Sunday, April 16, 2006

Foster City Looking to Adopt

We are the City of Vancouver (and surrounding burbs). Our troubled child has finally gone and left us - again. With eight weeks of hockey left in the 2005/06 season we are hopelessly adrift without a team to cheer for. Applications are welcome to be our foster team. We do not want to seem ungrateful but we do have some minor conditions.

Management: Your GM has to have a name that fits into a sentence that contains the names Bob Gainey and Doug Wilson and doesn’t seem out of place. Preferably he’s not a New York lawyer and has never worked for the NHL Office. Your claim to the position has to be more substantive than you once lit Brian Bruke’s cigar. If you were once Brian Burke’s errand boy that’s nice – now run along.

Coach: Your coach has to be a former player that’s won more than one Stanley Cup. He can’t be a screamer. His name can not be Mike. He has to blend the right combination of tactics and strategy with instilling a fear of failure within his players.

Owner: Your owner has deep pockets and a passion for the game. Your owner knows to stay the hell away from anything to do with hockey operations unless it is to drop off cheques. If you have some documented connection to Captain Cook that would be nice too.

Captain: Your Captain is Canadian born. He’s from a place like Owen Sound or Sault St Marie or even better Burnaby. He’s lead the Canadian Juniors to a world championship preferably as their Captain. Joe Sakic I mean you. Iggy? Ok maybe you too.

Primary Line: You seem to score about six points a night. Not every night but most nights. You never start sentences “We had our chances, but” You never say “it is what it is” or “we don’t care.” You do say things like “I, personally, will do whatever it takes to make this situation better.” You play 3/4 of the game in the opposition's end of the rink in control of the puck. You tried a drop pass once and it was nice. You're thinking to try it again maybe next week.

Secondary Line: You seem to score about five points a night. Otherwise you’d be the primary line. You are never a risk on the ice. You’re a collective plus 30. Carter, Sedin, Sedin feel free to think we are talking about you.

Role Players: You do not have a needler in your midst’s. You do not hit from behind. You do not chirp. Individually, you score at least a point every three games. You fight when needed. One of you is a feared pugilist. One other is suspected to be able to beat the crap out of your tough guy if he was so inclined. If your names are Cooke, Park, Ruutu or Burrows please do not apply.

Defence: Your defence corps is consistent, fast and sure. You have more than one guy who can shoot the puck. You crumple opposing forwards on a regular basis. You have a blend of wily veterans and youth. If your name is Luc Bourdon please step up. If you are thinking about life in Florida or Sweden or Finland please do not. Vancouver is a nice city.

Goal: You have taken your team deep into the playoffs more than once. You have a habit of winning one game a month all on your own with a score like 1 – 0 or 2 – 1. You do not need fancy hair products. You do not easily break your bones. You have never had major reconstructive surgery. You’re happy to play 65 games and win 40 of them. Your backup is happy to play less than 20 games and will win 10 of them.

Applications are being accepted now. Calgary and Edmonton – stop laughing – and forget applying. We could never bring ourselves to cheer for you.


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Who Won?

I sit at the dinner table Friday night poking at a piece of steak and a naked baked potato. The conversation goes something like this:

The Little One: “Dad who won the game last night?”
Dad: “I don’t know. I didn’t watch it” he lied.
Wife: “The Sharks won. It was lots to two.”
Dad: “It was five to three and it doesn’t matter.” Stunned silence. Whoa did Dad just say hockey doesn’t matter?
Dad: “Hockey is over now. It doesn’t matter. Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa all get to go on and play for the Stanley Cup. In Vancouver we get to go home. Even the Ducks and the Sharks get to go on.”
Wife: “They are the Canucks what do you expect.”

Oh please let me pick and major artery out of my neck with this steak knife and hopefully I’m dead long before the Emergency Response Team even answers the 911 call.

The Little One: ”We can just cheer for another team Dad!”
The Big One: “Yea we can cheer for Calgary. Zoro is from Calgary.” (Zoro is the damn cat - and another story.)

Forget the steak knife I’ll use the fork.

