Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trade deadline excitement

Stumbled on this article by Lyle Richardson from "". Very interesting read. It will be interesting to see if some of the predictions will come through. Here is a part of the article.

Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun reported that an unnamed NHL scout claimed Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke was “testing the waters” to see if there was any interest in struggling winger Phil Kessel.
Burke vehemently denied shopping his troubled scorer, but given Kessel's streaky performance the past two seasons, combined with his $5.4 million cap hit (for three more seasons), Burke probably wouldn't find many takers even if he were floating the winger's name - and certainly not at this point in the season.
 Remember, the Boston Bruins had to be creative to shed salary to take on defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who is a free agent at season's end. It would be much tougher to find a fit for Kessel's contract.
Stevenson also reported unnamed scouts who said Washington Capitals GM George McPhee “has been dangling” winger Alexander Semin in hopes of landing a return to help his team.
That seems unlikely, however, since the team only weeks ago re-signed Semin to a one-year, $6.7 million contract extension.
If teams were leery about taking on the streaky scoring winger when he was earning $6 million for this season, it's doubtful they'll take him on with a higher price tag next year.
With notable defensemen such as Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin, Eric Brewer and Erik Johnson now unavailable, the market for quality blueliners has thinned considerably leading up to the trade deadline.
That's heightened expectations the struggling Atlanta Thrashers will shop promising youngster Zach Bogosianto bolster their offensive depth. According to Thrashers GM Rick Dudley, however, he's not shopping Bogosian nor does he expect to.
 Bogosian isn't an untouchable and if someone offered Dudley a quality first line scoring forward he might seriously consider it. Having recently acquired winger Blake Wheeler from Boston, however, Dudley might not feel as much pressure to add more depth to his forward lines, let alone sacrifice a promising young defenseman for a quick fix. Continued

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day - "47 Hearts"

Today’s entry of my Hockey Tips blog is a bit unusual. It has nothing to do with hockey, training, or equipment. It is not about fantastic stick handling skills or unbelievable saves. It is not about great moves or great hits. It is about dreams, your dreams and how to go about reaching them. If you are an athlete striving to succeed and advance, if you are the one who dares to dream big – today’s post is for you. A few days ago I was recommended a book that totally changed my perspective on why one has to have a dream, care about something with passion and devotion, and live your life in a way to actually making this dream to become a reality. This book is called “47 hearts”. This book is so powerful, that I decided to leave my review of “47 hearts” on Amazon website. This book changed my life, it will change yours. Here is the review I posted:

47 hearts” gives you a unique perspective of the author, pediatric cardiac surgeon Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian, in his pursuit of helping underprivileged children to receive life-saving heart surgeries. But it is much more than that. Through his own experience he dares us, his readers, to dream big, to follow our dreams, to stay the course when things are not going as planned, to cherish our small victories and to look forward to a big prize. Truly inspirational, the book is filled with lessons of personal experience that give you desire and motivation to devote your life to something you really care about and find a balance and happiness in the process. “47 hearts” is not a “read it and forget it” kind of a book, it is something to read and reread many times until you truly embrace these lessons. If you are a dreamer looking for a guide to help you along the way, to motivate you when you are in doubt, to embrace the challenge, this book is for you.

You can buy this book through Amazon here:

All of you (I hope) know that tomorrow February 14th is Valentine’s day. I bet, not too many of you are aware that tomorrow is also a Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day. When we talk about heart disease, most people believe that it affects only old people. Unfortunately, it is not the case. Many kids are born with heart problems and their precious lives can only be saved with surgeries. These surgeries and postoperative procedures are quite expensive. All profits from “47 hearts” book sales go to sponsor a child’s heart surgery.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hockey Tip #3. To pinch or not to pinch: it’s not a guessing game.

If you are playing defense, learn these hockey tips and become the most reliable defenseman on ice. Every defenseman experienced that dragging feeling, followed by a split second of indecision. Should I commit or not? Is it the right time to pinch? What if I am too late? If you are one of those guys and are not sure whether to pinch or not to pinch, keep reading. In this blog entry I’ll give you few tips on becoming a more consistent defenseman. Remember them the next time you hit the ice and your teammates will thank you for that.

