If you listen to the Backhand Shelf Podcast regularly you’re well aware that Rob Pizzo and I aren’t exactly on the same page on everything. Pizzo is a muscly Italian guy who likes Rocky (who’d have guessed??), and I’m the thinking intellectual who relates more with Yoda.
Somebody had to settle our many disagreements, and being that potential NHL draft picks are always asked weird questions leading up to the draft, it was decided that they’d be our official judges.
On Rocky vs. Star Wars, Bob Cole vs. Any Other Announcer, The Cup vs. Olympic Gold, and Phoenix vs. Toronto.
When Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils took a penalty last night, it couldn’t have made his coach Peter DeBoer too happy. What’s worse for Zajac, is that the penalty box door was jammed, leaving him to stand - namebar facing his bench, no less - for eight minutes while the staff at Madison Square Garden tried to bust it open.
I’m quite pleased with myself for working “gets my goat” into a headline today (though I’m not exactly sure where the expression comes from). I was tempted to go with “grinds my gears” as an ode to Peter Griffin, but I dunno….goats, and all that.
Tangent-lede aside, let’s get to this: if you’re like me and watch a lot of hockey, you’ve probably noticed a fiew trends from commentators when they call hockey games. That’s fine, of course – the game is played on a flat, obstacle-free surface, so the same plays are going to happen on repeat over the course of the season.
Still, certain things…get my goat. Below are the three biggest – feel free to add yours in the comments.
My Dad’s here this weekend, so I showed him the Sabres game tying goal-ish thing against the Leafs from last night because, hey, that scrum was funny, right?
His (accurate) takeaway, which I missed:
You have to take the hit to make the play. That goal started before the mess in the crease (which maybe should have been blown dead, sure). Sometimes you just have to be the guy on the wrong end of a hit and do the right thing with the puck.
Here’s a quick look at the goal we’re talking about, followed by a brief explanation.
I understand why “energy” guys become fan favourites.
Those pests bomb around, throw big checks, scrap when necessary and just generally put a burr up the backside of a hockey game that needs a little more pace.
But loving the on-ice antics of Sean Avery? That’s just unforgiveable. (At the very least, we need some of his fans to explain the love they have for the guy.)
At last night’s home opener for the Rangers at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden, a pro-Sean Avery banner was unfurled, and a very large one at that.
Photo pilfered from @DaveLozo's twitter feed. Follow him, he's good people.
The sign read “16 Avery – send Torts to the Whale” - a protest to the demotion of the wildly interesting but not-really-that-awesome player.
Worse, was the crowd actually chanting his name when they found themselves losing in the third period. Did they ever chant his name when he played there?
Here’s the video:
It’s a shame Sean Avery isn’t in the NHL anymore, if only because he was usually up to something interesting, and he’s taken up some good causes outside the game, so you’d like to see him have as big a platform as possible.
But this is still the Sean Avery that made fans at home want to jump through their TV and deck him a few nights a week with his pest routine. Surely “up to something interesting” isn’t the standard for deciding who to make signs and chant for these days.
On Monday, the website Joe Sports Fan ran a picture of a man at Game 3 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals. As you can see from the picture below, he was rooting for the Rangers. ….of New York, for some reason.
"Jeez, Gaborik has been invisible tonight."
Well, that same site managed to track the gent down – Doug Hackey (yes, his last name is actually Hackey) – and they had a little interview.
This guy is one interesting, possibly confused cat. Trying to follow his allegiances and rationale is a near impossible mission.