Monday, October 31, 2011

Minny High School Hockey. It's Coming.

If you are not checking out the countdown of the top 100 high school boy's hockey players in the state of Minnesota, shame on you.

There's some great names here, although some of the photos do not do the player or the topic justice.

The countdown, on the Minnesota Hockey Hub site, is designed to lead us up to the opening day of the boys' hockey season. As of today, it's 23 days until the march to March in St. Paul begins.

Corey Millen of Cloquet is player No. 23, which put him ahead of such names as Herb Brooks (No. 100, St. Paul Johnson), Jack McCartan (No. 91, St. Paul Marshall), Eric Strobel (No. 72, Rochester Mayo), Mark Pavelich (No. 56, Eveleth), Joe Micheletti (No. 46, Hibbing), T.J. Oshie (No. 42, Warroad), Dave Langevin (No. 34, Hill-Murray), Matt Cullen (No. 28, Moorhead) and Reed Larson (No. 24, Minneapolis Roosevelt).

I know those fans of Texas 5-A high school football and Indiana boy's basketball will disagree, as is their right, but in the Lounge, there is no better high school program than Minnesota high school hockey and the state tournament.

Case closed.

Oilers Up, Kings Down and Cross Ex-Coaches

See that smile on Taylor Hall? Well, remember that and forget about the child actor at the beginning of "Jerry Maguire."

Taylor Hall's face is all you need to know about what pure joy looks like. And that is what you get when you watch the Edmonton Oilers. Hall starts the play, makes the smart pass and moves into the what I call the Luc Robitaille zone to take Jordan Eberle's pass.

That's how you draw up an entertaining brand of hockey. Not bad for a team most projected to be among the worst in the West this season. And frankly, they may still be. In a flash quiz, I would be hard pressed to name two defensemen beyond Ryan Whitney and Andy Sutton. That's normally not a good thing, for either the person taking the quiz or the team that is the subject of the quiz.

Edmonton's joy may be short lived this season, so catch the Oilers while they are on the upswing. I was reading a recent ESPN post about candidates for the Jack Adams award. And, yes, they would be first to admit their trophy tracker is more entertainment than anything else. But Tom Renney was not mentioned among the five favorites based on play so far this season.

But Renney has this team playing fast and staying true to their defensive responsibilities. It all may go south as soon as I put this post online, but I hope there are a few more nights where the Oilers have fun and skate circles around their opponents, up and down the ice.

And now for Jonathan Quick, who needs to be not so quick to put himself out of position. He spends a lot of time trying to go post to post while in the butterfly position. And he has begun to stray a bit from the net at inopportune times.

Phoenix took advantage of a few mistakes and one bad bounce off of Jack Johnson's stick to win on Saturday night. And on Sunday, the young Avalanche, another team projected for a gloomy winter, skated with energy and came away with a victory at home.

So, to summarize, I spend the last four days admiring young teams with plenty of upside, I saw the Kings look less than regal in two losses, I saw the Rangers take the third period off against the Senators on Saturday and then shoveled some snow. Winter in October. What a concept.

Tonight, the Sharks and Rangers (MSG) goes on the Lounge's big screen starting at 7 pm. Jets at Panthers (Center Ice/Fox Sports Florida feed) go on the medium screen at 7:30 and the Predators-Blackhawks (Center Ice/Fox Sports South) goes on the iPhone. Nothing like hearing Terry Crisp, the color man on the Predators broadcasts, heating up like a microwave after a bad call to test the speaker on my smartphone.

I'll send you out with a sampling of Crispy on the bench, and throw in some bonus Jacques Demers clips (yes, yet another coach who now is on TV and is the sole reason why I want the Canadiens on RDS to be part of the Center Ice package. You can have your English, you can have your French, but I want Demers, who hard to understand in any language).

More later today.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday in the KHL

For your viewing pleasure, it's Torpedo, in the dark sweaters, facing Dinamo Riga on a Thursday night. For its efforts, Torpedo came away with a 3-2 shootout victory. Vitaly Koval is the man in the pads making all the winning saves for Torpedo.

Thursday's Results
Barys 3, Metallurg Nk 1
Sibir 2, Avtomobilist 0
Traktor 3, Amur 1
Torpedo 3, Dinamo Riga 2 SO
Dynamo Moscow 2, CSKA 0
SKA 4, Lev 0
Standings are here.

