Thursday, January 31, 2008

Seven Things I Think

Today, I'm going to rip off Ben Lovejoy(yes, of the WBS Pens) ripping off Peter King. Feel the rippage, everyone.

1)I think that my new jersey is quite possibly the most awesome thing that's happened all week. However, I've also conclusively proven that Andrew Gordon's wider across the back than I am, because his nameplate actually fits across the white on his jersey and sorta...uh... doesn't on me. Vanity, thy name is Teka. (I'm thinking it's a good thing he's wider than I am, because if not, one or both of us would have been horribly disfigured)

2)I think that Elly is going to love her Christmentine's Day Present.... when I get to shipping it. When she gets it, I'm then going to make her take a picture of it so people can see it, because smart kid I am, I packaged it up before remembering to do that whole camera thing.

3)I think that people should start keeping their eyes open for "Quintin Laing '08" gear at Caps or Bears games and send in pictures. I also think that you should go dig the Laing Crib video over at the Caps TV site.

4)I think that poor Brooks Orpik should get a raise for having to play forward. Of course, maybe he's putting space between himself and Ryan Whitney's rampaging mouth-diarrhea, but still. That's like making me be a jammer in a roller derby bout. (for the uninitiated, jammers are little skinny fast girls most of the time. I'm more like the brick wall you have to climb over to get through the pack.)

5)I think that this stupid knitted penguin I've been working on is going into the "to felt" pile again, because no matter what I do stuffing him he's so lumpy it's either Quasimodo or the Penguinlets are on the way. Augh.

6)I think that it's funny when buying penguin colored yarn (black and yellow and white) that I get asked if I'm a Steelers fan, and when I say, "No, Penguin fan, actually" I get faced with blank stares. Way to win, Central PA.

7) I think that if the Bears sound guys don't bust out the Reliant K "Pirates who Don't Do Anything" for the Bears v. Pirates game this Wednesday, I'm going to be highly disappointed. Speaking of which, self, listen to head voice and will call those, as it's Hersheypark Pass Night, which means they'll sell out before you get there.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

They don't call 'em the Baby Caps for nothin.....

According to the Patriot News via On Frozen Blog, the AHL is eyeballing Hersheypark Stadium for a First Ever AHL outdoor game next season. (I'm betting Phantoms or Babypens for the opponent.) That's definitely one I'll be exploiting my proximity to the arena for, and riding my bike. If I'm gonna be sitting in the cold for two and a half hour anyway, what's a little windburn? And imagine the parking trouble I won't be in. It's win-win all around!

Bearcap 12 has some awesome pictures of the Caps night jersey auctions up as well. I have to say, I called Quintin Laing coming back with Boudreau about half a month ago, so it's nice to see that I'm right. What'd I win? Well, nothing, but it's still nice on some level. I'm a little more miffed that I didn't get to go now, but karmically, we're rounding up for me to get something nice here eventually (hint to life, like those two internships I want?)

Anyway, because it made my morning, I'll leave you with Bearcap 12's picture of Andrew Gordon laughing his damn fool head off. Hee!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

All-Stars and Girly Shirts

Having cheated myself out of the Bears game tonight by not listening to the little voice in my head that said "go put tickets on will call, it'll be sold out!" I'm instead watching the All-Star skills.

However, I don't think I'm going to blog them, as I'm not going to do it justice at all. Instead, when they start coming in, I'll point you at IPB or Scarlett Ice, as i know they're covering it. I'm more worried about the concept of the Alyssa Milano NHL gear that's coming out.

Okay, okay, yes, it's an actual woman designing clothes for actual women, but I have a few issues she's gonna have to get by before I hand over my card of XX Chromosome-d NHL Fan Approval.

Here are four examples of her NHL line that have gotten out:
Maple Leafs vest
Red Wings tunic-dress-shirt
All-Star ruffled hoodie
All-Star raglan

Now, the Leafs vest, not horrible, but she establishes two trends starting with that that I dislike. One, the ruffles. OH DEAR GOD, the ruffles. If she had just left off the extra ruffles on the chestal area, I'd have been sold, really. But I'll admit to being a very non-ruffly person in general. Two, the logo looks like an afterthought. I, of all people, after my Wachovia experiences, know that there is a time to play Stealth Fan, but at the same time, if I'm spending $50 on a vest from the NHL store, I want it to promote my team, or I might as well just go buy a blue vest somewhere else.

