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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.
This 1-and-5 life is very lonely for those of us who care. The hits just keep on coming, and it’s us – the Minnesota Vikings – taking the brunt of the blows. Maybe the Giants loss was a new low-of-lows this lowly 2013 campaign, but it’s just another problem in a season that has become a disaster and, quite honestly, is just awful.
Every week – save the Wembley game – there’s a new problem, and the Monday Night Massacre at MetLife is nothing new in that we lost again, but we discovered a new way to look bad, and I feel badly for all involved. Trip on this:
At Detroit LINEHAN handled us with the BUSH trick, and we had no answer for the balance of the game.
At Chicago we had a chance to open a two-score lead pretty late and couldn’t get in from first-and-goal, opened up six, then watched JAY CUTLER fly by like a stakes beast against a bunch of claimers. He hung a dirty nose on us – a one-point loss – and after the game flippantly (honestly?) said something along the lines of “We knew the Vikings would screw it up,” and he was right. That was the game our defense on the game-winning play seemed to have some of the guys playing one style of defense and the others on another page. That also was the game CHRISTIAN PONDER threw it to TIM JENNINGS for a pick six on a play KYLE RUDOLPH was streaking up the field clear of, um, JULIUS PEPPERS.
Then in the Cleveland game they faked a punt on us and it worked, faked a FG for a TD, and on the game-deciding play we sent a heavy blitz, and TE JORDAN CAMERON beat us back left of the end zone.
After that we went to England, played off the energy of the unique opportunity, scored a bunch of points behind MATT CASSEL and kept the Steelers winless. We ended the game with an EVERSON GRIFFEN sack, his only of the season, and it looked at that stage and into the BYE things might be getting better. ADRIAN looked like the MVP again with JEROME FELTON back in the mix, GREG JENNINGS caught two TD passes and we had a spark. We looked like the bad boy out of the off week might get better.
In the Carolina game at MOA Field we were embarrassed and beaten up by a super physical Carolina team, let the read-option offense dictate the tempo and pissed off the fan base by losing by 25. We scored a TD late but it didn’t matter – the humiliation factor already had set in. The record went to 1-and-4.
So, Monday night in rolls QB JOSH FREEMAN, and he never had a chance and for some reason threw 53 passes. He mostly was inaccurate even though receivers were open, and at times threw the ball so hard pass catchers couldn’t close on the fast balls. Save the garbage-time TD to Rudolph late in the Carolina game our offense cannot get anything going.
Adrian averaged two YPC because New York “stacked the box” and begged us to pass, knowing the new QB wasn’t ready to make it rain with TD passes. Adrian never had a chance and most of the game the Giants had more guys by the line than we had blockers. MVP was thwarted and so were the Minnesota Vikings.
MARCUS SHERELS’ 86-yard PR TD was cool but his INT drop in the third quarter was a game changer because he gets to the end zone if he hauls it in. Then the next play he fumbled a punt and the Giants scored shortly thereafter. Diseased.
We have become slumpbusters for many a team. The Browns were averaging
eight PPG when they came to MOA Field and scored 31. The Carolina Panthers were
blasted by Arizona and came to our spot and scored 35. The Giants were minus 16
in the turnover differential and we gave it to them two more times than we took it. ELI MANNING failed to throw a pick for the first time this season. They hadn’t scored in the final quarter for a month and scored six against us.
This is just terrible and at this pace jobs will be lost and many a player making up the 1-and-5 roster will not be back next season. These are the bad, old days, and I professionally grieve for all involved.