Saturday, 18 November 2017

Unlikely Offence

The goalie to the left is Mikhail Berdin of the Sioux Falls Stampeders who play in the USHL. Berdin was a sixth-round selection at 157th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2016 NHL Draft, and the netminder from Ufa, Russia has played the last two seasons in Sioux Falls. His 14-12-3 record last season came with a 2.73 GAA and a .925 save percentage, but he's already upped his stats in his second season as Berdin sits with a 6-3-1 record, a 2.47 GAA, and a .933 save percentage. Tonight, though, he added a new statistic to his totals.

With Sioux Falls leading the Muskegon Lumberjacks 6-4 late in the third period, a puck was dumped in behind Berdin's net where the goaltender came out to play it. And then this happened.
Officially, Berdin scored his first goal at 16:36 of the third period in Sioux Falls 7-4 victory over Muskegon. It was also Berdin's first point of the season this year, and he celebrated like he just celebrated winning the Stanley Cup with the fist-pumps, the bench-long high-fives, and the wave to the crowd. Honestly, it's pretty cool to see a goalie goal, but even better to see a player enjoying himself on the ice. Well done, Mikhail!

What is perhaps the bigger story here is that Muskegon gave up five unanswered goals - including Berdin's goal - and coughed up a three-goal lead in being swept this weekend. With the losses this weekend, Muskegon finds themselves in ninth- and last-place in the USHL Eastern Conference with ten points. Sioux Falls improves to 17 points and sits in third-place in the Western Conference, but every team with the exception of the Fargo Force has games in-hand. In other words, this was a big win to try and keep pace with everyone for the Stampeders!

It's always fun to see goalies celebrating like crazy after scoring a goal. Congratulations to Mikhail Berdin on his first goal of the season in helping Sioux Falls earn the 7-4 win!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Honouring The Pups Who Help

With Remembrance Day and Veterans Days having passed, it's always hard to imagine some of the struggles that some face after their tours of duty. Veterans see and live through the atrocities of war, and some suffer from impairments and stresses that we, in our regular five-day-a-week cycle, never would imagine facing. Charlie, the black lab above, is one of the dogs that works to help soldiers ease back into normal life by being a companion and offering a little extra help to the soldiers who return with impairments or stresses.

The New York Islanders welcomed Charlie to Barclays Center tonight to drop the ceremonial puck prior to their game against the Carolina Hurricanes. I think this is an outstanding initiative by the Islanders as we often take service animals for granted in terms of the role they play in the lives of those who need them. Charlie is a member of VetDogs which "is a program that provides trained service dogs to United States military veterans who could use a little extra help in day-to-day life. There are dogs specifically trained for veterans who are vision-impaired, hearing-impaired or those who may be suffering from post-traumatic streess disorder."

Quite honestly, that's incredible.

Joined by his trainers and two Army veterans from Fort Bragg, Charlie made his way to center ice and dropped the puck between Islanders captain John Tavares and Hurricanes captain Justin Faulk.
That's awesome, and it's great to see Charlie and VetDogs being honoured by the Islanders. Far too often, we don't hear about the challenges that soldiers face when returning from duty, especially if they have suffered some sort of trauma or injury, so getting a companion that can help them work through the difficulties of everyday life while coping with this trauma is vitally important. VetDogs is doing an outstanding job in helping the returning officers.

One of the benefits that VetDogs may not be promoting is that people who own dogs not only live longer, but have better cardiovascular health. While the science in that study only looked at Swedish people, I can't imagine people with dogs not being happier with a loyal companion nearby.

Charlie appears to be on his way to being a fantastic companion and aid to a service member who will return from action in the future. VetDogs is doing an amazing job, and I'm glad to see an organization helping those who do so much to help others.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Hockey Show - Episode 269

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, returns to the 101.5 FM frequency and the internet airwaves tonight with a special in-studio guest! We're always thrilled to have great guests in-studio, and this man's career saw him criss-cross North America and the globe on his professional hockey adventure! He did spend parts of two seasons with the Manitoba Moose before returning here where he's been honing his skills in coaching! Tonight, we get to meet one of the men I used to watch when the AHL was big hockey in Winnipeg as Beans and I welcome Josh Green to the show!

First off, we'll do a little celebrating with Josh tonight as he celebrates his 40th birthday today! After we enjoy cake, we'll talk to Josh about his life, his career, his many stops in that career, an injury or two, some old coaches, some teammates, and more! Josh had a fascinating career in which he played with some of the greatest players to ever suit up in the NHL as well as being coached by men who went on to have outstanding careers of their own. We'll also get an update on what Josh has been doing with his time after the game as he's been a busy guy with two little Greens running around!

For those that aren't aware, Josh played with the Manitoba Moose during the lockout season in 2004-05 before Vancouver signed him. He stuck around in Manitoba and even got his first letter in his professional career here as he was named an alternate captain in 2005-06 with the Moose. All said and done, Josh put up 28 goals and 43 assists to go along with 105 PIMs in 102 regular season games with the Moose, but he always shone brightest in the spring. In the AHL playoffs, he scored 14 goals and added ten assists in 24 playoff games. It's not often you find guys who step their games up in the playoffs, but Josh Green was one of those exceptional players for the Manitoba Moose!

