So here we go again with another Goddess pick off. This time, we are selecting who we believe will win the major categories at the NHL Awards today. As always, we made our selections without seeing one another’s answers or consulting anyone else. Let’s see which goddess gets the bragging rights for this pick off round. For the record, Goddesses Annalisk, Kaat and Savvy tied for the win in our last pick off. After you’ve read our picks, why not give us yours? [Editor's note: Updated with winners 10:35 p.m. ET]
Goddess Face Off
(I’m sick and tired of Ovechkin and Crosby.)
(I don’t have a clue why Mike Green is a finalist –again!. It’s best DEFENSEman.)
Lady Byng Trophy
Jack Adams Award
(Did an amazing job amidst all the chaos.)
(The obvious choice.)
(Overcame serious obstacles.)
(Proving that superstars usually aren’t the best coaches.)
Pearson Ted Lindsay Award
Now that you’ve seen our picks, why not give us yours! Leave us a little comment, won’t ya?
It’s a Goddess smackdown! Ha ha! Just kidding. But it is that time again. Time for the Hockey Goddesses to make their fearless predictions. Much like we did with our Olympic pick off 1 and 2, read the tea leaves and let you know what we see. We’ll also share our thoughts on some marginally related — but fun — items, like our vote for the “best playoff beard.”
We made our selections before the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs without consulting one another. So, now that I have kept you in suspense — here are the results! After you read, let us know what you think!
Goddess Face Off
Stanley Cup Winner
Blackhawks in 7
Blackhawks in 6.
Blackhawks in 6.
Flyers in 7.
Blackhawks in 5.
The Goddesses want to give a special award to Scott Hartnell. We appreciate irreverence. We appreciate the desire to make a bold statement, but none of us seems to appreciate Scott Hartnell’s special brand of wolfishness. (We prefer the Peter Forsberg kind of wolf.)
Scott Hartnell takes the prize -- worst hair, worst beard, biggest beast. Thank you Mr. Hartnell.
Ugliest player: * I don’t think either team has anyone truly stomach turning in the looks department; but I think that Scott Hartnell has to be the player who best personifies ugly in the way he plays.
Prettiest player: Blackhawks- Niklas Hjalmarsson You would think being a Swede would give him a head start; but hi!, you’ve met Daniel Tjärnqvist and the Sedin twins right? Patrick Sharp is a very close second as the brunette contender, but I think Nikky is just lovely.
The Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Disappearing act: I don’t know if there has been one from the Flyers, which is probably one of the reasons they’re in the Finals. On the Hawks though, I have to go with Brian Campbell. He’s being paid a lot of money and, though his regular season was pretty good, in the playoffs his plus/minus is higher than is point total.
Best shirtless: I’m sure there are more out there, but I was in a time crunch and I remembered this one. Yeah, he’s a douche sometimes, but he helped my Ducks win a Cup and he’s pretty built too. I give you Chris Pronger (pictured, left, with former NHLer Eric Lindros).
Chris Pronger, left, and Eric Lindros
Best hair: ** It has to be the mullet on Pat Kane. OMG … it’s so bad that it’s fabulous.
Best playoff beard: Best playoff beard — I hate him but Scott Hartnell has to win. He also comes second to Pat Kane in the best hair department.
Worst playoff beard: It’s gotta be Danny Briere. It’s just only a tiny bit thicker than Sidney Crosby’s but Sid is 10 years younger.
Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining): Cristobal Huet. It’s beautiful with the Native American headdress on it. I do miss Patty Lalime’s mask with his signature Marvin the Martian wearing the headdress though.
Ugliest player: * It’s so predictable that I hesitate to select him, but Scott Hartnell, come on down!
Prettiest player: * Marian Hossa. When he was traded away, it was like they traded away my best friend and I suddenly had to find a new best friend. I am still looking. He’s pretty when he is playing well. He’s Magical Marian and I hope to see that gorgeous play come out to, well, play. I hope he silences the critics.
Disappearing act: I predict one of the two starting goalies goes AWOL. It would be so easy to cherrybomb on Hossa, who is having a rough go.
Best shirtless: My selection is the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center. Someone has placed a Blackhawks jersey and helmet on it and it just ain’t right as we say down South. Jordan deserves to be left in his old Bulls jersey, not dolled up like the famous Manneken Pis in Brussels, Belgium whom they love to dress up in costumes. No, no. MJ deserves the respect of being in his own gear. Therefore, he’s my pick for “best shirtless” — or would be best shirtless. He shouldn’t be in that jersey!
