Ms. Conduct

Recent Posts

Suave and hip, with a dash of retro: I'm crazy about your hair, Stammer.

It’s all playoff beard, all the time* this time of year. A subject so near and dear to people’s hockey hearts, I only dare to tread around the edges of it.

*except for the other 90% of the time when it’s all hits to the head and Shanabanning.

Hockey hair, on the other hand, is a year round thing. And even though the mullet has effectively been mocked out of existence, the follicles of NHLers all around the league still bless us with the occasional case of obsession-worthy flow.

Let’s start broad and work our way down my list of hockey hair that has stuck with me this season like a bad habit.

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See how much WORK it is to be a fan of a team in the playoffs? Making Devo-esque jumpsuits out of, um, diapers or something... Making fake Stanley Cups out of water jugs... Glad I don't have to do that stuff. Totally glad.

Confession time: I’m a liar.

Of course, we’re all are liars to some extent. “No, honey, those pants definitely do NOT accentuate your thunder thighs!” “Ohh, I’m SO sorry I can’t come to your baby shower! We’re, uh, out of town that weekend.”

They’re the white lies we tell each other to save face, or avoid unnecessary hurt feelings, or to get us out of having to coo over baby wipe warmers and diaper cakes.

And then there are the lies we tell ourselves. And this time of year, even though the Playoffs are glorious, full of excitement and amazing hockey and passion, I find my head to be full of lies.

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Super. Duper. Creepy.

If you thought I was kidding about that whole “hockey as a religious experience” thing, consider this: The Hockey Holy Season begins today, on Easter, which just happens to be a bunny-centric holiday.

I’m on to something there, right? I’ll take your silence as agreement.

To celebrate, I thought I’d give myself a little challenge. Being goalie-obsessed on top of being hockey-obsessed, sometimes the love doesn’t get spread around enough to the other 5 guys on the ice.

So, today I bring you 5 Sexy Things about Hockey, Unrelated to Goalies (was supposed to be 10, if I’m being honest, but I wrote too much about the top 5):

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Reformed uberdiva Ray Emery needs a moment alone

I think most everybody has a little diva in them. It’s the part of you that says, “Bitch, please!” in the face of perceived injustice. The part that says, “I can TOO do this!” in the face of glaring adversity. It’s a good thing to let your inner diva out occasionally to wag her finger at the world.

But, of course, letting your diva out too much leaves you prone to drama and self-absorption. Divas are strong but sometimes so willful, they get in their own way.

No position in hockey is immune from diva-tude, but goalies (and I shamelessly include myself) seem to be just a titch more prone to it.

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"Dear Hockey Gods, I know I said I wouldn't ask for anything else if you brought the Jets back, but..."

Growing up, my Methodist parents dragged me to church every Sunday. Like a good only child, I had plenty of quiet ways to entertain myself and keep up appearances, but the whole thing never really clicked with me.

Of course, the basics stick because they just seem like good common sense. The Golden Rule, some version of the Ten Commandments; many tenets of Christianity simply fall under what I would consider civilized behavior.

And of course, there are plenty of good stories from which to learn general life lessons. Believe me, I’ve thought of Job and his unwavering patience quite a lot this season as a Wild fan.

But in terms of having the belief in and passion for something, enough to make it the foundation of my philosophy as a person, I just couldn’t get on board with Jesus. I searched for other religions that felt more relatable, but by the end it, I just had a comfortable mishmash of ideals that felt right to me.

Then in my 30s, I found hockey and I was born again. It’s been the center of my universe ever since.

So, for a long time, I’ve been thinking about the religious-like fervor I and many others have for the sport. Let’s look at the evidence for hockey’s candidacy as not only the greatest sport in the world but one of the most fun religions:

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"We're sorry, Dustin. You're just not... Mike Richardsy enough."

The list of things I find magical and mysterious about hockey is a mile long, and near the top of it is the Captaincy of an NHL team (imagine me punctuating “Captaincy” with jazz hands).

While part of a captain’s role is well-defined and practical, it’s the maddeningly ethereal side of it that I’ve spent a ridiculous number of hours noodling over.

If you have a great captain, you may never even think about what he does to be great. It just happens. He’s gracious with the media, has his finger on the pulse of his team, and leads by example both on and off the ice.

He’s smart, heroic, and responsible. He’s the sort of guy you could take home to Mom and she’d end up liking him more than she likes you.  “You should have married that one,” she’ll say 20 years later.

The man with the C on his sweater is, in the eyes of his organization, the ultimate player representative for the team, embodying the qualities they want to portray to the outside world.

If you’ve picked the right guy, there’s really no reason to even think about it, other than the occasional, “Gosh, our captain is a bang up fella!”

But if your team hasn’t picked the right guy, the results can range from vaguely cringe-inducing to downright destructive.

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Hal Gill is a +1 in any jersey.

No offense to any of you guys whose lives got turned upside down as one of the moving pieces of Monday’s trade deadline, but damn… what a snooze.

The contrarian in me actually enjoys those 2 or 3 hours of Squirm-o-vision at the beginning of the broadcast: 20 hockey analysts (and one awkward Alyonka Larionov) casually dispersed around the studio praying for something to happen so they don’t have to resort to making fun of each others suits just to have something to say.

But even I still managed to tire of poor Darren Dreger desperately hammering his Blackberry in pursuit of the Nash trade that would never break.

Eventually, though, a few trades rolled in and the analysis began: What’s this guy going to bring to his new team? What’s the absence of this other guy going to do? Which team got the better deal? What is Brian Burke’s tie’s reaction to the trade?

But of course, we all know it’s really just speculation until there’s a body of work from each guy with his new team… and that Burke’s tie hates ALL the trades, but only because the Toronto media is such a bunch of poopieheads.

I, however, have analysis of the deadline trades you can bank on, because it’s in an area where players have an immediate, irrefutable impact: Team Attractiveness.

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