Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fighting? Be a Good Boy and Swallow This

I think I could do without fighting in hockey, but I know I would be better off without the preaching and the Utopian world view being projected by those writers who see a perfect world where hockey is a sanitized game, free of emotion, save for the odd collision that might take place.

Naughty you, I am told by someone who does not like hockey and who thinks I should share the same view.

They tell me to go find my seat in the box, take the little pill that will dull my edges, and be sure to read the nice academic pamphlet that they have waiting for me. It's a study about behavior. All the good homes have read it, or at least, all the good homes were kind enough to distribute it to all the bad homes like mine.

Now go.

But where are all the people from the good homes who seek to change hockey to fit in a sedated world for the less fortunate? Why aren't they here?

Ah, I am told, they found it undignified to come to a hockey game before. Even now, they still do not want to be seen to be coming to games.


Well, there is that whole thing about helping those less fortunate, so long as you never have to actually socialize with them. Besides, hockey is not their game.

What is?

Telling others how to live their lives.

I can see the need for stopping the appointment fighting that once featured the Brashears, Twists, Laraques, Grimsons, etc. But the emotion of the game tells you that referees can only see and call so much. And when liberties are taken, a team either has to take it or say stop. Nothing says stop like a closed fist.

That's a fact. When the Flyers were pounding everybody in the 1970s, Montreal's Larry Robinson said enough, with body checks and, if need be, fists.

Today, there is a certain corner of the elite world that says this is all wrong, telling you they are right and if you disagree, perhaps you really don't belong with them in their sanitized luxury box. But these deep thinkers do not talk to the players union, which seems to be less interested in joining the Universalist hockey circuit.

And the players, in a recent poll conducted by ESPN.com, seems to say they do not want the elimination of fighting in hockey. Perhaps they might if these Univeralists would say just exactly how referees could stop the after-the-whistle actions that seem to contribute to the eventual dropping of gloves. For every time a referee sees an infraction, a few are missed or ignored because they were immaterial to the play at the moment.

That's the rub, or friction, if you will, that has yet to be addressed. Admittedly, it is a tough time for hockey. But that doesn't mean it should be open season on the game. I said at a hockey round table in October that I could do without most of the fighting in hockey, those that appear to be appointment or arranged bouts. As the season has gone on, I have grown less troubled by fights rising out of those transgressions that the referee did not address, or could not see.

Tell me how the refereeing can be improved so the game does not get to the point where an exchange of fists is an option. Work with me on that, and then we may be able to agree on a deal, shaking hand rather than trading shots.

Are the high-minded folks willing to work on a solution or just sit in judgement. In the film adaptation of Mordecai Richler's "Barney's Version," Barney Panofsky's future father-in-law is a vision of contempt when Barney's father, Israel, describes what it was like being a Jewish cop in Montreal, having to make arrests with force -- and without the proper backup another policeman might expect.

The bride's father: "Are you saying you were gratuitously violent with suspected felons?"

Israel: "Gratuitously, no. I always got paid. I ain't going to work for free."

Barney: "He means unnecessarily, Dad."

Israel: "Oh, look. When a fella is young and you give him authority, he likes to push people around. But I always knew that my name was Israel Panofsky. I knew I had to be extra careful and I was -- most of the time."

Bride's father: "Most? Did you ever consider that your career advancement was stunted by your professional conduct and not by imagined prejudices?"

Israel: "I call it as I see it. But you're the one with the mansion on the hill, so what do I know?"

I think I trust the street cop, and the players on the ice, more than those who tend to look down on the people who must get a little dirty to do their job.

But what do I know?

Friday, December 2, 2011

College Hockey Friday in the Lounge

It's a good night, with Detroit visiting Buffalo as the main early game in the NHL, so I will put that one on my iPhone (7:30 Eastern/NHL Network). The Big Screen in the Lounge is reserved for the college doubleheader on the CBS College Sports channel.

The doubleheader begins at 7:30 with Boston University visiting Boston College. It's not a Beanpot game, but there is an ample serving of hate ready to be served at this event. At 10 pm Eastern on the same channel, the Denver Pioneers visit the Colorado College Tigers.

I may be far, far away from Colorado Springs, but I will be there in spirit for the team of my youth, the mighty Pie-OHs of DU.

If those games don't quite do it for you -- man, tough crowd -- then at 8 pm on Fox College Sports Atlantic, the Minnesota Golden Gophers play host to the Minnesota State Mavericks, who have long outgrown the name Mankato State.

And should you want to see the ladies lace them up, Fox College Sports Central has women with sticks on ice at 8 pm when Minnesota faces North Dakota in Grand Forks.

The medium-size HD monitor will have the Islanders/Blackhawks game (8:30 Eastern, MSG Plus) until the Flyers and Ducks get underway.

The rest of the NHL will get live look-ins on the iPhone and the HD monitor. That's the lineup. My line starts.

A Week of Turnarounds

Randy Carlyle said he didn't see it coming. Bruce Boudreau left quietly, and then he got a gig on a late show called Hockey Night in Anaheim. Paul Maurice? Haven't heard much from him after he picked up a toe tag in Carolina.

The GMs for the Ducks, Capitals and Hurricanes made a lot of statements in the previous few weeks. Somewhere along the way, they buried the lead: You WILL be fired. SOON!

Mssrs Murray, McPhee and Rutherford, the first tune is for you.

And as for the Replacements, well Kirk Muller and Dale Hunter still are working out the lesson plan for their confused teams. Boudreau will have his hands full. Puck Daddy seems to think Boudreau is just what the Ducks need to get going. But if you read Robert Vollman's essay on the Ducks (why haven't you already?) in Pages 1 through 5 the Hockey Prospectus guide for 2011-12, you know that the Ducks have been pronounced as thin, running out of luck (an element that Vollman said put the Ducks in the playoffs last spring) and are under the delusion that they have quality goaltending.

Here's the in conclusion paragraph from Vollman.

"The power play is nice, the top-end talent is spectacular, but the efforts of a lot of very good players are being wasted because the team's only about 10 skaters deep," Jonathan Willis sums up nicely. Unless Charlie Sheen winds up in court with a funny judge who orders him to coach the Ducks, it is going to be a long, dull season in Anaheim.

I guess I'll let you decide if Boudreau is the next best thing to Charlie Sheen. The first test is tonight when the Flyers visit the formerly mighty men in jade and eggplant. That's a 10 pm Eastern start on Center Ice. In the meantime, here's a bet that the above Replacements can't carry a tune, so below is a little "Alex Chilton" from the straight-outta-Minnesota band, the Replacements, who managed to get it right most of the time.

See you later tonight.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back on the Right Course

Every morning is a chance to fall in love with New York again. It's an opportunity to see the place in the fresh light of day, a moment to forget what the city did to yesterday, the transgressions that had you trending somewhere between the rising rage of Travis Bickle and the defeated, yet refusing to settle posture of Ratso Rizzo.

A good night's sleep is a good start. Having your hockey team win the late game out West also does a man right. But add to those two a good cup of coffee and a pastrami, egg and cheese on a roll for $4 ($3 if you want to skip the Joe, but why would you?) at the cart on 2nd Avenue and 68th Street, and you're in love again.

The town's getting crowded for the tree lighting? Let them light 100; I'm feeling good. The President is in town to raise some money? Here's a buck. Get some Joe, will ya?

I'm feeling good and refuse to make the same mistakes again. I skipped the Penguins-Rangers game on Tuesday night because I wanted to see Dale Hunter's first game as coach of the Capitals. Yep, traded what turned out to be an exciting game for the right to see the Caps and Blues wax the aisles of a supermarket. Up and down, up and down, up and down. I felt as if I had been robbed.

Not tonight, though. Penguins and Capitals (7 Eastern, NHL Network) will get DVR treatment as I focus on the Rangers' visit to Carolina Hurricanes. It's an opportunity to see Kirk Muller behind the bench for the struggling Storm Warnings. That's at 7 Eastern on MSG here on the Big Screen in the Lounge.

I'll have the old Jets visiting the new Jets (8:30 Eastern, Center Ice) on the medium screen, but I promise to switch it to the big screen if someone in Winnipeg brings that big portrait of the Queen to the rink to pose with Phoenix's Shane Doan.

The iPhone gets Columbus at Calgary (9 Eastern, GameCenter Live) because I can. Live look-ins on the iPhone for Ottawa-Dallas (8:30 Eastern), Nashville-Vancouver (10 Eastern) and Montreal-San Jose (10:30 Eastern). Once the Rangers-Hurricanes finish, the big screen gets my almost full attention for the Panthers-Kings at 10:30 Eastern (Center Ice.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lining Up a Few Short Ones

Last Friday night, just before a flu bug began to render me useless for the rest of the weekend, I managed to watch Minnesota at Michigan State and Colorado College at North Dakota. The first game was a WCHA/CCHA matchup, but was being sold as a Big Ten affair.

