Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why You Should Watch More Hockey

In America, I feel that many people are afraid to watch Hockey because they are in love with their NFL Football or Major League Baseball.  I feel like I need to break that fear, and tell you why you need to watch more hockey.  I think many people are afraid they do not understand the game or they are afraid to watch hockey players fight.  There are many great teams and great players not only in the NHL but the entire world.  So, lets discuss what makes hockey awesome.

You have to start off any discussion about hockey with the fighting.  Outside of scoring a goal, it has to be the best part of the game.  It is the only sport where you can fight and not be suspended for 2, 3, or more games.  Players are often thrown out of the game in other sports for throwing punches, in the NHL, the more punches the better.  Players in the NHL that fight get a 5 minute major penalty and then they are back on the ice.  Whats better then just a fight? a line brawl! You ask what is a line brawl? It is basically mayhem, when everyone on the ice is fighting, how sweet is that?  So, you do not like fighting there is more awesome stuff I promise. (Suggested You Tube Video: St Patrick's Day Massacre)

The game flows better then any other of the major sports.  There are no stoppage in play for players coming in and out of the game.  Changes are made "on the fly", which means that the offensive player shoots the puck towards the goal and skates off so that other people can come on to the ice.  There are less commercials because play is not stop as often as the NFL or the NBA.  Hell, the NHL had to create Ice Girls to clear the ice every so often so that there could be more commercials.

The flow of the game was greatly improved by the deleting of the rule of the two line pass.  This was a rule that forbid passes from one player to another across two lines.  Another rule that people struggle with is icing. Icing is when a offensive player shots the puck across two red lines with the defensive team's goal line being the last line being crossed.  The puck has to be untouched and the goalie cannot come out and play the puck. Also, if the puck were to go into the net by some stroke of stupidity by the goalie, it would count as a goal.  The rule was put in place because teams that were winning would keep icing the puck if they were winning, it got so bad that the fans in Boston back in the day got so pissed they threw stuff on the ice and the game was delayed.

Speaking of throwing things on the ice, there is another great part of hockey and that is the throwing of hats on the ice after a hat trick has been scored.  A hat trick is when one player scores three goals in the same game. Fans respond by throwing hats on the ice, so if you are out with your girl don't let her buy a new hat before a hockey game.  A funny video you should look up on you tube on the subject of the hat trick is "sidney crosby crying about hat trick."  Hockey, the only sport where you can throw stuff on the ice, and not be rudely escorted from the game.

Another great thing about hockey is in general, the fans are more knowledgeable about the game and the history of the sport.  Fans of hockey are more ruthless towards opposing fans (except in Columbus).  In many studies more people go to hockey games (NHL) then NBA games in the same city.  Plus, who can hate against the Green Men in Vancouver?  Hockey fans are more passionate about their teams, and studies have shown that they are much better hecklers then fans of other sports.  Finally, there might not be anything better in the sport world as Canadian fans singing "Oh Canada" during the playoffs.

Not are the fans ruthless but the players are also ruthless, the NHL has better rivalries then other sports.  There is nothing quite like the Chicago - Detroit rivalry which dates back to the 1920s, and in the United Center in Chicago you can hear "Detroit Sucks" chant almost after every play.  Not to be out done is the Pittsburgh - New York Islanders rivalry in which you are guaranteed to see a line brawl in almost every game.  A third good rivalry is the Boston Bruins and the Philly Flyers, two very physical teams pounding each other every time out.  Not too mention, the rivalries of Canada which pits Montreal vs. Toronto.  I think that one really started because Toronto refused to speak French, hahaha.

Continuing the discussion about the Canadians, and I touched on this early about how the Canadians sing "Oh Canada", the NHL has better anthem singers.  Most sports just bring in random people for every game, the NHL has the same professional singing the anthem(s).  Anthem has an (s) because it is tradition if you are playing a Canadian team in a USA venue, both of the anthem will be sung before the game.  The Black Hawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison is so good that the Chicago Bears (NFL) routinely ask him to sing the anthem at their games.  If you want to hear some awesomeness just search Jim Cornelison or "oh canada playoffs" in you tube.

