Monday, January 28, 2013
Behind the Green is a fairly short, yet riveting look through the eyes of Ryan Sullivan, who was "Sully" of the Green Men. The story tells of the duo's beginnings ("Force" is the other half of the Green Men), which began with a chance encounter between the two guys (not in green bodysuits) at a class in BCIT. A few internships and an aborted mission to dress as the Green Men at a Seattle Seahawks game later, the Green Men were born. However, even after the initial success at a game against the Nashville Predators, the road wasn't exactly a smooth one for the duo, as they learned the hard way about business dealings and the difficulties in keeping the act from growing stale. Many trials and tribulations were had, and it almost ended before it had a chance to really hit the ground. There were the highs (their first appearance in the playoffs in 2010) and the lows (seeing the momentum deflate after that series loss against Chicago), and certainly, there were times when it seemed that fame would be fleeting, if not for an incident involving the Toronto Maple Leafs and waffles being thrown on the ice. It was the 2011 playoffs that would catapult the Green Men into North American consciousness, as the duo got to travel for some of the road games and encountered numerous interview requests, while relishing every chance to be out of the suits (as Sullivan says in the book, it can get stuffy in the suits and you have a hard time seeing through them). The book ends with Sullivan's thoughts on the Vancouver riots that happened after game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Behind the Green is one of the best books written about a couple of fans who got the chance to do what so many of us, as hockey fans, have always wanted to do: be there for our team, wherever they may travel and no matter the result. As you read the book, there are consequences for every action, and not all of them benefited the Green Men. As a bonus for anyone who aspires to be in the Journalism field, Sullivan offers a few tips on having some level of success, as he (and "Force") both work in the field when he is not prancing around in a green bodysuit.
You will laugh, you will cry, you will cringe at the thought of doing the worm with a cup on, but you will find Behind the Green to be nothing short of exciting, and "Sully" is there to guide us through life in green.
If you'd like a copy of the book, head to the Behind the Green website.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
As for the Petes on the ice this week, they made a comeback on Thursday en route to a 3-2 win in the shootout against Belleville at home. The road portion of the team's week was not so kind, as Barrie proved to be rude hosts in a 4-1 loss. The Petes continue their road swing, as they hit Windsor on Thursday, Saginaw on Friday, and Plymouth on Saturday.
Friday, January 25, 2013
It is the 1999-2000 season, and Yashin is coming off of his best season yet, scoring 94 points, with 44 of them being goals, and he is in the final year of his current contract with the Senators. Yashin knows that a big payday is forthcoming, and he wants to do his best. The Senators win the Northeast Division that year, barely beating their provincial rivals in the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yashin goes on to break the 100 point mark that year, but is beaten out for the Art Ross Trophy by Jaromir Jagr. Things are looking good for the Senators...until their first round matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Because the Senators had home ice advantage in that series though, the Sens would go on to win in seven tough games, with Yashin being the difference maker. Their next opponent would be the New Jersey Devils, and despite their offensive talents, the Senators could not solve Martin Brodeur, and go down 4-2. In the offseason, Yashin asks for big money, and the Senators were unwilling to pay the price tag. As a result, Yashin leaves for a larger payday in New York and the Rangers while Ottawa is left to scramble for a replacement for Yashin beginning the following season. The captaincy Yashin left behind is given to Daniel Alfredsson, who puts up decent numbers, but it isn't enough, as Ottawa falls to the seventh seed in the 2000-01 season, where they would get swept by a revenge-minded Maple Leafs team in the first round that year. Meanwhile, Yashin proves to have a good first year as a Ranger, but for the next five years, he does little of note, as his numbers see a precipitous decline in subsequent years. Ottawa, needing to fill some holes on their team, dangle Marian Hossa as trade bait, and find a taker in the New York Islanders, who send their first round pick, Zdeno Chara, and Bill Muckalt. While Hossa becomes a breakout star with the Islanders, even leading them to a Conference Final in 2002, the Senators struggle to find some offense, as evidenced by a couple more one and dones in the playoffs. However, they find that Chara is a superstar in the making on the blue line, and lock him up to a long term deal. Meanwhile, that first round pick in 2001 turns out to be Jason Spezza, who would join the team in the 2003-04 season, and while he doesn't have immediate success, there is hope, as he provides a spark late in the season.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
The Petes will be at home against Belleville on Thursday, which should also be a reunion of sorts, as Alan Quine started his year in Peterborough before getting moved to Belleville. Saturday, the Petes will travel to Barrie for a tilt against the Colts.
