May 9, 2010

Junior's Reading And Viewing List: May 1 - 7, 2010

Last Update - May 9, 2010 at 4:49 AM EDT

The fifth month of the year is under way. Look over this 'Reading And Viewing List' for the interesting web items from May 1 through May 7, 2010 that caught my attention.

As usual, some of the linked items that interested me had to do with subjects like the Washington Capitals hockey team, music, Formula One racing and the current World Rally Championship. The most informative 2010 F1 Spanish Grand Prix Preview and 2010 WRC Rally New Zealand Preview posts that I came across are included in this list.

May 7, 2010

Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes
Posted at

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver in action during the morning session at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, whilst Red Bull ruled the roost in the afternoon. The leading teams and their rivals reflect on their early progress in Spain...

Practice Two - Red Bull run riot in Barcelona
Posted at

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dished out a stern warning to their rivals at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Friday afternoon when, on a bone dry, track they dominated the second session of practice. Webber set the pace for much of the session, lapping eventually in 1m 20.175s, until Vettel slammed round in 1m 19.965s. He was the only man to breach the 1m 20s barrier...

2009-10 Rink Wrap: John Carlson
Posted by David M. Getz at Japers' Rink

Key Stat: 7,423 - the number of days John Carlson has been alive. In more typical terms, that's 20 years, 3 months, and 28 days.

Interesting Stat: Only three Capitals - Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, and Nicklas Backstrom - skated more minutes than Carlson in the postseason.

The Good: The AHL numbers (39 points and a plus-37 rating in 48 games) are dazzling, as are the eyewitness reports of what Carlson has done in Hershey. The World Junior heroics are already the stuff of legend. And then of course, there were the NHL playoffs, during which Carlson was arguably the team's best defenseman, inarguably a member of the team's best defensive pairing...

More Awards Nods for Ovi and George McPhee
By Hockey Mom at Musings Of A Hockey Mom

Yesterday brought the news of two more awards nominations for Capitals organization as Alex Ovechkin was one of three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, which is presented annually to the player judged as the most outstanding player in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.Ovechkin, who has won the last two NHLPA’s “Most Outstanding Player” awards and the past two Hart Trophies, could join Guy Lafleur (1975-78) and Wayne Gretzky (1981-85) as the only players to ever win it three years in a row...

Practice One - McLaren set Spanish standard
Posted at

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button said they hoped for dry conditions here, and they got them in the first session of practice for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. The 2008 world champion lapped his McLaren MP4-25 half a second faster than his team mate, 1m 21.134s to 1m 21.672s, and the only man who got anywhere near them was Michael Schumacher, who lapped straight away in 1m 21.716s when he went out in his revamped Mercedes...

Pre-Spain analysis - dry running key for car development
Posted at

While the weather forecasts suggest that there will be rain at some stage during the Spanish Grand Prix in Catalunya - and similar conditions have helped to make the recent Australian, Malaysian and Chinese races nail-bitingly exciting, both McLaren’s Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton say that they would really prefer dry weather for practice, qualifying and the race. And for purely practical reasons - so many of the teams have brought along heavily revised aerodynamic packages, that they are all eager to learn exactly where they stand relative to one another...

May 6, 2010

Russ Thaler Talks Caps With Craig Laughlin - Part 2
Posted at Comcast SportsNet - Washington, DC

Right click on video to choose full screen option.

Right click on video to choose full screen option.

Keeping the faith - exclusive Rubens Barrichello Q&A
Posted at

Rubens Barrichello is a very positive man. Without that balanced personality he probably would have thrown in the towel during his time at Honda - and would then never have tasted that sweet success with Brawn last year. With that mindset of never giving in, he has now set his sites on bringing Williams to a higher performance level - and achieving that magic figure of 300 Grand Prix starts...

FIA Thursday press conference - Spain
Posted at

Drivers: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso), Pedro de la Rosa (BMW Sauber), Bruno Senna (HRT), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull).

Q: A question to you all about the modifications you are getting here on your cars and what you are expecting they might do for the performance. Jaime, would you like to start.
Jaime Alguersuari: We have some upgrades for this race and hopefully we can see a big improvement for Barcelona. Hopefully we will have dry weather, so we can really see it and we need to see with the upgrades where the other teams are...

Alex Ovechkin up for NHLPA's most outstanding player
By Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider

Alex Ovechkin has been named a finalist for the NHLPA's Ted Lindsay award, given annually to the most outstanding player as judged by his peers.

Ovechkin, which has won the award the past two seasons (it was formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson award), is joined by Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin.

For more click here.

Is Anton Volchenkov The Answer? Depends on the Question
By David M. Getz at Japers' Rink

The NHL's postseason is only in the second round, the draft doesn't get underway for seven weeks, and even that precedes free agency by a week. Of course, none of that has stopped people from planning on behalf of the Capitals, speculating as to what the team's going to do, or flying into blind rages demanding massive turnover because heads must roll after the team's first round playoff exit.

Amid all the discussion, one of the more popular names thrown around is Anton Volchenkov (seriously, look how often his name comes up on this very site), the 28-year-old stay-at-home defenseman who has spent his NHL career to this point with the Ottawa Senators. But is Volchenkov the answer? Well, that depends on the question...

UFO Bassist Leaves Tour
Posted by mdome at Classic Rock

UFO have been forced into a change of bassist as they tour in Germany.

The Brit veterans are temporarily losing Barry Sparks, who’s had to fly back to America due to illness in his family...

George McPhee nominated for GM of the year (updated)
Posted by Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider

George McPhee was nominated for the first annual General Manager of the year award, the NHL announced moments ago. The other finalists are Phoenix's Don Maloney and Nashville's David Poile...

2009-10 Rink Wrap: Matt Bradley
Posted by Becca H at Japers' Rink

Key Stat: Bradley set career highs in goals, assists and points, and registered his highest plus/minus season since 2001 - all while skating just over eleven minutes of ice time per night.

Interesting Stat: Five of Bradley's ten goals this season were game-winners, which tied for second on the team... clutch.

The Good: Bradley seemed to carry the momentum of last year's stellar postseason performance into this year, providing a surprising spark from the fourth line while continuing to do the little things he's always done - forechecking, penalty killing and generally being a pest. He had the best GAON/60 of the team's regular penalty killing forwards while facing relatively tough competition...

A lap of Barcelona with Renault's Robert Kubica
Posted at

Renault’s Robert Kubica talks us round a flying lap of Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya track ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix...

“Barcelona is one of the best-known tracks for all the teams and drivers because of the testing miles we do there over the winter. The racing is never brilliant because it’s so hard to overtake, but it’s still a fun Grand Prix with a good atmosphere and enthusiastic Spanish fans...

Spain Preview - who's taken the biggest step forward?
Posted at

The world championship battle really starts this weekend as the Spanish Grand Prix signals the commencement of the European leg, if you believe Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. As his national race celebrates its 40th running since 1951, the Spaniard lies third in the title chase with 49 points to McLaren’s Jenson Button’s 60 and Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg’s 50...

May 5, 2010

McLaren: Turbo engines and KERS are the future
Posted at

It’s hard to believe that so soon into the 2010 season, the Formula One teams are already looking ahead to next year and beyond, but in a sport so fast-moving it never pays to be caught off guard.

So during Wednesday’s Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 'Phone-In' session Tim Goss, the chief engineer of McLaren’s current challenger, the MP4-25, had a lot more to discuss than simply this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, principally the possible introduction of KERS-assisted turbo engines in 2013, when the FIA’s stringent engine rules can be modified significantly for the first time since 2006...

The 2009-2010 season, by the "tens"
-- Centers: Brendan Morrison

By The Peerless at The Peerless Prognosticator

...Signing Morrison, especially given the potential for rekindling some magic with former Michigan Wolverine teammate Mike Knuble (already signed to a deal as a free agent), looked like a potential bargain. It started that way, too, but as you look at his ten-game segments, you will also see that like the full moon, the promise of his being a bargain diminished, if not day by day, then ten-game segment by ten-game segment...

