Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gone Long Underwear shopping.

As I've mentioned, I'm heading to the Ice Bowl up in Buffalo on New Year's day, and we're flying to Buffalo tomorrow.

If anybody has any leads on NHL related New Year's parties, I'm all ears. As it stands now, the plan is pretty much to look up Rob Ray in the phone book, then show up at his house with a couple cases of Labatts.

For now, I'm off to go shopping for long underwear, a seat cushion and what else- perhaps a discreet flask? I've never been in an NFL stadium in cold weather before.

Any tips on what else I'll need?

Ice Bowl!

Christ, Jesus the Bruins suck.

These guys are killing me.

I mean, really- they are fucking killing me.

I had a group of people over at my apartment tonight, and we all watched the Patriots secure an undefeated season.

When I was home for Christmas, I watched the premiere of the NESN special of the Red Sox Championship.

A few nights ago, I was up late and watched the Celtics dominate the Seattle Supersonics. Do you know what a supersonic is? I don't. Fuck it, it doesn't matter, the Celtics are great these days.

I'm watching the game on DVR right now, and the Bruins are down 5-0.


Really? You're going to lose 6 in a row?

I mean, how hard would it be for the Bruins to not totally suck?

Would that be tough?


This sucks.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Big News!

I'm going to the Ice bowl!

After all of the crap, after all of the problems, I'm going to the goddamn ice bowl!

For those of you who have been living in a cave, and by living in a cave I mean, regularly getting your sports coverage from say, ESPN, you might have no idea that on New Years Day at 1:00 PM, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be facing off against the Buffalo Sabres in first outdoor regular season game in NHL history. It will be happening in the stadium where the Buffalo Bills play, and you can see some nifty pics of them building the rink here.

For my part, I can't believe I'm this excited to go to Buffalo in January. I mean, Jesus.

It's been a tough ticket to get, and if you have a couple hundred bucks you can still get in, but I managed to snag one at face value through the time honored technique of "knowin' a guy who knows a guy." In this case, the guy is my buddy Jack, Buffalo fan and occasional contributor to AHF. Anyway, Jack will be covering the event for Deadspin, and I'll be covering the event right here.Oh, and by "covering" I actually mean "drunkenly trying to type up a recap while wearing woolen mittens saturated with frozen buffalo wing sauce."

It should be a good time.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

OK- So, apparently-

-the morning before his five goal game, Marian Gaborik watched a YouTube clip of Pavel Bure's five goal performance against Finland in the 1998 Olympics.

From the article:

In a coincidence nearly as unbelievable as his record-setting performance, which was the first time a Wild player scored more than three times, Gaborik spent a few minutes in the morning watching online clips of Pavel Bure's five-goal game for Russia against Finland in the semifinals of the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

"My buddies sent me a YouTube video," Gaborik said, smiling.

It looks to me like 1988 predates the era of fantastic Finnish goaltenders, but just in case there's any good luck left in it, here the clip he watched:

If something good happens to you today after watching that, drop us a line. And if Gaborik can watch a video of a guy scoring five goals in a game then go out and do it, my guess is the next Youtube clip he'll be mimicking is this one:

Matter of time.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Andrew Ference is gonna be on Sportscenter!

Game of the year.


I mean, fucking WOW.

What a hockey game.

Bruins/Penguins, each team scores four unanswered goals.

Gordie Howe Hat trick for Sid the Kid, and the Bruins make a game of it!

Sad to see the shootout end the fun so quickly, but boy oh boy.

And how about this Lucic kid?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Communication is key

I'm sure some of you are worried about how the recent flareup in practice between Aaron Asham and coach Brent Sutter is going to affect chemistry in the Devils' dressing room.

Well, not to worry. Asham and Sutter still haven't discussed their shouting match, but according to Tom Gulitti's outstanding Fire & Ice blog, no more need be said:
"He knows my opinion on things and the way I feel about stuff," Sutter said.
With honest, open dialog like that, what could go wrong?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Kaption Komedy - Burning Zamboni Edition

Dec 1, 2007 (CNN) - Philadelphia Flyers fans indicate their
displeasure at the placement of a faceoff following a puck
shot out of play during the third period of a game against
the Dallas Stars at the Wachovia Center on Saturday.

Hey kids, feel free to add your own in the comments (and click the thumbnail for video)!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The New York Post is a family newspaper

Which is why, in their story about the snapping of Jay Pandolfo's 307-game iron man streak, they did us all a favor and cleaned up the reaction of defenseman Colin White:
"Oh, [shoot]," said Colin White, when he found out Pandolfo won't be playing tonight.
Jeepers, I wonder what he actually said?? (NOTE - I have it on good authority that it was "fiddlesticks.")

It made me think of this classic Mr. Show bit:

And more importantly, it made me think of a way to squeeze out a half-assed AHF post with little to no effort. Thanks, New York Post!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bad news, everybody

The Ladies Raglan Top at is officially:

The good news is, you can take that $33.99 (!) and spend it elsewhere on the site.

That's right, folks. - the premiere online destination when shopping for that special someone on your holiday list who really, really, really likes Henrik Zetterberg.

Friday, November 23, 2007

If you're looking for Ritch

at today's Isles/Bruins matinee, you can stop looking:

No, no, that's Peter Schaefer. Behind him:

Yep. That's him.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The New Jersey Devils-

Just aren't trying that hard.

Here's an email I received today:

Happy Tuukka Day!

Sorry, that's Turkey Day.

You know what I mean.

For those of you watching the Bruins and Islanders at noon tomorrow, look for yours truly up against the glass just to the right of the vistors bench, a couple of feet inside the blue line.

I'm thinking of making a sign.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Attention: Darcy Tucker

You might want to make note of this in preparation for the next time you play the Rangers. Should make for an interesting warmup before the game.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Well, we headed out to Newark last night-

- and we didn't get murdered.

Too bad the Devils couldn't say the same.

The AHF crew headed out to see the Penguins slaughter the Devils, which was weird, seeing as the Penguins didn't even play all that well. We did get to see Sidney Crosby do a trick or two, and Malkin have a few nice moves before falling to the ice and dishing off a pass for a nice assist, but it still wasn't that satisfying.

One thing I did learn is how much I hate Evgeni Malkin. I know, he's good at hockey and everything, I just hate looking at the son of a bitch. He looks like that vaguely overweight , borderline retarded kid who used to live on your block, hit your dad up to rake your yard, and then do a shitty job. One of those slobs with the perpetual wet lower lip.

Still, he raked up the Devils without too much trouble last night, I'll tell ya that much.

Honestly, I don't know that I've ever seen a shittier hockey game in a nicer arena. Sweet sightlines, good food, not a great turnout, but if these Devils have been putting out the kind of effort I saw last night all season, I can understand why.

Seriously, Elias played better when he had Hepitatis.

The crowd was none too pleased to see Petr Sykora scoring goals either. I was half expecting Jason Arnott to walk into the arena in street clothes and take a dump on the brand new Devils carpet.

Still, great arena, good times.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Sean Avery Olympics

Sean Avery, seen here swimming in the off-season.
In honor of his truly groundbreaking performance this weekend (we're talking off-ice performance, of course), we here at American Hockey Fan are proud to welcome you all to the first annual Sean Avery Olympics! Please refer to your program below for a listing of the inaugural events:







And, of course, just being an all-around scumbag (demonstration event).