Well, the Gophers and Spartans may well be a Big Ten gathering in most circles, but not in hockey. Not just yet anyway. And maybe it was the flu, but the game left me cold and the crowd had to be the quietest that Munn Ice Arena has hosted in some time. (The Spartans claimed this one, 4-3.) I fear the first year of the new Big Ten hockey association will have a visit by Minnesota and Wisconsin to Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Columbus or State College generating about a third of the buzz that it would in, say, Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand Forks, Bemidji or Duluth.

I must clarify that for a minute by saying that perhaps the fans of the Badgers will have their hosts singing in the aisles and at the postmortems along the bar. But the game itself will miss a little something.

-- On the other screen, the CC Tigers and the Fighting Sioux were scoring goals in bunches, at point allowing the NoDakers to take a two-goal lead before CC gave them the old Broadmoor try and got things back to even at 5-5 early in the second period. The Sioux would take this one, 7-6

A true WCHA rivalry that will survive the transplantation in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

-- A true sign of the times as there is a luxury box section inside Notre Dame's new arena, the Compton Family Ice Arena. The new digs look quite sharp, if not dark. The roof is painted dark, and the broadcast team on CBS College Sports channel said on Nov. 18 that this specific touch gave the arena the same cave-like effect that as the old Capital Centre in Landover, Md.

From the Capital Centre blog, here is a blurb about the Capitals' old joint:

By the late 1990's, as the renamed US Airways Arena prepared to shut its doors, there were few kind words. One Canadian journalist wrote, “No one will miss it. It's the darkest rink in the league and it is located in the middle of nowhere.”

Both visiting and home athletes surely agreed with Post columnist Tony Kornheiser, who called the place a “Dungeon.”

I read once that the black interior and dim lighting was an attempt to create a theatre-like setting; if so, it failed to appreciate the energy that sports stadiums are supposed to create.

That is dark, but not enough to lure Kornheiser out of TV retirement to give this joint equal standing as the Cap Centre. Not yet, anyway.

Now about those suites at a college hockey rink. That just doesn't sound right, but I guess that's progress. I wonder how the Basilica of the Sacred Heart will be reconfigured to handle luxury pews. That should rake in some dough.

I'll set 'em up again soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Say It With Me: Life Isn't That Bad

That maybe Peter Gibbons describing his endless series of bad days in "Office Space," but Adrian Dater of The Denver Post is truly living that life. And he lets you know it, in his blog posts and especially on Twitter.

And it's too bad, because it's easy to tune out a writer who wears out his footie pajamas by stomping and kicking the moment something displeases him. There is no middle ground for Dater. It's either hot or cold, you're with me or against me.

And that's a problem, because he might just be right about what is wrong with the Avalanche, and perhaps, he might be on to something about the growth of dump and chase hockey in the NHL. But nobody appears to want to talk to him. He sure does let you know about it in a recent blog post.

The Avs of today just casually take off their gear and quietly walk to their back-room sanctuary, keeping their heads down to avoid having to talk to the media. This team just seems like it doesn’t care enough, doesn’t want it bad enough, and that’s the real indictment of it.

He's just getting warmed up, folks.

What does GM Greg Sherman have to say about all this? Dunno, he hasn’t wanted to talk to the media lately. I’ve asked. Josh Kroenke? Ditto. It’s like Avalanche management has all retreated into the bunker lately, hoping not to be seen by the dastardly one or two people that actually cover this team anymore. I mean, can you imagine if these guys worked in Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver or Philly or New York? The media would be all over them for answers. But I guess in good old little cowtown Denver, they don’t really need to answer to anybody. At least, that’s the impression they give off too much.

The poor guy is really down, or maybe it's just his way of drawing more people into his pitty party.

Well, that was three hours you and I will never get back. What a terrible hockey game tonight at the Pepsi Center, in front of the lowest crowd of the season (12,015). Just awful.

Well, this little zinger on Twitter, announcing his blog post, clearly showed his true intent.

Postgame rip job on Avs

Hmm, I want someone from the organization to talk to me and yet I christen my latest gift of gab with "RIP JOB" on the ribbon. It sure doesn't open doors, which would help him both better address his specific point with the Avalanche as well as the greater point of what the entire NHL needs less of.

Seriously, several teams have taken the safe route of dumping the puck in, scramble in the corner, cycle forever if you win the puck, retreat quickly if you don't. The Kings' Anze Kopitar had 1 shot, no points, 3 hits and 2 takeaways in 23:10 of ice time against the Sharks last night. I applaud his fine defensive skills but this man is a premiere playmaker, has the muscle to take on the big boys in front of the net and can really wire a shot. But he's playing a checking role because Terry Murray's idea is to flip the puck into a corner as soon as you hit the blue line and then see what happens next. You really need a playmaker for that?

Colorado, Dallas, Nashville and now St. Louis and any other team playing not to lose rather than to win, are equally as guilty, if not as successful in the standings.(And what happened to the wide open Western Conference?) But it doesn't always have to be this way.

The Stars have shown that they can play hockey. On Nov. 6 in Carolina, Sheldon Souray set up a goal with a pass from the defensive zone to the red line, where Vernon Fiddler was able to take the puck, gain the offensive zone and find Eric Nystrom along the left wing boards. Bingo, bango, bongo, a goal off the rush by Nystrom.

And sadly, that was a rare occurrence, according to Billy Jaffe, who was doing guest color commentary on the Stars broadcast that day, most likely because Daryl Reaugh needed a day off to produce more entertaining offerings for the public lexicon. (Have I mentioned that I love the Center Ice package?) What to make of a game that has fewer goals off the rush and more off scrums after a rebound in front of the net. Or for that matter, after a point shot bounces off any number of shot blockers, skates, heads, toes, whatever, before going past the goalie, who could not see any of that process.

I wish Dater would expand on that, but he needs to find the mantra that helped Peter Gibbons achieve blissful clarity (mine is skate, shoot, score). Adrian, stick with me and the Razor. Look how calm we are.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What Happened to the Daily Hangover?

That's what I might have asked as a younger college student. Now it is a lead-in to my decision to give up the daily grind of listing scores for more leagues than you can ask for. And, quite frankly, none of you have.

I was faced with adding to my list the Minnesota High School League scores on Saturday morning. But that, and an early case of the flu, had me face down in bed, praying for Mark's Life, version 8.0, to begin.

Well, today finds me upright and clear headed. With that in mind, I will no longer spend time typing in the scores. Should the popular vote indicate that I should restore them, I will. But judging on the amount of outside input I get, I suspect I already know the score on that one.

Garrioch's Fridge Is Behind a Veil of Spaghetti

I am not kidding. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun throws more stuff at the fridge door to see if it sticks than any other writer I have read, heard of, known, etc. (And it's a food myth. You can throw anything out there you want. You'll only produce a mess and nothing of substance.)

This today, courtesy the Rumors section of ESPN.com.

The Vancouver Canucks are apparently still trying to trade Keith Ballard, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch writes, adding: "The Canucks would like a blueliner in return and there%u2019s some belief they may try to pry D Matt Carle out of Philly."


There's been some grumbles about a Paul Stastny trade, although most have dismissed it because od his $6.6 million cap hit. But the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch writes, "A league executive noted anything is possible in Colorado. The Avs dealt Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk to St. Louis for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement."

And what about

The Tampa Bay Lightning at apparently willing to trade Mattias Ohlund, but they also want to add a blueliner. That said, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch writes, "Nobody is willing to eat his $3.607 million cap hit for three more seasons." For that price, there may be better options on the trade market.

But then came

The Chicago Blackhawks have more than $4 million in cap space after sending Rostislav Olesz to the minors. And that money may go toward trading for a blueliner, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch writes.

And I am not forgetting

But the Jackets may not be the only team interested. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch writes that Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman may be eyeing goalies and he, too, may be targetting Bernier. If the Kings want a young forward in return, perhaps they'll ask for Brett Connolly as part of the return package.

And that is just one day of mentions. I'd hate to be the one having to clean that refrigerator door.

Flushing the System

Miss a few days with the flu and look what happens around here.

Bruce Boudreau is fired in Washington, Paul "the Gangster of Love" Maurice is fired in Carolina and Randy Carlyle remains employed as coach of the woefully uninspired squad in Anaheim.

