Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sad News in Vancouver


It was a very sad day today in hockey with the news of the death of Vancouver Canuck's defenseman Luc Bourdon at the young age of 21. The Canuck's rising star died in a motor vehicle accident near his home in Canada. I'm sure I speak for many when I say that my thoughts and prayers are with Luc's family, the Vancouver Canucks organization and their fans during this very difficult time....

Penguins Fly at the Igloo!


Attribute it to the mojo at the Igloo or the raucous Pens fans, but whatever the case, the Penguins played a fantastic game at home last night with a 3-2 win. The game was exciting and action-packed to the end - exactly how a Stanley Cup Finals game shoud be! Pen's Captain Sid the Kid scored 2 goals and Adam Hall tipped in the third. Detroit looked like they might come back any minute to take it and saw another great performance from goalie Osgood. The Pens were throwing some wicked hits with the return of veteran D-man Darryl Sydor to the lineup. I hope they can keep up the energy and great defensive work in Game 4 on Saturday to make this a don't-miss series!

Of course, one of the highlights for me personally was the guest appearance of our own Alex Ovechkin during period breaks. Check him out with all his new bling! Ovie did a great impression of a cat and as always, had great comebacks for Mike Milbury, who hinted that the Great 8 needed a haircut. Dude, he got a haircut! Alex, this hockey mom thinks your hair looks fabulous. I love that despite your big salary, you still get it cut at the Hair Cuttery. And the new George Clooney do is working for you! Hockey moms and Caps fans world-wide are so proud of you. Don't worry - you'll be hoisting the Stanley Cup soon. In the meantime, be careful with your new trophies and don't take any lessons in transporting them from the Spokane Chiefs!

So this hockey mom is thinking about doing the Adult Learn to Play Hockey clinic. It's a very scary thought as I am quite lacking in my backwards skating abilities...but I'd really like a pair of those Easton pink gloves. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sid Scores!

It's only the end of the first period but had to express my excitement about the Pens finally breaking their scoring drought versus the Wings. As my buddy Napoleon Dynamite would say: Sid the Kid (AKA Sidney Crosby) had a flippin' suweeet goal to give the Pens the lead. We still have a lot of hockey to play so I have to get back in front of the tube.

P.S. - I got an e-mail from Nancy in Vancouver (hope you guys have a better year next season). They have a facebook-type site for youth hockey players, families and fans in B.C. and they are running a contest to win some cool schwag. Be sure to check it out! Love the Canucks and those Sedin twins. When my twins are playing, I always combine their last name with the Sedins that sounds something like Silv(een). Whenever I yell about the Silveens, the other parents in the stands usually look at me like my pass from the crazy farm has expired. Guess they aren't familiar with my boys Henrik and Daniel Sedin. You guys rock!

Best of luck in your contest to my friends in Vancouver. I'd love to read your books!

Meanwhile have to get back for the second period - til tommorrow!

Keep Both Hands on The Cup!

This is a pretty funny video of one of the Spokane Chiefs dropping the Memorial Cup (the Canadian Hockey League's championship trophy) right after winning it:



Whoever ends up winning Lord Stanley's Cup better make sure they keep both hands on it as that bugger weighs more than 35 pounds! I hope that the Penguins keep their eyes on that Cup tonight and come out with more energy, physical play and fight for goals than we've seen in the past 2 contests. They are definitely a better team than they've shown so far and a loss tonight would obviously be extremely hard to recover from....c'mon guys!

Speaking of shiny hardware, the Cap's Alex Ovechkin is in the Steel City today to pick up some new bling including the Art Ross Trophy for most points and Rocket Richard trophy for most goals this season. You go Ovie!!! I rented the movie Rocket Richard about the legendary Montreal Canadien Maurice Richard - the Rocket Richard trophy's namesake. It was subtitled as it was filmed in French but was a pretty good flick. Some interesting cameos of current NHLers including Sean Avery (as what else, the bully!). I never did catch a glimpse of Vincent LeCavelier, who also made a guest appearance. It was an interesting historic look at both the game and Maurice Richard as a player. Man, did that guy get banged around back in the days before helmets....

More good news for the Caps! Our feisty scrapper Matt Bradley just resigned a 3-year contract with the team for $3 million. Matt should go out and buy some new bling of his own to celebrate. I love that guy - he reminds me of the kid from the Little Rascals always sporting a shiner!

So I'm hoping to see the Penguins score a lot of goals and make some big hits tonight. It would be interesting if they ended up using backup goalie Ty Conklin, who is largely responsible for getting them to the Finals. He was on fire for the Pens when he stepped in after Marc-Andre Fleury was injured!

