Thursday, December 27, 2007

You didn't see ANYTHING.

Quintin Laing's a freakin' beast. ( if that link doesn't work.) Which, of course, is why my little derby addled brain loves him so much.

In other news, the Pens play the Caps slightly less than three hours away from where I am right now and I can't talk anyone in the family into driving me OR letting me take the car. Damn and blast.

I've also heard through the grapevine, aka text message that Boudreau's been named full-time head coach of the Caps. I hate to say I knew it first, but I knew it first, as it'd been hinted at for a while down in Chocolateville. I was biding my time, as I figured it wasn't my place to break that one. (But dammit, someday I want to break SOMETHING first!:-)

Still technically on sabbatical from the blog, as I'm not even TRYING it on the 54.4 connection at my grandparent's house, but I've found a sympathetic coffee shop out here in mid-Ohio, so you're getting (at the very least) assurance I'm still alive.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Glittery Numbers, or 'A Pre-Christmas Skate Against Norfolk"

Well helloooo there, 4-1 Bears win over Norfolk. Merry christmas to you too.

The game tonight was another where I felt like pure strength of will got the Bears scoring, as their passing was kinda meh and there was a lot of "Who? What? Me? Where? Puck?" going on. There would be a good series of passes every once in a while, and Cheezer was freakin' on FIRE, but there were also a lot of flubbed opportunities. Of course, there were also a lot of Admirals on their butts all night-they were having Ye Olde Slippery Ice Problem.

As this is NOT the Jay Beagle Show, I'm free to announce that he was out with an unclaimed injury, listed day to day, so I'm assuming he'll be back after the Xmas break. He did, however show up to do the jersey auction. Please excuse reflection of my shoulder, I tried, I really did.

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Patrick McNeill I absolutely cannot abuse anymore, as he laid down a couple of really good checks tonight and was so on top of a few pucks that squirted free that I thought he was gonna melt the ice getting there.

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Andrew Gordon is also quickly climbing into my Top Three Favorite Bears, because he's out there kicking his own ass to stay with the action. Tonight, I saw him get creamed by two guys at once, get up, and then get right back in the battle for the puck. Also, if you want to talk about oral fixation to top even Jordan Staal, he'd be your man. At the top of the third, the Bears were taking to the ice, and Gordo lost his mouthguard coming out through the bench, tried to fumble and catch it, but ultimately had to keep going forward as to not hold the line up and come back to find it after the fact.


Joe Motzko, on the other hand, has made my "So what?" list. The boy DOES NOT PASS, even when there's someone amazingly open. I'm not sure if he's getting really in the zone and blacking everything else out so he's unaware, or if he's letting his nhl-callup ego get in the way, but PLEASE, Joe. PASS THE PUCK. Pass the puck or you start falling into the category of "think's he's a one man team," and we can all see from the last post how much I like that.

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Louie was also in rare form, dancing up a storm both during the game AND afterwards, during the auction. Points to him for WINNING a fight rather definitively as well!
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Also, mad props to Hunt, for taking a puck in the upper thigh and coming back to the game. I'd give money to see that bruise, but then again, I'm a roller derby girl.

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The Christmas Jersey Auction was also tonight. I'm going to go down in Bears history as "The College Student". I started bidding on Gordo's jersey, and fell out at $700 (knowing my limits, foolishly), then tried again on Patrick McNeill's, which I again got up to $700 before the MC jokingly called me out on being a plant to drive prices up. I hollerd back "I'm a college student! That's tuition!" He responded "Just think of it as an extra tuition payment!" and managed to talk me up another $50 before I gave up entirely. Of course, then, when I got a $700 bid on the Machesney jersey, the MC looked at me and said "What, all of a sudden you're not a college student anymore?" and got a laugh. It's a good thing I'm a good sport, yo. But yeah, when jerseys are going for the equivalent of a tuition payment, I might as well write them off.

I'm sorta halfheartedly wondering as well how many Bears will be on the flight I'm on tomorrow, trying to get the heck out of Hershey. We'll see. I suppose. I'll be going on week-ish-long sabbatical, as I doubt there's anywhere around my grandparents' house to get wireless internet, and it's not until the 29th I get back into the world of tech savvy Oregon.

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Happy holidays, hockey fans! Keep your stick on the ice!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Of bad ideas and shootouts....

It seems to me that this has been the Half-Season of the Hockey Shootout, and I, for one, have had it just about up to here with that.

Now, I don't claim to be a statistician or an analyst or even someone who usually cares about the numbers outside of PIM and goals/assists, but take a look at just the stats for the Penguins. As of their game against Boston, 12/20/07, they had been in SEVEN shootouts out of 34 games. That's close to 1/4 of their games that have ended in a glorified rookie training game.

