Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, 07 June 2007

So the Ducks won the Stanley cup last night. Whoopty doo. I think this was the first Stanley Cup finals where I was actively rooting AGAINST BOTH teams. I really didn't care who won, I cheered every goal, every check and boo'd every bad call. If it had been anyone other than a Warm-weather or California team, I would have cheered for the West, if it was anyone other than Ottawa, I would have cheered for the East. I just.didn't.care.

Apparently I'm not the only one, as Legendz was pretty dead last night. Clay and Kendi were sitting on either side of me, G-Love showed up about halfway through the game, there were a few guys at the end of the bar watching and maybe a half-dozen people at the other bar. It was no busier than any other Wednesday night in the restaurant. Compare that scene with this one which was the World Cup of Hockey or the Olympics where you literally couldn't move in the whole restaurant AND bar. Allie, the manager was saying that it was a lot less busy than they expected, and pretty much as soon as Vancouver and Calgary were knocked out, their revenues went into the toilet.

I'm happy for Scott Neidermayer, getting to lift the cup and pass it to his brother, I'm happy that Pronger gets a ring after gtting so close in Edmonton last year and then having to move because his wife is a screechy bitch (although I can't really blame her for wanting to get out of Edmonton winters) and I'm happy for Brian Burke because he's always been a good GM in Vancouver and for Team Canada and never got any satisfaction in the NHL Playoffs (because Vancouver are historic chokers).

Ottawa? I really don't care. They've been shit-hot the last few years, with Alfredsson, Heatly and Spezza as their top line, but they always seem to get bounced in the conference finals. This year they went up against another team that always chokes in the conference finals--Buffalo so it was a coin toss and Ottawa won.

ANY OTHER TEAM and I would have cheered for them. At least there's only three months til training camp opens :)

Thursday, 07 June 2007 06:04:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Sports | Hockey#
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Yesterday I was chatting with Smitty before the game. He was so sure that Vancouver would choke (they have a long history of it) that he sold his Game 7 tickets. I said to him "Come on, Linden's playing like it's still 1994, if the rest of the team matches that, they're gonna win big. It's game 7, there are no second chances anymore!"
We were both cautiously optimistic. Sure Vancouver had the firepower to win the game, but they hadn't been using it, Dallas kept their offense pretty well smothered throughout the whole series. We wanted Vancouver to win, but we both knew that the potential to choke was pretty high. My brother Steve said that Turco had more "choke karma" than Vancouver though.

I predicted then, around 6:00 that Dallas was going to score first and early and the mood in GM place would be grim... There would be a Pat-Quinn-esque stick-breaking screaming fit in the dressing room and in the second Vancouver would come out flying, and I predicted that Vancouver would give Dallas a shellacking of three or four to one. I went so far as to say that Tom Larscheid (the color guy on Canucks Radio) would make a "waking a sleeping giant" reference. I don't know if THAT part happened, as I was down at Legendz watching on the big screen, but when Smolinksi potted the second empty net goal to make it four to one, I looked around after the roar died down to see who else was still there who I had told my prediction to earlier! John had already left, so I txt'd him "WOOOOOOOOO four-one! WHO CALLED IT>???" :)

Next up, Anaheim, another defense-heavy team. Hopefully the series isn't a yawner.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007 06:27:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Hockey#
Friday, 13 April 2007
Last year I won our regular season hockey pool. This year, I made a bad pick back in December. I picked Corey Stillman and he was injured. He didn't come back until December, and only produced 30-odd points. Not bad for a player who missed half a season, but a death knell for a hockey pool/fantasy league. Brendan Morrow went down about the time that Stillman came back with a surgery outage, so I dropped him at the all-star break and picked up Zubrus in his place. Didn't help me much though. I stayed in 4th place pretty much the entire season. The last week of the regular season I challenged for 3rd place, but with two games to go, my team didn't produce and my brother's did so he pulled ahead and finished 4 or 5 points ahead of me.

