2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs Recap

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are over with the Pittsburgh Penguins returning to the top again. But what does this year’s result mean for now and for the past and future? It is the purpose of this final installment of this year’s series of predictions to clarify and make sense of it all…

The Winner Of The 2016 Stanley Cup Tournament Is...

It is my sad duty to announce that the winner of the 2016 Stanley Cup actually ended in a tie between the Coronary Heart Disease team and the World Health Care Industry team which has been concealing a cure for coronary heart disease for at least two decades. The way that coronary heart disease was allowed to significantly affect this year’s NHL playoffs is a disgrace that only people like myself who have been cured of this dreadful scourge years ago without any open heart surgery know. I have published three articles on this blog so far about how this killer has recently significantly affected hockey and I hope to publish more to make as many readers as possible aware of what is really going on. First this disease forced the unnecessary retirement of Pittsburgh Penguin Pascal Dupuis. It followed up that success by forcing Tampa Bay star forward Steve Stamkos to accept unnecessary surgery to remove blood clots, the same problem that forced Dupuis’s retirement. Stamkos never appeared in the playoffs until the desperate game 7 with Pittsburgh when he probably still should have been kept out. Finally the world’s worst killer struck again in the Final by killing living legend Gordie Howe with a series a strokes over the past three years. The joy of the Final is now clouded over.

And all the while a cure existed that I took eight years ago and which others took before me and which thousands more have discovered after me. The chelation remedy which I and thousands of others have taken that has saved our lives is officially condemned by governmental bodies like the FDA and Health Canada to be “alternative medicine” which means that it can never be legally prescribed by state doctors or Heart Associations. To get it, a person has to have the courage to fly in the face of official denunciation and ridicule, to have the courage to be one’s own doctor and buy it directly over the Internet, or to try the privately established chelation clinics and get the heart plaque removed under a doctor’s supervision. Pascal Dupuis would still be playing; Steve Stamkos would not have missed a single playoff game; and Gordie Howe would still be alive. That is the triumph of coronary heart disease and the corrupt health care industry. Step forward and collect the Stanley Cup. This year it is rightfully yours.

Team At The Top

Who else but the Pittsburgh Penguins who have returned to their projected future after floundering in the wilderness for the past seven years. Pittsburgh owes its return to the top to goaltender Matt Murray who replaced the erratic Marc Andre Fleury and to coach Mike Sullivan who stressed defensive commitment to which the entire team including star players Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin dedicated themselves. Suddenly after being lost for so long Pittsburgh is back and if they continue to get the same goaltending and defensive commitment, they are going to be very hard to dethrone.

The Real Conn Smythe Winner

With all due respect to Sidney Crosby, the real Conn Smythe Trophy winner of this year’s playoffs was his goaltender Matt Murray and Crosby would be the first to say so. The big difference between this Pittsburgh team and the chokers who succeeded the champions of 2009 was the improved defensive play of the team and that starts with Murray in goal. As soon as Murray was installed as the starting goaltender instead of the erratic Marc Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh roared down the finish of the regular season and never looked back. Coach Mike Sullivan’s one attempt at bringing back Fleury resulted in an overtime loss against Tampa Bay and he never gave the matter any consideration again.

Players Who Made A Breakthrough

The 2016 playoffs marked the emergence of Matt Murray, Martin Jones, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, John Tavares, and T. J. Oshie.

Teams On The Way Up

Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers all showed that if the right off season moves are made, they have the potential to advance farther than they did in this year’s playoffs.

Spinning Wheels Stuck In The Mud Of The Same Old Round

The Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild remain mired in the same old first or second rounds. Minnesota seems to think that by acquiring Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to escape missing the playoffs altogether is also enough to be a true Stanley Cup contender instead of upgrading its talent still further. Washington with  the same old Ovechkin-Backstrom-Orpik core that it has had for nearly a decade probably needs a good shakeup and fresh blood. Also Anaheim’s first round defeat was a severe setback that cost coach Bruce Boudreau his job.

See Ya

1. Brooks Orpik’s play was a significant reason why Washington suffered its usual first or second round choke. Three direct or indirect Orpik actions led to situations in which Pittsburgh took full advantage. Should Washington give him one last chance out of loyal service over the years or is time to give him a gold watch and bid adieu?

