Saturday, October 31, 2009

flames v. wings: to boo or not to bootuzzi ?

the flames finish up their decade-long homestand (it wasn't ten years ? sure felt like it....) tonight with a game against the injury-riddled redwings. with top centres johan franzen (knee) and valterri filppula (wrist) on the shelf and a struggling starting goaltender, the once-formidable wings look startlingly vulnerable. still, they made one hell of a comeback the other night in edmonton with backup jimmy howard taking over in nets, after two absolutely inexcusable goals by chris osgood... of course, with dudes like datsyuk and zetterberg in the lineup, detroit is never more than a couple of shifts away from utter domination.

todd "sparklepants" bootuzzi will enter the sutterdome for the first time since whining about our daz not bothering to call over the summer.... well, eleven games, two goals, three assists and a team-worst -7 later, and big bert will lace up in the visitors lockerroom and take to the ice for what i expect to be a rousing chorus of boos from the C of red. the only thing stopping the flames' faithful from vocalizing their dislike of the once-power forward last season was the black C adorning his chest, and i think they will gladly return to heckling him tonight.


as for the flambés, it's starting to look like a rotating door to giordano's right and the word on the street is that kronwall will get the nod tonight. it remains to be seen if this system of alternating the 6th man will work down the road when the injuries being to mount, but it certainly begs us to continue asking why, if we still have 8 blueliners on the main roster, the hell did we trade anton strålman ??!?!

i expect dion to be in full show-off mode (which is bad) and regehr, iginla, and jaybouw to have very solid, smart outings cause stevie Y is in the hizzouse.... ;)

happy hallowe'en, friends.

Friday, October 30, 2009

jersey debacle pt3: rebuttal

well, puck daddy made good on their threat to help me fight the good fight, and i have to say that i was really quite surprised at the backlash that turned up in the comments section; opinions range from kudos to pure vitriol.... i opted to keep my nose out of it over there, and take the time to properly refute some of their sentiments over here...

1. females are not 50% of the fanbase
i agree entirely with this statement and i did long before i wrote it in the letter to mr. king. still, it is a fact that females make up half of the earth's population (51%, even), and i thought the argument sounded more clear this way. and who knows ?? maybe if there was an improvement in the way the game was marketed towards women, they WOULD make up half of the fanbase.... ;) puckdaddy, in all of their wisdom over there, refer to it as half of the consumer fan base, which is probably more astute and accurate. *apologies*

2. the hockey purists' argument
so, an authentic jersey is meant to wear over hockey equipment, yes.... and women's hockey players wear men's jerseys over their hockey equipment, also true.... so in a purist's mind, anyone donning their team's jersey should certainly be sporting a men's large. i could actually buy this rationale, if that's where it ended..... here's where their logic is flawed: most of the people buying jerseys to wear are never, ever, ever gonna wear them over equipment. furthermore, unless your name is in fact iginla, regehr, or kiprusoff, how does a purist feel about wearing a jersey adorned with a player name ?? it also occurs to me that you can purchase a flames third retro-throwback in children's sizes, but i have to wonder if they are actually wearing these shirts to their tiny mites practice at the community rink (with equipment underneath), or if these timbits are realistically just wearing their flaming Cs to school ?

"It's not a men's or women's cut, it's a hockey cut. If you don't think you look good in a hockey jersey, wear something else."
(commenter wilsmith) this would seem like a decent justification if they didn't make the be luv'd and iceflirt models, or offer home jerseys for ladies.... i suppose if the nhl had never opened the door to making jerseys for women, i would accept this as "just the way it is" and move on... [who am i kidding ?? that's totally not true...] ;)

lastly, i simply don't understand why hockey purists would give a shit about the cut of a third jersey, since they should be pissed about the fact that an alternate jersey exists in the first place... white homes and coloured aways, right ? that's how the world worked BEFORE MARKETING AND MERCHANDISE EXISTED !!!! it just all seems like an outdated way of thinking, in my humble and female opinion.... but how am i wrong in postulating that the nhl makes third jerseys purely to sell more jerseys ???

3. i want a women's cut jersey so i must be a lesbian
wait.... do i even really need to deflect this nonsense with a rebuttal ?? i just really do not understand how logic goes from A to B, here, so i thought it best to simply point out that i like dudes. i would prefer to write a lot more about how much i like dudes, but my mum reads this.... ;) i also find it totally fascinating that this "argument" essentially delineates that there are only two kinds of female hockey fans: puck bunnies and dykes.... i'm not sure where the wives fit in but more than a few commenters mentioned that they exist. sorry for bringing it up, i'll "go back to the kitchen where [i] belong" (commenter habs1rule)

4. the rbk jerseys have a sleeker fit anyways
ah, yes, but the jersey i'm talking about is NOT cut like the rbk edge "premier" sweaters.... they are designed vintage: like oldschool jerseys. ie: boxy and tent-like in the non-sweatproof fabric. i'd also like to de-bunk the proposition that womens-cut jerseys are "whore wear" and display one's "goodies" (stars_fan_2). wearing one simply means i don't get my sleeves caught in the condiments of my pocketdawg and the bottom doesn't hang outside my kickass flames' jacket like a men's jersey would....

5. "if people were buying them then the league would respond in kind"
commenter johnC offered this explanation. the problem is that, according to blaine (my bff over at the flames' fan attic), they can't keep the women's-cut home jerseys in stock. like, they get 3xsm 3xmd & 3xlg every week and they're gone within days.... what doesn't sell are the ladies-cut XLs, presumeably because the size is comparable to a men's small.... perhaps i'm wrong in taking the sales of one store and extrapolating to the world but i'm guessing that it applies...

in calgary, people wear flames' jerseys like their team does: it's a uniform. you wear it to the 'dome on game night in the 'c of red' or you wear it down on the 'red mile' to support your team.... in the pics below, please note that most of the people in the stands and the concourse are wearing JERSEYS, not t-shirts.... i don't understand how anyone could possibly think that the females in these photos wouldn't consider an alternate option to wear whilst showing the nice folks at rexall how it's done.....

FURTHERMORE, the cost of actually manufacturing a jersey is very little in comparison to what they would sell it for, especially if you consider the league's profit on lettering/numbering would also increase. if a run of 25 custom jerseys costs $40/each to build before cresting (with the jerseymaker and sales outlet each netting some cash) then a run of 500 would be significantly less expensive, equalling more profit.... i would be hugely surprised that when you factor in gamenights and gifts, fans and girlfriends, that you couldn't sell that many in cowtown by christmastime....

6. the "S" word
"Maybe they should make women's cut thirds, but to insinuate that it's an issue of sexism is downright moronic." (rc) fair enough, on this comment, and i may have been premature in jumping to this conclusion, but from what i understand both the womens cut home jerseys and the men's 3rds are a good sellers (so it's doesn't seem to be economics). is there something else at work here that i don't know about ? quite possibly, yes. but the simplest way to look at it is that they make the home jerseys for men AND women, but not the thirds....

some of my other preferred comments :

"My wife won't let me buy her a jersey unless its a female cut jersey and she hates the pink jerseys. As Dallas Stars fans what she wants doesn't exist and until it does she won't buy a jersey."(joel)

"I don't know what planet most of these guys posting these ridiculous comments are from, other than from a time warp from 1908 with some of the comments I see on here. For those of you who think women are only 20-30%, think again. We live in Milwaukee and usually get to 1-2 Blackhawks games a year and I would guess that 40-45% of the fans are women there. At the Admirals games we go to I would guess it's pretty close to an even split, and that's for an AHL team! And, let's face it. If you're woman with any kind of figure worth showing off you don't want to wear some schlubby jersey--you want something that shows you're a big enough fan to drop serious cash on a jersey AND show off your figure. Especially if you're going out to the bars after a game." (gogooners)

"Don't hate that I have a sensitive side. I wrote this while wearing my Lilith Fair shirt."
(wyshynski, himself, poking fun at being chided for posting the article in the first place...)

