To paraphrase Ric Flair, Alexander Ovechkin is the dirtiest player in the NHL today.
There's no doubt #8 is the dirtiest player in the NHL.
So far, he’s been protected because of his superstar status.
But guys are getting injured, and it’s time the NHL step in to do something.
Ovechkin has been in the league for a little more than three years. In that time, he has managed to injure player after player with questionable hits.
After the game earlier tonight (check out the video of the knee on knee against Tim Gleason below), there’s no doubt now that it’s time the NHL step in to suspend him. When Ovechkin got injured in a knee-on-knee hit that he created, there were probably many NHLers saying “Good, he deserved it.”
Here is video evidence of how dirty #8 can be.
Slewfoot on Rich Peverly
Knee on knee with Sergei Gonchar
Late hit on Daniel Briere
Hit from behind on Jamie Heward
Hit to the head in Russia
Knee on knee with Denis Wideman (go to the 1:38 mark)
Blindside hit on Dustin Brown
Late slap shot against Rob Scuderi
Boarding on Patrick Kaleta
Knee on knee with Tim Gleason
If you weren’t keeping count, that’s 10 examples of dirty hits from Ovechkin.
You want to guess how many times he was suspended? Once. By the Russian league for the elbow as he came off the bench.
The NHL needs to suspend this guy. We saw last night what could happen if the NHL continues to turn a blind eye. I’m just surprised that it was Ovechkin himself that was the cause of his own injury, as opposed to a teammate of someone he’s injured.
The NHL needs to step up and suspend Ovechkin for the safety of all NHL players, including #8 himself.
Mark Sanchez has thrown a lot of interceptions this season.
After Thursday’s games, I do have one thing to say: Is Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez in on some sort of bet with one another? Maybe something along the lines of “hey, let’s see which one of us can throw the most interceptions without losing the number one starter’s position, because we’re both rookies and there’s no the coaches are going to bench us in these cities.”
Sanchez had thrown 16 picks, six of them in the last two games. Stafford has thrown 18, also six in the past two games. They’ve both had games where they’ve thrown five interceptions. And they’re both in the top three in the league for INTs (along with Jay Cutler, whose never met an opposing player he wouldn’t throw the ball to).
Right now, Stafford has the lead, and he’s also missed two games because of injury. Although Sanchez has thrown nine fumbles into the deal.
Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S., so that means lots of football.
Calvin Johnson will help keep the score close between the Lions and the Packers.
Even though I’m not American, a few years ago I booked the day off work so I could stay home to watch all the games. I can’t remember who played, but they were all blowouts. There’s nothing worse than watching a full day of football and not enjoying it, so I never did it again.
This year, if all the spreads are met by the favourites, then it looks to be more blowouts. But I think the games will be closer.
On to the games:
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions, Packers favoured by 10 1/2
The Packers are not a good enough team to be almost 11-point favourites over anyone. They’ve struggled this year against some bad teams (including a loss to the league’s worst team, Tampa Bay). Plus, with it being a Thanksgiving game, teams gets pumped up for the national coverage they normally might not get. The Lions will be ready for their division rivals. Lions to cover.
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys favoured by 13 1/2
I’m worried about Tony Romo still being injured after last week’s game. Plus, the team hasn’t looked good the past few games (a 7-6 win over the lowly Redskins, and a 17-7 loss to the Packers). Plus, Oakland is 5-3 against the spread when they’re the underdog. Raiders to cover.
New York Giants at Denver Broncos, Giants favoured by 6 1/2
The bye week was the worst thing to have happened to the Broncos. They started the season with a 6-0 record, and were rolling over the competition. Then they had the bye, and have not only lost four games in a row, but lost them badly. They have been outscored 88 to 37 in that time. The Giants have been streaky as well, but I think they’re the better team. Giants to win.
First-round pick Evgeni Malkin needs to pick it up.
Later, I wrote about a major trade that happened that I was involved in. I thought it would be fun to revisit those picks and see how I’m faring so far, about a quarter-way into the season.
Round 1, #2 overall: Evgeni Malkin (21 points in 17 games
Malkin was injured for a few games (pay attention to this, because you’re about to notice a trend as you read all these). Still the stud on my team, but I’m going to need him to up the point total if I’m going to win.
Round 2, #17 overall: Evgeni Nabokov (38 points in 22 games
Awesome pick (best pick of the round). I only wish we wouldn’t lose so many games by 3-1 or 4-1 scores. Shutouts count for this league.
