Is it fair to call the Pittsburgh Penguins a dynasty now? The 2017 Stanley Cup champions, Pittsburgh Penguins, defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 at Bridgestone Arena to claim their 3rd Stanley Cup in the past 8 seasons (2017, 2016, 2009). All three Stanley Cups have been won with core players Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, and Chris Kunitz. There have been other star players that have had major impacts in each Stanley Cup run, but these five players have been through it all. “Dynasty” is typically a term that generates debate due to its subjective nature and its definition is a matter of opinion. Given the success of the Penguins this past decade, it may silence those critics who feel the word ‘dynasty’ is solely reserved for past great teams such as the Canadiens, Oilers and Islanders.
Sidney Crosby took home his second Conn Smythe Trophy. For all of you Crosby-haters out there, some of whom have written him off as “too concussion-prone” to ever be effective in the NHL again, let’s take a look at his accolades from the past year:
Gold Medal at World Cup of Hockey
Rocket Richard Trophy winner (44 goals)
Hart Trophy nominee
…not to mention a similar looking 2016 finale. So where does that put him on the all-time greats list? Does he deserve to be in the company of Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, Howe, Richard, or even atop that list?
This was a long time coming for Crosby, and it seems as though there is still more to come.
Switching gears to major junior hockey. Sunday night, Windsor Spitfires defeated Erie Otters 4-3 in the Memorial Cup finals. This years Memorial Cup tournament brought to light many interesting points that are worthy of discussion. First of all, the level of talent in the Memorial Cup is, was, and always will be incredible. Don’t be surprised to see tournament point leaders and teammates Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, and Taylor Raddysh all playing at the pro level next season, among others.
Every season we see handfuls of Memorial Cup players participate in their final junior hockey game before leaping to the NHL. After all, they’re the best of the best, right? Dylan Strome disagrees, and he may have a point…
Strome on Mem Cup: "It's the same as World Juniors. You have a shootout to decide a world champ. Here you have 3 league champs and a host."
— Tim Pigulski (@tpigulski) May 29, 2017
Is it really fair that Windsor was beaten out in the first round of the OHL playoffs then still ended up in the Memorial Cup finals? Ultimately, Windsor won the tournament and were crowned champions.
Now for the real reason you’re here… Troy Timpano loses his cool after the loss and launches his stick at the cameraman.
Unhappy Erie Otters goalie throws stick at camera going past bench after falling in Memorial Cup final pic.twitter.com/1sw3SWNxur
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) May 29, 2017
He later took to Twitter to apologize. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that his stick was broken and he was trying to throw it in the direction of the closest Integral Hockey franchisee/distributor… stranger things have happened.
2017 Memorial Cup Champions: Windsor Spitfires
Connor McDavid was spotted at the airport and a couple of fans wanted a photo. McDavid, being the class-act that he is, couldn’t say no. In the midst of a tough series and right after a long flight, McDavid posed with a fake smile and two fans clinging to him. The result… awwkwaaaaaarrrd.
— Margeaux Maron (@MargeauxMorin) May 10, 2017
Hockey gives us moments to cheer, laugh, smile, and cry about. Today we’ll look at the humouros side of hockey and source some of the most cringe-worthy (and laughable) moments ever.
- Phil Kessel’s bad breath
He showed up to his pranked locker the next day, full of mouth wash, toothpaste, and floss. You’re breath is just fine, Phil!
2. Philadelphia selects… uh, I forget… oh, Claude Giroux
3. Clothesline. We’ve watched this one about a thousand times now… surprised his stick didn’t break!
4. Adding injury to insult. This is painful to watch, even though you’ll probably watch it more than once.
5. Bernier has no idea who Nelson Mandela is…
“Well obviously growing up, he’s one of the most known athletes in the world. A lot of impact in any kind of sport that he did, and even playing hockey, everyone knows him, right? From being the type of person that he was off the ice and on the ice. It’s unfortunate that he passed a year ago, but, he changed a lot while he was with us, and he’s a tremendous guy.”
Crosby VS Ovechkin
They both joined the NHL in the 2005-06 season, due to a lockout in the previous season. Both 1st overall picks, both entering the NHL with tremendous hype.
Ever since they were rookies, their names have been linked. Even though they’ve defined their respective careers and have matured as players, their names will forever be compared by fans and the media.
Ya, they’ve had their share of one-on-one battles…
… even the fans get themselves involved.
