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

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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Five For Friday: Don’t Let The Door Hit Your Arse Edition

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Why am I so happy when my NHL team is in 12th place? That picture should give you a hint. Five for Friday after the jump, y’all… Continue reading

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.

I gave up watching “30 Rock” for this? The 2012 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft

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Phil Kessel, last year's whipping boy (Photo: Getty Images)

Last year’s NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft was new and fun to watch! This year’s draft was missing the charm of Ovi and his cell phone, and the embarrassment of watching Phil Kessel get drafted last. Oh, but that doesn’t mean Leafs fans didn’t get a few kicks in the crotch! Here’s a quick rundown of what you may have missed: Continue reading

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

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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

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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…)