Friday, 12 October 2018

Talking Hockey

With both men's and women's hockey finally aligning their schedules in Canada West, it's nice to have everything going at once. It feels like hockey season again, and with hockey season comes hockey slang. If you've listened to the broadcasts on Canada West TV or UMFM, you know Kyleigh and myself occasionally use some hockey terms that may not be so apparent without a bit of a primer. "Biscuit in the basket", "flashing the leather", and "going shelf" are a few of the terms you may hear, but there are a pile more that may need a little translating and I'm happy to see the Calgary Dinos doing their part in aiding our viewers and listeners!

I'm not even going to set this one up because it's good. Here are the Calgary Dinos men's and women's hockey teams defining a few key terms you may hear around the rink this winter.
"Apple", "Salad, "Suey", and "Chirp" are all defined, but I'm surprised that captain Paige Michalenko didn't know what "salad" was. You'd think she may have heard that in the past, especially since she usually has the "flow" coming out of her "bucket", but perhaps no one "chirps" Paige about her hair?

In any case, this series should continue with the Dinos. I think they should put out a new video every week prior to their games, but that might be a nightmare for their social media and video people. Nevertheless, the first installment was solid, so let's hope there's a sequel!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Hockey Show - Episode 316

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight with a show that talks some hockey, but will focus on the major event happening tonight and all next week at the ol' radio station as UMFM kicks off its annual week-long pledge drive known as PLEDGE-O-RAMA! We do this every year at the radio station as we ask our listeners to give a little back to our independent transmission that goes out on the 101.5 FM frequency, and it kicks off tomorrow and runs through to next Friday! Our goal this year is $36,000 - entirely achievable, in my view - but we'll need some help from you, my readers and our listeners, to make that happen! Will you lend us some support?

Each year at this time of year at UMFM, we rally the troops for our annual pledge drive known as Pledge-O-Rama! UMFM, for those that are unaware, is a volunteer-driven, non-profit radio station located on the campus of the University of Manitoba where The Hockey Show and other great programming originates. The station has been operating since 1998, and your donations via the Pledge-O-Rama campaigns over the years have allowed UMFM to accomplish a number of goals including upgrading the transmitter (hear us farther!), gaining better technology so we can do things like remote broadcasts (Bisons football and hockey!), and making upgrades to UMFM's in-studio equipment and facilities (hear us clearer!). Basically, the money you donate goes directly into making our programming and our broadcast quality better!

If you're a fan of The Hockey Show, all we ask is if it's within your means to make donation in whatever amount it may be that you can afford so that we can continue to do great things like broadcasting Bisons men's and women's hockey, broadcasting from community arenas and events like we did in London, Ontario where the U SPORTS National Women's Hockey Championship was help, and bring great people on the show like we did all summer. While Beans and I won't see any money directly, UMFM will be using the money this year to set up a digital music library among the projects that have been identified by the Board of Directors so that UMFM continues to break new ground and implement new technology to make your listening experience better!

There are a ton of incentives for donating and UMFM is happy to provide tax receipts as an official non-profit entity in case you need to keep the government from putting their greasy mitts on your hard-earned dollars. When you donate, you can choose the incentive package for which you qualify or the tax receipt, and those will be sent out to you or can be picked up from the radio station itself (note that tax receipts will be produced closer to tax season!). As an incentive this year, The Hockey Show will enter anyone who makes a pledge to our show in excess of $50 into a draw for one of the following beauty prizes:

  1. HOST THE SHOW: you can sit in as a featured host with Teebz and Beans and debate all things hockey on a date of your choosing! We'll give away two of these to be used at any time by the winners within the next calendar year (before next year's Pledge-O-Rama).
  2. WE VISIT YOU: The Hockey Show will come out and do the show from your local rink within southern Manitoba! We'll gather up the gear, make our way out to your local team's rink, promote your team or a team of your choosing on the show, and do our one-hour of craziness from your community! We'll give away two of these to be used at any time by the winners within the next calendar year (before next year's Pledge-O-Rama).
  3. TEAM OF YOUR CHOICE: As you may be aware, The Hockey Show holds its Survivor: NHL Playoffs contest every year. If your name is chosen in the draw and options #1 and #2 don't work for you due to distance or some other factor, we'll give you a chance to call your own shot by selecting the team of your choice in this year's Survivor pool. Once your choice is made, however, there's no going back! The prizing for the winner is always worth more than $50, so your pledge may pay off in a big way if you choose your team wisely! There is one of these incentives to be won.