"I find it hard to believe that none of you making comments about how she must be a dyke apparently have a mother, let alone sisters, daughters, aunts, whatever. Here you've got somebody saying please, I want to give the league money, I want to give MY FAVOURITE TEAM money, but they won't offer what I want to buy, and you're telling her to shut up and just wear what you do? "It's fine for me, what's your whine?" And then some others say "well, I doubt that half the fanbase is female anyway." Has it occurred to anybody to wonder if those two little factoids might be related somehow? And for those of you saying "well, she needs more to do with her time than to complain about this" - clearly you need more to do too, since you've time enough to not only complain, you're complaining about somebody else's complaint. Believe me, she's not the only one complaining. My wife would dearly love a sweater, but same issue. Ditto my stepdaughter. Neither of them are thrilled with the idea of pink sweaters, but they also don't like how a men's fits them. That's ok, I'll just keep my money in my pocket for now, I guess, but too bad for the league." (mikeP)
[this one's my favorite... thanks mikeP, well played...]

"This discrimination really makes me angry - I can't find a pink men's jersey anywhere". (books)
[also well played...]

"Is the “authenticity” of a jersey really such a big deal? No one knows you dropped $300 on that Reebok EDGE “authentic” jersey except your ass constantly getting scratched by the tie-down fight strap hidden in the back. So who cares if a jersey is fitted for women? How does that diminish from her expression of team loyalty any more than a guy buying one of those Reebok Premier jerseys — which, you authenticity police should note, features screen-printed names and numbers rather than the “authentic” embroidery. Essentially, if you’re not on the ice, you’re wearing a jersey as a fashion statement anyway. Two real problems I have with this post/subsequent comments: 1) Finding out those new women’s jerseys are named “Ice Flirt” and “Be Luv’d,” which feeds into the age-old idea that any woman who says she’s a hockey fan is inherently a puck bunny (or a lesbian, according to some comments here, however that logic works out). And 2) I’m really bummed to find out that some of my fellow readers/commenters on this blog are complete Neanderthals who still believe that idea to be true. I thought PD was a place for hockey fans with a love for the game and respect for other hockey fans to trade wit. This chest-pounding machismo crap from the grandstands is so boring. Save it for the locker room." (ray of amber)

"Does the military alter their fatigues for their female soldiers so that can look more attractive or feel more girlie?"(treads)
[fyi: i checked with the british military stores --cause i know someone everywhere, it seems--, and treads is right: uniforms come in unisex. from sizes really small to really big.... BUT they DO have different no.2 dress shirts for the ladies. y'know, so that they FIT. this actually SUPPORTS my case...]

"As a female hockey fan, I don't necessarily need a sweater in a woman's cut, but I would enjoy a sweater that I'm not swimming in when I wear it to a game. I recently spent over $100 on a vintage Sweater and the smallest size I could find was a medium, and it's huge! The worst part about wearing a large jersey (for me) is that most people I meet think that I've just borrowed my boyfriend or father's jersey and that I'm not fan enough to buy my own. Now, I don't think that every jersey needs to be cut and tailored for the woman's figure, but it would be nice if they offered them in smaller sizes. Which most of them do, so kudos to them." (fergus30)

"There is a "ladies" cut, it's called a size 44, 46, or 48. Seriously what kind of pencil necked 120lb geek wears those sized jerseys, YET !, they make them." (runnin up on ya!)

well, as they say "no publicity is bad publicity." puckdaddy has already updated to show an excerpt from the minnesota wild media relations department, protesting that (while it's not available currently on there IS a womens-cut minny 3rd... and there totally should be, that thing is a BEAUT.... kudos to the wild organization not only for lookin' out for their ladyfans, but for reading puckdaddy.

goad also made note that the 'nucks 3rd is available in a women's cut in stores in vancity... so maybe this situation IS just a flames thing.... *sigh* somehow not surprising....

hopefully this whole blitz will just get the ball rolling in the right direction and we ladies flames fans can get our very own third jerseys.... then we just have to make sure we BUY them :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

everything's comin' together..... :)

just shy of a year after he was handed the stanley cup on the ice at the montreal forum, lanny mcdonald watched as his #9 was hoisted to the rafters in the saddledome. the most identifyable player in calgary flames history --with his huge red moustache-- deserved to be the first player who's jersey was retired by the organization, without question. the eventual team captain came to the flames mere months after the club moved to calgary from atlanta in 1980, and he remains a visible and contributing part of the community.

the mcdonald banner is unique and looks like it was hand-stitched with love.... it shows off lanny's sweater as he would have worn it through his tenure with the flames, and was a stand-out in the rafters at the saddledome.... a true conversation piece.

seven years later, after an era of sub-par teams and lack of playoff appearances, the calgary flames decided to honour another member of the 1989 cup-winning team: hometown boy and flames' draftee, mike vernon. mikey V was indisputably a huge part of the run to the cup in '86, and the victory in '89, as well as some deep playoff runs and a second championship with the red wings in the late 90's. some might argue that, while vernon still holds many of the flames' goaltending records (games played, points, PIM), his big glory years were with another team....

i was never a huge fan of retiring vernon's number in the first place, since (to ME) there were a lot of questions regarding his place next to lanny's: was he REALLY more deserving than anyone else on the '89 squad ? would theoren fleury's #14 have been retired if it weren't for the indefinite suspension at his career's end ? if mikey V had been born and raised in sweden, would this honour have been bestowed ?? my biggest beef with the banner, of course, was its' colours. the black, red & gold "chevron" jersey (i just made this up and it stays) was introduced in 2003; the year AFTER vernon retired. to be more concise: mike vernon never wore this jersey. brutal, brutal error on the part of the calgary flames. additionally, the square shape of the pennant itself stood out uncomfortably against all of the flames' and hitmen division, conference, cup banners, and those of the retired hitmen players.

as though they knew how awful that banner looked, and as though they are preparing to hoist a new one (!!!!!), this is what i saw last night when i was down at the ol' sutterdome :

i can't say i LOVE the new banners, but i will say they look FAR better together (and with the others) than the original two did. i'm also hugely hopeful that they made fleury's #14 at the same time, and have begun plans for a retirement ceremony...

as far as the actual GAME went, well the boys looked to be working really hard and simply getting shut down by a trappy opponent and a very hot goaltender. jokinen scored a goal and was awarded the evening's second star, but was hardly a differencemaker in my opinion (even though i'd predicted otherwise). dion looked downright awful (again) and kipper didn't have the greatest game of alltime, either.... a lot of things headed in the right direction, though, like puck possession: with that many shots on goal, 9 times out of 10 the flames will win a game like that....

onwards and upwards: a match against sparklepants and his wingies on halloween saturday.... expect that to be a scary one !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

jersey debacle pt2: awareness

so my quest to get a ladies-cut recently-released calgary flames retro-throwback "sjöström" jersey is moving along nicely.... i know i'd been debating how wrong it would be to put a current player name on a vintage-looking sweater but i'm completely over that now; when i found out it wasn't possible to get, it became essential to have (*ahem* that's how i roll)... it is presently my #1 mission to allow females from all across this continent (well, flames fans at the very least) to get their nhl teams' alternate jersey in a size to fit their feminine physiques....

