Tag:Movember
Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:52 pm
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Hiller says bye to Movember, gets Wild Wing mask

By Brian Stubits

Is there anybody in hockey happier to be done with the terrific month that is Movember than Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller?

Despite having an awesome mask that was rivaled only by the one worn by Tim Thomas, Hiller was dreadful in November. Really, he was no different than his teammates in Anaheim. But Hiller's struggles were particularly strong, so a new month brings about a new chance with a new coach.

And a new mask.

His mustache mask is gone through a charity auction, so a new mask has to come. In its place is not his old mat black cage but instead the new Wild Wing design. Next to having a Darkwing Duck motif, this is pretty much one of the better designs he could have produced.

Here is a description of the mask from The Goalie Guild. I highly suggest reading the entire story, it's a fun description that does the mask complete justice.

With the power to create a new superstition on [designer Alec] Voggel’s fingertips, he knew the moment was just right. It was time to reverse and transform Hiller’s famine into fortune by unleashing the latest mask in a line of legendary Anaheim Ducks designs: Wild Wing.

Instead of paying homage to his teammates, Hiller is now honoring the official Ducks mascot. As you can see, he’s striking quite the intimidating pose on either side of the mask, breaking out from underneath the shards and remnants of Hiller’s old “Batman” black-matted mask.

With the moonlight now splashing over the mask, it reveals another job performed to perfection. It is complete. It has been revealed. Off to sleep, just one last task to complete before the moonlight wanes and the fresh sunlight of a new day spills out from behind the distant mountains.

It's even 3-D from afar.

What's your opinion?

Photo: Airxess.ch, courtesy of The Goalie Guild

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 11, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 5:36 pm
 

Weekend Preview: Ducks searching for wakeup call

By Brian Stubits

Weekend schedule: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

You know it's bad when we're still early in November and the Anaheim Ducks call a closed-doors meeting. It stinks almost as much as the Avalanche calling Thursday's tilt against the Islanders a "must-win game." They did, barely (4-3 in OT).

But desperate times call for desperate measures. And right now, things are getting close to desperate in Orange County. The Ducks are the coldest team in hockey having lost six in a row. In a world without the overtime loser point, Anaheim is 5-10. That is not good.

"You have to eliminate any confusion, any doubt before you can take the next step forward," Carlyle said about the meeting.

"A lot of times coaches are talking and nobody says a word and you go to the ice and say, 'Well, I don't think that's work[ing]," Teemu Selanne offered. "It's important that the players can give their input also about the situation. It was really good. It was really honest conversations. I think it was a huge step forward."

They better get things figured out quickly. With Dallas playing as well as it is and San Jose in the division, the Ducks could dig themselves a hole too tough to get out of. They have the fewest goals scored and the most goals surrendered in the Pacific Division. In 15 games they have 29 goals, that's less than two goals per game.

How can a team with Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Selanne be struggling to score this much? Well presumably that's what the closed-door meeting was for.

I can't help but think it's the lack of power of the mustache. Since the month of Movember came around and the Ducks all began growing out their best 'staches, the team hasn't won a game. This is making me rethink my entire stance on the world. Here I was holding the mustache in such high esteem.

Or maybe it could be more rationally explained by figuring out where Lubomir Visnovsky has gone? The defenseman who had 18 goals and 50 assists last season has just four points (1-3=4) in 15 games and is a minus-9. Him finding his game would go a long way in helping the Ducks remove the ugly from their game.

So who do they get to try their presumably new tactics against first? How about the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night? Just the team for a struggling squad to face (the still-not-invented sarcasm font was on there).

But that's not all for the weekend. On Sunday the Ducks welcome the last team they beat, the Minnesota Wild. Of course since that win, these two teams have flipped their fortunes. The Ducks have become the coldest team this side of Columbus while Minnesota has been red hot.

SoCal struggles, Part II: This was supposed to be the season the Los Angeles Kings stepped forward, made a run for the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship. It obviously still could be, the season is only a short way in. But right now they could use a swift kick in the rear to get in gear.

Los Angeles has followed a 5-1-1 start with a 2-5-2 stretch, including a five-game losing streak that has people wondering if the boot isn't being polished up before delivering the kick. After all, the Kings have not scored more than three goals in 13 of their 16 games. For a team that acquired an offensive talent like Mike Richards to go with a solid group already, that's not going to cut it.

"The offense, certainly myself at the top of the list, should be scoring more, getting to the net," Justin Williams said following Thursday's loss.

So do you put the blame for the struggling stretch on coach Terry Murray? After all, head coaches are always the first scapegoat. I find it hard to blame Murray. He's trying all that he can, mixing and matching the lines to try and create a spark. But as they always say, you can't really fire the players. I mean you can, but it's a lot more difficult.

