Friday, November 30, 2007

Reflections on a NaBloPoMo

It's been a long, interesting, rambly month, hasn't it? It went significantly faster than I thought it was going to, but at the same time, let me tell you, I don't like doing those "Meet your Whoevers" the night of. A couple of times, I was racing the midnight clock to get those up.

Things I Learned from NaBloPoMo:
1. I have a lot more to say than I think I do. Or, at least I can make myself say a heck of a lot.

2. Liveblogging is significantly more difficult than the big boys and girls will have you believe. There's a lot more to keep straight while watching hockey AND typing AND listening to the calls than just watching hockey and yelling at it.

3. Non-internety types don't understand the "NaBlo-Whatever" concept at all.

4. Without the Hloggers, I never would have kept this going, especially after some of the anti-blogger experiences I've had. But the fact that there are people who read it, comment on it, and seem to at least be amused by what I say, even if they don't take me seriously.

5. I have discovered, in the last 24 hours, while looking for other blog-related things, that the WBS Penguins' Ben Lovejoy is in the running to become the next Chasing The Dream-Esque fan favorite, and that my computer is one of those few random ones that the NHL radio broadcasts work on. Why I wasn't LISTENING to Pens games earlier, well, humanity will never know.


Things I need to Work On:

1. Improving my touch typing even more while liveblogging. It's coming, but I get harried and stop to care and you start getting TrashBlog '07 instead.

2. Shameless Self Promotion. I'm a really tiny little fish who's good friends with some bigger fish, but I have to drag people over into my pond. How's that for an extreme metaphor? (I do have some ideas- one of which I've already tried to implement, so we'll see. Otherwise, whore me out to your friends)

3. Cleaning my camera lenses BEFORE the game.

4. Not subjecting people to the same harping on my favorite players. We get it, I'm female, I have favorites I will follow from team to team, and I don't care about stats that that much, but this is not the Colby Armstrong and Jay Beagle show. I promise, now that I'm not forced to post as much, less about them.



Anyway,

The Canucks in my brain cranking out content as fast as they can would like to thank you too. They now get their first vacation in over 30 days.

If there's one large overarching thing I learned in this month on Hockey Mission From the Great Gods it's that hockey people are really, honestly, usually some of the best people you're going to meet, and some of the most trusting.(with the exception of a few select people at the Flyers game-I'm thinking Camera Dude and Bathroom Girl.) In this last month I've given people camera advice, been offered tickets, have an old man take pity on me and slot me into a food line in front of him, watched someone's kid while they took the other to the bathroom, joked good naturedly with a Flyers fan in the stands, joked online with a Phantoms fan I'd never met, and found a source who's willing to copy me Chasing the Dream for peanuts on the dollar, just because she thinks 'more people should see it.'

Honestly. Where else can you find a group of people that come together to watch grown men pummel a little rubber thing with a stick and get in fights, but trust each other enough to do stuff like that?


I love this game.

Troop Movement

HOMG!
Again, breaking the news late (dammit, roller derby practice!) but Quintin Laing's been called up to the Caps to cover for a broken Boyd Gordon and Chris Clark. Sad, as the Clymer/Beagle/Laing line won't be around for a while, but happy, as hey, Laing's playing with the big boys!

Y'all down there take care of our toothless captain, alright? I expect him back here in one piece. I'm lookin' at you, Shmee, CapsChick. (oh, ye who keep breaking my baby team up in horrible and unspecified ways.)

Oops, no helmet again

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ready....go!

I've got... nothing. I feel as if spending an hour sorting and introducing Bears would be silly, so we're going to do the quick and dirty version for the dudes you've not met yet.

So far, you've met Louis Robitaille, Quintin Laing, Ben Clymer, Patrick McNeill, Tom Maxwell, Travis Morin, Freddy Cassivi, Daren Machesney, Dean Arsene, Chris Bourque, Joe Motzko, Grant Potulny, Sasha Pokulok, Scott Barney and Sami Lepisto.

Today, I give you everyone else, aka Sean Collins, Jamie Hunt, Tyler Sloan, Jame Pollock, Jakub Klepis, Jason Morgan, Kyle Wilson, Jay Beagle, Andrew Joudrey, Chris McAllister and Josef Boumedienne. We're gonna do it two at a time, and we're gonna focus on superlatives.

SO



Jamie Hunt and Sean Collins
Both blueliners, Hunt and Collins come from Calgary, Alberta and Troy, MI respectively. Right as we speak, Collins is "out with concussion like symptoms" according to Walton, but Hunt's been in there scrapping since day one.

Hunt's Superlative: Most Likely to Fix Your Computer.
Collins' Superlative: Most Likely to be a Doppelganger (There's a Sean Collins currently on the Wheeling Nailers as well.)



Tyler Sloan and Jame Pollock
Honestly, if you'd said to me that Pollock was a blonde, I'd probably have looked at you in disbelief. I don't think I've ever actually seen him helmetless game. Although he was born in Quebecistan, he played three years for the Seattle Thunderbirds, so I have to give the guy some mad NW props for that. Sloan... well.. Sloan likes to start stuff on-ice. He's pingponged around the AHL/ECHL for quite a few years, but it looks like the Bears are a pretty decent fit.

Sloan's Superlative: Most Likely to Bleed on You.
Pollock's Superlative: Most Likely to be a Sedin for Halloween.



Jakub Klepis and Jason Morgan

Although he's scored a lot, Jakub Klepis is getting a reputation among the Hershey fans for treating every puck like it's a gift from the queen-he's a fantastic scorer, but refuses to pass half the time. If he can just break that little habit..... Born in Prague, he also played in the NW- this time for the Portland Winter Hawks. Morgan's one of the most experienced Bears, having played some sort of pro hockey for the past 13 years, and with NHL time on both the Calgary Flames, the LA Kings, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators AND the Minnesota Wild. I have to say, I also have a soft spot for Morgan because he's from Newfoundland, and I'm a big dork.

Klepis' Superlative: Most Likely to Never Find a Hat That Fits
Morgan's Superlative: Most Likely to be Mistaken for a Construction Worker.



Kyle Wilson and Andrew Joudrey

Honestly, two Bears I know very little about, collectively. Both of them came directly out of school to the Bears, and both, so far seem to be meshing well. Wilson was the one at the beginning of the season with a 5 game scoring streak, while Joudrey is one of those dudes I could watch do passing drills forever.

Wilson's Superlative: Most Likely to be the Runner Up for Prom King
Joudrey's Superlative: Most Likely to Fall Asleep on the Bench



Chris McAllister and Josef Boumedienne
McAllister is the one I keep *almost* running into and commenting on his height. He's huge. He's also GREAT at the body hits, but not such a winner in the fights, if his fight against the Baby Pens' Bonvie was any example. Boumedienne gets points just because his nickname is 'Boomer'. Born in Sweden, he's another who's bounced all across the NHL/AHL/Swedish leagues.

McAllister's Superlative: Most Likely to Stick Chris Bourque in a Locker
Boomer's Superlative: Most Likely to give Sidney Crosby a Run for the Awful Hair award.

Last but most certainly not least, my and Elly's favorite Bear:

Jay Beagle
Quickly becoming the Next Big Thing in Hershey, and as everyone's been saying, a fan favorite. We found Beagle at Caps camp in September and quickly named him "Little Sid." Which of course, is inaccurate, as he's older than Crosby by just a few years. But Elly and I will defend our "we discovered Jay Beagle" title until we die. Anyway, coming out of Calgary to Hershey via the Anchorage Seawolves and the Idaho Steelheads, Beagle barely missed the cut that instead took Andrew Gordon to South Carolina, having scored (at that point,) one goal to Gordon's zero. (he's at 5 currently) As of now, he's on the Line of Doom with Clymer and Laing, and is a complete powerhouse on the penalty kill. I'm still waiting to see him throw down, but at least as of this point, he's proven he's and effective agitator, if not an all out fighter.

Beagle's superlative: Most Likely to be Mobbed at the Supermarket.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2007-2008 Hershey Bears!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The last Youtube Madness!

Nadine told me when I started YouTube Madness Wednesday that I needed to have at least one day dedicated to goalies. I decided to one-up that request, and have a day dedicated to nothing but goalie FIGHTS.

So, to start us off, a Bears/Binghamton Sens fight at Giant Center 3/3/07 (Also appropriate as the Bears are facing the Sens at home tonight and regretfully, I will be in class. First home game I've missed. *sniff*). From what I can glean, this is Maxime Daigneault for the Bears, and Jeff Glass for the Sens.



I know, I know, you're already anticipating Ray Emery showing up in this one, but come on, you sort of have to include him, as he's pretty prone to dropping the gloves at any chance he gets.


But who has even more PIM in the NHL than Emery?
Marty Brodeur.


Specifically for CapsChick, we learn that Olie's more of a wrestler than a puncher....


.... or is he?



Looks like he's got a mean left hook as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

News from the Other Coast

is that Kris Mayotte is actually showing up in pictures out of Fresno, which excites me, as he was the other baby player we had scouted in Washington. (Ok, I scouted. And he's older than i am. But I've said that before.)
In a stunning followup to yesterday's hair madness, he has also shorn himself. Granted, I'd assume it's hard to shove that much hair into a goalie mask, but still- he and Beagle were voted "most likely to start a boy band" by the contingent in the stands at Kettler, and now he's gone and ruined his big chance for singing stardom.

Okay, okay, fantasy player of the day. Sheesh.

ENTER,

Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning.


who is actually on all four of my fantasy teams. Let it never be said I cannot pick centers.

Why is Vinny on my teams? Um, DUH.Lightning owner Art Williams proclaimed that Lecavalier would be "the Michael Jordan of hockey." Right now he's leading the league in goals AND assists, was drafted 1st overall in 1998, and basically was Sidney Crosby before anyone knew who the hell Sidney Crosby was. At 19 years and 11 months old, he was named captain of the Lightning (which Crosby had to then go and break) and in 2004 won the Stanley Cup. He's also prone to random outbursts of violence that make coaches cringe out of fear he'll break his hands on someone, but rack me up a cool 19 PIM in one game.