The Red Wings shirt, again, I have an issue with "missing logo." I'm also unclear where Milano expects girls to wear this. While the vest was obviously functional at a hockey game, this.. well.. isn't so much, unless you want to push into Puckbunnyville hard core. In fact, it screams "WEAR ME OUT PARTYING," which the hardcore fan may love to do, but again, I think we're skirting the puckbunny issue there. I might well wear this with something under it as a shirt to work, but read carefully there. WITH SOMETHING UNDER. AS SHIRT. WORK, not hockey game. Hockey games get sweatshirts, jeans, jerseys, and sneakers. Sorry.

The All-Star hoodie doesn't seem too bad until you catch the ruffly 3/4 length sleeves. I'm sorry, ick. See above with the ruffly issue. I'd be forever dragging those through foodstuffs and paint and dishwashing and everything. I also object to the meaningless 'poem' on the back. I don't want to be promoting Milano's "touch" line, I want to be promoting the NHL and my team. Except for the tiny little all-star logo on the front, that's just one big walking ad for her stuff. I don't object to her logo or something on it in a non-obtrusive place, but let's not make the object of the shirt to promote her, mmmkay?

The All Star Raglan, probably the only one of these I'd wear. I'm a big fan of raglans, and this one claims the logo is distressed, not covered in glitter. Not that I object to glitter on principal, but in my experience, the NHL tends to do glitter in overkill. However, looking at this one on Alyssa Milano's nonexistent body brings me to my other big issue.

Is Alyssa Milano going to be designing for the average female hockey fan or is Alyssa Milano going to be designing for the little cute size 2 female hockey fans? Because contrary to popular belief, I'm not a cute little girl. This derby butt takes some maintaining, and I have a hard enough time finding stuff that fits without dealing with the downsizing of female clothes. There's also an entire different style-system to take into account when designing for a sized person and not a twig. Seams and closures and even fabric types can make a big difference, and I'm apprehensive to see if even that simple Leafs vest will fit me in anything other than an xxl.

I'm really not trying to slam the Milano line before we really get there, but I wonder how much the NHL has actually stepped back and thought it out. I seriously doubt they had many, if any focus groups on the merchandise with actual female fans, and I don't want to see them try this, get frustrated if it doesn't sell, and then decide we're not a group worth marketing to. Instead guys, come to the source. Ask us what WE want. I have a whole list of NHL brand clothing I'd love to find. I'd wear a shirt with the right kind of cut and a tasteful if stylized logo/image everywhere, to work, to school, yeah, maybe even out partying. Tell you what, I'll even sketch it up, and when you want to see it, feel free to email me. We'll tawlk.

Friday, January 25, 2008

On Quintin Laing, Flightless Birds and Sportsmanship

On Frozen Blog interviews Quintin Laing.

Love that guy. Love. Adore. Idolize. And miss here in Hershey to no small end. Even the derby bruise on my right shoulder likes him. And that's saying a lot, because my bruises are usually pretty picky about who they throw in with.

In Pennsylvaniagate, I really don't have anything new to say. I still hate hate HATE the Flyers, and Danielle Briere, and Cote, and Downie, and all them there orange bastards. Downie's obviously joined the Sean Avery Dive Club for Men, and as much as I hate the fact that nobody cheered when Talbot got up after going down, I have to say that I'm not surprised, as I've started seeing that here in Hershey as well. It pisses me off, but as one person I don't know what I can do about it as one singular fan.

Here's my problem. Curry, the WBS Pens' goalie is hurt. Obviously hurt. Hurt on the Bears powerplay, so they're down in the WBS end. Curry goes to his knees, and doesn't get up. Can't get up. Tries to get up, and goes back down, and basically is forced to finish the penalty kill on his knees in the crease. The refs don't call a thing, even though the coaches are screaming at him. FINALLY, the penalty kill ends, and he makes it pretty obvious that he's in pain. The trainers come out and work him over, and he takes a few laps back and forth and decides that he can stay in for the rest of the game.

Cue booing Bears fans.

Honestly, I don't care which team you cheer for, when you have a hurt player who decides he can gut it up and stay in, you applaud. When you have a hurt player who can finally get up and leave the ice under his own power, you applaud. If you have to have a player stretchered off, you applaud. If they're there putting their motherloving lives on the line to entertain you, (because that's what pro sports come down to) the least you can do is show that you appreciate the fact that they're playing hard and getting hurt FOR YOU.

