Why yes, I am feeling particularly evil today. Thank you for noticing.
… now that you’ve had a little time to get that earworm out of your heads (for those who don’t know what I’m referring to: shame on you. You can go educate yourself here. You’re welcome.) let’s have a brief review of this weekend’s features.
Saturday July 14th at 4:30pm, Sydney Bears @ Perth Thunder
The Bears have been struggling with their form and have only recently managed to pull out a win. That being said, I think they struggle from being in a really tough conference. Still, I like Perth and I’ve been impressed at the way they’re managing their systems. Also, a brief chat with Perth Coach Stan Scott over the weekend left me pretty thoughtful. He’s a smart man!
Prediction: Thunder to win by one or two goals in a tight and (of course. It’s Perth) penalty-filled game.
Saturday July 14th, Melbourne Ice @ Newcastle North Stars
THIS is the match the entire league has been waiting for. This is the preview of (touch wood and barring acts of god) the finals.
The Melbourne Ice have a lot of depth, but the scoring danger of the North Stars cannot be underestimated. The North Stars first line of Boyle-Bales-Taylor are sitting at positions 3, 5 and 6 on top of the points scoring ladder. Positions 1, 2 and 4? Taken up by the Ice’s Baclig, Armstrong and Hughes respectively. There’s a fantastic interview with North Stars’ Rob Lawrence where he says they’ll be using their third line as an energy line to try and wear the Ice out. I did note on the weekend that although the Ice has three lines of forwards, the D do long shifts and I’m wondering how this is going to work when you’ve specifically got a line who is designed to go out there and up the pace and wear their opponents down. I really really hope that the North Stars get their game streaming up by the weekend–I’d like to see what a defensive forward like Lliam Webster can do against the North Stars. Marcus Wong has been playing fantastically lately and if he’s playing I’ll really enjoy seeing what he can do.
The Ice play a physical game which can lead to penalties. The North Stars have proven that their skating is really amazing and they’re adept at pouncing on the slightest mistake. I think the game could go either way, but I’m going with the Ice–but only by one goal.
(It’s not apropos of anything but this interview with Lliam Webster is amazing. Also, THEY ASK HIM ABOUT HIS BEARD. Well done, random interviewer.)
Saturday July 14, Canberra Knights @ Gold Coast Blue Tongues
I’m not at all invested in the outcome of this match except that it’s going to be very entertaining. McRae’s back from suspension and so is Mike Brown. Both teams are very physical–there should be penalties. A LOT of penalties.
I’m going to give this to the Blue Tongues just because of the time. 10:30pm is a really late start and the Tongues will have had a chance to get used to it. (Count down to Mike Brown bitching about it on twitter in 3, 2, 1.)
I’d just like to say sorry to the Canberra Knights fans who found this blog by searching for “fox sports canberra knights hecklers ice hockey.” THIS IS A MELBOURNE ICE FAN BLOG. I’M SORRY ABOUT YOUR LIVES.
Sunday July 15, Sydney Bears @ Melbourne Mustangs
Hmmm. Normally I would have said “Bears/Mustangs? No contest, Bears win!” but the Mustangs’ surprise win over Adelaide recently proves that they do have the goods. A lot of the problem with the Mustangs has appeared to be mental as players play tentatively and just plain aren’t confident enough. Have they overcome this? I think they’re on the way, but the Bears’ physical play might shake the Mustangs. That being said, the Bears are doing back-to-backs in Perth and Melbourne and those are brutal. The Ice Dogs wouldn’t have lost nearly so badly to the Ice if they hadn’t played the night before in Perth.
So, my prediction? Mustangs win.
Sunday July 15, Melbourne Ice @ Ice Dogs.
I really, really want the Ice to win this one. But it’s the second back-to-back game of a road trip against a really physical team. And the game the night before will quite possibly be a really hard game. Also, the Ice Dogs are going to be out for revenge after their drubbing the last time they were in Melbourne.
I think the Dogs are going to win this one. BUT I’M HAPPY IF YOU WANT TO PROVE ME WRONG, ICE.
Even though Chelsea did a monster post yesterday, IT TURNS OUT THERE’S MORE. (As a side note, I really don’t know what we’re going to do in the off-season when there are no games to post about. Get to know the Melbourne Ice’s Womens team, I suspect, and when that’s over sit in a darkened room for a number of months going “Is it hockey time yet? Is it hockey time yet?”)
Some other fantastic interviews from the TTCL by Slapshot productions:
- A post-game interview with Richard Idoine from the Botany Swarm. What’s really interesting is that Idoine makes the point that New Zealand is almost more about the hit than the play. (Also, you ALMOST saw me on camera. Thank god I was away from my seat getting merch.)
- A post-game interview with Andy Hay from the Botany Swarm. I’ve been listening to Goodbye Puck Pie getting all verklempt over this and going “MY CAPTAIN!!!” Both Swarm players mention the pace of the Australian teams. (As a side note, Hay, talking about how skilled our imports are? I mean, I agree, but how do you think your own imports feel? BE BETTER.)
- Post-game interview with Simon Glass from the Southern Stampede. I’m sure you’re an awesome team, Stampede, but mostly your uniforms give me an eye-twitch. Also, lololol way to look on the bright side. “Our penalty kill had a bit of practice with 28 minutes in penalties.”
Bad uniforms aside, the basic response of all hockey players to playing more matches against each other is basically “YES PLZ.” Which is good, because it’s basically the same reaction as mine.
Yes, it’s a cheesy pun but you can see why I had to.
More news from Dev Camp. Russian Machine Never Breaks uploaded a great photo of Walker during scrimmage here. Caps Across The Pond said that Nathan Walker really impressed at day 4 of the camp. Also, this happened.
Nathan Walker doing a great job getting to the net. Been hooked twice now. Refs calling nothing. #CapsDevCamp—
Jake Ware (@JacobWare95) July 12, 2012
In addition to that, there’s an interview with one of the Caps coaches that mentions Walker (from around the 6:00 mark). It’s really interesting to see how long he’s been on the scouts’ radar and what his career progression has been.
That’s your lot for today! Here’s hoping the North Stars get video streaming up and I’ll catch you next week!