Monday, March 12, 2007

Well, it looks like The Press Box is back. It’s been a while, far too long in my humble opinion. Shaheed and I did over 30 episodes of the show, jibber-jabbering back and forth at one another.

So, we’re back and blogging! Let me tell you, I am really starting to dig the “blog.” A friend of mine said, “Nabil, now you can sound like a total moron on air and on print.” Great, thanks for the support. But, this is a great way to be interactive which is a new exciting direction for The Press Box. But more of that to come soon…

What’s going these days in sports? Let’s see, the Chris Simon issue. You know I want to get into that, but not right now. I need to collect my thoughts and really think about this one before I say something. It’s all too familiar, bringing back a very controversial issue.

I am watching CSI Miami and the only thing I can think about is Roberto Luongo. Yes, laugh it up. For the record this is not some teenie-bopper high school type of crush. I just have been amazed with Luongo all season. A no-brainer obviously. Forget all the record books he’s coming close to or has already broken as a Canuck. What impresses me most about Bobby-Lu is that he is always composed. This is something we have not seen in quite sometime from Vancouver goalies.

I used to think the fire that Dan Cloutier had made him the goalie he was. And, you know what, I was right. However, it has hindered him more than helped him. Unfortunately, having a short fuse as a goaltender doesn’t seem to be the formula for success. Look at the arguably the three best goalies in the league: Brodeur, Luongo and Kipper, all goalies that don’t get rattled. They all seem to be so cool and confident, no matter what the score or situation is. Heck, I don’t think I have ever seen Kipper smile.

Luongo has been the target of the opposition all year. He has been bumped, run and trash-talked, sometimes all at once. But, I think the Roberto has been able to keep his cool, because he has been so motivated to stick it to the Panthers, to prove to his critics that he can lead a team to the playoffs and show the fans of Vancouver what a world-class goalie plays like.

I could go on and on about Roberto. However, I have to intern tomorrow at CBC and I am dead tired.

I just can’t to see what Luongo does in the playoffs.

Stay Tuned.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

All That Is Wrong

Welcome back Press Boxers!

I'm as glad as anyone that The Press Box is back with an interactive approach to the best place to 'just talk sports' because as many of you may know, I'm a internet junkie.

Speaking of junk, did anyone watch the Canucks vs. Ducks game tonight? A message to the know-it-alls at the NHL head offices: if you want to see an embodiment of all that is wrong with the game today (or at least some of it) then take a look at some footage from tonight's game down at the Pond (or Honda Center, whatever).

In the first period Canucks' forward Tommi Santala was pushed awkwardly from behind into the boards in his own zone, although he was not severely injured on the play and returned to the game shifts later, the outcome of such a hit could have been grave.

Problem 1: There was no penalty on the play. A hit from behind, no matter who the victim or the severity of the hit, should be penalized.

Problem 2: After a non-call on the hit, Canucks' tough guy (sometimes to the shagrin of the coaching staff) Kevin Bieksa took punishment into his own hands by challenging the Ducks' forward Dustin Penner (the hitman, so to speak) to a fight. Penner graciously accepted and the two did a little dance. After all this, along with his fighting major Bieksa was handed an instigator penalty along with a misconduct. On the ensuing power play, Anaheim took the lead. If the refs aren't calling penalties to protect the players and the rules don't allow for the players to protect themselves through good old fashioned fistacuffs, then why is the NHL surprised by all of the Chris Simon-like incidents arising?

Problem 3: Shortly after this skirmish, Canucks' grinders Matt Cooke and Jeff Cowan took a clean yet provoking run at Ducks' young d-man Kent Huskins. Shawn Thornton took exception to this hit (and Cowan's extra nudge after the hit) and jumped Cowan much like Bieksa did Penner (more instigating-like in fact). One would think that Thornton would then be assessed an instigator and misconduct to along with his five minutes of fighting, right? Nope.

The game went on like this throughout the night with inconsistent officiating and not much flow being allowed by the men in stripes. Far be it that I blame the Canucks' loss on the officials, but they did not make it any easier for Vancouver to stick up for themselves without being put in a vulnerable position and they did not call it consistently when the Ducks did so.

As far as the NHL has come in the 'new era' it is apparent through tonight's game that there is still a long way to go in making the game what it should be and then marketing it as the best and coolest game on earth. So I shall wait, patiently, albeit squirming in my seat every time an instigator penalty is called.

A New Face

The Press Box is back and ready to get interactive!

The Press Box blog is a place for you to follow the opinions and stories of the TPB hosts and writers and get your own voice heard by posting your own comments.

Keep checking back for new posts and updates on the website and upcoming shows of 'The Press Box: Where we just talk sports'.