The way I see it, going to shootout is almost a punishment for being too evenly matched with your opponent. Seriously, why is that a punishment? Isn't the NHL looking for a series of non-lopsided really good hard hockey games with all of their teams working as hard as they can? Sure they are, because that's what fans want to see. So why then, do they penalize them by forcing them into the shootout at the end?

As a fan, I detest the shootout with a burning passion usually reserved only for people who talk at the movies and take up more than one parking space with their giant gas-guzzling cars. If I wanted to see guys shoot one after another, I'd go watch a practice. The entire idea of a shootout really defeats the concept of enjoying hockey as a team sport. Instead of emphasizing the skill of the team as a whole, it breaks it down to being "player X" won the game. I don't care how big a fan you are of Player X, there was an entire team behind him, and there's no reason he should be the do-or-die of the entire game.

Also, the poor already-slightly-neurotic-goalies. The guys have already faced 60 minutes of action and stuff flying at them from all over, and now they're expected to pull out all the stops against the top three shooters on each team without any backup? Even though it may not look it, I'm sure those goalies rely on every single one of their teammates to keep the puck away at any given moment, and I'm sure there's still at least a minor feeling of dread when faced with a shootout. If Player X can win a a game for the entire team, Goalie Q will almost undoubtedly shoulder a good amount of the blame if his team loses.

Honestly, the shootout has got to go. I don't care if we replace it with playoff-esque continual periods until someone scores, I don't care if we just let them tie, hell, I'd be okay with some sort of skills competition that took into account the whole team, but if I came to see my entire team play, goddammit, I want my entire team to win together, not on the basis of how skilled one guy is at deking, faking, and finding the five hole. That's not a hockey game, that's training camp.

Cross posted to Hockey's Ladies of Greatness as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gordie, where are you, Gordie?

After all the excitement over Scott Barney's Gordie Howe Hat Trick yesterday, betcha you'll never guess who got one tonight.

Sid waiting

Yup. That'd be him.
And please to remember that a Gordie Howe includes a goal, and assist, AND A FIGHTING MAJOR.

Oh, I'm excited. Baby Sidney's first fighting major! I feel like there should be a pastel blue baby book sticker for that somewhere!

Edit: Video!

Hell and damnation, people.

Allright fine, I admit it.

The Washington Capitals are officially now my second favorite NHL team.

Insert pained cries of "but you can't DO that!" here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bears v. Sens

Greetings after the fact, sportsfans. Yes, I’m actually pressboxing again tonight, but as I just did about a 20 minute turnaround from “Broke Student Lifeguard” to “Intrepid Girl Reporter” I managed to forget my ethernet cable. You’d think I was new at this or something. Oops. So this will actually get up sometime around 10 PMish when I get home (or to the Laundromat, as the case may be) and back to the intarwebs. I’m a winner!

Tonight’s opponents are the Binghamton Sens, and for the life of me, there’s still a gut clench “eew Sens” reaction still leftover from the Pens/Sens Stanley Cup matchup. It’s nowhere near as violent as the “EEW FLYERS” reaction I have. Their goalie Glass, however, is one of the ones that likes to drop the gloves, so I have high hopes. I also have high hopes that possibly, maybe, if I’m lucky, the Bears will break their habit of losing dismally every time I’m in the pressbox.

Attendance tonight is DISMAL to say the least. This game was re-scheduled from the iced out one on Sunday, so I don’t know if it’s just lack of people knowing it’s been rescheduled or lack of people being able to come the Wednesday before Christmas. If I were a betting Intrepid Girl Reporter, I’d bet both.

I’m still impressed with Cheezer’s puck handling. I know that the Hockey News in their 60 Things That Changed The Sport went on and on about goalies who could puck handle, but I’ve never watched one actually DO IT in warm-ups or training or anything before starting to follow the Bears. At this point, looking at Cheezer’s stats and relative youth (21), the Caps’d be almost foolish NOT to give him a try in the upper echelons a few (more) times, especially with Boudreau there. At this point, he’s also one of the upper-ranked non-NHL goalies as well… with all my goalies breaking themselves in our fantasy league right now, trust me, I’m looking at those damn stats enough. (Curse you, Marc-Andre Fleury. You too, Ray Emery.)

I think there are two random Sens wandering through up here as well. At least, I hope they’re Sens, as they’re not Bears and I wouldn’t wish that awful pink shirt on someone not a hockey player.

