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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.

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Foxy Friday: Adam Henrique

1 Jun

Intern Jeff Skinner is pissed.

Last year, zero Calder Trophy finalists were featured as Foxy Fridays.  Not even Rookie of My Life Logan Couture, and not counting the time Jeff posted a picture of himself holding a baby.  Zero legitimate Foxy Fridays.

This year, we’re giving them out like candy.  First Landeshirtless over there in Sweden, and that was just for falling on his face.  Now, and perhaps the most deserved Foxy Friday of the year: Adam Henrique.

We could give him three separate Fridays, really – one for his face, one for his goatee and one for this sweatshirt.  Do the Devils live in a pajama factory?  Can we go to there?  Throw in a couple of heart-stopping, dream-ruining goals and Adam could get a whole month of Fridays.

As we said in our Puck Daddy Beard Watch post, we are BIG FANS of this goatee.  He looks like the devil from a movie, who talks you into all kinds of really good bad ideas.  Right?  He’s all, “Hi, I’m Adam,” and you’re like:

(Intern Jeff Skinner just threw down his notebook and stormed out.)

Henrique grew up on a farm in Ontario – not sod, but still.  What goes on up there?!  He spent last season with my hometown-ish Albany Devils.  After a rough 2011 training camp, Adam was sent back to Albany, just to be recalled a week later to replace an injured player.  He stayed put in NJ and had 16 G/35 A in the regular season.

Don’t worry, this was his September hair.

He was named to the 2012 NHL All-Star Rookie team, but missed the event due to a groin injury.  Double bummer, as his family would have been there.  NYR’s Carl Hagelin replaced him and got a Foxy Friday out of it.  Cheater.

Cheekbones aside, Henrique is having a heck of  a playoff.  He scored the double-OT, game seven winner to eliminate Florida and move the Devils to Round 2 for the first time in five years.  Then he scored the game six OT winner that ended the Rangers season.  Did we mention he’s a rookie?

On that goal, NJ advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in nine years.  Does anyone know the record for most playoff series-ending OT goals in a season?  I bet it’s two.  And they both feel like:

SCF Game 1 didn’t go NJ’s way, but still needed OT to be decided.  Here are Zajac and AH talking about the loss [video].  It’s mopey – we recommend admiring his hairline instead.  It’s the most perfect example since *N Sync’s plastic helmet hair in the “It’s Gonna Be Me” video (BRB, dance break).

Instead here’s Adam failing the NJ Devils History Quiz – he’d never make it in a pageant – then contesting the results [video].  He even knocks Wikipedia.  Shall we go over there and add to his page?

Saturday Night is date night with Adam and Game 2 at 8 PM Eastern.  The Kings have won 211 nine straight playoff road games.  A win in New Jersey tomorrow would give them the NHL record for longest streak.  Remember though, the Devils lost the first games to both Philly and New York.  While those teams works on their tans, New Jersey and Los Angeles will step back into the ring.

You, feel free to wear your pajamas.

Sweatshirt appreciation, courtesy of fromtheblueline.tumblr.com.

Helpful Hint: Pronounce the “H” in Henrique.  Adam does. [video]

Foxy Friday: Dustin Penner

25 May

Foxiness can come in many ways, shapes, and forms.

Sometimes it can come in the way of physical beauty.  Other times from athletic prowess.  Still other times from humanistic endeavors like building houses for the poor.

In the case of Dustin Penner, it comes in two ways.

The Facial Hair and The Funny.

Dustin Penner is…subdued.
[click pic to watch the video]

When combined, this two forces have amazing foxy force, thus this week’s honor for the hero of Game 5.

There are few who can doubt that Penner’s “Man of the Mountain” facial hair is a thing of wonder.  Clearly it is one of the best things about the Kings’ unexpected journey from #8 seed to the Stanley Cup Finals.  (Besides the stellar goaltending of Jonathan Quick)

I’m legit obsessed with it.  Its fullness and ebony hue are exquisite.  It just looks SO RIGHT AND PERFECT.

If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
[click pic for video]

Then add to that his dry and witty sense of humor, and well, I’m in love.

Other reasons why I’ve seen fit to bestow this great honor –

  • He shares a birthday with my mom.  Momma Chuck would approve.
  • He’s 6’4″, 245 lbs – a whole lotta lumberjack for us to love.
  • He LOVES the LA Kings twitter.  So do we, Dustin.
  • He’s funny, just like his mom and grandpa.  Now this is a family BBQ what we’d love to go to. DP and I would crush the competition in the three-legged race
  • He injures himself eating a stack of delicious pancakes…then buts that self-deprecating humor to good use by hosting a charity breakfast at a local IHOP.

Hmmmmm….pancakes

  • He leads the Kings in penalty minutes (26) and has 10 points (3 G, 7 A) in 14 playoff games this season.
  • He scored the OT winner in Game 5 vs. the Coyotes to send the Kings to their 1st Stanley Cup Finals since 1993.  Like a boss.
  • He’s rocking the hillbilly smile and he don’t care who knows it.

