#CAMP Day 2 – Snack Time

At this time of the year, with the NHL season tantalizingly close, we are in desperate need of something to satiate our hockey hunger.  Normally, we are good with a cheese platter, a few bottle of wine, and Miracle on the DVR.

But lately we’ve been so hungry that we are getting HANGRY.

Enter BioSteel’s #CAMP.

 

This year’s menu has not totally satisfied us, but Day 2 of Camp has given us some snacks that have been particularly tasty, like…

The Slow-Motion Walking Snack

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The Arm Candy

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Booty Biscuits

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Goals so yummy like chicken nuggets. Especially Josh Ho Sang’s. That one was all kinds of saucy. #DangHoSang

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The delight confection that is Cabbie Richards. (Seguin’s derp face makes this photo exceptionally saccharin.)

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Michael Del Zotto. He is just cold and thirsty.  If only he could figure out how to get the lid off…

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We’re hoping Day 3 makes a run to the 7-11 for some more delicious treats.

Namely the shirtless and sweaty kind.

Return to #Camp

It’s time again for Camp Biosteel!  Always summer’s last hurrah, Camp Biosteel seems quickly followed by training camp, pre-season games and that first time since May our jeans leave the drawer.  Per usual, Camp features a million ways to make us feel like a bump on a log this Tuesday morning:

 

Hockey!
Cross-training!
Tyler Seguin slow-motion water bottle squeeze!

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Wearing a shirt makes him thirsty.

This year’s captains are Tyler, Michael Del ‘I Am Employed’ Zotto, Wayne Simmonds and Michael Cammalleri, who has been 35 years old for eight seasons.  Seriously, someone look into that.

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In Hollywood years, I’m 27.

These videos always make working out look really fun, like elementary school Field Day plus sleeve tattoos and social media.  It makes you want to pursue education and get a real job, like this:

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Overlooking MDZ’s ponytail in the name of science.

#CAMP is also your chance to pay attention to some up-and-comers and prospects.  You can see the draft, full team rosters and more photos here: TSN Bar Down.

Editors’ note: Was there something on that page below this?

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NopeNopeFlyersNope.

Notable absences include Steven Stamkos, who is reportedly nursing an injury that kept him off the ice at last week’s Barrie Colts event, James Neal and Intern Jeff Skinner, who is making copies in the other room.

Without those guys, I don’t know that I can call Camp Biosteel my favorite part of the summer.  Obviously there are pluses (and biceps), including Biosteel’s enthusiastic use of social media and the fact their beverage probably helps with hangovers.  The main competitor, Andy O’Brien’s Travelling Circus, is not likely to post video or take us out drinking.

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dumbledore

But it continues to bring Crosby, MacKinnon, Duchene and Tavares to a town near you.  Next stop: Vail.

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Bring it in.

Bro-hug gifs from TSN’s BarDown as well – I cannot stop laughing.

No, all the way.

No, all the way.

Tough to compete with that roster, but we’ll take a lot more Camp Biosteel videos for research purposes.  And biceps (while we can still like MDZ).

More Ice Time

For all the athletes participating, it’s no surprise the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was covered on American SportsCenter this weekend.  What’s surprising is they included the Crosby video – almost the entire thing – even before they showed LeBron or Justin Timberlake!  Finally, it’s The World According to Pants.

So naturally, it was time James Neal did the challenge.  He’s a proud member of Team Tank Top – or, if you shop at Old Navy, Team “Tami” because that thing is so long I can’t tell where the shirt ends and his shorts start.

(I can’t help noticing this dock was dry when Melanie did the challenge.  Which probably means James made her go first. )

How does one dress to match a sleeve tattoo?  The answer: you don’t.  Of course James is wearing a hat – you knew he wasn’t going to give us anything that good.  And it’s not like any of his teammates went shirtless… oh wait.  James plays for the Predators now.

Rich Clune Ice Bucket Challenge

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I always wondered what “apple bottom jeans” meant.

Neal’s going to have to stop up his game if he wants to get noticed in Nashville.  At least he doesn’t have to compete with soccer players:

(Thanks to Alison, our top futbol correspondent.)

PK Subban went for the hockey version of this look: jockstrap over the shorts.  The NHL’s Best Dressed Man strikes again.  It seems unfair that he, in turn, nominated the Worst Dressed: Phil Kessel.  We can only hope Phil has spent his summer reading our blog posts about John Tavares’ pants.

 

Meanwhile, Gary Roberts wants all these pretty boys to know he could kick their asses, make a kale smoothie, check his email and DVR American Ninja Warrior before they even got up off the floor.

 

I feel like Robs can see the bacon, egg & cheese I’m eating right now.  Bye internet.

Foxy (Almost) Friday: Ice Bucket Challenge

We really miss hockey, but it’s safe to say this off-season is going down in history.  Best ever?  Well, it’s not the worst and I’m not waiting for Friday.

The Ice Bucket Challenge began in July in support of ALS research.  Read more about it here and hire Frates & Quinn for more marketing campaigns.  The movement has raised over $4 million, up nearly +$3 million over this period last year.  Everyone is doing it:  Justin Timberlake, Matt Lauer, even Chuck did it!  Now we joke around, but this is a great cause, funding important research.  If you’re able to donate, please visit www.alsa.org.

And if you’re going to start a trend, please let it involve most of the NHL in what amounts to a wet t-shirt contest.  (So you know – this took forever to compile.  I watched hours of videos.  It was grueling but I’m willing to work hard for you guys.)

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Me: “No.  No way.  No way!”

Crosby Ice Bucket Challenge video. I first saw an Ice Bucket Challenge video on 8/7, when 87 accepted the dare on his birthday.  I wondered for a moment it was real, or if I’d woken up in a fanfic - A Connecticut Yankee in Sidney Crosby’s Driveway, maybe.

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Now who needs a cold shower?

Since then, everywhere you look an NHL player is taking the plunge.  So here you have them, the very Best of the Ice Bucket Challenge videos.

The “This Looks Familiar”

Matt Duchene Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Does Sid’s video have two blue buckets, a shovel and a black SUV in the background?  Eagle-eyed Alison noticed this is the same spot.  Just two dudes, pouring water on themselves and videotaping it for the internet.

Matt could have at least brushed his hair for Sid’s party.

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Matt woke up 4 minutes ago.

Bonus points to Matt for nominating country singer Thomas Rhett, one of my favorites (who was also nominated by Justin Moore – the singer, not my husband).

The Intern Project

We said Tavares should wear a tighter shirt – so we know Intern Jeff Skinner still reads this blog.  This t-shirt is left over from Jeff’s high school days, since we haven’t paid him for a day of work since then.  And white?!  What a flirt.  Remember when he didn’t want girls paying attention?

 

Team Tank Top

Lindsay informs me that ‘dude tank tops’ are very much the style in Canada.  I assume everyone there looks like an NHL player and so this has my full support.

Steven Stamkos Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Careful using your dog to up the ante here, Stammer.  You’re no slouch but he’s pretty freaking cute.

Let me tuck my chain into my tank top first.

Let me tuck my chain into my tank top first.

Taylor Hall Ice Bucket Challenge video.  #TeamHallsy starts his video off so seriously, you’d think he spent the summer doing Shakespeare in the Park.  It’s deceptively tall-seeming thespian work.

The world is mine oyster, Which I, with stick, shall open.

