August 25, 2011
(Ed. Note: Our series "Puck Daddy's Guilty Pleasures" features puckheads from all walks of life answering questions about their own hockey-related guilty pleasures. It will run daily during the month of August. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
Today's Special Guests: Mike Halford and Jason Brough from Orland Kurtenblog, the Vancouver Canucks-centric but all-things-hockey blog from the Vancouver Province.
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate
-- Running Curtis Sanford in 2007.
-- Body-slamming Kevin Bieksa in the infamous "hair pulling" game.
-- Cheap shot on Rick Rypien in the 2009 playoffs.
-- Cheap shot (again) on Daniel Sedin in the 2011 WC Final.
-- Smack talking Roberto Luongo after scoring the all-important third goal in a 7-3 loss.
To top it off, now he's with the Edmonton Oilers — his fifth team in five years, I might add —meaning Canucks fans get six cracks at booing the ever-loving crap outta him this season. Also, six cracks at seeing some penalty box boobs.
Brough: Jay Bouwmeester(notes). Nothing against him personally, I just remember all the hype before he signed with Calgary, then everyone in the media falling all over themselves to congratulate Darryl Sutter for landing him.
Bouwmeester has 53 points in 164 games with the Flames.
But what a skater!
Seems like Denis Potvin had it right all along: "In my view, what Jay has not shown yet is the ability to really control the game, the way a No. 1 defenseman should be able to. Now that could change if he ends up going to a team that's a contender and surrounds him with better players. At times, he looks like he wants to control the game, but I don't know if he knows how to do it. And do you want to pay all that money, $7 million a year or more, for a guy who might not be a No. 1 defenseman?"
Funny how Hall-of-Fame defensemen usually know a thing or two about playing defense.
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
Halford: Last season I was the president, CEO and lone member of Vancouver's Atlanta Thrashers fan club. What can I say, I love Chris Thorburn(notes). Anyway, I don't know if you heard but the team moved to Winnipeg, which actually worked out okay for me. I've got a Jets hat, a cousin in Winnipeg (Fun Fact: Every Canadian has a cousin in Winnipeg) and VIP access at the world-famous Palomino Club, because I once wrote about their Booty Shake Mondays promotion. So yeah, I root for the Jets.
Brough: The Boston Bruins. Yes, really. I wrote extensively last season about my "affair" with the B's, and my opinion of them hasn't changed since the final. The Bruins work hard, battle for every inch of the ice, stick up for each other and, as we saw in the playoffs (falling behind 2-0 to the Habs and Canucks), respond positively to adversity. They're the epitome of "tough to play against." I could go on, but I've been pumping their tires all year.
3. Favourite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
Note how the linesmen had to jump in to save Prust, one of those "Do something, this guy's gonna get hurt!" interventions. Nobody threw piston-like lefts like Ryp. He'll be missed.
Brough: Craig Coxe vs. Bob Probert (Nov. 19, 1987, in Detroit):
One of the most memorable fights in NHL history, and one of the most memorable lines ever delivered by Canucks play-by-play man Jim Robson: "Jack McIlhargey loved it!"
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
Halford: The old Phoenix Coyotes "dog on acid" look had it all. Cacti, crescent moon, sand-colored trim -- there was no subtlety whatsoever. If that jersey could talk, it would say, "WE PLAY IN PHOENIX, WHICH IS IN THE DESERT." The only thing missing was a rolling meth lab.
Brough: The Flames wore this jersey in the late 90s. It's hideous. The reason I love it is because it made the Flames look like idiots.
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
Halford: When discussing the forecheck, sometimes analysts will say puck retrieval is easier when teams employ "soft dumps." That's my favorite, because I'm 13 years old.
Brough: I like "high compete level." Because saying "he tries really hard" is too cumbersome.
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
Brough: This was one of the few good things to come from Vancouver's Stanley Cup riot. I've watched it approximately 500 times. The best part might actually be the commentary. "And then explosion!" /cackle
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
Halford: "From Youngblood", "The only thing better than a glass of beer is tea with Miss McGill!"
FYI, Miss McGill's real name is Fionnula Flanagan, but whatever you do, DON'T Google Image search her. Miss McGill is like 70 years old now. While I'm sure she's a very nice lady, looking her up will make you feel sad, nostalgic and kinda creepy.
Brough: Not so much a reference as a question (that's surely been asked before): In "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", how does Cameron walk around Chicago for an entire day in a Red Wings jersey and nobody gives him a hard time?
I mean, this was 1986, long before the 'Hawks fell off the radar in that city. Of course, 1986 was also the year the 'Hawks won the Norris and were swept by a very bad Toronto team in the first round, so maybe Chicagoans were too embarrassed to stick up for them.
7a. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card Or Hockey Action Figure.
Halford: Steve Yzerman's "Be a Player" card from the early 90s. Little known fact: After the shoot, Yzerman found Dylan drunk at the Peach Pit and took his keys away.
Brough: Back in elementary school, my buddy and I had a competition to see who could collect the most of one card in those flicking competitions. I chose this Bryan Hayward card. My buddy chose Patrick Roy's rookie card. Can't remember who ended up with the most, but my buddy's collection became slightly more valuable as the years wore on.
8. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
Halford: Fixing the 2011 Stanley Cup final. You'd think pulling off a screw job of that magnitude in the age of news leaks and whistle-blowers would be impossible, yet he still managed to make the Canucks lose. His biggest coup wasn't leaning on the referees, either -- it was forcing Roberto Luongo(notes) to allow 18 goals over the final five games. Pretty impressive, Gary. Pretty impressive indeed.
Brough: Say what you will, but the man is resilient. There aren't many people who could take the abuse he takes and keep coming back for more. Do you think he reads internet comments? Because internet comments are not kind to Gary Bettman. Which reminds me, I always laugh when I hear the commissioner compared to a dictator. Any dictator worth his salt wouldn't allow that sort of online dissent. Kim Jong-il thinks Bettman is a joke.