Friday, August 31, 2007
We begin our season preview by looking at the home to both my favourite and least favourite team, the Northeast division. Last year this division was home to one of the best teams in the league, the Stanley Cup Finalists, the most dramatic race to the playoffs, and uhhh...the Boston Bruins. I think as usual, this season promises a ton of intrigue and excitement from the home to Canada's Eastern teams.
The biggest change in this divisions landscape comes out of Buffalo and the stunning losses of Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. I was convinced that the Sabres would find a way to resign one of them but the Flyers and Rangers had other plans I guess. While the Sabres will not run away with the Conference like they did last year, I think that their team is still deep enough up front to be able to get into lower bracket of the playoffs.
Speaking of change, we have the Leafs. While my complete and utter disdain for the grammatical incorrect team has never been hidden, I am very impressed with the additions of Toskala and Blake. Both of these players have proven themselves as top level performers and should be a nice addition to the Buds. But I think that the East is going to be a tough place this year and I just don't think that they have what it takes to crack the top 8.
On the other hand we have Les Canadiens, who certainly made some interesting moves this off-season. First off their biggest addition was by subtracting Sergei Samsonov. The man was simply not a fit in Montreal at all and was a waste of salary cap room. While Souray's departure will hurt, they also made two great signings by getting Roman Hamrlik and Bryan Smolinski who should be able to benefit the club in the immediate short term, which will probably cancel each other out. I think that if Huet can stay healthy these guys can sneak into the playoffs this year.
The Boston Bruins still suck. End of story.
That leaves my Sens. I mean I'm clearly really happy that they got to the finals but what I'm even more excited about is that the team is more or less intact. They lost Comrie, which sort of sucks, but they can easily get another player of his caliber through some trades if need be. I think that the Sens are the easy pick to take the division. That being said, the future remains unclear after that, they are going to face some big challenges in the off-season with many of their top players set to become unrestricted free-agents. They will have some tough decisions to make, trade them or go for it? I think that their record by the All-Star Break will tell the story of that one...
So just as a review, my predictions for this division are:
1. Ottawa Senators
2. Buffalo Sabres
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Boston Bruins
Last season the Northeast division proved to be one of the hardest divisions in the league. Two powerhouses at the top, an amazing race going down to the wire and of course the Boston Bruins.
An Glen mentioned Buffalo went through some major changes this off season and I, like him, thought Buffalo would do whatever it took to at least keep one of either Drury or Briere but to lose them both was a disaster. I think this is really going to hurt this team and I'm not sure if their youth, which is good, is quite ready to fill the massive void created by the losses of Briere and Drury. This will be a solid playoff team but I don't see them running away with the league as they did last year.
The Leafs are interesting. Adding Blake was definitely a smart move and Toskala will keep Raycroft on his toes and if he faulters at all Toskala will be ready to take over the reins. Goaltending should not be a problem for the Leafs this year but putting the puck in the net may be. Mats Sundin is certainly no spring chicken and other than Blake who else on this team can consistently score? Along with this Toronto is going to need their very young defensive core to come up big. This is going to be a solid defense in a few years and the offense from the blueline will be there but I'm not sure if it will be there in time for the playoffs this year.
This brings me to my favourite team, Montreal. Addition through subtraction was the key here. Samsonov was a major bust and fortunately they found a sucker to take his contract. Have fun Chicago. Losing Souray is definitely going to hurt but Smolinski should be a solid signing and Hamrlik should provide some offense from the back end. I think Montreal will be a strong threat for a bottom playoff spot.
Boston.....they dealt away Joe Thornton. Perhaps a bad call? This team is going no where fast and I like it that way.
The final team in the Northeast is the defending Eastern Conference Champion Ottawa Senators. Ottawa's biggest moves this off season came behind the bench. John Paddock is the new head coach which should do well for the Sens. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger so considering the team is mostly intact from last year's playoff run it's hard to see them losing ground on last year. Ottawa will be strong again this year and their experience should go a long way in making them tougher to play against. There is however a very dark cloud looming over Ottawa as a few of their high end players are set to become Unrestricted Free Agents at season's end so it will be very interesting to see what Ottawa can do to keep this team together.