Q&A with McLaren’s Tim Goss
Posted at

In a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-in, McLaren’s chief engineer on this year’s MP4-25 car, Tim Goss, discusses a variety of topics, ranging from Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying form and the team’s technical updates for Spain, to the role of turbos, KERS and larger tyres in the future of Formula One racing...

2009-10 Rink Wrap: Eric Belanger
Posted by J.P. at Japers' Rink

Key Stat: Belanger cost the Caps their second round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.

Interesting Stat: Belanger had half as many points (one goal, two assists) in his NHL debut - which came at Verizon Center back on October 6, 2000 - as he had in 15 home games as a member of the Caps in 2010 (two goals, four assists).

The Good: Belanger was (and still is) the League's top face-off man in the playoffs, winning an astounding 66.7% of his draws. He committed only two penalties during his 17-game regular season stint with the Caps and won 52% of his face-offs in those games. And, of course, what he went through in Game 5 of the Habs series provides a new legend of dental-related heroics in the range of Captain Cadaver...

Matthew Vaughn To Direct 'X-Men: First Class',
Release Date Set For 2011

By Blair Marnell at MTV's Splash Page

Following reports earlier this week that "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn was back in the running to helm the next "X-Men" film, Fox has officially announced that Vaughn will direct "X-Men: First Class". "X-Men: First Class" will be released on June 3, 2011, according to Variety. While casting has not yet officially begun, The Hollywood Reporter is also speculating that "X-Men: First Class" producer Bryan Singer has already started to look at potential candidates...

Loeb praises New Zealand stages
Posted at

Rally New Zealand has been presented with the highest possible accolade by the most successful driver in the history of the sport.

Six-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb has described it as “the rally with the most beautiful roads in the championship,” as he bids for his third victory on the all-gravel event out of six participations...

'Iron Man 2' Deleted Scenes: Black Widow Flirting,
'You Complete Me' Dive, More!

By Josh Wigler at MTV's Splash Page

"Iron Man 2" clocks in at just over two hours, but don't let the run time fool you – director Jon Favreau wasn't able to include every single scene he shot in the final version of the superhero sequel.

Speaking with MTV News, Favreau said that a multitude of "Iron Man 2" scenes were left on the editing room floor, but not due to any sort of studio pressure...

Draft details
Posted by Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider

Since more than a few of you have inquired about June's draft and where the Caps will be selecting, here are the details:

The Caps have six picks, beginning with the 26th overall selection. After that, they've got picks in the third, fourth, fifth (two) and sixth...

Ferrari reliability engine changes approved
Posted at

The FIA has given consent to Ferrari to make modifications to their engine ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, in order to improve the V8’s reliability following issues during the opening four races of the season.

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and both Ferrari-powered BMW Saubers have all encountered problems during the flyaway events, which prompted the team to investigate the root causes when they returned to their Maranello factory following last month’s China race...

Bret Michaels Discharged From Hospital
Posted by mdome at Classic Rock

Bret Michaels has been discharged from Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona and his now undergoing physical rehabilitation.

While the Poison singer remains in a critical condition, he’s now able to walk (although not very well), talk and is said to be mentally aware...

Rally New Zealand on
Posted at

Three weeks after the rocky roads of Turkey, the FIA World Rally Championship moves to the other side of the world this week when the fifth round of the series kicks off on the high speed gravel stages of Rally New Zealand.

After shakedown and a ceremonial start in the heart of host city Auckland on Thursday (6 May), the competitive action takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with crews taking on roads in the Whangarei, Kaipara, Franklin, North Waikato and Raglan districts, before the finish ceremony back at Auckland on Sunday...

