snowywolfowl: (Senators)
So first off congrats to the Pens for winning their fifth Stanley Cup, and congratulations to Nashville for having a truly great playoffs. There's no shame in losing a series in six games especially against such a talented team like Pittsburgh.

Now about the refereeing. Sit down NHL. We need to have a talk. Look, I understand the rule that states that when a referee loses sight of the puck they are to blow the play dead. I understand the rationale behind it, namely to keep players from shish kabobbing their opponents in the goal crease or corner when the puck is clearly underneath a player. And yes, I agree with the rationale there. However Nashville tonight was clearly robbed of a good goal and as I'm understanding it three referees, every camera angle, and every player on the ice can see that the puck was nowhere near Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray when it was poked into the net yet it can't be awarded as a good goal?

Really? You do realize that you now allow coaches to challenge goalie interference and offsides now. Not only that you've allowed goalies to be sat on MMA style for goals that counted this playoff but that one can't be immediately ruled good? Lets just say that I know I'm missing something here and hope you do too. :-p

Ok. I"m just going to file that under "More Bad NHL Refereeing" and move on. In the final tally Pittsburgh won the series because they were the better team overall and that's the truth.  Still....
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
Ok, ok. I surrender. Nashville's crowd's energy is winning me over. I mean seriously at this point in the game I think Pittsburgh just wants to score to shut them up a bit. Add in the crowd thanking the announcer for his last minute of play announcements and the intermission bands and you've got a hockey town right now.

I like it. :-)

Although what is it with ice hockey and seafood?
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
1. If you told me my team would come within a seventh game, sudden death overtime of eliminating the defending champs and going to the Stanley Cup final I'd have called you unforgivably optimistic. Well done on your season, Senators. Well done. :-) And good on you Craig Anderson on your upcoming Bill Masterson Trophy win. If you don't win then call the cops and report the robbery. :-)

2. Are there ANY members of Donald Trump's administration that aren't being investigated by the FBI or skewered by SNL? If I didn't know better I'd think they weren't very good at running the USA. At the risk of acronym overload this whole situation is a SNAFU of epic proportions that is becoming more FUBAR'd by the minute.

Ah for the good old days when a president giving the Russians classified intel from the Israeli's would cause the entire Republican party and its base to have a collective rage aneurysm. I miss you, Obama! :-)

3. The Ontario election is coming up and I'm voting NDP this time. I voted for Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals last time which wasn't a mistake per se in that it helped keep the Conservatives from power but....well, lets just say I held my nose, was proven correct in my concerns, and will vote for the NDP this time as a result. Assuming of course I don't get robo calls from the Conservatives misdirecting me to the wrong polling station so I don't vote. Such mischevious scamps, Conservatives. :-)

And for anyone who wants to ask "Why not just try the Conservatives" I'll just direct you to this article from Maclean's by Scott Gilmore, a Conservative Party of Canada member entitled "Confessions of a Self-Loathing Tory" that pretty accurately explains why I have given up on ever voting for the Conservatives, at least in their current configuration. It's a good read and articulates the big problems the Right Wing in North America has that prevent it from being palatable to moderate centrist swing voters like me.

4. I read a story about a postal worker who refused to give a comatose woman CPR and considering their reason was "I believed she had fentanyl on her shirt" I don't blame them one bit. After reading about the horror stories, the stats for abuse in my area, and the lethality of fentanyl if I found someone passed out I honestly wouldn't touch them either. I may be for legalization of drugs with proper regulation but when the substance in question is so lethal it can kill people through incidental skin contact then that's well outside the spirit of that concept.

I wish I had an answer but that is one problem that is going to get much worse before it gets better.

5. I wish I had something interesting about me to say but I never do. That's probably never going to change.
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
Look I personally think Don Cherry of "Hockey Night in Canada"s entire fashion philosophy is based on a dare but yikes! That most recent suit that's blowing up Twitter? I literally snorted beer when I saw that fashion crime scene during the first intermission of the hockey game.

Note that when I say crime scene I mean it literally.

Behold! The suit of death!

I love the look on Ron Maclean's face here too. I mean sure its a vidcap so its only capturing a single instant of a five plus minute long tv session but it just seems like he's begging the viewers to call 911 here.
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
I know hockey is a rough game and players are often battered, bruised and bloodied numerous times throughout their careers but the Red Wing's Gustav Nyquist's spearing Minnesota's Jared Spurgeon in the face is one of the worst intent to injure moves I've ever seen.  Hopefully the NHL sees it the same way and hammers him with a minimum 10 game suspension for this type of dangerous bullshit.

Here's the video and don't worry, there's actually no blood albeit solely by dumb luck. If the blade had been two inches higher it would have been a lot more gory and almost certainly career ending.

