· Sports
 · · Hockey

Hockey Publishing · I just enjoyed watching the first-round Finland-Canada hockey game from Sochi; the Finnish defense is awesome, and Tuukka Rask just about beat Canada single-handed. Also, they gotta do something about the ice quality. But this isn’t about that, it’s about Wikipedia, once again beating the world ...
Nucks · By which I mean our hockey team, now bound for the championship finals. In Vancouver this spring, vegan yoga instructors are hockey fans, as are professors of Patristic theology, gay-rights activists, sushi chefs, orchid breeders, and cloth-capped hipsters. I sort of am too; it’s not a terrible condition. I even went to a game, my first in years ...
Smart Talk · I did some unavoidable driving-around today and tuned in, as I do from time to time, the sports station, which was discussing the evening-to-be’s hockey game. Because while I am not what anyone would call a real fan, I am an admirer of serious, respectful, grown-up discourse ...
A Canadian Evening · That cold has now struck down ¾ of the family, so we stayed inside this afternoon and evening, and watched Hockey Night in Canada [home, Wikipedia] which is pretty central to who we are here ...
Edmonton vs. Carolina · I was born in Edmonton and have roots there, thus I’m firmly partisan in the current Stanley Cup championship series; anyhow the notion of a championship hockey team from Carolina seems all wrong somehow. For connaisseurs of hockey and of fine writing you can’t beat Colby Cosh, who bleeds, uh, whatever colour corresponds to Edmonton. His hand-rolled duct-taped blogging system doesn’t extend to twenty-first century fripperies such as permalinks, but here are temporary links to his coverage of the five Edmonton-Anaheim games: 1 2 3 4 5. Cosh’s RSS feed doesn’t actually work to the extent of being able to click on the entries (in my aggregator at least) but I suspect his write-up on the current series will be definitive. He also serves as an existence proof that not all right-wing Albertans are parochial hicks. The first game just ended; the last-minute lapse was appalling, but if Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward stays that hot, the Oilers are toast anyhow.
The Smoking Gun · I already griped about we Westerners being short-changed on high-def hockey, but Metroblogging Vancouver found the evidence. Here’s the CBC Hockey Night in Canada schedule, and sure enough, there are exactly zero Vancouver games in high-def, while many US cities get coverage, including bloody Tampa Bay twice. Facetiousness aside, this is impardonable arrogance. (Oh, and by the way, that Metroblogging piece has some interestingly-doomful things to say about the future of the movie theatre.)
Western Alienation · [Canadians-only post; others can move right along.] So, now that we have a Conservative government and a Prime Minister from Alberta, we can do away with this crap where the Toronto-Montréal hockey game is in high-def but the Edmonton-Vancouver game is in POFT (plain old fuzzy TV), right?
Hockey and America · I managed to catch a few of the games in the just-completed World Junior Hockey Championship. If I’d been more organized I might have been able to go to some of them since they were right here in town, but hockey turns out to be excellent HDTV fare and it was terrific entertainment. While we won the final 5-0, that wasn’t fair to the Russians, who were a strong, fast, skilled team; they had at least as much talent as the Canadians. I think they were out-coached; plus our goalie Justin Pogge, whom nobody’d ever heard of before, went into brick-wall mode in the first third or so of the game, against a mere human there would have been two or three or more Russian goals. Anyhow, once you got past Canada and Russia, the other really good team in the tournament was the USA. And here’s what’s weird and disturbing: the mostly-Canadian audiences were actively cheering for anyone playing against the US, and occasionally booing the Americans. Granted, economically-literate Canadians are mad at the US for egregious NAFTA abuse, and we’re terrified of the consequences of our neighbor’s lunatic fiscal and trade deficits. And of course, from the mushy Canadian cultural centre, Dubya and the neotheocons seem like beings from an alien planet. While, like most Canadians, I disapprove of many actions of the current US administration, like most Canadians I also like most Americans. And it’s just moronic to take out political gripes on a bunch of eager, dedicated, young athletes. But having said that, if there were any doubt that the USA has a major public-relations problem, booing hockey fans a half-hour over the border should dispel it.
Dominator · I haven’t been watching that much hockey this year (basketball’s my winter game) and I hadn’t seen Ottawa play, and I hadn’t seen one of the new-rules shootouts. Until this evening; on TV mind you, but if they were all going to be like this I’d see about getting some tickets. The Canucks got away with the win, barely, four deep in the shootout. They actually didn’t play as well I’ve seen them in a couple of other games this year, but still it was good hockey on both sides. If Vancouver had been playing a team that had an actual human being in goal, as opposed to Dominik Hašek, the Senators would have been toast. I’ve always thought that the shootouts in soccer were lame and pathetic and stupid, but let me tell you, a hockey shootout is first-rate fun. We’re starting to get the occasional high-def game, too; I may become a fan.
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