Friday, December 05, 2008

Larionov Goal Summed Up His Brilliance

Everybody who follows hockey has a favorite goal. Mine was Igor Larionov’s in Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. It was the third overtime, and Larionov held on to the puck...and held on to the puck...and held on to the puck - seemingly forever - before flipping it off the top of the net with a backhanded shot. It was truly a pretty goal at a dramatic moment, and was so perfectly executed, it almost made you feel sorry for Carolina goalie Arturs Irbe.
They call soccer the beautiful game, but Larionov was proof hockey deserves the moniker as well. There was a fluidness to his game Larionov sustained even as he aged. Of the Russian Five - and they were all tremendous players for the Red Wings - he was the one who best exemplified the old Soviet system of hockey. Smooth and fleet skating. Precise and timely passing. Soft hands. There was nuance to his game. Larionov is more than worthy of the spot he was given in hockey’s hall of fame, that’s for sure.

Random Thoughts

- I honestly don’t know what the Giants were thinking by giving Edgar Renteria a two-year contract at more than $9 million. There is a theory he just wasn’t in good physical condition last season and has worked much harder this off season. Another is he is just a much better player in the National League. Either way, he isn’t a premier player anymore. His range was lacking in Atlanta in 2007 as well. Renteria plays older than his actual age. Period. Difficult to see how signing him will pay off for the Giants.

- Wonder how Daunte Culpepper will react Sunday against the Vikings? It’s the second time he has played against his former team since leaving following the 2005 season. Seems like motivation will be on his side. Last season, with Oakland, Culpepper did throw for 344 yards against the Vikings for the Raiders in a 29-22 loss at Minnesota. It was one of his better games since he was in his prime.

- What stood out about Michigan State’s loss to North Carolina was how the Spartans tried to run with the Tar Heels. It was obviously a bad idea. They needed to slow down the tempo and make it an ugly game to have a fighting chance. Running with North Carolina garnered a predictable result. It wasn’t one of Tom Izzo’s better coaching performances.

8 Comments:

Blogger Fred Brill said...

Pat,

I truly believe that any sport - when played by the very best - is a beautiful spectacle that can't be missed.

Except perhaps beach volley ball.

I don't get the Giants paying that much for Renteria either? Is this a sign of how slim the pickings for shortstops are?

Would Wilson be an upgrade worth two years and $9M?

9:31 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Well Pat, I thought there was a recession. Thinking of ss what is your opinion of C Izturis and N Punto as the Tigers ss. They seem to both be good defensively, good speed and bat left handed. Tigers need the speed. I do question Santiago range over a full season. I also wonder if Wood would like Detroit, being fairly close to Chicago where probably his family is and gives his family an option to stay in Chicago while he pitches for the Tigs.

9:56 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I tell you book I liked the larionov, and their is no question in my mind that with Pavel and Zetterberg we will have something in store for us somewhere down the line.

I tell you with the lions. Culpepper may be motivated. The question is will the rest of the team get motivated. One worry I have if the lions don't go 0-16 is that the Brass on top says well you know the lions didn't quit on marinelli and thus that is the reason they throw at us for his return. Know what I am saying. U know the lions would pull something like that on us.

I tell you what folks what a great game by Michigan against the Dukies. They have played exceptional thus far. MSU and the rest of the big10 better pay notice with UofM coming in. Am I a slap arce yes I am. But hey they have looked good thus far and give Jim B his props.

On the tigers I think it would be obsurd to trade Ordonez. Even worse I think the signing of Everett would be. i thought Dombrowski wanted to upgrade at Short and upgrade the bullpen and rotation. So far the rumors I am hearing don't sound to encouraging. I think we are right there and a few peices would certainly put us back right there. Not to mention I'd love to see guys like Joyce and Ryan succeed. Hell the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels don't hold back. At this point this season the tigers shouldn't either.

9:28 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
The Giants could probably get Wilson if they were willing to trade for him. I think he is a much better player than Renteria.
Caputo

1:48 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
I dobut Wood has the Tigers close to the top of his list. Not sure if he would be the right fit. Love him as a pitcher, but he does have a history of being injury prone. Don't know if I'd give him a long-term deal because of that.
Caputo

1:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
Michigan's basketball team has been very impressive this year. They not only beat Duke and UCLA, but played Maryland tough. They have definitely made serious progress. The biggest upgrade Dombrowski is looking to make at SS is defensively. He doesn't seem to be as concerned about what type of hitter the Tigers put there.
Caputo

1:52 PM 
Anonymous Tommy Mohan said...

13 different ways to lose.

4:39 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tom Mohan,
Seldom have truer words been written.
Caputo

7:01 PM 

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