Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bakersfield Condors coach: anti-semetic assmuncher?

Interesting item at LAist today that says that the Kings are holding "Jewish pride night" at tonight's game (a cantor is singing the national anthem) and that a Jewish player has sued the Bakersfield Condors, alleging the coach subjected him to a bunch of anti-Semetic crap.

Well, it's Bakersfield. Disappointing, but no surprise. And as a Jew who plays hockey (not always well, mind you), here's my memo to the Condors if the allegations are true: $%&# You, too, you bunch of D$#%headed a$$munchers!


Monday, January 17, 2011

My memo to the NHL

I'm just a peon sitting here in Pasadena and I'm certainly not as smart as a high-paid National Hockey League executive -- you know, the guys that put the Stanley Cup Finals on a network most of the country can't see. Or the same ones that kind-of-sort-of don't want to see the NHL's best players maimed in a series of Ultimate Fighting Championship-worthy head shots.

So here's my brilliant idea of the day: When it comes time for the NHL playoffs, get rid of the silly and contrived conference affiliations that lead to match ups that are either boring or too good to waste in the first round.

Example: if the playoffs started today -- Jan. 17 -- Pittsburgh and Washington would play in the first round of the Easter Conference playoffs. That means one of the two more exciting teams in hockey is going to get bounced in the first round and be absent for the rest of the playoffs. The same two teams that just played in the Winter Classic and were featured for a month on HBO.

Meanwhile, over in the Western Conference, Nashville and Phoenix would play a best-of-seven series that could consume two whole weeks. Maybe some good hockey would be played. But can you honestly say you care?

The better solution would be to get rid of the conference affiliations come playoff time and seed the league one through 16. That gives the team who wins the President's Trophy with best record some good incentive to keep winning -- they get the true lowest seeded playoff team for the rest of the Stanley Cup tournament.

And it would likely lead to more match ups of national interest, pitting some well-known Eastern teams against the lesser-knowns in the West -- and maybe giving the rest of the league to care about some of those Western teams.

In my scenario, some interesting first-round match ups if the season ended today would be Pittsburgh-Anaheim, Washington-Phoenix, Vancouver-Atlanta, Tampa Bay-New York Rangers and Detroit-Montreal.

Yeah, I know -- crazy stuff.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to score a goal

Watch this goal by the Victoria Salmon Kings for good examples of deft stickhandling, teamwork and horrible, horrible defensive play.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pass the duct tape please

Thank you Nike Bauer for the crap stitching on my relatively new hockey pants.

Rather than go with my old pants in today's season opener, I'm gonna go with the gray duct tape. Yeah it looks weird but it beats a surprise appearance by you-know-who during the game.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mexican hockey team probably not a threat at 2014 Olympics

A friend of mine took this photo in Mexico City on a Christmas visit. It appears to be the world's smallest ice rink.

As she wrote, "In the middle of el zocalo (think national mall) they have a ice skating rink.... and along with skates, people get walkers! So I guess this means we'll probably be skipping the speed skating in the winter olympics!!"

Yes, it seems like it might be difficult to get much speed going when the rink is the size of a backyard swimming pool. It's too bad that there isn't more hockey in Mexico -- there are actually a few teams here and there -- because the nation's love of soccer would likely help with hockey strategy and it would be great to watch both the U.S. and Mexico try to knock off Canada.

One other note: there may not be much hockey in Mexico, but there is a sizable contingent of those of Mexican heritage who play hockey in my house league -- including my goalie, who took the sport up north of turning 30 and is very, very, very good. 


photo credit: M.G.

Two good hockey stories in the NYT -- when hockey moms lace up and novel sportsmanship rule

It's cliche at this point to write that spouses and/or significant others of hockey players often aren't too crazy about the sport. It's a timesuck and no one who doesn't play can possibly understand how much fun it is and how hockey pretty much demands obsessive behavior in order to win.

This recent story in the New York Times is about the increasing number of women -- and hockey moms -- who have decided to give ice hockey a go. And guess what? They end up feeling the same about the sport as those with penises. This is not at all surprising.

The second story involves a rule put in place in Minnesota youth hockey to decrease fighting and cheap shots. The gist of it: teams that stay under a certain amount of penalty minutes each game receive an extra "sportsmanship" point in the standings. Anecdotal evidence suggests it's working in terms of reducing injuries.

I kind of like the idea. Obviously, penalties are part of the game and I'm not sure a team that survives a penalty kill and still manages to win should be penalized in the standings. That said, there are teams out there that know they're good enough to win and beat the living crap out of their opponents -- in other words, they can stomach the penalty minutes. I'm not sure that's good for the sport, especially at the recreational levels.


photo credit: The New York Times

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Check it out

The flyover for the Rose Bowl game, with the fighter jets circling past downtown L.A. and the coast in the background. The photo was taken from the Sam Merrill trail on Echo Mountain -- i.e. the trail that begins at the end of Lake Avenue.


Happy New Year!

As seen from my bathroom in Pasadena this morning.