Over the weekend the Calgary Flames held what has become an annual tradition around these here parts, their Skills Competition.
It is billed as a day where the family can come out and enjoy their favourite hockey players. It is a lighthearted event, full of fun and merry, designed to inject a little enjoyment, both for the fans and the players, into the middle of a long and grueling hockey season.
While some of the events from the Super Skills competition produced jaw dropping moments, like Ales Kotaliks 105 MPH slap shot, which have made the news and become water cooler talk around the city, other, less glamorous events from the competition remain curiously unpromoted.
It's a good thing then, Dear Reader, that the mythical DB crew was down at the 'Dome, able to take in the event in it's entirety. We saw all the events, glamorous or not, and are happy to share the details with the Domebeer-aholics.
Now it is true that before the event Ken King demanded all the camera's and recording devices from the audience, and also demanded that anybody who attended the event take some sort of blood oath of secrecy, but this being Dome Beers and not Calgarypuck, we chose to ignore the warning. Because Ken King thinking he can intimidate STH's into silence is completely ridiculous, and anybody who aides him in that quest is a good little german.
Anyways, a review of the less heralded events:
This event, new for this years competition, was a real crowd pleaser. Actually, it isn't new per se, it's just that this year Ken King finally had some competition. Yes, with the arrival and promotion of Jay Feaster, Mr. King was forced to defend his title as the Flames 'biggest' eater.
It was an intense competition, neither competitors wanting to give an inch. Their belts? Well that's a whole other story.
The event centred around who could eat the most hotdogs. King started out strong, before falling behind the torrid pace set by Feaster. Feeling that he would not be able to catch up to Feaster, King then made a desperate gamble at a play: He asked Feaster to what the defintion of 'hotdog' was. While Feaster stopped eating to go into full lawyer mode, explaining the several accepted definitions of a 'hot dog' (our favourite was when he pointed to Harvey), King was able to eat his way to a sizable lead.
Final score was Ken: 50, Jay: 44. Ken was the winner, but really, after watching that spectacle, we were all losers.
ILLEGAL HITS TO THE HEAD COMPETITION
The 2010-2011 Calgary Flames have been known for one thing this year: No, not losing to the Islanders at home, and no, not being an easy win for real teams in this league, and no, not for having some of the worst special teams seen in some time. No, the 2010-2011 team has been known for dirty hits to the face.
This competition featured Olli Jokinen, Curtis Glencross, and added at the last minute, one Tommy Kostopoulos.
The players showed off their, uhh, stickwork, in front of the crowd buy hitting Gary Bettman dummies (redundant). Points were awarded based on where the stick and/or elbow of the player hit the dummy, and whether or not they were able to cut the dummy. Cut dummies spill 'dummy guts', and the players had the pile of 'dummy guts' they were able to extract weighed for bonus points.
The competition started out with Olli, which is to say that it started out slow. Nobody could figure out what was wrong (talent, the answer is talent), and then a eureka moment hit Harvey. He picked up the Gary Bettman dummy and threw it at Nik Hagman. Upon seeing his fellow countryman hit, Olli went nuts. Joker literally tore the dummies head off. Who says Olli lacks 'finnish'?
Glencross was up next. He lassoed the dummy (who but Glencross would bring a lasso to a skills competition?), spun it around so it's face was not pointed towards him before he skated up and smacked that sucka like it was a red jerseyed step child. He then dropped the dummy to it's knees before executing a very neat hogtie. We gave him a 5 out of 10 for the hit, but the technique on the tiedown brought him up to a 7.
Tommy K was last. Nobody really knew he was even in the competition until a puck Jarome had happened to be shooting rebounded off Kipper and landed at the Gary Bettman dummys feet. Then, in a blink of an eye, Tommy K comes out of nowhere and delivers a clean and legal hit to the thing. It was awesome. He broke the dummies freakin jaw! Also, Brad Stuart is whiny.
The winner? The fans.
GRIPPING THE STICK COMPETITION
This competition was probably the most competitive. It had a full field, featuring everyone but the Flames best players. Jarome, Kipper, and Jackman were exempt from the event.
The event was judged by noted non goal scorer and former Flame Chris Clarke. Not for any particular reason, just that Chris, like Commodore, hates Columbus and loves Calgary. Anyways, the player that missed scoring on an open net the most times out of 10 attempts would win the competition, with extra points being awarded for any shot that was really atrocious. Which meant Matt Stajan picked up a lot of bonus points.
It took nearly all afternoon, but between Rene Bourque, Nik Hagman, Olli Jokinen, Brendan Morrison, Matt Stajan, Matt Stajan again where the hell are you man, and Mike Backlund, the winner was Ales Kotalik.
Because Ales Kotalik fucking sucks. (As an aside, do you guys like Kotaliksballs, or Kotaleech better?)
MOST EMBARRASSED TO BE WEARING THE JERSEY COMPETITION
The fans won, obviously! But it was real close, because Alex Tanguay chose to not even show up for the event. Believe us, Alex, we know how you feel. We get sick of watching this shit too.
OVERALL WINNER OF THE SUPER SKILLS COMPETITION
TJ Brodie won this competition. Because he is TJ Brodie, that's why. And he should probably be up playing with the big club, because we are a last place team. Just sayin'.
Non PC Take on Kosto:
Tommy K's suspension is insane. It was a clean hit 5 years ago, hell, it was a clean hit last year. And because it wasn't a blindside hit, it should be legal this year. Brad Stuart played the puck! That's his fault for doing that when he was in a position of vulnerability, in a high traffic area. If the Red Wings had a problem with the hit, they should have done something about it on the ice, not wait till the game was over and start bitching and moaning to the media about how poor little Brad Stuart broke his glass jaw (big ups for breaking Stuarts jaw, Tommy K) because he wasn't paying attention to what was going down on the ice.
Earth to Brad Stuart: God gave you elbows man, and a stick shaft. Use them if you don't want to get hit. Is not putting your elbows up, or your stick shaft up, when someone is coming in like that to hit you the oldest trick in the book? Shouldn't NHL veterans know these tricks? Shouldn't they be expected to deploy them?
Look, we may be neanderthals, but we were taught that you have responsibility for you when you are on the ice. That means you better keep yourself safe, know who is on the ice with you, ect. You don't put yourself in a bad spot, period, because then bad things can happen.
We will give some of Tommy K's detractors the fact that maybe Tom has his elbow come up high. Maybe. But look at the video again. It's the same hit that was delivered by Staal to Matt Stajan. Stuart is watching where he sent the puck and has his head down. He breaks his jaw because his head is tilted down, watching the puck. It's insane that this is considered a dirty hit. It's a great hit, and it took skill to time it up right. Great hit, Tommy K.
But you did hit a Red Wing, and you did cause an injury, so according to the joke that is the NHL's wheel of justice, you get suspended. We don't get it.
On Kippers Soft Goals:
Thank the lord that someone on the team realizes we need to lose games...
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.