Thursday, May 6, 2010
Thursday Morning Cupcheck - My Day With the San Jose Sharks
This week, we finally make sense of the NHL playoffs.
Good morning, hockey fans! Last week we discussed the second round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs with enough candor and love to fill a hundred penalty boxes. This week, I was planning on detailing which humans would be sacrificed in my plea to Czernobog, Slavic God of Slaughter, to make an example of those Flyers fans in section 708 who poured their slurpee down my back -- but after calling in to Pond Scum n' Chum's Wacky Morning Shark Hour (those long hours of learning shark calls from my Polish grandmother finally paid off, big time)(for those of you who didn't grow up near the shark-infested waters of Lake Winnebago, a shark's mating call closely resembles a sort of gasping and wheezing --but be forewarned! The sound of gagging makes all sharks extraordinarily ... randy), I got two free tickets to hang out with my personal heroes, the San Jose Sharks, at the fanciest restaurant in all of San Jose!
After scalping my other ticket to a mysterious, trenchcoated stranger who went by the name Benrik Betterberg -- I could've used the cash, but frankly, those meatballs were delish -- I quickly hopped the red-eye to San Jose, which was, somewhat surprisingly, just a DC-3 full of crates and live chickens. Finally, after an eleven-hour flight from Stars Headquarters that seemed much, much longer, I was in the Babylon of Backchecking, the Istanbul of Icing, the Calcutta of Clutch: San Jose.
By the time I got to the Denny's, I noticed the mood of the city was quite dour. Down 0-3 to the hated Detroit Red Wings, it seemed the Sharks could do nothing right in their second round series, and were, once again, on the verge of an early playoff exit. By the time the maitre'd seated me at my table (near the men's restroom -- only the finest table would do), I noticed two foppishly-dressed gentlemen already sitting down.
Me: *wide-eyed, probably drooling a little* "Ohimigodohmigodohmigod are you... Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley?"
Marleau: "Indeed we are, old bean! Do please sit down, our scones and tea are nearly ready! I hear they're the dog's bullocks!"
Heatley: "Pip, pip!"
Me: "Wow, this is just awesome!! You guys, are, like, the greatest hockey players in the known world! Maybe even the galaxy!"
Marleau: "Steady on, old fruit, you've got us bang to rights! Although with this ghastly Detroit business, we've had a bloody piss-poor time of it, I'm afraid."
Me: "Yeah, I watched the games. You guys seem to be just skating around in circles, keeping everything on the perimeter and letting the Red Wings dictate the game to you. Why don't you guys crash the crease and try and score in the paint?"
*Heatley gasps, Marleau feverishly adjusts his ascot*
Marleau: "Well, ah, er... that wouldn't be very sporting now, would it?"
Me: "Actually, uh, that's pretty much how you win hockey games in the playoffs. Didn't anyone tell you?"
Marleau: "Quite, quite! Right you are, old sausage! But it is a nasty business, is it not? Not one fit for esteemed gents of learning, quick with the wit and quicker with the light verse?"
Heatley: "It's a fair cop, guv."
Marleau: "Toodle-pip, old crab! That stuff is best left to the nastier sort. Biggles here agrees with me, I'm afraid: have a smashing time potting goals, and bob's your uncle!"
Me: "Yeah, but if no one does the dirty work in the corn--"
*Suddenly, a primal howl is heard in the front of the restaurant. Several other Denny's patrons start screaming in terror and running out of the way, as a massive, hairy behemoth barges in, knocking over tables and carrying two crack whores over his bulging shoulders. The half-ogre, half-minotaur charges our table, lifts one of the crack whores above his head and snaps her in half like a slim jim, before pouring her liquified remains all over his reindeer-lined full plate mail armor*
Fearsome Ogre: *tosses broken corpse into a booth seating a family of four* "HUUURRRRRRAAAAHAHHHHHHAGGGGHHHHH!!!!"
Marleau: *rolls eyes* "Bloody hell, Joe, did you have to off that blimey slag like a right twit? I do say you seem to have sprayed a bit of that crumpet upon my favorite dickie!"
Joe Thornton: "SHUT YOUR SARLAAC HOLE, F##KBASKET!! WHORES!! I NEED MORE WHORES!! *glances down at my trembling form, wipes an unidentifiable organ from his braided Viking beard* WHO IS THIS D##KMILKING LADYBOY?!?"
Marleau: "Steady on, old rib, this is the lucky fellow who won the contest! He's here for a bit of tea with the boys before scuttling off to the drawing room for some of Lady Blake's scandalous poetry! Isn't that right, batty boy?"
Me: "Er, actually, I thought that I would be hangi--"
Thornton: "SHUT THE S##T, C##KFLUSH!! *grabs eight year old boy from nearby table, sinks his mandibles into his soft underbelly* I DEMAND PANCAKES AND WHORES!!"
