Welcome to the NYIslesScene!

A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

Islanders 2014-15 Season Mantra

Try not. Do...or do not.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bailey Demoted; Mottau Injured; Isles v. Columbus Tonight

After reaching a losing streak of 13 games, the Islanders announced about 31 minutes ago via Twitter that they have sent Josh Bailey down to Bridgeport on loan. The demotion comes the night of the Isles' matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team that's been flying fairly high after winning four straight. Ironically, it was Bailey who made the difference last time the two teams played each other, with his overtime goal winning it for the Isles, 4-3.

But this is a very different Columbus squad. Both goalies, Mathieu Garon and Steve Mason, have been solid for the Blue Jackets (Garon gets the nod tonight after Mason shut out the Predators, 2-0). Captain Rick Nash has a six-game goal streak and points in the last nine games he's played, and overall, the team is incredibly strong defensively; their 2.32 goals-allowed average is the third-lowest in the league at the moment, which does not bode well for an offensively struggling team like the Islanders. Not only that, but with Bailey's demotion and captain Doug Weight being questionable for tonight (back spasms), the Isles may have to play a bit shorthanded. Not to mention that Mike Mottau could be out of commission for a while after being struck in the right eye by a puck last game against Atlanta. He spent a couple of days in the hospital down there before being cleared to fly back up to New York; according to Katie Strang, Mottau is suffering from hyphemia (blood in the eye) and could be out for up to six weeks. Not a good thing for a club that is thin on the blueline as it is. They called up Travis Hamonic from Bridgeport yesterday morning to fill in the gap.

I have to question why it is that Bailey has been sent down, yet John Tavares has not. While on the voting ballot for the All-Star Game in Raleigh in January, Tavares has had a minus-rating in all but two games this season and his -15 is the worst on the roster. True, the team as a whole has only scored 18 goals in 13 games, so that isn't all on Johnny, but if you're going to demote anyone to the Bridge, why not have it be a guy who's supposed to be a goalscorer? Just a thought for something that will really send a message across to the rest of the locker room.

However, what's been done is done, and all we as fans can do is hold our breaths and hope that somehow it pays off. Puck drop is set for tonight at 7 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum.

(Isles' preview on their website is here.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Once Again... A Dead Horse Resurrected- Or Should I Say, a Dead "Bunny"?

So, here we go again- this time, it's a anti-puck bunny song that's caused a stir among hockey fans, male and female. Basically, an adorable girl in glasses and a Thrashers shirt sings about how "puck bunnies don't know (cough) about hockey, 'cause they're there to play a different game." (Lyrics from the song, by the way.) You can see it here:


Puck Daddy picked it up and posted it on their blog, and while it's gotten plenty of positive buzz, of COURSE the Negative Nancys have to comment as well. One blogger, while making a couple of valid points about how not every pretty girl in a hockey jersey is necessarily a puck bunny, went as far as to suggest that every anti-puck bunny out there is some ugly, fat, desperate female who wants a hockey player to look at them instead of the chosen beauties.

News flash: it's time to get over that mentality, because appearances don't matter when it comes to respectable female fans vs. the ones with ears and tails.

Now, when it comes to fandom, personally, I don't lie about where I stand. I'm a female. I'm attracted to men. That may or may not include the men who happen to play in the NHL. It takes nothing away from what I post on here (I would hope) because I don't blather on about how much of a "babe" John Tavares is, or how I would try to get a date with Rick DiPietro. (Um, he's MARRIED, people. Like, God. /end sarcasm) That is not what this blog is about, and besides, Christine would probably go insane. ;) I have more respect for her, our readers, and myself- not to mention this sport. I just happen to have hormones that go beyond a wall of glass and a sheet of ice. Big deal.

But, and I will say this "but" because it's a pretty true one: BUT. I would never conduct myself with the same kind of recklessness and sheer lack of self-respect that puck bunnies do. While it's to be determined whether they know about the game or not, it's clear that they don't care- their priority is to get a hockey player or die trying. My priority, and that of many fellow female fans I associate with, is to watch, learn and love the game- with the bonus of a few nice-looking faces.

I suppose that's all pretty easy to understand (though some people still don't get it), and to be honest, the topic of a female hockey fan will never stop being beaten, buried, and dug up once more for resuscitation. Any girl who happens to mention her attraction to a player could be judged accordingly- by men, sure, but more often by fellow female fans who automatically declare her a deviation from the unwritten rules of our fandom, whatever those may be. It's how we were raised, I guess- after all, sociologically, what are we taught? Cross your legs, pluck your eyebrows, and find a man before your 30s. It's nonsense. But it's near-unquestionable nonsense at this point, though some of us (*raises hand*) will still question it. As I think we should. There's no reason to point the finger at each other, ladies, and even if sometimes we think a girl has dubious intentions, there's nothing wrong with taking her under our wings and teaching her the basics. Am I right or am I right?

But that's a subject for a post on a very different blog. For now, I leave you with this video, and I hope we all know that healthy female =/= puck bunny. Au revoir.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NHL Coach Pat Burns is Remembered 1952-2010

Surely the Devils could use a little guidance from beyond. : )

On Saturday night Montreal honored Pat Burns:

The State of the Islanders... What Should Be Done?

It's been a tumultuous month of November for this team and everyone involved.

That's an understatement, I know, but what can be said by anyone writing a blog that doesn't involve swearing like a person possessed? Especially while watching a team that seems to be making all the wrong moves- to say nothing of that team's organization.

Consider that the Islanders have lost eleven straight games- a tremendous losing streak that started against the Florida Panthers (ironically, the team they will face tonight) and resulted in the firing of head coach Scott Gordon. In this losing streak, the Islanders have allowed 43 goals and forced only 16, including eight goals in the last eight games. In his last five starts, Dwayne Roloson has played admirably, facing an average of 30.2 shots per game and stopping, on average, 27.8 shots; however, he remains 2-8-1 while maintaining a save percentage for the season to date at .916. Rick DiPietro, meanwhile, has faced 30 shots per game and has saved fewer of them, at an average of 25.6 saves per start in his last five games. (That's nearly five goals allowed per game, as opposed to just over two goals allowed per game for Roli.) He was also in net the night of the Isles' 7-2 embarrassment against Carolina, as well as the 6-1 loss against Philadelphia. However, the lineup in front of both goaltenders has been unstable, with players popping on and off of the roster on a nearly game-to-game basis. Not to mention that at some points in the losses, not everyone was playing with one hundred percent effort, which can also hurt a goaltender's stats and confidence.

