Friday, January 29, 2010

F U L.A.? No, F U, Canada!

Ever wonder what the difference is between a Canadian hockey fan and, say, a normal person who resides in the United States of America?

I believe you'll find the answer in the above video, posted by a Toronto Maples Leaf fan after his team got whipped by the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday evening.

A normal person may return home after his team loses and say "bummer" and get on with their life. A Maple Leafs fan apparently comes home and screams into the webcam of a computer in his basement.

I mean this dude does everything but drop trou and stroke his frozen terwilliger over the Leafs. 

Hang with the video past the musical opening number (for lack of a better term). It gets better as it goes. If you have the time, you may also want to forward this video to mental health professionals in the Toronto area.

As for this dude's "F U" to Los Angeles, please allow Puck Boy to handle the reply: Go hump a snowman, Canada! The Kings are going to the playoffs!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Once again, hockey takes the low road

An illegal hit by Patrick Cormier in a minor league hockey game in Canada has understandably been getting a lot of traction in hockey circles the past few days. The above video is worth watching to see the response of opposing coach Patrick Roy, who certainly sounds like he's seen enough cheap shots and would like something done about it.

I've written about this before and I'll say it again: I love the fact that hockey is a physical game with rough stuff. But I also think there's far too much tolerance of hits that go over the line. The game is plenty exciting enough without people getting maimed, yet the people who run the game at the pro level seem to believe fighting and violence are the main draw.

If they thought otherwise, they would have done something long ago. But they haven't and, as a result, you get to watch the NHL Stanley Cup finals on a cable channel that specializes in bass fishing shows. And that, my friends, is fucked up.

--Steve Hymon

Monday, January 18, 2010

Canada's best and brightest photographed!

Originally uploaded by willjessie

Found this of three gentleman at a recent game in Canada over at Flickr. I was grasping for something witty to say, but I tend to think that this says everything you need to know about our enlightened neighbors to the north. I'd love to know exactly what that creature is on the dude on the left side and I'm guessing these guys had a real, uh, swell time painting one another.

Hockey stops and my f-----g dumb right foot

One of the more frustrating parts of learning to play hockey has been dealing with my extremely stubborn right foot when it comes to hockey stops. At various times I've threatened to actually saw it off, the only thing stopping me being the great amount of pain and mess that would involve.

The problem is this: On solid ground, I'm right-handed and right-footed. But on the ice, my left foot appears to be more dominant, particularly when it comes to stopping. I've been able to do a rudimentary hockey stop with my left foot on the outside since early last summer.

And the right foot -- well, not really. I've been able to kind of stop with it, but not the kind of stop I would ever use (or could use) during a scrimmage.

As a result, it's something I've had to work around and it's been a really, really big pain in the ass, the reason I suggest you watch the above video if you're in the same boat. It's a little rude to ask opponents and teammates for the action to only unfold to my right and I doubt they'd go along with it. It also impacts a lot of everyday type of moves you make on the ice.

I know, I know. I should have dealt with this months ago. But I've been busy learning other things and I tend to look past skating fundamentals when it comes to stick time because life-with-puck involves so many other things to learn.

Well, some good news. A few putrid performances in some recent drills (well, more putrid than normal) led me to decide it's time for the right foot to get with the program.

And progress has been good. Not great. But I'm getting there.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Play pickup at Staples Center!

My apologies for posting this so late, but here's a neat -- and smart -- promotion from the Kings. The gist of it is the team is allowing for a pickup game at Staples after tonight's Ducks-Kings game.

Even if it's too late this time around, I hope the Kings can find a way to do this. Obviously the team shares Staples with the Lakers, Clippers and other events, but anything they can do to foster attendance among the local hockey community is ultimately good for the sport.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When you spend all your time freezing your ass off, these are the kind of websites you create

Ever curious who may be your long lost hockey twin? The Canadian Television website has constructed a little game that will guide you to both your male and female twin.

One catch: Your twin has to be a member of Canada's Olympic hockey squad, which of course is kind of limiting and disgusting. Nothing against Canadians, mind you. But how would you like it if someone said you can date any girl you want in California -- as long as she's from Fresno?

Nothing against Fresno, of course.

My male twin was Jarome Inginla, the winger and captain of the Calgary Flames. Given that Mr. Inginla currently is eighth in the NHL in goals, I'll take it since I have hard enough time scoring on an empty net.

My female twin is Haley Irwin, a winger who shoots lefty (that's her, at right). Interesting! The Domestic Partner is also a lefty, so I must have some kind of cosmic connection with left-handed chicks. According to her bio, Haley's favorite movie is "Anchorman" and her favorite television program is "The Simpsons." Certainly can't argue with that: Welcome to the fam, Haley!

--Steve Hymon

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So much for hockey. Let's just fight!

As I've made clear before on the blog, I'm not crazy about hockey's ridiculous tolerance of fighting. I think it's hurt the sport's image more than it's helped.

