Friday, November 26, 2010

Slap Shots

Only an idiot like Sean Avery would do something ridiculous enough that the NHL would need to impose a rule to prevent players from cheap antics to increase their overrated team's chance of scoring a goal. Or so we thought. Check out Chris Pronger getting caught being an idiot and having, what would have been, the game-winning OT goal waived off. Calgary would end up earning the extra point in the shootout:

A highlight from this game, and absolutely dirty play, was a well-executed toe-drag and snipe by Nikolai Zherdev for the game's first goal:

As pretty as it was, I'm not too happy as a coach watching Zherdev pull that move - if he fails, it's Breakaway City for the Flames.

I'm going to have to give the Snipe of the Night honors to Brad Richards and his lightning-quick release, leading the charge in the Stars' comeback win against the Blues:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pens/Caps 24/7 Preview

On December 15th, hockey fans and sports enthusiasts alike will witness the premiere of, what I think, is the most revolutionary insight into professional sports with the Pens/Caps 24/7 on HBO. I have absolutely loved the presentation of past 24/7 series and the Hard Knocks series but there are elements to the Pens/Caps that set it apart from the others.

Ovechkin vs Crosby

We've all followed and have witnessed this "rivalry" for the past 5 years and this production just fuels this fire that the NHL loves to promote. Though it can be argued that the emergence of Steve Stamkos as a true elite player in the NHL makes this a 3-horse race for 'best player in the world', but Ovechkin and Crosby have always brought out the best in each other when head-to-head.

Pens/Caps History

These teams have a enjoyed a recent heated rivalry especially after the Penguins elimated the Capitals in the 7th game of the 2nd round during the 2009 Playoffs. The Penguins would go on to be the eventual Stanley Cup champions so expect HBO to devote most of, if not all, of an episode on that.


Hard Knocks has gone into the dressing rooms, meetings, personal lives, and on-field dynamics for NFL teams but this will be the first time we'll get an in-season look where the games actually matter. Two teams that will, most likely, make the playoffs will show viewers just how damn important two points in the standings mean to everyone involved - players, coaches, GM's, and owners.

Perfect for Hockey Players

As a hockey player for most of my life, this is a visual delicacy of a culture, if you will, unknown to most people. At about the 8:40 mark of the preview, the footage of skate sharpenings, stick taping, lacing up, applying wax, and putting on gear truly sensationalizes moments we, hockey players, love about what we do. We've all felt, touched, and tasted what the cameras are capturing, serving as a tribute to our wonderful game and the dedication we put into striving to get better.

I cannot wait for this series to air and I am confident it will do wonders for our game.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ride the Lightning

For the five games on the NHL schedule tonight, fans were treated to an absolute light-show between the Lightning and Flyers - 15 goals were scored between the two teams (but scoring is down in the NHL, right?). The Lightning would win this game 8-7 but here's a video of the first 9 goals during the 1st period set to 'Flight of the Bumblebees':

Steven Stamkos continued his assault on the NHL in this game scoring his 3rd career hat-trick including this ridiculous snipe:

Stammer would add 2 assists in the contest on top of his goals and Martin St. Louis had 5 assists on the night. I wonder what Patrick Roy has to say about the Lightning's system now?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Avery Sucks

Sean Avery is a joke (nice tie buddy). Seriously. There probably isn't a bigger ass-clown in the game today. Here you see Latislav Smid trying to get Avery to drop the mitts and it looks like he wants no part in it - until Smid starts to back away...

Does this guy have any friends? Washington Capitals' coach Bruce Boudreau couldn't even stand coaching him, as described in his book 'Gabby'. Avery should dance with a true competitor and tough guy like John Erskine did today when Eric Boulton started unloading bombs on him:

One more thing I wanted to point out from today's NHL games was this shorthanded goal scored by the Atlanta Thrashers:

Aside from Ovechkin being able to avoid the scoring opportunity entirely by just curling towards the boards instead of the middle of the ice, why doesn't he just play the puck back towards the zone? I hate seeing some of the game's best players struggle to make the 'easy play' and it usually results in a goal against. The Caps were on the powerplay and when Little commits pressure to the puck-carrier, Ovi has to know that the situation now becomes a 4 on 3 - absent of Ladd forechecking - if he plays the puck to a teammate.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Thoughts

Here are some quick thoughts, mostly from tonight's action around the league:

I know there are ideas being kicked around regarding changing up the overtime format in the NHL. I like the idea of going from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3 but a quick tweak to the existing format would be to have the teams switch sides after regulation. That way each team has the long change during 4-on-4 play - one would think that there would be less shootouts and more overtime scoring. Just a thought.

When I got out of the gym tonight and looked at the score for at the Penguins vs Bruins game, it was 4-2 Pens after two periods, they were outshooting the Bruins 34-20, and Sidney Crosby had a goal and 2 apples. I thought, 'the Pens are starting to turn it around' - guess I was way wrong because I turned on the tube in just enough time to see the two-goal lead evaporated within 15 seconds. The Bruins would add three more (one was an empty net). If Marc-Andre Fluery doesn't find his game soon, the Pens are going to be in trouble - or Dan Bylsma.