Foxy Friday: Nino Niederreiter

It’s Friday, folks, so you know what that means!

FOXY FRIDAY!

Today, we’re featuring a guy with one of the coolest names in hockey – Nino Niederreiter.

Say that five times fast.

But who exactly IS Nino Niederreiter?

Nino is part of the youth movement in Minnesota, part of a core group of players which are poised to be an integral part of the Wild’s climb in the very difficult Central Division.

He was born in 1992 in Switzerland, land of Ricola and neutrality. One might not think of Switzerland as a hockey powerhouse, but over the last few years, there has been an emergence of Swiss talent joining the NHL ranks.

Roman Josi. Damien Brunner. Yannick Weber.  All Swiss. All love chocolate.

Niederreiter, AKA El Nino, was drafted 5th overall by the Islanders in the 2010 Entry Draft, making him the highest drafted Swiss player in NHL History. At the 2013 Entry Draft, he was traded to the Wild in exchange for Cal Clutterbuck and a 3rd round pick.  He’s 6’2″, 210 lbs, shoots left and this season, he has 2 G and 2A in 9 games.

Also, his eyebrows are working for us.

In last year’s playoff game 7 verses the Avalanche, Nino had two goals and an assist including the OT game-winner to advance his team to the second round, earning his forever place in the hearts of Wild fans everywhere.

Some other important things you should know about the newest member of the Foxy Friday Fraternity -

He loves slides.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

And Pictionary.

Boo.

His favorite mode of transportation are of the two-wheeled variety.

They see me rollin’…they hatin’

Beep! Beep! Who got the keys to the Jeep?

In his spare time, he enjoys knitting/wearing amazing boyfriend cardigans.

Knit 2, Purl 1

Perfecting his model look into middle distance. (it’s alot harder than it looks, people.)

Le Tigre

Channeling Sidney Crosby and his #AwkwardPockets.

After his hockey career ends, we think he’d have a great future as a lumberjack.

“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

And in honor of Halloween, we give you this gem.

Iceman, Maverick, and Goose

Top Gun Boys.  Get us every time.

Check out Nino on the twitter at @thelnino22.

Beneath the Ice

You could do worse than to launch your new season and new show with James Neal’s face. The Preds’ “Beneath the Ice” series debuted the other night with 6-plus minutes of what James is good at off the ice.

 

1. Sitting like a boy.

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Lean back.

(Remember when John Tavares was the only one with media training, and that was at 14? This is Exhibit A.)

2. Politely discussing that time Pittsburgh dumped him via Post-It Note.

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Aspiring Gingerbeard

Wait, James isn’t good with media! Who is this guy?  Maybe he didn’t need to be trained this time around.  Someone still shouldn’t let him sit like Homer Simpson.

3. Asking to have his roster photo retaken. Hey, if he doesn’t critique it, someone (around here) will! And for the record, it looks great.

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“Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?”

4. Wearing a shirt that’s too small.

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Does this jersey makes my arms look long?

5. Being unfamiliar with imperfect hair. Push it back?  Are these bangs or curtains?

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Do you have any product?

So, is this grown-up James Neal starting over? Nashville is a promising market with a new coach and new system. It’s a chance to prove himself on the ice, to let his talent speak and shut his temper down. Hockey media, not without reason, are skeptical – though I thought the word “castoff” in this Puck Daddy piece was harsh. Turns out I’m protective (and only I’m allowed to give James shit for being an idiot!). Nashville press seem to have embraced the potential, and it will be up to James what they have to say about him.

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Impressing the new boss.

We got our Rich Clune Foxy Friday posted just in time: he was placed on waivers by Nashville. Rich’s mom RT’d the Foxy Friday, which is the highest honor in the land and we can now retire. Luckily for Neal, Clune cleared waivers and was assigned to Milwaukee. Let’s hope Rich left a stocked fridge for Nealer and gets recalled to the Preds soon.

We need more of this:

 

In the next episode of Beneath the Ice, James drives a car and asks for directions. Lost and boring. It was filmed prior to Clune’s departure but this better not be what James turns into with Rich gone. Don’t get too nice, buddy.

 

Nah, we can’t leave it there!  Here’s James’ hat trick from last week:

 

#HockeyHalloween2014

Happy Hockey Halloween everyone!

It’s that special time of the year again when all of our favorite hockey players dress up in hilarious and sometimes ridiculously tiny, costumes, for our entertainment.  Most of the time, it is to bring joy and smiles to sick kids.  But sometimes it is strictly for our enjoyment.

Especially these two…

Dallas Stars (Tyler Segiun, Jamie Benn, Cody Eakin, Brenden Dillon)

BeguinTurtlePower

TURTLE POWER!

TURTLE POWER!  Seguin as Raphael? Benn as Leonardo?  If you know anything about TMNT, you know how supremely perfect this is.

Our love for Beguin is real and true, but this year’s Candy Bowl goes to Matt Fraser, Dougie Hamilton, Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug, and Seth “Stewie” Griffith from the Boston Bruins.

bruins as frozen

Couple of years ago, we had Zee Bunny. This year, we get Dougi-Elsa.

We applaud these men for completely letting go of their ego (and their dignity) to don these costumes to cheer up a bunch of sick kids.

Krug totally loves warms hugs. Griffith’s Hans wig gives new meaning to the term hockey hair. And Matt Fraser, bless his heart) looks like a ‘roided out Pippi Longstocking.

bruins frozen selfie

But let’s be honest – Matt Bartkowski is everything.  If there was anyone on the Bruins roster that could pull off that look, it was Bart.  The Sven the Reindeer costume look absolutely perfect on him.  When he come to the WUYS Fancy Dress Party as my date, I want him to wear that.

I love it and I love him. Be my boyfriend.

“Who’s the funky looking donkey over there?” “Oh that’s Sven.”

I’m sure the Bruins weren’t the only team to dress up and have a good time, but boy, did they do it with some flair.

