Author: Kevin Schroeder

Blackhawks Blog: Nick Leddy Has Been Traded To The Islanders

Today, the Hawks traded Nick Leddy and AHL goalie Kent Simpson to the Islanders for defensemen Ville Pokka and TJ Brennan and goalie Anders Nilsson. Nilsson’s in the KHL right now and Brennan’s likely headed to Rockford. Pokka could be worth watching, though. He’s only 20 and has some real potential. It will be interesting to see how he fares in America after playing the last four years in the Liiga in Finland.

While, at face value, this package may not seem all that great in exchange for Leddy, this was a move that needed to be made. The Hawks were over the cap, and my guess was that it was either going to be Leddy or Versteeg that got traded in order for the Hawks to get under the cap. Since Versteeg had such a good camp, it’s not surprising to see Leddy get traded, especially with so many promising defensemen in the system.

Go Hawks! (Only 5 more days)

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.

Go Blue Blog: The Jackhammer

Well, if last week was rock bottom, this week, Michigan brought out the jackhammer to dig down even deeper. Gary Nova carved up the defense, the offense struggled at times, a late field goal was blocked, and this was just a mess. The real shame of it all is that Michigan lost to Rutgers and this is getting seen as progress because the team didn’t get blown out. Maybe next week, they’ll actually win. But if they don’t, don’t worry guys, because, according to Devin Funchess, “wins are just a statistic.” (By the way, Herm Edwards disagrees.)

It is absolutely staggering to me how these guys, both players and coaches, continue to act as though everything’s fine in their statements. Don’t tell me “it’s just a scratch” after your arm gets cut off. There are eight simple words that somebody needs to say, and it’s astounding to me that someone hasn’t said them already. Ready, guys, here they are:

“We need to get better and we will.”

Such a statement acknowledges that this program is not where it needs to be, while simultaneously expressing confidence in the players and their ability to get the program to where it needs to be. Seriously, how has nobody thought of this?

Hoke Watch: It’s not “if,” but “when.” And “when” can’t come soon enough.

Go Blue.

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.

Go Blue Blog: Time to Clean House

Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon have to be fired and they need to be fired immediately. To let these two continue to represent Michigan football and the university as a whole is a colossal embarrassment to a great program and school. The fact that these two have kept their jobs as long as they did after what occurred Saturday is downright disgusting. Let’s take a quick look at the timeline of the events (all times Eastern):

Saturday: Shane Morris, already playing on a badly-injured ankle takes a vicious shot to the head and shows concussion-like symptoms. Morris stays in the game for another play, then comes out, only to re-enter when Devin Gardner’s helmet came off during a play and had to sit out the following play.

Sunday: Morris is diagnosed with a “probable, mild” concussion. This information would not be released until Brandon does so in his statement.

Monday, 12:30 P.M.: During his press conference, Hoke apparently doesn’t know Morris had a concussion and says that Morris would have practiced on Sunday if not for his ankle injury. Hoke had said that when Morris was leaning on offensive lineman Ben Braden to remain upright, it was because his ankle had given out.

Tuesday, 1 A.M.: Dave Brandon finally releases a statement saying there was a lack of communication between coaches and trainers. He admits Morris was diagnosed with a concussion and Morris should not have come back in the game.

Tuesday, 7 P.M.: A “Fire Brandon” rally is held on the Michigan campus. By this point, a petition has been going around demanding Brandon’s dismissal.

Wednesday, 1:30 A.M.: The petition hits 10,000 signatures.

So, what I would like to know is, even if Hoke didn’t think that Morris had a concussion on Saturday, why was Morris kept in the game after “his ankle gave out?” Why, when Gardner had to come out for a play, didn’t Hoke call a timeout so Gardner could stay in? Why, since third-string quarterback Russell Bellomy couldn’t find his helmet to go in for that play, didn’t Hoke send in a different QB, or Will Hagerup, or just run another one of his patented 10-man plays, and just snap the ball directly to the running back? Why didn’t anyone tell Hoke about Morris’ concussion before Hoke held his press conference Monday and said Morris would have practiced Sunday were it not for his ankle? Why did twelve hours go by between Hoke’s press conference and Brandon’s statement? And, why did Brandon feel the need to wait until 1 A.M. to release his statement?

