Monday, April 6, 2009

Hardware Speculation Spectacular

The following took place over the course of April 5, 2009. No animals were harmed in the production of this post, however, a cat bed was peed on. Seriously.

Bonesaw: You know, Caveman, we have never done a back-and-forth
column. Seeing as there's two of us lunatics in this cave, we ought to. Watching the Bruins the last week and in person yesterday, one thing has become incredibly clear to me: Tim Thomas, he of the new contract, should absolutely win the Vezina Trophy this year, in addition the Jennings Trophy the team will be bringing home. The save he made on Scott Hartnell last weekend was one of the best I've seen all season. How he didn't even make the all star ballot is beyond all comprehension. That said, let's have a debate on the top awards (Vezina, Hart, Calder, Norris, Adams and Selke). Starting with the Vezina - who ya got? Who SHOULD win and who WILL win?

The Caveman:
The back and fourth email column? Not the most original idea we've ever had but I don't have a better idea.. Actually, screw it. Everyone rips off everyone else.
A mutual friend of ours got his blog practically plagerized by Bill Plashke for chrissakes.

Quick note: Hockey has the coolest awards in all of sports. So many trophies, so many cool categories. Ex
cept the Lady Byng. That award kinda sucks.

Vezina Trophy:
Who SHOULD get it? I say Tim Thomas. The reasons are all over the place:

Lowest GAA in the league
2.) Career high in wins this year
3.) He's been the most consistent cornerstone of the Eastern Conference Champs.
4.) He's a fiery guy who the league can market.

Now, who WILL get it?

They're going to get this one right; Tim Thomas takes it home this year. Everyone likes the guy and his story is perfect. From Flint, Michigan to Sweden, to Boston, to finally getting that huge payday that most people seem to think he deserves. He's been better every year he's been in Boston and his play has been at an elite level all year.

By the way, I don't want to hear anyone crying over the Jacobs not paying people anymore. Can we cut that out, please? Argue all you want about who they pay, but let's stop saying they're cheap. You dig?

Bonesaw: Alright. No surprise, we agree. I think Steve Mason is a serious candidate though. He's played 5 more games and is second in GAA. He's single handedly putting the Jackets in the playoffs, but i still think the Writers/GM's will get this right. Mason's young, and his time will come. I actually think he's a strong candidate for the Hart though. The B's surrounding cast is much stronger than the Blue Jackets (thus removing Thomas from that conversation), but i don't hear Mason in the national debate for the Hart.

I think it comes down to Malkin / Ovechkin and Parise. Parise is the sleeper, Ovechkin is the fan favorite but Malkin is the clear choice. He's the energy behind the Pen's resurgence, he's leading the league in points and assists and he's netted 34 goals to boot. He's still getting better. If his goalie weren't terribly overrated, I'd be frightened of them come playoff time.

The Caveman: This is going to be really boring if we keep agreeing. But you're right, Malkin is the guy. Ovechkin is the sexy pick and fans love him, hell I love him, that goofy bastard. The (probably) fake feud that he and Malkin orchestrated was awesome, one of my favorite story lines for the year.

(Did anyone really buy this? Do you think that two countrymen (kids, actually) in a foreign place who play hockey for millions of dollars really hate each other? Sure they get fired up on the ice, they should, but I'll bet they play Xbox together in the off-season while trying to make Crosby's head bleed in NHL 09.)

But anyway, Malkin should get it and I think he will. Calder Trophy time. Great young talent this year, some of it in Boston, some of it used to be. We already mentioned this guy, but Steve Mason has lit it up for the Blue Jackets. The Bruins saw first hand what this kid can do when he shut them out a short time ago. Oh, yea, he has 7 shut-outs too. SEVEN*. The other candidate is old friend Kris Versteeg. Crazy points, 21-29-50 as of today, will force some voters into picking him over Mason. But I have to go with the goalie on this. He plays for Columbus, keep in mind, not exactly the pillar of great defense.

Go ahead, disagree with me. Please.

*I am a retard on this statistic. I get called out, don't worry.

Bonesaw: Mary, Mary so contrary. That's me. With all due respect sir, I find fault with your adjudication.

Mason is in the discussion and I'd say he's got a good shot (btw he has 10 shutouts, moron). This is really a four man race the way I see it and I'll order them by my rankings.

