Who is up for a Matinee?

Jason Strudwick
February 08 2013 09:24AM

This Saturday the Oilers will be in Detroit to take on the Red Wings. The game starts at 2:00 PM Detroit time which is noon here in Edmonton. The Wings are not the team they were a few years ago, age even catches up with legends. With players like Lidstrom, Yzerman and Hull no longer flying around the ice at Joe Louis arena, visiting teams now have a better chance to get a victory but for the Oilers there is still an issue to deal with this trip: afternoon game!

Playing a matinee game is way different then a night time game. Hockey players are machines. They are programmed to prepare and play games at night. They have been playing games at night since they were in junior. These afternoon games really throw a curve ball at the guys.

Morning skates have become a huge part of players’ game day preparations. It is nice to get out on the ice and wheel around for a while. They are usually not really hard skates but players like to be sharp with their passing and shooting. It sets the tone for their game that night.

I always found morning skates got rid of the stiffness that creeps in during the season. A little sweat on the ice and a good stretch limbers a guy up. If you need treatment there is lots of time before and after the skate to get it. Massage? No problem, coming right up. The bottom line is the morning skate takes the edge off an NHL season!

With a matinee, there is no chance of a morning skate. No coach is going to make his players get on the ice at 8 am for a 2 pm game! That would make no sense. So what does a coach do to get his guys up and ready? I have had coaches try all kinds of things. The worst was a brisk 7 am walk! He thought sleep was overrated! I was so mad about the walk I couldn't even look at our coach the whole day!

(We lost that game...we were all so tired we never had a chance!)

Morning skates are also a time for meetings. PP, PK and game plan reviews often get taken care of in the morning so that pregame time at night isn't busy with meetings. With a matinee, coaches must decide between having meetings at the hotel before leaving for the rink or having them at the rink. I preferred them at the hotel so the time at the rink wasn't so busy. Either way, it throws the players out of their normal rhythm.

Nutrition is now a very big deal for NHL players. Knowing what to eat and when is a discussion that occurs often in dressing rooms. For a night game they will eat a big meal around 1 PM, give or take. With early starts confusion with meals is common.

The Oilers bus will leave the hotel likely at 11:30 am Saturday for Joe Louis arena. Some players will just eat once, a big meal at 9 30 or so. But will that meal sustain them until after the games finishes, around 4 30? Probably not. Others will get up early have a big meal around 7 am, then go back to sleep and have a snack just before heading over to the rink. That is what I used to do but it didn't work for everyone.

Another issue is what to eat? Do you have a big breakfast? Are eggs, toast and bacon the answer? How easy is it to force down a huge spaghetti and chicken meal at 8 am? I can tell you it is hard, really hard to eat that meal so early!

The last piece of the puzzle is the sleep factor. Players have been trained to play at night and have a nap somewhere around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. So Saturday, when the Oilers take the ice, their internal clocks will be telling them it is time to nap and not to play. It is hard to get past that.

Imagine if you are a person that is accustomed to working from 9 am to 5 pm. Then one day your boss tells you that your shift is now from 12 am to 9 am. Your internal clock will be telling you it is time to sleep and rest when you are heading to work.

Afternoon games are a good test of a player’s mental strength. Can they tell their body to get going when all these issues above are confusing it? Watch the game Saturday, you will be able to tell who has pushed through and who hasn't!

Old School Hockey

Last night Jamal Mayers fought Raffi Torres in a very early fight when the Hawks played the Coyotes. It was the first time Torres played against the Hawks since he buried Hossa last year. The Hawks wanted revenge for this hit.

I love old school hockey! An eye for an eye! Good job by both players. I love that Mayers went after him right away. I respect Torres for knowing this was coming and accepting it. This is the way more problems should be handled in the NHL.

The Hawks feel like they got some retribution from the fight. The hard feelings may still be there but I doubt they will boil over. If Torres had not fought it would have.

Fight... get it over... and both teams move on. I love it!

Do I sound like Don Cherry?

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
Avatar
#1 Czar
February 08 2013, 11:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Not sure i can stand to watch the Oilers get pasted again in another matinee. Hope it's not one of those car accident type games when fans can't look away.

I switch to cans for the matinees, they bounce off the TV and no glass to clean up.

Avatar
#2 Ales Hallsky
February 08 2013, 09:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I hope fistric draws in

Avatar
#3 book¡e
February 08 2013, 09:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Yeah, old time hockey is great. Players today are wimps. Back in the day, concussions were something you took an aspirin for and you sucked it up and played. If you had the chance to crush some guy's skull into the boards, you took it, and then you took the fight that came after - it was a real man's game.

