Thursday, December 31, 2009

The ten most popular DGB posts of 2009

2009 was the first full year of this site's existence. When the year began, this site was just a tiny niche blog that 99.9% of the hockey world had never heard of. And in just twelve short months, it's become a tiny niche blog that 99.8% of the hockey world has never heard of. I call that progress.

Along the way we introduced Chris Durno to the world, were named "Story of the Year" by Puck Daddy, brought the phrase "Dammit, Pronger" into the hockey lexicon, and were praised by Damien Cox as "prolific" and "local". Oh, and Brian Burke threatened to sue me. Good times all around.

The year featured 150 posts. Some were big hits. Some... not so much. Still, they were all fun to write.

Here's a list of the ten posts that were the most popular over the last twelve months. Have a look if you missed them the first time, want to go back and read them again, or if you're just stuck at work over the New Year and want to waste some company time.

  1. The NHL's suspension flowchart - Blogging rule of thumb: When Wil Wheaton tweets about you, you've made the big time.

  2. A review of NHL 10 - This one was especially fun since dozens of angry posters on video game forums didn't realize it was a joke.

  3. The Maple Leafs secret facebook feed - Fun fact: a Google search for "maple leafs facebook" bring back this page as the top result, ahead of the team's real page.

  4. Brian Burke mic'd at the draft - This one turned out to be especially popular with Ranger fans.

  5. The archive of Brian Burke tweets - Although Eklund is now reporting that some of these may not be real.

  6. Etiquette tips for the Jason Spezza wedding - This was funnier five months ago when people remembered who Jason Spezza was.

  7. Dany Heatley meets with Kevin Lowe: The secret transcript - Admit it, you can picture Pat Quinn doing that, can't you?

  8. Fun with Google "Similar Images" - Check out my mad Photoshop skills, yo.

  9. How to fight when you don't want to fight - Despite being over 20 months old, this one is still popular.

  10. An open letter to Kyle Wellwood - After Wellwood appeared to criticize the Leafs for giving up on him, I wrote him a polite and thoughtful note to address his concerns.
A sincere thanks for all your support in 2009, and here's hoping for more fun in 2010.




Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Top 20 Maple Leaf moments of the decade - The top 10

This is the second half of the Top 20 Leaf Moments of the Decade list. If you missed it, the first part of the list can be found here.

10. Stumpy wins it - April 22, 2000

Game Five of the 2000 first round series between Ottawa and Toronto was a strange one. The first 55 minutes were deadly dull, with the Leafs mailing in a half-hearted effort and the Senators nursing a 1-0 lead by playing a perfect (i.e. boring) road game.

Then Steve Thomas scored with five minutes left to tie it. And then all hell broke loose. The two teams turned up the tempo to close out the third period, and then went on to play an end-to-end overtime period that featured a dozen scoring chances.

That's when the Leafs unveiled one of the most dastardly trick plays in recent sports history: Sergei Berezin passing.



As an added bonus, Thomas and Berezin reacted to the game winning goal by performing a WWE-style double clothesline on each other.

9. PING! - April 13, 2001

You already know what goal it is just from the headline, don't you?

In the four-pack of Leaf playoff wins over the Senators, the 2001 series was actually the only one where the Senators had home ice advantage. Well, not so much "home ice advantage", since that implies that you get to play some games in front of fans that are actually cheering for you. But the Senators were the #2 seed in the East that year, and were expected to beat the lowly #7 seed Leafs.

Didn't happen. In fact, it didn't come remotely close to happening, as Curtis Joseph shut out the Senators in each of the first two games and the Leafs completed a four-game sweep back in Toronto (giving the Senators the distinction of not scoring a single post-season goal in their own arena). And it all started with a tight Game One that was tied 0-0 midway through the first overtime.



Don't worry, Sens fans. There's brighter days ahead in this rivalry. (I'm sorry? What's that? Oh. I've just been informed that there are, in fact, not brighter days ahead.)

