Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dangerous NHL Duos

Like Butch and Sundance... the Lone Ranger and Tonto...Lennon and Mcartney... sometimes you need that certain particular partner... side kick if you will ...that makes everything ... click.

Here's some of the two man combos making the most noise this season.
Becoming a dangerous duo requires two things: playing together a lot and knowing each other previously or bonding quickly.
...Many coaches assemble lines by finding a strong twosome and rotating in the third member. Keeping all three together helps even more.
Forsberg and anyone gets my vote as best scoring combo out there.

Today's Smorgosboard of Pucks:
  • NHL Surprises and disappointments
  • If your into DOMINANCE, the Sens are where it's at
  • Ted Mouths OFF
  • Honoring the man behind "THE MASK"
  • TONIGHT'S Hockey Picks

  • And finally as a public service we present:

    The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart

    50° Fahrenheit (10° C)
    New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.
    Canadians plant gardens.

    40° Fahrenheit (4.4° C)
    Californians shiver uncontrollably.
    Canadians Sunbathe.

    35° Fahrenheit (1.6° C)
    Italian Cars won't start
    Canadians drive with the windows down

    32° Fahrenheit (0 ° C)
    Distilled water freezes
    Canadian water get thicker.

    0° Fahrenheit (-17.9° C)
    New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
    Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

    -40° Fahrenheit (-40° C)
    Hollywood disintegrates.
    Canadians rent some videos.

    -60° Fahrenheit (-51° C)
    Mt. St. Helens freezes.
    Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

    -100° Fahrenheit (-73° C)
    Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
    Canadians pull down their ear flaps.

    -173° Fahrenheit (-114° C)
    Ethyl alcohol Freezes.
    Canadians get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg.

    -460° Fahrenheit (-273° C)
    Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.
    Canadians start saying "cold, eh?"

    -500° Fahrenheit (-295° C)
    Hell freezes over.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Cracks in the Crackdown?

    After such a promising start are the refs now starting to swallow their whistles thus letting some of the clutching and grabbing calls go that they were making earlier in the season? Some think so.
    "If you compare the first two weeks to now, it's a big difference," said Sundin, moments after scoring the winning goal in overtime against Montreal on Saturday night.

    "I talked to one of the refs during the game. Now it's not back to where it was (two years ago) but I told him there's more clutch and grab out there. There's some hooking and holding going on.

    "Guys are getting away with it. I have nothing against it. But the game is not exactly every call where it was earlier when, if you put a stick on a guy, you were sent off.

    "It hasn't gone all the way back, but it's definitely different than it was at the beginning of the year."

    And how did the referee respond to Sundin's theory?

    "He said: 'You think so?' I said: 'A little bit. I don't mind it.'

    "He said: 'Well, maybe ...' "
    I'd agree that there appears to be some back sliding going on in terms of the strict enforcement we saw earlier in the season. Hopefully it's not a sign of a return to the old days. Stay tuned.

    Other Puck Stuff:

  • Cell Phone Hockey
  • Canadian fans think NHL 'significantly improved'
  • Playoff - Playins coming next year?
  • Renaissance in the Art of Hockey
  • Ex-NHLer's playing Hockey in Japan
  • Police Blotter Hockey:
    A puck love triangle gone bad.
    Bad boy, bad boy, what you gonna do when they come for you?

    Today's Hockey quote:
    "There are still two or three guys who aren't willing to pay the price to win a game. This is not Wal-Mart. There are no discounts in this league."
    - Former San Jose coach Ron Wilson

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Global Warming Threatens Hockey

    Turns out that not only are the Polar Ice Caps in danger of melting... so are the outdoor hockey rinks of the world.
    ...this quintessential slice of Canadian life in wintertime is slowly melting away due to global warming, says a collection of young environmentalists.

    "A bunch of us are fairly avid hockey fans and hockey players and we noticed that we were waiting longer and longer every year to play, and then we started phoning rink operators and were told the same story," said Mike Hudema of Global Exchange.

    "It's not only that the season is getting shorter but it's also the (fewer) number of the cold days in a row. Suddenly you get a real warm spell where your entire rink will melt, and so getting a nice clean surface is really hard."

    Hudema, a 28-year-old from Edmonton, said the campaign, launched over the weekend, has been joined by about a dozen environmental groups, including the heavy-hitting World Wildlife Fund.

    ...They are also organizing a series of protest outdoor hockey games. One game scheduled for Whitehorse was cancelled last week because of warm weather.

    They also plan to stage a mock funeral for shinny hockey outside the Montreal conference on climate change that opens today.
    Well, if you were looking for another reason to get serious about this environmental threat we face this it... the melting of outdoor hockey.

    More on this story:

  • Outdoor hockey threatened by global warming
  • Hockey fans launch effort to fight climate change

  • Today's Hockey Quote:
    "The goalie is like the guy on the minefield. He discovers the mines and destroys them. If you make a mistake, somebody gets blown up"
    - Arturs Irbe, Dallas goaltender

    Sunday, November 27, 2005

    Greatest Shootout Ever

    Trick Shot Heroics from a unlikely source

    Granted, this is only the first quarter of the first season the shootout ever has been used by the league but this one between NY and Washington was one for the ages... a true NHL classic.
    Malik, who has not scored in nearly 21 months, skated in on Kolzig and dropped the puck slightly behind him before snapping a between-the-legs wrist shot right under the crossbar for the game-winner.
    "I was watching everything before me," said Malik, who has taken just 28 shots through New York's first 26 games. "Olie was unbelievable, he stopped everything from shots, moves ... guys tried everything on him. I just thought to myself, 'Maybe I'll surprise him.' I tried the move and it worked."
    Boy, did it ever.

    What made this incredible game all the sweeter was that it took place in the Media Capitol of New York City in front of a crazed packed house at the Garden. All the sports cable outfits are absolutely buzzing about it today and the league and it's new game are getting great publicity out of this unbelievable shootout ending. If you haven't seen the highlights from this contest yet try to catch them.