So here are my predictions for the Northeast Division:
1. Ottawa Senators
2. Buffalo Sabres
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Boston Bruins
Freakin' copy cat Troy!!! Well we'll see how right we are come April. Tune back in a few days for a preview on the Atlantic Division.
Until next time,
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I do some digging I get some more shocking information. Apparently several members of the WWE Roster have been receiving steroids from a company called Signature Pharmacy, which was raided by authorities in February for supplying drugs without consulting with doctors.
While only 10 have been suspended the following wrestlers have been linked to Signature Pharmacy:
- Randy Orton
- Adam Copeland (Edge)
- Charlie Haas
- Robert Huffman (King Booker)
- Shane Helms
- Mike Bucci (Simon Dean)
- Anthony Carelli (Santino Marella)
- John Hennigan (John Morrison)
- Darren Matthews (William Regal)
- Ken Anderson (Kennedy)
- Chavo Guerrero
- Shoichi Funaki
- Dave Bautista (Batista)
- Chris Mordetsky (Masters)
- Edward Fatu (Umaga)
Also linked are Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit and Brian Adams, who are all deceased, as well as Sylvain Grenier who was recently released by the WWE.
The rumour mill reads that Edge, Orton and Helms links to the company came before the WWE implemented their wellness policy in February 2006, so it could be assumed then that those three were not suspended. The WWE has stated that they will not make the names public, but it will be incredibly obvious in the next week or two of watching the WWE just who is getting written off of television in a huge hurry.
As a wrestling fan I am pretty shocked that so many performers would disregard their health, the law and their employers reputation for purely selfish reasons. But I'm even more shocked that the WWE showed the guts to suspend some of their top names (assuming this list is at all correct). I mean they could potentially be out of their ECW Champion, the Intercontinental Champion, a RAW Main Event Heel, a General Manager, Vince's potential son, the "Next World Champion", and many more solid performers. It should be an interesting next few weeks of WWE television to say the least.
If you are interested in seeing how this story develops check out wwe.com and 411mania.com for some breaking news on this really interesting story. Even if you are not a wrestling fan, this story, and potential congressional hearing, could be one of the most influential news stories of the winter. Word on the street is that congress is also getting hawkish towards the NFL and lets not forget baseballs new home run king. Sports as we know it could undergo a serious change in the coming months...
Until next time,
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Until next time,
Monday, August 27, 2007
I realized that in honour of my season premiere that the ol'blogeroo was in need of a much needed face lift. I was getting kind of tired of the black and weird polka dots, and felt that we needed something a bit more...Glenergizing...so here we are. There will probably be some more changes in the near future, I haven't decided yet, drop me a line and let me know what you think.
But to tide you over, here is a wonderful video about makeovers...if you don't know where this is from you owe it to yourself to go and watch Clone High right now!!!
Until next time,
Sunday, August 26, 2007
It's an event steeped in history - lots of classic Bret Hart matches, lots of Undertaker crazy story lines, and more recently lots of decent matches involving multiple competitors for the big titles.
This year might be a return to form for the summer classic, as we've got several matches I'm excited about, if they are given the proper screen time.
Gorgeous Glen (GG): It's true, I think that this is shaping up to be a decent card from top to bottom. While it is incredibly unfortunate that one of the matches I was looking most forward to, MVP vs. Matt Hardy, was recently axed due to health reasons, the bright side is that it will give more time to the other matches. Of the remaining matches, I think that I am most looking forward to the return of one of my favourite competitors, the diminutive Rey Mysterio. He goes one on one with the man who put him out of action last fall, Chavo Guerrerro. I expect this match to be the usual great stuff between these two, with some intense wall-to-wall action. As for the outcome, I leave little doubt that Rey-Rey will come out on top in clean fashion.
TT: Absolutely, you've got to like the junior Mysterio's chances coming back to action with a big win over his rival.
