Thursday, November 29, 2007

Downright Offensive

The inevitable finally happened. The Islanders lost to the Rangers. Normally that wouldn't throw me into a depression. I mean you can't win them all. However, sometimes the sports world is very good to you and other times it's very bad. It seems to be cyclical. Right now, though, every team I root for in the sporting world is completely absent of offense.

I think most of you know about the Isles' offensive woes. Unfortunately 2 goals is the maximum output this team can muster on a nightly basis. Luckily, they've been able to keep their heads above water. I suppose taking three of six points from Dallas, Ottawa, and the Rangers isn't too bad; I think we as fans somehow expected more though. As the calendar turns from November to December, let's hope that the bodies will start getting in front of the nets and the goals will come more easily. If this week was a test for the Isles, they passed, but barely.

Let's move on to the Gophers. Okposo and crew have two home games this weekend (Friday and Saturday) against Michigan Tech. On Monday the previously 15th-ranked Gophers fell out of the NCAA College Hockey poll altogether. I guess 2.25 goals per game will do that to you. Also, their special teams numbers are horrific (thanks to Gopher Puck Live for the info). A paltry 11.9% on the power play and a kill rate of 75%. Yuck. This team better find some energy pretty quickly. And that's all I care to say about that.

If I may depart from our usual format for a moment (Isles/Gophers), a word about the New York Knicks. They just lost by 45 points to Boston. It is now embarrassing to be a Knicks fan.

Wait. Check that. It continues to be embarrassing to be a Knicks fan.

Similarly, I may return on Sunday and say the same about the New York Jets. I don't care if they win another game this season, but please don't lose to 0-11 Miami. Having now said that, you may taunt me as soon as that game goes final.

And that's the state of affairs in my sports world. Very depressing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Anyone going to Vegas?

If you're heading out to Sin City, you'd be wise to stop by the Blog Box before you go. Why's that? It seems that Tom Liodice of The Tiger Track and yours truly might win you some dough.

After dropping a 2-1 Friday afternoon affair in Boston, the two teams hopped on charters and played the second leg of the home and home gig on Long Island Saturday night. This time it wound up 2-1 in the Isles' favor, but it wasn't the usual suspects netting goals this time around.

Before the game, Tom predicted that much-maligned Andy Hilbert might break out. After New York fell behind 1-0 early in the first period (do they need to do that *every* game?) it was Mr. Andrew John Hilbert putting a blast past Boston netminder Tim Thomas. Before the red light on Hilbert's goal had gone out, I leaned over to Tom and said, "Prediction: Richard Park." I should have added "with the game winner," but I hedged a bit, and frankly I didn't think Boston would be held to a single goal.

Fast forward to 7:30 gone in the 3rd period, and whom other than Richard Park banked his second goal of the year. The crowd was so impressed with our prognosticative abilities, they did the wave for us (really).

The Isles held on for the win despite DP almost being knocked silly a few minutes before the final horn. The Isles now have 24 points in 20 games, which would project to a 98 point season if their form holds. It's early though, and as a chronic scoreboard watcher I can say that they haven't been getting much help from the other Atlantic Division foes.

Lesson? If you're in the area, you'd do well to find Tom or myself in the Islanders Blog Box at the top of section 201.

Speaking of finding the Blog Box (or not), unbeknownst to me my parents were at Saturday night's game! Given tickets at the last moment, they attended and claimed to have thoroughly enjoyed themselves. However, when mom went looking for me between periods, she assumed I sit in the press box and she was, of course, denied entry. Come on mom, you think they would let me in there? You should know they only let grown-ups in the press box!

Sadly, the University of Minnesota's season has seemingly moved into cluster**** phase. The Gophers could only manage a 3-3 tie vs. Michigan State (Okposo with 1 assist) on Friday and took a 5-1 whipping at Michigan on Saturday (Okposo with 0 points). The good news is that Okposo was the correct answer to Saturday's trivia challenge on the Islanders big screen. So thank goodness for that! No plug for this blog though, so we'll have to keep getting the word out the hard way.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wake up and watch

Some quick thoughts about the Islanders' latest stumble before we discuss the holiday weekend's upcoming action.

First off, the Montreal Canadiens are a good team this year. Maybe even very good. I haven't gotten a chance to see very much of them, but I knew coming in they had dynamite numbers on the power play. Up in the 28-29% range so far, and the season's 1/4 over.

