The 61st in our 118-part series.
Life just does not give us enough reasons to celebrate. Hockey, on the other hand, does.
Outside of hockey, we get 3 big chances to celebrate a year: birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. But as hockey fans, we can pepper any number of other happy occasions throughout the year. The above cake, for example, was baked to commemorate Sid Crosby’s birthday, his foray into the world of high fashion (snicker!), as well as to mark the last weekend of the 2007 that doesn’t have some kind of interesting sports on TV. (You can read more about the cake from a cooking perspective on IPB Eats.) If those aren’t occasions worthy of baking a cake, what are? Moreover, why should we let occasions like getting to the top of the standings, or making a big trade, or a rookie’s first goal, pass without a champagne toast or a nice dinner out (on those ridiculous evenings without hockey) or a maybe even a guilty-pleasure pan of boxed cupcakes? Here at IPB Manor, we’ve gone so far as to institute a new annual tradition. Three times a year — Opening Day, All-Star Weekend and the start of the Playoffs — we splurge on a box of chocolates from La Maison Du Chocolat. Because nothing is more celebratory than fine chocolates and professional ice hockey.
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The 60th in our 118-part series.
There are plenty of genial guys in the NHL. There are plenty of awe-inspiring playoff beards. There are plenty of fourth/fifth defenseman-types. There are plenty of doofuses who have suffered serious eye injuries who insist on still not wearing visors. But none of them combine all those traits into one Sideshow Bob-coiffed, charmingly hard-drinking, self-deprecating guy who also happens to be one of the first prospects we ever paid attention to in the Devils system. Mikey C is our Sideshow Bob coiffed, charmingly hard-drinking, self-deprecating guy. We’re not really sure why we noticed him when he was still just a Devils draftee, nor are we sure what compelled us to still care about him when he started cracking the lineup for the first time. He couldn’t really handle the puck well, he wasn’t all that sound positionally, and he couldn’t skate to save his live. But he was still that guy we’d cared about — for whatever reason — before he made the big club, so we felt attached to him. When Larry Robinson praised him for having “a reach from here to eternity” we swelled with pride. When two regular D men went down in a game in Ottawa, leaving us with just four blueliners, and Mikey had to step in and play a theretofore unheard-of (for him) twenty minutes, we were thrilled. And when he got thrown in as ballast in the Sykora/Friesen deal, we were crushed.
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