Since the start of last season, Michigan is 9-9. We know Hoke is a lousy coach, and his lack of success would almost certainly get him fired at the end of this season. But his lack of awareness and concern for the well-being of his players needs to get him fired now. And it’s not like this is the first time he’s done something like this. Last year against Ohio, he told Devin Garnder he didn’t want to see him limp even though Garnder was playing on a broken foot. In 2004, at Ball State, Hoke was sent a letter of reprimand after players got frostbite during a disciplinary workout.

This goes beyond winning and losing. To anyone asking if everyone would be having the same reaction if the team was winning, the answer is 100% yes. As bad as it is that Hoke kept a concussed player in the game, he made it far worse by not taking even an ounce of responsibility. That is why he should be fired. If, on Saturday night, Hoke had just owned up to his mistake and said something along the lines of “It has come to my attention that Shane was showing concussion-like symptoms during the game. I did not notice this and I should have. I screwed up and I apologize to Shane for my mistake.” I feel like this becomes another item on the list of reasons why Hoke gets fired in January. Instead, he kept trying to convince us that our eyes were mistaken, and 54 hours would pass before Brandon finally admitted that Morris was concussed.

The players deserve better. The fans deserve better. The University of Michigan deserves better. Time for someone to finally do the right thing in all of this.

Fire Hoke. Fire Brandon.

Go Blue.

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.

 

 

Go Blue Blog: Rock Bottom

Well, that was bad. I’m going to keep this short because I want to forget this game ever happened. The defense was awful and the offense was worse. Shane Morris got hurt and was inexplicably left in the game. I’m guessing Brady Hoke figured that since you throw with your arm, it’s okay for your quarterback to injure his ankle. Morris wasn’t great, but given the offensive line’s inability to block anyone, the fact that he’s a sophomore making his second career start, and the aforementioned injury, I’m not ready to give up on him.

The defense was just all-around lousy this week. Minnesota had no trouble running on Michigan and since nobody has trouble throwing on Michigan, stops were hard to come by.

Hoke Watch: I know mid-season firings aren’t that common, but I will be legitimately surprised if Brady Hoke still has a job on Monday morning. Same goes for Dave Brandon.

Go Blue!

WWE Night of Champions 2014 Review

Goldust and Stardust defeated The Usos to win the WWE Tag Team Championships

This was a great match because they just went out there and told a story. There was good back-and-forth action, good pacing, and a good finish. Whoever was the agent for this match deserves a raise. In the end, Stardust blocked a splash and scored the victory with a roll-up pin.

Rating: ****

Sheamus defeated Cesaro to retain the WWE United States Championship

This was probably the best match I’ve ever seen Sheamus have. He and Cesaro worked very well together. As one would expect with these two in the ring, the match was very physical. The match did fizzle out at the end, with Sheamus winning with a Brogue Kick out of nowhere. This was a good match and would have been even better were it not for the finish.

Rating: ***¾

The Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship

This was a solid match hurt by the first of multiple boneheaded finishes on the show. Dolph was Dolph; the best worker in the company since Daniel Bryan got hurt. Miz wasn’t bad himself. I feel terrible for Damien Sandow. As if all the goofy gimmicks weren’t enough, as if having to dress like Miz wasn’t enough, at Night of Champions, he had to sell for Florida Georgia Line while dressed as The Miz. The finish made no sense, as Sandow caused a distraction and Dolph went out of his way to kick him, allowing Miz to pin him with a roll-up, while grabbing the tights. I have no idea why Ziggler would go out of his way to prevent Sandow from interfering, since if Sandow were to interfere, Dolph would retain the title. Good match, awful finish.

Rating: ***¼

Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns by forfeit.

Reigns was in the hospital after hernia surgery, but Rollins wanted to be called the winner and have his hand raised anyway.

Rating: 0

Rusev defeated Mark Henry by submission

I like Mark Henry. I really do. But this match was so bad and so slow, I can not find any way at all to defend it. These two worked at a snail’s pace and completely killed the crowd. Henry was driven into the ring post early in the match, so the announcers got over about how he was hurt and didn’t have all his strength. I have no clue why. If you’re trying to get Rusev over, wouldn’t one think that you would want to have him beat Mark Henry at his best? So, the logic was bad, the action was worse, and I really hope they don’t do this again on the next pay-per-view. Rusev made Henry tap to the Accolade.

