The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!
I am well aware that the season is far from over, but now that the regular season is coming to an end I thought I’d write an article on the good Stroies, the bad stories and the ugly incidents that have occured during this season. Obviously a lot more good, bad and ugly stories can happen in the remainder of the season, depending what happens in the last two weeks and of course the playoffs.
I’ll Start with the Ugly:
Bertuzzi incident: I obviously couldn’t leave this one off the list. I’m sure everyone is sick and tired about hearing about this so I’m not going to talk about it. Sure the whole play was brutal, but what I think the ugly part about it was how much media coverage it got and how they made Bertuzzi look like viscious villain. It’s quite sad how the media (especially in the US) focuses so much on a story like this rather than the feel-good stories.
Dan Snyder/Danny Heatley: Horrible incident. Plain and simple. It looked like the Thrashers might have challenged for the playoffs at one point in the season but they quickly fell out of the race. If they made it in that would of turned the ugliest incident into the best feel-good story.
Major Injuries this season: Now, injuries are always ugly incidents, but this year seemed like there were more key guys getting seriously injured. Just to mention a few: Forsberg, Hatcher, Hasek, MacInnis, Allison (last season mind you), Deadmarsh (dido), Bure (dido again!), Palffy, Stevens, Lemieux, Roenick, Nagy and Jackman. And those are just the best names I can think of. There are numerous more lesser known players with serious injuries.
Other Notable Ugly Incidents:
-Comrie’s holdout and how harsh it got.
-Roenick throwing water bottle at the ref
And now for the, Bad:
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Based on this team’s amazing run in the playoffs last season, and the amazing play of J.S. Giguere in that run, and adding Sergei Federov to the team, this year’s version of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks is a big disapointement. People were expecting the Ducks to pick up where they left off and challenge to win the Pacific Divison or at least finish 4th/5th. But that didn’t even remotely come close to happening. And a chunk of the blame must be given to J.S. Giguere. His season has been absolutely terrible, especially considering the media focus he received last year and how everyone was saying he’s the next best thing. Goes to show you just how ‘Streaky’ goalies get.
The Washington Capitals: For a team that has won the Southeast divison many times and has often made the playoffs this team took a big nose dive. The owner overspent and the team drew little attendance. With all that talent they had at the beginning of the season there was no reason for them not to make the playoffs. But bad can quickly turn into good. This team has a bright future with a bundle of prospects and draft picks.
Mike Modano: Talk about a bad season. 10 goals and 38 points in 68 games? wow. And a wopping -19. And that’s on a team with mostly plus players. What happened to this guy? 7th on the Stars for points? gheez. Yet he got to start at centre in the All Star game for the first time in his career. Go figure.
Patrick Lalime: For a goalie that made the All Star game last year, took Ottawa the furthest they’ve ever been the past two seasons, and was arguably the Senators’ MVP last year in a President’s trophy winning year, he’s had a very bad season. 24-21-7 is a very bad record for a starting goalie on a contending team. That being said he can write off this season with superb play in the playoffs. Where he’s been known to excel over the past 2 seasons.
Other bad stories:
-of course the New York Rangers once again not making the playoffs yet being towards the top in payroll.
And now to make things more positive, the Good:
Martin St. Louis: Even if you don’t like this guy, you have to admit that his play this season is a good story. It’s always good when a little guy does so well in a big man’s league. But to me the real good story is where this guy came from. He was a no-namer in Calgary for three years and played his fair share in the AHL. But since going to Tampa he’s really developed into a star and now will challenge for the MVP. It goes to show that hard work and determination pays off.
Calgary Flames: Finally the longest playoff-drought streak is coming to an end. And not only did they just sqeak in they might even get hom ice advantage! And they could easily get past the 1st round because they will be playing 1 of the following teams: Dallas/San Jose or Vancouver. A lot easier than Detroit/Colorado. Plus down the stretch they’ve beaten the toughest teams. Detroit/Colorado/Ottawa. Wow. Props to Darryl Sutter on great coaching and managerial work.
The surprising rookies: In a year when the candidates for rookies at the start of the year were believed to be the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Tummo Ruutu and Nathan Horton, many surprising rookies have blossomed out of nowhere. Ryder, Raycroft and Hunter came out of nowhere and will be the likely candidates for the Calder.
Other Good stories so far this year:
-The Montreal Canadiens
-Tampa Bay Lightning
-Pittsubrugh’s recent play
– 5 out of 6 Canadian teams are playoff bound. Maybe even all 6
And now the one story that is the Ultimate The Good. The Bad. And the Ugly. The one story that had all three components. The story that filled hockey headlines in the early season. And it goes to the Detroit Red Wings’ Goaltending saga.
The Bad of it is Dominik Hasek. One of the greatest goalies ever to play the game comes out of retirement and has a brutal season. Sure he only played 20 or so games but those games were mediocre at best. And his latest stunt of walking away from the team is just brutal.
The Ugly is Ken Holland. I bet he feels like a schmuck now. Placing Joseph on waivers and sending him to the minors was a slap in the face to Cujo. But from his point of view he did what he to do. Holland is one lucky GM that no team picked him up off of waivers. They do not want to go with Legace come playoffs.
And the Good is Cujo. He was a class act through this whole ordeal and never complained once. Not once. He showed a lot of character through this and goes to show what a good team player he is. And he’ll be awarded with the start in the playoffs on the best team in the NHL. Good things happen to Good people.