It’s a Small World After All



This past weekend my team was on a two game, three day road trip. A long one by Swedish standards. We had a total of about fourteen hours on the old iron lung.

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I used some of that time to check out what my team mates do to kill the hours. There were the normal activities like playing cards, reading or watching movies. We have wifi on our bus so we have Internet access. Or, as my dad calls it, the intranet. Youtube was a popular website, but they weren’t watching people fall from ladders; the guys were checking out anything NHL.

In fact most study players and tactics from the league. Whether it’s on the bus, at home on the computer, or at the rink they are learning from the NHL. Somewhere between the cities of Oskersham and Malmo it dawned on me that thanks to the Internet the hockey world has forever changed, has gotten small and will keep getting smaller.

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Thirty years ago would any Oiler fan had known about Linus Omark without Youtube? Did fans have direct access to players through Twitter? Would Brendan Shanahan be on camera explaining suspensions? These are all good things, but I can’t help but feel we are losing both the element of surprise and unique styles of play. Can you imagine what kind of impact the Internet would have had on the Canada/USSR super series in the Seventies? Neither team really knew what to expect from the other. That is was made it so great.

After watching the WJC it is also clear that the countries are starting to play similar styles. Swift skating players that attack are the style in favor now. Teams follow success and through video it is easy to copy the most successful styles. Seems to me the days of countries coming to the championship with wildly unique styles of play are dead.

Between my two practices yesterday I had lunch at our rink’s restaurant. I had a tasty little dish called ragmunk but that is another story. The tv’s were playing taped games from the NHL, KHL and the Swedish elite league. It is a small world after all.

  • stevezie

    Ragmunk is a Swedish potato pancake…sounds delicious!
    Jason, I’m really enjoying your blogs and this one is exceptional. Godd observation on how the internet is affecting how hockey is being played and improved.

    • stevezie

      Not just any potato pancake.

      The pancakes are fried in butter and served with fried pork and lingonberries.The more crispy and buttery the pancake is around the edges, the better it tastes.

  • vetinari

    @ Struds – do you find that your prep time is roughly the same compared to what you would do for an NHL game? I’m thinking about team meetings to discuss strategy and tactics, and on ice time for skills development…

  • Jason Strudwick

    Ragmunk is great! It is potatoe pancakes with thick bacon on top and lingon berry sauce. Sounds like a weird combo but trust me it is delish! The guys on the team tell me it is traditional farmers dish here in Sweden. Pickled herring is huge here, I tried it but I haven’t acquired a taste.

    My personal prep is the same. I have done the same for so long that I don’t know any other way. As far as team prep it is very similar but I think it goes back to my article. Hockey and specifically coaching is so international that ideas and procedures are shared. Like I said the hickey world is shrinking. Many of the key words my coaches in the NHL used are said here by my Swedish coach.

  • Jason Strudwick

    Hello there all Oilers fans. Just want to thank all of you, and of course especially mr Strudwick for joining the team Södertälje SK. It’s an honour seeing you play in the red shirt and it’s with a real joy I go to the arena every game watching you and the guys.
    Thank you and good look the rest of the season (and hopefully next season as well? ;))

  • Jason Strudwick


    If you are in Stockholm, it’s free entry to the match starting at seven in the evening on February 1 in Sodertalje. If you are interested to check out the “Jason the Great”. It will be crowded so be there in good time, at least 1 1 / 2 hour before the start of the game. Then you should be able to get a ticket.
    Jason has become a great favorite with SSK’s fans and it’s not so strange, our defense has been 100% better then Jason came to us.

    Welcome to “The Temple” (AXA Sports Center)