So, come on!  Get on board this Kings bandwagon.  I even saved you a seat!
Also, THIS.

So fluffy. Want to touch.

 

Foxy Friday: Jeff Carter

18 May

We’re trying to keep Foxy Fridays to players still in the playoffs, since summer is long and cruel.  The pickings are getting a little slim.  But imagine if, say, the Wild had made it this far?  Blank pages, people.

Chuck is busy at her real job today (borrrrring!), so I’m honoring her turn by choosing a player she and Dawn both like.  Me?  I’ll decide by the end of this post.  A rather indelicate but obvious choice: Jeff Carter.

Only kidding.

No, really.

A Jeff Carter post takes time because I can’t stop laughing.  Not at his hockey skill, showcased from time to time, but because life is so gloriously full of bad decision yet to be made.  For Carter,  you want to make those bad decisions and wake up in the bottom of a rowboat during Spring Break, painted blue and holding a twenty dollar bill (really happened to someone I know, now starting a rumor that Carter was involved).

These are my Hollywood jeans.

Carts is 27, born on New Year’s Day in 1985.  He played six seasons with the Flyers before being rather spectacularly dumped by Post-It Note (okay, not quite) after the ’10-’11 season.  Stories and photos of his extra-curricular activities were the all-but-confirmed reason he and life-partner Mike Richards were sent packing. (Holy hyphens.)

Google the pictures. Carter should do a public service announcement called “Don’t Let Your Boss See This on Facebook.”

Wait.  The stripper pole in your place, or the one in mine?

Foxy Friday Flashback: Mike Richards

Carter landed with the Blue Jackets like a bug “lands” on your windshield at high speed.  That lasted until February when he was sent to the LA Kings casting couch to be reunited with Richie.  If hockey were more popular, this would have been show on Bravo.

Which member of this bromance married up?

Jeff, who has one 40-goal and two 30-goal seasons, didn’t exactly blast onto the ice in LA, with 6 goals in 16 games.  But remember when the Kings were LAST in the NHL in offense this season?  Things have certainly changed for them, and maybe for Carts.  His hat-trick on Tuesday night was pretty sexy.

This is my grown-up face.

The thing with Carts is he makes $6+ million/year and has 10 years (!!!) left on his contract.  He’s been called overpaid more times that he’s been called a sloppy drunk.  The only way to battle that is to settle back into his 2008-2011 groove…  after the Kings win the whole thing this year (Chuck and Dawn applaud) and we’re all invited to the party.

On our next episode: “Guys! We’re going streaking!”

How do I feel after all this?  Eh.  While Carts is chasing the Cup and working on his impressive beard, you can enjoy him.  I’ll look at this picture and think 1) Danny Briere might as well be wearing a snowsuit and 2) I still like him better.

Except for this – this is fantastic.  And only on Canadian Sportscentre.

Foxy Friday: Shane Doan

11 May

I forgot it’s Friday!  One night with zero hockey and I lose my mind, people.

Good thing I had already selected this week’s Foxy Friday: Shane Doan.

Things that are foxy:

– Birthdays the day, but not the year, before mine (Libras FTW!)

– Smiling even more than Intern Jeff Skinner

– Wilderness activities

– Eligible for my fantasy hockey team, The Hot Dads

– Still in the playoffs

Captain Coyote and his troops will begin their Western Conference Final series again the LA Kings on Sunday.  This season marks the first time the Coyotes have ever made it past the first round, and now they’re through the second.

Shane grew up in Alberta at his parents’ ranch that was also a Christian summer camp.  Doan debuted with the Winnipeg Jets in 1995, then moved the next year with the team to Phoenix.  He’s been in the desert ever since.

He and his brother were contestants on a Canadian reality TV show called “Mantracker” in April 2011.  They outpaced a professional tracker for 36 hours to win their segment.  I’m sure this is very exciting, but frankly Canada, I am not impressed.  Given the collective foxiness of your citizenry, I suggest something more like Canada’s Next Top Model Winter Athlete Who Does Squats.

Perhaps categories on this show can include wearing suspenders and squatting 200 pounds.  Contestants should also have a sense of humor for things like this:

Late in 2005, Doan was involved in a controversial defamation case against a Canadian Parliamentarian for an alleged on-ice derrogatory comment [link].  He’s been suspended twice (10/10 and 3/12).  This season, he had 50 points and has 6 so far in the playoffs.

I am so happy to see Shane Doan this late in the playoffs.  He’s one of those guys that’s been around forever and this could be his best shot at a Cup before retirement.  Can the Coyotes stop the landslide that is the LA Kings?  Can this beard grow all the way up to his ears?  We’ll find out soon enough.

Included in our Puck Daddy: Playoff Beard Watch this week, because we love it.

