option. Also pictured: Sergei Bobrovsky
and Brian Boucher
The top-seeded Capitals are already out, victims of a stunning sweep at the hands of the upstart Lightning. The Flyers find themselves facing a 3-0 hole against the Bruins, and the Red Wings are in the same hole against the surging Sharks. Even the powerhouse Canucks have had their share of scary moments thanks to Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne.
While an unexpected playoff collapse may seem stunning as it happens, in hindsight we can often find subtle clues that we missed at the time. And in fact, if you know what to look for you just may be able to detect some indications of impending doom for your own favourite team.
Here are a few key signs that things aren't going well for your team in round two. Don't read any further if you want to be surprised.
- When reporters ask your head coach how he got that mysterious scar on his face, he answers "About an hour ago, when the owner came after me with a broken off tequila bottle."
- After every bad game your goalie disappears into the video room to spend hours studying tape, but you just found out the "tape" is labelled "Tips and techniques from Philadelphia Flyer goalies, 1992 to present".
- The only "upper body injury" your team has suffered recently was when the goal judge behind your net went down with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- After yet another sudden-death loss in which he was bombarded with an endless barrage of shots, your frustrated goalie is once again trying to convince everyone in the dressing room that during the playoffs you're actually supposed to switch ends in overtime.
- The league has yet to try to pass any ridiculous rules limiting what fans of your team are allowed to do, explaining "We're really only focused on cracking down on people who are actually enjoying themselves".
- Instead of twirling a towel or encouraging the crowd to sing along, your anthem singer's trademark postseason move is to tie a little noose out of the microphone cord.
- After watching highlights of your recent games, the city of Winnipeg sent a letter to the NHL reading "On second thought, never mind."
- Nobody will come right out and confirm that your coach will be looking for work with a new team next season, but Bryan Murray has already scheduled a mid-November press conference to fire him.
- The NHL just released a "History Will Be Made" commercial featuring that one time your backup goalie successfully remembered to open the door on a line change.
- The Green Men give your team so little credit that they only spent two minutes working on props to frantically wave around whenever a player is in the penalty box, instead of the usual three.
- While working on his end-of-season blog post, the owner looks up from his computer and asked if anyone knows whether "unprecedented fire sale" is two words or three.
- During a fiery locker room speech, your team captain yells "Hey guys, if last year's Flyers can come back from a 3-0 series deficit then who says we can't come back from being down 4-0 now?", thinks for a few seconds, and then mutters "Oh, right, forget I brought it up."
- Your players are so weak and physically unimposing that Vancouver Canuck players don't even fall down until they've made actual contact with them.