November 24, 2011
(Ed. Note: It's Turkey Day here in the U.S., which means it's an untypical day here at Puck Daddy. Please join us in celebrating the game in these special posts today. Thanks for reading, and have a happy and healthy holiday.)
Greg Wyshynski, Puck Daddy Editor
Dan Bylsma — Maybe it's the '24/7' editing or the fabulous mustache or the fact that he's a good interview, but I'm not sure there's another coach in the NHL I root for more than Bylsma. The loathsome blessing of riches that are the Pittsburgh Penguins are balanced by this humble, smart coach that was given a shot and succeeded.
Adams Henrique and Larsson — As a New Jersey Devils fan, I acknowledge the fact that this team has been mismanaged, is in transition and is about as financially stable as post-divorce Hulk Hogan. But when I see Adam Larsson(notes) patrol the blue line like a seasoned pro, I have hope they'll build from the back again, around this kid. When I see Adam Henrique(notes) come up and electrify the team, even for a moment, it gives me hope that the future is more than just a collection of overpriced and underwhelming UFAs.
Postgame Pub Talk — After I've reported on a Caps game and close the computer, I always know there are puckheads willing to raise a pint and talk hockey at the Irish Channel in D.C. until the lights go out. Like, at the bar; not, like, passing out. Most nights anyway.
Podcasting — Not to overstate the obvious, but I'm thankful you guys have gravitated to the new radio show, as I'm thankful you read this idiotic blog every day. Podcasting as a medium, and especially for hockey talk, is a wonderful thing — the ability to debate, chat, interact and joke without constraints on time and content. I can't wait to see where Marek Vs. Wyshynski Radio takes us.
Sean Leahy, Puck Daddy Associate Editor
NHL GameCenter Live - Where we can get HD quality feeds when none are available on our 52" TVs and $170 NHL Center Ice packages.
Don Cherry's suits - Giving me retinal damage every Saturday night, something that Ron MacLean is probably used to by now being so close to him on the set.
NHL third jersey designers - Continuously providing fans with comedy fodder and not getting the hint that black jerseys are tired and old.
Brendan Shanahan's(notes) suspension and non-suspension videos - For removing the cloud of secrecy around how a player did or did not deserve a suspension like fans had to deal with in the past. Agree or disagree with one of the Department of Player Safety's suspensions or non-suspensions, but at least we know how they came to the conclusion.
Ryan Lambert, Puck Daddy Columnist
GameCenter Live - This might come off as a bit of a commercial but it has totally changed the way I watch the sport. I'd always had Center Ice but decided to make the switch so I could watch wherever I wanted, and it's been great. I can watch Hockey Night in Canada games on my phone during intermissions while at another hockey game. The future is here and it's awesome.
Afternoon hockey - The more hockey I can get in my life, the better. And on weekends, sometimes there's an afternoon game or two to help keep me busy until the night games start. That's always greatly appreciated, but the NHL doesn't always schedule them. Shouldn't that be a thing? Like every Saturday, you can count on an NHL Network game at like 3 p.m. That would be cool.
Sid Crosby - Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, and then comes back and scores a ridiculous goal on its first shot. The guy is a true pleasure to watch. When we're old we'll all be talking about him like NBA fans talk about Jordan in his prime.
Puck Daddy - At the risk of sounding like a total kiss-ass, I really do love reading PD every day. I also love writing for it. It's given me the chance to meet a bunch of really great people who have become good friends. Life would be a great deal more boring without the hockey blogging community. Thanks gang.
Harrison Mooney, Puck Daddy Associate Editor
The Minnesota Wild Christmas tree jersey - I don't care what anybody says, it's gorgeous, damn it.
Funkadelic's Maggot Brain - I listen to that record, like, every day. I'm listening to it right now. (This is pertinent in the sense that it soundtracks all my writing.)
Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts - The only hockey column I will literally drop everything to read, and by everything, I'm talking stoneware, ash urns, babies, plates of lamb vindaloo -- everything.
Photoshop - A world in with pictures simply stay the way they were taken is a world in which I don't want to live.
Puck Daddy - I hate to be the Abed of the group and go all meta on you guys, but you don't want to know what I was doing for work before I ended up here. I appreciate the Hell out of this place and the opportunity to write for you all.
Movember - playoff beards are one thing, but nothing beats the grotesque array of moustaches that hockey produces every November.
NHL.com headline puns - The good kind of bad, like CBS drama The Mentalist.
Dmitry Chesnokov, Puck Daddy Senior Writer
Puck Daddy - For being the best place for hockey coverage from all angles and unfiltered honest opinion...and letting me being a part of it
Hockey community - For their sincere heartwarming reaction to the Lokomotiv crash.