Ladies and Gentlemen, Vinny Lecavalier.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hockey Hair Faceoff... Bears v. Caps!

Because the last hair faceoff was such a big hit, I figured I'd take the losers from last time and pit them against their very own feeder team, because I'm mean like that.

With that, welcome to Hockey Hair, Bears v. Caps.


First Up:


The Little Scoring Machine
Nicklas Backstrom v. Chris Bourque


Hmm. Little round face? Check. Mouth partially open? Check. Awkward retro-hairstyle? Check. Here we see Backstrom with the Young Trump, while Bourque seems to be attempting the Jagr Revival Tour. The hair is pretty much equally awful, so I have a feeling it may fall to the facial hair to decide this one... Backstrom doesn't have any (which may make the playoff beard Crosbyesque... oh wait, a Cap with a playoff beard? AH HA HA HA HAAH) but Bourque's eyebrows look possessed. I'm waiting for them to start crawling all over his face and giving him even more interpretive mustache looks.

Winner: Backstrom. There's always eyebrow pencil.

Second Round:
Used to be a Bear v. Used to be a Cap
Dave Steckel v. Ben Clymer


Hmm. This is a hard one. Very similar haircuts, very dissimilar levels of interest in what's going on, one shows some skill with a razor, while the other shows some lack of symmetry in the bangs. Obviously, the difference between the big leagues and the minors is the amount you can afford to spend on a haircut. Sorry CapsChick.

Winner: Steckel. Not only are his bangs straight, damn, the dude's in Air Force One.

Round Three:
Battle of Alberta
Matt Pettinger (Edmonton) v. Jay Beagle (Calgary)

Here is a classic battle of height v. length. While Pettinger may have to get up and spend an extra hour hogging the bathroom mirror to achieve true vertical takeoff, Beagle can roll out of bed and... well.. have his mugshot taken for all the Bears publicity this year.

However, out of the wings in this round, armed with folding chairs and swinging for Calgary's side are also the Bears' Tyler Sloan and Jamie Hunt.


Winner: With Beagle's strong showing at the beginning, between the addition of Hunt's grasp of the vertical and Sloan's additional length, the Calgary contingent of the Bears will easily sweep this round, leaving Edmonton.. uh... crying it its oil. (Calgarian Mike Green of the Caps' Fauxhawk Brigade declined to comment, being bitter about being faced off against Colby Armstrong in the last match.)


Round Four:
Grudge of the Ancient Goalies
Olie Kolzig v. Freddy Cassivi

Hmmm. Another difficult choice. Olie's rocking the hair gel and the threatening big stick, but Freddy's got less forehead and the creepy-don't-want-to-meet-you-in-an-alley stubble. Both are even channeling famous old public personalities at the same time....

Winner: Cassivi, for the Elvis impression, narrowly edging out Olie doing Humphrey Bogart.


Final Round:
Spunky Foreign Blueliner Brawl
Milan Jurcina v. Sami Lepisto

Milan obviously spends some time on his hair, as that Backstreet Boys circa 1996 half-flop doesn't come easy. Five dollars says he's consciously attempting to channel Uncle Jesse from Full House and won't let anyone touch it for the rest of the day. Sami Lepisto, on the other hand, subscribes to the Jay Beagle School of Roll Out Of Bed and Get On With The Day, but adds his own step of "whack face on something" to get the sufficiently crazy-eyed look.

Winner: Lepisto, for having hair that looks like it's trying to escape from him. Male Medusa, anyone?


Final Point Tally:
CAPITALS: 2
BEARS:3

B-E-A-R-S BEARS BEARS BEARS WOOOOO!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Best Week Ever

I'm giving Best Week Ever to myself this week, in a fit of egomania, as I have now been to six hockey games in my week off of school. I am broke. I need to stop. However, stopping after tonight will be easier, as I landed Bears-end rinkside tickets. I refuse to look at my bank account for at least a week.

Because of that, tonight is more a giant picspam than an actual account of the game. I will, however, say this. The Bears boys looked tired. I can't blame them, after three games in a row, but they were showing it. They forced through a 3-2 win against the Baby Pens, but nobody was on their best moves tonight. There was a lot of waiting for someone else to get it, and Patrick McNeill still frightens me with the amount of standing and watching the game he does sometimes. The most active person out there was Lepisto, and even he was channeling pure fury to get stuff done.

But anyway, without further ado, Bears v. Pens, a photoblog.


bears_pens1125 009
Come back, Benny Clymer. Louie wants to play! (Also shows you how close front row actually is. Yowza.)

Daren Machesney, aka "Cheezer"
One of the few photos that the grubby glass worked for me in. I was doing my best not to distract Cheezer, so I have maybe one face shot of him in here. Hey, respect the goalies, right?

bears_pens1125 042
the anthem lineup and starting line- Beagle, Lepisto, Clymer, Laing, Boumedienne

bears_pens1125 089
Quintin has a flavor.

bears_pens1125 125
Louie having a conversation with himself. Classic Louie.

McAllister v. Bonvie
I sure wouldn't have taken on 6'7" worth of Chris McAllister. He could pick me up and toss me into the stands if he felt like it. (Technically, McAllister lost this fight, as he was the first down, but Bonvie was the worse for wear)

Go Freddy!
Cassivi shows why he's here. For being awesome, like this.

Sami's got it!
Sami Lepisto keeps an eye on the competition.

Uh... Chris?
Chris Bourque gets fresh with himself. I'm not even going to try to attribute this to Edge uniform issues. He's just... uh.. got his hand down his pants.

Boomer in a not-good place.
Boomer down! Boomer down! (He didn't get helped off- Leipsto and Bourque did, however)

bears_pens1125 365
End game, and some happy Bears.

(Seriously, if you haven't, click on one of the above pictures and go check out the rest. Rinkside seats kill me a little.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bears v. Phantoms 11/24/07

Greetings! Welcome to another experience in liveblogging! Eventually, if I keep this up, I'm going to be able to touch-type whether I like it or not. I want to extend a special welcome to my fellow Hlogger Shmee of Capital Addiction, up from DC to visit the family and in Hershey to take in the game. never fear, she'll also be back with the Pink Fiery Death on the 8th of December as well, when the Flyers and the Caps fans of Hlog descend on Casa Du Teka and take in the next Phantoms/Bears game.

And let us not forget that the Bears DID in fact spank the Phantoms last night 4-3 in Philly. (I was NOT in fact present, as rumor will have you believe, but asleep in front of an 11 PM showing of 'Center Stage')

Tonight, then is going to be the Bears' second game without Coach Boudreau, and second against Philly. Here's hoping that they can come out angry and keep the pressure on for another 60 minutes.

In idle thoughts, I want to know how the radio-controlled photo flash systems work, and where they're located in the rafters!

With that, let the games begin!


Warmups
I sure hope our shooting practice in warmups isn't indicative of the type of shooting we're going to see tonight. Oh please, oh please.
Still also wondering how teams decide who's going to be in charge of clearing out the nets-the Pens seem to use Malone, and here it's Robitaille's job. There must be a pecking order somewhere. Or a bet that gets consistently lost.
There should be a kitchy-catchy name for the Bears/Pens/Phantoms games as they happen so damn much. I'm thinking it has to have something to do with the turnpike in it... (if Anaheim and LA can use the Freeway Faceoff, dammit, I can use roads too.)
Cheezer has decided he wants to be a regular player when he grows up- his puck handling and shooting aren't actually too bad, either.
They're interviewing Woods behind-the-scenes, and I wish for the life of me that someone would straighten-out their little Bears backdrop, as the Capital Blue Cross man and the Bears logo are hanging at one heck of a precarious angle, and it's a little distracting. Obviously, if I'm blogging it rather than watching the interview.

Game Time
Starting Lineup, Bears:
Klepis, Bourque, Wilson, Sloan, P. McNeill, Cassivi

19:42: P. McNeill out of position. Why do I think this is going to be a long long game watching him?

18:35 The Phantoms seem to be playing less hockey and more "slam them into the boards at all chances"

17:19 Sami Lepisto dingles and easy one that Freddy picks back up for him. Thanks, yo. The Phantoms are fighting a lot, but don't seem to be getting much done. Regardless, it's a holding penalty on Joudrey. Keep your hands to yourself, Andrew. Come on. Basic kindergarten skill.

16:34 Nice mess in front of the goal, in which the entire crowd thinks the Phantoms have scored at least one. Freddy tells them otherwise, and finally throws his body on the damn puck to stop the play.

15:41 Sami Lepisto proves he doesn't know his won strength and knocks the goal of it's moorings attempting to guard Freddy. Nice move, inopportune time. I do have to say, I like it when our penalty kill takes place mostly on the Phantoms side of neutral ice.

14:30 Wilson dingles a point blanker, and on the rebound Jared Ross of the Phantoms picks it up and Crosbys it past Freddy, the little showboater. 1-0 Phantoms.

13:20 A Beagle/Laing fumble gives Clymer a chance at a nice shot, which goes directly into Boucher's midsection. Damn, Clymer. Come on. Caps Chick will not be amused if you keep that up.

13:12 Timonen rather blatantly holds Clymer's stick with his armpit. Refs don't see it. What's new.

12:29 Guys next to me are thinking out loud " Clymer won't be here by the end of the year." Whatever, Lepisto elbows a Phantom and sends him down, and the crowd loves him for it. Refs are still blind, and there's no call.
Where these dudes think Clymer is going I'm not sure... back up to the NHL or what? They're just saying that whenever the bears run ends, he's not going to be here. I'm going to put in a word of doubt for that. Not that they'd ask my opinion, up here in Testosteroneville.

10:05 Phantoms score again, even after one of the Bears throws himself at the feet of the Phantom with the puck. We're now playing Glass Repair Time. Here's hoping this glass repair time out reverses fortunes as violently as the last one halfway through the first did.

