The Lockout Series: Charity

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In today’s thrilling adventure of The Lockout Series, we talk about charity. Some people will tell everyone that they donated a zillion dollars to Hurricane Sandy relief and others will take a George Steinbrenner approach to it (no, no, not “BUY EVERYONE FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, EVEN THE GUYS WITH CRAPPY ARMS” way); “But if you do something good for some person and more than two people know about it–you and the other person–then you didn’t do it for the right reason.”

  • Desperate for hockey, Nashville Predators fans, announcers, and coaches surprise local youth team (h/t deadspin as always) around the middle of November.

  • Alex “Sasha” Semin, my favorite Former Washington Capital (bumping Olaf Kolzig to #2 for the time being — because those 8 games with Tampa Bay counts, dammit), hasn’t been seen on MSG’s coverage of “random KHL teams!” games because he’s not playing in the KHL, though, he is playing in Russia according to this translated article from Russian Machine Never Breaks:
    [late September/early October], former Washington Capital Alex Semin settled on his lockout destination, surprising everyone by choosing Sokol Krasnoyarsk, a minor league team from his hometown. “When I was leaving for the NHL, I dreamed that if there is ever a decent team and an opportunity, I would definitely play in front of my local fans,” Semin explained during his introductory press conference. “And my (90-year-old) grandma hasn’t seen me play in person for awhile. I’ll give her a present.”

    From adorable Russians (note, guys, the easiest way to be attractive to a lady? Be sweet about your grandmother. The Golden Girls has ruined us all as a society and if you are a dick to Rose, Dorthy, Sophia or Blanche [but really, no one wants a grandma Blanche because sharing a box of condoms with your grandmother is weird] then you are terrible) to adorable teddy bears:

  • Watch 21,453 stuffed animals fly in a hockey rink — aka: the 18th annual awesomeness for charity in Calgary with Bret Hart’s Calgary Hitmen team.

    So, in case you haven’t heard — the east coast (i.e. the best coast and the coast where I will always reside) was hit by a “Hurricane” (supposedly it’s been downgraded to a SuperStorm, but either way, the destruction is like a hurricane mixed with a tornado mixed with a flood mixed with tears & sadness). You can go to RedCross.com to send money, in a few days there will be a “Concert For….” based in MSG on 12-12-12 and they’ll also have ways & people to donate too, and then there are other more local (if you are local) ways to donate:

  • The first was in the weeks before Thanskgiving this year, The “War to Restore NJ” Hockey Night in Morristown, NJ. I did not get to go but the biggest “!!!!” draw of it was that Sergei Brylin was skating for the Devils team. Oh, and DeBoar also suited up. Seriously, go click on the link because the picture is kind of hilarious in a “what the what??” sort of way. They also raised over $24,000 and 3,462 pounds of food were donated. Because? #JerseyStrong

  • And then during Thanksgiving week, Team Philly/NJ vs. Team New York happened in Atlantic City — originally it was known as Team NJ but then I guess it got a name change because there were more Flyers then Devils (and Philly is the capital of South Jersey and my South Jersey cousins were hit hardest). Scott Hartnell was the King, I mean, Captain of Team Philly / NJ and some guy named Brad Richards was the Captain for Team New York. For coverage of the game, please go to the Devils Army Blog’s snapshot of a beautiful time where there are no rivals except for our combined hatred of Hurricanes and Gary Bettman.

    CSN Philly had this great quote:

    [Simon] Gagne got Philly’s first goal on Lundqvist in the second period.

    “The Rangers should call the league and tell them we should start playing pretty soon because [Lundqvist] is pissing away a lot of talent right now,” Gagne said.

