JMS Hockey Blog

JMS is a pickup hockey league

Month: August, 2010

What do you want?

by barbaragarn

Take the survey and tell us what matters to you! What’s most important– night of the week, start time or location? Which location?

I know we’ve had many people ask for a session at their local rink, or at a certain time, or on a certain day.

THIS Is your chance to sound off! 
We want to make things convenient for you, but we won’t know how to do that unless you tell us what you want.

Log in, click the “Games” tab and choose the bottom option: Location Survey.

We will use this data to help plan new sessions around the Twin Cities. Let your voice be heard!

My next jock

by barbaragarn

Oh my my my. 

While I know some female hockey players like to wear pink, I am definitely not in that category. But black is just blah… so I was thrilled to see Spice Sports, Inc. is making women’s hockey unders (“jill” or “female jock,” whatever you want to call them) in FUN FUN patterns. They have the Velcro strips and come with the pelvic protector.

No more boring black!


I just love that these are expressive and individual without being the usual PINK

For my edgy hockey gal pals, here are some other choices (yes, those are skulls):

  or  or 

And if you DO like pink, there are also pink options:

 or  or 

There’s more on the website, including Spandex shorts, skull caps and compression shirts.

There’s a lot of personalization in hockey these days (tape, laces, goalie helmets… even that guy’s airbrushed skates), so it’s part of that trend. I like having options besides black and light blue. But sorry guys, no funky personalized hockey unders for you… you’ll have to stick with the boring black and yellow.

See you in the locker room. I’ll be easy to spot!

Tougher than the NHL

by barbaragarn

Are people like us, playing in NON-professional adult rec leagues, tougher than the NHLers? I found an interesting study mentioned in the Toronto Star:

Contrary to popular thinking, a five-year study into minor hockey injuries has concluded that unintentional collisions—rather than intentional bodychecking—not only causes more injuries but more severe injuries.
So… accidental crashes in no-check hockey make more, and worse, injuries than a checking league!
The study followed about 3,000 players ages 4 -18 in the Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association house league, select and representative teams from 2002 to 2007. 
And thus we could say it focused on players around our ability level–people learning the game and getting proficient at it:
[One researcher] says the study suggests that keeping one’s head down leaves the player vulnerable to contact, intentional or otherwise.
“The study didn’t address the injury rate in heads-up hockey, but based on the high level of injuries from unintentional contact, it suggests players should look up rather than down at the puck.”


[Another study author] noted that fighting was not a factor in causing injury.
“When we looked through all the data, we didn’t see a single injury that came from fighting,” Willer said. “That’s an image people have of hockey, but I don’t know where it came from.”
HOWEVER, while checking wasn’t as dangerous as “unintentional collisions,” it seems that a “mis-fired check” causes a significant proportion of the injuries:
The study showed injuries during practice were minimal, but during games increased as the age and level of competition increased. The study also found that there was a four-fold increase in injury rates when bodychecking is permitted.

What does all this tell us?

Keep your head up!!!

You can read the whole article here.


by barbaragarn

Every sport has its subtle mindgames. I grew up an elite swimmer, and we used to say the race was half won behind the blocks. So many ways to psych out the other swimmers.

You could stand there wearing your tinted goggles and Walkman(!), face stone and eyes obscured, staring straight ahead as the music blasted.
Or–still stonefaced–you could spring up and down, windmill your arms forwards and backwards, displaying assured physical prowess.
I confess my favorite technique was to look alongside the other swimmers as we lined up to take the blocks. One looong and appraising/dismissing look to the right, then one looong look of the same to the left. You mean nothing to me, my eyes were saying. I will crush you.

Even the way we wrapped our towels said how badass we were. It was all about the psych-out.

And then I grew up and started to play hockey, where I will never be elite enough to deliver a true psych-out. Haha, I am usually trying not to fall over.

So what are some of the ways hockey players try to psych out one another? I can guess at a few:
Bang! Bang! Bang! shots to the boards before a game.
Skating through the other team’s zone during warmup.
Edging over the line at a face-off.

Any others? I know there’s more.

Vote for the worst

by barbaragarn

We had 17 entrants in the “Most Embarrassing Moments” contest. Listed below (and edited for length etc.), click here to vote in the forums. Voting will close on Tuesday night (August 10) at 10 p.m.

1. Holey Pockets
I was a ref for a kids game and I had to stop play because of an extra puck on the ice. Being unsure where the extra puck came from, I put the extra puck in my pocket and resumed play. A couple of minutes later, we had to stop play again, because of yet another extra puck on the ice. It wasn’t until after this second time that I realized I had a hole in my pocket.

