October 1, 2011

NHL 2011-2012 - Don Cherry and the other talking heads will be buzzing

The new hockey season is going to have the commentators jabbering for sure.  The Habs are sucking in pre season, the Leafs have gambled everything on their goalie, and young teams like the Kings and Oilers look set to surprise. Stalwarts like Dallas and Detroit look strong again and Chicago is working hard to get back on top.   

The King of hockey coverage is without a doubt ; Don Cherry.  His rants about Europeans have made a legend out of him and his love of all things Leafs and Bruins make him the target of derision throughout the rest of the NHL.   Cherry should be on his horse this year pushing a repeat by the Bruins and some sort of second coming from the Leafs.

Unfortunately for NHL fans most of the hockey coverage comes from Toronto. The talking heads which come out of Toronto are predictable Maple Leaf cheerleaders and this year should be no exception.  With their new boy in nets; the Leaf faithful have the next whipping boy lined up for the eventual slid into the basement.   

Real hockey lovers and commentators will be focused on the arrival of the Jets into Winnipeg.  A good showing by these boys in the frozen north could lead to other teams relocating to Canada. This Jet squad is young , aggressive and well coached. A strong showing should be a given.

Of course, the NHL will be keeping an eye on fighting by the tough guys.  The tragedies in the off season have put the focus on why so many enforcers died off the ice.  Is there a problem ?  What might it be ? For the sake of hockey we hope they find out before someone else has to die.

All in 2011-2012 will be a heck of season in the NHL. Lock and load boys and girls and enjoy.   

P.K. Subban , Evander Kane, and Wayne Simmonds - The new breed of superstar

The NHL is full of superstars.  The TV spotlights them, writers relate their stories and youngsters across the world want to be them. Hockey is a beautiful game.  It crosses borders, countries and yes even color....well at least borders and countries.  It looks like we have still have some work to do to bring down the color barrier in the NHL; for some fans.

Everyone shuddered when Chris Moorehouse threw a banana  at Wayne Simmonds in an exhibition game; last week.  The obvious reference to Simmonds' skin colour made the incident into national and international news.  The dumb bell obviously didn't realize that skill is what defines a hockey player; not skin color. Black hockey players are nothing new for real hockey fans.  There have been many firsts for black hockey players in the NHL.

Jerome Iginla was the first black captain in the NHL.  Under his leadership , the Calgary Flames went to the Stanley Cup final in 2004.  Iginla has very soft hands and he has been a scoring machine and is now the resident hockey god in Cow Town.

Tony McKegney was the first black "impact" hockey player in the NHL. McKegney was a cornerstone for the Buffalo Sabres for many seasons.  He was a solid two way player who netted 40 goals in  his best year.

Grant Fuhr is best known as the anchor for the Oiler teams made famous by Wayne Gretzky and company.  Fuhr stood between the pipes and guarded the paint as Edmonton hosted an Oilers dynasty which won numerous Cups.

I was discussing the whole Moorehouse situation with a friend this week and he told me that malice should not be confused with stupidity.  In that spirit I suggest that it might serve Mr.Moorehouse well to hit Google and educate himself.  Black hockey players are common on both sides of the border. Some of the best players in the NHL are black.   

Guys like P.K. Subban, Evander Kane, and Wayne Simmonds are just some of these black superstars.  These guys are super skilled hockey players and deserve the respect of everyone including racist idiots like Moorehouse.  Hopefully we will continue to see more skilled black players in the ranks of the NHL.  Equally so; hopefully we will see less of fans like Mr.Moorehouse.

September 30, 2011

Put Your Hands Up For Detroit!

I don’t think many fans worldwide have a preseason conversation about potential Stanley Cup winners without mentioning the Detroit Redwings. It seems every season they claim that top 8 place without too much strain and are tough to beat when the post season hits. So are those conversations between fans going to be different this preseason? I think not.

Detroit were extremely unlucky when San Jose sent them crashing out of the playoffs last May. You may think I am showing some Detroit bias when calling it unlucky, especially as San Jose were 3-0 up in the series and 1 game away from a white wash but 2 of the 4 San Jose won were in OT and all 4 were by 1 goal. It was a close series and it was a shame that either team had to lose.

