Tag-Archive for ◊ Blackhawks ◊

02 Aug 2010 Hey Hockey Fans — How is Your Summer?

Mike Modano and his Dallas Stars crushed the hearts of Buffalo Sabres fans one summer night in June 1999.

Do you need something to distract you from the stifling heat?

I’ve been enjoying the offering of 35 years of Stanley Cup Finals on the NHL Network. What they’ve done in their Raising the Cup series, is to take the Cup-clinching game of each year and show it in its entirety. True greatness! (Although not shown in Canada.)

We’ve been able to see some of these games before on their Vintage Games series, but the games are always compressed and chopped up. So when I see that they have five hours dedicated on August 6 for the 1999 game, excuse me while I get a little excited. Few, if any, have that entire game on DVD. Now, because of the NHL Network, we’ll have a chance to throw away our deteriorating VHS tapes of that triple-overtime fingerbiter.

I’ve watched bits and parts of most of the games, including the North Stars loss in 1981 to the Islanders and the 1991 loss to the Penguins. Why? Because they are moments of time that my favorite team will never get back. How great was it to see rookie Dino Ciccarelli, or a young Mike Modano weaving his way through defenders? To see Neal Broten as captain still encouraging his clearly outmanned team?

And what Canucks fan wouldn’t want to see the beloved Trevor Linden single-handedly almost beating the Rangers? Or a Blackahawks fan watch Chris Chelios in his full glory almost decapitating Larry Murphy, or the skinny kid Roenick try to get a puck past Barraso? Even though you know your team didn’t win, how great is it to see your favorite players back in their prime? AND… still on your team!

To me, the worst part of this series has been some of the game presentations. Sometimes you get the CBC coverage, but there have been MSG, and Pittsburgh feeds also. Brutal … that’s all I can say about those Pens’ feeds. Especially against the Blackhawks. Blech! Talk about homers! It makes today’s Avs and Ducks guys seem tame in comparison. (oh, and Jack Edwards, I miss the OLD you!)

Tom Mees formerly of ESPN

Tom Mees former ESPN SportsCenter anchor and hockey play-by-play man.

My favorite game so far has been the 1993 Kings/Canadiens game with the ESPN feed. It wasn’t seeing all the Habs players who ended up in Dallas, or seeing Denis Savard’s eyes glistening as he stood behind the bench, or even Barry Melrose’s superior mullet. Nope, it was seeing Tom Mees again.

Who is Tom Mees you might ask? Tom was hockey on ESPN. He was one of the original Sports Center anchors, but when the NHL started on ESPN in 1987, he became their chief play-by-play guy.  He was also instrumental in furthering NCAA hockey coverage, as well as bringing the Frozen Four to national prominence. Unfortunately, Tom died in 1996 of an accidental drowning. During the work stoppage, I often wondered what role his voice could have had in ending that madness sooner.

A few other goodies gleaned from the broadcast?

  • That Patrick Roy was about to become the first $3 million goalie.
  • That ESPN2 was about to be up and running.
  • The interview with Brian Bellows where he talked about how happy he was to win the Cup, but that he wished he could have won it two years earlier for the fans of Minnesota. I may have teared up at that.

So thank you NHL Network for sharing these full game gems with us. I’ll be watching for 1999 and 2000, even though the latter didn’t turn out the way I would have liked.

P.S.  This is a tough week for my old Norris Division heart. Congrats to Marty Turco, and a possible congrats to Modano, who I hear is about to sign a deal with the anti-Christ.  Patrick Kane is going to score a gazillion goals with Marty’s puckhandling skills, and Mike??? Continue being you.

Photos:  Mike Modano from Getty Images; Tom Mees from Wiki Commons.


01 Jul 2010 Going Loco! Second Season Starts — UFAs Galore!

“Loco del calor!” as David Lee Roth once sang (and as we in the South are experiencing). Plus, I refuse to use the word “frenzy” today. Here comes a blog-along, like NHL Draft Day. So bear with me as things get crazy!

*  Wow!   Dan Hinote an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Guess he’s retired.  Unless he’s going the player-coach “Slap Shot” route!

