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Hockey Snippets



Bottom O’ the mornin’ to lots of ya, today!

It’s time for our regular feature, the yet un-named blogs where I mind-puke random mostly-hockey-based thoughts (thoughts on the Wisniewski hit in the comment section).  Let’s do this.


St. Patrick Elias

You know what’s gonna be unfortunate?  The inevitable Devils fans heartbreak when they lose a best of seven series to Pittsburgh.  It all looks so pretty right now.  SIX AND OH against the defending Stanley Cup champs this year.  I know a good chunk of you fans will disagree, and you have every logical stat backing you up. 

Which is why it’s gonna hurt so, so bad.


Is it just me, or are Simeon Varlamov and Jose Theodore basically Kyle Orton?  Spent some years on a good team, nobody thinks they’re that good, only nobody can prove they aren’t, cause all they do is win.  I remember early in the NFL season watching Orton grenade the ball around the field for some wins, and people were going “hey, maybe we are better off with Orton than Cutler.”  …until they realized they were huge liars, to themselves.  Same with Huet.  I’m sure he’s going “What more do you want me to do than win?” and Chicago’s fans are thinking “BE BETTER AT PLAYING GOAL”, because he’s not Nikolai Khabibulin (…..but at least he’s sober, zzzzzzzing!)


The Phoenix Coyotes are five points out of FIRST IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE.  Thank god I wasn’t the only tool to pick them to finish 31st out of 30.    Good on ‘em.


Weee, goals are fun!

I’d be interested to hear Ponikarovsky talk about the difference in mood/daily stress going from the last place Maple Leafs to the dressing room of the defending champion Penguins.  I’ve been on teams at both ends of the standings, and it’s amazing how much your start builds momentum.  The season snowballs, good or bad.  You start winning, people are in a better mood, you’re more relaxed, you play better, and you win more. 

I can’t imagine being in a negativity vortex with Brian Burke and Ron Wilson.  They’re like the car or cow that flies out of the tornado and wrecks your house.  Shit was already gonna get damaged, but you know those two are major forces of destruction just waiting to happen, flyin’ around inside that tornado (BTW, I’m a major Burke fan with mad respect for him, but that’s a firey dude that I’d hate to explain my plus/minus to after a loss).


Promotions that need to be stopped:  colored ice for anything.  I think Ms. Conduct mentioned playing on (or seeing) green ice the other day.  All I know is, it’s an effing nightmare to play on pink “breast cancer awareness” ice.  Maybe for a charity or exhibition game, but if I got hit with my head down in a real game, trying to fish the puck out of the hallucinogenic colors below me, I would’ve punched the first woman I saw in the breasts.  We’ve all been affected by it, it’s a great cause, but making my job frustrating and less safe kind of defeats the purpose of being charitable.

A tad gimicky, even for the ECHL


The elusive brandless twig.

I like that announcers are trying to carry on the “boy these one-piece sticks breaking is an epidemic!” tradition that they all loved to shout when the transition from wood happened.  You couldn’t find a single player in a single NHL dressing room that would say a wood stick lasts longer (secretly, I think it’s the cost of the sticks that blows the commentators minds – they should never break at that price!). 

The rare guy still using wood (Paul Stastny) would tell you the exact same thing.  For him, it’s a feel preference, but I’m sure he still uses a stick a game, minimum.  Guys on the mic know those are 200 pound muscular men swinging them as hard as possible at the ice and a frozen puck simultaneously right?


That’s all today guys!  Hope you enjoyed the video blog yesterday, and go check out my latest column at USA Today when you get a chance!  It’s on the Common Sense Rule for Head Shots, which means it has very little chance of being successful in professional sports.


Random picture I like:  C’mon Cristobal, you can this!  (I actually believe that, for what it’s worth.)


16 Responses to “Hockey Snippets”
  1. Firestorm says:

    Just saw the Wisniewski hit on Seabrook.

    Reasonable “old-school” revenge or criminal act? Your thoughts?

    Also Cooke vs. Bruins tonight: mayhem on ice or a dud?

  2. Mike P. says:

    I’m sure who ever came up with the colored ice, never actually played hockey. As a Simpson’s fan you will enjoy this. The hurricanes have a call up with the last name McBain. I cant stop thinking about the Simpson’s character every single time they say his name.

  3. jtbourne says:

    Not much to debate on the Wisniewski hit – the guy didn’t have the puck, wasn’t getting the puck, and the guy knocked him unconscious with a charge/board/elbow/interference/intent-to-injure as revenge for a bodycheck that was unpenalized and ended injury-free. It’s like giving your brother an noogie and him responding by taking a baseball bat to your knees.