Face-off at 8 p.m. tonight at Mellon Arena. My lucky brother-in-law will be in attendance! Til then....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tournament Recap/Game 2 Preview


My apologies for completely skipping Game 1 preview. To be completely honest, I was lucky to even see part of Stanley Cup Finals Game 1. We were staying in the "roach motel" for this weekend's hockey tournament and the hotel did not carry the Versus network. So being the resourceful hockey parents that we are, a group of us packed up the boys and found a somewhat seedy restaurant/bar establishment near the hotel to catch the first and part of the second periods. I was so thrilled to finally see the octopus being thrown on the ice at Detroit's Joe Louis arena! They were some big bubbas too! The place started getting a bit scary around the middle of the second period so we had to head back and ended up missing the Wings score the second, third and fourth goals. I did win the $8 cash bet among the parents on which player would score the first goal. None of the players named scored the first goal (Samuelson/Detroit went unnamed) so I won as my player (Hank Zetterberg) did eventually score. Bought me a whopping 2 gallons of gas on the way home....

So after Detroit's big win on Saturday, the Pens will be looking to change their lineup a bit. Veteran forward Gary Roberts, who has already been on a Cup-winning team, will be back in the lineup for the Pens. Expect to see some other line changes from Coach Therrien as well. The young Penguins team has to play a disciplined, defensive game tonight and needs to see more scoring attempts from Malkin, Crosby, Hossa along with secondary scorers Sykora, Staal and Malone. Some good news for Detroit, one of their leading scorers Johan Franzen is expected to be back on the ice tonight after missing a slew of games due to concussion-like symptoms. Hopefully we'll see a stronger contest this evening! I know I've mentioned this gal before, but Hockey & High Heels author Lisa Ovens has created a special sugar cookie in honor of the Red Wings. Yum! I hope to see Lisa as an invited guest for this year's Hockey & Heels event with the Washington Capitals. She is a true hockey ambassador for the female fan....

Speaking of food, the picture above was taken at the infamous Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia. I had to sample a cheese steak at just about every Philly place we went during this weekend's tournament. I am very proud to say that I ordered 3 different steaks and did not get thrown to the back of the hellacious line!

The tournament this weekend was a ball and our Pee Wee team took home the championship in a rocking shootout win! Way to go boys! They played several teams including the Little Flyers. They were (of course) a very good team and the parents were a tough crowd as expected! Besides winning the tournament trophy, one of the highlights of the trip was getting to know some of the other hockey moms. It was hard to believe there were other ladies out there who yell as loud and pound on the glass as hard as me! One of the funnier moments occurred when we were watching Stanley Cup Game 1. After several pitchers of cheap draft beer, several of the moms got into a discussion regarding the comp├ętences d'amour of Sidney Crosby versus Alex Ovechkin. The consensus was the Sid the Kid was probably a lights out kind of guy. Ovie won the debate hands down as all the ladies agreed that if he possesses the same spirit and passion in that department as he does on the ice... well, since this blog is G-rated, we'll just leave it at that! Very funny conversation.....

So have to run to feed the players and get ready for Game 2. Til tomorrow, best of luck to both teams and hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Til Saturday....


So I am counting the days until Saturday for several reasons: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, one of my twins made a Pee Wee A-level team and will be playing a tournament this weekend, it's a long holiday weekend and I get to toast the Flyer's playoff run with my first "official" Philly cheesesteak! I'll have to give the reviews on the latter upon my return from the tournament but I've been practicing how to order. Thanks to thorough instructions from a Flyers fan friend of mine, I hope to correctly order a "provolone wit" and not get thrown to the curb, or worse, the back of the line!

In the meantime, I wanted to ponder the merchandise on the market for the female hockey fan. For my fellow Caps fans, the NHL.com store just came out with this really cute jersey bag that you can use for the pool or quick jaunts to the store. I must have one myself! I do have one small complaint about options for the lady fans - though there were vast improvements made in the apparel category this year. Not all of us dedicated female fans want to display our team allegiance in an over-sized jersey that resembles a mu mu, nor do we want to wear the logo in pink just because we're ladies! I personally would like to see more jerseys or casual apparel made especially for the female figure (of all sizes).

As for Caps merchandise, here is my own personal wish list:

1. Cute Caps jammies - you know, sleep shirts, nighties and most importantly, comfy pants. If you can't go to the game, nothing would beat curling up in front of the t.v. action in your cute Caps comfy pants!

2. Caps party ware - Fun martini and wine glasses, napkins, serving dishes... all the fixin's for a Playoff Watching Party!

3. Jewelry - I'd love to have the Caps new logo in a sterling silver charm for my charm bracelet. And of course a pair of matching earrings!

