*This was originally posted June 26, 2021*
As you may or may not know by now, my podcast The Avid Discussers Podcast is on hiatus. No, I am not sick, and no, it’s not because I am still emotionally scarred by the Your Lie in April anime. ( I moved on but I can’t watch it again.) It is because of my laptop and it needs repairs that will take two to three weeks. To make a long story short, it needs a new battery.
So, I am keeping the spirit of the podcast alive in written form here on Area 51.
How will these articles work you ask? Just like the podcast, I will be avidly discussing my thoughts…well writing them on stuff that is happening in sports, sports Twitter, and really whatever comes to mind. It’s pretty simple. Until the podcast resumes, this will be my go-to way of creating content for you all.
Swedish Twins return, not a myth
Not much is really happening in Vancouver Canucks land but there was some big news. Henrik and Daniel Sedin returned to the organization as special advisors to Jim Benning. They will be helping out with the Abbotsford AHL team, trades, and free agency. Luckily Benning said he will be all ears when they are in the room.
thomas williams on Twitter: the sedins when jim benning tries to overpay another bad free agent
Honestly, I am pretty happy with this. The Sedins are not only two of the greatest Canucks to strap on the skates but they are two of the most professional, classy, and all-around nicest people the city has ever known. The Sedins are coming in to learn the ropes as hockey executives which are great. As players, they were always willing to improve and learn and it’s no surprise they are carrying that mentality with them into the front office.
This is the route that Steve Yzerman and Chris Drury went on before becoming GMs. Yzerman is now a very good general manager with the Red Wings (He was also with Tampa as their GM.) while Drury has just started as GM of the Rangers after years as an advisor. I want the Sedins to succeed in their roles and I have no doubt they could become excellent executives in the future. Some of you might say this move is a PR stunt by Aquilini to calm down the restlessness in the fanbase. Sure, in a way it could be but the Sedins wanted to return because they care about this team and want them to succeed.
The Sedins are coming back as “old rookies” as Daniel put it and they are coming in with an open mind and willingness to learn. Hopefully five years from now, the Canucks are Stanley Cup Champions thanks to Co-GMs, Henrik and Daniel Sedin with assistant Roberto Luongo and head coach Alex Burrows.
Get the old gang back together! One can dream.
Seeing the Sedins in the front office makes me feel old. It’s just like seeing Frank Lampard being named the Chelsea manager in July of 2019. Luckily for the Sedins, they will be given plenty of time by Francesco Aquilini. If Roman Abramovich was the owner the Sedins and Benning might have got canned after one losing streak.
The Final everyone totally predicted
The Stanley Cup Final in the year of our lord 2021 will be contested between the defending champions Tampa Bay Lightning and the 18th seeded team that no one gave a chance against the Leafs. They are the Montreal Canadiens. I would love to tell someone in 2019 that the final in 2021 would be between Montreal and Tampa Bay just to see the look on his or her face.
What a story the Habs are. They came back from 3-1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs where everyone (except Max Fossey who predicted Habs in 7. Hire him, Sportsnet) gave them as much chance of winning the series as your chances of winning Lotto 649 or Lotto Max. They then swept the Jets and beat the Vegas Golden Knights in six. That’s a good thing because Vegas is the NHL’s entitled Karen with the worst Twitter account in all of the pro sports. Seriously, who runs their account? A 14-Year-Old Tiktoker? (Send puppy pics, please? How about considering being quiet.)
They also got the most spoiled fans in all of sports.
Pain? Your franchise has been to the final already and has existed for only four years! Try coming back in 40 to 50 years after multiple final losses and endless seasons of missing the playoffs.
Oh, and there was some awful display of referring in the Habs-Golden Knights series. Here is one of many examples.
Carey Price was phenomenal throughout the series and in the playoffs. You could say he is Careyinh them. The youth of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, and Jesper Kotkaniemi make the Habs fun to watch and they got veteran presence in Corey Perry, Eric Staal, and Shea Weber. Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli (wait wasn’t he a Canuck?) The Habs were just ruthless on the counter-attack and Vegas just couldn’t keep up. Habs fans can also thank Marc- Andre Fluery for his gaffe in game 3.
It really is great to see a Canadian team in the final and it was great to see Montreal celebrate but not great there was a riot. Honestly, Montreal is better at rioting than Vancouver and they have done it more too.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that was 17 million dollars over the cap, is also in the final. You could argue if that was legal or not. Not too surprising that Tampa is back. They got star power in Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Andrei Vasilevsky among others. Point is a playoff performer scoring in nine straight games. You could say his game in the playoffs is on…point. He’s an incredible player folks. Vasilevsky is lights out in elimination games.
Too bad game 6 was the last ever game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The atmosphere in there was electric all playoffs and hopefully, the Islanders take that energy to Belmont. Man, John Tavares must be in shambles seeing his former team win more playoff series than his current team has in the last 17 years.
Tampa has the star power and are without a doubt the favourites. Everyone loves a good underdog story though. I’m going with the Habs in 7 to bring the Cup back to Canada. The main reason Canucks fans may want to cheer for the Habs is Alex Burrows. The dragon slayer is back in the final this time as an assistant coach. Hopefully, he can help the Habs slay the biggest dragon of them all.
Hopefully, the Habs can have the biggest pizza party of all time after.
Also of note, the Canadiens were awarded the Clarence Campbell trophy as winners of the Western Conference (it’s been a weird year.) while the Lightning was awarded the Prince of Wales trophy. The Canadiens didn’t touch it, while the Lightning did. So therefore ce sent la coupe. It’s coming home.
My stance on the conference trophies? Don’t touch them. You don’t want those. You want the big fish. Touch the Campbell trophy or Prince of Wales trophy at the parade.
It’s coming home! Oh, we have to face Germany?!
So Euro 2020’s knockout stages have begun. Denmark beat Wales 4-0 on Saturday. This comes to no surprise and Denmark has been a great story since the scary scene with Christian Eriksen. He is doing well and has been discharged from the hospital after his cardiac arrest. Italy managed to beat Austria 2-1 in extra time. (All the goals were in extra time and the golden goal rule should be used in football.) The Italians finally gave up a goal after 1168 minutes. Italy are legit contenders to win the Euros and that midfield of Jorginho, Barella, and Veratti is a force to be reckoned with. Sure, Hungary gave them a scare but Belgium or Portugal aren’t going to go down easily.
Since I have decided to cheer for the Leafs of International Football and the second most boring team in the tournament behind Spain, I have to talk about England vs Germany.
This is one of football’s best rivalries. Great matches have been played over the years such as the 1966 World Cup Final which England won (against West Germany controversially) and the 1966 Euro Semi-Final which Germany won on penalties. England’s current manager Gareth Southgate missed a penalty that would have sent England to the final. He’s probably going to have PTSD on the touchlines and will probably start screaming if it goes to penalties. England is mainly a young squad and Germany has some youth as well but they have experience.
For the love of God, Southgate has to start Jadon Sancho and/or Jack Grealish. Maybe Sancho wasn’t starting because he was too busy on the phone with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to orchestrate his move to Manchester United which surely has to happen anytime soon right? It’s not like this has been rumoured for the last year or something. Grealish looked great in the match against the Czech Republic. He has no business being on the bench against Germany,
As it stands, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are going to return from isolation for the match against Germany which will be played at Wembley just like in 1966 and 1996. Mount is only going to get better and is an important player for England and Chelsea.
Germany’s stars include Timo Werner (He’s good despite his missed sitters.), Kai Havertz, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, and basically a bunch of players who play for Bayern Munich. Their attack is relentless and England has really got to hold the line. Passing backward or sideways all the time isn’t going to help. It will be tough but England has to have the ball in the German half as much as possible.
I think Germany is going to win but I hope England does. Hot take alert: If England beat Germany, It’s Coming Home. Yes, England are the Leafs of International Football. Yes, they will likely break a million hearts again but many still believe.
I expect a classic match and maybe it will go to penalties, maybe Mount will have a goal disallowed by VAR, or maybe the winner will be a controversial one where a player used his arm to score that VAR somehow ignores. England
better not be boring.
You could fry an egg on the sidewalk in B.C.
Lastly, I want to talk about the heat. My God, I would love a bucket of ice-cold water to be poured on me right now. As I’m writing this, I am drenched with sweat.
We are expecting a heatwave like no other in B.C, with temperatures expected to rise to about 40 degrees celsius in some areas. Is this Qatar or B.C.? This is basically the weather in the Philippines except it is ten times more humid. How does my family over there do it? I actually don’t mind the rain since I lived in Vancouver my entire life.
Pants? What are those?! It’s shorts and sundress weather to the max. Thank God for air conditioning and electric fans. I could have literally fried an egg on the sidewalk the other day instead of burning one of our pans.
You are going to need to stock up on ice cream and cold beverages because this heatwave will last for a week at least. I honestly feel like I’m going to melt. So since the heat is killing me I’m going to end it here. Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s edition of Josh’s Avid Thoughts of the Week here on the Area 51 Sports Network. Now, I’m going to sit in front of an electric fan while drinking an ice-cold soda for the next few hours.
Also, sorry for the awful puns. I’m sure Drancer would approve.