28 February 2014

Canucklehead Power!

The skate in a circle, the stick in a rink, the orca, Halloween, and the Flying V. If you're hearing any of those things, you know we must be talking about the Vancouver Canucks. The big part of the ever changing look of the team tried to do so even further with the gradient come 1996. As a part of the inaugural third jersey series, Vancouver (in line with their identity crisis) decided to be included in that group. It wound up staying the following season unlike half of its counterparts, but not without the need for the team to upgrade their color scheme from the perspective of the socks. And then, that was the last of the jersey - all of two seasons. Since then, I have purchase  my own and it just came in yesterday!

I'm not sure when I'll get my next jersey, but you'll definitely know when I do. Until then, I'm going to see my NBA best Indiana Pacers at TD Garden in Boston to play the Celtics. Then I have tickets to see an NCAA men's basketball game at Hartford against UMBC (coincidentally and again). That's it for now.


23 February 2014

The Wings Fly

This is another first with the NLL's Philadelphia Wings. We've seen many jerseys over the course of the league's history, and the Wings will once again defy the bounds of a jersey. I present you the Flying Wings.

Courtesy of: Official NLL Facebook Page

Yes that's right, the Wings are honoring their tenant-mates, the NHL's Flyers. The idea behind it isn't bad at all. Especially when more than half of the league has red and/or black in their color scheme as primary (6 black, 5 red, and 3 both). But I would like to see this happen with all teams . . . As you may recall I did such a thing a while back on this site. In the mean time, let's see how they perform in them later.


22 February 2014


*** The following is my post from a different site, please visit hockeyconceptideas.blogspot.com for the article. ***

Friday: Heartbreak in Sochi

If anyone thinks I'm referring to the US and Canada women's ice hockey gold medal game, you're wrong. While that was heartbreaking, I'm moping over the Canadian women's curling rink winning the gold medal over Sweden. But since last we met, the Australian Football League preseason is now in full swing. More importantly, there are concepts to get to.

Irish Hockey League (fictional)
Submitted by: Nick Spiterri

This concept was based on having a league In the Republic of Ireland. The logos, themselves are from the rugby teams that represent said provinces. That is not uncommon in Europe, such as Barcelona in soccer and basketball. I like what was done to add some character to the uniforms. I'm not so sure as to the striping at the hem of the blue one, but the striping in general seems to be missing something. I am enjoying the originality of the idea though - that in itself is a much welcomed thought.

All in all, I'm disappointed in the fact that the content well is running a little dry. But all we need is you to fill it up again. Please, please, please, please send stuff in - we'd really appreciate it! It's a lot more fun for everyone that way too!

I still can't get over the Dion Phaneuf song from the other day, myself. In that regard, I put this up for you. It is a Parody of Adam Sandler's song made by WGR 550 Buffalo during the 2007 Finals run. That's it for me, see you in a week.


21 February 2014

Roaring Russian Rings: Part VIII

I'm feeling a void in my life. This has been a very fun but very fast two weeks. Canada trounces Britain for the gold and bronze will go to Sweden after edging China.

MEN'S draw
1. Canada (PR: 3)
Canada showed how the country plays the sport - three or more point ends and steals of at least two points. Canada truly deserved their medal, following in the footsteps of their opposition (Gushue and Martin)  and countrymen.

2. Sweden (PR: 1)
While it would have been nice to beat Canada in the semifinal, Sweden can't completely flake out having won bronze. The defending world champions still have that title going into the next world championship.

3. PR China (PR: 2)

China had played both medal round matches well, they have made their country proud just by getting the chance to medal. I am expecting great things from China, this group in particular.

4. Great Britain (PR: 2)

Okay, they didn't get gold, but David Murdoch finally got his much coveted Olympic medal. The bad news was it wasn't a graceful silver medal.

5. Denmark (PR: 4)

Like the women's counterpart, the Danes improved as the tournament went. However, qualification chences were well gone by the time they shaped up.

6. Russian Federation (PR: 7)

Not terribly bad for their first Olympics on the men's side. Still things there that can be worked on, though.

7. Norway (PR: 6)

Norway had the most disappointing performance of the tournament. They tailed off after three matches and focused a little too much on their pants, having bought one pair for each round robin match.

8. Switzerland (PR: 8)

The Swiss have seen  better days. Let's keep this tournament behind them.

9. United States (PR: 9)

Though it isn't reflected in their record, the US played better than the previous Olympics and even the women's rink (record aside). The men's qualifying has more competition to make it, but women's has a larger field.

10. Germany (PR: 10)

The Germans just couldn't get things going these Games. It is certain they'll be scratching their heads a little bit.

As I also am writing for HCI today, my mind has been all over the place. Maybe with everything back to normal tomorrow it will bring me back to a clear-minded state.


20 February 2014

Roaring Russian Rings: Part VII

C'est fini, the Women's portion of Olympic curling in Sochi is over. Now it is time to reflect on the Games that were.Canada defeated Sweden in the gold medal match and Britain took bronze away from Switzerland.