8:24 Motzko on a breakaway, chips it into the crowd-protection netting. Well, right idea, wrong net.

7:06 Lepisto almost has one , but somehow puts it into the hind end of a Phantom instead. Another hell-bent run towards Bearsville to cover, and hen were back to our neutral-zone game.

6:10 Pokulok into the boards, comes off holding his arm, with his glove off.

4:57 The crowd loves Lepisto tonight, as he's out there throwing himself at phantoms left and right. Louie was jawing at someone earlier, so my guess is there' gonna be at least one rumble at some point

3:30 Louie takes a bitch OUT. Dropping the guy to the ice and snickering at him on the way back.

3:15 Beagle looks to be attempting to get into it with Darren Reid of the Phantoms. There's some shoving and some male posturing, but not much else. Typical.

2:23 Laing gets taken out after Clymer's already been shoved around and into him. Fns in the front row get some good mileage out of their what the hell faces.

:10 Parent of the Phantoms pulls their patented little stick holding move. Front row is still not amused.
Bourque decides that he needs some exercise, and shoves one of the Phantoms around. No dropped gloves, but a loving little shoving circle behind the net.

Second Period

19:07 A lovely showing of the Beagle/Guenin ballet behind the Phantoms net. Come on, enough chasey games, I didn't come to see the Ice Capades.

18:40 Jussi Timonen out for interference. Looks like the refs might have replaced their contacts at intermissions.

16:31 A perfect Bourque setup and Clymer whiffs a perfect chance for the goal. Damn, guys, let's get a change.
Boyd Kane in the box for delay of game, and throwing a fit for having a broken stick and needing a new one. Whiner.

15:20 the numbers ending in 7 aren't doing well at stopping hte puck from going by them tonight, really.

12:54 Joe Motzko into the box for roughing with his bestst friend Jared Ross. All they were doing was hugging, yo.


12:00 Hunt decides he misses Motzko and hooks a Phantom so he can go join him. Well done boys. Or not.

11:30 Laing gets a nice run towards the phantom end.... and does nothing with it. This follow through we talked about, boys, where is this?

10:30 Puck bounces in and then out of the Phantoms net. I could sworn it crossed the line, but obviously I'm just a blogger, so who knows.

10:06 Phantoms score again. Dammit, all, where's the justice?

10:00 OMG COLBY ARMSTRONG SCORED IN THE PENS/THRASHERS GAME. (now back to your regularly scheduled Bears game. Sorry. Much love to all the Hloggers who texted me to tell me that. Happy Birthday, Army. How's 25?)

9:01 No matter how many times we do this, there's always a Phantom in the way of the Bear shooting. We need to send someone in specifically on a "get the Phantom out of the way in the middle" mission, and then we'd stand a chance. Louie, get on that, willya?

7:17 Joudrey inadvertently face-sticks Downie of the Phantoms, who does his best "Hey, Ref! Hey!" thing. Shut up, Downie. Downie also then proceeds to shove Boumedienne as the change happens. What a schmoe.

5:50 A lovely Freddy stop... pity we couldn't have had three more of those earlier. Hmph. Grumpy blogger.

5:17 Hunt out got being dumb, aka interference.

4:36 Phantoms score again off a rebound from Freddy's foot. In my head, I called that one, and wanted to know where the heck the Bears were defending that. Dammit, my head-coach should be hired somewhere, I swear.

3:58 A screen on Cassivi, another rebound, and the Phantoms are now up by 5. I can has Cheezer, plz? Plz?

BTW, head-coach wins again. Cheezer is now in goal.

2:30 Ruzicka checks himself into the boards. that's what I like to see in an opposing team.

2:13 Oh look, another Phantoms goal. What the heck, Bears? I thought you were playing hockey. This is because the Penguins are winning, isn't it?

1:35 Throwdown! Gauthier of the Phantoms and Louie. Robitaille was on the ice taking punches for a good long while, but seems none the worse for wear. We even get Tunnel-Cam of him disappearing into the locker room, as there's only about a minute left.

1:00 Cheezer saves! not by using coupons, but with his glove. Well, there's one, at least.

:40 P. McNeill seems to be the Last Season Armstrong of the Bears. He's got some decent moves, but pulls them out at the wrong time, and never seems completely sure where his teammates are.

:04 Laing throws his body down for his team, and stops one in the ribs. Ow, but thank you.

End second, Phantoms 6, Bears 0. Ow.

Third Period
19:11 A nice footsy move by Beagle as he yoinks the puck from one of the Phantoms

18:16 Phantoms like our crease... so much, even that he'll take Cheezer out to get there. Oh, and a delayed penalty on Lepisto, for standing next to a Phantom who fell down, aka tripping.

16:39 Laing drives in a little harder than he needs to, and gets grabbed around the neck by Reid to pull him off the goalie. A little uncalled for, there. He was getting up.

16:05 Cheezer, please, you are NOT a field player, you should NOT be getting sandwiched next to the glass, I do NOT need the adrenaline in my system. Stay in the crease.

13:40 A Phantom run towards Cheezer that NOBODY GETS TO, until it's in front of him and gets poked off to the side. Again with the adrenaline, boys. Quit.

12:57 Lepisto gets scrappy again and starts shoving. Drops the stick but not the gloves, and the ref gets to the Phantom who started it first. No penalties after that.

9:05 Boys, even if you're going back to the bench, you don' get to waltz off the ice. Finish what you're doing. Don't KNOW you're going off shift and go off, play right up until that moment. Just like you should be doing.. well.. a lot of other stuff too. And now we're on the PK as well. Enough holding, keep your body pieces and sticks to yourselves, dammit.

7:16 Another almost-goal by the Bears gets the crowd going. But it's another almost-goal, and not a goal. Bears fans are getting discouraged.

5:54 Another glover for Cheezer, who gets out of the way as his team swoops in for another go at the shoving.

4:45 Beagle is a monster at keeping the puck when he's got it against the wall. Still. Pity that doesn't score tonight, but at least he's good at it.


(Goin' dead to pack up so i can attempt to find the press conference. Back in a little... at some point)

Press conference was sort of stunningly unexciting, but I do now know where I'm going the next time I want to play that game. I also followed the press masses in to get the Phantoms coach on tape as well, and there have been some interesting experiences in being a young female blogger this go round. However, the show must go on, and I'm going to keep being a presence in the box until they honestly kick me out.

I'm also hoping that the Bears have the good ol' fighting spirit again tonight, when they play the Baby Pens for the first time. I'm still debating going to the game-that would be something like 6 games in a week, which is a little ridiculous, but also sort of wonderful.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Warning, sissy ahead.

This is a complete cop out NaBloPoMo post, as I'm going to be heading to Philly in a few without my computer. I may make the Phantoms/Bears game, I may not.. it depends on how forgiving the friend I'm with is, as I've already drug her to one hockey game this week.

But tomorrow, I promise.. a real update, and from the pressbox at Giant Center even!


(P.S. Happy 25th Birthday, Army! Welcome back to the lineup!)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A first!

For once, i am the first Hlogger to get wind of the Caps news. As of 10:20something thismorning, Bruce Boudreau (GO BEARS!) is the interim coach of the Washington Capitals, who have fired Glen Hanlon. courtesy of the Caps themselves

Coming off another Bears win yesterday night against Bridgeport (2-1, and they're now above .500!) I'm apprehensive about this at best. Yes, the Bears have won the last 5, but they've also had Boudreau heckling them into it. I've got faith in my team, but I'd also like to see things not change around them, as I know as an athlete how off-putting that can be, and how even one little thing can change how you and others play.

Bears Bench

On the flip side, however, I do see the point that if Boudreau brought the Bears back from their dismal beginnings, there's some hope that he can get the Caps' collective heads out of their asses and get them to perform as a team. Which would be nice, as then CapsChick could stop listening to emo music and crying into her soup. (Just to rub salt in the wound, did you also hear that Clymer was waivered and shopped around a second time on Nov 14th, before being given back to us? AHL.com tells us so)

CapsChick, you'd better get on the lookout for a new coach for your boys, as I'm taking mine back if anything adverse happens in this weekend's game against Philly.

Freddy leads the troops out of the tunnel


Highlight of yesterday's game? Two hecklers behind the Bridgeport bench being escorted out of the center to raucous applause.

And happy Thanksgiving to all of you damn Americans. I'm currently trying to recover two pumpkin pies in which I forgot the eggs. (But this year, I won't burn the carrots to the pan, I swear!) Everyone else, happy day off from hockey. I suggest Arnica for those bruises, and a good massage. Icebaths as needed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What'd He Say?

Today for Youtube Madness, I give you The Best of "Mic'd Up"

First, Jordan Staal and Ryan Getzlaf at the Young Stars Game from last yerar. Hands down, my favorite part of this is JStaal yelling "Eeeeey, Geno, nice hit!" and Getzy's 'big hit'


Jordan Staal and Ryan Getzlaf mic'd up
Uploaded by siromygod


Not so sure of the context of this next one, but it's an AHL game that pits Canada against "Planet USA" and gives you a semi-disgruntled Jason Spezza who's NOT getting the Lady Byng this year.


I assume this is pretty standard to what you hear on the ice... it sounds an awful lot like what we're saying and or yelling at each other during derby bouts:


Old school Oliers (Smythe AND Pronger):


Matt Cooke's righteous indignation.."Hey! You're allowed to use the whistle!"


Marty Biron proves that hecklers aren't just in the stands:


Why Corey Perry isn't an agitator:


This, this is one of my hands down favorite mic'd up moments ever. They put a mic AND a pickup on Turco for the All Star game in Dallas, so he was actually talking to the announcers through his half of the game:


I did really look for a Sidney Crosby mic'd, but if his general vocal demeanor on my end of the Philly rink is any indication, there's a reason they don't bother to try him. They'd be editing and beeping more than they'd be broadcasting anything.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Slowly Becoming the "Sidney Crosby's Best Friend Show".

