Five for Friday: My favourite move is SUNSET ARMS!

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My brother lives in Calgary and attends a bunch of Flames games. I'm a little jealous right now.

Yeah, I think I just started another new feature. Here’s five favourite things that got me through the week, and a thing or two that I’m looking forward to this weekend: Continue reading

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 24

I’m a bad lady… and I forgot to post today before I headed off for family festivities, so you’re getting a late night/early Christmas morning double-dose of hotties. I assume you all won’t complain.

The Christmas Eve hottie is Taylor Pratt of the Phoenix Coyotes. Look at that jawline and those gorgeous baby blues and the scruff. Om nom nom….

Follow the jump for some more of the manly Coyote

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 19

Now, obviously if I’m a Buffalo girl, then it should follow that I’m a Sabres fan. And trust me, I am. With a healthy hatred for the Maple Leafs, Flyers, Bruins, and especially the Rangers. However, I feel it’s a little unfair to hold a hatred for the other NY team given that I live here, they’re seldom a threat, and they have a pretty cute goalie! Little older, but that’s never stopped me – meet Islanders goaltender Nick DiPietro.

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Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 16

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I can't decide which part of the picture is more hilarious: the Whalers jersey, Pronger's mullet or Burkie.

With the news that Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is out for the remainder of the NHL season, I figured fans of the Dryden, ON native might appreciate a post devoted to the Stanley Cup Champion-Olympic gold medalist-all-around devastating presence on the ice. Suffice to say that Pronger is no angel – he’s made his own negative impact on a few hockey careers. And this doesn’t necessarily mean his career is over…yet. But nobody likes to see a career shortened on account of a head injury, or any injury for that matter.

The dialogue on head injuries in the NHL has always been simmering, and I for one would love to just see this boil over already. In the last week, we’ve seen Claude Giroux, Jeff Skinner and a number of other players sidelined on account of head injuries – this, not long after Sidney Crosby put the brakes on his comeback after an 11-month hiatus, and not long after these revelations about Derek Boogaard. Habs legend, former Leafs president and former MP Ken Dryden wrote a thoughtful essay on the issue for Grantland this week that’s worth a read. I just hope Bettman read it too.

Oh…photos! I forgot this was about Pronger! Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 15

I seem to have crazy football jinx powers lately (did you see last week’s Saints game?), everything baseball related just reminds me of You-Know-Who and the Team He Is No Longer On (I figure after Chrismas I’ll be over it. Maybe.), and I have done most of my favorite basketball players in previous years.  A hockey ACoH it is, then!

Today: Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard

Source: JackDetroit

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Five treats you won’t find covered in chocolate tonight*

* in some cases, we wish.

1) Your World Series MVP David Freese

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionLadies, we have a new favourite on the blog to swoon over, and it’s this guy – yes, GM, we’ll wrestle you for him. David Freese also won the NLCS MVP, hit .397 in the postseason, broke a bunch of records, and came through in the clutch. But it’s his humble nature that teammates like Pujols and gals like us love.

But wait, there’s more in our treat bags…

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Ladies… Linkups: Busy Sports Week Edition

St. Louis Cardinals Chris Carpenter

Hockey season is in full swing, I’m 6-and-0 in the Ladies… Fantasy Football League (what the @#$!), the World Series begins Wednesday and in the NBA…yeaaaah, anyway, it’s a busy sports week here at Ladies… I promise I’ll return to some NHL Hotness Profiles soon, but in the meantime, enjoy these stories written by other people:

  • Too soon to talk about an undefeated season for the Pack! Too soon! [ESPN]
  • Carson Palmer, welcome to the Raiders. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Phil Kessel is your first NHL Star of the Week. Be afraid. Be very afraid. [Puck Daddy]
  • Some thoughts about the horrific accident that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon. [NBC Sports]
  • The Rangers return to the Big Dance. [MLB.com]
  • And your Game 1 starter for the Cards is… [StLToday.com]

Finally, I have to tell you I came thisclose to buying these tonight, until I realized that I probably wouldn’t receive them in time for Hallowe’en. Are they not awesome? If only I could hop into my invisible jet and pick them up myself in Pennsylvania.

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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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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Hump Day (Retired) Hottie: Mike Modano

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On a day when everyone voiced their displeasure over Facebook’s new changes, NHL unrestricted free agent Mike Modano used the platform to announce his retirement after 21 seasons. Obviously, sports reporters had little trouble finding his update in the new-style news feed.

Drafted by Minnesota in the 1988 NHL Draft, Modano spent most of his season with the (North) Stars in Minnesota and Dallas, where he won his only Stanley Cup in 1999. The seven-time All Star finished his career last year with the Detroit Red Wings, but was limited to just 15 points over 40 games on account of injuries. He was just one game shy of having played 1,500 NHL games.

