Wednesday, 29 December 2010

HBO's 24-7 Penguins-Capitals - Road To The NHL Winter Classic - Ambassador's Review

What a program! No wonder it has been praised all around the sports' world. It is a wonderful way of watching a game. The series, like everything that HBO produces, carries great quality, the sound track was very carefully selected and it matches every moment like a glove. As the program is a hockey inside out, the viewer has the opportunity to meet the real player behind the locker room's doors. I was fascinated to find out some players personal lives, aspirations and also disappointments. Everything is great including what the boys do while travelling away from home in order to be able to cope with the stress of the games and being away from their loved ones. The little tricks, the pranks, dinners out and small parties. Every little helps.
It has also been a great eye opener concerning training strategies, for the ones that think that being a professional payer is something easy, the amount of work those guys do in and out side of the arena is fabulous, it is a constant search to surpass their own limits and capacities.
As every reality show, you can also expect things to be a little different form the REAL reality, everybody feels a little uncomfortable and awkward in front of the cameras. Although, that would not explain the language used. The locker room's language could make any Rock star blush, and for that I apologise. If I was asked to give a tip of advice (I would have the support of the players mothers) for the sports people out there it would be - "Wash your mouths with soap!" Even though the sports world is a world for rough and though, it still plays as an example for the youngsters so it would be more pleasant to be a good example. It is very difficult to explain to a 10 year old that yes "Ovechkin can say f**k, but you can't!!".
I do believe if players, coaches and everyone involved with sports put a little effort into reducing the amount of curse words it would see the amount of followers increase dramatically. But as for the rest, congratulations HBO for delivering such interesting and amusing program. For the ones that are interested please watch HBO Canada every Wednesday there is a new program but there are reprises other days of the week the last program will be recorded on the 1st of January when the two teams finally meet at the grand Winter Classic.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The SeeSaw Season and Something to Look Forward To.

It has been a warm season, not a hot exciting one, but a wish-washy kind of thing. The season of 2010/11 could be described as seesaw play, most of the teams haven't been able to keep up with the good performance and for the majority of the games I have been taking the approach of "anything can happen". I mean a good renowned team can do brilliantly in a game and two days later loose miserably, and that is how this season has been, at least on my humble opinion.
Although HBO Sports, in other successful business enterprise has come up with a reality show where they are going to follow two great NHL teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington's Capitals through and thorough. The show will be consistent of 4 episodes where they will cover the two teams' rivalry, disputes, players' accomplishments/failures, injuries, management and more. Literally everything until the gran-finale: the great 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which will be played Jan. 1 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
I had already heard of the HBO show, it has been done with other sports, although I haven't seen it before, when I read the show was going into the NHL, my heart grew warm, and I cannot wait for Dec. 15 when the first episode will go on air. I can never get enough of hockey, and a show going into the centre of a team, following their practices, games, backstage sounds like music to these hockey ears.
So, for my followers I leave this words: I will do my best not miss a single episode and I'll surely post on this space my findings concerning the HBO 24/7 NHL show. Keep on reading and in the case any of you having something to say about it, please drop a couple of lines.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Let The Show Begin

Every year it’s the same thing! A month or so before the new season starts, the NHL introduces their list of ridiculous new rules that will take a part in the great show of hockey. This year is no different. Less then a week ago, the new rules were presented to the hockey nation. Pointless to say that not much has changed; a couple of "any"s, "cannot"s and "must"s here and there, some crossing off of some dubious sentences and additions of other long and somewhat complicated paragraphs, although this season we have a supernova, the new "BIG DADDY" of rules - Rule 48 - Illegal Check to the Head - which ipsis literis is described as follows:

"48.1 Illegal Check to the Head - A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact is not permitted.

48.2 Minor Penalty- There is no provision for a minor penalty for this rule.

48.3 Major Penalty- For a violation of this rule, a major penalty shall be assessed (see 48.4).

48.4 Game Misconduct- An automatic game misconduct penalty shall be assessed whenever a major penalty is assessed under this rule.

48.5 Match Penalty- The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.

48.6 Fines and Suspensions- Any player who incurs a total of two (2) game misconducts under this rule, in either regular League or playoff games, shall be suspended automatically for the next game his team plays. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty the automatic suspension shall be increased by one game.

