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C.Hunt vs. Cox

One question I get asked a lot (not from anyone that reads the Barilkosphere) is why I don't like Damien Cox. This is yet another great example of why he grates on Leaf fans and probably on any other fans that have any understanding of hockey.

I guess "Mike Hunt" would have been too obvious even for Damien. God knows my "Ben Dover" comments always get moderated. Kudos to whoever made up "Chris Hunt" and tried to explain to Cox just why people dislike his writing. The response is vintage Cox.  

Damien - if you ever wondered why people have a problem with the way you do things you need to look no further then this quote:

"Now, understand Varlamov is no Justin Pogge."

Did this really need saying? Could you have not made the point without dragging Pogge into it, or making some sort of snide, anti-Leaf remark? If you're going to write about the Capitals, write about the Capitals. Don't drag a Leafs prospect into the conversation in a disparaging way when he has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Maybe you could do some actual research and find out if a situation similar to the one you've proposed has ever gone down, then compare it to this, providing us with some sort of apples to apples comparison. Don't you think that might give your analysis some actual depth?

I guess not.

Posted by: Chris Hunt | April 15, 2009 at 11:11 PM

Hunt's comment is well-founded. The fact that Damien has to get his potshots in all of the time is one thing that drives most Leaf fans batty. It's true that if Cox did some actual research he might offer an insightful comparison between Varlamov and Pogge. They have had pretty similar career paths so I wonder if I could come up with some basic comparison.

Let's start out with their play internationally at the junior level. Varlamov played for Russia in the WJHC in 2006 (1 appearance against Latvia) and 2007 (1.51 GAA) while Pogge won Gold in 2006 as well as being named the tournament MVP as well as the Top Goaltender and earning a spot on the Tournament All-Star Team. At least in that pedigree Varlamov is definitely no Pogge although Cox would likely point out that Team Canada was a juggernaut in 2006.

Once you get to their professional careers it's once again a tough situation to judge. The Capitals, as shown by their ability to deal with injuries this season, obviously have a much deeper franchise than the Maple Leafs. Varlamov has had a good season in the AHL. Pogge's season has been up and down with regards to his performance so Varlamov gets the edge here. This is one time when the relative strength of the clubs would obviously be ignored. We can't even get into the playoffs because while Pogge had a few good playoff games last year (and has started this year off well!) it's a small sample size compared to Varlamov's lack of a sample.

In terms of NHL performance Varlamov has outpaced Pogge:

2008 - Justin Pogge 7 372 1 4 1 0 27 4.35 173 146 .844 0
2008 - Simeon Varlamov 6 329 4 0 1 0 13 2.37 159 146 .918 0

You could argue the subtleties of the differences between the two teams (one being good and the other being bad) but there you have at least an attempt at a comparison between the two that provides some actual basis for the comparison. Varlamov is definitely not Pogge. He is part of a good club. That was easy right? That took about 20 minutes of googling.

I wonder what Damien's response will be?

Damien here. . .responding to Chris Hunt. . .no, I don't ever wonder why people "have a problem with the way I do things." Some like my style, some don't. I'm okay either way. I believe in the ability of people to think for themselves, and not for me to figure out how they'd like me to write.
Regarding the reference to Pogge, let me spell it out for you. I work for the Toronto Star. Most of my readers either in the paper on the web are GTA-based. So I used Leaf references often because it makes sense in the market in which I work. That's just common sense.
It's not my fault Pogge hasn't yet proven he can play in the NHL, or really even in the AHL. The point was to make it clear Varlamov is a much brighter NHL prospect. Sorry if that upsets your Leaf sensibilities.

Obviously, the first thing you notice is that Damien does not understand how comments work on the internet. Maybe he thinks that he has to write them that way because every comment I submit starts with "Pension Plan Puppets here...responding to DamienCox...". Could he think that's how he has to do it? Buddy, your username is right there at the bottom of your comment and don't worry we'll definitely recognize the tone.

Which is the second thing you notice. Sure, he could do what most people do in their comments when they are challenged and back up their statements with facts (see Steve for the best examples) but where's the humanity in that? Instead, we get "I don't give a shit what you punks think of what I write. I write BS because I expect people to be able to see right through it." Well, we do. Who doesn't love getting a serving of arrogance with a side of smug jackass?

Not to mention that Cox must have a hell of an editor because even though, as you can tell by the time stamps, he specifically chose to respond to Hunt's question because he considers it low-hanging fruit he still managed to mangle his response.

We get it Damien. You work in Toronto but contrary to the popular belief that Leaf fans aren't hockey fans we do have a concept of other teams in the NHL. Varlamov is about as proven in the NHL as Pogge. Switch situations and I am not sure the results would be that much different. As for the AHL, I don't know what conclusions you can draw on one season by Varlamov but if you feel comfortable doing so just explain it. It's not that hard.

No need to be a dick about it.