Friday Notes

It sucks to be Matt Holliday right now. Last night’s Cards loss to the Dodgers is one of those rare cases where a loss can be pinned solely on one player. It’s as simple as this – if Holliday hadn’t bobbled the line drive that hit his gut instead of his glove then the Cards would be tied in the series instead of down by two games. Holliday probably feels like killing himself, but he shouldn’t beat himself up too much – the team only played as well as they did down the stretch because of the play of Holliday. He’s a good player who had a bad day. That’s all. It will be very interesting to see how he bounces back from this setback.

The UFL limped into existence last night. They reported that 15,000 people were in attendance at the game in Las Vegas. The only way I can see you getting that number, though, is by counting each person there three or four times. It wasn’t exactly a much-heralded debut – ESPN didn’t even bother to cover it on their website. I saw a little bit of the game,which Las Vegas both won and covered the seven point spread. It wasn’t terrible – not like the XFL or anything. It just wasn’t great, and it didn’t do anything particularly new or interesting. I will never figure out why we need this league now when there is all the college football and NFL any guy could want. Given where they are getting players from, there is no way that this league will be more interesting than the real pros or 1-A college play.

Speaking of college football, that was a nice win for Nebraska last night. It looked painful for a long time – it almost ended up being 2-0 at the half. Nebraska kicked it into gear in the second half, though. Incredibly, it was their first win against a ranked opponent since 2006. The team has faced some skepticism despite their solid start because they haven’t really played anyone. That’s legitimate, but I think I am starting to really believe in this team. At the very least, they are finally moving in the right direction after the fiasco that was most of this decade.

Dany Heatley made his home debut for the San Jose Sharks yesterday after being acquired in a deal forced because he demanded a trade from Ottawa. He thrilled the home town fans with a hat trick, and linemate Joe Thornton set a team record with four assists. These guys have scary good chemistry already, and are going to be poised to do some real damage this year. Their goaltending needs to settle into rhythm, but that will happen and it will make for an impressive team.

The Detroit Red Wings have lost forward Johan Frantzen for at least four months thanks to an ACL injury suffered last week. That’s a massive blow for the team. After losing leading scorer from last year Marian Hossa to the Blackhawks they have now lost their second leading scorer in Frantzen. That’s a lot of missing offensive punch, and that’s a problem for a team that already draws questions about their goaltending. I won’t panic just yet, but I’ll sure be watching this team closely.

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