Monday, January 15, 2007

Perfect Hockey

The perfect hockey game must contain the following things:

1. An opponent I care about. For me that would include Toronto, Ottawa, and Carolina for sure. Possibly Philly with Montreal quickly moving up in the ranks.

2. Great saves. When the goalies are at the top of their games, the goals that are scored are that much more exciting.

3. A fast tempo. Let the skaters skate!

4. Chippy play. I don't care about the pre-arranged fights between the appointed enforcers and I don't want anything dirty. But I want to see a little extra pushing and shoving and I want to see players chirping at each other, good-naturedly or not.

5. A highlight reel goal. Maybe it's Max Afinogenov taking the puck end to end while making the people he skates around look ridiculous. Maybe it's Briere, Pominville, and Hecht working off some beautiful passing. But I need one goal that makes me gasp a little and has my eyes glued to the TV or the jumbotron for the slow-mo replay.

6. An excited crowd. Even if I'm watching the game on TV, the crowd makes a difference.

7. Questionable calls. In spite of all my complaining about the refereeing this season (largely awful, almost always inconsistent), there's defintely part of me that enjoys the complaining. It's part of the game. I don't want any game-deciding blunders though. I don't enjoy losing or winning that way.

8. A surprise goal. I love it when someone who doesn't score a lot or hasn't scored in a while puts one in the net. He gets that big grin on his face, maybe even lets out a little sigh of relief, and his teammates swarm him, laughing and patting him on the head and back. I'm telling you, if Andrew Peters ever manages to pull off a goal, HSBC will be a freakin' madhouse.

9. A back and forth score. Blow-outs are nice once in a while, but no one wants to watch that all the time. I want to see two teams battling it out, refusing to give each other an inch, trading leads. Of course, I want my boys to win in the end, but even if they don't, atleast I can be proud of the heart behind the effort.

10. A great penalty kill. It could be killing off a 5 on 3. It could be Derek Roy stealing the puck and circling around and around and around, single-handedly killing off 20 seconds. Either way it's tense and exciting.

I'm tagging the Young Stars question on here since I don't really have a lot to say about it. Is it really a rookie game? Because Thomas Vanek, the Sabres rep, isn't a rookie. There wasn't an All-Star game last season however so maybe that's why he qualified? I'm just curious what the actual guidelines are.

Anyway, Thomas Vanek totally deserves to be there. He had a solid rookie season last year but has improved by leaps and bounds this year and has arguably been the Sabres' most consisistent player. Last year he finished with 25 goals and 23 assists. This year he already has 23 goals and 23 assists. He's also a plus 23, better than every other forward in the NHL, which is a huge reflection of his improvement from last season to now. He's fun to watch so hopefully he'll let loose in the Young Stars game.


hockeygirl said...

Hey Heather, that's a good question: The YoungStars are players 25 and under playing on entry level contracts. Thanks for pointing out that I didn't mention that!

Heather B. said...

HG: I could've looked that up myself I guess, but I was feeling lazy. Thanks for doing my legwork! The husband and I were debating why Vanek made it and Pominville didn't, but you answered that question for us.

Paige said...

I totally agree w/ your comments on Vanek. He seems to pair great w/ Afinogenov and Roy because he's the only one that can finish a shot! I don't even think I need to write a seperate post.