Montreal Canadiens defenceman PK Subban on the Hour with Strombo. His younger brothers Malcolm & Jordon join in.
Thirty-nine-year-old captain Daniel Alfredsson stopped the speculation Tuesday and confirmed he won’t be hanging up his skates. Instead, he’ll put on his No. 11 sweater and return for his 17th season with the Senators. Alfredsson confirmed an Ottawa Sun report last week that he’s been talking about an extension with GM Bryan Murray, but said he will play out the final year of his deal at his $1 million salary. That will make him one of the NHL’s best bargains. Alfredsson said he made the decision last week and his wife Bibbi along with his four kids are fully supportive.
Alfredsson said he needed to test himself in rigorous off-season training to see if his body could withstand another NHL campaign before deciding whether to return. The result was positive. Alfredsson will return for a 17th season with the only NHL team he has known and where he has been captain since 1999-2000.
The gifted playmaker and scorer has amassed 416 goals, 666 assists for 1,082 points in 1,131 games — all team records. He holds the same records in the playoffs, with 111 games, 47 goals, 43 assists and 90 points. He had suggested he might retire after last season, when he had 27 goals and 32 assists in 75 games and helped Ottawa reach the playoffs. The Senators lost in seven games in the first round to the New York Rangers. He also said staying on for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia did not factor into his decision as it was too far in the future to contemplate. Alfredsson won Olympic gold in 2006 with Sweden.
Alfredsson’s history goes back to the club’s early years. He was drafted 133rd overall in 1994 by Ottawa, and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 1996. The six-time all-star had a career-high 43 goals and 103 points in 2005-06.
This is a feel good movie, a biopic sports flick based on an actual event that took place in 1980. Ah the 80’s! Miracle is about the “Miracle on Ice”; the US Men’s Hockey team, made up of 20 young college & university players, going on to beat the mighty & powerful Soviet squad of established stars enroute to winning the Olympic Gold at the Lake Placid Games of 1980. They were coached by the legendary Herb Brooks. The opening credits feature a montage of the 1970s, depicting events such as Watergate and the Iran hostage crisis. Then University of Minnesota head coach Herb Brooks interviews with the United States Olympic Committee, discussing his philosophy on how to beat the Soviet team. Despite the fact that they seem very skeptical of his ambitious goal, Brooks is hired. He would go on to state that he had already selected 26 of the players out of which only 20 would get to be in the final squad to represent the United States. In spite of the obvious USA glorification (the “USA, USA” chant is so annoying! Grow up!) and the predictability (tough love shelling out coach, team responds and inspirational music plays as good ole’ America wins, it still is a good movie. Plus it is about hockey, the coolest game on Earth & elsewhere. I would watch a movie based on hockey even it was a 6 on 6 movie about African bush people!!
The team goes through an initial adjustment period – most of the players don;t know each other. A fight breaks out among forward Rob McClanahan and defenseman Jack O’Callahan based on their college rivalry. Brooks lectures the players that they are to let go of old rivalries and start becoming a team. He tortures them after they were distracted and staring at girls while playing a 3-3 draw against Norway in a friendly. Finally he gets what he wants from the player : that they play for their country & for their team. Like he says “The name on the front is a hellofa lot more important than the one on the back”!
O’Callahan gets injured in a warmup game against the Soviets, which the American lose 3 to 7. The players, now with a vigorous team spirit, draw with Sweden in the first game at the Olympics. Their important player, McClanahan, hurts his knee but an argument with coach Brooks entices him to play. They beat the Czechoslovakian team 7-3 and follow it up with victories over Romania and West Germany to earn a spot in the medal round. Up in the semis awaits the Russians. An exciting games ends up in a 4-3 win for the boys in the red, white & blue and they go on to beat Finland in the finals to win gold. It was considered one of the greatest moments in American sports history. You can really enjoy the movie, if you ignore the cliches – but hey, if it were a basketball or NFL movie it would be intolerable!! 8 out of 10!
You can look at it as a younger brother wanting to play with his older brother and does that still happen in their 20s or you can look at it as a rare opportunity of brother playing in highest level of their favoured sport in the same team.
