Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Today my co-worker, herself a former ice hockey goalie (I keep telling her she has to start playing again) explained the intricacies of hockey dress. I knew that players wear a combination of socks, padding, and shorts instead of pants, but I did NOT know that sometimes there are garters involved. She also explained how many buckles goalie pads have. She answered a lot of my questions.
But now I have a new question. When I watch videos of old fights, it seems like players would try to pull the opponent's jersey over his head and shoulders to partially immobilize and blind him, and then swing away while the person tried to either take the jersey off completely or claw his way out of the fabric. How come that doesn't happen anymore? When did that change?
(I know that it's an effective technique because one of my sharpest memories of 7th grade was when two girls got into a fight and one of them pulled the other's shirt over her head and started punching her. The shirtless girl immediately fled because she was wearing a training bra and it was super embarrassing.)
Before you say "just google it," I did. And I learned this from wikipedia:
Other examples include Gordie Howe's tactic of holding the sweater of his opponent right around the armpit of his preferred punching arm so as to impede his movement. Bob Probert, of the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, was known to allow his opponents to punch until they showed signs of tiring, at which time he would take over and usually dominate the fight. Some consider long-time Buffalo Sabres enforcer Rob Ray to be the reason that hockey jerseys are now equipped with tie-down straps ("fight straps") that prevent their removal; he would always remove his jersey during fights so his opponents would have nothing to grab on to. This is commonly referred to as the "Rob Ray Rule".
But I just assumed that this practice stopped because the league is supposedly more serious about head injuries now, and when you have someone's jersey over his head, you can't tell exactly where you are punching him. You could be hitting him in the eye or in the back of the head. I don't know. I'm not a doctor.
Any insight is appreciated here.
As you can probably tell from this blog, I am a big asker of questions. For example, I always wondered was why the lasers in the Kings pre-show are green, and not purple. Green is so cheesy. I voiced this question one day and my scientist father said, "Because there are no purple lasers. They don't come in purple." Good to know. Glad I asked, Dad!
Accordingly, I will periodically post questions involving Things I Have Always Wondered. I would genuinely love to get some answers, especially from people with institutional knowledge about hockey, which I clearly lack.
Some of these Things I Have Always Wondered:
(1) Why do people call Sidney Crosby a cry-baby? I have yet to find a video of him actually crying. Is it just because he bitches sometimes, especially to referees? Doesn't everyone do that?
(2) Why are some things reviewable but other things are not? For example I recall someone saying that goalie interference is not reviewable. That seems weird to me. I feel like it should be reviewable if a goal is scored within 30 seconds of the alleged interference. (I'm obviously not over that Canucks/Kings game.) Is it because it would waste too much time?
Enough questions for tonight. Sleep tight, everyone.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
I have been ambivalent about this series in the past. I contemplated rooting for Vancouver because my sister and her husband live there, but they are not hockey fans, and they don't really care if Vancouver wins.
Then my wonderful dad sent me this article about the Predators. Assistant coach Brent Peterson has Parkinson's Disease, and will likely retire at the end of this season.
I love hockey and I don't even play it. So, I can only imagine how much Peterson loves hockey, and how personally difficult it will be for him to retire.
I've had 17 years to adjust to my dad's diagnosis with Parkinson's Disease, but I have to tell you, it just does not get any easier to accept. It is constantly at the forefront of my mind (as you can probably tell from the fact that even though this is a hockey blog, Parkinson's has come up twice in as many months in my posts). This week has been particularly tough because a very old friend just told me about a Parkinson's diagnosis in his family. Hearing that someone else - anyone else - has Parkinson's is like pouring bile into a gaping wound, because I know exactly what that means for the family. I know what dreadful things lay in store even under the best circumstances. All of the coping mechanisms that Peterson describes- the slip on shoes, the difficulty getting dressed, the ultimate decision to step away from something you love to do for a living- are all things that my father went through years ago. Fortunately, like my father, it sounds like Peterson is handling this with grace, humor, and as much optimism as possible.
Since this season will be Peterson's last as an assistant coach, this series has special meaning. At a minimum he has one game left, tomorrow night. If the Predators can force a game 7, that's another game that he gets to coach. And if they make it to the next round, he has at least 4 more after that.
At this stage in his professional career, at this stage in his life, I am sure that he is treasuring every minute left on the bench. I want him to have as many of those minutes as possible. GO PREDATORS.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
And so I tried. I even named players that were on the roster in the past (or discussed as possibilities) just to be safe, though I'm sure I missed a few of those too.
I missed two.
I even broke the roster down by goalies, forwards, and defensemen. It was actually easier to do it that way- it helped me remember. I have no idea why I wrote out Dustin Brown's entire name. You can also see that I had a total brain fart and listed Doughty as a forward (I think sometimes he wants to be), then caught myself and moved him before I submitted my answers.
I knew that I had too few defensemen. The last name I remembered was Lewis so I stuck him in the defense column. Well, I was wrong about that, and I completely forgot Martinez and Drewiske! Whoops.
All in all, an A-. Solid effort. I'm feeling pretty proud right now.
Now, off to rank them by hotness...
We moved a lot when I was a kid, so I became adept at striking up random conversations with people. In second grade I marched right up to Nancy Tran on the first day of school in a new town and said, "Hi, I don't know a single person here. Will you be my friend?" Fifteen years later, this scenario played out again when I accosted someone walking down a school hallway and said, "Hey- are you hapa? Me too!" Luckily both of those individuals were not completely terrified by my directness, and friendships were born.
Now that I'm getting into hockey, I have WAY more openings to talk to new people. Hockey fans seem to be few and far between in Los Angeles, so whenever I meet one, there's a certain immediate connection (or maybe it's just me).
Today when I was picking up our dog from daycare, I saw a car plastered with Anaheim Ducks stickers and immediately struck up a conversation with the guy who got out of the car. He was delighted to find another hockey fan. We talked the whole time they fetched our dogs. I even showed him Fake Dan Ellis. He was so excited. I left with a smile on my face.
That's just one more reason that I love being a hockey fan. There is ALWAYS something to talk about with other fans- even if they root for teams that I hate. (Wow, when I looked up the link to that I saw that I'd used "f***" instead of "fuck." I can't believe I used to censor myself. At what point did I stop? Probably around the playoffs.)
So thank you, LA Kings, for giving me another connection with people. Thank you for giving me a reason to high-five and hug complete strangers during jubilant celebrations at the Staples Center. As sappy as this sounds, being a hockey fan has enriched my life. And for that, I will always be thankful, and I will always love the LA Kings.
They posted an interesting Guide to Hockey Fans. I wish someone would post a similar guide involving teams from the Western Conference (I'd do it but I only know like 10% of the information that I'd need to do that subject justice).
One of the categories of hockey fans is the "Puck Bunny." According to PensBlog:
This fan is immediately identifiable by her pink shirt or jersey.She will almost always a sign calling out to her favorite player.
Her signs will likely feature glitter. So will her eyes.
Penguins puck bunnies know precisely five players on the team: Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Letang and Fleury. They will always rank them according to relative dreaminess.
During pre-game warmups, they rush down to the glass, convinced that Jordan Staal will be plowing their sod that night if only they can make eye contact.
Please do not make the mistake that all female hockey fans are puck bunnies.Doing so will probably get you kicked in the balls.
How to identify this fan:If she emits a piercing shriek that leaves your ears bleeding every time the PA guy says "Sidney Crosby", you're sitting next to a Puck Bunny.
I do NOT (and never will) have a pink jersey. That shit is disgusting. But I would be open to a jersey cut for females, because I'm a 29 year old female who looks like a 12 year old boy when I put on the only jersey that fits me- a Child's L/XL.
I have only ever gone down for warmups once, and that was also the only time I ever made signs.
But, the signs were pretty puck-bunny-esque.
Exhibit A: My sign for Jonathan Quick.
Yes, it says that I [heart] a "Quickie."
In my defense, Quick is fucking AWESOME. But to be completely honest, I did secretly hope that he would see the sign and get a little kick out of it.
...of course, a few days after the game I realized that he is MARRIED and has a KID. So now I feel like a perv for creeping on him. No wonder Handzus looked so disapproving.
Westgarth liked the signs. It took Clifford a few passes, then he just stopped and stared for a second.
And I have been known to swoon over some of the hotter players. Like this dude. Could he be any hotter? No. No he could not.
And this guy. Beneath that goalie mask is...apparently, a smoking hot Jon Bernier.
You know what? Maybe I am a puck bunny.
But on the other hand, I really do love the game. And my affection for the players is not based proportionately on their hotness. And I'm not doing this for my husband- in fact, I'm pretty sure he sometimes regrets bringing me to that Bruins/Kings game.
At the end of the day, I'm a genuine hockey fan. Although, in the future, I might tone down my signage.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
With that in mind, tonight I expanded my pre-bedtime ritual to learn about the Penguins.
My ritual basically includes watching one hockey video (usually something I came across that week but didn't get a chance to watch), and then just clicking through the suggestions that pop up on youtube. My informal practice is to keep watching until I get to a video that is stupid or crappy or falsely described. Sometimes it only takes 10 minutes; sometimes I can go an hour or longer.
The good news is, I watched some hilarious shit tonight, especially about Fleury. The bad news is, I was supposed to go to sleep an hour ago.
The reason for my downfall? Recently my friend recommended the HBO Road to the NHL Winter Classic. So when Episode 1, Part 1 popped up on the youtube sidebar, and it was only 14 minutes long, I figured it would be a good way to end the night.
It was. So was Episode 1, Part 2...and Episode 1, Part 3. If I don't go to bed now, I never will.
But before I do, I will leave you with this. Hockey players making sex puns are adorable.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Quick and Doughty have this celebration down cold. It's adorable.
But I won't get to see that again until October.
Instead, I guess I'll watch this.
I think that Logan Couture is kind of a douche sometimes, but I have to admit that as a fan of goalie kisses, it's awesome that he is using this as his Twitter profile picture. Also, Niemi was looking mighty good during Game 2 today. He had some straight up ninja shit happening during the second period. I hope he got some extra kisses after today's game.
Will we see something like this over the next week? My husband sure hopes so.
At the end of the day, all I really want are celebrations that involve kissing the goalies. Those guys work their asses off. They deserve it.