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Ed Cottingham

Ed’s Reads 1

If a fan claps alone from their couch, and nobody is there to hear them, do they still make a sound? The answer may be too trivial for some to unravel. Nevertheless, sports fans can rejoice this weekend as there will be no shortage of competition when we head into what may easily mature into the greatest sports round-up of the young year thus far. Between the Superbowl, the NHL, the NBA, UFC and your grandmother’s annual knitting fair, everyone and their dog (cat if you’re Stephen Harper) will gather around the television this weekend so that they too may judge others more skilled than themselves. In honour of this age-old tradition that sports fan cling to so dearly, the Prince Arthur Herald would love to prep YOU for all the action with a series of questions to pique your interest! Here are this weekend’s sports stories to watch.NFLWho will win the Superbowl (other than Green Bay, of course)? Will Ben Roethlisberger join the ranks of Brady, Bradshaw, Staubach and Kelly? Did he really do it? Will he crash his motorcycle before the big game? Was EA Sports’ Madden 11 rightagain in predicting the Steelers as Super Bowl champions? Or will the Cinderella Packers, representing the humble population of literally less than the entire attendance at this year Superbowl a s some one hundred thousand raving Cheeseheads from Wisconsin, upset Mike Tomlin’s credibility party? Will Troy Polamalu finally come out and cut his hair? Will Clay Matthews? Or neither? My money is on the latter. But in the world of sports, nothing is guaranteed… that is, nothing except for retirement, and a Peter Forsberg comeback.NHLIn the NHL this weekend, there are plenty of headlines to follow. Phil Kessel looks to sell his new Honda, while Henrik and Daniel Sedin continue to argue over… Read More

Ed’s Reads 2: Super Bowl Recap

Well, there you have it, folks. It was billed as one of the greatest and most evenly matched Super Bowls ever. Two storied franchises, each with its own share of historic bragging rights. Title-town versus Steeltown. Cheeseheads versus Steeler Nation. Green and Yellow versus Black and Yellow. Troy versus Clay. Aaron verus Ben. And so on and so forth. Any way you split it, this one had greatness written all over it.In the end, all the media hype and fanfare and speculation and analysis was all for nought once by tip-off, because this game wasn’t decided in the stats column. The game was ultimately decided  by a few choice plays, and very few, if any, spectacular, out-of-this-world, shot-in-the-dark, one-in-a-million fluke plays that have decided other Super Bowls … cough cough, David Tyre. This game came down to the players and who performed in the clutch. And for the most part, it did live up to its predicted outcomes. The slightly favoured Packers eked out a victory and the Lombardi Trophy came home. Roethlisberger and Tomlin went back to the lab empty-handed, and perhaps most disappointingly, everywhere in North America the collective ritual of slamming soda pops with your fellow male on any given Sunday came to a grinding, merciless halt.Whether you were a Steelers fan, a Packers fan, or just caught up in the hype that is the Super Bowl, you were treated to a spectacle of talent, performance and execution delivered with all the trinkets and bows and bonnets on the greatest of stages. If nothing else, the game delivered on its promise of close, non-stop action right up to the final seconds. And in case you were unable to catch a glimpse of the action, the game wasn’t decided until the closing minutes of the 4th quarter, when on… Read More

Ed’s Reads 3: Toronto 5 at New York Islanders 3

One night removed from the 35th anniversary of Darryl Sittler’s milestone night, the beloved Maple Leafs of Toronto took on the lowly Islanders of Long Island. The Leafs were reeling off a late game rally Monday night, when they faced the Atlanta Thrashers at home in a come-from-behind victory. On the road again tonight, they came out flat, despite jumping out to an early 2-0 lead courtesy of a Colby Armstrong snapshot and a beautiful redirection by grinder and Jay Rosehill. Even though the Leafs were up 2-0 on 2 shots, it was short-lived as the Islanders stormed back and evened the score on two power plays before the end of the first period. The Leafs were noticeably tired coming out of the gates, but they were treated to a break as initial Islanders starter Kevin Poulin injured his leg in the warm-up before the game. He was subsequently replaced by fellow rookie goalie Mikko Koskinen in what would be Koskinen’s unexpected NHL debut.The Leafs were outplayed for the majority of the game, but thanks in large part to the Islanders’ goalie woes and some terrible neutral zone turnovers, they looked like a high flying offense tonight. Even habitually snake-bit players, of the likes of a Mr. Frederick Sjostrom, managed to play like a younger Phil Kessel. And Phil Kessel managed to do everything positive (besides score), which is a nice change of pace given the media scrutiny following his comments last weekend.In net for the Leafs tonight was young rookie stud James Reimer, who continued to prove why he will be force in the future. He posted a solid .912 save percentage on 31 saves out of 34 shots, including a spectacular second-period glove save that drew applause from the home crowd. Colby Armstrong garnered the game’s first star… Read More

