Today means a lot of things to many different people. For our American readers it’s a day of giving thanks, being with family, and eating turkey. For the general sports fans out there, we have 3 afternoon football games to watch. However for the diehard hockey fan it means one thing: withdrawal.

There are no games on the NHL schedule today, and if you are someone who lives and breathes the sport, that is a LONG time between games. Around 7pm eastern tonight you will start to feel it. You may get the shakes, suffer some irritability, and you may take it out on your friends and family. Never fear. We hear at Backhand Shelf want to give you your hockey fix to get you through to tomorrow. So here are 5 hockey things you can do to get you through today.

Three Words: Blades of Steel

What is needed: Nintendo entertainment system, Blades of Steel game cartridge, a fellow puckhead (optional, but makes for a better game), the ability to memorize what 2 buttons do.

Why it will help: Because its awesome. A huge chunk of my childhood was used up hearing “With the pass”. The best part of this game was the simplicity: one button is pass, the other is shoot. The other highlight was the fighting (jump to 1:21) . Lose a fight, you go to the box and feel shame.

Welcome to Rock’Em Sock’em Hockey

What is needed: a VHS player, one of the early Rock’Em Sock’em videos

Why it will help: I usually don’t agree with a lot of Don Cherry’s opinions, but one thing I have to give him credit for is that he made some amazing hockey videos (at least early on). The music, the one liners, the non stop action, it was amazing.

Mini Sticks

What is needed: Mini Sticks, a basement that you don’t mind getting damaged, some buddies, a stove, a ball made out of hockey tape

Why it will help: This was a must at any hockey tournament as a kid. A game usually broke out in the hallway of a hotel (that is until a security guard answered the call of some angry guests) . We are all a little bigger in adulthood so 3-on-3 is probably impossible, but a good 2-on-2 game is very doable. If you are asking why a stove is needed then you are definitely a ministicks rookie. How else will you heat up the plastic to make a sick curve? Warning: Rug burn hurts, and you will feel it in the shower the next day.

Go through your old Hockey Cards

What is needed: A sense of adventure as you dig through your basement for your old cards, Beckett magazine

Why it will help: When I was a kid, I loved collecting hockey cards. I didn’t do it as an investment, but many years later you can  find some gems in those old shoe boxes. My most valuable cards? My Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull Rookie Cards

Go on Ebay and buy a piece of hockey memorabilia that you absolutely don’t need.

What is needed: Computer, Credit Card, explanation for your wife (not needed till your CC bill comes in)

Why it will help: While surfing the site you will say “I totally remember that as a kid” so many times. I once bought a Wayne Gretzky light switch cover just because I thought it was cool. And tell me it wouldn’t be fun showing up to work carrying your lunch in this? Your co-workers will make fun of you at first, but you know deep down inside there is some jealousy.

Got any more? Comment or tweet me @robpizzo


To the links we go

Iron man Brad Boyes’ streak will be coming to an end (Pro Hockey Talk)

So most of Canada was watching Sid’s return this week….but did Americans? (Puck Daddy)

So Daniel is acting like Henrik, and Henrik is acting like Daniel and OH NO I’VE GONE CROSS EYED (Dirty Dangle)

This season has been weird to say the least, and there are  stats to prove it (The Rat Trick)

The Pens Blog would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving…with a Bob Errey soundboard

Dainius Zubrus played his 1000th game last night and got a bunch of gifts for it (Fire and Ice)

Pension Plan Puppets breaks down the Leafs puck possession time in two big wins

Bobby Clarke carries the puck, passes it over to Eric Lindros….wait what? (

And Gaustad stood up for his goalie last night by fighting Lucic, too bad it was a week and a half late!