Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


"I'm hurt and they're throwing bras?" "It's not you, Marty. it's me."

It’s happened over and over in my years of watching hockey: One of my players goes down injured, my heart races, panic creeps in, and I fire laser beams of righteous indignation at the opponent who caused it, while fighting back that “what if it’s really serious?” lump in my throat.

Meanwhile, the team’s athletic trainer calmly, carefully traverses the ice, sometimes grasping the arm of a player with his latex-gloved hand to get to his patient as quickly as possible. (Bonus: This distracts me from my worries for a few seconds, pondering the pleasures of gripping that player’s strong, steady arms. *swoon*)

When they do get there, kneeling on the ice, arm around their charge, assessing the damage and reassuring the injured player, I am so grateful for their calm presence that I can’t help but love them for taking care of “my boys.”

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Terribly sad story out of Minnesota.

High school hockey player Jack Jablonski was playing for Benilde-St. Margaret’s when he was accidentally hit from behind into the boards, leaving him motionless on the ice.

What they thought was a bruised spine and two broken vertabrae turned out to be a severed spinal cord. He still hasn’t been able to move his legs, and they’re unsure if he’ll ever walk again.

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You are ridiculous, Brian Boyle.

So, I’m watching 24/7 on Wednesday, reveling in all the hockey goodness and enjoying the crap out of it. And by the end, I come away with one overriding feeling:

Oh my God, the Rangers HAVE to be the most attractive team in the league.

But because we’re not just winging it here at Backhand Shelf — because we have integrity and we like to put numbers and facts behind our work — I knew I couldn’t just assume the Rangers were the most attractive team in the league.

I had to make up numbers to support my theory.

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Typically when you have a hockey player who improves his point production every season, and is coming off a year of career highs, he’d continue to receive increased levels of playing time, and should subsequently churn out progressively higher point totals with each passing season. However, “typical” is not word that would accurately describe Blake Comeau’s current NHL campaign.

“I was excited with the direction my game was going after last season,” said Comeau, Calgary Flames’ left-winger. “I wanted to build off it this year. I hit a little bump in the road.”

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All Zack Stortini wants for Christmas is his two front teeth.

What I love most about Christmas is that Canadians and Americans celebrate it on the same day, so none of this  “Merry American Christmas!” nonsense like we have to do with Thanksgiving.

So, that said, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate.

I hope the Jolly Fat Man brought you whatever you wished for and ate the cookies you left out for him. Otherwise, the Canucks flew him to your house for nothing! (Kyle Wellwood jokes are the gift that keep on giving.)

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When Davis Payne was fired and replaced by Ken Hitchcock, I wasn’t very subtle – I didn’t like the decision (Ryan Lambert didn’t either). While I still feel that Davis Payne shouldn’t have been let go, I’ll admit this: I was wrong about Hitchcock, and not just because the Blues are kicking ass.

My general gripe with him was simple – professional hockey players aren’t like they used to be, and old-school coaches (as I had him classified) are generally unwilling to accept that, which hinders a team’s growth. It’s why Pat Quinn, a good coach and a great man, was just about the worst hire the Oilers could’ve made a couple years ago. I think it’s part of why the Leafs have struggled over the past few years under Ron Wilson. And it’s why Mike Keenan shouldn’t get another head coaching job.

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Last night we saw Marcus Foligno make his NHL debut for the Buffalo Sabres as they took on his older brother Nick and the Ottawa Senators. Their father Mike (who played 15 years in the NHL) was in attendance along with 30 family members. That’s a pretty cool way to make your NHL debut.

Here are 10 other interesting stories and facts about brothers who played in the NHL

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