May 4, 2010

Q&A with Renault's Alan Permane
Posted at

After gleaning 46 points from the opening four rounds of 2010, Renault have enjoyed a strong start to the season and are looking ahead optimistically to the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix. Chief race engineer Alan Permane reflects on last month’s race in Shanghai and discusses the team’s chances at this weekend’s Barcelona round...

The 2009-2010 season, by the "tens"
-- Centers: Nicklas Backstrom

By The Peerless at The Peerless Prognosticator

...Sometimes, it is hard to fathom that Nicklas Backstrom just completed his third year in the NHL and that he is just 22 years old. His play this season was more like that of a 32-year old in many respects. But in this, his third season, he could lay claim to having improved his game to where he could be mentioned as being among the top five centers of the game. First on the list of improvements, his consistency, as reflected in his tens...

Hugo Weaving Confirmed As Red Skull In 'Captain America' Movie
By Blair Marnell at MTV's Splash Page

Marvel Studios has confirmed that Hugo Weaving will play The Red Skull in "The First Avenger: Captain America," Joe Johnston's live-action movie based on Marvel's superhero soldier.

Weaving will star opposite Chris Evans, who was cast as Steve Rogers in March, ending a long search for the film's lead actor. British actress Hayley Atwell will play the female lead, Peggy Carter, and Sebastian Stan will reportedly play Bucky, Cap's sidekick...

Heaven & Hell 2010 Tour Canceled [UPDATED]
By Joe Siegler at Black Sabbath Online

This text comes from the Tony Iommi website:

"We have to announce that all forthcoming Heaven & Hell European shows have been cancelled as sadly Ronnie isn't well enough to tour this summer. We hope that everyone understands and want to thank fans and industry colleagues for their continuing support at this time." Heaven & Hell - May 4th, 2010

That's sad, but I can't say completely unexpected. I will continue to pray for Ronnie's speedy recovery, but stomach cancer is not a simple thing to be toyed with. If he wasn't ready to go, then it's probably best he not try...

2009-10 Rink Wrap: Nicklas Backstrom
Posted by J.P. at Japers' Rink

Key Stat: Backstrom finished fourth in the NHL in scoring.

Interesting Stat: Backstrom led the NHL in road scoring in 2009-10.

The Good: Backstrom just keeps getting better, improving upon his 2008-09 totals in goals, assists, plus-minus, shots on goal, shooting percentage, face-off percentage and time on ice. This past season he became just the fourth player to have a 33-goal/68-assist season in the NHL since 1996-97, and he still hasn't missed a game since coming into the League...

Tony Stark's Father Will Have A Role In 'Captain America',
Says Jon Favreau

By Rick Marshall at MTV's Splash Page

At the risk of jumping too far ahead in the Marvel movie universe, the knowledge that Tony Stark's father will play a role in "Iron Man 2" had us thinking about the character's potential role in another movie, the World War II-based "The First Avenger: Captain America". When we had the chance to catch up with "Iron Man 2" director Jon Favreau, we had to ask, will Tony's dad make a cameo (or more) when Captain America arrives in theaters?...

Solberg cautiously confident after New Zealand test
Posted at

The Petter Solberg World Rally Team has played down the advantage that a day of pre-event testing could give it in New Zealand.

Petter Solberg and Phil Mills tested their privately-entered Citroen C4 WRC on Monday on roads in New Zealand that were representative of the rally route they will face this week. Manufacturer 1 category teams are not allowed to test outside of Europe, whereas no such restrictions apply two Manufacturer 2 teams such as Solberg’s...

Ozzy: Full Album Details
Posted by mdome at Classic Rock

Ozzy Osbourne has revealed the full track listing for new album Scream.

Due out on June 14 through Epic, it’s the first studio record he’s done without guitarist Zakk Wylde since 1986’s The Ultimate Sin, and the first without drummer Mike Bordin since 1995. Gus G of Firewind and Tommy Clefetos (Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper) have taken over.

Here’s the full track listing:...

