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Battle of the Blades

I also posted this on my hockey blog, but just to be safe…

There’s a reality show known as “Battle of the Blades”. It is similar to Dancing With The Stars, only it’s broadcast only on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company). And..here’s the fun part. It’s all done on ice.

Former hockey players (I think they’re all NHL caliber) will be ice dancing, or figure skating.

There’s a blog post done by Kelly Chase of the St. Louis Blues. He’s one of the participants.

Here’s the link:

<a href="http://blues.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534980&cmpid=stl-twt-072710“>

Seeing that I live in the U.S., I hope I can watch it on the Internet. 🙂

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Heart Be Still! Modano in Detroit?

Mike Modano is a free agent. Dallas is not going to re-sign him. There has been talk about how cool it would be for him to play for the Detroit Red Wings. He’s from Westland, MI (or Livonia, as some websites say). There is a hockey rink named after him there. Etc…

When I first heard of the talk…how exciting?!! Then, today I open up my Facebook page and BOOM!! An article posted on the Detroit Red Wings site about Mike Babcock believing Modano will sign. HEART BE STILL!!

The link won’t work on WordPress. So:

http://redwings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=534537

Bob Probert Dies…

Such as sad and surprising story. He’ll always be a Detroit Red Wing in my memories. What a great player..

<a href="http://www.windsorstar.com/Probert+collapses+boat+Report/3238135/story.html”>

Stanley Cup Addiction

Well, since the Hawks won the Stanley Cup and ended their 49-year drought, it’s fun watching what’s going on. Chicago Sportsnet has daily updates on where the Cup is, or was, for the day. It’s addicting. So far it’s been to the children’s hospital, local bars and eateries, hockey school for the deaf, at elementary schools and on the streets. Versteeg was interviewed on NHL Live! yesterday and regaled the story about how he and Sharp were carrying the Cup while walking on a Chicago street. Suddenly, traffic’s congested, crowds swelled and the “Cup guy was probably going nuts”. (The Keeper of the Cup needs to be with Stanley at all times…from what I understand). The players had to get back on the bus. That’s what the Stanley Cup does. It’s a magnet.

There’s something special about Lord Stanley’s Cup. Other sports have trophies, but none compare, in my opinion. There are so many great things about it…

Winning the Cup is so rare, you just cannot take it for granted. It’s fun watching the playoffs start and wind down as teams get eliminated. All with the goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

It’s pure fun watching the winning team hoist the Cup over their heads after winning it. For the first time all season, we can see players, coaches and others simply beaming. The looks of content, ecstasy, thrill and excitement are fantastic to witness. For instance, this is the first time I’ve seen Joel Quennville (coach of CHI) smile all season. Throughout the season, players and coaches are interviewed and may smile as part of that. It’s not the same. Season-long interviews are conducted while the ultimate goal is still being pursued – that of winning the Cup. Smiles are short-lived and sometimes, contrived. Not after winning the coveted Cup, though.

There’s something magical about the Cup. Witnessing the Stanley Cup Parade through Chicago last week was just fantastic. Seeing the Cup and the proud, yet temporary, winners holding it never grows old. (I don’t care what year it is). Knowing that it took 49 years to accomplish the goal makes it even more special. It’s a part of history. Any true hockey fan would appreciate that. Over 2 million people lined Chicago streets to catch a glimpse of the Cup and team. Wow…that’s just indescribable.

The Stanley Cup provides inspiration, hope and, many times, sparks memories. Seeing the smiling faces and/or twinkling eyes on those who can touch or glimpse the Cup is something else that never grows old.

The Stanley Cup signifies achievement and team effort. The Cup is not just for the players or management team of the winning franchise, however. It is for an essential element of the team effort, the fan. That is why it is known as the “People’s Cup”.