The world is mine oyster,
Which I, with stick, shall open.

Jordan Eberle Ice Bucket Challenge video. Uncceptable resolution for #TeamEbs.  He’s got to keep up with Taylor!  Zach Boychuck, get a new phone right this instant.  Adorable hair-fixing though, since Jordan knows we are watching.

 

Especially after this is Zack Boychuck’s video.  How is that fair?  His biceps are theatrically lit by the sun itself, giver of all life!

 

Also sporting the Official Boy Band Uniform is, of course, #TeamSchultzy.  Did they have a conference call about what to wear?  Or does matchy-matchiness come as naturally to them?

 

The “Dallas Stars Really Want to Be Your Favorite Team” 

Tyler Seguin never met a shirt he couldn’t take off.  Or something he couldn’t hit on.  I swear he just invited a charitable cause and a bucket of water back to his place, and don’t stop rolling that tape.

 

Jamie Benn’s Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Jamie would like to take this opportunity to remind you his hair is DEVASTATING and that he’s skinny now.  (Too skinny?  A little?)  Never mind that tattoo of a graveyard on his bicep – they needed a place to bury me anyway.

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Benn-d and Snap

In case you don’t love Jamie, he Tweeted the “Girl in a Country Song” video.  This is everything that’s right with the world.

Also from the Stars, Rich Peverly apparently runs a daycare in the summer - and stuns them momentarily quiet with this challenge.  They are pretty sure their moms have said not to throw stuff.

The Other Birthday Boy

It’s a shame I’ll never see #TeamSam again, because I cannot add any more teams to my list nor can I stay up late enough to watch the Coyotes.  Sam Gagner did the Ice Bucket Challenge on his birthday, complete with a cake, a beard AND a white shirt. Presents for everyone.

 

The NSFMyLife

John Tavares Ice Bucket Challenge video.  There’s b-roll of John then his shirt off and jumping in the pool right?  That’ll be the deleted scene on the DVD?

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Is this going to be on the test?

What I really can’t handle is his deep, teacher-y voice.  If he started talking about the Large Hadron Collider, I’d faint.

That Time Gabe Wore a Shirt

Gabriel Landeskog’s Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Perhaps the quaint, old-world and presumably Swedish setting calls for a top, but frankly we’re a bit disappointed in Gabe’s efforts to carry the shirtless-boat-selfie banner this summer. He gets named captain and suddenly it’s all business and no instructional pancake videos.

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The US judges give this a 6.

He’s 21,  You Guys – I Swear

And that was not me at the end with the extra bucket of water.  Promise.

 

Guys Chuck Likes

The Bruins should hire Chuck to shoot their videos, because their Ice Bucket Challenges are astonishingly low-res.  Remember why you don’t watch hockey in standard def anymore?  Even dearest Patrice couldn’t get good production values:

 

Lucic is in focus – if that’s a good thing.  He looks like the unpopular kid at Camp Anawanna.  Stand up straight, man!

 

Kim Bauer Did It

Oh yeah, and her husband too.  The Phaneufs Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Alison loves these guys.  I just feel bad that 24 made Elisha get scared by a mountain lion and abducted by a loner in a bunker in the woods around LA.  Jack Bauer would disown that mess.

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I think we’d all be friend with Elisha in real life.

The “Of Course Patrick Kane Has a Water Slide”

He probably has a slide from every single window of the house into that pool.  (This was a life plan action item for me and Gator.  Awaiting our invitations, Kaner.)  Toews is so much fun these days, where’s his bucket?

 

Coach Q is My Favorite Coach

Many coaches, front office staff and even mascots have gotten in on the Challenge, but Coach Q’s laugh is the best.

 

My Goalie is a Banana

What can I say?  I trust this man with my GAA.  They even gave the baby a bucket, in case she wanted to party.  Marc Andre Fleury Ice Bucket Challenge video

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Just wait till you start dating, Baby Flower.  Dad is ready.

Which is Better than Mr. Potato Head

Oh Jordan, we miss you around the Penguins.

 

The Hot Dads

“Hey, if I’m doing this, we’re all doing it.  Then we’re going for ice cream.”

Chris Kunitz Ice Bucket Challenge video.  From the man who dressed as a sock monkey, of course.  Mrs. Kunitz challenged Paul Martin – thanks, girl.  (Paul Martin Ice Bucket Challenge video)

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Little Miss Kunitz says she’ll just donate cash.

Pascal Dupuis Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Dear Universe, Please make the Dupuis Family into a TV show.  They’ve already created the poster:

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No idea Duper had a half-sleeve, or that I’d like it so much.

Craig Adams Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Craig used a garbage can for his ice bucket and the family wore matching gubernatorial campaign shirts.  Just saying, that’s a Harvard man.  (The shirts are in honor of Anne’s father, former MA Governor Paul Cellucci, who died of ALS in 2013.  Thanks to Chuck and Anne for update.)

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Vote early, vote often.

The Overachievers

Keith Yandle (who actually has a face under that beard) went pretty big – three buckets vs. white t-shirt.  His best move was calling out BizNasty, of course.  Talk about bigger.

 

You know Biz loves it when we say “bigger.”  He challenged some big names too, though we bet no one does it in their skivvies.  Read about Biz getting his friends to donate their time and money to put this together here.  And notice that TMZ covered a hockey player.

The Suits

Max Talbot Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Max is responsible now.  He has a wife and a baby and if he wants to pour ice water over his head in a suit and tie he will, damn it!  He’s like Frank the Tank, you can’t reign him in.

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Business in the front, party in the shoes.

Robert Bortuzzo Ice Bucket Challenge video.  Borts, what is that tie?!  Is the inflatable duck to distract from the tie?  It’s not working.  Also the shades on the duck + the white button down – this is going Risky Business later, isn’t it?  We’re going to need the extended edition Blu-ray combo pack.

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This yard wants to party, Project X-style.

Almost everyone’s done the Ice Bucket Challenge.  I couldn’t include or even get close to watching them all.  Notable exceptions are Gingeroux, newly married Mike Green (yeah right, on that hair?) and James Neal.  I worry this means Nealmobile really had no friends, because no one has challenged him.  Though he is on this pretty definitive list of players who’ve supposedly participated (here).  Did I miss his video somewhere?

While we wait, check out the Tumblr dedicated to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Long Hot Summer

Five minute post! I’m on computer-free vacaaaaaaaaaation for a week, but I could not leave without giving you this.

There’s a game I like to play with Lindsay and Alison. I call it:

Inner/Outer monologue or Tomorrow’s Blog Post?

In today’s episode: my reaction to watching this video.

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FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, WEAR A TIGHTER SHIRT, JOHN!  And in Islanders colors, of course.  He’s like an Ice Girl.  I had to pause and rewind so many times it wouldn’t let me stop the video again.  

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Then I got to Intern Jeff and had a fit of hysterical, boy band-induced laughter. The video promises someone named Matt Bollard, who Alison pointed out looks a lot like David Clarkson.

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I may be certifiably insane.  I checked my work email on the way out the door and saw the biggest, hugest, horriblest project that came through for my coworkers to do while I’m gone.  Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.  Then give me John Tavares in sweat-wicking Lycra and Crosby with a tan.  

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Nate keeps going faster so he can almost brush Sid’s arm.  WE ARE ON TO YOU, KID. WE INVENTED THAT MOVE.