If you prefer social media, we try to remain up-to-speed there! Email all show questions and comments to! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Tonight, Teebz and Beans talk a little hockey, give you information on how to see a concert for free, talk about your pledges and why they're important, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the web stream!

PODCAST: October 11, 2018: Episode 316

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

All Good Things

It has been said time and again that all good things must come to an end. No, I'm not eulogizing this blog just yet, but I have decided to make some changes surrounding this blog that might be for the best. I've worked hard to keep people informed by using this blog, and to make that happen I was using my social media channels as promotional tools for the articles written here. Of note, with all the things that Facebook has done in the last few years regarding selling and allowing access to personal information from its users to third-party application developers to the hacks it has suffered to its insistence on adding advertisements, features, and news to timelines, it might be time to curb some social media usage for this writer.

While none of my personal information seems to have been bought or leaked, I'm quite comfortable in not having a personal Facebook account. Having a blog-based Facebook account that legitimately only had friends of this blog, accounts from pro hockey teams, and a handful of outside interests was fun, but there is so much garbage littering my timeline that I no longer find it useful.

I've taken the necessary steps to thin the herd on my Facebook timeline. I'd unfollowed accounts I once followed. I've remained friends with some people, but I have turned off their news feeding into my timeline. I've completely walked away from all pro hockey teams since they do nothing but clutter my timeline with the same news stories day after day and week after week. It's become a lot quieter on Facebook, but it's still not quiet enough.

Allow me to present Thomas Haden Church with my view on Facebook.
It makes it hard to get caught up with people you haven't seen for days, weeks, or months when they're posting their every activity to Facebook and/or other social media platforms. The art of a conversation is something that seemingly has been lost when I know exactly what one has been doing for the last few days, so why would I bother reaching out and finding out what one has been up to? If you know me, that's not who I am. I tend to be very social, and I enjoy engaging in a conversation and hearing about the yins and yangs in my friends' lives. Instead, we see every minute detail of people's lives on social media, so my asking you becomes redundant.

I don't use Instagram, I don't take selfies, and I don't post many images of myself on social media. I loathe being tagged in anything, and I often turn notifications off on my phone for everything except vital functions. Here's where a lot of people will find fault in me, but I don't care about your photos either. I know what your kids look like, I know what you look like, and I'm happy that you're experiencing life, but I want to get together with you and discuss all these things rather than seeing them on some social media site. I want to cultivate relationships, not add to your "Like" totals.

At the end of the day, people seemingly are craving social interactions from anyone rather than the very people they should be seeking that interaction from - friends and family. They count their likes and followers rather than fostering new friendships and maintaining current ones. People want to text rather than talk on the phone. I've been told to "send me a snap" from people I've just met rather than exchanging phone numbers despite those people needing a phone to use SnapChat. My brain struggles with this, and I am left rather discouraged by these interactions.

Like the teens in this article from The Guardian, less is more for me.
While many of us have been engrossed in the Instagram lives of our co-workers and peers, a backlash among young people has been quietly boiling. One 2017 survey of British schoolchildren found that 63% would be happy if social media had never been invented. Another survey of 9,000 internet users from the research firm Ampere Analysis found that people aged 18-24 had significantly changed their attitudes towards social media in the past two years. Whereas 66% of this demographic agreed with the statement "social media is important to me" in 2016, only 57% make this claim in 2018. As young people increasingly reject social media, older generations increasingly embrace it: among the 45-plus age bracket, the proportion who value social media has increased from 23% to 28% in the past year, according to Ampere's data.

Look, I can sit here and preach about how we all need to look up from our phones, tablets, and laptops once in a while, but I have been just as guilty as the next person. It's becoming far more appranent, however, that I need to start doing what I have stated above - more real, authentic relationships in real-life with less social media posting and checking. I'm not saying that I won't go on Twitter where I do a lot of networking to see if I can grab a guest or two for The Hockey Show, but I will do less liking and retweeting on social media and less messaging on Facebook and via text, replacing those interactions with more phone calling and real-life meetings.

The older I get, the more I realize that these real-life friendships and relationships are the only "likes" that matter.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

That Can't Be Right, Can It?