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Crazy Ending to Crazy NHL Season…

This NHL season was one unlike others I’ve remembered. It started out with more body injuries, head shots, cross-checking, blind shots, incorrect calls, uncounted goals, miscalled goals, etc…. And, it ended with a game-winning goal being scored without anyone but Patrick Kane knowing about it. Bizarre from beginning to end. Fun, but bizarre.

This was the first time in 18 years that we weren’t sure whether the Detroit Red Wings would make it into the playoffs. To say that was bizarre is an understatement. It was fun, yet rather nerve-racking to pay attention to how many points the low-seeded teams had and how the Wings were fitting into the equation. What a strange trip it’s been. Having become accustomed to the Wings being one of the top-seeded teams for so long was quite a strange reversal.

To have the season start without knowing the plight of the Phoenix Coyotes is another story. The team was bankrupt. No purchase offer was accepted. So, the NHL purchased the franchise. The team went on to become one of the top-seeded teams for the season. Another bizarre story.

To have the low-seeded Philadelphia Flyers gain entrance into the playoffs via a shoot-out is another story. How rare is that? And, their climb to the Stanley Cup Finals makes for another Cinderella story. So much fun to watch and root for.

Playoff hockey is usually fun, but this season was especially true. Seeing the Washington Capitols, seeded #1, being knocked out of contention early was unexpected. Fun to watch, but unexpected. The Pittsburgh Penguins, last year’s Stanley Cup Champions, were eliminated before the finals. (I personally liked seeing that happen.)
Tying goals were scored in the last .2 seconds of a game to force OT. Games were won by 3-0 down teams. Etc..etc.

The best part, though, was watching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Four minutes into OT, Patrick Kane takes a shot. Then…he raises his hands, skates around the net and gloves start hitting the ice. I thought a fight broke out. Then, it looked like a celebration. I didn’t see a goal scored. No goal light went on. No ref called a goal. When it dawned on me that the winning goal was scored…wow! What a way to end a season! So apropos.
What started as a crazy regular season ended with the strangest winning goal I never saw.

Kudos to the Chicago Blackhawks for ending their 49-year Cup drought. Lord Stanley’s Cup is going back to Chicago. It was way too cool to see Scotty Bowman during the victory celebration and interview. It’s his 12th Stanley Cup. Wow….

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Go Hawks?!

Tonight’s game 6 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers is tough to decide between. As a die-hard Detroit Red Wings fan, the Chicago Blackhawks are arch enemies. However, it would be great to see them hoist the Cup and end their 49-year draught. Plus, the team is so young. And, they are so strong. Four strong lines to choose from. The depth on their team is phenomenal. All around fun to watch. What an accomplishment it would be to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. 🙂 And, Scotty Bowman is with the team now. Wherever Scotty Bowman goes, the Stanley Cup follows shortly. So….

Then there is the Philadelphia Flyers. A pure Cinderella team for the 2009-2010 season. Being such a low-seeded team and scooting into the playoffs via a shootout is so uncommon, it’s just pure fun to watch. The depth of their team talent is tremendous, also. Multiple players kicking in when needed. Coming up with game-winning goals at the last moment, it’s just too cool. You never know what to expect from the team.

Watching the television broadcasts of the series has been great. Being able to see each arena’s opening ceremonies is wonderful. The tradition of hearing and watching Kate Smith sing “God Bless America” is priceless. Hearing the National Anthem sung before Chicago’s games is great. But another great thing about CHI…is when the team enters the ice. “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent is playing. Woohoo!! Way too cool, in my opinion. Kudos to NBC and Versus for doing a great job. Now, if only Pierre McGuire….well, we’ll let this article end on a positive note.

The hockey during this series has been just great. I, selfishly don’t want it to end.

As much as I may hate to say this…”Go Hawks!”

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EJ & Don on NHL Live! 05/26/10

EJ Hradek & Don LaGreca had a very entertaining show today on NHL Live! Read about my blog post here…

www.booktootsandhockey.blogspot.com/2010/05/don-ej-on-nhl-live-052610.html