Thursday, December 28, 2006

Puckin Eh?

What in the holy name of Gordie Howe is this world coming to????

Well let's find out...



Imagine that, a straight hockey player breaking down sexual barriers for his sport... the "Jackie Robinson of Gay Hockey." A hero if there ever was one. Oh man, that's just too freakin funny.

Ok, I give up, now I've seen just about everything.



Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Stick Work

When it comes to their sticks most NHL players have their own personal voodoo they apply in hopes of working some puck magic.
The first thing Detroit's Brett Lebda does when he gets a new shipment of hockey sticks is grab a marker and write an inscription on the back.

''I have a little superstition,'' says Lebda, who has religiously adhered to the practice since he was kid playing on the frozen ponds of Illinois. ``Just something that means something to me.''

Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, meanwhile, makes sure he takes his three kids with him every time he steps on the ice, writing their names -- Matthew, Braeden and Taryn -- in neat script on the nob of his stick.

And on the Florida Panthers' bench, there are players who won't touch a stick if there's anything written on it.

''We have some guys who won't [even] let me put a number on their stick,'' equipment manager Rob McLean says. ``Whether it's bad luck or what, I don't know.''

Welcome to the modern NHL, where players will call on everything from old myths to new mechanics if they think it will give them an edge.
Read more >>> here.



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Season's Beatings....

to one and all from the Philly Phantoms.

Peace on Earth and goodwill towards....

Oh, never mind.



I'll be gone for awhile so you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy and safe New Year.

Or else.



Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's a Man's Game

...or at least it was before Bettman and company began purging it of it's passion and it's enforcers...



...and made it a game for cheapshot artists accountable to no one.



Monday, December 18, 2006

YouTubing

YouTube and the NHL have recently clarified (somewhat) their policy of allowing fan generated material that uses NHL footage to be put up on their site.
Other leagues have forced YouTube to yank fans' uploaded videos off the site, claiming copyright violations. An NFL spokesman told The Toronto Star, for example, that YouTube recently agreed to take more than 3,000 clips featuring NFL game footage off the site.

Under the terms of its deal with NHL, YouTube will filter out unapproved video clips and give the league the option to remove them. Kevin Donahue, YouTube's vice president of content, said the NHL may decide in many cases that from a promotional standpoint it would serve its interests to keep fan-made clips up and running.

"The NHL can either say, 'Yeah, I want that taken down,' or 'Leave it up because it's a great promotional value,' " Donahue said. "What's interesting is that they are making a programming commitment to deliver a significant amount of video clips that, to their benefit, will make more people aware of the games going on through the season."

On a Web site that drew about 30 million unique visitors in October, the NHL-sponsored "Plays of the Week" uploaded on YouTube had drawn more than 83,000 page views by Friday morning.

Another highlights collection on NHLVideo, titled "Best Hits of November," had drawn more than 81,000 page views by Friday.

Overall, the NHL videos rank well below uploaded sightings of Paris Hilton or video clips of English Premier League soccer in terms of page views.

Yet marketing professionals and academics who study online marketing opportunities called the NHL's partnership with YouTube a smart move.

"I think the appeal of YouTube is it's not a 90-minute or two-hour broadcast of the games. It really packages the excitement and action on ice in small, kind of digestible segments," said Andy Rohm, a marketing professor at Northeastern University. "With the younger demographic, we're dealing with a generation that's kind of characterized by media-consumption ADD. So it's really, I think, a smart vehicle with which to reach these people."

(my emphasis)
Well like I said, that clarifies it... somewhat. Hopefully the league will take a very liberal view of fan generated stuff using their footage. Personally, I feel this kind of viral video marketing by fans helps the NHL greatly and unless something is done with their footage that's just plain inappropriate those of us out here in the internet nether regions should be allowed to continue putting stuff out that reflects our passion and love of the sport. It should be and I believe it will be a win - win proposition for all involved.

Especially for me... if you haven't noticed.



Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blades of Steel

Remembering the game we used to play...



as kids... for real.



Monday, December 11, 2006

This is Terribly Tragic

Bob Gainey's daughter missing at sea after Atlantic storm

The daughter of hockey Hall of Famer Bob Gainey was swept off a ship in Nova Scotia during an Atlantic storm, and Canadian and U.S. rescuers were looking for her in an extensive ocean search.

Laura Gainey, a 25-year-old crew member whose father is the Montreal Canadiens' general manager, was washed off the covered deck of a Caribbean-bound 180-foot vessel by a large wave Friday night.
I'm sure the thoughts and prayers of all involved with hockey go out to the Gainey family.



Friday, December 08, 2006

Hey Ref, We Surrender

Don't you see our white flag?

This little stunt is bound to ruffle a few of those oh so sensitive feathers at the league office...



That will probably end up costing Peter Schaefer about... 1,000 buckaroos ...out of the old Christmas fund he's been building up.
Frustrated with the officiating during the Sens' 6-2 loss to the Caps, Schaefer placed a towel on the end of his stick and waved it after Dean McAmmond was sent to the penalty box in the third period for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Schaefer wasn't penalized by Kevin Pollock or Justin St. Pierre, but it was shown on TSN's broadcast of the game. NHL officials believe Schaefer challenged the referees' authority and the towel waving was embarrassing.

"I just think it hurts the integrity of the game," NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom said yesterday. "I know (Schaefer) was doing it in a humorous way and he was just frustrated. If our guys had seen it ... then he would have been given a penalty because I don't think he was waving the white towel at the Washington bench."

The Senators were upset because they believed a goal by Washington's Matt Bradley in the first period shouldn't have counted because Alexander Ovechkin was offside before Antoine Vermette gave the puck away.

Murray also complained that Anton Volchenkov beat the Caps on what should have been an icing play before Chris Clark scored his second goal of the night to give the Caps a 3-1 lead in the second.

"I think we just got frustrated with the whole situation," said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips. "You start getting a lot of penalties, you don't like the calls and you get frustrated with the whole situation. Then it all starts to snowball on you. I believe that's what happens with us."

There have been complaints from players around the NHL that the standard of officiating has changed since league GMs met last month in Toronto.

"You so much as touch a guy with a stick right now and you're getting a penalty," said an Ottawa player late Tuesday night.
Personally, I think it's pretty funny. Sure the league has to respond but hopefully they won't come down too hard on him.

I mean, come on, it is the Christmas season afterall.



Thursday, December 07, 2006

Holiday Hockey Puck Smoothie

Just add some ice...



Yum, only 345 grams of vulcanized rubber. But personally, I prefer mine with black pucks and some Bailey's Irish Creme... with just a touch of egg nog.



Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Santa Hockey Brawl

Well, almost. Especially when a Ranger Santa crashes the party.



Tis the season for Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all men.

Except for Ranger fans in Long Island, I guess.



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pure Hockey



Rinks of Dreams


Where the game really lives on... and on.



Monday, December 04, 2006

Fighting is Down

...but fighting injuries are up.



I think the big fear is the possibility that as these fighting specialists continue to get bigger, faster, stronger, someone is going to get laid out for good one of these daze. The league can't afford for that to happen so I imagine we'll see fighting completely out of the NHL in the next couple of years.

Personally, I think that's really unfortunate.



Sunday, December 03, 2006

Fire It Up...

everybody wants that Silver Cup.



...is your team tough enough?



Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Game Needs a Little Punching Up

Kevin Paul Dupont writing for boston.com/sports thinks so...

So do I.
Honestly, isn't the politeness of the product killing you? If you are of a certain age, maybe 30 or older, you must remember when every lineup had at least a couple of guys who showed up each night just aching for a fight. Bob Probert come to mind? Terry O'Reilly? Tiger Williams? Games had a pulse, oozed passion.

No doubt, the whole thing got carried away, to the point that we had to witness the sad spectacle of staged bouts that really had no context within the, uh, battle. The whole fight theme got beaten to death, if you will, and wasn't so much disgusting as it was downright silly and boring. A true fight was a spectacle. A staged bout was a farce. If you watched enough, you knew the difference, as sure as you knew art from pornography [...]

Skill is a great thing. The NHL today, as in decades past, is full of dazzling skaters and brilliant stickhandlers. They provide some great entertainment. But the greatest entertainment of all, which is what the NHL can be, and in fact once was, is when dazzling skill and raw passion skate side by side, on a sheet of ice ringed by boards that act as the frame of a heaving, emotional pit.

At its best, the NHL is a bouquet of both roses and thorns. Today, with the barbs plucked from the product, the scent is not nearly the same.
They've sanitized the passion right out of the game. The right balance between the incredible skills and raw emotions of the sport need to be restored to really bring the game roaring back.

In my humble opinion anyway... and that I guess of many others.

Here's a little tribute to those formerly Big Bad Old Boston Bruins Kevin Paul Dupont just mentioned in his above article... with I might add the best rockin song ever written about that town blasting in the background.
I'm gonna tell you a story
I'm gonna tell you about my town
I'm gonna tell you a big bad story, baby
Aww, it's all about my town...

BOSTON!!!



...again best song ever about Boston.... in my humble opinion.



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jughead

...the band.

The Hockey Song



So there I was, over in Paris
Eating wine and drinking cheese
And this guy comes up to me and he says
“ Where are you from?”
Well, I says “Yeah, I’m from Canada”
And he says “Zoot Allure, mon Dieu, you are from Canada? Do you play hockey?”
And I says “Do I play hockey?

Chorus

Well, I play Air hockey, Ball hockey, Barn Hockey, Bubble Hockey, Field hockey,
Floor hockey, Ice hockey, Kitchen hockey, Road hockey,Roller hockey, Table hockey, Twist hockey
And I play hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey,
hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey,hockey all the time!
Take shots!

So there I was way out in California
And this guy comes up to me and he says
“ Where are you from dude?”
Well, I says “Yeah, I’m from Canada”
And he says "Wow! Where are you from dude?”
And I says "Look I'm from Canada"
And he says “Wow. If you’re from Canada? Do you like, play hockey?”
And I says “Do I play hockey?

Chorus

So there I was way down under in Australia
And this guy comes up to me and he says
“ Where are you from?”
Well, I says “Yeah, I’m from Canada”
And he says “Do right, honey child. If you’re from Canada? Do you play hockey?”
And I says “Do I play hockey?

Chorus

He shoots. He scores
!


Rock on!



Monday, November 27, 2006

Zamboni Joyriding



Midnight Zamboni run prompts firings.
BOISE, Idaho - Two employees of the city's ice skating rink have been fired for making a midnight fast-food run in a pair of Zambonis. An anonymous tipster reported seeing the two big ice-resurfacing machines chug through a Burger King drive-through and return to the rink around 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 10. The squat, rubber-tired vehicles, which have a top speed of about 5 mph, drove 1 1/2 miles in all.

The Zamboni operators, both temporary city employees whose names and ages were not released by the Parks and Recreation Department, had to negotiate at least one intersection with a traffic light on their late-night creep from Idaho Ice World.

"They were fired immediately," said Parks Department Director Jim Hall. "We're pretty sure it was just the one time. When we interviewed them, they didn't seem to be too concerned about it. I don't think they understood the seriousness of it."
Busted by an anonymous tipster. Obviously not a hockey fan.



Saturday, November 25, 2006

Give Me that Old Time Hockey

Hmmm, no sooner I put up The Fight Song (unplugged) in the preceding post... then we actually get a old fashion, late in the game, send a message, type brouhaha occur. Imagine that. Certainly it's rarity to see one these daze, that's for sure. I thought they had become extinct? Who knew?



However, soon this time honored aspect of the game will be gone forever. And I'm not just talking about late game stuff like this. I'm talking fighting in general will be gone... period. Even the current and finest practicioners of the manly art know their days are numbered.
Georges Laraque was lamenting the inevitable this week.

The decline of the fight game. No, he wasn't referring to the thin ranks of boxing's heavyweight class.

Laraque, the Phoenix Coyotes' winger and enforcer, was talking to Pierre LeBrun of The Canadian Press about the sun setting on the NHL tough guy.

"I know that within two years there won't be any fighters in the league anymore," Laraque said. "Within two years -- I'm serious -- because this is how it's going. More and more teams don't have fighters."

A nine-year veteran, Laraque has had a good run, but he frets over the future of his young "brothers," such as the Ottawa Senators' Brian McGrattan.
Soon these "brothers" in arms will be riding off into the sunset for good.... or to the LNAH.

I sure do miss the occasional brouhaha. Here's some classics from my yesteryears.



That first one shown between the Bruins and the old Colorado Rockies (Rocky Hockey) my future wife and I attended. It was her first game and she's been absolutely hooked ever since. Needless to say... I married her. You can't let the good ones that love hockey get away.



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Hockey Fight Song

Unplugged...



Going down to the Garden
With a couple of my buds
Wanna sit in the cheap seats
Wanna see a little blood
Wanna get my money's worth
Eat some dogs, drink some beer
Yell all night at the referees
Come on you bums, get out of here
Wanna see a hockey fight
A little donnybrook, a little brouhaha
And if my team should score tonight
We all will say hurrah, hurrah


Aaaah, the simple universal pleasures of the hockey life so neatly summed up in a song.



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Glow Nets

Hmmm, maybe the powers that be feel the need to reach out to the rave generation....






Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pond of Dreams




Dream on...





Friday, November 17, 2006

South Puck

Another bloody Colorado hockey rivalry is born...



Damn those Detroit Red Wings.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More Puck Rock

...from hockey's best puck rock band.

