Snipe City is a hockey column by 36 Crazyfists vocalist Brock Lindow and PUCKHCKY founder Matt Marini.
Hey old friends how was your summer? Feels like forever since we sat down had a beer and talked shop, let’s catch up shall we!
BROCK : I actually had a summer home for once and really tried to take all that an Alaskan summer offers to the fullest. I spent my early years commercial fishing with my dad on the majestic waters of Cook Inlet and everyone that knows me knows that had a massive impact on me as a man and as a lyricist. As the summer introduced itself to us Alaskans after a pretty mild winter so did the opportunity for me to get my old job back on the fishing vessel Haley Sea. It had been 17 years since I stepped back on the boat and so much had changed in the commercial fishing industry since my early days that I had quite a bit to learn. The season was incredible and we harvested around 20,000 pounds of Sockeye Salmon in about 3 weeks. The scenery was breath taking and I was pretty awestruck daily looking at the view from my “office.” I took the time to get some writing in for the new album that we are about to start recording in the next coming weeks and it was exactly what I needed to find material that summed up how I have been feeling/living the past couple years. Fast forward to two weeks ago and we made our way back to South America for some shows in Chile and our very first trip to Brazil. The people & the culture are just very welcoming from my experiences and the shows themselves are the greatest morale booster any band could ask for. The excitement is ramping back in our camp and we are stoked to be at the recording stage of our newest chapter, looking at a spring/summer release for this bad boy.
Alright let’s get to the greatest game on earth and drop the puck on this mofo!
Auston Mathews!!! What else can we say about this rookie phenom? 4 goals in his first NHL regulation game. He is gonna be a lot of fun to watch this year and Toronto fans you are lucky as hell to have him! My Flyers got off to the best start in years getting past LA on the road for their first game of the season and then losing in OT to Arizona the next night was still a decent effort while gaining a point in the loss. Things are building in Philly with a young roster and key vets in that locker room.
With the new hockey season in full swing, here at Snipe City HQ we are going to be doing some really cool stuff this season so be looking out! We will be getting the reader(s) involved this season, as we really do want to know what the true fans of hockey are thinking in terms of current hot topics, plays that have happened, great goals, great saves, basically anything hockey related is fair-game! Now…on to this weeks observations and thoughts!!!
First and foremost, its good to hear that Sid the Kid will be back in the line-up for the Penguins this evening vs Florida. I’m sure everyone got that sinking feeling in their stomach when it was announced that Crosby had suffered yet another concussion. Love him or hate him, when Crosby is playing at his normal high-level he is an obvious pleasure to watch of course, but he is also great for the game in a league that is (sometimes) lacking a bit of “star-power”….which he certainly brings. Welcome back Sid!
OK…enough of that. Hot Topics right out the gate: When did the NHL decide to get fast and offensively exciting again? The speed of the players (and play) has been super up-tempo, and a barrage of goals are being scored so far. I personally have only seen one game so far this new season that has been “meh” in terms of excitement. The rest have all been pretty entertaining and filled with skill plays all over the ice. How are the Canadiens still undefeated after 6 games?? Oh..they’ve only given up 10 goals in those six games. Guess that explains that. There are teams that have given up more than twice that amount in 5 games!! Looking at you Arizona and Ottawa. Whats truly mind blowing is that if you haven’t been paying attention and just think “jeez, Carey Price is hot this year!” and that’s it, what if I told you Price didn’t even play the first 3 games….Al Montoya did! Montoya is currently sporting a .962 Save Percentage, along with a 1.30 Goals Against Average.
Back to the speed and skill thing…have you watched an Edmonton Oiler game yet this season? Connor McDavid and his running mates are bringing it! Not only do the Oil have a gorgeous new arena, they seem to have a new lease on life as this year’s version seems to be destined to (dare I say) make the playoffs. Hey, if Cam Talbot keeps playing like he did in the Heritage Classic vs Winnipeg, the Oilers will make it. Whats shakin’ in the Motor City and the Red Wings? After a lousy 0-2 start, the Wings have gone 4-0….and been quite impressive. The goal-tending tandem of Mrazek and Howard has been stellar, while the play of Mike Green, Frans Neilsen, and Thomas Vanek has also been fantastic. Vanek is showing exactly what the Wings have been lacking in recent years…which is a veteran power-forward with size that can score and play defense. If the Wings keep improving, looks like it will indeed be 26 years in a row!
