Fresh New Hockey Season - Dana Chirps

Hockey is back. This past weekend I had the pleasure of going to my first hockey game of the season - it was opening night at the BB&T Center. The Panthers victoriously defended their home turf against my least favorite team in the league, The Flyers. 


The Panther's not only slayed the Flyers 7-1, but they also beat them up. It was nice to see Thorton acting as the enforcer that he is meant to be. Since his trade from Boston, I felt like he wasn't playing his game or wasn't given the opportunity. But it was just lovely to see him acting like his old self, wreaking a little havoc on the ice. Worth noting - Jagr might be old as hell, but he scored two goals. As long as he keeps scoring, and can keep up with the youngins', keep him out there - mullet n' all. Smith (also a former Bruin!) rocketed two goals, as well. 

I know it's way too early to jump to any conclusions, but I will say I was impressed with the readiness that the Panthers displayed. I was embarrassed for the Flyers - they were slow, they were sloppy, and they did nothing memorable. Not to discredit them, but I've seen junior teams play with more tenacity. 

I also noted some positive changes of the overall experience of attending a Panther's game. 

  1. The infamous and weird "RAWR" that used to blast throughout the games was only heard once and with music overlaying it. Thank you sweet baby Jesus.
  2. Although it was opening night, it was a sold out game which makes me slightly more optimistic for the franchise. Nice to see.
  3. They got rid of the painfully awkward entertainment, particularly, "The Rat Pack." This caffeine/coke/something fueled group was formed back when the Panther's made the playoffs in the late 90's. It always felt like such a joke as they were paying tribute to something so long ago. Their form of entertainment reminded me of the weird theater kids from high school - and I don't mean the cool kind of weird. Removing this group I think says that they are trying to get this franchise to be taken seriously. I respect that. 
  4. Music selection drastically improved. I actually felt like I was at a rink.

While there still seems to be no ketchup or poutine to enjoy from concessions, I'm pretty stoked at the aforementioned changes. It's the first time where I felt like I could maybe take the franchise seriously. I hope the changes are here to stay, and job well done to the folks who pushed to make them happen. 

                                                              My hockey game face.

                                                              My hockey game face.




4 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

My Response to Your Hockey Hating Article - Dana Chirps

I had other plans for this post tonight. Really, I did. But then I stumbled upon the most asinine article that has surfaced the face of the internet since the whole "is this ugly ass dress blue or gold" debacle. It was actually quite difficult for me to take this article seriously as it was written by a man with eyebrows that ought to have a Twitter account of their very own. But it really struck a nerve. You see, it's one thing to insult me or my loved ones, but it's a whole other level of abomination when you insult hockey. 

So here are my 5 counterpoints to your odious and sorry excuses to hate the sport so many of us love.

1) The Puck

You can't see the puck because you haven't taken enough time to study the game. When you're familiar with the game, you know exactly where the puck is. I say this without ever having played the sport myself. That, or those caterpillars growing out of your face may be intruding on your line of vision.

2) Substitutions

"I don't have a clue..." No, you really don't. So perhaps you should consider refraining from throwing shade towards a sport you know nothing about.

3) Brutality and boards

Hockey is one of the rawest sports out there. If you can't handle seeing some blood and casual bone breakage then I suggest you find a bridge club to participate in instead... although do be careful, I've heard some of those older ladies get quite vicious. 

4) Too Fast

I was convinced that when you suggested that skates be taken away from the sport that this article was satirical. Like, I'm embarrassed for you that you even proposed such a ridiculous idea. That's like saying basketballs should be square instead of round.

5) Too Indoors

Outdoor hockey is a special thing. We do have the Winter Classic and Stadium Series. But transferring the league to be entirely outdoors is simply unrealistic. Nice try, thanks for playing.

In summary, your points have derived from ignorance. So take the time to understand hockey, or chirp about something you know about. If you choose the former, let the definition of "chirp" be your first hockey lesson.

 

6 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

They Got it Right This Year by Mr. P - Dana Chirps

This post was written by Mr. P.