*amid the ear-splitting screams, a disheveled university professor barges in and nearly topples over our table. The bespectacled man collects himself, re-adjusts his bowtie and half-heartedly tries to brush the syrup and pancreatic fluid from the elbow patches on his tweed jacket. His eyes are wild with nerd excitement.*
Mysterious Professor: "Gentlemen!! Gentlemen!! I have great news!! If my calculations are correct, we may have finally solved our problem with the Red Wings! I merely had to invert the emission of phase-modulated chronoton particles from a polaron beam to contain a cascade failure from the gelatinous warp!"
Marleau: "What ho, old tooth?"
Mysterious Professor: "It's so simple! I just had to purge the sub-atomic resonance of the secondary power relays to generate more power to the singularity, and our time machine is now online!"
*we all pause, momentarily. Nothing can be heard, other than the blood-curdling screams of the other Denny's patrons and the sounds of hundreds of police sirens in the parking lot. Finally, Marleau breaks the awkward silence*
Marleau: "Marvelous!! Chocks away, Pavelski, you wild Americans have done it again! Those winged wankers are right nicked, lads!"
Me: "Wait a goddamn minute!! You guys invented a time machine?!? From scratch?!?"
Prof. Pavelski: "Yes! Well, I mean.. mostly!! It's, er.. very similar to another model, but ours is better! Er, not 'better', but.. it works! Or, at least, I was told it works!"
Me: "So, there are two time machines?"
Prof. Pavelski: "Well, I, uh, I did the, well, no, there's just the one. But it works! And I helped paint it teal!"
Heatley: "Teal? Good show!"
Marleau: "Ta ra, old boot! Now those tosh buggers from Michigan are right knackered!"
Thornton: *rips off plate mail to reveal a glistening, bile-soaked mass of knotted hair and rippling muscles; jumps onto table on all fours, cocks head back and howls* "AAAARRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! WHORES!! WHORES AND JIMMY HOWARD!! I THIRST FOR THE BLOOD OF THE ROOKIE!!"
Me: "Waitaminute, who gave you a time machine?"
Prof. Pavelski: "Mister Bettman. It's his own personal timeship. He said he's used it several times, so we know it works!"
Me: "Hold on-- when did Bettman use a time machine?"
Prof. Pavelski: "He uses it a lot, he says. Like when he went back in time to prevent the lack of southern expansion that led to hockey's demise. And that other time, when he had to travel back to stop the disastrous 2004 NHL season, which directly led to the complete bankruptcy of every Eastern Conference team the following year."
Me: "Holy jalapeno! Now this is hockey news! *grabs kids menu and crayon from crying infant, starts scribbling furiously* Do go on!"
Prof. Pavelski: "Well, there's not much else to say. He invited me to his underground fortress deep beneath the earth's crust, and said something about some beef he has with Red Wings fans or something, handed me the keys to this sweet time machine and told me I could paint it whatever color I wanted. Actually, I had to ask him permission about that last one."
Marleau *clapping* "Splendid!"
Heatley *lightly dabs corners of his mouth with dainty hankerchief* "Tally ho!"
Me: "Wait, so you guys are gonna go back in time and erase this 0-3 deficit to Detroit, just like that?"
Prof. Pavelski: "Precisely! I just need to reset the flow of verteron particles from the anti-matter injectors, and we're good to go!"
Me: "But isn't that cheaOOOOFFwhat the hell?"
*I glance back at the half-man, half-fish that just plowed into my back. I recognize him as Evgeni Nabokov, but why is he squirming around the floor like a freshly-caught salmon? Before I can answer this and other questions, Nabokov flings his flailing body in my direction, his massively oversized pads connecting with my temple and knocking me unconscious. With my last fading glance, I spot the mysterious Benrik emerge from the shadows of the men's bathroom, run out of the Denny's after the Sharks and start pounding his fists helplessly on the windshield of a teal-colored '77 Ford Pinto. I then drift off into the nether... when I wake up, I'm in a hospital bed, watching a man in red that looks oddly familiar have a goal waved off in...waitaminute...*
Me: *screaming* "Game three!?! Did that announcer just say Game three?!? THEY DID IT!! THEY FINALLY DID IT!! THOSE MANIACS!! DAMN THEM!! DAMN THEM ALL TO HELLLLLL!!!"
After my little outburst -- and a healthy dose of some unknown florescent green fluid administered via syringe to me by some rather burly men in white jumpsuits -- I calmed down a bit, and realized that, hey, even if Bettman is allowing the Sharks to use his personal time machine and instructing his referees to wave off every third Detroit goal ... it's completely justified because it's the Red Wings.
That's it for this week's Cupcheck. Tune in next week when we discuss the sleek, futuristic brooms Sharks fans unveiled after their controversial 5-on-3 OT game-winner in tonight's game against Detroit. Brad Watson's distinct kicking motion as he knocks the puck into the net may surprise you.
See more stories in:
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - Why Your Team Won't Make the Playoffs This Year
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - A Look Back at 2011, the Year That Benn Wrought
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - Solving the Stars' Attendance Woes
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - The Rise and Fall of the Pacific
- Thursday Morning Cupcheck - R.I.P. 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks