Holding Out for a Hero

The playoffs are a tough time, when I want all my favorite players to have transcendent, legendary, career-making experiences… while their teams still lose. But someone has to win every round, and so it may as well have happened like this:

John Tavares, middle school science teacher, registered tax lawyer and upholder of dad-styles, scores to tie the game with 53 seconds left, giving his team the chance to clinch their first playoff series victory in 23 years.

Then John wins the game in double OT – which is waaaaaay past his bedtime, y’all.

The Empire State Building says “Hey Brooklyn”, while the tears of Rangers’ fans fuel my sweetest dreams.

Orange and red look really similar at 100 floors, but...

Orange and red look really similar at 100 floors, but…

 

There is hugging.

Thomas Hickey, John Tavares

I hoped they were going to do the Lift from Dirty Dancing.

 

And, as ever with John, helmet hair.

And front page news is made.

isles

Okay, it’s back-page news, but on a tabloid. #same

 

Now when we write a Disney movie based on this blog, it’ll just be clips of last night.

I hope John celebrated wildly after the win. That he rushed out without even ironing his shirt collar, then drank ice tea, but in a pint glass so it looked like beer.

#protip

#protip

 

As mentioned, the Isles last won a playoff series in 1993. As a Pens fan, I remember this victory – it ended Pittsburgh’s bid for a third-straight Cup. John does not remember: he was 2 years old. I consoled myself by blasting The Bodyguard soundtrack and singing along to Whitney Houston in the shower – because it was the #1 album, and I wasn’t old enough to drive.

Was there a vote? I missed it.

Was there a vote? I missed it.

 

I’ll soon be back to work, hoping every team (that isn’t mine) loses every single game. Two losers per series, zero winners, except the Penguins. Such is my playoff bloodlust that I would bend the rules of reality to my will. But for now, I’m taking a moment to be happy for John, because you know this is his wildest, lifelong dream of an aw-shucks moment.

Internally screaming

Internally screaming

 

Hot Streak

Do you ever look at someone and think  everyoneelsejustgiveupnowincludingwomenwhatistheuse?

 

I do. To which Sidney Crosby replies:

Very welcome.

Very welcome.

 

The Penguins play in DC tonight. Which means they are in DC right now. Which means an NSA satellite is probably reading this post and assessing whether or not I pose a security risk.

:: Kanye shrug ::

:: Kanye shrug ::

 

There is so much going on in that photo, I don’t even care that he’s wearing a chain like it’s Labor Day 2003 in Cape May, NJ. Once again, pockets have an existential crisis over failure to perform their basic function. If you’ve never contemplated the cosmic mystery of the Dorito ratio, allow my other favorite Captain to demonstrate…

 

But I digress. Where will the Pens rank when the season ends in TWO GAMES? Who will they face in the playoffs? Will Crosby shave off what is honestly some great facial hair he has going on? He is grooming it now, thank heaven. From scraggle four days ago:

 

To sleek two days ago (presumably the same day as the shirt photo above):

 

@Alisonsykora is worried about these important matters, and you should be too. Because I cannot have any thoughts past this.

Click at your own risk: Larger version

Click at your own risk: Larger version

 

Really. I can’t.

 

NHL Man Madness: WINNER

Drum roll! The votes are in… and it was not really that close.

NHL MAN MADNESS 2016 WINNER: SIDNEY CROSBY

That shirt voted for Sid

That shirt voted for Sid

 

66% of the vote went to Sid. He wold clearly have preferred 87%, but this is a higher percentage than he got in wins over Letang, Ekblad and Price. What can I say? We Eastern Conference girls have a lot to choose from.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

 

So, you like Sid. Hey, me too! I didn’t even vote, that’s how fair I wanted this to be. Now that I know you’re right ( smile), what does that say about you/us? We also like:

  • superstitions
  • peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • dogs
:: hearts ::

:: hearts ::

 

Things you don’t like:

  • referees
  • Flyers
  • selfies

 

Of course, you are also fans of:

sidz

Are you getting my best side?

I mean athleticism, guys! From the greatest player in the game!

I went to work like this.

I went to work like this.

 

Oh, you are no help. If you don’t think Crosby’s the best player in the game, well, everyone’s entitled to be wrong sometimes. (jk)

Took him 10 years to get the roster photo right.

Took him 10 years to get the roster photo right.

 

But I think most people can appreciate his… bonus features.

Nice to see myself. Every day.

You thought I was going to say “assets.”

 

There are gold medals and a Stanley Cup and trophies all over the place, not to mention the Penguins hot streak of late. Sid was NHL 1st Star for the month of March.

Currently 3rd in points this season

Currently 3rd in points this season

 

And his 600th career assist, notched this weekend.

 

You all know how I feel about Sid, and now you know how the majority of other people (who voted in this poll) feel too. I could go on for… the 5 1/2 years this blog has existed, in fact. But this is the .gif I have bookmarked in my browser, probably my favorite go-to Sid of all time.

Right in the feels.

Right in the feels.

 

If you’re a Pens fan, you’re really enjoying the games right now. And maybe a little extra in-game. Let’s hope we get to enjoy that all the way till June.

 

And if you’re not a Pens fan, there ‘s still plenty of off-ice Crosby to keep you, um, occupied.

gif from puckducky.tumblr.com

gif from puckducky.tumblr.com

 

So congratulations to Sidney Crosby, NHL Man Madness 2016 Winner. The competition where we all win.

sid1

A+ Captain

 

PS: Super thanks to all those whose gifs are included here. Visit their sites, y’all. But only if you have nothing to do for about a week.

Took him 10 years to get the roster photo right.

Took him 10 years to get the roster photo right.

 

NHL Man Madness: FINAL

Over 1000 votes are in, and we are down to this:

Click for larger version

Click for larger version

 

The NHL Man Madness 2016 Bracket Challenge Final: Sidney Crosby v Jamie Benn

This is the gold standard.

This is the gold standard.

 

Wow, that is a lot of yes. It’s the best hypothetical situation ever – so great, it can only be summed up by our spirit animal Emma Stone performing Lip Sync Battle on Jimmy Fallon:

Everybody hands go up

Everybody hands go up

 

Sidney Crosby cleared Carey Price handily, with nearly 70% of the vote. This I understand. I mean, they don’t even make pockets you can put this in.

You get the picture.

 

Jamie Benn, however, surprises me a little. I get it – I can clearly see what you’re voting for here – but I though Tyler would take this one. Instead, Jamie earned a whopping 75% of the vote. I sent Chuck to check on Tyler, just in case(s).

benn

 

So what’ll it be?

Choose...

Choose…

 

Brunette? Canadian? Captain? All of the above?

Wisely.

Wisely.

 

Yeah, that’s no help.

VOTE HERE: NHL Man Madness 2016 FINAL

You have until 2 PM on Monday to make this terrible, heartbreaking choice… and win either way. So be sure to take this very seriously.

:: roar ::

:: roar ::

 

Or not.

He looks so much like Gabriel Macht here.

