That was better!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It was musical lines again tonight for the Habbies (as supposed to musical chairs). After getting blanked by the Capitals the other night, I was seriously wondering which Habs team was going to show up tonight. Was it going to be the really good team that hasnt been seen since they blanked the Senators or was it going to be the team that lost terribly to Toronto, Boston and Washington (and whoever else I forgot to mention)?

It turned out that it was in-between actually. The Habs got off to a pretty good start but none of their shots went past the Sabres backup goalie - which was sad considering that Lalime has a .884 save percentage. Around the same as Theodore the other night. The Sabres opened up the scoring in the first period with a power-play goal after Sergei Kostitsyn got himself a penalty for slashing. Scoring then ceased until the second period when Andrei Kostitsyn got the puck past on his second attempt after the first attempt bounced off Lalime. Things were looking pretty good until the Habs made a terrible pass to try to get the puck out of their own end which ended up giving the puck to the Sabres. Of course that turned into another goal for Thomas Vanek (he scored the first one) and had me screaming at the TV because it was clear that the goal was entirely preventable. Begin and Markov eventually came to the rescue with one goal each over the rest of the second period. Markov actually looked happy that he scored. Imagine that. Anyway, the third period could have seen some goals scored, especially by the Habs when they had a 5 on 3 power-play but nothing ended up happening.

All in all, except for that really dumb passing error, I thought that the second period was good. They did a good job of keeping the puck out of their own end for the most part which is always nice. They had a fair number of shots - and decent ones too - on goal. The first and third periods weren't so cool (again), which is something that has to change. The Habs can and better play 60 mins of hockey. You can't just get into this whole "well, one period is enough" because it often isn't. And before we start on how it was enough to beat the Stanley Cup champions, the Red Wings are clearly having some technical difficulties, having just lost 4-1 to Boston (Detroit has dropped three out of the last four games. And in theory, anyone should be able to beat Colombus, so that win doesn't count for all that much).

I also have a few other complaints. 1) they still need to find the back of the net more. That espcially inclues the power-play. Wasting a 5 on 3 like that is not cool. And it was wasted. the Sabres weren't fantastically wonderful (but they were still good!) at killing the penalty. It was just the Habs were not getting the puck first off to the net - who's idea was it to spend the entire penalty passing the puck around? and second, second, when they did get it near the net, they couldn't put it in the back of the net. 2) Sergei Kostitsyn needs to stop with the stupid penalties. Right now. 3) is it just me or is Lang not doing a heck of a lot when he gets out there? Everytime I see him get the puck he seems overeager to pass it off to someone else even though he should be perfectly capable of taking a shot on the goal (which he was more often than not standing right in front of!). We're not supposed to be paying the guy a pile of money to just skate around and pass the puck around like a hot potatoe. It's like he's afraid to touch it. Maybe I'm just missing something here. Later: apparently it is just me because everyone seems to think that he did a good job with... six shots on goal. Fine.

Anyway, this was not one of those games were the Habs played like $%^& and got away with a win. It was a good effort, and barring those few issues, a game that they really should be looking to build on when they meet the very lowly Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday. If they do what they've been doing lately against bad teams then it will be lights out of the Habbies and there will be blood. Well, okay, no blood. I just felt like saying that because I'm tired and felt like saying something silly. But there will be angry fans.

Oh and what was with Komisarek in the suit behind the Canadiens' bench? Apparently I was the only person in the entire city who didn't know that he was going to be there... go figure. Well, maybe Komisarek should consider coaching the Habs fulltime instead of going back to playing... I'm kidding of course...

Random fact of the hour: Just a day after blanking the Habs, the Capitals got blanked themselves by...wait for it, the Columbus Blue Jackets. I'm just dying here....

I wonder if this post will show up as "Sunday, Nov 30" or "Saturday, Nov 29th"?

This should be interesting...........or not....

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tonight's game between the Washington Capitals and the Habs should prove interesting. Not because both are particularly wonderful right now - if the Habs come out and win three good games in a row then I will say that they are doing well - but because I want to see who can cope the best with having a pile of their players out with injuries. Apparently the Capitals have around nine players out while the Habs could have up to three out. Tanguay is most likely out after getting flattened by Brad Stuart in Detroit, and Kovalev and Josh Gorges could be out as well. No idea what happened to Kovalev but Gorges' knee took a beating trying to stop a shot by Lidstrom.

The one huge problem I see with tonight for the Habs is Ovechkin. The guy has finally woken up and decided that he would like to go back to scoring a pile of goals again. While this is great news if you're a Caps fan, this is of course really bad news for the Habs who need to show that they can play more than one period of good offense. The Habs need to get scoring, and get scoring early, and defintely keep Ovechkin from getting anywhere near the net - although even that isn't a guarantee that he won't score. While I understand the need to put Halak in goals sometimes, I can't help but feel that perhaps this isn't the game to put him in. Why couldn't he have played against the Islanders? And then again against Buffalo? We really could use someone who is really good in nets and I"m not saying that Halak isn't good but there is a reason why Halak is the backup goalie...... Oh well. Let's hope everyone but Ovechkin turns in a great performance.

In other random useless news: I got bored last night so I watched Ottawa play Toronto. Yes, I did. I only caught the last period (like I'm really going to sit through a full 60 mins of that?!) but it was really boring. There is a good reason why both teams are near the bottom. At the time they were 25 and 27 I believe and they played like it. On the NHL website they were saying that the lack of scoring (after both scored in the first 5 mins of the game no one scored again until the shootouts) was due to the good goaltending. I saw a few good saves - especially from Toskala - but I mostly saw two teams that forgot how to hit the puck into the net. There was quite a bit of shots but most of them completely missed the net. I would expect that from Toronto but not from Ottawa's top (only?) offensive line. Oh well. Ottawa won in shootouts which was sad. Heh.

Later... Another first for the season: Habs get blanked 3-0. Is is seriously too much to ask for the Habs to put two consistant games together?!!!! Apparently it is because the offense was no good again tonight. The game looked oddly like the one against Detroit only in reverse. The Caps did a good job of defending and left the Habs' offense not that much room to manoever. That being said, there was some room. There was actually quite a few really good chances in the second period, but the offense could not get it together to put the puck into the back of the net. After the Caps opened up the scoring in the first period after a botched up pass by Boullion near the Habs's net, there was more scoring until the third period when Ovechkin and.... someone else scored - I was attempting to read something in Russian and kind of missed the goal. I was fully expecting the Caps to score at least that many goals but I was not exactly expecting the Habs to not score....

The good - Ovechkin was actually terrible tonight. I honestly thought he would be better tonight but he was limited to one goal in the third period. He missed so many chances it wasn't even funny. Well, actually, it was amusing for me, but yeah.... Considering it's Ovechkin, it was sad.

The bad - The score makes Halak look bad which is completely unfair for him. For some reason everytime he is in nets, the Habs go off and die, making Halak look bad. Halak was the team tonight. Again. I was surprised at how well he did tonight - yeah, okay, so I underestimate him all the time. I'm working on it. He did very well. No beating up on Halak. Oh and speaking of goalies, I don't believe for one second that Theodore should have been given the first star tonight either. He can thank the defense of his team and the stupid Habs for the shutout.

The downright ugly - The Habs' offense. They are obviously very capable of doing well so what's the problem here? I have no idea but something has to be done to get these overpaid guys to work consistantly. Right now I see a team that only comes out and plays well after they've lost a few in a row and the fans and the media starts getting tough on them. So either we have to diss the Habs continually or someone needs to take charge of the team and get them motivated to come out and win because *they* want to do well, not because the fans want them to do well.

The sad part - In essence, the Habs were playing a team that was made of a lot of AHL players with the Caps having to call up a pile of players last night.

The annoying - It's AW-vech-kin!!!!!! AW!!!

All hail Viggo Mortensen!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Well.. maybe that's going a tad bit too far. But follow his example anyway. Viggo is, as you should know, the guy who played Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings movies. As you may have heard, he was in Toronto a few months ago for a film festival thing. As you may have noticed at the time, he was walking around the Maple Leafs' city in a Habs shirt. While that is just plain awsome because well, to walk around in Toronto with a Habs shirt on is gusty to begin with and annoying them is just so darn fun - I have found out another reason why Viggo is awsome. He supports San Lorenzo too! ...what do you mean I've never mentioned San Lorenzo? I'm sure I have....okay, well, they're a football team - a very good football team - in Argentina. I'm sure I've mentioned that I try to follow them too... Yes, I have to cut down on all these different teams, it's making my brain explode. But I was following San Lorenzo before Lugano so nyah! Anyway.... I think everyone should be as enlightened as Viggo and go out and support the Habs and San Lorenzo. Now if I can just persuade him to watch tennis then he would be truly beyond amazing. As it is, we'll just settle for amazing.

Names... names... and more names....

I've been dying to write this up for a loooong time now. Almost every time I watch some sport in English I just want to go and scream at the people to pronounce the people's names incorrectly. I really feel like it's important to get someone's name right and while I understand that some names are difficult, at least make the effort to say it right! Just because it's not English sounding doesn 't mean we should just discount it. Right? Right. You would be upset if someone messed up your name when your name is something like "Smith". Right? Right. Now let's get started then. My list of the top eight names that no one gets right.

Disclaimer: I don't pretend to be an expert on proper pronunciation of the names. But at least I try....!

Disclamer 2: I'm obviously not anti-English. My first language is English. I just get annoyed when anyone says people's names wrong simply because they don't bother to check if it's right.

1. Alexander Oveckin. Okay, this guy's name is such a source of me screaming on a regular basis because NO ONE gets it right. In Russian there are several different ways to pronounce vowels. Depending on where they are in a word they have different amounts of being voiced. I don't pretend to be an expert in Russian but I have spent countless hours trying to track down the correct way to say it. Now, listen to anyone who isn't Russian say his name and they will say "Oh-vech-kin".Wrooooooooooong. The "O", in this case, is pronounced "awh" like "awsome". So it's "Awh-vech-kin". So like AWH! not OH!

