Feb. 22nd, 2016

kiki_eng: striped mug held by a woman wearing a sleeveless top (Hawaii Five-0) (mug held by Kono)
Les Canadiennes are a team in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) and they are my favourite. Here's some of the why:

My team is better than your team; the Stars have had the most Clarkson Cup wins and have finished the regular season at the top of the league standings, ahead of Calgary by 8 points. They have the second fewest penalty minutes in the league (earlier in the season they had the fewest and were second in the standings) with only Boston having fewer this season.

Kind of amusingly it's Montreal's Karell Emard who is tied with Rebecca Vint of the Brampton Thunder for having the most penalty minutes in the league, though. Emard picked up 14 of those 42 minutes against the Brampton Thunder on January 7th; I actually haven't seen that game but kind of have the impression that this was maybe in reaction to the more penalty-rich game that the Thunder plays.

4/5 of the league's point leaders are Canadiennes, with Marie-Philip Poulin at the top. That might be a name you recognise. She's kind of a big deal. She's a two time Olympian and was responsible for the gold medal goal in both games - actually she scored 4/5 of the Canadian goals in those games, so some people call her the Sidney Crosby of women's hockey, but, I feel she is so much more awesome than he is that this comparison is somewhat sad.

People in the CWHL are pretty awesome in general, especially Les Canadiennes. I mean, they have Julie Chu. Everyone loves Julie Chu - we made her our all-star captain this year and that's a title open to every all-star player so that's some stiff competition. ...and that was a fantastic choice, I feel, for so many reasons, including the weekend itself. The draft was great - you can watch it here (you'll likely want to start 38 minutes in) or [tumblr.com profile] icing-on-the-rink has put together some twitter highlights. [personal profile] sobsister commented at the game that Chu does so much interaction with everyone on the ice, which is great to watch, and she does. She does that.

Julie Chu has jokes and cheers people on, which is so great. She cheers on her teammates and young players and she's great. I sort of think that she might be living in Montréal now, but there was this year where she was commuting from the States for practice and it was an impressive commute, especially for someone who's not getting paid for this; she's very dedicated. She just seems really lovely all-around. Did you know Julie Chu knows how to crotchet and has been learning French with Anastasia Bucsis?

Anastasia Bucsis is Charline Labonté's girlfriend. Goalie! (Labonté came out after the 2014 Olympics.) There's also a video of Labonté cooking and goofing around and she has a cat who is tiny in it. Labonté was an all-star captain last season, actually, which was great; the ceremonial puck drop in particular was good. There's a nice gif set featuring her and Poulin and Ouellette doing a Hockey Canada event and they're all doing such a great job as role models, I feel; it's lovely. There's a quote from Poulin in there where she talks a bit about the importance of being a good human being off the ice, and, I just, yes. Yes, this is why I love them.

They are dorks, mostly Quebecois dorks. It's awesome. Look at these hats. They wore them to the Winter Classic. There were more hats on the bus to the winter classic. Dorks, dorks with matching hats. They do the crossword. I admit that I am getting progressively lazier with this post, so I present Caroline Ouellette singing.

As far as I can tell they are all lovely and I have mentioned barely any of them, which I feel a bit bad about, but I did mention the laziness. They are great. This weekend they are facing off against Toronto in the playoffs. Toronto has 14 points to Les Canadiennes' 42. Les Canadiennes are undefeated on home ice. (I am pretty sure your team is going down, [personal profile] sobsister.)

If you're around Montréal the 26th-28th you can buy tickets for those games here. The games will stream on the CWHL website and will cost $10 to watch, which is less than a single game ticket and I think will work out to about $2/game. (You can read about scheduling here.) Saturday's Furies vs. Canadiennes game is on Sportsnet 360 at 5pm EST / 2pm PST.

If all goes well Les Canadiennes will face off against either the Calgary Inferno or the Brampton Thunder in Ottawa on the Senators' ice on Sunday March 13th. (Tickets are available here for $20.) That's the first weekend of March Break for a lot of elementary school kids here and it sounds like a pretty good way to start it off.

I am so excited about the playoffs, and also anxious. Go Les Canadiennes Go!

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