The showing of booing Talbot at the Wachovia center was just disrespectful. I don't care if you're a Flyers fan or a Penguins fan or what, if someone's hurt, you give them some respect, you don't say "Well, he deserved that" even if he did. These are humans we're talking about. Big hefty humans who know what they're getting into when they start playing the sport, but humans none the less, and to treat them like their lives and bodies don't matter because they're on a sportsteam is nothing short of disrespectful, and when you think about it, really kind of horrifying. You don't look at policemen who put their lives on the line for the safety of the community and say that they don't matter, so why should a sports figure be that different? They're contributing to the community in their own way.

Just, really, people. Think about what you're doing before you follow the lead of a few idiotic and disrespectful fan sheep. I'd love to believe that people are mostly good, but you're making it hard right now.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I know who's getting MY vote.

This stunning piece of graphicsery by yours truly. If you're on Facebook, why not join the Quintin Laing for President group as well? Or pick up a T-shirt, and we'll see if we can rival Gang Green?

I'm still trying to figure out what the slogan would be. I'm thinking "Bruised for America" works, and when we get into the actual election, I'm going to have to figure out who his running mate is.

It amazes me how well the Caps wordmark becomes a political logo. Ah me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Of Head Holes and Big Hits

1) When I have my own band, I'm going to call it "Mike Green's Wandering Eyebrow."

2) For more time wasting, find out what hockey players share your birthday!

Mine? Well, I share with (and am older than):
Jonathan Bernier, #45, Los Angeles Kings
and yes, one doggonned little Sidney Crosby, #87, Pittsburgh Penguins.

3) Added another team to the background image. Life points to whoever figures it out first. More life points for whoever can tell me who I follow on all of the teams on there (and there are a few where I don't really follow 'em at all, but proximity wise, they had to be there.)

4) And just to make up for the horrible mediocrity of this post, I'm going to throw another picture at you.

All he wants is a little love, come on
Andrew Gordon says "NO, NO HUGS FOR YOU."

(Please note how I'm not saying anything about the Pens/Caps game, as we've hit full on brain confusion. As I was saying to people the other day, it's like the Bears/Baby Pens, where I'm yelling "SHOOT! SHOOT! SAVE IT, SAVE IT! HE'S DOWN, MOTZKO, TOP SHELF! TOP SHELF! CAN'T YOU SEE CURRY'S HURT?! GET UP! GET UP! MOTZKO, TAKE ADVANTAGE! CURRY, GET UP!" About all I think I'm really able to say is that a)I still sort of unconditionally love Quintin Laing for throwing himself in front of moving pucks, and congrats to him for being in the starting linup last night, and b)I'm actually rather glad that ended the way it did, because everyone gets points of some sort, and the Pens have proven that they're not just the vehicle for Sidney Crosby. For the Flyers, however, I'm not going to be satisfied unless someone pastes Tiny!Briere through the glass and into the 6th row, and it's a complete "Pens on an Ego Rush" romp for Malkin and Staal and Talbot. And Army, if his butt's healed by then.

And speaking of Army, I am not to be understanding why the Ovechkin attempt on Malkin last night is to be praised and celebrated while all of the very similar Army hits are usually booed and hushed up. (and thank you, announcer men on vs, for getting to that similarity oh, what, halfway through the second? Fired, all of you. That's the first thing I said.)
CapsChick posited to me last night that it was because Ovie didn't go in with his elbows or shoulders. I can buy that to some level, but Army doesn't usually go in with his elbows either, just the shoulders. And I'm the first to admit that the details of the rules of hockey aren't my strong suit, but what the heck are you supposed to dump a guy with, if you're not allowed to lead with the shoulder? In roller derby, that's a tactic, shouldering into people, and I'm sure we'd be even more fearless wearing the kinds of shoulder protection these guys do. Please, if I'm missing something in there somewhere, let me know. Is all very unclear right now. Like mud.
My supposition on this, though, is that people didn't like the Army hits because he usually connects, while Ovie attempted, threw Malkin off balance, but didn't really nail him. If he HAD actually drilled him, I'm guessing there might have been some bad blood there, and the announcers might have played a different tune. Backing this theory up is the fact that when Army missed the Flyer he was aiming for and threw himself nose-first into the boards in Philly, people actually did say "Man, that woulda been an awesome hit." Okay, not the people around me, as they were %@(%$#*(&*!!! Flyers fans, but after the fact, I saw that a couple of places.