These idiotic studies on Chronic traumatic encephalopathy are wrecking the game. Pretty soon when you go to a hockey game, you will just have to sit there and watch hockey all night and that would suck. What do a bunch of brain surgeons who have never played the game know anyway.

That is a bit tongue in cheek and to be honest, I like the 'idea' of old time hockey. As someone who grew up fighting, I get the thrill. However, I do think its time for the game to transition. Hockey can be just as good without fighting and boarding. I actually don't think the game has a choice, between liability issues and the need to attract young players, the game wont survive unless it adapts as more and more research comes out regarding brain damage.

Avatar
#4 Quicksilver ballet
February 08 2013, 11:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Not sure i can stand to watch the Oilers get pasted again in another matinee. Hope it's not one of those car accident type games when fans can't look away.

Avatar
#5 Spydyr
February 08 2013, 12:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I start work five days a week at 6am.

The millionaires can have a few afternoon games.

Talk about first world problems.

Avatar
#6 CaptainLander
February 08 2013, 04:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@book¡e

Hands down the most well spoken commenter on a hockey blog.

Well done sir and I totally agree, there is a lot of talk about this in football and there is no fighting. Then again does it not seem to be an issue in MMA. The market for violence in sport continues to exist and Hockey is still a violent sport. But a violent sport where the skill stuff (scoring goals) is still more celebrated the violence part. My point hockey can survive without fighting I would believe that one day it will have to.

Avatar
#7 Mikey
February 08 2013, 09:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Ales Hallsky wrote:

I hope fistric draws in

Huge props for that original line.

Avatar
#8 Tkachev
February 08 2013, 09:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

completely unrelated, but has anyone seen the contest winners for the oilers photoshop contest? they really suck. tell wayne to get another one going over here so we can show them how its done.

Avatar
#9 Time Travelling Sean
February 08 2013, 10:04AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@book¡e

Is that sarcasm? If Torres was so worried about any possible side affects he could have said "no".

Avatar
#10 The Goalie 1976
February 08 2013, 10:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Struds,

Was this coach "The worst was a brisk 7 am walk! He thought sleep was overrated! I was so mad about the walk I couldn't even look at our coach the whole day!" a former Oiler coach by chance?

Inquiring minds would love to know LOL

Avatar
#11 The Goalie 1976
February 08 2013, 10:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

"Imagine if you are a person that is accustomed to working from 9 am to 5 pm. Then one day your boss tells you that your shift is now from 12 am to 9 am. Your internal clock will be telling you it is time to sleep and rest when you are heading to work."

This is so true. I had a job where my shifts were 11am-7pm, then 5am-2pm, then 2pm- 12am. I was a mess. My sleep pattern was all screwed up, and I was eating very irregular hours. I never understood the gripe NHL players had with the afternoon games, now I understand.

Avatar
#12 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 08 2013, 10:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Is that sarcasm? If Torres was so worried about any possible side affects he could have said "no".

Here's your clue:

"That is a bit tongue in cheek"

At any rate, there's a culture change going on and the dinosaurs protecting the feckless enforcer are in the midst of their death throes.

It would be great to eliminate all choreographed fights.

Avatar
#13 book¡e
February 08 2013, 10:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Is that sarcasm? If Torres was so worried about any possible side affects he could have said "no".

Why does the NHL have rules about Helmets, if players wanted to wear them, they could just do so?

Avatar
#14 GVBlackhawk
February 08 2013, 11:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Both teams are subject to an altered routine, sleep schedule, etc. There is no disadvantage for either team. Desire to win is paramount to success. If the Oilers play like they did in Colorado, it will be curtains for them. One big difference is that this is the start of the road trip rather than the end.

Spaghetti and chicken for breakfast Struds? Bacon and eggs? Are you eating for a game or shaking off a hangover?

Avatar
#15 Taylor Gang
February 08 2013, 11:08AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

In other news, what's this I'm hearing about the lines being switched for the game tomorrow?

Avatar
#16 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
February 08 2013, 11:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Did the 7 am brisk walk coach ever play in the NHL?

I'm not the most pleasant person in the morning... that would have ruined me! Way to "set the tone" for the rest of the day... ugh!

Avatar
#17 Czar
February 08 2013, 11:24AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I thought matinee games were just an excuse to start drinking earlier.

Avatar
#18 Time Travelling Sean
February 08 2013, 11:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
book¡e wrote:

Why does the NHL have rules about Helmets, if players wanted to wear them, they could just do so?

