Closing Time

The greatest trophy in all of sports has once again been lifted. This year, by the LA Kings.

Talk about one hell of a way to win the Stanley Cup. Alec Martinez coming in the clutch AGAIN with the series-clinching goal, just like he did against the Blackhawks.

Alec Martinez

In all sincerity, congratulations to the LA Kings. That win was beyond well-deserved, especially considering the hole they dug themselves out of in the first round.

Forgot about that already? Logan Couture sure didn’t.

But at the end of the day, no matter what team you’re rooting for, the greatest sight every year is watching the Stanley Cup being hoisted over the head of the team captain and his teammates’. There is no emotion more pure than in that moment, and it’s special to watch. (Even from at home, on the couch.)

Then, there was the super heart-warming scene when Darryl Sutter’s son, Chris, got to raise the Stanley Cup; it was the highlight of the entire night. Also, since the entire LA Kings team considers Chris as their brother, it made it all the more special.

Chris Sutter Raises Stanley Cup

It’s all of these moments added up together that make me love being a hockey fan, even when it stresses me out. I have never seen celebrations year after year where the players excitement slowly dulls, simply because it is what they had worked so hard for their entire lives. The Stanley Cup is described to be the most difficult trophy to win, and seeing player’s reactions after winning it supports that theory.

Even if they’ve won it before, it’s still pretty special. We saw that last year with the Blackhawks.

And to be honest, I’m totally looking forward to seeing what Dustin Brown’s kids do with the Stanley Cup this summer. In case you forgot, they blew chocolate milk bubbles  in 2012.

Season after season, this is what 30 teams are attempting to win. For their moment of glory and a place in history. Season after season, fans hope that “this year” is the year when their team is the only one left standing. (And to see awesome moments like this.)

But no matter who is left standing, watching the Stanley Cup be hoisted is the perfect closure to each season. It’s the ultimate sign that the following day, all 30 teams are heading back to the drawing board for the next season.

So here’s to the LA Kings: 2014 Stanley Cup Champions.

(via King Doughty tumblr)

Especially Jonathan Quick for this gem. He’s seriously representing our home state, Connecticut, so well.

But also, here’s to the countdown til next season. Does anyone have an official countdown yet? I could really use it.

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Summertime Happiness

Thinking that hockey season is just a few short weeks from coming to a close is really depressing. Myself, Tina, and all other hockey fans around the world have to wait until September just for our favorite groups of guys get back together for training camp. Then, we have to wait another month for the regular season to officially start. That’s just so far away!

But then again, it’s SUMMER!

So when there isn’t hockey on tv, what is a girl to do? Oh yeah! Get on social media and find things related to hockey!

Like, “How To Be a Hockey Player” for all you summer / beer leaguers out there.

Or, “How The Playoff Beard Came To Be”

Or, there that whole, follow hockey players on social media to see what they’re up to. Because why not live vicariously through them?

Seriously, I wish I was in Matt Duchene’s shoes, hanging out with country singers in my spare time.

But let’s be honest, we’re way more excited for the new NHL season to start, especially when we have no stock in the Stanley Cup Final. Yet, I will be watching every single game, including tonight’s Game 7 between the LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.

P.S. – Go Hawks!! (because Patrick Kane is on a whole other level)

So during this all too long wait, players go to training camp. My particular favorites are Andy O’Brien:

And then, there’s Gary Roberts’ group / Biosteel #CAMP

To say the least, I’m excited for #CAMP 2014 and all things related to hockey players training. If it meant I could hang with those guys, then count me in for insane workouts and a strict diet.

As much as I love summer, I love hockey season even more. So I’ll enjoy the last few games before it’s 3-4 month hiatus.

Tis the Season

No, it’s not Christmas quite yet. But, personally, this is my third favorite holiday on the calendar (after my birthday and Christmas, of course).

It’s that thing 16 teams have worked so hard to earn since October.

IT’S PLAYOFF SEASON!

These first two weeks are the ultimate test of how faithful I am to hockey. There’s either three or four games each night and with finals creeping around the corner, I will be watching (almost) all of it.

the motto until someone wins the Cup

My bracket has been officially entered to NHL.com. I’ve joined a few leagues. So we’ll see where my guessing gets me in two months.

bracketYup, 32 goals will be scored in the Stanley Cup Final between Pittsburgh and Chicago. Whether or not any of that actually comes true is a long ways away. But tomorrow night is a start in the right direction.

