When in Rome…

How dare this premiere while I was away? Picture me, phone in hand, running toward the beach on some Caribbean island, wondering if I can swim from there to Brooklyn.

John Tavares, Prince of Khakis, may be second in perfection only to Cabbie, who seems to have a live feed of my inner monologue running in his comedy lair. He always knows exactly what everyone will find funny – the players, the fans, my inner teenybopper.

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Hipsters are so hip they’re really not very hip at all anymore. Even beards are so ubiquitous they are becoming passe. While trends may come and go, one thing never changes: John Tavares.

First of all, he is wearing khakis. Witness him in his natural habitat:

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Secondly, his teeth are PERFECT. Too perfect, and at a little fake, since we did see him pull a few out on TV that time. I haven’t been so dazzled since Hilary Duff got veneers.

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In the interview, John claims he’s a good wingman. I bet this is true. He is profoundly handsome, the better for distract any girl’s friend(s), but – let’s be honest – not everyone wants to talk about compound interest with a guy who offers to buy them a white wine spritzer. (I do, though. I really do.)

But if you’re into middle school science teachers (::raises hand::), please note and praise that John is at least not wearing white socks. A lot of work goes into these outfits, people. And then there are his loafers.

Loafers. Dear Lord.

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Photo from BarDown.com

 

A true gentleman, John is game for every joke fired at his gosh-darnedness. From the NHL Awards to this… if John were faking the nice guy act, he’d be an Oscar-winner. And now, the glasses:

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Objection: We love glasses. [Exhibit A – Foxy Friday: Glasses] Cabbie gets a demerit for choosing terrible glasses that most hipsters wouldn’t even wear. Maybe he was worried John would look even more scholarly and Halloween sales of schoolgirl costumes in Canada would skyrocket. I happen to think a nice pair of rectangle frames would look great while John reads a textbook on sedimentary strata of the Cretaceous period.

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Finally, because he had to, the man bun. Was this wig part of a hipster costume? It better resembles a samurai wig… or me every day right now on Sunday.

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Thank God we can be sure John will never become a hipster. He may panic when he realizes not a single Brooklyn retailer has sold khakis since ’99, or, if the Isles play well, maybe khakis will become hip. Maybe polo shirts and the word “gosh” will pervade an ironic subculture. Either way, no one will pull it off as perfectly as John.

PS: John is sick, and missed both games this weekend. I imagine him weakly ripping up his spreadsheet on which calculated the usefulness of a flu shot. Get well soon! Try the wheatgrass-kale-cardamom latte with echinacea boost, it’s ayurvedic.

Pens and… that’s a Pig

GAAAHHHH! The start of hockey season is racing past while I am so busy at work. Leave it to this to get me out of the office…

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Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal!

 

IT’S A PIG! Named Truffles! It is in the Pens & Paws annual animal rescue calendar and isn’t it precious?!

You can see the whole video here. For highlights, there are hockey players and dogs:

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For the life of me, I can;tt get a screencap without the arrow on his backside.

 

And puppies:

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PUPPIES LOVE

 

And pets who’ve surpassed WUYS’ squad goals:

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This pup rolls deep.

 

Stealing the show is our new favorite Penguin-slash-gingerbeard savior and fan of  teensy kittens and squatty fat cats alike, Ian Cole.

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I’m calling him Cat Cafe Cole from now on.

 

We have evidence of the first ever wild animal to try to escape from Geno’s massive grasp:

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It doesn’t work, of course.

 

And Sid comparing body types with this hunky guy.

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How much do you squat?

 

Let’s get one more look at this.

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:: internet sigh ::

 

And, hey, since we have it…

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The dog is looking for his agent, because he was supposed to be the cutest one here.

 

Link to more photos.

We’ll let you know when calendars go on sale. The proceeds will benefit the Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center. As the proud (er, obsessed) parent of a rescue pet, allow me to remind you: Adopt, Don’t Shop!

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If you want to laugh at my dog obsession, enjoy. Instagram: blue.houla.

 

Home of Hockey

VIRUS FREE! Opening Day! We are back and all is right with the world. This post is a few days old, but just as full of things I love about hockey starting today. Love, *P

When I saw this:

JT hug

My first thought was:

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Then my interfriends kindly informed me this was from a commercial – an actual mini movie – in which other such ovary-punching moments are included.

What was that you said?

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Yeah, that’s what I heard.

 

Lindsay’s expert analysis of this photo: “The lighting is all 90’s, reminds me of The Cutting Edge.”

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If Sid scraps the scuff, he could be Doug Dorsey for Halloween.

 

Sportsnet always has good hockey content (compared to the US, who doesn’t?), and I love their new campaign. Apparently the players love it too – and they don’t want to leave.

These are all things Intern Jeff Skinner thought he’d be doing when he signed up to work at WUYS.

Throwing away Penguins and Bruins-looking hockey paraphenalia, pretending it smells.

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Ping pong and video games, while growing his hair out. Can you see the promise of a man-bun lurking here? Headman and Doughty are one real opponent away from asking to borrow a hair tie. (And being told no, because no.)

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Fixing things with athletic tape – Jeff actually does this, though we requier duct tape because we have standards and you can buy duct tape with Minions or Justin Beiber printed on it. If he could roll some duct tape into a hair tie, we might concede the man-bun.

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Eating french fries. As if there are any fries left when Intern Jeff finishes getting our lunches. He’s on a strict diet of orange slices and Capri Sun like the rest of the kids on his school bus. Plus, Tyler Seguin eats fries like he’s asking Leonardo DiCaprio to draw his nude portrait in Titanic. That is how you get us to share our floating door in the North Sea, friends.

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Napping. We don’t let Intern Jeff sleep on the job, but we will let him carry in the new couch we just ordered in case Crosby ever shows up here. And none of this standard-cushion-size stuff, we went for the oversize, extra-sturdy, big & tall model. Cros can hardly fit his backside on SportsNet’s little sofa.

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(Bonus: Unintentional slightly early screencap that defines my life.)

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Hey, if that doesn’t work out for Intern Jeff Skinner, he could always get  gig helping out at Sportsnet:

Here’s some BTS from what look like a lot more Sportsnet commercials yet to come…

Trust that if ever Crosby doesn’t look sweaty enough for something, this is not how we’re going to fix it:

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One more, to illustrate me trying to leave my desk today when people keep sending more things to blog about:

Bear with us as I have no idea how to use some new WordPress features and these pictures look a little drunk.

Who’s Scruffy Looking?

October, you beauty. We wait all year, and usually you arrive with a terrifying array of fresh mug shots or ransom photos calling themselves roster head shots. But this year, you have arrived in style.

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I have high hopes for a pirate Halloween costume.

