Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Short Cold One

With a balky pipe in my downstairs bathroom and the continued deep freeze in New York, I am of two minds about watching the Dodger Stadium game from the Lounge.

I want to watch a game in a warm setting, but I would prefer that the warm setting be in my bathroom pipes. So I have two things to consider when I put the game on the big screen late Saturday night. I must not become too envious of the folks living in an area that I chose to abandon for New York. And I must remember to limit the visits in the Lounge's downstairs bathroom.

"What's that yellow snow?" the neighbors might ask.

"Neighborhood dogs," will be my reply.

That should work.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tortorella and That Hissing Sound

Pump yourself up like a balloon and somebody is going to take a poke at you.

The Canucks, proud and chests fully extended after their manly display -- oh, yes, and their 1-0 loss to the Kings -- left Southern California with nothing to show for it but a string of losses.

Anaheim's 9-1 victory was filled with lessons for all. For Canucks Coach John Tortorella, who went into his Mute Rockne act in front of reporters, there was nothing he was willing to offer in terms of insight on why he failed to get his team under control, why he continues to fail at getting his team to perform or come close to expectations. He's keeping a lot of things inside the room, as he likes to say, but the room is where the players are. What is going on in his room?

He won't say.

Ben Kuzma, the beat writer for the The Province, whose Twitter feed was upbeat after the Canucks' loss to the Kings, took a more sober view of the road ahead after the loss to the Ducks on Wednesday night, wondering what might be waiting for the Canucks in Phoenix.

But as far as insight, don't go there. Tortorella cannot offer what he doesn't have to give. So we will leave you with a blog post from The Province, which takes on the role of the angry fan because, is there any other type of fan in Vancouver? (At least one not linked however slightly to a news media organization that covers the team.)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Taking Advantage of Being Shorthanded

When Jordan Nolan decided to ignore Tom Sestito's urgent invitation to fight last night, fingers quickly began to pound keyboards, touch screens and anything else that might eventually be set in print or posted on the Internet.

The Kings' Nolan had fought Sestito back on Nov. 9, when the Canucks skater was busy compiling a major, a few runs at players and two penalties for charging. This time, Nolan takes a pass, and now we are all wondering what topics will be on the table April 5, when the Kings face the Canucks for the final time in the regular season.

Did Coach John Tortorella get his players to believe that they will be dictating the terms of the game from here on out. Did Nolan's turtle play actually put the Kings on the defensive, image wise and on the ice, for any other games between the two sides.

All good questions, or good conversation topics before the puck drops. But if you are a Canucks fan, you have to be pleased with the failure rate of the Kings' power play. Anytime your team can survive and thrive while a man or two down is only good for morale. The Canucks did not have to worry about Davis Payne's mind coming up with anything worthwhile yet again.

A terrible power play is not what you need when handed seven minutes to put the game out of reach. The Kings won the game, but their special teams should trouble them.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Where Have You Been?

That was one long weekend getaway.

In 2012, I went to North Carolina's Outer Banks around the start of NHL training camps. I came back on time, but the league decided to lock the players out until late January. And the time did not fly by.

In mid-September 2013, I left to enjoy a cool few weeks in Maine (above)and Atlantic Canada. I came back round, which is the new lean in my book, an attractive specimen of a man who enjoys his seafood. But I kept the Lounge closed for the rest of the year. Sometimes you need to push away from the table to have a few relevant things to add to the conversation later, when it counts.

In short, rather than bomb you with endless junior, college and minor league (KHL, AHL, ECHL) scoreboards, I kept the locks on the doors.

Now the doors are open, and even if my experience is like that of the retired priest giving a sermon to an empty room at the midweek 6 a.m. Mass, I will give it my best shot for the rest of the season, audience or no.

Grab a stool. It should get interesting.