Thursday's Picks to Click in the Lounge

Nothing like a little "Sunlight" from Mean Creek to get my head straight and ready for some positive thoughts about tonight's games.

Absolutely, positively must see tonight's Maple Leafs-Rangers game. The records say yes, their history says maybe not, and that is enough of a pull me-push you conflict to get me to watch the game on the big screen. Phil Kessel is a league leader?

The Rangers have no league leaders, but a boatload of workers getting the job done right now. And yes, I am a doubter. But I am still willing to give them the benefit of a doubter, so to speak. The game is at 7 pm. I'll have the MSG feed. The medium screen gets the Canadiens-Bruins game. Habs in Boston. Hate on parade. Game starts at 7 pm. In the Lounge, we'll take whichever feed the NHL Network gives us. Most likely it will be NESN, could be TSN-Habs, wish it would be RDS. Hockey en français. Oui!

The small, aging cathode ray tube will have the MSG-Plus feed of the Islanders-Penguins, another 7 pm start. At 10 pm, the CRT will feature the Devils-Coyotes.

Once the Leafs-Rangers game is over, we will, I promise you, switch the big screen to the Capitals-Oilers game. That track meet starts at 9:30 pm. That's a Center Ice/TSN feed. Can you get too much good stuff from TSN? I say no.

The Kings, who have much to prove to me, are relegated to the smartphone for their 8:30 pm game with the Stars.

Every other game -- there are 11 tonight -- are in whip-around smartphone and radio mode tonight. We have plenty of ground to cover tonight. If you are not dropping by the Lounge, what are your picks tonight?

The Highs and Lows of Hockey

Sorry, but that took a little longer than expected. Went for coffee, but I then felt the cultural pull of the St. Marks Three Brothers pizza joint on the corner of Ninth Avenue and 40th Street.

Two slices and a Coke for $2.75 or a chicken leg and a bountiful helping of broccoli sauteed in garlic. Same price. Two great meals. A must stop for those in Midtown Manhattan. Since the place does not use traditional restaurant doors -- why use them when you can just open the place up like a garage for all to enjoy the great outdoors -- one can be treated to watching the horrified faces of tourists as their tour buses roar through the intersection and then immediately slam the brakes to fit into the little hole called the arrival chute at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Today's line had me, a few cops, a painter and few neighborhood regulars who have no known addresses other than this street. We listened to Mexican classics that my grandmother used to play when she baby-sat me way back when. (Who knew I had it so good. She provided a daily helping of rice, beans, fried potatoes and her own fresh flour tortillas. And she made her own chile. I ate like a king, and I was only 4.)

I talked Rangers hockey with the man in front of me, appropriate because the Rangers finally play a home game. Tonight the Maple Leafs roll into the newly updated MSG 3.5.

There is optimism among the locals. Perhaps the crowd will roar tonight. They probably won't reach the decibel levels that were hit last night in Montreal when the Canadiens dominated the Flyers at the Bell Centre. But hockey nights in Montreal seem to have always been this way, in good times or bad.

For those Canadiens, fans I have placed Malajube's "Montreal -40C" on the Lounge playlist. Good tune, in good times and bad.

Truly enjoyed the game, and then the way the TSN crew questioned the Canadiens' firing of Perry Pearn, the doubters of Carey Price, those who proclaimed the Canadiens as troubled and pretty much anybody who had anything to negative about the team other than perhaps Jacques Martin and GM Pierre Gauthier, who pretty much remain under the hot lamps.

Gee whiz, the Canadiens win and suddenly all is well with the rather smallish squad in brilliant red sweaters. The Habs are in Boston to meet the Bruins tonight. Win there and who knows how high hopes will soar. Isn't hockey grand?

The game erased the cat fur and pork rinds taste that was left in my mouth courtesy the Kings' efforts in the game with the Devils on Tuesday night. Time to check my notes on Terry Murray's brilliant offense.

Let's turn to coverage of the third period. Kings gain the blue line, dump the puck and then retreat the zone to play defense. Gain the blue line, dump the puck and set up the cycle on the left-wing half boards -- two passes, one too many -- and retreat the zone to play defense. Gain the blue line, dump the puck and retreat the zone to play defense.

