THE ROB REPORT:
“SPOT IT! NHL” & “NHL FASTRACK ” BY BLUE ORANGE GAMES
If you’re starved for NHL action this hockey season, Blue Orange Games has a couple of titles that might just hit the “spot” for you. I recently took Spot It! NHL for a few laps around the rink, and here’s what I thought:
I’m into bigger style board games, so it was a bit deceiving when I saw Spot It! NHL was so compact. However, along with its miniature size came a great deal of fun, as it provided 5 different NHL hockey themed matching games.
The game’s single dimension is to spot matching NHL logos and other hockey-themed images before the other players can. This game has 5 different variations. The fun is all in the mayhem, trying to quickly make matches before everyone else.
I played with 4 friends, 2 of which don’t follow hockey regularly. All of us thought the game was great. My friends I played with play a lot of board games (they have a few shelves dedicated to them) and they decided to add this game to their regular lineup of games to play on game night.
The gameplay time is short enough that it does not get tiresome (3-5mins). Short is also good because players can exit a game anytime without disrupting a very involving showdown. There are a few variations that can potentially take a little longer (up to 8-10min) to finish than others, and the time difference adds to the variation.
You can keep score, but I found it more fun when each game is mutually exclusive from the other, since there is potential for players with superior matching skills to run away with the score over the course of multiple games. The game has a tendency to favor better players, as the real good players can go on long streaks, and slower-matching players could become frustrated. I’d recommend players organizing games amongst evenly skilled players, rather than letting the game even it out for you. But then again, playing the game is the only way to truly find out what level of matcher every player is.
The game comes in a durable case so game owners do not have to worry about wear and tear outside of actually the game.
Overall this is a great game to play for not only hockey enthusiasts, but for everyone. The learning curve is extremely low and the logos are easily distinguishable.
Below is their official press release, and some additional info.
While the NHL hockey season is on hold, Blue Orange Games is proud to be the source for the hottest NHL® licensed games to kick start the action!
Blue Orange gave their wildly popular games, Spot it! and Fastrack a sporty makeover that Wayne Gretzky would approve of! Now hockey fans have the perfect family games to fuel their passion and show off their pride. Packaging and instructions for both games is in French and English.
Whether you are a die-hard hockey fan or you just want to break the ice, Spot it! NHL® is for you. Hockey themed symbols give this collectible edition its cool edge. There is always one, and only one matching symbol between any two cards! To become one of the Greats of the game, be the first to spot the match. Officially licensed by the National Hockey League, this hockey card game contains the logos of every NHL® team. Have a blast skating through all 5 mini-games: make that “Sweet Pass,” avoid “The Penalty,” and score in “The Net,” and more! Packaged in a puck-size tin, Spot it! NHL is the perfect stocking stuffer for hockey heads young and young-at-heart!
Ages 7 to Adult • 2 to 8 Players
Here’s another NHL themed game from Blue Orange games that we think you’d also enjoy…
NHL® Fastrack brings your favorite sport to your fingertips! Officially licensed by the National Hockey League®, this puck passing game produces kinetic energy and exhilarating competition. The first to send all 10 pucks to an opponent’s side takes home the trophy! Just like a hockey game, NHL® Fastrack calls for lightning-speed, accuracy and just the right amount of chance to win. This eco-friendly speed game is made of 100% sustainable wood and the rink’s sidelines feature logos of teams adored by hockey fans all over North America. With quality you can see and ready to play right out of the box, NHL® Fastrack makes an unforgettable holiday gift. And what’s more—Blue Orange plants two trees for every tree used to create this game!
Ages 5+ • 2 Players
About Blue Orange Games:
With 12 years experience creating stimulating and easy-to-learn games,
exquisitely designed for maximum fun, Blue Orange Games looks to the future
with consistent ideals.Using durable materials, Blue Orange pledges to produce high quality games that are enjoyable for the whole family. The eco-friendly company remains committed to planting two trees for every one tree used in game construction. Blue Orange has won multiple awards, such as Parenting Magazine’s “Mom Tested Toys of the Year,” Parents Magazine’s “Toys of the Year,” Family Fun Magazine’s “Toys of the Year,” Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s “Platinum Seal,” and Dr. Toy’s “10 Best Games,” among others.
If you’re still looking for Christmas gifts for the hockey fan on your list, or are just generally hockey starved during the current NHL lockout, the 24th installment of Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Hockey series is sure to satisfy.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em 24 features a pile of fantastic video montages from the 2011/12 NHL season, the ever hilarious “piano desk”, the year’s best saves (feature on Martin Brodeur) and goals (feature on Steve Stamkos), plenty of regular speed and slow-motion hits, Don mentioning “trolley tracks”, bloopers, some vintage Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em techno and Cherry rapping, Don mentioning how many NHLers he saw play as kids (Tavares, Stamkos), Don mentioning players from Kingston, Ontario (Mike Smith), Don wearing a top hat and supporting fighting in hockey, Coach’s Corner commentaries (featuring classic opinion pieces like, “Kids, if you ever really want to get benched…”, and “Why do they never run Tim Thomas?”), and all the best highlights from every round of last year’s playoffs.
It’s really a fantastic highlight tape, and everything you’ve come to expect from Don Cherry. In the words of Don himself, it’s a beauty. This is a no brainer! Pick up a copy today. cbcshop.ca and other retailers will hook you up.
Below is the official press release:
No Lockout For Rock’em Sock’em!
Canada’s most controversial and outspoken hockey personality, Don Cherry, brings his brash brand of hockey to his 24th DVD with the release of Don Cherry’s Rock’em Sock’em Hockey 24 from Video Services Corp (VSC). This year’s release features the first “Blue”-ray in the Don Cherry catalogue, endorsed by Don’s ever-present terrier companion, Blue.
“I’m glad to be working with a good Canadian studio in VSC,” said Executive Producer
Tim Cherry, “we’re not pulling any punches this year!”
The release includes Coach’s Corner segments and all the best goals, saves and hits from the 2011-2012 season, right up to (spoiler alert!) the Los Angeles Kings’ historic Stanley Cup win. Bonus features will include extra footage from the Kings’ win on the Blu-ray, and vintage Rock’em Sock’em techno with Chris Sheppard on both formats.
Even Don himself is looking forward to the release, “I love doing Rock’em Sock’em. Players come up to me and tell me how they got Rock’em Sock’em as a gift every Christmas. They’ve grown up with it. It’s become a Christmas tradition in a lot of homes,” said Cherry, “This year’s is great, and we have lots of highlights from one of the best playoffs in years.”
The Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em series is Canada’s longest-running and best-selling DVD property. “We’re all huge hockey fans at VSC and we’re so excited to add Don Cherry to our catalogue – it’s a new chapter in VSC’s hockey history,” says VSC President Jonathan Gross, “Tim and Don create an exciting summary of the season and it’s time for an HD version to be available – that’s the only way to watch a hockey game these days!”
SRP: $19.98 | TRT: 70 min
Street Date: 13 November, 2012
UPC: 7-78854-19199-0 | Catalog: CHE1919
SRP: $24.98 | TRT: 70 min
Street Date: 13 November, 2012
UPC: 7-78854-19209-6 | Catalog: CHE1920
DVD Extras: Vintage Rock’em Sock’em techno with Chris Sheppard
Blu-ray Extras: Bonus footage from Kings’ win, vintage Rock’em Sock’em techno with Chris Sheppard
About Video Services Corp.
Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. is a leading independent DVD distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. With a vast catalogue strong in television, sports and comedy, some of VSC’s releases include Corner Gas, The WHA Chronicles, Comedy Now! Starring Russell Peters and Canada Cup ’87. Other 2012 releases from VSC include the second season of the hit series Portlandia and the theatrical film Union Square starring Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino. VSC also owns the e-commerce websites
sportonvideo.com, laffstock.com and jewishflicks.com.
Video Services Corp.
5145 Steeles Ave W, Suite A201, Toronto, ON, M9L 1R5
P: 416-597-8325 / 877-341-7577 F: 416-597-9142
www.videoservicecorp.com firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/videoservicecorp twitter.com/vidserv
Hi folks! Friend of the blog, Rob Cunning, is back with his latest installment of The Rob Report. In this edition, Rob takes a look at the Toe Tape-It, by Stick-Aid. It’s a great time-saving product for hockey players out there that tape their toes, but are ready to ditch the scissors in the back they’ve been toting around for far too long. Have a look at what he thought!
The “Toe Tape-It” by Stick-Aid
Christmas is just around the corner, and the folks at Stick-Aid have a fantastic little product for the hockey player on your list who you still need to find a stocking stuffer for.
If you are, or you know a player who is a habitual taper of the toe of your hockey stick blade, Stick-Aid’s “Toe Tape-it” is for you.
The traditional toe tape job requires either a two or even three step process to complete – and some people even require a pair of scissors to be on hand to finish the job. Not exactly ideal variables when you need to re-tape mid game, are in a rush to get on the ice and are in desperate need of a new TJ, or are in any other scenario that is may result in the sacrifice of a fresh wrap on your blade. And who wants to dive into their bag and run the risk of getting stabbed by a pair of scissors anyway?
