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Safety, Pumpkin, Safety
by Deb Beckers
A bit of a hodge-podge this week. We’ll take a quick look at the current playoff standings (as of the 13th), hear what the Great One thinks about fighting, go to a gay movie, and meet a very angry goalie.
Quick Tales from the Game
February 10th, 2007 - Jaromir Jagr became the 12th player in NHL history to record 1500 points. I bet he would have reached this milestone faster if he had cut his hair sooner. Kind of a reverse Samson thing.
February 10th, 2007 - Jordan Staal became the youngest player in NHL history to record a hat trick. His brother plays in the NHL too. He also has two MORE younger brothers who are up and comers. Watch this family – they may be the next and possibly greatest NHL dynasty that we’ll see for quite awhile. Plus they’re all red heads, so you KNOW they’re evil.
February 13, 2007 - On a sad note, a 10-year old boy from Guelph Ontario died today. He had been playing with friends on an outdoor rink on Sunday (11th) when he was hit, on the head, by a stray puck. Always wear a helmet people! My thoughts and condolences go out to his family.
The struggle begins...
So, the All-Star “game” is over and some folks have finally realized that if they don’t get their collective asses in gear they are not going to make the playoffs (again for some). It’s even made the long-shot Flyers take notice. They certainly gave Detroit a sound whipping on Monday!
The eastern conference is going to be the interesting race to watch. No one is going to catch Buffalo (maybe NJ, but please, spare me) and third through 10th are all sitting in the 60’s with the 11th place Rangers on the verge of joining them. It’s a tough division when wins may just keep you where you are and losses can put you down two spots (right Leafs?).
The west is a tad more spread out with the real fights going to be for the 7th and 8th spots. Eight teams are vying for them right now.
The fight for the playoffs is going to be an interesting one. THAT’s what makes the game exciting=)
Dems Fightin’ Words*
Not exactly noted for his body work along the boards, the Great One, Wayne Gretzky has finally weighed in on fighting in hockey. I know that all of you were holding your breath waiting for this, so I’ll put you out of, most of, your misery – hockey CAN’T be responsible for all of it.
“I don't love fighting, it's not something I tell my players to do, it's not something I would do. But as stupid as it sounds, it probably prevents a lot of stick infractions. The unique thing about our sport is that we play with hockey sticks that potentially can be used as weapons. This is a game that is very emotional and guys are only human. Fighting gives them an outlet to release (energy and frustrations) instead of slashing, cross checking and high sticking. You almost never see a tough guy grab a small skilled guy and start (punching) either. There is still a code.”
Gretzky also admitted that his stance has softened over the years.
I’ll allow you to make your own joke.
A heartwarming tale...
Breakfast With Scott is a movie based on a 1999 novel of the same name. It’s the story of a former Toronto Maple Leaf player, his partner, the team’s lawyer, who become the guardians of an 11-year old boy who has some problems of his own.
The NHL looked at the script, gave their approval and passed it on to the Leafs for final approval. They got it.
The NHL is being called groundbreaking. The Leafs head, Richard Peddie, uses the mainstreaming of gay culture (like Will & Grace) as being a factor in their decision to participate in this project.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I support their decision, even admire the fact that they went ahead with this knowing how the Red states were going to react, but then I thought about it.
1. The Red States don’t really care about hockey (some do, like Colorado, but I’m generalizing here);
2. Great publicity for the league and for the movie if there are protests; and
3. Gay (et al) people have money too. Maybe this will bring them a whole new demographic?
I think #3 was their most important deciding factor, for the NHL anyway – the Leafs don’t have to worry about money or fans. Good-on-them for taking a bit of a calculated chance.
Angry? You don’t want to see me angry!
Ottawa Senator’s goalie Ray Emery has been suspended for three games for a goal crease slash on the Montreal Canadiens' Maxim Lapierre in a game last Saturday (10th). Watch it...
What do you think? I call bullshit. Lapierre wasn’t hurt, and could have caused Emery damage with that nice little jab he game him as he was diving the net.
Emery is well known for his temper throughout the AHL and NHL, which may be why the suspension was so harsh. In Emery’s own words (curtsey of the Ottawa Citizen)...
”I think for two games (the Canadiens) made an effort to bump me or kick my feet out or do whatever they could to get me off my game, and I was stupid enough to let it work. I made a mistake and now I'm paying for it.”
$15,000 USD and three games is what he’s paying.
Now that Disney isn’t the owner, you think they’ll change their name? Dancing Flamingos? Prancing Elk? Mighty Moose? I could actually get behind the last one...
How boring was the All-Star game? Watching paint dry would be an overused saying, but I’m going to go for it anyway.
Look – I don’t expect the normal excitement of an NHL game, no one wants to get hurt, lines haven’t played together before so there is going to be a learning curve. But for the love of Bob, give me something.
What was the final score? I don’t know – I didn’t watch it live. I did tape it though, I stopped half way through. Thank Goddess there is a fast forward is all I’m sayin’.
* quotes courtesy of canoe.ca.
Deb would like to take this opportunity to say good-bye to the best hockey mom who never had a kid actually play organized hockey. My Mom, Margo Beckers, passed away on January 24th. If you want to know more about this amazing woman you can see a bit on my blog (www.deborahbeckers.com) or at the Burlington Cougars website (www.burlingtoncougars.com). Miss ya Mim!