Dad: “We are NOT cheering for Calgary. Or Edmonton.” After some thought “maybe we could cheer for Ottawa.”
The Little One: “Who will win the Stanley Cup Dad?”
Dad: “Well sweetie maybe Detroit. Detroit is very good. But from the east Ottawa and Carolina are good. Also the Rangers look to think they are special. But Detroit sweetie.”

The Big One: “Can’t Calgary win the Stanley Cup?”
Dad: “I don’t think Calgary can beat Detroit.” And thoughts turn to yes who will win the Stanley Cup Tournament this year? The steak tastes a little better now.


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Playoff Seeds

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between April 9th and April 15th. The point predictions are for the days April 16th to April 18th.

Period of Analysis 09-Apr-06 to 18-Apr-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
Detroit, again, picked up all the available points this week. They beat the Oilers, St Louis and Chicago.

Detroit has two games left. One with Dallas one with Nashville. Look for Detroit to end the season with an astonishing 126 points. The Wings are the West’s number one seed.

This week the Stars dropped another game to the Sharks. This time on the road. They beat the CBJ’s and Minny. Dallas ends its season on the road with games in Detroit and Columbus.

Dallas has two games left. The Stars could go as high as 115. Dallas Stars are the West’s second seed and should end up with 113 points.

Calgary picked up points in every game this week yet lost to LA (SO). They beat Anaheim and Colorado this week.

Calgary has a game left. It is on the road at the Duck Pond. The Flames could go as high as 105. Based on the play of the Ducks I’d suggest they’re stuck at 103. The Calgary Flames are the West’s third seed.

The Preds won all their games with the bottom feeders. Blues-Minny-Dogs produced 6 points for Nashville.

The Preds have a game left with Detroit. The Preds could go as high as 106 points. Given it is Detroit, Nashville has toped out at 104 points. The Nashville Predators are the West’s fourth seed.

5San Jose9917101
The Sharks have got in the habit of winning and they like it. In the last seven days they picked up 10 points. Included in this were wins over Dallas, Phoenix, Vancouver (twice) and Anaheim. There is talk of Joe Thorton for MVP.

As the last game of the year is with LA look for the Sharks to end with 101 points. The Sharks are the West's fifth seed.

The Ducklings seem to have come back to earth. A trip into the western death triangle can do that. They beat Vancouver but lost to both Calgary and Edmonton. Roast Duck was also on the Sharks’ menu on Saturday. Three unanswered first period goals cooked the fowl. At 96 points and sixth seed the Ducks have given a good show for themselves. Congratulate Burke as this has his finger prints all over it.

Anaheim’s last game is at home to the Flames. I think the Ducks will win to end up with 98 points. Anaheim will be the West’s sixth seed. If they don’t win check Colorado for the complications.

The Av’s have not had a road win since March 25th. It shows. This week the Av’s lost to Minny but beat Phoenix in the Pepsi Center. Then it was out onto the road and into the death triangle – not usually a problem for the divisional rival. Theodore started two games and lost them both. Calgary in regulation and Vancouver in OT were the victors.

Colorado’s last game is in Edmonton. If Colorado wins or gets to overtime and Anaheim loses then the Av’s can leapfrog the Ducks into sixth. I don’t think this is going to happen simply because the Ducks are going to beat the Flames. I suspect it is a bit much to be asking Theodore to step up and be a playoff goalie now. Then again I’m not a NHL GM. Give Edmonton the win.

Edmonton picked up the only two points they needed this week with a 2 – 1 win over Anaheim. Coupled with the Canuck losses the Oil backed in to the post season with 93 points on Thursday night.

The Oilers have a game left. On Monday the host the Av’s Rexall Place. I’ll give that one to the Oil on the strength of home ice and better goaltending. The Oilers have 93 points and will get to 95. They will be the West’s eight seed.

Booking Tee Times.

The Canucks’ season officially ended with a lost in San Jose and Edmonton’s win over Anaheim the same night. Truth be told the season was over with the loss to Anaheim on the Duck Pond back on April 2nd. The lost the next night in LA signed it. A second loss this time at home to Anaheim sealed it. The loss at home to San Jose stamped it. Joe and the boys delivered it express mail to the Shark Tank Thursday.

Vancouver’s defence, scoring and goaltending is just not good enough to be a NHL playoff team. Now the off season will see if Vancouver’s management is good enough to build a NHL playoff team.