  • And finally, the Devils Army Generals had 3 events in the Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza throughout the state on Thursday. I got the short end of the stick, I’m sure you can figure out which one:

    80 Parsonage Road, Edison – Special Guest: Jim Dowd
    852 State Route 3, Clifton – Special Guest: Bruce Driver
    984 Route 17 North, Ramsey – Special Guest: Grant Marshall

    But, it was okay because myself and my family were able to buy a t-shirt, raffles and 20% of our check if we were wearing Devils gear went towards Hurricane Sandy relief. And it was great to be surrounded by hockey fans (and very, very, very confused pizza lovers) for a moment this year.

  • Posted in Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Philly Flyers, Washington Capitals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    The Lockout Series: Kevin Klein (D) Nashville Predators

    In what will hopefully be the thing that will keep me sane during these lean times (i.e: no hockey, oh god), I’m going to try to keep this regularly updated again now that my P/T job will be coming to an end and I am not battling any Hurricanes like some mythic Greek Goddess anymore.

    Today’s thrilling adventure of catching up with your favorite NHL player while he is locked out takes us to the magical land of Denmark!

    Let’s count the things I can tell you about Denmark (without cheating and going on wikipedia):

    1) Lars Ulrich, drummer of Metallica fame / infamy, is from Denmark. Albeit, he now lives in South California and I believe is a Sharks fan, but, dammit, it’s a thing.

    2) Hans Christian Anderson (i.e. when is NBC going to make a tv show about his fairy tales?), famous fairy tale writer, specifically of my favoritest one of all time — the Little Mermaid (the original fairy tale was written as a love story from one man to another — how is that not the best??) — was also born and died there, becoming a national treasure for Denmark. Like one day Snooki, Bono and Jeremy Roenick will be for America. Our national treasures.

    3) They have a statue of the Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Anderson’s tale in the habor or on the water or whatever they have in Denmark.

    4) During WWII, they had a very large and active resistance group against the Germans and they were able to save thousands of Jewish Danes by hiding them in boats and shipping them off to Sweden and safety. /history major’ed.

    So yeah. That’s not really a lot of knowledge about Denmark. I’ve got to think that that’s as much as other North American hockey fans know about it as well. The Islanders’ Frans Nielsen is Danish and umm, according to hockey-reference.com there are 7 players who were in the NHL who are Danes.

    The AL-Bank Ligaen league is the top league in Danish hockey where only the best Danish and foreign players play. It’s been around since 1954 with 8 teams including the Herlev Eagles.

    Why care? Well, Nashville Predators Kevin Klein, playoff hero, mohawk lover, who just signed a pretty big deal (not as much as teammate Shea Weber’s contract though) with the team, has been playing there since November 15th or so.

    First thoughts that a person would have: WHY ARE YOU SO FAR AWAY FROM ME, KEVIN KLEIN?

    Second, Denmark isn’t as “sexy” as playing in the KHL or as “safe” as playing in the AHL, so what the fuck?

    Third, well, there is no third. Like Demark, using baseball terms, is something completely out of left field. So why would Klein choose Denmark?

    Well, it starts to become a little bit more clearer with this translated from Danish article on the Hervlev Eagles’ website;

    Contact with Kevin came into being thanks to Kim Staal, who played with Kevin in Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL in the 2006-2007 season. In the time before and after, Kevin was in the Nashville Predators in the NHL and for the past 4 seasons has been a staple in the NHL and one of the club’s absolute top players.

    Kim Staal, no relation to those other Staals, a former teammate has been playing in Europe since 2007 is a pretty good reason and in a handful of youtube/video interviews, Klein has been implying just how good friends they are (which is totally cool since it always seems like all of the Preds players Klein is super friendly with seem to get traded away).

    And then another reason Klein, a Canadian, decided on Denmark? Family. From Ontario’s Guelph Mercury:

    Kevin, a defenceman with the Predators, and Laura, a volleyball player and the 2012 female athlete of the year at the University of Waterloo, have both signed pro contracts to play their respective sports in Denmark.

    Laura signed with the club Frederiksberg Volley in Copenhagen on Nov. 9, and days later Kevin accepted an offer from the Herlev Eagles in Herlev, just 15 minutes away from her.

