Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some Random Videos to Share

Yeah I haven't done this in a while, I guess I've been distracted with hockey/school/life...anyway, here are the results from my latest bit of YouTube screening for your benefit...

Let's start with a great song from a great band, that many of you have probably never heard The Guillemots new single "Falling Out of Reach".

Yeah, I love Obama, no questions asked. Here is a clip where he admits to "Inhaling Frequently" on The Chris Matthew Show.

This next video is a little long, but was made for Earth Day last week. It's really powerful, and make me not want to anger our Photoshopped god.

Here is a wicked/awesome video of the best goals scored in the NHL this season...I think it should have just been the Nash against Phoenix goal played for the whole time, but what do I know?

Now this, is why we have Birth Control ladies and gentlemen...

Like Stanley Kubrick movies? Well how about ALL of them?

Here is a fantastic duet by M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel singing "You Really Got a Hold on Me"...amazing...not sure what the heck the video means though

In the last one, I give you an even more amazing duet...Snoop Dog and Willie Nelson....can you say surprise Presidential Candidates?

Awesome eh?

How could I possibly top something awesome with another video?

Until next time,


Friday, April 25, 2008

2nd Round Playoff Predictions

Well it's that time of the playoffs now, the fat has been trimmed and only the cream of the crop are left. We, the expert panel, are looking to provide our own thoughts on the second round, but before that we are going to look back at the first round....

Coming in fourth in the predictions in the first round, was none other than Troy. He scored six points by correctly predicting that Montreal, Pittsburgh, New York, Detroit, San Jose, and Colorado would advance.

Troy Says:

Montreal vs Boston

After the first two games I was quite happy how this series was going but I must admit I was very nervous after game 6. Boston played very well but in the end Price came through and Kovalev decided to show up

Pittsburgh vs Ottawa

Well pretty much everyone knew this series was going to be quick (....yes...even Glen...he just didn't want to admit it) but we all gave Ottawa enough credit to win at least one game. Unfortunately that didn't happen and there should be some big changes in the off season for this team.

Washington vs Philadephia

This series was amazing. I really wasn't expecting it to be this close. A lot of young guns came through for both teams in this series.

NYR vs New Jersey

I really wasn't expecting New Jersey to be such a door-mat in this series. They couldn't score, and Brodeur wasn't all that good. Credit must be given to New York though. They were better than I was expecting.

Detroit vs Nashville

I was really hoping in my heart of hearts that Nashville would win this series but alas, no luck. This series never really seemed in doubt.

San Jose vs Calgary

After game 3 of this series when Calgary came back from being down 3-0 in the first 5 minutes, I thought for sure the Flames were going to win the series. Stupid JR had to go and ruin that. It was definitely a fun series to watch though and probably closer than most people expected.

Minnesota vs Colorado

This was a very enteraining series. The first 3 games went to overtime (all ending in 3-2 scores). Only 1 game in this series was decided by more than one goal. Theodore showed up in this series and that's why they won. Can he do it in the second round?

Anaheim vs Dallas

I did not see this coming. Marty Turco played amazing in this series and Dallas' offence was excellent. They were the hungrier team and it showed.

First Round MVP

This will probably not be a surprise to anyone but my first round MVP has to be Carey Price. Boston was the better team 5 out of 7 games against Montreal and in game 7 he stole the first half of the game until Montreal finally decided to play the way they can.

Coming in third in the first round with 8 points for correctly predicting all 8 series victories was none other than Mr. Coin...

Well I’ll be God-damned, did I ever shock the world!! Look at that, I got a PERFECT score during the first round! I think that Jeff copied my answers. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time!

I’ve always been great at predicting the playoffs. I know that I called the ’67 Leafs win, and how it would be the last time that would happen for a while. Plus, I was the only one that called the Vancouver Millionaires would win the Cup, no matter what the Kaiser had to say! I even flipped my way into saying that the 1919 and 2005 playoffs wouldn’t have a winner…and people think that I can just make binary decisions, ha!

As for the rest of the playoffs, I remain one of only two of the prognosticators to still have both of my predicted Cup Finalists survive the first round. However, in a move characteristic of my crotchety old age, I have completely changed my mind. While I still like the Red Wings to make it out of the West, I am going to go with everyone else’s prediction and have the Penguins come out of the East. I’ll even copy Jeff and have the win, but I’ll do him one better…they will sweep!

Coming in 2nd is none other than the man who owns this very blog....ME!!! I got 6 right, correctly predicting Montreal, Pittsburgh, New York, Detroit, San Jose, and Colorado would advance. To top it off, I correctly predicted how many games it took for New York, Detroit and San Jose to all win, giving me a total of 9 points...well at least I beat the coin :)

Stupid Dallas! Stupid Philadelphia! Stupid everyone!

I must say, that the first round had no major surprised. Pretty much every team that should have won ended up winning. Yeah you can classify the Rangers, Flyers, Avalanche, and Stars and victories as “upsets”, but are you really that surprised by any of them? The Rangers beat the Devils all season long. The Flyers had more points than the Capitals. The Avalanche are only healthy now for the first time all season. Really the only ones that was any surprise was the Stars, and that’s really not that big of a shock, especially when you consider that the Ducks have played 7 playoff series in the last two seasons.

Yeah, I know, I predicted Anaheim to win the Cup, but I figured that their biggest challenge (like Ottawa’s) was to get out of the first round, and with the way the Turco, and the rest of the Stars, played, I can’t say that I’m all that surprised. I guess I’m going to have to jump on the San Jose to win the West bandwagon that everyone else has.

In the East, I don’t know what disappoints me the most, no Ottawa in the second round, or no Ovechkin-Crosby showdown. I guess if I couldn’t have had one, I would have wanted the other, and alas, I got neither of them. I guess I’m happy that Montreal got the preferred match in the second round, but it is nothing compared to what could have been for a Pittsburgh-Washington series. I’m sticking with Pittsburgh out of the East, and I honestly think that they could beat San Jose for the Cup.

In the first round there were three players in particular that stood out with MVP type performances. Daniel Briere currently leads all playoff scorers with 11 points, and proved to be the best player in a series that features one of the world’s best hockey players. While Carey Price had two shaky games against Boston, he still managed to get two shutouts in the first round and looked damn near unbeatable for most of the series. But my pick for MVP of the first round, I think that it is none of other than the other player drafted in 2005, Mr. Sidney Crosby. Sure he’s not at the top of the playoff scoring chart at the moment, but you have to remember that he only played four games, yet managed an incredible 8 points. More importantly, he played hard every game and proved to be a clutch player, after people spent a great deal of time this season talking about Malkin, Crosby reminded people who the real star of that team is. I’m certain that he can keep it up, and should end up with a Conn Smythe soon enough.

And coming in first place is well...let's allow the video to do the talking...

