Pucked in the Head Podcast – Episode 55

Now with more fibre!

Pucked in the Head rises from the dead, groans uncomfortably and attempts to bite your brain to death before you deliver the all-important head shot takedown.  The NHL watched carefully, strategizing the zombification of the World Cup of Hockey. Sports poet Russell Arbuthnot sits in the big chair, but Jason Kurylo still manages to dominate the discussion.

Bonus: Spot the attempts to include NFL football references! Enjoy.

• Intro
• Sofa Surfer Girl by the Orchid Highway
• What kind of name is Arbuthnot?
• The World Cup of Hockey
• Advertising on jerseys?
• U-23 Teams? European Also-Rans? WT the actual F?
• I miss Tore Vikingstad
• The 17th Initiative
• The NHL Dep’t of Player Safety
• Damn you, Gary Suter!
• Rick Nash — is he finally for real?
• Don’t talk shit about Phil Kessel, man.
• Mandatory weak ending
• Time for a Change by the Orchid Highway
• Jason’s old. Thanks for listening.
Play

Vancouver rides the Stache to a Giant two points

Dude. This guy is in Lanny McDonald territory. WHL file photo.
Dude. This guy is in Lanny McDonald territory. WHL file photo.

Zane Jones’s moustache scored once and added an assist to drive the Vancouver Giants to a 5–4 win over the Red Deer Rebels on Friday night. The ginger duster was all over the place at the Pacific Coliseum, laying hits, creating open ice and sweeping into the dirty areas of the rink.

During an early second-period Giants power play, Jones’s lip foliage took a cross-ice pass in the left face-off circle. Rather than one-timing a snap shot on Rebels goaltender Taz Burman, the soup strainer extraordinaire took the puck to the backhand to cut around a sprawled d-man, made a power move to the lip of the crease. From there, Mr Tickler buzzed a shot into a razor-thin bit of open net, going top shelf where grandpa keeps the moustache wax. The entire sequence was made even more impressive by the fact that the tastefully trimmed mouth brow was dragging along a 210-pound Zane Jones under it the entire time. That lip luggage may have been named third star in the building Friday, but ask just about any of the six thousand-plus fans in attendance, and they’ll almost certainly name Old Bullet Proof number one.

The bro-merang’s big game meant a lot to the Giants, who won for just the second time in the last ten tries.

“I haven’t seen a nose bug like that since Lanny McDonald,” said Red Deer GM and head coach Brent Sutter in an exclusive interview I totally made up in my head during the drive home from the rink. “Seriously, I still have burns on my neck from all those battles on the boards against that mustachioed bastard. Back in the day I preferred getting speared by Ken Linseman to rubbing up against that bloody caterpillar.”

All kidding aside, this was a great game — it had everything junior hockey is meant to be. Loads of goals, momentum swings, a handful of fights and high energy action from the get-go to the final buzzer. On the strength of some lengthy periods of uptempo forechecking and hard work down low, the Giants were able to come back from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 deficits. Not to take anything away from Alec Baer’s late tying goal or from Ty Ronning’s power play winner with under a minute to go, Jones and his vaunted lip sweater were the main reasons the G-men walked away with these two points.

Zane Jones's moustache was all over the ice Friday night, scoring on this impressive power move in the second before setting up a late tying goal in the Giants 5-4 win over Red Deer. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.
Zane Jones’s moustache was all over the ice Friday night, scoring on this impressive power move in the second before setting up a late tying goal in the Giants 5-4 win over Red Deer. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Punctuation is hard

Earlier this week, Footy Headlines posted this leak of the 2015 Seattle Sounders jersey.
Earlier this week, Footy Headlines posted this leak of the 2015 Seattle Sounders jersey.

According to this post at Footy Headlines the Seattle Sounders are taking a proactive approach with their 2015 kit. Rather than allowing opposing teams’ supporter groups to come up with Sounder-bashing wordplay, they’re on the offensive with self-mockery that’s positively aces.

Either that, or their design team doesn’t know jack about the most basic rules of English punctuation. I mean, sure, Seattle is purty, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with this. It’s harassment, pure and simple.

Seriously, you green SOBs, say it with me: “commas save lives”. Take a class, or something. You’re just making it too easy for the rest of us.

Commas save lives.
Commas save lives.
The Seattle Sounders are apparently playing the self-mockery card this season.
The Seattle Sounders design department takes a Cormac McCarthy approach to punctuation to hilarious effect.

