Thursday, April 19, 2012

5th Pick in the NHL Draft

Yes, I know the 2012 NHL Playoffs are currently going on, but once again, I'll be talking about the draft.

Last week the draft lottery took place - unfortunately for Blue Jackets fans, they lost the #1 overall pick to the Oilers. The Maple Leafs stayed where they ended the season, and that is with the 5th pick.

Before the Leafs pick, I fully expect Yakupov, Grigorenko and Murray to be taken...although there is a slight chance Murray falls. The most realistic scenario at #5 would be Sarnia Sting centre, Alex Galchenyuk, to be taken. He is a solid two-way centre and has good offensive ability. Most of all, he fills our need of a centreman.

While I don't expect him to make an immediate impact, as he will probably be sent back to junior, he is not far off from being NHL ready. Then again, outside of the three names I mentioned earlier, you could argue no one is really NHL ready.

IF the Maple Leafs draft him, I could see him potentially up the year after, when Tim Connolly's contract expires.

Our second option is Fillip Forsberg, who played in Sweden this past year. He is a physical, skilled winger, who is very offensively gifted. The downside is that Toronto has an excess of wingers, so if the decision was between him and Galchenyuk, you'd have to think Burkie would take Galchenyuk.

I mentioned him earlier, but there is a long shot chance that Ryan Murray could fall to 5. If that potentially happened, even with the Maple Leafs vast defensive depth, they must take him. He is head and shoulders the best defenseman in the draft and he would solidify out D core. It could also allow us to trade a defenseman or two for forwards.

Overall, it will be a very interesting few months in the prospect world.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dionysus in Stony Mountain

This past Tuesday, I had the treat of attending Dionysus in Stony Mountain, presented by Theatre Projects Manitoba. This was the first live play I have seen and I enjoyed the experience.

The play is split into two one-hour acts. The first act takes place in dimly lit room, within the confines of Stony Mountain. Sarah Constible plays Heidi Prober, a prison psychiatrist who is trying very hard to get Ross McMillan's character, James Hiebert, back on his medication.

Hiebert is just weeks away from parole and if he doesn't resume taking his lithium, he will not be leaving Stony Mountain. He often rants throughout the first act, citing long quotes from Nietzsche. While I admire McMillan's ability to remember such long, diluted quotes, the first act was quite dull. There was no real attention grabber during the hour and for many, it was to intellectually "out there." If you have not read any Nietzsche, then like me and countless others, you were lost for the most part.

The second act took place in Heidi Prober's home. By this time in the play, she had quit her psychiatrist job. McMillan was now playing his second character, uncle Eric.

While renovating her home, Heidi is visited by uncle Eric, who was sent by her parents. After abruptly quitting her job and ignoring family phone calls, Eric was sent from Toronto to see what was going on with Heidi.

This act was much more engaging and easier to watch. The actors were very believable and I enjoyed uncle Eric's character. McMillan felt much more comfortable in this role - or it seemed that way to me, anyways.

One small problem I had with the second act was when both actors continued measuring the insulation when it was clear that they were pre-cut. Other than that, I had no complaints with the act.

Overall, I thought my first experience watching a play was quite positive. Although the story could have been better, it was an experience that I would have not otherwise participated in if I wasn't in CreComm.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Phil Kessel

The Toronto Maple Leafs pitiful season is about to come to a merciful end, when they take on the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night. The Maple Leafs one consistent player throughout the year has been, right winger, Phil Kessel.

Coming into this season, Kessel was criticized for being streaky, and rightfully so. He had struggled his whole career to put up a full season of consistent hockey. Don't get me wrong, 30-30 seasons are very good, but he has the potential to be so much better - and this season - he proved it.

With new line mate, Joffrey Lupul, playing his first full season as a Maple Leaf, Kessel found great chemistry with him. From the first game of the year, they seemed to be click. Before Lupul's injury about three weeks ago, they were the most productive duo in the NHL.

Kessel not only proved to be a great goalscorer by potting a career high of 37 goals, but he has showed his playmaking skills by recording 45 assists to date.

Although Lead Nation will once again be playoff-less this season, Kessel has been the bright spot and will continue to be one of the leagues best wingers.