Friday, January 31, 2014

My Three Favorite Things of this Week

We may know why Alex Ovechkin did not participate in the Capitals optional skate in Columbus on Wednesday. It appears that he and some teammate were too busy playing ball hockey in the lockerroom. That right! Ovi dressed in Michal Neuvirth's new pads in a game of locker room ball hockey. But, this was not the first time that Ovi dawned the goaltending gear. The last time he suited up he was defending the Caps net in practice with make-a-wish kid Sam Jacobson.

As the 2014 Sochi Olympics draw near there have been tons of announcements; from team rosters to team Captains but my most favorite has been hockey equipment of the Sochi Olympics. Bauer fans listen up! Back in December the hockey equipment manufacture Bauer introduced "OD1N". This new high-tech line of equipment will outfit a few elite hockey players at the winter games. Bauer was able to lighten the skates, protective gear and the goalie equipment by one-third. Through a combination of tech-friendly composite materials, compression-molded foam and 3D optical scanning to personalize the equipment these six players wear has been compared to the outfits of superhero's. Keep your eye open for these players at the 2014 Sochi Olympics to check out the equipment: Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks/Team Canada), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks/Team USA), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals/Team Sweden, Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals/Team Russia, Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers/Team Canada) and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers/Team Sweden).

Last but not least my favorite Philadelphia Flyer Zac Rinaldo returned to the Flyers bench on Thursday after being out for 10 games with a high-ankle sprain. Rinaldo always brings high energy, head coach Craig Berube is looking for him to watch his hitting, being such a powerful player he ends up in the penalty box far too often. Rinaldo began the night on Thursday with 101 penalty minutes and a minus 12 rating. Rinaldo has been looking good all season and his biggest down fall is his lack of discipline that comes at the most in opportune times. The time out of the game for Rinaldo apparently gave him time to reflect and he came back knowing what he had to do and focused. Glad to have Rinaldo back on the ice, even if he's stirring the pot.


Friday, January 17, 2014

My Three Favorite things this week

Check out my three favorite things from this week:

The Washington Capitals are taking fan experience to the next level with Google Glass. By now everyone has heard of the new technology but how would your experience be enhanced if you could be hands free but still hooked into your device? The Capitals will be the first pro team to launch Skybox Google Glass coming soon to the Washington Capitals home games.

  Check out what happened at the San Jose Sharks v. Washington Capitals game on January 14th right off of the face-off during the first period between Mike Brown and Aaron Valpatti. These boys kept the fists flying as they made contact with each other over and over again. A good old fashion beating, that ended in blood soaked jerseys. These boys get NHL best fight of the week. Pulling heart strings all over the world Children’s wish recipient Braden Nienaber tossed out Buffalo Sabres captain Steve Ott from the ceremonial puck drop. This is what hockey is all about, check out this super cute clip:
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Don't underestimate the Fly Boys

The Philadelphia Flyers have had a rocky start to the season, game after game they struggled to compete. But now in the New Year they are just flourishing. Their games are far from perfect and they still have a lot of work to do but when it comes down to the wire they have been coming up with the W time and time again. During the first half of the season it seemed as if the Flyers would fall to the bottom of the rankings and never really be heard from again. But, they have surged up through their division and have been holding on to 2nd place right above the New York Rangers/ Washington Capitals who are right on their heels.

The Flyers have little chance of catching up to the Pittsburgh Penguins who lead the division with 65 points while the Flyers sit at 50, the Rangers at 47 and Capitals at 46. But, the Flyers are slowly gaining confidence and raising their level of competition. The Penguins underestimated the Flyers earlier this season and the Flyers were able to beat them during a time when the Flyers weren’t able to string together wins. The Flyers are not a team that anyone should be underestimating, especially after last night’s performance where they broke their first period slump and took advantage of the first 20 minutes playing against the Montreal Canadiens.

Right now, half way through the season the Flyers are just figuring it out and I think that they will be able to take this surge straight into the playoffs. With Claude Giroux not making the cut for Canadian’s Olympic team he won’t have distractions to hold him back. A hand full of Flyers have been named to represent their respective countries at the Olympics this year: Jakub Voracek will represent the Czech Republic for the first time which will boost his performance upon return.  Mark Streit, an Olympic veteran will be gearing up for his 4th trip to represent Switzerland. Youngster Michael Raffl has been named to Austria’s Olympic team. And, last night we saw this Olympian notch an assist on every goal scored by the Flyers, Andrej Meszaros will be representing Slovakia.

The nearly 2 week break for the Olympics comes at a key time for the Flyers.  If they can continue their performance level, enjoy a break or a momentum boost for those competing in the Olympics, this could just add to how dangerous this team could become. It’s always a good feeling for a team when a D-man like Zac Rinaldo scores, he does his job well and scoring a goal last night was the cherry on top. The Flyers are not trying to become 1st in their division, all they have to do is get into the playoffs.  They have already beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, so if they can get in they have a realistic chance at the cup.

This team is not done surprising us. In the next few weeks they will be staying right above all of the competition. The key to their win last night was that they took advantage of the 1st period.  Often the Flyers have come onto the ice flat footed and blew the first period. But, their sloppiness could be their down fall, as seen last night when they had a few bad line changes which gave way to a goal for the Canadiens. The Flyers need to take the lead early, surge through a full 60 minute game and they will win time and time again. From the worst start in years to 2nd seeded in their division and a record 10 game winning streak at home, the Flyers are ones to watch.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Flyers skate into the New Year as a HOT team

After a great road trip through Canada served as their launching pad into the New Year, the Philadelphia Flyers have not been a disappointment. Seeded 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, this is a spot no one  but their fearless captain Claude Giroux would have put the Flyers in after their poor performance at the beginning of the season.  Giroux never lost faith in his team and that showed last night against the Phoenix Coyotes when he netted a security goal late in the 3rd period to win the game 5-3.  Finally they are looking like a team, learning how to win and even how to come back in the 3rd period.