Round 3, #20 overall: Nicklas Backstrom (the goalie)
He was part of a trade for Carey Price, so I’ll use Price’s stats here instead:
Carey Price: 15 points in 17 games It may not sound like a lot, but I’m happy with this. He’s not one of my top two goalies, and this trade was made for the future. Plus, he’s proven in the past few weeks that he is the #1 goalie in Montreal, so this bodes well for me in the future.
Round 4, #35 overall: Sergei Gonchar (8 points in 12 games)
He was on a tear early this season, until he got injured. Despite missing so many games, he’s still my third highest defenceman. He came back last week, and as soon as he shakes off some of the rust, he’ll be back on a good scoring pace.
Round 5, #38 overall: Alexander Semin (17 points in 18 games)
Just what I wanted: a point a game player. But he’s missing a little too much time for my liking. Is now out until the beginning of December.
Round 6, #53 overall: Marian Gaborik (32 points in 21 games)
My strategy in the draft was sound so far. Mostly point-per-game players. He’s only a point behind Anze Kopitar for best pick of the round. I took a gamble he would stay healthy, and so far, so good.
Round 7, #56 overall: Mike Cammalleri (21 points in 24 games
Another solid pick, and getting better as the season moves along. If he can ever stop playing games with career AHLers, then he should finish with about 80 points.
Round 8, #71 overall: Duncan Keith (18 points in 22 games)
I was disappointed with this pick originally, but it’s turned into a great choice. He’s my highest-scoring d-man.
Duncan Keith is doing much better than I thought.
Round 9, #74 overall: Erik Karlsson (3 points in 9 games)
It doesn’t help he was sent down to the minors, and probably won’t get recalled unless he stays with the club for the season. Still, this was a pick for the future, so I’m happy with him staying in the AHL and getting better. Plus, if he doesn’t come back, he counts as a rookie again next season.
Round 10, #89 overall: Derick Brassard
Brassard was part of the Price trade. So instead of Brassard…
Joni Pitkanin: 6 points in 15 games
I got younger on defence, and there’s no way Carolina continues to be this brutal. I’m convinced he’ll turn it around.
This is what I wrote originally: My third goalie, but this is more of a pick for the future. He’ll be the Leafs #1 guy by November.
He’s now the #1 guy. At one point, he was playing every game, until the team realized they were paying Toskala more. But with Toskala now injured, Jonas is the #1 goalie there. And right on time too.
Round 13, #110 overall: Scott Niedermayer (14 points in 22 games)
Solid pick. Lots of points, and an easy decision to drop him at the end of the season when he retires.
Round 14, #125 overall: Blake Wheeler (12 points in 23 games) A bit of a slow start, but most of the Bruins struggled when Marc Savard was injured. With Savard back, look for the Bruins (including Wheeler) to get more points.
Easily the best pick of the round (the next highest point getter from this round has 13 points). Turco picks me up some extra points because he’ll assist on about 10 goals this year. Will also make great trade bait if my team is struggling.
Round 16, #143 overall: David Booth (3 points in 9 games)
This was a great pick until he got concussed. Hopefully, he recovers soon, but I doubt it.
Round 17, #146 overall: Evander Kane (12 points in 20 games)
Lost some points when Kovalchuk went down with an injury, but I’m happy with the progress of the rookie.
Round 18, #161 overall: Stephen Weiss (15 points in 22 games)
Started off the season horribly, but has recovered to a point-per-game guy for the last 10 games or so.
Round 19, #164 overall: Rob Blake (6 points in 16 games) Slow start, now injured. Stupid Rob Blake!
I knew he was starting off the season slowly, but he hasn’t looked good since coming back.
Round 21, #182 overall: Brian Gionta (13 points in 19 games)
Did you notice the trend I pointed out at the first pick? Another solid choice who is injured.
Round 22, #197 overall: Teemu Selanne (15 points in 22 games)
My last choice, and is the best pick for the round. Great choice.
So what did we learn? Ten of my 22 picks have already seen some time on the injury list. I actually have the second-best points per game, but is second-worst when it comes to man games played. If my guys can stay healthy, I can hopefully put together a run in the last three-quarters of the season.
Rob Blake not playing. Just like my hockey pool team.
Blake Wheeler will have a much better season now that Savard is back.
Yesterday, Montreal said good-bye that only a couple of years ago was going to be a building block of the team for many years to come.
Guillaume Latendresse was traded to the Wild yesterday.
