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Column: Learning To Disrespect Your Opponents

 

New Puck Daddy: on why it’s effective to not give your opponents too much respect

It’s Okay To Talk To Reporters, Guys

 

New Hockey Primetime: The Oshie situation, what happens when players miss practice with “unexcused absences”

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Love those uni's.

By the time I finished my four years at the University of Alaska Anchorage, I had gotten to know Doyle Woody well.  Doyle worked for the Anchorage Daily News (still does), covering the two main acts in town, the Alaska Aces my own UAA Seawolves.

After that final season, he compiled nearly a full page spread on me, and it immediately became one of the things I was most proud of from my hockey career.  That being because it wasn’t about me as a player, it was about my willingness to actually attempt to give decent answers to his questions (the spread was actually my top quotes over the years).  I continue to be flummoxed by the fact that there are only a handful of NHLers out of 30 teams that are decent about doing this (Shawn Thornton is great).

I couldn’t find the article online to share with you guys, but contacted Doyle, who searched the newspaper’s database and dug up a few of the quotes.  Without further ado, here are my four fun ones I thought I’d pass along for kicks:

Many of the Seawolves — Chris King, Curtis Glencross and Spence Gilchrist among them — opted for a team-bonding outing Thursday and had their hair cut in mullet fashion, short on the top and sides, long in the back.

“Mullet power, ” Glencross said after Friday’s win.

But freshman Justin Bourne, the sardonic team quipster, opted to keep his black locks long.

“I figure if half the players have the option of not looking like an idiot, I want to be part of that half, ” Bourne said.

***

Rookie winger Justin Bourne, new to the team after finishing his UAA career, didn’t yet know the Aces’ power-play systems, so he simply pursued the puck when it was dumped into the offensive zone. Said Bourne:

“I’m like a puppy with a tennis ball. They fire it in, and I chase it.”

***

After getting badly blownout, Bourne asked “We only get one loss for that, right?”

***

UAA winger Justin Bourne said he was heartbroken when he had a great chance to score in overtime last Saturday in a 3-3 tie with UAF, only to have his stick snap when he tried to launch a one-timer from the slot. The sound of Bourne’s stick breaking could be heard in the high reaches of the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, but it was unclear just where it snapped.

Bourne said the shaft of the stick snapped between his hands, but he didn’t immediately drop the stick, as required by the rules, because he was so disappointed.

“I held onto it for a few seconds because… I guess I was in denial, ” Bourne said

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Check out Down Goes Brown’s post handicapping this year’s NHL awards.  Absolutely hilarious.

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Today’s post should be up soon.  Thanks for all the support!

Some Links And Notes From Coyotes Practice

 

I actually got off my lazy ass yesterday and attended a Phoenix Coyotes practice, inspired by the fact that USA Today asked me to write a feature on them.  You can read it here, or *gasp* in the actual newspaper. 

I had a great chat with their GM, Don Maloney – when I asked him if there’s a team he’d like to avoid in the playoffs, he said something along the lines of “I dunno, would you rather be shot, stabbed or hung?  There’s no pushover out there.”  (After some more thought, he did say they struggle most with San Jose, and would prefer to not have to deal with them in round one.)

New Puck Daddy: on flipping the switch to playoff mode early (as teams battling for a spot have to do) and how it affects your team.

New The Hockey News: on the four traits that great coaches share

New USA Today: Power rankings

(…..it’s been a busy week so far.)

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New to me, I dunno.

Fun notes from Coyotes practice:

* Radim Vrbata uses a stick called a “Combat,” which apparently Dustin Brown also uses.  Someone mentioned Brown might be part owner of the company?  I dunno, all I know is they weren’t very pretty.

* Dave Tippett is a fairly intimidating man – not physically, he’s kind of short actually – but the dude means business.  I forgot the walking-on-eggshells feeling that comes with being around a coach who’s either frustrated or in full-on competitive mode….. until yesterday.

* Most of you probably saw this when I tweeted it yesterday, but holy hell is Bryzgalov funny.  He was yelling for the majority of practice, including flexing, staring at his crease and yelling “I own you! I fucking own you, goal!” in that awesome accent of his.

