Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rob Little... You're Fired!

Sorry Rob but I think we've found a new coach...

Just Kidding, Rob. But couldn't you call us bitches just once?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Required Reading - Thanksgiving Edition

I have made very little secret that I am a fan of John Buccigross. Although he can come across as somewhat vain, I believe his heart is in the right place when it comes to writing about hockey.

So... I believe it to be in everyone's interest to read his most recent hockey essay posted on The mailbag is optional.

You'll also be able to figure out where I got the idea for the caption contest for the previous post.

Needs a Caption

Here is our fearless leader doing what he does best, whatever that is. Can you come up with a better caption? Comment below. Thanks to the SlapShot blog at the New York Times.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

DiabloHockey This Weekend

That is the new 2008-2009 "Hell's Bells" Diablos Video. It Rocks.

The West Side of Hockeytown will be rocking Sunday night with Diablo Double Dip. The Ken Yackel West Side Arena will host the D1 Diablos vs. the Wolf Pack at 4:50 pm. At 8:10 pm the C2 Diablos will then take on the Admirals at the "Yack".

How bout a little Cannibal Corpse? Courtesy of Angry Todd. Go Figure.

Diablos D1 5 - Fighting Saints 1

Eckman, Fricke Lead Diablos Over Fighting Saints

In their most impressive game to date, the D1 Diablos thoroughly dominated the Fighting Saints at both ends of the ice and secured a 5-1 victory on Sunday evening. Coming off a disappointing loss to the Royals, the Diablos made several changes to their game plan that seemed to pay big dividends.

One of the biggest changes from last week was the Diablos' commitment to the 'other side of the puck'. In the first 3 games of the season, the Diablos played very well but seemed to suffer the consequences of some very costly defensive mistakes. They seem to have finally righted the ship, however, as they managed to all but completely shut down the Saints for three periods. All three forward lines were backchecking hard all night long, and along with the stellar play of the Diablos defensemen, made it impossible for the Saints to create any offense.

The Unholy Trinity of Steinbach opened the scoring at 11:08 of the first period. Shane Steinbach, who has been snakebitten along with his brothers lately, scored his second goal of the season on the kind of beautiful passing play the Steinbachs are becoming known for.

While all 3 lines generated a number of scoring chances throughout the game, it was the Destruction Line that surprised everyone (including themselves) by exploding for 4 of the team's 5 goals. Peter Sinesio increased the Diablo lead to 2-0 about a minute later when Shawn Fricke redirected a cross-ice pass from Larry Eckman right onto his tape in the slot.

Larry “Tomahawk” Eckman, known more for being “experienced” than anything else, was exceptionally impressive in registering 2 goals and 1 assist. On his first goal, he capped off the first period scoring for the Diablos when he skillfully banked the puck into the net off of the Saints' defender in a way that only a wily veteran can. Then, in the third period, Eckman did a wonderful impression of Sidney Crosby by collecting a lead pass from LW Shawn Fricke, who won a puck battle in the defensive zone. As he skated up the ice, Eckman accelerated to an incredible speed, beat the lone Saints' defender to the outside, and then tapped the puck in the net on a beautiful rendition of the forehand-to-backhand breakaway move pioneered last season by a certain former D1 Diablo who now runs a certain Satanic hockey blog. When asked about his performance, Eckman said, "Hopefully these damn whippersnappers will finally realize that I'm not 'older' than they are...I'm just 'wiser.' OK, I guess I'm older too...but still..."

Shawn "Clutch" Fricke was also exceptional, putting up 3 points of his own (1 goal, 2 assists). He assisted on Eckman's first goal by just plain outworking the Saints down low in the offensive zone, and also scored a very pretty goal right after an offensive zone faceoff. He beat several Saints to a loose puck and fired a snapshot into a puck-sized hole between the goalie's pad and the left post at 7:56 of the second period. Fricke now leads all Diablos with 6 points in 4 games.

Late in the second period, newfound enforcer Cory Steinbach, who currently leads the D1 Diablos and the D1 East Division with 8 PIMs, got into some (undeserved) penalty trouble as the refs decided to give their whistles a workout. He would again decide to take a 2 minute break at the start of the third period, but luckily the Diablos PK unit prevented the Saints from building any real momentum. After the game, Cory declined to comment on the officiating, saying only that he felt his opinion would not be appreciated by league officials.

The Power Line of Groth, Schaefer, and Lindquist, though they were held off the official score sheet, managed to create several scoring chances that could easily have been goals while maintaining their outstanding defensive play. Dean "Machine" Groth set the example with several unbelievable backchecking efforts. All three played a very smart game and took away the Saints' time and space all night.