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Sweet mercy, a child who is shorter than the caution tape barricade.  My ovaries just collapsed like a souffle.

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Please explain something: how do these people keep their hands to themselves?  Is caution tape all it takes to keep Canadians in line?  They’d have to put me in a cage and I’d still get out, with limited power of speech and no pants on, like Planet of the Apes.

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John has barely been seen all summer, the suddenly THIS. He went away a few months and came back remodeled like Extreme John Makeover. And riding in the back with the bags, natch. Could it be that Crosby is getting edged out of his Matt Duchene bromance by John? Could Matt be any more like, well, me?

Clearly our work as John’s publicists/wardrobe consultant is getting results. If you’re going to wear jeans and long sleeves in summer, let it be this:

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Can we win an award for this? Is that award a go at Phil Kessel’s closet?

Remember, started from the bottom belted khakis:

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Now we here:

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John looks so good that Matt isn’t sure how to stand next to him. We aren’t sure how to make it to October! And of course, we don’t want John to get too cool and stop saying “darn” or anything. Just stick with us and these jeans, kid.

BHC2014: Just Dance

Every summer, the Blackhawks rub our faces in their excellence and team spirit by hosting yet another Blackhawks Convention.  Sometimes they bring the Cup for extra envy-inducing purposes, but not even the Hawks can win that thing every year.  So how do they make sure everyone gets their money’s worth?

Dancing.

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Toews/Kane Dance Off 2014 [video]

It’s safe to say the Jonathan Toews Personality Deployment Project has been a rousing success.  He dances, people!  Imagine if your captain got up on stage and did an almost-moonwalk with a grand finale of gun-fingers?

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Shooter McGavin.

(If you’re a Lightning fan, this is easy.  Stamkos would bust out a perfect Step Up dance routine [circa Channing Tatum, of course], complete with his shirt either open or off.  For the rest of us, well… maybe “hands in pockets” will become to new dance craze.)

At least Sid caved to the selfie pressure first.

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Pretty good for a rookie.

There were myriad other highlights of the BHC2014, not the least of which was Brad Richards sitting alongside the dancing like that really uncomfortable lady with the rowdy friends in the front row at Thunder From Down Under, judging the distance between herself and the nearest emergency exit.  He’s thinking, “Remember that time I made $12 million a season and did’t dance?  Not for $2 million, new friends.”

What kind of place is this?

There’s a cap on this empty bottle, isn’t there?

While we didn’t attend BHC2014, I think we’re ready to make a bold statement based on thirty minutes of Tumblr research: this is the summer that Patrick Kane officially became more attractive than Jonathan Toews.

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Say that again, into this mircophone.

Am I wrong?  Since Kaner started cleaning up his act (not too much, please) and keeping his hair under control, not to mention wearing the heck out of a golf shirt, Toews has been running to catch up.  Oh he’s fun now!  Jokes about his grumpiness, couples Halloween costumes: Jon has really made an effort.  There are matching contracts, his-and-his Conn Smythe trophies, but is it too little too late?  Watch the dance video again.  When it comes to the inevitable Zoolander-style Walk Off, who is your money on?

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What did she say? All I hear is that cash register sound.

Meanwhile, can we get said walk-off confirmed for next year’s BHC agenda?  And when do tickets go on sale?

Hey, Big Spender.

GAH. Chuck keeps posting pictures of Westlife from a hundred years ago and now the Oilers are back and my boyband meter is off the charts.  Intern Jeff Skinner might get sent to Krispy Kreme to pickup lunch.

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Guys, hold me back.

This week is the 3rd Annual Jordan Eberle & Friends golf tournament for the Hospitals of Regina Foundation.  The event included a fundraising dinner called the Centre Ice Classic last night, featuring, as promised, Ebs & friends:

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Bachelorette casting call, right this way.

Someone finally took our bachelor auction idea and put it to work – sort of.  People bid on spots to golf with celebrities, like #TeamHallsy:

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There’s a pic of Gagner in this shirt, I swear.  

He went for $10,000?!  Does it guarantee he wears this chambray shirt? That’s $9,372.94 US dollars - @amandalitty and @jfrancesw might need some donations to reach that mark. We should do a Kickstarter campaign, yes?  Hell, this freaking guy raised $44,022 to make freaking salad!  We’d have enough left over to get something nicer better I’m kidding more expensive…

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Just saying, that’s 50% more.  Those are expensive jeans.

Too bad this interview was before the auction, because I imagine the conversation would have been much more exciting after.

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“Amanda and Jess just left me up there like….” while RNH gloats.

I don’t see where golfing with Ebs went for $44,023 USD, but I assume it happened because he’s got at least $1 more fair market value than potato salad.  I believe the auctioned golf happens today, so perhaps more pictures tomorrow.  Not that they could be cuter than this:

Since you’ll never get over that picture, or the hope #TeamBoyband will break into a choreographed dance routine involving folding chairs, remember this: with #TeamSam traded to every team in the League, Jordan Eberle is now the longest-serving Oiler in games played [link].  Feel old?  That’s what boybands do to a girl.

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Completely gratuitous unrelated amazing photo. (source)

Now get to saving your money for next year.  Get a side job, rob a bank, we don’t care.  Save Hallsy!  Don’t make him give Amanda this look for spending all her money on nail polish when he put on that nice shirt and everything.

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Enter this contest here, so #TeamHallsy feels loved.

As always, this post is tagged PUPPIES.  Because truth.

Surgery for Sid

Last night around midnight, just before I turned into a pumpkin, Twitter was all ablaze with the news that Crosby will have arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist this summer.  While he claimed to be in perfect health throughout his much-maligned playoff performance, it appears that was somewhat untrue.

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No, really.  You’re kidding.

Well, duh.  No one is 100% in the post-season.  He wasn’t going around blaming his play on his wrist or anything else, so bravo to Sid.  Only don’t clap until after surgery.

According to the stories, Sid was unavailable for comment.  This all came from “a source close to the star.”  Well, we found that source:

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Future Hot Dad

That baby knows everything, including that her life as probably peaked WAY TO SOON and that we might be a *little* jealous.  100% of the Crosby awkwardness we adore is on display here, including the fact that he will never ever say no to someone who asks for a photo.

There’s also a chance “wrist surgery” is just code for “no more selfies,” since Sid kinda let this one phobia get away from him.  That’s why you just stick to your crazy, Crosby, because there is no going back.

sid cabbie

Right about there.

I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee back in high school and it’s nearly bionic now – much stronger than my un-repaired knee.  It’s almost a shame to know Sid won’t spend his recovery time having any fun…

giroux

Be honest. You’d go to this party.

But if there’s anything we can help with, just call.

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Where was this job when we were choosing college majors?

We’ll be right over.

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Oh, we know where to sit.

Happy Birthday, Chuck!

To celebrate the occasion of Chuck’s birthday, let’s go back to that time Tyler Seguin didn’t wear a shirt under his jersey, on the day he knew he’d be taking said jersey of in front of the whole arena and handing it to someone.

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Some gifts (and gifs) just keep on giving.  Happy Birthday, Chuck!

(Thanks to everyone who sent us these gifs. This edit is by glovehand.tumblr.com.)

He Went Where?

Whew!  That a day that was.  It felt like the every NHL player got dumped into a bingo spinner and names were plucked at near-random.  Toss in a few hours of top-stress soccer and Tuesday never wore me out so much.

