28 May 2006

A Little Bulldog Told Me...

... that today is Runnin' with the Dogs' ace reporter/prognosticator DA's birthday today. I won't tell you how old he is, but it does rhyme with nifty. And thrifty. And it certainly doesn't rhyme with young.

Happy Birthday, Daddy-o. Just think, without your influence, I'd never be a 'Dogs fan. And if I wasn't a 'Dogs fan, this blog wouldn't exist. And if this blog didn't exist, no one would be telling the whole internet how old you are.

The Daughter You Are Ashamed to Sit With at Hockey Games

27 May 2006

An Actual Post Based on Fact

At a Bulldog ceremony second only to the Oscars in glitz and glamour, the post-season awards were handed out.

Tim Stapleton, resplendent in Christian Dior, took home the highest honor, Most Valuable Player. In his speech, he thanked his family, his linemates, and, with a tear in his eye, the makers of the movie Youngblood.

Young superstar Mason Raymond was named Rookie of the Year (not to be confused with the Rookie of the Year from this previous RWD story, who is neither young nor a superstar). Mason strutted down the maroon and gold carpet in Armani Black Label. He spoke eloquently of his appreciation for all the nicknames the fans have made for him, and thanked RWD for making him one of our "guys."

The sleeper hit of the evening was Nate Ziegelmann, named Most Improved Player. Ziegelmann, of Grand Forks, ND, was dressed head to toe in functional and fashionable Carhartt apparel. Ziegelmann wanted especially to thank the defensive corps for waking up and actually trying during the games he played, and he also thanked his comrades between the pipes, Isaac Reichmuth and Josh Johnson, for taking a chance on a young kid with a dream.

The final award of the night, Most Inspirational Player, went to Andrew Carroll. No. 20 tread the fibers in Ralph Lauren, and brought the house down with his speech. By "the house," I mean "the DECC," although that might have been falling down all along. It was a touching moment for all. Even Jim Jensen had a tear in his eye, although that might have been a consequence of pepper spray rather than emotion.

Look for a full spread in next months issue of Vogue Hockey. Michael Gergen is nude on the cover, wearing only a feather boa.

(Note: I said this post was based in fact. I never said it didn't go horribly awry.)

18 May 2006

A Night at the Roundtable

Ah yes, once again, someone wants to pick my great hockey brain. Last month, it was Chris over at Western College Hockey. This time, it's Bruce Ciskie. I am all too happy to oblige with my unique blend of the fantastic and the real.

Has the college game truly seen in increase in stickwork in recent years?
Well, I don't know what hockey was like in the olden times, you'll have to ask my dad, but I think it's safe to say I DON'T LIKE LAZY STICK PENALTIES. If you're going to get a penalty, do it for something exciting, like charging, not something lame, like hooking. Yeah, you got burned. Why don't you try forechecking a little next time, homeslice? I guess you can think about it when you're chatting with the sweat-towel-and-water-bottle dude. It's tough, though. College hockey has a lot of superstars, One Year Wonders who can skate circles around the average (or below average) hockey player. Fourth Line All-Stars and defensemen have no other recourse.

Do officials do a good job of calling "clutch-and-grab" infractions consistently?
Ah yes, the key word here is consistently. Hmmm. I wouldn't have to get beta-blockers on the black market if penalties were consistently called. Plus, the words "officials" and "good job" never belong in the same sentence unless "aren't doing" is between them.
The thing about that style of play is, since it isn't being called, it's being coached. If the refs called games better, Sloth would be out of a job!

What do you think of the "checking from behind" crackdown?
Did anyone ask Curious George and his Man with the Yellow Hat what they thought about the new "crackdown," as you say? They seemed to enjoy it. I think the theory is solid. But, "in theory, communism works. In theory." Do I want to protect players from being carried out on a backboard? You're darn tootin'. But I don't want to see people turning at the last minute just to get the call. Like most people are saying, I like the crackdown, but they need to have more leeway in what sort of penalties can be awarded.

What NHL rules change would you like to see adopted in college hockey, and which one do you want college hockey to stay away from?
Offensive Zone: Like it. It would open up more space, especially on the power play. Heaven knows we need more room to get that umbrella working.
Shootout: Ugh. I'd rather see a longer overtime, as one of my comrades suggested. A better option would be to make an OT loss worth one point.
Goalie equipment: I guess if they're that good, they won't need to have comedically oversized equipment. Then when you get a goalie gameworn jersey, it might actually fit.
Trapezoid: Though some people like to have their goalies chained to the net for fear of making a bad pass or falling over or having the puck hit a seam to send the game into quadruple overtime only to lose the game, I think it's a stupid penalty. Nobody gets hurt that way. If Ziggy wants to take the puck all the way down to the other end of the rink and put it in the net, he can be my guest. All I have to say is, he better not miss.
Icing: From a biased perspective, I don't like it. Mostly because it always seems like my team is the one struggling to clear the puck to get a line change. But if we were to actually gain the momentum, I'd hate to see us lose it. I guess I don't really care.
Deflecting the puck: I don't think it's necessary in NCAA hockey. I don't know that it was even necessary in the NHL, but no one from the NHL asked me.

What do you think of the increased use of replay in college hockey?
It appears I'm in the minority, but I don't agree with replay until it can be executed equally at all arenas. There's enough disparity in the league already. Television replay and multiple camera replay isn't available at all arenas, and until it is, they need to keep using only the replay everyone has. Yeah, it's hurt my team in the past, but all that means is they should hurry up and get some darn cameras.

What is one random change you'd like to see made in hockey?
Allow beer. And fighting. And no more Wisconsin Power Play chant.
Sorry, that was three.

15 May 2006

The Social Contract

According to the scholarly John Locke, all of us ought to exist in what he called "the state of nature," where everyone is happy, reasonable, and tolerant. Everyone should be equal and independent, with a right to life, health, liberty, and possessions. That sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it?
However, this is the real world. We don't live in an utopic society. There are people who are mean, malicious, and like to check from behind into the boards. Locke's solution was to enter into a social contract, to protect people from those meanies.

So, what's the whole point of this philosophizing non sequitur? It's this site. It's... it's... well, it's anarchy. And not everyone here is basking in the glow of the state of nature, that's for darn sure. So, it's time I went up on the mountain and laid down some commandments. Ten, to be exact.

I. This is a fun site. Don't harsh on the buzz.

II. Not everything on this site is "true." Not every opinion I have is "informed." But that's just semantics.

III. If I want to be ridiculously biased in favor my team, if I want to wear maroon and gold colored glasses, if I want to tirelessly defend Mike Curry no matter what he does, I will.

IV. Though a blog is a glacier on the pinnacle of self-absorption, there won't be much personal content here, at least in relation to my day-to-day life. No posts solely about my cat, my plans to conquer the planet, or my touch of the rheumatis'. If I do mention anything off-topic, it'll be as an aside in a hockey-related post.

V. I will never insult another blogger on this site. If I've got something mean to say, I'll come to your house and say it with a flaming bag of cat poo. Therefore, comrades, if you're offended by something I've said, I didn't mean it. I promise!

VI. I will not, however, link to anyone whose site is overly political, vulgar, or insulting to the team or to me personally. My grampa reads this site, and he told me he doesn't want to see any of that crap. You'd do well to listen.

VII. I won't delete any comments, unless they're solely capitalistic in nature. Don't get me wrong, I'm a red-blooded, money-hungry capitalist, just like any good American, but don't post your mortgage quotes here, bucko. [Edit 2/28/11: Don't bother commenting if you are mean-spirited, overly vulgar or harassing. Remember Commandment #1.]

VIII. There will be no RWD schwag pimped on Cafepress or anywhere else. First of all, what would I even create? "Bark and Bite" thongs? "No Lazy Stick Penalties" muumuus? (Hmm... maybe I should re-think this plan!) Secondly, what sort of a sick person would even want to buy that kind of crap?

IX. I will use any nominative pronoun I darn please on this site. Be it I, he, they, the editorial we, it, you, the royal We, one, or whatever, you will like it.

X. You are more than welcome to use anything I publish on this site for your own evil devices, the more frequently, the better. However, you will, I repeat WILL give me credit. That's an order, soldiers!


Now, who wants to start chiseling this into stone?

05 May 2006

Hitch Up Your Wagons!

That's right, get Ma and Pa and little Half-Pint, we're headin' on the road with the 'Dogs! I'll need someone to come along and shoot buffalo along the way, but beware, because someone on the trail has got to get cholera and die.

Here's the schedule, and where I'll be.

Oct 5: vs. Lakehead
These foreign games are super fun! It's always nice when you've got players who speak totally different languages and come from completely different cultures can come together and play on the same ice. I bet I could come up for this one, we'll see.

Oct 13/14: vs. UMass-Lowell
I enjoyed seeing UMass at the annual Gophers Invite Cupcake Teams So We Don't Get Embarrassed At Our Own Tournament (GICTSWDGEAOOT, for short), because they almost did what they were invited to not do. However, that doesn't bode well for the 'Dogs. I'll be listening at home.

Oct 20/21: at Wisconsin
No one enjoys a good road trip to Wisconsin more than I do, and normally The Hick, my Official Wisconsin Tour Guide (OWTG), and I would be going to the game, but the following weekend ruins those plans. It does save me from hearing their awful power play cheer. Listening at home this time.

Oct 27/28: vs. Denver
THIS is a PARTY WEEKEND in Duluth. It is MY BIRTHDAY and I will BE THERE, and they had BETTER SWEEP. ROCK!

