PictureCast of "A Particular Class of Women" closing night at the Presentation House in North Vancouver.
Hello Beloved Hockey Fans!  How is everyone?  I know I have been MIA from the hockey world for the last month or so but I have a really really good excuse…… I had been cast as Marky in Janet Feindel's play "A Particular Class of Women" a production  put on by Vancouver's up and coming ALL women theatre company Never You Mind Productions.  It was one of the best experiences thus far in my life.  For 6 weeks we packed theatres all over Metro Vancouver.  Now that I have rested, I am back, but wow, pump. the. brakes…… a few weeks away from hockey and my my my how things have changed!  I could write for days about NHL hockey but I thought the most efficient way to let you ladies (and men) know the important stuff, was if I did the old bullet point technique. 

PictureThe 2014 GOLD medal winning Canadian Men's Hockey team posing post win in Sochi, Russia!
1) Canada WON GOLD at the 2014 Olympics!  I had a show Saturday night and a matinee on the Sunday so I was in no place to stay up all night to watch the game.  I was however woken up at about 7:00am pacific standard time to car horns, cow bells and cheering as Canada beat Sweden 3-0!  Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz all lit up the score board during the game while Carey Price made 24 saves.  I heard a lot of my fellow Canadians talking about the game but possibly the best story about this game was a friend of mine who is currently living in Whistler.  He is from Germany and came down to Vancouver for the weekend.  His bus back to Whistler was 8:00am Sunday.  As he made his way to the bus depot in downtown Vancouver early Sunday morning he said he could hear screaming, and all of a sudden cow bells and cheering all over the city, Canada had just won gold and my German friend got to experience what Canada's game is all about.  Needless to say when he told me the story I got goosebumps.  

PictureThe comeback kids….. the Canadian Women won GOLD again! With a beauty of an OT goal!
2) Shortly before the Canadian Men won gold the Women did. In what was arguably the best hockey game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics!  For the 5th time in Olympic history (keep in mind this is the 5th time Women's hockey has been in the Olympics, it was only introduced in 1998) Team Canada and Team USA met up in the Gold medal game. For most of the game it looked like Team USA was going to win for the first time since 1998 with a 2 goal lead for most of the game.  Canada mounted an epic comeback late in the 3rd period.  With 3 and 1/2 minutes left in the 3rd Brianne Jenner scored to make it 2-1, then with less then a minute left and an empty Canadian net it was a tie game, with Marie-Philip Poulin netting the equalizing goal. Then Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin scored again, the winner in overtime and Canada got to cheer as loud as they could.  For the next few days everybody and I mean everybody was talking about this game.  Congrats Team Canada!

3) Before the NHL deadline came the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues made headlines when they swapped goalies!  Ryan Miller, one of the most popular faces of the Buffalo organization, was traded to St. Louis for Jaroslav Halak.  St. Louis also got gritty Steve Ott while Buffao got Chris Stewart and a few other players. But don't get to comfortable….. Halak had just enough time to  enjoy a cup of coffee before he was sent to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Michael Neuvirth.  Miller's record since joining the Blues is 7-2-1, while Halak is 4-2-1 in Washington.

4) Another BIG goalie trade was the wild, wacky, much talked about, supposed to happen last year, where is Schneider when you need him (oh right they traded him too) palm trees and sandy beaches trade of Roberto Luongo back to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jacob Markstrom.  This rumour of Lou going back to Florida was no secret but it looked like Vancouver would keep the goalie after they dealt Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils during the draft pick last year.  Not the case, Lou was sent to Florida, Eddie Lack became Vancouver's new #1 and Tim Thomas had to deal with the fact he was being replaced by the goalie he beat in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.  In 2011 Tim Thomas was the goalie for the Stanley Cup winning Boston Bruins but don't worry Thomas and Lou barely had a cup of coffee together let alone a practice before Thomas was sent to the Dallas Stars to back up Kari Lehtonen.  Sometimes I feel like the wonderful world of NHL hockey has more back stories then the soap "Days of Our Lives"  I can barely keep up.

5) Eye for an Eye?  Good question.  Another headliner during the NHL trade deadline was Tampa Bay Lightning Captain Martin St. Louis being traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for their Captain Ryan Callahan.  With this trade Steven Stamkos became the new Captain for the Lightning and the Rangers have yet to pick a new Captain. They are listing Brad Richards, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal as Alternate Captains but nobody is wearing the "C".

