Thursday, 23 May 2019

The Hockey Show - Episode 348

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight to send another couple of people home from Survivor: NHL Playoffs island. With the Stanley Cup Final set and the IIHF World Championships slowly being whittled down to the finalists, we'll go over all of that after sending home the two unlucky tribe members whose torches will be extinguished by Jeff Probst. Getting both Richard and John on the phone tonight should provide good chatter for the first half of the program, so make sure you tune in for a couple of exit interviews that should be entertaining!

As you can see, only Darin and Dianna remain on Survivor: NHL Playoffs island, and we'll send home Richard (SJS) and John (CAR) tonight after their runs came to an untimely end. Once those two have been sent back to the mainland, Beans and I will dig into the Stanley Cup Final and who we'd like to see hoist the Stanley Cup at the end of this series. We'll talk IIHF World Championship with the quarter-final games going today and how Great Britain and Italy shocked the world in the round-robin. We'll take a peek at the Memorial Cup and the action happening out in Halifax this week and into the weekend. We'll touch on the great work by the Blues in incorporating Laila Anderson into the team, and we'll touch on Ottawa's new head coach as DJ Smith was introduced today! It's another busy episode of The Hockey Show tonight at 5:30pm so make sure you join us on UMFM!

Speaking of joining us, the new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

Having lost faith in Facebook, I spend far less time on that site for good reasons. In saying that, you can still email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! We're here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz and Beans send Richard and John off the island before getting into who wins in the NHL, who lost at the IIHF World Championship, who's doing what at the Memorial Cup, who is Laila Anderson, who got hired in Ottawa, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Blues Got A Bigger Boat

I've never seen Roy Scheider wear any St. Louis Blues merchandise, but it's pretty clear that the Blues went out and got a bigger boat following the Game Three "Hand of God" pass that Timo Meier pulled off in overtime. It took six games, but we know who will take to the ice in Game One of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday as the St. Louis Blues will travel to Massachusetts to tangle with the Boston Bruins on TD Garden ice!

With that being said, the scores have been updated for the third round of HBIC Playoff Pool, and I have to say that things are getting mighty interesting with the movement in the pool standings. With only a handful of contestants having skaters left to pick them up additional points, it really came down to who could predict the series the best. The average score for the round from predictions alone was seven points with the median score at eight points (four entrants scored eight points this round), but the highest point total for predictions came from Richard D. who put together a 14-point round! Along with his choice of San Jose's Joe Pavelski as one of his skaters, he closed out the round with a total of 17 points! Well done, Richard!

On the flip side of the coin, with the Sharks now eliminated, there are no skaters left for any entrant for the Stanley Cup Final. That means that the final standings will be solely based on predictions since no skater can affect the outcome other than those playing in the final. Game-winning goal scorers are going to be your go-to if you need to make up ground, so study up on who has been doing all the lamp-lighting and we'll see how this final round concludes!

With that, here is the link to the scoreboard. The final spreadsheet will be available on Friday, May 24 for download, so do your research, listen to the experts (if you think that helps), and make your predictions boldly in a few days!

As for the prizes, it's been a buys week thus far, but I will post the images of the prizes before the start of the Stanley Cup Final. There are some good prizes that I've accumulated, and it appears the top-three finishers will be on-track for some prizes. That being said, I'm always out there looking for more cool stuff, so there may be more by the time I get the images posted. If you're wondering, there is an NHL jersey up for grabs in the prize bag, so make sure you check in this weekend for the prizes!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Holiday Monday

It's a holiday Monday here in the Great White North as we observe Victoria Day. It's actually only observed in Canada and Scotland, but it began as a celebration to honour Queen Victoria's birthday who ruled over the British commonwealth for 63 years, seven months and two days! Upon her passing in 1901, the Canadian parliament took to action and renamed the day of her birth as "Victoria Day". It wasn't until 1952 when the government made Victoria Day on a holiday on the Monday of the week of her birthday, officially giving Canada a long weekend in May. The ironic part is that Quebec, who never really enjoyed falling under British rule, celebrated "Fête de Dollard" from 1918 until 2003 in place of Victoria Day until "Fête de Dollard" was replaced by "Journée nationale des patriotes".

After that quick history lesson on the day, I want to admit that I'm not actually fishing today. Instead, I am taking the day off to get some yard work done because the lawn is starting to turn jungle-like and a few weeks have sprouted from in between the interlocking bricks. That means they need to be pulled and some more sand needs to be applied between them to prevent weed growth and the movement of said bricks. All in all, it's a day outdoors for me that will likely end with some barbecuing and relaxing on the patio!