In fact, during Wednesday's Isles-Habs game (MTL won 4-1) I mentioned to Tom Liodice of The Tiger Track how crisp Montreal's passing looked and how quickly they cycled the puck which allowed their open man to shoot. It was the kind of effortless passing where the puck 'never touches the ice' and opens up wide shooting lanes against defenses.

It's the kind of power play I wish the Islanders were sporting right now. They've gone from 2nd in the league in PP% down to 12th as of this writing. The 0-for-7 versus Montreal certainly didn't help that standing. Believe me, the Isles still have a very good power play when they are allowed to display it, and they work and cycle the puck very well, but nothing like this.

It's almost as if the Islanders, while on the PP, are looking for the perfect shot. They seem to worry so much about fanciness and setup that they forget what the main objective is. No problems like that for Montreal, who fire shots from the point, the circles, and everywhere else.

The Isles did manage to outshoot Montreal in the game and gave up only one shorthanded goal, but Cristobal Huet was on for most of the night and DP wasn't. "Sometimes," as coach Ted Nolan said after the game, "you look too much to what you did wrong and not at what the other team did right." I think that was a spot-on assessment. Both teams, despite preseason predictions, are better than many pundits expected. Montreal was just better on Wednesday night.

Luckily for the Isles, Friday finds them enjoying (yeah, right) a rare 12 PM start in Boston as part of a home and home series. This means I'm gonna have to get up at the crack of noon to watch this thing. Damn.

Another gripe I have is with the jersey change that took place 4 seasons ago. I'm sorry, it just does not look right for the Canadiens to be wearing the fabled white CH jersey on the road. I understand why they implemented the change and the league did see increased apparel sales, but when will it be time to kill this silliness and restore HOME WHITES? Teams aren't wearing 3rd jerseys anymore, so kindly switch back. For 25 years I was used to it one way, and now this 'away whites' nonsense has stuck for good. This isn't football, people. White at home, please.

Lastly, the mood in the Blog Box seems to be that Andy Hilbert's days with the top club are numbered. With Shawn Bates rehabbing and Hilbert shooting everything into the opposing goalie's chest, it doesn't look good for #11. I like Hilbert (well, I like all Islanders) but I feel that Jeff Tambellini needs to come up to the Island and stay regardless of Bates' timeline for return.

I suppose I should mention that the University of Minnesota's trudge through the 2007-08 season continues this weekend in Michigan. They're at Michigan State on Friday night and in Ann Arbor (Univeristy of Michigan) on Saturday night. Hopefully we'll be able to report on two Minnesota wins and some Kyle Okposo goals.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Now wake up and watch hockey!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It Doesn't Matter

Last night the Islanders made this season's first foray into Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers. As you'll recall, the Isles won both previous contests versus the Rangers on Long Island.

To be honest, I wasn't really confident of their chances for a win. The Rangers entered as a very hot team of late (with a goaltender sporting a sub-2.00 GAA) and the Isles, while winning, had played six 1-goal contests in a row.

But as this season is shaping up, fans in New York and around the NHL are beginning to realize that it doesn't matter how much money you've spent, how much you talk, or where you've been predicted to finish in the standings. It also doesn't matter if you play in one of the NHL's oldest buildings, if your general manager was your backup goalie just a few minutes ago, or if you traded half of your prospects for 2 months of a star.

People are waking up to the fact that the things that do matter are hard work, discipline, and commitment. And this is evidenced by the 2007-2008 New York Islanders.

The Islanders spent the 2nd least amount of money in the league (~$10M) on their defensive corps this season. Only the Chicago Blackhawks spent less.

We know what went on in Ranger-land this off-season.

But when it came time to play, we saw exactly how Ted Nolan has molded this Isles team into one that has a real chance to go places this season.

Scott Gomez? Silenced.
Jaromir Jagr? Under wraps.
Chris Drury? Stymied.

The Islanders came up huge in a big game in hostile territory and outplayed, outworked, and outhustled the Rangers. Martinek, Witt, and friends made sure that Rick only faced 19 shots. He saved 18 for his 100th career win.

And what can be said about players like Vasicek? Or Fedotenko? Or Richard Park? That they came to the Islanders and have bought into Nolan's system is not really saying enough. They committed to the team and the fans and are starting to see the product of their effort.

