Party Rock Is In The HOUSEEEE TONIGHT

14 06 2012

Here’s just another example of two things I love coming together:  ice hockey and Jimmy Kimmel.  You’re welcome.

-M





We Are The Champions

12 06 2012

There you have it:  The Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup Champions.

This is the stuff that’s only written in fairy tales.  An eighth-seeded team, with enough heart and determination, knocking off the top 3 seeds in the Western Conference, and taking the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals in a dramatic and dominant fashion.

I can’t even begin to say how happy I am for the LA Kings and their fans, but first we have to acknowledge their opponents:  the New Jersey Devils.  They fought back in an amazing way, coming back from a 3-0 game deficit in the SCFs and gave the Kings a legitimate run for their money.  Honestly, if the Kings hadn’t played the Game 6 that is now etched in the record books, the Devils could have easily taken the series.

But, alas, the hockey gods didn’t want it that way.  The entire hockey world respects the Kings and their organization.  See for yourselves:

The great part about all of the praise for both organizations is that it shows the class of hockey players, officials, and executives.  The exchange between Martin Brodeur and Jonathan Quick, in particular, was great to see, because they have such a mutual respect for each other.  At one point, I could read Brodeur’s lips and he told Quick that he was “incredible”.  I mean, seriously?  That’s a unbelievable compliment coming from a future Hall of Famer like Brodeur, and obviously well-deserved.

Conn-Smythe Trophy

Was anyone surprised?  If Quick hadn’t gotten the Conn Smythe, I think a riot would have broken out in the streets of Los Angeles, Vancouver-style.  No?  Too soon?  Meh, whatever.  But back to the point, Quick’s performance was unreal.  Completely dominant from start to finish, and he never missed a beat.

16 wins, 4 losses.  Only one road loss.  A .946 save percentage.  WHAT THE WHAT?!  He’s amazing.  Can’t even handle it.  So deserving, and he’s got a long career ahead of him.

Mike Richards and Jeff Carter

It’s really almost funny at this point.  The picture says it all.  When both Richie and Carter were traded away to markets that, let’s be honest, weren’t the most desirable for them as players, you had to wonder if they’d ever see the success they deserved.  And now look:  Carter was traded at the deadline from Columbus, the bottom of the NHL food-chain, to the Kings, and reunited with former-Flyer Richards.  It’s a cinderella story if you’ve ever heard one.

Colin Fraser

Frazzle Dazzle, I’m so proud of you.  As a former Chicago Blackhawk and member of the 2010 Championship team, I always root for those players.  Kings fans, keep this in mind:  you can and always should root for the players that are important to you, no matter where they’re playing.  It keeps historic moments like this fresh in your mind, and you’ll never get over it.

Fraser was a key 4th line role player on the Kings this season, and was on the ice when the hole blew to end Game 6.  He’s a classy guy, a classy player, but was the ugly duckling of hockey this season.  No one wanted him.  The Oilers and the Kings went back and forth trying to figure something out for him, and thanks to the Kings organization and coaching staff, Fraz has carved out a nice spot for himself in LA.  Let’s hope he sticks around, because he deserves it.  Plus, he’s the first of the 2010 Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup again.  Git ‘er done, Frazzle Dazzle!

Darryl Sutter

Holy schnikes, talk about a 180 degree turn.  Darryl Sutter, HUGE ups to you, sir.  To take an organization and a team that was completely discombobulated (I must’ve swallowed a dictionary, that word is longgggg) and dysfunctional, to getting them into the playoffs, and winning the Stanley Cup as an eighth-seed is incredible.  And to think he did it without ever cracking a smile.

Oh wait, there it is.

It’s moments like this that make me love hockey.  I just fell in love more and more with the sport, watching history happen, and seeing the relief on the players’ and coaches faces to have achieved the most difficult trophy to win in all of sports.  It’s incredible.

Honestly, I could go on and on about Game 6, the hit on Rob Scuderi, and every “what if” moment imaginable.  But I just want to say one thing to the Kings fans:  ENJOY THIS.  It’s history that you just witnessed, and something that will forever go down as the night that cheers erupted from the Staples Center without Kobe Bryant on the court.  I hope LA becomes more of a hockey town, because this organization deserves it.  It says a lot about the resilience of the players and the front office to continue to play and work for an organization that might not have the greatest presence in its location.  So cheers to you, boys, you deserve it.  Now party like you’re Patrick Kane, but try not to get arrested or let the front office get mad at you.  So basically…..party like it’s 1999.

-M





Holy Potential Sweep, Batman!