...and i've got ALL. THE. TIME. IN. THE. WORLD. :)

yesterday i heard back from edward fraser, editor of, who was thoroughly aligned with my cause. we'll see if it leads to any kind of publicity over there, but i know my fingers are crossed at least....

i also packaged the "jersey debacle pt 1" post into a nice, concise, tight, informative & serious email and sent it off to ken king yesterday. duncan told me a few years back that the flames' president reads all of his emails, but i'm taking a wait-and-see attitude on this one. i'm hoping to hear something, and i'm really hoping that something is "thank you for taking a stand on behalf of your gender, and we've got a ladies medium here for you to collect... i believe you were looking for a #11 ?"

still waiting for a response from the nhl and still looking for a contact at reebok.... i also popped in to the fan attic at north hill to meet my new best friend blaine.... and eyeballed the largely sold out mens and kids 3rd jersey section, as well as the XL only in the ladies-cut home ("we can't keep 'em in stock" said my new bff, the manager).... hm... weird... it seems almost as though there WAS a women's cut third jersey, it would ALSO have been sold out....

today i heard from puck daddy. you see, i'd forwarded my friend el Adam the ken king email (cause i believe he has close ties to rbk in nyc), and it was re-forwarded by him to greg wyshynski... and they all seemed very interested in the plight of the female hockey fan, which is super rad.... so we'll keep our eyes open over yonder as well.

no word from my pal strombo about getting my grievance aired on "the hour," but it sounds like he'll be in calgary just after my return from the flames v. blues tilt in st.lou, so maybe i can get him onside if/when i see him in person....

we're rollin' along over here at hitthepost HQ, is all i have to say. :)

in other news, word came out yesterday that peter budaj is at home suffering from h1n1 (or, as my pal SJC said "an unspecified, lower body H1N1"). today it was confirmed that ladislav smid has it as well, which makes the detroit redwings' decision to re-disinfect the visitor's lockerroom at GM place before last night's game seem like pretty much the smartest idea ever in the history of the nhl.... of course, when i heard about smid being contaminated, i couldn't help but worry about gio's health.... i mean, smid's hands were kindof all over gio's face in that little dust up on saturday. incubation periods vary but i'd be hella scared if the flames' lockerroom starts getting feverish in the next day or two....

speaking of gio, i'll be taking the 3-for-3 jersey back into the dome tonight to try and collect its' fourth straight victory. the 'lanche look crazy solid right now, but we might get lucky in catching them tired on the second night of a back-to-back... i presume craig "unstoppable" anderson will get the start, even though he played last night, due to budaj being out with the aforementioned flu and the current backup (tyler weiman..... who ?) having just shy of sixteen minutes of total on-ice nhl experience.

a few days ago i claimed tonight would be the jokinen breakout night, but i'm not actually convinced it's gonna happen. it would be a sweet turn of events, though, what with tonight being the first w.i/duncan game attendance in history... :) to be confirmed but a pocketdawg meetup should definitely be in order.

catchya tomorrow !!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

monday randoms: cleaning off the desktop

i sat down to do a couple of things involving actual work today and realized that my desktop is entirely cluttered with a whole schwak (sp?) of random photos of various things i thought would make for interesting posts someday.... well, today's that day and i'm gonna spit'em all out right here and now in no particular order so that i can put'em all in the trash and actually make out my computer's background (ie: the skull and cross hockey sticks that jason made, which you can see for yourself in the banner above...)

1. the abbotsford HEAT
i couldn't sleep last night so i was reading a bunch of stuff posted on their (hideous) website last night, and deciphered a few tidbits of information. firstly, according to everything that's written on there, the HEAT is an entirely capitalized squad.... secondly, it seems that john armstrong is injured yet again... that makes me truly sad cause he really looked talented in all the camps i've had the opportunity to see him, and here in this clip he makes a couple of wicked smart plays (#22). thirdly, in case you were too busy watching hockey to notice, i screengrabbed the following:

uh.... where the hell IS everybody ?!?! sure, the HEAT aren't on any kind of killer winning streak or anything, and they're new in the fraser valley, but there is virtually NOBODY in the arena for the game last week against the milwaukee admirals.... by the looks of things, the calgary flames limited partnership have GOT to be losing their proverbial shirts on this deal, here....

matt keetley is also injured, so david shantz and leland irving have been splitting the goaltending duties, and not doing a very good job of it either. in the last three games the duo have been lit up for 6, 7, and 5 goals (although it sounds that, like the big club, the PK has had a bit of a tough go)... lundmark, jaffray, backlund & chucko have been doing most of the heavy lifting up front, but it seems to me that chuckles is still taking the dumb penalties and even got involved in nice little brawl that ended with four players, including himself, getting ejected from the game last week v. the marlies (a game in which jd watt notched a gordie howe hattrick).

2. gio
this one's just short.... i don't even remember where i found this but it was from one of the EA hockey games, like NHL10. i just thought it was worth sharing cause a) i love gio, and b) it's a pretty amusing likeness:
3. irv
making a huge statement to drop the nickname "napoleon dynamite", leland irving's turning into quite the looker.... it's amazing what losing the "baby fat," a haircut, braces, and lasik eye surgery (or contacts) can do for a guy....

4. your pal wi in the 'dome
i've been compiling these for a few years now, but i thought i'd share what i insist on doing every time i'm in the bowels of the sutterdome.... well.... every time i remember, anyways. ;)

5. oh.... and there's this.
i really don't know how copyright rules work with blogs but i try to stay clear of getting in trouble as best as i can.... but here's just a photo i came across (*ahem*) last night when looking for something totally and entirely unrelated.... and is yet another reason to support the theory that i no longer hate the oil. ;)

6. nhl commercials
like i said, i couldn't sleep last night and i found myself watching a whole mess of nhl commercials. it all started because goad and i had a disagreement on fb re: pj stock and my best comeback was "but... he's so prettty..." which is one of my favorite alltime nhl spots. of course my favorite is the "myNHL" forsberg ad (cause i wish he would remind ME that the season's started). one i hadn't seen before was this gem with adam oates, and there's some other of my faves here, here, here, here, here, here, and the 'making of' here. thanks to blogger for allowing me to make links easier than i used to or i never would've done this one.... ;)

have a good monday.
duncan ? call me ! i'm around. xx

Sunday, October 25, 2009

best. text. ever

from my die-hard greasers fan pal, druz, post-game last night:
"i can't express to you my absolute hatred for those lil red f*****s skatin around lookn all pompous. i f****n hate the flamers.
ur ok tho."
you gotta love 3 in a row for les flambés in the battle of alberta.... well, i gotta. ;)

apparently now gio is a goon and dawes is "earning" his 850K.... other than that i think we still have a lot of problems and i'm guessing they will all be exposed on wednesday against a pretty tight colorado squad... i'm still thinking that will be a break out night for the wildcard --either because he's past due (mathematically speaking), or because i'm trying to remain positive.... ooor it's plain old fashioned wishful thinking....

the text i sent prior to receiving the above was "may the refs allow the best team to win," and i think the game was largely won/lost based on the zebras, i'm afraid. no way that shorthanded bourque goal should've counted and no way the iggy goalie-interference penalty should've been called. additionally, if stortini was bleeding at the end of the first, when he got a stick in the face from sarich at the end of the second, i would have been a little more thorough in looking for a second wound. i think the stripy guys were the adversary throughout, and both teams played hard in spite of it....

Saturday, October 24, 2009


the moment he walked into the room, in his funky white button-up shirt, carrying an extra large cup of tim horton's coffee, he had us all in the palm of his hands.... there was enormous applause and the arena-chant of "theo ! theo !" .... the guy has certainly come a long way and there's no doubt in my mind he's just taking his first steps.

my buddy mike and i headed down to the southland chapters this afternoon, largely on the behest of awildermode, to check out the "playing with fire" book signing. i'd told AWM that i'd go for him, but if it was a total gongshow i wasn't gonna stay.... well, we went hella early and were still probably about 50-or-so people back in line, but we settled in with our coffees and new single-serving friends, and had a fairly pleasant afternoon. if we'd shown up at 2pm, when the festivites were scheduled to begin, we would've been at the back of a queue 500-600 people long.

there was an hour-long interview/Q&A conducted by global sportscaster, grant pollock, during which theo regurgitated many of the same anecdotes and answers he'd provided in in previous media events. there were a lot of "y'know"s and "absolutely"s, but for the most part his responses sounded truthful and heartfelt... i kept thinking he has a future in motivational speaking, and by the looks of things, that's the direction he's heading.... not only did he discuss the steps he's taking towards pressing charges against graham james (hiring lawyer hersh wolch), but he noted that he's begun to investigate the creation of a (substance abuse ?) treatment centre in calgary. theo's wife was present and noticeably emotional at parts, and his brother (below right in the black jacket) videoed the entirety...

notable soundbytes:
  • pollock pointed out how drugged and boozed fleury was during his playing days, and asked how on earth he managed to have an elite career. theo simply replied, "well, i'm probably gonna donate my body to science."
  • regarding reading about the full extent of fleury's substance abuse, pollock announced " ticked me off." without missing a beat, theo humourously offered pollock a hand with his anger, "i know a good psychologist." ;)
  • i really appreciated that, while theo obviously credits god for looking out for him, he doesn't make it all preachy-like.... at one point he made mention of being under "the care of god, as i understand him." kudos.
  • "i know graham james was in my life, but i would've made it without him."
  • he talked a bit about the messed up people he's crossed paths with, including the guys around burning barrels in NYC, the crack dealers and the transvestites, and how they've all got a story. pollock says lightheartedly, "you've always been a people person...."
  • in the past couple of weeks he's had a chance to watch a lot of highlights from his career and said he was "embarassed" about alot of the things he did on-ice when playing for the rangers, and how "crazy" he was.... i can only presume he was referring to this (0:35).
  • re: his attempted comeback this pre-season with the flames, theo said that he needed to prove to himself one last time that he could "shove it up everybody's you-know-what." he also said that, after being cut by the flames, he could've played elsewhere. pollock asked, "AHL or NHL ?" and the look fleury gave him hilariously said "come on... what do YOU think ????" ;)
how did i remember so many quotes? well, i always carry a pen.... ;)

my favorite thing that theoren fleury said today was the description of walking out of the dressing room and the sound of the fans getting louder as you walk down the tunnel towards the ice.... and that "a fresh sheet of ice is like a blank sheet of paper, where i could tell my story..."

so as #14 signed my book, and one for his biggest fan (whom i've never actually met), i told him that i look forward to his jersey hitting the rafters of the 'dome, and asked him who he thought would win the battle of the blades.... ;) he laughed and said he hadn't had time to watch --who did i think would win ? i looked at him and grinned, "claude lemieux."

"i love that guy," he mumbled with a smile as i shook his hand and walked away....

ps: awildermode ? you owe me huge.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

jersey debacle pt.1

any long-time readers of hitthepost will know that i've got a bit of a "thing" about my jerseys. i own two: the '03 inaugural black flaming C "chevron" design in size junior extra-large (referred to in my world as "the jrxl") and the current-era reebok edge #5 "GIO" jersey.... i love them both because they're markers in time: the reason i got the jrxl after the lockout was because, at the time, the NHL only offered women's sizes.... in PINK.

exhibit A: my letter to the editor, printed in the hockey news on october 16, 2006 (aka: my proudest moment):

well, i haven't been on my high horse about this for awhile because not long after the printing of that edition, the NHL & reebok started producing the jersey i wanted.... which became my currently undefeated in 09/10 and absolute favorite girl-cut home sweater (my "gio")... they've even since improved it recently, from the screen-printed version i've got, to offer a proper stitched-on flaming C .... well, now that i'm very seriously starting to feel like i NEED an 09/10 era retro throwback (quite possibly sporting a #11 on the back and sleeves), i thought i'd begin to investigate cost n' stuff.... only to find (dun dun duuun....) that i can't get one to fit me. cause they don't make'em for chicks....

so i figured i'd look around the league to see what the other team's ladyfans can get... well, it looks like, in addition to the respective teams' home club jersey, you can get the shades-of-pink "be luv'd" jersey, or the black and silver "ice flirt" model. um.... are you KIDDING ME, HERE ??!? in case you're wondering why my blood pressure just went up, (and correct me if i'm wrong, but) those names are TOTALLY. OUT. OF. LINE...... at least the offensive-looking grey/pink and grey/blue jerseys weren't given loathsome names (they're just called "hershield") and the silver-and-white ones aren't entirely hideous (called "silver ice"), but they ALL still look like pyjamas to me. it seems the only actual third jerseys the NHL makes for women are pittsburgh's winter-classic baby blues in "crosby," and the black flyers' "richards".... them's some lucky bitches in pennsylvania, is all i've got to say.... ;) **

the beauty new minny third ?

hands off, girls....

want one of those sweet & simple peace-arch numbers from the 'lou ?

sooorryyy !!!! not for you, ladies...

if you actually came around to the flames vintage throwback ?

forget it. for dudes only.

this situation, to me, is totally unacceptable. period. why would a team go through all of the pomp and circumstance to design, hold secret, announce, and release a jersey of any sort if they're subsequently only going to offer it to HALF of their fanbase ??? i would like someone to explain to me how much more cost-effective it is for the NHL/rbk to manufacture a "fortune polo" or a "motion jacket" over a classic vintage-looking retro jersey in a ladies' shape and size. hell, i'd like to know how many more pepto-bismol pink ADULT items they think they'll sell in place of a legitimate, pro-team styled hockey shirt that would actually fit a female.... it's an absolute joke.

(note: i thought i'd phone over to the flames' fan attic at northhill mall and had a REALLY nice chat with blaine --MASSIVE shoutout to that guy-- who says that they don't really sell alot of the pink jerseys for women, and most ladies that come in to buy a pink one will actually end up leaving with a red one. he also inquired up the proverbial food chain if the retro-throwback would ever be available in women sizes, and the answer was, quite simply : not likely... apparently the powers-that-be are "in talks" to "possibly" bring it in, based on the number of requests, but it definitely wouldn't be until after xmas.... tsk tsk tsk... what a waste of prime moneymaking weeks... for SHAME. )

i realize that the nhl is an ol'boys club, but this blatant sexist marketing is utterly outrageous to me. it really gets me going.... somebody give this girl a JOB in the league's ideas department; i could market this game to women like nobody's business... but alas, it will continue to be oversized men's shirts for sale on the website and chaka khan as the featured act at the awards.

hey, NHL ? we're not done here, you and i....


**according to a recent comment by my pal goad, you CAN get the canucks' home, away AND third jereys in a women's cut --just not on ie: yet another reason to detest vancouver (cause they love their ladies more than my team does).... and also, it seems that you CAN get the green minny third, which is rad because IT'S rad.

