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Hi Ogie… Buy you a soda after the game? – NHL Medley.

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Being from California I always got strange looks when I told someone I was a hockey player.  Despite the strange locale I started playing the game as a yute.  Uh… did you say ‘yutes’?  Oh, excuse me, your honor…youth.  I continued to play through college for the Pacific Tigers, so its fair to say the game was a big part of my life over the years.  Since college I lost touch with the game but recently I returned to my roots and have been shooting some NHL hockey with the Phoenix Coyotes.

This blog will review some of my favorite shots from recent games with the Blues, Blue Jackets, Kings and Blackhawks.

The home opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets was a sellout game, the first in quite some time.  It was also the Welcome Back Whiteout where fans were encouraged to wear white.

I got to the arena about 3 hours before gametime which is pretty normal for me, especially at a new venue.  My fist goal was to get a nice wide shot of the arena empty so I went up to the press level.

General view of Jobin.com arena before the game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Columbus Bluejackets.

General view of Jobin.com arena before the game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Columbus Bluejackets.

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISO4000, f2.8, 1/250th.

From there I went outside to try and find some interesting feature photos.  Here is the exterior of Jobing.com Arena.

Outside Jobing.com Arena

Outside Jobing.com Arena

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISO200, f5, 1/500th.

For warm ups I shot from between the benches and got some good stock shots, I do this every game as well.  Being at ice level gives me a nice shot and I’m close to the players so I can get clean headshots.  As a hockey fan being between the benches is unbelievable cool.

Bluejackets Goaltender Steve Mason stretch before the game.

Bluejackets Goaltender Steve Mason stretch before the game.

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO1600, f2.8, /1000th.

Blues Goaltender Chris Mason

Blues Goaltender Chris Mason

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO1600, f2.8, 1/1000th.

Kings Goaltender Jonathan Quick

Kings Goaltender Jonathan Quick

Nikon D700, 70-200mm,  ISO1000, f3.2, 1/800th.

Blackhawks Goaltender Antti Niemi

Blackhawks Goaltender Antti Niemi

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1000, f4, 1/1250th.

One of the arena staff members stacked the pucks to spell out NHL before warm ups at the Kings game.

Pucks are stacked to spell NHL

Pucks are stacked to spell NHL

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/100th.

While waiting for warm ups at the Kings game I looked up and fired a quick shot with the fisheye.

The roof inside Jobing.com Arena

The roof inside Jobing.com Arena

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISO3200, f2.8, 1/160th.

At the same game while walking back to the media lounge to trqansmit some pregame photos I spotted these guys from the arena watching warm ups from the Zamboni tunnel.  My white balance was set for the ice at about 3400k which gave me the cool green effect on the slats of the Zamboni doors.

People watch pregame warm ups from the Zamboni tunnel.

People watch pregame warm ups from the Zamboni tunnel.

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISO1000, f2.8, 1/100th.

While the Coyotes arena is a gorgeous building, one of the nicest in the league, it is lacking in shooting positions.  We only have one ice level hole, and at most games we can shoot from between the benches.  With 5-6 media outlets covering the game on any given night and me being low on the totem pole its rare I get to use either ice level position, so I often have to shoot from the concourse level.  Shooting up high does have some advantages though; you can get clean backgrounds with just the ice and without the annoying signage on the boards cluttering up the shot.

Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko.

Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1000, f4, 1/1000th.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1000, f4, 1/1000th.

At the first game the Coyotes went all out with introductions, bringing out the players in a dark arena one by one.  The dark arena with the spotlight combined for some cool reflections off the ice.

Coyotes right wing Mikkel Boedker.

Coyotes right wing Mikkel Boedker.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO2000, F2.8, 1/1250th.

At the Blackhawks game the ceremonial first puck was dropped by non other than Sgt. Slaughter.  I was flashing back to grammar school while shooting.

Professional Wrestler Sgt. Slaughter!  Yes, that is a camo blazer maggot!

Professional Wrestler Sgt. Slaughter! Yes, that is a camo blazer maggot!

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO2000, f2.8, 1/1250th.

At the other games only the goalie gets spotlighted since the others are skating around, but it has led to some great artsy goalie shots.

Coyotes goaltender lya Bryzgalov

Coyotes goaltender lya Bryzgalov

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO2500, f2.8, 1/3200th.

Coyotes goaltender Jason Labarbera.

Coyotes goaltender Jason Labarbera.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1250, f3.5, 1/2500th.

During the Blackhawks game the Coyotes scored but celebrated in the corner which would make a crap shot with the glass.  So instead I shot the crowd with the players in soft focus to salvage the shot.

Coyotes fans cheer after a goal.

Coyotes fans cheer after a goal.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1000, f4, 1/1000th.