In all seriousness, though, there's a big difference between Sean Avery and a Ryan Hollweg, say, or a Darcy Tucker (both of whom I also hate). Getting under someone's skin is one thing, but Avery is just plain reckless. How much longer is this guy going to be allowed to endanger the other players on the ice? Are a few good soundbites really worth somebody else's health or career?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Big three games coming up for the Bruins.

The Bruins have started out strong, there's no doubt.

I've been a bit of a weak poster these days, partly because I just got a full time job writing over on the PRI show "Fair Game," which airs in New York Monday through Friday at 8:00 PM on WNYC, making me available in more New York City homes than Versus. Or Versus in HD at least. Check their website to hear the podcast or find out where you can catch the show in your neck of the woods.

If you listen to tonight's show, you'll get to hear me slip a hockey reference into a piece I did at the opening of the show about last night's democratic debates.

So while I haven't been writing about hockey, I will certainly be watching. These next three games for the Boston Bruins are their biggest of the season. After coming off an incredible game against Chicago, where Chara had his first fight as a Bruin (and it was a doozy), they ran into some bad luck, losing their best all around player in Patrice Bergeron for over a month. That's been the one B's game all year I managed to miss, and I'm glad, because it would have ruined my day.

They play Buffalo tomorrow, who are a good team, then go into a home-and-home series with Ottawa this weekend. Having Bergeron gone will really test the ability of certain members of this team to step it up and see if they have what it takes. Glen Murray, Brandon Bochenski, I'm looking at you. To have to do it against Buffalo and the Eastern conference leading Senators will be a lot of fun.

I'd say if they can come away with four points, they should feel great about themselves.

The big question is goaltending in the Ottawa games.

Can they trust Fernandez in one of those games?

Friday, October 26, 2007

F(r)ight night

With Halloween just around the corner, I’m willing to entertain the possibility that demonic possesion is real. How else to explain the sudden rash of pugnaciousness among the NHL’s skill players? Vincent Lecavalier drops the gloves for the second straight game, and Zdeno Chara is responsible for more bloody hockey equipment than Jason Voorhees:

YouTube has the clip of Chara making the ice look like Curt Schilling's sock drawer, but I’m not embedding it here. This is a family blog, you fucking douchebags.

Sure, the fight was a pretty clear decision for Chara, but American Hockey Fan hereby awards honorable mention to career 6th-column specialist David Koci for having the plums to go nose-to-nose with a thyroid case full of pent-up anger (though let's face it, even at a towering 6'6", the best he could have hoped for in this case was nose-to-bulging-Adam's-apple).

And what's more, Koci answered the bell despite having had the aforementioned nose broken once already in this young season...David Koci, we at AHF tap our sticks on the boards in your honor, sir.

Whether it’s supernatural or not, it can only be a good sign for hockey that not just the character guys, but the marquee names are playing with passion this early in the season - you'll note that Lecavlier’s bout resulted in a win for Tampa, as did Chara’s for the Bruins.

Now can someone please drive a stake through the heart of the vampire that has sucked the scoring touch out of Patrik Elias?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I gotta say

the new promo for NHL Center Ice is a well-plotted piece of nonclaptrap that never made me want to retch.

Seriously, I think we can all agree, they did a bangup job illustrating the grit and toughness of the sport, right?

Could be least it wasn't in slow motion.

Seriously, though, I get the joke. I understand why it's supposed to be funny...they're big tough guys, but now thanks to HD, they're as concerned about their looks as the Desperate Housewives. But it's just not working for me. It reeks of a first draft, an idea that was bland and inoffensive enough to survive the initial pitch meeting, then somehow managed to ride that wave all the way to air.

How about this as an alternative, especially since Halloween is right around the corner:


Spooky music plays in the background as a GUY sits on the couch, nervously snacking from a bowl of pretzels, and watching his widescreen HD TV, the screen of which is not yet visible to us.

After a suspenseful 10 seconds or so, the guy sees something on the screen that makes him scream at the top of his lungs and flee the room - pretzels fly everywhere.

Cut to reveal of the TV screen, which is showing this:

in glorious high definition.

NHL Center Ice in HD...don't miss a single horrifying detail.

Then roll the federally mandated clip of Sidney Crosby losing his balance, and call it a day.

Am I the only one-

-who hears the first words of that "Hockey Fights Cancer" promo and gets confused? It starts out with an announcer saying the words "Hockey Fights Cancer," but before they can even get to the word "cancer," I hear the words "hockey fights" and get all excited that I'm about to see one. Then they get to the cancer part, and I get all depressed that I was just amped up for some good old fashioned violence and now I am reminded of the stark, harsh reality of "the Big C."

Of course it doesn't help that they play that slow mournful "don't give up" song either.

Maybe there is some way they can combine the two. On the World Series last night, they mentioned that when the first player steals a base, America gets a taco. How about whenever anybody gets in a fight in the NHL, they put up the Hockey Fights Cancer logo and phone number after the fight is over and the boys are heading to the penalty boxes. That way, we can still have our enjoyment in bloodlust, but if we're feeling at all bad about it, we can dial the number and help battle the big C.

Plus, I'd love to see Derek Boogaard get interviewed in the locker room after a knock -down, drag out saying something to the effect of "I didn't want to do it, I'm just concerned about all those sick kids."

Other hockey sites have news and commentary, but only American Hockey Fans consistently provides workable solutions to the NHL's problems.

Who's with me!?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

OK- I know the New York Post are mostly Rangers fans-

But are they actually suggesting that if you go to a Devils game in the new arena, you run the risk of being murdered?

From the article:

"[I believe] this will be a safe arena," Vanderbeek said. "I think over time [concerns] will go away. I can't change it overnight. People will have to come here and see for themselves."

...Vanderbeek suggested that much of the fans' security will be provided by themselves, walking in numbers from Penn Station, from the light rail, and from nearby lots. He said there will be a significant police presence in the area.

The Devils and Newark simply cannot afford even a single arena-patron tragedy in a city that annually suffers 100 homicides...

When fans are inside, they'll be enthralled. It will make the Garden pedestrian, as long as the pedestrians are secure.


I'm not sure about this, but my guess is that the enhanced police presence is going to fill the neutral area just around the arena's entrance, handily trapping any of the murderers who attempt to enter the arenas defensive zone.

Just a hunch.

Still, if it was up to me, I'd have Cam Janssen walk the fans to their cars.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How about that big Papi!

Love him!
Former Minnestota Twin!

And those undefeated Patriots!
With Randy Moss, who made his name as a Minnesota Viking!

Pretty sweet right?

Don't forget Kevin Garnett, putting the Celtics on the front pages again after coming over from the Timberwolves? It's really looking like Boston teams are all hugely benefiting from an influx of players from Minnesota sports franchises!



To be fair, while Manny Fernandez didn't play well, it's hard to peg that loss on him. The Bruins lost big last night, but it was kind of a perfect storm of bad things happening. Huet was hot, Fernandez wasn't. The Habs snipers found the net, guys like Glen Murray and Patrice Bergeron had great bids but just seemed snakebit. Add the fact that Chara didn't have a great game, getting caught up ice a few times and taking some bad penalties against a team with a lethal power play. Montreal had a tough loss against the Panthers last week when they got caught in the last two minutes, and they corrected that mistake tonight.

