Hockey Headlines

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Hockey Show - Episode 112

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced hockey radio show, is back with a show packed with hockey goodness! We have a ton of stuff to cover tonight, so be prepared as we'll be moving at a solid pace tonight! We even have a listener's email to discuss, and it actually fits quite appropriately with some of the events seen this past week in hockey! Let's get to the details!

First off, we owe a pile of gratitude to everyone who helped out UMFM last week with their pledges as Pledge-O-Rama 2014 was a resounding success! Your pledges helped the station raise $36,155.12, some $8155.12 over our goal of $28,000! That is OUTSTANDING and AMAZING, ladies and gentlemen, and we cannot thank you enough. If you caught the show last week, you know that we broke through the $28,000 goal on The Hockey Show, so it was a big night for us. Again, we couldn't have done that without your support and contributions, and we want to be sure we thank our listeners. Thank you, and know that we appreciate your support of the station that puts our craziness on the air!

Tonight, Beans, Columbus, and myself will talk about the John Scott suspension and the Ducks-Sharks line brawl, the Chris Kreider hit on Jonas Brodin and how he escaped supplemental discipline, the John Moore hit on Erik Haula and how he got five games for his indiscretion, our listener email and how it relates to the suspensions and indiscretions seen, the oh-fer-October put up by the Carolina Hurricanes, the NCAA graduation rates and how it applies to NCAA hockey, the Bisons women's team sending a veteran player to the Universiade Games, the recent games against the Lethbridge Pronghorns and who has stood out for the women, and what to expect for the men's games this coming weekend. In short, we're gonna be busy, so tune in at 5:30pm for all the action!

The phones will be open and live for chatter tonight, so feel free to call at (204) 269-8636! Hit us up on 101.5 UMFM on your radio dial in the Winnipeg region or you can listen live between 5:30pm and 6:30pm CT on your web-enabled device at the UMFM webpage! You can tweet us anytime you like by hitting us 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.

PODCAST: OCTOBER 30, 2014: Episode 112

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Get A Jump On The Holidays!

If you know anything about me, it's that I happen to really appreciate my headphones. I received a pair of SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks headphones last year from SOL REPUBLIC, and I'm happy to report that they are still working as they were when I received them. A couple of people I work with asked me about them, tried them out, and they went out and purchased their own thanks to the comfort they provide while wearing them and the sound quality they provide. Needless to say, you can call me a fan, and I've used them to listen to out-of-market hockey games on bot my iPad and my laptop. It's almost like being there live!

Ok, I've gushed enough about my headphones, so let's talk about SOL REPUBLIC's new products. Of course, the holiday season is coming up, and you might be needing an idea or two when it comes to getting a gift. I will fully admit that SOL REPUBLIC products are a great gift, and those that receive them will love them.

First off, SOL REPUBLIC is introducing the Punk Wireless Speaker! This little wireless speaker fits in your hand, and can be used wirelessly as far as sixty feet away! It's water, dust, and shock resistant, making it your perfect speaker to use outdoors when you're sitting on the deck, at the beach, or anywhere else you want to bring some sound. With an eight-hour battery life, you don't have to worry about the speaker cutting out while you're out and about. Lastly, the price is entirely affordable for a wireless speaker at $69.99 (and ships for free!). Pretty awesome, right?

Secondly, I know lots of people who spend countless hours looking for their ear buds. Personally, I know I've had a couple of pairs disappear into thin air on me, so maybe you need to replace yours or replace a pair for someone else. If so, consider the SOL REPUBLIC Relays as your next pair! They have three-button controls and an inline microphone so that they can be used with your iPhone or other Apple devices, and they fit pretty well in my ears. The Relays do come in a one-button version, but it's the same price as the three-button version, so why not tack on the two extra buttons for free? These sell for $79.99 (free shipping!) and are actually less expensive than those sold by Apple!

