A passionate pucker


With so much free time, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes me so passionate about hockey. Having been a fan for 25 years dating back to my teens, I have always enjoyed how fast the game is. The transition from defense to offense is in an instant/blink of an eye. Particularly in today’s advanced stage where the players are bigger, faster and stronger.

There is more of an emphasis on defense. Teams are better schooled defensively at coming back on the back-check and clogging up the neutral zone. The difference between winning and losing is magnified. By limiting mistakes, you give yourself a better chance. Aside from the focus on D, goalies are much more athletic and take advantage of better equipment. In some cases, they take up too much of the net. However, great goaltending is something we’ve come to appreciate. Thanks to legends Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur, the game is that much better. The new breed of Roberto Luongo, Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick, Jimmy Howard, Carey Price and Tuukka Rask are part of what makes the game exciting. Along with the uncanny ability of two-time Vezina winner Tim Thomas, the next great save is just a split second away.

If you love the game, then there are stars who shine brightest that get you out of your seat. The game’s best players are Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, who just happen to star for the Penguins. The dynamic duo of Sid and Geno are great for the game even if we love to hate them. Part of a good rivalry. You can still enjoy what they bring to the table. Some of the greatest world class skill that the game’s seen since Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. Amazingly, Jagr still plays. He’ll be joining the Stars this Fall. With an unknown time frame surrounding the ’12-13 season, I’ve been on a kick linking up classic highlights on my You Tube channel of some of my favorite players. That’s included Super Mario and No.68. Other players include The Dominator, Sergei Fedorov and my current fave Pavel Datsyuk. Everyday there is no new CBA, I’ll continue to give fans reasons to remember why we love the sport.

I can be followed on NewYorkPuck. Or you can also follow our new page on Facebook.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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