The Hanson Bros.

The Hockey Song


It IS the best game you can name. But of course we all already knew that.

Rock on.



Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Office Enforcer

Every work place needs one.



Hockey, making life better... on and off-ice.



Saturday, November 11, 2006

Head Hunting

After this recent Raffi Torres hit on Jason Williams that knocked the Detroit winger out cold before he even hit the ice...



...some, most notably Bobby Orr have called for a ban on all shots to the head.

Headshots: Bobby Orr ratchets up the debate
"I don't want to see hitting taken out of the game, I love hitting in hockey," Orr told TSN, "but if someone puts his shoulder into a player's face, if he puts anything -- an arm, an elbow, a glove -- I think that player should get a penalty. Definitely, it should be a penalty. We are having players getting knocked unconscious before they even hit the ice and carried off on stretchers. How can that be legal? When did hitting someone in the head with your shoulder or any part of your body become part of the rules? Anything above the neck, it's wrong.

"Hey, I got hit a lot when I played and I didn't get hit in the head with checks," said Orr, the legendary defenceman who is now the head of his own player representation firm. "Players didn't always hit like that. To me, that's not part of bodychecking. I mean, don't you have to be responsible for your actions? If you hit a guy in the face with your stick by accident, you're going to get a penalty. Two minutes, four minutes, five minutes, something. If you go to bodycheck a guy and you hit him in the face or head, and injure him, that's legal? That's fair? That's not a penalty? I'm sorry, I don't think that is right. It should be a penalty."

In the Ontario Hockey League this season, it is. Checking a player and making contact with the head, incidental or otherwise with the shoulder or any other part of the body, is now a penalty. Two minutes for any contact with the head; five minutes if it's with intent to injure or results in injury.

"We just felt it was time to take the next step," OHL commissioner David Branch told TSN [...]

Orr vehemently maintains the types of hit that felled Letwoski, Downey and Williams weren't the norm when he played. So there is the issue of how hits are delivered. It's a subject San Jose Sharks' GM Doug Wilson has thought about often.

Like Orr, Wilson was an NHL defenceman of some note. Like Orr, he played the game for most of his career without a helmet. Wilson retired as a player in 1993 and he says he has noticed a change in how many bodychecks today are delivered. It's an "angle," Wilson said, that can't be overlooked.

"I love hitting in hockey, I think it's a critical element of our game and not one I would ever want to see minimized or taken out of the game," Wilson said. "But I have noticed that a lot of players now are hitting 'up' with their shoulder instead of driving straight through the opponent. I think any hit where a player leaves his feet, it should be penalized. And if a player leaves his feet after making the hit, well, what does that tell you? It tells you that player wasn't trying to hit through the player, he was trying to hit high. It's the elevation I have a problem with. Big hits are a part of the game, so are injuries. It's unfortunate when a player gets hurt on a hard hit but so long as a players' feet stay on the ice, as long as he drives his shoulder straight into the other player, I have no problem with that, even if there's an injury. But if the player is coming out of his skates, if he's driving 'up' into the other player, that should be a penalty."

Wilson may be on to something here. It may well be that many of the players in today's game are launching themselves at a 45 degree angle. You don't have to be a math major or geometry whiz to know what happens when a player's shoulder is rocketing up at a 45 degree angle towards a human head that is often at a 90 degree angle. It's called intersection. Violent intersection.

Certainly, in the case of the Regehr and Torres hits, the players were driving their shoulder "up" into Downey and Williams, respectively.

Hitting "up" in the NHL has become an accepted manner of hitting. Perhaps it shouldn't be. It hasn't always been that way.

Hitting in the NHL today may be analogous to boxing.

In the sweet science, body blows have always been used to wear down and weaken an opponent's will. That is the hockey equivalent of bodychecking.

But in boxing, when you want to deliver a knockout punch and put your opponent down and out on the canvas, you go for the headshot. And what punch is the most dangerous knockout punch? An uppercut, delivered at a 45 degree angle at the opponent's jaw and one that seemingly comes out of nowhere because the victim often never sees it coming. Clearly, hitting "up" in the NHL is the hockey equivalent of a vicious uppercut, designed to deliver a knock-out blow.

"I really think we have the rules in place to police this," Wilson said. "We have supplementary discipline. We also need to be looking at things like fixing the equipment, the shoulder pads, and this is an issue that we should continue to discuss and talk about."

As for this issue of hitting "up" it may go a long way in explaining why Orr believes the hits we see today weren't as prevalent in the NHL game both he and Wilson played, when bodychecking was more shoulder on shoulder or shoulder on chest.

"I saw Johnny Bucyk hit guys coming out from behind the net (like Detroit's Williams did on Wednesday) and he hit them hard with his shoulder and he didn't hit them in the head, he just went straight at them," Orr said. "I just don't know when it became okay to hit a guy in the head and call it a clean, legal hit. I really don't."
I agree completely with Orr. Purposeful shots to the head whether it's with a stick, elbow or shoulder should be banned. Even the NFL has come to realize the need to ban such hits to protect the careers and maybe even the lives of it's players. Sadly the NHL hasn't. Hopefully it won't take the paralysis or death of one of it's players for it to wakeup.



Friday, November 10, 2006

Ugliest Moments in NHL History

There's been a few....



Somehow stuff like this has always been part of the game... and probably always will.



Thursday, November 09, 2006

Need Insurance?

I believe this guy will...



The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Here's the early season NHL hopefuls and the hopeless according to USA Today.

Here's those who are under-performing at the moment...
Calgary cannot score and its goaltending has been surprisingly mediocre.

Philadelphia is a mess.

Boston is shuffling goaltenders with little hope of anything.

St. Louis, Columbus, Chicago and Phoenix are already in deep trouble with regard to any postseason hopes. It's tough to be thinking next year before the turkey has even been carved.

Wayne Gretzky is suffering in the desert and without goaltending help, it will get hotter.

There is the long road ahead, but the separation between the hopefuls and the hopeless is already widening.



Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hockey Tricks and Treats

Yeah, Yeah, I know Halloween was last week but these puck handling tricks and goal scoring treats were just too good to pass up.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

NHL Power Poll

Here's this weeks rankings with a look at each team's roster to see who has a chance to one day be honored in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
1. BUFFALO (LW: 1): Chris Drury might have the best shot. Hobey Baker Award winner, Calder Trophy winner (the first to win both) and a Stanley Cup will give him support. His stats (411 points, 324 penalty minutes) will hurt him though.

2. ANAHEIM (LW: 2): Chris Pronger is the best defenseman of his era, so he's a lock. Fellow defenseman Scott Niedermayer is a near-lock.

3. SAN JOSE (LW: 3): History will likely remember Joe Thornton, the team's best candidate, as a world-class choker.

4. DALLAS (LW: 6): Mike Modano is one of the game's very best and has been for a long time. Sadly, Eric Lindros simply has not played enough games in his career to warrant inclusion.

5. ATLANTA (LW: 5): Ilya Kovalchuck, if he continues to rack up similar point totals for the next five-10 years, is a no-brainer.

6. MINNESOTA (LW: 8): It's much too early to tell on the Wild's bounty of young, defensive-minded players.

7. NASHVILLE (LW: 12): Paul Kariya must hang on and put up 70-90 points for three more years to have a realistic shot.

8. MONTREAL (LW: 13): The Canadian-centric hockey establishment will push hard for Canadien folk hero Saku Koivu.

9. PITTSBURGH (LW: 7): Mark Recchi is a lock for the Hall of Very Good. I do not dare say anything about Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

10. DETROIT (LW: 14): Chris Chelios? Check. Dominiki Hasek? Check. Nicklas Lidstrom? Check.
Go... here ...for the rest of the list.



Saturday, November 04, 2006

Puckapalooza

Guitar Army - Drop the Gloves



Gluecifer.
I Got War, Baby!


The Hanso Bros. Rink Rat



King
Judge Jackson


(start this one then pause it,let the red video bar load a little bit, then let'er rip)


The Tragically Hip

At the lonely end of the rink





Dale Hawerchuk

(after the opening credits there's about 20 seconds of black before the clip actually begins. Hang in there, it's worth it)


Big League - Tom Cochran




And finally...

Hockey Night Night in Canada - Two Man Advantage



Thank you, goodnight, drive careful, see you next time.



Trophy Envy


The National Hockey League has presented evidence from a study showing that the Stanley Cup is much bigger than the World Cup.
The NHL spokesperson preceded to point out to the assembled press that actual measurements of both cups, both in English and metric units, though different, confirmed the visual evidence. And they demonstrate definitively, he repeated, the Stanley Cup is much bigger than the World Cup.

At this point the FIFA observer again said FIFA had no comment on this bogus study but noted, in passing, that a regulation-size field for soccer, which he persisted on calling football, is much larger than an ice hockey rink (which term he also noted is easily transformed into another North American term of derision "rinky dink.")

An attending NHL executive countered that "rinky dink" has no meaning in French, which is also an official language of Canada -- not just English. The NHL representative then noted that hockey, which he said should never be called "ice hockey," is played primarily indoors on an artificially frozen surface which requires more energy and technology than most "football" playing countries have or ever will have.

Further, the NHL representative continued, the Stanley Cup also weighs more than the World Cup (both in pounds and kilograms) and is much older, and has many more names engraved on it, and so there.
Yeah, so there. Our trophy is bigger, stronger and heavier than your trophy. Na, na, na, naaaaa, na.

Stanley Rules!!!


For those wondering, this story comes from... The Spoof.



Thursday, November 02, 2006

The NHL on Google Video

GSPN, The Google Sports Programming Network

Interactive Cyber Enterprises (ICE), the digital arm of the National Hockey League, announced today a deal to provide video of NHL full-length games on delay to Google Video. Google also will be able to show select NHL classic games.
The National Hockey League, now in cable TV's backwaters, has tapped Google Inc. to find a larger viewing audience.

In so doing, it's giving Google an opportunity to experiment with a new way of making money from its growing collection of video-dispensing Web sites.

ESPN, the No. 1 sports channel on cable TV, used to show a lot of North America's professional hockey league games but subsequently it let the broadcasting rights expire due to bad ratings. Games are now shown on OLN, the Outdoor Life Network; which is a hockey broadcasting newcomer and with an audience that pales compared to ESPN.

In stepped Google with a way back to the mainstream. Starting Wednesday, every 2006-2007 regular-season NHL game can be watched, for free, on Google Video, the world's No. 4 most popular video-providing Web site.

Google's corralled all the NHL material onto a single Web site, which comes across as a kind of NHL TV on the Internet, where thousands of NHL games are available to view through an Internet browser, or to download onto a personal computer to watch at a later time.


The games are shown in their entirety and advertising-free. But that is likely to change, according to Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker. "We are hoping to make this content ad supported, enabling the NHL to earn revenue from online distribution of this content," he said.

He wouldn't disclose any additional terms of the multi-year deal between Google and the NHL.
I think this is a very smart, forward looking move by the league. In addition to the game content, the NHL also will work with Google to allow certain NHL themed user-generated content on their site. This is the first time Google Video has worked with a major professional sports league in such a manner.

Here's the official Google/NHL video game site.

Check it out.



6 Games, 6 Goals

Evgeni Malkin's the first player to accomplish that remarkable feat in his first six games since... 1917.



Malkin Makes History
The Pittsburgh Penguins knew they had something special when they drafted Evgeni Malkin No. 2 overall in the 2004 NHL Draft. However, they probably didn't count on him to be this good this fast. Malkin's presence has turned the Penguins' fortunes around and created a sense of hope in the franchise that finished dead last in their division last season.

The rookie is also setting records along the way. Malkin scored two incredible goals on Wednesday night against the Kings. The first put him in the history books and the second gave the Penguins a 4-3 overtime win in Los Angeles.

Malkin crushed a loose puck past the Kings' goalie with 2:45 left in the extra period during a power play situation. The goal was the rookie's second of the game and it gave the Penguins their fifth straight win.

Malkin also scored with a wrist-shot past Dan Cloutier in the first period. The goal was significant because Malkin became the first NHL player in 89 years to score a goal in his first six games as a professional. He joined Joe Malone, Newsy Lalonde and Cy Denneny as the only NHL players to score goals in their first six games in the league.
Well, it looks like all the hype about this guy is turning out to be for real. It also appears "Geno's" (his nickname) future is so bright we're all going to have to wear face shields... errr, I mean shades.



Sorry, I couldn't resist.



Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Are the Av's Dead?

I think reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.



With young talent like Wolski, Statsny, Richardson, Svatos, Leopold, Liles, Budaj, etc. coming on strong the Av's are in a good position to surprise a lot of naysayers.

Besides, the Av's have the force behind them...



You can't fight the force.



Monday, October 30, 2006

Hockey Erotica



The Five Hole: Stories of Sex and Hockey


Dave Bidini, gutarist with the canadian band, The Rheostatics, and author of such acclaimed hockey books as, The Tropic of Hockey, and The Best Game You Can Name, has a new book coming out called... The Five Hole. It's a collection of six stories all about the wild days of 1970's hockey, sex and debauchery.

What a combo, eh?
The story was a sexual awakening of sorts for Bidini, who tells me "the time has come for sex and hockey to come together."

It’s a side of hockey that hasn’t been talked about, he explains, "except under the low lights of the Tavern or bar."

Or in jokes, like: Why do Montrealers do it Doggie Style? So they can watch the game.

