Thursday, June 28, 2007

A perfect fit for Pittsburgh

Angelo Esposito was selected with the #20 pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins last week, and they are thrilled to get a player once ranked as high as number eight.

According to the AP:

The Canadiens and 18 other teams apparently felt Esposito was a little too self centered, didn't progress as much as anticipated and didn't always play with passion last season.

If that's not a picture perfect model of what it is to be a Pittsburgh Penguin, then I don't know what is. Historically, the Penguins are well known to be spoiled whiners who consider their dynamic offensive skills a gift to the rest of league, are indifferent to playing defense, have no problem taking a dive and are the first in the league to complain to the officials when somebody dares make contact with them.

See also: Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Gonchar and yes, Sidney Crosby

Related: Marc Andres Fleury's goalie pads suck. They look like those shitty "Circus Peanuts" candy.

And apologies to Jordan Staal, who I would love to see in any other uniform in the league.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Sports Blog:

Hi kids-

If you're up for some non-hockey exclusive sports talk- I've been invited to contribute to a new, comedian written sports blog that's just started up this week called The Nosebleeds.

My first post, (where I offer up my bold analysis of the 1978 NBA draft) should be showing up sometime tomorrow morning, but so far there has been other good stuff as well.

Here are some highlights:

Ed Holland on Red Sox fans who live in New York:

"(Red Sox Fans in New York) sound...just like Yankee fans. Except they are much better informed. About the Yankees. Ask a New York fan who plays for Boston and he’ll come up with Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and oh Curt Schilling...Not so with your Sox man. Want to know Clay Bellinger’s on-base percentage? Ask a Red Sox fan. How much did Chili Davis weigh? Consult the Boston supporter."

Chris DeLuca on Yogi Berra's son, Pirates Third Baseman Dale Berra:

"You, on the other hand, were an early to mid-80’s middle infielder for the Pirates and Yankees who is famous for being fined 10% of his salary for admitting to using cocaine on and off from 1979 to 1984. You also, after being traded to the Yanks where your dad was the manager, were fined (for) public urination and resisting arrest. And if that wasn't enough, later that year you were the 2nd of two players to be thrown out at home plate in the same play. And, as you can see, you had a cheesedick mustache."

Liam McEneaney on the New York Yankees grounds crew who still do that YMCA dance:

"Now, I wasn't on The Bataan Death March, but I imagine that the POWs looked remarkably similar to the Yankee grounds crew - posture bent, defeated, eyes hollow like damned men marching to the Pits of Hell...Watching them go through the motions of forming letters with the jaded exhaustion of the world's oldest Bar Mitzvah DJ, one must ask oneself: What did these poor men do to deserve this?"

Good stuff.

More hockey tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Two Man Advantage is back-

And with a surprise, shirtless special guest!

For more shirtless NHL action from guys who you'd rather not see it from, check out my disturbing post about Bill Clement from last April.

Oh and if you haven't seen Episodes one and two of the 2 Man Advantage, you can catch up here.

No word from the Islanders yet.

Anybody surprised?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Islanders Blog Box:

Hey, are there any Islanders fans out there?

Cause the New York Islanders have a new promotion soliciting Isles bloggers, who will receive press passes in the new experimental "Blog Box."

Just for the hell of it, I came up with a pitch for a blog.

They suggest that candidates should "come up with a creative angle for (the) blog" as they don't want people all doing the same thing.

So I did.

I don't think they'll bite on it as they are really looking for rabid Isles fans, which I'm not, but I do think that if I were to do this, Islander fans would get a kick out of it.

What do you think?

First Name: Ritch

Last Name: Duncan

Hometown: New York

State: NY

Age: 34

E-Mail Address:

Phone Number: 917 xxx-xxxx

Islanders Blog: Yashin's Tears

Your Islanders Blog Concept and/or why you'd like to be considered:

"Yashin's Tears" will be a fictional comedy blog written from the perspective of Alexei Yashin, forced to watch the Isles season from the sidelines after his his contract was bought out by the Islanders, who as it turned out, he passionately loved, despite, you know- never really playing that way. The entire Isles season will be covered from the fictional perspective of Yashin, as he wanders the country with two goals: Earning the forgiveness of Islander fans and spending his $17.63 million on "the most magnificent turtleneck collection the world has ever known." As the season progresses, actual facts and events from the Isles season and practices will be incorporated into the blog, giving a fictional gag a fun skeleton of truth to hang on. Another bonus would be that I would not have the need to ever actually bother a player, member of the media or the organization at large with questions, as I would merely be an observer who points out what goes on behind the scenes.

