Friday, May 20, 2011


When your team never makes the playoffs, when they are out of the race every year before the snow flies and you are subjected to months of boring depressing poor hockey, interrupted only by a monthly success that we like to call the Greyhound Handjob in these parts, then the arrival of the playoffs is welcome. Meaningful hockey, played with passion and excitement, by hockey teams that range from good to excellent.

The only sour note - realizing that your sadsack squad is miles away from being good enough to even win a series. And competing for the Cup? We're talking travel to Jupiter far away, pal.

Oh well, what the fuck, right? At least we have teenager hockey players who are awesome! And a new arena coming!

A couple of nights ago I wandered down to the far western reaches of Queen Street with my partner in crime. It began as a lovely warm night and degenerated into another fucking deluge as we tried to make our way to a second bar. We were left soaking and bitter. Well, not really bitter.

When we get together we talk about books and music and politics and our kids and beer but mostly we talk about sex and hockey. Because we are men. And last night was no different. I'll not get into the sex talk because quite frankly I'm starting to worry about myself a little. Our trip to the DR was pretty well awesome in that regard and since our return I have essentially obsessing about those tropical goings on to the point where I can barely go out in public due to the constant boner I have. Its kind of raging right now. What can I say? My wife is fucking hot and I'm a dude. I should just get over it I guess.

So to hockey. The game was on and we witnessed the Canucks just kicking the shit out of San Jose. The Sharks can totally come back but the Sedins are rolling now, hell the whole club is, and imagine that they are without Malholtra and Samuelsson. Could Vancouver not win the Cup? Of course but right now I think they're looking to be in pretty good shape barring a catastrophic injury.

My pal is a fan of Les Sabres and so we were talking about who we were rooting for this year. Since 2006 I've been pretty happy with what has happened in the playoffs. Out of the eight finallists I really could only object to the Ducks on the basis that they were generally douchebags, had their genesis in a Disney movie and were one of Bettman's pet franchises. On the other hand Ottawa is a Canadian club. Detroit and Chicago are original six clubs and have long histories and of course we all know my connection to the Hawks. Ending their Cup drought was just outstanding and I celebrated that triumph by drinking a lot of wine and having sex on our couch. With my wife too, not the usual solo act that happens there. You haven't really lived until you have had crazy sex while Duncan Keith mumbles and slurs through his broken teeth in the background. Adds an element of danger because its like a hobo is in your house watching you do it.

Oh those precious moments.

Chicago beat one of the '67 expansion clubs and love them or hate them (most do the latter) Philly is one of the premier franchises in the league. And the two previous years we had the Wings and Pens, another '67 club, probably the most successful one of those.

So its been quality. None of that old New Jersey/Dallas shit.

This season its a little more difficult to figure out. Who do you go for when you don't have a real interest? Here's what I go by, in no particular order:


The franchise.

The players.


Does it matter? Sure it does. I knew a guy in school who was a huge Leafs's fan. Every pool he entered he chose all Leafs because he couldn't bear to cheer for anyone else. Easy easy money, this was before the Gilmour trade, one and done pretty well every year.

So presently I'm in third with eight of my ten players left. Not bad eh? The fellow ahead of me and the fellow behind me each have four guys left and all of them are Tampa players. The guy in first, about six points ahead of me and fading, is down to two Bruins and Pavelski.

So I need a Canucks/Bruins final. And if I were to really get greedy I need the Bruins to win quickly and in low scoring games and I need the Sharks to come back and push this to six or seven. If I am arrears but get Vancouver and Boston in the final then as long as that is not a sweep and we get some goals I should be good. I'll be rich! Rich I tells ya.

Well maybe not rich but a little bit of money so I can go get some beerth.

So Vancouver and Boston.

The Franchise

When it comes to sports I'm a traditionalist. I like old timey franchises in all sports. I respect clubs that have a history of success but having said that I don't like clubs that have a fanbase of frontrunners (the Yankees, Manchester United). And if I were king of the world and that day is coming so watch your step the first thing I would do would contract teams in all sports. I'd be a dick like that because I think less teams is better. Seriously, thirty teams in the NHL? Unfuckingnecessary. They should tie that runt Bettman to the back of a truck and drive down the old cordouroy road to my camp a few times for all of the teams he has added. And yes I know he answers to the owners etc etc. Fuck him anyhow.