6 06 2012

It’s D-Day, ladies and gents.  Game 4, Devils vs. Kings, with a potential sweep on the line.

I don’t even want to think about the game, because I’m going to be jumping at every time move those players make, and my new roommate is going to think I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

And what do I think of that?

Yup.  That’s how I feel about it.

Anyway, how awesome would it be for Richards and Carter to hoist the Cup after being traded away from the Flyers, separated for the first half of the season, then reuniting and becoming the dynamic duo they once were on the east coast?  I’ll tell you how awesome:  it would be nearly as awesome as Stammer growing his flow back, Jeff Skinner and I becoming besties, and Captain Sexpanther walking into my apartment right now and proposing to me COMBINED.  Okay, it probably wouldn’t be as awesome as me and Tazer getting’ hitched, but it’ll be close.

Get excited, everyone.  No matter what the outcome of this game, it’ll either extend an already exciting series, or give a franchise it’s first ever Stanley Cup.  Leggo.

-M





It Makes Boys Out of Men…

5 06 2012

You know that feeling you get in your throat right before you cry? Well — this commercial spot did that to me.

Think about it.

“It makes boys out of men” … how appropriate!

*L





Kings of the Castle, Masters of Their Domain

31 05 2012

*If anyone gets the reference from this post’s title, you’ll be my bestie for life.  But seriously.*

Oh, the Kings.  A team after my own heart.  I’ve always rooted for the underdog, and since every “favorite” team (save for the New York Rangers) lost in the first round of these seemingly backwards playoffs, this year will be forever known as the year of the upset.  I’m not even going to go through which teams lost in the first round (because then I’d have to relive the heartbreak of my Blackhawks blowing it), but you all know what happened.  And let’s be honest, if your reaction wasn’t:

…then you’re either crazy, a liar, or both.  It’s going to be a special thing to see Los Angeles win, but then, there’s the other guy.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils, though not as much my favorite as the Kings are, they deserve to be here.  How they dethroned King Henrik and the New York Rangers, coming back from 2 games down in the Eastern Conference Finals will be the stuff of legend.  Every game was a classic in that series, and they worked hard to get to the Finals.  No Doubt.

Now, I’m not going to make any predictions for this series.  But, if I’m honest (which, lezbehonest, I always am), I want the Kings to win for a few reasons.  One, Colin Fraser is on that team, and I always root for former Blackhawks.  They’re coached by Darryl Sutter, another former Hawk.  And, finally, probably my most legitimate reason, I want Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to succeed.  As much as I despise the Flyers, and they are the former captain and alternate captain of that team, what happened to them last summer was brutal.  They were the faces of that franchise, and were blindly traded away.  Carter struggled quite a bit this season with injury, and it’d be nice for him to get some vindication.

Either way it goes though, I’m so excited for this series.  It’s gonna be magical :)

-M





Another One Bites the Dust…or 3

22 04 2012

First it was the Red Wings.

Then San Jose.

Now, it’s the Pens. S & I aren’t quite ready to discuss our boys. We’re still kind of bleeding …. and numb. As are Wings and Sharks fans.

But isn’t this what we love about playoff hockey? The outcome is never certain. The announcers and analysts always say “Just make it to the Playoffs and see what happens.” Because it’s true. Anything can happen.

As much as today’s Pens loss hurts, we’re classy fans. We give credit when it’s deserved.

1. Nashville Predators (4-1)

Not gonna lie, the Preds weren’t on my list of picks but they made it! Pekka Rinne DOMINATED this series. Doing everything a goalie should do. He’s the one who held his team up. He’ll be unstoppable.

So, a big congratulations to the Nashville Predators. Good luck in round 2!

Giving Music City something to cheer about! Good job boys!

2. St. Louis Blues (4-1)

I had you pegged from the beginning. Nothing else is needed to be said. You won it. Good job. Now rock it next round!

When was the last time St. Louis was in the playoffs?! Well deserved!

3. Philadelphia Flyers (4-2)

I won’t lie. S & I took a liking to you this season (thanks to HBO). It kind of sucked to have to put aside our love for you this past week and a half. Every time Hartnell, Grioux, Talbot, or Simmonds did something good — we kind of (reallllllllll deep down inside) cheered. This was the only series I refused to bet on. I mean how could I? Two powerhouse teams going at it. Ask anyone. I bet at one point or another — they were unsure by who they originally picked to win.