Or, when players are behaving badly, and sexually assaulting women, or when coaches are assaulting their young players.

But there’s a more innocent sexy side to hockey, says Bidini. Heck, when you’ve got a bunch of guys skating around with big sticks, shooting and scoring, how can there not be?

Sticks and dicks

Especially during its heyday in the ’70s, a "real wild-and-swinging-guy era for hockey, with the tight trousers and the long hair," says Bidini.

It was swinging, quite literally, in come cases.

"It was public knowledge that Bob Nevin and another player were wife swapping," says Bidini.

And back then, before hockey players were micro-managed and heavily marketed, that fast-and-hard lifestyle was more celebrated, he adds.

"There was a bit of that sweet, na├»ve, hoser-star hockey player enjoying the banquet of life," he laments. "I just think it’s an amusing era to look at in terms of sexuality."
Yes indeed, it was a very amusing era... for both hockey and sex.

The Five Hole: Stories of Sex and Hockey, goes on sale sometime in November, look for it.



Puck Pilgrims

Now this sounds like a lot of fun to me...

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - The final leg of an international tour stopped at Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Saturday night.

But no big-name rock star was in town.

No monster truck show or Disney on Ice production, either.

Instead, four hardcore hockey fans from Norway parked a RV a few blocks from the arena and marched into the building where "Slap Shot" was filmed.

These guys came for the Johnstown Chiefs' ECHL game against the Cincinnati Cyclones. But of perhaps greater significance, "The Do It Right or Don't Do It At All Tour" concluded in the Flood City after 14 days and approximately 3,200 miles at a cost of about $3,000 per man.

"It's usually 10 days, but this time it's 14 days and we decided to try to see as many leagues as possible," said Jon Manum of Sarpsborg, Norway. "Sometimes we try to do as many NHL teams as possible. This time we switched it around a little bit and this is the last game."

This fall's tour opened on Oct. 18 at Madison Square Garden as the NHL's New York Rangers played the Nashville Predators.

There were visits to cities with teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, Central Hockey League and American Hockey League.
Read >>> more.



Thursday, October 26, 2006

The NHL's Worst Dressed



Here's a look at the baddest of the bad... when it comes to uniforms, past and present, in the NHL.
Today, ugly jerseys run rampant in the NHL, and with honourable mention to every European billboard jersey that comes out every spring with the Spangler Cup, and the horrific striped jerseys that Chicago and Detroit broke out in the early ’90s that featured prominently on our Pro Set hockey cards, here are the Gateway’s picks for worst NHL uniforms.
Complete article >>> here.



Looongest Hockey Fight Ever

Well, at least the looongest one I've ever seen...



...also this marathon tussle had the classiest move I've ever seen in a hockey fight happen at the very end.



Study Blasts the Drafting of Europeans

The findings by the International Ice Hockey Federation suggest both the Europeans leagues who are being drained of players and North American players who are being squeezed out of jobs here are suffering unnecessarily.
The majority of Europeans drafted by National Hockey League clubs between 2000 and 2006 didn't make an impact either at the professional or minor-pro level, and those jobs could have been filled by Canadians and Americans, a study conducted by the International Ice Hockey Federation found.

The IIHF concluded that 62.5 per cent of the 621 players drafted in the six-year period were either marginal NHL players who were frequent "healthy scratches" or were non-impact players on minor-league teams.

The IIHF said those players should have remained in Europe to develop their skills before coming to North America [...]

Fasel has long complained that NHL clubs are draining European leagues of talent, while the federations have cried foul over losing players to the NHL and minor-pro leagues, such as the American Hockey League and ECHL.

Fasel has long urged NHL clubs to let Europeans develop at home for a longer period before they join NHL organizations.
Read more >>> here.



Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shades of Mario



The Legend of "Geno" begins.


More to come... much more.



The Hand



Hockey first... last... and everything in between.



Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Lonely End Of The Rink


The Tragically Hip

At the lonely end of the rink, you and me

Oh to join the rush
as the season builds

I hear your voice ‘cross a frozen lake
a voice from the end of a leaf
saying, ‘you won’t die of a thousand fakes
or be beaten by the sweetest of dekes’

It's Hip to love hockey
by Jody Vance...
Sunday evening, my day job took me to the Phoenix in Toronto to see the Hip meet hockey, with cameras rolling.

We were shooting a feature about how the Tragically Hip have become synonymous with the game of hockey -- so we took Leafs' Andrew Raycroft, Brendan Bell, Jay Harrison and Matt Stajan for an all-access soundcheck visit with the ultimate Canadian band.

Enigmatic frontman Gord Downie, who is typically quite camera shy, became a kid in a candy store at the sight of Andrew Raycroft [...]

Downie made it abundantly clear that he was meeting one of his hockey idols and the look on Raycroft's face said it was mutual admiration.

Raycroft and Downie could have talked all night if not for the matter of the "little show," another sellout, that needed to go on in a matter of an hour.

Hip guitarists Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker joined us for a quick chat with the whole group before we wrapped. Growing up in Kingston, the band members played hockey on any patch of ice they could find, but as they tour they always carry gear and pick up games in every town they can [...]

The band's new album, "World Container," has "The Lonely End of the Rink" as its ever-present hockey song. Here to stay is the bond between the Hip and hockey.
And so another song gets added to... The List.



Jump into the Rush



Power Rankings

This week's PROTRADE NHL rankings theme is... early surprises.

Surprises indeed...
1) (Last Week: 3) Buffalo Sabres (8-0-0, 16 points)
Thomas Vanek leads the league in +/-. Chris Drury leads in goals. Maxim Afinogenov leads in points. And Buffalo leads the league in goals by 10(!) after only 8 games.

2) (1) Dallas Stars (7-1-0, 14 points)
Brendan Morrow never struck me as the point-per-game type. That said, he is just entering his prime.

3) (2) Minnesota Wild (7-1-0, 14 points)
Minnesota's stats look exactly like Dallas', except they played more home games and scored one fewer goal. Pierre-Marc Bouchard looks like he's about to have a breakout season with that +5 and a nearly point-per-game rate.

4) (8) Anaheim Ducks (6-0-2, 14 points)
I still don't think the average Anaheim resident could tell you the Ducks two top goalscorers are Kunitz and Perry. I mean, the average Anaheim resident might not know that Kariya isn't there anymore either, but...

5) (5) Atlanta Thrashers (6-1-1, 13 points)
Does Lehtonen count as a surprise? Probably not, but maybe to some of you.

6) (4) San Jose Sharks (6-2-0, 12 points)
Who is Matthew Carle?

7) (6) Edmonton Oilers (5-2-0, 10 points)
Didn't a whole bunch of people say the Oilers D was toast after losing Pronger? They have given up the third-fewest goals in the league. They really have no breakout players, so I'll just put down Petr Sykora.

