Tag Archives: Winter Classic

Humongous Big Problem

3 Jan

And I’m not talking about the Universe….

I’m talking about the Philadelphia Flyers and goaltending.

For years now, the Flyers organization have had issues  finding just the right goalie to lead them to the Stanley Cup.  They came close in 2010 behind the tandem of Brian “Bobby” Boucher and Michael Leighton, but it just wasn’t enough. The team has lacked that netminder who brings consistency to the starting goaltender position and who hold on to the starting position for an extended period of time.

If the Bruins Stanley Cup run has shown us anything, it is that in order to win the Cup, you need to have goaltending. Tim Thomas was otherworldly last season and it is his stellar play along with the play of the entire team that brought them the ultimate hockey prize.

Any hockey fan can recognize that the Flyers are talented.  Claude Gingeroux might be one of the best young players in the NHL.  They have a solid core of young talent mixed in with veterans like Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere, and future NHL Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr.  Coach Peter Laviolette has won a Cup before with the Hurricanes, so he’s proven that he can take a team all the way.  

I truly believe that the Flyers thought that bringing in Ilya Bryzgalov would solve their twine troubles.   He won the Cup in 2007 with the Ducks.  He is a 3-time Olympian, has won numerous international medals, was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy and a top 5 finalist for the Hart Trophy in 2010.  He is, by all accounts, a top-flight NHL Goalie.

Flyers spend a pretty penny on signing Bryz in the off-season, to a nine-year,$51 million dollar contract.  The team believed in Bryz so much that they even went as far as to pull off two high-profile trades before the signing was announced in order to make room for him under the salary cap – Jeff Carter to Columbus and captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles.  Granted Flyers did receive some great young talent like Jakub Voraceck, Wayne Simmonds, and Brayden Schenn, and a grip of draft picks in return, but was it really all worth it?  Have the Flyers really gotten what they’ve so desperately desired?

Some might say yes, while others will lament that the Flyers made a terrible mistake. At yesterday’s Winter Classic, a marquee NHL event, you expect to see your #1 goalie on the ice.   Bryz rode the bench.   The Flyers’ other netminder, Sergei “Bob” Bobrovsky got the start. Probably not a terrible idea to go with Bob over Byrz since he’s been winless in his last four starts, going 0-3 and giving up 16 goals on 87 shots and Bobrovsky is 3-0 in his last three starts, giving up 6 goals on 88 shots.  

But it really didn’t matter who started.  Flyers lost anyway.

While the season is still a long way from over, it seems that despite the organization’s best efforts, the Flyers’ goaltending conundrum continues. 

Now, by no means, do I actually want the Flyers to win.    As a Bruins fan, it is not in my DNA to allow that.  But I am a hockey fan and I appreciate the struggle and desires of players and fans, and the hope an entire city places in 20 men on their quest to obtain the pinnacle of hockey supremacy.

Two for me, one for you.

28 Dec

The Lightning beat the Flyers 5-1 last night, which means you’ll get to see Stammer’s flowing locks again on 24/7 next week.  Oh, and his two sick goals.

Tampa Bay is still struggling below .500 and near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but it’s always fun to beat Philly.  Stamkos post-game interview [link] – what he doesn’t mention is staying just one goal ahead of James Neal(.com) for the NHL lead.

Nealmobile got his 21st of the season and it was wacky. It hit his leg, we all yelled “Go in the net!” and so it did.  The puck just wants James to like it, and we totally understand.

As epic as TurBacon Thanksgiving.

Santa brought you a brand new Nealer highlight video, complete with homage to that Hawaiian shirt [link].

Jordan Staal played in his 400th NHL game last night, and scored himself a celebratory goal. Gator and I are hosting an air hockey tournament at work tomorrow and guess who’s on my team?

Team Pants

With just a few days to go till the Winter Classic, even the Empire State Building is getting into the game:

NEW YORK – As the countdown to the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic continues, the Empire State Building will celebrate the much-anticipated outdoor match-up between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers by shining its world-famous tower lights in Rangers and Flyers colors on Wednesday, Dec. 28.  The east/west sides of the building, with west facing Madison Square Garden, will be lit in the Rangers’ Blue, Red and White, while its north/south sides, with south facing the City of Philadelphia, will be lit in the Flyers’ Orange and White. [link]

It’s cool, right?  Or it’s a thousand annoying phone calls informing the building that the blue lights on the south side are broken.

To Concuss Or Not To Concuss?

7 Jan

Did Slewfoot Sid get his bell rung in the WC from Steckel or did he get it the next night during SCOREFEST 2011? That is the TOPIC THUNDER-GATE TODAY! Either way, the kid is down and out and snuggling with the Flower for a week and the Penguins have a big PR problem on their hands. If they KNEW Sid had a GPS problem and couldn’t locate the puck and played him anyway against the Lightning, that’s a big NO-NO. Who would take their mint vintage Barbie out of the box and use it when they don’t need to? It wasn’t a play-off game! But the Pens are sticking to their story that he was fine, domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

You make the call… either way, Sid, you gotta toughen up kid, this is the NHL and dudes are gonna hit you. XXOO

PS: We don’t like you.