A Blackhawks jersey was placed on the Michael Jordan statue outside of the United Center.
Best hair: ** I am kind of loving Marian’s shag. He’s got a nice looking Beatles vibe going and I dig it. Enough of the spiky. He’s going all sleek and silky. Nice! (His beard looks well looked after too. Extra points!)
Marian Hossa's new 'do.
Best playoff beard: Yeesh, that’s a tough one. I am not much of a beard fan in general, but I rather like the beards that haven’t come in all the way or are patchy — you just know that bothers the poor guys. I find it endearing and, dare I say it? Cute. There, I ruined my rep.
Worst playoff beard: Chris Pronger. I am baffled by his lack of a beard at all. Come on!
Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining): Cristobal Huet. I really like the feathers and the continuity of a theme. It just looks cool. I know some people will think that makes me uncool and that I am stereotyping or being otherwise rude. Not in the least. I just think it looks awesome. Only great love is intended.
Cristobal Huet's beautiful, colorful mask.
Ugliest player: *I’m interpreting like I always do. Literally. It is a close race between Scott Hartnall and Ian LaPerriere.
Prettiest player: * Niklas Hjalmarsson. Just check him out.
Disappearing act: I will predict that Patrick Kane does the disappearing act .
Best shirtless: Riley Cote. I’m not sure what is best, but it’s best something.
Riley Cote's sexy chest.
Best hair: ** Patrick Sharp always has great hair.
Patrick Sharp and his fabulous hair.
Best playoff beard: Arron Asham – he looks Asian with his..so much so the third search suggestion when you start to type in your google toolbar is “Arron Asham Asian.”
Worst playoff beard: Simon Gagne — Because it’s just ugh.
Simon Gagne, left, and Danny Briere were both tagged as having the worst playoff beard.
Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining):Both are very un-inspiring I think.
Thoughts: I think Philadelphia will win — a bunch of no names, barely squeaking in and have scratched and clawed their way to the finals.
Ugliest player: * Hmmm… Carcillo or Hartnell… Carcillo or Hartnell… oh great. Now I have to go wash my brain out with soap.
Prettiest player: * Patrick Kane. I like pretty boys with curly blond mullets. Reminds me of my college days.
Patrick Kane wears hockey hair nouveau (and a fauxhawk?).
Disappearing act: Chris Pronger. Wishful thinking, I know. But I’m hoping somebody does this to him:
Best shirtless:[Editor's note: Goddess Savvy is cheating again! Ha ha! -- Admin] The Boston Bruins aren’t in the final. :-( He’s pretty anyway: Matt Hunwick.
He's not in the finals, but he still looks good with his shirt off: Matt Hunwick.
Best hair: ** Kane, of course.
Best playoff beard: Danny Briere, because it’s so… sad. Like a little lost playoff beard.
Worst playoff beard: Jonathan Toews, hands down. He looks like he’s molting.
Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining): Tuukka Rask. He’s not remaining? He SHOULD be!
Thoughts? Blackhawks in five. (I wonder if Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks GM, will cap off the series win by hoisting the Stanley Cup and saying, “Après moi, le deluge”?)
* Note 1: Prettiest/ugliest player was open to interpretation. It could have meant looks, style or play, however the goddess chose to interpret that question. * Note 2: There is not a “worst hair” category as it is clear that Scott Hartnell would sweep it.
Photos: Patrick Kane by Getty Images; Matt Hunwick by Stuff Boston; Marian Hossa by The Associated Press; Michael Jordan statue by The Associated Press; Niklas Hjalmarsson from NHL.com; Chris Pronger and Eric Lindros from deadspin.com; Riley Cote from fllyers07-08.blogspot.com; Patrick Sharp by NHL.com.
Once again, the Goddesses gazed into their crystal balls and here is what they see for week two in the men’s Olympic tournament. Note: None of the goddesses consulted with the other, and this was posted before the Canada-Russia game.
Best uniforms: Sweden… classic and classy
Best sighting from another league: Double J — Jaromir Jagr — from watching him play and some of the interviews, he’s grown up a lot I think.
Biggest surprise: Probably Norway. They just about pulled it out last night and looked really good.
Best non-NHL player: Tore Vikingstad from Norway. Boy has some skills.
Ugliest player *: I don’t know … ugly is in the eye of the beholder. But if I had to pick one, maybe Andrei Markov or a couple of the Belarusian guys.
Prettiest player *: Probably Toby Enstrom of Sweden.