4. Caps hockey blanket - Because we hockey moms spend so much time in the freezer, I mean the rink. Could do double duty as a tablecloth at your Caps Playoff Party!

So just a few suggestions from a hockey mom and avid shopper. I think the female fan is one of more overlooked demographic categories because not only do they spend on themselves, they will buy for their kids and for gift-giving!

So cheers to my fellow hockey moms and fans. On a serious note, please remember our heroes in the military who have given their lives and those who continue to protect our freedom this Memorial Day......

Monday, May 19, 2008

Stanley Cup Final Teams Set



The stage is finally set for Stanley Cup playoff game 1 starting on Saturday. The Detroit Red Wings soundly beat the Dallas Stars 4-1, including a brilliant short-handed goal from Henrik Zetterberg. The Wings also saw scoring action from Dallas Drake (What a great name! Sounds like a line-backer name to me...) and Pavel Datsyuk. Kudos to Dallas goalie Marty Turco and the rest of his team for a hard-fought effort in the semi-finals.

This year's Stanley Cup finals should be an exciting one with Pittsburgh's young guns facing Detroit's more veteran players. More to come later on Game 1 preview....

Meanwhile, I recieved a funny question from a new gal fan yesterday:

What's the sin bin? Sounds nasty. Is that where they send the one-timers? Maybe they should send all the two-timers to the sin bin, seems more appropriate.

The sin bin is slang for the penalty box, also known to hockey moms and kids as "timeout." Most penalties incur a 2-minute visit to the sin bin. I've always wondered what, if anything, the NHL official says to the sin bin visitor while he's sitting in the box. You could really mess with someone in there! I've often thought of installing a penalty box in my own home to break up the bickering and backtalking but I think that might result in a visit from Child Protective Services....

Yes, anonymous, two-timers should probably be sent to the sin bin. Oh wait, they were probably visiting a sin bin when they became two-timers anyway, so that's kind of an oxymoron! For clarification, a one-timer is a shot at goal taken by a player right off of a pass. He recieves the puck from another player and shoots right away versus stickhandling or skating the puck further. Alex Ovechkin delivered many stellar examples of one-timers this year...

So am counting down til Finals start on Saturday. Til then, I'll keep my ears open for fun and interesting Red Wings and Penguins facts!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Red Out at IIHF Worlds/Penguins Advance


Today was a bittersweet day for Cap's D-man Mike Green as he was named to the IIHF World Tournament All-Star team but his Team Canada fell to Russia in a hard-fought 5-4 OT battle. His team mates Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Sergei Federov celebrated the victory along with Semin's contribution of 2 goals. The win was Russia's first gold in the tournament since 1993. Ottawa's Dany Heatly was also named to the tournament All-Star team with fellow Canadian Green and of course, our own AO. Caps fans are very proud of all of our hometown players and I personally hope that Mike Green gets the big fat contract he deserves this summer. We love #52!

To the Stanley Cup playoffs...the Penguins clinched a Stanley Cup final spot with a resounding 6-0 win over the Flyers today. The Pens exhibited their fire power and scoring depth with goals from Ryan Malone, Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa. And Sid, your facial growth is starting to come in nicely - you must have gotten sick of all the ribbing and joined "Stache Club for Men." The Flyers played a tough game and have much to be proud of (ugh - this pains me as a Caps fan to say)! Biron is a tremendous goalie and the team has risen from being at the bottom of the NHL to one of the top teams in the Eastern conference. The hockey mom will be in Philadelphia for a tournament (what else) soon and I plan on sampling several cheese steaks in honor of the Flyers' playoff run.

So we will have to wait and see what happens with the Western conference in tomorrow's rematch between the Stars and Red Wings. In the meantime, I recieved a new question from a female hockey newbie (Fake names are used to protect the innocent so we'll address her as Hockey Helga):

What is icing? Is it what that big John Deere tractor thing does at halftime?

Hockey Helga, icing is called when a player shoots the puck from his own half of the ice across the opposing team's goal line without it passing through any part of the goal crease (you'll normally the puck skid all the way across the ice and behind the goal). That John Deere tractor thingy (AKA The Zamboni) is used between periods to smooth the entire ice surface. As you can imagine the ice gets really scuffed up with the blades, sticks and pucks flying - kind of like my kitchen floor. I'm not sure what my kids don't understand about playng hockey in the house...especially in roller blades. Duh, I can't imagine why my wood floors look like $#%&*!

To sign off, I want to propose another toast to all of the fine Caps playing in the IIHF World Finals, the Pens and as always, to my fellow hockey moms and fantastic female hockey fans around the world!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Stars Shine Again....