That's right, like the coin, Jeff got all 8 right, and to top it off, he correctly predicted how long it would take for New York, Colorado, and Dallas to win.

Well, here we are in round, and I have already established my dominance over Glen once again in all things hockey. I even beat Maggie the TSN Monkey. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Leafs call me about the GM job now that Burke is staying put.

Anyways, the first was awesome! If only all series can be like the Washington-Philadelphia series.

Here are my thoughts on the 1st round.

New Jersey vs New York

Pretty much what I expected. Although I was a little shocked Brodeur didn’t play a bit better. Sean Avery proved to be the pest that he is and gave announcers and Off The Record something to talk about for weeks. New Jersey is still a few pieces away from a complete puzzle, but they have Brodeur in net so those few pieces could be easily added. Lunqvist will have to continue to play amazing if the Rangers are to be successful in the next round.

Montreal vs Boston

Turned out to be more of a barn burner then I and I am sure many other people thought it would be. Boston showed a lot of heart and proved that they deserved to be in the post season. Montreal needs to stay focused or they are in trouble. If they would have lost, Montreal would have been burnt to the ground, in a riot, as opposed to a celebratory burning to the ground.

Pittsburgh vs Ottawa

Ummmm, was Pittsburgh even playing another team? Gerber stood on his head. The rest were on the gold course already. Much work to be done in Ottawa. Pittsburgh needs to hope for a tougher series in the next round. To much rest is not always a good thing. Malkin, Corsby, Hossa, and Fleury all played great. This is good news if you are a Pens fan.

Phili vs Washington

Called it! Washington showed up, that is for sure. They can hold their heads high as they did better then Pittsburgh in their first try. Next year, everyone better watch out. Washington is not far off from a contender. Ovechkin is as Pierre McGuire would say, an absolute monster. He is simply the best all around player a team could have. But, like I said, Phili is better then 6th place.

Detroit vs Nashville

A little bit of a surprise, as well as a disappointment. Good to see Nashville show up. Maybe they can try and not injure their own players next year. It always helps in the playoffs. Osgood should be the starter.

Colorado vs Minnesota

Hard fought series. Minnesota needs to realize that to win, you need to score. Colorado could be a surprise team this year. Forseburg paid off and Sakic played great.

San Jose vs Calgary

Had a feeling this one would be an adventure. Most series are with San Jose. San Jose showed up when it mattered most, but it was their veteran player that did it for them. The big guns need to step up.

Dallas vs Anaheim

Called this one as well. Dallas is a solid team. No worse, no better then Anaheim. They played tough, and capitalized on their power play chances. When you play a team like Anaheim, if you score on the power play, you are going to be successful, cause you are going to get a lot of power plays. It’s hard to repeat.

So now we need to move forward to the second round, as we have some pretty interesting match-ups.


#1 Montreal Canadians vs. #6 Philadelphia Flyers

Troy Says:
Well Montreal was 4-0 against Philly this year....but Montreal was also 8-0 against Boston so that goes to show you the regular season has very little to do with the post season. This will be a tough series for Montreal. Philly is another tough team and Boston played the habs very hard in the first round but the Canadiens are a different team with Koivu in the lineup and I think they got a good scare from Boston which should wake them up. Also their power play finally started to click a little in game 7 and if they can keep improving on that and if Price can keep playing well then Montreal should be able to win this series. The sooner the better because playing to hard- hitting teams in a row will take it's toll. Philly has a lot of young talent that can skate so this series should be very interesting.

Prediction: Canadiens in 6.

Mr. Coin Says: I think that the Broadstreet Bullies will take it to Howie Morenz's injured leg, giving them the edge...I suppose we haven't seen a good riot in a while!

Prediction: Philly in 5

Glen Says: Whacky Playoff Fact About this Series: Since winning the Cup in 1993, the Montreal Canadians have won a grand total of four playoff series, three of which were against the Boston Bruins.

This series is a blessing and a curse for Les Canadiens. Sure they avoided the Rangers in the second round, but on the other hand they got the Flyers. While they have a much better chance of beating the Flyers, they will get hit hard throughout the series. While I don’t doubt that the Habs can outdo Philly with all of their depth, I do worry that they will be in rough shape when it comes to the third round, after playing the only two teams in the East that really know how to hit.

Prediction: Montreal in 6

Jeff Says: Phily did what I knew they would, they played hard and somewhat I guess, shut down Ovechkin. Montreal on the other hand played like crap for a number of the games in their series extending it way farther than it should have been. I like Phili’s chances this year. I see them as being somewhat of an Ottawa from last year. Just not quite as dominating. None the less, Montreal doesn’t strike me as a cup contender, and I believe Phili is going to step up once again. Solid defense, a goalie who is playing well, and forwards who can hit and put the puck in the net is a winning formula. Both teams have it, but Phili has is better. Montreal burns……..

Prediction: Philadelphia Flyers in 6

#2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 New York Rangers

Troy Says:
This is going to be another sweet series. Two very good offences going at eachother. Pittsburgh has the edge in offence, but New York has the edge in goal and in experience. This is going to be a very fast series and there will be a lot of room on the ice so I think this will come down to which team's superstars come though in the clutch. Being able to perform in the clutch has a lot to do with experience and being able to handle the pressure and the veteran players on New York have shown they can handle the pressure. Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez etc. This is going to be an exciting series with lots of ups and downs for both teams and I'm giving the edge to New York based on experience, and goaltending.

Prediction: Rangers in 6.

Mr. Coin Says: I've been reading up on this whole curse thing, and I've got to say...I don't like the Rangers chances now...

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 7

Glen Says: Whacky Playoff Fact About this Series: Despite being in the same division for many years, this is only the fourth playoff series between these two teams. The Penguins have won the previous three meetings, with a very lopsided 12-3 combined record.

Montreal’s mixed blessing is certainly Pittsburgh’s curse. You know that they were praying for Washington to win. Not only because of the attention (and TV Ratings) they would get from a series with Ovechkin, but from the fact that they would have a much easier time with Washington than they will with the Rangers. I thought that they may end up rusty when it comes to the second round, but the Rangers eliminated the Devils only a few days later, putting them both on essentially the same playing field here. And well, the last thing that you want when playing against Crosby, Malkin, et al. is a level playing field.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6

Jeff Says: This series is interesting as New York have a great goalie and Sean Avery. Bob Mackenzie stole my thunder when he talked about Ruutu going after Sean Avery before he can go after Sidney Crosby. I thought exactly that not 30 minutes before I heard him say that. However, bugging a goalie is different then bugging a forward. The goalie plays the whole game, Sidney will be on the bench and the Pens will have Malkin, Malone, Sykora, and Hossa stepping over the boards. One can’t bug them all. I really hope Gary Roberts plays because I would love to see him battle with the likes of Jagr and King Henrik. This will be a fun series.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins in 5


#1 Detroit vs. #6 Colorado

Troy Says:
Well it's been a while since we've had an installment of Detroit vs Colorado and I am definitely looking forward to this one. A lot of changes to both teams since they last met, but a lot of similarities as well. I would say these teams are pretty evenly matched since Detroit is overrated thanks to playing in the Central Division, and Colorado had to tough it out in the Northwest Division. I think a big advantage may come to Colorado with goaltending. Glen will tell you that Theodore has historically sucked balls in the second round, and boy is he right, but Detroit's goalie situation is up in the air as well. Hasek has been mediocre and Osgood is well....Osgood.