Another match that I think will be short but action-packed will be the match for the ECW Championship. The recently rechristened John Morrison squares off against the straight-edged CM Punk in what I'm sure will be a classic encounter. While the ECW brand still seems to be struggling to find its own way, solid matches such as this one will help it on its course. Less Boogeyman and Viscera in favour of these talented youngsters can only help the product. As for an outcome, I predict Door's front man lookalike John Morrison will retain - mostly because I think both other big titles will be changing hands tonight.
GG: Well Tenacious One, we begin our disagreements here. I think that we will begin the Straight Edge Era tonight at Summerslam when CM Punk finally gets a big W over Morrison. He has dropped contests at the last two PPV's to the former Johnny Nitro (former Johnny Blaze, former Johnny Spade, former Johnny from Tough Enough) and it is high time that they pass the gold around. CM Punk has been amazing during his ECW run and has been one of the few consistently entertaining members of the roster. I see this feud stretching out for a few months with a big Gimmick Match coming in a month or two.
Also tonight, we will be seeing a battle of two tough veterans as Finlay and Kane go one on one. I've long been fans of these two men, and this has potential to be an entertainning brawl between the two big men. Both men appear directionless on Smackdown, so this feud should continue for another month. As a result, I see Finlay winning after some shenanigans involving Hornswoggle, Jamie Noble and a shillelagh.
TT: I kind of wish this match were under hardcore rules, but thankfully both men are gifted brawlers and should entertain regardless. It's true that both men are drifting, and sadly a cruiserweight champion Leprechaun friend isn't going to save matters. I'll side with the former Fit Finlay on this one as well.
Speaking of drifting and directionless, there's a diva's battle royal tonight. I care so little about the divas and their wrestling that I'm not making a prediction. Chances are it won't be someone who can actually wrestle (Victoria, Melina) but rather someone about to pose for playboy or be cast on a reality TV show. Hopefully this will be quick and painless and the winner will defeat the current champion, Candice Michelle, to get the strap off of RAW and onto another brand.
GG: Yeah this is pretty lame, not only will this be bad, but a #1 Contenders Match on a Big 4 PPV? LAME!!!! I'm going to go with Beth Phoneix getting the W and the push that she was going to receive a year ago before she got hurt right out of the gate.In an actual title match, we have newly face turned Umaga defending his Intercontinental Title against Mr. Kennedy...Kennedy and Carlito. I'm sort of torn on this one to be honest, usually in thrown together multi-man matches you take the champ, but I have a feeling that Mr. Kennedy will pull this one out by pinning Carlito through nefarious means (...Kennedy). This will help set Kennedy....Kennedy up for his monster push and give the IC Title some much-needed direction (there's that word again...) in the process.
TT: As much as I'd like to see Carlito win this one, I think they need to major work on rebuilding his character before he can be a champ again. The Umaga face turn makes no sense - his character can't speak English and he's a savage - how does he know good from bad? Ridiculous. Look for Kennedy to win and continue his ascent when he is revealed to be Vincent (Kennedy) McMahon's son.
On to another man who can't speak English - World Champion The Great Khali is in action tonight defending the strap against big Dave Batista. The Khali experiment, while initially fun, has certainly been a failure. No one likes a big man forced down your throat (right ladies?). Batista will regain the title, only to lose it to a returning Edge (who will in turn drop it to a retiring Flair). Khali, should he perform tonight, may be rewarded with a big PPV loss to the eventually returning Undertaker (once he squashes Mark Henry, Big Daddy V, etc). Regardless, this won't be a good night for Punjabi giants across the globe...
GG: This is the match that I am having the most trouble predicting to be honest. While I am certain that Batista will be the one to take the giant, I have a funny feeling that it won't be tonight. Word on the street is that they are planning a Punjabi Prison match for Unforgiven, so I have a feeling that will be Khali's rematch for the title. But on the other hand, Batista came off as dominant at the end of Smackdown, which is usually the kiss of death heading into a Big 4 PPV....I'm going to say Batista wins only to drop it to Edge in November or so before Edge drops it to Taker at Mania.
Perhaps the most hyped match is the "King of Kings" match between Triple H and King Booker. I really hope that this feud continues for more than just one match since it would really hurt King Booker. That being said, I don't see anyway that Triple H would loose his first match back in 8 months. H will win but the feud will somehow continue for a few months.
