The Greatest Goal I've Ever Seen

4. NEW JERSEY, Scott Niedermayer 4 (Jim Dowd) 9:47

June 20, 1995.  That's how it looked in the box score.  Pity the poor hockey fan who didn't see it happen, and only saw this in print the next day.

The question is often asked: what's the greatest play you've ever seen?  For sports fans, it usually involves a superstar like Michael Jordan or Joe Montana, presumably executing a clutch play during an important playoff game.  If you narrow it down to just hockey, the greatest moment would also lean toward some sort of overtime heroics from the Stanley Cup playoffs.  But for this hockey fan, it wasn't an overtime goal that will always resonate - but it was a pivotal play at an incredibly crucial time, and as we approach the 20th anniversary of that moment, it's hard not to look back and revel in the same sense of awe that I had while watching on television that fateful evening.

Hockey Road Trip: Once More Into the Valley of the Sun

As we head towards the end of the 2014-15 NHL season, I finally have time to recap my final road trip of the 2013-14 season (sorry - I've been VERY busy).  Needless to say, it was a very quick trip to a nearby destination, but it's always fun to escape from the craziness of Los Angeles and spend a weekend in the even-sunnier confines of the greater Phoenix area.

Jobing.com Arena (as it was known then) is a terrific place to see a hockey game, without a doubt.  The sight lines are terrific, the staff is very friendly, and the food is superb.  In fact, it was only after visiting this arena, as well as Nationwide Arena in Columbus, that I was finally inspired to start my quest of seeing all the other NHL venues - and as it stands right now, these two are still my favorite places.  So why go back now?  Two reasons: my dear friend, Chad - trusty companion throughout my Hockey Road Trips - had yet to see a game there; and more importantly, I had recently reconnected with an old friend from high school who lived in Arizona, and this was a great opportunity to finally see him again after more than two decades.

The Cinematic Virtue of Soviet Hockey

Drama is what I admire most about sports.  I would argue that no film can match the dramatic quality of a live sporting event - and just like movies, the best moments in sports are due to good story lines.  One common theme in movies is the idea of cheering for the underdog, which we often do in sports as well.  But what if the underdog is someone that we've been told to fear historically? 

More than thirty years after the "Miracle on Ice" game, and a decade after Disney's Miracle, three filmmakers told three separate stories to best encapsulate the experience of the men involved with the Soviet hockey team.  While each film treads into similar territory, they differentiate themselves from each other via one particular component that the filmmaker pulls to the forefront of the story.

Hockey Road Trip: Big Apple Trifecta

During our road trip to Denver, my friend Chad was having a great time and asked, "Where are we going next?"  I hadn't really thought that far ahead, so when we started to analyze the remaining cities on the list, we came up with two questions to consider moving forward: "Are there any NHL arenas that are going to be replaced soon?" and "Are there any NHL veteran stars that I'd like to see who are close to retirement?"  There are a few answers to the first question, but Nassau Coliseum (home of the New York Islanders since 1972) quickly came to mind; while the only answer I could come up with for the second question was two members of the New Jersey Devils: Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr, who were both 41 years old at the time, and are certain to be in the Hall of Fame at the conclusion of their NHL careers.  Chad had been to New York a couple of years prior, but had been eager to go back, so this seemed like the perfect chance.