What Water Polo Taught Me About Hockey (or why Henrik Lundqvist is the best goalie around)

I started watching hockey because I had a crush on a guy in high school who loved the Los Angeles Kings. I watched some games and realized how similar it was to my own sport. And that it was so much better. If I wasn’t land-challenged I would definitely play hockey. Except that ice is a little hard to come by in California.

Then I moved to New York City and went to a Rangers game. And from then on became obsessed with them. Their team. their stadium. I ❤ The NYR. And every single year since then they break my heart when they lose in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Sometimes All the time I am stressed because they make ridiculous mistakes that no one playing at that level should make. But I get even more annoyed at the announcers and Capitals Bruins Penguins Flyers all the fans who don’t seem to understand the game they claim to love. It’s really upsetting.

I don’t claim to be amazing at water polo (I wasn’t) and I’m not currently an ice hockey player, but the similarities are such key parts of the game and its really not that hard to play like you get paid millions of dollars to not suck. Because they do. So in my time as a water polo player, here are a few things I took away that definitely relate to ice hockey:

  • It’s hockey. Grow some balls, be a man, and get up. Alright, this game is basically wrestling on ice. You are expected to get hit. A LOT. When you get hit, don’t slump in a corner pretending you can’t get up. You can. That is what you are paid to do. Stop crying and just play. If you can’t handle the hitting go play baseball.
  • Refs are not objective. Some will hate you and some will love you. But if you retaliate right away you deserve to be kicked out. This is coming from personal experience. I got majored nearly every single game my sophomore year in college. Why? Because when someone hits me I swim over them and hold them under. 5 seconds later. Don’t do that. Then I decided to wait a couple periods to get them back. What happened? They got kicked out and I earned an ejection and then my team scored. I was sometimes a dirty player. But once I learned not to retaliate I scored more and was pissed off less. So hockey players, are you checked into the boards? Are you intentionally tripped, slashed, or hit? Wait a period and then give it back to them ten fold. It’s hockey, you can do that. But retaliation gets you kicked out 98% of the time. I’m looking at you Capitals.

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  • Being a goalie is hard, but not every goalie is great. This is the point where I discuss the glory of Henrik Lundqvist and why anyone who doesn’t think he is the greatest goalie in the NHL is an idiot. I love The Rangers, but I would currently say they are a mediocre team at best, definitely not Stanley Cup material (sorry guys). There is one factor keeping them in the running year after year: King Henrik. The Rangers are blessed with THE BEST goalie which keeps them from sucking. OK, back to goalie skills: 30 saves in a game is impressive but less impressive when the opposing team thinks that shooting at the goalie is the way to score. This doesn’t work at any level. I have the worst-hand-eye coordination of anybody around but put me in the goal, shoot at my face and I will block it every single time. There are a handful of goalies that make way impressive saves, and Henrik Lundqvist is one of those goalies. Playing Division III water polo in college I faced my fair amount of goalies. The only great goalie I can recall played for The Tigers. Yes, my own goalies were the best in our league. But there were countless times that we made other goalies look amazing, when they weren’t. Myself included. My shooting percentage was something like 25-30%. I missed the goal the majority of the time since my main tactic was shoot as hard as I can at the goalies face. As strong as I was, even a crappy goalie will block that shot. Protecting ones’ face is a big deal no matter how talented you are. It was one of our biggest issues, we were fast, had awesome defense, but couldn’t score since we were always shooting at the goalies head/body/arms. Hockey goalies skills seems to be accumulated the same way. For the majority of goalies, it’s not their own skills that make them good, it’s the opposing team shooting at their face. Goalies are essential but the difference between a good goalie and a great goalie is not a slim line and its based on the stupidity of offensive players. Henrik Lundqvist is amazing because he blocks the shots at his face and the shots where he dives, jumps, splits, and falls. He is a regular hockey gymnast.  And saves his teams butt every single time.

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As The Rangers season has ended and preparation begin to prepare for next season (sighning new players, firing an unsuccessful coach) here is my open request to The Rangers:

  1. Keep doing what you’re doing to earn Power Plays. There’s nothing wrong with starting something but retaliation is not your friend.
  2. Please, please ,please, for the love of God, score on Power Plays. 2 for 44? Are you freaking kidding me?? Pass, pass, pass, shoot. It really is as simple as that.
  3. Don’t shoot at the goalie. Simple, but apparently impossible. Cross cage, high corner can work wonders.
  4. Lundqvist is amazing but cannot win the Stanley Cup by himself. He can’t score and can’t block every single shot 100% of the time. Support your goalie like its your job. It is. So make sure you are excelling at that. He wants to win The Cup and its your job to make sure he does it with The Rangers. If The King jumps ship I might have to follow him. Please don’t make me root for The Penguins, The Devils, or anyone else.
  5. And please win next year. The stress might just kill me.