Rating: -****¼

Randy Orton defeated Chris Jericho

Decent match that the crowd wasn’t into. I don’t know if they didn’t care because they were still dead from the Rusev-Henry match or if Orton killed the crowd all over again. In any case, they didn’t care and neither did I. Orton won in the most obvious finish ever, hitting Jericho with the RKO after Jericho jumped off the top rope.

Rating: **¾

AJ Lee defeated Paige and Nikki Bella in a Triple Threat match to win the WWE Divas Championship

I have no idea why Nikki Bella was in this match. She didn’t win the title and Brie didn’t cost her the match, setting up a feud for the next month, and while Nikki (acting skills aside) was better than I expected her to be, this match would have been miles better without her in it. AJ made Paige submit to the Black Widow to win the title.

Rating: *¾

John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar by disqualification in a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

This match was almost brilliant. It asn’t going to be the greatest-worked match in history, the things made sense, and the psychology was great. Cena got in a lot more offense this time around, but Lesnar had an answer for everything Cena did. Whoever beats Brock Lesnar for the title is really going to have to earn it. Cena hit four AA’s and applied the STF four times. Cena was going for the pin after the fourth AA, at which point Seth Rollins came in, hit Cena with the Money in the Bank briefcase, and got Lesnar DQ’d, in what was the most brainless finish to a match I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s saying a lot. There was only one thing that you absolutely couldn’t do because it would make no sense whatsoever, short-term or long-term, and that’s what they did. Someone’s going to have to explain to me why Seth Rollins, who’s aligned with The Authority would try to cash in the Money in the Bank on Brock Lesnar, who The Authority brought in to win the title, with no repercussions from Triple H or Stephanie. This match was well on its way to being at least a four-star match, so this rating ought to tell how bad the finish was.

Rating: -***¼

This show started out really well, and then completely fell apart. Bad booking hurt more than one match.

Show rating: *¼

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.

Go Blue Blog: Source: Jim Harbaugh Likely to be Michigan’s Next Coach

Now, before we all start celebrating, let me just say that this is essentially “I know a guy who knows a guy who knows Dave Brandon.” Not exactly confirmation of anything. May not even be true. If it is; great, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Also, if Michigan ends up being bad enough that they’d fire Hoke, I’m not exactly sure Dave Brandon doesn’t get fired as well. So, let’s take all this with a grain of salt and cross our fingers and hope it’s true.

Go Blue!

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.

Go Blue Blog: Well, At Least We Can Still Win the Big Ten. Right?…Right?

Look, let’s just say it: this team isn’t very good. The young guys still need to develop and the upperclassmen aren’t playing like upperclassmen. Through four games, Michigan has as many wins as they do games where they didn’t even make it into the red zone. “Inept” doesn’t even begin to describe the offense Saturday, and it starts with Devin Gardner. No, the offensive line hasn’t been great, but neither has Gardner. I still think his passes look better than they did last year, but his decision-making is every bit as poor. So, I was really glad to see Shane Morris come into the game late. Hoke has yet to name a starter for the Big Ten opener against Minnesota, but I really hope it’s Morris. Yes, Morris will make mistakes; he’s a sophomore. But if Michigan’s going to have a guy at quarterback making sophomore mistakes, I’d rather said quarterback actually be a sophomore, and not a fifth-year senior.

On a positive offensive note, Derrick Green impresses me more each week. Saturday against Utah, I was particularly impressed with his patience and vision. For the most part, he was doing a great job of waiting for the play to develop, then finding and hitting the hole. His week-to-week progress is encouraging, and about the only bright spot on this offense at the moment.

On defense, the front seven had their most impressive performance of the season. Unfortunately, most of the good they did was undone by a secondary that continues to be unable to cover anybody. It’s a big problem when the best player in the secondary is a true freshman. (Worth noting: the same can be said for the offensive line.)

Hoke Watch: This game isn’t going to do any favors for a coach who fans already want replaced. And at this point, I have no idea how anybody can possibly defend Brady Hoke. There is talent on this team.  Too much talent for this team to be 2-2 and not even get into the red zone in half its games. Which is why I’m still somewhat optimistic about the future of Michigan football, even if they can’t turn the season around in conference play. I don’t think this program is in such bad shape that if they were to bring in a better coach in the off-season (*cough* Jim Harbaugh *cough*) that they wouldn’t seriously improve.

Go Blue!

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.