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NHL - January 2015

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Made my first ever trip to Canada this weekend and it was awesome. Newspapers dedicate their sports sections to hockey, sports stations lead with hockey, Tim Hortons every 500 feet, poutine, real beer (not the watered down shit here), nice people, clean, I FUCKING LOVE CANADA!!! Went to a Sens game on Saturday and it was interesting. Canadian Tire Center is in the middle of nowhere, and I'm still trying to figure out who thought it was a good location. Arena is nice enough, reminded me of a better version of the soon-to-be-late Izod Center. My friend said it reminded him of the Palace of Auburn Hills. Best thing was the Tim Hortons stand because the prices were roughly the same as a Tim's on the street. I was shocked because every venue I've ever been to jacks up prices. The Tim's in the arena was actually cheaper than the ones on the streets of NY. Weirdest thing was the team store, which actually featured gear from opposing teams. In fact, they actually had Carolina jerseys prominently displayed. I haven't seen that at a stadium or arena since the early 90's when visiting team items were a hard to get novelty (re: before the internet). My friend explained to me that Ottawa is basically a place where visiting fans come (particularly when the Leafs or Habs are in town) and that the fan base is small. Game was typical NHL: Shit first period, slightly better second, good third. Notable thing is that the atmosphere is real bad, even worse than Prudential Center or MSG (which went to shit when the real fans were replaced by suits). I was really shocked at how dead the crowd was. Still I had a good time there and I'm begging my friends to come back to Ottawa for CFL in the summer (want to do a tour that includes my beloved Ti-Cats. Will be going back to my new favourite country in February. My friend wants to go to a Brampton Beasts game, but I told him there is a Steelheads game at the same time and that even better is that they play Erie (they have this kid named Connor McDavid, perhaps you've heard of him). My friend said no, ECHL is better so we'll go there instead even though it costs $10 more. I pounded my head against the nearest wall.

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Mickey Redmond during last night's Detroit/Minnesota game describing Minnesota's upcoming road trip: "that's going to be a ball buster for sure". LOL.

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That guy is hilarious. A homer, like most colour commentators, but a hilarious homer at that. 

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B77HbF6IMAAzp4L.jpg

 

These pics of Ryan Getzlaf amuse me way too much. It looks like either some kind of before/after from a crappy infomercial, or a demonstration of the power of Photoshop. But nope. It's just time.

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Apprently Bob hurt his groin and might be out of the asg.

Minnesota and Colorado get non winter classic outdoor gsmes next year.

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The Jets were supposed to get an outdoor game next year, but bickering between the Blue Bombers and the NHL looks like it'll be put off for a year. The Bombers and Jets want the game in February, but the NHL wants it in December. The Bombers are hosting the Grey Cup in November and don't want the outdoor game that close, understandably feeling that a game that close will cause a lot of Winnipeggers to decide on one or the other. Plus, they want the NHL to cover the costs of keeping the stadium operational during the downtime. We will get a game, but it might not be until 16/17 now.

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Time is a cruel and fickle bitch.

 

The man is not even 30 yet, time isn't a fickle bitch, his genes are.

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That guy is hilarious. A homer, like most colour commentators, but a hilarious homer at that.

I love Mickey. I know he isn't great at his job but I don't care. He entertains me.

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I like how 2013 is the year Getzlaf finally lost his smile because he just can't take it anymore.

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That guy is hilarious. A homer, like most colour commentators, but a hilarious homer at that.

I love Mickey. I know he isn't great at his job but I don't care. He entertains me.

I think a lot of Nuck fans feel the same way about John Garrett. Laughs at "analytics," (for which he uses to describe any stat pretty much), an incredible homer, complains about officiating too much, not the most verbose of commentators, and sometimes lacks the ability to breakdown how a play comes about, but I'll be damned if he doesn't come off as a genuinely decent and funny dude who has a passion for hockey and the Canucks without taking himself too seriously. I think Daryl Reaugh in Dallas is probably the best at his job, from what I've heard, but he can go on a bit.

 

Also, when I see my hair thinning at the bangs a little bit I have two thoughts that run through my head: "oh dear Jesus, I'm turning into Ryan Getzlaf/Arjen Robben without the money or talent." And: "Oh, thank fuck, it's just a little thin there and I'm not turning into Getz/Robben without the money or talent."

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Chris Osgood is the commentator-in-training for Detroit. He's already better than Redmond but lacks the polish, ease, and personality that Mickey has. That'll come and Ozzie will be really good.