Starting Lineup:
Joe Motzko, Chris Bourque, Jay Beagle, Tyler Sloan, Patrick McNeill, Freddy Cassivi

First Period:
19:32 Our first stunning P. McNeill Moment sees him on his belly kicking at the puck. Dude, I gave you credit last time, don’t make me take it back.

18:52 And then Sloan picks up on the It’s Fun To Flail On the Ice vibes and joins him. The hell, boys?

18:16 Matt Carkner for hooking. Damn little hooker. Glass gets wandered out of the crease by Beagle, but the Bears don’t manage to do anything with it.

16:53 Okay, we’ve had a Sen go down and a ref almost fall. IS it the ice today? Or has everyone just had too much eggnog?

16:21 Jason Morgan dingles a direct pass in the neutral zone and Clymer has to bail him out. They’re already shoving Louie around, so obviously he’s starting his job early tonight.

13:47 One thing, tonight, nobody’s aware of ANYTHING. Passes are going unanswered by BOTH teams, and even when Potulny whiffs one through three Sens to an oblivious Bear, the Sens don’t seem to realize it’s there either. I feel like this game is going to come down to who can get their heads back in it first.

12:45 Andrew Gordon gets ROBBED, being pulled down around the knees on a scoring chance. The audience is less than chuffed about that one. If I were a ref, I might well have called that one, but obviously, I’m not a ref.

10:40 Three shots in a row, all off of different feet to sticks in front of Glass, and nobody manages a thing. It’s okay. Breathe, regroup, keep up the pressure.

9:43 Creative fall by a Sen leaves the entire arena in fear of Sloan’s ability to have children. However, Sloan is laughing at the guy. He’s got a lot of faith in that cup.

8:22 Bears forget who’s on who, and the Sens score one. Those suck worst, because everyone’s been rotating around so well that when there’s a hole, it’s unclear who was actually there.

7:30 On a virtually open net, someone gets in Barney’s way at the last minute… after three previous attempts. It’s not for lack of trying that we haven’t scored yet. I would say the Bears have really gotten their head back in this first.

6:08 GREAT runaround by Clymer and Joudrey finally spits one out in front for Potulny, who shovels it in. That’s it. Distract ‘em and then spank ‘em. (eerily, I had called the assists on that one before it was reported. Maybe I should think about trying to work in the War Room in Toronto after all.)

3:29 Potulny lays his life on the line to keep a Sen smushed against the glass twice, kicks the puck out front…. and none of the Bears are there. It’s okay, Grant. Someday they’ll realize what you’re trying to do, I promise.

2:55 My God. They just played a horrid organ version of ‘Drunken Sailor” Suddenly Hershey is in the Maritimes. Can we get some ocean here? And a boat or two?

2:21 Five shots in a row on an out-of place Glass, and somehow he stops them all. Dammit man, quit being miraculous. Less miracle, more suck, please.

:20 And now we’re down Sloan AND McAllister. Trippy and Slashy there, no life points for you right now.

First Inter:
So far, this is being the Game of Missed Connections. For a lot of these, if someone had just been there to receive, it would have been a brilliantly nifty and effective move. Perhaps I’m just finally starting to see the difference between AHL and NHL hockey- here those are missed connections, while there they’d be brilliant but everyday moves.
I’m also realizing that I do body language at the players, and in sympathy for hits, as I can feel myself randomly tensing up weird places derby-style as I see a hit about to happen.

Second Period:
19:14 Two down to start the second, Cassivi hanging in damn well, Lepisto, Bourque and Morgan are like machines. Keep it up.

18:39 Subov’s down a helmet, the Bears have killed a double penalty and are STILL 10 shots ahead.

16:54 Gordon’s second shot of the night, and he’s rejected again. 16:40, however, he is involved in the shot by Barney that goes in, and Barney Crosbys out, grabbing him and letting him know he’s awesome. I do love teams that like each other.

16:27 And now Barney’s fighting Waugh. Is it wrong of me to hope for the Gordie Howe out of him tonight?

14:49 Bear goes down and stays down in front of the Binghamton box as Beagle takes a Sen out. It looks to be Potulny. He’s face down and doesn’t seem to be moving….. nope, he’s up and skating back in, seems to be okay, just a little banged up. Bourque is supervising as the trainer looks him over. Honestly, while I have the break, I’ll admit that seeing the backup goalies on the bench make me happy, as they looks so turtley with the giant shoulder pads and the little baseball hat on.

13:23 Breakaway! Cassivi has it… doesn’t have it….. has it again, and a Sen trips over his hand and faceplants into the net. That move alone was worth the scary moment there from Freddy.

