November 28, 2009

The Brashear-McSorley Incident

Puck Daddy has been counting down the top ten of the decade, and this video clip was on their list for The 10 biggest NHL stories of the last decade. Technically, the decade isn't over until 2011, but whatever. Most people don't realize that, anyways.

I was at this game with my sister Jill. We were sitting in the corner where the fights ended up - the entire opposite end of the ice from where Donald Brashear was hit. I didn't see the hit itself, but immediately after it happened, the entire arena went absolutely still - the players, the fans, everyone. It was totally quiet in that way that you knew something awful has just happened, even if you didn't see it. And then Garth Snow came barreling out of his crease to take Marty McSorley and all hell broke loose.

I want to say that they were still doing in-house replays of bad hits at that point. It seems like we got to see the replay after it happened on the big screen. I don't remember being frustrated because I had to wait to find out. Now, if a player goes down injured, the arena won't show the replay of what happened. Which is for the best, really. But if you didn't see what happened - which is usually about half of the arena - it kind of sucks that you won't get to see it until you get home.

I've always liked Garth Snow. He was one of the few goalies who always had as many penalty minutes as games played. That oversized gear he used to wear was a bit over the top, tho. But he was always the first to stand up for himself and his teammates. And, since he was the goalie, he was never off the ice during his penalties so he could acquit himself.

And now Garth's the GM of the Islanders. Funny how things turn out. Good for him, tho.

I think he was one of the few hockey players who had a masters degree. I've always found that interesting. Sort of like George Parros for the Anaheim Ducks. The guy's a total bruiser and he so rocks the 70s porn star look - but he's got an economics degree from Princeton. I find that to be very interesting.

Anywho, we all know how the Brashear-McSorley thing turned out. Brashear ended up being fine, thankfully, but that hit essentially ended McSorley's NHL career. Which wasn't that great a loss since he'd played something like 19 seasons in the NHL before that, and was at the end of his career, anyways. Still, not a good way to go out - or to be remembered for.

November 24, 2009

Define "cougar" for me again?

Now this is too funny.

And HERE is Puck Daddy's take on this.

Okay, so here are the rules for women's hockey. When women's teams play each other, there's no body checking allowed - it's actually a two-minute penalty. But, because there aren't many women's teams around, they have to find other people to play. And often it's boys midget teams (15-17-year-olds).

Before the game starts, both teams are asked if there's going to be hitting allowed. Usually the players vote first, and then the coaches tell the officials if there's going to be hitting or not. Because it's not an all-women's game, both USA Hockey and Hockey Canada will allow hitting if both teams agree to it. And, almost always, both teams do.

Women are bitter that they aren't allow to play like everyone else - just because they're female - so they never pass up an opportunity to play what we always thought of as "real" hockey. And the boys.... Well, if you're a 16-year-old guy, wouldn't you want to be body checking women? Of course you would. C'mon now. Ask a silly question....

So the hitting was obviously agreed upon from the beginning - as is usual. What's funny is how Wickenheiser jumps this kid after the hit. I can (kind of) understand why she did it, but what I don't get is how she went about doing that.

What's the story with the wrestling action? That just makes no sense to me whatsoever. If you're going to try taking a guy, you don't start with a strangling move. Seriously. That's just lame and pointless - as is painfully shown in the video. If it were me, I probably would've taken him hard into a wall and shoved my elbow into a kidney - just to make a point.

Yes, I know exactly what that sounded like - "taken him hard into a wall". Now you have an idea of how homoerotic hockey games sound like when they're being called on the radio and tv. Some announcers are worse than others, tho. And it's the bad ones that make me giggle the most.

November 23, 2009

For Loyalty Of The Game

Naslund ending retirement

Only Forsberg could talk Naslund out of retirement. And to play for nothing, too. Good for them that they want to help out their hometown team.

However, I can't help but feel that the reasons in Forsberg's case are just a little bit more selfish than altruistic. Which isn't to say that what they're doing isn't a good thing, but still. Forsberg has made no secret of the fact that he wants to play for Sweden in the Olympics, after all.

My only real complaint about this, tho, is that I don't know of a way to watch Modo games online.

November 17, 2009

Life, Death, And Hockey

'Will to win' drove Penguins fan's recovery
What nobody was prepared for was when Celesnik awakened from her coma April 23, and her first words were: "Is there a hockey game tonight?"

I'd probably do that, too, if I just came out of a coma. Sad, but true. I can totally identify with that kind of thinking.

While I've never been in a life or death situation like this woman, hockey has gotten me thru some really tough times myself over the years.

Maybe it's just being in a rink, or the fact that I sort of equate fans as part of the team - so you feel like you're with teammates, is where I'm going with that - I don't know. My first instinct is to go watch practice, not necessarily go to games or watching them on tv. I crave that camaraderie that you get when you watch practice, not the competition of a game.

And it's not the distraction value that makes it worthwhile. It just feels like you're home. It does to me, at least.

So thank you for being there, those teams that I've followed. You've really helped me out a time or two, even if you haven't realized it. And I really appreciate that.

Why The Name On The Front Of The Jersey Doesn't Matter

Players less safe in era of salary cap, instigator penalty

I totally agree with this - most of it, anyways.

Well, except for the salary cap part. Especially since GMs were trading players like 9-year-old boys trade hockey cards long before the salary cap was implemented. For instance, when the Vancouver Canucks made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994, only two or three guys were still there five years later. And that was - still is - pretty common. In fact, I would argue that the salary cap has increased the likelihood that more players will stick around instead of be shuffled away.