Good thing school is not my number one priority, otherwise I wouldn’t watch games during group meetings.

Because if I miss any game, much confusion will follow.

(via http://thg-joshifer.tumblr.com)

Because I hate not knowing what is happening during the playoffs. I’d be like a lost puppy. And that’s not good.

though terribly cute

More or less, the Stanley Cup Playoffs manage to be some form of paradise and torture. All at the same time!

It usually starts like:

Then, when the roller coaster of emotions begins, I’m like:

And at the end of the day, I remember:

So good luck to the 16 teams (more luck to some than others). May the best team win 16 games.

To the Ship!

March Madness finally ends in April. Clearly, I’m not the biggest basketball fan ever, but knowing that championship season for like every sport is about to start is really exciting.

First, on April 10th and 12th, the Frozen Four is happening in Philly! Let’s go *insert team that will beat Boston College here*. I seriously hope that Union can knock them out before the championship game, otherwise, I have the Minnesota Gophers winning the whole thing.

Then, four days after that, mine and Tina’s favorite two months of the year officially begins: the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It’s on like Donkey Kong. Yup, I just went there.

The 8 teams representing the East have been  finalized and we know the Boston Bruins will be the top spot.

The other teams that have clinched a spot in the East are:

Pittsburgh Penguins

Montreal Canadiens

Tampa Bay Lightning

Columbus Blue Jackets

New York Rangers

Detroit Red Wings

Philadelphia Flyers

ugh, I still hate them

In the West, there’s a bit more instability. The Anaheim ducks have clinched the Pacific Division, but the top spot is still up for grabs. Also, as of last night, the Sharks and Kings will play each other in the first round.

Here are the seven teams that have their spots locked:

San Jose Sharks

Los Angeles Kings

St. Louis Blues

Chicago Blackhawks

Colorado Avalanche

Anaheim Ducks

Minnesota Wild

And maybe Dallas will clinch the last spot in the West? We’ll see!

So more or less, championship season is on and I’m stoked.

Yeah, that’s all I had to say.

The American (Un)-Hero

So at this point if you don’t know who T.J. Oshie is, then you’re clearly not a United States citizen. Or you potentially live under a rock.

this should be the background on every phone in the nation. it is on mine.

If these facts are true of you, here is yesterday’s unbelievable shootout between Team USA and Team Russia. Or T.J. Oshie versus Sergei Bobrovsky. Whichever sounds more appealing to you.

USA v. Russia Olympic 2014 Shootout

But don’t call him an American hero. He’ll just tell you otherwise.

oshie hero tweet

There’s nothing more amazing when a newly made hero humbly deflects this new-found attention and stardom. I mean, T.J. Oshie is now a common household name here in the States. If hockey was not something you were interested in before, his going 4 for 6 on the shootout has made you 110% invested in the remainder of the Olympic tournament.

Now that you’re all T.J. Oshie fans, here are some of his top moments from his NHL career.

First NHL shootout attempt.

Luongo no longer feels bad about this happening.

T.J. has also beat his USA teammate, goalie Jonathan Quick, one-on-one a few times.

Then, when you think he decided to show-boat, he doesn’t, because T.J. couldn’t be more of a down-to-Earth, humble guy.

oshie tweet

Thanks for being perfect! As if I needed any more heart break!

If you don’t catch my drift, the 27-year-old is recently engaged and about to become a daddy. Al Michael’s made it a point to awkwardly bring that up at the end of his post-game interview yesterday.

T.J. Oshie Post Game Interview

Oh! In case you weren’t completely aware of this either, Oshie amd Jonathan Toews attended the University of North Dakota together. Yeah, they were on the same college hockey team. Can you imagine the parties? Well, kinda.

Best part: They’re still friends.

Ok, back to the Olympics.

don’t forget Quick’s unreal play as well

Whether he wants to be called a hero or not, T.J. Oshie is officially an American icon and will forever be remembered for his unbelievable shootout performance.

You all should be hardcore Team USA fans and cheer them on when they play in the quarterfinals in a few days.