So, where have Detroit upgraded and downgraded from that series heading into the new season? Well, as usual with Detroit most of the players remain the same with improvements here and there.
Jimmy Howard will be the main lead inbetween the pipes again coming off a 37-17-5 season last time out. An ever improving netminder who should be stronger after another full season of experience under his belt and not too shabby a playoff run. He should be good for 60-65 games again as long as he remains injury free and expect another return of 35-40 wins.

Howard won’t have Ozzie has his back up this time round after the Detroit legend retired from the game. Instead Ty Conklin and Joey MacDonald will battle it out to be back up. MacDonald had a 5-5-3 record last season and didn’t do too badly whilst Conklin has played a bit part for the St Louis Blues the past 2 seasons, winning 18 and losing 18 in the past 2 years. Conklin had his best season sharing duties with Osgood the season previous in Detroit and if he can reproduce that sort of form he could be as good as Osgood. I feel both these options are downgrades on Osgood and Detroit will need to rely on Howard for more wins to keep them near the top of the Western Conference.

On the D not only have Detroit lost Salei from last season but family, friends and the Ice Hockey world lost the big Dman this summer when he was part of the Lokomotiv team that lost their lives in the awful plane crash that occurred. He will be missed from Detroit’s D and from the Hockey world.

Detroit have also lost Brian Rafalski to retirement which leaves a hole to fill on the PP as well as in defence. Another player Detroit might have lost to retirement was captain Niklas Lidstrom but he will be back for another season after an excellent last one. In my eyes, he was the biggest signing made by Detroit in the summer and to have him back is music to my ears!

Mike Commodore and Ian White come into the mix as does Garnet Exelby. Ian White impressed me in a Sharks uniform in that San Jose v Detroit series and I think that if he settles into the team he could be a great acquisition at the back. Commodore will bring size and experience and should be another good signing as a defensive D-man.

Losing a player like Rafalski is always going to be tough for any team and Detroit might have not replaced him like for like but with the players brought in and with the likes of Kindl and Janik also trying to break into the team Detroit still have plenty of strength and depth in this area.

What changes are there with the forwards for the Redwings? I hear you cry! ... Well, apart from the retirements of Mike Modano and Kris Draper, basically nothing. Detroit will be relying on the same players to get the goals as they did last season. Is losing Modano and Draper a downgrade then? Well, they have certainly lost a lot of experience but there has to be a point where the young talent get their chance and players such as Tatar and Mursak need that chance to get established after have a glimpse of the NHL last season. Modano spent most of last season out injured and even when on the ice he was disappointing, to the point he ended up a healthy scratch for almost all of the playoffs. Draper was used when players were out injured as a depth player and In my opinion did a good job. However, I’d like to see the younger players get more games this season though and see if there is another generation of Datsyuk’s and Zetterberg’s coming through the Detroit ranks.

This means the likes of Patrick Eaves, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader all need to step up a gear again this season which I am sure they will and if Dan Cleary can get on a roll and stay injury free I am sure Detroit won’t have any issues finding the net. With Datsyuk and Zetterberg again pulling the strings and add to the afore mentioned players the likes of Todd Bertuzzi, Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom Detroit have a strong forward line that can match any other of the 29 teams in the NHL.

My only worry is if there are a lot of injuries to players all at the same time or players run into suspension trouble if there is enough experience in depth. If the young players aren’t playing well and don’t step up to the level required in the NHL will Detroit need to go looking for players before the trade deadline? 

Time will reveal all this. After all, we are still a week away from game 1 so let’s not look to far ahead!

I am sure come April, May and hopefully June next year Detroit will yet again be there or thereabouts.

