1 GAME. 2 TICKETS. HIGHEST SCORE WINS.

Everyone drop what you're doing, I have a MAJOR announcement. Just by watching Game #3 between the Flyers and Devils this Thursday, you're 1 step away to your dream vacation. Heck, you don't even have to watch the game it's that easy, you just have to set up your roster and anyone can win- your ultra feminine girlfriend, your senile dad, your gay buddy who hates sports but loves margaritas, hell even you, the sports guru.

This free to enter contest has big rewards!
http://hockey.ingamer.com/sport_home?skip=1

The First Round - From the NHL Playoffs to the NFL Draft to the NBA Playoff map

T'was a busy night in sports and now the first round is set in stone for 3 of the biggest leagues in North America. Starting in New York, the Rangers defeat the Ottawa Senators in 7 games while down the street at Radio City Music Hall the Colts draft Andrew Luck 1st overall, followed by the Redskins selecting Robert Griffin III. The Vikings traded their third overall pick to the Browns and go on to select Trent Richardson. The Knicks? They were in Charlotte to pound the Bobcats by 20 points in the last game of the regular reason, as Michael Jordan's franchise set an NBA record for lowest winning percentage. The NBA opening round starts Saturday, and I can't wait for Amazing to Happen. 

Sports Widow Wednesdays


I had the funniest conversation with my dearest friend on the phone last night about of all things, hockey. Now Beverly is not by any means a sporty gal, unless you call lifting your wallet a sport, in that case she is Holt Renfrew's MVP. She may not know when the NBA season starts and ends, but she knows Stella McCartney designed a track suit just for her. More importantly, Bev is a sports widow who is trying to survive the long, excruciating battle that is the NHL Playoffs.





With the 3rd pick, the Minnesota Vikings select...



The 2012 NFL Draft begins at Pick #3.


We all know who is going  #1 and #2, but who will the Vikings pick at 3? The early consensus pick was Matt Kalil, the LT from USC. Recently, pundits have begun talking up LSU CB Morris Claiborne as a possible pick. Both picks make sense as they fall into the conventional wisdom bucket. For a team to win, they ‘need’ an elite LT to protect the QB and a shutdown corner. My question is: Really?

Did the Giants, Packers, Saints, Patriots, Colts, Steelers ever have a true shutdown corner? The closest was Ty Law with the 2004/2005 Patriots but we have all seen how important Belichick thinks elite DBs are to Super Bowl runs. Decent corners, yes, elite ones?? Pass on Claiborne Minnesota!! 

Did any of them have elite LTs? Decent ones, yes, elite ones? No. There are a number of top notch LTs available on Thursday, so Minnesota can likely find one at the top of Round 2.

The Vikings apparently need to give QB Christian Ponder some help, so Kalil is the consensus ‘need’ pick here. But you know what else helps a QB, elite WRs. Look at the list of teams i noted above...what is the one thing they all DID have: an elite wideout (or two). If the Vikings want to change their fortune, they should pick Okla St. WR Justin Blackmon, pair him with Percy Harvin, and give Ponder the type of help that wins Super Bowls, not post-draft grading contests.

Bad Call - The Inconsistencies of the Opening Round

There's been public outcry that not only is this year's officiating and suspension rulings in the opening round of the NHL playoffs inconsistent, but also unfair. From the perspective of players, fans and the media alike it's a little nerve racking to see how the NHL will handle whatever is thrown at them next, and how the public will respond to it.


Actions Speak Louder than Words


In one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history, two former friends and training partners turned trash-talking rivals, will finally settle the score as words will no longer matter when the cage closes on UFC 145 in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the Main Event of this stacked card (to be broadcast at a cool sports bar near you), the Light Heavyweight belt will be on the line as the 205 lbs champion Jon "Bones" Jones will square off against former division champion "Suga" Rashad Evans.

Four 4:20 Super Stars

Is it just me or is it cloudy out? I see a lot of sunlight and can feel a nice breeze, but I can't help but notice just how "foggy" it looks out there. In honour of a holiday still off the Statutory radar, I present to you 4 athletes who set new highs in the pro sports world, one bong hit at a time.

4. Tim Lincecum 
Baseball players are lucky... they can wear sunglasses during work. And since it does get pretty sunny out there  in San Francisco, shades sure come in handy when you're trying to deflect rays of light, and everyone around you from knowing you're stoned. Obviously weed doesn't phase this two time Cy Young winner, who fast pitched his way out of some serious cop troubles. In 2009 the long haired stoner was pulled over for speeding and was found to have possession of marijuana. Good thing he's famous! The judge let him off with a measly $250 fine (barely the price of a high quality smoking device), and he promised to never be caught again.

Playoff Pool in Jeopardy?

With the Pens, Red Wings, Sharks, Canucks and Blackhawks on the brink of elimination, your playoff pool just got a lot more interesting. That is unless you're one of the many many people who decided to pick players from those teams, certain they'd make it to the Finals. Womp, womp. If that's the case in a couple days you may just find yourself to be just another viewer, watching games with no added value, to determine a winner surely that won't be you.

