Would You Like to See Some Fighting in Olympics and International Hockey?

I still have Olympics fever and I just had a thought today on the hockey seen there, but also at international events like the IHHF World Championships.

In the NHL, you see a lot of fights in the games. It’s part of the game, although it’s so much a part of the game it’s routine now. People just fight because without it, somehow a lot of the fans feel it wasn’t that exciting a game. Thing is they don’t even have a good reason to fight any more. They just do for entertainment.

In the heated rivalry of international hockey (above juniors), it’s quite the opposite. So much is at stake and the teams are so good no team wants to put itself down a player for the sake of getting an instigator penalty. But given the electric atmosphere and fierce rivalries among countries with so much national and some personal pride on the line, when is a better time to fight for something? What more reason do you need to lay a couple of knuckles on someone? That’s when they should have some fights!

Imagine what a little brouhaha would have done towards the end of that Canada-Russia quarter-finals game of the Olympics. With a big lead and the Russians frustrated, we Canadians could have incited a Russian player into a fight. They had nothing to lose, and neither did we, frankly, given that score towards the end of the game. I’m sure one of them would have loved to have taken out their frustration if given the chance. We could have settled a score with Volchenkov for a dirty hit, the American way in a fight, instead of the Canadian way in Getzlaf putting a clean cruncher on Volchenkov.

What do you think the crowd reaction would have been if someone like Pronger or Getzlaf dropped the gloves with Volchenkov? Or if Crosby just got it on with Ovechkin, as they’ve been tempted to before?

Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin ready to fight in NHL action

The crowd would have gone nutsier than they already were!

Or if the Russians had played the Americans, they could have gotten in a fight and thrown one for Plushenko. Hahaha!

Now, in a close game that often happens like with the Americans in the finals, fighting wouldn’t be wise. But if two guys could just agree to fight, honestly and without an instigator, we could have fights where no one would be disadvantaged on player numbers. Which player to choose would be another matter, but let’s leave that aside. Forget the instigator penalty if they drop the gloves quickly enough within the first one doing it. It’s not like you’re going to have a goon show with that slight time window to negate the instigator penalty. Let the players work it out themselves to fight cause they’ve got something to get off their chests, so it’s not fake. Then have some fun, entertain the crowd and take out some frustrations all at the same time.

How electrifying would have have been to have seen a US player fight a Canadian player in the Olympics finals?

That goes just as much for the women! πŸ˜‰

p.s. You don’t need to stock your teams with goons for this. Lots of skilled guys can also fight, and even the ones that don’t, to see them out of character in fighting would be fun! What if Sidney had taken out his frustrations of not scoring and gotten in a fight, only to lose it and respond on the scoreboard with that goal in OT? Wouldn’t that have made a better story than the legendary one he had already created?

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Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.3

Sidney Crosby Olympics OT Golden Goal Video from Five Broadcasts

There were so many great moments during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Yet, there was hardly any footage to be found on YouTube. YouTube had pretty much succumbed to Olympics pressure and I, for one, blogging a lot about those moments, was very disappointed not to be able to show clips with my blog posts.

A bit ironic, don’t you think? An organization that has a generation named after it deliberately blocking out some defining moments lived by that generation! We had a defining cultural moment here in Canada with Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal, and YouTube wouldn’t let it be put online. Canada could have crushed Susan Boyle’s Britain Got Talent audition video in days if YouTube only had that Sidney Crosby golden goal video online… the way our players crushed American hearts. Call it a 100 million hits lost opportunity as I’m sure we Canadians would have watched it 4 times over within a week, easily, to get that total.

However, the screws are loosening. See the video below added much later than this post date. It is a compilation from five broadcasts for five times the glory! Nice stuff!

I love it!

Do You Think Canada’s 3-2 Overtime Win for Men’s Hockey Olympic Gold on Home Ice Was the Best Hockey Game for Canada Ever?

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I don’t need to blog about Canada’s 3-2 overtime win over the United States for Gold in Men’s Ice Hockey at the 2010 Olympics. Everybody is pretty much writing about it.

What I want to know is if you think this were the best hockey game ever for this country?

It had excitement with all the exciting plays, including two posts by Canada in regulation time.

It had anxiety with the Americans scoring in the final minute to tie it and send it into overtime.

It was back and forth with the rushes and scoring.

It was great to watch with the quality play, hits and saves.

