Political Correctness

27 07 2012

Well, in the wake of all things internship and real-life related (I know, it makes me sad too), I seem to have missed yet another moment of Timmy Thomas glory.

Let’s all think back to a time when hockey never got political.  Then Tim Thomas decided to voice his opinions.

Oh, Timmy Timmy Timmy…why?  First refusing to visit the White House, now posting on your facebook page about Chik-Fil-A?  Not only do I think this is a bonehead move for hockey reasons, but I hope he realizes that he played hockey in and won a Stanley Cup for the exact city that started the trend of expelling the restaurant chain from opening in the city.  Oops?

What do you guys think?  Let us know in the comments!

-M





And Then There Were Two…

18 03 2012

A hockey team is made up of 20 players:  eight wingers, six defensemen, four centers, and two goalies.  It’s not surprising that the forwards get the most attention, considering they’re the ones scoring most of the goals and making the fancy plays that hit the highlight reels every night on ESPN.  But, on any given night, a team could thrive or completely tank depending on the play of one person:  the goaltender.

These guys make me feel like I need to stretch every day, I mean really?!  They’re crazy flexible!  You think the goal can’t be that big, but when you have a puck coming at you at about 90 mph (or 108 mph if you’re Zdeno Chara, that friggin’ giraffe), your reflexes have to be crazy quick.  In my opinion, the thing the separates a good goaltender from a great goaltender is simple:  he’s not a sieve.  He’s big in the net, crazy quick, and gives his team a legitimate chance to win every game, no matter who the opponent is.  So, in honor of the smallest contingent of men in the NHL, we here at Hockey’s Finest present the Top 6 (because I couldn’t pick just 5) goaltenders of the 2011-2012 season.

6.  Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

I mean REALLY?!  Marian Gaborik is a dangerous shooter, and Smitty just closes the door.  Unreal.  But like I said before, a team is only as good as its goalie.  And Phoenix is absolutely not an exception to that rule.  When was the last time they were a legitimate threat going into the playoffs?  As of right now, they’re one point outside the race, sitting in 10th place in the West just behind San Jose.  But you had better believe that without Smith posting a .924 save percentage (tied with Kari Lehtonen and Pekka Rinne), they would be an afterthought sitting in the Western Conference basement.  The fact that they can be included in the playoff conversation, especially after their less-than-stellar play the last few season is remarkable, and Mike Smith deserves a huge hunk of the credit.

5.  Pekka Rinne, Nashville Pedators

Homeboy is ridonkulous.  He has to be one of the quickest goalies in the league, second only to Thomas the Tank Engine in Beantown (he’s got those short lil’ legs).  Rinne is truthfully the backbone of that Nashville team.  Yes, Shea Weber gets the bulk of the attention, but if you ask any NHL forward who they don’t like to see between the pipes on the other team, Rinne’s always in the conversation.  Plus, he has a sick name.  You can’t compete with that.

4.  Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Yet another very appropriate name.  He’s so speedy!  It’s hard for you as a player to look at the goal while you have the puck on your stick because, personally, I’d be thinking, “Oh $#!+, it’s JQ and I’m not gonna score, am I?”  NOPE.  He’s a wall.  Thankfully he gets the recognition he deserves, because even when the Kings hit the skids, Quick is always on the positive side of the conversation.  Great player.

3.  Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

I know some of you might be wondering why I put Thomas so high on this list, and it’s a valid question.  To me, Thomas is an elite goaltender.  Boston sports fans put their athletes on this pedestal of a God-like status, and Thomas has been up there for quite some time.  Yes, his save percentage is nowhere near where it was last year.  However, that stat was truly unreal, and I’m surprised he bounced back this well after the year the Bruins had and the short summer.  Plus, he’s just a solid dude.  I has a soft spot for Timmay, what can I say?

2.  Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

Talk about a dark horse team.  If you had asked any pundit out there what team would be the first o reach 100 points the year, very few if any at all, would have pegged the Blues for that distinction.  I put both of their goalies together because they’ve split the season almost down the middle and, truthfully, are one of the best tandems in the league (Thomas/Rask in Boston are the other).  Every night, no matter who seems to be between the pipes, St. Louis is solid as a brick wall back there.  They’re just nuts, I can’t even stand it.

