I Didn’t Know It Could Hurt So Bad

This week’s post is brought to you by a devastated Enforcer who is still trying to deal with the loss of her favorite player.

 

So. I don’t even know where to begin. I knew Nashville was trying to land a top-6 forward. I knew that they would have offer up someone good to seal the deal on a trade. I just wasn’t prepared to lose Patric Hornqvist.

Why God Why

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, getting James Neal from Pittsburgh is a big freaking deal. I’m happy that our scoring chances will dramatically improve with him on the roster.  And, once I stop drowning my sorrow in wine, I’ll be able to be happy for Patric, too. It might take a while, though.

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it’s like breaking up with your first boyfriend. You know the one – he was adorable, he was a tough guy but could still make you laugh, and was like…totally on the varsity team.

Patric Goal
Patric’s job night after night, was to stand in front of Shea Weber’s slapshot. On purpose. He constantly chirps the other team, fights for the puck even if he’s on his knees, and regularly gets punched in the face or shoved to the ice. The guy is probably one of the most annoying, yet dynamic players on the ice.

He doesn’t even need a helmet!
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His goal celebrations are glorious.
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And Lord, those blue eye and that smile!
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I once had the great pleasure of talking to Barry Trotz at-length about hockey, and when I said Patric was my favorite player, he simply said, “He’s the best in the business.” So true. I have worn my signed #27 jersey with pride, and (sob) will continue to wear it even though it’s now nostalgic (sniffle).

When he signed my jersey, he asked how big I wanted it, and I nearly fainted before I realized that he was talking about his signature.
Patric jersey sign

I can’t even begin to imagine how Patric is feeling. Probably a mixture of excitement and sadness at leaving his best buddy, Pekka. Those dudes have a bromance for the ages.
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So, good luck in Pittsburgh, Patric. I’ll miss your offense:

I’ll miss your defense:

And I sure will miss those stretchy pants. 🙂
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Oh Captain, Our Captain!

The Thinker
As soon as the final whistle blew in the New York Rangers first round playoff series win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Twitter lit up with Flyers fans bemoaning the fact that if they had Shea Weber, they would have won the series, and probably the Cup. They pulled their hair and cried to the heavens asking, “WHY GOD?? WHY DID YOU LET NASHVILLE MATCH THAT OFFER SHEET??”

Who would have thought the Nashville Predators had enough dough to cover the $110 million offer sheet Shea signed with the Flyers? For Nashville, it was a must-do. He is THE Captain. He is the face of the team. And, bless his heart, he gets to stay in Nashville and work harder than any defenseman should ever have to work.

We have been remiss in not posting an entry in tribute to Shea and his awesomeness thus-far. As he has yet again been named a Norris Trophy finalist, we thought it was about damn time we stand tall and proclaim our Shea-love to the world.

I remember the first time I heard the CRACK from the blast of Shea Weber’s slapshot. Whether it bangs against the glass, goes in the net, or through it, when Shea pulls back to unleash the fury, the crowd leans forward on the edge of their seats and braces for shock and awe.

Shea Stick Bend
The raw power behind Shea’s shot is terrifying and exciting all at the same time. His goal celebration his nothing short of beastmode, and on the flipside…we have dimples. Sweet heaven, the dimples.

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Everyone knows that Shea is the foundation of the Predators team. Not only is he the Captain, but the dude averaged almost 27 minutes (!!) of ice time per game in 2013-14. He also registered 23 goals this season; the most of any defenseman. On top of that, he holds the franchise record for Preds defensemen with his 56 points. With Pekka Rinne out for half of the season, Shea was left to bear the burden of defending the goal, which was a big job. Huge. Unfortunately, the Predators record this season wasn’t pretty, but at least he’s getting some recognition as a Norris Finalist.

Shea Weber, Martin Erat, Ryan Suter
He’s so good, he can even score a goal from the third deck! That’s the all-you-can-eat/drink section. Wonder if he had a beer to celebrate?

He played for the Canadian Olympic team in Sochi this year, and brought home yet another gold medal. We got the chance to get up close and personal with his jersey and medal. We’re just sad he wasn’t in it at the time!

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Besides being a badass defenseman, Shea has a caring heart. Together with Pekka Rinne, he started the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund, which allows children with cancer and their families to attend games in a suite. *dabs tear* SUCH a sweet guy!

But he obviously has a lighter side, too. Killing it disco style with Joel Ward and Kevin Klein.

Disco Shea
And loves animals (his dog, Dug, for sure).
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And babies.
Shea Babies

And Flyers fans. 🙂
Shea Flyers
And the guy can celebrate a goal like nobody’s business.
Shea BeastNashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber celebrates his goal with right wing Andrei Kostitsyn in the NHL Western Conference quarter-final hockey playoffsShea Hunky Love

But there’s a reason people “Fear the Beard”, because nobody wants to look up and see that thing coming at them down the ice. Good lord, I’d turn and run for the hills.

Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators - Game ThreeBeard +Tongue

Or…um…maybe that whole charging thing would be kind of nice….
Hot SheaShea StretchShea CoatShea Canada
Below, David Poile looks on with pride at the grouping of hotties he has assembled in Nashville. You can take a break for panting and drooling here. God bless their mothers. And whoever made those suits.

NHL Awards
We love ya, Shea. If you weren’t here, we’d probably just pack it in and try to learn to love a different sport. And hey; if you decide to give up hockey, you might have a future in dancing.

Shea DanceMilli Vanilli

 

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Pekka Rinne – If He’s Not Your Favorite… You’re Wrong.

All of Predators fandom is on pins and needles tonight as it has been confirmed that at last, Pekka Rinne will rejoin the team on the ice after being on injured reserve since the fall.  EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!  For four months, we’ve all been missing our star.  To say that the Preds play with more confidence when Pekka is in net is a giant understatement. 

His stats speak for themselves, but when it comes down to it, Pekka brings energy to the Bridgestone Arena.  What does it sound like when Paul announces ‘Pekka RIIIIINNNNEEE” at the start of the game?  Think of the sound of a plane landing directly over your head.  Imagine a growl of a NASCAR engine revving at the start of a race; a blender crushing ice; the grand finale of a fireworks show.  If you’ve heard any of those sounds, you can understand the roar that comes from 17,000+ people screaming together at the top of their lungs for the man we know gives the Preds a solid chance of winning every time he steps on the ice (and we promise Jenni Z is hollering louder than anyone in the building).

Peks is a force to be reckoned with, and Nashville adores him – both on and off the ice.

He can stop anything.

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Seriously.  Anything.

Good luck if you have to beat him in a shootout.

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He’ll beat you all day long at soccer.

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He can catch, stop, or block anything you throw at him.

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Off the ice, he’s known for his charity work, which we adore.  Just a few days ago, he and Shea Weber announced the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund.

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He bakes cookies for the Ronald McDonald house.

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He’s great with kids.

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Plus, he’s very bendy (blush).

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And looks incredible in a suit.

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Be still our hearts.

Welcome back, Pekka!  We’re beyond excited to see you.

(But not as excited as Patric Hornqvist.)

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How about that time the NHL made a commercial all about Pekka?  The man is magic on the ice.  See the commercial below:

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Valentines – hockey style!

When you’re single, the impending doom of Valentine’s Day is like staring down a freight train barreling toward you at 100 miles per hour.  Our best hope is finding whimsical Valentine’s greetings to give to our friends.  Well, that and lots of wine. 

This year, we scoured Walgreens for suitable cards.  No luck.  So we made our own!

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And finally – our favorite:

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Happy Valentine’s Day, and as always…Go Preds!

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A Golden Lament

It has been almost a week since the cruel reality of trades in the NHL ripped Kevin Klein from our streets.

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Now that we’ve finally managed to pull ourselves out of bed, brush our hair, and stop listening to that breakup mix from Sophmore year, let’s put away the Ben & Jerry’s and talk about it.

We’re happy for you, Kevy.  Playing for the Rangers is a big deal.  And, you got there at a great time!  You don’t have to deal with that ass-hat Tortorella for one thing.  (In fact, even if that was the only thing, it would be ok.)

ImageYou get to play with Henrik Lundqvist.  Seriously awesome. Image

They’d better separate you in the next team photo.  That much beauty combined could cause a tear in the time-space continuum.