8) (9) Montreal Canadiens (4-1-2, 10 points)
That they're ranked 8th in these power rankings is a surprise in itself, but surely Chris Higgins deserves a mention.

9) (10) Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1, 11 points)
Of the Canucks first 11 games, only 2 are/were at home. As for the surprise, Naslund gets my vote for proving he still knows how to score. Maybe Bertuzzi was depressing him.

10) (14) Colorado Avalanche (3-3-2, 8 points)
Ian Laperriere, a career -40, leads the team with a +3 rating after 8 games.
Complete rankings >>> here.



Monday, October 23, 2006

Searching for Bobby Orr



A new unauthorized biography explores the life and times of this reticent NHL icon.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, Orr was so famous he didn’t even need a nickname. He was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1970, unheard of for a hockey player. But where books about DiMaggio are almost as plentiful as his World Series titles, the literature on Orr is lacking.

"There are a lot of people who’ve wanted an Orr book for a long time but there’s a really good reason why there wasn’t one," says Stephen Brunt, author of Searching for Bobby Orr. Orr, Brunt contends, doesn’t want books written about him and remains influential enough in hockey and media circles that until now, he’s been able to prevent it from happening [...]




"I think we’re all used to these hockey card portraits of these guys. Think of how managed the images are of these guys. Sidney Crosby, on one hand you’ve been following him since he was 10 years old, on the other hand you don’t know anything about him at all."

Despite a wonky knee that would eventually cut short his career, Orr was the best player on the best team in hockey, a team that won two Stanley Cups in three years, and he was named the NHL’s top defenceman eight years in a row.

But Orr’s fame, which led to magazine covers, endorsements for hair-care products and newspaper stories about his love life, far outstripped even those achievements.

"He comes along at a very significant time, when the league doubles in size, when it has pretensions of big league grandeur for the first time," Brunt says.

"The country is kind of changing, culturally, and everybody sees 1967 as a watershed year for Canada, an awakening of nationalism in this country and he’s the best Canadian athlete of that moment. He also is handsome in kind of a boy next door way, not like Namath, who was the dangerous bad boy.

"Orr’s kind of the counterpart to that, but he was also packaged. (Player agent Alan) Eagleson did things with his image that had never been done with a hockey player before. In the sense that we understood a professional athlete now, Orr’s the first modern athlete in Canada, the first Canadian to become one of those.
"
I can trace the origins of my own life-looong love of hockey directly to Bobby Orr. I can still remember the day as a young boy of around 10 years of age passing a TV with a NHL game on and becoming absolutely transfixed by the magic and talent of this kid named Orr who played for Boston. What followed was years of deep devotion to those late 60's early 70's Bruin teams and a permanent addiction to the sport of hockey.

Here's much more on Orr...



Orr was the man and as far as I'm concerned he's the best that ever played. He changed the game profoundly as a player like no other in the history of the sport.

#4



Sunday, October 22, 2006

Give Me That Old Time Hockey

...it really is, the best game you can name.

Let's use the Wayback Machine (YouTube) to visit a looong ago time of primal classic hockey where men were men and goalies didn't wear masks. Yes Virginia, as insane as that sounds, there was such a time.

Look...



"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





Friday, October 20, 2006

Movies We'd Like To See...


Attack of the 500 Ft. Goalie



"Let's kick some giant goalie butt."


Looks like a definite Oscar winner in the making to me.



NHL Public Enemy #1

Why it's Sean Avery, of course.



Avery is simply the latest in a loooong line of pest/punk type players, like Claude Lemiux for instance, that have played in the NHL and who relish having big old targets placed on their backs.
Kings forward Sean Avery skated behind the net and appeared to be tripped by a New York Islander on Tuesday. Play continued. In the same game, the Islanders' Brendan Witt leveled Avery after the whistle. Referees missed it.

This is life with a bull's-eye, the Kings say.

"It's a difficult job for anyone to go out there with a big target on their back," forward Scott Thornton said.

Avery earned such hands-on, and elbows-on, attention last season with conduct and comments that oozed controversy.

But as of yet, he does not lead the NHL in penalty minutes, and the Kings have avoided the need to write a blanket apology.

Sure, it has been only three games, but it took him only four last season to earn the most-hated-man-in-the-NHL title.
So, how's life off ice for the guy with "the most-hated-man-in-the-NHL" title?



Well, life looks pretty damn good. Seeesh, but really, a Bentley? At least he likes Neil Young.



Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hockey Rock

The Zambonis with a story about hockey, kids... and a monkey.



Here's the Oddman's current Hockey Rock Favorites ....

  • I am the King

  • I Got War, Baby

  • Hockey is Back

  • Dale Hawerchuk

  • Big League


  • Rock on...



    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Shootout Specialists

    A gunslinger position has been created in the new NHL.
    Ottawa Senators head coach Bryan Murray raised some eyebrows during the weekend when he sat his three star forwards during a shootout.

    With Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza on the bench Saturday while visiting the Canadiens, Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher scored in the shootout to give Ottawa the win. Checker Dean McAmmond would have been the third shooter if needed.

    Confused? Don't be.

    "It's a different skill," Dallas winger Jussi Jokinen said. "You don't have to be a 40- or 50-goal scorer to be good at shootouts."

    The 23-year-old Finn is the NHL's shootout king. Going into last night's game in San Jose, Jokinen had 11 shootout goals in 14 attempts since the new format was added last season - only seven short of his 18 career regulation-time goals.

    He's a specialist. Like a left-handed reliever in baseball or a third-down back in football, he's found his niche in hockey.
    Read complete article >>> here.

    Here's Jussi doing his thing as the...

    Shootout God












    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Hockey Burlesque

    Aaaah, the good old hockey game...



    Nice to see the maple leaf flag proudly displayed on the back wall. Hey, wait just a minute, something doesn't smell right about this.



    Guinness Hockey World Record

    Here's the Hockey Night in Canada Theme Song...



    ...doing it's part in setting a new Guinness world record for most saxophones (over a thousand) playing the same song at the same time.

    In your face NFL.



    Hockey Film Planned

    David E. Kelley the offbeat producer/writer of Mystery, Alaska, will bring the story of the World Hockey Association and legendary player Gordie Howe to the screen.
    The film's story will focus on the 1973-74 season when Howe, then 44, returned to pro hockey after two years in retirement and played on the same team as his two sons, Mark and Marty, in the upstart World Hockey Assn. Howe's wife Colleen served as agent-manager for the trio, which led the Houston Aeros to the championship, with the elder Howe named league MVP.

    "The thrill of playing with my two sons that first year in Houston could only be surpassed by telling the story on the bigscreen," Howe said.

    Kelley will turn his attention to the project following the launch of "Life on Mars" for ABC.

    The Baldwins and Kelley worked together previously on "From the Hip," which Kelley penned, and on the 1999 hockey film "Mystery, Alaska," which Kelley co-wrote [...]