11Los Angeles87687
LA’s imploded. Their done…. And no Sean Avery to boot.

Current Dance Partners.

When the playoffs start my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Edmonton
Dallas – Colorado
Calgary – Anaheim
Nashville – San Jose

The only questionable spot is will Calgary get the Ducks or the Av’s in the first round.


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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Playoff Hunt #9

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between April 2nd and April 8th. The point predictions are for the week April 9th to April 15th.

Period of Analysis 02-Apr-06 to 15-Apr-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
Detroit picked up all the available points this week. They beat Minny, Calgary and the CBJ’s twice. This week the Wings host the Oilers before going out the road to meet St Louis and Chicago. The President’s Trophy looks to be a lock for the Wings as they are eight up on their closest rivals and nine up on the rest of the west. For the sake of the Canucks let’s hope there is no collective let up in the Wings. A win against Edmonton, their only serious opponent this week, would suite the Canucks fine. Looks like another six point week for the Wings.

Detroit has five games left. Three road and two home. The Wings could go as high as 126. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 125 points.

This week the Stars dropped a home game to the Sharks. They beat the Ducks and the Dogs. Dallas continues its road trip to San Jose Sunday night. Three road games in four nights. They face a desperate Sharks team. I figure the only plus the Canucks can draw from this that the Stars may want to avenge the home loss to the Sharks last week. Modano is day-to-day with a wonky knee. I figure Dallas for six points this week.

Dallas has five games left. Three road and two home. The Stars could go as high as 117. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 114 points.

Calgary picked up points in every game this week but still lost to Detroit (SO) and Vancouver (OTL). Calgary has games with Anaheim (home), Colorado (home) and LA (road) this week. Kiprusoff is still playing unbelievable. I saw the game with Vancouver. Had the Kipper not kept his team in it the game could have been five or six zip in the second period. Kiprusoff is a MVP candidate. Anaheim is a hot team. Give Cowtown four points this week.

Calgary has four games left. Two on the road and two at home. The Flames could go as high as 106. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 104 points.

Early in the week Nashville continued their tail spin. Again, they finally won thanks to the St Louis Blues. Other than the Canucks who doesn’t love those Blues. This week brings three more dances with the bottom feeders. Blues-Minny-Dogs should produce as many as 6 points but more likely 4. Give them the loss in Phoenix.

The Preds have four games left. The Preds could go as high as 106 points. Their results would predict low at 101. The end result will be closer to the 103 given their easy opponents.

The Canard take it out on the road and into the death triangle this week. The order is Vancouver, Calgary then Edmonton. They end the week in San Jose’s Shark Tank. Huge games all round here. However, Anaheim needs only about one or two points to land them in the post season. As well, wins in Vancouver, Edmonton or San Jose could end those respective teams’ seasons. First up is Vancouver who recently beat Calgary by the will and determination of Ed Jovanovski. Although these same Canucks were on a three game losing skid including being embarrassed by the Ducks on the Pond last Sunday afternoon. Vancouver is a desperate team with home ice advantage. After the game the Ducks will hop the commuter flight over the Rocks to Calgary. Here I see a bit more success. Calgary has their position for the post season secured. I’d expect to see Kipper get a night off somewhere and why not against Anaheim who they face twice in the next two weeks. Then it is up Highway 2 with a day off to visit the city with that big shopping mall. Edmonton is also a desperate and needs to win two of four to get to the 95 points plateau. The week ends in San Jose. By then the Sharks will have played four games including a home and home set with Vancouver. The Sharks need to win three of six to reach 95. If the Sharks have one or more wins between now and the Anaheim game – look out. Otherwise, it will be a meaningless game and the Ducks will prevail. Give the Ducks four points this week via wins in Calgary and San Jose.

Anaheim has five games left. Every game is against a team fighting for playoff position including games with Edmonton, San Jose and Vancouver. They also play Calgary twice. Anaheim could go as high as 104. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 101 points. Given the strength of the opponents 99 points might be very optimistic.

Joe Sakic and the boys had two bottom feeder wins and a lose to San Jose. At 92 points the Av’s need to win two of the five remaining to reach 96 points. They should get these points early with easy games at home against Minny and Phoenix. The other two games this week are on the road with Calgary then Vancouver. I guess a split of these two. Give Colorado six points this week.