It was epic with everything on the line, and avenged a loss a week ago that just deflated our country. The rally was also phenomenal. The pressure unbelievable.

It was decided spectacularly in sudden death overtime, with my fellow 22 year old Nova Scotian sensation Sidney Crosby coming through like you knew he would. Eight periods of no scoring but he came through when it most counted with the literal Golden Goal in sudden death overtime. There was nobody more suited or symbolic to score that goal! (See CTV video of Sidney’s winning goal)

YEAH!!!

That’s what legends are made of!!!

Step aside, Paul Henderson!!!

Finally, it was on home soil, and best of all, there was arguably the ultimate prize at stake in the Olympic Gold Medal against an arch enemy.

I never saw the 1972 Summit Series, but there was no medal at stake, although a cultural moment. However, in today’s media frenzy environment, losing this game would have never gone away with YouTube and blogs leaving so much content we Canadians would never be able to avoid.

The 1987 Canada Cup with Gretzky and Lemieux was definitely spectacular, being the only tournament at the time which really featured professional players against professional players. However, as representative as those events were at the time, they weren’t the Olympics. It kept the focus all on hockey, sure, but there’s something special about the Olympics and the whole nation going for every sport. Don’t forget, Canada has the most gold medals in any single Olympics game now with that 14th gold medal from men’s ice hockey.

We did beat the US in 2002 for Olympic Gold on their ice to win our first hockey gold in 50 years, of course, but that was their home ice. It was also not nearly as close in a 5-2 victory, and no sudden death. As sweet as that was, though, given the wait and location, I think it’s different on our home ice, in front of our fans. We get to celebrate our own on home ice and we get to sing our national anthem afterward as a nation united.

All in all, every past historic victory lacked something this one did. It wasn’t a big thing in each case, but I never said this was the best win ever by a long shot. Just the biggest win in the legendary history of ice hockey in this nation.

But do you agree? I’d love it if you took a moment to cast a vote below or leave a comment. Thank you.

Congrats to the US for having a great tournament, especially goalie Ryan Miller. Thanks to Jarome Iginla for the hard work on the boards to get the feed to Sidney.

Meanwhile, LET THE PARTY BEGIN!!!

See CTV’s video for the gold medal presentation to team Canada.

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CANADA Monumentous in Routing Russia 7-3 in Winter Olympics Quarter-finals!

The ice used to be the home turf for the Russians in the Winter Olympics. For many years, they dominated in figure skating and hockey. Yet, this year, they got kicked off their own turf. For the first time ever, they didn’t win a figure skating gold. Now, they won’t even win a hockey medal. Stunning! I wonder how Russia is going to handle that!

In what should have been the Olympics hockey tournament final, Canada faced off against the Russians in the quarter-finals and put on a monumental performance to beat them 7-3. Canada was out to a 3-0 lead before 13 minutes was over, hitting all over and putting huge pressure on the Russian net. The rest was an exciting victory and scoring fest, well, for half the game anyway. The scoring got shut down in the second half of the game, but that was only after 10 goals had been score in the first 32 minutes. When everything was on the line, national pride came through to beat the Russians emphatically!

Canada now await the winner of the Sweden/Slovakia game later tonight for the semi-finals on Friday. The United States beat a game Swiss team 2-0 earlier today to await either the Finns or Czech in the semi-final Friday.

Given how the Canadians have played this tournament, and the awesome line-up of the Russians, I don’t think many thought it was going to be lop-sided, if the Canadians were going to win at all (unless it was out of pride). After losing to the United States on Super Sunday in the round robin, victims of an unearthly performance by US goalie, Ryan Miller, Canada had to play Germany on Tuesday in a qualifying game to get a chance in the quarter-finals against the Russians Wednesday. While the Germans were not expected to be a challenge, it was effort for Canada while the Russians rested. However, the game gave Canada a few much needed tune-ups for this game that they put to good use.

  • Canada got a chance to work on their grinding game, which they applied well to pound the Russians with many a hard body checks tonight right from the get go.
  • Canada got a chance to pocket a few goals and get their scoring touch back.

