Wednesday, 31 December 2008

*WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!*

That is all.

Oh, and hats off to JT! (He is a bit sick, isn't he? Now imagine what it's like seeing him do that live... I assure you it ain't camera angles. If anyone was wondering where my inspiration for Konorov came from...)

WJC 2009 - Day 6

You know it's a good draft year when:

a) your team's bombing the season and your reaction to a win is "Omigod? We won a game? Shit!"
b) the trade deadline is only the second brightest spot on the horizon
c) you are amused by Battle of Ontario's "Tank 4 Tavares" post and are mildly annoyed that your team is only 26th in the league, while the lucky Islanders are dead last
d) you want the Leafs to win so that no really good players fall into THAT bottomless pit of zero-productivity
e) all of the above

...I am about six losses away from writing off this season for the Sens. Thank goodness Pittsburgh isn't tanking too... *knock on wood*


TODAY'S WJC GAMES

RUSSIA vs. SWEDEN - 2:30 pm EST *TSN*

KAZAKHSTAN vs. the CZECH REPUBLIC - 3:30 pm EST

FINLAND vs. SLOVAKIA - 6:30 pm EST

CANADA vs. the USA - 7:30 pm EST *TSN*

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

WJC 2009 - Day 5

TODAY'S WJC GAMES

RUSSIA vs. SLOVAKIA - 2:30 pm EST **On TSN**

GERMANY vs. the CZECH REPUBLIC - 3:30 pm EST

FINLAND vs. LATVIA - 6:30 pm EST

KAZAKHSTAN vs. the USA - 7:30 pm EST

Monday, 29 December 2008

WJC 2009 - Day 4 (*would the real WJC please stand up* )

TODAY'S WJC GAMES

LATVIA vs. SWEDEN - 2:30 pm EST Final Score: 0-10

GERMANY vs. CANADA - 7:30 pm EST **TSN** Final Score 1-5

Sunday, 28 December 2008

WJC 2009 - Day 3

TODAY'S WJC GAMES

RUSSIA vs. FINLAND - 2:30 pm EST

CANADA vs. KAZAKHSTAN - 3:30 pm EST **Watch it on TSN**

SWEDEN vs. SLOVAKIA - 6:30 pm EST

USA vs. the CZECH REPUBLIC - 7:30 pm EST **Watch it on TSN2**


... and Ottawa vs. Vancouver on Sportsnet or PPV, depending on what timezone you live in - let's see if my second favourite team (after the Canadian Junior National team) can make it 0 for 12 in their last dozen road games... grooooaaannnnn...

Saturday, 27 December 2008

WJC 2009 - Day 2

Yesterday --> 8-1, Canada over the Czech Republic: after watching John Tavares score the first two goals of the game, suddenly Ottawa bombing this season and finishing dead last doesn't seem quite so bad...

Okay, so GOOD news! The WJC is on VOD on the TSN website, and by some miracle it works in th US as well as in Canada.

TODAY'S WJC GAMES

SLOVAKIA vs. LATVIA - 6:30 pm EST

GERMANY vs. KAZAKHSTAN - 7:30 pm EST

Sadly, neither will be broadcast on TSN. As I mentioned yesterday, however, TSN will be replaying the 2008 Under-18 gold-medal game at 12:30 a.m. [Pacific time] on December 28th, in case any fellow insomniacs want to watch Canada annihilate Russia... I'm not kidding when I say annihilate.

Friday, 26 December 2008

WJC 2009 - Day 1

Hope you're all having a great holiday! Now, get ready for a serious hockey-overload (if such a thing is possible...). The WJC STARTS TODAY (in W2TBL-land and in Ottawa!)

TODAY'S WJC GAMES

LATVIA vs. RUSSIA - 2:30 pm EST

GERMANY vs. the USA - 3:30 pm EST *will be televised on TSN*

FINLAND vs. SWEDEN - 6:30 pm EST

CANADA vs. the CZECH REPUBLIC - 7:30 pm EST *will be televised on TSN*

Okay, and GOOD news. It seems that TSN is going to have all the games on video on demand (VOD-YES!!!!!!) I'm not sure if this is accessible in the US; could one of you lovely Americans let me know? Click here. That's all, well, not quite:

GOOOOOO CANADA!!!

The real Team Canada and Team USA have the day off, as do Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Finland... TSN will, however, be replaying the 2008 Under-18 gold medal game at 12:30 a.m. [Pacific time] on December 28th, in case any fellow insomniacs want to watch Canada annihilate Russia... I'm not kidding when I say annihilate...

Friday, 12 December 2008

*Pre-empting any patriotic blood-shed...*

**Originally posted on W2TBL ... at the exact date and time this had been retroactively posted to.**

I'd like to pre-empt any ill-will that may arise over the next month or so concerning, specifically, any and all references to Canada's ridiculously good record at junior worlds (officially known as the IIHF World Junior Championship, or the World U20 Championship).

First of all, a reminder: I am Canadian. Forgive me my patriotism...

Secondly, Canada LOVES its junior hockey, probably more than any other country in the world. (Give me another country who runs a 50+ franchise junior league that's anywhere near as popular or profitable as the CHL and I'll desist...)

Thirdly, while a great many things in this story are COMPLETELY fabricated, Canada's junior worlds record is not, so any extravagant claims I make, like, say, the fact that we've medaled for 15 of the last 16 years, are true. (This story only contains one WJC-related inconsistency with reality, and if any of you out there can tell me what it is, I'll name a character after you! hint: you've already read about it.)

Canada is in fact defending the junior world title for the fourth consecutive year this Christmas, so please don't get all uppity with me for being all ra-ra-CA-NA-DA! because the fact that we kick ass at at junior worlds (we're currently on a 10-year medaling streak: 4 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze) is actually important to this story.

Ya'll may not watch the WJC religiously in the States (or Uppsala or Sheffield), but then again you may and I just don't know. The point, however, is that here in Canada, junior worlds is kind of like having a Canadian team in the Stanley Cup final. It's big. Real big. Sometimes, I think we care more about Junior Worlds than the World Championships in May.


Also, if you're not in the habit of watching the U20 Worlds, I encourage you to check it out this year! It's fast, it's fun, and holy cow, is it awesome to watch 16-19 year-olds duke it out for gold! When they win, it's almost as wicked as watching your home team win the Cup! For me, more so, but that's cause I'm a freak who loves junior hockey more than the NHL... (but please don't tell Dany Heatley that, even though technically the reason he's my favourite player is because I saw him play for the first time in the WJC and he was the first player since Mario Lemieux that made me go 'Oooh-you're-good!')

For Canadians (and anyone with a decent satellite provider), TSN is pretty much dedicated to the tournament from December 26th until January 5th. TSN broadcasts a lot of games on the web and has a lot of games on permanent VOD on their website, but I'm not sure if they're available overseas. If you can't get TSN, you can try to Sopcast it or check out Justin.tv and see if anyone there is streaming the games. They are SO worth the effort!

Monday, 1 December 2008

W2TBL - 2 sentences that will make you hate me

**Yes. You are in the right place. I know this isn't W2TBL. I've posted this on my other blog so people don't stumble across it accidentally and, stupidly, fail to heed the following disclaimer:

This is the last “scene” of the epilogue of W2TBL - Book 1, including my unusually cruel teaser. If you have stumbled upon this accidentally and are in the process of reading my other blog, Welcome to the Big League, and you are NOT 100% DONE reading Welcome to the Big League, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT READ THIS!!! If you have read all of W2TBL and you have no clue what this is, read this first.**

* * *

As promised, Sophie saved a dance for Kaz, who had finally begun to put back on a bit of the weight he’d lost in his coma. Sophie wasn’t surprised by the song that began playing as they reached the dance floor.

“So, is this our song now?” Sophie joked quietly.

“I guess so, I just can’t hear it without thinking about dancing with you that night in Schiedam,” Kaz said with a stiff jaw.

Sophie took a deep breath to steady herself, “It was a good night.”

“It was,” Kaz agreed and pulled her in close.

They danced and Sophie was surprised by how little missing an arm seemed to bother Kaz, he seemed to have already accepted it completely. He’d already found ways to do everything he’d done before, even dancing. Sophie knew she shouldn’t have been so surprised, Kaz had always been one of the most stubbornly creative Saints on the ice, why wouldn’t his ability to improvise manifest itself off the ice?

Steph and Meredith made their exit around one in the morning, escaping to Château Frontenac for a few nights. They weren’t going on a proper honeymoon, Meredith had already taken two weeks off at the beginning of June so she could ‘prepare for the wedding’. Mostly she’d flown back and forth between Manhattan, Montreal and Calgary to see the last two rounds of Steph’s playoff games.

Meredith booked the time off the day after Kaz woke up and Tom and Sophie got back together: somehow, she’d known the Habs would go all the way and, for Meredith, spending a week in Hawaii or the Caribbean didn’t hold a candle to the seeing Stephane Leduc play the four most important games of his professional hockey career. After all, you only win your first Stanley Cup once.

As everyone congratulated the newlyweds on the way out, Sophie slipped her arm through Tom’s and leaned against his shoulder.

Tom turned and brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes and gave her a lingering kiss on the lips, “A year ago, I would never have been able to imagine any of this.”

Sophie watched Steph and Meredith run out, glanced over at André with a very pregnant Koko, saw Kaz with his arm draped protectively around Anna’s shoulders, and turned back to meet Tom’s eyes, “Me neither.”

As everyone blew kisses to the departing newlyweds, Sophie saw Koko’s eyes begin to glaze over. A moment later, Sophie heard a soft thump and her brother’s terrified voice cursing profusely in French.