Foxy Friday: Rich Clune

You should know we didn’t discover Rich Clune when James Neal got traded to the Predators.  Any NHL player who is sassy on Twitter piques our interest pretty early.  But standing next to – or taking in – one of our favorites certainly brings the light.

clune7

Even Puck Daddy has a piece about Neal & Clune today – “James Neal in Nashville: Happy, dumb and dumber.”  In a good way, of course.  Remember “Dumb and Dumber” once referred to Neal and Malkin, but this is a different level.

clune

And this gem of an outtake from yesterday’s post: Beneath the Ice.

Clune was drafted in the third round in 2005 (71st overall), but didn’t make his NHL debut until 2009-’10, when he played just 14 games for the Kings.  He wouldn’t see NHL ice again until 2012, after he was waived by the Kings post-lockout and picked up by the Predators.

nhl

During that time, and for a long time leading up to it, Clune battled alcoholism.  He spoke about it with ESPN in March 2013.  Reading the story, Rich sounds like a much older guy telling the story of a troubled youth.  Perhaps that life-change is why he’s still in the League today.

clune8

It could also be why he’s so open.  His secrets are out, he’s a 4th line guy, what are people going to say about him?  He wants, both desperately and to the point of comedy, to stay and play.  In July, Rich published a 30-minute online radio program about his recovery.  He called it the “debut show,” but so far it’s the only one.  Over the summer, Clune spoke to Puck Daddy about being a reluctant role model.

clune9

For a guy with such a serious side, Clune certainly rebounds with energy.  When James Neal was traded to Nashville, he moved in with Clune – they were drafted the same year, by the same team.  The budding bromance puts a lot of pressure on the Preds web content folks to deliver! (Cliff notes: Dude Perfect.)

clune6

Rich uses social media the way it should be used: often, if you’re funny.  Contract negotiations?  He has a few ideas.

clune11

Soccer?  No thanks.

clune4 clune3

Don’t let the arms distract you from this outfit, a color and pattern combination worthy of Mr. Pants and thus my heart.

clune5

Rich plays the guitar (shirtless, of course), hosts taco night because he probably read online Neal can’t feed himself and did the ice bucket challenge in possibly the #2 outfit of all time (behind Toews’ Spanx).  He has a lot of tattoos, since some of you are into that, and almost as many pictures of his feet in Summer Skates flip-flops.

clune2

Clune’s NHL career includes 120 games, 11 points and 305 PIMs.  He has 32 regular season fights in just three regular seasons.

clune10

We love a good redemption story, and Rich Clune has survived with style and humor. He’s proven he can take care of himself – we appreciate him looking out for Nealer too. As for the Predators, atop their division and with a host of Foxy Fridays on their roster, well they are taking care of business.

Follow Rich on the webs: @richcluneshow, instagram.com/richcluneshow 

(PS: Sorry I still can’t center photos!)

To the fella over there…

Attention everyone: James Neal cut his hair.

neal1

Fifty shades

In fact, James Neal cut his hair a week ago and I didn’t even notice.  How does this happen? Am I so fickle when someone departs my team? I basically wrote, “Friends forever!” in his yearbook back in June, then went to college and forgot about him. A few kind, attentive readers mentioned the haircut, worried about my reaction to his season opening, trade-rebellion-mullet, but I did not look up a photo until now.

It was worth the wait.

neal2

No one helped me when I had a mullet.

This is excellent.  It’s almost modest, a pre-Pittsburgh, Stars-era James. Maybe the Preds equipment guys don’t provide the players’ favorite hair products in both home and away locker rooms, like Pens’ Dana Heinze.

Any new haircut needs to grow just a bit, but we are back in business.

neal3

I guess she likes my haircut too.

Photos from David Yurman in-store event, October 14.  This is a second, do-over haircut after the one Rich Clune treated us to on Twitter (resulting in the aforementioned mullet).

neal

Some assembly required.

Nealer is featured on the Predators main page at the moment (in the acceptable pre-haircut days).  Does this mean he’s fitting in down in Nashville?  Ehhh, not quite yet – at least on the ice.  He’s got just two goals in six games and my fantasy team is not happy.  But the Preds are first in their division and second in the Western Conf (10 points), still undefeated in regulation and James’ short hair can only mean better days are on the way.

neal4

Cover guy

Here’s another teaser of the Preds’ Beneath the Ice series that kicks off with a James episode on October 25.  It’s not quite Dude Perfect, but there is potential for season-long reality bromance programming.

 

One more in which James says “roundabout” and nothing else happens.  At all.

 

American Dream

As you know, hockey does not often make American airwaves.

I sometimes wonder what percentage of our population could identify Wayne Gretzky, forget Gordie Howe or Crosby or Intern Jeff Skinner.  It would be a killer round on “Celebrity Name Game,” after so few of my countrymen recognize Bill Gates but everybody knows Jared from Subway.

Imagine my excited double take when I saw this Gatorade ad (over the summer) featuring our favorite meerkat, Patrick Kane.

 

I may have fist-pumped in the gym.  Patrick Kane on TV with Bryce Harper?  With Dwyane Wade, from basketball, who is not Dwayne Wayne from “A Different World?” And that football guy I don’t know, but he’s in a lot of commercials so he’s probably a Kardashian?!  I thought, “Go Kaner!” and “Yes, his hair looks pretty good in this.”

kane2

Can’t be looking a mess when you finally make your break.

** I INTERRUPT THIS POST TO BRING YOU THE GREATEST THING EVER. **

kane6

I want you to join the US Dance Team.

Go here: Gatorade Kane Locker Tour. Click the headphones.  Click everything, and between everything click the headphones again.  How on Earth has this existed since July and we’ve never seen it?