Modano leaves behind an amazing legacy as the all-time top scoring U.S.-born player in goals and assists (561 and 813 respectively) and as a silver medalist for Team USA in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. I always admired him for his quiet leadership and the fact that he chose to play for as long as he did in a non-traditional hockey market like Dallas.

Join me after the jump for a little tribute to Mike, complete with a musical salute from a band that also decided to “retire” today.

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A tough summer for NHL fans

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(Photo: Getty Images)

Former NHL enforcer Wade Belak was found dead in his Toronto condo Wednesday. He was 35. He is also the third NHL enforcer we’ve lost in the last four months. In May, Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers died of an overdose of booze and pills, alone in his apartment in Minneapolis. A few weeks ago, Rick Rypien of the Winnipeg Jets, who lived with depression was found dead at his home in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta.

Belak spent time in Calgary, Florida, Toronto and Nashville. His busiest season was 2002-03 when he scored an NHL career high 9 points for the Leafs. But Belak wasn’t about lighting the lamp: he also logged in 196 penalty minutes that year. He retired this past season after he cleared waivers but wasn’t picked up by a club. He was forging a broadcasting career, was set to appear on CBC’s Battle of the Blades, and as my pal Amanda at Inside Smashville notes, had trained to be a volunteer firefighter in Tennesse.

It’s been a tough summer for NHL fans, but no question, it’s been a nightmare for the loved ones of these three athletes. It will be a while before we know why we lost Belak, and it’s easy make some semblance of a connection with his death and the loss of Boogaard and Rypien: three young men, all hockey tough guys, silently dealing with the mental game of being a professional athlete and living with injuries.

Regardless of what we learn in the coming days, I just hope for this: that we talk more openly about eliminating the stigma of mental illness and getting people – athletes included – the help and support they need. And “we” includes the NHLPA. The Canadian Mental Health Association cites that “one in every five Canadian adults under age 65 will have a mental health problem”. Assuming there are just under 1000 guys playing in the NHL, do the math: the odds are fairly good that there are a number of hockey players who live with mood or anxiety disorders, and may be abusing drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Instead of being quick to judge these guys for having so much too soon, we need to show compassion.

We at Ladies… send our thoughts and prayers to Wade’s family.

UPDATE: In an interview with the CBC, Wade’s mother Lorraine confirmed that her son suffered from depression. The NHL and NHLPA released a joint statement Thursday in response to these recent off-ice deaths and have committed to “examining…the factors that may have contributed to these events, and to determining whether concrete steps can be taken to enhance player welfare and minimize the likelihood of such events taking place.”

Buffalita’s Bachelorette Party Part 3!

Forget the pinstripes, its time to bring in the other boys from New York to wish Buffalita a happy day.

Jose Reyes has gotten an early start on the strip routine.

Prelude to David Wright and Jose Reyes wrestling? We can only hope.

There’s something wholesomely appealing about Chris Capuano. Don’t you kind of want to see him go bad?

Ok, I was looking for some things for Buffalita to take with on her honeymoon, but apparently the Mets aren’t popular enough for that, so its back to the pinstripes for bedroom and beach gear.

But it’s not just baseball or football cuties that want to wish Buffalita a happy bachelorette. The Sabres want in on the act.

Derek Roy is left brooding at the loss of Buffalita from the market.

Shaone Morrisonn and his dog Hazel wish Buffalita and future-Mr-Buffalita luck in their future life together.

Finally, though he’s not the bachelorette type beefcake, we would be remiss if we didn’t have American Hero Ryan Miller here to send Buffalita off right.

Buffalita’s Bachelorette Pt. 2 (With Poll!)

Brad Smith may be new to the Buffalo Bills this season, but he just had to get in on Buffalita’s Bachelorette Party. Lady Bee put Part 1 on her post for a reason, people: we are not done with the revelry.

Ryan Miller of Buffalita’s beloved Sabres also wanted to, ahem, pay his respects. Knowing Buff works in the music biz, he decided on a theme outfit:

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Visiting the White House

Super Bowl Champions the Green Bay Packers visited President Obama at the White House today. For Bears fan Obama, it was a bit of a heart-break, but for Packers fans, it was a visit a long time coming.

Often, when championship teams visit the White House, they give the president a gift – this is usually a jersey and the number on the back is usually the president’s number in the succession of presidents. (For example, Obama is the 44th President of the United States.)

While at the White House today, Packer Charles Woodson presented the president with a certificate of stock in the publicly owned Green Bay Packers. As a Bears’ fan, Obama took the opportunity as a new “owner” to suggest a trade for Aaron Rodgers.