Nov 3/4: vs. Minnesota-Twin Cities
Why couldn't they schedule this series for the previous weekend? An offering of Gopher carcass is at the top of my birthday list! I'll probably be at Joe Senser's for this one.

Nov 10/11: at Michigan Tech
I believe a road trip to Houghton would be an amazing time, but I just can't make it this year. Listening to this one in the comfort of my own home.

Nov 15: at Northern Michigan
I like the idea of this series, it's very retro WCHA. However, how will we respond to an extended road trip and a Wednesday game? Very interesting...

Nov 24/25: vs. St. Cloud State

Are you kidding? I can't go to a hockey game on the Biggest Losers Coming Out And Buying Cheap Crap Day of the Year! I've got a job, sucka! I'll be lucky to even listen to it.

Dec 1/2: at Alaska-Anchorage
Oh man, oh man, oh man. Don't tempt me. I am obsessed with Alaska. I want to go there so, so badly. I want to freaking live there. And can you imagine the insanity? Two bitter, rage-filled bloggers like Drop The Puck and me watching a hockey game together? Oh. My. God. Sadly, gotta listen to this one.

Dec 8/9: at Bemidji/vs. Bemidji
Hmm... I find the home-and-home intriguing. I suppose I could head up to Bemidji, and bring along THGIA, since she's a Beaver alumna. We'll see on this one.

Dec 15/16: at Minnesota State-Mankato
I could definitely head down to Mankato for the Saturday night game, it's only an hour away, so I discovered during a random road trip last month.

Dec 29/30: Ohio Hockey Classic, Columbus, OH
Wow, last year they played in a tournament in sunny Florida. So a logical choice for this year was... boring Columbus? Uh, yeah, no thanks. I'll admire from afar. With my ears.

Jan 5/6: vs. Michigan Tech
This could be a fun series to go to with my mother. She and I went to the Very Exciting Bowling Green Massacre of 2004, and it would be a great follow-up, if she's around. The jury's still out.

Jan 12/13: vs. Colorado College
Duluth? In January? Uhhh, let me think. NO. My apartment is nice and cozy and warm, and I don't think my car would appreciate it.

Jan 19/20: at St. Cloud State
I can trade in my wagon for a snowmobile, strap on a mullet, and head up to St. Cloud for one of these games, I'm sure. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Jan 24: vs. Northern Michigan
Again with the cool Wayback-Wednesday game. I won't be there, but I'll certainly be rocking out in some Zubaz and a bad perm.

Feb 2/3: at Denver
I don't think I need to go to Denver YET AGAIN. Please no one give me a reason to go, unless it is a good happy reason with rainbows and sunshine, and it's free.

Feb 16/17: at North Dakota
I missed out on the Grand Forks Road Trip last year, but I have a feeling there's one crazy Mexican lady who would love it if I came up there and drank many beers with her. It sounds like a nice little Valentine's gift!

Feb 23/24: vs. Alaska-Anchorage
If things don't work out for the Grand Forks Road Trip Part Deux, I'll go up to Duluth for this weekend. Otherwise, it's sofa city, sweetheart.

Mar 2/3: vs. Wisconsin
Remember how cool it was to watch us clinch second place in the WCHA against Wisconsin in 2004? Well, I wouldn't mind a rerun. It would be cool to have this on TV, but alas, I'll probably be listening to Brucie by the grace of the Internet.

Mar 9/10/11: WCHA Playoffs (First Round), TBD
I can't really say what I would be doing for the first round, since it's still "to be determined," but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "watching from home." Maybe it'll be a sports bar, maybe not, but I just hope it's on TV.

Mar 15/16/17: WCHA Final Five, St. Paul
Since it is, as Hank Williams, Jr., might say, a "family tradition," I'll be all over the WCHA Final Five, as usual. You can look for me on the Jumbotron, or being escorted out in handcuffs.

Mar 23/24/25: NCAA Regionals, TBD
The NCAA tournament is not in my plans this coming season, even the "Faster Track to Success" plan, but I'll have my eye on the regionals anyway, providing there's interesting matchups, or hotties, or exciting Gopher slaughtering.

Apr 5/7: NCAA Frozen Four, St. Louis, MO
One day, I'll be there, but alas, the day will not be April 5 or April 7, 2007. If you're going, enjoy St. Louis, because it's a darned cute city. Stay away from those riverboat casinos, though.

This is by no means a definite itinerary. I might end up missing a game or two here or there that I was planning on attending, some anonymous benefactor might take me to the Frozen Four, I might finally get that Bulldog assistant coaching job. Who knows what this season might behold for us? And it's only FIVE MONTHS AWAY. I wish I was a reverse-bear and could hibernate all summer.