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Recently,  another beloved tradition returned – McDonald’s Monopoly.  It’s the quintessential learning tool for American kids: throwaway money, shiny cars and that one time you went to jail but it wasn’t a big deal.  On Sunday, Mr. Pants and I hit the drive-thru. Only his soda cup had Monopoly pieces, and he didn’t notice.  I didn’t really care.  Then five hours later, at home, the Monopoly commercial came on.

 

Mr. Pants, looking around as if we keep old cups on the table: “It’s Monopoly time?”

Me, running toward kitchen, “YOU CAN WIN PATRICK KANE??”

kane7

Lebron, yes,  But a race car driver? America loves race car drivers!

Let me tell you, I went into the garbage.  I didn’t even hear what the Kaner-related prize was but I flung aside hours of moving debris just in case this was my chance to strike it Patrick.  I didn’t dig through trash to win money or Beats by Dre headphones or whatever, only for Patrick Kane.

kane8

This was just the change in my pocket.

Turns out the prize is – I still don’t know. Hawks tickets probably. That’s worth a dumpster dive. Our cup yielded nothing, not even a free soda in another cup with which to continue this cycle. The truth is: you never win, unless you actually are Patrick Kane.  Multiple Stanley Cups and most valuable-type trophies?  Side prizes.  He is standings next to wheelbarrow full of cash on the Monopoly board while it rains McChickens, all broadcast on TV.  That, folks, is the American Dream.

kane7

Do these skates make me look short?

His hair doesn’t look as good in this ad, though.

Trick or Toews

Halloween has arrived a little early for a few of our favorite teams.  In the world of the 24 hour Tumblr news cycle, these guys came to party.

pens1

Geno’s pal Max Ivanov, Kris Letang, some guy I don’t know and Evgeni Malkin.

Letang is always going for it on Halloween, though we must point out the Mad Hatter is not a prince.  Disney, yes (so close!), but next year, let there be an Aladdin costume with his name on it.  Geno went to the School of Vampire Standing, and I bet his English sounds the same with those teeth in.

Sid is dressed as Rocky, apparently.  I haven’t seen that movie in 15 years, but he’s said before it’s his favorite film.  Imagine if his favorite movie were, say:

TROY

Sid's gladiator costume years back was not even close.

That gladiator costume a few years back was not even close.

TOP GUN

Still waiting for a photo of Sid & BSutts as Maverick & Goose from last year.

Still waiting for a photo of Sid & BSutts as Maverick & Goose from last year.

FIREFLY?!

Best Halloween nerdjoke of all time.

Best Halloween nerdjoke of all time.

Okay, I’m getting carried away.  Here is your reference for Sid’s costume, and I’ll go on assuming that it’s some kind of challenge issued to the Flyers.

rocky

Which way to the stairs?

All in all, Rocky has nothing on the real costume winners of the evening:

pens2

Paul Martin, Beau Bennett, Geno, Robert Bortuzzo and Nick Spaling.

So many thoughts fighting to be my first thought! Borts shaved his beard nooooooooooooo! but it’ll be back by lunch tomorrow.  Should guys like Borts & Beau, so oft-injured, really be wearing platform shoes?  How is this not in their player contracts?  I have no idea what Nick Spaling’s face looks like, but we’ll know him now by a sliver of side-thigh.  Tough luck if you’re in Pittsburgh and needed white face paint for your costume – it’s sold out.  Also, how does anyone go to the bathroom?

Please say they watched Role Models over and over to prepare:

Mentor this.

Mentor this.

Thanks to @Jrho for pointing us toward Max Ivanov’s Instagram for more photos.  Can we please give Chris Kunitz a 100-year contract so we have 99 more Halloweens to look forward to?  Last year, sock monkey.  This year when he scores a hat trick, everyone throw scotch on the ice.

Boy, that escalated quickly.

Boy, that escalated quickly.

The Blackhawks always have the best couples costumes – see last year for reference.  This year they continued to raise the bar.

Photo from 25Stanley.com

Photo from 25Stanley.com

Bryan Bickell’s rabbit isn’t quite white, but we get what he means.  (No, I didn’t get it at all, but Vanessa did!  He’s the March Hare and I need a refresh on some of these films.)

hawks2

Photo from 25Stanley.com

Andrew Shaw and his girlfriend must know that I am going as Peter Pan this year, they wanted to make me feel cool.  If only my photos could have an incredible, awkward, derp-perfect photobomb by RoboToews.

I. Am. Fun. Now. Binary Solo!

I. Am. Fun. Now. Binary Solo!

I wish for one day the Hawks website would make that Toews’ roster photo.

hawks4

Shiny pants, Jon.

Send us more Halloween photos when you see them, including yours if they are hockey-themed!  We’ll be here working on the candy corn.

Hello, Canada!

Let’s talk about this:

hello1

Look up.

Not Kate Middleton gossip, remembering Ryan Reynolds is Canadian or even Angelina being honored with an extra “u” from the Queen.  I mean the important stuff.

hello2

Up to the top.

You are reading that right.  Thanks to @tobelerone for seeing this first!

hello3

I still don’t see it.

This is a real story. IN A MAGAZINE.  It’s teased on the cover!  I love Canada.  You’d have to run out of  divorces, Duck Dynasties, Duggars (not possible) and basically all forms of life on Earth before an American gossip magazine would run a hockey story.

us4

Next week’s issue

I want to be in the pitch meeting where ranking attractive hockey players gets discussed on a regular basis.

hello

Ooh, I hope it’s a PowerPoint.

I bet the voting process starts with the NHL Awards.

hello5

Link. For heaven’s sake, Crosby, see a tailor.

Jeff Carter gets engaged and then married within about an hour of winning the Cup and ruins everything.

alan

And with the beard!

They brainstorm all summer, counting on shirtless boat-selfies as campaign strategy. There are heated debates, anonymous picspam sabotage attempts and pitch calls to Dude Perfect.  The entire office is covered in photos and notes, like a live-action Tumblr feed.