    Kelley's eponymous shingle currently produces "Boston Legal" for ABC, is in pre-production on "Life on Mars" and has a TV adaptation of Joseph Wambaugh's "Hollywood Station" in development. Ilitch has produced several films, including "Lost in Space."
    Complete article >>> here.



    Monday, October 16, 2006

    # 500

    Mats Big Night...



    Sundin's 500th blows teammates away.
    "Amazing," said Darcy Tucker, who had an excellent view of Sundin's shot in overtime as he sat in the penalty box. "The puck just jumped off his stick. I was out there when he scored his 400th goal and to see his 500th goal in overtime is special for everybody."

    Sundin is revered in the Maple Leafs dressing room and his penchant for coming through in the clutch is a big reason. Sundin leads the National Hockey League in regular-season career overtime goals with 15, and has 36 game-winning goals since the start of the 2000-01 season, which also is an NHL best.

    That Sundin's milestone goal also was his third of the night, and shorthanded no less, meant something more to those who wear the blue and white.

    "The whole team was rooting for Mats to get his third, but we did not say anything (for fear of bad luck)," Kyle Wellwood said. "He's incredible. I'm sure every fan in the building was elated to be a part of it. He makes such an impact on everyone around him, so it's fitting that he could do that for us."
    Congratulations to Mats, one of the classiest players in the whole NHL.



    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Support Your Local Hockey Shops



    We return now to our regularly scheduled programming.



    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    Distant Replay

    Although I ran this Steve Carell goalie training clip once before awhile back, as far as I'm concerned, running it just once is not enough. Goalies, particularly young ones I think can always learn something new from viewing it. The man's a genius when it comes to training techniques.

    Watch and learn...



    Like I said, pure genius.

    People wonder why goalies are so good nowdays. Well, they need look no further for a reason why than to the hockey goalie training guru himself Steve Carell and to his profound impact on how goalies now approach the game.



    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Pick a Card... Any Card

    Find the puck and score...



    Drats, another sign indicating Anaheim Ducks good fortune for this puck season. Their very own card trick. Now they have it ALL. They are the most complete team in the NHL.

    Can they be stopped?



    The Magic Golden Shovel

    This is was just too weird or I guess I should say, just too odd for me to pass up...



    Hmmmm, I don't know if these guys were on anything when they put that together but if they were... I'd like some please.



    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Hockey Gone Wild #9

    ...in a continuing series.

    Like #8 this one comes from merry old England where evidently the game gets just as wild and crazy as anywhere else... on occasion.

    Nottingham Panthers
    vs
    Sheffield Steelers

    This one's a real doozy that goes on and on. The benches clear at 2:10 in and a spectacle of gigantic proportions ensuses...



    I saw at least three calls the ref could've made before the fights started. Apparently this guy wasn't calling anything and things just spiraled out of control... way out of control.



    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Steagle Update

    along with other Hockey news and insight from...

    The Colbert Report



    "I love Hockey because it's the great American pastime. It's a metaphor for all things American... like baseball.

    ...and there are fights.
    "
    In still other Saginaw Spirit hockey news, there's no report on whether "The Steagle" is part of this investigation.



    Big Snake

    Clash of the Titans

    Ever since I did a post on Robin Big Snake (coolest name in hockey) about a year ago it seems a week doesn't go by without a few people stopping by here searching for that piece or other stuff on their hero. It may be the single largest search demographic the Oddman enjoys. Big Snake fans.

    So, this one is for you guys...

    Brendan "Butterbean" Tedstone
    Vs.
    Robin Big Snake




    Heavyweight vs Super Heavyweight


    Good Lord... 375 LBS!

    Big Snake Rules, of course.



    Sunday, October 08, 2006

    The Sunday Funnies

    The Hockey Champ



    ...see you all in the funny pages.

    My dad would always tell us that at bedtime. I love ya dad.


    R.I.P.



    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    Hockey Cribs

    Living large in the new NHL...



    Man, life sure looks good in "The Show". It always has... but somewhere Gordie Howe has just got to be shaking his head. Anyways, it's really nice to see the boys are making ends meet and are getting by under the new CBA. I was worried about them after hearing all about how the owners had taken them to the cleaners. Silly me.

    Hockey on...



    Beer Me

    OK, here, have a few...



    What? You said Bud Light? Ooooh, sorry.


    Who says "Slap Shot" style hockey is dead?

    Who dat?



    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Win One for the Steagle

    The Colbert Puck Report



    Great pep talk Stephen.... Go Saginaw Spirit hockey!!! ....it's your patriotic duty.

    Plus, God, judging from the Spirit hockey jersey he wears is a fan of yours Saginaw. So don't disappoint him.

    Hmmmm, God's a hockey fan. I always figured that was the case.



    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Sickest Dekes & Sweetest Goals

    ...of the recent past.



    Now, the new season of puck magic begins.

    Stanley or Bust! Good Luck to all.

    Hockey on...



    The Top 20

    ...to watch out for.


    Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson, picks the Top 20 players in the National Hockey League he thinks you should keep an eye on this season.

    Here's a look at a few of his picks...

    #7



    #20



    Personally, I only have eyes for this guy, #11 on Jim's list but...

    # 1 in my heart.


    Yeah, I love the Av's... but my passion is Hockey.

    It's going to be a great year. I can just feel it.

    Check out all of Jim Matheson's Top 20 players to watch for this season >>> here.



    Hockey Gone Wild # 8

    ...in a continuing series.

    Well, it appears that even in relatively sedate merry old England the boys there know how to "keep it real" on the ice.



    Yeah, well, things will tend to get out-of-hand when the score is 12-2... no matter where you play in the world. It's a universal law of hockey I believe.



    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Brookbank Mountain

    There's just fewer and fewer guys out there to "dance" with nowdays...



    ...what's a tough guy to do???


    Wade Brookbank's got another mountain to climb now that he's made it to the NHL. It's the one that will allow him to stay in the "new" NHL if he can conquer it. He and all enforcers now have got to prove that they can play the game... not just drop'em.

    Fighting for survival
    By Douglas Flynn/ Daily news staff
    WILMINGTON -- Wade Brookbank isn't the type to back down from a fight.

    The 6-foot-4, 225-pound enforcer has literally scrapped his way from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League all the way to the NHL, and he's hoping his fists can help him land a spot on the Bruins roster this year after signing as a free agent in the offseason.

    But Brookbank is battling the toughest foe he's ever faced in his 10-year professional career. It isn't an opposing team's heavyweight, nor the challenge from the latest young buck vying for the same job in camp.

    No, Brookbank is fighting against the game itself.

