Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Blackhawks’

The cheapest Stadium Series tickets left; TJ Sochi T-Shirt

February 27, 2014 Leave a comment

With the puck about to drop on the final 2 games of the 2014 NHL Stadium Series, TiqIQ.com has passed along some interesting data on average secondary market ticket prices for the March 1st Blackhawks/Penguins game in Chicago at Soldier Field. If you were planning on attending, but haven’t bought a ticket yet, here’s what you should expect to have to shell out:

-Current average ticket price for Saturday’s game: $230.77 (down 18% this week and 67% since its peak on 9/23/13)

-Cheapest ticket currently listed: $91 (originally $139), Section 432

-Most expensive ticket currently listed: $845 (originally $325), Section 308

Soldier Field Stadium Series seating

All I know is, if I’m gonna cough up $825 to sit in a seat in the farthest section away from the ice in the stadium, my seat better come with an open mini bar, and the NHL Network installed into the back of the seat in front of me.

Comparatively, here are the average prices for the previous four Stadium Series games of 2014, as well as the upcoming Heritage Classic, ranked from most expensive to least:

-Yankee Stadium – Rangers/Devils – $244 ($89)

-Yankee Stadium – Rangers/Islanders – $206 ($43)

-Winter Classic – Red Wings/Maple Leafs – $156 ($57)

-Dodger Stadium – Kings/Ducks – $199 ($117)

-Heritage Classic – Canucks/Senators – $182 ($74)

For more on this data, visit TiqIQ.com, follow TiqIQ on Twitter, or contact TiqIQ’s Director of Marketing, Stefan Mersch, at stefan@tiqiq.com.

*************

Speaking of buying things hockey related, I know a t-shirt worthy catchphrase when I hear one, and thusly I put one on one. After TJ Oshie’s unfathomable shootout performance against Russia, “TJ Sochi” was one of the best nicknames to emerge from the Sochi 2014 Olympics, so here’s what I did with it:

TJ Sochi shirt

 Visit my Etsy store and make this shirt yours before everyone forgets about that fateful night in Sochi! It may even help to cover the American shame of losing the bronze medal game 5-0 and finishing fourth, after posting a video like this:

Bowman Dubs Toews & Kane Eternal Blackhawks

September 6, 2013 Leave a comment

The Chicago Blackhawks’ VP/GM Stan Bowman told Team Historian Bob Verdi today that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be in Chicago forever.

Here’s the quote, posted on the Blackhawks’ website:

“Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be here forever,” said Bowman, the Blackhawks’ Vice President/General Manager. “I can’t predict what the salary cap will be in the near future, but I can tell you that Jonathan and Patrick will be on this team. Those two players put the Blackhawks back on the map, they’re up in a couple years, and whatever the numbers are, we’ll figure out the details. The notion that the money we’re spending now will affect our ability to keep Jonathan and Kane…it’s a non-issue. They will be here no matter what.”

In an effort to show he was serious about the statement, Bowman presented both players a commemorative plaque to hang in their stalls:

burns bowman

Both guys are locked up until 2015, at or before which time we’ll see how long forever really is.

XP PSP s01e04: The Black Parade

June 17, 2013 1 comment

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.

-Game fixing.

-Superstitions of fans and athletes, and how they affect performance.

-The NBA Final between the Spurs and Heat.

Download_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_1004Subscribe and download us on iTunes as well!

Canadians Should Cheer For The LA Kings, and Who American and European Fans Should Pull For in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final Four.

June 7, 2013 Leave a comment

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:

*********

Bruins

Boston Bruins:


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

small CanadaCAN 15 = 68%

small USAUSA 1 = 0.05%

small EUEUR 6 = 27%

*********

Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks:

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

small CanadaCAN 9 = 43%

small USAUSA 4 = 19%

small EUEUR 8 = 38%

*********

Kings

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

small CanadaCAN 17 = 68%

small USAUSA 6 = 24%

small EUEUR 2 = 0.08%

*********

Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins:

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

small CanadaCAN 14 = 56%

small USAUSA 7 = 28%

small EUEUR 4 = 0.16%

*********

Summary:

small CanadaHighest Number of Canadians: LA Kings (17)

small CanadaHighest Percentage of Canadians: LA Kings/Boston Bruins (68%)

small USAHighest Number of Americans: Pittsburgh Penguins (7)

small USAHighest Percentage of Americans: Pittsburgh Penguins (28%)

small EUHighest Number of Europeans: Chicago Blackhawks (8)

small EUHighest Percentage of Europeans: Chicago Blackhawks (38%)

 

Conclusion:

small CanadaMost Canadian Team: LA Kings

small USAMost American Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

small EUMost European Team: Chicago Blackhawks

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.