The Dallas Stars came into Joe Louis Arena looking more like meteors today and their line adjustments contributed to a 2-1 victory over the Red Wings. Marty Turco shone under pressure again with 38 saves to his credit. As this hockey mom is always on the go (lacrosse game today an hour and a half away), I'd love to give a big fat shoutout to the NHL on XM so I didn't have to miss a beat. I still believe that the Red Wings are going to come back in Game 6 and clench the Western title but Mike Modano, Brendan Morrow and pals have given them a run for their money these last 2 games.

As you know, I am fascinated by the whole octopus tradition associated with the Detroit Red Wings. There is a great feature on NHL.com's The Hockey Show that takes you behind-the-scenes of Superior Fish House and gives you the real technique behind octopus-spinning. VERY fun! Just follow the link and click on the Superior Fish House feature that ran on Thursday, May 15th.

The Capital's Alexander Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin will be facing one of their Caps' team mates, Mike Green, as Russia and Canada play for the gold medal at the IIHF World Championships tomorrow. I always wonder how that must feel facing a current or former buddy/team mate in any sport, especially one that requires you to knock the tar out of someone every time you hit the ice. Anyhow, best of luck to both teams - especially our beloved Caps players!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pens Fans: Put the Brooms Back in Closet


Unfortunately for Pens fans, the Penguins did not sweep the series last night and the Flyers came out with a vengeance (the Flyers own mission statement) to win Game 4 with a 4-2 victory and force a Game 5 in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The good news for Flyers fans is that Sunday will most likely see the return of Kimmo Timmonen or Braydon Coburn back on the Flyer's bench. Note the picture courtesy of some creative Flyer's fans - Sid just can't catch a break. I would have liked to see the refs let Crosby and Mike Richards rumble a bit longer last night. It would be interesting to see Crosby totally lose it and go bonkers on someone; I personally have yet to see it. Note to the witty sign creators: brunettes normally don't wear blue eye shadow - you should have gone with a shade of plum to make it look more realistic.

The Flyers managed to shut down Evgeni Malkin in Game 5 and scored three goals to the Pens zero in the first period alone! There was a lot of extracurricular activity going on, resulting in some stupid penalties for the Penguins. I'm sure the distaste these two teams have for each other will spill over into Game 5 back at the Igloo in the Burgh.

Distaste is probably a mild word to say the least describing the rivalry between these two teams. But a good hockey mom never says "hate" - not in front of the kids anyhow. Speaking of Pittsburgh, how many of you have ever had the famous Primanti's sandwich? What a brilliant idea - fries, cole slaw, about 2 pounds of meat and cheese and even a fried egg... you get all your food groups on one sandwich! Note to self - don't eat one of those and try to play hockey. For that matter, don't even try to get up off the couch after a real Primanti's "sammich," much less skate...that could potentially create a big mess for the zamboni driver - yuck!

The Cap's own Alexander Ovechkin got a game misconduct penalty and one game suspension for checking Switzerland's Valentin Wirz to the head during an IIHF World Championship game the other day. Check this out and tell me of you think this Swiss guy deserves the "Best Supporting Actor" nomination for his dramatic acting talent.




First of all, AO barely touches him and secondly, he needs to relearn the first major rule that Pee Wees hear when they start playing contact hockey: For the love of Pete, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP MAN!

I'll be looking forward to tomorrow's game between Detroit and Dallas along with Sunday's Pens/Flyers Game 5. Til then.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sorry Stars - My Bad!

You know the saying "mom's always right?" - well forget about that regarding last night's game between Stars and Red Wings. Stars roared back with a goal by Mike Modano to win it and force a Game 5. Marty Turco, the Star's goalie, was brilliant with 34 saves!

There was all kinds of talk this morning about the call that went against the Red Wings when they called no goal as the ref thought the player's "butt" was in the blue paint. I agree with the guys on XM's Hockey This Morning when Shaun says they need to implement a challenge or replay system like they have in the NFL. Especially when you're talking about a goal for that could be a potential game-breaker! But as a hockey mom, we have to acknowledge that the refs are human too (jeez, that's hard for me to admit)...let's just try to keep the calls consistent.

Regardless, cheers to the Stars for their comeback - they left it all out on the ice and it was the type of exciting, spill your beverage, bite off your French manicure game I referenced yesterday! Game 5 on Saturday back in the Motor City.

