Blackhawks, Flyers finally play like their seedings in game 5


So there’s been some obvious trends in this 2010 Stanley Cup Finals– the home team seems to do really well, and every game has been close. In game 5 Sunday night between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, the first trend held true, but the second truly did not. The #2 seeded Blackhawks (who had the third most points in the NHL this season) were heavy favorites over the #7 seeded Flyers (who finished 18th out of the 30 NHL teams in points) when this series began.

During the first four games, we didn’t see why Vegas liked Chicago so much better. Tonight we did.

By Paul M. Banks

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Blackhawks Big 2 (Kane, Toews) Control Game 2


It was the Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane show during the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 game 2 victory at San Jose. The Hawks’ two most iconic players zipped around the ice in Silicon Valley like an Intel core i7 processor. And pretty soon, they could make the San Jose Sharks as outdated and useless as a 286 CPU. (Apologies for the tech nerd metaphors, hey, when in San Jose). Two is indeed a magic number, as Chicago has two down, and two to go to reach their first Stanley Cup Final since ’92. The big two, and their coach, the Q Stache had a lot to say about last nights game 2 victory

–Paul M. Banks

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Busting Hockey’s #1 Myth: Unpronouncable Names


By Peter Christian

Every hockey fan has heard it at least once. Most have heard it a handful of times. The “it” I’m referring to is the lamest excuse to not watch the NHL on the planet.

It’s the “I can’t pronounce the player’s names” excuse. I’ve heard it everywhere. From family members who watched me grow up playing the sport to national sports figures and writers who are just to lazy to get involved. The excuse has spread its talons so deep into the sports culture that it has become more than an excuse, people actually think its true. There are sports fans out there who actually think that nearly every player in the NHL has a name that is a facial workout just to say. Except for one tiny fact: It’s a myth.

Yep, the whole thing is a big fallacy.

pronounced Asso-Mu-WAH

The names in hockey aren’t any tougher than any other professional sport in North America. Not when you consider that names like Favre, Ginobili, Nowitzki, Nnamdi Asomugha and Daisuke Matsuzaka have become easily pronounced in the other sports. The problem however is that NHL was one of the first leagues to truly welcome international players into its teams. The league expanded and so did the search for talent in Europe which meant that the NHL faced an influx of players with Northern and Eastern European backgrounds. Russian, Czech and Finnish players seem to sport the most difficult names to initially pronounce but just as with any name, a closer look is usually all it takes. Take a name like Ilya Bryzgalov. At first glance that looks like a mouthful of consonants. But a second look shows that it really isn’t that hard (Ill-Yah Brizz-GAL-off) to pronounce at all and after a little practice it simply rolls off the tongue. In fact that is the case with nearly every European name in the NHL (with the exception of Zybnek Michalek… that one takes some work).

pronounced tayves

That doesn’t mean there aren’t names that are truly tough to pronounce (even after seeing them spelled out) or make you scratch your head altogether, but those names largely belong to North American players. Names like Stastny (Stas-NEE), Toews (Taves), Phaneuf (Fah-NOOF), Bouwmeester (BO-Mee-ster) and my personal favorite Byfuglien (BUFF-linn) nearly always take someone else to pronounce them the first couple times so you can remember them. So if those names are from within our own borders or from our neighbors to the North, there’s no reason we can’t learn their names’ right? I mean we put up with a guy from Mississippi who pronounces his name FARVE but spells it FAVRE, don’t we?

So I think it’s time to put this whole name pronunciation thing to rest so that we puck heads can start focusing on the real reasons all you other folks don’t watch the most entertaining sport in the world.

You can also find Peter Christian’s “Rink Rat’s Cheese” blog at The Washington Times Communities

Blackhawks-Sharks Live Twitter Blog

By Paul M. Banks

For the last month or so Twitter has been all the rage. Ever since members of Congress started microblogging during Obama’s speech, people have been joining the site left and right. It’s the perfect place for me to host my first attempt at live blogging a game. So if the sentences are short and in “text-speak” remember they are copied and pasted from Twitter.

paulbanks05 lots of scoring so far. havlat before i even had time to login and sit down. ladd and byufglien followed.

paulbanks05 when the Sharks were born, back when I was in high school. everyone thght they had the coolest logo, team name & teal was the hot color then

paulbanks05 i got to get food and it’s 4-3 b4 I can even turn around. These Sharks r good. much better than they were in NHLPA 93 Sega Genesis

paulbanks05 They were fun to control in that video game, even tho they were awful. they had pat falloon arturs irbe doug wilson kelly kisio

paulbanks05 and the 2nd period ends w the hawks up 4-3

paulbanks05 the shoot the puck promo in btween 2nd and 3rd periods follows a strct script. little kid-cheered, middle aged white dude-booed

paulbanks05 hottie showing cleavge in tight jeans- cheered…of course

paulbanks05 LA and SJ r league’s 2 stingiest teams in allowing shots on goal. but like sun, Hawks getting plenty of shots

Hawks pot another goal to go up 5-3 and get a cushion for the final 6 min here. lets c wht happens

setoguchi scores again! he and ladd each have 2 goals

paulbanks05 Ive picked up 2 new twitter followers while doing this 2nite. Thanks people!

paulbanks05 Joe Thornton, arguably the SHarks MVP scores, tied 5-5 heading to OT. SJ has won 6 in a row at United Center. hopefully not 7

paulbanks05 I still cant get over how much Hawks coach Joel Quenneville looks exactly like actor Dennis Farina. like how NWestern’s JOhn Shurna…

paulbanks05….looks exactly like Paulie Bleeker from “Juno.” we’re headed to a shootout. OT had some gr8 saves by both goalies

aulbanks05 and bulin wall stymies old friend jeremy roenick to win it! HAWKS WIN OT Shoot out. Kaner and Toewser pot the game winners in shootout

PeterAndersen@paulmbanks05 do you know the story of how the sharks came to be?

paulbanks05@peterandersen no, how were the sharks born?

paulbanks05@peterandersen I’m sorry I know the MInnesota Wild are your team, but they just sound like the name of a WNBA or MSL franchise. logo as well

paulbanks05 HUGE win 4 the Hawks 2nite! I know I always say how aths never say anything xcept mind numbing cliches in interviews but it was still cool..

paulbanks05…2 interview Jeremy Roenick after the game cuz he was the first hockey card i had as a kid 90-91 Upper Deck rookie card

paulbanks05 best of the post game quotes devin setoguchi- “it’s that time of season where you know what you need to do”

paulbanks05 coach Q- “we had a lot of options, we were a threat off the rush, and handle it well. whether it be in the rush or offensive offensive zone cycles