Someplace else to find me…

Posted in Blogs, Fantasy Hockey, NHL with tags , , , on April 14, 2010 by tangentman

An opportunity to blog for the hockey based website From the Point has come my way recently, and today is my first installment. I’d like to thank Brian Metzer for inviting me aboard, and, even though it’s basically a Penguins site, I’ll do my best not to ruffle any feathers with my Flyers talk.

Hopefully having a weekly gig will also find me writing more here…we shall see.

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Unless you take part in a Playoff Pool, the end of the NHL regular season also marked the end of your annual fantasy hockey campaign. If you’re anything like me, the sudden slamming of the fantasy door in your face has left a certain void. The saving grace for me is that I am involved in two leagues of the ‘keeper’ variety: one which allows 7 players to be held over, while the other is a “Dynasty League”, where (after the grueling 62-round inaugural draft we went through this season) the only changes to your squad year to year are the result of your own transactions and the annual Entry Draft.

Single-year leagues are over and done, but keeper leagues have merely gone on hiatus, at least through the post season. Thoughts of which players to hang on to for next season – and the possible return-in-trade for those who don’t make your personal cut – are probably already on your mind. I keep my hockey motor running all year, and I get my mental lists started as the NHL playoffs begin.

Read more…

Broad Street Bullies Documentary

Posted in NHL, Philadelphia Flyers with tags , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2010 by tangentman

HBO will premiere their Philadelphia Flyers documentary, “Broad Street Bullies”, on May 4th at 10 PM.

Growing up a Flyers fan, the back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in ’74 and ’75 are some of my earliest memories of the team. Although they were despised by many fans around the NHL for their intimidating style of play, the team was adored by fans in the Philadelphia area. While the Bullies took a lot of heat for kicking ass and taking names, their rough and tumble approach to the game was initially engineered to mimic that of the Big Bad Bruins, the Flyers’ rowdy rivals from Boston.

Led by Head Coach Fred ‘The Fog’ Shero, the Flyers also took on the Soviet Central Red Army team on January 11, 1976, in an exhibition game which saw the Soviets leave the ice during the first period in protest of an Ed Van Impe elbow to the head of Red Army forward Valeri Kharlamov that wasn’t deemed a penalty by referee Lloyd Gilmour.

Love ’em or hate ’em, the Bullies documentary looks entertaining. Check out the trailer or read more on the Flyers’ website.

A Rich Fantasy Life

Posted in Fantasy Hockey, NHL with tags , on February 19, 2010 by tangentman

Thank goodness the Winter Olympics only come around every four years. With NHL players’ participation, the League shuts down for the Games, which leads to withdrawal on a couple of levels – I miss the NHL games, but the Olympic tournament takes care of that in a way. What gets me is the lack of action for my fantasy teams.

They say admitting there is a problem is the first step toward a cure. Well, I’m a fantasy hockey junkie. Okay, I said it, but I don’t feel any better…no weight has been miraculously lifted from my shoulders.

I have an addictive personality. I work in Atlantic City, yet I don’t gamble; that would be trouble. I’ve had to modify my alcohol intake because I don’t know when to stop once I start. The one thing I give in to is the fantasy game – every night during the season is meaningful since my teams are made up of players from all around the League and someone always has a game. Until this stinkin’ Olympic hiatus.

The saving grace in fantasy is that, unlike the NHL, there is no trade embargo during the break. I can still discuss deals with other GMs; I can go over the rosters and stats to find target players to fill a void at a certain position; I can peruse the free agent list to find the guy that everyone else has missed that is ready to go on a scoring spree.

Writing that last paragraph just gave me the shakes. I need a fix, dammit. Gotta go open a new tab…

RIP Robert B Parker

Posted in Authors, Miscellaneous, Spenser with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2010 by tangentman

I was stunned by an email I received early Tuesday afternoon.  Literally stunned.

It was from someone in one of my yahoo-groups, and the subject line said it all:  “[spenser] He’s gone”.

Robert B Parker, author of nearly 40 novels in the Spenser series, passed away at home in Cambridge, MA (working at his desk) on January 18 at the age of 77.

Dr Parker was a master of brisk, witty dialogue, which made his books a quick read and often hard to put down.  The banter between Spenser and his friend/leg breaker/cohort Hawk would often have me laughing out loud.  Spenser made it to television, starting a three year run in 1985 with Spenser: For Hire, starring Robert Urich in the title role and Avery Brooks as Hawk (who some, myself included, consider to have been made for the part).

Along with Boston PI Spenser, Parker’s other series include alcoholic ex-LA cop turned small town Police Chief Jesse Stone (played in TV movies by Tom Selleck), female PI Sunny Randall (also from Boston), the Western adventures of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, and two recent ‘young adult’ novels.

A few years ago, my fiancee Laurel and I took a trip to Boston/Cambridge and made one day a “Spenser Day”.  We took in Boston Common and the Public Garden, crossed Arlington Street to stroll Marlborough, the Mall on Commonwealth and the stores on Newbury.  We made our way to the Park Street T-Stop at the Common, where the opening scene of the Spenser: For Hire pilot, Promised Land, plays out, followed by a few steps up Tremont Street to the Old Granary Burial Grounds (where Spenser ends up shooting the huge stone marking the grave of Benjamin Franklin’s parents in the same scene – no marks on it now, thanks to special effects 😉 ).

We then visited Faneuil Hall and got a bite to eat at Quincy Market before heading back to Cambridge to take a stroll down Dr Parker’s street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the writer himself (no luck).  Laurel remembered his house from the back of the dust cover of one of his books; I thought it was a different one.

I never met the man; never wrote him to say thanks for his work.  I really wish he’d been in his yard that day so I could have given him a quick wave of appreciation.

Rest in peace, Sir.

Peart’s “The Hockey Theme” to Debut Tonight

Posted in NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Rush with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by tangentman

Rush drummer/percussionist/lyricist Neil Peart’s version of The Hockey Theme will premiere tonight at 7 o’clock on NHL on TSN in Canada during the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Being  Rush fan and a follower of all things NHL, I’m excited that Mr Peart was included in this effort.  Being in the US (and not being a subscriber of the NHL Center Ice cable package), I will not be able to hear the song tonight.  However, The Hockey Theme will be available on iTunes this coming Tuesday, January 19th.

There is a complete story on the TSN website.

A preview of the song is available on YouTube.

The Professor
(Photo courtesy Josh Tidsbury – see the complete set of 13 pics on Josh’s flickr page)

EDIT – Well, it didn’t take long at all for the video to be posted on YouTube.  Good stuff.

Assorted Nuts

Posted in Browsing, Fantasy Hockey, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on January 10, 2010 by tangentman

Before we finally get around to taking down the Christmas tree today (and taking Geddy the Cat’s new fort away), I thought I’d throw a little something together and share a few things with everyone.

I’m a Firefox user, and I’m always looking for add-ons to make surfing more enjoyable.  There are a couple that I find extremely useful, and they are listed below, along with a fantasy hockey site that all players should find helpful.  If you have any favorites of your own, please feel free to share them in your comments.

I hope everyone’s New Year has started off on the right foot.  Enjoy what’s left of the weekend.

Firefox Add-ons:

RSS Ticker – Notifies you on-screen when your favorite sites are updated.  I don’t know what I did without this one (yes I do, but it wasn’t this easy).  Live Bookmarks now appear in a ticker that scrolls across the top (or bottom) of your screen while you surf.  Moving your mouse over a headline gives you a small pop up box preview.  Fully customizable.  Click the link for full details.

Morning Coffee – Simple app that opens your selected websites in tabs all at once.  You can add sites via the Bookmarks folder.

Fantasy Hockey:

Left Wing Lock – Starting goalie info, with updates throughout the day.  I added a link here on the blog also.  Most of you probably know about this one, but for those who don’t, this will help.

I won’t be sharing all of my favorite fantasy hockey sites here.  Some things are best kept to oneself.  😉

‘Til next time, thanks for reading.

The Coach’s Next Step

Posted in NHL, Philadelphia Flyers with tags , , , , , , , on December 20, 2009 by tangentman

Nine games into Peter Laviolette’s stint behind the Flyers’ bench as head coach and the team is a measly 2-6-1, playing the same uninspired brand of hockey that put John Stevens out of a job.

Laviolette has come in and done some things differently than Stevens – players are being held accountable at practice for in-game stupidity, for one.  Is it helping?  Nope.  The same players are making the same mistakes; it’s the only point of consistency this team is showing, and it truly sucks to watch.

There has been talk of a trade to shake things up a bit, but who gets dealt?  There are so many No Trade Clauses and lengthy contracts on this roster – and don’t forget the Salary Cap – that the choices are limited.  Personally, I don’t think a trade would do the trick, but at this point it’s moot due to the NHL’s Holiday Trade Embargo that is currently in place, and doesn’t get lifted until January 9th, I believe.  (EDIT – Players can be traded again starting December 28th.  Do some research, blogger.  *shakes head in shame*)

It’s time for Laviolette to start giving guys a different perspective on game day – a view from on-high.  Yes, the dreaded ‘healthy scratch’.  “You get to watch the game from the press box tonight.”  Not necessarily as punishment, but as a learning experience in some cases.  Scott Hartnell could use a game or two upstairs for both reasons, and he’s just one example.  Braydon Coburn, quite possibly, might benefit from seeing a game from a different angle, too.

Maybe that’s not the answer, but really, what else can be tried?  These guys need to get their heads out of their asses and start playing as a team before it’s too late – and that day approaches faster with each passing piss-poor effort they come out with.