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

Photobucket

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

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 16

Photobucket

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

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:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The NHL Playoffs of Hotness: Round 2

Capitals

Ovi is the new Hendrix. That, or he's testing his Jedi mind powers to move matter.

Readers, you have raised my eyebrows. Sid the Kid, knocked out of the first round by Flyer Mike Richards. Steckel, running away with the votes in his tiebreaker against RYAN KESLER (and NO, Raven, that baby photo was not a ploy ;))

The Divisional Semis are complete. Round 2 heats up with eight fellas worthy of Blanche Devereaux’s attention (rest in peace, Rue). Make your choice after the jump now through Sunday at 8PM Eastern. Continue reading

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

Hit and Run: Full of Poop

Yes, the Ladies… have been a bit busy this week. I’m home early for the long weekend so that I can be present while my septic tank gets cleaned out. I can barely watch without stifling a gag, but such is the life of a homeowner in the quasi-sticks. Better than paying property taxes in town, I keep reminding myself.

Brett Favre

Yeah, I'm still not speaking to him.

Let’s kick off H&R in fitting style with this latest crap about Brett Favre. It seems that during a pep talk for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, he stated that if they could make it back to the College World Series, he’d return for one more season in the NFL. Continue reading