Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss
Girls just wanna have fun ~ Cyndi Lauper
Make some fun, happy time ~ Alex Ovechkin

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hockey in BlondeSpeak - Icing

Ok, I did say I would save this for a post on another day. Guess now is as good a time as any. Oh, and all of you readers that think I’m talking about the frosting that goes on top of cupcakes for the media at Kettler, get out of the kitchen and out to the rink, pronto!
Anyway, I have read everything I can find on the web about it and can see why some people may still be doing puppy dog head tilts when they try to understand what the heck icing is. So, here we go.

First, let’s look at what the NHL rules say:

Rule 81 - Icing

81.1 Icing – For the purpose of this rule, the center red line will divide the ice into halves. Should any player or goalkeeper of a team, equal or superior in numerical strength (power-play) to the opposing team, shoot, bat or deflect the puck from his own half of the ice beyond the goal line of the opposing team, play shall be stopped.

For the purpose of this rule, the point of last contact with the puck by the team in possession shall be used to determine whether icing has occurred or not. As such, the team in possession must “gain the line” in order for the icing to be nullified. “Gaining the line” shall mean that the puck (not the player’s skate) must make contact with the center red line in order to nullify a potential icing.

For the purpose of interpretation of the rule, “icing the puck” is completed the instant the puck is touched first by a defending player (other than the goalkeeper) after it has crossed the goal line and if in the action of so touching the puck, it is knocked or deflected into the net, it is no goal.

Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.

The puck striking or deflecting off an official does not automatically nullify a potential icing.

Yeah, that clears everything up! Are you just as confused as before you started reading? Of course you are, I would be too.

Now, let’s look at what has to say:

Definition: Shooting the puck to the end of the ice from behind the center ice red line.

If the puck crosses the opposing goal line untouched, and is then retrieved by an opposing player, icing is called.

Considered a delaying tactic, it results in a stoppage in play and a faceoff in the offending team's defensive zone.

If, in the opinion of the linesman, any player of the opposing team is able to play the puck before it passes his goal line, but does not do so, the linesman can "wave off" icing, allowing play to continue.

The purpose of the rule is to encourage continuous action. Referees and Linesmen interpret and apply the rule to produce that result.

Well, that’s a little better, but let’s go "blonde":

When it comes to understanding icing, imagine this scenario: Caps and Pens are playing hot and heavy in front of the Pens’ net. The Penguins can’t get the puck away from the Caps and are getting frustrated. Finally one Penguin gets a hold of the puck and sends it flying down the ice away from his own goal because they just can’t finesse it away any other way. Now, everybody takes off down the ice towards the Caps net while the puck skids past the red center line, the next blue line, all the way down past the red goal line across the end of the rink and nobody has caught up with it yet. Now, if a Pens player reaches the puck first, the play continues. If a Caps player reaches it first, it’s an icing call against the Pens. The puck is returned for a face off back down at the other end of the rink, kinda back where they started.

A couple things to remember here:

If your team is tired and frustrated, icing the puck will not give you a chance to make a shift change, that’s a no-no per the NHL rules. Too bad, what a waste.

Secondly, if the Pens were playing shorthanded at the time, that desperate measure of whacking the puck down the rink is not icing. Well, they were already being penalized, right?

Finally, a ref can wave off the icing call if they feel the Caps players could have gotten the puck and simply opted not to do so. Total judgement call by the refs.

So, in brief, if your guy whacks the puck down the ice because his defense just can’t seem to get the job done, you better hope someone from your team gets down the ice and gets that sucker before the other team does. Otherwise, you’re screwed…Any questions?

Monday, September 20, 2010

What’s in a Name?

So, another hockey season is upon us. In anticipation of lots of tweeting about our guys, I felt it was time for an updated primer on who we all refer to when we use our own special nicknames for players on Twitter. I’d also like to thank The Hockey Chronicles and Japers’ Rink, who also posted similar lists in the past which contributed to my “research”. (Yes, I actually did research for this post…kinda-sorta). Think of this as a PSA for new Tweeps and Caps fans, cuz you need to know who we're talking about when you read our snark!