*  More once it hits noon!

* Michael Leighton re-signed in Philly. (Two-year deal.)

* Paille re-signs Boston. Savvy can address later!

* It’s noon.  Let the game begin!

*  Sergei Gonchar moves to Ottawa!

* Former Thrasher Braydon Coburn stays with Philly (two year deal, per Craig Custance). Thank you D-Wad for losing him for Alexei Zhitnik! Grrrr…


* People who do on-air fonts need to remember the difference between a person who “resigns” and a person who “re-signs.” HUGE difference, loves. /copyeditor rant

* Alex Tanguay (back) to Calgary Flames. Wow.

* Philly VERY busy! They got Andrei Meszaros from Tampa.

* BABCHUCK’S BACK. The ‘Canes pick up their on-again, off-again, sometimes troublesome Slavic baby.

* Wheee! Guillaume Latandresse re-signs with Minnesota Wild. Get WILD!!

* Marty Biron leaves Philly for New York Rangers — will he be the next Kevin Weekes — never able to secure that No. 1 goalie situation. I think he already is the new Kevin Weekes.

* Come on Thrashers — if you can’t get the Moose, get DAN ELLIS! YEAH! Come on!

* Former prime minister Paul Martin to Pittsburgh!? What’s going down with NJ?!

* Does letting Paul Martin go mean a Kovalchuk signing is nigh?!?

* Dying to see where Kovy goes — is he a greedy bastard? Or does he just dislike Atlanta’s direction? Does he go to LA to revive his wife’s singing career?!

* Little Philippe Paradis traded! Awww Mr. Glasses from last year’s draft to Blackhawks. Versteeg going back to Leafs.

* Zybenk Michalek to Pittsburgh. (Five years, 20 mil.)


* Colby Armstrong to Toronto — three years, $9 million. That’s a lot, I think.

* Dan Ellis goes to Atlanta rival Tampa Bay. On the plus side, no more Niitty in Tampa (for those who don’t know, Atlanta has never beaten Niittymaki). On the minus, oh Dan Ellis would have been a fabulous bit of marketing for the Thrashers.

* Olie Jokinen back to the Flames — really? Is that possible? Hard to believe that rumor.

* Jody Shelley to Flyers. Gosh. Excitement today. The Flyers are going wacky today?! No?

* Tough guy-o-rama: Derek Boogaard to New York. Yowza!

* I guess it’s OK to mention here that deep in my heart I still wish for Kovy back in Atlanta.

* Where will Slava Kozlov end up? I am afraid it might be the KHL.

* Surprisingly unsurprising or unsurprisingly surprising. Colby leaving ATL. No surprise. Everyone, myself included, figured he’d go rejoin the Penguins and his bromance-worthy pal Crosby. I wish him all the best in Toronto. He’ll be entertaining to the media if nothing else, because of, you know, who he is. ;-)

* Not all that surprising that Kovy is still unsigned. I am sure he has a million and one options to go through. But, wondering, if at some point he doesn’t start getting into a pickle in which teams keep spending and have less room for him. Therefore, he ends up with fewer choices?

* Chris Viv (@ajcthrashers on Twitter) reports that the Thrashers are “working” on their goaltender situation. Oooooh. I wonder if that just means re-signing The Moose. Or bringing back Michael Garnett?!?! (Whose hockey cards I still collect incidentally, and who has really done well in the KHL.)

* I like the Tampa Bay Lightning re-signing Martin St. Louis. He’s solid. He’s a Thrasher killer, but he just works there. Way to go Tampa on Marty and getting Dan Ellis, whom I coveted for the Thrashers.

* Where will Goddess Sasha fave Paul Kariya go?!?

* So Dan Hamhuis (great last name) to the Canucks. Interesting. I never thought Dan Hamhuis would be an edge-of-your-seat, where-will-he-go?!? kind of guy. No offense to him, but it’s wacky.