Guillaume Latendresse was traded to the Minnesota Wild for Benoit Pouliot.
Latendresse was a guy with so much potential. Some of his career highlights:
• Drafted second overall in the QMJHL draft in 2003 (some kid named Sidney Crosby went first overall).
• The only player in NHL history to wear #84.
• Scored 16 goals as a rookie, then repeated that feat as a sophomore. Followed that up with 14 goals (for a total of 46 in his first three years).
This year hasn’t been too great for Latendresse, as he only has two goals so far.
Fans have been down on him, but I think there was too much pressure on him.
And you know whose career echoes Latendresse so far? John LeClair.
Habs fans may remember LeClair. He was a young power-forward who scored only 46 goals in his first three seasons with the Canadiens. He had only one goal in his fourth season before he was traded.
LeClair went on to have three 50-goal seasons, and finished with more than 400 career goals.
There were two problems with Latendresse’s career so far. One, is that he was rushed into the NHL. Once again, Habs youngsters start playing in the big leagues before they are ready to do so. It’s ruining more of them than helping.
The second is the fans. Just because a young guy (22 years old) doesn’t have 50 goals yet, we get frustrated with them. We boo the players, which puts pressure on management to get rid of them and see them blossom elsewhere.
Latendresse will probably finish the season with 20 goals, and score about 30 or so next year. Then Habs fans will be wondering why he couldn’t do that here, and put even more pressure on other young guys to be more like Latendresse.
So I was driving home from work last week, and I heard this on the radio.
Daniel Alfredsson should not make it to the hall of fame.
“Daniel Alfredsson is a shoo-in for the hall of fame.”
After the tow-truck pulled my car out of the ditch, I took some time to ponder this statement.
And the more I thought, the more I realized I was right.
Daniel Alfredsson does not belong in the hall of fame.
At least, not with the way his career is now.
Don’t get me wrong, Alfie is a good player, and is a surefire bet to be the first Senator of the modern era to get his number retired by the team. Unless the Sens decide to hang Dany Heatley’s number first (with Heatley still in the jersey).
But hall of fame? I don’t think so.
Here is the following 10 reasons why Daniel Alfredsson doesn’t deserve to make the Hall of Fame.*
No Stanley Cup
There are a lot of people who believe that if you don’t have a Stanley Cup ring, you don’t belong in the hall of fame. They’ll even argue that Marcel Dionne, who is one of only six players to score 700 goals and fis ifth in points all time, doesn’t belong in the Hall.
This is the closest Alfredsson has gotten to the Stanley Cup.
Now, I’m not necessarily one of those people, but I think it helps. A lot. Scott Stevens wouldn’t be in the hall without his three Stanley Cups. Clark Gillies wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t a part of the Islanders dynasty at the beginning of the 1980s.
If someone like #11 makes it, it would open up the hall to the rest of the “good, but not great” players, such as Theoren Fleury, Adam Oates and Tim Kerr.
Basically, a hockey player’s career can be summed up in one of five categories:
A cup of coffee: Guys who played a couple of games or a season or two (Chad Penney, Mike Fountain)
A Sunday brunch: Played a few years, but nothing special (Anson Carter, Janne Laukkanen)
Dinner at a friend’s house: A good serviceable career in the league (Mike Keane, Yanic Perreault)
A five-course meal: Nice to see, but no guarantees it’s the best you’ve ever had (Adam Oates, Doug Gilmour)
Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings: The superstars of the league, lets you know they are something special, and sure-fire Hall of Famers (Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky)
Alfredsson falls somewhere between number three and four. He’s had a nice career, but he doesn’t belong in that upper echelon.
Every one says Daniel Alfredsson is a great leader. But is he really?
Do you ever remember Daniel Alfredsson coming through in the clutch? Me neither. In fact, if you were to look at the Sens biggest games of the past 10 years, this is how Alfie fared:
Daniel Alfredsson has been known to disappear in big games.
2007 Stanley Cup finals: Four goals, one assist (two of those goals came in the last game, a 6-2 drubbing).
2004 playoffs, first round, Game 7 against the Leafs: No points, no shots, a minus one
2003 playoffs, third round, Game 7 against the Devils: No points.
2001 playoffs, first round, four-game sweep by the Leafs: One goal, no assists
1999 playoffs, four-game first-round sweep by the Leafs: One goal, two assists
So in the last 10 years, of the team’s 14 most important games, Alfie has six goals and three assists. Take away the 2007 finals, and he has two goals and two assists in 10 of the team’s most important games.