Ed’s Reads 4: Burke the Believer

After the smoke and dust and rubble had cleared, and the gasps and shrieks and cries from the proletariat had died down, the Grand Wizard himself held a press conference to announce and confirm that Francois Beauchemin of the Toronto Maple Leafs had indeed been traded. Rather than a rabbit, he pulled out Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, and a 2013 conditional draft pick out from a dusty old Anaheim Mighy Ducks snap-back. The crowd went numb. Perhaps with stupefication and wonder, perhaps with indifference, and perhaps even with awe and respect. But whatever the case, the fact remained that Brian Burke had traded away defensive asset Francois Beauchemin for “potential” and a 27-year old “potential has-been”. Suddenly, the beehive began to buzz to life, the birds began to chirp, tweet and sing, and Bill Watters began to whine and opine. Yes, the Leafs blogosphere was wrested from its mid-winter slumber. All through the land everyone in Leafs Nation simultaneously typed in the words Joffrey Lupul into Youtube and Google for a rehash of everything and anything notable concerning him and his first-round-draft career. And just like that the conversation had begun.Joffrey Lupul. You may have seen some of his nifty clips on Youtube. They may have moved you to root for the guy. You may have been pleased to see he was drafted in the first round. Hell, he even played a decent first game as a Leaf. So how good was this trade you ask? Well, Bill Watters was not impressed. Perhaps it is not the best of times for the media madman who was recently let go by Rogers Sportsnet, but for whatever reason, this trade garnered an inordinate amount of scorn from the former Leafs Assistant General Manager and Leafs broadcaster. “Lupul is another Kessel, just 5… Read More

Ed’s reads 15: Hockey thoughts

Hockey Hall Of Fame inductions. Gilmour? Check. Howe? Check. Nieuwendyk? Check. Belfour? Check. Oates?...... Oates? Adam? Hello? Is there anybody out there?!?I understand how underestimated this guy was throughout his whole career, having played Scottie Pippen to Brett Hull, Cam Neely and Peter Bondras’ Michael Jordan throughout the 1990’s. But then again, his numbers don’t lie. Just how good was Adam Oates? Compared to Gilmour, he has more points (1420 >1414) in fewer games (1337<1474). By no means is that meant to undermine Doug Gilmour’s untouchable Hall of Fame career. I merely intend to highlight the fact that Adam Oates has over 1000 career regular season assists, good for 6th on the all time list. He has 12 seasons to his name with over 50 assists, including an unbelievable 97 helpers in 1992-93 and another 90 in 1990-91. He is 16th all time in points. Gilmour is 17th. Brett Hull, Jarri Kurri and Luc Robitaille also trail him. So do Guy Lafleur, Dale Hawerchuk and Dave Andreychuk . The guy never won hockey’s ultimate prize, but in the 1997-98 finals he had to face one of the toughest and best teams to ever win Lord Stanley, when he faced off against the eventual champions, the Detroit Red Wings. That Red Wings team featured the likes of Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shannahan, Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom, who are all sure Hall of Famers. If he had won that one-cup, history would not have shunned this great from the credit he deserves. Still, the numbers don’t lie and the question to the Hockey gods begs to be asked. Why isn’t this man in the Hall? What’s even sadder is that practically the only visual evidence online that this great ever even played in the NHL is this sleazy commercial from the mid 90’s. This… Read More
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