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Be Right Back

14 Jun

Hey, where is everybody?

We have run tripped fallen chased followed been invited by Sid to the beach.

We’re making some small off-season tweaks around here.  Well, we are not actually doing anything – someone fantastically sci-fi is manning the ship (Hi Vince!).  Chuck and I are busy wondering if Sid had to wear these shorts out of the store because he tried them on and couldn’t get them off.

(Thanks to the irreplaceable @amandalitty, official Finder of Great Stuff and master of the interwebs.)

Foxy Friday: Conn Smythe Trophy

8 Jun

Any way it shakes out, this is the last Friday of the 2011-2012 NHL season.  We’re almost afraid to choose a Foxy Friday because they keep doing things like scoring OT game-winning goals. (Adam Henrique.)

Not that we’re changing the course of the Stanley Cup Final or anything.

So, who’s left?

We’ve Foxy Friday-ed the heck out of these teams: Brodeur, Parise, Henrique, Richards, Doughty, Quick, Penner, Carter.  We have even featured the Stanley Cup.

This week, we honor another inamimate object – The Conn Smythe Trophy.

Foxy. Shiny.

We love this trophy.  It looks like something my dad’s  FDNY ski team won back in the 70s, when chairlifts had no safety bars and people wore outfits like this.

The trophy is designed to resemble Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens (where Mr. Smythe was the owner, GM and coach) and has a “botanically correct Maple Leaf” on top.  I bet that part comes off and one can wear it as a crown. Maybe I’ll have to be the first to try.

Timmeh.

Unlike MVP trophies in the NFL, NBA and MLB (which are awarded to the most valuable player in that last round), the  Professional Hockey Writers’ Association take the entire post-season into consideration when voting for the Conn Smythe winner.

That said, I don’t believe a player has won who did not make it to the Final.  Am I wrong?

The trophy has been awarded 46 times to 40 different players.

  • 15 times to a goaltender
  • 3 of those times it went to the legendary Patrick Roy (who is the only player to win it more than twice)
  • 5 times to a player whose team lost the Stanley Cup Finals
  • 5 times to a player who was not Canadian.

Bleacher Report recently ranked every Conn Smythe winner ever [link].

God, I love Scott Niedermayer.

Only two Americans have won the Conn Smythe – Brian Leetch and last year, Tim Thomas.  Jonathan Quick could be the third (Chuck and Dawn are nodding vigorously and clapping like seals).

The Conn Smythe is presented right before the Stanley Cup, to which the winner often says –  “Thanks so much, Mr. Bettman.  Here hold my purse. I’ve got this other trophy coming….”

Will we see this maple leaf adored bling tomorrow night?

Hahahahaha. [link]

There’s some support for renaming the Conn Smythe Trophy after it’s first-ever winner, Montreal foward Jean Beliveau.  Gretzky’s all for this [link], and he’s won the Smythe twice.

Personally, we don’t care what you call it.  We just care who wins.

Five Alive

7 Jun

Oh, Foxy Friday. You never disappoint.

Well, sometimes you disappoint when you shave your goatee into a mustache that means you’re not allowed within 100 feet of a playground.

But then, you score the goal that keeps your team’s dream alive:

And somehow, magically, in the post-game your ‘stache has is approaching the border between ‘okay’ and ‘OKAY?!’

Our cries of, “WTH, who shaves in the playoffs?” were for nothing.  Shaving in the playoffs is the new black.  Henrique ditches the goatee, scores the GWG.  Clarkson removes his beautiful ruddy beard and gets an assist.  The entire Devils squad will be shorn for Game 5.

As you know, Henrique scored the series-ending double OT goal vs. Florida and the series-ending single OT (boring!) goal vs. New York.  The Calder Trophy voting for Rookie of the Year is only supposed to encompass the regular season – have they already voted?  It’s completely unfair if they haven’t, since neither Nugent-Hopkins or Landeskog reached the post-season.  Still, how can this performance not count?!  There’s no impartial jury out there now.

I felt bad that so many people paid so much money to see their team win at home – I dream of this someday being me.  That was quickly outweighed by my selfish desire for hockey season to last all year.  What else can make us so deliriously happy, gut-wrenchingly sad and seat-shiftingly uncomfortable?

Mike Richards.  Chuck called him a “dark swarthy pirate of love” for this look.  I think he’s starting to resemble an Ewok in the Witness Protection Program.  Pierre, of course, is on a first date.  Watch him do the ‘casual arm-swing’ hoping to brush against Mike.  We know all your tricks, little man!!  He’s going to walk Mike right to his door and hope to be invited in.

ACK.  I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Anyway, back to work for both teams Saturday night.  It’s a chance for the Devils to really make this one interesting, or the Kings to extend their record road-game streak.  Either way, I’m glad to get one more game out of this season.

Again? High five.

Tonight is the Night?

6 Jun

Once, a cat named Lucifer messed with Cinderella.  She chased him off with a broom.  See what I’m saying?

Not pictured: LA Kings

Chuck and I are Red Sox fans, which means leading a playoff series 3-0 is not enough for us.  We know miracles can happen.  (In case you don’t, in ’04 the Yankees were up 3-0 in the ALCS.  The Red Sox won 4 straight, then another 4 to sweep the Cardinals for the World Series.  The screaming, people.  I can’t even describe it.)   The moral of the story is: we don’t count people out.

Tonight, the Kings will try to sweep the Devils to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, in front of their home crowd.  This idea gives us crazy butterflies.  Chuck & Dawn are all for the Kings, and I cry every single year when the Cup is presented, no matter who wins.  I just see rainbows and sprinkles and dreams coming true.  It’s like a Lifetime movie.

If the Kings win tonight, it will be the 21st Finals sweep in the modern era (since the NHL went to a best-of-seven format in 1939).  Sweeps happen more often than a series goes to 7 games (16 times).  Only one NHL team has ever come back from 3-0 down in the Final to win the Cup – the 1942 Maple Leafs.

Despite Peggy’s best efforts, the Cup has arrived.

Since 1939, trends in winning the Stanley Cup Final – from NHL.com [link, the formatting is awful]:

•  Teams winning Game One have won the Cup 54 of 69 times (78.3%).

•  Teams winning both Games One and Two have won the Cup 41 of 44 times (93.2%).

•  Teams winning Games One, Two and Three have won the Cup 24 of 25 times (96%).

More sweep fun facts – ESPN.com [link].

15 fun facts about the Kings – USAToday.com [link]

If you’re thinking what we’re thinking, it’s about this.  Or, more accurately, this happening inside a Ke$sha video filmed in a strip-club-on-a-yacht off Huntington Beach where Snoop Dogg drops from a fireworks-shooting helicopter for a rap solo about best friends forever.

I’m just saying that Cup parade/party photos get us through the summer and you know the Kings’ would be epic.  Twitter would melt.  I’d buy stock in pancakes, donuts, liquor and glitter.    Something tells me that Patrick Elias won’t be dancing shirtless on a table a la Tyler Seguin (or even clothed like Patrick Sharp) but we think TBG Drew Doughty might.

(SIDE NOTE: If you Google “Tyler Seguin dance shirtless,” the #5 photo result is Chuck & Tyler and #12 is me & Chuck.  You guys search that term and find our site A LOT, pervs.)

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  Things are far from over with 60 minutes on the clock and a goalie who has won 3 Stanley Cups – that’s every Cup the Devils have ever won, on Brodeur’s shoulders.  So, down but not out?  Will the Devils slow the Kings 15-2 playoff run and rain on their parade?  If they get one, they head back to NJ for Game Five on Saturday night.  The Kings have won 10 straight road games… but you have to start somewhere.

Scars & Cars

6 Jun

I’m not much of one for cars, especially since a certain defenseman’s Lamborghini just makes me laugh.  But scars?  For bikini season, we thought we’d bring back this gem MDZ is sporting:

“When Evgeni Malkin cut me with a skate I felt lucky to have ribs. I got 50 stitches, no staples. I’ve had to work hard on balancing my lats ever since. But I have to say, it’s a great icebreaker, especially at the beach. Like they say chicks dig scars.” – New York Rangers’ Michael Del Zotto [video – no visible blood]

What say you – do chicks dig scars?

It goes with this face.

TV Time Out

5 Jun

The Kings won again, they always do. I’ll let Chuck or Dawn recap it for you.  The game was exceptionally fun to watch, since I don’t really care about the outcome.  But here’s something I do care about:

HEY SID!  He was on to Jumbrotron and, of course, promptly booed.  Genius.  He hasn’t played against the Kings since November 2009.  What are you booing?  Because the Kings have half the Flyers, you want to boo Crosby?  Because the Kings made a Verizon commercial where they play the Flyers?  Oh shut up.  Boo Matt Duchene, he matters against your team!

(Sorry, /endrant.  It actually makes me laugh.)

Some of us were thrilled to see Sid.  He told HNIC that he feels good and is training hard.  The fact that Duchene was in the same suite almost makes Crosby look fun, no?  A little?  Eh, we can’t have everything.

Here are the celebs they could muster up for a Monday night in LA.  We want to sit by Alyssa Milano, she looks suitably concerned even when her team is winning.  And we all look good in her Touch women’s team gear.

Mikey Monday: Don’t Go

4 Jun

Now that it’s June, we might as well start talking about the elephant in the room: will the Caps re-sign Mike Green this summer?

Or, more accurately, does anyone want to see my meltdown if they don’t?

Before I put my head in an oven like Kate Winslet in The Holiday, please read this hilarious RMNB piece: “Year End Review: Mike Green.

Fidget will become a restricted free agent on July 1.  If this is new to you, read the rules here.  Basically the Caps have to make a “qualifying offer” equal to his $5 million/year salary to retain his rights.  Mike can wait to see what other teams might bid, then the Caps have the option to match it.  If Mike doesn’t stay, the Caps would get draft picks as compensation from wherever he goes.

Mike doesn’t want to leave me DC.  He told CSNWashington: “Absolutely, I love it here,” he said. “This is a great organization, a great city and I believe that we’re going to win a Cup here and I want to be a part of it.”

He’d better say that.

The story will come down to what the Caps are willing to pay.  Mike had a couple of killer seasons, including back-to-back Norris Trophy nominations and the standing record for longest goal-scoring streak by a d-man (8 games).  The last two years he’s struggled with injuries, a more defensive system, increasingly skinny jeans and falling down.

People love to blame Mike for everything, and I get it (sometimes).  It’s frustrating when key guys don’t produce.  If that were a song, the Caps could play it during pre-game skate.  He is not alone in the doghouse, but it is expensive to feed him at this rate.

Alas, here are the top 25 paid defensemen for last season [link].  Mike is #25.  Recent contracts to guys like Duncan Keith ($8 mil/yr) and Brent Seabrook ($7 mil/yr) have seen prices skyrocket for elite defensemen.  Shea Weber went to arbitration last summer and got $7.5 million, just to be an RFA again this year.  They’ll be printing money with his face on it.

The last two years, these guys are out of Mike’s league.  He hasn’t been an impact player.  Accident or incident?  Who knows.  But two/three years ago, Mike was right up there.  He’s still only 26 – Doughty (22) is the only d-man on the list who’s younger.  Do the Caps gamble on keeping their Young Guns together for the promise of another run?  That requires more question marks, like ‘Has Ovi turned a corner?’ and ‘Will Semin be Sasha Fierce every day?’ (Semin’s an unrestricted free agent, and that’s gonna get ugly.)

Maybe we just need more guyliner.

There’s also the fact that the Caps have &#%@ all else on the blue line.  Put Karlzner aside (iCarly is an RFA too – get paid, son!).  Who are we left with?  The stonewall defense pairing of Jeff Shultz and Dmitry Orlov?  Hamrlik and Wideman?  Wideman’s a UFA, don’t plan on seeing him in October.  Unless the Caps have their eye on another defenseman to fill Mike’s skates, this squad couldn’t stop the WUYS Kickball Team.

Back when Mike was… scoring more points? That hurts.

Blergh. I obviously believe in Mike.  Am I an eternal optimist or a sucker for a lost cause?  When he’s good, he’s so, so good.  Confidence and the consistency of regular play are the keys for Mike.  Right now, I want to grab him and shake him and make him write a list of ten things he likes about himself.  A full season can turn him around and he is worth $5 million, damn it!

If the Caps won’t take the chance on Mike, someone else will.  Let’s hope that day never comes – I won’t be the only one hitting a low point.