2. Beware of Skate Guards
I forget to take my skate guards off. Once, and only once.

3. Remember Your Breezers
I’ve watched a few people in the locker room–some experienced JMSers–put on their shin pads, socks, skates, tape it all together… and then realize they forgot to put breezers on. One guy even tried to fit his breezers over his skates. That was kinda funny.

4. Just Like the Wild
I had heard that the Minnesota Wild players were complaining about the ice at the –they were pulling hamstring muscles. So when we at JMS played there, I went on the ice with my camcorder and WHAMMO! Ten seconds in, I pulled a hamstring muscle! I still played, however… it was The Excel Center, after all.

5. Hanging by a Thread
It was my turn to jump over the boards and go on the ice. As I was going over, unbeknownst to me, the cinching cord on my breezers got caught in the crack of the door behind me. I was going forward and felt that I was stuck–I could only get about three inches between me and the boards.
I tried to get the cord free, but I couldn’t reach it–I could barely turn around but somehow I managed to reach the door handle, but I couldn’t budge it because the end of the cord (with a little plastic piece on it) was jamming it shut.
My team was trying to figure out why I was just standing there as the game was going on. Once they realized I was stuck, two of them worked to free me. One guy yanked on the door a few times but even he couldn’t open it. It actually took them about a minute to figure out how to get the door open and free me.
At least I didn’t fall–that could have turned out pretty badly with me hanging there by my breezers.

6. Mite Mistake
I was a mite playing one of my first games as a goalie. My team was up by one goal and the clock was running down. The other team got a shot on me and I made the save. I covered the puck, but my coach yelled to throw it behind the net, to kill time. So I swung my arm with all of my might… and I slid the puck right into the back of the net. Oh man! I tied the game for the other team! I was mortified. My team was really mad at me, but luckily we were all only 7 or 8 years old, so they did not remember it for very long.

7. Right Position, Wrong Team
At a JMS game just a few weeks ago, I was coming off the ice from my first shift. I started heading towards “my” bench, shouting, “Right wing! Right wing!” but everyone on the bench was just staring at me… Then I realized that I was heading towards and shouting at the dark team’s bench… while wearing my white jersey. Guess I had been playing on the dark side a bit prior to that.

8. Neon Yellow Fizz
I was goaltending my third game of the afternoon–the first two were roller hockey in St. Paul. THis one was on the ice. It was a very hot summer and I was coming out of the hot box of Highland to the freezer of Richfield rink 1.
I was asked to fill in by B-level players and little did I know they were going against Johnny Pohl and Krissy Wendel (when they were in high school). They were schooling us and laughing.
I threw up in my helmet. I was on all fours when I pulled it off to dry heave into the back of the net.
I took my jersey off to mop up the Accelerade and (undigested) Power Bad from the crease as the opposition paraded by to get a look-see at my pool of neon yellow fizz. I went to the bench to rinse off my helmet and get a new jersey from my bag (which was conveniently on the bench). And returned for more fun action. It all took but three minutes. Or so it seemed.

9. The Highlight Reel
About seven years ago, I was playing my first and only pick-up game at historic and celebrated Mariucci Arena. I was on the bench and was supposed to be the next guy out on the ice. The guy coming off the ice yells out, “Center!” As I try to do my hockey hop over the boards, I fall back down into the bench. And if that isn’t bad enough, I can’t get back up!
Finally, after flailing around for about 30 seconds, the guys on my team help me up… but not before I missed my shift.
To make matters worse, I find out there’s a guy on the other end of the ice, recording the game, and he got it on tape. So yes, not only was it one of the most embarrassing moments in my hockey life–it also got posted online! Yeah, yikes!

10. Bustin’ Out
I spent a good amount of time trying on shoulder pads one day and found a pair that fit nicely, but it seemed like they were shaped funny…
The nice sales associate tried to keep a straight face as he explained to the grown man that he was wearing women’s shoulder pads.

Mine was more of half a game… I was on D and charging up the center of the ice with the puck A guy who was a lot smaller than me (who had been trying to check me all game in a non-checking league) decided to skate in front of me and square up. He was a head shorter than me so I didn’t try to stop. When we collided, I ran him over, but my head snapped forward and hit the top of his helmet.
From there on out, I didn’t remember a whole lot. Apparently I looked drunk all game (and since it was an adult league, they probably assumed I was). 
At the start of the third period, I lined up and was waiting for the drop with my hands on my knees–my hands, mind you, not my gloves. So, after a second, I stopped the faceoff and went over to the bench and grabbed my gloves… both teams watching me and the ref giving me a weird face.
I lined back up and the puck dropped. About ten seconds later, I realized I didn’t have a stick! So I skated over to the boards and grabbed the first stick I saw–which happened to be for a 5’0″ left-hander. I am 6’2″ and a righty. 
Needless to say, it was the funniest concussion any of us have seen, and when I talk to people who were in that league with me six years ago, they still bring it up.