Still, for a team that got beat, really humiliated last night, they did a lot of things well. They cycled the puck well in the offensive zone, kept possession, and stayed into the game until the fifth goal, no small feat.

Honestly, if they were going to lose to the Canadiens, I'd rather they get blown out, as it could serve as a motivator for the future.

Plus, if they go through a rough patch for a while, they're in the clear, and have time to improve without media scrutiny. Face it, everybody in New England is watching the World Series and the Pats anyway. Chara could rape a guy on the ice, and they wouldn't get any ink.

Chicago's next. It'll be fun to get a look at this Towes kid.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sidney Crosby Special on 'Versus' Tuesday

Well, the people at Versus were kind enough to contact me and see if I'd like to post some exclusive video of (read: advertisement for) the new Sidney Crosby special airing Tuesday night at 6:30 prior to the 7:00 PM Pens/Rangers game.

I decided to go for it, not only because I was flattered that Versus thought of me, but it also because it gives me the opportunity to note that this preview video, much like "Versus" itself, is not available in high definition in New York City. Also, the local Ranger broadcast will not be on, meaning New Yorkers with Time Warner won't be able to see a highly anticipated game in HD.

While I'm aware that this is a decision of Time Warner Cable and not Versus, somebody needs to get off there ass on this. Whoever's fault this is, it probably pisses off Ranger fans, and alienates the large market share that I'm sure Versus wants to capture.

Just sayin.

So here's the preview video. My favorite part is when Sid explains that the new NHL is all about speed. So how does the film show this off?

You guessed it, slow motion!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

National Punctuation League

The clock is ticking, counting down to the Devils' home opener at the brand new Prudential Center on Saturday, October 27th. Crews are working around the clock to make sure the arena is ready and let's face it...with this kind of time crunch, the first thing to go is the proofreading:

Or maybe it's a nod to those who say that Brodeur is the whole only one Devil gets a locker room?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I guess Americans always sucked at broadcasting hockey on a national level.

Check out the pronunciation of Rocket Richard's name in this American newsreel footage from the 1951 Stanley Cup Final between the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs.

And Richard scores!

Richard who?

Richard Lewis?

Of course the broadcasters on TSN tonight weren't much better, as they repeatedly accused Florida coach Jacques Martin of "stealing" a game from the Canadiens tonight. Hey guys! It's hard to win a game when you only score one goal.
If anybody stole that one it was Thomas Vokoun, who also leads the league in looking like Tim Wakefield.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What a win for the B's!

Oh, and by the way- Aaron Ward?

Officially off the shit list.

Told ya so.

Sean Avery is injured.

So what did you think he'd be doing?

Duh- he's talking to the New York Times.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

What a day.

11:00 AM- hit the grand opening of the NHL store in Manhattan. Went through the Stanley Cup line . Talked to legendary referee Paul Stewart. He loved my Mighty Squirrels track jacket. I decide not to tell him about the Candle in the Wind thing. Paul Stewart is polite, affable and a splendid ambassador of the game. I overhear him telling someone else that his grandfather was also an NHL referee, and I wish that I could have been a fly on the wall for discussions between Stewart and his grandfather. I mean, imagine that. Awesome.

11:30 AM- Hit the Starbucks inside the NHL store. Wasn't wild about the fact that my color scheme exactly matched the pumpkin spice lattes. Mere seconds after this picture was taken, I overhear Paul Stewart approaching the Starbucks counter. He asks "So, how are those pumpkin spice lattes?!" While I have previously stated that pumpkin spice lattes have very little to do with hockey, I am forced to reconsider this idea as Paul Stewart is clearly fired up for one. Paul Stewart orders a pumpkin spice latte, and the Starbucks employees, none of whom probably know who he is, fall over themselves to serve him. Charisma and a sharp looking uniform go a long way in this town. Sadly, I do not get picture of this.

12:00 PM- Headed outside to see what's up. We see Bruin great Rick Middleton signing autographs. I remind Ben of what my pal Andrew Donnelly once said about Rick Middleton- that he was so lethal a scorer partly because when goalies would see him, they would momentarily be confused by the fact that he looks exactly like a butcher. They'd look up, se his face, and instead of hearing "What can I getcha, pork roast?" BOOM, the puck is in the net. Seriously, if that guy never led the league in scoring, I can tell you he definitely led it in resembling a butcher. That dude looks just like a butcher. Great Bruin.

7:00 PM- Lucked into a pair of Ranger tickets tonight against the Caps. 60 bucks for the pair. Went to the game with my future wife and love of my life, and had a great time. Saw Gomez's first goal as a Ranger, Jagr eclipse Paul Coffey to become #11 on the all time point scorers list and saw Alexander Ovechkin put on a clinic. More than any other player in the NHL, Ovechkin is a player that you need to see in person. The way he moves off the puck is an art form. And then when he gets the puck, look out. I didn't see the slew foot from the opening, but I can tell you this: an undefeated team defeated itself with penalty after penalty after penalty. Additionally, their defensemen seem chronically unable to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Also, Olaf Kolzig deserves a medal. Really, really, really fun game. If there was one downside, it was that Brashear didn't fight. Good times.

10:00 PM- Arrive home, pour a scotch, watch Roberto Luongo make a few sick saves for the Canucks. Jesus, that dude is good at playing goalie.

10:30 PM- Settle in to watch my beloved Bruins face off against the Los Angeles Kings. As though this night could not get any sweeter, some freaky Cirque du Soliel trapeze artist is slowly lowered from the rafters to drop a ceremonial first puck between Chara and Blake. She gracefully twists down to the face-off dot, places her feet on the carpet, slips, and she falls on her ass. I cannot stress enough how enjoyable this is to watch. Thanks to the magic of DVR, I watch it at least 6 more times. The moment I find this on YouTube, I will bring it to you. Anyone?

10:35 PM- The game starts, and it's a rollercoaster. Phil Kessel gets the first hat trick of his career, Marc Savard comes back from a groin injury to QB a devastating looking power play, and Aaron Ward puts in a game like the number 2 defenseman he should be, scoring a clutch goal and landing a great hit behind the opposing net. It's nice to see that when a game becomes a shooting spree, the Bruins can continue to put the puck in the net. Great effort by PJ Axelsson at the end there to sacrifice the body and get the puck out of the zone at the end there. Also, Claude Julien looks like Alfred Hitchcock. As my brother noted, it's a step up from Dave Lewis, who resembled Hitler.

2:10- wrapping up a hockey blog post from a great hockey day. Jesus this feels good. Watching the game wrapups on the NHL network and happy to be alive.

Sorry if there are typos, I'm hitting the hay.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Well, I finally got my key.

Yes, I finally obtained one of the "keys that could unlock my NHL dreams." They were handing them out at the store, so after all of the frustration of past days, we just walked up and grabbed one. Alas, after 20 minutes in line, the key did not unlock the box filled with prize envelopes. So I asked the guy who was in charge what to do with my key.

"You can keep it," he said.

Then it hit me- I can still unlock my NHL dreams!

All I have to do is use this beauty to key Ulf Samuelsson's car.


Lord Stanley's Officially Licensed Merchandise

Reporting back from the opening of the NHL store, where I encountered Ben and Ritch wiping the sweat from their brows after a couple of hours spent storing away things the NHL has done wrong for a rainy day (even Bruins and Devils fans run out of vitriol after their record falls to a certain point). I could almost see the exhaustion on their faces. However, they did get there early enough to snag the bag of free shit, while all I made away with was a possible key to my dreams and a rocket popsicle. Nothing like knowing that the Marketing department at the NHL sat down for a brainstorm for their big event and conclusively determined that NHL fans like "free ice".

Though the lines to the "Unlock your Dreams" safes (they have two sets of my dreams on hand) were shockingly long- unfulfillment in New York City knows no bounds-the line to get into the store was bearable, and we sailed through in about 15 minutes. Even more surprising, while the line to buy a t-shirt that says "It's good to have goals" was about twenty deep, the line to see and be photographed with the Stanley Cup was exactly one person long, and we took the opportunity to grope the Cup like it was Ben's mom for a full 30 seconds. Odd to be so excited to touch something that you can pretty much guarantee has held the urine of a solid four dozen people at least, but it's just so shiny.
And for a little added perspective, the hands that type the very words you're reading have touched the Stanley Cup more recently than the Bruins.

Four Thousand Words

More to come, (Ben took most of the pics) but here's a few shots from my camera at the grand opening of the NHL store:

(left to right: Ritch, Stan, Ben, Sid the Kid's giant legs)

(Jamie Langenbrunner submits a written request for Ben's autograph

AHF hits the "ice wall."

File that grin under: "shit-eating."

"Unlocking My NHL Dreams"

That's the slogan for the contest the NHL has been running all around New York City this week.

Not like I've seen any of it.

Supposedly, there were members of an NHL "street team" (read: unemployed actors) hitting locations all around the city and giving out keys. You take the key, go to the grand opening of the NHL store on Friday, and you can "Unlock Your NHL Dreams."

They were supposed to be at Grand Central Station in New York between 2:00 and 7:00 on Thursday, and I went twice, once on my lunch break at 2:15 and then again after work at 6:15 and I couldn't find them. I did see Antonio Banderas (look, Gawker confirms it, he was there!) but no NHL. After I got back to work, I emailed my pal Doug, a Sabres fan and a real nice guy who I had the pleasure of attending one of the Sabres/Isles playoff games with last season. Like me, he works near Grand Central, so I emailed to ask him if he had gotten a key. Here's what he said:

No key yet. Just went and did a pretty thorough walk-through to blow off some steam from work. Nobody there from the NHL that I could see...Anyhow, I am gonna try to brave the elements and take a walk by one of the other supposed Street Team locales on my way home to try and find a key.

No word if he found one. Oh, and did I mention it was pouring rain in New York this afternoon? That's a hockey fan for ya.

Later, I emailed AHF contributor Ben Zelevansky to relate how Doug and I struck out, and he wrote the following:

I just came from GCT (Grand Central Station) myself, as it happens. No street team, no indoor team, no nothing. The NHL - wasting the time and abusing the trust of its fans...whoda thunk it? My new NHL dream is to kick Gary Bettman in the nuts.

Perhaps this isn't surprising. After all, the grand prize of this contest, or the "ultimate NHL dream" is- wait for it.... tickets to an NHL All-Star Game in Georgia!


Tickets to a game where the players don't care in front of an audience that doesn't understand? Christ, if you're you're offering up NHL fantasies in the All Star Game, why don't you let me skate a shift? It's not like there's any hitting going on anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to the NHL store opening tomorrow.

Not to be a dick, but I'd go to a Klan rally if the Stanley Cup was there. I'd feel bad about it, and tell every man present that Willie O'Ree is ten times the man they are, but I'd go. The Stanley Cup remains the one thing about the NHL that Gary Bettman seems powerless to fuck up. It is the past, present and future of the greatest game on earth, it fits eleven beers in it's bowl and you can motherfucking read it if you want to. And I've never seen it in person, but I will today. And I will read it.

There's an NHL dream for ya.

Incidentally, do you know ANYONE whose idea of an NHL dream is seeing the All Star Game in Atlanta? It'd be nice, sure, but DREAM?


Therefore, in the spirit of Ben's new NHL dream, to kick Gary Bettman in the nuts, I'd like to propose a far better NHL dream, and one that hockey could provide-

The NHL gives the winner of this contest a pair of lower bowl tickets to games 4-7 of the Stanley Cup finals sitting next to (wait for it)......... Kurt Russell.

There's a goddamn dream for ya.

That's a guaranteed great seat to go see the Stanley Cup being hoisted next to not only a great American hockey fan, but Snake Fucking Pliskin.

If any of you readers have some other NHL dreams, I'm all ears-

Comments are wide open...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Have you guys met my nephew?

Well, I haven't either.

That's him there, in my sister in law's belly next to the big shining cup. Or maybe it's my niece, we don't know yet. Either way he or she is closer to the Stanley Cup than I've ever been, something that still chaps my ass a bit. Knowing this, my brother sent me this picture in an email entitled "The Real Hockey Fan."My brother will doubtless be a great father, as he's already using his unborn child as a weapon in his ceaseless campaign of breaking my balls.

Either way, I'll even the score with my little nephew or neice tomorrow, as I'll see the Stanley Cup at the opening of the new NHL Reebok store in Manhattan. I'm excited, as it looks to be the only place in Manhattan where I'll be able to get my mitts on a new B's hat with the sharp new logo, and they will also be driving a zamboni up 6th avenue. On the downside, Gary Bettman will be speaking, and there's a Starbucks inside the store. I'll tell ya, nothing really says hockey like a four dollar spiced pumpkin latte.


But you can't go wrong with the cup.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Battle of AHF

Most of you are no doubt on the edge of your seats wondering how the first week of our fantasy league shook out. As you may recall, opening week matchups were Ritch vs. Jen and Jack vs. Ben.

Astute readers who noted which of us is writing this post will be unsurprised to learn that I kicked the most ass of all, shaming Jack in a 12-1 blowout for the week. And if not for Montreal's defense (they've got more holes than an O.J. Simpson memorabilia heist plot - am I right, people?) letting 62 shots through to Cristobal Huet, I would have shut him out completely. Ritch pwned Jen similarly (though let's face it, not quite as effectively as I crushed Jack - numbers don't lie) with a 10-4 drubbing.

So, to recap....the standings:

1) Ben
2) Ritch


15) Jen
16) Jack

And yes, it's a 16-team league.

I'm not going to say that my domination in the world of fantasy sports also means that I am the funniest writer here...that's for history to decide.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Momma Needs a New Sunday Dress

While happy that hockey will have me, despite the crippling setback of my ladybits, I've found it hard to attire myself properly when cheering on my beloved team. Last year's hastily bootlegged wifebeater got downgraded to pajamas after the playoffs, and I hear bison-related fashion was all the rage on the catwalks this fall, but I can't seem to find Sabres gear in ladies' sizes for the life of me. It seems like Ebay would be my best bet- girls gots babies to make, they can't all have time to keep up with the hockey- but the pickings are slim. Allow me to go all Lucretia Mott on Ebay's offerings for "Sabres ladies/womens/girls":

First, the Sabres watch. For when your biological clock isn't doing the job!

The Sabres hat, or as it's referred to in Northern New York, the tuke (or tuq, or took. It's an oral tradition). As IF we'd mess up our hair with a hat, even if it is that delightful it's-a-girl shade of pink. Common sense, people.

The Sabres shirt, only available for ladies in pink. Because nothing says "I'm a serious sports fan, and my team means business" like calligraphy.