"why hate vancouver", you ask....?

in the comments of my previous post,"cruel glorious, indeed...." my vancouverite friend (goad) inquired, "Why are you bothering to discuss a Canuck/Blackhawk game? What do you care?" ulitmately, this is a fair query from one as passionate about his NHL club as i am about mine, wondering how an even-keeled girl like myself could throw so much spite westward....

the simple answer is this: although you wouldn't know it from looking at the current standings (heheh), the canucks are probably the flames' biggest threat at a division title and playoff placing. ipso facto, the more the orcas lose, the better it is for the club i support in a purely strategic way... i don't like the canucks for the exact same reason that i didn't like the oilers back in the '80s --they were just too good. "why not hate the provincial rivals, then," you ask ? well... i liken it to hating a blind, three-legged dog.... like, what's the point ?!? the bottom line is: what good is a rivalry without at least a sprinkling of hate ? ;)

there are secondary answers as well, though. the primary of which is, of course, that NOBODY outside of vancouver or örnsköldsvik, sweden likes either of the sedin twins. a good portion of this can be explained by the paragraph above (ie: they're just too effin' talented), but rival fans never forget a history of diving and whining ---even if it hasn't really applied for years [see: wayne gretzky]. i will never, ever forget how loud it was when the entire crowd at the globe arena in stockholm repeated a chant that ended in "sedin." i asked my buddy, pär, what it meant and he announced "it loosely translates to 'sedins are girls.'"

my most recent beef with the canucks, however, is the flip-flopping attitude of the fans/local media (cause i'm paying attention over here, too). i'm speaking from a rival fan perspective, and i'm not sure if i'd feel the same from within the paradigm of a vancouverite, but the way your CAPTAIN was treated after a single-game meltdown in the playoffs was reprehensible.... like, uh... that dude got thrown under the bus the way goalies only really can in toronto... before you get upset, allow me to explain.... the disclaimer is that OF COURSE there are knowledgeable fans who support their team and just nitpick at players ---the way i do with jokinen or mcgrattan or, historically, guys like bertuzzi. but let's be honest here: there is a difference out west.... in calgary, kiprusoff's numbers have been on the decline for three years and the fans still worship him. if he has a bad game or lets in a softie or two, the general reaction is "awww, c'mon kipper !!!" but it's on to the next save or goal or game.... personally, i think bobbylu's confidence is currently shaken, largely because of the haste with which his "supporters" turned to "haters".... because (and it hurts me to say it but...) bobbylu DOES NOT SUCK (see, again, paragraph #1). but if i spent a couple days in van-city at the end of may i would probably have thought that was the general consensus...

furthermore, i would like to vehemently argue the statement: "if the roles were reversed. If the Canucks were a Stanley Cup Champion and the Flames were a long standing pathetic under-achiever, I can't imagine Canucks fans giving two squirts what the flamers did on a nightly basis," by simply pointing out how much ridicule me and my friends in red took from various bandwagon 'nucks fans at the end of last season.... i'm not referring to the people such as its' author who live and die by every goal the canucks score, but the folks who don't follow their team until playoff time... yes, there are flames fans that fit that description as well (but i find them to be fewer and further between)...

ultimately, i love the game of hockey and there is nothing i prefer to a flames/canucks matchup for the sheer intensity of it. do i want the flames to KILL their opponent in these tilts ? why, yes of course !! do i want mcgrattan to beat the crap outta hordichuk ? well, absolutely !!! is it awesomer than awesome when dion or regehr crush a sedin in the 'tunnel of doom' ?? hellz, yeah !!! do i want kippy to pitch a shutout while we get 5 goals behind luongo (heh..heh) ? you're goddamn right i do.... but i totally acknowledge that if the 'nucks didn't have solid & healthy players, strong coaching, and smart management, none of the above would be as much entertainment for me.... in the end a win's a win, and two points are two points, that's what i want my team to get....

and that sure as hell ain't a slam-dunk on any night, so it's nice to see the 'nucks lose points to other teams.

end of story.

ps: goad ? i miss ohlund for you, too.... and samuelsson is a devastatingly good fit...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

cruel glorious, indeed.... ;)

so i didn't do a whole lot today and while i've got a few things i'd like to write about regarding the step towards a resurgence of vintage iggy, the implications on jokinen's play, the chicago penalty trouble that led to a canucks win, or the fact that the NHL doesn't MAKE the flames' retro-throwback jersey in women's sizes, today i thought i would simply share a wicked quote.

please bear in mind that if shep had his own blog, then maybe i wouldn't need to use an online swedish-to-english translator to decode what freddie sjöström had to say about last night, over on his webpage.... and even though i know that the words aren't exactly right, i think the essence of the passage comes through (and, to be fair, the mis-translated version makes for lexicon hilarity)...

"Two straight profits now, that feel we are on correct road now…

We have played mycke better as teams but we have still a part gadgets to improve…

yesterday succeeded I to do my first objectives in flames the sweater, COMFORTABLE! It became a classic GP-pucks objectives, cruel glorious to see the puck to slide in…

Today, we are free and easy so it become that softa on the sofa and small home to the pals and families…"

have a good thursday, everyone.

the jersey conundrum

uh, wow.

SUPER fun game tonight, and i thank SJC for the invite, the beers, and the good times.... how could i NOT have fun when:
- sjöström scored the most unlikely highlight-reel spinarama goal
- he also threaded the needle with a bullet feed, leading to the captain's first vintage-iggy play of the season
- uh... iggy looked pretty much vintage
- gio WON a fight ?!?

... in the words of bill & ted: most excellent.

i've been saying for awhile now that freddie is sortof equivalent to matthew lombardi: he's a crazy fast skater, a great PK guy, hard on the puck, good forechecker but has no finish... well, i guess tonight he proved me wrong (even though, let's face it, i bet even HE didn't think that was gonna go in !!!). also add "great passing skill" to his resume... i liked the guy when he was with the hitmen but i'm kindof loving him now...

as i always do when i get home from a game, i popped over to m&g to read the in-game commentary that i'd missed, and was terribly amused by the following (all written immediately after the sjöström tally):


by Bullard22 on Oct 20, 2009 8:50 PM PDT reply actions 0 recs

That’s unreal. wi must be going nuts.

by Robert Cleave on Oct 20, 2009 8:50 PM PDT reply actions 0 recs

My thoughts exactly :P

by Colin S on Oct 20, 2009 8:52 PM PDT up reply actions 0 recs

Sjostrom embarassing Mason.

by R O on Oct 20, 2009 8:50 PM PDT reply actions 0 recs

Holy crap.

That’s going to be WI’s screen saver.

by Kent Wilson on Oct 20, 2009 8:50 PM PDT reply actions 0 recs

let's just say that i'm back to seriously considering a sjöström jersey, and starting to warm up to the idea of it in the red vintage throwback. it still feels wrong but i definitely know i want one.... as for the ol' standard gio jersey: it remains unbeaten this year.... eff yeah.

and finally, i just want to point out that in the photo above (screengrabbed from the highlights on, jokinen looks absolutely SAD about his teammate's goal.... is he feeling the pressure ?!?

most excellent, indeed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

blind items

so the flames get a rematch against les vestons bleus tonight, and will hopefully implement some of what they learned in the past week to nudge them towards victory.... the last game v. CBJ was fairly close, all things considered, and i expect a much better effort tonight.

aaron johnson will draw in for pardy and we'll see what kind of product he brings to the table. i would imagine him to be quite similar, style-wise, and with only a bit more experience.... paired with gio is a nice, warm, comfortable spot for a newbie (i would think).

i hinted about some gossip over on m&g, and it is entirely based on a friend of mine sitting near enough to two of the better calgary flames blueliners, after the vancouver game on friday night, that he could overhear their conversation.... one of the guys isn't much of a talker (and is apparently smaller in person than one would imagine), so i presume it was the other who expressed his opinion louder, more often, and with far more sarcasm (as is his way). my buddy says he was pretty drunk, so he doesn't remember very much, except for the notable hate-on these two had for a third, younger, well-paid calgary defenseman.... specifically he recalls the more talkative dude announcing that his favorite part of the entire game was this particular teammate, his own defense partner, getting his face smashed on the glass....


gio jersey will go for a third straight victory tonight at the dome.
best of luck !!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

it's gonna feel like summer...

i'm not suggesting that whomever was in charge of the NHL schedule this year didn't have their work cut out for them (what with the olympics n' all), but after playing eight games in just over two weeks the flames will now have a mini-holiday with just five games in a three week period. seems kindof ridiculous....

it's gonna feel like summer all over again and i ain't talkin' about the weather....

i only semi-watched the game on friday against the canucks but i liked what i saw, for the most part. the flames were dominant and it didn't seem like a fluke; they were skating hard, battling in the corners, and coming out with some big goals and even bigger defensive moves.

