Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gone Fishin...

I'm taking the opportunity to get away for awhile and head off for the nearby hills with a couple of friends for some fun and fishing. Not sure when I'll be posting again. I think I've come down with a touch of the "my-team-is-out-of-playoffs-and-the season-is-over-blues." Fortunately, to help me combat dem blues, I recently found what I think is the perfect home remedy. That for me anyways, works like a charm. Your results may vary...

Funny how favorite things, returned to time and time again, always seem to brighten ones' day.

Like Jung Ah for instance. Although the music is total pop cheese (total), watching Jung and her gal pals play hockey, rock out (kind of, sort of) and kick some boy butt, always seems to brighten my day too. It's very strange, kind of like one of those insidious Mementos commercials...

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. What can I say? Hey, I got a soft spot for hockey playing women. No matter how cheesy their music... or videos are. At the other end of the spectrum I've got a much deeper appreciation and respect for what these women are doing. Real stuff, real struggles, real hockey, no cheese. The music is much better too...

You go girls.

Anyways, hope all your teams win and I'll be back in a bit. In the meantime...


Monday, April 16, 2007

Boyz From the Hood

A tale of two players from the same Montreal neighborhood who made it to the big time.

Now both are in the running for the top award the league gives for stellar play at their position.

I sure hope Roberto's mother survives the close race that it's become between her son and that other kid from the block.

Speaking of Roberto. Here's a message of inspiration and praise from the Canucks First Church of Lord Stanley...

Obviously the worshippers of the Canuck faith feel Roberto's the chosen one who's destined to lead them to the promised land.

Well, we shall see. It's a loooong hard road to Cup nirvana and it's littered with the remains of many failed chosen ones that have come before. However, so far, so good (actually, real good) for Roberto and his efforts in leading his team towards... The Cup.

Aaaah, speaking of the Canuck faithfull. Here's a couple of those wacky true believers singing about the team of their worship and devotion...

Hmmm, for some reason, the word Vansterdam comes to my mind after watching that.

Anyways, Rock on boys, love the guitar... and the mullets.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Keep On Puckin Mama

...till you puck my blues away.

I got a gal
little and neat
and when she starts to puckin
oh man, so sweet
said, keep on puckin baby
puckin my blues away
ya know what I mean?
puckin my blues away

Nothing like some good old hockey blues to chase life's inevitable bad puck times away. You know the kind I'm talking about. Like the bad case of the ones I got recently because of the Av's not making the playoffs, for the first time in like forever. Unless your club wins the Cup, each one of us gets these kinds blues every year. For me, hearing Sweet Lou sing the hockey blues sure does ease the pain a little. Having a good puckin hockey mama helps too... and I do.

Nothing's better.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Haunted Hockey

Some hockey players and fans have had trouble staying away from the grand old Wild Rose Arena in Alberta ...even after they've passed away.
Hell, that goddamn thing even is allegedly haunted. The rink guys say that the players doors and penalty doors swing on their own. There's an old couple that sit in the stands at night watching games played half a century ago. A small kid runs around yelling for hours on end. And there is one man who stands in the northeast corner, a solitary figure watching games from a bygone era, where helmets weren't mandatory, they were frowned upon. When goalies couldn't go down, where sticks were made out of a log. Whether these are true or not is up to you to decide.
They've even brought in a psychic profiler to investigate the strange going ons at the Wild Rose....

Now that's what I call some serious hockey... deadication.

Unfortunately the Wild Rose Arena will soon be demolished. May it and the spirits that have resided there all these years... R.I.P.

20 Things should know about the NHL playoffs.
1. Obviously, the Devils have the X-factor in goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brodeur, who turns 35 on May 6, has carried the Devils to three Cups already. This year, he's played in an amazing 78 games and logged 4,697 minutes both are career highs.

2. Tampa Bay, Jersey's first-round opponent, will go with Johan Holmqvist in net. Holmqvist is a playoff rookie who took over late in the season after free-agent signee Marc Denis failed to hold the job.

3. The Ottawa-Pittsburgh series should be a dandy. Not only will they be trotting out two of the league's top three offenses, they just played last Thursday in a game that was very chippy.

4. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (84 assists, 120 points) is a leading MVP candidate, while Ottawa's Dany Heatley became the first player with consecutive 50-goal seasons since Pavel Bure ('01, '02).

5. Nashville went 12-6-5 after acquiring Peter Forsberg from the Flyers. Forsberg played in 17 of those games, registering two goals and 13 assists. The Preds never have won a playoff series.

6. Eric Lindros (groin) hasn't played for Dallas since March 8, but could be available for the playoffs. Lindros played in 49 games this year with five goals and 21 points. He hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 20.

7. Quality over quantity: The Sabres posted the league's best record but were cumulatively outshot in all three periods and overtime. Unlike last year, Buffalo is taking a healthy lineup into the postseason

8. "There's no question that some parts of upstate New York, and Buffalo is included in that, has had an inferiority complex for a while," said Tom Golisano, the Sabres owner since 2003. "And to have this team emerge like it has, has been very, very good for the psyche of the area."

9. Atlanta captain Scott Mellanby, the active leader with 1,431 games played without a Stanley Cup ring, turns 41 on June 11.

10. Detroit has been eliminated in the first round in two of the last three playoffs. Like this year, they were the West's No. 1 seed in 2006 before losing to Edmonton.

The rest of the list of things you should know about the NHL playoffs can be found >>> here.

Speaking of...

Don Cherry (the real one).

He's going to be paired up with Brett Hull for some TV segments during the playoffs. That should prove interesting... to say the least.
Cherry has been at this TV game for decades, while Hull is just starting out. The two networks are planning to put them together for shared segments during the championship series.

"We're ready, we're ready," said Cherry. He wouldn't like to be permanently separated from Coach's Corner foil Ron MacLean, however.

"I'll stick with him," said Cherry. "He keeps me on the right track." Hull says the playoff pairings will offer some exciting hockey.

"Keep the penalties down, eh?" interjected Cherry.

"Let them play hockey," Hull chimed in.

"I've been a fan of Don's for a long time so any advice I can get I'll take," said Hull. "You don't become an icon just because you dress nice."

Said Cherry: "From what I read, you don't need any advice, and you've got more hair than your dad."

Hull was asked if American hockey fans are ready for Cherry.

"I think they are," he said. "That's a part of the thing that's missing in all coverage, not just hockey, in the American sports world -- some personality."

That's why football commentator Terry Bradshaw is as popular as he is, said Hull. Cherry could have the same stature south of the border as he does in Canada, said Hull.
Yeah, I think so too. I'm looking forward to seeing Cherry and Hull go at it. Interjecting personalities like these two into the proceedings can't help but improve the insights and enertainment element of the playoff coverage.

Then again, it could all end up being a train wreck. But, that'd be entertaining too.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sharped Dressed Donny

Watch out, he might be coming through your town...

Beauty, indeed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Code

Follow it... or else.
NHL players live by their own Samurai code of right and wrong. When put into that context, even the most notorious acts of goonery seem inevitable. A look inside their eye-for-an-eye code reveals:

Captains are untouchable. When a team captain is hurt by an opposing player, retaliation soon occurs, says Bernstein. The wild melee between the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators on Feb. 23 was touched off when Chris Neil of the Senators bloodied Sabres co-captain Chris Drury with an open-ice hit. "Touching a guy wearing the 'C' is like touching a made guy in the Mafia. You don't touch a made guy," says Bernstein. [...]

Don't check from behind. Checking a player from behind into the boards, or using the stick as a weapon, are "unacceptable code violations" that demand payback, says Bernstein. New York Islanders tough guy Chris Simon was suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs after his two-handed slash to the chin of Rangers agitator Ryan Hollweg during a March 8 game. Seconds before, Hollweg checked Simon face-first into the boards. [...]

Rules of engagement. When one issues the universal challenge, "Want to go?" both typically drop their gloves at the same time to avoid a two-minute instigator penalty. It's bad form for a tough guy fresh off the bench to challenge another who's tired at the end of his shift, says Bernstein. There's professional courtesy. Fedoruk says he has declined to pick fights with rivals recovering from a broken hand, stitches or a facial injury.

Fight fair. The overriding principle of the code, says Bernstein, is fight fair. That's why NHL heavyweights mostly fight heavyweights, middleweights fight middleweights and, occasionally, even goal-scorers and goalies go at it. The most unusual thing about the Sabres-Senators brawl, notes Bernstein, was Sabres tough guy Andrew Peters trading blows with Senators goalie Ray Emery.

Many critics of fighting, Nilan charges, simply are looking to bash a sport they haven't played, don't like and never will.

"Every bleeding-ass liberal comes out and says how bad our game is. But the hockey fans don't mind it at all," he says.
Hey, wait just a second, I'm a "bleeding-ass liberal" and hockey fan who has no problem whatsoever with the code or with fighting in the game of hockey. Come on Nilan, still dishing cheap shots? Like this one that broke a few rules of the code at 1:35 into this clip...

Going after a player that wasn't a fighter. Trying to deliver a knockout punch while the guy was looking away. Yep, same old Nilan. Too bad he never followed the code that he now claims others are trying to remove from the game.

*Disclaimer: I've always been a big Bruins fan and old grudges die hard.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dude, Toughen Up

Seeesh, in a sport where players take pride in playing hurt, sucking it up and taking one for the team, this guy seems to be whining about a problem I bet A LOT of players out there wish they had. I for instance would be happy to talk to him about a trading a problem of mine... for this one of his.

Imagine that. A hockey player complaining about getting too much. He's got a girlfriend that goes for the hat trick every night and the poor boy can't handle it. I never thought I'd see the day. He's giving hockey players everywhere a bad name. Must be a joke.

Either that or it's just another sign that the end is truly near.

The Lost League:

A Black Mark On Hockey History
by Kim Horrocks
Although it initially started out as a recreational league between congregations, according to hockey historian and Black Ice co-author George Fosty, the league’s popularity quickly helped it evolve into Canada’s first professional hockey league -- years before the NHL came on the scene.

We consider it to be the first professional league because it was the first to pay its players from ticket sales, and all the players had free agency,” explains Fosty.

“The fact that references to this league have been eliminated from most historical records goes to show that Canadian history has been bleached; there’s no real mention of minorities and their contributions to the game.” [...]

“People assume that the NHL is hockey. The NHL is just one aspect of hockey, one league and when you’re talking about thousands of leagues whose history has never been written, then how can you know what the hell hockey is?”

Other contributions to the evolution of the game that Fosty suggests can be traced back to the Colored Hockey League include the slapshot and a revolutionary goalie style, unheard of at the time, that had netminders going down on their knees to stop shots -- a technique now commonplace in the modern game.

(my emphasis)
The secret history of hockey. The stuff that for whatever reason many just don't want you to know.


  • Soul on Ice
  • Hockeys' Roots
  • Black Ice

  • Monday, April 02, 2007

    A Rink is Born

    Like magic...

    ... it blossoms from a ugly basketball court into a beautiful hockey rink. Kind of like from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

    Kind of.

    The Intimidators

    The most intimidating NHL arenas for opposing teams to play in are (drum roll please) >>> these.

    At least according to Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News. You may or may not agree with some of his choices. I didn't. Minnesota, for instance, would be at least one arena that I'd add to the list.