Maurice is a little closer to my heart, first for allowing to make my former colleagues in Southern California chuckle when I added the Steve Miller Band reference to his name. And also for being a guy who understood his circumstances and appeared to be loyal.

In his first stint with the Hurricanes, he and his team came in and did not have a particularly good game against the Anaheim's then not so mighty waterfowl in jade and eggplant. The beat writer from Raleigh was banging out his copy in the press box and missed the first elevator down to the dressing room area at the Pond. Apparently he missed the second and third elevator down, too. But Maurice would not start the postmortem until the Raleigh beat writer appeared.

I wonder how fast the Gangster of Love started his pressers when he was coaching Toronto. And what a change to go from one, to too many, and back to one on the road, perhaps.

Before I got the flu, I was wondering what what happening to the Capitals. (As were many others, of course.)

George McPhee makes it clear the coach had lost the room, which many had said long before. Well, we cannot help but think the room needs to be adjusted. Maybe Dale Hunter can take charge, but it is one thing to coach a bunch of teenagers willing to do most anything just to make the NHL. It can be another task entirely to get a room of men to head in the same direction.

A team headed nowhere fast, which is a funny fact with freeways all around the home rink, exists in Anaheim. Can't stop goals from going in. Cannot score enough. Carlyle appears to be safe, we are told, but why should we believe that. The stench coming from the Honda Center is hard to ignore. The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker has managed to navigate around East Katella Avenue.

The verdict. Nothing is working, and the quotes reveal more questions than answers, more ifs than butts moving toward a positive outcome.

Last night I stuck with the Maple Leafs/Ducks game through its conclusion only because I was a little late in doing laundry. Halfway through folding towels I noticed that I was working harder than the Ducks. (Hard to believe, I know, but go with me a bit on this.) Carlyle was looking for help. Perhaps I should have offered him a fresh towel to hold over his nose.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Holiday Hangover: Nov. 23-24

Wednesday night's game between the Bruins and the Sabres was old-time hockey. Sabres came out and pushed; the Bruins responded over time and managed to get a victory when pushed to extra frames.

I managed to monitor the Kings/Stars game when Daryl Reaugh, the color announcer on the Stars telecast, noted that neither the Stars nor the Kings had lost when leading after two periods. Kings had a two-goal lead, and then they didn't, as they folded their cards and when home in shame with a 3-2 loss in overtime.

Look at the Kings' defensive scheme against the Stars in the final minutes of the third period. Stars go here, Kings play follow the puck, which goes into the net for a tie in regulation. Stars follow up quickly in overtime and that's how you do not protect a two-goal lead.

Nice effort.

Thursday was spent on a sunny deck with the turkey on the grill. Just a man, a bird, sunlight and solitude. OK, a few therapeutic adult beverages were consumed I was unable to erase the bitter taste of that outcome until sometime around 9 Eastern on Thanksgiving. A little turkey, more Negra Modelo cerveza and a viewing of The Who Isle of Wight 1970 concert, as shown on the Palladia channel, finally did the trick. It freed all the bad juju I had. It's a new day, and time for hockey.

After the Who, you can roll the scores.

No games schedlued
Boston 4, at Buffalo 3 SO
At New Jersey 2, Columbus 1 SO
Philadelphia 4, at N.Y. Islanders 3 OT
St. Louis 3, at Pittsburgh 2 OT
At Washington 4, Winnipeg 3 OT
Montreal 4, at Carolina 3 SO
At Detroit 5, Calgary 3
At Florida 2, N.Y. Rangers 1
At Minnesota 3, Nashville 2
At Dallas 3, Los Angeles 2 OT
At Phoenix 4, Anaheim 2
Vancouver 3, at Colorado 0
At San Jose 1, Chicago 0
Standings and summaries are here

At Binghamton 5, Adirondack 2
At Connecticut 3, Portland 2 OT
At Grand Rapids 5, Hamilton 2
At Hershey 4, Providence 3
At Manchester 2, Worcester 1
Syracuse 7, at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5
Charlotte 6, at Norfolk 3
At Rockford 6, San Antonio 3
Chicago 3, at Texas 2
Standings and summaries are here

Wheeling 5, at Gwinnett 1
Florida 3, at Toledo 2
Chicago 3, at Reading 2
At Cincinnati 5, Kalamazoo 2
At Colorado 5, Idaho 4 OT
Alaska 4, at Stockton 1
Standings and summaries are here

At Halifax 4, Cape Breton 1
At Prince Edward Island 7, Moncton 2
Rimouski 4, at Gatineau 3 SO
Acadie-Bathurst 8, at Rouyn-Noranda 5
No games scheduled
Standings and summaries are here

Belleville 3, at Erie 1
At Niagara 6, at Brampton 1
Barrie 4, at Sarnia 3 SO
Brampton 5, at Mississauga 3
At Plymouth 7, Saginaw 3
Standings and summaries are here

No games scheduled
Calgary 5, at Moose Jaw 2
Medicine Hat 6, at Prince Albert 1
Edmonton 10, at Lethbridge 3
Kootenay 7, at Kamloops 3
At Kelowna 7, Prince George 3
At Seattle 5, Regina 2
At Spokane 3, Swift Current 2
At Tri-City 7, Portland 6
Standings and summaries are here

At Waterloo 8, Cedar Rapids 4
Indiana 4, at Green Bay 3 OT
Tri-City 3, at Lincoln 2 SO
At Dubuque 3, Cedar Rapids 2 OT
At Des Moines 6, Omaha 0
At Sioux Falls 3, Fargo 2 OT
Standings and summaries are here

No games scheduled
At Merrimack 6, Alabama-Huntsville 0
Standings and summaries are here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 22

I went to see "Melancholia" last night, which was at times entertaining snd yet also as dense as clutch-and-grab hockey of the pre-lockout period. Just for a little relief, I returned to the Lounge and watched Edmonton skate circles around Nashville. OK, so maybe not circles, but I did appreciate the urgency with which the Oilers attacked the offensive zone.

So in short, the Lounge recommends "Melancholia" with chaser of skate-shoot-score hockey. But don't do this double in the opposite order. You might never recover.

Time to roll the scores.

Toronto 7, at Tampa Bay 1
Los Angeles 3, at St. Louis 2
Edmonton 6, at Nashville 2
Standings and summaries are here

Alaska 4, at Bakersfield 3 OT
Standings and summary are here

At Quebec 4, Saint John 1
Standings and summary are here

At Kitchener 6, Guelph 1
Standings and summary are here

Calgary 6, at Brandon 3
At Saskatoon 4, Medicine Hat 3 SO
At Portland 5, Regina 2
Kootenay 3, at Prince George 2
Standings and summaries are here

Waterloo 8, at Team USA 4
Standings and summary are here

Notre Dame 2, at Western Michigan 2 SO
(WMU wins shootout)
At Vermont 2, Massachusetts 1
American International 3, at Brown 0
At Cornell 1, Niagara 0
At Harvard 7, New Hampshire 6
Sacred Heart 7, at Yale 6
Standings and summaries are here

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hockey Feast on Friday

I will be stuck in the office on Friday, a day that includes 13 NHL games, 13 AHL games, 8 ECHL games, 7 QMJHL games, 9 OHL games, 11 WHL games, 6 USHL games, 17 NCAA games and, welcome to the party, 25 Minnesota Boys high school hockey games.

At some point that day, I will be out of the cubicle. That's when my feast of hockey begins.

The Minnesota Hockey Hub site has been preparing us for the season by listing it's top 100 all-time Minnesota high school players, with John Mayasich of Eveleth topping the list. In case you missed it, here are the names. But please, do go to the site and check out the faces of the players who have made the Minnesota game the best high school program of any sport in the nation.