Prediction: Avalanche in 7.

Mr. Coin Says: As great of a coach as Don Cherry is for the Rockies, he's no Scotty Bowman that's for sure...

Prediction: Detroit in 7

Glen Says: Whacky Playoff Fact About this Series: These two teams have met 5 times since 1996, with Colorado having a very narrow 3-2 series edge. However, when these two teams have met in the second round, Colorado has won both series, with a combined 8-3 record.

So I used to be a big time Colorado Avalanche fan in the last 90s, and so I watched all five of those series with great anticipation. I am fully expecting this one to be a fun series to watch, which will help me feel very nostalgic. While I have been very critical of the Red Wings all season, I think that they will pull this one out, for one key reason, Jose Theodore. While Theodore returned to old form in the season, and the first round, there is one key stat that needs to be addressed. In the second round of the playoffs, Theodore has an abysmal 2-12 record, with 11 straight losses. While I don’t think that streak will go to 15, I do think that his loss column will move up to 16.

Prediction: Detroit in 5

Jeff Says: All everyone is talking about is the renewal of an old rivalry. Not really the case in my opinion. Most of the trouble makers if not all are long gone. So it won’t be the same. This will however be a good series, and an even tougher test for Detroit who I believe will step up more then ever this round. They let Nashville get back in it last round, they should be more the wiser and ready to play this round. Jose Theodore will need to play amazing to give the Av’s a chance.

Prediction: Detroit Red Wings in 5

#2 San Jose vs. #5 Dallas

Troy Says: I definitely underestimated Dallas coming into these playoffs. Richards has been huge for this team and they have a decent amount of firepower upfront thanks to a rejuvenated Mike Modano. As far as San Jose goes, I hate them because they eliminated Calgary. But the fact is this team is damn good. And unfortunately for the rest of the league it seems as though Joe Thornton has finally decided to show up in the playoffs for the first time.....well....ever. Combine their insane offence with a solid backline and San Jose is going to be very hard to knock off and I don't think Dallas quite has the stones to do it.

Prediction: Sharks in 6.

Mr. Coin Says: Didn't I tell you this Pat Falloon kid was good?

Prediction: San Jose in 6.

Glen Says: Whacky Fact About this Series: Since their inception in 1991, the San Jose Sharks have made the playoffs 11 times. Of those occasions they have advanced to the second round a shocking 8 times. However, they have only made it to the third round once.

This should be the best playoff series, since well, San Jose’s first round series. I expect an all-out war between these two guys with a lot of hits, great saves, and clutch performances from the whole roster. Both Turco and Nabokov played their hearts out last round, and should continue to excel here. I think that this series just may go the distance and come down to who wants it more, and well, since the Sharks have been so close for so long, I think that they may just have the edge in desire.

Prediction: San Jose in 6

Jeff Says: This is a very tough one to call. San Jose is a solid team, and Dallas has heart and depth as well. Turco played well last round, and San Jose has (the soon to be Vesna winner) Nabokov. Dallas didn’t surprise me by beating Anaheim as I knew it was going to happen. Dallas is good, and they have Brett Hull as their GM. How can you lose in the second round when playing under such excellence? Two things are going to happen in this series; 1) Dallas is going to keep the solid play going and fight hard with the Sharks on way to victory, or 2) Dallas is going to suck it up for 3 games prompting Brett Hull to come out of retirement to lead them to 4 straight wins. I kid I kid, but series, this is going to be a tough series to call. I’m sticking with Hull’s boys.

Prediction: Brett Hull, I mean Dallas Stars in 7

Well that concludes our look back at the second round, be sure to check back to see if the Coin and Jeff can stay perfect, or if me and Troy can gain some lost ground...should be interesting to say the least...

Until next time,


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Quick Comment About Something that is Bothering the Hell Out of Me

Regular readers here will know that I am a huge supporter of Barack Obama, no questions about it. Needless to say this stupid twisting of his "Bitter Comments" have been driving me nuts. For the longest time I couldn't quite figure out why.

Sure it seems stupid for two people (John McCain and Hillary Clinton), who are multi-multi-millionaires to call someone who worked with his way out of poverty in Chicago as "out of touch", but that wasn't quite it.

I thought for a while it may be the fact that Obama is the only one to raise money only from the voters, and not for the lobbyists. Surely that makes him more in touch than any other candidate right? Somehow that didn't seem to explain it away.

Maybe it's because this isn't half the gaffe that Clinton's "Sniper Fire" was. She lied many times about being shot at and claims that she was "over tired and misspoke". Yet she won't let Obama misspeak on something once? Interesting, but it doesn't quite quell my rage on the subject.

What really bothers me is something much more simple than that. It's the math. The only conceivable way for Clinton to beat Obama is to have the Superdelegates to vote against both the seated delegates and the popular vote and side with her over Obama. Just a refresher on Superdelegates, they are the party's elite members who can vote on whoever they want, and are not tied to any public votes.

That's right, Hillary Clinton's only conceivable hope to defeat this "elitist" Barack Obama is to pander to the party's elite and have them overturn the will of the public. Yes, she needs the elite to defeat the "elitist".

Mrs. Clinton, I think that the pot is on the other line, apparently it's calling you black.

Video - Obama's response to Clinton's attack about these comments

Until next time,


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Last Month in Fantasy Sports - March and April

This post hurts.

I have started writing it many times, but deleted it to start another day.

I was planning on posting this over a week ago, but I just couldn't do it.

I am going to tell you about how I lost the Kodiak Hockey Pool.

Man this hurts...

Those of you who read this last month will know that my roster looked something like this:

C - LeCavalier, Jokinen, E, Staal, Dubinsky, S. Gagner
RW - Jagr, Knuble, Brown, Nolan, Upshall
LW - Holmstrom, Prospal, Malone, Carcillo,
D - Redden, Schneider, Zidlicky, Mitchell, Berrard
G - Nabokov, Price
IR - Rafalski

And well this stings...here are the moves that I made...

