Wednesday, May 17, 2006
-- Funny how on the same day that Wayne Hunter was cut loose after being hit with fourth-degree assault and malicious mischief citations, all I read by nightfall was that sources were confirming the extension of Mike Holmgren's contract with the Seahawks through the 2008 season. Continuity is good. With the coaches and the good players, that is. I notified a local Hawaiian coworker that Hunter was being released by the Seahawks, and he asked who I was talking about. I mentioned he played college ball at Hawaii, and he didn't see it as a familiar name. Keep in mind that the June Jones-coached Hawaii football team is their pro sport over here. The Pro Bowl's only here for a week, and the Maui Invitational is a plane flight away, so those don't count. Hawaii football at Aloha Stadium is the draw. But yeah, dude didn't know who Wayne Hunter was. Of course, that's the same coworker who roots for the Giants, and I was able to hang the Jay Feely thing over his head the whole last half of last season. Fun.
-- I barely care about the NBA Playoffs since the Sonics aren't in it and I didn't follow the NBA day to day like I did last season. Still, I'm glad the Lakers didn't close out the Suns in that series. Two Los Angeles teams would have been too much, and I can only deal with so much Kobe Bryant. Now if they can get some different blood deep into the playoffs other than Detroit and San Antonio, things will start to be all right. I'm sure the NBA wanted the Clippers and Lakers to advance to the second round, but if they wanted that so bad, they shouldn't have changed the first round from best-of-5 to best-of-7 midseason like they did a couple years back. The Lakers were the first team to three wins in that series. You think the 1993-94 Sonic team couldn't have come back from down 3-2 to take Game 6 in Denver and Game 7 in the Barn? Maybe they couldn't have, and maybe it's a waste of time to think about it, but Phoenix was the second seed and could be sitting home right now after a first-round loss under the best-of-5 system.
-- The Canucks aren't in the playoffs, and they fired coach Marc Crawford nearly immediately after the regular season ended. I'm watching the hell out of the playoffs though. I used to be able to get up for Game 1 of an NBA first-round series when it was still best-of-5. With the NHL playoffs, though, every single game seems like it has a ton of urgency. It's not like you know the Memphis Grizzlies are more than likely to get stomped. The eighth seed in the NHL playoffs has upset number one quite a few times, and it happened this year with Detroit choking bigtime against Edmonton. One odd thing about the playoffs is that the top four seeds in the East advanced past the first round, but the bottom four seeds in the West advanced. Detroit, Dallas, Calgary, and Nashville were all vanquished by San Jose, Anaheim, Colorado, and Edmonton. An interesting trend is the prosperity of young and/or rookie goaltenders in the playoffs. Carolina faltered early in the first round, then pulled Martin Gerber for rookie Cam Ward and they haven't looked back. Ryan Miller has helmed the impressive Buffalo Sabres. Ray Emery was in net post-Hasek for the Senators. Most huge, though, was the swap of Jean-Sebastien Giguere for Ilya Bryzgalov in the Anaheim, then the latter ran off that insane scoreless streak against Colorado. I think what I didn't like most considering goalies was Colorado using Jose Theodore instead of the horse that sort of held the fort, Peter Budaj, and nearly the same with Philadelphia, using Robert Esche in the playoffs instead of Antero Niittymaki. Colorado traded Aebischer for Theodore, and I guess they were kind of forced to use Theodore once he was cleared to play (he played only two games in the season for Colorado), but I think Philly should have gone with Niittymaki without question, but now they have all summer to think about that.
-- For some of the western NHL playoff games, OLN has been piping in the CBC in-game feed and then tossing back to the OLN studio for intermission. What they should do is just pipe in the CBC and TSN feeds, studio crews, commercials, and all. I'm in Hawaii and I need my Canadian Tire and Tim Horton's commercials, dammit!
-- Know what I flip the television to here sometimes when I'm bored as hell? Fox Soccer Channel. I don't even know how to watch soccer or anything, and usually I only do this late at night. But if I flip it there and ICC Cricket World is on...that show is awesome. I have barely an idea of what's going on, but it's awesome.
Football season needs to get here fast. I hope the Mariners give the sports fans in the region something to care about soon. I'm going through good baseball withdrawal here.