MATT: Might as well address the elephant in the room now…..the Toronto kid(s)!!! Gotta love the start Auston Matthews (4 goals in his first game!) and William Nylander are having. Actually, throw Mitch Marner in the mix as well, because he looks like a real skill player too. If Freddie Andersen (sorry buddy) could stop anything, the Leafs as a team would also be off to a great start….but Freddie is fighting the puck a bit now, yeesh. This leads us to the Winnipeg kids!! Hopefully you caught the Toronto vs Winnipeg game last week which featured both Auston Matthews (1st overall in 2016) and Patrick Laine (2nd overall in 2016) in their first regular-season game match-up. If you did not see it, go back and watch the highlights….you will thank me. Laine proved he is also a blue-chip player, and possesses the kind of goal-scoring talent that simply cant be taught. Ask Freddie Andersen (again, sorry buddy) what he thinks about Patrick Laine. Besides Laine, keep your eyes on Mark Scheifele, Nick Ehlers, and Kyle Connor, who are all great young forwards for the Jets. Philly fans have to be excited (right Brock…and ALL OF 36 Crazyfists!) about the play of a few youngsters right now…Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, and of course “The Ghost”, Shayne Gostisbehere are all going to be Flyers for awhile….now if the Flyers can just get a little more depth at forward, they may be on to something.
General Observations: I cant believe I’m saying this, but so far the Canucks have been a blast to watch. They play some low-scoring, but fun games to watch. Bo Horvat looks great. Hes a big, strong dude…with good hands around the net. If only Loui Eriksson would decide to start scoring some goals….What are the Ducks doing with Hampus Lindholm? I guess when you have the wealth of defense-men that Anaheim possesses you aren’t in a particular rush to make a deal, but you are 2-3-1 so far…plus you really need some help at forward…so I anticipate a deal will happen involving Lindholm soon. The latest rumor making the rounds is a trade between the Jets (Jacob Trouba, who has requested a trade from Winnipeg) and the Ducks for Lindholm. This really makes no sense for the Ducks…unless they have a subsequent deal in place to flip Trouba (or another defense-man?) for help offensively. Think I’m kidding? Check out the Ducks top 12 forwards….then get back to me. Not the deepest group of guys….Congrats go out to Marian Hossa who became the 44th player in NHL history to score 500 goals! Hossa looked great in the World Cup, and it looks like it carried over to the NHL season as he looks fast and strong again. Also in the Windy City…whats up with the penalty kill? Or no penalty kill…ever. The Hawks cant keep power-play goals against out of their net, and have given up 25 total goals in the first 7 games..not exactly solid on D…..What a bummer for the L.A. Kings!! They lose not one, but two goalies already! Jonathan Quick is out for up to 4 months, while his understudy Jeff Zatkoff also went down and is out for a couple weeks minimum. The Kings are supposed to be a legit contender for the Cup this year…is a deal for a goalie on the horizon in L.A.?
P.K. Subban seems to be fitting right in with the Predators, and likewise Shea Weber in Montreal. Might be a trade that works for both teams. Also on the Subban front, Malcolm gets the start in goal for the Boston Bruins tonight….I was pretty excited for the Flames this season, but they’ve given up a whopping 29 goals in just 7 games soooo yeah. Brian Elliot did play a great game on Monday, so lets see if that turns things around for him cuz it hasn’t been pretty thus far in Calgary….Burns and Thornton still have the NHL best beard-action going on in San Jose, and in other Sharks news once the offense starts clicking this team is going to be tough to stop. This might really be the Sharks year…really….Totally digging that the Red Wings are fighting everyone all of a sudden!! Perhaps they have seen the new Ice Guardians (see this film, its awesome) documentary for inspiration. Even Dylan “D-Boss” Larkin got in the act against the “other” Weber that’s in Nashville…and won! Very strange to see the Wings fighting so much..brings back fond memories of Probert, Kocur, McCarty, etc….Surprise team to look out for? NJ Devils. That’s right…Taylor Hall gives this team exactly what they needed, great trade. If the Devils get any kind of consistent offense, they will be tough this year….Richard Panik has 6 goals for the Hawks already. I loved his play last year with Chicago, and he isn’t disappointing anyone this year either….another great pick-up by Chicago…oh yeah, Tyler Motte looks like the real-deal too.
All right, looks like we are gonna have a great season, so lets all enjoy it! Ill leave you with this crazy score-o clip from the University of Michigan game last weekend. You just have to watch it until the end to believe it. I will proudly say I was actually in attendance (in East Lansing, Michigan) when Mike Legg scored his famous “lax” style goal in 1996!! Watch the clip:
OK…until next time, check out a bunch of new 36 Crazyfists x PUCK HCKY gear at puckhcky.com
We have new flannels, hats, bags, patches, etc!!!!