The Minnesota Hockey Hub 100 Greatest Hockey Players
1. John Mayasich -- F -- Eveleth (Class of 1951)
2. Neal Broten -- F -- Roseau (1978)
3. Phil Housley -- D -- South St. Paul (1982)
4. Tim Sheehy -- F -- International Falls (1966)
5. Henry Boucha -- F -- Warroad (1969)
6. Mike Antonovic -- F -- Greenway (1969)
7. Willard Ikola -- G -- Eveleth (1950)
8. Mike Crowley -- D -- Bloomington Jefferson (1994)
9. Dave Spehar -- F -- Duluth East (1996)
10. John Matchefts -- F -- Eveleth (1949)

11. Kyle Rau -- F -- Eden Prairie (2011)
12. Aaron Broten -- F -- Roseau (1979)
13. Craig Norwich -- D -- Edina East (1974)
14. John Pohl -- F -- Red Wing (1998)
15. Gary Sargent -- D -- Bemidji (1972)
16. Bob Krueger -- F -- Edina (1970)
17. George Pelawa -- F -- Bemidji (1986)
18. Bill Nyrop -- D -- Edina (1970)
19. Tom Chorske -- F -- Minneapolis Southwest (1985)
20. Steve 'Pokey' Trachsel -- D -- Duluth Cathedral (1969)

21. Scott Bloom -- F -- Burnsville (1986)
22. Phil Hoene -- F -- Duluth Cathedral (1967)
23. Corey Millen -- F -- Cloquet (1982)
24. Reed Larson -- D -- Minneapolis Roosevelt (1974)
25. Bob Young -- D -- Hill (1971)
26. Brad Shelstad -- G -- Minneapolis Southwest (1970)
27. Mike Ramsey -- D -- Minneapolis Roosevelt (1978)
28. Matt Cullen -- F -- Moorhead (1995)
29. Bill Baker -- D -- Grand Rapids (1975)
30. Paul Martin -- D -- Elk River (2000)

31. Wally Grant -- F -- Eveleth (1945)
32. Brian Bonin -- F -- White Bear Lake (1992)
33. Larry Olimb -- D -- Warroad (1988)
34. Dave Langevin -- D -- Hill-Murray (1972)
35. Joe Bianchi -- F -- Bloomington Jefferson (1994)
36. Peter Fichuk -- F -- International Falls (1965)
37. Jon Casey -- G -- Grand Rapids (1980)
38. Doug Woog -- F -- South St. Paul (1962)
39. Darby Hendrickson -- F -- Richfield (1991)
40. Paul Ranheim -- F -- Edina (1984)

41. Steve Christoff -- F -- Richfield (1976)
42. T.J. Oshie -- F -- Warroad (2005)
43. Scott Lecy -- F -- Rochester John Marshall (1977)
44. Scott Bjugstad -- F -- Irondale (1979
45. Mike 'Lefty' Curran -- G -- International Falls (1962)
46. Joe Micheletti -- F -- Hibbing (1973)
47. Rob McClanahan -- F -- Mounds View (1976)
48. Nick Leddy -- D -- Eden Prairie (2009)
49. Tom Pederson -- D -- Bloomington Jefferson (1988)
50. Dave Christian -- D -- Warroad (1977)

51. Jay North -- F -- Bloomington Jefferson (1980)
52. Paul Johnson -- F -- Breck (1953)
53. Pete Waselovich -- G -- International Falls (1973)
54. Tom Kurvers -- D -- Bloomington Jefferson (1980)
55. Mark Osiecki -- D -- Burnsville (1986)
56. Mark Pavelich -- F -- Eveleth (1976)
57. Mark Parrish -- F -- Bloomington Jefferson (1995)
58. Bryan 'Butsy' Erickson -- F -- Roseau (1978)
59. Roger Christian -- F -- Warroad (1956)
60. Bill Christian -- F -- Warroad (1956)

61. Trent Klatt -- F -- Osseo (1989)
62. Erik Rasmussen -- F -- St. Louis Park (1995)
63. Robb Stauber -- G -- Duluth Denfeld (1986)
64. Joe Dziedzic -- F -- Minneapolis Edison (1990)
65. Ryan McDonagh -- D -- Cretin-Durham Hall (2007)
66. Craig Johnson -- F -- Hill-Murray (1990)
67. Matt Hendricks -- F -- Blaine (2000)
68. Wally Chapman -- F -- Edina (1982)
69. Bob Paradise -- D -- Cretin (1962)
70. Ben Hanowski -- F -- Little Falls (2009)

71. Damian Rhodes -- G -- Richfield (1987)
72. Eric Strobel -- F -- Rochester Mayo (1976)
73. Dick Dougherty -- F -- International Falls (1973)
74. Gino Guyer -- F -- Greenway (2002)
75. Jim Amidon -- F -- International Falls (1963)
76. Karl Goehring -- G -- Apple Valley (1996)
77. Rube Bjorkman -- F -- Roseau (1947)
78. Tony Bianchi -- F -- Bloomington Jefferson (1989)
79. Oscar Mahle -- F -- International Falls (1957)
80. Mike Randolph -- F -- Duluth Central (1970)

81. Aaron Ness -- D -- Roseau (2008)
82. Doug Palazzari -- F -- Eveleth (1970)
83. Nick Checco -- F -- Bloomington Jefferson (1993)
84. John Rothstein -- F -- Grand Rapids (1975)
85. Gary Wood -- D -- International Falls (1965)
86. Al Hangsleben -- D -- Warroad (1971)
87. Doug Peltier -- F -- St. Paul Johnson (1968)
88. Mike Lauen -- F -- Edina East (1979)
89. Max Oshie -- F -- Warroad (1989)
90. Tom Gorowsky -- F -- Centennial (2004)

91. Jack McCartan -- G -- St. Paul Marshall (1953)
92. Doug Zmolek -- D -- Rochester John Marshall (1989)
93. Pete LoPresti -- G -- Eveleth (1972)
94. Terry Abram -- D -- South St. Paul (1965)
95. Bill 'Buzz' Schneider -- F/D -- Babbitt (1972)
96. David Backes -- F -- Spring Lake Park (2002)
97. Don Ross -- F -- Roseau (1960)
98. Mike Polich -- F -- Hibbing (1971)
99. Chris Locker -- F -- Duluth East (1996)
100. Herb Brooks -- F -- St. Paul Johnson (1955

The Hangover: Nov. 21

All Sidney, all the time. Crosby's return was carried on an MSG channel in the New York area, but viewers here were still able to see the pregame show on Versus, which had the game for the rest of the United States.

Couldn't help but notice the horror in Mike Milbury's eyes as the discussion moved from the Penguins to their opponents Monday night, the horrible Islanders, their goaltending debacle and the overall tale of woe this franchise is writing. You had a big hand in it, Mike. What say you?

If you looked closely, you could see Milbury saying under his breath, "LAH, LAH, LAH, LAH, I CANNOT HEAR YOU." I, on the other hand, did stop and listen to Milbury, who offered nothing of value. Serves me right for paying attention to Milbury.

Time to roll the scores.

Carolina 4, at Philadelphia 2
At Pittsburgh 5, N.Y. Islanders 0
At Washington 4, Phoenix 3
At Columbus 4, Calgary 1
Boston 1, at Montreal 0
At Florida 4, New Jersey 3
At Dallas 4, Edmonton 1
Standings and summaries are here

At Utah 4, Las Vegas 0
Standings and summary are here

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 20

A few rules are observed when it comes to reading notes columns in the Lounge. If the source is the Sun, as in Ottawa Sun, Edmonton Sun, Calgary Sun, Toronto Sun, etc., I am skeptical. And if it is the work of Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun that is being cited, then I have a hearty laugh and say shame on me for reading.

Garrioch, who has been labeled as Malkin to the Kings on the Puck Daddy blog, is the undisputed king of sources said, according to league officials, is believed hockey journalism. I do like to read ESPN.com's NHL rumors blog posts, if only for the heavy amount of play Garrioch gets. Every day, somebody is believed to be interested in a certain player, according to a league official, if only because said player happens to be in the NHL at that moment. In other words, everyone is in play.

Garrioch's Malkin to the Kings report was the high point of humor, in that the Kings would received Malkin for a draft pick and, perhaps, Mike Cammalleri. Of course, only league sources is presented for attribution on the Penguins' offering of Malkin.

This unnamed source in notebooks and sports briefs is not uncommon, but it can be laughable when it appears again and again, if only to knock down other similarly attributed columns.

In his don't call it a sports blog, the blogger Murray Chass had a few issues with ESPN.com's reporting on baseball's labor talks and decided to blacken a few eyes:

In the space of less than two weeks, ESPN.com raised the possibility of a serious problem in the talks and practically had a new labor contract signed, sealed and delivered.

According to the Web site, in articles loaded with anonymous sources, a new labor deal has gone from being “still stuck in negotiating limbo” to having the “stalled” talks taking “a step forward” to the owners and players being “on the verge of a new labor deal” that could be concluded by the end of this week.

I love Chass's use of "loaded with anonymous sources," which is loaded with scarlet paint to damn the reporting.

But after all that, what does Chass do to support his argument that, what else, he is right and ESPN.com is all wrong?

“I think you have a valid point,” one labor negotiator said. ...

I would repeat something I wrote earlier this month about a management person saying that Jerry Reinsdorf, the Chicago White Sox chairman, told Selig the players wouldn’t strike over slotting, but Selig was incensed that I had invoked Reinsdorf’s name in connection with his decisions, and I don’t want to incite him again so soon. ...

“The deadline is Dec. 11,” said an official, referring to the expiration date of the current agreement, “and there will be a deal. ...

He's probably right, but I don't trust this kind of reporting any more. Steal little or steal big, not naming names is simply that to this reader. I've been burned enough to know that I need a name of a source, not a rank, to better believe what I am being told. That's just how it works in the Lounge. No credit given, no tabs. That's the name of that tune.

Time to roll the scores.

At Carolina 3, Toronto 2
San Jose 4, at Colorado 1
Detroit 4, at Anaheim 2
At Vancouver 2, Ottawa 1 OT
Summaries and standings are here

At Bridgeport 5, Adirondack 3
At Charlotte 4, Rockford 3
At Worcester 3, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1
Connecticut 3, at Providence 2 SO
At Milwaukee 3, San Antonio 1
At Toronto 4, Peoria 3
Abbotsford 1, at Houston 0 SO
Summaries and standings are here

At South Carolina 6, Gwinnett 1
At Toledo 6, Cincinnati 3
Trenton 3, at Wheeling 2
Summaries and standings are here

At Acadie-Bathurst 6, Saint John 5 SO
Rouyn-Noranda 5, at Cape Breton 3
Victoriaville 6, at Prince Edward Island 4
Chicoutimi 5, at Baie-Comeau 2
At Blainville-Boisbriand 2, Drummondville 1 OT
Halifax 2, at Rimouski 1
Summaries and standings are here

Barrie 3, at Kingston 1
At Ottawa 5, Niagara 2
Brampton 3, at Sudbury 0
At London 3, Owen Sound 2 OT
Windsor 5, at Oshawa 2
Mississauga 6, at Sault Ste. Marie 4
Summaries and standings are here

Saskatoon 6, at Calgary 5
Brandon 7, at Moose Jaw 6 OT
Kootenay 4, at Vancouver 1
Summaries and standings are here


At Bemidji State 1, North Dakota 0

Lake Superior State 4, at Canisius 2
Summaries and standings are here

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Weekend Hangover: Nov. 18-19

Bad defense kills, and Duncan Keith is having a bad weekend.

On the ice for seven Oilers goals in Edmonton's 9-2 victory Saturday night. Keith, to be fair, was on the ice for a Blackhawks goal. In addition, Keith finished the night a minus-4 and may end up drawing a session in NHL court for knocking Taylor Hall into the boards from behind.

Just saying, things can go bad quickly. And after a victory in Vancouver to start the week, the Blackhawks put up two terrible performances against Calgary (minus-4, one assist)and Edmonton.

For his efforts in the 2009-10 season, Keith was awarded the Norris Trophy as best defenseman. The next season, neither he or his teammates were up to the challenge of repeating for any hardware.

And this season, stretches of good play have been marked with bad decisions. His cross-ice pass near the blue line against Vancouver set up a breakaway chance, one that required Corey Crawford to foil.

Saturday against the Oilers, Keith and the rest of the Blackhawks' defense was horrible. And don't think the folks at Hockey Night In Canada didn't notice. The CBC's P.J. Stock and Kelly Hrudey were all over the poor defensive play; I'm certain Mike Milbury said something, too, but I have learned to yell "LAH, LAH, LAH, LAH" when ever he talks. It helps drown out his voice.

But the LAH strategy will not drown out the poor defensive play by the Blackhawks. Be it the coach, the captain or the players, somebody needs to identify the problem and get a solution on the table now. There is a matter of hardware at stake.

Time to roll the scores for the weekend
At Winnipeg 6, Philadelphia 4
Detroit 4, at Los Angeles 1
Phoenix 4, at Buffalo 2
At Toronto 7, Washington 1
At Montreal 4, N.Y. Rangers 0
Boston 6, at N.Y. Islanders 0
New Jersey 4, at Tampa Bay 2
At Florida 3, Pittsburgh 2
Columbus 4, at Nashville 3 OT
At Minnesota 3, St. Louis 2 SO
San Jose 4, at Dallas 1
At Edmonton 9, Chicago 2
Buffalo 1, at Carolina 0
At Colorado 3, Dallas 0
At Calgary 5, Chicago 2

At Toronto 3, Rochester 2
At St. John's 3, Norfolk 1
Springfield 4, at Bridgeport 1
Milwaukee 3, at Grand Rapids 1
Albany 6, at Hershey 5 SO
At Manchester 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3 SO
At Portland 3, Providence 2
At Lake Erie 3, Peoria 2
Adirondack 5, at Syracuse 2
San Antonio 4, at Chicago 3
Abbotsford 4, at Oklahoma City 2
Houston 5, at Texas 1
Norfolk 6, at St. John's 2
Rockford 3, at Charlotte 2 SO
At Connecticut 3, Bridgeport 2 OT
San Antonio 5, at Grand Rapids 4 OT
At Manchester 3, Worcester 2 OT
At Portland 3, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 SO
Springfield 7, at Providence 2
Binghamton 4, at Hamilton 2
At Syracuse 3, Hershey 2 SO
Toronto 2, at Rochester 1
Chicago 6, at Milwaukee 3
At Oklahoma City 4, Abbotsford 1
Texas 3, at Houston 2 OT


At Florida 5, Greenville 0
At Toledo 5, Reading 3
At South Carolina 3, Gwinnett 2
At Elmira 3, Kalamazoo 2 SO
At Chicago 2, Cincinnati 1
Stockton 3, at Ontario 1
At Colorado 6, Bakersfield 3
Las Vegas 5, at Utah 3
At Idaho 1, Alaska 0 OT
Greenville 5, at Florida 2
At Cincinnati 3, Reading 2 SO
Kalamazoo 5, at Elmira 3
At Gwinnett 4, South Carollina 2
At Wheeling 3, Trenton 2 OT
At Colorado 3, Bakersfield 0
Las Vegas 5, at Utah 0
Alaska 7, at Idaho 2
Stockton 3, at Ontario 2


At Baie-Comeau 5, Shawinigan 1
At Cape Breton 9, Rouyn-Noranda 4
At Moncton 4, Victoriaville 3
At Gatineau 4, Blainville-Boisbriand 3 OT
At Quebec 6, Halifax 1
Saint John 2, at Prince Edward Island 1
Victoriaville 6, at Acadie-Bathurst 4
Halifax 2, at Drummondville 1
Val-d'Or 3, at Gatineau 2 SO
Shawinigan 4, at Chicoutimi 3 OT
Quebec 4, at Rimouski 3


Guelph 5, at Erie 0
Ottawa 3, at Belleville 2
Kingston 6, at Oshawa 5 OT
At Peterborough 3, Windsor 1
At Plymouth 4, Kitchener 3
Sarnia 6, at Saginaw 3
London 7, at Owen Sound 5
At Sarnia 6, Saginaw 3
At Guelph 4, Oshawa 2
Niagara 5, at Kingston 0
At Kitchener 8, Erie 1
Plymouth 4, at London 1
Barrie 6, at Ottawa 5 OT
At Sault Ste. Marie 7, Brampton 2
At Sudbury 4, Mississauga 3


At Moose Jaw 3, Medicine Hat 2
At Swift Current 5, Brandon 4
At Calgary 7, Prince Albert 1
At Lethbridge 5, Edmonton 2
Saskatoon 2, at Red Deer 1
Kelowna 4, at Prince George 2
Vancouver 2, at Everett 1 SO
At Seattle 6, Portland 3
At Spokane 6, Regina 5 SO
At Tri-City 3, Kamloops 2
Kootenay 8, at Victoria 3
At Swift Current 6, Moose Jaw 2
At Brandon 6, Medicine Hat 4
At Edmonton 4, Prince Albert 3
At Lethbridge 4, Red Deer 3 SO
Kelowna 3, at Prince George 2
Kamloops 2, at Spokane 1
At Vancouver 11, Victoria 3
Portland 7, at Everett 3
At Seattle 3, Tri-City 0


Tri-City 4, at Team USA 1
Green Bay 6, at Muskegon 0
At Youngstown 3, Cedar Rapids 2 OT
Dubuque 4, at Chicago 2
Lincoln 2, at Fargo 0
At Omaha 6, Sioux City 4
Sioux Falls 4, at Des Moines 2
At Waterloo 4, Indiana 2
Green Bay 4, at Team USA 2
At Muskegon 2, Tri-City 0
At Waterloo 6, Dubuque 3
Des Moines 6, at Omaha 4
Indiana 3, at Cedar Rapids 2 SO
Youngstown 4, at Chicago 1
At Fargo 5, Lincoln 2


