College top 25
I just want to extend a quick congrats to Randy Bennett and the St. Mary Gaels out of Moraga, Ca. They cracked the USA Today top 25 poll this week and at 15-1 are one victory away from tying their best start in school history (88'-89').
Also, Mike Montgomery has the Cal Bears on the up and up as they were placed at 22 in the AP Poll. This is their first appearance in that poll since the Spring of 2003.
It is great to see both these East Bay programs get National attention, both coaches are quality basketball guys and teach their kids more then basketball on a daily basis.
Europeans of the Night
Today we will focus on a couple of European heavyweights that debunk the theory that Euro transplants are soft and fret at the idea of assimilating into the rigors of the rugged North American style of hockey.
The premise of this subject comes from a scrap last night between Raitis Ivanans (#9 IS.com rank*) of Latvia (6'4, 250) and David Koci (6'6, 238) of the Czech Republic.
Koci is just coming back from a broken hand he got in a bout with Colton Orr (#2 IS.com) and looked very hesitant and that is why the fight they had last night is not even worth showing, but they did have a previous bout that was very entertaining and that is the one we will.
Both of these guys are still very raw and have not been as active as I'd like to see, but when they do drop they show mass potential.
Although Bobby Nystrom came close a couple of times, do we have the first, future European heavyweight champ in our midst?
Maybe, but I do know for certain they both should be contenders for years to come and could definitely be top five.
Another European giant that I enjoy watching in a tussle is Boston's Zdeno Chara.
At 6'9, 255 pounds, Chara is a behemoth of ridiculous proportions.
Unlike Ivanans and Koci, Chara is not in the traditional enforcer mold, he is much more skilled and him going to the penalty box with an overrall less skilled opponent (the only ones brave enough to drop with him on a matching five minute fight major is a loss for the Bruins.
Besides, Chara hits and plays the body with extreme violent overtones so severe that he does not need to incorporate a heavy amount of fighting in his overall intimidation factor.
Of course, Chara will go when he has to and he is brutally good when he does.
Ivanans (1-0-5) vs Koci ( 3-0-1)- January 1st, 2008
Koci (3-0-1) vs Boogaard ( 5-2-0) (IS.com #7)- October 4th, 2007
Chara (2-0-1) vs Koci (3-0-1)-October 25th, 2007
Nystrom vs. Bridgeman- The good old days!