4. Kris Versteeg
2. Steve Mason

Versteeg is a nice choice here, granted. He's having a solid rookie campaign. Rinne and Mason are the two brightest young net minders in the game and both are doing it in relative obsc
urity in the equivalents of hockey purgatory (Nashville and Columbus, respectively). The case for Ryan is clear though. He's played only 61 games and is still leading the candidates in scoring with 56 points and a +15 on an Anaheim team that's been getting old in a hurry. He's averaging nearly a point per game and is a terrific goal scorer. Mason's played 8 more games the Rinne, and that's where the separation is for those two, putting it at a two man race in my mind. Ryan should get it, Mason will.

How about the Norris, Chuck?

The Caveman:
Fair enough - Bobby Ryan is legit. Man this is a tough year to be a g
ood rookie, it's too bad Blake Wheeler fell off mid-season or else he'd be in the conversation too.

I think the Norris is a two horse race and I'm not going homer on this one.

Look, captain Ze-deeeey-no is
a great, great player. He can shoot the puck and is as close to a 'shut-down' guy as there is in the league. But here is the problem, I really like goals. Who doesn’t? Mike Green can score goals AND play a solid defensive position. When you compare the numbers side by side, and I think that's how it should be done, it's a no-brainer.

Chara: 17G 30A 47P +24
Green: 30G-40A 70P +24

So, yea, Green should get it and I think he will. Sorry folks.

Bonesaw: Green will get it. He should not. You're crazy. Go to bed. The award goes to the best defenseman, not the highest scoring defenseman. I'm so sick of high scoring D-Men winning this award that i could strangle Terry Frei and throw his rug in the trash. Z is the best "defenseman" in the game. The only other guys in this discussion should be Dion Phaneuf, Niklas Lidstrom and Mike Komaserik.

But Chara stands above them all. He logs over 26 minutes a game on a team that truly plays 6 D men deep and is a stalwart on the penalty kill.
The fact that he's big shouldn't go against him. Remember, he's got to know how to use that size and not have it be a hindrance like it is for guys like Hal Gill who can't get out of their own way.

Green's going to get it because numbers has taken over this one. But it makes me very, very angry young man. You hear me?

What about the Adams? And if you better muster the creativity, or Google ability, to come up with someone beyond Julien.

The Caveman: Chara?! The numbers, they do not lie, sir. However, voters are a fickle bunch and you never know what will happen. Terry Pendleton won the NL MVP in '91 and he sucked. Go back and look, he was awful.

A challenge on the Adams nominees? Fine. I give you Ken Hitchcock.

The Blue Jackets were a joke; I still thought they were going into this season. Today? Look at the Western Conference standings and after the 3 seed it looks up-side down. The expansion teams have turned on the jets and Hitchcock has the Jackets playing some great hockey. Yea,
they're not blowing anyone's doors off but they have a play-off spot all but secured in the West and they have developed a host of young talent.

That said, you're a lunatic if you think Julien won't take this one down. From the basement of the league to a President's trophy contender in 2 years? Triple-stamped it, no backsies.

If you even think I'm going to debate the Selke you're crazy. I have a microwave burrito with my name on it and I'm starving. Have you shampooed your den rug yet? That cat bed really tied the room together - at least Holly is house-broken.

First of all, sir, there was no rug involved here and "chinaman" is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian American, please.

I like the Hitchcock (giggle, snicker) nod. I also like the job Joel Quenneville has done in Chicago with that young team. They've got a terrific core but their youth and quick rise from the cellar just three years ago is a testament to Quenneville's leadership behind the bench. I agree Julien likely wins it, but don't forget Todd McLellan in San Jose. San Jose is a top heavy team and lacks the depth the Bruins have down the forward lines, so i gotta give him props for making it all work. Especially with a lousy guy like Thornton in the mix. Jesus, why can't we get players like that? What? We had him? Fuck.
I think the Selke candidates are as follows:

(crickett noises, tumbleweed)


Did you really think i was going to list them? Please. Time for some old fashioned hangover cure: a fantasy baseball draft.

In the ensuing fantasy baseball draft one of us took Arod at #5 (so, so unclean) and the other took Josh Beckett way too early (3rd round?! wtf!). Sadly, Jason Varitek remained undrafted.

1 comment:

  1. Blog looks great, Adam. Though I dont know much about hockey, I do know food.. thus, my
    Hope you and Lauren are doing well!