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An Original Cold Stones Creation



Remember when Cold Stones was the best ice cream around? This was way before I had discovered the glory of cupcakes and ice cream was still my most favorite food ever. This was also way before Cold Stones had a mazillion flavors and a shop connected with nearly every Panera one will find. Whoever came up with that partnership — I salute you.
But back in the day Cold Stones were few and far between and the closest one to my house in Santa Barbara was a miserable 25 minutes away in ghetto Goleta, all the way out by the airport. The only time I was partaking in my mix-ins was if I was being shlepped to a swim meet, a water polo game, or the orthodontist. Because everyone knows that massive amounts of sugar is exactly what one needs after you get new bands for your braces.

Santa Barbara has a really gorgeous downtown area and once I was able to hang out there by myself I would walk up and down State Street with no purpose. Clearly I have always been a trouble maker. Well one day I noticed quite a few people had Cold Stones cups and I got really excited. I started searching for this other Cold Stones because I had the knowledge that the only other one was half an hour away, and all those people would not have walked all the way from Goleta for ice cream. There had to be a Cold Stones around somewhere!

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My brothers thought that incident was pretty hilarious as it further demonstrates my A. lack of awareness and B. Captain obviousness. Whatever. I think it just points to the idea that nothing comes between ice cream and me.

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Funfetti Cupcakes

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I live for birthdays. I love celebrating people’s birthdays because it is another excuse to make cupcakes. But when it’s my own birthday — watch out. I really like when I am the center of attention and that’s what my birthday is: a day all about me. And the fact that it happens to fall on Mother’s Day Weekend doesn’t really detail me from making it all about me. My mom knows I love her every single day, it’s not like I need to remind her how good she has it with me as a daughter. And if i do, I just bring up the fact that I was born on Mother’s Day. Which I do. Every single year. I used to get so excited about my birthday that my mom had to instigate a rule stating I couldn’t mention my birthday until April 10, one month before. That rule still stands today since who I was at 5 is pretty much who I am at 29. Except I cry less. Well, maybe that’s not true. But instead of crying when I am on time-out I cry at Suburu commercials and pictures of baby animals. So much has changed.

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funfetti prep

This is a pretty pivotal birthday because it marks the first time in 5 years that turning older doesn’t terrify me. Ever since I turned 25 every single celebration has been another “25th birthday.” This year I feel so full of change and yearning for adventure that I think it’s time to embrace 29. I also realize that I can’t work out 12 times a week and get 5 hours of sleep a night anymore. I am definitely getting older and sleeping is my favorite thing.

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Oatmeal Cream Pies

My boyfriend is a dork. He is also brilliant. But mostly a dork. He is my go to person whenever I need to know anything. Because he either knows all the facts, or turns to Wikipedia to solve all those answers he doesn’t know. So you’re probably thinking, he just has a thirst for knowledge  Well, yes, that too. But he’s also a dork who has made me even more of a dork. Because having an insane knowledge for obscure 1930s movies and musical theater just wasn’t enough. As my favorite group of kids would say, I want more.

One of our favorite things to do is watch Jeopardy. I know, my life is awesome. So when my boyfriend gets the call to try out for Jeopardy, naturally I go nuts. I had all these dreams of “training” him. For a competition in intelligence. Who am I kidding? That just wasn’t going to happen. So when my boyfriend was off being brilliant, I made these. I may not know anything about Greek history that I didn’t learn from Hercules — yes, the Disney version — but I can whip up some tasty treats. Continue reading

Mint Brownie Ice Cream

Sometimes you just need a brownie, ya know? Like, you can’t rest until you smell them being baked and anticipating eating the whole pan a small serving. Oh come one. The whole pan definitely sounds good sometimes. Perfect for break-ups, work woes, and girl dramas. Or Saturday nights. But when you live with 1 other person that pan of brownies looks lonely. So I did what any considerate person would do. I mashed it up and put it in ice cream. Naturally.

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Mint Brownie was my most favorite flavor at ColdStones when I would wander the streets of Santa Barbara, before mint was even a flavor there. Before the days of Cake Batter it was pretty much Sweet Cream and Chocolate, with a few others for fun. So my mint brownie ice cream consisted of sweet cream ice cream, brownie bits, and mint extract. Very minty and very green.

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