1. dion phaneuf actually hit the ice to prevent a goal against: he was on all fours in the crease and cleared a scoring attempt with his glove... this suggests that he is *ahem* learning, and was presumeably shown some video of the game against the 'hawks, where bolland got three tries at scoring and dion only attempted to win a stick battle.

2. brian mcgrattan put a gordie howe hat trick into the books and all i could think was "what the hell is the over/under on this ?!?" ;) i don't want an enforcer just for the sake of being an enforcer but it looks like mcG might actually be a hockey player, if not a bonafide NHLer.... late in the first period, i couldn't believe my eyes.... big #10 denied darcy hordichuk a pugilistic rematch, and stuck with the play (leading to an assist on the boyd goal). it appeared that mcgrattan had CHOSEN HOCKEY over dropping the gloves: that HE KNEW calgary had all the momentum, so there was no need to let vancouver's brawler spark some life in the visiting team... only later did i find out that he turned down the fight simply because his hand was taped up from the previous tilt, and he didn't want to get the ol' match penalty:
47.15 Match Penalty - Any player or goalkeeper wearing tape or any other material on his hands (below the wrist) who cuts or injures an opponent during an altercation will receive a match penalty in addition to any other penalties imposed including for fighting under this rule.

[A match penalty involves the suspension of a player or goalkeeper for the balance of the game and the offender shall be ordered to the dressing room immediately.]

the bottom line is that mcgrattan was smart enough to not fight in this situation, but unfortunately i overestimated the reason behind it...

3. dustin boyd has been a bit of a revelation this year and had a helluva game v. the orcas. aside from not actually putting rubber into twine in most games, he's been pretty sharp (to say the least). still, let's not get ahead of ourselves --he's making the most of his fourth-line minutes against fourth line opponents. perhaps this will turn into some top line opportunities but for now let's just be glad that, no matter the rotation, our bottom three players are consistently league elite 9-12 guys....

that's pretty much it for today (lazy, lazy sunday).... i went to the stamps/riders game yesterday and was pleased it came out in a 44-44 tie. anyone who knows me should realize how totally typical and fully unbelievable that score is....

i will be in attendance on tuesday when the flambés get a second crack at les vestons bleus, in as many weeks. it sounds like david moss is on the slow trail back and might just be in the lineup when DUNCAN hits the 'dome for the avs game next week !!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

flames v. 'nucks: new look

the flames will try out their new line combinations tonight against the canucks back in the 'dome, and with any luck the strategy is more than "try not to give the puck away." that seemed to be the gameplan in the past few outings and we all know it didn't exactly work....

what i didn't notice yesterday when i talked about the sutter line blender was that he also mixed up the defense pairings. well, two of 'em, anyways.... gio is now skating with adam pardy and jaybouw will line up with corey sarich (dion/reggie remain status quo). my initial reaction on this was one of sheer horror, but in actually considering its' effects, i think it's the right move.

while this seems like a good idea on paper, i'm not sure i believe it'll work in a game situation (but obviously i'm hoping for a pleasant outcome). what it DOES do is match one good puck moving/skating defenseman with one hard hitter ---this should come in handy when trying to keep a guy away from the crease whilst sending the puck out of the zone.... so long as sarich and pardy are aware of their assignments then this could work (dion and regehr will continue to play chaos defense, i would imagine).

and while i'm not entirely convinced sarich is as good as he once was, i think that gio will calm adam pardy down a smidge. additionally, as pointed out in the comments over at m&g, when the #1 defensive pairing tries to move a truck like byfuglien, they might actually be successful (sarich better hit big or i'll be pissed).

the canucks have been waiting around for this game for five days; a stat that may or may not work in their favour. i'm hoping it will make for a sluggish start from the orcas, allowing the boys in red to swoop in and net some goals.... if that's the way it goes, the flames will have to prove they can hold a lead.... which i'm not entirely convinced will be the case.

this one smells like OT to me.

in other news, i finished the fleury book in just over 24 hours. it was kindof like a mission (and, let's face it, i don't have a whole lot else goin' on !!!). he says a lot of stuff in there that hockey-type people are not gonna like: he goes into some of the on-ice yapping that the public isn't supposed to know about, and brings to light the sex/drugs/gambling side of road trips that we all know goes on but have probably never seen in print. i'm sure the guys in charge of choosing hall of famers will not be happy with some of the things theo writes about, but i say let a man be honest for once....

the two parts that really stand out for me as talking points are 1. how much he hates coaches who didn't play the game --specifically mike keenan, and 2. how much he hated coaching systems and long practices. ironically, in my head, these two things are kindof mutually exclusive; although he never really played for keenan ('91 canada cup), he called him a technical x's and o's guy..... hm. fleury also delved into how coaches "who never played break guys down."

"Keenan never touched a star. He'd go after a third- or fourth-line player to make an example of hm. And the poor guy had to think about his family. He had to put food on the table."

seems to me what probably happened to gio last year, and (realistically) what happened to tanguay. either way, fleury presumeably didn't start to think about an NHL comeback until keenan got fired back in june, and he never, ever, ever would have worked under the tutelage of brent sutter.

oh, and theoren fleury seems to seriously detest chris chelios (mike keenan's favorite CURRENT player).... surprised ?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

thursday musings

well i never seem to have a whole lot to say over here when the flames are stinkin' out various NHL arenas, and this week has been no exception. thankfully, the oil and wild have been doing pretty much the same and not gaining ground on our lowly boys in red.... too bad i can't say the same about colorado (and the 'nucks have been, unfortunately, patiently awaiting tomorrow night's tilt for what seems like a week already)....

word out of flames' practice is that the jokinen/iginla debacle might actually have come to an end... interestingly, sutter has placed iggy with conroy and glenX (a trio of old which did some damage last year mid-season, if i remember correctly), and dropped the wildcard to the "strom" line (now "jokistrom", i suppose) where the two defensively sound wingers will attempt to staunch the bleeding....

i will admit to being adamantly against an iginla/conroy matchup for eons, now (thinking connie's time on the first line is long over), but my latest revelation is that iggy might actually be in the same mental and physical place. additionally, leaving the langkow/bourque/dawes line intact, and against secondary competition, might end up looking like a genius move at game's end tomorrow night.

i don't imagine these few days will be enough to fully implement sutter's system, nor am i confident the flames will come out with a W, but i'm looking to see far less of a complete implosion than we did in either chicago or columbus....

