Welcome To Backhand Shelf


I’m so excited to write the intro for our new site that I’ve already blown it by not writing a good opening sentence. Curses.

Let’s try this again:

Welcome to theScore’s brand spankin’ new hockey blog “Backhand Shelf.”

Frans Neilsen: kind of the Godfather when it comes to going backhand shelf.

I’m your new web editor Justin Bourne – formerly a contributor to Yahoo’s “Puck Daddy” blog, The Hockey News, USA Today, Hockey Primetime and Bourne’s Blog. Also, formerly of actual ice surfaces, where I chased the dream for parts of three professional seasons between the ECHL and AHL (with one NHL tryout), four years of NCAA hockey, and a couple go-rounds in the BCHL.

I’ll spare you my story and move on to the site – if you’d like to know more about who I am, you can read my tale from the rink to the blogosphere here, or a story on my Islanders family heritage here.

The lovely new site you’re on is called Backhand Shelf for a number of reasons: for starters, my tone can occasionally come off as little backhanded. As an example, I’m planning on running a Monday morning feature called “Weekend WTF” where I find awful hockey plays from the weekend and tear them apart in text form. It’ll be like the NFL’s “C’mon Man,” only slightly less grating (I hope).

Secondly, “shelf” is hockey slang for “top shelf,” which implies quality (not many people score under a goalie’s arm then explain they went “mid-shelf”). Whether the quality thing turns out to be true or not, you can let us know. In fact, we want you to let us know – what you love, what you hate and what you want more of.

Backhand Shelf is a place for all of us who love hockey. It’s a slice of life in the dressing room, like the way two stallmates BS about a shift in the last period. (Please note the initials from the site, BS, also happen to mesh perfectly).

For that to happen, we need you to make it fun – and funny. To keep it intelligent. To create a community. For those of you who used to read Bourne’s Blog before I started violently neglecting it, you know that I participate in the comments and encourage regular readers to trade ideas and snappy comebacks without the usual internet message board type filth.

My teammates on the blog here are a fantastic mix of writers, all of whom I personally enjoy. A rundown of who you’ll be reading:

Cam Charron: Contributes to SB Nation, the CIS blog, Leafs Nation, Nucks Misconduct, The Hockey Writers and more. Dude is a young buck from Kamloops who can write, knows that fancy advanced stat stuff, and is just generally good.

Ryan Lambert: Established freelance hockey opinionist who writes for Puck Daddy and periodically does a mildly entertaining podcast with me. If you have a sense of humour, you’ll love him. If you don’t, you’ll click our site every time he writes to find out what That Guy Who Hates Your Team wrote this week.

Rob Pizzo: Pizzo is going to be a fixture with theScore this year, putting his pretty little mug on camera, his voice on a podcast (with me!) and his words on this site. Every morning he’s going to drop his hockey thoughts, link to the best stories of the day, and occasionally drop us a “Pizzo’s Points” video, which are always beautifully done.

Daniel Wagner: Our friend comprises 50% of the skyrocketingly (yep, that’s a word) successful Vancouver Canucks blog Pass It To Bulis. Nobody knows why they want Bulis to get the puck so much. They’re skyrocketingly (still) successful because they’re damn good at what they do. Dudes are in high demand these days.

Jo Innes: This was a sneaky-good pick-up, for which I pat myself on the back in public right now. Jo is in medical school, a hockey fan, and a good writer. Therefore, she’s going to be doing bi-weekly injury breakdowns, explaining who’s hurt, what’s happened medically, how you rehab that, etc. Her own blog, Puck That Hurts, is a must-check-out.

Heather Galindo AKA Ms. Conduct: I’m a long-time fan of the aptly-named Ms. Conduct, whose obsession with netminders often materializes in what she calls “goalie porn” (mostly pictures of goalies stretching). She knows the AHL inside and out, is funny and often profane, and plays rec as a ’tender. If this were The Daily Show, she’d be the Senior Goalie Porn and AHL Hockey and Rec Hockey Correspondent.

We’ll also be sporting periodic contributions from Bloge Salming and Down Goes Brown (yep, we get their videos. BOOM), Sean Gentille (Sporting News), Scott Lewis (theScore’s Houses of the Hockey) and Neil Corbett (Bourne’s Blog).

I’d say that’s fairly well-placed.

I think you’ll be in pretty good hands.

That’s a lot of names, but in general, I’ll be the bulk of every day, providing you with all the pucktertainment I can.

Before you leave this site and bookmark it and favourite it and add it to your RSS feed and tell your friends about it on Facebook, a quick rundown of some of the fun stuff you’ll be seeing from me:

*Systems Analysis –We want this to be like a coach’s video session. I’ll occasionally break down team’s systems in the larger picture, but mostly dissect certain plays and rotations that went awry (or flawlessly) during a given game. As a former player, coaches said I “thought” the game well. For those who love to think technically about the game and those who want to learn more, this is the place for you.

*The Hockey Cliché Translator – guys lie in interviews to keep their life easy, and all of us know it. It’s borderline offensive to have a guy look into the camera and deadpan some half-truth. I’ll explain – okay, totally guess at – what they actually mean, just because it’s fun.

*That Rec Hockey Teammate – ah, the characters in a rec hockey dressing room. Let’s make fun of them together.

*Reader Comment of the Week – because, shockingly, a lot of hockey fans are actually really funny and really smart, and those things are better than “TEH BLACKHAWKS SUCK LOSER LOLLL.” (And if you do post something like that, rest assured that I and Backhand Shelf readers will make fun of you.)