Idioms - The best idioms used by hockey commentators like "stickhandle in a phone booth" or the "top shelf where mama keeps the cookies."
Steve McAllister, Yahoo! Sports Canada Jedi Master
A minor hockey team involving boys and girls who want to listen and learn, coaches who understand that making EVERY player better (by preaching and praising skill development, and having fun accomplishing that trumps winning-at-all-costs by a country mile, and parents who support those coaches.
Volunteers - The people that pat a child on the head, tie his/her skates, drive 3-4 kids to the rink for early-morning and late-evening practices, open the door at the bench, run the scoreboard, sit on the executive to make sure everything is in place for a minor hockey program to operate.
Neate Sager, Buzzing The Net
(Hmmmm ... Thanksgiving was last month, Wysh, but here's mine.)
The Ottawa 67's bringing back the Barberpole jersey — The Ontario Hockey League team was stripped of its distinctive look after the league switche to RBK Edge jerseys a while back. However, they brought it back for this season, the horizontal black and white stripes wrapping around the red sweater. It looks glorious and I'm saying this as someone who grew up watching the 67's usually outclass and outplay my hometown Kingston Canadians/Raiders/Frontenacs.
Leafs fans — For their eternal optimism and for having a sense of humour about the whole deal.
Sidney Crosby(notes) returning — And right in time for an advertising campaign that will run during the weeks leading to Christmas, not to be a conspiracy theorist. Now how long until we can resent him again?
Former NHLers coaching junior hockey — Journalists are not supposed to get star-struck, but how can you not be a little bit impressed when you go to interview a coach and it's Patrick Roy with the Quebec Remparts or Dale Hawerchuk with the Barrie Colts? Picture the humble scribe running around the corner to text buddies, "You'll never believe who I just interviewed!"
Nick Cotsonika, Yahoo! Sports NHL Columnist
Sidney Crosby - Say what you want about Sid and the media's fawning over him. Rare is the player who actually lives up to the hype.
Gary Bettman and Don Fehr - Because you know they'll get a deal done (like MLB) and won't be locked out at this time next year (like the NBA). Right?
The Schedule - The NFL plays on Thanksgiving. The NBA plays on Christmas (when it's, you know, playing). The NHL is the civilized sport. As much as I love hockey — and as much as I enjoy watching football on Thanksgiving, nearly comatose on the sofa with my top button undone — this holiday is about food and family in America .
Black Friday - My wife can go shopping. I can watch hockey again.
Sam McCaig, Yahoo! NHL Editor
Original Six Cities - I'm thankful for Montreal's puck passion, the Big, Bad Bruins and the Rangers' perpetual chequebook.
Sweet Starts - I'm thankful for Minnesota's good start, Nashville's relentless competitiveness and Florida's return to relevance.
Returns - I'm thankful the Jets are back in Winnipeg , Sidney Crosby's back in Pittsburgh and firewagon hockey is back in Edmonton.
Craig Smith(notes) - For injecting the excitement of the unexpected into fantasy hockey. And for putting the rules of trigonometry to the test by demonstrating how one can miss a 6x4 target from a mere one inch away.
Philadelphia Flyers - Defensive hockey is the bane of fantasy hockey. Thank you Philly for bringing this to the attention of all.
Sidney Crosby - Our biggest hope of busting through the 130-point barrier and thus further opening up the game. And for making me cheer out loud for the first time this season while watching a game by myself with that first goal.
Brooks Laich(notes) of the Washington Capitals - For the early candidate for quote of the year. "I really don't care about that awareness stuff. To be honest I'm sick of hearing all this talk about concussions and about the quiet room. This is what we love to do. Guys love to play, they love to compete, they want to be on the ice. How do you take that away from somebody? We accept that there's going to be dangers when we play this game and know that every night that you get dressed. Sometimes, it just feels like we're being babysat a little too much. We're grown men and we should have a little bit of say in what we want to do."
Mike Yeo - For making the Wild competitive and hard to play against again. Goals? We Wild fans don't need 'em (just kidding, we do; but, hey, points are points).
Devin Setoguchi(notes) - Because I love that one of his nicknames is "The Gooch". I can just say "The Gooch" to myself and laugh. I find it best to say "The Gooch" in a Minnesota accent - as in "Oh, that was a great shot there by 'the Gooch', dontcha know". I could go on with more "The Gooch" ramblings, but Wyshynski wants to keep this short.
NHL network's On the Fly Final - The best way to get my hockey fix in the morning. As an added bonus, it has been great for helping me brainwash my daughter into hockey.
Twitter - For countless reasons. The great hockey bloggers and beat writers, the player chirping, the memes and every cat video in between.
The US Pond Hockey tourney - Just a great time outside in Minnesota …..in January.
Finally, Ron Swanson - Because we should all be thankful for his general awesomeness.