* So Thrashers free agents: Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Kubina, Eric Boulton, Evgeny Artyukin, (my dear and beloved) Vyacheslav Kozlov, Chrisoph Schubert, Chris Chelios (LOL), Marc Popovic and Johan Hedberg. NONE of these guys is signed. Yowza! Maybe Goddess Thorkhild has some scoop from Russia about Afinogenov, Kozlov or Artyukin (??).

* D-Men in hot demand today.

* Some of these deals just don’t thrill: Jeff Tambellini to Vancouver. Maybe if it was my team. Hmph.

* Chris Mason signs with Thrash — wow. I am going to need a few seconds/minutes/days to think about this, particularly the loss of fan-fave Hedberg, which this certainly means.

* Yowza — Chicago South for the Thrashers with Andrew Ladd coming to the ATL for a pick. Go Dudley??

* I haven’t mentioned Volchenkov. I guess I am lazy. Volchenkov to New Jersey. Blah, blah, blah.

* So from the Bizarro World Olie Jokinen goes back to the Calgary Flames. Interesting. Anyone have any thoughts?!

* As an aside, the Bizarro World is a place in DC comic book land where the inhabitants do the opposite. Of course anyone who watched “Seinfeld” is somewhat familiar with this world.

* Ivan Vishnevskiy we hardly knew thee. He goes back to Chicago in the Andrew Ladd deal. Weird.

* The dismantling of the Blackhawks begins. The Blackhawks do stock up in so doing. Goddess Savvy foresaw this in a wonderful post just days after the big victory.

* I am a bit sad that Thrashers pretty much ended up with nada for Kari Lehtonen, a former first-round draft choice, going second overall (after Rick Nash!!!).

* Two-year deal for Chris Mason from Atlanta Thrashers. I am not as excited about this as I might have been about Dan Ellis, though, it might turn out better? Thoughts anyone?

* If Olie Jokinen can go back to Calgary, how ’bout the Thrashers bring back Marc Savard! (Just kidding, Goddess Savvy.)

* @benthrashers tweets: “Chris Mason was 13th in the NHL in wins and GAA and finished all 61 games he started.” NICE!

* @craigcustance reports Johan Hedberg is likely headed to New Jersey. I feel a bit sad, despite the post above.

* If you made it this far in the post, thank you for reading. How about giving me a shout out? Leave a comment and say, “I read this post and I didn’t even get a stinking T-shirt.”

* Hey! The Sabres are going to sign brave, brave Jordan Leopold. And there was much rejoicing. (Later, they will eat Sir Robin’s minstrels.)

* Curious about Garnet Exelby — a former Thrasher and huge fan favorite in Atlanta. Also wondering about Manny Legace and Jose Theodore.

* We need some more bloggers — are you reading this? Interested? Message Goddess Kaatiya.

* If “frenzy” didn’t start with an “F” would it always be a “frenzy” on free agent day?

* Now that the Thrashers have raided the Blackhawks’ closet, when are they going to nab John Torchetti?!?

* It’s been uncannily quiet on the Kovalchuk front. KHL rumors — no? Any rumors? Only the tired LA one. Let’s hear something on Kovy!

* Selfishly, I want Kovy either back in ATL (not gonna happen, I know) or in the K. That way I can still cheer for him.

* Turco? Nabokov? Theodore? Toskala? What’s up boys?

* As a Thrasher fan I am thrilled that Thrasher killer Antero Niittymaki is OUT OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE! Yes! (As I mentioned above, the Thrashers have never beaten Niitty.)

* Awww … the Ducks re-signed Saku Koivu. Now I can continue to never see him anymore (alas).

* Saw that people call Dustin Byfuglien “Buff Daddy.” Now this I love. Perfect for ATL, yo.

* A source is reporting that the Los Angeles Kings are now the only suitors left for Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils are out — he’s too rich for their blood. I still have an inkling that the KHL could be calling. But maybe Kovalchuk’s wife wants to renew (?), rejuvenate (?), or in the eyes of some start a career in L.A. Hmmm…

* Where might a personal favorite of mine — Darcy Tucker — go?

* Gotta give props to @TSNBobMcKenzie — that dude’s got sources and sources and more sources.