Anywhoo, there'r your deep and not so deep hockey thoughts for the day. If my teams collectively can make it an anti-orange showing this weekend with Pens/Flyers Thursday and Bears/Phantoms Friday, I... well... I'll... uh... I'll.... actually get around to piercing my nose! There. Everyone wins, I poke holes in myself. See? Now they have to do it. )

Monday, January 21, 2008

Um.. go... everyone?

Bears v. Baby Pens.

As I can never decide who I'm cheering for in this one, (bears won, 3-1) and it was painful in a few places (bears fans booing an injured Curry) and none of the really great moments (motzko sitting on someone, beagle breaking his stick leaning on it) happened in a place I could get them on film....

Here! Have a Bears/Penguins Picturefest!

Peel Cassivi a grape, anyone?

We're just hanging out.. waitin' for a game.

bears_pens 1_20 037
Louie Robitaille pre-agitating

bears_pens 1_20 013

bears_pens 1_20 152
Oh, that looks fair!

We call this the "Dysfunctional Relationship."

And in "Things that Make My Day?" Andrew Gordon rockin' the Crocs. (and a cute puppy)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Highlight Reel.... no, wait... Bears Game

Tonight saw the Bears take on the Springfield Falcons for the first and ONLY time this year at Giant Center. Tonight also could have been filmed and sold as a "Wierd Hockey Moments" clip tape.
Of course, the exception to the wierd would be the home comebacks not only of Dean Arsene, but also Jay Beagle. Glad to have you back, guys.

Beags showing why we keep him around

The first period saw the Falcons come out saWINGING. In the first half of the first period, I could have sworn the Bears were going to get steamrolled, but an Avery-ish dive by Bourque that gets called as a Falcon tripping penalty gets the team back in the swing of things. (And seriously, it sure looked like a dive. Bourque came trundling over in front of the goalie and sort of jerks once in front of him, then takes a header into the ice. Well done, but still a dive.) In response, here goes the Falcon goalie wandering all over the place after the puck. A Bear shoves one of the Falcons into his own goalie, and dishes the puck over to Kyle Wilson, who juts gently redirects it into the very VERY empty net. The entirety of Giant Center holds its collective breath on an interference call, but the goal stands.
Bourque'll get there, diving or not!

And not just that, Wilson went on to get the hat trick.... um.. interspersed between a group of shoving/fighting/grumping matches. After the second Wilson goal, the first shoving break was in the Bears end and circulated around Motzko, who was definitely swiping as he went down but somehow caused only Louie Robitaille and the Falcon's Farynuk and Trukhno to hit the boxes.
The roughing, it starts!

That's when the party started... the party in the box, that is. A bizarreness in the Bears end second period saw Barney sit on a guy in the back of the net.. no, literally IN THE OUTSIDE BACK of the net, and the rest of the teams pile on top of some poor unsuspecting Falcon Chris Bourque had in a headlock. As they pulled themselves apart and one of the Bears on the edges (might have been Fehr) respectfully declined to have his butt handed to him, one of the Falcons pulled himself up, and limped towards his bench. In the Bourque Pile, he had obviously gotten his leg twisted up (see picture) and was favoring his knee something fierce. One thing I dislike about his crowd, they don't applaud an injured player off very frequently. No matter who you are, my inner ethical warrior demands that you honor a fallen opponent for sticking it out in there long enough to GET hurt in the first place. Now, there were three Bears (Hunt, Morgan, Pokulok) plus Louie in the box, and three Falcons plus the injury. Somehow, all the penalties work out, and five guys each come out to take the faceoff.
bears_falcons 118bears_falcons 121
everyone on the Bourque pile!

20 seconds later, we add to the box. Grant Potulny gets tossed for goalie interference. Bear Box Count: 5. And yet later, almost but not quite two minutes later? Ben Clymer gets tossed for cross checking. Bear Box Count: 6. SIX GUYS IN THE BOX. That's an entire freaking TEAM, if you count the goalies.
bears_falcons 146
Look carefully, there ARE actually 6 of them in there.

Of course, the Bears pulled out the double PK and came back swinging for a final score of 5-1.

The last on the fight card? Sasha Pokulok right at the end of the second, who really wasn't as fearsome as I hoped he could have been swinging the fists.
bears_falcons 153

The Falcons definitely had the better puck handling skills this game, but I can't slight the Bears entirely, as their positioning and positional awareness was the best I've seen out of them all year. Clymer seems to be able to read plays before they've even fully formed, and he was in the right spot to score more than once. Same to a few other Bears.. I saw Bourque pre-read a couple of nice ones, and obviously Wilson was where he needed to be tonight.