Occasionally, I find myself shaking my head in disbelief at what is found on social media. I appreciate those who try to bring news and information to the masses, but there are times when things are lost in translation or information is disseminated incorrectly. It's always a good idea to go to the source for said information when possible, and there were statistics posted on social media today that needed a little sourcing due to the unfathomable numbers posted. Let me be clear: this is in no way an attack on the person who posted the stats. It's simply a "check your sources" article because I had to double-take the information presented. And the tweeter? He was right.

Here is the tweet I am referencing, and I hold Patrick in the highest esteem for the work he does in bringing Russian hockey news to light via social media.
64-11? 28-0? That seems rather impossible, so I immediately needed to verify those numbers. After all, it's not like Salavat Yulaev is a terrible team, and Avangard Omsk hasn't really put together an SKA-esque team of all-stars.

Like I said, I hold Patrick in the highest esteem, and it seems his reporting is accurate if the KHL boxscore is to be believed.
According the linked boxscore, Avangard spent just 8:10 in the attacking zone in the second period where they put 28 shots on Salavat Yulaev's netminder Juha Metsola while Salavat had just 1:43 of time in the offensive zone, registering zero shots. They attempted five shots as there were five blocked shots recorded, but to be outshot 28-0 in a period is the very definition of embarrassing as a team.

The crazy part? Salavat Yulaev, as Patrick reported, won this game 3-2 despite being outshot 64-11! Dmitry Kugryshev scored at 11:45 and 14:45 while teammate Vyacheslav Solodukhin chipped in a goal at 15:38 to stake Salavat to a 3-0 lead on four shots as Avangard head coach Bob Hartley saw enough of Igor Bobkov and his .250 save percentage at that point, replacing him with Alexei Murygin. That 11.51 GAA in this game looks nothing like his season goals-against average of 1.74 along with a .924 save percentage, so it seems Bobkov was having an off-night in a rather spectacular way. Despite being outshot 15-5, Salavat held a 3-0 lead over Avangard after 20 minutes.

During that insanity known as the second period, David Desharnais scored and Maxim Chudinov added another goal on the power-play, so Avangard went 2-for-28 in this period. They posted a shooting percentage of 7.14% on a total number of shots that most teams average in a game, but Avangard trailed 3-2 after holding a 43-5 advantage in shots!

Yes, forty-three to five. You're reading that correctly. They scored twice on 43 shots - a 4.65% shooting percentage - while Salavat had three goals on five shots - a 60.0% shooting percentage - through two periods of play.

There were no goals scored in the third period as Avangard pummeled Salavat with shots again, winning the shot count by a 21-6 margin. Karill Semyonov led Avangard in shots with nine, but defenceman Cody Franson was right behind him with eight! Yes, former NHLer Cody Franson had eight shots in 22:13 of work while Sergei Shirokov, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks, led the forwards in time-on-ice at 21:34, but recorded a total of zero shots in the game.

Let me rephrase that: Cody Franson had 1/8th of Avangard's total shots in this game and scored zero times while Sergei Shirokov - eight goals already this season - didn't even put a puck on net to tie Franson in offensive output. If one removes David Desharnais' goal and assist on five shots, the former NHL players suiting up for Avangard would have recorded one assist on 19 shots. That's simply awful.

Kudos to Juha Metsola, goaltender for Salavat Yulaev, who stopped 96.9% of the shots he faced in this game. While there's no doubt that Salavat needs to tighten up their defensive game slightly - UNDERSTATEMENT MUCH? - the Finnish goaltender might be someone that Team Finland considers for future international tournaments. He's currently 9-2-0 with a 1.76 GAA and a .943 save percentage, and that's slightly better than his KHL career totals of a 2.07 GAA and a .929 save percentage. Imagine how good Metsola could be with a little defensive help!

A big stick-tap to Patrick for pointing out these rather staggering numbers from today's KHL games! Keep up the great work in keeping us informed about Russian hockey!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 8 October 2018

Canadian Turkey Day

It's Turkey Day in Canada, and that means it's a holiday for many today. I would be included in that group, and I am officially not doing hockey stuff today. There are games being played, but I'm going to relax, overindulge a little, and take a day off from everything - life, work, hockey, all of it.

With me getting slightly fatter off great food like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, beets, and other delectable delights, I just want to say thanks to all those who stop by this place of craziness. I appreciate your readership, and I hope you'll keep coming back!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!