USA-Czech Republic World Junior Live Blog

Having failed to convince anyone in my family to hang out with me to watch the game, I will need some sort of outlet for my dumb World Junior thoughts.  Let’s do this.

11:00: We are coming to you LIVE! from Sun Valley Idaho.  The US is playing the Czech Republic, who apparently has a goaltender from the ECHL, which is weird. USA should be the favorite but who knows…it is 17 to 20 year olds playing hockey. Anything could happen.

11:09: Puck has been dropped.  Pretty shocking that the Bruins would let Pasta play here but they are.  Scariest part of the Czech team.

11:15: The Canadians and the Fins are tied at 5 with 10 minutes left in the other quarter final game. I’m gonna be streaming that one on my laptop. Probably gonna have a negative impact on the live blog.  Sorry.

11:16: Just kidding I’m not sorry because nobody is reading this.

11:18: Schmaltz roofs a backhand for a beauty to make it 1-0 good guys. Little subdued on the celly, a bit of a let down if I’m honest.  Guess we aren’t dabbing anymore.

11:21: Mitch Marner is unreal.  Canada is shorthanded and he just walked around all 5 Fins.  Didn’t score though. Idiot.

11:25; Marner is puting in an Eberle-esque performance. He’s tied the game twice in the third. Canada just went down two men though for the single dumbest penalty in sports, as they ice the puck and it goes over the boards ON THE OTHER END OF THE RINK. This is turning into the Canada-Finland live blog but that’s what is exciting  right now. Sorry.

11:27: THE FINS SCORE! CANADA IS ON THE ROPES. The USA is also playing but nevermind that for now.

11:33: USA makes it 2-0 but  more importantly Canada is 1:19 from elimination. Goalie probably to be pulled shortly.

11:36: Point was supposed to be Canada’s best player. I’ve barely noticed him in the 3 Canada games I’ve watched. 55 seconds to tie it.

11:38: THAT’S IT! CANADA’S OUT!

11:40: This tweet felt awesome:

11:42: Oh, by the way, The USA is up 2-0 after a period. Dvorak got a greasy one from the paint to tack on to the lead.  USA wasn’t dominant but they look like the better team and they have 2 to show for it. Canada was also up 2-0 though so this one is far from over.

11:55: Okay we’re back. The Czechs have controlled the play cycling for the first minute of the second. It’s alright though becasuse they haven’t gotten anything from it, meaning that it’s still 2-0 and Canada is still eliminated.

11:57: The Czechs changed their goalie, which is a bit of a strange play. Announcers didn’t even notice for a bit. New guy is wearing 2. Can’t win with a goalie wearing 2. That’s just science.

11:59: Was at a semi-pro game last night where the tendy was wearing 11.  Rattled the shit out of me. Shoutout to the Sun Valley Suns.

12:02: Matthews snipes. 3-0. Americans are rolling (actually they aren’t, Czechs are outplaying them in the second but 34 white is the only one to make one count).

12:04: My sister is a BC student/fan, which makes me enjoy playing up fandom of decommit Sonny Milano, even though I generally don’t like it when guys back out to go the the CHL.

12:10: 4-0. Matthews again. BRING ME THE RUSSIANS!

12:11: The Soviets are ready for us. This is a real thing, evidently:

1ish: I gave up on this because I was witnessing a murder.  The United States under 20 mens ice hockey team murdered the Czech Republic in cold blood.  Frankly, I had to stop the live blog because I didn’t want to be deposed as a witness to a frreaking MURDER.

Anyways, the United States is on to the Semis. They will face Russia which means (good news!) the Cold War is back on! So go watch Miracle on repeat, we will see you Monday.

Some Math, A Point on Kellen Moore’s Potential to Play, as Well as an Excuse for Myself

Hey guys.

If I still had a blog/time to write I would put up a post about how the Cowboys will owe Matt Cassel 800k if he plays 45% of their regular season snaps, how that will probably come out to just about 450 snaps, and how he currently needs about 190 more to hit that number.