2. Marin Cilic. Yes, we've been here before. But this one drives me nuts as well. It's written as Čilić in Croatian. When there's al ittle Č then it's pronounced like the CH in "church". The second ć has a little doodad thing which means it's like a "ts" sound. So it's "Chee-lee-tch". Or as close to that as you can get. The first C is not like a S in English! And goes for ever other name you see in Croatian and Serbian (like Ancic!!!!). The C is always hard.

3. Dirk Kuyt. This was another one that gives me a headache. Thankfully I don't watch Liverpool play that much but still... totally beside point. I just knew that this was going to be one that no one was going to get right. I know even less about Dutch than I do about Russian and Croatian/Serbian but I spent a loooong time looking this one up. From what I can gather most announcers say "kite" and "kOW-t" and "k-ooi-t- which is really weird even if you don't know anything about Dutch. After listening to plenty of audio, I believe the proper way to say his name is "k-au-t." (with the "au" being like German). I know that that makes no sense at all but I didn't make up the Dutch alphabet! Ask a Dutch speaking person if you really want to get it down *G*

4. Pavel Datsyuk. This actually brings up a very annoying thing with English speaking announcers. I have been told that English speakers cannot make the sound "ts". I always found this extremely weird because English is my first language, I've grown up with English speaking parents and I have never ever had trouble with that sound. But apparently some people have trouble. His last name is writen like this in Russian: Дацюк Which ends up like this in the Latin alphabet: D-a-ts-yu-k. Now, listen to most guys saying this on TV and most of the time they will say "Dat-sook". They either seperate the "ts" which is supposed to be one sound or they live out the "y" altogether. Someone please, please, tell this guys how to pronouce the "ts" sound! it's really easy if you just practice!

5. Andrei and/or Sergei Kostitsyn. I actually have no idea how to say this. I've tried numerous times to figure it out and I'm still stuck on it. The closet that I've been able to come up with is kas- tsee-tsin which still feels wrong somehow. Written in the Cyrillic alphabet that they use in Belaruse you get this: Касьціцын which is something along the lines of: k-a-s-softening sound-ts-ee-ts-i-n. A letter got dropped and one got changed along the way from Belarussian to Russian to English. I think it should look something like "Kastsitsin" in English but I guess that's too many Ss and Ts.... Someone should really ask them how to say their name right...!

6. Marc-Andre Fleury. Well, I had to come up with a French name sooner or later. I should be used to English speakers not getting French names right but it's annoying. In French, the Rs way down in your throat, unlike in English where you put your tongue at the front of your mouth, just behind your teeth. When I hear English speakers say Fleury's name it sounds like "flury". French Rs = back of the throat! That goes for every single French player who has a French name that you see (like Bergeron!)

7. While we're talking about Rs... David Ferrer. The poor Spanish guy may be completely over shadowed by a certain other spanish guy who has no Rs in his last name, but that doesn't mean that we should just forget about him and not try to say his name right (we should just forget about him and say his name right). Rs are rolled in Spanish! It's sounds like "Feh-err" in English... hehehe.... Oh and his first name is "Dah-veed" not "Day-vid". Same with David Nalbandian. "Dah-veed"!

8. Novak Djokovic. Again. Normally people ask the players themselves when they want to know how to say their names right. Unfortunately, Novak seems to want to confuse the heck out of us by giving us two different ways of saying his name. Fun, eh? In Cyrillic it's written as: Ђоковић and in the Latin alphabet it's Đoković, neither of which help us actually because the main problem with the guy's name is the first "o". Much like the problem with Ovechkin's name, the O can be said either as "oh" or "aw". So which is it? As Djokovic himself has given both, I have no idea. I did hunt down a clip on youtube where the commentators are Serbian and they say "djoh-ko-vich" not "djaw-ko-vich". So for now it's "djoh-ko-vich" until someone makes up their mind for sure.

9. Zdeno Chara. Anyone who watches Chelsea play will know of Petr Cech. And we should all know by now that his last name is something along the lines of "Check" because there's a little thing on top of the C like in Cilic's name. Now Czech and Slovak being almost the same in terms of pronunciation, it would follow that Chara's name would be pronounced "kah-ra" not "chah-ra" or "sha-rah" as I keep hearing. Sounds weird to say it that way, but if we had gotten it right to begin with then all would be fine.

10. Marian Hossa. Until someone proves me wrong I will continue to say "hAW-sa" not "HOH-sa" like every other English speaking guy on TV says. I have looked high and low for a little doodad on top of the O that would indicate that it's "oh" and not "aw" but I haven't found one. And trust me, I looked. I spent about an hour looking for the national Slovak hockey site trying to find his name in there. I eventually found it when he played a gazillion years ago for the national team and actually scored a goal. Anyway, so assuming that I've done my homework right - and I will be the first to change it if someone proves me wrong - it really should be "haw-sa".

11. Fernando Torres. Yes, I know I said "top 10". But I had to add this one. Torres would be easy, you would think. In theory. In practical reality however, I keep hearing people say "torr-ES". It's "TOR-es". With those nice Rs rolled. But more importantly, accident goes at the beginning, not the end!

Time to find my good luck squirrel....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chelsea died against Bordeaux. They tied 1-1. They just came out so flat and got themselves so many yellow cards. *wails* Stupid Chelsea pulled a Habs move and went to sleep! So now Chelsea has to win against... Cluj, I think they have to play next, and Bordeaux has to lose to Roma. There is no reason why that shouldnt happen.... right? Right. Poor Cech. He was the whole team for most of the game. And then Bordeaux gets a corner kick and Chelsea fall asleep and the ball goes in. *wails again* Liverpool won 1-0 against Marseille. I didn't see any of it because my stupid TV stations all decided to play the same game! How stupid is that? Anyway, I think Gerrard scored for Liverpool so at least that's that (okay, so I wanted Torres to score but I always want Torres to score).

Habs vs Red Wings tonight. This promises to be a disaster for the poor Habbies. I'm just hoping that they'll at least come out try their best instead of coming out and dying. I think I should go find my good luck squirrel now.... I named one of the squirrels that comes around my house Hab (what? He didn't look like an Andrei or an Alexei. His sister got named Carey *g*). Maybe I should find him and hope that he brings 'em good luck. Okay, so it didn't work in the playoffs (in his defense, he was just a baby at the time) and he's been shirking on his good luck charmish duties in the last few games but we shall see what happens! I just have to go looking around in all the trees now for him....

Later: Now do that again! Habs win 3-1 over Red Wings

I couldn't find the lucky squirrel but it turns out I didn't need him anyway. The Habs decided to surprise me by actually winning in regulation time over the Wings. I'm quite surprised by this whole outcome. Look, I know that there will be those who will say that the Detroit didn't come out with their best game and if they had then the score would probably be 5-0 in the Wings's favor. Fine. I accept that. Kind of. The Red Wings did indeed appear to come out somewhat flat tonight. But that is totally beside the point. The point is that for the first time in a long time the Habs actually looked like a team instead of a bunch of talented guys who all can't work together for some reason. On top of that they looked like a team that was ready to pull together and work really hard to not get blanked by the Wings. They had something to prove after that loss to the Islanders. And they proved their point: You snooze you lose. I mean that. I don't know what was going on with Detroit but if they were looking for a win after that little episode in Vancouver, they should have done better. I was really impressed with how the Habs did tonight. I seriously don't care if the Wings were the worst team in the league. What matters is how the Habs came out tonight and performed.

I was actually happy with how the first period went. 0-0 meant that the Habs hadn't been demolished by the Wings right away. I thought the Habs' defense looked pretty alive and perky (perky? I thought only Roger Federer could be perky!) tonight. Which is good. Especially when you're playing Detroit. Price made a really risky save as.... some Red Wing guy got an almost breakaway. Price skated way out of the net and pushed the puck away. Don't want to imagine what would have happened if that had gone awry.

Obviously the second period was fantastic. Do I care that two of the goals were helped in by the Wings themselves? Hardly. Goals like that - and worse! - happen. We should be happy that one of 'em was on the power-play. And that we actually got three. I was just sitting there amazed that they were actually able to keep the puck in Detroit's end for that long. Very nice.

We can pretty much forget about the third period but I'll pretend that the offense didn't do anything because they were more concerned about making sure that Detroit didn't score. Which they did actually... but at leas they were limited to one goal. It was a really nice goal by Franzen who outmanoeuverd O'Byrne and a couple of other players to get a shot past Price. Totally not O'Byrne's fault. Franzen is definitely one of Detroit's best players even if he gets over shadowed by people like Hossa and Zetterberg. And he showed everyone why tonight.

I was not impressed with the refs tonight. I thought they missed a lot of stuff on both sides. And no, I'm not just talking about Brad Stuart flattening Tanguay (I did say "both sides", yes?). There quite a bit of tripping by the Canadiens among other things and there was quite a bit of passing with the hand on both sides. At least Detroit has nice ice.

So now what? Well, unlike the last time they played really well and then promptly died, I'm just praying to the hockey gods that the Habs will keep this great display up and beat Washington (did I mention that Ovechkin got himself a hat-trick tonight? Seems he's woken up) and Buffalo (who beat the Bruins tonight).

Oh and Penguins beat the Islanders 5-3. While it sounds like the Penguins decimated their opponents they really only woke up in the middle of the third period to beat the Islanders. Someone should remind the Penguins that you are allowed to score earlier in the game.

And there goes another goalie....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm interested in seeing how the New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks end up at the end of the season. Both teams have relied heavily on their goalies to get them where are they are now. With Brodeur out until the spring almost and Luongo now out for anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks, both teams will now have to come up with a way to find sucess without their star players. New Jersey's problem is a little more worrisome in that they have had the luxury of having Brodeur for a long time and they haven't really - from what I understand - seen the need to find a good solid backup goalie. After losing Brodeur NJ went 1 for 6 before winning their last four in a row. I've yet to determine whether it is because they've finally got a rhythm down or if it's because they were playing the Islanders, Florida and Tampa Bay. They did have a shootout win against Washington so I suppose they has to count for something. It's too early to see how Vancouver will handle the loss of Luongo, but a win over Detroit is a good start. Maybe there is hope for us poor Habs tomorrow? Eh, maybe not.... Anyway, we definitely should not rely one hundred percent on Price because you never know when he's going to be out.... And also, it would be nice to give Halak some ice time too.