1.  Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

Oh, Hank.  You’re so dreeeeaaammmyyyyy :) *AHEM* I mean, he’s very talented…..whatever, we all know Henrik is gorg, and then there’s the flow….is it hot in here?  Okay I’m done.  But on the serious, folks, isn’t it always the pretty ones that end up being the most talented?  I like to call it Taylor Swift syndrome:  They’re pretty, they’re nice, they’re talented, and you want to hate them on principle, but you CAN’T.  BECAUSE THEY’RE SO DARN NICE.  And Lundqvist has got to be one of the most humble, nice guys in the league, and to go along with how clutch he is every single night for the Rangers is simply remarkable.  I can’t even fathom putting someone else at the top of this list, even though they’ve hit a bit of a slump lately, but he’s just too good.  Even in the clip above, the Rangers were down by 2 with 8 minutes left in the 3rd period, and he just keeps fighting.  He’s a dirty goalie, in the best way possible.  Now if only I can find a way to just touch the hair and not get arrested…..ideas?

What do you guys think?  Did we leave anyone out?  Let us know in the comments!

-M





In case you missed it.

24 01 2012

I can’t image anyone with a Twitter Feed could have missed it at this point.

His statement:

“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT”

 

I couldn’t really sit here as the Bruins fan in the mix and not address this. It is big news drawing quite a bit of attention. 

I am not going to make any political statements. Yesterday was not about politics. Yesterday was a celebration for the Stanley Cup victory. When brought down to the basics,  hockey fans come from all walks of life: rich, poor, Republican and Democrat. The Bruins were at the White House for one reason- to accept a congratulations from our president.

What do you guys think?

– D





Tonight at THE GARDEN: Bruins vs. Canadiens…

12 01 2012

BUT FIRST…  with any conference rivalry comes the “away section” at the game. That group of people who show up and sit amongst the home team fans in their away team jerseys. And before the game comes the need to tour the city.

If you work in the city (and this applies to any city) like I do then my next statement is going to resonate with you: Nothing is worse than a tourist when you are trying to get something accomplished. Even something simple like walking down the sidewalk. To all you non- Bostonians out there let me give you some advice for when you visit our fabulous town: We move a little bit faster here and there is no time to take photos or use a map, and we don’t want to take a photo for you or help you read your map. In my short lifetime (I might be the oldest of HockeysFinest but I am not that old) I have traveled to my fair share of cities. I will admit Boston is not among the friendliest.

Today marks one of these instances where tourists take over. For many reasons, the Habs coming to town is brutal. It isn’t just a point of contention in my relationship (leaving one of us with bragging rights until the next match-up), or a rivalry that dates back to the inception of the league, but a day when the French invade our city streets. Surely you have seen the bus-loads of Frenchman emptying out in front of the Garden. Try getting stuck on the sidewalk behind those photo-snapping, French speaking Habs fans. But I digress.

The bigger issue here is not the bus-loads of fans coming for the game- I will throw you a bone, Habs fans. Your dedication is pretty remarkable but as someone who survived a long-distance Boston/Montreal relationship the drive really is no big deal- 5 hours- door to door- so if you are looking for a gold badge of dedication or some sympathy- fugetaboutit.

Let me summarize this post with the most important, unbiased, facts you need to know going in to tonight’s game:

Drum roll please…

Bruins conference record so far: 8-2-0 (First place in the N.East Division)

Canadiens conference record so far: 3-7-0 (Last place in the N.East Division)

YOU DO THE MATH.

In case you cannot read I think this photo does a nice job explaining:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidding obviously, but this photo gets me every time.  If you know anything about me at all you know I do not hate Canadians… or the fans of their team. How can I? Our beloved sport was born on their frozen ponds.

May the best team win… and incase the game isn’t favorable for Boston points-wise, you know the bruins won’t go down without a fight.  And who doesn’t like a good hockey fight, eh?  Especially a fight involving the goalies. EPIC.

D.





…I have a new boyfriend…

30 09 2011

It’s 11:12pm, 1 minute past 11:11pm. Wanna know what I wished for?!

Yep, I wished for him

I know, I know…I was at a Bruins game—so I should be cheering on my boys. But really, I couldn’t help but just stare at Ottawa’s lineup. First of all, let me just say that if Konopka winked at me ONE MORE TIME (a total of 3 for the whole night)…I would have hopped the glass and– well, I’ll stop myself there…. No, I’m not joking. There were 3 distinct winks right at me. Like: slammed-up-against-the-glass-looking-right-at-me kinda winks. **swoon** Second of all. To the 50 year old man who stole the puck Konopka threw over the glass for me….YOU SUCK! He was winking & smiling at me, not you. Pretty sure, given the chance, he’d take me over you. Give me back my puck.

Dear Konopka, I told my friend from Ottawa to let you know I’ll be waiting for you here in Boston next time you’re in town. You know….to give me my puck, of course… [insert evil smile & devil horns here]

And lastly, a HUGE thanks to my Uncle who gave me free tickets to tonight’s preseason game. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to sneak my way down (past security) and into glass seats. I LOVE YOU! (PS– keep the tickets coming my way).

