PUCK YEAH 52: This Team Is Ruining My Life with Steve Dangle

From hockey YouTuber, to podcaster, sports broadcaster, and now a published author – the media career of Steve ‘Dangle’ Glynn has enjoyed a strange path that is both fascinating and inspiring.

Dangle is a noted Toronto Maple Leafs fan, and while they are the team that is “ruining his life,” he joins the podcast this week to talk about the humbling process of writing his first book, being involved with Sportsnet’s coverage of the NHL’s trade deadline day, and other recent highlights.

His book ‘This Team Is Ruining My Life (But I Love Them)’ is available now from Booktopia and Book Depository for New Zealand and Australia.

This episode is dedicated to the 50 people who lost their lives on March 15th 2019 in the Christchurch terrorist attacks. Kia kaha, Christchurch.

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Dangle on the desk with Sportsnet’s Caroline Cameron.

Puck Yeah Eats: Queenstown

Guest post by Joel Rindelaub (Botany Swarm)

If you are a fan of ice hockey in New Zealand, chances are you’ve seen a game in Queenstown at some point. Whether it has been to watch one of the last four Birgel Cup finals, the Ice Blacks taking on Australia in the Trans-Tasman Challenge, or just as a mid-winter escape to watch your favourite team battle it out, Hockeytown NZ always seems to deliver a rowdy atmosphere and a great spectacle.

Along with the high energy of the Queenstown Ice Arena, the town is also home to plenty of hoppin’ nightlife and food options. And, here at Puck Yeah, we like food. Like… a lot.

So with a camera in our hands and cuisine in our heads, we decided to explore the scene and show you a few staples that can take your game day experience to the next level – not including the famous Bob’s Weigh Cafe however, that place requires its own episode at a later date!

(Also, as it turns out, Queenstown is pretty expensive, and — if you show up with a video camera — businesses tend to be much more lenient on the final bill. 60% of the time, it works every time. Trust me.)

In any case, just sit right back, open a bevvy, and let Puck Yeah give you a virtual tour for your taste buds. Cheers!

Where are you favourite Queenstown food spots? Let us know with a comment below or on our Facebook page.

The stars of the Backyard Hockey League on The Crowd Goes Wild

Auckland’s Backyard Hockey League is back for another season and this week they were the special guests on Friday’s edition of The Crowd Goes Wild.

Across the BHL, and its development league (the Frontyard Hockey League), there are twelve teams featuring names like the Toe Dragons, Top Cheese and Les Pylones. All of them have a cheeky nod to the game one way or another, plus there’s a few that are probably too dirty to say on national TV – here’s looking at you, Les Phoques and Iceholes!

Recently partnering up with Colab Brewing, the rec league has launched three tasty varieties of craft beer that you should keep an eye out for!

For my information on the BHL, check out their website: www.nzbhl.com

Dear, Inline Hockey…

I will admit that prior to this year’s World Championships, I had never seen a game of inline hockey before in my life – the closest I’d come was that scene in Mighty Ducks 2.

I don’t know why it has taken this long for me considering many of New Zealand’s best ice hockey players got their start playing inline as it’s more accessible to certain areas of the country than its frozen cousin. When interviewing those same players, they would preach to me how exciting the game can be, and yet…I never watched. Until now.

And I’m hooked!

While I love the speed and skill of the game on ice, inline hockey has its own special charm. For one, there’s no blue-line and therefore no offside, which always seems to be one of the harder rules in sport to explain to a newcomer. Without that blue-line I’ve noticed an added importance for creativity and less stoppages.

The game is also shorter. With only two halves of twenty minutes, it can be all over within an hour – in a world where everyone is time-poor, that’s an advantage for inline.

My interest in the sport was sparked by going down to the New Zealand Inline Ferns training camp (that’s our national women’s team) to shoot a story for The Crowd Goes Wild. It was a whole new world for me, and yet because of my ice background, it still felt so familiar. But when talking to captain Tara Tissink, plus her assistant captains Helen Murray and Anjali Mulari, one thing they really stressed to me was how key it is to have strong puck-handling skills.