That’s not leadership.
Leaders do more than lead by example. Their teammates stick up for them. Think Wayne Gretzky. If you touched him, either Dave Semenko or Marty McSorley would come over to talk about you not eating solid foods for a month.
Does Alfie command that type of respect from his colleagues? Have a look at the video.
Despite the title of the Youtube clip, mayhem did not ensue after Mark Bell left Alfie lying in a puddle of his own drool. What happened is that the play continued on for another 10 seconds before anything happened.
And even then, the whistle was blown because Alfie was injured, not because of fights breaking out while the team tried to fight for the honour of their captain.
If you watch the footage of what happened afterwards, nothing happened. No gloves were dropped, no punches thrown. I’m sure Wade Redden did a good job telling Bell that he was a bad person for throwing that hit.
I can tell you this though. If someone had tried to lay out Steve Yzerman in that fashion, they’d still be cleaning up the guy’s blood.
Not a great playoffs in career
I just touched upon this one, but it does deserve a category all on its own.
He doesn’t come through when the team needs him.
He’s like the reverse Claude Lemieux: great in the regular season, but disappears come playoff time.
He never won a major individual award.
Besides the Calder trophy (as best rookie), Alfredsson has never won a major individual award.
Alfie has won only one major individual award: the Calder in his rookie season.
He’s only been nominated for an award twice: both for the Lady Byng for most gentlemanly player.
Again, when you look at other hall of famers, most of them have won awards. Look at the four players that made it this year.
Brett Hull: Lady Byng, the Hart and the Lester B. Pearson.
Brian Leetch: Norris trophy (twice), Conn Smythe and the Calder.
Steve Yzerman: Lester B. Pearson, Conn Smythe, Selke, Masterton, Lester Patrick
Only Luc Robitaille won as many trophies (the Calder) as Alfie, but he can be forgiven, since he’s the highest-scoring left winger of all time.
And Alfredsson has the credentials to match that?
He’s been named to the second all-star once, and that’s pretty much it.
Never won a scoring title
Have you ever actually looked at Alfredsson’s stats? Can you guess how many times he put up more than 90 points?
In the 2005-06 season, he had 103 points. His next highest point total is 89.
Now, can you guess how many times he scored more than 50 goals?
None. His highest total is 43.
These are the benchmarks that players are judged by. It’s been 50 goals ever since Maurice Richard did it in 1943-44.
In baseball, there are certain goals that players can hit the will generally make them a shoo-in for the hall of fame (such as hitting 500 career home runs). Hockey doesn’t really have anything like that, but scoring 50 goals in a season helps a lot (right Cam Neely?).
Alfredsson never hit it, unlike many other hall of famers.
Does Daniel Alfredsson have sportsmanship?
I would argue no.
Normally, it’s hard to argue sportsmanship in hockey. The whole point of the game is to run into your opponents to keep them from scoring.
But there are instances when you see sportsmanship come through. A guy gets accidently injured when his skate catches a rut, you see the opposing player call for the whistle right away to get the guy help.
Or you hold up on your hit if they see the guy turn his back.
Or you don’t take a shot on goal once you hear the whistle.
But this is not sportsmanship.
You do not intentionally shoot the puck at your opponent near the end of a game.
Not the top at his position for years
When you look at other hall of famers, they were the cream of the crop. Look at the top 10 centres of the 1980s. In no particular order, they were Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Bernie Nicholls, Denis Savard, Peter Stastny, Dale Hawerchuk, Bryan Trottier, Mark Messier and Marcel Dionne. Of that list, Nicholls won’t make the hall of fame, and the rest are already in.
What’s more, is that after the top 10, there’s a huge drop in talent. Barry Pederson, Tim Kerr, Bob Carpenter, Kent Nilsson, Mike Bullard, Bernie Federko, Dennis Maruk and Bobby Smith would probably be the next top eight centres from that decade.
Only one of them are in the hall of fame (Federko), and none of the others will have a shot to make it.
So pretty much, if you’re not in the top 10, your odds of making it to the hall of fame go down drastically.
So when you look at Alfredsson of the past decade, which has been his best years, he wouldn’t be in the top 10 when it comes to right wingers. I’d put him below Teemu Selanne, Pavel Bure, Alexander Mogilny, Bill Guerin, Marian Hossa, Brett Hull, Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla, Milan Hejduk and Rick Nash.