in other news, i'm 162 pages into #14's book, "playing with fire." so far, i would highly recomment it to any longtime flames' fan, simply based on the chapter detailing fleury's call-up to the big club in january 1989 and the cup run.... i've envisioned the way it was written as follows: theo dictates a lifetime worth of information and stories onto some sort of audio recording device, and kirstie mclellan-day types and edits it into a chapter/story format. the "voice" of the book is undoubtedly theo: there's a lot of swearing, like "that fuckin' jimmy waite put on a clinic" or "i was such a stupid fuckin' beginner,"as well as terms like "johnny-on-the-spot" and "so lunched on valium."

also i love that he hands out a zillion compliments to his 89 teammates. not that there would ever be reason for him not to, but he calls lanny "mufasa" (the lion king) and hands out huge props to all of loob, al mcinnis, gary suter, jim peplinski and HUGE kudos to my main man, bearcat murray....

i credit kirstie mclellan-day for the flow of the book, the spelling, and mostly for properly accenting the european names (like håkan).

and finally, today, i've been wavering on this one but i thought it would be good to post because the interview's actually not too bad (it covers a lot of the same ground everyone else is covering these days buuuut still thoroughly watchable cause george gives good interview....). FURTHERMORE, most people know me as walkinvisible but revealing my real name is probably worth the kickass shout-out i get from my boy strombo just past the 30:50 mark. not even just because he mentions me, but because it's decidedly possible that theoren fleury saw it.... :)

happy thursday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Flames blow 5-0 lead, lose to Hawks: Time to put my faith in Brent Sutter

From what I've seen of Brent Sutter, he isn't a coach who's going to react impulsively or lose his patience quickly. This goes back to my days watching him in his early days of coaching the Red Deer Rebels, then carrying on to coach Canada's junior teams and then the Devils.

But when he decides something needs to change, it will change, and he won't be nice about it. And I think he selected Ryan McGill and Dave Lowry as assistant coaches because, among other things, they're the same way.

For that reason alone, as much as I'm, uh, upset about tonight's utter collapse by the Flames (at the hands of a team that they ought to have been motivated enough to close out), I'm by no means panicking about the prospects for this season.

Have there been numerous bad trends through the first six games? Absolutely.

But here's what we have so far to be "concerned" about:

• Ineffective Iginla-Jokinen combination
• Ineffective Regehr
• Inability to sustain quality of play through three periods
• Difficulty getting shots on goal

Meanwhile, here's the good news:

• Goaltender who was everyone's biggest concern team's best player until tonight
• Fifth-year defenceman who was everyone's second biggest concern much improved until tonight
• Mostly effective power-play
• Mostly effective third and fourth lines

And, most importantly in a league where it can be difficult to recover from a bad start:

• Four wins and points in five of the team's first six games

There are clearly a lot of bad Keenan habits from last year that Sutter and co. have yet to break. The Flames don't consistently initiate contact. They don't sustain game-plans through three periods. They keep trotting O. Jokinen out on the ice at the same time as J. Iginla.

But there are good signs, too. The only player favoured heavily over others for ice time is Jay Bouwmeester, and that's a GOOD thing. Secondary scoring has largely made up for the sluggish beginnings of Iginla-Jokinen. Bouwmeester-Giordano has been a strong pairing.

I think you probably need 10 games, if not more, to get a good enough idea of what you have from an NHL team before you can start prescribing solutions. But, I do believe in the roster that's been assembled here, and I believe that Brent Sutter will not let his pride or suspicions get in the way of his team winning.

Beacuse, if nothing else, he sure as hell won't ever want to have a team he's coaching blow a 5-0 lead EVER again. I'm guessing that, at this point, everyone is on notice.

Friday, October 9, 2009

is cumac THAT bad, or has he gotten the shaft ?

before the proverbial mud gets thrown around mcbackup's crease, i want to examine his games played last season to see if the coaching staff ever gave him the opportunity to succeed.

check it out:

in green: game 2 of a back to back.
in blue: relief game
in black: a 1pm start and game 1 of a back to back.

so, looking at this, i'd say shaft.
though he didn't look good at all tonight (but should we chalk it up to confidence based on the above ??!)

thoughts ?

fleury comes clean & other things we already knew

the news leaked today that in theoren fleury's upcoming autobiography, he will finally admit to having been sexually abused by graham james while playing junior hockey with the moose jaw warriors.... james was convicted of abuse back in 1997 on the testimony of former nhl-er sheldon kennedy and an anonymous second victim (widley believed to be fleury). clearly it's gonna be a tough go in the next few weeks for our theo, but i think the "coming out" will be purely cathartic in the long run....

by this time next year, i bet #14 will be hanging in the rafters at the 'dome....
[aaand, by this time next month, i will have read this book.]

the flambés squeaked out another win last night in the heart of enemy territory, much to the aggravation to those who wear the copper (*ahem* orange) and blue. in fairness, there is nothing fun about watching your team give up the tying goal with under two seconds remaining in regulation, and there's CERTAINLY nothing amusing about your team losing in a shootout on a goal that's specifically described as an exception in the fine print of the nhl rulebook:

"No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line, the shot shall be considered complete."
--------rule 30a [under the heading penalty shots]

most of my greasers fan friends were AWFULLY quiet last night, as though they knew not to gloat until the final buzzer.... at which time i got a handful of text messages (my favorite of which read, "J**** F*** !". sorry, fellas. a loss is a loss....

as for the iginla-concussing-souray on a "dirty" hit from behind, well.... logically there's no effin' way that our captain meant to toss sheldon's grey matter like that. anyone who suggests it was intentional, like msconduct says over at her place, has on "oilers colored glasses."
also rad was the way both captains felt the need to fight, and the way iggy didn't take dirty punches when moreau fell to the ice....

moving on ---
i took a good, thorough scan of the flames' roster list on their website and discovered that adam pardy looks an awful lot like 08/09 matt pelech (who showed up to this year's camp with a buzzcut):

let's take note and see how long it'll take for this to get corrected (y'know, the way it still says brad MCRIMMON in the gallery at flames central, and has since they opened a few years back).

i'm also a HUGE fan of brandon prust's headshot ---not the one on the flames' site, but the one that appears in the calgary herald's "meet the flames" column. if you have the patience to ignore the realllllly annoying bubble motif around his head, you will be pleased to see the most amazing nhl yearbook photo smirk i've ever seen.... it seems to say that he knows some stuff about me that he shouldn't know, or that he's just played the most amazing practical joke and we're all about to find out:
love it.

uh, i guess that's about it. other than pointing out the fact that mark giordano played junior hockey for the OHL owen sound attack, and that håkan loob is still the only swede to have ever scored 50 goals in the nhl. and if this paragraph's random info makes no sense to you, then you're probably not the one i'm writing it for....


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

flames v. habbies: the prustrom line dominates

i have a feeling it'll be awhile before i attend another game at the PSD*, and it will be a long time until i go to a game that's as much fun as the fleury shootout winning tilt against the isles a few weeks back..... flames v. habs tonight was a well fought, hard-hitting, two-way battle that the flames were somewhat fortunate to notch in the win column....

some game notes:

- gio jersey is effectively 2/2 this season.

- regehr and dion stink together.... i don't really wanna talk about it anymore. on the ride home, the consensus on the fan960 was that the duo would have to figure it out together, because breaking up the gio/jaybouw and pardy/kronwall pairings would be a travesty. hm. could be true but i wonder what happens when sarich skates off of IR.... ?