8. Tie Domi fights a Flyer fan in the penalty box - March 29, 2001

I wrote about this one back in September as part of the Top 10 Leaf Fights of All-Time post. I included a transcript of what's going through this Flyer fan's mind:

"Hey, Domi just sprayed water on me, which technically ends my month-long streak of not bathing! I think I'll bang on the glass and try to look tough when I know he can't reach me. Hm, I wonder if this glass can support 300 lbs of cheesesteak and loneliness? No, apparently it can not. Oh god, I'm going to die. Also, I just soiled myself on national television. Go Flyers!"



Domi never really got the credit he deserved here. While he did enough to defend himself, he somehow resisted the urge to go Rob Ray on the poor slob. And that should count for something, shouldn't it?

By the way, how perfect is the "Dunkin Donuts" ad placement in the penalty box?

7. Sundin's milestones - October 14, 2006 and October 11, 2007

Mats Sundin was so good that he actually broke Darryl Sittler's all-time Leafs scoring record twice in the same game. He was credited with a second period assist against the Islanders and held the record for about a half hour before officials revoked the point (Sundin hadn't actually touched the puck).

No problem. Sundin came out in third period and scored a goal of his own. That gave him 390 goals and 917 points as a Leaf -- breaking both of Sittler's franchise records with one shot.



While the moment was clearly important in terms of history, the goal came in the late stages of a blowout against the Islanders and was a fluke shot that wasn't really worthy of the moment. Then again, what's the guy supposed to do for a major milestone? Score a short-handed overtime hat trick goal on Hockey Night in Canada? Fine, if you insist:



(And in case you're wondering, I combined these two moments because they both represent similarly memorable milestones in Sundin's great career, and certainly not because I realized I still had 11 moments that needed to fit into a top 10 list. I don't know why you'd even think that. Look, why are we arguing? Let's change the subject: Hey, who wants to see a Finnish guy get his brains scrambled?)

6. Darcy Tucker destroys Sami Kapanen - May 4, 2004

This hit from the 2004 playoffs was undoubtedly the most vicious hit of the decade by a Maple Leaf, and quite possibly by any NHL player, period. Kapanen was so decimated by the impact that officials immediately whistled the play dead, and the rest of the shift never happened. Did you hear me? THE REST OF THE SHIFT NEVER HAPPENED!

No penalty was called on the play, although technically you could make a case for charging, boarding, and second degree manslaughter. The league reviewed the hit, and promptly suspended the Maple Leafs from ever participating in the playoffs again.



Um... is that guy in the front row wearing a bathing cap,a helmet, or amateur wrestling headgear?

5. Gary Roberts scores in triple overtime - May 4, 2002

Hey look, the Leafs and Senators seem to be involved in some sort of crucial post-season game. I wonder how this will turn out?



Wade Redden with his finger up his nose still makes me laugh every single time.

4. Sundin returns - October 14, 2008

Let's get this out of the way first: I wasn't a fan of the way Mats Sundin left Toronto. I stand by that. But that's history now.

But when Sundin made his return to Toronto as a member of the Canucks, everyone got it right. The Leafs, who honored their former-captain with a classy video. The fans, who gave him a loud and long ovation. The players, who refused to take the faceoff until Sundin had had his moment. And finally Sundin himself, who composed himself (barely) and then went on to score the shootout winner.



The only way this moment could have been better would have been if the fans had had the chance to thank Sundin when he was still wearing a Leafs uniform. Speaking of which...

3. Thank You Wendel - April 27, 2000

While you don't really associate Clark with the current decade, his last stint with the Leafs came at the end of the 1999-2000 season. He played 20 mostly forgettable regular season games and was scratched for the team's first playoff games. Pat Quinn inserted Clark into the lineup midway through the first round, and he scored the series-clinching goal against the Senators.

And then game one against the Devils:



2. Mats Sundin's last second goal against the Hurricanes - May 28, 2002

In the final minutes of Game Six of the 2002 Conference Finals, the Leafs found themselves trailing Carolina 1-0. For reasons nobody has ever been able to fully explain, Arturs Irbe was unbeatable in this series, and the Hurricanes were choking the life out of the Leafs on their home ice. As the seconds ticked down, the Leafs' miracle playoff run seemed doomed.

Well, not so fast.



This goal is notable for being the only known example of that horrible "behind-the-net" camera view that directors fell in love with in the first half of the decade actually working. It also gave us not only a memorable Bob Cole call ("... and the place goes crazy!") but also a legendary Joe Bowen meltdown that included him infamously screaming "You talk about heart and dedication!"

