Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
So glad about the Senators win over the Hurricanes! Meanwhile, although Leafs still suck, I have to (albeit reluctantly) admit they have done pretty amazingly against the Capitals. I mean 6:3? For Maple Leafs? Not in my wildest dreams.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
In my opinion these questions could be used in any field and for any carrier where one really wants to be successful, and that include teams. Therefore I would like to know from the Ottawa Senators Manager and Coach if they have not only asked themselves the questions but if they have asked their players and what were the answers???????? If the guys haven’t done it here goes the questions.
How much is everybody investing?? Is everybody really giving its best??? How much is the team putting into the game??? Is it enough???? What else could be done???
Why are we doing it?? Is it for the money? Is it just to shut up fans, or to make the managers happy??? To justify our big fat salaries, or is it for the love, passion??? What motivates each individual and of course the team as a whole?
This could be slightly changed for; does everyone involved with the Senators team really love the game???? Is it the food that you eat and the air that you breathe????
Well I would definitely love to hear the players’ answers for these questions.
Friday, 27 November 2009
I have been stuck to the TV set since 18:00, and it looks like I am not going to go anywhere before 3 in the morning. The games so far have been great. Watching the Pengs struggling against the Islanders has brought a spackle to my day.
Well I am not going to go on and on writing have more TV duty to do.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
In my duties as Ambassador I sent them a joke that I find particularly funny...
Listen to it online here: http://www.sensunderground.com/ - episode 6.
You gotta hear these guys and you gotta hear this joke!
In Sens we Trust!
The Hockey Ambassador
Sens fans can't really celebrate, though. The final score was 3-2, for the Devils.
Last year Chris Campoli was kept in the shadow of that traitorous, indecisive....... whose name is mud to every Sens fan (and who calls himself Danny Heatley).
This year, Chris Campoli is one of the Sens leading goal scorers. Tough, sneaky and determined, Campoli's gone from strength to strength.
On Saturday night (HNIC!) Campoli scored yet another goal against Brodeur and his Devils in the second period- bringing the Sens into the lead. It was nothing super, but good enough for a point. In the third period the Devils scored once again. Chris Campoli was sent to the box and the Devils scored their winning goal.
It's not the fact he was sent to the box that really bothers me. That happens. It is WHY he was sent to the box that makes me suspect the refereeing was just not up to scratch. The penalty was called for 'delay of game' when Campoli accidently flicked the puck over the glass in the Sens end. Looking at it - he didn't seem to intend to do it. It would make no sense for him to delay the game at that point - he had the puck!!
Accidents happen and this a silly standard. You can't call a penalty for delay of game every time someone slips up, loses the puck, or otherwise goofs.
And what REALLY bothers me is that this isn't the first time this season the Sens have been held back by useless refereeing and unwarranted penalties.
It seems like I'm not the only one who has noticed the penalty problem this year. The Senators Homepage News section has noticed: http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=505433
The Ottawa papers have noticed.
And fellow blogger Silver Seven has also been on the case: http://www.silversevensens.com/2009/11/7/1121019/senators-blow-two-goal-lead-lose-3
I like his reflection on Jaarko Ruutu's penalties being based on his 'reputation' and not really based on his actual behaviour.
So how are the Sens gonna get out of the box? It's hard to say! I really can't see what they're doing wrong! A lot of this is down to bad referreeing!!! It's out of the Sens hands, it seems to me.
We just have to hope that we get a ref who knows how to make a call and when it is warranted. This isn't like giving a time-out to a toddler for bad behaviour... this is hockey!
I say, let 'em play and let 'em win!
Thursday, 29 October 2009
.... before going back to Canada and the opening for the winter Olympics ceremony came to me: THE AMBASSADOR.
In the picture from left to right, James Wright, Gregor Robertson, the Olympic Torch and me the Hockey Ambassador (Nick Wright).
GO CANADA GO!!!!!!
If there is any shadow of doubt check here!!
I've been named the official SENS UNDERGROUND AMBASSADOR TO THE UK
I really recommend these guys!!!!!
well, this pumpkin must summarize the feeling that both Larry Tanenbaum and Richard Peddie must now be experiencing. F**** scaring isn't it????
In 2008 the Maple Leafs where valued at US$ 1.75 billion, today I wouldn't pay a fiver. Indeed they could offer it for free, I wouldn't take it. Thanks but no, too many troubles, on the other hand, the SENS, only happiness nothing to say abou these guys, as Johnie would say: Keep on going...