In any case, Gordon has been ousted (to remain with the Isles in an advisory capacity to GM Garth Snow, according to the organization), and in the aftermath of that news, former Isles PR rep turned blogger/journalist Chris Botta has had his credentials yanked and access to the team barred following some rather critical analysis of Snow and the Isles' moves. For that, the organization has come under fire in the past 48 hours, prompting many to wonder: What exactly are the Islanders trying to do?

And what are they doing, really? One has to question it, after letting go of Billy Jaffe and bringing in the legendary (yet less-than-critical) Butch Goring, and now pulling the credentials of a man who, sure, is by no means uncontroversial, but at the very least he pulls no punches regarding his opinions of the team and organization. After the events of this past offseason, the Islanders now look as though they're just trying to silence all critics rather than do anything to improve the on-ice product, and that is not the way to handle hardships. The fact remains that there is a long way to go as far as getting talent on the roster is concerned, not to mention getting players with sufficient experience, and if this is a means of taking eyes off of the state of the actual team... well, they really are doing themselves no favors. In fact, they're coming off more like the spoiled Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland than a viable, capable organization focused on improving things.

Bottom line? Let people keep their heads, and get your priorities in order. After all, we've got a losing streak going on here that shows no signs of losing steam.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Special Hockey Clinic in Queens = AWESOME

On Tuesday night I went to the Special Hockey clinic being held at the City Ice Pavilion in Queens. The kids were moving and grooving out on the ice, and a couple were zoomed around and then thrown like a bowling ball only to slide across the ice on their knees. Each player was given 1 to 1 instruction by volunteer coaches who looked to be having as much fun as the kids. Parents and caregivers were taking pictures and looked so proud of the kids, some who were stepping out on the ice for the first time. When all was said and done the kids were able to keep their equipment which is great! More clinics are in the works to build their roster, for more information check out the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA). 

Hockey IS for EVERYONE!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Senators Coach's Daughter Mourned by Thousands

This morning a memorial service was held for Daron, the daughter of Ottawa Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson and his wife Stephanie. Reportedly, Daron committed suicide in the basement of her home at the tender age of 14. Suicide is such a permanent choice in response to what are usually temporary problems and/or conditions, however it can be very hard for someone who is struggling to take on this perspective. 14 years of life is not enough time to decide whether life is worth living because things can always turn around on a dime for the better, especially in adolescence. For a 14 year old child to believe that there is no other option is a tragedy. This is something people never get over, they learn to cope or live with it the best they can. Angie and I would like to offer our condolences to the Richardson family, especially to Daron's sister Morgan, who is now an only child, and in my professional experience the family member most likely to carry the weight of this devastation. I hope Morgan will be provided the support she will need to live a happy and healthy life despite the loss of her sister.

Senators coach's daughter mourned by thousands

For more information about suicide prevention:

Kids Help Phone - Canada

Child, Youth, and Family Crisis Line of Eastern Ontario

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Institute of Mental Health

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Yes They Are Way Ahead In The Standings But The Flyers Still Suck

As always I'm holding out hope for tonight's game against the Flyers, hope that the Isles will finally stand up to their playground bully. Bummed that I won't be able to watch the game but a fundraiser for an animal refuge, at the end of the day, is more important...although some die hard hockey fans would say 'no it isn't' or ask if there is a TV at the place before deciding to go. : )

Injury and inconsistent roster seem to be hindering the Isles but overall for me it's really not about the team as much as it is about the organization as I don't believe much will change until a change is made in Isles ownership. This excerpt below of a debate on FB with my Flyers fan friend AJ pretty much sums up what I think about this subject and about AJ's gloating over the fact that the Flyers are way ahead of the Isles in the standings and the Isles appear unable to win against them...what since 2007 is it? I now refer to this as tonight's pre-game coverage:

"Ok so let's focus on your team now because that suits you now like a typical fair-weather Flyers fan. Regardless of how well they do this season they, as they always do, will choke in the end. Your team is top heavy for yet another season, you don't have a defense or a goalie to make it to winning the Cup. All that talent over the years and they still can't pull it off, bad enough the Flyers wasted Lindros all those years. Add to that the classless fans too many Flyer fans are where my friend was afraid to walk to my car after Flyers fans screamed in our faces 'go home' and 'fu*k you and your team' at us inside which happens EVERY time after a game walking in the corridor. I sit in a club seat so that I don't have to deal with the general admission idiots who say stupid $hit the entire game, even when there are kids around. Your fan base has the worst reputation in the league and has for years. A fan base one step below Eagles obnoxious fans and everyone knows it. My team sucks because the owner sucks and at this point is holding my team hostage for a real estate deal. I can't even focus on the team at this point because the 'suck' is tricking down from the guy at the top and he's poisoning everything and everybody underneath him, including the team. The best part of the Flyers? The arena, John Stevens, Martin Biron (my favorite current NHL goalie even when he WAS on the Flyers) and the greyhound adoption table at the games with the greyhounds actually there. I've been watching the NHL for more years than you have been alive, if the overall history doesn't factor into this kind of debate, keep watching and maybe one day you'll get it. Now I must go and burn some white sage and meditate that the Isles somehow find a way to kick the crap out of your team tonight. It's a long shot but with Wang in charge, it's all we Isles fans have, loyalty to our team..WIN OR LOSE. Oh and Peter Laviolette? You and your team can enjoy our sloppy seconds."

Yeah I know I stole that last line from Sean Avery. It was so fitting though. 

LET'S GO ISLANDERS!! I'll GIVE YOU EACH 5 BUCKS IF YOU WIN TONIGHT!! Wait ya'll make beaucoup paper so instead I'll donate 5 bucks for each player on the roster tonight to the refuge. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Islanders to Host Special Hockey Day at NVMC! & 1st Special Hockey Team to Debut in NYC!

As announced on the Islander's website

Islanders to Hold 'Special Hockey Day' on Saturday, November 6th.

For more information about the event Honorees, the Long Island Blues please visit their website

Long Island Blues

and for more information about the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA)

American Special Hockey Association

also Autism Speaks in partnership with ASHA and the New York Rangers will be holding a free skate clinic in Long Island City on Tuesday, November 16th. No skating experience is required but space is limited so for sign up please visit Autism Speaks.

aaaaannnnddddd visit the New York Rangers website for information about the 1st Special Hockey program in New York City.

Got all that? Good.

Hockey IS for EVERYONE!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

They Tried To Make Me Go To NHL Addiction Rehab But I Said...

Except for thinking I was on the wrong team's website for a split second, compliments to whoever had the sense of humor to make this image the Islanders landing page...although now I have that song stuck in my head.