Anderson5

:: slides down wall ::

The problem is: if you do this list right, it’s predictable.  Maybe even boring – if you’re bored by things like Sidney Crosby.  Or this blog.  I assume Hello! Canada will pick 10 Canadian players, but perhaps there’s room on this list for a Swede (or a Star) or two.

list

This took some thought.

We can’t see the whole list online – who’s going to tell us which eight other players make the cut?  More importantly, what are your guesses?

freaky friday

Don’t let us down.

Everybody Wins

This week, Tyler Tuesday really overdelivers.

If asked for two words to describe Tyler Seguin, Chuck would use “dude” and “perfect.” She is sedated after seeing this on vacation, so allow me….

 

First of all, Dude Perfect is – as advertised – a group of five guys and a panda.  One guy has a gingerbeard.  Before we even get to Jamie & Tyler, we know this is going to be right up our alley.

dp2

The ensuing competition of ridiculous challenges confirms what Dallas Stars World Domination HQ has been shilling for months: Tyler and Jamie are more talented, more fun and better looking than your team.

beaux

This actually came on TV as I was writing.

And they know it.  We see you, Obviously Rhetorical Question answered silently by Tyler’s expression:

dude3

These two giggle more on camera than you will watching and they shamelessly hug everyone within arm’s reach .  Tyler bounces a rubber duck off his skate blade.  Jamie scores a diving goal with a pumpkin.  Can I buy this at Starbucks?

dude3

Obviously each drill was completed flawlessly on the first take, including the Despicable Me Minion Fart Blaster duel (I have one of this in my office for serious occasions).  No editing or magic of Hollywood needed here.

dp1

Jamie wins the competition, even with a one point deduction for how slowly he realizes that balancing the ball on the cup is the point of that game.  Tyler isn’t really trying – he just assumes there are bonus points for how often he manages to flash his abs.

dude4

What, no prize for this?

The actual prize?  Our hearts.  Oh, and a six pound milkshake which 1) I have had and 2) can be purchased in Annapolis.  Stop by on your victory tour, Benn.

dude5

I’d say more teams should invite Dude Perfect in, but I’m not sure they can all handle it.  Perhaps Dude Perfect could just stick around to consult on the Stars’ multimedia efforts all season, since you’re halfway to buying a Jamie Benn jersey already.

Thanks to @J.Rho for pointing out that I forgot to include the BONUS FOOTAGE video.  Probably because Mr. Pants & I actually joked about being PB&J for Halloween this year, and I know Tyler and Jamie would do it better.

 

These are your Captains speaking

On today’s episode of Extreme Diplomacy with Sidney Crosby, Strombo sits down with Sid:

Something about this video keeps breaking the link, try this if you can’t see it. 

To discuss whatever they are talking about while this plays in my head:

If there’s a pseudo-boyband version of a song, I prefer it.

Sid does get all cute talking about MacKinnon, like he’s a Scout Troop leader.  I guess it’s a relief from the usual business of deflecting questions: “Do you hate your boss?”, “Are you too old now?”, “What is taking so damned long?”

sid1

Pants, wake up, Pants. I’m about to smile.

As a publicist, we dream of guys like this: upload the script, read the script, act natural while saying exactly what I told you to.  As a person, I may have dozed off during the interview.  At least this chair looks up to the task for once.  No way he could sit all the way forward without flipping it.

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On a different channel, Captain Partypants himself, Jonathan Toews, is having more fun in 2:18 than we’ve had since wakeboarding.

He wears this shirt like it’s those shorts too.

I know Sid did the self-depriacting, hilarious Cabbie “selfie” interview.  We loved it, and Crosby probably had to breathe into a bag afterward.  Jon, on the other hand, has this whole “I’m fun now” thing on lock.

cab1

Hold up: waterslides.  Please let that be the next charity participation trend.

cab1

So we make fun of “Captain Serious,” and Jon changes his tune.  Then we make fun of his game face and Jon claims it looks like:

cab2

That’s about a hundred derps shy of a Hawks broadcast, but we’ll let it slide.

Waterslide.

The Penguins are off till Thursday, while the Hawks host the Flames on Wednesday.  It’ll give Jon a chance to score his first goal of the season (0G, 2A in 2 games), and catch up a little with Sid’s 246 point pace (3G, 3A in 2 games).

colbert

Table Manners

Oh, Strombo.  Who put these roundtable interview combinations together?  Tavares, Giroux and Seguin at the same table?   It’s awkward.  It’s brilliant.  It’s the cast of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

 

Compared to Sid, Hank and Toews all doing the casual leanback, these guys are more nervous and eager.  They’re all sitting forward, shoulders up – they even mimic each other’s postures with their hands.  A therapist would have a field day with all the mutual admiration and trying to fit in going on here.

Is this a restaurant? Is this on the menu?

Is this a restaurant? Is this on the menu?

 

Of course their outfits match too, light button-downs all around.  If this were a dinner, the waitress would be spilling water on everyone.

tr1

No kidding, that’s where I bought my shirt!

So, John’s teeth aren’t really fixed.  Claude didn’t bother with his false tooth.  Tyler is perfect, because he’s Tyler – and he’s really likable in this interview.  It’s possible I never considered that before.  Sorry other guys, but the Western Conference is taking top marks with only half the seats at these roundtables.

[Note from Chuck: Oh, Tyler. Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. I'm a sucker for a guy's hands and the way that he was talking with them and resting them oh so casually on his biceps throughout the interview - killing me... killing me softly.]

tr5

Charming. Hide your wives and girlfriends.

John, of course, is so, so square.  How can you not love this guy?!  ‘Mild mannered’ doesn’t begin to describe it.  No one on his team showboats.  No play haunts him.  According to Giroux, he is a terrible trash talker. He says “fustration” (no ‘r’) and takes any opening to dig at Giroux.  He obviously combed his own hair for this interview and probably has a coat and tie in his bag just in case.

tr4

Focus on the sound of my voice.