* Tippett’s tone was interesting – he’s not worried about getting home ice, he’s concerned with just making playoffs.  Their “glue guys” are largely out due to injury, and getting points is going to be tough down the stretch.  In general, him and Maloney were very honest with themselves about their team and how they have to play to win.

* Jovonovski was practicing with a full cage and looking damn good doing it.  None of their other injured guys were out there yet, but Tippett thinks that after tonight’s game two or three of Fiddler/Korpikoski/Hanzal could be back.

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Hope you’ll check out the columns today – I’ll provide the final links as they post!

It’s Friieeeday, Friieeeday

 

New Puck Daddy: taking a look at the league’s “mis-seeds” – as in, the teams who are far better than where they sit in the standings, and will be a handful for top dogs.

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Hahaha, I have to do this, just one last time.  It’s been fun making fun of this for weeks on end (it has almost has 50 million hits on Youtube BTW. Not even cat videos get that), then today she comes out and donates every penny of profit from this song (something like a million bucks thanks to iTunes/Youtube) to Japan relief funds and her school.  Incredible.  Now we’re all the assholes. 

Ah well.  Mock away, one last time!

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Not sure if you had the chance to read my little prediction yesterday about yesterday’s Habs/Bruins games not being a fightathon, but apparently I was right.  Not with fisticuffs, not in the game, there was just no fight in Montreal.  If anything, the police in Montreal should investigate what the B’s did to the Habs as a group last night, cause that was assault, brotha.

As Jack Edwards put it (in cribbage terms): an absolute skunking.  Doesn’t bode well from the Canadiens; can’t imagine the dressing room was a fun place to be after that.

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James Mirtle compiled the man-games-lost to injury list here - If the Isles grab another top five pick and have some injury luck, the future might actually be kinda damn bright.  Exciting stuff for Isles fans, seeing how they trucked through that.  Now if they could only find a way to stay in Uniondale…. - let’s just hope we don’t have some Quebec to Colorado to Cup type thing brewing.

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I’m in for a treat this afternoon – Playing a round of golf at Eagle Mountain with Larry Melnyk (cup winner with the Oilers).  But don’t worry – my PD column today is well over a thousand words, so that should keep you busy!

Being Sensitive, Explaing Why Habs/Bruins Won’t Be A Scrapfest

 

New Puck Daddy: Teemu Selanne and that art of being a lurker

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Check the link at the bottom of this section

I used to think I didn’t enjoy overly sentimental TV, music or books because I wasn’t sensitive enough.  It’s recently come to my attention that it turns out I don’t like getting invested in those things because I’m too sensitive.  Feeling bad for other people tends to simply ruin me, so when there’s not something I can do about it – like with characters in a movie – I just plain don’t want to feel that way.

As a guy, that seems like obvious solution: avoid it.

Take, for example, the Modest Mouse video (Little Motel) in this (unsurprisingly fantastic) old post by Chris Jones – the song is great, but I can’t enjoy it because the video hurts to watch.  Why do women seem to enjoy doing this to themselves (intentionally watch tear-jerker movies, I mean)? 

Odd.  Anyway, I’ll get back to sports here in a hot sec, right after a recommendation:

For something inspirational/emotional well-worth your time, this Joe Posnanski piece on Rulon Gardner is a must-read.

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Tonight the Bruins and Habs reunite to play their first game after Zdeno Chara executed his perfectly mapped out plan to fracture vertebrae in Max Pacioretty’s neck (or whatever it is the Montreal fans and their police are claiming).

One or two at most. Otherwise, a damn good hockey game.

Here’s why you won’t – repeat, WON’T – see a fight-a-thon.

First, a disclaimer: I’m not saying they Habs won’t want their pound of flesh from Chara.  They may hack, whack and slash him.  They may hit him every chance they get.  Hell, someone (who do they even have, Ryan White?) may even try to fight him.  Those are all possibilities.

But both teams are playoff-bound, and those are coming up mighty quick: 10 games for the big bad B’s, and eight for the speedy Habs.