This is probably all of the recap you need for now!  Next post expect to hear about the NHL standings for the playoffs!  With this new wild card division thing I myself need a recap!  Enjoy!
 
 
PictureThis is where I have been….. rehearsing!
Hello Hockey Fans!  How are all of you?  I know I have been MIA from hockey for a while.  Not that I haven't been paying attention…… oh, I have been.  The game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks outdoors at Dodgers Stadium in LA could not have been more fun to watch with everyone from movie stars to KISS performing to The Great One Wayne Gretzky on hand!  The Ducks won 3-0. Who would have ever thought an outdoor ice hockey game would happen in Lala Land?  

At least the outdoor games at Yankees Stadium in New York you can see the coaches breath on the benches.  It is cold in the east!  The New York Rangers took on the New Jersey Devils winning 7-3 and then beat the New York Islanders 2-1 in their battle during the Outdoor Stadium Series.

Then you have the epic fight between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, which had 8 players kicked out of the game including Kellan Lain 2 seconds in!  It was Lain's first NHL game.  After the first period Torts heads to the visiting teams locker room, Flames players and security try to keep Torts out.  What follows is a lot of heat and a Canucks win 3-2 in the shootout with Chris Higgins scoring in the 5th round. Over 200 minutes in penalties and possibly the best quote ever post game from Tom Sestito "Torts told us they were starting there idiots over there so we had to match that". Torts got a 15 day suspension from the league and Kellan Lain went on the score his 1st NHL goal in his 2nd game a few nights later in Edmonton.  Now if the whole line matching thing confuses you, and you don't understand why Torts did what he did, well it works like this.  Since the Flames were the visiting team they had to submit their starting lineup to the NHL first.  The Canucks then get to pick what line they are going to send out to match it.  Usually the Sedins plus a winger start a game but I suppose Torts didn't want to risk putting the Sedins out vs the 4th line grinders from the Flames.  So as a push back Torts threw out his 4th line (including Lain).  You could say there is an unspoken rule between players "don't go after the stars including Crosby, Sedins, Ovechkin" and anyone in that category but you can't always depend on that in the heat of the moment.  So Torts kept the Sedins on the bench. I am not saying what either team did was right or wrong but it made for some heated ice time and who  knows what will happen next time these teams meet up!

Besides NHL hockey you have maybe the 2nd best hockey in the world……... the Olympics just around the corner.  Total 12 teams are competing in the Men's Tournament:

Pool A:
Russia 
Slovakia
United States
Slovenia 

Pool B:
Finland
Canada 
Norway 
Austria 
Pool C:
Czech Republic 
Sweden
Switzerland
Latvia
I know I don't usually talk about Women's hockey but it can be pretty epic during the Olympics with a great rivalry between Canada and the USA.  There are two pools in Women's hockey, check out these countries, a few surprised me!
Pool A:
Canada
Finland
Switzerland
United States
Pool B:
Russia 
Sweden 
Germany 
Japan
Germany and Japan!  In women's hockey!  How amazing!  There are going to be two different rinks that games are played on, in Sochi, only 300 meters apart!  Hockey Heaven for you fans.  Keep in mind rosters are made up of 25 players, with 20 skaters dressing for a game and 2 goaltenders.  Plus ice surface is different during international competation.  The players will be skating on ice that is 60 meters by 30 meters.  Games start February 8th and wrap up February 23rd!  Good Luck to all of the countries!


Now that I have finally been able to catch everyone up here in the hockey world, let's talk about where I have been.  I was cast in a play back in December and rehearsals started in the New Year.  It is called "A Particular Class of Women" by Canadian Janet Feindel.  Inspired by a 1985 court case, after a stripper was raped and took her attacker to court the judge said to her "you come from a particular class of women, whose job it is to promote lust" The play is a series of 8 monologues by different dancers over the course of an evening.  I saw the production back on October and knew right then and there I had to be involved.  I went in and auditioned when they were recasting a few roles, booked it and the rest is history.  It has been a crazy wild ride so far and I can't wait for opening night next week.  If you are in the Vancouver area please come!  You can get tickets at http://www.neveryoumindproductions.com Enjoy the show!  X


Below check out a few videos 1) Gretzky dropping the puck at Dodgers Stadium, Vancouver and Calgary's brawl and Kellan Lain's 1st NHL goal.  Besides the goal my favourite part of the video is Canuck #6 Yannik Weber grabbing the puck from the net so Lain can keep it. A true hockey tradition! Video 4 is an Episode of Hockey Talk with Courtney where I explain "home ice advantage" and line matching.
 
