The boy has eased himself nicely into the new routine, thank you very much. Unlike his sister who proves that she is indeed five going on sixteen by answering inquiries about her day with grunts, sneers, smirks and eyerolls, the boy is quite happy to share the details of his morning with us at great length.
Of course talking to a three year old is an adventure. Lets just say that his grip on reality is tenuous at times. When he had his first soccer game this summer we were standing in a circle with other kids and their parents listening to the coach when all of a sudden he began to make a loud revving noise.
Hey buddy, what are you doing there?
Starting my engine for soccer. I hope I don’t run out of gas!
And there is the attitude, he’s a stubborn mule and he doesn’t like being told what to do. When his little sister is down for a nap and he has to go use the little Canucks' room, he’ll be on his way up the stairs and we’ll usually tell him to keep it down. We did this a few times until he started getting severely pissed off at us.
DON’T TELL ME TO BE QUIET! YOU DON”T HAVE TO TELL ME. YOU ALWAYS TELL ME AND I ALREADY KNOW TO BE QUIET SO LEAVE ME ALONE!
All of this is a whisper full of rage.
Since the baby came along he and his older sister have been sharing a room while the baby has his old digs. He is getting eager to return to his own room now. He and his sister are like an old married couple. They love each other dearly and they make each other mental. With summer over and her now being in a full day of school they don’t spend as much time together as they did before and they are finding it tough at times, missing each other, but they are also a little beat so when they are together there is a lot of fighting going on. They’re a couple of grumps really and will be until they get used to their new schedules.
So we’ve been putting them to bed earlier than usual. In the summer we’d send them upstairs but they’d talk and play for an hour or so, sometimes longer, which was fine, but now its pretty important that they catch up on their sleep. And while his sister’s mantra is “I never sleep” (when I ask her not to get up so early she says that she wants to make her day as long as possible because she has so much fun – how the hell do I argue with that? she’s a mini me right down to the hairy back, poor girl) the boy is pretty aware that sometimes he just needs to sleep. He tackled the baby earlier this week and bloodied her and when he saw what he had done the lip began to quiver and his eyes welled up and he said that he had to get some sleep.
There’s been a few times since school has started that he has asked if he can sleep in our room to start the night off and we have agreed because when one does not have the other then they both tend to crash pretty quickly at which point we come upstairs and move him down the hall.
The other night was one of those nights and so I had him upstairs and was wrestling with the baby and he began to talk about what he wanted to do. When he is asked what he wants to do he invariably says that he wants to be an ice cream man. Well now things have changed. He wants to be an astronaut. But like right now!
He wants me to buy parts so we can build a rocket ship.
Then we’ll get in the rocket. And we’ll put our seatbelts on and then we’ll zoom into space, way way up above the sky and then we’ll take our seatbelts off and that will be ok up there. So we’ll take our seatbelts off and then we’ll float around.
Good plan brother.
Camp has begun and its always interesting to see how different folks react to what’s going on. This isn’t like it was two years ago when there were openings everywhere and Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and Kyle Brodziak made the roster out of camp and Tom Gilbert passed Grebeshkov and Smid to earn a spot on the roster for opening day.
Of course Gilbert would rise up the depth chart almost immediately due to injury and end up having a nice rookie year, having pretty good success at both ends of the rink while playing pretty tough opposition. Its guys like Gilbert and Horcoff and Pisani (and the list goes on and on) that make me take proclamations about how young players have reached their ceiling at a certain age with a grain of salt. Already folks are saying that guys like Cogliano and O’Sullivan and Smid may never amount to much, based on different factors, mostly their progression, the arguments are legitimate certainly, but I have always had a hard time with this idea that professional players are fully formed after a couple of years in the league, like Athena springing from the head of Zeus.
It doesn’t work that way, regardless of what the numbers say.
And of course it doesn’t work the other way either, where a guy can say, like some commenter at Lowetide’s the other day, that Tom Gilbert is a piece of shit defenceman and a pussy, because that’s what he sees and damn any of the fancy numbers.
You know, like goals and assists and plus minus. Or the icetime your man put in, all the while playing in the NHL with a bad back.
Hockey more than any other sport lends itself to interpretation. Put one hundred folks in a room to watch a game and you will get one hundred different interpretations. For some folks Shawn Horcoff can do no wrong, for others he can do no right and then there’s the majority in the middle. So it goes. Gilbert could win the Norris and score five goals in game seven of the Cup final and you'd have some guy bitching about how he turned away from a forechecker in the first.
I always enjoy training camp. I like it because it means hockey season is about to start. I like it because there are times where there is legitimate drama, like two season ago when Smid and Stortini and Thoresen all got sent out and Pouliot and Jacques and the aforementioned all made it.
Of course it wasn’t long before Smid and Stortini were back to stay. It will be the same this year when guys start getting hurt, those last cuts will filter back up to Alberta, some to stay for good, others to get their Tim Sestito cup of coffee. Not to take away from the achievement of breaking camp with the big club or the disappointment of getting sent down but the reality is it can chnage within days either way.
This year there’s not much drama really. With Brule’s waiver eligibility exhausted its become pretty clear that unless the club moves someone out, which they still may, or someone gets hurt then I think we can agree that the roster is going to look something like this:
Horcoff, Penner, Hemsky, Gagner, O’Sullivan, Nilsson, Cogliano, Comrie, Moreau, Pisani, Stortini, Brule, Jacques, Pouliot
Souray, Visnovsky, Grebeshkov, Gilbert, Smid, Staios, Strudwick
No real surprises here. They are small up front and there are a lot of leadoff hitters, as LT likes to say, but consider that they’re unlikely to give up on a guy like Nilsson unless they think Schremp can step in and do him one better. Considering that guys are going to get hurt, moving Nilsson out doesn’t strike me as a wise move. If he is the odd kid out having him on the fourth line certainly doesn’t hurt unless you can get a big body in return for him.
But I think we’re going to see if Schremp can make it through waivers. I don’t think he will.
Other than that there’s not really anyone else who strikes me as ready to step in. Ryan Stone might, if he can have a terrific camp, but even then, who is he going to knock out of the lineup? Jacques would be the logical candidate but he has had a nice start to camp so far and my guess is that someone would take a flyer on him if they try and waive him.
This camp is all about the veterans staying healthy. Its nice that O’Sullivan scored two the other night I guess, good to get some confidence going early, but playing a bunch of scrubs means not a lot and you can bet the vets know it. I’m not concerned about Ales Hemsky looking disinterested, he’s got bigger things to worry about, like trying not to getting killed by the sheepherder this winter.
The one positive coming out of this little exercise, having said that, is the next wave of kids coming up. I haven’t seen a damn thing out here in Ontario-o-o-o but there have been good reports. Cornet was sent down but he showed well. Motin has looked terrific and Eberle has not looked out of place at all. I’ve heard good things about Kytnar and Dubnyk and Plante as well. Good stuff, especially considering there are still the Europeans and the college kids and Roy, not to mention Peckham.
A solid pipeline of talent and a lot of them look to be steals from the later rounds. It bodes well.
And it also sounds like Pouliot had a solid game last night. Its his last chance really but he could finally be a useful player, a big centre who can win draws and kill penalties. Last chance for him too.