Most unusual name: Tore Vikingstad… it’s perfect for a Norwegian.
Best goalie mask: I really like Ryan Miller’s mask a lot.
Worst/lamest goalie mask: I can’t think of one. They are all pretty great.
Best uniforms: USA: I’m a homer, but you can’t beat the red, white and blue throwback-kinda jerseys they wore in their win against Canada. A bit of a nod to the 1980 Miracle on Ice team. Classic. I like them even if they do look a bit like the New York Rangers out there. Honorable mention to the Czech Republic with their old school coat of arms on the front. I just dig them.
Best sighting from another league: Richard Zednik. He’s always been one of my favorite players. As regular readers may know, I have a strange array of favorite players and he is one of them. So great to see him playing and playing well — especially after the horrible skate to the neck. Honorable mention: Jaromir Jagr. The NHL lost a character when he defected to the KHL.
Biggest surprise: That either Canada or Russia will go home sans medal. And how awesome Jeremy Roenick has been as a color commentator for NBC. As the old McDonald’s slogan goes: “I’m lovin’ it.”
Best non-NHL player: Jaromir Jagr. As much as I want to say Richard Zednik. It’s Jags.
Ugliest player *: Phil Kessel. He’s played like crap so far. Has he even been on the ice?
Prettiest player *: Ryan Miller, baby. He’s been incredible.
Most unusual name: Janis Sprukts. I was fascinated by this last name when I saw him play in the KHL. It still gives me a mixture of intrigue and giggles. And it looks awesome in Cyrillic. To wit: “Спруктс.”
Best goalie mask: Henrik Lundqvist always has cool masks. I am digging his Tre Kronor/Lady Liberty mask. Kind of the duel personality — Sweden’s crowns and a symbol of the U.S. on the other.
Worst/lamest goalie mask: I know not everyone can afford to get a new mask just for the Olympics — or can they? They probably can, but are too superstitious or something. But I think Miikka Kiprusoff is lame for wearing his regular season mask. And, under normal circumstances, I love that mask of his — with the bad ass flaming skulls and all. It’s awesome, but I’d like to see something new for the Olympics. Show a little flare, Miikka baby.
Best uniforms: Germany. The Germans always have great uniforms, no matter what the sport.
Best sighting from another league: Rosie — Vladimir Ruzicka — coaching the Czech Republic! :-)
Biggest surprise: Besides the obvious? U.S. upsetting Canada and Canada needing a shootout to beat Switzerland?
Best non-NHL player: n/a
Ugliest player *: Tomas Plekanec. He’s always the ugliest player, and that goes both ways.
Prettiest player *: David Krejci. He’s getting lots of well-deserved recognition from NBC’s announcers.
Most unusual name: Is there any better name for a Norwegian hockey player than Vikingstad? Did he make that up?
Best goalie mask: Tomas Vokoun. I like the Czech coat of arms. (Props to Miller, though, for including a shamrock on his mask as a tribute to Jim Craig.)
Worst/lamest goalie mask: Thomas Greiss. He’s using his Sharks mask. Fail.
* Note: Prettiest/ugliest player was open to interpretation. It could have meant looks, style or play, however the goddess chose to interpret that question.
The Hockey Goddesses have thrown their hats into the ring, dropped the gloves, gone mano-a-mano … er, well, something like that, to bring you our Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey predictions. (We’d have done women’s hockey too, but were a little late in starting and they’ve already played too many games — given us a bit too much of a preview.)
So, herewith, and without consulting one another are our picks — a few bold ones in there. We’ve also picked our tournament MVP and a players we expect to surprise you — maybe for good or bad. Amy selected two possible MVPs — we’ll let her get away with that, but just this once. She also selected a second set of winners — BEEP — not gonna happen. You gotta go with your gut. So for the purposes of this table, it’s first instincts. For the record, Goddess Amy said her table would look different if the goalies wigged and stunk. For the purposes of our exercise, we are assuming everyone is firing on all cylinders. Maybe we’ll do the all-oops team picks tomorrow. Ha ha!
Anyway, let’s see who comes closest … and see if you agree with our picks. If not, tell us why.
Jarome Iginla or Alex Ovechkin
** It should be noted all picks were in before the men’s tournament began.
** Kaat selected the people of Canada as MVPs. Not only being a proud kid of a Canadian mom, but also she thinks they will push the Canadian team past the Red Machine. Selecting a player, she’d go with Sidney Crosby. How Cliché !