Sunday, 29 December 2013

NFL POOL FINAL STANDINGS





T-1) Mr.Khan, Stefano: 37-31

T-2) Matthew, Producer, Listener: 34-34

3) Moe: 33-35

4) Mitch: 31-37

5) Sean: 27-41







Friday, 27 December 2013

The not so definitive 2014 Canadian Men's Hockey Team Roster

Okay, it's been a looooong time since I've written a blog post. How long? Well, let's just say that most Americans had still not heard of Rob Ford the last time I wrote anything meaningful in this space.

Anyhow, on to business. I've been reading and listening to everyone making their men's hockey roster predictions, and pined for the day that I could do the same. You see, my December 24th and 31st TSN 690 shows were cancelled due to the holiday break.

But suddenly, I realized that I still had this great vehicle to vent about my opinion. So take that!

Alright, now here we go. My list plays favourites, makes assumptions and even generalizes. That said, I still think it's a pretty darn good roster. This roster isn't a fantasy hockey team. This is a team built to win on international ice. There are no Rob Zamuners on this squad!

Forwards

Top Line - Couture - Crosby - Stamkos 

I know what you're thinking, "What? Logan? On the top line? And no Kunitz? And Stamkos, isn't he hobbled?" Yes. Yes. No. Kinda.

Logan Couture is this generation's Joe Sakic, except bigger. He is that damn good. He will do anything to win and has already proven to be clutch. Couture can also slide in and take a draw in a pinch, kills penalties effectively, and will do the dirty work for both Crosby and Stamkos. The entire country underrates what he can already do.

As for Stamkos, he WILL be ready. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on radio. However, it would seem to me that the man is ahead of schedule and is one of the world's best conditioned athletes. Give me the game's top trigger man for the game's premiere centre for my team, please.

Line 2 - St. Louis - Getzlaf - Perry

Inexplicably, a lot of people leave Marty off this team and I can't understand it. This is an international ice tournament, people. St. Louis is small and quick, and has the experience and leadership to boot. And has anyone noticed that the man is STILL producing in Tampa, even without Stamkos? Getzlaf and Perry are warriors, but they could use some speed on their line, to say the least. If St. Louis makes this team, it should be alongside a couple of big dudes.

Line 3 - Tavares - Toews - Carter

Arguably, this could be the most important line of the team. The third line can either be responsible for checking the opposing team's top line, or it can be pressed into offensive duty, to perhaps spell a top-two struggling line.

Toews and Carter are winners, having hoisted the cup and come up big in primetime matchups. As for Tavares, he's another guy who is underrated because of the team he plays for. Like St. Louis, Tavares has done more than enough to be a part of this squad, and he is versatile and elite enough to play multiple roles on a club. All three of these guys can play centre, but this is the alignment that I would prefer.

Line 4 - Neal - Bergeron - Sharp

For the fourth line, you want guys who can play specific roles, but also be ultimate team guys. Bergeron is a clutch face-off and checker, capable of scoring the winning goal. Neal is a big body who can crash the net and score. Sharp is a winner with a quick trigger who can play on the power play or adapt to any role required of him. It's hard to see this combo failing.

Extra forwards - Duchene-E. Staal-Giroux

I know, how can Eric Staal be off the top 12 forwards, right? Well, he's had some horrendous starts to his seasons the last couple of years. He's not as dominant as he's been in the past. Heck, even his own brother couldn't help him catch fire. Still, he's very good and some will argue that he could even be slotted alongside Crosby.

Matt Duchene was the trendy name at the start of the season, before he got injured and tailed off. His body of work simply isn't dominant enough to merit a starting assignment on this team. However, his skillset should be brought to the Games as an insurance policy.

Claude Giroux is world class when he's on his game. Unfortunately, he has been inconsistent in recent years. Bring him to the Games and use him as a motivator to get others going, I say.

Omissions - Kunitz - Seguin - Nash

On his own team, Chris Kunitz is a core player. But, his skillset is surpassed by his countrymen above him on this list. You can't bring him just because he plays with Crosby in the regular season.

Tyler Seguin has matured and blossomed in Dallas. But it's hard to put the nation's fate in a young guy with a spotty track record thus far. Give me more dependable guys, please.

Rick Nash is a living MASH unit. As soon as you announce his name to the team, he'd probably raise his hand in celebration and dislocate his shoulder. No thanks.

Defencemen

Keith - Doughty
Bouwmeester - Pietrangelo
Letang - Weber

Vlasic - Subban

Okay, I've seen some arguments for leaving Subban off the team. But I just don't buy any of them. For me, he's at the very least an extra D for now. As for Letang on the wrong side? Well, I don't believe in taking lesser skilled and experienced players because of that right-left shooting breakdown. We're taking about wider ice here, folks, and I think either Letang or another right D would be fine moving over.

My only iffy pick here is Bouwmeester. He's having a good year in St. Louis, but he's just not known as a winner.

Omissions - Seabrook - Boyle - M. Staal

Well, it was tough not to bring Seabrook. The man is a warrior and obviously would mesh well with Keith. However, it's also hard to argue with anyone ahead of him on this list.

Speaking of warriors, Boyle is another D who I loooooove. But I just felt like it was time to go with an up-and-comer.

Marc Staal is steady but not special. I don't think the team would miss him.

Goaltenders

Luongo
Price
Smith

Call me crazy, but I'll take the guy who won the gold medal in 2010 over the guy who has not played for his country in quite some time. Luongo has had a good year and I think he deserves the first start in the round robin. If he pulls a 2010 Brodeur, simply slot in Price. Also, Mike Smith has been as consistent a goaltender in the world over the last few years as anyone. He needs to be on this roster.