After the preseason there were two teams I thought were ones to watch; Toronto and Tampa Bay. Wasn't sure about the Islanders because it's fair to say injury and morale has affected the team year after year so it's a wait and see kind of thing. Despite injuries early on, the Isles have impressed even non-Isles fans. All I know is that if, or in the spirit of Tony Robbins, WHEN the Isles remain this way in the standings you can be sure that this image will be on my Happy Holidays card come December. 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Isles Win Three in Row, Have Overtime and Video Review to Thank

Islanders 3: Lightning 2 (OT)
Islanders 2: Leafs 1 (OT)
Avalanche 2: Islanders 5

I'd love to go into each of these games play by play, but there isn't enough time in the world and at this point in the week, it would all be redundant, so... here's some commentary.

First off, how great is it to be an Isles fan right now? I mean, sure, it's early, but considering the team is playing right now without two top players- Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo- and has managed to start off at the top of the Eastern Conference... you gotta admit, that's impressive. There have been some important variables involved- some lucky calls going our way, plus some spectacular goaltending- but even as players have popped in and out of the lineup, the general play of the team has stayed the same.

Of course, that doesn't mean we haven't had our injuries. Our most recent casualty has been Andrew MacDonald, who had successful hand surgery earlier in the week and will be out for a few weeks at least. That gives us another chance to watch Jack Hillen, who's been a healthy scratch for many of the games mainly because of lack of roster space. Also out day-to-day (supposedly) is Josh Bailey, who aggravated a hip flexor he sustained against Washington earlier in the month. He left the game against Toronto early in the second period, and did not play at all in the rest of that game or in Tampa Bay. Blake Comeau, who had been developing a very good tandem with Bailey up until Josh's injury, looked a bit lost against Tampa and didn't play very well as a consequence.

Still, the Isles have managed to overcome injuries and low expectations, implementing a strong forecheck, a determined defense and penalty kill, and two goalies- a healthy Rick DiPietro and an ageless Dwayne Roloson- who've wowed more than once in each game they've played. Roloson had the game of his season to date against the Leafs, with not quite the number of saves (28, as opposed to 58 last season) but certainly with the same kind of acrobatics, and so far he's simply been a rock in net. DiPietro, however, isn't staying too far behind- he started off a bit slow, but has picked up and is making some great saves out there, looking closer to the form of his All-Star season than the past two years. In the absence of Okposo and Streit, we've seen Bailey, Comeau, Matt Moulson and newcomer PA Parenteau step up and deliver points. Our power play has been touch-and-go, but we still have plenty of time to fix that. And overall, we've had some good production from our other new Isles- James Wisniewski, Milan Jurcina, and Michael Grabner in particular.

We've also been lucky. I mean, two video reviews ruling non-goals for the Leafs, and then two video reviews ruling Isles goals good goals (including the overtime winner by Moulson) against the Lightning? Those two games alone could have been drastically different if the calls had gone the other way, and I'm sure the Islanders know it. They could be looking at a record for the worse right now, instead of a 4-1-2 start (their best since 2001-02). Then again, maybe we should credit the refs and the "War Room" over in Toronto for taking the time to ensure calls are going the right way. While officiating has still had plenty of issues so far, at least good goals are goals now.

So how long will this last? Who can say for sure? I do know that right now things are going much better for the Isles than was projected before the start of the season, and we can only hope they get better from here on out.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fights, Gestures and A Return to Rivalry, Oh My!

Rangers 4: Islanders 6

It's common knowledge that when one comes upon a game between these two teams, it's bound to be a ton of fun. And so it was, even with no John Tavares in the lineup; Rick DiPietro in one net, Henrik Lundqvist in the other, both teams yapping before the puck was even dropped- and once that happened, all hell broke loose.

The first period alone saw a fight between Zenon Konopka and Brandon Prust, an incident between James Wisniewski and Sean Avery in which Wiz mimicked the act of, well, oral sex, and three goals (two from the Isles, one from the Rangers- thank Josh Bailey, Ryan Dubinsky, and Blake Comeau, in that order). It also bore witness to some hard hits, some yapping, and some sparkling saves from a remarkably healthy and calm-looking Rick DiPietro. In the second, the Rangers tied it up and then took a 3-2 lead, which was where I stopped getting updates because I left for West Seneca with a friend of mine. I started feeling dejected because I thought the game had taken a turn for the worse, until I found out around 6 p.m. that the Isles had indeed pulled out a win thanks to Moulson and Comeau (game-winner) as well as former Ranger PA Parenteau and Frans Nielsen (empty-netter). DiPietro finished with 29 saves, the Isles with two points, and youngsters Comeau and Bailey came away with the first and second stars of the game, an impressive feat for two players who've impressed from the Dallas game onward. Bailey in particular has shown some great skill and progress- he's making good, smart plays, working hard and proving to be one of the more reliable forwards on the Isles roster.

Also a great sign? DiPietro's playing well for a guy making his first season starts in quite a while. He's moving well, making great saves while still (mostly) staying in the net, and while he was a bit jumpy in the game against the Stars, he seemed to be a lot more calm and confident against his old foes. While he did allow four goals, he could have been much worse, particularly in the start of the game when he had to make 3 or 4 quick stops on an offensive flurry by the Rangers. Overall, it's obviously a work in progress, but it could be much worse.

As for Wiz... well, reports on Twitter indicate the defenseman has been suspended for two games for this against well-known slopstirrer Sean Avery. Call me crazy, but while this was a dumb move and shouldn't be allowed, the fact that he got two games while Mike Cammalleri got one for his vicious slash on Nino Niederreiter (a move that could have hurt the guy) is laughable. Two games is fine, but give Mike 3, and for God's sake take into account that vicious hits, whether by players with suspension histories or not, should be cracked down on far more than a silly, immature gesture. Wiz, you were wearing the "A" and all, and you definitely should've known better than to stoop to Avery's level, but instead of putting so much focus on this, maybe they should've decided what to do about Niklas Hjalmarsson's hit on Jason Pominville- a hit that's landed Pommers with a concussion. Just a thought.

All of that said...


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ondrej Pavelec Falls Down Goes Boom

Of course if it's something serious, be well...BUT if you forgot proper nutrition or fluids prior to game then your teammates should be allowed to take shots on you without your gear on...fair payback for scaring the bejesus out of them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This Just In

NJD: 1
NYI: 2

YAY! Bailey and Comeau = double YAY!

MTL: 7
NYI: 2


Redskins: 17
Eagles: 12

YAY YAY YAY!! Vick getting hurt = bonus.