 

Take this in: Sidney Crosby woke up on roster photo day and did not shave. Good gosh. He probably ironed the folds in his living room curtains, ate a PB&J at exactly 8:07 AM, put his clothes on in order of threadcount, but he did not shave. Crazy, right?

No. Because everyone’s doing it.

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And for JT, I’m thinking Indiana Jones for Halloween.

 

Literally everyone. John Tavares, who are you? Is that a kinda-beard? For someone who doesn’t know what hipsters are, you’re looking pretty… pretty. Like a pumpkin spice latte wrapped in a houndstooth scarf that insists on riding its bike until the first snow falls. Gotta get to that middle school science class you’re teaching!

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You know, Indiana Jones was a kind of science teacher.

 

Please let scruff be this season’s thing. We’ve had long hair and tattoos creeping toward necks-slash-featuring graveyards and… #ScruffWatch2015, please. A season-long build up to BeardWatch could be just the inspiration we all need!

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Right guy, wrong movie.

 

Here are links if you’re the type to enjoy a HUGE version of Sid’s photo. Just give up, everyone else. (There appear to be a few pixels missing right under his nose. Clearly a Flyers fan Photoshop hack, yes?)  Here’s the entire Penguins headshot gallery.

Also enjoy the Islanders roster, looking monochromatically dramatic.

These pictures are gigantic. You could make a life-sized cardboard cutout of John Tavares… and marry it. (I say “you” because I am already married. Is it polygamy to marry a photo? What if it just rides shotgun while I drive in the carpool lane?)

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“Listen up Fives, a Ten is speaking.”

 

[Note: I can’t find a single .gif of Princess Unikitty from The Lego Movie saying, “Marry a marshmallow!” and my despair nearly derailed this whole post.]

As promised.

As promised.

 

For heaven’s sake, even Kessel is rocking a gingerbeard, because he reads important news sources like this blog. Let the makeover begin.

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Make that a Pittsburgh Ten

 

Fiddle in the Band

Get it? “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a fiddle in the band”? No? Oh well. Country music problems. Today we have another guest training camp report, this time from Texas and courtesy of Brenda (@wishinonehand)!

The day before Brenda was heading to Texas on vacation, she got a Facebook message from a friend: Henrik Lundqvist was doing a signing at Birchbox in SoHo for the first 150 people who bought either a t-shirt or a pair of boxer briefs from Bread & Boxers (for whom he’s a spokesmodel spokesman). So of course she ran for the door, down the street and got there 2.5 hours early. To be 6th in line.  She managed some coherent speech and minimal swooning while posing for this:

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Mr. June, obviously.

 

According to Brenda, “His shirt was SO SOFT” and she strongly resisted the urge to pet his hair. Because you can’t be in jail and go to Austin for a week of Stars practice! On to Texas, where Brenda stayed with Vicky (of VickyAndNikkisFiveHole). She reports:

Day 1: Jamie Benn seems to be pretty well recovered from his surgery. Must be that new strength and conditioning coach fitness model he’s been dating. He was skating quite a bit on a line with Eaves, which is WAY too much hotness for one line.

Parts his hair with a protractor.

Parts his hair with a protractor.

 

Between practices they brought in a huge group of little kids on a school field trip, who all got Seguin jerseys and were quizzed them about hockey and the Stars. Seggy took a selfie with them [Twitter]. Seguin & Sharp also spent a bunch of time on a line together. If we thought that the combo of Benn & Eaves was as good as it could get, Sharpie & Seggy certainly gave them a run for their money.

Pants: I forgot he was a Star.

Pants: Completely forgot he was a Star.

 

Later in the day, Jordie Benn’s beard showed off its post-season form. And I’m just going to say right now that the moment that Stephen Johns makes it to the NHL, he’ll need a Foxy Friday IMMEDIATELY. (Pants, he has a ginger beard!).

Okay, we believe you.

Okay, we believe you.

 

Later that night the Stars had an outdoor fan fest, which included a bouncy house (for kids only – boo) and a TERRIBLE cover band who wore different colored Adidas track. [Pants note: That sounds kind of awesome.] There were Q&A sessions and I was able to get autographs from all of the players who were there. I also got to meet the lovely Carolyn & Merrin from Two Bearded Ladies. I felt an immediate bond with Carolyn upon learning of our shared deep and abiding love of Brandon Bollig. Of course I also managed to find a fellow NY Ranger fan and had to introduce myself to him. #BlueshirtsUnited [Pants note: Hashtags you’ll never again see on this blog.]

Day 2: Vicky & I were running late, and spied Jordie Benn, Jason Demers, Kari Lehtonen & 2 other players trying to get back into the arena after apparently running to the nearby gas station for snacks. [Pants note: They need an Intern Jeff Skinner!] Eventually someone did let them in. Incredibly, not even three minutes later, Demers was already on the ice. How did he get dressed so quickly???

On Day 2, the Stars decided to unveil their strategy for the upcoming season: blind the rest of the league with their beauty. For a large portion of the practice, Benn, Seguin, Sharp, Demers & Oduya skated together as a 5-man unit. Jesus, Dallas, are you trying to KILL us??? I’m shocked that the ice did not melt (full disclosure: we melted – A LOT). A bunch of other stuff happened at practice, too, but honestly, who cares?

Discussing #BeardWatch2016 odds

Discussing #BeardWatch2016 odds

 

Day 3: Today was the “official” scrimmage that you had to pay to attend, as well as the only day concession stands were open, so of course I took advantage and had a frozen strawberry margarita. We were excited that they were handing out rally towels to fans, until we discovered that they were left over from Mike Modano’s retirement night from 2014. Very lame, Stars! Vicky & I were joined by Le’Loni, Micah & Laura, her fellow Texas Stars Ice Patrol friends, and Nikki, the other half of VickyAndNikkisFiveHole. We were NOTHING but trouble. A lot of people were SUPER PISSED that Jamie Benn & Ales Hemsky didn’t skate in the scrimmage. Still, it was really fun. Seggy looked great, scoring 2 goals but missing on a penalty shot.

You miss 100% of the abs you never show.

You miss 100% of the abs you never show.

 

The funniest part of the day was that Merrin was able to get Jamie to sign the notebook (available at the Two Bearded Ladies online shop) that has a picture of a sloth in a hockey helmet hanging from a hockey stick along with a quote from Jamie’s scouting report: “We’re not sure if he’s really that slow, or if he just refuses to move.” Well done, ma’am.