The March to March – Part 3

Whitecaps Wednesday

Welcome once again to Whitecaps Wednesday – and the 3rd installment of Pucked in the Head’s “March to March” series. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that the Whitecaps have managed to pull five victories from their first nine games.

Now mired in their busiest stretch of games (but not the most frenzied – we’ll see that in Part 4), we take a look into the third month of the season and forecast the results of their five May matches.

Buckle up quick, as their month kicks off with an away fixture in Portland, the first of two Cascadia matches in a three-week stretch.

Continue reading The March to March – Part 3

‘Twirlgate’, seriously?

There’s this tennis player, see, and she’s playing at the Australian Open this week. She made the final four in the first three Grand Slam tournaments last year, truly a breakout season for the 20-year-old. She even made the final at Wimbledon, where she had previously become the first Canadian to  win the junior singles title. Nowadays, she’s ranked number seven in the world, so she’s pretty good at this tennis thing.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could talk about how she overcame a rough first half of her third round match to dominate the #36-ranked French right-hander Caroline Garcia in the second set? We could discuss her steely on-court focus. Let’s break down her solid form on return. Or extoll the fact that she’s parlayed a strong all-around game into five consecutive Grand Slam fourth-round appearances.

Eugenie Bouchard rips a crosscourt forehand winner against third round opponent Caroline Garcia. Photo cribbed from an AskJeeves search.
Eugenie Bouchard rips a crosscourt forehand winner against third round opponent Caroline Garcia. Photo cribbed from an AskJeeves search.

Sadly, we can’t. Eugenie Bouchard also happens to be an attractive blonde with a gigawatt smile and a sense of humour. She’s on magazine covers and she tweets about fashion, so Ian Cohen just had to ask her to do a pirouette after her R2 win the other day. The justifiable shit storm to follow has both Channel 7 and Tennis Australia scrambling to deny association with Cohen — if neither the broadcaster nor the athletic body own this guy, why the hell was he doing on-court presentation in the first place? Tourism Australia is livid — they issued a press release stating “It’s completely inappropriate for a Bruce to ask a Shiela to twirl on a tennis court; the correct form is to shout ‘show us your teats’ at the beach.”

Mariners Hot Stove Review

by John Stewart

Mariners fans entered Game 162 of the 2014 campaign with as much excitement as we’ve had in a long time. Felix on the mound, a beautiful fall day, and the Ms in striking distance of their first playoff appearance in… well, a while. [Editor’s note: Please forgive John’s lack of specificity on this one. He resides in a country where they still use quarts, miles, pounds and Republican Senator Thad Cochran.]

King Felix was edged out by Corey Kluber for the American League Cy Young Award, but his performance in 2014 was nothing short of electric. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson nicked from oregonlive.com.)
King Felix was edged out by Corey Kluber for the American League Cy Young Award, but his performance in 2014 was nothing short of electric. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson nicked from oregonlive.com.)

Sadly, despite beating the Angels of Anaheim/California/etc., 4-1, the Mariners were eliminated when the Oakland Athletics won their game that same day. And so another Mariners season ended without a trip to the postseason. The Mariners finished 87-75, one lousy win short of that that bloody Wild Card spot.

Pucked in the Head baseball connoisseur and Hair Club for Men after picture model John Stewart loves him some Safeco Field. And why not? It's purty.
Pucked in the Head baseball connoisseur and Hair Club for Men after picture model John Stewart loves him some Safeco Field. And why not? It’s purty.

Yet for the first time in… a while [ahem]… there was a real sense of optimism at Safeco Field. With a league-low ERA of 3.17, Mariners pitching was generally outstanding, both in the rotation and out of the bullpen. The offense, again, was the weakest link, with later-season moves for Austin Jackson and Kendrys Morales proving to be insufficient to move the needle quite far enough. Still, being relevant on the last day of the season was a welcome change from the previous several years.

With attendance up, and some excitement building about beisbol (to be put on hold by many during NFL season, as the Seahawks mount an amazing run toward a second Super Bowl appearance in as many years), it was on to the Hot Stove League, aka the off-season. What did Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik have up his sleeve?

Continue reading Mariners Hot Stove Review

The March to March – Part 2

Whitecaps Wednesday

I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for today. Can you believe it’s finally here? I know I can’t. And I bet you missed me. But don’t fret, I’ve missed you too.

And now with formalities aside, part two of Pucked In The Head’s  March to March series sees the Whitecaps enter the second month of the 2015 MLS season with a 2-1-1 record. April starts off with a tough contest for the boys in the blue and white, followed by two more games within a week.