Totally forgot to mention that Josh Gorges actually scored a goal last night. The poor guy had yet to score a goal and there was all this talk about his stick being cursed (I sincerely hope that no one was taking it that whole curse thing seriously) and all that jazz but yeah, he scored. We should be celebrating that instead of beating up on O'Byrne. Yup!

More Champions League stuff this week. Real Madrid badly needed a win that would put them closer to top ranked Juventus. A loss would have put them below Bate Borisov and possibly out of contention for the Cup, which really isn't that acceptable. Despite some moments of bad passing that basically handed Bate the ball, I thought they did a good job of putting the pressure on in the first half. Drenthe was great in getting the ball into the other side. If he had just gotten the ball to the other players a little more and if they had then actually hit the ball at the net then there probably would have been more scoring. As it was, Real Madrid sort of fell asleep in the second but they hung on to their earlier first half goal by.... Raul Gonzalez (who's shot was set up by - all together now: Drenthe), I think, and won 1-0. It was snowing in Minsk. I've never actually seen a football match played when there's snow. It was funny. Yeah, I'm easily amused. Liverpool and Chelsea tomorrow. Bwahaha...

Oh. Lugano lost to Zug 5-3. How you lose to a team ranked at the bottom is beyond me.... Well, okay, maybe not... but still... ick...

Time to pick a new team!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I was actually going to say that I thought that the Habs did well tonight all things considered. "Was" being the operative word here. After leading the Islanders 3-1, the PK unit went to sleep tonight and the Islanders got in another goal. I could have lived with that if the Habs had either scored more or if they had just hung onto that tiny icky lead. But nooooo. The Habs had to make my hockey life a mess by losing. They somehow managed to completely ruin their chances of winning the match by promptly scoring on themselves. Price left the net when the Islanders were called for some penalty and they - okay, Ryan O'Byrne - promptly accidently scored on the empty net. I mean HELLO?! What in the name of the crappy ice was that? And yes, the ice seemed to be crappy again. I don't know what's going on there, but this is the third game that I've noticed them playing in the Bell Center where there seems to be something wrong with the ice. Either that or no one remembered how to skate and control the puck. I guess it's possible but I still think it's the ice. Doesn't happen when they lose err play in other arenas. Anyway, once that stupid event happened, it was lights out from then on as they went to OT and the lost in shootouts. There was no way that they should have lost that match - game, whatever. No way. Boston I can understand. They're second in the whole league now. But this???!!!!! And the way we lost it?!!!! I mean c'mon.... how stupid can you be to score on yourself like that? I know it was an accident and I refuse to put all the blame for the loss on O'Byrne. Accidents happen. That was not what cost them the game. The Islanders gave the Habs every chance to beat them 5-0 tonight. Every chance. But what do they do? Die in when the Islanders had a power play, miss the net a lot (there's only so much credit I can give to the Islanders for blocking shots) and roll over and die when a stupid accident happens. There should have been no need to go to need! I really feel for O'Byrne right now. He's going to get it a lot by a lot of people which isn't fair.

I thought for the most part the offense had it together (Tanguay looked dead though) and the defense was good until the Islanders got a power play. What happened to that great PK when we played the Wild? Okay, that was a while ago, but it was good. Tonight wasn't. If that whole little debacle hadn't happened at the end then I would have almost said it went really well. I mean, yeah they looked good for a lot of it but then again, we were playing one of the worst teams in the league... I think the effort was good on both sides. If the Habs could just fix the PP issue and pretend the PK didn't die, then I think this game could be looked upon in a fairly positive note.

All that being said, I think I may just have to skip what will probably be a totally mauling by the Red is proving bad for my nerves! I wonder if it will end up worse than the totally stomping that San Jose gave to Washington. 7-2?! Against a team that has Ovechkin and Semin? Not cool....

Oh and before you start blasting me for the title, I was actually thinking of picking a team in the KHL to follow. I want to practice my non-existant Russian. Metallurg Magnitogorsk is looking interesting. They're sitting in 5th out of.. I think 25 or 26. Malkin played for them before splitting for the NHL. Maybe Dyanamo Mascow..... We'll see... Lugano plays tomorrow against Zug again. Haha, I love these European teams.

I never thought I would be saying this....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

.....especially considering how I cheered for Spain in the semis of the Davis Cup, but I'm very disappointed that Spain one today. With Del Potro out it was up to Jose Acasuso to keep Argentina's hopes alive. Now, I mean no disrespect to Acasuso, but this definitely spelled out Argentina's doom. His level of play was no where near Nalbandian's or Del Potro's. Even if he had not been playing up to his usual abilities, I still think that Del Potro would have been able to beat Verdasco. Verdasco did have moments of goodness - there was hardly any brilliant tennis in that match (brilliance is Rafa and Roger, oh and Nalbandian beating Ferrer on Friday, thank you *g*) - but on a whole if he had been up against someone better, Argentina would have gone to a fifth match. He had a lot of errors -and in particular double faults. A lot of Verdasco's easy points came on Acasuso's unforced errors. By the end of the match Acasuso was clearly spent both physically (he did call the trainer at one point) and mentally (I'm sure he was aware that this is the second time that his match has cost Argentina the Davis Cup). I feel incredibly bad for Argentina right now. They came in as the favorites and lost due to unforseen injuries. Well, partially unforseen. Surely they would have known that del Potro would have been tired coming into this event after jsut coming from Shanghai. But I doubt anyone thought that he wouldn't be able to play on Sunday. Acasuso calling the trainer at the end of the fourth set was just the straw that broke the camel's back, I think.

So it's Spain who goes home with the Silver Salad Bowl today. To their credit, Sanchez was brilliant in coaching his team. I kind of got the sense that Spain behaved more like a team than Argentina did. Funny enough, this is Spain's third Davis Cup win and the third time that they've won it in the same year as the summer Olympics. All three years Spain has gone away with a medel in the Olympics (doubles teams took home bronze in 2000, 2004, and 2008, while we all know who one gold in the singles in 2008). Well, next year if Team Federer doesn't make it to the finals - and that does seem like abit of a stretch for them to make it- then I will hope for Argentina again. Unless of course Nadal plays.....

Davis Cup and.... Sundin? *runs screaming*

Saturday, November 22, 2008

La Ensaladera de Plata

Part One. After a week of not sleeping very well, I simply crashed last night and completely forgot to say how the Davis Cup went. Well, the first match (rubber? tie? whatever they call 'em in the Cup thing) went really well if you're cheering for Argentina. Nalbandian was clearly inspird and he ran over Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. The poor Spanish no 2 had no chance. I actually didn't see the match but I think the stats speak for themselves and from what I read Nalbandian was awsome. That's good news because he will need to be awsome again when he teams up with Calleri today for the doubles match to bring Argentina up 2-1.

Yes, Del Potro lost to Lopez. I saw part of it and while Del Potro did well at the beginning he was obviously spent at the end of the 3+ hour match. After taking the first set, he lost the next two in tie breakers and the fourth one 3-6. The middle part of the match was rather boring because both sides held serve incredibly easy (try 40-0 for most of it). Lopez's big advantage (err only advantage?) is that he can serve well and it saved him in the tiebreakers. This doubles match is going to be crucial for both sides but I'm inclined to think that it's more important for Argentina to win it. If they go down 2-1 then it will be entirely on Del Potro's shoulders to beat Ferrer. While I know that Ferrer is not particularly good at the moment, I'm concerned how Del Potro will do under that type of pressure. He's been a bit shakey at the start of his matches in the Davis Cup matches. There's that confidence issue too, if he feels that he underperformed against Lopez and Ferrer does better than expected...But anyway, all in all, it's very important for Argentina to win this today.

Part 2. Later: Apparently Del Potro may be out for tomorrow. ACK! Bad news. This is really bad. Okay. Never mind what I said before. It's crucial for Argentina to win in doubles. If they don't win then their chances are.. I won't say next to nill, get the idea. As long as Verdasco plays like he did against the US (which was bad) and Calleri plays well then Argentina has a chance.

Slightly later: I'm stuck listening to radio commemtary! *kicks computer* These announcer people are really funny. In the beginning they had no idea who was who and they couldn't even tell the score because there was a guy in their way - one of them couldn't speak Spanish so he didn't know what the (French) umpire was saying. One of them also can't say Nalbandian's first name right. Poor guys. The funniest bit was when one said "the heat in here has raised". Raised? Risen! He then just said "how about 'the heat in here is rising'?"lol.... poor guys!

Part 3. Later: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Victory for Spain...Noooooooooooooo..... It was a good match. Argentina took the first set 7-5, lost the second 5-7, lost the third after being down 2-5 and coming back to force a tiebreaker. They were up 5-1 in the tiebreaker and then lost it. They then went down 3-6 in the fourth. With Del Potro possibly out, Argentina is now at a huge disadvantage....I can always hope that del Potro makes a miraculous recovery and Ferrer breaks his arm. Sorry Ferrer.

The Mats Sundin Saga: Part 5,292,837,293

Just when I thought I had heard the last of Mats Sundin... okay, let me restate that. Just when I thought I had heard the last of Mats Sundin and the Habs, I learned the other day that Bob Gainey went off to LA to talk to Sundin. Here we go again....! I have no idea how they intend on signing him if they have no money at the moment. Okay so it's called trading someone. But who? And is it worth doing all this stuff to sign a guy who's going to retire soon? Then again, if they win the Stanley Cup then no on is going to complain too much. There's also the question of the reports that stated that Sundin wanted to play for a team that wouldn't play the Maple Leafs. Oh and there's the little issue of the Habs being 1 of 11 teams interested in Sundin. This is getting ridiculous, honestly. Sundin obviously can't make up his mind on what he wants. If he wanted to make a boatload of money then he would have signed with Vancouver. If he wanted to sign with a good team then he could have signed with Montreal (in my biased opinion). If he wanted to sign with a team in a nice warm climate then he could have signed with whatever Southern United States team was interested in him. Why are we persuing a guy who can't make up his mind and pick a stupid team? Signing Sundin is no guarantee that we'll win the cup. In fact, with news of Komisarek being out for at least a month, the Habs should start looking around for a defenseman instead of a guy who can't make up his mind. This is getting older than the whole Christiano Ronaldo epic over the summer and that got old really fast....