So, in conclusion, I have presented some of the facts why Hockey is pretty freakin awesome, I suggest that you go out and watch some hockey.  If you cannot get to an NHL game, I would suggest going to see some college hockey, it is just as good.  So, I demand you stop reading this now and go watch some hockey! Or just rent Mighty Ducks 1 thru 3.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mr. Malkin's Penguins

I would like to start this entry citing the emotional conflict that exists inside of me, writing a story about one of the hockey teams that I do not really care much for, the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Most of my dislike comes from the fact that NBC is in love with them and Cindy Crosby himself.  I feel that I must write this because there is one person in Pittsburgh that's really never received the love that he deserves, Evgeni Malkin.  Maybe its because Cindy Crosby was supposed to be the next Great One, or simply maybe its the fact that he is Russian.  Whatever the reason we are about to give him some serious love here at Seasons in the Sun.

We will just start with the numbers this year for Malkin, which are way up because his boy Cindy Crosby is still suffering from concussion like symptoms from a hit that occurred circa 2 years ago now.  Malkin leads the league currently in points with 55.  He is 3rd in the league with 25 goals and 9th in the league with 30 assists.  His 6 game winning goals lands him 2nd in the NHL, that not too shabby of a category to be 2nd.  I think the city of Pittsburgh should be happy the way that he has played this season in the absence of Cindy Crosby.

Malkin did not just start winning and playing well with the Penguins this season.  The man has competed for Russia in the U18 and U20 IIHF World Championships, coming away with a gold, two silvers and a bronze medal.  In 2006, he was the MVP of the tournament for his efforts.  Also, he has helped Russia to two Bronze medals in Turin and Vancouver, in the last two Winter games.  So, we know that he has been reppin' Russia very well.

Let's talk about what he has done since he has been on what has been called Cindy Crosby's team.  In 2006 as a rookie he won the Calder, which is for the league's best rookie player.  In the year they won the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh it was not Cindy getting the hardware for the MVP, it was Malkin.  In root to being named the MVP, he led the playoffs in scoring.  If I remember correctly Cindy was also injured in that series too.  It seems to me, as an outsider, that Cindy Crosby is pretty fragile.

In conclusion, I think we need to take a hard look at the Pittsburgh Penguins and see what the driving force has been, its really been Malkin and not Crosby.  Crosby can have all this talent but if he keeps getting injured its only going to be a matter of time before the kids of Pittsburgh have more 71 jerseys than 87.  I hope the Pittsburgh fans appreciate what Malkin has provided for them, many goals and a Stanley Cup.  So, lets remember who's team this really is, sorry Cindy, I am revoking your man card.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why you need to buy NHL 12

I really don't get too much into video games anymore but NHL 12 might be the best game that has been put out in a while.  Personally, I am not a fan of the world is going to end games, or the games where all you do is go around killing people.  I prefer sports games where the impossible is able to happen.  NHL 12 might be the best sports game since NHL 96 ever made.  The reasons you need to buy it.

1. Just added this year, goalies can get into fights.  How can you not love that? Seriously, fighting in hockey is awesome but when you add the goalie, it just puts it on another level.
2. If you check someone really hard into the glass it will break.  How cool is this? Nothing like seeing the glass shatter on the ice and the poor people in the first row.
3. If you are the away team and injure a player from the home team, the home town fans will specifically boo the player that injured their hero.  How great is this? It shows the passion that hockey fans have that most other sports do not.
4. The teams have all sorts of alternative jerseys.  Meaning you could play the Winnipeg Jets vs. the Phoenix Coyotes in the same jersey!  They have Black Hawks jerseys from the 1940s.  They have the Whalers jerseys for the Carolina Hurricanes, it really cannot get any better.
5. In line with actual rules in the NHL if you hit someone from behind you can be given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct.  You player then is shown leaving the ice, if you are lucky enough, he will be pissed enough about it and hit the camera.
6. The graphics are insane.  Like it was in HDTV you can see the reflection of ads, the scoreboard on the ice, so cool, and a little blinding haha.

That's pretty much all that I can think of right now, but I assure you the game is sweet.  It is probably the closest game to the actual sport that I have ever seen.  So stop reading this right now and go out and buy it.  Its a dam shame that for this blog, EA sports isn't paying me for Seasons in the Sun to pump up their game.