That said, you have to watch this -- it's the perfect Monday morning antidote to actually working (if you want to work this morning, that's fine -- but do so at your own risk). The fight is from a game over the weekend in Russia's pro league, the KHL, that had to be canceled after less than four minutes of action due to a series of fights that resulted in so many players being thrown out of the game that there weren't enough players left to actually engage in a hockey game.

Here's a description of what happened at The English-language version of the KHL website also has a description of what happened.

--Steve Hymon

Friday, January 8, 2010

You have to like Chad OchoCinco after this

This isn't hockey related, but I'm a huge Cincinnati Bengals fan -- yes, I know it's like having a disease although it's also good practice for being a Kings fan. So the Bengals finally qualified for the playoffs this year, despite losing three of their last four, including a 37 to 0 drubbing by the Jets on Sunday Night Football last week.

Bengals stud WR OchoCinco slipped and hurt his knee before the game. So he goes and gets an MRI but then declares to the press earlier this week that he tested the knee during an apparently acrobatic romp in the hay with someone and that he's healthy and ready to go.

All the details in the New York Post.

--Steve Hymon

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hockey or rugby?

Here's a nice shot I found over at Flickr of a recent Capitals-Canadiens game. I assume there's a goalie in there somewhere.

Other Winter Classic ideas

Following up on my previous post about where to put future Winter Classic games, Puck Daddy has an article with 30 suggestions -- including a game on the National Mall, in Yellowstone National Park -- I love that idea -- and putting the game somewhere in Alaska.

Winter Classic should come to the Sierra or the Rockies

With the most recent Winter Classic, held in Fenway Park in Boston, being widely judged a success, a lot of attention is now turning where to hold future outdoor NHL games. A fun article on the Fox website proposes, among other ideas, a game between the Ducks and Kings at the L.A. Coliseum.

And I came across a Tweet proposing a game on the frozen ice of the national mall in Washington D.C. Can't you just imagine an errant slapshot clanging off the head of the Abe Lincoln statue?

Well, here's my brilliant idea: Instead of putting the game in another massive stadium in the Eastern U.S., move it to a truly scenic setting. And there are few more spectacular places than the Sierra Nevada or the Rocky Mountains.

The NHL could, for example, build a temporary rink with bleachers in the giant parking lot at Squaw Valley, scene of the 1960 Winter games -- where, by the way, the U.S. team beat the Soviet Union in the first version of the Miracle on Ice. Blyth Arena, where that game was held, was torn down in the early 1980s after the roof collapsed due to heavy snowfall (above is the view of the 1960 Olympic facilities, as seen from Squaw's slopes).

A game at Squaw could pit the perpertual contender San Jose Sharks versus pretty much anyone and be a treat to watch.

Canadians won't stop until they've gouged your eyes out

Just for fun, I thought I'd poke around the internet to see if there are any rooms available in Vancouver or Whistler for the Olympic games. After all, there are tickets available to some events.

Well, the good news is that there are rooms available. The bad news: Well, how would you feel about paying $830 a night to stay in a Best Western in Vancouver? The prices are even more obscene in Whistler, where rooms at respectable establishments are going for $1,100 a night or so.

The best bet to see the Games live, I think, is to visit a geneaologist and pray you can find a Canuckian in the family tree who is willing to clear away some beer bottles and let you bed down for the night.


--Steve Hymon

Monday, January 4, 2010

Three Kings to play for U.S. in Olympics

I'm just catching up on news from the past few days. So you may have heard by now that three members of the Kings made the American squad that will go to Vancouver next month: goalie Jonathan Quick, defenseman Jack Johnson and winger and Kings captain Dustin Brown.

It doesn't sound as if Quick will get much playing time, but Johnson and Brown certainly will. I'm a big fan of Johnson and think he may be the Kings' best overall player -- not only can he remove man from puck, but he also has the skating and stickhandling chops to take the puck up the ice. And his shot is a rifle.

Here's a USA Today analysis of the U.S. men's roster. Sounds like the writer is a Johnson fan, too.

While it's fun to see the Kings compete for a playoff spot this season, I'm more stoked for the Olympic tournament at this point. Unlike the regular NHL season, the Olympic hockey tournament is short and sweet and every second of every game will count.

The Canada-U.S. game is Feb. 21 at 4:40 p.m., by the way. That's just as the Sunday stick time session at the Pasadena rink is ending. If the game is shown live -- and if it's not, someone should throw the president of NBC to the wolves in San Quentin -- I look forward to plopping down at the bar in the adjacent Sheraton hotel, stinky and sweaty, and quaffing a few while watching the game.

Here's the link to the press release about the U.S. team from USA Hockey. 

One other sidenote: the Kings' Michael Handzus will be playing for Slovakia at the Winter games. If you're wondering why Anze Kopitar won't be going to Vancouver it's because he's from Slovenia and Slovenia doesn't have a team going to the games.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kings beat Caps 2 to 1!

Screw you, Ovechkin! That said, even from the nosebleeds it's obvious that guy is an ox disguised as a hockey player.

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