Twobeardedladies.wordpress.com [Pants note: STOP. Their subtitle is "If you're gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a beard on your face"!! I swear I did NOT see that before titling this post. #soulmates]

Twobeardedladies.wordpress.com

[Pants note: STOP. Their subtitle is “If you’re gonna play in Texas, you gotta have a beard on your face”!! I swear I did NOT see that before titling this post. #soulmates]

Day 4: The best part of the ENTIRE camp was that after the scrimmage (and after the laps that both squads had to skate), Sharp and Oduya were out on the ice. We thought maybe they were going to do some drills with the coaches, but then Oduya skated off. Sharp skated a bit with the puck and then shot it right at the boards below us (we were sitting right on the glass). We laughed and waved at him. He skated by and then turned around and smiled at us and flipped the puck over the glass to me. Another woman who was sitting at the other end of the row went to get it (it had gone behind me), but there was ZERO CHANCE I was letting anyone get the puck that Sharpie had clearly wanted ME to have. Shockingly, in my entire life (we don’t need to talk about exactly how many years that is), this is the first time I’ve ever had a player give me a puck. A 3-time Stanley Cup champion is a pretty outstanding place to start, don’t you think?

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Signed: The World’s Most Handsome Man

 

Day 5: After the last practice, Sharpie was talking to some of the fans on his way off the ice and I was able to get him to sign the puck he’d given me the day before (side bar: his hands are very soft). YESSSS!!! So in the space of 8 days, I met 2 of the 3 best looking men in the NHL (Patrice Bergeron being the third – although I met him at the NHL store this past season), which is pretty ridiculous. I am feeling very blessed. Thank you, hockey gods!

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Sizing up the competition.

 

Thankfully pre-season hockey is here and regular season hockey is right around the corner. Let’s go Rangers!

[Pants note: I’ll let her have that one. Thank you, Brenda! And be sure to check out the other female-written hockey blogs in this post: @vickyandnikki  and @beardiestladies!]

 

Back in the Game

Hello internet!

Hockey is upon us and I, for one, am not ready. Starbucks can sling all the pumpkin spice mochachocalattas they want, but it just doesn’t feel like fall until I see this:

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Okay, now it’s fall.

Our friend Heather is a spare-time ace photographer, and took these gorgeous shots at Penguins training camp. In the spirit of autumn, we are very thankful! Follow her at @HeatherWeikel to see more photos throughout the season.

More than missing hockey, I’ve missed seeing this:

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And obviously someone studied up on our blog before coming to Pittsburgh. This is almost a makeover right? I mean, maybe Phil’s a DIY kind of guy, and took on his own makeover the way we decorate our houses: Pinterest. Gingerbeards are in, friend. Long may yours reign. (Call us before you buy clothes, though. And don’t ask Crosby if your pants fit okay.)

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In case you were worried the departure of absurdly handsome Robert Bortuzzo would dampen Sunshine’s smile, Heather has proven otherwise.

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Though we trust he’ll be sneaking in a St. Louis game now and then – with us, of course.

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While Geno is just wishing there were a porpoise or an armadillo around to hug.

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We’re all looking forward to the season… and Sid knows it.

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If I did this right (unlikely, TBH), you can click on any photo for a super hi-res version. All photos belong to Heather, so please Tweet her if you’d like to use one, see more or just say, “MORE PLEASE.”

 

Made of Hockey

Hello? Anybody home?

sloth

It’s been 131 days since we did a blog post and honestly, it’s all that sloth’s fault. Look how cute he is! Big smile, no thumbs – it’s so hard to type when we’re bursting into Kristen Bell-type tears all day long.

But hockey season is nearly upon us. Sorry sloth, time to get back to work.

And how should we begin? For what did I reset my forgotten password? For this, I say.

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Bangs. Scruff. Or something of each sort, Sid-style. Which is more than enough for us.

Right?

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Of course right.

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These are from Sid’s new CCM commercial for the “Made of Hockey” campaign. See the video on Instagram here. Bonus: voiceover. The sloth doesn’t speak English but he’s purring.

Hmm, maybe it’s a girl sloth.

Tumblr also supplied the breaking news that Sid danced at a wedding:

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Photo by unknown heroic person

 

If there’s something more awkward than Sid dancing, it’s… well, probably every other moment of his life. But we can promise you one thing: the unpictured groom filed a prenup on the day Sid’s RSVP arrived for this wedding. Judging by the photo, that prenup probably wasn’t detailed enough to include the bride’s dress trying to open itself at the back.

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[Visit Crosby’s new house: WPXI 11 News]

We are gearing up for the new season, starting by figuring out who the heck is on our teams now. There will also be blogging. I am even going to Canada tomorrow – really, they are letting me in! It’s for work, but a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame should give me the appropriate kick in the the shorts. I hear there’s a World Cup of Hockey press event… what’s the exchange rate on bail again?

For now, we say this. And that the Penguins will win the Cup this year. (Chuck’s offline for a few days before she can delete that!)

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Foxy Friday: You Tell Us

Happy National Hairstyle Appreciation Day!

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Okay, it was yesterday. How this is 1) a holiday or 2) occurs without our say-so is a mystery, but it’s never too late to join in the, er, appreciating. Especially on a Friday.

I’ve very scientifically chosen the photos below.  Browse them – and we mean Take. Your. Time. (For example, I haven’t done any other work today.) In the comments, tell us what you love, hate, miss and wish would disappear. I’m sure I’ve left out a few transformations: suggestions are also welcome.

FOXY FRIDAY: Hairstyle Appreciation Day

Jamie Benn: Before vs. After

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James Neal: Hedgehog vs. Humbled vs. Hey Ladies

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Mike Green: Kombucha vs. Complicated Coffee vs. Wheatgrass vs. Small-Batch Bourbon

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Tom Wilson: Boy vs Man

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Carl Hagelin: Boy Band vs. Rock Star vs. Singer-Songwriter

2011-2012 NHL Season Player Headshots

Steven Stamkos: Too Short vs. Too Long vs. Just Right

New York Islanders  v Tampa Bay Lightning

 Claude Giroux: Elmo vs. Fozzie vs. Animal

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Kris Letang: Disney Prince vs. Disney Dad

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Last but not least, Barry Melrose: Always vs. Forever

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The polls are open. Happy Friday, everyone!

Love Me Like You Do

There’s been a lot of press the last few days about the terrible experience some Caps fans had at Nassau Coliseum during Game 3 vs. the Islanders on Sunday. You can read the original story here, the Isles’ official team response and about a follow-up investigation into harassment and vandalism by local authorities. Caps owner Ted Leonsis said the Caps’ top brass also “had a ‘moment’ at the game.”

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The general reply has been, “Not all Isles fans are like that.” Of course they’re not. Many of my friends are Isles fans, and they’re none of the things these people exhibited Sunday – racist, homophobic, threatening. I rooted for the Caps on Long Island last winter. It’s not the best example: impromptu game = no Caps gear + stomach flu > limited cheering or movement for fear of throwing up on glass/players/TV. But I was in the front row! Even the Isles bench saw me cheering for the Caps! Sorry, John! Still, the Isles fans I met were all friendly and polite – and possibly worried I was contagious.

Maybe no one saw me down there like a Hobbit.

Maybe no one noticed me down there like a Hobbit.