I know it’s fun to watch underdog teams rise to the occasion and make a run for a championship but sometimes it’s just a lot more rewarding to see the best go at it.  This year in the NHL conference finals, the best 4 teams are playing, and as a result, you’re witnessing some pretty awesome hockey.

I was going to write this when both series, NY Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, were knotted at 2 games apiece and then some comments and predictions.  But what I’ve taken from it all thus far is that predictions are just one person’s opinion and nobody really knows how this will end up.  As an example, the popular early choice favorite was whatever team emerges from the west. The Ducks got on a roll early in the playoffs and seemed like the pick!  But now Chicago is playing tonight to win back home ice advantage if they beat the Ducks in their pond.  And in the east, most people ignored the Lightning and their incredible upfront speed and huge size!  They are a fast as the Rangers, maybe even faster, and they have youth on their side.  And when your defense is as tall as the Duke mens hoop team and are mobile, you have to say they have the “it” factor.  

They say that “speed kills”,  and in ice hockey, nothing rings more true!  You can take all of the size you want and try to crush the fast little guys, but you have to catch them first!  What speed does is close the time and distance players need to make plays.  You limit the amount of space and time a skater has to complete a pass, a move, and even get a shot off, and you decrease the probability of that play actually happening.  It is a fundamental taught at the lowest levels of the sport, but is especially important at the highest levels.  You give a guy like Steve Stamkos or Patrick Kane an extra fraction of a second and they will burn you every time! 

What is special about our final four this year is that all four teams possess incredible speed up and down the lineups.  Tampa’s fourth line is as fast or faster than the Caps, Bruins, Penguins, and Islander’s top lines among other teams.  Chicago and New York had widely been regarded as the fastest team, but even the Ducks can skate with them.  What makes the Ducks and Tampa special though is that they have enormous advantages in size, and bigger fast guys will beat smaller fast guys almost every time.  So it is for that reason that I’m going to choose the Ducks against Tampa in the finals and say that Tampa will upset the Ducks for the Stanley Cup. 

But write in pencil please…there is one factor I haven’t brought up and that is goaltending…in the beginning, I eliminated Chicago and Tampa early because of their goaltending.  Crawford of Chicago can personally lose a series all by himself.  He tends to implode and give up goals in bunches as if he has lost his attention span.  To me, he is not championship material.  I did not know a lot about Tampa’s Bishop, but at 6’8”, he makes finding holes really difficult when shooting.  His glove and rebounds are not always what you’d like, although he passes the puck as well as any goalie in history.  Andersen of the Ducks is one who has managed to slip by the radar…I mean, who ever heard of a world class Danish goalie???  But he is getting the job done.  Lundqvist of the Rangers was the guy I thought who could carry a team right to the end…he still might!  Advantage-Rangers!

What does all of this mean?  Nothing!!!  Just my opinion and I’m going to ride the Tampa train to the end…really hurts to do so because I am a huge Ranger fan!!!

Regardless, these games are a must watch and I’ll miss them when they over!

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

"Orr, My Story" Review

"Orr, My Story" is an autobiography written by Bobby Orr himself. It took some teeth-pulling to get this low profile, extremely humble "hockey great" to agree to writing this... but I'm extremely glad that someone got him to do so as the stories are nothing short of amazing.

Readers will gain insight to Orr's classy, down to earth personality very quickly. In fact, one of the first things he addresses is the infamous picture from the 1970 cup game - you know the one - where he is diving in front of the opposing goal in celebration of having just scored the Stanley Cup winning goal against St. Louis. He said, "Perhaps the better representation would have been to capture the moment a few seconds after my leap - when my teammates piled on me and the rest of the Bruins poured over the boards to join in and celebrate the victory. It wasn't really just my goal, and it wasn't just my celebration, either. There was a mob on the ice, guys in Bruins black and gold, but also the coaches and trainers. The Garden was roaring. It wasn't just one happy guy, flying through the air by himself. But for whatever reason, there was always that famous photo, plucking that one moment out of time." For someone as freakishly talented as Orr, his modest approach and "we" orientedness just makes you respect him more.

