Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to be an NHL ironman

One of the NHL's ironman streaks came to an end on Thursday when Lightning forward Martin St. Louis missed the team's game against the Rangers after being hit in the face with a puck during practice.

That snapped St. Louis's string at 499 games, which was good for third among active NHL streaks. But St. Louis was still well back of Doug Jarvis's all-time record of 964, a mark that no NHL player has managed to so much as get close to in almost 20 years.

Will anyone ever again challenge Jarvis's mark? Maybe not. But if you're an NHL player hoping to start your own ironman streak, here are some common sense tips that could help you get started on the road to the record book.

DO: Stay healthy by avoiding collisions that would increase your risk of suffering an injury.
DO NOT: Worry about collisions that carry absolutely no physical risk, such as running Ryan Miller in front of the entire Sabres roster.

DO: Hit the gym often to make sure you're in peak physical condition.
DO NOT: Bother working out any body parts other than "upper body" and "lower body", since those are the only ones that anyone ever injures.

DO: Feel confident that the NHL's recent changes to Rule 48 will drastically reduce the risk that you will suffer a serious head injury.
DO NOT: Attempt to actually understand how the league applies Rule 48, as this will cause a serious head injury

DO: Follow the example of current league ironman Jay Bouwmeester by focusing all of your energy on training and conditioning that will allow you to continue your streak.
DO NOT: Allow yourself to become side-tracked by frivolous distractions, such as playing in postseason games.

DO: Follow league guidelines by taking and passing a comprehensive concussion screening test after suffering a hit to the head.
DO NOT: Feel pressured to take the test before you're ready; feel free to play in a few more games first, like everyone else does.

DO: Know and respect your body's limitations.
DO NOT: Risk injury by attempting to do the physically impossible, such as keeping a straight face after hearing that the Canadiens thought it would be a good idea to trade for Tomas Kaberle.

DO: Make sure you always wear the best and most modern possible equipment to protect important body parts like your elbows, shoulders, ankles and shins.
DO NOT: Worry about also wearing something to protect your eyes, because hey, no point going overboard, right?

DO: Accept that you will not be able to avoid occasionally finding yourself in a "high risk" area of the ice such as in front of the net or in the corners, as this is simply part of the game.
DO NOT: Allow yourself to wind up in a "super high risk" area, like standing next to Artem Anisimov as he celebrates a tap-in goal.

DO: Publicly commit yourself to following a strict diet of nutritious foods.
DO NOT: Let Gary Roberts overhear you saying that, since he'll make you actually do it.

DO: Be aware of which opponents are out on the ice against you at all times.
DO NOT: Forget to casually brush the ice shavings from your uniform after uncurling from the fetal position once the referee assures you that yes, Dion Phaneuf has finished his shift.

DO: Remember that any games for which you are suspended will result in the end of your streak.
DO NOT: Commit any obvious fouls that always result in additional discipline, such as blatantly spearing someone who isn't Chris Neil.

DO: Reward yourself for all your hard work and dedication by taking advantage of some relaxation time at home, perhaps by surfing the internet or stretching out in front of the television.
DO NOT: Be surprised when the installation tech from Bell or Rogers blindsides you in the side of the knee with a wrench while muttering "go Leafs go".


  1. DO: Hit the gym often to make sure you're in peak physical condition.
    DO NOT: Bother working out any body parts other than "upper body" and "lower body", since those are the only ones that anyone ever injures.

    Love it!

  2. As a Bruins fan, I literally started cracking up when I read that the Habs traded for Kaberle. I don't understand why Bruins and Leafs fans don't get along better - we have a common enemy in the Habs. It's like the old saying goes - the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Get ready to hear "SHOOOOOOOT!" and "TIREZZZZZZZZZ!" during every Habs power play, followed by "0 shots on goal for Montreal during that man advantage", for the next three years. I love it.

  3. 5 stars, DGB! I love the timely jokes like Anisimov celebrating his goal and the Kaberle trade. And yes, I do feel bad for Bouwmeester. :(

  4. That Bouwmeester photo is creeping me out.

    Great list.

  5. If that's his "game face", it's no wonder Bouwmeester is the current iron man. I would not want to get too close to him during a game....

  6. Bell tech joke was great

  7. that visor comment really hit the nail on the head. Great job as always.

  8. One for "best of" archives!

  9. @Anonymous Bruins fan

    not for nothing, but Kaberle did get 2 points, both on the PP, and did take a few (weak shots from the point).

    And the reason Bruins and Leafs fans don't get along better is because all 3 teams hate each other.

    You might as well have said you don't understand why Leafs and Habs fans don't get along better, because they both hate the Bruins.

  10. No humourous caption on the Bouwmeester photo? I would like my money back, please.

  11. A post with injuries involved, and no guest appearance from Rick Dipeitro?

  12. Dipeitro was absent due to an injury sustained in a thumb war with Pascal Dupuis. Both will be out for for to six weeks.

    Great post DGB! Now I know how to explain to the Sunday Morning crew I skate with why I wear a cage, I like to go overboard.

  13. The Bell / Rogers tech item should go on the highlight reel.

  14. That Bell joke is a classic! Too bad I was banking on a good pension from the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan...

  15. tech from Bell or Rogers

    "And", not "or"...

  16. DGB,

    I don't know how else to contact you, so I'm going to do it this way...

    I am from outside Boston, MA. I am coming up to Ottawa on Saturday, February 25/Sunday, February 26, in order to watch the Bruins/Senators game. What else should I spend my time in Ottawa doing? What attractions are there for me to see that are open on the weekend? Please get back to me.