Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Such is team Canada's depth that they felt it unnecessary to invite a player who finished ninth in league scoring last season. He was 22nd the year before, but also finished ninth in scoring in both 05/06 and 06/07. He's become the league's unknown superstar. And while it's fair to say Canada isn't lacking for offensive centremen, it's a little galling that he doesn't even merit an invite to training camp.
You could make the argument that Savard is a product of good linemates, but I don't buy that. While he has been blessed with some strong supporting casts, he outscored his next-best Boston teammate, Phil Kessel, by 15 points last season. Last year, he led the team by a margin of 22 points. He is in many ways a second coming of Adam Oates - an unglamourous passer who racks up points by dishing the puck to scoring wingers. In that sense, he's perfectly suited to playing for Canada, where he'd have no shortage of quality scoring wingers.
You could make the argument that he's a product of the new NHL and will struggle in clutch-and-grab international hockey, but that position fails too. In two pre-lockout seasons he was a point-a-game player, while he has been no disappointment in high-pressure playoff games, scoring 19 points in 18 games.
The only possible explanation is that Canada's management don't see another place for a scoring centre. At this point Crosby, Getzlaf, Thornton and Richards are all strong options, not to mention Staal, Lecavalier and Carter (among others). Simply put, Savard lacks the defensive chops to put him ahead of that group, and isn't suited to moving to the wing the way Carter or Marleau might be.
Why not invite him over Andy MacDonald or Jordan Staal, though? Over Derek Roy, who managed just 70 points last year? Savard is getting a raw deal because he's played nearly his entire career as the quiet star of American teams. There is one last problem - he hasn't played for Canada since an appearance at the world u-18 tournament years ago. He missed the playoffs again and again after starring with the Thrashers but never threw his hat in the ring for a spot with Canada's World Championships teams, a move that has earned dedicated but perhaps less talented players like Shane Doan and Ryan Smyth automatic invites to training camp this year. Savard can only wonder if that might have made a difference as, at age 32, he will watch these Olympics from the sidelines knowing he will never get a chance.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (175 mL) milk
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) blueberries
In bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter with sugar; beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually stir in milk (mixture may appear curdled). Make a well in centre of dry ingredients; pour in liquid and stir just until moistened. Gently fold in blueberries.
Spoon into large paper-lined or well-greased muffin cups, filling to top. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch.
Turned out nicely - quite basic but a snap to make and they were awfully tasty.
Other recipes i've tried for blueberry muffins mix it up a little more, adding banana, bran, orange or other flavourings. This one was decidedly vanilla, but hey, it's breakfast. No need to get too crazy! I'll use this recipe again.