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
It is with an inexplicable pain in my chest (maybe the fact that I've been laughing so hard could explain the chest pain, you never know), that I come now to this blog to speak about the Leafs. How depressing has their performance been?? Well the answer seems pretty clear -- very depressing. Six games and not a single victory. They battled les Canadiens, which cannot be considered a hard opponent, as their performance has been extremely inconsistent. But the Leafs??? On the ground, as autumn leaves should be. Then came the Capitals. We are talking after all about a team that holds a realistic prospect of making the playoffs. So ok this one the Leafs could get away with: Leafs 4, Capitals 6. Third game and here comes a team that the Leafs love to beat -- the Ottawa Senators. Hstory has told that most of the games where these two Canadian rivals meet, the Leafs end up with the victory. But noooo, not this time. Toronto 1, Ottawa 2. Not a great victory for the Sens, but still a victory. Three more points on da big board! The citizens of old Hog Town must be having a hard time sleeping.
Three more games, three more humiliations. Pittsburgh scored 5, Rangers 7 and Colorado 4, and the Leafs adding up their goals from those 3 games could only muster what Pittsburgh got in one -- 5. It`s been 40 years since their last Stanley Cup, and it is now looking like it will be 41. It might be a good idea to consider creating a Don Cherry cup to give to the poor things. A trophy for the competition spirit and never giving up --I mean competing for 40 years and loosing season after season, many teams would have already hung their skates. Maybe the Leafs are a case of TAS. For those unfamiliar with the acronym here is what it means: "Try Another Sport". Who knows maybe... curling. I can see it now – “TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS CURLING CLUB". With luck, the Leafs` fans wouldn’t even notice the difference.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Thanks to the hockey blogosphere I got the idea of making a list of my Top Ten MUST SEE Hockey Games of the 2009-2010 season. Here they are, in reverse order of importance, starting with number 10. I've also given the reasons I wouldn't miss them for the world. Count on it, I'll be watching these games with interest!
Must-see Game Number 10
Sens on ice again
On September 15th Ottawa faces the Halifax Panthers in their first pre-season game. This will be my first chance to see the Sens in aciton in almost 5 months. Go Sens Go!
Must-see Game(s) Number 9
Sens vs. Montreal
On September 18th the Senators meet the Canadiens in an exhibition game that will have lots of drama! Wearing a new Senators jersey former Canadiens star player Alex Kovalev will face his erstwhile teammates at the Bell Centre, Montreal's home ice. (I’ll probably watch all Sens vs Montreal games – long-standing historical and family rivalries are at stake!)
Sens vs Toronto
On October 6th the Sens face their arch nemesis those miserable Maple Leafs in their very first game of the season! Go! Sens! Go!
Must-see Game Number 8
Opening game of NHL season – Montreal vs Toronto
On October 1st we have a treat of 4 Canadian teams making up the 8 teams who face one another on fthe first day of the NHL 2009-2010 season. This is when it all begins and will set the tone for the season to come. I'll be watching the Montral vs. Toronto game. A great chance to see the Sens two biggest rivals in action.
Must-see Game Number 7
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ first game of the season
On October 2nd we'll have a chance to see what form last year's Stanley Cup winners are in after the summer training. Its at home in Pittsburgh and it will be fun to see the home crowd go wild for their heroes. It'll also be a chance to see how Canadian player Sidney Crosby is doing keeping his inclusion in the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team in mind.
Must-see Game Number 6
Penguins vs. Capitals First Face-Off
It'll be great to see these VERY competitive local rivals lock sticks for the first time of the season on October 6th. Should be entertaining hockey.
Must-see Game Number 5
Buffalo vs. NY Islanders
I hate the Buffalos Sabres, so grab any chance I get to see them get thrashed! I think the NY Islanders have the best early-season chance of humiliating them.
Must-see Game Number 4
Hockey Day In Canada
On January 30th 2010 all six Canadian teams play each other! There will be great CBC coverage and HOURS of hockey-related Canadian TV. Its a great thing when Canadians dedicate a day to their favourite sport.
Must-see Game Number 3
All the hockey games in the Vancouver 2010 olympics
Canadian will be playing its national sport on home ice for the first time since the 1988 Calgary Olympics. I'll be watching as the Canadian team goes for Gold! There will be lots of great talent represented on all the competing national teams and it's always interesting to see the combinations of players the are created in the olympic teams.
Must-see Game Number 2
The 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Final
Self-explanatory, I think.
...and my Number 1 Must-see Game of the 2009-2010 season is....
The last Sens game of the season
Whether it be an early scheduled game, eastern conference final game, or, here’s hoping(!!), a Stanley Cup final game, I know I’ll be watching!