- Adam Yates

September 29, 2011


 All the players listed are looking to have bounce-back, or continue their success after a great season. All the forwards have quick hands and a great release, and the goalies are going to have to be the reason for their team’s success. For each of these teams to have a chance in the playoffs, it looks as though these players will have to show up in the regular season, and show why they are the star of their franchise. Some of these teams are in rebuild, others are in their primes. Players such as Filitov and Grabner are representing the resurgence of the league, which is a younger, faster game. On the other side of the game, such as Datsyuk and Doan, are the players that are showing the game has not forgot its roots. These are the players that are going to be the stars this year, and in the future.


By Noah Green

September 28, 2011

Audition for GetRealHockey

As you know we are working on a public face for Get Real.  We started with this song which will be on  Itunes.

We are also looking for a face for the brand.  We are looking for someone like Cabbie.

We are going to target financing in the next 60 days and getting someone like Cabbie would be a big plus.

If you know someone who would fit the bill; please have them send an audition tape to getrealhockey@gmail.com.

Winter Classic in the NHL and other Good Stuff.

 The NHL announced that this season’s Winter Classic will pit rivals Philadelphia Flyers against the New York Rangers. The game is to be held at Citizen’s Bank Field in Philadelphia and will take place on Jan 2nd rather than the usual date of Jan 1st.
The press conference announcing the game saw Sather and Snider have a dig at each other’s organisation, setting the tone for what could be the game of the season.
Certainly a game I will look forward to over the New Year’s period – hopefully both teams will be doing well in the Atlantic division come face off and we will see a spectacle on ice that matches the setting of these classic games.

Brendan Shanahan. One time hero of mine along with the likes of Federov, Kozlov and the mercurial Stevie Y. Do I like him in this new role that he has taken up at the NHL? I’ll come back to you on that during the season.

Shanahan has been given a role which means he studies any checks / hits / incidents that are bordering on or breaking the new NHL rules.

He then gives his decision on them and hands out the punishment. It is very much like he is the new Sheriff of the NHL. His actual title is Senior Vice President Of

Player Safety.

He has already been dishing out suspensions during the preseason. Jean Francois Jacques of the Ducks being suspended the remainder of the preseason plus 5 regular season games for leaving the bench with the purpose of starting a fight, Wisniewski of the Blue Jackets getting the remainder of the preseason and 8 regular season games for an illegal check to the head and Brad Staubitz the remainder of the preseason and 4 regular season games for an illegal check from behind are just 3 of the suspensions he has already handed out.

A lot has been said, especially last season about hits to the head and illegal checks that have seen some of the stars of the NHL miss a lot of games. This is the way the NHL have decided to combat it, giving Shanahan the job to cast his eyes over the incidents, the rule book and then give out punishment as necessary. The way in which Shanahan is doing this is unique to me as he is giving out his verdict to the camera’s and how he came to the decisions. Speaking over footage of the hits and taking into account players positioning, visible intentions of the players and previous suspension history he is then ruling with an iron fist.

Whilst fans, coaches and players first comments on this seem to be positive I’m unsure myself. I’m not unsure with the way / style he is doing it, in fact I think it is an excellent idea and allows everyone to know why the decision has been made.

It’s a very good insight and way of analysing hits and checks and after seeing the Shanahan videos everyone should know what is legal and illegal and hopefully the players will take heed and the bad hits will become less of an issue in the game.
What I am unsure of is the length of suspensions and whether every little incident is going to come under scrutiny with this system. Maybe suspensions have been heavy preseason to try and make players think straight away about the hits they are making but surely you can’t give a player an 8 game suspension for an incident preseason and then have a similar incident later in the season that only warrants a 1 or 2 game suspension. The length of suspensions has got to be consistent and be applied all season. This could lead to coaches and fans becoming less favourable to the system when key players are missing big games.
I will remain sceptical for now and make my mind up a month into the season. Hopefully by then these sort of incidents won’t be a major talking point and the hockey flair will be.

Wayne Simmonds has certainly started life with the Flyers with some controversy. The first incident by no means was his fault with a fan throwing a banana onto the ice whilst he was taking a penalty shot in a shoot out. A fan has been charged with the incident and hopefully we won’t see anything like this again in the NHL.

What came next in a friendly with the New York Rangers was an allegation by Rangers forward Sean Avery that a homophobic slur was aimed at him by Simmonds.