 
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Hello Everyone!  Happy Holidays!  Where has the time gone?  There is a lot going on in the wonderful world of hockey and tis the season for World Juniors!  Before I get started on the Top 5 things you need to know about WJC, I want to share a fantastic goal scored the other night.

A close friend of mine and my editor Ricky is a huge Buffalo Sabres fan.  Threw thick and thin Ricky has stood by his team.  It hasn't always been easy for him the last couple of years but Ricky talks about the all the changes going on in Buffalo with a smile on his face.  This year Ricky was invited to my family's house for Christmas.  When we picked him up from the ferry terminal he couldn't wait to share the news, his team had given him an early Christmas gift.  The goal was credited to Sabre Mark Pysyk but it was thanks to Mike Smith, goalie for the Coyotes, and a puck literally down his pants that sounded the winning goal.  Ricky this one is for you!

Now on to the World Juniors…… what are the World Juniors?  

Top 5 Things you need to know about the World Juniors!

1) The World Junior Championships or WJC for short is an international hockey tournament held each year.  

2) Founded in 1977, Russia and Canada have collected the most gold medals.  Canada has recorded 15 gold medal wins while the Soviet Union/Russia has won 13 times.  

3) How do they decide which teams make it into the tournament?  The top 10 teams make it in and usually consist of Canada, the USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Norway. 

4) In the 1970s the Soviet Union dominated winning for straight gold medals.  Canada was the next country with a winning streak. Between 1993-1997 Canada was atop the podium every single year and they repeated the 5 year gold medal streak again between 2005-2009.  

5) Since 2009 Canada hasn't won gold but other countries have surfaced as forces in the hockey world.  The USA has collected gold twice, in 2010 and 2013.  Russia won in 2011 their first time with goal since 2003 and Sweden won in 2012!  

Check back over the course of the next week and I will keep you updated on everything WJC!  Canada beat Germany this morning 7-2.  Anthony Mantha scored 3 goals for Canada.  The official record between Canada and Germany in this tournament is 12-0.  Next up in Norway and Russia

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Hockey is Canada's game! Hockey fans cheered on their team during the opening game of the tournament.
 
 
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Hello Hockey Fans!  Where has the time gone?  The NHL season is a quarter over!  It is still anyone's guess who will finish atop the NHL standings this year and what teams will make it into the newly formatted playoffs but man it is fun watching!

I though today I would give a brief run down (if that even exists in NHL rules) of overtime or what we all affectionately refer to as OT.  So here you go the 


Top 5 "Hockey Talk with Courtney" Things to Know About Overtime!


1) Overtime lasts for only 5 minutes.  Unlike a regular period that lasts 20 minutes, overtime is sudden death so next goal scored wins the prize and the extra point.


2) Unlike regulation hockey with 5 players on the ice plus a goaltender, overtime only has 4 players on the ice plus a goaltender.  The theory on this is it "opens up the ice" for the players and possibly ends the period faster.


3) There is no 17 minute intermission between the end of the 3rd period and the start of OT.  The players get a whooping 1 minute rest period before OT starts.  They do not return to the locker room for a regroup and players who are in the penalty box at the end of the 3rd period are NOT allowed to return to their bench for the rest, they stay in the  "sin bin"


4a) Let's talk penalties.  All penalties in regulation play can still be called in OT.  Clearly since it is a sudden death  if a goal is scored by the team on the power play the player in the box doesn't just skate to the bench after the goal, he skates all the way to the locker room and apologizes to his team.


4b) The twist in penalties during overtime…..if the 3rd period ends with players from the same team in the penalty box and a 5 on 3 on the ice, overtime begins with that same players in the penalty box and the 5 on 3 still.  The team at full strength (the team with 5 players) is not punished because they got the late power play in the 3rd period BUT if no goal is scored during the power play and the penalty expires then the teams return to overtime 4 on 4.


