I don’t usually write about my own incidents, but some people would like me to expand on a photo that I retweeted on Twitter involving a sensitive issue to many. I also felt that it would be appropriate to expand on the explanation I offered when this occurred.

Two days ago, after a Blackhawks game, there was a minor uproar from a small cluster of exceedingly sensitive people on a photo that I posted from a friend, who had retweeted it. Yes, I was the third party involved but that is beside the point.

The photo in question is below.

For those not involved in this convoluted situation you probably would like to know what transpired. Well, let me break it down for you.

1)      I was going crazy after yet another Blackhawks win as per usual (clearly headed for Twitter jail, again)

2)      Soon after, a friend posts this Peanuts cartoon

3)      I immediately retweeted the photo and then put it on my Facebook account.

4)      At this point, a surplus of people reposted the photo and had a  good chuckle from it and not one single complaint about it. Why would there be?

5)      Alas, a sensitive, flamboyant attention seeker decided to point out there is a word used in that cartoon that I didn’t think twice about and neither did any of the others that enjoyed the initial hilarity of the comic created by an unknown author. Then, a small handful of his groupies decided to call me out on being homophobic. Yep, can you believe that? I guess I’d better let my gay friends know immediately.

Moving on, the only thing that irked me a bit was about this asinine move was that this guy had the capability to speak to me in private on the matter and let me know his feelings about the cartoon and talk like a real man. Instead, he attacked openly, immediately blocked all means of communication between us and ran off like a little puppy with his tail tucked between his legs. Grow up, kid.

I received a countless number of direct messages on Twitter/Facebook about this certain individual and some of the atrocious things he has done or said to them.  The hypocrisy of this person is laughable if it weren’t so unbelievably sad but I will be the better man and not stoop to calling him out publicly.

After that a few of his boisterous friends did the same thing. They came attacking rather than talking in some sort of adult manner. Instead they bellowed and blustered, telling me how I should think and what I should do. Everyone loves that, eh? Funny thing is,  I have known these people for years and they know my character. I was then subtweeted repeatedly on numerous accounts, totally vilifying me. Not one of these people even tried to have a conversation. They simply went into attack and bash mode. Explain to me how they expect that behavior to “teach a lesson”. What could have been a moment of clarification for all involved, devolved into a moment of ugliness and angry words, on both sides of the issue.  Many friends sent messages in private supporting me yet sadly, they were afraid to speak out publically. Afraid of being viciously attacked by little group of big mouths.

Was there intent by me for posting that cartoon? Damn rights there was and it was to share something that I looked at quickly and thought it was funny. I wanted to share it with other Blackhawks fans. Was it a malicious intent? A hurtful intent? Absolutely not.

Should I have thought before I acted so quickly reposting about the wording of that cartoon? Yes, and I sincerely apologize to any of those I have offended.

Interestingly enough, I had a discussion with @GayCanuck on Twitter who was initially upset with the post, however, we spoke like gentleman and we came to an understanding like adults. Interesting how someone directly involved in the matter understands my sincerity over people who are supporting the cause.

People are wondering what my stance is on this issue.

My stance is, I don’t support it nor do I frown upon it. I stay out of the entire issue altogether and just treat people how I always have, equally and fairly.

I don’t tell people what to think or what they should do as my beliefs are everyone has their right to have their own thoughts and beliefs. Those are my PERSONAL thoughts and I do not push those on anyone like we see so many do.

In ending, again, I apologize for those that I unintentionally offended on this situation and I hope you can accept my apology.

For those who cannot accept my apology, I bid you adieu.

I’m sure people will find something to pick apart on this blog and then go into their little private messaging again to amuse themselves. If that’s what they like to do, so be it.

Now I’m going to go back to being myself on social media platforms.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If anyone would like to further discuss this issue as adults, you  can speak your mind in the comment section below. Much easier rather than being limited on Twitter :)

GO BLACKHAWKS!

TK0N

 

Injury plagued Detroit Red Wings are coming to town tonight and the Blue Jackets need to be careful. Coming off of an embarrassing 6-0 shutout loss to the St. Louis Blues the Red Wings are coming to town hungry. They are coming at us with a vengeance. The Jackets have just as much to prove though. Both teams are playing with out their longstanding captains who put points on the board. They are both trying to show the world they can hold their own with out Nash and Lidstrom. So far Columbus has proven that they can. Detroit on the other hand has yet to prove their dominance. Tonight will be an interesting game nonetheless.