Simmonds denied using the slur he was alleged to have said and with non of the on ice officials near the players hearing anything either the NHL hasn’t taken any action on this incident.

Both incidents are not needed in the sport and hopefully Simmonds will be mentioned in later blogs and news for his on ice play rather than stories like this. He had a good playoffs with LA last season and the Flyers will be hoping he starts this season like he finished last.

by Adam Yates

The new NHL season has so many question marks - Leafs, Habs, Bruins, Jets, Kings, Oilers, Flyers

The NHL season is set to kick off and NHL fans are asking all sorts of questions

Leafs - Is this the year they finally make the playoffs ?  Should they pin all their hopes on such a young goalie ?  Can they have a good January - February and stay in contention?

Habs - Will Price gets some help this year ?  Will Markov be able to stay healthy and lend PK Subban a hand ?  Is Gomez going to be in the press box by January 1st or will he surprise ?

Bruins - Can these boys capture the magic from last year ?  Will they miss clutch players like Ryder ?

Jets - Will the Jets head to the playoffs in their return to the Peg ? Will they be the blueprint for a return of hockey to Hamilton or Quebec City ?

Kings - This young squad looks ready to step up and go big time ?  Will Kopitar and company step and make Kings fans forget about Gretzky and Simmer ?

Oilers - Northern Alberta could be in for a surprise this year.  This team looks destined for big things .  How will the kids perform for the Oil ?  Could this be the start of a new dynasty ?

Flyers - Is the goalie issue finally done in Philadelphia ? Can Jagr actually contribute ?  Will Carter be missed ?

This is going to be an interesting season, no doubt ....We will tip our hat and call for big performances from San Jose, the Kings , the Jets and the Capitals.  As for a Stanley Cup winner; we have to go with either Boston or Washington.  

If you have a favourite team and you want to be on the blog, write a story and send it to us today @ getreallhockey@gmail.com.  We will also publish the story on getrealhammered.com and twitergameoftheweek.com.

September 27, 2011


 The Montréal Canadiens might not have the best team in the league on paper. They might not have the best players on paper, with the most goals and assists in the league. What they have is heart and a motivation to win the big prize. Their goal is the Stanley Cup and they will do anything to win it. They have a team of young players who are developing more and more every season. Their veterans are there to help teach the rookies, making the atmosphere in the dressing room a great one. It almost all starts with the dressing room. If the team is getting along together, they will have a good run. If they are fighting and there is drama in the room, it will show on the ice. The boys on this team work together as a unit, not as individuals. Although they haven't had the best preseason, we see rookies who are putting their all on the ice. Some of them will make the team, some will not. By seeing these rookies, we see that if we get injuries (which happens to every team but even more to this one), we don't have to be worried because the relève (don't know the word in English) is there and ready to go. In nets, we are solid with Carey Price and Peter Budaj. Carey Price had an excellent run last season, after an upsetting one in 2010. Some fans have been saying that he is shaky this preseason but if we look at last season, it was the same thing and he ended up having a stellar year. We have a goalie who could easily be a Vezina contender and we have a second goalie who has had many good seasons in the past. If anything were to happen to Carey, we have a veteran goalie who will be ready to play. Up front, we have some depth, especially with new arrival Erik Cole. Our first line should have a great season and we have other players who can make strong lines. If Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn decide to really give it their all, it will be amazing. Michael Cammalleri is already showing that he is ready for the start of the regular season and Max Pacioretty has shown us that his injury hasn't had an effect on his play. At the blue line, we have far from the best players in the league but we have players who when they work together can make strong pairs. P.K Subban, who although some people say is arrogant, shows confidence in himself and can play the position well, as well as create some offence. With Josh Gorges back, we have some consistency back. Hal Gill may not be the fastest player out there but he is consistence and plays his position well. Yannick Weber can play both up front and back, which is great. The weaker link of our D would be Jaroslav Spacek but he can be paired up with someone in order to make his line stronger.