But what do the stats say?
So which player is better? Well, it depends on which metrics you’re studying. Crosby has less career season points, but he’s also played 139 less season games. Ovechkin throws his weight around more often than Crosby, and may be the best goal scorer of all-time, but Crosby has two Stanley Cups – which really is the ultimate.
The second round will definitely be an exciting match-up between old rivals, Pittsburgh Penguins VS Washington Capitals. Who will end up on top? Well, only time will tell.
Oh hey Sid, we can fix your stick. You can get back to seizing these opportunities against your rivals!
Everyone felt bitter when watching Matt Calvert cross-check an unsuspecting Tom Kuhnhackl – dumb dumb. Matt broke his stick on the play and earned himself a one-game suspension. We’ll still repair your stick for you, Matt!
Drake Caggiula first made hockey headlines when he scored a highlight reel goal for U of North Dakota, only to be knocked flat on his ass by the referee seconds later (see the video here). He made SportsCentre after game one between Edmonton and San Jose, when his stick snapped in half on a breakaway. Talk about bad timing! Drake, we offer broken hockey stick repairs in Edmonton!
Teach me how to Dougie, teach me, teach me how to Dougie… unless it’s going to put my team on the penalty kill with only a few minutes left in the 3rd period. Dougie Hamilton broke his stick on a cross-check to Ryan Getzlaf, which put Calgary on the penalty kill, and could be the pinpoint reason as to why the Flames lost the game. A TV commentator was caught on the hot mic ripping into Dougie Hamilton,
“If you don’t rip Dougie Hamilton, I will. Stupidest f**king penalty you can take… Does he have a f**king brain? He doesn’t. He’s stupid as f**k.”
Earlier this week, NHL.com released a list of the most popular selling jerseys.
|1 Sidney Crosby||Penguins|
|2 Patrick Kane||Blackhawks|
|3 Jonathan Toews||Blackhawks|
|4 Auston Matthews||Maple Leafs|
|5 Henrik Lundqvist||Rangers|
|6 Connor McDavid||Oilers|
|7 Alex Ovechkin||Capitals|
|8 Vladimir Tarasenko||Blues|
|9 Claude Giroux||Flyers|
|10 Ryan McDonagh||Rangers|
|11 Patrice Bergeron||Bruins|
|12 Shayne Gostisbehere||Flyers|
|13 Zach Parise||Wild|
|14 Carey Price||Canadiens|
|15 Evgeni Malkin||Penguins|
|16 John Tavares||Islanders|
|17 Dylan Larkin||Red Wings|
|18 Steven Stamkos||Lightning|
|19 Kris Letang||Penguins|
|20 Henrik Zetterberg||Red Wings|
Hockey fans are well aware that the young guns of the NHL are taking over in popularity, though many people are surprised by the surge of popularity in Auston Matthews, even out-ranking Connor McDavid.
There’s no surprise in seeing Crosby’s name at the top of this list. All in a day’s work, right Sid?
Integral Hockey has been keeping broken hockey sticks out of landfills for years, and we have saved hockey
players of all ages THOUSANDS of dollars. Good news spreads fast – it wasn’t long before former NHL defenceman, André Doré,had heard about Integral Hockey and was eager to find out more. After testing out our sticks, Doré decided to join the Integral Hockey family by becoming an Exclusive Distributor in Connecticut. We setup an interview with Doré to share with you a bit about his life after hockey, and why he has chosen Integral Hockey.
Let’s get started:
Tell me about your fondest memory of your professional hockey career…
First time I was called up and played in my hometown of Montreal against the Rangers. We won 3-2, I think I got an assist. The game went by, it was like a blur. By time I got to meet my family at the end of the game, I was given a plane ticket and told “great game, but now we’re sending you back to the minors”.
In 2010, HBO and the NHL teamed up to show fans a behind the scenes glimpse of daily life as an NHLer. Are there any behind the scenes stories that you could share that we would find funny, interesting, surprising?
A couple of stupid things that guys do when they start to get punchy in the airports… one time we’re at the airport in Denver and Nicky Fotiu from the Rangers went out and bought some fishing line and attached it to a dollar bill, and every time someone tried to pick it up, he’d pull it back. It sounds kind of stupid but the more people that tried to pick up the dollar bill, the funnier it got. Just stupid stuff.
There was a teammate of mine, I won’t mention his name, his front four teeth were fake. One time, he took his teeth out and put them on top of his nose and he would walk up to old ladies and say, “Ma’am, have you seen my teeth?”
