Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Like everybody else, I've been a bit busy over the holidays, but not so busy so as to not drop a quick blog post to let you know what Bruins tough guy Sean Thornton said in the New York Times on Christmas Day. The article was your basic "here's what hockey fighting is for those of you who don't know that it's part of the game and are probably outraged by it" type piece.

Pretty typical, but I appreciate the Times (who have an excellent hockey blog) giving me something worthwhile to read on Christmas morning.

Here's Shawn's quote, answering an assertion by NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell that fighting is on the rise because the solidarity the players felt directly after the lockout had begun to fray, now that several years have passed:

“It’s a theory. But I’d fight my sister if it came down to it. I’m friends with some of the guys I throw the gloves down with. If I start thinking who’s on the other side, then I’m not playing the way I can.”

This is an easy statement to laugh at, but if Shawn is any indication, my guess is, his sister is probably a pretty tough girl. Speaking of tough girls, on the other side of Thornton tonight are Eric Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes. If Staal is anything like his brother Jordan, it might not be his face that Thornton needs to protect. Or maybe that's not as much a Staal problem as a Penguins problem.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I wish Claude Julien is saying to Lou Lamoriello in the hallway of the Prudential Center right now.

Oh- hey Lou!

You know, not much...coaching the number one team in the East, winning constantly, you remember- the kind of thing you fire guys for.

Best to Marty!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Sweet fight near the end there, too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Tough night for Scott Gomez.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Horrifying Halloween Nightmare.



This sends a deadly chill down my spine every time I see it.


As a Bruins fan, the only thing that makes it kind of OK is that Michael Ryder is involved. (He hasn't scored 3 for the Bruins yet, to be sure, but it's a little early to pile on.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Palin booed again at St. Louis Blues opener

-I just watched this on the hockey package, and yep, she got booed, even though the local affliliate actually didn't televise her introduction, merely coming back from commercial as the chorus of boos blended in with loud, generic crowd noise.

My guess is the official party line will be "The fans in St Louis liked her fine, but were just expressing their loves for the Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuues!"


After Palin dropped the puck at the St. Louis opener, Philadelphia finally won it's first game, beating the New Jersey Devils 6-3.

As though that wasn't bad enough, Manny Legace, the Blues starting goalie, slipped on the carpet laid out for Palin and her family, and appeared to reinjure his knee. After giving up two goals in the first period, Legace was replaced by rookie Ben Bishop, who has given up two more goals on 16 shots in his NHL debut.

With less than three minutes left in the third period, the Blues are now losing 4-0.

We've all seen what Sarah Palin has done to John McCain's presidential campaign, and the Philadelphia Flyers.

It would take comeback akin to, well, what it would take for John McCain to come back, for the Blues to win this game.

Could the curse of Sarah Palin have been passed to the St. Louis Blues?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Several Questions not asked of Jordan Staal after his teams' shootout victory over the Boston Bruins

OK- so the Bruins dropped another shootout last night, this time to the hated Penguins.

I'm getting tired of this. They played well, they just couldn't find the net after multiple powerplays. It's a problem, but it's also a young season. When Bergeron breaks through, they'll start winning.

Still, the B's looked good against the Pens, and dodged a real bullet in overtime when Bergeron broke his stick, leaving the Bruins effectively trying to kill a 3 on 2 powerplay.


Oh, and how did they get into a 3-on-3 situation, not to mention the 3-on-2 that was caused by the broken stick?

The Associated Press report of the game provides the most succinct description:

The teams played 3-on-3 for the final 1:35 of the extra period after Savard was whistled for hooking and Jordan Staal was sent off for slashing 17 seconds later.

I've checked a few different papers, and all of them tend to say the same thing, that Jordan Staal was penalized for slashing. Not one of these news organizations mentioned exactly WHERE Dennis Wideman was slashed, and I'm still looking for a YouTube clip. The official NHL Video link doesn't include it.

Still, because the area in which Mr. Staal applied the lumber was not disclosed, I'll go ahead and assume that there were several questions which were not asked of Jordan Staal after the game.

I'll go ahead and ask them here, and you can write your local NHL affiliate, and demand that in the future, I be given press access after all the games so that the truly important questions do not remain unasked:

-So, Jordan- what's up with slashing Dennis Wideman in the balls?

-Seriously, the coin-purse? Right through his legs? Do you think that's OK behavior?

-You have two brothers in the NHL. How did it happen that you didn't learn that sticking somebody in the fruitstand isn't cool?

-Don Cherry used to rave about how much he liked you. You know what Don Cherry also likes? His Grapes. For real now, what's your goddamn problem?

-Oh, hey- Jordan, remember that play when you slashed Dennis Wideman square in the danglers? If someone had done that to your father back in the day, the NHL would have two less honorable players, and one less guy who likes to slash dudes in the biscuits. Do you think it's worth eliminating two good things to accomplish just one? OK- that came out wrong, because in your case, you clearly felt that slashing both of Wideman's nuts was worth well, I dunno, what was that worth?

-Seriously. Jordan. Why his nuts?

-What the hell is the matter with you?


I found a clip of the incident.

OK, not the actual incident, but a similar one.

As always, I await answers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

B's/Habs wrapup-

Well, it was a good game.

The Bruins got a little lucky with the bounce off the back boards, but on the home opener of the centennial season of the Montreal Canadiens, the fact that the home team doesn't get that bounce?

I think it bodes well for the B's.

Ultimately, I'll say that once again, I'm disappointed in the shootout.

It continues to not only water down the thrill of the penalty shot, but provided the Habs with a win that didn't feel like much, and left the Bruins with a loss that felt like they stole a point.

When a win doesn't feel like a win, and a loss feels like a minor victory, there is something wrong with the game.

I hate to tell you, but that game was a tie, and there is nothing wrong with a tie in the regular season, especially between these two magnificent franchises, with the entire season in front of them.

A win in the shootout is like kissing your sister.

Am I alone here?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Round One, 2008-2009

Puck drops at 7:30

Who's excited?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hey, McCain Campaign!

How'd that whole "pander to Hockey Moms with your VP candidate" thing go?

from today's Washington Post:

Obama holds double-digit margins over McCain in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin and carries a nine-point advantage over his Republican rival in Colorado, according to polling conducted by Quinnipiac University for and the Wall Street Journal.

Yeah, that's about what I thought.

And now- for some in depth, well thought out hockey analysis:

Hey- how 'bout those Bruins?

Seriously, they look good out there.

And, yeah, I know about Manny Fernandez. He hasn't played hockey for a year.

But they look good.

Not "HolyfuckingshittheRangersarefiveandO" good, but good.

Trust me, they look good.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"A crisis of confidence"

That's how I heard the global financial meltdown described on NPR this morning. They called it "a crisis of confidence."I don't claim to understand all the details of this mess, but I have been willing to say that putting the logo of the goddamn Montreal Canadiens on money helps no one.

And, for the record, neither will this:


Yeah, nothing restores confidence like Gary Bettman and the New York Islanders.


What- I guess the Grim Reaper and the Ghost of Hitler were busy that day? You couldn't get former FEMA chief Michael Brown, along with the remaining three survivors of the Titanic disaster? Oh, I know- how about Ziggy? Yes, the cartoon character Ziggy, complete with cartoon raincloud pouring rain over his head. Wait, Ziggy- and Patient Zero. That might be slightly worse for consumer confidence.

Jesus, Christ.

Is there a bigger metaphor for "everything he touches turns to shit" than that?

Gary Bettman ringing the bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

Nice work, buddy.

OK- It's been quite a week. Sorry I didn't comment on more of the sideshow that's been running around the NHL, but I was busy, um- watching hockey.

And there is a lot of awful stuff going on around the NHL.