I know, I know, it's "Ultimate Fantasy League Day" and I suck at staying on a schedule. I also fully know that everyone in the world is sick of hearing me harp on the Colby Armstrong Disaster (tm) that's heading at full Train Wreck Speed (r) towards Montreal right now, (as I'm an eternal optimist...*snort*) but you know, if they'd just start PLAYING HIM and giving us fewer news articles where he has to blow smoke up Pittsburgh's collective heineys..... just think of this as his Fantasy Player Day, as he's on at least what.. oh, all of my real fantasy teams?


Army


At this point, I really can't decide whether the Pittsburgh media is pro-Army or con-Army. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette seems to be at least willing to give him a chance, reporting "With one goal in 14 games, he's white-hot compared to a year ago. In 2006-07, Armstrong didn't get his first goal until Game No. 23, despite opening the season alongside Sidney Crosby on the No. 1 line." (here) Glad you cought up to me, guys, and yes, very true, statistically he's doing better than last year.( I had run that comparison on first goals oh, what, a week and a half ago? All hail New Media :-))

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, however, has taken a much more negative tone in their reporting of Armygate '07. They've had some lovely digs like "Therrien said Armstrong had to "wait his turn" before returning to the lineup," (here) and "Therrien and Armstrong shared a one-sided conversation during the morning skate prior to the Penguins' game in Minnesota on Tuesday.... Therrien did most of the talking" (here)

Ultimately, whatever the newspapers write shouldn't have an impact on what happens to the guy, so it's a moot point but I am glad to see the guy saying this, via the Post-Gazette:

"The coaching staff, he said, has told him that he has "to play more physical. Get back to my old game, play more in-your-face."

Armstrong is most effective when he gets physically involved. While it is an asset for the Penguins to have him playing that way, there is a danger that when he finally gets back into the lineup, Armstrong's pent-up energy will not be channeled properly.

That could lead to bad decisions, or worse penalties. The kinds of things that easily could get him exiled to the weight room during games again.

"When I get in there, I definitely have to control myself, play within myself," he said."

This leads me to believe that he HAS been playing at half-strength since the rash of head-shot penalties at the beginning of the season, and that possibly now we'll get the Army we all know and love back... black eyes and all.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Issues with the Edge

I'm sort of shuffling up the NaBloPoMo schedule, and doing a modified "How Do I Look" today.

I give you "Issues with the Edge."



Anyone who hasn't been under a rock since the season began has heard that the big boys in the NHL aren't quite pleased with the new RBK Edge system jerseys. Some are whining that they're too tight and get restrictive and others are complaining that they've been dripping sweat into their gloves and skates at a ridiculous rate... simple fabric physics says that if the fabric repels moisture on both sides, sure, ice chips aren't going to melt into the outside and add water weight, but the sweat from the inside is going to STAY INSIDE.

As Mark Recchi said "[The sweaters] don't soak anything in, which I guess is what they wanted, but the problem is, it goes through all of your equipment. It goes into your gloves, goes into your skates."
Recchi


And I'm hypothesizing that the NHLers aren't the only ones having issues with their gear. The AHL went over to the Edge system at the beginning of this season as well, and at least as far as the Bears go (I've only really been watching them) I'm seeing the telltale signs of the same issues. The burgundy numbers on the back of the uniform start getting gradiated in color due to sweat-wetness soaking into them. We have, in Hershey, at least two pants-slitters in Beagle and McAllister, and I've watched Beagle take his gloves off and attempt to wipe his hands either on the jersey or on the shirt UNDER his jersey in ever home game I've been to at this point.
wearenotamusedbearsbridgeporthome 067
Bridgeport V. Hershey 11/3Beagle still adjusting.

(Bears v. Rats, 11/19. Bears v. Bridgeport 11/18.
Bears v. Bridgeport 11/3. Bears v. Americans 10/20)

Granted, he may have done this all the way through his career, but it seems fishy to me that in the first few games he's trying to wipe his hand on the jersey, and in the latter few, he's going for the underarmour... that seems to imply to me that he's realized he's not actually getting anything off his soggy hands on the water-resistant fabric.

And as far as the pants slitting goes, I'm still working on the hypothesis that it's in response to the tighter Edge pants. Beagle and Wilson and McAllister are wearing those, torn up, while Lepisto is wearing the old school CCM pants, all in one piece. I do also partially wonder if it's a Capitals trend to rough your pants up, as Nylander was showing an awful lot of Rbk Edge-induced thigh during training camp.

bearsbridgeporthome 239ratsbearshome 050ratsbearshome 038
(Jay Beagle, Kyle Wilson, Chris McAllister)


DEAD NOW.
(Nylander)

Someday, I'll get to ask someone, but as of now, I think it's safe to assume that the AHLers are having as wretched a time with the Edge as the big boys.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sound Tigers at Bears, 11/17/07

Bears 6-3 over Bridgeport!
I was down in the section I'm usually in, but this time in row 4, so I've got a lot more faces on players than normal in my pictures. It was interesting being down there... the guys behind me loved yelling "CHEEEESE!" every time Machesney made a good stop (which was pretty damn frequently) and harassing the entire Bridgeport bench and the woman next to me was talking to the team like either they were all puppies or she was auditioning for hockey porn- there was a lot of "Come on Bearsies" and "Oh yeah, Oh yeah, Oh YEAH, boys, OH YEAH" that kept being right in my ear and it was all I could do to keep from laughing. I also think I offended the woman at the front of the arena because I said "No thanks!" to the American flag she offered me. I was doing my best "busy and not paying attention" face because I'm not the flag-wavin' rootin'-tootin' type, to put it mildly, but she was rather insistent, so I actually had to decline. I figure next time, I'll just tell them I'm Canadian. I talk funny anyway, and I'm overeducated for the average US citizen.... they'll never know the difference, right?

The team had one ridiculous line tonight- Laing, Beagle and Clymer started the evening in the front lines, and each of them tallied up a goal and a co-assist with the other two before the night was over. On top of that, they were also the three stars-Clymer the third, Laing in second and Beagle in first. I've got my own mental name for that line, but I'm also soliciting other ideas as well.

bearsbridgeporthome 030
Team DOOOOM


There were a few good skirmishes- two shoving matches in front of goals, and two good fights that took out at least two from each team. Robitaille managed to harass Brennan into going for it, and Maxwell (I believe it was) got locked up with another Tigger in the last five minutes, to get tossed from the game (along with Louie and Kip)
Oh Louie, Louie, oh no no no , you gotta go...louiebrennan1louieshouse


There was some ongoing sectionwide displeasure with someone (It was a "J" name, is all I remember.. Motzko? Klepis? Pollock?)for being unwilling to get into the corners and get bashed around pursuing the puck... the angry voice behind me was rather insulting, and eventually decided that now that we had Maxwell, this guy could go do rude things to himself somewhere else. I know, that's a fine piece of journalism right there, but hey, someone scored before I could find my pen and I didn't have a chance to note it down.
bearsbridgeporthome 262


I also had my first experience with just how tall over-six-foot hockey players are. I was standing in the hallway around the arena when Chris McAllister came by. He's 6'7" which is a good foot and three inches taller than I am, and I swear I had 'gaping fish look' on my face because the guy was so goddamned huge. I felt more sympathy for Chris Bourque and his continued attempts to board Kip Brennan all game in that moment.....
bearsbridgeporthome 215


I've also discovered that I have a bad habit of following Canadian players who do "I'm concentrating so hard I have no idea where my tongue is" face.
beagletongueArmy


But let it be said here first, the Hloggers called the Beagle thing before Hershey even knew what they were getting. Day two of Caps camp, we had called him as the next big deal.

Suicides

Whenever you want us to take that scouting job... y'know?

(And just to keep up with my NaBloPoMo schedule, best week ever to Beagle. With assists from Laing and Clymer)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

So much to say!

Hooray! A Bears victory against Albany in which Ben Clymer makes a comeback, Louie Robitaille agitates his brains out and Jay Beagle gets a goal AND and assist. When I left them in the car with 5 minutes to go, it was 5-3 but I see here that they picked it up and kept running, as the final score was 6-4. It's a shame I don't get off work until 6:30 and the game tonight back here starts at 7, because I'm thinking they've figured out this hockey thing again and we might actually put up a fight against Bridgeport. I'll consider going to watch, but even from where I live, that's a painfully close schedule (especially since I'm doubling it up job wise today)

Also, to rain on the parade a little, the suck has continued and Ilja Bryzgalov is moving to Phoenix. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It means I'm going to have to expand my "teams I pay half-assed attention to" list again, but Phoenix also doesn't have a 'name' in goal right now, so poor forgotten Bryz is probably going to get a fighting chance to show his stuff there. I'm just apprehensive about what kind of team he'll be going to, as I've not watched the Yotes very much, and I'm sort of ridiculously protective of my goalies.

Speaking of which, please to be perusing the ECHL goalie standings page. Please then also to be noticing that although Jonathan Quick of the Reading Royals has played half again as many games as Kris Mayotte of the Fresno Falcons, statistically, Mayotte is edging up on him. Also, isn't it sad that Quick has played 13 games this season, which is the highest number up there, and he's only number 11, whereas Mayotte's played 6, and he's already in 15th place?

Yeah. Stick it in your ear, Reading.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh, for the love of Gretzky.

As I said to California, please to be making the hockey season stop sucking now? In addition to my two teams having shakey starts (and that's being waaaaaay generous to the Penguins and rather insulting to the Bears, who have at least won a few even if they haven't yet kept it consistent for a good long run,) the Anaheim Ducks have just put Ilja Bryzgalov on waivers.

