Friday, 19 January 2018

A Friday Laugh

Intermissions and commercial breaks at hockey games provide all sorts of opportunities for hockey franchises to really push local promotions. The USHL's Green Bay Gamblers have never failed to drop some advertising on their fans as a way to pay their bills, and they have a unique little race that features three randomly-chosen fans dressed as beer cans. If there's one thing I know about wearing top-heavy costumes, getting up from a fall is certainly no easy task.

While no one is going to complain about Budwesier, Busch Light, and Natty Light's efforts in this race, Bud Light might have a little explaining to do after ending up looking like an overturned turtle on the ice.
Tripping over one's feet in a race is never good, but when one is wearing a fairly rotund beer can? Devastating. There are no medals for effort in this race, Bud Light. How the once-mighty have fallen!

All jokes aside, the Gamblers have had other beer races hit social media for some epic wipe-outs and miraculous recoveries. Case in point? Check out Busch Light bailing at the start of this race only to find a second wind from January 2016!
Not bad at all, Busch Light. Excellent job at roaring back in this race!

If there's one thing you can say for both Bud Light and Busch Light aftr watching these two clips, it's that both brands of beer seem to go down easy! And with that, I'll show myself out.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Hockey Show - Episode 278

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight with a special guest! We normally like to have guests booked early on our show, but this one required a little scheduling before we could confirm her attendance. She has been recognized on ESPN as the Greatest Hockey Player in the World This Week, and she overcame some incredible odds to do some incredible things! We'll feature this young dynamo on the show tonight as Beans and I go over a pile of happenings in the hockey world from this past week. There's also a major anniversary today in the NHL. so we'll talk to our guest, talk some news, and highlight this anniversary tonight on The Hockey Show on 101.5 UMFM!

That young sniper is Riley Scorgie. You may have heard of her thanks to her story in the Edmonton Journal or maybe because I nominated her to be the Best Player in the World of the Week for this week. You may recognize her last name as we had her father, Adam Scorgie, on with us to speak about his film, Ice Guardians, back in March. Well, it turns out that Riley has an incredible story to tell after she scored her 50th goal in just her 19th game of the season during the first game of Quikcard Edmonton Minor Hockey Week! Why is that important? Because Scorgie was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome last October, a syndrome that affects the hands, arms, legs, and feet after the immune system attacks the body's nerves in those areas. This is the same issue that is currently affecting Anaheim's Patrick Eaves and keeping him out of hockey. Riley overcame the disease and has become one of the best scorers that Edmonton has seen since the lofty days of Wayne Gretzky! We'll talk to Riley and her mother, Lauren, tonight about winning the fight against a disease that threatened her hockey career as well as getting to know Riley! Depending on time, Beans and I will discuss some other news, but we're focused on a special girl tonight as The Hockey Show welcome Riley Scorgie to the program!

So how do I hear Riley's interview, you ask? We suggest that you download the UMFM app on your phone or tablet. It's the easiest and most convenient way to listen to any of UMFM's great shows any time of the day, so go get it! Just follow this link on your iDevice or this link for your Android device and get the UMFM app! It's never been easier to tune into The Hockey Show or UMFM! Download the UMFM app today, and don't miss any of our great programming or shows! Of course, you can do the radio thing at 101.5 on the FM dial and you can always listen online via the UMFM website!

If you prefer social media, we try to remain up-to-speed there as well! Email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Tonight, Teebz and Beans talk to Riley Scorgie and find out what she went through to get back to playing the sport she loves on The Hockey Show found only on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM app!

PODCAST: January 18, 2018: Episode 278

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A Capital N And O

If you've been following Hockey Blog In Canada for a while, you know that I hold the logo on the jersey to be sacrosanct. It is the brand of the franchise, it is the mark of professionalism, and it is what people instantly identify when it comes to one's team. In short, it's the team's identity. You simply don't mess with a team's logo for any reason when you're talking about an identity. It was the driving factor in the New York Islanders scrapping the Fisherman logo and reverting back to their classic logo in the mid-1990s. It's one of the reasons why the Pittsburgh Penguins scrapped the Robot Pigeon for the Skating Penguin. And it's part of the reason why both the Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning saw their alternate jerseys lag in sales compared to other teams. It's simple: don't mess with a logo that is instantly recognizable and a part of a team's success.