Speaking of Football....
Liverpool and Chelsea are playing Fulham and Newcastle. At the same time again, of course. You know, because it would be asking for too much if they played at different times. Anyway, be back later on this. Apparently I'm watching Chelsea right now.
Slightly Later: Chelsea forgot how to score in the first half. They had a billion chances and they couldn't score. Because I learned that Torres was playing today, I switched to Liverpool. Like Chelsea, they couldn't score either. Bah. Of course I'm watching the doubles in the Davis Cup so I won't know how they did till later.
Later: Chelsea 0 Fullham 0 and Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0. BORING! I can only imagine how terrible Chelsea AND Liverpool must have been to lose.... BAH.....
Real Madrid is making my day completely horrid by not beating a team in 19th place.....WAKE UP!
Even later: Real Madrid actually one 1-0. Could have been worse, I guess.
Canadiens vs Bruins
Almost forgot about this actually. Habs play Bruins again tonight. This has the potential to be another heartbreaking loss for the Habbies again. They still haven't woken up completely and the Bruins are doing well. Bah. Maybe the homecrowd will wake 'em up? We can be way nosier than any football crowd! Actually, they've still managed to sleep through the homecrowd. I will probably miss most of it 'cause I will be out.... x-x
Later: Lost in shootouts. Got run around in the first period. Woke up more in the second and scored. Messed up and let Boston score twice. Third went quite well. Completely outshot Boston but only scored once late to send it to overtime. Lost in shooutouts. Wheeler scored the only goal in the shootout. *sighs* the third went really well, I thought. Tim Thomas is not number one in the freaking league for no reason. *sighs* Judging by how the third went, they probably should of had it. Oh well. Considering that Boston is no 2 in the league they Habs could probably feel relatively happy with how it it tonight. I mean, they were definitely much more alive and really tried a lot more. So that could be some encouragement. Maybe. Then again, Detroit is coming up on Wednesday or Thursday....
Oh and who's idea was it to have Georges Laraque run around after Lucic? That was a stupid idea and didn't do anything really. Maybe Lucic didn't beat anyone up tonight but he did score a goal which was quite irritating to say the least... Are we going to do this every time we play Boston now? Isn't that giving the guy a bit too much credit? I think we should start worrying about scoring goals - they still can't seem to score more than 2 in a game - than about a guy who doesn't really look around for people to beat up on a regular basis.
Random fact of the hour (that would be 11:16 at night for the records)
While we're on the topic of Milan Lucic.... Guess where he's from? Or at least his parents 'cause he's Canadian. Guess. Think Ancic or Cilic only... a little more to east. YES the dude is of Serbian descent. Go figure, eh? I was sitting there hating the guy to death when it suddenly dawned on me that with a name like that he couldn't possibly be Czech or Slovakian. Why I thought he was from there to begin with is pretty stupid. With a name like that he had to be either Croatian or Serbian. But I mean... whoever heard of a Croatian hockey player? Watch as I'm totally ignorant and there's about 34723 of them. heh....
Ole! *dies*
The bloody song is going through my head now. Not my fault considering I've heard it ALL DAY. First in England when Chelsea and Liverpool were playing then in Argentina and then in Montreal. *bangs head on something*
In Sum
YUCK! Not pleased at all. Argentina has put themselves in a huge hole. Chelsea and Liverpool forgot how to score, and Real Madrid only scored once against an icky team. Malkin and Crosby must have died because Pittsburgh Penguins lost to Vancouver 3-1. And the Habs.... good news is that maybe they've woken up slightly. BUT WE STILL LOST TO BOSTON! After the Islanders, we've got Detroit (we're doomed), Washington (maybe Ovechkin will be sick and can't play) and Buffalo (maybe we can hope that they've forgotten how to play) next. I'm starting to despair slightly here.
Oh wait! there is a tiny bit of light. Lugano won against Zug. 7-4. Okay, so they're still in 5th and they beat the team in the bottom of the twelve team league. I'm desperate here!

There is hope for tonight

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No matter how badly you think the Habs are doing right now, there is one tiny bit of hope going into tonights game against the Ottawa Senators. The Sens are worse. And before you start on the fact that Carolina, Toronto, St. Louis, and Philly are all worse than the Habs you can rest assured that the Sens are definitely the worst at 29th place (I'm going to pretend that St. Louis is not sitting in dead last right now because they weren't that bad on Sunday). The Senators have won exactly 6 games and the only thing keeping them from being 30th is that St. Louis has played two less games than them. Did I mention that the Sens haven't won any of their last five games? The Habs have at least won two of their last five which includes blanking the Sens. So there is hope. Actually, I will scream if they lose tonight. At least they're not in the running to get the top draft pick next year! They better win something soon because I doubt very much that they'll beat Detroit later this month.... and Washington is looking good too....waaah.....

Later: More line changing set for tonight. It's like musical chairs... but with lines instead... Or something...According to the Habs Inside/Out the lines are going to be:

Guillaume Latendresse will be reunited with Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay.
Tomas Plekanec centres Alex Kovalev and Christopher Higgins.
The third line has Robert Lang between Andrei Kostitsyn and Tom Kostopoulos.
The fourth line may be a game time decision, but it shapes up as Steve Bégin centring Georges Laraque and Sergei Kostitsyn.
Defence pairings stay the same.
Carey Price is in goal.

Go <here> to see the article. Well, this should be interesting to see. I guess it can't hurt too much to change things up. Again. Lets' just hope they feel inspired to win tonight instead of thinking "hey, the Sens are bottom of the league and stink. This should be easy!". Like I said, we shall see. Be back later on this.

Davis Cup Stuff: Draws have been made and David Nalbandian will start against David Ferrer tomorrow. Now, being three hours behind Argentina, the match will start at 10:00 my time which would be okay except for the fact that I will be gone all morning. Yuck. Anyway, this should be fairly easy if Nalbandian comes out all inspired. Ferrer has definitely been struggling since I've been watching him this year, and Nalbandian has displayed some good tennis since the US open. Despite being down 3-6 in career meetings against Ferrer, Nalbandian does have a slight edge when it comes to hard courts winning three of the five times. Also, they haven't played each other in over a year so there isn't any recent stuff to go on.

Following the David match, Juan Martin del Potro will take on Feliciano Lopez. If I hadn't just heard that del Potro has a toe issue and somehow managed to bite his tongue so hard that he was bleeding all over the court the other day, and if I didn't have to worry about him being tired from playing in Shanghai last week, I would say that del Potro should have this one wrapped up. The tongue thing we can live with. Just stop the bleeding, give the guy a pile of pain killers and get him back on the court. You don't need your tongue to play tennis. The toe thing is a little more worrisome in that you sort of need it to play. And being tired... well, there's such a thing called adrenaline. But anyway... in their three meetings, all on hard courts, del Potro has beaten Lopez twice and lost their most recent encounter at Miami. Now, that was before del Potro went on his winning spree and I'm certain that he is a better player now than he was in Miami. This one should be interesting for sure.

I think if all goes according to what it should on paper, then Nalbandian and del Potro will win. Saturday will be the semi boring doubles match thing with Acasuso/Calleri (ARG) vs Lopez/Verdasco (ESP). I'm going to predict a victory for Spain but I actually don't know much about the teams... I think Lopez/Verdasco lost to one of the Bryan twins/Mardy Fish in the semis of the Davis Cup but they actually didn't do terribly considering it was one of the Bryan twins...Anyway... it should be very interestng to see how this all goes.

LATER! Habs wiiiiiiiin!

And I can officially say that tonight's game was a lot better than anything I've seen since they last beat the Sens last week. Okay so they went to shootouts and there was still a little issue of turning over the puck quite a bit. But the Sens were not playing like a team ranked 29th in the league.

They were playing a lot better. Guess they were motivated to not get blankd. They opened up the scoring in the 4th or 5th minute of the game after Montreal got off to a good start. Lots of bad thoughts were being sent telepathically towards the Sens. How dare you score Heatley! Sens dominate. What happened to the Habs being good? Lots of wailing. More wailing when a shot goes through Prices legs and skids along the line. A later review states that it was a not a goal. Thank the hockey gods! Ten mins later: what's this? a boarding call for the Sens? okay, we'll take that. Now we have a chance to score. C'mon. Koivu gets the puck. Lang is in front of Auld. Koivu scores by himself anyway and Lang gets pushed into the net. Do we get two points now? We put the puck and a player in the net. Anyway, time for celebrating! Habs end first period outshooting the Sens 8-4.

Price had some more wonderful saves in the second. I get a scare when the Sens appeared to have scored at the end the second. After much celebrating the refs then burst their bubble and said that they didn't get a goal because Montreal got called for a penalty and the puck got touched by a Hab before it went past Price. Lots of cheering. Yes, cheering. There was booing too, but the billion Habs fans that flooded the arena drowned them all out. Anyway, instead of a goal the Sens got a nice powerplay which they blew completely. I've never been so happy to see Montreal get a penalty before. "Would you rather a goal or a powerplay, Ottawa? Goal? Well, too bad, you get a powerplay. Have fun!"

Onto the third period. The third went sort of like the first. Sens got a weird a goal early on. I don't know what happened exactly. Price seemed to have it but apparently he let it go before being slammed into the net by a Sen. The puck went sliding into the net and was called a goal. I guess the ref was feeling bad that the Sens didn't get the last goal. It was definitely bash Price night again. I promptly ran around the room, trying not to freak out completely. I mean, hadnt we seen this before? Habs get goal. Habs get outshot. Habs get outscored. Habs lose. But Markov decided that that was not going to happen. Right when I was saying that the Habs needed a goal, WHAM! Markov scores after his initial attempt hit a Sens stick. He grabbed the rebound and shot it. Sens went flying and Auld seemed like he would stop it, but it was a futile task. Markov saves the Habs! The dude who is the most underappreciated guy in the entire NHL just saved us.

