Month: April 2004

Sharks/Avs game 1

Surprisingly easy win against an Avs team that looks unready and undisciplined. The quote you didn’t see in the papers after that game from tony granato: We’re gonna need a bigger boat! Now, having said that, nobody should expect future games to be easy, but if the Avs can’t figure out the sharks speed, this series is over. Ron wilson did a strange thing — he put the team’s fourth line (Todd harvey and Mark Smith) to the task of checking the Forsberg line, and they made Forsberg absolutely miserable all night. Not something I would have expected. Frankly, I think splitting Sakic and Forsberg and putting Selanne up with Sakic only makes the Sharks job easier, since Selanne will drag Sakic down with him. given a choice between one solid scoring line and two mediocre ones, Granato chose two. We thank him. The nasty, undisciplined play by the Avs late was onacceptable. I hope Steve Moore called Boughner on the phone after the game to ask “what the hell weree you thinking”, but I guess it’s okay if it happens to the other...

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2nd round playoff predictions

So, how’d I do? 1st round: Tampa/NY Isles – me: Tampa/5 real: tampa/5 Boston/Montreal – me: Boston/6 real: Montreal/7 Philly/NJ – Me: NJ/6 real: Philly/5 Toronto/Ottawa – Me: Toronto/6 real: Toronto/7 Detroit/Nashville – Me: Detroit/5 real: Detroit/6 San Jose/St. Louis – Me: SJ/6 real: SJ/5 Vancouver/Calgary – Me: Van/5 real: Cal/7 Colorado/Dallas – Me: Dallas/6 real: Col/5 4 of 8. The only two I missed badly on were Philly/NJ (Brodeur just wasn’t sharp) and Colorado/Dallas (Dallas wasn’t as good as I expected) On to the 2nd round… SJ/Colorado: two guarantees: if the Avs lose a series in the playoffs, aeberscher will get blamed by a lot of fans and pundits; also, if the Avs do lose — it won’t be his fault. He’s not Roy, but he’s pretty darn good. Dangerous team, but I’m just not that worried. The Sharks match up well, and if they can contain Forsberg and Sakic (easier said than done), it’s a fairly easy victory. I don’t expect it to be quite that easy, but I still expect the sharks to get it done: Sharks in 6. Detroit/Calgary: I think Detroit is beatable here. Older and slower, and Legace/Joseph just isn’t making me think they’ll stone teams. On the other side, Calgary is young, fast, Iginla has shown up and taken control, Kiprusoff is showing an ability to play up to pressure, and the...

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The Nebula Awards

Frank Catalano went to the Nebula Awards in Seattle, and talks about some of the things that happened. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about decisions past, present and future recently. A couple of those major decisions were quitting my writing not-quite-a-career, and later, deciding to resign from SFWA after years of involvement. Between Frank and Teresa’s post on Avenue Victor Hugo and the closing of Other Change of Hobbit, it’s really stirred up a bunch of memories. The decision to stop writing was really pretty simple, actually — I felt I was a mid-list type of writer, working in a field where the mid-list was starting to be decimated, both by centralized chain buying that didn’t have room for the non-blockbuster writer, and by the encroachment of the sharecrop environments such as Star Trek and Star Wars. Both of those worries have come true to a good degree, I think, and I don’t think the kind of writing I was interested in doing matches well with the market as it stands today, and I just wasn’t interested writing other people’s stories. What made the decision really easy were two other factors: first, I had another option (computers) that I enjoyed at least as much as writing, and which paid a hell of a lot better, and I’m all for having fun AND making money; second, it turns out...

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Team and league awards

A few quick notes on team and league awards, here at the end of the season. San Jose Sharks: MVP: Patrick Marleau. No, CAPTAIN Patrick Marleau. While this year’s team was really an ensemble piece, if you have to choose one guy, it’s an easy choice. Mike Rathje is my second choice. Rookie of the year: Tom Preissing. rookie defenseman. Undrafted, free agent rookie defenseman; and he made it look easy. Very impressive. Most improved: you could consider Marleau, actually. But going into the season, most of us were hoping for an improvement from Jonathan Cheechoo — to maybe 15 goals or so. yeah, right. Cheechoo almost singlehandledly replaced Owen Nolan in production AND in the physical factor. And I think he still has a noticable upside. Second choice: Alexander Korolyuk, who had a lot to prove (starting with “is he really an NHL-caliber top six forward?”), and who did so after a rough start. But once he started believing in himself, it was fun to watch. Top defenseman: Mike Rathje: 28 minutes a night, against the other team’s top offensive lines every night, every shift, every game — and go look at his +-. He may not be flashy, but he gets the job done wonderfully. League honors: MVP: Kiprusoff in Calgary, St. Louis in Tampa, Klatt in LA, Turco in Dallas. Tough call; I’ll take Kiprusoff. Without...

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Playoff predictions: eastern conference

I love Tampa, I’m rooting to see St. Louis in the finals. But I’m not convinced it’ll happen. the East is a conference of question marks. How badly hurt is Joe Thornton? What’s up with Lalime’s knee and Belfour’s back? If everyone is healthy, I’d call this a four team race: New Jersey, Toronto, Ottawa and Boston, with Tampa as the dark horse. With Brodeur healthy and questions on the other teams, you have to see the Devils as the favorites here — if Philly doesn’t take them our or wear them out. But I don’t think it’ll happen. Tampa/NY Islanders: we see if Tampa is for real, but the Islanders can’t go deep into these playoffs. Tampa in 5. Boston/Montreal: this series I’m going to watch, it ought to be mucho fun. If Thornton can play and be close to 100%, it’ll be Boston in 5. If not, I’ll choose Boston in 7. But Montreal should make it interesting. Philadelphia/New Jersey: I just don’t think Philly can do it. they keep finding ways to not win playoff series, and I still don’t really trust their goaltending (again/still). the devils have some issues (paging Scott Stevens…) — but they have Martin Brodeur. I’ll take Brodeur for 200, please: Devils in 6. Toronto/Ottawa: the best series in the first round not involving the sharks and us having tickets. These teams...

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