If I know that special someone of yours (which I do (don’t ask how (or why))), there’s one thing they’re going to really want for Valentine’s day this year. And that’s seeing you lying on the couch like you’re waiting for Leonardo DiCaprio to come sketch you while watching some rootin’/tootin’ NHL hockey. All weekend long, you should be doing this. For romance’s sake. Get those fires burning and s/he’ll be showering you with kisses quicker than you can say ‘Khabibulin.’ Just make sure to wipe off that Pizza Supreme Dorrito dust from your mouth before they go in for the smooch…
STAGE ONE: 10 February
Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres
First things first: NO GOAL. That goal so did not count. Fuck you Brett Hull. Fucking cheat.
Meanwhile, Dallas and Buffalo are both trying to remain relevant, playoff-wise, in their respective conferences. Dallas will have to try a little less hard than Buffalo in that respect, as the Stars sit a mere two points out of an invitation to get swept by Vancouver in the first round, while Buffalo remains ten points back from those scrappy Maple Leafs. If anyone can do it, though, it’s… man, I can’t really say this in good faith anymore, but, uh, I guess it’ll have to be Ryan Miller. Dammit. Well, on the plus side, the American Hero is 4-0-1 with a 0.95 goals-against average and two shutouts in his last five starts. Which would be great if the season were five games long.
BALLPARK ESTIMATE: With coach Lindy Ruff still watching the game from the press box due to some broken ribs (hockey’s such a Ruff ‘n’ tumble sport, even the coaches get hurt!), the Sabres begin to play a more laid-back, fun-lovin’ style of hockey, cuz when papa’s gone, ain’t nobody around to do the spankin’. Guys are gonna get extreme haircuts, smoke cigarettes in the locker room, maybe even invite a girl over to the First Niagara Center or whatever they call that arena these days. It will be fun, sure, but at what cost? In the end, anticipate these boys to become men, and maybe just learn a thing or two along the way. (2012, rated PG-13, 2/5 stars).
STAGE TWO: 11 February
Well, Scott Gomez scored a goal, so there goes about 80% of the “humor” I had lined up. But why not watch and see if he scores again?
Even though there are better teams playing this Saturday, I’d suggest this game for a couple of reasons. Number one, this is one of the better rivalries in the NHL; number two (haha- made you think ‘number two’), both these teams are vying for a playoff birth; and number three, uh, Don Cherry? What’s on his mind? Find out. Anyhow, Montreal is on a mini-tear of late, which is fitting because they’re kind of mini-team. Toronto, meanwhile, can’t seem to string together a consistent spell of games and look to be trying to get themselves eliminated from the playoffs somewhere around game 79. No matter what, though, this could be the match that determines if Mike Komisarek picked the right team to sign with a couple of years ago.
EDUCATED GUESS: Prior to the start of the game, the Montreal media will reveal that Maple Leaf’s goaltender Jonas “the Monster” Gustavsson earned his nickname not from his large, intimidating physical carriage, but, instead, from his years as a serial killer. I know, I know: Montreal typical.
Says the report (from the future):
Gustavsson had a difficult and cruel childhood plagued by abuse and drug use in Sweden. He became a prostitute by the age of thirteen, the same year he became a goalie. He eventually moved to Florida where he began earning a living as a highway prostitute–servicing the desires of semi-truck drivers. In a nine month period between 1989 and 1990, during which Gustavsson had a lesbian relationship with a woman named Selby, he also began murdering his clientele in order to get money without using sex. This turned the tables on a rather common phenomena of goalie highway prostitutes being the victims of serial killers–instead the Monster, himself, carried out the deeds of a cold-blooded killer.
Apparently Charlize Theron played him in some sort of film adaptation.
CULMINATING EVENT (PROJECT MAYHEM): 12 February
Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings
Now, honestly, I’ll probably be watching the Capitals and the Rangers this Sunday because that game will be broadcast live on my television/vcr/dvd combo. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and contact your cable or satellite provider and make sure that you have NBC Sports Network so that you can watch this doozy. That’s right, the Red Wings won’t have Darren McCarty to bail them out of this one (or Garth Snow in goal, for that matter), because this ain’t your granddad’s Detroit squad. Well, some of them are. But gramps never heard of Darren Helm, I bet. These teams are actually kind of similarly built: three solid, skilled forward units (sprinkled with some insane, legendary talent), stodgy and effective defense, and, with Jimmy Howard out, some goalies that might be out-dueled by a roughly-human-sized inanimate object of your choosing. The east/west showdowns are usually pretty wide open (since you don’t really care about giving up a point to somebody not in your conference), so get ready for some one to get Kronwalled, Zolnierczyk’d, or, god forbid, Abdelkadered.
SHOT IN THE DARK: Detroit has only lost two games at home this year (no joke!), so Philly’s gonna have to pull out all the stops to win this one. Their best bet is to hope that a Red Wings player’s undiagnosed heart murmur flairs up in the middle of play, causing the game to be postponed and, hopefully, rescheduled at some other site.
Hey that’s not a prediction at all, just a tasteless Jiri Fischer joke!
You’re in Huskey’s Corner- my corner, my rules!