    The instigator rule and other recent legislation to reduce fighting in the NHL has put the time-honored tradition of the enforcer in peril. The obstruction crackdown that has opened up the game after the lockout has placed an emphasis on speed and skill. Size and toughness, once highly sought after commodities, are no longer in such high demand.

    (my emphasis)
    So, pay your respects and say goodbye to a "time-honored tradition" that apparently has no place in the "new" NHL.

    Or, are reports of it's death greatly exaggerated? Are we simply seeing a evolution of the enforcer taking place in a process that hasn't run it's course yet?

    I think we'll start to see for sure this season.



    Sunday, October 01, 2006

    "I Am The King"

    Hockey season begins this week...

    life is good again.


    (start this one then pause it and let the red video bar load
    about 1/4 of the way, then let'er rip)


    .... Judge Jackson and a rockin Fox hockey promo.

    My and I'm taking a wild guess here, but I believe your favorite time of the year is finally here.

    Praise the Lord... and pass the puck.



    Saturday, September 30, 2006

    Fantasy Hockey



    I have to admit that's a fantasy quite similar to the one I've had a time or three over the years, especially in my younger daze. I think most guys have probably had that one too... but with better "fantasy" endings. I mean, come on, what guy hasn't at one time or another fantasized about being the big stud player all the girls were after? Correct me if I'm wrong.

    As far as those interested in the other kind of fantasy hockey, Sports Illustrated has a pretty good article by Ian Gooding on how to build competitive fantasy hockey club.
    Just what strategies go into drafting a winning team? The most obvious one is to do your homework and determine which players will be the most successful based on past statistics and future projections. If you are on a Web site or using an offline publication that uses player rankings, it is always recommended that you create your own rankings. Because of the changes made to the game in the post-lockout era (the new NHL), many fringe players or players who had seen better days have now become fantasy superstars [...]

    In what follows we will lay out a few different blueprints that you could choose to follow in your draft this season. The following tips are based upon a standard starting lineup which includes: two centers, two right wings, two left wings, four defensemen and two goalies.
    Read more >>> HERE.

    Personally, I prefer my kind of fantasy hockey better. But hey, whatever floats your boat. If it's about hockey... it's all good.

    RELATED LINKS:
  • How to Play Fantasy Hockey
  • 2006-07 Fantasy Hockey Players on the Rise
  • NHL Fantasy: Breakout Candidates


  • Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    The Power of Hockey

    This coool little hockey promo comes from England and...

    The Manchester Storm


    I think it's one of the best I've ever seen. Just a touch of euro-weird but still better than anything I've come across on this side of the pond... so far.

    I'll be on the road and thus offline for a bit.

    Keep the faith. Hockey on...



    Puck Rock

    ...Crank it up!

    This blast of raw Hockey Rock & Roll comes from Norway and the band... Gluecifer.
    I Got War, Baby!


    Here's the rest of the... Puck Rock Videos ...collected here at Odd Man Rush so far.



    Another Big Wave of NHL Rookies Coming



    Because of the large number of rookies entering the league last season after the lockout year (2 years worth) it caused a log jam and some of those who would've naturally entered the NHL in 05/06 had to be sent back to the minors (or where ever) for another year of preperation. Thus the league this year will most likely be seeing another large influx of young puck talent.
    Last season, the NHL's rookie class was arguably the best ever, featuring an impressive combination of toptier talent and tremendous depth. From forwards Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin to defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Andrej Meszaros to goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Ward, rookies stole the show from start to finish

    Of course, this plethora of stellar rookies arriving all at once was due in part to the 2004–05 lockout, which kept the league shuttered for an entire season. Essentially, two years' worth of rookies crowded into one freshman class, including Crosby and Ovechkin, two of the NHL's most highly touted prospects of all time. There were no fewer than 10 rookies who would have been worthy of Calder Trophy consideration in any other season [...]

    With so many talented rookies crowding the playing surface in 2005–06, there were a number of excellent prospects who were sent down for another year of seasoning. So it's quite possible that this year's freshman class will be nearly as impactful as last year's.
    Here's a look at one such rookie profiled in the above article that could be making an impact in the NHL this year after the extra year of "seasoning"...

    ALEXANDER RADULOV of the Nashville Predators


    With so much hockey talent having been blocked from entering the NHL because of the lockout year, this resulting wave of young players now coming in I think could very well further help the NHL successfully enter it's new era.



    Attack of the Zebras

    Part 2


    For those wondering how the NHL referees will be officiating this season after the league aggressively cracked down on obstruction last year... expect more of same, they will not be backing off the new standards.

    "Maintaining the standards of enforcement and continuing to improve officiating is a big focus this year," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN.com.

    Here's why it shouldn't be as hard as people might imagine.

    First of all, NHL officials have never received as much praise as they have in the past 12 months.

    "Gary Bettman, [director of hockey operations] Colin Campbell and [director of officiating] Stephen Walkom, they get straight 'A' marks from my perspective," Anaheim GM Brian Burke recently told ESPN.com. "It won't be hard to get people to buy into it this year. The game's gotten better. The fans like it better." [...]

    "We've got to stay the course. We've got to be as good or better as we were last year," Walkom said. "I was real pleased for the game. To see the game roar again was great."
    About the only change that will be made in the officiating this year will be an increased focus by the refs on penalizing diving.

    Oh, by the way the Zebras do actually attack sometimes, as this clown found out...



    I guess that could've been considered a boarding penalty.

    Not.



    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Gone...

    ...not forgotten.

    Every year brings some retirements from the game and this year certainly is no exception.
    Robitaille and Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman are the most prominent among the players who won't be back on the ice for the 2006-07 campaign.

    Also retired are Keith Primeau and Eric Desjardins of the Philadelphia Flyers, tough guy Tie Domi of the Toronto Maple Leafs, winger Brian Savage of the Phoenix Coyotes and defenceman Eric Weinrich, who ended last season with the Vancouver Canucks.

    Goaltender Garth Snow retired as a player to sign on as general manager of the New York Islanders, while defenceman Bob Boughner left the Colorado Avalanche to concentrate on his ownership of the junior Windsor Spitfires with former teammate Warren Rychel.

    And journeyman Brad Bombardir has gone from playing defence to being director of community relations with the Minnesota Wild.
    Here's a look at a few of the notables we won't be seeing on the ice anymore in the NHL.

    Steve Yzerman




    Luc Robitaille




    Tie Domi



    Good luck and thanks for all the memories boys.



    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Puck Prospecting...



    Here's a look at a few of the top Hockey prospects out there and also a complete rundown on how the Top 50 are doing according to the experts at... Hockey'sFuture.com.

    1-10

    #6 Columbus Blue Jacket prospect Gilbert Brule.


    11-25

    #15 Boston Bruin prospect Phil Kessel.


    26-50


    #32 New York Islanders prospect Robert Nilsson
    (with a pretty freakin amazing shot)


    How's your team and it's prospects doing?