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Until now, I have somewhat neglected my duties as an Ambassador! I should be representing MY hockey culture and way of life to those who are reading this blog. I have found the perfect video to introduce an absolute hockey beginner to hockey culture, Canadian hockey culture, Canadian culture, and Ottawa hockey culture...MY culture.
Here is a list of the words and phrases that will help you in understanding the video. Please watch carefully and look up any terms you don't understand online (maybe wikipedia would help). I think this video and vocabulary could serve as anyone's introduction to the culture I know and love.
The Hockey Ambassador
Ottawa - Birthplace of the Stanley Cup
80 years ago
HNIC (Hockey Night in Canada)
HNIC Music - Theme
1992 - Senators Reborn
Don Cherry - Don Cherry's suits, Don Cherry's straight talk
Rock 'em Sock 'em
Oh Canada in French
The Maple Leaf and the Canadian flag
1927 - last win over Boston 3:1
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Yesterday I was reading D'Arcy Jenish's great history of the Montreal Canadiens, "The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory" (you can expect a book review when I'm finished, but so far I'm really enjoying it). I got the part when in 1945 during a playoff match between the Canadiens and the Leafs, Maurice "Rocket" Richard scored a dramatic winning goal and fans got so excited they threw everything they could find on the ice: hats, pennies, fruit, bottles, programmes and even something called toe rubbers (I've looked it up and they're rubber casings people used to put over their shoes to protect them in the winter snow and slush).
I started thinking how amazing it would have been to have been there when Maurice Richard scored that goal; to have heard the cheers, seen the chaos on the ice, smelled the smoke and booze of the Forum at that time, ducked those toe rubbers... So I thought I'd have a look and see if there was any footage of hockey at that time. Though I didn't have much luck on youtube, I discovered a wonderful cache of archive hockey footage on the CBC Archives site.
The site is run by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and funded by the Canadian government. It contains a huge number of radio, television, text and photographic archives of Canada's political, cultural and sports history. In the sports section, there is an entire site dedicated to hockey.
Sadly, I couldn't find the desired Rocket footage, because the CBC only began to televise hockey games in 1952, just a few years after that crazy night.
However, I was able to watch other great footage of Richard from the era and listened to some great radio interviews, including one with Gretzky, Richard and Gretzky's dad on him scoring 50 goals in 39 games.
The CBC Archive footage is available over internet anywhere in the world, so please check it out http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Everything seemed calm and settled, until today, when I had the unexpected visit, one to make any hockey fan green of envy.
I had two NHLers over for some drink. Two of the greatest Calgary Flames players: Perry Berezan and Colin Petterson, they were here, on my living room, drinking my beer, laughing at my jokes, and I had, for a couple of hours, the honor of having the glorious Stanley Cup ring on my middle finger. The ring is huge, magnificent, and HEAVY! I think that most of its weight has to do with the effort and the amount of soul that was dedicated to the games that led to victory. I must confess that it was very difficult to give the ring back to its owner, although I know that you must deserve one of those, you must battle for it on the ice. I was left with a picture of it and some great memories of the visit, plus new friendships, the guys are really great: very charismatic, down-to-earth people with a lot in common with me, especially when the subject is Hockey.
Just more prove that the guys are awesome, not that they need any... but they can serve as an example, they have just come from a trip to Afghanistan, where they went to visit the Canadian army camp, and play a little hockey with the soldiers. I know it does not sound much, but if you had been in Afghanistan like those guys are, you would know that it means everything to know that some of your idols care about the job that you are doing, they care to the point that they go there and visit you. Great guys these two.
I would also like to use this posting to make a public thank you note to Perry and Colin for all the memorabilia, and the care that you guys presented me with.
Thank you guys, you are the best!!!!!!!
This is Nicholas Wright posting from the Embassy of Hockey in London
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Where has Crosby worship got them?
All that hype about 'The Next One' has only made Crosby - who is, I must admit, a decent player - the main target of the Red Wings dirtiest tricks. Bulldozer-like Henrik Zetterberg has directed his almost endless aggressive energy seemingly solely at poor little Sidney. I ask again... where has Crosby worship got the Pittsburgh Penguins? Two games down, demoralised and desperately seeking another hero to get them out of this losing streak. Hopes are now pinned on Malkin.
Malkin is a good player and the Penguins have perhaps ignored his skill at their peril this season. By focusing their attentions on the guy in the number 87 jersey management and fans alike have detracted from other players' - like Malkin's - contributions. They have quite simply done their team a disservice, a disservice that might lose them the 2009 Stanley Cup.
So when it has come down to the Stanley Cup Finals (can we just repeat this for emphasis... The. Stanley. Cup. Finals!!!!) the Penguins' wunderkind has failed to score (can we just repeat this for emphasis... Failed. To. Score!!)