Two of the Staal brothers are being reunited in Carolina. The Pittsburgh Penguins traded centre Jordan Staal to the Hurricanes on Friday for centre Brandon Sutter, the No. 8 pick in 2012 draft and defenceman Brian Dumoulin. Pittsburgh then selected defenceman Derrick Pouliot of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks with the first-round pick. Eric, the eldest of 4 hockey playing brothers, is captain of the Hurricanes.
“Jordan is an elite two-way player who possesses a rare combination of speed, size, scoring ability and defensive responsibility,” said Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford in a statement. “For his young age, he has a wealth of NHL experience, including winning the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009. “And he is obviously a natural fit for our team in joining our captain, his older brother Eric.”
Jordan Staal has 120 goals and 128 assists in 431 regular-season games with Pittsburgh. He has a career plus-53 rating. The Penguins selected Staal in the first round, second overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. “He’s still only 24 years old. He’s got upside yet,” Rutherford told the Canadian Press. “I think it’s a great fit.”
In another trade during the NHL draft the Dallas Stars have traded forward Mike Ribeiro to the Washington Capitals for forward Cody Eakinand a second-round pick (54th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft. The 32-year-old Ribeiro had 18 goals and 45 assists in 74 games last season.
After 45 long years, including two near-misses in the last week, the Los Angeles Kings have finally been crowned Stanley Cup champions. The party kicked off before the first period even ended Monday as Los Angeles romped to a 6-1 series-clinching victory over the stunned New Jersey Devils.
Will it be a tale of two goalies, a rising star in LA’s young American Jonathan Quick on one end with Hall of Famer, 3 times Stanley Cup winner & hockey legend Martin Brodeur for the Devils? At 40 Marty is in the finals again and it would be great if he could win the cup for the 4th time – what a way to retire!
The LA Kings haven’t been to the finals since their Mark Messier inspired 1994 cup win. I the 18 years since then, the Devils have been to the finals 4 times, this one making it 5, and won Lord Stanley’s cup 3 times. The Kings haven’t been close since. It will be interesting.
#1 vs. #6 #3 vs. #8
Who would have seen this lineup for the conference finals? No many of us fans or critics that’s for sure. The West has two surprise teams reaching the conference finals in the Los Angeles Kings & The Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes who are a franchise in debt and are hanging on due to the NHL owning them and still not yet found an owner (sale is pending). A hockey franchise in the Arizona desert of all places where they have a poor fan attendance and yet they are there. This recent success has brought on rabid attention from the folks in Phoenix but can they sustain it? Will getting that new owner who wants to duke it out in the desert really pay off? Or will the franchise keep losing money as it has been for the past few years? I think it’s time for the Coyotes to say bye to the desert, heck it should have happened 3 years ago, but the players have done their best, forgetting about all the news surrounding the sale & the finances and performed to their best. The Los Angeles Kings have shown to be a very strong team, having finished only at 8th spot in the West but playing like they were #1. Having defeated both the Vancouver Canucks and the St.Louis Blues the Kings are looking good to win the whole deal and bring a first cup to LA. The team looks confident and they don’t seem to have a weak link.
In the East it’s old hands the New Jersey Devils against their hated local rivals the New York Rangers. The Rangers have looked world beaters all season long and it was only a few games that they looked weak. Their fine form continued in the playoffs as they defeated the Ottawa Senators & the Washington Capitals but both series needing a game 7 win. The Devils, 3 times champions since 1995, have usually been in the running for the Stanley season after season. However their star seemed to have waned a bit in the last couple of years and this season they have picked it up with aging goalie Martin Brodeur showing his form of old. New Jersey had to defeat Cinderella team the Florida Panther in 7 games and Philly in 5 and are looking strong. Will the suburbanites be able to defeat Broadway and show them up? Is there a 4th Stanley Cup ring for the Devils and Marty? If NJ does win, it will be a great farewell for Brodeur to retire to. How awesome would that be?
My prediction is an LA vs NY finals.
St.Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals
Phoenix Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators Philadelphia Flyer vs. New Jersey Devils
Boy I did not see that lineup coming at all. In the West Vancouver & Detroit are out in the first round itself and how. Detroit met their boogie team the Predators who have done themselves proud with that showing. Vancouver battled the LA Kings to a 7th game but it wasn’t enough. In the East Boston lost in the first round to Washington.
