Hit and Run: Oh, it’s hockey playoff time, is it? I hardly noticed.

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If you guessed 87 as the number of minutes the Pens spent in the sin bin Sunday, you'd be terribly close. (Photo: Getty Images)

You can blame the Leafs’ freefall from playoff contention on this, but I’ve been suffering from hockey fatigue. And so, you’ve been without an NHL Playoff Preview, and for that I apologize.

It seems I haven’t missed too much actual hockey, if the Pittsburgh-Philly series is any indication. The Flyers took a commanding 3-0 lead in the quarterfinal series with an 8-4 win Sunday over the Pens, a game highlighted with more Pier 6 brawls in a single afternoon than I’ve witnessed in recent memory. Someone want to remind Crosby that he should be using his stick to score goals, not whack Bryzgalov’s glove? Ugh. Thankfully, there’s a nice cooling off period for these guys – they don’t meet again until Wednesday.

Because good things come in threes, there’s three Game 3′s happening tonight: the Rangers are in Ottawa, Boston visits Washington and San Jose hosts St. Louis. Each series is tied 1-1.

Now let’s talk baseball…after the jump. Continue reading

Hump Day Hottie: Henrik Lundqvist

No helmet hair here. (Photo: Getty Images)

Did we seriously not have a Hump Day Hottie post on Henrik Lundqvist?!! Sorry, we must have been too busy paying attention to his fantastic goaltending. Okay, lies! We’re really all about those baby blues and how he looks in a suit. More on that in a moment.

Seriously, though, it’s been another excellent season for the Rangers’ longtime netminder: 3rd among NHL goaltenders with a smashing GAA of 1.93 and tied with Jonathan Quick and Brian Elliott for the most shutouts (8). It may not be a Vezina year for Hank (as Tortorella affectionately calls him) but if he gets a chance to hoist a certain Cup in June, well, does it really matter?

Let’s make your Wednesday. More on Handsome Henrik after the jump.

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It’s Friday. Have some Mike Cammalleri.

It’s been three minutes since we last mentioned Calgary Flames’ forward Mike Cammalleri, so we thought we’d treat you to his new spot for Adidas. I guess there’s some sort of shoe that suited for barefoot training that they’re pushing? I wouldn’t know. Too busy pretending I’m chasing Hot and Sweaty Mike.

Celebrate and remember Pat Burrell, a pillar of this site

Pat Burrell is retiring, which means this site now has to exist in a world without him. Ladies… without Burrell is like Seinfeld without Jerry, like a flower without petals, like Grady Sizemore without that one coffee cup. Just…totally naked, but in like a really sad way.

According to Google, the Ladies… have written about Pat Burrell 118 times. By no means is that the most we’ve ever covered a hottie of sport (paging Tom Brady, Ryan Lochte, etc.), but he is a part of the very fiber of our collective heart nonetheless.

In most of the rest of this post, we'll forget he has a face, too.

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Our fave sports moments of 2011

PhotobucketYour TV, radio and internets are being bombarded with Year In Review posts and specials as I type this. Well, guess what? It’s no different here at Ladies… We took a few moments this week to reflect on our favourite memories of this past year. Some will be hilariously obvious, others may surprise you. All of them will make you warm and fuzzy, like a delicious flute of champagne.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 20

I’m the farthest thing from an NBA fan, but we realized we’ve neglected those of you in our fanbase that find their hotties with big biceps and long shorts.

And since he’s been in the news so much lately, today’s hottie is recently named Los Angeles Clipper Chris Paul.

I don’t want to break any Hornets fans hearts, so I tried to steer away from the shots of him in New Orleans gear. I hope that hopes a little.

Turns out Paul wears a mean suit and isn’t afraid to flash the pearly whites. Follow the jump for some long overdue basketball love.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 18

I took a straw poll on Twitter looking for new and exotic hotties to bring to our readers for their viewing pleasure. I’ve been stuck in the soccer rut and the football suggestions we haven’t covered in recent years make me sad.

Thankfully, a friend pointed me in the direction of NASCAR where I found the cutest little button in Kasey Kahne. Who knew such an adorable dude was hiding under all that flame-retardant gear?

