Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2012 Canada Hate-Fest Begins in 2 days

Hermano here.

In two days, for the next 4-7 games (and maybe more if I’m/we’re incredibly lucky), I will boycott all things Canadian. I will do nothing but bash Canada and ruthlessly make fun of every single Canuck out there.

In preparation for this incredible hate-bashing, I listened to “Everything I do” by Bryan Adams 5 times on the way to work this morning. And 4 times on the way back home. I air-guitared that killer air guitar riff right after “you can’t tell me, it’s not worth trying for…” all 9 times today. I screamed at 9 different cars: “YEAHHHHH, I’d fight for you… Basically, I got myself prepared to absolutely loathe that song for the next few weeks. It’s time to seek revenge for the 2010 Kings v. Canucks series.

My analysis of the 2012 Kings v. Canucks series? Four things must happen in order for the Kings to upset the Canucks and move to the next round. But before we get into those four things, let’s get sidetracked.

Generally, I think Canada is pretty all right. I’ve been to Vancouver and Toronto, and have desires of snowboarding in Whistler, gambling at my buddy’s dad’s casino in Edmonton, and attending a bachelor party in Montreal. I have no desire to visit Ottowa for some unexplained reason. I would love to live in Toronto and follow and write about junior hockey for an entire year. I would love to hang out with Kelly Hrudey and have him autograph some memorabilia.

Despite all of this, I will proceed to ruthlessly make fun of Canada for the next 4-7 games, starting on Wednesday.

There is still a bitter taste in my mouth after the Canucks came to Staples Center and dominated the Kings to end their 2010 Cup run. What sticks out most from that series? Two things, actually. The first is Mikael Samuelsson putting on a fucking sniping clinic. The second is how they took one of my favorite bands and played one of their songs after each goal. I wouldn’t really mind if they chose to play Shania Twain’s “You’re still the one” or Bryan Adams “Summer of ’69.” I wouldn’t even mind if they rocked Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi.” Seriously. But playing “Holiday” by Green Day absolutely infuriated me.

Oh wait, I forgot about the hissy fit Ersberg threw after getting a taste of playoff hockey.

[Don’t let your career hit you on the way out]

Thankfully Samuelsson, Ehrhoff, and Demitra (RIP, brotha) are gone. So is Wayne Simmonds, regrettably. JMFJ, although fun to watch when his shot actually hit the back of the net, can take his -5 for the series and enjoy watching the Red Wings on TV.

I don’t follow the Canucks, so I’m not going to go up and down their roster and pretend to know who is a key addition to their team.

I will say that #26 for the Kings is a dramatic upgrade from #12. What a joke – how could we possibly break out of the first round with Randy Freakin’ Jones on our team? Does it scare anyone that he was one game away from playing in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals? I just hope I don’t find myself saying “Number 27 has no fucking business being on this team” this year. We can go on and on about whether Penner or Richardson deserves the final spot once Carter comes back; but for me, the true question is whether numbers 26 and 27 will elevate their game starting Wednesday.

Oh, and whether number 7 will stop deflecting the puck into his own fucking net.

You know what I’d really like to see? Kyle Clifford becoming a man-beast just like last year’s series against the Sharks. But we can talk about that more if/when it actually happens.

For now, the four things that MUST happen for the Kings to steal this series against the Canucks:

1. Jeff Carter needs to become Jeff Fucking Carter

There are only two people on the current Kings squad that can undress Luongo: Kopitar and Jeff Carter. Kopitar has never been a speed guy, so all the Canucks have to do is play him tight and pray he doesn’t receive any give-and-go’s. Carter, on the other hand, is deceptively fast. We all know his shot is ridiculous – probably the quickest release on the team – and he uses his speed to create space and separation from the defense. This all means nothing if he’s still injured.

2. Quick needs to channel is inner 1994 Mike Richter

Much has been said about this already. Every single Canucks fan knows this is the key to the series. If Quick wants to earn big boy money for the next 7 years, he’s gonna have to prove he can shut down the best team in the league in 7 games or less.

3. Daniel Sedin needs to wake up with a headache for the next two weeks

As a hockey player, I am incredibly superstitious. When I put on my pads, I follow the EXACT same order as always: left skate, right skate, left pad, right pad, etc. I don’t spit in my crease. I don’t shovel ice into my own goal. And I don’t make fun of an opposing player for dealing with a concussion lest someone on my own team gets chicken-winged and is unable to play the rest of the series. But seriously, though, I wouldn’t mind seeing D. Sedin staring into space while sitting on the bench – assuming he gets cleared to play.

4. Luongo needs to get shellacked in either Game 1 or 2

You know what sucks about being a goalie? Knowing that the next goal you let in could be your ticket to the bench. Last year, Luongo was the undisputed starter – but got questioned toward the end, especially during that series with Chicago. This year, Schneider has proven he deserves the starting spot on any other team (except the Kings, because we have already fulfilled the affirmative action ginger quota). If Luongo blows Game 1 or 2, everyone north of the border will call for his head. Best of all, Luongo knows this – which can’t be good for his sanity. All the Kings need to do is rattle his dome a bit and let the insecurity play itself out.

By now, you’ve probably guessed that this is all wishful thinking. Every time I read someone who predicts the Kings to win in 7, I tilt my head and say “Awww, that’s adorable.” But then I realize that I, myself, have predicted the Kings to win in 7. I’m also quite thirsty, so I think I’ll just reach over and grab my cup of Kool Aid.

Much love till my next post. Tomorrow.

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