Pinching, if you don’t know what it is, is actually quite simple. Basically, it’s rushing forward off the opponents blue line when your team is in their zone. Sounds simple, right? The question you should ask yourself, when is the right time for this. If your timing is right - it gives your team an immediate advantage and you keep possession of the pack in the other team’s zone. If the timing is wrong – your opponent can easily have two and sometimes three on one rush back to you your own end. Players often think that pinching is like throwing a dice, sometimes you get what you want, sometimes – not. It should not be like this.

When to pinch

It is impossible to teach every game situation. With experience you will be able to read the game much better, and it will become a more intuitive decision. But for now, keep in mind those four simple “rules” and do pinch when the opportunity presents itself.

1) Where is the puck? The guy you are pinching towards does not have the puck yet or does not have control of the puck. You have to make sure to get to him faster than he can establish puck control and either make a pass or flick the puck against a board. If you can take away time and space from the guy by pinching – do it.

2) Your partner. The longer you play with your partner – the easier it becomes. There is nothing else that can boost your confidence than the trust you develop with your defense partner. You can take a bit of a risk here and there knowing that he is going to cover you. Talk to him before and after the game, discuss game situations and how you can help each other on the ice. Ask him to cover the middle of the ice when you decide to pinch. Communication in this case makes it perfect. Develop trust in each other, and you no longer will be double guessing yourself.

3) Your line and the opponent’s team line. There is no secret that starting probably from pee wee age group every team has first, second and a third line. When as a defenseman you are playing with the 1st line you can pinch with more confidence than playing with the 3rd line. Who is on the ice for the other team also matters. You should be a bit more cautious and defensively-minded playing against their top line, and you could take more risk competing against their third line.

4) The Score. Everything else being the same, depending on a score you should either hold back or pinch. Do not pinch if there is a tie or you are leading by a goal or even two goals. You main responsibility here is to defend and shut the other team down. Your game is expected to be more conservative. Mistakes in one, or two goal games are very costly, so defend first, attack – second. However, if your team is loosing by a pair of goals, pinch, when the opportunity is there. It might be exactly what you team needs to get back in the game.

When Not to Pinch

Stick to the following “rules” and do not pinch when:
1) Your partner is not a reliable defenseman. I know you should always be confident in your teammates, but the truth is you will be playing with both stronger and weaker defense partners. You have to use your best judgment here.

2) Your teammates, especially your wingers are out of position. Do not pinch if there is no chance for them to cover you.

3) Your team is losing by one, it’s a tie, or your team is winning by one or two. In those game situations you have to hold back and shut the other team down. The exception here, when it is late in the game and your team is loosing by one.

4) You are playing against a really fast winger. Be more cautious here or you can get burned.

How to pinch

While pinching - do not hesitate. You have to commit everything you have and not double guess yourself. You must accomplish one of two goals: 1) take the puck or 2) take the player. It is an absolute key to being a successful and reliable pinching defenseman. Your task is to keep the puck in the other team’s zone and create an advantage for your team. I hope you liked this little hockey tips guide on how to pinch. Good luck! I know you can do it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What a goal! Lacrosse training pays off!

I am sure you don't mind to have this kid on your hockey team during shootouts. Unbelievable addition to my Hockey Tips blog.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

A history made in the 2011 All-Star game (first penalty ever!!!)

A bit of history was made in this year NHL All-Star game. Who made it? You guessed right, it's Alex the Great, Alexander Ovechkin. He did it, not by scoring the most goals ever, not by scoring the fastest goal, but by throwing his stick during a breakaway by Duchene. Alex provided us with another great hockey tip, for spectators it should be entertaining. As simple as that. For the full recap of the NHL All-Star skill competition and game read a story by Sarah Sotoodeh from

SuperSkills Competition

Saturday’s SuperSkills event was entertaining to say the least. Team Staal won overall, with the final score of 33-22.

