Tag - hockey

Running a major Canucks contest

This is too good not to promo here. At Canpages, we’re running a major contest with the Vancouver Canucks right now.

The contest is the Ultimate Canucks Night Out … and it’s pretty ultimate. Check out what we’re giving away:

  • 2 Canucks tickets to the Flyers game on December 28
  • Dinner for 2 at a nice downtown Vancouver restaurant
  • 2 jerseys from the Vancouver Canucks team store
  • A night at a local hotel

Not too shabby – all in all that’s a very significant prize pack … and the ultimate night out for a Canucks fan. By that time, they should even be out of their current slump!

Check out the contest at Canucks.com for all the details, including how to enter.

iPad use case #3: watch the big game, in 6 minutes

Like most Canadians, I’m mad about hockey (both in the British sense of being crazy about it, and the American sense of being ticked off that there are not enough Canadian teams).

So when I can’t watch the game … iPad helps.

Just download the official NHL app. All of the day’s games are listed on the home screen. Pick one, and click watch.

Instantly (almost) you’ve got a 6-8 minute highlight reel of that game – in the comfort of your chair, sofa, or bed.

Now that’s not bad.

Maybe I can make the 2008 NHL entry draft

OK, so I’m fully aware this is ridiculous and shameless self-promotion, but I’m doing it anyways.

It’s been years and years since I’ve been on a hockey team. And years since I played hockey competitively. The years and years is due to a crazy schedule mixing together 3 kids, a spouse, a very demanding job, and a house that always needs just one more thing done. The years is due to the fact that I’ve had major issues with my neck following a number of rear-enders and other accidents.

But this spring hockey season I’m unaccountably playing on not one but two teams, and I was pretty pumped to see I’m among the league leaders in Centre Ice’s Division B scoring. (Please ignore the fact that it’s only 3 games into the season and keep any snide remarks that even a trained monkey could lead scoring that early in a season.)

As previously hinted, I am inordinately proud of this, but fully aware it’s likely to be a momentary flash-in-the-pan. I’ll enjoy it while I can!

In a trick of fate, I’m also fourth in league scoring on my other team, which plays in Abbotsford Training Rink’s 3-on-3 league. I better also take a screenshot of that … it’ll never happen again:

My team in that league, by the way, is the Lightning, and we do actually live up to our name. Mostly because Sam Maerz is on our team and we’ve got a great goalie, Ralph Vos.

OK. Enough shameless self-promotion (or documentation of momentary glancing acquaintance with actual talent). Back to our regularly-schedule programming.

4 straight losses for the Vancouver Canucks

It’s Friday night and I’m surfing around while listening to the Canucks-Wild game on the Team 1040. The Canucks are just about to lose their fourth in a row and doubt is growing in Vancouver that they’ll make the playoffs.

I have to say it’s very, very unrewarding to be a Vancouver fan – it’s almost enough to put someone off of hockey.

The problems?

  1. Can’t score
  2. Can’t keep the puck out of their own net
  3. Not tough enough
  4. Not big enough
  5. Not enough heart

It has not been pretty lately.

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BTW, I’ve joined a 3-on -3 league at the Abbotsford Training Rink, a half-size rink. I haven’t had this much fun playing hockey for years … it’s all offence, offence, offence.

Clipblast: well that sucked

If Scoble says it’s good, it’s usually worth a look. So when Scoble says that ClipBlast is a “killer video search engine”, I thought I’d check it out.

One thing I’ve been looking for lately is video footage of Alexander Ovechkin’s lying-on-the-ice backhander goal from last year. We’re talking ice-hockey, in case you’re wondering.

Here’s what ClipBlast gives me:

clipblast

That contrasts rather poorly with plain old Google:

google video search

The first two results are direct links to the video; the other results are directly related.

Not very “killer” to me.

[tags] scoble, video, search, clipblast, google, hockey, john koetsier [/tags]

NHL playoffs

The NHL playoffs started tonight; my productivity is also going way down.

Could there be a connection?

Hard to say … after all, correlation is not causation.

We shoulda sent the juniors

A couple of days after our women won their second straight gold, Canada’s men’s hockey team is out of the Olympics after an embarrassing 6-game run that included losses to Switzerland (well known hockey power, ahem) and Finland.

Today they were knocked out in the semis by Russia.

I don’t blame the players – I think every player really was trying. But they just never jelled as a team. And I don’t think they had the intensity that Canada almost always brings to international hockey.

I almost think we should have sent our juniors – who recently won the 2006 World Junior Championships in Vancouver.

Ten to one they would have done better.

Fed up with the Vancouver Canucks

What team wins against premier talent like the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, and Detroit Red Wings, but can’t win against NHL bottom-feeders like the Columbus Blue Jackets and the St. Louis Blues.

The Vancouver Canucks.

What team has great players who are having mediocre seasons, at best, and mediocre players who are having great seasons?

The Vancouver Canucks.

What team plays well for a game or three, then takes a night off – regularly, repeatedly, like clockwork?

The Vancouver Canucks.

What team is consistently inconsistent, showing flashes of brilliance but then quickly revealing that the shiny gleaming gold is really just fool’s gold?

The Vancouver Canucks.

What team thrills its fans with speed and skill and grit, then shreds their hearts by mailing in an effortless effort?

The Vancouver Canucks.

Unbelievable.

I like Marcus Naslund. A lot. And he’s done an awful lot for this team. But we need, need, need, need a new captain. We need someone who is a true leader. We need someone who will pick this team up by the socks. Someone who will hold each and every player accountable. Someone who will demand and get the best, from each team member.

And I don’t think Marcus can do that. He certainly hasn’t in the three years he’s been captain of the Canucks.

Joe Thornton: WOW

Imagine you’re an NHL general manager.

Imagine you trade for a guy you think will be a franchise player. Imagine you give up 3 key guys to get him. And imagine you’ve been losing, and losing, and losing.

Then you get this new player. He scores 16 or so points in his first 6 games with your team. He plays like a superstar at the top of his game. He makes all your other players better just for being there. You win 6 straight after getting him, and everybody – I mean everybody – in your home city absolutely loves him, and thinks you just made the best move of your career.

That’s a dream come true for a general manager, and that’s the life that Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks is living right now.

The player, of course is Joe Thornton.

And he’s had the kind of start in a new city that hockey players can usually only dream of. 6 straight multi-point games. 6 straight wins. Second in the league in scoring right now, and closing fast on the leader. Offensive player of the week in the NHL last week. Playing with his cousin, Scott Thornton. Having fun. Away from the old team. Away from the losing.

And enjoying sunny days on the California coast to boot!

Unbelievable. Hope it lasts!

“Live” game broadcasts on NHL.com

The Vancouver Canucks are playing the Colorado Avalanche tonight, and as I was sitting at my computer, I was wondering … is there any live broadcast of the game online?

CKNW, the local radio station that usually broadcasts the Canucks’ games, doesn’t have streaming.

So I checked out NHL.com (irritatingly part of the MSN network) and was all excited about their Game Radio:

Listen to live broadcasts of NHL games on Windows Media Player! Links will not work until the broadcast is underway.

Unfortunately, all the games there are days old … the title is “Friday’s Games.” Not very live. And not what I’m looking for.

Ah well. At least they’re winning ….

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. . .

[ update ]

Aha … I found the live audio feed right on the Canucks.com home page. Errr … I guess that’s the most obvious spot.

My big ugly foot (and bruise)

Ice hockey is for masochists, as I believe I’ve mentioned before.

In addition to the 4 stitches that were inserted to hold my lip together about 3 weeks ago, and the cantaloupe-sized bruise just above my right knee that I got as a souvenir for stopping a puck a week after that, I’ve got an entirely new happy memory to share with my grandchildren.

Last week I blocked a slapshot (entirely inadvertently, I must say) with my ankle. Ouch. Don’t try this at home, kids.

In addition to the puffiness, which you can’t really see, this is the result:

my foot with bruise from ice hockey

No my ankle is not usually that fat. Or black, blue, and yellow.

The most painful part, oddly, is above the actual ankle joint, which is not very black and blue. I was able to finish the game, but only because I never stopped to take off my skate. If you do that, forget trying to get it back on – your ankle will be too fat and too sore.

Hopefully it will feel OK for next game … tomorrow.

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The scar, by the way, is from a previous incident involving renovation, toilets, falling, and pain. Don’t go there.

Hockey is for masochists

I love, love, love playing ice hockey, but it’s not without a price.

After noon-hour hockey today, I’ve got a bruise just over my left hip (cross-check), a contusion on my upper left leg (puck), and another sore spot on my right calf (stick). That in addition to the 4 stitches from two weeks ago.

Either hockey players are just suckers for punishment, or we’re just really, really dense, or it’s the best game in the world and all the many sacrifices it demands are amply repaid by the pure pleasure of a puck flying into the net just inside the post rippling the twine in a beautiful but fleeting symphony of motion.

Stick in the face; blood on the ice

Most Wednesdays I like to play noon-hour drop-in hockey. There’s a rink only minutes away from our Bellingham office, and a good bunch of guys who play there …

Today was a great game, lots of people, a couple of shifters, and a high tempo. No goalies, unfortunately.

I was just starting to think about leaving the ice and getting back to work when I and a winger on the other team both went for a puck along the boards. He tried to lift my stick and missed it. But his stick continued its upward trajectory … at least until it intersected my face.

More specifically, my mouth.

Well. That turned out to be my last shift. Blood on my face, blood in my mouth, blood on my jersey, blood on the ice. Yum.

After getting off the ice, I got some gauze, bandages, and ice from the office. Managed to stop the bleeding enough to have a real quick shower, which started it up again, and then stopped it again so I could get dressed and out the door.

I needed to go up to our Langley office, so I thought I’d drop into an Aldergrove medical clinic on my way. Unfortunately, they don’t do stitches, so I had to go to MSA hospital in Abbotsford instead.

Two hours in emergency and 4 stiches later, I was at home with a fat – but no longer split – lip and 2 slightly loose teeth.

Ah well. As the guy who I passed by on my way out of the rink said: “war wounds.”

Canadian hockey players on Viagra, apparently

Forbes had a very good story on the cancellation (boo, hiss) of the NHL season today, in which Michael Ozanian correctly blames Bettman – not for being a poor negotiator or lousy boss – but for greedily following expansion money and losing the league in the process.

This particular quote is very interesting, particularly for a Canadian:

To meet the growing demand for players, team rosters were often filled with European skaters with only a fraction of the passion for the game that the Canadian players have. The NHL product lost some of its appeal to its rank and file.

Check out the whole story here.