|This one's actually from cold, windy Saturday. Squirrels playing up and down this tree.|
|On to last night. The sun was setting...|
|...the moon was rising...|
|...and as soon as we got in the woods, the out-of-towners started playing hide and seek.|
|They hide right where the trail becomes stone, so they have a good view of when to run away.|
|They'll stop and look from a distance until Boss Moss snorts, then they run away.|
|I was having to use my low light setting, which makes things much brighter than they actually are. But last night I learned how to fool with the brightness and contrast to make things a bit more viewable.|
|See, this one's unfooled with. Looks like we had a lot of light, right? WRONG.|
|Anyway, after the first six or so led us a merry chase through the north end of the woods, we emerged onto the back trail where we spotted another three. They headed down the trail and I assumed they emerged onto the soccer fields. I was right.|
|But they knew we were coming, and were just waiting to see us to take off. I had to try to snap them through the trees, which of course meant the camera wanted to focus on the branches in between us.|
|See the brats all lined up, just waiting for us to stick our heads out the gap in the woods? As soon as we did, they took off- along with the rest of the crew who had gathered there without our knowing.|
|By the time we caught these ass-ends, probably 12-15 deer were stampeding to the south. I'm guessing they went straight for the swamp, as we didn't see them anymore.|
|Moonlight on Stony Run.|
|Moonlight over Stony Run.|
|See how dark it is here? That's about how dark the first picture of Scrappy was in real life. It was a tad darker at this point...|
Next up, the NHFFL All-Star Game is in the books, and the Purple have won their second straight ASG. The two defensive scores by Da Bears gave them a 41-36 win over the Gold, with that pick six by Peanut Tillman putting them on top to stay. Chicago ended up with 16 points, while Brandon Marshall and Santana Moss added TDs, RGIII added a pair of scoring passes, and Matt Bryant kicked in 7. The Goldies got 2 TDs from Eric Decker, singles from Kyle Rudolph and Alfred Morris, and a pair of scoring passes from Tom Brady. Unfortunately for them, though, the Giants sucked it up again this week, and league leading scorer Lawrence Tynes only got a couple of extra points, while the Pats' D got a measely 4. So Tynes, who figured so heavily in the Porkchops' ten wins, totalled 2 points in costing his team both the Super Bowl and the ASG. Better luck next year!
|Yeah, like it's MY fault Eli's blown chunks for the last two weeks...|
Speaking of blowing chunks, Lokomotiv sure did Sunday, losing to Magnitogorsk 5-1. Sergei Plotnikov put us on the board just 21 seconds into the game, but from there on we got outshot 35-15 thefirst and second periods, and by 8 minutes into the third, Curtis Sanford was taking a seat on the bench. We did hold Malkin and Mozyakin to an assist apiece, but Mats Zuccarelo scored twice. And of course, everybody ahead of us won, so now we fall to sixth over all, with "Magnita" passing us with the loss. Next up is a trip to Omsk on Wednesday to face Avangard.
All of which reminded me of the fun of finding who's sucking worst this year. So last night I assembled the list of the biggest bumblers in hockey right now. Taking into account scoring differences and schedule variations, I ranked them according to the average margin they get beat by. Here, then, are the worst teams in the professional top level hockey world.
6- Fassa, Italy Serie A. Fassa is 5-21-3, trail Val Pusteria in the standings by 46 points, and get beat by an average margin of 2.10. And they aren't even the worst in their league.
5- Copenhagen, Denmark AL Bank Ligaen. They would be second if I was ranking them by wins, at 1-20-3. They trail in their league by 47, and average getting beat by 2.59.
4- TWK Innsbruck, Austria EBEL. At 3-26-4, they trail their leader by 37 and average getting beat by 2.82.
3- Pontebba, Italy Serie A. The only team worse than Fassa, they stand at 3-23-3, 55 back, and get beat by 2.93 nightly.
2- Zaglebie Sosnowiec, Poland. In addition to having a name only a mother could love (or pronounce), they stand at 3-21-3, trail by 56, and get beat by an average of 3.07 goals a game. But they can't even finish last, as another team folded just 14 games into the season.
1- China Dragon, Asia League. This should be no surprise to anyone who's ever paid attention to my hockey reports. Losers of all 19 of their games so far, they trail the leader of the AHL by 63 points and get beat by an incredible 5.53 goals per game- usual score around 7 to 1.5.
And since it wouldn't be fair to mention the losers without the winners, here are the most dominant teams in hockey:
5- Zvolen, Slovak Extraliga. 24-4-5, a 15 point lead, average win margin of 1.61.
4- Val Pusteria, Italy Serie A. The defending champs are 22-6-1, lead by 8, average margin of 1.69, and of course are 8-0 against Fassa and Pontebba, having outscored them 41-7. Four of their losses amazingly came in one 5-game stretch.
3- Sanok, Poland. 21-3-3, a 17-point lead, and a margin of 2.14. They beat the team that folded 5-1 and 9-2 on back-to-back nights.
2- Angers, France Ligue Magnus. LM doesn't play as big a schedule as most of the others ( or any of the others, actually) so they don't have near the games under their belt. Still, the Eagle-Owls (I didn't name 'em) are 11-1-2, outscore the opposition by 2.35- and lead Briancon by a whopping 3 points.
1- Oji Eagles, Asia League. Oji is 20-2-1, lead by sixteen, and have an average win margin of 2.5. Amazingly, the China Dragon have played a couple of their best games against them, with Oji only winning 4-0 and 4-2.
Okay, that's it for now. If you're still here, have a Merry and blessed Christmas.