Monthly Archives: January 2012

So Excited… Just Can’t Hide it…

'Shh... Phil's about to say something'

I noticed some dumb little flowers poking out of the ground this past freakin’ weekend, and I thought about one thing: NHL PLAYOFFS. Thanks, flowers! Sorry you’re all probably frozen to death now. It’s actually your fault for being tricked by that January sunblast, though. But, anyways, T-Bone and his HDBFFz are so excited for the coming of Spring and the thawing of Lord Stanley’s cup from the secret, sacred glacier-cavern in Northern Ontario that we’ve decided to take our show on the road! To Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania! To find out exactly when Spring is going to begin! Based on what the groundhogg (Punxsutawney Philip) tells us. That’s right, another TB&theHDz exclusive: we’ll be rappin’ with America’s #1 psychic groundhogg to find out not only when Spring is comin’, but who all’s gonna be washin’ babies and eatin’ gravy out of that fancy silver bowl come summertime.

But that won’t be for another couple of days. So, in the meantime, I’ll use my human powers of conjecture and prejudice to explore how the playoff picture is shaping up. Continue reading

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Freakin’ All Star Game

When we were kings

Normally the words ‘all-star’ and ‘hockey’ and ‘game’ would make for a pretty fantastic sentence. But this ain’t our first rodeo, friends and lovers. It’s been well-established that NHL All-Star Games are the least exciting 11-10 hockey games you’ll ever see, but don’t let that spoil your freakin’ weekend. Continue reading

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The Boston Bruins and the H.U.S.K.E.Y. Method

First off: we still have some beautiful buttons for sale, folks. $30 each or 3/$100. We wore them. Game worn.

Should I say 'boo" or 'Broo-ins'?

Moving on: Sometimes… I swear, guys. *sigh* It’s like the Bruins just want me to hate them. I know what you’re thinking and then saying at your computer/smartphone/T-Bone and the Hockey Doggz E-Reader: ‘That’s crazy, bro. Those dudes don’t know you like that!’

True, true.

But! Don’t take things so literally, guys. And, besides that, I sometimes think that Bruins want me to love them.

Now everybody’s probably spit-taking coffee all over your computer/smartphone/T-Bone and the Hockey Doggz E-Reader and saying ‘what the fuck, bro!? Pick a side! And buy me a new computer!’

So I’ve folded a perforated sheet from a yellow legal pad (hot-dog style) and have created two columns: “pro” and “con”. The “pro” side is where I’ll provide positive commentary about the Boston Bruins, while I can use the “con” portion of the sheet to record all of the team’s shortcomings and foibles. When I complete this diagnostic, I can tally which side is truer and determine what I think. I call this the “Huskey Universal System for [K]alculating Excellent hockeY-teams” (H.U.S.K.E.Y.).

And. Here. We. Go. Continue reading

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This Freakin’ Week Went By SO Fast…

Let's get ready to rumble!

And Ka-Blam, it’s freakin’ weekend time all over again, you ever-lovin’ blue-eyed things. There’re some impressive hockey bouts scheduled for the next 72 hours, so make sure and stock up on microwave burritos, Mountain Dew, and microwave burritos and brace for the best/worst. Continue reading

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T-bone and the Hockey Doggz no. 7: Beautiful Buttons, Disappointments, and the Dark Lord

Huskey's Urban Cabin.

Recorded yesterday at Huskey’s bachelor pad in front of a live studio audience, in this the 7th installment of the T-bone and the Hockey Doggz podcast, T-bone and the Hockey Doggz discuss what’s been on their mind since that fateful encounter with Pat Sajak at the 2012 Winter Classic.  Primarily, we discuss our beautiful, hand-made, game-worn buttons (see picture below), teams that have ‘come back to earth’, our mid-season disappointments, what we think of the NHL All-Star Game, and finally we take some calls from a few of our loyal listeners.  We hope you guys enjoy or really hate our opinions, either way feel free to comment or send uh e-mail!

Continue reading

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Open Letter to NHL.com Regarding “Highlights” Videos

Dear guys or gals who edit the local and national broadcasts of NHL games into roughly 5-minute-long clips,

First and foremost, I am a very big hockey fan.  I love the game.  In fact, I love the game so much my friends and I started blogging and podcasting (tboneandthehockeydoggz.wordpress.com) wherein we discuss NHL players, teams, and whatever else .  The best parts of the game in my opinion (and most other people’s I would guess) are the parts that are the most exciting; goals, saves, and hits.  These three things are what make the game.  Without them hockey would just be really big dudes with knives on their feet pushing each other around, passing a piece of rubber back and forth with a stick on ice.  Not really what I would call “paying-attention-worthy”.