Ok, so at this point you're probably wondering why I've turned HBIC into the Home Shopping Blog. Well, there's a good reason why. SOL REPUBLIC has graciously and generously allowed me to give away a pair of SOL REPUBLIC Relays to a reader of HBIC! Because the holiday season is approaching, we'll start this contest up in November. It will be a holiday-based contest and contain a social media aspect. I wanted you to be aware of it as I await the arrival of the package containing the SOL REPUBLIC Relays. I can't necessarily give away an item I don't yet have, right? Be ready, though, as the contest will start next week!

If you're looking for the Relays or the Punk wireless speaker for the holiday season, the best place to find them is at Best Buy, and the prices are the same as what you'll find at the SOL REPUBLIC site. Convenient? You betcha.

If you're looking to try to score your own Relays or Punk wireless speaker from SOL REPUBLIC, I highly recommend that you follow them on Twitter at @SOLREPUBLIC, on Instagram at @SOLREPUBLIC, and/or on their Facebook site.

I'll announce the contest details next week, so stay tuned right here on HBIC! It'll be fun, it'll be festive, it'll feature a social media aspect, and someone will come away with a new set of ear buds for their holiday season!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

One Is Better Than The Other?

I'll admit that things have changed. I used to be a fan of Chris Kreider. I like the tenacity he brought to the ice that worked in tandem with his doggedness for the puck and his nose for the net. I lost some respect for Kreider last season when he ran into Carey price in the Eastern Conference Final, and last night might be the straw that broke the camel's back. Kreider's hit from behind on a defenceless Jonas Brodin was cowardly, dangerous, and completely stupid. Following that, John Moore targeted the head of Erik Haula and sent him sprawling. These two Rangers need to sent a message because player safety seems to matter little to them until it happens to them.

Today, Neal is back with his thoughts on these two hits. I'll have more below his thoughts, but let's kick things off with a reaction towards Kreider's and Moore's actions in last night's Wild-Rangers game. Take it away, Neal!
I saw something last night that made me cringe. Anyone who knows me closely knows that I am a devout New York Rangers fan. I grew up as a young kid listening them on the radio as a way to fall asleep. I also remember vividly their magical run in '94 to their last Stanley Cup. As much blue kool aid as GTYC co-writer John says that I have drank, I was absolutely disgusted by the two plays I saw the Rangers players make last night.

Let's talk about Chris Kreider’s hit first on Jonas Brodin. Replays show that Kreider skates full force into Brodin several feet away from the boards from behind driving him head first into the boards. Kreider was given a match penalty and a five-minute major for boarding. There is simply no defending this hit. There was absolutely no reason why this play should have been made. Kreider, who has blazing speed, simply could have gone to the side of Brodin and bumped him off to the side. I'm actually shocked that the intent to injure wasn't called on this play as I feel like this play is more vicious than the John Moore hit. The NY Post has reported it is somewhat unlikely that Kreider will face a suspension given the fact that it was a reckless play. If that is the case, boohoo on the NHL. Kreider should get at least five games for what was a complete dirty play. He may not have "meant it", but, at some point as an NHL player, you have to know that you can't drive someone full-force into the boards from in front of the net. What disappoints me most about Kreider is I feel like he is already gaining a reputation as a dirty player.

Listen, I defended Kreider to the end about the Carey Price hit. To this day I still think he was tripped and sent into Price rather than him just running the goalie. The problem is that for fans of rival teams, this is another thing that adds to the tab of Kreider. It's another notch on the resume that makes him closer to someone like James Neal than he should be. Kreider is someone I expected to come close to thirty goals this season - he's an absolute beast given his size and speed - but he can't score if he's in the press box serving suspensions. While he is part of the future, I hope Kreider realizes that with guys like Anthony Duclair and Kevin Hayes breathing down his neck for playing time, if he becomes a liability based on penalties and suspensions he could become expendable. He simply has to play with an edge, but within control.

