October 31, 2009

October 23, 2009

Sidney Crosby - Union Guy

Cox: When Crosby speaks, NHLPA listens
It was the 22-year-old Crosby, arguably the highest-profile player in the sport
today, who raised his voice last Sunday on a union conference call and firmly
told interim executive director Ian Penny to hang up the phone because union
members wanted to have a players-only discussion. Penny, who had first been
rebuffed in his efforts to have baseball union leader Donald Fehr speak to the
NHLPA team representatives, finally had to relent and get off the line.

Good for him.

Frankly, I've always been one of those people that, if I see something wrong, I'll say something about it. I have no qualms about throwing something out there if I think it's necessary. But the reality is that most people don't want to speak up. They'd rather go along with the crowd and complain bitterly about how things are going instead of trying to do something about it themselves.

So good for Crosby that he's not afraid to speak up. It'd be easy for a younger guy to be intimidated by older players - particularly in regards to something that's not directly about the game of hockey that he may or may not know much about. And also about something that he probably shouldn't have to worry too much about for a while because others with more knowledge and seniority can take care of it for him.

More guys should be doing that - and taking an active interest in how the players association is going about its business. Because it does affect them. In more ways than just one. However, as about half of any given population are sheeple and don't want or like to think for themselves, it's understandable that fewer players are taking an interest than perhaps they should. Add to that that there's also a large chunk of humanity that doesn't want any kind of responsiblity for much of anything, and...well, you get the picture.

The one thing that they should all keep in mind, however, is that they shouldn't care what things look like to the public. They need to focus on what they want to accomplish with the union, get it going in that direction, and not worry about anything else. Being concerned with what the general public thinks about it is just an unnecessary distraction. If it's a true PR concern, then assign some people to deal with that - don't let it become a general priority.

October 20, 2009

Working For The Tampa Bay Lightning...?

Staff Writer - Tampa Bay Lightning/St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, Fl)

What do you think? Should I apply? Can't hurt to just apply, right? I wouldn't have to take the job even if it were offered. Not that it would be, of course.

And if I were to be offered said job - which is probably a long shot since I don't have a business, marketing, or an English degree - most of my stuff is still in storage there. Talk about an easy move. I most likely wouldn't be able to date any of the players off the team, tho, but I probably wouldn't be able to do that if I moved back or still lived there, anyways. So that's sort of a moot point right there.

I think I might just do that. Apply, I mean. Why not?

October 14, 2009

The Five Stages Of Maple Leaf Fans Grief

An Ambulance Only Goes So Fast

I never got past stage two with the Lightning last year. I was furious the entire season. Still kinda am, actually.

Bloggers Or Media?

The Fallacy of “Blogger Relations”

The above link was posted on Twitter by the Washington Capitals PR guy - who was all for it, and said that bloggers were media, too.

October 10, 2009

CLS NHL Re-Draft: The Results

As posted on Raw Charge....

So here's what I got. The lines are just preliminary - I just threw them together without thinking about that much. Once the season started, people were pretty much done doing the re-draft. And it was the middle of the 20th round, too. Things sort of ground to a halt at that point.

I suggested a free-for-all format, which was accepted, and so I hurried up and got mine all done. I'm hoping I didn't pick a player that someone else already has**. I don't think so, but we'll see if anyone says anything. I'll probably post something more on this, but here's my team:

Total cap hit is $52.209m (out of the $57m allowed).

Ryan Malone | Mike Cammalleri | Milan Hejduk
Dustin Penner | Matt Stajan | Guillaume Latendresse
Kyle Calder | Maxime Talbot | Blake Comeau
Eric Nystrom | Jamie Lundmark | Jannik Hansen

Patric Hornqvist
Ashton Carter

Mark Streit | Brent Burns
Andrej Meszaros | Michael Del Zotto
Brad Lukowich | Matt Smaby

Jay Harrison**

Henrik Lundqvist | Antero Niittymaki

Once the draft has been completed, I'll put up the list of where the Lightning players ended up.

**Jan Hejda had been previously picked by someone else, so I had to choose again.

The Meaning Of Hockey

Five Reasons Blogger Justin Bourne Loves Hockey

There is nothing else to say to this but...exactly.

October 9, 2009

Life Imitating Art

So my friend Su posted this classic clip on Facebook. And we all got a kick out of it, of course. If you don't know what movie this is from, and if you're reading a hockey blog so I would think you probably do, it's from Slap Shot.

Then one of her friends posted the following clip. I've seen it before, but had totally forgotten about it. It's Eric Nystrom, now of the Calgary Flames, re-enacting the above clip during a jersey give away while he was in the minors. It's almost move for move. Obviously, this guy has watched that movie far too many times.

Pretty funny stuff! Athletes are so shameless sometimes. Okay, most of the time.

NY Rangers at Washington Game Recap

I've been reading up on last nights Rangers-Caps game, and it just sort of confirmed a couple of things for me that I saw. I don't follow either team, so I could only guess if people were playing like they usually do. And some weren't.

Top of the list is Ovechkin. He just did not look happy, and he wasn't finishing plays. He'd pass rather than take the open shot - which was crazy since he had nine recorded shots on goal for the night. He could've easily had two or three goals against the Rangers, but didn't. I mean, the guy had five goals in three games, and then he had nothing last night. That's like night and day.

I was just going thru the game thread comments on Japers' Rink, and it confirmed what I was thinking last night - Ovechkin was just not himself. The odd part about all of that was that he was just like he was when I saw him at training camp almost a month ago - exactly like he was at training camp, in fact. He didn't look very confident in himself, and seemed a little down - like he felt he couldn't do anything right, no matter how hard he tried. And that's just completely out of character from everything I've seen and read about him. It's really hard to say what's up with that. There were a few others that seemed a bit off to me, and apparently were according to other people, but Ovechkin was by far the most unusual.

Other than that, it was a great game. Timing and positioning were both still a little off, passes were really sloppy, and goaltending was sometimes inconsistent - for both teams - but the pace and the intensity was there. It had a playoff atmosphere going on, despite the game not being anywhere near a sellout. I walked up to the box office 20 minutes before game time (caught the last five minutes of warmups, tho, so that was nice) and got a fantastic seat. It was end to end red.

I was rooting for the Rangers, of course. On top of the Caps being a Southeast Division team - as is the Tampa Bay Lightning, who I write about - I just don't like the team. I do like a lot of the players on the team, tho. It might seem a little complicated, but that's how it works in my head, at least.

So is it a bad thing that I may never ever root for the home team while I live here?

Each team took its turn doing something absurd. Both took a too many men on the ice penalty. Both goalies let in soft goals that they should've had but weren't ready for. Both had outstanding chances to go ahead or win the game. Both didn't play much, if any, defense. I thought that it was fairly equally matched, honestly.

Poor Lundqvist, tho. The unspoken, and probably understood, part of me wanting to go to this game was to see Lundqvist play. I did pick him third overall in that Cycle like the Sedins NHL Re-Draft (more on that another time), and I hadn't seen him play live before. In the second period, when he was down in my end, the Caps decided to run him two or three times in a row. Pretty hard, too. Tortorella wisely took his team's timeout to help Lundqvist shake it off. He had a really solid first period, but after being run he was still a little shaky for the rest of the game. As seen by that Backstrom center ice dump-in shot he wasn't ready for during the third period.

All in all, it was a good time. I'm very glad that I went. I wish it could've been on a different night from the Lightning's home opener, but that's the NHL schedule for you.

October 6, 2009

Hockey Is Life

Justin Bourne's Blog: Life after hockey

It's not exactly the same, but.... I know how he feels. I've been there. Still am there, I guess.

Throwback Coach: John Tortorella

D-Men Del Zotto and Gilroy lift NYR over Devils

I love the kind of coach that Tortorella is. I really do. He calls it likes he sees it, and doesn't really care if people like it or not. And the passion this guy has for the game is fantastic. Sure, it can get old at times - and he can say some wildly inappropriate things, but you've got to respect him for it.

He really reminds me of some football coaches that I've known and seen. He's just such a classic American coach. Hard-nosed, unforgiving, his way or the highway. I really hope he can get Team USA going this Olympics.

There are only two NHL coaches that I'd pay money to watch - even if there's no one on their teams that I'd want to see. John Tortorella is one. Jacques Lemaire is the other. Jacques is a whole 'nother story, but I don't think I'll get into that right now.

Stupid NHL schedule. The Rangers play in DC Thursday and again in March - when the Lightning visit twice - and that's it. And of course the Tampa Bay Lightning have their home opener on Thursday as well. Live hockey or hockey on tv...which would you choose?

I think I'm going to have to go watch the Rangers play at the Washington Capitals on Thursday after all.

October 5, 2009

Washington On Washingon: Capitals Interviewing Redskins

SportsBog: Green and Backstrom interview Skins

Remember that story where two Washington Capitals hockey players were doing legit post-game interviews of the Washington Redskins football players? Well, here's the post. They didn't write it, unfortunately, but there is video. Enjoy.

(Just so you know, the end of the video is the best part. You can't trust them hockey players for nuthin'. You see how they are?)

The road to Vancouver 2010 - literally

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics [Seattle Times]

2010 Olympic venues and Vancouver sights [interactive map - Seattle Times]

For those of you who are going to the Olympics in February, keep these two facts in mind: It's a two-hour drive from downtown Vancouver to Whistler (in the summer), and it's a three-hour drive from downtown Vancouver to downtown Seattle (after slogging thru Vancouver's residential neighborhoods, and if the border's clear).

I'm sure they've fixed the road from Vancouver to Whistler. At least, you've gotta hope. It's a beautiful drive - one of the prettiest I've ever been on, in fact - but the road is just damned awful. Last time I was on it, it was only a two-lane road, too. So good luck with that.

October 4, 2009

Washington Capitals Turned...NFL Bloggers?

Green and Backstrom Talk Redskins

The Cooley Zone

Now here's something you don't see every day. A couple of NHLers with press credentials via an NFL player's blog with access to an NFL game doing locker room interviews. Good for Chris Cooley and all to swing them some press credentials, but I'd be more impressed if they actually write something up and post it on his blog. Although, how he got the press credentials themselves would be an interesting story all by itself.

What's truly interesting is that they were seriously askingquestions, and not just using it as a free pass to BS with people. So it wouldn't surprise me, actually, if they did write a blog for him. Those crazy Washington Capitals are pretty tech savvy, from what I can tell. Still, I'm not holding my breath.

I wonder what it'd take to get an NHLer or two to write a blog for me...? On Raw Charge, I mean. Anonymously, or not, it wouldn't matter. It'd be nice if people would volunteer, but I don't see that happening - ever. I'll have to think about that. The real problem would be contacting people outright to even just ask. Hmmm.