There were a lot of things I could talk about this week. Mats Zuccarello being the star of the 7-3 defeat of the Devils on Sunday. Brodeur and Jagr bitching about how much they hate outdoor games. The Ducks soundly beating the Kings twice in one week. I could talk some more about NHL Revealed, or even Sel8nne which I watched this week. But no. Instead I talk about Twitter a lot.
10. Michael Del Zotto was traded
DZ’s trade was basically assumed for the past while; the only question was to where. So I note this event mostly because I was amused to see just how happy Rangers fans were to see him go.
On a side note, David Poile seems to be stocking his cabinets with young, attractive defensemen. I completely understand.
Model or hockey player? We just don’t know.
9. The Dallas Stars Get Creative
So the Dallas Stars are hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. And of course, you would like to mock them while you also destroy them. What do they do? Show a picture of Justin Bieber’s mugshot on the jumbotron with the caption “Maple Leafs Fan.”
This, in my opinion, was a stroke of genius on their part. Team twitters are divided into two camps: the boring but informative, and the ones that have a definitive character to them. Now, the LA Kings twitter probably is the most well-known, as they gained a lot of notoriety during the Kings’ 2012 Cup run, and they have a definite sarcastic, salty edge to their tweets that makes them entertaining to follow. The Blue Jackets, the Canucks to some degree, and occasionally Edmonton or the Red Wings will indulge in some more fun tweets. That may seem like nonsense to the more stolid and traditional management types, but posting that tweet got the Dallas Stars’ twitter a huge amount of attention. For a team that people forget exists, in a non-traditional market, for a team that is starting a rebuild and trying to rebrand itself? This sort of fun social media presence could help bring people into the fold.
Oh, and to put a capper on the night: apparently not satisfied with the Justin Bieber mugshot or the score of 7 to 1, the Dallas Stars added this beautiful, beautiful cherry to the sundae of humiliation:
Bravo, Dallas. Bravo.
8. Sidney Crosby Creates A Song
Okay, that’s a little misleading. But apparently people in Canada loved the song featured in this new Tim Horton’s commercial so much that they demanded to hear the full version so they could buy it…only the whole song didn’t exist:
Now, I was a music business major for a hot second in college, so this wasn’t a surprise to me, as this is what music supervisors do. If they can’t find a song they want to license/are able to license, they’ll contract composers to make 30 seconds or whatever of a song and use that. But the heart wants what the heart wants and Grayson Matthews had to go and create a full version.
I fully expect one of the Hockey Night In Canada montages this playoffs to be set to this.
7. Marc-Andre Fleury Tries To Get Into A Fight
I should note that I love goalie fights, I think they’re hilarious, but this was infinitely funnier because it didn’t happen. Which is probably for the best in this case.
6. The LA Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets Twitters Rekindle Their Love Affair
Okay, not to make this all about twitter (I studied Communications, I’m sorry), but speaking of twitters having personalities, my absolute favorite hockey twitter thing is the romance? bromance? teammance? between the twitters of the LA Kings and CBJ.
I really hope they make it, guys.
5. The Blue Jackets Streak
The Blue Jackets went on an 8 game winning streak over the last two weeks, unfortunately ending Saturday against Buffalo. This is the longest streak in team history (oh, Lumbus) and it was a really nice story for a team that had high expectations coming into this season off their late playoff push last year. Currently, they’re 4th in the Metropolitan division, and one point behind Detroit for the wild card spot. Columbus has been my underdog team since last year when I wanted everything to go well for Segei Bobrovsky, #1 Cop on the Force. (For the record, I still think he should have won the Hart last year, even though they didn’t make the playoffs.) I really want them to make it this year, both for the market and the loyal fans who have been waiting year after year for this team to get good while so many bad things befall them (constantly missing out on first overall, getting swept in the playoffs, Rick Nash getting traded, lockout delaying the All-Star game until 2015…). And of course I want more hugs for Bobrovsky.
4. Nathan Gerbe Goes Between The Legs to Score
What I will never get is how people look at goals like this and say, “That’s disrespectful!” It’s a goal. It’s an expression of skill. It worked and it’s legal. Stop trying to strip the fun out of the game, dang it!!