10:58 Louie is whacking his stick against he side of the box. Whether he’s riling up the crowd or what, I’m not sure, but they let themselves be riled. Much more effective than the little “MAKE NOISE” thing.

10:15 Bourque tangles with a Sen and uses him as cushioning for the ensuing fall. Hey, if they’re bigger than you and cushy, why not?

9:45 Another goal for us, yo! Potulny again, help from Beagle and Lepisto. Glass is NOT used to this losing thing, and doesn’t seem to be taking it well. I can’t help looking at him, though, and seeing Emery, which makes me a little less sympathetic for his cause.

9:03 Another try from Gordo, that devolved into a Louie fight. Surprisingly, he winds up on top of the other guy for once. And happily, they play “Louie Louie.” I love it when the music guys are on top of those.

8:56 Goal! Directly off the faceoff! Motzko, help from Bourque and McNeill.

8:45 And a goal for them, directly off the faceoff. This is getting ridiculous. It’s gonna be like basketball if they keep this up.

8:22 Sen dives himself into the boards and gets the call. Barney (and the rest of the crowd, truth be told) takes exception to it. Somehow it ends up being Jamie Hunt deciding to go after another guy, Shawn Weller. Oh, Hunt. The ridiculous, you are adding to it. (Go you, however.)

7:32 Paiemant for holding. We now have three in the box. I’m starting to think that the Bears are bored and just trying a new version of VW Bug Stuffing.

5:55 Potulny decide his stick is so cool he wants to put it down and look at it. Not now, Grant. Not in the middle of the penalty kill. Thank you. Please to remember, stick remains in hands during game.

4:23 BARNEY WITH THE GORDIE HOWE. He shoots one that Glass blocks, and on the rebound, Morgan shovels it right the heck back in. Score: 5 Bears, 2, Sens.

3:31 Another Bear down, HARD, and not getting up. Lepisto is hanging around being worried after almost taking on the checker Sen, and the crowd is FURIOUS. It looks to be Paiement, who does get up and skate off, but he’s holding himself like it hurts all through his midsection. He heads directly down the tunnel, no questions asked.
Crowd gives up the BULLSHIT chant, as the checker’s still on.

2:03 McAllister gets called on a hooking for a breakaway he tries to stop. Crowd is NOT amused with this ref at ALL. Louie and McAllister have a nice chat in the box. I swear, this team is a bunch of old women sometimes.

:45 Louie sprung from the box and over to the bench. The first thing he does? Whack Motzko and Bourque in the butt with his stick and explain something to Coach Woods with bigly hugely big hand motions.

:35 Clymer rings one off the glass. Close… well no, not even close. And no cigar.

Third Period:
Paiemant’s back.

19:11 Motzko and Morgan don’t agree on the fact that they’re on the same team and Morgan has to do some fancy footwork to get out of the way.

16:47 Andrew Gordon is kicking his own ass out there, running into dude left and right and he just can’t seem to get a break.

15:50 A nice setup from Beagle and Bourque almost has the point but somehow Glass manages to throw it out again. The Bears are running REALLY NICE cycle at this point. If only I could teach the derby girls as much some days.

13:30 Completely awkward video of the Bears wishing people happy holidays. Beagle looks shellshocked, McAllister looks like he just ran eight miles, Cassivi says..something I couldn't hear and Lepisto does it in Finnish and makes Hunt translate for him “I think what he means is happy holidays”

12:24 An almost-blueline shot from Hunt that Glass gloves. Points to Hunt, however, for following it all the way in.

10:22 McNeill, excellent work on the power play tonight. You were moving, you were making chances, you weren’t holding it forever.. see what a little work’ll do you? Keep that up. Also, why is Bourque on the blueline so much tonight? That’s not where he belongs.

8:18 Poor Gordo on a brilliant breakway pass to Louie that Louie completely dingles. Dammit man, give the kid a chance, eh?

6:20 A pretty awesome Sen to Sen blind pass ….. ends up in Cassivi’s stomach.

5:38 Bourque, you little hooker.

3:11 It’s pretty obviously the Sens 33 who boarded Paiemant. Freddy’s also getting pretty damn brave with the three point lead, as he’s playing all the heck over the place. Somehow I still trust him inherently more than Conklin, though.

1:00 Okay, boys, I understand you're just doing it to piss them off, but just playing with the puck out of their reach is poor sportsmanship.

Bears win, 5-2!

Transcription of the post-game press conference to be coming. I got a question in there, even if I did get thwarted other places.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We're all tears here.

Ben Eager gets p0wned.