Seriously, as though losing Reggie Dunlop wasn't enough, the next thing you know, Def Leppard is allowed to run around with the Stanley Cup, Gary Bettman is ringing the stock exchange bell, and Sarah Palin is dropping the puck in Philly.


Good on Larry Brooks for calling bullshit on that last one there, even if the idiots in the comments section don't back him up.

Seriously- Is that the way the NHL wants to sell itself? With the New York Stock Exchange, Def Leppard and Sarah Palin?

Well, lucky for hockey, the NHL still has two things even the marketing idiots at the NHL can't fuck up: The game itself, and the great fans who love it, despite the idiocy they throw at us.

Check out this Youtube clip, shot by fan, of the classy, wonderful banner raising ceremony out at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

That's how you do it, Gary.

You'll note they didn't raise the banner upside down.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Def Leppard?


Def Leppard?


UPDATE: Holy Shit.

This is utterly disrespectful.

Someone at the NHL should be fired for this.

Can someone explain to me why exactly people at the NHL think that things other than the game of hockey will somehow encourage Americans to watch hockey?

New Rule: No one from fucking Def Leppard is allowed to touch the Stanley Cup.

They can read it if they want.

As a side note, how about those Bruins?

Friday, September 26, 2008

No wonder the economy is going to hell-

They're putting a Montreal Canadiens logo on the canadian dollar.

You heard me.


Talk about devaluing the currency.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More from the hockey mom.

Goddamnit, I'm sorry.

I mean it- I'm really, really sorry.

But for fuck's sake, look at this:

Watch CBS Videos Online

You know, despite how stupid this looks, it might help her with her base. No matter how terribly this interview was going, she did not abort it. Still, it looks like rather than educating Palin about how to do interviews, the McCain camp would prefer she'd just abstain.

Friday, September 19, 2008

End of an Era

Well, I got a sad email today from Jes Golbez, one of the first and finest hockey bloggers out there.

He has announced that after 4+ years of hockey blogging, first on his great site Hockey Rants, as well as on The Sidney Crosby Show and as an excellent antagonizer of Americans on the AOL Fanhouse, he will be stepping away from hockey blogging to just enjoy the hockey season as a fan.

By way of tribute, I'll say that Jes was the first person I emailed when I considered starting this hockey blog, and I'll reprint the first email I sent him along with his detailed response.

From Ritch Duncan
to golbez
date Wed, May 3, 2006 at 1:44 PM

Hi Jes, my name is Ritch Duncan, and I'm a New York based,
Massachusetts raised comedian and writer that started my own hockey
blog a couple of weeks ago-

The focus of my thing is generally to write knowledgeably about
hockey, but being entertaining and funny is more important to me than
being taken seriously as a hockey journalist. Anyway, I've been
exploring the world of hockey blogging, and as I'm sure you know, it's
a pretty dense jungle.

Still, as I've been clicking around, It seems like you are one of the
best on the scene in terms of regular updates, a sense of humor, an
alternative perspective and actual chops in terms of knowing the game
and the people in it.

So I guess what I'm saying is, could you give the site a look, and if
you like it, maybe give a brother a tip or two?

Are there sites that I should be linking?
Are there places to register it?
Are there people out there who are doing the same thing as me, and am
I stepping on toes?

I mean, I know it's the internet and I can do whatever I want, but it
seems to me to make good sense to at least check in with those who I
perceive to be doing it right.

Any response at all would be much appreciated, and if I'm out of line
in asking, I truly apologize- I really don't know the etiquette here-

Keep up the good work and enjoy the rest of the playoffs,


Now keep in mind, I don't know this guy, and less than two hours later, he sends me back this line by line response:

Jes Gölbez
to me


See my comments *** Inserted below

Anyway, I've been exploring the world of hockey blogging, and as I'm sure you know, it's
a pretty dense jungle.

** I wouldn't say that. Hockey blogging is nothing compared to the other major American sports. There is a lot of room out there for other blogs. **

Are there people out there who are doing the same thing as me, and am
I stepping on toes?

** A blog is a personal space. You can write whatever you want about whomever you want. As long as you aren't plagiarizing or failing to give credit, you'll be fine. Don't be afraid of toe-stepping or pissing people off.

It's a very good idea to exchange links with other sites. If you add your link and they add yours, you'll get cross-traffic, etc etc...most of my traffic comes through word-of-mouth or from other hockey blogs. Send some emails to other blog owners and try to get link exchanges. Most bloggers are pretty good with it. I can add your link to my sidebar if you do the same. Also, please add my Sidney Crosby site ( since that's my 'brother' site.

The biggest sites among hockey bloggers are Off Wing ( and James Mirtle's site ( The Acid Queen is cool, and she'll do a link exchange if you ask. is also a great site run by an Evil Swede.**

** Registering... it's a great idea to register your blog on, plus a few other blogsites and directories like blogwise, yahoo, etc...I've done very little self promotion since I started the blog out. Trust me...anything you can register on to get a few more links here or there isn't a bad thing.
Also, comment on other people's blogs. Don't advertise your site in the actual comment, but just comment and a few people are bound to click your webpage (which is usually given in the comment section when you give your name, email, etc) and you'll get your name about. **

Any response at all would be much appreciated, and if I'm out of line
in asking, I truly apologize- I really don't know the ettiquette here-

** Well, there really isn't a general etiquette but you aren't telling me to Fuck off or asking me for money, so that's a start J. Asking questions is not a bad thing. The most import ant thing is to link/footnote anything you take/quote from another site. **

*One last tip: Try and participate in the HOCKEY BLOG CARNIVALS. It's a semi-regular event where one site hosts a 'carnival' and has links to other blogs pertaining to a theme. I don't know when the next one is, but it's usually advertised on Off Wing's site. Send in a post you think fits the carnival and it helps you get noticed *

Best Regards,

Jes Gölbez

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a goddamn class act, a good guy, a passionate hockey fan, and one of the founding fathers of hockey blogging as we know it today.

There may have been several who came before him, but damn few who did it better.

All of here at American Hockey Fan are on our feet and banging the boards with our online sticks in salute of him today.

Good on ya, Jes- thanks for everything.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hockey Moms for truth:

Saw this on The Fanhouse today:

Pretty funny stuff-

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Side Projects:

Well, it looks like I've milked just about as much off-season hi-jinx out of the Sarah Palin thing as humanly possible, so I'm going to take this opportunity to step away from hockey for a moment and let you know what I've been up to this summer.

As it happens, I've been kind of busy.

The big news is, along with my co-author, the tremendously talented Bob Powers, I have sold a book to Random House called "Living with Lycanthropy: A lifestyle guide for the modern werewolf." There's not much of an online presence as yet, but then again, we haven't, you know, written it yet. The manuscript is due by the end of the year, so with any luck, it'll be on bookshelves before the puck drops on the 2009 playoffs. Stay tuned.

I also recently sat in on a taping of the very funny Podcast "The Flophouse," an online radio show devoted to the mockery of bad movies. It's run by one of the finest writers from my old Jest Magazine days, Mr Dan McCoy. I checked the website recently, and the podcast I was in isn't up yet, but since I've already mentioned my werewolf book, and don't have a damn thing to show for it, I heartily recommend listening to their hilarious installment based on the classic 80's Michael J. Fox film Teen Wolf. It's about 10 minutes long, and well worth your time, you know, if you're the kind of person who might enjoy a podcast about the film "Teen Wolf." You know who you are.

Also, I have a humor piece in the October issue of Maxim magazine, which is on newsstands now. It's a comic flow chart called "The Decider" and it's designed to help George W. Bush decide who (if anybody) he would like to invade last, now that his presidency is winding down. I wrote it along with the uber-talented Scott Jacobson, who won a boatload of emmy awards writing for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and wrote most of the funnier jokes.

