September 30th is National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.
This National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and stories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
Take 1: I’m getting way too used to this nice weather. I’m really enjoying going golfing before going to a game or walking to the rink. I know it won’t last but it’s really nice. No wonder NHL players want to live in California or Florida.
Take 2: I think we’re seeing a new wave come across hockey and it’s the offensive penalty kill. I’ve seen so many shorthanded goals or chances already this year and I think it’s something that we’ll see continue. Teams are more aggressive and have higher skilled players on the PK that can force turnovers then capitalize. It’s been trending for a while but this year, it’s really noticeable. Teams are dangerous, even shorthanded.
Take 3: I’m happy we have games, I am. I’m very grateful to get to see MJHL hockey… but the schedule is getting a little old already. Playing the same team 4 times in a row seems like a little much. It develops rivalries sure, but it’s a lot I think for fans to see. Again, I’m happy we’re playing but if I can nit-pick at things, that would be where I’d start.
Take 4: Shoutout to the bus drivers that travel with the teams. They are special people and really good at what they do. It’s not easy driving around in that massive machine but teams can relax in comfy seats, plug their phones in and either zone in pre-game or sleep peacefully on the way home. Many bus drivers are people who have done it before and just love driving. They are appreciated and thanked. Oh, and arena’s, let them in for free. Come on. They are doing a service to the team and the league. A free game is the least they deserve.
Take 5: What is the ‘hockey food’ go-to? Peanuts and hotdogs are baseball. Tailgating burgers is football. What’s hockey? Popcorn? Fries? Those really good chicken caesar wraps in Winkler? We need to find the universal food for the sport or at least someone needs to tell me what it is or I’m going to pick. I’m a picky eater so it’s gonna be simple. It’ll be like fuzzy peaches or those penny/nickel candies we used to get back in the day.
Take 6: Referee’s get a lot of flak when they get it wrong but don’t get nearly the credit, they deserve for even being close… getting the assists on goals correct. It’s a really fast game. Like, you watch it down near ice level and it’s fast, imagine being in the middle of all of it. It’s like 10 road runners whizzing past you plus a puck or stick that can do serious bodily harm, there are a lot of moving pieces for a ref. Getting the assists correct on goals isn’t easy and they do what they can. If they miss, don’t get upset, it will get corrected. Yeah, you’d like the kid’s name over the PA but it’s not the end of the world. Yell at refs for other things, but not that. That’s a joke, don’t yell at refs. They are the reason we get to play. Without refs, there would be no game.
Take 7: Speaking of officials, I saw a great sign in Selkirk, it said something like “if you don’t like the officials, we need people like you to go over the rule book, take classes”, something like that and basically dared people who criticize officials do actually do it themselves. I hope more kids get into it. I did it when I was playing hockey. I learned more about the rules and came to really respect how tough of a job/hobby it is. A great way to get more kids involved is to not teach them yelling at the stripes is okay at any age.
Take 8: Which MJHL team past or present would have made the best feature for an “All or Nothing” style show? For me, it would be the 2018-19 Pistons or the 2012-13 Dauphin Kings. I know a little bit about both those teams from those years and some of the personalities were made for television.
Take 9: Teams with dark sweaters should NOT have dark numbers. It’s hard to see on HockeyTV and it’s hard to see when broadcasting the games. Stop it.
Take 10: Will the MJHL ever get net cams? I mean, probably not. I’m sure it’s been brought up like one time in a meeting. They would almost never be needed. But, it’s kind of cool to think about. Overhead net cams are wild and provide a really unique angle to things.
Take 11: Here’s a stat I would have never guessed: The OCN Blizzard are last in the MJHL in penalty minutes. I remember OCN as being that team that toed the line for a lot of years and would take penalty after penalty. Seems like they’ve really cleaned that up in the early part of the season.
Take 12: There have been 4 goalies to post shutouts this year, one more than the shortened 2020-21 season. In 2019-20 there were 27. 2018-19 had 45. 2017-18 saw 33. I predict there will be less than 25 shutouts this season across the MJHL. I may make it a spicy hot take and say there will be less than 20. Yup, going with it. Less than 20 shutouts across the MJHL in the 2021-22 season. Sorry goalies.