Fan vs Fan

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Caption Contest 14

Yeah, I came across your thing, kids. Do your thing kids since Mesz got his nose bashed in.

Write something clever...

Things DGS Gets Improperly Credited For

Contrary to what people seem to think, I have not come up with the idea of Hartnell Down. That honor goes to Seth from Flyers Corner. But this isn't the only thing that people are giving me credit for that I didn't do. Here's a list of things that I swear I've never done.

  • Used Twitter to start a revolution in Egypt
  • Inflated America's current unemployment rate
  • Allowed Colin Campbell to spin the Wheel of Justice
  • Written "Friday" so it could be performed Rebecca Black
  • Freeing the Bronx Zoo Cobra, and apparently catching him too
  • Setting cars on fire
  • Rioting when the Flyers win a playoff series
  • Burning Montreal to the ground.
  • Preventing Tomas Kaberle from waiving his NTC for a long time
  • The Flyers goaltending issues
  • Sergei Bobrovsky's success

Those things....I didn't do it

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tales from an Adirondack Nothing: Week 12

My Darling Glove -

Phew, what an exhausting week. Since we last spoke, the Phantoms have played five games in six days - and I played four of those games. Guess coach likes me a little more now - or he's trying to kill me. I can't tell which one it is yet. So, I guess you're wondering how the games went. You could say I had my highs and lows - no surprise there.

The first game was in Charlotte against the Checkers (formerly my Albany River Rats teammates). Let up five goals. Oops. Not a good night for me, though the team in general was just not good - and it was a penalty-fest. I can only do so much. Still, I'm sure that was the reason Backlund got to start in Norfolk the next night. He lost, too - just not as many goals.

Friday it was back to Glens Falls to face the Hershey Bears. Won 2-1 - almost had another shutout, but lost it in the third period. Oh well. Caught a break playing the Bears - Holtby got scratched at the last minute to get recalled (went up and shutout the Canadiens - my kind of goalie).

Saturday we took on the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins - beat them 3-2. Back-to-back wins for me - very nice. I was floored when coach started me on Sunday afternoon versus the Worcester Sharks - three days in a row. Couldn't hold on though - wound up losing 3-1 (I only let in two of those). Oh well, can't win them all.

The good news - I've finally amounted enough minutes to get posted on the leader boards. Woooo. Go me. Or not - seeing as I'm under John Grahame, you know, the guy the Flyers signed right before they plucked me off waivers. We also crossed paths in Albany in 2007-08. Oh well, I should move the stats up shortly.

Speaking of the Flyers - Fox 29 News did a spot on me last week (they recorded it earlier this month) - all about the "exiled goalie." Yup, that's me. Got to talk about how I was making the most of my situation down there, and of course, plug the family side and how at least my daughter can see me on Skype. I'm sure the viewers, well at least the female ones, just ate that up.

Season is almost over - then it's off to do nothing. Odds of me getting recalled are probably slim to none thanks to re-entry waivers. You know us - often waived, rarely clears. Hope Backlund enjoys the call up. Sigh.

Hugs & Resignation,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Emptying the Mailbag: Real DGS emails...

If you follow me on twitter, facebook, or read the site, you know that I love to talk. You also know that I pride myself on being able to answer anything tossed my way related to hockey. Well, sometimes it gets to be too much, whether it's the trolls, the idiots on the Flyers facebook page or spambots, I've been totally cursed had the pleasure of dealing with some people who make me question the idea of "user friendly computers." Chances are, if you're reading this, you are NOT someone who sent me one of these emails. But if someone is reading this to you, well, you really shouldn't play with the computer unsupervised.

(Editor's Note: I won't reveal the names or email addresses of the senders for privacy reasons.)

10. "In, I tried to make the same trades on my PS3, they didn't work, you lied to me."

Because, yeah, it's my fault that your season simulation in be a GM mode didn't yield the same player growth that mine did...

9. "If you think Bobrovsky and Boucher are good enough for the playoffs, you're an idiot, this team needs Leighton, why won't you tell Lavi to call him up?"

Because Re-entry waivers...

8. "Jeff Carter only scores on Lisa Hartnell, you were right to finally tell us that. He totally sucks and should be traded"

This is a satire blog, that transcript was clearly marked as fictional, also, Jeff Carter has a higher shooting percentage than Alex Ovechkin.

7. "Wait, why no discussion of the Phillies?"

Yes, the guy who sent this was serious, I actually laughed him off thinking it was a joke...

