Hey, let me introduce myself i'm Ray, i'm from Belfast, Ireland (yeah there are hockey fans there!....really!) i'm 21 years old and am a huge Toronto Maple Leafs Fan! HEY STOP THE BOOING ALREADY!
This is the first of hopefully many entries in my blog. Hope you read regularly and enjoy, any feedback or comments are much appreciated.
So the Stanley Cup Finals are here and game 2 is only hours away, EXCITED??? I am, apparently many of my fellow buds fans in Ontario ain't too fussed though! Is seeing the Sens in the final REALLY that bad?? Personally i'm cheering for Ottawa, sure i remember those series', sure i remember alfredsson taking out our guys with a cheap shot before scoring, but i also remember the outcomes of those series' WE WON!! ALL OF EM! This Ottawa team were perennial underachievers, every year they felt the disappointment in the post season after a whole year of promise, but these guys are lost chara and Havlat their answer to the goaltending question was supposed to be Marty Gerber - he flopped, the team started HORRIBLY!! But y'now what they rebounded BIG TIME!
This team has shown real grit, determination and character fact is their well coached, highly skilled and highly motivated and i for one admire this team, they have put in one of the best post-season performances of any team in recent history, sure i'm jealous! But you gotta give credit where credits due this team DESERVE to be there, they've worked damn hard for this! Besides i'd much rather see a Canadian victor than the ducks, sure Anaheim has an equally deserving talent pool, their well coached yadda yadda BUT i've seen Tampa who had to give out free beer to coax people to come watch the final win in 2004, then Carolina in 2006, PLEASE!! Take a look at the furor in Ottawa right now, imagine the scenes if the Sens bring the cup home, i sure has hell don't see a comparable victory parade in Anaheim ("the Stanley what??"
TSN ran a nice article on the matter which sums up the "Hockey Buzz" in Anaheim, read and have a chuckle!
Anyway on to other matters - Don Maloney has been named the new General Manager of the Phoenix Coyotes. The Yote's could not have picked a finer guy in my opinion, the former Ranger's assistant GM has a ton of experience, including a stint as GM of the Isles. This guy has an awesome eye for talent and will make a great GM, however how he deals with having the managing partner as his head coach remains to be seen.
Finally, on the leafs front - still all quiet on the Sundin front, i see a confirmation as early as friday, i reckon this will be a done deal at 2 years 5.75mill each. Mats' loyalty to this club is commendable, this guy could have his pick of teams and a number of far more lucrative contracts, the fact that he is willing to take less money to stay is impressive and shows clearly his intent, the least we could do is find him a decent winger to play with. The fact that he'll earn less than McCabe is another matter and one which i've ranted on about enough.
Speaking of finding a winger for mats, the leafs are working towards Ryan Smyth i can just sense it. Poni got a pretty shocking deal in my opinion, and i reckon Nik Antropov will get something similar, just doing my rough calculations i see around 6 million being left on the table after JFJ has made his rfa/free agent signings, i reckon this will be for Ryan. However if i were ryan, that reported deal from the isles sounds pretty good to me, i'd take it and run, hopefully he dosent though, i'd personally love to see him in the blue and white though.
Aebischer? Cujo? Noranen? Belfour? Backstrom? Who's it to be this off season? The leafs are after a backup to push Andrew Raycroft this season, but who's it to be?
Belfours a no no imo, i also feel he'll hang em up in the off season.
There's no doubt Dave Aebischer has alot of potential but one twenty something inconsistent goaltender with "potential" is enough. We need a solid reliable goaltender who can carry the team if needs be.
Cujo is my personal favourite, especially if he comes with the ex-leaf discount but the thought of of raycroft letting in a goal at opening night at the ACC, and the "Cujo! Cujo!" chants ringing round the arena kinda irks me.
I like the idea of Mika Noranen, he was awesome in the AHL and was an ok backup but i dunno he never impressed me that much in the nhl and if he wouldnt backup luongo i cant see him backing up raycroft on a team whose coach really rides one goalie.
And as for Niklas Backstrom, its not going to happen, he'll be locked up with the Wild, besides i honestly think the fact that he played in front of a very defensively minded team helped those numbers, even marty broduer would be hard pushed between the pipes in the blue and white!
Anyway i'm outta here! Feel free to send me your views and comments on any topics discussed and i'll discuss them in my next blog.