2. After years of trying to give away his job by his erratic playoff play, particularly a horrible series against the Philadelphia Flyers which may have been the worst goaltending performance for an entire playoff series that I have ever seen, Pittsburgh Penguin goaltender Marc Andre Fleury finally succeeded in watching his backup, Matt Murray take his job from him. Pittsburgh will no longer keep Fleury with his large contract and erratic playoff play. The one game coach Mike Sullivan allowed him to start saw him give up his usual 4+ goals including the overtime winner to Tampa Bay. The only question is which teams still believe in Fleury to give him a chance to start his career again?

Deja Vu

Coach Peter DeBoer took the underdog New Jersey Devils all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost. Then he took the underdog San Jose Sharks all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost.

Where Do We Go From Here?

It is going to be a difficult off season for the San Jose Sharks. On the one hand, they made significant breakthroughs by getting all the way to the Stanley Cup Final where they had never been before. On the other hand, they were outclassed by Pittsburgh. The offense that was getting contributions from almost everybody was almost completely shut down and when that happened, Martin Jones, their goaltender of the future was not enough. How much longer do they continue with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau despite their wonderful contributions this year? What will it take and what do they need to get them over the top? Next year might see a returned Chicago and a retooled Los Angeles. And if Dallas, St. Louis, and Nashville make the right off season moves, they could be significantly improved next year. Returning to the Stanley Cup Final will not be easy for the Sharks. In some ways, they had win this year while they had the chance. It is not easy to see and find an answer for what they need.

Partly Over A Hump

The San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, and New York Islanders all got through rounds where they usually lose or choke. They did not win the big one but it was progress.

Marriage Made In Heaven – Birds Of A Feather Flock Together

Bruce Boudreau was fired by both the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks because in the playoffs his teams were able to beat equal or lesser teams than themselves but could never beat true Stanley Cup contenders like the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings. Now Boudreau gets to be coach of the wheel-spinning Minnesota Wild, a team that can beat lesser teams like Colorado but always loses to true contenders like Chicago and Los Angeles. One can hardly wait to see the result.

Will They Return?

Chicago and Los Angeles were alternating as Stanley Cup Champion the past four years. It was supposed to be Los Angeles’s turn to win the Cup this year but they were put out quickly in the first round by the inspired San Jose Sharks. Will some inspired off season retooling bring back the Kings and the Blackhawks? It will not take much to return these teams to glory status.

Most Anguished Defeat

When Pittsburgh closed out the Washington Capitals 4-2, it left one the worst chokers in the NHL along with Minnesota stuck behind its mound. To add salt to its wounds, the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders made playoff progress by getting through the rounds where they usually lose or choke. Washington won the President’s Trophy by a country mile but to show real progress they HAD to get to at least the Eastern Conference Final. Alexander Ovechkin, once Sidney Crosby’s main rival still has never played in a Conference Final, let alone contend for the Stanley Cup. His international Russian team Olympic record is just as dismal. He has loads of individual trophies and honors but his team record is horrible. He is the successor to Marcel Dionne who had a similar career. What is even more galling is that Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom outplayed their rivals Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and got an outstanding effort from T. J. Oshie and it still was not enough. Brooks Orpik played like a bonehead and Braden Holtby failed to deliver difference-making goaltending. The coming off season in Washington is going to be critical about where they go from here.

The 50-50 Team

The Nashville Predators made progress when they beat superior opponent Anaheim to win their first ever 7 game series. Nashville was ready for that game 7 but when the same situation came up again against San Jose, they were shamefully shut out, causing goaltender Pekka Rinne to smash his stick in frustration at his team’s lack of preparedness.

Best Team Not In The Playoffs

The Boston Bruins were the only team that had a plus goal differential and somehow did not qualify for the playoffs while the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Redwings who had minus goal differentials did.

The What If Playoff Series

What if Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop did not get injured?
What if Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos had been given the same “alternative medicine” that removes coronary heart disease blockages that I took to save my life, instead of being operated on to remove blood clots that kept him out of the playoffs until Tampa Bay’s final game?
What if the NHL started trying “alternative medicine” instead of always towing the government line set by the FDA and Health Canada?
What if the corrupt health care industry had been exposed for what it is?
Would Tampa Bay have beaten Pittsburgh?

