The Agenda: San Francisco Bulls Home Opener 11.8.13

On Friday the San Francisco Bulls hosted the Bakersfield Condors in their much anticipated 2013-2014 home opener. The electricity inside the Cow Palace could be felt all the way from outside as fans poured into the box office to get their tickets.  A symphony of cowbells and collective chants of “Let’s Go Bulls!” filled the air. An eclectic mix of fans ranging from executive types, to families, to hipsters all gathered together to show their support for the home team. 

Pyrotechnics lit up the ice as this year’s Bulls lineup was announced. Cheers from fans and the booming echoes from their live drumline set the tone for the opening face off. Right off the bat you could see that the energy from the crowd had transferred directly to the Bulls play. Big hits were immediately thrown as the pace of the game quickly reached a feverish pitch. “By the way the Bulls opened up the game, you could see that first goal was going to the home team”, Bulls fan Joe Burger explains. Fans were rewarded as Dean Ouellet potted his first goal of the season at 8:29 of the first period. Dylan King received the only assist on the play. 

It didn’t take long, just 1:12 into the 2nd period, for the Bull’s Kyle Bigos to also register his first tally of the season. His unassisted goal gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead.  Heading into the waning moments of the 2nd period, the Condor’s Wes Cunningham brought the visiting team within striking distance when he tallied his first goal of the season ( 2:18 ). Primary and secondary assists were rewarded to George Hughes and Michael Neal of Bakersfield.

With the 3rd period getting underway you could feel that the game was going to be a nail biter right down to the very last tick. Both team traded golden opportunities on the powerplay but ultimately the score remained the same. Bull’s goalie Tyler Beskorowany played a terrific game as he stopped 34 of 35 shots in his Bull’s home debut. 

The Bulls head back out on the road for a game against the Stockton Thunder before returning home for 3 game home stand against the Idaho Steelheads and the division leading Ontario Reign.  

written by: Billy Barnes @b_ray13

Source Credit: HERE

The Agenda : San Francisco Bulls Home Opener 11.8.13
Are you ready for some Bulls Hockey? Tonight the San Francisco Bulls host the Bakersfield Condors in their home opener. The Bulls began their 2013-2014 season on an extended 7 game road trip, due to the Grand National Rodeo taking up temporary residency at the Cow Palace. The Bulls, now playing in just their second season as an organization are part of the ECHL which is a professional AA minor hockey league that was founded in 1988. They are also an affiliate of the Worcester Sharks as well as the San Jose Sharks.  
Did you know?
During the recent off-season the Bulls went though a major roster overhaul.The likes of which brought 13 new players to their club. With recent upgrades to their roster, the Bulls are looking to improve on last season’s 59 pt record. ( 25 W 38 L 2 OTL )  
Come On Out!
If you are interested in purchasing tickets for tonight’s game click on the TICKET link. Come show your support for your San Francisco Bulls.  
Go Bulls!
Written By Billy Barnes
Credit: Reference Site

The Agenda : San Francisco Bulls Home Opener 11.8.13

Are you ready for some Bulls Hockey? Tonight the San Francisco Bulls host the Bakersfield Condors in their home opener. The Bulls began their 2013-2014 season on an extended 7 game road trip, due to the Grand National Rodeo taking up temporary residency at the Cow Palace. The Bulls, now playing in just their second season as an organization are part of the ECHL which is a professional AA minor hockey league that was founded in 1988. They are also an affiliate of the Worcester Sharks as well as the San Jose Sharks.  

Did you know?

During the recent off-season the Bulls went though a major roster overhaul.The likes of which brought 13 new players to their club. With recent upgrades to their roster, the Bulls are looking to improve on last season’s 59 pt record. ( 25 W 38 L 2 OTL )  

Come On Out!

If you are interested in purchasing tickets for tonight’s game click on the TICKET link. Come show your support for your San Francisco Bulls.  

Go Bulls!

Written By Billy Barnes

Credit: Reference Site

Interview: Jake Hahn

Technical Producer for Sirius XM’s NHL Network

T.H.A : What got you started in broadcasting? Inspirations?

JH : Growing up in Canada watching HNIC on Saturday nights was a ritual and what I looked forward to the most every week from a very young age. Seeing guys like Ron MacLean cover hockey for a living and really enjoying what they do was something I wanted for myself. 




