Category Archives: Live from the Nosebleeds

A weekly update on big stories or fascinating features in the world of hockey.

Live from the Nosebleeds: Memorial Cup Edition

I would like to begin this article by congratulating the Halifax Mooseheads on their Memorial Cup victory! They played a great tournament with their two brightest stars, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, stepping up when their team needed them most. Both of these players are in the race to be drafted in the top 3 spots in this year’s NHL draft, and they left a lasting impression on NHL scouts after this tournament. Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks was ranked number one by the International Scouting Services before this tournament, yet MacKinnon has now moved to number one. It was most probably his hat-trick in the final game of the Memorial Cup, sealing the win for his team.

The Memorial Cup tournament is one of those tournaments that an entire nation waits to watch. It is all the best Junior teams from around Canada competing against one another for the prestigious Memorial Cup. It is also the last chance for players who are eligible to be drafted over the summer to show team scouts and general managers what they can do, in hopes of being drafted higher. Many general managers go to the Memorial Cup games, keeping an eye on draftable talents. With so much on the line for these young players, the games tend to be fast-paced, exciting, and can often be a display of pure skill and talents. That is what makes the Memorial Cup so special.

What better way to celebrate the memorial cup than to put up three of the best videos from this year’s tournament! I’ve selected what I consider to be the top three videos from this year’s Memorial Cup. What is your favourite video? Vote at the bottom for yours favourite one!

ANTHEM SINGER MESSES UP AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM, HUMS HER WAY THROUGH IT WITH THE CROWD’S HELP

This is probably everyone’s definition of a nightmare. You are in front of thousands of people, with the broadcast being shown all over the country, and you draw a complete blank on the song you’ve practiced over and over again. I would have frozen like a deer in the headlights before turning and bolting for the closest exit, most likely slipping and falling on the ice.

Full credit to the singer. Sometimes all you can do is hum your way through your problem and keep going! The crowd helped her along the way and was very encouraging, instead of booing and making her feel even worse. I was incredibly embarrassed for the poor woman, and I’m sure she hasn’t gotten over it just. Hopefully she can laugh at this one in a couple of years, because it will still be making some sports blooper reels for many years to come.

MAX DOMI PULLS OFF ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING PASSES IN HISTORY, AND HE MADE IT LOOK EASY

It takes a special, special player to pull of a trick like that. The saucer pass isn’t easy, and it’s even more difficult to do going at full speed. A between the legs shot is even more difficult to pull off. Now, to combine those two moves to create the between-the-legs saucer pass is unheard of. And not only does he pull it off, but he pulled it off PERFECTLY. The pass  landed right on Bo Horvat’s stick for a tap-in goal. Absolutely incredible. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of this from Max in the future

MACKINNON’S HAT TRICK HELPS MOOSEHEADS CLINCH THE 2013 MEMORIAL CUP!

Big time players have big time plays. This is one of those games. Getting a hat trick is impressive enough on its own, but this was a hat trick in the memorial cup final. That is the NHL equivalent of getting a hat trick in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. What sets apart the best from the rest is how they perform under pressure. MacKinnon showed that not only can he play under pressure, but he excels under pressure. One could argue that his perfomance in the Memorial Cup Final alone is what cemented him as number one with the ISS. Good for him, and I’m sure he will have a great NHL career, whether he’s picked 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd. Great players excel anywhere, and MacKinnon is no different.

What was your favourite video from the Memorial Cup? If there was a video I missed, by all means post it in the comments!

Live from the Nosebleeds: Rask’s Meltdown, Daugavin’s Shootout, and Crosby’s Broken Jaw

GALLAGHER SCORES SHOOTOUT WINNER, RASK TRIES TO SHOW HIS FRUSTRATION AND FAILS

Tuuka Rask of the Boston Bruins has a history of post-shootout meltdowns (and by a history, I mean two incidents). When Brandon Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens scores the shootout winner against Rask, he tried to show his frustration, and failed. It’s right at the end of the video, so be patient.

Now this isn’t nearly as funny as his meltdown in the AHL a couple of years ago (link HERE), but it’s still a good one. Hockey players will tell you that goalies are a special breed. They’re usually the quiet one in the corner with the strange pre-game rituals. So when they get angry, they usually show it in a strange (and often hilarious) manner. I’m allowed to say that, cause I’m a goalie (but don’t tell my girlfriend that we’re weird, she doesn’t know yet!). I think that broadcast companies should have a camera for each goalie, just to capture their meltdowns. 99% of the footage would be useless, but that 1% of solid gold would be totally worth it.