* Well, that about wraps this up for me. What are you thoughts on the NHL’s free agent day? Share ‘em with us!


12 Jun 2010 Howdy, Blackhawks! Welcome to Hell!

Salary cap hell, that is.

I really, really hate to rain on anyone’s parade. As a fan of an Original Six team (which is also suffering from a Stanley Cup drought), I was happy to see the Blackhawks and their fans celebrate their well-deserved victory. But I couldn’t help but bite my lip and say, “but… but… you all realize what’s going to happen, don’t you?”

Folks, the Chicago Blackhawks have 14 players under contract for next season, and they are $798,003 over the cap.

That’s right. Over.

And that doesn’t even include Jonathan Toews’ $1.3 million bonus for winning the Conn Smythe Trophy (amusing to see panic over that, like it’s making some huge difference).

It's not your fault, not really

It’s the salaries, folks. Brian Campbell: $7.142 million. Patrick Kane: $6.3 million. Toews: $6.3 million. Duncan Keith: $5.538 million. Marian Hossa: $5.275 million. Patrick Sharp: $3.9 million. Dave Bolland: $3.375 million. Christobal Huet: $5.625 million. (!) Check out the gory details here.

And y’know, banishing Huet to the minors isn’t going to solve Chicago’s problems.

I’m sure there were plenty of tears flowing amongst the Blackhawks during their Cup celebrations, because they know. This team, this band of happy winners, will never be together again, not until they have their Stanley Cup reunions 20, 30 years from now.

Kane and Toews will surely be retained, and the Blackhawks will probably continue to be a winning team. But a dynasty? I’m afraid any hopes of that will very soon be tossed in the bin with the empty champagne bottles. It’s going to be one hell of a hangover in Chicago.


10 Jun 2010 Hossa and Stanley: United at Last

Marian Hossa

Leave a kiss but in the Cup ... Hoss, forget not thy first time.

Maybe the headline should have read “Hockey Gods, er, Goddesses Lift ‘Hossa Curse’”? Nah! Too easy.

Readers of this blog no doubt know of my great love and admiration for Marian Hossa. I’ve believed for years he didn’t deserve all the crap he’s taken from Pittsburgh Penguins fans who somehow feel he jilted them (get over it, you had him for three months!) and Detroit Red Wings fans who derided him as nothing but a mercenary (maybe that’s true, but it was his right — right?). It’s us Atlanta Thrashers fans who could really make a case for being the jilted ones. The ones he up and left as soon as the gettin’ was good.

But I’ve never thought of him that way. As I talked about in a previous entry, Hossa gave Atlanta many good years — years he never asked for (please recall he signed a long-term deal with the Ottawa Senators and was traded the same day for Dany Heatley — after being denied a no-trade clause). While he was in Atlanta, he became a huge fan favorite and, in my observation, got a heck of a lot more love on many days than did the ultimate Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk.

So with a tiny bit of sadness, I watched Hossa finally raise the Stanley Cup. I am happy for him. Short of some horrible misdeed, I will always cheer for him. I just wish, as I cheered him, he would still be wearing that glorious (!) Thrasher blue. Cheers Marian!

Photo: Marian Hossa by Getty Images.


08 Jun 2010 Chicago Blackhawks Logo: Should it Stay or Should it Go?
Chicago Blackhawks logo

Chicago Blackhawks logo

Last week, Damian Cox published an article in the Toronto Star discussing the Chicago Blackhawks’ logo suggesting it was perhaps time to abandon the stereotypical image.  Since I am of Native heritage, Goddess Kaat suggested that perhaps I weigh in on the topic.  We have had numerous conversations about sports teams and the use of Native names and mascots and she thought it was finally time for the Goddesses to address it.

Initially, I was hesitant.  After all, we have much larger issues that are pressing to First Nations peoples, but upon further investigation I was shocked to find that Cox’s article had spawned a racist backlash on numerous message boards.  This is not uncommon when people feel their sports team’s history is being threatened.  Nothing gets people as riled up as their home sports team and its traditions.  Yet the misinformation and racism that was being thrown out on various forums was too disturbing to ignore.