That doesn’t remedy the awful truth of what happened Sunday. No one should ever have to feel unsafe, bullied or personally demeaned over team colors (or anything, but that’s a rant for another blog). I guarantee each team has a small percentage of belligerent (especially when drunk) fans “cheering” for them. You can’t pick your “family,” right? That doesn’t mean we will do nothing. We’ve seen these people. Maybe sat by them. I hope we do – and going forward, always will – intervene or at least reach out with support to the opposing fans. Because you can pick your friends – and these people look fun. I want to go to a game with them:

 

It seems the Long Island situation was not properly addressed by arena security, but some Isles fans did their best to help. Good on those people. Especially because the number one person who would not condone poor sportsmanship is Captain Science Pants himself, John Tavares. In November, he personally reached out to a young Isles fan who was bullied in Winnipeg. Shame on fans of any team who don’t follow his example.

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I hope the “bad apple” Isles fans in question had horrendous, vengeful hangovers and are crushingly ashamed. I also hope the Caps kick their team’s collective ass in Round 1. Karma! (Again, sorry John.) Either way, I’m anxious to hear if Caps fans attending Game 4 at the Coliseum tonight experience a more welcoming atmosphere generated by all the good Isles fans who don’t want to be painted with that same brush.

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I’ve been to NHL games in 13 arenas: Boston, New York Islanders and Rangers, New Jersey, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim. People always ask me if I worry about wearing my Pens gear there. I’m not. As popular as the Penguins are, I am rarely alone even in my row or section, and there’s a healthy contingent of black and gold in every rink. But wearing a Crosby jersey means you’re begging to get razzed! Mr. Pants laughs; he thinks I’m waiting for someone to come at me, so I can try the moves I learned from Miss Congeniality. (S.I.N.G., ladies!)

sing

And yet, my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. I don’t mean chirping or some boos. That should be expected and, when handled well, is all part of the fun. But we should also expect it will stay good-natured and. I hate to think I’ve just been lucky – I prefer to think almost all hockey fans are better than those who threatened the Caps fans Sunday.

Photo credit: RMNB

Don’t get mad, get on TV. (Photo credit: RMNB)

Instead of aggression, I’ve more often encountered the casual sexism that assumes women know nothing about the game. (Sid, your jersey is still not helping.) Luckily, I am equipped to sass that unsuspecting interloper right back to the bar. And I enjoy it.

Guy at Caps game (pointing to my Crosby jersey): “Wouldn’t you rather have a real man?”
Me (pointing toward the ice): “But Mike Green looks busy.”

zack

I’m also ususally with a small group, or sometimes even by myself.  Going to a hockey game alone is a bit weird, but I honestly don’t mind, even in my away team kit. If it’s the difference between seeing the Pens or not, I’m going. At worst, I pay unparalleled attention to the game. At best, I make friends with the people around me. (If you haven’t guessed, I’ll talk to anyone. I’d talk to a tree.) Someone being rowdy would have to say it right to my face. It’s easier for a drunk or coward to shout anonymously at a group, which makes it all the worse that individuals within the Caps group were targeted Sunday with specific harassment.

As I said, most of my encounters have been great.In Atlanta, a guy on the upper level concourse and gave us his group’s unused tickets eight rows off the ice. Perhaps this is why ATL didn’t make it, but I got to watch a Malkin hat trick up close. Thank you, anonymous man! When the Pens scored in Anaheim and the crowd sang, “Who cares?”, all the Ducks fans behind us pointed down and yelled, “She does!” At a Caps game, I was one of only a few Pens jerseys in the VIP area when this guy walked by:

duper

There was one WTF moment at a Pens vs. Rangers game at the Garden, circa Thanksgiving 2011. I was with a female friend and male cousin, both NYR fans. Some guy still felt the need to tell me he hopes Crosby gets run over by a car in front of his parents, so they have to watch him die. He actually said that out loud. Before I could even formulate a response, the other Rangers fans around us were telling the guy off. They apologized to me. One of them, some girl I didn’t know, even paid for my beer. Rangers fans! And me! Having a drink together! World peace is possible. (Also, the Penguins won.)

The only place I might not wear my Crosby jersey is Philly. Still, jersey or not, there’s no way I keep my mouth shut for three periods. Maybe it’s better to announce my intentions? I bet @DLF1021 and @sunnyinNJ, in their black and orange, make great bodyguards. This lady did okay.

Penguins vs. Flyers

Have you ever experienced a truly bad fan interaction at a game?  I certainly hope not, because we’re all hockey fans. We have a lot in common, and also a lot to lose if/when the teams and League struggle. We should stay “frenemies” whoe love to hate each other until the final buzzer. There are bad people everywhere, but I’d like to think enough of us are cool to drown them out. Hopefully, those are the Isles fans we hear about tonight.

Playoff Predictions: Wild Wild West

Now onto the Western Conference Playoff Predictions, where we be like…

Disclaimers:

Chuck: I have watched some Western Conferences games this year, but those 10pm start times are killers. My predictions are based off:  the games I HAVE watch; NHL Network, what I’ve read about the teams, and Ms. Cleo.

Pants: I need to be honest here for a second. Can I vote for the Oilers? No? Then I don’t know anything about the West. I will predict – I may even have emotions – but everything I think about the Western Conf. is learned from reading other predictions or the final NHL standings. Basically, I am cheating off all your tests.

 

western conference

Blues vs. Wild

Chuck: Blues. But maybe the Wild?  Wild have been the best team in the NHL since January and the exceptional play of Devan Dubnyk has carried them through, but the Blues have a sniper in Tarasenko and a deep corps of forwards and defenseman. This one is a conundrum, for sure.

Pants: Blues. They always seem to be giving my teams a hard time, so this year will be not different. Also, BORT’S BEARD! I needs it.

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Lindsay’s favorite photo.

 

Predators vs. Blackhawks

Chuck: Predators. I’m going out on a limb for this one but just hear me out. Preds’ defensemen make an in so many ways and Weber and Josi are a stellar 1-2 punch. James Neal, when he is in the zone, can score goals that other guys just can’t. Hawks’ defense has been meh of late and Crawford can’t do it without good players in front of him.

Pants: Probably the Predators, because they’ve been rock solid all season. Also, I have Gingerbeard withdrawal something fierce. The Hawks have had their ups-and-downs, though they are getting Patrick Kane back right on cue to make me eat these words.

neal2

Ducks vs. Jets

Chuck: Ducks.  Ducks has strength on pretty much all four lines and if their forechecking is on point, they are probably one of the best in the league. Paul Maurice has changed slowly changed the identity and culture of the Jets but they aren’t quite there…yet.  But I wouldn’t be mad at ALL if the Jets pulled this upset off.