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First Period

It’s not that they improved their scoring skills in that game, but it’s just nice to be able to score freely in a game environment and get the mentality back. It showed tonight

Canada came out hitting with a crusher by Shea Weber on Ilya Kovalchuk, followed by quick scoring from Ryan Getzlaf just 2:21 into the game. Ryan scored on Russian starting goalie Evgeni Nabokov after a pass by Dan Boyle who had gained the zone. Chris Pronger drew the other assist.
Canada led 1-0

That pressure from the start was kept up throughout the game, though, as the Canadians were constantly buzzing around the Russian net, outshooting them 21-12 in the first period and 42-28 overall. The 21 shots were the most by a Canadian team in a period in the Olympics.

The first penalty came to Canada, on a figure skating worthy spinning dive by Captain Alexei Morozov after being touched by Brent Seabrook. It called by American referee Denis Leroux from way out in the neutral zone. The Canadians killed it off easily enough, with a bonus cruncher on Alexander Ovechkin by Drew Doughty, to avoid losing momentum. However, when Russia’s Anton Volchenkov got a holding penalty next, Dan Boyle scored on the power play at 12:09 on a beautiful passing play from San Jose Sharks teammates Danny Heatley and Patrick Marleau.
Canada led 2-0

Just 46 seconds later, at 12:55, the Russians turned the puck over as Canada came out on a two on one rush. Fed by Mike Richards, Jonathan Toews had the puck and fed Rick Nash, who put it past Nabokov. The crowd, already in a frenzy, went absolutely crazy, prompting Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov to call a time out.
Canada led 3-0

Smart move, because not long after came the first Russian goal. Dmitri Kalinin scored the first Russian goal by a defencemen of the tournament on a screened shot from Anton Volchenkov. Kalinin shot it past Canadian goalie Robert Luongo’s high glove side at 14:39. Sergei Federov got the other assist.
Canada led 3-1

Canada never lost the momentum, though, as they got back at putting pressure on the Russians right away. It didn’t even take four minutes to pay off as Brendan Morrow walked out from behind the Russian net to jam a back hand through Nabokov at 18:18. Russian centre Sergei Zinovyev, who has a bad knee slightly exaggerated a few days back to be potentially 6 months to heal, had not being able to keep up with Morrow on the play. Dan Boyle got his third point of the period to assist on the goal, while Duncan Keith also got an assist.
Canada led 4-1

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Second Period

The Russians did not choose to replace Evgeni Nabokov to start the second period despite his four goals allowed on 21 shots in the first period. That was the fatal error to blow the game for the Russians as Canada quickly potted a few more goals on him early in the second period.

Cory Perry scored on Canada’s first shot in the second period at 3:10. Ryan Getzlaf’s shot deflected to him and he caught Nabokov still reacting to the deflected shot. Duncan Keith also assisted on his second consecutive goal.
Canada led 5-1

Less than a minute later, at 4:07,Β  Shea Weber blasted one past Nabokov from the above the right face-off circle. It was assisted by Jonathan Teows and Jarome Iginla.
Canada led 6-1

That chased Nabokov for back-up Ilya Bryzgalov, who didn’t end up faring much better. However, the goalie change gave the Russians an immediate spark. On a couple of passes from Ilya Kovalchuk and Denis Grebeshkov, Maxim Afinogenov burst past Duncan Keith just half a minute later, and scored on Luongo at 4:46.
Canada led 6-2

As before, Canada picked up the intensity immediately, refusing to let the Russian gather any momentum. After five minutes of intense play, Russian centre Zinovyev made a terrible turn over at centre ice. Eric Staal capitalized it to feed Ryan Getzlaf, who then fed Corey Perry to blast a zinger on Bryzgalov at 9:51.
Canada led 7-2

A too many men on the ice penalty at 11:27 gave the Russians an opportunity to stop the flood, and that they promptly did. Sergei Gonchar, on a pass from Evgeni Malkin, put a shot past a screened Luongo at 11:40. However, they could not get anything more.
Canada led 7-3

Despite the four goal lead, a critical hooking penalty by Duncan Keith ended a period on a somewhat uncomfortable note for the Canadians. Four goals isn’t necessarily a safe lead given the star fire power on that Russian line-up. However, the Russians were not able to get anything.

Shots were 10-8 for Canada, leaving it 30-20 after two periods.

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Third Period

The Russians started the third period on the power play, but nothing became of it except a little frustration. Not long after the penalty expired, Volchenko knocked Eric Staal hard into the boards as Eric went to get the puck behind the Canadian goal line. Staal was not touching the puck at the time, but neither interference nor boarding was called. Staal was down for several minutes, but was able to get off the ice on his own.

