Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blue Jays Super Blog: Ranting on a disastrous season in Toronto

Edwin Encarnacion (left) and Jose Bautista in the most beautiful pic I've ever seen
Photo Credit: Mark Blinch (@MBlinch)
I was in Cornwall, Ontario spending the week with family and relatives when the Major League Baseball season began. The majority of said week was me waiting for what seemed to be the most promising year of Toronto Blue Jays baseball since I was born -- 1993. Sportsnet was going overkill on commercials and specials, hyping everyone up and standing first in the lineup of Blue Jay supporters. "Stadium Love" became a popular song, which is sad because Metric sucks, but that's beside the point. Fans had looked at the off-season that had just transpired, and predicted that Toronto had a legitimate shot at winning the division. Vegas oddsmakers picked the birds to be the World Series favourites. It was the first moment in my lifetime that the Jays were as loved and popular as their fellow Toronto professional sports team, the Maple Leafs. Not only that, but the Leafs were in the midst of their first playoff appearance in nine years; the city was buzzing, and craving the success that had long been alluded in town lore. 

The day of the opener, I was driving home from Cornwall, hoping to dodge traffic and get back in time to see R.A. Dickey pitch for the first time in a blue and white uniform. Once I arrived, it was the top of the fifth with the score 2-1 for the visiting Cleveland Indians. Then, seconds after I sat down and watched my first at-bat, Asdrubal Cabrera crushed a two-run home run into a sea of Jays shirts and jerseys. The Skydome was silent. Dickey's face was stone. "It's only one game, it's only one game, it's only one game" was on permanent loop in every fan's head. Starting 0-1 means you can be .500 in less than 24 hours. 

Little did I know that beginning the season 0-0 would be the closest the team would get to .500 until June 21st.

If you were to tell the guy who drove home from Cornwall on opening day that, on July 30th, the Jays were going to be last place in the AL East with a 48-57 record, well...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thoughts on Kris Letang to Maple Leafs rumours

Late on Wednesday night, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Rob Rossi (@RobRossi_Trib) tweeted this out: 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Checking in on things

If you don't already, follow me on twitter @HunterCrowther, it'd be super good of ya to do. 

Oh hey there. 

Yes, it has been far too long since I've last posted anything on this blog, but there's good reason for it. For starters, my laptop broke, and I have been forced to nag my mother to let me use her computer, which I'm still convinced was purchased when Seinfeld was still on air. But, thanks to my Blackberry crashing on me one-too-many times, I was motivated to switch to iPhone, which will allow me to write columns from my handheld device. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Leafs vs Bruins: "Bar Fights", Appreciating Boston, and acknowledging the "P-word"

Ever since me and my father got the hockey package, the ability to watch any team at any given moment has been a spoil for the both of us. I love sitting on the couch and being able to watch a west coast game before I go to sleep; I love that if someone is having a big game, or we could be on the verge of history, I can make the switch over to whatever channel and watch it. And, I love the fact that I can watch a handful of teams that I've grown to really enjoy watching over the past few years, and see how their styles match up. 

One of those teams that I always try to make time for is the Boston Bruins. And yes, I hate them. I hate them with a passion. I hate the fact that they're so tough, and that they have guys in their lineup who can play at the NHL level, as well as beat the crap out of you. I hate that they aren't just the goons that the entire league makes them out to believe, and that they won a Stanley Cup in 2011. 

I hate that my Maple Leafs aren't the Boston Bruins. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Leafs trade Mike Brown to the Oilers: I hate it, but I understand the move


The resemblence is uncanny

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#ManCamp: London Nationals gearing up for war against the St. Thomas Stars

Tonight, the London Nationals take on the St. Thomas Stars, opening a best-of-seven series against their most hated rival. In the six games that the two teams played against each other this year, St. Thomas came away with four wins. It's a team that the Nats have hated for a long time, and know that this upcoming series will be a war.
"We know it's London and St. Thomas, it's a big deal in Jr. hockey," says Nationals head coach Kelly Thomson, who has been with the club since 2010. "Yes, there's a lot on the line. We haven't forgotten that they ended our season in game 7 two years ago, those feelings don't go away."

Strong words from Thomson who, despite winning the GOJHL championship last season, still hasn't forgotten about the end of the 2010-11 season.