So how does the semi-final or second round look? Tough to call in the east but I’m going to stick with my pick for Philly to beat the Devils in 7 (and for Martin Broduer to announce his retirement from the game post that) and for New York to beat the Capitals in 6. As for the West I pick the Blues & the Coyotes to win their respective rounds.
Here are the quaterfinal lineups for the Western & Eastern conferences and the head to head record during the season of the teams against their quaterfinal opponent. So who do you think looks good to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup? My Ottawa Senators have done amazingly well to get to the playoffs considering the fact that they were in season 1 of a team rebuilding and were expected to finish dead last by most experts. I think they could reach the second round but that would be it.
Prediction wise, I’d pick a Vancouver vs Detroit Western final and a Boston vs Philly Eastern final with a Vancouver vs Philly final again and this time, I’d pick Vancouver to in the cup.
Goon is another name for an enforcer, which is an unofficial role of a certain type of player in ice hockey. The enforcer’s job is to deter and respond to dirty or violent play by the opposition and when such play occurs, the enforcer is expected to respond aggressively, by fighting or checking the offender. Enforcers are expected to react particularly harshly to violence against star players or goalies. The 2012 movie Goon is about one such enforcer in minor league hockey. The film is an adaptation of the book Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey by Adam Frattasio and Doug Smith. Footage from Smith’s career as a hockey enforcer is shown during the films credits.
Directed by Michael Dowse (who was at the helm for FUBAR I & II) on a script written by Jay Baruchel & Evan Goldberg and stars starring Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber. Co-starring in the movie are Jay Baruchel, Allison Pill, Marc-Andre Grodin, Kim Coates, Eugene Levy, Nicholas Campbell & David Paetkau. Retired hockey player Geroges Laraque also appears in two small scenes, the second of which is inspired by an incident involving him.
Sean William Scott plays Doug Glatt, who lives & works in Massachusetts as a bouncer. He feels like a lesser man because both his father and his brother are doctors. While out to watch a local hockey game with his buddy Pat (Baruchel), who also hosts a local hockey based talk show, an opposing team’s hockey player climbs the stands to beat up Pat, who was taunting him. Doug instead knocks out the player with a punch, drawing cheers from the home crowd. He is noticed by the coach (Campbell) who soon calls him up to try out for the position of enforcer in the local team. Doug joins the team, although his skating skills are bad, and becomes so popular that he is soon called up to join the Halifax Highlanders, a minor league professional team. Meanwhile veteran enforcer and Doug’s idol Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber) of the St. John’s Shamrocks is serving a 20 game suspension for slashing an opponent in the head from behind.
The star player of the Highlanders is Xavier Laflamme (Grondin) who was hit by Rhea and suffered a concussion. has had trouble recovering from that incident due to the fear of being hit, being stuck in the minors and falling in with the wrong crowd. Doug, who gets the nicknamed ‘The Thug’ is to shadow & protect Laflamme and the two also become roommates. The team starts experiencing some success with Doug protecting the goal scorers and soon they have a chance to qualify for the playoffs. There is a lot of ribbing & making fun of each other in the team as Doug is fully integrated into the team and everyone except Laflamme has taken to him. Doug also meets and falls in love with Eva (Allison Pill) although she has a boyfriend. She later dumps her boyfriend who doesn’t seem that involved with her. On a road game against the Quebec team, Doug savagely hits an opposing player, who concusses Laflamme with a heavy hit, knocking him unconscious. Dough is suspended for the next game against a returning Rhea and the St. John’s Shamrocks.
The two accidentally meet at a diner the night before the game where they admit their respect for each other. However Rhea dismisses Doug’s claim that he is a hockey player, calling him a goon. Rhea warns him that if they ever meet on the ice, he will “lay him the fuck out.” The Highlanders, with Doug suspended and Laflamme hospitalized, lose to the Shamrocks. After this game Doug reaches out to Laflamme telling him to not worry and that he has his back. The two become close and the team wins the next game 2-1 and in the dying seconds, Doug blocks a shot on goal and his face is bloodied by the rebound shot. In the ensuing scramble, his ankle is broken when a player steps on it with the sharp edge. The next game is their final before the playoffs with the Highlanders needing a win to qalify. Rhea & Doug spar midway through the game and it’s a tough fight between a veteran and the newcomer. Doug is knocked down but gets up and breaks Rhea’s nose with a heavy punch, however hurting his own ankle in the process. Doug is helped to the locker room by Eva while the team goes on to win 3-2 and qualify. His last words before the win are “I think I nailed him”.