Not me...yet.

Secondly, its is important to point out that although I do have a job and pay the necessary bills, I am “poor”.  I’m not living on the street or boiling my boots for stew or anything, but I’m on a strict budget.  And, have you seen the price of cable these days?!  It’s insanity!  Internet I can pay for because it’s a necessity for the 20teens, but cable is a luxury I cannot afford.  Also for the record, I would gladly pay the $119.00 for NHL GameCenter Live except that I live in Philadelphia, PA which is right in the heart of blackout country.  Correct me if I’m wrong but if I did purchase NHL GameCenter Live I would not be able to watch games played in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Ottawa, New York City, Long Island, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Washington, or Pittsburgh.  That’s pretty much every Eastern Conference game I want to see.  I would be left with the Southeast Division (the most inconsequential division) and Western Conference games that I would have to stay up until 12:30am to finish.  I don’t know about you guys, but my parties start promptly at 10pm and there are much more interesting things I would like to talk to the ladies about than why Joe Thornton is the best passer in the NHL.

Continue reading

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It’s the Freakin’ Windy City Weekend

"Love the blog, guys! Keep up the good work!" -R. Kelly

Last week I kinda lost my cool and made minor fuss about having to suggest the same marquee Wings/’Hawks matchup two weeks in a row to ya’ll. Then today when I called up the NHL to find out what games were on this weekend, all I kept hearing was Chicago this and Blackhawks that. Of course, my first instinct was to say ‘fuck it’ and suggest other games before people on the internet started saying ‘if you like the Blackhawks so much, why don’t you marry them, Huskey?’ Well, being a gay polygamist is highly illegal, number one, and number two (haha… number two) I don’t want to tell anybody to go watch a Sabres/Islanders game. Plus this segment’s name comes from a chart-toppin’ tune by Chicago hero/Blackhawks’ 7th defenseman Robert “R. Kelly” Kelly, so this is basically kismet.

Now I don’t usually do this, but, uh, go on ahead and break ‘em off a lil’ preview of the remix: Continue reading

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Pittsburgh Penguins Pushed Past Playoff Position, Players Pained and Pooped…Concussions

It’s no secret that T-bone and the Hockey Doggz are fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Moonpie is the most outspoken of the bunch, but T-bone and Huskey are also big fans.  It pains me to say this (as someone who doesn’t argue with the facts I have to) but as of right now, they’re toast.

Remember the beginning of the 2011-2012 season when only Sidney Crosby was injured, and he seemed to be getting better?  Jordan Staal was looking good, Evgeni Malkin was flying around the ice, and with last season’s addition of James Neal, the Pen’s looked like they would be back to their 2008-2009 form when they won the Stanley Cup.  Oh those were some good times.  I remember watching the Stars@Penguins game (this was when the Stars weren’t weren’t sucking) on Veteran’s Day and thinking to myself, “Once Crosby’s back, they’ll be unstoppable.”  Marc-Andre Fleury gave up an early goal, but the Pens held the stars to just 20 total shots, Neal scored two, and Matt Cooke got the final tally.  They looked great then, and continued to work through injuries until Crosby came back on November 21st.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fluery has nightmares every night. This is what he sees.

The Kid scored 12 points in 8 games, then was placed back on the injured reserve and hasn’t played since December 5th.  Things were still looking ok up until about a week ago when the New York Rangers came to Pittsburgh.  After that game, Staal was out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury, Neal had a broken foot and would be out indefinitely (turned out to be just a bruised foot, but he’s probably not playing to 100%) and the Pens were on a three game skid.  A week later they are 0-6 in as many tries, their first 6 game losing streak since Crosby’s rookie year.

It seems like all of their top players are injured and are out or have been injured already this season.  Brooks Orpik (abdominal surgery), Kris Letang (concussion), Ben Lovejoy (broken wrist), Zbynek Michalek (broken finger, concussion), Simone Despres (knee), Jordan Staal (knee), Evgeni Malkin (knee), Dustin Jeffery (ACL), and of course Sidney Crosby (concussion) have all missed time this year.  I look at that list and I think, “What the fuck?!”.

Yeah, just like that!