What will be the result, you ask? Read on, find out and curse my divinations in the comment section.

The Vancouver Whitecaps have seen an impressive run of play from young Canadian forward Russell Teibert. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.
Russell Teibert looks skeptical of my predictions. He may have reason to be. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Continue reading The March to March – Part 2

The 17th Initiative — Month Two: The Lookout Society

Angus here wants your blood.
Angus asks you to donate a Comfort Bag to the Lookout Society.

The 17th Initiative is a way of teaching my daughter about the powers of volunteerism and giving. Each month in 2015, on or around the 17th, we will connect with a charity or community organization of some sort. We encourage you, the reader, to do the same. Time, materials, money — whatever you can contribute, to whatever cause you believe in — use #17thInitiative if you want to share your good deeds on social media.

After meeting some of the good folks at the Now That’s Ugly Society, my daughter and I donated a few bucks to the Children’s Wish Foundation this month. We were hoping to raise a little bit more than $50, but we’re not here to focus on negatives. Fifty is better than zero, right? Besides, you can’t put a dollar value on the awareness you raise by talking about a cause. Children’s Wish is awesome. (You can still bump this figure up, if you’re keen, by throwing a few bones here.)

Little Kira has been diagnosed with leukemia — consider making a blood donation in her honour as she fights the good fight!
Little Kira has been diagnosed with leukemia — consider making a blood donation in her honour as she fights the good fight!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be involved in a couple of projects:

  1. Donate blood in support of Princess Kira, a two-year-old recently diagnosed with leukemia. There’s a all-day blood drive on Superbowl Sunday at Blacklock Elementary in Langley, or you can book through Canadian Blood Services anytime and make your appointment “in Support of Kira” (Partners for Life #INSU806630, if you want to associate future donations with this drive as well).
  2. Assemble a “Comfort Bag” for the Lookout Society, an organization that provides housing and support services for members of BC’s homeless population. My daughter and I will gather some of the items from the Winter Donations Wish List posted on the Lookout website (and shared below), pop it in a dollar store tote bag and donate it to Russell Housing Centre in New West. We encourage y’all to do the same!

The 17th Initiative will continue throughout 2015, so please feel free to comment or contact us with suggestions for ways to engage in the community as we move forward. If you’re already involved in causes or events, please share! Again, use #17thInitiative on Twitter and Facebook (or even Instagram, I guess, but I’m not on there myself).

For those who wish to give items other than cash, the Lookout Society has a donation suggestion list.
For those who wish to give items other than cash, the Lookout Society has a donation suggestion list.
Month 2 - Lookout
The Lookout Society provides housing, assistance and support services to members of the roughly 3,700 homeless people in the Vancouver area.

 

 

You know you wanna bobble Jon Blum’s head

You be the judge.
You be the judge. Does Jon Blum’s bobblehead resemble the real deal?

Bobbleheads are weirder than a kissing cousin convention, but their creepy kitsch is almost universally appealing. For years, figures bore little resemblance to the target athlete, but of late, the sculpts are getting better every season. No matter how lifelike they are, though, who doesn’t get a kick out of an oversized head waggling away on a teensy, tiny body? I mean, just look at Kelly Ripa’s numbers. (Seriously, how does she keep that blonde balloon afloat? There’s gotta be wirework involved, or a complex system of pulleys and gears…)

The Kelly Ripa bobblehead dol... wait, that's just Kelly Ripa.
The Kelly Ripa bobblehead dol… wait, that’s just Kelly Ripa.

At the Vancouver Giants game on Friday night, 1,000 fans will walk away with a bobblehead of former team captain Jonathon Blum.

The Giants are just two points behind the slumping Tri-City Americans, who are coming off a 7-1 loss at the hands of the class of the WHL Kelowna Rockets. The Amerks have won just thrice in their last dozen games, while the Giants have garnered points in twelve of their last fifteen.

Continue reading You know you wanna bobble Jon Blum’s head

Whitecaps Draft Recap: Replacing Andy O’Brien

In the 2015 MLS SUUUUUUUPERDraft, the Vancouver Whitecaps selected, I kid you not, a guy from Hicksville and a Banjo for him to play with. The Caps came into the draft looking to shore up their depth in a couple of key areas, and appear to have ticked all their boxes by selecting Tim Parker from Hicksville, NY via St John’s University, and Kay Banjo from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Continue reading Whitecaps Draft Recap: Replacing Andy O’Brien