Ravens First, then the NHL

October 16, 2007 | Ed Frankovic

Two weeks ago after the Cleveland debacle I was watching ESPN and the topic was “What has happened to the Ravens defense?” Bill Parcells then proceeded to say that he thought their poor play was due to a lack of conditioning. Never once did he mention that Trevor Pryce or Samari Rolle were out with injuries. My first thought was, has Bill Parcells done any research on what he just said? If he looked at the time of possession statistics he would have seen that the Ravens defense was hardly ever on the field and that most of the points were the results of big plays – clearly not a conditioning issue. It amazes me that some of these guys on national TV shows can make comments without even doing any real research. Suffice it to say Parcells comments won’t be carrying much weight with me the rest of the year, especially when they pertain to the Ravens.

Btw, it’s now 2 weeks later and the Ravens defense has only given up 10 points in 2 games. They were absolutely FANTASTIC on Sunday in the blowout of the Rams. Given the major injuries the Ravens have on offense right now the defense will likely need to be that good again this week for Baltimore to win.

Once again the Monday callers on WNST seemed to focus on the negative side of things blasting the Ravens for only scoring 22 points off of 6 turnovers (Note: For a sampling of the lunacy make sure you check out Drew’s latest blog). As I said last week, with a VERY YOUNG offensive line combined with the other injuries they have on offense the Ravens are NOT going to put up lots of points. So take the win against the Rams, hope they get one this week in Buffalo, and then root for good health during the bye week.

Memo to the Ravens: Do not take the Bills lightly (just ask Tony Romo).

On to hockey….we are now 2 weeks into the NHL season and here are some initial observations:

-          The Atlanta Thrashers are now 0-5 and seem to be in more disarray than the Cincinnati Bengals. In honor of Former President Bill Clinton can I get a mulligan on my pick of Atlanta making the playoffs??!!

-          The Carolina Hurricanes are off to a very fast start after last year’s Stanley Cup hangover. They look like they will runaway with the Southeast division.

-          Hey Caps fans: Don’t get too excited over the 3-0 start (which has now become 3-2). The defense is still horrible as evidenced by the fact that Washington gave up 94 shots in two losses last weekend. The Caps are giving up an average of 35.4 shots per game. Poor Olie Kolzig and Brent Johnson, they have no chance with that crew in front of them. Memo to Glen Hanlon: Why are you playing John Erskine over Jeff Schulz??

-          Calgary was one of the worst road teams in the league last year and had not won in Dallas since 2001 and Nashville since 2002. Mike Keenan’s influence seems to be paying dividends already because the Flames won in both cities last weekend to even their record at 2-2-1. If you have the NHL Center Ice package don’t miss the Calgary-Colorado game on Tuesday night.

-          Surprisingly, the Chicago Blackhawks have beaten the Detroit Red Wings twice already (Detroit’s only 2 losses).

-          The race in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference will be great to watch all season (Rangers, Penguins, Devils, Flyers, and Islanders). As predicted, the Flyers are back this year and should make the playoffs (so that will make Hockey Meg happy again).

-          If you watched the 3rd period and OT of the Sabres-Leafs game in HD on Versus tonight you saw some real exciting hockey as Buffalo rallied from a 2-0 3rd period deficit to win 5-4 in OT.

-          Can’t miss game of the week: Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin on Comcast HD on Saturday night. The Caps still haven’t recovered from blowing that 4-0 lead to the Penguins last December 11th.

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