So how did you feel about last night’s Game 7’s? The above photo would describe how I felt. Have at ‘er in the comments. And pass the Kleenex.
You win, Leafs. I mean, you didn’t last night, but in the battle for winning me back over? I’d say you win.
So remember last fall when I was pissed off with the NHL? And my utter apathy when it returned earlier this year? I truly managed to go an entire (shortened) season without watching a complete game. I ignored favourite hockey blogs. I occasionally snubbed Sportscentre. I shrugged when I heard the Leafs may possibly be in playoff contention. I watched people who swore up and down on social media that they’d never forgive the NHL forgive the NHL and tune in with days of the league’s return. I was teased by my friends. “You’ll be back,” they said. Continue reading
It’s that time of year…finally! We weren’t sure if we would even have the NHL Playoffs this year, but here we are. While other sites try to compile their own lists of the hotties of the NHL, we know our hockey here, so you can trust us.
As an added bonus, we’re even providing a preview of sorts for those who have checked out on the NHL so far. So strap on your skates and don’t ice the puck…
Hi, my name is Raven, and I’m addicted to HOCKEY GIFS!! Seriously, .gifs in general are the best thing the internet has invented. Somehow, the stupidest of moments caught on tape can bring such joy to my life. Recently, I was introduced to Tumblr, a.k.a. the home of .gifs. It’s such a wonderful place where I’ve found so many many many awesome .gifs. I, of course, love the hockey ones, specifically any featuring Washington Capitals players. So without further ado, I bring you some of my favorite hockey .gifs.
I hope I’ve provided you plenty of time to take in the deliciousness that Buff and GM have served up these last few days. Let’s wind up the weekend with a handsome Swede: here’s Chicago Blackhawk forward Viktor Stalberg. I’m still not speaking to the NHL, but I’ll lift my posting ban on all things related to the league since it is the season of giving. Also, Viktor is a former Leaf, sent to Chicago in 2010 in the Kris Versteeg trade. SO THANKS AGAIN FOR THAT, BURKIE! Go right ahead, trade ALL of the handsome Leafs!
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
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
Your 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.
* in some cases, we wish.
1) Your World Series MVP David Freese
Ladies, 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…
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
The countdown to October 7th is underway! That’s when the puck drops and the ice is prepped for a brand-new NHL season. Raven and I will be bringing you previews the only way we know how…with photos of hot men.
We bring you the Northeast after the jump.
Sports and music go together like nachos and beer, rum and coke, Maggiesox/CuteSports/Lady Bee and red wine (sensing a theme here?) With NHL playoff hockey fever running rampant around these parts, I started thinking about all the music I dig that references hockey. These songs have been running through my head at one point or another these last few weeks, so I thought I’d share them with you. No Stompin’ Tom this time around, but I assure you this list is 100% CANCON.
There are few things in life more devastating than watching cancer slowly steal away a loved one. There are also few things more beautiful or inspiring than the emergence of the human spirit when facing death head on.
I found it difficult to watch the coverage of former NHL coach Pat Burns speaking at a special event on Friday in Quebec’s Eastern Townships – without sobbing, anyway. A new hockey arena is being built in Stanstead to replace an aging facility. The Pat Burns Arena will serve the surrounding towns along the Quebec-Vermont border and is expected to be completed by 2011. Sadly, Burns will most likely never see it open.
Burns has been quietly battling terminal lung cancer. It is his third fight with the disease – he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004 when his New Jersey Devils were in the first round of the NHL playoffs. He fought liver cancer in 2005. This time, as you are probably aware, he is forgoing treatment.
If I’m going to fill in for Raven, then it’s only appropriate that I bring you a HDH from the NHL.
Life has been a bit more bearable in Bee Land these days. Never mind that pitchers and catchers report in two weeks, Brian Burke made a few moves on the weekend that gave this Leafs fan something to smile about. For one, Vesa Toskala was sent packing to Anaheim in exchange for Jean-Sébastien “What was I thinking showing up on Leno way back when?” Giguère. If that wasn’t enough, defenseman Dion Phaneuf was the pièce de résistance in a seven-player trade between Calgary and Toronto. The addition of Phaneuf brings a much-needed intensity to the Buds not seen since Gary Roberts played in Hogtown (sigh…I miss Gary)
One can only assume the change of scenery will do Phaneuf a world of good. The one-time Norris Trophy finalist has 10 goals and 12 assists in 55 games this season. His projected point total is 32, which is well short of last year’s rather meh 47 point season. Disappointingly as well, he did not make Team Canada’s Olympic roster (which makes it a little hard to watch this ad, but it still gets the blood pumping. And yes, I realize I’ve linked to that before.)
On the upside, he seems happy to be a Leaf. And I’m sure (because he reads this site, yeah…) he’ll be happy to be today’s Hump Day Hottie, too.
As I prepare this very post, my children are literally bouncing off chairs and squealing with anticipation (it’s Christmas Eve) and as much as I love this excitement I’m thisclose to reaching for the bottle of Crown Royal I saved for Mr. Bee’s stocking. Don’t worry, though – I’ll wait until they’re sleeping.
That Toronto Maple Leafs ornament has been going up on our tree ever since Mr. Bee and I started spending Christmases together, oh, 12 years ago, I believe. I love a good holiday tradition, especially ones that you can call your own, like reading “The Night Before Christmas” with your kids on Christmas Eve, Bailey’s in my Christmas morning coffee, watching the World Junior Hockey Championship on Boxing Day.
I’m not alone in all this holiday sportiness. For instance, CuteSports has her tree decked out in Packers and Badger stuff. For Raven, it’s all about the Caps on her tree. And today Games Mistress told us about making her Drew Brees gingerbread cookie (still giggling!)
What are your sporty holiday traditions? Please share them below!
Enjoy the holidays! I leave you with two gifts. One is courtesy of Minda via Royal Blues (and Minda, I am SOOO getting the Crayola markers out for this one. I may have more fun than my kids!)
The other gift is below.
Merry Christmas, readers! And Merry Christmas my dear Ladies…!
Luke Schenn, Maple Leafs first-round pick in the 2008 draft. I couldn’t resist a little bit of homerism, but honestly, I don’t think you’ll mind. More after the jump.
NHL preseason hockey has us hot for the coming season (starting October 1st!) Over the next several days, Raven and I will be previewing the teams division by division. Today we kick it off with the Northeast. Continue reading