Archive for February 2009

Pink Ice in Iowa

February 27, 2009

Pink the Rink in Iowa tonight.  It’s for a great cause, but it’s hard to follow the puck on TV.  It seems at ice level it’s not as dark.

Town Hall with Wolves’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff

February 21, 2009
Town Hall meeting Prior to Game Against Milwaukee

Town Hall meeting Prior to Game Against Milwaukee

"Chevy" Addressing a Fan's Concern of Team Inconsistency

"Chevy" Addressing a Fan's Concern of Team Inconsistency

 

I attended the Wolves TownHall meeting with GM Kevin Cheveldayoff before the Wolves played (and lost) to the Milwaukee Admirals.

The GM was extremely candid and answered all the fans questions with candor, not dodging any questions at all.

Insights (and quips) from the GM:

  • When asking his players why they play hockey at the beginning of the season, they answered, “for the money,” “because they love the sport,” etc.  The ‘correct’ answer (paraphrased) according to the GM? “I’m playing because I want to win the championship.”
  • Boris Valabik needed someone to have shot him before he’d admit to being injured.  He used Valabik as an example of how pro athletes need to know the limits of their own bodies, know when exceeding those limits would hinder play, and communicate this to the coaching staff.
  • When Mike Hoffman was recovering from his first hand injury this year and he was at the end of his healing time, he called the team doc to ask permission if he could fight in the upcoming game.  “Yes, Hoff, you can fight.”
  • Also joked that “Hoff” has a problem with breaking his hand on other player’s faces.
  • A pet peeve of his is when players miss the net on shots.
  • Believes that the AHL will stick with one referee due to cost constraints.  The times that two refs has been used is usually when a seasoned ref is paired with a rookie.
  • Players need to shoot more but it’s something that can’t be forced, players need to grow into that habit.
  • Players develop more fully when they’re on winning teams as opposed to losing teams.  Experience gained by Wolves players in the Cup run last year has helped players know what it takes to succeed and helps them deal with pressure more effectively.
  • There are players that have not performed to their expectations . The coaching staff and management noticed this and players have received a talking to.
  • He said on multiple occasions (paraphrased): “You see the same things we see, you know the game…” when discussing problems with the team’s performance. (This was nice to hear as we’ve heard players and coaches  in other sports in Chicago who don’t hesitate pointing out that the fans or the press aren’t playing and so somehow don’t know the game.)
  • Poor Special Teams have been one of the reasons for the inconsistent play.  He pointed out the importance of a good powerplay and how in some games this year he almost hoped the Wolves wouldn’t get powerplays early.  The reason being that the team had no rhythm and a bad powerplay would be worse than no powerplay.  Also reiterated that on the power play, the four guys out on the kill will be working extra hard, so contrary to popular belief that it’s easier with a man advantage, the guys on power play have to step up and play even harder and work to find the seams.
  • This management team is committed to winning a championship.
  • Pointed out the new President of Business Operations, Mike Polisky ,  reiterated the commitment to the fans and how there will be some great new things for the fans next season (he hinted that maybe some things will be seen this year, but  for sure there will be changes next year to heighten the fans’ experience.)

First class all the way.

If you were there, what were your thoughts?

Anything you wish would have been asked but wasn’t?

Next Year, FINLAND! And Bob Probert Heritage Night??!

February 19, 2009

capture2

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to open the 09-10 season in Finland playing the Florida Panthers for two games.

That’s kinda cool!

In the meantime, they play the Panthers tonite. Meanwhile they (the Hawks) keep rolling along.  They’re finding ways to win games but they still need to find more consistent goal scoring.  When they score they score, when they don’t…

…they don’t…

What’s with Bob Probert heritage night?  That is an experiment gone wrong if ever I’ve seen one.  Let’s see, let’s sign a guy who keeps falling off the wagon, isn’t a good fighter anymore because he’s trying to go straight, then falls off the wagon again, but still doesn’t really contribute anything of note to the team.

Total PR and kind of a non-issue if you ask me.  Why Probert?  Why not Terry Ruskowski or Tom Lysiak?  From the Daily Herald, here’s another blog on this topic.

Bob Probert Heritage Night?
Bob Probert Heritage Night?

Me?

I’m waiting for:
daigle

What A Goalie Does When He’s Not Playing Hockey

February 11, 2009
Courtesy of ChicagoWolves.com
Courtesy of ChicagoWolves.com

Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was asked by a young fan:

“What do you like to do when you’re not playing hockey?”

To which Ondrej responded:

“When I’m not playing I like to watch TV and sleep.”

Ahh, the life of a professional goalie….

Wolves With Another Lackluster Loss…

February 8, 2009

 

How To Get Scored Upon

How To Get Scored Upon

They just came off a win against the Division leading Milwaukee Admirals.
As my wife and I drove back from the environs of Madison, Wisconsin, on less than 5 hours sleep, we were psyched to see a great game.
Apparently we were the only psyched ones at the rink because the Wolves put on a clinic on how to blow assignments as they got trounced 6-3 by the Houston Aeros.
Study the play chart above. It pretty much shows what the Wolves did and didn’t do tonight as they continued their inconsistent, uppy-downy, play.
If someone’s got some time, I’d love to see the Wolves’ record when they fight in a game and when they don’t fight. My gut tells me they have a winning record with fights in the game…
It was nice to see them using the two-ref system of the NHL for a change.

My Goalie Masks Through The Years

February 4, 2009

As promised, here is a summary pic of my masks through the years. 

masks1This is a reproduction of my first mask.  A paper plate.  (more…)