Archive for January, 2012
Everyone knows about the 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks season. We raised a banner in the United Center, the emergence of Corey Crawford as a premier NHL goaltender, and were the only team in the Western Conference that gave the Vancouver Canucks a run for their money in the playoffs. But like the team, the Ice Crew went through changes. A whole lot of new faces joined the team, but the one thing that stayed the same was the passion and energy created by over 20,000 fans selling out the Madhouse on Madison for every home game for the third-straight season. It may have been a “step-back” season for us, but in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, sometimes it was better to be lucky…and good at the same time. Here’s some photos from that season.
Blackhawks TV and YouTube Sensation Joey the Junior Reporter Makes Huge Splash During All-Star Weekend in Ottawa
As the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend draws to a close in Canada’s national capital, the big stars were the players, but a bigger star from my neck of the woods was Twitter fodder.
It all started during the 2010 Christmas season. For an episode of Blackhawks TV, Blackhawks media relations decided to let a 5-year-old kid named Joey interview the team after practice at the Blackhawks’ dressing room. The result became a YouTube hit.
For the sequel, let’s just say it was beautiful.
The 5-year old YouTube sensation became an instant celebrity, with praises coming from TSN NHL insider Bob McKenzie. At last year’s Blackhawks Convention, Joey introduced some of “Chicago’s Most Wanted” to the faithful wearing their favorite Indian Head sweaters. The ovation nearly rivaled the anthem at the United Center. So it was no surprise that the people at the NHL Network decided to make Joey a special guest correspondent during the All-Star Weekend. When these two videos were first shown on NHL Nework, twitter nearly blew up. He asked NHL Network correspondent Heidi Androl to a steak dinner Thursday night, and then hours later, hung out with TSN correspondent Alyonka Larionov during All-Star Media Day! I’m telling you, if this doesn’t melt your heart like kisses from cute puppies, please comment me on the button below.
Continued from my last post, everyone knows about the 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks season. The signing of free-agent winger Marian Hossa to a long-term contract on the first day of Free Agency, the comeback from a 5-0 deficit against Calgary, the emergence of a defenseman-turned-winger named Dustin Byfuglien, six players going to the Vancouver Olympics, Game 5 vs. Nashville, all culminating in the Hawks’ first Stanley Cup Championship in 49 years. It was a season no one will ever forget, and it was this season where the Ice Crew put themselves in the national spotlight, with some of them playing as extras in the Ron Howard-directed comedy “The Dilemma”. There are too many photos from that season that could fit this post, so here’s some mementos from that championship season.
Since there’s nothing to write during the All-Star Break, I thought I’d share some more photos of the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew. The 08-09 season was magical. #3 goes to the rafters, The Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, a new franchise-record 9-game win streak, Jonathan Toews’ first career hat trick where it rained helmets. And then there was the playoff run that no one expected to happen. It was a coming-out year for Chicago’s hockey team, and it was this season where being on the Ice Crew made you a little famous. Here’s a taste of some of those memories from that season.
I want to apologize to everyone for not posting up last week’s Coach’s Corner segment. Apparently the uploader was on vacation in Florida. If I can find it on YouTube, I’ll post it ASAP. Anyhoo, here this week’s edition of Coach’s Corner.
If you didn’t hear the news today, Gary Thorne, current voice of Baltimore Orioles baseball on MASN and voice of the NHL on ESPN/ABC from 1992-2004, has been tapped to be the play-by-play voice for the three remaining PBA Tour majors (Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels United States Bowling Congress Masters at Strike Zone Bowling Center at Sunset Station in Las Vegas [January 29], the 69th U.S. Open at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, NJ [February 26], and the PBA Tournament of Champions at Red Rock Lanes at Sunset Station in Las Vegas [April 16]) and the Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational at Lucky Strike Lanes L.A. Live (to be aired on Super Bowl Sunday). Thorne replaces Rob Stone, who accepted the new studio host role at FOX Soccer.
This is gonna an interesting challenge for the veteran ESPN sportscaster. Sometimes he’s known for baseball, Major League or Little League, and sometimes he’s known for football; but for me, he was known as the voice of NHL hockey in the United States before the lockout. I mean, you could hear him call the NCAA’s Frozen Four, or doing the World Juniors last year on NHL Network, but for now, the only time you can hear him call an NHL game is if you play EA Sports’ NHL 12.
During that time, Thorne, teamed alongside with former Flyer Bill Clement, provided the calls to some of the most memorable moments in NHL history. The Montréal Canadiens’ 24th Stanley Cup Championship in 1993, Gretzky’s 802nd goal, the New York Rangers’ first Stanley Cup title in 54 years, the Detroit Red Wings’ first Stanley Cup title in 42 years, the Red Wings repeating for Vladimir Konstantinov, Brett Hull’s controversial Stanley Cup-clinching goal in 1999, Canada vs. the United States for Olympic Gold in 2002, and Martin St. Louis forcing a Game 7 in 2004 after a blown call would’ve given the Calgary Flames their first Stanley Cup in 15 years. But my favorite moment that I can remember happened on June 7, 2003. Game 6 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final saw the Cinderella run of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim about to strike Midnight at the hands of the New Jersey Devils. Needing to win to force a Game 7 back at The Meadowlands, the Ducks won 5-2, propelled by the never-say-die spirit of their captain, Paul Kariya. With the Ducks leading 3-1 in the second period, Kariya was leveled hard by Devils captain Scott Stevens in a hit similar to the one that knocked out Eric Lindros during the 2000 Stanley Cup playoffs. He was lying motionless for a few minutes, but then was escorted to the locker room. Minutes later, in a moment even Hollywood wouldn’t dare to write, he returned to the bench. 10 minutes and 59 seconds after the hit, Kariya scored to make it 4-1 Ducks. What made the moment even more memorable, was Gary Thorne’s call of “Off the floor! On the board! Paul Kariya!”
Granted, no one can be as good calling bowling like the legendary Chris Schenkel, but at least he can try…