Lay the hammer down, Player Safety. Lay the hammer down.

snowywolfowl: (Senators)
I have to confess that I used to think you were close to Satan incarnate but after body checking Justin Bieber into the boards during a celebrity hockey game this weekend I'm more than willing to reevaluate your career!

And for those who think this was unnecessary or brutal let me assure you Bieber got off light. If it had been a real game Pronger might have knocked him unconscious and then stomped on his leg. The guy had 8 suspensions and 1500 penalty minutes after all.
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
So congratulations to the residents of Las Vegas on their new NHL team, the Golden Knights. It will be a  long couple of years at first until you're in the middle of the road but you'll get there. Here's what I'm hoping for you:

1. That you get a really good goalie. Good news is that with teams only able to protect one goalie on the roster, and several teams having reasonable depth in net you'll get that. Right now the smart money is that your goalie will be Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury. He's good, has a couple of Stanley Cups, including one as a starter, and will steal a few points.

2. You get some forwards who can score: This one is harder. Teams are going to protect their best scorers so you'll get a lot of third and fourth liners, which doesn't bode well for you. Still, you have a good General Manager in George McPhee, and if there's someone out there he can grab he'll likely find a twenty goal guy.

3. That you get some good defence that can at least keep the shot count down: You won't get any great offensive guys but you might be able to defend a bit. Without good defence it won't matter how good the goalie is, and if you get some good defencemen you might be able to swing a trade or two for some offence.

4. That the odds be in your favour: You will get the third seed for the draft lottery and I will be hoping you get that first overall pick. You can usually get a good player although with all drafts its a crap shoot. Trust me, I cheer for Ottawa. We drafted one of the biggest busts of all time with the first over all pick, and the next guy chosen is in the Hall of Fame. :(  We would have been better off if we had drafted Satan himself.

Btw, I'm 100% serious there. Miroslav Satan had 735 points in 1050 games. Not bad for a fifth rounder. :)  Lets just say thats the type of draft that gets your team somewhere. You need those later round picks to come up.

So with all that, welcome to the NHL Las Vegas!
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
Ok. I'm just going to start with the facts here. A gentleman in Ottawa, Jeff Weber, has been found Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) for a brutal hammer attack that fractured his victim's skull and left him blind in one eye. Now I am not going to second guess the psychiatrists, the lawyers, or the judge here because the whole idea for NCR is to get people like Mr. Weber the help they need so that they can a) be productive citizens, and b) not present a danger to themselves and others. I wholeheartedly support this concept. Prison is not a good place to warehouse mentally ill people who will in all likelihood come out even more damaged than they went in.


This is Mr. Weber's FOURTH finding of NCR for a violent incident, which is believed to be a Canadian legal record. Clearly reintegration into the community is not working for both himself and the general public so as harsh as this may sound I hope they find him a good permanent fit in a secure psychiatric unit for the rest of his life. This is a man who has abducted people, been tasered by police, and now cracked someone's skull with a hammer. If he's out its clear its only a matter of time before he either kills someone or is killed himself. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing but sympathy for the hell he must be experiencing as a paranoid schizophrenic but he is dangerously non-functional. That's the whole point of being found NCR instead of guilty.

So lighter stuff from the World Cup of Hockey, which has been a bit of a yawner since Canada has steamrolled everyone in their path. Don't get me wrong, Team North America played fun hockey, the USA's collapse was interesting (and a sign of good things to come for them in the future, believe it or not), and Team Europe being the surprise of the tournament were fun story lines but there just hasn't been the drama previous World and Canada Cups have provided. So why am I posting?

Because I had to pick up my jaw after this goal against Russia. Seriously I could barely go between my legs playing basketball. Corey Perry does it on a garbage goal in ice hockey.

Damn. That was a nice goal. Seriously. Watch the replays.

snowywolfowl: (Senators)
I'm watching the Canada-Russia game and man its been great. Canada is playing well but the Russians have brought their A game. Right now its anyone's guess who goes to the final and who goes home.
snowywolfowl: (Canadian Flag)
I just read that after a long period of ill health Mr. Hockey himself has passed away.

People, we will never see his like again. Not only did they invent the phrase "Gordie Howe Hat Trick*" to honour his particular skill set but the man played 32 professional seasons. Think about that. In a world where 30 is old he was still scoring goals and kicking ass into his 50's. I honestly don't know if that will ever be broken.

Farewell Mr. Hockey. You will be missed.

*A goal, a fight, and an assist all in the same game.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
Proof that everything Russian is crazy, including their professional hockey league's All-Star Game. Here's Linus Omark attempting to....well, just watch the video. Even non hockey fans will like this! I promise!

snowywolfowl: (Senators)
Wow, I would not have expected the Senators to actually make the playoffs given how far out they were mid-season but it looks like the Hamburgler & Co* stole a spot. Congrats to them and here's hoping they can get past the first round.

