Haven’t heard of soap hockey yet? That’s okay, because it appears to be a brand new thing. If you love hot summer days, sore tailbones, mild concussions, and hours of hilarity, then this sport is for you! (Yes, we know that’s a very unusual combination of things to “love”).
Whoever invented this sport deserves a spot in the backyard barbecue hall of fame.
Possibly inspired by Dennis Wideman?
Taylor Crosby may not be as accomplished in hockey as her older brother Sid, yet, but the junior goalie for the St Cloud State University Huskies made headlines this past week because of her college athletic bio.
I love our Captain… but I also love how his sister’s college hockey team addresses him in her team bio: pic.twitter.com/ZjjZxvQ1dW
— Jody 🌼 (@jlhorn33) July 14, 2017
The bio reads, “Daughter of Troy and Trina Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia…Older brother Sidney also plays hockey”.
Seems like a bit of an understatement…
Hockey fans had their eyes on the young guns of the hockey world on June 23, 2017, for the annual NHL Entry Draft. One of the most anticipated build-ups of the hockey season is finding out which player will be the top selected player in the draft, and unlike in past years, this years draft did not have a consensus projected #1 overall pick. Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier was the big question of the night, and ultimately Hischier came out on top. The pride of being selected first overall is now over, and players look forward to the next chapter of their career which will be to crack a roster spot with their respective teams.
Pressure is on. Inspired by the draft, today we will be looking at the worst first overall picks in recent NHL history.
- Patrik Stefan
You may be asking yourself “who?”. The 1999 first overall pick by the Atlanta Thrashers had one of the most infamous plays in NHL history. Once you see the video, you’ll know who he is…
- Alexandre Daigle
Daigle was selected first overall in 1992 by the Ottawa Senators, and he actually had a decent NHL career (616 games played, 327 points). His career was cursed by his, hmm, not so well thought-out quote after being chosen by Ottawa, “I’m glad I got drafted first, because no one remembers no. 2”. Since we know you’re wondering, Chris Pronger was selected second overall that year.
- Rick DiPietro
First overall selection by the New York Islanders in 2000, DiPietro’s career was plagued with injury. From his knee, to hip, to groin, and even having dealt with concussion issues, DiPietro was a total band-aid. Salt in the wounds – Islanders traded Luongo because they thought DiPietro was the starting goalie of their future. More salt in the wounds – in 2006, Islanders signed DiPietro to a 15-year deal worth $67.5 million; Islanders bought him out in 2013 and will be paying him $1.5 million per year (not against the cap) until 2029.
- Nail Yakupov
Jury is still out on this one, but the evidence in his case isn’t very strong. Yakupov was a flashy forward with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, and showed promise of having Pavel Bure-like skills. Things haven’t gone as planned for Yakupov, as he was traded away from Edmonton (the team that drafted him) to St Louis, where he only dressed for 40 games. St Louis let him go to free agency and he ended up signing with Colorado, a 1-year deal worth $875,000.
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.”