6. "What do mean Ilya Kovalchuk's a true enforcer? He's only got 4-5 fights ever."

This Post:

You REALLY think I'm being serious now don't you...

5. "I'm sick of Rangers fans like you thinking they know hockey..."

Oh for the love of...READ MY BIO

4. "Jeff Carter sucks, why do you keep defending him."

Well for one, shooting percentage doesn't lie...he's shooting BETTER than Ovechkin this year...

3. "The Flyers should trade Brian Boucher and get a real goalie" I pointed out the salary cap..."that doesn't matter, if they wanted it, they could do it" Ok, who would give up a real goalie for Brian Boucher "well, if Boucher was packaged with Zherdev and draft picks, then the Flyers could have Vokoun"...yeah because the fact that the Flyers couldn't GIVE Zherdev away on waivers means someone would trade for him without some sort of catastrophic the picks don't exist due to the Meszaros and Versteeg trades

2. "Stop talking about this team like you know it, you're a god damn bangwagoner who's gonna jump ship ths second this team falls out of first place"


1. "Crosby SUCKS!!!!!!!"

No, he doesn't...I hate him, but that doesn't take away the fact that he's one of the best players in the game today...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tales from an Adirondack Nothing: Week 11

Hello My Glove -

Eleven weeks. Can you really believe we've been here 11 weeks? Geesh. Time flies when you're miserable. Okay, so I'm not totally miserable. I had to make the best of a bad situation and I guess it's working out okay. I'm finally playing well, the guys like me, the fans like me - life could be better, but this works for now (if I just forget the Adirondack world).

Only two games this week and I got to play in both of them. Wednesday we played Binghamton - beat them 5-2. I even had an assist. That was a nice little touch to add to the day. I was first star of the game. Always nice to be part of that.

Saturday was up in Toronto against the Marlies. Stopped 38 of 39 shots (31 of those in the first two periods!). Had a shutout going into the third, but just couldn't hold on. No matter, we got the win. I was only second star of the game - hardly seems fair since I was one of the only reasons we were able to win that game in the first place. (No, I'm not exaggerating.) The fans did cheer for me at one point because I freed a puck from the netting to give to the fans. Have to play up my audience - I'm just thankful someone was there to watch the game.

Heading south to play the old teammates (Charlotte Checkers, who used to be the Albany River Rats) and at one of my old stomping grounds (Norfolk, once affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks). Just in time if you ask me - it snowed. I figure coach has to play Backlund eventually, but I've won three in a row and only let up three goals in those games. Why mess with a good thing?

Hugs & Memories,


Friday, March 18, 2011

An Editorial From Matt...Not A Humor Post

I read a lot of hockey blogs. I also read a lot of hockey websites. I think it's safe to say I probably have too much hockey in my life. My dad jokes that I "majored in hockey, with a minor in academics" at university. Go figure. Now, I'm double majoring in Political Science and Psychology, with concentrations in Political and Legal Theory and Cognitive Personality Development and Disorders, digest that for a second, I know it's a lot.

For classes in both fields, I've studied different forms of justice as well as the consequences of brain injuries, which brings me to feeling the need to write this post. I like to think that this classroom experience makes me somewhat informed on the topic. I'll avoid the word "expert" to avoid the urge to call out Andy Sutton at this point.

Needless to say this means that I see a lot of opinions on different things. From every little controversy from any supposed dirty hit to the charity point to the shootout to anything you can possibly think of, I've read about it, tweeted about it and probably put it on the list as a possible future podcast topic.

Now the charity point, shootout and what not have a lot of detractors and all, but honestly at the end of the day, they exist and there is no imminent threat to player safety in them so no real priority to change them, but I hope that they're eliminated in the future for a better tie-breaker scheme, or just give us ties again.

"Dirty" hits is why I'm writing this post. Brain injury issues are why I'm writing the post. The NHL's idiocy with regards to player safety is why I'm writing this post. So with that, let's begin an intelligent, intellectual, common sense based breakdown of the proper way to handle discipline in the league by crafting a model of how to properly discipline offenders.

Note: I'm not posting the videos, we've all seen them enough, if you need to look at them again, use google.

Zdeno Chara hits Max Pacioretty.

Chara and Max are chasing a puck near the wall, Max Pac chips it in and Chara finishes off Max Pac near the boards, Max Pac's head bounces off the stanchion, breaking his neck and leaving him with a severe concussion, Chara was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct on the play but not given any supplementary discipline. Oh yeah, the Montreal police are looking into this.