The piece de resistance, the Buffalo Sabres cheerleading uniform, featuring that bane of a logo. I'm not entirely sure why the makers chose a cheerleader outfit specifically. Since there are no sidelines, couldn't they have picked something just as arbitrary? Why not a Sabres kitty cat or a Sabres French-Canadian maid?

Same thing? Actually, no. This is a toddler-size version. Get your little girl started on the road to objectification early!

Finally, this sexy little number, which I will gladly accept from any willing patron with $9.99 to spend on advertising my team allegiance/loose morals*. I'm not sure exactly what "one" is, but I think I have an idea, and I'm willing to play along (though I'm going to need a few cocktails if it's Vanek.)
*I'm so not kidding. Size small, tank top.

OK- that feels about right.

Fun night of hockey tonight- I caught most of the second and all of the entertaining third period of the Stars/Avs, and was very impressed with their offense. Shhh- you hear that? It's fantasy owners around the country adding Jaroslav Hlinka.

Still, the most entertaining thing about the whole night was the feature on Rod Brind'Amour between the second and third periods, mainly because it had Rod the Bod delivering the following quote:

"I'm so lucky, I gotta tell ya...I got three beautiful children and- everyone that is a parent has beautiful children and thinks there's are the life's just...great."

Really, Rod?

Every parent has beautiful children?

You ever run that statement past your mom?

Rod Brind'Amour is a great, great hockey player, but uglier than a weevil-ridden tree stump.

Christ, that guy is horrible looking.

In other good news, my cable company now has the NHL Network, channel 458 if you're in Manhattan.

Finally- a nightly wrapup show!

Now, if the Bruins can manage to not totally suck, this should be a darn entertaining season.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

American Hockey Fan Season Preview: Boston Bruins

In case you guys didn't catch Kevin Paul Dupont's recent Sunday Boston Globe column, he really went on a tear. I'll tell you, nobody can hate on the Bruins like Dupont. I quote:

"The Bruins today are New Orleans-after-Katrina low, and in theory it should be easier to reassemble one ramshackle franchise than an entire city gone asunder."


The Boston Bruins are in worse shape than post-Katrina New Orleans?

OK, they were bad, but were they really Two-part Spike Lee documentary on HBO bad?

Yeah, they had a hard season, and I appreciate the lyrical turn, but I gotta tell ya KPD, that's a fucked up statement.

The Boston Bruins:
In WAY better shape than these dudes.

As bad as they were, they still finished better than both the Flyers and Capitals, or as Dupont might refer to them, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Let's not forget, this was a team that remained in the chase for a playoff spot through February, and then crapped the bed on two crucial home and home series against the Rangers and Canadiens, who were both at the time, vulnerable.

Those four games, from March 18th through the 24th, were must win games, and when they blew them, all of them, the Bruins were done, and they knew it. They would win only one more game that season, and it would be tough to argue that anybody who wasn't just up from Providence was trying too hard. I'm not saying that if they had busted their balls to win those games, anything would have come of it, but if they hadn't been gutted by those back to back home and homes(thanks unbalanced schedule), maybe they wouldn't have quit. If they played up to their ability, and added, say- 13 points in nine games to their final standings it makes them look a hell of a lot more like the playoff team that they had the potential to be.

Don't get me wrong, the Bruins were a painfully inconsistent team all of last season, but that's a flaw that I lay at the feet of the coaching staff, which has been replaced. I'm not saying that I have complete confidence in Claude Julien, but at least his technique of motivating the team won't be pitching a fucking bear head around the locker room. Adding Manny Fernandez in goal is a huge improvement over Hannu Toivenen, who they shipped to St. Louis for a used puck bag Swedish prospect Carl Soderburg.

Also, it bears mentioning that the evening of that first crucial game they played against the Rangers was one of the first games (if not the first) that Aaron Ward played as a Boston Bruin. Ward was traded from the Rangers because of a dispute with Jaromir Jagr, something that should endear him to Bruins fans of all stripes.

Ward is a solid defenseman who despite his big mouth in the locker room, has quietly and efficiently won a number of Stanley Cups over a long and successful career. Plus, whatever he hits, he destroys. He came into a situation that was already deteriorating, and I feel like a competitor like that has gotta have a really big chip on his shoulder for a fresh start. As a lifelong Bruins fan, I have my eye on Aaron Ward for a big season, and when I say a big season, I mean it not in the sense of putting up stats. I'm looking for a guy who can get things done, not be too flashy, not go over the top, just get in there, and show the young guys how to fucking win in this league.

While the team certainly has a lot of gelling to do, they certainly have the tools to roll a couple of lines.

Marc Savard is as good a setup man as anybody in the game today, and is just three fights and one soul patch away from being a beloved Boston sports hero. Here's a tip Marc: if you want to stand out as Marc Savard the hockey player, maybe you oughta try to distinguish yourself from Marc Savard the Hypnotist.

I mean, for Christ's sake, dude.

You're a great fucking hockey player- there's no need to have the facial hair that Kevin Costner sported on a photo shoot for the AARP.

Sturm, Savard and Murray can Score. Patrice Bergeron has it in him to be an elite player in this league, and PJ Axelsson is one of the finest shorthanded players in the NHL. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if the Bruin management's pledge to make the Bruins a "harder team to play against" comes true, having some crafty shorthanded guys will really help us out. Chuck Kobasew is no slouch in that department either, not that he really had that much of a chance to prove himself last year.

So look- am I saying that the Boston Bruins are going to win the Stanley Cup this season?


That is exactly what I'm saying.

I mean, fuck it, who picked the Canes in '06?

Monday, October 01, 2007


OK- so the NHL season is, um- under way?

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but boy, I'm none too impressed with the NHL's season "Premiere." Above and beyond the fact that the debut game was on HD Net, which pretty much means the only people watching were close personal friends of Dan Rather, it's also kind of tough to really feel like the season has kicked off, when the rest of the games don't start for three or four days.

I did catch Sunday's game on Versus, and the game was "eh." There was about 10 minutes of great hockey during the second period, and I felt that as much as the British fans, (and me as well) love a good fight, did Scott Thornton really think it was a good idea to drop his gloves and start swinging when his teammate had possession in the offensive zone?

Also, I was upset that we didn't see more footage between periods of what hockey is really like in Britain. Hockey fans in Britain are a small passionate group who love their game despite the fact that football is FAR more popular. You know, kind of hockey fans in America, who are a small passionate group who love their game despite the fact that football is FAR more popular.


According to Yahoo sports, there were a lot Manchester Phoenix and Belfast Giants shirts in the crowd -- two of the 10 teams in Britain's Elite Ice Hockey League. Why didn't we get to see a little footage of these guys in action?

Seeing British hockey players would be entertaining for, at the very least, the dentistry. If there were ever a group of people with worse teeth than Englishmen, it's hockey players, and the confluence of craggy horrors that would be on display in those player's mouths would be worth the price of admission, even if the hockey is terrible.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Got an email today-

So, for those of you who don't know, I pick up a few bucks on the side writing for the Court TV blog.

I rarely mention it here, mainly because, um- who cares, right? Other than the occasional photo of two girls kissing, there really ain't much of interest going on over at Court TV to the average hockey fan.

Not today.

I work over there three days a week, and today, just as I turn my back for a second, there's a post up the Court TV blog plugging an episode of Forensic Files
entitled: Did Craig Rabinowitz Kill His Wife or Just Watch Hockey?