In all that, do you see room for the talents of Anze Kopitar or Mike Richards. I managed to forget that Jarret Stoll and Dustin Brown were on the team. But I did see Dustin Penner. His play you cannot ignore. But I will continue to try.

More in a few. I've worked up a good head of hate and I need to cool down.

Time for this selection from Dan Mangan.

Preparing for a Long Day

Have to start the day with CBC's Radio 3. Today's rainy weather has me thinking of my Seattle days, when I maintained a steady, slow drip of dark roast coffee to get me through the long gray-to-black-to-gray-to-black that was pretty much October to early May.

And "Another Pilot" by Hey Rosetta! has me ready for the day. That and a few buckets of Joe.

When I return to the Lounge, we'll talk hockey. But first, another tanker of black tar java needs to be procured, pronto.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Wednesday Lineup in the Lounge

I'm still recovering from last night's debacle in Los Angeles. I don't know who had it worse, me watching early into this morning as the Kings floundered against the Devils, or Roberto Luongo, who was yanked in the Canucks' loss to the Oilers.

Well, at least Luongo was paid for his night. My misery, shall we say, was on the house. (The Kings, worthless and weak, owe me a night of sleep.)

Speaking of the house, tonight's viewing is an easy decision in the Lounge. The big screen has the Flyers at Montreal tonight at 7:30, and the good news is that Center Ice is scheduled to deliver the TSN feed. TSN has far and away a better production than the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, which grows increasingly stale once the game stops and the chatter begins.

CBC's Hotstove feature, which used to be good, is now a weak newspaper notes column with lips that move. TSN's studio show and between-period features are more likely to make you think. They do not depend on a smirking ringmaster and a clown with a taste for loud suits.

At 10, Colorado is at Calgary (Center Ice/Altitude feed) and that goes on the big screen. The medium screen will have St. Louis at Vancouver (Center Ice/Fox Sports Midwest feed). That game also starts at 10.

The smartphone gets the night off.

Wednesday in the KHL

Updated highlights from the KHL can be hard to find at times, so I present to you the plays of the week from the official KHL site on YouTube. In addition, here is Artemy Panarin scoring in regulation for Vityaz, getting the puck past former Los Angeles Kings goalie Erik Ersberg.

And what, no highlights from the Nashville runaway, Salavat's Alexander Radulov? Well, you have to score before you can do the stick roll. Nothing but nyet today,

Wednesday's Results
Vityaz 2, Salavat Yulaev 1 SO
Severstal 4, Ak Bars 0
Neftekhimik 7, Spartak 2
Standings are here.

Be Your Own News Editor

Yes, I like to read. I like to read a lot, but I have long ago given up on most dead-tree publications. I get a few magazines because they come as part of an online subscriptions.

Newspapers? Well, if you haven't noticed already, most newspapers can be read online. And as for sports news ... . I'll leave it at that.

Sports blogs and online sites, not related in anyway to a newspaper, are far superior to anything else out there. They need to cover sports the way business websites need to cover finance and commerce. They're all in. Information is money. And feature stories need to have a point, that is, other than winning an newspaper editors' association award for the best Sunday thumb sucker. (Look, color pictures and a static graphic! What will they think of next.)

And to get your money, they need to do it every day, at any time of the day.

For hockey, I allow two newspapers into the mix. The rest can roll up on the doorstep like logs looking for a good fireplace to call home. The Globe and Mail and The National Post are regular reads (again online). And yes, I still get The Hockey News, which I started reading when I was in short pants.

After that,,, and my Google reader more than cover what I will be talking about this season.

What's in my Google Reader?

There is for scouting. Kukla's Korner is a good starting spot in the morning, as is Puck Daddy and Coming Down the Pipe!

Throw in Buzzing the Net and Puck Worlds, and add a dash of fun with the Minnesota Hockey Hub, hockey sweater talk at icethetics and some NCAA updates with a feed from College Hockey News.

Gather all these RSS feeds in a reader basket -- I prefer Google Reader -- and you have a far better collection of what is going on in hockey than any, and I mean ANY, newspaper. There is no competition.

Adding and Hockey-Reference just enhances your statistical reach, as does CapGeek and Behind the Net.

And there is Vic's Stereo Lounge, where your host likes to serve up a few good hockey stories, TV/web hockey viewing advice and an occasional tune along with a cold one.