“Chief took a timeout, gave us a little shit and since then we started to play better,” said Voracek.

A timely time out and a perfectly placed fight by Rosehill vs. Bissonnette gave the Flyers the momentum change that they needed to turn the game around. All the pieces began to come together for the team after the time out, a game that they started flat footed and a momentum change that they Flyers were able to grab onto and use to their advantage.


“We are learning how to win and we’re learning how to stay in games and we’re learning how to turn things around. When you do that you can steal points here and there and it was a big one for us. Good way to end the road trip,” said Rosehill.

The Flyers have catapulted themselves into the top 3 of the Metropolitan Division and everyone will be looking for them to stay there for the rest of the season bouncing between 2nd and 3rd place. Right now we could be looking at the 3 teams that will be heading to the post-season. The comeback performances that this Flyers team has demonstrated makes them look like a completely different team than the team on the ice earlier this season.  Hopefully, they can maintain this rhythm and steal more points. The Flyers will be facing another Metropolitan Division team on Tuesday, not far from home as they travel to New Jersey to play the Devils.  The Flyers need to come in ready and rested on Tuesday. They need to take control early on and keep their foot on the gas. It's a winnable game for the team if they keep the momentum going.

For more from Erica follow @TheAmateurFan on twitter



Thursday, January 2, 2014

NHL players say the darndest things on Twitter: New Year's 2014 edition

Lately I have been fascinated with what NHL players post on twitter during the holidays. So, early New Year’s morning as I scrolled through my twitter feed a few of those types of tweets caught my attention. A total of 11 games were played in the NHL on New Year’s Eve and whether winner or loser, it was New Year’s Eve and time to ring in 2014. I don’t follow many players so I did some investigation and found the best tweets from some of the more active social media aficionado’s.

Philadelphia Flyers, were winners and Jakub Voracek (@jachobe) had some strong thoughts to share after they extended their winning streak to three while on their road trip. It’s no secret that the Flyers started off with a pretty poor season but they have been able to turn it around.  It’s been a miracle and they have now clinched the 3rd seed in the Metropolitan division, only 2 points ahead on the competition.  These were the only thoughts he shared on New Year’s Eve, I hope the #hugewin helped him have a great night!

Next I bring you Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65). The Ottawa Senators did not play on New Year’s Eve, they played on New Year’s Eve eve and they won. That win did not seem to influence Karlsson’s tweet of “Fuck 2013” which he has since deleted from a little tweet remorse. After making it to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs earlier in 2013, the Senators now sit in 6th seed of the Atlantic division and are 10 points out of a spot in the playoffs. Karlsson has also struggled with long term injuries, only a few guesses on why his 2013 sucked so much. Hope this guy has a better 2014!
Bryan Bickell (@bbicks29), left winger for the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks has had a great 2013. A key player on the Blackhawks team, his strong play helped the team hoist the Stanley Cup in June. Bickell registered 17 points and 9 goals, including the game- tying goal in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. Bickell re-signed a 4 year contract with the Blackhawks for $16 million. The Blackhawks won their last game before the New Year and are at the top of the Central Division and looks like they will be headed to the play offs again in 2014. If that wasn’t enough to make his 2013 an amazing year, Bickell wed his longtime girlfriend Amanda Caskenette in August. All that being said, his tweet is on point:

Teammate Andrew Shaw (@shwa5er), also still beaming from the Stanley Cup win and the Blackhawks continued success in 2013 echoed Bickell on New Years day with a tweet:
Matt Kassian (@kassassination) must be a very optimistic guy or just a great sense of humor from the sound of his twitter handle. Also a member of the Ottawa Senators, Kassian’s New Year’s Eve tweets were positive, he was maybe even making fun of himself a little but savoring some last minute 2013 goals. He was definitely picking on a not so happy Erik Karlsson a little who debuted in the background of his New Year’s Eve photo.

As several teams were playing on New Year's Eve, the Phoenix Coyotoes (@phoenixcoyotes) tweeted Happy New Year's post win with a photo of the team and fans celebrating.
In transit during the biggest party of the year, these St. Louis Blues players were not going to let New Year's Eve pass without celebration. Ian Cole (@ICole28) tweeted a photo from his airplane seat with a teammate.
Funny man TJ Oshie (@OSH74) has a lot to look forward to in 2014.  Recently posting a photo of his girl getting a "Christmas Utlrasound" and being named to the US Olympic team on New Years day, 2014 will be filled with excitement for him.
Definitely give this active guy a follow on twitter. The self acclaimed on-ice assailant, power play specialist and minister of moustachery: George Parros (@GeorgeParros) appeared a little down in the dumps in this picture he posted to twitter after the Montreal Canadiens lost their New Year's Eve game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

There were several tweets about two other events on New Year's day. One was the Outdoor Winter Classic in Michigan, where the Toronto Maple Leafs faced the Detroit Red Wings. Following the game the 2014 U.S Olympic Hockey team was announced. To see more tweets from your favorite hockey players visit:
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