Jana (@jstefanc) said it best: “It’s so weird to see a teacher outside of school.”

From the archives, a picture of 14-year old John in media training:

wiggum

This’ll sound great on TV.

[Note from Chuck: No media training for Tyler?  That explains so much. Did the Bruins not have one?  Had I know, I totally would have Katniss-ed that.]

For all the ginger glory, Claude needs to decide what he’s doing with this hair.  Long or parted.  You can’t pick both, not on one head at the same time.  We love the curls and the color but it’s time to commit.

tr6

Looks fine under a helmet!

The best part of this, the most revealing difference from the other interview, is how they all reach for the snacks the moment it’s over.

Cheetos for everyone.

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Cheat day!!

We could go for more of these, if Strombo is free.  Or he could join in the Google Hangouts that Lindsay, Alison and I do where we watch two hockey games a piece and all talk over each other in shouty caps.

Let’s Talk About…

At the NHL media tour, George Stroumboulopoulos (@strombo) hosted a series of roundtable discussions with some of our favorite players.  

Up first: Sid, Hank and Tazer.  This is a good interview.  I had never seen Strombo before the NHL Awards and apparently he gets some flack for softball-ing questions, but I liked this.  It’s funny, insightful and touches on some interesting, oft-unasked things.  There’s enough room for a little personality to sneak in, elevating it just above sports cliche into a more natural conversation.  Strombo for Commissioner.

 

Now forgive me while I take this respectable interview and evaluate it superficially. (Future subtitle of my autobiography.)

You say: Crosby, Lundqust, Toews.  I say:

whippets

I may have had some sugar today.

Followed immediately by:

twitter

Everybody’s a critic

Meanwhile Sid looks like if he inhales deeply enough, that shirt will split.  It’s also navy blue – dark, yes, but are those black pants?  Oh boy.

roundtable

Let’s talk about how great we are.

Henrik, in full custom couture (duh), puts on a handsome expression.  Wait, that’s his only expression.  It serves to mask the amateur hour he surely sees before him: dressed down and violating a cardinal contrast rule.  Hank thinks about being helpful, then remembers who won the Art Ross Trophy and is now in his division.  The King decides to let the Kid take a powder on this one.

sid hank

You can never be overdressed or overly Swedish – er, close enough.

Having never heard Miranda Priestly’s speech on shades of blue, Sid doesn’t care.  He’s thinking about the interview, specifically hoping Strombo doesn’t bring up superstitions.  Which Strombo does.  Look how perfectly still Crosby sits – he’s frozen, like a petrified tree.  You can hear him thinking, “Don’t look at me, I’m not here.”  AND THEY DON’T!  What?!  His publicist must have been off-stage threatening the director with a high heel to the face if he cut to SidCam at that moment.

roundtable2

I’m a perfectly normal kind of crazy.

Across the table, Toews just basks in his own open collar coolness.  He’s laid-back, nursing the end of a tan and saying “heck” with no hint of awkwardness.  If he’d been American, he’d be a star quarterback.  It doesn’t even matter that Jon can’t shake the “Captain Serious” nickname, because all of his stories end in championships.

toews

Over here in the Western Conference, with my Stanley Cups…

Notice how full the prop snack bowls remain throughout.  No one even snuck a pumpernickel chip out of the Chex Mix before this thing started.

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Weakness? Never heard of it.

Sensing the interview coming to an end, Sid does what Sid always does: he finds another gear.  He makes those short-sleeved forearms count.  Next year, everyone will be wearing a polo  - except Henrik, of course.

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Thinking about tiny pockets.

In all seriousness, I love their answers, especially Sid’s, on the You Can Play campaign question.  No one over-explains.  They just speak with quiet confidence as if it’s a non-issue nd anyone who has a problem with it will have to answer to these guys.  It must be great comfort to a player, present or future, thinking about taking that step.

Next up: Giroux, Seguin and Tavares.  Or a lion, a tiger and a baby otter.

rt jt

Don’t listen to them, John!  (Okay, maybe a little.)

What I’m trying to say…

It’s here, it’s here!  The most exciting, heartbreaking, hair-tearing, curse-hurling, cheering, crying, social-life-cancelling time of the year!

possible

Affirmative.

To celebrate the start of a new season, SportChek had Sidney Crosby list 39 hockey terms every fan should know:

I bet they wrote 38 terms and Sid threw “Geno” in there himself.

Assuming you’ve got most of those, and hoping we’re past the use of “celly,” you’re ready for a great year. To make sure you spend that time with us, here are a few more:

WUYS-tionary: Glossary of Terms

Intern Jeff Skinner – The pain of Jeff’s indefinite concussion recovery is fresh and Niskanaen – of all people! – should have been suspended for the hit.  But we know Jeff will be back soon, flashing dimples and figure skating moves, fetching our Mexicolas while trying not to Hulk out of last season’s t-shirts.  We can’t run this place without him.

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Always a rookie to us.

#ThatsaLotofCows – John Tavares 4Eva. When he has a multi-point game, whips his hair around with disregard for our well being or rocks a particularly khaki pair of khakis, this is our refrain.

cows

How do you say “heck” in French?

#AlsoCleaningtheBathroom – This is a new one, accidentally coined by @kimmerbajimmer.  It refers to a game you’re watching just for that one player who got traded there, while also multitasking with chores.  Example: Sam Gagner/Phoenix Coyotes.

mac and cheese

When the Coyotes play their howl, I start singing “Thriller.”

Foxy Friday – Weekly feature and highly-coveted award, we stop each Friday to appreciate one player’s off-ice “talents.” Warning: Foxy Friday has magical powers, as players tend to have a really good game/week immediately upon selection. Suggest names with caution.

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“I understood that reference!”