Both teams are unsure of their seeding still, which makes the points crucial.

The commish and every other fan will be watching this game with eyes wide open Stanley Kubrick syle (Clockwork Orange, not Eyes Wide Shut, btw).  The refs will be paying uber-close attention.  This isn’t like being a juror in court where you can’t know anything about the case to rule on it.  This game will be on lock down, thanks to all the authoritaw paying attention.  You gotta believe the refs are going to call a couple minors early to set the “hey, no fucking around tonight” tone.

The most important thing for playoffs is entering them healthy.  Teams get knocked out strictly on injuries alone some years (as a certain Daddy of Puck has mentioned, with a healthy Tomas Vanek, the Sabres may actually beat the Bruins in round one last year).

I just don’t see any way that now would be the right time to exact revenge.

If you recall the Bruins and Dallas Stars had a monumental amount of tilly’s to make up for something that happened the year before.  File this in the same bin as that game.  There’s a time and a place.

This is neither.

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Trying to meet up with Joe Yerdon of NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk for a pint today.  Good guy, follow him on twitter here.  Have a great Thursday!

GUEST POST: Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy

 

The always entertaining (and inflammatory) Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy is back, folks.  My apologies on the delay – he sent me this over a day ago.  Hope you enjoy!

Follow him on twitter.

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Shut Up, Ray Shero

-by Ryan Lambert

  

An actual thing an NHL general manager said about one of his own players:
 
“The suspension is warranted because that’s exactly the kind of hit we’re trying to get out of the game.”

I can be your Shero bayyyby. (Bourne on caption patrol)

 And with that, Ray Shero was showered with smiles and plaudits and flowers from all angles. What courage it took for Shero to come out and say that! About his own player! This really shows the Penguins care about the headshot issue!
 
What this all ignored, of course, was that Matt Cooke was his own player to begin with.
 
Boy, that’s troublesome, huh? The team that’s been so far out in front of all this reprehensible and irredeemable dirty play in the league this year just happens to have its most dangerous player on payroll for a sizeable chunk of money, and has been since 2008.
 
Since the start of that 2008-09 season, Cooke has received four suspensions from the league totaling as many as 25 games, and probably should have gotten more for the type of vicious knee-to-knee and flying elbow shots that have become his grisly trademark.
 
So to say that Shero is not being duplicitous when he praises the league for suspending Cooke is more than a little bit incorrect. We heard that Shero sat down and talked with Cooke over the summer, spelling out that the kind of play that resulted in, say, Marc Savard’s brain injury, is simply not acceptable.
 
And we heard that through backchannels. Never once did Shero come out and say that elbows like those on Savard or Artem Anisimov were unacceptable and didn’t belong in hockey in, I don’t know, some sort of press release.

I be he actually bites his *own* kids in the sandbox.

Let’s not pretend, however, that they didn’t sign Cooke to a three-year, $5.4 million extension knowing full well what they were getting. In that famous little “Matt Cooke cheapshotting history” video CBC put together last postseason, 10 of the 17 or 20 hits they highlighted came when he was wearing a Penguins jersey. Now, those were of varying brutality and he was suspended for two of them, but that’s at least an average of five borderline or outright dirty players per year that resulted in someone being hurt for at least a short while.
 
The team also stood by when at least seven more questionable plays (according to this) happened this year, offering either silent affirmation that this type of play is acceptable — by not benching him — or, in the case of that horrifying hit from behind on Fedor Tyutin, for which Cooke was suspended four games, outright supporting him and blaming the victim (right, Danny Bylsma?).
 
But now after this latest elbow, Shero chose to break his silence, when the tide of public and league sentiment safely turned against his guy, aided (only as a matter of coincidence, I’m sure) by team owner Mario Lemieux bitching out league officials over that Islanders game. And, if you watch the DiPietro/Cooke video in the above link, you’ll see that Cooke fueled some of that bad blood in no small way earlier in the year.
 
And now he puts out that statement, leans back smugly in his chair, and looks like some sort of hero to any idiot who opts to take everything at face value.
 
