Puck Daddy - NHL

So how's your Turkey Day been? They didn't overcook the bird, did they? They didn't burn the mini-croissants, did they? If so, we know this great Chinese joint down the street ... 

It's a time to give thanks, so that's exactly what we're doing. We've asked ourselves and some Friends of Puck Daddy a rather simple question: What are you thankful for in hockey?

Please answer that for yourselves in the comments, give our answers a read and have a great holiday.

The first batch of responses are here; this batch includes the great Justin Bourne, Nick Cotsonika, Erin Nicks, Chris Botta, Dmitry Chesnokov and others. But first: It's your humble editor's picks.

Greg Wyshynski, Editor, Puck Daddy

Freakishly Tall Players: Hockey is not a tall man's game, so it's always fun to see some circus freak like Zdeno Chara(notes) or Tyler Myers(notes) battling in the corners or in front of the crease with some plug, like a Praying Mantis fighting a surly beetle.

Kukla's Korner: Still the quickest finder of news on the Web, and no one loves the game more than he does. We all read him. We all always don't credit him for the work he does, and that's a shame.

The Chicago Blackhawks Home Sweater: Still the gold standard. Still the No. 1 argument against the NHL ever selling ad space on its jerseys.

The NHL.com Stats Pages: The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning lead the NHL in blocked shots on the road with 207. We know this thanks to the NHL stats pages, which are sick.

NHL "ProToast" Toasters: Still don't own one, even after seeing about 1,000 of them in a storeroom at the NHL Store. But there's really nothing better than saying your team is toast, literally.

The Calder Trophy: Other than maybe the Hart, there isn't an award that sparks more debate based on different factors (age, context, position vs. position, previous winners).

Angry Commenters: Not the ones making the fellatio jokes about my headshot on the sidebar that were made in 2008, and not the ones who wonder if that photo was taken while I was "doing what it takes" to get this job. I'm talking about the passionate fans with an axe to grind over something hockey related. Like the Boston Bruins fans who bitched about Mark Recchi(notes) not being a Three Stars choice last night, or the others that do the same on other nights. Like the readers who accuse me of bias against and favoritism for a different team every hour. Sometimes you make life suck; but to quote the poet Kelly Clarkson, my life would suck without you.

Justin Bourne, Puck Daddy columnist

The blogosphere: I always felt that hockey coverage was delivered with a little too much gravitas (in Canada, anyway). Nice to discover there are other people who are able extract a little laughter and recognize it's just a game.

The introduction of the Winter Classic: Even though it almost makes me cry every year, it's just an awesome tribute to pond hockey.

Non-fighters fighting: I don't even love fighting all that much, but man, there's nothing more entertaining than watching some really talented kid with no fighting experience try to play the bongos on an opponent's head.

Really good players having really good years: I hate reading about slumps and disappointments, so to Sid and Stamkos: thanks fellas. Ovy, still waiting on you, brutha.

Erin Nicks, Puck Daddy blogger

I'm thankful for Drew Doughty's(notes) moustache, which makes him look like the guy who gets caught surfing porn on the computers at the public library.

I'm thankful for a mother who fed her 10-year-old daughter Pro Stars cereal, and made her wear a Edmonton Oilers sweatshirt that featured the garish mugs of Jari Kurri, Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier in cartoon form.

I'm thankful that although Sidney Crosby(notes) is a superstar, his head hasn't swelled to the point where he feels he has to touch up his perfect shade of ruby-red lipstick on the bench.

Chris Botta, AOL FanHouse

Martin Biron's(notes) grace: In a league filled with good men, how wonderful it is to see perhaps the very best bounce back between the pipes at the Garden.

Patrick Kane's(notes) Everyboy attitude: Kane enjoys the game and his team's success the way most of us non-athletes tell ourselves we would if we were elite. Loved when he jokingly talked tough during the Final, saying, "I'll show Pronger what's up."

Bob McKenzie's integrity: It should be so easy to work up a healthy dislike for a newsman so powerful in the game. But McKenzie -- classy, relentless in the pursuit of truth, so darn decent a fellow -- makes it impossible. He brings nobility to the business and the NHL.

Billy Jaffe's energetic analysis: Bounced by the Islanders, now he's just on every network show out there.

Zach Parise's(notes) will to score: Oh, how he is missed this season -- not just by the Devils, but anyone who cares about the right way to play the game.

Rick DiPietro's(notes) determination: I'm not sure anyone outside DiPietro's goalie coach and trainers truly know the full extent of what the goaltender is attempting to return from. 

Scott Lewis, Houses of the Hockey

Brian Burke: Your management techniques have taught us that it's better to give than to receive. 

Video Game Ilya Kovalchuk(notes): It's where defence matters not, and Ilya is always among the most dangerous with the puck.

Brett Sutter's(notes) Cab Driver Punch: Fueled by alcohol like Patrick Kane's, minus the star power.

Bleacher Report: For teaching us that there's no need to be coherent or original in order to be read by thousands.

Mike Richards(notes): Thanks for the lessons on respect.

Wooden Sticks: They'll live forever in road hockey.

Nick Cotsonika, Y! Sports NHL writer

Pavel Datsyuk's(notes) cleverness: You never know what he's going to do next with the puck.

P.K. Subban's(notes) enthusiasm: Call him cocky if you want. The kid's no-fear attitude is a big reason he's so fun to watch.

Don Cherry's tailor: That is one sharp-dressed man.

Brian Burke's fortitude: Even after the death of his son, he hasn't changed a bit - working hard and speaking out in the crazy media market of Toronto.

Rule 48: Even if it isn't perfect or perfectly enforced, the rule banning blindside hits to the head is a step in the right direction toward reducing concussions.

Rob "Just Rob" Pizzo, Puck Daddy Radio

I'm thankful that Cooperalls never caught on in the NHL, man they were ugly.

I'm thankful for the Center Ice package and its best friends the remote control, couch, chips and beer.

I'm thankful for my Tuesday night hockey league. Still living the dream, but where the hell are the damn scouts?

I'm thankful for Lanny McDonald's Mustache: He doesn't just grow it in November!

I'm thankful that we have an honest, impartial, and trustworthy VP and Director of hockey operations in Colin Campbell. In related news, I'm thankful for Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, Big Foot and unicorns.

Sam McCaig, Y! Sports NHL Editor

I'm thankful for...

The first week of the regular season

The first round of the playoffs

Games that DON'T go to a shootout


The rookie race

Pond hockey

1980s Islanders dynasty

Minor-pro hockey

World Junior Championship

Montreal Canadiens' pre-game tributes/ceremonies

Dmitry Chesnokov, Puck Daddy senior writer

I can't come up with something funny. I am just thankful for my daughter

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