this week: encore des maux de tête et des raideurs au cou

Fallguy: Philadelphia forward Scott Hartnell published his first children’s book this week. It’s the story of a hockey player who falls down a lot but (spoiler alert) always gets back up again. For more information, visit:
http://shop.hartnelldown.com/products/hartnelldown-children-s-book.

Jay Feaster lost his job this week as GM of the Calgary Flames. Stepping up in his place was Brian Burke, whose torrid hair made big news when he went to meet the press.

“We want black-and-blue hockey here, that’s what we do in Alberta,” Burke mentioned. “We’ve got to be big and more truculent — I know you’re all waiting for the word, there it is. I want a little more hostility out there than what I’m seeing right now.”

He said he wasn’t kissing babies, i.e.: “I’m not running for office. This is about winning hockey games. And I have to take the steps that I think are going to lead us to win the most hockey games we can win.”

“I’m tellin the real world what goes on,” is something Don Cherry said, this week.

Bob Cole watched a Chicago goalie take the net for his first NHL minutes in Toronto on Saturday night, Kent Simpson was his name, 21, from Edmonton, the score was 5-2 for the Leafs and Finnish rookie Antti Raanta had done all that he could do for the Blackhawks, and the first shot that Toronto took, it was Joffrey Lupul, passed Simpson by, and Cole said, “Ya gotta feel sad for that young man.”

Brian Burke: “Easier to fill out the roster with bangers than skill players. Anyone can paint a barn.”

In New York, the Rangers continued to falter. Katie Strang of ESPN heard about it from defenceman Ryan McDonagh. “The hockey gods are testing us,” he told her.

Larry Brooks from The New York Post wrote about the Rangers’ Derek Stepan who, in his struggles, hadn’t scored a goal in ten games. A non-factor, Brooks called him. Maybe was he, quote, playing his way off the U.S. Olympic Team?

“Enough is enough,” Stepan said. “I have to score.”

About his team, he said this: “Our confidence is really fragile. We’re so fragile.” Continue reading

#therealseasonbegins

The hockey players were eating and tweeting on the weekend, just like everybody. “Team dinner with the boys and staff,” @tylerseguin92 thumbed. “Must be getting close to playoffs. Excited for the real season to begin.” They were at home, kicking back, watching a little golf. @BrandonPrust8: “Happy easter! Wishin everyone health, happiness, family, n lots of chocolate!! enjoyin the masters on my couch.”

Their mood was upbeat. Did anyone capture the mood better than @malkin71? “Спасибо всем!!!Спасибо за вашу поддержку,переживания и теплые слова-хороший сезон,но впереди самое интересное)))Хорошего Вам настроения)))[i]” They were joyful and they were reverent. “Happy Easter everyone! #HEISRISEN,” tootled @mikefisher1212 from down Nashville way. @D_Booth7 joined in from Vancouver, (sic): “As He stands in victory sins curse as lost it’s grip on me! Today is why I’m a Christain! Happy Easter.” What a great bunch: even those with no hope for hockey resurrection were spreading the love. “Thank you #NHL fans especially #leafsnation,” twiddled Toronto’s own @JLupul. “You are what makes this game fun to play. See you next year. Can’t wait.”

Thanks, Joffrey. See you then. In the meantime, we’ll stick with the others — wait a minute, where’s everybody going? Because that was the other thing they were doing on their smart phones over Easter: signing off. @HLundqvist30: “Hey guys! No twitter during playoffs.” Teammate @BRichards_1991: “Gonna take a break from Tweeting during playoffs. Hopefully it will be a long break! Can’t wit to start!” Or was it just the New York Rangers? @MGaborik10: “Twitter off for playoffs! Wish us luck. #therealseasonbegins.”

Yes, it’s true, the time for tweetering and good cheer is over: 300 days after the Stanley Cup was hoisted over Vancouver’s ice, not far from Vancouver’s civic unrest, the time has come again for a new round of playoffs to start. Continue reading