Saturday, April 28, 2012

What went wrong? Excuses from the NHL's losers

"Wait... please tell me we didn't just
lose to that terrible guy from the Leafs..."
And then there were eight. With the conclusion of an eventful first round of the NHL playoffs, we’re now down to just eight teams still standing. Eight teams with a shot at the Stanley Cup. Eight teams who deserve a ton of credit for overcoming all obstacles to keep their championship hopes alive.

But forget those guys. Because if my math is right, eight teams left also means 22 teams that are done. That’s almost three-quarters of the league who managed to combine for a grand total of zero playoff series victories. What a bunch of losers.

What’s their excuse? Well, we asked them. And it turns out that every one of the teams that now finds itself on the sidelines has a reasonable explanation.

Vancouver Canucks – Were once again done in by Roberto Luongo’s complete inability to win the big one, since “win the big one” is our team nickname for scoring goals and “Roberto Luongo” is our team nickname for “the forwards and defencemen”.

Colorado Avalanche – In hindsight, when our head scout ran into the GM’s office yelling “You have to trade for this young Capitals’ goalie, he might be even better than Tim Thomas!” we probably should have taken the time to ask which one he meant.

Minnesota Wild – According to the know-it-all stats nerds, we didn’t do well enough in their advanced metrics like “Corsi” and “QualComp” and “wins” and “having good players”.

Calgary Flames - Jay Feaster has been trying to implement the same strategy he used to win a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004, but it turns out that strategy is just “make sure you play against the Calgary Flames”.

New York Islanders – Long-time fans asked us to approach every big game like we were Hall-of-Famer Pat LaFontaine, so made sure we mysteriously vanished from existence.

Edmonton Oilers – After all these years, somebody just recently pointed out that if you turn to page two of the Central Scouting draft rankings there’s actually a whole bunch of guys listed who play defence or goal.

Buffalo Sabres – When we were doing our end-of-season cleaning and dusted off the big plaque reading “Give huge contracts to a whole bunch of players” in Terry Pegula’s office, we found out the word “good” is actually on there too.

Boston Bruins – Only lost game seven in overtime because their goaltender was interfered with and nobody did anything about it, which is just absolutely heart-breaking says Ryan Miller sarcastically.

Carolina Hurricanes – Players admit the spent pretty much the entire season playing as poorly as possible just to see if they could get Kirk Muller to stop smiling for the first time since 1986.

Anaheim Ducks – Every time the team would start to talk about making the playoffs, coach Bruce Boudreau would say “Sounds great, then when we lose everyone can ignore everything we did all season long and make fun of” before storming out of the room in tears.

Winnipeg Jets – After a careful post-season examination of our roster, were alarmed to discover that a disturbingly high number of our players are former Atlanta Thrashers.

Detroit Red Wings – Wanted to go out early to give Nicklas Lidstrom as much time as possible to consider his future, since we all know that “old guy ponders retirement” stories are endlessly fascinating.

Montreal Canadiens – As players, we couldn’t help but be distracted by our coach’s inability to engage with fans and local media in their native language and we…. No, just kidding, we’re actually just really bad at playing hockey.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Just couldn’t capitalize on big seasons by our 60-goal scorer, Steven Stamkos, and our 50-goal scorer, the combined rest of the team who isn’t Steven Stamkos.

Columbus Blue Jackets – We’re not saying Jeff Carter spent the whole season trying to get out of town, but it did seem odd that every time the coach told him to dump and chase he’d immediately dump the puck all the way to Los Angeles.

Toronto Maple Leafs - Didn’t want to squeak into the playoffs as an eighth seed and get our butts kicked, since as it turns out we’re already pretty darn awesome at doing that during the regular season.

Pittsburgh Penguins – Not saying that the league’s discipline hearings are sham, but no matter how persuasively we made our arguments Brendan Shanahan always refused to indefinitely suspend Marc-Andre Fleury.

Florida Panthers – For some weird reason, didn’t find being pelted by rats whenever we did something right all that inspirational.

San Jose Sharks – We may have been officially eliminated from the playoffs but let’s just say we still plan to be heavily involved, says Ryan Clowe cryptically while holding an extra-long hockey stick and a front row ticket to the finals.

Dallas Stars – The organization was forced to adjust to new owner Tom Gaglardi’s bizarre new corporate policies like “only spend money that we actually have”.

Ottawa Senators – We only lost our playoff series with the Rangers because of a controversial game six penalty for crowding the crease, as if anyone could be expected to get that close to Henrik Lundqvist’s eyes and then just skate away.

Chicago Blackhawks – We were going to try to go on another long playoff run but honestly, if you know you won’t eventually get the chance to make Canuck fans cry then what’s the point?


  1. LOL Thanks for the laugh!

  2. Loved the Chicago!

  3. Excellent as always! And I also loved the Chicago answer.

  4. As a Canucks fan, while disappointed the Canucks weenied out and forgot how to play hockey, I can take grand satisfaction in winning the #AnyoneButTheBruins movement. Just like a true Canucks fan -- if we can't win, we can be giant happy bitterbugs. :)

    Now, will some kind, patient and obviously more aware than me person explain why the Penguins would want to have Fleury suspended..?

    1. Because Fleury was somehow more awful at playing goalie than Mr. Humangous Big Universe during the series...

    2. @Canucks- true, true. Giant happy bitterbugs unite! :P

      @Fleury- because he was just. so. awful. In a couple of the games he was a human sieve. Not that he lost the series for them (not by far, ha!), but it certainly would have helped in giving them a chance if he could have, you know, tried to stop some of those little black things before they got into the back of the net.

    3. I think it's in reference to his lack of rebound control, and the fact he didn't skate out of the crease and play defense when the rest of the team stopped.

      Thanks DGB, I needed a good laugh after watching the Pens implode.

    4. Re: Fleury - because he set a new NHL record for worst save percentage in a six game series.

    5. @Stephen - Okay, that gave me a laugh. :)

      Thank you guys. One of my friends is Pens obsessive, so I only hear the good stuff.. and no matter how many times I want to say "Really, Sid wears a size X skate? That's fasinating.. really.." I'm just too polite.. I just avoid watching Pens games instead. :D

  5. @Chicago- Ha. Of course.

  6. As a Rangers fan the caption on the pictures couldn't have been any funnier because John Mitchell is indeed terrible. And our coach fucking loves him for some reason. FML.


    Panthers = BRILLIANT
    Chicago = BRILLIANT


  8. pittsburgh penguins.. two words.. paul martin
    that is all..

  9. I think Boudreau needs a few f-bombs in there

  10. As an Edmonton Oilers fan, I want to make sure someone in Vancouver checks up on Cory Schneider. I'm concerned because we haven't heard from him in a while and, as he thoughtfully reminded us earlier, unlike the Oilers, there are people who actually care about the Canucks.

    1. Edmonton who?

    2. Aw, shucks, Cory apologized for that...

  11. Chicago and San Jose were brilliant. Excellent as always.

  12. I'm really disappointed with the Habs one. You didn't make a funny joke about my team, you just reminded me that they're awful. That's a low blow!

    No, but seriously, classic post!

  13. LOVED the Flames joke. Brilliant.

  14. "as if anyone could be expected to get that close to Henrik Lundqvist’s eyes and then just skate away"

  15. that boston line was outstanding.

  16. San Jose and Ottawa did it for me. Lundqvist is indeed a gorgeous man! hahaha.

  17. Actually, if Feaster HAD employed the strategy he used to win the cup in Tampa, the Flames would be away to the races.

    But, really, that strategy is pretty outdated that days. The whole "make sure your game is being reffed by blind officials who won't see the Stanley Cup-winning goal scored against you in overtime" play has become way harder in the modern NHL since Kerry Fraser retired...

  18. The San Jose one is one of the better lines ever.

    Carry on.

  19. Lundqvist is so dreamy...

  20. Lol, nice. Can't pick a favorite... all good :P