Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Norris WHO IS CHEERING FOR



OK let's get right to it, shall we?

Dallas

ex-Oilers - 10 - Ales Hemsky was the best thing about the Oilers for years. He played with elan and courage, going into the corners with Regehr time and time again, getting pulverized, coming back for more. His reward was to get his character questioned time and time again by the worst hockey media in North America. A kid who came across the world to pursue his dream run down by a group whose greatest protest in a decade of Oiler failure was when the coach took away their donuts. The best was Mark Spector calling his guts into question the day before it was revealed 83 had been playing with a broken foot for six weeks as another sad sack Oilers' club chased the distant bell of a playoff spot.

Hemsky forever.

players - 10 - Hemsky and Spezza, plus Vern Fiddler and his Kevin Bieska impressions? Gold!

franchise - 1 - it's not the 90s anymore and part of me thinks ah let bygones be bygones but then I think about Modano and Zubov and Hatcher and Hogue and Keane and fuck Dallas. Really.

Minnesota

ex-Oilers - 8 - Devan Dubnyk. Good goalie for bad team. GM questions him in media. He has a bad six weeks. He's gone. A year later he is a Vezina finallist.

Let's go Oilers!! *clap clap clap*

Dubnyk always seemed like a good kid, a bright guy and it is great to see him doing well.

And of course old pal Jarret Stoll and his two Cup rings. (!!!)

players - 4 - after Dubie, well, meh ... who cares

franchise - 1 - booooooooooooooooooo Wild On Jack Lemaire

St. Louis

ex-Oilers - 8 - remember our cautionary tale about Gagner and Schultz? Well Magnus Paajarvi is the other side of the coin because he wasn't a golden boy. 15 goals as a rookie and defensively aware, Paajarvi struggled the next year and was never given a shot again. And so it started. One rule for the chosen ones - slump? No problem. Mistake after mistake? No problem. Not a golden boy? Feet to the fire. Paajarvi would get a handful of shifts on the top line and then dropped back down with the plugs. And then buried in the minors. Drafted by the Wings or Hawks and he is scoring 15 goals a year on their third line. A shame because he seems like a nice kid.

 And then there is Kyle Broodziak, Dick Like A Watch apparently. Still plugging away all of these years after the Oilers gave up on him for nothing, making the wrong choice, as they always do. A good honest player who came from nowhere to make a nice long career.

 And there is Anders Nilsson, exhibit A about small sample sizes and goaltending.

players - 3 - you've got your ex Oilers and a real yeoman of a player in Carl Gunnarsson and a few other vets who have been around a while. And Tarasenko is a gem. The problem with the Blues is they are the rootingest tootingest bunch of trash talkers who have never won a round in the playoffs and they are a grim lot as well although playing for Ken Hitchcock would piss me off too. And there is Steve Ott. I was going to rank them a 5 even with the bullshit but then I thought about Steve Ott. Not sure if there is a guy I would less want to see win the Cup. He's garbage and the fact that Don Cherry thinks he is great is a sure sign that the old man wearing my parents' 70s' couch cover has to go. (As an aside my favourite Ott moment is when he is bragging to Claude Giroux about how good he is at faceoffs and a bemused Giroux literally has no idea who he is or what he is talking about and then schools him.)

franchise - 6 - the Blues have the longest drought going along with the Leafs and are the only one of the 67 class to remain without a championship. They haven't been to the Finals since 1970 and the only reason they were there (other than to be posterized by Bobby Orr) is because the NHL put the expansion teams in one division. *The NHL, doing stupid shit since 1917* The Blues haven't had the angst of say the Canucks or Les Sabres but that is mostly because they have been relentlessly mediocre for nearly fifty years, after all you can't say Blues without saying lose.

 Remember that kids.

Chicago

ex-Oilers - 3 - Eric Gustafsson was drafted by the Oilers and was discarded by them and while he was unwanted by them he was apparently good enough to play 41 games as a rookie for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

 I swear that the Great Lakes are fed by rivers of Oiler fans' tears.

players - 3 - there is no Hossa or Campbell, no Handzus or Rozcival, no Timmo Kimmonen on this team. A half dozen have won three Cups, five more have won two. And six more only have one :( Plus Andrew Ladd one won with them on that 2010 all star team they iced. So unless you are a huge fan of Dutch Gretzky I have nothing. Except Hossa so yeah I am giving them a 3.

franchise - 3 - nobody but Chicago fans want Chicago to win again but I give them a 3. Better an Original Six than a non traditional market. Plus the fans suffered forever. Plus I like to see sustaimed excellence rather than a random rotation of Cup winners each year. But I know that is 3 higher than pretty well everyone else would be giving.

So here are our updated standings.

Washington - 35
Dallas - 32
Philadelphia - 28
St. Louis Blose - 26
Florida - 24
New York Rangers - 22
New York Islanders - 22
Tampa - 18
Minnesota - 18
Pittsburgh - 16
Detroit - 16
Chicago - 15

Next up last but not least the Smythe!

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