T.H.A : Is it something you knew you always wanted to do?
JH : Not exactly, I played a lot of sports growing up and there’s nothing I enjoy more than that so I figured I would do something involving sports. However I wasn’t sure exactly what that would be. I decided to get into sports broadcasting not because I want my name and face out there but so that I could get up every day and love my job. 
T.H.A : When you decided to get into broadcasting did you have full support from your parents?
JH : I couldn’t have had more support from my family. Even though it’s a tough industry to crack into, they know I’m very passionate about it and have done everything they can to help me along the way so far.
T. H. A : Describe one of your most memorable moments in broadcasting.
JH : For me a broadcasting moment that I could watch over and over again, and I think any Blue Jays fan will agree with me, is Tom Cheek’s call of Joe Carter’s walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. I’m a little biased when it comes to this but Cheek was a legend and that call shows his true talent as a broadcaster.
T.H.A : Do you see radio broadcasting as a dying art? Explain.
JH : I honestly don’t think it is. Obliviously we live in a world of instant information with Twitter but people still spend a lot of time in their cars listening to the radio. There’s definitely still a market for it and I can’t speak for everyone but I’d personally rather listen to talk radio over the music that plays these days. 
T.H.A : If you had to scrap with a player what player would you drop the mitts with?
JH : That’s a tough one. I’d have to pick someone where I have a nice reach advantage so there’s no way they can hit me. Probably Nathan Gerbe or Tyler Ennis but I’m sure they’d still find a way to get the win.
T.H.A : What was the first hockey game that you ever attended?
JH : I would have been so young for it that I can’t even remember the exact game. I grew up going to countless games at Maple Leaf Gardens and now the Air Canada Centre. The most memorable game for me was the last game at the Gardens. The history that had happened in that building and memories that I had made in a short time there are unforgettable.
T.H.A : Who do you think will win the Stanley Cup this year?
JH : Whichever team is healthy come playoff time and gets stellar goaltending will have a great chance. The San Jose Sharks look like they’ll be a very tough team to beat and I think this could be the year they remove the monkey from their back when it comes to winning in the postseason. However, I won’t pick the Sharks due to the amount of contending teams in the Western Conference and their inconsistency in the playoffs. I’ll go with the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is a team far too talented to only win one Stanley Cup in this era and with Sidney Crosby back to his unbelievable form he can carry this team to another Cup. The oblivious question mark is Fleury in net but I believe he has the skill to answer the critics.  
T.H.A : Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
JH : It was my pleasure. I look forward to doing it again. 
 

Interview: Jake Hahn

Technical Producer for Sirius XM’s NHL Network

T.H.A : What got you started in broadcasting? Inspirations?

JH : Growing up in Canada watching HNIC on Saturday nights was a ritual and what I looked forward to the most every week from a very young age. Seeing guys like Ron MacLean cover hockey for a living and really enjoying what they do was something I wanted for myself. 

T.H.A : Is it something you knew you always wanted to do?

JH : Not exactly, I played a lot of sports growing up and there’s nothing I enjoy more than that so I figured I would do something involving sports. However I wasn’t sure exactly what that would be. I decided to get into sports broadcasting not because I want my name and face out there but so that I could get up every day and love my job.

T.H.A : When you decided to get into broadcasting did you have full support from your parents?

JH : I couldn’t have had more support from my family. Even though it’s a tough industry to crack into, they know I’m very passionate about it and have done everything they can to help me along the way so far.

T. H. A : Describe one of your most memorable moments in broadcasting.

JH : For me a broadcasting moment that I could watch over and over again, and I think any Blue Jays fan will agree with me, is Tom Cheek’s call of Joe Carter’s walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. I’m a little biased when it comes to this but Cheek was a legend and that call shows his true talent as a broadcaster.

T.H.A : Do you see radio broadcasting as a dying art? Explain.

JH : I honestly don’t think it is. Obliviously we live in a world of instant information with Twitter but people still spend a lot of time in their cars listening to the radio. There’s definitely still a market for it and I can’t speak for everyone but I’d personally rather listen to talk radio over the music that plays these days.

T.H.A : If you had to scrap with a player what player would you drop the mitts with?

JH : That’s a tough one. I’d have to pick someone where I have a nice reach advantage so there’s no way they can hit me. Probably Nathan Gerbe or Tyler Ennis but I’m sure they’d still find a way to get the win.

T.H.A : What was the first hockey game that you ever attended?