I really do hope the Penguins win this year. But they'll need to change their attitude and their character from Sidney Crosby fan(atic)s to Pittsburgh Penguins fans.
So, heading into game 3, good luck to all of Pittsburgh's great players. Maybe the team itself will be the next one... to win the Stanley Cup.
Friday, 1 May 2009
But, has it all affected his mind in a negative way; I mean is him with the shiny star complex??? For those who are not familiar with the complex, it is that one that the person becomes too much, I mean is it about hockey, the Play offs, the Stanley Cup, or is it about Crosby??? How good he is how god his games are, he became even bigger than Pittsburgh Penguins themselves, the name could be changed for "Crosby's Penguins".
We must not allow that to happen, NHL has many wonderful players as good, or even better than Crosby and we must give all of them the same respect, and not shadow them with a favouritism for some new kid on the block that by now is not a new kid anymore.
Sunday, 12 April 2009
It's 1700 and the question on everyone’s lips is… “Who will Melanie Davidson start as goaltender for Canada?” The answer? We quickly find out it is Charline Labonte who will start in net for Canada - her first start in a world championship. The TSN commentators speculate the choice of Labonte is in recognition of her excellent performance making 22 saves during Friday’s game against the US team.
The American’s have no real choice. In the net is the indomitable Jessie Vedder.
1705 16 returning players for Canada and many veterans of past championships.
1707 Set for game action! I’m very excited…go Canada!
1709 Noooooo!! US goal by Caitlin Cahow! 24 seconds into the game… I can’t believe it…
1710 Carla McLeod was taken out as well… this is not a good start to this game. No. Not at all.
1712 Canada’s putting on pressure… But no goal yet…
1713 Labonte redeems herself – stops Potter’s shot in its tracks
1714 More good news – Carla McLeod is back on!
1718 Where is the Canadian defense? Every time Canada is in the US end, there is a swarm of white and blue around them. And yet, one after another Americans keep making breakaways into the Canadian zone. Is that their strategy? Get an early goal and then just defend, defend, defend! We’ll show them… Canada’s come to play hockey…
1721 Yet another save by Labonte – except for that first one, she’s been living up to Davidson’s faith in her.
1729 One nothing in the first, to the US. Canada keeps getting caught offside. Canada’s defense is weak. I think maybe the Americans got a real shock after Friday and went away to get stronger. Canada definitely can’t rest on its past success. This, not Friday, is the gold medal game. C’mon Canada!
1730 Labonte – good save! But, ummm… why are there like 4 goaltenders in front of the US net? Defense gone wild! Maybe though, this almost aggressive defense will block Vedder’s view. Let’s hope.
1734 Good save again Labonte – just wish you had some defensive help…
1736 So close!!! That’s what I call good hockey, Canada. Now do it again, but better.
1740 First period ended, still a big zero for Canada – I think the TSN announcers have it right; Canada was a bit nervous at the beginning of the first. They’ve sharpened up, though, and hopefully those early nerves aren’t going to cost them the game, and the gold…
1744 I think the TSN ladies might be right – the US might have been hiding their real strength with the game on Friday. It all seems quite sneaky at the moment. A little too much strategising…
1801 This game is getting hard to watch. Solidly into the second period and Canada’s defense keeps passing the puck to Americans right in front of the net! I know Labonte’s good, but you need more than a goalie to make a hockey team. C’mon Canada…
1804 GOAAAAAAL! For CANADA!!! Jennifer Botterill kicks a**! This is just what the team needed to kick that early slump. Now, it’s our game.
1807 Now Canada can’t relax. The US has really had more chances. They’re playing stronger so far. You can’t relax, Canada.
1812 That American lady… Meghan Duggan… just got a goal for the USA. Oh no… Please respond Canada. 2-1 for the US. Oh no…
1820 Glad to see some Canadians in the audience… There’s still hope and we’re cheering along with you!!
1822 Yet another Lawler shot stopped by Labonte.
1828 End of the Second period – the USA leads by one goal. I’m still optimistic. Canada needs to take a leaf out of the American book – score within the first few seconds of the period. Just score!
1833 Hate to admit it, but the American team is playing better hockey… They’re passing. They’re keeping the pressure on. They’re taking their time to scope out the shots and plan the attack.
1857 So so sad… Another US goal. Still hope, I hope. But the light is fading…
1915 A minute and a half left in the third. So sad…
1916 TSN announcer asks what’s on all of our minds: “Does Canada have any magic left here?”
1917 Thirty seconds left. The Americans are congratulating themselves, the Canadians have taken a time out. Why didn’t they do that ages ago?
