Blame Labor Relations Lawyer/Commissioner Gary Bettman.
He is the main reason why your team will not win the Stanley Cup. He hates the game of hockey, and loves the owner of your favorite hockey team. He is why your team doesn’t have a second line that can score. He is the reason why your team is locking up mediocre players to long-term lucrative contracts. He is the reason why the game SUCKS COLD BALLS right now.
on to the absolute worst NHL season preview ever committed to an Internet page.
1. Anaheim Ducks
Coach Bruce Boudreau.
Reason #1: Coach Bruce Boudreau. He’s proven with the Washington Capitals that he can take the most talented team in hockey and turn them into dogshit in the playoffs. So what makes you think he can take an above average team like the Ducks and even win one playoff series?
Reason $2: They have two #1 goalies in Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth. Which actually means they have ZERO #1 goalies. If you’re a Ducks fan, root for one of them to get hurt because come playoff time, the starter will always be looking over his shoulder.
Reason #3: Not enough goal scorers.
Reason why they might win one playoff series: The grit of Saku Koivu. He is my favorite player in the league, and I burn with hatred at my Canadiens for letting him go.
2. Boston Bruins
Goalie Tuukka Rask in crunch time.
Reason #1: Tuukka Rask (see above).
Reason #2: Play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards is a pencil-neck twat who knows nothing about hockey.
Reason #3: Weak D. Losing Andrew Ference will hurt bad. After felony-assaulter Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, it’s Katie bar the door in front of Rask. Look for Chara to play all 60 minutes of every game.
3. Buffalo Sabres
Reason #1: BECAUSE THEY SUCK.
Reason #2: Their new alternate sweaters are butt-ugly.
Reason #3: They will forever be haunted by the BUFFASLUG (above).
NOTE: Go to Puck Daddy if you want to read a more name-filled and nuanced THEY SUCK preview.
4. Calgary Flames
Reason #1: BECAUSE THEY SUCK.
Reason #2: The Atlanta Flames logo (above) was waaay cooler than theirs, and the team name made fucking sense because, you know, of that whole General Sherman Civil War scorched earth thing.
Reason #3: Because Puck Daddy says “they will lose often.”
Reason #1: Their D is TERRIBLE (see above).
Reason #2: Alex Semin, owner of the hardest ever NHL wrist shot, will — despite scoring 35+ goals — record the first -100 plus/minus rating in league history because he doesn’t know what the term “back check” means in English or Russian.
Reason #3: Because TV play-by-play announcer John Forslund’s goalie save call — “CAM WARD SAYS ‘NO’” — is category-5 stupid.
6. Chicago Blackhawks
Ice Girls are embarrassing, Chicago. Please stop it.
Reason #1: They won, and won gloriously, (I hate the Bruins) last year.
Insert cliche ——->here<——- about massive letdown.
Reason #2: Goalie Corey Crawford just got a big contract, and goalies are flaky, and he will come back to the pack.
Reason #3: No more reasons. The Hawks have a very good chance to be the first back-to-back Cup winners since Detroit (1997-98). It only they didn’t have to face Montreal in the finals.
7. Colorado Avalanche
The legendary asshole Dale Hunter, who famously cheap-shotted New Islander Pierre Turgeon, but also scored 3 or 4 HUGE playoff OT goals against my beloved Canadiens.
Reason #1: They stole their franchise from Quebec. Hockey needs to return to Quebec City NOW NOW NOW.
Reason #2: Super flaky ex-goalie Patrick Roy is your coach? REALLY? Look for him to storm off the bench and go sulking back in the dressing room every time a ref makes a marginal call.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets players are required to wear vintage Members Only blue jackets on road trips.
Reason #1: Their best player, Russian netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, was great last year, winning the Vezina Trophy. He was also great two years ago for the Flyers. This is his fall on his face year. Sorry, that’s how it usually goes with flaky goaltenders (I’m an ex-left winger, I hate goalies).
Reason #2: They have four ex-New York Rangers on their roster. The ex-New York Rangers all know one thing really well — sucking in the playoffs.
Reason #3: Their nickname is the stupidest in the league (a hockey team [of mostly Canadian players] and the Civil War are connected…how?).
9. Dallas Stars
The great Gordie Howe, when he played for the Houston Aeros, the only time I’ve ever liked anything sports-related from Texas.
Reason #1: BECAUSE THEY SUCK.
Reason #2: They stole their team from Minnesota — the NORTH Stars.
Reason #3: I hate Texas, and refuse to review any Texas team.
Read about them on Puck Daddy.