John Moore is a different situation. He was ejected last night for a nasty elbow delivered to Erik Haula in the second period. This also was inexcusable and dirty, but I’m not sure he deserved the intent-to-injure ruling. Moore's problem is that he is a repeat offender. A similar elbow happened in the Eastern Conference Final to Dale Weise of the Canadiens. Moore was suspended for that hit. It has been reported that Moore will not be required to have an in person meeting, though he can have one if he would like. This is just unacceptable. If he gets 5 games that is only about 7 percent of the season. Even 10 games this early in the season seem somewhat inconsequential. By January, we will forget that anything will have happened at all. These guys who are repeat offenders need to have some teeth in their discipline, otherwise there won't be a disincentive to the action. If the league office really do care about the safety of the players, 15-20 games should be perhaps a starting point for even a first-time offender on a particularly nasty hit. These players have to get the message that these kind of plays will not be tolerated at all.

I know what I have typed seems extreme, but in an environment where the players are bigger and faster it is absolutely necessary to protect the NHL players from needless injury. I don't want to be someone who is viewed as wanting a soft game - in fact, I love a nice tight checked game. However, the health of its players is vital to the league. For the star players, people pay big money to attend NHL games. You don't want to pay 100 bucks a pop to watch a Pens game while Sidney Crosby is out with a concussion. Whenever dirty plays happen, it hurts the bottom line of the league. For the players who aren't stars, their time in the NHL may be very limited. Not only every season are they fighting for a job, but they often make close to the league minimum. While that salary is a good chunk of change to the average citizen, if they are out of the league in a couple seasons and have trouble finding an outside career due to permanent effects of injury, that player may struggle the rest of his life. While playing in the league is temporary, the symptoms often are not.

As another side note, we all know that the NFL is starting to deal with the issues of lawsuits stemming from concussions and other injuries, it seems only logical that the NHL may face similar issues down the road. Considering sometimes that several franchises are teetering on the brink financially, anything like that that springs up could potentially cripple the league. The league has to be proactive in tougher suspensions for flagrant fouls in order to help some teams to simply survive.

In conclusion, I hope that the NHL brings the hammer down on Kreider and Moore. To me, it was a dark day to be a Rangers fan and overshadowed a tremendous comeback. It was doubly painful knowing this is the exact same thing we have accused other teams of doing. There is simply no other alternative. A light punishment for these two players is a step back in the issue of player safety.
Well said, Neal, and it's nice to hear a fan of the team with the offending players throw down the gauntlet in standing up for the opposition. Sometimes, in our devotion to the team, we can overlook or rationalize the behavior of players when it casts a negative light on the team, but it's refreshing to hear a fan look at this kind of problem objectively. Well done, sir!

First off, Kreider wasn't in Alain Vigneault's good books as it was. Kreider was removed from the Rangers' power-play units after he turned the puck over repeatedly. Adding some additional voluntary time in the press box won't get you out of the coach's doghouse either.

While it was announced earlier that Kreider will escape additional punishment for his hit on Brodin, I fail to see how the Department of Player Safety is looking out for player safety in allowing this kind of hit to pass by any supplemental discipline. Simply put, this is a failure on Stephane Quintal and his department considering the danger that Kreider put Brodin in. Kreider hit Brodin square in the numbers from above the goal line and drove him into the boards. That, readers, is the definition is a flagrant, dirty play. Apologies aren't needed, Chris - use your damned head!

Secondly, John Moore went head-hunting on Erik Haula. Haula fired the puck in on Henrik Lundqvist, and was in a vulnerable position when Moore struck. This hit looked a lot like the Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard in terms of targeting the head, and the fact that Moore watched Haula cross the blue line, take the drop pass, and then fire the puck only proves that the intent Moore had was something other than "bodycheck". He could have easily bumped Haula with a shoulder-on-shoulder, but he crossed on front of Haula and led with his shoulder and elbow as he caught Haula's head. Simply put, it was a disgusting hit that could have had dire consequences considering that Moore basically blindsided Haula. This kind of crap needs to be cut out of the game, and I agree with Neal that ten games for a hit like this - especially with Moore being a re-offender - is nothing but appropriate.