5) Possibly the most interesting rule while doing my research, again it comes done to goalies.  At anytime during overtime a team can pull their goalie (although this is highly unlikely but still allowed) However if a team pulls their goalie and a goal is scored on the empty net the team with the empty net has to cough up the point they picked up at the end of the 3rd period.  Remember that if the game is tied at the end of the 3rd period each team gets a point and then which ever team wins the OT or shootout gets the additional point.  The loophole!  Of course their is a loophole in this rule.  The only time a team that pulls their goalie in OT shall not lose the point is when the goalie is pulled because of a delayed penalty.  If a goalie is pulled during a delayed penalty call and his team scores on their own empty net then the game is over, the team with the delayed penalty coming is declared the winner and gets the additional point and the team with the pulled goalie still gets to keep their point.  Make sense?  


Bonus Rule 6) Teams DO NOT change ends to start overtime.


Hope that helps next time your favourite teams ends up playing OT.  I know you are probably wondering why I didn't mention the shootout?  While that is a whole other beast so later this week check back and I will give you my 5 tops things to know about the shootout.


And because I can, I have included Sidney Crosby's 250th career goal below.  It was scored at the tail end of the 3rd period Friday, it was the game winning goal, it was a beauty of a goal and it kept the teams from heading into OT!  Enjoy 

 
 
PictureManny Winning! Photo Gregg Forwerck
Hello Hockey Fans!  How are you all doing on this lovely fall Wednesday?

I couldn't help but jump on my computer this morning and share one of the best stories developing in the NHL this season.

As you know I am based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.  Living in this city it is all about the Canucks.  They are the team I am most familiar with. 

About 3 years ago the Canucks announced in the off season they had made two big signings.  One was defenceman Dan Hamhuis from the Nashville Predators and 2nd was forward and face-off genius Manny Malhorta.  When the season began you could just tell there was something different about Malhortra.  He was kind, smart, polite and cute. Plus, shortly after joining the team Manny became the spokesperson for the Canucks Autism Network.

In March of 2011, less then a month before the Canucks were playoff bond on what was turning into the best season in franchise history, Malhotra took a puck to the eye.  It was a complete freak accident.  For the rest of the remaining season and into the playoffs Malhotra was out.  Rumor has it he was between Vancouver and New York having some of the best eye doctors across the continent trying to save his eye.  Then like a true champion Malhotra returned to the team in the Stanley Cup Final.  It was game 2 vs the Boston Bruins and the Canucks had their face-off man back.  The rest of the Final is history but Malhotra was back.

For the next two seasons Malhotra worked and he worked.  Always trying to better his game and his vision.  I was fortunate enough to get to watch Malhotra not only skate with the Canucks as Rogers Arena, I was able watch him during the 2012-13 lockout skate out at UBC with fellow teammates and the UBC mens hockey team.  Malhotra was always willing to drop a few puck and show those university kids a thing or two about the face-off circle.  Shortly after the lockout ended in 2013 Malhotra was put on injured reserve.  This means he was out of the lineup because of injury but still receiving his pay cheque.  Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said he wasn't comfortable playing Malhotra with his eye injured.  Manny had no choice but to wait out the season and let his contract expire.  

Well, leave it to Manny!  Just because you aren't playing doesn't mean you stop working.  Malhotra spent the rest of the season practicing and not missing a beat.  He knew that once his contract was up he would be free to play for another team if the opportunity presented itself.  September 2013 and I was out at the rink watching the Canucks practice before training camp started.  As Henrik and Daniel Sedin, along with Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins, Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows all tossing pucks around with each other on the rink. I wandered over to the rink next door and saw Malhotra skating with a trainer.  Not only was Malhotra on the ice but his buddy Dan Hamhuis was helping out with the drill passing Malhotra the pucks and doing whatever it was that needed to be done for Manny's drill.  To the untrained eye, just another player working for his spot on the team.  To a well trained eye this was a man not willing to take "NO" for an answer.  An athlete who's poise, work ethic and positivity kept him working.  