At the Kings game I got my first fight, the players were in perfect position on the ice and went for solid minute, I ended up with 89 frames of the fight even with the camera buffer filling up in the first few seconds.  Sadly there was no blood or flying teeth.

 Phoenix Coyotes left wing Paul Bissonnette (12) and Los Angeles Kings left wing Raitis Ivanans (41) fight during the first period.

Phoenix Coyotes left wing Paul Bissonnette (12) and Los Angeles Kings left wing Raitis Ivanans (41) fight during the first period.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1000, f4, 1/1000th.

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All 89 frames of the fight.  Can you say Motordrive!

All 89 frames of the fight. Can you say Motordrive!

At several of the games I also went up to the press level at the top of the arena just to get a different look to the shots.

Blues goaltender Chris Mason makes a stick save.

Blues goaltender Chris Mason makes a stick save.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1600, f2.8, 1/1600th.

Blues defenseman Erik Johnson.

Blues defenseman Erik Johnson.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1600, f3.2, 1/1600th.

Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet comes out of the net to clear the puck.

Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet comes out of the net to clear the puck.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1000, f4, 1/1000th.

With the sellout crowd at the first game I went to the press level to get a wide shot of all the seats filled.  The Whiteout was cool for the shot as almost all of the fans were in white for a uniform look to the stands.

A capacity crowd fills Jobing.com Arena for the home opener.

A capacity crowd fills Jobing.com Arena for the home opener.

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, ISO1600, f4.5, 1/1000th.

I also shot them on the concourse level.

Fans wear white for the Welcome Back Whiteout at Jobing.com Arena.

Fans wear white for the Welcome Back Whiteout at Jobing.com Arena.

Nikon D300, 17-55mm, ISO1600, f2.8, 1/1250th.

For the Kings game I was able to shoot at ice level at both the hole and from the bench.  Shooting from the hole is cool if you are lucky enough to get some plays on that end of the ice.

Kings right wing Wayne Simmonds.

Kings right wing Wayne Simmonds.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO1600, f3.5, 1/800th.

Kings left wing Ryan Smyth.

Kings left wing Ryan Smyth.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, ISO1600, f4, 1/1000th.

The bench allows you to get up close and personal, there is no glass and shooting there in really intense.  You have to wear a helmet and be very aware of the game and players do go into your area from time to time.  One of the best parts is that you get to hear the coaches yelling, the players talking shit and all the other fun stuff that happens on the benches.

Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.

Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, ISO1600, f3.5, 1/500th.

Shane Doan was still sporting a shiner on his cheek from a big hit he took against the Ducks a few days earlier.

Coyotes left wing Shane Doan

Coyotes left wing Shane Doan.

Here is a video of the hit by James Wisniewski

At the Blues game I setup a remote camera above one of the goals but unfortunately it was a total failure.  The focus was off, the ISO too high (noisy) and it did not fire half the time.  For the Blackhawks game I gave it another try and it worked great.

Remote camera with pocket wizard and magic arm.

Remote camera with pocket wizard and magic arm.

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Me, high above the ice in the catwalks after the game.  Remote over my right shoulder.

Me, high above the ice in the catwalks after the game. Remote over my right shoulder.

Nikon D700, 16mmFE, f4, 1/200th, SB900.

During introductions the lights and slow shutter made some neat effects type shots.

Blackahwks goaltender Cristobal Huet and defenseman Brian Campbell warm up.

Blackahwks goaltender Cristobal Huet and defenseman Brian Campbell warm up.

Nikon D700m 70-200mm, ISO5000, f4, 1/20th.

And a nice clean stock shot of the hawks goalie.

Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet

Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet

Nikon D700m 70-200mm, ISO5000, f4, 1/20th.

During the first period I caught some good plays at the net with both the remote and my hand held camera.  Here Peter Mueller (88) scores on Cristobal Huet (39) from a couple of angles.

Coyotes right wing Peter Mueller scores on Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet

Coyotes right wing Peter Mueller scores on Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1250, f4, 1/1000th.

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This remote shot is the same but just cropped vertical and horizontal.

Coyotes right wing Peter Mueller scores on Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet

Coyotes right wing Peter Mueller scores on Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet

Nikon D700m 70-200mm, ISO5000, f4, 1/2500th.

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In the second period Patrick Sharp had back to back breakways within seconds of each other but failed to score on both.

Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp.

Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp.

Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1250, f4, 1/1000th.

Late in the third Shane Doan had a breakaway but lost the puck just as he was ready to shoot.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, ISO1250, F4, 1/1000th.

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Nikon D700m 70-200mm, ISO5000, f4

I hope you enjoyed the hockey shots.

Coming Soon:

NCAA Football

SCORE Baja 1000

2009 – A year at the races

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