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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Potpourri: Burger Up

I love a good burger. Oh hell, I love a not so good burger. I'm sure much of my delight about burgers has to do with their convenience. I'm definitely part of the instant gratification culture and burgers epitomize that ethos. There isn't much that beats some hot juicy meat embossed with cheese between two pieces of bread. I enjoy a burger nearly everyday. Whether it's one purchased on the run from a fast food joint or one I've prepared at home. As far as fast food joints in Anchorage I'd have to give the nod to Carls Jr. But I don't consume any of the special burgers they always advertise. I go straight for the standard double-cheeseburger. There's not much to pick between the Carls Jr. double and a double whopper from BK. The BK burger has more of a "grill" flavor but otherwise I'd rate them closely. I prefer to make my own at home. I'm not picky about the cooking method. It's cold enough outside now that I'll be sticking to frying until spring. But that's not too big a problem.

Burger eating was a problem for me as a youngster. You see ... I don't eat rabbit food. Lettuce, Tomatoes, Pickles, Onions and whatever other cellulose-filled food that comes from the ground doesn't turn my crank. How did McDonald's decide that Onions, Pickles, Mustard and Ketchup are the preferred ingredients for a burger? As I kid I wanted to go to Burger Chef. They didn't predetermine what went on your burger. There's some great burger stops in Anchorage that I don't visit often enough. The White Spot, WeeBees, Max's Beefy Burgers, Tommy's Burger Shop, Burger Jim's and last but certainly not least Arctic Roadrunner "Your Local Burgerman". Roadrunner is "the shit" locally as far as I'm concerned but I wouldn't turn down a burger from any of the places mentioned. The burgers at the Sully don't make the list by a long shot. But I eat them too.

Yes I know burgers (especially in the amounts I consume them) aren't considered a "healthy" choice. Note here to vegetarians: your gut isn't designed for an all veggie diet. The reason your small intestine is one of the shortest in the mammal kingdom is because it evolved in a meat eating environment. My dietary choices respect those millions of years of evolution, yours don't. Your dietary choices lead to excessive methane produced as a result of your gut breaking down all that vegetable matter. Side-effect? You fart a lot more than I do.

Give some nice juicy burgers to both UAA goalies for their work in net this weekend. Jonny O and Bryce both played very well. I wouldn't imagine we'll see anything other than a rotation for a while. Neither guy has performed exceptionally compared to the other. It's my belief/hope that the situation will make both guys better.

I was glad to see Jeff Carlson get his opportunity to metaphorically take a bite out of a hockey burger. We haven't seen much of Jeff and everything about his history tells me that he has the tools to be a quality D-1 defenseman. There's a lot of competition for playing time. Hopefully, Jeff can keep his head up and work hard until he gets his chance. And when he gets some chances I think he'll show that he belongs. Last night he took a couple of early shifts on defense and I watched everything he did. He did everything right and looked comfortable. Later he played some wing. He didn't look comfortable on the wing. He played because Ken Selby sat. I'm not sure how thrilled I am to see a potentially effective winger sit so a defenseman who hasn't played much can finally get some ice time. Selby is a Lambroghini and the coach needs to find a way to get him into the lineup permanently. Yes, I know there are other guys who've earned their playing time. But you know what? Selby hasn't had a consistent chance to earn his time.

Give Nils Backstrom a triple cheeseburger for his efforts this weekend. He looked energetic and determined. His tough play along the boards was excellent and he found opportunities to push the puck up as well. He did drop a rather loud "f-bomb" after an errant short pass that he blew. I sit in the balcony and heard it pretty clearly. Good on Nils for that (and of course his overall play); it shows he is passionate.

I want to single out Craig Parkinson and Tyler Moir for their defensive efforts this weekend. They both blocked multiple shots, they both scrambled in their own end to challenge for pucks and they were both effective. In Tyler's case, to be so responsible defensively in this league as a freshman is a rare thing. Two Chili-Cheeseburgers for these guys eh? Nick Haddad and Sean Wiles continued their effective play in the opponents end this weekend. Send em both to Arctic Roadrunner for a Denali burger each!

The guys who are "supposed" to be getting it done are getting it done as far as I'm concerned. Lunden, Clark and Crowder were expected to be our "go to guys" and that is exactly what they are doing. They are all logging tons of minutes on the PP and PK so their teammates will need to support them by committing fewer infractions.

Before the season I'd hoped Brian Bales would turn into a contributor. He is. Doyle Woody did a nice profile of Brian on Thursday in the ADN. I'm thrilled that Brian came home and enrolled in school then talked to Shyiak about playing. I'm happy he didn't let eligibility issues get him down last year. Throw some nicely sizzled bacon and cheddar onto a burger for Brian.

Shane Lovdahl earned a big juicy mushroom and swiss burger for his efforts this weekend. He contributed on both ends and showed a deft touch here and there with some sweet passes and his always good stickhandling. I say mushroom burger for Shane because a couple of his hits just about put the lights out on a couple of Bulldog players.

There are two players who I think rate only in the Mickey D's double cheeseburger range. Both Tommy Grant and Luka Vidmar are contributing positives on the ice. But, they have taken 14 penalties between them (8 for Grant and 6 for Vidmar). I'm not quite ready to put Jared Tuton into that category but 3 penalties in 2 games doesn't get you a Wendy's Baconator.

