1.24.2007

Comparing Sports

Hey all you people out there who don't know much about hockey, but know about other sports, consider this;
-In basketball, if you score 82 points in 82 games, you did horrible. If you throw 82 touchdowns in one football season (16 games) you set a record. If you hit 82 home runs in a baseball season, you're probably using steroids. But scoring 82 points in 82 hockey games, that's respectable. The record for points in a season in the NHL is 215. That's like a quarterback rushing for 33 touch downs, or a catcher hitting home 62 home runs, or Nate Robinson breaking Wilt Chamberlain's record of 100 points in a basketball game.
-Some of the worst injuries in pro sports have come from hockey, but so have the best recoveries.
-The NHL has some of the least payed players in sports, due to the fact that the players don't care as much about money.
-Despite what you may think, the Stanley Cup is the oldest and most recognized trophy in sports.
-Hockey normally has very little famous trash talk, causing less fines. Even so, rely on Jeremy Roenick or Sean Avery to provide some loudly-spoken opinions.
-People really focus on prospects, and don't just ship players around because of headbands.
-You aren't going to find something as stupid as Reggie Bush's alleged Improper Benefits or Barry Bonds' "I didn't use steroids. Wait, scratch that, I didn't use them knowingly." How many players used drugs last year to enhance their hockey performance? NONE. Not even any rumors.
There, understand why hockey's good now?

Hockey has it's Lance Armstrong moments

As an introduction, I have scanned over a few stories that appeared in Wikipedia, www.nhl.com, www.bostonbruins.com, www.habsworld.net, and a few other websites that I don't remember, but none of this is copied unless I have an interview or stats here.
Phil Kessel has a story like no other, is what some will say. But really, it's almost like Saku Koivu and Mario Leamiuex. All three players meant a lot to their respective teams at the time of the diagnosis. Kessel was the Bruins best rookie, Koivu was the Habs top center, and Mario Lemiuex was in his prime. They made awesome recoveries in relation to the disease.
Saku Koivu was diagnosed with abdominal cancer on September 5th, 2001, later specified as non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He remained optimistic until mid-December, and probably all the way until his amazing return. Requesting that the media not cover him, he made an astonishing announcement in early April, 2002, that he was returning to the lineup. He finished the '02 post season with 4 goals and 6 assists in only 12 games. Captain Koivu received so much coverage then, it was like he never left.
Mario Lemiuex perhaps had the most amazing recovery of all. Diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease in the midst of the 1992-1993 season, Lemiuex underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments in time to come back and win the scoring title once again, although his team did not win the Stanley Cup. He had to overcome poor team play and Pat LaFontaine, but managed it thoroughly.
Phil Kessel is our current cancer recover-er, and his story is also captivating. In the midst of his rookie season, he withdrew from hockey due to medical reasons. Diagnosed with testicular cancer, he recovered quickly to return to his struggling Bruins, and was in this past YoungStars game, scoring a hat trick.
Hockey is a sport that shouldn't only be looked upon as people skating around trying to crush each other. We have had 3 significant cancer recoveries, and many other inspiring comebacks, like Clint Malarchuk recovering from a sliced jugular vein to play again 11 days later. Borje Salming almost had his face cut open right down the middle, yet played again, and who doesn't remember Gordie Howe slamming his head into the boards, but recovering in time to win the Stanley Cup the next year. Respect hockey.

Love the YoungStars

Man oh man, am I glad that Versus exists. I didn't get to watch the entire YoungStars game, but even through just 12 minutes I was pumped up and excited. I saw Phil Kessel's first of three goals and it made me so glad for him to be in that game. Also, I saw a couple of nice plays between Jussi Jokinen and Anze Kopitar. Zach Parise also helped ensure that I saw the East grab a 4-2 lead before my family switched to American Idol.
Afterwards, I watched Andy McDonald (whom I will now call Andy Mac, even though his name is spelled different) win the speed competition over Patrick Marleau by 0.05 seconds, and that also showcased Eric Staal, Alexander Ovechkin, and Teemu Selanne. In the hardest shot competition, I was able to see Sheldon Souray and Mr. 6'9" Zdeno Chara blast 100 mph shots, with Souray shattering something. That showdown hosted surprisingly fast shots from Nicklas Lidstrom and Phillipe Boucher as the defensemen stole the show. I also saw Sidney Crosby not take a single shot in the 3-man pass and shoot competition, but then shoot 2 goals in 3 straight shots in the last shootout round.
Today, my hopes will be ruined by the fact that American Idol (grr) will take up the first hour of my first ever All-Star game to watch on TV. But hey, I'll get to watch some of it. I really wanted to see Ovie and Briere on the same line though, I'll have to see if it happens midway through the game again.
Phil Kessel will get his story here either tomorrow or later today. Please comment lightly if you are reading this but I don't know.