It all ended up being futile, of course. The Hurricanes won in overtime, eliminating the Leafs from a series they absolutely should have won. But for a few seconds at least, I doubt there was a goal during the decade that had Leaf fans screaming any louder.

1. Lalime's meltdown - April 20, 2004

It's probably fair to say that by the time the Leafs and Senators met in a 2004 first round series, the two teams hated each other. The Leafs were the corporate behemoth that kept kicking the smaller kids around the playground. The Senators were the small-market underdogs who were supposed to be scrappy and valiant but usually just wound up wiping snot from their noses while the sobbed about being picked on.

So with Daniel Alfredsson guaranteeing victory, Eugene Melnyk running his mouth, and the Senators vowing to finally "slay the dragon", the two teams met for the fourth time in five years. And with nothing settled through six games, it was on to Toronto for a final game seven showdown.

The hockey world was expecting a classic. Instead, they got a classic meltdown.



The Kilger goal was excusable. The first Nieuwendyk goal was awful. The third was almost impossibly bad, the kind of disaster you need to watch over and over again just to convince yourself it was real. And that's the goal we're going with as the #1 moment on the list.

There were probably more important goals scored this decade. There were certainly much better ones. But whether we like it or not, the Battle of Ontario defined the decade for both franchises, and no moment captured the rivalry more perfectly than this one: Leaf fans cheering; Leaf players celebrating; and a Senator slumped on his knees, defeated, and ready to quit.

Honorable mentions

There were a few on-ice moments that didn't make the final list, but deserve a mention. In no particular order:
  • The Leafs/Islanders bloodbath in 2002 - This was perhaps the most vicious series of all-time, but it's hard to pick an actual moment that stands out. Maybe Tucker's low-bridge on Peca?
  • The Leafs/Habs season finale in 2007 - Definitely one of the most memorable games of the decade, but it was rendered moot thanks the Devils laying down for the Islanders the next day. Besides, the only moment from the game that stands out was Andrew Raycroft giving up a horrible goal, getting pulled, and then not caring.
  • Ricard Persson hits Tie Domi from behind - But if Domi had better balance, the Senators would have won.
  • Alexander Mogilny scores his 1,000th point in the Leafs comeback against the Sabres in 2004 - Confession time: I have absolutely no recollection of this happening. Was I in a coma? This is bothering me. (Update: robviper to the rescue with a newly posted youtube video.)
  • Mario Lemieux returns to the NHL and scores three points against the Leafs - Hard to pick a moment where the Leafs got lit up, but any hockey fan had to enjoy this game.
And I'm sure I missed a few. Let me hear about them in the comments.




Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Maple Leafs team Christmas party

I received a tip over the weekend that the Leafs would be holding their annual Christmas party at a nearby establishment. I deployed some of my trusted DGB spies (now armed with video cameras), and they were able to infiltrate the proceedings and capture this exclusive footage.


(Thanks to Bloge Salming. Visit his site every day or Komisarek says you're next.)

Happy holidays, everyone, and here's hoping that you and yours get everything you asked for. Just like Phil Kessel.




Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ten signs that your team bus is on fire

Bus on fire
I hear the coach is on the hot seat
Yesterday saw a bizarre story out of Ottawa, where the visiting Minnesota Wild's team bus caught fire, incinerating all their equipment.

Thankfully, nobody was hurt. But what about next time? Are NHL teams really prepared to deal with this sort of dangerous scenario?

As with any fire, early detection is the key. So as a public service, I'm offering this list of ten signs that your team bus might be on fire, which I'd suggest NHL teams print out and post on all team vehicles.

  • The cloud of smoke billowing out from Ray Emery's seat smells slightly different than usual.

  • Everyone is pointing at your bus and yelling "Go Flames Go", but you don't play for Calgary.

  • Brendan Witt looked like he was carrying a propane tank right before you ran over him.

  • Carey Price has started smoking again. Literally.

  • You play for Edmonton, and for the first time since mid-October your wife isn't nagging you about how cold she is.

  • The steam that's usually coming out of John Tortorella's ears has now been joined by steam coming out of his eyes, mouth and nose.