Soon enough it happened!  I found out about Manny's signing with the  Carolina Hurricane from my friend Ricky who sent me a text message the minute he found out.  Add better to already a great story, in his 3rd game with the Hurricanes, Malhotra scored a beauty of an O/T breakaway goal to give the Hurricane the "W" with a 2-1 victory.  To add to the excitement of the Hurricane vs Flyers game all 3 goals were scored in less then 7 minutes!  

It was a 0-0 game heading into the 3rd period.  Flyers forward Scott Hartnell scored the 1st goal of the game with less then 4 minutes left.  Then Hurricane forward Jordan Staal scored the tying goal with his older brother Eric assisting with less then a minute left in regulation.  Onto O/T is was.  Halfway threw Manny saw his chance.  It was a beautiful goal!  

All I have to say is Congratulations Manny Malhotra!  Vancouver Canucks fans couldn't be happier for you!  Above I have uploaded Manny's goal from last night.  Below I have uploaded the moment Manny took the puck to the eye, an episode of Hockey Talk with Courtney where I interview Manny and he offers some great advice plus a video of one last drill for Manny at practice!  Enjoy!

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Back in September while all of the other Canucks were skating on a different rink, unsigned player and former CanuckManny Malhotra was skating with a trainer and his buddy Dan Hamhuis was tossing around pucks as well. This just goes to show hard work and positivity pay off!
 
 
PictureSid the Kid scoring goals!
Hello Hockey Fans!  How is everyone?  I know i have been MIA for a couple weeks.  My apologies.  I have still been watching hockey and learning as much as I can about this wonderful sport.  

I have to say what I am loving is the new divisions and conferences.  It seems like every single night there is a great match up between a team from the west and a team from the east.  Maybe this is because of the new schedule?  Who knows?  In the image above you can see the four new divisions and the teams who play in each respective division.  

How does the schedule breakdown differently you wonder?  Here you go!  There are still two conferences West and East but now there are only 2 divisions within each conference.  In the Eastern Conference you have the Metropolitan and Atlantic divisions and in the Western Conference you have the Pacific and Central divisions.  Each team still plays 82 games a season.

The Western Conference

Teams within their division play 29 against each other

5 games vs 5 teams = 25 games (home and away games are alternated each year for fairness since 3 home games and 2 away games would happen every year)
4 games vs 1 team = 4 (again rotated every year for fairness)

Teams within conference but different division play 21 games

3 games vs 7 teams = 21 (again rotated yearly for fairness)

Teams play teams in the other conference a total of 32 games

2 games vs 16 teams = 32 (1 home and 1 away the perfect balance)

The Eastern Conference 

Teams within their division they play 30 times

5 games vs 2 teams =10
4 games vs 5 teams = 20 (again rotated yearly for fairness)

Within conference but other division they play 24 games

3 games vs each team =24 (again home and away games are rotated yearly)

Teams in the east play teams in the west 28 times

2 games vs each team = 28 games (1 home and 1 away, the perfect balance again)

Wow, that can get exhausting to read!  Now I know what you are probably thinking?  How can that possibly be fair come playoff time?  Let's leave that for a different day but the NHL found a way they believe to be fair for the playoffs.

Here are a few little fun facts for the week ladies: 

Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby leads the pack with the most points (goals and assists combined) with 23 
Alexander Steen of the St. Louis Blues has the most goals with 12
Vancouver Canuck Captain Henrik Sedin has the most assists with 16
Dustin Penner has a +/- of +12 meaning he is on the ice a lot when his team, the Anaheim Ducks score!
Newly minted Buffalo Sabre Matt Moulson has the most power play goals with 5
Vancouver Canucks Brad Richardson has the top spot in short handed goals with 2
And finally Pittsburgh Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury has the most wins with 10 (maybe that is because Sid the Kid always has the puck at the other end of the ice helping to score goals……..?)

Below are a two of the goals the Vancouver Canucks scored Saturday in their 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs! Enjoy 

 
 
PictureSelanne = winning goal! (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)
Hello Everyone!  How are you?  As anyone who watches sports will tell you, things can be very unpredictable.  Case and point: the standings this season.  If you look at the top teams in both conferences the Toronto Maple Leafs (the east) and San Jose Sharks (the west) lead with 12 points apiece.  Funny enough no single Toronto Maple Leafs player has the most goals or assist this season, not even in the top five for that matter but like an old fashion captain Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks is leading not only the assists category with 8 (tied with Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, also a captain) but Thornton is also leading the plus/minus category with 9 (plus/minus I will explain later but basically the stat keeps track of when players are on the ice for goals for their team and for the opposing team). 

