I'm slowly becoming a hockey fan. I admit it. I have a hometown team that has all of their games televised. I've been to a few and have had a great (and one time blackout great) time at each one. Even my alma mater is building a dominating hockey program. So, it's growing on me. And with the puck dropping this week on the new season of NHL action, I want to give Gary Bettman a preview/prediction post. Now, as I said yesterday, I'm not really sure how qualified I am to do this since I know about 20 players in the league and had to look up the standings because I couldn't remember all of the teams. But I'm going to give it a go anyway. Here is my preview/predictions. I've added a smarmy quip after each team along with the names of the player(s) that I think play for that team. This should be interesting. And of course, by "interesting", I really mean "just tune out now and go search for those topless pictures of Megan Fox.
1. Penguins (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin) - Did you know that Crosby has lived in Mario Lemieux's house ever since he's been in the NHL? WTF? The best player in hockey should have his own property and not be like Boner from Gorwing Pains; living in Jason Seaver's garage roof/apartment.
2. Devils* (Martin Brodeur) - I will argue to the death that the David Puddy "don't mess with the devil, buddy" episode was one of the top 3 episodes in the history of that series.
3. Rangers* (does Jagr still play for them?) - Remember that episode of Friends (first or second season) when Ross got hit in the nose with by an errant puck? Yeah, I wish it would have decapitated him.
4. Flyers (no idea) - Can anyone explain why they are named the Flyers and what the fuck that tadpole-looking logo means? I mean, I understand why Dayton is called the Flyers, but why an east coast hockey team? People from Philly are weird. Damn fine cheesesteaks though...damn fine.
5. Islanders (Rick DiPietro) - Does this team even have fans? Has any team, other than my team, been less relevant than the Islanders?
1. Senators (Jason Spezza?) - This team always reminds me of my senior year of high school when the Ottawa-Glandorf basketball team was ranked and played my mediocre high school in The Grand Canyon. The "Canyon Crew" had front row seats and for some reason we were given those big megaphones to scream a lot of nonsense over the course of the game. When our team, "led" by Damman, got out to a 2-0 lead, we began the "O-VER-RA-TED" chant. It was great. We ended up losing by like 50 points.
2. Canadiens* (no idea) - I like Montreal and their fans because almost all of them hate America. It's a lesser version of the Cold War except that French Canadians are pussies. Fuck Quebec.
3. Sabres* (Ryan Miller) - I don't even pay attention to hockey and even I know that Buffalo hockey fan still can't get over the whole "Brett Hull was in the crease" argument. Relax, people. You live in the home of buffalo wings. Life is still pretty good. I'm one of those weirdos that only likes the drumstick, though. Hate the messiness of the actual wing. Hate it.
4. Maple Leafs (Tie Domi?) - Personally, I think "Maple Leafs" is the coolest name for any team in sports. It's too bad that it will forever be associated "The Love Guru". And I hate foliage. I'm always reminded of having to do a scrapbook of leaves in freshman biology during high school. Man, that project sucked balls. Identifying a bunch of leaves is about as fun as scrubbing your balls with a belt sander.
5. Bruins (Sergei Samsonov?) - I actually own a Boston Bruins t-shirt. I have no idea why. Why would I buy a shirt of a team from a city that I absolutely loathe? And why have I not thrown it out yet? It's still in my rotation, too.
1. Capitals (Ovechkin!) - Shouldn't a team named the Capitals have their entire team name spelled in capital letters? It's like Max Power. Each letter is just as important as the last.
2. Lightning* (LeCavlier and St. Louis) - The Lightning are awesome for two reasons: Barry Melrose is there and it's the team that gave Erin Andrews her start. You've got to respect that.
3. Hurricanes (nothing) - It's a good thing that Houston and New Orleans don't have NHL teams because any time that Carolina would come to town, it could be a little bit awkward. "Go Hurricanes" would seem like a tacky thing to yell in those cities. I mean, I would do it, but I'm a devious asshole.
4. Thrashers (nada) - This may be the worst team name in sports. What the hell is a thrasher? A headbanger? A wheat thresher? Shouldn't their mascot be a 1989 head shot of Rikki Rachtman? Speaking of which, what's going on with all of these hair metal bands coming back with new albums and concert tours? I'm fine with it and all but I doubt the public was clamoring for new Tesla songs.
