03/06/2008 10:39 AM
THE FAR SIDE OF THE POND
Random Hockey Thoughts
By Chad Huebner
So I’m done watching the Bruins-Caps game the other night, and I was still jonesing for hockey (not to be confused with Jonesy-ing for hockey, in regards to Keith Jones). Hey Versus, could you schedule a few more doubleheader nights? I know Mondays and Tuesdays are a little on the lean side in terms of number of NHL games (here’s a thought: show games on other nights! Oooooo! What a concept!), but there should be enough for two games. Anyway, I took care of my addiction thanks to the Altitude Network (brought to me by DirecTV via their Sports Package, God bless ‘em) who was showing the Arizona Sundogs vs. the Colorado Eagles. The NHL Network and some of the FSN channels broadcast AHL games, but it seems the Altitude Network’s the only place to go for lower-level minor league action. The CHL is one step below the ECHL (the “Double-A” of hockey, according to them), and on par with the likes of the IHL. Great fans the Eagles have, but it helps to have a great team, as well. Defending champs, and it looks like they’re rounding into playoff shape, at least that’s what I got from their 4-2 win over the Sundogs (cool name). In their 5-year history, they’ve won four division titles, and two CHL titles, and a .736 winning percentage. They have Greg Pankewicz, who scored twice during the win, and had a hat trick in the previous game. He’s 37, and a 17-year veteran in the minors, with a couple of cup of coffee with the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators. He’s scored over 500 goals and 1000 points in his minor league career. I’m only a year and a half younger than him, and I feel wiped out when I’m on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes.
Why do I bring this up? Because it’s time for some random hockey thoughts. Enjoy!
Speaking of the Bruins-Caps game, not only does Ovechkin’s run to 60 goals remind me of the Gretzky days of the early 80s, so does the 10-2 score. Remember all the times the Oilers would win 8-6 or 7-4? They made Grant Fuhr look really good. . .
Watching the Sabres-Flyers game on Tuesday, and saw a ticked-off Ryan Miller go after the guy who hit him. One of the announcers said Miller “came flying out of the crease like a spider monkey”. Wonder if he got that from “Talladega Nights” (“I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey!”)? But hey, who wouldn’t want a goalie like Miller? Ready to muck it up on the ice, yet with enough sense to leave the bad stuff there, and not take it with him after the game. Ya listening to this, Ray Emery? And I’m not talking about the cockroach eating contests. . .
Playoff series I’d pay to see in person, but it won’t happen because one of the two isn’t going to make it: Sabres vs. Flyers. I could go on and on about all the things between the two teams, but I’ll just say this would be a must-see. . .
If I was the owner of a NHL team (let’s say Anaheim, just for hypothetical sake), and two of my prized players decided to take half of the season off before coming back, then played like they did the year before, when we won the whole thing, and the club was rolling going into the playoffs, I’d want them to do this every year. . .
Dallas is the surprise team, but Anaheim is the proven one. A subtle difference that’ll become major once the Ducks surpass the Stars. . .
And don’t forget the Sharks. . .
I could see another reason why Montreal was so quick to part with Cristobal Huet: he has too many syllables in his name. Carey Price: three syllables. Ken Dryden, also three. Patrick Roy has three if you count his last name as one syllable. Jacques Plante: only two. Cristobal Huet? Clocking in at five ain’t gonna get the job done, buddy. . .
But if Price becomes the next Roy in the playoffs, all bets are off. . .
Message to the Nashville Predators from a ‘Hawks fan: STOP WINNING!!! It won’t do you any good come playoff time. Do you actually think you’re going to win it all this year? You’ve had a fine run despite all the ownership muckety muck, but it’s time to start sinking in the West. Besides, you’ll be in Kansas City by next season, because the “fans” don’t care about you. My team is coming on strong (like a spider monkey), and doesn’t need you in the way of the final playoff spot. You’ll only be fodder for the Stars or Red Wings. Thank you. . .
Carolina Hurricanes a No. 3 seed? Seriously? Perhaps the NHL should do what the NBA has done the last few seasons, and seed the teams based on record, regardless of divisional standing. . .
The shutout is a lost art, at any level of hockey. . .
Music to workout to while you’re watching a hockey game on TV: “Go” by Pearl Jam, “Down With the Sickness” by Disturbed, and nearly the entire 1991 self-titled album by Metallica except for “Nothing Else Matters” (Side note: There should be a rule that a band’s first album is the only one that can be self-titled. People were really confused as to what Metallica called their genius piece in 1991: The Black Album? The Snake Album? Yes, stuff like this mattered to people in 1991.)
My favorite quote from a hockey movie: “. . . You go to the box, you know. Two minutes by yourself, and you feel shame, you know.” From goalie Dennis Lemieux in “Slap Shot”. . .
Slap Shot 2: not all that bad. It did have the Hanson Brothers (“Awwww! Like Gordie Howe! And Dit Clapper! And Eddie Shore!”). . .
The difference between a hockey fan and a person that isn’t one? The person that isn’t thinks going to see a game live is a waste of time: you can’t see the entire action from your seat, which is uncomfortable, and the food is overpriced and the bathroom lines are long and blah blah blah. A hockey fan says “Well, yeah, but there’s something about seeing a game live that even HD can’t come close to equaling. It’s the feel, the spark of electricity from the team, the fans, the building.”
It’s the feel, remember that. . .
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