•I stuck around for pickup at the Pasadena rink on Monday night. There's always some very good players but there was one dude who I hadn't seen before that was literally skating circles around almost everyone. With that kind of speed and stick handling, I've spent most of today trying to figure out why he was playing pickup on a Monday night at the crappy Pasadena rink. I mean if he's not good enough to play minor league hockey, how good must those guys be?
•My lower division team clinched at least a .500 regular season record in our third season this past Sunday. We went 0-9-1 last spring (and 1-1 in playoffs), 6-3-1 in the fall (1-1 playoffs) and are now 5-4. It's mostly the same bunch of playes that suffered through the winless season although there have been a few key upgrades. We're usually competitive each week, although still perfectly capable of getting our ass kicked at any time. :)
•Listening to the NHL debate over what to do about head shots is kind of vomitous. The easy answer: get rid of them and crack down on fighting. The NHL has made some fixes this past week, but I think the NHL is loathe to do anything substantial that might suggest to the ticket-buying public that violence in games will be dampened.
The smartest thing I've read is this blog post about "finishing the check." I didn't know this, but you don't necessarily have to have possession of the puck in order to be checked in the NHL -- if you were the last guy to touch it, you are in many cases eligible to be checked. That is, creamed, rubbed out, demolished, etc. This blogger opines that maybe that's not such a great idea -- if, that is, the idea is to keep players' brains intact.