... it was a great spin on the joke. shitbrain's pretty funny...

Thanks Kent for explaining my little joke.I think we can all see who the real SHITBRAIN is.

Best regards from NY! »

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