Pants: Ducks. If you’ve never watched Bruce Boudreau coach, please take this opportunity. If he was an iso-cam feed during games, I would never need to see the ice.

bruce

Canucks vs. Flames

Chuck: Flames. I don’t have a dog in this fight since the Bruins are out so I am looking for a team to adopt.  Maybe the Flames are it. So what that they haven’t won a playoff round since 2004 (when the lost in the SCF)?  Great coach in Bob Hartley, a hugely successful powerplay and their ability to win without Giordano might make the Flames a dark horse.

Pants: When I go to horse races, I bet on whichever horse has the best drag queen name. (So far, Surly Temple is the all-time favorite.) So when I say I can’t pick a team in this series, know how deeply and truly I do not care. I seem to have a lot of Canuck fan friends though, and I wish them well.

dont care

Comment below and let us know your predictions.  Who’s your dark horse team?

 

 

Playoff Predictions: Beasts of the East

It’s here! The NHL Playoffs!  Our lives are on hold until further notice.

Welcome to our annual playoff predictions, where Chuck selects teams based on actual hockey things and Pants make wishes on shiny pennies. (note from Pants: Amazingly, we have about the same track record. Maybe I learn things through texting with her.)

Eastern Conference

Canadiens vs. Senators

Chuck: Senators. I know their late season surge is partially responsible for the Bruins not making the playoffs, but come on, people.  There is no way in seven hells that I’m rooting for the Canadiens to win.  Plus the Sens have momentum on their side – they won their last three games vs the Habs and they are riding the hot glove of the Hamburgler.

Pants: WHO CARES? No, really. I think the Habs will win because Carey Price. And I hope they will win because they are predictable when faced by a next-round opponent who could by one of my teams. The Sens have lived up to their “pesky” reputation time and again, and I don’t have the stomach for their upswings now.

thats all

Lightning vs. Red Wings

Chuck: Lightning. A deep forward corps and young guns like Palat & Kucherov give the Bolts eletricity in the scoring department.  Foxy Friday Brian Boyle is holding down the 4th line, scored 15 goals, and has even played shifts of defense. We love guys that can multitask. But the thought of losing the Zetterbeard so early in the playoffs….

Not okay.

 

Pants: Uh, Lighting. Apologies to @lm1485‘s grandmother and the stuffed duck on her porch who wears a Red Wings jersey, but the Wings are on the downward slope away from the top of the League.  We know what it’s like to look around and suddenly, everyone else is 25.

magotes

Rangers vs. Penguins

Chuck: Rangers.  NYR went b***s to the wall at the trade deadline and made some very strategic moves to complete their roster.  Rick Nash has been his best against the Pens this season with 7 points over 4 games (3 of which the Rangers won).  Add in the the 1-2 goaltending punch of Lundqvist and Talbot, and the Rangers are a force that should put other East teams on notice.

Pants: PENGUINS. If I learned anything from Grease, it was: what skipping a period meant it was: if I can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter. Short of lacing up some skates and toe picking my way out there to hold a &$%#ing lead myself (I considered this), the only solution is to focus my energy into a laser beam of love and intention – hopefully one that can move the puck away from the Pens’ net. Maybe instead of watching Grease, I should have kept watching Star Wars. Also, if I haven’t mentioned it in five minutes, I hate the Rangers.

leia push

Capitals vs. Islanders

Chuck:  Push.  These teams have not met in the playoffs since 1993 so you know that this is going to be some hype. Islanders are moving out of Nassau Coliseum at the end of this season so that might make give this series and playoffs some extra gravitas, but I think that these teams are pretty evenly matched. High-powered captains? Check. Goaltending? Check. Puck possession teams? Check.  This one is gonna be gooood. #BuckleUp

Pants: Capitals yaaaaaaaaas. But why does this have to be? Why can’t I just want John Tavares and his pleated khaki, double-strapped backpack, tucked-in shirt and first day of school haircut to win in the playoffs? Still, I don’t. As I wrote about in my guide to liking more than one team, you need to prioritize and stick to your guns. Even when the other gun looks like this:

jt

Screencap of My Life by @ambitiouspants

 

Capitals, don’t make me regret this.


Who are your 1st round picks? Comment below!

Finite Disappointment. Infinite hope.

A little over twelve hours later and I’m still coming to grips with what happened yesterday.  Yes, the Bruins lost and will miss the playoffs for the first time in almost 10 years. But honestly, that is not what as me feeling this way.

Yesterday, the Boston University Terriers lost a heartbreaker in the finals of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.  Victory was snatched from them in a matter of minutes.  One tiny miscue.  Then one goal.  And it was all over.

I was gutted. Totally and utterly gutted.

I’ve watched this team all season and I can honestly say that I have not seen a group like this in a long time. The ’09 team was an impressive group, to be sure.  But this team – there was an intangible, indescribable “something.”   I could try finding the words to define it but I don’t know if I’d do it any true justice.

The arrival of  Jack Eichel and an impressive group of freshman started the turn around for a team what was abysmal last season.  As the media hype swirled around Eichel, players like Brandon Fortunato, Brandon Hickey,  John MacLeod, Nikolas Olsson, and A.J. Greer wove their way into the fabric of this storied hockey program. Returning forwards like Danny O’Regan, Evan Rodrigues, and Ahti Oksanen put up offensive numbers that name BU the top-scoring team in the nation.  Doyle Somerby become a blue-line force, providing physicality and big hits in equal measure.

There is no dispute that Eichel brought a prestige and a impressive skill set to this storied program.  Yes, he was the best player in the country. Yes, he did win the Hobey Baker. Yes, watching him skate and play was a thing of beauty.

But what he really brought was a belief in himself and his ability which permeated every other other player in that locker room. It extended out and touch every player wearing that scarlet and white sweater.

However, no talented team is complete without goaltending and this year, Matt O’Connor was outstanding.  He became the undisputed starter and stepped into the role with a maturity and a focus.

Yesterday, he made one mistake. But yesterday will not and should not define him nor his hockey career.  My hope is that those 15 or so NHL clubs that showed so much interest in him this season don’t turn away because if they do, they could miss out on something special.

O’Connor is an exceptional student and a class act of a human being.  His coaches and teammates think the world of him.  He answered question after question from the media, still clad in his gear.  He told the story over and over again although I’m sure he would have preferred to be left alone.   The disappointment he and his team must be feeling overwhelms me and I’m sure every member of Terrier Nation.

But that is just what happens when you love and appreciate a team this much.  It has been a true joy to watch them play this season. Any one who knows the true me, knows that my love of hockey is true and deep and real.  And my profound love for BU Hockey is its core.

This Terrier team may have missed out on a National Championship but I do not and cannot believe that it will be their last opportunity. Hockey is infused in every cell of their bodies.  It feeds them and sustains them and it is a hunger that will not be satiated until they hold that trophy in their hands.