I would say how this means that the Cowboys will have a fairly strong financial incentive to play Kellen Moore for about half of their remaining snaps, having released Brandon Weeden and said today that Moore will once again be the number 2 quarterback with Romo out. I would point out that if the Cowboys drop their next 2, and certainly their next 3 games, Cassel will be 0-6/7, and the Cowboys will have a great excuse for giving someone else a shot to save some money, and that the someone else would be Kellen Moore.

That is what I would have written today if not for the fact that this thesis paper on the professional conduct of agents and the three exams I have this week have completely taken over my life.

 

NitPicks 12: Just Picks

We are out of the office for Thanksgiving, but the picks must go on. Not gonna waste words here but I feel good about these games. Let’s go.

Ohio State (-2) over Michigan 

Georgia (-4.5) over Georgia Tech

South Carolina (+20) over Clemson

Duke (-4) over Wake Forest 

Alabama (-15) over Auburn 

USC (-3) over UCLA

Wisconsin (-2) over Minnesota 

UNC (-4.5) over NC State

Michigan State (-7.5) over Penn State

Steelers (+3.5) over Seahawks 

5-5 last week, 47-50-3 on the year

Ranking the Stadium Series/Winter Classic Jerseys

The NHL has three outdoor games scheduled for 2016, the Winter Classic (Bruins-Habs) in Foxboro, and 2 Stadium Series games (Wild-Hawks and Wings-Aves) in Minneapolis and Denver, respectively.

One of the best things about these outdoor games are the specialized jerseys that come with them. The reason that these sweaters are always a welcome perk isn’t because they are always sweet jerseys, but because they are almost always either (fire flames emoji) or (poop emoji). Almost never in between, and at either extreme, they make great content, be it for your blog, podcast or group text.

2016 is no different, so let’s take a look, and power rank the outdoor jerseys for this NHL season.

(Note: It should be noted that this is susceptible to sensibilities for the obvious reason that you are judging  what amounts to art, but also because the Stadium Series looks are always much more experimental and even futuristic, which gives the throwback Winter Classic ones a distinct advantage.)

(Note 2: I reserve the right to completely change my mind based on how they actually look on the ice.)

6. Boston Bruins

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You know what has never been a great idea? A dark brown jersey. Like, never. You know how you can make a dark brown jersey even worse? Mix it with mustard yellow stripes and WHITE NUMBERS.

The old school Bruins logo is legitimately cool and I probably would have had this above the Hawks if they had simply used colored numbers, but the white numbers take it from a decent jersey even if it’s got bad colors to a clashing monstrosity.

Grade: D+

5. Chicago Blackhawks

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The good – The Blackhawks have a good logo. That’s it. Otherwise, these are puke city.  Some people are fired up about the six stars from the Chicago flag, but frankly that does noting for me. The shoulder caps are weird, the oversized shoulder numbers are ugly. Too much black and white, not  enough tones or trim, and the only color outside of the logo is a single elbow stripe. They manage to somehow walk the line between boring and tacky.

Grade: C-

That’s the bad. Now on to the good.

4. Montreal Canadiens

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The #4 ranking really isn’t fair for these Canadiens sweaters, which I actually really like.

First things first, in the unveiling pictures they appear to be an old school sort of off-white. Here’s hoping that is a more accurate depiction than the one on the NHL shop which appears to be a more traditional white.

As for the jerseys themselves, there are only so many directions that you can go with a Habs jersey, and what this one lacks in originality, it makes up for in sharpness.  The blue looks great, the mirroring of the chest on the sleeves is great, and I really like the two stripes at the bottom (an underutilized jersey trim.

Grade: B+

3. Detroit Red Wings

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(No further photo identification needed

There seem to be differing opinions on this one, but I like it, and here’s why:

Firs of all, I kind of like the idea that it is a fresh, different jersey, and yet the signature back of the jersey remained unchanged.

Also a fan of the D logo, a classic but also sort of modern/italic looking design, and the classic winged wheel looks awesome on the shoulder. Finally, with the dual-chromed design, the bigger arm numbers look way better than they have on the other jerseys to use them for stadium games.

As for the diagonal chest stripe, I don’t know…I like it.

Grade: B+

2. Minnesota Wild

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It was really hard not to put these at number 1.

First of all I’m just a huge fan of the off-white, forest-green and dark-red color scheme.  Arguably (probably) my favorite for any sports team. Just looks unbelievably sharp with any design.