The part that I have a problem with - tho I also agree with to an extent - is this concept of team loyalty. Bourne argues that since players don't get to stay long with a team, they can't develop team loyalty. But he's talking about the crest on the front of the sweater as well as with teammates. And while I can see that, at the same time, that shouldn't matter.

See, I'm a big believer in the idea that it doesn't matter who's on your team, or what team you're playing for, you should always stick up for your teammates. Always. I don't care if you don't like or know the guy - if he's your teammate, that's all you need to know.

Zenon Konopka on the Tampa Bay Lightning is a great example of this kind of thinking. And NHL rookie Victor Hedman is like that, too. Maybe a guy can take care of himself, and maybe he can't, but that's not the point. The point is, your teammate is your family member - and you don't allow people to mess with your family. It's just not done. You don't have to fight to make a point about it, but you can't stand around and just let things slide, either.

And that's what being part of a team is about. It's not about winning championships, and it's not about making money. It's about family, and you want to do your best by them whenever possible. Even if you don't like or know the guy. It's as simple as that.

Now, I realize that that's a personal perspective. But the guys in any lockerroom can foster that kind of environment. If they choose to. Some either don't bother or don't think about it.

But that's a hockey culture issue, not a rule issue. The instigator penalty is exactly what's keeping guys from jumping in and taking care of dirty players. That I can agree with 100%.

Although, I'm the type of person where I'll only let something slide for so long before I have to deal with someone who's a jerk. So that wouldn't stop me much - unless, of course, the game's on the line. Then I'd get back to them another time.

November 11, 2009

So The NHL's Punishment Guidelines Aren't Actually Astrology?

The NHL's top secret flow chart for handing out suspensions

This makes soo much sense. I just thought that they threw darts at a board, drew punishments out of a hat, took too many drugs, played paper-rock-scissors, or had a special magic 8 ball made for their use to determine suspensions. So there's actually a method to their madness? Who knew?


Seattle Soccer - A Lesson For The NHL

How Sounders FC turned 2009 into Seattle soccer celebration

The NHL would do well to follow this team's example. This is how you market a team - and a sport - in an area. Seriously. Do this. Talk to the Seattle Sounders FC. They'll probably be more than happy to help. And try the Seattle Mariners while you're at it, too.

November 5, 2009

Raw Charge Internet Radio Interview

Raw Charge on JabberHockey, Sunday, Nov 8th @ 5.30PM EST

I'll post up a reminder on Raw Charge probably early on Sunday - and maybe here again, too - as well. If you want to hear me BS...I mean, chat about hockey, then tune in. Otherwise, ignore this and move on with your life as if this never happened.

Which, maybe it didn't. Depends on whether you buy into denial or string theory, I guess. Somehow, I'm almost positive that my reality is far different from your reality.

November 4, 2009

Now In Goal...Sidney Crosby?

Love him or hate him, but you've got to admit that this is pretty impressive.

By the way, did I forget to mention that he's played goalie in street hockey?

November 3, 2009

Stephen Colbert And The 2010 Olympics

Colbert goes for gold with U.S. Speedskating
"It still tragically involves a lot of Canadians,'' [Stephen Colbert] said.
"It's kind of unseemly how many Canadians I'm going to have to be dealing

I so feel his pain.... ;o)

The US hockey team ought to get in on this Colbert-Olympic action. Seriously - Tortorella's an assistant coach for Team USA, and he's in New York. He should try to swing something. The more exposure (of the media kind), the better.

Homosexuals In Hockey

It's time to end the use of gay slurs in hockey
Hey, hockey players: not knowing doesn't change the reality that there are gay
men in the professional ranks today.

Just so you know, the general population statistic is somewhere between 1 in 7 and 1 in 10 people are homosexual. Given that that's the statistical average, the likelihood is that there are between 2-3 gay men on any given hockey team. But, like I said, that's an average - there could be more or less depending on the team. In the entire NHL, that means somewhere between 75 to 110 hockey players are likely gay. And that's just in the NHL.

The more I read from this guy, the more I like. I just wish hockey players - and athletes in general - would be more forthcoming in their opinions while they're playing, tho. I completely understand why they're not, but still.

When I played hockey, the woman's team that I was on - we all knew who the lesbians were. And it was never a problem. Not even in the dressing room. But they didn't try to hide it, either.

Same thing in softball, flag football, and basketball in high school. In softball, it was well-known that a couple of coaches were lesbians. And that wasn't ever a problem, either. Maybe it's because it's women instead of men, but no one ever really cared - and I grew up in the sticks and went to high school 20 miles away from my house in a logging town.

I think that if athletes were honest with themselves, they'd probably have a pretty good idea as to who is and isn't gay. And they'd probably realize that it's not an issue. And, seriously, who cares as long as the guy can play, right?

November 2, 2009

Naslund Interview

Markus Näslund Interview in Örnsköldsvik

This is a very good, tho very long, interview of Markus Naslund. I still regret not getting to see him play when he was with the Rangers. Oh well. What can you do, right?

The Power Of Twitter

Twitter Lists in Action: NHL Builds a Social Network for Fans

What I think the most interesting thing to come of this will be the amount of fans each team has on Twitter. I think most people have a pretty good idea of how that will turn out. But you never really know until you see the actual numbers, right?

What I'd really like to do is to map out NHL team fan bases. But I could only do that with the help of the NHL. And even then, there's the prickly issue of individual privacy involved. Which is too bad, really, since that'd be very helpful in overall team and league marketing.