Sticking up for Canadian pride, Canadian style, Ryan Getzlaf didn’t take long to lay out Volchenkov on a clean hit just minutes later.

Russia then got a too many men on the ice penalty, but Canada was not able to capitalize on it. The pressure Canada put on the Russians up to this point was still present to a reasonable amount, but things got relatively quiet after this. Well, anything is relatively quiet after 10 goals in the first 32 minutes!

To credit, the Russians did play through the third period, but Roberto Luongo stepped up as well. So despite the effort, Russia did worse on the scoreboard in the third period than the others.
Canada wins 7-3

Shots were 12-8 for Canada in the third, leaving the final 42-28 for Canada.

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Alexander Who?

Drew Doughty shadowed Alexander Ovechkin all night, and shut him down just he like on Jan 2 when he played Ovechkin in the NHL. They each played 26:47 that night, where Drew was a +1 and Ovechkin was a -1 without points. Drew made Alexander the Great into Alexander the Late, cause OV never arrived in the game. His only statistical contribution was serving a 2 minute penalty for too many men on the ice at 5:11 of the third period… and a -2 in the game. OV did get hit in the hand oddly by a wrist shot in the 12th minute of the third period, though, but that only limited him for 7 of the 60 minutes.

To be fair, Sidney Crosby was also “absent”. But you know, Sid wouldn’t care, being the team guy that he is.

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Scoring Summary

First Period Scoring
CAN β€” Ryan Getzlaf (Dan Boyle, Chris Pronger) β€” 2:21
CAN β€” Dan Boyle (Danny Heatley, Patrick Marleau) β€” 12:09 (PP)
CAN β€” Rick Nash (Jonathan Toews,Β  Mike Richards) β€” 12:55
RUS β€” Dmitri Kalinin (Anton Volchenkov, Sergei Federov) β€” 14:39
CAN β€” Brendan Morrow (Dan Boyle, Duncan Keith) β€” 18:18

Second Period Scoring
CAN β€” Corey Perry (Ryan Getzlaf, Duncan Keith) β€” 3:10
CAN β€” Shea Weber (Jonathan Toews, Jarome Iginla) β€” 4:07
RUS β€” Maxim Afinogenov (Ilya Kovalchuk, Denis Grebeshkov) β€” 4:46
CAN β€” Corey Perry (Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal) β€” 9:51
RUS β€” Sergei Gonchar (Evgeni Malkin) β€” 11:40

Third Period Scoring
None (what happened to all the scoring???)

Full statistics (CTV)

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 9.6

, on passes from Sergei Federov and

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My Video for The Lies of Handsome Men, sung by Margaret Whiting

Jack Wrangler & Margaret Whiting

Jan 2011 update:
Margaret Whiting passed away on Jan 10, 2011. It is sad, of course, but what a legacy she left us with, including the song in the video below written by Francesca Blumenthal in 1986. Rest in peace, Margaret.

At this time in 2009, I started building this blog as part of my year to learn about social media. In 2010, I am learning about multi-media and this is my first video. I should point out that like my study of social media, it’s about knowing its capabilities and potential more than the technical stuff, though a lot can be learned by doing hands-on technical stuff. It’s too bad all too many “boss” types in the world never really learn the details of things they “manage” from doing to appreciate the challenges and power of those things.

I used Windows Movie Maker to make this video, with its rather limited capabilities and features. I know it’s not a great video editing program, but I’ll get around to one soon enough. I created the images from Photoshop actions I made to save a lot of time and repetitive effort.

The idea for this video first came to me in the middle of 2009 when I wanted to social media share the 1986 song The Lies of Handsome Men, written by Francesca Blumenthal, sung by 1940s crooner Margaret Whiting in 1990 when she was 66! Thank you to Francesca for correcting my mistake in a comment below. What a beautiful song this is and I hope you’ve got more such songs in your repertoire, past and future!

In my opinion, Margaret’s version is the definitive version of the song. I haven’t heard anybody else sing it like it, and I love it when I find definitive versions of songs that just blow the rest of the versions away. What made the difference for me, as I later found out through research, was that Margaret had been involved in acting and she used those acting skills to put just a little more intonation and feeling into the song. I listened and I really believed she meant everything she said. Mind you, the way she ended up with a former gay porn star 20 years her junior while in her 50s for 33 years of her life (see notes near the end of the notes before the video), she’s a mighty fine actress to have convinced me she believed those lies when she obviously brushed them aside!