Spokane features Brendon Kitchon and Todd Fiddler as their leading scorers in a fairly well balanced attack. Goaltending could use some improvement, where Eric Williams holds down the fort, but it does the job well enough for second place in the U.S. Division. Adding Alessio Bertaggia to the mix should help the offense. Tri-City is led by Justin Feser on an offense that isn't as good as last year's version, and clearly, they miss the likes of Patrick Holland and Brendan Shinnimin. Eric Comrie was the best goaltender on the team (a 2.62 GAA is pretty good), but he is now out for the season, leaving Luke Lee-Knight and Troy Trombley as the options in goal.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Some of the highlights in the book include his insight into a locker room when he first started out, his often contentious relationships with his coaches, and addressing some of his comments from his current job as an analyst concerning Patrick Marleau and a hit on Kris Letang by Eric Nystrom last season. Though there are instances where I think he could have gone further in depth such as his early childhood, there are some that he talks about in depth that define Roenick as a man, such as his relationship with his wife Tracy and how certain players have influenced his style such as Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, and Mike Modano. The book also offers a different point of view on people such as Mike Keenan and Wayne Gretzky, both of whom Roenick as respect for, but as you read, wasn't always a 24/7 deal.
When reading the book, Roenick challenges you to think and to ask, in his words, "What the $%&* was Roenick thinking?" There were plenty of instances of the latter, and certainly many of them will have you laughing along or shaking your head. The autobiography is definitely a must-read if you're a fan of Roenick, want to know what was going on behind the scenes, or just want to have a good laugh. Be warned, as Roenick pulls no punches here.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
The Winterhawks will be at home on Friday against Lethbridge before hitting the road to Kent, WA for a tilt against the Thunderbirds on Saturday.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
Today, he will be rejoining the Ducks in the role of one of the assistant coaches on Bruce Boudreau's staff. What this could mean is that Niedermayer will be a mentor to the likes of Luca Sbisa, Cam Fowler, and some of the younger players entering their first year with the Ducks like Emerson Etem. Certainly, Niedermayer will bring a winning pedigree to the coaching staff and the familiarity with some of the current Ducks can only help. One hope is that he will be able to find a way to motivate Ryan Getzlaf, who became captain after Niedermayer retired in 2010. Getzlaf has seen his numbers fall off in the last two years and there are some rumblings (including this scribe) concerning his ability to lead the team.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
This is a big fall for a team that started its existence on a hot streak, reaching the Finals in its first year of existence. Major changes began prior to last season, when longtime general manager Doug Soetart was replaced by Davidson, and Davidson wanted a change in philosophy from the defensive-minded teams of the past. Currently, the fact that they're near the bottom in offense is an indication that the team hasn't quite identified the players necessary to succeed under this plan.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
As for the expected, the Detroit Red Wings have been in need of a captain since Nicklas Lidstrom retired in May. That search may be over, as the Red Wings are to announce that Henrik Zetterberg as the new captain sometime this week. This is no surprise, as Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk both served as alternate captains last season, and either one could have been named captain and the answer would still be right.
That leaves New Jersey and Florida as the only teams without a captain, and possibly Philadelphia, since Chris Pronger is likely to retire due to injury.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The film follows Nanahara, who was orphaned after seeing his father hang himself, and Noriko, who has a special relationship with Kitano (father and daughter like relations, to be specific). Kawada and Kiriyama are transfer students with different motivations for being in this Battle Royale, with Kawada being the guardian angel of sorts for both Nanahara and Noriko while Kiriyama joins for the sport of it. Mitsuko also plays a central role in this film, as other than Kiriyama, she is the most lethal player in this game. Beyond all the killing, Battle Royale touches upon the themes of friendship, love, and relations with family gone awry. You notice these things in the flashbacks that Nanahara, Noriko, and Kitano have, and even when Kitano inadvertently (?) saves Noriko from certain death at the hands of Mitsuko. The violence within the movie will either draw you in or push you away, but it is the underlying themes that ultimately make this movie worth your time.