But really, he’s nothing more than the father who accepts no responsibility for his poorly-behaved child, getting scolded at a parent-teacher conference.
 
Matt Cooke is as much the toddler who bites kids in the sandbox as anything else. In fact, he won’t stop biting kids. Stealing their toys. Pulling their hair. And Shero sits there condoning it by letting the kid get time in the sandbox day after day, just waiting for the next kid to start wailing while Cooke stands there sheepishly with that detestable “What did I do?” face of his.

"Cooke for Avery, straight up."

 But now Shero’s been called into school, after Mario led the anti-bullying campaign, and he sits there saying, “I know it’s not acceptable and I’ve told him that but he just doesn’t listen!”
 
Now Matt’s got a couple weeks worth of detention to sit there and think about what he’s done, and daddy dearest totally agrees with it. But the kid’s not going to learn because in the end, Shero already promised to take him out for $3.6 million worth of ice cream over the next two years.

We’ve also heard the talk from Cooke, who’s saying all the right things about knowing he has to change how he plays, but we’ve also heard it before, so the only way we’ll know he’s changed is in practical application.
 
I guess the lesson we should take from this is that we have to judge people by their actions and not their words. Cooke can say he’s sorry but the next time he tries to take someone’s head off (and believe me, there will be a next time), what will that have meant? Shero and Lemieux can say they don’t condone his actions, but they’re still going to pay him a lot of money.
 
And don’t get me wrong. Cooke is a very effective hockey player when he’s playing hockey. He’s worth the $1.8 million a year in that regard. But to get that type of strong defensive play, you also have to put up with the cheapshot, injurious nonsense.
 
The Penguins had two years to figure it out. That Cooke has continued to play that way — and admittedly, he’s gotten appreciably worse this season — isn’t a light-dawns-on-Marblehead revelation to anyone in the league except, apparently, Ray Shero.
 
So Shero’s either one of two things: an idiot to have not recognized it before, or someone who is willing to tolerate the depths to which the league’s most dangerous dirty player will sink because goddamn is he ever good at killing penalties.
 
Neither one of those things is praiseworthy. And no self-congratulatory press release is going to change that.

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Matt Cooke – A history of cheapshots:

Cooke Suspension, Explaining Composite vs. Wood on the PK, SIMPSONS!

 

New Puck Daddy: Four tips, things to look for in shootouts

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So, Matt Cooke finally got what he deserved, huh?  And I don’t mean in an Evander Kane, punching him out kind of way, I mean in an “appropriate suspension that should be appropriate the first time you do that and not the tenth” kind of way.

He did lose a crap-ton of money though – just under $220,000 in forfeited salary has to affect a family – who knows what they’re financial situation is (presumably very good after ten NHL seasons), but losing over ten percent of your salary isn’t fun for anyone.

But, if anybody deserves that “hardship,” it’s him.  Essentially, the league gave him a financial

ooch.

 and now he has to lay in the bed he’s made.

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Ssssscores.

I’ve written this before, but after a recent tweet I read (asking why players don’t use more reliable wood sticks on the PK), one more time, with feeling:

Wood sticks broke more than composites do.  They aren’t more reliable, in any way.

 The only reason people make such a fuss over composites (a fuss that’s dying as the older generation of hockey player figures them out) is because they cost ten times as much, so it’s infuriating.  You expect them to last ten times as long too, but they simply don’t.  A little longer, yes, but not much.

If a $20,000 car went 100MPH, and a $200,000 car went 102MPH, you’d expect professional racecar drivers to use the $200,000 car.  That doesn’t mean the guy who uses his car to go to work (which would be rec hockey in this awesome analogy) needs a $200,000 car, but if he can afford it, more power to him.

We also notice composites breaking more because they break cleanly, unlike wood sticks.  Wood ones would fracture, crack, splinter, semi-break, grow flimsy, chip, and just kind of suck after awhile – you still have to drop the thing immediately once it’s like that, so what’s the difference?  You have to use a composite for an eternity for it to just “get bad,” and that’d be a great argument for that stick’s durability if it lasts long enough to go weak.  They just perform at a higher level for longer.