I would like to be considered as I have lived in the New York Metro area for over a decade, followed the Islanders closely, blogged professionally for Court TV, and written for television shows like Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Additionally, I have maintained the popular hockey/comedy blog American Hockey Fan for well over a year. I assure you that if I am granted access to the box, this is a project that will be totally devoted to the Islanders season, be funny, well written, different than anything else you have out there, and updated regularly.

Friday, June 22, 2007

New Bruins logo unveiled.


"The Bruins’ retro crest today is immediately recognized by all as a symbol of immeasurable strength, both on and off the ice. The image of the ‘Great Bruin,’ in complete control of his territory, serves as a stark warning to all who would challenge his supremacy."

I don't know if I see it yet.

I'll give it some time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Claude Julien is the coach of the Bruins.

I think I speak for all of Bruins Nation when I let loose with a hearty, "eh."

Also, legendary tightwad, peanut salesman and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs was named chairman of the NHL board of governors, the body that discusses the salary cap. Upon hearing this news, reps from the NHLPA asked if there was anyway they could fire Bob Goodenow and Ted Saskin again.

American Hockey fan was able to get some footage of the Jacobs family celebrating at home. It's not great quality, but we'll take what we can get.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The silence is deafening.

Well, it's been a few days since the guys at The Fourth quote "beat TSN to the story" that Claude Julien had been hired as the next head coach of the Boston Bruins, and the silence is deafening.

According to Sportsnet Canada, the announcement was "expected Tuesday."

So, um- what gives?

The Fourth Period story cites an "anonymous source," and no other outlet that I can find says anything more than that.

Could the silence have anything to do with the fact that there is another high profile coaching job available with the Ottawa Senators, who also haven't made any coaching decisions after their head coach went to the front office?

Did anybody consider that those same Senators might just love a chance to make the Bruins look stupid? Remember, this was the team that had Zdeno Chara plucked away from them in a questionable arrangement by ex-Senator Assistant GM and current Bruin GM Peter Charelli. You think that club wouldn't love to steal one from the Bruins?

Also consider, if you're Claude Julien, and you have a winning record as an NHL coach despite being fired twice, would you rather head to a team that finished in the Stanley Cup Finals or one that finished six games under .500, under a rookie GM who has already fired two coaches in 11 months?

Add that the latest official on topic announcement from the Bruins has been from Charlie Jacobsspawn (Excuse me, I mean Charlie Jacobs, Executive VP of the Bruins)who said "We... need to get grittier."

Well then, you better immediately hire a French Canadian.


UPDATE: The Boston Herald has a great article on this, that includes the following gem:

Julien lives in Kanata, the suburb in which Ottawa’s home arena - Scotiabank Place - is located.

UPDATE #2: The Bruins have announced a press conference tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM "regarding their head coaching position."

I think I have a good shot at the job. If you know Chiarelli, put in a good word for me, kay?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I did standup in Hoboken, New Jersey tonight, and returned home late to discover that my long post (saved as a draft) about Mike Milbury's chances to be the Bruin coach was now worthless.

Despite a stamp of approval from Bruin Poet Laureate Kevin Paul DuPont, it seems that Mike Milbury is not going to be the coach of the Boston Bruins.

Worse still, it also doesn't seem to be longtime Bruin fan favorite Ted Donato, whose broken foot was (in my humble opinion) the reason the Bruins lost their playoff series to the Canadiens in 2004.

For a great rundown of the other candidates in the running, check out the terrific Doug Flynn, who really breaks them all down in great fashion.

All signs are pointing towards Claude Julien (coach of those 2004 Canadiens, by the way) continuing a steadfast Boston trend of hiring ex-Devils coaches who were canned despite not doing that badly.

And I gotta tell you, he's not a bad choice, but from the perspective of one Bruins fan, he's not the best choice, even among ex-Devils coaches, as I'd rather have either Pat Burns or Robbie Ftorek back before Julien. Christ, I'd even take Larry Robinson at this point. By the way, the only playoff series Julien ever won was against the Bruins in 2004, and can any Bruin fan really say that it was the Hab's coaching that got them the win? Big Joe had broken ribs and when emotional spark Ted Donato dropped out, the wheels fell off.