- the prustrom line [the recently named fourth line, which i am fully in support of] had an absolutely sick night tonight.... freddie might have stonehands, but the kid can skate like the wind and therefore cause some serious chaos. prusty can sink'em in the net and pester the opposition into coughing up the puck.... and what can you say about nystrom ??! he's picking up exactly where he left off last season and is surely due for another handful (+?) of goals this year.... with any luck, brent sees this group for what it is: a fast group of three utility players who, against soft competition like laraque, can really light it up.... switch out any of them for a healthy mcgrattan (rumoured to be happening soon) and this line will become slow and defensively liable.... ugh.

over at m&g tonight, everyone was bemoaning the first line's lack of productivity and heinous backcheck. "What do you mean? I thought the 1st line looked great tonight. Nystrom with the hatty, Prust with a tilt and solid effort, and Sjostrom played well. Great effort from the 1st line" said commenter rosscreek.

touché.... ;)

- for the record, the REAL first line (ie: wherever iggy's playing) still stinks at ES, but are conversely awesome on the PP. i have no explanation whatsoever why one extra player on-ice for the opposition makes iggy and jokinen go from textbook amazing to painfully brutal....

- great night by the pardy/kronwall pairing, which was unexpected at this juncture.

- perfect shot block by gio in the dying seconds to preserve the win.

that's about it for tonight, methinks.
head to head with the oil again on thursday and i'm praying to the gods that sutter puts cumac in net and rests kipps; preparing him to play the second game of the back-to-back v. the stars on friday. will i get my wish ? i guess we'll know in about 48 hours.....

*calgary rink's initials referred to this evening by my pal strombo... so perfectly obvious yet never before used....

Monday, October 5, 2009

keenan takes to OTR

as per usual, michael lansberg's half-hour tsn show featured a series of "fluff" questions, answered by the key guest and the 3 additional panelists. today saw mike keenan in the hotseat, and anders "bubba" eriksson was one of the others.... i gotta say i was largely disappointed in the questionning until the last thirty-or-so seconds when lansberg dropped the bomb:

"did robyn regehr's comments bother you ?"

"it just surprised the hell out of me.... " responded iron mike, point-blank and went on to suggest that regehr had called a meeting with keenan earlier in the season and told him that he was supportive of the coach. " i don't understand why he said that."

no indication was given by keenan when "earlier in the season" was, but if it was anytime around november/december then hey ---i was fully supportive of the coach in that timeframe as well... keenan certainly lost the confidence of the team sometime around early february (i like to think it was the day he verbally lashed gio for getting injured) and regehr was certainly no exception.

other telling keenan soundbytes:

when asked to define a "mike keenan player," the former bench boss outlined a "heart and soul" kindof guy.... when asked to name a current player of this ilk, he says (get ready for it): *ahem* .... chris chelios.

CHRIS effin' CHELIOS ?!??! are you KIDDING me ?!?!? this answer is SO telling of mike keenan's "cowbell" it's completely outrageous, to me.... in this singular response, it is entirely explained why he hated gio, why bertuzzi got so much ice time, why iginla suffered, why boyder was never given any responsibility, and EXACTLY why regehr said what he did when keenan got the sack....

lansberg: "who was the saddest to see you go ?"
keenan: "craig conroy."

lansberg: "who was the happiest ?"
keenan: "regehr."

lansberg also queried keenan on the former defenseman sitting to his right. i will acknowledge that it would have been rude to answer differently, but it went like this:

lansberg: "you liked anders [eriksson] as a player ?"
keenan (without hesitation): "YES !"
lansberg: "why ?"
keenan: "cause he's got the skill level to play in the nhl, he can play special teams & has the experience to help younger players."

i'm paraphrasing but apparently keenan is either the most polite guy in the universe or he actually thinks anders is nhl calibre.

i thought i'd just clue you all in on what went down today for people who are unemployed like keenan, eriksson & me.

sweetest shirt around

every summer, cjsw (university of calgary radio) hosts the slurpee cup: it's a street hockey tourney with participating teams from local scenesters like the ship&anchor, the hifi, beatroute magazine, sloth records etc.etc.etc.

well i seem to miss the competition every year but my brother (bless'im) just gave me a tshirt from this year's battle.... and it's pretty much the most awesomest shirt ever created by mankind:



Twenty years later and ol' loober is still a legend in cowtown.... i love it !!!! :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

flames v. oil postgame: uh oh....

i'm not sure i liked the look of the game last night, mostly because it was a virtual repeat of the vancouver game (ie: showing little-to-no improvement).

i'm gonna go pointform here cause i'm effin' beat from my time in the hat, and all i wanna do is watch tv, drink tea and hibernate....

- i'm pleasantly surprised (shocked, even) at the play of one miikka kiprusoff. i realize it's far too early to give accurate kudos, but the dude is currently two-and-oh. i will tip my hat towards noodles as well for this change of character, and hope to god it can continue.

- dion and regehr are a frightening duo and the scariest part is that i'm not convinced dion is the problem.... reggie got dumped pretty good by penner last night, and missed a bunch of hits that he would normally have made. i noted that he looked bad during olympic camp tryouts but thought it might have been due to the lack of physical play in the red v. white game.... well, i hope it's just a slow start cause he ain't lookin' so good right now....

kelly hrudey made a point last night on the telecast that i found FASCINATING regarding dion: last year, keenan had him playing long shifts (1+minutes at a time was not uncommon) and he grew accustomed to "resting on the ice." i can DEFINITELY see this as an explanation of why he often has his feet planted and looks lazy/slow. if brent starts giving him shorter shifts, he'll be far more mobile and effective....

- still not sure what to make of dawes. i'm convinced he's a good utility player, but i'm not sure his skills should have him anywhere near the top six.

- there is nothing better than glenX scoring goals in edmonton.

- no way the flames continue to get those kinds of breaks. brent's gotta tighten up this team ASAP..... but it's still nice to be 2-0, and to see the nucks with the opposite record....


Friday, October 2, 2009

Flames-Canucks postgame: And also, I thought Jim Peplinski had blond hair

"I'm not sitting here doing handstands thinking we played a great game. But we played a pretty darned good game for 38 minutes and then backed off."

— Brent Sutter, quoted on Flames Insider

That's exactly the analysis last night's game required.

Before I rushed home to my PVR last night, I attended the Leafs-Habs at the ACC. The Leafs played an extremely good game last night, and are much improved over last season. They lost for two reasons: 1. Montreal's power-play, specifically Mike Cammalleri, is extremely dangerous; 2. Vesa Toskala didn't make any big saves, and Carey Price made a ton.

I'll tie this to the Flames' game this way: In both games, one team was vastly outshot. In both games, that team won thanks to spectacular goaltending. That was a big, big start from Miikka Kiprusoff. He was hung out to dry for the third period, and was up to the task. If he plays like that all year, I fail to see how the Flames don't win the division.

I won't elaborate on how poor the game was for Iginla-Jokinen-Moss, because there's nothing more to say. All three were bad, individually and as a group. Nor do I really need to say more about how great Sjostrom-Nystrom-Prust was, except to point out that a) In those uniforms, I repeatedly thought of Sjostrom, "Hey, there's Colin Patterson!" and, I think my plan to look like a visionary for being so bullish on Prust last season is starting to pay off.

Mark Giordano, as always, has been covered well here. Jay Bouwmeester, as expected, is wonderful. I feel confident when he's on the ice that good things are going to happen, and I still can't get over what an incredible first pass he has. The Dion Phaneuf/Robyn Regehr pairing was unsuccessful, though surprisingly I thought it was Regehr who was the weaker link. Regehr took bad penalties, made a few mistakes, and generally looked like he's going through his usual early season

Finally, for how bad the third period was, let's keep this in perspective: The Canucks are a Top 10 team in the league, with a Top 3 goaltender, and the Flames handled them easily for two periods and won the game. This was a tremendous start.