Categories: Current Events, Hockey, Sports Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keith Slashes Sedin, and His Non-Sexist Human Status.

April 23, 2013 4 comments

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. 

After the game, Keith fielded questions, including this one from Team 1040‘s Karen Thomson:

“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:

Keith penalty II

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?

2012 NHL Playoffs Preview: Coyotes vs. Blackhawks

April 14, 2012 2 comments

Canvassing the Caucuses: An Election-Style NHL Playoff Preview during Election Season

PART 7

by Peter Nygaard (follow him on Twitter)

We’ve already taken a look at the Eastern primaries, so now let’s examine the polls out West.

Western Primary

Phoenix Coyotes (3) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (6)

[also see: St.Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings,  & Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings]

  • The Issues:
  • We Like Mike — Cast away by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Mike Smith has made his home as starting goaltender in Phoenix. After the irreverent but successful Bryzgalov left for greener pastures (and parks!), many doubted the Coyotes would find a suitable replacement. With a 2.21 GAA and a .930 save percentage, Smith has picked up where Bryz left off.
  • The Absentee Vote — The Coyotes play well enough at home. The Blackhawks play well enough at home. The real question is who will win the games in Quebec City if the Coyotes should happen to relocate midway through the first round.
  • Political Dirt:
  • The Coyotes don’t get a lot of press, mainly because they are utterly bereft of star power. Shane Doan has been holding down the captaincy for a long time, but he has gotten little help on offense from the front office. Ray Whitney led the team in points during the regular season. The question voters will need to ask themselves is whether they feel safe knowing the Coyotes may be one heartbeat away from asking Lauri Korpikoski to shoulder the load on offense.
  • Campaign Promises:
  • If elected, the Coyotes promise to look into this whole reversing-of-the-poles thing. If there is a climate shift, Phoenix may end up being the ideal place to house a hockey team.

  • The Issues:
  • The Land of Opportunity — Before joining Chicago, winger Marian Hossa signed one-year contracts with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, only to somehow find himself on the wrong end of both Stanley Cup meetings between the two. A year later, he hitched his wagon to the Blackhawks for the long-term, inking a 12-year contract. Hossa was immediately rewarded, as the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in almost 50 years that season.
  • Tripartisanship — The Blackhawks could not be led by a trio of players who were a bigger mismatch in personality. Offensively, the ‘Hawks have captain Jonathan Toews, whose unshakeable moniker is “Captain Serious.” He is flanked by dynamo right-winger and noted rascal Patrick Kane. Holding down the blue line is hulking defenseman Duncan Keith, who once lost seven teeth to an errant puck deflection and returned to the ice that period. Needless to say, Chicago is thrilled to have these three locked up for the foreseeable future.
  • Political Dirt:
  • An underrated storyline in this playoff season: How hard are Chicago’s role players going to try to win the Stanley Cup if they think they’re going to get discarded afterwards, just like the last group.
  • Campaign Promises:
  • If elected, the Blackhawks promise to continue making a run at becoming Chicago’s favorite team. With the hometown Bears playing in an increasingly tough division and the Cubs being the Cubs, the ‘Hawks only real intra-city competition is the team that shares the United Center: Da Bulls. If the Blackhawks can bring home the Stanley Cup a second time in three years and the Bulls continue to struggle to get past the Miami Heat, the winds of change may be blowing in Chicago.

Vote For: Chicago Blackhawks in 6

HGFC 2011 Player Profile: Theo Fleury

July 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi folks!

The 2011 Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp is nearly underway.  For the days leading up to this year’s event, I’m going to be sharing a player profile for each former pro that will be at this year’s camp.  all these player profiles were compiled by me (statistical and biographical info gathered from various sources), made to sound nice, and were printed in various editions of the Kelowna Daily Courier.  If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a copy, enjoy the free version!

-SDC

==============================================================================================================================

This edition’s Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp player bio features former NHL star and Calgary Flames hero, Theo Fleury; who will be making his first HGFC appearance this August.