When the Washington Capitals were announced as one of the Stadium Series teams this season, I wasn't overly excited. Their last attempt at the 2015 Winter Classic left something to be desired, and the NHL as a whole has seen the design of the jerseys for their outdoor games get worse as the years roll on. Sure, there have been a few solid designs like what Toronto wore at the Centennial Classic in 2017, but the vast majority of the jerseys seen on players at the outdoor games have been mostly forgettable.

Ladies and gentlemen, let the tradition continue.
This is ridiculous. Who in their right mind designs something like this, steps back, and says to one's self, "That's an NHL uniform right there"? This uniform has "burning tire fire" written all over it, and the NHL is going to make the Capitals wear these monstrosities in Annapolis on March 3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. What a joke.

For the love of all things good and sensible in this world, the team's name is not "Caps". As a nickname and when used colloquially, the term "Caps" works. On internet hockey forums, "Caps" is acceptable. "Caps", however, is not the team's name. It never has been, and it never was. They're the Washington Capitals. This idea is as dumb as it was when Ottawa wore "Sens" and Tampa Bay wore "Bolts". That's not your identity. It's a nickname. It's not how the team and franchise is identified. This is utter crap, and shame on anyone who thinks it's even on the same planet as "acceptable".

Can someone explain the foot-tall hem stripe to me? Can someone explain the six-inch arm bands? Is it the NHL's intention to dress their teams in what appears to be pajamas?

Honestly, these are officially the worst jerseys in the history of NHL hockey of all-time. Without doubt. The fact that the Capitals will only wear these uniforms once this season - for now, at least - is the only redeeming quality I can find. There is nothing from which one can derive pride regarding these jerseys, and I'd probably revoke my fan status if I were a Capitals fan after seeing this jersey. I kid you not. Zero hyperbole. I hate these jerseys THAT much. Collect them all, douse them in gasoline, burn them, and then douse the ashes and burn them again. Have I made it clear how awful I think these jerseys are yet?

You're welcome to leave comments, but it's not going to change my opinion. WORST. JERSEYS. EVER.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

How Swede It Is

Just as I stated yesterday, nations are beginning to get themselves set for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics, and Sweden followed the Czech Republic's lead in naming their men's Olympic hockey team today. With a vast number of talented players currently under NHL contracts, there would be no Zetterbergs, Sedins, Hedmans, or Karlssons going to South Korea. There will be, however, a Lundqvist that goes to South Korea, but it will be his first Olympiad despite being a long-time national player. Who will wear the Tre Kronor? Let's take a look.

Sweden's men's Olympic team will be assembled from the following players.
Just like the Czech sqaud, there are some notable names from their times in the NHL. Linus Omark, Anton Lander, Viktor Stalberg, Joakim Lindstrom, Staffan Kronwall, Erik Gustafsson, Jhonas Enroth, and Viktor Fasth should all be fairly recognizable names after spending time with NHL clubs. Having two former NHL netminders will certainly play into Sweden's favour, and both men are having solid seasons with their KHL clubs statistically.

The second wave of players will need to provide some extra scoring punch, and I think they'll be alright. Carl Klingberg played in the Winnipeg Jets' system for a while, Oscar Moller was in the Kings' system for a few seasons, Dennis Everberg served under the Avalanche's watch for a couple of seasons, and Jonas Ahnelov played for Arizona's affiliate in the AHL. They weren't flashy or prolific scorers at those levels, but Klingberg and Moller showed a knack for the net at times. They could be important scorers down the stretch for Sweden at this tournament.

