Tuesday, August 7

My Top 5 Hockey Moments With Moose and Norte

Ahhh, Moose and Norte, I wouldn't call them "friends" so much as I'd call them "two individuals I co-write a hockey blog with". Two men who are interesting in their own right, just not to me.

Here are 5 hockey related moments I've shared with these, people:

5. Moose Ruins New Jersey

Now this doesn't mean that he ruined the state of New Jersey, although he could. He just f'd a new jersey I got. The same jersey as his, as well. We had our team jersey's made up, and while practicing, he hooked me from behind, and scratched a 5.5 Modano swath across the logo. Hey thanks pal! Great work!

4. Playing NHL '03 With Norte.

Visiting him, and playing an ancient version of the NHL series while his wife and baby slept behind us. Trying not to freak out and wake everyone up as we scored genius goals. Trust me, we scored genius goals.

3. Moose Misses Primary Assist on Championship Goal

Just for fun Moose and I joined a team a guy he works with has. They needed help and we gave it to them, getting them to the final. Overtime in the last game, I'm on the back door and Moose sends a cross crease pass to me, right on the tape...that is if I had tape on my ankles. I whiff in vain at the "pass" as it goes by me into the corner. I turn around, dig it out, and send a bullet right on the stick of my winger who taps it in for the championship winning goal. We didn't talk the whole way home.

2. Greener/Norte go to HHOF

We went to the HHOF in Toronto and had a fantastic time. One of the highlights in a day full of them was when we did the goalie simulation thing where you have to stop five pucks "shot" at you by Gretzky and Messier on the fly. We told the guy to set it to All-Star. I did well, saving 4/5. Norte ruled by scoring a perfect 5. I have pictures of it which are a little blurry because I was laughing so much.

1. Giving Moose a Concussion

Moose actually has skill in hockey, and occasionally makes a good play. After one of these moments, he came to the bench and I tapped him on the top of the helmet in praise. Suddenly Moose goes out and it looks like the Red Wings bench when they had to V-Fib Jiri Fischer. He played the rest of the game in a haze and seemed mad at me for hurting him on purpose. My feelings about it were, since I was getting credit for it, I wish I had.

So there's my top 5. Looking back, Norte is a rad guy and is hilarious fun to hang out with. Moose lives near me and plays Defense.

Regarding the Leaves

NORTE : Dispatch, this desk. Its Tuesday I think and its raining out. I have a terrible pain right where my neck meets my back. It kind of feels like I am being stabbed with a hot fork. I am in a pair of shorts and an old David Bowie t shirt and the air conditioning is on…so I am freezing cold. The big toe of my right foot especially. I need a pair of mittens and some hot shots. Perhaps I should drink something with little marshmallows in it. I really should write about The Toronto Maple Leafs version 8.0. You know…what line combos I think are going to happen. The PP, the PK. Who shot J.R? PJ Harvey, BJ and the Bear. You know…

I worked it all out on my Playstation this afternoon so I am ready to go. I will say that I think we'll see Blake play with Wellwood more than we may realize. I have a sneaking suspicion that this year will be his coming out party. (Wellwood's) At the end of the season last year...Mats looked a little tired to me. I won’t lie and say that doesn't concern me. I suspect less minutes from Mats. Quality minutes absolutely…but less. I think that it’s pretty important to sign Peca. Pay him much less and kick in incentives based on games played. Etc. The Lindros deal. But I think we need him to quarterback the power play. With him in the mix. What really excites me are the power play lines that can happen. You have the always awesome Kaberle. Who you know is going to have a great season. He has, in my opinion, the best first pass in the league. McCabe was average at best last year. And after that disappointment...he has something to prove. I don’t like playing any kind of what if game. But what if Antropov actually lived up to expectations. I have a terrible memory….I have imbibed in my life…I will admit. I have killed off lots of brain cells illicitly but, last year, didn’t Antropov impress me? Like he played tough and mean at times. And Poni? Poni always gets better. Let me leave at this: Stay Golden Poni boy. Stay Golden.

I think our third line is one of the best of recent memory (or maybe not cos I have a terrible memory…did I mention that already?) I am willing to bet that they’re going to be a terrific line to watch. Can’t wait to hear what nickname the glorious Joe Bowen gives them. And no matter what his bumper sticker inspired turn of phrase is, I will tell you this. Bell and Kilger will murder guys this year. Literally. I think they will both be charged with first degree murder this year. That’s fact, ladies and gentlemen (and when I say ladies and gentlemen…I really mean gentlemen because I have a feeling He Scores, He Shoots will become the Rush concert of Blogs. Because really…lets face it fellas…there’s nothing more our ladies love then to read about hockey. Am I right? Is this mike on?)