And in related news congrats to Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars for winning the Art Ross Trophy as leading scorer for the season with only 9 seconds left. Since goals scored is the tie breaker he needed to win it outright and with a four point game, he did.

Yeah I know its been a wierd season. No one really lit up the score boards, the defending champs didn't make the playoffs, Canadian sports media finally woke up to realize just how bad the Maple Leafs are,  and I even found myself cheering for the Flyers to win a few games. Not quite hell freezing over but pretty close.

*It's the goalie's nickname because he's been stealing games since he was called up from the minors. Hey, don't blame me. I didn't give it to him. :-)
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
I will not lie or sugar coat it. This has been an absolutely shitty winter that has played havoc on both my psyche and my knees. It's probably a pretty safe assumption that I'm not alone in this assessment so I figured I'd just post two things that brought a smile to my face today.

1. Backup goalie turns backup dancer. Sweet moves, especially since he's in almost full equipment, including goalie skates.

2. Uli Jon Roth playing "We'll Burn the Sky" live. I LOVE this type of stuff. Tasty bends, nice modal melodies, and impressive neo-classical runs executed with such a soft touch. Seriously, this is what I aim for when I fool around in my apartment.

*Sigh* So far away.

snowywolfowl: (Senators)
The Blackhawks beat the Bruins in Game 6 of the final by scoring the equalizer and the winner in 17 seconds. That was a good game.
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
Could you please call penalties consistently? If a Pittsburgh player hitting a Boston player from behind into the boards is a five minute major, then a Boston player hitting a Pittsburgh player from behind into the boards is also a five minute major, not a two minute minor. If a Pittsburgh player stepping into a Boston player as he goes by without the puck is an interference penalty, than a play where the Boston player football blocks the Pittsburgh player after telling his teammate he is going to do it is also an interference penalty.

Look, the Bruins deserved the win tonight because they were the better team, and the penalties called against the Penguins were the right calls. That said if you keep blowing the calls that would go against the Bruins be prepared for people to wonder if the NHL wants a certain outcome. 
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
So here is the week that was:

1. Sens defenceman Eric Gryba has received a two game suspension for his hit on Lars Eller. Now I do think this was more of a legitimate hockey play gone terribly bad (they do call this type of pass a "suicide pass" for exactly this reason) but given the concern over headshots I can understand and support a suspension. That being said is consistency in the rulings too much to ask? Some plays seem to get nothing, while similar plays result in multiple game suspensions. I sure I'm not the only one who's confused by this.

If anyone is curious about what the hit looked like you can watch it on youtube here. It's not the raw video but rather the analysis the TSN panel did on it, so no blood.

2. Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman is dead at 49, apparently from liver failure from a spider bite over a year ago. That's a sad end to what was starting to look like a feel good story, since it appeared he was coming back from a bought of necrotizing fasciitis in his arm that forced him to take time off.  At their best he and Kerry King were one of the best guitar partnerships in metal, I thought.

Here's the first Slayer tune I ever heard back in high school "Seasons in the Abyss". Hanneman's solo runs from 4:28 to 4:54 and has some rather nice tapping in it, I think.

3. I'm happy to report that Canada's Conservative government has announced that they have awarded a ship designing contract to a company for the bargain price of $288 million dollars. These ships will be based on a Norwegian patrol boat design Canada bought for $5 million dollars that cost the Norwegian government approximately $100 million dollars to design...and build.  When asked why Canada is overpaying for ships other countries design and build for a fraction of that cost Defence Minister Peter MacKay simply said "other shipyards are wrong".

Now I don't expect anyone to tell me why my elected representatives have decided to bankrupt my country but I will ask that if anyone has a spare defibrillator to let me know. Considering I get massive chest pains and shortness of breath from just the thought that this might make the F-35 purchase fiasco look cheap...well, I have no words.

You know, I've always voted but I've never joined a party or worked on a campaign. But with this being the type of leadership the Conservatives are becoming known for I think I might. Don't get me wrong. I'm not voting FOR the NDP or Liberals, I'm voting against incompetence.

Here's the link to the story if interested.
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
The Ottawa Senators made the playoffs! Top goalie goes down for most of the season, Norris Trophy* winner gets his achilles sliced, team's leading scorer has season ending back surgery, numerous other injuries among forwards and defence.... and they still made the playoffs.

Now I'm not really sure they're going to beat the Capitals in the first round but anyway you look at it this was a successful season for them.

