Tag Archives: rupp

Weird Week In Review

It was a strange week. Last week was actually stranger, as I had a few rough work days strung together by red-eye, delayed and over-booked flights across the country. But it ended well, if not equally strangely, when the Devils broke their 6-game losing streak by grounding the Bolts. But even for a Devils game, it was a strange day, indeed:

Bubba announced, publicly, that the Devils would end their losing streak as he was attending the game. The Devils have never lost with little Bubba in the (new) building. Not once in 19 tries, and last Friday was indeed a try. When the Devils went down 2-0 Bubba was bent, but not broken. He’s got more of what my grandmother would call koyach (strength, backbone) than his dad.

Before even departing Bubba-dom, I wavered on my jersey selection. Yes, I wear an appropriate jersey to each game. Yes, it looks like I’m 4 months pregnant and wrapped in nylon. Normally, Bubba picks up his Czech Olympic Elias jersey and I wear my Metallurg Elias jersey, but for some reason I went very — very very — old school: The red Koho Devils jersey from 2000, with a crest more wrinkled than the face you make when Rupp takes another dumb roughing penalty. Bubba talked me out of it. Czech mates we were.

As soon as we landed in our seats (last row of Section 21), Chico came by ostensibly on his way to the bathroom. We got high fives. A period later, NJ Devil came by, and gave us more high fives (although in his larger than life state, they count as seven and a halves, I think).

Despite Holik taking (another) dumb penalty, the Devils wrangled a power play out of it when Jeff Halpern came flying in from the far circle to rough up Holik. Halpern? The Princeton guy? Bubba’s quote: He didn’t learn that in Hebrew school.

Shanahan scored on a penalty shot, becoming the oldest player to do so in the NHL.

Throw in the other strangeness of the night — Weekes getting hurt and Marty playing in a game he was meant to sit back and enjoy; two blown leads in the third period; the thrown stick resulting in the penalty shot; Elias coming onto the ice in a suit (nursing a leg injury) to honor Marty — and the net result should have been something bizarre. A goal overturned by Toronto. Holik or Rupp bouncing one in off of Marty’s rear end. But none of that happened; if there was a bottom to be found in the market for Devils wins, we found it. It was good. Weekes isn’t down for the count. Devils won in OT. The Bubba streak was preserved. It may have been a weird week, but upon further review, it ended well.

George Parros Gets a Bad Rap

I read The Hockey News because it’s comprehensive coverage of the whole ice, from colleges to the women’s game to detailed stats on the NHL. Lately, though, the writing seems both repetitive and needlessly needling. Case in point: a set of articles in the April 3 issue that discuss fighting and the role of the goon.

George Parros gets a bad rap through all of this. Ken Campbell warns “..one of you…George Parros, Cam Janssen, and Wade Belak…is going to die in a hockey fight someday.” Brilliant. And Mike Brophy points out that if you add Colton Orr to that group, they have only 3 goals among them. Fascinating how they pick up the exact same group of “goons” for this analysis.

Aside from the lack of creativity in THN’s writing, their premise is flawed. Both articles want us to believe that there’s no room in hockey for players who can only fight. I won’t argue that, but why point at the players, with such vengeance as to warn that they might kill each other? Parros in particular was a stand out at Princeton, and can definitely score goals if he’s given the chance. With a shot percentage of over 8%, his conversion rate is better than that of the NJ Devils. The problem is that as a fourth liner, he doesn’t play much. When he is on the ice, he’s asked to be the tough guy. I’d prefer to see the Mike Rupp or Erik Rasmussen version of the fourth liner — guys who can skate and score, as well as mix it up when needed. Brophy would like us to believe that the problem is with players like Parros. Hardly. The problem is with coaches who don’t play a full four lines and develop young players. Typecast anyone, and you’ll get repetitive behavior.