Let’s briefly address the issue that has caused the big uproar.  Cox claims that the Indian head logo is much like the cigar store Indian and that the time has come to stop using ethnic groups as mascots.  He erred on the side of caution – by proposing the removal of the Indian head on the Blackhawks’ jersey.

This is a legitimate debate.  Indians have had their names and likeness appropriated by the dominant culture for years.  Yet whereas some issues seem pretty cut and dry (the nickname “Redskins” or the caricature Cleveland Indian,) the Indian head logo is not.  Some Native tribes actually use this same logo for their own sports teams.  When asked about the logo, Blair Atcheynum, a Native and former member of the Chicago Blackhawks, said it didn’t bother him.  But to other Natives it is still a symbol of the European conquest and hegemony.

To me, the real issue seems to be the fallacies in arguing for keeping the logo and the racism that has reared its ugly head in response to such an article. Such as:

-       “It’s the third most popular jersey in the league!  Thousands of people spend their money on team apparel because they like it.  It’s stupid to get rid of it.”

This is the ever popular “bandwagon fallacy.”  Think 5 billion Chinese people can’t be wrong?  Why not?  Guess what folks, they can.  The thousands of Nazis all thought they were right too.

-       “I don’t see it as insulting. I see it as honoring Native Americans.”

Great.  But this isn’t about you.  It’s about the group that is being represented.  They should be the ones determining what is honoring and what is insulting.

-       “Other teams are named after ethic groups.  What about the fighting Irish?”

Ever hear the term “two wrongs don’t make a right?”

-       “People are too PC anymore.  Indians need to get thicker skins if they’re offended.”

Well, we have pretty thick skins as it is.  We wouldn’t have been able to survive 500 years of conquest if we didn’t.  It’s not being PC. It’s common sense.  I think we can all agree that if a team logo was an Arab man with stereotypical Arab features wearing a Muslim headdress there’d be trouble.

-       “I’m from (such and such) tribe and don’t find it offensive.”

We’re getting closer.  If the people that are being represented are not offended, then perhaps it’s not an issue.  But if some are, then clearly it is.

-       “That’s not offensive.  Offensive would be a dirty Indian huffing glue … even though it would actually be more correct.”

Wow.  Really?  And this was one of the tamer of the racist posts I saw.

Unfortunately, what this post really brought to light was that Native Americans are the one ethnicity that are still allowed to be represented without their consent.  It also revealed that such ugly racism is accepted when it comes to certain ethnic groups.  And while I was initially on the fence about this particular team identity, I am beginning to think that the casual acceptance of such logos only tells people that it’s ok to be not only culturally insensitive but outright racist about that particular group.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am a sports fanatic and can appreciate the tradition behind many teams.  I understand that many people’s identities are largely based on their sports teams.  I’m more than willing to engage in an intelligent conversation about the topic at hand.  I simply think that in today’s society it’s become an all about “me” scenario and what might be disappointing to an individual fan of a sports team, rather than the good of an entire group of people.

Seems a bit petty when put that way, doesn’t it?

Image: Chicago Blackhawks logo from NHL.com.


29 May 2010 Facing Off on the Stanley Cup, Playoff Beards and More

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 Conn Smythe Prediction
Amy Blackhawkscheck Michael Leighton Blackhawks in 7
Annalisk Blackhawkscheck Antti Niemi Blackhawks in 6.check
Kaat Blackhawkscheck Antti Niemi Blackhawks in 6.check
Sasha Philadelphia Michael Leighton Flyers in 7.
Savvy Blackhawkscheck Jonathan Toewscheck Blackhawks in 5.

Watercooler Chatter

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

Scott Hartnell takes the prize -- worst hair, worst beard, biggest beast. Thank you Mr. Hartnell.

Goddess Amy

  • 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.
    Niklas Hjalmarsson

    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

    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.

Goddess Kaat

  • 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!
    Blackhawks jersey on Michael Jordan statue outside of the United Center.

    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

    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

    Cristobal Huet's beautiful, colorful mask.

Goddess Sasha

  • 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

    Riley Cote's sexy chest.