    “The relationship between Kevin and I is strong,” Laura, 22, said. “I would say our bond is really tight because I’m his only sister and he wants me to be successful.”

    [.............]

    “I don’t get to see her as much these days living in Nashville most of the year, so it’s really nice having her around and being able to be there for her here,” Kevin explained. “It’s great, we have a very tight-knit family with most of our relatives being in and around Kitchener and myself, my brother Derek, and Laura have always been close.”

    Laura, who had been looking to play in a Scandinavian country because she liked how most of the people there speak English, felt that the level of play and opportunity with Frederiksberg Volley was her best option.

    Being so close to each other will allow the Kleins to watch each other play, something they haven’t been able to do in recent years.

    “I plan on going to his hockey games as much as possible and he said he would come to my volleyball games,” said Laura, who finished second in Ontario and seventh in the country with 3.34 kills per set this past season at UW. “Our schedules are busy but we will always make time if possible to hang out.”

    Posted in Herlev Eagles, Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville Predators | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

    A year and counting….

    I was originally going to call this post “it’s been a year now since you were here now” because as we know, I enjoy using lyrics for my subject lines, but really. No one deserves Dashboard Confessionals on such a shitty day.

    It’s been a year since an entire hockey team disappeared off the face of this earth. For most sports fans, this is completely unthinkable, but for me it was heartbreaking as well. Alexander Vasyunov, one of those kinds of Devils rookies that I always like but always end up fading away into obscurity (PL3), wasn’t able to do that. He died at the young age of 23.

    The rest of the players and snippets of bio’s can be found here in Puck Daddy’s “Remembering the NHL stars of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl” from last year:

    The defenseman (Karel Rachunek) played in the NHL from 2000-2008 with the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. Patrik Elias of the Devils was close to Rachunek, and remembered him thusly:

    “This is such a sad day. I knew six or seven of the guys on that team (Lokomotiv Yaroslavl),” Elias said. “I was closest to Karel. We played together on the Czech team during the lockout. And, of course, with the Devils.

    “He was very easy-going. He had a tough time in New Jersey. I always felt hockey-wise he had a chance to be our best ‘D’ but it was tough for him. He didn’t talk much so some people got the wrong opinion of him, but everyone would tell you he was a great guy. He has two little kids. It’s so sad.”

    Rachunek had played with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on and off since 2002.

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    On the Slovak side of the coin, the biggest star lost was Pavel Demitra (who Zdeno Chara remembered during this years Worlds by wearing his jersey while getting his medal) and Puck Daddy has a video on the site taken during the 2005-2006 NHL season where it’s pretty much just Pavel, Jeremy Roenick and Luc Robitaille shooting the shit for 12 glorious minutes. Watch it here.

    Last week, Team Malkin v Team Kovalchuk in Russia raised over $500,000 for families of the victims of the Lokomotiv plane crash.

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    Posted in LA Kings, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Summer Ice

    Zajacing

    So, I went offline for a little while… Was I licking my wounds because the Devils lost to the Kings? was I busy trying to get employed so that if hockey does return, I can afford to see more games? did I just run out of words that weren’t PETR SYKORAAAAAAA YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME AGAIN and ZACH PARISE YOU DONE BROKE TRAVIS ZAJAC’S HEART??

    Who really knows, but either way, I’m back for now.

    MSG

    MSG (the home of NJ Devils telecasts and nothing else) has been doing a thing for hockey addicts the last couple of years of “Summer Ice” where every Sunday night (and sometimes the weekdays!) they play some games from the past season. Of course, because we are not “New York’s” team, the Devils are the last ones to get their games on but, hey. That’s part of being a Devils fan, understanding that while your team is better than the other two, that we will always be behind the Rangers and Islanders no matter what.