Foxy Friday: Alex Pietrangelo

4 May

Right now, things aren’t going so good for Alex Pietrangelo and his St. Louis Blues.

They are down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings and are on the verge of being eliminated, their hopes to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup almost gone.

We know what can cheer him up.

Being named a Foxy Friday!

Foxy Friday: Alex Pietrangelo

Hi. I’m Alex. Look at the perfect structure of my face.

Much like Zach Parise before him, we think that Alex would definitely be the sort of guy you’d like to take home to Mom.    Look at that face.  Adorable.

The 22-year-old Blues defenceman was part of a very talented NHL Draft Class of 2008.  He was selected 4th overall and was one of four defenseman drafted within the first 10 picks.

Also drafted in the top 10 that year – Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn, Colin Wilson, Mikkel Boedker, Cody Hodgson – just to name a few.

He’s the only normal one. Stamkos is a noob. Doughty’s hair is a hot mess.

His nickname is “Jello”.  When we go to see the Blues play someday, we’re totally making a sign that says “There’s Always Room for Jello!”

He has a serious bromace with Michael Del Zotto and Steven Stamkos. And when we say serious…we mean S-E-R-I-O-U-S.  Like junior high bromance level.  Pietrangelo comes across like a guy who remembers where he came from and the friends that helped get him there.  That is all sorts of foxy.

He’s a serious contender to win the Norris someday.  By all accounts, the 6’4″, 207lb d-man has all the skills required to become one of the best defenseman in the league.  While he got out to slow start in St. Louis, the organization and coaches speak so highly of him, that you have a feeling that his time will come.  Rumor has it that he has patterned his game and his shot after Nicklas Lidstrom.  And we all know what his career has been like.

Photo courtesy of Jen Krechel Photography

He has got poise. He can speak in complete sentences.  And he’s funny too.  Man knows his way around an interview.  After his NHL career is over, he definitely has a future in broadcasting.  

He has NHL in his blood.  His uncle, Frank, was a goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Hartford Whalers (Long Live the Whale!)

Other foxy factors…

  • He had 12 G, 34 A, for 46 points this season.
  • He and his defense partner, Kevin Shattenkirk (GO BU!) became the 4th set of d-men in Blues history to each record 40+ points in the same season (MacInnis/Pronger, MacInnis/Steve Duchesne, Jeff Brown/Scott Stevens).
  • Youngest player in club history to record back to back 40 point season.
  • He was the 2nd defenseman in Blues history to record 6 GWG and 6PPG in the same season.  The other? Al MacInnis.

So there you have it.  All you need to know about #27 Alex Pietrangelo, this week’s Foxy Friday.
We might be more than a little in love with him.

Foxy Friday: Zach Parise

27 Apr

It’s astonishing that we’ve never Foxy Friday-ed Zach Parise before.  He is the epitome of what your mother hopes you bring home someday – handsome, talented, and he can read.  Seriously, he does charity work for the NJ library system.  To dislike Zach Parise is to hate reading, and your mother would be very disappointed.

You already know that Zach is American, because he scored the gold medal game-tying goal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.  Remember that game all your friends were watching, screaming at the TV and saying “hockey is so great!”?  You resisted throwing Doritos and politely reminded them you’ve been saying this for twenty years.

Well, that’s how I remember it.

No doubt you heard a hundred thousand hockey fans collapse from exhaustion just after midnight when the Devils finally scored in double OT to beat the Florida Panthers and advance to the second round.  I couldn’t watch the game, but you guys were stressing me out just via Twitter.  I’m sorry I missed it!

Celebrating the singe-OT winner in Game 6.

Parise has played seven seasons for the Devils.  He missed most of ’10-’11 with a knee injury then signed a one-year contract in July 2011 to avoid salary arbitration.  In October he was named team captain, but has not signed a long-term deal and would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.  

The team has openly said that signing Zach is their top off-season priority, while right now everyone is focused on winning [New York Times].  It’s a tough situation when every win only makes Parise more attractive to other teams – teams with salary cap space and early-ended playoff dreams of their own, like Ottawa and Florida [BleacherReport.com].

“He’s the heartbeat of our team,” head coach Pete DeBoer said. “When your captain is your hardest-working player, he drags people with him, and that’s a great situation to be in as a coach.” [NJ.com]

Off the ice, Zach enjoys golf (we enjoy driving the cart) and cribbage (don’t know what that is, willing to learn)  His favorite movie is The Count of Monte Cristo, and we assume he’s also read the book.  Just watch this interview… but don’t show it to your mom.  You will never hear the end of, “When is that nice Zach boy coming over for dinner?”

I’m sorry, but ‘Press Your Luck?!’  The Gravitron?! I haven’t been thrown up on in one of those since day camp.  Come on, my mom will drive us to the fair!

Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Your Last Name Here, it's so nice to meet you.

The Devils open their series vs. the Flyers on Sunday at 3 PM.  After what happened in round one, you can guess what I would like Zach & Co. to do to Philadelphia.