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Posts Tagged ‘hockey’

Bruins Win, Vancouver Riots, Rest of Canada Vomits

June 16, 2011 5 comments

Vancouver riots from June 15, 2011. Via Mashable.

It was a sad scene in Vancouver last night.

After a disappointing loss to the Bruins, the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Boston Bruins took home the most awesome of sports trophies, and y’know what? They deserved it.

The Canucks showed throughout the series that they lacked the grit, determination and heart required to be NHL Champions.

Boston, on the other hand, fought back from a 2 game deficit to win in Game 7. Good for them.

But the Bruins excellent play was overshadowed by the embarrassing display of some Canucks fans after the game.

As the rest of Canada watched, all we could do was shake our heads.

It is unfair to blame the entire city of Vancouver for the behaviour of a small number of ass-holes, but the blemish to Canada’s pride will not go away soon.

I’m ashamed that the people in these videos call themselves “Canadian”. The Stanley Cup Finals is when Canada is supposed to shine. It is when our nation and our game gets attention on a world-wide stage.

Instead, drunken losers have stolen the spotlight by acting like overgrown children playing with fire.

The situation is made worse by the fact many people have been hurt. Lacerations and even stabbings have been reported at the local hospital, further making these events a giant hit to our national pride.

But as I said, it is important not to blame an entire city for the actions of a relative few. In fact, a Facebook group called ‘Post-Riot Cleanup – Let’s Help Vancouver‘ currently has over 14,000 members.

So it is a dark day for Canadians. We try so hard to live up to our reputations of polite, mild-mannered yet fun-loving people. And although we do love beer and hijinx as much as the next guy, we rarely act like total morons like those rioters in Vancouver.

But on the bright side, the next hockey season is less than 4 months away :)

 

Its Official! Go Jets!

May 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Its official. True North Sports and Entertainment is about to have a press conference to announce their purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers.

They have already told the Winnipeg Free Press that the deal has been finalized.

The sale still has to be voted on by the Board of Governors in a few weeks, but that vote is expected to go smoothly.

Also, the name of the team won’t be announced today. That seems to indicate to me that the team will not be called the ‘Jets’, but will take on the name of Winnipeg’s current AHL affiliate team, the Manitoba Moose.

But that is speculation. What is for sure though, is that Canada now has 7 NHL teams.

Awe. Some.

Happy Birthday Hockey!

March 3, 2011 1 comment

While the exact origins of the greatest game on the planet (and Canada’s national game) are very much disputed, the very first organized hockey game took place 136 years ago today!

According to a media missive written by Earl Zukerman in The Globe and Mail today, the  first game was played at Victoria skating rink in Montreal on March 3, 1875.

Fancy Ball at the Victoria Rink, Montreal, 186...

Fancy Ball at the Victoria Rink, Montreal, 1865 - Image via Wikipedia

It was also the very first game which used a wooden puck instead of a rubber ball. Yet another claim to fame of the game is it was the first instance of a hockey brawl, at least according to Wikipedia:

This fighting was not between the on-ice combatants, rather, it was between the hockey players and spectators and members of the Skating Club. Members of the Skating Club were opposed to the use of the skating rink for hockey as it took away hours from other skating activities and it damaged the ice quality.

Whenever I write about a topic that is not quite science related, I find a very vague way to link it to something scientific; because science is, of course, all around us! (possibly the nerdiest thing a person can say). So I actually found this article published today that does a pretty decent job explaining some of the physics of ice skating. It’s actually quite a complicated system, with many different concepts playing a role.

Regardless of when and where it originated exactly, hockey remains Canada’s undisputed national pastime.

Go Leafs!

New Guinness World Record: Largest Maple Leaf

November 18, 2010 12 comments

Joseph Donato Finds World's Largest Maple Leaf. From the Globe and Mail

Perhaps as an omen to the imminent winning streak of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a 9 year-old boy in Pickering, Ontario has discovered the world’s largest maple leaf.

The Guinness Book of World Records will be creating a new category for the maple leaf, which measures about 13-inches across.

Joseph Donato says there is a downside to finding the world’s largest leaf, however (from the Globe and Mail story):

“People are jealous at school,” he confided, and they’re trying to find bigger leaves.

Only in the great nation of Canada would this story make national news. Though I must admit, that leaf is pretty damn big.

Go Leafs!

Toronto Maple Leafs' ice hockey jersey.

Image via Wikipedia

Why It Pains Me to Watch the World Cup

July 3, 2010 Leave a comment

This is usually a science blog. But with the World Cup on, I think I’ll digress…

I’m from Canada, but my grandparents come from Holland. So you’ll find me walking the streets in my Oranje jersey during the World Cup (take THAT Brazil!).

Football (or ‘Soccer’, as it is called in my homeland) is a physically intense, strategic sport.

It requires teamwork, thoughtful planning and well-timed execution. I have the utmost respect for the endurance and pressure faced by soccer players from all nations.

Between World Cups though, I don’t watch a lot of soccer. Its not a very popular sport here, and by the time the World Cup runs  around, I start to wonder why.

Unfortunately, it only takes about 10 minutes of watching the first game in the group stage to remember exactly why.

Sit around a pub table with a group of Canadians while watching soccer, and this is what you’ll hear:

“Ugh, what a baby!”

“He called THAT a foul!?!”

“Get the hell up! He barely touched you!”

“What the hell is he crying for?”

Canadians are tough. Thats not me being arrogant, its a fact. Look at Steve Nash in the NBA. How many other basketball players would play when their face looks like this?

And how about hockey? That just speaks for itself.

So we can’t stand it to see people diving, falling, and crying. Its a sport. Grow up and be a sportsman.

Whats even more frustrating is FIFA, which doesn’t want to do a damn thing to fix the sport. How bout 2 referees? Nope.

And now with those two really controversial goals for England and Mexico, people are screaming for video replay. But what is FIFA’s response?

They say it will interfere with the “flow” of the game, because soccer is a game that “never stops”. Bullshit!

Maybe the clock doesn’t stop, but the action stops probably just as often, if not more so, than in hockey. The ball goes out of bounds, some moron decides to showcase his diving skills, players ignore the play and throw up their arms at the referee trying to get a phantom handball called. All this interferes with the “flow” of the game, and no one seems to care.

The play stops all the time, so your game is no better than anyone else’s. And for a game like soccer, it would only take 15-20 seconds to check the replay and see if the ball crossed the goal line, or if the attacking player was offside. These are obvious calls on a TV monitor, but are very difficult for a single referee and his assistants.

So FIFA, please do what you can to improve your game. Because we in Canada are huge sports fans, and we appreciate the good things about your sport. But my god, quit diving and play the freakin’ game!