Fan on a Ledge

The Pittsburgh Penguins could be eliminated tonight, with one sweep of a broom at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers.

I found a die hard Pens fan, who so willingly agreed to share his thoughts on the series thus far. What with the fighting, the suspensions, the blown leads and the blow out losses, I had to get the scoop on this 'Fan on a Ledge', and find out just what is going on in his steam rolled sports brain. What's the biggest fear for one of Pittsburgh's biggest fans? Jordan Tye tells me. 


Goon

This years NHL playoffs is unlike any other I've ever witnessed, and I think many hockey fans would agree. Not only do I feel like I've been watching a marathon of hockey fights and gruesome hits, it's also been part scorefest balanced perfectly with outstanding goal tending. A little over theatrical at times, but hey, explosions are what make blockbusters. With bodies being tossed around like extras in a war scene, it's a little unsettling to see main characters like Jaroslav Halak, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Alfredsson go down like the first victims in a horror movie. But alas, in all epic tales a hero must emerge, and like they say it's better late than never.

As we approach Game 4 of the opening series, I still can't believe the Canucks and Penguins have allowed a combined 29 goals. There have been 4 suspensions, 3 ejections, thousands in fines and hundreds upon hundreds of penalty minutes, and counting. Not to mention the amount of players probably skating around with active concussions... I've seen more head trauma than an episode of Criminal Minds. I get it, with frustration comes retaliation, but at the end of the day it's not the amount of shots you dish out with your fists, it's the amount of shots you lay on your opposition's goalie. Every team wants to have their best players healthy and active, and it doesn't help when they're serving suspensions in a First to 16 race. 

With most of the series' down to a Best of Three, stamina is going to be the difference maker for producers, while keeping your goalie in check remains the other. Should some teams gas themselves out by fighting and starting scrums before and after the whistle, don't be surprised if the only guy not fighting is the guy who scores the game winning goal.

xoxo

Rebounds


As important as they are in basketball, rebounding is equally as valuable when it comes to NHL playoff hockey. From big rebounds off your goalie in the dying minutes of the game, to rebounding from a double overtime defeat in your own arena - Rebounds are often unpredictable and can mean the difference between giving up a goal and giving up a series.





Opening Night Recap

In case you missed it, shame on you. You just passed on possibly the greatest opening night of Playoff hockey anyone could ever ask for. That is unless you're a Pens, Red Wings or Canucks fan - you just got shafted by your own teams mistakes.

The Canucks have fallen off their high horse and are now a game down to the Kings after losing 4-2. Showing no signs of Presidents Cup calibre hockey, the Nucks took 8 penalties leading to 2 Kings goals, 1 of them was Willie Mitchell's, the former Canuck. Mike Richards had a 3-point night for LA while captain Dustin Brown and linemate Justin Williams peppered Roberto Luongo with 15 shots. The Kings outshot the Canucks 39-26. Byron took some Bitz out Kings forward Kyle Clifford in the second, he left the game after crashing into the boards and did not return. Big pat on the back to Jonathan Quick who resumed his outstanding performance from the regular season... an even bigger pat on the back for the Kings who win after scoring score 4 goals or more for just the 18th time all year.

The Red Wings blew a tire in Nashville by stumbling over their own potholes, and there was no service available at Bridgestone Arena. In what might have been a RW road victory ended up in two awkward goals by Paul Gaustad (his first in 38 playoff games!) and Gabriel Bourque, the latter courtesy of Brad Stuart's skate. The Wings did all they could in spite of that, including score both their goals with the man advantage and kill off 6 power play chances while allowing only 7 shots. Preds draw blood first with the 3-2 win, Bourque had two including the game winner. The return of long timer Darren Helm was short lived- he left late in the 1st period due to a cut on his forearm. The big turning point however came extremely late in the game when goal scorer Henrik Zetterberg ate the glass thanks to the helping hands of Shea Weber, who smashed him up pretty good in retaliation to an earlier hit from behind. Pekka Rinne made 35 saves and Game 2 is Friday night. Brandon Yip-ee!

And if you thought it was going to be a physical series, you were board-banging right! Just ask Flyer Brayden Schenn, easily one of the best players of the night, in his playoff debut no less! After an early 3-0 Penguins lead which had me thinking this might be the end for Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov... the opening goal and assist by Crosby came about as simply morale shattering. Consol Energy Center was electric and the Flyers, well, looked like they were about to lose their wings. That is until Danny Briere (back from a Penguins hit that took him out April 1st), snapped his offside "count-it!" goal passed Marc Andre Fleury in the 2nd and once more midway through the 3rd. Schenn, who was tough stuff all night made it a tied game 3 minutes later by redirecting Scott Hartnell's shot from the point. Overtime!!!! Incredibly enough we all know now, you better Jakub Voracek yourself before you wreck yourself! The 22-year old netted his first career playoff goal against Fleury halfway into the extra frame to cap off a truly remarkable comeback. After allowing 3 goals on 10 shots, Bryzgalov settled down to stop 25 total. 4-3 Flyers in overtime.