Seeing as that link sends you to his Wikipedia entry, I encourage any and all of you to edit it so that it says he was a member of the 1972 Stanley Cup winning Boston Bruins. We'll see how long it lasts up there. I'd do it, but I don't know how.

I am cataloging this list of my summer achievements, in small part because my copy of NHL 09 is currently en route to my apartment thanks to, and when that thing shows up, there is a good chance that any and all productivity will come to a standstill.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More Politics (sorta)

Here's an interesting blog post by a guy who claims that Sarah Palin isn't a hockey mom, she's a hockey agitator.

So if Sarah Palin is the Sean Avery of the political landscape, who are the other major players in this year's election?

John McCain: Marcus Naslund

Once unquestionably great, both McCain and Naslund have gotten old and less interesting than they were eight years ago, so they rolled the dice. McCain took a chance on a longshot VP pick, and Naslund is heading to the Rangers, where old hockey players go to die. But will their gambles pay off? We should know by November.

Barack Obama: Jarome Iginla.

Multiethnic background, killer charisma, screwy name, has gotten to the finals, but has yet to win it all. Does he have what it takes to silence the critics?

Joe Biden: Don Cherry

Unquestionable blue collar experience and knowledge, but tends to shoot off his mouth from time to time in a way that makes his bosses nervous.

George W. Bush: Todd Bertuzzi

Steve Moore's neck is the war in Iraq. Bert's no show stint with the Panthers after being traded for Roberto Luongo is the failed response to Katrina. Everything since then hasn't been THAT bad, but it's been a far cry from good, that's for sure.

Dick Cheney: Kevin Lowe.

Kind of an asshole, and runs a team called the Oilers.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Name Bristol's Baby!

Well, despite the shitstorm that the always great New York Times hockey blog has gotten itself into this week by mentioning politics, I'm gonna stick to it, at least until Mats Sundin shits or gets off the pot.

Whatever your politics are, I think I can safely say that hockey mom Sarah Palin is not fit to lead on the issue of naming children. I mean, Jesus.

Her kids have the Alaska themed names, Track, Piper, Bristol, Willow, and newborn Trig.


I guess I owe Hakan Loob's parents an apology.

Seriously, hurricanes are named better.

Now that 17 year old Bristol Palin is knocked up, we need to step in. Seeing as Bristol's hubby to be Levi is a hockey player for the Wasilla Warriors who plays hurt and scores goals, I think we need to offer some hockey themed names for this kid, if just to save it from Grandma stepping in and naming it something like Wigwam, or Brushfire.

Here's some humble suggestions:

-Saucer Pass Palin
-Five Hole Palin
-Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla Palin
-Oglethorpe Palin
-Warrior Palin

(vote for your favorite or add your own in the comments!)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Father of the Bride

Well, we've had some fun with the news that the presumptive Republican Vice Presidential nominee is a hockey mom, and former sports reporter, and I gotta tell you, this story just keeps getting better and better.

The McCain campaign has released a statement that Governor Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter Bristol is pregnant, and will be not only having the baby, but marrying the father. And here he is:

Courtesy of the New York Post, meet the soon to be happily married 17 year old Levi Johnston, who scored 24 goals in 24 games with the Wasilla High School Warriors despite suffering a cracked bone in his shin during that season.

Enjoy the quotes from his MySpace page (which has now been removed:)

"I'm a f - - -in' redneck" who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

"But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s- - - and just f - - -in' chillin' I guess."

"Ya f - - - with me I'll kick [your] ass," he added.

He also claims to be "in a relationship," but states, "I don't want kids."


Still, seeing as Levi has been pretty clear about his intention to kick the asses of people who fuck with him, let me be clear here-

I'm OK with you, dude. You seem like a little bit of a redneck, but I'm only getting that impression because you, well- called yourself a redneck. It doesn't really take a Jeff Foxworthy to make that leap. But, still, since it's a self imposed title, I'm gonna go ahead and assume that you don't think that's a bad thing. Also, you're 17, and not only scored a goal per game, but also scored with, you know, Bristol, which is no small achievement. She's a fox, no doubt, and while I've never personally had sex with the teenage daughter of an evangelical Christian, I bet it's super fucking hot. I mean, I've seen Footloose, and there's some serious forbidden fruit action going on there.

So on those fronts, good on ya, dude. The no rubber thing is a bummer, but hey, man- you don't need me to tell you that.

Also, and this has nothing to do with you, but I'm really enjoying watching these stuffed shirt right wing pricks choking on their words as they attempt to explain that McCain knew all about how Bristol was pregnant and was OK with it. I'm sure that McCain really wanted to open his convention with a hurricane in New Orleans and a story about an unwanted teenage pregnancy. I mean, family planning arguments aside, nothing puts a bump in the whole "we're making the ticket younger" argument than discovering your injection of youth is about to be a grandmother. I'm guessing that John McCain was just about as pleased to hear about this pregnancy as you were.

Barack Obama has taken the high road with all this, and reminded voters that he was born to an 18 year old mother, but it's not the official Democratic reaction to this that matters. It's the hand wringing for the the Republican family values crowd, and I'm loving watching it unfold. I'm terribly sorry that you're caught in the middle of it, seeing as you had no way of knowing that your girlfriend's mom was going to be potentially a heartbeat away from the Presidency of the United States. I mean, I don't think anybody did.

For Christ's sake- while she was mayor of Wasilla, wasn't this where she worked?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin's NHL roundup

Skip to 2:08 for Sarah Palin (nee Heath)'s NHL roundup:

Friday, August 29, 2008

"Hockey Mom" Sarah Palin is McCain's choice for VP.

Well, how about them apples?

Just as we know now that Hillary Clinton would be up at 3:00 in the morning if the red phone rang in the White House, now we can safely know where Alaska Governor and recent Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin will be too- loading the boys into the van so they can make their 5:00 AM icetime for hockey practice.

Can she make policy? I'm not sure, but I bet she makes a mean cup of cocoa.

Way to appeal to the general population of America John McCain, pander to hockey moms, a group that generally live in New England, Buffalo and Minneapolis. I'm sure that New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota are gonna turn red this time around. Also, she's married to an executive from BP. My brother works there, he likes it fine, and I have no problem with the company, but I gotta tell you, McCain's promise to break the nation's addiction to foreign oil doesn't really take flight when his VP choice is married to an executive from- um, a foreign oil company.

On the bright side, no matter who wins this election, there will be either a black man or a woman in the White House, which is definite progress- or as I call it "Better Luck Next Time Jews!"

But seriously- good pick Johnny.

Nominate a hockey fan. That works great.

Just ask John Kerry.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

OK- Here's why Kevin Paul DuPont is awesome.

I've written about how much I've enjoyed reading Kevin Paul DuPont's column in the Boston Globe many times in the past, even if to point out that he's sometimes a grouch who doesn't have enough faith in the Bruins.

But DuPont is an institution, one of the primary reasons I know a lot about the game of hockey, and a solid writer. Sunday isn't Sunday without the Globe's "Hockey Notes."

So here's a recent example of how goddamn great he is.

In case you don't feel like reading the whole article, The Bruins have a new European prospect named Carl Soderburg who is currently playing for a Swedish team called the Malmo Redhawks. How does DuPont know this? Well, cause it's his goddamn job to know these things. He knows shit like that so people like me don't have to, and God Bless him for it. Either way, that's not what I like about this story. Apparently, a local Swedish newspaper column covering the Redhawks claims that Soderberg will be attending Bruins camp this fall, something that the Bruins claim isn't happening until next season. So how does Dupont handle it?