At Mercyhurst 2, Bentley 1
At RIT 6, Holy Cross 5
Army 3, at American International 3 OT
Bentley 0, at Mercyhurst 0 OT
At RIT 2, Holy Cross 0


At Clarkson 4, Dartmouth 0
At Colgate 4, Princeton 1
At Cornell 4, Quinnipiac 0
At St. Lawrence 4, Harvard 3
Harvard 3, at Clarkson 2
At Colgate 3, Quinnipiac 1
At Cornell 4, Princeton 0
Dartmouth 3, at St. Lawrence 1


At Boston University 4, New Hampshire 1
At Northeastern 4, Vermont 1
At Massachusetts-Lowell 4, Massachusetts 0
At Boston University 4, Vermont 3
At Northeastern 5, Providence 2
Maine 2, at Massachusetts 2 OT
At New Hampshire 5, Massachusetts-Lowell 0


Bowling Green 4, at Miami 4
(BG wins shootout)
At Northern Michigan 2, Michigan State 1
Ferris State 3, at Alaska 2
Ohio State 6, at Michigan 5
At Miami 4, Bowling Green 0
Michigan State 4, at Northern Michigan 2
At Alaska 2, Ferris State 0
Ohio State 2, at Michigan 1


Michigan Tech 5, at Alaska-Anchorage 0
North Dakota 5, at Bemidji State 2
At Colorado College 4, Wisconsin 1
Nebraska-Omaha 3, at Denver 3 OT
At Minnesota-Duluth 7, Minnesota State 3
At Minnesota 5, St. Cloud State 0
At Colorado College 4, Wisconsin 2
At Denver 7, Nebraska-Omaha 3
At St. Cloud State 4, Minnesota 3
At Alaska-Anchorage 3, Michigan Tech 1
At Minnesota-Duluth 5, Minnesota State 2


Brown 1, at Army 1 OT
Lake Superior State 2, at Canisius 2 OT
At Yale 5, Connecticut 3
At Notre Dame 3, Boston College 2

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 17

Before plunging into the daily rundown of scores, I wanted to update you on the week that has been nonstop hockey in the Lounge.

Yes, I have not written in a while, but what can you do when you are juggling a home life, a work life, and a nightly package of pro and college hockey that can eat up your time from 7 pm to 2:30 am (live games followed by NHL On the Fly Final)? You can take notes and tape games, but both of those stack up like pizza boxes in a dorm room at some point.

In any event, let's dig in to those stacked up pizza boxes to give you a sampler of what my week has been.

-- You have to like the candor of Bobby Taylor, the color man on the Lightning broadcasts. When Steven Stamkos appeared to take a dive to draw a high-sticking call Monday against the Winnipeg Jets, Taylor did not try to skate around the issue. He watched the replay and then told the viewers that Stamkos was not hit with a stick and explained that is why the Jets fans seemed ready to come over the boards. He later told the audience that the Lightning were playing a soft game against the Jets, who were taking advantage of Tampa Bay's unwillingness to initiate any physical play.

-- Another Tuesday night on Long Island, and the Rangers should have crushed this tomato can. But the Islanders hang on for a few rounds before the Rangers scratch out a victory. Ugly game.

-- Wednesday night is why we live for hockey: Devils/Sabres, Ducks/Kings and Blackhawks/Canucks. Sure, Carolina was at Montreal, but did you see that game. I did. Let's leave it at that. The Devils came in a shoved the Sabres around. There is a lot of talent on the Sabres, but not enough jam, at least, not right now. Maybe the Sabres need a few rule changes to make it safe for them to come out on the ice. Also Wednesday, the Blackhawks put their best effort forward against the Canucks, who were more than game for a battle for two periods. But let's ask that the Blackhawks' TV announcers not get carried away when handing out kudos for, the game. Duncan Keith's game was called flawless, a masterpiece. Well, I guess we can ignore a few bad passes, including one at the blueline that created a breakaway shot on goal for the Canucks. Corey Crawford, now YOU had a masterpiece game. Kings beat the Ducks. I went to bed happy.

-- A little family time and then it's late night in the Lounge with the Kings/Ducks and Red Wings/Sharks. You cannot do better than these two games when it's past 11 Eastern and there is still another day in the work week. But the eyes are going fast. Fortunately, the Kings beat the Ducks again. I fall to sleep quickly.

--There are only three NHL games on Friday night. I've seen too much of Carolina already, so the Sabres/Hurricanes game, 7 pm, is Internet radio only. Stars/Avalanche (9 Eastern) will be on the medium HD screen and the Blackhawks/Flames (9 Eastern) goes on the big HD screen.

-- Small screen, big games. The iPhone will get a workout tonight, with college hockey on tap (no phone calls, please): Boston College/Notre Dame at 7:30 Eastern on CBS College Sports, Minnesota/St. Cloud State at 9 Eastern on Fox College Sports Atlantic, Nebraska-Omaha/Denver at 9:30 Eastern on Fox College Sports Pacific.

-- Just received a note about the AHL online package. Hmm, sounds interesting. Might be trouble.

And now, roll the scores, please:

At Boston 2, Columbus 1 SO
At N.Y. Islanders 4, Montreal 3
At Philadelphia 2, Phoenix 1
At Tampa Bay 4, Pittsburgh 1
At St. Louis 4, Florida 1
At Nashville 4, Toronto 1
At Minnesota 1, Colorado 0
At Winnipeg 4, Washington 1
Ottawa 5, at Edmonton 2
Los Angeles 5, at Anaheim 3
At San Jose 5, Detroit 2
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Peoria 4, at Lake Erie 3 SO
Standings are here
Summary is here

At Moncton 5, Rouyn-Noranda 2
Standings are here
Summary is here

At Niagara 3, Mississauga 0
Kitchener 3, at Sarnia 2
At Peterborough 4, Belleville 1
Plymouth 5, at Windsor 4 OT
At Saginaw 3, Brampton 2 SO
At Barrie 5, Sudbury 3
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Russian Selects 7, WHL Selects 5
Summary is here
Video link is here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 16

At Montreal 4, Carolina 0
New Jersey 5, at Buffalo 3
Chicago 5, at Vancouver 1
At Los Angeles 2, Anaheim 1 SO
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Springfield 3, Worcester 2 OT
At Rochester 3, Syracuse 2
Oklahoma City 5, at Rockford 4
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Kalamazoo 4, at Trenton 3
Toledo 4, at Chicago 1
At Ontario 4, Stockton 2
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Cape Breton 4, Prince Edward Island 3
At Saint John 4, Rouyn-Noranda 3
Rimouski 4, at Acadie-Bathurst 1
Quebec 4, at Baie-Comeau 2
Blainville-Boisbriand 3, at Val-d'Or 2 SO
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Owen Sound 3, Erie 1
At Belleville 6, Peterborough 3
Standings are here
Summaries are here

WHL Selects 5, Russian Selects 2
Summary is here


At Connecticut 8, Sacred Heart 3
Standings are here
Summary is here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 15

At Boston 4, New Jersey 3
Phoenix 3, at Toronto 2 SO
N.Y. Rangers 4, at N.Y. Islanders 2
Minnesota 4, at Columbus 2
At Pittsburgh 6, Colorado 3
At St. Louis 2, Detroit 1
At Nashville 3, Washington 1
Florida 6, at Dallas 0
Ottawa 3, at Calgary 1
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Abbotsford 4, at San Antonio 0
At Portland 4, Adirondack 2
At Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3, Binghamton 0
Peoria 3, at Hamilton 2 SO
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Cincinnati 4, Toledo 2
At Wheeling 5, Elmira 3
Stockton 4, at Bakersfield 2
At Greenville 3, South Carolina 1
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Gatineau 5, at Shawinigan 1
Standings are here
Summary is here


Canisius 1, at Niagara 1 OT

Union 5, at RPI 1

At Notre Dame 3, Western Michigan 2
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 14

Philadelphia 5, at Carolina 3
Buffalo 3, at Montreal 2 SO
At Winnipeg 5, Tampa Bay 2
Standings are here
Summaries are here

OHL Selects 6, Russian Selects 3
Summary is here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Addition by Divisions

Every time I turn around, someone is writing about why the Detroit Red Wings deserve a break when it comes to realignment, which will be employed once this season ends.

Funny that nobody mentions the Vancouver Canucks, who are the only team from the Pacific Time Zone in its division. Bu back to Detroit and realignment.