PUPPIES! (see also: resident boyband, #TeamEbs, #TeamHallsy) – Anyone near the age of “half your age + 7″ (appropriate boyfriend cutoff) who plays for the Edmonton Oilers.  They all have group photos as Twitter banners, people.

oilers

At Canadian Country Music Awards. In case this lineup wasn’t enough.

Related entry: Molly Ringwald – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  Possibly the most random nickname we’ve ever bestowed, it stems from this post. The perfection of his eyebrows makes me loopy, okay?

Plaid Suit – The best accessory for walking to the locker room in pre-game b-roll, or making us appreciate a Flyer.  Guaranteed to get our attention, and usually get you out of detention.

giroux

Style, even in sadness.

Glasses – see: Plaid Suit.  Glasses even got a Foxy Friday.

glasses

Mario was the only one not falling for this.

Mikey Monday - Unweekly feature that waits, sometimes months, for Mike Green to have a great game and/or ride a scooter. Remember the nude colored belt? Those were the days.

mikey

One of my ever-faves from Jen.

Bromance – Best friends forever and ever, until they turn into each other.  Or until someone gets traded.

stars

This @DudePerfect thing on Monday going to be major.

Related entry: Seguinista – A female fan of Tyler Seguin.  Chuck for President.

Phil Kessel Makeover Project (aka: Everywhere You Go Has Valet) – Like the charitable effort undertaken by Cher and Dionne in Clueless, or even the self-serving transformation in She’s All That, we aspire to nothing if not a movie-style makeover of the NHL’s most unfortunately unfashionable.  Call us, Phil.  We have a plan.

kessel

America’s Nest Top Model

Sidstache – It’s almost Novemeber, prepare yourself. Maybe Crosby will start a goal-scoring streak tomorrow and get a jump start?

:: throws coins/dollars/ATM card into fountain ::

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Had to pause the TV for this one.

Disney Prince – Result of exhaustive investigation to prove animators are Penguins fans.  Refers primarily to Kris Letang, Exhibit A:

letang disney

Also Prince Caspian, not Disney or even animated.

Secondary findings suggest support of Sidney Crosby, Exhibit B:

charming

Live-action Charming to be played by Robb Stark. Tailor-mice unable to make custom pants.

Toewsface – The moment a great face is turned into an action gargoyle, captured forever by cameras. So named for the founder and CEO of Derpface Enterprises.  It even has a Tumblr.

toews

I made this look good um….

Related entry: “I’m fun now!” – Used whenever Grumpy Cat Jonathan Toews surprises us with personality and/or wakeboarding in Spanx.

Tiny Pockets – Born as regular pockets, they are no match for what Sidney Crosby is carrying. Once seen frequently in the wild, these pockets have become a rare sighting since Crosby let selfies into his life.

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Where does he put his keys?

Boyfriend Material – What all of Steven Stamkos’ shirts are made from. Follow their adventures with @alexis_b82‘s brilliant blog: Hey Girl, I’m Steven Stamkos.

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One size fits all.

Boyfriend Shirt – Not to be confused with the above, this broadly applies to anything zip-front, henley or raglan.  Basically what you’d borrow then never return, and/or the entire contents of Robert Bortuzzo’s closet.

Get well soon!

Get well soon!

Gingerbeard – The Holy Grail of facial hair. Occurs on redheads, brunettes and blonds alike, making every five o’clock shadow a potential masterpiece. A huge contender in our annual #BeardWatch tussle.

gingerbeard2

Just one glorious example.

NOT THE FACE! – Instruction to every puck, stick or fist flying around the ice. Often shouted in our best impression of Hermione disarming a Death Eater.

Followed by a frantic Tweet.

Followed by a frantic Tweet.

Prayer Circle – Forms upon an exclamation of “Not the face!” or other injury.  Used liberally, I’d like to think they work.

BC Sucks – This is your daily reminder that we went to BU.  I didn’t live in the minimum security of Warren Towers’ dorm rooms or spend all my dining points on 2 AM Domino’s delivery with Chuck to turn a blind eye on our biggest rival.  You might graduate from there, and we’ll like you.  Heck, play for our NHL team and we’ll cheer for you.  But BC still sucks.

bu

This new fundraising campaign is a success.

What other common WUYS-speak have I forgotten? We’re a bit rusty after all the months! I’m sure there are a few gems, and many more to be created by the euphoria and despair that begin tonight.

As we embark on another NHL season, remember the most important rules for hockey fans:

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Start early.

And:

amy

Talk (off a ledge) often.

Happy hockey, everyone!

Sonic Youth

If you read this blog with any regularity you know that Pants and I love us some Boston University (#ScarletAndWhiteForLife) – we are proud alumnae after all – and for the last few years,  I’ve been a BU Hockey season ticket holder.  (Section 112, represent).

While the focus of this blog is primarily the NHL, I like try to mix it up and occasionally espouse the joys of college hockey - it is after all where some of the games best players get their start.

This weekend, the Boston University Terriers began their 2014-2015 season  with a 12-1 drubbing of St. Thomas University (from New Brunswick).

Yes, you read that correctly.  12 to 1. The Terriers scored a dozen goals. Okay, so maybe the St. Thomas University Tommies (natch) were they most stellar of the teams, but still. The only time I’ve ever seen a dozen of anything in a hockey rink is that time Pants and I got fined a dozen donuts for skipping an intramural broomball game.

This weekend also marked the debut of wunderkid Jack Eichel.  Never heard of him?  Well you soon will.  That’s because he is projected to be the #1 draft pick in this year’s NHL Draft.  (Last time #1 pick was a BU kid was Rick Dipietro in 2000 and we all know how that ended.)

Since making his name with the USA Hockey development program and winning gold at last year’s World Junior Championships, hockey pundits and NHL scouts have been touting the 17 year old Jack Eichel as the new face of American hockey.

“He’s the next Patrick Kane,” they say.

“The next Evgeni Malkin,” they say.