Franz Tost Q&A: Toro Rosso targeting more points in Spain
Posted at

Toro Rosso have endured their fair share of unsatisfying results so far this season, and the Italian team are currently eighth in the championship with a tally of just two points. However, team principal Franz Tost remains confident that the STR5 is a strong car and hopes it’s only a matter of time before the team can capitalise on their improving package to enjoy better results...

Ford pair happy to get back to New Zealand
Posted at

BP Ford Abu Dhabi team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala are looking forward to getting back to the gravel stages of Rally New Zealand this week, despite a penultimate stage nightmare on their last attempt which cost them a one, two finish.

In 2008 things went wrong on the rally's final countryside stage, the 29.72km Whaanga Coast, when Latvala swiped a bank and retired from second with a damaged radiator, and leader Hirvonen punctured a tyre and spun his Focus RS WRC...

May 3, 2010

Mike Green Reflects On Capitals Season
Posted at Comcast SportsNet - Washington, DC

Right click on video to choose full screen option.

2009-10 Rink Wrap: Karl Alzner
Posted by J.P. at Japers' Rink

Key Stat: Alzner was recalled to Washington seven times this season.

Interesting Stat: All five of his points came in Caps wins, with the team going 5-0-0 when Alzner appeared on the score sheet.

The Good: Alzner had four points in his first ten NHL games of the season and was plus-two in that span (the team was also 9-1-0 during that stretch). More importantly, on a team that was penalty-kill challenged, Alzner had the best goals against on ice per sixty minutes at 4-on-5 of any Caps blueliner who averaged 30 seconds or more of PK time per game...

Caps' summer schedule
By Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider

It finally hit me this morning: The season really is over. So I did what I always do the Monday after it ends: I put together my keep-an-eye-on-list for the summer. And because many of you have inquired about important offseason dates, I figured I would share it...

Jon Favreau Says Joss Whedon Is A 'Great Choice'
To Direct 'The Avengers'

By Blair Marnell at MTV's Splash Page

Last month, reports emerged that Joss Whedon was in final negotiations to direct "The Avengers", the highly anticipated film which will bring Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk together for the first time on the big screen.

And while Whedon's involvement with the film has yet to be confirmed by either Marvel or Whedon himself, "Iron Man 2" director Jon Favreau has offered a ringing endorsement of the "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Angel" and "Firefly" creator...

Robert Downey Jr. Explains Why The Theme Of 'Iron Man 2' Is 'Legacy'
By Blair Marnell at MTV's Splash Page

Earlier this month, "Iron Man 2" director Jon Favreau offered some hints regarding the impact that Howard Stark — Tony Stark's father — would have on the film through bookend scenes at the Stark Expo, both in the past and present.

And while the relationship between Tony Stark and his father will be a central part of the sequel, it won't be the only legacy dealt with in "Iron Man 2" according to Robert Downey Jr...

WRC stars make a splash in Auckland Harbour
Posted at

With the start of Rally New Zealand just a few days away, the stars of the World Rally Championship kept adrenaline levels up on Monday with a day of action on - and in - Auckland Harbour.

WRC drivers including Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala, Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb set sail aboard the America's Cup racing yacht, NZL40. After being taught the basics of how to sail by skipper Eric Haagh the drivers split into Ford and Citroen teams to tackle a course in the harbour...

Ogier set for New Zealand bonus
Posted at

Citroen Junior Team driver Sebastien Ogier says he can't wait to make his Rally New Zealand debut this week after the event was added to his 2010 WRC programme at the eleventh hour.

Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia were meant to have taken part in just 12 rallies this year, but received an unexpected bonus in the form of Rally New Zealand after impressing team bosses with a podium result in Rally Mexico...

Fisichella tests Ferrari 'F-duct' at Vairano
Posted at

As the rest of Italy celebrated May Day on Saturday, Ferrari were busy carrying out straight-line aero testing at Vairano. The team debuted their version of McLaren’s ‘F-duct’ system, whereby the driver can stall the rear wing at high speed in order to cut drag and boost top speed...

Spain preview quotes - Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, Force India
& more

Posted at

After the hard slog of four long-haul races, the European leg of the F1 season kicks off next weekend with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. The Circuit de Catalunya is a venue the teams know well from testing, though racing there is a completely different challenge. The drivers and senior team personnel discuss their prospects...

May 2, 2010

It's been a brutal year for Great Eight
By tj at Alex Ovetjkin

...There's a lot of truth in Elliotte's observations. Ovi, though he would never admit it, is a sensitive guy. He was asked if he heard the boos in Montreal every time he was touching the puck and he said something like "I don't hear anything." I think because he likes the city of Montreal, the fans (especially girls :-) it was hurting him. One thing he's been booed in Philadelphia or in Pittsburgh, those are the enemies and you can't expect anything else, another thing it's the city and the team he grew up to admire. For him Montreal Canadiens are like Moscow Dynamo, so much history, so much respect.

As of Ovi being too predictable, it's only partially true. When he is in his top form, when he is hot, you can't stop him even when you know what he is going to do next. That's what the greatest players do...

Mini-Summer Vacation Before the End of Hockey Season
for the Hershey Bears

By pucksandbooks at On Frozen Blog

The Worcester Ice Cats defeated the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 last night to even their American League Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games a piece. Why is that of note? It means more R&R for the Hershey Bears — perhaps too much of it.

The Bears ended their conference semifinal series with Albany in upstate New York last Thursday night. The Bears swept the Rats, but the series was anything but easy — three of the games went to overtime...

How to Excel as a College Hockey Player
Guest post by Tom Tessin at Love the Game, Don't Like Puck Bunnies

Whether you’re playing ice hockey in college now or planning to, here are six simple effective tips to excel as a hockey player in college.

When you use these helpful tips on networking and skill development, you can get noticed by recruiters and scouts, who can take you far, maybe even to the professional leagues such as NHL or CWHL...

Citroen and Loeb out to defend their leads in New Zealand
Posted at

After three rally wins on the bounce, defending world champion Sebastien Loeb is heading to the Antipodes determined to continue in the same vein - even though a handsome advantage in the drivers' standings means he'll leave New Zealand as leader no matter what.

In the last Rally New Zealand in 2008, Loeb and his team-mate Dani Sordo gave the Citroen Total World Rally Team a one-two result. And while a string of bad luck for Sordo has scuppered that sort of dominance so far this year, a second place for Loeb in Sweden, followed by wins on the next three rounds...

May 1, 2010

'Doctor Who' Review: Episode 5.03, 'Victory Of The Daleks'
By Mark Gatiss at MTV's Splash Page

Story: The Doctor is summoned by his old buddy Winston Churchill, who believes he has a new secret weapon in the battle against the Third Reich. While bombers set their sights on London, The Doctor and his companion, Amy Pond, come face to face with an old enemy — the evil Daleks.

But could The Doctor's greatest enemies be the nation's best defense?...

Bret Michaels: Health Update
Posted by mdome at Classic Rock

An update on Poison frontman Bret Michaels’ condition, following his brain haemorrhage, has been posted on his website.

The statement says:...

Ozzfest: Full Line-Up Announced
Posted by mdome at Classic Rock

Ozzy Osbourne and Mötley Crüe are to co-headline this year’s Ozzfest tour of America.

They’ll be joined on the main stage by Halford, Devildriver and Nonpoint.

The second stage features the following bands:...

Irregular Postseason
Posted by Mike Vogel at Dump 'N Chase

In the last week or so of the 2009-10 regular season, leading up to the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, there was much debate locally about Washington’s potential first-round playoff opponent. With so many possibilities – Boston, Philadelphia, Montreal, Atlanta and the New York Rangers were all in the mix going into the final week – it was fun to debate the merits non-merits of each possibility.

Those of us who travel with the team debated the candidates on the basis of best cities to visit, with each of the five having some benefits in that area but Montreal coming up on top of most people’s list. But from a hockey standpoint and from the standpoint of hoping the Caps would draw an opponent that would enable them to make quick work of a first-round opponent...

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