To say this was the most INSANE series, is an understatement. I lost count of how many times I wanted to throw up all my nerves into a toilet. And we’re upset. We really are — but this isn’t what this post is about. We’ll “cry” on Break Up day and write up all our emotions in a different post. This is to congratulate the Flyers team/Organization/fans. You all deserve it. You put up a good fight. And I couldn’t be more proud of how it ended. Every player left their hearts out on that ice. Despite one minor — ok, major — disappoint of a game… ::cough::GAME 3::cough:: Everyone seemed to go out with a bit of class and dignity left.

Hate for certain players aside, I truly hope the Flyers go far this year. In fact, S & I have adopted them (and a few other teams) for the rest of the playoffs. I can finally dig my Giroux shirsey out!

As much as you want to hate him -- you just can't. Look at that face!

Since our boys are O-U-T…S & I have to find other ways to occupy our time. Like I mentioned above — we’ve already discussed which teams we’ll be cheering on.

L’s Adopted Teams:

West: Blackhawks

East: Flyers or Rangers (because I love Brian Boyle) I love my Bruins (sometimes) — but I think it’s someone else’s turn. (Geez! Indecisive much? I say you pick the Rangers, just to make things more interesting. -S)

Stanley Cup Champions: Blackhawks — if I had my way. (I knew there was a reason I loved you. -S)

S’ Adopted Teams:

West: Blackhawks (Can’t believe I am moving there in a WEEK! EEEEPP! -S)

East: Flyers (I may or may not have a serious weakness for Talbot and Simmonds. I will now go hang my head in shame in the corner of my bedroom. -S)

Stanley Cup Champions: Blackhawks (Who’s surprised? A girl needs to be selfish every once in a while…especially if my Pens are no longer contenders -S)

———————-

Hey S, 

How cool would it be for you to be in Chicago for a Hawks Cup win?! #SuperJealousBestFriend (I’d turn into #SuperStalkerBestFriend and hunt down that cup! Woop! -S)

———————-

Have your teams been voted off? Have you adopted any others? How are your picks going so far?! Let us know :)

*L

PS– for all our beloved Pens lovers, we WILL be posting something. Probably after the Break Up day when we’ve had the time to lick our wounds and muster up the strength to write. (And after I finish my last final EVER! -S)





This Means War

18 04 2012

This is it, folks. Do or die.

Game 4 of the Penguins vs Flyers series. I can’t believe that after tonight it’s possible that our boys (the one’s who WERE favorites to win the Cup) won’t be playing again until October. GASP — that’s like 160ish days away!! I, for one, am not ready for the season to be over. In fact, the stress of the playoffs is good for my diet. So I would love to keep this going.

For those of you who live under a rock and/or haven’t been following this intense series because you are occupied with another team or have a social life (unlike me), why don’t we show you a little of what happened in Game 3.

That game is getting a lot of heat. This is just my opinion, but I feel what Captain & Tanger did were fine. *shrugs* Fights happen. No biggie. It kind of lifted the team up. Showed that SOMEONE on that ice cared. It’s the stuff that Asham (cross check to Schenn and sucker punch to the face), Neal (completely blindsided Couturier), and Adams (instigated Hartnell in a fight) did that I have a problem with.

Playoff hockey has always been an entirely different animal. Faster. Scrappy. There’s a fine line between what’s right and what’s wrong. And sometimes “in the heat of the moment” the players don’t use their brain ::cough::NEAL!ASHAM!ADAMS!::cough::. This sport is getting more dangerous by the day. Just look at what happened to Hossa last night in the Blackhawks game. Torres completely LEVELED him. Hossa was lifeless and taken off by a stretcher (Heard he is fine and at home recovering! Thank you Hockey Gods!). Or how about the hit on Nathan Horton last year? Do y’all remember that one? I couldn’t get his face OUT of my head.

The Penguins need to play like tonight is Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. There’s no room for error– THAT INCLUDES THESE STUPID PENALTIES!!!! With Neal, Asham and Adams suspended I will admit, the chances of a win is slim. But maybe they just needed to hit rock bottom– I can’t imagine them going anywhere but up.

While struggling through work today I put on my EPIC playlist and This Means War by Nickelback came on. Say what you will about the band (because it seems like everyone and their mother has a problem with them — EXCEPT S & I) but this song just seems to sum up tonight’s game. Or series, for that matter.

Penguins fans! Let’s rally. These boys need us.

I got you, Captain!

Don’t lose hope just yet. There’s still at least 60 minutes of play left in this season. Look at how many people predicted Penguins in 7! Maybe this is just all part of the master evil plan the Hockey Gods put in place.

I just can’t see it ending this way. Not with a sweep. So dig down deep. Muster up ALL the power you can and send our boys all the good vibes you can. You can do this, boys. Screw “Game 4”. It’s a “Game 7” to me.