He looks so much like Gabriel Macht here.

 

NHL Man Madness: Final Four

Almost 1400 votes. 1400! You guys should campaign for something in real life, because you are crushing it here. Or use your powers for good instead of these very important hockey-related matters.

Here we are, at four. That’s fewer names than you’re allowed on your “island”, your “celebrity five” or your “get out of monogamy free card”, whatever you call it. (Unless you are me. I’ve been know that say, “Sid is the list.”)

Click for larger version

Click for larger version

 

Carey Price v Sidney Crosby

You love Carey Price. I don’t get it – or I’ve never really tried – so this one will remain a mystery to me! Stamkos fared slightly better than Bergeron, Faulk or Ericksson, which is to say that he got more than 35% of the vote. And so Price moves on confidently.

I think he can hear me blogging.

I think he can hear me blogging.

 

If Sidney Crosby hadn’t won, I would have tampered with these election results. Trust me, I am not above a little espionage to keep things right with the world! Luckily, while twenty-nothing-year old Aaron Ekblad made a surprisingly strong show (39%!), Crosby won this fair and square.

It's all the things.

It’s all the things.

 

Now, you must choose. I won’t tell you what to do…

Subliminal messaging

Subliminal messaging

 

Or who to vote for…

It's not my fault he looks like this.

It’s not my fault he looks like this.

 

But I trust you’ll do the right thing.

Be his wingman any day.

Be his wingman any day.

 

KIDDING! Well, not really, but here are some Carey Price gifs to balance the universe and deter charges of election tampering.

He does look like a nice guy.

He does look like a nice guy.

 

I mean, the man can wear a scarf.

Who'd probably bring you coffee.

Who’d probably bring you coffee.

 

And not every guy looks good in a belt buckle.

Yeehaw.

Yeehaw.

 

Tyler Seguin v Jamie Benn

It was always coming down to this. Entire fictional/aspirational lives are built on just such a conundrum – Peeta v Gale, Edward v Jacob, Ron v Harry, and presumably a great many that exist outside young adult books, but not with this kind of angst. I mean, they’re BEST FRIENDS. They are a set. And they’re possibly more in love with each other than they could ever be with you.

They can't make us choose.

They can’t make us choose.

 

Tyler faced a worthy opponent in Zach Parise, who got a whopping 44% of the vote. I am shocked! But only one winning smile can win the day. Jamie struggled early, but ended up beating Gabe the Babe with 64%.

Now, by choosing only one of Tyler or Jamie, you could choose none – because they’d likely choose each other. Or you could destroy this fanfic-worthy bromance and ruin everything. That’s right, with just one click.

Life is hard.

Life is hard.

 

So, Tyler?

He knows who he'd choose. Or does he?

He knows who he’d choose. Or does he?

 

Or Jamie?

Come on, just a little?

Come on, just a little?

 

Left?

All about that bass (layer) - or not.

All about that bass (layer) – or not.

 

Or Right?

Need a ride home?

Need a ride home?

 

Cake?

Dessert-related. We're not picky.

Dessert-related. We’re not picky.

 

Or Death?

Not quite the same.

Not quite the same.

 

Man, that is tough. Seguin is a human gif-machine but Benn is so adorkable. Either way, can you really lose?

VOTE HERE: NHL Man Madness Final Four

The poll will be open until Noon EST Friday. As they say: vote early, vote awesome!

NHL Man Madness: Round 2 – Vote On

Well that was a lot of nothing. Sorry, Professor Perfect Bergeron fans, but Carey Price dismantled him in the run-off category.

Nnnnnot that close.

Nnnnnot that close.

 

So we proceed as before – NHL Man Madness 2016 Quarterfinal: VOTE HERE

Bracket QF

Click for a larger version

 

To aid in these decisions, here’s a helpful visual guide.

Carey Price v Steven Stamkos

stammer

The Goalie and the Natural

 

I’ve never paid much any attention to Carey Price, but y’all love him. And I use “y’all” to demonstrate the one thing I know about Carey Price – he’s a cowboy. He can do horse-related things and also survival, which according to many Twitter comments would make his useful in case of zombie apocalypse. (No one suggested he compete on “Naked and Afraid” which frankly calls into question this whole bracket challenge.)

Judo chop!

Judo chop!

 

I submit to you that as living off the land and shooting-while-running are exceptional skills, Stamkos is not without off-ice talents of his own.

 

You decide what’s more likely. The Walking Dead Reality Show or a young adult fiction series-turned-Hollywood blockbuster series starring a 60-goal scorer.

Sidney Crosby v Aaron Ekblad

crosby1

Hate to see you leave but love to see you walk away.

 

Hahahaha, kidding. I’m kidding! That is so unfair.

ekblad crosby

The Kid and the actual kid

 

Tyler Seguin v Zach Parise

The Bad Boy and the Good Guy

The Bad Boy and the Good Guy

 

That’s really fair, though, right? Finding a photo of Seguin with a shirt (and pants) on is not that easy. But don’t rule Zach out – he did take down Toews, after all.

Smile. People will wonder what you're up to.

Smile. People will wonder what you’re up to.

 

I’m just not sure anyone can stand up to Tyler.

He just couldn't reach a towel. In a room full of towels.

He just couldn’t reach a towel. In a room full of towels.

 

Gabriel Landeskog v Jamie Benn

This bracket is the toughest for me by a mile. They’re both so… it’s impossible. Gabe refuses to wear a shirt, even while making you breakfast. Jamie can’t not be a dork. Not even for a second. Not even with his shirt off! It’s Kryptonite.

The Surprise and the Sure Thing

The Surprise and the Sure Thing

 

To assist myself, we enter this evidence before the court:

Swedish Chef

The Swedish Chef

 

The "I Can't Be Sure it's an Innuendo because it's Jamie Benn"

The “I Can’t Be Sure it’s an Innuendo because it’s Jamie Benn”

 

Guess I’ll have to spend all day looking Google Image searching them to aid in my decision making (aka just continue what I’ve been doing all morning).

VOTE HERE: NHL Man Madness 2016 – Quarterfinal

Go on, take your time. Research these decisions. Quarterfinal voting will end Wednesday, March 30 at Noon Eastern.

NHL Man Madness: The Run-Off

The NHL Man Madness 2106 Round 2 voting is done, and it has left some handsome debris in its wake.

  • Votes: 660
  • Upsets: at least one
  • Hearts broken: Mine, twice
Bracket QF

Click for larger version

 

Jonathan Toews lost. Not that Zach Parise isn’t just as charmingly handsome or likely to put his coat over a puddle so your shoes don’t get wet walking to his luxury car, but still. Jonathan Toews lost. He doesn’t… do that. Ever. Not since that ASG Skills Competition when he didn’t know the shooting round had started!

t2

But I didn’t have time to activate Manitoba!

 

Zach got 53.3% of the vote. For once in hockey, the US is all…

#sorrynotsorry

#sorrynotsorry

 

John Tavares also lost, to Steven Stamkos, by 93 votes. If it had been 91 votes I would have tossed myself off the Annapolis bridge. (Note: not that high). As it is, I feel like:

I'm gonna hold my breath till I get a new one.