Best NHL Playoff Feud

You can bet the Tampa Bay Lightning are going to be steaming after losing the Eastern Conference Final because their number one goaltender and best forward were out with injuries. Currently Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay are the best teams in the Eastern Conference and this was only round 2 of the Crosby-Malkin era which is now squared 1-1. There will probably be many more Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay playoff match-ups in the immediate future so each team will get to know each other very well in the coming years.

You Should Have Been Here – Where Are You?

With all the high draft choices that have been nurtured and stockpiled for over half a decade, the Edmonton Oilers should have been a Stanley Cup contender – long ago. In a year when Canada did not ice a single playoff team and despite the acquisition of Connor McDavid, the alleged heir to Sidney Crosby on Canada’s Golden Hockey Chain that stretches back to Maurice Richard, Edmonton never even threatened to make the playoffs. Instead they finished near the bottom of the league as they usually do. There is some undiagnosed rot eating away at this team and until it is properly investigated and removed, Edmonton will remain a joke.

Hurry Up And Make It 8

For the first time since 1970, Canada did not have a single team in the playoffs. The odds are stacked against them 23-7 and this result may occur many more times in the future. So Canada is praying that the NHL opens the door for Quebec to join in the near future.

2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final Playoff Predictions

And now the round everybody has been waiting for, featuring Pittsburgh and San Jose. I modestly congratulate myself for being 100% right as to my Conference Final predictions. As is my custom with all previous rounds, I’ll analyze what happened in the Conference Finals first and try to make sense of it all.

Biggest Winners: Players

1. Martin Jones

Jones continued his potential Conn Smythe goaltending performance by posting two back-to-back shutouts that destroyed any illusions that the St. Louis Blues were this year’s team of destiny. One more major challenge awaits him, but he, more than any other player is the reason why San Jose is in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time.

2. Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Brent Burns

In fact I could list the entire San Jose offense here but these three players deserve special mention. No team has found a way to cool off any of these players or even some of the others not mentioned here. San Jose has been waiting a long time to get consistent playoff performances like this and if they continue to be this hot in the final round, San Jose just might celebrate its first Stanley Cup.

3. Matt Murray

Once again the Pittsburgh offense which is supposed to be the strength of this team was not the deciding factor but in the end it was Murray’s excellent goaltending that saved the day. Every game that Pittsburgh won, Murray held the Lightning attack to under three goals. He is the main reason Pittsburgh is back in the Stanley Cup Final.

Biggest Losers: Players

1. Brian Elliott/Jake Allen

It’s not that Elliott or Allen played poorly. It’s just that when you compare their performance to what Jones has given San Jose, Matt Murray’s performance for Pittsburgh, or when one remembers the performance that Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick gave when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, you realize that Elliott/Allen are just not good enough. Both are good goalies and Elliott was able to pull off the upset against Chicago and the defeat of Dallas but they are not consistent enough, nor stingy enough to carry a team to a Stanley Cup Championship. Goaltending is probably one of the major factors St. Louis must improve if they are going to go all the way.

2. Marc Andre Fleury

This is just a repeat of what I wrote in the Conference Final predictions. After Murray had a rough outing against tough Tampa Bay, coach Mike Sullivan started Fleury who gave up his usual 4-plus goals in a Lightning victory. Unless Murray is really horrible or gets injured against San Jose, Fleury has played his last game in Pittsburgh.

Biggest Winners: Teams

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Imagine if the St. Louis Blues had won the third round. Then imagine if they had gone on to win the Stanley Cup. That would have meant that the poor Maple Leafs and all their fans, who have suffered under two long periods of bad ownership/management, first by Harold Ballard and then by the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund, who incredibly somehow managed to surpass Ballard’s horrible ownership record, now would have to be all by themselves instead of sharing the longest current streak, now officially at 49 years without winning the Stanley Cup. But if the Blues make the right moves in the off season, there is the chance they might finally get over the top next year. In contrast, the Leafs, still paying for  the Teachers’ time of ownership, are still at the bottom of the heap with next year’s number one draft choice. Every Leaf fan, player, and member of the organization, in gratitude for the ousting of St. Louis which spared the Leafs the ultimate humiliation, should put on a Sharks uniform and cheer unrepentantly for San Jose in this year’s Final.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins are not so much a big winner as they escaped being a big loser. If they had lost to Tampa Bay in the playoffs for a second time, with Tampa Bay not having its best goaltender, Ben Bishop, or its best forward, Steve Stamkos except for the last game, they would have been behind a huge psychological eight ball. As it was they just squeaked through thanks to goaltender Matt Murray. The stage is set for future Penguin-Lightning playoff confrontations.