 

WHAT THE BLUE JACKETS NEED TO DO:

  • Wear the Red Wings down: The Wings are hurting. They have one of the oldest rosters in the league. It’s time to show them how the young guns play. Hit them hard. Double team them. Rattle their brains and their bodies. Apply the pressure for all three games.
  • Never give up: No matter what happens the Blue Jackets can not show a second of discouragement. If the Red Wings sense even an ounce of discouragement they are going to use it to rally.
  • Play all three periods: Play not two, not one, but three periods. Play all three periods. This has been a problem for the Jackets in the past. They play well the first two periods and then completely lose it in the third. Sometimes they don’t even show up in the first and are in an uphill battle for the rest of the game. Since this is a shortened season they HAVE to show up for all three periods of every game.

WHAT THE RED WINGS NEED TO DO:

  • Not get hurt: Four guys are hurt and one is sick. Don’t get in fights and get off the ice if you are sore. The last thing this team needs in one more injury.
  • Guard the goalie: The Red Wings need to have a constant presence in front of the net. If they don’t they are going to have another repeat performance of  Saturday’s game.

 

The Jackets have the crowd and youth on their side tonight. Look for the boys in blue to light up Jimmy Howard tonight. It should be an exciting time.

LETS GO JACKETS!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great game played by the Chicago Blackhawks today in the first game of the NHL regular season, defeating the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings 5-2.

Patrick Kane scored the first goal of the year and added an assist later in the game. Jonathan Toews, coming off a bout with the flu, was arguably the best player on the ice which is incredible considering the lingering after effects having the flu. Toews also added a goal and an assist. Marian Hossa, in his first game back from his concussion, had a great game adding two goals and one assist. The highly criticized Michael Frolik got off to a good start by scoring for the Hawks, too.

Another often criticized player is goaltender Corey Crawford. Crawford played extremely well. Goals scored against him were basically unstoppable, the first goal he was screened on and the second goal he was pushed over in his crease. Crawford was always in position, square to the puck at all times and his movement was very fast. This is what we want to see from Corey from now on and with it only being one game after his sub-par season, he’s definitely on the right track.

There was some bad news with the Blackhawks victory tonight. Dan Carcillo was caught in a “collision” as a lot are saying with Kings star D-man Drew Doughty and ended up injuring his leg in the process. Head coach Joel Quenneville expects Carcillo to be out for a lengthy period of time.

How do the Hawks replace Carcillo? It’ll be tough as Carcillo was out there as a player who could protect superstars Toews and Hossa. With “Carbomb’s” presence it allows Toews and Hossa to do more freewheeling on the ice, as seen in today’s game, plus he can actually play not too bad compared to a lot of so-called “goons” out there.

It sounds like rookie Brandon Saad will replace Carcillo on a line with Toews and Hossa. Saad is an unproven rookie with big upside (which we’ve seen with many young Hawk players); he notched eight goals and twenty one assists in Rockford and has played two games with the Blackhawks last season before being sent down. One can understand the excitement for Saad to play but people need to remember he’s just a rookie and he may not blow people away like Andrew Shaw did last season. Saad also doesn’t add much of a “toughness” factor so we could very well see “open game” on Toews and Hossa as early as tomorrow night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

All in all it was a great start for the Chicago Blackhawks and it’ll be a tough test tomorrow night against the chippy and defensive Phoenix Coyotes.

Thanks to Zimbio.com for the photos.

 

 

When my older brother and I were kids our dad took us to an NHL All-Star practice. Admittedly, almost as exciting as the practice itself was not having to go to school that day as the practice was in the afternoon. It was 1989 and the game was being held in Edmonton that year.

I look at the roster to see all the names on the both the Campbell Conference and Wales Conference rosters and I’m absolutely astounded at the star power that was on the ice all at once – and we were right there to witness it. A young Brett Hull playing in his first All-Star game; Wayne Gretzky; Mario Lemieux; Steve Yzerman; Mark Messier; Pat Lafontaine; Ray Bourque; and our very own Dino Ciccarelli just to name a few. We were fairly young but I remember we were in complete awe, and all these years later I’m very thankful to my dad for the experience.

And now we have Jaromir Jagr – a player who sits 8th on the all-time points list throwing on the black and gold for likely just this one season – and a shortened season at that. With the 48 game schedule, that gives Stars fans just 24 chances to witness live one of the greatest players to play the game in what could possibly be his very last go-round. Of course that’s not counting any possible missed games, or any added games should the Stars make the playoffs.

Obviously we know he isn’t in his prime – as so many feel the need to point out. He’s not the kid with the wicked mullet putting up a point and a half per game anymore, but that’s not what anybody in the organization was expecting when he was signed. As we saw last season though with Philadelphia in his return to the NHL after a three year hiatus, the man can still play. He can still protect the puck probably better than anyone, he can still deke a goalie out of his shorts, and he can still make plays that will make you say “Whoa!”.