Go ahead, give this a listen. Get amped!

-L





Beasts of the East

12 04 2012

Time for M to show the Eastern Conference just a little bit o’ love.  And heeeeeere we go!  UPDATE:  I know I’m posting this after the first day of games, but the internet in Italy doesn’t exactly understand timeliness.  Or, for that matter, working in general.  Booooo. -M

Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals

This would be a matchup to watch had the Capitals performed the way they should have during the regular season.  But, inevitably as they always do, the Caps find a way to disappoint.  But who knows, maybe that frustration will lead to a deep playoff run.  Personally, I wouldn’t bet on it.  The Bruins are just too good, even though I don’t think they’ll make it to the finals this year.  Thomas is still an elite goaltender, and if you’re Washington, you can’t just expect those issues to go away.  The Bruins have a grittier, deeper team, and they’re going to make a deep playoff run, starting with knocking off Washington.  Bruins in 6.

Ottawa Senators vs. New York Rangers

Once again, this has to be no contest.  The Rangers have dominated the regular season, and have an elite goaltender (with some sick flow) in Henrik Lundqvist.  Not to mention, they have the character of a championship team.  You see the guys in the locker room they have, they personalities on that team, and honestly I think because to the last few Stanley Cup Champions.  With the Bruins last year you have Marchand, Ference, Seguin, all guys that know how to keep it loose in the locker room.  With the Blackhawks, it was their role players like Burish, Versteeg, Byfgulien, Ladd, and Madden.  This year, the Rangers have characters like Boyle to balance out the offense talents of Marian Gaborik, among others, and I truly think this team can be unbeatable if they keep their eyes on the prize.  Rangers in 5.

New Jersey Devils vs. Florida Panthers

I can’t tell you how happy I am that the Panthers made it into the playoffs.  Dale Tallon made too many big offseason moves for them not to have drastically improved upon previous years, and they did.  I don’t think this series will be a blowout, because they’re both fairly evenly matched, but just for the sake of nostalgia, I’m hoping for a Panthers win here.  They deserve it.  And, as you’ll recall, I did predict they’d win a Stanley Cup in the next five years, so they need to get a little more playoff experience under their belts so they can git ‘er done.  Panthers in 6.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

It’s only appropriate that I put a picture up of these two teams getting into a scrum, because let’s face it:  this is going to be an all out fight to the finish and a series for the record books.  You couldn’t have scripted it any better.  I see this series as the Vancouver-Chicago series from last years playoffs.  It’s two teams that legitimately hate each other, both are extremely talented, and both like to get under the other team’s skin (though I think Philly is a bit better at that).  This series is for sure going to 7 games, and I think there are a few keys to show which team could come out on top.  For the Flyers, it’s their goaltending.  Bryzgalov is a talented guy, no question, but when he hits slumps, he just takes an epic tumble like that girl Scarlett from YouTube.  But, the Flyers have Giroux, Jagr, Hartnell, Briere, Talbot, and all these other offense threats on their teams that give them a chance to balance out potentially poor goaltending every night.  With that said, the Penguins are just too good to be true.  Crosby has scored 25 points in 12 games since coming back for the second time from his concussion.  But when you hear the names Malkin, Neal, Dupuis, Staal, Kunitz, Letang, etc., you might start shaking in your skates a bit.  Too many Penguins are having career years for them to waste away in the first round.  They need to keep a cool head and not let Philly get under their skin, because we all know that’s what they do.  And, to be honest, it works, so why stop?  The Pens need to just play their game and respond to all the trash talk by winning hockey games.  Penguins in 7.

-M





It’s Knuckle Puck Time!

10 04 2012

Favorite time of year.  EVER.  Except for maybe my birthday (for those of you who are dying to know, my 21st is coming up on April 15!)  I love the playoffs, because it’s completely anything goes.  Every fan comes out with their predictions and hopes to God that they can say “I told you so” to their friends in the form of stealing their money from the pot.  My friend’s family does a pool every year, and even the dog gets picks.  Take a wild guess as to who has won the last 2 years.  The dog.

Always wondered how they did this without opposable thumbs

So, even though I’m your resident Western Conference girl, I’m gonna give you my picks for both the Eastern and Western Conference first rounds in two different posts just to give your eyes a break form reading my obviously riveting ideas.  Get pumped guys, $#!+ is about to get real.

That's right, Georgie. Time to put on your big boy pants.

Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings

This is definitely a matchup that will be an interesting one to watch.  The Red Wings are a staple in the NHL playoffs, having qualified for the playoffs every season since 1990-1991 (not including the lockout).  The Predators, however, have lost in the first round of the playoffs 5 years out of the 8 they’ve qualified in their short history.  But I think this year will be different.  They have home ice advantage, and Detorit is constantly riding the struggle bus on their road games.  Shea Weber and Ryan Suter can shut down Pavel Datsyuk, not to mention making major contributions on the power play.  Then again, the Red Wings are the Red Wings.  Their roster is stacked, with players like Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Kronwall, and Stuart, making them a very intimidating team on paper.  At the end of the day though, with their injury problems and road woes, I don’t think that this is Detroit’s year, especially with a first round against Nashville.  The Preds have waited long enough, and they deserve to make it through the first round, especially with their depth.  Predators in 7.

St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

I’m still in shock that St. Louis is sitting just below Vancouver on the top of the Western Conference.  But this is why I love hockey:  any team could just be the one to win it all.  Alright, let’s get down to business.  In my opinion, it’s just this side of no contest.  The Blues are going to take this series.  They’ve dominated the regular season and took over the toughest division in the NHL, which, in case you’ve forgotten, holds 4 out of the 8 playoff spots.  Their goaltending tandem is completely solid, as opposed to the Sharks, whose goalies have struggled throughout the season.  Even given that, the Sharks are a playoff-built team.  They’ve made it very far in past years, but have yet to reach the coveted finals and seem to always fall short.  This might be another year for that.  Blues in 6.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings

Ah, the Canucks.  Anyone who has read my posts before knows what I think of the Canucks.  I’m not a fan.  However, they’re the President’s Trophy winners for the second year in a row, so you have to give credit where credit is due.  Truly, I think the Kings have a shot with a goaltender whose name should speak for itself.  Jonathan Quick is one of a few goalies in the league that send shivers down the spine of any player skating towards him down the ice with the puck on his stick.  But, aside form the goalie duel that will be one of the best, I think this will be one series that will absolutely go to 7 games.  Like everyone says, now the regular season doesn’t matter.  It’s win or go home, and I’m hoping for an upset on this one.  The Canucks aren’t drastically different than they were last year or the year before, aside from the acquisition of David Booth from Florida earlier in the season.  I think they can only make it past the first round if Roberto Luongo stays hot, because when he’s on he’s great, and when he’s not, it’s a collapsing Jenga tower of crap.  Their forwards are phenomenal, but they’re such perfectionists as well.  You can see it so easily when something doesn’t go their way, they start yet another collapse of frustration.  And for those of you reading this thinking I just want an upset because I’m not a huge Vancouver fan, just hold your horses.  I simply think the Kings’ cooler heads will prevail.  Kings in 7.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Phoenix Coyotes

I wish I could say I wished for this matchup.  If we’re being honest, I wanted both Phoenix and Chicago to make it to the semis, but unfortunately for me and one of these teams, they can’t both make it.  Now, given past experience, normally this would be a shoo-in for the Blackhawks to win the series in probably 5 games.  However, the Coyotes have won 3 of the 4 regular season meetings with the Blackhawks and have one hell of a solid goaltender in Mike Smith, who is coming off of an absolutely stellar 5-game run.  This is an underdog team, and the underdog fights a hell of a lot more because they feel they have something to prove.  Not to mention, poor Captain Sexpanther is still sidelined with an injury, which could prove to be a major break for the Coyotes.  With that said, I don’t believe that Phoenix is a playoff-built team.  They don’t have the playoff experience to survive against a team that is truly stacked.  Basically what I’m saying is forget the regular season.  The Blackhawks are the legitimately deeper, better, more talented team, and I think the only thing that can save the Coyotes is one hell of a performance from Mike Smith.  He’s their not-so-secret weapon.  With that said, if the Blackhawks don’t underestimate the Coyotes and Captain Sexpanther comes back healthy, they should be unstoppable.  Blackhawks in 6.

What do you guys think about the Western Conference?  Let us know in the comments, and get your playoff beards ready!

-M





Because It’s the Cup

26 03 2012

Hey guys! So, I’m alive. Thank god. Because I’m pretty sure I was dying last week. Mono. Pneumonia. I dont know…but it was something. I think Montreal won…big time. (Ps– I’ve learned Habs fans really aren’t that bad)

Anyway, now that I can finally focus on something other than sleep I figured I’d dedicate this post to the shiny trophy that is up for grabs starting in a couple weeks. This is Hockey’s Finest first year covering the entire season so we pretty much can’t wait.

There have been a few commercials released and by far my favorite is King Henrik’s. He’s just so…

or sexy.

Are you all ready for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Who do you want to see reppin’ your Conference in the end?

*L