Murray’s Karlsson is Cooked

Again, since the HHR is put up early in the morn’ on Wednesday, I’m a week behind on the whole Erik Karlsson/Matt Cooke episode. I really wish big things would stop happening on Wednesday nights. What’s wrong with Tuesday? Or Monday even? (And yes, I wrote that with intent to sound like Snagglepuss.)

Anywho, I’m sure most of you know what happened in last Wednesday’s game, but, of course, I’m going to tell you anyway to save those who don’t know from embarrassment.

Both Cooke and Karlsson were going for a loose puck in the corner when Cooke’s skate inadvertently came up into the back of Karlsson’s leg, slicing the Ottawa defenseman’s Achilles tendon. Though it wasn’t severed entirely, it ended Karlsson’s season.

Bryan Murray made a fool out of himself after the game by crying wolf on Cooke, even though he, I assume, had ample opportunity to review the play before opening his mouth. Let’s say for a moment that he didn’t. Ok, I understand it’s Matt Cooke. He has a track record, and you’re a little heated because you just lost another star player.

But Murray kept the charade going in the media that Cooke was at fault. Does it stink your star defenseman is out for the season? Yes. Do you have to be a jagoff about it? No. I suggest you make like the rest of the franchises in this league and deal with it.

Worst sports parents

There was a story on Deadspin yesterday about which sports have the worst parents. Interestingly enough, hockey came in fifth. I have to disagree. Hockey parents may be a little edgier, but that’s only because the sport itself is edgier.

Any mite hockey player will tell you later in life that their parents played a big part in their hockey lives, with all those early practices, long drives, and expensive equipment purchases. Keep it up hockey parents!

In case you’re wondering, baseball was first (Eh…maybe a little high). Cheerleading (which is somehow a sport at Deadspin…and yes, I went there, deal with it) was second. Tennis was third (I play tennis…my parents seemed to come out Ok). Gymnastics was fourth (and amazingly not first).

The Belfast Giants

Last month, the Elite Ice Hockey League franchise announced the sale of the team to American Christopher Knight. Awesome, right? Who doesn’t like the new looks when a fresh owner takes over?

Wellllllll….it turns out Knight is a registered sex offender in Florida. With all this news coming to light yesterday, Knight is obviously no longer a part of the Giants’ organization. I assume Belfast didn’t want a sex offender running it’s hockey club, which might surprise you after you watch this


I’m biased on this, but I feel like the majority of my extra money goes into purchasing, or thinking about purchasing NHL attire. I should really see someone about it.

But all this talk of Ireland reminded me that the NHL is releasing its annual St. Patrick’s Day line. (The giant banner at the top of also did a good job of reminding me.) And, yet again, I had to physically take myself away from my computer…which is saying a lot, because I’m not an easy guy for myself to boss around.

It occurred to me that between the special holiday apparel, the third jerseys, and throwbacks, the NHL has to be the top league in constantly throwing new products at you that serve little purpose, yet we all by them like mindless zombies anyway (kind of like when Crystal Pepsi came out).

But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m one of the guilty holiday-tee-buying Crystal-Pepsi-drinkers. The best part is, I can sit here and rant about it, yelling that the NHL is like a vacuum over my wallet, but I’ll be glued to this same time next year, ogling over the new St. Patty’s Day threads.

Leafy keen

There are five teams that went into Tuesday night’s NHL schedule with double-digit wins: Chicago, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Montr….wait, what? Toronto?

Yup. The Leafs are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference (mostly because of other teams’ OT losses and the ever-flawed “divisional leaders at the top” system the league employs). The reason why it appears Toronto is bound for the top of the conference is in their goal differential, which is a +10.

Only Chicago, Anaheim and Pittsburgh have higher differential, with +20 and two +14s, respectively. Tampa Bay also has a +10, though the Lightning have scored nine more goals this season than the Leafs.

And they’ve managed to do all this even without a trade for Roberto Luongo. And that raises an interesting point. A lot of people harped on Brian Burke’s decisions before he was released as general manager, but it seems as though all that needed to happen for his talent to mesh was him getting fired.

It is funny how that works. If you’ll remember, Craig Patrick was brilliant with his draft picks for Pittsburgh before and after the lockout. But nothing started clicking until after he was gone. Obviously a lot of that had to do with coaching, but that situation still followed the same timeline as Toronto is writing now.

Hawks and Ducks

Unlike Neil Young’s 1980 album “Hawks and Doves,” the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks are actually doing quite well. (#30 on the top 40, Neil? You can do better than that.)

The two teams have the highest point totals in the league, Chicago with 29, Anaheim with 25 (plus the aforementioned goal differentials). But the Hawks went into last night’s contest with Vancouver one game shy of the league record for points in consecutive games to open a season.

Chicago won in a shootout, thus tying it with the 16-game record.

Coincidently, Anaheim held the record previously with their start in 2006-07. How did that end for them again? Oh right, with the Stanley Cup. Maybe since the East and West have been alternating as Cup winners since 2008, that won’t happen this year. But watching the Blackhawks for only a couple minutes each game will make it hard to believe such a claim.

I think I speak for everyone in the Eastern Conference when I say perhaps this abbreviated, no-inter-conference game schedule was a blessing in disguise.

Well that does it for this week’s Humpday Hater Report. Be sure to check back next week for more. Until then, happy hating!