  • The Early Season NHL Award Winners
  • Should Rookie Honors Exclude Foreign Pros?
  • Bad Blood Rising in the NHL
  • The League's New Public Enemy #1
  • Don Cherry says... "Sue Dick Pound"

  • Today's Hockey Humor Moment:

    Top Ten Reasons Hockey Is Better Than Sex

    10. It's legal to play hockey professionally.
    9. The puck is always hard.
    8. The protective equipment is reusable and you don't even have to wash it.
    7. It lasts a full hour.
    6. You know you're finished when the horn goes off.
    5. Your parents cheer when you score.
    4. A two-on-one or three-on-one is not uncommon.
    3. Periods last only 20 minutes.
    2. You can count on it at least twice a week.
    1. You can tell all of your friends about it afterward.

    ...and finally in other sports news:
    Remember kids, always be careful what kind of bets you make.

    Saturday, November 26, 2005

    Pre-Natal Hockey

    This story has been out for awhile and you may have already seen it but even if you have it's important and bears repeating....

    It's never too early to get kids involved in Hockey. So don't wait, act now and get them into...

    "We have couples who haven't even conceived yet who are putting down deposits to get on the waiting list. With all of the money in the pro game, can you blame them?"

    At his Pre-Natal hockey school, O'Heffernan puts the unborn children through all of the paces.
    "Just because they're not born yet, that doesn't mean we baby them. Hockey's a hard, gruelling game. The sooner they learn that, the better off they'll be in the long run."

    Drills at the school include motivational yelling at the mothers' stomachs, in-class instructional sessions on modern defensive systems, as well as tutorials on effective forechecking techniques in the ultrasound room.

    "The modern game is so complicated, it's imperative that we teach them as soon as possible. If you wait to educate them on the complexities of the left-wing lock after they've been born, they won't be able to grasp all of it, even when they're 18.
    And what do the parents who've enrolled say about the program?
    This is way more useful than those stupid lamaze classes
    ...Nigel and Yolanda Bicklethwaite of Etobicoke said that they enrolled at the O'Heffernan Pre-Natal hockey school out of a desire for their forthcoming baby boy to experience life to its fullest...

    "And if that kid doesn't make it to the NHL, he's out of the f@#king will.
    Yes, as you've probably figured out by now this story is just a joke. HOWEVER, the way things are headed in our society as far as fast-tracking kids goes nowdays maybe we'll actually see something like Pre-Natal Hockey soon.

    It wouldn't surprise me... at all.

    Hockey Quote for the Day:
    "This is the only thing that has seen more parties than us."
    Steven Tyler, Aerosmith's lead singer, after admiring the Stanley Cup.

    Friday, November 25, 2005

    The "Rocket's" Red Glare

    A movie about the complex and controversial times of Maurice "Rocket" Richard and staring many current and former NHLer's opens in Canada this week.
    The story takes Richard from his teenage years, when he worked as a machinist and played hockey on the side, to the fabled 1955 riot where angry fans tore apart downtown Montreal after the league suspended him for the rest of the season after his frenzied attack on a Boston player.
    Along with his ice exploits (eight Stanley Cups) and loving marriage, the movie also recounts how Richard stepped up and fought to have French Canadians treated as equals.
    In Canada, particularly Quebec Richard remains a hugely historic figure both because of his play on the ice and for his importance to the French-Canadians and their struggles off-ice.

    Here's more on the making of... The Rocket.

    Buzzing Around the Net:

  • Ex-Hockey Players with Laptops
  • OLN... STRUGGLES to find a Hockey Audience
  • Hold your Breath Hockey
  • Woman Playing Hockey with Men has the Write Stuff
  • The Crosby Show, it's been BETTER than expected
  • Police Blotter Hockey:
  • Hockey Mom convicted in a case of... RINK RAGE
  • Hockey Thought for the Day:
    Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.
    ~Stephen Leacock

    Finally, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving... at least I hope it was better than the one Nick and Jess had.

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    Thanksgiving Hockey

    Shawn P. Roarke writing for thinks the NHL, it's fans and it's teams have much to be thankful for on this holiday. I agree.
    Most important, we should all give thanks that we have the game we love, being played at its highest possible level, back for our enjoyment. It wasn't easy and it wasn't very pretty, but somehow the league bosses and the players found a compromise that allowed the NHL to pick itself up off the mat and return with a vengeance.
    Check out what he thinks each team in the league should be grateful for this season.

    Here's a sample:
    Calgary Flames Character. This team has more stand-up guys than any other club in the league. Iginla, Donovan, Reinprecht, Yelle, Ference, McCarty, Regehr, Warrener are just a handful of the class acts coach Darryl Sutter can call upon to set an example or solve a problem. The quiet confidence this group has, as a whole, carried the team throughout last year's playoff run and is a testament to the franchise and the city in which they play.
    I couldn't agree more with that assessment.

    Have a great and safe Thanksgiving everyone... and thanks for visiting my site, I'm very grateful.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    Cheating Death in the NHL

    It's happened before

    The Jiri Fischer incident the other night wasn't the first time a NHL player cheated death while on the ice playing. Suprisingly there's actually been quite a few near death experiences during NHL games over the years.
    They've all cheated death on the NHL ice. They are all alive and well today thanks to the lightning-quick response of medical teams as well as some lady luck.
    ...this was not the first time the NHL has been gripped by a real-life medical drama and it probably won't be the last. NHL players are elite athletes, but they are also humans and things happen.
    The only other encounters I'm aware of that players over the years have had with the Grim Reaper were with Stu Grimson the "official" Grim Reaper of the NHL and many of those I'm sure also ended up being near death experiences.

    In Other Puck News:
  • Streaking Returns
  • NHL Fan-tasy Fan Figures
  • Luongo's Panther Blues
  • Crosby Wins Round 1 against A.O.
  • Salary Dumps Q & A

  • As long as the league is dumping salary I'd like to help them out by allowing them to dump some of it my way. Just trying to do my part.

    Hockey Joke of the Day:
    Why is the Hockey Hall Of Fame in Toronto?
    It's the only way Leafs fans can get to see the Stanley Cup!