San Jose and Colorado still have unblemished records with 6-0-0 each to start the season.  San Jose is always a strong team so no surprise they are cooking with gas.  San Jose has made the playoffs for the last 8 years dating back to 2006.  There was no Stanley Cup awarded in 2005 because of the lockout and before that the Sharks made the playoffs every year since 1998 except for 2003. Dating back the franchise's birth in 1992 the Sharks have only missed the playoffs 5 times!  Surprisingly Colorado hasn't made the playoffs since the 2009-10 season.  You could say the Colorado Avalanche had beginners luck....in 1995 the Quebec Nordique relocated to Colorado and became the Avalanche.  In their first year the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.  They continued to make the playoffs for the next 5 years and won the Cup again in 2001.  The avalanche qualified for the playoffs 3 more times before the 1995 lockout and since the lockout have only made the playoffs 3 out of the last 8 years.  Ironically the last time the Avalanche made the playoffs they were eliminated in 6 games by the San Jose Sharks. So really as you can see there can be no rhyme or reason to NHL stats.  Another fun fact?  The Toronto Maple Leafs were the only team to have not made the playoffs since the 2004-05 lockout.  They snapped the drought last year by making the playoffs.  They pushed the Boston Bruins to a Game seven but lost.  This year however they have already collected 12 points!

While we are on the topic of rhyme and reason there is also no connections to when coaches decide to split up players on lines.  Case and point Tuesday night when the Vancouver Canucks took on the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Flyers took an early lead in the 1st period but the Canucks were able to tie and end the first period 1-1.  The Flyers ended the 2nd period with a one goal lead 2-1.  Then what does John Tortorella do in the 3rd period?  SPLITS UP THE SEDINS!  Now to some this may seem like Torts needs to be locked up in a looney bin.....split up the Sedins?  But it worked brilliantly!  Chris Higgins scored the tying goal with a pass from Henrik Sedin, while Daniel was on the bench.  The goal marked Higgins first goal of the season but Henrik's 800 point of his career!  Ten minutes later Henrik passed Higgins the puck who got it to Kesler who scored the game winning goal (also his second goal of the game).  Henrik  picked up the 801st point of his career.

Jason Spezza captain of the Ottawa Senators recorded a "Natural hat Trick" Tuesday night vs the Phoenix Coyotes.  Remember a natural hat trick is 3 consecutive goals by one player.  The Finnish Flash Teemu Selanne scored his first goal of the season last night in Anaheim.  Selanne had actually broken his stick, as he skated to the bench for a new one his team kept pressing into the Calgary Flames zone.  A couple of Selanne's teammates offered him their sticks so he could finish his shift.  There was no need because the Anaheim equipment manager was on it and handed Selanne his backup stick.  What happened next?  Selanne joined the play, scored the goal and it ended up being the game winner!

Above you can enjoy Spezza hat trick highlights and below the Higgins and Kesler goals from Tuesday.  And Finally check out the Selanne goal from last night!  
Below I have uploaded an episode of Hockey Talk with Courtney.  I explain commonly terms used in hockey with my co host Arpad.  Don't worry, more hockey words will be learned in future episodes!  Until next time Hockey Fans Enjoy X
 
 
PictureLuongo & Schneider chat during warm up at Rogers Arena!
Hello Hockey Fans!  How is everyone?  Last night in hockey might have been one of the nuttiest nights yet.  

First lets start with the Vancouver Canucks hosting the New Jersey Devils and the return of Cory Schneider.  I could go on about the past two years and the Luongo/Schenider who is the #1 but I won't.  I went to the game with my son Hunter.  Hunter is 5 and possibly the biggest Cory Schneider fan.  Since he was 2 it was all about Cory.  It wasn't easy telling Hunter in July Schneider was now a Devil but Hunter added the Devils to his list of teams he cheers for.  I took Hunter to the game so he could see Schneid-Dog as we call him in our house.  Hunter stood right next to the Devils tunnel for warm up and patiently waited for Schneider to come out onto the ice.  Hunter's love for Cory was reflected in the standing ovation Cory received from Canuck fans before puck drop.  As Cory skated to his net for the 1st period he was on the big screen, the clapping and cheering started.  It didn't stop, it kept going and going and going.  Then fans began to rise out of their seats, Cory was still on the screen.  These are the type of moments I love in sport.  