Omissions-Crawford-Ward-Brodeur

The depth isn't what it used to be. I don't think anyone could make a case for any of these guys ahead of the three I went with.

Bottom line

Well, there you have it. These are my picks. And what do they mean? Absolutely nothing. But still, it relieved the pressure on my brain that resulted from not sharing the, in the first place. So thanks for indulging me.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and I'll discuss them on my January 7th TSN 690 program.

Listen to Game Points with Matthew Ross on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal Tuesdays at midnight and hear him host the station's Sunday NFL coverage throughout the day. Follow Matthew on Twitter @TSNmatthew


Monday, 23 December 2013

NFL Pool Week 17 Standings

Standings

1) Mr.Khan: 35-29

2) Stefano: 34-30

3) Producer: 32-32

T-4) Matthew, Listener: 31-33

6) Moe: 30-34

7) Mitch: 29-35

8) Sean: 26-38


Week 17 NFL Picks:

Green Bay -3.5 @ Chicago

Baltimore +5.5 @ Cincinnati

San Francisco -1.5 @ Arizona

Philadelphia -6.5 @ Dallas




Matthew: CHI, CIN, SF, DAL
Moe: GB, BAL, SF, DAL,
Producer: CHI, BAL, SF, DAL
Stefano: CHI, CIN, SF, DAL
Listener: CHI, CIN, SF, DAL
Mitch: CHI, BAL, SF, PHI
Sean: CHI, BAL, SF, PHI
Mr.Khan: GB, BAL, AZ, DAL

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 16 Picks

Standings

1) Mr.Khan: 33-27

2) Stefano: 32-28

3) Producer: 31-29

T-4) Matthew, Listener: 30-30

6) Moe: 29-31

7) Mitch: 27-33

8) Sean: 24-36


Week 16 NFL Picks:

New Orleans +2.5 @ Carolina

Pittsburgh PK @ Green Bay

New England +2.5 @ Baltimore

Chicago +3.5 @ Philadelphia


Matthew: CAR, GB, BAL, CHI
Moe: NO, GB, BAL, PHI
Producer: NO, GB, NE, CHI
Stefano: CAR, GB, BAL, CHI
Listener: NO, PIT, BAL, CHI
Mitch: NO, PIT, BAL, PHI
Sean: CAR, GB, NE, CHI
Mr.Khan: CAR, GB, BAL, PHI

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 15 Picks

Standings

1) Mr.Khan: 31-25

2) Stefano: 29-27

T-3) Moe, Matthew, Listeners: 28-28

6) Producer: 27-29

7)Mitch: 24-32

8) Sean: 22-34


Week 15 NFL Picks:

San Diego +10.5 @ Denver

New England -2.5 @ Miami

Cincinnati -2.5 @ Pittsburgh

Baltimore +5.5 @ Detroit


Matthew: SD, MIA, DET, PIT
Moe: DEN, NE, CIN, BAL
Producer: SD, MIA, PIT, BAL
Stefano: SD, MIA, CIN, BAL
Listener: DEN, NE, PIT, BAL
Mitch: DEN, MIA, PIT, BAL
Sean: SD, NE, PIT, DET
Mr.Khan: DEN, MIA, PIT, DET

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Concordia taking small steps towards naming their new head coach

On Friday afternoon, Concordia Stingers athletic director Patrick Boivin officially opened up the vacant head coaching football position for all applicants.

For Boivin, this is his first big move since coming into power, given his strong business acumen, he has created a search committee to help him throughout this process. Instantly upon hearing this, I anointed this group as the "knights of the roundtable".

No question there are strong voices with Andre Bolduc, Sylvain Girard, and Liam Mahoney. This trio has a good pulse on the current situation considering they're prominent former players of the program.

However, this is where it becomes befuddling. To the surprise of many within the CIS community, the inclusion of former Stingers and current Queens Golden Gaels head coach, Pat Sheahan, and RSEQ member Tom Allen has raised a few eyebrows.

It could be argued that the Stingers last great run of dominance was under Sheahan in the late 90s. But how could any athletic program include a current CIS head coach of a school they recruit against on a yearly basis? Could anyone imagine if the Laval Rouge et Or asked Montreal Carabins head coach Danny Maciocia to be a part of their search committee if Glen Constantin decided to move on?

How does Sheahan now approach a top tier recruit who may be looking at Concordia? I would love to be a fly on the wall during his recruiting pitch while he doubles himself as a member of this search committee.  

As for Allen, he has worked tirelessly to help elevate the RSEQ profile. However, there are those within the football community who have mixed reviews on his tenure. He has a past connection to the Bishop's Gaiters. If you're Concordia, would it not have made sense to bring on an important donor of the program to aide this search rather than Allen?

When the Stingers season mathematically ended in early October, when did Boivin realize that a change needed to happen towards the end of the agonizing Gerry McGrath era? Concordia is already behind the eight ball in the search for their next head coach as December is here.

The likely target date for a new head coach being named won't be until in the early part of the 2014 calendar year. This year's recruiting class will be handcuffed with no actual leader in-place to convince them to come to Concordia.

Furthermore, with spring camp not too far away, the new coach in charge will need to assemble a staff, and implement his systems, which would take a while to master considering these are not his very own recruits. 
  
This program requires substantial upgrades in their image, facilities, and overall talent. Whomever assumes this task will need at least two years before they could become competitive. That is based on recruiting well in their backyard, which Concordia has failed to do so in the last few years.

The question that remains; does the athletic program have the deep money pockets needed to reel in a big name coach? Here are three candidates (in no particular order) that could be on the list.