Lastly, the Islanders played a more disciplined game than the Rangers. Sure there was hitting and chippiness by both sides, but for the most part (are you listening DP?) they did not allow themselves to be baited or trash-talked into penalties or mental errors.

And that's how you win a close game in a tight division on your archrival's ice. By knowing what matters and what doesn't.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The good news is that Kyle scored another goal on Saturday night, his 5th of the season. The bad news is that Minnesota blew a third period lead and lost to Alaska Anchorage. The weekend series was split.

Just to catch everyone up, through 12 games Okposo has 5 goals and 2 assists (7 points).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just a quickie, please...

Hey gang,

Just some random thoughts pieced together at a VERY late (or early) hour:

- Kyle Okposo scores in a 3-0 shutout over Alaska Anchorage. I see from the boxscore he had 6 SOG and 1 block as well. Nice job. Same two teams on Saturday night.

- Good (and necessary) win for the Isles. I was hoping the Isles would hang on at the end and they did, barely. All praise to DP, who recorded shutout #2 on the season. He was not giving up rebounds, and that was key. NYI at MSG on Monday.

- Prudential Center looks nice. Can't tell much from TV. I'll need to go in person to get a true measure. Might I suggest a BLOG BOX FIELD TRIP to Newark?

- This team drives me crazy when they're not crashing the net and screening the opposing goalie. Someone should tell them (I guess it would be Nolan's job?) it's easier to score that way, and by extension, win the game.

- Sounded like some Isles fans made the trip to NJ. Can we get people to travel to MSG to support the team also, or is that asking too much?

- Our condolences to Howie Rose and his family, whose stepfather recently passed away in Florida. Jiggs McDonald was in the booth again while Howie takes care of more important matters.

- Jiggs said the puckhandling of Trent Hunter reminded him of John Tonelli. Okay, Jiggs. If Hunter has 1/4 of the career Tonelli had, I'll be overjoyed.

- Lastly, to borrow from cable's most ridiculous item:

Yes, you DID hear Stan Fischler call Wayne Gretzky a 'one-dimensional player' and put him on his 4th team of all-time greats.

Um, Stan, whatever one thinks of Gretzky (and I know some people who agree with Stan), we are talking about #99, the guy who rewrote the NHL record book. The guy who if, let's say never existed, would have allowed the Isles to win perhaps, what, 5, 6, 7, Stanley Cups?

4th team? I could accept 2nd team. Or at least put him ahead of Cam Neely!?!?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NHL Network Free Preview

Say what you will about Cablevision, but at least they're providing some of us with more hockey. The other day I was reading my bill (let's not get into *that* sore subject) when I noticed that they're currently providing their subscribers with a free preview of the NHL Network. I don't know what viewing areas are being offered this gratuitous bounty of frozen delight, but if your household is a Cablevision subscriber I would suggest you look around the dial. Here on Long Island (Cablevision of Woodbury) it's being shown on channels 401 and 429 for some reason. I don't know if either are in HD; you may want to drop us a comment if you know.

I don't mean promote Cablevision, I just want those of you who may want to see out of market games made aware of it. It'll be free for about two weeks; I don't remember the exact termination date.

Speaking of out of market games, I just finished watching Edmonton at Vancouver, a game with no shortage of former Islanders (8 by my count). The network shows Wednesday Night Hockey on the TSN feed. Without getting into too much detail, it was a game loaded with scoring chances but completely devoid of scoring. Edmonton won 1-0 in a shootout after 65 minutes of goalless play.

Speaking of former Islanders (or their employees), I saw Mike Milbury doing studio analysis between periods. Let's just say I would have preferred more highlights of Darryl Sittler's 10 point game, which was also shown during an intermission (falls under the "if you have nothing nice to say" category).

Isles continue the road trip tonight in Pittsburgh. They need to get back on the winning track after that Philly slip-up. It's the front end of back-to-back games for the first time since October 10th.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

First Stars!

Double-barreled goodness tonight at Okposo Net world headquarters! Let's start with Mr. Okposo (after all the blog does bear his name) who broke out in a big way on Saturday night. Kyle had been held without a point in UM's last 8 (eight) games, but that's finally over now (thanks, Alice in Chains).

Minnesota found themselves trailing Minnesota State 2-1 after one period, but shortly into the second frame Okposo began firing on all cylinders. Cade Fairchild was able to find Kyle after 3+ minutes of play, and Kyle sent a long blast from the point past MSU goalie Dan Tormey. Finally, the dry spell was over.