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Me at 3 PM daily.

The carnage is far from complete, but look who made a new life plan today:

Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik

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No one can see us in these jerseys.

To the Capitals!  Hello friends!  Pittsburgh Penguins East, reporting for duty.  The Caps certainly rolled out the welcome paychecks, going $40.25 million/7 years for Nisky and $27.5 million/5 years for Brooks.  Where does that leave $6 million Mike Green?  New coach Barry Trotz says he hasn’t written Mike off – and who knows. Some help back there could be just what Mike needs.  Either way, I got to keep my Turtle and the Caps sold at least one new shirtzee.

laich

He also stands by the road and waves as people drive into DC.

Thomas Vanek

Minnesotans sure love Minnesota, and the Wild love them right back.  Thomas Vanek, who went to school and now lives in MN, joins natives Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, albeit for waaaaay less money.  Less money, in fact, than other teams were offering Vanek (to stay on Long Island).  He took 3 years/$19.5 million to play home games where he really makes his home.  Once again, the Islanders get the shaft.

Like the boy holding onto his balloons in Up.

Matt Moulson

Speaking of ex-Islanders, Matt Moulson was traded to the Sabres last fall.  The Sabres traded him to the Wild in March.  Today he went back… to Buffalo.  To the worst team in the League last season.  That is some serious faith in the rebuilding process and some serious cash at $25 million/5 years.

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I’ve been laughing at this photo since yesterday.

The mission to rescue John Tavares is now a go.  We’re coming for you, hon.

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“When you came in here, didn’t you have a plan for getting out?” – Princess Leia

Jarome Iginla

The Avs are gearing up for some kind of Survivor spin off featuring old guys vs. young guys.  They’re loaded with Landeskog, Duchene and MacKinnon, who in case you’ve forgotten scored 157% of Colorado’s playoff goals last season.  They’ve added Danny Briere and yesterday plussed up again with Jarome Iginla.  Iggy gets 3 years, $16 million.  We have much love for Iginla – heck, he’s played for all our teams now.

iginla

Could still score on Roy.

Both Briere and Iginla played against Avs coach Patrick Roy when he was still in the League. I hope someone welcomes them at training camp with a video of any goals they scored on Roy.

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My response to everything on UFA Day.

Paul Stastny

Eliminated from the Avs’ new game show was Paul Stastny, but he got a big, shiny welcome from his new St. Louis Blues: 4 years, $28 million.  At $6.5 million next season, that is $108,000+ for each of the 60 points Stastny scored this year.  I need to talk to my boss about a raise.  Who do you think gets to keep this shirt?

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Orange is the new Avs.

Ryan Miller

In recent years, the Canucks goaltending has been like running through a new level of Super Mario Bros. every night.  Jump on the same toadstool, hit the same brick and surprise!  Who knows that will fall out.  Perhaps that is finally over.  Resident starting goalie Eddie Lack wasted no time making friends… and getting trolled by former VAN goalie Roberto Luongo.

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Just don’t look at the punctuation.

Miller gets 3 years/$18 million, so let’s hope he picks up the check.

Brad Richards

Sad Brad no more?  After being bought out by the Rangers in June, to the tune of a slot machine raining $20 million into a bucket because of his original contract, Richards signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Blackhawks today.  Ho-ly crap.  New York fans hated Brad because a) they could and b) he was really and truly awful.  He must be thrilled to shed them, while dragging a sack full of their money, and head for Chicago.

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#partyhard

We figure most guys would play alongside Toews and Kane for free anyway.  NYR fans are still glad to be rid of Brad, and thinking maybe the lockout’s one silver lining was that compliance buyout.

Upside for us: High likelihood of repeat beard performance.

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Gingerbeard dreams.

There are so many more.  Brian Boyle went to the Lightning, so the Rangers can just give his old jerseys to newly acquired Dan Boyle.  Jussi Jokinen, Shawn Thornton, Dave Bolland and anyone else they could fit on the plane went to Florida.  Tanner Glass went to the Rangers, while Deryk Engelland and Jonas Hiller joined the Flames.  Here’s the full list.  It will only get longer tomorrow.

list

Yeah, these salary cap numbers don’t add up.

 

Before Today

Before anything major can happen today (we should have about 10 minutes, or unit Jason Spezza is official), let’s talk about what has already happened to our lives.

cry blog

I  was out Friday night/most of Saturday with no phone.  I apologize to those who texted and Tweeted , only to assume I’d retreated with a gallon of ice cream into a padded room over:

James Neal

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UGH. Sad Pants.  In the movies, the jackass, all-skill and no-brains quarterback gets the chance to redeem himself.  I’ve long held out hope James Neal would be that guy.  You all know my love/hate, ‘get your shit together’/’do all that with your hair perfectly styled’ feelings for Neal.  Suffice to say that I thought he was getting there.  I always thought he was getting there, which is why his digressions made me so mad.  Now he’ll get there – I still believe that – with another team.  Should the Pens have waited?  Maybe.  40 goals is a lot to see leave.  But I’m not surprised.  In the end, maybe this trade gave Neal what the Penguins tried to give him for three years: a lesson in growing up, accompanied by a swift kick in the ass.

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In return, the Pens got Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.  Hornqvist once scored 30 goals, and nearly every one from right in front of the net [brilliant chart].  Unless I was watching a different Penguins team, this was never Neal’s main job.  He scored from everywhere, did so often, and was a danger any time he stepped onto the ice.  Grumpy Pants is not getting happier here.  Spaling, according to The Tennessean, can “do everything.”  Like have a career-high 13-goal season, one time.  Sure these guys have qualities the Pens want, “grit” being chief among them per new GM Jim Rutherford.   I’ve never watched either of them play.  But this seems to put more onus on Crosby-Kunitz-Dupuis (oh God, welcome back) to carry the Penguins scoring – and when they don’t deliver, burn down the world!  For all the people who said “Kunitz is only Kunitz because of Crosby,” no one ever said “Neal is only Neal because of Malkin.”  Geno can’t turn Hornqvist into a 40-goal guy.  Let’s hope Hornqvist is ready to do that himself.

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to stop watching or talking about James, or hoping he gets this right.  You don’t have to find someone in Nashville.  Maybe those folks will find us.

Michael Del Zotto

The Predators will not re-sign MDZ and today he becomes a UFA.  This is a tragic loss of potential bromance with Neal.  Hair product stock prices dropped.  Nashville girls pouted and cranked up their sad country songs.  Oh wait, that was me.

mdz

Danny Briere

To Colorado!  When I see news like this on TV in a bar with no sound while the people around me are talking about pizza, it’s hard to react appropriately.  After a hundred years as a Flyer and one as a Canadien, during which he and the team much maligned each other over playing time and performance, Danny Briere will join the Avalanche’s wild young potential.  Will he play more there?  No.  But I’ll watch them more.  The Habs get PA Parenteau and a 5th round pick in return.

Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens

Ryan Kesler

When Kesler ended up on the trading block, he reportedly limited his destination options to the Ducks or Hawks.  Must be a nice world where you can make those kinds of demands.  After a flurry of panic-inducing Patrick Sharp trade rumors, Kes went to the Ducks.  The Canucks got Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and a first round pick and a later pick they swapped for Derek Dorsett.  Is that a fair deal to send a guy like Kesler to a division rival?  If you believe the Vancouver optimists, Ryan’s 30th birthday at the end of August basically signals the death of his career anyway.

kesler

It’s always a good sign when you Google Image search someone and it suggests you ad “abs” to your results.  If nothing else, Ryan will look good on that So Cal beach.