My co-worker just forwarded it to me, with the snide tagline, "Did you see this? Hockey=crap alibi!"

The obvious assertion here by my ball-busting co-worker is that hockey is so lame that there is no way ANYBODY would believe that watching hockey would be a plausible lie. Like the cops would go "sure- that's a fine story, but the national television ratings for hockey simply don't bear out that you, or anyone in this country was watching hockey on that night. Ergo, you killed your wife. Come with us please."

Indignant at this assertion, I did a little looking into this case, and the murder happened on April 29, 1997 in suburban Philadelphia. As it happens, the 1996-1997 season was the best the Flyers have had in the past 20 years.

From Wikipedia:

Though Lindros missed 30 games in 1996-97, LeClair still managed to score 50 goals for the second consecutive year. Despite finishing just one point shy of a third straight Atlantic Division title, the Flyers blitzed their way through the Eastern Conference playoffs. Backstopped by the goaltending tandem of Hextall and Garth Snow, the Flyers dominated Pittsburgh, Buffalo and the Rangers all in five games apiece to win the Eastern Conference championship, and clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1986-87. However, their opponent, the Detroit Red Wings, swept the Flyers in four straight games. After Game 3, Terry Murray said that the team was in a "choking situation". It is said this remark cost Murray his job, as he was fired soon after.

So, in late April, it is in fact very plausible that Craig Rabinowitz would have been watching a hockey game. Lots of people in Philadelphia were. It is also worth noting that he turned himself in on May 6, 1997 and confessed to strangling his wife for her life insurance money, because his obsession with a high priced stripper caused him to not know the difference between right and wrong. Oh, and he had a little girl too. Nice guy.

This means three things were probably true:

1) He was a major league scumbag
2) He wasn't watching hockey that night, (busy killing his wife.)
3) He turned himself in during the best Flyers playoff run in many years, less than three weeks before the Flyers went to the Finals. No true hockey fan would do that.

Therefore, not only would watching hockey have been an awesomely plausible alibi in 1997 Philadelphia, but this a-hole was clearly not a hockey fan.

And with that, Court TV- the defense rests.

One more thing:

Hockey starts tomorrow, across the pond.

Game on!

UPDATE: My pals at Court TV just reminded me that on April 29th, the Flyers weren't playing, having defeated the Penguins three days earlier. Still though, if this a-hole were a hockey fan, there were two different game sevens to watch that night, both of which were decided in overtime, as Buffalo beat Ottawa and Edmonton beat Dallas. If a real hockey fan wanted to kill his wife, he'd wouldn't pick a night with 2 separate game sevens, I'll tell you that much.

My hypothesis stands.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Obsessive Statistical Number Crunching: The Next Best Thing After Hockey

In the interest of spending even less time producing valuable output while strapped to our computers, the good folks at AHF have all joined the same fantasy hockey league, along with a dozen friends, leaving me wondering who the hell else in America is playing fantasy hockey. When draft time came around Tuesday night, the chronological math of an 11 PM start time, 16 teams, 20 roster spots, and a minute and a half alotment per pick wasn't looking promising for those of us with actual, functioning circadian rhythms, so reckless, baseless picks were encouraged from the start. Though Yahoo's done some good things with tweaking the AI for fantasy baseball autodraft in terms of prioritizing you filling your roster before slavishly following the questionable O-rankings decided upon by the CFO's teenage son, no one trusted them to have been so attentive to the red-headed stepchild of fantasy sports, and it was nearly a full virtual house. After my team, the Sixth Hole, drew first slot in the order, I formally introduced myself to Mr. Crosby--all naysayers can march alongside your own drummer all the way to April, say hi to the Coyotes and Kings for me-- and poured myself a drink to sit back and watch everyone scramble to achieve mediocrity.

The AHF crew was nicely spaced throughout the snake, and other than the deafening crack that shook the city when Ben saw Marty Brodeur (handsomely) snapped up in the pick before his, and the general feeling that the Sabres have truly, truly broken Jack, the first few rounds went much as expected, somewhat regrettably. There's very few poor decisions that can be made at that point, so shittalking was minimized, but you gotta use your gems before the later rounds, when no one knows what the hell they're doing anyway and you have to fall back on rather specific insinuations as to Ben's mom's whereabouts and doings. The beauty of hockey is that the players are so distinct, in their look, their attitude, and the goddamn stupidity of their actions (Dani Heatley, here's looking at you), so shittalking can be regressed back to schoolyard namecalling, using particularly bad offenders. When Ritch picks up, say, Tim Thomas as his goalie, a simple "Who next, Yashin?" gets the point across almost eloquently.

Most of us assumed that even a passing familiarity with hockey would carry us through at least the first six rounds of such a large league, but it turns out there's some sort of weird top-down thing with Slavic hockey player names- you're familiar with one -qvist or -inen, you think you know them all, when in reality, it turns out you are an ignorant, ignorant fool. One doesn't understand how desperate things are until Teppo Numminen goes in the thirteenth round with the hope that it was only "light heart surgery", and odds are laid out on Mike Modano breaking a hip before the All-Star game. Drafting strategies evolved from skill level---starter---have heard the name before---name sounds Russian---suppose should take a Western Conference player---name sounds dirty---name sounds like he's hung well---pointer happened to be over his name. I dare each and every one of you not to snicker at the name Alexander Semin after five beers and two hours in front of a computer screen.

All in all, we clocked in at a little over two hours, and I walked away with a bomb squad, and Ritch walked away from a hockey event not in tears. For those who who joined an American Hockey Fan Contributor Fantasy League, results of Week One's showdowns, conveniently between Ben/Jack and Ritch/Myself, are to come.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Will the NHL put highlights of the Rangers/Isles brawl on YouTube?

Time will tell, but I doubt it.

Watch this space for updates. Or I guess you could just go to YouTube yourself, but that wouldn't really help our site traffic, now would it?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hey- you guys know how I post on another blog too?

It's called the Nosebleeds, and it's about all sports.

I mention this because both this blog and that blog are powered by blogger, and I just wrote a post for AHF that I unintentionally published on the Nosebleeds.

I thought about changing it, but who gets hurt if there is more hockey available on general sports site?

You know, other than the hundreds of thousands of American sports fans who don't give a crap about hockey?

Oh well- it's a pretty good post I think, and I haven't posted for them in a while.

You can click here for a direct link.

I gotta go, Rangers/Devils starts in 20 minutes!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eric McErlain-

--has a terrific wrap up of the Ice Bowl ticket flap over on AOL's Fanhouse, which you should definitely check out, and not just because they mention my name.

While I'm at it, I can't say enough good things about the FanHouse. In addition to the fact that it's a great hockey source, I'm even more impressed with how it caused me to almost immediately get over my knee-jerk desire to despise it simply because of the big, corporate AOL logo. It's sort of like a Barnes and Noble over there, in that you want to hate the big giant chain, but then you get inside, everything's laid out beautifully, and there is plenty you want to read.

Of course, the Fanhouse is better, because unlike Barnes and Noble, you can enjoy it in the nude.

Boy, did I learn that the hard way.


I'm the only one who sees a couch and a good book and feels the urge to take his pants off and relax? I'm not the bad guy here, it's society.