  • For the first time in his hockey career, Jason Spezza is sweating.

  • You are attempting to drive away from the arena after a tough playoff loss in Montreal.

  • A few minutes ago you saw Kyle Wellwood stuffing his face with cookie dough, but now he's stuffing his face with freshly baked cookies.

  • You suddenly hear more sirens than Vesa Toskala at the Verizon Center.




Friday, December 18, 2009

The Top 20 Maple Leaf moments of the decade - Part 1

Quinn and Ferguson
What has four eyes, no rings and one brain?
Oh, the 00's. What a terrible god-forsaken soul-crushingly awful interesting decade you were.

We had good times (cough, Quinn, cough), bad times (cough, Ferguson I hope you get run over by a cement truck in front of a daycare, cough), and cautious optimism. The decade had a little bit of everything.

Well, except for that big trophy thing. Can't remember what it's called. The Stanford something? It's probably not important.

So here's part one of a look a back at the top 20 Leaf moments of the decade. To keep it simple, we'll limit this to moments that happened on the ice. (Or, in limited cases, in the opponent's bench.)

20. Luke Schenn vs. Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy - Jan. 31, 2009

This wasn't the biggest hit of the decade, or the most entertaining fight. Not even close, really. But the moment did come to symbolize Schenn's potential, and his status as the centerpiece of the Leafs long-awaited rebuild. Finally, after years of JFJ-induced misery, there was hope. There was a future.

Of course, that was before Schenn regressed into a seventh-string press box denizen. But it was fun for a few months.

Watch it on youtube


19. Owen Nolan wins the "flu game" - Feb. 5, 2004

This game was one of the most bizarre NHL games in recent memory, featured the Leafs greatest comeback of the decade, and marks the first of approximately 18 appearances by the Senators in this list.

The game started off as a typical Leafs/Sens regular season matchup, which is to say the Senators were on their way to an easy blowout win. Midway through the second period, Ottawa was cruising with a 4-0 lead.

Cue the comeback! Oh, and also the explosive diarrhea.

Both teams were battling a severe flu outbreak, but the Ottawa strain was apparently worse. Halfway through the game, the Sens bench began emptying as players were making between-shifts sprints to the restrooms. This marked the first time the Senators had ever soiled themselves during a game that didn't involve Tie Domi making eye contact with somebody.

By the end of regulation the Leafs had tied the game, and Nolan ended it in overtime with a long range slapshot. Afterwards, when reporters went to Nolan looking for a sympathetic quote on the Senators illness woes, he responded with an infamous quote: "boo hoo".


18. Cory Cross scores in OT to beat Ottawa - April 16, 2001

This was probably the least memorable of the (many) overtime goals the Leafs managed against the Senators, since it came in the middle of a fairly easy four-game sweep in 2001. But it was actually a critically important goal.

The Leafs had won the opening two games, shutting out the heavily favored Sens twice in Ottawa. In game three, Curtis Joseph took yet another shutout into the third period as the Leafs lead 2-0. But then a potential series turning point: the Senators scored twice, including the tying goal in the dying seconds. With the game headed to overtime, Leaf fans had to wonder if this was the beginning of an epic collapse.

It wasn't. Journeyman defensive defenceman Cory Cross drilled home a rebound to win it, and in the process became the worst player to ever score an overtime goal for the Leafs (sorry, Gary Valk).

Watch it on youtube


17. Belak vs. Janssen - March 20, 2007

This just seems appropriate for #17, no?

Everyone remembers the circumstances leading up to this epic battle. Weeks earlier, Cam Janssen had sidelined Tomas Kaberle with an obvious cheap shot. Everyone knew that payback would be coming from Wade Belak, and everyone was right.

I'm not saying this was a long fight, but they dropped the gloves in March of 2007 and it just ended a few minutes ago.

Watch it on youtube


16. Travis Green's OT winner against the Flyers - April 21, 2003

A lot of fans have forgotten this overtime winner, and with good reason. The 2003 playoffs were the only ones of the Quinn era that saw the Leafs make a first round exit, and most fans have saved precious space in their long-term memories for the longer runs that marked the first half of the decade.

Here's a depressing thought, though: this happened in 2003, and the Leafs haven't had an overtime playoff win since.


