Vancouver Giants record first win of the season

Tyler Fuhr took over the third period against the woeful Everett Silvertips when Liam Liston allowed four goals on just 13 shots. Photo shamelessly stolen from The Province newspaper online.

The Vancouver Giants got their first two points of the season Sunday, a 3-2 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs, thanks in large part to rookie netminder Tyler Fuhr.He allowed two goals on 15 shots — both inside-out dekes on the PK that he can hardly be faulted for — but stopped every puck he should have. Tonight, Fuhr even made a save or two he probably shouldn’t have, including a dramatic pad stop with seconds left to preserve the win. That’s something the Giants haven’t seen early this season, as Liam Liston has posted a disappointing .774 save percentage in his three starts thus far.

Continue reading Vancouver Giants record first win of the season

Belfast Giants yet to lose a regulation league game

As many of you know, I vowed to follow the Belfast Giants this season as my personal snub of Gary Bettman and his travelling shit show  insistence upon another NHL lockout. Instead of writing substandard game recaps from afar, I’ve enlisted Giants seasons ticket holder Jim Doran to give us first hand reports from the capital of Northern Ireland. This is his second report for the 2012-13 season — the first can be read here.

by Jim Doran

Belfast Giants
This gorgeous aerial shot of Stephen Murphy’s crease in the Odyssey Arena was taken by Michael Cooper — visit his website and buy his stuff!

I should probably set the scene somewhat for anyone unfamiliar with the UK Elite Ice Hockey League. The EIHL is made up of ten teams; four from England (Coventry Blaze, Hull Stingrays, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers); four from Scotland (Braehead Clan, Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals and Fife Flyers); the Cardiff Devils from Wales; and the Belfast Giants from Northern Ireland.

This season has seen the league spilt into two conferences for the first time. The four Scottish teams along with Hull comprise the Gardiner Conference, with the Giants joining the Steelers, Blaze, Panthers and Devils in the Erhardt Conference. The new format sees each club play teams in their own conference eight times during the season (four home / four away) and play the teams in the opposing conference four times (twice home / twice away). Continue reading Belfast Giants yet to lose a regulation league game

Victoria Royals 2012-13 home opener

At the Victoria Royals home opener Adrian Charlie met a real estate agent by the name of Mark Donnelly. One can only assume he doesn’t wear the cummerbund during open houses. Anyway, this Donnelly fella apparently sings anthems for a hockey team or two in his spare time. Photo courtesy of Adrian Charlie.

Well, I was wrong. After letting in 5 goals on 17 shots in Friday’s opening night loss at the Pacific Coliseum, Giants goaltender Liam Liston did not ride the bench in the next day’s rematch. He performed better, but got the same result: a loss to the Victoria Royals. Pucked in the Head’s new friend Adrian Charlie (@Adrian_Charlie on the Twitter) was in the building, and offers this game recap:

Victoria Royals 3, Vancouver Giants 2 – September 22, 2012

by Adrian Charlie

The Victoria Royals played host to the Vancouver Giants on Saturday in the team’s home opener. The Royals carried momentum going into their second game of the season after defeating those same Giants 6-4 the night before.

Vancouver Giants 2012-13 home opener

Vancouver Giants captain Wes Vannieuwenhuizen
Newly-christened Giants captain Wes Vannieuwenhuizen was a physical presence but hit the scoresheet with an unimpressive 0G/0A/-2 in the 2012-13 season opener. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Some things never change. Even with the NHL locked out, hockey fans in Vancouver are wondering just who will be the #1 goaltender for the home team.

No, not the Canucks — pretty much everyone agrees, for better or for worse, that Roberto Luongo’s days are numbered around here — I’m talking about the Giants. Newly-acquired third-year netminder Liam Liston didn’t inspire much confidence during the 2012-13 home opener Friday night, giving up five goals on 17 shots in a 6-4 loss to the Victoria Royals. Rookie Tyler Fuhr will almost certainly get the start in the second half of the back-to-back in the capital Saturday.

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Of Movie Stars and Hockey Players

Pay Here
The owners and players can’t agree on the respective meanings of ‘pay’, ‘here’, the colour yellow, or the arrow symbol.

Approximately 4am on Sunday morning, I had an epiphany. I realized what the fundamental difference is between the positions of the NHLPA and the NHL. Please note that, in order to achieve this epiphany, I consumed large amounts of sugar and Red Bull in a desperate attempt to cling to consciousness while stumbling my way through a night shift. Now that your expectations have been sufficiently managed, here is my thought: the owners and the players have different ideas of what customers are paying for. Similar, yes, but subtly different.

Continue reading Of Movie Stars and Hockey Players

September 14 – Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg at Hamburg Freezers

Opening day on the road is always a tough game. Wolfsburg found that out on Friday as they traveled north to Hamburg to take on the rival Hamburg Freezers. Packing the O2 World Arena Hamburg were 10,183 rabid, flag-waving fans, and the home team sent them home happy, defeating Wolfsburg 4-2. Continue reading September 14 – Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg at Hamburg Freezers

Episode 46 – Pardon The Interruption

In an unprecedented show of ambition, Pucked in the Head is today releasing its second podcast episode in as many weeks. This is sure to prove to be an unsustainable production level, so get in while you can! In a desperate, and mostly unsuccessful attempt to keep on time and on topic, we’ve modeled this episode after Pardon the Interruption. Only in this version, we don’t know which topics the other is going to bring to the debate. Very little lockout stuff within! Continue reading Episode 46 – Pardon The Interruption

Belfast Giants Season Preview

Knowing little and less about the British league, we’ve reached across the pond to long-time Belfast Giants supporter Jim Doran. Jim’s kindly agreed to keep us updated on the Giants’ 12-13 campaign. Make sure to give Jim a follow on twitter at @jai_dee.

The Belfast Giants are quite possibly best known across the pond for large dancing elves and that Mariah Carey Christmas video, but they are a hockey team, honestly. In fact the Giants can even count Theo Fleury amongst their past players. Yes, that Stanley Cup winning, Olympic gold medallist Theo Fleury who racked up a more than impressive 24 goals, 70 assists and 308 PiM in his 45 games for the Giants during the 2005-06 Elite League season. Continue reading Belfast Giants Season Preview

EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams… uber Alles?

With the prospect of an NHL lockout looming, Pucked in the Head is taking measures to ensure our hockey nerdery can continue unabated. So it is that we delve into the hitherto unexplored realm of European hockey. Jason has chosen the Belfast Giants of the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League to tide him over. Having German heritage on my mother’s side, I’ll be turning my attention to the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. For the duration of the lockout, and maybe even beyond, I’ll be following the (let’s face it, hilariously named) EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams. Finally, a chance to use that first year German course I took in 2001. Continue reading EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams… uber Alles?

Episode 45 – When Millionaires Fight Billionaires

Gary Bettman winking when he said "We hope to avoid a lockout."
Double, double, toil and trouble.

After way, way, WAY too long, we at Pucked In The Head have finally found the time to not only record, but actually edit a podcast and upload it to the server. Yes, thank you. We’re a little out of practice, so forgive us as we get a little ranty about the current NHL labour situation. Continue reading Episode 45 – When Millionaires Fight Billionaires