Pepe Lopez...er, I mean Sidney Crosby and friends have a chance to pick up the broom and sweep the Flyers to go on to the finals tonight. No predictions on this one after last night though. Pens fans, you know I'm just kidding about Sid the Kid but after all, I am a die-hard Capitals fan so you have to expect at least a little ribbing. I think Sidney's namesake baby penguin at the zoo could probably grow a nicer "stache". He needs to just shave it off and let the older dudes carry on the tradition. He's too cute (yes, I said it) to pull off the grunge look!

Looking forward to tonight's game...til then!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

West Can Be Decided Tonight....


I haven't been very good at keeping my blog updated with the playoff action - my apologies. Although I like both of the teams that have been dominating their respective conferences (Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins), it would be more fun to see a little more competition. You know, edge-of-your-seat nail-biting, spill your beer or pinot noir or other adult beverage of choice all over the couch kind of games. I feel for the Flyers because I think they really would have been hotter had they not been without 2 of their major defensemen, Timmonen and Coburn the last 2 games. Coburn took a puck to the face on Sunday and the poor chap's eye is swollen shut and he had more than 50 stitches to close that nasty gash.

Which of course, as a hockey mom, brings me to the whole visor debate. I know that wearing a visor won't protect a player from all injury, especially the freak ones, but when you're talking about potential career-ending type injuries I think wearing one is a no-brainer. Alex Ovechkin wears a visor and it sure hasn't affected his ability to see the puck in any way, as he is up for virtually every major scoring award in the trophy cabinet. I'm just glad that our kids have to wear the whole cage although I don't know any Pee Wee players who've ever been hit by an AO 95-mile an hour slapshot! So I hope the Flyer's Braydon Coburn gets better soon - that hurts just thinking about it!

For all of the new hockey fans, you've probably noticed that a lot of these guys have full-face beards during the season. Growing a beard during the playoffs has been a tradition for more than 20 years now. Some of these poor guys are so young, they can't even grow one. Scary thing is that there's fifth graders in our school who have more facial hair than some of the NHL guys. What the heck are they putting in our dairy products these days anyway? Poor Sid the Kid (aka Sidney Crosby) is alas one of the great young players who's having a time getting that darn beard thing to fill in. He sort of looks like the guy I saw once on a tequila bottle (Pepe Lopez, I believe?), not that I would know anything about tequila :P

Just kidding Sid - you know you're adorable and you guys have been phenomenal in this series so far! Speaking of fashion blunders, the photo above is one of Don Cherry's latest red-carpet numbers. For you new fans, Don Cherry is the long-time face of "Hockey Night in Canada." He has quite a fashion sense so I know you lady fans would really enjoy his wardrobe choices for each show. Unfortunately, Don is not the most "PC" sports guys out there and sometimes has to be "bleeped" so we don't get to see much of him in the U.S. He is an absolute riot though and I hope NBC brings him in for the Stanley Cup finals! I want to find out where he got that jacket so I can have a skirt made just like it. So, Don if you're reading?

Back to the playoffs - the Western conference series will most likely be decided tonight. The Detroit Red Wings are so talented and have such a deep bench, even minus one of their top scorers, Johan Franzen. He's been out with concussion-like symptoms but I read somewhere that he was back for a light workout today. Maybe we'll see him in the finals - fingers crossed. So keep your eyes open for octopi on the ice. I have a feeling there will be lots of "pi" flying!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Belated Hockey Mom's Day!

I have been SO lame about blogging and feel really bad that I neglected to wish all of you fellow hockey moms and female fans Happy Mother's Day on your special day!

So a belated cheers to all of you moms out there who join me daily in driving to and from the rink, banging on the glass, buying Powerade by the case and breaking up the fights that spill over from the rink to home! Speaking of which, one of my guys gave me a hat trick for Mother's Day - very cool! For you newbies, a hat trick is when one player scores 3 goals in one game and fans in the bleachers throw their hats on the ice in recognition of this difficult feat. The bummer is I never wear a hat so had nothing to throw. Thought about throwing my purse but that would mean that everything would have spilled out on the ice resulting in a delay of game, coins on the ice, lost lipstick and credit cards and it just would've gotten ugly...

It was a typical day for me when the other twin started yelling at the one that scored the hat-trick about being a "puck hog" and it could be heard all the way in the stands. A "congratulations" might have been in order but hey, they're twins so what do I expect? Anyway, no other place I'd rather spend Mother's Day than at the rink...and I am NOT being facetious!