Anyway, Eric did a great job with the wrap up of the Ice Bowl story, and thanks to all the boys from the FanHouse who were in touch with me about it. From what I have been able to figure out, it was more important for the NHL to be able to say that they sold out in half an hour than it was for them to make sure that the right fans got into the game.

On the bright side, that decision has led to a lot of decent press from several major sports outlets not generally known for being particularly respectful of hockey. They have been praising the drawing power of the NHL, and raised the game's profile. This is great stuff.

The bad part is, I truly believe the NHL could have had it's cake and ate it too. Like most of the massively embarrassing PR blunders the NHL has made and continues to make, (The Gladiator ad campaign, Glowing Pucks, The Columbus Blue Jackets)this all could have been avoided if the NHL had actually LISTENED to it's fans, something it seems tragically unable to do.

The Hockey Blogs and websites have been calling the Ice Bowl the worst kept secret in sports for a reason- people were really excited about it. The outdoor game in Edmonton was a big deal, and I was pissed when it wasn't on television. The Michigan-Michigan State outdoor game was something that people loved. I really believe that the game would have sold out quickly without the backstage maneuvering, and both the fans and the league would have been thrilled.

Also, to address the baffling question of why tickets were set aside for Toronto Blue Jays Season ticket holders, a comment I got from a reader named David bears reprinting:

The Jays and the Bills have promotions for joint season tickets, whereby if you buy your Bills tickets through your Jays account you would qualify for a discount. Or something to that effect.

Paul Godfrey, president of the Jays has been a huge proponent of bringing the NFL to Toronto and has had strong ties to the Bills organisation dating back to his days as publisher of the Toronto Sun.

I have no idea if this is true, as if there are two things I couldn't give less of a crap about it's Canadian baseball and Buffalo football, but it sounds plausible to me. If anybody can confirm or deny this, I'm all ears.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, I am thrilled for hockey.

This game is going to happen, it's a runaway sellout and will certainly help to restore some of the excitement that many hockey fans have lost since the lockout.

I just wish I coulda scored a ticket.

Who knows though? There are definitely still some tickets out there, and maybe, just maybe- I could find one.

Unlike these two guys who play on my street hockey team,

I guess I just haven't looked everywhere yet.

Good day for Blue Jays Fans-

-they managed to top the Red Sox last night, and their season ticket holders managed to grab (at the very least) 133 tickets to the Winter Classic/Ice bowl- tickets that- well, how do I put this...? Hockey fans were not allowed to access.

I'm disgusted.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Winter Classic/Ice Bowl- the questions continue

OK- I've thrown up a few updates on this already, but I've been able to confirm that yes in fact, very few tickets were made available to Pittsburgh season ticket holders, while many more were made available to Sabres, Maple Leafs, and Blue Jays(!) season ticket holders.

I for one, followed the rules, went to Ticketmaster at 10:09, and missed out entirely. Sure, maybe I should have been trying at 10:01, or 9:59:59, but jeez- I mean, that place fits 70,000. Even after they pull out a mess of seats for TV cameras, that's a lot of tickets in 9 minutes. And from what I can determine, there was a lot more at play here than just overzealous scalpers buying up blocks of tickets. Kevin over at Bflo blog is reporting that Sabres PR man Mike Gilbert told a sports radio station that the biggest block of tickets sold through Ticketmaster was 32, even though it was supposedly possible to buy as many as 50 at a time, another fact that is mindboggling. Who, besides scalpers buys 50 tickets for anything?

While I have heard that people far more connected and qualified than I am are looking into it, I still haven't gotten a decent answer as to why the NHL feels that season ticket holders for the Toronto Maple Leafs or Blue Jays don't have to wait in line like everybody else, or why so many fewer tickets were made available to Penguins season ticket holders.

I contacted the Blue Jays organization, they couldn't confirm anything about ticket promotions, but said someone over there would try to get back to me in the next few days. Apparently, it's crazy over there with the Red Sox in town. I really hope someone calls, but I'm not holding my breath.

And why those two teams?

If it was the Leafs and the Raptors, who are both owned by the same company, that'd still be corrupt, but at least I could understand the motive.

A reporter from Pittsburgh was told by the NHL that they opened the market to Toronto to "attract more fans." Except it's not like Ticketmaster is closed to Toronto, right? Maple Leaf Fans come down to HSBC arena in Buffalo all the time without any special tickets being withheld for them. In fact, the entire reason so many Toronto fans come to Buffalo for games in the first place is they can't get single game tickets to home games, because practically the entire building is bought up by the season ticket holders.

So if the stated excuse for this is to encourage the sports loving residents of a great hockey city who might have a difficult time getting NHL tickets in their home arena, well that might, sorta explain why they reached out to Blue Jays season ticket holders, but why do you also open it up to the Leaf season ticket holders, the one group who have no problem getting tickets in their home arena?

And why the Blue Jays instead of the Raptors or the Argonauts?

OK, just the Raptors.

But still!

And why does Pittsburgh get so screwed?

I'm pissed as it is, but if I were a Penguins season ticket holder, I'd be livid, especially considering the shoddy treatment they've received from their team's management and the NHL with all the rumors of the team moving. All Penguins fans have done is RABIDLY support their team through all this horseshit, and now they have to queue up behind Blue Jays fans?

And what is the NHL thinking? They are using Sidney Crosby to sell the league, then reward his biggest fans by giving them third class citizen status for the biggest game of his career?

Is this a concession for not moving another NHL franchise to the area?

All I'm saying is, If I can't get a ticket to this game, I'd really hope that a Pittsburgh fan, a Buffalo fan, or an NHL VIP is sitting in my seat. As for the Blue Jays, I hope the Red Sox fucking massacre you tonight.

Your fans have had more than their share of good luck for today.


OK- here's a question:

Seeing as tickets for the historic New Years'Day "Winter Classic" outdoor game between the Sabres and the Penguins went on sale this morning at 10:00 AM, and I couldn't get four at any price at 10:09, can anyone from the NHL answer for this announcement on the Ticketmaster webpage?


Why is there a special icon on the Ticketmaster page that allows season ticket holders from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays to enter a code for either a reserved seat or some kind of deal on tickets, especially seeing as I logged in just after 10:00 and was told there were no tickets available?

I understand that Sabres and Penguin season ticket holders would get first crack, and would even understand why they might give Buffalo Bills season ticket holders a spot in line, but what in God's name does Toronto have to do with all this? The Air Canada Centre holds roughly 19,000 people, and the Rogers centre where the Blue Jays play hold 50,000. While I can't imagine that they have anywhere near 50,000 season ticket holders for the Blue jays, what's a safe estimate- 10,000? Add in- say 15,000 season ticket holders for the leafs, and you have 25,000 fewer tickets available for everybody else.


Seriously, what gives?

4:22 PM UPDATE: Rob Rossi at The Pittsburgh Tribune Review is reporting that only 1,500 seats were made available to Pittsburgh Penguins season ticket holders. I asked him why he thought special concessions were made through ticketmaster for Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs season ticket holders, and he said he was told that the NHL "opened the market to Toronto to attract more fans." From my end, I can tell you that Buffalo and Pittsburgh are tremendously popular hockey markets, and something stinks. More later.

I'm taking credit for this

Brodziak, Oilers outlast Panthers 5-4

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)-- Kyle Brodziak had two goals and an assist to help the Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 in a preseason game Monday night.

Clearly, Brodziak read my post knocking him and decided to make me eat my words.

