[Redacted]: At My Wits’ and Season’s End
Welcome to the last [Redacted] of the 2013-14 regular season. When I first started this [sludge stack] I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I could write but I’d never written about hockey and I wasn’t sure if I could keep it going week after week. I’ve had a great time in the short half season I’ve shared my obscene, outlandish and/or ridiculous thoughts with you and I’ve met some cool people. Thank you for embracing me and enjoying [Redacted]. You [beloved people] are all right.
This week, I’m going to open with some housekeeping and then get down to business.
- First off, this really is the last [Redacted] of the regular season (the regular season ends Sunday, [irregular reader of calendars]) and probably for a while. I’m not paid to be here, so I’m going to selfishly try to enjoy the last week of the season and cross all of my appendages that Dallas makes the playoffs so I can enjoy those as well. However, I am working on a special project that may appear either during the playoffs or soon afterwards and I guarantee you will enjoy it, you greedy [love children].
- Minnesota still wears the Fecal Fedora. At this point, Colorado and now Chicago are immune to wearing it in the offseason, while Winnipeg, St. Louis, Dallas (by way of St. Louis), Nashville, and of course, Minnesota could still end the season with it. The next chance for Minnesota to ditch it is tonight in Winnipeg.
How about that Antoine Roussel? He’s a great troll and a good [French] player lately, too. In his past seven games, his penalty impact to Dallas has been a fight, a meaningless 10 minute misconduct at the very end of a game versus St. Louis, and two minutes for skating sort of nearby Steven Stamkos – 17 penalty minutes of which only 2 put Dallas down a man against their opponent. In those games, he’s drawn a corresponding fighting major, boarding, cross checking, and a match penalty when his face and Radko Gudas’ elbow made acquaintances. Not only is he making a big impact on the penalty front, doing his job as a pest, he is 2-3-5 and +3 over those seven games. Magnifique!
Roussel effectively replaced Steve Ott for the [delightful scamp]-we-love-but-opposing-fans-hate role in Dallas and as much as I loved Ott, I’m enjoying the change. As co-captain (what a joke that was) in Buffalo, it seemed like Ott was not really allowed to be the same type of player, although his personality still showed up at times. In St. Louis, Ott is still finding his place or if not, St. Louis is finding that Ott is versatile enough to play in more than one. However, through Ott’s first 19 games as a member of the Blues, he’s 0-2-2, -11, and has 21 penalty minutes – but at least he’s racking up the hits as usual. What has to be disappointing though for Blues fans is that Ott and the forwards he gets lumped with are making costly mistakes. Ott was on the ice for every single goal versus Chicago yesterday.
- Speaking of St. Louis, this is that strange time of year when fans of opposing teams that have felt ambivalent or even downright caustic about your team will suddenly root for it because it means potentially upsetting the team they fear. The Stars are the only potential Wild Card team that has a winning record against the Blues this season. Welcome to the Dallas Stars bandwagon, Blackhawks and Avalanche fans. If you decide you want to stay, you’re welcome.
- By the way, I did say “potential Wild Card team” above. It could have been all but locked down on Sunday, but the Stars, in their typical fashion, have decided to make fans pull their [cowboy-hat-matted] hair out and violently throw [consumer durables] by surrendering two goal leads to teams like the [Horacheking] Florida Panthers. We’re left wondering, yet again, if we will see Dallas in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. This year was supposed to be different – new owner, new GM, new coach, new uniforms, Tyler Seguin… and so far it has been different, but not this part. This is the part that I want to see change the most. It’s wonderful that Dallas has one of the best-ranked prospect pools in the league and I’m really enjoying continuing to watch those players make it to the NHL, but changing loser behavior at the end of the season is the key to growing beyond where they are today.
- Until then, the Stars are a streaky team that plays an exciting brand of hockey… A team that can beat great teams and find ways to lose to terrible ones… A team that chokes so often at the end of the regular season that you begin to wonder if it’s a sexual fetish. I want to see this streak end for my own sanity and yours, Stars fans, so here’s a toast. Texans, pop the top off a Saint Arnold. Chicagoans, pour a glass of Malort. Avs fans, pick anything but Coors Light – you and I both know “taste the Rockies” is [duplicitous marketing] unless the Rockies taste like cold [egesta] (Look! The temperature of the urine changes the color on the can!) and you have better things to choose from. This is starting to get tedious, so everyone else, pour yourself something or other and here’s a toast to Toaster and everyone else playing like champions from here on out – here’s to the Stars finally not choking again. If you aren’t a Stars fan or a fan of another team afraid of St. Louis, then I’ll offer a reason to support Dallas I know you can get behind: [Klinkhammering] nobody wants to watch Phoenix in the playoffs. Can you drink to that? Good. Go Stars!