Check this out:

Former Bruins defenseman Michael Thelven, reached by email in Sweden yesterday morning, supplied a translation of the story, which had Elefalk saying that Soderberg planned to report to Bruins camp. Peo Larsson, GM of Soderberg's Swedish team, the Malmo Redhawks, also said he didn't understand why Chiarelli felt Soderberg would not attempt to make the Boston team for the upcoming season.

"So it seems all the fans of the Malmo Redhawks," noted the report, as translated by Thelven, "have to wait a little bit longer for further news on where Carl Soderberg will play next season."

Rather than accept the party line from the Bruins that everything is hunky dory, DuPont thinks "who do I know who lives in Sweden, and might be able to help me get to the bottom of this?"

And he thinks- "Oh yeah- ex B's defenseman Michael Thelven, (who last laced them up for the Bruins almost 20 years ago) lives over there now and is the CEO of his own company- I'll drop him an email, and see if he can translate this for me."

So he did, and it worked, which I absolutely love. That's called keeping up your connections, and it's what really good journalists do.

Sadly, it's kind of a boring goddamn story, and who really cares if Soderberg shows up to camp this year or next? Not many people, but I'll tell ya, DuPont does, and in the dog days of summer, it's tough to come up with a hockey article.

Good on ya, KPD.

good on ya.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Watching Olympic Water Polo:

So, has anybody else noticed that the primary difference between water polo and ice hockey is temperature?

Wouldn't it be more fun like this?

Friday, August 08, 2008

American Hockey Fan Hall of Fame: Cameron Frye

Cameron Frye:

As Ferris Bueller's best friend, the mild mannered Cameron Frye endures.

A wonderful mimic, wingman, son, and lover of fine art, Cameron struggles under the oppressive thumb of his domineering father, until he ultimately rebels, destroying his father's sports car and heroically sticking around to take responsibility for his actions.

Through it all, this emotionally tormented young man wears a Red Wings jersey in the heart of Chicago, back in the 1980's, when being a Blackhawks fan still meant something.

"Hey Cameron- do you realize that if we played by the rules right now, we'd be in gym?"

Cameron Frye, we salute you.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Really, Bruins?

You gave this guy money?

How much again did you pay the special needs FOOTBALL FAN FROM TENNESSEE to hawk the Bruins all you can eat pass?

I want answers.

If the answer isn't "We decided to do something so inexplicably stupid that hockey bloggers across North America would not be able to resist plugging the new Bruins free popcorn seats" than I'll be pissed.

Actually, if that is the answer, I have to admit, it's kind of brilliant.

So how'd you come up with that idea? Oh, I know- I bet you said- "you know what the problem was with trading Joe Thornton for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau, and Brad Stuart? Doing it without tying in a plug for the free food in the upper deck ticket packs. Next time we do something that is totally fucking ridiculous, let's move some nosebleeds!"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

RIP "The Nosebleeds"

Well, as some of you know- I was one of the writers for the comedy sports blog "The Nosebleeds." That blog was funny, and a lot of fun, until, well- we all just stopped writing. Not quite sure how that happened, but there you go.

Now that the blog has been "suspended for lack of payment," and the editor, the very funny comedian Liam McEneaney, is performing over in Scotland, I'm gonna go ahead and call it.

The Nosebleeds is dead.

And since there isn't a heck of a lot of hockey news, I thought I'd raid the raw files of the Nosebleeds, and re-print one of my favorite posts. Originally posted on August 15th of last year, it dealt with Michael Vick, who at the time, had been indicted on dogfighting charges, but not convicted.

The following post was written by my cat Grapes, and brings the kind of perspective to the dogfighting issue that only a cat can bring. In case you think this is a stretch for AHF, Grapes is named for Don Cherry, which makes it about as hockey related as I can muster on the 31st of July.


Michael Vick Deserves Our Support

By Grapes the Cat, Guest Columnist for the Nosebleeds

Greetings sports fans! As I was lying atop a newspaper today, I noticed that Michael Vick is facing Federal charges of dogfighting. Most of the sports community is either condemning Vick outright, or withholding judgment until due process takes it's course. I would like to recommend a third path, and send a passionate, heartfelt message of support to Michael Vick on behalf of not only myself, but cats in general:

We support you Michael Vick.

In a related point, fuck dogs.

Seriously, dogs are assholes, generally stupid, and deserve whatever they get.

Dogs were shot? Sweet.
Dogs were hung? Awesome.
Dogs were drowned? Great News!
Dogs were electrocuted? My only regret is I can't see every single one of those filthy, vicious pricks bursting into a shower of sparks on Youtube.

For Christ's sake, look at what you're defending!

Yeah, let's all make sure these fucking idiots are well cared for.

I have heard that dogfighting is cruel, but I respectfully disagree. It is really, really funny. We all know the dog that loses the fight gets killed. While that is unquestionably awesome, it gets even better. Guess what happens to the winner if he gets injured?

They kill him too!


Too bad, Scraps! Congrats on the big win buddy, here's your trophy: it's um, noose-shaped. Oh, my. I apologize. My sides are hurting from laughing so hard at these stupid fucking dogs.

In closing, I would like to urge all of you not to leap to judgment. There is no definitive proof Michael Vick has committed any crimes against dogs, and while all of us earnestly hope that he did, it is also our earnest hope that he will get away with it, and return to a long, prosperous career electrocuting, shooting, hanging and drowning dogs.


Grapes the Cat.

PS: If you are a dog, go fuck yourself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who's got three grand?

If the answer is "you,"well- you could be the lucky hockey fan who gets to go see the New York Rangers kick off their season in Prague, or as John McCain calls it, Czechoslovakia.

Here's a riddle for John McCain:

What's the difference between the New York Rangers and Czechoslovakia?

Czechoslovakia ceased to exist in 1993 whereas the Rangers waited until 1995.

Of course, having the Rangers play in Prague is 100 percent consistent with almost all of the recent signings of the Rangers, namely "a great idea if it happened three years ago."

And I know, many hockey pundits over the past several years have been praising the Rangers and their post-lockout return to being a playoff team, but with the "don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out" departure of Ranger captain and Czech star Jaromir Jagr, and the signings of the past-his-prime Marcus Naslund and soon-to-be past-his-prime Wade Redden, it looks like we are seeing a return to the disastrous decisions that not only led the Rangers into years of soaring payrolls and a complete lack of team chemistry, but the utter abandonment of the only thing that actually worked for the Rangers over the past decade, the creation of a team identity built around Jagr and young Czech players.

Check out this post-lockout 2005 New York Times article about the first place Rangers and team identity. There might be a login required, so here's the pertinent passage:

New York reminds Jagr of European cities, and his preponderance of Czech teammates makes him feel almost at home.

His roommate on the Upper West Side is the Czech rookie Petr Prucha. His car pool to practice includes the Czech veterans Martin Rucinsky and Martin Straka. Jagr usually sits in the back, sipping a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. The group chats exclusively in Czech.

The car pool has grown this season. The Rangers now have six Czech players on their roster and three players who used to be with Jagr in Pittsburgh. "It's all by design," Rangers Coach Tom Renney said. "You can tell they enjoy each other's company."

Not only are the Rangers in first place in the Atlantic Division, but Jagr also leads the N.H.L. with 12 goals and Straka has complemented him with 13 assists. During games, Jagr and Straka continually gesture to each other, flashing the same sort of hand signals they used to give with the Penguins.

"We had this situation in Pittsburgh with a lot of Czech guys around him," said Michal Rozsival, a Rangers defenseman from the Czech Republic who played with Jagr in Pittsburgh. "He was always happy, always upbeat. He looks the same right now."