Drop - Add
RW Nolan - RW J. Ruutu
D Redden - LW Burrows
LW/RW Brown - LW/D Brookbank
D Mitchell - Reactivate D Rafalski
LW Carcillo - RW M. Samuelsson (* Remember this one*)
LW J. Ruutu - C Peca
C Peca - LW Cooke
D Zidlicky - D Zhitnik
D Berrard - D Normstrom
LW/RW Holmstrom - C Halpern

Yes, I cut Daniel Carcillo, a player that I had been bragging about and had been carrying my pool since I got him in December. Here's the deal. Carcillo had just gone down with an injury, and I wasn't sure how long he would be out for (Mistake #1). I was in a hurry trying to organize my pool with my upcoming trip to Laos (Mistake #2).

Low and behold I get a message form the man who was holding a slim lead on me, Jeff. He tells me that it is tough luck about Carcillo getting injured. He tells me that he will be out for a while, and will only be back for the last game or two. I believe him (Mistake to end all mistakes!!!!!!). As a result, I cut Carcillo, and finish getting packed up to go to Laos. Jeff adds him that very day.

As Carcillo returns from his injury (after only one week), he goes on a tear and starts racking up penalty minutes (which you may recall are MASSIVELY overrated in this league). At the time of this transaction Jeff and I are neck and neck and he ends up beating me by 97. Over this time Carcillo gets around 50 points. This sucks because not only did I loose those 50 points, but Jeff gains those 50 points, making it a net loss for me of 100 points. Yes you read that right, cutting Carcillo directly cost me the pool.





So the rule to remember for every year when it comes to pools is to never EVER trust your opponents, especially when it comes to your own team!!!!!

After the season was officially over I made a post congratulating Jeff I said the following "I find it fitting that I am an Ottawa Senators fan, since the two of us had some of the greatest collapses in the history of the sport this year."

I guess I have to face the same fact that my team soon will. There is always next year.

Until next time,


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Playoff Predictions

Well it is that time of the year yet again. The playoffs are upon us once more, and I have compiled an all start team of hockey experts to provide out thoughts and predictions on this, the most wonderful time of the year. So allow me to introduce you to the four man panel....

Currently residing in sunny St. Maarten, is a man who has posted here on my blog almost as often as I have, he's an expert pilot, Habs fan, and copying of all of my predictions, none other than Troy.

Troy Says: Glen's right, I do copy him. (Editor's Note: He may not have ACTUALLY said that, and in all honesty, any similarities in our predictions are entirely coincidental)

Also, we have someone new to the blog, but not new to having me curse about him. He is the man who benefited from the greatest hockey collapse since the Ottawa Senators in 2008 and claimed the Kodiak Hockey Pool over me, Jeff.

Jeff says: eff here, Glen has so graciously asked me participate in his yearly playoff predictions blog, and I feel mighty honoured. I do however, believe I deserve to be here after I laid a slaughtering on him in the Kodiak Hockey pool, coming back from 130 points down to finish 100 points ahead. It was a massacre, and it was the most fun I have ever had. Maybe next year Glen.

Anyways, I am very excited about the first round, as we have some new elements yet to have been introduced to the playoffs (Ovechkin) and some old ones (Detroit). Should be a fun ride.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: He actually did say that)

Next we have someone who is not afraid to make a gutsy call. You have probably known him your whole life, and he has probably spent a fair amount of time in your pants. He's none other than a Canadian Quarter, Mr. Coin.

Mr. Coin says: *shine*

(EDITOR'S NOTE: For the coin I flipped for each game with heads going for the home team and tails for the visiting team...yeah I have no life...)

Lastly we have the man you all pay the big money to see...ME!!!

Glen says: Pleasure to be here on the greatest blog site EVER, shall we get started?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Not only is he knowledgeable, he's very attractive too)


#1 Montreal Canadiens vs. #8 Boston Bruins

Troy Says:
Now normally the season series between two clubs has no bearing on a playoff series but Montreal went 8-0 against Boston this year and they are 11-0 if you include last season. For some reason Montreal just has Boston's number and I see this continuing in the playoffs.
Prediction: Montreal in 5.

Jeff Says: I am pumped that montreal came out with 1st in the East. Even though I used to hate them. I am also glad to see Boston make a return. Two factors in this series will be Chara and of course, Price. Even without Koivu and Streit, Montreal still has the better team. Unless Tim Thomas shuts the door completely Montreal will have its way with Boston. The Price is right.
Prediction: Montreal in 5

Glen Says: I'm always such a sucker for Original Six Series's, they just get me excited. This is the series that the NHL has seen more often than any other, as they have met 30 times previous to this year. Montreal's record in the series is a staggering 23-7. Look for lucky number 24. I would have said five for Montreal, but I am going to be a little daring here.
Prediction: Montreal in 4

Mr. Coin Says: The Bruins still have that Bobby Orr kid right? No...well then they surely can't score on George Hainsworth, and watch that Guy Lafleur kid, he's going to be something one of these days... (EDITOR'S NOTE: I assume since a quarter is really old that it must be senile and stuck in the past...)
Prediction: Montreal in 6

#2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #7 Ottawa Senators

Troy Says:
These two teams met last year in the first round and I thought it was going to be a very close series but Ottawa ended up winning in 5. It's amazing what a difference a year can make. Ottawa is a very talented and experienced team and I think that may give them enough to take one game. But that's it.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 5

Jeff Says: Everyone is expecting a slaughter, and rightfully that should happen. However, as I said earlier, this is playoff time. This is a tougher series to call then I would like to think. Ottawa is without Alfie and that will hurt but they still have talent. I just see Pittsburgh as being to good and too hot right now. But I warn everyone right now, this could go horribly wrong for Pittsburgh, they have an immense amount of pressure on them right now and are expected to get to the cup. They could seriously crack and end up overwhelmed by the Sens. However, they say you need more then one line to win the cup, and Pittsburgh has just that and more. This is either going to be over quick, or turn into an all out war. I'll go with the former though, but with reservations.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 5

Glen Says: You know, everyone is expecting the Pens to walk all over Ottawa here. Perhaps it's just my excessive fanboy nature, but I have to disagree. I think that these teams could put on a hell of a show, remember this is the same Sens team that started the season 17-2, not too shabby. I have been saying for a while now that if Ottawa can make it out of the first round that they could be in the finals. Also, I have been saying that Pittsburgh is going to go deep this year. I guess I need to make a call, no matter how much it hurts me to make.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 7

Mr. Coin: As you know, I'm a home town boy, but the Silver Seven just got back from a grueling trip to Dawson City, I think the upstarts are going to pull this one off.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6

#3 Washington Capitals vs. #6 Philadelphia Flyers

Troy Says: The Capitals were an amazing story this year. It's just too bad they play in Washington. They when from last place to first place in the division which means they are the number 3 seed in the east even though they have fewer points than the 8th place team. That's a debate for a different time though. Philadelphia is the deeper team but Ovenchkin is just unreal and when he puts his team on his back lookout.
Prediction: Washington in 6.

