Around the Arena: Top 12 Pond Hockey Rinks

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pond hockey with mountains

It is that time of year where outdoor ice rinks start to pop-up throughout North America. When I see these rinks I can’t help but want to have hockey go back to the roots of the game, the great white outdoors of winter. Any outdoor rink is awesome for a game of “pond hockey”, but some outdoor rinks have the atmosphere and setting to truly be a special venue. Here are my top 12 North American picks for outdoor rinks to play some pond hockey on.  (Note: some of these rinks have restrictions/rules against or inhibiting the play of hockey on them, therefore it is more where I wish I could play pond hockey)

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Goalies: How the Colour of Goalie Pads Matters

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Different Colors of Goalie Pads

A goalie’s equipment is a somewhat personal matter. We all take pride on some sort of level with the gear that we own. It’s ours, we wear it constantly, and so much of it can reflect how we play as well as our personality. Some pads may be outgoing and flashy, while others conservative and utility based, but the decision between these two choices can all be reflected in the choice of colours for your pads.

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At the Quarter Point: If the season ended today…

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The Stanley Cup NHL

Usually at this time of year is when you start to hear a lot of discussion concerning teams in and out of the playoff picture.  One of the most consistent points brought up is that by American Thanksgiving 80% of the teams in the playoffs will be the same come spring (I just thought I would mention that at Canadian Thanksgiving 100% of the teams are in the playoffs.).  I found myself thinking about this a lot this week.  A lot can happen within a season; significant injuries to a star player, an inexplicable winning/losing streak.  Although we try to quantify the game of hockey through stats (and advanced stats), sometimes the game itself is just so volatile that it is really hard to predict outcomes.   So I decided that throughout the rest of the season, I will be looking at who is in the Playoffs at:  the quarter, the half, three quarters, and the end of the season.  For the fun of it, I will also make a prediction as to what teams will win the first round matchup and my reasoning.  OK, here are the standings as they played out after each team had played 20 games:

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Four Fantasy Hockey Footnotes: Happy 1/3 of Season (a.k.a. Thanksgiving)

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Fantasy Hockey

In most fantasy hockey leagues, American Thanksgiving signals the 1/3 point of the fantasy hockey season. Fantasy teams have come to show their true light. The next two months tend to be the most important in fantasy leagues, in regards to fantasy hockey playoff qualification. If your team remains irrelevant after the holiday season you will most likely be fighting for your life to get into your fantasy playoffs. Whether your team is sustaining its dominance, is a work in progress, starting to show a weakness, or just trying to stay relevant, here are some thoughts to think about in the coming holiday season.

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NHL Weekly Summary: Week 8

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nhl-wallpaper-15321-15794-hd-wallpapers

NHL Weekly Summary: Week 8 (Sunday November 23rd 2014 – Saturday November 29th 2014)

Here is this week’s top NHL news. This post is just meant to be a convenient way for some people out there who are busy during the week and need a nice condensed list of what has happened in the NHL each week. All headlines are linked to articles with further detail. Please let me know if there is any errors/anything that you think I should add to this list and I will fix it/deem if it is worthy.

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NHL Rookie Review 2013-14

By:
mackinnon

Now that we’re over a quarter of the way through the season, predictions as to where teams will finish in the standings, how individual player statistics will finish, and the distribution of player awards handed out next summer begin appearing more and more frequently.

Crosby took home the Ted Lindsay, Hart, and Art Ross trophies at the 2014 NHL awards. (JOHN LOCHER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Of those awarded each year, the The Calder Trophy is one of the most exciting. The Calder Trophy is awarded each year to the “Rookie of the Year”. This year’s early Calder favourite is Nashville’s Filip Forsberg. His 23 points (10 G, 13 A) in 22 games played are 7 better than next-best Johnny Gaudreau (3 G, 12 A; 23 GP), and he leads all rookies in both goals and assists. NHL.com currently ranks Forsberg ahead of Gaudreau and Aaron Ekblad for this year’s Calder trophy.

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Hockey on the Big Screen

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goon-movie-image-seann-william-scott-slice-01

A breakdown of my top 3 favourite hockey themed movies

Hockey is no longer just a sport. In Canada at least, it seems as if an NHL logo is waiting around every corner. Fans wear their jerseys proud, they personalize their license plates, and some even go as far as painting their house the colours of their favourite team!

HabsHouse
There is only two options: 1) His significant other likes the Canadiens as much he does. 2) He doesn’t have a significant other.

As hockey slowly changed from a game to a culture, its prevalence in everyday life followed suit, so it is no surprise that hockey made its way to the big screen. There have been quite a few hockey movies filmed over the years; some are very good, but most are not…  The few good ones out there have become iconic to the hockey community. They have influenced countless beer league/fantasy hockey team names, they have roots to many popular locker room and on ice dialogues, and some even have apparel which is often seen worn by hockey fans (one of these fictitious jerseys even made it to the NHL!). Here is my selection of the top 3 best hockey themed movies. These are based on my life experiences, so do not panic if your favourite did not make the cut! Instead, tweet me your favourites by clicking here!

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Hockey Life: Today’s Goalie Pads

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Randy Friesen-Pixel Photography

Boy, we goalies have come a long way with our equipment, haven’t we? It seems like just a few seasons ago that everyone was still stopping pucks with thick leather pads of every team color that could have been incorporated, tastefully or not. A lot of pads were shaped relatively similar too, with all having the standard thigh rise, outer roll, knee rolls, and for the most part they all had boot breaks. Oddly enough, NHL regulations were a little lackadaisical compared to the way things are now. We’ve seen a number of revisions, specifically on pads. We even had a goalie pad change last season, reducing the pads thigh height.

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NHL Weekly Summary: Week 7

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nhl-wallpaper-15321-15794-hd-wallpapers

Here is this week’s top NHL new. This post is just meant to be a convenient way for some people out there who are busy during the week and need a nice condensed list of what has happened in the NHL each week. All headlines are linked to articles with further detail. Please let me know if there is any errors/anything that you think I should add to this list and I will fix it/deem if it is worthy.

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The Away Game: Pick Your Best Hockey Stick

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featured image

It’s inevitable — your hockey stick, no matter what make or model, will eventually break. They can only take so much abuse and fire off so many shots before something eventually gives. But picking out a new hockey stick — no matter whether you play in an adult “beer” league or in a more advanced, competitive league — is a lot more than just heading to the store and selecting a new one.

Yes, the hockey stick has evolved rapidly since the early days of the game. It’s transformed from all wood makes to aluminum composites with detachable blades and now to one-piece composites that are lighter and offer more power than predecessor models. Hence, there’s a lot to consider when you’re selecting your next stick. Here’s a look at the anatomy of a hockey stick and all of the different features you need to keep in mind when making your next selection. Believe it or not, even a slight change or alteration in anything from the shaft to the blade can either increase performance or force you to adjust your game accordingly.

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