Mile High Club

We hear the teams out west are pretty good this year.


Did you make it all the way down here?  Does it make any sense the only Western Conference team we ever talk about is the Oilers?

Perhaps we are trying to make our Eastern Conference-selves feel better about topping out at #6 in the League – with a team that just lost a guy who figured in 35% of their offense last season.  (Tears for Stamkos.)  Looks like we’d better start paying more attention to after-hours hockey.

sleepy panda

So, what do teams that never lose do when they’re not winning?

Winning Teams – They’re Just Like Us: Colorado Avalanche Edition


At the end of last season the Avalanche were the second worst (16-25-7, 39 points) team in the NHL.  Now things are topsy-turvy in Denver where the Avs, under new head coach Patrick Roy, are the second-best team in hockey.

We love nothing more than a dramatic makeover.


While the Avalanche blossom thanks to strict care and grooming, they continue to be the same dorky, genuine team on the inside.

They photo bomb.


They share shirts.


They get hurt and make me sad. [story]



They take pictures of their toilet paper… wait, what?


They have impossibly attractive Swedish friends.  Do these guys even play hockey? Nope, don’t care.  Hockey is no longer a requirement for this blog.


They start shopping at the very top of your Christmas list.


They have choreographed dance sequences-slash-celebrations.

Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene

Oh, and they score goals.  Fast, nifty, foxy ones.


There is, of course, the issue of Semyon Varlamov’s arrest on allegations of domestic violence.  He was released and the Avs put him right back to work.  While innocent until proven guilty, this isn’t really a judgement call for the Avs.  Varly is their top goalie and has played 12 of 14 games this season, the final $3 million year of his contract.  No word yet if he will be formally charged with the crime and face a trial. Until then, we are doing our best not to judge (out loud).


Presumably with Varlamov in net, the Avs face two other top teams this week: St. Louis on Thursday and Chicago on Tuesday.  Either would be a great match-up to catch, but aim for the Blues – it starts at 8 PM.  Even I can stay up for that.

We promise to get to other Western Conference teams soon.  If you follow one and want to save me time on the Google, send any great pics, videos and Twitter chirping my way!

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Leave a Reply

  1. Rivalpiper Reply

    I’ll have to get you some Canucks material. Until then, can you fix this sentence? “Until they were are doing our best not yo judge (out loud)”

    • Pants Reply

      ACK. That sentence was a mess. That’s what I get for updating from my phone. Thanks!

  2. JESUSCHRISTSWEDENCHRIST. What is that IMPOSSIBLY European picture?! Lord.

    That being said, hooray for the Western Conference! Let me know if you ever need Pacific time zone updates 🙂

  3. Laura Reply

    I am… really disgusted and saddened by the total lack of acknowledgement, from team or players, that the charges – whether accurate or not – are extremely serious. Innocent until proven guilty is a very important part of our legal system, but it doesn’t mean that people have to pretend there’s no chance someone accused of a crime actually did that crime. But that’s what the Avs are doing – right from the start, just moved forwards as if nothing was going on, as if there was no chance that any of the players would have a problem sharing a locker room with someone who MIGHT have beaten his girlfriend repeatedly. (MIGHT – we don’t know, but there’s absolutely a chance that the allegations are true.)

    I’m a new hockey fan and when I’d heard stories/rumors that various hockey heroes (Bobby Hull, for example) committed acts of domestic violence, I assumed that they were just that – rumors. That there weren’t real charges or any sort of serious allegations. It turns out I was totally wrong. The hockey world is just completely willing to shrug off violence against women, to treat any consequences that result from that violence as “character building” for the player. And they do this while upholding the myth that hockey is full of “high character”, nice, small-town boys and that hockey players are so much better than athletes in other sports.

    Sorry, I know this isn’t really the place for this rant, I’m just… I can’t stop thinking about it and I’m really upset.

      • Laura Reply

        Thanks for the link, that’s a really good article. Really, really depressing, but good. It’s good to see someone covering the issue and pointing out how awful and problematic the NHL’s response has been. Ugh. They’re showing athletes in specific what they safely get away with doing to the women in their lives – but also abusers in general, and with no evidence condemning the alleged victim as a false accuser, which is also sending a really dangerous message.

    • I’m with you, Laura. Sadly, hockey and sports in general, are no better than the rest of the population on this issue, and to call it shameful really doesn’t begin to cover it. The chants of “beat your wife, Potvin” at the Garden make the capillaries in my eyes twitch with rage.

      Wrap Around Curl is one of my favorite hockey fans online (who also shares my love of nail polish), and she posted this last week:

  4. Pat Reply

    Here’s a link to some great off-ice Blackhawks pics: Patrick Dempsey (er, Sharp) and a surprisingly sexy Patrick Kane modeling clothes in a magazine article. There’s a video link part way down for behind the scenes footage of the photo shoot. And a link at the bottom to a similar article featuring Jonathan Toews from three years ago.

    We have a new team member this year, Michael Kostka, who looks like Chad Helmsworth. And in fact dressed as Thor for Halloween:

    Movember mustache growing progress reports:

    In the very, very funny category, here’s Brandon Bollig’s version of the Patrick Kane stick-handling video :|CHI|home

    The Kane version for those who haven’t seen it:

    This is a commercial for a bank that sponsors the Hawks, but it’s totally worth seeing if only for the ten seconds of Kane and Shaw swimming laps in uniform, including helmets and skates:

    Many Hawks looking hot in suits in this video from the Hawks’ “Mom’sTrip” (they brought their moms with them on a two game road trip to Florida):|CHI|home

    More Hawks looking sexy in suits while arriving for the first home game of the season:|CHI|home

    The biggest news this season may be all the little ‘Hawks born the past six months: Sadie Sharp, Carter Seven Seabrook, Colton Keith, and Zoja Hossa born just yesterday
    Photo of Seabs with Carter:

    Also, I can’t remember if you’ve written about the blog “My Little Blackhawk” before, but it not, it’s pretty funny. All your favorite hockey players drawn as ponies. It used to be exclusively Blackhawks, starting with Uni-Kane, but now she does a herd from other teams about once a week. Aside from the unbearable cuteness of it all, she does some pretty cool drawings replicating real-life hockey photos. See Aug 31, July 10, July 14, July 27, for some photo/video reenactments. See Oct 16, Sept 30, Sept 13, Sept 2, July 11 and July 7 for general cuteness.

    (Capitals fans should see the posts on Sept 18 and 21. Bruins Aug 22)

    Some Hawks’ Twitter accounts if you want to scan for something interesting:

    Hope this helps!