AND drumroll please...

BUF: 9
PHI: 3

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Injuries Already???? Isles Start Season Without Two Top Players

Preseason isn't over, but the Islanders face a couple of glaring holes in their lineup already as we come closer to October 9.

First down was blueliner and alternate captain Mark Streit, who was injured during the team's Orange and Blue Scrimmage on Sept. 26. He received a slight cross-check from teammate Matt Moulson and fell awkwardly hurting his left shoulder. Further evaluation revealed Streit had torn his rotator cuff and labrum, requiring surgery and putting him out of commission for, at the very least, six months. That's practically the entire season and a big blow to the Isles, who lose a PP specialist and defensive leader. Moulson posted on his Twitter account (@MMoulson) that he felt really bad about what had happened, but Streit assured him it wasn't his fault. And it's not- you never want to hurt a guy you play with (unless you really don't like him... just kidding), especially when he's a key to your team's success.

Also out of commission is Kyle Okposo, who also sustained a serious shoulder injury during a scrimmage and is out, according to the Isles, "indefinitely." The minimum length of time I've heard so far is three months, but of course that could end up being longer, which is a huge setback not only for Kyle personally, but for his linemates and the rest of the offense. For the past two seasons, Okposo's been hovering around the 20-goal mark without quite reaching it, and many believed that this would be the season he would get there, provided he stay healthy. With this injury, however, he may not be able to, and the Islanders lose a valuable source of point production.

Ironically, goaltender Rick DiPietro is said to be healthy after missing the majority of two seasons with knee problems. Hopefully this is still true at the start of the season, let alone the midpoint or further. In the interim, the Isles have signed D Mike Mottau to replace Streit in the lineup... what they do to fill Okposo's place remains to be seen.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Connecticut Whale Logo Unveiled: Add One More to the Fugly List

Connecticut Whale Logo Unveiled - Courant.com

It appears there are a lot of pissed off whales and fisherman wandering around. My vote is for the whales who have every right to be pissed off at fishermen and whoever created and approved this logo.

Is there one graphic designer whose only job is perfecting the Grrrr mouth look on sports logos?

No whales were harmed in the making of this post however my eyes were singed a bit revisiting the fish stick logo. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A New Dawn? A New Day? for Jeff Tambellini?

We shall see.

Tyler Carr: A Warrior Indeed

Tyler Carr of the Washington Ice Dogs earns his Black Belt.

Thanks to The American Special Hockey Association for sharing the news.

Congratulations Tyler! 

One should act 
in consonance with 
the way of heaven and earth
which is enduring
and eternal
The superior man
perseveres long
in his course
adapts to the times
but remains firm
in his direction
and correct
in his goals

I Ching

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NHL Rule Enforcement, Will it Work?

The NHL recently posted an official video regarding 2010-2011 rule changes including blind side and lateral hits to the head.

Comments about these rules seem to be mixed between those who think this is a puss move on the NHL and those who like the changes but are skeptical about the NHL enforcing the rules and/or confident the refs will be able to discern the difference between a good hit and a bad one. Maybe this video below is a pre-season precursor as to how accountable players will be held for their antics -

Chicago's Nick Boynton received a game misconduct penalty for making a throat slashing motion towards Tampa Bay's Blair Jones after Jones pummeled Boynton right in the kisser. Boynton mouthing "you're f*#$*%g dead" while making the gesture probably topped off his being suspended for one game which means missing his team's home opener on October 7th. Maybe this kind of thing has happened in the past but if in pre-season a player is going to be suspended for this and miss the home opener, maybe there is hope that all involved and responsible for rule enforcement will do their job. As I watched the video part showing bad hits, it repelled me from the computer screen - that kind of violence doesn't represent the sport I've loved since being a kid. It's not necessary, it's not ice hockey and kids especially should not have to be subjected to it. 

Side note - Boynton got pummeled because he pulled back his right arm too far when winding up to hit Jones thus he lost his balance and gave up his space to Jones. 

(source: NHL.com)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WTF? and Just Plain Disgusting

WTF??  : (


Just plain disgusting.

Way to be classy Philly. It is no wonder why I can't stand your sports attitude in general. 

To those at Philadelphia Daily News who find what Michael Vick and his cohorts did to defenseless animals over the years as 'Top Dog', may you come back in your next life as a fighting/bait dog. Here's Vick's indictment just in case ya' wanna have an idea of the brutality which only stopped...wait for it...BECAUSE HE GOT CAUGHT. 

Leopards don't change their spots, neither will Vick. Now in the spotlight again with the pressure to perform...just give it time. Vick in the starting spot is not a 'shocking turnout' - this was the plan from the beginning but the slow ease-in was done to avoid pissing off too many dog loving season ticket holders and so on....'so on' meaning $$$$$$$$$$$.

This post co-written by our guest blogger Maddy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yet Another Reason Blindside Hits Have No Place in the NHL

From CNN news -

College Player Who Committed Suicide Had Brain Injury

FYI...An athlete's art work may be used to identify changes in brain activity and could be tracked from childhood. Certain drawings 'pull' for certain information about a person and may be one of the only ways to externalize symptoms that medical tests have yet to pick up on.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Remember

It's times like these you learn to live again 
It's times like these you give and give again 
It's times like these you learn to love again 
It's times like these time and time again

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh Caption My Caption!

And the Fu Manchu award for best tweet regarding Kovalchuk goes to...

@IntentToBlow: New on ItB: Devils in crisis as Kovalchuk contract approved, but no one has pen.

This award sponsored by various sports media, bringing you James and Kovalchuk coverage that can suck the life out of sports fans.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Analogy of the NHL Pre-Season

Kovalchuk's Deal Saga : Watching Paint Dry

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Comes Fandom, Then Comes...?

Thanks to a friend of mine, Melissa (@melissakania on Twitter) for this picture, which illustrates just what is so wrong with some of the merchandise being sold to us female hockey fans.

This is an actual product sold in the Sabres' shop at HSBC Arena. I had the misfortune of coming upon it when I went for the Sabres' draft party, and all I could say was, "HUH?" Because I fail to understand why Reebok makes things like this when we don't even have women's away jerseys available.

Maybe it's an overreaction, but all I think when I see this is that the league assumes there are more puck bunnies in the league than legitimate female fans. That's insulting. The fans I know don't watch games to ogle Ryan Miller or scream sexual propositions at Zach Parise. They may not know all of the statistics, but they know a clean hit or an amazing goal when they see it, and they love the game every bit as passionately as the boys do. The league is a business, yes, and they should try to make money off of whoever comes to games, but don't openly encourage puck bunny behavior, and don't insult the intelligence of the women who come to watch the sport.

They also have a "Marry me, Crosby" tee which I've seen pictures of, and of course the same opinions apply. All I have left to say is, thank God there's no "Marry me, DiPietro" or "Marry me, John Tavares" tees out there, or I would really be annoyed. The Champagne jerseys were bad enough.

Friday, August 13, 2010

No Pink in the Rink!

Earlier this week, Reebok debuted its latest "jersey" for women, the "Champagne" jersey, and inadvertently started a rebellion among its female fans.

A few days, an email campaign, a few dozen blog posts and a whole Facebook page later, female fans are voicing more and more that they have had it with the way the NHL markets its products to women.

Now, I'll be fair. However much I wish there weren't a market for pink, bedazzled, sparkly and girly jerseys, there is, for whatever reason. If there were more of a selection for female fans who prefer team colors, I wouldn't care quite as much, though I'd still be annoyed.


Look on shop.nhl.com and there is only one jersey in team colors- a home jersey. No away jersey. No player tees in women's sizes (have to be custom made through NHL Shop online, and anywhere else you'll have to buy a men's size). No team tees without curly script and girly colors. And plenty of Champagne jerseys to go around.


I'd appreciate it if we were given equal options to men in our apparel selections. We're every bit as important and serious as male fans are, and yet much of the time we're treated as though we are second-rate and not as "serious" as the boys, though many of us are dedicated, loyal and knowledgeable. And we're sick of the pink and the sparkles. No amount of (weak) defense from a representative for Reebok will change that.

At this time I'd like to direct you to a Facebook page a friend of mine, Rebecca (@TigerPredsChick) created, and she, Rachel (@RachelAddison), Jennifer (@predsaddict) and I administrate together, called "Female hockey fans who want REAL merchandise." We also have a Twitter account- @NoPinkInTheRink. We would appreciate it if you would join and pass it on if you're just as annoyed as we are about the way the league markets to us female fans.

Link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Female-hockey-fans-who-want-REAL-merchandise/138893456150147?ref=ts

And if you need a moment to decide, consider this monstrosity.

The Islanders "Champagne" Jersey

Thanks. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

End of the Line for Witt

The Islanders tweeted today that they have decided to buy out the remainder (one year) of defenseman Brendan Witt's contract. Witt had about $3 million against the cap and had been put on waivers yesterday (the third time since the start of this calendar year). He spent last season after February in Bridgeport of the AHL.

This is bittersweet. It gives the Isles a bit more money to play with plus an empty spot on the roster, yet they also lose one of the true heart-and-soul players of this team. Witter was not the fastest guy on the ice, nor the highest-scoring, and he was injured a lot. Yet often he seemed to lead his teammates without even trying, and he played through his pain. In the end, that seemed to hurt him more than help, but you can't deny he loved to play the game, and he loved the fans on the Island. I only wish things could have worked out differently for him regarding the team, but maybe he'll find a new start elsewhere.

You'll be missed, Witter.

Isles Trade for D Wisniewski

The Isles' new-look defense had another member added to its ranks, as yesterday they traded a third-round pick in 2011 to Anaheim for (get this) just-signed defenseman James Wisniewski. Wiz was second in scoring among Ducks blueliners last season with 30 points in 69 games, and while his size- andhis reputation for cheap shots- might hurt his appeal with some fans, his toughness is certainly not to be questioned.

This is a win for both teams. The Ducks, having just signed Wisniewski to a one-year contract to avoid arbitration, unload some cap room to sign forward Bobby Ryan, while the Islanders get a solid blueliner and the means to reach the cap floor. It will definitely be interesting to see how he fares on the Island this season.

Sources: LA Times, Islanders website

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moulson, Isles Avoid Arbitration, Settle for 1-Year Deal

Basically everything it says in the title: Matt Moulson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Islanders worth $2.45M, according to multiple sources and Newsday writer Katie Strang.

Just one year? Yes. It's a bit disappointing for some fans, but over the course of next season we will be able to see if Moulson can repeat the success of last year (a career-high 30 goals). A bit pricey for a grinder like him? Arguably, seeing as he's largely unproven, even with the 30-goal, 48-point year- and he wasn't even the highest pointscorer (that honor goes to rookie John Tavares with 54). However, consider that teammate Trent Hunter, a player much in the same vein as Moulson only slower, is making $2M a year, and Moulson has outperformed him greatly. Also, there is reason to believe that #26 will produce at least as much next season (check out this article by Dominik on Lighthouse Hockey, it provides a good breakdown of how Moulson does on the ice with various linemates).

So, good deal? For the length, yes. For the money? We shall see.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Letter to the Islanders

This is coming from a fairly young Islanders fan. I'm 19 years old, and I've only been watching the Islanders for a few years now. But in my five full seasons of watching, four of them have included a color commentator by the name of Billy Jaffe- a smart, funny and classy gentleman who taught me more about the game than I ever thought possible. Every season he would consistently raise the bar with his breakdowns of my favorite sport, showing how different lines and even different players worked on the ice, and offering knowledgeable opinions and information.

Now, four years later, after countless broadcasts during which the only bright spot would be Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe's broadcasts... Jaffe is let go. And why? Supposedly because he wasn't "positive" enough? With all due respect, who would the Isles like alongside Howie Rose, a cheerleader? Jaffe is an analyst, not a lobbyist. His job is to break down the game for us to understand, and that means all aspects of the game, not just the good ones. Besides, I can remember plenty of broadcasts during which he was a positive presence. One could tell he just loved this team (an example- last game of the 06-07 regular season, where he showed more emotion than I ever thought possible during regulation and the eventual playoff-clinching shootout against New Jersey). Moreover, he was a fan favorite, made himself available for numerous fan events, and had tremendous chemistry with Howie. Why would the organization allow something like that to be broken up? I can't understand it.

Granted, perhaps there were certain things behind the scenes that we fans don't know about. That aside, though, fans are being kept in the dark as it is. There was no press conference about Jankowski not being renewed and who would take his place, there was nothing about Bryan Trottier leaving his position in the organization from the org itself, and I wonder how long it will take for the Isles to say something regarding Billy, if anything at all. It's all extremely frustrating, and I don't know how much more I, as a fan, can take.

