With the puck about to drop to start the 2014-15 NHL season, I thought I’d put together some links to celebrate and/or recruit. (#pleaselikemysport) I’ve included links to features I think fans and curious non-fans could both enjoy and focused on female voices for the most part. Hopefully these links turn some more people on to the many smart women out there writing about the best game you can name. (And let’s go Bruins!)
- Ode to an Era: CBC’s Top 10 HNIC Montages – First things first: watching these videos should turn you into a logo-clutching superfan. I watch the “Karma Police” video once a month and weep tears of team pride (it’s in the honorable mentions.)
With Rogers taking over Hockey Night in Canada from the CBC for this coming season and the foreseeable future, one of the questions many fans were asking was what would happen to Tim Thompson, the former minor league hockey player turned video-editor, and goosebumps-inducer extraordinaire. That news came down yesterday, when it was revealed that while Thompson will be retained, his role will decrease, along with the number of video montages on the programming.
- Player moves have West still the power conference – At first glance, this is just another season preview. After taking a closer look, however, you realize every article he links to is written by a woman and he doesn’t draw any attention to the fact that he’s linking to women. Good work.
After a dominant season by the Western Conference in 2013-14, the reaction was swift and not subtle.
The West added more great players.
Though every team in the NHL that doesn’t play home games at Staples Center or United Center spent the offseason searching for ways to inch closer to the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks at the top of the League, teams in the West in particular have created a pretty amazing arms race.
The four best players to change conferences, and seven of the best 10 or 11, traveled west. Here’s a look at the disparity in players who switched conferences during the offseason, either via trades or free agency:
- Unique Team Traits: The Bruins’ Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron prove on-ice chemistry is real – Justin Bourne is not a woman, but he writes amazingly illuminating analysis and has never said/done anything sexist or misogynist in the two years I’ve followed him, so he’s recommended reading.
While Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are valuable forwards in any circumstance, they’re even better when they play together
Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron would be fine without one another. They would be top-six forwards on almost any team in the NHL, and they would still be smart, talented, and gritty, and all those things that make them great.
But together they form a machine-like, do-it-all duo who can play it anyway you want. They make each other better, and provide us with a legitimate example where “chemistry” is visible to the naked eye, and has the numbers to back it up.
- Left shots vs. right shots: What’s the best mix? – The Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin is an absolute treasure that we Boston fans are lucky to have. She’s great on Twitter, too.
In the general population, more people are righthanded. Usually the dominant hand is positioned at the top of a hockey stick, meaning that righthanded people are left shots and vice versa. But not always.
There are some Bruins who buck the trend, most of them righthanded right shots, including David Krejci, Dougie Hamilton, and Adam McQuaid. Daniel Paille and Carl Soderberg (left/left) are lefthanded left shots. Hamilton, for example, said everyone in his family is righthanded, and professed ignorance about the top-hand dominant rule.
“I did it wrong, I guess,” Hamilton said.
But he’s not alone. There is a strange quirk in the United States. Although stick manufacturers sell more lefthanded sticks to the rest of the world (specifically Canada and Europe), they sell more righthanded sticks in the US, according to an industry representative. The split is somewhere from 60-65 percent lefthanded around the world, and 60-65 percent righthanded in the US.
Apprised of the fact, Milan Lucic started listing names: Phil Kessel, David Backes, Joe Pavelski.
All star forwards from the US. All right shots.
- It’s Hockey Time, Not Sexism Ice Girl Time – Carrie/@NearIdleLark had a great post recently about the weak arguments people offer to justify teams’ “ice girls” and/or their sexualized outfits.
The asinine things people say when defending Ice Girl uniforms.
The discourse about Ice Girls is a bit of a clusterfuck because there are two separate angles and people hop between them indiscriminately. First, there’s the issue of poor working conditions, outlined in the Mother Jones article. That’s somewhat straightforward and I won’t bother with it here.
The second issue is whether their uniforms objectify women and need to be changed. (Spoiler: Yes). But some people don’t seem to understand that objectification constitutes poor treatment of WOMEN AS A WHOLE. They keep trying to address it in the same way as they would the first issue, looking to the ice girls themselves. But individual women cannot “greenlight” objectification so as to magically make it acceptable for you to engage in.
- From the Jaws of Victory – Katie Baker is one of the best writers out there in hockey land. She’s a former player, IIRC.
A tanned smooth-talker reflecting on leadership in a glorified catering hall was pretty much business as usual on a recent aseasonal morning in downtown San Jose. With his practiced delivery, engaging gravitas, and yen for phrases like “experiential learning” and “leadership group,” San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson projected the air of a keynote speaker at a buzzy tech conference. (He even had the right audience: a rapt, if oddball, assortment of followers.) But as he perched on a platform inside a club-level dining room of the SAP Center, trying to put a positive spin on one of the most dispiriting periods in franchise history, it was hard not to compare Wilson to a different Bay Area type — the company founder trying to persuade skeptical investors not to give up just yet.
- Ladies of Hockey Twitter – Earlier this year, Sarah Connors made this amazing list of women who tweet hockey. It’s organized by fandom and full of great people.
- Hockey Twitter – If the previous list is too daunting, here’s my hockey Twitter list. There are a handful of hate follows on there (chiefly Greg “Sea Lion” Wyshinski), but most of it’s good stuff.