Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Subbans Break the Lockout Gloom

The lockout is goomy enough without the late fall weather turning every afternoon into a gray march into darkness.

Breaking the gloom are the folks at "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight," the nightly talk show on the CBC that is far more informative and worth your time than any Letterman/Leno production.

P.K. Subban, locked out of his job as a defenseman with the Montreal Canadiens, appears to have found some work at a Boston Pizza franchise in Canada.

(Note that my youngest daughter has to laugh every time she hears a mention of Boston Pizza. She went to college in Boston and always came back to New York on break complaining about the Boston weather, the Boston T system and the horrible Boston pizza. So to her, hearing a franchise promote what she considers the worst possible pairing -- Boston and pizza -- is a joke that keeps on giving. To be fair, I have eaten at the U.S. version of the chain, Boston's in Allentown, Pa., and I had no complaints about the restaurant.)

The Strombo people posted the Subban video above, perhaps as a way to help bring the NHL and the NHLPA closer together.

Here is an interview from the Strombo show, where we get to hear from P.K. Subban and his brothers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Meaningful Hockey Lifts All Spirits

A week goes by, and then another.

Disgust over the lockout leads to waiting out Hurricane Sandy and then cleaning up all the broken tree limbs and knocking on wood that we fared as well as we did in the storm, hoping that we do as well this Wednesday when a Nor'easter rolls through town again.

After, or before, all that, spirits in the Lounge were lifted by the opening game of the super series challenge between a team of Russian junior selects and teams of selects from the QMJHL, OHL and WHL. The six-game series features the Russian squad play two each against each league.

On Monday night, in Blainville-Boisbriand, Que., the QMJHL was up first and was the first go experience the speed and showmanship of the Russian squad.

It may be of small consolation, but the main offensive stars of the Russian squad were players who have been or are being trained in the Canadian junior leagues.

Nail Yakupov, formerly of the OHL's Sarnia Sting, is on the squad as is Alexander Khokhlachev, formerly of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires, and Mikhail Grigorenko, currently of the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts.

The offensive show was too much for the QMJHL squad, which did not bring a great deal of physical play to the contest. Late in the game, when a typical junior blowout leads to even more typical late hits and dangerous checks along the board, the QMJHL team seemed up to the task of defending itself and initiating challenges as well.

Still, day late and a dollar short. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Val-d'Or. The game will be televised at 7 pm Eastern on the NHL Network