Anyway, on to the game. Bruins lost, as you all know. But…who cares?!

Timmy was a Boss, as always…

Timmy T, ladies & gents. Timmy T!

Lucic scored. (the one Bruins goal of the night…)

All I could think about was the song "All I Do is Win" when he scored...

But…he couldn’t do it without the help of his BEST FRIEND (and one of the CUTEST bromances on the team—besides Seguin & Marchand):

Horty <3 back in action

Oh yeah, and for my Pens fans…here’s a throwback for ya:

Taught Kris Letang almost everything he knows...

I have to admit, Gonchar isn’t the most photogenic person on the planet. In fact, I even got a picture of him picking his nose….

the alcohol delayed my reactions....but I swear...his fingers were up there...

Alright, it’s now 11:35…and I’m dreading my alarm clock at 6am. So when you see me tweet about how much I regret coming to this game (& starting my pregame at 4pm) —just remind me that I had a hell of a time & now have a new boyfriend. If you could also remind me to pop some Tylenol for my hangover….you guys would definitely be the best readers EVER.

Konopka: I’m waiting for you. Next time don’t be such a tease. Stop by & say hi. I dont bite………hard. Go ahead. Call me a puck bunny….I dare you ;)

God bless digital cameras <3

 





Countdown: 30 days

6 09 2011

Alright guys. Sorry about the Countdown break. S & I are trying to recharge our “blogging batteries” before the madness of the season begins.

Today we have a tie. S & I just couldn’t decide on one…

There are Tim Thomas AND Henrik Lundqvist days left until the regular season!

There's no way S & I could decide on just one of these guys...

I’m so excited to see Timmy T back between the pipes this season. He only gets better with age.

We like them both too much...

And what can we say about this man?! I think it’s safe to say he only gets better looking with age! We hope you agree…

If you can’t wait that long, just remember that there’s only 2 weeks left until the training camps start! And if that’s STILL too long, I know the Penguins have a Rookie Game this friday night that will obviously be covered by a Pens Report–hopefully. 30 DAYS!





Operation: Find Lord Stanley = Complete

19 06 2011

Beware. Longest post ever, but I promise it’s worth it.

I’m trying so hard to find one word to sum up what has happened this weekend, but I can’t. I was apart of Bruins & Boston history yesterday and it was an unreal feeling. As much as I said ‘Thank you’ to the players as they walked by, most of them said ‘No, thank you!’ You could really see just how much this fan base meant to the players as they grasped their heads and shook it in disbelief. More than a million people flooded the streets of Boston yesterday just in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Lord Stanley’s Cup and the boys they love so much.

But, let’s back track to friday night where the adventure began. According to Garden security, Baby Seguin had just left for his apartment (which I now know where it is…mwhahahaha *evil laugh*), Brad Marchand was on the 80’s Party Bus all night, and Shawn Thornton had the Cup with his wife since it was their anniversary. Out of respect of Shawn & his wife, we decided we wouldn’t try and find the Cup at the restaurant they were at…we’d just try and scour the streets of Boston for the Party Bus.

For such a popular bus you would think it would be easy to find, right?! Wrong. We walked around from 9pm – 1am and found nothing. But that may have been our fault…we couldn’t resist the 100 hundreds of bars along the way. Between country night at Hurricane O’Reily’s and Piza & Beer at Ernesto’s in the North End…we had our hands full. So we ended our night at 1am when we realized Brad was still out there and we had no shot of finding him.

4am came all too quickly…especially when 5 people cuddled in a 1 bedroom hotel room. 5 people + one bed + 3 pillows +tons of laughter = zero sleep.

so peaceful at 4am

So we staked out our spot on Tremont Street and didn’t move (with the exception of one bathroom trip) until the parade started. I will admit, we overestimated the enthusiasm of the Boston fans…getting up at 6am would have worked just the same. But it’s all about the adventure, right?!

While sitting on the curb shoving munchkins into my mouth, Brad Marchand drove by….leaving me speechless. I kinda just pointed (still half asleep)…and continued shoving food into my face. Hopefully, he didn’t see me (even though we were the only insane fans on the street at 5am). I’m guessing he had a great time friday night if he was just leaving the Garden then.

Around 7am, guess who we saw running towards the Garden, claiming he was late…

Mr. Jack Edwards --and even though he said he was late, people still mobbed him. Poor guy.

As the hours crawled by, the streets began to fill with black & gold. Buses & buses of Boston Policemen were shuttled into the city as well as from other towns outside Boston. Only town police I didn’t see was mine…figures.

Lets fast forward to my first sighting of the cup, shall we?!

Big Z & Lord Stanley

The crowd went wild as confetti was blown into the air and Big Z hoisted the Cup in the air. What you don’t get to see in this picture is Z ignoring the Boston Police & Cup Caretaker’s orders of ‘staying on the duck boat’. Chara decided to be a rebel and take the Cup off the boat and into the crowd so a few lucky fans could get up close and personal. From there he walked down the route and handed it off to the next duck boat in line.

That seemed to start a trend because then this happened:

Shawn Thornton carrying Lord Stanley through the crowd

Sadly, I was too busy trying to take a picture so when I reached out to touch it, I was inches shy. Security was not happy, but the crowd sure was. I was almost pushed over the barrier a few times, but it was so worth it. The parade was nuts. The only players I wanted to see who I didn’t was Baby Seguin and Timmy T (but read on…it gets better). We decided after the last duck boat passed us that food was next (plus a run through some water fountains–it was blazing hot out). Once we heard the crowd roar by the Garden, we knew the boys were finishing up the route and it was time to make our way back to the Garden for some player sightings.

While everyone was waiting at the Garden entrance for the boys, what they didn’t know was that the players parked on an alley beside the Garden. So we made sure the grab a spot on the grass and keep our cameras handy.

Not even 5 minutes after the celebration ended:

Lucic and his girlfriend walked away from the Garden hand in hand.

As jealous as I want to be of her, I can’t be. They are absolutely adorable together and she is the sweetest girl ever. Great pick Lucic…she’s a winner. Keep her around.

While I was grabbing a picture of Lucic, I hardly noticed Horton walked right past me with his baby in arms and wife in tow and Shawn Thornton on the other side. I quickly said ‘Hey, you’re you.’ (like an idiot and speechless fan girl). He simply smiled and nodded. Out of respect for his wife, baby (who looked so scared–poor thing) I decided to put the camera away until they walked past me. His kid was super cute, but noticably overwhelmed by all the attention his daddy was getting so having a camera in the face wouldn’t have been a good idea.

Nathan, baby, wife, and Shawn Thornton

Once everyone caught onto what was happening, the chances of players escaping without a mob was zero and the Boston Police had to step in.

Daniel Paille was one guy who didn't seemed to be minding the attention. What a sweetie. Stopped and signed for young fans.

Across the street, Andrew Ference was escorted away but also didn’t mind the attention he got from the fans.

Ference...minus any 'glove malfunctions'

I laughed when I saw this:

Marchand's truck blasting "Black & Yellow" while honking and grabbing some attention

Then out of nowhere, a roar errupted from the Garden and everyone rushed the streets.

Big Z riding his bike home.

Sorry for the blur, I was mobbed. Right behind him was Patrice Bergeron, another guy who got mobbed.

Bergy and a hundred of his closest fans.

He also has the sweetest girlfriend ever as well. Someone pushed me right into her almost knocking her over. I quickly apologized making her laugh and say “It’s ok sweetie, you’re fine.” –what a trooper for putting up with her boyfriend’s famous-ness.

By the way: Chuck (from WUYS)…I now know where he lives. Let me know when you want to begin Operation: Kidnap Bergeron …I’ll help you out.

No, out of respect for him, I wont be posting the picture of his apartment. Poor guy couldn’t leave for hours because of the amount of people surrounding it. I looked on from a distance and laughed.

The next brave soul who was escorted out with 4 Boston Policemen was good ole Tuuka (note: not wearing Horton’s helmet anymore).

TUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKA

And last, but certainly not least, the man of the hour. Timmy T. Sweetest man on the face of the earth. Still smiled even if he was mobbed by half of Boston.

Timmay

The rest of the players had already left for Foxwoods, so that’s all the player sightings I have for you. I’m sure over the summer, there will be more as the mysterious–hard to find–Cup makes its way around the world (and Boston).

One more thing:

A lot of people in Boston were expecting Marchand to be borderline PKane (meaning drunken mess) and I sort of think he was. Or maybe he’s just a really bad singer…

While PKane dances, Marchand sings.

As much as I hate when Boston uses the Black & Yellow song (umm hello–that’s all Pittsburgh–leave it alone already), that was kind of funny. All in all, even though I only got 2 hours of sleep over the course of 2 days, I had an amazing weekend. I don’t think anything can top this. The images of Big Z rounding the corner onto Tremont St with the Cup in the air and Shawn Thornton running past me with the Cup will be burned into my memory for the rest of my life. I can only hope I can experience this again sometime down the road.

What a great season Bruins. You deserve this. Thank you.

I will be making a Hockey’s Finest flickr account and from there I’ll post all the pictures for you guys.