November 01 2012 10:53AM
The Last Gladiators is a documentary about hockey, but it focuses mainly on former NHLer Chris Nilan. The film is honest, funny, realistic and heartbreaking. Nilan talks openly about his career, his drug and alcohol addiction as well as his upbringing with an abusive father. Check your local listings to see where it is playing in your area.
There was an advance screening in Edmonton a few weeks back and after I mediated a Q and A with Nilan and the audience he agreed to do an interview about the movie. He was just as candid in the interview as he was in the movie. I didn't omit any of his responses and the following interview is just a small sample of what you'll see in theatres.
November 01 2012 09:02AM
Nothing special jumps out at you watching Josh Leivo. He doesn’t blow by you with blistering speed or dazzle in one-on-one situations. He doesn’t have a 100 mile-per-hour slap shot and isn’t going to flatten people with huge hits.
What does jump out is improved scoring capacity, a singular aspect exhibited from his pre-Ontario Hockey League days that he’s adapted to his maturing overall game.
Year over year from his draft year in 2011, he scored 19 more goals and on a similar pace this season, without OHL scoring leader Michael Sgarbossa.
October 31 2012 09:36PM
Another packed day of KHL action here - 11 games!!! That's more than 10 games. It's science.
Yakupov's looking great, Malkin's looking great, some familiar names, some new ones, and some crazy finishes.
Check it out and enjoy!
October 31 2012 11:14AM
There's been a lot of discussion on various blogs lately, predominantly the Backhand Shelf and our sister site NHL Numbers, on how fourth lines are composed. I thought it might be interesting to look at the composition of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it appears to be that the thought process behind the team's fourth line has become more clearly a line where the Leafs want to put good players instead of bad players.
The addition of David Steckel last season showed a clear leap on the part of the Leafs towards making their fourth line more serviceable and less dependent on the grinders and fighters Brian Burke supposedly loves. Just a general look at the Leafs that got the ice-time in years from 2009 through the present shows this shift.
October 30 2012 09:45PM
Nobody's perfect, but I figured I'd leave this image up. Tyler Bozak tweeted out the picture, then deleted, but it was caught by a Leafs fan who posted it on Tumblr. Not too much to write, considering Thomas Drance at Canucks Army wrote the necessary words last year:
Here's the point to me: blackface halloween costumes are racist at worst, and woefully ignorant at best. They're in indefensible poor taste and any smart person knows it. There's context here though, hockey players and the world they inhabit isn't always enlightened. Just based on Bissonette's usually excellent twitter account you can infer some borderline medieval attitudes towards topics like in-game toughness, and women. Up until tonight I wouldn't have included "ethnic minorities"(*) on that list, but the fact that one of the most "with-it" NHLers wasn't wise to the shit-storm that would ensue when he tweeted out a photo of a teammate in blackface is baffling, revealing and sad.
Those words will live on in infamy across this network. There's no article here, it's been written already. Keep the comments clean.