With his 19 goals and 54 points in 73 regular season games, he would have placed 5th on the Stars in points and 4th in goals. He also added 8 points in 11 playoff games. And coming to a team that will depend on him even more than what the Flyers did, it’s possible those numbers go up. He’s a definite upgrade to the top six and should help a power play that was 25th in the league last year at a woeful 13.3%. He was dominating the league playing for his hometown Kladno during the lockout scoring 24 goals and 57 points in 34 games – so I expect he’s fully ready to go and in great shape as usual.

Jaromir Jagr is what you call a generational player, and when it’s all said and done his name will be placed among the greatest who have ever played this game. He’s a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer and players like him just don’t come around too often. To put it in to perspective, this franchise is now 46 years old and has produced just one player who can even be placed in the same conversation as Jagr – and I don’t need to tell you who that is. As players like that retire from this game, we wish we could see them play just one more time.

So get out there and take advantage Stars fans. Take your kids if you got em too, so that 20+ years from now they can look back and say that they saw one of the greatest players to ever lace em up – and they saw him in a Stars uniform. It will mean something, trust me.

 

Thanks for reading. Check me out on Twitter at travcurrie

 

On this day 26 years ago in Indianapolis a very important document was signed. A document that would forever change the history of Ohio. The birth certificate of John Joseph Louis Johnson the third, Captain of the United States of America. Who knew this little bundle of joy would grow up to lead the US to victory upon victory?  What’s even more shocking is the fever that has overtaken Ohio. So much love for a man from the University of Michigan. Ludicrous I say, ludicrous. Today we salute you, Captain America. May you celebrate your birthday with the same gusto with which you celebrate your goals. Happy Birthday Jack Johnson!!

 

 

 

 

 

The lockout is finally over and we can now concentrate on the love of the game, statistics, rivalries, players and whatever else floats your boat about the greatest sport in the world.

I’m going to pass on any lockout talk as I’m sure you’re just as sick of all that as I am but I will offer you a personal point of view on a shortened NHL season.

Do I like the shortened season? Not really, however, its hockey and it’ll be something to watch on TV. Will I get right into the games?  Probably, how can I not get into the games? It’s a million times better than watching Honey Boo-boo or getting involved in a Twitter spat against some low life making fun of horrific world tragedies. I could delve right into my feelings on it but I will spare you the reading and do a short break down of something much better, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Projected line-ups:

Forwards

Sharp-Toews-Stalberg

Carcillo-Kane-Hossa

Bickell-Bolland-Shaw

Frolik-Kruger-Mayers

Bollig will be in and out of the lineup and very well could do a shuffle with Frolik, Kruger and Mayers depending on the team the Hawks are playing. Example: Hawks vs Blues expect Bollig in.

Ben Smith, Brandon Saad and Brandon Pirri will get a good look and there is an outside possibility one of those three may start the season with the big club.

As you can see there isn’t a lot of change up front for Chicago.

Defence

Keith-Seabrook

Oduya-Hjalmarsson

Rozsival-Leddy

If Montador is healthy it could mean a game in game out type of situation with Rosie, Leddy and Monty. The real interesting issue is when the Hawks signed Sheldon Brookbank to a deal they informed Sheldon and his agent that Brookbank would be a full-time roster player. Expect some movement by the Hawks this season. Likely man out would be Hjalmarsson as he would be the most sought after especially considering Montador’s health, overpaid Oduya and an aging Rozsival.

Goaltenders

Crawford

Emery

Expect a bounce back season by Crawford after a horrific sophomore season. A lot of goalies have poor second seasons which is usually their first year as a starting goalie; the added pressure is a lot on these guys. We’ve seen Crawford’s ability in his first season so we know he has the capability to be a number one goalie. With an improved defence in front of Corey that will also help him out.

With the cap going down next season I expect Chicago to be making moves; actually, I expect a lot of teams to be making moves. The Blackhawks may look at moving Marian Hossa who has a contract until he’s 80 years of age but still he’s one of the best 2-way players in the game. Hossa will be 34 this Saturday so if the Hawks can move him this season I’m sure they will. Of course the recent concussion he had may make teams shy away which may force Chicago to look at moving other pieces.

Predictions

I will take a shot at some predictions for the final standings but really it’s a crapshoot in a shortened season.