The only remaining Czech players on the Rangers are Rozsival, who remains a solid defenseman, Petr Prucha, who despite a promising rookie season has been invisible of late, and Marek Malik, a hulking oaf who gets booed by his home crowd practically every time he hits the ice, and whose unrestricted free agent status leaves him still available to any NHL General Manager willing to part with a used puck bag.

So good luck on the Prague trip, Rangers. I'm sure the locals will be thrilled to come out and cheer for Dan Fritsche.

So it seems that the Rangers have managed completely recover from one of the two brilliant hockey decisions they have made in the past decade- establishing a team identity. (The other one was signing Henrik Lundquist.) Now, after booting their captain, letting character guy and fan favorite Sean Avery walk out the door, leaving Brendan Shanahan unsigned and likely retiring, the Rangers have effectively created another power vaccum for who is going to lead their team. Will it be Drury? Gomez? Naslund? Unless a major surprise happens and this team miraculously becomes greater than the sum of it's mismatched parts, the Rangers are threatening to reclaim their throne as the Toronto Maple Leafs of the United States hockey market, filled with aging players with no chemistry and no chance at the cup, with the one difference being that they'll never have to deal with all that annoying "fan interest" and "demand for tickets" that Toronto struggles with. All things considered, it's a miracle the Rangers didn't end up with Mats Sundin.

As a dedicated Bruins fan, no one wanted to see the Rangers and Bruins face off in the Winter Classic in the last game ever played in Yankee Stadium more than me. But as a general hockey fan who wants to see the game grow, I certainly don't want a team with no identity on the stage that was established last year as such a triumphant showcase for the league.

I have always hated Jaromir Jagr. I hated him for beating my team when he played great, and I hated his lack of passion for the game when he didn't. But hockey has always needed bad guys, and as I see Jaromir Jagr step off the NHL stage, I realize I never hated the man, I just loved to hate the player. And now, I'm coming around to the belief that the management of the New York Rangers failed him, perhaps starting with the signings of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez, as I wrote about last year.

The cracks in the team chemistry that were caused by that signing, have expanded to shatter the Jaromir Jagr era of the New York Rangers, and any rebuilding that they began.

Now the Rangers and their fans must live with the results.

Let the Gretzky Fleury Lindros Bure Holik Jagr Naslund era begin.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Best. Hockey. Headline. Ever.

Click here and enjoy.

UPDATE: They changed it. The bastards. It used to read: "Leafs give Finger big raise."


Hey Sportsnet! Take a lesson from the New York Post. They don't undo their greatest headlines.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This week in hockey mask news:

Well, the fine folks over at Platinum Dunes, the producers of the highly anticipated remake of Friday the 13th, have officially released photos of the most famous hockey equipment since the era of Gerry Cheevers: the hockey mask of famed slasher Jason Voorhees. The new movie comes out Friday the 13th of February in 2009, and co-stars Mike Modano's wife.

Is it safe to say that hockey is back?

Here's a Friday the 13th themed hockey joke for ya:

Q: What does Hall of Fame hockey coach Toe Blake call a dude who can get up after getting stabbed, shot, electrocuted, run through, and drowned, yet still feels the need to wear a protective hockey mask?

A: A Pussy.

For more on Toe Blake, Jacques Plante, and Clint Benedict click here.
For an awesome punk rock song about Gerry Cheevers, click here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fear not, hockey fans:

I have just set up my DVR to record every episode of SoapNet's new hockey series "MVP" which premiered last night. From what we can tell so far, it's less about hockey than it is about a bunch of hot trashy women who are involved with hockey players.

I'm already on board.

That being said, I have a few ideas for episodes-

How about one when the star player takes his team on an underdog run to the the championship game, loses, then his wife demands he be traded in the off season as rumors swirl that he impregnated a local TV reporter!

Or one when the former backup goalie is not only inexplicably promoted to general manager of the team, but unexplained pictures surface of him with a bunch of hot blondes making out with each other!

Or one where the American hockey star's hot wife steals headlines when she nabs a part in the remake of the classic slasher film Friday the 13th!

Actually- forget it. That all sounds WAY too far fetched.

Even for a soap opera.

We'll keep you updated.

For my hockey-related, non hockey entertainment, I'm sticking to reality programming:

(Thanks to Danny for the find)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New York Rangers vs. The NHL?

Strange news out of New York today, as a report has surfaced that the NHL could actually wrest the New York Rangers from the grasp of the MSG (Madison Square Garden) group. MSG is owned and operated by the Dolan family, a group of men whose names alone elicit the same raw, visceral hatred among Ranger fans as the name "Voldemort" does for the student body of Hogwarts.

When I forwarded the article to my Ranger fan buddy Eric, he replied dryly that he hoped that the Dolans and Bettman might "off themselves like in the end of Reservoir Dogs."

Oh, and if I could extend the Reservoir Dogs analogy, the cop who gets tied to a chair, doused in gasoline, has his ear sliced off, and eventually shot to death would be your average New York Knicks fan after this season . (The Dolan's also run the Knicks.)

Apparently, the Dolans have sued the NHL for maintaining a league wide consistency over all NHL team websites, claiming that it violates anti-trust laws and the NHL has responded by threatening disciplinary action for challenging the league constitution.

The NHL team sites are all functional and good looking, if a bit boring, but any team run site is going to have the interests of the team at heart and not print any negative information that might hurt ticket sales. All that seemed fine with me- so what do the Dolans want to do differently?

There isn't anything in the story about WHY the Dolans want to challenge the NHL's website consistency rules, but upon a quick perusal of both the New York Rangers site, and as a sample group, the Boston Bruins or New Jersey Devils sites, the Rangers site has a noticeable difference.

Up on the top of the Rangers site, under the NHL network links and above the consistent looking team website content there are the following links:

* |Madison Square Garden
* |Radio City Music Hall
* |WaMu Theater at MSG
* |Beacon Theatre
* |The Chicago Theatre
* |MSG Insider
* |NY Knicks
* |NY Liberty

All of these are Dolan holdings, and no such similar link list appears for either the Devils or Bruins. My guess is, the NHL would much rather have the Ranger fans who come to the Rangers team page clicking on links that are NHL properties, as opposed to links that are not. I'm guessing the league told the Dolans they couldn't promote their personal holdings on an NHL website, seeing as the presence of a link to the New York Liberty might distract a Ranger fan from clicking on one of the NHL approved sites, like, you know,, the official website of Alexei Ponikarovsky (Now featuring an actual sculpture of Ponikarovsky's hand, for only $199.99 Canadian!)

I can't imagine that the NHL will actually remove the Rangers from the Dolan Empire, but for the benefit of my Ranger fan pals, here's hoping.

Still, though- if and when this debate fades away, it will be interesting to see if that link list atop NY Rangers dot com fades with it.

I'm betting it will.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

VERY much hockey news today!

So Detroit won the Cup, Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination, and that prick Tiger Woods won another U.S. Open.


If you're like me, you're craving something surprising or unpredictable to help pass the long summer months until the puck drops in October. Well my fellow surprise-wanters, look no further.

SOAPnet is launching a new series about hockey.

Yes, SOAPnet. You know SOAPnet. They show soap operas?

So yeah, that's a little surprising. If you want to be further surprised, see if you can guess what established demographic segment of the hockey fanbase they're targeting:

Yes, I spent the morning googling "rob lowe
shirtless." What are you getting at?
Did I mention that at this point in the post, my use of the term "surprise" becomes sarcastic? No? Well, let me further illustrate.

Another surprise is that the show appears to lack authenticity. For one thing, the players' names: Gabe McCall. Trevor Lemonde. Damon Trebuchet. I mean, what the hell? Not a "chuk" in the bunch. And I'm pretty sure at least one of those is a font.