Sam Gagner

Oh Sam.  The Oilers broke up the band by trading #TeamSam to Tampa Bay for Teddy Purcell, in a deal that Lindsay somehow made happen with her mind.  Five minutes (okay, maybe forty minutes) later, Sam was bounced again to the Phoenix Arizona Coyotes in exchange for BJ Crombeen.  The guy got two Foxy Fridays, then he got traded twice in two hours.  Sorry if that’s our fault, somehow.  One hilarious fan made a Tampa Bay “Thanks Sam” tribute video.  Sam, well, it’s time to admit that I’ll probably never see you again.  Nothing against the Coyotes – it’s not you, it’s me.  And at least it wasn’t #TeamEbs. (Sorrrrrrry.)

sam

More, more, more to come all day.  No one is safe.  I’ll be watching like this:

couch dog

Waiting for the moment when Matt Niskanen signs somewhere else…

ross geller

 

The NHL A(wk)wards

Two posts in two days? This place is like Santa’s Workshop! Last night was the annual NHL Awards, or as we like to call it: the NHL A(wk)wards.

2014 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability

I don’t see my picture.

Normally an unfunny, bumblingly-hosted, C-list celebfest, last night’s show was most of those things again. But better, no? I confess to liberal use of the mute button, but overall there was improvement. Host George Strombopopolopolous, a stranger to us but appropriately a Canadian Treasure (credit: @jfrancesw), was great. He embraced the uneven flow, cracked wee jokes at everyone’s expense, kept a straight face during a break-dancing battle and deferred without envy to PK Subban as often as possible.

Bravo, new friend. May we see you again unless PK takes over full-time.

2014 NHL Awards - Inside

#iwanttolooktan

Since no actual hockey occurs, the Awards allow us to do what we do best: judge people’s outfits. Everyone’s healed-ish, spit-shined and suited up. The whole enterprise is sharpened by the vague, elusive promise that all these guys were shirtless at a swim-up pool bar just hours before this live televised event. We can judge swim trunks too, you know. And tans.

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We’d lend you our last ponytail holder.

The order of the night was Crosby Won Everything and looked great. Or better than great. I am exercising considerable restraint here. This despite a small hair emergency on the red carpet, where the renegade curl of his bangs tried to claw free around his forehead. We’d tell him not to cut it so short, but honestly:

sid5

Hands in pockets. IN them!

Who cares?

Sid brought his sister Taylor as a date.  Cute cute cute.  We credit Taylor with fixing his hair before he hit the stage. She looked lovely – and I imagine big bro giving rookies the stink eye for noticing.

sid taylor

She’s thinking, “If you guys knew how dorky he is….”

Toews swapped his Nantucket pink shorts for a suit, then (as any good boyfriend should be) was upstaged on the red carpet by his girlfriend. @Linzerellak could not type “Valentino shoes!!!” quickly enough.  We have a lot style envy going on here.

toews1

Gold standard

Who else? Giroux went heavy on the gel, didn’t wear his fake tooth and still looked like high treason to a Penguins fan. I only caught one shot of his girlfriend, whose hair was so glorious it sent me running for a brush myself.

claude

Gah, her shoes too!

Normally I would not endorse a shiny suit. I can’t even type it without thinking of Ben Stiller in Dodgeball. Bergeron though, always the exception to my rules about iridescence and Bruins.  His speeches were the prize: he only sounds French when he thanks his “brudder” and couldn’t be more endearing. His wife wore a formal ponytail: the goal of my life. It would take a team of sculptors to make that work on my head.

bergy

Not enough Aqua Net in the world.

Oh snap.  I just realized Mrs. Bergy and Toews’ girlfriend are wearing the same shoes.  The very ones our Lindsay was loving.  Is this a fashion emergency like Brenda and Kelly wearing the same dress to prom, or are these just the de rigueur stilettos this (off-)season?

Tears welled when Rich Peverley spoke about his recovery and Dominic Moore won the Masterson.  Both moments of real heart that remind you hockey people are awesome people.

pevs

It’s just raining on our faces.

Chuck flailed when Tuukka won the Vezina.  He said, “I’ve never been so nervous in my life.” – but that’s a lie, because he’s Tuukka Rask.  His speech was great.

tuukka

This is what panic looks like.

And Tuukka was probably thinking, “At least I didn’t wear Varly’s suit.”  I cringed when Varly appeared on camera – yikes. Pinache, yes, but his outfit belonged backstage with the costumed Marilyn and Elvis impersonators.  Even Kathryn and Barry are trying not to look.

varly

Playing showtunes in the piano bar later.

Nathan MacKinnon stole Intern Jeff Skinner’s title of youngest ever to win the Calder as Rookie of the Year. As consolation, Jeff cried into the new Ed Sheeran CD and said at least he doesn’t style his hair by wearing a hat till it dries. Really Nate, cut off that bit at the back if you don’t know what to do with it. Is Taylor Crosby available to help other Maritimers?

nate

You wish you grew up here.

PK Subban stole the show, of course. Not just his melon-colored suit or late-game costume change into pale-pink-and-plaid. His backstage correspondence was really an audition to host next year. Crosby holding the Lindsay Award and edging fearfully toward PK to avoid touching a showgirl… highlight reel stuff.

The most desired date was there of course, the Stanley Cup teasing everyone. Kopitar and Brown looked so happy hauling it around that I threw a shoe at the TV. Kopi cleans up nicely, yeah?

kings

Bailey may be the most fun mascot.

The overall celeb roster was meh – I’ve seen worse. The Kings fan contingent was in full force, so their win can be credited with doing something for us. No David and Haprer Beckham though – or Wil Wheaton. We’ll take Colin Hanks, and that Retta woman whose show I’ve never seen was sass. Hire her, Kings. If we were D-listers, you’d have to bag and drag us off that stage. We can break-dance! We can get hammered like Cuba Gooding, Jr. and demonstrate fifteen minutes of increasingly erratic behavior. Possibly with more break-dancing! If we made a video podcast I think we qualify as presenters, and we promise to pronounce names correctly.

How hard can it be to open a puck and say, “Crosby?”

sid4

Sid getting wild – taking his first selfie.

I wish more non-nominated players attended the show, just to be seen (on Tumblr partying in Vegas).  Now it’s back to hoping for boat selfies and golf tournaments.  Oh, and Smashball is coming soon.  If I missed anything good from last night, send it my way!

ference

Three-piece plaid, always an award-winner.

Hockey is Happening!

Welcome back, hockey people we haven’t seen in a long time!  (Forgive our over-excitement.  Our teams can solve this problem by winning more/longer next year.)

blog dance

The NHL Awards are tonight – on a Tuesday.  Let that sink in… Tuesday.  Rock and roll.  We’ll take it, of course, desperate and starved as we are.  But not to overload Tuesday, hockey festivities began yesterday in two cities.