Colorado has five games left. All at home before going out to the death triangle – Calgary-Vancouver-Edmonton as their last three. Colorado could go as high as 102. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 98 points. Given four points in the next two games, picking up two more on the road trip to end the season at 98 and in the playoffs sounds about right. If they lose either of the first two, you might wonder about the Av’s picking up four points in three games on the road out west.

Edmonton picked up five of what should have been six easy points. There was a huge controversy in Minny as the video review didn’t pick up a Edmonton goal that was scored and Edmonton went on to lose in OT. This week the Oil continues their road trip and face St Louis then Detroit. They then return home to face the Duckies. St Louis should be a win and Detroit a loss. The Anaheim game will require a win if the Oil is going to make the play offs. Give Edmonton four points this week.

The Oilers have four games left. Two at home after completing the remaining two on the current road trip. The final game of this week against Anaheim. This game could be more meaningful to Edmonton. Edmonton could go as high as 99 points. Based on results of the last twenty the total looks like 96. Winning against Anaheim and Colorado is going to be important to the Oil.

8San Jose891397
The Sharks did what they have to do. Win. They hold their own destiny more than any other bubble team. The Sharks play Dallas (home) and Phoenix (road) before the two games in two nights with Vancouver. They end the hosting Anaheim. At 89 points the Sharks need six points to reach 95. They have many options and can get to 95 without a win against Vancouver. Most likely though the best bet is a home win against the Modano-less Stars, win in Phoenix, and split with Vancouver.

With six games left the Sharks could go as high as 101 points. They have two road games and four home games. Based on their last twenty their projection is 97.

Outside looking in.

The Canucks could make the playoffs. I think they need help. The bubble teams they could reach are Colorado, Edmonton and San Jose. San Jose is the realistic target. Last week's lost to Anaheim and Los Angeles down in La La Land hurt far more than they realized. Saturday night they took a two – zip lead in to the third period and promptly threw that away. When desperation turned to panic, Ed Jovanovski put himself in the right place at 2:27 of the extra frame to score the winner. Jovo played 17:26 in his first game in two and a half months. Eddy seemed to provide the spark and leadership that the Nuck’s have lacked for sometime. We’ll even forgive him that he was the one in the sin bin when the Flames got their first goal half way through the third period. Vancouver’s regular season ends this week. Does Vancouver’s season end this week? Likely it does. The games remaining are Anaheim, San Jose back to back and Colorado. The Nuck’s have 89 points and need six to reach the 95 level. Their games are at home with the exception of the two hours and a bit flight down to San Jose.

With four games left, the Canucks could go as high as 97 points. Based on their last twenty results the predicted total is one short at 94. If Vancouver wins them all they still need San Jose to drop a couple along the way.

10Los Angeles85687
LA’s imploded. They can at best hope for 91 points. Their done….

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start only a few days early on April 16th my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Edmonton
Dallas – San Jose
Calgary – Colorado
Nashville – Anaheim


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Friday, April 07, 2006

The Role of Blogs

Jeff and Alanah at Canucks Op Ed were rejected by the Canucks on a request to interview a member of the Canucks team. There is an interesting discussion of this – here. Including my comments on the issue which are reprinted below:

A couple thoughts.

J & A: I take small issue with the line “Increasingly, it is blogs who are filtering the mainstream media, and that is incredibly important.”

I read Canucks Op Ed and a handful of the other usual suspects’ material religiously. I write my own material. In my opinion you (we) express opinion that leads the ‘accredited’ media. For example, on January 30th you wrote “Just say goodbye to Eddie, Canucks fans. Wish him well, then put him out of your head. Pretend he never existed.” Your insight to the fact that we had perhaps seen the last of Jovo in a Canucks’ uniform. Yet on April 5th Gordon McIntyre writes in the Province that “one or two games could be all GM Place fans may see of Jovanovski in a Canucks uniform.” This is one of many examples where Bloggers actually lead the mainstream media coverage. We see and say things far faster than the accredited media can ever hope.