I’m gonna hold my breath till I get a new one.

 

And you know how Tavares feels? No, not sad. Well maybe a little, on the inside, but he’d never been so ungracious as to show it. He’ll just take his whatever-place-finish and shucks, thanks so much to the hundreds of people who did think he was handsome!

He will actually wear this, and not just when you visit.

He will actually wear this, and not just when you visit.

 

Meanwhile, Stamkos says:

A fave from our friend Alexis and heygirlimstevenstamkos.tumblr.com.

A fave from our friend Alexis and heygirlimstevenstamkos.tumblr.com.

 

Crosby v Letang was way too close at the start. Hey, I love Disney Princes, but this is Sid we’re talking about! Luckily, Pierre Maguire was free to stuff the ballot box all day long, and Crosby took home his round with +170 votes.

Act like it was part of the plan.

Act like it was part of the plan.

 

Marko Dano surprisingly got 36% of the vote in his round – I still haven’t looked this guy up. If he fell out of the sky right now and landed on me, I wouldn’t know him. But you can bet Tyler Seguin didn’t even blink at this competition.

Roll my windows down and cruise.

Roll my windows down and cruise.

 

It was surprisingly no competition between Jamie Benn and James Neal, as Benn got 75% of that vote. Is it the Nashville? The not scoring 30 goals, not getting suspended, fact that I’ve barely blogged all season? You’ve all forgotten?

I didn't want to leave you.

I didn’t want to leave you.

 

Or is the awkward panda-perfect hair-tattoo of a graveyard just too much to overcome?

I dream of Jamie.

I dream of Jamie.

 

Hahahah WHAT is that .gif? Forget it, I just changed my vote to Jamie Benn also. Sorry, Neal.

While the Gabe Landeskog v Roman Josi category caused some people real-life conflict…

So, you're saying not all late-night hookups are classy?

So, you’re saying not all late-night hookups are classy?

 

Gabe to Babe lived up to his name and brought in 58% of the votes. How does he feel about fending off a handsome opponent and winning your heart?

This violates campaign laws, right? It must.

This violates campaign laws, right? It must.

 

With 71% of the votes, Aaron Ekblad beat Tom Wilson. (At the polls, not on the ice. Please don’t fight Tom Wilson.) It was a fascinating battle until you remember 1) they’re both 12 and b) no one likes the Panthers. At least not anyone who can .gif. Someone, please, fill the void of Ekblad gifs in the world.

Now imagine this photo could move.

Now imagine this photo could move.

 

Lastly – and I saved this for a reason – Carey Price trounced Justin Faulk, winning 77% of the vote. Price beat Mike Green by exactly the same margin in Round One.

Impressive, right?

Impressive, right?

 

So, we’re throwing Carey a wrench. When I created this bracket challenge, I spent 0.2 seconds thinking about the Bruins, and the first Bruin that came to mind was Loui Eriksson. I can’t tell you why. But I can tell you what I missed – Patrice Bergeron. Holy Hannah, you people love Bergy. I get it… no, I don’t really. He’s still a Bruin. But democracy being what it is, I am forced to accept a write-in candidate. So….

This is getting very House of Cards

This is getting very House of Cards

 

If Bergy had been in Eriksson’s place, he would surely have beaten Justin Faulk. Bergy certainly would have given Price a run for this money in this round. Now that we know Price is through to the Quarterfinal, here’s the wrench:

We’re calling a run-off. One round, only one vote: Bergeron v Price. If Price wins, he stays. If Bergy wins, he replaces Price entirely in the spot he would have rightfully won if Chuck were around to throw dishes and remind me he was missing in the first place.

VOTE HERE: The Run-Off – Bergeron v Price

Okay, now I kind of get it again.

Okay, now I kind of get it again.

 

Your mission now is simple. Bergeron or Price? The winner will face Steven Stamkos in the Quarterfinal Round. You’ve had it easy, Carey, but you need your game face now.

I'm here, coach. I'm ready.

I’m here, coach. I’m ready.

 

Voting in the run-off ends Monday at 12 PM Eastern, in case you’re off social media for the weekend. Like I am always trying to be. Assuming there are people who succeed.

NHL Man Madness: Round 2

The first results are in! A total of 534 votes were cast in the first round, which means 10 of you each voted about 53 times. I thank you!

bracket - R2

Click for a larger version

 

There you have it, folks. Gabe the Babe dispatched Chris Higgins’ abs, taking home the trophy for biggest win with 88% of the vote. Disney Prince Kris Letang had the second highest with 84.3% over Lupul. Benn, Josi, Seguin, Crosby, Stamkos and Carey Price all topped 70% in their respective categories.

Ain't even sweating

Ain’t even sweating

 

The closest race went to Marko Dano, who beat Joe Pavelski by three votes. THREE! Democracy, people. Other tight races were Ekblad over Lundqvist by 4% and Wilson over Gingeroux by 6%. John Tavares won by 7% – way too close for me, but I would have just lied if he’d lost. (Democracy!)

He knows the people in charge.

He knows the people in charge.

 

The most heated campaign came from @eyetotelescope and #TeamToews, who locked up the Original Canadian Dream’s 8% win over Jeff Carter.

What's wrong with being confident?

What’s wrong with being confident?

 

It only gets tougher from here. Top 2nd round match-ups have our professional analysts buzzing…

Crosby v Letang: Battle of the Burgh

#agony

#agony

 

Tavares v Stamkos: We are All 91

But you said we were friends

But you said we were friends.

 

Benn v Neal: Tatts. Hair. Awkward. Dallas.

Don't touch the hair, man.

Don’t touch the hair, man.

 

VOTE HERE: WUYS NHL Man Madness 2016 – Round Two

Get to it! Round Two voting will end Friday, March 25 at 8 PM Eastern, just in time to see Batman v Superman… for Wonder Woman, obviously.

Trust me, I've seen it. She's amazing.

Trust me, I’ve seen it. She’s amazing.

 

NHL Man Madness 2016

The last – and only – time I gave a rat’s ass about NCAA March Madness basketball was a) when Sidney Crosby was at the next table and b) I was lying. But this important bracket challenge had me excited: BarDown: Pretty Hockey Player Madness 2016

bardown

Vote in the Bardown Bracket HERE.

 

Until I tried it. And the problems began.

  • Josi vs Gabe the Babe in the first round?! Can I just win the loser and go home happy?
  • I don’t know 60% of the Pacific Division contenders. They play hockey past my bedtime.
  • Tyler Seguin vs. Patrick Sharp? Like, you’re teammates on the train to the Capital, but once you hit the arena, it’s every handsome man for himself? I hope they refuse at the end and hold hands.
  • Paul Martin made the bracket? Hey San Jose!
  • Sidney Crosby vs. Jared Boll. Prince Charming vs. the Wicked Queen’s eyebrows.
  • And then it was over. NO STAMKOS? NO TAVARES? What kind of rigged crap is this?
Much love for Uncle Joe.