Mat Robinson and Kane Lafranchise get their choice of burger. There's a joint in NYC that sells a Kobe beef burger for 41 bucks. They've both earned one of those. Jeremy Smith gets whatever kind of burger at whatever price it takes to satisfy him. I ain't gonna tell him he can't have one; would you?

I'm all about giving the coaching staff their burger due as well. Just a couple miles from the UAA campus is Max's Beefy Burgers near the corner of N.Lites and Boniface. Double Cheeseburgers from there for Shyiak and Blair. Regg Simon gets his burgers (if any) after the fall signing period.

I took a fair number of pictures this weekend. But I judged only 8 of them worthy of posting. I've put them in the "recent slideshow". I promise more and better pictures when the team returns home to face Mankato in two weeks. Lets hope there is a decent burger joint in Houghton for our guys to get sustenance on their longest roadtrip of the year this week.

I've found the best stats page and changed my link to reflect it. The WCHA has finally stepped up to take responsibility for stats and the page they've come up with is excellent. Visit it by clicking here.

Now lets talk about something that is likely to happen tomorrow. Polls don't matter. If UAA shows up in a poll or ranking tomorrow don't get all excited. Yes, it is some recognition that the team is doing well. But we already know that. I'm not about to pump the teams tires with polls and rankings when teams disappear from them every week. Talk to me about rankings in April.


Anonymous said...

Hey Donald. Just to let you know that Selby was very sick this saturday. No way could he play. Also, a few other Seawolves were feeling quite ill as well. Perhaps food poisoning. Let's hope that they are all better by this week-end.

Donald Dunlop said...

Ahhhhh ...

Thanks for that info! That 'splains a lot.

Food poisoning? Yikes ... they should eat burgers!

Anonymous said...

Well, Selby seems to be on the mend today. Lafranchise is his roomate and seems to feel okay today. Parkinson I believe is feeling better as well. Hopefully all is better this week-end.

MeanEgirl said...

Uh... didn't you guys used to have a player that did nothing but eat cheeseburgers and then he got really fat? I don't think this post is such a great thing for your players. You don't want them to end up like that one guy now, do ya?

Donald Dunlop said...

Cheeseburgers like everything else should be consumed in moderation. No doubt you can handle about one White Castle at a time. But I wouldn't worry about full-sized folks eating a Carls Jr. double.

Jack Ryan said...

What about Burger Cache? You can win thousands...THOUSANDS.

Donald Dunlop said...

I should have included Burger Cache. My bad. And it's basically right across the street from the campus.

Anonymous said...

Great picture...How about the wolve...Mich Tech is very beatable even in Houghten but we will see if the wolves can keep it going or shit the bed..ONE Game at a time boys

Suze said...

Uh, I hope they didn't have food poisoning! I can't imagine how anyone could play while dealing with that.

Get well guys, prayers and thoughts are with ya!

Anonymous said...

The WCHA site is nice, thanks for the link. However, they have the 2007-08 preview up instead of the 2008-09 season. I'd be nice to see that updated. Other teams don't have updated previews either.

matthew said...

Uh, I hope they didn't have food poisoning! I can't imagine how anyone could play while dealing with that.

I had a teammate in Midgets that got food poisoning at a tournament. He played a couple games with a diaper on... haha

Anonymous said...

If I were Selby I would make coach Shyiak take the first bite out of everything put in front of him.

I'm only partially kidding here.

Selby deserves a long extended shot. He has shown his commitment to this program. Some hockey people are still paying attention since they see a big strong and exceptionally fast kid that will not give up despite the obstacles put in front of him.

The ironic thing is that after his college stint he may still wind up playing professional hockey somewhere on this planet.

Anonymous said...

The SWAMI SAYS Selby looked terible SAT night he cant just go out and lay an egg and expect to stay in the lineup..He has to use his size way more and pick his head up and use Hockey sense....If he was sick thats one thing but if he wasnt this is probally what the Coaches are seeing in practice thus the reluctance to put him in the line up.. Lovedahl also has to get in better shape also if he is going to stay in the line up..Shane is maybe the slowest skater in Div 1 but has a great Stick and great Hockey sense that allows him to compete at the D 1 level but he has to commit to D 1 conditioning to probally stay in the line up when Lienwebber returns..Lets Congratulate all the Boys on the great START!!!

Anonymous said...

To SWAMI: Ummm, I don't know what game you were watching on SAT, but Selby did not play.

Anonymous said...

I would say Johhny O was better in Fairbanks and Bryce was better against Duluth so I guess the bottom line is its a big time battle for that job which is great for the TEAM.....

Anonymous said...

Wes Mcleod from Prince George (BCHL) has committed to UAA.

Kris said...

Lovdahl has been working on his conditioning and speed. It is not like he doesn't know this, but thanks anonymous who doesn't even know if Selby played or not.

Suze said...

Shane has a rocket of a shot and he scored a lot of goals in juniors from the blue line. I'd like to see him shoot more than he does.

Being the highest scoring defenseman 2 years in a row in the USHL, I'm sure Shane had a lot of offers other than UAA. I'm glad he came home!

Anonymous said...

.........gotta luv them juicy burgers


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