15. Kaberle quiets the Devils - May 5, 2001

Sometimes, hockey games seem destined follow a predictable storyline. Game five of the 2001 series between the Leafs and the Devils was one of those times.

This was the first game after Tie Domi's elbow had sidelines Scott Niedermayer, and the Devils were vowing revenge. Every hockey columnist on the continent had already agreed on the storyline: Domi's cement-headed cheapshot had robbed the Leafs of their momentum, woken up the sleeping Devils, and all but handed them the series. The Devils were officially the good guys, the Leafs were the hated villains, and game five would be a lesson in hockey karma.

Apparently, somebody forgot to tell Tomas Kaberle.

In the dying seconds of a 2-2 tie, Kaberle managed to sneak one by Martin Brodeur for the game winner. (By "sneak one by", I really mean "shot the puck into a wide open net because Brodeur had been blatantly run over in his crease seconds before", but let's not get picky.)

The Devils would still get their revenge, winning the last two games to take the series in seven. But for one night, at least, Tomas Kaberle and the Leafs gave the hockey world a nice big middle finger to go along with their blindside elbow.


14. Daniel Alfredsson's hit from behind on Darcy Tucker - May 12, 2002

OK, this one will seem like a strange pick. But stay with me.

Until the moment that Daniel Alfredsson blindsided Darcy Tucker (then scored the game-winner seconds later), you couldn't really hate the Ottawa Senators. Oh sure, the "Battle of Ontario" was well into its third playoff matchup in as many years. But it was meaningless rivalry, one that only mattered to insecure Ottawa fans who spent their time hating everything related to Toronto (when they weren't desperately trying to move there).

If you were a Leaf fan, you couldn't hate the Senators. You could feel sorry for them, maybe. You could be bored by them, probably. You could go weeks at a time without even remembering they existed, certainly. But hate them? Why?

Alfredsson provided a reason to, if not "hate" the Senators, at least be mildly annoyed by them. And that made the rest of the decade a lot more fun.



Man, what a cheap shot. I sure hope somebody gets that guy someday.


13. Mark Bell kills Daniel Alfredsson - April 3, 2008

This hit not only served up some long-overdue payback for the Tucker hit, it resulted in the only highlight of Paul Maurice's stint in Toronto: his observation that Senators reacted to the utter destruction of their captain with nothing but "some purse-swinging".

Watch it on youtube
OK, now go watch it again on youtube, you know you want to


12. Darcy Tucker's kamikaze bench dive - April 20, 2004

This is the moment where Darcy Tucker went from "Hey, this guy is crazy in a wacky and fun sort of way" to "Slowly inch away from him while staring at the floor and avoiding sudden movements".



Read more about this moment


11. Sundin and Kaberle beat the Flyers in overtime - April 14, 2003

Much like Green's goal, this one hasn't really stood the test of time as being especially memorable. That said, it has to be on the list just based on the names involved. Mats Sundin executes one of his classic drives to the net, and Tomas Kaberle is in the right place at the right time. The two longest serving (and probably best) Maple Leafs of the decade combine to win a thriller.

Watch it on youtube

Coming early next week: The top ten. Feel free to speculate in the comments, name something I completely forgot about, and make me rewrite the whole thing.




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Great Obscure Moments in Leafs History - Markov Salutes Jagr

Great Obscure Moments in Leafs History - An ongoing series to honor the greatest, completely meaningless moments in Toronto Maple Leaf history.

For a few months now, I've been diving into my old Leaf tapes and posting clips on Youtube. It's been fun to hear from fans who remember some of these moments and hadn't seen them in years. And often, I get requests for memorable clips that have never found their way online.

But there's one clip that's easily the most wanted, accounting for almost half the requests I get. And it's not a goal, or a hit, or even a fight. It's the Markov Salute.

More specifically, it's Danny Markov's mocking salute to Jaromir Jagr, delivered moments after Gary Valk ended the 1999 Leafs/Penguins second round series. This was back when Jagr was making a big show of saluting after every goal, and Markov decided to throw one right back at him.

I finally found the clip. Watch for it, right at the end:



A few thoughts.
  • Danny Markov was probably insane.