It’s plain and simple, unless the Penguins get guys like Staal and Letang back soon they won’t earn a spot in the playoffs.  Neal, Malkin, and Fleury are good, real good, but they can’t 6-handedly support the entire team.  The rest of the team was brought there to be complimentary players to guys like Malkin, Staal, and Crosby, but when those guys are out,they’re just a bunch of third line dudes who struggle to score.   I sincerely hope that these injuries go away and that all the Pens come back and play better than they did before they were injured and they make it into the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup and that I win a million dollars and I suddenly gain the power to move things with my mind, but it probably won’t happen.

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Avoiding the Labor War

Speaking out against the looming lockout

Earlier this week T-Bone broke the news that the NHL Players Association voted against realignment for next season. Feeling excluded from the decision-making process and hoping to obtain a valuable bargaining chip for the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, the PA and their leader Don Fehr also happened to freak us fans out in the process. The NHL’s last labor war turned out like ‘Nam, pretty much, and returning fans felt like a mix of Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July and John Rambo from Rambo (Part One). There’s just no telling what losing another season would be like for the League or its fans. Since Fehr is what negotiators call a ‘bad mamajama’ and brings with him a ‘hardball’ style that NHL owners are unaccustomed to (due to their sport’s reliance on pucks), it might be time for the owners to call in a diplomatic ringer for themselves in order to avoid another lockout. Continue reading

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The NHLPA Ain’t a Group of Sissies

Every factory worker's dream.

NHL realignment is not happening next year, but that shouldn’t really be a shock when you think about it.  Imagine you’re a factory worker.  One day, you come into work and the foreman comes up to and says, “Starting next year, there’s going to be some changes.  First of all, we are changing the Departments.  Instead of just Assembly and Maintenance with their smaller sections, there will be four new departments; Assembly, Maintenance, Paint, and Custodial.  Even though you are in the Southeast part of the building, your section, blue paint, will have to join the rest of Paint in the Northeast.  You will also do every job at least once and everybody else will do your job at least once.  We’ll call this job-and-job.  Next, instead of taking the top 8 workers from Assembly and Maintenance, the top two employees from each Department will battle each other for the top spot then face the winner of the other departments on their path to win the Henry Ford Cup.  Finally, Phoenix Coyote of Assembly is subject to switch Departments at any time.”  You’d be like, “Hell no you aren’t/I won’t/we won’t/wait, yeah, I hope Mr. Coyote moves to Custodia[Seatt]l[e].”

That’s pretty much what happened when Gary Bettman (who avoided our questions at the Winter Classic, by the way) and the NHL decided to institute realignment for the 2012-2013 season early in December.  The owners and the commissioner (management) decided they would make a plan that they thought would successfully integrate the Winnipeg Jets into the NHL as well as make the game more exciting by setting up a new rivalry-based conferences and a new playoff format.  From their standpoint, the NHLPA (workers) couldn’t refuse.  The owners were excited, the fans liked it (I know T-bone and the Hockey Doggz liked it) and the game of hockey stood to benefit from this new plan.  But the the head of the the players union Donald Fehr said, “Not next year, management  scum!”

Management.

But why?!  It is such a good idea, didn’t they see our map?!  Travel time would be cut down, every team plays everywhere at least once, which is awesome if for some reason you’re a Tampa Bay Lightning fan living in Calgary, and the playoffs structure would be fucking killer.  The reason: nobody asked Donald Fehr or any of the players about it.  Why should management get to decide all the rules?  It was a classic (although heartbreaking) power move by the NHLPA.  With the collective bargaining agreement that locked out an entire season set to expire on September 15th, 2012, this is a potent reminder from the players to the owners  to “check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self“.

Although it sucks, and we won’t be able to unwrap our new NHL until at least the 2013-2014 season, I wholeheartedly agree with Fehr’s move.  The NHLPA should have been in on the talks.  I’m sure had the players union been a part of the discussion the plan would have turned out pretty similar because it’s such a great idea.  However, it was a power move on Bettman’s part to say, “This is the way it’s going to be,” and Fehr realized that.  He could have said, “Yeah, sure Mr. Bettman, sounds great to me!” but that wouldn’t have given him any leverage when the new CBA talks start.  Now that The Man has had it decidedly ‘stuck to him’, the NHLPA has a bargaining chip come negotiation time.

Tall, strong dudes with knives on their feet who hit rubber with a stick.

What I’m most upset about is nobody said anything about having the NHLPA approve the plan.  I thought it was a done deal, why wasn’t anybody writing/informing me about this minor detail that has derailed the entirety of NHL realignment?  As a amateur blogger on the minor league circuit, I expect the pros to keep me up to date on all the happenings of the really strong, tall dudes who where knives on their feet and hit rubber with a stick.   C’mon guys.

 

-T-bone

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