JJ: When searching through the game recaps over on Canuck’s dot com I found an error in one of the scoring summaries. The area that Kevin Klinghorn calls Ice Pack. I mailed Kevin and alerted him to the problem. Within a few hours Kevin had responded politely and fixed the error. Seems like a good guy to me.

Temujin: Nothing personal dude. Just my observation. I used to read that stuff on the message boards at canucks dot com. After a few months of the colour of the Cayenne Cloutier was driving and endless announced trades for Luongo one has to ask isn’t there a better way to waste my time? So I started my own blog – at least, I feel my content is relevant. At least, I feel Canucks Op Ed, Tom Benjamin, JJ, Mike Browne, Todd contribute to my understanding of the games and the team. Suggesting assistance from the 1000+ message board posters, in my opinion, only furthers the lack of credibility of quality blogs like Canucks Op Ed.

Tom Benjamin has more related to this topic here


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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Playoff Hunt #8

This report for the Western Conference discusses the results for games between March 26th and April 1st. The point predictions are for the week April 2nd to April 8th.

Period of Analysis 26-Mar-06 to 8-Apr-06

SeedTeamCurrent PointsLast 10 PointsPredicted Points
Stop the presses! Detroit failed to pick up all the available points. The Wings dropped a game to Chicago of all teams. The loss was in over time so only one point was forsaken. Since the Olympic break the Wings have lost two outright, lost two via the Shoot Out and has now lost one in OT. This week the Wings play Minny and Calgary on the road. They return home to meet the CBJ’s in a home and away twin bill next Friday and Saturday. With a six point cushion on Dallas, the questions this week is when does Mike Babcock take his foot of the gas in preparation for the second season. Calgary, who played strong in their last two, represents the only significant opponent this week. Columbus has fancied themselves in the spoiler role. Nash and the lads are on a five win streak. Prior to this was a five game losing streak so I’m not to worried about the CBJ’s against Detroit. Give the Wings six points and make note of the predicted loss being in Calgary.

Detroit has seven games left. Five road and two home. Two are against teams in the playoff hunt. Calgary (road) this week and Edmonton (home) next week. The Wings could go as high as 122. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 120 points.

This week was pretty much as expected. LA did pull off an upset on Saturday. This week the games are all within their own division with San Jose visiting followed by a trip out to the Duck Pond and Phoenix. I figure Dallas for six points this week. Sorry Lexie.

Dallas has six games left. Three road and three home. One or three are against teams in the playoff hunt. Depends on how you view the Sharks. The game mid week with Anaheim is the toughest match up. The two with the Sharks, at home this week, and out in the Shark Tank next week, could be key to the Sharks’ success. The Stars could go as high as 114. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 111 points.

Calgary ended the week on a high. They lost early to Dallas. Then beat LA. They went down 2-1 to Colorado then poured five in to win 6-3 in a battle for first in the division. The week closed with a Battle of Alberta notched up with a convincing win over Edmonton in Edmonton. Calgary has a busy week with four games in seven nights. Detroit, Phoenix and Minny come to the Saddledome. The week ends with a hop out to Vancouver for a loss to the Canucks. Give Cowtown six points this week.

Calgary has seven games left. Two on the road and the rest at home. Five are against teams in the playoff hunt albeit one is Detroit. The Flames face both Vancouver and Detroit this week. The Flames could go as high as 106. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 100 points.

Nashville has been in a little tail spin. They finally won again thanks to the St Louis Blues. This week brings four dances with the bottom feeders. CBJ’s, Hawks-Blues-Hawks should produce as many as 8 points but more likely 6. Give Columbus the win.

The Preds have seven games left. With all the games against bottom feeders, they are a lock for the 4th seed. The Preds could go as high as 108 points. Their results would predict low at 102. The end result will be closer to the 108 given the opponents.

Burkies Duckies cooled a little this week. They picked up one home ice win against the Stars. The Ducks face a big challenge this week. Vancouver visits Sunday afternoon. They then play LA, Dallas and LA. Next week it just gets better with a stroll through the Northwest death triangle and a season ending visit to the Shark Tank. We are about to see how real these Ducks are. I predict it to unfold this way: Loss to Vancouver, two wins over LA and a loss to Dallas. Give the Ducks four points this week.