The Devils did have a 2 goal lead over the Canucks but it ended in a 3-2 victory for the Canucks with Jason Garrison scoring the OT goal, his 3rd of the season.

What else caught me eye last night?  Three words Rookie Tomas Hertl.  Hertl tallied a whooping 4 goals last night!  That is a hat trick plus a spare goal.  Did I mention this is only Hertl's 3rd game in the NHL?  Hertl has 6 goals and 1 assist for 7 points in his young NHL career.  The best goal of last night?  Possibly Hertl's 4th goal, between the legs and past Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Final score had the Sharks feasting 9-2 over the Rangers. Welcome to New York Alain!

Below I have uploaded video of Garrison's goal, ALL 4 of Hertl's goal and a recipe for me amazing tomato sauce!  Enjoy 

PicturePossibly the best tomato sauce ever!
Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients: 

1) 4-5 medium sized tomatoes
2) 1/2 a medium sized onion
3) 4 gloves garlic (feel free to add more)
4) 2 bay leafs
5) 2-3 table spoons olive oil

Directions:

1) In a pot add olive oil over med heat
2) Dice onion and add to pot.  Allow onion to begin to sweat down.
3) Add whole garlic gloves once the onion have begun to sweat
4) Cut tomatoes into chunky sized pieces (about 8 slices per tomato) and add to pot, pour water over tomatoes until the tomatoes are just fully covered and toss in 2 bay leafs
5) Allow tomatoes to stew until they are soft.  Usually this takes 30 minutes or so.  Turn heat to high until it hits a boil then reduce back to med heat.
6) Scoop stew tomatoes into a blander or magic bullet and blend until smooth
7) Place blended sauce back in pot and reduce heat.  Allow to reduce down until desired thickness.  I usually let the sauce reduce for another 15 minutes.
8) Add sauce to pasta of choice, add parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and you are done!
Side note: feel free to add red bell peppers to the sweating onions.  They add a fantastic flavour to the final sauce!

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All the ingredients you need!
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Sweat down the onions and add the garlic whole.
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Keep tomatoes in chunky pieces and add water till it barely cover the tomatoes.
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Let everything stew until tomatoes are soft.
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Blend it up!
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Add some fresh parmesan cheese and parsley and you are done! Enjoy!
 
 
PictureSelanne saluting the crowd in Winnipeg. (Photo Marianne Helm)
Hello Hockey Fans!  How is everyone?  What a wild first week in NHL hockey it  was! Entertaining as always.  I have assembled a few videos and photos I find interesting and funny from the weekend.

Possibly the best moment was Teemu Selanne returning to Winnipeg to play the Jets with his Anaheim Ducks.  It might not seem like such a huge deal to the naked eye but dig a bit deeper and you have a player who loved a city and a city that loved a player.  

The "Finnish Flash" as he has been affectionally dubbed was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in 1988, 10th overall.  Once Selanne signed a contract in the NHL in 1992, after spending a few more years developing in Finland it was off to the races.  In his first game Selanne recored 2 assists, two night later, 2 goals, in his 5th game his first hat trick (3 goals in a single game), and had 11 goals in his first 12 games total.  Selanne recored four hat tricks during his rookie season.  Not only did Selanne break Mike Bossy's record for goals by a rookie scoring 53 and ending the season with 76 goals total,  he broke Peter Stastny's record by recording 110 points snapping Stastny's 109 record, Selanne would finish the season with 132 points.  Selanne's days in Winnipeg were numbered.  During the 1995-96 season Selanne was traded to the Anaheim Duck, formerly called the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  After playing for the Ducks for 5 years Selanne boucned between the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche before finally returning back to Anaheim where he won the Stanley Cup in 2007!  