Kyle wasn't done, however, and neither were the Gophers. Now tied at 2, it took only 2:02 for Kyle to find the net again, this time taking a Jay Barriball pass and sending it in for the lead.

Minnesota followed Kyle's lead and added another 2 goals in the period (Lucia, Fairchild) to give themselves a 5-2 lead after two. When the dust settled, Minnesota outshot the visiting Mavericks 16-4 in the 2nd period.

The Gophers coasted in the 3rd period, winning by a final of 5-3. Minnesota took both weekend games from the visitors from Mankato. For his game-changing two goal effort, Kyle was voted first star of the game. His season totals now stand at 3-2-5 in 10 games.

Meanwhile, on Long Island, another hot scorer was doing his part to propel his squad to victory. 1200 miles away the Isles were facing a slumping Devils team at Nassau Coliseum. However, any time Martin Brodeur faces your squad, you hope for the best and expect the worst.

Josef Vasicek was able to beat Brodeur late in the first period for a 1-0 lead, and the game stayed that way until the 3rd. Dainius Zubrus netted the equalizer just 1:10 in, and it appeared it was going to come down to a battle of goalies.

Despite coming into the game with 402 fewer NHL victories than Brodeur, Rick DiPietro was up to the task. Great saves are becoming a nightly feature on Long Island, and DP exhibited quite a few versus the Jerseyites.

It took a 5-on-3 effort (the Isles recorded no penalties in the game) to swing the advantage to the home team, but when presented with chances this year the Isles have mostly been able to cash them in. Super-hot scorer Miroslav Satan struck again, his 3rd game winner in as many contests. Trent Hunter slid the puck across the crease at 6:25 and Miro didn't miss. Rick did his part in the final minutes, keeping his net empty and making 20 saves overall to preserve the win.

Satan was awarded first star and the Isles took a wonderful 10 (of a possible 12) points on the homestand. A critical game on Monday night in Philly begins a 4-game road trip.

On a personal note, this was my first home game *not* in the Blog Box. Hey, everyone needs some lady-time once in a while, right?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Kyle Needs a Nickname Contest

Every emerging star needs a good nickname. And Kyle is no different.

Frankly, every attempt we've heard so far has either been lame or already used by another athlete. Christian Okoye (NFL 1987-1992) was known as the 'Nigerian Nightmare', so that's out.

'KO'? Too boring, too boxing-ish.

'O.P.P.'? Weak. Same goes for 'Opie' and 'Opo', which some of his teammates call him.

We've read that Okposo means means “thunder storm” in Arabic. So that could be a starting point.

So now the burden lies upon you, fans. Come up with a good nickname. If you do, we'll make it stick. And not only that, we'll send you a prize of yet to be determined value. Maybe the better the nickname, the better the prize?

Now get to it, moniker bestowers!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


The 2007-2008 University of Minnesota men's hockey season started with so much promise. As you may or may not know, we here at Okposo Net love both our open-ice checks and our music hard. And we most certainly like that mid-90's Seattle sound, even if does get us a few odd looks now and then. So here's this weekend's Okposo recap, with a decidedly Soundgarden flavor...

Things were "looking California" for both Kyle and UM just one month ago. A top-10 preseason national ranking, a potent top line, and a program filled with top prospects. Well, fast forward to now, and things are definitely "feeling Minnesota."

The Golden Gophers dropped both games this weekend to the University of Denver. Kyle had no points in either contest. The losses leave UM at 4-4 on the season, and 0-4 in the WCHA for the first time league history. To give you an idea of how badly things are going right now, Denver's Tyler Bozak scored more goals during Gophers power plays Sunday than Gophers players have scored on the power play in their past seven games (via Junior forward Blake Wheeler sounded a worrisome tone after the series, calling the team "mentally weak right now."

Coach Don Lucia was a bit more upbeat, saying that the team is "close but yet so far" (whatever that means) and was sure that his squad would soon rebound with spunk.

The troubling thing for Okposo fans is that he is still stuck on 1 goal for the season. On a somewhat related note, it seems that Okposo was completely outshined by Denver's Rhett Rakhshani. On the weekend Rakhshani netted 2 goals and 2 assists while, as mentioned, Kyle did zilch. Rakhshani was named first star of the Friday night game. Needless to say, Okposo was not a star in either.