“The next Bill S. Preston, Esquire,” I say.

 

Eichel2

I’m typically not one to buy into all the hype until I’ve actually seen someone play, but after seeing Eichel this weekend, I can totally see that they were talking about.

In his first game in the scarlet and white, Eichel skated on the 1st line and had 5 assists.  Watching him play, you know that the kid has that something, that intangible, undefinable hockey “thing”.

His skill was excellent and his skating explosive.  Two strides and he was past the defender.  Two more strides and he was through the neutral zone, puck on his stick, then a quick dish to his linemate for the score.

At 6’2″ and about 195 lbs, Eichel has the size to be a NHL player.   A couple of years playing in a prestigious program like BU and in what is arguably the most competitive league in the college hockey will situate Eichel to make that jump to the NHL.

But Eichel is just one piece of the puzzle. This weekend, the Terriers dressed 10 freshman.  New coach cleaned house in the off-season to build a team that fit into his coaching style and his ideals of what a student-athlete should be.

The Terriers – and college hockey- is all about potential. It is about the potential that these young men have to fulfill their childhood dreams and make it to the NHL.

Some, like Jack Eichel, will make it. Some will not. Maybe they’ll become coaches.  Or scouts. Or simply return to their hometowns and become beer-league all-stars. Maybe some walk away from the sport all together after their college playing days are over and get married and raise a family. Whatever their path might be, these young men will be better men for having played college hockey.

So I guess the moral of this post is that if you happen live in an area that has college hockey, go and watch some games.    The games are seriously affordable and highly entertaining.  I seriously doubt you’ll be disappointed.

And if you’re lucky, the rink will sell beer like mine does.

 

Intern Update

It’s an awkward moment in any boss’ career when you realize that, over the summer, your intern became hot.

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This is Taylor Lautner and you’re listening to….

We could dial that back down a few notches to “attractive,” because Intern Jeff Skinner will always have the face of a 12-year old and be our equivalent of a little brother.  But it’s safe to say that he has well and truly ditched the title “The Justin Bieber of Hockey” – because Justin Beiber is still in a child’s body while Jeff is all dimples and built like Beyonce.

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I woke up like dis.

I’m just saying: this guy still works for free.  Obviously we make him lift a lot of very heavy things.  Perhaps we should consider a clothing allowance since his outfits are so snug, but it’s not like we told him to do the ice bucket challenge in a white t-shirt.  The moment it was over, he – and everyone else – realized it was a bit too scandalous for the Disney Channel and ran off-screen.

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Modest Mouse

Now Chuck thinks we need a new intern; suggestions are welcome.  The new guy can clean her office.  I will never give up Intern Jeff, who’s only 22, because he won the Calder even when I didn’t vote for him and we do a mean duo lip-sync of the entire Ed Sheeran song catalog in alpha-order.  So what if he looks better than I do?

skinner2

Never heard of him.

I get paid to work here, after all.  No slacking off.

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Who hashtags raisins?  #interns

Intern Jeff led the Canes with his career-high 33 goals last season.  The JStaal-less team kicks off their new year October 10 vs. the Islanders.  We’d like to see them do well - but not too well.  How does third in the Metropolitan Division behind the Pens and Capssound?  Or does that spot go to Tavares &  the Islanders now? This is the problem with having a favorite player on every team.

Take a Bow

3rd period Earth science teacher  John Tavares had his jersey retired by the Oshawa Generals last night.

Does this marshmallow cloud have seat belts? Otherwise all the kittens are going to fall off.

It used to be there was nothing better than John’s humble awkwardness (which lives on, of course):

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At least you can’t see my bowl cut.

Now we also get this:

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Plaid suit, because John takes notes.

Apparently John did summer training with Ralph Lauren.  While he wasn’t doing squats, he must have been tying windsors and choosing lapel cuts because yes.  100%.  This suit is so good, I assume PK Subban picked it out.

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Can Crosby go to this camp? (Photo credit: @ GoodallMedia)

In 223 games over four seasons with the Generals, John scored 183 goals and a total of 453 points. 453 points?! He had a 72 goal season in ’06-07. This back the day when footwork and skating were openly discussed problems in John’s game, which he worked on relentlessly until, well, you can watch him now.

gennys4

Vintage.

I will openly discuss that I don’t need more good teams in the League. I have enough Metropolitan Division problems and the Penguins have Islander problems even when no one else does. But please, someone field John a team that is deeper than one line and figure out how to keep it together. I want to see more prom-style award acceptance photos.

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This guy.  (Photo credit: @ GoodallMedia)

The Islanders season kicks of October 10 in Carolina.  Could this be JT’s year?

ho-sang

#agreed

Could Be Dangerous

I AM GETTING EXCITED!  Like Jesse Spano-on-pills excited.  Less than two weeks until hockey starts and I should warn you:  I may go this entire season using only gifs from Sherlock. I am laaaaaaaaaaate to this fandom but it really explains Life, the Universe, and Everything.  (Double Martin Freeman nerd-reference there, for anyone still with me.)

When hockey comes back in October, demanding all our time:

whatlife

How I feel about 99% of social media in-season:

thank_you_for_input_sherlock

And the rest of the media:

umm_no_sherlock

Friends who don’t follow hockey but still try to read this blog:

watson scary

When Cosmo does a list of hottest players:

moriarty grimace

When someone writes a bullshit “Girls Guide to Hockey”-type article:

john laptop

Movember:

sherlock mustache

When Crosby hasn’t scored in five minutes and everyone’s freaking out:

sherlock relax

When Sid scores on the next shift:

sherlock kiss

Watching Blackhawks TV and a coworker passes your desk:

sherlock laptop

Distinct kicking motion?

sherlock painting

When someone cool announces they are a Flyers fan:

sherlock no

Except Giroux, damn it:

mary likes him

Twitter rumors:

wrong

James Neal pre-game:

sherlock ruffle

Me on a James Neal Good Day:

molly2

Me on a James Neal Bad Day:

molly3

When friends ask why they haven’t seen you since October:

moriarty ordinary

Trying to watch Western Conference games:

sherloc tired

John Tavares post-game:

sherlock scarf

Trade deadline:

sherlock sad

When your team gives up a late goal:

sherlock couch

When your team wins:

moriarty

When your team loses:

john not okay

When Mr. Pants tells me to calm down because it’s just a game:

sherlock murder

When you swear you’re never watching hockey again:

mary after work

Chuck and I, everyday:

shserlock sheet

I could go on – and I will, promise.  I may expand into other Benedict Cumberbatch and/or Martin Freeman projects and I reserve the right to claim anything produced by the BBC as fair game.  But mostly Sherlock.  Watch it now (while you have time) and I promise this will all be much funnier to you later.