1919 They’ve scored again from afar into Canada’s empty net. Oh dear
Its over: 4-1. First time back-to-back win for the USA… We’ve reluctantly just witnessed history in the making
The better team won, the Canadian team just wasn’t playing as well as the US. It pains me to say this. There need to be some changes – probably in the coaching, cause these ladies, many of them are veteran winners! They did have a good run, though. Silver is a good result and with the exception of the US, Canada destroyed their competition. Just extra impetus to tighten up and improve for Vancouver 2010. We’ll be watching, and cheering for Canada!
If you needed any more detail, you can check out the CBC's article: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/04/12/sp-canada-us.html
Based in London, I’m closer to the World Championship host country – Finland – and will be tuning in tonight at 1700 GMT. In Canada you’ll be able to watch our girls thrash those Americans at 1200 EST. Though I’m closer to Hameenlina, Suomi than the average Canadian, I’ll actually be watching the game on Canadian TV (TSN, to be exact) courtesy of the transatlantic broadcast power of a slingbox player.
I’m hoping this will be a fitting prelude to Women’s Ice Hockey Olympic Gold for Canada at home in 2010. Go ladies!
Oh also… Congratulations to the IIHF Championship host country Finland on their well-deserved Bronze medal finish. And to the American team, in advance, for their silver!
If you'd like to congratulate any of the Canadian players on their excellent efforts throughout this Championship you can actually email them invidually through the Hockey Canada website by visiting: http://members.hockeycanada.ca/emailaplayer/emailplayer-en.asp
In my opinion the teams that have made it really deserved to be there, the Montreal Canadiens had a difficult beginning but surely showed their strength had got back to the game. Boston Bruins, what to say they've had a brilliant start and kept themselves there (very difficult task). New York Rangers they passed through the season as if in a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, but theve made it which proves that there were more ups than downs. The Canucks had a good overall performance but they still have to find out the best way to put their puck into the net, hope they do it for this season. And to make justice Detroit's performance was absolutely amazing, great chances of winning the Staley Cup, if I was allowed to say.
So the heat is on, the dice have been thrown and may the best win.
Sunday, 5 April 2009
Friday, 3 April 2009
What to say at a time like this? Can we blame someone?? Could we say it was the coach’s fault??? We probably could, he is no longer coaching the team, but it would be kind of unfair. When a team is not doing well, chances are that it’s a group failure. With a team, there’s no such a thing as one guilty individual.
Looking back to the beginning of the season, when everything was possible, and everyone’s hope were high, the Sens started a little slow. Both games in Stockholm weren’t that brilliant, although a victory and a loss evened the odds and Fans kept their hope.
Back in Canada, things did get very dramatic; the team started wasting opportunities for scoring, some games were pretty disappointing. It was on every guy's face that the team was not synchronized anymore, they were not playing as a team. It makes me wonder, where the hell did we lose it, where is our skill, confidence, team playing and desire to win???? I try to spot the warriors inside those players and can't find it. But they were there last season.
Stuntman Stu commented on his blog the following "... Have the Sens fans been spoiled?" I think we did get pretty spoiled by the good performance of our team (in so little time), and that is why we, well at least me, were expecting a little bit more, if not victories, then at least a good battle. I wanted to see those guys really giving it, fighting for a victory and an engraved space on the Stanley Cup. So as a spoiled child my job is to complain, cry and complain again, fall into the floor and say: "Why God, why??????" The Senators reduced to Plebeians in the league. Although the good thing is, after the season is over, all I will have to do is take the whole awful experience and wipe this season from my memory - then hope, wish and pray that we do better in the seasons yet to come.
This was Nicholas Wright, your Ambassador for Hockey speaking from London.
Friday, 27 March 2009
I was born and raised in the all mighty Canada, I am Canadian and that makes me very proud. Hockey was always a part of my life, a big part I should say, in fact I think it's the biggest one. Forget about Xmas, Easter, family; my passion is Hockey Night in Canada, I sympathize with New Year's though (there is a hockey game on this day, I always make sure I don't miss it). I was born in Canada, although the wheel of destiny has made of me a Canadian Citizen of the World, and now I find myself living in the multiethnic LONDON, quite nice I should say (they even have an iffy Ice Hockey league). I have been here for quite a while, and have managed to watch every NHL hockey game I can, meaning every hockey game ever shown on TV or over the web.
For this reason I am using this space to share, with whoever is as passionate for the sport as I am, my experiences, thoughts, pictures and much more. So welcome to The Embassy of Hockey!!! Fron the UK, reporting for NHL, you're watching Nicholas Wright!