TT: Absolutely, no other way for this one to go down. Booker's character is excellent as of late and I love how he calls people by made up, longer, names, ie. Jerome Lawler, Tazzwell, etc. Great stuff. So while Conan asserts himself as king, we have our final match of the night...
SummerSlam has been both cruel and kind to Randy Orton - he won the belt from Benoit at this card, but he was also jobbed out to Hulk Hogan. Tonight is going to be his night, though, and he will beat John Cena to become WWE Champion. It's no secret I'm a huge Orton fan, but its not just my blind faith that directs my prediction. Orton is on a roll as of late and his character has been built up to the right level to become champ once more. Hopefully he'll have a decent run before losing it to HHH. Cena keeps getting booed and though he sells lots of merch to kids, it's time to let the youngster have a run. Interesting to note how Orton is sometimes cheered now in his segments with Cena. Look for Orton to win in a most brutal or evil fashion, cementing his top heel status.
GG: I both agree and disagree on this one. First off, I think that Orton will be the man to take the title off of Cena before eventually dropping it to H, but I just don't see it happening tonight. The main reason that I say that is because Cena's current title run will have a one year anniversary as of next month. I think that it would be fitting of Orton to kill Cena's "Legendary" run when it reaches a full 12 months, it just seems somehow more fitting to me. So while I have predicted the other two World Titles to change hands, I've got to say that this one will stay with the Doctor of Thuganomics for tonight.
And that concludes our SummerSlam Preview Edition of Heal Heat, Travis my friend/nemesis, do you have any closing thoughts to share with the blogosphere?
TT: Just that I hope that this post-Benoit tragedy PPV manages to return wrestling to the fun piece of entertainment it once was. There are some solid matches lined up for tonight and WWE seems to be grooming some new starts in people like CM Punk and Mr. Kennedy. Lets hope they can get some traction off of this show and build for a positive fall season. All the best to you Gorgeous Glen and all the Glenamaniacs. Until next time, I'm Tenacious Trav.
GG: I'm just going to sign off with this amazing trailer for the Main Event which I found on YouTube...WWE should seriously consider hiring this guy.
Until next time,
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Anywho, I was just going to try and summarize my thoughts on things that have come up in the past couple of months, be it news, hockey, wrestling, or life in general.
The King is Dead, Long Live the King
That's right, we have a new Home Run King, Mr. Barry Bonds was able to pass Hank Aaron's venerable mark and is now the all-time leader in career home runs.
I'm not exactly a huge baseball fan, but I am both impressed and appalled by Bonds' accomplishments. First off, playing at such a consistently high level for so long is something that needs to be respected for anyone. But on the appalling side of things, the man has been linked to steroids many different times. It's a huge shame that the new sight for records is a cheater. I hope that the person to break it does it cleanly...
Big Brother is Watching...You Protest
At the last summit of the Three Amigos in Montebello, Quebec, the QPP decides that they want to go undercover as some protesters. Fine. They decide that they are going to instigate violence by throwing rocks and other things of that sort. Not so Fine. There is nothing wrong with trying to keep the peace, especially in a volatile situation such as this, but come on, there is a pretty thick line here that was crossed by the cops here. Ohh and they initially denied it too...good for them.
Harry Potter Rules, Transformers...not so Much
Free Agent Frenzy...but the Leafs Still Suck
Man, oh man, where there a lot of big names changing sweaters this summer! I've got to say that the teams I'm most impressed with are Philadelphia, Colorado, Anaheim, and the New York Rangers.
I dug Colorado, Philly and the Rangers for signing the big four forwards of Smyth, Briere, Drury and Gomez. Anaheim on the other hand did something pretty impressive, they knew that they had a fantastic team that didn't need much to tinker with, so they just plugged the two big holes left by Selanne and Niedermayer retiring by going out and getting Bertuzzi and Schneider to fill the glaring gaps. Sure Briere and Rafalski may have been better (and more expensive) bets, but Brian Burke did the best with what he could and I'm impressed with that.