Teemu Pulkkinen got his first goal against Minnesota. Perfect goal for him - an absolute bomb one-timer from the slot. Can't wait to watch him develop.

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Garrett is so terrible, from the outside. He should be the official team mascot. Which is exactly why he will be so liked from the inside.

 

All the old people laughing at analytics in the mainstream media are the best. Trying to pretend mathematics doesn't exist only puts them about 500 years behind being behind the times.

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Mike Richards was in my restaurant tonight. Rumblings????? or just visiting family in from Kenora?

 

I'm guessing it's option 2, but there has been talk that the Jets and Kings have been discussing him.

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Will there be anyone left healthy enough to playu in the asg?

Malkin, Sid Out.

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I don't even know why the NHL bothers with it anymore, it's awful and every bit as bad as the Pro Bowl. The last 5 or 6 years or so it seems like the players don't even want to play in it anymore so why bother? All Star Weekend used to be so much fun but now it's just terrible.

 

I used to look forward to and love the skills competition but then they gimmicked the shit out of it. The last several years I've actually been enjoying the AHL and ECHL all star events a lot more than the NHL.

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Did I read it right earlier that Sid Crosby has appeared in a whopping one all star game in his career, due to injuries and, you know, "injuries"?

 

And yeah the skills competition went way downhill when they added the "do goofy stupid shit" event, for me. That, and that thing where they make all 50 guys do the shootout, which is like the hockey equivalent of eating two chocolate cakes in one sitting. Even if you like it, why would you do that?

 

The only things I remember from the game are that time Owen Nolan did The Point at Dominik Hasek, and that game where Ray Bourque scored the winner late in the third when the game actually got semi-serious for half a period.

 

I don't think I've watched 3 of the last 10 actual games, I have watched about 8 of the last 10 skills. Might skip both this year. I really enjoyed it as a kid, I guess, but I'm 33 now and there's just no magic to it at all for me. It's a stupid inconvenient thing which is why there are no NHL games on my TV for 5 days.

 

I watched one Pro Bowl a couple years ago to see if it was as bad as I thought it would be, and it was probably the worst football game I've ever seen. It was so obvious guys were terrified of being "that guy that got injured in a Pro Bowl" and I don't blame them one bit.

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The All-Star Game is to appeal to kids. And that's not a bad thing. Gotta get he next generation into the game. It worked on me as a youngin.

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I had to check on that Crosby stat and yes, it appears the only All Star Game he's ever actually played in was 2007. I just looked through a ton of different top players (Toews, Kane, Suter, Weber, Doughty, Datsyuk, etc) and all of them seem to routinely skip the game. I do agree that part of it's purpose is to appeal to kids but if the best players aren't playing then whats the point? I was born in 1987 and got into hockey big time in 1995 when the Panthers made that run and I don't remember the best players ever skipping the game back then, not this much anyway.

 

Seriously, how badly the NHL has fucked itself up could be a whole thread of it's own.

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For certain.

 

I wonder how much of nostalgia and selective memory make the old Wales vs. Campbell Conference all star games seem cooler (those jerseys were garishly rad though!) or if they were actually entertaining games. I think the NHL vault has some of those games but I'm unsure if I care enough to actually watch some of them. 

 

Also, the skills competition sorely misses Al Iafrate, skullet flow and all, drilling slapshots with a piece of rudimentary lumber over 105 miles per hour.

 

Here are a few highlights from the ASG during the bestest year of the NHL ('92-'93) featuring da Russian Rocket:

 

 

lol, 16-6 Wales.

Holy FUCK! Look at the winning goalie of record!!!

 

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Grantland had a pretty fun article about the worst all star selections, although I strongly disagree with naming a guy like Ragnarsson.

 

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-nhls-history-of-ridiculous-all-stars/

 

Sidorkiewicz deserved to make it though, so did goalies like Irbe and Jeff Hackett just for being willing to play on those godawful expansion teams. Sidorkiewicz actually getting the win in the game is one of my favorite little things ever, the worst selection in history, with one of the worst single season stat lines for a goalie (bested only by Jeff Hackett with San Jose) ended up getting the win in the game. Amazing.

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Al Iafrate is one of those things you really can't explain to people that weren't there, but it was awesome.

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I kinda want to know what he's doing now, but I also don't want to google it and find out he's not riding a Harley around the Rockies, punching out bears and helping out small towns in trouble with the power of his slapshot.

 

Corrupt logging company? Slap shot.

Illegal poaching? Slap shot.

Underfunded rural schools? Slap shot.

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I don't think I've watched anything on CBC that wasn't hockey or election results.

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