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Thoughts From A Hockey-Centric Mind

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Hockey-centric, because “boob-centric” isn’t generally considered class “a” journalism.

I’ve decided to spare you my weekend golf tale of woe, because you have zero reason to care about my double bogey on the par 5 18th to shoot a +1 (73) after making seven birdies as a six handicap.  Oops, so you got the Coles Notes version.  I’m still rattled.

Hockey’s gettin’ good, and here’s what’s on my mind….

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Yesterday, I had a friend of the blog send me a gambling tip – as in, he’d found an extremely fair line to bet.  I misunderstood the bet at first, but now I’m wondering….

Gamblers of the world, unite!  Have you seen any great odds for the playoffs or rest of the regular season?  Let’s track ‘em down for each other.  I haven’t bet online since last season, but I’ve followed way too closely this year to not put a couple down before playoffs.

And if you haven’t seen good odds…. confident in your team?  Care to make a bet?  I’m sure it’s illegal, so we won’t bet money (wink), but chuck it out there and see if someone else’s team wants to take the other side of the bet.  For example, I bet the Islanders don’t lose a single game in playoffs this year.  Any takers?

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Mouthguards, you may know, are spit-out-able.  To be sure you always have one amongst all the travelling, misplacing and chewing on them, when you go get a custom mouthguard in professional hockey, they make you up a couple.  In the NHL, I’m sure they have stacks of them on backup.  And when they do come out of your mouth, you can pick them up.

So why was Sidney Crosby jawing at Jimmy Howard after the whistle with that stupid clumsy thing in?  Afraid he was gonna get suckered?  Or just prone to really awkward looking confrontations? 

You guessed it.  Angry-Faced Sid (AFS from here forth) is awkwaaaard (but not super awkward, like it must be every time Tiger’s phone vibrates for a text, and he and Elin look at it, then at each other, then back at it…. and he grabs it).

 

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Is it just me, or is “hockey is for everyone” the most obscure slogan ever coming from a sport played predominantly by upper-middle class largely white kids from cold-weather climates?

I like “history will be made” a lot though, because, frankly, (hockey) history will be (Max Talbot!).  Legends are built, as demonstrated by how nobody scoffs when you imply Ruslan Fedetenko is an effective player – because of all his game winners in playoffs with the Lightning (jokes, jokes, he’s a great person and good depth guy).

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I still think overtime should go to three-on-three before the shootout.  In that 3 on 3, penalties are penalty shots, it’s 2-on-1 after 2-on-1, and wins come by a more hockey-like and awesome fashion.  Haters be damned, if they saw it in action, they’d pee their old wooden Montreal Forum seats they bought off eBay and sit in to watch road games on their old bunny-eared no-def TV’s.

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I’d like to see a stat on which team has played the most back-up goalies in the league this year.  Gotta be Toronto or Edmonton, right?

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 In defense for some bad looking hits: it’s really hard, if you’re forechecking a defenseman going back on the puck with intent to finish your check like your coach wants (and get the puck), to pull up or recognize he’s put himself in an unsafe spot.  It just is.  Just ask my no-longer intact sternum & clavicle, sometimes you’re just gonna. get. hit. hard. in hockey.

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Recently added to the list of things I never knew existed but I now co-own by the rules of common-law living:  “Sconces.”

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Happy Tuesday – it’s pouring here, a perfect day for writing.  Expect a flood of articles in the near future.

Comments

25 Responses to “Thoughts From A Hockey-Centric Mind”
  1. I loved Sid’s comment on Howard ‘getting involved’ at the end – “I don’t know what he was doing out there”.

    Well, maybe Jimmy was standing up for the team mate of his you cross checked four or five times eh Sid ha ha

  2. Mike says:

    I still say Crosby was trying to spit out the mouthguard, but those damn lips got in the way.

  3. greg says:

    I’m willing to bet the Kings take down the coyotes if they meet in the playoffs…..takers?

  4. greg says:

    what happened to the link for the caps bet? or was that the misunderstanding? what is the real bet?

  5. jtbourne says:

    Yep, that was the misunderstanding – the bet is to win the east IN PLAYOFFS, which in retrospect, should’ve been more obvious. I just got way too excited when I saw how rich I was going to make me.

    As for the Kings/Coyotes bet, nice work on getting the ball rolling. I’ll take that bet if it takes place, I gotta show some solidarity with the Yotes!

  6. greg says:

    sounds good…there seem to be lots of possibilities for the kings yotes matchup. 2-7 or 4-5 is most likely i think.

    Since I’m a poor married guy with two kids myself, what do you say to a bet of 20 “Credits”….wink wink.

    Of course the credits can be transferred by paypal (they now offer a new “credit” sharing service…)

  7. MikeB says:

    The Oilers goalie got hurt, so if ‘bulin was actually heathy and getting DUIs then the oilers would have fine. I don’t think that an injury should have count.
    On that note both teams in Ontario win that battle. “starting goalie’ not actually being hurt but backup playing the most games.

    Related to the vid, has there been a goalie fight yet this year? I feel like we need one to get ready for the playoffs.

  8. crushasaurus says:

    I knew there was something fishy about that one. Because I saw it on a UK site they aren’t exactly clued that there is a difference between winning the conference and WINNING IN THE CHUFFING PLAYOFFS, and they didn’t make it clear. At all.

    I still put some money on it though, I’m keeping the faith in Boudreau and the boys.

  9. crushasaurus says:

    Also, apologies for nearly killing you.

  10. minnesotagirl71 says:

    You’re so right about the reasons why hockey is not for everyone. It’s also not for those fans who don’t like to watch players hit so hard because “They might huuurrrrt each otherrr!” (Imagine whiney high pitched voice.)

    Sounds like Crushasaurus is living up to his name….