Grading the NHL's Response: F- if that's possible.

Why: Most people who support the NHL's decision to not suspend Chara say it's because of 1 or more of the following 3 things.

1. Anywhere else on the ice, the hit wouldn't have been as bad because the stanchion wouldn't have hit patches.

2. Chara had no intent to injure Max Pac/results shouldn't dictate discipline.

3. It's part of a hockey play and finishing your check, which is what the NHL said in their statement.

All 3 of these viewpoints have major logical flaws which I will now expose.

3. It's part of a hockey play and finishing your check

This is probably the easiest of the three to debunk. How is finishing a check on a player 30 feet away from the puck a hockey play. The answer is, it's not. For proof, let's go to the NHL rulebook shall we.

Rule 56.1 Interference states

Body Position: Body position shall be determined as the player skating in front of or beside his opponent, traveling in the same direction. A player who is behind an opponent, who does not have the puck, may not use his stick, body or free hand in order to restrain his opponent, but must skate in order to gain or reestablish his proper position in order to make a check.
Chara does not have body position and therefore under Rule 56.1, he is guilty of interference. So now that he's been found guilty, let's look at the punishment.

Rule 56.4 Interference Major Penalty stats

Major Penalty - The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a major penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of interfering with an opponent (see 56.5)

I would say, based on the fact that Pacioretty was unconscious for several minutes, suffered a severe concussion and broke his neck, YES the C4 is part of your neck, that this hit had a major worthy degree of violence. So, now that we can safely say, the call on the ice was correct.

However, the decision to impose supplemental discipline was wrong. See, THIS WAS NOT A HOCKEY PLAY. If it were a hockey play, then WHY WAS IT CALLED INTERFERENCE! Simple, hockey plays are LEGAL hockey plays, by calling something ILLEGAL like interference, the NHL defined this play as NOT being a hockey play. It's not that hard to follow.

Ok well then, what about intent?

Intent is a little harder to prove. Tanner Glass of Vancouver said that any NHL player would know the rink and know exactly what was happening there. I believe him, as someone who's played hockey for years, I know my way around and Chara's played far longer and at far higher levels than I ever did, or probably ever will.

Did Chara have intent, is the question at hand? The answer is yes, yes he did.

Chara had something called implied intent. Implied intent basically means that once you commit an illegal act, in Chara's case, interference, you are fully responsible for any and all consequences, in Chara's case- Max Pac's injuries.

For instance, when driving a car, if you run a stop sign and then hit another car causing damage, the driver of the car that ran the stop sign would be the one who caused of the accident. Not only that, but their penalty and charges would be based on the amount of damage caused.

BUT MATT?!?! These are pro athletes, not hardened criminals:

Ok, fine, but in any just and modern society, there is a governing body that has the responsibility to insure that the its members are protected. The NHL commissioner's office (Bettman, Colie and crew) have that responsibility, and if they don't then, I'm ok with the police getting involved because SOMEONE needs to make sure the players are protected. The NHLPA has a reason to get involved as well, because it's kind of obvious that allowing hits like this one and others because the NHL's lack of movement on the issue has created an unsafe working condition for the players.

This starts with making the rinks safer, eliminate the between the benches stanchion. In the words of Mike Milbury, "no one cares if Pierre McGuire gets hit." And that's kind of true, Pierre can do his broadcasting thing from somewhere else.

3. Anywhere on the ice and this hit is harmless.

Irrelevant. If you crashed your car and hit a parked car, would you tell the courts "anywhere else on the road and I don't hit that car?" and expect to get away with it? Exactly. It's poor logic and horribly flawed.

Hits and incidents happen where they happen, not where they "could have happened" and justice should be served as such. There is a reason why justice systems in reasonable societies are based off these ideas, it's because they are fair and they work.

Yes, players are responsible for their own actions, I've said that before. However, players are NOT the judge, jury and executioners of justice- that's the NHL, that's Gary Bettman, Colin Campbell and the crew's job to determine. Their job is to not only enforce off ice justice, but also to make sure that justice is handed out in a logical and fair manner, Bettman has failed miserably at this, so has the NHL.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

DGS Podcast Episode 10: Jason

New show: with special guest Jason

We talk about the Flyers/Stars matchup on Saturday, Stars ownership, Brad Richards and we play hockey trivia.

Oh yeah, it's Jason's birthday too!

PS: My Straight Edge lifestyle is on the line.

