Saturday, November 22, 2008

Quick Hits: Les, Cal, and Mikko

Mr. Alexander
Apparently, Rockets fans dislike each other and the Toyota Center, too. Check out the comments in particular. I'm not one to complain... I'd rather have hockey at the Toyota Center than no hockey at all, but the arena is certainly lacking in atmosphere due to the double-decker suites separating the lower bowl from the upper level.

The building formerly known as the Compaq Center was fantastic for hockey on the second level. Center ice tickets were $11 up there and the view was what you'd get in the chi-chi club level seats at most of these new arenas. I really hate what those suites at the TC do to the place. And even though I've moved with the cheese and am not in the class of those who pine for the Aeros-past or endlessly bemoan the empty seats at Aeros games, I still have a pang of sadness every time I drive by the GodDome there at Buffalo Speedway and 59. I'm not a religious person, unless hockey counts as a religion (in which case I am a puck-beating zealot), so I still quietly root for the echos of slapshots and fights and victories that might still linger in an un-refurbished corner of that building.

Mr. En Fuego
If any guy ever had a hot start to his rookie NHL season, it's Cannonball Cal. I saw a list of Calder Trophy contenders the other day and thought, "Pfft. Goals. Goals are for guys who can't hit."
Anyway, everyone is buzzing about the guy, who had a fantastic game Thursday against Vancouver, has moved into the top 8 in hits in the league and had 3 shots on goal, all of which were quality chances.

And after comparing all NHL players with 50+ hits, he leads the pack in TOI/Hit, making pain deliveries every 2:33 of ice time. Matt Cooke was the only one close with one hit every 3:04 minutes. Granted, it's a mostly irrelevant and flawed statistic, but still kind of interesting to me.

Oh yeah, and he got third star of the game. How 'bout them apples?

Apparently his vehicle has been rescued from the airport by Brusty (good man), he had a little extra pep in his step at practice Friday, and says he's taking one day at a time. He and the media have gotten a helluva lot of mileage out of that car full of his things sitting at IAH.

Mr. Franchise
Yesterday, Ross McKeon at Yahoo! Sports busted out his list of NHL Power Rankings and franchise players. The power rankings are pointless in my opinion so I won't comment on that, but I certainly have an opinion (and it's the gospel, I tell ya) on the franchise player for Minnesota:

8. Minnesota Wild (10-4-1, Previous: 10) –Let’s see a show of hands for Marian Gaborik. Thought so. Wonderfully talented, no question, but does anyone trust his health, not to mention his reluctance to sign long term? Unless you want to hang the franchise tag on large 19-year-old left wing Colton Gillies, the best bet here is that the franchise’s best player – whoever that might be – isn’t part of the franchise yet.
Ever heard of a little Finn called Mikko Koivu? You know, the one who Brian Rolston called "Franchise"? And putting aside the omission... Gillies? Really? Have you seen the kid play in the NHL yet? It's a good 3 years before he's even part of this discussion. I like the kid a lot. Mature beyond his years and I think he's going to be a very good power forward some day, but he's running the popcorn machine most of the time right now and has no business coming up in this discussion.

I know it's hard to put yourself out there and write about teams you don't follow, but it really isn't hard to figure that the Wild is Mikko's team. No question. And the fact that the NHL hasn't put out a Koivu t-shirt is a testament to their cluelessness about this team. Owen Nolan has a t-shirt and Mikko doesn't? For the love of all things tall, blond, and Finnish! Get it together, NHL marketing peeps.

(Though I can't even tell you how much I want this shirt.)

2 comments:

hipcheck  November 22, 2008 at 11:43 AM  

I have a complaint about the NHL store as well. They send me a catalog and I find all these things I would love to have, only to find out they don't have them in Coyotes. Grrrrrrrrrr.

The NHL is so clueless when it comes to what fans want.

Life_As_A_Redhead  November 24, 2008 at 3:19 PM  

WTF!!!!!!

No Mikko shirt!!!!

are they STUPID, or just stupid!

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