Anyhow these novelty franchises in the south don't do a damn thing for me and yes I know that there are passionate fans and you bet that I'm not one of those guys who smiles when I see one of them fail. Losing your team would be heartwrenching. And in a few cases - San Jose, Nashville, Carolina, Tampa, it appears that there may be roots taking hold. And that's great. But I can't cheer for a sunbelt team over an original six club and while the Canucks' fans are apparently the biggest bunch of douchebags going I really can't comment on that because I only 'know' three Canucks' fans. My cousin, who is an absolutely terrific guy. Oilogosphere commenter Temujin who seems a totally decent sort. And Tom Benjamin who may be a little cranky but certainly seems a fine fellow. That's the thing. Here in Toronto there are no Canuck fans - maybe if there were I'd feel a little more strongly about them. Other than the cowards and punks who attacked Theo Fleury on twitter after Chicago was defeated in game seven I haven't really seen a lot of evidence of the fanbase being bigger tools than, say, the Oiler fanbase, which God knows has its share of assholes and idiots. Although the whole Looouuuu chant is pretty goofy.

The Players

You always want to think (or at least I do) that the guys on a team are the same as the guys on your own club team. A bunch of terrific guys who kid around before the game, treat each other like adults, go out for a couple of beers afterwards. Most of the guys I've played with (and against) over the years have been pretty good guys and of course there have been dicks as well. And with the sense of entitlement and ego that any professional athlete will have you know that probably you're going to have more than your share of dicks on any club even though anecdotal evidence seems to point to most NHL guys being decent sorts. Shayne Corson anyone?

Still its hard not to look at the remaining teams and check out the guys on the roster. Are there any ex Oilers? When the Ducks won the one thing that made me happy was that Todd Marchant got to hoist the Cup. Are there any longtime veterans who are getting what may be their last or only shot? Marchant again. Selanne. Sopel. Hossa. Guerin. Brian Campbell. Hal Gill. And finally are there any guys who just seem like cool guys? Or conversely are there a lot of jerks?

San Jose already has two strikes against them and what can I say but I cannot and will not ever cheer for a club that has Dany Heatley on it unless its Team Canada. Buddy is a fucking choking prima donna tool and if he ever won the Cup I'd cry bitter tears and put a gun in my mouth. There's no such thing as justice or karma but please please never ever let me see his name engraved on the Cup. And that goes for junior douche Ian White as well. I like Dan Boyle and I like my old Auntie Niemi and I don't mind Marleau or Thornton at all but no Shark Cups unless 'Heater' that big idiot and White are long gone.

The Canucks? Well here they fail somewhat although again I must admit I don't hate them as much as most. Burrows is a twat and I'd prefer Kesler to be a little less dirty and a little less of a diver (although Messier and Anderson, to name a couple old Oilers, were about as filthy as you can get). The Sedins are dull but I think that's mostly because they are Swedes. Bieksa is a dick and Luongo's flopping about is plain silly. When the Canucks play the Oilers I dislike them intensely. When they're caving in the Sharks I kind of enjoy it. And yeah I'd like to see Raffi Torres win the Cup just because I think he would go on such a fucking weird emotionally fraught bender afterwards that he would become a legend and we'd never see him again.

Now if you really want to see a bunch of guys to cheer for its obviously Tampa. You have your ex Oilers - Roli, Brewer, Bergeron. You have Marty St. Louis. You have Stamkos who seems like a pretty happy go lucky fellow. There's Vinny Lecavalier who gives millions of dollars to the childrens' hospital in Tampa. There is Dominic Moore and Bergenheim and Nate Thompson and the veterans Ohlund and Kubina. Other than superdouche Steve Downie there's whole lot of guys you want to see do well.

As for the Bruins well you have Michael Ryder who is easy to cheer for he's such a cement and I've always liked Chara and Bergeron and Andrew Ference. Adam MacQuaid is from the Island and played his junior in my hometown so that's a couple of big checkmarks in the black for him. And Tim Thomas is Tim Thomas.