Download the show here

Listen Below:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tales from an Adirondack Nothing: Weeks 9 and 10

Hello Glove -

I know, I've been slacking. Just haven't felt like I had much to say, at least not last week. Let up five goals against the Albany Devils. Not all my fault, but there are at least two I would very much like back. Not good. I mean really, not good. Needless to say, I spent the next day on the bench. It's okay though, this little girl saw my mask on the ground and wanted to hold it. Security let her and then I came out of the locker room for a picture. Adorable. Really.

Played Albany again this week, but I was still parked on the bench. Couple of fights I was really eager to get in to - at one point, Kalinski was just taking a pounding and I pushed the security guard aside to bang on the glass to tell the refs to break it up (1:30 in). I mean really, isn't that their job, not mine? Sometimes I really feel like I have clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right. Seriously.

Saturday I got to play Hershey. You would think we could beat them since that Holtby guy is up lighting it up in the NHL (so jealous), but no. Lost 3-2 in OT. I think I did okay, but not great.

Good news though - Sunday - ah Sunday - my redemption. Stood on my head. Stopped all 28 shots I faced and notched my third shutout of the year, 32 all-time in the AHL. Meanwhile, Bob and Boosh - still nada. I know it's not much, but it's all I got, so I go with it.

Hugs & Boredom,


Thursday, March 10, 2011

DGS Podcast Episode 9: Jordan Kuhns

Download it here

Jordan Kuhns and I get heated over a lot of things
Zdeno Chara, headshots, Colie and the Wheel O' Justice
The Flyers turning things around
Jordan's life as a broadcaster

Jordan writes/is found on these sites

Articles/Quotes we reference:

National Post <--Good read on the topic.

The Tanner Class Quote:
Tanner Glass, Canucks: "I thought it was a dirty play. I thought he knew exactly what he was doing. It's unfortunate that a player got hurt that way . . . I think if you poll 700 NHL players, a good majority are going to say he knows exactly what he was doing and he knows the turnbuckle's there."

For above quote: see story here

Joe Thornton on TSN: "It's just something with Boston," Thornton told the Globe and Mail. "It just seems like they have a horseshoe. We've seen the [Milan] Lucic cross-check to the head [of Max Lapierre] earlier, and there's no disciplinary thing."

Videos of the hits we talked about:
(Editor's Note: Credit the videos to whoever uploaded them or whoever the uploader gives credit to. They are not property of DGSM)




Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An Open Letter: Steve Whyno

As Steve Whyno is leaving us to cover the Capitals...I feel the need to say goodbye in a way only Down Goes Spezza can. No seriously, I'm gonna miss him, this is from the heart...really.

Dear Whyno,

I'm sure I've already posted a tweet, or 30, teasing this post by now and you, as well as my other ~750 followers were trying to figure out what I meant by it, but that's OK. Also, for the record, after you read this post and talk about it, I'm gonna update it with quotes and possibly a video or two. But enough comedy, let's talk about you.

Steve was the best. End of story. Whyno wowed us with many a story on the Flyer, sometimes he'd write 5-6 stories during an intermission. We're pretty sure the guy never slept. We will all know what his secret was after he leaves, if every Starbucks goes out of business it was coffee, if there's no more illegal drug was crack.

Steve gave us insight on everything, from the awesomeness of Jody Shelley, to the amazing, injured, elbows of Chris Pronger, and much more.

Of course, Stephen was apparently a UFA and sadly Philly Sports Daily couldn't lock him up long term, so he did the best thing for himself...he took a job in DC covering the Capitals. Now, I personally think that this isn't  a bad thing, it's a good thing. It's a good thing because Steve can educate a Capitals fan base that's in dire need of friend not-with-standing.

Honestly, I can't say just how thankful I am for all the amazing stories Whyno wrote for the hockey fan in me, I'm also grateful for the talks we had as journalists...err writers...I'm not a journalist. Whyno did the DGS podcast...he survived as a Capitals writer, he just might have to do it again if the Flyers play the Caps in the playoffs.

Here, I turn it over to you guys, the fans of DGS and hopefully fans of Steve as well. In the comments section, leave some love for Whyno.

Steve, best of luck, kick ass, see ya back in Philly after the Caps choke in the first round again.

-the Down Goes Spezza Media Team



As Crossing Broad said: "this! “@DownGoesSpezza: And now; the story: NEW DGS! An Open Farewell Letter to @SWhyno

Whyno himself had a few great quotes on this as well.