Jacques Chapdelaine: The former B.C. Lions offensive coordinator parted ways with the CFL club. He has already become a hot name candidate in both leagues. In the CIS circles, according to multiple reports, Simon Fraser University (NAIA), the alumni would like bring back the former Clan star and are willing to shell out the dollars. But SFU administration could be looking elsewhere (Jeff Reinebold). Could the Stingers be interested? It would require a lot of finances to sway him to come back east. He did win the Rouge et Or's first ever Vanier Cup and it would add another intriguing storyline with his return to the RSEQ. The offense would be revolutionized into a modern day scheme. It will take a lot of convincing, but it is worth a phone call to gauge his interest.

Bryan Chiu: The current assistant has been a part of the current staff since 2010. He has grown into his position where he is well respected by the alumni, players, and fans. By popular vote, a lot of the players and fans hope Chiu gets an opportunity to lead this program. Some fans have imagined the staff he could put together in trying to revive this sagging program. Even without knowing what the future holds for many inside the football walls, Chiu continues to work in trying to better the team's situation. One has to wonder if himself and others on the staff are working for nothing if they will not be retained. If he is Concordia's top choice, it is better they notify him now than in January so he can start assembling his staff.

Brad Collinson: The former Stingers and current Rouge et Or assistant is one the few remaining links to the Stingers being relevant, but that was over a decade ago. Collinson has earned his stripes in helping Team Quebec win multiple gold medals at the nationals. He is a fantastic recruiter that has redirected the Vanier College pipeline from Concordia to Laval. With his time spent learning from Constantin, he will most certainly apply a new tough minded attitude to a sullen environment. Collinson knows what it takes to win (see his three Vanier Cup rings), he is charismatic, and media friendly. But could he be the white knight to save this descending program? They certainly need an infusion of optimism and he can bring it to the table. 
   
Just 15 years ago, Concordia’s head coaching position was a desired job. Today, the program resembles little of its past glory years, and will surely take major renovations to help clean up the decaying mess. Certainly, if the Stingers are able to raise the capital within their alumni hierarchy, create an excitement among the remaining fan base, win back the recruiting territory, this program could be relevant in the near future.

For now, as Christmas approaches, Santa Claus will not be bringing them a present in a form of a new head coach, but Boivin must hope his belated gift will be a homerun hire. 

Follow me on Twitter @MoeKhan19

Monday, 2 December 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 14 Picks

Standings

1) Mr.Khan: 28-24

T-2) Matthew, Stefano: 26-26

T-4) Moe, Listeners: 25-27

6) Producer: 24-28

7)Mitch: 22-30

8) Sean: 19-33


Week 14 NFL Picks:

Indianapolis +5.5 @ Cincinnati

Detroit +2.5 @ Philadelphia

Seattle +2.5 @ San Francisco

Carolina +4.5 @ New Orleans


Matthew: CIN, DET, SF, NO
Moe: CIN, PHI, SF, NO
Producer: IND, PHI, SEA, NO
Stefano: CIN, PHI, SEA, CAR
Listener: CIN, DET, SF, NO
Mitch: CIN, PHI, SF, CAR
Sean: IND, PHI, SEA, NO
Mr.Khan: CIN, PHI, SF, NO

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 13 Picks

Standings

1) Mr.Khan: 27-21

T-2) Matthew, Stefano: 24-24

T-4) Moe, Listeners: 23-25

6) Producer: 22-26

7)Mitch: 20-28

8) Sean: 18-30


Week 13 NFL Picks:

Pittsburgh +2.5 @ Baltimore

Denver -4.5 @ Kansas City

Cincinnati +1.5 @ San Diego

New Orleans +5.5 @ Seattle


Matthew: PIT, DEN, SD, NO
Moe:PIT, KC, CIN, NO
Producer: PIT, KC, SD, SEA
Stefano: BAL, DEN, SD, SEA
Listener: PIT, KC, CIN, NO
Mitch: BAL, DEN, SD, SEA
Sean: BAL, DEN, SD, NO
Mr.Khan: BAL, KC, SD, SEA

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 12 picks

Standings 

1) Mr.Khan: 26-18

2) Matthew: 22-22

3) Stefano: 22-22 

4) Moe: 21-23

4) Producer: 21-23

6) Listeners: 20-24

7)Mitch: 17-27

8) Sean: 15-29


Week 12 NFL Picks:

San Diego +5.5 @ KC

Pittsburgh +0.5 @ Cleveland

New York Jets +3.5 @ Baltimore

Dallas +2.5 @ New York Giants


Matthew:SD, PIT, NYJ, NYG
Moe: KC, PIT, BAL, NYG
Stefano: SD, CLE, BAL, NYG
Producer: KC, CLE, NYJ, DAL
Listener: KC, PIT, BAL, DAL
Mr Khan: KC, CLE, BAL, NYG
Mitch: SD, CLE, BAL, DAL
Sean: SD, PIT, BAL, NYG

Monday, 11 November 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 11 Picks

1) Mr.Khan: 24-16

T-2) Matthew, Moe, Stefano, Producer: 20-20


6) Listeners: 18-22


7)Mitch: 15-25


8) Sean: 14-26




Week 11 NFL Picks:

Cleveland +5.5 @ Cincinnati


San Francisco +3.5 @ New Orleans


Kansas City +8.5 @ Denver


New England +2.5 @ Carolina



Matthew:CLE, SF, KC, CAR
Moe: CIN, NO, KC, NE
Stefano: CIN, NO, KC, CAR
Producer: CIN, NO, KC, NE
Listener: CIN, SF, KC, NE
Mr Khan: CLE, NO, DEN, CAR
Mitch: CLE, NO, DEN, CAR
Sean: CLE, SF, KC, NE