Fleury’s NHL career spanned from 1988 to 2003. Standing at 5’6” in a league full of giants, he is arguably the best “little” player to have ever played the game. He was Calgary’s 8th round pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He would go on to compete for the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks; but is unquestionably best remembered for his time as a member of the Calgary Flames from 1988-1999. In his rookie season with Calgary, he helped the team win its first and only Stanley Cup championship in the 1988-89 season.

Over 16 seasons, he appeared in 1,084 NHL games, and totalled 1,088 total points; averaging more than a point per game. Many older fans will recall him excitedly sliding backwards on his knees across the ice while fist-pumping, after scoring an overtime game winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the 1991 playoffs. He is still a prominent figure in Calgary Flames team statistic history; he is 2nd is all-time goals (364), 3rd in assists (466), 2nd in total points (830), 4th in plus/minus (+148), 3rd in power play goals (107), 1st in short-handed goals (28), 2nd in game-winning goals (53), and 1st in overtime goals (5). He was also the Flames’ team captain from 1995-1997.

**HGFC Fun Factoid: Fleury was such a popular player in Calgary that during a game in 1999, Fleury was sent off the ice to change a bloody jersey. A fan then threw his own jersey over the boards so that Fleury would not miss a shift. He put the jersey on before realizing it was autographed and handed it back. **

Internationally, he suited up for Canada at the 1991 Canada Cup, and for the 1996 World Cup. He also represented Canada twice (1998, 2002) at the Olympic Winter Games, and won the gold medal in 2002; after Canada famously defeated the United States in the final, their first Olympic hockey gold medal since 1952. Fleury would later call the Olympic victory the pinnacle of his career.

Fleury attempted an NHL comeback in 2009, after not playing in the league for 6 years. He appeared in 4 exhibition games and scored 4 points with the club, but ultimately was not included on the team’s main roster. This marked an official end to his competitive hockey career, and he has since moved on to other ventures; including writing his autobiography (entitled, “Playing With Fire”), filming a reality show pilot, public speaking appearances, starting a clothing brand, an appearance on CBC’s “Battle Of The Blades”, and running an annual charity golf tournament in Calgary that raises money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

Don’t miss your chance to meet and play with NHL legend Theo Fleury at this year’s event!

For further information on the camp please visit http://www.hockeygreats.ca

Hockey Talkie: Bobrovsky, Skinner, Worlds, Chi-Van for Winter Classic, Quiet Room Exploit, Coyotes, and Thornton in Flip Flops.

May 9, 2011 2 comments

I love TSN analyst Jay Onrait’s comparisons of Sergei Bobrovsky’s pulls and starts to a cop being pulled off a case, surrendering his gun and badge/getting them back & being reinstated on the case.  The frequency of his being “hired” and “fired” from the “force” is comparable to George Steinbrenner’s yo-yo’ing of Billy Martin.  It’s a classic tale of guy who’s dug himself a hole with a shot at redemption; but instead of realizing that potential, blows it and finds further condemnation, constantly restarting the cycle.  For all we know, he could be living out a real-life hockey player/fictional cop version of Groundhog Day; having to get it right to proceed in life.  The vids will clutter the blog up, but below are some links if you ‘re totally lost on what I’m talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyGSH4Ofuxw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps5IPq7DAgE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0M9F6GN2Ng&feature=related

Also, why do Philadelphia and Washington refuse to spend money on a dependable goaltender?

*********************************

Some perspective food-for thought…. With 63 pts this season, Jeff Skinner entered himself into the all-time-leading-scorer-as –an-18-yr-old conversation.  As remarkable as it was for him (while simultaneously nullifying the Taylor/Tyler debate), that total still put him behind Sidney Crosby’s mark as an 18 year old…trailing him by 39 points (102); and also behind Wayne Gretzky (110 in WHA, 137 in NHL).  As good as Skinner’s numbers were, they’re barely halfway to the best ever. 

BUT consider this too:  Skinner and Ilya Kovalchuk both had 31 goals this year, and Skinner ended up with 3 more total points than Kovy.  The fiscal difference between them? $97.3 million in salary.  So there’s that side of the coin as well. 