Toe Tape-it cuts the labor process of toe taping down to just one step: just stick the product on either the forehand, backhand, or both sides of the toe of your blade. That’s it. You’ll have to smooth over the edges and confirm you’ve aligned it properly, but this approach is no where near as labor intense as the old way, and it’s every bit as effective. Way simpler, and faster. Boom. Win.
Watch the instructional video here (you’ll need to use Internet Explorer to see it)
There are 12 TTI’s per pack, so you’ll be stocked for a good while with every pack you buy. TTI even comes in five colors (black, white, red, orange, blue), so you can customize your tape job to match your team’s colors, or whatever you please, really. But if I were you, I’d just stick with good ol’ black. If it was good enough for Wayne Gretzky, it’s good enough for you too.
1) First off, if you don’t tape your toe to begin with, this product probably isn’t for you. Hockey players are creatures of habit, and very rarely stray from traditional/superstitious methodologies, but if you’re willing to try something new, this could be a good catalyst towards a new approach to your tape job. Personally, I made the switch to taping my toe in college, and never looked back. It might be the way to go for you too, if you give it a chance.
2) You’re gonna have to have a rounded toe stick blade – if you’re a square toe guy or girl, this ain’t gonna work for you. Unless you get out the scissors and customize further, but then that’d defeat the whole purpose of the product.
If you’re game to give it a shot, here’s a list of shops and dealers that can help you get your hands on Toe Tape-It: http://www.stick-aid.com/dealer_page.html
Hi folks! The following is a product review done by friend of the blog, Rob Cunning. Rob is a software developer at Thinkingbox, an Athletic Therapist working out of the Langley/Vancouver BC area, and also my brother. He formerly was the AT for the Mt.Royal University Cougars men’s hockey team, and Trinity Western University Spartans men’s soccer team and men’s & women’s volleyball teams. He also played a little puck for Trinity Western University of the BCIHL, and some baseball for the University of Calgary Dinos, Kelowna Jays, Kwantlen Eagles and Burnaby Bulldogs too.
That all being said, Rob recently reviewed 3M’s Tape Tiger, a new hockey tape removal device, and below are his findings. Enjoy!
The Rob Report:
The Tape Tiger by 3M Hockey
The Tape Tiger is a new device from 3M’s Elite Series of hockey products, and is highly effective for easing the hassle of tape removal from a player’s hockey stick blade.
After using it, I was reminded of the “Shark” tape cutter, a tool Athletic Therapists use to remove tape from an athlete’s taped body part – a great tool which we use often in our field.
Upon using the Tape Tiger, I found that it removed hockey tape well, and did not leave any cut marks on the blade afterwards. Also, it did not matter which side of the blade I cut on, it was effectively removed the tape from both faces. However, I think it would be easier to remove tape from the backhand side of more curved blades with this tool, in my opinion.
It was really easy to cut fresh/more recent tape off of a blade with the Tape Tiger, however it did have some difficulty removing older tape (tape on a stick for 1+ years, maybe from that stick in your basement you haven’t re-taped since minor hockey, for example). That being said, it did get the job done in the end.
If ever necessary, the Tape Tiger’s blade may be a bit time consuming to change, as you have to unscrew it from the body in order to facilitate replacement. Once it’s unscrewed though, the replacement process is pretty easy – it only requires the user to slide the old blade out, slide a new one in its place, and retighten. However, treat it right and its stainless steel blade should serve you well for many seasons before any maintenance is required.
The deluxe version (which I demo’ed) comes equipped with a few handy little extras that the original version does not include:
1) A stone for removing burrs and nicks from skate blades – perfect to tune up an edge in a pinch when you’ve lost one mid-game and a trip to the hockey shop for a sharpening is out of the question.
2) A lace tightener – which is useful, but not something I’d use. Perhaps it would be useful for a younger player still learning to tie their skates, or someone who struggles to tie their skates tight enough, but personally I can tie my skates well enough with my hands at this point. But again, useful if a scenario calls for it.
3) The lace tightener also triples as a bottle opener and a flathead screwdriver–great for beer league hockey, or any sort of post game celebration in the dressing room; and for when some knucklehead brings bottles into the dressing room instead of cans for the post-game.
4) The screwdriver is perfect for tightening or removing helmet screws, and possibly skate screws depending on which brand of skates you own.
5) There’s also a key ring thrown into this Swiss-Army knife-like mix, for, you know, attaching your keys to.