How does that correlate at all to having a fight?

Avatar
#19 lolhockey
February 08 2013, 12:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Your post needs more exclamation marks!!!

Avatar
#20 Dave Lumley
February 08 2013, 12:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

As has been mentioned several times here, both teams have to play the afternoon shift. Why is it that the Oilers suck at it more than anyone else? And this goes right back to the Gretzky days. Is it that the Detroits, New Yorks and Chicagos play a more of the afternoon games? Kinda like playing poorly the first game back from a longer road trip. Whats up with that Jason?

I know I shouldn't watch the train wreck but the eternal optimist says "one of these days".

Avatar
#21 2004Z06
February 08 2013, 02:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

No problem with removing the choreographed fights but they began to increase with the introduction of the instigator rule.

I really believe that removing fighting from the game completely will result in an increase in injuries.

Certain players are way more likely to take 'liberties' when there is no one to hold them accountable other than a referee.

I say get rid of the instigator rule, remove the choreographed fights and let the MEN semi-police themselves. That to me is old time hockey.

Avatar
#22 michael
February 08 2013, 03:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I would like to know what our record is in afternoon games. Struds ask your partner M to find out. It just seems we bite regardless of who we play. When do the CAPS make a move. I'd bet next week by Friday. Who? I'd think they will want to add rather than substract. Ryan O'Reilly for F.Forsberg? My own opinion is that McPhee will need to overpay for any top 6 forward regardless. Does Ted Leonis think its Oats? Hunter had the same players?Minus Semin.Could Tambo be involved in any trade?Opportunity knocks.Dosen't hurt to ask does it.

Avatar
#23 book¡e
February 08 2013, 03:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Time Travelling Sean wrote:

How does that correlate at all to having a fight?

The point is that the NHL regulates behaviour meant to protect individuals from being unduly harmed. They do this because it sets precedent for the sport at lower levels, it protects team/league assets, it reduces the potential of a lawsuit, and it prevents any negative reputation affects on the league.

Similarly, the league is likely to becoming increasingly serious about penalizing dangerous hits and eliminating fighting. To do so, they will be telling willing participants that they are not allowed to engage in fighting. They will be doing so to protect players from long term harm, to protect themselves from liability, and to protect the game of hockey from negative reputation affects. This will occur because there is growing evidence that the kind of blows one regularly receives in hockey cause cumulative brain damage with long term consequences.

Now, if someone is willing to subject themselves to this, should it not be allowed? The question of 'free choice' becomes complex in a sport where a 'tough guy' can earn $millions over a few years by engaging in activity which is harmful to themselves. There is an argument that with that level of compensation (truly a magnitude above what they could expect to earn elsewhere), they may not actually have 'free choice'.

In any case, the point is, if you like Old Time Hockey, enjoy it now because it is not going to be around for much longer.

Avatar
#24 Mikey
February 08 2013, 04:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
GVBlackhawk wrote:

Both teams are subject to an altered routine, sleep schedule, etc. There is no disadvantage for either team. Desire to win is paramount to success. If the Oilers play like they did in Colorado, it will be curtains for them. One big difference is that this is the start of the road trip rather than the end.

Spaghetti and chicken for breakfast Struds? Bacon and eggs? Are you eating for a game or shaking off a hangover?

The disadvantage comes when you go across time zones. Detroit normally plays games around 7. Oilers 8. Edmonton will now play at noon thier body time. 8 hour difference. While it will only be 5 hour difference for Detroit.

Avatar
#25 keilan
February 08 2013, 04:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The psychology of two tough guys dropping the mitts is something that some guys that never played the game at a high-level find difficult to understand.

What happened in the Torres/Mayers fight is exactly what hockey needs to remain in the game. These players understand that everyone is accountable and expect it.

I for one wish they’d never brought in the “instigator rule”.

Avatar
#26 MarcusBillius
February 08 2013, 05:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jason, of those three players you listed, plus the current Wings stars, who would you say was the most difficult/frustrating to play against, and why? Who do you think is under-rated?

I'm always so excited to see your posts because you can offer an insight no one else here can. Any chance you could post more impressions of players or day-to-day life in the NHL?

Avatar
#27 Rama Lama
February 08 2013, 05:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The point of the article leads me to ask the question..........exactly who is drafting up this retarded hockey schedule?

Must be some guy out of Totronto........if I have to watch one more Toronto game I am gonna puke. Hockey Night in Canada should change their name to Toronto Night in Canada.

We all know the CBC has been designed around all things Toronto........but throw us a bone now and then CBC!!!

