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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.
I wasn't on Twitter this time last year, so as the Vikings were going 1-and-3 during the preseason I wasn't privied to the quick-fire reaction to our games. Didn't see the "LESLIE sucks" stuff or the "PONDER is garbage" posts. We lost our first two preseason games so, of course, we are doomed, right? Foolish.
Boy, after the road loss to the Buffalo Bills tonite Rubes were getting after it and predictably most of it was of the negative-ass ilk. Over-the-top stuff, too. Surprised I didn't see some fans threatening to pull their tickets for the 2013 season.
I watched the game, saw plenty I didn't like and still have no change to the 11-and-5 into-the-season call. It's the preseason and if stuff is going to go amiss let it happen now. That Buffalo blitz was unpredictable, exotic and, yeah, caught us offguard. Not much game planning goes into these games, and the Bills' D brought it and delivered the aggressive goods all game. Shoot, even BALTAZAR had to take a hit on a CB blitz late in the game while delivering a cold-blooded connection.
The third preseason game is a week from Sunday at San Francisco, and it's expected ADRIAN PETERSON will make his debut in that contest. Let's see how we handle the blitz with MVP in the backfield because if they guess wrong he goes for 80 and they'll back off. Maybe blitzing Ponder is the attack we will see early in the season, and if that's the case bring it on. You'll see. They'll see. We'll be fine, and so will the offense.
MATT KALIL missed a guy on the first play of the game and Christian almost got killed. Bet that's not the case at Detroit. Fixing stuff like that is what these games are for. Now our second OL has been bad all preseason, and I guees that bugs me because eventually one of those guys will have to play some or a bunch.
Houston NT EARL MITCHELL battered our back-up OL a week ago, and the Bills did the same tonite. That's my single biggest concern with the Vikings into the season -- depth on the OL. There will be cut guys we can find to help that, and I still firmly feel we have the best OL in the division.
I didn't like how Ponder just gave in a few times when facing immense pressure and still feel he needs to play more loosely and not be afraid to make mistakes -- especially this time of the year. His running ability is an asset, and this would be the time of the year he can say "Bleep it" and chuck the thing up there for a top receiver, giving said skill guy a chance to make a play. Kind of like FAVRE used to do with SIDNEY when plays would break down; he'd just chuck it up no matter the coverage and let the player make a play.
It's not like Ponder had all day to make decisions but, yeah, he'll have to play less cautiously at San Francisco to take a positive step. No worries, though, because we are a run-first team boasting the league's MVP, and until Adrian plays I am not going to overly judge Ponder's performances.
Adrian's inclusion scares defenses and gives the play-action passing game much more merit. You'll see. He's arguably the top offensive player in the NFL and our approach starts and stops with him. Teams will blitz less and there will be more single coverage for Christian to ponder. You'll see.
Our rookie punter JEFF LOCKE was terrific tonite, as was S JAMARCA SANFORD, who had a pick and was dynamite in the running game. CHAD GREENWAY was explosive, and rookie DT SHARRIF FLOYD had another solid game.
Nope, no change to the 11-and-5 call through two preseason losses because I know what we are capable of, and fans will like that they see when we debut aqt Detroit. Don't jump off the cliched bandwagon because you might hurt yourself -- just like many did last year when we were 6-and-6 and had to win out to get in. Our defense is better than people see at this stage and is ready for a big saeason. We'll be fine.