  • No, scratch that. Danny Markov was definitely insane. This is the same guy who once attacked a mascot, shot a puck at a referee, and trash-talked the Senators bench after getting hit in the face with a slapshot. He was definitely insane. God I miss him.

  • Markov actually salutes Jagr three times. The first two are with a glove on. At that point he starts yelling down the ice, presumably to get Jagr's attention, and then gives him the glove-off version. I loved Danny Markov.

  • Um, is that Keith Olbermann?

  • You know, for a guy who never passed, Sergei Berezin assisted on a lot of Leaf overtime winners. He set up Garry Valk here, as well as Steve Thomas and Cory Cross. Those were presumably the only three assists of his career.

  • A great underrated hockey tradition: when a team wins in overtime and their goalie makes the lonely skate all the way down the ice looking for someone to hug. Curtis Joseph gets completely ignored for 190 feet, then Mike Johnson comes out of nowhere and flattens him. Good times.

  • Nice play by Jiri Slegr on the goal. One of the first things they teach you in defenceman school is "When there's a loose puck in the crease, always deliver a sliding dropkick to your goalie's groin."

  • Fans of other teams like to say that Bob Cole is secretly a Leafs fan. Maybe they're right, because apparently he also refuses to acknowledge the Leafs' 1994 Conference Finals loss to the Canucks ever happened.

  • Tough call for "Most Obscure Guy in the Pile" here, but I'm going to go with a 20-year-old Adam Mair, who makes an appearance a full three years before his rookie season. It's either him or Ladislav Kohn, who was always fantastic in Facts of Life.
So Leaf fans, here's your homework assignment for this week. Find some annoying mulletted dink who makes ten times as much money as you do, and give him a Markov Salute. You'll feel better about yourself. Trust me.




Sunday, December 13, 2009

Signs your hockey player husband might have sixteen mistresses

Lots of clutching and grabbing going on
They look cold.
You may not have heard, but apparently Tiger Woods has had a few affairs. No, really, it's been in the newspaper and everything! And at least count, 16 different women have come forward to admit to relationships with the married golf legend.

I happen to know that a large percentage of my readers are the wives of NHL players, and I'm sure many of them are worried: What if my husband is just like Tiger Woods? How would I know?

I want to help. So I've compiled a list of warning signs that you, the dutiful NHL spouse, should be watching for. Here's how to tell that your hockey player husband may have 16 mistresses:
  • You keep overhearing his teammates talking about whether he'll set the all-time scoring record, but he's a goalie.

  • Every time he sees an article in Us Weekly about Sean Avery breaking up with somebody, he circles it with a red magic marker.

  • The fire hydrant at the end of your driveway looks suspiciously like it's been run over by a zamboni.

  • Whenever he gets a penalty and the PA guy announces "two minutes for hitting from behind", the entire crowd chants "That's what she said".

  • He plays in the United States, and yet the media is interested in him.

  • In NHL 10, he has a 99 rating in "infidelity".

  • You've never heard of those 16 girls whose names are on the banners hanging from your bedroom ceiling.

  • Every time he yells out your name in bed, he checks a lineup card first.

  • When Sidney Crosby punched him in the groin, every woman in your section pulled out a cell phone and started making alternate dinner plans.

  • He refers to the local sorority house as "the waiver wire".

  • You keep getting sympathetic text messages from somebody named Lauren P. in Anaheim.

  • The red light and goal horn attached to your bed's headboard seem to need their batteries changed way more often than they should.

  • He's been working with Jim Balsillie on a new web site called makeitseventeen.ca.

  • His latest "lower body injury" is chlamydia.

  • He's a hockey player who plays for a team that has at least 16 road games this year.




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Road woes: NHL players vs. moving vehicles

This post has been declared a 'Dany Heatley joke'-free zone
Tragically, the YMCA sing-along
never got past "Y".
Last night's game against the Islanders gave Leafs fans their first chance to get a look at Brendan Witt since he was run over by an SUV on Tuesday.

But while the incident was unique in that it was the first time a news story included "Brendan Witt" and "hit" but not "elbow" and "pending suspension", it wasn't all that unusual. NHL players haven't been having much luck when they step out onto the street these days.