Very well shot and some good work by the actors. Sean William Scott is actually a good actor – who the heck knew? Schreiber is so bad ass & cool in his role as the retiring veteran. Allison Pill is so cute & sweet. I really enjoyed the movie, hockey fan that I am. 8 out of 10!
Time for some hockey related stuff. Retired hockey star Trevor Linden recently appeared on Vancouver based talk show Urban Rush with hosts Mike Eckford & the absolutely ravishing Fiona Forbes. A few days before the interview the hosts had asked the Twitterverse if us fans had any questions for Trevor. I had tweeted to Fiona a question for Trevor (using my Twitter id @countroshculla) – and guess what – it’s featured on the show!
Thanks to Mike & Fiona for choosing my question to be on the air during the interview. It was fun to see it up there on their giant screen.
The Ottawa Senators season was dealt a massive blow when Craig Anderson suffered a serious cut while preparing food at his home late Wednesday following a victory over the Washington Capitals. GM Bryan Murray could be forced to go shopping for a goalie — with Monday’s trade deadline fast approaching – after the club’s No. 1 netminder suffered his injury which could possibly put him out for several weeks.
While the Senators confirmed Anderson is out “indefinitely” but is expected to make a full recovery, sources told the Ottawa Sun he’ll be gone 10 days and possibly more, and has to be examined by a specialist. A source said the worst-case scenario for this type of injury is 6-8 weeks. A source said surgery was required on the 30-year-old Anderson, who was still in hospital Thursday. He was supposed to sign autographs at an Orleans car dealership Thursday night and didn’t show. The Senators are expected to recall goalie Robin Lehner from their AHL affiliate in Binghamton in time for practice Friday in Ottawa.
One of the NHL’s busiest goalies, he has played in 27 of the club’s past 28 games and 56 overall. A major part of the Senators’ success, Anderson has a 29-19-6 record with a 2.86 GAA and .913 save percentage. He’s also coming off a 32-save performance in the 5-2 victory over the Capitals. Backup Alex Auld, meanwhile, has started just seven games this season, going 2-3-2 with a 3.28 GAA and a .883 save percentage.
Lehner’s numbers with a young Binghamton team haven’t been sparkling, either. After helping the Baby Sens win the Calder Cup last spring, Lehner is 8-16-1 this season with 3.38 GAA and .905 save percentage. As the Senators prepare to face the Boston Bruins Saturday at home, Murray has to decide whether he’ll go get another goalie as insurance or stick it out with Auld and Lehner until Anderson is ready to return. The goalie market is thin – possible targets are Josh Harding, Evegni Nabakov or Antero Niittymaki.
The Ottawa Senators stands in 7th place in the Eastern Conference after 61 games played. They are at 70 points with 31 wins, 22 loses & 8 OTs with 185 goals scored against 180 goals conceded. That defence & goalkeeping need shoring up badly. But last night was a wonderful win for the Senators, 6-0 away against the New York Islanders.
If you have seen 2002’s hit Indo-English movie Bend It Like Beckham, well you’ll pretty much know the story of Breakaway aka Speedy Singhs, which is a Canadian version directed by Robert Libermann and amongst the movies producers, executive & associate, you will find actors Paul Gross & Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. How similar are the storylines? So similar that they have Anupam Kher in virtually the same role albeit in different countries! He must have suffered from a severe case of deja vu! The film stars debutant Vinay Virmani opposite Camilla Belle, with Rob Lowe, Russell Peters and Kher in pivotal roles.
