Welcome to Chip ‘Er Deep Thoughts with…ClutterPuck! This will be our weekly post on all things hockey. Why chip ‘er deep thoughts you ask? Or maybe you don’t ask? Chip ‘er deep is a hockey phrase that means get the puck deep in the opponent’s zone so the team can make a line change or establish the forecheck.
Deep Thoughts was a short from Saturday Night Live that lasted about 30 seconds each time it was on the show. It would just have stupid thoughts about life. One of my favorites was,
“What if Hardware Hank’s real name…was Dave? Then it would be Hardware Dave’s!”
So basically this weekly post will be short blurbs about the latest news in hockey. I hope you like it. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Raffi Torres Suspension – Was 25 Games Too Many?
I started writing about this and ended up writing a whole separate article about it. You can check it out here!
I think the National Hockey League and Brendan Shanahan had to do something big with this suspension to make Raffi Torres and the rest of the league know that these kinds of hits can’t happen anymore! They can’t afford to have the best players in the league going down to injuries because of stupid hits like this. No player should go down because of this kind of check! It’s avoidable and the Department of Player Safety has been working on this for a long time now. Sooner or later, the players will realize that they have to change the way they play the game for these kinds of big hits out of the game.
Getting the blow ‘em up hits out of the game will go a long way towards a healthier National Hockey League and that will trickle down into every other level of hockey. The kids won’t see them as often so they won’t attempt them as often.
If we want the culture of hockey to change, it has to come from the top and the bottom of hockey. Better instruction on how to throw a check, take a check, avoid a check and keeping your head up at the lower levels of hockey and less of the big hits at the higher levels is a good start.
Has Nicklas Lidstrom played his last game in the NHL?
When the Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from the playoffs in 5 games by the Nashville Predators, it could’ve been the last game for Nicklas Lidstrom. I think most fans would like to see him continue playing especially if he can play at the level he played at this season. He ended the season with 11 goals and 23 assists and he was a plus 21 in 70 games. He did not register a point in any of the 5 playoff games against Nashville.
Looking at his stats, I noticed that Mr. Lidstrom had a positive plus/minus in all but one of his 20 seasons in the National Hockey League. That was last season when he was a minus 2 for the 2010-11 season. That’s pretty amazing and says a lot about how good a defenseman he has been over his career. It will be an interesting off-season for Nicklas Lidstom and the Detroit Red Wings.
New Voice of the Wild
Dan Terhaar, play-by-play announce for the Minnesota Wild, was told his contract won’t be renewed with the Minnesota Wild so there will be a new voice for the Wild when the games begin next season. Terhaar was the play-by-play announcer for the last seven seasons so it will be quite a change to hear someone else call Wild games next season.
Mike Greenlay will return as analyst and the radio team of Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid will return as well. Isn’t it strange to just replace the play-by-play announcer while having the color analyst stay? Why wouldn’t they just get two new guys? Either way, there’s going to be a new voice calling Wild games!
I haven’t a clue who they are interested in but I hope they go with somebody new to the position in Minnesota. The only name I can think of that I would like is Clay Matvick. Clay worked at Fox Sports Net before, from 2001-2005, and he’s done play-by-play at the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament for the last 9 years while also working various sports for ESPN. Seems like an obvious candidate for the job so we’ll see.
Add play-by-play announcer to the list of jobs to fill with the Minnesota Wild. I really think they have to get the right guy for this position or fans might turn away! Noooo…I can’t back that up. I don’t think fans would stop watching because of the play-by-play guy simply because of a simple thing called…the MUTE button! If only we could watch the game and just mute out the announcers sometimes while still getting the glorious sounds of the game of hockey! Is there an app for that?
1st Round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs is over!
Top seeds were dropping like flies in the first round of the playoffs. Only the #1 seeded New York Rangers survived the first round in the Eastern Conference albeit barely, surviving a Game 7 against the #8 seed Ottawa Senators. In the other Eastern Conference matchups, the #7 seed Washington Capitals beat the #2 seed Boston Bruins in Game 7 in Boston on a controversial goal. The #6 seed New Jersey Devils beat the #3 seed Florida Panthers in Overtime of Game 7 and the #5 seed Philadelphia Flyers beat the #4 seed Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games.
In the Western Conference, it was a little different although the President’s Trophy winning, best record in the regular season having, #1 seed Vancouver Canucks lost in 5 games to the #8 seed Los Angeles Kings. They were the only top seed to lose though. The #2 seed St. Louis Blues beat the #7 seed San Jose Sharks in 5 games, the #3 seed Phoenix Coyotes beat the #6 seed Chicago Blackhawks in 6 games and the #4 seed Nashville Predators beat the #5 seed Detroit Red Wings in 5 games.
That means the 2nd round match-ups are set! In the West we’ll see #2 St. Louis take on #8 Los Angeles, #3 Phoenix take on #4 Nashville Predators and in the East, we will see #1 New York take on #7 Washington and #5 Philadelphia take on #6 New Jersey.
The 2nd round starts on Friday:
Predators in Phoenix for Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals at 8pm CST on NBCSports.
2 games on Saturday
WSH @ NYR Game 1 at 2pm CST on NBC
LA @ STL Game 1 at 6:30pm on NBCSports
2 games on Sunday
NJ @ PHI Game 1 at 2pm CST on NBC
NSH @ PHO Game 2 at 7pm CST on NBCSports
Let’s hope the 2nd round is as good or better than the exciting 1st round! The complete 2nd round schedule is up on NHL.com.
Outdoor Hockey at Soldier Field & the MN Gophers?
The other day, a couple outdoor hockey games at Soldier Field in Chicago were apparently finalized and will take place on Sunday, February 17th at Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears. The Match-ups will be Minnesota vs Wisconsin and Notre Dame vs Miami of Ohio.
So here’s my big question, why Chicago? None of those teams are from Chicago or Illinois so why would there be a game for them at Soldier Field? Soldier Field holds over 61,000 and is one of the most storied stadiums in America.
I’m sure it will be done right and maybe it is an attempt to show the NHL that Soldier Field would be a good place to hold the 2014 NHL Winter Classic.
Bring the CLUTTER! Every Day! Every Game!