JH : I would have been so young for it that I can’t even remember the exact game. I grew up going to countless games at Maple Leaf Gardens and now the Air Canada Centre. The most memorable game for me was the last game at the Gardens. The history that had happened in that building and memories that I had made in a short time there are unforgettable.

T.H.A : Who do you think will win the Stanley Cup this year?

JH : Whichever team is healthy come playoff time and gets stellar goaltending will have a great chance. The San Jose Sharks look like they’ll be a very tough team to beat and I think this could be the year they remove the monkey from their back when it comes to winning in the postseason. However, I won’t pick the Sharks due to the amount of contending teams in the Western Conference and their inconsistency in the playoffs. I’ll go with the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is a team far too talented to only win one Stanley Cup in this era and with Sidney Crosby back to his unbelievable form he can carry this team to another Cup. The oblivious question mark is Fleury in net but I believe he has the skill to answer the critics.  

T.H.A : Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.

JH : It was my pleasure. I look forward to doing it again. 

 

Art: Pavel Datsyuk ( by Billy Barnes )
I finally was able to put the finishing touches on my Pavel Datsyuk portrait painting. Pretty excited about this one. Oil on Canvas 8x16. 

Art: Pavel Datsyuk ( by Billy Barnes )

I finally was able to put the finishing touches on my Pavel Datsyuk portrait painting. Pretty excited about this one. Oil on Canvas 8x16. 

Book Review: Leave No Doubt A Credo For Chasing Your Dreams
Leave No Doubt A Credo For Chasing Your Dreams by Mike Babcock with Rick Larsen with introduction by Scotty Bowman.
"An everyday commitment to your drams makes them real. I believe dreaming is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Dreams can drive action, fuel change, and accomplish the impossible…"
If one quote could sum up the overall message of this part autobiographical part journal entry-like piece, it would be the one written above. Mike Babcock has not only proven that he knows how to win ( 2008 Stanley Cup Winner, 2010 Olympic Gold Metal Winner, IIHF Champion 2004, plus more ) but that he also knows how to get the most out of his team. This inspirational / motivational book challenges the reader to maximize one’s potential and to take each day as an opportunity to become a better you.  
"I drive people hard, but no harder than I drive myself. Leadership is about modeling. It;s as much about what you do as what you say. You set a tone, Yes, I’m demanding but I’m also supportive…"
Although the book mainly centers around his 2010 Olympic experience, it does however touch briefly on his coaching history. Starting with his time spent at Red Deer College in Alberta to his rise as Detroit’s coach to being given to opportunity to lead Canada’s Olympic Team. The book’s structure is presented in short paragraph form that naturally forces the reader to ponder each thought individually.

Babcock’s zen-like presence and demeanor are ever present in his words. Much like the words of Paulo Coelho or Herb Brooks. His energy and passion for life resonate more and more as you journey deeper into the book  He touches on subjects such as loss, dedication to the self, and what it means to be a leader. From his experience to losing to the Devils in game 7 as coach of the Anaheim Ducks to the pressures that team Canada faced while hosting the Olympics, this book does a great job in guiding the reader through Babcock’s personal accounts.
Ultimately I find this book to be an insightful read that often times had me breaking out the highlighter to mark quotes that resonated with me.  My only gripe, and that is only because I find Babcock to be so intriguing, is that I would have loved if the book dove a little deeper into his history and rise as a coach. All in all I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of hockey or into the motivational aspects of all that life has to offer.
Great job Coach Babcock.
Photo Credit: http://canucksarmy.com/2013/4/2/mike-babcock-if-you-coach-be-prepared-2

Book Review: Leave No Doubt A Credo For Chasing Your Dreams

Leave No Doubt A Credo For Chasing Your Dreams by Mike Babcock with Rick Larsen with introduction by Scotty Bowman.

"An everyday commitment to your drams makes them real. I believe dreaming is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Dreams can drive action, fuel change, and accomplish the impossible…"

If one quote could sum up the overall message of this part autobiographical part journal entry-like piece, it would be the one written above. Mike Babcock has not only proven that he knows how to win ( 2008 Stanley Cup Winner, 2010 Olympic Gold Metal Winner, IIHF Champion 2004, plus more ) but that he also knows how to get the most out of his team. This inspirational / motivational book challenges the reader to maximize one’s potential and to take each day as an opportunity to become a better you.  