So there's a fair amount of players to cheer for on each team. Well except for the Canucks.

So who am I hoping for, other than the Jets? Well I have to say a Vancouver - Boston final would please me most of all. That would be four straight finals with some cachet.

If it gets to that then we'll revisit the issue but before the playoffs I was kind of hoping for Boston and really I can't say that anything has changed there. Don't think anyone is stopping the Canucks though.


Downright Fierce said...

And yeah I'd like to see Raffi Torres win the Cup just because I think he would go on such a fucking weird emotionally fraught bender afterwards that he would become a legend and we'd never see him again.

This is the best sentence ever uttered.

Either team in the East works for me. Tampa's charm is a bit diluted thanks to their previous cup and their collective douchey reaction to Omark's shenanigans. Never much liked the B's, but yeah O6 and they've had a fun run to watch this year.

Woodguy said...

You haven't really lived until you have had crazy sex while Duncan Keith mumbles and slurs through his broken teeth in the background. Adds an element of danger because its like a hobo is in your house watching you do it.

That encapsulates why I also read your stuff Pat.


Muji said...

That's the best Duncan Keith hobo couch sex comparison I've read this week.

Bruce said...

Shayne Corson anyone?

No thanks.

macaotim said...

Anderson and Messier were dirty cunts when that moniker was sought after and romanticized. Shame on your for not remembering the beauty of a dirty cunt.


rubbertrout said...

Sadly in Calgary there are a ridiculous number of Vancouver fans and they are, almost to a man, the biggest collection of douches that ever douched. I prefer Flames fans by a mile!

I'm torn. A SJ win gives it to Heater. A Van win lets Van fans become even more douchey.

Truth be told I'm all for the collossal fossil winning himself a cup even if it means Tampa winning again.

Bruins/SJ would be interesting. Big Joe versus the cap space that allowed the B's to sign big Z.

If San Jose does win I can only hope for a precise lightning strike during the victory celebration while Dany boy has the cup in his hands. I would accept that with a smile.

hunter1909 said...

My theory is that Canuck fans are douches simply because they've been pregnant for the past 20 years, never knowing when the baby is arriving - they're crazy from frustration. When they win once, they'll all calm down.

I don't much like the Canucks myself, but somehow I expect the Edmonton Oilers of Messier+Anderson weren't exactly endearing themselves to the opposition, so once more I prefer to take the high road, instead of being a sad modern day Oilers fan and being jealous of a cup contender... better to spur the idiots down at Rexall lol

Olaf Peacock said...

I want Tampa to win. Would love to see Roli get a cup, plus they beat Calgary in '04. If they beat Vancouver this year, well...that'll be two big Oil rivals they've dusted.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Canuck fan, why I'm a douche I don't know. I've grown up following the team and it's been a pleasure to watch the team this year. I know some ass oiler and flame fans but I don't paint the entire fanbases with it.
Anyways, great blog with entertaining reads.


HBomb said...

Canuck fans in Vancouver? Not a bad bunch at all. Work with several of them - great people, generally good-natured with the trash talk.

Canuck fans who live in Edmonton? Different story altogether. Probably a lot of bandwagoners to start with, but I've seen more fights and near-fights at Oiler/Canuck games the last 10 years or so than at Oiler/Flame games.

It's a bit of an anomaly, to be sure. Not ALL Canuck fans are dicks...but a lot of the ones we interact with here in Edmonton are, and that seems to cloud the perception.

Anonymous said...

I live in Vancouver, so hopefully other teams fans see me as I am. A beer drinkin, hockey lovin dad.
@ Hbomb- I pissed you off years ago comparing Gagner to Comrie. I kinda feel like I wasn't so far off the truth? It's been a few years now, do you still see Eric Stall?

And one final note, there are kids that drive around and honk, scream and behave like idiots as the Nucks keep winning, I like to think though that most Canuck fans are quietly enjoying the run and praying for it to end with our first cup.

PDO said...