6 Jan

Dawn is up in arms that I didn’t mention Handshake-Gate 2011, which I actually just forgot.  Glad you brought that up!  Because here is the  single HBO FAIL for this whole series. They say it happened in every other Classic, but don’t believe everything you hear on TV.

The Penguins did not line up for handshakes with the Caps.  Yes, this is exceedingly lame and petty.  It is not, however, really that surprising.  There was also no handshake after the first Winter Classic in Buffalo. The Pens won the shootout, the Sabres skated around for a minute, got bored and just left.  Since the Pens are the only team to have played in a WC before and it wasn’t done then, who knows?  Does something that happened 66% of the time constitute a “tradition?”

That said, I think it should happen.  It is totally douche-y not to do it. People argue that you don’t shake hands after other regular season games, but that’s being pedantic: this is hardly your average game. It’s just that no one seems clear on whether or not it’s actually done.  I think BB had the right reaction: Screw ’em, we won, who cares?! See it at 5:54 of this video:

The handshake is a sportsmanlike beacon in a game that detractors call too violent and thuggish.  On the biggest stage on the biggest day, the two biggest teams should be exhibiting this for the casual or potential fan.  Professor Snape takes 10 points from the Penguins for skating away.  As the captain, Crosby should be making sure this happens.  But let’s all be honest (even me), Sid does not lose well.  He’s snubbed this before and hey… they HATE the Capitals.  So why kiss them goodbye when you’d rather the door hits them in the ass on the way out?  Still, Crosby gets a time out for being bratty.  I even put them in the Hall of Shame.

Take it like a man.

Another thing I forgot is a brief moment at the end of 24/7 that shows the Caps’ Ovechkin fighting NYR’s Dubinksi (thanks to Kimmy for the correction, my video feed sucks!).  As they tumble to ice, having punched the crap out of each other, they’re both saying, “Good job, buddy.”  THAT is sportsmanship, THAT is something that non-hockey fans don’t understand and THAT is what I hope they take away from this.  However inconsequential, Crosby and the Pens not shaking hands is a childish mistake I hope they wouldn’t make again.

Leave it on the ice.

24/7 – Episode 4: Classic

6 Jan

The NHL’s biggest mainstream media events of the season are over, but man were they good.  HBO’s 24/7 finale was a beauty; the Winter Classic was worth all that hype in the end.  Highlights from the last episode:

– Matt Cooke’s son in the matching suit.  That is gangsta.  And then his dad throws some muscle around in the game.

When I grow up...

Marc-Andre Fleury taunting everyone in the shootout. He should wear a mic every single day and do running commentary.  Like one of those web channels that just shows kittens day and night. “@wyshynski: Think we just discovered what the F in MAF stands for.”

-Jordan Staal: Way to make a comeback count. Great practice at Heinz Field, great game in the WC.  Really cool to see Bylsma debating with him whether or not he could play. [Video]

Jordan pretends to be patient.

– Capitals celebrating NYE by pretending to go to sleep early.  Where was Ovi?  HBO didn’t catch him sneaking out of the hotel?  Bah!

– The locker room footage of Crosby all loopy after the unexpected hit.  After he skated off doubled-up, NBC never mentioned it again.  They didn’t have the HBO access.

Boudreau’s SO happy at the end of the Classic, it made me happy.  For the Caps.  What is wrong with me?

Ovi starts a new trend.

I hope NBC watched HBO for camera angles and other technical tips.  The aerial shots of the Classic on NBC were nauseating and distracting – people complain that it’s hard to follow the puck on TV, then NBC makes it much worse by shooting from space.

We all learned a lot from 24/7 and we’ll miss it terribly.  Not least of all for the ridiculous moments where HBO pulled no punches and just went for the joke.  Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog captured this one: Note to Mike Green: Who wears a tan belt? (Yes, it’s a belt.  An embarrassing belt. Some HBO producer keeled over laughing.)

Goodnight, everbody.

Mikey Monday

3 Jan

Mike was a little quiet during the Winter Classic, but not surrounding the Winter Classic.  In fact, he orchestrated getting a friend on the ice for the family skate to propose to his girlfriend!  How cute is that?! [Story]

We watched the game at Giordano Bros. in SF, our fave Pittsburgh bar.  I had to stuff my hat in my mouth when this interview came on.  [Video]

I see you looking.

WUYS BFF Cassy posted this is comments, but I have to call it to the front.  New favorite thing ever?  When Mike and Nikky just tell each other how cute they are.

Breaking News: I am going to the Capitals vs. Senators game in DC on 1/16.  Mr. Pants has agreed to go with me.  Stay tuned for the carnage.

Here’s Your Prize

2 Jan

Okay, the Caps won the Winter Classic.  Hissssssssssssss.  I got over it by watching this.  Unless you plan on ever getting in a car with Nicklas Backstrom (Warning: Don’t.  Scary u-turns ahoy.), you can skip to 3:52 for the best interview ever.

The Capitals are all in LOVE with each other.  It’s kinda cute.  Brooks Laich has obviously been drinking, probably doing shots with himself for how freaking hot he is.  Nik is giggling like a school girl and they’re razzing Mikey so bad that he put on a hot mess of a hat.

I could/will watch this a hundred times.