Now Skinner’s competing for Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Hockey Championships, and doing just fine for himself.  I may have touched on this before, but this tournament just isn’t a fair portrayal of the world’s talent in the game; and I maintain that the Olympic tournament should be the measuring stick in world rankings.  Currently, Canada is ranked #2 behind Russia.  But why?  Because Russia does better in tournaments where the world’s best talent is still competing for NHL teams?  In a tournament where rosters are seemingly allowed to change as frequently as teams desire?  Canada destroyed Russia in the Olympic tournament where the world’s best players were ALL playing for their respective country.  A true world championship should be contested by the world’s best players; the IIHF Tournament does not offer this.  Why do they refuse to hold the tournament at a time where all players are available?  The potential for credibility is right there, but it seems more like pride that is holding the IIHF back from changing more than anything else.  In the meantime, Canada will continue to send the best they have available at the time and on short notice to top up their roster as best they can.

And a little further on Worlds rosters…. Toronto Maple Leafs’  Dion Phaneuf, James Reimer, and Luke Schenn were all good to go for Canada at the Worlds, but Phil Kessel said he was too tired to play for the US.  Feel free to insert your own American joke.  On the one hand, I think Kessel deserves the lambaste for this, but on the other, I think it speaks at least a little to how unimportant  some players view this tournament.  Playing for your country is an absolute privilege; it’s too bad that the IIHF refuses to present a tournament that all players wouldn’t waste a second thought on whether they would join their country’s roster or not. 

*********************************

 

If these two ever get teamed up in the announce booth, I'll quit watching hockey.

Can the NHL go ahead and book the Chicago Blackhawks/Vancouver Canucks for next year’s Winter Classic?  Great rivalry that has developed there; would make an entertaining HBO 24/7 special too.  They’d need to do it in Chi-town though, unless they’re prepared to deal with hockey’s first ever rain delay.

Glen Healy is approaching Pierre McGuire-level ridiculousness in some of his HNIC on-air commentary.  Though I hate the Vancouver Canucks, and a high-percentage of their fans, I do at least respect the Green Men.  Healy has, for whatever reason, decided to make it his mission to slag these guys at every on-air opportunity he gets.  Truth is, as annoying as they are, the Greenies  are just fans who have paid their ticket money, are excited about and supportive of their team, and aren’t hurting anyone around them.  If Glen Healy has a problem with fans, he might want to remind himself of who paid him his 14 years worth of NHL salary.

*********************************

I thought about this when Brent Seabrook got concussed by Raffi Torres in the first round….The NHL’s new “quiet room” rule (a player that receives a headshot has to sit in a quiet room for 15 minutes and be evaluated by a doctor, good idea) seems easy for a team to exploit to get an opposing team’s good player off the ice for 15 solid minutes.  I don’t know that any player/team would stoop that low, but when you think about it, if you can get a dangerous scoring threat or an impossible to beat defenceman off the ice for nearly an entire period, that doesn’t hurt your chances of winning the game.

*********************************

I love DJ Steve Porter’s sports interview remixes, especially these NHL ones: http://t.co/cwXdc6V  http://t.co/Uax93Bc

*********************************

It’d be too bad if the Phoenix Coyotes ceased to exist; I do like their red and white howling coyote jerseys.  It’d be a shame to have to ditch them.  Also, how unfair was it to the Coyotes that the media decided to talk about their pending relocation the entire time they were in the playoffs?  They never had a chance this year.  Oh, Glendale’s going to bail them out again next season now?  Wow, glad we had to go through that unnecessary hype and conversation a few weeks ago. 

*********************************

Everytime the San Jose Sharks lose a game in the playoffs, I’m pretty sure Joe Thornton thinks to himself about how much more comfortable his flip-flops and boardshorts are than his hockey equipment at that moment.

Blackhawks Breakdown, Torres-Seabrook, Rule Confusion, & The Elements Of A Championship Team.

April 19, 2011 5 comments

Ok, back to me :)

I’m not even an official Chicago Blackhawks fan, but I hate seeing what’s happened to them.

To see last year’s Stanley Cup champions reduced to backing into the 8th seed playoff spot via hopes of others’ misfortune, and now having their asses handed to them by their archrivals is really quite stark in contrast to the Hawks club that celebrated curbing the greatly publicized Chicago Cup drought not so long ago. 