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 10 Picks

1) Mr.Khan: 22-14

2) Matthew: 19-17


T-3) Stefano, Producer, Moe: 18-18


6) Listeners: 15-21


7)Mitch: 14-22


8) Sean: 13-22




Week 10 NFL Picks:

Cincinnati -1.5 @ Baltimore


Detroit -2.5 @ Chicago


Carolina +6.5 @ San Francisco


Dallas +6.5 @ New Orleans



Matthew: CIN, DET, CAR, DAL
Moe: CIN, CHI, SF, NO
Stefano: CIN, CHI, CAR, DAL
Producer: CIN, CHI, CAR, NO
Listener: BAL, CHI, SF, NO
Mr Khan: BAL, DET, SF, NO
Mitch: CIN, DET, CAR, DAL
Sean: BAL, DET, SF, DAL

Sunday, 27 October 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 9 Picks

1) Mr.Khan: 21-11

T-2) Matthew, Moe: 17-15

T-3) Stefano, Producer: 16-16

6) Listeners: 15-17

T-Last) Mitch, Sean: 11-21




Week 9 NFL Picks:

Cincinnati -2.5 @ Miami


Kansas City -3.5 @ Buffalo


San Diego -0.5 @ Washington


Baltimore -3.5 @ Cleveland



Matthew: MIA, BUF, WAS, BAL
Moe: MIA, BUF, SD, BAL
Stefano: CIN, KC, SD, CLE
Producer: MIA, KC, SD, BAL
Listener: CIN, BUF, SD, BAL
Mr Khan: CIN, BUF, SD, CLE
Mitch: MIA, KC, WAS, BAL
Sean: MIA, BUF, WAS, BAL

Sunday, 20 October 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 8 Picks

1) Mr.Khan: 19-9

T-2) Matthew, Moe, Producer, Listener, Stefano: 14-14

7)Sean: 10-18

8)Mitch: 9-19






Week 8 NFL Picks:

Dallas +2.5 @ Detroit

Miami +6.5 @ New England

NY Jets +6.5 @ Cincinnati

Cleveland +7.5 @ Kansas City



Matthew:DAL, NE, CIN, KC
Moe: DAL, NE, CIN, KC
Producer: DAL, MIA, CIN, KC
Stefano: DET, NE, CIN, KC
Mr Khan: DET, NE, CIN, KC
Sean C: DET, MIA, CIN, KC
Mitch G: DET, NE, NYJ, CLE
Listener: DET, NE, NYJ, KC

Dave Pagnotta on Habs start and other NHL News

Dave Simon on UFC 166

Monday, 14 October 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 7 Picks

1) Mr.Khan: 16-8

2) Matthew: 13-11

T-3) Moe, Producer, Listener: 12-12


6) Stefano: 11-13

T-Last: Sean, Mitch: 6-14






Week 7 NFL Picks:

Seattle -6.5 @ Arizona

Cincinnati +2.5 @ Detroit

Dallas +2.5 @ Philadelphia

Denver -5.5 @ Indianapolis



Matthew: AZ, DET, DAL, DEN
Moe: SEA, CIN, DAL, DEN
Producer: SEA, DET, DAL, DEN
Stefano: SEA, DET, DAL, DEN
Mr Khan: SEA, CIN, DAL, DEN
Sean C: SEA, DET, DAL, DEN
Mitch G: AZ, DET, PHI, IND

Jeff Erickson Week 6 NFL Fantasy Tips

Moe Khan on NFL Week 6 Action

Dave Simon on UFC 166 Velasquez vs Dos Santos III

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Lauren Sesselmann on GamePoints Rendez Vous

Joe Yerdon on start of NHL 2013-14 Season

Tweet 10 Signs You're Addicted to MLB Playoffs

NFL Pool Picks Week 6 + Standings

STANDINGS

1) Mr.Khan: 13-7

T-2) Matthew: 11-9

T-3) Stefano
Producer: 10-10
Listener

4) Moe Khan: 9-11

5) Sean: 6-14
Mitch: 6-14


Week 6 NFL Picks


DET -2.5 @ CLE


GB -3.5 @ BAL


NO +2.5 @ NE


WAS +5.5 @ DAL



Matthew: BAL, GB, DEN, SF

Moe: BAL, GB, DEN, SF

Producer: BAL, GB, DEN, SF

Stefano: BAL, DET, DEN, SF

Mitch: BAL, DET, DEN, SF

Sean: MIA, GB, DEN, HOU

Listener: BAL, GB, DEN, HOU

Mr.Khan: MIA, GB, DAL, SF

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 5 Picks

STANDINGS

1) Mr.Khan: 10-6

T-2) Matthew
Listener: 8-8

T-3) Stefano
Producer: 7-9

4) Moe Khan: 6-10

5) Sean: 5-11

6) Mitch: 4-12


Week 5 NFL Picks


BAL +2.5 @ MIA


DET +7.5 @ GB


DEN -7.5 @ DAL


HOU +6.5 @ SF



Matthew: BAL, GB, DEN, SF

Moe: BAL, GB, DEN, SF

Producer: BAL, GB, DEN, SF

Stefano: BAL, DET, DEN, SF

Mitch: BAL, DET, DEN, SF

Sean: MIA, GB, DEN, HOU

Listener: BAL, GB, DEN, HOU

Mr.Khan: MIA, GB, DAL, SF

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

NFL Pool Standings + Week 4 Picks

Week 4 NFL Picks

SEA -3.5 @ HOU

CHI +3.5 @ DET

NE +1.5 @ ATL

MIA +6.5 @ NO


Matthew: SEA, DET, NE, NO
Moe: SEA, CHI, NE, NO
Producer: SEA, ATL, DET, NO
Stefano:SEA, CHI, ATL, MIA
Mitch: HOU, CHI, ATL, MIA
Sean: HOU, CHI, ATL, NO
Listener:HOU, CHI, ATL, MIA
Mr.Khan: HOU, DET, NE, NO


