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November 23, 2010 :: 5:04pm ET

In Your Face!

TORONTO, ON -- Imagine for a second, you've got the skates strapped on and the puck on your stick. You're racing down the ice, stick handling through a one-on-one against an opposing defender. You cut into the middle of the ice, take a shot and it sails high and wide.

You know why? It is because the odds are you're a shitty hockey player.

Let's face it, your dekes are far from Datsyukian, your shot has nothing on Ovechkin, and your skating, well let's say that you won't be earning any nicknames for your wheels anytime soon.

But it's in your failings as a hockey player that the beauty of the relationship between fan and sport lays. To love a game that any attempts to actually play are hopeless is something beautiful all in itself.

For those who troll around the Beer League circuit, the prospect of playing pro is long gone, but the love of the game remains. There is, however, one aspect of the hockey life that can be lived out in these Beer Leagues.

This, of course, is the aspect of talking trash.

Now, growing up I was always drawn to the players that let their game do the talking, but as I have grown older I realized no one just lets their game do the talking.

The back and forth, the game within the game; it is the only part of the game that you don't need to be gifted with raw athleticism to prevail. As an ambassador for this area of hockey, I'm going to try to provide you with some nuggets of how to become the Sean Avery of Wednesday night puck at the community center.

Now, it must be noted that talking shit, like having a wicked awesome wrister, is something that has different levels of expertise.

For the novice in this department, let's begin with some basic, age old, chirps:

Duster - Quite simple actually, aim this quip it at any player who is more useful on the bench collecting dust than he is on the ice.

Plug - A synonym for duster. These basic chirps are quite universal. Aim it at any useless player and give the impression that you've run your mouth to someone at least once before.

Intermediate Chirps:

Okay, so you've graduated from the basic vernacular and are ready to try something a little more creative. Now, the key to any great chirper is to be one chirp ahead. No one wants to pull a George Costanza and spend a bunch of time coming up with, "The Jerk Store called, and they're running out of you," only to be foiled with the reply, "What's the difference? You're their all-time best seller."

Called in Sick - Opponent having a rough game? His hands look about as soft as cinder blocks? You have the perfect opportunity to drop the "Called in Sick" chirp.
Ex. Hey 1-9, looks like your hands called in sick today.

Please note there is a variation to such a chirp, called the Wal-Mart. In the Wal-Mart, you tell your opponents that they could in fact purchase a pair of hands at an affordable price.
Ex. Hey 1-9, went by Wal-Mart today, saw they are having a sale on hands, thought you might be interested in picking up a couple.

Coupons - A great chirp aimed at any netminder. Especially useful in getting that added edge when the opposing goalie has been having a rough night in the blue ice.
Ex. Hey goalie, I've seen coupons that save more than you.

Advanced Chirps:

Ready for the big leagues? Okay, chirping the other team was fun, but chirping the ref, is something else. Here are two to put in the box for a later day. (Get it? Two in the box... it's like a penalty!)

When chirping the referee there is a general theme of how much he sucks. The following are one-liners that will be sure to get that point across.

"Hey stripes, does your wife know you're f***ing us?"
Perfect chirp, not only do you let the ref know about how poorly he is calling the game, but also gets his wife into the mix.

"Hey zebra, get off your knees, you're blowing the game."
Again, rife full of sexual innuendo, this chirp digs speaks for itself. Is there really an explanation needed for any of these?

So, there you have it, a quick chirping handbook. Let's not forget, hockey is a fraternity. Whatever differences we have on the ice, the love of the game makes us better than anybody else out there. Let's help each other out and use the message board at the bottom of the page to post some more chirps to broaden everyone's vocabulary.

Disclaimer: None of the Chirps previously mentioned are endorsed by any way by The Fourth Period... unless you find them funny and non-offensive.


(Week Ending Sunday, November 21)

Forward of the Week
Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning
3GP, 1G, 6A, 7 Points, +2

In a week that saw many NHL forwards put up huge offensive numbers, St. Louis' seven-point week was unmatched. Playing Robin to Steven Stamkos’ Batman, St. Louis registered a five-assist night in an 8-7 slugfest against Philadelphia. There are rumblings out there that although Stamkos is the best player on the Lightning, there may be no player as important to the team as St. Louis has been thus far.

Defenseman of the Week
Brian Rafalski, D, Detroit Red Wings
3GP, 0G, 7A, 7 Points, +/- 0

Brian Rafalski has been a beauty since coming back from injury and this week's performance has been one of his best three-game stretches as a member of the Red Wings. As seen in Detroit’s victory over the Flames on Sunday, when the boys are rolling they are hard to stop. Now if only Rafalski could pot a goal to go with his 10 assists this season.

Goalie of the Week
Ilya, G, Phoenix Coyotes
3GP, 3W, .938 SVP, 2.00 GAA

Not the dominant numbers that we've seen from goalies who have occupied this spot in the past, but the main thing is that Bryz was good when it mattered. Leading his team to go undefeated this week, it is this type of performance that is needed if the Coyotes are expected to duplicate last season's results. The fans may not be showing up in Phoenix, but Bryzgalov has been.
 


MVP Watch
1. Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning
With Sidney Crosby right on his tail, this may be the last week that Stammer maintains this top spot. The season is still young but through 21 games, Stamkos has 20 goals and there is talk about the possibility of seeing a 50 in 50 season. While for me it is still much to early to begin looking towards that, Stamkos' prowess around the net to this point has been impressive in its own right. So impressive in fact, that Stamkos has jumped into the Crosby-Ovechkin category. Many players have stepped into that category before only to be bumped out because of inconsistency. It's up to Stamkos to now prove that he deserves to be mentioned with those greats.

2. Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
What is there really left to say about Crosby? He is off to the fastest goal scoring start of his career and is almost single handedly winning games in Pittsburgh at times. While consistency is a factor with Stamkos, with Crosby you know what you're getting and can be relatively certain that this season will just be another where Crosby puts up monster numbers and will finish near the top in MVP balloting.

3. Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins
Still putting up great numbers, the Bruins' tender is getting some recent help offensively. With backup, and expected incumbent, Tuukka Rask picking up his first win of the season, Thomas may be feeling a little extra incentive to maintain his hot start and his starting position.

4. Rick Nash, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
A strange choice for some I'm sure, but Nash has been more vital to his team's success than any other player in the league. In a recent West Coast road trip, where Columbus went 3-0-0, Nash had six goals and picked up the game winner in two of them.

Michael Grossi is the Features Editor of The Fourth Period Magazine.
His columns [The G-Spot] appear every Monday on TFP.
Follow Michael Grossi on Twitter


 

 

G-Spot Archives:
Nov. 09, 2010 Missed It By That Much
Nov. 01, 2010 Movember Greatness
Oct. 25, 2010 Opening Season Eye Openers
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