I mean, he’s got all the CuteSports prerequisites: eye-crinkles, gorgeous eyes, rosy cheeks and looking yummy in scruff. A girl cannot go wrong.

The worst thing I can say is there is a serious dearth of nekky pictures of NASCAR drivers. You know you’re hurting to see some skin when you save a picture of a guy getting miked up, showing a couple of inches of abs. How are the many lady NASCAR fans not in demand of pictures of these guys shirtless?

Enough with the chatter, bring on the hottie:

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No really. Those eyes. Should never been hidden inside a helmet.

Follow the jump to see more where Kasey looks into your soul….

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What if Jeter isn’t the only one with gift baskets?

Thank heavens for the New York Post. Without them, how would he know that Derek Jeter sends his single-serving ladyfriends away with gift baskets?

*not actually a true story

He used to give out t-shirts. True story.

But hey, trends spread like wildfire in baseball. By now, stars all around the game are in the post-booty gift basket game. Step into my office; I’ll show you the baskets I’ve been able to unearth so far.
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Advent Calendar of Hotness 2011: Day 5

Well hello there! So sorry for my absence – I have missed reporting on the status of my beloved Bills and ogling gents across multiple sport lines to an unreasonable amount, but I am finally back! And what a great way to celebrate my new marriage to Mr. Buffalia (aka Hawk) then to jump right on in to the ACoH!

Say ohai to tennis player Marat Safin!

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Your NHL 2011-12 Hotness Preview: the Northeast

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Let's relive the best part of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, shall we?

Given that this hasn’t exactly been the happiest of NHL offseasons, I feel a bit conflicted about being excited for the forthcoming 2011-12 season. With every that has happened since June, doesn’t it seem like a lifetime ago that the Bruins proudly hoisted their first Stanley Cup since the 1970s?

But let’s face it: I like to focus on the positive, such as the groundswell of support from Vancouver residents after the Stanley Cup riots, the return of the JETS, the sometimes hilarious trips with the Cup made by the Bruins, and the conversations that have opened up about mental illness (please, if you haven’t already, read Michael Landsberg’s touching column about his friend Wade Belak.)

Time to accentuate the positive with our NHL Preview. We begin today with the Northeast Division.

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What I Think About While Trying Not To Think About the 6 Run 9th Inning Lead The Cardinals Just Blew That Will Likely Cost Them The Wild Card

(Subtitle: Probably I’m Overreacting, Since They’ve Certainly Blown Plenty of Other Games This Season, And Anyway If They Make The Playoffs We’ll Never Get Rid of La Russa and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.)

  • That the AL Wildcard has suddenly gotten triply interesting.
  • That Jeffrey Loria used to own a team with an iconic “M” logo and still thought this was a good idea.
  • That somehow, all you have to do is become a Bengal to act like a Bengal. (Yes, that’s two different stories.)
  • That safeties are awesome.  And even more awesome when it’s a rookie’s first NFL sack (h/t TheJetsBlog)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go stare at Rafa in his underwear. I find it clears the mind.

Your NFL Fantasy Starts Here!

Well, it's ... not Bieber hair. (Reuters/Adam Hunger)

First there was the lockout.  Then there was preseason.  Finally, finally the NFL season actually starts playing games that count, with tonight’s Saints – Packers matchup.  Which also means, after weeks of draft preparation and stat scrutinizing, your fantasy team can finally start proving its worth (or disappointing you, if you are like a buddy of mine who says he only likes his fantasy team before the season starts).  We have a record 14 teams in Ladies… League this year, so there is much excitement and anticipation.  My team, Creepier Doll Collective (it was too good a name! it had to have a sequel!) wound up with Dreamboat himself, Tom Brady, at starting quarterback, but oddly I am much more excited to have my backup quarterback…
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Welcome to Buffalita’s Bachelorette! (Part 1)

Never mind Kate and William, or those rumours about Brangelina finally tying the knot. The Wedding We Care About here at Ladies… is that of our own Buffalita, who will be exchanging vows with the soon-to-be Mr. Buffalita next weekend.