Another thing I loved about this book was that it was filled with these anecdotes about the players he played with and against like Eddie Johnston (B's goalie), and Yvan Cournoyer (Montreal). This book goes several levels beyond just the X's and O's, and encapsulates this sport  and the culture within it so accurately.

Orr's depiction of his life playing hockey was what I expected it to be - insightful and interesting. But one of the parts of the book I most appreciated was how Orr addressed the problems with the sport as it is right now head-on... everything from the pressure that psycho parents put on kids, to defending the need to keep fighting in pro-level hockey (and out of minor leagues). In my opinion, his recommendations and observations were spot on.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves hockey that has at least fundamental knowledge of the sport. And since there are so many stories within the story, it's a book you can easily read a few times and pick up different tidbits.

1 Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Knees and Belly Buttons

I seriously can't believe I have a post with a title as ridiculous as this one. I also can't believe that this is even a discussion. I didn't anticipate for this type of issue to surface in my beloved sport, and I despise the fact that our world is getting overly PC. Here's the scoop: Meet Adam Proteau, a contributing writer to one of my favorite sites, The Hockey News. He has recently begun a crusade against the idea of females, specifically the Ice Girls, showing off their midriffs (or seemingly any skin below the chin) on the ice. Here is a link to his original post about this.

First let's talk about the good. I respect and appreciate the fact that Proteau took the time to ask his female Twitter followers how the NHL could better engage them as fans. He claimed that there were, "five common answers, including: hire more women in hockey positions (and hockey media), better sizing options for women’s jerseys and merchandise, a de-emphasizing of the color pink (or at least more non-pink jersey choices), the elimination of ice girls, and the key answer – don’t market specifically to women, and don’t do anything to make them feel like “The Other.”" 

While I think a lot of the feedback is true (in fact I agree on some of the points!), I am curious to know the credibility of this data. How many females actually responded? How many of these responders actually attend games?  What is the percentage allocated per suggestion? I realize this sounds nit-picky, but to take data seriously, you have to analyze it seriously, especially if it's going to determine any kind of business strategy.

But moving past this point, and onto the main one. The Ice Girls.

ns_24starsBLACKHAWKS_07_29299672_4722
ns_24starsBLACKHAWKS_07_29299672_4722

He seems to be coming from a sexually objectifying angle, saying "We ask them work for next to no money in frigid arenas with their shoulders, midsection and/or legs exposed. We ask them to objectify themselves – to be ogled and leered at by strangers – and never stop smiling. We ask them to reduce their contributions so that they’re little more than eye candy."

Oh. The horror. (Sarcasm)

Let's remember that these are women who sign up, and audition to do this because they :::gasp:::: want to! A lot of these girls are (rightfully) proud to wear these uniforms, as it gives them the opportunity to sport their team colors, while rocking a cute uni that shows off the body they have worked their tails off for! And the "never stop smiling" piece made me laugh - how is a frowning (or "resting bitch faced") Ice Girl good for business? I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to see someone smiling, and simply expressing themselves positively. Which is exactly what these girls choose to be a part of and do.

What really bothered me was this statement: "Nobody leaves a game and says, “The best part of the night didn’t have anything to do with the action on the ice – it was when that cheerleader jumped up and down in co-ordination with other cheerleaders and said something positive about the team!”" The Ice Girls aren't meant to be the main attraction, so why would one ever expect hear someone say that they were the best part? This also made what they do sound trivial. For very little financial compensation, these chicks help generate crowd interaction, on and off  the ice. They show up and participate in community events. These girls dedicate themselves to this part time job, often while balancing school/other jobs. And I think it's awesome.

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four
2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four

And for the record, I'd love to see Proteau attempt some of the moves these girls do, especially the coordinated jumping up and down bit he referred to... except that would probably make my eyes bleed.

On top of all that, Proteau suggested, "In late July, the Florida Panthers – a team that has struggled to attract fans – announced they’d be discontinuing their “Lady Panthers” cheerleaders. Good for them. If they don’t need scantily clad women to sell tickets, no team does."