So, enough of that, that’ll be the last time we talk about it!

No, Crosby's sitch is not comparable to Booth or Savard.

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So, something interesting that was pointed out to me, knock on wood: while injuries, head shots and concussions and all that bad stuff continue to happen, as they always will, we haven’t really had a David Booth/Marc Savard style head shot this year.

Is that progress?

Probably.  Sometimes it’s tough to see the big picture, but maybe things are slowly changing for the better. Bettman’s new five point plan (I wrote about that yesterday) might be the next step.

From Yahoo’s terrific hockey writer Nick Cotsonika:

It’s worth noting that the NHL study said only one concussion was caused by an illegal blindside hit through March 1 (Perron).

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I thought these were terrific: occasionally, the Simpsons cuts to a newspaper and flashes a headline – the following are five of my favourites.  You can see 55 of them over at Funny or Die.

Ha.

Love the second headline.

Simplicity!

Very important second story shares front page.

Ha...little thin man is pure evil.

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So, a second to brag: going into Sunday of the Bourne’s Blog (Fantasy) Hockey League, yours truly was sitting in 10th of 16 (and top eight make playoffs).  Going into Sunday of my final match, I was down 6-5.  I was narrowly losing three goalie categories.  Then, the questionable trade I made early in the season (moving Claude Giroux for Corey Crawford and Dustin Penner – at the time, Crawford had only played a few games) panned out in one, glorious evening.

He only gave up one on 23 shots and gets a 2-1 win, pushing me ahead in all three goalie catergories, which got me just enough points to leapfrog two people and sneak into the final playoff spot.  Now I’m playing Chris Botta in the 8 vs. 1 seed matchup – last man standing wins nearly a thousand bucks.  Sweeeet.

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Happy Tuesday friends.  Check out my new plant: 

Penny the Pigtailed Palm

Yyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah.

Kiss The Ring, Bitches

 

New USA Today: Weighing in on Bettman’s five-point plan for minimizing concussions.

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Shall we start the week off right?

 

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I’m still waiting to discover the verdict on the Matt Cooke hearing, as is the rest of the hockey world, but I think it’s safe to assume he’ll be in the 8-10 games range.  I think Bob McKenzie took eight, and Puck Daddy himself Greg Wyshynski took six, but I think they’re both wrong (a rarity for me).

First, in my opinion the hit was far more egregious than the Heatley hit on Steve Ott.  The Heatley elbow was a less dangerous petty/childish type of cheap, versus Cooke’s which was flat out dangerous.  Wysh was guessing six based on Heatley getting two games, and giving it a 3X for repeat offender.

I think this hit was worse than that, and even worse than Gillies on Clutterbuck.  I really, really disliked this hit, and given Cooke’s rep, I think the NHL is well within their bounds to drop the hammer.

Given that Lemieux/Shero/Bylsma have made so much noise about protecting players and punishing the guys doing the damage, the NHL knows they can’t make a fuss if they suspend big.  I’ll take ten minimum.

You?

Stanley Cup Mugs and a World Record

 

New Puck Daddy: on the process of coming back from injury. (Take the time to enjoy the comment section on this one.)

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We might as well start the day off right.  Here’s a guy setting the world record for shallow diving. 

All he had to do to get it was jumped from 36 feet into one foot of water.  Apparently “diving” is a loose term.

 

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So yesterday, my St. Paddy’s Day Puck Daddy post was on drinking within the hockey lifestyle.  Or maybe you don’t remember, because you spent the evening partaking yourself.

Anyway, the picture at the top of it was glorious, and everybody wanted it (check yesterday’s blog to see it).  It turned out to be a photoshop, but still, the idea remains amazing: a Stanley Cup shaped beer mug.

I was digging around to see if such a thing exists, and solicited my twitter followers for help.  Thanks to one man, we have some info:

There is nothing made yet, but there are two patents taken out.  Check ‘em out below.  ….And where can we pre-order?

I'll take one, please.

...and a dozen of these.

Patents are listed here and here respectively.  Don’t these expire after seven years or something?  Shouldn’t I snap the idea up if  that’s the case? (UPDATE: some research reveals they have 14 year terms.  Also, some common sense reveals you’d need NHL licensing.)