Those of you who are keen Islanders prospect watchers will note that, like Okposo, Rakhshani was also drafted by the Isles in 2006. Kyle went 7th overall while Rakhshani was selected in the 4th round, at pick #100.

Might we have to rename this blog 'Rakhshani Net?'

Minnesota's recent play would make these guys scream

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Final Observations on AAN

A few more thoughts on the wonderfully fun Al Arbour Night (or "AAN" as the kids call it). What, you expect us to be watching the Jets on a Sunday afternoon?

One of the great things about being part of the blog box is the post-game walk to the locker room. And one of the great things about the post-game walk is that you never know whom you might run into by chance down there. It could be a random player, coach Ted Nolan, Isles exec Bryan Trottier, or even Scotty Bowman.

The great Coach Bowman was mere feet away from me last evening as a crowd gathered around him to hear a few sagacious words from the living legend. As I was ushered past the man, was I thinking about the 9 championships, or the way he finally brought the Cup back to Detroit, or that he enabled Coach Arbour to become a legend in his own right? No, my pea-brain was thinking about how much he looks like Tony Soprano...

Separated at birth?

Another thing that struck me as slightly off-kilter last night was the music that accompanied the tribute video for Arbour. It was intended to be a sweet look back at the golden years, but came off like a funeral dirge. Let's just say it made Paul Anka music seem exciting. Couldn't the Isles hire a musician to stand at center ice and play a sad, solo flute?

However, the BEST thing about the entire evening was the building. I know, lots of people grumble about how old and small and dirty and outdated the place is. Heck, even my co-blogger thinks it prevents the Isles from attracting top free agents. I think the time will come when a new home is built for our team, but when the old barn is filled and roaring it is alive, and I love it. I LOVE IT.

I'm torn about the Coliseum just like I'm torn about Shea Stadium. They're both worn around the edges and everyone else has a newer, shinier sandbox to play in, but I'll be sad when they each go. Just like at Shea, some of my finest childhood memories happened there. The Coliseum may be a "dump," but it's OUR dump. And last night the 16,234 fans inside made the building special again.

Daylight Savings Bonus Coverage

Frisky fingers on the keyboards tonight as Okposo Net brings you a third entry in under 6 hours! As you surely know by now it was Al Arbour Night on Long Island. The legendary coach came back for one more contest to make it an even 1,500 in his career. With the double-threat of Nolan/Arbour behind the bench, how could they lose?

Sure, it got off to a bad start when the man who loves to kill the Isles, Ryan Malone, tickled the twine just 12 minutes in. But then the hard-charging Isles...oh, what's that? That *was* a goal that Tyler Kennedy just scored? And it's 2-0 Pittsburgh?

Well, it couldn't last much longer, right, with a full house and Arbour Magic? And after Trent Hunter finally put a gift carom behind Marc-Andre Fleury to cut the Penguin lead in half, things were looking up. Unfortunately, a few minutes later Rick DiPietro was also looking up...right into Sidney Crosby's elevated stick blade.

And then the worry started.

"Hey! Rick's okay, he's coming back!" we thought momentarily. Nope, he was just showing the ref the blood near his right eye. And Dubie was between the pipes. A double-minor on The Kid. The Isles efforted, then came away with nothing.

But then something happened. The Coliseum got loud. And for one magical period, it was 1980 all over again. Vasicek to Satan. Goal! Crowd injecting the team with life. Under 3 minutes to play. "Let's Go Islanders!" bouncing off the walls. Off the ice. Off the low roof. Satan in front. Rebound. GOAL! Al Arbour on the bench, waving his hands in triumph. Clock ticking down now. Opposing goalie pulled. Crowd pulsating with noise. Islanders clearing the zone. 3..2..1...THE ISLANDERS WIN

I still don't know how they pulled it out. After the win a red carpet was rolled out. Legends of years past were paraded and recognized. A banner was hung. A full team photo was taken on the ice. You almost expected the Stanley Cup to be there too.

Soon, my friends. Soon.

ESPN Still Doesn't Care About Hockey

This is the front page of at around 12:15 AM this morning, about 2 1/2 hours after the Islanders win and Al Arbour's 1500th game (click on pic to enlarge).