"@DownGoesSpezza "I was an RFA, got an offer sheet and had to move on. Call me Dustin Penner ... except hopefully worth it."" -Whyno is worth it...he's a great writer and full of energy

"I'm very touched. Thanks so much RT @DownGoesSpezza: And now; the story: NEW DGS! An Open Farewell Letter to @SWhyno" You're welcome, you will be missed.

"@DownGoesSpezza That was very touching, sir. I appreciate it and all the kind sentiments from you and everyone." -Contrary to what the DGS Ego Watch hashtag implies...we're nice people here.

Justin Wrote:
"This is great. RT @DownGoesSpezza: And now; the story: NEW DGS! An Open Farewell Letter to @SWhyno" We aim to please, also, DGS's Ego Grows.

GJRatner wrote:
"Looks like dc is getting a hell of a journalist and guy. RT @DownGoesSpezza: An Open Farewell Letter to @SWhyno" -Short, sweet, to the point and correct.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Caption Contest 13

Zdeno Chara is bowing down to Pronger. Run with it, write me a caption on WHY Chara is bowing down to "the Greatest One."

Friday, March 4, 2011

How Peter Laviolette Picks His Starting Goaltender

Earlier today while Lavi was bag skating the Flyers the DGS SuperSpies got into his office and found a flowchart that Lavi uses to decide who is the starting goalie. It's rather englightening.

How to Decide What NHL Team To Root For

So, Kevin got me this gem of a flowchart on the MLB.

Needless to say, if you ever need to figure out what hockey team to root for, DGS has you covered; this detailed flowchart will help you decide what team to root for.

(Editor's Note: If you can't see the image, click here to download the flowchart)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Flowchart of Winning

Ever wanted to know if you're winning. Use the following flowchart to find out!

(Editor's Note: You may need to click on it to see it)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DGS Podcast Episode 8: Travis Hughes

New week; new podcast...still live and all.

Download and here

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We talk about the Flyers playoff push, trade deadline, potential first round matchups and all around Flyers news with Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey.

Sadly due to an HTML issue, I can't embed it to listen here...that will be fixed hopefully tomorrow

DGS Podcast Announcement

Dear Down Goes Spezza Readers,

So; due to the great support I've gotten from you, the DGS readers, I have decided that the "Uncensored, Unedited and Live-ish" format for the podcast is the way to go. That means that as soon as an episode is recorded, it will be immediately uploaded to this website for you to hear and to download. That means you'll hear all the random thoughts and tangents we go off on. As always keep on listening. Thanks for your support. Also, keep the emails coming (send them to and I'll take the time to answer them and if it's podcast related, I will read them on the air. Also, follow DGS on facebook here. Remember, there's no such thing as too much Down Goes Spezza in your life.

Thanks again.

Down Goes Spezza

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tales from an Adirondack Nothing: Week Eight

Hello Glove -

Last we spoke, I was confessing my embarrassing moment with Derian Hatcher. Well, things got worse, but then they got better. Let me explain.

Friday, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about "Where the NHL Stashes its Mistakes." Guess who was the lead in that story? Yup, you guessed it. Me. Worse, it mentioned how fans came to the Civic Center for Girl Scout night - not me. How pathetic is that? Sigh.

Okay, so now that we got the bad stuff out of the way - on to the good stuff. Three games this weekend. Johan got the start on Friday - not good. Not sure what coach was thinking - it was against Hamilton, Montreal's AHL affiliate. Um, hello coach - I own Montreal. Nuff said. I got the starts on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday I stopped 38 of 39 shots - then went on to stop five of six players in a shootout to seal the victory for the Phantoms. I admit, I got a bit overexcited when you caught that last shootout shot. Celebrated a bit much, and then hit the puck to center ice with my stick like I was playing stick ball. All that, and I was still only second star of the game. Afterward, they auctioned off our game worn jerseys. I was still excited, so I threw in my stick as part of the auction with my jersey - why not? Went for $700. Guess those Girl Scouts have a lot of money from cookie sales.

Sunday, stopped 25 of 27. Got first star of the game in a 5-2 win. Thunderous applause from the crowd. It was awesome. Surprised they still wanted to cheer for me after I got a four-minute double minor for high sticking. Yeah, how does a goalie do that - and then to draw blood, too - what are the odds? Good grief.

Anyway, I feel pretty good about the weekend. Hoping things keep going well. Like it much better than moping.

Hugs and Overexcited Reactions,