Here's the deal- Claude Julien got fired by the Devils after racking up a whole hell of a lot of one goal wins with the Vezina trophy winner between the pipes. Tim Thomas is great, and Bruin fans love him, but the Bruin goaltending situation being what it is, we can't hope to lean on a goalie for 25 one-goal wins a year. And yes, I made that number up.

Sure, I made fun of big Lou when he fired Julien, but fellow AHF'er Ben defended the decision with a well reasoned critique of Julien's performance here.

If anyone (read: Peter Charelli) is thinking that hiring Claude Julien is a great idea, that's required reading. If you're lazy- here's a pretty compelling passage from his post, especially considering that any new Bruins coach is going to have to deal with a lot of young players:

the beauty of the Devils' system and of their (great) scouting department is that you can call up guys from Lowell to fill spots (when injuries to your top players happen.) Rod Pelley demonstrated that he is a Madden-in-training, matching up against some of the top players in the league, going only -3 in 9 games, and winning faceoffs with a vengeance. And David Clarkson knocked us all on our collective ass notching 4 points in his first 7 NHL games, including 2 goals on the power play – and that's to say nothing of his gritty physical play on both sides of the puck. The talent was there, even during the stretch of injuries. But the team just wasn’t who do you blame? (Hint: the coach)

I'm not knocking Julien per se, but I'll tell you, I'm not endorsing him either. And to pick up Claude Julien seems to this Bruins fan like picking up a brand new Dave Lewis.

Pretty good on paper, but maybe not that great.

As a Bruins fan- it would have been nice to see Mad Mike behind the bench again. It might have been a train wreck, but that's no goddamn different than it's been- well, since the last time Milbury was coaching, and at least he woulda made it entertaining.

For one thing, if Mike Milbury was the coach, I guarantee you, Chara would fight.

Anybody remember this?

And even if the Bruins season went down the tubes, I'll tell you this: Mike Milbury would not go down without a fight. This is his last chance, and I hate to say it, but barring a miracle, Mike Milbury is finished in hockey. If he doesn't get a job, some Boston financial firm is going to be gaining a new "outreach guy." DuPont glossed over it a bit, but Milbury had some bad luck combined with some bad decisions, and sold the Islanders down the goddamn river, over and over and over again. Still, he's not getting hired in the front office, he's getting a shot to be a coach again. And this guy is a goddamn hockey man. If he got the job as the head coach of the Boston Bruins, he'd have to know it was his last chance, and he'd make the best of it. If he coaches the B's, win or lose, the NHL gains a real character.

The NHL broadcast booth has a distinct lack of character these days and not for nothing, but Mike Milbury once went over the glass and beat up a New York Ranger fan with his own shoe. But he's damaged goods, and needs a chance to redeem himself. Coaching the Bruins would be a perfect opportunity to do just that.

If Peter Charelli gives Mad Mike a chance, win or lose, we might- just might have ourselves a new Don Cherry on the horizon.

And that's a big win for hockey.

You heard it here first.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kaption Komedy - NHL Awards Edition Part 4

An unidentified player poses with the Hart, Pearson, and
Art Ross trophies at the 2007 NHL awards in Toronto.

Hey kids, feel free to add your own in the comments!

Kaption Komedy - NHL Awards Edition Part 3

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland accepts the Lady Byng
Memorial Trophy for Player who Displays Gentlemanly Conduct
for Pavel Datsyuk, who was apparently too much of a gentleman
to have the common courtesy to show up at the ceremony.

Hey kids, feel free to add your own in the comments!

Kaption Komedy - NHL Awards Edition Part 2

Just moments after this photo was taken, autograph seeker James
Degrasso, 12, was rushed to a nearby hospital with concussion-like
symptoms. In a rare display of especially harsh discipline, the
NHL revoked Pronger's awards show gift basket.

Hey kids, feel free to add your own in the comments!

Kaption Komedy - NHL Awards Edition

After carrying the New Jersey Devils for yet another season,
Marty Brodeur barely has enough strength left to lift the Vezina.