Usually, I can find what I want in music online on YouTube. However, there was no version of this song I could find anywhere to share so I penned it down as an idea for a video in 2010 when I would be focusing on learning multi-media. I thought of it as a simple project, to create a slide show video where the images would be male movie stars and musicians of an era past, in black and white.

Images were mostly from an amazing site of black and white movie portraits called Dr Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans. Portraits were so beautiful and noble back in those days! Order of the portrait tied the images to something in the lyrics as much as possible, albeit sometimes rather vague and sometimes without connection because it isn’t easy to have a limited collection to suit any old set of lyrics, you know! Names of subjects are at the bottom of this post.

I wanted to use past celebrities’ B&W portraits because they were more true to the song’s age and feel, as well as avoid all the people today created out of hype with faults yet to be found. The stars in the past have had their good and bad days and have their legacies pretty much written so they are more “timeless” since public opinion won’t likely change much on them any more.

Had I thought of this video in December, I might have gone after the images of the women of Tiger Woods. Hahaha!

But I can still dedicate it to them, can I not?

Alas, they ain’t got nothing on Margaret! On her fourth marriage, Margaret married a gay porn star 20 years her junior in the late Jack Wrangler (neΓ© John Stillman), who eventually also came to do straight porn.

Ooops. Bad pun intended! πŸ˜‰

According to Jack, this was how they met.

In 1976, Jack Wrangler met celebrated 1940s pop singer and film actress Margaret Whiting when she attended one of his one-man erotic shows in New York. As he later recalled, “I was with my manager when I looked over at Margaret, who was surrounded by five guys at a booth. ‘There she was with the hair, the furs and the big gestures. I thought, ‘Boy, now that’s New York! That’s glamour!’ I had to meet her.” A relationship developed. He was 33; she was 55. When Wrangler confided to Whiting that he was gay, her response was “only around the edges, dear.” The couple has never married. As Whiting told People magazine in 1987, “There’s no point in us getting married. We’re not having kids.”

Remember, Margaret Whiting made her debut as a crooner in the 1940s! Those women of Tiger Woods ain’t got nothin’ on her!

Margaret is still alive so far as I know. Jack passed away in April 2009 from emphysema after 40 years of smoking. Their picture together is the slide in the video.

Seems Margaret didn’t believe in the lies of handsome men if she convinced Jack to be her mate despite his openly gay declaration. πŸ˜‰

Here is the video below. Please give constructive criticisms if you can afford the time. Thank you.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.1

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LYRICS

I believe in star signs
And I believe in film romances
I believe in in fantasy
And I believe with just one glance he’s
Crazy for my eyes
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men

I believe in witchcraft
And I believe in Cinderella
I believe in gypsies
And I believe I cast a spell that
Sends him to the skies
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men

Somewhere in a corner of my mind
I’m not a fool, completely blind
But even though he’s hooked me on his line
I find the pleasure has been mine

I believe in love songs,
They seem to know just what I’m feeling
I believe in Prince Charming
I never guess he’s double dealing
How my spirits rise
Believing in the lies
Of handsome men

Sometimes in a dark and quiet place
The truth and I meet face to face
And even if his Highness disappears
I keep some lovely souvenirs

So I believe in heroes
And I expect that happy ending
Wishing on some rainbow
I pretend he’s not pretending
Someday I’ll get wise
But right now I need the lies
Of handsome men

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STARRING
(in order of appearance, group by song verses)

Margaret Whiting

Bing Crosby, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Duke Ellington, Paul Newman, Basil Rathbone, Tony Curtis

Lex Barker, Gene Kelly, Rudolph Valentino, Cary Grant, Louis Armstrong, Robert Young, Elvis Presley

Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart, Ray Charles, Henry Fonda, Warner Baxter, John Wayne

Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Rudolph Valentino, Rudolph and wife Natacha Rambova, Clark Gable, John Garrick, Ronald Reagan

Ralph Bellamy, Robert Montgomery, Buster Crabbe

Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Vincent Price, Sidney Poitier, Laurence Olivier, Johnny Mack Brown, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains

Muhammad Ali, Gene Autry, Fred Astaire, Joel McCrea, Vic Damone, Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood

Jack Wrangler and Margaret Whiting

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