Enjoy your day where ever you are and doing whatever you're doing. I'm off the grid today, and I'm going to use my time wisely!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 19 May 2019

A Canadian Innovation

You might be wondering what the above thing is and why it's on a blog dedicated to hockey. The item pictured above is called a BIPeR, and it was designed by a team of Montreal university researchers to be used as a puck for visually-impaired players! Hockey, to which most people will attest, is a highly-visual game where tracking the puck on the ice is the ultimate priority for players and fans alike. If you're visually-impaired, tracking the puck visually isn't an option, so how does one track said puck? The BIPeR is designed to solve that problem!

Visually-impaired hockey players often resort to using a tomato juice can or a steel container filled with small balls as a puck because of the audible sound it makes when it moves. It works fairly well when the puck is moving, but how does one find the puck while being visually-impaired when the puck stops moving?

Here's a Global News report on the sport to give you a better idea of how it sounds.

As you can see, the game is a lot noisier with the steel container. And that's where Gilles Ouellet, a blind hockey player and a Universite de Quebec a Montreal employee, put his thinking cap on and went to work in creating a better puck for his sport. Along with a team of researchers, they created the above prototype consisting of a shock-absorbent plastic shell with a battery-powered circuit board that powers sensors that analyze puck movement and transmits the data to a buzzer which makes sounds up to 120 decibels - as loud as a thunderclap!

Steve Vezeau, one of the researchers on the project, said the BIPeR puck has a lifespan of about three games compared to using five tomato juice boxes per game or having steel containers that generally last up to two games. From the looks of it, this puck may change the entire way visually-impaired is played across the world!

"It's going to make the game faster and more interesting," Ouellet stated to The Canadian Press. "And because the puck makes noise when it's in the air, it'll help goalies make more saves."

In a cool related piece of news, by creating the BIPeR puck at the Universite de Quebec a Montreal, the research team won the Impact Award of the Innovation Idea contest at UQAM! How cool is that?

The prototype seems very promising, and the team will need to find a company or partner to mass-produce the pucks for use across the world. The above prototype was financed in part by USA Hockey while the team dreamed and designed it, but USA Hockey likely won't fund the mass production of these pucks. Maybe they can take the two-hour trip to Sherbrooke, Quebec where Inglasco is located? Inglasco, as you may be aware, produces pucks for the NHL, AHL, ECHL, Hockey Canada, and Hockey USA, so this would seem like a logical partnership with firm Canadian roots!

Regardless of what the next steps are, the fact that Canadians are working to make the visually-impaired game better is something of which all Canadians should be proud. While visually-impaired hockey isn't huge in Canada yet, there are teams in Montreal, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver and a dozen teams play in the United States. If the goal for USA Hockey is to organize a nations cup next May with teams possibly from Finland and Sweden joining the event, this puck will go a long way in making the game better and potentially more popular for all fans alike.

While there have been other attempts to make a puck that plays like an actually hockey puck while incorporating some sort of audible element, here's hoping that the BIPeR puck finds its spot on the international stage as the puck of choice by all visually-impaired players!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Just Won't Go Away

It seemed as though all the legal problems that the Ottawa Senators had faced over their arena debacle and the Randy Lee situation had passed. The arena deal is still being negotiated quietly as far as the Senators want anyone to know, and Lee pleaded guilty to the harassment charge brought forth by a 19-year-old male hotel shuttle driver in Buffalo back in December. For the first time in months, it seemed as though the Senators weren't making the news for all the wrong reasons. That is, until yesterday when another lawsuit was dropped on them by that same 19-year-old male hotel shuttle driver who now feels that more people were responsible for causing the entire ordeal with Randy Lee.

According to the new filing, the Ottawa Senators hockey club, Randy Lee, and the bar and grill restaurant known as 716 are being sued for negligence for unspecified damages as the defendant alleges that "the team was aware of Lee's alleged history of lewd behaviour and didn't do enough to stop it" while "the owners of the sports bar and grill should share blame because employees there continued to serve drinks to Lee after he was visibly drunk".

In the new lawsuit, the plaintiff "was injured externally, internally and permanently in and about the head, body, limbs and nervous system so that he became and will continue to be disabled and will continue to suffer pain, discomfort, disfigurement, distress and psychological adjustment, distress and trauma." I somehow think that there a ton of claims in the above sentence that are demonstrably false when it came to having Randy Lee touch the shuttle driver, but if you're going to go for broke in this lawsuit, just claim everything, I guess.

The Sportsnet report linked above states that Lee's lawyer, Paul Cambria, had yet read the lawsuit and declined comment. Dennis Vacco, and attorney for the Ottawa Senators, said that the hockey club would "vigorously fight" this lawsuit, calling it a "frivolous" civil complaint.

I'm not a judge or lawyer, but I have to agree with Vacco in that this lawsuit seems a little far-fetched when you consider the allegations of distress that are made in the filing. The burden of proof will lie with the defendant to illustrate the various injuries and the ongoing distress he claims he will exhibit, but this whole lawsuit seems like a money-grab.

After everything that the Senators have gone through over the last 24 months, here's hoping something finally goes their way because I really don't think this lawsuit has a lot of merit built into it.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!