Team Eliminated By Corruption?

This may be monotonous but it is so important that I will repeat it now and probably again and again in future articles. I recently wrote two articles for this blog explaining that there is a cure for coronary heart disease that is being covered up by foul, slimy, underhanded practices in the world health industry. Tampa Bay was without its captain and best forward Steve Stamkos for the entire playoffs except for the desperate game 7 match with Pittsburgh. Had Stamkos been given this remedy (officially labeled “alternative medicine” by the FDA, Health Canada and the other official powers-that-be), it is likely he would not have had to have surgery to remove blood clots or have missed a single game in the playoffs. When Stamkos returned, he was probably too rusty to be effective, but what would have been the result if he had been able to play the entire Conference Final? On the Pittsburgh side, Pascal Dupuis has been forced into unnecessary retirement for the same reason. The NHL takes its marching orders from official government medicine and will not consider “alternative medicine”, much of which is far more effective and far more cheaper than “official” medical practices. Pittsburgh may have “officially” eliminated Tampa Bay but there may be truth in the belief that the Lightning were eliminated by a corrupt health industry.

Stupidity Redeemed By Repentance

After steady Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray had a tough game against Tampa Bay, coach Mike Sullivan made the worst coaching decision of the playoffs so far by starting Jekyll and Hyde, erratic, playoff goaltender Marc Andre Fleury in the next game. Fleury was his usual self, giving up four goals including the overtime winner. Fortunately it was only game 5 so Sullivan had a chance to repent the error of his ways and restore Murray and Fleury has not been seen since.

 

Stanley Cup Final

Pittsburgh-San Jose

This is the battle of the two up-and-coming, would-be-Conn Smythe Trophy winner goaltenders, Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray, and San Jose’s Martin Jones. The goaltending match-up is so even that whichever team’s goaltender is a little bit better will be the likely winner. The coaching match is even too, with San Jose’s Peter DeBoer who has a habit of taking underdog teams to the Stanley Cup Final against Mike Sullivan who seems to have finally righted the ship in Pittsburgh. Both coaches are seeking their first Stanley Cup.

On paper this seems a mismatch. San Jose has no player to compare with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The problem is that while Crosby and Malkin have made contributions to the Pittsburgh victories, they have not played like Crosby and Malkin who are supposed to be head and shoulders above everybody else. On the other hand, the San Jose offense has been getting contributions from everybody and there are too many players contributing to be entirely smothered. Pittsburgh is favored, has home ice advantage, and should win but I am going to pick an upset. I say that Martin Jones is just a little bit better than Matt Murray, that the San Jose offence cannot be stopped,  that San Jose is the team of destiny, and that coach Peter DeBoer will achieve with the underdog Sharks what he failed to do with the underdog New Jersey Devils and win San Jose’s first Stanley Cup in 6 games.

San Jose Showed What St. Louis Lacks

So far, I am 50% right in my predictions for the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the San Jose Sharks ousting the St. Louis Blues in six games – and significantly for the reasons why I said they would. I said that the main difference between the two teams were two factors, goaltending and offence.

San Jose goaltender Martin Jones outplayed two far better goaltenders in the early rounds, Los Angeles Kings’ former Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Quick, and steady Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne. No matter who St. Louis put in the net, Brian Elliott or Jake Allen, they were no match for Jones. Two convincing back-to-back shutouts were the back-breaking, demoralizing factors that broke the spirit of St. Louis and sapped their will to win.

And that points to the second reason why St. Louis lost, they have no hot playoff shooters whom San Jose would have had to cool off. St. Louis has Vladimir Tarasenko, and got a modest contribution from Paul Stastny… and nobody else. In contrast San Jose is getting contributions from everybody, particularly Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Joe Thornton, Joel Ward, and even Patrick Marleau. St. Louis may have a better defense on paper but there were too many hot shooters for them to contain.

This is a bitter defeat for St. Louis, who like San Jose have choked so many times in the early rounds and who, like the Sharks thought they were the team of destiny, finally breaking through to the Western Conference Final and ousting long time nemesis Chicago along the way. On the positive side, this defeat should make plain what St. Louis has lacked and continues to lack. They have to get themselves a shut-down goaltender and add hot shooters who consistently come up big in the playoffs.