One of the issues right now is the play of Jonathan Quick. Remember that shutout streak back in October? That's a thing of the past. In his last six starts, Quick has zero wins. He is giving up nearly three goals per game in that stretch.

About the only thing going well right now for L.A. is the play of Drew Doughty. His game has been on point recently with five points in the last three games.

Like their SoCal neighbors in the O.C., the chance to get on the right track will come against the Wild, Saturday night at Staples Center. Oh, Minnesota enters the game having won five of the last six.

What the ....? You know who's not struggling? The first-place Florida Panthers. Yes, you read that right, first-place Panthers.

Dale Tallon threw together a team that everybody anticipated would struggle to jell, but it came together like jell-o. The Panthers have tallied a point in six consecutive games, including back-to-back wins on the road in Toronto and Winnipeg.

If they want to make it seven straight, they will have to get through the Flyers, who are in Sunrise on Sunday.

This is where I'd like to spread a little love on Kris Versteeg, the forward who is on his fourth team in a two-year span -- the one before the Panthers being the Flyers. He has apparently found the right fit and is scoring at a pace of better than a point per game, leading the Cats with 17 points in 15 games. Brian Campbell hasn't been too shabby either with 15 points in 15 games.

The surprises are all around on one of the NHL's biggest surprises this season. Jason Garrison is a sniper from the blue line? Who knew? But he's tied with Nicklas Lidstrom in the NHL lead for goals among defensemen with six. Jose Theodore can still be effective as a No. 1 goalie? Just talk to the folks in the Washington press box to see how hard that is to believe.

There's no telling how long this will last. First place in a division with the Capitals is asking a lot. But with a start like this, they can at least dream of ending that 10-year playoff drought in Florida.

Texas two-step: Want to know if the Dallas Stars are really as good as their 11-3-0 record indicates? Other than the fact that you are what your record says you are, as Bill Parcells would say, the Stars are in the midst of about as tough a three-game road stretch you can conjure up in the NHL.

They already went through the Capitals, handing them their first loss in D.C. this season. Now they have back-to-back games starting Friday in Pittsburgh. The game was viewed as a potential return date for Sidney Crosby, but that's not happening now. However it is still the top two teams in each conference and James Neal vs. the team that traded him.

If that's not enough, Dallas will take the trip to Detroit where the Red Wings await on Saturday.

I'm not sure how many more tests the Stars have to pass before this start and this team is believed to be for real by the masses. It might be already. I know I'm a believer. But just to be safe, a few more points in this weekend double-dip couldn't hurt.

The Bruins got their groove back: It only took a month, but now the Boston Bruins are showing the form the hockey world expected. After all, ask Boston fans and they will tell you last season was just a whole heaping of bonus -- this was the season when they were expected to be legitimate Cup contenders.

The team that in the early going couldn't score now can't stop scoring. Especially in bunches. Five times in the month of November the Bruins scored two goals within 49 seconds of one another. Five times!

Without a doubt, the most impressive player has been Tyler Seguin. The sophomore is showing why there was such a debate between himself and Taylor Hall before the 2010 draft. He is so quick and always seem to get his stick on the puck near the net.

The above items considered, it should come then as no surprise that the Bruins have won four games in a row and are streaking into their game against Northeast Division foe Buffalo.

The question there is which Sabres goalie will be entrusted with slowing down this now potent Bruins attack? That’s the question every day now in Buffalo where at the moment -- and I stress at the moment -- the goaltending job is a 50/50 proposition between Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth. If Miller gets the call, it could be a tough situation to find a slump-busting performance.

Defense rules

The Tampa Bay defense, specifically the 1-3-1 trap that coach Guy Boucher loves to use, is the topic of the week in the NHL. The crux of the issue: people want to see more scoring, less stalling.

If that describes you, maybe you should find something else to do on Saturday night when the Lightning and St. Louis Blues meet. Offense might not be too plentiful.

With Ken Hitchcock now on the St. Louis bench and his preference to play a defensive-minded game, it could be a pretty slow and plodding game. Nothing as bad as the scene on Wednesday night, but still not offense friendly. In the two games under Hitchcock, the Blues have given up two goals.

Of course after all this you can now expect for the teams to hit the over.

Photo: US Presswire

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Movember begins with clean-shaven George Parros

By Brian Stubits

With the fun of Halloween done, it's on to Movember in the NHL. No team will be more involved with the movement than the Anaheim Ducks and their fearsome mustache-wearing enforcer George Parros.

He might be more than a mustache as a hockey player, but it's pretty darn defining. Heck, even Parros' popular Twitter account is @stache16.