In fact, the Saints got so frustrated with the Power Line that they felt the need to take a run at Dean in the third period. In an effort to slow him down, one of the Saints skaters put him in the proverbial "trolley tracks" and ran him hard into the boards. It didn't work, however, and the Diablos thoroughly enjoyed the ensuing power play. Dean is just fine, and after the game said "What? Oh, I'm totally fine...I just needed to skate it off, that's all." Apparently, they don’t call him “The Machine” for nothing.

Diablos goalie Todd Latterner faced 18 shots and continued to impress with his quick reflexes and great positioning. He played well enough to earn his first shutout of the season, but was denied when the Diablos were outnumbered at the top of the crease in the third period, and the Saints managed to score off a rebound on the power play.

In all, it was a much-needed victory for the Diablos, who are now in a 3-way tie for 2nd place in the D1 East Division. They will take on the surging Wolf Pack back
at West Side arena on Sunday 11/23/08 at 4:50 PM. Catch it! Official AHA Scoresheet

By the Numbers:

-Larry Eckman, rumored to be the great-grand-uncle of goaltending legend Terry Sawchuck, has a Kovalchuk-like 4 goals in the past 4 games.

-Every D1 Diablo skater who has played in all 4 games this season has at least 1 point.

-The Diablos had a total of 48 shots on goal, 22 of which were in the third period. The Fighting Saints had only 20.

Diablos C2 7 - Bulls 3

The Diablo Hockey Club C2 Team began last Sunday night's game against the Bulls playing fairly tight and not very cohesive. The Bulls were playing strong defence and their goaltending was firm. However, they blew open a tight game with four goals in the third to come away with their fourth victory in as many games.

Rob Anderson had a four point night (1g, 3a) and Ted Reiff potted a pair of goals including a shorty from Anderson which proved to be the game winner. Andy Suerth had his third tally of the season during the second and Dave Hackley, Jarrick Losey and Steve Nelson all found the back of the net. Justin Alderink saw 16 shots and stopped 13. Official AHA Scoresheet.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

DiabloHockey This Weekend... Catch the Fever!

For those who check out this blog for entertainment options in the Twin Cities, be sure to check out some DiabloHockey on Sunday night.

The C2 East leading Diablos take to the ice at their home-away-from-home, Biff Adams arena at 7:50 pm in a battle for first place vs. the Bulls (2-0-1-0). Can playoff hockey be played in the middle of November? If so, this matchup is as good as any.

If being caught in a prostitution sting doesn't appeal to you, then there's always a quick trip to the Yack. Ken Yackel's West Side Arena will host the D1 Diablos as they look to rebound from a stinging loss to the Royals against the familiar Fighting Saints. Puck Drops at 8:10 pm.

DiabloHockey Fever... Catch it!

Other successful hockey marketing campaigns...

D1 Diablos 2 - Royals 5

D1 Diablos fall 5-2 to Royals; Global Ski Mask Shortage.

DiabloHockey Correspondent Peter Sinesio reports from Highland Arena in St. Paul

If you were planning on giving someone a ski mask for the might want to make other plans. It appears as though the D1 Royals, who spent months stockpiling black ski masks, large nondescript brown bags, and black clothing, managed to steal a deceptively close game by defeating the D1 Diablos by a score of 5-2.

The Satanic Underground Kingdom's Bureau of Unholy Statistics for Hockey (SUKBUSH) confirmed that this was the closest 5-2 D1 Diablo game ever played. The Diablos came out flying and played a fast paced game. Outskating their opponents from the opening draw, the Diablos took the lead thanks to the lightning quickness of the "Power Line" of Dean "Machine" Groth, Dave "War Hammer" Schaefer, and Monique "AzzKikr" Lindquist (Schaefer from Groth & Lindquist). The Power Line used their speed to create chances throughout the game, and put what seemed like a hundred shots on the Royals Goalie.

If the Power Line put a hundred shots on, then the "Unholy Trinity of Steinbach" Line must have had a thousand. The Steinbach brothers Cory, Taylor, and Shane generated scoring chance after scoring chance using their speed, skill, and sheer will to win. Unfortunately, the Royals goalie had just won the lottery, hooked up with a supermodel, managed to get free snacks from the vending machine, gotten a huge undeserved promotion at work, made millions on a simple bank error, and was generally enjoying the luckiest day of his life.

As the game wore on, the Royals would score two consecutive goals to get ahead 2-1. The Diablos answered back when the "Destruction" line of Larry "Tomahawk" Eckman, Peter "Hail Satan" Sinesio, and Shawn "Mr. Clutch" Fricke scored to tie the game at 2 in the second period. Shawn Fricke, fresh off his nickname-earning goal with 50 seconds on the clock against the Spiders, battled hard to get the puck deep in the Royals zone. Peter Sinesio managed a short pass from behind the net, and it was all Eckman needed to bury it for his 2nd goal in 3 games.

