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Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Changing Game: Murray, Wingels, Torres on Hits

(Originally published at InsideHockey.com)

If an NHL player is fortunate enough to have a long career, he will have to make changes to his game as rules and trends change around him.  Even a player who does not play for a long time will make adjustments immediately as he enters the League, getting up to NHL speed and building his confidence at this new tempo. One particular aspect of the game can be hazardous in transition, both for a team’s success and the health of players: hits.

Montreal Candadiens defenseman Douglas Murray and San Jose Sharks forwards Tommy Wingels and Raffi Torres shared some thoughts about how and why their own game has changed or will change in the near future. I spoke with Murray back in January, and with Wingels and Torres this month. From what the three said, it doesn’t seem that fear of retribution determines how a player hits another player. No matter what the NHL overseers do or say, the right message needs to come from their team.

USA Men’s Hockey Falters, Falls Short

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

USA hockey fans watched their women lose to Canada last Thursday, by one goal, in overtime, during a 5 on 3 penalty kill. It was disappointing, heartbreaking. The men followed that up on Saturday with a loss so stunning it left me more baffled than emotional.

The Report Card

A few months ago, my mother found a copy of my senior year report cards from high school. At the time, I was shocked to see that I did not get As in Soviet History and Culture.  today I found the same cards sitting on my desk. I looked at them again. It turns out, the only As I got that year, and I got them both semesters, were in Drama and Journalism. I believe that explains a lot. At the time, naturally, I would have dismissed any potential I might have had in either field, as they were equally unhelpful skills for making money. I suppose you cannot outrun your fate.

Starbuck Got Paid

In a very good piece lamenting the early retirement of Noora Raty, celebrated Finnish goaltender, The Pink Puck points out that women need a practical professional option for their considerable hockey talent.

Why don’t we have viable professional hockey leagues for women? One reason is that our society accepts that men are entitled to get paid, even for doing things women are supposed to do for free. It is stupid, it is unfair, and it is the present state of affairs. When young women smugly denounce feminism, I remember my mother saying: “a woman who is not a feminist is a masochist.” Then she would scold me for not being lady-like.

The issue is so, so much bigger than whether a woman can earn a living playing hockey.


To Be Or Not To Be On The World Stage: Olympic Hockey

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

Should the NHL allow players to participate in future Olympics? Should Women’s ice hockey be in the Olympics at all? Those two questions keep being asked and not answered, perhaps because they are only really asked every four years or so. Or perhaps it is because they are silly questions.

2014 Olympic Hockey Info for US Viewers

IIHF site for 2014 Olympics: http://sochi2014.iihf.com/
NBC site for 2014 Olympic hockey: http://www.nbcolympics.com/sport/hockey

Sharks Need Will Power to Keep Moving

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The Sharks go in to the Olympic break in a good position. They are among only five teams with 80 or more points. They are just seven points behind the Division, Conference and League leaders, the Anaheim Ducks. They expect Logan Couture and Raffi Torres back after the break. They got bonus performances from their backup goaltender, Alex Stalock, and the last Shark without a goal this season, John McCarthy, finally got one in Friday’s game against Columbus. What more could you ask of the team?