Little Fish in a Giant pond

Monday, May 24, 2010

My 2010 Hockey Playoff Picks - Final Round

Wow, what a round! It would appear that Montreal Canadiens have a thing for making me look bad! I predict them to win in five games, they squeak by in seven or lose completely! As a die hard leafs fan, a deep-seeded, loathing, pit-of-my-soul hatred of the Montreal Canadiens has been in my blood since the beginning... but now it's personal! Just the same, give Philly credit for killing a few Goliaths of their own!

Chicago vs. Philadelphia

I have to say that Chicago has surpassed my already high expectations! It will be a lot of fun to watch them play, but after watching Philly manhandle Montreal earlier tonight, I don't think even the Hawks speed and youth will be enough to overpower them. Philly in seven.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

My 2010 Hockey Playoff Picks - Round 3

Well, got my ass kicked AGAIN!!! The playoff Gods have not been kind to me this season! To make things worse, we are in serious danger of a Montreal vs. Chicago final for the cup, which means that we Leafs fans can look forward to a victory by either our arch rivals or the only other team in the NHL with a cup drought longer than ours! Brilliant.

Eastern Conference

Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Both teams have a lot of momentum behind them, but Halak's hot streak will be the difference. It pains me to say this, but the smart money is on the Habs this round (gasp). Canadiens in Six.

Wester Conference

San Jose vs. Chicago

I was a little reluctant to believe in the perennial chokers from the left coast, especially after their shaky first round performance, but the big guns did well against the wings. Just the same, the Hawks did manage to blow past the Luongo and the Canucks, which is a tall task to say the least. San Jose in Seven.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

My 2010 Hockey Playoff Picks - Round 2

Wow what a first round! The Habs totally surprised me for the third straight year, only this time they did so by NOT choking!
Eastern Conference
Pittsburgh vs. Montreal
The Habs are already punching above their weight class, but does this not sound familiar to anyone? Halak and a group of young upstarts surprising Ovechkin and an offensive juggernaut team is reminiscent of the Vancouver olympics. Anyone remember how Slovakia did in the next round when they ran up against Crosby? As I recall Crosby didn't have the best record during the olympics (Gold medal game notwithstanding!!!), and he's on fire in these playoffs, so I expect Malkin will be pleased to be on the delivering end of an ass kicking this time. Pens in Five.
Philadelphia vs. Boston
After barely squeaking into the playoffs the Flyers have shown some serious guts! Boston is tough, but Philly has the momentum. Flyers in Seven.
Western Conference
San Jose v. Detroit
If the big guns for the Sharks play like they can, this series is over before it even begins. Unfortunately, they have not been playing like they can and were lucky to make it this far. Wings in Five.
Chicago v. Vancouver
The Sedin brothers woke up in the last round and racked up some serious goals, but the young and fast Hawks will be too much for them. Blackhawks in Six.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

My 2010 Hockey Playoff Picks

All right everyone, because you've all been waiting for it, here are my picks for the upcoming NHL playoffs! I haven't been following the West too closely this season, so I'm looking forward to everyone's comments. Here goes:
Eastern Conference:
Washington vs. Montreal
Seriously? Last year, for the second year in a row, I gave the Habs too much credit by predicting they would lose to the Bruins in Five (the year before that I predicted they would beat the Bruins in Five, and they squeaked past them in seven). This will be a pretty sweet homecoming for Theodore, not that he will have to be too sharp. Halak has proven that he can steal a game or two, but the Habs have got to give Price some playoff experience if they are serious about him being the future of the club (in fairness I still say he is a first rate goaltender who just needs to find his confidence). Caps in Five.
New Jersey vs. Philadelphia
Acquiring Kovalchuk at the trade deadline has added a lot of offensive power to a team that was already a strong contender. The Flyers showed some guts this afternoon by coming from behind to knock off the Rangers, but they do not have what it takes to get past the Devils. New Jersey in Six.
Boston vs. Buffalo
Buffalo has a strong offence and Miller proved himself to be a worthy adversary during the olympics. Just the same I think the Bruins have shown some real gumption in the last run up to the playoffs, so the momentum is definitely in their favour. Bruins in Six. (They'll be an even greater threat next year with the draft pick my leafs traded to them! Dammit!!!)
Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh
This promises to be one hell of a series! As these two teams meet for the third year in a row, they have developed quite the rivalry. My unrelenting hate for the sens notwithstanding (surpassed only by my hatred for the Habs and Wings), the sens are looking good. Cousin Mike has had another good season, and Alfie will be giving it his all in what could be his last season. Now that Kovalev is out, they have one less disadvantage holding them back. On the other hand, there are these two guys called Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Pens in Seven edge of your seat games.
Western Conference
San Jose vs. Colorado
Even with Thornton injured, the Sharks are a strong team. Statsny and the boys will be a handfull though! Sharks in Six.
Chicago vs. Nashville
Now that Chicago's young guns are starting to mature a little they will be dangerous! Nashville has nothing on them. Toronto is in serious danger of becoming the team with the longest cup drought. Hawks in Five.
Vancouver vs. Los Angeles
If the Sedin twins and Luongo play like they can the Kings do not have a prayer, but the Canucks have been struggling lately so I am predicting an upset. Kings in Six.
Detroit vs. Phoenix
Much as I hate them the wings have been on fire lately. Wings in Five.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Of Leafs and Liberals

Have you ever heard someone say "I will be a Liberal (Conservative, New Democrat, etc.) until the day I die"? I'm sure most of us have.
I recently had the pleasure of watching one of my favourite bloggers give the scolding of a lifetime to a "loyal" Iggy supporter. Don't get me wrong, our party's leader is far better suited to lead this country than the whimpering coward who currently occupies 24 Sussex, and I have every confidence that Iggy will teach Harper a lesson or two about democracy come election time; but that's not the point.
My point is that unwavering loyalty is for dogs. Sure, I'll be the first person to say that you shouldn't abandon a party that otherwise suits you just fine because of one or two minor disagreements, but to unwaveringl support a party or person without question just because you always have in the past is lunacy! (my continuing support of the Toronto Maple Leafs notwithdstanding)
I am a member of the Liberal Party of Canada by choice, a choice that I am free to change at any moment of my choosing. I support my party, my local candidate (Julie Bourgeois) and Michael Ignatieff because I believe in social justice, the rule of law, government accountability, international peacekeeping, the rule of law, sound financial management, and putting the country's interests first!
To my Conservative friends, know that I have a lot of respect for you and what you believe in, no matter how much we may disagree, but the fact is that the party of Sir John A., Dief the chief, and Brian Mulroney (disgraced as he may be, he still did or at least attempted to do some good things for this country), is no more. Your party has been taken over by an ultra right wing band of demagogs who care nothing about this country and have become far more authoritarian than the Liberals you so loathed when you were in opposition.
Stephen Harper has completely abandoned any of the well intentioned (though possibly miguided) principles of the Reform movement for renewing Canadian Democracy and has instead gone in the complete opposite direction. For example:
  1. As leader of the opposition, he criticized Paul Martin for not going far enough in bringing transparency to the Supreme Court nomination process, then once elected, reversed Martin's reforms and went back to the old process (though admittedly he did choose a fine jurist).
  2. Despite being required to respect the Kyoto protocol by a parliamentary motion, and even legislation, he has refused, not simply failed, but openly and deliberately refused to follow Kyoto. Even if you're still clinging to the notion that all of this climate change "nonsense" (i.e. science and facts) is a made up conspiracy, does this not at least offend your sense of right and wrong? Do you honestly believe that any political party or person should be above the law? Do you not see that whether you like it or not, the opposition parties have been delegated by a majority of Canadian voters to speak for them in Ottawa?
  3. Harper along with many of you criticized Jean Chretien and Paul Martin for calling elections at their whims simply because they believed the moment was ripe for them to win another term, but that did not stop the PM from stomping all over his own fixed date election legislation and declaring a snap election.
  4. On the night of his reelection, he promised to work with the oppositon and then immediately proposed a budget that would bankrupt them. When that blew up in his face and the opposition threatened to form a coalition (which would have been the most democratic government Canada has ever had!), he declared it a "coup" as if his minority government somehow had more right to govern than a coalition with more than 60% of the population's votes, and prorogued parliament in order to avoid the vote of no confidence. Talk about a sense of entitlement!
  5. I suppose that brings me to his latest attack on Canadian Democracy. With all kinds of questions lingering about how his governement may have exposed Canadian soldiers to war crimes prosecution (the very troops he purports to "stand by"), he ran and hid from our elected representatives. You cannot possibly believe that he is above reproach, can you? If not Parliament, then who is the Prime Minister accountable to?