At some point we also broke Motzko. He came over to the bench with no weight on his right foot, and limped down the runway. No word at the end of the game, so we're all waiting to hear what's happened to him. Updates as I get them, folks. (perhaps it was karma for not passing the puck.) What? I didn't say anything.

Beagle, dear god, I'd forgotten how fast he was while he was gone. On a few of the almost 2 on 1 breakaways by the Falcons, Beagle was back on the blueline from the opposing goal line before Pokulok woke up and got moving. He's still really the kick-his-own-assy rookie that we watched during Caps camp, and he's freakin' amazing. I'm hoping that the Beagle/Gordon/Someone (usually Joudrey) line gets more playing time, as I have a feeling once they settled in, they could be ridiculous. If the Caps don't sign him to a contract next year that lets them call him up, if not just outrightly signing him to the big team, they'll be fools.
bears_falcons 158

Also saw Gordon lose his mouthguard on the ice AGAIN. I couldn't figure out at first what he was doing going in little circles and looking around until he bent down to pick something up and THEN came off. If he keeps it up I'm going to buy him a mouthguard with a tether on it and personally find him to give it to him, grinning ear to ear the entire time. He'll get it.
my teefs!

There was a great moment between him an Lepisto as well, when Lepisto broke or lost his stick and Gordon gave him his.... forgetting that Lepisto shot on the other side. Lepisto tried it once, and sorta chucked it away, disgruntled. When they play finally ended, Gordon retrieved his own stick and sorta jokingly whacked Lepsito with it, like "What, not good enough for you?" He's such a dork, and I love watching it. I'm such a people-interaction whore.
i gots no stick!

In short, boo creepy opposing teams, hooray BEARS! (and beer)

(and Colby Armstrong, get well soon from that bruised hip. I know you can't stand to be without Sid for too long, but it's okay. You don't need to get hurt to hang out with him, I'm sure he'll still be willing to play video games with you even if you're healthy.)

Friday, January 18, 2022


Dean Arsene's on the ice, starting for the Bears in Albany tonight.

And John Walton is my new personal hero for making a Bill Nye the Science Guy reference during the Albany broadcast tonight.

And to that injury update, add one Sidney Crosby.

pens_flyers12_11 118

When the Bears radio network will announce he's hurt, it's a big deal. From what I can put together, it was an inadvertant two-footed trip into the boards on his butt, and he immediately grabbed at his right leg, then had to be helped off the ice.EmptyNetters (who was there liveblogging) has heard it's a high ankle sprain. Perhaps time to re-look at that whole ankle/skate relationship there, Penguins.

About that injury update...

Back to your normally scheduled THTM.

Here, the Friday Injury update for the three teams and few random players I care about:

Marc-Andre Fleury: Still not playing. Still not amused. Says that it's looking more like the 8 half of 6-8 weeks, according to trainers. By the way, if you were as boggled by the concept of "high ankle sprain" as I was, here's a link that explains the different. Turns out it's not just a ligament injury, but a ReallyBigImportantLigament injury.

Marc Andre Fleury Talbot

Mad Max Talbot: Sorta got lost in the shuffle between Gordon hat tricks and Malkin hat tricks and all of that, but the Maxinator is back on the ice and playing. (which means I had to shuffle all of my silly fantasy players again to accommodate him, dammit, Max.) There's a good indication that the fu-man-chu is making a comeback as well... or he's got the weirdest beard growth pattern I've ever seen. (and yes, that's an atrocious picture of Max, but it was that or the worse one. um... at least the logo's in focus?)

Chris Clark: He's back! He's not! He's out again with a groin issue! As far as I can find, he's still out. May CapsChick flay me alive if I've got it wrong.
Puck handling

Michael Nylander: Per Tarik El-Bashir, surgery on his torn rotator cuff at the Cleveland Clinic was successful and he'll be out of the lineup for 3-6 months. By, Nyles. We'll see you next season.
Dean Arsene: Projected to play in Albany tonight, after nearly 8 months of rehab for a messed up hernia surgery. The Bears could use the help back in Bluelinerville, as poor Ben Clymer's been back there moonlighting for a while.
Coach's Corner bears_rats 12_9 109

Jay Beagle: As of Wednesday, was practicing in a non-injured jersey, and seemed to be mostly back up to speed. Wouldn't be surprised to see, well, okay, hear him playing tonight, but I'm also not holding my breath for it. Make sure his head's okay before throwing him to the wolves, mmkay, trainers?
Tyler Sloan: Was wandering around on Wednesday in street clothes, so I'm not holding my breath.
bears_pens1125 293 Patrick McNeill, Art.