Who was the most interesting guy that you ever played with?
Two guys that come to mind: Anders Hedberg. When I came to New York, it coincided with his first year there. The most humble guy, he had rockstar looks, he was a real entrepreneur and it was great to listen to him talk about his interests outside of hockey.
Another guy that comes to mind was a defenceman with the Rangers, he’s passed away now, Carol Vadnais. He was a bit of a renaissance man. While everyone else is talking about the nonsense that players talk about, he would be talking about art and sculptors, and grade of cigars. We’d all be looking at him like, “what planet is this guy from?”. But he was a really funny guy, and a lot of guys looked up to him.
How would you compare the sticks of your era to the sticks used in the NHL today?
I played with wood. Back then, we thought they were awesome! You could feel the puck. But with every piece of wood that they use to make a stick, you never really knew what you’d get in terms of consistency. With every dozen that you’d get, maybe 6-8 were usable. Today’s sticks feel like they’re really loaded up and there is a lot of power packed into them. I tend to gravitate towards the newer sticks with a carbon fibre blade.
Aside from being an Integral Hockey Distributor, how much are you involved in hockey today?
My involvement is I help certain high school teams in the US with their positional play. Some coaches who know me will ask me to help out with their D, there may be some special attention in certain areas, so I’m always happy to get out there. Also, from a charitable side, I’m a board member of NYR alumni. So we do a lot of charitable work in the metropolitan NY area.
How did you first get involved with Integral Hockey? Tell me about your experience using a refurbish pro stock stick.
I was sent an email for groups that I may be interested in and saw an entry for Hockey stick repair. I looked at the website and I was curious enough to contact the CEO of the company. I send him a stick and told him that when I get it back that I’m going to beat the crap out of it because I was just so skeptical. I took it to a rink along with a new carbon fibre stick. I alternated taking shots for about 45 minutes – I recall at one point taking a series of rapid fire shots and having to look down to see which stick I was holding. That was my “ah-ha” moment. I decided to move forward from there.
Who do you see as the biggest beneficiary of Integral Hockey?
Men’s hockey. No one wants to spend $300 on a stick when they’re playing on Sunday at 10PM. Young players who are using an older stick with some fatigue, because the repair adds more “pop” to the stick. Families with multiple kids in hockey. I work with college hockey teams with minimal budgets.
What stick do you use now?
CCM Super Tacks, 95 Flex
If hockey players in the Connecticut area are looking to purchase a stick from you, or have their broken stick repaired, where can they find you and your products?
Known as “The Stick Guy” in Connecticut.
Ever found yourself looking for a new stick, and aren’t sure which model/brand suits you best? Today we’re going to give you a few hints by showing you which star NHL players are using certain sticks. Most of our Franchisees/Distributors sell pro stock sticks – these sticks have superior performance to those you’ll find at the retail level. Whichever players’ game you mimic, we’ll certainly have a stick for you.
Arguably the best player in the game today, Connor McDavid has been exclusively using the CCM Super Tacks. Prior to his NHL debut, McDavid tore up his final season with the Erie Otters using the previous model of the same stick, the CCM Ultra Tacks.
The Super Tacks is designed with a higher kick-point, for players who put like to load up on their wrist shots. The stiff blade ensures consistent accuracy every time.
The era has come where we can no longer mention McDavid without paying respect his idol, and still possibly the best player, Sidney Crosby. Although they are similar players, Crosby prefers to have a lower kick-point to ensure that the puck recoils off his blade as quick as possible, which is why his stick of choice is the CCM RibCore Trigger. Don’t take our word for it, let Crosby do the talking…
When you think about quick stick handling, Patrick Kane is probably the first player that comes to mind. Kane has elected to use the Bauer 1X LE, and it seems to work. He lead the NHL in points last season, and is currently tied for first.
Known for having one of the most lethal one-timers of all time, Alex Ovechkin can be seen sporting a Bauer Supreme 1S. He uses every last piece of carbon fiber in his stick, and has been fooling NHL goalies since he entered the league in 2005.
As you can see, all of these All-Star players have major differences in their choice of weapons. But what do they have in common? They’re all former first overall draft picks. This just goes to show that superstars come in many different forms – there’s no “right” stick out there, so come talk to your nearest Integral Hockey franchisee/distributor to see which stick works best for you.