You're welcome to sound off in the comments, and I'd like to see what the overall response to these two hits are. Do you defend them as "old-time hockey plays"? Do you want to see both players punished? Was one hit worse than the other? Sound off below, and we can discuss!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Wanna Go To The World Juniors?

I'll be honest in saying that I'd do almost anything to go to the World Junior Championships. ALMOST anything. A lot of people will cite the costs as being a major deterrent from going, and I can understand why. Ticket prices are insane, so there's gotta be a better way, right? And there is! HBIC is proud to present the best way to get to the World Junior Championships with everyone on your hockey team!

TIMBER MART wants to send you and a minor hockey team of your choice to see the World Junior Championships in Montreal this season! All you have to do is break out the camera, and start taking pictures of what hockey means to you! Here's the full information from TIMBER MART's site.
Our love for hockey is as diverse as our great country, and we express it in as many ways as the Great One could put the puck in the net. With the SharpShooter Photo Contest, we want to know what hockey means to you. Is it the competition? The superstition? 5am practices or 2am overtime celebrations? It could be anything, as long as it shows your love for this game.

The top 10 photos will each win a $500 TIMBER MART Gift Card, and if your photo wins the grand prize, the Canadian minor hockey team of your choice will get the trip of a lifetime to this year’s IIHF World Junior Championships in Montreal.
Pretty awesome, right? All you need is a camera, a love of the game of hockey, and a minor hockey team to send to Montreal for some of the best hockey they'll ever see! Great contest, right? I'm down for this. So how do I get started?

Glad you asked, Teebz! The SharpShooter Photo Contest is open from October 15th to November 16th, 2014, so get started! The easiest ways to enter are as follows:
  1. Post on Instagram with the #TimberMart tag.
  2. Upload it via Facebook.
  3. Post on Twitter to @Timbrmart with the #TimberMart tag.
  4. Upload it directly on the TIMBER MART Sharp Shooter website.
This contest is only open to Canadian residents, so I apologize to anyone not based in Canada. I didn't organize this contest, but I'm working on details for another one that's available more globally, so stay tuned! As of today, you have 22 days, Canadians, so take those photos and send them in via one of the above methods to get entered!

Before you know it, you and your chosen team of minor hockey players could be on the way to Montreal for a World Junior Championship game courtesy of TIMBER MART!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

California Dust-Up

Another friendly night in California tonight, eh? The Sharks and Ducks got together for a little old-time hockey tonight in Anaheim as they totaled up 165 minutes in penalties, five official fighting majors, and eight game misconducts. John Scott could be suspended for his role in the altercations in the third period, but the main theme of the night was that these two California rivals proved that they don't like one another very much.

Scott came off the bench in the third period and started a fight with Tim Jackman - a definite no-no - in the third period that opened up the can of worms between these two teams. There was always some risk that John Scott could lose his mind at any point, and we've seen him go off before. However, this fight was more him tackling Jackman and pinning him to the ice, causing other players to follow suit in dropping the gloves. But the fact remains true that Scott made a legal line change with the purpose of instigating a fight, and there will most likely be a phone call with the league in the coming days.

However, it was the four-man scrap in the corner that caught the attention of the officials and, ultimately, the cameras covering the game.

All I know is that this felt like a game from the 1970s featuring the Broad Street Bullies. Everyone had everyone else's back. Perry and Getzlaf were each assessed a fighting major and a game misconduct. Ben Lovejoy and Joe Pavelski squared off earlier in the period. Jackman and Scott wrestled for the second time in the game. This was, indeed, an old-time feeling.

In the end, San Jose defeated the Ducks by a 4-1 score, but the carnage on the ice is what will be remembered in the short term. John Scott will most likely have a few more days to reminisce about his actions as he's most likely going to suspended.

Does anyone still think hockey in California is a bad idea?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!