*The award for the best defenceman. Probably the most famous player to ever win it is Bobby Orr.
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
1. Apparently the NHL lost something like $350 million of its brand value due to the lockout. Now I'm no economics major so can someone explain to me how that was a good idea for the owners? The NHL might come back in Canada in a season or two but the States are different. Arizona fans don't immediately think "lets watch a Coyotes game" on a Saturday night.

2. Kevlar hockey socks are going to be a bigger seller given some of the Achilles tendon severings and femoral artery lacerations this season has had. I know if my eldest nephew was getting ready for his first hockey season I'd buy him a pair. Here's hoping that both Erik Karlsson and Zach Redmond make full recoveries.

3. Ottawa just had their goalie injured. I don't want to be a nay sayer for my team but given all the other injuries they've had I think they'll be on the outside looking in come play off time. Of course given the compressed schedule this season its always possible some other teams get even more beat up, allowing them to limp a little faster than the opposition.

4. Lindy Ruff was fired this season. Firing a coach isn't usually news worthy enough for this blog but considering he was the Buffalo Sabre's coach for something like 16 consecutive seasons I'll make an exception.
snowywolfowl: (Owl face)
1. Apparently the Conservatives are supposed to release a report on the F-35 procurement fiasco over Christmas. I look forward to reading it, especially since I'd like to know how anyone could think that plane is going to be anything but an expensive lemon at this point.

2. Apparently more people now believe global warming/climate change is really happening. Note the indecision on my part about what to call it, since I'm too busy wondering if I should shovel the rest of the snow out of my driveway or just let it melt.

3. Happily the NHL lockout drags on so I got to watch the infamous Philidelphia/CSKA Red Army game from 1976. As before here were my takeaways:
- The Flyers had the better game plan than the Soviets. The Soviets made too many passes looking for the perfect play, the Flyers were content to let them do it and reward the receiving player with a clean hard body check. Sure it was a rough ride but compared to some highlights I've seen from the original Broadstreet Bullies this was pretty clean hockey for the most part.
-  Ed Van Impe's hit to Valeri Kharlamov's head was perfectly legal then. It would rightly get at least a 5 game suspension now. That being said between 1972 and 1987 any Canadian player who really nailed a Soviet player was considered to be sending a patriotic message that our entire way of life was better than theirs so I can't condemn Van Impe after the fact.
- The Soviets giving up and leaving the ice was clearly a tactic, and a bad one at that. It just encouraged the Flyers to keep hitting them.
- Once again Tretiak was spectacular. I can definitely see why he was both drafted by the Montreal Canadiens (even knowing they'd never get him from CSKA) and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was pretty much the only reason the score wasn't higher for the Flyers.

4. No matter what I do I'm just never really satisfied with my guitar setup. I know I keep batting around the idea of making my own but maybe I really should. It's not like I'm short of opinions on what I'd like in a perfect axe.
snowywolfowl: (Senators)
As I mentioned a few posts back I've been enjoying watching the classic games CBC has been posting, and just have to say there really isn't much that beats the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry, especially in the tight confines of the old Boston Gardens during the finals*. I also have to commend CBC for not only airing them but also providing little footnotes about historical events, player biographies, and other trivia. So, with that in mind, here's a few things that struck me as interesting....

1. Ken Dryden would be a big goalie in the modern era. In the 1970's he's a freakin' tree. And a lawyer...and an author...and a future Liberal Member of Parliament. Ok, he is the original sports Renaissance Man.
2. Hearing the announcer mention that Pierre Mondou is a rookie is really sad considering how his career ended**. It's even more heartbreaking considering visors were available when he played. One of his injured teammates was wearing one during this game after the Bouchard-Jonathan fight in the 1st period.
3. Love him or hate him, even then Don Cherry knew how to rock a suit, vest and tie.
4. Larry Robinson came by his nickname honestly. He really does look like Big Bird***.
5. I mainly know (and deeply respect) Brad Park for the ultimatum he gave the Hockey Hall of Fame about Alan Eagleson****. It's a shame he never won the Norris Trophy as the best defenceman.
6. Gerry Cheevers has the Greatest Goalie Mask of ALL TIME******.

*It was something like 9 feet shorter and 4 feet narrower than a regulation NHL rink, which made games very contact filled affairs at the most passive of times. The playoffs were just nuts.
** Lost an eye from a high stick from Hartford's Ulf Samuelsson. Jesus Murphy, how many careers did Samuelsson end? That's at least two.
***He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP for these playoffs.
****He told the Hall of Fame to remove him because he didn't want to be on the same wall as someone who was stealing from the pension fund. The Hall kicked Eagleson out.
******While not the first to wear a mask some people credit him with making it more socially acceptable to wear one during a game. Prior to the mid 1950's only wimpy girlie men wore masks. Real men stopped hockey pucks traveling 100+ mph with their face...or so the prevailing culture at the time said.


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