I wish that was the end of the list, but I'm afraid it is only the Reader's Digest version. If we are going to save Canadian democracy, all Canadians (Conservatives, New Democrats, Sovereignists and Liberals alike) are going to have to draw a line in the sand when parliament eventually resumes.

To Michael Ignatieff and the other opposition leaders, I implore you, please bring down the Harper government as soon as possible! You may never get the ideal shot, and I can almost promise you that Harper will not simply give it to you. Winning an election is never an easy thing, especially against an opponent who will do anything to win, no matter what the cost to the country, but sometimes David has to take a stand against Goliath.

By the way, did anyone catch the Leafs/Sens game last night?

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If hypocrisy were an olympic event...

I can just picture it now, a cheering crowd full of adoring fans, the national anthem playing, and our illustrious Prime Minister, the great Stephen Harper steps up onto the podium to accept the gold medal in the hypocrisy olympics as other world leaders bashfully accept the silver and bronze. Who says Canada can't compete on an international level with the neo-cons at the helm?
Ladies and gentlemen, the coup de grace in Harper's medal winning performance has finally come. You guessed it, the man who rode to power with a mandate to clean up government and improve accountability has to answer for the fact that his MPs have been using public funds to promote their own party! That's right, Harper and his boys finally went so far that even Harper himself had to admit that they had crossed the line, by distributing public funds with large cheques emblazoned with their party's logo and the names of their MPs. Keep in mind that these are the people who think it's fine to use public funds to send mail outs bashing their political rivals (Sylvio Berlusconi eat your heart out!), and even they had to admit they had gone too far this time .
Believe it or not, I haven't even gotten to the best part yet! Not only are the Conservatives using public funds as their own private publicity fund, they're actually using these funds to take credit for the fact that they are making stimulus spending they never intended or wanted to spend! That's right folks, remember a few months ago when Harper only agreed to start spending to stimulate the economy after the opposition parties put a metaphorical gun to his head and threatened to blow his brains back to the opposition benches if he didn't do something about the economy? Well now it would appear that our glorious PM has been reborn as a socialist, because now he can't wait to tell you how much he's doing to get the money out that he never wanted to spend to fight the recession he refused to admit existed.
I love Canadian Politics.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Open Letter to Pierre Lemieux MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell (Part II)

At the risk of making a habit out of this, I could not resist the chance to reply to my local Conservative MP, for some comments he made in the September 11th, 2009 edition of our local English language newspaper, Tribune-Expresse. Apparently Mr. Lemieux feels that our newly selected candidate, Ms Julie Bourgeois owes him an apology for refusing to prop up his government. I'm not sure if they'll publish this or not, but at least it made me feel good. Enjoy:

Dear Mr. Lemieux,

I have just finished reading your comments in the September 11th, 2009 issue of Express. As a Liberal, I found your suggestion that an election would serve only our party's interests to be rather interesting. Was it perhaps an unconscious acknowledgement of the fact that your party stands a good chance of regaining its status as her majesty's loyal opposition? I also wonder if you would care to tell your constituents whose interests your party was looking out for in 2008, when you and Prime Minister Harper were wiping your boots with your own fixed election date law?

At the very least, if the opposition parties force an election this fall, it will be through a vote in Parliament, with the support of MPs, whose combined support from the last election amounts to more than 60% of all votes cast, rather than a unilateral decision by a prime minister, whose party had significantly less than 40% of all votes cast in the 2006 election.

I am pleased to read that you spent so much time visiting homes throughout the riding this summer, and that you have now realized how much Canadians want our government to tackle the economic crisis. My only question is... what economic crisis? It seems to me that just last year, during the election campaign, Prime Minister Harper (who would never mislead Canadians) told us all that things were going well, and would not even acknowledge that we were on the verge of a recession! Could it be that the PM had it wrong?

With respect sir, I very much doubt that your government ever had any intention of helping Canadians through these rough times. Your post-election economic update to Parliament stated as much. It was not until the opposition parties threatened to form a Liberal-NDP coalition with Bloc support and remove your party from power, that you caved to their demands, and started taking minimal action on the economy. Simply put, what little economic stimulus that has been provided since the last elections was thanks to the opposition parties.

I do not think anybody wants an election, but as your consituents told you when you visited their homes this summer, we all want a government that will take action to protect the economy. Since your minority government had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the very verge of being cast back into opposition before it would lift a finger, I seriously doubt that yours is the party that should be entrusted to provide such aid. If Canadians want a government that will look out for them in tough economic times, they will have to go back to the polls and vote for one.


Brian Fisher

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