    Hey, it's just a joke Leaf fans... Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Goonies Nearing Extinction

    Fighting despite reports to the contrary is not yet dead. However, a place in the game for players who can ONLY fight is ending fast as the NHL under the new rules force Puck Pugilists to become more than one dimensional players.
    "The days of the guy who just comes off the bench to fight are long gone," Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis said.
    The tough guy isn’t taking leave of the game. They’re merely going back to the future.

    ...Back in the day, hockey was equally as tough as it is in the modern era, but the guys who handled the fisticuffs could also handle the puck.
    Those NHL enforcers unable to adapt to the new game yet are having to hit the road and take their fighting talents to the minors... like Peter Worrell.

    From the Wide World of Pucks:

  • Winning Hearts and Minds for Hockey
  • Dissident NHL Players Revolt
  • BIGGER Players becoming Expendable
  • Everybody LOVES A.O.
  • Native Players face TOUGH road to NHL

  • My thoughts for the Day:
    J.F.K. R.I.P.
    Jiri get well soon

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    GM's in Jeopardy

    In the old NHL when a team started struggling badly the coach would usually be the first to go... but times have changed. NOW under the new CBA GM's can't hide behind the old "the playing field is not level" excuse anymore and as a consequence they now may be the first to walk the plank when things go bad.
    Just as there are many players and some coaches who have been slow to adjust to the new NHL, there are general managers who have been revealed as sluggish to adjust, as well, and it eventually will cost people their jobs, one former NHL executive said.

    "You may not see it right away," added a top agent. "But it's definitely going to come. The playing field's been leveled, and owners are going to ask, 'Why aren't you succeeding?' That's what the attitude's going to be. Now you're going to have questions, 'What's so special about you?'"

    These are wild, exciting and revolutionary times for everyone in hockey.... even GM's. Don't you just love it ?

    I do.
    Viva La Revolucion!

    Today's Puck Buffet:

  • How to spot a Hockey Sally
  • The NHL @ the 1/4 of season point
  • St. Patricks new Hockey Mission
  • A League of Extraordinary Actors & Divers ?
  • NHL on the move >>> BUT to where ?

  • Hockey Quote for the day:
    Half the game is mental; the other half is being mental.
    - Jim McKenny

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    Olympic Hockey... NHL Style

    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then the NHL I guess should be a little flattered because the Olympics want their Hockey to be played exactly the same way the NHL plays their Hockey. Free... Fast... Flowing... with lots of SKILL showcased.
    "We're going to have the same level at least -- if not stronger," Fasel said Tuesday. "We'll have four NHL officials and other officials from the IIHF and we will work together and follow the line set by the NHL.

    "I'm very, very pleased to see how it works in the NHL. That's the way we should play the game all the time."
    It's good to see the whole World led by the NHL coming together to end the plague of clutch and grab Hockey. It gives me hope for all humanity. Well, at least a little hope.

    Bettman for a Nobel ?

    Pucks Unlimited:

  • The Crosby vs Ovechkin Battle Update.
  • Emotion and Intellect go head to head over pucks
  • NHL 2K6 4 XBOX 360 A REVIEW
  • A GOALIE... in King Gary's Court
  • It's the Spring following NHL's NUCLEAR WINTER

  • Hockey thought of the Day:
    Hockey belongs to the Cartoon Network, where a person can be pancaked by an ACME anvil, then expanded - accordion-style - back to full stature, without any lasting side effect.
    - Steve Rushin

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    You GOT to be TOUGH play Hockey

    We all know how Hockey is a incredibly rough sport and obviously some nights at the office are going to be a little rougher on a player that others. Check out the game Scott Hannan had for the Sharks the other night. To top it off his poor mother was in the stands watching her boy play for the first time. Such is the life of a Hockey Player.
    I'm convinced no other athletes in any other sport... anywhere... play hurt with as much pride as Hockey players do. Some I think play better that way. It's amazing.


  • NHL BLOGGER BABE... more >>> HERE.
  • Overrated >>> GOALIES <<< Underrated
  • NHL 2K6 4 XBOX 360 ........... SHIPS
  • MELROSE: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
  • It's not just for Boys... GIRLS HAZE TOO

  • Ask not what Hockey can do for you but rather what you can do for Hockey.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Save a Horse... Ride a Goalie

    They've been ridden hard, beat up and worn down. The New NHL has been HELL on goalies... in a number of ways.
    The problem isn't that they're getting beaten. It's that they're getting beat up. They're dropping like save percentages. In the first month, 23 had been injured...
    Remember... Mommas don't let your babies grow up to be goalies.


    RATING ROOKIES <<< Tops of New NHL Class
    Steve Avery feels they're after him >>> DIVER DOWN
    FLAMES ON FIRE <<< After a slow start
    It's a Canadian TV Show >>> PSYCHO PUCK PARENTS
    DISSENTING VOICES <<< NOT happy with New NHL

    Have a nice day.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    The Fight Club

    It's Open But Business Is Slow

    To the consternation of many hockey fans fighting majors continue to be way off this season compared to the last time the league played... 42% off. Like with so many other aspects of how the game is now played the new rules have also impacted how the sweet science is now practiced in the NHL.
    During a recent speech in Washington, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hailed the drop in fights as an example of how the game has opened up and become more exciting since the lockout.

    Bettman's claim was challenged on the weekend by Don Cherry on his Coach's Corner segment.

    "Everyone knows everybody loves fights," Cherry said. "They better start listening to the people who are at the game and pay the money than the twits upstairs who get in for free."

    If that's the case, fans are getting much less bang for their buck.

    Through 264 NHL games this year, the league says there have been 227 major penalties. In 2003-04, there had been 393.

    Even with the decline, many feel it's not something that's likely to vanish from the game completely.

    "I don't think that fighting is going to disappear -- I think it's part of our game and it always will be," said Vancouver Canucks GM Dave Nonis, who has enforcer Lee Goren on his roster. "The players have to be able to play.
    The fight crowd has been one of the most passionate and loyal demographics that the league has enjoyed and I don't think it'd be too smart for them to lose that segment of fans completely. Not smart at all.


