Off Topic, But You Should Read

Man can not live on hockey alone. No, really. So tonight, I went to the Stephen Lynch concert. If you don’t know about Stephen Lynch, I am doing you a huge favor. Lynch is a Singer/Comedian, and he is very wrong. He was also on Broadway starring in The Wedding Singer: The Musical (yes, that Wedding Singer). He sings songs about… well… lots of stuff. But it is NSFW,D (that means Not Safe For Work, Dummy!) So, if you were to click the link below, which would take you to YouTube, and would search for Stephen Lynch, and then listen in public, you would be crazy. But, if you do it in the privacy of your own home, well, enjoy.

YouTube search of Stephen Lynch


StephenLynch.com

If he comes to your town, go see the show. It’s worth it.

Still Life with Hockey Nerd: Sakic Edition

Still Life Sakic
(clicky makey biggy)

These are the limited edition “dome” pucks made in honor of Joe Sakic. This is also the closest I will ever get to having Joe Sakic drinking with me. On the left is 7-Up. On the right, Bekerovka, a Czech liqueur. I would tell you what it tastes like, but I don’t remember.

Avs Beat Coyotes, But Maybe Shouldn’t Have

Well, the Avs won tonight, but it’s not like they wanted to.

Avs Pnx Final 1

Avs just gave up during the third period. If there is something that every hockey fan should know, there is no lead that is safe. And if you give up and stop skating, you will learn that lesson in pain. PAIN!!! PAAIIIINNNN!!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!! Ahhh… um…sorry.

Anyways, there isn’t much else to say about this one, other than Svatos was skating hard the entire game, unlike most others. And, if it weren’t for the post, the game would have gone to overtime in the last ten seconds. Too close against a team that the Avs owned.

I believe I have said it before, but I will say it again. Even if the Avs snuck into the playoffs, I can’t see the point.

That’s enough for tonight. More later.


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Why is Linda Cohn Writing about Hockey?

Over at ESPN.com, Linda Cohn is writing a column about hockey.  I looked at it for a few weeks when she started, but lost interest rather quickly.  While she is pretty good on SportsCenter, I have a hard time buying that she is a hockey fan.  Make her square off with Melrose and Bucci, and then we will talk. 

But this caught my attention.  From her March 23rd column:

Still, the women’s tournament got me thinking about the Ottawa Senators.

You and me both lady, you and me both.

Now, if you want to read about hockey from a woman’s perspective, might I recommend the HLOG (Hockey Ladies of Greatness). Then, sneek a peek at the list of writers who contribute and go to their blogs. 

See? There is no need for Linda Cohn to write about hockey. We already have some great writing by women. It’s one of the great things about the sport.  I see women who love hockey as much, and sometimes more, than men.  So many other major sports do not click with women, but hockey does.  When I hear a woman talk about being a football fan, there is usually an explanation that goes with it.  But with hockey, there is none offered, and none needed.  There is something about the sport that isn’t male-centric.  The female hockey fan kicks ass.

But Linda Cohn as a hockey writer does not.  Maybe if someone sent her a pink jersey, she’ll get the hint.

Two with the Canucks

Whoever comes up with the schedule for NHL games is one uncreative so and so.  Two games against the Oilers followed by two games against the Canucks.  At the end of the season.  This should show the ow incredibly stupid the schedule has been.  If you have to squeeze in the eight games a season in your division, and this is how you have to do it, it looks less like a league and more like a regional house tournament. 

On to the games:

Avs Van Final 1 

Oh, yeah, that is what I’m craving.  Giving points to the Canucks is fine, as long as we get some out of it.  Two points is two points, and that’s all that matters. 

Quick Hits:

  • I walked into the Czech hockey bar just as the fight between Cowan and Laperriere started.  Good timing on my part.
  • Budaj had a bad night of it.
  • Quote of the game: “Qucik, give me two shots! (pleading) Come on.  They just put Jose in!”
  • The rest of the game had a defensive feel to it from the Avs, as they kept the shots down to seven against Theodore (Vancouver still got one past them).
  • Theodore was good int he shootout, which, since he has been nothing more than a practice goalie for so long, shouldn’t be surprising.

It’s the second game that I was dreading, and it turns out, for good reason:

Avs Van Final 2 

 

I know that this kind of thing gives great joy to some of those out there, and I believe you would do yourselves well to keep that joy locked away from me for a few days.  With Calgary winning against Minnesota last night, plus a few games where the opposition could have helped out just a little bit (thanks, Preds), the playoffs are now only mathimatically within reach. In other words, this game, plus the way the Flames have been playing, should spell the end of the Avs season. 