"I drive people hard, but no harder than I drive myself. Leadership is about modeling. It;s as much about what you do as what you say. You set a tone, Yes, I’m demanding but I’m also supportive…"

Although the book mainly centers around his 2010 Olympic experience, it does however touch briefly on his coaching history. Starting with his time spent at Red Deer College in Alberta to his rise as Detroit’s coach to being given to opportunity to lead Canada’s Olympic Team. The book’s structure is presented in short paragraph form that naturally forces the reader to ponder each thought individually.

Babcock’s zen-like presence and demeanor are ever present in his words. Much like the words of Paulo Coelho or Herb Brooks. His energy and passion for life resonate more and more as you journey deeper into the book  He touches on subjects such as loss, dedication to the self, and what it means to be a leader. From his experience to losing to the Devils in game 7 as coach of the Anaheim Ducks to the pressures that team Canada faced while hosting the Olympics, this book does a great job in guiding the reader through Babcock’s personal accounts.

Ultimately I find this book to be an insightful read that often times had me breaking out the highlighter to mark quotes that resonated with me.  My only gripe, and that is only because I find Babcock to be so intriguing, is that I would have loved if the book dove a little deeper into his history and rise as a coach. All in all I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of hockey or into the motivational aspects of all that life has to offer.

Great job Coach Babcock.

Photo Credit: http://canucksarmy.com/2013/4/2/mike-babcock-if-you-coach-be-prepared-2

I am happy to announce that I will be interviewing Jake Hahn of SIRIUSXM Radio’s NHL Network tomorrow. I will be posting the interview in its entirety at the end of the week. Stay Tuned.

I am happy to announce that I will be interviewing Jake Hahn of SIRIUSXM Radio’s NHL Network tomorrow. I will be posting the interview in its entirety at the end of the week. Stay Tuned.

Product Review: Hogan Hockey Socks
In today’s Hockey Afterthought Product Review I will be covering Hogan’s XH Series Achilles Cut-Resistant Hockey socks. We all know that hockey can be a rough sport and we also know that within the sport sometimes freak accidents occur. Some of those freak accidents come in the form of skate lacerations. We have seen it time and time again with players like Teemu Selanne, Erik Karlsson, Cam Ward, and Dave Bolland. It happens so fast that there really isn’t much you can do to prevent it from happening. Although cut resistant socks do not prevent all lacerations from occurring, they do however add another layer of protection that may help minimalize the severity of the injury. 

When I started reading about hockey equipment engineers trying to develop a flexible kevlar sock that could provide cut resistant protection, I thought to myself that having these was a no brainer. My main concern was how flexible and lightweight they were going to be. Early reports that I read had NHL players giving them a test run during practices and games. The players seem to have all agreed that the socks did not hinder their performance in anyway, a sign that pointed in a positive direction. There are several different companies out there who are all introducing the cut resistant socks to the protective gear market, but the brand that I kept hearing the most about was Hogan Hockey. 
I purchased a pair off of their website and when I received the socks the first thing I did was try them on without my skates. I performed a series of ankle and calf stretches to test the range of motion. I wanted to see if my natural movements were interfered with in anyway and to my surprise I found that they weren’t.  In fact I felt as though they were not even there. The next step was to try them in a real game setting to see if 1) my shin guards would stay in place and not slide around due to the material ( lycra ) of the socks and 2) would the socks stay in place after an entire game.
I immediately noticed that my shin guards had a little more trouble staying in place with the socks on. However this was easily taken care of by adding an extra tight wrap of tape around my shin guards. So for this I wouldn’t say it was too big of an issue. And after a full game out on the ice I was curious to see how the socks did in maintaining their original place on my leg. When I returned to the locker room I removed my skate and was impressed to see that the sock had maintained its original place down around the bottom of my achilles tendon. I then removed my shin guard and was also pleased to see that the sock was still up around the top of my calf muscle. 
For a demonstration on how well the socks hold up under blade tests be sure to check out this video. Pretty interesting stuff. 
Knowing that companies such as Hogan Hockey are providing not only quality engineered safety products but also protection that is accompanied by comfort gives me a whole lot of peace of mind when I am out there on the ice. I give this product two thumbs up and highly recommend them to anyone who wishes to add comfort and reliability to their protective gear.
Article Written by: Billy Barnes @b_ray13

Product Review: Hogan Hockey Socks

In today’s Hockey Afterthought Product Review I will be covering Hogan’s XH Series Achilles Cut-Resistant Hockey socks. We all know that hockey can be a rough sport and we also know that within the sport sometimes freak accidents occur. Some of those freak accidents come in the form of skate lacerations. We have seen it time and time again with players like Teemu Selanne, Erik Karlsson, Cam Ward, and Dave Bolland. It happens so fast that there really isn’t much you can do to prevent it from happening. Although cut resistant socks do not prevent all lacerations from occurring, they do however add another layer of protection that may help minimalize the severity of the injury. 