Much love for Uncle Joe.

 

So, I created a real, better bracket for us. With the help of everyone on Twitter during the Pens/Caps game last night, we present to you…

WUYS NHL Man Madness 2016

WUYSMM Rd 1

 

Now, it’s not perfect. I had to pick someone from every team, which meant only a few teams could send multiple handsome faces. Many competed, few made the bracket. I divided East vs West and used a random generator to seed the players.  The rest, as they say, is up to you.

VOTE HERE: WUYS NHL Man Madness 2016 Bracket Challenge (You don’t have to enter your email. Just hit Begin.)

UPDATE: If you voted before 10PM EST on Sunday night, I forgot to include Jamie Benn vs. Jordan Eberle. Probably because that’s like choosing cake or a different cake. I mean, how can you want just one? You can try here, in Oops, Jamie Benn vs Jordan Eberle.

You have until Wednesday night to vote, and we’ll move into the Semifinals on Thursday!

You jump, I... stay on this door and survive.

You jump, I… stay on this door and survive.

 

Mic Check

Canada is getting everything right lately. First, they elect Patrick Sharp Han Solo this guy Prime Minister. Then they offer to run for President of the United States. And in case they don’t win, they invite us all north for 4 to 8 years. And now, this:

What the inside of my brain looks like.

What the inside of my brain looks like.

 

Kidding! Okay, not really. An in-goal wine rack? If you went inside my brain like Being John Malkovich, you’d find yourself climbing one of these. Somebody get the creator of this miracle a Nobel Prize.

Also, Cnada provided us with this, courtesy of the Vancouver Canucks:

Mamma mia. Lip sync battle is the greatest entertainment invention since the Puppy Bowl, and that’s even when Beyonce doesn’t show up. It’s also the highest art form I participate in daily. From my car.

Now, let’s be honest. I don’t know who any of these Canucks rookies are. And I am generally terrified of potential humiliation, so watching this was not easy! But I know all these songs and I must say, these guys nailed it.

It's 5 O'Clock somewhere... in Canada. Because he's 19.

It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere… in Canada. Because he’s 19.

 

Jake Virtanen did Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee” in a pair of pants that maybe fit him in high school. Good thing he didn’t pick a song with any booty-dropping or we’d have seen somebody’s Chattahoochee.

Ain't nothing but a heartache.

Ain’t nothing but a heartache.

 

Jared McCann (hi cutie!) went straight for our own hearts with some BSB. God, I love this song. It makes no sense – are they happy? Sad? They never want to hear us say we want it that way? But I thought they did want it that way?

Typical guys, with their mixed messages and wearing all-white in airports.

nucks4

Canada’s Got, well… confidence is a talent, right?

 

Ben Hutton went all out with his choice of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” He was approximately a fetus when this song was released (okay, he was 4), but clearly this musical milestone resonates across the generations.

Admit it, you were worried at the start of Ben’s number. We were on the fast track to this for a hot second….

napoleon2

Vote for Pedro

Until this happened.

Come on Barbie, let's go party.

Come on Barbie, let’s go party.

 

Last, in the always-unfortunate slot after someone unbottons clothing, Sven Baertschi hit us with some Marvin Gaye. He doesn’t really know what the host is saying, or what the words are, or that he’s dressed like AJ McLean, so I assumed he’d be the one singing Backstreet Boys. Throw is some skating-ish dance moves and you’ve got yourself a fine performance, friend.

He'll be there in a hurry.

He’ll be there in a hurry.

 

There was no winner, though I think Sven had it in the bag with his turtleneck and chain. Did he confuse Marvin Gaye with The Lonely Island? I almost hope he did. I also hope more teams subject their players to forced participation for our amusement soon. Right after they give Chuck and I a good twenty minutes with that goal-sized wine rack.

So, in summary, you should vote for Canada. They’re the country of hockey-themed liquor cabinets and freestyle dancing by untrained white men. If that’s not the place for me and Chuck, then just leave us the wine.

It’s only Tuesday

To commemorate the week so far (and so I don’t have to go scrolling through Twitter in two years when I want to reference this), a post about two really important things.

Jonathan Toews joined Twitter.

If you use "eh" in a sentence, you are exempt from needing punctuation.

If you use “eh” in a sentence, you are exempt from all grammar rules.

 

I spent my drive to work trying to come up with a joke about how now, we all have to pronounce the “w” in Twitter as a “v”, like in Toews. I didn’t quite get there.

toews2

Most Canadian cover photo ever.

 

So far, Jon has made fun of Andrew Shaw (check), apologized for a loss (check) and – I swear you can’t make this up – used “jk.” He is basically us at age 14, only Andrew Shaw was (probably) not born yet.

toews

The only capital letter Toews cares about is the C on his sweater.

 

Remember when Jonathan Toews was no fun? Like, at all? He even went as Grumpy for Halloween… which was ironic, because referencing his grumpiness was one of the first steps toward casting it off. If it were 2012, we would hardly recognize this guy.

toews3

Part-time model profile pic

 

In related news, everyone loves Jonathan Toews. More than ever. [Second City HockeySun Times, Bar Down]

And remember, we are communication professionals. Will work for hockey.

wuys

Pro tip.

 

The other important thing for future reference (and Chromecasting onto a big screen):

The Penguins played horseshoes. #shirtsoptional

Maybe I shouldn’t be looking at my phone while walking. But honestly, Pittsburgh, warn a girl! I may have veered wildly across a sidewalk during DC rush hour upon seeing this grace my screen. The video loaded. Wifi buffered. Particle beams shot through space and a satellite fell from the sky but still I COULD NOT WATCH IT.

So I went into the nearby hotel lobby and calmly stole the password from their reception desk.

pens 3

Julia informs me this is Brian Dumolin. My eyes were seared by Sid’s paleness.

 

I have a new appreciation for horseshoes. Previously a game I’ve only seen played by small cousins and large rednecks, it suddenly seems a pursuit worth dedicating my life to. On this beach, with the lovely crystal waves crashing.

pens 2

And maybe even one day, a tan.

 

If this whole hockey thing doesn’t work out for the Pens, they could always open an off-season Club Med.

pens 4

Flowers love the sun.

 

Pittsburgh, currently holding the last Wild Card spot in the East, plays at Boston tomorrow night on NBCSN. The Hawks, who are first in the West, host Nashville on Thursday night on the same network. Two nights of Roenick and Milbury… might almost be worth it for all this.

Foxy Friday: Justin Faulk

I had something clever to say about the Carolina Hurricane’s Justin Faulk , but really, this sums it all up.

Foxy Friday: Justin Faulk

Cuddle Puddle!

Cuddle Puddle!

 

So, yeah. We’re talking about hockey!

Justin Faulk is 23, American from Minnesota, plays defense and was the Canes’ sole representative at this year’s NHL All Star Game. He also appeared in last year’s ASG.

