Joe Mauer’s batting average for the month of August.
He’s a catcher! .408! August!
So…I have him as MVP. Anyone disagree? Put your hand down, Derek Jeter.
I’m Joe Mauer. Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal.
This is what happens when I have too much time on my hands, enjoy!
So it was Brad May long weekend and all of us Eric Brewers and Trent Hunters decided to go out for the night. We walked into the local bar and found a bunch of Charas to sit on. My buddy immediately Billy Guerin-teed that the night would be a Messier.
I Ryan Malone’d some money to my friends to buy a few pints of Rickard’s Red Wallin but the bartender said they were out of PJ Stock. We settled for splitting a bottle of Alexei Smirnov and continued to lay Kevin Lowe for a bit. Then our resident comedian started cracking jokes with some girls in the next David Booth, he always Getzlafs. The jokes were a Stephen Weiss decision because his Brendan Witt brought the girls over to our table. We were Ben Eager to meet them, and I introduced myself and said “It’s nice Demitra.”
Ian White girls, Dustin Brown girls, James Black girls, my buddy says he was even chatting with one that said she was from Paul Kariya. We probably should’ve stopped drinking for the night after meeting those Keith Primeau girls, instead we just drank even Dominic Moore. The girls weren’t impressed as we got more obnoxious and called us a bunch of Damien Cox, so I Stephanne Yelle’d back “That’s Phaenuf of you! You broads look in pretty Lindy Ruff shape anyways!” and then gave them all the Jeff Finger. Needless to say, all the girls turned on us and we were Belarussian out of the place pretty soon after.
So once we get outside of the bar we realized it’s Jeff Friesen out there! We put on our Al Coates and since we’re all hungry and decide to walk down the Damien Rhodes for a late night snack. Well one guy started thinking he wanted some Jari Kurri dish, but it was too late by that time and our only choices was Joey MacDonald’s or Tim Nathan Horton’s. We decide on Andy McDonalds and halfway there one guy can’t take the dizziness any Luongo-er and starts “up” Tkachuk-ing in a snow bank.
We made it to the restaurant and the boys bought me my Umbergers so I said I’d take the Carey Price of my meal and Markov it from what they owed me for the Bob Beers. Well the Matt Cooke didn’t do a good job on the Howard Bergers, and I ended up runing to the bathroom Eric Staal and started Valeri Zelepukin.
As much as the night turned out to be a bit of a Messier, I went to bed knowing that this was a Trevor Daley occurrence; I’d be up to the same stuff tomorrow.
This is brilliant. Absolutely well done. Laughed so hard, I threw my David Backes out.
LW: Dickie Moore
C: Jean Beliveau
RW: Maurice Richard
D: Doug Harvey
D: Larry Robinson
G: Patrick Roy
One of the most iconic and successful sport franchises to have ever existed, the Montreal Canadiens hardly need any introduction. A team that is so deep and powerful that I could fill three lines of their greatest stars with relative ease, the Canadiens’ top 25 players in their history easily trumps any team that has ever existed in the NHL. Aside from the Leafs (and for different reasons, which I will discuss later on), the Canadiens were the most difficult team to pick from because of the sheer volume of worthy players. Here are some of the names that don’t make my list: G Ken Dryden, RW Yvan Cournoyer, LW Bob Gainey, C Elmer Lach, RW Bernie Geoffrion, D Guy Lapointe, D Jacques Laperriere and C Henri Richard.
Though somewhat overshadowed by not only Lindsay and Hull, but even by his own teammates, there was no doubt Moore belongs on the list of best LWs to play in the NHL. A two time first all star and Art Ross winner, Moore was an aggressive, rugged, and gritty player who blossomed into a dangerous offensive scoring threat.
Beliveau was the player Mario Lemieux is most often compared. Undoubtedly, one of the top 10 players to play the game, Beliveau had the perfect blend of size, skill, and skating ability. A six time First All Star (Second All Star four times), two time NHL MVP, and both a Conn Smythe and Art Ross to his name, Beliveau, along with Gretzky and Lemieux, is considered as one of the top three centres in NHL history.
Rarely does a hockey player, let alone a sports player, represent an entire team, an entire Province (or State, for my American friends), and an entire culture all at the same time. Maurice “the Rocket” Richard was that person, and he was if not the Montreal Canadiens’ greatest player, the most famous Hab in their illustrious history. The first player to ever score 50 goals in a season and 500 goals in a career, Richard made his money as perhaps the greatest playoff performer in the NHL with an astounding 82 goals in 133 playoff games.
