Welcome back to our weekly talk about the best and worst of our favourite sport and pseudo-sport! Since we left off last week, we’ve had an Extreme Edition of RAW, and the NHL Playoff Field get cut in half. We’ve got lots to get to, hit the damn banner!
Playoff Overtime: There has been a lot to love, and a lot to loathe with the first round of the playoffs so far. For every crazy-fun Philly-Pittsburgh game or close goaltending duel between Ottawa and New York, there have been some dull trapfests between Florida and New Jersey or Boston and Washington.
But we can most certainly all agree that the insanely high amount of Overtime games is a ton of fun. We get such loveably unlikely heroes as Joel Ward and Michael Boedcker or superstar clutch moments from Niklas Backstrom or Jonathan Toews. The NHL does Sudden Death better than anyone else, and it’s hard not to get incredibly excited by moments like this.
Blaming Luo: Astute readers will look at the banner at the top of this page and presume that we here at Blade Jobs of Steels are not the biggest fans of the soon to be former Canucks goaltender. Having said that, the fact that he has become, in the words of Don Cherry, an escape goat in Vancouver is nothing short of shocking.
Luongo loses two games and is a pariah, Schneider loses two games and is a saint. Sure Luongo has his issues and certainly shares some of the burden here, but this is a team that was only able to score eight goals in five games when it mattered the most. Sure Daniel Sedin was injured, but where was Henrik? Where was Kesler? Where was Booth? Where was Raymond? Where was Burrows? This team has serious problems with clutch goals and finding a new goalie to blame — make no mistake about it Schneider will take the fall someday – won’t solve this.
WWE Monday Night Raw, Staring Brock Lesnar: There is nothing to not love about Brock Lesnar’s contract signing this past week. The stipulation that if he beats John Cena that the name of the show needs to change is nothing short of brilliant.
Lesnar is bound to get some cheers, he’s a huge cross-over name and he’s going after John Cena. But he is coming across like he has utter contempt for the WWE, and there is no way that doesn’t get him some serious heat with even the smarkiest of fans. This run is already starting to remind me of The Rock’s 2003 heel run, which is arguably the greatest that the Great One has ever been. Hopes are insanely high for this right now!
Viva La Roidza! News broke late Thursday night that Rey Mysterio was suspended for his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy and will miss 60 days after failing a drug test. The next failure on his part leaves him on the unemployed line.
This is horrible news for the company, as Rey Mysterio is consistently one of the top draws in the company and could have made a huge impact on his return. The Smackdown roster has an abundance of heels looking to move up the ladder, and a feud with a returning Mysterio would have helped any of them out immensely. Sadly, they’ll have to wait two months as Rey-Rey clearly hasn’t learned much from his first lesson a few years back.
New Blood Rising: As we talked about once before here, there is a sea change taking place in the Western Conference. None of the four teams still playing in the West have won a Stanley Cup before, so we are guaranteed to have at least one team get a shot at their first sip of the Cup.
Add in the Washington Capitals, and the very strong performances in the first round by the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers and we have some optimism that a few teams will have their names engraved on the Cup for the first time. What remains to be seen is if they can use that to build momentum in the market like Tampa Bay and Dallas, or if they will still have attendance problems and struggle in their market like Carolina and to a lesser extent, Anaheim.
Racist Tools: If you have no read Harrison Mooney’s excellent piece on Puck Daddy about the ridiculous reaction to Joel Ward’s overtime goal, give it a read.
There’s not much to add that Mr. Mooney did not cover, and his perspective as a person of colour really helps drive this home.
Seriously, it’s 2012, why is racism still a thing?
Prediction for the Week: Cody Rhodes and Kharma leave Extreme Rules as champions.