Like the Islanders and Capitals, this off-season will be a key one for the Blues to determine which direction they will go. They have made significant gains in the playoffs this year but if they want to go farther, they have to add more. The pressure is now on the St. Louis ownership and management to come up with a positive answer.

As for the Sharks, this convincing victory should give them more confidence and strengthen the belief that they are the team of destiny. They will be the underdog in the Stanley Cup Final, whether it is Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay. But if they keep getting the contributions they are getting from Jones and  the San Jose offence, maybe a destiny upset might be in the cards.

Interview With Sebastian Stalberg!

ImageWe have a new interview to present to you guys! We caught up with Sebastian Stalberg of the Worcester Sharks of the AHL! So a little bit about him first. Sebastian’s from Gothenburg, Sweden, grew up playing for Frolunda, until he moved over to North America play for the University of Vermont Catamounts. You might know his brother Viktor who currently plays for the Chicago Blackhawks. You can follow him on Twitter @SStalberg8. You can follow us on Twitter, @HkyBlogger, and you can “like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog 

So the usual applies here, we are in bold.

Let’s have a nice little introduction about yourself, who are you, and do you have any interesting facts about yourself you could share?
I’m born and raised in Goteborg Sweden, got two brothers, Viktor and Alexander.

How old were you when you first played hockey?
I started playing hockey when I was four years old.

Why hockey?
We all played hockey growing up, as well as other sports. We all started playing hockey because my dad and his brothers played hockey growing up.

Did you play any other sports growing up?
Growing up I was also very much into Golf and soccer so it was always a packed schedule but hockey was always my number one sport.

How hectic was it at the Stalberg household with you and Viktor playing hockey at such high levels?
No matter what we did it was always a competitive atmosphere at our house.

On to your pro career,
What do you think is your biggest strength as a player?
It’s always hard to pin point your biggest strengths and weaknesses but if I would have to pick I would say my shot is my strength.

What is your biggest weakness as a player?
My weakness is at this point my physicality. I know I need to get bigger and stronger.

What kind of player do you consider yourself?
I am definitely an offensive player!

When you first decided to play in the NCAA, what was the main
difference you noticed between playing for the University of Vermont and Frolunda?
The biggest difference was the change of adjusting to North American hockey which is more of a “North-South” type of game. Also, before I started playing in North America, I’d only played with and against players that are in my age group (one two years older). In college hockey, I am playing against players that are 18 to 25 years old, which is a big difference..

Now that you look back on your University of Vermont career, what is one thing you wish you could have changed?
Looking back at it I don’t think there is anything in particular that I would change. I had a great 3 years at Vermont and I learned a lot both on and off the ice. I would have done it all over again if I had the chance.

When you signed you first professional contract, what was that like? Take us through it.
It was obviously a dream come true, its been a goal of mine all my life. I think all hockey players have that same goal and it was fantastic to get the opportunity and confirmation that all your hard work had paid of.

We interviewed Jon Matsumoto a while back, any embarrassing secrets you’d like to share about him?

Haha I don’t really have anything on Mats. He’s a great guy and hockey player.

The next part is more of a “rapid fire” session, don’t think, just answer.
Ready?
Favourite food? – Sushi
Who’s the roomie on the road? – John McCarthy
What’s on your iPod? – Everything
Worst taste in music on the team? – Sena Acolatse
Which one do your prefer? Read the book, or watch the movie? – Movie
Xbox or Playstation? – Xbox
Favourite TV show? – Friends
One thing you can’t stand in people? – Don’t know
If you weren’t playing hockey what would you be doing? – Be in School
Left handed or right handed? – Right
Most memorable team prank? – Secret Santa; Freshman year at Vermont

Couple last words,
Words of wisdom to young hockey players? – Have fun, its the most important part, work hard, and eventually good things will happen.

Who should we interview next?
Don’t know haha

Thank you for your time.

Interview with Riley Armstrong!

Image

We recently caught up with Riley Armstrong of the Utah Grizzlies. He was undrafted in 2004, but worked his way to a contract with the San Jose Sharks. He has played for many teams throughout his career (we’ll get to that later). Many may know him for his brother, Colby Armstrong, but Riley is an accomplished player too, spending time in the NHL as well. Just a little self promotion as well, like us on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog , and you can follow me on Twitter: @hkyblogger. You can follow Riley on Twitter: @RilesArmy

We’re not going to delay it any longer, here it is: 

We are in bold.