Really, it will go down in the sports annals of great upper lip hair history. Personally, I'm not convinced Parros' is even the best in the NHL right now thanks to Senators coach Paul MacLean, but that's no slight. Parros' 'stache is in the running for a spot on the Mt. Rushmore of hockey facial hair.

“It’s burly,” Parros told Puck Scene of his mustache. “It’s manly. It demands respect.”

That it does. It commands so much respect, that Parros was able to convince every player in the Ducks locker room to show their support for the Movember movement, an attempt to raise funds and awareness for men's health, particularly prostate cancer through the power of mustache. To do so, Parros actually had to chop of the big bristling 'stache to begin anew for the start of the month.

"Well the stache has been cut!" Parros tweeted. "They broke a few razors but made it through. the race is on...may the best mo win!!!"

Looks weird, huh?

You can hardly recognize him without his furry friend. And soon enough, you might not be able to recognize the other members of the Ducks in their mustaches either. Even goaltender Jonas Hiller, who originally elected to have a special mask made for the month instead of growing out his own mustache, is reconsidering.

“I haven’t decided,” Hiller said. “I originally planned not to and instead to wear the mask. No one sees it and it’s itchy and bothers me anyway, but now with everyone else doing it I almost have to grow one.”

When the power of the 'stache can't convince him, there's always peer pressure. And don't get discouraged.

“Everyone’s able [to grow a mustache],” Parros said. “Whether or not he can grow a successful one is a different story.”

For more excellent Parros wisdom on facial hair, including his own beard and trimming techniques, read the whole story at Puck Scene.

With that, we present a very Bleacher Report-esque best mustaches in hockey lineup. Enjoy. (*Disclaimer: This list is not exclusive. There are surely some terrific mustaches not included. Thanks you.)

Here is George Parros with his mustache in full bloom.

Next we have aforementioned Senators coach, Paul MacLean.

How about the mustache that Parros calls underrated, Terry Rushkowski?

Here's some appreciation for the referees, specifically Bill McCreary.

One of the most fondly remembered mustaches the ice has ever seen, Wendel Clark.

Last but certainly not least, the near consensus No. 1 mustache in hockey history (and maybe in sports history), Lanny McDonald.

Photos: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 26, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Jonas Hiller to wear mustache mask for 'Movember'

By Brian Stubits

October is breast cancer awareness month. Players in all sports, including Montreal's Carey Price, show their support by wearing pink. Price went so far as to have a special mask made that would later be auctioned off with proceeds going to charity.

When the calendar flips to November another honorable cause will be honored across the NHL.

It's known as Movember and has really caught on in the hockey world. The entire point is for men to grow the best and most wicked mustaches they can in the month of November while they get their efforts sponsored. The point is not only to raise funds for, but bring awareness to men's health, specifically prostate cancer. It's a very cool and fun way for guys to take part in a good cause. We end up with 'staches like Sidney Crosby's from last year.

But nobody, not even Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck's glorious mustache, will sport a tribute as awesome as Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller. He'll trade in his customary mat-black helmet (still just looks weird to me) for this awesome piece you see above with faces of his Ducks teammates all over the cage.

Remember when you were a kid and you drew mustaches on pictures everywhere you could find them? Or if you didn't actually do that, remember seeing other kids do it? That's what happened here, and the result is awesome. Drawn on mustaches rock.

But the coup-de-grace? That's the back of the mask, seen to the right. Hiller saved himself for that coveted spot where he is in full goalie pose with handlebar galore.

The mask was introduced by the website (and great Twitter follow, btw) the Goalie Guild and was so popular, it actually crashed the website for a short while.

But here is what the Goalie Guild had to say about the creation. (Also, visit the Goalie Guild site to see more photos of the mask, including from above and the front.)

When speaking with Alec [Voggel from Airxess] on one of our many Skype conversations over the past few days, here is some great background information on this special-edition Movember mask:

“Airxess came up with the idea, as we needed a game-used Hiller mask that would later be for sale because of the big demand. Hiller came up with the Movember idea himself, so as always, he gave us the input, and I had to create the design. Besides the concept, the whole testing to place all the portraits on the mask [it’s not only done by airbrush] and the painting itself I have done, while Dan 'The Man' gave the mask a nice flat finish and left some parts shiny.”

I love it. Not only do I applaud Hiller and the rest for taking part in the awareness and fundraising campaign, but I'm just a fan of mustaches. What guy isn't it (sorry ladies)? A friend of mine had his bachelor party over the summer and we were all required to sport our best 'staches. Fun times.

As far as specialty masks go, this one is a keeper.

Photos: The Goalie Guild/Airxess

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com