Neck and neck with Eddie Shore as the second greatest defenceman in the NHL to the venerable Bobby Orr, Harvey was perhaps the most important member of the Canadiens offensive juggernaught of the 1950s. An expert defender, as evidenced by his astounding seven Norris Trophies and 10 First All Star selections, Harvey used his superb puck control skills and pinpoint passing to end the opposition attack and immediately start his team’s offence.
Nicknamed “Big Bird” for his giant-type stature, Robinson played near perfect defence and was more than capable on the offensive side of the game. A no-nonsense player who contrasted perfectly with his smalller, speedy, skilled teammates of the 1970s dynasty, he provided physical, intimidating, but never dirty play with good skating ability. A two time Norris Trophy and a Conn Smythe winner, Robinson was selected to either First or Second All Star three times each.
In a long line of unparalleled goaltending depth within the Montreal Canadiens organization, Roy was arguably the best. One of the all-time best pressure goaltenders in history, the playoffs were Roy’s stage. Owning pretty much every major goaltending statistic, it’s the playoff records (most wins, most minutes, most shutouts, most overtime wins in a single playoffs) that are most impressive. A two-time Conn Smythe winner with Montreal (three in total), Roy virtually carried his less than stacked Montreal teams to the Stanley Cup in both 1986 and 1993.
Pre-WWII and Honourable Mentions
LW: Aurel Joliat (teamed with Morenz to form one of the greatest one-two punches the NHL has ever seen; one of the all-time great LW)
C: Howie Morenz (dubbed the “Babe Ruth of hockey”; historians argue if Morenz was actually the best player to have ever played in the NHL, pre-WWII or not)
RW: Guy Lafleur (absolutely one of the most exciting players to ever play the game; “The Flower” had an incredible six year run where he scored 50+ goals, 119+ points EVERY season)
D: Sprague Cleghorn (one of the dirtiest, meanest, and nastiest players to have played in the game; also one of the best d-man to play the game)
D: Serge Savard (the steady hand of “The Big Three” defencemen of the 1970s dynasty; Savard won a Conn Smythe, the first d-man to win the award)
G: Jacques Plante (not only was he one of the greatest goalies in NHL history and belongs on any top five list, Plante was the most important goalie in NHL history)
LW: Andrew Brunette
C: Mikko Koivu
RW: Marian Gaborik
D: Nick Schultz
D: Brent Burns
G: Niklas Backstrom
After the bitter departure of the North Stars, the “State of hockey” was thankfully awarded with another NHL franchise, the Minnesota Wild, in 2000. By far the most successful team amongst the three most recent expansion franchises, the Wild have firmly moved past the “rebuilding” stage and have collected their share of excellent players.
While he may not have been the franchise’s most talented LW (Pavol Demitra would be my vote), Brunette is a fan favourite and one of the few offensive players for the Wild. Also, has a knack for performing even better in the playoffs due to owning one of the NHL’s greatest shooting percentages (17.8, 3rd amongst actives, 35th all-time).
Now established as the franchise player for the Wild, Koivu has become one of the top two-way forwards in the game and is already the Wild’s best and most important player. Shadows all the top players in the game with great success, and is counted on for the penalty kill, power play, even strength, holding onto leads, scoring important goals…
While injuries have been his biggest enemy, Gaborik’s a dynamic, prolific goal scorer with blow-by speed and a wicked shot that showcased his offensive talents in spite of a defence first system. The Wild’s most purely gifted player of their franchise so far.
Schultz is the defensive stalwart of the Wild who blocks plenty of shots and locks players up in the corners or in front of the net. All-time leader in games played for the Wild and undoubtedly, the Wild’s most unsung, underrated player of their franchise.
Burns has untapped potential on the offensive side, and has already established himself as an emerging star at the backend who can lay out the body and engage in fisticuffs when the occasion calls for it. A perennial international call-up for Team Canada.
While his outworldy stats have greatly benefited from the trapping system the Wild have employed so successfully, Backstrom has done his best to prove his ability and talent only buoyed his statistics into greater heights. Already the franchise leader in shutouts in two and half seasons, he’ll soon overtake the Wild’s all-time list for wins by next season and established himself as the defacto number one goalie on a team that preached platoon goaltending throughout their short history.
Honourable Mentions: D Filip Kuba (long been the Wild’s lone offensive representative on the backend; played an average of 23+ minutes with the Wild and became more well-rounded as the years passed by); C Wes Walz (played since the Wild’s inception into the league and plied his trade competently on the penalty kill; another player who did all the small things to help a team win); C Brian Rolston (blossomed as a big-time scorer under the Wild during his peak years and excelled despite playing in mostly defensive system; scored 30+ goals every season he was with the Wild)