Happy Birthday Andrew Ference

Today is Ference’s 35th birthday!!!

Andrew Ference Headshot

 If you look up the definition of gentleman in the dictionary you’ll find Andrew Ference.

Here are some reasons why we think everyone should strive to be more like him…

1. His smile…

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2. He participates in the NOVEMBER PROJECT

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The November Project is a free support system of people who want to work out during the cold months of the year. They meet early in the morning in locations across North America.

http://november-project.com

3. He advocates for Alberta’s bullying helpline (1-888-456-2323)

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4. He can erase his beard and sneeze off his mustache

5. His ink

6.  Mr. and Mrs. Ference are ADORABLE

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7. Not to mention their daughters

8. GINGER BEARD

9. His goalie skills

10. He’s hilarious

11. He’s not only friends with Bergy but is also classy as f&@#

12. He visits hospitals (with his BFF)

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13.  Even Big Z loves him

15. … near… far

14. Chipotle

15. He has a best friend named Maggie


So while Ference is busy setting a great example for the rest of the human race… What have you done lately for someone else? Make Ference proud, not only today on his birthday, but everyday.

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And the Oscar Goes To…

It’s no secret awards season is officially upon Hollywood. The Golden Globe and Grammy award nominations were released not too long ago, meaning (my favorite part) the red carpets will be rolled out and the glamazons get to show off what great (and not so great) dresses their stylists picked out for them.

what I live for besides hockey

And when Jennifer Lawrence isn’t tripping up the stairs to receive her Academy Award, I’m totally wondering about whether or not this will be the year Sidney Crosby gets another Hart Trophy or if Steven Stamkos will (eventually) make an impressive return from a broken leg and receive the Masterton. Casual thought process right?

Since this is my “happy place,” when the NHL’s hottest best players get dressed up in John Varvatos suits, strut their stuff on the red carpet, and then eventually up onto the stage if and when they receive their award. As much as I want to talk about seeing all of this in July, I think some predictions are required at the almost-halfway point of the season.

Hart Trophy (League MVP) – Sidney Crosby

Sid the Kid (although he is 26) has been, once again, on a roll with points and making some stellar plays in the process. I must pick him. Here are a couple highlight reel worthy moments from this season:

Art Ross Trophy (Most Points) – Sidney Crosby

If you’re going to be league MVP, you may want to have a substantial amount of points. Please see above if you forgot why already.

Rocket Richard (Top Goal Scorer) – Alex Ovechkin

As much as it is to my disdain, Ovi is probably going to run away with this award, unless Alexander Steen goes on some insane goal bender. Or my other theory that Steven Stamkos makes some miracle-like come back and scores 30 goals in his first 15 games post-injury. Oddly enough, Ovi did have a four goal night against the Tampa Bay Lightning not too long ago.

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman) – Duncan Keith

He’s been on fire as of late, with an overall 28 assists and 30 points. He essentially is running the Blackhawks dominant power play. Let’s be honest, the guy has won it before, what’s to say he can’t do it again.

Goal vs. Flyers (12/11/13)

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) – Tomas Hertl

Anyone else remember that really impressive four goal night against the New York Rangers? You know, when that fourth goal is probably going to be nominated for goal of the year? Hertl is still rolling with the Sharks and leading all rookies in goals (15) and points (24).

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender) – Josh Harding

The guy has been impressive. He’s the reason the Minnesota Wild are actually doing well right now. He’s second in the league for games won (17) and tied for first with 3 shutouts. Harding has also posted a current league best of 1.49 Goals Against Average and is second with a Save Percentage of .939. Impressed much?

Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward) – Patrice Bergeron

Umm, hello! The guy is a class acts as well as an insanely amazing two-way player. His only competition at the end of the day is going to be Jonathan Toews. But I think since Patrice kinda got snubbed last year, he’ll definitely receive the Selke this year.

Jack Adams  (Coach of the Year) – Bruce Boudreau

The Anaheim Ducks are playing some great hockey as of late. It’s not just the big guys like Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Teemu Selane that are doing all of the heavy lifting, all members are contributing to their success. They have a home record of 13-0-2 and through the last ten games are 7-1-2. There’s no other explanation that some great coaching by Boudreau.

Any agreements? Disagreements? Leave some thoughts in the comments!

The Night Hockey Broke My Heart

Forewarning: This isn’t our typical kind of article. So if you’re looking for pictures, gifs, and funny commentary, please continue to the next article.

It’s an unfortunate reality that  in life our favorite things, people, and sports teams inevitably disappoint us for something they did that we simply cannot stand behind.

Clearly I am an avid hockey fan. I have a passionate love for the game that my parents and non-hockey-fan friends see has borderline crazy.

On more than one occasion, I have been thoroughly disappointed by the Penguins before. Whether it was the end of the 2011-2012 season with their last game against the Flyers ending in absolute bedlam, along with the atrocious  playoff series to follow or in the Eastern Conference Final last year where they were swept by the Bruins and the rivalry that has budded since. And I’m sure Tina can say how many times the Bruins have disappointed her as well.

Leading up to my next point. In my time as a hockey fan, the game itself has never disappointed me. But there’s a first time for everything.

Last night was nothing but normal here at school, Tina and I in separate rooms watching the Penguins @ Bruins final regular season game for this year.

Then, incident #1: Brooks Orpik laid a huge hit onto Loui Eriksson within the opening minute. I’m not going to discuss whether I think it was a clean or dirty hit, but this hit set the stage for the rest of the game seeing as Eriksson had to leave the remainder of the game and no penalty was assessed on the play.