Standings:

1) Listener: 7-5

2) Mr.Khan: 6-6

T-3) Matthew: 5-7
Stefano:
Producer

6) Moe: 4-8

T-8) Mitch: 3-9
Sean:

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Jay Jaffe on Vladimir Guerrero's Baseball Career

Montreal Canadiens Training Camp Storylines

NFL Pool Standings + Week 3 Picks

Week 3 Picks, NFL Pool


Kansas City +2.5 @ Philadelphia
Houston -2.5 @ Baltimore
Green Bay -1.5 @ Cincinnati
Atlanta +1.5 @ Miami



Matthew: KC, HOU, GB, MIA
Moe: PHI, HOU, GB, ATL
Producer: PHI, HOU, GB, ATL
Stefano: KC, BAL, GB, ATL
Mitch: PHI, BAL, GB, ATL
Sean C: PHI, HOU, GB, ATL
Listener: PHI, HOU, GB, ATL
Mr. Khan: PHI, BAL, CIN, ATL


Standings:

Listener: 7-1

Producer: 5-3

Moe
Mr.Khan: 4-4


Matthew:
Stefano: 3-5
Sean:


Mitch G: 2-6

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fan Feedback on MLB Exhibition Games in Montreal

NFL Picks Segment Week 2

NFL Pool Standings + Week 2 Picks

Standings:

Listener: 4-0
Moe: 2-2
Mitch: 2-2
Producer: 2-2
Stefano: 1-3
Matthew: 1-3
Mr.Khan: 1-3
Sean: 0-4




Dallas +2.5 @ Kansas City

New Orleans -3.5 @ Tampa Bay

Denver -5.5 @ NY Giants

San Francisco +2.5 @ Seattle



Matthew: KC, NO, DEN, SEA
Moe: DAL, NO, NYG, SEA
Producer: DAL, TB, NYG, SEA
Stefano: KC, NO, DEN, SEA
Mitch: DAL, NO, NYG, SF
Sean C: DAL, NO, DEN, SEA
Listener: DAL, TB, NYG, SEA
Mr. Khan: DAL, TB, NYG, SEA

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Week 1 NFL Picks

Baltimore +7.5 @ Denver

Green Bay +4.5 at San Francisco

Cincinnati +3.5 @ Chicago

NY Giants +2.5 @ Dallas


Matthew: BAL, CIN, GB, DAL
Moe: BAL, CHI, SF, NYG
Producer: DEN, CIN, GB, DAL
Stefano: BAL, CIN, GB, NYG
Brandon: DEN,
Mitch: BAL, CHI, GB, DAL
Sean C: BAL CIN, GB NYG
Listener: DEN, CHI, SF, DAL
Mr. Khan: BAL, CIN, GB, DAL

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Jack Bedell: Week 1 Montreal Alouettes impressions

Watching the new-look Montreal Alouettes launch their 2013 CFL campaign, I was struck by a singular, over-riding thought: it’s business as usual for the Als.

In the decade I’ve covered the team, the Als have undergone three coaching regime changes from Don Matthews to Jim Popp, Popp to Marc Trestman, and Trestman to Dan Hawkins. Sideline demeanor and decorum have changed, coordinators have come and gone, and modes of attack and defence have fluctuated, but one aspect of the team has remained constant—the level of talent and depth on the team roster sheet.

Thursday night, we certainly witnessed flashes of the talent GM Popp has collected for the 2013 edition of the Alouettes. All three phases of the Als’ game had their moments.

Newcomer Tyron Carrier produced the Als’ first punt return TD in three seasons on teams. All three of the Als’ new free agent starters on D collected picks. And Anthony Calvillo was up to his old tricks connecting on deep strikes to S. J. Green.

Unfortunately, business as usual for the Alouettes over the past few seasons has also included some massive ebbs and flows in terms of porous kick and pass coverage, as well as in the squad’s inability to finish offensive drives with majors. Those old flaws were on display in Winnipeg, too.

When it wasn’t creating turnovers, the Als’ defensive secondary was allowing Bombers’ receivers far too much space, giving up costly plays to Jade Etienne, Terrence Edwards, and Clarence Denmark. Without consistent pressure from the Als’ front four, Buck Pierce was able to gash Montreal by extending plays and throwing to holes in the Als’ zone coverage.

On offence, the Als allowed way too much pressure to seep through the offensive line to get on top of Anthony Calvillo. Calvillo faced constant pressure both in his face and from the edge, making it extremely difficult for the Als’ offence to sustain drives. Some of the Alouettes’ passing-game struggles were no doubt exacerbated by good coverage by the Bombers’ secondary, some from the newness of the Als’ playbook.

And once again, special teams had real trouble keeping the field tilted Montreal’s way. New coordinator Ray Rychleski set his intent to keep return units inside their own 30-yard line this past off-season. Unfortunately, that goal was met too few times Thursday night. Even discounting the great individual effort that netted Demond Washington an 80-yard punt return major, it wasn’t a great night covering kicks for the Als.