Avatar
#28 keilan
February 08 2013, 05:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
MarcusBillius wrote:

Jason, of those three players you listed, plus the current Wings stars, who would you say was the most difficult/frustrating to play against, and why? Who do you think is under-rated?

I'm always so excited to see your posts because you can offer an insight no one else here can. Any chance you could post more impressions of players or day-to-day life in the NHL?

With players like Lidstrom, Yzerman and Hull no longer flying around the ice at Joe Louis arena.

Hull never played for the Redwings - should probably have read Howe...

Don't think Jason played against either Hull or Howe :)

Avatar
#29 MarcusBillius
February 08 2013, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
keilan wrote:

With players like Lidstrom, Yzerman and Hull no longer flying around the ice at Joe Louis arena.

Hull never played for the Redwings - should probably have read Howe...

Don't think Jason played against either Hull or Howe :)

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=2410

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=18630

Avatar
#30 GVBlackhawk
February 08 2013, 05:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
keilan wrote:

With players like Lidstrom, Yzerman and Hull no longer flying around the ice at Joe Louis arena.

Hull never played for the Redwings - should probably have read Howe...

Don't think Jason played against either Hull or Howe :)

It read Hull correctly. He played 3 seasons in Detroit. Kind of kills your credibility, eh?

Avatar
#31 keilan
February 08 2013, 05:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
GVBlackhawk wrote:

It read Hull correctly. He played 3 seasons in Detroit. Kind of kills your credibility, eh?

I think the reference to Hull is to his father Bobby.

If he had written Hull, Lidstrom and Yzerman then one would infer that he was referencing Brett.

You are an idiot eh!

Avatar
#32 MarcusBillius
February 08 2013, 06:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
keilan wrote:

I think the reference to Hull is to his father Bobby.

If he had written Hull, Lidstrom and Yzerman then one would infer that he was referencing Brett.

You are an idiot eh!

Why would he refer to Bobby? He specifically listed Yzerman and Lidstrom, two of Brett Hull's contemporaries and teammates, and the context was referring to Detroit's recent era of dominance - a time when Hull was there.

You're also kind of coming off like a dick.

Avatar
#33 Mikey
February 08 2013, 07:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
keilan wrote:

I think the reference to Hull is to his father Bobby.

If he had written Hull, Lidstrom and Yzerman then one would infer that he was referencing Brett.

You are an idiot eh!

Stop eating the crayon and put it down.

Avatar
#34 keilan
February 08 2013, 09:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
MarcusBillius wrote:

Why would he refer to Bobby? He specifically listed Yzerman and Lidstrom, two of Brett Hull's contemporaries and teammates, and the context was referring to Detroit's recent era of dominance - a time when Hull was there.

You're also kind of coming off like a dick.

I think what he’s referencing are the greats that played in Detroit. Lidstrom, Yzerman and Howe…….I think that would make the most sense.

If you think Gordie Howe isn’t the player that he was referencing then just say so. Writing what you did confirms that you know nothing about the history of game and that you failed English miserably in school.

As great as Brett Hull was – and he was very good I somehow doubt that Jason was referencing him he the twilight of his career.

And speaking of dicks – do you have one? You come off as a pussy!

Avatar
#35 keilan
February 08 2013, 09:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Mikey wrote:

Stop eating the crayon and put it down.

That's all you got loser!

Avatar
#39 GVBlackhawk
February 09 2013, 01:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
keilan wrote:

I think the reference to Hull is to his father Bobby.

If he had written Hull, Lidstrom and Yzerman then one would infer that he was referencing Brett.

You are an idiot eh!

You make a stupid excuse for your stupidity and have the audacity to call ME an idiot? That's rich.

Avatar
#40 MarcusBillius
February 09 2013, 11:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@keilan

Oh look, it's a troll.

Says something obviously stupid, tries to get people riled up, calls people names, responds to politeness with rudeness.

Avatar
#41 keilan
February 09 2013, 12:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Strudwick wrote:

I am pretty sure Brett Hull played for the Red wings. Are you messing with me?

haha not messing at all just an honest mistake :)

When I first read your piece I thought you re-calling the names of the greats that had once earned their reputations at Joe Louis.

Brett wound up his career there but I think most people identify with him as a St. Louis / Dallas player.

It’s easy enough for anyone to have written Hull instead of Howe and I simply misinterpreted what you had written. I thought you had written Hull in error my bad.

I chum around with a 4 time cup winner from Detroit whenever he comes to town. That doesn’t qualify me as anything but I kind of know who’s played there over the years.

Comments are closed for this article.