The NHL is reporting it here, and the long and short of it is Bryz saying goodbye on Thursday to his team after their 6-3 win, and Hiller coming in from in from Portland (ME!) Bran Burke is claiming that it's to give him a chance to be the starter everyone thinks he is, but I'm unsure what team's going to pick him up.
2/3 of the Hlog Pensbrain (Elly and I) were surmising that Tampa Bay might, and if he was younger, it would have made sense for New Jersey to take him as a replacement for Brodeur, but at 27, Bryz's a little old to wait for Marty to retire. Some sort of hope rises that the Penguins might actually step back and say "Yes, this is a good idea," but that means that Fleury or Sabou would be out, and as they've both done decent things in the last few games, that makes it difficult to cut one of them. I could see Sabou going back to Wilkes-Barre, perhaps, but I don't think they'd outrightly scrap him at this point.

Of course, if they did want to pick Bryz up, I'm also afraid they might play the "Make More Cap Room!" game and screw some other people over somehow. And who would be easier to screw than the guy who's been warming your bench for the past what, 5 games?


You know, only the guy who scored the game winning goal for Canada in the IIHC World Cup earlier this year.


Say it ain't so, Coach T.

And for the love of all that is holy, don't Mayotte Bryzgalov. Let him play some goddamned hockey.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Meet Yer B'ars!

Everyone, before we go any farther, please stop to admire the awesome that is the Hershey Bears.



That's their opening video this year (and yes, I got a little misty eyed when they showed Gordon after sending him down). Directly following that, you get a healthy helping of reallyfreakingloud Breaking Benajamin-their opening song this year is "Blow Me Away" from the Halo2 soundtrack. Dorks. (says the girl who knew where it was from. Anyone need an Xbox competitor?)

Anyway, today I give you "5 Random Bears" as I've run out of kicky ways to organize them.

So far, you've met Louis Robitaille, Quintin Laing, Ben Clymer, Patrick McNeill, Tom Maxwell, Travis Morin, Freddy Cassivi, Daren Machesney, Dean Arsene and Chris Bourque.

Today, I give you:

Joe Motzko

Honestly, right now Motzko is confusing me. The Bears have him on their roster page, the Caps have him on theirs, hockeydb.com says he's not on the active roster for EITHER, news stories from October 17 have him feeding passes to Ovie, but I guess most conclusive is his hat trick for the Bears against the Admirals on Nov 8. He's been sort of a scoring machine this season, for whichever the heck team he's on. But he's from Bemidji, Minnesota, and just that name makes all the confusion worth it.

Motzko's Superlative: Most Likely to Forget What State he Lives In (currently)

Grant Potulny

New to Hershey from Binghamton, there was some question whether he'd play again after a freakish finger accident in a game against Norfolk. The former captain of the Minnesota Golden Gophers came to Hershey to begin his season, and so far, has put up 3 goals and 4 assists. On top of that, he's currently in the running on the Hershey homepage for Biggest Star so far in the season.

Potulny's superlative?: Most Likely to Steal Band-Aids from the Other Guys.

Sasha Pokulok

As babyfaced as he may look, Alexandre Grenier Sasha Pokulok is 6'5" and weighs 233 pounds. Yeah. That's what I said. Originally from Montreal, he's been bouncing around in the Baby Caps system for the last few years, staring his pro career with a concussion and then trying to spend the last half year fighting back. Obviously, this year he impressed someone enough to make it onto the Bears roster, and he's already racked up an assist and 6 PIM. Not bad for a blueliner in for 8 games.

Pokulok's Superlative: Most Likely to Have His Name Spelled Wrong By A Teammate.

Scott Barney

After making his post-back-injury-out-for-three-seasons-comeback, this LA Kings draftee was stolen from the Grand Rapids Griffins in March of '07 and then signed by Hershey for this year. Already, he's living up to his tough reputation, gathering 14 PIM in 10 games played, as well as 4 assists. Barney is also, in my opinion, the one who rocks the Bears' traditional playoff mohawk the hardest.

Barney's Superlative: Most Likely to be Found in the Box at Kettler Iceplex. (oops)

Sami Lepisto

Coming to you direct from Espoo, Finland this virtual nobody came out of thin air in 2003 and forced people to sit up and take note. He plays a great offensive game, and has some wicked puck handling skills. According to all the scouting sites, he has a tendency to be over-confident and give up easy turnovers, but after healing from a broken collarbone in '06-'07, the Bears are looking to use all his confidence in the upcoming season.

Lepsito's Superlative: Most Likely to Tie Everyone's Underwear to the Zamboni.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Angry Youtube Day

Hello, standard media. My name is Teka, and this is my blog. It's nice to see you finally picking up on the injustice that I've been harping on for the last few weeks.

And because of that, you've driven me to Horribly Underrated Pens Day on Youtube Madness. Yeah. Y'have.


Ladies and Gentlemen, Eric Christensen, Shootout Machine:



Ladies and Gentlemen, part of the Agitation Line: Jarkko Ruutu



Ladies and Gentlemen, Living in Whitney's Shadow: Brooks Orpik



Ladies and Gentlemen, Team Pressure Valve: Colby Armstrong



Ladies and Gentlemen, Career Penguin: Rob Scuderi


And last, but not least, because we need it right now, us Pens fans....


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fantasy Team Player Du Jour

Although he is only on one of my fantasy teams, I give you George Parros.


I seem to have a lot of Ducks making appearances in the good old Fantasy roll here. But anyway, Pornstache Parros himself was born somewhere in the Washington, Pennsylvania area (how's that for a confusing name?) and grew up in New Jersey before going to Princeton. That's right, everyone's favorite mustachioed goon graduated from Princeton with a degree in economics. He was captain of the Princeton team, and supposedly found his calling as a goon when picked up by the Manchester Monarchs, in 2004-2005 picking up 22 points (14 goals, 8 assists) and 247 penalty minutes. He also flitted in and out of the Reading Royals lineup, coming back to visit his home state occasionally.
His first NHL season was 2005-2006, playing for the Manchester/Reading big team, the LA Kings, scoring his first NHL goal against the Dallas Stars. In this same game, he also recieved an assist and a major fighting penalty, giving him his very own Gordie Howe Hat Trick. In 55 games that season, he picked up 138 PIM. In October of '06, Parros was waived by the Kings and snatched up by the Avs, then traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2nd round draft pick and an option to swap 3rd round picks.

In his Stanley Cup season with the Ducks, he had 1 goal and 102 PIM in 32 games played, and already this year, he's working on 1 assist and 26 PIM in 17 games played.


What'd Parros do with his 24 hours of Stanley?


Took it to Princeton, of course.... and then to his uncle's pig roast.



Ladies and Gentlemen, the goon of the fantasy lineup. Pornstache George Parros.

"Rubbing my mustache on the cup was the highlight of the evening for me."

Monday, November 12, 2007

This is going to get me disowned...

Welcome to Hockey Hair Day 2.

Now, you might think that the team over here in the East with the worst hair would be the Pens as they're coming from Pittsburgh, the so-called mullet capital of the world. They are rockin' some pretty awful hair these days, but I have to say the Washington Capitals are giving them a run for their money.

So today, y'all, I give you the East Coast Hair Throwdown. (And before you jump on me for it, I even checked other teams' sites for some competition. They're having some styling issues, but the Pens/Caps.. they're just having... issues.)


Round One:
The Big Names. Sidney Crosby v. Alex Ovechkin

aka Captain Greaseball v. Emo Russian

Here we have a classic hair problem, the choice of whether it's more important to show your mastery of styling products or your trust in your barber. While Sid can see, Ovie will never leave an oil slick in your swimming pool.

Point to Ovie, for leaving some petroleum in the world.


Round 2:

Russian Flair. Evgeni Malkin v. Alexander Semin

As this is not the Fashion Faceoff, we can thankfully disregard Malkin's awful coat. But it's harder to write off the mullet that Semin is... um.. rocking? While Malkin may have a bowl cut and the sideburns that ate Manhattan, it's not a mullet.

Point to Malkin. Even if he can't dress himself, at least the hair is low maintenance.


Round 3:
The Questionable Fauxhawk: Colby Armstrong v. Mike Green

Both a bad choice, especially for picture day. Facial expressions? Even worse. However, we've got height on Army, while we've got width on Green.

Point to Green for better fauxhawk maintenance (and it not looking like his little brother did it partially drunk)

Round 4:
The Ridiculously Young Dude. Jordan Staal v. Nicklas Backstrom

Here we have Backstrom's team mugshot, which he knew would get out to the public, and Staalsy's police mugshot, which he probably hoped nobody would ever see. Here is truly the battle of the Aerodynamic Haircut (with Gel Tips from Sid) v. The Partial Fabio.

Point, Staalsy, for looking ridiculously good even in an honest to god mugshot.

Final Round:
Floppy Haired Ladies' Man. Ryan Malone v. Bryan Sutherby

Wait, we were looking at hair, weren't we?


Point to Malone for being distracting.





Final Score: Penguins 3, Capitals 2

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dear Nadine,

....a derby tangent.

Today I attempted to start a throwdown on the derby track... again justified. I took an elbow to the eye and whacked the girl who threw it in the back of the helmet with the plastic bit of my wrist guard. It was more of a bitch smack than a punch, but i got a seat in the sin bin for a while for that one. The refs were actually debating whether it was purposeful or not, and our coach told me he was lucky they were dumb, because I got to play the rest of the game....


....in which I think I took a total of 4 elbows to the face- three on the left and one on the right (that I think might have actually been a shoulder.)


But whatevs, we won by what, like 100 points? Throwdown or not, HARD is the dominant force in non-WFTDA East Coast Derby at this point. And the Butt of Doom and I are firmly in the middle of it

Pens v.Flyers 10/11/07

Overall, that was a highly disappointing game. The Sidney Crosby Show has a good recap over there game-penalty-points-wise.

What I was most taken with was how fast the NHL game moves compared to the AHL, but how SLOWLY everyone was reacting. The Penguins were there and playing, but I feel like they were completely unmotivated until the last part of the 3rd, when everybody just wanted to start fights. I'm not jumping on the Fire Lord T. bandwagon just yet, but I'm starting to watch its' progress across Pensville. I know that the team has to bring its' own motivation to the game, but honestly, a coach has to know how to get it out of them when it's needed. As a team sport player, I've been collectively bullied, coerced, virtually bribed... I've played under quite a few coaches, and the ones who could figure out how to get the team going again were the ones who could turn games like that around.