Detroit wants back in the East, erasing the gains the NHL made when they finally had three Original Six teams in the Campbell Conference (Detroit, Toronto, Chicago) and three in the Prince of Wales Conference (Boston, Montreal and New York).

Brilliant, everybody shares. Heck, that was far superior to the deal when the Canucks came into the league. (Here's a quick graphic review from the best in show, sixteenwins.com.)Chicago was shifted from the East Division to the West and the expansion Canucks and Buffalo Sabres were placed in the East.

Over time, division opponents have changed and evolved, allowing next generation of fan to roar that nobody had better shift their team from "LONG-TIME" rivals. And yet the Rangers are no longer in the same division with the hated Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. (Speaking of hated rivals, remember the Adams Division rumbles between the Bruins and the Minnesota North Stars? I sure do.)

At best, the NHL goes back to four divisions and the old names: Smythe, Norris, Adams and Patrick. Those brands have the flavor of hockey, as do the Campbell and Prince of Wales Conferences. Drop the puck and let 'em go. As for Detroit, it should stay in the Campbell Conference in order to allow the Columbus Blue Jackets head to the Wales and get their teeth kicked in regularly by the near-by Pittsburgh Penguins.

Yes, I do mean split the Flyers and the Penguins. If it was good enough for the Phillies and Pirates, the Eagles and Steelers, the Sixers and the Pipers/Condors (OK, went a bit to far; the Pipers/Condors never made it out of the ABA), then Pennsylvania can and will survive this split. Besides, I suspect Penguins fans will grow to enjoy watching their team knocking the snot out of the Blue Jackets, the oh-so-soft Sabres, the smallish Canadiens, the boisterously bad Maple Leafs and the cannot-win-a-faceoff Senators in the reconstituted Adams Division.

Put the focus on divisional play, with home-and-homes for everyone else, and you get a league where everyone plays everyone without the faux conference arrangement that is employed today.

The Patrick Division returns with the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Flyers, Capitals (welcome back), Hurricanes, Lightning and Panthers.

The Adams Division: Blue Jackets, Penguins, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Senators, Bruins.

The Norris Division: Red Wings, Blackhawks, Predators, Blues, Stars, Jets and Wild.

The Smythe Division of Champions: Coyotes, Ducks, Kings, Sharks, Canucks, Flames, Oilers and Avalanche.

I cannot wait to express my disgust of the Oilers, Flames and Canucks, my old friends from the Smythe.

And then, the big finish here, we expect a return to a divisional format for the first two rounds of the playoffs. Two rounds of "I hate you so much, I cannot wait to trade hits with you again." Survive that and you are ready to take your chances on the final two rounds. Two years of restored divisional play and I guarantee fans that they will not miss the teams who are no longer in their team's division.

And, indeed, if love will tear us apart, then let it be so. I am willing to emerge from the shredder each spring with a smile on my face. Time to embrace the Smythe, Norris, Adams and Patrick Divisions again.

The Hangover: Nov. 13

Philadelphia 3, at Florida 2
At Chicago 6, Edmonton 3
Minnesota 3, at Anaheim 2
At Vancouver 4, N.Y. Islanders 1
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Hamilton 5, at Binghamton 2
At St. John's 4, Connecticut 3
Providence 3, at Worcester 2
Toronto 4, at Albany 3 OT
At San Antonio 3, Texas 2
Bridgeport 4, at Hershey 3
At Milwaukee 3, Oklahoma City 2
At Houston 5, Charlotte 2
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Reading 6, Elmira 2
Gwinnett 3, at Chicago 2 SO
Stockton 3, at Las Vegas 2 SO
At Alaska 7, Ontario 4
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Saint John 5, Baie-Comeau 3
At Moncton 5, Cape Breton 1
Acadie-Bathurst 8, at Prince Edward Island 6
At Chicoutimi 6, Blainville-Boisbriand 3
At Drummondville 6, Rimouski 1
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Brampton 3, Ottawa 2 SO
At Kingston 5, Saginaw 3
At Kitchener 3, Guelph 2 SO
Sarnia 4, at Mississauga 2
At Plymouth 7, Erie 1
At Windsor 8, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Belleville 2, at Oshawa 1 SO
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Calgary 4, Lethbridge 2
Saskatoon 2, at Kootenay 1
At Vancouver 4, Prince George 3 SO
At Victoria 4, Red Deer 3 SO
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Omaha 6, at Sioux City 4
Dubuque 4, at Youngstown 3
Lincoln 6, at Tri-City 5
Standings are here
Summaries are here


Boston University 5, at Boston College 0
Standings are here
Summary is here

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 12

At Boston 6, Buffalo 2
Ottawa 5, at Toronto 2
New Jersey 3, at Washington 2 SO
At Carolina 5, Pittsburgh 3
At Detroit 5, Dallas 2
At Columbus 2, Winnipeg 1
Montreal 2, at Nashville 1
At St. Louis 3, Tampa Bay 0
Calgary 4, at Colorado 3
At Los Angeles 5, Minnesota 2
Phoenix 3, at San Jose 0
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At St. John's 8, Connecticut 4
At Adirondack 2, Toronto 1 SO
At Portland 4, Providence 2
Bridgeport 4, at Springfield 3
Abbotsford 3, at Texas 1
Manchester 2, at Worcester 1
Norfolk 5, at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3
Albany 1, at Syracuse 0
At Rochester 2, Grand Rapids 1
Chicago 6, at Milwaukee 3
Charlotte 3, at Oklahoma City 2
Peoria 3, at Rockford 0
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Wheeling 4, at Florida 1
At Toledo 5, Gwinnett 4 SO
At Greenville 2, South Carolina 1 SO
Elmira 4, at Reading 2
At Kalamazoo 7, Chicago 4
At Cincinnati 3, Trenton 2
Colorado 3, at Utah 1
Idaho 4, at Bakersfield 2
At Las Vegas 4, Stockton 3
Ontario 2, at Alaska 0
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Shawinigan 6, Drummondville 1
Rimouski 6, at Victoriaville 3
At Moncton 4, Baie-Comeau 0
At Saint John 4, Halifax 3
Gatineau 4, at Rouyn-Noranda 2
Quebec 5, at Val-d'Or 1
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At London 4, Erie 1
At Niagara 4, Windsor 3
At Belleville 4, Saginaw 3 SO
At Oshawa 6, Ottawa 3
At Plymouth 8, Sault Ste. Marie 0
Peterborough 7, at Barrie 4
Sudbury 6, at Guelph 3
At Owen Sound 4, Mississauga 3 SO
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Portland 4, Spokane 3 OT
At Swift Current 3, Moose Jaw 2
At Brandon 7, Prince Albert 4
At Kootenay 5, Seattle 1
Tri-City 7, at Lethbridge 3
Saskatoon 5, at Medicine Hat 1
At Kamloops 5, Edmonton 2
At Vancouver 3, Kelowna 2 OT
At Everett 3, Prince George 2
Red Deer 7, at Victoria 4
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Muskegon 5, at Indiana 4
At Youngstown 5, Dubuque 2
At Sioux City 4, Cedar Rapids 1
Des Moines 4, at Fargo 1
At Sioux Falls 5, Tri-City 3
At Green Bay 6, Chicago 1
At Lincoln 2, Omaha 1
Standings are here
Summaries are here


Connecticut 2, at American International 2 OT
Bentley 4, at Army 1
At Holy Cross 6, Sacred Heart 4
At Mercyhurst 3, Air Force 2

Cornell 3, at Dartmouth 2
At Harvard 4, Colgate 2
At Princeton 3, Clarkson 0
St. Lawrence 1, at Quinnipiac 0 OT
At RPI 1, Brown 0
Yale 4, at Union 0

Massachusetts-Lowell 4, at Maine 3
At Massachusetts 4, Northeastern 2
New Hampshire 4, at Vermont 4 OT

Lake Superior State 1, at Ferris State 1 OT
(Lake Superior wins shootout)
Michigan 3, at Miami 3 OT
(Miami wins shootout)
At Notre Dame 3, Alaska 2 OT
At Ohio State 4, Northern Michigan 1
Michigan State 4, at Western Michigan 2

Nebraska-Omaha 5, at Bemidji State 1
At Denver 5, Colorado College 4
St. Cloud State 3, at Minnesota State 2
At Minnesota-Duluth 3, Alaska-Anchorage 1
Minnesota 4, at Wisconsin 1

At Bowling Green 3, Canisius 1
At Providence 4, Alabama-Huntsville 2
Standings are here
Summaries are here

