Bits & Pieces – 10th November

The usual nuggets of chicken from the weekend…..

Euro Disney

Panthers played Chris McSorely’s Geneva at the weekend and as expected succumbed to defeat, 5-2 in which Panthers second goal was scored by Marc Levers into an empty net! I wasn’t at the game due to family commitments, but reports from friends who were there said that Geneva were quick, slick passers and Panthers were a distant second best, but that was to be expected considering Byron Ritchie is probably paid as much as the entire Panthers roster! However, some (well one!) poster on the game thread on The Cage suggests that we’re playing in a “3rd rate beer league” and “The only downside to going to these games is that I end up wanting Panthers to play in a European mainland league even more”. Sorry HL but no, no, no, no, no and no!

Sometimes it’s easy to see why fans of other teams perceive our fan base as arrogant. What right do we have to leave our NATIONAL league to increase costs tenfold to join some ‘Euro League’? Accepted, the hockey would be of a better quality, but there are so many unanswered questions such as:

  • Are Neil Black’s pockets deep enough to sustain the obvious uplift in quality? No, I don’t think they are.
  • Would the public gag at the certain hefty rise in ticket prices? Yes, I think they would. £290 is what I can afford for a season ticket, £1,000 I can’t and I’d suggest most others wouldn’t be able to either.
  • One of the things I love is going to away games. How many people will follow us on the continent?
  • Finally, Euro hockey is very fast and skillful but somewhat lacking on the physical side. This country is used to a ‘North American’ style, I’m not saying it couldn’t change, but I think a lot of traditional hockey supporters like the physical aspect of the game. Would they still come?

I also enjoy the rivalries we have with Coventry, Sheffield, Cardiff and the like and while I accept that the current set up is far from perfect, joining a Euro league would be a complete disaster in my opinion and alienate not only the other teams in the league but more importantly our own fans. If you want an example, look how much more a ticket to watch FA Premier League football costs in relative terms compared to the old Division One. No doubting the quality has improved, but so has the cost.

Not the Sharpest tool in the box!

With no Panthers game, I travelled to the tent of tin to watch Sheffield v Manchester and interviewed a certain Mr David Simms (more later). It made a pleasant change to see an entertaining game in Sheffield, even if the Steelers did run out worthy winners in the end. Manchester were a disappointment to be honest, a shadow of the team that has graced the NIC twice this season. It appears Tony Hand is the heartbeat of the team, even at 41 he is still the genuine article.

In the final moments of the game Andrew Sharp dropped the gloves with Phoenix hard man Brett Clouthier (there was something rather sweet about Sharp looking at Dave Matsos for permission to go, made you want to go awwwwww!) After seeing Clouthier demolish Rumun Ndur last week I didn’t hold out much hope for Sharp, and was proved right as Clouthier beat him easily (You Tube coverage) however I wasn’t impressed with Clouthier continuing to punch Sharp while he was on the ice (I would have been less concerned if it was Ryan Finnerty he was battering!) So the question is what is the point of Andrew Sharp? He’s a poor hockey player, he’s a poor skater and he can’t hold his own with the true heavyweight’s. No doubting the guy has heart and tries hard, but with the Steelers acquisition of Brad Cruikshank are Sharp’s Steelers days numbered?

Commiserations Team GB

Sadly Great Britain failed to qualify from their group in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Poland. They pushed Poland and Japan all the way but were narrowly defeated both times. They ended the weekend on a high though, thrashing Romania 11-1 with David Clarke getting 2+1 and the man of the match. It’s seems obvious to me that if the GB set up was given a little more funding and coach Paul Thompson was allowed to have the squad together more regularly, we could be achieving so much more than we are.

Just call me Parky!

Not one but two interviews will be appearing on the site very soon. Evening Post Panthers reporter Mick Holland is currently mulling over the questions I sent him which delve into his years of experience following hockey and the Panthers, and I hope to have the interview on the site soon . As I mentioned earlier, I interviewed Steelers announcer David Simms in the Whitehouse on Saturday Night and I hope to have the interview on here by the end of the week if not earlier. A few choice quotes:

  • On Sky’s EIHL Coverage: “Would we like it on at a better time, yes. Would we like it on more often, of course. However two years ago we had nothing”
  • On Brad Voth’s ban: ” I thought Voth was very lucky to get 9 games, in any other league in the world he’d have got 15 or 20″
  • On Team GB: “If Paul Thompson was allowed the GB team together once a month then we’d bring a medal back from the World Championships I guarantee you”

Love him or hate him you can’t ignore him. It’s a corker I promise you.



5 Responses to “Bits & Pieces – 10th November”

  1. 1 Ted (apprentice) November 11, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Once again everyone jumping on the sharp hating bandwagon.

    As people have pointed out on the cage he has benchwarmed 20 games but hardly had any shifts. Id wager he has had equal ice time to most our brits and still scored 1+1… better than MOST our brits.

    Add to that he is cheap as chips, willing to fight anyone (result unimportant). He gives brits who cant afford to train 5 times a week and go off to canda on training camps a glimpse of what they can do… FIGHT. Work hard, be a little crazy, make a name for yourself as a guy who will fight ANYONE and you can play the sport you love.

    He wouldnt have fought in the LNAH if he was botehred about getting beat up. He gets paid (peanuts), hes not hurting anybody, why is everyone getting on his back? Oh yea hes a steeler.

  2. 2 Stuart November 11, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I take your points about joining a mainland European league, Jono. Whilst an interesting proposition in many respects I think it would be a step too far financially and don’t imagine it would be sustainable.

    Maybe there is room for a genuine European cup knock-out competition though to add variety to the domestic calendar?

    When I think back over the years of attending the hockey in Nottingham it’s often some of the games against foreign touring sides that stick in my memory. This goes right back to Ontario’s Don Mill’s Comets who would tour the UK in the eighties periodically. Regarding the European sides specifically it’s always really interesting to see a different style of play come to the stadium I always think. Less of the crash-bang dump and chase North American style and more of a reliance on passing the puck

    PS thanks for the link, mate.

  3. 3 The Cat's Whiskers November 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I think your missing my point Ted, I’m jumping on no bandwagon, I’ve always been consistent in my opinion of Sharp and that is he’s a waste of space on a roster.
    As for your Steelers comment, I’d hold exactly the same opinion of him regardless of who he plays for. He can’t skate, fight or play. What is the point?

  4. 4 Rich November 11, 2008 at 5:35 pm


    Your team is 7-4 up in the dying minutes of the game. Brett Clouthier steps over the boards looking to send a message for the game the next night. Would you rather look down your bench and nod at Sharp or James Neil? Clouts is tough, beyond tough and also has a nasty streak in him. Would you be happy clenching your butt cheeks hoping hes in a good mood in that situation or would you rather have an excitable brit chomping for the chance to go out and fight him?

    Its a disgrace Sheffield havnt got a single true tough guy to bring back some excitement to the HOS, but Sharp is better than nothing and thats the point to having him.

    Other than that, good read as usual 🙂

  5. 5 Yotes November 12, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    That’s a good point Rich, although it does just make him a punchbag on skates.

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