The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Monday, April 30, 2007
The photo on the left was me, taken back in May of 2004 (and is my profile photo on here). The one on the right was taken two nights ago. Amazing how losing 60 pounds or so affects how you look.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Obviously, the Predators self-destruction this week didn't help things at all. Neither did the Admirals' one-and-done" playoff run. But there's something more that's been happening, closer to home.
For those of you unaware, I work at a juvenile detention facility here in Wisconsin. It's been in operation for nearly 50 years, and in that time there's only been about three deaths of youth on grounds.
On Saturday, the 21st, there was a fourth. A youth who apparently had some heart issues collapsed in his room, and could not be resuscitated. It was not a pleasant day, to say the least. No, it was not in my place of work, but I remembered the youth from the time when he was in our cottage (living unit).
That wouldn't be so bad, if not for what happened late Sunday night. A fellow youth counselor who had worked a double-shift (first and second shift) lost control of his vehicle on the way home, and was killed when his car went off the road, flipped in a ditch and hit a tree, catching fire. His name was Todd Fraser.
Now, you may be asking why I mention his name. Well, there's a reason. For quite some time, I really didn't have many people that I could talk hockey or such with at my workplace. Those that were hockey fans were fans of other teams - the Rangers, the Devils, the Blackhawks and the Dead Things, for example. This gentleman, though, apparently had some connection with someone in Tennessee. I don't know why or how, but he would occasionally wear a bright orange UT pullover to work, and he mentioned that he was a fan of the Titans.
The best part, however, was that he was a Predators fan. Yeah, not very gung-ho, but he and I had some good conversations about the team. I actually commented to him the night after our series loss that there was definite venom in the air over Barry Trotz and wanting him fired. I actually saw him briefly on Sunday morning before I left work, since he worked at our main control area (gate house).
I'm not going to equate his death with that of Swampy, or of the beloved Eudora. But the Predators Nation has lost one of its own here - albeit tangentially.
This whole long weekend has also put something else in perspective: there are a whole lot worse things that can happen besides losing a hockey game. Maybe there's a bit too much venom on the part of us that are still around as to wanting Trotz gone.
That old Kentucky philosopher that used to wander the Nashville Predators message boards before he started playing with toy airplanes used to make an analogy about how the Preds were like his daughter. Sometimes she'd do things brilliantly, and sometimes she'd just get stuck on not being able to do this one little thing. I'm guessing that we're asking a bit much of a nine-year-old to do vector calculus.
Yes, they are our children. Yes, it hurts to see them lose. But there are many things that are worse that could be happening to you at this time.
Mourning the death of a co-worker, for one.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
This year, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks ran away with the MEP totals, with a 68.33 season average. Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves was second with 67.88.
The MEP "All Star" Team:
- Center: Yao Ming, Houston, 66.54
- Power Forward: Nowitzki, Dallas, 68.33
- Small Forward: LeBron James, Cleveland, 57.24
- Point Guard: Duwayne Wade, Miami, 65.34
- Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers, 61.29
- Kevin Garnett, Minnesota, 67.88
- Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 67.06
- Carlos Boozer, Utah, 66.24
- Pao Gasol, Memphis, 64.12
- Amare Stoudamire, Phoenix, 60.47
- Marcus Camby, Denver, 60.34
- Jason Kidd, New Jersey, 55.70
- Center: Andreas Glyniadakis, Seattle, -15.00
- Power Forward: Jerome James, New York, 5.88
- Small Forward: C.J. Miles, Utah, 0.81
- Point Guard: Vassilis Spanoulis, Houston, 8.86
- Shooting Guard: Cedric Bozeman, Atlanta, -4.02
Thursday, April 19, 2007
It's time for the Nashville Predators to fire Barry Trotz.
It is officially and woefully apparent that the Predators are unable to take that next big step towards the Stanley Cup with him at the helm.
The ultimate damning event happened tonight: the Predators lost their seventh straight road game in the playoffs since 2004. You cannot, unless you win the Governor's Trophy, win the Stanley Cup without winning at least once on the road.