Let's take nothing away from Joel Lundqvist either. The twin brother of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Joel will be the graybeard for the Swedes at age 35, but he brings a ton of international hockey experience, spent three seasons with the Dallas Stars, and has been a solid producer for Frolunda since returning to Sweden. He will captain this Swedish squad, and he's looking for his first Olympic medal to place alongside his three gold medals and two bronze medals from the IIHF World Championships and the bronze medal he earned at the 2000 IIHF World Junior Championship. If there's one guy who will be motivated to win, I'd suspect that Joel Lundqvist would be that player.

The Swedes have solid goaltending and good scoring, but they'll need a solid tournament out of their defensive unit. Kronwall and Gustafsson are your NHL-experienced rearguards and Rasmus Dahlin will be allowed to showcase his offensive flair, but there's not a lot of offence coming from the other five defenders.

And that leads me to ask why Sweden would only select twelve forwards and eight defencemen? That's an odd number of defencemen to take unless they plan on using a defender up front in case of an injury to a forward. It makes no sense to take an extra defenceman unless you're anticipating an injury or two, so does that mean we'll see an aggressive Swedish defence? Lots of blocked shots? I guess we'll find out.

Sweden looks like a team that is built to medal. They have solid scoring up front, they should get good goaltending throughout the tournament, and they'll most likely play a very fundamental defensive game. Just as they are in most tournaments, they should be a favorite for the gold medal, and I suspect they'll own one of the podium spots at the end of the 2018 Winter Olympic tournament!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Czechs Name Their Olympians

With the Canadian men's Olympic team named and the vast majority of the American men's Olympic team named, the world waited with anticipation for the remaining countries to submit their Olympic lists as the tournament begins to take form. We're less than a month away from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, so expect a number of teams to begin making announcements over the next couple of weeks. With no NHL players to name, who will make each team's list?

The Czech Republic announced their team today, and the list is posted below.
There are some recognizable names on that list from their time in North America. Most notably, Martin Erat, Jiri Sekac, and Roman Cervenka should be the stand-out Czech players in South Korea, but there are some players whose North American exploits may not have them as A-list stars but should still make them solid players. Michal Jordan had a solid run with the Carolina Hurricanes organization, Tomas Kundratek was a key component with Washington and Hershey, Jakub Nakladal and Roman Horak spent time in the Flames' system, goaltender Patrik Bartosak tended the nets in the LA Kings' system, and Michal Repik spent time with the Florida Panthers and its affiliates.

On top of those players, Jan Kovar has been a top-flight player in the KHL with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Milan Gulas has been a solid offensive player for Färjestad in the Swedish Elite League, and netminder Dominik Furch has been the starting netminder for the KHL's Avangard Omsk for the last three seasons.

In other words, this Czech team isn't just smoke and mirrors.

Notably, one 45 year-old Czech superstar opted not to play in these Olympics, but I'm not sure this team really needs a Jaromir Jagr. Yes, his inclusion would be a major lift for everyone on this squad, but there is some good to great talent still on this Czech squad.

If you were asking me, I'd wager that one of Cervenka, Kovar, or Sekac will lead the Czechs in scoring. Like we've seen with the Czechs in other tournaments, their top players can likely run-and-gun with the big teams in this tournament, but the scoring falls off pretty hard after Repik and Erat, and those two weren't known for their explosive scoring in the NHL as it is.

In saying that, though, I think the Czechs have assembled a very solid team. They have a good defensive core with Jordan, Kundratek, and Nakladal carrying the bulk of the ice-time, and their goaltending will be solid but unspectacular. Scoring may be their Achilles' heel, but the Czechs might be able to score just enough and defend like demons to shock a few nations.

Of course, the house could collapse at any moment if things unravel as we've seen happen at a number of international tournaments, but the Czechs, at least on paper, look like they could be medalists based on this squad. In reality, they'll most likely end up in fourth- or fifth-place, but the Czechs could just shock one nation in one game and find themselves competing for a medal.

We'll have to see if they play for the Czech-mate.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!