January 27, 2010

Things I Never Want To Hear Again

Hello, and welcome to a new feature that will be posted whenever I'm working on other features that are much better, but take much longer to write.

In "Things I Never Want To Hear Again" or "Tinwtha", I'll be taking things I've heard pretty consistently in and around the Barilkosphere over the years and telling you why I disagree with them.

First up, Tyler Kennedy vs. Luke Schenn.

Now, from the reaction this fight garnered you'd think that Luke Schenn literally beat Tyler Kennedy to death with Kennedy's own fists in the most impressive display of "stop hitting yourself" ever seen.

Here are two quotes I've pulled from what is probably the most established Leafs blog in the universe that I feel are indicative of the general attitude towards this fight.

Schenn absolutely crushed him, tossed him around like a rag doll… brought back memories of Chara vs McCabe.
-Comment from Winkle on Pension Plan Puppets

Speaking of Wendel, when Schenn sat on Kennedy and pounded away did everyone have flashbacks to Wendel Clark? Yeah, me too.
-Excerpt from Maple Leafs 5 vs. Penguins 4: LUKE SCHENN! by PPP at Pension Plan Puppets

Now, I will admit is it was nice to see Luke Schenn actually win a fight - even if it was against a guy listed at 5'8 and 183 pounds.  But to say that he "crushed him", well, that's just a little hyperbolic for me.

For example - this is crushing someone

And how exactly does Schenn, in that fight, remind anyone of Wendel?  Wendel, in most of his fights, was the little guy.  Wendel was 5'11, under 200 pounds and he fought anyone who wanted to dance.  If anything, Kennedy is doing the Wendel thing in this fight - going after a much bigger player who nailed one of his star teammates.  In this clip the star player was Wendel himself, but I think the point is still valid.

Now, I don't want anyone to think I'm hating on Schenn here.  I like Schenn, I think he's going to be a very, very good player for a very long time.  But let's be honest with ourselves - that wasn't much of a fight, let alone a beat-down, no matter how much some of us might wish otherwise.

I also don't want anyone to feel singled out or that I'm trying to take a shot at them, PPP in particular.  I guess I'm just trying to point out that when PPP, one of the best known Leafs bloggers, holds and promotes the "Schenn Crushed Kennedy" opinion it's a clear signal that its a petty well-regarded idea among Barilkosphere faithful.

So, next time you sing the praises of Luke Schenn, might I suggest just hyping the hit on Malkin, or the fight with Chris Neal after a hit on Stajan (which was a similar situation to the Kennedy fight, but in reverse).

Anyhow, I'm off to Vegas for the next few days, so if you're going to comment and rip me a new one please try to make it something I don't have to delete when I get back.

Later Skaters,

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January 20, 2010

Path To The Playoffs, Part 1: Minding The Net

Hello dear readers, or dare I say, friends?  Either way, welcome back.

This week, Maple Leaf Outsider will run the first installment of a six-part series called Path To The Playoffs.  In it, I'll be examining the Eastern Conference clubs that have made the post-season, post-lockout of course, and comparing them to the Maple Leafs in an attempt to figure out exactly why they've been missing out for the past four (going on five) seasons.

In the first four parts I'll be examining the team in its component parts - Goaltending, Defense, Bottom-Six forwards, and Top Six-Forwards.  The fifth installment will be dealing with Special Teams, and the sixth will be a summation of the strengths and weaknesses of this team, and my opinions on how to best move forward.

And so, without further delay, I present Path To The Playoffs, Part 1: Minding The Net

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January 13, 2010

The Season So Far: A Painful Recognition

It's our goal ... to make the playoffs."

Brian Burke says Leafs built to make playoffs - Toronto Star, September 9th, 2009

After 47 games I think it's safe to say that this season isn't going the way anyone, most of all GM Brian Burke, thought it should.

I want you to think back to September.  I want you to remember how you felt about an overhauled roster that included the likes of Komisarek, Beauchemin, Kessel, Gustavsson and Orr.  I want you to remember how you felt after seeing the seventh overall draftpick Nazem Kadri and high-profile college signings Victor Stalberg and Tyler Bozak tear it up in the preseason.

I want you to remember how it felt when even Damien Cox (grudgingly) stated that the Leafs would make the playoffs.

I bet, like most of us in and around the Barilkosphere, you felt optimistic.  Cautiously optimistic to be sure, but still, optimism reigned in those heady days of early fall.

Then the season started, and this happened.

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January 6, 2010

Dry Spells

I, and others, have noticed that a significant brouhaha has been brewing among Leaf fans over "Philthy" Phil Kessel's recent slump.  In case you hadn't noticed, after going a point-per-game in his first 15, Kessel has slowed down and notched just seven points in his last 15 games.

Anyhow, the gnashing of teeth over the loss of a potential lottery pick, the cursing of Brian Burke (in his first full year on the job) and the frequent Kessel smack-talk are, frankly, getting a little ridiculous - especially because no one seems to be providing any context or comparisons to players who can produce at a similar level.  So, I figured I'd do the heavy-lifting and provide some context and appropriate comparisons.

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December 30, 2009

Hi There Neighbours

How are you?


A little bit about me?

Sure, I'll share.

My name is Chris Hunt, and I've heard just about every single joke one could make with my name, so I wouldn't bother trying to be creative or funny about it were I you.

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