There are two things that strike me about the situation.  One is that it really speaks to the team aspect – how many “cogs” working in harmony it takes to win a championship.  When you think about the Chicago Blackhawks, the names that come to mind most often are probably Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.  Obviously they have other strong players, but those two are largely painted as the poster boys for that franchise; and rightfully so.  When the team’s “gutting” unfolded last season, the optimistic ones surely felt that as long as those two were on the roster, they’d be ok.  It’s right about now that the (at times) overshadowed, and perhaps underappreciated necessity of now delinquent Adam Burish, Ben Eager, John Madden, Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien, and Anti Niemi (the latter few got their share of attention, mind you) would be welcomed in their lineup.  Even with guys like Hossa, Keith, Seabrook, heck even coach Joel Quenneville, they just can’t pull it back together to what it was. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying those dealt away are the secret to success, because with four of those players on teams not even in the playoffs this year, clearly that’s not the case.  The point I want to make is to show another example of how a team will not necessarily survive on talent alone – look at Montreal again in these playoffs for example – and how necessary it is for the “stars to align” to bring that just-right mix of guys together who can truly function as a working unit and accomplish an ultimate goal.  It’s a lot easier said than done; just ask Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya about their conspiracy to both take less money to play together in Colorado to try and win a Cup in2003.

Better days in the Madhouse.

 I really wanted good Canadian kid Jonathan Toews to come out on top, and prove everyone wrong by winning again.  I sort of get the feeling Patrick Kane’s content with scoring the Cup winning goal last year (I would be too) and is more worried about looking cool while chewing on his mouthguard/negating it’s entire safety function in an era of hockey where the league is trying to reduce head injuries.  Anyways, long point short, this year’s Blackhawks seem like a band that used to be really awesome, split up to do solo records, and never really recaptured the glory they once had; better together than apart.  Unless there’s some miraculous 7-game comeback, we’re going to see a new Stanley Cup champion this year.  I wonder if Dustin Byfuglien thinks now that taking less money to stay on a good team might have been a better idea now?  They sure could use him in front of Luongo.      

And since we’ve dipped into the head injury topic, my thoughts on Raffi Torres’ hit on Brent Seabrook are that the initial penalty called was correct – Seabrook did not have the puck.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a suspension, but I’m not upset there wasn’t.  There were just so many intangibles to factor in to the result though; Seabrook has a concussion history (and it’s insane that he doesn’t wear a new-era memory foam concussion padded helmet), Torres has a suspension history, and the NHL gets eyeballed by the world every time a bodycheck is thrown.  Torres is a role player that is, quite frankly, doing his job: blowing guys up with bodychecks and creating puck turnovers.  The new NHL has been phasing out the fighter position for a while now, and the latest revelation seems to be the big-hitters are the next queued for extinction.  You can see it right in Raffi’s facial expression to the referee after the call was made; while some would read it as a “I didn’t do anything ref!” look, I saw it as a guy who legitimately is unclear as to what he is and isn’t allowed to do anymore in terms of body checking anymore. 

I really think that’s a huge notion to consider, especially in the playoffs.  The quest for a championship requires such a level of focus and perfection that for a player to be second guessing his limitations on the ice will most certainly at some point be the difference of a player that would normally get hammered by Torres instead get around him, make him look ridiculous, and probably earn Raffi a spot on the pine, or worse, on the healthy scratch list next game.

It reminds me of one of my first games playing in France.  Prior to playing there, I had largely defined my style of hockey as quite physical, because that’s what had brought me the most success at every other level.  In fact, I had that style drilled into me since the age we were allowed to run into each other in minor hockey.  We were playing a game on the road, and I went to finish my check on a guy into the boards who had just released the puck in enough of a time frame that I felt I was in the right to complete the hit, which I did; a pretty routine play back in North America.  Whistles, a stoppage in play, and an escort to the penalty box later, I assumed I had done something wrong (though I couldn’t confirm it because everyone was talking in French).  A teammate then joined me in the box.  I asked him what was going on.  He relayed to me that I had been assessed a 10-minute penalty for a “vicious” hit (I’ve hit guys a lot harder with worse results), and he was there to serve an extra two.  When I finally got out of the box and back into the game, I played very tentative because I couldn’t understand what I was allowed to do (the language barrier didn’t help), and I was largely ineffective from there on in. 

