Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why Guantanamo Should Stay Open

" is tantamount to state-sanctioned terrorism."

Before you think we've lost our minds and have been recruited to write a political blog for Rush Limbaugh or Daily Kos, let us assure you...this is hockey related.

The statement above was penned in all seriousness by our favorite spewer of parochial crap, Larry Brooks. Was he recruited by Rush Limbaugh or Daily Kos? No. The esteemed Professor Brooks penned an essay in constitutional law in this morning's New York Post, arguing that Sean Avery (the party of the first part), forward for the New York Rangers, suffered "unequal treatment under the law" at the hands of Dave Jackson (the party of the second part) and Steve Kozari (the party of the third part), referees both.

Brooks submitted his evidence...

"Avery was slammed into the boards away from the puck early in the first; crosschecked in the slot at a whistle soon after that; run in the neutral zone without the puck by Hal Gill in the second; and, hit upside the head by Gill later in the period."

It might be the first time in a legal brief that the phrase, "hit upside the head" was offered as testimony, but Brooks is nothing if not innovative in his turn of phrase when waxing indignant on the treatment of his beloved Rangers. He grieved for the future of the NHL, if not civiliation itself when he pleaded...

"...the refusal of the officials to call infractions committed in plain sight against the Rangers' winger not only casts doubt on the integrity of the NHL, it is tantamount to state-sanctioned terrorism."

It was worthy of a rant on a team message board. All that was missing was, "we wuz robbed" as closing argument.

The Rangers lost to Pittsburgh, 4-3. Avery failed to register a shot on goal.

A Big Hit in Hershey

This is an interesting weekend for the Hershey Bears. They came into it facing the three teams immediately below them in the East Division standings -- Binghamton, Bridgeport, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Bears dispatched Binghamton on Friday night, sweeping the Senators out of Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, 4-0 -- a magnificent 47-save shutout by Michal Neuvirth. But that was a mere appetizer compared to what went on at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday. Bridgeport visited the Bears with the aim of closing their deficit to one point behind Hershey. They left beaten and beat up...and five points out of the top spot.

Alexandre Giroux established a Bears franchise record for goal in a season by netting his 53rd and 54th in a 7-2 rout of the Sound Tigers. Giroux' record-setting performance as part of a four-point night wasn't the only highlight of the evening. Keith Aucoin had a five-point night -- a pair of goals and three assists. Graham Mink had a goal to set a career record of 32 goals. Chris Bourque had a goal and a pair of assists. Semyon Varlamov stopped 38 of 40 shots. But there might not have been a bigger "wow" moment than this one...

Staffan Kronwall registered 11 hits in three games with the Caps, but none like this one. You'll note that Kronwall was jumped and had his nose bloodied in fight with Micheal Haley -- the latest installment of players getting jumped after landing a big hit. Kronwall is no fighter, unless you think three (this one being his third) fights in almost 200 regular season games in the AHL and NHL is evidence of pugilistic tendencies. But Haley was made to pay, in a manner of speaking, having to drop the gloves against a tougher customer later in the evening -- Graham Mink...

Should Hamilton defeat Manitoba on Sunday, and Hershey complete the weekend sweep by beating the Penguins, the Bears would take over the top spot in the AHL with six games left to play. Seems the Bears are getting their game faces (snouts?) on as the playoffs approach. Seeing as how the Caps are 6-2-2 in their last ten, maybe they are, too.

It's that time of year. And, for the rest of the highlights...