WOMEN'S draw
1. Canada  (PR: 1)
Canada has finished a perfect 11-0 in the Olympics and in emphatic fashion. I'm still disappointed and still don't like Jennifer Jones' rink (after 10 years), but Kaitlyn Lawes is one heck of a curler.

2. Sweden (PR: 2)

It's believable that the Swedes were the better team than Canada (from an unbiased perspective) in the match. Unfortunately for them, the color of the medal means more than their play.

3.  Great Britain (PR: 4)

The British got their medal, they took a detour, but it is their's. They were not playing completely well coming in, but they had gas left in the tank for just one more win.

4. Denmark (PR: 3)

Denmark, despite not qualifying to medal, cannot be disappointed with their play, they turned things around, just a little too late.

5. Japan (PR: 6

Japan were the one team who really impressed me in this tournament. Don't be surprised if they place in other tournaments between now and Pyeongchang.

6. Switzerland (PR: 5)

Mirjam Ott will not be pleased to end her Olympic career this way after two straight fourth place finishes. Assuming she isn't to return, she still has accomplished very much in her career including two Olympic silver medals.

7. Russian Federation (PR: 7)

The hosts did not particularly accomplish what was expected, but this tournament could have also been much worse for them. They shoulld be able to manage the rough spots going forward.

8. Korea (PR: 8)

Korea will return to the Olympics in 2018 as the host nation. It wouldn't surprise me if they manage to compete for a medal, provided they now have Olympic experience and do not play like Russia

9. United States  (PR: 9)
While this performance was disappointing, it was expected. The fortunate thing is that they can only go up in 2018, assuming they qualify.

10. PR China (PR: 10)

The Chinese did not finish strong and that denied them a chance to qualify for a medal. This by far is their worst performance in a tournament in some time.

That leaves the men's medals for tomorrow. Join us then for the final men's power rankings.


17 February 2014

Roaring Russian Rings: Part VI

We've made it. We just need to see who will be the fourth place team in the men's medal bracket. Norway will square-off against Great Britain at midnight Eastern. This will be an entertaining match as the winner will play Sweden and Canada will play China both at 10AM Eastern. The women's medal bracket, meanwhile is all squared away. Canada will face Switzerland and Great Britain will see Sweden. Both of those precede the men's matches on Wednesday at 5AM Eastern. It's going to be a fun first half.

MEN'S draw
1. Sweden (PR: 1)
The only team to lose just once, the Swedes have to await a tiebreak tomorrow (midnight tonight) to see who they'll face. Their loss to the Danes wasn't significant as they beat all of the medal qualifying teams.

2. PR China (PR: 4)

China's defeat of Great Britain was nothing short of phenomenal after the match they had played against Canada yesterday. They'll get a second chance at the US neighbors on Wednesday.

3. Canada (PR: 3)

Despite the victory over China, they didn't get the benefit of another match to move ahead in the rankings. They'll have to beat China again to compete for gold, otherwise it will be bronze or nothing. Deja vu again (remember US vs. Canada in Torino?)

4. Denmark (PR: 7)

Even though the Danes did not qualify for the medal round, their recent form to end the tournament has been pretty good. Finishing on two wins plus hard fought matches against two good teams. Don't forget to include their defeat of the Swedes in Draw 5.

5. Great Britain (PR: 2)

The British, like their women's counterpart at least managed a tiebreaker. However, David Murdoch knows that he has to bring at least a bronze home if he doesn't make the 2018 Olympics and if the women don't.

6. Norway (PR: 6)

This was Norway's for the taking, as they had a better draw than the UK (not that the Swiss should've been taken lightly). A tiebreaker will result as they face the Brits at midnight Eastern time.

7. Russian Federation (PR: 5)

Not a bad first Olympic round robin for the host nation. We'll see if they can make a return to the Pyeongchang Games in four years time.

8. Switzerland (PR: 10)

Unlike their counterpart, the men did not perform nearly as well, but can say they beat at least one medal qualifying team. They'll look to improve in time for the world Championships

9. United States (PR: 8)

Again, John Schuster (much like Erika Brown) did not have fascinating results at the Olympics. At the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if either of them qualify for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

10. Germany (PR: 9)

John Jahr gave the Russians a fight, but not enough to keep them from the cellar of these rankings. This team's inexperience in big matches shows what the Germans need to improve on.

WOMEN'S draw
1. Canada  (PR: 1)
This year's women's team managed what Vancouver's men's team Canada did - finish undefeated in round robin play. Canada just needs two more wins for their first gold since the Nagano Games.

2. Sweden (PR: 2)

Sweden are keeping up to par like their predecessors led by Annette Norberg. Thw Swedish chances for a three-peat are very much alive.

3.  Denmark (PR: 7)

The Danes had a very strong finish, but it wasn't enough to earn them a spot in the medal round. It would have been entertaining to see them have another run at the better teams.

4. Great Britain (PR: 3)

This isn't per say the best curling we've seen from the Scots. They'll have to play much better against the team that went undefeated in round robin play.