What's that, Ben Eager? You just got traded? Excuse me while I cry my eyes out for you. I'll get right on that.... just as soon as Gary Roberts is done kicking the snot out of you.

But Tommy Maxwell, you baby Bear, I will actually shed a tear for you and your bad season-ending wrist, as you were working your tail off out there to make stuff happen for the team.

I hear you buddy. My left wrist's not doing well at this point either. (of course, mine's a little less glamorous, as it's a bad lifeguarding moment compounded by two months of roller derby, but still. I feel your pain, almost literally)

And yes, that is my left wrist. I took the picture in a mirror, you exceedingly nitpicky people.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's a little bit odd....

... that a hockey game gets iced out, but that's exactly what happened to today's Bears game v. the Baby Sens.

Whoops. Sorry for that bus ride, there, Binghamton. We'll see you on Wednesday.

According to Tarik El-Bashir Joe Motzko's coming home to Hershey. My Capitals pseudo-insider surmises it's because Nylander's back and Motzko can be doing more down here with us at this point.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My history sense is tingling....

Ben Franklin, you are dead to me. DEAD, d'ya hear?

Friday, December 14, 2007

All The News that's Fit to Blog.....

Louie Robitaille's famous!

Okay, or not, but it's a pretty great article anyway.

Also check out Jay Beagle looking very unsure of what's going on in front of him in the news roundup of the day. (it's in the rotating newsbox, so if he's not up there anymore, click through)

If you haven't already, go vote your favorite Bear in for the AHL All-Star game. The last I checked, the Bears were pushing for Bourque and Beagle. I'd also beg you to vote in Ty Conklin, in hopes that if he has to go do that maybe the Penguins would get someone who doesn't need to be bungeed to the goal support by his testicles to keep him in the crease. Of course, if it doesn't work that way, Cassivi or Machesney, of course. I also hear that CapsChick's stuffing the ballot box for Clymer with a cry of "But it's the only All-Star he'll ever get to!" You can take that up with her.

(also bwa ha. We got Bourquie back tonight. Prepare to be annihilated)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Birthday...

(because I caught this one yesterday, not today at 10 PM...)

to Daren Machesney, turning 21.

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Now you're legal in this country too.. hope it's good one and they let you choose the movie on the bus. (Don't let them get you too plastered, y'all have a game tomorrow!)

(And for extra Cheezer fun, check out the Stack the Pads Q&A today.)

And happy 22nd to Andrew Gordon.
(okay, caught that one at noon)

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Damn, buddy, we can now commiserate on the fact that you don't really get anything for turning 22 and Cheezer's gonna be stealing your thunder all day. Fight him for the movie rights just so us oldsters have something to be proud of, okay?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Penguins Photo Spam

TWO goals for Motzko tonight against the Rangers? Well then. I'll dig it (as it's 80's night in D.C.... or is 'dig it' really 70's?)

Of course, I'll also subject you to the pictures I took last night during the Game O' Bloodbath... here goes!


The FIRST time Army went to the box, I believe. This was 2 minutes for roughing, and he obviously doesn't think whatever he did merited it. Please also to be noting that Crosby is missing his helmet. Eventually, in one of these Flyers games he's actually going to throw down and it's going to be a mess. I can only hope that he does it in Pittsburgh where people'll be behind him, and not in Philly.

Army's real fight was here:

And you can see that he's trying to protect his face after he boarded himself earlier and left bleeding. (Kristin will tell you that I was sitting there trying to see him over the boards and saying "get up! get up! get up!" Scary moment for an Army fan.) I'm kind of sad that they didn't stay with it long enough for you to see the whole extent of the bloody nose (which got some sympathy from Kristin, who kept turning to me and saying "He's BLEEDING!" in shock and awe) but he was kinda pulpy at that point.

I also had some good individual successes on portrature during warmups.

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in order, Army, Roberts, Sykora, Letang, Malkin, Malone

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And then we all had a stretch break and stood around a little. We like standing. Then Orpik wanted to play too.

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Ty Conklin and the Water Bottle of DOOOM


Continued my tradition of the Majestic Pens Goalie Picture.

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and the questionably attractive pictures of Sid continue. He's such a good sport, putting up with all the cameras. And he seems to be taking Ovie's habit of talking to his stick to the extreme.

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I also finally got a decent picture of Jstaal, which is a first.

Pens L, 2-8

Philly, with the exception of Kristin and Nadine, has quite possibly the worst fans known to man. They're insulting and offensive and downright mean.

Someday, I'll get to go to a Pens game where they're actually cheering FOR us instead of against us and my cheeks won't hurt so bad from the fake smile at the end that I want to cry.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hooray Quintin!