When I started reading about hockey equipment engineers trying to develop a flexible kevlar sock that could provide cut resistant protection, I thought to myself that having these was a no brainer. My main concern was how flexible and lightweight they were going to be. Early reports that I read had NHL players giving them a test run during practices and games. The players seem to have all agreed that the socks did not hinder their performance in anyway, a sign that pointed in a positive direction. There are several different companies out there who are all introducing the cut resistant socks to the protective gear market, but the brand that I kept hearing the most about was Hogan Hockey. 

I purchased a pair off of their website and when I received the socks the first thing I did was try them on without my skates. I performed a series of ankle and calf stretches to test the range of motion. I wanted to see if my natural movements were interfered with in anyway and to my surprise I found that they weren’t.  In fact I felt as though they were not even there. The next step was to try them in a real game setting to see if 1) my shin guards would stay in place and not slide around due to the material ( lycra ) of the socks and 2) would the socks stay in place after an entire game.

I immediately noticed that my shin guards had a little more trouble staying in place with the socks on. However this was easily taken care of by adding an extra tight wrap of tape around my shin guards. So for this I wouldn’t say it was too big of an issue. And after a full game out on the ice I was curious to see how the socks did in maintaining their original place on my leg. When I returned to the locker room I removed my skate and was impressed to see that the sock had maintained its original place down around the bottom of my achilles tendon. I then removed my shin guard and was also pleased to see that the sock was still up around the top of my calf muscle. 

For a demonstration on how well the socks hold up under blade tests be sure to check out this video. Pretty interesting stuff. 

Knowing that companies such as Hogan Hockey are providing not only quality engineered safety products but also protection that is accompanied by comfort gives me a whole lot of peace of mind when I am out there on the ice. I give this product two thumbs up and highly recommend them to anyone who wishes to add comfort and reliability to their protective gear.

Article Written by: Billy Barnes @b_ray13

Opinion Piece: Player Safety
After looking over this statistical graph I can’t help but wonder; is the league adopting an even more strict zero tolerance policy or do the players bear sole responsibility for the increase in suspensions and wages forfeited? Having scrutinized every incident that has resulted in a suspension or fine this year I can’t help but side with the latter.  Without holding a team bias, I can honestly say I have not been surprised by any the fines and / or loss of games that have been handed down by the Department of Player Safety.  In fact the only surprise that I have experienced so far has been the lack of punishment in some cases. Granted, lighter sentences have been dealt to guilty players who had no prior past or as the league likes to refer to them, “repeat offenders”. Although that last bit about “repeat offenders” leaves sort of a bad taste in my mouth.  The reason why is because under the new CBA a player cannot hold the title of “repeat offender” if they haven’t received supplemental discipline within a period of 18 months. Although the Department of Player Safety has stated that they do consider all prior infractions when determining a suspension, they still avoid labeling a player a “repeat offender” if outside that 18 month window. Take Maxim Lapierre for instance. He was not considered a repeat offender when his suspension was being determined for the hit he delivered to Dan Boyle. Even though he had been suspended in 2010 when he laid a ridiculously stupid hit on Scott Nichol , an action that only got him a grand suspension total of four games. Four games? There is footage of him sitting on the bench laughing about the hit he laid on Nichol. It is cases like these that frustrate me the most. Not only because I feel the players should be hit with stiffer fines and penalties but also because there is such blatant disrespect among the players. I know there is the argument that the game happens at such a fast pace that players have little to no time to change the course of their trajectory. And in some cases I totally agree with that. But when you have an entire beat to two beats to pull up and you still continue to lay a hit on a player who is now in a vulnerable position, you deserve a harsh consequence for your actions. I do believe that it is ultimately the player who bears responsibility for their actions. Look at players like Matt Cooke. He identified that his actions were not going to be tolerated and focused on becoming a well rounded player. Last I checked he was the leading points man for his hockey club. I truly feel that people can turn it around. I just think many don’t care to or they lack the respect for their fellow opponents. I mean let’s face it, hockey is a rough sport. But we must also remember that these players have lives outside of hockey. They have families.  We as hockey fans love our sport, our team, and our players. We want to watch our players play. Not ride out entire seasons with concussions or injuries due to negligent hits. 
I feel there are only a few ways in which this issue can be solved or at least more adequately addressed.
1. Hit the players with harsher penalties. More games. More dollars. 
10 to 15 games for blatant hits. 15 to 25 for repeat offenders. No questions asked.
2. Look into making the rinks bigger. This will give more room for players to react as well as hold players accountable for their hits. If you miss a check on a bigger ice surface you run the risk of giving up a lot of playing space. This will also force players to be more complete skaters. No longer can you just be a one dimensional player whose game is all about running people. You will be forced to join the rush or at least defend the rush.
I do not claim to be an expert and I admit that there are no real solid answers on how to curb or prevent suspendable acts such as hits to the head. I only wish to see more respect among the players as well as a league that holds players accountable for their actions. 
Article Written by: Billy Barnes @b_ray
Graphic Pulled from CBC Sports Posted: Nov / 1 / 13

Opinion Piece: Player Safety

After looking over this statistical graph I can’t help but wonder; is the league adopting an even more strict zero tolerance policy or do the players bear sole responsibility for the increase in suspensions and wages forfeited? Having scrutinized every incident that has resulted in a suspension or fine this year I can’t help but side with the latter.  Without holding a team bias, I can honestly say I have not been surprised by any the fines and / or loss of games that have been handed down by the Department of Player Safety.  In fact the only surprise that I have experienced so far has been the lack of punishment in some cases. Granted, lighter sentences have been dealt to guilty players who had no prior past or as the league likes to refer to them, “repeat offenders”. Although that last bit about “repeat offenders” leaves sort of a bad taste in my mouth.  The reason why is because under the new CBA a player cannot hold the title of “repeat offender” if they haven’t received supplemental discipline within a period of 18 months. Although the Department of Player Safety has stated that they do consider all prior infractions when determining a suspension, they still avoid labeling a player a “repeat offender” if outside that 18 month window. Take Maxim Lapierre for instance. He was not considered a repeat offender when his suspension was being determined for the hit he delivered to Dan Boyle. Even though he had been suspended in 2010 when he laid a ridiculously stupid hit on Scott Nichol , an action that only got him a grand suspension total of four games. Four games? There is footage of him sitting on the bench laughing about the hit he laid on Nichol. It is cases like these that frustrate me the most. Not only because I feel the players should be hit with stiffer fines and penalties but also because there is such blatant disrespect among the players. I know there is the argument that the game happens at such a fast pace that players have little to no time to change the course of their trajectory. And in some cases I totally agree with that. But when you have an entire beat to two beats to pull up and you still continue to lay a hit on a player who is now in a vulnerable position, you deserve a harsh consequence for your actions. I do believe that it is ultimately the player who bears responsibility for their actions. Look at players like Matt Cooke. He identified that his actions were not going to be tolerated and focused on becoming a well rounded player. Last I checked he was the leading points man for his hockey club. I truly feel that people can turn it around. I just think many don’t care to or they lack the respect for their fellow opponents. I mean let’s face it, hockey is a rough sport. But we must also remember that these players have lives outside of hockey. They have families.  We as hockey fans love our sport, our team, and our players. We want to watch our players play. Not ride out entire seasons with concussions or injuries due to negligent hits. 

I feel there are only a few ways in which this issue can be solved or at least more adequately addressed.

1. Hit the players with harsher penalties. More games. More dollars. 

10 to 15 games for blatant hits. 15 to 25 for repeat offenders. No questions asked.

2. Look into making the rinks bigger. This will give more room for players to react as well as hold players accountable for their hits. If you miss a check on a bigger ice surface you run the risk of giving up a lot of playing space. This will also force players to be more complete skaters. No longer can you just be a one dimensional player whose game is all about running people. You will be forced to join the rush or at least defend the rush.

I do not claim to be an expert and I admit that there are no real solid answers on how to curb or prevent suspendable acts such as hits to the head. I only wish to see more respect among the players as well as a league that holds players accountable for their actions. 

