So you all remember a few weeks ago, where I was technically dead due to stress and fail? Well this week it’s MHC’s turn, so she’s cashing in the solo teatime I owe her.
“Sweet,” I thought initially. “ULTIMATE POWER IS MINE! I can talk about the Bruins for 75% of this thing, the Patriots for 20%, mention the Red Sox in passing and then randomly insert the word Celtics in there somewhere, just for completeness’ sake.” (I hear they’re doing awesome this year, they at least deserve a mention, I guess.)
Unfortunately, it then occurred to me that I really do rely on MHC for most of my witty banter.
Well, there goes that idea. So this morning, as I was outlining what to write about, I had a lightbulb moment – we’re just going to do the same thing she did when I was absent, which is pull in outside sources! Don’t think of this so much as Tea Time, think of it as a struggly conversation around the crappy coffee machine at work. Yeah, you know the one I mean, the one where the coffee tastes like sawdust and the machine spills half the pot every day. We’re talking struggly, here.
So just to get it out of the way, blanket declaration – yes, the World Series is over, and no, I don’t really care. Countdown to 2010 basball season is on, guys. The nice thing is that for the most part during this series, people realized this and have stopped giving us crap. Well, not stopped, I suppose, just slowed down. I guess the Yankees fans are too busy hating on the Phillies right now, and the rest of the world is concentrating their hate on the Yankees… not complaining. To test this, I turned to Kate, our ever-reliable (and somewhat smug) Yankees fan.
Me: Okay, so if I say to you “I don’t care about the World Series right now,” what is your gut reaction?
Kate: I can’t imagine why not… OH WAIT.
Me: Hmmm, appropriate. Okaym also: IN THIS MOMENT, disregarding every other moment, who do you hate more, Phillies or Red Sox? Chase Utley or Kevin Youkilis?
Kate: In this moment? I hate the Phillies more, but Youkilis most of all. I actually can’t quite hate Chase Utley, I’m really respecting the hell out of him. Which makes me hate the Phillies more, interestingly.
Me: Is there any Philly you hate more than Youk right now? (No is a perfectly acceptable answer here.)
Kate: No, honestly.
Conclusion from this: Yeah, yeah, take your 27 rings and shove ’em, guys. 100-something days until pitchers and catchers report. Woo. I’ll be over here focusing on my current teams.
Which leads me to the Patriots this week. Good bye week, as I was out of town again! Perfect timing, boys.
We’re up against the Dolphins next week; my fantasy football league is tanking. More on them after they play next week, for sure. My brother had some input on this one – “The Patriots are going to be underrated until we beat Indy and the Saints, then everyone is going to be all over us.” I’m inclined to agree.
I guess the Celtics are playing, too? For information on this, I pestered Margaret until she finally yelled at me and told me to leave her alone to do her work and tossed me in the direction of her sister, Susanna, also a crazy Celts fan.
Me: Okay. I HEAR THE CELTS ARE DOING SORT OF AWESOME. A guy on the radio the other day said a 70-point season wouldn’t be unheard of?
Susanna: A 70-win season?
Me: Yes, what did I mean by points? Again, basketball impaired.
Susanna: And yeah, they’re doing just SORT OF FREAKING AWESOME. I don’t know if I’d say 70 games this early in the season, but I think it’s possible. I mean, Rasheed Wallace thinks it’s possible, and who am I to doubt him, right? And I think that if Rasheed says he thinks they can win X number of games, then it means he wants to… I don’t think Sheed is really one to not get what he wants. So while Radio Man may have jinxed the hell out of us (what can I say, I’m a Boston sports fan) I suppose I agree. 70 wins isn’t unreasonable.
Me: Nice. How many did they have the season they won the championship?
Susanna: 66… See? that’s why it makes me nervous to say 70.
Me: Yeah, that makes sense.
Tonight at the Garden, however, is not a Celtics game, but a game that may live in infamy (for me, for at LEAST three months).
Bruins vs. Habs. The Epic Rivalry game. Yeah, I’ve got a little bet going on this one, as you might have heard. With that in mind, I turned to my rival for this game, Julie Veilleux of metricjulie.com, to get her opinion on the also-tanking Habs.
Me: So I want a Habs fan perspective on this game. Like, set the rivalry aside for a few minutes, and let’s actually talk hockey here. Both of our teams are looking mildly craptacular, no?
Julie: Our defense SUCKS. Carey Price is being heavily judged but he’s just being thrown to the WOLVES, man. we’re able to bounce back sometimes and ALMOST WIN but we can’t always just STEAL games, either by our, like, 2-3 scorers or our goalie(s)… our silver lining is YOUR INJURIES & that’s pretty much all we can see that is positive going into tomorrow night’s game. MA Bergeron & Carle dont belong in the NHL, and Laraque is a piece of good for nothing…
Julie: Yeah. The other silver lining is that the Leafs still suck worse. Also, Price should start tomorrow in Boston.