KASPARS DAUGAVINS SHOWS GUTS IN HIS SHOOTOUT ATTEMPT AGAINST TUUKA RASK

If you ask hockey fans about the shootout, it’s pretty well divided as to whether it’s exciting or not. A lot of people think that it’s a crappy way to win a hockey game, while others think it’s a really exciting way for the team’s to decide a winner. In my opinion, what makes it exciting for me is when people try different moves or tricks to score. Kaspars Daugavins of the Ottawa Senators, tried something new against Tuuka Rask of the Boston Bruins.

Daugavins has been highly criticized for this shooutout attempt in the hockey world. A lot of people are saying that it’s making a mockery of the shootout, and that it’s ridiculous and cocky for him to try it. I disagree. I thought it was highly entertaining, and it took guts for him to try that in an actual shootout. This isn’t just a trick he decided to try out, he actually works on it a lot in practice. And as you can see, Rask has to come over and make a very difficult, acrobatic save. If he had scored, we wouldn’t be talking about whether it was stupid or not.

Just a side note, Rask and Daugavins are now teammates, with the Bruins picking up Daugavins off waivers earlier this month. My theory is the Bruins picked him up just so his new teammates could make fun of him even more for the shootout attempt!

CROSBY BREAKS JAW, PENGUINS LOSE TWO IN A ROW

While playing against the New York Islanders, Sidney Crosby took a puck to the face, breaking his jaw. The puck was shot by Brooks Orpik, but it took a deflection and went right at Crosby’s jaw. This is bad news for the Penguins. They won that game, making it their 15th win in a row, but the next two games without Crosby, they lost badly. First it was a 4-1 loss to Buffalo, before a 6-1 thrashing by the New York Rangers. It’s a little ironic, because everyone was ready to give the Penguins the Cup after acquiring Brendan Morrow and Jarome Iginla before the trade deadline. Since picking up both players, they’ve snapped their winning streak and are suddenly having trouble scoring. They’re still a team to be reckoned with, and I wouldn’t want to face them in the playoffs. When Crosby gets back, it will be interesting to watch this team at full capacity. Hopefully none of their other stars fall before that.

Live From the Nosebleeds: Brodeur’s third career goal, “Yes I Can” pulls at your heart strings, and hockey parents embarrass hockey

MARTIN BRODEUR SCORES HIS THIRD NHL GOAL, IN A VERY BIZARRE PLAY

Martin Brodeur, the longtime goaltender of the New Jersey Devils, has been around the NHL for  many, many years. I would bet that his is one of the few names (along with maybe Gretzky, Orr and Lemieux) you could mention to people who don’t watch hockey, and they will have at least heard of him. By playing hockey for that long, you are bound to witness some pretty strange plays. One such play would be what happened during the game on March 21st, against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The rules of hockey are made in such a way that there is no such thing as an own-goal, like in soccer. Instead, the goal goes to the last player on the scoring team to have touched the puck. Patrick Dwyer of the Hurricanes shoots, and Brodeur stops the puck and angles it into the corner. Jordan Staal of the Hurricanes then passes it back to the blueline, but no one is there to receive the pass. It slides all the way down to the empty net, meaning the goal is technically Brodeur’s goal. That was his 3rd career goal, the most by any goaltender.

The strangest part of all this? It counts as a power play goal.

The New Jersey Devils were on a Power play already. However, there was a delayed penalty against them, and that is why Dan Ellis (the Hurricane’s goaltender) was not in the net; he was on his way to the bench so that the extra attacker can go on. But because the puck went in before Ellis got to the bench, there was technically only 4 “skaters” for the hurricanes on the ice, so it is still a power play for the Devils. That is the second power play goal scored by a goalie, the first being by Evgeni Nabokov in 2002.

SPECIAL HOCKEY INTERNATIONAL “YES I CAN” VIDEO RESTORES MY FAITH IN HUMANITY

Every now and then, there’s a story or video that comes by that just makes your heart want to sing. This is one of those videos.

This was a moment from the annual Special Hockey International Tournament. It is a heartwarming moment, one that anyone can appreciate. It really brings out the true essence of the sport.  There is nothing sweeter that seeing one child help another when they are have a difficult time. Even after the big defenseman pushed the puck away (with a great poke check), his little buddy went to get the puck back, neither player giving up! I also enjoyed the goalie making a dramatic non-save, and then everyone celebrating with the player afterwards. It was one of the greatest videos I’ve seen in a while.

When I was assistant coach for a pre-novice hockey team, there was a mentally handicapped child on the team. The other players were extremely helpful and encouraging at all times with him. Even when he would be in the wrong place at the face off or go the wrong way with the puck, none of the players ever got angry with him. They just showed him in the right direction and told him to keep skating! It was amazing to see kids be so compassionate with one another. Sometimes, we really can learn from kids (cheesy, but true).