Patrick McNeill: Re-injured shoulder last weekend, and I'm not sure whether he was one of the injured jerseys on Wednesday or not. Supposedly, he healed fast last time, so we can hope that a week will see him back up to speed this time too.
Sean Collins: Still out with concussion issues. I'm pretty sure he was an injury jersey on Wednesday, so I'm not expecting to see him. (and really, I have NO pictures of Collins? Surprising.)
bears_monsters 066

Josef Boumedienne: Wrist's all healed, and he was in the lineup last weekend. Welcome back, Boomer! (Yet another that got lost in the multiple hat-trick shuffle. Oops!)

And randomly:
Taylor Pyatt:After taking a puck to the mouth, having his front teeth splinted and 25 stitches put in his lip from the inside to the outside, he showed up on the ice Thursday waring a face cage and not smiling much. Man, guy's got balls.

And THAT, friends, is all the bruise that's fit to print this Friday.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Well then.

This started out as an injury update, but as I cruised the blogosphere, I figured out why all of a sudden my hits had gone up.

Hi Pensblog.

How're you today? Nice of you to drop by.
Yes, I know I've said some not-nice things about you in the past, but hey, haven't we all had our moments of knee jerk? I've come around more and more in the last month or so to finding your stuff tolerable, well, okay, hell, downright funny. I suppose I'm getting more moderate in my old age.
Pensblog Charlie, you can come hang out here any time with this fat broad. We'll talk diet tips and bad leotard moments. I'm sure you can kick my ass at that. We can also talk about the Penguins, because living in Hershey doesn't mean I don't still follow them, just that... well, it's easy to follow the Bears too. I know, I'm a horrible person, stepping out on my team like that.
Oh well, if you don't want to visit, I'll just go hang out with my friend Steph and we'll make horrible Ty Conklin signs together.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Non-Squee Squee.

One of these days I'm going to get the Flikr resizing/color correcting down to a fast art. Until then, I'll keep posting game recaps at 2 AM.

Tonight's game, (the only home game against the brand new Avs affiliated Lake Erie Monsters) will go down in THTM history as being the night of the Andrew Gordon Show. I take at least some of the responsibility of how heavy it came down, as I walked into the arena in the blank Hershey jersey saying to the Hockey Gods "I'm thinking I'm gonna go with Gordo over Beagle, but if you felt like giving me a nudge one direction or the other, that'd be fine." It started out with Motzko hooking him in the jersey and throwing him off during warmups, which he took in stride and laughed off, and then....


Andrew Gordon gets a hat trick AND is the first star of the game. When the hockey gods talk, they talk LOUD, man.

Gordon, First StarGordo's First Goal

Tonight also saw Lepisto slam in his first of the season and show off his goal dance (which regretfully I didn't get on film, but here's him waving as third star.)

Third star wave

Ben Clymer took a Monster in the gut tonight, when someone literally grabbed him between the legs and over the shoulders and WWF-style picked him up and slammed him into the ice. His face looked a little raw after that, but he was still out there for the entire game.

clymer and barney
He seems to me be sort of a waning star at this point. I know that Caps Chick will flay me alive for saying it, but he hasn't been putting up the consistent magnificence some of the younger guys are starting to be able to pull out. For leadership and position-flexibility and throwing his body around, yes, dammit, keep him, but I don't think he's going to end the season (if he ends it here) as a big scorer

Louie was back in the lineup tonight, looking a little battered but not too much worse for wear. However, whatever Love of the Monsters said to him to get him going five minutes into the first REALLY got him going. Instead of a happy-funny Louie fight where he goads someone into it and then dances his way to the box, this was scary-real, and you could see Louie steaming for the better part of his 5 minute timeout after trying to rip Love's head off.

Louie facing off

Louie is NOT happy

I saw them exchange words during the warmups, but Louie seemed to be joking around with a big smile on his face, so I'm unsure if that lead to this or if it was previous bad blood or what. Part of me thinks Love might have said something about Louie's uh... run in with the cops in the last week.

Speaking of words, it was also the night to accidentally swear in front of the 10,000 people in the stands. In his first-period interview, Boumedienne accused Deano in the press box of "giving him shit" about his English when he couldn't find the word he wanted, and at some point in the 3rd, Cheezer was less than happy with something and let out an emphatically loud "FUCK... FUCK!" I may be forced to take back what I said about him being a more even-tempered Kolzig type, as I'd not have been surprised to see him turn around and break a stick over the goalpost then.