Game Notes:

  • Asshat of the night goes to Joel Quenneville, who just had to go changing the lines after a 5-4 victory.  Bringing Wolski and Skrastins back may have looked good on paper (sitting Parker and Vaananen), but nothing worked out.  I heard that the Avs have won every game that Scott Parker has played in. Good job, Coach! (shaking your fist at the refs like a bezerk comic book villian didn’t really help either)
  • Luongo was a monster.  I said last night, “He should be playing a lot worse, or become an Av.” Not going to happen, I know, but he was just too damn good last night.
  • Theo played decent last night, and got pretty lucky at other times.  A few weird bounces could have gotten the better of him, but the Canucks were not able to get anything done with them.
  • The score really could have been 3-2 or 3-3 at the end of regulation, if not for posts, goaltenders, and the hockey gods who do not like me right now.
  • The Avs power play sucked with bells on.  The Canucks had good penalty killing, but the Avs didn’t do anything to help.
  • Two empty netters.  Two.

So, is that it for the season?  Is the writing on the wall?  Most likely, yes.  But unlike Jes predicts, I will not be one of those sunny day fans, who only is a fan when they are winning.  I will be keeping up with the rest of the season, and see who has the heart to finish this thing off with a bang.  I’m glad the Avs had a good run at the end.  Tanking for a high draft pick is a lot less fun than watching your team make a run at the playoffs, even if it is futile.

Today is not my day for eulogies. The season is not over, even if the playoffs are out of reach.  Six games left, and I plan on cheering on the Avs until the end. Even with the problems the team had through the early and mid season, this is a team that did a great job in the end.  Eulogies will have to wait.

Still Life with Hockey Nerd: NCAA Edition

Still Life NCAA

Today I busted ass out of work to see the NCAA Western Regional Finals, and then busted ass to the Czech hockey bar to see the Avs play.

I have many things to tell you. Tomorrow.

The Bearable Lightness of Not Giving a Damn

For some, living and dying with your team is the ultimate in watching a hockey game.  As the Avs push towards the playoff (5 points out of the final slot), I sit on the edge of the couch, barking, shouting, cursing, cheering.  I yell whenever the puck goes in, and every mistake becomes the end of the world.  Every play could be the end of the season.  As much as I love it, some nights,I would like to just watch a game, rather than be swept up in it.

There is something relaxing about not caring about who wins or loses.  Something about not having to analyze each rush, or looking for every little quirk to seal the game.  A goal can be a goal, rather than something evil or god-like.  There is just a game going on, and that is enough. Nothing more than a game.

While I’m sure that many, many people care about the NCAA tournament underway, I do not.  It helps that DU isn’t involved this year, but on the whole, keeping up with the NHL is enough for me these days.  Trying to stay up to date on the college scene would be near impossible.  If I lived in a city like Boston, where you can find all sorts of college hockey, along with a signifigant buzz and excitement about it, things would be a little different.  But sorry, I just don’t track college.  I hate march madness, that’s for sure, but until the Frozen Four takes place, I don’t take sides. Even then, I take sides very gently.

Altitude, the local sports network (owned by the Avs), is showing many of the games, and the Pepsi Cneter is playing host all weekend long to the Western regional playoffs.  Tomorrow, after work, I may try to sneak over for the last game of the day.  But how nice it will be to just sit back and watch some hockey, instead of being on the edge of my seat the whole time.  Is there a such thing as a stress free hockey life?

BTW: If you have a chance, go to the NCAA hockey page and check out the live game tracker (get there via the scoreboard).  This thing is way cool, much better than what you get on NHL.com. 

A Tale of Two Games

Let me start out by saying that I do not care to do game recaps after every game. I tried it at the beginning of the season, and it sucked the life out of me. But, since the Avs are in the playoff hunt (for some unknown reason), I feel I should say a few things about the games. And since there were two against the Oilers, what a better way to kill two birds with one and a half stones.

Avs Edm Final 1

Well, the first game went pretty well.

Ian Laperriere got two goals (first time this season), kissed Tyler Arnason on the neck (perhaps the first time this season), made Arnason smile (definitely the first time this season), got in a ‘roughing’ that should have been a fight, and got the first star of the night. Has he ever gotten the first star of the game? Ever? EVER? Crazy night.

Tyler Arnason had a good game. 3 assists. Nuff said.

No one for the Oilers had a good game. No one. I guess they were saving up for Saturday.

