Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A fan's guide to dealing with elimination

Pictured: Marc-Andre Fleury's 5-hole in NYC.  Or maybe that's the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.  They're the same size...

For 29 NHL fan bases every season, dealing with elimination is a reality.  As much as we dread our team's last game of the season, it's very likely going to happen each year.  For some fan bases, that time has already come, and by this time next week, even more fan bases will be left wondering what went wrong.  But cheer up, because I've provided a coping method.  Here's how you deal with elimination and what to do when it happens.

Why did your team get eliminated?
a) Our goaltender's five-hole makes Michael Leighton's five-hole look microscopic.  Plus, we had so many injuries, and we're obviously the only team that had injuries all season and the refs screwed us over like a million times!  The league hates us!  It's a conspiracy!
b) We got trapped!  And that team won't even be in that city next year...
c) We choked because our superstar players disappear in the playoffs every year!
d) We ran into a really good goalie.  Dammit, I'm going to riot now.
e) We actually have no talent, so we didn't expect to go far.

How would you assess your regular season?
a) We had a good year, but we obviously would have been the best team in the league if we had all of our players healthy...
b) Aside from that one time when we lost like a million games in a row and that other time that we blew that lead, it was pretty good.
c) It was so good that our players got so into games that they were helping out from the bench and everything!
d) You know, I think the President's Trophy is prettier than the Stanley Cup, anyway.
e) We were so bad that even I could crack the lineup...

What was the highlight of your team's season?
a) We had a winning streak that lasted longer than most Devils coaches' careers.
b) Back when our goalie was so great that someone on Bleacher Report wrote that he should win Vezina!
c) Remember when I said our guys played from the bench?  Yeah, that.
d) When Brad Marchand got suspended.  What a punk!
e) Our longest winning streak lasted as long as a John Tortorella press conference.

What were your pre-season expectations for your team?
a) With our talent, we should win the Stanley Cup every year for the next decade.
b) Go farther than Vancouver and Detroit.
c) Well, we haven't choked in the first round in...a year, so probably that.
d) Not have any of our players get suspended or fined because contrary to common belief, we are a clean team.
e) To attend another draft party in June.

Did your team even come remotely close to your pre-season expectations?
a) Yes.  Oh wait, this year?  No.  But hey, one of our players might win a major award!
b) *checks standings* YES!  We lasted one more day than them!!!
c) Yes.  It was gutless of them.
d) I'm sorry, I'm too busy polishing off that President's Trophy.
e) The NHL draft lottery is obviously rigged...

Finally, which remaining NHL team are you rooting for to win the Stanley Cup this year?
a) Pittsburgh Penguins!!!
b) Florida Panthers.  It's like our alumni team down there.
c) LA Kings.  Okay, just kidding.
d) Ottawa Senators.  Represent Canada!
e) Nobody.  We're done.  They should cancel the rest of the playoffs.

Now, let's see your results.

  • If you picked mostly "A," you're probably a Penguins fan.  You're slightly delusional right now, as your team suffered an epic collapse in the playoffs.
    ADVICE: You might want to take a break from sports.  After all, it's baseball season in Pittsburgh.
  • If you picked mostly "B," you're probably a Blackhawks fan.  You're frustrated because you feel that you lost to an inferior team.
    ADVICE: Hope the NHL somehow abolishes the salary cap in CBA negotiations this summer/
  • If you picked mostly "C," you're probably a Sharks fan.  Early playoff exits are nothing new to you, but that doesn't relieve the frustration.
    ADVICE: There's a team that plays a few miles south of you.  They're good.  You could watch them.
  • If you picked mostly "D," your Twitter name is probably "WeDontDive," as you're an extremely irrational and partially insane Vancouver Canucks fan.
    ADVICE: Keep up the tweeting.  You're quite amusing.
  • If you picked mostly "E," your favorite NHL team is not very good and/or misses the playoffs often.  But hey, at least your team still has its first round draft pick, right??