    In restocking what happened this past season (and to possibly be rehashed if hockey season does not start on time), I’ll have to say as a permanently calm and cool Devils fan, everything came out Milhouse this season! (meaning in this context that obviously while I scream at them in real time and on twitter, I know that we’ll be okay and I don’t believe the team is the most terriblest team I have ever seen).

    Of course, that was the season. Am I embarrassed and angry about certain (now former) Devils? Yes. I’m not even talking about Parise because I am zen about him — but instead I’m talking about how for years Uncle Lou has kept this team out of the news and keep them in line and have it not be a circus like the Yankees in the 70s or godforbid, the Rangers. And then some TMZ-lite place stalks the Devils after they just lose the Stanley Cup and bullshit happens? Ugh, I think that and the fact that Richards/Carter has a Stanley Cup, was the most disgusting parts of this offseason for me as a Devils fan. And then “me as a human being with a conscious” the other thing was Cam Janssen (who is… was my favorite bruiser players) “said” (he at least agreed) some anti-homosexual stuff, which was also disgusting.

    And I mean in regards to the Kings winning the Cup over the Devils, besides me being a bitch to LA Kings fans about how stupid they and the media were getting over a lost/”stolen” by a sneaky Czech puck that was pretty meaningless — I am actually fine with the Kings getting the Cup. And I have even been keeping up with the ‘This player with the Cup!’ going-ons — but it was seeing Jeff Carter’s stupid mutant orange face (surrounded by Flyers stuff in his father’s home, lol) that was the thing that finally pushed me over the edge of “WHAT THE HELL” that most fans of the team who lost the Cup should go through to be healthy.

    As we know, I have quite a few Flyers (and now former Flyers, YOU BE SAFE IN TORONTO, JVR) people that I love though as a Devils fan, you know I shouldn’t. But, Richards & Carter are just the kind of Flyers that to me embodies all that was/is ~wrong~ with hockey in South Philly. So, the fact that they won a Cup after leaving the Flyers, I think, seems to have upset me more then most of the Flyers fans I know.

    And speaking of, ish.

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    Here on the internet, due to my ability to block or ignore idiots, most people have an understanding that while I am upset on a personal level that Parise choose “home” over his home, I am more then okay with Parise being a Wild forever (I’m more upset at Suter and what he did to the Preds) – but let’s be serious, I’m not going to be looking for a ticket to the first Wild/Devils game in New Jersey.

    That being said, out there in the so-called “real world” it’s pretty amazing to see how assholic people are over Parise leaving. Don’t they realize? Everyone leaves us in the end, so just be glad you got to have a good hockey player in the first place for a little bit (this is also why I don’t agree or follow with the hooting and hollering “fans” do when a Gionta or a Holik returned to New Jersey).

    Speaking of Sykora, In Lou We Trust is finally on board with the Petr Sykora Experiment and having him come back.

    Posted in LA Kings, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Philly Flyers | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Originally posted on Yotesgurl Presents.....:

    When big tragic events happen, you watch them on TV and are horrified.  It’s tough stuff.  It is so difficult to fathom how such terrible things can happen.  But you never know the people in them, right?  That happens on CNN and MSBNC and the people that have their pictures put up on the screen are ones you don’t recognize.  It’s very sad, but the loss is always for someone else.  Until it isn’t.

    She wasn’t my best friend.  We didn’t hang out.  We never even met in person.  But I know this girl.  We tweeted and DM’d quite a bit.  She started chasing her dream of working in the world of the NHL in San Antonio, working with the then-Coyotes AHL team, the San Antonio Rampage.  With my love of the prospects and the very small pool of people with keen interest in San Antonio hockey, we started following…

    View original 189 more words

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    Game 6: Bounce.

    First, before we touch on the title of this post, let’s talk about silly NHL rules.

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    Marty Broduer, besides always ending up making the most hilarious faces in the world, if he was a non-goalie player – let’s say his best friend / creepy stalker Cam Janssen – he would’ve probably have been thrown out of the game for his jersey coming off during the game. Instead, he and the ref were able to laugh it off and this .gif made it to the internet before I even went to bed the night of Game 5.