Me: Pretty sure Timmy will get the start, too. So this might be the best chance we’ve had to score all year, if your defense is really that bad.
Julie: If they score the first goal, man, we’re done, that’s it. We might have Cammalleri and Moen scoring to play catch up the whole time but that’s at best, and we won’t win.
[At this point, Julie sent me a link to this tweet, right here, and proceeded to flip out.]
Me: So Gionta’s hurt?
Julie: Gionta received treatment today. He blocked a shot in 3rd period last night… probably hurt himself.
Me: Uh oh.
Me: OUR TEAMS ARE FAILY, JULIE.
I was completely justified in that last statement, too, when I woke up this morning to discover DAVID KREJCI HAS SWINE FLU. It’s official, our entire first line and part of our second line from last year are out. What the HELL. After crying into my morning coffee, I turned to Doug, who runs Blow Habs Blow, to make myself feel better. After talking about his Patrick Roy love affair and how the Avalanche are a weird link between the Bruins and the Habs, we launched into the really meaty stuff.
Me: Doug. Help me understand this. Why does the universe seemingly hate our team right now?
Doug: Because it doesn’t believe the “new” garden is capable of holding two 82-0 teams at once. Maybe the old Garden could, but not this one. So the universe takes precautions and instead only lets us be just barely good enough to win dual championships in a year.
Me: Ohh. That makes sense, weirdly.
Doug: In all seriousness though, we’ve hit a bad luck streak, it happens to the best of them – lucky for us though, we have it at the beginning of the season and not at the end. So as long as we stop having this junk happen, we should be good for a cup run.
Me: This is true – think of the Penguins’ start to their season last year.
Doug: Exactly, they were hurting but they pulled through, made sure they got in and then had the team to beat (or not beat I guess). We’re playing .500 hockey for the most part without our top line (and now parts of our 2nd line), once we have a top line back it will help significantly, they’ll just need to produce.
Me: I can’t wait. By the way, what do you think of Tuukka Rask’s new contract?
Doug: Rask’s contract has him making a little over 1mil/year. That makes sense, that’s a good deal that keeps us the top prospect goalie under wraps and lets us look to go with him for the long term as long as he plays well and doesn’t get injured in the next 2 years. From that point we hit two potential seasons of cap issues with Thomas being under contract, but hopefully we figure something out. Chiarelli is good at handling the players and contracts it seems – he’s much like the Pats, I think. There’s a certain value given to each slot and you look to fill it with the proper skill set and at the right price, so that you can build the most complete team possible. Then, you let other teams (cough cough TORONTO) overpay for players and never win.
Me: Speaking of Toronto…
Doug: Kessel hit?
Me: I think I’ve watched it about 20 times.
Doug: It’s pure awesomeness – I think its funny because I don’t think you see that hit happening if he’s in Boston, because whoever drops him like that gets immediately pounded on by Lucic. The second best thing about that hit, was seeing Burke’s face. God I loved that.
Me: As you should.
So basically, I’ve come out of this feeling a little better, and even a little saddened by the fact that tonight’s Bruins/Habs showdown will probably not be nearly as exciting physically as last year’s games. Weirdly enough, I miss Komisarek as a Hab. Who’da thunk it.
Brad Marchand, Vladimir Sobotka and Tuukka Rask: The new kids are stepping up, finding team chemistry, and the rookie goalie signed his contract for 2 years. Now we just need some goals, guys.
The Celtics. Margaret says: Not only are they on a 6 game winning streak to start the season, they have been scary good. Scary like other teams pee a little bit when they look at the schedule and see they’re coming to Boston. They’ve held opponents to an average of 81.5 points, and have won by an average of 18.3 points. Or offense comes in wave after wave after wave as our bench is performing like a second starting lineup, and our defense has some serious teeth. They’ll lose some games this season, but the 2009-2010 Celtics are for real.
Rasheed Wallace, Shelden Williams and Marquis Daniels: Again, I forced Margaret to do this one. The new guys on the Celtics have fit in beautifully with the squad, and the team is completely gelled. Welcome, boys. Keep putting up 20+ point games and we’ll love you forever.
A hearty round of jeers to:
The NBA refs: You still suck.
Anyone who flipped out about Rondo and Paul and their little bitch fight: Grow up. They were both being obnoxious, and they deserve each other. That being said…
Rondo: You are teammates with Ray Allen, one of the classiest guys in professional sports. It might behoove you to observe how it is done. You little punk. Talented as all get-out, but a little punk nonetheless.
The Habs: NO HABS NO. Today, we don’t need a reason.
The Yankees: Again, usually a reason isn’t necessary, but…ugh, how many days until pitchers/catchers report?
H1N1: COME ONNNNNNN.