Here's a look back at some of the recent incidents and near-misses involving NHL players and moving vehicles:

The victim: Kyle Wellwood
The incident: Narrowly avoided high-speed collision with twin brother during moped ride.

The victim: Shane Doan
The incident: After a tough loss, stepped out into street and was hit by one of the several dozen moving vans that circle the Jobing.com Arena at all times.

The victim: Andrew Raycroft
The incident: Was so upset after a tough loss that he jumped in front of the team bus -- but it went through his legs! Literally. The force of the impact evaporated his legs. Oh god, it was horrific!

The victim: Jonathan Cheechoo
The incident: Stopped too suddenly at a red light; was rear-ended by the hearse that follows him around carrying his goal-scoring ability.

The victim: Zdeno Chara
The incident: Carelessly stepped in front of a speeding commuter train, causing massive damage to the train and slightly wrinkling his dress shirt.

The victim: John Ferguson Jr.
The incident: Chased a ball into the street and was nearly run over by the short bus that takes him work every morning.

The victim: The Philadelphia Flyers
The incident: Various players suffered bruises after bumpy ride to airport caused by team bus attempting to drive with John Stevens still stuck underneath it.

The victim: Kyle Okposo
The incident: Filed police report after being run over by speeding oil tanker. The charges were withdrawn after a review of the video determined it was actually just Dion Phaneuf.

The victim: Steve Tambellini
The incident: After reviewing the team's salary cap situation during his first day on the job, briefly considered jumping in front of the Brinks truck that will be delivering Shawn Horcoff's paycheck for the next six years.

The victim: Jaroslav Halak
The incident: After a pre-season victory, was nearly struck while leaving the Bell Centre after inexcusably forgetting to always look both ways for cars in case the rioters have thrown a flaming one at you.

The victim: Bill Berg
The incident: Run over by truck driven by Pat Burns, who nonetheless continued to not know who he was.

The victim: Jason Spezza
The incident: Carelessly stepped in front of a vehicle, causing it to swerve uncontrollably, plunge off of a cliff, and explode into a ball of flaming wreckage on the rocks below. Luckily, it was the Senators bandwagon so nobody was on board.




Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Leafs vs Bruins: The highlights

Do you ever watch your team play a game that's so bad, you can't even get up the nerve to watch the highlights afterwards?

That happened to me on Saturday, when the Leafs laid an egg in their much-anticipated showdown with the Bruins. The team was flat, the Bruins dominated, and I ended up turning the game off halfway through. It was that bad.

I finally watched the highlights today, since I figured it couldn't have been as bad as I remembered it. And I was right. It was worse. Much, much worse.

Anyway, in case you missed the game, it went like this:


(Can't see this in RSS? Click here.)

Not one of the Leafs' strongest efforts.

Important note: If you like the sort of content you see on DGB, you need to be visiting Bloge Salming. It's all the Leafs and NHL humor without the annoying "reading" part.

Some of my favorites are here, here and here. But you should really go through the entire archives. Seriously, do it now. Now. Why are you still here? Go!




Friday, December 4, 2009

Signs your teammates are trying to kill you

Corpse of Tomas Vokoun
"Then he said 'Say hi to Pelle Lindbergh',
and everything went black."
The hockey world is still buzzing about the Keith Ballard/Tomas Vokoun incident. And while teammates injuring teammates isn't rare, this one was more blatant than most.

Understandably, that has NHL goalies worried. After all, Vokoun can't be the only goaltender in the league whose teammates are plotting his demise.

NHL goalies must be thinking: What if I'm next?

Here's the good news: While attempted goaltender murder is common, there are always warning signs. You just need to know where to look. So if you're an NHL goaltender, review this list carefully. It could be a matter of life and death.

Signs your teammates are trying to kill you
  • Your blocker is ticking.

  • During games against the Predators, whenever you call someone over and try to whisper about defensive strategy he loudly responds "Dude, that's a horrible thing to say about Wade Belak's mom!"

  • Every time you fall asleep on a team flight, you wake up tied to a fire hydrant at the end of Tiger Woods' driveway.

  • Your crease now includes a chalk outline.

  • The team hasn't acquired any forwards lately, but everyone keeps whispering about when the new sniper will get there.