Now mind you, at this point I’m looking at the TV like “Oh God. Here we go again.” Because as tough as the Penguins are, hard hitting will always and forever be the Bruins dominant territory. If you watched you know the game got more and more intense throughout the first period. Shawn Thornton being the “stick up for your teammate” kind of guy was going after Orpik to make sure he answered for his hit on Eriksson. However, if you know Brooks’s game as well as I do, you know he’s not the kind of guy who feels the need to fight in order to settle a score for something he did. Thornton continued to harass him without answer and was given a minor penalty for roughing about 6 minutes into the game.

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The game continued in its rough nature until the two most highly controversial plays of the night. Let’s go in chronological order and discuss James Neal’s run-in with Brad Marchand first.

Everyone knows I love Nealer, but his knee to Marchy’s head is something I will not standby and defend him for. It made me even more upset when in his post-game interview he tried to play it off as if it was an accident and he didn’t notice him laying on the ice. I call shenanigans on those statements. Luckily Marchand was okay and able to finish out the game. As for another post-game interview, specifically coach Dan Bylsma’s, I applaud him for calling Neal out and saying he didn’t make the effort to get out the way. Neal has a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety at a date TBD and since it is a phone hearing, his suspension will be no more than 5 games.

Now the incident that ensued in the seconds after Neal’s knee on Marchand.

There was a bit of a scrum occurring between the two teams at the other end of the ice because if the previous incident and dutifully, the referees were breaking it up. One of the people involved in the scuffle was none other than Brooks Orpik. If you’ve seen the video (which will not be posted on this blog), then you know Shawn Thornton made an effort to skate towards Orpik, pull him down to the ice, and punch him in the head a couple of times. I do not want to know what possessed him to do such a thing to an unsuspecting player who made it pretty clear in the minutes before that he was not interested in fighting.

Orpik was down on the ice for a significant period of time and the training and medical staff were immediately called from the benches once the referees saw the condition he was in. After getting him to Mass General Hospital, where he was able to complete a number of tests to ensure he was okay, the Penguins did release a statement saying the Brooks was conscious and alert. *insert slight sigh relief here*

In Thornton’s post-game interview, he did nothing but apologize for his actions, and as a Penguins fan I’m glad he did. He will have an in-person hearing with the Department of Player safety at a date TBD, meaning he will face a suspension of 6 or more games. Now before any of you start smack talking Thornton for being “such a dirty player” please keep in mind that this will be his first suspension EVER. One dirty play does not make him a dirty player. Make sure you get your facts straight.

When all hope was essentially lost at this point in the game, there was one moment that made me realize there was still some class left. This act was performed by none other than Patrice Bergeron, helping the responding EMT get the stretcher over to where Orpik lay unconscious.

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This was the only redeeming moment in the entire game. So thank you Patrice for making me believe there was still some sort of light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

Say whatever you want about what happened at this game, but for me, I was crushed at what this “rivalry” has come to. If playing tit-for-tat and messing with a players long term health has become a part of it, then count me out because that’s not a true rivalry. Also, if you’re a so-called fan saying “Orpik got what he deserved”, then you need to learn to respect another human beings life. Because it doesn’t matter what team you cheer for, any decent fan would never wish this upon their worst enemy. This is a time when Eriksson and Orpik’s long term health has come into play and all any fan should be caring for is that they both make a full and speedy recovery.

I’m happy this is the last time the Penguins and Bruins are to meet in the regular season because I don’t want to know what the next game would (or may (come playoffs)) have entailed after this disgusting, gutless display of hockey.

The score may have been 3-2 in favor of the Bruins, but there was no real winner at the end of this game.

Take the time to read these articles as well:

http://section328.com/2013/12/08/no-place-in-our-game-for-what-happened-tonight/

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/shawn-thornton-s-hit-on-brooks-orpik-is-the-kind-of-garbage-the-nhl-needs-to-clean-up—quick-144044508-nhl.html

Movember Monday: Boys to Men

We’re halfway through the month and there have been quite a few surprises so far this Movember. We already know who the real men of the NHL are… they prove it to us on a daily basis. Both through their manly demeanor and their uncanny ability to grow facial hair.

While I have my serious doubts about French-Canadians, Patrice Bergeron is undoubtedly one of the manliest men in the league.

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That face though… and those eyes

Regardless of the fact that his name is Patrice he still manages to be one of the most respected players.

Even Toews knows it.

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Bergy once again proved his manliness during the Stanley Cup Finals last year. His dedication to his team and the game was remarkable and he played with just a few injuries.

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He had the Blackhawks saying…

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Even What’s Up Ya Sieve knows how much of a stud he is

http://www.whatsupyasieve.com/2010/10/01/foxy-friday-patrice-bergeron/

Only real men like Bergy can deal with little boys like Seguin

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But then there’s those few boys,

mere children,

who have decided to make Movember their time to shine.

Their time to impress us all.

Or maybe they were just as surprised as we were at what they were capable of.

Like how Douglas went from this:

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To this:

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holy handlebars

Even his team was pretty impressed.

Even Seth Jones managed to prove to us all that he was no longer a little boy… sort of

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And Brandon Pirri has managed to ‘mo up fairly nicely… though it’s no match for those thick eyebrows he rocks

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And while he can’t quite keep up with the others Morgan Rielly at least tries to compete

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and to those young men who still aren’t quite able to grow facial hair yet… better luck next year!