3. Wayne Gretzky Drops the Puck in LA
It is great to have The Great One doing things again. Having him be on the outs with the NHL thanks to the Phoenix debacle was frankly ridiculous and embarrassing. And it’s important to have him at the LA game, too. I mean, he lives there, but there’s a certain degree of validity it brings to a game many derided as being too gimmicky, inappropriate, whatever.
Wayne Gretzky was one of the first exposures I, a small child in an LA suburb, had to hockey. I learned his name through, of all things, a Snoopy book, which I’m pretty sure was this one:
I have no idea if I still own this book. I should find out.
Now, The Trade happened before I was born, so by the time I was starting to skate, ice rinks had started to become a more commonplace thing in California. Hockey was, to me, something that boys did, so I stayed in my figure skates, learning to swizzle and spin. That was the foundation that later The Mighty Ducks and Miracle and the 2010 Olympics would build my current love of hockey on.
My dad went to see the Kings a few years before Gretzky was traded there. He remembers them not being very good and the seats being very cheap. Gretzky coming to LA didn’t instantly turn the market into what it is now, but it certainly set something in motion that, to my mind, came to fruition on Saturday at what was probably the more innovative and interesting of the two outdoor games we saw this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I love snowglobe games and games played in the cold and all that, but the novelty of skating when it’s like 60 degrees out is pretty neat (and I’ve done it, so I can testify). Not to mention it looked awesome.
According to ESPN, attendance was actually higher at the LA game versus the Yankee stadium game and from what I hear the fan fest was doing very well in LA. My sincere hope is that the NHL takes this as a positive sign for having more outdoor games — maybe even a Winter Classic? — for teams in warmer climes.
2. The US Olympic Team Gets Weird
I don’t really know how to talk about this one. For some reason, the US Olympic team did this yearbook thing? With dorky photos of our glorious athletes and the option of voting superlatives for them. Unfortunately, I guess the men’s Olympic team members are pretty busy what with NHL season and all, so we don’t get any gloriously terrible photos of Patrick Kane or T.J. Oshie (both of whom I suspect would throw themselves into this with delirious glee). But we did get some of the amazing, wonderful ladies from the women’s hockey team. My favorite is undoubtedly Amanda Kessel:
This girl scored 2.66 points per game last year.
God knows who thought of this idea and god knows why they thought it was a good one, but I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful project.
1. Ralph Lauren Unveils USA Sweaters
Speaking of interesting Team USA choices, we got to see what our athletes will be wearing at the opening ceremonies at Sochi.
The funniest thing about Parise in Ralph Lauren clothes has, for me, been that he has the bland, good-looking white boy looks that I associate with Ralph Lauren models. Anyway, much has been said about these sweaters, though I think Jimmy Fallon summed it up nicely:
If only they had come out with these in time for everyone’s ugly sweater parties. (source)
The really hideous thing is that I would 100% wear those. Not even really in an ironic way. I’d just wear them. Apparently they cost, like, $600 though, and I’m pretty sure that I could knit myself one for less than a tenth of that.
I can’t wait to see everyone else wearing these. Oh man, all the pictures of Team USA wearing these.
- The Sharks mic’d up Logan Couture and Brent Burns and it is amazing. Brent Burns is a madman. I love him.
- The Oilers won a game! It was a great game for Ben Scrivens, who had a .971 SV%, and he currently has a .926 for his 3 games in Edmonton, which is nice.
- The most important news in Buffalo, ever:
- Hannah and I were discussing the possibility of Therrien getting fired and who would replace him in Montreal, and she suggested Laviolette, since his name might trick the French media into thinking he is a Quebecois. That would be beautiful.
- Sidney Crosby continues to be decent at that hockey stuff.
- Zimbio mistook Trevor Gretzky for Justin Timberlake. I’d also like to take this moment to introduce my conspiracy theory that Paul Martin is somehow related to the Gretzkys. Look at Trevor. Look at Paul. Tell me I’m crazy.
- Thank you Sean Gentille for this beautiful Vine mash-up of the Erik Karlsson-Mike Green hug.