Since I mentioned them in the heading, I had best talk about the Leafs. Sure I hate them, but I must say that I am impressed with their two big additions. Toskala is a great goalie and Jason Blake is an incredibly underrated top-level forward. But my only big question mark is the same one that comes for everyone who walks into the ACC, are they ready to be the centre of attention? I have a feeling that the media played a role in Raycroft crumbling down, and I worry if it'll happen to Toskala or not. Sure I may delight at the Leafs crumbling, but I do sort of want to see them make it to the playoffs to lose to the Senators :)
Just to make myself sound like a genius right now, I think that the final four will be Anaheim, San Jose, The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Maybe It's the Four Toed Statue!!!
Or maybe not...but the next creative dabble by J.J. Abrams looks incredibly promising, and I for one can not wait until January 18th to see just what is going to happen. If you don't know what I'm talking about then give this a watch...
TNA had their golden chance to make Samoa Joe the Champion of the Universe, but no, they botch that one too. Well done Jeff, well done. If Joe does not win the title at Bound For Glory than the company is going to have some serious problems on their hands.
5 Years and Counting
At my home away from home, Kodiak here, there is a tradition that goes back several years. For every camper and counsellor who has spent 5 summers as part of the community gets a medal in a special ceremony. Several years ago I witnessed a number of my now good friends receive their medals and I looked up at them and I said to myself "Someday, I will get me one of those" and well, guess what, I stayed true to my word.
My good friend, MacAlpine presented me my medal by giving a touching (and inside joke filled) speech about me before I went up and grabbed my hardware. It seems like such a small and trivial thing, but I am incredibly proud of myself for this accomplishment. Every time that I have looked at the medal since I got it I have been reminded of all of the blood, sweat, and tears that I have put into my last five summers, and I am filled with a sense of pride and humility. I'm not 100% sure about next summer or any other ones, but I know that these last five have been so worth it!
Getting Settled In
Here I am getting moved into my new pad to start the daunting task of being a Residence Don/Math Teacher and my first Big Boy job, to say that I'm excited and anxious would be a huge understatement. No matter what happens, expect to find some stories posted right here for your blogging consumption.
Until next time,
If you are too lazy to click that link then allow me to give a quick synopsis. Apparently in the immensley popular World of Warcraft Game a glitch in the game came through and people began carrying a deadly, infectious disease. The first players to get the disease were high level and it didn't affect them a great deal, but they began to share it with other players of much lower level who began to die off in droves. The article also proclaims that I am the coolest person alive, don't believe me? Give it a read!
So you may be thinking that this is no big deal or anything, because a) you already knew how cool I am and b) who cares if a bunch of nerds loose their nerdy characters?
Well first off, it is important because World of Warcraft has over 9 million users, so it is not just a few nerds. But more interestingly than that, this story gives scientists a whole new and unique way to study infectious diseases. Whenever scientists attempt to predict what will happen in the event of another great plaque or anything like that, they are always forced to rely on mathematical models, theory and conjecture. I mean sure they know how fast a disease spreads and how quickly it will kill someone, but they don't really know just how people are going to react to it all.
One of the things that they mention in the article is the so called "Stupid Factor" where a number of people decide that they would much rather risk their own (virtual) lives by logging in and going around to see the carnage first hand, as opposed to just playing it safe and laying low. Sure people would be much more reckless when dealing with their own virtual characters as opposed to their own real lives, but it still is an interesting comparision is it not?
It's not like anyone can morally infest a community with the Avian Flu, but they could easily create some program to infect World of Warcraft, Second Life, or any of other MMORPG (or whatever the heck the akronym is...) to get a much better idea to see exactly how fast a disease would spread and just how a society would handle it.
Sure it could lead to some pissed off computer geeks, but that's ok. They need a tan anyway.
Until next time,
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Well I'm back from my Fifth summer at Kodiak, and I plan on resuming this blog in the near future. I am moving into my new pad this weekend to start my first big boy job and I have lots of thoughts on the summer to share. Stay tuned for more to follow soon!!!
Until next time,