Tuesday, 1 January 2008

2007 Year in Review: 'Twas Pretty Good, Ja!

by Jes

(c) The Instigator, 2007

While most of you are recovering from hangovers, I had to deal with the most vicious virus this side of Cyrus. The effects feel the same, but it's not nearly as much fun :(

Looking back, 2007 was a great year for hockey in and around Vancouver, and an interesting one for the NHL in general.

  • The Vancouver Giants hosted and then won the Memorial Cup. This proves that some hockey teams can win in this city ;)
  • The Canucks were pretty damn competitive themselves, helped in large part to the fact that Dave Nonis once-upon-a-time ripped a new asshole into Mike Keenan and got Roberto Luongo for pretty much pennies on the dollar.
  • Speaking of Keenan, he somehow managed to snake his way back into the NHL as head coach of the Flamers. So far, Armageddon hasn't arrived ... will 2008 be the year?
  • Sidney Crosby. 'Nuff said
  • Former Giant Milan Lucic made the Bruins roster this season and stuck due to his crashin and bashin.
  • Meanwhile, poor Gilbert Brule continues to get about 4 minutes of ice time, all with goons, per night with the BJs.
  • The Anaheim Ducks brought the Stanley Cup to the West Coast. Bout damn time.
  • The Canes went from Cup champeens to golfing in May. Good goaltending is key, kiddos.
  • The NHL FanHouse kicked you in the nuts so hard that your children will be born with dents.
  • The Maple Leafs continue to bungle things and prove that they are run by too many chefs, care about nothing but the bottom line, and won't win a cup in this blogger's lifetime.
  • Mats Sundin continues to be the most consistant offensive producer of our era. Why this guy continues to get panned is beyond me.
  • Todd Bertuzzi? He barely puts up .5 points a game, and gets paid $4mil/season to do so. Way to go, Burkie.
  • Chris Simon earned himself 55 games worth of suspensions, and proved himself to be Thug of the Year.
  • The Flyers take the team honour in that category. Welcome back, Broad Street Bullies *grumble*
  • Bill Wirtz died, instantly ushering a new era of awesomeness for Hawks fans. Shiny new rookies scoring left and right, home games on TV, a Wirtz (his son) who actually wants to build and cultivate the fan base? It's all on the upswing for Chi-Town. As cruel as it is to say, Bill Wirtz had to die for the Hawks to ever do something right.
  • Chara vs. Koci = Fight of the Year

  • The NHLPA finally got a new leader that actually has the concerns of the players in mind, and not just the inner circle. Ted Saskin? He and his cronies were caught spying on players emails, sniffing their own socks, and generally acting like the bunch of corrupt NHL owners they claim to not be like.
  • Dion Phaneuf and Sean Avery in a death match = what all fans want to see. The winner? He's put on a pedestal and shot in the head.
  • Gaborik's 5 goals in a game. Ovechkin's 4? Meh.
  • Scott Niedermayer CAN'T MAKE UP HIS FRICKIN' MIND, screwing his team and forcing Burke to do some arts and crafts to get under the salary cap.
  • More insane salary inflation. Kinda makes you wonder what the lockout was about, eh?
  • Alexei Yashin was bought out, and then went back to Europe to be overpaid for disappearing in the playoffs.
  • The stupid schedule finally scrapped. Yes, people in Vancouver can see Crosby and Ovechkin more than once every three seasons.
  • Canada won the Spengler Cup. Booya!
  • Kevin Lowe ... Dustin Penner ... Brian Burke ... lots of laughs.
  • The Reebok (Rbk) uniforms were an utter disaster. Not only were 9/10 uglier than Donald Trump's hair, but all of the sweat accumulated in big puddles in the players' gloves and skates. Many teams promptly told the league to "Suck It", and then went back to the 'old' material design.
  • Jonathan Cheechoo = The Brady Anderson of Hockey?
  • Dan Cloutier continues the most rapid decline of any goaltender since Jim Carey.
  • Jim Balsillie was screwed out of the Nashville Predators by Bettman and his cronies. The NHL continues to have a team in a weak market thanks to Bettman's 'vision'
  • Canada won the WJC...again.

    2008? We begin with an outdoor match between the Sabres and Penguins. Ty Conklin, who started in the Heritage Classic, is getting the start? How the hell does this guy start in 2 NHL games, let alone 2 outdoor ones? That is just ... odd.
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