    Even though they're off to a great start and they have a traditional hockey crazed base to work from Detroit can't get much buzz or excitment generated in the early season. Although officially all games are sellouts actual attendance is down and so are the TV ratings.
    Some of those season ticket-holders haven't been arriving on time -- or at all. That leaves the curious sight of clumps of empty red seats, mostly in the lower bowl.

    The weekend games showed fewer empty seats in the lower bowl (estimated to be only about 20 per section). But the weekday games, especially Monday nights, have produced an eye-catching number of season-ticket no-shows.

    ...The mythical "can't get tickets" status for the Wings has been shattered, and that's left some to wonder if everything was still OK in Hockeytown.
    So, is Detroits early season no-show woes a ominous sign in regards to the leagues' recovery or just a early season blip ? I think playing all those games against Columbus and Nashville probably doesn't do much to excite the locals yet but once they get deep into the season Detroit will get it's groove back.


    NHL writer Shawn P. Roarke has plenty that he'd like to share.

    Like this one for instance.
    Herb Brooks was a positive thinker as well. The fact that he is not in the Hockey Hall of Fame yet is a travesty. Even without the "Miracle on Ice" accomplishments, Brooks remains one of the greatest hockey minds of his generation.
    I concur on that one... and most of the others too.

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Five Alive... and more

    This Year's Surprises... So Far:
    There's been a lot of up and coming teams playing surprisingly and entertainingly well here in the early going of the NHL season. Here's five to keep your eyes on that should continue making noise as the season progresses. One I have to admit is a real surprising pick but it's one I think the author is right about.

    To Russia with Love:
    In recent years it's been Russia exporting players and playing style to North America but here's a story of the reverse happening... a Canadian successfully taking the North American style of play to Russia ...and it's not just any Canadian.

    Black Market Hockey:
    Psssst, hey buddy want to buy a hockey stick... cheap ? I had no idea there was so much money to be made in dealing... Hot Hockey Gear. 2 to 3 hundred dollars a pop... for a hockey stick ? I had no idea.

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    The Ten Commandments

    Hockey of the Holy

    On this most spiritual day of the week let us not only give thanks and praise for our wonderful bounty of pucks but also let us take a moment to contemplate and reflect upon the sacred wit and wisdom of one of Hockeys' holiest scriptures.

    Click the Pic^
    and be saved
    my brothers and sisters.

    This one's a favorite of mine:
    IV: Thou shalt not have disruptive electronic communicative devices at your seat during a hockey game

    What could be more important than a hockey game? Your child is sick? NO. Your grandmother just died? NO. You just lost your job because you called in sick again to see the game? NO. So leave them in the car where they belong.
    So, on this the Lord's day take a moment to pause and reflect on the sacred commandments of his most favorite sport and then go forth my children and spread the gospel of Hockey.


    Friday, November 11, 2005

    NHL 2K6 XBOX360 Preview

    Click the Pic ^
    and check out the next step in Hockey Video Gaming.
    "Just like the NHL ushered in a new era for its sport, the Xbox 360 is prepared to user in a new era in video games. In a little more than a week, gamers will be flocking to retailers to pick up the latest and greatest console, and will be lookin’ for those killer launch titles as well. One of those titles, especially if you’re a hockey fan, will be the next-gen version of NHL 2K6."

    Ire of the Tiger

    The New NHL has him all bent out of shape

    Tiger Williams expresses his opinions as powerfully and eloquently as you'd expect the All-Time Penalty Leader in NHL history would. As far as the New NHL goes... I think if he could he'd just as soon smack it upside the head and have it carted off the ice unconscious never to return. In other words, the same old Tiger we know and love.
    "They can sell this (garbage) to anyone else, not me," said the longtime Maple Leaf before playing in last night's Canada/Russia Legends game at the 'Dome.

    "They're going to kill all the goalies and most of the good defencemen. And some snot-nosed little (punk) that isn't going to break a nail is going to score 50 goals and he's never driven to the net in his life. He's never stood in front of the net with Moose Dupont giving him 89 cross checks in the back of the head."

    ...."Whether crosschecking a guy in front of the net like we did was right or wrong the guys in this room played through that. And now to have today's players score 400 goals in a no-touch pond hockey league is garbage. Getting in another guy's face is part of the character of the game."

    ..."It's amazing that some little punk in New York has that much power and all of Canada is just full of followers. Every scout, colour guy and everyone who wants a job in the league one day are all marching to the same beat. What's so disappointing is there hasn't been one guy in the media who has said one bad thing about it. Either you're all stupid or you all lost your (guts) at the same time."

    Like I said, same old Tiger. He lands some solid shots against the New NHL to say the least but I have to wonder though... 89 cross checks to the head by Moose ?

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    The Fantasy Top 50

    NHL's BEST Players in Fantasy League Play

    Some people now days are paying more attention to Fantasy League action than NHL action and want to know who the best performers are for their teams in their fantasy pools. So here's a look at that the top players in that "other" league that's so popular. You'll notice lots of new names on this list that we didn't see the last time the NHL played a season.
    As we head into Week 5 of the NHL season, this top 50 list is in major flux. First of all, I could easily list about nine Senators (though there are actually only five), since it seems like every forward on their team has scored four goals in a game at some point this year (Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Martin Havlat actually have). The Oilers are also riding a hot streak, having won five consecutive games. And the Sharks, after a horrible start and the loss of their top two goalies, Evgeni Nabakov and Vesa Toskala, to injuries, turned to a rookie goaltender, the No. 49 man on this list, who has done nothing but go 5-1 in the Sharks' last 6 games.

    You gotta love the new NHL. Who whoulda thunk it?
    ME! I thunk it.


    Hey, don't laugh with global warming melting the polar ice caps like crazy maybe this could be the hockey wave (no pun intended) of the future.

    "It looks like a feeding frenzy; like a shark is attacking them," Jeckell said. "From up top, it looks like chaos."

