One of the truly insurmountable problems with being a Habs fan is the lack of good silly metaphors for wins/losses. It seems like every other team is named after a thing such that you can describe their victory and defeat via cutesy imagery- ‘Avalanche bury Coyotes’, ‘Hurricanes blow away Leafs’, ‘Devils condemn Rangers to black pit of eternal damnation’, ‘Senators vote down Penguins by 3/5 majority.’ I always said that I thought these things were horribly corny, but really, I was just jealous because I couldn’t do it. I mean, come on, what can you do with ‘Canadiens’, or ‘Habs’, for that matter? You can’t even hardly get any good puns out of those, much less higher-level wordplay. It’s sad.
But Sharks, now that’s got potential. Sharks can do all sorts of things interesting, bloody things that might make good metaphors for winning a hockey game- biting, chomping, devouring, ripping into tiny little shreds of flesh, etc. The problem, in this case, is the opposition. Red Wings? What is that? That’s not even an animal, that’s an animal part. It’s like something already ate most of it and just left the bony, feathery bits behind. So I think I’m going to have to go with ‘Sharks Scavenge Red Wings’ for this one. And it’s particularly fitting, given
1. Games with weird scoring make me itchy. This was one of those where the only two goals were scored within 24 seconds of each other, and I can’t help suspecting that that’s the sort of cosmic weirdness that will get evened out eventually. Especially with the point-circus of the Jersey-Ottawa game scrolling across the bottom of the screen, I rather expected the game to get tied up in equally bizarre way. Who wins on a 2-0 lead after the first, in this day and age? But I was wrong to doubt; the Karmic Principles of Being ain’t got nothin’ on Joe Thornton.
2. Or Lolita, for that matter. 34 saves for the shutout, barely even breaking a sweat. That should be enough to set somebody’s loins on fire…
3. Defensive hockey gets no respect. Seriously, every hockey fan in the world rips on defensive hockey- damn low scoring, conservative styles, ruining our game. Even fans of obviously defensive-minded teams (myself included) get very, well, defensive if you point that out, and will irritably tell you that at least they’re not like
4. Well, it’s fun if you want the Sharks to win. By the last 5-6 minutes of this game, the Joe Louis looks to be half-empty and very, very quiet. Detroitians are evidently kind-hearted, ‘classy’ folk who leave in a discreet and dignified fashion when hope is lost. This is a very reasonable way for human beings to behave, but it is not the way of hockey fans. First of all, in a game when the only two goals went in less than a minute apart, who gives up with that much time left, even if their team is being badly outplayed? But more than that, what sort of hockey fan doesn’t take this as a perfect opportunity to explore the various ways that displeasure can be expressed en masse? Take pride in your heckling, dammit! How will the team understand how upset you are if you don’t tell them loudly and often? Don’t think of it as ‘booing’, Detroitians, rather, think of it as one long continuous groan punctuated by bursts of outrage: aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnNOOOOOOOOOOoooooouuuuuuuuYOUSUCK. Trust me, you’ll feel better if you let it out. Well, maybe not that much better.
Of course, it would be premature to count the poor Red Wings out just because they looked like pure crap in one game. Cut them some slack, they’re elderly and disabled. And anyway, remember how they embarrassed the Flames over and over again, even when
[Sorry I stopped posting for a while last week. I got pretty badly writer’s blocked, for reasons that are not worth going into. Fact is, I take hockey personally. Too personally. And way, way too seriously. It sometimes causes problems.]