PARENTS GO COMPLETELY NUTS AT A GAME, EMBARRASS HOCKEY PARENTS EVERYWHERE

As I said, every now and then there’s a story that makes your heart want to sing. This is NOT one of those videos. Be warned, there’s some foul language and mild violence.

This is exactly the kind of crap that makes hockey parents look like complete nut jobs. It’s infuriating that people are able to take  a hockey game among children and turn it into a street brawl. The police are investigating in incident, which is exactly what should happen.  There’s no room for in this any sport, and people need to be held more accountable for when these incidents happen. I know that this is a rare incident, and most of the time people can enjoy the game without throwing punches. However, it still happens way too often. Apparently alcohol was involved (no surprise there), and by the time police showed up the fight was over. Are we really going to have to have police surveillance at minor hockey games to make sure the parents don’t start fights? It’s ridiculous. The same two teams played each other the next week with no incidents, but still. It’s dumb that it happens in the first place.

Live from the nosebleeds: Luongo and Schneider bash heads, a mini-Datsyuk, and Kostitsyn’s “Back-check”

LUONGO AND SCHNEIDER MAKE LIGHT OF VANCOUVER’S “GOALTENDING ISSUE” WITH TSN VIDEO

Hockey players have been given a pretty bad rep when it comes to being charismatic. People hate hearing the cliche phrases used in almost every interview, such as “We need to put pucks on net”, “We have to play our game”, “It’s a team effort”, “We have to give 110%” and so on.  It’s almost as if players are given a cheat sheet for interviews with phrases they can or cannot say. When it comes to the Luongo/Schneider goalie issue in Vancouver, both goalies have said that they don’t mind sitting on the bench, because it’s for the good of the team. Although this is probably true since both goalies are true professionals, it’s still incredibly annoying to hear the same phrases used over and over again.Thankfully, it turns out some hockey players are actually funny. Check out this TSN-produced, James Duthie-inspired skit about the goalie controversy in Vancouver.

This is exactly what the NHL needs: players showing their personality. Luongo and Schneider agreed to do this skit to make light of a situation that has been tip-toed around by people in Vancouver. As this is a business of entertainment, I was very entertained watching this. It’s a hilarious video, and it shows that these players have good personalities (another great example of players being hilarious is another TSN video of the Oilers’ reactions after Jordan Eberle scored his first NHL goal. Click HERE for the link to that video). Their personalities are all too often hidden behind the bureaucracy of the NHL, with everything being hush-hush and behind-closed-doors. But every now and then, a piece of solid gold is created, giving us hope for the future of hockey players and their personalities. We know that they’re funny, so hopefully they keep being themselves and making us laugh.

POTENTIAL GOAL OF THE YEAR, BY A 5 YEAR OLD?

This video needs no introduction. Just watch, and be amazed!

I’m going to be honest, this kid is better than most of my teammates in the garage league I play in (no offense guys, see you Sunday night!).  He comes in at full speed, and then dekes around the defenseman before making a sweet move to fool the goalie for the overtime winner. Does it get any better then that? Even the celebration was perfect! I’m sure he will have a nickname like “Mini-Datsyuk” for a while. For those of you who haven’t seen Datysuk’s moves, here’s a clip from YouTube. He’s a magician with the puck, and announcers have even coined the term “the Datsyukian Deke”. Anyways, good job by the little guy. It was an awesome play.

BONEHEAD PLAY OF THE WEEK: SERGEI KOSTITSYN’S AWESOME BACK-CHECK

You know what really grinds my gears? Lazy hockey players. A good hockey player never gives up, no matter what the situation is. If it means skating your butt off for even the smallest chance of helping your team, a real hockey player does it. On Sunday night, Sergei Kostitsyn showed that he is not a real hockey player. He loses the puck to one of the Oilers’ players, and while back-checking he decides that it is a perfect time to get off the ice, leaving the Oilers with an easy 2-on-1 and in the end a goal. Here’s the video evidence:

I think my favourite part of the video is when he starts to slow down for the line change, you can clearly see both his coaches and teammates yelling at him for changing. I know what some of you are thinking; “Typical Russian player giving up on a back-check”. Well you’re dead wrong. The night before, Pavel Datsyuk (once again, man this guy is good!) of the Detroit Red Wings  back-checked as hard as he could and disrupted Ryan Kesler enough to stop what was almost a certain goal. I’d show you with video evidence, but I couldn’t find it. Unfortunately, good back-checks are rarely highlight or YouTube-worthy material. So no, this isn’t about a typical Russian player’s attitude. This is about Kostitsyn’s attitude,  and what was an extremely lazy play. He was a healthy scratch the next game, and the coach made sure he was held accountable for his gaffe. Hopefully he learns his lesson (but I doubt it).