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We celebrate the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey Team and one of its stars, Jonny "The Mouse" Mikkelson, who once told me "Our team was so good the varsity wouldn't play us." When asked why he didn't play varsity Mouse said, "Too little." Cutest ever. So, we salute the greatest Club Hockey Team ever, a squad so vaunted even Jim Craig's Miracle team wanted nothing to do with it. Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, Messier ... dead! Long live the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey team!
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“If respect for the guy between you and the boards isn’t enough to stop you from running him, maybe what will be is the fear of the retribution that is sure to follow.” –Bobby Orr
This is an excerpt from the great Bobby Orr’s book, the chapter on fighting in hockey. I am not writing about actual fighting in hockey, but violence in hockey. If your worst enemy was standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, would you push him over the edge?
No. Even if you hate somebody, you more than likely respect them enough as a human being not to push them down a cliff. I am disappointed in the lack of respect of players in hockey, mainly the NHL. There have been some recent cheap-shots in the NHL resulting in fines and suspensions. Even though it didn’t result in an injury (or so we think right now, who knows if it will re-surface), but the one that pisses me off the most is the James Neal kneeing incident at Boston against Brad Marchand. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/james-neal-gets-nhl-phone-hearing-bit-joke-211433123--nhl.html Neal’s quote was “I haven’t seen the replay of anything. I hit him in the head with my leg or my knee or my shin. He’s already going down. I guess I need to try to avoid him,” said Neal.
This is bush league. James Neal is a very good hockey player, but should have gotten 20 games for this, not 5. (I say this even though he’s on my fantasy hockey team) In the same game, Bruin thug Shawn Thornton slew-footed Penguins Brooks Orpik, then kept beating his head into the ice causing the stretcher to come out.
There are other incidents being looked at by the league, but these d-bags need to start respecting their opponents. You can hate them all you want, but you NEED to respect them. They are your peers. I recently heard Doc Emrick talking about player respect, and hope this message gets through. With the newer equipment technology, players are feeling invincible. In a sport that sometimes needs to be policed by the players, the police need to know what they’re doing. Even in the wake of the nationally known tragedy of the Jack Jablonski hit, you still see players hitting players from behind into the boards. I remember when I was young, the normal penalties were tripping, hooking, elbowing, charging……etc… The one penalty that you rarely saw, and when you did it was a major penalty, was boarding. I reffed hockey for 8 years, and “boarding” was the cardinal sin. A major penalty. Now, boarding is a 2-minute minor. WHY?
I will also say on the other side, players need to do a better job avoiding these hits. Don’t stand 3 feet from the boards with your head down. When you ride a motorcycle on the freeway, you have to expect every car to potentially cut you off. You need to ride defensively. Same as being on the ice. You have to keep your head up, be aware of what’s going on, be aware that anybody at any time can run you into the boards. Play aggressive but play defensive.
Watch Zach Parise play. When he’s near the boards, he’s ready to be hit. He prepares for it. These cheap, near the boards incidents occur not only in the NHL, but at the youth level as well. Kids don’t start checking until the bantam level, which I think is too late. Junior High-aged kids get to check for the first time? Trouble!
I have gone in many directions here, but the bottom line is the players need to respect other players. There’s a reason why players shake hands after games, it’s to show respect. Players need to quit playing and acting so reckless and respect the great game of hockey. I HATE having to write negative things about my favorite sport, but felt a need to at this time.
"Rainy Days and Mondays" and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and the rest of the week are getting this fan base down. The Twins, the personification of the term "pear-shaped." Like a pear shape, the team looked decent from the top -- kind of succulent and enticing -- then the whole thing became distorted and bruised and, went "pear-shaped." Diseased.
Swept at home against Boston. Swept at Atlanta. Starters never get passed the fourth. PERK blew his first save, then we lost on a walk-off shot.
THE CATCHER had an off day and mysteriously was scratched last Friday against the BoSox due to "back stiffness." Since the skipped game he is 4-for-17 with triple the strikeouts compared to doubles.
The opening-day starter VANCE WORLEY was demoted today to Rochester after nibbling and getting smashed against the Braves, one of the better teams in the game.
THE FIRST BASEMAN has two home runs this year, none in May and just one the last five weeks.
DENARD SPAN was dealt to the Nats and his replacement AARON HICKS doesn't even lead off anymore. Hicks' OBP is .231 and he fans almost once every three at-bats.
KEVIN CORREIA, the innings-eating starter, has allowed five home runs the last four starts.
PELFREY clearly isn't what he used to be off the Tommy John surgery.
They have lost eight in a row.
They are in last place.
They have been one of the best interleague teams the last 10 years and just were swept by a NL team.
They needed a new starter Friday at Detroit and elevated SAM DEDUNO, not KYLE GIBSON, and that may be to keep him from hitting arbitration a year earlier. The deadline for that is like mid-June but even if he joins after that he only gets like 130 innings this year due to his recovery from TJS. So, maybe elevating him after the money-saving deadline and using him out of the 'pen is a sneaky way to keep him in the mix most if not all of the year?
At Detroit beginning tomorrow. Sounds like a sweep. We currently are awful with RISP and the starters are not protecting the bullpen. Or, maybe in last-ditch-effort mode, we suck it up and win two of three from the Motor City Kitties?
"Other than that, Miss Lincoln, how was the play?"