We drafted our playoff teams Tuesday night. As usual, I did it via MSN Messenger videoconference from Grand Cayman while everyone else was at his apartment in Burnaby. One other guy, Glen, also drafted remotely, but he was somewhere in the greater vancouver area. Because we couldn't hear what other people were saying, I had to rely on Steve relaying via MSN. Then I had a flash of brilliance (I do have them from time to time) I've been playing around with Google Spreadsheets, and I had one called "playoff pool 2007" that I was doing some brackets and stats analysis on, so I clicked on it, clicked collaborate and invited Steve as a collaborator. He logged in and then when someone made a pick, he put it on the sheet and it auto-updated so I could see it almost instantly. Then we invited Glen as a viewer and he was able to see the picks appear in 'real-time' and made things go quicker. Awesome.

SO we're two days into the playoffs and guess what? I'M IN FOURTH PLACE!!

This morning I stopped in at Paperman's to get a coffee and Paul told me that their pool is online now at Officepools.com as well so I logged in there to check and see what's goin on... AND I'M IN FOURTH PLACE!!  What the ... ?

Friday, 13 April 2007 08:36:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hockey#
Wednesday, 11 April 2007

It's 1:30 am, first night of the playoffs... triple-overtime...

tomorrow's going to suck.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007 22:31:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hockey#
Monday, 09 April 2007
I will admit to not being 100% logical where the Canucks are concerned. Rule number one of gambling is remove all emotion from your decisions, and I haven't entirely done that. I think a lot of people would like to see a Vancouver/Calgary Western final and Vancouver/Buffalo final with Vancouver ultimately winning and it is possible, and maybe even likely but it's definately not a shoe-in. If history has shown us anything, it's that Vancouver can choke so incredibly in the playoffs that it's not even funny.
Monday, 09 April 2007 16:57:30 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hockey#
Thursday, 28 September 2006

It's that time of year again, hockey season is right around the corner. Pre-season games are just about finished and regular season starts Tuesday the 4th.

That means that right around now is draft day for the... 10th? 11th? Annual Faccin Invitational Hockey Pool. Yours truly won first place last year, so I got the honor of picking first... I picked the first name out of the hat who got to pick first. I pulled my brother Steve's name, then he pulled my mom, she pulled me and then I pulled my other brother, Tony.

"FIX! FIX! THE FIX IS IN!" everyone shouted but it was all random. First pick out the door was Joe Thornton, last year's scoring champion, followed by Sidney Crosby and the I took Alexander Ovechkin.

The rest of my team was pretty good too:

  1. Alexander Ovechkin (WAS)
  2. Jarome Iginla (CAL)
  3. Olli Jokkinen (FLA)
  4. Alex Tanguay (CAL)
  5. Cory Stillman (CAR) (recovering from shoulder surgery)
  6. Brendan Morrow (DAL)
  7. Milan Hejduk (COL)
  8. Daymon Langkow (CAL)
  9. Jussi Jokkinen (DAL)
  10. Alexander Semin (WAS)

Ovechkin is going to be on fire this year, and at the very end I snapped up Semin as well, who's coming back from a Russian league and will probably be linemates with Ovechkin. Same with the Iginla/Tanguay combination. Iginla didn't produce as much as forecast last year, but he also didn't have much support... now he does and they should both benefit from it (as will I mouahahaha) Jussi Jokkinen is my "sleeper" pick. He didn't do too well last year, but his forecast it to improve by 40 points according to the Hockey News, which is nearly double his output from this year.

Now all I have to do is collect up my winnings from LAST year! :)

Thursday, 28 September 2006 21:10:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Hockey#
Wednesday, 16 August 2006

I can sit all day and talk hockey. Less so with football (NFL or CFL... how many teams are left in the CFL anyway? 4 or 5? not much of a league if you ask me). I watch the last couple weeks of NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl, I watch the World Series, I'll watch the NBA finals but can't possibly follow a whole season (especially baseball). I even watched the NCAA basketball tournament this year (and won the pool!) and sort of keep track of who's beating who for the last five or six years. Then there's soccer/football. Down here with the British influence, Premiership coverage in the sports pages are fairly prevalent (as are cricket and rugby) so it's always there on my back burner

This year of course was a World Cup year, and in 2004 before the hurricane I was following the Euro because it was a championship. (see above) This weekend are the first matches of the Premiership over in the UK. I'm just saying, now, before the season starts, that I'm putting my support behind Tottenham. Say what you want, that's where my support is going. This just could be "their year" (of course as a Canucks fan, I've been saying THAT since I grew my first pube) and if I'm right, then next year everybody will be wearing Spurs jerseys and saying that they've been fans all along...