But perhaps most surprising of all, SOAPnet has managed to produce a 2:17 promo for a show about hockey that (spoiler alert!) features NO FUCKING HOCKEY. If you care to sit through the pre-roll commercial for Splenda (a staple in the pantry/breakfast nook of any true hockey fan), you'll see what I mean:

Can you believe that? (Yeah, like you watched the whole thing). In their defense, though, "no hockey whatsoever" is only 3 seconds less than appears in the average NHL promo.

SIDE NOTE/AHF CONTEST BONANZA ANNOUNCEMENT: Five bucks to the first reader who can find a non-ironic embed of the above promo. Post a link in the comments, if you have hours to waste looking for something that doesn't exist. This is not a joke...I will really send you $5.

So I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much set for the summer...assuming I can tear myself away from the Death Metal dog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not much hockey news today

What, can you think of anything better for today?

Monday, June 16, 2008

In case you haven't seen it.

The best 10 minutes of Bruins hockey in almost 20 years:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rest in Peace, Tim Russert

It's hard to believe, but it's true.

NBC News Washington Bureau Chief, host of "Meet the Press" and longtime Buffalo Sabres fan Tim Russert has died today of a heart attack.

I have written about him fondly before, here and here.

Here's a recent clip of him at the end of Meet the Press rooting on the Caps in these playoffs, as his Sabres failed to qualify this year.

This is just tremendously sad.

NHL AWARDS: Big Winner, Big Loser

The Big Winner:

Who Else? Number 8, Alexander Ovechkin. Takes home a sideboard worth of hardware, and gives the fans of the Washington Capitals even more reason to salivate over the beginning of next season.

The Big Loser:

Whoever the poor bastard was who got stuck sitting behind Zdeno Chara for the whole evening.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hey- how about those dicks on TSN?

Dominick Hasek announced his retirement this week, and as a longtime fan of the game, I'll say that he should be a first ballot hall of famer, and deserves nothing but praise for the seasons of excellent memories and plays he brought to the NHL.

After saying that, I'd also like to take a shot at Canada's TSN who celebrated his retirement with the following video:

What a pompous ass. OK- first of all, I know that Dominick Hasek can be kind of a jerk, and has suffered from shall we say "motivation problems" his entire career. But even with that, we're talking about unarguably one of top ten goaltenders of all time, easily top 5 and arguably top three. Hey TSN- you think you can cut the guy some slack on the day he announces his retirement?

Who knows what goes on in Canada, but I don't think I've ever, even once, EVER "heard" anybody ever do a Dominick Hasek impression. I've "seen" people do a ton of them, when street hockey goalies roll around on their spines, kicking their legs up in the air and call it "doing a Hasek." And when they do that, they are honoring the man and his unorthodox playing style, not mocking his foreign accent.

Second, Hasek falling down while trying to fight Patrick Roy isn't a career highlight, it's a blooper reel. Including that clip while ignoring the stop he made on Todd Bertuzzi's penalty shot in the 2002 playoffs seems to me like they are directly saying "We don't like Dominick Hasek, and are going to use his retirement from the game he made so much more exciting as one final chance to embarrass and poke fun at him."

Finally, giving a goaltender of his caliber a tribute in which your number one highlight shows him giving up a goal (not to mention a heartbreaking, controversial Stanley Cup losing goal) is just low class.

Don't get me wrong- I've poked fun at the Dominator over the years, but today is not the day.

For a more reasonable, respectful and in-depth retrospective of Hasek's career, including the high points along with the lows, check out the NY Times Slap Shot blog.

From everyone at American Hockey Fan, Congrats to Dominick Hasek on a fantastic career.

Friday, June 06, 2008

You know, this has been bugging me-

-Can anybody give me a good reason why every year in recent memory Gary Bettman has been the guy on the ice awarding the Stanley Cup? And I know he is the commissioner, but still. Every year I see him do it, he takes what should be one of the best moments of the season, seeing the overjoyed captain raise the cup over his head in triumph, and if not actually spoils it, kind of taints it with not only his presence at all, but his goofy, stilted, stammering, ham-fisted speechifying.

I mean, everybody loves the Stanley Cup.


Why taint that experience by including a guy who everybody hates?

Does ANYBODY like Gary Bettman?

I mean, really?

Additionally, this year, it seemed like this fact was acknowledged by the league as he was never really even introduced properly. I need to go back to the DVR to hear the actual wording of his introduction, but I know they didn't end it with his name. If they said "Ladies and Gentleman: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman" it is a rock solid guarantee that he would be booed, even if it was a night earlier in Detroit, and the hometown team was delirious with joy.

So if they are already altering introductions to make sure that the commissioner isn't booed, why doesn't he step aside for the good of the game? Because seeing him do his little dog and pony show is embarrassing.

He does his little rehearsed speech, awkwardly praises both teams and then says "come get the Stanley Cup" which would be great, if he'd fucking let go of it. He's gotta stand there like a fat little toad, clutching onto his completely unearned slice of the spotlight, while the captain of the team, a genuine hockey hero, stands around like a doofus, waiting for daddy to give him his treat.

It's disgusting.

Here's an idea. How about every single year the cup is awarded by a previous Stanley Cup winner and member of the Hall of Fame that remains unannounced until the actual ceremony itself. The Oscars do it right. The person who gives out the best picture award is a heavy hitter. Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Katherine Hepburn, somebody that commands unquestionable respect in the industry.

In hockey, it should be a person who means a great deal to the franchise who won the cup. Would it not be a thrill for even the Pittsburgh fans, (who like all great fans, stayed and applauded the ceremony) to hear "Ladies and Gentleman- Presenting the Stanley Cup: Hall of Famer and three time cup champion...Steve Yzerman"

If they managed to keep it a surprise up until the moment, it would make for supreme drama, and you know that Stevie Y would LOVE to hand that cup to Nick Lidstrom. He could deliver the same canned speech that Bettman does, but delivered from such an icon of the game, it would be a moment that would be nothing short of priceless.

If the Penguins won the cup, Mario awards it to Sidney Crosby. Winning the Stanley Cup represents being a part of history, and a part of the Stanley Cup forever, as your name will be engraved upon it from this point forth. It should be awarded by someone who is a part of that, either as a player, a builder, a broadcaster or a cherished member of the hockey family.

It would feature the game of hockey symbolically welcoming the newest chapter of it's history. That honor should come from a beloved part of that history.

Not Gary Bettman.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

How close they came....

So was I the only one who thought that the final seconds of last night's cup final resembled that Super Bowl game when the dude from the Tennessee Titans reached his arm out with the football and ALMOST broke the plane?

The New York Times hockey blog has a great post today with a photo taken with two seconds left, then one second left and then when time expired.

Good stuff.

I had wondered earlier this week if this Cup final qualified as a classic, and if that puck crossed the line there at the end, there would be no question. As it stands right now, I'm gonna say no. The only way this Stanley Cup final will go down in history is if the Penguins go on to win a cup or two in the next couple years, and this was the series that that taught a young dynasty how to win.

What a terrifying thought.

Ultimately, what I take out of this series is the only thing scarier than a Pittsburgh power play composed of six determined skaters is a Detroit penalty kill composed of only three.

Those 5 on 3 kills were things of BEAUTY.

Anyway, thus ends another NHL season, which despite having it's dull moments in the playoffs, was I think the best since the lockout, all things considered.

I'll keep posting over the summer, you know, just in case one of the Staal boys decides to have another bachelor party.

But for now, it's nice out.

Anybody wanna watch a baseball game?


- for the first time in history, the Stanley Cup is awarded on my birthday.

This might be the worst goaltending, on both sides, that I have ever seen in a Stanley Cup Final.

I will say that the ending of this game was dramatic as hell.


Was there ever a lamer Stanley Cup winning goal?

OK- Brett Hull in the crease aside- really?