Whoah whoah whoah. Since when should any NHL franchise base their marketing decisions on the Panthers' -  you know, the franchise that is losing close to $30 million dollars per year!? Um hello, they probably got rid of the Ice Girls because THEY'RE BROKE. And they probably put a lovely little  PR spin on it out of desperation.

Then Proteau releases another post. The gist of it is that the Flyers took away their Ice Girls after Proteau's first post, then came to their senses (with the help of their vocal fan base) and brought them back. It's not often I'll say something good about the Flyers franchise, but they did a solid job at listening to what their fans wanted. Naturally, Proteau is having a hissy fit. He went on yet feminist rampage. To the point of even saying things like...

"More importantly, do the Flyers actually believe fans will stop coming to games if they didn’t have women displaying their thighs, stomachs and shoulders like dehumanized meat products on the ice?"

Gosh Adam Proteau... is that how YOU look at them?

How about this... if knees, stomachs and belly buttons are that sexually objectifying, then maybe YOU should change the way you look at a woman instead of trying to take down a piece of NHL hockey that is positive and fun that both men and women appreciate.

Screen shot 2014-10-01 at 6.24.24 PM
Screen shot 2014-10-01 at 6.24.24 PM
6 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Soft People Suck

I can't stand how soft people have become as a society. People want to project reality through a fluffy veil of bull, instead of calling a spade a spade. I realize there is a time/place for everything, and that there are things that are off-limits. Now, with that being said... there is also an appropriate time to chirp, and poke a little fun at someone or something. For example, most professional sporting events have a "Kiss-Cam," where the camera scans the audience and pauses on a couple forcing them to kiss on air. I've seen the Kiss-Cam capture good kisses, bad kisses, awkward looks only to be followed by awkward kisses, people picking their noses, etc.

Recently at the Tampa/Philly game in Tampa, the Kiss-Cam paused on a less-than-svelte Flyers fan going to town on some chicken wings.

8c0febbc1d192c96680fb8d0159648ba_crop_north
8c0febbc1d192c96680fb8d0159648ba_crop_north

That's it. And people (not including the fan) got majorly butt-hurt over it.

A newscaster posted on his Facebook page, "TAMPA IS A MEAN CITY.... they couldn't find anyone kissing on the "Kiss-Cam" last night at the Tampa Lightning vs Philly Flyers game. Instead, they fat-shamed an overweight Flyers fan. He laughed, but don't tell me his feelings weren't hurt. Good thing I'm not the Commissioner of the NHL - somebody would be fired. That's not the way to treat paying customers."

...............Um.

I think the newscaster overreacted. Is it not common knowledge that if the Kiss-Cam is rolling, that nobody is safe? Not to mention, hockey isn't exactly the best sport to choose to participate in (in any capacity) if your feelings get hurt easily. Additionally, I haven't found any reports stating that this fan was offended/cared about having his adoration with fried chicken exposed. Only that he was a great sport and laughed it off.

I get the impression that this newscaster doesn't really follow too much hockey (if I had to guess, he probably watches some of the NHL playoffs, at most). While unfortunate, that's ok (I guess), except for the fact he is making statements like the one above without understanding the culture of hockey.

Hockey is one of the most humble sports out there. The players police themselves, and keep each other in line through physical and verbal abuse direction. It's just the nature of the sport, and I love that. It helps prevent divas from sprouting, and it yields a team chemistry unique to the sport.

Here's the bottom line: Even off the ice and out of the rink, if you can't laugh at yourself, you're doing it wrong. Nobody is perfect, and while everyone is (hopefully) trying to be the best that they can be, what is the harm in laughing at your imperfections along the way?

If you can't take the cold, then get out of the rink and go watch some soccer.