Got a tip (either cash or a website)? Pass them on. We'll talk more later today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday in the KHL

The KHL game of the day in the Lounge is SKA St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow. SKA, one of the league leaders early on this season, came away with a 4-1 victory thanks to goals by Patrick Thoresen, Tony Martensson, Gleb Klimenko and Mattias Weinhandl

The above video, when it comes in, and it should if you give it a little time, should give you some idea as to the depth of SKA this season.

Tuesday's Results
Avangard 4, Metallurg Mg 0
Amur 6, Barys 2
Traktor 3, Sibir 2
Yugra 1, Metallurg Nk 0 SO
SKA 4, Dynamo Moscow 1
Dinamo Minsk 3, Lev 2 SO
Standings are here.

The Worst Shall Be First

I came up with this plan right after the lockout. I decided that once I subscribed to Center Ice package, I would watch every team at least once each month. A critical part of this plan would be to load the schedule with terrible teams early on, just to get an idea of what might be out there when teams start to trade the help, fire the coaches or talk about franchise relocation.

Around December, I give myself a break and stop scheduling so many dog teams for viewing in the Lounge. But by February, I am back to watching the bad teams in bulk, looking for trade prospects, free agent prospects and the like.

Which brings me back to Columbus. The dog team of this century. Sure, you might say I have ignored the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets, but that franchise hit the reset button with the move. And while the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers all have a seat at the table, the featured distraction of this pity party are the Blue Jackets. And I will be watching them several times through the next six weeks or so.

Tonight they may show up against the Red Wings. I'm betting they just might. But even if they don't, there will still be plenty to watch. So the Lounge is going with the Red Wings at Blue Jackets on the big screen. The Lightning-Sabres game will go on the medium screen and the Sharks-Predators will be on the smartphone. The Penguins-Islanders game will be on the old CRT (not a digital TV, for those of you who do not know what a cathode ray tube is) set just because I can employ one of these every now and then for a local team.

Radio whip-arounds for the best of the Senators-Hurricanes, Ducks-Blackhawks and Canucks-Oilers. Around 10 or so, when the schedule begins to get less congested, the Devils-Kings go on the big screen, Stars-Coyotes go on the smartphone and the Ducks-Blackhawks and Canucks-Oilers will toggle on the medium screen.

Back to the Blue Jackets. The Hockey Prospectus website and season guide seem to think Steve Mason may be more of a Jim Carey then a Georges Vézina. And this team really doesn't have a lot to hope for beyond Jeff Carter and Rick Nash. It's that bad. (OK, so the EA Sports video is not quite fair to Mr. Mason, but it does illustrate my point, right?)

So, I suspect you should give a watch and spot the spare parts your team might want to claim. The trade deadline is well down the road. The shoulder should be littered with said spare parts by then.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rangers Win, And It's Enough for Now

The final game of the night is over. The Rangers came away with a 2-1 victory, but I cannot say I was impressed with the team's play or it's woeful color announcer. Doesn't matter. It's 2 points in the books and now the Rangers come home to open MSG against the Maple Leafs on Thursday.

As for the Jets, it's more of the same, and that odious scent of same extends back to Atlanta, when the Thrashers would show signs of a breakthrough before experiencing a breakdown that would cost them the game -- and eventually for Atlanta, all hope as well as the franchise.

Tonight, the Jets seemed to control the play late in the final period, but then a Rangers rush, a Ryan Callahan shot/pass off the skate of Zach Bogosian that finds the net and the Jets were back in damage control. The Jets do not do damage control well.

Last February, I was watching on the Center Ice package as the Thrashers were leading the Oilers in Edmonton in the third period. Big lead appeared to be safe. A few breakdowns led to Taylor Hall goals (hat trick, for those keeping score) and the Saturday matinee ended with the Thrashers going home with nothing.

Last year's Thrashers are this year's Jets. Same result. Give up more goals than you score and you lose, again and again.

And with that in mind, Rangers skeptics, myself included, are advised to check the scoreboard.

The Lounge is switching to baseball for the rest of the night. And then we're switching the lights off. More tomorrow.