The Monsters are also the proud owner of one Matt Hussey, former drag-wearing WBS Penguin. Poor guy hasn't yet made it to the big show, but I'll be darned if he doesn't look exactly the same as he did in the 2002/2003 season... okay, with a little less glass reflection it'd be easier to tell, but I sit where they tell me too.

Tonight I also found a task for the area's resident goalie dork, when he gets to it. Why on earth did the Monsters' backup goalie Wall have black electrical tape all over his helmet, and what was on it that he was trying to cover?

Anyway, 6-8 weeks, and I'll have to give y'all a shot of my hat-trick worthy Gordon jersey. Hopefully, it'll be in before spring break, so I can take it with me down to DC, as I have no real Caps gear at this point. Speaking of which, I realized today that eventually the Caps may run into a Gordon problem.... I really hope they solve it with first initials, because for some reason having an A. Gordon and a B. Gordon running around on the ice would make me laugh so hard....

Gordon's second goal of the night

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Oh, movies!

I'm sorry, but whenever I see Hershey's baby baby backup goalie:


this is immediately what goes through my head.

In other via-Walton goalie news, what a cruel trick it is to send this guy:


to Hershey and then NOT let him play in Hershey! Somewhere in town there's a goalie fan having a sulk right now. The current word is that Johnny will play only in Wilkes-Barre Friday to test out his knee before getting back into the Caps rotation, and as per Woods last night in his coaching interview, when Freddy gets back, it's gonna be interesting picking between him and Machesney, as the Cheez is on a pretty good roll right now, posting some of the best stats in the entire AHL. Oh wait, or THE best.

Wasn't I saying a while ago that he was gonna be a rock when Freddy got called back up? And I KNOW i've been wandering the internet spreading the "try Cheezer before Neuvrith!" gospel...

That scouting job, yo, you should give me it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

One picture, Four words.

Eric Fehr and the COOLEST SHOT EVER

Welcome back, Eric Fehr!

(2-1 win for Hershey. Not the best hockey I've ever seen out of this group, but not the worst. When everyone HEALS, I'm sure we'll go back to spanking people by wide margins. Until then, click through on Fehr and look at what is arguably the best collection of pictures I've gotten yet.)

(On the Bears Jersey front, leaning more and more towards Andrew Gordon. As much as I love Beagle, Gordo's just got that wacky kick-his-own-assy side I keep being drawn to.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Over-Educated Hockey Fan: A Book Review

Over the winter break, I suckered my parents into buying not only my school textbooks, but also a few other things for the sake of thesis research. One of these extras was "The Code: The Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL" by Ross Bernstein, which I then proceeded to demolish on the plane on the way home.

I'm giving him a 6 out of 10. Stars, pucks, I don't know, but 6 out of 10. Overall, it was at least a semi-informative book, but it felt like over and over and over he was saying the same thing. From what I got out of it, I could boil the whole book down to this: Hockey fights have always happened, and usually come from escalating on-ice issues. Ross Berenstein dislikes Todd Bertuzzi, and would babysit Wayne Gretzky's kids if Gretzky asked.

Honestly, there's a reason the Code is unwritten, and it probably should have stayed that way. As this book proved to me, there's no good way of actually detailing all the little things that go into each and every situation and the individual player's decision to fight. Contact sports are like that, and if I had to account for every big hit I'd ever laid on an opposing rollergirl, it'd probably come out a lot like this.

It also struck me how bizarre the cast of characters was. Although it's copyright 2006, the only mention of Crosby is a quote from the Shattuck St. Mary's coach saying "Yeah, we trained him here" and nothing about the Penguins using Laraque and Rutuu to keep his head attached. In fact, at the time of writing, this still has Laraque as an Oiler and Brashear as a Flyer. And granted, I haven't been around hockey for a long time at all, but I only recognized about one out of every five enforcer names Bernstein dropped. No Parros, none of the current brand of Flyer morons (just the historical ones) no Rutuu or Avery as agitators, and Avery's not even MENTIONED in the section on diving... it's quite odd for a book started during the lockout and published in 2006.

What else, "Longtime St Louis Blues enforcer Tony Twist" needs his head checked if he really thinks that "Chris Pronger...and Steve Yzerman... are very well respected finesse players." (p 80) The last time I checked, Pronger's finesse was located in his elbows.