Article Written by: Billy Barnes @b_ray

Graphic Pulled from CBC Sports Posted: Nov / 1 / 13

I am pleased to announce that I will be conducting an interview with Film Producer Adam Scorgie ( The Union, The Culture High, The Good Son plus many more ). We’ll be discussing his current project titled ICE GUARDIANS, a highly anticipated documentary film that helps shed light on the lives of NHL enforcers.  
Stay tuned for the release date.
 

I am pleased to announce that I will be conducting an interview with Film Producer Adam Scorgie ( The Union, The Culture High, The Good Son plus many more ). We’ll be discussing his current project titled ICE GUARDIANS, a highly anticipated documentary film that helps shed light on the lives of NHL enforcers.  

Stay tuned for the release date.

 

3 Stitches to the face. The not so fun part of playing sports. 
I definitely support the all players must wear visors rule in the NHL. I feel like the game has evolved over the past 15 years or so. Because players are so much bigger and faster, the players are now having to depend more on traffic in front of the net to pot goals, which means more deflected and non-deflected pucks hitting bodies. I often wonder how severe injuries to players like Manny Malholtra or Mark Staal would have been had they been wearing visors. We saw earlier this season when the Sharks and Cunucks hooked up, Burrows getting hit square in the visor by a shot when he was down in the crease. That shot would have shattered his face but luckily for him he was wearing a visor. It’s bad enough players are pulling out their own teeth on the bench and not missing a shift, but when it comes to the eyes there is nothing you can do. 
Wear visors kids. 

3 Stitches to the face. The not so fun part of playing sports. 

I definitely support the all players must wear visors rule in the NHL. I feel like the game has evolved over the past 15 years or so. Because players are so much bigger and faster, the players are now having to depend more on traffic in front of the net to pot goals, which means more deflected and non-deflected pucks hitting bodies. I often wonder how severe injuries to players like Manny Malholtra or Mark Staal would have been had they been wearing visors. We saw earlier this season when the Sharks and Cunucks hooked up, Burrows getting hit square in the visor by a shot when he was down in the crease. That shot would have shattered his face but luckily for him he was wearing a visor. It’s bad enough players are pulling out their own teeth on the bench and not missing a shift, but when it comes to the eyes there is nothing you can do. 

Wear visors kids. 

A snapshot of one of my most prized hockey possessions. A signed Henrik Zetterberg photo. The guy constantly amazes me. 
I love watching highlights of his play out on the ice. 
 

A snapshot of one of my most prized hockey possessions. A signed Henrik Zetterberg photo. The guy constantly amazes me. 

I love watching highlights of his play out on the ice. 

 

Book Review: Hockey Plays and Strategies 
Hockey Plays and Strategies written by Ryan Walter and Mike Johnston with foreword by the one and only Mike Babcock is a must read for any level of player / coach. I picked up this book off a recommendation from a long time player and now coach I used to play with at San Diego’s Joan Kroc Ice Center. Growing up playing roller hockey, I was never taught the proper way to play the game. Granted the systematic play varies due to the number of players aloud in the actual game ( roller hockey being 4 and a goalie and ice hockey being 5 and a goalie ).  But nonetheless the idea of systems was completely nonexistent even though I played for national tournament teams. As I became older and more in tune with the flow of the game I couldn’t help but notice while watching a game that every player during every shift had a key role to play. And that role was cohesive with the entire unit on the ice. It wasn’t until I made the jump to ice did this become very apparent to me. The first couple of times out on the ice I felt lost and didn’t quite understand my role as a left winger. That is when I got some great words of advice from this hockey teammate I spoke about earlier. He recommended that I pick up Hockey Plays and Strategies because it was a great crash course into the realm of systems. 
I went home that day and ordered my copy online. My eagerness was met with delight when the book arrived and I was able to poke through it. The key outline for player movements, puck possession, and player diagrams were laid out in a very easy to understand manner. I was able to follow each play visually as they were presented in a series of zone sketches. What helped out even more was the fact that the wordage used to describe each play was clear and easy to comprehend. The book also did a great job in that it broke down the play in all three zones as well as Power Plays and Penalty Kills. 
Perhaps my most favorite part about the book was that not only did it show you a series of different systems in the offense zone and what responsibilities both forwards and defensemen have, but it also explained how to counter each while in your defensive zone. The book was conveniently broken down into 3 parts. Part 1:  Offensive Play for Forwards and Defensemen Part 2: Defensive Play for Forwards and Defensemen and Part 3: Special Game Situations. 
If you’re into the more cerebral part of the game I highly recommend this book as a crash course tool. Hockey Plays and Strategies has not only given me the confidence to go out and play competently but it has also helped me see the game in an even deeper light. When I am out on the ice, I notice that I am now able to read the plays as they develop. No longer is it a conscious thought that dictates my actions but rather a subconscious act that allows me to flow within the game.
Article Written by: Billy Barnes @b_ray 
Photo Credit: Keith Blomberg
Illustrator: Lineworks Inc and Alan L. Wilborn.