So change the story to a young guy, Rajveer Singh, an Indo-Canadian of Punjabi ethnicity, living in Toronto (Oakville area I guess) and dreaming of hockey success but his father, Darvesh does not like him to play the game. Instead he wants his son to concentrate on working up and eventually taking over his brother’s, & Rajveer’s uncle, family business of a truck company. Darvesh himself works for his brother. Secretly Rajveer plays with fellow Sikhs in a local rink. One day, while practicing hockey, a few players from a semi-pro team insult the Singhs, and Rajveer asks their coach for a trial to show his skills. Although he clearly has potential the coach turns him down. Coach Dan Winters (Rob Lowe) who sees this eventually warms up to the Sikhs and becomes their coach, naming Rajveer as captain of the Speedy Singhs. Rajveer gets his well-intentioned uncle to sponsor the team.
The team practices at all opportunities, honing their skills and improving as a team. Coach Winters also has a young & beautiful sister, Melissa (Camille Belle) who is the love interest for Rajveer. He even takes her out to Patel’s (are we stereo-typing Indian names today?) where they share some Indian food. On a night Rajveer lies to his father and says he is going to New York for a job delivery, though his father spots him playing hockey. Although his uncle tries to convince Rajveer’s dad that playing the sport is not a bad thing, Darvesh is upset and Rajveer leaves the house. He also fights with the coach and he ends up stripped of the captaincy and not playing the semi-finals in anger, although the team manages to win. While working at a film studio, he sees actor Akshay Kumar (in a cameo role as himself) who speaks about the pride of the Punjab Sikh warriors and in inspired to dig out metal helmets that the warriors worn to use as helmets.
Why? Because their opponents in the finals, the same team who they fought with early on in the movie, objected to the Sikhs not wearing helmets and relying on their turbans. However Melissa, a law student, manages to convince the tournament organizers that the metal helmets can be used instead. Rajveer spends most of his saving on buying the team the helmets, reunites with coach & the guys and leads the team to win the final in overtime. His dad finally has come to terms with his son playing hockey (apparently Kher plays characters who can only stand cricket and not football or ice hockey) and shows up to congratulate his son. And ofcourse we have Punjabi music blaring all around as the Sikh community celebrates. Infact, I think they must have got the entire Sikh population of Toronto to appear in the rink scene for the finals!
Although predictable, cheesy & corny for the most part, it’s still got some fun working for it. Russell Peters plays the obnoxious rich dude who is marrying Rajveer’s cousin Reena (Noureen DeWulf) and he initially butt heads with him. However the two bond after a stag party which ends in a fight and the guys all getting thrown behind bars. Infact Peters as Sonu Gill almost steals the show with his few funny scenes! Lucadris & Drake have cameo roles in this movie too. The film was released on September 30 2011 and received mixed to positive reviews upon release, though was a huge commercial success at the box office screens and highest grossing movie in Canadian Box office in 2011. After the tremendous success of the film, Breakaway was also dubbed into Hindi under the title of Speedy Singhs, which was a critical and commercial letdown. Most Indians were wondering where all the ice came from and what are these Sardars doing skating on them! And where there so few songs and the movie not 3 hours long?
6 outta 10! It would have been 7 if it weren’t for those annoying & repetitive Punjabi songs!
The Calgary Flames fans were excited about the news of the trade. In a deal that sent Rene Bourque to the Montreal Canadiens — along with unsigned 2010 seventh-round pick Patrick Holland and the Flames’ second-rounder in 2013 — the former fan favourite Michael Cammalleri was brought back to the Stampede City.
Michael Cammalleri created controversy in Montreal when he commented that his team had a losing mentality. He was quickly traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Calgary Flames on Thursday night after questioning the commitment of his peers a day earlier. Cammalleri was pulled out of the Canadiens’ 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins after the second period Thursday and sent back to the team’s hotel. Then Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier informed Cammalleri he was traded back to his old team, the Flames.
On TSN.ca, Cammalleri was quoted as saying, “We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder why we lose.” Even if that was not an accurate translation, there was no argument that Cammalleri said the Canadiens have “a losing mentality.” However the deal wasn’t a quick reaction by Flames GM Jay Feaster after Cammalleri fell out of favour in Montreal with his controversial comments this week. He informed the press that the deal had been percolating for quite some time and that he had a few conversations with Habs GM Pierre Gauthier before this incident.