Anyway.
I was heart-warmed by how much Crosby actually made himself a human being for me playing live. I'm one to call him a our spokes-robot as much as the next person (what good's a team if you can't mock them?) but I have to say that I'm really quite firmly on the pro-Sid side now. (Elly can breathe a sigh of relief). I distinctly lip-read "EFF YOU, MOTHER EFFERS" while he was jawing at someone from behind the Flyers' goal, and watching him attempt to agitate a Flyer into fighting him was great....until Malone stepped in and reminded him he couldn't do that.

Sid REALLY WANTS TO FIGHT YOUSid's finally got a victimSid really wants to start something.Scuffle around Sid


The Flyers fans really tolerated me down their in their goal-section better than I thought they were going to, with the exception of a few people. My general response to anything anti-Pens was to yell "SO'S YOUR MOM" at the top of my lungs, and the people around me seemed to be amused by it, for the most part.

Kristin

(She's amused, really...)

However, the Crappy Flyers Fan of the night went to the fuckhead (pardon my French) in the women's bathroom. It was the end of the game. My team has just lost. Kristin and I are standing in line, me in my Army jersey, and this short little twat in a Flyers jersey comes past me and quite obviously shoulder checks me. I turn around to her, and mostly jokingly say "Hey... do you wanna go?" and she, well I have no idea what she said, but it wasn't complimentary, and somewhere in there were the words "Pens bitch". Seriously, there was almost a throwdown in the womens' bathroom at the Wachovia center, and I have no doubts that had I actually thrown down, I would have easily taken that girl.

Of course, then I was hyped up on righteous indignation for the rest of the damn night.

I don't understand what possesses people to do crap like that. I obviously wasn't talking that much smack about her team, I was accepting my loss, I was waiting to pee, for Christssake, and to come in and check me? I think I'm still going to be riding that fury through our roller derby bout today. Everyone is going to have that girl's face painted on their helmets, as far as I'm concerned.



Oh well. At least I got some awesome pictures. Insert Army Fangirl Moment Here.

Army

Crosby

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pimpage! Pimpage!

A lackluster post, as I'm too keyed up (LIVE PENGUINS!) to write much that would make sense.

In honor of the team that is playing mine, and the friends that are allowing me to see LIVE PENGUINS OMG, I give you Flyers Blogs I Read (and talk smack to!)

Kristin, my supplier, runs Eager to go Psycho and tolerates me ridiculously well, especially when I go on a Briere as an Oompa Loompa tangent. She just got her own Stalkercam 80000000, so I expect to see loads of Flyers pictures from her soon... and I expect to mercilessly mock most of them :-)

Nadine, the brains behind flyers.femme knows more about hockey than... well... anybody. Except maybe CapsChick, but we have to wait until December 8 for their ultimate showdown when the Bears play the Phantoms. Nadine is also searching for a hockey-related job, and has promised to hire me as her personal secretary if she finds one. Which of course means she'll have to share the hockey swag.

OMG. LIVE PENGUINS!

(It sort of goes without saying that there'll be a recap tomorrow. Just hold onto your seats that long.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Deep Thought: Hockey Socks

Last week I waxed poetic over the long defunct Hartford Whalers logo. This week, the gloves come off.

I hate the Ottawa Senators' fugly socks.



I'm mature enough to give them credit for attempting something more interesting than than the tried and true stripe around the calf, but this was not the sort of interesting I think they wanted. This is interesting in a car accident rubbernecker kind of way, while they should have shot for a more Banksy type of interesting. Both grab your eye, but one claws it out screaming while the other makes you want to notice it.

I think I have two main problems with this sock fashion statement.

1. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, will ever get them on straight.

(I believe it's physically impossible to make that leg/foot angle if that stripe is actually up the back of the calf.)
And unless hockey players are significantly more OCD than I'm thinking they are, they won't really care. And that will make them look... special. As well as driving all the OCD people in the world nuts, and giving me flashbacks to some Horrible Pantyhose Moments (tm) and a few other select times a pair of rubber boots sucked my socks all out of whack. And really, why should you depend on a group of hockey players to worry about getting their seams straight? For years, they've just slapped on a pair of socks, so why make it challenging now?

2. Hockey tape + these socks=ridiculous looking.

There's no way to make these look okay with tape on them because there IS a line that runs all the way down the leg, so no matter how you wrap the tape, there's gonna be an obvious tape line. Now, there were obviously times before that guys wrapped tape around their legs and it overlapped the colored stripe, but when it's a vertical stripe, it's just sorta obnoxious. Not to mention on the vertical stripe, when you don't tuck the sock into the skate, it just kinda.. keeps....going... Fashion people know that lines draw the eye, and if I let myself be drawn there, I'm looking at someone's heel. Less than interesting.

Also, weren't the RBK Edge socks supposed to be tight enough that you didn't NEED tape anymore?

I just call 'em as I see 'em. And on this one, I'm calling a drastic uniform foul on the Sens.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Meet your Hershey Bears: Week 2

Well lookie there, an entire week down on NaBloPoMo, and time for another intro to a random handful of the Bears. For those of you not paying attention, we've added three and lost one, so this week you'll meet the n00bs and the two goalies (bringing me to a total again of 5)

The N00bs, newly from the South Carolina Stingrays:
Patrick McNeill

All three were at Capitals rookie camp pre-season, but only McNeill really made an impression. And that impression for us was really "Wait... but there's a McNeill over there.. what the... oh, there are two of them." D-Man P. McNeill, born in '87 (he's 20) and previously playing in the OHL as the captain of the Saginaw Spirit, was picked up by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. From his numbers, he's a very points-oriented blueliner, and doesn't get in too many scraps. Last night, in his first game as a Bear, he put up one assist, no doubt to Motzko, as Motzy was the only one to score... all...four....goals.

McNeill's Superlative: Most Likely to Need Help Dressing Himself Pre-Game (Come on, it's not THAT hard to get a jersey on straight for a photo.)


Tom Maxwell

First of all, to find anything on almost 22 year old Tom Maxwell, you have to search under "Tommy Maxwell." Which somehow is more gangsta than it should be. Coming to the Bears via the Medicine Hat Tigers and the Phoenix Roadrunners, RW Tommy Maxwell can't keep his hands to himself. Last year with the Roadrunners, he put up 13 points and 213 PIM. This year with the Stingrays, he'd already put up 3 points and 28 PIM before the Bears tapped him to move North. Something tells me Louie may need to watch his penalty minute leader status closely.. he's got competition. And competition that blogged for the Roadrunners nonetheless!

Maxwell's Superlative: Most Likely to Wear Socks with Sandals.(He's from Spokane, after all.)

Travis Morin

Selected by the Caps ninth round of the 2004 Entry Draft, Morin previously played for Minnesota State Mankato (and was a business major) before graduating in 2007 and moving to join the Stingrays last year. Numbers wise, he's been putting up around 40 points in a season and not too many penalty minutes, and hockeysfuture.com says "He is a tenacious competitor whose play along the boards is quite good. He is defensively responsible and plays very well in one-on-one situations. His great puckhandling and passing skills enable him to play the point in power-play situations." My guess is that we'll see Morin and Beagle trade off the power play/penalty kill faceoffs.

Morin's Superlative: Most Likely to Freeze His Kneecaps off Trying to Wear Shorts in Hershey.

The Goalies:
Freddy Cassivi

Really, what more can you say about Freddy Cassivi that hasn't been said somewhere else? Drafted by the Sens in 1994, since 2000, he's been bouncing in and out of the Caps organization. Born in 1975, and one of the oldest members of the team, Cassivi has led the Bears through two playoff seasons, and even journeyed to Washington to back Olie and Johnny. There's been some speculation this season that Cassivi may have hit the end of his run, but he's still been starting in the Hershey net, and making some awesome saves.

Cassivi's Superlative: Most Likely to Bail Sami Lepisto Out of Jail for Disturbing the Peace


Daren Machesney

Coming to the Bears last year via the Brampton Battalion and the South Carolina Stingrays, Cheezer's been having a wicked season so far. Racking up a shutout against Albany and being called in for Cassivi (seemingly)on Cassivi's request, as well as receiving a first star, Daren Machesney's on a roll this season. Although some have said (hockeysfuture.com) that he tends to favor a "known shooter" and his angles are weak, from what I've seen, Cheezer's been steadily improving since that review was written, and even if Freddy gets called up to D.C. again, I have faith that the Bears won't stumble at all. (well, more than they are)

Cheezer's Superlative: Most Likely to be Found Wearing Flannel. (Hey, the Brampton Batallion site says he enjoys hunting and fishing. I'm stretching it now...)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mea culpa...

World fans of the Bears and the Pens, I do so apologize for starting to like your teams, as I have obviously brought my curse of TV watching upon hockey as well.
It's a simple curse, really, but I haven't yet figured out how to break it... As soon as I start paying sincere attention to anything, it starts to suck. In TVland, this usually equals it going off the air, but obviously in hockeyville, it just means that the teams suck.

Really, I'm sorry. I'm pulling for them as hard as I can, but my arms are getting really freakin' tired.


Bears, Pens, for shame. Here I was all duded out for class in the jersey and the hat and everything and you both lose? The least you could have done for me with this headache and my crappy crappy day was put up a good tie.


THPPPBTH.

Dear Lord Therrien, re: Colby Armstrong

I know today is supposed to be Hockey Youtube Madness day, but let me bend your ear for a moment, Oh Somewhat Exalted Lord Therrien.

What the heck, dude? I know, I know, you're trying to shuffle the lines to figure out who works best together, but don't you think that you should be saving the severe musical chairs for practices? And really, could you not take it out on poor Colby Armstrong, who's been a scratch for three games straight and isn't going to get any better if you keep him off the ice?
After all, compare last year's Army to what you've seen of him this year. Last year he couldn't have told you where anyone else was on the ice if they had been wearing construction vests and he had a map. This year, in that first game on VS against Atlanta, I swear to god, I saw him shovel one almost blindly back at Sid. Tell me he hasn't improved his rink awareness, Lord Therrien. With a straight face.

Tell me also, then, that people didn't credit him with going out and absolutley tearing it up in the first period of one of hte first games this season. Or stopping a puck with his face against the Leafs on October 12, Or laying his body on the line twice to stop pucks during the Canes game on the 19th. And, Lord T, please PLEASE tell me that you're not forgetting that he scored his first point this year three games into the season at the Oct 6th home opener against Anaheim, instead of waiting for 23 games to score two the way he did last year.

Obviously, Lord T, you have to realize that Army's never going to be one of your big scorers. That's why you have Sidney Crosby. But Army's gonna hold the team together in more ways than one, especially now that he's stepped it up. And you're not rewarding him for stepping it up in the offseason by benching him for three games straight.

Also, please pause to consider... Perhaps he's playing more timidly this year because of all that Downie/Jones crap going on. Yes, I do jump in to defend Army's big hits more than is strictly healthy, but even I will admit that Steve Downie v. Dean McAmmond:




does look eerily like Armstrong v. Eaves:



the big difference being that Downie jumped into it, while Army just skated through the hit. But that's beside the point (and a whole barrel of monkeys that I've defended enough times before). What IS the point is that my guess, Lord T, is that Army KNOWS that he's got a reputation for the behind-the-net-questionably-legal hits, what with Koivu and Eaves and even Letowski, (although he was a neutral-zone takedown). With all the Downie/Jones mess going on, I'm thinking that Army KNOWS he's going to be a target the first time he wails on someone like that this season, and he hasn't yet figured out the balance between playing his brand of physical in your face hockey and not getting chucked out of the game and penalized for being Steve Downie Jr.

I guess what I'm really trying to say, Lord T, in more words than strictly needed, is just let the guy play some hockey? He's great in your penalty kill lines, and every once in a while he's got the ability to be in the right place at the right time, and frankly, you need all of that you can get right now.

If he's not back in the line for this Saturday's game versus the Flyers, I swear to you, all those spitballs you find in your thinning hair will be from me, and pure fury will have propelled them all the way down there from the end of the rink. If I can't come yell at you about your line decisions from the safety of the seating section behind the benches, I'll just take unflattering pictures of you with the zoom on the Stalkercam 80000000.

I'm not risking my life walking into the Wachovia wearing a Pens jersey (an Armstrong jersey, no less) purely to see Kennedy play in the NHL or just how bright Fleury's pads are in person. I'm coming to see the entire goddamned team, and my Pens include Colby Armstrong.

Lord T, consider yourself schooled.

Love,
Teka

(Let's go PENS!)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Once More into the Breach, dear fans....

Today is supposed to be "Ultimate Fantasy League Day" and we'll get there in a minute.

But first, may I give my condolences to Andrew Gordon, who got tossed down to South Carolina by the Bears the other day.. I feel for you buddy... when the roller derby team was trying to fill their last 4 spots permanently halfway through the season, the pressure on "have to go out and prove yourself" was enough by itself to make even the most seasoned veteran choke, so I know what you're going through, albeit on a less life-shattering level. Here is an internet hug, and I hope that you get to come back soon, as I enjoyed watching you scrap for the puck even if nobody else did.

Also, congrats to Chris Bourque, who just got called up to DC to play against Atlanta tonight. (via Walton) Keep your stick down and your pants on, Bourquie, and you'll do fine. Oh, and if you feel like ricocheting one off Ovie's helmet, I'm sure it'll be justified. (just try to bounce it TOWARDS the opposite goal, not away)

And a followup on the injured fan at the Bridgeport/Hershey game at pennlive.com reports that he tried to file charges with the Derry Township police and they.. well.. they pretty much laughed at him. The AHL is still trying to decide what to do about Joe Rullier's little temper tantrum.

But anyway.

Teka's Ultimate Fantasy Team, aka Players I Follow For Random Reasons.
(Yes, I'm giving you a break from listening me to beat the Jay Beagle/Colby Armstrong/Kris Mayotte drum. Appreciate it while it lasts.)


Ilja Bryzgalov, goalie, Anaheim Ducks


I fully believe that it is virtually impossible to hate Ilja Bryzgalov. He's another of those second-string goalies who's been shining lately, in his case because Jean-Paul Giguere (or Giggy, if you prefer) has been healing from double hernia surgery.
Born June, 23 1980 (he's 27) in Togliotti, Russia, he was picked up by Anaheim in the 2002 draft, 44th overall. For a goalie, Bryz is HUGE, at 6'3" and 210 pounds. He spent a good amount of time in the AHL before moving up to back Giggy starting in 2005, and has spent a good number of games from 2006-on in the starter position. During the 2007 off-season, an number of rumors circulated around potential Bryz trades, and he was shopped around, as many people say he's good enough to be a starter goalie in his own right.


Career Stats on Bryz from NHL.com:
GP MIN W L T OT GA SA SO GAA SV %
68 3,585 26 23 0 8 146 1,631 2 2.44 .910

Current Season Stats on Bryz from NHL.com:
GP MIN W L OT GA SA SO GAA SV %
8 409 2 3 1 15 190 0 2.20 .921

Bryz was also Russia's Athlete of the Month for May 2006, and is often compared to a mattress for his refusal to give up rebounds. He's also one of the most easygoing guys on the team, and never seems to have a negative attitude about anything. I started following Bryz during the Duck Stanley Cup run after two friends forced me to watch the Score interview, and after that our catchphrase became "Is just ___thing___! Why you haf to be mad?"

Speaking of that, the most famous Bryz moment ever has to be the Score interview:


However, he's also got his very own Knob Hockey:


And if you've ever wondered what's on his mask, let him tell you himself:


And for your pictoral enjoyment:



Bryz, Stanley Cup winner (and natty dresser!)


Bryz, daddy! (We've taken to calling the kids the Bryzlets. And as an aside, if you look at pictures of the Prongers during the on-ice Stanley celebration, the Prongerlings are wearing Bryz's gloves.)

And last, but not least...


Bryz, ninja!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hockey Hair of the Rich and Famous

Because he's on a hot streak right now, I'm going to pick on Ryan Malone. As anyone who's seen me knows, I have ABSOLUTLEY no leg to stand on making fun of his hair as I have exactly the same curly mess growing out of my head, but dammit, I'm going to do it anyway.

And I'm not even going to do it myself. Instead, i'm going to give you this video:


and then i'm going to give you the two pictures Sid was talking about:




Tadaaa! Instant team hair mockery!
(Okay, you also get some of the rest of the Pens being funny as well... and you can see the genesis of the Fleury/Talladega Nights disaster.)

We'll get into the REALLY GOOD HAIR DAYS in the future, but I couldn't figure out how to make a cohesive group around this video for Youtube Madness day, so you're getting stuck with it now.


Okay Ryan, we're done making fun of you... for now

Sunday, November 4, 2007

BEST WEEK EVER 10/28-11/4

I'm giving this week to "The Backup Goalie"


Saboo (or Sabou, if we want to be French about it) aka Dany Sabourin of the Penguins


went into their game on Thursday 2-0-1 with a 2.06 goals against average and .920 save percentage. He's been playing more as Fleury puts his head back together, and dammit, the first time we saw him, the guy won the Pens a shootout. Granted, that was a little while ago, but as he's kept it going this week, with only a one point loss, I think he counts.

He's also counting because this week he's riding the second string wave with Cheezer, aka Daren Machesney of Hershey.

Cheezer played his first game of the season on Friday against Albany, a team that handily beat the Bears here at home, and delivered a 1-0 shutout with 32 saves. Cheezer, after having Kris Mayotte (not a second string goalie) mistaken for him more times than you can shake a stick at (goalie or otherwise) at Caps camp, has seriously wormed his way into my "favorite goalies of all time" list. Because, yes, Cassivi is a good guy and he makes a lot of saves and helps carry the team, but Cheezer is just so very unassumingly always a presence on the Bears bench. It just warms the cockles of my little hockey heart to see him handing out extra sticks to the guys, and the fact that Cassivi came over and seemingly ASKED for him to go in last night? See? Even Freddy knows he's having the Best Week Ever.

Bridgeport V. Hershey 11/3
Cheezer being awesome in warmups.


(And Bryz, we love you too, as you're a second stringer, even though Giggy has gotten better and you're playing less.)

Honorable mention for Best Week Ever also goes to the Third Sedin Twin from Caps Camp weekend, who suddenly and inexplicably showed up during the first intermission last night outside the women's restroom next to section 121 hanging around and generally looking creepy. I then attempted to get a photo of him on a digital SLR while simultaneously talking on the phone and buying a hat, and it didn't turn out so well.
HOWEVER.
It turns out he was unsuccessful at hiding his wonky big puck hat behind Cheezer during warmups.

Ah, the joys of the super zoom.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bears V. Bridgeport 11/3

Fighting Hershey boys, I love you. Please come back?