  • Best hair: ** Patrick Sharp always has great hair.

    Patrick Sharp

    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.

    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.

Goddess Savvy

  • 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

    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.
    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.


24 May 2010 Some Guys Have All the Luck

Thrasher fan on Heatley trade.

A Thrasher fan simultaneously expresses his thoughts on Dany Heatley and Marian Hossa.

My dear Marian (Hossa, of course!) has once again made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s three years in a row, with three different teams — and that’s a pretty incredible feat. As someone who was lucky enough to get to watch Marian for many years in Atlanta, I know how good he can be. It’s time for him to step it up in the playoffs and get over the yips or whatever it is that has him underperforming. He’s better than his playoff stats show. He’s magical when he’s on. It’s time for him to bring out the magic stick and show everyone what I think we all know he’s capable of. I can’t help but think that, although the Blackhawks got this far in the playoffs without — for the most part — his otherworldly skills, Marian has to be more than a mere mortal before the hockey gods (and goddesses!) will allow him to lift the Cup. He just seems to have a curse on him.

I find it rather intriguing that Hossa, who was signed by, and traded from, the Ottawa Senators (to the Atlanta Thrashers) before the ink was even dry on the contract, was going up against the guy — Dany Heatley now of the San Jose Sharks — he was traded for way back when. For all of the gaffes Marian has made in the media over the last several years and for all the things he’s said that have pissed people off, I think he’s been nothing if not honest and hard working. I will sound like a bitter Thrashers fan but I think the exact opposite of “the Heater.”

Marian Hossa

Is this Hossa's year -- at last?

I’ve always understood Heatley’s desire to depart from Atlanta and try to cobble his mind back together without the daily, sorrowful reminders the city held for him. But he’s shown himself to be kind of a louse. Quitting, not just on the city of Atlanta and the fans who stood so firmly behind him, but on the Swiss team he signed with during the NHL lockout (to head to Russia to play for Ak Bars Kazan, a team loaded with NHL talent), then on the Senators last year, demanding a trade after signing a big old contract, which, of course, contained the dreaded no-trade clause. I’m not going to go so far as to compare him — either jokingly or seriously — to Stalin as one somewhat amusing columnist did back during last summer’s “Dany-gate.” But maybe the hockey gods have spoken after all. Hossa’s in, Heater’s out.

Or maybe I am just being ridiculous. Maybe it’s just the way Lady Luck danced … the cookie crumbled … the puck bounced. Whatever it is, I have always admired Marian Hossa as a person and a player. As a Thrasher fan, it sucks he’s gone and it hurts to know he didn’t want to be in my city on my team, but he didn’t choose Atlanta and I respect his decision to seek his fame and fortune elsewhere. In short, I wish him well and hope that, the third time is, indeed, a charm. There is a Russian proverb that asserts “God loves the number three.” Maybe this is Hossa’s year after all.

Photos: Thrasher fan by Goddess Kaatiya. Copyright 2007-2010. All Rights Reserved. Marian Hossa by Chris Stanford, chrisstanford.com.


11 Feb 2009 Cosmic Curse

Thrashers were robbed.  Most of the time it’s their fault.  Not this time. I think after two disallowed goals, the Thrashers were just deflated.  Kovalchuk was flying though.  Looked like vintage Kovy.  Overall, the Thrashers looked far better than they have lately.  Kari Lehtonen continues to play solid.  I am starting to think the Thrashers are just cursed this season.  Even when they play well, the Universe seems to conspire against them.

On a different note, I swear Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was drinking grape Pedialyte on the bench during a timeout. The label was ripped off the bottle, but it was definitely a Pedialyte bottle. This information has no real value.

It is hard to be a Thrashers fan. You have to find amusement where you can.