Kid Plays a Man's Game

Jacob Markstrom finishes with 40 saves in Florida's 2-1 victory in Montreal on Monday night. The Canadiens look puny and in need of more moves than starting Peter Budaj in net. Jacques Martin never looked so much at a loss for ideas. Losing will do that to a coach and a team.

And yet in their second game of the season, the Habs skated circles around the Winnipeg Jets.

And now those Jets are finding chances in spurts. Both the Jets and the Rangers are trying to establish some momentum through 40 minutes. It's 1-1 after two.

In Philly, the Flyers had enough grit and scoring prowess to turn back the Maple Leafs, 4-2. Two goals and as many salutes from Jaromir Jagr.

And a note to Bill Pidto of MSG. It's the Kings' Jonathan Bernier (Burn-yea), not Burn-EE-Yea.

Write it down and practice it. You have 20 minutes to get it right. The Lounge is listening.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

One period is in the books in Winnipeg and I can visualize a bunch of kids running around, picking up all the empties the Rangers and Jets produced in the first 20 minutes. Several good chances that produced nothing. Blown shots, a deflection that was a bit wide and some good saves by Chris Mason and Martin Biron.

I am hoping for more emotion in the second period, and I am not talking about that Brandon Prust-Tanner Glass bout that had the look of an arranged play date. You want to see some emotion right now? Switch over to the Flyers-Maple Leafs game, where Scott Hartnell has put the Flyers up 3-1 midway through the third frame.

Plenty of tough checks in the building. Somewhere, Borje Salming is looking over his shoulder. Flyers and Leafs of old, on display tonight.

Switching over to the Panthers and Canadiens, a quick interview with a smiling Marco Sturm, who looks oddly happy with the knowledge that he will be playing on the outskirts of Fort Lauderdale this winter. Maybe he just heard a few goal calls from the Panthers' radio broadcasts.

Always a winner.

Ready to Go. Our Line Starts.

That's right, the Lounge has fired up Republica's "Ready to Go," one of the tunes the Kings of the late 1990s skated to during warmups before yet another crushing loss at the Great Western Forum.

Ah, those Inglewood nights, the mix of folks in Warren Rychel and Marty McSorley sweaters hoisting adult beverages in the vast parking lots at the neighboring Hollywood Park horse track. The Kings fans in that lot were definitely ready to settle some issues.

And tonight there definitely are some issues in the Lounge as we await the Rangers' visit to Winnipeg. The Maple Leafs are getting sticks up in the faces of the Flyers; stitches aplenty at the Wells Fargo Center. The Canadiens look like mere mortals, perhaps even worse, and the Panthers have evened things up after one period.

Any way you look at it tonight, the table is full, and I mean full even after I clear the main table of all the fixings for the Lounge's chicken tacos. And I do make some pretty fine tacos.

If I weren't here at the Lounge, I would be at the Flying Puck on Seventh Avenue and 30th Street, or at Five Guys on 34th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Rangers fans will have to make these venues two points of interest. Another would be Jimmy's Burger Shack on 31st Avenue just across from MSG near Eighth Avenue. If you go there, get the No. 9. Burger, bacon, fried egg, cheese. Goes down like candy.

OK, enough with the preliminaries and naked plugs. Hungry? Ready for hockey?

Good. You've come to the right place.

Monday in the KHL

Look below for the scoring summary of today's featured KHL game in the Lounge, Ak Bars vs. Spartak. Jarkko Immonen, Antti Miettinen and Marcel Hossa find their way onto the score sheet. As an added bonus to our rather brief coverage of the KHL, here's an article on the KHL from the Oct. 31 edition of ESPN The Magazine.

We try to keep most of our attention in the Lounge on the NHL, but that will not keep us from trying to give our visitors a peek at hockey at other levels and other addresses. Enjoy.

Monday's Results
Vityaz 4, Neftekhimik 3
Severstal 4, Salavat Yulaev 2
Ak Bars 3, Spartak 2
Standings are here.

A Quick Lead on Monday Night

Just three games in the National Hockey League tonight, and the Lounge will have the Rangers at Winnipeg on the big screen, with the Panthers at Montreal on the medium screen and the Maple Leafs at Philadelphia on the smartphone. Yes, I can and will watch games on a smartphone.

Haha, I love life, and I will be sharing more of that love tonight in the Lounge during those games.