3 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

My First Panthers Game

For my birthday (last weekend), I went with my friend Kristen to the BB&T Center to watch the Panthers play the Bruins. I was obviously going to support the Bruins. Predictably, the Bruins kicked the piss out of the Panthers, outshooting them by 20 shots, leaving the score at Bruins 5, Panthers 2. Kristen and I had a blast time watching the game itself. I mean, it's hockey. Duh! I'm going to love it!

                                                             Some snaps from the game!

                                                             Some snaps from the game!

But the overall, the Panthers experience left me with these pros/cons:

Pros:

  • Tickets are cheap.
  • Easy to find great package deals - Duffy's, Living Social, etc.
  • Navigating the parking lot and getting in/out was easy.
  • Logistics of seating was easy.
  • I loved that they had live tweets scrolling on the board! Awesome way to get fan interaction.
  • The cons below are EASY to fix.

Cons:

  • While every damn mascot for every damn team in Florida mascot showed up, there was NO EFFING KETCHUP ANYWHERE in the building.
  • Way more away-team fans show up. (I obviously enjoyed being around tons of Bruins fans, but this is not a good thing for the Panthers' franchise).
  • The lady working the concessions counter poured the canned soda I got into an open cup, and took the top off of Kristen's water and threw it away. Apparently this is their policy, and it makes absolutely no sense.
  • The concessions lines were reallllllly slow. As in, people were screaming.
  • The dancers... there were some girls who looked awesome, and could clearly dance... but as a group - "ratchet" is the word that came to mind.
  • The entertainment on the ice in general was just... weird. The whole row of people I was sitting with were all giving each other quizzical looks. One half the rink had a bizarre hockey game with all of the mascots, and then the other half had two ice girls skating around with flags?
  • The music... hockey music is typically high energy rock n' roll... I'd say they picked good songs 15% of the time.

Again, we had an absolute blast going to the game. But I wish I could sit down with the brand managers and marketing directors, and help them strategize a bit. Like I had mentioned above, the cons are all fixable things.

So despite the lack of ketchup, and the weirdness of the entertainment - I'll definitely be back again - I go to watch hockey.

4 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Go home, Bieber.

For those of you who are new or new-ish to hockey - there are a couple of rules of tradition (and superstition) that one must follow out of the respect for the team, and the sport.

1. Don't touch the cup.

Sin.
Sin.

2. Don't step on the logo.

More sin.
More sin.

Disgustingly, this little twit of a pop star, Justin Bieber, committed both of these blasphemous acts in the locker room of last year's Stanley Cup winners - The Chicago Blackhawks. The same hand he selected to devalue The Cup is speculated to be the same exact hand that he uses when applying his something-about-mary-hair-gel. While wearing the filthy stupid sneakers that he prances around in singing about prepubescent angst, he also managed to desecrate the Bhawks' logo.

Furthermore, can we please discuss his choice outfit?

Look, I know it's (not soccer) hockey, a sport known for it's blended elegance of skating, dangling, and beating the pulp out of each other; and not something to be categorized as "glamorous." But would it have killed him to not dress like an upper-middle class high school drug dealer? I don't know, but perhaps he could have considered not wearing his sunglasses inside the locker room, and wearing shorts that are reminiscent of JNCOs circa 1996, and a shirt that we the people of the United States of America call a "wife beater?!" I don't know. Just a thought.

And now more recently, Bieber was arrested last week in Miami Beach for driving under the influence, and drag racing.

Justin. You've assaulted our ears with your music. Confused our eyes with your girly face. Disrespected all things related to hockey. Put American lives at risk as you attempted to drive a big boy car while under the influence.

It's time for you to go home, Justin Bieber. And may the hockey Gods smite you with lightning on your trip back to Canada.

4 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Game Has Changed

This post is written by Mr. P.

I’ve been following the sport of ice hockey since the mid 50’s and I am going to toss in my 2 cents on some of the things that have changed over this time. To me, these are very significant and have altered the way the game is played and even scored. I actually like most of the changes because the game has evolved into the fastest game on the planet and the speed and skill of the players has never been higher. Unless you are a dinosaur, it is difficult not to embrace how the game has morphed.