Quintin Laing's first goal as a Washington Capital.... and the game winner to boot!

Way to go!

(I'm starting to despair of ever getting him back down here!)

Bears Photo Op v. Albany.

I have two words for you: shootouts BITE.

It's such a shitty way to decide the outcome of a hockey game-that doesn't show anything but individual skills, and you shouldn't be able to win a hockey game purely on individual skills if it's a team sport. At least make them do something all together- make them play freeze tag or something, but don't just make them take potshots at each other.

As you may have guessed, Albany took the Bears in the shootout. Which was crap. Which is why I've decided to focus on the players today more than the game. (Okay, also because I was in the second row next to the bench and got some killer pictures)

Tonight was "Teddy Bear Toss Night," so after the first Bears goal, the entire arena erupted in 4,000 some flying teddy bears.

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Ben Clymer was not so amused. However, later, something dumb he did really amused him, and we got the rare Non Deer In Headlights picture of him smiling.

Patrick McNeill, I take it back. Last night, you did significantly better at not standing and watching the game. Lepisto must be rubbing off on you. Thank you for bringing the hustle, as now I don't have to cringe in fear every time the puck gets near you. We still have to work a little on that whole 'what to do during the power play' thing, as you turn into a one-trick-pony a little then, but I'm sure you'll get there.

Patrick McNeill

Also, thank you Andrew Gordon and Sasha Pokulok for gossiping and being ridiculously goofy during the entirety of warm ups.

Pokulok and Gordon
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If you spent half the time working on shootout skills that you did yakking at each other like old ladies at the hair salon..... But you're spunky, so I'll forgive you two, grudgingly, this time.

Gordo of course then went and spread the jollity other places, like with Patrick McNeill, after McNeill took a puck from Louie in the nuts while warming Cheezer up. For someone who's just taken a puck in the soft bits, he looks more amused about it than you think he might.
Andrew Gordon and Patrick McNeill

I'm really glad that Gordon's back, as he always just looks like he's having the best time of his life on the ice.
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I swear his internal monologue is running something along the lines of "Hey! I'm on the ice! This is great! Man! I could do this all day! Oh, wow! I get the PUCK?! How sweet is this!? You guys are so awesome! This is so cool!"

Everyone else, who started the memo about it being "Gaping Mouth Night" on the Bears bench?

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It's not so flattering.

Of course, nobody does not-flattering like Louie.

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Ow, Louie. Just... ow. Of course, in here you can see that he did, in fact, lose bits of tooth taking a Phantom stick in the face on Saturday.

And just so we don't end on that, please appreciate the Majestic Cassivi for a moment. They interviewed him last night-for whatever reason I hadn't put together that he was from Quebec, so the accent threw me a little.
Freddy Cassivi on the bench

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bears Mini-Recap

Of course, had I not used the word "combust" in that last entry, we would have won. Spiritually, last night's game was a 3-3 tie between the Bears and the Phantoms instead of a 3-2 loss, as there was one asinine call made claiming the Phantoms' goal was off the net before the puck went in. In the replays, it sure SURE wasn't obvious if it was.

It was a...bizarre... game overall. the two n00bs were sorta playing, Patrick McNeill was spectating again, poor Gordon couldn't get a break, Beagle spent more time smushed against the glass than playing, and Louie Robitaille scored. (although I still believe that Sami Lepisto had more than an assist to do with one of the goals, if not both.)

Caps Chick and Nadine both seemed to have fun-we really did become "Mr. Pro Sports Heckler Guy" a couple of times... between Nadine yelling at the Phantoms' Stefan Ruzicka and me yelling at Lepisto and McNeill.

In watching the game and chewing it over with Nadine afterwards, I really feel like Andrew Gordon is or is going to become a very Colby Armstrong/Ryan Malone-ish player. He's not going to be the big point scorer, he's not going to have amazing puck handling skills, but if you put him on a line with the Sidney Crosby or the Jay Beagle or the Joe Motzko, he's going to be the guy that can feed them continually useful stuff. I just feel like Gordo was being hung out to dry and expected to create opportunities that nobody else was there for yesterday.

We're also cooking up a grand scheme for Hlog domination... stay tuned for details.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

So long, farewell....

I think there's someone in the Great Hockey Rink in the Sky who's enjoying toying with me a little too much. The Penguins have suddenly remembered how to play hockey, so of course, NOW is the time that the Bears spontaneously combust. And combust they have.

Here's who we're missing now.