 

Western Conference

  1. St. Louis Blues – Hitchcock will have these guys playing their defensive game again and with their ever improving abundance of skilled forwards this team will be tough to beat.
  2. Los Angeles Kings – The champs will be tough again especially with stud goalie Jonathan Quick and their nice crop of forwards. Expect Doughty to be better.
  3. Vancouver Canucks – Without Kesler it’s going to hurt but considering the division they’re in it shouldn’t be tough for them to capture another Northwest crown.
  4. Chicago Blackhawks – I expect Chicago to be right there with St. Louis especially if Toews stays healthy. Toews was on pace for an MVP type year before getting hurt. Improved D will vastly improve this team and could easily flip-flop with the Blues for 1st in the Central
  5. Nashville Predators – The same old stingy defensive team will be there again but will they change something up so they can move to the next level?
  6. Detroit Redwings – An aging team with big questions on the back end. Their skilled forwards will be enough to get them into the show, again.
  7. Edmonton Oilers – Yep, I’m going there. I feel that a shortened season will help these young gunners and if the team can stay healthy (especially Taylor Hall) they could make some noise this year. Dubnyk is a HUGE question mark and I wouldn’t count out Khabibulin just yet.
  8. Minnesota Wild – The additions of Suter and Parise will help this team out immensely, however, the Wilds forwards are fairly deep but the defence is still a big question mark.
  9. Anaheim Ducks – Bounce back years for Getzlaf and Perry are in order but are really not too deep at the forward positions. Defence are big and slow with the exception of Fowler.
  10. San Jose Sharks – Perhaps I’m not giving the sharks enough credit because on paper their forward lines are pretty darn good but the old legged Sharks might need 20 games to get going and in a shortened season that’ll be too late.
  11. Phoenix Coyotes – This is a massive team up front, big slow behemoths and the back end is decent at best. I expect Mike Smith to be holding them in a lot of games.
  12. Dallas Stars – I seem to underestimate this team year after year, skilled forwards with some real tough guys but the defence is always what worries me for these guys. When Aaron Rome is fourth on your depth chart you have issues.
  13. Colorado Avalanche – Stastny going to show up? The additions of Downie and Parenteau will help this team quite a bit but really I only see maybe 2 and a half decent lines here with an average at best defensive core. Goaltending is questionable.
  14. Calgary Flames – I’m guessing these guys are going to officially try to rebuild now? Who knows with Feaster. They do have some nice prospects and Baertschi should step right in but they have a ways to go. Kiprusoff may play all 48 games.
  15. Columbus Blue Jackets – Their best forward is R.J. Umberger and their starting goalie is Steve Mason. Sorry but this team is in for a world of hurt for a few years to come. Brian Burke maybe?

Eastern  Conference

  1. New York Rangers – On paper this team is pretty sick and with the best goalie in the world in Henrik Lundqvist this team would be my early Stanley Cup favorites. Will Gaborik stay healthy? Will the team gel?
  2. Boston Bruins – Seguin is going to have an enormous year and the rough and tough Bruins will be tough to beat. Is it Tuukka time?
  3. Washington Capitals – They say Ovie is a new man, funny, they said that last year, too. Nevertheless, the addition of Ribeiro and a pretty decent 4 lines should be enough to take down the Southeast division. Holtby should take the reigns as the number 1 goalie in D.C.
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins – They really did very little to bolster their team but if they stay healthy they’ll be a very good team through the regular season.
  5. Philadelphia Flyers – Claude Giroux will have another MVP type season and if Briere gets healthy this team could make some noise. No Pronger is going to hurt big time. Perhaps Bryzgalov can concentrate on playing goal rather than trying to entertain fans with his bizarre beliefs.
  6. Buffalo Sabres – They have a good mix of size and skill with a pretty deep defensive squad. If Ryan Miller can play like he can this team should be damn good.
  7. New Jersey Devils – How much does Brodeur have left in the tank? Going back to last year he’s still go it, wouldn’t you say? The Devils should be a good team this year especially if stud Henrique is healthy and Clarkson has a similar type year to last season. Solid Defensive group.
  8. Winnipeg Jets – It took me forever to slot someone into this final playoff spot. This hulking team should be able to pound their way through to nab the 8th spot. Travel shouldn’t be too bad for these guys this season.
  9. Ottawa Senators – A step back for these guys this season and is Alfredsson even playing? They need help on the back end.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning – This team will score a lot of goals but keeping them out of the net is going to be their biggest problem. Stands should be full with $200 season tickets!
  11. Florida Panthers – Not too much change for them, Weiss may have a good half year so watch out for him. Probably a step back for the Cats this season.
  12. New York Islanders – I really like the forwards on this team minus Marty Reasoner and these guys should be an exciting team to watch. Defence is suspect and with Visnovsky staying overseas certainly doesn’t help.
  13. Toronto Maple Leafs – Firing of Brian Burke before the season starts, Toronto is already a mess and weak goaltending. Forwards are pretty decent but if they want a goalie they’re going to have to give up one of them.  If their defence can play like they should these guys might have a legit shot of making the playoffs but I suspect little confidence in Reimer no matter what the players/coaches say in their interviews.
  14. Montreal Canadiens – They’ve added Brandon Prust and…is that it? Same team, not sure about Markov as usual, d-men are still improving. Lucky they have one of the best goalies in the league in Carey Price. I don’t see this being the year of the Habs.
  15. Carolina Hurricanes – Team should score some goals but you never know what you’re going to get with Semin and staying healthy will be a question mark. Pretty decent forward crop but their defence stinks.