Speaking of soccer, what's up with the Vancouver Whitecaps?? I remember going to their games at Empire Stadium when I was a kid, and then they played some games at BC Place in the mid-80s but then they (and the whole NASL) just sort of faded away. Now they're back, they're trying to build a new stadium, and who's the manager of the team, the guy pulling all the strings and greasing all the skids? None other than Bobby fucking Lenarduzzi! My first thought was "well no doubt, who else would?" but the second was "You GO, boy!"

Just a couple months ago I was saying to someone that I was getting "sports'd out" with Stanley Cup, NBA finals AND the World Cup going on all at once, but I think that was just a warm-up. NFL is in preseason, NHL training camp starts soon, World Series is coming up and the EPL starts this weekend, too.

On a somewhat related note, I downloaded and tried out Sage TV V5 the other day and it's stunningly gorgeous. The only problem was that it didn't recognize my TV Tuner, the AverMedia UltraTV USB300 so it made the whole exercise pointless. What with weird channels and weird times, I may have to upgrade to a PCI dual-tuner card and time-shift games to catch them all... or just spend more time in Legendz than I already do.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006 07:39:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Sports | Hockey | Soccer | Tech#
Sunday, 23 October 2005

Thanks to Davie Jone's Locker (yes I realize it's spelled wrong, that's how they spelled it and it bugs me to no end) and the Hard Rock Cafe, the local TV station, CITN, is broadcasting the CBC Hockey Night in Canada double-headers on Saturday nights. WICKED.

Last night I missed the first period (and Coach's Corner!) because ONCE AGAIN I forgot about Daylight Savings Time. Next week the first game will be on at 6:00 and the second at 9:00 and then they'll shift after Oct 30th to 7:00 and 10:00.

SO, if you need to get ahold of me on a Saturday night from now til about, oh, I dunno, June, just come and kick the couch to get my attention.

Sunday, 23 October 2005 13:16:35 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hockey#
Thursday, 06 October 2005

Last night was the season opener of the NHL and all 30 teams were playing, SOMEWHERE. Fortunately for me, The Canucks were playing here in town against the Phoenix Coyotes. It was also Wayne Gretzky's first regular season game as a coach. I figured he would win, because just about every record he broke, every milestone he achieved was against the Canucks. Thankfully I was wrong.

We had seats up in the nosebleeds, Section 326, row 15. Row 16 would have been outside the arena: we had the last row of seats in the whole building. Still, the view was pretty good from up there, unlike back in the Pacific Coliseum where you needed binoculars to see the rink. Add to that that we had a row of semi-drunk cougars sitting in front of us and we definately had the biggest party of any section in the whole arena.

Naslund got two goals, and both of them were highlight-reel quality, along with a great chance in the first period that CuJo managed to make the save on. The game was fast, lots of back-and-forth, crisp passing, tic-tac-toes and some rough hockey playing, but no fights broke out or anything. As Don Cherry would put it, “Good old-fashioned Canadian hockey!”

We got these 2003-2004 Canucks penants on the way in to commemorate them being the Northwest Division Champs last season, and they handed out little replica Stanley Cups on the way out. We nearly had a t-shirt from the Boston Bazooka, The mascot, Fin, (A big Killer Whale in a Canucks jersey) had some sort of backplate on holding a scuba tank on his back and had this... thing... that used compressed air to launch t-shirts around the arena. I bet you could get knocked-the-fuck-out if you got hit in the head at close range with a t-shirt. Anyway, he launched one up by us, it bounced off my finger, off my brother's head, the wall and then the guy sitting next to me ended up with it. MBNA Canada was giving out free t-shirts if you signed up for a Canucks MasterCard, so I put down the name “Steve Podborski” and a bunch of real-but-fake information and got a free t-shirt. I get enough junk mail as it is. :)

Thursday, 06 October 2005 18:06:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Hockey | Travel#
Tuesday, 04 October 2005

I stopped into the Collector's Den this afternoon to get in on their pool before the season starts tomorrow night. They've got a pretty interesting twist on the pool draft. You buy three packs of hockey cards, and from those 18 cards, you choose the best ten players you think will get you the most points throughout the season. Goalies are factored in somehow, too. So it's somewhat of a draft and somewhat of a lottery.