Anaheim has eight games left. Three at home before going out for the last five on the road. Every games is against a team fighting for playoff position. The Ducks should end LA’s hope this week. Anaheim could go as high as 104. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 99 points. Given the strength of the opponents 99 points would be very optimistic.

Joe Sakic has 17 points in his last 9 games. Unfortunely Joe can’t carry a whole team. The Av’s lost to Edmonton and Calgary. They beat the Ducks. The schedule is fairly easy one for the Av’s this week. Only three games home games with Hawks, Sharks and Blues visiting the Pepsi Center. Give the Av’s an easy six points this week.

Anaheim has seven games left. All at home before going out to Calgary and Vancouver for the last two. The Sharks are the other team in the hunt that the Av’s will face. Colorado could go as high as 102. Based on their results in the last twenty they will reach 96 points. Given the strength of the opponents the total will be closer to 102 than 96. Maybe about 99 points.

The Canucks are on track to make the playoffs. They need wins in Anaheim Sunday afternoon and in LA Monday night. Then they sit and wait for the week to unfold and the Flames to arrive next Saturday for the late edition of HNIC. The Av’s and Ducks are at 88 points. A win Sunday will leap frog the Nucks up to 5th seed. The idle period that follows will see them drop back to 7th or 8th seed.

Vancouver has seven games left. Three road games and four at home. All the games are with teams fighting for playoff position. The Canucks could go as high as 101 points. Based on their last twenty results the predicted total is that magic number 95.

An easy six points for Edmonton this week. They host Phoenix Monday then go out on a four game road trip to the mid west. Thursday/Friday will see them in Minny and Chicago. No worries there I think. Give Edmonton six points this week.

The Oilers have six games left. Two at home and a four game road trip. Two games are against play off teams – one being Detroit. The final game of the year is against Anaheim. This game could be meaningful for both teams. Edmonton could go as high as 100 points. Based on results of the last twenty the total looks like 93. I’m not sure 93 is enough to make the second season. Edmonton is going to have to win everything except the one game in Detroit.

Outside looking in.

9San Jose831288

The Sharks didn’t do as well as they should have in this last week. Two loses to the CBJ’s and the Coyotes followed up with a OTL to the same Coyotes hurt them. This week gets no easier. The Sharks go out on the road to Dallas, Colorado and LA. They may pick up one or two points in LA. Maybe by next week the Sharks are out of it.

With eight games left the Sharks could go as high as 99 points. They have five road games and three home games. If the magic number is 95 points the Sharks can only drop two games from now to the end of the season. Seven of eight opponents are in the hunt and the other is Phoenix who just beat them twice. The Sharks are not going to make it.

10Los Angeles831285
LA experienced what many team have this year. A trip to Western Canada that saw them play three games in four nights. The order was Vancouver, Calgary then Edmonton. Three losses. Say good night Jeremy. Good night Jeremy. The game is going to miss you. The win picked is against the Sharks on Thusday.

Current Dance Partners.

If the playoff were to start only one week early on April 9th my predictions for match ups are as follows:

Detroit – Anaheim or Edmonton
Dallas – Edmonton or Anaheim
Calgary – Vancouver
Nashville – Colorado


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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wild 2 at Canucks 1

I watched the game on SportsNet with my eight year old daughter. For whatever reason for the first time she took interest in the game and had questions. Watching a game with a young non hockey fan leads to some interesting scenarios.

First up was the puck taking a crazy bounce off one of the Referees directly at the Canucks net where a startled Auld had to steer it to safety. Jim and John got into an exchange. John says that if the puck goes directly in off an official a goal is not awarded. That’s a new one. I’m not sure I believe John but he is indeed an ex-NHL goalie so I figure he’d be up on subtle rules like this. An eight year old daughter’s take was “how do you tell which one is the Ref?”

“Ah no worries. There are two of them. They wear the striped shirt with the red arm bands.”

“Why red arm bands?”

“So you can tell them from the linesmen who do not have arm bands.”

After some time of picking out Ref’s and Linesmen her thoughts turned to “what is their job?”

“Ah great question. The Refs get to call penalties. The Linesmen can too but they never do. The Ref blows the whistle when the puck goes out of the rink and he controls the game. He decides when a goal is scored and who scored it. The Linesman looks after offside, icing and they get to stop the players when they fight.” Good enough answer to create another session of officials watching. BTW we’re calling them Zebra’s by now.