    Underwater, participants are armed with a one-foot, wooden stick shaped like a hook. The stick is used to bat around a puck as players push, shove and lunge along the bottom of the pool, midway between the shallow and deep ends.

    Gender and physique do not matter with water acting as the great equalizer.

    "We have a 70-year-old man who comes down from Canada each year to play with us, and he does just fine," 18-year-old club President Mark Mullersman said. "Some of the best players in the world aren't in fit shape. It's just everyone brings their own aspect to the game."
    I was surprised to learn the sport dates back to the 1950's and is played internationally. Huh, learn something new everyday I guess.

    HOT WOMEN!!!

    Last but not least here's a great idea for all our female readers particularlly those up north that will be trying to stay warm while enjoying hockey games.... or anything else this winter.

    Microwaveable Bras, what will they think of next?

    ... electric jocks?

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    The 50 Club

    Will it Reopen Again ?

    The last season the NHL played NO ONE got into The 50 Club... no one got even close to getting into the place. This season if the scoring pace continues like it has a dozen or more players have a shot at getting into that exclusive club.

    My how times have changed.
    "It'll be hard for everyone to keep up that pace all season long but it is fun to see for sure," said Briere, who has 10 goals in 14 games this season.

    No one came close to 50 the last time NHL hockey was played in 2003-04 - Jarome Iginla, Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash all sharing the Rocket Richard Trophy with 41 goals apiece.

    Only Milan Hejduk got to 50 in 2002-03 and Iginla was the only man in 2001-02. Three did in 2000-01, only one the season before that and none in 1998-99.

    "They've tried to bring that back and I think right now the NHL has done a great job to change a couple of things and it's going to be fun seeing somebody get 50 this year," said Gagne, the league's leading goal-scorer with 16 goals after scoring again in Tuesday's 4-3 win over Boston.

    "And right now, it's looking pretty good that we might have more than one guy."
    I think in the end we'll see about six players with solid shots at hitting 50.


    Have you ever dreamed of being a GM and/or Coach of your very own hockey team? Have you always thought that YOU could make better personal and coaching decisions than some of the GM/Coaches you've seen out there?
    Well now you can be the big guy in charge and run the whole show and I do mean the WHOLE show. It's called NHL Eastside Hockey Manager.
    You assume the role of General Manager, which in the National Hockey League is usually confined to the business end of running a team: signing players and coaches, making the large-scale personnel moves outside the day-to-day activities on the rink. But with NHL EHM 2005, you can be quite hands-on, and in many ways assume some coaching-level duties as well, such as setting the roster and choosing line combinations and defensive pairings as well as emphasizing what players need to work on during practice, such as conditioning, shooting, defensive skills, etc.
    I think it's fun watching the continued evolution of these computer hockey games. The immersion levels just keep getting higher and higher with each passing quantum leap in hard and software development. With online leagues and tournaments already thriving and continued tech advancements guaranteed we may reach a point where hyper charged virtual play will be more important, followed and rewarded than real play.

    Naaaaah, it could NEVER happen..... could it ?

    Finally, the curious case of the unknown goalie.

    Police in West Vancouver, B.C. are trying to determine the identity of a young man who can't remember who he is.

    The only piece of evidence they have to work with is a bag of hockey equipment filled with goalie gear
    Personally I think it might be because the poor kid took one too many slap shots to the melon while playing in goal. It can happen.

    UPDATE: On the mystery of the unknown goalie.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    ESPN & NHL Reach New Media Deal

    They couldn't reach a agreement over broadcast rights but ESPN and the NHL were able to come to terms allowing the world's leading sports network to use NHL video highlights and data in their new cell phone, broadband and Classic cable channel services.
    The ESPN deal involves putting NHL content -- including video highlights -- on Mobile ESPN, and the ESPN 360 broadband service. It also includes access to real-time NHL statistics and other data. While some rights are the same as ESPN had previously, others are new, including the soon-to-be-launched Mobile ESPN and an extra minute (to a total of three minutes) of highlights per game.

    "ESPN as a company is still committed to covering the league," Kelly Laferriere, ESPN's vp programming and acquisitions.

    Doug Perlman, the NHL's senior vp television and new media, said Monday that new media is crucial to its fan base of men 18-34 and men 18-49. "It's important for us to be a part of it," Perlman said.
    This kind of high-tech ability to service a "niche" audience that's now coming onto the consumer media market has a lot of potential for the NHL to exploit in reaching out and connecting to it's fan base... and beyond. This deal I think represents a HUGE step in that direction.

    In other related news:


    Sports-information purveyors, mobile-phone service providers and video-game publishers have rushed to make handsets one-stop shops for football, baseball, basketball and hockey fans --

    ...In perhaps the best example of this trend to date, the ESPN sports-media giant this month begins selling an ESPN-branded mobile handset (made by Sanyo) with ESPN-branded wireless service (provided by Sprint Nextel) at Best Buy stores in Austin, Texas; Minneapolis; Reno, Nev.; and San Antonio. Other cities are due to follow in coming months.

    The Sanyo MVP sports a special button with an "E" in ESPN's distinctive font. Pressing that button will hurl users into an ESPN realm with game scores, team updates, sports alerts, video highlights, graphical re-creations, access to fantasy-sports leagues and more.

    Even closed, the high-end flip phone will offer a sports fix. On its small secondary screen, scrolling text will clue in users to the latest game results.
    If your interested in what the exciting near future world of digital sports media will look like on ESPN check out this WIRED article on the subject.
    ...the idea that you'll only watch television by plunking yourself in front of a 60-inch plasma screen is growing quaint. Home networks will put TV on your desktop; a proliferation of wireless technologies, from 3G to WiMax, will let you take it anywhere. And in a few years, when the cable companies finally dump their bandwidth-hogging analog channels and go all-digital, they'll be able to offer broadband at speeds that will put TV-quality video on the Net. Professional television will no doubt remain distinguishable from the rising tide of videoblogs, but the age of one-to-many broadcasting will be over for good.
    coool, bring it on, I'm ready for the new media sports revolution to begin.