After a beautiful first night of playoff hockey, I can now look forward to some ugly endings to the opening round. Tonight the rest of the teams are in action except the Devils and Panthers, their series starts on Friday.

See you in the game!
xoxo

Your Team Missed the Playoffs! What Now?




1. Swear. Loudly. Get it all out and get past it. Nothing fun will come out of resenting the other teams and ignoring the Playoffs.

Warning: If you have young children, either do said swearing outside, or preface your violent rage of obscenities with “ear muffs”.

2. Pick a team or a player to root for. There are 16 teams and 100’s of players. Not all of them are hated. You can do the classic “Canadian” thing and root for the Canucks or Sens. Die-hard fans have a real problem with that. Fair. Pick a team that has never won a Cup. Shit, pick the team you know least about. I’m a Habs fan. This year: I’m all about the Blues. Why? Halak. I cheered for him once, might as well do it again.

3. Support a friend. You have a friend (or several) who is a diehard fan of a team still in the Playoffs. Don’t fall victim to jealousy. Better to be an allied bandwagon jumper than a jealous, angry buzz-kill.

Caveat: You cannot support a team you religiously taunted your friend about at any point in the last 3 years. There’s only one thing worse than a bandwagon jumper: a hypocritical bandwagon jumper.

4. Playoff Pools. Screw rooting for teams, root for players. Might as well try and win some prizes while at it too. There are tons of playoff pools out there that are all essentially the same thing: Pick 10-20 players with some kind of salary cap and compete against the faceless masses. You will need to spend 15-20 minutes setting up your initial team per pool. Then you will need to manage it through the playoffs to have any shot at winning.

Issue: This opens you up to the similar let down you had when your beloved team missed the playoffs. That is the Playoff Pool Paradox.

Solution: Play InGamer during the playoffs. (Come on, you knew that was coming...didn’t you?). You can play any game, any day, and it takes less than 2 minutes to get going. There are some amazing prizes and hell, it’s a ton of fun and you might also meet some new friends.

Go to: www.ingamer.com to get IN the game.

Methods of the West

Being an Eastern Conference gal, my uncertainty with the West makes for even more intriguing playoff hockey. The once dormant franchises of the Central and Pacific divisions are now top seeds with their roots firmly planted into the ground, with the Coyotes, Blues and Predators all with home ice advantage. With high expectations from the fans and upper management alike, the pressure is on in the Western Conference cooker.




No Peace in the East

There's no saying who will make it out of the opening round of the NHL playoffs when the matchups look the way they do. Philly and Pittsburgh? Boston and Washington? Maybe in the second round or Conference final, but no way did I expect it to go down this early...

Act 1, Scene 1...




The Morning After

If you woke up this morning to a beautiful, light, warm and fuzzy feeling in your body, despite a hangover... Congratulations, you're either Steven Stamkos or you're in the playoffs.

Oh the playoffs, such an emotional whirlwind of unpredictable events. After a long 82 game schedule this second season requires 16 wins to determine the Stanley Cup winner. Very rarely does the Presidents' Trophy recipient (the best team during the regular season; in this case it's the Canucks back-to-back) lift Lord Stanley's mug, a sign of great hockey and an active curse. Either way it's hockey in the Spring and the game can be watched from the patio. Enough said.

Now that the first round matchups are set in ice just looking at them makes me melt:

Boston vs. Washington
Pittsburgh vs. Philly
St. Louis vs. San Jose
Vancouver vs. L.A

Just to name a few means we're in for a wild opener. There's going to be a lot of drama and a lot of facial hair, like The Bachelorette but with fighting.


I'm going to give you my take on each series as the days go on. Post season starts Wednesday April 11th and the defending Champs the Bruins are lookin' good. See you in the game...

xoxo

TOP 10 REASONS FOR WOMEN TO WATCH SPORTS

So I mentioned Sports Widows the other day, and the trials and tribulations that come with being in a relationship with a committed sports fan. What I failed to mention is that not every sports widow is a woman, and that not every sports fan is a man. It just so happens to be the stereotype that women don't like watching sports the same way men don't like going shopping. So moving along, I will proceed under this influence but please know I am not trying to offend anyone.

I've gathered my Top 10 Reasons Women Should Watch Sports, so open up your hearts and let the love in.


10. Guilt-Free Over-Indulging Time with the Guys
Go ahead, stuff yourself silly, they won't judge. In fact, the guys will probably be excited to see you consume as much nachos and wings as you can. Drinking beer has also never been so enjoyable. If you hang out often enough and have some notable stats handy, pretty soon you'll be cleared of any drink tabs and you'll be a household name.

It's also a really nice change to spend time with the boys -- take a break from the Gossip Girl drama and delve into the world of Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow drama.

Sports Widows

If you recently lost a loved one to a recurring pattern of untimely sporting events, you are not alone. Maybe it wasn’t recent; maybe it’s been years, decades even of love lost in an unfair game. It revolves around scheduling, statistics and worse, standings that change more often than Katy Perry’s hair colour. It hurts your relationship and effects your sanity, as you can’t come to terms with being scrapped for a baseball game.
 
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