I don't expect an answer from anyone in your department regarding all of this. I just wanted to reach out to you to let the organization know that they are alienating what remains of their fans, whether they realize it or not. We don't want to be treated like mindless peons- we want something constructive, clear and substantial. Nothing against the candidates for Jaffe's replacement, of course- they are both icons of the team's glory days, and they deserve to be respected. But I can't imagine how much better they would be than a guy who is quickly becoming known as one of the best in the business.

Thank you very much for your time.

Angelica Rodriguez
Williamsville, Buffalo, NY (formerly of Brooklyn, NY)

(an actual email sent about ten minutes ago)

Yet Another Departure... This Time From the Press Box

After four seasons of color announcing for the Islanders broadcast, Billy Jaffe has been shown the door by the organization. (Source: Islanders Point Blank) Exactly why, no one can tell for sure.

This is a bit of a surprise, and more than a little saddening, seeing as for four out of my five years watching Islanders hockey, I've learned more from Billy than from anyone else. His broadcasts with Howie Rose were often my favorite part of the game, and made it a great experience no matter what the score was. No matter how badly we lost, he always remained positive and gave us something to end the night with, and him not being next to Howie at the start of next season is extremely disheartening, especially since I (being a bit biased) and many other fans could call this duo the best broadcasting pair in the Metro area. Not only that, but Billy made himself available for plenty of events including draft parties, and seemed like a classy, all-around good guy.

No word yet on who's coming to replace him, but I do know this: Billy, you will definitely be missed. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dreaded "C" Word... Contract... And How Kovalchuk Did Not Become "Koval-cha-ching"

And all that THAT implies regarding one insanely talked-about player since free agency started: Ilya Kovalchuk.

I almost didn't write a post about the three-ring circus revolving around this young man, seeing as so many other people were writing about him that I feared it would be the same old rehashing a few days too late. But I figured I could put it into my own words and my own view, and besides, the blog needs material, and this is Grade A, top-choice fodder. So here goes.

Kovalchuk has been mightily chased after by a few teams since July 1. People had been expecting this since the end of the playoffs for the Devils (who traded for him late in the season), and so it was- the Kings, Blues, and Islanders were just a few of the teams involved. To my chagrin, the Isles even reportedly offered Kovalchuk $10M a year, which he refused, apparently. (Thank God.) Then there was talk of him signing ultra-long-term with the Kings for a couple of days... until (not so much) out of the blue, the Devils came along and offered him a 17-year deal worth over $100 million.

And he accepted.

But the good old NHL didn't.

The next day, the league rejected the contract on the terms that it circumvented the salary cap. The Devils decided that they would spread out the money so that Ilya would get more now, less in the later years, thus lowering the cap hit to about $6M a season. Not cool by the league's standards. (Source: Yahoo!Sports) So now it's back to the drawing board, and Kovy's future remains up in the air.

As long as we don't/didn't take him, I'll be happy, and here's why: this is a guy who is projected to be sub-par after 12 years, who hasn't won a Cup, and who is a big name and provides offense, but in my opinion would not be a good fit for the system that Scott Gordon has implemented. And us paying through the nose for him long-term would be a disaster whether or not it gets us up to the cap floor. We would be much better off going for a Lee Stempniak or an Alex Frolov (both of whom are reportedly still available). But I digress.

This has been a wild, wacky saga, and who knows how it's going to end. All I know is, I'm kind of tired of hearing about Ilya Kovalchuk on Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else. There are plenty of other players worth following and hearing about. Let's focus on them and leave this sad story alone for a while.

While You Were Out

I must admit, looking through old notebooks full of game notes from five years ago helped me get out of this non-posting funk. So over the next couple of days, barring any kind of major catastrophe (like work? *cue laugh track*), I will be posting plenty of my thoughts on what's been going on lately in the hockey world- Isles being a given, but also around the NHL and such. So please, stay tuned. :D

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Isles And Draft Doctor Jankowski Part Ways

After some good news on the Island, the clear skies suddenly have a foreboding tinge of gray to them.

The Islanders have decided not to renew the contract of assistant general manager/amateur scouting director Ryan Jankowski, whose deal expired shortly after the 2010 NHL Draft. Chris Botta reports that since his takeover of the scouting staff in 2006, the Isles have drafted players such as Josh Bailey, Travis Hamonic, Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin, Andrew MacDonald, Calvin de Haan, Kirill Petrov and others. When you consider the promise and talent these young players show, one has to wonder: Did it go wrong somewhere? And if it hasn't, then what exactly are the Islanders doing letting go of a guy who's been so beneficial to the drafting process?

And who does that leave in charge of it all?

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Free Agency, Islanders Style

So. As it turns out, the Islanders can't buy a free agent that easily.

Yesterday, the Island was strangely quiet amid reports that while GM Garth Snow tried to offer plenty of money to D Paul Martin and Dan Hamhuis, both turned him down in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks, respectively. Some say that when it comes down to it, the reason isn't because of the fact that the Isles aren't going places, hockey-wise... it's just because they aren't really going anywhere, geographically. Nassau Coliseum, while well-loved and full of history, is not the newest of buildings, and its condition more often than not drives top-tier FA players away. Aside from that, goalie Martin Biron and winger Jeff Tambellini both wandered elsewhere- Biron to the Rangers, Tambellini to his hometown Canucks.

Today, it was a different story, with the Isles signing D Milan Jurcina and Mark Eaton to one-year deals. They also agreed to terms with G Nathan Lawson on a one-year, two-way contract, and signed P.A. Parenteau and Zenon Konopka to one-years as well. Not terribly binding, but I suppose it'll be good enough for now. Jurcina and Eaton, at 6'4 and 6'2, add some definite size to the Isles' blueline, not to mention some toughness, no doubt. Meanwhile, young Parenteau, who played a few games with the Rangers last year, will likely get his first real crack at playing in the big leagues, and Konopka, while more of a fighter (with 265 PIM last season with Tampa Bay), also helps out in the faceoff department. Lastly, Lawson might not get a ton of playing time as a two-way contract, but it'll be interesting to see when he comes up and how he will do.

One person I'd love to see back, though? Andy Sutton. Chris Botta reported via Twitter that Sutts would love to be an Islander again... then again, I'm sure he wouldn't mind donning the Senators jersey for another year either. Stay tuned for that story as it (hopefully) unfolds.

To read more about the signings, check out here, here and here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An Abrupt Yet Satisfying Ending

Last night was Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between Chicago and Philadelphia, and it was a great one. Thousands filled the stands with an orange wave at the Wachovia Center, and though the home team gave them plenty to cheer about- a brief 2-1 lead, then a tying goal by Scott Hartnell with about three minutes left to play- it was Patrick Kane who slipped the puck through Michael Leighton's pads at 4:06 of overtime, crushing their hopes and clinching the Stanley Cup for his team.

