Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What went wrong? Excuses from the NHL's losers

Almost seven full months after the start of the regular season, we are down to eight. Eight teams with a shot at the greatest trophy in all of sports. Eight teams, each well and truly worthy of being celebrated.

But of course, that's not how things work around here. Because there are also eight teams that have just been sent home, not to mention 14 more that didn't even make the playoffs. That makes 22 teams that didn't manage to win so much as one single round.

In other words, 22 losers.

What happened? What went wrong? I decided to find out. So I used my connections to reach out to each team, and asked them to provide an official excuse for their failure. Here's what they told me:


Phoenix Coyotes - Wayne Gretzky's entire coaching style involves playing a video of himself from 1983, pointing at screen, and yelling "do that!"

Tampa Bay Lightning - Everyone always told us to always ask selves "What Would Gary Roberts Do?", so we quit mid-way through the season.

St. Louis Blues - Could not realistically have been expected to overcome crushing mid-season loss of Lee Stempniak.

Florida Panthers - Heard rumors that Florida fans react to playoff success by pelting players with rodent carcasses.

Calgary Flames - Despite tireless efforts to prepare for opponents, were caught off-guard by Blackhawks' never-before-seen trick play called "Martin Havlat actually does something in the playoffs".

New York Islanders - Gosh, hard to say. Suppose it could have had something to do with not having any NHL-caliebe players on the roster.

Ottawa Senators - Gave up after captain Daniel Alfredsson privately guaranteed team would miss playoffs, because man, that guy is never wrong.

Atlanta Thrashers - Like everyone else in the hockey world, completely forgot we existed.

Columbus Blue Jackets - Are a young team that is still learning how to win in the playoffs. For example, this year we learned that it's a really bad idea to play the Detroit Red Wings.

Nashville Predators - Were distracted by concerns that team could be bought by somebody deemed unacceptable by Gary Bettman, such as a person with actual money and no criminal record.

Buffalo Sabres - Not sure where it came from, but this new Dominic Moore guy has an overpowering case of the loser cooties.

Los Angeles Kings - Were confused by NHL's increasingly strict interpretation of rulebook. For example, did you know that in really important games referees can now call a penalty when you hit somebody in the face with your stick?

Dallas Stars - Must have been some sort of conspiracy between Tony Romo and Jason Witten.

San Jose Sharks - Instead of rousing pre-game speech or quiet moment of reflection on task at hand, franchise player Joe Thornton uses final moments before every playoff game to run around locker room shrieking "I have the nervous poos!"

New York Rangers - After game four, realized that choking horrifically would be the only way to get media to stop talking about Sean Avery for three minutes.

New Jersey Devils - Should probably have reconsidered team's inspirational playoff slogan of "59 minutes? Sure, close enough!"

Edmonton Oilers - If his text messages aren't returned promptly, owner Daryl Katz will crush a player's morale by de-friending them on Facebook.

Minnesota Wild - Heart-pounding tempo of Jacques Lemaire's quick strike offensive game plan impossible to sustain over full season.

Colorado Avalanche - Employ Andrew Raycroft.

Toronto Maple Leafs - Sorry, couldn't hear your question. The acoustics are bad in this giant vault full of sweet, sweet money.

Philadelphia Flyers - Referees killed us. Which, I suppose, makes us even.

Montreal Canadiens - Many players suffered from chronic back problems and strained groins due to franchise spending entire season trying to blow itself.




18 comments:

  1. How on earth did you predict the Devils and the Rangers to lose when you posted this at 6 34 pm? That is some prescient stuff.

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  2. lol, great stuff. Although I must confess, I don't get the PAnther joke about rodents. :(

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  3. Now that's just not fair, DGB. Everyone knows, that in the Habs dressing room, the only way to separate the men from the mobsters is with a restraining order. Or is the men from the boys? I get so confused.

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  4. Pettycamp: the rodent thing has to do with the sacred tradition (started about fifteen years ago, lasted about two years)of a storied franchise (came into the league about 15 years ago, probably going to last about two more years). A player saw a rat in the dressing room and shot it with his stick. Word got out to Panthers nation and they started pelting the ice with plastic rats whenever they scored or something. You don't see it anymore because they only hand out the rats to fans who've paid more than 33 cents for their ticket.

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  5. "Calgary Flames - Despite tireless efforts to prepare for opponents, were caught off-guard by Blackhawks' never-before-seen trick play called "Martin Havlat actually does something in the playoffs"."

    Yeah, that's what did them in. More like,

    "What? Kipper used to make those saves. When did we ever need to cover the trailing winger? It's all Kippers' fault."

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  6. Philadelphia Flyers - Referees killed us. Which, I suppose, makes us even.Oh Jesus. Too soon.

    And that's why I love you, DGB.

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  7. I lost it at the Leafs after I began to picture Scrooge McDuck's head on Peddie's body.

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  8. Colorado's excuse is completely legit.

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  9. no one, including the Flames saw that play coming

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  10. So true with the Habs - Same could be said why the Habs fans are staying away from the internet these playoffs.. Tough to use a computer when your hands are broken from patting yourself on the back all season for being such great fans.

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  11. The player was Scott Mellanby. don't quote me but i think he got two goals in the game and the dead rat counted as the third, or "rat-trick"

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  12. "Montreal Canadiens - Many players suffered from chronic back problems and strained groins due to franchise spending entire season trying to blow itself."

    LOL!!! Best one for last!

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  13. The Hockey Muse is no more. check out it's despondent half brother,
    Pal Hal Pall, at palhalpall.blogspot.com.
    Or don't.

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  14. "Philadelphia Flyers - Referees killed us. Which, I suppose, makes us even."

    You slay me.

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  15. "Employ Andrew Raycroft"

    I love it

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  16. @First anonymous commenter:

    Time posted is Pacific time, I believe

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