Unfortunately, time, money and geography prevents us Ladies… from throwing her a proper bachelorette party, complete with wine, taco dip and game of washers (WHAT! A game of washers was completely acceptable at my baby shower! Maritimers know how to party, yo!)

So instead, we’re sending our best wishes in true Ladies… fashion with this series of posts dedicated to the Best Bride-to-be in NY State. Who needs a male *ahem* exotic dancer when you can run a series of photos of handsome athletes instead? (Besides, it eliminates that messy tipping…)

Let this song set the mood and join us after the jump to see who I picked for Part 1 of Buff’s Bachelorette.

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Hit and Run: I Really Gotta Run Edition

What with the liveblogging early this week, and an unexpected trip out of town this weekend, I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.  Here’s a couple of quick, fun pictures before I get up and resume packing.

Boris Struebel/Getty Images

The US Women are in the World Cup final, and Abby Wambach has another beautiful header goal. The Final is Sunday right when I’ll be heading back from my trip, but I’ll be with them in spirit.

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Why yes, it IS time for the French Open!

Maria, you're dating Sasha Vujacic. Don't get so excited about the Rafa pics.

We’ve been very team-sport oriented around here lately (though not without reason), so I thought I’d take a moment to skip across the Atlantic and check in on the French Open, which begins semifinal play on Friday (NBC just informed me that they will have live coverage Friday morning, for those of you who have summer work schedules.)

Despite the fact that no one has been paying attention, some interesting storylines are developing at Roland Garros. Chaos has broken out in the women’s draw, where the top seeds remaining are last year’s champ Francesca Schiavione (the 5 seed), and a rejuvenated Maria Sharapova (the 7 seed). The men’s draw has been by-the-numbers, with the top four seeds winding up in the semifinals.  This does not, however, mean these matchups are lacking in excitement — or pictures.

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Quick & Dirty NHL Playoff Preview: Part Two

Tampa Bay Lightning

Gratuitous Steve Yzerman in a suit. He's practically playoff-ready. (AP Photo)

Congratulations, Oilers fans! You win Ryan Nugent-Hopkins! I’m just relieved it wasn’t Boston who won the Draft Lottery. But I digress.

We looked at the first five quarter-final series last night. Now here’s a glance at the games starting on Thursday.

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It’s the 2011 NHL Playoffs, you guys!

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It’s a glorious time of year! (Unless you’re a Leafs fan or Cory Clouston.) It’s time for our quick and dirty preview of the first round of the NHL Playoffs. Here are the matchups that begin Wednesday:

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Your wait is over.

The rotation that will haunt our dreams. (AP Photo)

High socks. Eye black. Dusty mounds. Cliff Lee. Baseball is back for reals, and we at Ladies… couldn’t be happier. Many of us have spent the last few days figuring out how to weasel out of whatever we’re going to be up to at the time our respective favorite teams are playing. Me? TWO HOUR MEETING when Mike Mussina throws the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium. How am I supposed to sneak my phone in to listen to the game? ARGH! (although Games Mistress told me there was lots of rain expected in New York Thursday, so I may get my wish after all.)

It’s Opening Day for these Ladies… faves. Let’s see what they’re up to today:

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Hit and Run: With Spring in our Step

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Here's Marquette, whose victory over Syracuse last night made me cry. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Monday. How are your brackets looking? Like hell? Thought so.

First of all, a warm welcome to our special guest Ladies… Bracket Brawl participants: Melissa_thistle, Courknee35, Big10Bias and fellow Canuck/friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz (you will go read his blog The 55-Yard Line now, won’t you?) Our current leader isn’t in our Ladies… group – due to technical difficulties, we had to create another group on ESPN.com so one gal could get her picks in. That gal is Buffalita, leading the pack with 460 points and picking Ohio State to win it all. CuteSports and Raven round out the Top 3 at 440 and 430 points respectively. Any hopes I had of repeating last year’s surprise success have been flushed down the proverbial toilet. I blame Butler.

Best of luck heading into Thursday! Sweet Sixteen will be hopefully be sweet for some of you.