To OT we go! OT was freaky because the Habs had to kill off part of a penalty left over from regulation by Latendresse. Apparently he whacked someone in the face with his stick. Oops. Anyway, Sens outshoot Habs 4-1 in five mins but no goal scoring for them. Haha!

On to shootouts! Very scary but we all know that Price is good in shootouts so we cross our fingers and wait. First up is Spezza. I can only like Spezza when he plays for Team Canada and even then, he's not my favorite Canadian around. Sorry dude. Anyway, Spezza skates towards Price. Price moves. Price is too slow and Spezza shoots the puck over his left shoulder. Goal! NO! Lots of screaming and cursing. Never ever, will I cheer for Spezza!* Next up Kovalev who saved the Habs against the Blues on Sunday. I thought Kovalev was bad in shootouts though? More eye covering. Eyes open just in time to see Kovalev hit the post. No score. More screaming. Ottawa sends out Alfredsson. I thought he was supposed to be bad at this too? Proof is soon offered up as the Sens captain gives it right to Price. No goal. HAHA! Alright, Habs have a chance now. Send out Tanguay! ...hello? That's not Tanguay. That's Markov. Can he even score in shootouts? Hello? Carbo, what are you doing? Can't watch.... can't watch.... OMG! Markov scores! Markov keeps the Habs alive in the shootouts! Dude, we love you right now! Ruutu's up next for the Sens. Boo, we don't like Ruutu for hitting Lapierre upside the head last game. Ruutu skates forward, he moves to Price's left. He shoots. Surely Price can't stop that? No need to stop it. Ruutu put it right in his glove and Price goes flying backwards. I can see the headlines now "Flying Price stops Sens". HAHA! Okay, Koivu comes on the ice. Time to finish the game. Or not. Auld stops it. BOOOOOO! Another round of shootouts. Ottawa is starting. OH NO! Vermette starts for the Sens. I freak out and peer through my fingers as he skates forward and....... he misses completely. OH YES! More cheering. Now it's Tanguay's term. For real this time. C'mon dude, we're counting on you! And Tanguay puts it away. Not sure how. It looked like it went right through Auld but unless Auld is a ghost then that is impossible. Anyway, whatever, doesn't matter in the least. HABS WIN! I can rest easily tonight safe with the knowledge that the Habs prove that they are better than the Sens.

The first thing I noticed was they actually worked hard tonight. Even if the puck ended up in their end a lot, they worked to keep it out, they worked hard to try to score - even if there were some bad turnovers. Habs working = better outcome. Yes, they could have perhaps worked a bit harder to keep it more in the Sens' zone but the Sens were definitely not playing like a team who was at the bottom of the league. They were playing much harder. They were energetic and were definitely looking to avenge that defeat last week. So instead of saying the Habs stink for going to shootouts against a bad team, we need to give credit to the Sens for not playing like a bad team and more like their former better selves. Their coach should be happy. Speaking of happy, you should have seen Carbo when they won. He looked like Federer after beating Andreev in the fourth round of the US Open. yes, everything comes back to Federer. Anyway, the second thing that I noticed was that the Habs didn't get too many penalties. They had 7 to Ottawa's 3 with most of both team's penalties coming in the second period. Less time in the penalty box = more time spent trying to score. The Habs did catch a few lucky breaks though when some of the Sens shots either just hugged the line or hit the post. The Sens seemed to be having a lot of trouble finding the net. Not my problem though. The Habs had a lot of other good opportunities to score. All in all, I think the Habs can be happy with this win tonight. They played hard, they tried a lot harder, and they definitely reduced the amount of stupid penalties (I'm totally not going to complain about Kovalev's tripping penalty. It saved us!)Beating Ottawa any way is always nice ^___^ now we just need for find a way to beat a very good Boston....

*any words spoken or thoughts expressed during a shootout cannot be held against me at a later period in time

Jerseys and random stuff

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

As you may know, there have been a pile of third jerseys coming out this year for many teams. You can read all about the jerseys at icethetics. Lots of neat info over there. Habs don't technically get a third jersey 'cause we've got this whole centennial thing going on which means they get to old stuff to wear. No complaints here. Yet... Anyway... After taking a look at all of the ones that are available I have to say that I like a lot of them. There are a few however that I'm not overly fond of... in no particular order here are the ones that least impressed me.

1. Pittsburgh. I'm going to get shot for this, but I think that there's something kind of wimpy about the colour. It's just... icky. They remind me of cotton-candy for some reason. I'm also not overly fond of the huge logo on the front. Is it really necessary to state the name of the team?

2. Which brings me to Dallas and Altanta. I'm completely unimpressed with these two. Anyone can just plonk the names of their teams on the front of the jerseys. So why don't they, you ask? because it's booooriiiing. We know what teams are playing. Or at least we should if we're at all interested. There is no need to put the names of the teams on the front....

3. Buffalo. Every time I see this one I keep thinking that I'm looking at some type of pirate flag. You know, with the two swords. Except that instead of a skull at the top it's a buffalo. Maybe they were going for that affect but I find it a little funny....

4. Vancouver. What kind of logo is that?!!! Maybe in this case just having the name of the team would be better...

Anyway apart from those, the rest are quite nice. Too bad the Wild didn't get a new one. Their away jerseys make them look like christmas trees...*gets prepared to be shot again*

And proof that I am the most random person you will ever read about:

I decided to be completely random and decided to pick a Swiss hockey team to cheer for. Hey, if I can cheer for three football teams without being able to watch them regularly, I can certainly pick a Swiss hockey team to cheer for. Why I picked Switzerland to begin with, I don't even know. I randomly picked a country and then randomly picked a team. There is a reason why it's called "random" *G* After intially picking Bern, I ended up changing to Lugano for various random reasons. Apparently they've done relatively well in the past, though this year they're sitting in 5th out of 12 teams. At least you blame me for trying to find a team that is doing well. Two interesting points coming from someone who is a Habs fan: 1. Christobal Huet played for them from 1998-2001 before getting into the NHL. 2. David Aebischer played for them during the lockout and is currently on loan to the team from Phoenix's AHL affiliate.. San Antonio somethingrather. So yeah, GO LUGANO! The chances of me actually being able to watch this team play are very miniscule but let me have my fun!

Speaking of AHL stuff, the Hamilton Bulldogs are going to be playing at the Bell Center for the first time in like... a loooong time... I'm still trying to figure out if I really want to spend a pile of money to go and see them or not... I realize that it's a lot cheaper than going to see the Habs... and it would be cool to see some of the Habs top prospects... and apparently they haven't been doing badly....but I'm cheap....and it's on a Sunday... and it's the end of, maybe I'll just stay home and plot more random things...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good news: They scored on a powerplay finally. Bad news: They still lost the game. I'm starting to wonder if this is what it's like to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. When I brought the subject up to my dad however, he said that I wasn't indifferent enough when they lost, so I guess we're still not at that point yet.'s a tad frustrating (it's probably a lot worse to be a member of the team, so I'll shut up about that). I guess they didn't come out too dead tonight. I thought the beginning went pretty well. They had some nice chances. I mean, it could have been worse. Carolina had a lot of really good chances but completely failed to make the most out of a lot of them. Actually, it was pathetic how ineffectual the Hurricanes were at trying to score. They had way too many really good chances where they completely missed the net. But moving on... I'm not liking the fact that the Habs couldn't get the puck out of their own end for a lot of the game. It seemed to be perpetually inside their end, but my aching head is probably remembering this worse than it actually was. I mean, losing 2-1 isn't that bad. It could have easily been 5-1 or 4-2.... Montreal had some nice chances too and plenty of good blocks. Oh well...I think I have to suffer through another game on Thursday before I get to watch Argentina clobber Spain in the Davis Cup and then the tennis season will truly be over *wails* I think I'll be watching a lot of replays...I always wanted to sit through that Wimbledon final for a second time....and yes, I'm being slightly sarcastic here! Being sick + Habs losing = a very grumpy me

Pick a surface any surface!!!! exaclty what surface are they using for the Davis Cup? I give up trying to stay on top of that.... I was under the impression that it was carpet because they wanted carpet because they knew that Nadal wasn't any good on carpet.... Did I just use the word "carpet" three times in that sentence? Anyway... so while most of Argentina's players are better on clay, they realized that playing on clay was a bad idea because Mr. World No 1 is, totally, like, the best on clay. And so they debated for a while and finally decided to play on carpet because a certain World No 1 dude was supposed to be not good on it and they wanted to be spiteful. So it's their country and they get to pick the surface. Fine by me. But now the official website thing says that it's going to be hard court.... Since when?! No one told me this! When did you make that decision? MAKE UP YOUR MINDS PEOPLE! I guess they figured that they might as well help themselves a bit and choose a surface that at least del Potro isn't terrible on....I don't care if they have to play on astro-turf or whatever... just pick a surface and win on it!!!!! Gah... now my eyes are twitching... well, they were twitching before because I'm still tired and sick...I will be back when the Habs remember how to play and beat the Hurricaines tonight. Gah.

Ramblings of the sick and tired

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm sick and tired and I'm already missing tennis. Or maybe I'm just sick and don't feel like doing anything other than watch tennis...or maybe I'm just tired of whining about how badly the Habs are doing. Whatever. The point is I'm now going to go and ramble about tennis because I feel like a broken record talking about the Habs right now and I don't feel good enough to do anything productive yet....