Jeff Says: This is probably the second most anticipated series. Washington come in as one of the hottest teams in the NHL, second only to San Jose I would say. Ovechkin is amazing, and a total force. Having said that, this is playoff time. A time where teams key on certain players and Ovechkin will be that player. Philadelphia has a scary team on paper and have battled countless injuries this season so I believe they are better then 7th place. They will play Ovechkin hard, and unless the supporting staff on the Caps step up, they will eat a big fat Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.
Prediction: Philadelphia in 7

Glen Says: I think that Ovechkin can keep carrying this team on his back to get four more wins, but the Flyers will not make it easy for them at all. I just really hope that none of the dirty Flyers go and break his back.
Prediction: Washington in 7

Mr. Coin Says: Russians are allowed to play in the NHL now?
Prediction: Philadelphia in 5

#4 New Jersey Devils vs. #5 New York Rangers

Troy Says:
This series is a little harder to judge. New York is the better team I feel but New Jersey always has a way of playing well in the playoffs. Add to that the Broduer factor and this could be an interesting series.
Prediction: New York in 7

Jeff Says: This is the blah blah series of the Eastern conference. Nothing incredibly special going on for either team, but a good match-up none the less. This series is quite simply Martin Brodeur vs Henrik Lundqvist. Whichever goalie plays the best will be on the winning side. This could be a very low scoring series, and thus, totally different then the other three. Rangers dominated the season series and should pick up where they left off. Even without home ice advantage.
Prediction: New York Rangers in 5

Glen Says: There are only 2 Eastern Conference playoff teams without a question or two in net, and guess what? It's these two. The Devils must be sweating at the thought of this match up, as it is the only other Eastern team that they don't have a clear goaltending advantage over. I mean sure, Brodeur may be considered the best ever when it's all said and done, but Lundqvist is nothing to sneeze at. The main difference between these two teams: one of them has an offense, and it sure isn't Jersey.
Prediction: Rangers in 5

Mr. Coin Says: I still can't believe that the managers of Madison Square Garden burned the mortgage in the Stanley Cup. Ah well, that shouldn't have any lasting effects.
Prediction: Rangers in 4


#1 Detroit Red Wings vs. #8 Nashville Predators

Troy Says: I would love to see another Detroit upset this year. Unfortunately the Red Wings are going to be too much for the Predators. The Preds are still quite a young team, especially compared to Detroit (Chelios is Forty-frikkin-Six) and the Red Wings have so much playoff experience and combine that with Zetterberg and Datsyuk and I think Detroit will be just fine in this series.
Prediction: Detroit in 5

Jeff Says: Not to much to think about in this one. Nashville although very spirited will stand no chance against the powerhouse that is the Red Wings.
Prediction: Detroit in 4

Glen Says: The two poster children for a change in the schedule. Neither of these teams really deserve their spots on the standing, but alas here we are. Detroit really lucked out as they got their best possible match-up. Remember what I said about the Rangers and Devils being the only playoff teams in the East with no goal tending questions? Well these are the only ones in the West that have questions. I expect there to be a lot of goals this series, and that really favours the Wings.
Prediction: Detroit in 6

Mr. Coin Says: What the hell is a Predator and how did they beat the Oakland Golden Seals out for a playoff spot?
Prediction: Detroit in 5

#2 San Jose vs. Calgary

Troy Says:
There is a lot of pressure this year on Joe Thornton who had another great regular season. Calgary can be an explosive team up front however they have battled inconsistency this year and unless they step up to the plate San Jose will win this series.
Prediction: San Jose in 6.

Jeff Says: An interesting series as Calgary could prove to be a tougher match up then one would think. They do have Iginla and Phaneuf, and Kiprosoff is a winner as well. However, for Calgary to win, Kips will have to do it all for them. San Jose is too good, and is the best team since the trade deadline. Their goaltending is awesome, and Thornton is as good a leader as any. A rough series with the winner coming out beat up and bruised.
Prediction: San Jose in 5

Glen Says: This will be the best series to watch, but the hardest one to predict. History really does favour the Flames here. Last year was the first time under the current playoff format (introduced in 1994) that there was not at least one #7 advancing to the second round. Also, and more importantly, every time these teams have met in the playoffs the underdogs have won. However, the Sharks time is now. This is going to be a great though.
Prediction: San Jose in 7

Mr. Coin Says: As much as I'd like to see Lanny MacDonald finally get his big win, but this Pat Falloon kid will not be denied.
Prediction: San Jose in 5

#3 Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild

Troy Says: This series seems to be one of the harder series to predict. Minnesota is a very strong team but Colorado has ressurected themselves as the 1996 Avalanche with a lot of success. In the end it's too much for me to bet against a team with Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote, and Ryan Smyth.
Prediction: Colorado in 7

Jeff Says: A toss up in many ways. The Av's made plenty of moves at the deadline, and they could pay off with post season (first round) success. Minnesota has not made a lot of noise but is a solid team. I'm gambling here on experience.
Prediction: Colorado in 6

Glen Says: Now this is another tough Western Series to predict. I think that both teams have to be considered to be legitimate contenders. My counterparts have mentioned many great things but they are forgetting one very important thing, Jose Theodore. Say what you will about this guy, but in the first round of the playoffs his numbers are scary good, however he tends to collapse pretty hard in the second round. I look for that trend to continue right now.
Prediction: Colorado in 7

Mr. Coin: I'll take the Rockies over the North Stars any day of the week.
Prediction: Colorado in 7

#4 Anaheim Ducks vs. #5 Dallas Stars

Troy Says:
Even though this is a 4 vs 5 series I really don't think it's that close. Anaheim is simply too deep and has too many ways to beat you senseless. If Giguere plays well this series will only be a formality for the Ducks.
Prediction: Anaheim in 5

Jeff Says: The money series in the west. This has the makings of a good one, and a rough one. Anaheim is heavily favoured with most of their team from last year being back. It's hard to bet against them, but I want to route for my boy Brett Hull's guys. Turco is going to have to be a major player as the Ducks defence will shut down a lot of scoring. However, Dallas is deep up front. The only thing certain is that the winner of this series will be a tough team to beat later on. Another rough series, but a goody. A major gamble here.....
Prediction: Dallas in 7

Glen Says: The Ducks are a better team now than they were last year when they won the Cup. While I'm impressed with the growth Dallas has shown it simply won't cut it against a team that really is in a class of their own in the spring.
Prediction: Anaheim in 6

Mr. Coin: Don't mess with Texas
Prediction: Dallas in 5

And now it's time for the boldest of predictions...just who will be in the finals this year, and who will be their MVP...

Troy Says: Anaheim vs Montreal.

