Post #19 Topic: Why The NHL is Better Than Your Favorite Sport
Today marks the induction into the NHL hall of fame for four great athletes of our time, who together comprise what critics who have been alive longer than I have declare is “the best hall of fame induction class” ever. Of the four players inducted, I know a decent amount about two, and a lot more about the others; first the former.
Al Macinnis had a rifle of a shot. I couldn’t tell you much about his defensive prowess but even as a young kid (during Al’s hey-day), I remember the damage he could cause on his gun from the blue line. 7 times in his career did Macinnis score 20 or more goals, a feat deserving of praise even for some of the NHL’s most respected forwards and centers. In 1991 Macinnis had over 100 pts, which is likewise deserving of significant praise. Add onto that a Conn Smythe (Playoff MVP), a Norris (best d-man), and a
Change of plans, I will save my Ron Francis discussion for last as it is primary to the actual point of this post which my 9 dedicated readers have probably all abandoned reading by now in favor of the other notes below.
For Scott Stevens I will not even refer to wikipedia or espn. As a Ranger fan, my dreams have been haunted by Scott Stevens for years. Stevens was simply one of the most feared predators (not the scrubs from
Mark Messier; The Captain; The general of broadway; The moose; The greatest leader of my era in any professional sport; The man who is almost single-handedly responsible for bringing the Stanley Cup back to Broadway after a 54 year absence. The man who retired a Ranger and was then subsequently retired by the Rangers, his number 11 in the rafters until the teams start running out of numbers and need to bring some numbers back down which will be funny and terribly ironic. Messier being traded to the Rangers in 1992 was the reason that I truly became a Ranger fan, an effect that has lingered to this day and will subsequently cause me to flunk law school and become hot dog salesman, which is what I really wanted to do but wasn’t ready for such a fierce commitment after 4 grueling hangovers/years at Syracuse. Mark, when you read this… I thank you.
I saved Ron Francis for last because of a debate I got into this weekend. Before I discuss him I’d like to note that Wayne Gretzky, is the single most accomplished athlete of our time. The difference between his talent level and the next best player EVER, far surpasses equal comparisons in any other sport. Tiger Woods is good, but does not have double the amount of majors as the next best person in his sport… He doesn’t even have the most.
Gretzky had more assists in his career than any other player ever had points. Yes Wayne played with greats like Robitaille, Kurri, and Nick Kypreos (obscure joke), but look at those player’s production after losing Wayne and you can immediately see just how powerful his game was.
Which finally brings me to Ron Francis, the NHL’s 2nd all time career assist getter. With more helpers than Yzerman, Lemeuix, Messier and Howe, Francis’s 1229 is both impressive and deserving of the accolades with which he was most recently bestowed (from the sport who owns bragging rights to the world’s most honored and respected championship trophy, and know he did not play women’s water polo). Oh BTW (lol.jk.stfu.com) the great one had 1963 assists. Yes you did indeed just shit your pants. (I happen to strongly dislike
So what does this all mean? Why is the NHL so darn good? Why should you go out and leave the business in the front but the party in the back? Why should you get your plaid and your shotgun and go duck hunting? Why should you end every comment for which you need approval by saying eh? Because Hockey is back and better than ever. Nevermind that the Rangers, the measuring stick for hockey’s success, are experiencing a ratings boost over 85%, the reason to watch hockey is none other than Sidney Crosby.
I don’t care if you don’t like the Penguins. I don’t care if you think Malkin is better, or Ovechkin more valuable, or Lundqvist more of a story, or Phaneuf more of a “once in a lifetime type d-man” or the Kings the rebirth of West Coast Hockey or the Devils miserable. Sidney Crosby is the single reason that anyone who likes sports should watch hockey.
If a basketball team was going to win 73 games you would watch.
It a football team could once again go undefeated (without cheating and/or being from OUTSIDE BOSTON), you would watch.
If Federer were going for his 7th consecutive major you would watch.
If Tiger picked up a real sport and was nearly as good at it, you would most likely watch that as well.
SO WHY ARENT MORE OF YOU WATCHING HOCKEY. WTF Mutha-ucka?
As an 17 year old rookie on the worst team IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, Sid had over 100 pts. Last year, as an 18 year old, he became the youngest NORTH AMERICAN ATHLETE TO EVER WIN A SCORING TITLE… INCLUDING WAYNE GRETZKY, the newly anointed 2nd most dominant athlete of our time (in fact,
People forget the kind of hype that Eric Lindros got when he came out. Both the Rangers and Flyers completed trades that nearly emptied their rosters to get him from the team the drafted him, the Nordiques. Eventually the Flyers won that sweepstakes, as well as many games until Eric’s career was cancelled faster than Viva Laughlin (I think that was cancelled). As much hype as Lindros got, it was nowhere near that drawn by Sid. When Sid was 14, in 2001, he was already the consensus number one overall pick for 2005.
The scary part about him is that he isn’t even full-grown yet, and already he’s next to impossible to knock off the puck. Even more amazing, at 6 foot, 200 lbs, Crosby can sneak through defenders like Theo Fluery, blast slap-shots like Al Iafrate, and take punishing hits like (my personal preference out of many possible comparisons) Petr Prucha.
Make that far less open seats. People are starting to catch on to just how good he can be. He’s now got his own clothing line, several hefty endorsements, had had his jersey stolen by airport employees three times, and I heard he’s got his own dirty live webcam coming out in February (joke).
So as Ozzy would say, if you’re not watching hockey “youre going off the rails on a crazy train.” And the best part is that Sid is only one of a number of bright spots around the league. So turn to channel 378 (VS network), turn off the volume (worst announcers in sports), and settle down with a Molson, some fries w/gravy and guaranteed healthcare and turn on some hockey, the world’s best game.
She says she got a man but I aint worried. I’m just gonna have to rob that man like Horry.
I’d like to give credit to one of the most under-acclaimed trios in the history of music. On Jimmy Buffet’s cheeseburger in paradise, the three chicks that sing the paradise echo part are really on key and really emphasize just how delicious that cheeseburger that Jimmy is thinking about really is.
I saw Michael Clayton, it should have been called George Clooney.
The next time you hear someone use the word “right up my alley” hit them. This is the single most absurd phrase in the American dictionary (yes the dictionary has phrases, the new one at least, you must have the old one) and really must be removed. All I know is that if I have an alley, I certainly don’t want any of you recommending what I should put up it.