In Vancouver, Hockey Canada hosted an Olympic Gala and distributed rings.  Sid was there, opting for a brown t-shirt because he saw how excited we all got about mint green the other day.  Of course he was with Matt Duchene, who is turning turning into a country singer before our eyes.  (No complaints.)  PK puts everyone’s wardrobe to shame with zero effort.

can1

Especially Dan Hamhuis.  That color combination is so bad you can feel Pietrangelo and Weber begging for help as they stare into the camera.  Jame Benn (Short hair, don’t care!) had to look away.

can2

The next photo comes in two versions.

#1: THE CHUCK – Bergy and Nash being cool, hanging in the back, looking all cheekbones about it.

can8

Chuck’s reaction:

chuck

#2: THE PANTS – Front and center but you probably missed it on first glance…

can9

Live shot of me:

fans

Tavares in a t-shirt, ace jeans and a backwards ball cap?  Casual Monday-slash-I am dead.  Just don’t let this be the end of pleated khakis, polos and belts, John.  Don’t get too cool on me now.

Not to be forgotten, Sid’s shirt is okay too.

can3

And then, his suit.

can4

I swear he owns two suits and five shirts.  When future generations of WUYS readers use the internet built into their brains to crack open the Crosby photo file, they won’t be able to tell one year from another.  His whole career is “circa navy suit.”

Last night culminated in the Hockey Canada Gala.  PK did that thing again with his wardrobe and Carey Price loved his beard as much as we do.

can6

There’s John, almost appearing again.  I don’t see a single photo of him in what I presume was a suit… not one.  Who goes an entire pride-of-the-nation event wearing a shiny new Olympic ring and does not get photographed a single time?  John Tavares, folks.

Meanwhile in Vegas…

At NHL Awards 2014, media availability, Tazer discussed contract extensions, his lifelong commitment to Patrick Kane and he even almost smiled one time [video].

toews

Maybe he was thinking about his pink shorts.

toews2

Giroux was there too – I tell ya, this guy could make a girl forget she hates the Flyer.  Whew.  So much so that I didn’t look at the video title and see SCOTT HARTNELL WAS TRADED [video].  Nine hours elapsed before I found this out!  If that’s not the truest sign of summer, take back my margarita.

can6

It figures that Hartnell was only traded as far as Columbus, after the time they gave the Pens these past playoffs.  Why can’t people get traded to the KHL?  At least it was a swap for RJ Umberger (what I say when I think about calories for two seconds then order what I want anyway) and not Dubinsky.  That would be from bad to worse.

Claude also discussed his Hart nomination [video], which I hope he loses.

Ovi spent the week in Vegas posting drunken Instagrams, then spoke about the Caps new coach [video].  I wonder how much of the second thing had to do with so much of the first. Of course I screen capped a rather smug moment.

ovi

The NHL Awards broadcast tonight at 7 PM.  I am debating watching in real time or waiting until fast forward becomes an option.  My “I can’t watch The Office, it’s too awkward!”-phobia is at DEFCON ONE during these shows.  Either way, if I survive I will post tomorrow.  With some actual hockey content.

Foxy Friday: Derick Brassard

I watched the Kings/Rangers game Wednesday night.  I said I wouldn’t, but I’m visiting my parents and watched with my dad exactly the way we did in 1994 when last the NYR won the Cup.  Total time machine.  After twenty years  what has changed?  Absolutely nothing.  My anti-Rangers yelling at the TV is just more colorful and my father is used to it by now.

dad2

He’s the cool dad.

My dad also started commenting on everyone’s beards.  Maybe he wants to blog for us. Or maybe the power of the playoff beard is just so great that no one can resist.  I should know better than to look right at it for 2.5 hours.  Now, from a level of crazy I can’t excuse:

Foxy Friday: Derick Brassard

db12

Part-time model

(Somewhere Chuck just fell out of her chair.)

I have a hot date with a Dierks Bentley concert tonight, so I won’t be watching the game, but let’s pretend for a minute Derick is not a Ranger.  Or still in the playoffs.  Heaven help me if this Foxy Friday propels them to a  comeback, I will never forgive myself.  Yet we must call a spade a spade – or in this case, a fox a fox.  Right?

nyr4

Perfect board definition

His beard is scrambling my brain.  As we said on Puck Daddy, it makes him look even more like Keanu Reeves, only less hipster-homeless-as-art and more… cuddly.

John Moore, maroon with navy is a big gamble.

Derick came over to Rangers with John Moore and Derek Dorsett in the trade for Marian Gaborik.  That is not working out for the NYR at the moment, unless you figure they got three playoff beards for the price of one.  Derick & Co. joined Rick Nash and should start a band called Th CBJ Relocation Program.

db6

Derick talking to his agent about a solo career.

Brass is 26, which surprised me, and from Quebec, which surprises no one.  He had a career-high 18 goals this season.  In 22 playoff games, he has 6 G/6A.

db12

Only 61 people have liked Derick via NHL.com on Facebook – get on that, y’all.  I checked Henrik and he’s got 9,100.  (Crosby = 16,000, justsaying.)

In addition to making the Stanley Cup Final, from which the Rangers will not be swept, Derick is good at other things.  We already talked about his bike riding:

ny3

Am I tan yet?

He can also play baseball:

db3

You should see my baseball pants.

Carry your groceries:

db5

In winter, I shovel snow.

Be skeptical about Capitals hockey:

Derick Brassard

Really? These guys?

Admit his haircut could be better:

dbh1

High School Musical

Look good without trying:

db2

Fashion sneakers vs. function sneakers

And look good with trying:

NYR_030314_

Got enough room there, Ry?

While I’m admitting some Rangers are attractive, I might as well give you guys my diary, PIN numbers and confess we missed a bromance.  A great one.  Now it’s gone forever but we’ll always have Mats Zuccarrello’s Instagram.

db8

Scenic route

V-necks for North Americans, Norwegians prefer crew.

V-necks for North Americans, Norwegians prefer crew.

db10

Indoors is just an excuse for arms.

Ah ah, you faltered there for a second, didn’t you?  Distracted by MDZ’s curls? Perhaps I need to remind you that Derick speaks French.

Whew.  My high school French is crap but that’s 11:31 of heaven.

despicable

It’s the accent.

NO.  As in no, he’s not single, but also NO RANGERS.  These are the rules!

Okay, one more exception – in English this time:

 

In their first game as Rangers, Brassard and Moore arrived 15 minutes before warm-ups… then Derick had a goal and 3 assists in their 6-1 win over Pittsburgh.  Of course it was Pittsburgh, placed 90% of the way through this post to remind me I hate myself.

db10

Yeah, we get it.

(Un-)Fun fact: Brassard’s ’08 season ended after a fight with fellow rookie James Neal.  Derick took six straight punches, dislocated his shoulder and required surgery.  He’d been tops in rookie scoring at that early date (Dec. 18).  Bet Brass remembered this when they knocked out the Pens this season:

 

There you have it:  Foxy Friday: New York Rangers are Still in the Playoffs Edition.  Will it all end tonight?  Can Jonathan Quick do this again?

db15

If any teams knows comebacks are possible…

Only if I haven’t jinxed everything.

db14

Can you blame her?

Sunshine and Tan Lines

I never imagined I’d thank the Rangers for anything, but the day has come.

ny2

Need help with that sunscreen?

Reminder: Chris Kreider went to BC.  See also: I hate myself.

The Rangers took to the beach in Venice to shake off their Game 1 OT loss and work on their tans.  Pale guys with beards – that’s what playoff hockey is all about.

ny3

I thought this was Mike Richards for a second.

