Archive for the ‘Week in review’ Category

I’m writing to the Predators about their mistreatment of ice girls. This girl wasn’t even given any pants, and she’s forced to skate by Mike Comrie, whose marriage has already descended to the naughty text message stage.

The injury bug is a plagued that’s particularly venomous once we get closer to Valentine’s Day. As you spend money on flowers, chocolates, jewellery, and bad movies, you can also watch your favourite NHL team crumble into a pile of broken bones and strained muscles.

What a wonderful time of the year. If you’re a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, this week began with the potential for disaster. The sick bay in La Belle Province was packed for a brief time, with one significant name remaining on an already long injury list by week’s end.

The news was much worse under the bright Broadway lights.

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In his hometown of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Russia, Anton Khudobin was taught to eat all commemorative pucks.

Maybe this is just the lingering depression I’ve felt all day on the year’s most depressing day, but it seems this season more than any other has spawned a new sideshow played every night simultaneously alongside the NHL’s scheduled slate of games.

I’d dream up a witty name for this game show, but I can’t possibly top the NHL’s marketing campaign and those impenetrable team guardians. For now, let’s just leave it as “Name Your Punishment,” with Colin Campbell hosting, and Gary Bettman playing a Vanna White role of some kind (sorry for that mental image).

Sure, maybe now we’re just seeing the culmination of a trend that’s been building over the past several seasons, but it’s difficult to get through a night without the dreaded “S” word (suspension) being uttered, and it’s quickly becoming a curse word. This week the swear jar was filled, with five separate plays making it difficult to get an appointment in the court of public opinion.

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It seems Ryan Johansen’s World Junior success has created a bit of excitement down in Columbus.

It’s been nearly five full days, and those in the Great White North are just now poking their heads out from under a World Junior cloud of depression. It’s actually ironic timing, because the Russians are just now finally getting over their hangover, and rehearsing other wildly original anti-Canada chants.

Meanwhile, somewhere in a deep, dark pink closest, Don Cherry is plotting his Russian revenge, and still conveniently forgetting how much vintage Cherry class the Canadian women showed after a major international victory. There are battle blueprints all over the bunker he shares with Mike Richards, as they’ve set aside their scheming against P.K Subban for one week.

But enough with the WJC. We’re finally ready to push forward after a nationwide crisis. There’s just one minor problem that developed throughout last week as we re-aligned our focus solely to the professional game: players are dropping like Reggie ray after his ninth concussion.

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The Week in Review took a one week hiatus. I blame the holidays, my New Year’s hangover, the World Juniors, and somehow Sidney Crosby’s resemblance to Andy Samberg is responsible too.

If I learned one thing over the holiday season this year, it’s that nature doesn’t care what I think.

Nature doesn’t care if I don’t enjoy making a three hour drive home in gusting winds. Nature doesn’t care if it’s not cold enough for a nice skate on the pond in the back woods. And most importantly, nature doesn’t care if hockey doesn’t mix well with rain.

We’ve had two days to digest this year’s soggy Winter Classic. The organizers lost hair, the media and broadcasters whined, and the players, well, they played. But all that really matters is how much you enjoyed your first rain soaked Winter Classic, and the numbers tell the tale.

It turns out there’s a reason why the term “primetime” developed in the television business.

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Silly Green Men. Everyone knows the Leafs prefer Aunt Jamima’s waffles.

Profanity and puck have always blended together beautifully to make a perfect symphony of male testosterone. Players curse when they score game-winning goals, they curse before and after they’ve pounded the snot out of each other, and they curse because it’s mandatory around Sidney Crosby.

Usually, no matter how it’s said, a well placed F-bomb causes the listener to stop abruptly, pay attention, and take the speaker seriously even for a few brief seconds. We learned the exception to this rule earlier this week, and his name is Bruce Boudreau.

When Boudreau laced into his Capitals during an episode of HBO’s Penguins/Capitals: Road to the winter classic, it was difficult not to picture a cuddly Fat Albert. The cursing was accentuated by Boudreau’s trademark fast talking style, and his eyes widened with every word. He may not deserve to be fired yet, but it was easy to see why he’ll never be confused with Vince Lombardi in the motivation category.

It’s a crying shame that Washington mercilessly snapped its eight game slide Sunday night, because losing is far more entertaining.

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Brandon Dubinsky does not like segways.

Personalities aren’t welcome in hockey. At all times we must maintain the tradition of robotic locker room “banter,” and conform to clichés describing how well a puck has bounced, and how great the chances were that didn’t lead to goals.

The establishment will not stand for charisma, flash, and flare, and the almighty hockey Big Brother in the sky frowns on any expression of individuality.

But don’t fear, my fun loving friends. A prophet has been sent to guide us from the shackles of conformity, and free us from these enforced stale nightly rituals.

The old guard of traditionalists wants you to surrender, and wants you to talk about how you played for a full 6o minutes, or need to play for a full 60 minutes, or how you’re going to play for a full 6o minutes in some other game. They would like you to buy in, take everything one shift at a time, and capitalize on momentum. They would like you to be just like everyone else.

Our leader will have none of this. Along with his long-held ally P.K Subban, he will rebel against those who shun the fun.

His name is Linus Omark. Repeat this name, for one day his story will be told to your children, and your children’s children. This week, his legacy was born with a single spin.

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Mmmm, smells like french fries. Quick, someone get Paul Bissonnette!

Without angst and bitterness between the legions of loyal fans, we’d have nothing in hockey. The entertainment value would plummet to the level of Two and a half men.

We need the loud chants of “fire Wilson!”, and Taylor Hall getting booed after a gentle, harmless rub out of Brian Gionta. Don’t mistake this for just sheer passion. Passion brings fans to their feet, raises their hands to the rafters, and turns oversized jerseys into dresses. Passion is the core of fandom.

But angst and bitterness in December? Now that’s next level fandom, the kind of crazy that leads to the bottom of the facepaint jar, and makes teenage girls wake up in the morning feeling like Dany Heatley.

Without hockey hate, this game just wouldn’t be much fun. Right, Mr. Heatley?
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