*And like I said before, The Weekend WTF, which I’m way too excited about.

With our staff’s ample supply of snark and a forum for which to display it, I figure Backhand Shelf will be a good time – I hope you do too.

Now remember to keep on checking back. To get the job I had to agree to something like 46,000 posts per hour, so the next one should be up in a jiffy (which according to Wikipedia is 33.3564 picoseconds. I’m guessing one of those has already passed, so sorry about lying to you this early in our relationship).

It should be a hell of a year. Let’s have some fun.

Comments (46)

  1. Someone gave Ryan Lambert another job?
    God damn it.

  2. Ha, hey now. Don’t worry, we’re only letting him out of his cage every couple weeks.

    • That’s like hearing a dentist say “Don’t worry, we’re only going drill each tooth for a few minutes, you won’t need Novocain.”

      Bourne, you can do better than bringing on that syphilitic jackass (the disease has clearly settled into his brain.) I think your cats would be a better choice.

      Lambert: for the record…your favorite team sucks, your favorite player sucks, YOU SUCK.

  3. Lambert trolling NHL fans from every team is hilarious.

  4. Hey Justin, anyway we can get the twitter handles for all of the contributing writers for this new site? Always fun to read the quick hitting thoughts of hockey writers and such. Thanks!

  5. Best of luck, gang – I especially look forward to the rec hockey stuff…

  6. Ryan Lambert? Gee whiz…

  7. Looks like this is setup to be a winner!
    Best of luck, I’ll be reading everyday!

  8. Thanks guys – Kyle, twitter handles are as follows:

    Pizzo – @robpizzo
    Charron – @camcharron
    Lambert – @twolinepass
    Ms. C – @msconduct10
    Innes – @JoNaNa
    Wagner – @ADanielWagner

  9. Your absence at Puck Daddy has been noticeable, happy to see you back at it.

  10. Congrats on the new gig. Glad I can follow your blog again.

  11. Pretty, pretty, pretty excited about this.

  12. Pizzo is a pretty boy, but being #7 on the ‘Top 10 Canadian On-Air Personalities Covering Hockey’ based on the Klout Score System is huge.

    I’m looking forward to what this blog has to offer.

    Welcome Justin & the rest of the crew.

  13. Thanks for the support team. I’ve got no worries about the site, we should have a lot of fun here.

  14. im so exited 2 b a prt of dis

  15. Annnd you’re fired.

  16. I was hoping Mats Sundin’s backhand was the inspiration behind the new site’s name.

    Best of luck!

  17. Mats is an all-time backhanding legend, for sure. Crosby’s in the conversation. …not a lot of players known for that shot, exactly (because it’s really, really damn hard).

  18. Best of luck!!!!

    Looking forward to read you guys…being a backhand artist my self :o)

    I’ll be known as the french one…

  19. …what no “Fuckery”???

  20. Steve, “curses” took it’s place after my wife advised “really? You want to drop an eff bomb in the second sentence?” and when my “yes” didn’t fly, I decided to heed her advice. :)

  21. I’m a systems guy. Look forward to that

  22. Also guys, Lambert does that stuff on purpose. You let him get to you. I’m a Wings fan and I laugh when he tears into them. No sense in arguing, I just sit back and enjoy the show.
    But it days that stuff to get you going, and it works

  23. Love the logo and colors. Good work JB.
    Been a good couple years for you. Remember the blog was a way just to get your material out there. Then it was Yahoo!, and now this. Keep up the good work

  24. Welcome back to the world of hockey “bloggery” (I have fuckery stuck in my head now, thx guys)! So much good stuff to come on this site I’m sure – looking forward to reading all of it!

  25. hey hey, that video looks familiar. Thanks for using it JB (and apparently there’s a few ripoff versions of it floating around, so thanks for grabbing the original). I’ll have to give this blog a shot now.

  26. Welcome back Sherry, and thanks Ballgame.

    Bard, is that yours? Want me to link to something for you? It’s really terrific.

    • Yea, I made the video. I’m a writer at Lighthouse Hockey under Dom and we’ve got a running thing about Nielsen being the greatest player to ever step on the ice. We’ve nicknamed his backhand the Danish Backhand of Judgement. So when I was making a few Islander themed hockey videos, it was only natural to make a Nielsen one.

      Like I said, I write at LHH and at my blog at http://www.bardsblog.com. If you link to either it would be cool.

  27. Good Luck Bourne! I’ve always enjoyed your blogs, and now you have a huge platform to launch off (and I get to read more Bourne ramblings).


  28. For having 2 instances of Frans Nielsen on the first entry, I have to deem this Greatest Blog Ever.

  29. Just for having Frans Nielsen in this post not once but twice, I think I may have to come back here and check this place out very often

  30. Hopefully Cam doesn’t trash Toews too much in all his articles.

    Just kidding. Somewhat. But seriously, despite the fact that you’ve employed Canucks fans, I’m really excited to for this blog.

  31. As an Alaska ol’ man (and actually have seen you play), good to see things moving forward for ya JB. Looks promising!

  32. Awesome. Lambert’s hilarious. Congrats on the blog, that’s a solid crew.

  33. Nice op. Looking forward to cats…er tons of hockey analysis.

  34. Some Frans Nielsen fans, and….wait, a Lambert fan? Nice.

    Cory – I figured there’s a certain length of time I have to wait before I reveal the cat-heavy plans. ….but it’s in the works.

  35. Nice Blog. It is really Very interesting to read.

    metal shelving

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *