Three Day Weekend Sports Extravaganza!

With apologies to the Canadian residents among us, we are standing at the brink of not just a three day weekend, but a three day weekend of potentially epic sporting events. This includes at least one (and possibly two) Rangers-Devils playoff games, which means there is a Henrik Lundqvist picture in this post! Come look at the games you can stay up late to watch and not have to worry about being groggy at work the next day.

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Hit & Run: Seriously, I’m OK, you guys!

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(Photo: Getty Images)

First of all, many thanks to my friends (including Games Mistress and various members of Red Sox Nation) for pulling me out of my Pinstriped Spiral of Gloom last Friday morning after receiving word that Mariano Rivera suffered a season-and-possibly-career-ending torn ACL last Thursday while shagging fly balls in Kansas City. Honestly, there is nothing like a devastating injury to a beloved future Hall of Famer to remind you who your truest friends in baseball are. Red Sox fans and I may be bitter frenemies when wins are on the line, but when something like this happens, we all feel for the biggest fans of the affected team and athlete. So thanks you guys – you are the best!

And what a difference a day made. It wasn’t long until Rivera’s competitive nature bounced back as he declared to reporters “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this.” So it won’t be long until you can go back to hating my kind again, Red Sox Nation (know that I say this with love). It’s been reported that three doctors at two hospitals examined his knee today, so hopefully surgery and rehab go smoothly enough to get him back on the mound in 2013. Until then, it’s the Soriano-Robertson Show from here on out. Continue reading

Your 2011-12 NHL Hotness Preview: Atlantic Division

Pronger

You may call him Captain Pronger. (Getty Images)

The first opening faceoff of the regular season is just a few days away, which brings me a small comfort as Sabathia struggles against the Tigers (as I type this…so many sighs…) Here’s a quick look at what we think is exciting about the Atlantic Division:

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Hockey Hotties On The Move: 2011 Edition

Leafs

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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R.I.P. Pat Burns

Former Devils coach Pat Burns lost his long battle with cancer Friday in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The three-time Jack Adams trophy winner was 58.

We profiled Pat back in March at the announcement for the hockey arena being built in his name in the Eastern Townships. His last public appearance was last month when he attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

The recent Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony reignited the debate that Pat should have been included in this year’s class. There’s no point in resuming that discussion. Anyone who followed the Habs, Leafs, Bruins or Devils during Pat’s career is well aware of his legacy, his passion for the game, his commitment to community and family, his fighting spirit. We don’t need the HHOF to acknowledge what we as hockey fans knew all these years. He’s there – he was there in our eyes a long time ago.

We extend our thoughts to Pat’s loved ones.

Hit & Run: Not So Fast Edition

Devil for Life? Maybe not.

A couple of days ago it looked like Ilya Kolvalchuk was going to be a New Jersey Devil for more or less the rest of his pro career, as he signed a $102 million dollar, 17-year deal that was pretty much unprecedented in professional sports.  (Unless you count the Islanders’ DePietro deal, which I don’t — that would be like saying the Raiders personnel decisions are in any way comparable to the rest of the NFL.)  Yesterday, however, the NHL nixed the deal (and it appears the Devils may have known this was coming even before the press conference).

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The NHL Playoffs of Hotness: Round 1

NY Islanders

Imagine: if we were writing this 30 years ago, we likely would have included him.

Now that we’ve given away the hardware for this year’s NHL Playoff Beards Awards (props to Raven for her excellent research once again), we bring you the NHL Playoffs of Hotness.

This works just like the NBA edition. Vote for the hockey hottie you love. We’ll narrow down the choices bracket-style over the next couple of weeks. Thanks to our readers for their suggestions on such short notice! Don’t worry: we’ve included a few guys from the Stanley Cup finalists Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers.

You have until Monday at 8pm Eastern to cast your vote. Yes, we’re making our readers work hard these days! Continue reading