This was a very fun post about hockey moms that I wanted to share.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

End of an Era

Although it's been suspected for some time, Washington Caps fans got the word from Olie Kolzig himself yesterday that he has no plans on resigning with the Caps. Here's a great take on this news from Caps writer Mike Vogel. I was also reading some of the comments posted on the Washington Post Web site and have to admit I was quite disappointed in some of the "Olie-bashing" that seemed to be going on. That's the beauty of cyberspace - everyone has their own opinion and has the instant right to share it. I respect that. But I also respect Olie for his leadership, talent, class and dedication to the D.C. community for the past umpteen years. And I respect and completely understand his desire as a professional athlete to still want to play and be competitive. As I've said before, thanks Olie for all you've done - best of luck to you and your family. You will be missed and hope to see your jersey in the rafters of the Phone Booth.

Now to last night's game 1 in the Pens/Flyers series. Wow! I was really expecting to see some gloves drop at the first face off with all the bad blood between these 2 teams. But things didn't get surprisingly didn't get too heated until the third period which brought a number of scrums. Malkin always seems to be in the middle of these - I wonder if he talks smack in Russian? Malkin was also on a scoring run last night with 2 goals and an assist. Mike Richards of the Flyers also scored 2 last night - this is hard to admit but I do like Richards as a player. So Pens are up 1 game. Flyers were definitely missing Timmonen - feel bad for the guy having to miss the rest of the season with a blood clot. Don't blame him - still wants to play. Now that's what makes a good hockey player - that killer instinct to play through the pain especially in the playoffs. Game 2 on Mom's Day! Treat your mom to a beer and the remote....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Red Wings Take Flight in Game 1!

The Detroit Red Wings dominated last night's game over the Star's in a 4-1 victory. Their power play was on fire, Kronwall delivered several highlight-reel open ice hits and the Wings goalie Chris Osgood was outstanding against the Star's power play! Although I never saw the octopus? Did anyone else see one? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? No matter, it was a great game and will be interesting to see if the Stars make any adjustments for Game 2.

One gripe however, which again goes back to the inconsistencies in post-season officiating this year. The goal by Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom should have been called a no-goal due to goalie interference. Wings, I love ya but you know the dude was inside the blue paint! Barry Melrose, the great mullet-sporting hockey guru of ESPN fame is in agreement as well.

Here I want to give a shout out to Cap's d-man Mike Green for his goal for Team Canada in what was a tight victory against Norway (2-1) at the IIHF World Championships. The guy's a tremendous talent and team player who also happens to have great hair too! Elliot in the Morning on DC radio station DC-101 coined the phrase "Rock the Hawk" in honor of Mike Green's unique do during the Cap's playoff run and held a contest for the most creative mohawks. Hats off to Elliot for brilliant marketing and it was too hilarious seeing all the winners in the Rock the Hawk section at the games. There were even a few females sporting mohawks in there! Sorry Elliot, this hockey mom's too vain to "rock the hawk" but it was definitely working for some of those gals! For all the non-DC locals, Elliot is from Canada and is a huuuuge hockey fan who does more than his share of spreading the puck love. He does tons of promotions for local hockey in addition to cheering on the Caps - cheers
Elliot and keep spreading hockey fever!

More later on the Penguins-Flyers series and will attempt to answer another new fan question! Go Pens!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Fight Begins

So as of 10 minutes ago, Brian Rafalski scored the first playoff goal for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of Western semi-finals. And as promised, here's a brief history of the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup has been around since 1893 and is the oldest trophy in North America that is still competed for by professional athletes. It is named in honor of a late Governor General of Canada who was known as Lord Stanley, Earl of Preston. That's quite a fancy name to be associated with such a gritty game but nonetheless, the Stanley Cup has an amazing history. It's so exciting to see a team win the cup and there's such history and ritual behind which member of the winning team gets to skate the cup the first. Being a hockey mom of twins, it was too cool to see the Duck's captain Scott Neidermayer be the first one to skate with the cup last year and then hand it over to his younger brother Rob. I can't imagine what their mom must have been feeling!

The other cool thing about the cup is that each member of the winning team gets to take the cup for a week. Kind of like "Flat Stanley," this thing gets to go to some amazing places. There are so many things you can do with the cup too: drink champagne out of it, bathe your kids in it, whip up a batch of margaritas in it- the list is endless! Should Pittsburgh win the cup this year, the first thing I'd like to see is Sid the Kid take a bath in it. Now, you all get your minds out of the gutter! Sid the Kid is a new baby penguin at the Pittsburgh Zoo:

http://www.post-gazette.com/multimedia/?videoid=100408

I also wanted to share a super fun book - especially for the new female hockey fan. Lisa Ovens is the kind of gal you want to go out for pomegranate margaritas with and she also happens to be a huge hockey fan who diligently follows the Vancouver Canucks! Lisa has written the zaniest book about hockey from a fun, female perspective that is a must-read! Here is Lisa's web site where you can order her book:

http://www.hockeyandhighheels.com/

Lisa, you rock! Please look me up if you're ever in Caps town!

I have to run to catch the rest of the game now. More tomorrow on Eastern conference Game 1. Sweet puck dreams to you all!

HockeyMom in VA

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One Day Until Semi-Finals

So first I'd like to say thanks to Ted Leonsis for posting my blog on his site! The purpose of this blog is to share my passion for the Caps and the game with new fans and new fan "prospects." So I was very excited to know that he enjoyed reading the blog and I hope to create a new demographic of Caps fans who will be rockin' the red next season!

Speaking of rockin' the red... the triple threat of Alexander Ovechkin (AO), Alexander Semin and Sergei Fedorov are rocking the red for the Russian team in the IIHF World Championship in Canada and I believe they are still undefeated!

As I mentioned, we are one day away from the Western Conference semi-finals. Dallas will taking on Detroit tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. For the new puckheads out there, here are some of the "ones to watch." For Detroit: Nick Lidstrom, Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg (who by the way ladies, has his own clothing line - http://www.henrikzetterberg.com/), Pavel Datsyuk and Brian Rafalski. A sidenote here - watch # 24 for Detroit, Chris Chelios. I don't know what kind of vitamin water that guy's drinking but he is almost 47 years old and still plays like a wildman! I've mentioned this before, but one of the cool things to look out for when they are playing in Detroit is the ritual throwing of the octopus on the ice. Hope they get a big'un this week! Ones to watch for Dallas:
Brendan Morrow, Mike Modano, Brad Richards, Sergei Zubov, Mike Ribiero and their fabulous goalie, Marty Turco. Another sidenote of interest for the gals - Mike Modano is married to former "Dancing with the Stars" alumnus Willa Ford. Maybe she can talk him into being on the show if they don't make the post-season next year. We need a hockey player on that show for the love of Pete!

I got the Hockey Mom question of the day from a newbie fan we'll call "Feds Fan" in honor of her intense admiration for Sergei Fedorov.

Her question: "What is checking - is that when they use their stick to trip up the other guy?"
The purpose of checking is to hit the opposing player in order to gain control of the puck and prevent them from scoring. When playing near the boards, the players will try to "check" the opposing player using their upper body/ shoulders to tie them up and try to get the puck loose. You'll hear a lot of the sportscasters talk about "finishing the check." If a player doesn't finish his check and the opposing player is able to get free with the puck, it can make for a prime scoring opportunity for the other team. Checking is different from "cross-checking," which incurs a 2-minute penalty. Cross-checking is when a player checks an opponent with both hands on his stick and no part of his stick is touching the ice. This sometimes occurs near the boards resulting in an unpleasant "face wash" for the player who is being cross-checked. Hope this answers your question Feds Fan!

So I am counting the hours until I can watch hockey once again! Tomorrow we'll discuss the history of the Stanley Cup, review a great book for any female hockey fan and give a preview of the Penguins/Flyers Eastern Conference game 1. Til then!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

2 Days Before Semi-Finals

So I have to admit I've been VERY bored with nothing to watch on t.v. for 2 days. I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to watch the 4OT final game between Stars and Sharks - that bad boy would have ended at about 2 in the morning! I'm really looking forward to the Stars/Wings series. To be honest, I don't know much about the Stars other than Mike Modano is the highest scoring American player so it'll be fun to watch. I guess I could jump on the bandwagon and watch "Dancing with the Stars". They should have AO on there - now THAT would be entertaining! And I bet he can dance too!

So today was officially named "Washington Capitals Day" in the District of Columbia. Very cool. I'd like to see it made it into a national holiday myself. We could all use another day off work and we should have a parade too. Speaking of parades, I think a parade is definitely in order should Olie Kolzig not be resigned with the Caps. If not a parade, then at least a throw-down party complete with the Rockettes and fireworks. He is an amazing player and has done so many great things for D.C., it would be such a shame to not honor his amazing contributions to this team and this community over the years. I know I speak for lots of young players and all of us hockey moms out there when I say thank you to Olie for all he's done!

I haven't had a chance to watch the World competition so if anyone knows how our respective Caps players are doing, give me a shout out.

I did hear on Espo's show today that the Flyers will be starting Riley Cote to match up with Pittsburgh's George Laraque. For all of my new hockey mom fans, that means expect to see a lot of heavy hitting and George Foreman (the fighter - not the grill) style fighting! One of the things that I didn't like about hockey before I became a convert (and I think this might apply to many women out there who think the game is too violent) was the fighting. Once I got hooked by the speed and the extreme skill it requires to handle a puck at that speed, the fighting aspect became secondary. I recently finished the book The Code: Unwritten Rules of Fighting and Retaliation in the NHL and now fighting makes more sense. Ladies, the reason for an enforcer (see my photo with Caps enforcer Donald Brashear) is primarily to make sure that other players don't take liberties with all your guys, particularly the marquee guys like AO, Sidney Crosby, etc. They know that if they take a cheap shot at your guy, someone on their team will have to meet Donald Brashear and drop the gloves for a quick scrap (maybe during the game in question or maybe even somewhere later in the season). It really keeps the game in control so to speak in that it's not a total free for all. Look at that picture, would you REALLY want to tick him off? I didn't think so...

To be honest, hockey has gotten to be like watching golf in comparison to some of the other garbage they show on t.v. now. Ultimate cage fighting - are you serious? This is a sport? These guys are all about one paycheck away from a prison sentence...

Anyway, that's all for now. Have to take the jerseys, socks and JOCK out of the dryer. Yuck!
Happy Washington Caps Day everyone! Can't wait til the semi-finals this weekend.....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eastern Division Semi-Finals

So before I get to the Eastern division semi-finals, I have to brag a bit. One of my twin boys had a hat-trick today! Too bad I forgot to bring my Kentucky Derby hat from yesterday to the rink! Ladies, maybe we should start bringing our Easter hats to the games - that would add some novelty on the ice. Although you'd have a bunch of screaming women trying to get on the ice screaming "I paid $200 dollars for that hat - get that damn Zamboni away from it and give it back!"

So cheers to the Pittsburgh Penguins! Marion Hossa made the game-winning goal - not the prettiest one I've seen, but he sealed the deal! So it will be the PA Battle of the Turnpike. I've said it before, I know it's totally un-PC for a Caps fan to root for the Penguins. However, I did live in Pittsburgh for 2 years and still have family there. SO, they will be my Eastern Conference playoff team. Just an observation, the young guns for the Pens (Malkin, Staal) are going to HAVE to check the emotions and avoid stupid penalties. Because the Flyers will goad them into taking stupid penalties and they have been pretty successful on the PP. This series is going to be great to watch! It will be interesting to see how the Flyers handle playing against Marc-Andre Fleury. Cary Price (Montreal) is a great goalie but is still so young and I think that worked against him in the Habs/Flyers series. You can never lose your confidence and it was very obvious when he was pulled for 2 games, that's exactly what happened.

So I am hoping the Sharks can hang in there tonight. The 2 Joes (Pavelski and Thornton)have been phenomenal when they needed to win and tonight they are going to be in another pressure-cooker situation. Let's go Sharks!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Congrats Gabby!

So I am lifting my glass to the very well-deserved nod to Caps coach Bruce Boudreau for NHL Coach of the Year! For a guy who truly loves the game and has worked the minors for so long, nevermind the the amazing job he did with the team's rise to the playoffs this year, he really deserves to walk home with the Adams award. Congrats Bruce and welcome home! I listen to Phil Esposito on the way home every night (love Phil!) and as he would say - FABULOUS! Everything with Phil is either "fabulous" or "crap" - no mincing words with that guy!

So I have to rant a bit about the Montreal/Philadelphia game last night. Not to mention any names here, but some of the fans in attendance should have been ashamed of themselves. Hey, I'm all about passion for your team and know all about having to be restrained from banging on the glass sometimes, but sometimes fans just lose the fact that this is indeed a game. With people's husbands, sons and dads laying their bodies out on the line every night. Case in point came in the third period when Steve Begin threw his body in front of Daniel Briere's wicked shot. The guy went down and was CRAWLING trying to get himself off the ice and he was being booed by the fans. Sorry people, that's totally bogus. Goes back to the whole Avery thing, you can dislike the team and individual players but to applaud anyone going down like that lacks decorum and basically, human decency. So I'll get off the hockey mom soapbox and that's all I'm going to say about that.

So how about the Sharks showing some life and coming back last night? You go Patrick Marleau - sweet short-handed goal to keep your team in the hunt! Keep up the great play!

So as more of my female friends and new lady fans read my blog, I've been asked lots of questions. No Deb, it's not a "stromboli", it's a "zamboni"! One of the questions I was asked was "why doesn't Alex Ovechkin put in his missing tooth"? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he bought a replacement and lost it playing basketball. Seems kind of silly to get a new one now that he's playing for Team Russia. Moms, if any of you have an "in" with the tooth fairy, tell her to stop by Ovie's after his season's over :P

So that's it for now - need to go check in to see how the Pens/Rangers game is going down. Ladies and fellow hockey moms, send me your hockey questions, opinions and rants and we'll "Tawk Hockey"...