How many of those are sure-fire Hall-of-Famers? Hull’s already there, but there may only be three from that list that will join him (Selanne, Jagr and Iginla). The rest are on the cusp.
You could also argue that since Alfredsson came into the league (the 1995-96 season), he’d also be ranked below Theo Fleury, Peter Bondra, Mark Recchi, Tony Amonte and Paul Kariya.
So if he’s not even one of the top 10 right wingers during his career, his odds go down drastically.
Not the best player on the team
When you played against other hall of famers, you knew it. Coaches would design game plans to stop them. The top checking line would play against the likes of Mike Bossy, Guy Lafleur and Lemieux.
Alfie always took a back seat to Spezza and Heatley when it came to offence.
Alfie never had to deal with that for much of his career.
In the 90s, Alexei Yashin was seen as the more offensive player, and teams would focus on stopping him.
Then, in the 2000s, teams worked on stopping Jason Spezza and Heatley.
While Alfie had a good career, he was never seen as the guy that other teams needed to stop.
Hockey players are always making guarantees. The two most famous ones happen to be Mark Messier and Daniel Alfredsson.
Messier, in 1994, didn’t like the fact his New York Rangers were down three games to two to the New Jersey Devils. So he guaranteed a Rangers win to send the series back to New York for game seven.
So what did Messier do? He went out and scored a hat trick.
Fast forward ten years later. Before the 2004 playoffs had even begun, Alfie decided to tell the Ottawa Sun “Go ahead and write it, I guarantee we’ll win the Cup. I strongly believe this team will do it. No question about it.”
So what happened? They went down 3-2 in the first round of the playoffs to the hated Toronto Maple Leafs.
So then Alfie said this: “We’re going to go home, win and force Game 7. Then we’ll come back in here and win the series.”
Alfredsson's guarantees don't really mean much.
They won game six, but lost the series.
And how did Alfie respond to his own guarantee? By scoring one goal and two assists in seven games.
If you’re going to guarantee something, shouldn’t you actually show up and do something about it?
Maybe he should guarantee he’s going to make the Hockey Hall of Fame. That’s a surefire way he won’t make it.
No WOW factor
Have you ever heard someone say “Hey, Daniel Alfredsson is playing tonight. Let’s go to the game.”
A Hall of Famer is someone who, for the lack of a better term, puts butts in the seats. Gretzky did that. So did Lemieux. And Patrick Roy.
Their play transcended the sport.
People would go to the game just to see them in action. Pavel Bure was great at this. Even if he didn’t score, his moves on the ice would make fans of him and his opponents gasp in anticipation.
But Alfie doesn’t fall into this category. No one goes to see him in action. He’s more of the side attraction of the real reason the fans are there (to see the Sens win).
While not meeting any of these criteria doesn’t mean a player won’t make the hall of fame, it’s difficult to do so when he doesn’t meet any of them.
Alfredsson is one of those players, and because of it, he doesn’t deserve to be in the hockey hall of fame.
*Of course, this all changes if Alfie can put up some monster seasons and win a couple of cups the next few seasons, but I don’t see that happening.
There’s at one point every year when making football picks becomes more and more difficult.
The Steelers are a better team without Willie Parker.
Teams are injured or tired. Other teams figure out their opponent’s weaknesses. The weather starts becoming more of a factor. The great teams start getting unbelievably high spreads.
It makes for lower scoring and much closer games.
Overall, it makes it that much harder to predict.
That point of the season came last week. So the rest of the season will be interesting.
On to the picks.
Miami Panthers at Carolina Panthers, Panthers favoured by 2 1/2
See here for my pick as it happened on Thursday night.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, Steelers favoured by 9 1/2
This is the time of the season when the Steelers start to turn it on. They spend the first few weeks getting a feel for everything, getting rid of the dead weight (Willie Parker) and making sure every knows their roles. It’s all a build-up to the playoffs, instead of peaking too early. They’ll be too much of a match for the Chiefs. Steelers to win.
Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions, Lions favoured by 3 1/2
The Detroit Lions have lost 25 of its last 26 games. Yet, they’re favoured in this game. That says a lot about the Cleveland Browns. Can you imagine any team in any other sport challenging an athlete in another sport to come try out for the team? That is happening now as the Browns are trying to get Lebron James to play, and being completely serious about it. That is a sign of a bad team. Lions to win.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saints favoured by 11 1/2
The Bucs haven't given their fans much to cheer about this year.
