Canucks and Beyond

NHL Summaries for Dummies

09/28/2007 at 8:11am EDT

imageWhile everyone else has been doing team previews of their favorite clubs, I’ve sort of been feeling left out. So I’ve decided to rectify that.

However, being limited by the fact that I don’t possess any qualifications whatsoever to share in-depth, complex team previews, I thought I’d prepare my own version instead. Which brings me to NHL Summaries for Dummies. Not team summaries so much as random information and/or fake slogans for all 30 teams in the league.

I figure that in a world where Maggie the Monkey has as much of a chance at being right as anybody else, in-depth, complex NHL analysis is probably highly overrated anyway.

Anaheim Ducks: They have the Stanley Cup, they have a GM whose mouth can single-handedly force hockey coverage even in California, and they have a team that is fully prepared to hurt you. What’s not to love?Atlanta Thrashers: Everyone knows southern hockey fans take a lot of crap from everyone else in the NHL, yet somehow they keep their sense of humor. (Nicely done.) But hey, after that little Tkachuk experiment at the trade deadline last season, a sense of humor was probably the only way to go.Boston Bruins: Hired Claude Julien and handled some goaltending issues by signing Manny Fernandez. Did I miss anything?Buffalo Sabres: Sure, maybe they should’ve got a few guys re-signed before the last minute deadline, but everyone makes mistakes. And at least when the Sabres make mistakes, they’re in a market that will sell out no matter what stupid thing they do.Calgary Flames: A coach and a GM both walk into an executive office suite one day to discuss team strategy after a 5-game losing streak. Any guesses which one of these maniacs walks out alive?Carolina Hurricanes: I can’t even begin to guess what this team will do. However, if ESPN figures that two of their “Players to Watch” this season are Tim Gleason and Keith Aucoin, I can’t feel too optimistic for the average Canes fan.Chicago Blackhawks: Every year I hear someone say “This could be Chicago’s year!” And maybe this time it is...? But there’s no point being nasty here; perhaps just a good time to hope that ‘Hawks fans might experience a less contentious relationship with their team owners in the future.Colorado Avalanche: Captain Canada decided to join the Forces of Evil. That signing still gives me an incredible headache—but I cope.Columbus Blue Jackets: CBJ fans might finally have a right to be optimistic. Reasons are varied but this recent interview with majority owner John H. McConnell might explain it best:

Q: Why was Doug MacLean fired? A: He had a habit of making people mad at him.
Dallas Stars: Mike Modano is “chasing history” they say. (snore…)Detroit Red Wings: They signed Rafalski, ditched Schneider, propped Chelios back up on his skates, and waved more greenbacks in front of Hasek. And while it’s true they’ve got a pile of good players in Detroit, I gotta insist this team is perpetually overrated. (And luckily, my opinion is all that matters here.) Edmonton Oilers: Well, they’re better than they were in the second half of last season, but then again, it would be difficult not to be. And fortunately for all of us, they still have GM Kevin Lowe. I cherish the fact that something entertainingly-insane just might make the hockey news at any given moment, as long as Lowe hangs onto that job.Florida Panthers:“We signed Vokoun and ditched Keenan. Playoffs, here we come!”Los Angeles Kings: The general consensus appears to be that with their $3.1 million/season goalie now killing time in the minors, the Kings just might actually win a few games this season.Minnesota Wild: The team that coach Jacques Lemaire spent years wringing talent out of like drops of blood from a stone, now legitimately has buckets of talent. So if Gaborik can stay healthy long enough to play three games in a row this season… (Oh hell, who am I kidding; the Groin of Gaborik has its limits).Montreal Canadiens: Good lord, Patrice Brisebois is back… and nicely comfortable, apparently. The guy was just so popular last time around, Gainey, huh?Nashville Predators: Hahahahahaha…New Jersey Devils: It’s true, they lost the likes of Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski, but they still have Martin Brodeur. Plus now they have one of those Sutter boys behind the bench (*Barry, Bob, Bill, Brent…??? whatever.) Kinda familiar, isn’t it? A Sutter, a crazy GM, a world class goalie, and what have we got? The Calgary Flames: East Coast Edition.New York Islanders: After newbie GM Garth Snow put in a surprisingly decent performance last year, it’s not as easy to make fun of the NYI these days. But not impossible, either—fortunately for us, team owner Charles Wang is just crazy enough to keep things interesting. (Perhaps a 18 year, $8 million/per deal for Mike Comrie in the future? Hilary is going to need a new car sooner or later, bitches.)New York Rangers: Scott Gomez is a great player and I sincerely wish he played for my own favorite team. But $10,000,000 following a 13-goal season? I think I’d rather drink cyanide, for chrissakes.Ottawa Senators:“Say what you want, at least we’ll always be better than the Leafs.”Philadelphia Flyers: Some high praise from the press: “they won’t be the worst team in the NHL” this year. (Wow. Crack open those champagne bottles, Flyers’ fans.)Phoenix Coyotes: A cautionary tale on so many levels; it’s not a matter of hoping the team wins a Cup so much as keeping everyone employed and/or out of prison.Pittsburgh Penguins: They’ve got Sid, they’ve got Evgeni, and there’s a new arena on the way… what else could a hockey fan ask for?San Jose Sharks: Likely to terrorize the Western Conference in the regular season but then resort to terrorizing their own fans in the post-season. Trivia: no current Shark has ever won a Cup More trivia: ickSt. Louis Blues: The team is certainly looking a little better these days. But hell, even if they were to suck, Blues fans can always brag about that free food.Tampa Bay Lightning: John Tortorella scares the hell out them, too.Toronto Maple Leafs: Wash, rinse, repeat. Did anything change? I realize the Canadian national media will find a way to dedicate 23-1/2 hours a day to Leafs coverage, but I’m not convinced that means anything new ever really happens.Vancouver Canucks: Probably the best goalie in the league plus a seriously underrated defense. But: (1) no one on that team knows how to score; and (2) they all spend far too much time in the hospital, anyway.Washington Capitals: With a guy like Ovechkin, the future is bright; unfortunately for the Caps, it’s always “the future” and never “this year.”

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