Jun
29

The Stanley Cup

Posted in Hockey History |

The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup 2012 beating Devils. Awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff winner, the Stanley Cup pretty much closes the ice hockey season. The Stanley Cup is also known as The Holy Grail among other names.

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Traditions are abounds with the Cup. The winning team drinks champagne out of the Cup. Unlike other cups where the winning team keeps the trophy, the Stanley Cup is kept by the winner until a new winner is crowned and the winning team players names, managers and others names are engraved on the Cup.

The original bowl was made out of silver, 7.8 inches in height and 11.42 inches in diameter. The current cup is topped with a copy of the original, made of silver and nickel, and 35.25 inches in height.

The original cup named Dominium Challenge Hockey Cup donated in 1892 by the then Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston and for the first time awarded in 1893 to Montreal HC. According to an agreement between two hockey organizations, NHA and PCHA, the Cup was awarded to the winner in 1915. The NHL took over the Cup in 1947 after an agreement with the trustees.

Apr
19

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)

Posted in Hockey History |

Many of us are very familiar with the NHL (National Hockey League) that is playing its 2012 Stanley Cup Championship at this time. It is mainly a non-profit organization consisting of 30 hockey leagues that covers Canada and the United States. However, the IIHF is the governing body of ice hockey and in-line hockey worldwide. Founded in 1908 and head quartered in Zurich, Switzerland this body consist of 70 members (51 full members, 16 associate members and three affiliate members). Its main responsibility is to manage international ice hockey tournaments. Only full members have the voting rights. Associates members may not have a national body that deals with ice hockey issues in the country and affiliate members only participate in in-line hockey.

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IIHF presides over the ice hockey games at the Olympics and conducts World Championship games. Additionally, it also organizes the European club championship.

Despite its worldwide responsibility, IIHF has minimal control over the NHL which is the more prominent control authority in ice hockey in North America. However, IIHF has more power over ice hockey in the Europe.

Even with a powerful NHL organization, the IIHF continues to function as the international coordination agency for the sport.

Mar
31

NHL postseason picture is getting clear

Posted in Hockey Tips |

With approximately four games to be played in the regular season, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) playoff picture is somewhat clear. Still there will be a log jam for the eight place with a week before the postseason start.

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In the Eastern Conference there seems to be a heated contest for the seventh and eighth places to get into the postseason. Buffalo, Washington and Ottawa are battling it out. It appears that 90 points may be the magic number to qualify.

In the Western Conference, the minimum required point to qualify seems 94. San Jose Sharks may be out of the playoffs but four games remaining they are controlling their destiny. They need to win three out of the remaining four to secure their postseason berth. Dallas Stars have two games with Sharks and their chances are same as San Jose. Even if Los Angeles Kings wins their game with Minnesota, they still need another win out of three remaining games. The Coyotes still needs a win to reach 94 to keep their postseason dream alive. The strong St. Louis Blues are hoping for a boost from other battles, but pushing for a win may give them a place in the postseason.

Jun
6

Understanding the construction of an ice hockey skate

Posted in Hockey Tips |

There are three main parts to the construction of a hockey skate. The upper part is known as the boot, attached to a plastic holder and the lower part known as the runner made of steel. The plastic holder and the attached steel runner are important in mobilizing the skater. Basic and introductory skates are made of one piece holder and runner. It is appropriate for most beginners of ice hockey game but those who are engaged in competition should look for two piece construction because they hold impacts much better and the steel blade can be replaced easily. Once a good pair of skates are used for a fair amount of time, it is important replace them without trying to repair them.

The upper part, hockey skate boot, has become a more complex construction over the years. They are getting lighter and more supportive pieces of the skate. Some are made of texalium glass, carbon composite, thermo-formable foam and anti-microbial hydrophobic liner. As a result, these materials contribute to less weight, more comfort and durability, and provide much needed protection. Skaters have much more options than any time before and skaters get hooked on to a brand after trying several of them.

Apr
30

Who controls NHL games?

Posted in Hockey History |

NHL officials carry responsibility for enforcing league rules on games and conducting fair and impartial judging of a game. On-ice referees and linesmen as well as off-ice officials carry the burden of successful completion of a game based on rules that everyone abide by.

A referee is responsible for the supervision of the game, wears red or orange armbands, carry the power to impose penalties for violations, and conduct the initial faceoff of each period. Linesmen watch for center line and blue line violations and breakoff scuffles and fistfights. In some instances linesmen are also given the responsibility of an assistant referee. Each game use one referee and two linesmen. In some game four referee system is used where two referees and linesmen exchange the responsibility for a portion (first or second half) of the game.

Off-ice officials include goal judge, video goal judge, official scorer, game timekeeper, penalty timekeeper and a statistician. They each provide additional assistance services off the ice. Except the Video goal judge, others do not directly take part in the conduct of the game. Video goal judge reviews disputed goals and since the referee has no access to video, video goal judge’s decision becomes the final decision.

Mar
6

Guessing the Stanley Cup playoff picture

Posted in Hockey Tips |

At the end of the month, we will know who will be playing in 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. There will be 16 teams vying for the coveted cup. Playoff schedule will be finalized at the begging of April 2014. Given what happened so far, some notables are expected to make the list. Playoffs are expected to start on April 16th and defending on how games will progress will go on until April 30th. We have used star power, plotlines, arena atmosphere, game outcome especially game seven probabilities, and many other factors to come up with the following list. Don’t forget, many of the teams will include plenty of crowed favorite bearded men and Los Angeles will be the one to watch.

In the Eastern Conference familiar names expected to include Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit, Columbus, Montreal, Tampa Bay, NY Rangers and Philadelphia.

In the Western Conference the picture is much clear. Teams will include Los Angeles, Colorado, Minnesota, San Jose, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, and Anaheim. Surprisingly, all three California teams are showing a strong comeback this year and many expect them to make it to playoffs. If there is a game or series between Ducks and Dallas it will definitely thrill many fans.

Feb
10

Leading to 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs

Posted in Hockey History |

Season that began on October 1, 2013, the Stanley Cup championship game is scheduled for April 13, 2014. NBC and its affiliates are expected to carry the playoffs as well as the championship game live on TV and on the Internet. Playoffs leading to the Cup will start on April 16, 2014. Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup in come from behind victory over Boston Bruins. Chicago’s winger Patrick Kane named MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Predictions for the 2014 Cup are floating around the Internet. But many may fall flat leading to playoffs. It’s hard to say who will win the Cup. Player acquisition will play a major role in the outcome of many games to come. Based on many available predictions, we can see a pattern is starting to develop. In the Western Conference Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, and San Jose Sharks are vying for a position at the playoffs. Last year’s Cup winner Chicago Blackhawks seems to be leading the pack all the way to the final Cup match. On the Eastern Conference Pittsburg Penguins, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, and Tampa Bay Lightning are closely watched by many fans.

Jan
27

Team USA game against Russia to bring back memories

Posted in Hockey Tips |

It took long 34 years since 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Winter games for ice hockey to be reintroduced at Winter Olympics and Sochi, Russia games are going to the history book for hosting the game. Bolshoy Ice Dome is the venue and rival Russia and the U.S. will be pitted against each other. It is sure to bring back 1980 memories of the U.S. and Soviet rivalry where Team USA won gold and later was the subject of movie “Miracle.” Team USA will face Russia in Sochi on Saturday, February 14, 2014.

Most watch Team USA player will be forward Viktor Tikhonov, who was born in Latvia and moved to Northern California when he was four years old with his father who was hired as an Assistant Coach by the San Jose Sharks. He is also the grandson of famed Soviet coach with the same name who coached the 1980 Soviet Olympic team. Another one connected to 1980 game is defenseman Ryan Suter, whose father was a defenseman at the 1980 game. Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick will get his second start at Olympics for Team USA against Russia. Watch the game online or on NBC.