In episode 4 of XP PSP we discuss:
-The demise of the LA Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Conference Finals, and the Hawks/Bruins Cup Final from all angles.
-steps to take when choosing a new playoff team to cheer for when yours has been ousted.
-Superstitions of fans and athletes, and how they affect performance.
-The NBA Final between the Spurs and Heat.
Canadians Should Cheer For The LA Kings, and Who American and European Fans Should Pull For in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final Four.
With the elimination of the Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens from the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs — and every year Canadian city based NHL teams are either eliminated from the playoffs or do not qualify — there is a certain level of Canadian fan disengagement from the NHL as Canada’s best hopes of bringing the Stanley Cup back north are snuffed out. But with nationalistic pride in mind, there are still plenty of – predominantly, in fact – Canadian born players to cheer for on the remaining four American based teams. Here are the numbers to show you which teams are in fact the most Canadian, American, and European, and to whom your drifting allegiances would be best to land upon:
Canadians: Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Johnny Boychuk, Daniel Paille, Tyler Seguin, Shawn Thornton, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Wade Redden, Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference, Chris Kelly.
Americans: Matt Bartkowski.
Europeans: Dennis Seidenberg (Germany), Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic), Zdeno Chara (Slovakia), David Krejci (Czech Republic), Kaspars Daugavins (Latvia), Tuukka Rask (Finland).
22 total active players
Canadians: Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Bryan Bickell, Andrew Shaw, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Dave Bolland, Daniel Carcillo, Corey Crawford.
Americans: Nick Leddy, Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane, Brandon Bollig.
Europeans: Michal Rozsival (Czech Republic), Marian Hossa (Slovakia), Michal Handzus (Slovakia), Michael Frolik (Czech Republic), Johnny Oduya (Sweden), Marcus Kruger (Sweden), Niklas Hjalmarsson (Sweden), Viktor Stalberg (Sweden).
21 total active players
Los Angeles Kings:
Canadians: Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Justin Williams, Drew Doughty, Tyler Toffoli, Dustin Penner, Dwight King, Jake Muzzin, Robyn Regehr, Jarret Stoll, Colin Fraser, Kyle Clifford, Brad Richardson, Keaton Ellerby, Jordan Nolan, Tanner Pearson, Jonathan Bernier.
Americans: Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Trevor Lewis, Rob Scuderi, Matt Greene, Alec Martinez.
Europeans: Slava Voynov (Russia), Anze Kopitar (Slovenia).
25 total active players
Canadians: Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Pascal Dupuis, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy, Brenden Morrow, Matt Cooke, Tanner Glass, Craig Adams, Deryk Engelland, Simon Despres, Marc-Andre Fleury.
Americans: Joe Vitale, Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, Beau Bennett, Brandon Sutter, Mark Eaton, Paul Martin.
Europeans: Evgeni Malkin (Russia), Tomas Vokoun (Czech Republic), Douglas Murray (Sweden), Jussi Jokinen (Finland).
25 active players
So, with all that being said, if your favorite/regional team has been eliminated, and you are in the market for a new team to temporarily align with and would prefer to cheer for a new team and/or players based on nationality, you now should have all the information necessary to appropriately select your new allegiance.
Fun little venture I’ve started up with some fellow sports-minded fellas here in Korea; We’ve started the Expat Pro Sports Podcast — XP PSP — and basically myself, Sachin Mahajan, Harold Dale, Jason Hiltz, Ryan Brown, and who knows who else will rotate in and out to chat about everything going on in the sports world for about 30 minutes at a time. For those expats out there who are missing their favorite multi-million dollar athletic competitions back home, we hope this scratches your itch just a little.
In our premier episode, we chatted about:
-The NHL playoffs, previewing a few of the first-round series.
-The NFL draft, Manti T’eo, and whether owners should touch the championship trophy first or not.
-The NBA playoffs, and whether the Miami Heat can be beaten.
-Why the Toronto Blue Jays are still bad.
-Whether coaches or management are to blame for a team with good players being bad.
-much, much more. Well, a little bit more.
Special thanks to the talented Ralph Hass of http://www.hasthevoice.com/ for providing our intro voice-over.
Enjoy the first episode! Leave a comment with some feedback, tell us if you like it, and what you’d like to hear in the future.
Stream or download the show on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/xppsp/id643817929
So this happened.
In brief summary, Daniel Sedin scored whilst getting Paul Bunyan’ed by Duncan Keith.
The goal effectively sunk Chicago’s chances at winning the game, and clearly brought out some frustration in Keith upon Sedin — whom you may remember from this incident just over a year ago, is not Duncan’s best bud.
“Well it looked like maybe there was a penalty that went undetected. You seemed a bit frustrated.”
Her line of questioning drew these comments from Keith:
Keith: “Oh no, I don’t think there was. I think he scored a nice goal. The ref was right there. That’s what the ref saw. We should get you as ref, maybe, hey? First female referee… can’t play probably either, right? But you’re thinking the game like you know it? OK, see ya.“
The problem for Thomson is, that the call did not go undetected by the referee, as illustrated in the picture below:
Had she gotten her facts correct prior to the interview, Thomson may have asked a completely different question, and Keith may have given a completely different response (and as a fellow hockey journalist, I’ve made plenty of my own mistakes, and likely will continue to do so in the future). But alas, they both said what they said — and most people think Keith’s a sexist jerk for his side.
I’d like to assume Keith objectively lambastes her like he would any male or female reporter that had asked him that question — only he then subjects himself to cries of sexism from his mentioned notion of her being the (assumably, NHL’s) first female referee. He didn’t say she’d be bad at it because she’s a female, he insinuated she’d be bad because he felt she didn’t know what she was talking about. Which, as the above picture indicates, wasn’t incorrect in this instance. He doubts she can play (which she acknowledges by offering that she can’t skate), or even think the game well either, which I can’t prove he meant is or isn’t due to her gender, but I’d venture it was just him being a prick out of annoyance.
But whatever his true motives, c’mon Duncan, keep a lid on it. Your team just locked up the President’s Trophy — why you heff be mad?
As a big fan of the LA Kings, and general supporter of charity, I’m happy to post the following press release. I know I’d like to get my hands on one of those rings…
L.A. Kings Authentic Stanley Cup Championship Ring Up for Special Auction to Benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Bids Accepted Through 12:00 p.m. PST/3:00 p.m. EST on Monday, April 22 at CharityBuzz.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles (April 9, 2013) – Fans of the defending world champion Los Angeles Kings have a unique opportunity to own a piece of sports history while also supporting a worthy cause. One of an extremely limited number of authentic L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Championship rings, courtesy of the Kings in support of their charitable partners, is up for auction now through April 22 on CharityBuzz.com. Proceeds from the sale will benefit two of the Kings’ charitable partners, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and City Year Los Angeles.
Created by world premiere jeweler, Tiffany & Co.®, the ring is fabricated to the exact specifications of the Stanley Cup Championship rings that were also created for the Kings’ players. Worth $13,500 at fair market value, the ring features 14 karat white gold with .84 carats in round, brilliant cut diamonds, and will be personalized with the name of the auction winner prominently engraved on the band. Authentic LA Kings Stanley Cup Championship rings will not be sold in retail outlets.
Additionally, Kings fans may also bid on an “Ultimate Kings Fan Package,” valued at $7,500. The package includes dinner for two with Luc Robitaille, two tickets to the Kings vs. Sharks game on April 27 and a Kings jersey signed by the team.
“The L.A. Kings have been an invaluable and genuinely compassionate partner over many years through philanthropic funding, widespread community blood drives, regular player visits to cheer up patients, in-game awareness, and so, so much more,” says Richard Cordova, FACHE, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles President and CEO. “They are so generous to share in this historic time with us and make their victory a win for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as well.”
“Supporting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is one of the most important things we do as an organization,” says L.A. Kings president of business operations and NHL Hall-of-Famer, Luc Robataille. “They are our Champions.”
The auction is currently underway, with bidding started at $3,000 and $800 respectively. Both opportunities will close at 12:00 p.m. PST/3:00 p.m. EST.
For more information, visit http://www.wearechildrens.org/2013/04/be-a-part-of-los-angeles-history/
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children’s Hospital is also one of America’s premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.
The 2014 NHL Winter Classic has been officially (re)announced, and so have the jerseys each team will wear for both the main event and the alumni game. Not everyone appears to be as enthusiastic about the choice for the New Year’s Eve alumni game’s uniforms as Gary Bettman does.
The jerseys for the real teams will wear on New Year’s Day are, on the other hand, phenomenal. The potential 100,000+ fans in attendance at Michigan Stadium will be far happier to see Toronto in these ones — both of Detroit’s look sharp.
Also announced was the return of HBO’s 24/7 series, this year following both the Leafs and Red Wings behind the scenes as a lead up to the Winter Classic game. I still would love to see HBO place this amount of cinematic drama on the Stanley Cup Final — which is far more important than the mid regular season game that the WC is — but my opinion continues to fall upon deaf ears. Either way, I love this show, and I’m glad HBO stayed on board post-lockout to put it back on the air.
Also reported (albeit not confirmed) by multiple sources was that an outdoor game (assumably the Winter Classic) in 2014 will be played — get this — in Los Angeles. You know, a place where people tired of being cold retreat to in order to escape the most necessary ingredients for outdoor ice hockey — cold and ice. It seems environmentally impossible, but Dodger Stadium is apparently getting a $100 million face-lift, so who knows what it’ll be capable of. Seems like an odd thing to lie about, but I’ll wait for confirmation from the NHL before I believe it. If it’s true, I sure am pumped for the LA Kings.
Reports also hint at the return of the Heritage Classic, to be played at a Canadian venue.
While all those games were be announced as happening, looks like the NHL’s Europe Premier games for 2013 have been dealt the opposite fate — reports say 2013-14′s version of the across the pond games are out, with much discussion to be had on the NHL’s future international presence.
Well after a rather lengthy period of speculation and innuendo, Roberto Luongo has confirmed he is the owner/operator of the @strombone1 Twitter account. Short of literally saying, “Yes, I am @strombone1″, Luongo responded to questions about the account from CBC’s Scott Oake in the first person, and even explained his intent and inspiration behind each tweet in question. Not sure if Scott Oake was playing dumb, or is, just dumb.
Hi folks! This is the video podcast (written version here: http://bit.ly/VzOpWb on The Score’s Backhand Shelf) of my September 2012 interview with former NHLer and ex-con, Mike Danton.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that no one in the game of hockey has a stigma around them the way that Mike Danton does. Now trying to resume his professional hockey career in Europe, the ex-NHLer and ex-con deals with all sorts of prejudice and ignorance directed towards him on a daily basis — not to mention all the life roadblocks that a convicted felon could expect on the outside, because of his nearly decade-old crime — despite serving his sentence.
In our interview, Mike talked very candidly and at length about everything from hockey, his time in jail, how he’s turned his life around for the better, his thoughts on other ex-con pro athletes, his feelings on being denied entry to the UK to play, his family, and what the future holds for him. Without a doubt, the responses that he gives will at least make you reconsider the opinion you’ve come to form about him.
In this little adventure of a writing career I’ve forayed into over the last couple of years, I’ve had a lot of fun talking to all sorts of interesting people and writing interviews and features for various outlets. It didn’t really occur to me that anyone would ever be interested in turning the microphone around towards my face to record what I was saying, but that’s exactly what the Jeju Weekly did recently, when I sat down with Darryl Coote for my first formal interview. It appears in the August edition of their printed paper, and is available online. And below, for your reading pleasure.
Also, I was recently a guest of Thomas Holzerman on The Wrestling Podcast, from the makers of The Wrestling Blog. I talked about WWE-related stuff for a long time, and even got a little hockey talk in at the end. If that sounds like your cup of tea, click right here to listen, or you can click here to listen/download the show on iTunes.
Enjoy the SDC smorgasbord!
Writing and hockey, passion and practice
Dave Cunning, a teacher and freelancer, is likely Jeju’s only former pro hockey player
Friday, August 17, 2012, 09:46:07 Darryl Coote firstname.lastname@example.org
I met Dave Cunning a couple weeks back. He came to The Weekly’s office looking to write about sports.
Usually I meet people about town and ask them if they want to write for us. But with Dave, he was one of the few who actually came to me.
Soon after, I learned that Dave and I have some things in common. We’re both Canadian, we both write for newspapers, and we both played hockey — though, impressively, Dave played professionally.
|▲ Dave Cunning. Photo by Darryl Coote|
In early August I sat down with Dave over a couple of beers to talk shop.
“Well, if you want to get technical,” Dave said, “I started writing in college. I mean it was something that everybody does. You’re writing a hundred papers a year and it just gets to the point where either you get good at it or you don’t.”
And then he found blogging. The freedom it offered him to express whatever was on his mind was a nice break from the rigidity of essays.
In 2006, Dave, who only recently became engaged, took blogging with him to France where he went to play professional hockey for Lyon H.C.
“That was one of the things I wrote [about]; I was writing about my experience. I was away from everyone I knew … and I was just alone with a computer and I wanted to tell people what was going on and I just wrote.”
To play hockey at the professional level, he said, was one of his greatest accomplishments.
“I always wanted to play pro hockey. It’s not something that everybody gets to say [they did].”
After that season he went home to Kelowna, British Columbia, where the transition from sport to a regular job wasn’t easy.
“It’s tough when you’ve spent your life pursuing a dream and … [it’s] the only thing that matters and then you’re doing something that couldn’t matter less. You’re working for a paycheck, you’re working to get by. And it’s awful.”
Since he hung up his skates, writing has been a way for Dave to stay in touch with the game he loves. He is still just as invested he said, it’s just from a different perspective.
And though it may not seem like it at first, for Dave there are two main similarities between writing and hockey — passion and practice.
“When you latch on to a story that you love, your best comes out. It’s not that different from the game of hockey. When you’re tuned into the game, you’ve trained, you’ve practiced, you’ve done a million pushups, you’ve done a million wind sprints, you‘ve done everything because you want to be the best at the game.”
The same is true with writing.
“If you half-ass a story it’s going to show up pretty quick,” he said.
The first story Dave wrote (and was paid for) for the Kelowna Daily Courier shows where these two disciplines intersect.
He visited a Kelowna Rockets practice and saw the players in line, just stick handling. “It was just like a hockey school,” he said. Just the basic back and forth from foot to foot.
And for Dave that was the hook for his story. These players, who were one step below the NHL, were doing drills for children just learning the game and he wanted to show that the game doesn’t change much from minor to professional hockey.
“And it’s not that different from writing,” he said. “The best writers probably write every day, probably two or three times a day, or more. We put this crazy interpretation or perception on professionals of any genre that they’re doing these mystical things that normal people can’t do and at the end of the day they just have been doing them consistently, and long enough, to be in really good practice to do them well.”
Along with The Weekly, Dave writes as a contributor for the Kelowna Daily Courier, BetOnHockey.com, and The Score’s Backhand Shelf. For these publications he’s interviewed some pretty big names in the hockey world like Pat Quinn and Mark Recchi. But to Dave, “I like to think every interview is my biggest one. You never know what you’re going to hear, you never know what you get to write, and you never know who is going to read what you get to write.”
Impressively, from Jeju’s shores he is writing once a month for the Kelowna Daily Courier.
For Dave and his wife, Karma, this has been their second foray to Korea to teach English. They were originally in Geoje Island, near the mainland. They left for a year and came to Jeju this past March, and so far it seems to be agreeing with him.
“I want to keep writing. I want to keep training. I want to keep doing the things I love. I want to keep doing the things I’m passionate about. If there’s an opportunity to keep doing that on Jeju then yeah we very well might stay longer. Like I said this place is beautiful. Jeju has so many things to offer for my wife and myself; everybody really.”
If the Nashville Predators truly had any interest in winning, they had to match Philadelphia’s offer sheet for Shea Weber. No question.
The match was a pivotal move for the club, and one the team itself described as “the most important hockey transaction in franchise history“.
Even after matching the Philadelphia Flyers’ offer sheet of $110 million (hold on, they were gonna pay him how much to play hockey? Wait, Nashville IS paying him that much??) over 14 years (third longest in NHL history; second highest total value), the Nashville Predators still retain plenty of bankroll breathing room – they’re only 24th in league payroll, with nearly $16.5 million in cap space still available. So yeah, they did have to match Philly’s offer for their captain/best player. They NEED him, plus financially, it’s not like they had to move money around to make it work – they straight up could afford it.
If Nashville didn’t match, the Predators likely would have sunk this season, save for Pekka Rinne again playing out of his mind all year, this though without an all-star bolstered blue-line anymore. And you can’t expect a hot goalie to play in front of that kind of mediocrity for long before he also joins the mass exodus in an effort to actually win somewhere.
Additionally take into account the roster exits the Predators do have to address — Radulov back to the KHL, and Jordin Tootoo to Detroit – also subtract Weber, and Smashville’s roster wouldn’t exactly have looked primed to improve on its Conference semi-final appearance last season.
And the message sent to fans and fellow players would have been one to the tune that the Predators really weren’t all that committed to success – that they weren’t willing to do what’s necessary to keep top talent that has proven their ability to help the team win, on the team; that they’re ok with just seeing how far they can go with what they have on hand. That’s not a message anyone can get behind.
If Philadelphia did indeed acquire Weber as hoped, then as Nashville would likely fall, the Flyers would likely rise in return – perhaps even enough to finally get them over the Cup hump. They’ve got scoring, they’ve got goaltending (in Bryzgalov, somewhere, I’m sure of it. The guy just needs to come back to earth), and they have defence too – but Weber could have been the perfect replacement for Chris Pronger, whose future remains in jeopardy after injuries sustained last season. Though he gives up two inches in height and eleven years of NHL experience, Weber’s eleven years younger, faster, heavier, shoots harder (multi-time runner up to Zdeno Chara for league’s hardest shot) has nearly as much experience as Nashville’s captain as Pronger has as Philadelphia’s, and even a little bit of crazy (see: Zetterberg head smash) in him, just like Pronger, and he can score from the concession stand if he has to (much to the chagrin of all Nashville’s healthy scratches). I can’t see that being anything but a smooth swap – and even more potent if Pronger manages to return.
But Nashville did match. And they still have Weber. For a really long time. But 14 years ought to be long enough to find someone he can move the puck to (Alexander Semin, anyone?), and to build a better team around him, and Rinne. And if for some reason it doesn’t work out, they can trade him after a year, as Weber has no NTC built into his deal. Tough salary slack for another team to absorb, but their “out” is there. The match meant the Predators kept a pivotal player, their team leader, around 50 points a year, and it sent the right message to their team and fans. Good move, Nashville.