Those very skills were put on display by the Inline Ferns at the tournament, as they pushed their attack forward with some smooth dangles, leaving a slew of defenders in their wake.

After years of watching ice hockey either having a dump-and-chase style of attack, or a series of breakout passes to create an opportunity off the rush, to see goals like Tissink’s individual effort against Canada lit up more than just the goaltender. I know goals like that happen in ice hockey too, but for me there was something refreshing about watching the play unfold the way it did.

The frozen game has a lot of structure to it, both in attack and the defensive systems, whereas from watching my first few games of inline hockey, it felt like there was a greater sense of freedom to try things out there on the rink.

While the Ferns finished seventh in the tournament by beating hosts Italy, the result doesn’t accurately reflect how well this team did.

That dramatic game-tying goal in the dying seconds of their game against Canada to draw 1-1 was a highlight, as too was their performance versus USA, the defending champions. That quarterfinal matchup went all the way to a shootout, and had the puck bounced a different way, New Zealand could have potentially progressed much further.

Such encouraging results would suggest that our women’s national teams are heading in the right direction with plenty of young talent coming through. Some members of the senior team were also involved with the junior team, including Hannah Jensen serving as coach – leading the under-18 side to a sixth place finish in the Junior Women’s portion of the World Champs.

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In a country where ice hockey is often passed over by the media, inline hockey has it worst. A quick search would suggest that Newshub hasn’t done a story since the days of 3News when the Papatoetoe Roller Hockey Club closed down back in 2013 – while searches for both inline and roller hockey came up nil on the 1News website.

By doing that story with CGW, plus the Inline Ferns highlight reels for Puck Yeah, I feel like I have only just scratched the surface of the sport. That is probably showcased by my very basic knowledge of how the game works, but I just want to say to those inline hockey players and teams out there battling it out in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and wherever else in this awesome nation we call New Zealand, keep going!

In me you’ve won over at least one new fan this month and there is bound to be more.

All photos supplied by World Skate.

The Mighty Ducks movies are the most important & greatest sports films ever

Now you might think this is coming from a clearly biased point of view, but hear me out.

Last week news came out that there is a Mighty Ducks TV series in the very early stages of creation.

Will it pick up 20 years later with the same characters now living their post-Gordon Bombay life, or will it be a total reboot back to the beginning of another bunch of loveable losers?

This article isn’t about trying to figure out the truth to that question – on a recent Puck Yeah Podcast episode that was fleshed out in depth – but to promote the notion that the Mighty Ducks films are the greatest & most important sports movies/franchise in sports movies history.

So how does this ridiculous hot take explain itself in a climate that includes sports films such as ‘Tin Cup’, ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘Remember The Titans’, ‘Bull Durham’, ‘Caddyshack’, the ‘Rocky’ films and even ‘Slap Shot’ for god’s sake?

Here are the reasons:

1. Introducing future hockey players and fans into the sport
There are a countless number of Kiwis who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s (this writer included) who were introduced to the great sport of hockey by watching ‘Champions’, then ‘D2: The Mighty Ducks’ and then ‘D3’. Some of the top NZ Ice Blacks have admitted their love for the film growing up, calling it their favourite hockey film and couldn’t recall how many times they would have watched the movies as kids with their brothers, sisters and mates.

It also introduced Margot Robbie to hockey turning her into a hockey player in Australia, where she was a goalie!

2. Joshua Jackson
Before he was blowing up on TV in that punishing show ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and the actually pretty good ‘Fringe’ he was Charlie Conway with the hot mum who had the skills but never had the coaching/father figure to fulfil his talents.

3. The Anaheim Ducks nee The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Disney bought an NHL franchise in the early 90s and before the inaugural season in 1993 they wanted to make sure the team launched into the market with the biggest splash possible. How do you do that in Hollywood? Create a movie first and then launch your professional sports team.