So how has your day been?

Hi my day has been good so far right now my team (Utah Grizzlies ) are on the road to Las Vegas to play a couple game this weekend so I have been killing time hanging out with the guys and texting my girlfriend Amber. She is probably sick of me already.

Some of our readers might not know you, so who is Riley Armstrong, and is there a cool fact that most people might not know? 

A fact people might not know about me is that I used to figure skate from the 3rd grade til the 10th grade before I starting taking hockey seriously.

What’s a day in the life of Riley Armstrong?

A day in the life of Riley. Lets see, usually get up around 8:30 and text amber to make sure she is enjoying her morning, since she has to be up at 6:30 for work. Have some breakfast, and then head over to the rink by 9:30 and start practice at 10:30. We have a sweet locker room in Utah with a sauna and hot tub, so after practice I usually hang out around the room and relax. Then the afternoon and evening is free to hang out Skype or Facetime with family and friends, cook dinner maybe have a tan or mix in a nap pretty much as people say live the life. 

How old were you when you first laced them up?

I was 2 years old. I had the double blades on and I was living in Paradise Hill, Saskatchewan at the time.

Who’s the better player honestly, you are Colby?

Well this is a tough question. I think if you were to make one player out of both of us it would be the perfect player. I would say I’m more skilled and more of a goal scorer then Colby but he sees the ice better and is really good with his stick and a better passer. We both work with each other in the summer to always improve our games but since he has played over 500 NHL games I would say he is the better player!

You’ve played for 15 teams in your career (according to hockeydb.com). Can you name them all? 

Yes
  • Yorkton Mallers (SMAAAHL)
  • Kootenay Ice (WHL)
  • Everett Silvertips (WHL)
  • Cleveland Barons (AHL)
  • Worcester Sharks (AHL)
  • San Jose Sharks (NHL)
  • Abbotsford Heat (AHL)
  • Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
  • Brighamton Senators (AHL)
  • Elmira Jackals (ECHL)
  • Utah Grizzlies (ECHL)
  • Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL)
  • Augsburg Panthers (DEL)
  • Saipa (Finland)
  • Barys Astana (KHL)
Where’s your favourite place to play?
 
I would have to say Worcester I was there for 3 years got to meet lots of great people and fans and also got to go up to San Jose .
Now being in Utah I have started to love it here winters are mild and the mountains are great to wake up to every morning.
 
What has been the highest point of your career?
 
The highest point is after a game in providence I got a call for my coach and Worcester saying I got called up to San Jose. It was a dream come true to have a chance to play in the NHL with a great team and organization .
 
What has been the lowest point of your career?
 
Lowest part would have to be after my 2nd season in the AHL. I had such a bad season that San Jose didn’t even invite me to training camp. It was a tough pill to swallow.
 
How did you persevere from that?
 
I went into that season with a fire under my ass and put up 19 goals and earned another NHL contract from San Jose.
 
Any advice for aspiring hockey players?
 
I would have to say to younger hockey players a quote that I live to this day and it’s from my dad. “Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut ” – Wayne Armstrong.
  
In the second part of the interview, I love to learn more about the personal life of the players, cause even non-hockey obsessed fans find this part interesting:
 
Food you can’t live without?
 
Steaks
 
Android or iPhone?
 
iPhone
 
Right Handed or Left Handed?
 
Left handed
 
If you didn’t become a hockey player, what would you be right now?
 
I think I would have went to school to take law either be a lawyer or agent 
Who has the worst taste in music on the team?
 
Chris Donovan 
 
Every team does pranks, what’s the best prank you’ve been part of?
 
Soaked a guys clothes while he was on the ice and then put it in the freezer which made a ice ball he wasn’t pleased.
 
Why did the Chicken cross the road?
 
To get to the other side hahaha
 
Favourite class in school?
 
English
 
Final questions:
Anyone you suggest me to interview?
 
Brad Mills
 
Brad Joslin
 
We’d like to thank Riley for his time. If you have time, check out Riley’s clothing line, Donnybrook here: http://donnybrookhockey.com , and Shades of Pale here: http://www.shadesofpale.com
Photocreds: wikipedia.org
 

Interview With Jon Matsumoto!

jonWe have a new interview to present to you guys! We’d like to welcome Jon Matsumoto. Jon was drafted in the 3rd round (79th overall) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He has played for the Flyers, Panthers, and Sharks organizations. You can follow him on Twitter: @Matsy11. You can follow me @hkyblogger and you can “like” us on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog . Without further to do here is our interview!