“Dad one of those Zebras was waving his arms like this.” She makes the ok sign for an onside play at the blue line. Wow ok.

“It is the Linesmen’s job to make sure the puck doesn’t go over that blue line before any of our players do. The puck must precede the players into the offensive zone. The Linesman will signal like that to tell the players and fans that the puck went across the blue line legally.” We also cover the raised arm for offside.

“Oh so the puck is like royalty. It must be first in line and the players have to follow behind?”

“Yes sweetie but only when it crosses those blue lines.” And good enough for another session of game watching.

“Dad? I think that was offside but the Zebra did not blow the whistle.”

“Ah yes it was dear but there is a slight change in the rule called ‘tag up offside.’ It means that our players can go inside the blue line before the puck but as long as they do not touch the puck or the other team’s players the linesman can decide to wait and give the player a chance to go back outside the line and then come back in after the puck. We call that ‘touching up’ or ‘tagging up.’ Understand?”

“Why do they have off side anyway?”

“Ah errr ummm because it has always been that way? Actually, the offside gives an advantage to the defence. It creates the offence and defence zones. The blue line helps a team defend against getting goals scored. You see, if the defenders can get the puck just over that blue line then all our players have to all go out of the area and have to start again. The blue lines are very important to our game.”

Oh look the first period is over. Nothings happened – still 0 – 0. We’ved covered officials and the finer points of offside. So far so good.

Second period drags on an we are reduced to singing “Boring, Boring” like they would at a English soccer game. Then Chouinard dribbles one through Auld. Oh heck now we’re done. The way this is going I’m seeing 1 - Zip Wild as a real ending.

BUT NO! The Brothers come through! Sedin to Sedin to my other brother Carter(31) and we’re back on even terms.

The second period featured a lot of discussion about scoring goals. For example: “How much do the players get paid if they score a goal? Is it like $10?”

“Well no sweetie. It is much more than that but they do not get paid per goal. If you score lots of goals the team will want to pay you more. If you can not score goals the team will not want to pay you much.” Thinking of rich D-Men, I add “of course stopping goals is important too. If you stop lots of goals the team will want to pay you much too.”

“So the goalie gets paid a lot?”


We go a little deeper. “Some players do have rules where they get bonus money if they score lots of goals. But these bonuses are more like you get one bonus if you score 30 goals and another for 40 goals and even more for 50 goals.”

“How much bonus do you get for 50 goals?”

“Oh it depends on the team and the player. In some cases it could be millions of dollars.”

“Wow! Did any of our players get millions of dollars for scoring 50 goals?"

“No sweetie not for a very long time. We had two players Naslund and Bertuzzi who a couple years ago came close to getting bonuses for their goals scored. But they ended up with only 49 and 46 goals.”

“Why what happened?”

“That is a good question. We do not really know. Some people though there could be some selfish play as one tried to make sure he got to 50. Other thought that they stopped scoring as they tried to help the other get to 50. Still others think that the team was more focused on being in first place and that distracted them from their scoring.”

“So were we in first place?”

“Well, again, no sweetie. We came close but no 50 goals, no first place and we lost early in the playoffs too. Then we say well maybe next year.”

“Was next year good?”

“Nope. Not as good. Then we had a year off. And now this year we are not as good again. Each year the team is getting a little less ‘good.’”

Oh look second period is over. Two goals and incentive bonuses covered. Ah love these Wild Minny games. All over the hockey world look at the opportunities Jacques Lemaire is creating for parents to bond with their children.

Third period – half way through and shots are 2-2. “Dad I’m going to bed.”

“Good idea sweetie. This isn’t very exciting is it?”

A total of seven shots in the third. OT settles nothing. The SO is ends with Koivu being one in six to score. Even that was boring.

While the Nucks lost their Shoot Out the Ducks were winning one. Ducks and Stars featured 8 goals and a 2 – 0 shootout win. Dallas’ first lost of the season via the SO.

Since ‘the team meeting’ we have three of six points against Edmonton. Three of four against the Wild. This was the minimum required but OK still on track to get to 95 points.

Next up those same Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on the pond Sunday afternoon.


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