Saturday was the annual Hockey Day in Canada on CBC. There were 12 games that day and I really couldn't take my eyes off the TV. All 7 teams in Canada played against each other. Winnipeg beat Ottawa 1-0, Toronto beat Montreal 6-0, Vancouver beat Calgary 5-1 and Edmonton was the only team to play an American team. They played Detroit and Detroit won 2-1.
Among the hockey games Saturday there were also segments about hockey mad families across the country, communities in rural Canada and their hockey programs plus children in Peterborough, Ontario playing the great game.
There were a few things about hockey Saturday that stuck out to me.
1) I don't think I can ever remember a hockey game being cancelled due to weather? I am sure it has happened but I just can't remember. The game between the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning was cancelled to due heavy snowfall in the Boston area. 84 cms to be exact! Which makes an already tight schedule even tighter.
2)The Calgary Flames may have taken an early lead with a goal by Lee Stempniak in the 1st period for a 1-0 score but the Vancouver Canucks came back guns blazing with goals by Alex Burrows, Kevin Bieksa, Chris Higgins and Jordan Schroeder. Jordan Schroeder scored once in the 2nd period and once int he 3rd period, meaning he not only scored his 1st NHL goal but also his 2nd NHL goal in the same game and his 1s goal was the game winning goal!
3) The 3rd thing that stuck out to me is how on fire former Canucks are in the state of New York playing for the Buffalo Sabres.
Look at the stats from the game Saturday
Goal 1) Thomas Vanek assists by Cody Hodgson (former Canuck) and Jordan Leopold
Goal 2) By the New York Islanders
Goal 3) Christian Ehrhoff (former Canuck) assists by Cody Hodgson (former Canuck) and Thomas Vanek
Goal 4) By the New York Islanders
Goal 5) Alexander Sulzer (former Canuck) assists by Steve Ott and Mikhall Grigorenko
A former Canuck either scored or assisted on every goal by Buffalo that night. When you also look at Buffalo stats, Thomas Vanek is leading the points race. Vanek now has 23 points, 11 goals and 12 assist in 12 games. Vanek is beating Patrick Kane who is in second place by 4 points. Kane has 9 goals and 10 assists in 12 games. If you forget what in the difference is in points, goals and assists it goes like this:
A player gets credit for a goal weather it be a one-timer, a breakaway, a deflected puck or the goalie stops the puck but it trickles through his legs (through the 5 hole) if his stick was the last stick the puck touched before it gets to the back of the net.
A player will get an assist if he helps the goal scorer set up the shot. Weather he creates the rebound or passes the puck to create a shot. Up to 2 assists will be awarded for every goal. Sometimes only one player will get credit for an assist and sometimes a goal can be scored unassisted.
Basically up to 3 points can be awarded to players on every goal scored in a game. Points track how many goals and assists players have gotten during a season.
Below check out Jordan Schroeder's 1st NHL goal plus the game winning goal by Detroit Red Wing Jonathan Ericsson who scored with 4.5 seconds left in the 3rd period Sunday that sealed the deal 3-2 vs the Los Angeles Kings.
Courtney's Buffalo Sabres Fennel Burgers and Beer.
This recipe yields 8-9 burgers roughly the size of a hockey puck
For the Burgers
1 pound of ground beef (I also swap buffalo, lamb or turkey in my burgers)
1 egg (medium to large)
1 cup panko bread crumbs (you may not need all the bread crumbs)
1 table spoon fennel (I put the fennel in a bag and smash it with a hammer to get the flavour going)
Milk (really all you need it a splash, you don't want soggy burgers)
Salt and pepper to taste
Everything else to make a burger delicious
1 medium onion (I use sweet but feel free to use anything)
Lettuce (I use a big leaf per burger)
Tomatoes (depending on the size of the tomato I put on 2-4 slices of tomatoes per burger)
Cheddar Cheese (either melt it on the burgers or pop it on afterwards)
Mustard, Mayo, relish, butter, ketchup and BBQ sauce I leave out to let my guests pick and choose
Burger buns (I choose sesame buns but whatever you love best will work and I toast them in the oven)
French Fries (Shoe string are my favourite. I sometimes sprinkle olive oil and garlic powder on top)
Green Salad (keep it simple, lettuce and a lemon wedge is all I need)
Sliced cucumber and red pepper for some more fresh on the plate
1) Mix your chosen meat, egg, fennel, salt and pepper in a bowl with your hands.
2) Add milk as need be. I rarely go over a splash. Think 1/4 cup or less.
3) I skip greasing the pan. Take the burger meat and arrange them on the pan with a few inches between them and make them no bigger then the size of a hockey puck
4) Put them in a preheat oven at 425 and let cook for 20 minutes. Depending on the oven I check them periodically. Make sure the burgers are heated all of the way through and all the meat is brown.
5) While the burgers are cooking prepare everything else. Slice the tomatoes, pull apart the lettuce, dice the onions, slice the cucumber and red pepper.
6) You can put the onions on the burgers raw but I prefer to sauté the onions
7) Pull out all the condiments from you fridge you think you'll guests will enjoy
8) Let the burgers rest for a minute before you dive in. While the burgers are resting I pop the buns into the oven to let them toast up. Keep an eye on them though. They can go from the perfect toast to burnt in seconds.
9) Assemble your burgers, toss on a good handful of fries and your green salad on your plate
10) Lastly pour a cold beer into a frosted mug from the freezer (Saturday I had Bowen Island IPA)
11) Take a seat and enjoy the burger, beer and hockey game!!