Look at the headlines under the News heading. Now I don't expect the game and post-game ceremony to be the website's cover story, especially with all the college football upsets. But seriously, while I'm sure Scott Verplank and Stephen Ames are having a battle for the ages in golf, are you really telling me that Al Arbour coming back for his 1,500th game couldn't get a headline on the front page? Hell, I'm surprised there was any room on there for the Devils' new building and Peter Forsberg.

Then again, it's not as if it's a surprise. ABC-7 just did local sports and put the Rangers-Devils game highlights on before the Islanders. Naturally.

Update 1 AM: We get results! Just before signing off this evening, I went back to and the Isles are now on the front page. Now, the chances of someone at ESPN reading this post and changing things up are pretty much zero. But we'd like to think we have an infinitesmal amount of influence at the Worldwide Leader. We'd be wrong, of course.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Banner Is Changed

The Isles came away with a hard-fought 3-2 comeback win to give Coach Al Arbour his 740th win in his 1,500th game, and just a short while ago, a new banner with "1500" was hung to the rafters of the Coliseum. The postgame ceremony was really a class effort all around by the Islanders organization, bringing in Islander legends such as Bossy, Trottier and Gillies, as well as newer Isles favorites such as Benoit Hogue, Steve Webb and Eric Cairns to help Coach Arbour raise the banner. Ken will hopefully be in later with reaction from this great evening at the Coliseum, including hopefully some reaction from Coaches Arbour and Nolan.

As for the game, it was a fun one all around with several exciting flourishes by both the Isles and Penguins during the game, and a very strong second half of the game by the Isles in coming back from a 2-0 deficit. After a plodding first 10 minutes of the second period, the Isles pretty much controlled the rest of the way, leading to an almost storybook ending. Strong efforts especially from Miro Satan with 2 goals and Wade Dubielewicz in relief of an injured Rick DiPietro (sticked unintentionally around the eye by Sidney Crosby in the second period, no word on his condition other than he is headed to the hospital for evaluation).

The win puts the Isles at 7-4 on the season and they must be feeling good about having truly put the 8-3 Carolina abomination behind them (and lord, was that awful). With a stretch of seven straight division games that began tonight, the Isles have a chance to put the rest of the division and league on notice.

In the meantime, in honor of Al Arbour Night, please enjoy a classic Islanders moment.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Clean sheet...with help

Finally! Last night we saw the DiPietro that we know is in there, and frankly by now, have come to expect. I'll keep this an abridged version of the game events; for a detailed liveblog of last night's 4-0 win over Tampa I'll direct you to Mike Gasparino's Still Drivin' website. As mentioned, he liveblogged, as opposed to what I do during games...stand there and pretend to know what's going on.

Anyway, DP recorded his first shutout of the season (12th career) with a little help from his friends. Yes, the defensemen helped, but last night his more ferrous friends (the posts) saved him at least twice. One shot, by Paul Ranger (is that his real name or did he just make it up for the trip to NY?) rang so loudly the people smoking outside the building heard it. But, 4-0 is 4-0 and the win improved the Isles to 6-4-0 on the young season.

Guerin, Vasicek, Fedotenko, and Hunter were your goalscorers. Al Arbour was in attendance (on his birthday). The crowd (11,008) sang to him.

A few random notes:

- An oversized gallon of milk appeared in our section of the arena. Unfortunately, I couldn't get its attention or any of the Ice Girls'. The latter hurt me more. The last time I saw a giant milk carton was at the Metrodome in 2004. That one was larger, stationary, and didn't hand out 50 cent discount coupons.

- The PA music...much better last night for some reason. Sure, they still worked in the Fall Out Boy and Finger Eleven for the kids, but at least we got The Doors and Soundgarden for the adults.

- Postgame player interview was Josef Vasicek. We learned that he is considerably taller than I (he's 6'5") and he is from Havlíčkův Brod in the Czech Republic (I looked that up). I asked him a question but not the one I REALLY WANTED TO ASK. I blathered something about players checking the internet (it's clear by now that they DON'T) but I really wanted to ask him:

'Joe, being Czech, have you ever been to Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Queens? It's one of my favorite places in the world and while it has gotten super-popular in recent years, it's still lots of fun.'

Actually, I wanted to ask him if he would join me there, but I think that would draw the ire of Messrs. Botta and Witt, who oversee the interviews.

But Josef, the invitation is out there now. So when you get moved into your new place and are settled and eventually read this, I would like to buy you a Krušovice (or other beer of your choice) at Bohemian Hall. Just two guys having a beer and talking hockey. I await your reply!