Now the downside. Both the AHL and the ECHL are dark tonight, as are the major junior leagues (QMJHL, OHL, WHL, USHL) and the NCAA.

As for going dark, the word is out that Alabama-Huntsville will lose it's varsity Division I men's program after this season. The program had some good years in Division II and made the NCAA tournament at Division I, but could not overcome the death of College Hockey America and the cold, cold heart of CCHA programs, which did not offer a life preserver when the UAH program needed it most.

All of which makes me feel less broken up about the impending death of the CCHA. Can't help others? Can't help yourself. Good night.

Another down note is the word from several quarters that Sarnia's Alexander Galchenyuk is most likely out for the year with a knee injury. Neate Sager over at Buzzing the Net looks at Galchenyuk's hopes of remaining a top prospect for the 2012 and studies the fate of a few others who were injured in their draft year.

Galchenyuk, who would have been eligible for Team USA at the world junior championships in December, was part of the Ontario Hockey League's top prospect tandem in Sarnia, where Nail Yakupov (video clip below) is projected as a possible selection at No. 1 overall.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday in the NCAA

Just one game and it was not a good one for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who came up on the short end of a seesaw 5-4 verdict that went Vermont's way.

The visiting Catamounts were able to navigate the big sheet on the UM campus to leave the Gophers counting the number of chances they could not put away in this nonconference game. Here is a video package of the game's highlights from Fox Sports North.

Vermont 5, at Minnesota 4
Boxscore is here.

Sunday in the KHL

Sunday's highlight clip features Yaroslav Kosov, who was drafted in June by the Florida Panthers. He is scoring in Metallurg Magnitogorsk's 3-1 victory over Traktor. And just to catch you up with who's who and who might be who in the KHL, here's a preview from

Amur 4, Barys 0
Yugra 3, Avtomobilist 2 SO
Metallurg Mg 3, Traktor 1
Torpedo 5, Atlant 3
Dinamo Riga 5, Dynamo Moscow 2
CSKA 6, Lev 1
Boxscores are here.
Standings are here.

Working Out the Kinks This Season

The last remnants of vacation have been put away. The trip to Honduras and Mexico is done (The pilot on the snorkeling boat in Cozumel was wearing an old Winnipeg Jets hat). Two days in Miami Beach, also history. Jostling for luggage at JFK, a cab ride across Queens and a lot of hostile faces on the road and the sidewalks. Back in New York.

Time for hockey.

And that I why I go back to the Kinks to start another hockey season in the Lounge. The Michigan State Spartans of the mid- to late 1980s used to come out to "Do It Again." They were fresh off the 1986 NCAA championship and gunning for a second one. They would get close, but North Dakota and Tony Hrkac, the Hrkac Circus, as it was billed, would steal the show and the NCAA title with a 5-3 victory over the Spartans at the Joe.

Getting up and doing it again. It's what we do, and it's what we'll do again this season. Just finished watching Vermont defeat Minnesota, 5-4, on the big ice in Minneapolis. In about three hours, Phoenix at Anaheim will light up the screen in the Lounge.

Until then, I'm trying to run through a mailbox filled with video clips of the past week in the NHL. Managed to listen to two games on the flight from South Florida; note to Lounge fans, JetBlue has Sirius/XM feeds of all the games as well as the NHL talk radio station.

The Lounge has a full roster of screens, big, medium and small. It also stands at the ready to bring in radio feeds of every game in the NHL as well as games in the AHL, QMJHL, OHL, WHL, USHL and NCAA Division I men's hockey. (It was a real treat to work late at the office and have the Moncton-Saint John game on the radio to open the season in the Q.)

I think I have the right link for the Minnesota boy's high school hockey season, and I know I have the pass to watch all of the state tournament games on the Web. Highlights from the KHL? Got 'em.

The NHL Center Ice package gets us nearly every game. MSG, MSG Plus, MSG2 and MSG Plus2 delivers the Rangers, Devils and Islanders. Versus, NBC and the NHL Network completes the full umbrella of NHL coverage. We also have a NHL Game Center Live package, just for fun on the Web.

The three Fox College Sports channels, ESPNU, CBS College Sports and the Big Ten network give us access to a large number of college games. And WE WILL see Hockey Day Minnesota (a mix of high school and college games) when it rolls around.

In the Lounge, back where I started. Here we go 'round again.