That concludes 100% of what I know about him. Back to the internet, Alex.

faulk3

In November, we captioned this: “Justin Faulk is really, really sorry that his hands are so big and his hair is so tousled.” Still true.

 

SI.com featured Faulk in January, mentioning that he is putting together a potentially historic goal total this season. Not his 15 goals overall, but the fact that 12 of them are power play goals. If he can get to 20 PPG, he’ll be the first defenseman to ever do so in a single season. In the story, you can read how Justin’s mom credits repeated watchings of The Mighty Ducks with teaching Justin to skate.

Hey, that movie is probably to blame for our hockey careers too.

Does Spidey have hors, or...

Does Spidey have horns, or…

 

Faulk won an NCAA championship with Univ. of Minnesota Duluth and was part of the 2014 US Olympic Team, where he took part in possibly the most inexplicable portrait shoot ever.

olympic1

Zoolander 2, in theaters today.

 

No, actually, I’ve seen this before.

Damn, I was going for 'thoughtful.'

Damn, I was going for ‘thoughtful.’

 

Justin’s amassed quite a collection of facial scars in his young career, and isn’t afraid to selfie them for your benefit. I’ll put that photo behind this link. Instead, you can see how they’ve healed up just enough to give him that hockey player look we like so much.

It took me a minute to figure out why I like Justin Faulk, then I realized that, while bearded, he strongly resembles the guy who plays Aramis on BBC’s The Musketeers. Aramis was always my favorite Musketeer, and it is my favorite book of all time.

 

Right? This is a renaissance faire waiting to happen.

aramis

BBC America posted THIS but no Series 3 date. Bloody hell.

 

As Justin is only 23, he’s tried a number of styles in his search of what would look best on the NHL ASG red carpet.

faulky

I’m relaxed. No wait, I’m serious. Defensemen don’t relax.

 

They all more or less work for him, with the exception of his audition for the role of immediately-post My So Called Life Jordan Catalano Jared Leto. Everyone tried this bleached blond thing, no one succeeded. We were all young too – we just had the sense to do it before the internet.

For the record, Rayanne was a bitch.

For the record, Rayanne was a bitch.

 

Justin is on Twitter @justinfaulk27, with a banner photo that a) reminds you how many friends people have at 23 and b) promises shirtless boat selfies may not be out of the question.

faulk7

Okay, I’m serious. No, wait. Models aren’t serious.

 

So, if you don’t already like Justin Faulk for histalent, you can like him because his hair and eyebrows will always look better than yours. It’s nice to know which battles you can’t win, right? And if that’s not enough, the guy folds his clothes.

You can be the spatial reasoning in this relationship.

You can be the spatial reasoning in this relationship.

 

Let a married person tell you: Marry someone who folds his clothes.

Now let a married person read that out loud to her husband.

My eyebrows get uneven too, friend.

My eyebrows get uneven too, friend.

 

I just realized the Canes play the Penguins tonight. Why am I out to sabotage my team with the power of Foxy Friday every time?! Last week it was Stamkos, who had 2A in Tampa’s win over Pittsburgh. Damn it, it’s too late now. Apologies in advance.

80's lighting, 90's hair

80’s lighting, 90’s hair

 

With 57 points, you could look at the Canes’ season as a half-full or half-empty situation. They’re next-to-last in the Metro Division and four spots back of a wild card berth. Or they are just four points out of a playoff spot with 30 games to go. It’s a jam up in the East and should be an exciting. sickening. panic-inducing run for the end of the regular season. Please let Foxy Friday bestow no powers on this one day.

Don't ruin the magic, please. That is all natural.

Don’t ruin the magic, please. That is all natural.

 

Hooked on a Phil-ing

Every year, a few NHL teams dust off the funny bones and do Valentine’s cards. The Blackhawks are usually tops at this (and most) games, but this year’s are surprisingly mediocre [link]. Still, I was prepared to give them this year’s heart-shaped cake for this gem:

teravainen

If you want me girl let me know…

 

Can’t lose with an *N Sync joke, right? That should be a slam dunk.

But no.

phil ings

Got a phil-ing about some nachos in this picture.

 

Bahahasnortlaughahaha! PHIL-ings! I’ve got Phil-ings about your bowl haircut and what you insist on wearing, Kessel, but nothing this funny. I see him laughing at all the guys traded to/from the Leafs today, while at the same time silently shaking his head, “No, God no!” at Stamkos.

This one also made me snarf. The word “horn” always makes me laugh like a 7th grader in health class-slash-Georgia Nicholson.

hornqvist

Tell me someone’s read Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging.

 

The Sid card is cute…

cros

C is for 4 point games and other things that don’t start with C.

 

But it’s not as good or true as this:

cros2

just say yes

 

Here are all the Penguins Valentine’s. Honorable mention for the adoration derp they caught on Kris Letang’s face:

Me, when I see the sign for In-N-Out Burger.

Me, when I see the sign for In-N-Out Burger.

 

You know I hate to say it, but some of these Flyers Valentine’s are pretty funny. If you’re into orange and liking things you hate.

flyers

Cupid Giroux should have matching wrist casts. If you can play beer pong…

 

I assume these Bolts cards are from 2016, because if people have been saying “bae” for over a year I’ll feel even more despair about American culture. (Update: These are from last year. I give up on you, American youth.)

tampa bae

When the NHL adopts it, you know a trend is over.

 

Did I miss any teams that have 2016 cards? The Predators did Valentines last year [link], but I’m not sure how they could top the weird and scared feeling this conveyed:

There are conventions for this kind of mascot stuff.

There are conventions for this kind of mascot stuff.

 

We’ll be on the lookout for more cards this week, even thought all our PHIL-ings may be committed already.

Foxy Friday: Steven Stamkos

It is a little known major oversight here at WUYS that Steven Stamkos has never been a Foxy Friday. One could argue that’s he’s been sufficiently fox-ied every other day of the week, since we’ve tagged over 100 posts with his name. But with great power comes great responsibility…

To keep looking like this:

Some of our 100+ Stamkos posts have been pretty legendary, including those times he:

… was so cute at 20 that I said, “Call me when you don’t need a fake ID.’

.. turned 21. Then 22, and then 23. (He’s 25 now.)

… shoveled snow in shorts.

… wore, and I mean woreblue pants to play golf. The white pants were good too.

… and James Neal cried laughing at Intern Jeff Skinner‘s mortal humiliation.

… scored 50 goals. Then made it 60 goals.

… did this: steven

… pretended to forget his skates while Jordan Eberle pretended to be mean in a Coke Zero commerical.

… and Neal, Tavares and Jeff Carter had an imaginary argument about the scoring race.

Tweeted a photo of his busted face.

… jumped freakishly high. Which is probably all the time.

… cut/didn’t cut his hair.

poured water of himself in the name of charity.

… went to the wire on a contract deal. No, the other time.