Book Review: Hockey Plays and Strategies 

Hockey Plays and Strategies written by Ryan Walter and Mike Johnston with foreword by the one and only Mike Babcock is a must read for any level of player / coach. I picked up this book off a recommendation from a long time player and now coach I used to play with at San Diego’s Joan Kroc Ice Center. Growing up playing roller hockey, I was never taught the proper way to play the game. Granted the systematic play varies due to the number of players aloud in the actual game ( roller hockey being 4 and a goalie and ice hockey being 5 and a goalie ).  But nonetheless the idea of systems was completely nonexistent even though I played for national tournament teams. As I became older and more in tune with the flow of the game I couldn’t help but notice while watching a game that every player during every shift had a key role to play. And that role was cohesive with the entire unit on the ice. It wasn’t until I made the jump to ice did this become very apparent to me. The first couple of times out on the ice I felt lost and didn’t quite understand my role as a left winger. That is when I got some great words of advice from this hockey teammate I spoke about earlier. He recommended that I pick up Hockey Plays and Strategies because it was a great crash course into the realm of systems. 

I went home that day and ordered my copy online. My eagerness was met with delight when the book arrived and I was able to poke through it. The key outline for player movements, puck possession, and player diagrams were laid out in a very easy to understand manner. I was able to follow each play visually as they were presented in a series of zone sketches. What helped out even more was the fact that the wordage used to describe each play was clear and easy to comprehend. The book also did a great job in that it broke down the play in all three zones as well as Power Plays and Penalty Kills. 

Perhaps my most favorite part about the book was that not only did it show you a series of different systems in the offense zone and what responsibilities both forwards and defensemen have, but it also explained how to counter each while in your defensive zone. The book was conveniently broken down into 3 parts. Part 1:  Offensive Play for Forwards and Defensemen Part 2: Defensive Play for Forwards and Defensemen and Part 3: Special Game Situations. 

If you’re into the more cerebral part of the game I highly recommend this book as a crash course tool. Hockey Plays and Strategies has not only given me the confidence to go out and play competently but it has also helped me see the game in an even deeper light. When I am out on the ice, I notice that I am now able to read the plays as they develop. No longer is it a conscious thought that dictates my actions but rather a subconscious act that allows me to flow within the game.

Article Written by: Billy Barnes @b_ray 

Photo Credit: Keith Blomberg

Illustrator: Lineworks Inc and Alan L. Wilborn.

I marvel at what Datsyuk can do with his hands and feet. It is as though time slows down for him. What amazes me the most is that these aren’t just some beer league type joeshmoes he’s playing against. These are the top players in the world and to see him pull moves like this on top notch players is just incredible. I would love to watch Datsyuk train. I have had no luck in finding videos or clips of him working out or stick training during the off season. I would enjoy seeing how he goes about practicing when no one is around. He truly is JEDI.

(Source: copperbooom)
Another Hockey MEME that I created.
I was talking on my cell phone after hockey practice the other morning when I happened to look down at the ground that separated the two ice rink parking lots. I have often seen entire teams standing out in the parking lot post game but had never really put it together that they were post-tailgating. 
A toast to post-game tailgating parties. 

Another Hockey MEME that I created.

I was talking on my cell phone after hockey practice the other morning when I happened to look down at the ground that separated the two ice rink parking lots. I have often seen entire teams standing out in the parking lot post game but had never really put it together that they were post-tailgating. 

A toast to post-game tailgating parties. 

I received my Evgeni Malkin Signed Photo today in the mail. My collection of player signed memorabilia is getting a bit out of hand. Not sure how I am going to be able to hang all these photos. The ceiling perhaps? 

I received my Evgeni Malkin Signed Photo today in the mail. My collection of player signed memorabilia is getting a bit out of hand. Not sure how I am going to be able to hang all these photos. The ceiling perhaps? 

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