First Star, Worst Star: December 14, 2014

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Only 11 more sleeps until Christmas, and only 7 more sleeps until the next First Star, Worst Star, so you may want to read this one 200 to 300 times between now and then just to be safe. 

FIRST STAR

We all know that goalies are extremely strange creatures, but every once in a while they can also be super fun and entertaining. 

This is Slovakian goalie Julius Hudacek, and this is him pulling out world-class white-boy dance moves!

Look at him go! As someone who gets way too excited at weddings when the Macarena comes on I really appreciate how well he can boogie in full goalie gear. And I love how pretty much the entire arena stuck around to clap him on. You would NEVER see this type of thing in the NHL! For one, most of the fans would have left to beat the traffic the second the horn sounded, and two if any player dared show this much personality they’d be crucified by certain corners of the media for being a “distraction” and for not “putting the team first”. But since this is the Swedish league ANYTHING GOES!

I salute you Julius Hudacek (even though this one time in NHL 08 the Oilers team my Be A Pro was on picked you up as a free agent and played you way too much and you were hot garbage, but I digress). Keep on Macarenan! 

WORST STAR

This “Sidney Crosby TOTALLY doesn’t have the mumps” narrative that the Penguins have been trying to convince everyone of. 

The mumps have been going around the league for weeks. One of the main symptoms of the mumps is swollen salivary glands. Take a look a this face. 

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DOES THAT SCREAM THE MUMPS TO YOU? And yet, that didn’t stop Penguins coach Mike “Not The Guy Who Does Color On TSN His Last Name Is Johnson” Johnston from categorically denying that Crosby had the mumps. 

If it’s not the mumps than what the hell is it? Did Crosby just pack the world’s biggest dip? Is he hoarding nuts for the winter? Did he get every tooth on the right side of his mouth extracted at the same time for some reason (maybe he has poor brushing habits)? 

This is more a rant against the NHLs insane lack of injury transparency with the media. We’re a year away from a player having a black eye and a coach saying “He definitely doesn’t have a black eye. We’re not sure what it is but it’s definitely not a black eye. Just an upper body injury.”

There are a million camera angles in every NHL arena, and the slightest incident is broken down frame by frame ad nauseam for days on end. And yet, when a player takes a puck off the ankle and hobbles back to the bench all we get is “lower body injury”. We know it’s a broken ankle coach, YOU’RE NOT PULLING THE WOOL OVER OUR EYES THIS TIME PAL! 

What is the point? Are teams going to somehow target Crosby’s mumps? Are they going to skate over, grab Crosby’s water bottle and spray everyone else on the bench so that they might also get the mumps? 

This cat and mouse game with the media in terms of injuries just seems like an insane waste of time to me. Crosby has the mumps. No one kiss him on the mouth. The end.