    As for the Cooke v Boston trial tonight, I think he’ll know he has to fight, and do it a couple times (though he may not want to), just because it’s the best way to quell any serious cheap shot violence. Although, he could double his rep for being hated by not fighting or talking…. I just hope that’s not his goal.

    I’m looking forward to see who has Colin Campbells job next year, by the way.

  4. JD says:

    That picture of the brandless stick makes me think about the fact that guys could probably take a wood stick, paint it like a Reebok 10k, have it explode on a one timer in the slot, and still get a reaction from the announcer “and once again these sticks have let a player down at an inopportune time”. On a related note – this post made me think of my coaches in junior trying to justify their decision to buy us shafts and wood blades by saying that we were bad enough at passing in practice already, and we surely couldn’t handle using a composite blade. Which led to guys stenciling Sher Wood (mandatory in the SJ) onto their Eastons, because they were, well, Sher Woods.

  5. ms.conduct says:

    Boys and their sticks…

    BTW, you had me at “200 pound muscular men”… Yessirrrrrr

    Yeah, green ice last night. It was a fun novelty and afforded me the chance to get to know the other goalie (who’d just played another game on it) as he explained how to deal with having absolutely NO markings on the ice other than the center line.

    But not so cool if my paycheck is riding on how I play. I was getting pizza after whether I sucked or not.

  6. James says:

    Wisniewski was sticking up for Perry, but WTF?

    And as far as sticks go, composites are greener than wood, right?

  7. jtbourne says:

    No idea on the green thing bud, I’ll do some research on that.

  8. O'Koharski says:

    The Wisniewski hit was one of the more brutal hockey plays I’ve seen in a while. It was pretty dirty, but a lot cleaner than the flyby headshot that’s all over the news right now. The real thing is he was totally unaware, he didn’t brace at all, he just absorbed it right in the sternum and you can see his whole upper body/head just rocket into the glass. And the fact that he stood there, out on his feet like a zombie before keeling over made it that much rougher to watch.

    That hit was the ultimate example of what it is to get Rocked. If someone misused that phrase, pull last night’s hit up on youtube and show them the true meaning of rocked.

  9. JC says:

    Completely agree with you on the Wiz hit. Low class and the opposite of tough. Will Colin Campbell smack him to quell the Cooke fall out or is he resigned to his future unemployment?

  10. ziklagx says:

    The problem with composite sticks is really the budgetary increase (something like 12x) over a year of hockey for junior and minor pro clubs for a less impressive increase in performance. Wood sticks tend to break less but do ‘go dead’ – the increase in the broken comp. stick fan on the shot probably is greater than but somewhat related to the dead wood stick whiff.

    Colored ice blows.

    Wisniewski’s hit should have been taken care of on the ice – it looked like Chicago started something but then let it go. Stop picking fights after every check but lay down with the law after the dirty ones.

  11. As I said on my own blog – Regardless of how you feel about Matt Cooke’s hit on Marc Savard – even though the entire world outside of the Campbell house seems to think he should have been suspended – Cooke has certainly done one of the key jobs of a ‘pest’: he has caused a mighty distraction!

    So many folks have become caught up in the ‘Will the Bruins go after Cooke?’ question they have lost sight of the fact the Bruins are FAR from guaranteed a post season berth right now, they have scored the fewest goals in the entire league and are now missing arguable their most skilled forward in Savard.

    It needs to be all hands on deck in Boston if the Bruins are too qualify for the play-offs this season, and distractions like ‘the Matt Cooke saga’ must be left to the fans and media to speculate and lament.

  12. Wisnewski suspended for 8 games by the way – a decent call by Campbell’s standards

  13. Courtney says:

    As a Devils fan, I don’t know how anything could hurt more than losing the series in the waning seconds of game 7 – I have serious sports hatred for the Hurricanes

  14. jtbourne says:

    Ohhhhh, yeah, that little nugget. Ouch.

  15. airborne moose says:

    Alaska Aces of the ECHL had two pre-season games with pink ice, pink sweaters, pink and white really really looked weird…not cool…

  16. Deirdre says:

    As far as the colored ice goes – I don’t see why they can’t do a *light* coloring to have that look-how-we’re-support-X feel, but the HOT pink is just crazy. I haven’t played on it, but just watching it was painful. The line judges were just guessing all night.

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