Live from the nosebleeds: Luongo and Schneider bash heads, a mini-Datsyuk, and Kostitsyn’s “Back-check”


Hockey players have been given a pretty bad rep when it comes to being charismatic. People hate hearing the cliche phrases used in almost every interview, such as “We need to put pucks on net”, “We have to play our game”, “It’s a team effort”, “We have to give 110%” and so on.  It’s almost as if players are given a cheat sheet for interviews with phrases they can or cannot say. When it comes to the Luongo/Schneider goalie issue in Vancouver, both goalies have said that they don’t mind sitting on the bench, because it’s for the good of the team. Although this is probably true since both goalies are true professionals, it’s still incredibly annoying to hear the same phrases used over and over again.Thankfully, it turns out some hockey players are actually funny. Check out this TSN-produced, James Duthie-inspired skit about the goalie controversy in Vancouver.

This is exactly what the NHL needs: players showing their personality. Luongo and Schneider agreed to do this skit to make light of a situation that has been tip-toed around by people in Vancouver. As this is a business of entertainment, I was very entertained watching this. It’s a hilarious video, and it shows that these players have good personalities (another great example of players being hilarious is another TSN video of the Oilers’ reactions after Jordan Eberle scored his first NHL goal. Click HERE for the link to that video). Their personalities are all too often hidden behind the bureaucracy of the NHL, with everything being hush-hush and behind-closed-doors. But every now and then, a piece of solid gold is created, giving us hope for the future of hockey players and their personalities. We know that they’re funny, so hopefully they keep being themselves and making us laugh.


This video needs no introduction. Just watch, and be amazed!

I’m going to be honest, this kid is better than most of my teammates in the garage league I play in (no offense guys, see you Sunday night!).  He comes in at full speed, and then dekes around the defenseman before making a sweet move to fool the goalie for the overtime winner. Does it get any better then that? Even the celebration was perfect! I’m sure he will have a nickname like “Mini-Datsyuk” for a while. For those of you who haven’t seen Datysuk’s moves, here’s a clip from YouTube. He’s a magician with the puck, and announcers have even coined the term “the Datsyukian Deke”. Anyways, good job by the little guy. It was an awesome play.


You know what really grinds my gears? Lazy hockey players. A good hockey player never gives up, no matter what the situation is. If it means skating your butt off for even the smallest chance of helping your team, a real hockey player does it. On Sunday night, Sergei Kostitsyn showed that he is not a real hockey player. He loses the puck to one of the Oilers’ players, and while back-checking he decides that it is a perfect time to get off the ice, leaving the Oilers with an easy 2-on-1 and in the end a goal. Here’s the video evidence:

I think my favourite part of the video is when he starts to slow down for the line change, you can clearly see both his coaches and teammates yelling at him for changing. I know what some of you are thinking; “Typical Russian player giving up on a back-check”. Well you’re dead wrong. The night before, Pavel Datsyuk (once again, man this guy is good!) of the Detroit Red Wings  back-checked as hard as he could and disrupted Ryan Kesler enough to stop what was almost a certain goal. I’d show you with video evidence, but I couldn’t find it. Unfortunately, good back-checks are rarely highlight or YouTube-worthy material. So no, this isn’t about a typical Russian player’s attitude. This is about Kostitsyn’s attitude,  and what was an extremely lazy play. He was a healthy scratch the next game, and the coach made sure he was held accountable for his gaffe. Hopefully he learns his lesson (but I doubt it).

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