Everything Else

Fireside Chat

A few things to cover this week, some from Tuesday night’s affair and some that have nothing to do with Tuesday night.

–It only took about 15 seconds for the Capitals to put Joakim Nordstrom to the test. In their first four power plays, the Capitals were running their power play on whatever side Nordstrom was playing on. Nordstrom, understandably so, was caught in between a lot of times, having a difficult time deciding whether to take away time and space or give his man room. ¬†Skill guys like Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin chewed that up.

In other news, the Capitals scored on three of their first four power plays. It wasn’t until Kruger and Nordstrom started rotating during the penalty kill that it slowed down the shooting gallery that was Washington’s power play.

One game, yes, and Nordstrom’s first NHL game as well. But definitely worth keeping an eye on moving forward.

–What in the hell was Braden Holtby doing on Johnny Oduya’s goal? Ok, the puck was knuckling but it was hardly a scorcher and there was nary a body near him.

–As for the ceremony, there’s really nothing I can add that hasn’t been said. It was an amazing experience and the choreography of the lights and videos along with the banner and the Cup; it was just surreal.

Only a couple things stick out for me.

Kudos to the Blackhawk fans that are seeing beyond the Edzo schtick as he received quite a few boos when he was introduced as the emcee.

One thing that really bothered me during the event was when the kids came out to present the banner. Not that they skated it out; rather it was something that was scripted. Edzo said something along the lines of “These Blackhawks were once those kids and someday those kids will be standing where the Blackhawks are, helping their home team win the Cup.”

Now I’m positive this was a line that John McDonough had his hands all over. The problem is, delusional parents believe that. As someone who has spent a decent amount of my adult life coaching youth hockey, delusional parents are the absolute worst. And while it’s good for kids to have dreams, the simple facts are if they’re not playing AAA hockey by the time they’re 13 years old, they’re not going to be helping the Blackhawks do anything in the near future.

Yeah, Patrick Kane was once one of those squirts that was skating out the banner. But Patrick Kane was also dominating against 16 and 17 year olds by the time he was 12 and moved out of his parents house when he was 15.

This is a hunch but I’m guessing none of those kids are doing that.


The common knowledge of how players make it to the NHL is misconstrued because the path is so different than every other sport. Take for instance, this article that ran in the Sun-Times about Orland Park native Connor Carrick.

Carrick never played for Carl Sandburg High, moving away at age 16 to play on the U.S. National Development Team for two seasons and then the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League last year, where he had 12 goals and 32 assists in 68 games. He played for the Chicago Fury and Chicago Chill before that.

Maybe this is obvious to me but I would venture to guess that 99.9% of NHL players that don’t hail from Minnesota didn’t play for their high school team growing up.

–Whoever is the Blackhawks DJ is incredibly talented at mixing all different genres of music into the ebb and flow of the evening. From top 40 to metal to indie rock to classic rock, he or she is definitely covering all the bases.

However, someone that isn’t…the person that decided to play Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” underneath an interview with Patrick Sharp talking about his wife and family. Unless of course, they knew something about Mrs. Sharp the rest of us don’t.

–Couple of movie notes. Finally watched “World War Z.” Amazing addition to the zombie genre. I watched the unrated version. It was very intense, well written and wholly unpredictable. It definitely does not follow any kind of zombie movie gameplan and early on when you think it will, there are a few things that happen where you’ll realize to cinch it up and hunker down because just about anything can happen. Considering the movie is going to make nearly a billion dollars, a sequel will be in the pipeline soon.

I saw Don Jon this week. Now, I’m not ashamed to admit I have a bit of a man-crush on JGL so maybe I’m a little biased in this, but I thought it was very entertaining. Tony Danza plays his father and is a poor man’s Rodney Dangerfield in the role. He puts on a terrific performance and is arguably the best character.

What really makes the movie so intriguing, though, (and what has kept me thinking about it) is the last act where it throws out all the rules and becomes more about real life instead of bullshit storytelling that goes from point A to B to C. For JGL’s first go-around as writer and director, he has set the bar pretty damn high.

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