Federer..Of course I had to be late to the party and start watching him when he isn't doing so well. How typical. The first time I watch Roger Federer he loses the biggest Grand Slam event of the year in the longest final ever. If we stop saying that he's going to die soon - and we really should. The guy is only 27 - then maybe we can step back and look at how his year really went. First off, he was sick. No, I'm not making up excuses for him. I'm stating a fact. Mono is something you don't want to have and once you have it, you really shouldn't be globe trotting in playing high level tennis. I believe Mario Ancic was out for six months with mono and along with injuries he went from being 9th in the world to 135th (he's now 36th). Federer's gone from 1 to 2 (let's pretend that Djokovic isn't actually within 10 points of being no 2). This year, he's won 4 titles which includes the US Open. He's also made the semis of the Australian Open (I believe he was at least starting to show symptoms of mono at this point), the finals of the French Open and he did come very close to winning Wimbledon (let's not forget that for most of the year Nadal has been the fitest player on the tour). Most people would be very pleased with that result at the Grand Slams, no? I mean c'mon, we're saying Murray's fantastic for making the quarter finals of Wimbledon, winning in Cincinnati and Madrid and making the finals of the US Open. Here comes the big BUT though. And that is.... Murray isn't Federer. Murray hasn't (as of yet) been ranked no 1 for a record amount of time and won 13 Grand Slams (among other stuff). Federer has set this incredibly high standard over the last few years. There had to be a point where even if he was still in good physical condition - and I'm going to marvel at the fact that he has remained in relatively good physical condition this long - he wouldn't be able to keep that up. It had to happen. Is this year a reflection of how the next year will go for him? I doubt it. Hopefully he will be in better shape for next year. 27 isn't really that old. He's not about to die. He can still come out and win a pile of more matches. Yes, it will be harder with Djokovic and Murray getting better. But that's the way it works.

Nadal... Of course I missed the clay season entirely so I missed most of the really good stuff there but yeah, all in all I got to see him win for most of the summer which was great. He's obviously had a wonderful year. The only question now is "can he repeat that?" I doubt it. He's already wrecked up his knees up and if he doesn't want to retire at 25 he better stop doing things that will make his knees even worse. A Nadal-less tour would be very sad and boring so please, Rafa, don't kill your knees trying to stay no 1. Being no 2 is okay as long as Federer is no 1.

Djokovic....For the sake of trying to be partisan - err okay, for the sake of having something to say - I will say this: Djokovic needs to be more consistant. No ifs, ands, or buts. He played really well at the start of the year and then promptly dropped off the face of the tennis planet. No cool for a guy who is supposed to be no 3 in the world. You just don't make early exits at Wimbledon, Toronto, and get beaten by a guy who was 10th in the finals at Cincinnati. Oh and that's to say nothing about how things went after the US Open....silly loss to Tsonga at Bangkok, a stupid loss to Karlovic at Madrid, an even sadder loss at Paris to Tsonga....And who did he lose to at the Masters Cup thing? Oh yeah, TSONGA! Surprised yet? Yes, he beat Davydenko and del Potro in Shanghai. But c''mon... del Potro was a bit of a given. The guy's good but please, he hardly came up with his best that week and he's no where near Djokovic's supposed level yet. If you want to stay in the top three you need to be more consistant. You can't win one big tournament and a few smaller ones then not play your best for six months. Of course as a Federer fan I wouldn't mind if Djokovic forgot how to play again, but if you're Djokovic or anyone who wants him to win, you don't want him forgetting how to play - even though it would make ME very happy.

Murray... what to say? He's on perfect track to be no 3 or even no 2. That hurts to say that. I keep hearing about how he's more fit now - and I'm sure he is - but I still think he needs more work in that department. He looked absolutely wasted agianst Federer in Shanghai (I know, it's the end of the year and he's tired. Join the club, dude!) Or we can just settle for the fact that some people are just more fit than others and no amount of work is going to make him more fit than Nadal. I want to see Murray play Nadal when he's not tired and banged up and then we'll see how that goes...

Davis Cup thing... A few days ago Spain announced who would be replacing Nadal for the last spot on the team. I was completely not following this but when I heard Nadal was out I wasn't particularly concerned about Spain finding someone. Spain still has plenty of decent players including Moya, Almagro, Ferrero and Robredo. And who does Spain decide to go with? Marcel Granollers. If you were asking "who?" then you would be thinking the same thing as I was. I remember hearing his name at Madrid but I never saw him play. Okay, so I never saw anyone other than Nadal and Federer play but that's beside the point. The point is, who is the guy and why did Spain pick him to replace Nadal? Maybe because he's around the same age and height Rafa? Hey, if I can pretend that Gilles Simon is Rafa then surely Spain can pretend that this Marcel dude is Rafa? At least they speak the same language! I seriously have no idea why they chose him. He doesn't seem to be good on carpet (but then again, who is?) or particularly wonderful in general (but maybe that's unfair considering who we're comparing him to). At this point this tournament is really Argentina's to lose. They picked the surface (I bet you anything that they're regretting it now that Nadal isn't playing), they have two players who are very capable of being good whereas Spain has Ferrer as their top player, and of course now that Nadal isn't playing there really should be nothing to stop Argentina. But we shall see. Maybe Granollers will actually be wonderfully fantastic. Although considering he's ranked 56th in the world it might have to take a little bit more imagination to pretend that he's Rafa....but it's possible!

RANDOM FACT OF THE DAY - Did you know that if you mistype "atp" as "ato" and hit the enter button before you realize that you've made a typo you will have "the Australian Taxation Office" as the first hit? Yeah. Unless you want tax stuff make sure you type it correctly....

A victory! And... Andy Murray is everywhere!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

At last, the Habs win! Okay, so from what I saw (and I only saw the end of the second period and the third period) it wasn't a particularly good game again. More stupid passing, defense still seemed a little dead, they got too many penalties again, oh and there's still the problem of scoring on the power-play (when was the last time we scored on the powerplay?), and the problem of scoring in general, AND they had to go to shootouts which was icky (man, I'm starting to sound like a broken record), but still: they technically won. Thank the hockey gods for that. And thank Price for saving all three shots. And Kovalev for scoring on the Habs third attempt (I thought he wasn't supposed to be good at shootouts?). Now, maybe that will pick up the Habs and get 'em winning again. Maybe. Hopefully. They're obviously very capable of being good. Now just forget about all those stupid loses and get to winning again, darnit! The Hurricanes are coming up on Tuesday so we shall see what happens.

I've been reading some critisism about Carbonneau lately. I don't know enough about hockey still to form a proper opinion on his coaching abilities but I will say this 1) if we're complaining based on how the last couple of weeks went then I think we should just calm down and wait and see what happens 2) we could have been stuck with Barry Melrose instead. 'nuff said.

Random note: I can't seem to escape Andy Murray these days. There was an Andy Murray on the Blue Jackets' team last week, there's of course *the* Andy Murray who is everywhere now - you win a few big matches and suddenly you're everywhere, and today I learn that the St. Louis Blues' head coach is named Andy Murray. Andy Murray is everywhere I tell you!!!! *dies*

How I think the tennis season went (updated again, because I thought of something else)

But before that. I get proven wrong again in this stupid masters cup thing. Surprising, isn't it? Okay so not really. Djokovic won which was surprising. I didn't think he would come out and do so well to win 6-1, 7-5 (hmm, I thought the finals were best of five sets?). Well, he won and I'm going to cry now because even although I wanted him to win, he's now within TEN points of displacing Federer as no 2. Of course this means that Federer has to go and win the Australian open for sure now *nods*

But anyway... now the season has technically ended I can ramble about it. I’m not even going to talk about the best player on the tour. We all know who he is and what he’s done this year so I’m just going to move on….

note: seeing as I only saw about half of the season, I only get to ramble about half of it, therefore probably missing out on a lot of good stuff from earlier on. Sue me.

Best shot - okay this was really hard.... I've seen a lot of shots that were just downright amazing. Until the other day the ATP thing had a list of plays of the year that you could view and vote on. Apparently now that the voting is over, they're gone, but you can stil find 'em on youtube. Of the nine that they had I liked 1) Federer where he hits a winner while basically running in the opposite direction (he was running towards the back of the court and somehow still managed to hit the ball over the net). 2) Djokovic getting into an extended rally with Nadal and dropping his racquet before picking it up and actually hitting a winner two shots later (and he even had time to look around for his raquet after he dropped it) 3) Nadal making this unbelievable run across the court to hit a winner against Davydenko (if I was Davydenko I would be screaming because there should have been no way that Nadal should have hit that back). But my favorite would be one that they didn't have. It was when Federer was playing Djokovic at the US Open. Djokovic came to the net and smashed the ball. Game over, you would think. But he didn't hit it hard enough and Federer managed to hit it back and Djokovic just stands put and watches the ball fly past him and into the back of the court. Youtube it. I'll save you the hassle of of looking. Click <here>. It's definitely the best shot. Okay, so I'm just saying that 'cause I saw it live and I was in complete awe at the time. And it's Federer and I've come to the conclusion that I'm definitely a Federer fan right now.... It's still the best shot though =p

Best match - Obviously that goes to the Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal. It was only the third live tennis match that I had ever seen and it got me permantely hooked on tennis. It was absolutely amazing (okay, so the rain delay breaks were beyond annoying but what can I say?). I just wish I had known more about tennis when I watched it.

Most lopsided final with a decent amount of people watching it - by all accounts that would have to be Federer's loss to Nadal at the French Open. I may not have seen it, but the surely losing 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 isn't so cool from Roger's point of view? Or Nadal's either. I mean, yeah, you won and winning's great, but surely the finals are supposed to be a little less...lopsided? Especially when you consider who's playing... I mean c'mon, it's Federer and Nadal!!! We're not talking about Federer vs. Murray here...

...or are we? Most anti-climatic final with a decent amount of people watching it- That would be the US open. After all the talk of Murray doing so well against Nadal and Federer being Federer and the four time defending champion and the whole "is the year that Federer finally gets beaten?" thing there was a lot of hype. Unfortunately the final failed to live up to the hype. Murray was clearly not up to top form after taking two days to beat Nadal and the result was a straight set mauling by Federer in less than 2 hours (the third set in particular was a very one-sided event). I'm not complaining though. I was very happy for Federer. At least I didn't have to go nuts like I did during Wimbledon. And I got to eat dinner at a decent hour. All in all, while it was very anti-climatic, it was nice from my point of view.

