NHL Talk: Prospal’s Winner, Anisimov Injury & the McChicken

Two hockey guys talking hockey.

Joe Pasquali and Eddie Theisen are two die-hard NHL fans. They both watch every hockey game, every night (almost).

The guys talk about if Boston is the best team in the East, Anisimov’s freak injury, if the Buffalo Sabres fanbase smokes a lof of weed and McChicken currency

As a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets, I’m glad they finally beat the Red Wings. It took a superhuman goal by Vinny Prospal, but I’ll take it…this might be the last one for awhile.

By the way, neither of these guys have a girlfriend.

This is their email conversation the following morning.

Final Scores from 2/21/13
TOR 3, BUF 1
FLA 5, PHI 2
NJD 3, WAS 2
WIN 4, CAR 3
NYI 4, MTL 3 F/OT
OTT 3, NYR 2 F/SO
BOS 4, TMB 2
CBJ 3, DET 2
VAN 4, DAL 3
MIN 3, EDM 1

Pasquali: HAPPY FRIDAY, EDDIE! How are you today?

Theisen: Pissed off and hungover.

Pasquali: Uh oh, someone try to find happiness in the bottom of a bottle?

Theisen: Well, when the Red Wings have lost five in a row and in that span have blown four two-goal leads and lose to the Blue Jackets…yes, I am going to drink

The only good news from last night’s game is Artem Anisimov is not dead.

Artem Asinimov’s Injury vs Blue Jackets

Pasquali: Yeah ,what a freak play. Glad to hear he is stable and they are hoping it isn’t too bad. Obviously, Quincy didn’t mean to elbow him; his legs just got taken out. The Red Wings are in trouble. They can’t hold onto a lead and are dropping games they need to win if they want to keep their playoff streak alive. What do you see as the biggest problem for this team currently?

Theisen: I would blame it on injuries, but staying healthy is a part of the game. It’s obviously got to be the defense. This blue line is absolutely unbearable to watch. They turn the puck over constantly, defensive and offensive zones. Watch them pass it into the wingers feet when breaking out; watch them never get a shot through from the point. It baffles me that Ken Holland traded a first round pick for Kyle Quincey… he’s not worth a McChicken.

Pasquali: But you love McChickens. So really, what is a McChicken worth to you? Can we start using that as monetary value when we discuss players? Like, Tomas Vanek is having a great year, he is worth at least 50 McChickens?

Theisen: Thomas Vanek is definitely worth a couple Baconators this season.

Pasquali: Any Bluejackets fan would agree Vinny Prospal is still worth about a half dozen junior bacon cheeseburgers. Scoring a late spin-o-rama game winner against your probably most hated team (if Columbus really hates anyone) is a big moment for any team. Maybe we’ll look back and say “Hey, that was when Columbus got on a roll.”

Vinny Prospal’s Game-Winning Goal vs Red Wings

Theisen: Prospal may be the MVP of the Jackets so far this season. I don’t expect Columbus to “get on a roll” though, unless it’s rolling down the hill.

Pasquali: Haha, yeah I don’t see them making a push for a playoff spot or anything, but they got enough grit to get out of the cellar. It was an overall bad night of hockey for me, my new favorite team (Canadiens) finally lost. They picked up a point in the OT lost to the Islanders, but Carey Price didn’t play great. Montreal is now tied with New Jersey atop the East. What a play by Taveres to set up this goal, that dude is awesome.

Tavares Sets Up Hickey for OT Winning Goal

Theisen: Once the Islanders move to Brooklyn, I heard they’re going to change their team name to the Tavareses. Sounds kind of catchy

This is still the best hockey moment of the week though

Nicklas Grossmann Goal (Harlem Shake Remix)

Pasquali: Haha, that is great. Grossmann also had a good fight last night vs George Parros, but it wasn’t enough for Philly. My brave Panthers stopped their losing streak with a 5-2 DRUBBING of the Flyers last night. Huberdeau had a sick penalty shot goal to make the game 3-0 and Florida coasted from there. I really thought the Flyers may ride their big win against Pittsburgh but they just looked flat. To top it off, Bryzgalov looked terrible. He had 11 saves on 15 shots. Why is he a top-paid goalie?

Jonathan Huberdeau’s Insane Goal vs. Bryzgalov

Theisen: Why don’t you ask the Flyers? Remember when Bryzgalov was in Phoenix and everyone said he’d be a top goalie on a good team? He gets traded to Philly and the Coyotes make the Western Conference finals the next year. If I were the Flyers, I’d look into Roberto Luongo. I doubt Bryzgalov lasts in Philly for more than two or three years.

Pasquali: If the over/under on him in Philly was 2.5 years I would definitely take the under. He is worth no more than five Whoppers at this point.

Elsewhere in the East, New Jersey came back at beat Washington 3-2. Really good game, New Jersey deserved the two points. They just outworked Washington in the third period and got power play after power play until they finally cashed in with a Illya Kovalchuk rocket. He still has one of the best shots in the league.