    So remember:

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    This gets you thrown out. (Ignoring of course that he looks like a Super Mario villain with his helmet not even fitting his head).

    And this is just hilarious:

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    Secondly, let’s talk about boobs, man.

    I come from a long line of females who are comfortable with our body and comfortable with looking at other ladies bodies. It happens, eh? So, the fact that we now have a Devils “BOOB-GATE” on our hands and it has nothing to do with Jeff Vanderbeek v Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) or some joke about Colin White that someone who is NOT me would make (Someone Still Loves You, Colin White).

    If you don’t know by now an “adult video actress” / cancer survivor / UGH Kings fan?! Taylor Stevens was behind the Devils bench in LA during Game 4 and, well, let’s just let the wonders of the internet explain what was able to happen on US Network TV:

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    I’ve gone back and forth on Peter DeBoer (DeBore when I yell on the twitter) all season because being forced to watch him and his terrible decisions from afar for the 4 years that Tomas Vokoun was a Florida Panther told me that he wouldn’t really be a person I would like to have to watch as a Devils coach, but if you exclude sitting Adam Larsson for the entire post-season (except, what? a game or two in the Florida series?) and then the benching of Sykora possibly only because he’s Czech Because Sykora was going through a dry spell in his admitting “prone to random dry spells” career (see! I can keep SOME of my biases in czech. Check. Dammit). So, yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s really thanks to the unholy Devils trio of Uncle Lou, Adam Oates, and Larry Robinson in the background/behind the scenes but my UGH DEBORE I ANGER levels have been pretty slim.

    All of that just to say, this cracked me up when I was half sure I saw it during the game and then after the game it’s all everyone could talk about.

    I have yet to see any of the terrible and juvenile bs that many of my friends and people I admire say happened over this (sometimes it’s cool to be in my own little bunker, yo) but as someone who loves to love boobs (is that a thing? It should be now) and loves women who love hockey, well, I say fuck yeah Ms Stevens (yes, I hope someone noticed what the Devils fan just did).

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    This is, of course, good news for teenage boys everywhere. But it’s also good news for the Devils, according to coach Peter DeBoer.

    “We won last time she was there. So I’ll buy her a ticket,” DeBoer quipped Sunday. — Puck Daddy

    Finally, today’s title is not just a subtle hint that I am pro-boobs but also an attempt to use one J. Bon Jovi’s words to lead my team on: “call it karma, call it luck, me I just don’t give a ….. Bounce! Bounce! Nothing’s gonna keep me down!”

    Posted in LA Kings, New Jersey Devils | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Game 5: Keep on Dreamin’ Even if It Breaks Your Heart

    The Devils have come back from 3-1 down before to win, though. They did that in the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals against Philadelphia. So, they have a little more reason to believe now.

    “More than yesterday,” goaltender Martin Brodeur said. “We wanted to make them jump on the plane and come to New Jersey. We had to go anyway, might as well get a game over there.

    Fire & Ice

    A video in Czech that Elias was interviewed about the Kings/Devils matchup

    As you may know from other posts including “This is the Patrik Elias Show” and Loving Patrik Elias is like loving Mama, Jesus and America too, Patrik Elias is kind of my favorite player. Shocking, I know.

    But, I feel I’ve grown up with him in some weird way (deemed “creepy” in most circles, I’m sure), but I remember him as a young rookie on a line with Holik and some other player and then the A-line, and then the Egg line and the whole “almost died in Russia” and then he found love at around the same time I did and then he had a child (and I have a god child now, but as my mother loves to point out it’s not the same thing. I like to think it’s better! I can go home when the baby gets cranky!) and all of these things that sometimes I realize just how intertwined our lives are without being super creepy about it, you know? It’s like the good kind of relationship you can have with a sports star because unlike others in other sports, Elias isn’t a dick or a terrible person or anything else.