Rookie Michael Grabner won Fastest Skater while Daniel Sedin won for Best Accuracy, going 4-for-4 on the targets in the first round, the only player to do so. In the final round, he went 4-for-5 against Patrick Kane.

Team Lidstrom won the Skills Challenge Relay while Zdeno Chara beat his own record from last year for the Hardest Shot, hitting the puck 105.9 mph and winning the challenge. The 6-foot-9 Boston Bruins defenseman told that “records are meant to broken.”

Ovechkin won the Breakaway Challenge for the third time. Corey Perry won the Elimination Shootout, shooting 3-for-3 against Jonas Hillar, Marc-Andre Fleury and Tim Thomas.

The most memorable moment of SuperSkills was P.K. Subban (of the Montreal Canadiens) wearing Jeff Skinner’s jersey during the Breakaway Challenge, the event where the winner is voted on by the fans. Skinner, a crowd favorite in Carolina, was laughing as the crowd went crazy for “Skinner,” a.k.a. Subban. Subban placed second, with 20.3 percent of the fan votes, behind Ovechkin.

All-Star Game

The final score of Sunday’s All-Star game at the RBC Center was Team Lidstrom 11, Team Staal 10. The high-scoring game gave the frenzied crowd exactly what they wanted: entertainment. It was the third All-Star game in history where both teams scored more than 10 goals (it happened previously in 2009 and 2001).

Patrick Sharp of Team Staal won MVP of the game for his two assists and one goal. Sharp’s three Blackhawk teammates — Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith — were all on the winning team, Team Lidstrom.

“They won the game and I got the trophy, so I guess everybody is happy,” Sharp told, when asked about the flight home to Chicago. “I’ll be sure to bring (the MVP) up a few times.”

If you turned your TV on five minutes and 41 seconds after the game started, you would have missed four goals by team Staal (Ovechkin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Elias and Claude Giroux all scored) against Marc-Andre Fleury. By the 16th minute, the game was tied 4-4, with goals by Team Lidstrom’s Anze Kopitar, Dustin Byfuglien, Loui Eriksson and Matt Duchene against goalkeeper Cam Ward.

The second period brought Jonas Hiller of the Ducks on the ice as goalkeeper for Team Lidstrom and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens for Team Staal. Sharp scored a goal in the first few minutes of the second period. Team Staal’s Kris Letang (of the Pittsburgh Penguins) scored in the seventh minute, making the game 6-4.

During the period, Letang accidently shot the puck straight into Hiller’s face mask but the goalkeeper shook it off and Letang apologized to Hiller. Kopitar scored his second goal later in the second period, and Lidstrom scored his first (it was Lidstrom’s 12th All-Star game). Danny Briere finished the second period scoring with a goal to give Team Lidstrom a 7-6 lead.

In the third period, Team Staal had goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist on the ice and Tim Thomas was on the ice for Team Lidstrom. Team captain Eric Staal scored two goals in the third, one of them right between the legs of Thomas.

Ovechkin threw his stick during a breakaway by Duchene, the first penalty of any NHL All-Star game ever. When asked why, Ovechkin told, “Why not? It’s fun. I think fans love it. It’s a good moment. He didn’t score, right? I’m in history again.”

Duchene wasn’t able to score a second goal after Lundqvist blocked his penalty shot. Letang scored his second goal for Team Staal while Toews and Martin St. Louis scored back-to-back goals for Team Lidstrom. Rick Nash made the game 10-9, with Team Lidstrom still leading. Loui Eriksson scored his second goal, the game-winning goal, making it 11-9. Eric Staal scored his second goal with 30 seconds left in the game, but it wasn’t enough to get his team the win.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hockey Tip #2 - Think outside the box

This is tip #2 of my hockey tips series. Watch this fantastic goal by Oscar Milton. Just shows you that a bit of improvisation goes a long way. Be creative with the puck and good things will happen. Good luck! And remember - practice makes it perfect.