W/L/OT/SO Points

I will start with one change that I totally dislike and that is how a game is resolved and the points accumulated for a win-loss-tie-overtime/shootout loss. “Back in the day,” it was quite simple. Two teams squared off and went at it for 60 minutes. The winner was the team who scored the most goals. Well, it is still the team that scores the most goals that is the winner, but with the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in the mid2000s, ties were now eliminated. It used to be that a win was worth two points in the standings, a tie was worth one point to each team, and a loss was zero points. Very simple idea, easy to calculate and compare one team against another. But somewhere along the way, and perhaps it coincided with the adaption of “political correctness” into our lives, the governing bodies of the sport decided everybody should get a trophy and dropped a tie as an outcome. Now, when 60 minutes have been played and the score is tied, instead of it being over and the guys go home, they play a 5 minute overtime. If a team scores, they win and get two points credited to their points in the standings. But the losing team gets one point for playing overtime!  How lovely! And if that wasn’t enough, instead of allowing a game to end as an overtime tie, they now enter in a “shootout” round, where 3 to 5 (depends on the league) skaters are chosen a side and they alternate shots unimpeded breakaway style, on the opposing goalie! They play until one team has more goals than the other after each has taken the same amount of shots. Oh, the winner gets the two points again for winning, AND the losing team gets one point for participating! Kumbaya! I hate it…if this was basketball, why not just take free throws to settle a contest???  Dumb, dumb, dumb!

Now, on to the GOOD stuff….

The Players

The players…the players today are bigger, faster, and stronger than ever before. There is no comparison that can be made from the guys of my generation to today’s studs. I was considered a big defenseman when I was playing in my 20s at 6’1”, 185. I do not think there are ANY professional hockey players today that play defense at this weight…in other words, the guys are ripped! The art of training for ice hockey includes diet, strength, and endurance that all players do year round. “Back in the day”, when the season was over, most would take the summers off and go fishing and drink beers. They would arrive to training camp to “get in shape”. Today, they arrive “in shape” and ready to go. They are incredible physical specimens. Plus, science has played a huge role in using computers to study the motions of skating, shooting, etc. and they have been able to determine optimal output for each function, making it possible to track one’s progress toward maximizing their inner abilities. And kids today are taller than ever…

The Diversity

The NHL used to be only 6 teams of 20 players on a side. That was 120 jobs! No Americans were playing and when one finally made a team, it was big deal, even a scandal in Canada! The late 60s saw the league expand and by the 70s, there were 14 teams. Today, there are 30 teams which is now 600 jobs. But over this period, the league opened their doors to both American and European players to the point where some teams have more of them than Canadian born players. But what this has done to make the game better is that it has brought new concepts and a higher degree of skill to the game. The Europeans play on an ice surface of 200x100 which is 15’ wider than North America’s 85’ foot wide rinks. The Europeans (Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany among others) developed a style of play that specialized in skating, puck control, and intricate passing plays that contrasted heavily against the North American version of vertical skating and lots of body checking. The resultant mixture has become a beautiful hybrid of fast break plays with lots of hitting.  It is harder than ever to make the grade to the NHL level today and the fans of the game truly have benefitted from this.

The Equipment

And lastly, the equipment has enabled today’s amazing players to reach faster speeds, shoot harder, and make goaltending saves like never before. “Back in the day”, goalies did not wear masks. This is what an NHL goalie’s face looked like before masks. He's a beaut.

Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadians became the first goalie to wear a mask in a game in the 1959-60 season and this concept took off almost immediately. Goalies no longer feared death and played “bigger” as a result.

                                                      Jacques Plante

                                                      Jacques Plante

But as with everything else that was used in the 50s and 60s that is still used today, things have improved in the way they are built, the materials used, and the ergonomics of using them enhanced play, not hindered it. Gloves used to be made of leather and got wet and heavy during a game. Today, they  are almost like Kevlar and are amazingly light resulting in “faster hands”, which allows players to  “dangle” and stickhandle better. The skates also evolved from leather and steel to a lighter blade and almost weightless boot that can be molded and customized to a player’s foot! It would be like switching from ski boots to track shoes in a sprint. Skates used to get water logged during play and by the end of the game, one felt like he was wearing cement shoes.