Forgettable Oilers, Unforgettable Moments


Brad Winchester

The big winger out of the University of Wisconsin was Edmonton's 2nd round pick (35th overall) in 2000, but wasn't offered a contract following a disappointing '06-07 season. Winchester was a source of great frustration for both the coaching staff and Oiler fans alike. At 6'5", 230 lbs, he had great size, could skate, handle the puck and owned a wicked wrist shot. Despite all his physical tools, Winchester never found the commitment and consistency to make an impact on a nightly basis. But during the run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006, Winchester would write himself a small chapter in Oiler lore in the first round series against the Detroit Red Wings.

With the Oilers down 1-0 in the series, Winchester was inserted into the lineup for Game 2 (his playoff debut) and promptly scored the game winning goal in a 3-2 victory. After splitting the next two games, the series returned to Detroit tied 2-2. It would be here that Brad Winchester would cement his Oiler legacy...during the national anthem. Following the American anthem, Red Wings fans, as is the long standing tradition, lobbed an Octopus onto the ice in the Oilers zone, but 'Winny' was ready for it. Instead of waiting for the Joe Louis attendants to clean it off the ice (and incite the crowd by whirling it over their head), Winchester, with a plastic bag on his hand under his glove, picked up the greasy cephalopod and took it to the Oiler bench, where his teammates erupted. It was all at once a symbol of defiance and self-confidence in the face of a supposedly superior team, and a moment that loosened the bench and sent them on their way. The Oilers went on to win the game and the series two nights later. An indelible image...

Mike Bishai

The Edmonton-born Bishai was a Fernando Pisani-esque "feel good" story - save for the playoff heroics, citywide admiration and multi-million dollar contract. The un-drafted forward worked his way through the U.S. college ranks, earned himself a contract with the Oilers AHL affiliate, and got a 14 game taste of the NHL during the 2003-04 season. While he never made much of an impact on the scoresheet, he was involved in one of the most bizarre on-ice brawls in Oiler history:

(WARNING: Ty Conklin is in this video)

Petr Klima

This is likely to be the first of many posts about Petr Klima on this blog. He's something of a cult figure here at HS,HS. How could he not be? Look at him here..battling the forces of inertia as that helmet drags his head ice-ward; that stick blade taped in his legendary barbershop pole design.

Klima was a flashy, hard drinkin' Czech, who teased you with his skill and showed future generations of Czech hockey players how to rock the Eastern European metal hair. Despite a 40-goal season in '90-91, Klima's Oiler days mirrored his career as a whole. His lazy, selfish play and off-ice problems eventually earned him a ticket to the next stop.

But Klima's contribution to Oiler history is anything but forgettable. Game 1, 1990 Stanley Cup Finals. Triple OT. After being benched for nearly the entire game, Coach John Muckler throws the dog a bone...woof!

Leafs Line Combos - Because I Care

At this point in the non hockey season, the custom dictates that fans take their teams' roster (so far), and put together what they believe will be the lines for the season. So, as I've already listened to the complete archived "Leafs Lunch" with Waters and Marek, this is what I've done.

L1: Blake Sundin Tucker

L2: Poni Wellwood Antropov

L3: Bell Steen Kilger

L4: Battaglia Stajan Devereaux

D1: Kaberle Colliacovo

D2: McCabe Kubina

D3: White Gill

The first line is pretty obvious. As the Leafs big free agent signing, there is no way Blake starts anywhere but besides Mats. Not to mention people are always whining about how the Leafs have never given Mats anyone to play with, (I guess A. Mogilny and G. Roberts don't count), so finally here's a guy that can get it from, and give it to him. Darcy creates space for the two of them, although Blake has his share of sandpaper, so Darc can focus a little more on scoring.

Poni and Antropov showed chemistry last year, so I've kept them together, flanking Wellwood. I think Kyle will have a real breakout season this year. Given his playmaking and skating, he FOR SURE will play with Blake a lot, and Blake will score because of it.

Bell, Steen and Kilger. Taking a note from the incredibly effective checking line the Ducks had, Bell and Kilger will go out and hit everything they can, with Bell prepared to kick the shit out of anyone who needs it. Steen is so responsible and keeps developing his defensive game, although I have to say, if we sign Peca, he goes here in a second.

Bates, Boyd and Matt. I enjoyed every shift that Bates and Boyd had last year. I trusted them when they were out there, although I'd like to see Bates use his outside speed and take it hard to the net instead of doing that pull-up move he always does along the boards, but still. Stajan I like a lot, but we have a lot of centers, (Peca not included) and now he's got to go crazy to keep his spot on the team.

Tucker will move down, Blake will play with Wellwood. Ponikarovsky will move up as will Bell, but this is what I think we'll start the season with and for a while afterwards.