Throughout the remainder of the game, the Diablos mostly outplayed, out-skated, and outshot the Royals. They don't award points based on shots though, and the Diablos suffered a few defensive lapses late in the game to finally fall 5-2. The game was 3-2 until just the final minutes of play, when the Royals managed to score on a few of the rare breakaway chances given up by the normally stingy Diablos.

In all, it was an impressive effort for the Diablos. Despite being outscored, the Diablos outshot the Royals 35-23. In the third period alone, the Diablos controlled play by outshooting the Royals 16-4. There were several occasions when the Royals, who have mastered the art of defensively collapsing around their goalie, got hemmed in their own zone for several minutes at a time. The Diablo defensemen did a great job keeping the puck in the offensive zone, and the Royals quickly lost their energy and gave up chances. Defenseman Mike "Death Cannon" Wrobel, in his Diablo debut, impressed his new teammates with strong 2-way play and several great shots on goal.

In a rare postgame interview, one Royals player, speaking only on condition of strict anonymity, said "[The Diablos] scared the shit out of us at first". When asked for a reaction to this sentiment, the Royals goalie said, "Yeah they totally--wait..hold on....I just found $1,000 on the ground....and another $20 in my pocket.....and it looks like someone is about to give me a new Lexus, free of charge..."

The remaining Royals players could not be reached for comment. Official AHA Scoresheet.

Cal Clutterbuck is Now Utility Position Eligible

Cal Clutterbuck had his first NHL fight Thursday night against a former dance partner from the AHL, Keith Yandle.

On the plus side, he did a nice job rattling Yandle's jaw with the constant lefts to the chin. On the negative side, take off the visor, Clutter. Don't drop the gloves and leave your helmet on.

Obviously, he missed that lesson at the Boogaard fight school.

Monday, November 10, 2008

DiabloHockey Fantasy League Update: Week 5

Five weeks of the NHL season are behind us and one team is standing head and shoulders over the others in the DiabloHockey Fantasy League. The Peter Sinesio-led Dio squad is crushing the competition with a record of 33-9-8. This week, he shut out the hapless Puck You squad, led by John Driscoll, 9-0. Dio has 74 points, 10 points ahead of the 2nd Place team in the league, Puck Tooth.

The surprise team this season so far is the Mike Monroe led Puck Tooth team. They've firmly established themselves as the #2 team in the league yet at the beginning of the season, neophyte G.M. Monroe, could barely figure out the difference between Brad Boyes and Brad Bombadier. Good balance and solid goaltending from J.S. Giguere have set Puck Tooth firmly in the mix for the top spot in the league.

The Fighter Rule has been a success so far - Fantasy Hockey orphans like David Clarkson and Jarred Boll have found homes in the DiabloHockey league. DiabloHockey is like the United Way with regards to providing NHL fighters a warm home and three squares a day. We'd like to acknowledge each of the fighters for each team right now...
Dio - Dion Phaneuf (not necessarily in need of a good home, but opens up another roster spot for his team)
Puck Tooth - David Clarkson
SlingBlade(mmmhmm) - Ryan Malone and Jason Chimera
Unoriginal Bastards - George Parros (the 'stache)
Mojito John (mojo) - Rene Bourque
Douchbags - Adam Burish & Joe Thornton (Hey Douchbags - Thornton drops the gloves (hint hint))
Angry Bears - Jarome Iginla, Aaron Voros, Derek Boogaard, Todd Fedoruk, Brent Burns, Chris Neil & Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Add Ryan Getzlaf to the mix and you've got a team of scrappers. Unfortunately, that's only good for 7th place.
Hyphan Slayers - Jared Boll
Spider Monkeys - Cody McCloud &/or Steve Ott
Satanic Mass - Eric Godard
Mood Killers - Georges Laraque
Puck You - Milan Lucic

Goalie Notes: Roberto Luongo (Slingblade(MmmHmm)) had his third consecutive shutout by blanking the Wild on Sunday. The NHL Record is five. Recent injuries to Martin Brodeur (Spider Monkeys) and Evgeni Nabokov (Mood Killers) have meant that teams need to scramble to keep the lineup intact.

Aaron Voros and Ryan Malone squared up for the second time this season for a possible fight of the year...

Two of the three players formerly known as the Slovakian Mafia, skipped Saturday's reunion when the Wild traveled to Vancouver. Pavol Demitra and Marion Gaborik were both out with injury. The third member, Branko Radiovovich, is playing for Spartak HC in the Russian Superleague.

DiabloHockey Fantasy Hockey Tip of the Week: Set your lineup for the entire week by setting, then saving your lineup for each day. Look up top for links to each day and then set your lineup with regards to your team's schedules.