I hope at least one guy visited the $5 psychic who told me my entire, very specific future on this boardwalk.  So far, she’s been freakishly right about a lot of things.

ny4

She must have given Girardi bad news.

I also hope everyone was wearing buckets of SPF 50.  Remember when Malkin had to sit out a Pens game due to “upper body injury” after an off-day in Florida?  You don’t want to be peeling during the pre-game skate.

ny6

Derek Dorsett’s first day out, but Pouliot looks mid-July already.

Chris Krieder-inspired self-loathing aside, the best part of these photos is the conversation I imagined between Brian and Marc:

ny1

(Foreshawdowing – note the knee-length shorts.)

Boyle: Was that…?

Ginger Staal: Yes.

Boyle: Was he…?

Ginger Staal: Yup.

As Mats Zuccarello rides by…

ny5

Maximum tan surface area

In North American fashion, a guy would wear these shorts under other shorts.  Not so in Europe.  As the first Norwegian to play in a Stanley Cup Final, Zuccarello owns this look – which would get him sent home from Catholic school because his shorts don’t reach his extended fingertips.

Hey, it’s LA.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it.  I can see the US Weekly cover photo and headline: Zach Galifianakis shows off amazing new beach bod!

Thanks to Pam (@sunnyinnj) for sending these over.  She loves trying to make me like guys I think I hate.

It’s Not Over

The Kings’ win over the Blackhawks last night ended hopes for a Stanley Cup Final I would actually care about.  While Sad Kaner Face is something I cannot handle today, I will admit that this is brilliant:

kings

We all know that I hate the Rangers, but I am surprised to admit that I don’t hate them enough to hope they lose this series.  It could be because I do not care about the Kings at all.  Perhaps it’s residual emotional instability from being so dedicated to my own hockey team all year – when they are out, it’s like I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeee for the summer.  If other people want to voluntarily stay in school, rock on.

hangover

So, who to root for in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final?  My answer is no one.  A great many of my friends are Rangers fans – and a few people I’ve known for 19 years who’ve never said jack about hockey suddenly became Rangers fans in the past week.  They must’ve just missed out on 1994.  There will be no scrolling through the Facebook timeline for me, but I wish those die-hard Rangers fans luck.  (For your own good, not your team’s, and really we need to talk about your life choices.)

rangers

On the Kings side, we also have a few resident fans.  Best of luck to you, too.  It’s possible my Rangersrage will surface and I’ll be cheering LA to victory – but they won’t succeed, not if I’m on board.   You’re better off if I stay out here sunbathing in the yard.

bailey

I may watch a game to two, and I’ll almost definitely probably watch the Cup be awarded because it’s not the Cup’s fault I find this Final boring as crap.  This will be the year I don’t cry though.  Go on and try me.

broke girls

Are you guys in or out on this Final?  Freedom or four more wins required?  We should get some of you to write about it, because unless Chuck is watching Rick Nash, it’s time to break into all the posting material we save for summer.

 

Everything is Awesome

Hi strangers!  Sorry we’ve been a invisible lately, but the holiday weekend brought sunshine and beer even if it couldn’t bring our hockey teams back to the playoffs.  In fact, I’m not watching much hockey these days.  If your team is still in, I envy you.  If your team is out but you’re still watching anyway, I applaud you.  From my paddleboard in the middle of the bay.

Since it would appear summer has really arrived, it’s time to find other things to write about.  First up is the best thing currently happening on the internet:

LEGO John Tavares (legojohntavares.tumblr.com)

lego4

Oh yes.  An entire Tumblr of mini-fig Captain John doing hilarious and random activities, like getting a dog, building a sandcastle and, of course, celebrating Easter by destroying a NY Rangers egg.

lego3

Please consider three important things:

1) Someone made this.

2) That someone was not me.

3) No one told me about it.

Me finding this Tumblr was like Harry Potter finding out magic is real and other people can do it too.  This is my person.

lego1

This idea is especially perfect if you’ve seen The LEGO Movie, because you know JT91 is about following the instructions and being a team player and he undoubtedly gets ready like this every morning:

emmitt

The John Tavares Tumblr tag is basically blank.  I know he’s been out ages but come on, people!  We’re never going to get Johnny T summertime suntan boatselfies if you don’t… okay, we’re never getting those anyway.  Still the off-season doesn’t mean you can just forget about people.

lego2

To the mind behind LEGO John Tavares, we salute you.  We understand you.  In fact, we invite you over for a barbecue and if you want to stay and be best friends forever, well that’s okay too.  The rest of you, remember:

john

We still can’t center things.  Blogworld problems.

 

One Away

It’s days – or Conference Finals – like this when I wish the Blackhawks were my favorite team.  Wouldn’t that be fun?

joey

Winning makes me cuter.

I like the Hawks a lot, and they bailed me out of some frustrated west coast years when I couldn’t watch Eastern Conference teams.  But it’s not the same, cheering for someone you like when someone you love is out of the running.

poppins

Glorious, I’m sure.

That said, I do enjoy watching hockey when it isn’t trying to kill me.  Yesterday I took three (3!) separate cat naps during the Hawks/Kings game and I still didn’t miss a single goal.  This may be my superpower.  Or my dream life, where I am a princess who gets to watch hockey all day without performing peasant tasks like standing up or walking around.  That’s so basic.

Perhaps I could get a butler – anyone know a few unemployed guys?

stars

Could you repeat the job description?

[Insert creeper photo of Crosby sleeping on a plane yesterday that I can't bring myself to post, but I certainly will point at --> HERE.  I hope he made it to Nova Scotia in time to see @alisonsykora.  Also note, I was not the only one sleeping during the game.]

The Blackhawks won 3-1.  Jonathan Toews is a marvel of modern leadership and ability.  I get so in awe of him that I picture Crosby climbing the telephone pole outside to cut my cable wires.  After his nap.

 

Hossa and Saad each had two points.  It certainly wasn’t a one-sided game though: the Kings outshot the Hawks and 6 of their 26 came from Jeff Carter.  It’s shaping up to be a great series and better rematch of last year’s WCF, which Chicago took 4-1.  After all, this time they’re playing for pizza.

Full and funny Twitter exchange here.

Full funny Twitter exchange here.

Meanwhile, Saturday on the east coast, the Rangers beat the Habs 7-2.  Rick Nash finally scored (NYR goal #7, totally clutch).  The Rangers’ power play that went o-for-350 in the first two rounds (okay, 0-for-32-ish) had three PPG.  I don’t know how this happened and I don’t care, but I hope it never happens again.  Chuck enjoyed herself though.  Game two is tomorrow night – I will try to stay awake.

NHL.com has 236 photos of this game.  I’d rather watch 236 hours of the surgery channel.  Luckily in photo #1, this woman’s face:

twitter

Put on your war paint.

In non-hockey related news, the Rangers and some of the Tampa Bay Lightning attended Martin St. Louis’ mother’s funeral yesterday [link].  Such a sad story, it’s heartening to see so much support from his friends and teammates.  Not the photogs though, the idea of paparazzi at a funeral is gross.

 

It’s Alright, It’s Okay.

The season is officially over for both of us.  We may have that summertime sadness, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be awesome.  As the writer Hal Borland said, “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips it’s turn.”