However we can all safely assume that the controversial comments were the catalyst for the trade. The Toronto native was also having a bad year and at this stage has only scored 9 goals, quite less for a polific goal scorer.
This season I haven’t posted much about both my favourite teams – in football Arsenal FC & in hockey the Ottawa Senators. In the case of Arsenal it has been majorly only because of the fact that I don’t get the two major sports channels for India, Espn & Star Sports, because of the stupid, lazy ass cable company Asianet’s unwilling to pay for getting those channels. Hence I haven’t watched a single game either live or recorded because my incompetent cable tv provider prefers to just keep showing idiotic Indian channels that have rehashes of the same kind of serials that bore the heck out of most of us.
But in the case of the Senators I have still watched the highlights of every game they’ve played this season (just like the last 2 seasons) online on the NHL’s official Youtube channel. So no excuse there, even if I haven’t watched a single full match. I dunno why but I just missed posting on them as these past 6 months I’ve concentrated more on movie & tv series reviews. Anyway, time to catch up on them. After struggling with a lineup squad that was predicted by most critics & experts to finish last in the league. And to be fair Ottawa are in a time of rebuilding, having sold off most of their bigger name & higher salary players. Fans were told to expect 2 or 3 seasons of finishing towards the bottom of the league while younger players & lesser known players take the time to gel and shape up. And as the season started that’s where we were headed towards. 1 win in their first 6 games.
Then things picked up with a 5 wins in a row streak. Then they started losing again and then slowly started being more consistent. Now with 40 games played, the Senators find themselves in 6th place out in the East with 20 wins, 15 loses and 5 overtime loses and a total of 45 points! Jason Spezza has 14 goals & 26 assists, while captain Daniel Alfredsson has 12 goals & 16 assists. Milan Michalek has 19 goals while contributions have come in from Nick Foligno, Zack Smith & Colin Greening. The goalie situation is our weakest link still as both Alex Auld & Craig Anderson do not inspire the stuff of legends.
Will we win the Stanley Cup this year? No but we will reach the playoffs. We need to keep rebuilding and sign one or two high skill goal scorers, maybe a top defender and a solid no.1 goalie. Still it’s very interesting at this stage. GO SENS GO!
I do not know what to say about the Ottawa Senators this season. After unloading a whole lot of players last season, including crowd favourites, and signing up mostly players who fans of other teams have never heard of, it was no wonder that most critics & experts picked the team to finis last in the league come the end of the 2011-12 season. Let’s face it – after top line trio Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza & Milan Michalek, who else did you expect to provide a steady stream of goals? So as I, like many other Sens fans I suppose, looked at a lot of star players being signed up by other teams and wondering when was it that my side was going to get 2 or 3 big name players, the Sens management signed 2nd & 3rd string players.
Doomed for this season? Playoff chances? Yes and None respectively were the answers that came up in my mind. So after the top 3 forwards our most known players are Chris Neil, defencemen Philip Kuba, Chris Philips & Sergie Gronchar. Two goalie who, let’s face it, are actually competent back goalies for any other team in Craig Anderson & Alex Auld. Not the stuff of champs! And when the season started it looked like exactly what it was – a solitary win in their first 6 games, which was a 4-3 win against the Minnesota Wild. 5 Loses to Detroit (3-5), Toronto (5-6), Colorado (1-7), Washington (1-2) & Philadelphia (2-7) were devastating but not unexpected. But then; things changed.
5 Wins in a row. 4-1 vs Winnipeg, 4-3 against Columbus, 3-2 against Carolina, 4-3 against Florida & a 5-4 win against New York Rangers. Admittedly things are tight as we are leaking goals and 4 of those games were won by a 1 goal margin. But we are also scoring goals. Spezza & Michalek have 7 goals each, Alfredsson with 4 and Colin Greening with 3. With 12 points after 11 games played, Ottawa should now crack the top 8 in the East and if they build on these wins, who knows what can happen this season. But it’s way too early to say as we have another 71 games to go. Go Sens Go!
Craziest game that I have seen since I started following NHL hockey 10 years ago. Winnipeg Jets 9 Philadelphia Flyers 8! What a game!