5. Switzerland (PR: 5)

The Swiss went down and then back up (thanks to their big win against a diminishing Chinese rink). Mirjam Ott can get another chance at an Olympic gold medal.

6. Japan (PR: 8)

This team improved the most by competing in this tournament. I wouldn't be surprised if they medal in at least one world championship before the next Winter Olympiad.

7. Russian Federation (PR: 4)

The Russians had their ups and downs, and can only look forward from here. Now, they won't have the crowd behind them.

8. Korea (PR: 9)

While showing flashes of brilliance, the first time Olympic challengers have quite a ways to go.

9. United States  (PR: 10)
Even with their loss, the United States beat what turned out to be a very competitive Japanese team. Will we see a freak occurrence and see Erika Brown and company in Pyeongchang in 2018?

10. PR China (PR: 6)

I don't think anyone saw this coming. After all is said and done, the Chinese lost three straight to end the round robin sessions and has not qualified for the medal rounds.

The medal matches will be as follows: women's bronze then gold on Thursday at 3:30 and 8:30AM Eastern (respectively). The the following day at the same time will be the men's bronze and gold medal matches. I'm sure it won't disappoint.

16 February 2014

Roaring Russian Rings: Part V

A lot has changed since last we ranked. This was conducted prior to today's sessions. This is the last ranking to the end of the round robin draw and the second last overall. I still expect a good amount of changes for both.

MEN'S draw
1. Sweden (PR: 4)
Two wins (Norway and Germany) put Sweden at the top this ranking. This strong showing is enough to get them into the medal round.

2. Great Britain (PR: 1)

Last ranking's number one last to Canada in the most recent session. They need to look at game film because that might be their potential semifinal match up, assuming they qualify.

3. Canada (PR: 5)

In a similar position as the Scots, Canada should be through to the medal round with a win, but the US and Norway can take the spot away if things go awry.

4. PR China (PR: 3)

They may be in the medal round, but China did lose their first game to the Swedes since the last ranking. They still have Canada and Britain - big games but also a good way to scout them in case they have to play matches against one of them close together.

5. Russian Federation (PR: 7)

Russia overthrew the US down one in the tenth end to win, but lost their subsequent match to the Chinese. They seem to have an idea of being able to compete and improve for the next Olympic qualifying session.

6. Norway (PR: 3)

The Norwegians are still in this and are the only other team than the US who still have a shot at the medal round. They'll have Britain and the Swiss.

7. Denmark (PR: 6)

The Danes lost both games but managed six on Great Britain. They would have swapped with the US had they lost by more than the two.

8. United States (PR: 9)

Much to anyone's surprise, the stars and stripes are still able to qualify for the medal round if everything goes according to plan. Since Norway has to beat Britain, the US need the Brits and Canadians to lose out.

9. Germany (PR: 10)

Finally got a win but also lost to Sweden. At least Jahr can finish out with two wins (Denmark) assuming the will lose to Norway.

10. Switzerland (PR: 8)

While they did beat the Danish team, they lost to Germany. The US and Norway remain, the two teams that can knock out Britain and Canada so this is the Swiss chance to play spoiler.

WOMEN'S draw
1. Canada  (PR: 1)
The Manitobans are still undefeated and are the first team to officially be heading to the medal rounds. Still big pressure to take gold for the first time since first official event in Nagano.

2.  Sweden (PR: 2)

Sweden could have lost to the Americans and survived the tenth end by means of the measuring device. Despite losing to Sweden, the big upset by the Danes to China also helps their position.

3. Great Britain (PR: 3)

For the second time in this tournament, Britain has let up a three point end. There is almost the same pressure to go gold after Eve's performance in Vancouver and since the last British gold in Salt Lake City.

4. Russian Federation (PR: 8)

Well, Russia seems to have gained back some composure. The question now is whether or not this momentum will be enough to get them back in to medal qualification.

5. Switzerland (PR: 5)

Start 3-0, lose three straight, win one. They've found their winning touch, now they have to claw back into medal contention.

6. PR China (PR: 4)

Despite beating Sweden, they lost by three to Denmark and with the live rankings, I had to make a lot of changes. They would've been in third without the loss, but they technically have a medal round spot right now.

7. Denmark (PR: 10)

Denmark managed a three point win over China and obliterated the US. Denmark may be the second best team in the tournament since the last rankings.

8. Japan (PR: 7)

The Japanese are showing displays of excellence, but are very spotty. Possibly the hardest remaining schedule even with more of their brilliance on display.

9. Korea (PR: 6)
Of the bottom four, Korea has the potential to finish highest. Both Denmark and the US have to play them as well as Canada.

10. United States  (PR: 9)
Though they had performed well against Japan and got unlucky with the measuring device against Sweden to end the game, the US are virtually out and back to rock bottom in the standings and rankings.

With this being said, a medal round team may not be in the top four of the standings and likewise have a better chance to move positively or negatively at the final rankings.

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