As I go through this it is hitting home that the big numbers are a fact of life with the stadium jerseys, and like Detroit, they work here. Unlike with some designs, I actually think that the bigger numbers are a plus with this jersey, because of the spacing and the breadth of the arm strips. I’m also a big fan of shoulder caps, and the off white ones are great here.

Also major shoutout to the Wild for actually having the full uniform in the photoshoot.  Couldn’t for the life of me find that for any others, and in a shocking turn of events that was more helpful and interesting than players standing awkwardly with the sweaters pulled over street clothes.

Grade: A

1. Colorado Avalanche

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(While we’re grading things, Landeskog’s mop gets an A+++)

 

 

 

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Sharp all around.  Great colors, love what they’ve done with the sleaves, the new logo is great and the elevation is a nice touch.

I’ve bumped them up because it’s much harder to design an alternate white than an alternate colored jersey, and because the Avalanche rolled them out at the same time as these:

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Which are (insert 10 million fire emojis).

Hopefully by next year these two will be the full time getups for the Avalanche.

SO…there you go, your official jersey rankings for the year. Now we just need to kill a month so that we can see these babies on the ice and figure out if I was full of crap on the entire list.

 

Prep School Hockey Report – NHL Central Scouting Draft List

The NHL Central Scouting service came out with their ‘players to watch’ list today, and 15 New England Prep School Players made the cut, down from 18 last year. All 15 received a ‘C’ grade indicating a 4th round or later projection (last year 1- Ryan Donato- received a ‘B.’).

Of those, 4 came from Avon Old Farms, 3 from South Kent, 2 from Cushing and 1 each from Hotchkiss, The Gunnary, Belmont Hill, St. Sebastian’s, Thayer and Exeter.

The numbers aren’t great, but they aren’t terrible, either, especially considering that multiple college coaches have claimed that Prep School hockey is significantly down from where it was even five or ten years ago.

Anyways, I know that this might not exactly have mass appeal, but when there is relevant or borderline relevant prep hockey news (and I am looking to kill 10 minutes) this is the place you (might) get it.

David Ortiz is Retiring. Sports are Stupid.

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Kellen Moore got cut. David Ortiz is retiring. Aston Villa is probably going to get relegated (well maybe but the way they are playing right now…), Tony Romo’s collarbone sunk the Cowboys’ season and Boise State has THREE losses.

 

We are a Patrick Marleau trade away from this becoming a blog about The Bachelor franchise, because I will be forced to stop paying attention to sports.

(Just kidding people who don’t follow sports are weird and I don’t understand what they do all day. Is it school? Are they obsessed with school? Maybe video games? Cars? Either way forget that noise.)

******

Now as for the actual retiremnt thing it’s been reported that the large father is going to play his final season in 2016. Excluding the first copule of months of each year (those games don’t count, do they?) Papi is still an elite power hitter, but evidently he is opting to step aside rather than sticking it out until he isn’t effective anymore. Now, though, Boston fans are faced with the prospect not only of moving forward without the DH that was integral to three World Series championships, but also with explaining why this is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from the Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter retirement tours which were awful and we hated.

And by the way, it is. It is totally different. (I just haven’t figured out how yet BUT IT IS.)

The good news, though, is that (hopefully), the Sox now need to go 100% into win now mode.  They won’t empty the loaded farm system, but nobody would complain if they did in order to put a World Series quality product on the field in 2016.

Granted, with Price and Cueto as the 1-2 starters (sidenote- these are two Aces who, because of mid-season trades, don’t come with draft pick compensation penalties. Dudes should get PAID.) and the move for Kimbrel shoring up the bullpen, the Sox shouldn’t need to empty the barrel in the farm system in order to build a contender.

Kellen Moore Released By Cowboys, Blogger’s Heart Broken #NeverForget

Yesterday, Kellen Moore was cut from the Cowboys active roster to make room for…I don’t know, someone. Who cares? This sucks.

Can’t say it was a shock. Romo is coming back soon and there can’t be four quarterbacks on the roster. He might get picked up somewhere else, he might stay on the practice squad. The future is up in the air for the GOAT. Heartbreaking  indeed.

You know what they say, though:

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.