The Unspoken Rules of Hockey

This time of the year is like a dead period for me.  College football is over, the NFL playoffs are in full swing but the Rams suck and Weller has those covered, I don’t like basketball and I only get to see one or two hockey games a week.  (I hate you Mediacom.  I hate you so much.)  That should semi explain my absence in the past week, plus I’m leaving for Vancouver on Tuesday morning and I’ve been filling out various paperwork all week.  Then this hockey fight between the New York’s Marian Gaborik and Philadelphia’s Daniel Carcillo caught my eye:

For those of you who don’t watch much hockey, Gaborik has 61 points on the year while Carcillo has 11.  Gaborik has 23 penalty minutes. Carcillo has 130.  Needless to say, it was a mismatch.

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David Backes Fights Canada

Do not anger the American

Okay, well maybe not the entire country, but it sure looks that way.  About two weeks ago, St. Louis Blues forward David Backes learned that he would be representing the United States in the upcoming Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.  Since then it appears he is on a mission to drop the gloves with every player on Canada’s roster before the games begin.  I like his style.

As you know, I’m a huge Blues fan and Backes is my favorite player.  I tend to admire the players who are A) from the United States B) score goals and C) are willing and able to drop the gloves every now and again.  A power forward, if you will.  And not a Tomas Holmstrom power forward.  He’s just fat, unskilled and too wussy to get in a scrap.

Anyway, Backes certainly isn’t known for his fighting ability (he’s gotten in 13 fights in four years) but he can certainly hold his own.  Since 2010 began, however, that is a different story.

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The US Olympic Hockey Team

Last Saturday the United States announced the roster for the upcoming Olympic Games after the Winter Classic in Boston.  One of the things that is immediately obvious is  the lack of veterans present on the team.  Gone are US team stalwarts like Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Chris Chelios.  Now the team will be led by players like Patrick Kane, Erik Johnson, and Phil Kessel.

Only three players have past Olympic experience, Chris Drury, Brian Rafalski, and Jamie Langenbrunner.  The other 20 are first timers.  I’m hoping that can work as an advantage for the young team.  Maybe they won’t necessarily realize the magnitude of the task at hand.  There shouldn’t be much pressure on them as they US has only won a medal once since 1980’s Miracle on Ice.

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Marty Brodeur, the Best Ever

Martin Brodeur

On Monday night New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins to record the 104th shutout of his career.  That surpassed the great Terry Sawchuck for the most ever.  Just two games after setting the mark for the most appearances by a netminder, he shut down the vaunted attack of the reigning champions to top the 40-year-old shutout mark.

The 37-year-old Brodeur has spent his entire 17 year career with the Devils that has included three Stanley Cup victories, 9 All-Star Games, four Vezina Trophies, the Calder Trophy, and the first Canadian Olympic Gold Medal in 50 years.

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Weller’s Favorite Teams

Bryan and I were trying to come up with something for one of us to write tonight. Later this week I will be putting up a new mock draft and will be taking another look at the NFL playoff situation while Bryan will be putting up another one of his draft position posts, but tonight neither of us could come up with anything to write. With nothing else coming to mind I decided to lay out where my loyalties lie in each sport. I will briefly explain why each team is my favorite for that specific league and list a runner-up as well. This idea came to me because over the weekend I had stopped in Columbia, MO on my way from Knoxville back to my parents house for Christmas. On Saturday morning we watched a soccer game from the EPL (English Premiere League). After the game Bryan suggested that I pick an EPL team to be a fan of. I ended up settling on one and which team it is will be revealed later in this post. Let’s get started. Continue reading

WaB’s Annual Hockey Post

I think Weller had a post in the works for everyone, but as it turns out, someone broke into his car and then he lost power.  Priorities, I guess.  Anyway, since my St. Louis Blues dominated squeaked out a 1-0 win over the hated Detroit Red Wings tonight, I’m in a hockey mood.

One horrible thing about being a hockey fan is that it’s never on TV.  Ever.  Even Blues games, which are local here, get blacked out due to some stupid squabble between Mediacom and Fox Sports.  I’ve seen maybe six games this year.  (Side note to Gary Bettman – Hard to get the sport back to prominence when no one can see it!)  Horrible TV contract aside, I actually got to watch the Blues play the Islanders a few weeks ago.  I was treated to this gem from David Perron:

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NHL Draft Review

John Tavares puts on an Isles jersey for the first time.  Sorry, kid.

John Tavares puts on an Isles jersey for the first time. Sorry, kid.

Last night the NHL hosted the first round of their annual entry draft.  It was broadcast on Versus, so chances are good that you didn’t know it was going on (unless you frequent WaB and for that, we thank you).  As I outlined here, there was potential for a pretty wild day with trades and picks being sent all over the place.  There was also potential for nothing to happen and for everything to go according to plan.  Unfortunately, teams went with the latter option.

The biggest news of the day was Anaheim’s trade of Chris Pronger to Philadelphia for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and two first round draft picks.  Pronger will be an unrestricted free agent next year, so this is entirely too much.  That being said, I’m happy to see him exit the Western Conference.

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