Considering I’ve usually heard of teams giving the president a jersey, I thought the stock certificate was a pretty cool gift. It made me wonder what other gifts teams have presented to the president.

The Giants also gave President Obama a signed bat and fielder’s gloves for his whole family.

2009 World Series Champions the New York Yankees don’t appear to have given any gifts other than the jersey, but their jersey had the #27 on the back – for their 27 world titles.

Chicago Blackhawks, the 2010 Stanley Cup winners, gave hometown president Obama a Blackhawks sweater and let him try on the ring.

Auburn, 2010 National Football Champions, gave Obama a jersey and a helmet.

The jersey the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins upped the jersey ante by giving Obama one with a captain’s “C” on it.

UConn, the men’s basketball national champions, gave President Obama a basketball with his name etched on it.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who won the World Series in 2008, also gave Obama a baseball.

As far as I can tell, 2008 and 2008 winners the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints stuck to the jersey gift.

Not a gift, but when the UConn women’s basketball team visited in 2009, President Obama challenged a few of the players to a game of P-I-G. Naturally, he won. But the women were wearing heels and dress.

The Detroit Red Wings, 2008 Stanley Cup Champions, gave George Bush Jr two jerseys - one #43 for him and one #41 for his dad. And also invited them to visit on their annual father-son trip. They also gave President Bush a miniature Stanley Cup statue.

So maybe I’m a little biased, but I think the stock certificate might have been the coolest gift in recent memory. The Packers also broke tradition by giving him a Packers jersey with the name on back “Commander In Chief” and the #1.

You can check out video of the Packers White House visit
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Careful with that sword, Tomas.

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What the what?! (Photo: iSport.cz)

Maybe next week, I won’t be settling into a new job while dealing with our annual family-wide summer barfing flu. See, I have just about enough time to tell you where the Stanley Cup is. It’s in the Czech Republic, chilling with David Krejci and Carolina’s new Hurricane Tomas Kaberle. I dunno – isn’t hanging with your former team’s Stanley Cup kind of like showing up on WCW Monday Nitro with the WWF Intercontinental Championship belt in your hand? But I digress.

So Kaberle brought the Cup to his hometown of Kladno, where he was presented a shield with the town’s coat of arms and a sword because “as the modern defender must be able to even attack”. Heh. And those guys in the Hello Piggy overalls? Are an actual band!

Somehow, all of this weirdness makes me appreciate Tomas Kaberle a little more. Glad to see the guy had some fun with this, since it’s hard to imagine he’ll have an opportunity like this again. NHL.com has some movies and more on their Summer with Stanley 2011 blog. Of course, not to be outdone, Zdeno Chara has rented a freaking castle for his day with the Cup on Friday in Slovakia. I’m guessing normal structures in his home country simply cannot accommodate a man of that kind of towering stature. That, or he’s planning a hell of a kegger.

Hit and Run: I’m too hot to come up with a theme

World Cup Soccer

Hope Solo shall have none of your silly goal scoring nonsense. (Photo: Getty Images)

We hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend! I’m still unpacking and cleaning up gear from the Great Island Campout of 2011, in which I did not end up on Princess Kate Watch and did not get to celebrate Brad Richards signing with the Maple Leafs.

And tonight? It’s warm! Summer warm! Finally! Also building heat is Team USA, who defeated Columbia 3-0 yesterday in Women’s World Cup action in Germany. The win clinches them a spot in the quarter finals. They face Sweden tomorrow at 2:45 ET.

Back to hockey for a minute… Continue reading

Hump Day Hottie: Doug Gilmour

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The face that launched a thousand crushes in the 90s, including mine.

My post this week was originally supposed to be about the NHL Draft until Tuesday when I learned that JESUS LORD DOUG GILMOUR IS GOING TO THE HOCKEY HALL OF FAME!!!

You’re damn right that deserves to be written in all caps. Doug Gilmour is one of the biggest reasons I became a Leafs fan, although I admit that even when I was still hanging on to my childhood affection for the Canadiens, I already had a crush on Killer. What sane girl didn’t? And for that matter, what sane guy? Because there is no platonic man love like the love of a Leafs fan for Dougie Gilmour. Just ask Don Cherry once you get past the jump.

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Impending Liveblog Alert!

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The calm before the storm.

Given how much we love hockey around these parts, we had to do something special for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. So join us back here Wednesday night, for our Stanley Cup liveblog — reader comments are not only allowed, but encouraged!

Hit and Run: Things Which Are Ridiculous

 I wanted to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup last night, but couldn’t, because it was on Versus, which I don’t have. (NBC opted for Celebrity Minute To Win It, with Steve-O and some other guy from Jackass. If that’s a bigger ratings draw than the Stanley Cup, the NHL still has a lot of work to do.)

I believe I have made my displeasure about playoff games being on cable channels known before, but I still find it ridiculous.  So since I’m battling some serious writer’s block, here are other things which I am finding ridiculous today.
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Sedins + beards = 2nd intermission fun!

It’s 4-0 Bruins at the Garden after the 2nd period. Before you reach for that third glass of wine to wipe away the memory of tonight’s game (if you’re a Canucks fan), vote in our quickee poll!

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(yeah, sorry that my Bell ExpressVu pause button got in the way…)

Ladies… Links: Something To Read So You Can Ignore Don Cherry

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The Bruins Saturday night in Vancouver. Boston will try to get back into the Stanley Cup Final series tonight with Game 3 at home. (Photo: Getty Images)

Just a quick hit to give you something to read between periods tonight.

Know how I always talk about the East Coast’s love for all things Boston? Here’s an article from the Globe and Mail that backs up my point, but only to a certain extent. See, what I got out of this was a) Bruins fans in the Maritimes consist of old guys who are missing their own teeth and b) the Maritimes consist solely of Nova Scotia…oh, wait, they threw PEI a bone. So this story drove me crazy all day. Yeah, I know it’s customary for Canadians in my part of the country to kvetch about how the rest of Canada views us. When national publications talk East Coast, they’re really just talking about Halifax (so we think). And the national CBC is even worse, as when they talk about the East, it seems to end at the Quebec border. Grrr.

So here’s a footnote to that Globe article. New Brunswick is home to two Bruins greats: Don Sweeney, who spent the better part of 15 seasons with Boston, and Willie O’Ree, who broke the NHL colour barrier. For the record, I know far more Bruins fans out here than actual Canucks fans (apologies to those cheering them on because they’re the last Canadian team standing).

And many of them are women.

Here’s something to make you smile, speaking of Boston: one kid honouring his uncle’s memory with an assist from the Red Sox. I can’t hate on them when they agree to do stuff like this.

This is from a few days ago, but Star Wars fans will enjoy this tale from our pal Andrew Bucholtz at Sporting Madness.

And now back to some seriousness: keep Nathan Horton in your thoughts, OK? God, I hate seeing anyone being carried off on a stretcher.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs or Backstage passes to U2

Did you guys read about this?

Edmonton Oilers center Gilbert Brule was taking his dog to the park with his girlfriend when they noticed two walkers getting soaked in the rain. They decided to stop and offer a ride.

One of the caught walkers turned out to be Bono. As in the lead singer of U2.

Bono was so grateful he offered Brule and his girlfriend backstage passes to their show. Of course, then Brule had to choose between U2 and Game 1. They sold their Game 1 tickets and took Bono up on his offer.

What do you think, hockey fans? Would you give up your Game 1 tix in order to go backstage with Bono?

 

Ladies…Mixtape: Your 2011 Stanley Cup Final Mix

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Tim Thomas gets my vote for Playoff Beard of the Year. (Photo: Getty Images)

Hope you had an enjoyable holiday weekend! Let’s get this part out of the way first: CALLED IT!

Talk about a region that is simply torn when it comes to hockey loyalty. On the one hand, this part of Canada is crawling with longtime Bruins fans, thrilled to see the team in the Final for the first time in over two decades (it’s another geographic thing. See Red Sox, Boston.) On the other hand, a Canadian team is thisclose once again to hoisting the Cup, and that means the bandwagon is making room. Vancouver fans have waited nearly as long to get back to the Final: 1994, to be exact.

I’m also torn. It’s the Great Battle of My Hockey Boyfriends: Kesler vs. Thomas! And I realize I am crushing on two American-born players. Whatevs. This is going to be a fun series. It all begins Wednesday (here‘s the sched. Being on Atlantic time, I am grateful for all the 8pm Eastern starts. No need for me to mainline coffee the following morning unless we get subjected to OT.)

To celebrate, I pulled together a playlist featuring great bands from both great cities. So put some beers on ice, dig out your fave retro sweater and crank up the laptop speaker after the jump.

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Overtime Heroes

NHLRound Two of the PLAYOFFS THAT SEEM TO NEVER END is well underway (and might I add that I am proud that I was 5 for 8 in my playoff picks?) Several series kept us at the edge of our seats by going the distance to Game 7. And let’s not forget the games that spilled into overtime (yes, please take your regular season shootout and shove it, NHL!) Here’s a look at a few guys that seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Always remember: good things happen when you go to the net.

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Hit & Run: Quick as a Bunny Edition

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For those of you who observed Easter this weekend, we hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends and avoided eating your weight in ham and chocolate (um, unlike me.) Here’s a quick look at what you may have missed over your three-or-four day weekend.

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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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