Dear Life…

Dear Life,

It  will be a year, almost to the day the 2014-15 NHL season starts, since my job scenario changed and I have been increasingly overwhelmed at work.  We’re way past busy, and have visited manic on the way to meltdown.  Recently.  (See: this past Monday.)

pretzels

It’s either carbs or crime.

I don’t remember where I found the time to watch hockey last season, let along blog about it, but that’s the clear reason why I bailed on the playoffs the minute my team was out.  Summer was no better: if it happened since May and didn’t involve an ice bucket, I probably missed it.

lucy

When someone comes into my office at lunch.

Well, that’s over.  I’m giving you two weeks to clean out your office.  Transfer your responsibilities elsewhere, Life, because on October 8, hockey is in charge.

beyonce

Do the Scissor Leg.

Priorities will change.  I can’t just catch highlights or read the all-text, when-will-you-learn-we-need-photos NHL news posts.  It’s not enough to see Tumblr memes and injury selfies on Instagram.  One night off and I could be swept away by HTP (Hockey Twitter Panic) like Dorothy in a tornado.

hogwarts panic

Neville, you are no help!

Any day now, Crosby’s going to test his tiny pockets again.  Steven Stamkos will prove his unbrokeness by leaping a tall building in a single bound.  Who will document these things?  John Tavares doesn’t just wake up and forgo pleated khakis for nothing, you know.  If a healthy scratch wears a plaid in the press box and no one posts it, does it still make a sound?

mirrors

We are weeks (at best, months) away from the season’s first misogynistic story suggesting 10 moronic questions girls can ask their would-be boyfriends while pretending to care about hockey.  Who will lambast these writers?  Or worse, who will let these girls go through with such an insulting and terrible plan?  Cosmopolitan will do a hatchet list of Hockey’s Hottest Players, compiled from Wikipedia searches and MySpace profile photos.  We cannot sit idly by while such offenses go unpunished.

supernatural

Sometimes you have to.

There are Fridays to Foxy.  Mike Green could do something that calls for a Monday.  Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin might dress as each other for Halloween.  James Neal could hold his shit together in Nashville.  Orange might be Michael Del Zotto’s color.  Jonathan Toews could be wearing those wakeboarding Spanx under any outfit at any time.  I could run into Matt Niskanenen at lunch!  The Puppy Bowl Oilers may even win a few games and WUYS must be ready.

lizlemon

Next stop: Verizon Center!

So, Life, the clock is ticking.  Two weeks from now, I am going back to hockey and fun and my friends.  And nachos.  You’re going to have to figure out how to work around us.

Love,
Pants

the_rock_clap_clap_gif

(Co-signed by my life coach.)

Birthday Boy: John Tavares

Is everyone excited?  Training camp has begun, the season is nearly upon us and it’s time to party like John Tavares.

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TWO scoops of ice cream.  Go crazy.

John turns 35 today… kidding, he’s 24.  Yes, in human years.  This clearly demonstrates why the Prime Minister of Canada only has to be 18, while President of the United States must be 35.  We just don’t make ‘em like John down here.

Chris Kunitz, John Tavares, Sidney Crosby

Sid looks jealous.

Way back in March 2012, we featured John as Foxy Friday.  We dig the ‘hot middle school science teacher’ vibe, and let’s be honest – we need someone to file our taxes. Since then, we’ve spent many a post discussing tucked-in shirts, how nervous John gets when interviewed by a woman and that time he was selected Islanders Captain and said “heck” in his speech.

jtspeech

This is me being cool.

John is the perfect blend of awkward and awesome, of boy-next-door and we-grew-up-in-the-wrong-town.  If we ever go back to school, we’ll just print this blog out and hand it in as our senior thesis on John’s choice of pants.

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Before.

He’d appreciate our use of the Scientific Method.

jtjeans

After.

Editor’s note to self for next blog: it’s tough to search posts about “pants” when you call yourself “Pants.”  But all talk of pants is good.

jtface

How you doin’?

Since being hurt in Sochi last year, John missed the end of a very promising season.  We can’t wait for him to come back in all his dorky glory, hair sticking out the top of his helmet, and give Crosby a run for the Hart.

jtvail

That’s right, I said it.

May this be the season when Googling “John Tavares gif”:

jtcoach

This guy.

Gives you only John and no other hockey players.

hallsycoach

What about me?

Because he’s worth it.

jtcoach2

Beat it, it’s MY birthday!

So Happy Birthday, John Tavares and happy almost-hockey season to us!

jtsmile

We can’t keep a straight face either.

Mikey Monday

Remember when every Monday was about Mike Green?  Two-plus years of Mondays and that whole time, nothing this great ever happened:

mike

Their socks, you guys.

I don’t know where this came from, but I saw it in five places and decided that equals public domain.  They are so damned cute, I don’t think they’d care!  Everything is making me happy right now: Mr. Pants & I bought a house yesterday, Mike Green is both married and actually smiling, everyone’s a grown up and this season  is going to be fantastic.  Bring on the hockey.

Happy Monday.

Love, Optimism