Well, Mr. Brodziak, you done good. But in a more accurate way, WE done good. Because let's face it...without the gentle prodding and encouragement of American Hockey Fan, you never would have scored those goals.

You're welcome, Oilers fans!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Anything you can plug, I can plug better

Just because Ritch is the boss around here doesn't mean he's the only one allowed to derail the hockey posting to plug his other projects. In fact, I've often considered myself the Alex Ovechkin to his Sidney Crosby in that regard...arguably better at it, but without the media adoration.

OK, that ought to take care of the tenuous link to on to the plug!

Today marks the launch of Season 4 of Unleashed, the weekly animated comedy show about the trials and tribulations of animal actors in Hollywood that I created and produce. Check out this week's episode and tell your friends!

If you're scared to leave AHF for fear you'll never find your way back, here's the trailer to wet your whistle.

Speaking of whistles, you know who wears those? Hockey officials.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anybody wanna hear what my voice sounds like?

Well, listen to this recent edition of the national public radio show "Fair Game with Faith Salie." They were kind enough to have me come by last week and do a humorous little show opening with Faith on the topic of Global Warming.

And for those of you who think that Global Warming doesn't have much to do with hockey, I'll remind you that the last three Stanley Cup winners have been from California, North Carolina, and Florida.

I mean, for crying out loud.

Here's a link to the show, my segment is first.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Is it Tuesday yet?

How can it be possible that I'm sick of football already?

Granted, this kind of thing happens to me every year, and I swear, I like football, or at least I usually do, for the first few weeks it's back. I was never the biggest football fan, but seeing football coming back is usually like the return of an old friend, and it's welcomed. But not this year. Seriously, this year, I could not give a crap. And this is even happening while the Patriots are looking great! If I had to guess, I'd say that the aggressive marketing battles from different networks, highlight shows, videogames and what-have-you led to the NFL killing the golden goose. It's hard to deny that the sheer amount of hype they're putting out there is greatly eclipsing the product on the field.

It might be a function of the Michael Vick and Pac-man Jones stuff that was ever present over the summer, but whatever it is, I am just over football, man.


I mean, how fucked is it that the season opener of Monday Night Football is on tonight and not only am I wholly uninterested, but actually thinking "Man- I can't wait for September 11th?"

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Niedermayer - Dead?

Please ignore this picture. It's only here so
the title of the post makes sense. Thank you.

We’ve all heard the expression “fuck you money.” Meaning, an individual has so much money, he or she can pretty much tell everyone “fuck you, I’m doing whatever I want.” Well, Scott Niedermayer not only has "fuck-you money," he’s had a "fuck-you career."

Olympic gold, a Norris Trophy, and a ring for every four years he’s been in the league…so, yeah. F you. I’m going to abbreviate this from now on, so I don’t have to say “fuck” again.

Whoops. OK, starting now.

So when Niedermayer’s GM starts looking nervously at his watch as the trade deadline (in the case of Lou Lamoriello) and/or training camp (in the case of Brian Burke) draws near, there’s not much they can say or do to light a fire under his ass. He’ll decide when he decides, and that’s it. If Flavor Flav took this long to make a decision, there’d be no room on VH1 for Bret Michaels.

OK, so maybe a little deliberation wouldn’t always be a bad thing. But back to hockey.

The same passionless demeanor Niedermayer displays on the ice (seriously, this guy makes Ivan Drago look like Richard Simmons) must carry over to his discussions with management, because what are they going to say? You don’t issue an ultimatum to a player like Scott Niedermayer, lest he dump his Conn Smythe over your head and start beating it with a ladle just to mess with you.

In my opinion, the waiting is the hardest part.
I think I've been pretty clear about that.

That said, I think we can all agree that this foot-dragging is nothing more or less than a big time f you to the Ducks. The guy had all summer to decide whether or not he’s going to retire, and he’s still not sure? So now he’s going to skip camp, leave the team in limbo, cost himself who knows how much money, and for what? MORE time? Somebody get this guy a Magic 8 ball!

And what kind of marbles does it take to retire at 34, anyway? I think he’s going to need those extra 7 or 8 years just to decide whether or not he might go fishing.

The guy takes a long time with decisions is what I’m saying.

One month away-

Well, we're less than 30 day s a way from the debut of a brand new hockey season, and I gotta tell you, I'm starting to get excited about it. As a Bruins fan, I 'm falling into the usual pattern of hoping for the best, yet wondering whether this year will be any different.

And then, for some reason, I thought about the NHL and how far it has come. There was a lot of hype over the past few seasons about Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, and like I am pre-disposed to do, I doubted and waited.

But now, after each of these two extraordinary players have had two seasons to stretch their legs, work through the hype and expectations, I gotta say, I'm a believer.

This is the year to watch these guys.

Year one was the "which one will be rookie of the year" thing.
Fun, but ultimately not that big a deal.

Year two was "OK, are either one of these guys just a flash in the pan?"
A resounding no. These guys are not just here to stay, but the future of the game.

So what does this year bring from Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby?

This year brings all the gifts that all of them have offered, plus one mammoth, huge factor- confidence. Neither one has a damn thing to prove to the league as individual players anymore. Now we see how they can lead a team. Just for fun, here are a couple of YouTube Clips of Ovechkin, who I've praised in the past, and Crosby.

Now here's Crosby, in a clip that is kind of awesome, if only to bring people into the mind of a Penguins fan who thought to himself- "You know what would make people understand how great Crosby is? I know! The music of Foreigner!"

Either way, I saw both of them live last year, and I hope to do it again if I can.

This is the year of confidence.This is the year that the boys become men.

I say this now, before my love for the Bruins blinds me to enjoying any success that their Eastern conference rivals might achieve.

Seriously. This is the year.
Get your tickets as soon as possible.

Buckle your seatbelts.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Asphalt Avengers Assemble!

OK- I really, really tried to write something that could properly set this up for you, but I think it's better if you go in cold.

As Ben said, when he forwarded it me, "What the Holy Fuck is this?"


I mean, WOW.

I am the only one who thinks Brodeur and his weird goatee'd buddy are going to try to fuck those kids?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

To pre, or not to pre

That is the question. After a long summer of no hockey, am I desperate enough to go see a pre-season game? Ritch and I went to one right after the lockout ended. It had been over a year since we had seen any hockey, the tickets were free, we had our pick of seats, and beer was available.

It was still JUST BARELY worth it.

But yesterday I got a Ticketmaster email about upcoming events at the Garden, and there, on Friday September 21st, is a pre-season matchup of the Devils and Rangers. And God help me, I considered it. After all, it's tough to resist the chance to be one of the first to hurl insults at Scott Gomez as he takes the ice in Ranger blue - and one of the few, I'm sure, to hurl insults unrelated to his ethnicity.

Pre-season hockey? Why not watch me dry instead?

That said, there are a few reasons not to go:

1) There is nothing more pointless than pre-season hockey.

2) Thanks to the emphasis on intra-divisional competition, I will have the chance to see the Rangers play the Devils approximately 37 times on an 82 game schedule.

3) This is not the Devils vs. the Rangers. This is a collection of wide-eyed 4th and 5th stringers who are as likely to be caught gazing in awe at Eddie Giacomin's jersey in the rafters as they are to score a goal.

4) There is NOTHING more pointless than pre-season hockey.

Is anybody out there going to a pre-season game? If so, I dare you to defend yourselves in the comments.