Hey kids, feel free to add your own in the comments!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two great hates that hate great together.

How fantastic would this be?

Are you kidding me?

Yashin on the Montreal Canadiens? What could possibly be more fun to boo than that? And they want him playing on a line with Kovalev? From a hating perspective that seems almost too good to be true.

OK, if there is even a chance of this deal happening, I'm gonna need to start writing heckles NOW. It takes some time to learn to yell "you suck" in both French AND Russian is what I'm saying.

I need to be ready for the season.

You know how there's no "I" in "Team?" Well, there's also no "D" in "Kovalev" or "Yashin."

Boyoboy, Yashin's gonna look just great in one of these.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's not that hard to be a hockey writer.

I used to think it was.

Of course, that was before I read Alan Adam's bold prediction on Sportsnet Canada that despite re-signing Sundin, the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs might want to hold off on planning a Stanley Cup parade.


How can he say that?

I mean, they are the undisputed league leader in dudes named Yanic!

Fuck the Maple Leafs, their fans, players and management.

Enough already.

If you compare the support they get from the city, country and fanbase to the effort they put out on the ice it makes me wonder why there aren't 5 NHL hockey teams in that city. I mean, when the Bruins and Blackhawks suck, at least the hockey fans there aren't stupid enough to keep handing them sellout after sellout.

There's a lot of talk about moving franchises, I have a better idea: how about trading entire teams for each other? It's pretty clear they could put a bunch of milkmaids on the ice in Toronto and it'd still sell out, so I say the current Toronto Maple Leafs roster should be traded for the Nashville Predators. Straight up. The Predators are pretty good, hockey fans in Toronto are starved for some actual hockey, and the way new Nashville owner Jim Balsille plans to run things down there to make his escape clause take effect, that building is gonna have less people in it than a matinee screening of Georgia Rule.If any squad ever deserved to play in an empty building it's those goddamn Maple Leafs.

Spoiled bastards.

See what it looks like in the stands in Nashville when you "almost make the playoffs" after not skating against beatable opponents a week prior. See how many hockey articles get written in the Nashville City Paper sports section about how solid your blue line is then?


Ultimately, I don't care that much, but doesn't it kind of suck that the hockey hall of fame is in Toronto, and it's practically impossible to take a road trip up to the hall and get a ticket to watch NHL hockey on the same trip?

I mean, shouldn't that be an option, especially if the team isn't a contender?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ray Liotta and Snoop Dogg must be elated!

Some thoughts:

-Congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks and their fans. Now can we get the cup somewhere cold already? After Southern California, North Carolina and Tampa Bay Florida, Stanley doesn't just "have a tan," it has a fucking melanoma.

-Gary Bettman needs to let go of the cup. How hard a job is that? Pick up cup, call captain's name, don't stumble over your words, and hand it off. What a repulsive troll. I hope when he gets into his car tonight, he sits on his own nuts.

-The wrong Niedermeyer won the MVP. OK, maybe not just Rob Neidermeyer, but that whole checking line. Moen, Pahlsson and Robby played so great this series. You could make a good argument for Alfredsson too- that shot that rang off Scott Neidermeyer's legs may have killed his chances.

-Dang, Lauren Pronger is kinda hot. She's Canada's Yoko Ono, by the way.

-Interesting that Gilette was a main sponsor of an event starring 60 guys who haven't shaved in three months.

-Good on ESPNews for broadcasting the postgame. I was actually afraid that no one would cover it.

-Antoinne Vermette should buy Chris Phillips a Rolex. To blow a penalty shot like that, not even getting a shot off, and then not be the guy wearing the goat's horns? Wow.

-Why the hell do they wait until the third period to bring the cup into the building? What, did the cheerleader from Heroes have 9:30 cup licking scheduled?

-So, what should I write about this summer?

The Stanley Cup has entered the building.

Well, here we go.

It's on.

While the Stanley Cup final is always something special, it's better when the cup is in the building.

Plus, Chris Pronger is back from his second suspension of the playoffs, and the way he's been going lately, we might seem him throw Gary Bettman a devastating elbow to the head on the way to the trophy table.

Oh, and for those who missed Don Cherry on NBC, here's the clip:

God damn, what a breath of fresh air. I found it a little irritating the way Hull and Clement alternately baited and sucked up to Cherry, but despite all that, he still got the job done.