Plus, you got to play in an outdoor game, which is something that I imagine we won’t see in Nashville for quite some time. They even finally let you get in on one of the (many) celebration hugs.

ImageBut we’ll miss you (slight sob).

That time you were a playoff hero:

That time we hung out at Kroger:

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That time you signed our Season Ticket Holder stuff:

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That time you and The Enforcer made awkward eye contact through the glass, and rather than smile, she took a picture of you:

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The way you looked like a Transformer in the locker room:

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How much fun you and the boys had fishing (hey there, shorty-shorts):

ImageHow much you love to dance:

ImageAnd play guitar (it IS Music City):

ImageThe way that the entire city thought you were beautiful:

ImageAnd how much you love helping kids:

ImageWe’ll miss you Kevin.  Our Penalty Kill will never be the same.

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The Golden Girls – On the Glass!

Saturday night games in Nashville are always a good time. Being seasoned 300-level ticket holders, the last thing either of us expected was to sit in seats on the glass Saturday night!

It was a beautiful day in Nashville on Saturday.  Experiencing 60-degree weather in the middle of January makes hockey in the South super-awesome, even though it is hard to decide what to wear under your jersey.  Downtown Nashville is always hopping on Saturday afternoons, and we decided to join the tourists at Robert’s Western World for burgers and beers before the game.  If you haven’t had a burger from Robert’s, you should drop everything and go right now.  The Enforcer swears by a cheeseburger with sweet potato fries (Because they took the patty melt off the menu.  What the hell, Robert’s??), and Jenni Z regularly craves the veggie burger and onion rings.

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We headed to the Bridgestone Arena, took our seats high in the third deck, and checked Twitter to see what was going on in the world.  The Preds are running a raffle contest right now called the “Golden Giveaway” with proceeds benefitting the Predators Foundation (they do great work in the community).  @PREDSident (Sean Henry, President/COO of the Predators) tweeted that he was running a contest for people who posted pictures of their Golden Tickets.  We entered, but never expected to win because The Enforcer has terrible karma.  Seriously – she must have been really bad in a past life because the girl has never won anything, ever.  So, you can imagine our glee when both of our phones buzzed saying that we were winners!

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Let me just tell you, it is not easy to run from the third deck to the first floor when the escalators are all going the wrong way!  Probably all of the squealing and arm flapping didn’t help, either.  We finally made it down to our new seats in row AA, and watched the remainder of warm ups super close-up.  We were on the Sens side of the ice, so we were watching the likes of Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan taking shots.

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Clarke MacArthur blows a lot of snot rockets.  Seriously gross, dude.  Buy some Mucinex or something.  *heave*  And HOW did we never know about Methot before today???

The game is super-fast when you’re not sitting a mile away from the ice, and you can really see (and hear!) how hard the guys are working to explode down the ice.  After all the games we’ve attended, it is still shocking.  The hits are crazy when they happen right in front of you, shaking the glass and nearly knocking your beer off the railing.  We obsessively took pictures of EVERYTHING.  (EV-ERY-DAMN-THING)  Lucky for us, Kevin Klein kept setting up for face-offs right in front of us.  Good grief, that guy is hot.  His wife is a lucky, lucky lady.

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Eric Nystrom beat the hell out of Colin Greening and got the crowd really fired up, while Rich Clune stood off to the side smirking.

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Shortly thereafter, Mike Fisher (he’s called Hunky in our house) netted one against his old teammates, and the game was all tied up.  It’s always great to dance around to our lame goal song (Tim McGraw.  Enough said.) when Bobby Ryan is in the house because he is not quiet about how much he hates it.  You’re welcome, Bob.

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You hear disdainful hockey fans vent about people who hit the glass whenever anything exciting happens during the game and how it is pointless, and stupid, and blah…blah…blah….   Sitting so close to the action though, something just comes over you, and your natural reaction is to bang on the glass until your palms sting.  We were so caught up that we didn’t even care that we lost in the shootout.  (And this is probably the only time you’ll hear us say that we don’t care that we lost a game.)

We’ll be back in the 300’s tonight.  And if you hear either one of us mutter the words “No – really – I like to watch the play set up”, just know that we’re actually dreaming of the front row.

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January 14, 2014 · 4:25 pm

Those Autographs are Awesome!

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