Sunday, January 06, 2008

WHL, NHL, AHL, QHL, XHL, WTF-HL...

Having spent as much of my vacation on hockey as humanly possible, I will say this. There's a reason the Portland Winterhawks are the bottom of the barrel in the WHL. Boy howdy, and I thought I had gotten used to an AHL level of play.

Every time I watch an NHL game, I'm stupidly excited by how many passes actually connect solidly, as in the AHL the tendency is to get it almost there and have it take a wierd bounce or be completely missed right at the last second. In the WHL, really, I was getting excited when a pass got within five feet of someone in the same uniform, which is kind of a sad commentary on the state of my home team.

Of course, you can't really take it out too hard on the guys. The Winterhawks are a major junior team, after all. These are still high school-age dudes, and they are still technically in a training league. The only one I found myself consistently abusing during the course of the game was the goalie, who neglected to finish his butterfly slide across the net and let Seattle dingle one in off his toe. And don't get me started on him being on approach vector for the blueline a couple of times. I don't care what the hell his name really is is (Mucha,) he's always going to be "GoddammitBabyConks!" to me after that game.

Not that the Hawks always sucked, either. Back in the day when they had Hershey defector Jakub Klepis and Reading Royal goalie Curtis Darling, they were the Western playoff champions, and five years prior to that they swept the Memorial Cup awards entirely. It's just lately they've become an axis of suck, from what I can tell. Which is sad, as Oregon needs all the hockey it can get and they're not helping prove my claim that we could support and love an NHL team if we got one. Even if they do call us Hawkeytown

And just to drive home that Oregon as Non-Hockey-State bit? Two bookstores down (one being a chain, the other being the big indie bookstore here) I can't find a copy of any of The Hockey News's big issues on a newsstand. The horror! How will I live without Sid's pillowesque lips for the entire plane ride home?

Ah... erm... anyway.

4 comments:

Ellie said...

reminds me of watching my college hockey team (RPI) which i just couldn't do on a regular basis. i'd find myself yelling things like "get your fucking stick on the ice" and would think "wtf!?!"

no hockey news! that is a shame...

Blitzen said...

I just checked out the standings - ouch! Worst in the whole CHL? Tough year.

Being a Major Junior fan is still a ton of fun 'cause you get to see some of the future NHL'ers even if they are not on your team. We've seen Tavares (he broke an OHL record while playing our team and the whole arena gave him a standing ovation), Stamkos, Doughty, Halischuk, Mason, Kane, Perry (ick), Downie (major ick) and others come through our rink.

I'm not at all familiar with the W but I'm sure you've seen many of the same calibre players.

Kirsten said...

That's why I got copies of the Hockey News mailed to me from Minnesota! Flights would really suck if my mom didn't love me.

McPhizzle said...

Even though I'm an ams fan, i have to say that Mucha isnt' really all that bad. He's got our number, that's for sure. Usually very good at getting across the crease and has made some FAB saves right in front of me at Toyota Center - plus, who couldn't love a little goalie that with his mask off, looks like Disney's Chicken little?! ;)