All that said, Thursday night was not a glass-half-empty night for the Montreal Alouettes. The team went into Winnipeg on an emotionally-charged night, with the Bombers opening their new stadium in front of a rabid capacity crowd, and won a division game on the road. Those victories are hard to come by, for sure. And whenever you can collect a road win like that while committing more than your share of errors, you’ve got to be pleased.


Certainly, the Alouettes have plenty to work on as they head into their home opener this Thursday night against the same Winnipeg Blue Bombers. That work comes much easier on the heels of a victory, however.

Follow @jackbedell and email at jackbedell@netzero.net.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Lyra Pappin on French Open Quarterfinals

Moe Khan discusses Alouettes Training Camp

ExposNation and TrueRivalry offer Expos fans tshirt special


So I've spoken at length about the Montreal Expos and how this city needs a team once again. We've also spoken about how Expos merchandise is selling like crazy around North America.

Now comes this t-shirt from clothing company True Rivalry. They've offered ExposNation fans a 10 percent discount (with promo code TREXPOS) on their Montreal baseball shirt.

While the Expos logo doesn't appear on the shirt, the familiar Montreal red lettering along with the Quebec fleur-de-lis over the 'E.'

As an added nostalgic bonus, the Expos nickname Nos Amours is also present on the apparel.

Overall, it's a nice look and quite representative of baseball history in Montreal.

Check it out and remember to use promo code TREXPOS to get in on the 10 percent discount.

Visit: http://www.truerivalry.com/collections/exposnation

 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Tweet 10 Ways for TSN to fill airtime on TradeCentre






10) I-Phone vs Blackberry debate, since they’re already on the table the whole show

9) Bob McKenzie: Beyond the Glory

8) TSN calls Stan Bowman pretending to be Paul Holmgren

7) Scott Cullen introduces ‘fantasy trade deadline’

6) Miikka Kiprusoff gets a 1-hour special giving his decision on waiving his no-trade-clause

5) James Duthie gets a sit-down interview with Pierre Gauthier, calling out Marc Bergevin for inheriting the great team he built

4) Interviews with people who skipped work to watch TradeCentre

3) Brad Richards shares his survival story of Trade Deadline 2011

2) John Lu goes around GM offices and asks why they’ve waited until the last minute to conduct their trades

1) Full in-depth preview of TradeCentre 2014



Friday, 8 March 2013

My #SaveTSN690 Intervention Letter

I have been a devoted listener of The Team 990 / TSN Radio  690 since Day One.  I can safely say that I am one of the few listeners that can probably list the programming line up when the station went to an all sports format back in 2001.

Although I listen to  the station for the majority of the day, I haven't once called into one of its open line shows in 12 years because I am unable to do so due to my disability of cerebral palsy.  The disability prevents me from speaking clearly and some individuals may have difficulties understanding me over the phone.

Sports talk has always been a vehicle for me to connect with individuals who may be hesitant to engage with a person with a disability.   Whether it was a "nervy ninth" from Candlestick Park or a Hab loss,  the hot topic of the day that was being discussed on the radio was my avenue to integrate myself into "the main-stream" and not be seen as an outcast at school.  Since The Team 990 / TSN Radio 990 / 690 took to the air, I have been able to expand my circle of friends and some of the station's hosts have come to know and approach me in public without any hesitation.

By forcing Bell Media to divest itself from TSN Radio 690 and not be granted an exemption, the CRTC will be not only taking away an unique platform for English speaking sports fans in Montreal but a source of information and entertainment that will allow individuals with challenges of being integrated socially into the mainstream.  I can say with confidence that I would not be where I am today socially and in my professional career without the ability to connect with others thanks to sports and a 24 hours radio sports talk medium such as TSN Radio 690.

Sincerely, 

Ian Smith
A Grateful Montreal Sports Fan
@sportstaughts

Monday, 25 February 2013

Why the Canadiens should trade Lars Eller

On TSN 690 radio Sunday, I voiced my rationale as to why the Montreal Canadiens should trade Lars Eller. The segment got a lot of feedback and participation and so I decided to lay it out here in this post.

As Montreal continues to pile up wins on the season and look like a club that will take part in the postseason, to me, they'll have to address a need. Unfortunately, any time you seek to address a need, you have to move out an asset to make it happen.

Montreal has speed and skill, a perennial theme that doesn't exactly scream playoff warriors. As everyone knows, the key to winning the cup is to have a strong balance of speed and skill, combined with grit and experience. But, what can they acquire and what can they ship out to get it?
Eller: Sell high on him

Enter Lars Eller. Coming off a game in which he put up a couple of points and looked every bit the productive NHLer, the market and value for Lars Eller has never been higher. However, in the grand scheme of things, how important is Lars Eller to the Habs? Is he a core player to build around? Can they win without him? Does he bring anything unique and irreplaceable to the table? I submit not.

The Canadiens are in need of another big body with some scoring ability up front. With players like Gionta, Desharnais, Gallagher, Plekanec, etc, this team needs an equalizer - and we're not talking about a fourth line goon. No, what Montreal needs is a player that can score semi-regularly, intimate the opposition with a body check or goaltender screen and stick up teammates when the situation calls for action. Without such a player, Montreal will be doomed to the same fate they suffered in 2007-2008, when they finished first in the east and flamed out in the second round to a tougher Flyers squad.

On Sunday, I asked my intern, Stefano Mocella, to research some possible available players that fit this description. He didn't disappoint. He came up with Ryane Clowe of the San Jose Sharks. A rugged winger with a few seasons of at least 20 goals, and with a whole bunch of penalty minutes this season, Clowe is the ideal man for the job in La Belle Province. The Newfoundland native is a fierce competitor, is on a team that is struggling and he's a free agent at season's end. Clowe also recently came off the bench to defend a teammate, a no-no in the NHL, but a great example of his leadership and stand-up qualities.

