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Monthly Archives: May 2011

May Showers

This weather makes no sense.  Sunny day after rainy day followed by another sunny day…. at the end of May?  It is probably catastrophic for agriculture in California.  It couldn’t be much worse if the changes came by the hour instead of by the day.  Similarly, at least one Flyer follower is changing his tune on the subject of goalies in Philadelphia:

It is obvious the Flyers don’t need one of the hottest goalies in the NHL, but why only realize it now?  They have some of the best offense in the NHL, a defense of equal quality, and a lot of salary tied up in those.  They also have a very promising young goalie in Bobrovsky and a couple of very competent backups, one of which is still under contract for another year.  They are not in dire need of the hottest thing in goal. (more…)

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Pride and Prejudice: Hockey in the US

Shiny objects, rapid movement punctuated with big, thudding crashes and blaring horns… really, what could possibly be more amusing to modern American audiences?

In his latest blog, Brodie Brazil bemoans the fact that hockey is not as popular as it might be in the US.  He explains why hockey ought to be as popular as football or basketball:

Hockey players are modern-age gladiators; fully padded in armor, but not completely protected from the dangers of lost teeth, separated shoulders, and mangled joints.  They are some of the strongest yet agile athletes in sport …-Brazil: Hockey Gets the Shaft

I’m not sure that the violence of the game is the easiest sell.  It feeds the stereotype of the sport as brutal and even savage.  I’m not saying hitting should be cut out of the game, I’m just saying that I don’t know anyone who thinks hockey is a sport for softies.  (more…)

Summer-y Break 2011

So that’s that.  The 2010-11 NHL season, for all intents and purposes, is over for me.  I know they have yet to give out the Cup, but I don’t care who wins it now.  I don’t hate the Canucks but I like Tim Thomas a lot so I don’t care.

Apparently these are the tags I’ve used most this year, though last year probably influenced that list too.  I’m not very good at knowing what I’m writing about so I don’t think those tags cover my subjects very accurately.

For example, there’s not a thing about mice in there.  I distinctly remember counting the number of mice I would catch each game day, during the rodent infestation.  I haven’t seen a mouse in ages but I know I used to catch them frequently and how many I caught seemed to foreshadow something or other in the game that day. (more…)

Post Mortem Reports

What we can learn from history can usually be condensed into a sound byte.  Wars: mean people suck.  Disasters: plan for the worst.  Hot- burn: don’t touch that again.  What history tells us is important but it shouldn’t take a lot of mental energy to store.  Post the relevant warning labels and move on.

One message board response to the end of the Sharks’ post-season is not unfamiliar: “When did the Sharks lose this series?” they ask.  That sprang from a question David Pollak asked in his blog.

I won’t complain that such rear-gazing is 20/20 hindsight.  That is self-evident.  What I do wonder is what we are doing here, observing the trials and tribulations of a bunch of hockey players, if we already knew how it would end? (more…)

13 Seconds

13 seconds.  The game went well into a second OT period but really it was lost when the Canucks tied the game with 13.2 seconds left in the 3rd period.  One bad call from the refs gave the Canucks a face off in the Sharks’ zone.  Several players were upset by this.  They should not have been.  They should have been able to shake it off, at least for 13 seconds.  They didn’t and it cost them.

That said, I can certainly forgive 13 seconds of inattention.  The game was officially lost 30 or so minutes later after a valiant effort and one stinker of a screwy bounce.   (more…)

Demons and Fiddlesticks

I’m in a very bad mood this morning.  I dreamt last night that the Sharks lost.  I did not dream the whole game, just the bloody announcers telling us in that exuberant tone that the Vancouver Canucks will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in…

Fiddlesticks.  That is a funny word.  I imagine a bunch of sticks you are supposed to manipulate into some tidy structure like a toothpick castle, dozens or hundreds of flimsy little twigs.  If fiddled with properly, those sticks could be something splendid.  But they slip and slide and snap and tumble out of your grasp and never really are anything more than a fistful of sticks.  It is silly and frustrating and there is no cure. (more…)

Rapture in the Ice Age

I thought I heard once that sharks are among the survivors of the last ice age.  I know musk oxen are on that list.  There aren’t a lot of us still around.

The last ice age lasted a really long time.  If you were a hockey fan at the beginning of the ice age, and had to wait for it to end before your team won a Stanley Cup, the jerseys, signs, hopes and dreams would have to be passed down like heirlooms through several generations. (more…)