Huntzy's Susan Glenn

The other day, it dawned on me -- if you're a young male -- how many women revolve in our lives, and how much emotion we can invest in them. As I type this paragraph, I'm looking at the sidebar on Facebook, and I can see one-two-three-FOUR girls that I had either a) had a crush on, b) hooked up with, or c) dated for a period of time. Each and every one of these girls meant a lot to me at some point or another. And they still do. Despite the fact I'm single and not with anyone at the moment, each of those young women still have a big influence on my life, even if I don't see them on a regular basis. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love and Valentine's Day

It's that time of year again: Valentine's Day! Or as I like to call it: Thursday!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Luke Schenn's return to Toronto brings back a lot of memories

The original "Feels Like '93" logo
Tonight marks the first time that Luke Schenn will play against his former club, the Toronto Maple Leafs, after being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers last June in exchange for James van Riemsdyk. During his time in Toronto, Schenn was drafted 5th overall in 2008 NHL Draft, and made the team coming out of training camp. He had a strong rookie season, impressing fans and analysts alike with his physical play and leadership qualities. There were moments during that 08-09 year that he looked, not like a rookie, but a seasoned veteran who was just punching in on the clock and opponents faces.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Don Draper Mode: The way I act in certain scenarios, and an example of why I hate people

If you don't know what I look like, here's a recent photo 
Last week, I had a job interview with a radio station based out of London, Ontario. Internships and summer jobs are up for the taking right now, and it would be nice to gain some experience in the media/journalism field for the future. For the meeting, I wore my suit and one of my nicer ties, gelled my hair to get the perfect comb, and wore shoes that I have only worn for church and funerals. I walked in the interviewer's office, shook his hand, looked him directly in the eye, and answered every one of his questions with clarity, honesty, and crisp responses. 45 minutes later, we shook hands once again, and I walked out of the office confidently. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reaction to Nail Yakupov's goal celebration

Last night in the Edmonton Oilers-Los Angeles Kings game, rookie Nail Yakupov scored with 4.7 seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime. What followed immediately after the goal, was Yakupov rushing down the ice, dropping to his knees, and sliding all the way into his own zone. Here's the clip if you haven't seen it yet:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Colton Orr Fighting John Scott: Explaining why people should appreciate what happened

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres in the blue and white's home opener. Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller played extremely well, registering 34 saves and stopping all but one shot that came his way -- a Nazem Kadri power-play goal late in the third period -- helping lead the way for the Sabres. While the game wasn't entirely entertaining, the crowd at the Air Canada Centre was quiet throughout the night, with there being only two instances where you could hear fans make any noise: one was near the end of the game, after Kadri cut the deficit to one, giving the Leafs an opportunity to tie it. The other was three minutes into the game, which leads me to what this column is all about. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The 2013 NHL Season Super-Blog: A Player's Perspective, Injuries, Goaltending, and Predictions

On a hot and humid August afternoon, Montreal Canadiens winger Brandon Prust was sitting in a golf cart, checking his new iPhone for messages and updates on the lockout, hoping to hear some positive news that could lead to a full 82-game season. The replies were the same, after every hole driving to the next, never falling short of disappointment: "nothing new to report".

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lombardi Trade & Connolly Waiving Creates Opportunity for Young Guns

10 to 1 odds this conversation actually happened
With the season starting up this Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made a few moves in the past 24 hours to shake things up in the organization. Forward Matthew Lombardi was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a draft pick (the deal creates $1.5 million in cap space), as well as the sorta-surprising-but-not-so-surprising announcement that forward Tim Connolly was placed on waivers. While it is expected that he will go unclaimed, Connolly will either be sent down to their minor-league affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, or be bought-out with the NHL's "accelerated buyout" clause.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Maple Leafs Fire Brian Burke: What Happened, Why Did They Do It, and What Now

This photo is property of somebody-and-I'm-too-lazy-to-give-credit
Alright, I'm sure everyone has taken their deep breaths and are now coming back to earth following Wednesday's shocking news. In a move that floored the hockey world, the Toronto Maple Leafs fired President and General Manager Brian Burke, replacing him with assistant G.M. Dave Nonis. While many analysts agree that the move itself isn't entirely shocking -- considering the Leafs failed to make the playoffs in the four years Burke managed the club -- but the timing of it is what threw everyone off guard. With the lockout ending just a few days prior to the firing, fans were more focused on whether or not the team would acquire Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, and if this squad could find a way to grab a playoff spot in the upcoming 48-game season.