And the sticks went from the heavy wooden version with straight blades to today’s composite sticks with curved blades that allow players to literally “launch” shots in a manner similar to how a pole vaulter uses the flex of his pole to launch himself over the bar. By learning how to strike the puck and snap it forward properly, today’s shooters literally sling shot the pucks on goal where an awaiting goalie is secure in state of the art padding that almost makes it impossible to score since the gear is so large and light.

I could go on and on but I’m afraid I’ve lost most of you already…suffice to say, the sport has improved from all of the changes and I have no doubt that in the next 30 years will be even greater!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

“Did You See That”?????

This post is written by Mr. P.

Greetings and welcome to this pretty cool site! I will be a frequent contributor and offer a ton of insightful information about this remarkable sport called Ice Hockey. The basis of my information will come from a life long association with hockey starting for me at age 5. FYI, I’m old enough to be your grandfather, or at least to many of you! My point is that I have been a player, coach, on-ice official, and hockey parent virtually my entire life and the thrill of the sport has never waned! So just imagine how many “behind the scenes” anecdotes I’ll be able to share with you. I will attempt to gear my threads to both novices to the sport all the way up to those who can match experience and knowledge with me or beyond…I’ve seen and heard it all! :)  I would encourage dialogue and questions and love to “chirp” as well.

The first organized game was played in Montreal, Canada in March of 1875 but it’s origins trace back to pre-Christian days in places scattered around Europe where the inhabitants took advantage of the cold, icy winters. Interesting enough, the first “official” game featured a “puck”, which is the flat disk that is still used today and the goals are still the same width, 6 feet. The original game had 9 players per side but was truly a descendent of a slew of games that featured balls and sticks of every type of material available then. The evolution of hockey has kept pace with the rest of the world and advances in training and equipment have made hockey the fastest sport in the world that doesn’t use motors or animals.  Wait, that sounds weird, huh?  LOL  But the good skaters can go end to end in a rink from a dead start, a distance of 200 feet, in less than 7 seconds. Players are routinely firing shots that exceed 100 mph with Zdeno Chara, a 6’9” defenseman for the Boston Bruins, being clocked at 108.8 mph as the “official” record holder for the hardest shot today. There was a guy in Russia who was recently measured at 114.4 mph, but his shot is not recognized as “official” due to “sketchy testing techniques.”

What’s scary is that probably half the shots taken in a game never reach the net because they are being blocked by opposing players using their feet, legs, and torsos as targets. I can assure you that you feel the impact and by the end of a season one’s body is a serious collection of bruises and bumps. But geez, hockey players do not even consider those an injury, tending to shrug off all but the worst bumps. A perfect example of this was where last season, another Boston Bruin named Greg Campbell, took a brutal shot to his leg and had it broken. What’s insane was that Campbell stayed on the ice and finished up his shift until there was a whistle for play stoppage!!!!

So yes, hockey players are tough! They are incredible athletes who train 365 days a year. They push themselves beyond the limits of most athletes and have not only awesome strength, but off-the-chart endurance. Possibly the best thing about the sport is the integrity and character of those who play it. They police themselves of those who stray beyond the limits of “socially acceptable” things in the sport (using their sticks to hurt others or deliberately trying to hurt someone) and fighting is allowed, although they are penalized for doing so….and it is rare when you read or hear of a hockey player getting in trouble with the law. And for the women who read this, you’ll find that they are ruggedly good looking bunch that really do have all their own teeth!  Well, most of them.

I’ll wrap it up now but in summary say I hope to offer everyone a view of hockey from the inside that will be fun, informative, and even a little provoking at times. It is a tight community and one can make lifetime friends within…I hope you enjoy my little contributions and I will come out “firing” (hockey term for starting a game or period very fast applying great pressure using hustle and speed) on a topic/incident next time!

“Mr. P.”

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.