    Plus, you add to the fact that he’s got this hilarious sense of humor (if this was another time and another place, I’m sure most of his quotes would’ve gotten RT’ed and Liked a zillion times more then Tyler Seguin of the Bruins. Oh, if such technology was something fans could’ve done during the course of Elias’ 15+ years) and that’s not even touching on his stats and how good he actually is at being able to be 5 steps ahead of the hockey game.

    But, as we all know I’m not a stats girl, I save that for other people who are better at it or care more then I do. Speaking of, have an article about Elias as some reading material before Game 5 starts: Devils Can Count On Their Quiet Leader (from the TorontoSun as you will see in some of the questions):

    NEWARK, N.J. – The best player nobody talks about is sitting at his locker in the early afternoon barely garnering any attention from the mob of cameras and microphones assigned to chronicle the Stanley Cup final.

    Patrik Elias doesn’t mind flying under the radar. It has been the story of his hockey life and, in some ways, the unfortunate story of this playoff season for him. One of the best scorers of this NHL season with 78 points — two points more than Anze Kopitar, four fewer than Phil Kessel — Elias hasn’t scored much in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

    But when the New Jersey Devils needed to take their first lead in the Cup final in Game 4, needed to finally find a way to beat Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, it was their 36-year-old leader who somehow got it done.

    “I have a way of remaining calm,” said the former captain of the Devils, who most people wouldn’t know is the former captain of the Devils. He played left wing in Game 1 and 2 of the final. He moved to centre for Game 3. Few forwards make that transition so comfortably.

    “I’m used to it,” he said.

    Elias has been around for 15 seasons, has played wherever they have asked him, has been annually one of New Jersey’s best players and has never quite received the recognition a career of his quality deserves.

    “Imagine this guy if he played in Toronto, in a centre like that,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. “For me, he’s a Hall of Fame player. He does it all. He’s a coach in the dressing room. He knows how to win. He knows how to find another level at key times.

    “He had some struggles early in the playoffs, but you can see, I think, he has been our most consistent guy here though the final at a key time. There’s a reason he has multiple Stanley Cups. You know, he has had the success at this time of the year.”

    The Devils remain on the ropes, barely hanging on in this uneven Stanley Cup final. Elias knows how fragile this all can be.

    “I’ve waited nine years to get back here,” he said. He has won the Cup. Seventeen of his teammates have not. The Devils can’t afford another defeat.

    “It’s not one game,” Elias said, talking about what the Devils need to come back from being down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. “It’s five minutes. We have to get through five minutes. Then we have to get through another five minutes. You have to go like that. You can’t worry about the outcome. You have to break the game down into little parts and focus on those few minutes.

    “Yeah, we’re excited to come back here and excited we’re still playing hockey. We have another chance at it. That’s all. Nobody thinks we’re back in it. Nobody thinks we’re fine now. There are another 60 minutes or more to play and hopefully we can say the same thing after Saturday’s game. There’s no point in talking about (comebacks) now. It’s a long way away. It’s only five days in hockey terms, that’s all, but it can be a lot or just a little.”

    He’s not ready to squander this opportunity, maybe the last one he’ll ever get. Elias is in the sixth year of a seven-year $42-million contract that runs out next year and has brought decent value to his team. The Devils won their first Stanley Cup (1995) just before Elias arrived on the scene. They have won two Cups since (2000, 2003). Odds are this is his last real shot to win again.

    “I tell the guys, you have to take advantage of this chance. It’s one message you try to give to the young guys,” Elias said. “I don’t know when there will be another chance.”

    The way this Cup final has gone, Elias figures there is reason for both teams to believe victory is attainable and that opportunities already have been squandered.

    “You ask (the Kings), they probably think they should have won the last game,” he said. “And we’re thinking, we should have won one of the first two games. Three of the four games could have gone either way. And that’s something for us to be positive about.”

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