At first, no one but Kane was even sure the puck had gone in- no light had come on over the goal and the ref hadn't even responded, but Kane took off to the other end of the ice, raising his arms high and jumping onto goalie Antti Niemi. Once it was certain, though, the Blackhawks celebrated in triumph, and for good reason- there were many milestones to commemorate.

Jonathan Toews, for example, now stands among the youngest captains to ever hoist the Stanley Cup, is the second youngest Conn Smythe winner (for playoff MVP), and the youngest Triple Gold inductee (Olympic gold medal, World Championship gold medal, and Stanley Cup) at 22 years of age. Marian Hossa also was able to celebrate his third time being in the Stanley Cup Final, this time with a win, and here's a fun fact for ya: he's the first Ottawa Senators draft pick to win a Cup. And of course, Antti Niemi, the goalie everyone's been talking about (other than Jaro Halak), becomes the first Finnish goalie to win the Cup. Teamwise as well, this is the Blackhawks' first Stanley Cup win since 1961.

Even so, and it pains me to say this... all due respect to the Philadelphia Flyers for a great series, and a great run to the Cup. You beat a lot of odds to get to where you were at, and you played your hearts out. Mike Richards, Chris Pronger, Michael Leighton and Co. have much to be proud of, and though I loved to hate you this series, I have to admit you did Philly proud.

That said, congrats to the 'Hawks for a well-deserved win, and to the city of Chicago as well. As for now... well, that's all she wrote on the ice. The NHL Awards are coming up, as well as the Draft, so we'll be working on previews for those soon. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oh Caption My Caption!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hossa Mantra : Stanley Cup Final Game 5

In an NHL article apr├Ęs losing to the Flyers in Game 4 (5-3) Marian Hossa talked about moving beyond frustration and playing smarter...actually he mentioned that word quite a few times...HOSSA MANTRA...WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER. A tip of the Tony Robbins hat to you sir.

Full Story

The only question I would ask the Blackhawks and want to correct is: WHY DO YOU ALL LOOK SO NUMB OUT ON THE ICE? Is that about playing smarter or about something else? Something else that the Flyers seem to have.

What can Chicago salvage from game 4? Scoring goals 2 & 3...knowing they are capable of scoring like that under that kind of pressure...these two goals may have made all the difference heading home as opposed to walking out of the Wachovia Center with a 4-1 or including empty net 5-1 wound.

This is a most unwelcome team role-reversal but I keep 'seeing' my nephew TJ (who lives outside of Chicago) at the parade in Chitown, hopefully foreshadowing to this result - that the unexpected underdog wins in the end.


ps. You better believe my nephew is an Islander fan. Hawks are his second team...distant second if he wants to be invited to the big people table at Thanksgiving.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stanley Cup Final Game 4: Book vs. Street

It's 8:03 and I should be in front of a TV but am not, busy day. So before jumping into my car to get in front of a TV here's a thought for game 4...so it's like this...Blackhawks are like people with book smarts and the Flyers are like people with street smarts. Usually it's good to have as even a balance of both but that's not going to happen with these two teams. Who wins the Stanley Cup is going to depend on what type of 'event' they are at - street fight or intellectual debate. In game 3 Philly did what they are so good at doing - pulling the other team into a street fight, thus they won - although not enough of an impressive sequence or goal to make it seem like Philly can pull this whole thing off from 2 games to 1...and that is why my cell phone is still chirping crickets. Chicago looked tired in OT- yeah it sucks when the muscles start to feel sour. But like I said in prior blog post it's all about endurance so unless Chicago wakes up and turns the atmosphere into a debate of intellect (aka skill), the Flyers are going to win. And by now if you follow this blog, you know how hard it was for me to type that last sentence. For some reason I don't think Chicago is done - maybe something such as a loss was needed to jilt Chicago out of their trance. Whether it be a gut feeling or a wish I think/hope Chicago is going to come down heavy in this game and remind everyone why they (team) are playing for the Stanley Cup in the first place, while at the same time reminding Philly of how lucky they were to have even gotten this far. Hope all that makes some kind of sense, it's hard to type a blog post with one foot out the door, it's 8:15 now and I've got to find myself in front of a TV pronto.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stanley Cup Final Game 3: Philly Fan Factor

So the Blackhawks are up 2 games to zero as Game 3 is about to start in a few minutes. If the Flyers want to stay in the race, they will need to draw upon the energy of their fans around them. Anyone who has been at a do-or-die game at the Wachovia Center knows what I mean. Not sure what happened to Peter Laviolette but it has resulted in a scattered energy on the team, unable to focus under his leadership and like Chris Pronger, some are acting out.

Got a kick out of the shots of Antti Niemi in the third period Monday night...the crazed look in his eyes was like the look of a crazed ex who just doesn't get it that it's over.

Blackhawks still not impressive, like studying for a C and surprisingly getting an A. All the Flyers have to do is use the boards and shoot.

Best part of the series so far? The sound coming from Flyers fans on my phone -

GO HAWKS! Let's keep it this way.


Monday, May 31, 2010


Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

-Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

There's Always a Scapegoat

Tonight is Game 2 of the Stanely Cup Finals. Much to do went around about Peter Laviolette sending in Brian Boucher to replace Micheal Leighton in Game 1. I was more focused on the poor performace of both teams, who looked like pee-wee teams doing the ping-ping scoring that often goes on at that wee age, which at that age is cute. The Blackhawks got off easy - there was no victory for them this game but it appeared they realized that by how they skated off the ice. As for the Flyers, the last thing they needed was internal drama which was what their coach wound up creating - it's one thing to replace your starting goalie when the score is 4-0 but this was not the case. Coach Laviolette made Leighton look like a chump early on in this final race, there were other Flyers that should have exited instead of Leighton.

Morale is important Coach Laviolette if you want your boys to win for you because when it comes down to it in my world, it's all about making 'Dad' proud and as that goes, by removing your goalie when both teams were playing loosely, you publically put your team in a submissive position which can change the entire mindset of a team who really believed they could win the Stanley Cup under your leadership. But like in any family dynamic there is always someone in the role of scapegoat. In ice hockey that role is all too often filled by the goalie. In my opinion Leighton should have finished the game. What a coach can do in a scenario like game 1 is essentially play confidence chicken with the other coach - puff up his feathers and show 'fake it to you make it' confidence in your collective team because at the end of the day it's not about one game, one win or one loss...it's about who is still standing at the end of what is one long ass season. It's about endurance.

