Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Local Fishwrap Sept. 25

(Frank Gunn CP)

It’s amazing what a better skating stride can do for a player. Jason Spezza wheeled around the entire Toronto team not once, but twice and slid an absolutely perfect pass to Patrick Eaves for the goal. There were three Maple Leaf groins hanging from the rafters after Spezza’s snake-run which clearly indicates that his back is finally ironed out. That, in conjunction with some track training this summer, has him skating like Bobby O… well not quite, but pretty damn good nonetheless.

So the Sens are 4-0 in the pre-season and Pierre McGuire goes on the Team 1200 this morning and tells the local audience to start saving their money because the Sens are going on a long playoff run. A bit premature perhaps, but already the bar owners on Elgin Street are starting to buy themselves brand new BMW SUV’s…errr…. that was Mike “Boy Toy” Comrie buying one for already mega-rich girlfriend Hilary Duff. Nothing says I love you like a planet destroying SUV gas guzzler.

Well, onto the local rags…

Bruce Garrioch lets it slip that Dany Heatley’s agents are meeting not only with GM Bryan Murray but owner Eugene Melnyk himself to try and get a contract done. Garrioch says that Heater wants somewhere between 7.5 and 9 mill. If they get him done for 7.5 then Murray is a bigger genius than I already thought.

One thing you can take to the bank: getting Heater done basically gets Spezza done as well because there’s no way Spezza will turn down good coin to play with Heatley for the next four years. If Heater doesn’t sign, then all bets with Spezza are off. You can just imagine the Maple Leafs brass watching Spezza absolutely dissect and cauterize their team in a ten second span last night and hoping to god that he’s still a restricted free agent next summer. The offer sheet will fly off the fax machine faster than they can give themselves a raise every summer.

On the injury front, Mike Fisher is still holding a bag of ice to his marbles and Ray Emery thinks he might be able to play against the Flyers tonight, but that seems unlikely. Alfie’s got the flu. Joe Corvo still has a bad haircut. Especially for a guy in his thirties. I guess it’s true that playing hockey can extend your adolescence for an indefinite period. News flash: Joe Corvo turns 16 this year.

Allen Panzeri deservedly focuses more on Christoph Schubert in his game wrap-up. Schube played on the back end last night and potted two beauty goals. I still like him better as a hard skating forward but he definitely showed that he can play either position and will be a big factor for the team this season. You have to love the expression on his face after scoring his second goal – he looked almost apologetic and confused. Did I really rifle that one in? Man, maybe I’m good at this after all.

Around the League:

The Vancouver Canucks may be heading into a tough season simply because these dudes can’t score to save their lives. Alain Vigneault might win you some games with his extremely boring trap style, but he can’t get his players to score. This team is going nowhere unless they loosen the reins and let more than one guy chase the puck. How long will Vancouver fans be content to just pay to watch a good goalie?
Why is Chris Simon allowed to play pre-season games even though he's still under suspension? This is just another example of the NHL completely blowing something that seems so simple, like going to Versus instead of ESPN. Because Simon was in the lineup last night, all hell breaks loose... and it's only pre-season!
I don't know if it's just me but this pre-season has been extremely intense across the league. Guys used to just go out there and try to break a sweat. Now they're risking their bodies by driving to the net in middle of nowhere arena's in front of 2000 people. Crazy.

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