Here's my lineup for this year:

  1. Rick DiPietro (G)
  2. Robert Esche (G)
  3. Steve Sullivan (RW)
  4. Fredrik Modin (LW)
  5. Richard Zednik (LW)
  6. Martin St Louis (RW)
  7. Henrik Zetterberg (LW)
  8. Peter Bondra (RW)
  9. Markus Naslund (LW)
  10. Michael Ryder (RW)

Should be an interesting run :)

Tuesday, 04 October 2005 22:37:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hockey#
Sunday, 25 September 2005
We missed out last year, but we just had our hockey pool draft for the 2005/2006 season.
Sunday, 25 September 2005 14:57:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Hockey#
Friday, 10 June 2005

So they caved. The NHL and NHLPA agreed on a salary cap and now just have to work out all the other little details: free agency, blah blah blah and make an announcement in the next 30 days or so that it's all over and done and we'll have hockey this fall.

There's probably lots of commentary flying around about who was the big winner and who was the big loser, etc, but in all honesty, the winners are the fans, and both sides are big losers. How much money did they throw away to cave at the end anyway???

 

Friday, 10 June 2005 12:43:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Sports | Hockey#
Monday, 02 May 2005

So the IIHF World Championships of Hockey are on for the next two weeks. Having been going through hockey withdrawal lately, I was excited at the prospect of seeing some good hockey on TV. I checked around, and heard that Hammerheads and Coconut Joe's and some other bar had gone in together and 'sponsored' the tournament, so that CITN, the local channel, would broadcast the games on Channel 27 (or channel 11 if you don't have cable)

The only problem is that due to existing committments, the only time they could show the Canada Latvia game was Saturday night at 2am. Uhh, the bars (who paid for them to broadcast it) arent open them, dumbasses. On top of that, they werent showing any of the games live, and something else happened last night so that they werent going to show the US-Slovenia game, either.

In a panic, Wammer from Hammerheads called up Little Bucket and said “This is bad. We need to get these games on the screens down here. Do you know anyone who can help out?” Guess who she called...

Since cable and satelite were out, we were left with trying to come up with more creative ways to get the games on. I stumbled across Mediazone who offered an all-access pass to all the games, streamed live or time-shifted over the internet. Johnny Rotten and I went to Hammerheads yesterday after brunch to talk to Wammer about it and saw that we had all the neccesary requirements to pull it off (John did a lot of wiring and stuff for them, so he already knew their A/V system.

We returned at 6:30 and proceeded to set up the stream from their Wireless Access Point in the office to a laptop out at the bar. We used the S-Video output on the laptop to output the video to a DVD recorder, and from the DVD recorder to an RF Modulator. From the RF Modulator, we split the outut and sent one signal to their DLP Projector for the 20' screen and also into their coaxial A/V system and “broadcast” the game to EVERY TV in the joint, on channel 4.

We got everything set up and working at 7:27pm. Three minutes from the time Wammer put on the handbills & notices he had printed up to let everyone know that they would have the game on.

7:30pm: GAME ON.

Now Hammerheads has the upper hand on the other bars on the island, where they aren't tied to CITN's schedule of the games. If they want to show a game early (like for instance next Sunday when it “airs” at 10:30pm and means that they have to close before the game is over) then they can.

If you're lookin for the hockey games on Cayman, Hammerheads is THE PLACE TO BE. w00t!

Monday, 02 May 2005 11:07:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hockey#
Tuesday, 15 March 2005
I know what you're thinking... there's no hockey! And there's no ice in Cayman!
Tuesday, 15 March 2005 10:49:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hockey#
Monday, 21 February 2005
No, not me, silly. Mark Cuban takes Bob Goodenow to the courthouse steps at high noon, pulls his pants down and spanks him silly. In one blog post.
Monday, 21 February 2005 08:57:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Hockey#
Wednesday, 16 February 2005

I could probably sit here and rattle off a couple pages of wishy-washy, back-and-forth bullshit and put a pox on both houses (the league and the union) but I'm at work for one, and second, I can't even begin to put into words what a bunch of HORSESHIT it all is.