    Womens' Pro Hockey League

    Dream BIG... why not?

    Personally as a stark raving mad hockey nut I think this is a great idea. However I fully realize and understand the huge obstacles faced in bringing this quixotic dream to reality, particularly on this side of the border. Nevertheless it's good to see people like Angela Ruggiero following their dreams and pushing the hockey envelope in ways never before imagined.
    "The groundwork is already there with the NWHL (the Canadian-based National Women's Hockey League) and it gets coverage up there, but a league here has to get a foothold in the media to allow fans to follow their teams instead of waiting for one game on TV once every few years," Ruggiero said Thursday.

    "I'm very happy with all the coverage we do get on NBC during the Games - a lot of sports don't even get that. And I'm grateful the media does perk up for us during Olympic years. I know we have a good product. But the frustration comes afterward.

    "Even the NHL is having those kind of exposure issues. I've heard ESPN is showing more highlights to try to keep its hockey fans satisfied, but I also know the games are harder to find on OLN because not a lot of homes have it. It's still more regional coverage.

    "We also get a lot of regional coverage, which is great, but it's not going to attract new growth outside those areas."

    Maybe there's some cable rights synergy for a pro women's hockey league down the road with NBC, which has jumped back into covering the NHL starting early next year. Maybe it's getting the Lifetime Channel or OLN interested after seeing how well the U.S. team performs in February.
    Women's pro hockey in the US may not fly now BUT it will someday not too far down the road due largely to the pioneering efforts now of hockey people like Angela Ruggiero.

    You go girl.

    And in other women's hockey news.
    TORINO, Italy (AP) — The U.S. women's team beat Finland 1-0 Monday in the first game at the main hockey arena for the Torino Olympics.
    You go girls.

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Puck Pilgrimage

    In Canada Hockey is a religion with it's own sacred sites and deities. It even has it's own Holy Trinity.
    VICTORIA -- They came on crutches and on walkers, by wheelchair and by stroller, joining a queue for an audience with an ancient warrior.

    The procession was clothed in the familiar bleu, blanc et rouge of les Glorieux. It was a pilgrimage in which devotees brought the icons and artifacts of their fandom. For many, their faith is a birthright.

    Their religion is hockey and their denomination is the Canadiens.

    They waited in line for up to three hours for a few moments of grace in the presence of a secular god known as much by his uniform number (4) and his nickname (Le Gros Bill), as by his name.

    ..."There is the holy trinity," 45-year-old fan Jean-Paul Desjardins explained. "Maurice Richard. Guy Lafleur. Jean Béliveau. Béliveau is the father, Lafleur the son, and Maurice, since he is gone, he is the holy ghost up in heaven."

    I definitely need to make a pilgrimage there myself one of these days.


    Old adversaries get together to relive some of the past and to have some fun for a good cause.
    The game, which drew 14,000 to Air Canada Centre, was one of five on a tour that made stops last week in Winnipeg and Edmonton and continues Wednesday in Calgary and Thursday in Vancouver.

    Proceeds go to the Shoot For A Cure program that generates awareness and prevention of spinal cord injuries in hockey.
    Classic Hockey relived AND help given a good cause, what more could anyone ask for?


    More than simply providing protection it often also symbolizes the inner spirit of the goaltender and carries the team's colors into the heart of the battle. They've enjoyed quite a evolution since being introduced.
    Masks have come a long way since Plante’s plain fiberglass model, which evolved into the pretzel model, soon worn by another Canadiens goaltender, Ken Dryden. But plain white just wouldn’t do for some. Gerry Cheevers added stitches where the puck or a stick hit his mask. Not colorful enough for you? The Philadelphia Flyers took it a step further. As a prank for a game on Halloween night, the Flyers trainer painted Doug Favell’s mask orange, making the Flyers netminder look as if he were wearing a pumpkin.

    From there, the trend took off.
    Boy has it ever took off, it's always interesting seeing what new inspirations and designs the goaltenders come up with each year.

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    New NHL Sprains Brains


    Well, the good news is that the NHL has been successful at bringing high speed action and excitement back into the game but the bad news is that's caused a increase in high speed collisions and resulting head trauma that's forcing some of the league's best and brightest to the sidelines.
    When you redesigned the game and took out all the interference, you neglected to think about one dangerous side effect: Speed.

    With the emphasis on free-flow hockey, officials have removed speed limit signs and the result are some cataclysmic collisions. As many as a half-dozen concussion-causing hits in the first month of the season.
    Huh, and here I thought the problem a lot of people were complaining about was the lack of hitting in the new game. Learn something new everyday.

    The NHL... The National Head-trauma League.


    It's a tough year to be a goalie, to say the least.

    Not only have they had their gear shrunk and the rules changed in order to get more pucks past them there's also been talk of the league introducing slimmer more form fitting and uniquely colored jerseys for the goalies so they'll stand out more and also have less fabric draped on themselves that has the potential of ensnaring pucks. Hell, the way it's been going they might as well put bull's-eyes on them also.
    In the new NHL, the crease, once an area where angels feared to tread, has become as approachable as Tara Reid on dollar beer night. Forwards dart through the crease with reckless abandon as defensemen watch passively, paralyzed by trying to play within the rules that have been on the books for decades but have rarely been enforced.

    Meanwhile, goalies -- no longer allowed to clear the area with a paddle to the groin of an imposing attacker like in the good old days -- can't protect themselves. They may as well replace the team logo on their chest with a bull's-eye.
    Aaah, yeah, that's what I said.... bull's-eyes.

    Anyways as always:
    Mommas DON'T let your babies grow up to be goalies.


    He fought the law and the law... LOST.

    Legendary hockey enforcer Bob Probert was cleared of all charges this past week in relation to a assault on police officers that was alleged to have taken place at Bob's place. His own surveillance system's videotape provided the proof needed to clear him.
    Police were called to Probert's Russell Woods Drive home just after 8 a.m. July 1 after his wife called 911. "She was frantic," said Kavanaugh. She told the dispatcher her husband had been drinking all night and had punched a hole in the wall.

    But Ducharme said Probert was showing his friends who were with him in the garage how poorly built the $1 million-plus home is. "They were horsing around," said Ducharme. "His wife didn't know that."
    Yep, I agree, they just don't make million dollar homes the way they use to. It's enough to make a guy go nuts.

    Anyways I imagine that was the only time in Bob's career that he's been able to get the refs to review a call and overturn it thus keeping him out of the sin bin... or as in this case... jail.

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    NHL Breakout Players

    There's a number of exciting young players not named Crosby or Ovechkin that are fast making names for themselves in this new obstruction and clutching free NHL. takes a look at a few of the new young guns storming the league.
    The 2005-06 season may one day be remembered as the dawn of a new era -- not only for its two-line passes and shootouts, but also for the crop of talented young players bursting on the scene. The retirements of Mark Messier, Brett Hull, Scott Stevens, Ron Francis and Al MacInnis foreshadowed a changing of the NHL guard. So far, the new corps hasn't disappointed.

    To begin, there's an exceedingly rich rookie class -- one advantage to losing an entire season to a labor dispute -- that runs much deeper than the names everyone knows: Sidney Crosby (2 goals, 13 assists, 15 points) and Alexander Ovechkin (8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points).

    The lockout gave a number of young players, who had gotten their feet wet in the NHL, another year to mature in the minors or overseas. The result? The league is full of players who are either completely new or have developed far beyond the specimens previously seen in 2003-04.
    See who picked to highlight >>> here.

    Meanwhile way over on the other side of the world the game is being played slightly differently and for slightly different reasons.


    Nothing like a little street hockey to help the boys relax and enjoy themselves while on breaks from the hell of war.
    They're out nearly every afternoon on roller blades, firing an orange street-hockey ball at a homemade goal constructed of steel pipes and solar shade netting.

    "When I first saw them, I thought, "That’s kind of weird, playing hockey in the desert," said Sgt. David Loainoco, a native of Long Island, N.Y., who grew up playing hockey on the street and on the ice. "So then I asked my wife to send me my skates."

    The informal league of roughly 20 soldiers began when Sgt. Eric Armstrong of Appleton, Wis., asked his mother to send enough hockey sticks and skates to outfit 10 players.

    After hearing about the die-hard hockey fans stationed here in Iraq, the National Hockey League donated professional goalie equipment and gloves for the players, which they received in September.
    It's real nice to see that the NHL came through for the guys with some equipment. May all involved in this war make it home safe and sound... soon.

    Ooooh, one last thing before I go... Bobby Orr likes the new NHL.
    "I like it. I've seen a lot of good games," said Orr. "I think the fans like the offence, I'm sure you guys like the offence. There's lots of talk about it. Our skill players are showing their skill."

    And Orr's sports agency represents a couple of this season's finest.

    "Jason Spezza's one of our kids, Eric Staal is one of our kids," said Orr with a growing grin. "They're doing all right."

    One of the best aspects of the repackaged game, said Orr, is the parity. While Ottawa, Detroit and Vancouver look like upper-echelon teams, most franchises have a legitimate shot at the Stanley Cup.

    "There are a lot of teams that can win it," said Orr. "I think there are a lot of good teams, I think the league's in good shape."
    Well there you have it, that's good enough for me, if Bobby Orr one of the greatest players ever to have laced them up says the leagues in good shape... well then you can take that to the bank.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Puck Legends Traveling Ice Show

    A nostalgic trip back into hockey yesteryear

    For many people this tour brings back fond memories of possibly the greatest international competitions ever held.
    Russ Fast made sure he didn't miss another opportunity to see a Canada-Russia rivalry on ice.

    Fast drove an hour to Winnipeg from Steinbach, Man., Wednesday night with his 11-year-old son, Sam, to take in the first game of the inaugural Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic Tour. The five-game, cross-Canada charity series is celebrating three decades of hockey with a Canada vs. Russia theme.
    I know I'm dating myself but I too have vivid memories of those series especially the one in 72 which featured I think some of the greatest hockey ever played.


    FINALLY... now you can do something really useful with the damn things... PLAY HOCKEY !
    Boasting more robust art and vivid animation, as well as incredible gameplay improvements, NHL 5-on-5 2006 features all 30 NHL teams with strengths and weaknesses mirroring their real-life counterparts. Reminiscent of console classics, NHL 5-on-5 2006 offers full season mode, including the playoffs as well as the Stanley Cup Finals, and the mobile game also allows players to download updated lineups reflecting information on player movement and team improvements.
    "The superior animation and noticeably detailed gameplay movements mirror the characters' real-life NHL player counterparts, and we are proud that the NHL players are presented in such an impressively realistic manner," stated Ted Saskin, Executive Director of the NHL Players Association.


    I'm sure you've all been quite concerned about this serious problem plaguing sports at the moment (dripping sarcasm). Well as far as it being a issue in Hockey... you can relax, it's NOT one.
    Everywhere I've been, we've always had it (the rule): You go into the rink, you wear a suit, Taylor said. It's just protocol. That's how we do things in hockey. For the most part, it's like that everywhere.
    and what about too much "bling" in Hockey ?
    As for players wearing jewelry, that's something that hasn't come up during Taylor's coaching days. Gold chains are apparently foreign in hockey culture, as opposed to basketball.
    I left mine at home, actually, Christiansen joked. No, that definitely is not part of the culture.
    OK... Great... I'm glad everybody in Hockey is already onboard with the program and are dressed for success because success is coming their way and they better be ready for their close-up.


    Hockey mom tossed... for being too aggressive.
    Her son hasn't been hurt by a bodycheck, but she said she wanted him to learn how to take and deliver a body check to help him prevent injuries in the future.

    Fellow hockey parents are applauding Nychuk-Jensen's efforts.