How do you tune in to hear Josh's interview tonight, you ask? We suggest that you download the UMFM app on your phone or tablet. It's the easiest and most convenient way to listen to any of UMFM's great shows any time of the day, so go get it! Just follow this link on your iDevice or this link for your Android device and get the UMFM app! It's never been easier to tune into The Hockey Show or UMFM! Download the UMFM app today, and don't miss any of our great programming or shows! Of course, you can do the radio thing at 101.5 FM and you can always listen online via the UMFM website!

If you prefer social media, we try to remain up-to-speed there as well! Email all show questions and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Tonight, we talk Kodiaks, Broncos, Winterhawks, Falcons, Monsters, Bulldogs, Moose, Ducks, Kings, Oilers, Barons, and more as we meet and talk with former pro hockey player Josh Green on The Hockey Show found only on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM app!

PODCAST: November 16, 2017: Episode 269

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Suspensions? Probably.

On a quiet evening in Detroit, Michigan, a group of Calgarians came calling on the local hockey team called the "Red Wings" for a friendly game of ice hockey. The two teams traded chances on the local frozen sheet of ice where the team clad in red-and-white thrilled fans with an eight-goal performance while only allowing a pair of goals past its formidable goalkeeper in Jimmy Howard. Yes, everyone had a merry Wednesday evening that included a number of hugs and high-fives as shown above.

Wait, hold on. I'm being told that's not what happened. In fact, it's not even close to the truth.

I'll let Sportsnet's Dave Randorf and Garry Galley walk you through all the fun had at Little Caesars Arena last night.
So if you're the Department of Player Safety tomorrow, where do you start in this melee?

Luke Witkowski will most likely get the biggest suspension after he was escorted off the ice only to return to the ice and try to engage in a second fight. Once assessed a game misconduct as it appears he was, Witkowski is required to exit the ice surface. Returning is a major no-no.

I don't know if Anthony Mantha will get one, but throwing punches while Hamonic is down on his back through the gate is also going to be frowned upon by the Department of Player Safety. Hamonic is vulnerable to a number of injuries in that position, and it would have been wiser for Mantha to simply let him go.

It also appears that Micheal Ferland participated in this skirmish while still on the bench. That's also a major no-no in the NHL rulebook, so I'd expect him to have some time off as well.

It's not an easy job to be George Parros in this situation, but I'd rather see him err on the side of "Don't Do That Again" than to be lenient in this case. We'll await the results on Thursday or Friday from the Department of Player Safety, but expect a few players to be lighter in the wallet and possible have some time off for their actions.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Has Adidas Just Given Up?

As we all know by now, there will be a special outdoor game played in Ottawa this winter between the hometown Senators and the NHL's most storied franchise in the Montreal Canadiens. The image to the left are the jerseys that Adidas and the NHL have signed off on for that game, and I'm not certain that this deal with Adidas is working for the NHL's aesthetics. If there was a minimalist series of jerseys, I can see the NHL being happy with what was introduced today, but whatever Adidas is selling to the NHL should be stopped cold turkey because these Adidas jerseys don't look like hockey jerseys.

On December 16, these two teams will play outdoors at Lansdowne Park as part of the league's 100th anniversary celebration. According to the NHL's statement, "[t]he color silver was used uniquely in the design as a symbolic accent, drawing a direct connection to the NHL's Centennial Celebration narrative" as well as an homage to the Stanley Cup. The silver stripe on the arms of the jerseys features the years that the teams won the Stanley Cup. It's also a nice tie to the Ottawa Silver Sevens, but that fact seems to have fallen by the wayside in the NHL's shameless self-promotion. Thankfully, the Senators made that connection, so at least they honour their heritage.
Honestly, can one really call it a feature if it's invisible to the cameras who will broadcast the game? It's such an insignificant feature that it seems superfluous at best. These jerseys aren't going to sell by the millions, so let's start cutting back on the rather needless additions to jerseys, shall we? To make this even gaudier, the Canadiens jersey has the "right sleeve showcasing the triumphant seasons that fell between 1916 and 1960, and the left sleeve highlighting the conquests from 1965 to 1993." Ugh.

If that feature isn't vapid enough, the design of the jersey "features performance poly fabric and a new lightweight crest and numbering system that make the jersey 19% lighter." Does Adidas know that this game is being played outdoors in December in Canada? Lighter means less warmth, and the average temperature in Ottawa for December 16 ranges between -4°C and -8°C. The high one year ago in Ottawa on December 16 was -11°C on a day where it started out at -26°C at 6am with a -31°C windchill. In other words, the players may want to dress with another warmer, thicker layer than what Adidas is providing.

With the pock marks across the shoulders, the lack of a hem stripe on the Ottawa jerseys, the lighter fabric, crest and numbers, and these ridiculous features that matter to no one, Adidas is really doing a number on hockey. What I would give for the old CCM jerseys right now. Instead, the 100th anniversary of the league will go down as one of the worst looking outdoor games in the league's history.

For traditionalists like me, maybe it's time that Adidas starts giving a damn about this sport.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!