So without further ado and in alphabetical order, so no one thinks I’m playing favorites (kinda convenient that Ovi comes first alphabetically, isn’t it?), here we go:

Da Playas:

Alex Ovechkin: AO8, Ovi (Note: NOT Ovie –get it right, people!), Russian Machine, The Great 8, Alexander the Great

Alex Semin: Sasha, ummm and another one I don’t quite understand ;), Sam (Added by RussianMachine)

Brian Willsie: I don't remember any nicknames for Willsie, somebody remind me!

Boyd Gordon: Gordo, Gordicris, G-Unit (Added by WashCapsRock), Muffin (added by tons of people!)

Brooks Laich: BL21, Brooksie, Cougar Bait, HHBL21, AAA of the NHL, Ironman (Added by CamaroWRX)

David Steckel: Stecks

DJ King: King Kong, (are there any others we should know?)

Eric Fehr: Fehrsie, F-16/Falcon (Added by The PaulW), Uno Seis (Added because ngreenberg apparently uses it, not that I would know)

Jason Chimera: Chimmers, Chewie (Added by PKLords76), Chimmy (Added by YoCalleJ, RinkRebel, Scandalizi)

Jeff Schultz: Mr Nasty, Double Nickel, Schultzy, Sarge

John Carlson: J-Car, Real American Hero (RAHJC74), Captain America

Karl Alzner: King Karl, Alz (Added by RinkRebel), The Lumber Jack (Added by Green52fan)

Marcus Johansson: MoJo, JoJo

Matt Bradley: MB10, Brads, The Proffessor (misspelling is intentional)

Michal Neuvirth: Neuvi/Neuvy

Mike Green: MG52, Greenie, Greener, Game Over, Lamborgreenie

Mike Knuble: Knoobs, Grandpa Slippers, Papa or Pops Knoob (Added by AmazinglyMorgan & RinkRebel)

Nicklas Backstrom: NB19, Backy, Nicky-Lars, Super Swede, Backis (Added by YoCalleJo)

Semyon Varlamov: Varly, The Iron Curtain, Click on Me (Added by dorcaskd)

Tomas Fleischmann: Flash

Tyler Sloan: Sloaner, TyTy

Da Front Office:

Brett Leonhardt: Stretch

Bruce Boudreau: Gabby, BB

George McPhee: GMGM

Ted Leonsis: Uncle Ted

Mike Vogel: Vogs (Added by WashCapsRock)

Da Bears and Prospies:

Andrew Gordon: Gordo (not to be confused with Boyd Gordon-[“no relation”-Joe B.]!)

Anton Gustafsson: Baby Gus, AnGus (Added by maamfo)

Braden Holtby: Hot Stuff (Added for WashCapsRock), Holts (Added by maamfo)

Cody Eakin: Squeaks

Francois Bouchard: Bouch (Added by OSquirt26)

Grant McNeill: G-Mac (Added by YoCalleJo)

Jay Beagle: Beags

Joe Finley: Big Joe, Lawnmower Joe

Keith Aucoin: Coiner

Mathieu Perreault: Matty P, Perry, Pocket Ovi

Patrick McNeill: P-Mac, Patty Mac

Steve Pinizzotto: Pinner (Added by OSquirt26)

Trevor Bruess: Bruiser (Added by maamfo)

Zach Miskovic: Misky

Ok, I know I forgot some, so remind me in the comments, kthxbai!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rookie Caps/Flyers Hit the Ice

I know what you're thinking, not another scrimmage blog post. Ok, ok, no stats, no analysis, just some guys who look like they are really happy and anxious to show their stuff to the big crowd at Kettler. All this while being watched by coaches, team big wigs, scouts, tons of fans and the intrepid Captain.
I don't think I've ever seen hockey players hit the ice quite like this.

Big Joe Finley

The Captain keeps an eye on his troops

Making sure Anderson is warmed up.

Grubauer being all intense protecting the net

Eakin gets an approving look from those guys over there on the left

And last but not least:

 Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
And a great time was had by all. Well, all except the Baby Flyers, that is.

Yeah, it's late and I'm tired.
More pics of the game can be found here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Camp with the Kids

Two words - Rookie Camp. So great to be back at Kettler behind the lens. Today, I am a happy girl!
What more can I say, when a picture is worth a thousand words:

More pix from today can be found here.
Like I said, today, I am a happy girl. For me, hockey is offically back. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hockey in BlondeSpeak – Terminology

Maybe there are some terms you hear commentators use and don’t quite know what they mean. Almost everyone who follows the game can figure out some of them; such as a "biscuit in the basket" is the term used for a goal, or possibly the "sin bin", which is another term for the penalty box. But if you are remotely new to ice hockey there might be a few that have you tilting your head like a puppy dog and a proverbial question mark in your mind. Here are a few. If I didn’t cover one you’ve always wondered about, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to “BlondeSpeak” it for you.