    "I have always seen her as a proactive mother looking for the best interest of all her children," says Karen Ackerman.
    And that is... As the Hockey World turns... for Nov. 4, 2005

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    The Top 10 Rookies... So Far

    Who's #1 might surprise you

    It's going to be a much tighter race all year long for the Calder Trophy than a lot of people I think expected... at least so far that's exactly the way it's shaping up. Here's the rundown from the good folks at Hockey Futures.
    The new rules have enabled talented rookies to make an impact at every position, making the 2006 Calder Trophy race one of the most intriguing aspects of the season. Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin have both lived up to the preseason hype that surrounded them and should be the frontrunners the entire year. However, several other youngsters are making the most of playing time with NHL clubs and have made surprising contributions.
    Find out who their Top 10 picks were >>> here.

    I picked Ovechkin to win it a few weeks back and I'm stickin with that choice. That boy flat out has... "skills" ...special otherworldly kind of hockey skills if you ask me BUT Sid is obviously proving to be no slouch either and I think this race is going to be a exciting and close one till the very end. Just another one of the many hockey blessings for us to savor during this season of the pro game's rebirth.

    The league of course has their own idea about who's been the #1 rookie so far.

    Longboard Hockey

    Basically it's underground Hockey games played on skateboards. The concept and sub-culture surrounding it seems to have originated in Vancouver.
    Bricin Lyons grabs his board, passes the can and then smashes into another player. He's in a secret, underground location, where he and his team are practicing for the world's only longboarding hockey league.

    Longboarding, if you didn't know, is like skateboarding, except the board is, well, longer. Hockey played while riding longboards is a fast, tough game.
    Well, it's definitely a post-modern mutation of our grand sport... that's for sure ...BUT it's a mutation that if you ask me I'd say is a pretty freakin coool one. oddmanrush supports it's inclusion in the next summer X games competition.

    Hockey Tech

    Real-time digital puck info delivered to your... wrist watch ? Yep, really, no kidding, it's coming soon for all the hockey geeks out there that need to be always connected to their sport.
    ...Chris Lodwig... a program manager for the SPOT team. I have been tasked with working on the hockey channel. I'm really happy to say things are going well and it looks like we will be releasing hockey during the 2005-2006 season. We are finishing up the development effort and will begin testing the channel soon.
    If your curious here's a thread with more about it.

    Finally, I'd like to close todays post with a reading from the Hanson Bros. infrequently asked questions page.
    Do you see yourself as role models?
    Louie - Pensacola, FL

    We do our best to put a smile on every face we meet, but if they don't smile, we nail 'em with the foil!
    Yes indeed, words to live by.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Head Coach Hell

    They've Lost Control of the Game

    The new game has completely scrambled the world they use to know and love... and control. The revolution happened very fast (practically overnight) and they're still way behind the curve trying desperately to get a handle on a new game that's flying by them. It's been literally a dizzying experience as they try and adjust on the fly in order to come to grips with the brave new world of 21st century NHL hyper-hockey.
    More lead changes, more open ice, more penalties, more power plays, more mistakes - it has taken away some of their control. And that was the whole point. "The consistency throughout the game is something that is not to the coaches' liking because there are major swings," said Dallas Stars head coach Dave Tippett. "And a lot of times it's a swing where the game moves very quickly. It's good for the game, good for the fans, but it takes a lot of control away from the coach."
    It's going to be very interesting and exciting seeing what new coaching talents and game changing strategies emerge from this new rules experiment the league has embarked on. Very interesting.

    NHL Sets New All-Time Attendance Record

    How much more bad news can the NHL take?
    With its first month of the post-lockout era in the books, the National Hockey League announced that it set an all-time attendance record for the month of October.

    The NHL's buildings averaged 16,820 fans per game over the 174 contests played last month. That is an increase of 3.8 percent from the first month of the 2003-04 season, the last before the league's lengthy labor stoppage.
    The oddmanrush weather report continues to predict a future of bright sunny days ahead and warns readers to wear adequate eye protection.

    The Pied Piper of Pucks

    Sid's Leading the Kids to Hockey
    His impact is monstrous. It'll be like what happened when Gretzky went to LA, said Pierre McGuire, who was a scout and coach with the Penguins in the early 1990s and now serves as a color commentator for TSN and NBC. It really created a whole new generation of player. Crosby going to Pittsburgh will create a whole new generation of players in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio and all over the United States and Canada.
    Sid the Savior and his Children's Puck Crusade... I Love it!

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Pros and Cons

    Early Reviews of the New Game

    With a month having passed since the NHL raised the curtain on their new ice show a number of reports are coming in as to how the league is faring so far.

    Some feel the NHL has done a real good job addressing key issues and moving forward.
    Is it possible the new NHL has managed an almost impossible sporting double-double: improving its product exponentially while maintaining parity? The view from Columbus, Carolina, New York, Edmonton and other long-suffering NHL centers would suggest it is so.
    others have a more mixed opinion of how things are going.

    -- The game is suspenseful and different every night. Coaches are working hard behind the scenes trying to find ways to slow the pace and design a defense for the way the game has opened up, but they haven't so far. A one- or two-goal lead is no longer safe. Third-period comebacks are possible, especially for well-conditioned teams that have speed and skill.
    -- There are no physical battles for position in front of the net between defensemen and attacking players without the puck. Teams have figured out there's a scoring chance to be had every time if they screen the goalie with one or more skaters and they can wait for someone to wrist a puck on net from the point. More of a price should be paid to gain that position in front. But we're at a loss to suggest how fouls on one patch of the ice can be allowed when they're illegal everywhere else.
    And others although generally positive have real concerns about specific issues... like for instance the TV situation.
    National television ratings remain dismal. OLN's initial telecast drew a 0.4 rating, which represented 353,439 viewers and equaled the rating that ESPN averaged for its telecasts in 2003-04. Even worse, ESPN had a 2.0 national rating for its opening-night telecast in 2003.
    Personally I think for the most part things are going very well and areas where there's some problems now I feel will improve because overall the New NHL is generating many more positives than negatives with it's re-tooling and re-launch. As any hockey person will tell you when your ahead in the +/- category you win and that's what's happening with the NHL in the early going. It's a trend I expect to see continuing through the season.