Hossa Controvesy Brings to Light a Bigger Issue

The Toronto War Room. Look it's Colin Campbell!

Yeah, its been a while since I’ve posted anything and its starting to get to me. School’s keeping me pretty wrapped up but just another 3 weeks and I’ll be back on the blogging train.

Anyways, in the midst of a heated playoff race in the NHL’s Western Conference Marian Hossa was awarded a controversial goal in Chicago’s game last night against the St. Louis Blues. A storied franchise in the league, the Hawks are fresh off a Stanley Cup Winning season after a lengthy championship drought.

Check out the video here and decide for yourself.

Seriously though, there’s not much decide. For one thing there’s an 87.83% chance that it’s not a goal but it was ruled a goal on the ice so without indisputable evidence you probably can’t overturn that. However, there is undoubtedly a distinct kicking motion, which even the hometown Chicago Blackhawk announcers point out. Distinct kicking motion means no goal whether it was over the line or not. Duh.

The big issue here though is that every single play that goes to video review is transferred over to the head office in Toronto where they go ahead and make the decision. The referee’s or an independent party isn’t making a decision. It’s the guys working for the NHL that have an agenda. The NHL already has problems generating viewership in the United States especially after their brutal decision a few years ago to take a bit of extra money from the Versus network instead of sticking with ESPN.

The Chicago Blackhawks are a clearly a team the NHL would love to have in the playoffs. They sit on the brink of playoff elimination. Not so much after tonight’s win. It isn’t out of the question that the NHL is willing to look the other way on a controversial goal such as this one and give the benefit of the doubt to a storied, marketable American franchise.

Do I sound paranoid? Maybe just a bit, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put 2 and 2 together.

Goalie Ty Conklin wasn’t too happy about they call. He expressed a similar feeling in an interview after last night’s game saying that “They called it a goal on the ice, which is fine, that’s understandable. But the reason we have video replay is to get the right call. They’re probably going to make it into the playoffs anyway, but do we really have to make it that obvious that the league wants them in?”

What I think the NHL needs to change is having the infamous “war room” in Toronto making all the decisions on video replay reviews. They need the referees doing the decision-making, who most likely aren’t influenced, at least to the same degree, as some of those guys in Toronto. How can those guys in Toronto make an objective decision when you have Colin Campbell breathing down your neck?

I’ll admit that I really don’t know much about what goes on back there but I don’t understand why the referees aren’t making the decisions. The NFL has their refs making the calls on challenges so why don’t the referees, who actually call the game, possess the ultimate decision.

It’s ridiculous. Talk about conflict of interest. I mean, what if we had the NHL’s principal disciplinarian making the final call on suspensions that deal with his own son’s team. Oh wait, that already happens.

Having the head office in Toronto determining vital calls almost makes paying real money to see Charlie Sheen’s one man act seem logical. Almost.

This is not the first time something like this has happened either. The War Room in Toronto already takes 14 hours to decide on a call while it isn’t uncommon practice for them to butcher that very call. Nothing is going to be done about this but if the NHL wants to better it’s game this is something they need to look into. Hell, if they’re not going to fix the head shots what chance do we have of seeing a change with this.

Hey, if you took the time to read this sloppy post I want some feedback. Am I crazy? The NHL kind of pisses me off just generally so I thought I’d rant about it.

Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack too, you won’t regret it.

Chris Bosh will be money in the bank

After much speculation, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have finally teamed up

If you haven’t heard, the state of Florida has no state income tax. With Chris Bosh announcing today that he will be joining Dwyane Wade in Miami, a little extra cash in his bank account isn’t the only thing that you can count on from the former Toronto Raptor.

For much of his 7 year career in Toronto, Chris Bosh was the face of the franchise. With that title, a player assumes great responsibility, big expectations and enormous pressure. Chris Bosh took the title to heart and worked as hard as he could to improve his game and make himself into the best player he could possibly be.

His hard work has paid off. Chris Bosh has become one of the best big men in the league. It is apparent from the amount of interest he has garnered from teams trying to court him to their city this off-season as well as posting the best numbers of his career last year. He averaged 24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds after adding 15 pounds of muscle prior to the start of last season. Now Bosh may not be the intimidating presence in the paint that other big men are but he makes up for it in so many different ways.

Chris Bosh may not be in the same category as Lebron James and Dwyane Wade there is no doubt that he will have lots of success in Miami.

As mentioned earlier, Bosh is one of the best offensive big men in the league. He has worked extremely hard on his jumper and as a result he has one of the best mid-range games in the league and can nail the 15-18 footer as consistently as almost anyone.

Bosh has also added more of a low post game and a nice fade-away in the low post to his repertoire.

When fresh, he has a very explosive first step that provides serious mismatches for most opposing power forwards. Last season he showed the ability to go to his off right hand on a more regular basis.

