As you can see, we’ve scuttled Making Puck even though we’ve finished our shift writing the NHL Closer (for now) over at Deadspin. All in all, we didn’t see the comedic value in writing one-liners for 12 games we didn’t watch and only have overedited NHL.com video highlights and banal AP recaps to work from. It’s like putting a chef in a kitchen to make a gourmet meal, only to find the pantry filled with chicken broth, Gogurt, and Lunchables. Delicious.
However, the lack of Making Puck does not mean that there isn’t hockey being played, often in large arenas featuring players with cheap haircuts who get paid to skate. They work hard for the money. So hard for the money. That is, unless they’re about to be written about in this column.
After the jump, we give you MYFO’s Pineriders of the Night.
By rule, an NHL team is allowed to dress 20 players for any given game. Subtracting out your two goalies, that leaves 18 skaters that the coach can line change in and out of the action. The standard practice, if you’re team is deep enough (Kings fans can stop reading…now), is to roll 4 lines and 3 pairs of defensemen, resulting in fairly evenly-distributed amongst all players. Everyone gets at least 10 minutes of ice time. That’s what we call a team effort.
On the other hand, some coaches hesitate to play certain players, for one of two reasons. Firstly, they may have a specialized role, such as enforcer, that is only to be used in specific situations. Secondly, they may just suck. Hard. The following are three such examples, complete with how these idiots passed the time while their teammates, you know, PLAYED HOCKEY.
For Buffalo, Andrew Peters skated four shifts for a grand total of 2:02. Of course, in those two minutes, the Rangers did manage to score, so I’d bench him, too. It’s the equivalent of a station chief sending a rookie firefighter out with the crew responding to a burning townhouse, only to have the fire truck catch fire in the driveway. What did he do with the other 58 minutes? Likely, he felt shame. And then balanced his checkbook.
Meanwhile in the Windy City, the Blackhawks clearly did not need David Koci to defeat the Blues 6-1. The 6′-6″ Czech found the ice for 2 shifts totaling 1:19 in ice time. Koci’s clearly at the bottom of the depth chart, but it begs the question of Chicago. It’s late in the third period and you’re pulling away from a rival that just doesn’t have it tonight. Hell, Patrick Kane scored the 5th goal when St.Louis pulled their goalie with 7 to play. So why not let Koci get some experience under his belt? Robert Lang looks tired – he is 57 years old – give that guy a break. It’s a perfect opportunity, considering the Blues don’t have a single guy named Zdeno Chara.
Finally, I have written here in my notes that right winger Tanner Glass logged 1:45 in two shifts (also a -1). But I didn’t write down a team. Of course, that doesn’t sound like a real person anyway. Which explains why he didn’t play much. Invisible people absolutely suck on the penalty kill.
Oh, right. He’s a Florida Panther. Which means he passed the time watching his team get lit up by the Flyers 5-3. And Sudoku. He LOVES Sudoku.