Overall, the Tape Tiger is a great device that does exactly what it says it does – quickly and easily removes hockey tape from a stick blade. Plus, it provides extra tools for situations that all hockey players encounter at some point and need a tool for. It’s especially great for players who already lug around toolbox worth of gadgets in their bag and could use some consolidation. However, if you have one of these, you run the risk of either becoming that guy with all the weird tools in his bag, or else the guy who never gets to use his own sweet stuff because everyone’s always borrowing it. It would be an asset to any team’s equipment manager too.
I rate this product as a buy. Pick one up at your local Canadian Tire next time you’re in one and chuck it in your hockey bag.
For more info, visit: http://www.3m.com/intl/ca/english/centres/home_leisure/hockey/3Mhockey-tapetiger.htm
Or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/3MHockey
To browse 3M Hockey’s full-line of Hockey Canada backed Core & Elite Series hockey products, visit: www.3MHockey.ca
Product Promo video:
With so many composite hockey stick brands on the market, I’m happy to help promote one with a tie to my home province in Canada. Fischer (you may recognize the name from their ski equipment) is in the game of one-piece twigs.
Fischer touts that one of the key advantages of Fischer sticks over other leading brands is their “Cap Technology”. This technology (currently being used in their ski gear) utilizes a patented thin foil wrap around the composite stick — the same foil used to wrap Fischer skis. This process is used only by Fischer, at their manufacturing plant in the Ukraine. Their studies have compared Fischer composite sticks to the other leading sticks/brands in the market and their results show their “Cap Technology” produces a stick which is less likely to break and is stronger than the other brands’ sticks by up to 30%.
Unlike other major stick companies, they only have one plant, which is owned and operated by Fischer Hockey. This plant in the Ukraine is the same plant they use to produce their skis. Other companies use outside plants in many different countries to manufacture their sticks, which may result in quality control issues. Fischer owns their digs and stays on top of all production issues, treating them on the spot if they occur. In Addition to sticks, they also make shafts, blades, visors, bags, bottles, jerseys, and socks.
Roger Pettersson and Gord Piercey of Duncan, BC, owners of G&R Sport Services, have become the new Western Canadian Distributors for Fischer Sports Composite Hockey Sticks, and are responsible for their introduction to Western Canada. The duo will be providing Canada’s west coast with the latest in Fischer’s composite hockey sticks, which have been extensively used in the European Pro Leagues (including Finnish and Swedish Elite), and the KHL since 1988. They’ve also recently become one of the official suppliers for both the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), and the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL).
Partners of G&R Sport Services since January 2011, Gord and Roger have dedicated themselves to providing the ultimate in composite stick repair, and top-quality brand-name Fischer Sports products. Since that inception point, the two men have been successfully repairing pricey composite hockey sticks to like-new condition for teams, players, and parents in Cowichan Valley by utilizing the Integral Hockey Stick Repair system, which uses actual aerospace technology. They are already working closely with several BCHL teams, and currently have Fischer sticks in play with three Vancouver Island Junior teams. Understanding first-hand just how costly hockey-related products and services can be, they are pleased to offer, in their opinion, the best in composite stick repair, along with top-quality new, used, and repaired sticks, for purchase at a substantially reduced cost to the consumer. So hit these guys up if you need a brand new stick, or need your old lucky one brought back from the dead!
For repair and/or stick sale inquiries, contact Gord, at 250-737-1661, or email@example.com
Devante Smith-Pelly – Anaheim Ducks (out 4-6 weeks)
Hockey Foot Injury Statistics:
- 95% of hockey players have had an injury to their foot from a shot or a slash.
- 78% of players who reported a foot injury experienced bruising and 15% suffered a fracture.
- 23% who have had a foot injury have missed one or more weeks due to their injury.
“Injuries to the foot during hockey are often long standing with symptoms years after,” says Dr. Michael Ball, a leading Manitoban podiatrist. “In my practice, many of my patients who sustained injuries to the feet as children or young adults still complain of symptoms from these injuries to different degrees later in life. Unlike a fracture of the arm, you place two-and-a-half times your weight on your feet to walk and skate. I think that in order to prevent long term problems, any protection from injuries is very important.”
Blogging has always been fun for me, but some days the enjoyment of it kicks up a couple of extra notches. The day (about a month ago) when a large, rectangular cardboard box showed up at my front door was one of those days.
You see, the packing slip attached to the outside of the box was from a little hockey company called Easton; you know, the inventors of the Easton Aluminum, one-time sponsor of my hockey-hero Wayne Gretzky, and general hockey technology innovators/changers of the hockey stick world’s landscape. I had been in touch with them via Twitter ( I suggest you follow them too @Easton_Hockey) and at my request, they had agreed to send me a Synergy EQ50 to review on this very blog. I since have unsheathed it from its cardboard capsulation, and used it a number of times. And this brings us to now, where I get to tell you what I think of it.
I didn’t want to play only one game and give you an opinion, as hockey players know it takes time to get to know a new stick. As summer hockey games can be sparse, I took my time and played 4 good games in June with it before offering this assessment, which I believe to be objective in fact, and subjective in feeling.
The first thing I noticed about the Synergy EQ50 was that it is light. Now I know that’s a pretty obvious thing to say about a composite hockey stick in 2011, but considering that I was coming out of a Bauer Supreme one95, an extremely light stick itself, I think that is saying something. The adjustable, weighted counterbalance system installed in the removable butt-end is intriguing. It features 4 removable weights that you can interchange to find your ideal butt-end weight, to assumably balance the added weight in the blade (more on that later). I never thought this was a point of concern with my sticks before, but they pay smart people good money to come up with ideas like this, so let’s entertain the notion. My theory was that since my last stick didn’t have such an option, I would keep all four in while I played to see the maximum effect. Truth is, I can’t say I really knew what the difference/improvement was, other than the stick felt perhaps slightly heavier in my top hand. All four weights are still in.
Where I did notice a difference however, was in the stick’s blade, which also features afore mentioned counterbalance weights; which are in contrast, permanent fixtures. In making and receiving passes, the blade feels much thicker than say a Bauer or CCM product (which, from my personal experiences, seem to push thin blade technology). I’ve heard that a thinner blade helps you “feel” the puck more, but while using the EQ50, I truly felt I could control passes noticeably better (no matter how errant the passer had made them), and in return I could send a much crisper and solid pass right back. My assessment is that the added blade weight had a lot to do with that.
Shooting-wise, things only seemed to get better. There is an adjustment period to any new stick, but once I had the EQ50 dialled in, I can truthfully say I was shooting pucks better than I ever have. I’m not going to lie and say that it increased my shot speed by 20km/h or something insane; that kind of improvement can only be made by the stick’s operator. The main instance I noticed shot improvement-wise was in my one-timer. Admittedly, one-tee’s have never been a shot to boast about for me, but in lining a few up with the EQ50 and its thicker blade, I found my stick absorbing the pass like never before, and thusly return cannon-firing them at the net like never before, ala Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion (every action has an equal and opposite reaction). Where I might have fanned on the same shot before, I felt like the EQ50 was far more forgiving and responsive. After seeing the results, I was looking and calling for as many one-timers as I could to bomb. One even managed to sneak over a goalie’s shoulder and go top cheese, which was, to say the least, fun J I believe the weighted blade lowers the stick’s kickpoint; another plus for noticeably better shooting, in my opinion. Hey, the NHL/world’’s hardest shooter Zdeno Chara and his 105.9 mph slap-bombing Synergy EQ50 can’t be wrong, can they?
Cosmetically, after 4 games, the EQ50 seems to have the same condition that my previous Synergy had; the outer grip layer seems to be flaking off for some odd reason. It doesn’t affect the stick’s performance in any way, however.
Now that you’ve read what I think, here’s what Easton’s website says about the EQ50:
- Own the puck with the ultimate combination of balance and control
- Visible Focus Weight Technology™ (15 grams) redistributes weight to the impact area to control hard passes and keep the puck on your blade
- Customizable weighted end cap for optimal balance with adjustable swing weight
- Kevlar® wrapped shaft for impact protection and vibration dampening
- Multi-Rib™ and Micro-Bladder™ blade
FWT- Focus Weight Technology™ is used in the blade to provide an incredible feel for handling the puck and in the shaft to counter balance the stick for added control.
CONTROL: Engineered to keep the puck on your blade to control the game
PASS: Redistributes and focuses weight in the ultra-light blade to catch the toughest passes
SHOOT: Delivers more power and velocity making your shot unstoppable
BALANCE: Weight at the end of the stick counter balances the blade for optimal swing weight
CUSTOMIZABLE: Weighted end cap is adjustable to optimize balance at any length. Fully customizable from 6.5-26.5 grams
I can’t say that I think any of these statements or claims by Easton are at all erroneous. This stick delivers on its promises, and would be a great investment for any player in the market for a new stick. I personally saw improvement in my game with it, and I have no reason to think it wouldn’t do the same for you.