Hasbro did a similar thing for the launch of their Transformers toys, releasing the epic 1986 feature-length animated film – you know the one where Optimus Prime dies – before unleashing their toys to take over the world. So Disney already had a fan base for the team from people who had watched the films and now wanted to follow the hockey team.

4. How to figure out the difference between Iceland & Greenland
In the second film the hot Iceland Assistant Coach that Gordan Bombay goes out to eat ice cream with explained the perfect rule to remember the difference between the two… “Greenland is full of ice and Iceland is really nice!”

5. The Flying V
Is there a play in any other sports film that gets referenced by more real teams than ‘The Flying V’ does? It’s fair to say the play isn’t actually very advantageous and possibly illegal in terms of interference rules, but the amount of times someone has yelled out “Flying V!” at some hockey game is crazy.

So there you go, the most detailed and perfectly argued reason why The Mighty Ducks films are the most important/greatest sports films ever! 

PUCK YEAH 35: Quack, Quack, Quack!

Plus we look at the performance of Adam Henrique since being traded to Anaheim. Let’s be honest, it’s approximately 85% Ducks chat – with honourable mention to the Junior Ice Blacks who are currently in Bulgaria for the IIHF Under-20 Division 3 World Championship.

Puck Yeah is a weekly hockey podcast produced in Auckland, New Zealand. Subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, or with your favourite podcast app to get every episode free.

Dustin from ‘Stranger Things’ sings anthem at Rangers game

Gaten Matarazzo who plays Dustin on the hit Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’ just proved there’s nothing he can’t do.This week he was invited to sing the national anthem at a Rangers game.

via NHL / MSG Network

He’s got the look of a hockey player too!

When a Goalie becomes a Hero

The goalie goal – it’s a fan favourite, yet it’s such a rare occurrence in a hockey game. But when it does happen, that net-minder literally gets all the spotlight.

The latest is Winnipeg Jets prospect Mikhail Berdin, who currently plays for the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL.

Berdin makes the most of it and really owns the celebration, one that will definitely see him highlighted on sport shows around the world today.

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Martin Brodeur might have some competition on his hands – but his goalie goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the 1997 Stanley Cup playoffs remains the gold standard.

NHL Threes is right on the Money (Puck)

NHL Threes is the latest mode introduced in the 2018 incarnation of EA Sports’ NHL series. It’s fast-paced 3-on-3 hockey that moves away from the simulation towards an arcade vibe that leaves you thirsty for more.

It’s not just that you can play as NHL team mascots that makes it fun, but the hits are bigger (and more frequent) and the charismatic rink announcer will elicit a few chuckles from his quirky one-liners.

The announcer is a nice change within itself considering how boring and stale the commentary of Doc Emrick and Ed Olczyk has become in the main game.

The rules of the game have been simplified in an effort to maximise the goalscoring, and therefore, the fun. The blue line is gone so there is no offside and faceoffs only occur at the start of a period. If play has to reset after a goal is scored or the goalie covers up the puck, it’s a quick restart from a standing position.

Tactics can come into play through these quick restarts, whether you’ve got the puck or not. Depending on your skill level, if you have the puck you can deke around the defenders and drive towards the net to score a top-shelf highlight reel goal. If you’re starting without the puck, use the body to take out your unsuspecting opponent, leaving you open to attack with a 2-on-1 breakaway as seen in the tweet above.

There are no on-the-fly line changes either, but you can substitute a player during the intermission – the action is non-stop until the clocks runs out.

The biggest fun factor is the ‘Money Puck.’ Suddenly the next goal can be worth 2-3 goals – which is crucial when wanting to crush your opponent…or start the greatest comeback since the ‘It was 4-1’ game 7 when the Boston Bruins knocked the Toronto Maple Leafs out of the playoffs.

A negative Money Puck could see your opposition lose 2-3 goals. That’s one way to earn a shutout for your goalie and gain a few bonus points!