If deemed appropriate, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion (refer to Rule 28)." (

I have to question at this point how they are going to judge and differentiate an illegal check to the head, where the player literally aimed at the head, and one where the aim was the shoulder, which is "OK", but he was too unfortunate to end up hitting the head. I mean are they going to stop the game for 15 min, have a board meeting and decide what was the aim of the check?? Or, maybe thinking the other way around, a player discussing for 20 min with the referee saying that he had actually aimed at the shoulder, not the head. Reader, I ask you this! - How many more complications are they going to bring to the good old hockey game?

Despite all the rule changes that at the end of the day we all know will not change much when put into practice, I will now shout out “Come’ on Ref let the boys play!!!!!”

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The End of Summer, Canadian Hockey Musical and Nick's Hockey Hockey Cup

Today walking around London as wind was blowing a whole bunch of leaves on my face, that summer is finally over. There is no need for me to say that it makes me completely happy, although I am going to say I thrilled with the end of one more summer. It wasn't all that bad, but not having my favourite sport around and all that sun does make me a bit melancholic.
Last night while browsing around the net I came across with something that I cannot state my opinion about. Canada's cinematographic industry has produced a version of the American "High school Musical" and has named it "Score: A Hockey Musical". Ok I know it is aimed at the very pre adolescent public, not supposed to be something really serous, but even if it was the idea does not seem all that bad. There is hockey, so that counts some points, there is a young talent and all the other things such as romance, weird families and of course all that chanting I suppose.
I am leaving here the link in case of this posting arouse any curiosity of my followers. If I am going to watch it??? Of course I am, even if only for the most pure curiosity. Once I have done, I'll sure come back here and give to you guys my review.

The other thing to look forward to is Nick's Ambassador Hockey Cup, which will be happening very soon, in two weeks. I cannot wait to see all that action in Hyde Park. Oh the old hockey game is the best game you can name and the best game you can name is the............GOOD.............OLD...................HOCKEY GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The two most important parts of the Summer

I love summer, being a Canadian is not hard to understand why. After temperatures that can reach -20o Celsius, and never ending snow storms, you don't need to use rocket science to figure out that summer has the taste of prize, if managed to survive the winter, now it's time to lay on the sun, and enjoy the Stanley play offs and the big final, every thing you survived winter for.
From then on, I must admit that things become a little boring as, I am not a huge fan of summer sports, I start to dig deep into sports television to find a piece of sports entertainment, that could be used to spend the rest of the season. NASCAR and Golf become my two best friends, but I am always counting down the days for the summer to end then I know NHL conferences will start pretty soon.
Today as I looked into the schedules for the season to come, I caught myself thinking that summer was taking too long. I need hockey and I am ready for the action. Let the boys hit the ice!!!! I have already started doing my arrangements so that I don't miss a single second of any game, had to speak with the TV broadcasting provider in London to make sure that they solve last year’s problems, and also make the broadcasting a little bit more interesting. Hope it works.
As for now I can only wish that summer is over soon, and that autumn brings back the hockey and all its emotions.
GO Sens GO

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

“Colisms” – The good, the bad and the ugly of Bob Cole.

Lately I have been thinking about the iconic Hockey Night in Canada “play by play” commentator Bob Cole. And while I respect his work and role in the Hockey broadcasting world, I have to question why he has been so successful and been around for so long?

Bob Cole has had a staggering career, he began broadcasting hockey on radio in 1969 and moved to television in 1973 when HNIC expanded its coverage. He then went on to call all of the Stanley Cup Finals between 1989 and 2008. He was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996 for broadcasting excellence… excellence? I’m not so sure.

There is no doubt he has the “classic” commentators voice, at times soothing and that he has a passionate and emotional enthusiasm for the game. But ever since I can remember, watching a game with Bob Cole commentating is like “watching a game blind” as they say. His catch phrases and trademarks like “oh baby,” “what a dandy,” referring to the game itself as “baby,” speeding up and slowing down his sentences without clear reason can be at times endearing but at others frustrating. The way he never clearly describes the location of the puck on the ice often saying “over there” and describing the players as “they” or “he” is confusing! And certainly not what I would think of as “play by play” descriptive commentary.