So I could be wrong; but I somehow doubt Hbomb ever compared Gagner to Eric Staal.

I pissed you off years ago comparing Gagner to Comrie. I kinda feel like I wasn't so far off the truth? It's been a few years now, do you still see Eric Stall?

Even when Canuck fans come in "peace," they still have to make douchebag comments that reek of arrogance.

It's not that people in Vancouver are happy Billy - I couldn't give a fuck about some kids getting drunk and cheering or honking their horns after a win - it's how god damn pretentious and smug they are about it.

Anonymous said...

Vancouver can be smug, I went to an apple store last week on a mall. I seriously felt like I was from a different planet,so maybe pretentious and smug can be used to describe some vancouverites. Mainly though, all my buddies are hard workin fans who play the game and like to watch good hockey.
I'm pretty sure Hbomb did use stall as a comparable in some way, but that's ancient history. In the end,the oilers are starting to assemble some pretty nice pieces and it will be nice to watch the upcoming wars over the years.
Ps- Eberle would be my number one choice to poach to Vancouver if I could choose.

Black Dog said...

Thanks for the kind comments everyone.

I forgot to mention Billy when I was talking about Canucks fans I 'knew'. Billy has been hanging around these parts for years. He's a good guy.

I don't doubt that Vancouver has its share of pretentious folks, Toronto is the same. Both great cities but sometimes hard to take I think.

I thought last year that a Philly Cup win would have eben massive but they came relatively close so I may be wrong again but I don't really see whoever comes out of the East competing with wither Vancouver or San Jose. Canucks are in a great spot. Of course they could still lose against San Jose or the Wales champ but its really unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Canuck fans are no worse than any other fan. Only issue are the games themselves. Seemingly there people go to games as it is somewhat of 'a scene', hip place to go. Not necessarily there because the love the game. Furthermore, a lot of Vancouverites grew up not playing hockey, so sometimes the nuances of the game do not stand out to them.

That said, after attending university there for 6 years, lots of my friends are die-hards and great fans. Also, Mr. McLean said it best, not like Oiler fans can brag about how great we are; listen to most sports talk radio around town and you never want to use your ears again.

Anonymous said...

Also, that last comment was published with expressed written authority from the mind of -mattwatt-

spOILer said...

Buddy is a fucking choking prima donna tool and if he ever won the Cup I'd cry bitter tears and put a gun in my mouth.

Wow, speaking of choking on tools... Auto-fellatio takes some serious skill and, I suspect, years of Yoga. Be very careful, back injuries are no fun.

Arousal sure is great for writing, huh, as evidenced by this wonderfully twisted missive from your wonderfully twisted mind. Immediately after Arousal's denouement, however, not so much. Keep your hands above the desk Mr. McLean! We need those wicked words.

On an even filthier note... Kevin Lowe was the meanest dirtiest Oiler of the Stanley Age. By. far.

And in my world, it goes...

I'm in 3rd out of 31, but without a Sharks series win, I will be fading into the summer sans beer money.

HBomb said...

So I could be wrong; but I somehow doubt Hbomb ever compared Gagner to Eric Staal.

Not directly, no - that would be stupid on the order of suggesting a Hall for Kesler/Bieksa trade, even in jest.

The comparison I made was that Gagner was going to be mentored/protected by Horcoff as Staal was by Brind'Amour. Now, within a couple seasons, Staal was the guy taking on the toughs and Brind'Amour was taking on secondaries, which is not what has happened in Edmonton with 10 and 89 (yet, at least) - which is fine. No one is going to argue Eric Staal wasn't a different class of prospect from Sam Gagner. But this doesn't make Gagner a bad player by any means.

And remembering that Gagner hasn't even turned 22 yet, I still firmly believe comparing him to Comrie is a "short-sell".

PS: Smug comments indeed. It's shit like that where I'm firmly ABC (Anybody but Canucks) this spring. Fuck the Nucks - plain and simple.

Black Dog said...

Lol spOILer, thanks for the laugh, great comment

Canucks and Bruins win and I'm in good shape, its a dead heat now and if it falls that way I will have seven guys left, my competition will have two and none.

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