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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NHL Playoff Preview

Playoff Ice

Playoff Ice

Tomorrow is the start of the two month haul known as the NHL Playoffs.  The first round presents us with some interesting match ups and I’m going to break them down for you.  Since there are only about eight people who watch hockey, I’ll try to keep it short.  No promises, though.

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Sean Avery: Still An Ass

It’s been a while since we had a good hockey post around here.  As you know, I love hockey.  I’m a huge St. Louis Blues fan and I feel like I’ll jinx their late playoff push by writing about them.  This post is not about them, but if you haven’t noticed, there’s an excellent playoff race going on over in the Western Conference.  Check out the current standings.  But no, that’s not what this post is about; this post is about Sean Avery. Continue reading

NHL Trade Deadline

jokinen_stare_courtesy_400

Olli Jokinen

When the smoke cleared today on NHL’s trading deadline there had been 22 trades made.  Several high profile players were sent from bottom feeders to teams who were gearing up for a run to the Stanley Cup.

Perhaps the biggest news, though, were the players who stayed with their original teams to finish out the year. Continue reading

Next Year’s Winter Classic

The NHL’s Winter Classic is about to take place on New Year’s Day from Wrigley Field in Chicago. Featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. But I’m not here to talk about that game, as exciting as it will likely be. Now that game is all about the matchup. And the Blackhawks and Red Wings are pretty evenly matched right now (especially with how hot Chicago is – a franchise-record 9 wins in a row heading into tonight’s game).

The Winter Classic will take place next season (and probably season after season for a while). The outdoor hockey game is a cool thing no doubt, and brining in famous venues from other sports makes it all that more intriguing. Here are a few proposals I have for future Winter Classics. Continue reading

Thoughts on Hockey’s First Week (Plus a little)

I know hockey started overseas a little while ago, but In all reality, the NHL as we know it started about a week ago.  Since hockey never gets any coverage at all, I figured I’d throw out my observations from the first week.

  • The New York Rangers are 5-1.  The Rangers lost for the first time last night with the Sabres beat them 3-1.  The Rangers are led in points right now by enforcer Aaron Voros and second year man Brandon Dubinsky who each have 7 points.  If anyone tells you they saw this coming, they’re lying.
  • The Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks are a combined 0-7.  Not the start that Anaheim had in mind with their high powered offense.  The Ducks have given up a league-high 17 goals through 4 games.  In Colorado, goalie Peter Budaj has a paltry .824 save percentage.  I kind of expected a down year from the Avs, but this start from the Ducks is shocking.
  • Alexei Cherepanov.  Cherepanov was a former 1st-round pick of the Rangers who collapsed and died on the bench during a Russian League game on Monday.  The 19-year-old had a heart condition and was a victim of cardiac arrest.  This is very similar to what happened with Jiri Fischer a few years back but the medical care here in the States is better than it is Russia.  Unfortunately, this tragedy has been the biggest story in hockey this year.  Truly a shame to see this happen.
  • This morning, the Blackhawks fired their coach, Denis Savard.  We knew Savard’s seat would be a little warm if the Hawks started slow, but I think management was a little quick on the trigger after a 1-2-1 start.  They promoted Joel Quenneville to the head coaching position.  Coach Q spent 8 years in St. Louis and has the most coaching wins in Blues history.  Quenneville’s first game comes on Saturday against the Blues at the Savvis Center.  It will be interesting to see the reception he receives.
  • The St. Louis Blues powerplay.  You knew I was going to mention them somehow.  Through three games this year, the Blues have gone 7/14 with the man advantage.  Keith Tkachuk has four powerplay goals to lead the NHL.  Unfortunately, since they have scored 7 of their 11 goals in the powerplay, they are -32 as a team, which is killing my fantasy team.
  • Ryan Hollweg.  He got suspended for two games in the preseason for his third boarding major in 41 games.  Upon his return, Hollweg promptly crushed Alex Pietrangelo and received his fourth boarding major in less than half a season.  He was assessed an automatic three game suspension by the league.  I think they really dropped the ball here by not suspending him for more.  Hollweg has proven to be a thug and should be punished as one.  10 games would have been a start.

It’s about time for the Blues and Stars to drop the puck, plus the Rays are leading the Sox 2-0 in the 2nd, so I’m going to end this.  Let me hear your comments…that is, if anyone out there still watches hockey.

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