While I can see the amusing side of all this and that Bob Cole is surely an alright guy I do think it is remiss of CBC to have kept him on for so long. Hockey is an emotionally charged game for most Canadians and when a particularly adrenaline inducing game comes along there is nothing more frustrating than having a commentator who seems to know less than you about what’s going on. Hence, the expression “watching the game blind” as at times you literally have to try and fill the gaps yourself.

Check out this link:
“This is it BABY!!! This has gone WILD!!!"


Wednesday, 7 July 2010


As the excitment of the previous years Stanely Cup finals starts to wear off and slowly a void begins to emerge...what is one to do? How should we spend this time without being able to watch the great game? meditating? preparing for the next season? watching re-runs of great Stanely Cup eras? I open the floor to suggestions on this topic, what is a hockey fan to do???

One way of course is to follow the endless deals and dramas of the entry draft and free agent frenzy. Although the quailty of this years prospects seemed a little low the soap opera style drama that played out between Taylor vs Tyler has been mildly entertaining. In regards to the SENS Brian Murray trading away the 16th first round pick, I do agree with the logic that the player the SENS need was not really in that range of the draf. So to trade it for David Runblad who in theory is going to be ready to peform for Ottawa by 2012, is a good decision I think. This quote from chief scout Pierre Dorion puts it quite nicely:

"We felt David Rundblad was going to be better than any player we were going to be able to get in this draft...That's why we did the deal. I know it's not sexy that we didn't go on stage and draft somebody into the organization. But, we felt whoever we take, this guy is going to be a better player. He's a top-four defenceman who moves the puck. He does a lot of things for us."

Agreed Pierre. Although I don't know if anyone has ever considered the Entry Draft sexy.

In the free agrent world, I am excited about Sergei Gonchar being signed so quickly and think that he will be great for the Ottawa D (and for 16.5mil over 3 years he better be!) But I do think that he will add some offence that is needed to balance out the play. I will miss the A-Train and his amazing shot blocking and heavy hitting capabilities though!

Monday, 28 June 2010

and now Nick presents "The Holy World Cup"

Every sport has its main attraction, for tennis there is Wimbledon, for Rugby there is the 6 nations, for golf there is the Masters and for football you have the World Cup. I like football, don't get me wrong, the point is that no other sport is able to produce the amount of fanatics then football, I mean how many riots have you heard that have caused by a golf fan that was unhappy with its choice of support????? The biggest scandal in golf was involving Tiger Woods, and actually he was only doing something that among the football world is as trivial as playing football itself. There seem to me as if there is a sort of fanaticism within the football world, that goes far and beyond what one could consider healthy, it is something close to worshiping. It makes me wonder, would football be the new mass religion, and the world cup the main cult???????? I leave the question open for public answer.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

This is the bottom line, as Steve Austim would say so

I am not a guy to go around and see every piece of cinematograph ever produced, but today taken by curiosity I went to what I prefer to refer to as "THE END OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT".
The name of the masterpiece: "Tooth Fairy" the leading actor: the once known as THE ROCK, well known World Wrestling Entertainment superstar.
Any guy on its 20s will remember the days of smelling what the Rock was cooking, the peoples champion, as he so many times liked to describe himself. Well, WWE wrestler is not exactly the type of job that your mom would say on the day of your birth - "I would like my son to be a WWE wrestler, a superstar!!" can you imagine that?? I can't. Although is a profession that in most of times is driven by passion, I also thing that can be somewhat profitable, but passion comes first.
Going back for the potatoes, the Rock was one of the most well known wrestlers and boy was he ever good. But it seems to me as if all that he had conquered for himself wasn't enough, and like a season bird he flew to bring spring to other areas. Did it work??? I am very sure that it might, I mean he isn't, lets face, the best actor the world has even seen, actually far from that, I think that on his movies he can only play one character, THE ROCK.
It does not matter what's his role on the movie, from Egyptian Mummy, American Cop, driver, detective and the most recent one tooth fairy, the only thing I can see is the wrestler, and that must be part of why his movies have such a bad review. I mean, you want to see THE ROCK at his best behaviour, at the rink with long boots and a pair of swimming trunks.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


