With all the rumours and speculation swirling around Jim Balsillie's recent foray into the ownership of an NHL team, I'm going to save my thoughts for this weekend where I can devote some serious time to sorting out my thoughts. Needless to say, it is an interesting move by Balsillie, and definitely shows that he may have more moxie than brains when it comes to owning an NHL team. But that's neither here nor there tonight. Instead, I'm cleaning out some of the photos in the old Photobucket account that I've been holding on to, but haven't found a suitable use for yet. Until today. Enjoy the pictures, and tune in this weekend for some serious Balsillie talk. While I'm no lawyer, I do have my thoughts on his recent activities which I'll share.
- Playoff poolies: I apologize. I have been extremely busy over the last week and haven't had time to update the pool. Don't hate on me, please! I will be making updates on Thursday, and we'll see if Mr. Justin St. Louis will hold onto his lead.
- It's always nice to see NHL teams honour people who have made significant contributions to their city or communities. The Chicago Blackhawks did such a thing when they invited actor Dan Aykroyd to be honoured before a game. Except his jersey was wrong. Like way wrong. Aykroyd brought fame to the Chicago blues scene as Elwood Blues in The Blues Brothers, but the Blackhawks have brought a little shame with that effort.
- Remember that scene in Swingers where Vince Vaughn jokes about how Jeremy Roenick will injure Wayne Gretzky during a game of NHL '94? It should come as no surprise that Vaughn is a Blackhawks fan. Vaughn had a great view of the game from those seats in Round One of this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- I'm not as superstitious as some NHL players, but I love my old equipment because it's broken in so well. And it appears that Mike Green is the same way. I'm sure the equipment guy can sew some patches on those gloves, Mike. Or get you a new pair. I mean, that's kind of his job.
- Pretty cool job by someone with some Photoshop skills here. Jim Dowd retired from the NHL this season after having played for 10 teams over his career. What better way to see all the teams that Dowd has played for than a montage of Dowd in all his uniforms?
- The fans of the NHL are second-to-none when it comes to supporting their teams. It's always a great photo when a photographer captures the crowd doing something that looks incredible. The fans at Madison Square Gardens used their Thunderstix to create this magnificent photo during their Round One matchup against Washington. Cool beans!
- Speaking about the Rangers, goaltender Stephen Valiquette wore a Spiderman-themed mask last season as a way to honour New York City. Valiquette went with a new paint job this season, but continued to wear Spiderman proudly on his helmet. The artwork on goalie masks is simply astounding.
- You want to know why I'm against the "Ice Girls" that some teams use? They just don't know when they shouldn't in the crease. Henrik Lundqvist has a long talk with referee Brad Watson over the snow piled up around his crease while the young ladies clear it away. Yes, they're just doing their job, but goaltenders are a quirky bunch and don't need additional distractions to ruin their focus. Which is why Lundqvist probably had a complaint.
- Remember the ProTec masks that some NCAA teams were using? Well, Kevin Miller of the Detroit Red Wings was using one in the NHL in 1992. That's him with the mask as he shakes hands with Tim Donovan of the Blackhawks after the 'Hawks swept them out of the playoffs.
- If we go back to 1982, the Red Wings also used an interesting numerical font on their jerseys. I haven't seen another NHL team use this font, but apparently the Wings did.
- People can rain on light blue as a non-hockey colour all they want, but when it comes to great-looking teams, the Quebec Nordiques are a sight to behold. I love those blue jerseys! Check out a young Ron Tugnutt on the left! There are a number of future NHL stars in that photo from the 1991-92 Nordiques.
- From Game Two in the Pittsburgh-Washington series, can anyone tell me why Ovechkin is wearing Matt Bradley's helmet? This isn't the first time he's done this either. In the series against the New York Rangers, Ovechkin lost his helmet during the play, and went to the bench to retrieve Bradley's helmet. He continued on in the play for about a minute before his helmet was retrieved. Does anyone know why Ovechkin does this?
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!