The problem in Toronto was that he had to carry too much of the load and consequently was battered, bruised and exhausted as games and the season wore on. Even though before last season he stated that he was going to stop setting for jump shots, a combination of tiredness and frustration made Bosh a pure jump shooter at times later in the season.

Lebron James has setup a press conference for 9pm eastern on ESPN to announce his decision

In Miami Bosh is not going to have the same issues that he had in Toronto. Dwyane Wade will always be the #1 option so long as Lebron James doesn’t decide to come along. With Wade handling and dishing the ball it will allow Bosh to be less beat up as the season moves forward. Moreover, Bosh will be seeing less double teams and getting more easy baskets than he ever did in Toronto.

Chris Bosh was forced to be the late clock, late game situation player in his tenure in Toronto, which is something he clearly did not have the ability to be. Minus Dirk Nowitzki, most big men are not suited for late game, isolation situations and Chris Bosh is no exception. This again will not be an issue in Miami as Wade will be the obvious choice for those types of situations.

I have read and heard people wonder if Bosh will be unhappy about being the #2 option. I think any Raptor fan can tell you that Bosh will have no problem being Robin to Dwyane Wade’s Batman. Chris Bosh is all about winning and this fact was evident in Toronto even though they didn’t actually win all that much. Fans around the NBA don’t know or don’t realize that Bosh actually has probably one of the most unselfish personalities in the league. Less shots, less touches, who cares? It’s all about the winning for CB4.

Dwyane Wade may be the go to guy in Miami but I don’t see Chris Bosh’s numbers dipping in the coming seasons. I think that if we’re going to see any change in his numbers it will be up rather than down. Bosh has improved every year that he has been in the league and he will be even more motivated this year to do the same

Wade and Lebron is not a good fit in my eyes but it seems like Bosh is the perfect complement to Wade for a number of reasons. The most obvious of them being that Bosh is a big man and Wade is a guard. Secondly, Bosh is not going to demand the ball as much as Wade does and he will be able to step aside at times and let Wade do his thing. Thirdly, Bosh is not the type of big man who is going to clog up the lane for D-Wade’s driving, slashing ways.

Most importantly, defensive game plans are no longer going to focus on stopping Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade alone, they will center on stopping possibly the best dynamic duo in the NBA.

I’m not sure if the duo will be able to bring Miami a championship right away because of the lack of pieces surrounding them, but make no mistake, Chris Bosh will be money in the bank for the Miami Heat.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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Are the Jays for real?

The 2010 version of the Toronto Blue Jays have been a wonderful surprise this year to Canadian baseball fans. 2010 was supposed to be the rebuilding year for the Jays, but this rebuilding year turned into a winning year…at least so far. After trading Roy Halladay everyone seemed to have given up on the Jays except the Jays themselves. They came out and played with no expectations, no pressure, which seems to be the recipe for success for these Jays. With the resurgence of Vernon Wells, the unexpected offensive outburst from John Buck, Jose Bautista, and Alex Gonzalez has combined to give the Blue Jays the league lead in home runs. However, the Blue Jays starting pitching has also been a very nice surprise as Ricky Romero looks like a future #1 starter as well as quality pitching from the other 4 including Shaun Marcum who came off shoulder surgery this past off season. Although the bullpen has been very questionable, Kevin Gregg has proven that he can be the closer with an AL leading 12 saves. This all begs the question, are the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays for real?

As a fan of the Blue Jays I would love to say that they are in prime position to challenge for playoff spot and actually playing some meaningful September ball for once…but I can’t. The Blue Jays up to this point have well over-achieved. Despite hitting the most home runs in the major leagues, the batting averages of almost all the Jays players across the board are atrocious. With the exception of Vernon Wells no regular is batting over .300 and only 2 players are batting above .250. You cannot rely on the long ball for an entire 162 games, and unless those averages somehow miraculously sky rocket I can’t see the Jays providing the same offense that they have been.

The Blue Jays shaky bullpen is another reason why they aren’t for real. The only supposed bright spot before the season started has actually been its Achilles heel so far. Their “big” three has been consistently inconsistent.  Jason Frasor has lost velocity on his fastball (although has gained some back at this point), Scott Downs does not seem to exhibit the same control that he has in the past, and Kevin Gregg WILL fall back down to earth and I’m not just saying that after a garbage blown save against the lowly mariners today.

It is possible though that the starting pitching remains its solid self as the season wears on, especially with the possible returns of Mark Rzepczynski and Jesse Litsch. As I mentioned earlier Ricky Romero looks in prime position to become one of the Major League’s finest after another great performance today. Shaun Marcum has been his consistent self. Brandon Morrow is getting better by the day and Brett Cecil has shown some flashes of brilliance in his stint with the big club.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to watch some meaningful ball in the dog days of summer for the Jays, and I’m sad to say that yet again I will be unable to see the Jays challenge for a playoff spot.

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