.... I am going to consider offence. I mean when I had just posted a thing here saying that the commenter's for this IIHF championship where bounding the limit of acceptance, Belarus went to play Slovakia, definitely it is the worse thing I have ever heard on sports television during my entire life, and probably I will never hear anything like that again, what a pearl.
It is just so hard to start describing. Let me see, it is a non English competent commenter, I don't know what is his first language but English is not even his second. Things like "to to to" (being two to two), "Ahhhh, I don't know what he is going to do, wait", " to Sloveikia, no Slovakia, Sloveikia?" hahahahahahahaha, I can only laugh. There is more its hard to trans pass the complexity of the problem - "Back to Colonia" what did he mean?? Cologne???? "To minutes in the penalty box, Sury the second power play in the MATCH for Slovekia, Slovakia" " the to times stops of the game" " THE puck, THE shot, THE goal" "see it is another shot, WHY??? Oh what a check, what the move" I am telling you in this very sequence, you think it is all??? Not there is more much more: " THE chance, THE safe, THE block, THE defence, what a game!!" "Oh yes, you can see good penalties for Belorus on the second period" although it was the third period. "And the is THE off site for Slovekia, Slovakia" and just to put an end on the subject, "there is 5 minutes on this 4th perio" (There are only 3 periods) and there is a "SHA - SHOT" to conclude.

... And there is a chance... YEAH!

"...and there is a chance, YEAH!" what the hell is that???? I mean, watching to the IIHF 2010 World Hockey Championship, has been not only a learning activity but also a character enhancer. I am, on the next lines, going to explain you why.
A hockey championship needs a lot of things in order to happen, despite of all the organization things, but it needs hockey players, officials, public, good a structure and of course comenters.
Germany 2010, has done a great job in all the organization of the championship, the stadiums look fantastic, the countries did very well and have sent a great collection of players to represent them. The audience, well done, it is wonderful to see that there are many people that really appreciate the game, even the officials are doing their homework. Although the commenters, what-a-joke. I mean, where did they take those guys from (I don't wanna sound rude, but I think they are all very good football comenter, ups!), most of them had never really watched a hockey game in their lives.
Things like - "..and he scored the goal with a puck!" something like yeah!!! It is still a hockey game, you do score goals with pucks, and sticks, and you skate. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
They are driving me towards insanity speaking about the obvious instead of commenting about relevant hockey stuff, but that is not all, they are boring, there isn't any excitement on their comments anyone could be doing it, even my 80 year old grandmother would be doing a better job, she is much more cool than the commenters. Where did Germany took them from???? It makes me miss my NHL commenters, where are those fine men when we need them the most.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

When not watching Hockey!!

Ok, I am the Hockey Ambassador, therefore my duty in life is to watch Hockey, of course being a very hard working ambassador as I am I not only watch, but I breath and eat hockey. Although, sometimes I also allow myself some other forms of entertainment, such as concerts and movies.
So today, as I have seen a great amount of movies (blame it on the London weather), I decided to give my followers a quick, yet sensible, review on some late releases.

Kick-Ass (2010) - What to say, it is a silly movie?? No doubts about it, but what is wrong with that, I don't really go to the movies all the time with the patience to see a serious plot or drama, actually lately I have been extremely bound to the idea of watching something that makes me laugh for nothing. Sit down, lay back, pick that large, actually extra large, bucket or popcorn, laugh and relax.
So if you are looking for a movie that has a good story line, great actors, such as Nicholas Cage and great action. Go for it, Kick-Ass is your movie.

Iron-Man 2 (2010) - Here goes one more film of the series "America is in Danger". Isn't it great that America just loves to be hit by all sorts of things, you name it, it has been invaded by Aliens, the White House has been several times destroyed by bombs, huge explosions, natural disasters, all sorts of bad guys. I love it!! In this movie we find the typical Bad Guys versus Good Guys and all that drama, and guess what happens in the end??? Ok, you might already have the answer, it wouldn't be my first option but if you have some time in hand just go and check it out, full of thrills, car races, sky diving, explosions, punches and kicks, and for the ones that are thinking of taking their girls along there is a love story line for them too.

The last on for this quick review is Date Night (2010) - The movie is good in cast and action. Although it is a movie for married couples, I don't belong to this team, so it wasn't as funny for me as it would be for a guy that had been married for a couple of years. Nevertheless it is a funny movie, filled with incredible coincidences or should I say un-coincidences. Worth checking.