Most anti-climatic tournament - The Tennis Masters Cup. Do we really need this tournament? I can't speak for the players, but as a spectator, I much prefer the Grand Slams. Winning a Grand Slam seems like a much bigger deal than winning this thing at the end of the year. The top eight are in theory supposed to be in the finals but can we honestly say that the top eight played like the top eight? First let's deal with the theory bit. With Nadal pulling out of the tournament he got replaced with Gilles Simon. Federer tried to play through injuries but that clearly wasn't a good idea. Djokovic hadn't played his best tennis since May and wasn't looking too good early on. As I said, I'm completely surprised that he won it. After a strong start Murray just fell apart, which isn't so cool considering how well he's been doing all summer. Davydenko quietly went through to the finals only to get beaten pretty badly by Djokovic at the end. Roddick pulled out mid-way because of injuries, which just further made things dull. There is no way that Stepenak would be considered at this point someone who should have been in the top eight. Now, I know they had trouble getting other people who were ranked higher to be an alternate, but that just further proves my point. The players themselves don't even find it worth it to go in as an alternate. Tsonga fell a bit flat which was disappointing because he's done pretty well at the very end of the season. Simon did well but he shouldn't have been there. And del Potro was probably thinking about the Davis Cup. Being the end of the year, everyone's injured and/or exhausted. And when you're injured/exhausted you're not going to play your best tennis. I don't know what would make the event more interesting and special - no one will doubt that, while Djokovic probably deserved to win, he's not the best player on the tour right now- but something should be done.

Tournament with the most upsets - Wimbledon. Okay, so Nadal and Federer went to the finals in spectacular fashion but where were the other top players? Not on the courts that’s for sure. Oh well. At least Safin got to provide something interesting in the semis *g*

Which reminds me... The worst challenge ever - goes to Marat Safin in the semis of Wimbledon. Federer serves, Safin hits the net and promptly gets upset and challenges. Now, even in the very fuzzy and tinty screen on youtube, *I* can tell that the ball was in. And what was the result of the challenge? It was in. By a lot. Even Federer thought it was funny. Safin didn't even look upset that he lost the challenge. He knew it was in. Why he would want to waste the challenge is beyond me.

Top three things you shouldn't do during a tournament
- 1) don't get the hated by the home crowd. It's not pretty and it makes you look really bad. Yes, I'm looking at you Novak. 2) break stuff because you're upset. Yes, Marat Safin, we know you have a temper, but is it necessary to take a swat at the chairs after you lost to Federer? 3) swear at the umpire guy. Yeah, you may be upset, but c'mon, the guy is just trying to do his job. Why is Roddick coming to mind right about now?

Worst match - After thinking this over for a while, I have to say the semi-finals of the Olympics between Nadal and Djokovic. I've seen a lot of matches were one player clearly has a bad match but I'm choosing this one because both players were awful. The match lasted 2 hours and 10 mins and was a best of three sets. Together, Nadal and Djokovic had 12 aces, 31 winners, 6 double faults, 11 break points, 6 actual breaks of serve, and just under a 100 unforced errors (yes, I dug up the stats!). It was a mess. Granted, it was a fun mess. But a mess nonetheless.

Most surprising match – Gilles Muller, a qualifier, beating Davydenko in the fourth round of the US Open. I’m not sure if the fact that Muller is from Luxembourg or the fact that he was only the second qualifier ever to reach the US Open quarter finals was more surprising. There was something on the website of the US open that said "top 50 expected and unexpected things" or something like that. And in the list under expected things was "a multi-lingual guy from a tiny European country charges through the draw." Unexpected "the guy was from Luxembourg." I thought it was really funny for no other reason than I'm very easily amused. You would instantly asume that they're talking about Federer but nope. It's Muller! Yeah, I'm easily amused. Sue me.

Most disappointing match - probably Federer's loss to James Blake at the Olympics in the quarter finals. The Olympics don't come around often and gold medal in singles is one of only a few things that Federer doesn't have.

Most frustrating match - Well, I've seen a lot over the summer, but I would have to say Federer's win over Igor Andreev in the fourth round of the US open. I don't pretend to know what's going on in Federer's brain but he just came out really flat against Andreev who he should have beaten in straight sets. But no. It got extended to five very agonizing sets mainly due to Federer's errors (although to his credit, Andreev was playing very well).

Saddest way to lose a match - Djokovic's semi-final loss to Nadal at the Olympics. He smashed the ball, Nadal ran off the court and hit it back and then Djokovic smashes it again and misses the court entirely. He has a whole open court to hit but instead he hits it towards Nadal and out. Poor Novak!

Weirdest victory celebration - Federer winning the gold medal in doubles with Wawrinka. He practically went insane. He was jumping around all over the place and ended up rolling around on the court as well. Very weird on its own and when you consider that it's *Federer*... then it's beyond weird.

The player who everyone should watch more - Marin Čilić. Another tall guy who has plenty of potential. 'nuff said. Besides, I like his name. What do you mean we don't watch people because they have nice names? What I have been watching Nadal for then? Oh right.... never mind...

Most frustrating player - I'm sure no one will argue that David Nalbandian is still the most frustrating player on the tour. When he plays well he's absolutely brilliant and he beats the top three players in the same tournament. When he doesn't play well he gets beaten by people like Canada's top ranked male player who is ranked 111 in the world. While it's nice to see a player who treats tennis the way it's supposed to be (as a game), it's still really frustrating to watch him sometimes. Thankfully I'm not Argentinean. And thankfully they have del Potro.

Speaking of which... the most improved player over the summer has to be del Potro. It's easy to say Murray, but I think there wasn't too much doubt that Murray was very capable of being good and it was only a matter of time before he started living up to that expectation. del Potro on the other hand, has gone from being ranked 65 at the beginning of July to finishing the year as 8th. To get there he had won 23 consecutive matches (which is the second longest winning streak of this year behind a certain Spanish guy named Nadal). That's definitely got to count for something, no?

The player with the most unpronounceable name (aka a mini lesson in how to pronounce Serbian and Croatian names)- Actually, this would be a tie between Djokovic and Cilic (I wonder if it's a coincidence that they're from Serbia and Croatia?). Djokovic, because no one (including Djokovic himself) can agree on how the first "o" is pronounced. It's either an "oh" or an "awh". Someone should ask Djokovic's parents instead of the guy who hits himself on the head with his tennis racquet and has probably suffered some form of brain damage. Or we could do what I've been suggesting and just call him Novak and be done with it. So much simpler and easier to type, no?

Anyway, moving on...Cilic is actually incredibly straight forward but no one can say it because they don't try. The problem is there's supposed to be a little doodad on the top of the Cs which indicate how to pronounce them. But being the silly people that we are over here we don't put them in. If we did then Djokovic's name would be like this Đoković and Cilic's would be like this Čilić (let's just pretend that Serbia uses the Latin alphabet more than the Cyrillic when in fact it's the opposite). And when you see that little thing on top of Čilić's name you know that it's pronounced something like "chee-lee-ch". The first C is like a CH sound. It's not like an S! You just have to TRY to say it right. Somehow we all get Ančić's name right (I never ever hear anyone say "An-si-ch" but then again, when was the last time I saw the poor dude play?) without the little doodads but we never get Čilić's name right. Poor Marin!

Most annoying moment of the US open - when the announcers got bored of talking about tennis and started talking about golf. It wasn't like they were even talking about anything important about golf. They were talking about how THEY liked to play golf and how they hadn't been able to as much lately. Hello? We're here to watch tennis, not golf.... *dies*

Best at interviews - Roddick. Hands down. He has always has something amusing to say though you usually miss some of it because you can't tell just how serious he's being. If you could rank people by how they gave interviews then Roddick would be no 1 for sure.

The player that you really wished would be interviewed in his own language - Nadal. He sounds so much better in Spanish! No more garbled and mumbled English for Nadal. Interview him in Spanish, darnit! At least he's better than Pavel Datsyuk from the Detroit Red Wings. Man, I had no idea that guy was even speaking in English at first...

Two things about Nadal- 1) Does he really have to be that noisy when he plays? 2) why does he have to bite everything he wins? It’s bad for your teeth.

The silliest surface to play on - Carpet. I mean c'mon.... carpet??? It's such a silly surface. And no one is even good on it. Except for maybe Federer. And Nalbandian. Although see the point above on why Nalbandian only half counts here. I wonder if they have to vacuum the carpet?

Things to watch for next year – 1) Murray, Murray, Murray. And Federer. Djokovic may be within two points of being no 2 but unless he can start winning tournaments, Murray will overtake him. Of course I"m hoping that Roger stays as no 2 at the very least and Murray sort of crashes, but I'm probably not going to get my way on that. 2) It should be interesting to see how Federer does this year after having - by his standards - a crappy year plagued with mono and injuries. And let’s not forget that he’s only two Grand Slams away from beating Sampras’ record of 14. 3) The Australian open should be very interesting also, with four people very capable of taking the title. 4) For the first time in a while the top four could become very close in points....5) Oh and be sure to watch Nadal too. Especially during the clay season. Say "byebye" to everyone *G*

Dare I even hope that this is the start to a good day?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So it's Davydenko vs Djokovic tomorrow and some ungodly hour in the morning for me!!!! Davydenko just delt Murray a nice straight set loss (7-5, 6-2) and Djokovic managed to edge out Simon (3-6, 6-4, 7-5). Don't know how the matches went so I'll have to wait for the replays (hopefully the lovely tv will be nice at play both of the matches. But I doubt it).

I would never have pegged Davydenko to be in the finals but there he is. Looking back I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. His group had two people who had never been in the masters cup before. Tsonga sort of squeaked through at the last minute because of a strong performance at the end of the season, and del Potro, as the youngest and definitely the least experienced player and probably the most distracted (davis cup!), was at a disadvantage. I know I said Tsonga was going through to the semis, but I thought that he would've had more momentum after winning in Paris and Davydenko did have a history of not doing well at this event. As for the whole Murray thing... well, I did say that it depended a lot on how Murray felt. He came out dead against Federer and I guess he couldn't recover enough to beat Davydenko. Next time Murray. Maybe...I still want Federer to win it again....