Montreal has surprised almost everyone this season and I think they can keep it up. There seems to be a sense of destiny to this team. As for Anaheim they were there last year and if anything this team is stronger this year. If this series took place in the first round I think it would be a wash for Anaheim but the Western Conference playoffs are going to be a battle of attrition and Anaheim will be tired and worn by the time they reach the finals. Combine that with Carey Price who I think will play out of his mind and I think this could be a great final. In the end though I think Anaheim is simply too strong, too fast, and too deep and will leave us Canadian hockey fans 0 for 4 in the finals in the last 4 seasons.
Prediction: Anaheim in 7.
Conn Smythe: Carey Price

Jeff Says: I like to take chances, it's what helped me kick Glen's butt in the hockey pool. Let see if my gambles pay off.

Also, my predictions for the Stanley Cup Finalists: Pittsburgh vs Detroit
Prediction: Pittsburgh
Conn Smythe: Evgeni Malkin or Marc Andre Fleury, but I'll go with Malkin

Glen Says: I'm going to steal one from either of them...

Anaheim vs. Pittsburgh

Like I just said, the Ducks are a better team than they were last year, when they walked all over the league en route to a Cup Victory. The Penguins really are the class of the East, and like I said, if they can beat the Sens than they should be able to beat all of the others in the Conference. While Pittsburgh is the team of the future, the time is now...
Prediction: Anaheim in 6
Conn Smythe: Ryan Getzlaf

Mr. Coin Says: Since I firmly believe that NHL Expansion is some sort of a communist scheme, I think that the finals will be...

Detroit vs. New York

The Rangers will be able to dance the Charleston on top of the Empire State Building after will this one. Who knows, maybe Mikey Mantle will get to sip some cider from the Cup.

Prediction: New York in 5
Conn Smythe: A caribou

Will we be right? Will we be wrong? Stay tuned to find out!!!

Until next time,


Awards the NHL Should Adopt

Tomorrow is a day that I usually have marked in my calendar every year. A day that my imagination runs wild before my dreams seem to get crushed year after year. It's the day that the NHL Playoffs start. Needless to say, this means that I end up with hockey on the brain during this part of the year.

The first of my posts is going to be a retrospective on the NHL season that was, as I hand out my picks for awards. While I will look at the major ones (Hart, Calder, Vezina, Norris, and Adams), today I will look at five other awards that I feel are more interesting than the Lady Byng and the Selke combined.

Comeback Player of the Year
Paying respects to the players who are coming back from a rough season or two, by putting up good numbers in 2007-08.

Honourable Mention: Chris Osgood, Jeremy Roenick, Todd Bertuzzi

Second Runner Up: Mike Riberio, Dallas Stars

This must really hurt Habs fans out there. Riberio bounced back from some pretty sub-par seasons to show the promise that he exhibited early in his career. He was able to set a career high in goals, assists, points, plus/minus, and penalty minutes, not bad I dare say.

To top it all off, he was selected as a reserve for the All-Star game. Not a bad year for someone who was thought to be a complete bust a few short years ago.

First Runner Up: Jose Theodore, Colorado Avalanche

It seemed like it was all over.

After having a miracle season in 2002, Jose Theodore appeared destined to join the most elite of NHL goalies. However, then things went horribly, horribly wrong. He encountered a series of off-ice problems and it became apparent that he needed to get out of Montreal. He was traded for David Aebischer, a serviceable back-up, to Colorado. While he played well at first in his new home, things went very quickly downhill the following year.

He quickly became the highest paid back-up goalie in the league, and the Avalanche reportedly looked to dump his $5 million salary on any other team, however there were no takers. Somehow, someway, things changed this year as Peter Budaj struggled, and Theodore was thrust back between the pipes. While he has not quite regained his form from 2002, he still has far exceeded expectations this year, and has proven to be quite the story.

2008 Winner: Alexi Kovalev, Montreal Canadiens

As you have probably noticed from the two runners up, there are several players who are able to bounce back after leaving Montreal. Perhaps the city, and the pressure, makes certain players crack.

During last season, it appeared that Alexi Kovalev may be another player added to that list, however, something turned around this year. He showed heart, determination, and skill, many things that he hadn't shown in years. This translated into Kovalev finishing 11th in the NHL scoring race with 84 points.

And to think, at his point last year people were ready to ride him out of Montreal...

Most Improved Player
In a contrast to the last award, these guys were never really that big of names before this season but they won't be soon forgotten now.

Honourable Mention: Ryan Getzlaf, Andrei Markov, Dan Ellis,Alexander Radulov, Pascal Leclaire, Brad Boyes, Illya Bryzgalov

2nd Runner Up: Ty Conklin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Before this season, Conklin's most remembered moment is one that he would hope to forget. In Game 1 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson suffers a freak injury, and who should replace him but Mr. Conklin himself, having spent the last several weeks watching the games from the bench. In trying to play the puck, Conklin slips, and the Hurricanes score a goal, and go on to win the game 5-4. Conklin then spends the rest of the series on the bench again, as the Oilers go with their 3rd string goaltender instead.

When Marc-Andre Fleury struggled and then suffered a high ankle fracture, many expected the Penguins to look for another goalie, with names like Curtis Joseph, Jaroslav Halak, and Ilya Bryzgalov getting tossed around. Unbeknown to pretty much the entire planet, the Penguins had the right answer all along, Ty Conklin.

Conklin played remarkably well in Fleury's absence, starting a whopping 33 games, and posting a respectable 2.51 GAA, and getting a whopping .923 save percentage, good enough for 2nd in the league.

Even if Conklin has to watch the entire playoffs from the bench, it sure will be an improvement over his last trip to the post-season, that's for sure.

1st Runner Up: Mike Green, Washington Capitals

Hands up if you knew who he was before this season.

If your hand is up you either: a) Are a die-hard Capitals fan and therefore don't exist, b) Know a ridiculous amount about hockey, or c) Are a pathological liar.

Green was drafted way back in 2004, and didn't make the NHL until last season. Even last year, he hardly lit the league up, posting 12 points in 70 games. However, something amazing happened this year. He got better. A lot better.

This season he had 18 goals, second in total for all defensemen (Note: Dustin Byfuglien was listed as first, and he spent a large portion of the season playing forward, so really Green wins those honours), and saw a tremendous amount of Power Play Time, and was a huge contributor to the Capitals amazing late season success.

Mike Green has made tremendous strides this season and I fully expect him to be a member of Team Canada in 2010 if he can keep this up.

2008 Winner: Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers

Who the hell saw this one coming?

I mean, I knew Richards was good from his days in Junior but....wow...

While his play was impressive, Richards hardly turned any heads in his first two NHL season, but sometimes a year makes a world of difference. Richards was able to lead the Flyers with 75 points this season, despite playing in only 73 games, and essentially shove free agent coup Daniel Briere down to the second line. Richards was rewarded for his awesomeness with a staggering 12 year contract extension by the Flyers.

What's more impressive is the growth in character that Richards has shown this year. As great as Jason Smith is, it seems like only a matter of time to me before Richards finds a C on his jersey. I suppose he can get used to it, he'll be in Philadelphia for a while now.

The MANLY Bling Award

Meant to be a complete opposite of the Lady Byng, given to the most obnoxious player you can think of who bends the rules on a routine basis.

(Note: I need to thank my hetero-lifemate Troy for suggesting this award,)

(Dis?) Honourable Mention: Jordin Tootoo, Colton Orr, Darcy Tucker, Jarrod Boll, and many, MANY more

2nd Runner Up: Jarkko Ruutu, Pittsburgh Penguins

This guy is just plain and simply a pest.

I would never condone Chris Simon's imfamous skate stepping incident, but you have to wonder what this guy did or said to incite it. I'm sure it wasn't the most politically correct of things.

I mean, look at that picture and just tell me that you don't want to punch him in the back of the head!!!

1st Runner Up: Sean Avery, New York Rangers

I honestly don't think that this guy knows how to shut up. He started a fight with Darcy Tucker before a game even started this year by running his mouth (Note: I'm sure Mr. Tucker was not innocent in the whole affair).

To make this guy even more obnoxious he can score too, as he was able to pop in 15 goals in 57 games this season. Also, he has been linked romantically to Rachel Hunter and Elisha Cuthbert, plus has been rumoured to be involved with Mary-Kate Olsen, and the prostitute that New York Governor Elliot Spitzer was caught with. Oh he was also named one of People Magazine's sexiest men alive.

So this guy really has the perfect ingredients to annoy the hell out of anyone. He'll score goals, brag about it, beat people up, and I can only assume that he has sex with his opponents girlfriends before, after, and perhaps during games. Not because he needs to, but because he can.

2008 Winner: Daniel Carcillo, Phoenix Coyotes

Remember this name, because he will be driving you crazy for years to come. This guy is only 23 and in his first full NHL season he lead the league in penalty minutes. By a lot.

He was able to amass 324 penalty minutes in a mere 57 games, or an average of 5.7 penalty minutes a game. To put that in perspective, the 2nd place in the penalty minute category, Jared Boll, had 226 penalty minutes in 75 games, or 3.0 penalty minutes a game.

Yes, you read that right, Carcillo had 98 penalty minutes more than second place on the list while playing in 18 less games. It's fitting that he plays on Wayne Gretzky's team because this dude is going to shatter some records, sure they won't be scoring records, but I'm sure he'll be in the record books for something. Doesn't every little kid want to grow up to break Tiger Williams's record of 3,966 career penalty minutes?

To make Carcillo's numbers even more scary, he missed a substantial amount of time this season with a knee injury, and he was sent down to the minors on multiple occasions to "learn discipline". So think about this, he was playing a lot of the season hurt, and had having "learned more disciple" (which I assume is some sort of a Clockwork Orange style brainwashing), and he still tore the league up (literally?).

I can't help but wonder what potential for chaos this kid would have if the Coyotes didn't try and indoctrinate him, and instead just went all out and spliced his genes with a Tasmanian Devil and let it be done with.

Move over Tiger, there's a new monster in town.

Most Underrated Player of the Year
You won't be forgiven if you don't know how amazing all of these unsung heroes actually are.

Honourable Mentions:
Antoine Vermette, Pascal Leclaire, Brandon Dubinsky, Patrick Sharp, Mark Streit, Mike Komisarek....the entire Montreal Canadiens Roster, Dustin Brown, Shane Doan, Ryan Malone, any other players that were too underrated for me to mention....

2nd Runner Up: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Earlier in the season I mentioned "All he does is play his heart out and succeed, and his team constantly looks for replacements." While the team seems to have warmed up to the idea of having Thomas as a starting goaltender, there do remain some interesting questions for next year when Fernandez finally gets to be healthy for this team. Thomas has put up solid-to-spectacular number playing for a team that has been solid-to-un-spectacular this season. What does this guy have to do to get mentioned with the average, if not the top flight goalies this season?

1st Runner Up: Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens

I know I gave honourable mention to the entire team, but this guy deserves special mention. This guy has had a hell of a year, notching 29 goals (Note: that's more than Jaromir Jagr...) and proven to be valuable at both ends of the rink.

He has damn near doubled his career stats in all offensive categories this season alone, I considered putting him as a candidate for "Most Improved Player", but that would assume that most people would have some idea as to who the hell he was to begin with. His emergence has been a huge part of Kovalev's resurgence. Approaching the trade deadline, everyone was saying that Montreal needed an "Impact Forward" to play with Kovalev, but Gainey stuck with Plekanec.

Hard to argue with Bob on this one.

2008 Winner: Marc Savard, Boston Bruins

I would say that the second Bruin on the list would be considered a favourite for this award, but that would assume that you'd all know who he is.

To put it in perspective, when I did my No-Star Team back in January, it took me three tries to find a picture of Marc Savard, with me finding Patrice Bergeron and then Jiri Slegr after search for Savard both times. Even Google doesn't know who this guy is, and they know everything.

Savard finished 3rd in the league with 63 assists, finishing behind Joe Thornton and Pavel Datsyuk in that category. To make Savard's numbers even more impressive, he missed 8 games over the course of the season with a variety of injuries, and he does not have the caliber of linemates that Thornton and Datsyuk have.

Savard's success this season is hardly a shock, as he has been able to have high point totals for the past several years, yet for some reason he never gets more than a cursory mention to be a member of Canada's Olympic Team. He was added as a reserve (to replace the injured Heatley) in the All-Star game, and how did he do? Oh right...he only scored the winning goal in the last second.

Not bad for a player who Google doesn't even recognize.

General Manager of the Year
The finale of my segment will be an award that I legitimately don't understand why the NHL doesn't have...

Honourable Mention: Ken Holland, Brett Hull/Les Jackson, Paul Holmgren, Doug Wilson

2nd Runner Up: Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames

Sure he didn't make any blockbuster trades this year, but that's fine. His team really is good enough.

What he did this year was far more impressive than a simple mega-deal. He kept his team together. Over the course of the season, Sutter has resigned Robyn Regher, Dion Phaneuf,
Miikka Kiprusoff, and Jarome Iginla over the next five years, with a cap hit of only $23.3 million. When you look at that impressive core list of talent, you have to wonder how that is even possible. He still has more work to do if he decides to keep Daymond Langkow and Kristian Huselius, but even if he doesn't, he has the cap room to look elsewhere.

To make it even more impressive, he did something that very few General Managers would have the courage to do, he made Mike Keenan his coach. Iron Mike, has a reputation of being a GM Killer, but Sutter's strong personality, and will to win, will ensure that Keenan focuses his attention on the ice.