Clowe: That face just says grit
While we don't know if San Jose would actually move him, nor what it would take to pry Clowe away from the left coast, it's very plausible that Lars Eller could be appealing to the Sharks. The question would then become what else Montreal would have to give up in order to snare Clowe.

Another guy we mentioned on Sunday was Buffalo's Steve Ott. The professional instigator is winning faceoffs at a 58 percent rate this season, is languishing on a last-place club and he's signed only through next season. Any Habs fans remember Ott goading Ryan White into some massive penalty minutes earlier in the year?


And oh by the way, we should also mention that Ott has scored 20 goals in this league as well.

The Canadiens need more of an edge if they want to progress in these playoffs. Look up and down the rosters of the teams that have won the cup in recent years, and you'll see more than a couple of tough players  that compliment the skilled ones. Montreal needs exactly that.

As for Eller? I had callers telling me that he'll be missed, that he's going to be a strong NHLer for many years to come. How do you know? What is Lars Eller's offensive ceiling, really? I don't think it's more than 20 goals. Plus, every time he had an opportunity on one of the top lines, it seemed like he was invisible. But when the pressure is off, boy does he come through.

Again, try and keep in mind that such a trade is contingent on Montreal proving over the next few road games that they can continue to win against anyone, anywhere.

The x-factor, of course, is Carey Price. He has been a strong NHL goaltender, but not one that has been considered top five in the league. He hasn't been the guy to carry his team and will them to a few victories in a row. But we're starting to see it now. He's got a couple of shutouts on the season and it seems like he's getting better and better. If you take an elite Price and combine it with a Canadiens team that can win on the road, well, then you really have something.

So, let's see how the next couple of weeks play out. If they go as well as many Habs fans think they will, then yeah, it's time for Montreal GM Marc Bergevin to think about his team as being viable contenders this year.

The question is: will Lars Eller fit in to the team's contending plans.

Matthew Ross is the host of Game Points with Matthew Ross, a twice weekly TSN 690 radio show. He's also a freelance writer and Public Relations and Content Provider professional. You can follow Matthew @tsnmatthew or reach him at matthew@tsn690.ca.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

NFL Super Bowl edition

By JC Godin

Here we are, after five months, Super Bowl 47 is finally upon us!! Back in New Orleans after a 11 year absence! No one throws a Super Bowl party like New Orleans!! NO ONE!! It's mardi gras....football style!!

Ravens versus 49ers!! By now we all know the story lines. Ray Lewis, the Harbaugh brothers, the DeBartolo family back at the SB, Ed Reed's first SB, Colin Kaepernick. It's safe to say this year's SB matchup turned out to be a nice one! The script could have not been written any better!

I really can't tell you who's going to win, both teams had their defining moments this season. San Francisco's week 1 matchup against Green Bay, their loss to the Vikings in week 3, followed by a whooping of the Jets in week 4, which was one of those dreadful 1pm eastern time starts for a pacific team! But we all know the pendulum swung for the Niners during week 10! The St. Louis Rams opened the window for young Colin Kaepernick and he seized the opportunity! The week 11 win at NO, and most of all the whooping they gave the Pats in NE week 15! Jim Harbaugh made a difficult decision, but it turned out to be the right one. Recall how yours truly loved the decision Jim Harbaugh made. Kaepernick opens things up for Frank Gore and the running game; look what took place two weeks ago!! I'm glad to see the Niners back where they belong! With its rich tradition, this team does not belong at the bottom, they just don't. Also, it's quite refreshing to see a young QB like Kaepernick play at the SB with only 9 games started under his belt! Only Jeff Hostetler (Giants 90-91) and Vince Ferragamo (Rams 78-79) played less games as a starter going into a SB. His attitude is on point! Back in the fourth grade, he had to write an essay about his future. He envisioned himself one day playing for the Forty-Niners, as he put on print, and voila! Fait accompli. He's like a kid who just walked inside a candy store for the first time! How could he possibly bother fans?? Every game his confidence is growing by leaps and bounds! Good for him!!

A lot is at stake though, how he will handle the pressure will be interesting to see! San Fran could go 6 for 6 with a win on Sunday and tie the Steelers with 6 SB wins! Looking at the 49ers roster, most of the players were all drafted originally by San Francisco! Crabtree, V. Davis, Staley, Iupati, A. Davis, Gore, Kaepernick, A.Smith, McDonald, Willis, Bowman, Goldson..... That right there is TREMENDOUS work by the upper staff! Kudos to general manger Trent Baalke and his director of college scouting, Joel Patten!!

The same can be said about the amazing job GM Ozzie Newsome has done with the AFC representatives!! You build through a draft!! It takes patience, but when the pieces come together and the attitude is right, the promised land is your destination!! Baltimore also were put in a predicament, where coach John Harbaugh had to make a tough decision and made that difficult choice! He fired his OC, Cam Cameron with a month left in the regular season! Also, I could see this was the right decision, but because of how late it was made, I wasn't sure about it, but it didn't matter. The training wheels were taken off of Joe Flacco and magic followed with his performance against the Giants in week 16, followed it up against the Broncos and Pats! But all really started to change for Joseph last year against the Steelers in Pittsburgh! The week 8 matchup that ended 23-20 for the Ravens on a last-minute winning drive! Ever since, Joe has played well in all "BIG" games! But somehow the key for the Ravens remains Ray Rice. The Ravens are 21-3 when Rice carries the rock more then 20 times!

