Monday, 12 November 2012

Memories Of Patty Stefan

There's something about an empty net that seems so inviting, yet presents itself so dangerously. On one hand, a simple deposit of the puck into the yawning cage will undoubtedly ice a game and send your team home happy with a win in their pockets. On the other, however, is a lifetime of sports highlight reels replaying your most agonizing moment over and over as you struggle mightily to put the round disc into the vacated net. Without doubt, an empty net should be handled carefully.

Patrik Stefan and Craig Smith are two of the more memorable NHL misses when it comes to an open net, but there was another missed opportunity this weekend when Team Finland appeared to have everything under control against Team Sweden.
Sakari Salminen demonstrates the exact move you certainly don't want to make when breaking in alone on an empty net. I've seen enough empty net goals to tell you this, readers: shoot low for the middle bar! Heck, if you're on a breakaway, just skate the puck right into the net!

Kids, if you have a chance to ice a game, the best advice I can give you is to stop trying to wow the fans with a fancy goal, and just put the game away. There's nothing wrong with burying a puck into the heart of the net rather than trying to play posts like Salminen tried.

Middle of the net. Skate it in. Put it across the red line and bulge the twine just as the picture at the top of this article shows. Empty nets are not to be feared, but one must handle the situation with care.

MO' BRO: There's actually a pair of Mo' Bros being added to the list today because I didn't think I should include this feature on a day such as Remembrance Day. Mike Gartner, Wendel Clark, Dirk Graham, Grant Fuhr, Dennis Maruk, Larry Robinson, Mike Ramsey, Derek Sanderson, Lanny McDonald, Bryan Trottier... and two additional moustachioed men today! Let's find out who!

Dave Babych played for a number of teams over his career, but that moustache never quit. Babych suited up for the Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings over his 19 NHL seasons. He was voted in as a starter for the 1983 Campbell Conference All-Stars, and would suit up in the '84 All-Star Game as well. While generally overlooked as an offensive defenceman, Babych managed to rack up 723 points in 1195 NHL games - pretty good for a guy who played for a number of weaker teams! And trough it all, Dave Babych wore that stylish moustache throughout his NHL career!

This Mo' Bro All-Star squad needs some toughness, so why not go with a man who was nicknamed "The Hammer"? Dave Schultz wore a great moustache while being one of the most feared players in the NHL. He still holds the NHL single-season record for PIMs with 472, and he was a main cog in the legendary Broadstreet Bullies. Schultz helped the Philadelphia Flyers win two Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975, and his reputation as a feared pugilist grew again after he began wrapping his knuckles in boxing wraps. After the idea grew to where players were wrapping their fists just so they could fight, the NHL enacted the "Schultz rule" that prevented players from using boxing wraps. 200 points in 575 NHL games shows that Schultz also had some pretty good hands when they weren't balled up into fists! Schultz suited up for the Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres over his 11-year NHL career.

So there are your TWO Mo' Bro All-Stars today: Dave Babych and Dave Schultz! A pair of Daves, and a pair of great 'staches!If you want to get in on the action, head over to the Movember page and get registered so your 'stache can stand amongst these great 'staches!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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