Stanley Cup Final: Chicago Blackhawks vs New York Rangers

Well there you have it, my fearless predictions that could be a complete fail like most peoples predictions are but they’re fun to do. Agree or disagree on any or all of these? Am I way off? Let me know.

Thanks for reading,

TK0N

 

 

 

 

The University of Akron Ice Hockey team is back at it again. On January 11th UofA Ice Hockey will play host to the Cleveland Mighty Barons Sled Hockey team. That’s right,  the boys will trade their skates for sleds in a fundraiser game to benefit both teams. This game is one of the 2013 must see games of the year. Imagine a group of guys who have skated their whole lives trying to go toe to toe with a group of kids who have more than likely never put on a pair of skates. Instead of ice skates there are sleds. Instead of one stick to shoot with there will be two sticks that you have to use to steady yourself, steer yourself, and shoot the puck with. This will be a humbling and inspiring experience for the UofA hockey team.

Here is what I ask of you. Come out and pack the Ice Complex. Make the Cleveland Mighty Barons feel like rockstars. Cheer loudly. Help make this a long lasting memory for these kids.

Puck drops at 8:40 pm on Friday January 11th at the Ice Complex in North Canton, Ohio. Admission is by donation and the profit will be split between the two team. Please consider donating generously. Sleds cost around $600 a piece and ice time doesn’t come cheap. Help these boys continue to live out their hockey playing dreams.

 

The Center Ice Sports Complex is located at 8319 Port Jackson Ave. NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720

Come on down and as an added bonus you get to hear me sing the National Anthem ;-)

 

Some say Columbus isn’t a hockey town. They say it’s a joke to house a NHL team in Ohio. Reporters all over the NHL say there isn’t a market for hockey in Columbus, let alone Ohio. Columbus’ fandom is the butt of everyone’s jokes. Columbus is a misunderstood hockey town.

Bright and early yesterday morning hockey fans all over the Columbus area piled into their favorite hockey bar, R Bar.  The USA chants started almost immediately after puck drop. Every goal was accompanied by cheers so loud they could wake the dead. When they raised the American flag the bar belted out the National Anthem with such gusto I’m sure people a mile away could hear. We love our hockey. We are loud. We are obnoxious. We are proud. We are honest bordering a little on the over emotional side. We are more than just a NHL hockey town. We are an every kind of hockey town. When we are hungry for hockey we find games to satisfy that hunger.  During this lock out we have traveled near and far to get our hockey fix. AHL, ECHL,College, High School, pee wee, sled, and even beer leagues. We follow team USA religiously. Here’s the thing. We may not be strictly Jackets fans. You can’t expect that from a state that didn’t have a team until 2000.  Within six hours of Nationwide Arena there are six rather successful hockey teams. Five of which have been in existence for at least 38 years. Our fans are slowly evolving. Every week a new Blue Jacket fan is born. When opposing fans enter Nationwide Arena we try to convert them. We strike up conversations with random people wearing other teams jerseys. It’s easy to convert fans when the players are approachable and the organization takes an active interest in the fans.  We are slowly turning Ohio into a state full of  Blue Jackets fans.

Columbus may not be a Blue Jackets town but it is a hockey town. We eat, breathe, sleep, bleed, and live hockey. We have homemade rinks in our backyards. Monday nights are spent watching football on the televisions at the local Chiller in-between periods of rec league hockey games. Walk into any parking lot in Columbus and you will see at least two vanity plates dedicated to hockey. We own a multitude of hats not because we like to wear them but because we like to throw them. We even use hockey terms to describe plays in every other sport. We can’t help it. We are addicted.

Columbus is a hockey town. We accept all walks of hockey life. We may not have a Stanley cup but at least we aren’t hockey snobs.

 

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