Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

Where was Crosby when…

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Hockey

Sidney Crosby is the consensus runaway for league MVP this season. He has taken his game to another level.
He has to this point been a somewhat bland personality with a phenomenal skill set that has helped him win some serious hardware at a very young age, including netting the OT game-winner in the 2010 Olympic gold medal game, and hoisting Lord Stanley’s cup in 2009.

Last week he decided that he needed to let the hockey world know where he stood on the issue of hits to the head. This of course has been building for years, and it’s not something he felt the need to speak out about after he was the recipient of a few unfortunate shots to his own noggin (at this point, I should point out in the interest of full disclosure that I am a fan of the Washington Capitals).

The first occurred during the Winter Classic when David Steckel was skating up ice toward the play and Crosby turned into him while following the puck as the Caps transitioned to offense. Steckel caught Crosby shoulder to head, and I believe the replay shows it was clearly unintentional.

The second occurred two days later when the Pens demolished the Tampa Bay Lightning. Near the end of the second period Crosby plays the puck along the boards and Victor Hedman follows through on a check that bounces Crosby off the glass.

Both hits appear to leave Crosby shook up, and the Penguins medical staff subsequently find he is displaying concussion like symptoms, and he is now expected to miss a week or so.

But back to Crosby’s words on the issue, more specifically the Steckel hit. He had this to say;

I feel like he could have gotten out of the way and avoided me. Whether he tried to hurt me, only he knows. I guess we’ll never know that, but you still have to be responsible out there. I can carry my stick up around my head and say that I’m protecting myself, but I still have to be responsible for whatever I do with my stick if I end up high-sticking someone.

It’s the same thing. In that situation, I don’t see anything [and] he sees me there. He sees the whole ice and he doesn’t avoid me. I don’t think that’s responsible on his part. Whether or not he tried to hurt me, only he knows that. But he’s got to be the one to try to avoid me in that situation.

Crosby turned into Steckel, following the play as it passed him. Steckel was chasing the play, working on the transition. What happened was certainly unfortunate for Crosby, and even as a Caps fan, I do not wish any type of injury on any other player, even Pens players, but I do have to wonder to myself, if Crosby felt compelled to mention that Steckel should have been the party to have avoided the collision then, well, where was his concern for blindside hits, and hits to the head when…

This happened..

Or this..

Or this..

Or this..

Or this..

Crosby talks about hits, and how he has to be responsible for his stick. He talks about how Steckel should have seen him, so I wonder…

Did he see Zetterberg here? or was he just dancing with himself?

What about when he jumped in as the third man in a fight, and took a number of blindside punches to the head of an unsuspecting Thrasher, and following it up by aiming a punch to the nether-regions.

If you are against these hits, then be a man, like your former teammate Bill Guerin, who spoke out against them immediately after the Cooke/Savard incident, when he said..

“We’re all under the same umbrella, whether the guy’s on my team and I’m sitting right next to him or he’s playing in California,” Guerin said. “It doesn’t matter. We’re all playing in the same league. We all want the same safety. We all want to be looked after the same way. I understand he [Cooke] is on my team but, hey, he’s in a tough spot.”

Similarly, on January 15th, the Penguins played the Bruins. During that game Penguins player Deryk Engelland lined up Marc Savard (yes, the same Savard that missed the first 23 games of the season with a concussion, after being the recipient of a blindside hit that another of Crosby’s teammates, Matt Cooke put on him) near the boards and put him on his back. If you look for the slo-mo angle 36 seconds in, you will see that Engelland follows through and finishes Savard hard with his elbow to the face, bouncing it off the glass. As of today, I still have not heard Crosby come out to criticize this dangerous play by Engelland.

Everyone wants dangerous hits out of hockey. It’s a fast and violent game, and unfortunately sometimes players get hurt. It’s not always the result of a dirty play, or an intentional cheap shot. Players of Crosby’s caliber blurring the lines in such a public fashion does not add to the debate, it clouds it.

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Gabby Gets Salty

Posted: October 28, 2008 in Hockey
Tags: ,

I had the chance to take in the Caps practice this morning. I got there right around 10.30 am, as they were just getting underway. They ran some drills and the first couple of times they were called back Tyler Sloan and Matt Bradley had to take a lap for being last over to the whiteboard.

I was standing behind the goal, and could hear Boudreau talking (talking is putting it politely). The basic message was this…

“Pick up your f&*king feet and f&*king skate. I’m f&*king sick of having to wait 10 or 20 minutes to see a f&*king pass get made or a f&*king shot go in. Get it f&*king together and get to f&*king work”

Immediately following that, the pace of the practice picked up. I don’t want to dump on anyone, but I saw the tone change immediately in Eric Fehr. For the 10-20 minutes prior to Mount Boudreau erupting he was skating somewhat lazily, and worse, shooting lazily. He soon picked up his pace, and was ripping his shots harder and with a lot more effort.

The same was true of everyone. In fairness, the grind line of Bradley, Brashear and Gordon were going hard all practice, as was Fedorov, Semin, Nylander, Laich and Fleischmann. For the rest, it was a little lacksidasical (is that the correct spelling? is that even a word?)

For the time I was there it was mainly shooting and breakout drills. Here is a little slideshow
Caps Practice October 27th 2008

And here is a little video from the shooting drills.

And another one, with Fedorov and Semin shooting

I’ve got some more videos I’ll hopefully add to later, but I had to share this one, even though you don’t actually see anything sort of. During the practice, Alexander Semin took a shot up over the netting and hit the lamp hanging over the bleachers (there was no one under it). It was pretty freaking amazing. Unfortunately I did not get it on video, only the aftermath. A little kid got the puck, and you can see the adults with him also pointing over to Semin. The kid has skill like you wouldn’t believe

Anyway, as most of you heard, Ovechkin was not in practice today, he has left the team to go to Russia to be with his grandfather who is ill. We wish him and his family well during these times. In the meantime Brooks Laich took his position on the top line, leaving the lines to look something like this:

Laich-Backstrom-Kozlov
Steckel-Fedorov-Semin
Fleischman-Nylander-Clark
Brashear-Gordon-Bradley

That’s all for now, lets hope the Caps get out and play hard in Ovechkins absence and he can keep his mind on his family for now, where it should be.

Wanker of the Week

Posted: October 19, 2008 in Hockey
Tags: ,

Each week I will endeavor to provide you with an example of who I feel is the biggest wanker of the week. If you don’t know what a wanker is, look it up.
To start off, I’m going with someone the NHL media fawn over, but who is a wanker to me.
This is a douchebag who used complained about Ovechkins visor, and…VOILA, no more mirrored visors in the NHL.
This is a douchebag who complained to Uncle Gary (Bettman) about Sean Avery (another douchebag in his own right) being a distraction when he was trying to, well, distract him, and had the rules changed for him again.

Who do I complain to that I should be paid three times my salary to work 4 hours a week, lets see if that dog will hunt.

Ladies and gentlemen, the inaugural “WANKER OF THE WEEK”


Martin “How you doin’ sister-in-law” Brodeur