This team has depth, motivation and heart. This trio makes a teams chances of winning the big prize a lot bigger. This may not be THE year, but be sure to keep an eye on the Habs because their time will come soon. The fans believe. People say that this team doesn't have a chance but that's what they said in 2010 and look where they got to. If every player puts in the effort, they can make it far. We just need to look at the comments said by players during their annual golf tournament to see that this team is ready for the start of the season and wants the Stanley Cup more than anything.

The Montréal Canadiens have the support of their fans (some of them not always) but those ones who are loyal will support them and cheer them on no matter what. We believe.

Joanne Wafer

September 25, 2011


Canada is supposed to be the home of hockey.  The world's fastest game is played from coast to coast on rinks in big cities and small towns with early morning pee wee practices and late night adult leagues being the norm.  Hockey is a religion in Canada. The NHL was born in Canada and we have given the world the best hockey players ever to lace up the skates.  Despite all these facts, Canada has some of the worst NHL teams in the league.

The Leafs , the Oilers, and the Flames are the epitome of mismanagement.  NHL fans in those cities have been suffering for way to many seasons as bottom dwellers. The glory days of giants like Sittler, Gretzky, and MacDonald are long gone  and the fans should be demanding results, now !!!  The knuckle heads at the Air Canada Center (in Toronto) are the kings of NHL mediocrity.   These guys have truckloads of money but they have put together a string of losing squads which has put the Queen's City hockey credibility in the toilet.

The Habs are in the same pot as these three drifting wrecks because they could also be doing much better.  The fans in Montreal are loyal to a fault and management counts on this blind optimism to fill the seats.  The Habs rarely make the needed moves at the end of the season (to get them over the hump) and their willingness to spend cash in a timely manner is a problem in the off season.  It is always the same nonsense with the Canadiens;  strong start, sloppy mid-season and then the hope and pray end of season.

We would love to see the Canadian teams come to life this year.  Hell we would settle for them coming to life even next year or the year after.  If we had to guess who was next to win a cup out of this sorry lot; we would put our money on the Oilers. Assuming they finish near the bottom this year; the Oilers will draft well again in 2012. Eventually the Oilers could look like a Canadian version of the Penguins and hockey glory will return to Northern , Alberta between 2013-2015.

Do you love the NHL ? Getrealhockey is looking for bloggers

We are looking to add to our team.  This is the second year for  our blog and we are looking to expand the team so we can cover the NHL in the best way possible.   

Our group also runs www.getrealhammered.com.

In an ideal world; we would need writers who want to be part of the team for the entire NHL season. We are ready to write recommendation letters for any college students who want to give the blog a try and want the experience on their CV.  If you want to write for Getrealhockey; email us @ getrealhockey@gmail.com.   


 Last year was especially hard  for some of the "flashy" big boys in the NHL.  We saw Alexander Ovechkin fade fast into the stretch and playoffs causing the favoured Capitals to be sent packing. Brian Boucher also imploded when he was most needed and the Flyers were kicked out of the playoffs.  Their performances were shocking because these guys were key to their clubs at their respective positions. Superstars are supposed to carry the day.  Fans , young and old, look to these guys to give it 100% when all the marbles are in play.  The 2010-2011 season gave us some monumental failures and it will be interesting to see if these superstars can pick it back up and make believers out of their fans once again.

In some instances, the stars do come through and the fans are rewarded with brilliant play and maybe even a Stanley Cup victory.  In 2010-2011, we were treated to big seasons from PK Subban, Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas.  PK was the biggest surprise for the Habs last season and he and Carey Price almost got the Habs to the finish line. Of course, Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas faced off in the Stanley Cup finals before Tim Thomas emerged as victor. Either way you cut it; Subban, Luongo and Thomas made the 2010-2011 NHL season one to remembers.

Here is to an exciting 2011-2012 season !!!  NHL fans want to see less Bouchers and more Subbans.  Luongo and Ovechkin are also expected to perform.  Their teams have paid the big bucks and these boys need to take their teams to the final dance.  The question here is who will be this year's Tim Thomas ?  Buckle up gang.....this is going to be a fun one.