Before the game there’s a coin toss to see who will decide the rules of the game. A winner could be decided by reaching a goal limit, or a regular 3-period game. Money Puck can also be turned off, but that goes against the spirit of NHL Threes. Typically goal limits will make the game last longer but consider it like a game of tennis, especially if you choose the ‘must win by 2’ option.

As I mentioned in my NHL18 review a few weeks ago, in the future I would like to see NHL Threes developed into a standalone game because there is so much potential here to appeal to hardcore and casual hockey fans alike who aren’t so concerned with having a realistic simulation.

You can either play online or couch co-op with friends, or enjoy the mode’s very deep single-player campaign. And when I say deep, I don’t mean there’s a cinematic storyline like other current generation sports games, but rather there is a lot of teams across the Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metro divisions to beat if you want to unlock everything.

You start off as the fictional ‘Fridge Raiders’ team with a roster of lowly skilled nobodies but as you progress through the campaign, you will be able to unlock better players to improve your team. Performances are rated with a 3 star system. The more stars you earn, the more you will unlock. Depending on the opposition, you could unlock a new stadium, jerseys, logo, mascots, or a hero player.

Halfway through the first part of the campaign, the Pacific division, this is how my starting lineup is shaping up.

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The Red Deer Rebels (WHL) logo might be my favourite in all of sport.

NHL Threes will truly shine best playing couch co-op with your mates. You can play with the complete skill-stick controls, a hybrid of stick and button, or the classically simple NHL94 control scheme. Tailor the controls to your liking and in no time you’ll be off scoring goal after goal while leaving a trail of crushed bodies behind you.

Now all EA need to do is add flaming pucks and brick wall goalies.

PUCK YEAH 29: The Hockey Film feat. filmmaker Chris Aylward

0:00 – Introducing Chris Aylward, director of ‘The Hockey Film’ and talking hockey with Canadians, our favourite pastime.
3:56 – How Chris came to meet BHL President Cam Green, who both grew up in St Catharines, ON but had never met before
6:21 – The beginnings of ‘The Hockey Film’

8:12 – Chris getting his childhood hero Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Alan Bester involved with the documentary
14:55 – The long road of development and production for a documentary while also working a full-time job
19:10 – The one goal for ‘The Hockey Film’ and aiming for Toronto International Film Festival
20:20 – The variety of people who feature in the documentary, including New Zealand’s Backyard Hockey League
24:25 – Pond hockey in New Zealand, it is a thing!
25:50 – Interviewing Walter Gretzky, father to The Great One

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Filmmaker Chris Aylward with Walter Gretzky, father of Wayne Gretzky.

28:10 – Actually small-talking about the weather and how it’s affected the documentary’s production
31:13 – Chris growing up near Buffalo, NY as a Leafs and Oilers fan
33:07 – The community of St Catharines and the Niagara Ice Dogs
36:22 – The original working title of ‘The Hockey Film’ and why Chris changed it
38:13 – Intertwining all the different people into the documentary that will tell the story of ‘The Hockey Film’ and how Chris plans on doing that
39:08 – Other hockey documentaries that have inspired Chris
40:24 – Chris dreams of coming down to New Zealand to play hockey outdoors at Lake Tekapo
42:00 – Including the NZIHL’s West Auckland Admirals into the documentary
43:19 – Facing setbacks and the current status of production
50:19 – When will the film’s production see Chris shooting in New Zealand?

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New Zealand’s hockey community features heavily in ‘The Hockey Film.’

53:22 – Chris’ epic story of creating his own POV camera for his goalie mask to film his games before GoPros were invented
1:02:49 – If the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup before ‘The Hockey Film’ has finished production, would Chris include the victory parade in his documentary?
1:09:20 – The narrative structure of ‘The Hockey Film’ and finding the right balance for personal storytelling and the documentary’s characters
1:15:30 – Release plans for ‘The Hockey Film’ in New Zealand, Canada, and other film festivals
1:23:05 –  We say goodbye to Chris Aylward and quickly wrap things up

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For more information check out THE HOCKEY FILM online. Photos provided by Chris Aylward.