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Hangover: Nov. 11

Washington 3, at New Jersey 1
At N.Y. Rangers 5, Carolina 1
At Pittsburgh 3, Dallas 1
At Buffalo 5, Ottawa 1
At Detroit 3, Edmonton 0
At Chicago 4, Calgary 1
At Anaheim 4, Vancouver 3
Summaries are here

At Worcester 3, Bridgeport 2
Syracuse 3, at Adirondack 2
At Albany 2, Norfolk 1
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5, at Hershey 4 OT
At Providence 1, Manchester 0
Grand Rapids 8, at Hamilton 0
At Lake Erie 4, San Antonio 1
At Springfield 4, Portland 1
At Rochester 3, Binghamton 1
At Oklahoma City 1, Charlotte 0
At Peoria 7, Rockford 6 OT
Abbotsford 3, at Texas 2 SO
Summaries are here

Gwinnett 5, at Toledo 3
At Florida 7, Wheeling 2
Trenton 4, at Kalamazoo 1
Reading 5, at Elmira 4
At Chicago 5, Cincinnati 3
At Utah 5, Colorado 4 SO
Idaho 4, at Bakersfield 3
At Alaska 8, Ontario 4
Summaries are here

Baie-Comeau 3, at Halifax 2 SO
Saint John 7, at Prince Edward Island 3
Blainville-Boisbriand 6, at Drummondville 4
At Chicoutimi 5, Victoriaville 3
Quebec 5, at Rouyn-Noranda 2
At Shawinigan 8, Rimouski 7
Gatineau 6, at Val-d'Or 4
Summaries are here

Windsor 4, at Erie 3
At Mississauga 4, Barrie 3 OT
At Brampton 6, Niagara 4
Plymouth 8, at Guelph 4
At Kingston 7, Oshawa 0
At Kitchener 4, Sudbury 3
Sault Ste. Marie 4, at London 3
At Ottawa 6, Saginaw 5 SO
At Owen Sound 5, Sarnia 2
Summaries are here

At Brandon 4, Swift Current 1
Red Deer 5, at Kamloops 3
At Moose Jaw 3, Regina 2 OT
Seattle 5, at Calgary 4
Tri-City 4, at Medicine Hat 3 SO
At Portland 6, Spokane 5 SO
At Kelowna 2, Edmonton 1 SO
Prince George 4, at Everett 1
Summaries are here

Green Bay 5, at Indiana 4
Muskegon 2, at Youngstown 1
At Sioux City 6, Tri-City 3
At Waterloo 4, Chicago 2
Des Moines 5, at Omaha 3
At Lincoln 3, Sioux Falls 2
Cedar Rapids 4, at Fargo 3 SO
Summaries are here


At Bentley 4, American International 1
Robert Morris 4, at Mercyhurst 3
At RIT 3, Air Force 1
Army 2, at Sacred Heart 1

Colgate 4, at Dartmouth 0
Cornell 4, at Harvard 2
St. Lawrence 3, at Princeton 2
Clarkson 1, at Quinnipiac 1 OT
Yale 2, at RPI 0
Brown 2, at Union 1

At Boston College 2, Northeastern 1
Merrimack 3, at Boston University 2 OT
Massachusetts-Lowell 5, at Maine 3

At Ferris State 5, Lake Superior State 1
At Miami 2, Michigan 1
At Notre Dame 5, Alaska 4
At Ohio State 4, Northern Michigan 1
Michigan State 3, at Western Michigan 2

Nebraska-Omaha 3, at Bemidji State 3 OT
At Minnesota State 4, St. Cloud State 2
At Minnesota-Duluth 5, Alaska-Anchorage 0
At Wisconsin 3, Minnesota 1

At Bowling Green 4, Canisius 1
At Providence 3, Alabama-Huntsville 0
At Massachusetts 7, Holy Cross 2
Summaries are here

Friday, November 11, 2011

Memories of Searching for a Game

I'm flipping through "I Want My MTV," which pretty much makes clear that drugs fueled the early days of that channel. And yet, there are some pretty distinct accounts given from artists who go on to say that they were caught up in the current of the decade.

Me, well, my book on the 1980s would be "I Want My Hockey on TV." I had taken my first newspaper job -- it was in northern Indiana -- and there pretty much was a game of the week on ESPN and an odd St. Louis Blues game on the short-lived SportsTime channel. Todd Donoho was one of the big voices on the channel that, when not serving up basketball games from every Midwestern college not in the Big Ten, found time to show you highlights of every game from these same Midwestern Colleges.

Elsewhere in the Midwest, you might get a Royals or Cardinals game tossed in, but not in northern Indiana. You got basketball, more basketball, and then, whoops, how did that Blues game find its way there?

SportsChannel from Chicago was a year away and that meant that most of the Blackhawks' games were radio only, if you could pick up the weak signal of WIND-AM. And in the black hole that I call northern Indiana, you could not. You could pick up pro hockey from Fort Wayne, Detroit, Toledo and Rochester, but not the Hawks.

Road trips would follow. My friend Kurt and I would head to Nick's Sportspages in Dolton, Ill., and to the Olympia in Goshen, Ind. That last joint was mid-week games only. In the towns in which we worked, no NHL games -- NONE -- could be found when college basketball was on the menu.

We decided to search for a bar in a town that would allow us to go to the game without spending large amounts of money on tolls and gas. I found a joint listed in the South Bend Tribune that said it had a satellite dish. Being a Sunday night with no college basketball on, Kurt and I headed to South Bend to watch the Blackhawks-Sabres game from the Aud.

A quiet little joint, pretty much a box layout with the bar on your left as you walked in. Ahead of you was the snack table (salad fixings, for the most part, and popcorn) and a juke box. To the right and behind you were booths. The big projection screen was in the corner on the right, facing the snack table. At the center of the joint were four high tables with two stools each.

The best view of the game required you to sit atop the most painful seats in the joint. But it was hockey, and the beer was cheap, so we stayed. Late in the first period, a few of the regulars started to give us the stink eye after we applauded an end-to-end rush and goal by Gilbert Perreault. We explained that though we did favor the Hawks, you had to admire the skills of a great player like Perreault.

Not the right answer, as the regulars just wanted to get blotto in private. Though dirty looks were exchanged, we were paying customers. So the bar's owner came by and offered us a pitcher on the house. Bar owner's on our side, so we will watch and cheer when we want.

Somewhere around the end of the second period, things started to change. The regulars had been beaten back, so they were not a threat. But students from Notre Dame and St. Mary's -- we knew this because they appeared to shop at the university bookstore for some updated sweatshirts with the school name on them before coming in -- and they were not interested in the game.

They say Kurt and I, the only two people sitting at the bar tables, and went straight to the bar owner. Slowly, tables were disappearing one at a time. More students were squeezing into the booths along the edge. Soon the regulars were gone.

Just Kurt and I, the Hawks and Sabres, and the preppy-esque mob from Our Lady of Perpetual Tuition Increases.

The joint owner produced a microphone, cut the sound on the game, and announced that dancing -- DANCING? -- would commence in 30 minutes. And it did, with about 10 minutes left in the game. But we did not move, and the owner did not move us because we still had cash on the table and glasses to fill. But now, we had the preppy mob moving all around us, proving that this particular sample of college students were in need of some remedial gym classes to overcome the poor coordination. BECAUSE YOU SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DANCE IN PUBLIC THAT BADLY!

The game finished and it was time to leave. The owner was happy to collect both the table and the waitress was happy to collect a tip.

As we walked out, Kurt and I spotted two unattached members of the preppy mob. "Turn to You" by the GoGos came on and, well, we had these girls spinning on the floor, enjoying moves that would make Gilbert Perreault and Denis Savard proud.

And when the song ended, Kurt and I headed to our cars and left. We made our stand. We saw our hockey game and now we were leaving on our own terms. Hmm, a bar dedicated to hockey and music. I'll have to try that concept. I'll call it Vic's Stereo Lounge.

The Hangover: Nov. 10

At Boston 6, Edmonton 3
Chicago 6, at Columbus 3
Toronto 3, at St. Louis 2 SO
Florida 5, at Winnipeg 2
At Colorado 4, N.Y. Islanders 3 OT
Montreal 3, at Phoenix 2 OT
Vancouver 3, at Los Angeles 2
At San Jose 3, Minnesota 1
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Lake Erie 5, San Antonio 2
Abbotsford 5, at Houston 3
Standings are here
Summaries are here

At Greenville 5, South Carolina 2
At Bakersfield 4, Idaho 3 OT
Standings are here
Summaries are here

OHL Selects 10, Russian Selects 7
Summary is here

Moose Jaw 3, at Regina 1
Standings are here
Summary is here