Curls for the girls

Curls for the girls

 

It’s been 4 years, 7 months and 22 days since Steven’s first mention on WUYS. That means he’s gone 1697 days without being Foxy Friday! Criminal! Finally, we correct this error of 242.5 weeks. (And on a day that Steven and the Bolts play Pittsburgh. I waited 5 years to probably shoot myself in the foot and cost my team their whole season. Yay,)

In honor of Steven finally being named, we’re bringing you ALL NEW (to this blog, mostly, we think) Steven Stamkos content! Skinny legs and all.

When Steven is on the ice, he is:

When he’s not on the ice, you can find him being cute with a puppy:

I don’t need any treats, I’m good here.

 

And with many puppies:

stam14

My actual dream come true.

 

And with his own puppy:

stam7

Some people are obsessed with their dogs, okay? Gosh.

 

Also with children:

stam2

High school is going to be rough with these standards.

 

Cabbie:

 

or product placement:

stam4

I would pay $1000 for this shirt.

 

You’ll find him hanging with his related Tumblr searches:

related

I’ve got friends in Southern Ontario places…

 

stam10

Notice that “Hand” is the only thing capitalized.

 

And most importantly, doing activities:

stam3

I play Frisbee every day with my dog, I could coach this. Will work for everyone’s shirts.

 

I could go on all day (or for the past five years). Stammer’s contract is up at the end of this season, and the drama is already at peak hysteria. The Lightning have said it’s their “number one priority” – well, duh. Steven has said little other than he loves playing in Tampa. We’ve heard guys say that and take reasonable contracts to stay put, or shout is as they’re rolling toward a new team in an armored truck full of cash. My bet is on Stamkos staying with the Lightning.

If you’re not already following him on twitter (@RealStamkos91), you’re doing it wrong. The guy knows what we want! It’s almost as good as the Steven Stamkos Tumblr feed.

Happy finally Foxy Friday, Steven. Try not to score too many again the Penguins tonight, yeah? Kthanksbye.

Goals and Goals

I pity the fool who answers the NHL TV customer service line when I call today. Well, the person won’t be a fool, nor can they actually do anything about the disaster of a changeover from Game Center Live. But still. I don’t pay $150 a year to miss Sidney Crosby hat tricks!

Last night, Sid scored three very necessary goals to lead the Penguins to a 6-5 victory over Ottawa.

I won’t take credit for this particular scoring surge, but ask Lindsay if it might be the result of a conversation we had yesterday. I once ended the lockout, you know.

Hopefully this is a sign for the Pens, who currently hold the last EC wild card slot. The East is all jammed up: seven teams within two points, and all for third in the division.

Look at that goal differential . Holy Caps.

Look at that goal differential . Holy Caps.

 

On Monday, Sid told press, “Our playoffs basically start now.” And he kinda smiled when he said it. [Video]

Somebody got a new hat.

Somebody got a new hat.

 

While you were enjoying the Penguins goals and wondering WTAF they were doing between goals, I was practicing yoga with this Sid workout clip.

(Bless @Kiki5851 for finding this.)

Except I only managed Shavasana, where you lay on the floor looking dead while trying to compose yourself. I have elite skills.

Bonus feature.

Bonus feature.

 

Then, the Twitters told me that freshly-returned-from-injury Connor McDavid did this:

Well, shit. That is an amazing goal. Tell me again what you were doing in 1997, when he was born? My Home Ec class egg baby is older than Connor McDavid. (Haha, #TeamEggBaby it is!)

Alas, I saw no actual hockey AGAIN. I will be sending this post to the suggestion box at NHL TV – which probably does work, because obviously.

The Kids Would Be Proud

Once upon a time there was an All-Star Weekend that reminded me how much I love hockey.  Well, that happens every year. But this weekend, like so much of this season, I didn’t actually get to watch anything. GAH! What follows is the best I was able to mash up from Twitter and my imagination… except I couldn’t make this up:

It was someone’s job to walk behind John Tavares and hold a sign that said “John Tavares.”

I demand to see your qualifications.

I demand to see your qualifications.

 

This is so obviously the job for me that I’m just putting it on my resume, because it makes no sense that I wasn’t the one to do it. Here’s the red carpet video.

signJT2

Gives new meaning to “Climb the ladder at work.”

 

I could also have held the “PLAID SUIT!” sign, people.

They don't call him "Stammer" for nothing.

They don’t call him “Stammer” for nothing.

 

Then, let me just get this out of the way:

Squad goals.

Squad goals.

And by “this”, I mean my dead body, fallen to the ground, blocking everyone’s commute into DC. Look at these guys! Look at John’s hair! My enjoyment of this photo is the way a tween feels on the day a new One Direction album drops. I don’t Snapchat, but if I did, I would express this with the “throwing up rainbows” filter.

If this were The Hangover, Tavares would end up with the tattoo on his face. Take care of him!

Hockey clubs can't even handle me right now.

Hockey clubs can’t even handle me right now.

Obviously the big story of the weekend was John Scott auditioning to play himself in the Disney remake of Goon. He not only went to Nashville, apprently against the NHL’s wishes, he owned the weekend. His kids and goals and his MVP award are all the things we love about sports. Perseverance, faith and, hey, talent (!) delivered with a smile that thanked most people and told some others to kiss his ass.

Proudest fan club.

Proudest fan club.

The support of so many players and teams for Scott’s efforts was also spectacular. Sportsmanship, alive and well! This is what sports should teach kids: not that everybody wins, or gets a trophy for showing up, but that life can be tough – and you can be tougher.  Scott goes, for now, back to the AHL. Fate awaits. But for that moment, when someone said he couldn’t, John Scott did anyway. Bravo, sir.

This is the moment, tonight is the night...

This is the moment, tonight is the night…

In other highlights, PK Subban topped the moment he wore Intern Jeff Skinner’s jersey with a costume so perfect I can’t believe I’ve never worn it on Halloween. (No wig required.)

And PK looks good with long hair. Is that weird? Nah. These rest of the weekend PK dressed and acted like a million bucks-slash-his regular self. He even does a purple suit and fedora with a minimum of pimp-ness. How?

Most popular man on campus

Most popular man on campus

In the weekend’s other best piece of performance art, Brent Burns appeared as the fictionalized version of himself.

"Where my boyfriend?" - Maz Kanata

“Where my boyfriend?” – Maz Kanata

Plus he brought a litle Ewok.

Anyone else's biological clock ticking like a bomb?

Biological clocks ticking so loudly, someone called the Bomb Squad.

Burns’ teammate and Former Foxy Friday Joe Pavelski also brought his son, and Minis Pavelski and Burns scored a goal in the breakaway competition. That drop pass would make any goalie disappear.

Jeez, Pavelski looks good. Sorry Chuck, but I think Joe Thornton turned out to be the Prince William in this family, and all of a sudden Prince  Harry (ginger power! ) is like woah.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

Do you know the way to San Jose?

Other important stories:

Claude Giroux is hot.

Yes, you heard me right.

 

May I be struck down by the Penguins Zamboni for continuing to think this, but….

This must be how Liam feels about Miley and I don't understand that either.

This must be how Liam feels about Miley and I don’t understand that either.