Here's some old school Rock em'-Sock em.

I've always felt that the NHL needed more gunfire sound effects. You think Grapes has changed his mind about Yashin? cause the Islanders certainly have.

Please NBC, bring back Don Cherry.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Is someone in the kitchen (with Dinah)?

Because there sure is plenty of room, what with Ray Emery apparently magnetically unable stay anywhere in the vicinity of his net. Don't get me wrong--I'm rooting for the Sens to go for the win, as I refuse to believe that the Ducks have any relevance to the sport of hockey--but come on, man. We get it. You're a different kind of goalie. You can handle the puck. You're not afraid to fight. You've overcome a hardscrabble upbringing in Cayuga, Ontario (town motto: "Sorry for any inconveniences experienced while you were here, eh?") to play professional hockey. Now get your ass back in that crease like you're being goddamn overpaid to do.

This doesn't mean the Ducks didn't deserve their win last night. They recovered from an embarassing first period, they made sure that the fire beneath Andy McDonald's ass was kept on at a constant temperature, and most of all, when the puck came in the direction of their net, their goalie was not only nearby, but he used his hands and body to prevent it from going in. It was actually a pretty exciting game, thanks to a running theme of sloppy punches and general assholery (also, Rob Niedermayer's fear-inspiring beard), but an end result is an end result, and this one made Tim Horton cry.

As for the shock of finding the game on primetime network TV where actual human beings might be able to watch it, all I could think was that any aliens intercepting broadcasts transmissions from NBC last night would have come away thinking either "That Pronger sure sounds like a dick" or "Although this is our first encounter with the planet Earth and this sport they call hockey, it is quite apparent that this Don Cherry character is both past his prime and batshit insane"

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hockey Night in America

Check out this great article on Don Cherry in today's LA Times.

According to the Globe and Mail, Hull and Cherry teamed up on the CBC for game three, "but the two high-profile commentators didn't produce much that was interesting or entertaining."

Thanks to this great find by Eric over at Off Wing Opinion, if the problem was lack of preparation, that might not have been Cherry's fault. I mean, not for nothing, but if Bill Clement is incredulous at how much you suck, you might really suck.

Oh well.

Go get 'em tonight, Grapes.

Second intermission.

I'm actually as excited about this as I am about the game.

Game three was a good one, and as I haven't yet seen the inevitable "NBC ratings disaster for NHL hockey" article, I'll assume it went well?

Tonight, the NHL has a crucial Stanley Cup final game on prime time network television with two great, fast teams that don't like each other much. They can lead with tape of great goals, amazing saves, Chris Pronger smashing Dean McCammond in the jaw, Chris Neil laying out Andy McDonald, and Don Cherry in the press box to explain with passion, humor and understanding how all this violence can fit into the greatest game on the planet earth.

If they can't sell that, I give up.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

You are very welcome, Mr. Drury.

Not bad, eh?

Here's the story:

We know this guy who knows a guy who happens to be an extraordinarily talented professional photographer who occasionally shoots hockey games, and is a fan of the site.

So when Chris Drury's father-in-law saw this great picture of his daughter's husband winning a loose puck battle with what appears to be a large woman, he tracked down the photographer and got in contact with him. One thing led to another, and here we are.

How about them apples?

So, not to brag or nothing, but this site has just been thanked by a Stanley Cup, Beanpot, Hobey Baker, Calder Memorial Trophy and Little League World Series winner, which, in my view, officially makes us famous.

Or at the very least, makes us guys who know a guy who knows a guy who has a daughter that happened to marry a guy who is famous.

In Buffalo.

Still, it's pretty f-ing sweet, if you ask me.

He also threw in these pics for Sabres fans Jack and Jen.

It's a nice thing, super cool that Chris Drury knows who we are, (or at least wondered for a few seconds) and super big thanks to YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE for scoring the pics for us. I'm no good at sentimentalism, but I think I speak for everyone here at AHF when I say, "Suck it, Bflo Blog!"

Friday, June 01, 2007

Moving pictures

What's that, you say? A lot of the images are missing from our old posts, making it very difficult to get a lot of the visual humor that you've come to rely on from AHF?

Yeah. We know. We're working on it.

UPDATE: All better. Pretend like it never happened.