That would be it for the nights guys.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Well, this morning I reluctantly shaved my beard.

What a journey! After watching all 82 regular season games and then 6 very exciting playoff games I am proud of the SENS determined effort and commitment, but of course still disappointed that they couldn't go further.

The fact that the Senators managed to secure 5th place in the Eastern conference and make it to playoffs AND put up a good fight against the Stanely Cup champions, shows that they are continuing to grow and gain momentum as a franchise. They have shown themselves to be a tough team and a good team on all levels of play. However, there are a couple of changes I think need to happen or at least need to be considered over the summer to see the SENS going even further next season.

Firstly, they should consider trading Spezza as his lack of confidence and concentration in big moments have cost us dearly.

Secondly, I think they need to seriuosly consider boulstering their defensive play. As history shows, and in fact last nights game, Ottawa has the tendency of gaining leads and then not being able to defend them. I think defence needs to be a focus of managment when trading in the new year.

A highlight of this season for me was Alfie's 1000th game. He's commitment to the team epitomises the spirit in which Ottawa plays the game!! Let's keeping going SENS!!!

To the 2010-2011 season!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Versus Coverage of the Playoffs

Hey everyone,

A quick note that my beard is still in full force for game 6 tonight! I'm proud of the performance by the SENS and particularly suprised at how well Le claire has pulled things together, and couldn't be happier with his goaltending in game 5. Keep going SENS! (more on that soon)

For now I'd like to make a complaint about the coverage of the playoffs by Versus. I don't see why they feel the need to leave out all the pre-game events such as: the players entering the rink and the national anthems. In my books these are important parts of the build up to the game and helps viewers feel more like they are actually there!!

In particular for me, every Ottawa v Pitsburgh playoff match so far has been covered by Versus and the pre-game build up has been consistently underwhelming/non-existant. The Versus coverage switches to comercials every few minutes and then picks up on the game basically as the puck drops! This isn't exactly giving the veiwers a feeling of whats happening at the arena. In other words... boring.

Because I am as you know watching the games from Europe the NBC coverage which still includes all the pre-game goodies is often effected by bad reception, so I'm forced to watch the Versus coverage. I wish they would realise the value of showing all the action on the rink, as it is ALL the things that happen on the ice that best show the spirit of hockey.

I'll be posting about the Sens v Pens game 6 soon. Fingers crossed!


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Countdown to the Stanley Cup... Go Sens Go!

My playoff beard is growing thick and fast. Why? Because the Sens are in the quarter finals for the Stanley Cup playoffs 2010.
There's tough competition in their division - the Bruins, the Sabres and last year's Stanley Cup winners the Penguins. It would seem their hardest competition will be their first as the Ottawa team is across the ice from those little penguins! With Canada's Golden Boy Sidney Crosby on their side, the Pittsburgh team is a formidable foe.
But have faith. Two games in and the trusty Sens have put up a good fight. They won 5:4 in their first game on Pittsburgh's home ice. In yesterday's second game, the Sens lost 2:1 BUT it was only in the third period and they showed their stuff, even with the absence of Kovalev (Here's to your speedy recovery, Kovi! - see you next season!)
Cory Clouston has done a great job as coach since he came to the Sens in 2009. He's certainly an improvement on Craig Hartsberg - we didn't even make it to playoffs last year. Over the course of the season he's really shown that he can motivate the players. Keep it up coach!
I'll be tuning in over the internet on NHL Centre Ice for the third and fourth games on Sunday and Tuesday... I'll be fulfilling my ambassadorial duties and sharing hockey games with as many people as possible here in England. And if they ask about the beard, well I'll just say:
"Go Sens Go!"
Really believe the Sens are going all the way this year.
And no matter what happens... we Sens fans will be happy to know that the Leafs never even made the playoffs.
Go Sens Go!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

SENS Crushing Victory over Chicago

I just watched the replay of the Sens vs Chicago game.

I was very happy to watch the 5-1 thumping that an in form Sens delivered. I feel this is a turning point and hopefully the start of a Sens winning streak.



Nickleback Rock!

Hi everyone,

I went to the Nickleback concert last night at Wembley Arena. It was awesome!

Although they didn't play all my favourite songs it was still great. It was very very loud and the lights and firework show were mind blowing.