Illya Kovalchuk Power Play Goal vs. Capitals

Theisen: He’s always been a fun player to watch, even with his time in Atlanta. Kovalchuk has always been a player that fans hate for some reason as well. I think mainly with his 17-year, $102 million contract. I don’t know about you, but if that contract was staring me in the face, I’d sign the damn thing too. He still has a good ten seasons left in his career and I’d assume they’ll be with New Jersey, because any GM would be crazy to take on that contract.

Pasquali: Who are your top five current “snipers” in the league?

Theisen:

  1. Steven Stamkos
  2. Illya Kovalchuk
  3. Evgeni Malkin
  4. Alex Ovechkin
  5. Patrick Sharp

Pasquali: No Gaborik or Kessel?

Theisen: No, No, No. Rick Nash and James Neal have a better snipe than any of them… Alex Semin also included.

Pasquali: Alright, I can agree with your line of thinking. Neal or Semin would probably replace Sharp on my list, but I like the rest of your group.

Boston beat the slumping Lightning 4-2 and Tuuka Rask picked up his 8th win of the season. He stopped 24 of 26 shots and now has a 2.05 GAA. Tim Thomas who?

Theisen: Don’t you talk shit about my boy Tim Thomas. He was the most exciting player to watch in the NHL before he took this year off. Boston is lucky to have a good starter like Tuukka Rask, who backed Thomas up for a couple seasons. Rask also has the 2010 season in his belt as a starter. That had to help him going into this season. I think Boston is definitely the top team in the East, no?

Pasquali: Boston, a top team in the East?! Have you not heard of MY Montreal Canadiens?! Vous ĂȘtes fou! Winners of five of their last six and the only team in the league with the Subbanator!

Theisen: Joe, you’re what the French call… Les incompentent.

Pasquali: In all honestly I would have to go with New Jersey or Boston as the best team in the East. I feel like we are not giving enough love to the Devils. They have lost a whole two games in regulation and are doing it with two goalies that have a combined age of 79.

Theisen: I’m never surprised by the Devil’s success because of one reason… Marty Brodeur. As long as he’s playing, I could see them winning the Stanley Cup every year. Everyone thought with Parise gone this team would fold. They still have Ilya Kovalchuk, Travis Zacjac, Patrik Elias, David Clarkson and young forwards like Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter on the front end. Defense is a little iffy, but with Brodeur, that’s all the defense you need.

Pasquali: The Buffalo Sabres lost their first game under new regime last night, falling to the Leafs 3-1 in Ron Rolston’s debut as interim coach. James van Riemsdyk scored twice, both times finding himself on the end of some slick passing. John Scott and Frazer McLaren had a great fight; I love how Scott weathers the storm early and then starts dropping bombs.

John Scott vs Frazer McLaren [Hockey Fight!]

Theisen: I’d like to see Scott take on Ross “The Boss” Rhea and see how he favors. The Boss in a landslide.

Pasquali: Haha, yeah you can’t bet against The Boss. Since we talked about best snipers, I’ll give you my best five current “fighters” in the league.

  1. John Scott
  2. Colton Orr
  3. Shawn Thornton
  4. George Parros
  5. Zac Rinaldo

I still honestly think Zdeno Chara can cave a man’s skull in anytime he wants to, he just rarely fights anymore. Tootoo would be in my top 10, but I am sticking to my top 5.

Theisen: Do not enter that sauce in the county fair because that shit is weak.

Pasquali: Haha whatever. Hey, NHL.com has a poll for NHL fans on “How will Buffalo’s season end?” 20% of fans said they would appear in the Stanley Cup Finals. Side note, 20% of fans were also high as hell during voting process.

Yep, Sabres fans must smoke out and surf the web

Theisen: Maybe Buffalo is just really optimistic? I don’t see why they wouldn’t be, seeing as they’ve never won a championship in anything.

Pasquali: Oooo, burn! Ottawa got their third straight win, a real nice shootout victory over the Rangers. I guess every time someone beats the Rangers I think “Oh man, nice win”. But everyone is beating this team. Back-to-back losses against teams from the great north and now they get to play a juggernaut Montreal team tomorrow night. It may just be me, but I think the Rangers are in trouble.

Ottawa Senators vs New York Rangers – Shootout

Theisen: Maybe a team like the Rangers need this. Last year, they just stomped through everyone and fell in the Eastern Conference Finals. Maybe playing this type of close hockey all year will help them come summer time.

Pasquali: True, they have the talent and a great goalie so as long as they get into the playoffs they have a chance. They just have to make sure they get in.

Well, a big weekend of hockey and drinking ahead for you, I am sure. What are you going to be up to? Any games stick out?

Theisen: I guess Sharks vs Blackhawks tonight and other than that not really. A couple of rivalries but nothing too special

May just have to get a half gallon and pretend every game is Flyers vs Penguins from Wednesday

Pasquali: That was a crazy hockey game, and yeah, we wish they could all be that good. But remember, the worst hockey game is still better than the best basketball game.

Theisen: Amen.

Pasquali’s Picks (season so far 77-77)

Penguins over Panthers
Predators over Canucks
Sharks over Blackhawks

Theisen’s Picks (season so far 77-77)
Penguins over Panthers
Canucks over Predators
Blackhawks over Sharks

 

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