Yeah, it’s been a highly-entertaining NHL season so far. We’ve had our share of surprises and there’s still plenty more hockey to play yet. But let’s be real, gang: the Eastern Conference playoff bracket is shaping up to be a bit of a stinker. I mean, the Boston Bruins are looking redoubtable, indomitable, indefatigable, and sometimes all three at the exact same time. Now they’re just getting all smug about it. And to make matters worse, a lot of the East’s big doggz, shining stars, and rude dudes with ‘tudes are on the shelf like your grandma’s tchochkes. While the teams in the Western US and Canada probably know a thing or two about killing bears, the EST boys are in a heap of trouble. Unless, of course, they do exactly as I say:
These guys won’t make the playoffs, so let’s make fun of them:
15. Carolina Hurricanes– Maybe if they can actually control hurricanes or something, then I guess maybe they could, uh, stop the Bruins. So it’d literally take an act of god for the Hurricanes to win against Boston.
14. NY Islanders– Well, first things first, the Islanders are gonna have to buy some rope and get that goalie situation fixed. Then they’ll need a time machine and bring back one of their teams from 1980-1984.
13. Tampa Bay Lightning– Bolts got a secret weapon, guys… Take it away Admiral Akbar!
Ok, outside chance these jokers get invited to get their asses kicked:
12. Montreal Canadiens– These Tim Horton’s Tim Bits hockey mites don’t stand much of a chance against those bad-news-bears. In fact, it’s mathematically impossible for them to beat anyone if they stay in 12th place. But, just in case they run into the B’s this spring, I’d suggest pulling Michel Therrien’s magical Grey Pupon-colored blazer out of the 2002 playoffs timecapsule and see if that does anything. Failing that, tie bells on your skates, boys. Because bears are afraid of bells.
11. Washington Capitals– Well, these guys have been shitting the bed since about game seven this season. The dangerous thing is: if the Caps start playing up to their expectations, they could sneak into the playoffs as a number one seed in number eight seed’s clothing (actually both seeds wear really similar clothing: hockey equipment). But the fact that the only team in the D.C. area playing worse than the Caps are the Generals isn’t indicative of that sort of scenario. So how can they win? Go J. Edgar on their asses! Maybe Chara’s visa mysteriously expires. Maybe Tim Thomas is on the “Do Not Fly” list (and you know there probably, actually is some dude with that name who can’t get on a plane). What was Tyler Seguin doing when all those anthrax letters were getting mailed? Oh, wait. He was ten years-old when that happened? Well, still. That doesn’t answer my question.
10. Ottawa Senators– I know their 10th in the Conference but I kinda want to put them in the “These guys won’t make the playoffs, so let’s make fun of them” category. So, uh, I guess they could win if they trade one of their players to the Bruins before the playoffs but the guy they send to Boston has a really contagious disease.
9. Winnipeg Jets– Wait, they’re not in the Eastern Conference, right? Winnipeg? Get me a globe…
8. Toronto Maple Leafs– Any fool could tell you that a bear is probably gonna win a fight against a leaf. Unless… What if the leaf is noxious? Or what if the smoke it produces makes you slower, dumber, lazier, and hungrier? So Toronto has two options: Have Phil Kessel use his old keys to the TD Garden to sneak in and put poison ivy in the Bruins’ gloves and skates or hotbox the dressing room before the game starts. Either way, it’d be high jinks (haha!) and you know Kessel would totally do it. He’s a fucking dead ringer for Dennis the Menace!
7. Buffalo Sabres– Generally, a sword has an outside chance when taking on ol’ ursus arctos. But I knew sword, everybody, and this hockey team is no sword. The only beards being sported around the Queen City this spring will be donned by portlier frat boys hoping to define a jawline a la Steve Harwell from Smashmouth. How would the Sabres win if they actually wound up making the playoffs? I dunno. Maybe there’s an especially endearing kid in Western New York with a terminal disease?
6. New Jersey Devils- Now here’s a rope-a-dope I can get behind! Satan himself, takin’ on a bear! Unless you meant, like, would you like to see the New Jersey Devils play the Boston Bruins in a best-of-seven series, because then I’d say “no.” Which is fine, cuz I didn’t really want to help Jersey out, anyways.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins- Interesting. Very interesting. Now the Pens could beat the Bruins. But, of course, they’ll need to get healthy. And I ain’t talkin’ ’bout Ben Lovejoy. Oswald Cobblepot, a higher-up in the Pittsburgh organization, has a rather grim plan for the team to overcome their Conference nemeses. But I, for one, would try and enlist the help of the sultry Selina Kyle. Two front war, folks.
4. NY Rangers- Unlike sliding-glass doors and underpants, streakiness can be a real asset in the NHL. These Rangers have the goaltending, defense, and balanced scoring to be a threat come playofftime. They have all the right pieces to make Nana Callahan smile when things are clickin’. So the momentum has to be just so. Otherwise grandma dies. My solution is to plan a New York City montage right before the playoffs start. Have the Rangers pumping iron, working out, trying on different outfits/hats, having a fundraising carwash, baking a cake (for coach T’s birthday), and going to the Statue of Liberty. Something good has to happen by the time Billy Ocean’s “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” starts to fade out.
3. Florida Panthers- Panther versus bear might not be just another Seminole creation myth once the playoffs start. I think the most realistic option for Panther victory involves taking the Bruins to the beach and then praying that they find that elusive cheeseburger in paradise and/or waste away in Margaritaville. If this plan goes like I think it will, they’ll be trading in their skates and sticks for flip flops and a metal detector in no time.
2. Boston Bruins- Maybe they’ll be their own worst enemy? Woah! Cue up the Lit!
Hold on a second. We just referenced Smashmouth and Lit in one post. No other blog has the balls…
1. Philadelphia Flyers- Now I am not about to help these guys out. No way! Of course, their usual path to victory would involve physically and emotionally abusing the other team through a series of put-downs, zingers, and nasty tricks the Flyers picked up in high school/hanging out on Broad Street after-school. But with the newest round of anti-bullying legislation making its way through the legislature, they can only hope to be grandfathered in and remain exempt from prosecution under the state’s stringent new laws.
Well, right now it looks like there’s no stopping a team like Boston… But that’s just on paper. And whatever they’re writing the internet on these days. Nobody’s serving a second helping of chowder out of Lord Stanley’s Cup just yet. A lot will happen over the next 40 or so games and some of the luster is sure to erode off the polished turd that is the Bruins before the playoffs even begin. And you can count on one of these lil’ spoilers to ruin the fun in Beantown quicker than you can say ‘Arturs Irbe.’