Blade. No, they don’t mean the skate blade, it’s the flat section of a hockey stick that contacts the puck.

The Blocker. Nope, it’s not the guy who gets in the way, it’s the glove on the hand that the goalie uses to hold his stick, it has a flat pad on the front to block shots; hence, blocker.

Breakaway. Sorry to say, commentators aren’t talking about a song here, and if you know the song of which I speak, you need a heavy infusion of hard rock, I’m just saying. A breakaway is a scoring opportunity where the skater with the puck is behind the opposing defensemen and faces only the goaltender, he kind of ‘breaks away’ from the pack as it were.

Cherry Picking (or a Cherry Picker). No again, it’s not referring to a delightful summer pastime or a truck for fixing electrical and/or telephone lines. Basically, a cherry picker is a player who just hangs out, often close to the goal, waiting for a pass so he can have a breakaway. I would like to name a few cherry pickers here, but I’ll be nice.

Cross-checking. Technically, cross-checking is hitting an opponent with the stick while it is held in both hands and no part of the stick is touching the ice. Think of it as a swing and a hit (if you’ll permit me to slide a baseball term in here) by one player on another.

Dangler. Ah, I know what you all want this to mean. Clean up those filthy minds, people! A Dangler is a player who has exceptionally good stick handling skills and can easily fool opposing players.

Deke. Simply put, it’s faking out an opponent, to get around him or score on a goalie. There are shoulder dekes, stick dekes and head dekes.

Dipsy Doodle. A Dipsy Doodle is just a term for a fancy deke. (For Caps fans, you’ll recognize this term, Craig Laughlin loves to use it).

Drop Pass. Nope, not a pick up line in a bar that gets no results. In hockey, it’s a pass where a player simply leaves the puck behind him on the ice for a teammate to pick up. When done correctly, the puck stops moving and the pass's receiver catches up to it.

Icing. Ah, the wonderful icing term. I’m gonna save that one for its own BlondeSpeak post because it’s a little more detailed and tricky to explain. Trust me I tried, it’s gonna take more than a simple sentence or two to explain it.

Laying on the Lumber. Another term where you need to get your minds out of the gutter, people! It’s just another term for slashing.

Off Wing. When you hear a commentator saying a man was playing off wing, it means wing who is on the side opposite than he usually plays, or shoots from the "wrong side" for his position. For example, a left wing stationed on the right wing’s side or a right-handed shooter playing left wing.

The Point. Nope, not where surfers find the best wave or the place go to when you want to make out with your boyfriend. It’s the spot on the rink inside the blue line where the defensemen hang out.

Plus-Minus. Think of it like a grading system for players. Technically, it’s a hockey statistic that can apply to a player (or an offensive or defensive line) indicating whether they were on the ice when the opposing team scored (a minus) or on the ice when their own team scored (a plus). For example; if a goal is scored against your team, the defensemen on your team that were on the ice when it happened get a minus.

Saucer Pass. No, not the kind of saucer under a teacup. If you thought that, you may just be too ladylike for hockey. A saucer pass is just an airborne pass from one player to another.

Slew Foot. This one is a type of nasty act that should result in a penalty. It’s the action of sweeping or kicking out a player's skate or tripping them from behind, causing them to fall backwards. Any player who resorts to this should get a slew foot in the arse.

Soft Hands. Now, you all can guess what I wish this meant, but no, it doesn’t. When a player is described as having soft hands, they are saying he has the skills to keep the puck under control, moving it easily back and forth with his stick in a relaxed way.

Stack the Pads. When the goalie drops down and lays on one side with one leg on top of the other, in essence creating a wall to block the puck from going into the net, it’s called stacking the pads.

Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is not intended to be technical explanations of hockey terms. I’m not an expert. Watch a hockey game and when you hear those terms listed above thrown out there, you’ll have just enough knowledge to understand what is going on so you can sit back and enjoy one of the greatest sports there is…Any questions?