Laing- still in DC.
Boomer- Broken wrist
Klepis- Moving to the Czech Republic
Collins- Concussiony stuff
Arsene- Gut recovery
Fehr-?? He's been out a while

and newly added to the HELL AND DAMNATION list:
Bourque- Concussiony Stuff
Pollock- Moving to Moscow.

Ugh. Right now that leaves us 19, including the two goalies. I've seen word of a callup/loan from somewhere, but haven't heard anything official yet. There's also the fact that Nylander is out for the Caps, so we may lose yet another before the game v. the Devils tomorrow. (Of course, hope springs eternal now that Andrew Gordon may become a permanent fixture up here as well... he was one of my favorites in the beginning of the season)

Yes, heck of a weekend to be taking on the Phantoms AND Wilkes-Barre again.

Of course, it's my fault because the Penguins have been kicking butt and taking names. Especially Army. I should just learn that both of my teams can't be doing well at once and choose one.

Yeesh... that's hard!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Political Moment!

For any Sens fan contemplating entering the Ottawa Senators "Better Halves" Christmas tree raffle this year, take a good hard look at where the money it raises is going. The First Place Pregnancy Center lists numerous pro-life sites on their links page, and turns out to be a "Crisis Pregnancy Center", which, according to Wikipedia, "are non-profit organizations established by pro-life supporters that work to persuade pregnant women to give birth rather than have abortions, with a focus on women facing unplanned or "crisis" pregnancies. "

Planned Parenthood Ottawa has released a statement here, in which they encourage fans to recognize the aims of the First Place Pregnancy Center before giving money to support it.

More information assembled from Birth Pangs here and here
Another view here from Unrepentant Old Hippie.'s take is here

Please be a conscientious consumer-money speaks!

So much for that "Not blogging Daily" thing

What with all the new attention the NHL is starting to pay to bloggers, the blogosphere is starting to step back and look at itself and what it wants to become. To that end, the -Ookies of Interchangeable Parts have sent out an open questionnaire. Here's my take.

1. What was your motivation for starting blogging? Has that changed at all in the time you’ve been blogging?
I've been a blogger for at least 6 or 7 years at this point-I owned my own domain name when I was 16 and mostly just liked to think that my opinion was out there for someone to find, even if nobody did. I moved into hockey blogging when I saw the hockey stuff taking over my personal blog. I think that part of my motivation now for this blog is sparing my non-hockey friends, and staying in touch with the hockey friends. Moving cross-country, I don't know many people out here near me, so through the blog I can not only meet new people, but keep up with the old ones. On some level, I still like to think that my opinion and the things that interest me about hockey are different enough from some of the other blogs that I can bring some interesting points to the forefront. (How many other hockey bloggers play roller derby and have first hand experience in a different form of contact skate-sport? I think THAT's an interesting angle to play.)

2. What do you think your blog contributes to the hockey conversation?

A wicked rash.

No, seriously. I'm not much into the statistics or the predictions or any of that numberish folderol. I'm into the game and the team interactions and the players' attitudes. To me, someone like Andrew Gordon, who goes out there and plays every night with a big smile on his face purely because he loves playing is a better player than Jaromir Jagr or Sean Avery who continuously talks trash about everyone even though Gordon's an AHL'er and the other two have been with the big boys for years. I like to think that as a blogger, I can get that 'human interest' side of the story to other people, so we can support the little guys like Gordon when they finally break into the NHL.
I also think that this blog challenges the "rivalry" notion in its' own understated way. Obviously, I'm a Bears fan, but at the same time, I'm also a Pens fan. To me, it's not an issue that the Bears belong to the Caps, historically a big rival of the Penguins. It's hockey, and who's playing shouldn't matter in the grand scheme of things if you're really in it for the game. In a way, I'm sort of playing the anti-Pensblog, just to prove that non-crazy Pens people exist.

3. What do you want to get out of the blogs you read?
The blogs I read all have a similarly bizarre sense of humor and care about the humans playing the game. I'm a sucker for players doing or saying incredibly humanizing things-Caps Chick has reported a couple of times on the Caps going out to color with kids at hospitals, and Ovie making a 160 foot hole in one and then reacting like a goofball. Ultimate Hat Trick and The Sidney Crosby Show have done similar things for the Penguins, and Walton for the Bears.

4. What determines which blogs you read and which you don’t?

A lot of it is in the attitude of the blogger. The Caps' 'official' Mike Vogel drives me up a wall with a lot of the stuff he says about Pens fans. Pensblog doesn't know when to stop, and is frankly offensive with a lot of their homophobic comments. I detest the Flyers, but Nadine and Kristin (Flyers.Femme and Eager To Go Psycho) have such a great attitude toward their guys that it's hard not to like their blogs, even if I DO wish half their team would get the season-long flu. I also appreciate the bloggers who will poke fun at themselves or their team. What fun is following a group of 20 some doofy guys if you can't mock them once in a while?

