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.

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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?

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

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Quintin has a flavor.

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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)

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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!

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 tongith, as he's out there throwin himself at phantoms left and right. Louie was jawing at someone earlier, so my guess is there' gonnabe at least one rumble at some potin

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 Flyers 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 coudln't have had three more of those earlier. Hmph. Grumpy blogger.

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

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 opposng 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? 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?


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."

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.
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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.

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(Jay Beagle, Kyle Wilson, Chris McAllister)


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.

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