This was a sad, sad Bears loss 4-1 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, made even worse by the fact that they had just shut out the Albany River Rats yesterday night. I had almost decided not to go after work, and barring the BRIGHTEST MOMENT OF THE NIGHT (more later) I almost shouldn't have. (okay, I kid.... sort of)

The boys started off looking really great, They were pretty obviously flying damn high after the Albany win, and even in warmups they were cycling well and working as a team. I was sort of amazed that they were starting Cassivi in, bcause sure, he's the big dude, but if Machesney was gonna be on a roll like he was last night, man, let him keep it up. (they ultimately did, putting him in in the third) Robitaille was a scratch (although he did warm up and then show up in the wife/girlfriend box later on in the game)

Bridgeport V. Hershey 11/3 Bridgeport V. Hershey 11/3
Machesney heading in, and Robitaille, as "Leaning Man in Center of Frame" up in the wife/girlfriend box


The beginning of the first period was the best hockey of the whole night. The Bears were out there being scrappy and fighting for everything, Laing was putting some good pressure on, and Gordon and Beagle were out there tearing it up around the edges. Borque was doing some good work at the blueline, and halfway through the first we had something like 21 shots on goal while Bridgeport had none. But it wasn't until a flukey breakaway closer to Bridgeport's side of the neutral zone that things got ripping. Beagle managed to pick the puck up and put that NotCrosby speed to use, carrying it the rest of the way and getting a nice shot off to score the first (and as it turned out only) Bears goal of the night and his first for the season. I would have gotten picures of the celebration, as our Beagle's face went from "Not really?" to "OMG!" to "Christmas Morning" in about 20 seconds, but I was too busy screaming my damn fool head off. Sorry. Trust me though, it was awesome.
bridgeport1137
Beagle, workin' the magic



However, in lining up afterwards, a group of fans down behind the Bridgeport goal brought it to the attention of the officials that not only was there a big hole in the glass behind the goal, a big chunk of it had hit an old man sitting directly behind it. In addition, the big hole in the glass had been caused by one of Bridgeport's players having a temper tantrum and slamming his stick into the glass after the Bears score.
Bridgeport V. Hershey 11/3
That thur's a hole in the glass. Yup

I firmly believe that after the 10 or 15 minute break to get the old guy out and the new glass in, the Bears had lost their steam. They were all hyped and ready, and then it just sort of fizzled from there. Most of the rest of the game was full of lost or almost lost chases for the puck and easy turnovers. Without Robitaille, there was less agitating, but Clymer was in there pissing everyone off on the faceoffs, and I believe it was Sloan in the third who got pissed off and butt-ended a Sound Tigger in the face mask, making him cry. Granted, it was rather Brierian, but if it makes him feel better and he's not a repeat offender, the Tigger is okay, and Sloan's still on the team.. . I suppose I can give that a golf clap if not my full support. Laing got into a nice dustup right at the end as well, and there was some serious trash talking going on over the refs as they tried to break it up. Clymer was also throwing the body around when he could, but for whatever reason they'd stuck him on defense for a lot of the third period, and you could tell he was getting frustrated with it.

armycostume 199
A Very Brierian Hit leaves a Crying Tigger


As far as agitation goes, the fans in the section i was sitting in (121, row L seat 12.... again... i wants it permanently, I does..) were really REALLY heckling Drew Fata and Kip Brennan. One guy kept yelling "Come on Brennan! Jump the glass and come get me!" Ex-Bear Brennan seemed to be enjoying the attention and kept egging the guy on, so that made for an amusing night if nothing else.
Bridgeport V. Hershey 11/3
Brennan enjoying himself


Overall, and in my completely worthless opinion, the Bears need to quit trying to dipsy doodle the puck around to get the ultimate a1 primo shot off, and just start motherloving shooting. Granted, we had 43 shots to their 18, but how many of those were fancy-pants round the corner ones?
The boys also need to work on accuracy of their shots. If they want a rebound, they have to shoot low. If they want a goal, they have to shoot high corner. Both of the virtual brick-wall goalies they've run into (Albany being the other) they've been hitting right in the chest. If I'm not mistaken, the Beagle shot went in RIGHT over the glove hand tonight.

I also think that they're struggling for a leader-for someone who will come out and be like "THIS is how we play Bears hockey." I think Laing's doing his best to keep all of 'em together, especially when he goes out and drops the gloves, and Clymer's trying to teach in the experience, but something's not gelling them yet as a team. I do think part of it may be everyone's relative n00bness, but I think a lot of it may be the lack of a cohesive element. I don't want to pin everything on him, but I have my hopes that when Deano gets back, he'll be able to solidify all the guys into one fighting unit. Of course, that's till two months away, so there's a lot of potential playoff ground to cover in that time.


But dayum, Jay Beagle. You made my night.

Friday, November 2, 2007

How Do I Look, Hockey Style: Hartford Whalers

Yes, I know the Hartford Whalers don't *really* exist anymore, (for those of you under a rock, they got transplanted to become the Carolina Hurricanes... please don't get me started) but they had what I still believe is the best logo in the NHL. Just look at it.



Honestly, nobody anymore has quite as indicative a logo. Not only do you have the green "W" for Whalers and the blue whale tale, together they form a white H in the middle for "Hartford." And let's not even get started on how awesome it is that the people who named that team knew enough about the area to delve into HISTORY to name them.

But anyway, obviously I'm a freakshow for their logo. How about their uniforms, as this is really supposed to be a thinly veiled "Uniform Squee Moment?"


They remind me of the Canucks' old third. I'm sold.

I think it's the simplicity of the "old" logo on both teams that I like. Don't get me wrong, I love the Orca logo that the Canucks are running now, but having a straight forward two color logo that's easy to draw on a sign is something to be proud of as well. (I might also be a sucker for marine-animal themed teams. What?)
There's also something about the really simple horizontally striped sweaters that just says "We're here to play hockey." There's none of this pretentious diagonal seaming in the shoulders, (I'm looking at you, Flyers) and they're not too matchy-matchy (Come on, Leafs, you're like Smurfs). There's also a lot to be said for using a good color combination on your team. The Whalers ran navy, green and silver/gray,(like the Canuck third), colors that translate well on TV and aren't retina burning moving 50 MPH down the ice (FLYERS, goddamn you and your Day-Glo Orange)

Also, a moment of squee for "Pucky the Whale," the mascot and second logo from the Whalers.

who appeared on the shoulders of the jerseys for a while.


Overall, in my book, the Hartford Whalers get a double thumbs up and a big toe for their league image. Not only do they have a brilliantly clever logo that even their youngest fans can draw on a sign, they managed to stay away from the grossly cluttered and overly bright sweaters that so many teams went to. I would have been interested to see how they translated to the Edge style, but I have no doubt it would have been tasteful and somewhat reserved. And they would have known where to put the A and the C without dropping it over a brightly colored seam or putting it on the wrong side and making costumers and hockey fans worldwide scream in pain.

But to wrap up, in wandering for Whalers uniforms, I found this goalie card:

Please tell me they called him Moby. My life will then be complete.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

NaBloPoMo #1 Meet Your Hershey Bears, The Leadership.

Meet your 2007 Hershey Bears: The On-Ice Leadership

Because I am boring and uncreative, we’re doing this in clutches of 5 or 6 to get it done in a month. Today, your Bears Leadership Brigade (the A’s and the C’s)


To begin with, our 6’2 captain, left winger Quintin Laing. He was sort of shoved into the captaincy when Deano was told he wouldn’t be back for the first half of the year, and from what Laing said in a series of interviews, it sounds like he thinks he's just keeping the C warm until Deano gets better. However, I think he’s selling himself short. In watching him, he’s a very JStaalsian player- all ridiculously long limbs and furious speed plays towards the other end of the rink. Although not a fighter, he will drop the gloves occasionally (especially against the Phantoms) and come on, he’s good with kids.
My Beginning of Season Superlative Award to Laing?: “More Teeth that Marc-Andre-Fleury”

Injured captain Dean Arsene (Deano) hopes to be making his comeback to the blueline in January or February. Out over the summer for a double hernia surgery, he hasn’t been healing the way he’d like to, and instead is stuck doing radio time and kissing babies. Although I’ve not seen him skate in a game, and therefore can’t actually say anything productive about his style beyond “he made most of the shots I saw him take between training camp practices” he was also nice enough guy to greet the fans in the stands at camp before and after he finished running the arena stairs. You don’t get to be “Mayor of Chocolatetown” as a total bastard, right? Neither do you get your own website.
My Beginning Of Season Superlative Award to Deano?: “Most Likely to Successfully say ‘Dipsy Doodle’ with a Straight Face”

The A Team:

Chris Bourque, son of Ray Bourque, was drafted in 2004 and has been with Hershey for the past three seasons. He’s one of the little guys, at 5’8” but hard as hell to push around. This year, he managed to score on the big boys at Caps camp, a coupla different times and it’s my guess that Bourquie may not be with us next season. He’s got some damn good puck handling skills, and he was one of the ones that most impressed me during the blind passing drills during practice. Of course, though, he’s another who’s not afraid to drop ‘em and wade in.

Bourque’s Superlative Award? :”Most Likely to Rival Sidney Crosby’s Haircare Product Collection”



I had my fears going into this season that Louie was going to be too Briere-ian for my tastes, but damned if he didn’t prove me wrong. Louie is a PRIME agitator, and we all know what a big fan I am of some good agitation. Although it pains me to quote him, as he’s been downright nasty to Pens fans, Mike Vogel of the Cap’s Dump and Chase sums Louie up best:
“Volatile winger Louis Robitaille is his usual self, which means he is as irritating as insecticide sprayed directly into your eyes. And if that’s how his teammates feel, just imagine how the opposition feels. I love watching him work his unique brand of aggravation. Everyone knows it’s coming, but few opponents seem to be able to stop themselves from taking the bait. It’s uncanny.”
And Louie loves every 254 of his penalty minutes of it. (Yes, that’s him celebrating his penalty… and the crowd loving him back)

Louie’s Superlative Award?: “Most Likely to Form a Gang with Olie Kolzig”


Ben Clymer is, I believe, the only Hershey Bear with a Stanley Cup win under his belt, received while he was still playing in Tampa Bay. Since then, he's spent enough time in DC to make a name for himself, but was shuffled down towards Hershey in the Caps Summer Panic of Too Many Talented People (Yes, the only time this has ever happened to them before...) Down here in Chocolateville, Benny Clymer has been stepping up and showing the rookies how it's done. He scored two goals in the home opener, and isn't afraid to throw his body in the midst of things when needed. However, although he can line 'em up and take 'em down in against the boards, I hate to say it and risk the wrath of Caps Chick, but Benny Clymer should really keep the gloves on, as he's not the most efficient brawler!

Ben Clymer's Superlative?: "Most Likely to Look Scared in Every Single Picture"

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, your lettered Bears of '07-'08.