5. How important is the issue of gaining press access to you as a blogger?
This is kind of a loaded question, as I've gotten press access at Bears games a couple of times. While it's not the be-all end-all of my life, it's also a pretty neat experience. For me, getting press access means that I don't have to either scribble what happened down in a notebook during the game or outrightly try to remember it all-if I'm in the pressbox, I'm calling it as it happens. Of course, on the same hand, having to remember what happened does sometimes give you a different perspective on the whole game. What I do appreciate about the press pass is the fact that (at least nominally) it gives you a chance to talk to the players, and get their opinions and so forth, and that's what I'm really interested in. On some level out here in central PA, I think it's also important for the very insularly-male hockey media to see a presence, both from bloggers and from females, because those are two sub-groups of hockey fandom that are going to ask different questions and expand into a different fanbase.

6. To what extent do you feel accountable for the content of your blog? How concerned do you think readers should be about the authority and accountability of your blog?
I have a BA in history, and I'm in the process of getting my MA in American Studies. I only throw that out there because I think in a nutshell it tells you all you need to know about my accountability. I attempt to cite my sources when at all possible, simply because I've been trained to do it for the past 17 years of school. That being said, I think it's also the reader's job to decide whether they can believe me. I pull no punches about admitting what I don't know, or what's pure opinion on my part.

7. How concerned are you about the authority and accountability of the blogs you read? Do you find it difficult to judge the authority and accountability of the blogs you read?
At this point, I think i have a pretty good idea of which blogs are useful or interesting to me and which aren't. As far as authority, obviously I'm going to give more weight to a blog like Walton's, where I know the person writing it is an insider to the organization (in his case, senior VP for communications with the Bears) because I'm going to believe that his telling the truth is integral to his job. However, if I ever run into something I don't fully believe, I'll admit that I'll go on a googling run until I'm satisfied.

8. What value, if any, do you think blogging brings to the NHL?
Blogging gives the NHL a new way to spread the word about their product, first of all. I actually think it's interesting where I am to look at blogging and the AHL, as well. I mean, the A is where the N is developing their future teams, and there's just not an attempt a lot to get the AHL boys out there, until they get the big callup. I almost feel like the NHL and the AHL and all the bloggers out there need to get together and work out some sort of big back-patting relationship. When I've talked to the Bears, they're more than willing to have me there, promoting them for virtually nothing, and I get the ability to follow my team on a slightly different level than i otherwise would have gotten to. Bloggers almost need to have a training arena as well-work the AHL games and learn what you're doing and how to do it, THEN move up to the NHL once you've figured out what your niche is and who's reading you.

(Hey, did'ja hear the one about how Mark Recchi was put on waivers before his bobblehead night? Bobbly Headed Armstrong is giggling at that one from atop my TV.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

You say goodbye.. I say hellooooo....

Gordon's still amused

Gordo! Welcome back. We missed you

bears_pens1125 085

Quintin, give 'em hell.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

MORE troop movement?

Didn't make the hockey game tonight. I seem to have an unfailing ability to go to the lame one every weekend, as I hear this 6-4 romp over Norfolk was something to see, whereas the 2-1 shootout loss last night to the Pengins was about as much fun to watch as uh, a not fun thing.

Conklin goes on walkabout
Conks being special.

Of course, I also had to work tonight and wound up with a a migraine, so it was in my best interest not to go, but doesn't mean I'm not still pissed.

In other news, Jakub Klepis has finally made good on the stuff we'd been hearing about not being happy in Hershey, and is going back to play in Europe, and Laing was back in the lineup tonight from D.C. I know we didn't leave him down there quite long enough for ALL of DC to decide they love him as much as the Hersheyites do, but he's our captain, and we're taking him back.

Breaking news also has Boumedienne out for an indefinite amount of time with a broken wrist. I remember watching him come off the bench last night and thinking "He doesn't look so good" but I could have SWORN that it was a leg thing and not an arm thing. Obviously, my powers of watching people are failing. Blessed freakin' migraine.

(And in the Definitely Not The Jay Beagle Show post of the day, two goals and an assist? First star? And people laughed when we called you Little Sid. But can you start doing that nights that I actually go SEE the game, too? Kthks.)

(Me again? asks Beagle)

Also, Bears, can we have a discussion about these kneeing calls you keep getting? KNEEING? That's a mite undignified, don'tcha think?

Saturday, December 1, 2007