So that brings me to my next point – for the sake of the players, and everyone’s general understanding, the NHL needs to clearly define some rules.  No more shades of grey; whatever the ruling is, just tell us and the players, so they can go about figuring out how to play correctly, and we can all stop squabbling about it.  The North American style of hockey is largely physical, and that’s what we were all raised on.  There’s already (nearly) non-contact hockey in Europe.  That’s their style and that’s fine and dandy for them.  Over here, players run into each other and get blown up (as well as scoring goals periodically).  This monster that’s been created by the new rules is something the league needs to learn to manage better before the NHL decides to introduce touch-football rules.  Whether the game is supposed to be full of clutching, grabbing, and fighting, or speed, finesse, and concussions, please someone just let us all know so we can keep up  and eliminate all the second-guessing for the sake of the game we all love.    

 

[Guest Post] Grant McMillan On Hockey Blogs, Bloggers, and Some Canucks Predictions & Nostalgia.

April 13, 2011 8 comments

Hi Folks, hope you enjoyed our first guest post.  Did anybody play by any of the rules?  Keep me posted on your results, everyone.

I’m equally pleased to bring you our second guest poster: Grant McMillan of Langley, BC.  Grant’s a good friend of mine who also has his own blog (one about Registrar-ing, and the other about Woodcarvings he does which are quite good and you should buy), and not one but two Twitter identities.  Follow the links and stalk at will.  He was the Registrar at Briercrest College (where I got my degree and played hockey for four years), and how has moved on to the same gig at Trinity Western University, where, oddly enough, my younger brother just graduated from.  GMac has been facilitating Cunnings graduation from post-secondary education since 2006, so the least I can do is slot him in for a guest post.

He’s also a tested and true Canucks fan, and I’ve let him run with that, plus some interesting notes on hockey blogs and bloggers in general.  Two asterisks’ I have to mention are that I have no recollection of the call he says I made on him whist refereeing a game of his (though I did take my share of hits to the head over my career), and also that I’m not so much a Blackhawks fan as I am an anti-Canucks fan.  So with those clarification points and precursors, I won’t give away anymore, so read on!

Enjoy!

-SDC

=======================================================================================================================================================================

=======================================================================================================================================================================

Hey!  I am Grant McMillan, and I blog about everything except hockey (I have two blogs going right now), but not because I don’t enjoy hockey. I do enjoy it very much, but up till now I haven’t written about it because I’ve been either reading great hockey blogs (like Serenity Now) or I’ve been trying to avoid reading bad hockey blogs (as you’ll see below).

I’m a regular reader of Serenity Now and I am a fan of Dave’s writing and humour. He knows hockey because he’s played at a very high level and he’s even refereed games I’ve played. That’s important for me to respect his writing, although I still say he missed the call when he gave me a penalty for fighting. I mean, come on, turtling does not count as fighting. It might count as a scrum after the whistle… but I digress.

I’ve also been holding out because I think too many people who don’t really know hockey are writing about the game they know not. For an example of this, check out the sorry state of “hockey” blogging at http://vansunsportsblogs.com/topics/hockey/pass-it-to-bulis-hockey/

I happen to know both of these dufuses (one of them works for me in his day job). Neither has played hockey at any level before – in fact, neither of them can outskate my dearly departed grandmother. Yet they both seem to think they can write about hockey. Thank you very much for trying but some people should stick to playing scrabble.

As I said, these are the reasons I’ve been holding off blogging about hockey. Dave probably didn’t realize what he was getting into when he invited me to write. I mean, it would be hard to find a more hard-core Vancouver Canucks fan than me. As proof, I loved Harold Snepts before Dave was even born! I was at the rink for Tiger Williams’ first game and first fight as a Canuck (which was about 30 seconds after the start of the game). I yelled myself hoarse cheering for Stan “The Steamer” Smyl in ‘82 and cried myself silly in ’94 when Kirk McLean and Trevor Linden leaned on each other after the big loss. Yup, I even bought a Canuck’s jersey as proof of my fidelity. So when Dave trashes the Canucks and says he’s cheering for the Blackhawks, I usually write him a snarky note. Why he invites such ridicule is beyond me.

And he’s going to be facing a lot of ribbing from me this year because my beloved Canucks are going to win the Stanley Cup. The best part? He’s going to go down early because the Blackhawks and Canucks face each other in the first round. That’ll be a brush-off for facing real teams. The Hawks are decimated; the Canucks have a chip on their shoulder. Yep, life is going to be difficult for Dave in the next two weeks.

And I can’t wait to rub it in. Heh heh heh…

Ok, now back to my other blog where you can trash-talk me all you like: http://grantmcmillan.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/a-new-carving-blog/

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 755 other followers

%d bloggers like this: