We all depend on the mainstream hockey media to provide their usually-excellent insider coverage, but there are at least three big things I love about hockey blogs and bloggers:
(1) they do it all for the love of the game,
(2) they get to voice some insanely-entertaining opinions that the mainstream media can only dream of writing, and
(3) they cover every aspect of the NHL and don’t just get stuck on the ‘talking points’.
I hope you enjoy this week’s selections—some analyses, some rants and some laughs.
Witnessing a 5-game losing streak (now up to 6 games) Ranger Pundit recently went on a tear about this current New York Rangers’ slide:
“So what do our ‘drain trusters’ plan on doing to right the good ship lollypop? Why they are thinking about bringing back Martin Rucinsky. Martin Rucinsky, another 35 plus year old. The theory is that Jagr likes him. You know the drill, another Czech player, who can’t check by the way. [...]
“How about them doing what they promised early in the year. Bring up the youngsters and play them. Yes play them, not just in practice, but in a regular game.”
[more from Ranger Pundit]
Like many of us who want physical play and skill in our hockey games, Joe Dumas at Off Wing Opinion is struggling with the issue:
“I personally am torn between the old style and the new. I can remember going to IceCats and Bruins games where the “huge” hits of today were commonplace and checking lines and enforcers were as important as the scoring lines (Terry O’Reilly, you Boston fans?). The VHS casettes we watched as kids weren’t of highlight-reel goals, but of highlight-reel hits and fights. I feel like the lack of physical play makes it seem like the players aren’t going all out, battling for every square inch of ice. But on the other hand, the skills that are coming out in the new-rules era are amazing.”
[more from Off Wing Opinion]
Not a big fan of Brett Hull, Hound Central 2.0 has a ‘bonding moment’ with the ex-NHLer:
“Even before he cheated as a member of the Dallas Stars, I’ve never been a fan of Brett Hull. Sure, he was a decent goal scorer with an above-average shot. But, mostly, he was just a bloviating loudmouth, quick with an unsolicited opinion (much like yours truly) and a tired rant toward anything that didn’t suit him.
Much to my surprise, though, I found something with which I could agree with the hound-hating blowhard…”
[more from Hound Central 2.0]
With thanks to Eyes on the Prize for pointing out this blog, at Hockey’s Ladies of Greatness I found an entertaining biography of Senators’ coach Bryan Murray:
“Meet Bryan Murray, the fifth head coach of the Ottawa Senators. Known for his extremely Irish name and lisp, Murray is a very passionate coach with an extremely dead-pan sense of humour. Therefore, you can tell I’m a fan already.
Murray was born in 1942 in Shawville, Quebec. It’s a tiny town in the Ottawa Valley in Quebec that is dead proud about their Anglo-Saxon heritage. Meaning that they speak English there and I’m frankly not convinced it even exists.”
[more from Hockey’s Ladies of Greatness]
Two for Elbowing wrote an in-depth, reflective post on his frustrations with the NHL this season. He explores the state of the San Jose Sharks, the state of the NHL in this second post-lockout season, and yes, the “FREAKING SCHEDULE”:
“The more I look at the current schedule, the more it pisses me off. And the more I see the league looking at what makes it easier for THEM and not what the fans want - that REALLY pisses me off.”
[more from Two For Elbowing]
Caps fans coming out of the closet… in Chicago? From Puckhead’s Thoughts:
“As my wife and I were stuck in at Chicago O’Hare airport for 3 hours, I saw 4 of the most random people in Caps gear. The first was a guy in a leather jaket and an old school red Capitals sweater, the next was a kid with an Ovechkin shirt on, then a youger guy wearing a Hockey Night in Canada shirt and Caps hat and then a woman with a black Caps home jersey. Maybe there are more closet Caps fans now able to wear their gear in public. Who knows?”
[more from Puckhead’s Thoughts]
Maybe this is good news for Blackhawks owner Bill “Dollar Bill” Wirtz? Perhaps he’s somehow responsible for bringing hockey excitement back to Chicago—just too bad it’s Caps’ hockey. (Poor Bill… never going to be a popular guy...)
Finally, you don’t want to run into any members of the Berube family in a dark alley. Some game video at NHL Digest might entertain you with its message of peace and love this holiday season:
“This video is an exclusive to NHL Digest and features former National Hockey League enforcer and current Philadelphia Phantoms Coach, Craig Berube’s younger relative Tyler Berube[18 White] punching the daylights out of 3 different opponents in a college hockey brawl.”
[more from NHL Digest]
Blogger Clip of the Week
From Stick in Rink:
My main problem this year with [Roberto] Luongo has been his inconsistency. He has a great game then a crap one, which costs the team. That was, of course, compounded by my crappy team’s inability to score. I know that he - and they - are capable of more than that, so to see them underachieving makes me want to strangle somebody. (Them.) And gives me PTSD flashbacks to the 05-06 season.
But at least our goalie doesn’t:
* Dive when looked at.
(I’m looking at you, Hasek. You too, Roloson, you sack of crap.)
Sorry Canucks/Wings/Oilers fans, but that made me laugh. ;)