Sometimes I bullshit you guys, I'll admit, but today be sure to check these out - there's some good shit linked today!
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Today is an afternoon 1:00 pm central puck drop. Plan your alcoholic libations accordingly.
BTW, the USA women's Olympic team is playing Finland at the moment (as I write this sentence, the US just scored to lead the Finns 2-0 in the 2nd), which makes me feel way better about my insomnia - I've merely been training for Olympic TV viewing!
- The Blues have quite a bit of things to distract them today - one of them being the terribly forced lead by Dan O'Neil in this article - but they're hoping to put them aside until about 5:00 this evening. If they do that and win, they'll go into the Olympic break in first place in the Central, via tie-breaker (the first few of them, actually) over Chicago - more on that below. [STLToday]
- Tonight will mark Barret Jackman's 700th NHL game, all in St. Louis. He's only the fourth Blue to reach that mark, behind Bernie Federko, Brian Sutter, & Brett Hull. He's also lost 116 games in his career to
owners' greedlockouts, making the feat even more impressive. To mark the occasion, here's an old Sports Illustrated.com article from Jax's rookie year making his case for the Calder Trophy he eventually won. (Suck it, Henrik Zetterberg & Rick Nash!) Not to beg, but please read this - it took quite a bit of Google digging to find it! [SI.com]
- Today is also Conference III Title Belt Day, so be sure to check out J.R. Lind's tale of the tape before the puck drops. It's not up yet as of press time, so keep your eyes peeled. [III Communication]
KNOW YOUR ENEMY - THE WINNIPEG JETS:
- Our Manitoban friends chart out some advanced metrics to really try and judge how much better the Jets have been under Paul Maurice than they were with Claude Noel. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- When the Thrashers flew north in 2011 and were rechristened the Jets 2.0 (sorry, Hildy), part of the reason was that the Canadian dollar had rebounded and was much stronger than when the original Jets left town in 1996. Today, the loonie has weakened again, but that's no longer a problem for Winnipeg and other Canadian markets. Find out why! [Winnipeg Free Press]
- There were 5 games last night. Your final scores: [NHL.com 2/7]
- 10 games today, the last day of NHL games before Sochi. Four of them are between teams within five points of each other...and then there's the Ducks & the Predators, who are 25 points apart. [NHL.com 2/8]
- Yesterday, I mentioned how Kris Letang had missed some time for an unnamed illness that was not believed to be life threatening...yesterday the Penguins confirmed that Letang suffered from a stroke last week. He will miss at least 6 weeks, after which he'll be re-evaluated. The team doesn't believe at this time that this will be career threatening. Letang is 26 years old. Some real shit. [Penguins]
- A story I somehow forgot to link yesterday: Nashville and United States Olympic GM David Poile was hit in the face with an errant puck the other day and had to have two reconstructive surgical procedures. He's currently resting in a Nashville hospital. He does still plan to make it to Russia before the tournament ends. [Predators]
- Ok, now that we've got the heavy shit out of the way...HAHA, Mike Smith shutout the Blackhawks 2-0! I usually prefer linking to Committed Indian rather than the post-split SCH, but Second City seems to be in more of an excuse making mood, which maximizes the schadenfreude. Fun fact: this was the first time Chicago has been shutout in almost two years. [Second City Hockey]
- Finland lost two important pieces yesterday, as Minnesota's Mikko Koivu and Tampa Bay's Valtteri Filppula went down with injuries. They will reportedly be replaced with two forwards from the KHL's Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod. [Pro Hockey Talk]
- A lot of people (including some around here) complain about how many NHLers will be playing in the Olympics instead of getting two weeks of rest, saying that it's bad for the league stretch run. Joe Sakic disagrees, saying it's better to play and stay sharp. Then again, in '98, Sakic got hurt in Nagano and the Avs lost in the first round. They did however make the Western finals in 2002, so...you know. [Denver Post]
- Harrison Mooney contemplates the conflicts players fighting injuries face between their club and country. [Puck Daddy]
- Sure, Pluto isn't a planet anymore - but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some huge secrets to tell us about our solar system! Soon, we'll be learning quite a bit of exciting things about the ice "dwarf-planet" that has approximately the same surface area as Russia, as NASA satellites will be passing by Pluto for the first time around July 2015. Maybe my favorite Science Saturday to date! Seriously, planet or not, Pluto is fucking awesome! It's the Vladimir Sobotka of our solar system (as soon as we downgrade him to bottom-6 forward status). [Slate]
- NBC won't let me embed this, which sucks, but the highlight of the Sochi Opening Ceremonies didn't even make it to American broadcast (I think, I missed the first half of NBC's broadcast): a Russian police choir singing "Get Lucky." And damn did they boogie, too! Holy balls is this great! [NBC Olympics]
- EA Sports, like in 2010, will be releasing a whole new game for this summer's World Cup, that they claim will have "unprecedented depth and authenticity." Brooks Peck of Yahoo! Sports' Dirty Tackle makes some suggestions to make sure that's the case, such as fighting in the stands and getting pummeled by police for protesting in the streets of Brazil. [Dirty Tackle]
- This week, Facebook celebrated its 10th birthday. To celebrate, everyone and their mother (including myself0 posted their "look back" videos about some of their past Facebook highlights, and no one gave a shit about anyone else's. But here's one you might be interested in: Walter Hartwell White's of Albuquerque, New Mexico. [Huff Post]
The Blues aren't just fighting for first in the Central division and to defend the Conference III Title Belt, they're also fighting a Canadian team! So Let's Do It For Our Country!
In his 699 previous NHL games (plus playoffs), Jax hasn't score too many "big" goals. To further mark his milestone tonight, I think it's safe to say this has been his "biggest."
Do you love America? Or even whatever part of not-America you come from? Then send me links!
- jasonmcadams1120 AT gmail DOT com
(BTW, at the time of THIS sentence, the USA women have finished off the Finns 3-1. Woot.)
Let's not fuck this up, guys. Instead, LET'S GO BLUES!!!