Reason #1: They will miss the retired Nicklas Lidstrom. Yes I know, they didn’t have him last year, and their impressive playoff showing made all the experts say they didn’t miss the best NHL defenseman of the last 15 years. Bullshit. Mark my words: Their shaky D will miss the hell out of him this season.
Reason #2: Newly acquired forward Daniel Alfredsson will be so shocked by the sight of downtown Detroit (above) that he will hightail it back to his native Sweden to finish out his career.
Reason #3: I don’t have a Reason #3. I actually like the Red Wings team.
Reason #1: BECAUSE THEY SUCK.
Reason #2: Because they don’t have Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mark Messier, Glen Anderson, Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, and especially Jaroslav Pouzar (above) anymore. Pouzar, you probably don’t know because you’re not from Edmonton or the Czech Republic or as much of a hockey fan as I am, somehow managed to score only 15 goals playing left wing on a line with Gretzky and Kurri for the entire 1982-83 season. A trash can would have scored at least 25 goals with those two passing to it.
If the Edmonton Oilers are actually, really your favorite team, read more on why they suck at Puck Daddy.
12. Florida Panthers
As The Awesome Boston describes it, Tim Thomas has left his apocalypse bunker to play goalie for the Florida Panthers.
Reason #1: Because they were the 30th best team in the NHL last season.
Reason #2: They actually signed Scott Gomez to spark the league’s worst offense. Gomez scored 21 goals spread thinly over three seasons for Montreal during which time he was paid 22 MILLION DOLLARS.
Reason #3: They signed Tea Party Patriot goalie Tim Thomas (above).
Reason #1: Because they just had their miracle Cup win two years ago. That ain’t happening again anytime soon.
Reason: #2: Because they’re not done paying for the bad karma of forcing grown, proud men to wear their amazingly hideous “Burger King” jersey, above — the worst sweater in the history of the NHL.
Reason #3: They just don’t have enough quality forwards or defensemen in front of goalie Jonathan Quick.
14. Minnesota Wild
Remember the Dino dinosaur inflatables?
Of course you don’t, you’re a bunch of 20-year-olds.
Reason #1: The second worst nickname in the league.
Reason #2: I don’t have any other reason because I like the Wild and root for them because Minnesota hockey fans are the best hockey fans in America (sorry Hockey Town USA).
Reason #3: OK, like every other team — because of the strict salary cap — they’re not deep enough at forward and defense.
Read about their season prospects at Puck Daddy.
15. Nashville Predators
Reason #1: THEY DON’T PUT THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET ENOUGH.
Reason #2: A hockey team in Nashville? Move them to Quebec City.
Reason #3: They’re fucking boring to watch. Move them to Quebec City.
Here’s Puck Daddy’s team preview, which says (essentially) the same thing, minus the Quebec City thing.
16. New Jersey Devils
Did you know the Devils were named after a winged, hooved creature that lives in the Pine Barrens in the southern part of the state? Read about the legend here.
Reason #1: Goalie Martin Brodeur is fini (fee-nee) as his French Canadian ancestors would put it.
Reason #2: They held their three Cup “parades” in a Meadowlands parking lot, certainly traipsing over several buried mobsters.
Reason #3: They stole their team from Colorado which stole their team from Kansas City.
Read about their dim outlook on Puck Daddy.
Reason #1: Their defense isn’t good enough.
Reason #2: Goalie Evgeni Nabokov isn’t good enough.
Reason #3: Fishsticks.
Note: Frans Nielsen, the first and only Danish NHL player, is a highly underrated, two-way, slick, smart forward.
Reason #1: Goalie Henrik Lundqvist needs to score more than the zero goals he recorded last season.
Reason #2: Brad Richards joins a chorus line of NHL stars — that started sometime around John Ogrodnick — who’ve come to New York, and died on Broadway.
Reason #3: Lundqvist has been very lucky to have not faced the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs, against whom his GAA is about six. I got a tingly feeling they’re going to meet in the first round this season.
Reason #1: Captain, heart, guts, soul, brain, spleen of the team Daniel Alfredsson left for Detroit.
Reason #2: They never got to the finals with Alfredsson.
Reason #3: Their fans are half rooting for Toronto all the of the time.
Note: Jason Spezza can flat-out fucking shoot the puck.
Reasons #1: I grew up in South Jersey — Flyer country — as a Canadiens fan and got slammed into lockers repeatedly in high school. So, I hate the Flyers.
Reason #2: Their goalie situation is a big fat beach ball of a question mark.
In the off season, Philly bought out their seven-year goalie signing mistake, Ilya Bryzgalov.