Liverpool beat Bolton 2-0 and I'm now waiting on Chelsea and Real Madrid to win too. In theory, they should be able to beat their opponents, considering Valladolid and West Brom are practically at the bottom....then again, everyone from Real Madrid seems to be all knocked up... but still.... they should win... in theory....I hate theory.

As the title of this says, dare I hope that this is the start to a good day? The Habs seem rather doomed on paper. Halak's in goal - nothing wrong with Halak, he can be good and he needs to play sometime. I just seem to be getting the impression that we're only using him tonight because Price bombed out against the Bruins - Komisarek's out with injuries from that fight with Lucic, Sergei Kostistyn is probably out as well (don't know what happened to him). I think I'm missing something here too but anyway... It's not like the Flyers' have the best defense around these days either. And it's not like I have to watch Briere who's out with some other injury again. And it's not like they're playing in Philly, though I doubt everyone is going to be pleased with them tonight. Oh and, Biron did let in a pile of goals against Pittsburgh (but then again, so did Fleury who got pulled at for the third period), so as long as he stays completely uninspired to do well against the team that he was completely inspired to beat in the playoffs (inspiration + Montreal + Biron = no goals by Montreal), we're okay. Oh and it would be nice if Lupul and Richards also forgot how to score goals too. Yeah, on paper, we're so dead. But as we keep learning, what's on paper doesn't translate to what happens. But for the sake of not having to avoid tomorrow's paper (and my Habs-hating sister), I really hope they win.

Later: Chelsea ran over West Brom 3-0. Well, they looked a little slow at first but then they scored all their goals within a ten minute period towards the end of the 1st half, which sort of deflated WB a little bit. They picked up in the 2nd but they didn't have too many good chances (and whoever the guy who wasn't Cech was stopped most of the good chances). So yeah. I'm pleased. Real Madrid lost. Which is sad, but at least it was only 1-0. I'll take Liverpool and Chelsea winning.

I'm waiting for the Canadian American football game (apparently my dad doesn't like me calling it American football because we play it differently in Canada than the US) to be over so we can get to the tennis already. C'mooon, people, I want to watch someone beat someone. I don't care if I have to watch Davydenko beat Murray, even though I would rather watch Djokovic beat Simon, just put the stupid tennis on like you said you would *wails* tennis! tennis! tennis! I'll even watch Murray for twelve hours straight before I have to sit through a football game.... I'm so going to have to eat my words in the future, aren't I....*prepares to get twelve hours worth of Murray matches to watch*

Even later: I got to see the second set of the Murray vs. Davydenko match. Davydenko was absolutely brilliant. He was chasing down practically every shot and just put so much effort into every point. Murray was definitely running around a lot even on his own serve and he definitely came out flat today. I think even if he had been at top form he would have had a really hard time against Davydenko. Davydenko made some fantastic shots to break Murray's serve for the second time, including the winning point which involved running up the net and out maneuvering Murray.

They also decided to be nice and the third set of the Djokovic vs. Simon match (some is better than none, I guess). I don't know how the first two sets went, but by the third they both looked exhausted and made quite a few errors. If I remember correctly they both had medical time outs in the second set. Anyway the third set: It went reasonably well at the beginning. Djokovic broke Simon's serve in the 3rd game but this was really more to luck than skill. He hit the net and it bounced lightly onto the other side, leaving Simon no chance to run to the net to hit it. At break point in the game, Simon hit the net and the ball went wide giving Djokovic the break. During Simon's next service game Djokovic held thriple break point but he then proceeded to make a pile of errors which allowed Simon to stay in the match. A little more troublesome was the fact that Djokovic also made a pile of errors when he was serving for the match at 5-4. He basically double faulted to give Simon a life line (which Simon didn't quite exactly capitilize on but that's beside the point). He's going to have to do something about that when he plays Davydenko.

On a whole I think I would like to predict a victory for Davydenko. Davydenko has been doing extremely well so far. Yes, he lost to Djokovic, but let's not forget that the set that Davydenko did win was won by a lot (6-0!). Davydenko seems in better physical shape than Djokovic. I like the type of shots that Davydenko has been making (he was able to mix it up quite well against Murray which says quite a bit) and he has so far shown a lot more determination than Djokovic to go for every shot and every point (which could do with the fact that he appears to be in better physical shape than Djokovic). With the final being the best of five sets, being in better phsyical shape means a lot. We shall see though. I'm probably going to be wrong...See what happens when Federer or Nadal don't make the finals? There's too much guess work....

On a random note: Djokovic and Simon are quite funny to watch when they get upset. Simon makes all these gestures and Djokovic either hits himself upside the head with his racquet or he looks like he's talking to himself (I'm asuming that he's talking to his coach but I guess you never know). It's quite amusing if you watch it.... okay, so I'm easily amused.... sue me...

Even later than before: ahem.... I suppose I'm asking for too much for the Habs to win. Currently down o-2 going into the third. Still lookinh flat, crappy passing, and they're getting knocked around by the Flyers big time (like hello? They're not that much bigger than you for crying out loud). Oh and Biron decided to be inspired tonight. How fun. Be back later if I don't get distracted in trying to make myself a new wallpaper for my least the Canucks are beating Toronto 4-0 for now. Go Canucks! And go Islanders who are currently beating the Senators. Yay! *dies*

The latest possible "later": Well at least we didn't get blanked.... 2-1.... Still not great playing though...I'm running out of creative ways to say that the Habs fell flat again. Kudos for not losing a billion to one but still, the offense was still dead-ish from my angle. And the defense was struggling. And the passing was still bad. How can you score when you can't even pass the puck to the guy who is almost at the net but who could be a lot closer? The Flyers didn't look that much more alive than we were, they lost the puck quite a bit and they missed out on a lot of good chances. But it's sort of like the Murray/Federer match The deader side lost.

In other news: Ottawa lost 3-2, Vancouver is on track to beat the Leafs 4-2, and the Penguins are losing to the Sabres with eight mins left.

Someone shoot me, please

Friday, November 14, 2008

I asked last night to be shot after the crappy loss by a certain Habs but then I decided to wait to be shot until after Federer played. Well, he played and lost 6-4, 6-7(3), 5-7, so shoot me right now please. After winning the first set, Federer went down fairly early in the second. By the time I tuned in it was 5-2 on Federer's serve. Thankfully Federer broke serve a couple of times (Murray apparently had temporary amnesia) to take it to a tie break but he eventually lost that and subsequently there was the beginning of the end of the match. I missed the tie-break entirely because my dog needed to be walked, but judging by the many, many errors from Roger, I'm actually surprised he held on as long as he did. I think if he was a normal person, he would have pulled out of the competition before. His back was clearly giving him a lot of trouble and I have no idea how you can even focus with all that pain. He definitely put in a good effort, probably better than anyone else in that type of situation (try that game in the last set when Murray was up 5-4 and it went to 10 deuces before Federer sent it to 5-5). Ultimately the errors killed him and basically handed the match to Murray at the end. This is obvsiously quite tragic for everyone who doesn't want Murray to win but hardly unexpected. Federer needs to go and take a nice long vacation, recover, and come back in January and beat everyone. again I honestly don't believe "his time is up" like people keep saying (dude, you would think that he's going to die by the way everyone is talking) and I'm fairly confident that he can maintain his spot in the top 2 next year if 1) he doesn't get sick 2) his back doesn't give him problems.

As for Murray...I don't know what Murray's excuse for doing badly was. He made almost as many errors as Federer. He came out completely flat today and he is very lucky that Federer just so happened to be in worse shape. And now Murray's going to win the stupid thing... unless Djokovic can remember how to play brilliant tennis... which he hasn't just yet....*goes off to find a Serbian flag* you're my only hope right now, Novak....!

More whining about tennis set to come up in the near future....

Near Future aka later at night: Okay, now that I've had time to be depressed about real unrelated issues and have been able to put things into perspective, here is how I see the semis going.

Murray vs. Davydenko. In theory this should be a no contest. Yes, Davydenko can play well. He's been making some very nice shots this week and if he can be consistant than he can at least give Murray a run for his money (which if Murray wins the cup thing, will be a lot of money) if not more. If he can make those nice Federer-type of shots then he has a chance. The thing is, Murray is a better player. In theory anyway. He's been doing his homework on his opponents and it's been working so far (granted Nadal and Federer have not been playing their best tennis since the US open but that's slightly beside the point). I have no doubt that Murray's already got a plot worked out. The one issue here though would have be how tired Murray will be. As I said before, he did not play brilliantly against Federer and he looked downright exhausted by the end (then again, Murray always looks more wiped out than he actually is but I think this time it was real). Davydenko has had a day to rest while Murray had a late match against Federer so we will have to see just how much that took out of him. I would still like to declare Murray the favorite though *wails*

Djokovic vs. Simon. Again, in theory this should be a no contest in Djokovic's favor. Simon has shown that he can be good. His brilliant showing in Madrid against Nadal proves that if he really wants it he can be a very dangerous player. On paper however, you would think that Djokovic would have a huge edge, being the Australian Open champion and the world no 3. The thing is, Djokovic hasn't won a title since May. I've seen him all summer, and except for his showing at the US Open, in which he kind of bombed out against Federer, he hasn't been doing particularly well. I haven't got to see him at Shanghai (thank you Canada for not really broadcasting the last tennis tournament of the year!) so I don't really know exactly how he's been doing, but he has to be feeling confident with how he's done to the semis in Shanghai. Hopefully he's got some type of rhythm going again and he can come out like the world no 3 that he's supposed to be.

On a completely different random note: Apparently the Tampa Bay Lightning have fired their coach, Barry Melrose. After having only coached 16 games, he fired today and is to be replaced by their assistant coach. I'm not completely surprised but I'm not sure why anyone thought that they were magically going to go from 30 to 1 in the space of 16 games. Yes, you got new owners, new managment, new players, and the top draft pick this year, but seriously.... did you honestly think that things were going to go really well this soon? I don't know anything about Melrose and what type of coach he is (although I have to wonder why a team that needed to change things around for the better picked a guy who hadn't coached in 13 years), but I really hope that they don't think things will immediately change right now. Oh well. We'll see. I've got a certain other team's issues to worry about, yeah?