Despite being undefeated, the Saints are 6-3 against the spread, but haven’t actually covered in the past three. So I was going to pick against them this week, until I saw they were playing the Bucs, who is actually 1-4 against the spread at home. Saints to win.
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants, Giants favoured by 6 1/2
The Giants haven’t won in quite a while, so I don’t understand how they get the benefit of such a big spread this week. I like the Giants, and would like to see them win, but I don’t think they can cover this week. Atlanta to cover.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars favoured by 8 1/2
Jacksonville is 0-3 when favoured. Not a good sign. I like the Bills chances this week. Bills to cover.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys favoured by 10 1/2
The Redskins, surprisingly, haven’t been playing that bad the past few weeks. However, the Cowboys will run roughshod over them this week. Cowboys to win.
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings, Vikings favoured by 10 1/2
Vikings fans have a lot to cheer about.
The Seahawks are a league worst 0-5 when they’re the underdog against the spread. And that streak doesn’t look to change this week. The Vikings are one of the top five teams in the league, and will be starting to kick it up a notch as they gear up for the playoffs. Vikings to win.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers, Green Bay favoured by 6 1/2
Green Bay hasn’t looked good this year. Their best games have been losses to the Vikings. They have looked horrible in almost every other game. San Fran, on the other hand, has looked good this year, and is 6-3 against the spread. I like those odds. 49ers to cover.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens, Ravens favoured by 1/2
You have to go with the undefeated team here, even though they’re playing a tough Ravens team on the road. Baltimore actually has a better spread record than the Colts, but I believe that will change this week. Colts to win.
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams, Cardinals favoured by 8 1/2
The Cardinals can run up the score with the best of them. This will be one of those weeks. Cardinals to win.
New York Jets at the New England Patriots, Patriots favoured by 10 1/2
No word on whether Bill Belichick plans to outcoach himself again this week.
The Jets have already won against the Patriots this year. The Pats haven’t looked like the record-setting awesome team they’ve been in the past few years. I think the Pats will want to make a statement after letting the Colts come back and win last week, but they won’t win big. Jets to cover.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, Chargers favoured by 2 1/2
After starting the season 6-0, the Broncos have come back to reality by losing their last three games. The Chargers have been peaking the past few weeks. It all adds up to a Chargers win.
Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders, Bengals favoured by 9 1/2
Here’s an interesting stat that probably won’t change the way you pick this game: The Bengals are 5-0 against the spread when they’re the underdog, but only 1-3 when favoured. It makes me worried that the Raiders will keep this one close, but I still don’t trust them. Bengals to win.
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears, Eagles favoured by 2 1/2
The Bears are a sad 1-4 when underdogs. That record won’t get better this week. Eagles to win.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, Texans favoured by 4 1/2
Houston is 6-3 when dealing with the spread so far this year, good for first overall (tied with a few other teams). The Titans have looked better as of late, but I like Houston to take this one. Texans to win.
So with the NFL deciding to hold some games on Thursday night now (didn’t they use to wait until Thanksgiving before doing that), I figured I should start posting my Thursday night pick on Thursday.
No Ronnie Brown means no victory this week for the Dolphins.
Tonight’s game is probably not the marquee matchup the NFL was thinking about when they scheduled the game. Last year, the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins were a combined 23-9. This year, each team has a record of 4-5.
Not exactly the cream of the crop.
Anyways, the Panthers are at home, and favoured by 2 1/2.
I like the Panthers to take this one. After a slow start, they’ve come on in the last few weeks, defeating Superbowl finalists Arizona and a tough Atlanta team, and gave the undefeated New Orleans Saints a run for their money.
In fact, the Panthers have lost only two of their last six games (against the Saints and the Bills).
The Dolphins, on the other hand, are pretty much the exact same. After losing their first three, they’ve lost only two of their last six (against the Saints and the Patriots).
But the Dolphins are now missing Ronnie Brown, out for the season with an injured foot. He was the key to the Dolphins wildcat offence, and I think it will suffer a little because of it.
That’s why I like the Panthers. I think they’ll use a running game to control the clock, and to decrease the chances of Jake Delhomme throwing an interception (Delhomme has averaged 162 yards a game throwing in the past three games).
Alexander Ovechkin is well-known for his. Tiger Williams did his “riding a horse” type celebration. And the most famous probably has to do with Theo Fleury, sliding down the ice on his knees after scoring an overtime playoff goal.
But nothing beats Henrik Andersen of the Swedish team, Leksand. You have to watch the whole clip to get the full sense of the impact.