Best to let someone else do the talking: Mike Ulmer, a columnist at Slam! Sports wrote this eulogy to the NHL season. He hits all the points I would have, but in a concise manner.

Wednesday, 16 February 2005 12:14:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Links | Rants | Hockey#
Tuesday, 07 September 2004

OK, so he's 3rd on the all-time list of goals, 18th on the all-time list of points, Hart trophy winner (MVP) in 91, been on countless all-star teams and the Team USA World Cup team in 1996. And he's an asshole. I've been trying to find an picture that was emailed to me back around the time that he played for Team USA. It was a pic of Hull sitting on the bench with a variation of the Molson I AM ad caption that said I WAS CANADIAN. I just can't find it anywhere. This was from the Fox Sports Website:

The U.S. prepares for its clash against the Russians Monday, but Hull was approached by The Post after he did not play in a 3-1 victory over Slovakia Friday.

"I couldn't care less," he reportedly said. "It's no fun playing."

The Post approached Hull Sunday, but he refused to discuss the story. When the newspaper told him fans might be interested in the story, Hull said, "I don't give a ---- about the fans anymore."

What a complete and utter jackass. So much for being a role model to young kids and young players, especially right now with the future of the season and even the league undecided. With multi-millionaire prima donnas not wanting a salary cap trying to appeal to the fans (who shell out $90 a ticket and up to pay their ridiculously bloated salaries) about their plight, Hull goes and drops this bomb. Way to go, shithead.

Again, I don't want you to think I'm siding with the owners, I think $6.50 for a beer at the arena and $15 for a program (that was $2 when my dad had season's tickets) and more retail sales area than bathrooms is a bunch of arse, too.

Tuesday, 07 September 2004 15:38:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
Tuesday, 31 August 2004
Canada vs USA World Cup Hockey 2004 at Legendz Sports Bar in Grand Cayman
Tuesday, 31 August 2004 20:04:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Pictures | Sports | Hockey#
Tuesday, 17 August 2004

Is it just me, or is watching the drama unfold (or not unfold) between the NHLPA and the League with their negotiations and threats of a lockout for this season about as fast-paced as the part in The Return of The King when the Ents are having a little chat?

“So? are we going to war?”
“We've just decided that we should have a chat about it”

WTF? They've met for hours twice now... Once in New York and once in Toronto and they only thing that they've agreed on is to MEET AGAIN? What kind of shit is that? It reminds me of the Despair.com poster on Consulting: “If you're not part of the solution, there's a lot of money to be made in prolonging the situation” Too many asshole lawyers are involved and they've all got to make sure they hit their billable hours, at the expense of all the hockey fans.

Note that I'm not siding with the league or the players, they all need to pull their frigging heads out of their asses and get this done. Either that, or have a parade down Madison Avenue, Red Mile, Yonge Street and Robson Street and televise it (with play by play and the glowing Fox Suck Puck) with the players wearing black shirts with “SELLOUT” and “CORPORATE WHORE” in big white letters and the league and owners with curly tails, big ears, piggy snouts and pink bodysuits. At least I'll have respect for them showing that they have the courage of their convictions.  Admitting that “2.5 million dollars a year just doesnt put food on the table” with a straight face in front of their fans who can only go to one or two games a year because they can't aford $90 for a ticket, ($180 or more unless you go alone) $20 for parking, and $6 for a beer? And Im not talkin about a GLASS OF BEER, Im talkin' bout a paper cup!

Tuesday, 17 August 2004 12:47:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
Tuesday, 08 June 2004
If you've been reading this for awhile now (all 5 days that it's been up that is) you know that I was going to be happy no matter who won game 7 last night. We were at Legendz last night to watch it, and we got there too late to find even a bar to rest our drinks on. It was PACKED. I wish I had my camera with me to show you how packed it is. In June. In Cayman.
Tuesday, 08 June 2004 07:25:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
Saturday, 05 June 2004
Stanley Cup Finals Opinions :)
Saturday, 05 June 2004 21:07:00 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Hockey#
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