Thursday, December 16, 2010
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - The NHL’s Top Six Cheap Shot Artists
You best watch your back while reading this, homeslice.
Good morning, hockey fans! Here's hoping the brutal crime spree in Hotlanta hasn't got your red-white-and-blue Panties of Justice in a bunch. Last week, we got dust or something in our eye in talking about the unheralded career of the Stars' "Metal Jere Solid" Lehtinen; this week, in honor of former Polish President Gabriel Narutowicz's untimely assassination at the hands of the nefarious Eligiusz Niewiadomski, it's time to drag the NHL's Top Six Cheap Shot Artists kicking and screaming and butt-ending into the light.
Cheap shot artists," you say, "in MY sport? For shame, sir!"
Unfortunately, yes. As long as hockey has tunnel-visioned nerdos more concerned with the typos on the ads along the boards than with the Four Loko-upped Canadian farm-warriors bringing a free surprise massage to necks in need, the "cheap shot artist" will continue to have his place on the ice. And there's absolutely nothing *coughcougheliminatetheinstigatorcough* that the NHL can do about it. So here's the list of the Top Six Dale Hunter Wanna-Be's.
6. Jordin Tootoo: Do you realize that the Eskimo language has over 50 words for "unsuspecting shot to the head?" Aspiring ethnolinguist Tootoo has spent seven years treating opposing forwards like baby seals, knocking them unconscious in order to harvest their rich Canadian blubber. Tootoo is such an accomplished hunter of the heads, that he even looks for unsmashed craniums in hard-to-reach places.
5. Jarrko Ruutu: Following in the footsteps of Simo Hayha, the Finnish folk hero who reportedly bit the fingers off of over 700 Russkies in World War 2, Ruutu's unwavering dedication to wiping Russia off the face of the planet Earth, one forward at a time is slowly nearing fruition. Even non-Russian Frankensteins fear Ruutu's wrath.
4. James Wisniewski: This bright-eyed young Paduan has been taught well in the ways of the Dirty Force. Perhaps you think his inclusion on this august list is a bit premature, but there are more ways to hurt a man than the tired old method of physical assault. You can damage a player emotionally. And Wisniewski's uncalled-for cheap shot on Sean Avery's off-ice side career makes him the Dr. Phil of Chris Prongers. What Avery does in the privacy of the Times Square Disney Store in broad daylight is no one's business. Unless you happen to have bus fare or half a pack of smokes, in which case, Avery has a business proposition for you.
3. Matt Cooke: I remember a time when Matt Cooke was a speedy, defensively-responsible winger for the Canucks who was "hard to play against." Now he's a complete waste of a roster spot. This Jaden Smith-in-training can regularly be found hiding under his bedsheets and moaning awkwardly to the Webster's definition of "defenseless". And unlike most of the Penguins' surprising number of one-note talentless goons, Cooke actually has good reason to avoid responsibility for his actions.
2. Chris Pronger: Chris Pronger is the guy Canadian parents use to keep their kids in line. Alberta's highway system is littered with the discarded corpses of misbehaving children that refused to eat their spamloaf. Mickey Mouse's rich Barry White-esque baritone is no more thanks to a well-placed elbow to the nuts suffered while Pronger was playing for Anaheim. The former Elysian Paradise of East St. Louis would not be what it is to-day without a few well-placed skate stomps. Say what you will about Chris Pronger (because we totally will), but Pronger is the Picasso of Cheap Shot Artistry. But even Pronger wakes up in a cold sweat after nightmares about this guy...
1. Todd Bertuzzi: Bertuzzi is the guy you bring in when one of the other guys on this list needs a good unsuspecting thwack in the back of the head. While Pronger and Tootoo may put an end to your ability to chew solid food, Bertuzzi puts an end to your need for it. Nobody brings a hockey stick to an elbow fight quite like Bertuzzi, who has the added bonus of a face so depressing it makes Gorgoroth look like High School Musical 2. Bertuzzi has been known to crash Detroit-era children's birthday parties as Molesto the Clown ... without needing any makeup. If you say his name three times while staring at a mirror, Bertuzzi will spear a nun in the hoo-ha and tell your seven year-old sister she's adopted before making out with your dad. Scientists have studied Bertuzzi's optical nerve and determined that all living creatures look like Molson's-filled pinatas that just insulted his mom. The Red Wings picked him up because he was covered with winger blood anyways and they'd save thousands on jersey dye.
That's it for this week's Cupcheck. Tune in next week when we celebrate the Christmas Spirit by listing off the Five Bloodiest Bloodsports Caked in Blood.