Overall, a decent read if you want something hockey-related to steam through quickly, but honestly, a real fan's probably figured out most of his "secret revelation" on how the fighting code works a already anyway.

Monday, January 7, 2008

For Kristin....

Am I the only one who sees this?

the cheez stands alone

Because I'm definitely seeing it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Again with the LOSE, NHL Marketing.

Dear RBK, NHL Shop, and all y'all boys out there in charge of girly jerseys.

I do like the fact that I can now get a girly jersey in not pink, so thanks for listening that far. However, I beg to differ with the fact that a girl with a 44 inch bust has to get an XXL. Seriously? I'm a men's medium and a women's XXL? Okay, you may be working on the "standard" sizes, as you've also got them labled by size (8, 10, 12, whatever,) but I happen to know that this 44 inch bust can fit in a size 12 shirt. Your XXL is labled "16." WRONG. And while I like the fact that it's only $90 for the girly jersey customized, you're only screenprinting them? That's crap, yo.

All I want is a jersey that might not make me look quite so like a walking square, but that I'm also confident that the lettering and logos will stay on. Let me show you my screenprinted T-shirt collection. Homie ain't payin' 90 bucks for a name and number that will crack off and look like butt within the year. Homie would, however, be willing to pay more like $120 for stitched on names.

Really. Is it SO HARD to get this right? Have you had NO focus groups of female fans? Do I REALLY need to come work for your apparel marketing department and beat sense into you monkeys?


Dear Brooks Orpik,
I'm trying to get your jersey, really I am. These tools aren't making it easy on this budget or in this body, however. If you could find it in your heart to call my ticket for the Shirts Off Our Backs, that'd be swell. I'll even bring you chocolate. Or make you cookies. Chocolate cookies.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Lost and Found

While most big-deal game pucks get found and passed on to the people who deserve them, every once in a while one slips through the cracks.

Colby Armstrong's only goal for the Penguins during the Winter Classic is one of those pucks. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:
Armstrong tossed a Sidney Crosby rebound past Sabres goalie Ryan Miller 21 seconds into the first period, but the idea of keeping the puck as a souvenir didn't occur to him until someone mentioned it after the game. "I didn't even think about that," he said, laughing. "Now that you mention it, it would have been pretty cool to keep."

Army, I've found your puck. It's here, out for auction. If I had the dinero, I might well get it for you, but seeing as how it's already up to half of my monthly rent and still climbing, well, I'll report this one and let you do what you will. Nobody can ever say I don't look out for my hockey dudes, even if there's no way in hell they actually read this to know about it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Tonight, I rang in the New Year by watching the Winterhawks in lieu of my normal Bears. Sure, there's B2, but the Hawks were also live.

I have to say that it's really true that the farther you get away from the NHL the more.... um.. interesting the play gets. The way I put it to one of the friends there with me, in the NHL, the dipsy-doodle passes make it to someone 90% of the time, as the passes are decent, and the other person is there. In the AHL, the passes make it to someone 75% of the time, and about 15% of that is inadvertent or the recipient has to work their butt off to get there. In the CHL (Hawks) passes are missed by both teams more often than not. Maybe my paradigm needs shifting, absolutely it's a training league, yes not all of them are that bad, but holy heck. I though the BEARS spent a lot of time digging at each other's ankles in the corners.
Of course, what they lack in skill, the Hawks almost make up in cute and tiny points. I swear, they're like Mini-Players, as even the goalies don't look the width of some of the scrawnier Bears or Pens. They also got me to guffaw out loud standing in the benches for the anthem... the boards were at waist level on them, while they're at hip joint or lower level on all the big boys. I kept waiting for someone to just eat it coming out, but remarkably, they all seemed to make it. Of course, both teams had some trouble with the vertical DURING the game.

Not even to mention Goalie Who Will Be The Next Ty Conklin. Mucha, whatever your first name is, STOP IT NOW before you get to that. Don't go down that primrose path. Don't make me find the bungees for you too. Also, mad props to the coach who pulled the Hawk goalie as the T-Birds were bearing down on their end of the rink. Mad props. Really. Mad.

Final score was 6-3, I believe, NOT in Portland's favor.

Anyway.... It's 2am and I don't feel like finding the needed cordage to attach my camera and download the three or four pictures I took (as we were in the nosebleederish section, which is significantly farther away from the ice than in Giant Center as you're not stacked as vertically so most of them were kinda useless shots) so instead you're getting a pre-emptive image of Colby Armstrong being a doof.

I love that guy.

Happy 2008!