09 Nov 2008 Goddess Sasha Live Game notes

In case you were wondering, Goddess Kaatiya was visiting this weekend and we watched a couple of games to give you a unique perspective.  Here are my observations:

Thrashers at Sabres 11-7-08 , 3rd period

- Hedberg in net.  Kari still “under the weather.”  Someone on the Thrasher’s forum said they wondered when he’d be “above the weather.”
-  Kotalik fanned on the rebound. I’m glad I’m not the only one that does this.
-  Which Kovy is a smoother stick handler?  That’s what I want to know.
-  Oystrick who?
-  Kovy is working on a creepy molester moustache today
-  Why does the color guy call Enstrom “Tobi?”
-  Does everyone have a man crash on Hainsey?
-   Slava Kozlov. Dirty Russian.  ;)
-   4-4 Now.
-   Wow. Let’s state the obvious, guys. I think it’s pretty obvious you’d like the Thrashers score next.
-   Left buttock.  What is this?  A medical physical?
-   “Tobi.”  I am beginning to wonder what kind of relationship they have.

Calgary at Chicago 11-9-08

-  Patrick Kane scores.  He is such an adorable young man
-  Ouch, Kiprusoff.  Need I say more?
-  Double ouch.
-  Frost and Brouwer going at it. Who? Yeah, that’s what I was wondering.
-  Ouch, Sharp.  Are you ok?  Sarich – you should know better.
-  Can I say Patrick Sharp is cute without sounding like a puckbunny?  No?  Ok, well I’m going to say it anyway.
-  Oh, linesman hit dead on with a puck.  No sign of life yet.
-  Prust and Walker now go at it.  Hey boys, lets stop the dancing.  Start throwing them or stop torturing us.
-  Oh, Kipper.  I even feel sorry for you tonight.
-  Patrick Kane is so diminutive.  But awesome all the same.  Second star of the game.  First star personality.

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09 Nov 2008 Goddess Kaat — Live!

3rd period -Atlanta Thrashers at Carolina Hurricanes (11-07-2008)

- Johan Hedberg is so tiny … and cute with his moose mask

- Not a big fan of Darren Eliot. He was kind of a jerk when we called him on the Thrashers post-game show a few years ago. Total homer who refused to allow a negative opinion.

- “Pinching” — the word makes me laugh.

- Ilya and Afinogenov look very similar when they skate.

- There’s a whole lotta spitting going on!

- Darren Eliot calling Enstrom “Toby” throughout the game seems so unprofessional.

- Hainsey is such a weird last name.

- Slava is not a dirty Russian!

- Slava is so cute. I can’t stand it

- Oh the Little-White-Russian line is on fire!

- I think the Thrashers need to take a weekly trip to Fort Benning.

- Way to go Johan! Getting the left buttock on the puck!

- I flunked my first blog-along.

- Yay Thrashers.

2nd period – Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks (11-09-2008)

- I like Cristobal Huet’s mask.

- Patrick Kane just had a great goal and an even greater goal celebration.

- Facewashes rule.

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02 Nov 2008 Cry for me, Chicago
 |  Category: NHL  | Tags: ,  | One Comment

By now most of you have probably seen the video of Patrick Kane in tears over losing his first NHL coach, Denis Savard, when he was fired from the Chicago Blackhawks two weeks ago. If not, I highly recommend you check it out here:


The video, though not controversial, spawned comments across North America. Old traditionalists said Kane needed to grow “a thicker skin” if he wanted to survive in the league. Likewise, others interpreted his tears as a weakness that would be magnified once his beloved coach was gone.

To that, I say hogwash. You don’t earn the number one draft pick and a Calder Trophy, demonstrating the physical and mental fortitude to get through an eighty-game season, playing as a boy in a league of men. Folks, this is Patrick Kane. I’m wiling to bet he can cry every night and still score 70 plus points a season. So what’s the big deal? Let the boy show some emotion.

I’ll take it one step further. Let’s encourage some real sentiment! Instead of listening to the yawn-inducing, programmed media robots like Sidney Crosby blandly talking about “overcoming adversity” and “rising to the challenge,” let the guys talk about what pisses them off and make the occasional outrageous statement to the press. The NHL could use some harmless trash-talking — nothing like a good controversy to bring more fans to the sport.

Yes, the sport needs more Patrick Kanes: Talented guys who both play with emotion on the ice and wear their heart on their sleeve off of it.

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