Anyway, those are cool.

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Sorry about the light blog week – I’m starting to get carpal tunnely feelings, so I tried to back off the word count a bit.  Have a great weekend!

Team Drinking, yay!

Wow that’s a bad picture.

On St. Patty’s Day, The Leafs and Devils

 

New Puck Daddy: in honor of St. Patty’s Day, a piece discussing drinking within the hockey lifestyle.

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How badly do you want this? Yeah me too.

Happy St. Patty’s Day to one and all out there! (Why is Big Crosby’s “Christman in Killarney” still stuck in my head?)

I love that to is equally as fake/BS as Valentine’s Day, but everyone’s down cause they get to get sauced at noon. 

Since today’s officially Point Out Your Irish Heritage Day: A few generations back my family last name was O’Burne.  Something about coming to this continent and changing it to avoid persecution I guess?  Anyway, I’m something like 30% Irish, a little more Ukranian (pierogi!) and a mutt mixture of about eight other places.  But today….. IRISH!

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While we’re talking heriti (plural of heritages), I’d love to have some people recommend their favourite food from their country, I could use some new stuff to try.  As of this morning, I was advised on twitter to try “salo,” a Ukranian food which appears to be uncooked bacon or something.  But whatever, I’m down.  Whatcha got, folks?

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The playoff races are a lot of fun to follow right now, specifically the Eastern Conference, largely because of the tremendous stories that the Maple Leafs and the Devils have  become.  The Leafs are four points out of a playoff spot with 11 remaining games – the Devils are six out with 13 to go. 

One of them could make this work, I’m tellin’ ya.

"Optimus Reim" and the much-discussed glove hand has been the saviour.

The biggest thing (in my opinion) is that they’re both actually chasing the Rangers.  I think the Sabres are too good to fall off, but I could see NYR hitting some stumbling blocks down the road.  The Sabres added Brad Boyes at the deadline, lost nothing, and were underachieving to begin with.

The question I asked on twitter this morning was, how, in a conference with that many bad teams, do you fall so goddamn far behind?

It feels like these two teams have won every game since Christmas (aside from the little Leafs skid).  And if I remember right, I think the Leafs started the year with something like an 6-2 record.  What, did they just get buckled every night after that?  They’ve climbed out of a pretty deep hole – I just dug up my Power Rankings vote from December for USA Today, I had them 28th.  28th!

And every time I look at the schedule for either team, it seems like they play a pushover two out of every three games.  Tonight, they’re playing Ottawa and Florida respectively.  Those should be wins.

And now they’re a team in the playoff hunt.  I’m sure they’d like back a few of those games around the middle of the schedule, eh?

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Be safe today, and have fun.  Back at it tomorrow, most likely with a fun picture or two, and possibly a hangover.

Today’s Column: Stick Sponsorship Follow-up

 

New Puck Daddy: The details on stick sponsorships, as relayed to me by somebody in the know.

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Sticks and Skate Sponsorsss

 

New The Hockey News: My thoughts on the bazillion trinkets you can buy to get better at hockey.

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There’s a lot to write about from my trip with Easton to Minnesota, the majority of which will be turned into columns, but something I have to share:

A few weeks ago I wrote about stick sponsorships with players, using the extent of my knowledge on the topic, which was simply experience.  Obviously, I have none at the NHL level.  But after hanging around a guy who is the stick rep for eight NHL teams, I learned some cool things.

Remember when I wrote that a guy like Crosby (or whoever) can use whatever skates they want despite sponsorship ties, and get them to look like RBK (or whoever’s) new product?  Then some guy left one of my all-time favourite comments about the ridiculousness of that statement?

Well, I was right about that.  I was told a few names of guys around the league using different skates than what it looks like on the outside.  So, y’know, eat that, it’s a fact.

Basically, they try to custom out the boot they want their player to wear, and if they can’t get it to where the player likes it, they prepare another company’s skates (or at least another companies specs) to look like one of their own.