Probably driving the Penguins Zamboni of Shame would be Malkin, with James Neal uselessly shouting directions in English. Their little reunion this weekend makes me really want a TARDIS. [Video]

Geno is also the person on Earth whom I would most like to hug. He feels the way I feel after a long day of doing PR. (Too bad it’s actually my job.)

Bonus Crosby, who is so mad/shocked I just said I wanted to hug Geno more.

Bonus Crosby, smizing through his shock that I just said I wanted to hug Geno more.

Meanwhile, Neal (:: sans gingerbeard :: why :: sobs ::) heard what I said Friday about Dierks Bentley and “everyone loves tight jeans”, and he delivered! Video of them skating together in the breakaway challenge here.

I know what I was feeling, "but...."

I know what I was feeling….

Also, James does not have the best hair on the Preds. There is simply no competing with Roman Josi,

There's something about Josi.

There’s something about Josi.

Matt Duchene made his debut as a second-career country star. I hope this is an available search criteria on DateaCowboy.com (100% real website). Matt also were a cowboy hat and used hashtags #mullett and #yeehaw this weekend, so if music doesn’t work out, he could always blog for us! [Performance Video]

Tyler Seguin swore on TV, then apologized to Canada.

Then he made it up to the whole world simply by having been born 24 years ago that same day and thus contributing this to humankind.

Something for everyone.

Something for everyone.

I was going to say “mankind”, which is casually and confusingly misogynistic. Then I was going to say “womankind”, which is sexist because I have to believe guys appreciate a supernova just as much.

I didn’t hear much about Jamie Benn this weekend. Even if he did nothing but stand around and look like Jamie Benn, it’s more than I do all day.

"What should we do tonight, Tyler?" "Same thing we do every night, Jamie. Try to take over the world."

“What should we do tonight, Tyler?” “Same thing we do every night, Jamie. Try to take over the world.”

(Jamie and Tyler were the only hockey players to make the Forbes list of 30 Under 30: Sports, reminding you they are 1) awesome and 2) practically still jailbait.)

Speaking of jailbait, Aaron Ekblad continues to defy human evolution by appearing to be a good idea. His beard is so Max Talbot, right? Again, right-but-wrong. Should we just call him #rightbutwrong from now on? Done.

What's wrong with being confident?

What’s wrong with being confident?

Then he posted a photo from his hotel room and (we assume) Nashville sold out of binoculars and protractors as people tried to figure out which window to look in.

Dylan Larkin, who is 9 years old (okay, 19), submitted his application to be our new intern by skating the fastest lap in NHL ASG history. Hey, we were spry at 19 too! (Lies.) But we like this kid, and not just because he can pass notes to Mike Green for us.

Freshman flash

Freshman flash

I could go on all day – I nearly have, since it’s noon and all my emails are unread! I hope you enjoyed this and the ASG weekend. Just doing this post has given me all the feelings.

Live shot of my office.

Live shot of my office.

 

Bring on the second half of the season!  (Now, if something could excite the Penguins, we’d be in business.)

Some-Star Weekend

Hello?

What is this gif? I've been watching it for 20 mins and I'm crying.

What is this gif? I’ve been watching it for 20 mins and I’m crying.

 

HI GUYS! Remember me? I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet and go over half a season of hockey that I’ve mostly missed. How does this happen? My life is like space in Interstellar, where time barely passes, while hockey and this blog remain on Earth, getting 80 years older every day without me.

So, All-Star Game?

Is anyone watching this? I kinda sorta almost totally forgot about it until someone mentioned John  Tavares’ pants.

@JennMJones531 to the rescue.

@JennMJones531 to the rescue.

 

That will get my attention, even from space.

Mixing space movie metaphors!! (Spends five hours looking at Matt Damon gifs.)

Mixing space movie metaphors!! (Spends five hours looking at Matt Damon gifs.)

 

So, Crosby didn’t get invited. That’s old news. I wrote a mental blog post called “10 Things Sid Can Do Instead of the ASG”, which was quite funny.  You should read it sometime when you develop mind-reading powers.  Or tomorrow, if I get around to posting it.

The newer news is Ovi and Toews are hurt/sick and also suspended. The NHL sure knows how to cry when the whole class doesn’t come to their party.

nene

Truth hurts, ASG.

 

Alas, with no drunken draft, most of the fun is gone from the weekend anyway. The NHL has realized this too late and made some replacement efforts to attract our attention:

1) Made John Tavares captain. He probably suggested this Footloose-inspired sobriety nonsense, for fear a real charitable organization might think Ovi was actually poor and needed a new car. The paperwork on that tax headache!  But it does mean more camera time for Captain T and the Pleated Pants.

Does this data come in a pie chart?

Does this data come in a pie chart?

 

2) Dierks Bentley. HOLLER. I love country music, and Dierks is a big Preds fan, and everybody likes tight jeans. He’ll be one of the celeb coaches at the game.

We would get drunk on this plane.

We would get drunk on this plane.

 

3) All the Foxy Fridays. Damn if they didn’t replace Toews with James Neal. The NHL knew I wasn’t paying attention and just waved a red ginger flag in my face.

endsmile

endsmile

 

Add that to Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber and all-time FF fave, Roman Josi, and the home team is, um, well represented.  Other Foxy Fridays on the roster: Jamie Benn, Matt Duchene, Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin, Jonathan Quick, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O’Reilly, Ben Bishop, Claude Giroux, holy crap are we there yet?, Evgeni Malkin, the aforementioned John Tavares, CPA, His Disney Highness Kris Letang, Ryan McDonaugh and Braden Holtby.

Answer: Making Pants hate herself.

Answer: Making Pants hate herself.

 

Note: Stamkos, #TeamHall and Nicky Backstrom have never been Foxy Fridays. This blog is a sham. Shut it down.

What kind of irresponsible journalism is this?!

What kind of irresponsible journalism is this?!

 

4) 3-on-3 Format. I won’t pretend to have an opinion on this, as I’ve watched approximately one OT period all season, but it sounds exciting. Top players + more open ice = more goals, right? But hasn’t the All-Star Game always ended in some Hobbit score of twelveses to eleventy anyway? Maybe the “last place in the draft” prize can be repurposed to the only player who doesn’t score a hat trick on Sunday.

Ovi wasn't picked last, but someone did give him a car to donate to charity.

Ovi wasn’t last, but someone did give him a car to donate to charity.

 

5) The John Scott story. Voted into the ASG by fans, then traded and assigned to the AHL, the saga of whether or not John Scott would appear in the ASG has been ongoing news. Yesterday, Scott published this first person account in The Player’s Tribune. In it, he explains how someone from the NHL encouraged him, even now, not to attend this weekend’s events.

SCREW YOU, NHL. Wrong, bad, stupid, and also, WHY? John Scott may be the only player who actually cares about this game, and you think he should stay home? Do you think the fans who voted him in should not watch? Oh no, you want them. You NEED them.

She'll be proud.

She’ll be proud.