Was there?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

While I'm at it-

Kristen Bell must be devastated.

It's sad to see someone who has had such a tough year, what with her great career, killer body, tons of fans and a hit movie playing right now suffering through such a tough Red Wing loss on Monday.

I mean, if the Wings don't pull this off, she'll have to suffer through the existence of being a gorgeous movie star whose hockey team has only won three cups in the past decade.

If anyone has an address when we can send our condolances, I will certainly post it in this space.

Chin up, Kristen- there's gotta be a silver lining somewhere.

You just have to look for it.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Could we have a classic on our hands?

Last night, as the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings wrapped up a second thrilling overtime period and were heading into a third, my wife, who is usually in bed by slightly before midnight and holds an opinion about televised ice hockey that can best be described as "tolerant," got up from the couch and announced "OK- It's after midnight. I'm going to bed." She took a couple of steps towards the bathroom, turned back and added, "the second this game is over."

It was pretty extraordinary.

Hockey hasn't crossed over to the casual fan since the ice bowl, and it did it again last night.

So now, after the most thrilling Stanley Cup Final overtime game since before the lockout, I'm wondering if we have a classic on our hands, one of those Stanley Cup playoff series that people talk about. Like the Rangers and Canucks in 1994, the Flyers and Oilers in 1987, or the Flames and Lightning in 2004. (OK- I'm not sure if people actually do still talk about the Flames and Lightning in 2004, but they should, it was a great Final series.) We're not there yet. I'll admit, there have been some boring ass games in this series. The Pens getting shut out in game one and game two make for boring hockey while it's happening, but what made for boring hockey back then makes for a compelling drama as a potential comeback takes shape.

If there are any Boston sports fans out there, you might remember that when the Yankees took game three of the 2004 ALCS by a score of 19-8 for a 3-0 series lead, that wasn't really great baseball either. But if you stuck around for the end of that series, you were treated to a pretty terrific finish.

The reason I'm wondering if this will be a great series is, since game three, like in all great Stanley Cup final series, I have found myself switching allegiances from game to game, period to period, even shift to shift sometimes. And I hate the fucking Penguins. Granted, the Red Wings appear to be the better team, I am on record in this blog as suggesting that the Pens might not even win a single game, and Detroit blows away the Penguins in shots on goal and puck possession.

Still, here we are going into game six in Pittsburgh, the Wings were a mere 30 seonds from a Stanley Cup and they couldn't close the deal.

The Penguins are a younger team and their building is going to be as amped up as they've been since Mario came back from retirement.

It will be very interesting to see how the Penguins respond to the boost of a triple OT win, and the raucous crowd, and even more interesting to see how the Wings handle the pressure. It is very possible that Detroit just comes out, cool as cucumbers, controls the puck, and walks away with the cup in a 1-0 victory (or maybe 2-1 with an empty netter.)

And I have to say, I have always been a critic of Sidney Crosby, not because he isn't great, I have always begrudgingly admitted his skill and tenacity, but because he was overhyped and over promoted before he had ever done anything in the playoffs. Well, in this series, he has done something. A lot of things. He won me over last night with great playmaking under pressure, and more impressively, tremendous backchecking, which in itself led to offensive chances.

But now, for the neutral hockey fan, nothing but good can come out of the rest of this series. If the Red Wings win, we see the cup awarded to yes, a hard working excellent hockey team, but moreover to a front office that has put an excellent, competitive contender out on the ice for over a decade. If past Detroit cups were the story of Yzerman, Federov, Chelios, Hasek or Hull, this cup is all about Ken Holland.

So if Detroit wins on Wednesday (my birthday, by the way) we celebrate a general manager and an excellent franchise, and if Pittsburgh wins, we celebrate an upcoming game seven of the Stanley Cup Final, which is a reason to celebrate in and of itself.

And then, after game seven is over, we'll go ahead and celebrate that general manager and excellent franchise.

I mean, c'mon, does anybody think Detroit is losing this thing?

If they even come close, we'll have a classic on our hands.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thank God there is no hockey tonight.

Cause you know what would crush the Stanley Cup Final in tonight's ratings?


Jesus, I love the spelling bee.

It's the perfect storm or nerdiness, child abuse, and white-knuckled tension.

Check this out:

I know that I bitch a lot about NHL promos, but I'll tell ya, the NHL would do OK to get a couple of these kids up on a podium and get them to try to spell the more difficult names of some of the NHL stars.

Here's how it goes:


STERN JUDGE (Voiceover): Afinogenov.

KID: Definition please?

JUDGE: The last name of Maxim Afinogenov, an All Star Right Wing for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres.

KID: Language of Origin please?

JUDGE: Russian

KID: Part of Speech please?

JUDGE: Noun, proper name.

KID: Afinogenov?

JUDGE: Afinogenov.

KID: Afinogenov?

JUDGE: Afinogenov.

KID: Can you use it in a sentence please?

JUDGE: After picking off a pass in the neutral zone, Afinogenov electrified the crowd by beating two defenders and scoring.

KID: Afinogenov. A-F-I-N-A-G-E-N-O-V. Afinogenov.




VOICEOVER: The players of the National Hockey League: Hard to Spell, Easy to watch.


Then rinse and repeat with a different kid, doing Giguere, Kostitsyn, Datsyuk, you name it. You get a funny little sketch, and a great hockey highlight.


You see NHL?

How fucking hard is that?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Great hockey game last night-



I feel like last night was some of the first really entertaining playoff hockey games I've seen since the first round. Even though I'm loathe to really root for the Penguins, I gotta tell you, it's nice to see a series not go 3-0 right off the bat. Also, I can't help but root for old friend Hal Gill, even though he was certainly a bit of a mixed bag in Boston. Still, despite how well the Penguins played with the lead (something they have done in almost every one of their victories through what has been a relatively easy path to the Final)I can't really say I like their chances.

Despite what the scoreboard said at the end of the game, the Penguins started this game very, very weak, virtually daring Detroit to beat them by not putting a 5 on 5 shot on the net until halfway through the first period. For a team that seemingly needs to get a lead to win games, this does not bode well.

And yeah, I know, they rallied back against the Rangers in game one of that series, but c'mon, that was the Rangers, who simply tried to sit on a lead and blew it. If the Penguins are going to win this series (or at least make it competitive,) they need to take it to Detroit early and often, and that means Malkin needs to start shooting. I know, on paper, the Penguins are one of the best defensive teams in the playoffs. But if I'm getting into a defensive battle, I'd rather not do it in a zero-zero contest against a team that has Nic Lidstrom playing 25 minutes a game.

Also, a special shout out should go to the officials in this game, who allowed a simply splendid stretch of something like 6 furious minutes of play in the third period without a single whistle. It stood in stark contrast to the last moments of the Celtics/Pistons game I watched after the hockey ended, a game that took half an hour to run the last 45 seconds off the clock in a series of timeouts, fouls and free throws that practically put me to sleep.

Now, I know, debating that hockey is better than basketball (or any sport) is kind of ridiculous, especially since a die hard fan of either sport isn't going to have his mind changed, but I will say this- the tension and excitement of the last part of a hockey game is (with the rare exception of a penalty shot) played out while the game is going on, actively, rather than passively. In the waining moments of a basketball game the drama is played out and heightened during stoppages, while players stand around waiting to watch somebody sink or miss a free throw.

in my mind, it is those passive moments of the game, (something also ever present in baseball and to a lesser extent, football) which I find inferior to the active costant motion of hockey, and for that matter, the field Lacrosse game, which I also think is just great- the NCAA championships and semis were the best thing I've seen on ESPN since they cancelled NHL 2nite.