 
We are in bold.
 
So first off, how has your day been?
My day has been great, first day back at practice, getting ready for the sprint to the finish here. Went for a walk through the woods with Rooney(my dog) and just ate some pesto chicken. I’d say that’s a pretty solid day. 
 
What’s a day in the life of Jon Matsumoto?
To be perfectly honest, like I say on my twitter profile (shameless self promotion @matsy11) I am relatively boring human being. I go to the rink in the morning, grab some lunch on the way home and then either run errands or just relax. If we don’t have a game the following day I like to get in a mini workout after dinner. 
 
So some of our readers might not know too much about you, so maybe a little bio or a cool fact or something?
Grew up in Orleans, Ontario. Got to play close to home for the Cumberland Grads of the CJHL, off to school at Bowling Green and then started my pro career. 
 
Your last name is very unique. What ethnicity are your parents?
My father is of Japanese descent and my mother is of German descent. Both born in Canada.
 
Is there anyone you like to model your game around? (Past or present)
Always trying to learn new aspects to my game, certain things are easier to pick up such as a shootout move or a deke. While other intangible things such as competition level and positioning are tougher to emulate. Pavel Datsyuk I believe is one of the most complete players and obviously has enviable qualities.
 
Who’s your roomie on the road?
Currently it is Travis Oleksuk (Give him a shout out as well @toleksuk11)
 
What kind of player do you consider yourself? (Enforcer, scorer, dangler, etc.)
I consider myself a scorer, but I am always trying to improve.
 
What do you miss about home during the season?
Probably Tim Horton’s and all sorts of other delicious Canadian treats. (All Dressed Ruffles, Crispy Crunch, Bit’s and Bites, Sesame Snacks)
 
During off-season, how do you spend your time?
Working out a ton. My fiancee and I are kind of nomads at this point, so it is related to our location. But beaches and baseball games are usually common activities. 
 
Off to more random and personal questions. This is where many readers get to REALLY learn about you.
So you say your dog is extremely smart. What breed is it, and how is it smart?
We are not sure, he was part of a group of strays that a few members of my San Antonio Rampage adopted last year. He was house broken in less than a day. 
 
What’s on your iPod right now?
Currently I am into a lot of country and house music. As a side note I have a thing for Canadian artists not matter how much bad press they receive, like Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion etc. Call it misplaced national pride perhaps?
 
Who on the team has a horrible taste in music?
I give James Livingston (@jameslivy)  a hard time about his music but I can’t really complain about it.
 
Last movie you saw?
This is 40.
 
Worst subject in school?
Statistics.
 
Favourite pre-game meal?
Al dente penne, with chicken in a 3:1 blend of alfredo to tomato sauce. 
 
Snack you shouldn’t really eat but end up eating a lot of anyways?
Ice Cream, but they give it to us at our pre-game meals on the road. So that doesn’t count right?
 
iPhone, Blackberry, or Android?
I have an iPhone. Had the original iPhone and have tried to stay loyal to Apple.
 
Every team does pranks. Best one you’ve done or seen? 
Wacey Rabbit (@waceyrabbit20) got me last year by texting me from a random number and telling me that the GM wanted to talk to me at the front of the bus. Other good ones are the shaving cream in a towel, taking the deodorant label and putting it on the hairspray can, taping guys clothes in a ball and a cup of water/Gatorade under the helmet.  
 
What has been your highest point of your career?
NHL: Scoring my first goal.
AHL: Winning the longest playoff game ever, defeating the Chicago Wolves in double overtime last year.
 
Lowest point?
I had Mark Grady as a coach in Juniors and he told me: “Don’t let the highs get too high and the lows get too low.” I try and live by that and not let myself get too low.” 
 
How did you persevere from that?
Using his advice.
 
Advice for aspiring hockey players?
“Don’t let the highs get too high and the lows get too low.” I try and live by that and not let myself get too low.” – Mark Grady
 
Anyone suggest I interview?
Anybody I gave a shout out to.
 
Thank you for your time.
Photocreds: AHL.com