In fact, the off-season is what some people do best.  Maybe they’ve been hanging around, waiting for us to get here….

mike

Hi Mike.

For me, the last hurdle is today’s Penguins Break-Up Day.  Already the boys have shaved their beards.  Hell, Nisky, would it have killed you to cut your hair?  At least you’re t-shirt is A+, unlike Neal’s.  Yet you are both outperformed by 19-year old Casanova Olli Maata, who bought ice cream for a pack of girls.  Bravo.

Also this happened.  I cannot cite a source (presumably said person lasted just long enough to Tumblr, then fainted), but I could drink to this all night.

sidbar

With Borts. Make mine a double.

See?  I feel better already.  We’ll have to give Chuck a few more days.

 

This Is The End

Allow me to pour my heart into a post in the very moment the Penguins have lost a Game 7.

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Ugh.

For starters, I hate the Rangers with a passion that you can’t understand unless you’re in your 24th year of hating a team with a fire of a thousand suns.  1990 was the year I did two things: became a hockey fan and decided I hate the NYR.  I am from New York, mind, and while I also hate the Yankees I was, as a child, setting myself up for a lifetime of “Whaaaaaaaaat?” from family and friends.  I don’t even respond.  One look of disgust is all they get from me.  If you never chanted  “1940!”, it’s tough to comprehend.  (Some of you can maybe claim longer.)  The Rangers beat the Capitals what seems like every year – and now this.  This is a particular hell for me, just so you’re aware.  If you’ve hated anything as long as I’ve hated the Rangers that was not a vegetable your parents tried to feed you in puree form, I applaud your staying power.

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UFA yaaaas.

When I was in 7th grade, I went on a family ski vacation to VT with my BFF – a Rangers fan. Turns out I had a stress fracture and my doctor said no skiing. The only thing to do for a week?  Sit in the lodge and read some awful Rangers biography. In 1996, my high school boyfriend, a Rangers fan, won a bet and made me wear a Rangers jersey for a day.  There’s a picture of miserable me in our yearbook.

ariel

How many times do we have to tell you?

Secondly, I hate repeating myself.  But this Game 7, in which then Pens outshot the Rangers 250 million to one, is the very reason you cannot have a Game 5 or 6 like the Penguins did.  Last year it sank them too.  There are games where you lose, and there are games where you get beaten, like tonight.  Lundqvist goes ASDFGHJKL!@#$%^&&*()  and you cannot win.  Nothing you could have done, nothing you didn’t try.  That is why you don’t beat yourselves, particularly in the first ten minutes of an elimination game like Games 5 or 6.  This isn’t a genie in a bottle, Xtina.  This shit does not show up when you call it’s name, Pittsburgh.  You had your chances for two games: you were nowhere, you lost.  Tonight, you were HERE and you got beaten.  Those are different circumstances.  We’ve all had good nights and bad nights, we’ve all lost.  They are not the same.

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36 shots. 1 goal.

My last and final point is this: I LOVE THIS TEAM.  Fuck everyone, I love the Penguins.  There is also a difference between hope and expectation.  I hope to win every year.  I don’t expect it.  Anyone who’s been around 24+ years (Old Lady Land) knows better.  Winning is… magic.  It’s impossible.  It’s so many factors times so many obstacles divided by so many things that could never have happened, expect for that time that they did and it was in your favor.

"It's a self-preservation thing."

“It’s a self-preservation thing.”

Winning is ephemeral and impossible and that, more than any blood, sweat and tears, is what makes winning special.  I felt it in ’09 when the Pens won the first round.  I felt it in ’10 when the Blackhawks won the second round.  I am not always right – far from it – but ask people who watched the Kings in 2012.  MAGIC.  They had it.  Watching that was intoxicating and addictive.  It’s what I look for now.  I want to see it every year.  But I don’t.  Contrary to all the evidence, I do not actually control the universe.  James Neal will remove his Gingerbeard and retire to a summer of white Ferrari cruises and tight t-shirts.  Sidney Crosby will shave off his first-ever respectable beard-type-thing and recluse for an off-season of pretending no one saw his girlfriend in the stands in Sochi or NY.  Bless their hearts, as they prepare to come back in October and do it again.  So will I.

Next year

Next year

I don’t believe in burning a team because they lost.  I have always been puzzled by the tradition of firing a coach, since they are the only person who cannot go out and score. This is not to say I don’t identify strengths and weaknesses in the Penguins’ system – or any team.  I do.  I critique.  But blind criticism is another thing and beware, Pens fans who were derided in a late-season article that called us “joyless.”  We are in danger of becoming that.  Entitled, expectant, the celebutantes of hockey.  The Yankees fans of hockey.  The only thing I hate more than the Rangers is the Yankees… it is a complicated life for this Upstate New Yorker.

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Love, hate, it’s a fine line.

Luckily, there are a lot of Pens hockey fans (look at me, being generous in depair) who know what hockey is: love and loss and loving through loss.  So many of the people who read and comment or Tweet us restore my faith in hockey humanity on a daily basis.  You guys are the best.  Whether it’s a stupid joke about a turtle or a comment, that some find derisive but I find clever, about someone’s sass or face or post-game comment, you guys give me everything I need to stay with hockey year after year.  Teams lose.  I get disappointed.  I get angry even, and I want change.  I want wingers and no injuries and confident goalies and to clean up acts.  But more than anything, more than winning, I want you guys – my friends – to be part of this every year.  I want to be talking to you in May, or June, or even ending in April. Saying goodbye or saying “great job.”  You’re it, for me.

hogwarts

Hockey fans

Writing this blog is my favorite thing.  My daily (if I can make it that often) highlight.  It’s also a lot of freaking work.  My job… well, if they ever put in one of those internet time trackers, we are sunk, WUYS fans.  I wish every one of you could start your own blog and I would read it, comment and rejoice in the free time it leaves me.  But I write this because I love it and I love you guys – even the Rangers fans.  Yes you.  Teams aside, we are each other’s people.  You know what it’s like to be called “that girl/guy who loves hockey.”  My husband is a chef, and someone at his restaurant the other night told him, “You look like this hockey player, this guy Sidney Crosby.”  My husband said, “Yeah, so my wife says.”  But me?  I said, “Who is this person and do they want to be my best friend for life?!”  I almost chased a girl with Carolina Hurricanes license plate frames out of the parking garage at work yelling, “Here’s my number!!!”  So for those of you I’ve had the pleasure to meet in real life and those of you I have yet to meet, you’re the reason.  I want to win for you as much as for myself, and while I hate your teams, I know you love them.  I feel you. Thanks for being here with us through all of this and next year, well… I still hope the Pens kick your pansy asses.  But I know you’re thinking, “Right back atcha.”  Don’t let the haters get you down.  Don’t listen when the media (which someone once called us and I laughed till I cried) pretend they know better than you.

amy p

Suck it., 24 hour news cycle and Twitter.

My text messages are blowing up - think I’ll drop my phone in the bathtub.  See you in September.  Or when Southern Ontario gets to Instagramming this summer.

Love (and maybe a little wine), Pants

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Signed. Me

PS: Let the record show I wrote this from a suite at the Ritz, for work, and near bottom of a bottle.  Thus my sympathies are such as they might not be otherwise.  Both for myself and for others (see: Rangers fans).  But hey, that’s hockey.  Time for a summer vacation for myself, I think.

pens

#IsItOctoberYet