Monday, May 31, 2010

Talking Hockey on the Radio

My friend Cassie ("Raw Charge" writer & @dagmar27 on Twitter) and I decided to take over a radio show that sprang up last season among some friends of ours. The show had helped us spend a fun Sunday evening chatting and calling in to banter about hockey and other topics. Justine, the show's original host, couldn't make it one night, so we volunteered to guest-host. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and with Justine's blessing, decided to continue and see where we can take it.

We've just wrapped up the 4th episode of "Connect Community Puck Talk," and are having a blast. Cassie and I have been lucky to snag some great guests, like Chelsea Alexander, a Sharks and Caps fan who's a regular contributor for The Hockey Writers, Paul Gheduzzi, a Rangers fan who is up to date on the dealings involving his West team, the Phoenix Coyotes, Nate from, a blog devoted to all things Philly, Buddy Oakes, a Preds fan who runs the blog and radio show, "Preds On the Glass," Mark Willoughby, another Preds fan who runs the blog "The View from 111," and is spearheading an NHL Tweetup on Tuesday, June 6 to benefit flood relief efforts in Nashville, Clayton Hansler, an avid Leafs fan who works with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, Alix Wright, a Canucks blogger who has new reason to start following the Lightning in the East, and renowned Tampa Bay blogger John Fontana, who along with Cassie, run the blog "Raw Charge" over at SB Nation. Our good friend Super Dave has called in to chat about a wide range of hockey topics, along with our good friend Mike Chiconsky. 

We've had switchboard problems, awkward pauses and abrupt endings. But with each show, we're finding that we're having more fun. The ad libs are starting to come a little easier (for me, it's because I take notes so I can refer to them when my mind goes blank!), the guests are getting easier to line up and we're ready to take this show as far as we can. Hopefully, folks decide to continue tuning in and downloading the show, giving us feedback and suggesting topics and guests.

Here's the link to our last show:

And... here's the link to our show page, should you wish to tune in!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Puckpourri: Prospects and Flyers and Bears, oh my!

There's a lot going on right now in the hockey world, but on the other hand, we're heading into the final laps of the race for glory that signifies the end to another season. 2460 regular season games have been played. 83 playoffs games are in the books.

Photo courtesy: Associated Press

The Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks just wrapped up a high-scoring Game 1 last night, with Chicago prevailing, 6-5. Game 2 gets underway Monday night at 8pm Eastern. There's a bunch of Game 1 coverage, including video clips of interviews, on the NHL's website:

Calder Cup Underdogs: Texas Stars (photo: Texas Stars Hockey)

The Calder Cup race is also down to the final two teams: the reigning champion Hershey Bears and the Texas Stars, who join the 2002 Chicago Wolves and Bridgeport Sound Tigers in reaching the Calder Cup finals in their first season. According to the AHL's website: "Texas won a pair of Game 7’s on the road – just the fifth time in AHL history that feat has been accomplished. The Stars, who initially fell into a 2-0 series hole, also became the 21st AHL team to win a best-of-7 series after dropping the first two games." Not even the return of leading scorer P.K. Subban, who had a tremendous showing for the Canadiens in the playoffs before Montreal folded to Philadelphia, could help Hamilton overcome the upstart Stars. You can read more about Texas' amazing comeback by clicking here.

Defending Calder Cup champs: Hershey Bears (Photo: Hershey Bears)

The Hershey Bears were their dominating selves, knocking off the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 5 games, sweeping the Albany River Rats in the second round, then dispatching the Manchester Monarchs in 6 hard-fought games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals gets underway on Thursday, June 3. According to the AHL's website, you can listen to all the games live on XM Radio. For more information, check out I'm cheering for the upstart Texas Stars. They've shown grit all season long. I hope they have what it takes to pull off a Calder Cup victory.

Neuvirth & Bernier: Two stellar goaltenders (Photo: Hershey Bears)

Now, to the prospects.  The NHL invited 100 18-year-olds to take part in a pre-draft combine, undergoing a battery of physical and psychological tests, as well as one on one interviews with NHL GM's and other team officials. All eyes are, of course, on Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall. Hall drew attention by not taking part in the physical tests. He's apparently healing from a number of injuries suffered in post-season play culminating in helping his Windsor Spitfires win the Memorial Cup in Brandon last weekend. Seguin took part in all aspects of the Combine and was reportedly impressive on all counts. I'm still looking for updates on T-Birds goalie Calvin Pickard and Silvertips goalie Kent Simpson. The best Combine coverage I could find was up at TSN's website. Here's the link:

That's it for now. I'm off to prepare for today's radio show. But that's another story.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

History Will Be Made: Marc-Andre Fleury

The NHL Network created a HWBM ad featuring Flower.
I approve. Click here to see it.

"IRON MAN" Jordan Staal skates in full pads

Talk about a REAL Iron Man. Jordan Staal had surgery Friday night to repair a tendon, following an ugly collision on the ice with Montreal D-man P.K. Subban. Yesterday, he skated for a few minutes in sweats at practice. This morning, he skated in FULL PADS.

Click here for more from the Pens' website.
Aaaand.... click here for the video!

NHL, AHL, WHL & NAHL playoffs, plus TWO former T-Birds doing well

Last night, while I was watching the San Jose/Detroit game go into overtime, I commented on Twitter, "I hope Clowe or Marleau scores for the Sharks in OT." Several minutes later, Patty Marleau did just that, surprising the HECK out of me and making me wish that I could have the same effect on winning Lotto numbers.

I have friends who are Red Wings fans and I feel bad for them that Detroit is now down 3 games to 0. But seeing Patty put one past Jimmy Howard filled me with pride. Marleau is one of the Seattle Thunderbirds' biggest success stories, and even though I didn't go to many games when he played (just the 2 or 3 games a season at which I sang the anthem), I still join with other T-Birds fans at fawning over him like proud parents.

Another former T-Bird is having a heck of a post-season. Bud Holloway leads the Manchester Monarchs with 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in the playoffs. He's scored 5 game-winning goals and has been en fuego all season since he joined the Monarchs from the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. Hopes are also high for another former T-Bird, Thomas Hickey, to dominate the D-line once he fully recovers from shoulder surgery.

A recap of the latest NHL, AHL, WHL and NAHL action is posted over at the big KING 5. Click here to read it.

NAHL: Wenatchee Wild host Robertson Cup Tournament

There's a lot of hockey being played this week in Wenatchee - as the Wild host the NAHL Championship Tournament. The Wild will take on the likes of the Bismarck Bobcats, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 3-time reigning champs St. Louis Bandits, and the Traverse City North Stars for the Robertson Cup.

CLICK HERE for a link to a bigger story I wrote about the tournament for the big KING 5:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Silvertips, T-Birds add talent at WHL Bantam Draft

Just posted over at the big KING 5 site- a rundown of players selected by the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds at the WHL Bantam Draft. Everett picked 12 players: 6 forwards, 4 defensemen and 2 goalies. Among their draftees: Ryan Chynoweth son of Kootenay Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth and grandson of late WHL Commissioner Ed Chynoweth. The T-Birds selected 9 players: 4 defensemen, 2 right wingers, 2 centers and 1 goalie. Among their draftees: Brad LeLievre from Mill Creek, just outside Seattle! You can read more about all the players you could see sporting the green and white or blue and white by clicking here.

Then tell me, do you agree with the selections?