Ooo, one more interesting tidbit before I get back to other work: I’m writing about this tomorrow, but the most intersting thing about stick sponsorships is how little guys accept to use a company’s stick.  Like, $10-15,000 dollars is enough to limit their choices to one brand when they make a million bucks a year.  A certain player accepted seven grand to use Trilage sticks before bailing and having to repay the money.

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Back to work here – it’s gonna be a busy week!

And Here’s Some Pads You’ll Really Like….

 

I’m not in favour of advertising on equipment, but y’know… there’s something about this I don’t really mind.  Quick guess why: the two gigantic beer cans. 

If you own these pads, aren’t you obligated to get your lid painted to look like a beer helmet?

Hopefully your save percentage higher than the alcohol content

I’m headed to the A game at the Xcel this morning, I think, so fire me a tweet and let’s get together for a hello!

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Fact:

Pictures of the Day

 

Howdy friends!

I’ve captured at least a dozen videos from today at the Minnesota high school guys tourney – Most range from 10 seconds to 50, so before I post it I’m hoping I can lump (I believe they call that editing?) them all into one fancy video.  In the meantime, my cellphone takes fairly acceptable photos, so here’s another half dozen or so that allows you to share in the fun and passion of this tourney a little bit.  It really is bad. ass.

Here we go….

A small portion of the wall of MN state high school hockey uniforms

That’d be pretty cool to see your team’s jersey up there right?

The crowd, simply incredible

I can’t overstate the incredible crowds here in Minnesota.  I’ll better show you in video form ASAP.

Just a small piece of the gear expo...

Yeah, it’s huge – stretches to the right for roughly six billion more miles.

Massive, massive intruments. Apparently decent hockey fans.

It’s the Who’s in Whoville….right?

If you didn't know, downtown St. Paul is a gorgeous.

Love it here.

Synthetic ice. "It's pretty terrific on skates." Sure it is.

Nice to handle the puck on and shoot, but I’m skeptical about skating.

Tsk tsk Bauer. Forgetting St. Cloud, are we?

Bauer’s booth had WCHA stalls from Minnesota set-up….and forgot the Huskies.

And last,

Be jealous goalies....

You could’ve got custom gear, your helmet painted and new….everything else before you left the floor here today.

Hope you enjoyed eight of the, oh, 50 pics I took.  More to come.  Have a great Friday night!

A Product I Like

 

I just watched a game between two teams, neither which I’d ever heard of.  I think it was in the A level, and one of the teams was Hibbing.  Yet somehow, there was still something like 13,000 people there, going absolutely banonkers.

Much like college hockey, there were bands.  Much like college hockey, there were student sections.  And incredibly, those students matched the intensity of the college kids despite being (I assume) sober, albeit on octave higher or ten.

{That really is worth noting, the octave thing.  I’ve never heard a crowd “roar” (squeal?) at that pitch before.  Tenth grade girls and boys’ voices are nearly indistinguishable.  It was almost haunting.  Still, I had chills from the energy the entire third period.}

I’ll get some pictures up from the game sometime later tonight.

*****

Quick mentions of the thing I would’ve liked best if I were a kid playing road hockey:

Love 'em, especially the triangle one.

When I was a kid, I used to play hockey in my garage, ideally with an orange hockey ball (there are about five booths here selling varieties of those balls, each one acting like theirs is going to make a lick of a difference in your learning to stick handle – thise includes the one booth, who’s take on the hockey ball is to make it wooden.  Seriously.  It’s just really light wood.  Kayyyy….).  I used to want to take one timers and just generally pass the puck, so we had three big recycling bins that gave good bounce back that I used to dish to.

Of course, the bottom of these is round, so if you miss your spot, you didn’t get a good pass back (gasp! It’s an invention! Improve your accuracy today with the Bourne Quit-Buying-Useless-Stuff Passer Machine!), which was extremely frustrating.

These things are about a stick blade wide, and trampoline the puck back to you with some heat. I was obsessed with it. Couldn’t stop passing it the puck.  Tres cool.

(You can buy them at hockeyshot.com, and no, they didn’t pay me to write that.)

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