  • While sitting at home watching the ESPYs, you notice your photo in the dead athletes montage.

  • Upon leaving the ice after a win you're immediately greeted by an eight-foot panther, but you don't play for Florida.

  • While watching an NBC broadcast, they invite you to play a drinking game called "Have a shot of tequila every time Pierre McGuire says 'Monster'".

  • When you ask a teammate whether he thinks the Leafs will win the Stanley Cup during your lifetime he says "No, but then neither will anybody else."

  • They suggest replacing the traditional pre-game ritual of "stick tap across the pads" with a new version called "skate blade across the adam's apple".

  • During a meeting with NHLPA reps to discuss the CBA, every question is about how the unsolved murder of the goaltender would impact the salary cap.

  • That new guy they keep inviting out to practice looks suspiciously like Steve Tuttle.

  • Eklund just reported that your teammates are definitely not trying to kill you.

  • In post-game interviews they say things like "We just need to take it one game at a time, stay within ourselves, and try not to do too much. And also, we need to kill that guy over there."

  • Your name is Vesa Toskala.

  • Whenever you ask someone for a lift home, they say "I'm not heading in that direction, but maybe you can get a ride with Dany."




Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When teammates attack: Other teammate-inflicted NHL injuries

Hockey injury
The Florida Panthers' playoff
chances: an interpretive dance
Keith Ballard is the talk of the hockey world today, thanks to his bizarre slash to the head that left teammate Tomas Vokoun bleeding on a stretcher.

But while Ballard is certainly an extreme case, he's not the first NHL player to accidentally cause an injury to a teammate. In fact, over the past few years the league has seen several regrettable incidents. Here's a look at some that had the biggest impact.

The player: Jonas Gustavsson
The injury: Heart arrhythmia due to repetitive trauma to the middle of his chest
What happened: Cumulative effect from a full month of facing Jason Blake in practice every day.

The player: Joe Thornton
The injury: Damaged windpipe due to choking
What happened: Unaware of strict internal rules regarding team meals, new teammate Dany Heatley mentions the word "playoffs".

The player: Andrei Markov
The injury: Sprained MCL
What happened: Repetitive strain of constantly having to drop to one knee to hold a conversation with the Habs' various offseason acquisitions.

The player: Brad Boyes
The injury: Severe hoof damage across his back
What happened: Wandered in between Keith Tkachuk and the post-game buffet.

The player: Alexei Ponikarovsky
The injury: Lower back pain, swollen ankles, and gestational diabetes
What happened: Accidentally made eye contact with Luke Schenn.

The player: Entire Vancouver Canucks defence
The injury: Second and third degree sunburns to the back of the neck.
What happened: Were forced to play an entire game in front of Andrew Raycroft.

The player: Rick DiPietro
The injury: Multiple fractures, torn ligaments, internal organ failure
What happened: Teammate Brendan Witt turned on a rotating fan in the dressing room, causing a light breeze.

The player: Marian Hossa
The injury: Lacerations to both wrists
What happened: New teammate Patrick Kane introduced himself by saying "Wow, you played for Pittsburgh and Detroit? Can I see your Cup rings?"

The player: Marc Staal
The injury: Impaired vision
What happened: Learning the details of Wade Redden's free agent contract caused eyes to cartoonishly pop out of head, detaching both retinas.

The player: Daniel Carcillo
The injury: Concussion
What happened: During a heated debate on the validity of the inferential thesis, Carcillo argues for Gibson's "ecological approach" to the conception of perception, leading Riley Cote (a known advocate of Fodor and Pylyshyn's stance that affordances presuppose direct perception and therefore can not be used to explain it) to hit him over the head with a folding chair.

The player: Chris Neil
The injury: Two broken ankles
What happened: Instinctively leapt out of eighth floor hotel window after Chris Phillips mentioned that the bellhop kind of looked like Colton Orr.

The player: Chris Drury
The injury: Existential crisis
What happened: Realization that Sean Avery continues to pull incredibly hot women forced him to question the very existence of a just and merciful god.

The player: Mike Fisher
The injury: Broken jaw and fractued orbital bone
What happened: Tried to keep a straight face when Daniel Alfredsson delivered his "Go ahead and write it, I guarantee we'll win the Cup" quote.