 

Read the Player’s Tribune story. It will make you want to buy a John Scott jersey and stand up in your living room when he takes the ice on Sunday. I hope every player shows up wearing his name. You may not like Scott’s brand of hockey, but it is part of hockey. Scott may not be an elite player, but he is a player. Was a player? Will be an NHL player again? Who knows. But if you love the game, you have to love it’s scars.

So, see you guys tomorrow night on the Twitters to techno-judge the real skills at Skills Competition: hair, beard, sass? Our trifecta of All-Star Weekend talents.

 

Tune in Tonight!

Don’t forget: Episode 3 of EPIX’s Road to the NHL Winter Classic airs tonight at 10 PM. You can watch it live for free at EPIX.com, or log in later and catch up.

Plans are already made for pajamas (er, Chewbacca onesie), takeout and couch recuperation on Friday to watch the big game! Chuck got a ticket – woohoo! – so look for her on TV.

Sharp eye of the Fashion Police

Sharp eye of the Fashion Police

 

Maybe she should borrow my onesie.

Who's scruffy looking?

Who’s scruffy looking?

 

I look way more excited than this guy in my outfit, but faced the same problem: what kind of shoes go with a Chewbacca suit?

Obviously.

Obviously.

 

All the Small Things

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you’re off work, eating everything in sight and washing it down with magnums of wine. I know I am (except the off work part).

Now that Christmas has past and I’m not going to spoil the surprise for any WUYS readers lucky enough to be friends with Jamie McCarthy (@kerfuffleblog), I can finally show you guys these great hockey toys she makes!

Conversation topics: WWII, fossils, pants problems

Conversation topics: WWII, fossils, pants problems

 

Shut up, they’re tiny hockey boyfriends! Aren’t they awesome?

Tyler and Jamie have each other's on their dashboards, like hula girls.

A rubber duckie. I CANNOT! (Thank you forever, ESPN Body Issue.)

 

Jamie starts with Funko vinyl toys (usually these ones) and adds to them with clay or epoxy putty, then repaints them by hand. Lastly, she makes the skates and sticks. They are all under 4 inches tall.

She has classics like Bobby Orr…

bobbyorr

Now, how to make it fly?

 

And someday, maybe even a whole team!

Tavares manages to look serious even with no mouth.

Tavares manages to look serious even with no mouth.

 

You can see more of Jamie’s process and finished pieces at  whatakerfuffle.tumblr.com. Who else would cut the fangs off True Blood vampire Funkos to make Zetterberg and Dutsyuk?! That is art.

Tiny Goalie Pads!

Tiny Goalie Pads!

 

There are SO MANY and they’re not all hockey! Or boys! They’re all fantastic, I can tell you that. Add @whatakerfuffle to your Instagram feed to follow her work in progress.

Thank you, Jamie, for letting us share!

Road to the Winter Classic: Episode 1

Welcome to guest blogger, Elodie (@hockeyfied), who will be recapping EPIX’s Road to the NHL Winter Classic for us! We are very happy to have her. She’ll help you relive the show’s highlights and get ready for every Wednesday night. Reminder: If you missed Episode One (because you were watching Episode VII of something else!), you can see it on EPIX.com. Just create an account and log yo’self in – it’s free.

And now, we turn to Elodie…

epix wide

With weeks to go until New Year’s Day and its symbolic game, this year’s Road to the NHL Winter Classic is back on EPIX, this time trying to give us a glimpse of the lives of the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

If you don’t know, this is a rivalry for the ages. One of – if not the – most bitter in the NHL. To this day, these teams have faced each other more than any other two teams in the league, and they simply really, really dislike each other.

The kids who spawned a thousand memes.

The kids who spawned a thousand memes.

 

Let me be honest – I’m a Bruins fan, inclined to turn a side-eye to every bit of the show that is about the Habs. Yet even I have to admit that if there’s one thing this first episode of Road the the NHL Winter Classic did well, it was keeping the focus on a player that it is almost impossible to hate: PK Subban.

Related: PK as Don Cherry makes Strombo pee his pants.

Related: PK as Don Cherry makes Strombo pee his pants. [Video]

 

There’s a beautiful moment, in the opening for the Habs’ section of the show, where PK putting on the most outrageous red fur coat. My friends and I couldn’t help but wonder, does he dress like that all the time, or is it just for the cameras? We could completely believe he wears this thing out every day.

Note quite this suit from the NHL Awards, but close.

Echoes of his NHL Awards suit

 

Turns out, the coat is for the cameras, but his teammates fall for the joke and their reactions are glorious.

There’s also this pretty interesting bit where PK lets us in into one of his “hobbies”: suit designing. He says it himself, he likes to look good. And he does. Can’t wait to see what he pulls out for the Winter Classic.

Okay, enough Habs. None of this compares to the delightful moments with the Bruins we get to see! From Zdeno Chara walking around Boston, going to his favorite barber (the same one that shaved his playoff beard after winning the Cup, the one Chara brought the Cup to) and stopping by a youth hockey team from Halifax for pictures and autographs, to Brad Marchand soulfully gazing out of his bedroom window before putting on a (very sharp) suit, it’s all pretty intimate.

[Editors note: You know I didn’t write that about Marchand! *P]

But no moment is more intimate that the few minutes we get with Patrice Bergeron. Bergy, flawless, perfect Patrice, is famously known his discretion.  Never would I have expected to see 8-week old baby Zack featured on the show. And yet, this happened…

:: synchronized swoon ::

:: synchronized swoon ::

 

So ovaries everywhere imploded in hushed whimpers. The show also featured Stephanie Bergeron gushing about how good a father Patrice is, and I had to rewind and rewatch a couple of times, making pained noises throughout the whole thing.

The preview for the upcoming episodes also seem to show that we’ll be introduced to Tuukka Rask’s tiny blonde Finnish baby, which is something that nobody expected either, because these guys, they don’t share.

Cindy Lou Tuuk? Cindy Tuu Who? I can't make this joke work.

Cindy Lou Tuuk? Cindy Tuu Who? I can’t make this joke work.

 

Other awww-inducing moments of note: Patches and his tiny child playing about in the bowels of the Bell Center:

Awwww.

Yankees hat. This kid is good.

 

Mainly, my brain short-circuited post-Bergy and I retained very little of everything else. To be fair, as first episodes go, this one was heavy on exposition. Hopefully they’ll find the hooks they had least year, like Latta and Wilson’s bromance, or a bevvy of family holiday skates to pack it all up with cuteness and babies everywhere. I am eagerly awaiting more baby Bergy, and Rask, and the exceptionally cute baby Krejci:

From the lovely Mrs. Krejci - @naomikrejci

From the lovely Mrs. Krejci – @naomikrejci

 

This show has always been at its best when there’s more than a rivalry narrative to hang onto, so I’ll look forward to next week’s show. The Bruins played some good games (sayonara, Penguins!) while Episode 2 was filming. I, for one, will be satisfied with babies everywhere, but I may be easy to please.

[Thanks, Elodie! See you next week. *P]