    Did she make you go shopping with her for those sconces? I’m hearing the sound of a cracking whip in my head…not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  11. Char says:

    Well, to be fair, I don’t really see a spot where Crosby could have rid himself of his moutpiece. Looks like the linesman had his arms pinned through most of that.

    Love me some Jimmy Howard. Love feisty goalies. That was almost as good as Tim Thomas coming out of his crease and flattening Alex Kotsisyn last season.

  12. jtbourne says:

    SPIT IT OUT!!!

  13. UK gambling sites are a gold mine for hockey fans if you stay sensible and keep an eye out – a friend of mine won hundreds of pounds because the UK bookmakers clearly had no clue about the womens ice hockey at the Olympics

    There are also occasionally some very good odds on some teams going in to the play-offs etc, and now and then you get some really crazy ones – I mean, the Sharks at 5/1? Clearly they’ve never seen the Sharks play in the post season! ha

    At 14/1 I am tempted to stick a little bit on the Wings – as much as that goes against everything I believe in as an Avs fan, it’s hard to turn down some ‘green’

    Oh and just for Justin – the Isles are 400/1 with one famous British bookie to win the Cup!

  14. Char says:

    Aren’t some of those mouthguards difficult to spit out? I know Kane’s is halfway out half the time even when he’s playing (why does he even bother with one?), but some of them (check out Chara’s sometime) look like they’d take some effort to dislodge.

    BTW, was it Zetterberg last spring who pulled Kane’s mouthguard out and threw it? That was hilarious.

  15. wychwood says:

    I’d like to see a stat on which team has played the most back-up goalies in the league this year. Gotta be Toronto or Edmonton, right?

    Actually, according to the NHL stats, no. Edmonton have played three goalies, like most of the league, and Toronto have played four, matching Minnesota, Carolina, and Pittsburgh. The winner is the Rangers, who have somehow managed five – Henrik Lundqvist (63 games), Alex Auld (23), Steve Valiquette (6), Chad Johnson (5), and Matt Zaba (1).

    If you’re looking for numbers of minutes played by backups, or whatever, that’s gonna be another story, though.

  16. jtbourne says:

    Played AGAINST, homey, but thanks anyways! Shoulda been clearer.

  17. wychwood says:

    Hahaha, that makes more sense!

    *considers going to crunch more numbers*

  18. House says:

    Yep, a well molded mouthguard is near impossible to spit out.

    When it comes to OT, play 5 on 5 for 10 full minutes and make it worth nothing for the losing team. Go to 3 points for a win and one for a tie.

  19. Mark says:

    Better to see a Sid keep it in than what Kane was doing last night. Every time the kid got the puck he’d pop his mouthguard half out as he skated with it. At some point he’s going to get smoked and learn that’s a stupid thing to do.

    I’ve been on the band wagon so long that I’d take the Yotes over the Red Wings.

  20. Cassie says:

    So right on the hitting thing. People just don’t realize how hard it is to a) realize the other person’s in a bad position, b) realize you need to stop or hold up because of it, and c) trying to stop or hold up because you’ve realized that you need to. Things sometimes happen. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes…in a game played on slick ice with walls.

  21. wychwood says:

    OK, I crunched numbers!

    The answer to your question turns out to be more interesting than I had expected. The team that plays backups most often is apparently Atlanta 24 times, followed by the Jackets (22) and then the Stars (21). At the other end of the spectrum, the teams that have played the fewest backups are tied on 12: Nashville, the Kings, the Flyers, the Wild, Anaheim, and Florida. There actually doesn’t seem to be much relationship between how well a team has done and how often they play backup goaltenders; Washington’s tied with St Louis, and Edmonton with the Yotes.

    (methodology: I arbitrarily eliminated anyone with over 2000 minutes of ice-time this season as being “not-a-backup”*, as well as not-backups who played less than that due to injury**, and Toskala and Osgood who were technically starters except for how they sucked. Also, I only included games where the goalie played 58+ minutes because otherwise my head would have exploded trying to work out all the details)

    *(that’s: Gustavsson, Pavelec, Rask, Halak, Price, Theodore, Thomas, Ward, Hedberg, Niittymaki, Deslauriers, Roloson, Elliott, Huet, S Mason, Rinne, Turco, Backstrom, C Mason, Hiller, Howard, Fleury, Vokoun, Luongo, Miller, Lundqvist, Bryzgalov, Kiprusoff, Nabokov, Anderson, Quick, and Brodeur)

    **(Lehtonen, DiPietro, Khabibulin, Emery)

    Full results: NSH=12, LAK=12, PHI=12, MIN=12, ANA=12, FLA=12, BOS=13, CAR=13, WSH=14, VAN=14, COL=14, CGY=14, STL=14, PIT=15, BUF=15, OTT=15, NYR=15, CHI=16, DET=16, TBL=16, NYI=16, SJS=17, NJD=17, MTL=17, TOR=17, PHX=18, EDM=18, DAL=21, CBJ=22, ATL=24

  22. jtbourne says:

    Thanks for doing that dude…. I’m gonna find a connection in there somewhere!

  23. Fish says:

    It shows a tendency for teams to not take Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton and Phoenix as a viable threat. A coach feels more secure in putting in the backup when his team plays against those theams than when he does playing say Nashville, LA, Philly, Minnesota, Anaheim and Florida… Couple ‘o headschratchers there innit?

    Could be sortof an explanation for the offensive implosion of the B’s, IF they faced way more backups last year that is…

    And even in this stat Buffalo is a middle o’ the pack team :)

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  1. [...] A few blogs back I asked the question “I wonder which team has played (against) the most back-up goaltenders this year?”  I figured there’d be some correlation between that stat and the standings.  Well, our friend Wychwood crunched the numbers for us.  Check out the answer (bottom comment) here. [...]



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