On the defensive side of things, the Ravens are looking like their old selves! As Ray Lewis stated in his NFL network documentary, "This team (Ravens) is known as the team that never dies," and that's exactly what they showed us against the Broncos and against the Pats!

Both teams will be ready! From special teams to defense to offense, the brothers are excellent coaches! I truly believe we are in for a treat on Sunday! It's like everything seems so perfect; Lewis passing of the torch to 49ers LB Patrick Willis, Ed Reed back home since he's from NO! It's going to be a good one! And we all love Super Bowls not for the silly halftime shows, some enjoy the commercials, which I don't really care for, but Super Bowls are always about those unexpected heroes, like David Tyree or superstars like Lynn Swann that come up big and who are forever remembered, engraved in our memories thanks to NFL Films!!

On a pessimist note, I do find the Super Bowl a tad depressing....... The season is over!! I can't wait for the rookie combine to roll around come end of February! You have to get ready to take notes for the draft, which I will blog about during March and April!

Good Super Bowl to all!! 

Friday, 18 January 2013

What we learned: NFL divisional playoff round!









By JC Godin
 
Holy mother of lord!! What a weekend that was!!! I do not recall an NFL playoff weekend where we had two instant classics and maybe the birth of "the next thing," the second coming, Colin Kaepernick!!!

Let's talk Kaepernick! Recall what I said about Kap when he first got wet?? Dual-threat QB, makes it harder for defenses. It's hard to game plan versus such a threat when your offensive line is DOMINANT and your running back is named Frank Gore!! But what really stood out about Colin is not how fast he can run, nor how smart he is at reading defenses, but the accuracy on his throws are close to sublime! I'm not joking!! Pay close attention this Sunday or go look back at some game tape! Green Bay put up a good fight, but by the end of the third quarter, that D had no answer for Kap!!

We witnessed the Pats win at home... Bla bla bla.... Zzzzzzzz... Snore fest!!! We all knew New England was going to win and we didn't learn anything! We already knew that Matt Schaub stinks in red zone and third down situations!
Next!!

Alright, classic #2 showed us how good the Seattle Seahawks are, even in defeat! Scoring 28 unanswered points in two quarters!! WOW!! Colin Cowherd of ESPN claims that Russell Wilson is a top-five QB in the NFL, and you know what? I kind of agree with him! Seattle is going to kick some serious ass next year and maybe for many years to come! One thing is for sure, the Seahwaks/49ers, Wilson/Kaepernick feud will be fun to watch! And that Seahawks D will still shine regardless of the loss of their defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who took the job as HC in Jacksonville!

I have to give it to the Falcons though, Matt Ryan is also top five QB in the league! He is leading this team well, and a lot of the credit has to go to HC Mike Smith, who hired Mike Nolan and Dirk Koetter as DC and OC! But on Sunday, this is where it stops for the Falcons!

Classic #1, Ravens vs Broncos, was maybe the best game I have ever watched, and I've seen plenty of football! There is so much to take from this game, I don't know where to start! John Fox's conservative ways again come and bite him in the rear-end! How all mighty Peyton looked like someone who could not make a 20-yard pass from the third quarter on! How safety Rahim Moore misplayed the ball and that is quite the under statement!!! That was bad!!!! Just Horrible ball skills!! But most of all, what I took from this game was the never give up, believe attitude the Ravens had throughout the match!! Joseph Flacco is also top five in the NFL! Say what you want to say, but Flacco is LIGHTS OUT!! Ever since coach Harbaugh fired OC Cam Cameroun, it's like the "training wheels" finally came off!! It was truly a team effort, from Flacco to Ray Rice to Ray Lewis and his 17 tackles! SAY WHAT!! Yes, 17 tackles!! From Torrey Smith's first half to Anquan Boldin's 2nd half! From T-Sizzle to CB Corey Graham, who played the game of his life!! The fifth round draft pick of the Chicago Bears from 2007 never played such a game in his career!! That's playoffs. The unsung hero emerges from that one game at that special time!! The most impressive thing about the Ravens win is the fact that they won despite the fact they gave up two special teams TDs to Trindon Holliday (I'm sure the Texans are kicking themselves after cutting him!!)! On a side note, I was quite glad to see the Broncos lose! Take that, John Elway!! The way he played Tebow out of Denver, let's just call what happened on Saturday poetic justice! I'm sure Elway had nightmares of last year's playoff game against the Steelers! Te-Bow, Te-Bow!!! Tebow has one thing Manning doesn't - A playoff win as a Denver Bronco!!

Looking at championship Sunday's games, as I stated earlier, I think the Niners will beat the Falcons! The O-line and D is way too dominant right now, and with the emergence of Colin Kaepernick, forget about it!! Nice season Falcons! Though I don't expect the Niners to steamroll all over the Falcons! Atlanta will make it interesting!

As for the AFC, the Ravens are the team nobody wants to play right now!! Ray's goodbye gave this team the last push it needed after Cameroun's firing! The Ravens are rolling on all cylinders!! Yes this is the all-mighty Pats, and I'm a huge Tom Brady guy, I like Brady, but Flacco out-balled him in the last two meetings against him. He also just out-balled Peyton Manning! The Ravens have no reason to fear the Pats, but the Pats should fear the Ravens!! This is a dangerous team to play against! If football gods truly exist, the Ravens will win against New England and make it to the Super Bowl!! Win or lose, it don't matter; just to make it there will be incredible for the franchise! It will be the last time Lewis, Reed and Suggs will get to play together, and how fitting would it be for them to do it on the biggest stage of them all!!

How sweet would it be to see the two brother coaches go at it for the Lombardi Trophy! Let's go Niners and Ravens!!!