Although the Winnipeg Jets were standing on their feet multiple times during "Selanne's last game in Winnipeg" it actually might not be his last.  There is somewhat of a running joke in the NHL and especially the Ducks locker room that Selanne says he is retiring every year and always come back for one more.  Perhaps Ducks Captain Ryan Getzlaf words it the best in the video below.

For fun hockey fans I have unpoaded Mason Raymond's shootout spin-o-rama goal from Saturday night.  Clearly goalies in the east weren't aware of Raymond's move.  It was a classic while Raymond was in Vancouver.  Making fans happy and coaches and GMs from the opposing teams fuming.  Below Raymond executes it with perfect grace.

Below you can check out videos of not only Raymond and Getzlaf's retirement wisdom but the game winning goal by Mike Santorelli scored to give the Canucks the win Sunday night vs the Flames.  Also watch the amazing standing ovation the Winnipeg Jets fans give Selanne.  Nobody will be surprised when the Jets franchise retires his number!  Until next time hockey fans, enjoy!

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On Saturday night in Vancouver Tom Sestito and Luke Gazdic chucked knuckles with each other. It wasn't so much the fight that grabbed my attention but the faces of the Vancouver players on the bench. Dale Weise #32 and Mike Santorelli #25 are looking at another scrap happening outside the frame but David Booth #7 and Chris Higgins #20 are bother taken by the Sestito vs Gazdic fight. I find the photo priceless. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
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Tom Sestito also has a great "hockey smile" Clearly having dropped the gloves before or a puck to the face, Sestito has the classic missing tooth vibe going on. Standing 6'5" without skates on Sestito is a vintage hockey player who protects his team in his enforcer role. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

Canucks game winning goal Sunday night vs Calgary after a 3-1 comeback!

Selanne's career in just over 4 minutes.

Selanne retiring again?  Getzlaf speaks........

 
 
PictureCaptain Jonathan Toews raised the CUP!
Hello Everyone! The puck has officially dropped on the 2013/14 season and oh what a night it was!  The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 with the game winning goal scored by Mason Raymond.  The Winnipeg Jets beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-4.  Finally after a beautiful Stanley Cup celebration the Chicago Blackhawks not only got to raise their banner to the rafters but they beat the Washington Capitals 6-4!

Two things I wanted to mention.  1) Hybrid icing.  I have discussed icing before.  To the naked eye an icing call can seem out of nowhere.  This year the NHL is testing out Hybrid Icing.  I will explain more later but basically hybrid icing is suppose to remove a tough check into the boards when players foot race to the puck to negate or get the icing call.  On the CBC Don Cherry seemed to have his own opinion on the new rule: confused players, inconsistency with refs and a free for all during playoffs.

2) Next up the new rule: no removing helmets for a fight.  Last night in Montreal, Canadien George Parros and  Leaf Colton Orr duked it out a few times with their helmets on and Geroge Parros still left the ice on a stretcher.  Fights happen in hockey.  No matter what, the league will never eradicate them completely.  Sure the NHL tries to avoid the fight with the instigator penalty, being kicked out of a game after 3 fights in a night, and now leaving helmets on.  But it still doesn't mean a player won't hit the ice at an awkward angle like last night.  George Parros hit his head (with his helmet still on) on the ice and was out like a light.  The most interesting part for me watching was when Colton Orr realized Parros was out.  He was going in for a punch realized Parros was defenceless and immediately waved over medical personal.  Parros began talking to medical staff and did try to leave the ice on his own two feet with the help from teammates.  Eventually he was taken off the ice on a stretcher and given a round of applause (in true sports fashion) before being taken to a nearby hospital.  This is not the type of injury you ever want to see in professional sports.  Any hockey fan would be happy with a couple punches, maybe a little blood, penalty and ice pack to the player's hand while serving his time in the box.  Not a stretcher and hospital.  

Below I have uploaded Mason Raymond's goal, a quick bit on hybrid icing and the NHL's reasoning plus an episode of Hockey Talk with Courtney where Arpad and I discuss "commonly used terms in hockey" the perfect refresher for the start of the season!  Till next time keep enjoying hockey!

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One of my absolute favourites! How could I not include a picture of handsome Patrick Sharp #10 of the Blackhawks in a suite during the greeting of fans before their game last night.
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Chicago Blackhawks Captain good lookin Jonathon Toews! Oh a man in a suit it gets me every time!