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Take Us Out to the (Basket)Ball Game: The Ladies… Do Madison Square Garden

I almost didn’t make it to Wednesday’s Knicks-Hornets game.  First, I had it down on my calendar for Thursday.  Then there was the massive sinus attack that had me spending most of Wednesday afternoon lying flat on my back to keep my head from spinning. At 5:30, I was convinced my immune system had betrayed me. Luckily, the decongestant finally kicked in about half an hour later and I began to feel, if not perfectly healthy, at least capable of sitting upright and watching basketball for a few hours.

It was definitely worth it.  I had been to Madison Square Garden before, but never for a basketball game.  And particularly not a basketball game featuring Amare (over there on the left), Chris Paul, the newly arrived Carmelo, and a surprise mystery guest.  More pictures and details after the jump!

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Hockey Hotties On The Move: 2011 Edition

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NOT HOT! But Burkie rocks the untied tie like nobody's business.

The timing was almost perfect: I took today off to recover from an arduous 11 hours of traveling from Ottawa to my East Coast home on Sunday to make up for a canceled direct flight on Friday (Mother Nature has been particularly bitchy to New Brunswickers this year. I swear, we have at least one snowstorm a week.) The hubby and I were all set to brew some coffee, snuggle on the couch and consume hours of TSN Tradecentre 2011 (the annual wall-to-wall coverage of the NHL Trade Deadline, for those of you unfamiliar.)

But not surprisingly, another snowstorm dumped 15 centimetres (at least) in our driveway and the kids stayed home from school. *sigh* So much for Date Day.

Trade Deadline Day was disruptive for some of our favorite players as well. Here’s a look at some of the notables who wound up with a new zip/postal code today, as well as a few who surprisingly managed to stay put.

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Friday Fellow: Dwayne Roloson

Tampa Bay LightningMy affection for the older guys has been well documented here at Ladies… What can I say? Take young forward Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, for example. Cute, yes, but far too young for me to buy him a drink. He’s not even legal in my province, anyway.

However, I’d hire Skinner to babysit my kids so that I could hit the town in my patent leather peep toe pumps with Tampa Bay’s recently acquired goaltender, Dwayne Roloson. Continue reading

NOT The Sweetest Hangover

Unlike my girl Diana, this is not the sweetest hangover – this is the WORST kind of hangover!

It’s not brought on by copious amounts of Yuengling and Makers Mark.

It’s not accompanied by the Stride of Pride.

It’s not cured by greasy food.

It’s not something that gets worse with age.

It’s a hangover that only comes with the harsh realization… football is OVER until Fall. Continue reading

Hump Day Hottie: Caps in Suits

Not all of these guys made the cut after the jump, but obviously the Caps love their suits!

Awhile back, I tried to enlighten the Ladies… readers on the hotness that is the Washington Capitals.  Thanks to a super sexy GQ-esque team photo shoot, I was able to show you a bunch of hot hockey players in street clothes looking super fine.  Well, the brains behind the GQ shoot decided to give us more.  This recent shoot was done in conjunction with the re-launch of Scarlet Caps, a site about the Caps geared towards female fans.  While I’m not a huge fan of the site, I’m definitely a huge fan of the photo shoots.

So follow me after the jump to see hot athletes in suits.

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I Was There: The Ladies… Do The Winter Classic

Hello, Ladies… readers! I know it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a post from me, but I’m back in full force and bringing you some hockey, of course!  I was lucky enough to be able to purchase Winter Classic tickets for the Capitals vs. Penguins game in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day.  As a loyal Caps season ticket holder, I decided to make the purchase, book the hotel and make the trek to Western PA.

Make the trek with me after the jump to read all about my trip (and I promise some pictures of hot guys).

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 20

(Photo: Getty Images)

Here’s a nice change from football and hockey players: US swimmer and three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, who won gold in the Mens’ 200 metre backstroke final at the FINA Short Course Swimming World Championship in Dubai this past weekend. It wasn’t the only individual race he won, and he just may have set a few records and raised the hype bar a little for London in 2012. But for now, let’s focus on the present. Let’s see that medal, Ryan…

(Photo: AP)

Now if that smile doesn’t take the edge off your holiday stress, nothing will.

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 14

Sensing a serious lack of ink in our lovely ACOH – today’s hottie comes fully loaded.  For your viewing pleasure ladies – Devin Thomas.

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