So we have a game four Friday, and it'd be nice to see the Penguins pull out a win and make a series out of it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So- what do you think will beat the NBC coverage of the Stanley Cup Final tonight ratings-wise?

ABC's Wife Swap?

I doubt it. While I have never seen this show, the title seems to suggest it's like a big game show where you get to fuck somebody else's wife. If this was true, I would love it, and watch it very week, to see the destroyed lives unfolding before my eyes. Sadly, I don't think the wives have to fuck their new husbands, I just think they have to tolerate their new families, which they won't be able to do, especially seeing as most famlies can't even tolerate each other. If people want to see arguing, they are better off watching Sidney Crosby bitching at the ref.

Advantage: NHL

Fox's: So You Think You can Dance?

Again, I think the NHL has a chance to beat this. I quote the immortal words of Reggie Dunlop, who once screamed at a ref who was calling a penalty on his Charlestown Chiefs: "What are you running out here, a fuckin' dancefloor?!" However, in the case of the first nationally televised Stanley Cup Final game on network television featuring not only Sidney Crosby, but recently concussed Red Wing Johann Franzen, it's safe to say yes, the National Hockey League will be running a fucking dancefloor tonight. Expect lots of power plays. If you want a dancefloor, you'll get one on both channels, which might pull some viewers interested in such a thing. Frustrated hardcore hockey fans will do what they always do, and yell at their television screens.

Advantage: NHL

CBS's: Price is Right Spectacular:

This is a close call. I'm gonna say if it's with Bob Barker, it kills the NHL. If it's Drew Carey, the game has a shot.

Advantage: TIE: NHL/BARKER

Could it actually be that the NHL could win the network ratings tonight?

Lemme know what you think. I'll tell ya, if this game sucks, I'm flipping over to the Celtics/Pistons on TNT.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Friend Bob Powers-

-has written a book, called "You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero," and despite it's eerie applicability to every member of the Pittsburgh Penguins offense, it has nothing to do with hockey.

At least I don't think it does.

This book is an updated version of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books I used to read when I was a kid, and I'm super proud of him, as back when I was the editor-in-chief of Jest Magazine, we ran an early version of this story, which he has now expanded into a hilarious, dark and disturbing book.

So I say it has nothing to do with hockey, but who knows? When I flipped through it, the choices I made led me to having sex with my ex-girlfriend, then eventually demanding that a kidnapper shoot my father in the head. I tried a few other storylines, but it was that one that worked out the best in the end. Still, I haven't read all the other possible choices and endings, so who knows? Maybe there is some choice you can make that will have you playing on a line with Sidney Crosby, who (unless you happen to be a member of the Detroit Red Wings) you are currently tied with in point production in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final.

If you want to try the book out, and make some choices yourself, click here, then go buy it here!

Friday, May 23, 2008

What I'm doing tonight-

- to continue the "Things I've been enjoying recently that aren't hockey" theme (Finals start tomorrow) I'm seeing Van Halen tonight.

An extra ticket came through through a bunch of buddies of mine, and I decided to go. I was excited about it all morning, and then I had a depressing thought.

I saw Van Halen 20 years ago.

I'm not 35 yet, so it's slowly becoming a more common occurrence that I can say that phrase. It was one thing when I said things like "I haven't been on the monkey bars for 20 years!" But when it's things that I still like to do, that's a milestone, there.

Not to knock the monkey bars, but you know what I mean.

Yep, I saw Van Halen 20 years ago.

Of course, it's better than "30 pounds ago," which also applies, but still- Ooof.

Granted, when I saw them last time, it was on the "Monsters of Rock" tour, but times have changed. You know,other than that whole "guy named George Bush in the White House and a new Indiana Jones movie coming out" thing.

For one thing, in 1988, the Bruins were in the Stanley Cup finals.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Anybody watch SNL this weekend?

Well I did, and I thought it was pretty funny.

I've been watching a lot of popular entertainment recently, mainly because with the exception of a few rare sparks of effort by Dallas and Marty Turco, both the Eastern and Western Conference championship series have been desperately fucking dull.

That said, they are mercifully over now, and hopefully we'll have a decent cup final, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Penguins don't win a single game.

That said, here are some of the things I've been enjoying more than hockey these days:

The Iron Man movie:
Not a revolutionary piece of cinema, but marketed honestly, which I appreciate. The movie was called Iron Man, and guess what was in it? An Iron Man.
Several in fact. The only way I can see anybody leaving that movie angry would be if they hated receiving more than what they paid for."What! I was expecting one Iron Man, singular, and instead I got Iron Men, in the plural! Fraud!" Nope, it was fun, featured good Robert Downey Jr, and had robot fights in it.

Adding Machine: The Musical

My mother-in-law was in town for her birthday this weekend, and like all upper middle class members of the baby boom generation who visit New York City, she finds herself genetically compelled to attend either a Broadway or an off-Broadway show. I'm not quite sure why this is, but I don't mess with it, and it's fun to see a live show from time to time. Plus, it was one of the best reviewed musicals of the season, and described as an extremely bleak, dark comedy, which interests me more than your average overpriced, overblown, watered-down broadway crap. My wife enjoyed it more than I did, but it was certainly a dark, ambitious, funny work of art, and a great night out. Very well acted too, perhaps not well acted enough to convince the NHL on NBC's entire on air broadcast team, but well acted.

Grand Theft Auto IV:
I bought this game, along with an Xbox360 recently, because my beautiful wife, a talented singer and voiceover artist, is one of the voices on the game. I will thank you to take note that I did not purchase this game because I enjoy staying up until 3:00 in the morning killing virtual hookers with rocket launchers, I purchased it because I am a supportive husband. The hooker killing is just a happy offshoot of that support. I did get a fun phone call from my buddy Ted though, (Not that Ted, a different Ted,) who left me a message telling me that he had purchased a copy of Grand Theft Auto, and would like to know which character my wife portrayed, so that he might avoid having sex with her, gunning her down in the street or both. I thought this was damn considerate. I know, it's all show business, but he was right to check in to see if he was crossing a line. It's all good, by the way, as she is actually a character in a sketch about health care on PRL, the Liberty City Public Radio Station. She plays a pharmaceutical rep named Sheila, and eventually gets her head drilled open by a character played by the unrelenting Rick Shapiro, who you might remember from the late, great HBO show Lucky Louie. SNL's Bill Hader is also in that sketch, along with my pal Bryan Tucker, who is a writer on SNL as well.

Which brings me back to hockey.

I was watching SNL last night (thanks, DVR!) and happened to catch a promo, on NBC, for the Stanley Cup Finals on Versus. I have long been a proponent of the theory that the best way to sell hockey is to show hockey, and Versus brought us back to the bad old days in style, showing us a promo for the Stanley Cup Finals starring- yes, a Lawn Chair.


I mean, is promoting this game really so fucking hard?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Sharks vs Stars:

American Golf Fan

Roy Scheider and Samuel L Jackson are both big stars.

So how will the Stars fare tonight?

Like this:

Or like this:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Attention Rangers, Sharks and Avalanche:

American Golf Fan

I got a video for ya:

It might be time to change up your game plans.

Also, that is a pretty impressive sandtrap.

(You like how I'm tenuously clinging to the golf thing?)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bruins finish second.

American Golf Fan

I don't know about you, but I'm proud of them.

Not so sure how much longer I can keep this up.

I kinda want to watch tomorrow night's Stars/Sharks game.

So, you guys seen this yet?

It' a year old, but what the hell.

The thing I love about this is that at one point, Ovechkin starts yelling at the guys on the next tee that he got a hole in one. What's beautiful about that is it isn't necessarily clear to them that Ovechkin is either a professional athlete, or from Russia.

To those dudes, this might just be a the most talented golfer with downs syndrome on the planet.

Hooray, golf!