Avs Edm Final 2

The Oilers came out of the gate with some jump, and held that jump through the entire game, even after they were down two goals. The Avs, on the other hand, lost all fight in the second period. Even while having a respectable shot total, they just seemed to dial down the intensity they had in the first period. Did they underestimate the Oilers? They shouldn’t have, as they were proved in the first that the Oilers were not going to lay down and die.

Paul Stastny had seven shots on goal, many of them quality ones, but Roloson was showing his A game tonight, and shut him down. Unlike some, Stastny did not (nor have I ever seen him) get flustered. He still had a fast and intense game, when others did not.

Jeff Finger took a beating tonight, getting slammed around pretty hard.

Brett McLean was in the shootout tonight, while Stastny was not. I don’t get that one. McLean was 1 for 1 in shootouts (now 1 for 2), but that first 1 isn’t the one that I wonder about, it’s the second one. Isn’t there a reason that he has only been in one shootout this season? Oh, yeah. Because he is no Paul Stastny. Huh.

One point is better than none, but for the whole game, I was on the edge of my seat, and swearing a lot. I would repeat some of it, but there could be children near by.

Three out of four points on the road is what I am happy about, but it’s hard to look at it that way when you lose a game you could have won, like so many this season. Still, it’s a playoff push, not a slight nudging.

So here is what I have to look forward to on Sunday:
Chi Cal No Thanks

Well, won’t that be special. As though the Blackhawks will be our helping hand when the Preds were not. The Hawks, who got one lousy goal tonight against the Kings. Thanks guys.

Then there’s the late game:
Avs Van Good Luck

This is going to be a very stressful game for me. I think I will need to be at the Czech hockey bar for this one. Drinking Czech beer. And eating Czech garlic dip. Makes any game go down better.

PS: Anyone see the Buffalo game tonight? Where the puck hit the ref and got a funky bounce to drop in the right place for Toronto, and the wrong place for Ryan Miller? I hope it’s on youtube soon. What a moment. Ouch.


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Still Life with Hockey Nerd: Club Edition

Still Life
(clicky makey biggie)

From the bar at Le Can, club level. Lines? What lines? And the beer is Molson Canadian, probably brewed right here in Colorado.

Of All The Games To Go To…

Of all the games I could have gone to, I picked the right one.

This year, thanks to the time I have had, and my lack of financial responsibility, I have gone to the most games at the Pepsi Center ever. One of the things I hate about games at Le Can is how crowded it can get. Well, if you ever have the option, can I suggest you get a club level seat?

Club Level

That is not crowded. I would like to personally thank the entrepreneur \ self made businessman who talked himself down about half price on the ticket. The lines completely disappear on the club level. If I ever come into a large sum of money, I will be in the club level for the rest of my life.

Plus, you get a nice view of Denver.

View 1

View2

Let’s talk pre-game. The biggest cheer:

Cheer

The biggest boo:

Boo

Just look at his face. He knows. Yes, he knows.

So, what did the game look like?

View from the seats

Yeah, a bit like that. This next one is for Alanah.

Burrito

But wait, there’s more:

More than Burrritos

So, what can I say?

The Avs won in overtime, and if there ever was a time to give up a point to earn one, this was it. The Sharks have no fear of the Avs, and are in the playoffs. Even if there is a chance they do not make it, and still have to play it out, they are in. We all know they are in. So, giving up one point to the Sharks does no harm.

Budaj and Sakic, although having very successful games, and getting some good stats, did not have great games. Sakic got an assist on each goal, and Budaj got the win (and an assist), but there were times where both caused some concern. Super Joe had a few bobbled plays that didn’t seem like the Joe of normal, and Budaj’s second goal was pretty worrisome. But both turned up the heat, and got the job done.

Line of the night came from behind me: “I haven’t been this drunk since the accident”

I swear, the beer on the club level is the same price as the rest of the joint, only bigger. If only the rest of life was like that.

The final goal was so wonderful, I can hardly describe it. I don’t think anyone expected it. I certainly didn’t. What a way to cap it off.

Cheechoo was pissed (seriously pissed) at the penalty he took that led to the game winning goal. Honestly, I don’t blame him. The reffing was different in the second and part of the third than the rest of the game. But, when the game is on the line, you better keep it clean, boys.

Stastny’s point streak ended tonight, but he still had a great game, playing hard and working hard behind the goal line. He still has his name in the record books, and stands on his own as a hockey player, apart from his dad.

The Avs pulled within 4 points of the final playoff spot. No matter what happens next, this is a fun ride. I make no predictions, I can only hang on for more games.

But, really, get a club level ticket. See how the other half lives.

BTW: all pics are clickable, if you need to see them bigger.  Need to supersize that buritto?


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