All Leighton needed was one confidence boost moment like Antti Niemi had late in the game when he impressed even himself with a glove save off of Daniel Briere's line drive from the slot.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Probably The Only Case of Penis Envy

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More than the wish that the Islanders will one day again hoist the Stanley Cup in victory is the wish that future reality will include young girls being able to dream of partaking in their own Stanley Cup playoffs...to work so hard for every minute of ice time throughout the years, shooting pucks into their own dryer with bigger goals in mind that are actually obtainable - to be a part of something so intense as the race for the Stanley Cup while wearing pink skate laces if she chooses to.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Isles Season Wrap Up --> Stanley Cup Finals

A little late but here's my Islanders season wrap-up. It's pretty clear to most who don't live in a cave that the Islanders have a lot of work ahead of them. I don't believe much will come of the team until a change of team ownership occurs. With that in mind, in the spirit of Angie's grading system, every Islander has earned an 'A' for the simple fact of being an Islander. I do believe something came out of this season; that being a manifestation of the mantra posted at the top of this blog: "Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable". I chose this mantra because it seemed important that some type of bond form on the team, a core energy to draw from to calm the instability that is the makeup and management of the team. Didn't see much of an Alpha male on the ice taking up a leadership role but time and time again these fellas (or at least most of them) made lemonade out of lemons. What I liked most about the season, again related to the mantra is that there seemed to be an increase in contributions made throughout the entire team, none too small, and that the workload was shared among many players rather than a handful who were expected to excel at the game. Sure I'd like to see the Isles kick it to the play-offs but until that happens I can handle it if they don't win as long as there are points of growth, subtle as they may be, to bank for a later date.

in other news...

Was called a hockey geek by those who know geekiness...MAC geeks. This is how the story went - Islanders playing the Rangers - needed to get an adaptor from the Apple store - torn between watching the game and going to the Apple store - problem solved - watched 1st period - drove to Apple store during intermission - watched 2nd period at Apple store - drove back during intermission - you know the rest. Proof of hockey geek title worthiness below:

So far only two NHL fan sightings in NYC during the playoffs.

For $400 it probably should look like DP

Even in the cold, Jones Beach is the place to be. Pictured below are the new Islanders starting forwards. Would be great if one of them pooped on Darcy Tucker.

To the guy on the Meadowbrook Parkway who used his jacket to carry a dead goose to the grass median and then nuzzled the goose's beak into its wing - you are awesome and should be cloned. A Fu Man Chu to you sir, well deserved.

and last but not least:

Dear Blackhawks,

I am writing regarding the Stanley Cup Finals that begin tonight. The Flyers have gained a momentum during the playoffs so if you don't stun them in the 1st period, by the middle of the 2nd period it will look like they were only stretching/warming up until then. More importantly, they believe they can win which is more of a threat coming from a lower seeded team. Sit back on your heels at any time and I will be forced to endure more texts like this one.

Please do what you can to make these texts stop because there is nothing better than a silent Flyers fan.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More 'Evidence' Blind Side Hits Have No Place in the NHL

Related to the recent blog post about blind side hits in the NHL, the LA Times article below takes a look at yet more potential outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injury.

"In concussion's wake, sadness and anxiety thrive"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Are There No Gentlemen Left in the NHL?

Atlanta Thrashers prospect Partrice Cormier is currently facing criminal charges stemming from his elbowing Mikael Tam (in the jaw) in January which caused Tam to convulse on the ice and as reported also caused him to stop breathing for under a minute. Cormier who is also known for being the former captain of Canada's world junior hockey team could face up to 18 months in jail.

Although following this season had been tricky this year, the blind side hit issue I have followed. After watching the NHL for many years, a gut feeling continues that there's a momentum out there building that is making death on ice a possibility - a desensitization going on where these kinds of hits are freakishly becoming strategy for taking players out of the game - strategy by players who in my opinion utilize these hits to overcompensate for a lack of impulse control, professional boudaries and ultimately real skill.

What amazes me the most about this issue is that after coaches, GMs, owners & players have time after time witnessed the escalation in shots to the head and the outcomes THERE NEEDED TO BE A RULE ABOUT IT IN THE NHL. Are there no gentlemen left in the NHL for a gentlemen's agreement? It takes a ruling, which by the way took too long to be put into place, to discourage blatant behavior that is NOT NECESSARY IN THE GAME OF ICE HOCKEY.

The ruling states:

"A lateral, back pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact is not permitted. A violation of the above will result in a minor or major penalty and shall be reviewed for possible supplemental discipline". -full story here.

Don't know about you but as it reads, it kind of seems like wussy, non-desrcript wording where ultimately the consequences remain in the subjective hands of the NHL which in the past has shown sketchiness when doling out suspensions.

I read somewhere that the average age of retirement from the NHL is late twenties which means barring unforeseen circumstances, a retired player has quite a ways to go in his lifespan. The wear and tear of being in the NHL should not include Traumatic Brain Injury. If you have ever been around someone with TBI, which I have, it's not anything someone should purposefully (meaning the hit) do to someone else regardless of rivalry and a desire to win, and should not be a price to pay for a career in the NHL.

As far as players who either think, voice, or give off the vibe that 'it was an accident' or like James Wishiewshi's response that he didn't do anything wrong when he nailed his 'friend' Brent Seabrook into the boards - if at that level of conditioning and skill a player cannot control the force of his body, he doesn't belong on the ice to begin with. Those players who know it wasn't an accident don't belong on the ice either. Granted ice hockey is a contact sport, it's supposed to get rough out there on the ice, I get that however this issue verges on damaging the integrity of the game and no matter how rough - there's got to be integrity for the sport to flourish. It would be a shame for this sport to be void of another 'great one' because he took up curling instead because his parents saw how violent hockey had become. Yup, just in case you didn't get ENOUGH of curling at the Olympics...there ya go.

If the NHL is going to promote hockey as family entertainment then they should share the responsibility in protecting children from witnessing this kind of violence. And that's what it is: violence. The responsibility cannot fall solely on parents because there is no predicting when this kind of violence is going to take place at a game. The solution should not be a parent avoiding the game altogether - there's got to be shades of gray.

One last thought, it appears that off ice behavior is paralleling on ice antics with the escalation of fans beating upon the glass looking like a bunch of apes, and that is insulting apes around the world. What's up with that? Bad day at the office?

Please note: escalation does not equate a generalization of players and fans. Most players and fans get it and at the end of the day ice hockey remains awesome.

(sources: nhl.com, yahoo.com, usatoday.com, my brain)