 

 

Tyler Tuesday: Beep Beep

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

Vrrrroooooommmm!

Tyler recently shot a commercial for Starwood Motors in Dallas. You can watch them here and here but fair warning – they are hella awkward. Name me a single hockey player commerical that isn’t.

 

Apparently Starwood Motors sells kevlar-coated Jeeps.  Yes. Kevlar. As in the same material in bulletproof vests.  As to why anyone not named James Bond would need a bulletproof car is beyond me..but honestly but it’s not really important, now is it?

What is important, though….

Gangsta lean.

 

If Tyler arrived in this thing to pick us up for a date, at first we might be all…

hmmkay?

 

But then he’d come out the car all…

Flawless.

 

On the outside, we’d be all…

 

And on the inside…

 

Because…

Even his ankles are sexy.

 

Foxy Friday: Farewell

There are three Fridays left in the regular season, and with that, it’s time to bite the bullet. We must bid adieu to some of our favorites, sending them off to summer with strict instructions for shirtless boat-selfies, colorful golf pants/plaid shorts and hey, if anyone wants to pour ice water over his head and post the video, that’s cool too. Or just wakeboard. We’ll give money.

bette davis

(To those of you lobbying for a Cam Talbot feature, you’ll have to wait until they are playing someone I hate in the post-season. I’m not about to let Foxy Friday accidentally help a Ranger right now.)

Not every team’s fate is sealed, but we’re being reasonable with Wild Card possibilities. This likely means someone will go 9-0 and ruin our lives. Forgoing teams that could still make it (Bruins, FlapAntlers), here’s a last look at the Eastern Conference foxes we’ll miss come April 12. Enjoy them while you can.

Philadelphia Flyers

giroux

I WON’T MISS YOU. I don’t care how ginger you are, how curly, how shirtlessly beer pong proficient. Two more games vs Pittsburgh will be plenty, thanks. I don’t think about you when you’re not here.

But if UFA MDZ signs elsewhere, I might be allowed to miss him a little.  We’ll have to see how this skate-gash-to-the-neck (warning: gross photo) heals, because we’re only pretending to believe his “I got bitten by a shark” story for one scar. And we’re still waiting for him to request our help in finding dates.

mdz

New Jersey Devils

Adam Henrique’s cheekbones lead the team with 40 points this season, and he’s all smiles in this post-game interview from early March.  Maybe he could play baseball in the off-season, after this play.

henrique

Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan “Shameless Charming Kid Prop” Johansen deserved  his own Foxy Friday after the All-Star Game. I mean, the Flying V? What else does a guy have to do? Blame Ekblad.  But someday, Ry – probably right around when you take this girl to the prom.

valentine

If you want to speed up the process, stop wearing hats. Because:

johansen

Carolina Hurricanes

After they beat the Pens 257-2 last night (close enough), I am not inclined to include the Hurricanes in this post. But Intern Jeff Skinner already volunteered to work all summer, since… well, you know. And I am weak. Plus someone needs to censor what Jeff does while wearing a white t-shirt.

skinner

Don’t just give it away, Jeff! You’re not a Kardashian. (Also, he’s scared of rides at the fair. He just wants to wait in line with you and hold your purse. We are raising this guy right.)

Honorable Mention: Jordan Staal. He reminded us yesterday that he still exists/is handsome. Video @penguins.

staal

Toronto Maple Leafs

I don’t think anyone will miss the Leafs this season, especially because our favorite Leaf is Elisha Cuthbert and she’s back on our TV. (You can watch One Big Happy here.) The Leafs are definitely not one big anything, unless it’s a steaming pile of mess, and there is no happy. Even Joffrey Lupul is posting sad lyrics as status updates, like a maudlin 10th grader. [song]

loops

But at least when the season ends, he still looks like this.

loops2

HOLD UP. Did you know you can rate Joffrey’s outfits and raise money for charity?! How have we never known this, we’ve just been doing it for free! Our work, going to waste! Visit lupulstyle.com to vote.

Buffalo Sabres

Poor Zach Bogosian, getting traded to Buffalo. Update NY still loves flannel and fried chicken, though.

bogo

At least he’s not alone. Marcus Foligno wants to know if, while you were watching his brother captain a squad of drafting drunks at the All-Star Game, you thought about the cold, windswept blue of his eyes [video]:

foligno

No? Well, there’s always next year. And alllllllllll summer. Next week we’ll say goodbye to what’s left of the West, then it’s on to the playoffs we go.

olaf

The cold kind of always bothered me anyway.

 

Can We Panic Now?

Oh my God, a blog post.

I know. We have been everywhere except in front of our computers lately, or honestly in front of TVs watching hockey. Who vacations in the spring? Fools! I looked at my calendar and all of a sudden:

  1. It’s almost April.
  2. The Penguins have 9 games left.

britney-laughing

I AM ALARMED.

It’s my own fault, except for the part that is the Penguins’ fault for losing 5 of 6 including one OT game. In March. I would have felt implosive rage except I was on the beach reading Eat, Pray, Love for the third time, so I trust you guys felt my share. Now, it’s time to…

panic

Looking at the standings makes me want to barf. Trying to figure out who’s got in-conference games, games in hand, four-point games… someone hold my hair. I know it’s a selfish panic, because at least the Pens are currently in playoff standing. It could be worse.

standings

I love Chuck, but man, I hate the Bruins so much and it’s every woman for herself down the stretch. I’m jumping over dead bodies like I need to beat a zombie to Terminus.

Note: The Bruins are not dead, but who the &$#@ thought Ottawa would win seven in a row? Sometimes, you just want to:

arya2

Anyway, I have my own problems, and they look like TWO MORE GAMES VS. THE FLYERS. That is high drama and TV ratings gold, but holy hell. My head might spin clean around. I can’t even comprehend the Rangers being first in the Metro – and by eight points! Islanders, you had one job!

points

That is not the job I’m talking about! GAH.

So here we go, down the stretch, with claws out and no mercy. Please let the Penguins pass the Isles, the Caps make the playoffs, the Rangers lose every remaining game, Crosby win the scoring race and Tavares need a hug afterward.

You guys with us?

amy

Jeez, is anyone else hungry? I could stress-eat two who pizzas right now.

Tyler Tuesday: Magically Delicious

Chuck here, bringing you a much needed dose of Tyler Tuesday St.Patrick’s Day Edition!

While my RLJ (real life job) has kept me pretty busy, fret not, my little leprechauns!

Today, I have the perfect Tyler-size pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“Tell me ye like me glasses…”

 

Tyler Seguin is lucky charms, people.

Magically Delicious

 


 

P.S. If you want to find me tonight, I’ll be drinking some Irish whisky somewhere in Boston, listen to this song on repeat.

SLAINTE!

 

 

Foxy Friday: Raphael Diaz

I can’t believe that I’m actually writing this post.