Here’s Bryzgalov on our solar system:bq. “Solar system is so humongous big, right? But if you see, the like, our solar system and our galaxy on the like on the side, you know, like, and we’re so small — you can never see it — our galaxy is like huge, but if you see the big picture, our galaxy (is like a) small tiny like dot in universe. Like, and I think like, ‘And we have some problems here on the earth we worry about?’ Compared to like … nothing. Just … be happy. Don’t worry, be happy right now.”
21. Pittsburgh Penguins
Reasons #1 — 3: goaltending, goaltending, goaltending.
Reason #4: Sidney Crosby is the biggest ref-whiner-at-er since Wayne Gretzky. Just shut up and play, you big talented baby.
Read about how good they are everywhere but between the pipes at Puck Daddy.
22. Phoenix Coyotes
(I refuse to preview this team because this team should be in Quebec City right now, not in Phoenix. My apartment deserves an NHL hockey team more than Phoenix does. Go read Puck Daddy’s preview.)
Above, a beautiful coyote in my mother-in-law’s yard in Tucson, AZ. Snapped by Mrs. Copyranter.
Reason #1: Like with most teams, the question is: where are the goals going to come from?
Reason #2: They have no #1 goalie, they have three #1 goalies (read about them on Puck Daddy). As mentioned before, I hate goalies because I was a left wing in college and goalies are flaky unreliable paranoid weirdos (who stopped most of my shots), and this situation will create three MEGA flaky unreliable paranoid weirdos.
Reasons #1 — 10: The Sharks are the perennial playoff choke team. Led by Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, and Patrick Marleau, they have the best group of forwards, maybe excepting Pittsburgh, in the NHL. But they’ve had the best group of forwards for years, and have done nothing in the playoffs with them. They have four solid defensemen. They have a very good goalie in Antti Niemi.
But you know what? They will lose in the first round of the playoffs. Again.
Which tells me…the team needs to move to Quebec City.
Reason #1: This team is Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and FAILURE (now that captain Vincent Lecavalier signed with Philadelphia). Their D sucks. Their goaltending sucks.
Move them to Quebec.
26. Toronto Maple Leafs (sic)
Reason #1: The Leafs (sic) have the worst coach in hockey in Randy Carlyle. See him torn apart, point by point, here.
Reason #2: Phil Kessel is a stick-swinging baby.
Reason #3: Leafs (sic) goalie Drew MacIntyre’s helmet.
27. UPDATE! Vancouver Canucks (apologies to the entire province of British Columbia).
Along with the leadership of retired captain Stan Smyl, the Canuck miss the scoring touch of the man who adorns one of the worst hockey player cards in history.
Reason #1 They fired loser coach Alain Vigneault and brought in bigger loser coach John Tortorella — whose face is going to turn every shade of Pantone watching Roberto Luongo try to stop pucks instead of the fantastic Lundqvist.
Reason #2: The Canucks are maybe even a bigger playoff choke team than San Jose.
Reason #3: The Sedin twins are now 33.
28. Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin in a Dagestani burka and papakha.
Reason #1: D Mike Green faked playing the drums. Unforgivable.
Reason #2: Ovechkin, the most talented hockey player since the Great One, parties too much/doesn’t take the game seriously.
Reason #3: They were suspect in goal last season. They did nothing in the off-season about it. They will be even more suspect in goal this season.
Reason #1: They miss Dale Howerchuck (above).
Reason #2: Winnipeg had the worst combined special teams last season. They did nothing in the off-season to address that. Special teams are a bigger factor than they’ve ever been in the NHL.
Reason #3: The Jets’ fans are extremely knowledgeable and extremely critical, and will be burning holes in the back of the players’ helmets with their glaring eyes.
It’s been 20 years since the Habs — my Habs — have won the Cup. This is their year. Why? I have a feeling… Plus:
Norris trophy winner PK Subban (above) is the best defenseman in hockey, and he’s 24 years old and he’s is going to have a monster year — he got ripped in the off-season.
The Habs top 4 D-Men (Subban, Andrei Markov, Josh Georges, Alexei Emelin — when healthy) are the best all-around 4 D-men in the league (sorry Chicago). With Markov and Subban at the points, their power play is frighteningly good.
Goalie Carey Price had an off year last season, so following the indisputable flaky pattern of goalies, this season he will be superb.
Their forwards are, yes, too small. So what do they do? Sign little Danny Brière, who the Canadien French press have anointed — with their collective tongues — as the second coming of Guy Lafleur.
No matter: Max Pacioretty will lead the munchkins to the finals, despite having a name that Bell Centre public address announcer Michel Lacroix can’t make sound French, no matter how hard he tries.
Canadiens over the Blackhawks in the finals in 7 games. Bank it.