1st Runner Up: Bob Gainey, Montreal Canadiens

The old saying "Patience is a Virtue" never seemed to apply in professional sports. That is for everyone except Bob Gainey.

The man had a ton of pressure on him to sign a "Big Name Player" in the off-season, and reportedly came close to landing Daniel Briere. When they lost Sheldon Souray, and only got Bryan Smolinski and Roman Hamrlik to free agency, everyone predicted that the Canadiens would struggle this season, with most (*cough* except me *cough*) predicting them to miss the playoffs.

Gainey shrugged the criticism off, and his team played great. Then there was more pressure on him to get a "High Impact Forward" to help take his team farther, but he felt that the Thrashers were asking way too much for Marian Hossa, and everyone else seemed to have been taken.

What makes Gainey such a great GM this year, is not any particular move that he did, rather it's what he didn't do, panic. Gainey shrugged off the ruthless Montreal media and stuck with his team that he felt could win. Shockingly, he was right.

2008 Winner: Brian Burke, Anaheim Ducks

Was there really any doubt on this one?

Brian Burke has had a phenomenal year as a General Manager, no questions asked. Last year, the team that he built proved to be the unquestioned class of the league, rolling over every other team en route to the Stanley Cup.

He then hit a slight bump as two of his top players, Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne both retired. What does Burke do? He fills those holes by signing Mathieu Schneider and taking a gamble on Todd Bertuzzi. He was also able to lock in his young players like Chris Kunitz and Ryan Getzlaf to long term deals.

When centre Andy MacDonald struggled, Burke had no hesitation to trade him to St. Louis for Doug Weight. While viewing that as a straight up hockey deal, it looks bad, but it allowed him to free up the cap space in order to do something really amazing. Bring Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne back out of retirement.

Is it also worth pointing out that he has Edmonton's first round draft pick in a solid draft year (plus a few more picks in coming years), and it only cost him an underachieving (and now overpaid) Dustin Penner? Yeah the rich get richer...

After both Stanley Cup finalists from 2006 missed the playoffs the following year, it seemed as if dynasties would be hard to build in the new Salary Cup and parity NHL. Right now, it looks as if Burke is proving them all wrong.


And that concludes these awards. Tune back later in the week as I post my thoughts for the REAL Awards, plus some playoff predictions, and much, more as hockey week continues.

Until next time,


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Why I Love Barack Obama

I find it fitting that I go from dedicating 8 straight posts about professional wrestling to talking about U.S. Politics. At the end of the day, the two are really not all that different. Both have very compelling storylines, interesting characters, major players provide stunning turns at the most opportune of moments, and are masked with "smoke and mirror" techniques aimed at guarding the truth.

Don't believe me? Well last month Randy Orton tried to so hard to prove that he belonged in the Main Event, which appeared to be all about Triple H and John Cena, in the end, he was able to win after his two opponents beat one another up. Can we say the same about John McCain proving his worth as a legitimate contender after all of the focus has been on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton?

Also, which do you think was closer to the truth, Floyd Mayweather getting $20 million for his match at Wrestlemania, or Hillary getting shot by snipers when she landed in Bosnia? And don't even get me started on Clinton's stance on the Iraq War, that was a clear attempt at her pulling off a "double turn", but like everyone of them in wrestling since Hart-Austin, they have all failed miserably.

In wrestling there is usually a clear cut good guy, or face. The face does the right thing, no matter what the odds seem to be. Well, for the first time in my lifetime, I genuinely feel that there is a face in the political arena, Barack Obama.

It's been a while since I have done a "Why I Love" style post, but I firmly believe that there are a number of reasons why he is the right choice, not only for America, but for the world as a whole.

1. He was Against the War from the Start -- He knew from the get go the harsh realities of the Iraq War, and voted against a war that he knew would destabilize the region, build up anti-American sentiment, and lead to a long and bloody occupation. Can't really say the same about Hillary now can we?

2. Re-branding -- I read a fantastic article by Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic, titled "Goodbye to All That", where he talks about his love of Barack Obama. One of his points really hit home to me, he mentions Obama as someone who can change America's "Brand" to the world. He stated the following:

"Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can."

Simply put, Obama's multi-cultural nature is one his best things going for him. It sure would be a lot harder for people to burn images and effigies of Barack Obama than it would be of George Bush, and that can really only help things at this point.

3. Courage -- Barack Obama dumbfounds me with the amount of courage he shows. Do you think that Hillary Clinton or John McCain would have the guts to say that racism still exists in the United States and that African-Americans need to stop blaming whites for their own problems?

If you haven't seen his "A More Perfect Union" speech, dedicate the next 37 minutes of your life to this YouTube clip.

Amazing eh?

4. He Rarely Plays the Race Card -- Sure he mentions his own ethnicity when delivering the above speech, but rarely throughout the campaign has he brought up the fact that he is black. It's refreshing, especially when compared to Clinton's earlier stunts where she reminded everyone that she's a woman.

5. He knows the Battle Lines --To me, this is by far the biggest pro for Barack Obama. One of his key points has been about political lobbyists and his insistence on not letting them run Washington. This my friends, marks the first major shot in the political battlefield of the 21st century. So much of the 20th century was about drawing lines and trenching in, from Democrat-Republican, liberal-conservative, Evangelical-secular, capitalist-communist, and well things are different now, and Obama is the only one who has mentioned the new line, Corporatism-Individualism.

People have spent so long debating things like abortion and same-sex marriage, they have lost sight of the new form of control and major issue taking place in the world today. Corporations have been slowly gaining an incredible amount of power thanks to bodies like the WTO, and a variety of government policies.

This rise of Corporatism has lead to mass consumption on a completely unsustainable scale, a weakening of the US Health Care System (and threating of the Canadian one), limiting access to information, and the illegal invasion of Iraq, just to name a few things. All of these things have slowly been taking place behind the backs of the public, courtesy of some very powerful political lobbyists. Even the war on Iraq had massive approval in the United States because people "didn't know" that the claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction were fabricated, despite the knowledge being widespread throughout Europe.

I am not so naive to think that Obama can dismantle the dizzying clout that major corpotation have in a capitalist system, but he is the only major candidate (note: Ralph Nader doesn't count as major) to even mention this issue. While everyone is well aware that the nature of war has changed, everyone seems to think that the antagonists have shifted from communists to terrorists, and that simply is not the case. As I said back in January, the new wars are going to be about The Individual vs. The Collective, and right now the Corporations are the Collective, and Barack Obama is the champion of The Individuals.

6. I Want to Believe -- I'm sure Obama has his faults, but for some reason I just can't help but get caught up in this Obama-mania, I feel that he is someone different, which is what we all need, so very, very badly.

Until next time,