Today’s Foxy Friday has played for not one but TWO of the teams in the NHL that fuel my hate fire. But today, I will smother that raging hate fire and look past the jersey.

Today, I will also forget that he is named after one of of the Ninja Turtles and will focus on what is really important on this most special and holy of days.

Ladies (and gentlemen?), meet Raphael Diaz.

This is a man who name invokes images of the Bernabeu, emerald green pitches, and the white noise drone of the vuvuzela, not the Saddledome, sheets of ice, and pop tunes played by a pipe organ.   This 5’11” blueliner was born in Zug, Switzerland, which sounds more like an alien race from Doctor Who than an actually place, and he joins fellow Swiss Foxy Friday Honoree Roman Josi in making us sit up and take notice of that little neutral nation.

We, as true intrepid journalists (!) need to know what other hockey foxes are hiding up there in the Alps.  Is Switzerland the new Sweden?

diaz, raphael

Like Sue-Ellen, we “right on top of that, Rose.”

 

Diaz is a newcomer to the NHL, but has already had quite the journey.  He was signed by the Canadiens in 2011 to an entry level contract. He was traded to the Canucks in February 2014, who then turned around before the ink was even dry and traded him to the Rangers a month later. Then in  October 2014, he went to Calgary’s camp on a try-out and ended up signing a one-year contract at the start of this season.

That’s a lot of new jerseys, new locker rooms in new cities, and through it all, he still managed to look like this.

He works out.

 

If Sidney Crosby and Karl Urban had a baby, Raphael Diaz would be their little bundle of joy.

Hey, girl, hey…

 

Diaz is foxy because his role model is obviously John Tavares. As a newbie NHLer, it is important to establish your identity early on.  Diaz is working the “Accountant-by-day-Hockey-Player-by-night” look with the best of them.

GET THIS MAN SOME KHAKIS!

I’ve been waiting for you all night…by this pineapple

 

Diaz is truly foxy when he has no idea what we are saying…

Only if you insist…

 

…And when he’s acting like a giant toddler.

He is foxy because his eyebrow game is ON POINT, even though his beard game needs a bit of work.

But you know what really gets us? Those smile lines around his eyes

Those just destroy every fiber of my being.

So in conclusion…

Yes, Raphael.  I think we just did.

You can follow Raphael on twitter at @diaz_raphael_61.

Foxy Friday: Ondrej Pavelec

Who knew Winnipeg was such a helpful city? In addition to being the hometown of Jonathan Toews (and others), they held an actual vote to determine the best looking member of their NHL team.

Canada: Using Democracy for Real Things!

The result probably surprised no one except Evander Kane, who retaliated with a sweatpants-based protest, subsequent injury and trade. There’s only room for one “Hottest Jet,” honey:

Foxy Friday: Ondrej Pavelec

pav1

You’d rock this vote.

(Thanks for @Kailz_H for the suggestion! Twitter won’t let me scroll back to last Thursday, which is a nice way of telling us we talk too much.)

Now, if I said “Ondrej Pavelec,” most people would say “Bless you.” Some hockey fans might say, “That goalie who fainted?” That is true – Pavelec fainted in-game against Washington back in 2010, while playing for the Thrashers. He suffered a concussion upon hitting the ice, but it was diagnosed as a fainting spell, and not career-threatening. The story goes he woke up in the hospital and asked about the score (Atlanta won).

pav6

If you think he looks a bit like #TeamEbs, I say you’re right. He bears a more-than-passing though less-than-gapped resemblance to another blue-eye Western Conference Foxy Friday selection.

Though I doubt Ebs could pull off this Eurohipster disguise:

pav2

What’s that about a beard? Oh, you said, “YES?”

pav3

Or were you referring to this hat?

pav4

Ondrek is Czech, from the same region (Kladno District) as Michael Frolik, Jaromir Jagr, Tomas Plekanec, Jiri Sekac, Jiri Tlusty, and Jakub Voracek.  Not bad for an area roughly 275 square miles.  They are all best friends and they love each other and do sports.

pav4

Note the plaid shorts, a worldwide phenomenon.  While jeans like this are only available in Europe and Russia through The Ovechkin Collection:

pav6

This is about our limit for distressing on “These old thing?” brand new designer jeans.

pavs1

Pavelec has played 324 NHL games over 7+ seasons. His current  2.60 GAA is a career best, though his top yeAdd Mediaar was ’11-’12, in which he won 29 games. The Jets are currently 4th in the tough Central Division with 73 points, and would be Wild Card spot #1 if the playoffs began today. (Warning: Stats from Thursday, because Friday has a ‘no math’ policy.)

Ondrej is in the third year of a five-year/$19.5 mill contract that leaves him UFA in 2017.

pav2

My favorite thing about the Winnipeg Jets website is that you can misspell Pavelec as Pavalec and still get 40 photo results. It’s nice to know mine are not the only fat fingers in the business.

The Jets have a program called Reading Takes Flight where players visit schools and read them a children’s book about the Jets. Here’s the full photo gallery, feel free to stop when you get teary-eyed.

pav1

Ondrej has been on a lot of Czech talk shows, which you can find on youTube. You won’t know what they’re saying, but hey, Foxy Friday isn’t really about that.  Here’s an interview from before this season began, featuring English and our beloved beard-plus-hoodie combination:

Since he knows we love part time models, Ondrej starred in possibly the oddest (and longest) hockey player TV ad I’ve ever seen. The sign says “Hi, my name is Ondrej Pavelec,” but that is false. You might be Pavelec’s belt buckle, though I am pretty sure you are not Ondrej at all. If you had his face, you’d use it.

Ondrej does not have a Twitter, so you’ll have to go to a game and ask him out with a sign like the old days. In the meantime, you can follow his goalie pads (they lead a full life) at @pavelecspads.

Happy Friday!

Jackpot! (I had to.)

The Penguins traded their annual Skates & Plates waiter gear for other ill-fitting suits this year and hosted Aces & Ice Casino Night last night. It looked like the World’s Most Awkward Wedding Party.

p3

But two drinks in, the bridesmaids are yelling, “DIBS!” and making shanks out of bobby pins.

p4

The dads, like Alison’s dad there on the left (not really), are warming up their, “Have you met my daughter?” speeches.

p8

While the groomsmen try not to look too drunk…

p9

Even if they have to count reaaalllllyyy sllooowwwlllly…

p10

And the married guys keep interrupting their attempts to flirt,

p12

When they’re not laughing because they know how much an open bar costs.

p7

But no matter how hard they try, there is always one guy who ends up going home alone.

p13

Here are the full photo gallery and PensTV Video. Celina talks so fast that I am out of breath before they even get to Crosby, but this is something you’d (er, I would) probably pay a fortune to attend.  There is far less chance of physical embarrassment dealing cards than carrying plates, and I can’t help thinking Beau Bennett is a lot safer in this low-impact environment.

p1

Twenty bucks says that Ehrhoff, tired of being left out, rigs the Secret Santa so he can buy Letang a selfie stick.

p2

Because he knows we love guys in glasses.

p11

The Dallas Stars also had a casino night this week. Furthering their quest to be Your Favorite Team, here’s video in which Jamie Benn admits his favorite part is “mingling with the female crowd” who sit at his table.

d1

No shame if you just tried to buy a ticket for next year’s event like this:

lemon

Because:

d3

So:

receipts

 

Two of Hearts

My name is Pants, and I support two hockey teams.

titanic

A while back, @eyetotelescope suggested we address the idea of liking more than one team. Many of you are in the same boat (er, on the same door) at this treacherous time of year, when four-point games rain down, winning streaks become glorious victory marches and slumps are loose bars on a shark cage discovered after you’re already underwater.

Today is the perfect day for this post. I don’t just support two teams, I picked the Penguins and Capitals. Rather, they picked me. Divisional rivals who actively dislike each other, currently a single point apart in the standings – Pens in the playoffs, Caps in a wild card spot. The Caps have beaten the Pens the last I-have-blocked-out how many times. It’s pretty much the worst pair of favorites available.

They play tonight in DC and I will be there, wearing a Pens jersey.

profmcg

So, for your cheating heart and mine, here is my guide to supporting two (or more) hockey teams.

Rule One: Know your favorite

I like the Capitals. I love the Penguins. Between the two, there is no contest.

prada

More simply: The Capitals are my Horcrux. A piece of my soul is in there – and while it hurts, sometimes they must be destroyed. Tonight, I don’t care if Slapshot hugs me on the concourse or free ice tea and nachos are hand-delivered at intermission by a sweaty, Under Armor-ed Mike Green. None shall pass. Not this night.

penscaps

Maybe your favorite team was determined by geography, or you inherited a family allegiance. Perhaps you’re riveted by the excitement of trap defense! (Psych – no one is. Explain yourselves, New Jersey.)  When I say I am a Penguins fan:

  • Unsuspecting stranger: “Are you from Pittsburgh?”
  • Me: “No, I’m from upstate New York.”
  • Person, now approaching edge of cliff: “Shouldn’t you like the Rangers?”
  • Me: PUSH

sherlock

Kidding. If a person wants my hockey life story from ’91 to present, they can have it. But it ends like this: Penguins first. Capitals second. Blackhawks third, but I couldn’t maintain this even in a Cup-winning season, so it doesn’t count. Then everyone else, and Flyers/Rangers last. Everybody knows their place.

Rule Two: Own your infidelity

As a Pens fan first, living in the DC area, I must often betray a lovely Caps fan who has unwittingly befriended me.

  • Me: “Actually, the Penguins are my favorite team.”
  • New friend: “Prepare to die.”

Nowhere does it say you must like only one team. Second (or third, fourth) favorite teams come about in more interesting ways! You move away from home. A player gets traded.  Hell, RNH’s eyebrows are the only things selling tickets in Edmonton these days. I’d love to know how your second-favorite teams snuck into your hearts and set up camp.

melissa

My story centers around the 2011 Winter Classic. Not the game – David Steckel should walk into my office right now so I can put my stapler through his face. Rather, the lead up to the game ruined me, in three easy steps:

  1. NHL: “Crosby vs. Ovechkin is a thing. See all these TV commercials? We are making fetch happen.”
  2. Mr. Pants: “How would you feel about moving to the DC-area?”
  3. HBO 24/7: Penguins vs. Capitals.

I never liked the Caps growing up, but since they’d switched out of the Pens conference in ’93, I hadn’t cared. The League’s insistence on this rivalry brought the Caps into my home and my Center Ice feed. I tried to resist. This blog, born September 6, 2010, was originally full of me making fun of Mike Green – and meaning it. Then something happened.

ep4e

Mike Green’s belt. Four years later, still hilarious.

 

Here’s my original post about my descent into madness. The more I got to know the Caps, the more I liked them. Then I moved to the DC area. I went to my first Caps game two days later and watching my new “home” team, I couldn’t help hoping they did well. Not that well, but you know. Just a little well. Is that so bad?

whatthecrap

I KNOW, OKAY?! But it was too late. This is why you should vaccinate your children.

olive2

Fine print: We won’t even knock Taylor Swift for performing in nearly every hockey jersey in the league. If the girl likes hockey, she is cool with us. But support too many teams and it’ll look as if you don’t really like any. [Google images gallery] Now, if Taylor turns up with an encyclopedic hockey mind, we retract this statement and offer her a guest blogger password.

Rule Three: Hold your ground

Firmly establish the hierarchy between your teams. It will be the most important component of your fandom. Favorites first, always. Even if it means Caps fans, who were your friends ten minutes ago, are taking this picture of you when the Pens go down 4-1:

sad face

Perhaps your teams are in different divisions or conferences (the relief!). But they will eventually play each other. If you’re the two conference type, your greatest dream and worst nightmare could come true at the same time: your teams play each other in the Final. Arrive unprepared and you’ll be like Bella, trapped in the freezing cold and of course you have to cuddle with the shirtless werewolf or die, while the vampire is right outside listening to a pervy inner monologue. It’s your fault for not having a jacket.

twilight

Don’t look so comfortable.

This gets tough in tight playoff races, like the Pens and Caps have now, when you kind of have to root for Team #2 to lose against everyone. They’re too close to Team #1, or in front of them, and basically ruining everything. Horcruxes, people. We never said it would be easy.

snape

Rule Four: Have a sense of humor

I have been chirped for my Crosby jersey at games in LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Atlanta (remember that experiment?), New York (Rangers) and, of course, DC.  I just laugh.  Luckily, most hockey fans are awesome and even if they hate Sid and the Pens, they’re nice to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I prefer to think it’s because I’ve obeyed rules 1-3 and I know my stuff. And I’m just waiting for this moment:

  • Announcer: “Penguins goal by Sidney Crosby. His 20th of the season.”
  • Caps crowd: “Who cares?”
  • Me: “I do. I care.”

But I won’t lie – I hope Mike Green scores one. After the Pens score ten.

side

Rule Five: It’s your party

How can you like two teams?! Teams that hate each other? How can you be at odds with the fundamental tenet of sports? Obviously you are an idiot/bandwagoner/in it for the hot guys/not a real fan.  That argument can (and will) be used against you for a litany of imagined offenses no matter who you root for. We say do what you want. Love who you love. Stay weird.

cinderella

Finally, if you’re a one-team kind of person, know this: I envy you. I have a lot of love to give, which leaves a lot of open wounds when my teams don’t love me back.  I trade slightly better odds of winning for twice the angst come spring and playoffs. Told you I was bad at math.