5. Panthers (John VanBiesbrouck played there about a decade ago, does that count?) - Where is this team based out of: Orlando, Miami, or Jacksonville? Any help? Either way, why are there are NHL teams in Florida?
1. Red Wings (Chelios, Hossa, Osgood) - The Wings have a lot of Swedish players on their team. Which leads me to my next point: Swedish Fish are fucking gross. Next to Bit-O-Honey and that Halloween candy wrapped in the black/orange wrappers, there is no worse candy on the planet.
2. Blue Jackets* (all of them) - I'm really liking the Jackets this season. Having been to that preseason game last week, this could be a very good season. Oh, I don't know anything about their talent, but they got into 4 fights in the first 40 minutes of the game. The Jackets are the only team in the NHL to never make the playoffs. That ends this year.
3. Blackhawks (no one now that Khabibulin got cut) - I was told this past weekend that the 'Hawks are going to be good this year. Pfffft, who cares. But I don't doubt it. If there name was the RedHawks, then I would know that they would be terrible. The C with the two hatchets logo is the best logo in sports.
4. Predators (no one) - Chris Hansen's favorite team! Wouldn't it be great if they changed uniforms every game and the logo would be a different child molester? It would be like an athletic version of America's Most Wanted. I should work for the Preds.
5. Blues (clueless) - Commenter Glick is a fan of this team. I don't know why. If you asked him, I doubt that he would even know. This is the same guy that owns a Falcons Eric Metcalf jersey, too. I hate you, Glick.
1. Flames (Iginla, Kiprusoff) - I root for Calgary because that is the home of Stu Hart's dungeon. Has their ever been a more famous dungeon than Stu's? Bret, Owen, Benoit, The British Bulldog, Chris Jericho, etc...that's a real murderer's row. Too soon?
2. Wild* (Gaborik?) - I liked them better as the North Stars, what an awesome name. You know what else was an awesome name: Wyld Stallyns! I need to watch Bill & Ted again. Did the guy that played Ted ever do anything else?
3. Avalanche* (Sakic and Forsberg are still around, right?) - Recently, I watched the episode of The Simpsons where Burns and Homer get stuck in the cabin due to the avalanche. Hilarious. Nothing beats a good sit. For some reason, I was always a big fan of Claude Lemieux. He was a real instigator much like myself.
4. Canucks* (stumped) - If the guy in the picture is what all Canucks fans look like, I'm going to have to move them up in these projections. I bet that guy masturbates with maple syrup. Isn't calling a Canadian a canuck like calling a Mexican a beaner?
5. Oilers (Warren Moon? Ernest Givens?) - I miss the Oilers. They were the best team to play with in Super Tecmo Bowl. Some will argue the Bills or the 49ers, but not me. The run-and-shoot is the best offense ever. Screw running the ball, you've got to air it out on every play. Haywood Jennings, bitch.
1. Stars (Mike Modano, Sean Avery) - Avery worked for Vogue this offseason. What a disgrace. Stars doesn't even fit the city anyway. Take a note from Baseketball and rename them the Dallas Felons.
2. Ducks* (Giguere still around?) - Wasn't it bizarre that in D2, Disney made the main villains the team from Iceland? What did they ever do to us? Well, besides Bjork. If I was running the show, I would have made the Canadians the villains. Bastards. The coach could have been Dave Coulier.
3. Sharks (Joe Thornton) - Have you ever ridden that Jaws ride at Universal Studios? Those sharks coming out to scare the kids were the fakest things ever. Even more fake than people saying that Steve Carell is still funny.
4. Kings (nope) - I find it just a tad amusing that Ice Cube is the most famous Kings fan in the world. Go ahead, try to name another one. I bet he earned a ton of street cred wearing hockey gear in the hood. You would have to respect him. I mean, anyone can wear Raiders gear, it takes a special kind of banger to roll with the NHL.
5. Coyotes (bupkus) - Janet Jones-Gretzky will give you 10:1 odds that I know nothing about the Coyotes other than Wayne Gretzky is the coach. Ice and the desert together at last!
Stanley Cup - Capitals over Stars
MVP - Rick Nash!
Lady Byng - what the fuck is that anyway?
I'm sure that that was insightful to the layperson. To all my readers that are avid hockey fans, please pen your thoughts on my predictions in the comments and give your own if you want. I don't really care...it's not like anyone is going to read this anyway. I just did this because it gets old talking football each and every day (and I love talking about that). Get over it, you'll be fine with a little culture in your lives. Carry The Flag!