Nashville is likely to be golfing Saturday morning. And Barry should be out of a job by Monday morning.
If not, maybe Mr. Poile needs to consider finding a new job as well.
Monday, April 16, 2007
2007 AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE GOALS CREATED ALL-STARS
Center: Martin St. Pierre, Norfolk (118.9 GC)
Left Wing: Brett Sterling, Chicago (115.7 GC)
Right Wing: Darren Haydar, Chicago (148.7 GC)
Defense: Nathan Oystrick, Chicago (69.1 GC)
Defense: Sheldon Brookbank, Milwaukee (65.6 GC)
Goaltender: Al Montoya, Hartford (6.1 GC)
Center: Keith Aucoin, Albany (117.3 GC)
Left Wing: Jason Jaffray, Manitoba (96.7 GC)
Right Wing: Troy Brouwer, Norfolk (97.4 GC)
Defense: Dustin Byfuglien, Norfolk (63.1 GC)
Defense: Micki DuPont, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (52.9 GC)
Goaltender: Karri Ramo, Springfield (3.5 GC)
Center: David Krejci, Providence (78.3 GC, 59.8 CNG)
Left Wing: Brett Sterling, Chicago (115.7 GC, 97.2 CNG)
Right Wing: Troy Brouwer, Norfolk (97.4 GC, 82.7 CNG)
Defense: Nathan Oystrick, Chicago (69.1 GC, 89.1 CNG)
Defense: T.J.Kemp, Manchester (57.7 GC, 66.0 CNG)
Goaltender: Tomas Popperle, Syracuse (0.0 GC, 66.2 BAST, 54.7 CNG)
(Minimum 10 games played, worst CNG total)
Center: Eric Boguniecki, Syracuse (-7.6 GC, -4.6 CNG)
Left Wing: Radek Smolenak, Springfield (-3.6 GC, -1.9 CNG)
Right Wing: Bryan Esner, Peoria and Brent Walton, Syracuse (-5.9 GC, -3.8 CNG)
Defense: Colin Peters, Iowa (-8.9 GC, -8.7 CNG)
Defense: Alex Brooks, Lowell (-8.7 GC, -8.1 CNG)
Goaltender: Tony Quesada, Houston (4.1 BAST, 2.2 CNG)
CUNNINGHAM AWARD NOMINEES
· Darren Haydar, Chicago (148.7 GC, 113.9 CNG)
· Brett Sterling, Chicago (115.7 GC, 97.2 CNG)
· Martin St.Pierre, Norfolk (118.9 GC, 92.2 CNG)
BASTIEN AWARD NOMINEES
· Jason LaBarbera, Manchester (104.5 BAST, 90.6 CNG)
· Corey Crawford, Norfolk (87.5 BAST, 71.2 CNG)
· Curtis McElhinney, Omaha (83.9 BAST, 69.3 CNG)
SHORE AWARD NOMINEES
· Nathan Oystrick, Chicago (69.1 GC, 89.1 CNG)
· Sheldon Brookbank, Milwaukee (65.6 GC, 88.3 CNG)
· Dustin Byfuglien, Norfolk (63.1 GC, 85.0 CNG)
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Because Jacobs Field has been pelted with snow over the last week or so, and the Indians have been unable to hold their opening series as a result, they have decided to take a "road trip" and play the games at the nearest available stadium that could accomodate them...
The Angels and the Indians will play their series here in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, bringing AL baseball back to the Brew City for the first time in a decade.
Of course, this isn't the first time the Indians have called Milwaukee "home", but that was Charlie Sheen's fictitious Indians from the first Major League film.
Labels: Indians Miller Park Major League
Monday, April 09, 2007
For those of you who are late to the conversation: I've discussed the Goals Created Formula elsewhere on this blog and on my home page. So instead of going into all the particulars, we'll just dive in.
First of all: the league PIM constant this season was 2099 PPG, divided by 34,619 PIM, giving a total of .06063145.
FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS
Center: Joe Thornton, San Jose (135.3 GC, 103.0 HART)
Left Wing: Thomas Vanek, Buffalo (124.6 GC, 81.6 HART)
Right Wing: Dany Heatley, Ottawa (131.5 GC, 112.1 HART)
Defense: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit (99.2 GC, 106.6 HART)
Defense: Chris Pronger, Anaheim (81.8 GC, 90.8 HART)
Goaltender: Vesa Toskala, San Jose (3.0 GC, 52.5 HART)
SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS
Center: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh (126.4 GC, 102.8 HART)
Left Wing: Daniel Sedin, Vancouver (100.8 GC, 73.7 HART)
Right Wing: Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa (126.5 GC, 100.6 HART)
Defense: Tom Preissing, Ottawa (76.9 GC, 42.0 HART)
Defense: Kimmo Timonen, Nashville (72.5 GC, 63.3 HART)
Goaltender: Marty Turco, Dallas (2.91 GC, 81.3 HART)
Center: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh (82.1 GC, 70.6 HART)
Left Wing: Wojtek Wolski, Colorado (51.2 GC, 31.2 HART)
Right Wing: Alexander Radulov, Nashville (54.4 GC, 24.6 HART)
Defense: Matthew Carle San Jose (49.2 GC, 37.4 HART)
Defense: Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose (37.9 GC, 31.6 HART)
Goaltender: Jaroslav Halak, Montreal (0.88 GC, 21.5 HART)
NO-STARS (WORST GC)
Center: Ryan Hollweg, NY Rangers (-15.9 GC, 1.2 HART)
Left Wing: Josh Gratton, Phoenix (-18.4 GC, 2.1 HART)
Right Wing: Enver Lisin, Phoenix (-17.0 GC, -6.8 HART)
Defense: Derian Hatcher, Philadelphia (-20.1 GC, -5.3 HART)
Defense: Matt Greene, Edmonton (-18.6 GC, -1.0 HART)
Goaltender: Martin Biron, Philaelphia (-1.52 GC, 36.5 HART)
HARTLESS AWARDS (Worst at position, min 10 GP/500 Min. in Net)
Center: Petr Nedved, Edmonton (-4.6 HART)
Left Wing: Jean-Francois Jacque, Edmonton (-2.1 HART)
Right Wing: Enver Lisin, Phoenix (-6.8 HART; HARTLESS Award winner)
Defense: Jay McKee, Saint Louis (-5.30 HART) and Derian Hatcher, Philadelphia (-5.26 HART)
Goaltender: Barry Brust, Los Angeles (5.3 VZNA, 3.7 HART)
Hart Trophy candidates:
- Martin Brodeur, New Jersey (121.1 HART)
- Dany Heatley, Ottawa (112.1 HART)
- Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit (106.6 HART)
- Martin Brodeur, New Jersey (140.8 VZNA 121.1 HART)
- Roberto Luongo, Vancouver (125.1 VZNA, 103.0 HART)
- Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary (117.0 VZNA, 97.7 HART)
- Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit (106.6 HART)
- Chris Pronger, Anaheim (90.8 HART)
- Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim (84.5 HART)
Sunday, April 08, 2007
On to other things:
- On a sad note, Jonny Hart, the creator of the comic strip BC, passed away suddenly this morning. It's a tad ironic, since he was famous for his Easter Day comic strips that highlighted Christ and the Resurrection. He will be missed, especially by me.
- I'm not liking the rumors I'm hearing about Steve Sullivan out there. There are some whispers that his back spasms have been amplified instead of quieted, and that he may not only be done for the year - but also for his career. I don't think the Preds can get to the Promised Land without him.
- Yes, I'm already bracing for another onslaught by the tech-savvy Sharks fans upon the Predators message boards. We've got to stop this matching-up with these guys.
- As to my dieting: I'm down to about 175-176 lbs, which means I'm right at the borderline in the BMI formula between "obese" and "overweight". Of course, that's somewhat akin to being on the border of "destitute" and "poor", but you get the picture.
- Brewer fans are all asking the same question right now: which one is the real Ben Sheets? The one who pitched on opening day vs. LA (9 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 K), or the one who pitched Saturday against the Cubs (6 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 3K)?