NHL back, baby!
At long last, we've reached the end of this futile and unnecessary exercise. If you feel like you've aged about four years just reading these previews, imagine how I must feel as I'm the one who's been writing the damn things. We conclude this overview of the little league that can't with the Atlantic Dvision, Canada's very own and the one division that constantly manages to disappoint us. To read our first three previews on the Pacific, Central and Metropolitan divisions, head over here, here and here.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
We hailed general manager Steve Yzerman as a genius for selling at last year's trade deadline when his team played in an eminently winnable Atlantic Division only to then miss out on the playoffs by one freaking point, because we are all gullible idiots. At least, the Tampa Bay Lightning have J.T. Brown on their roster, and all the more power to him for standing for something. And fuck the morons for responding exactly the way you thought they would to seeing a black hockey player raising his fist during the playing of the national anthem before a hockey game. (The previous sentence should be all you need to understand and realize how utterly dumb it is that we systematically play the national anthem at fucking sporting events.)
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
This team made the leap last year, they say. Yeah, erm, about that: where did that leap lead you, Maple Leafs fans? Right to a miserable 1st round exit in the playoffs, which is to say right to the wine cellar where your daddy keeps the hard liquors to wash away the sorrow. Sure, you hadn't been down there in a long, long time, but what the hell right? Well done, your team made the leap to average and shit. Congratulations. So yeah, the Toronto Maple Leafs made the leap, but absolutely nothing has changed and none of it ever well. The team’s fans are still entitled brats who love Tyler Bozak’s grit or whatever the fuck, this team is still hopeless and 1967 is still a goddamn lifetime away.
Yeah, the team has a few studs on defence and like 834 top-six forwards, but regardless of who plays for this team, even oh I don’t know a prime Mats Sundin I'm just using his name as an example for no reason at all, nothing’s more certain than a non-Leafs Stanley Cup win. Rinse, refuckingpeat. I’m looking forward to my favourite tradition on Twitter.
3. Boston Bruins
Patrice Bergeron, when he’s not concussed out of his mind, is a joy to watch play hockey and we should cherish and treasure him forever, but other than him it’s slim pickings with the Boston Bruins. Asshole Milan Lucic hasn’t played for this asshole team for a while, and it’s still as much of a shame today as it was then: assholes should stick together goddamnit. The Boston Bruins players are all about a year away from being either too old, too butt, too fat or all of these at once. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy has maybe the greatest Boston name ever and I want nothing more than to see him fulfill his destiny as a real-life Gordon Bombay.
Hey, remember when P.K. Subban told everyone, after Bruins fans had bent over, taken down their pants and trousers and showed the whole world their hairy buttocks, remember when Subban, yes, said he couldn’t wait to be back in Boston and shut them all the fuck up and that’s exactly what he did? Wasn't that something?? We see you, Boston.
4. Ottawa Senators
Somehow, the Ottawa Senators manage the impossible feat of underwhelming their hockey-mad and hockey-thirsty fans right in the middle of a province that’s gung-ho for the sport.
Play to win the fucking game, head coach Guy Boucher, stop trying to not lose and bore everyone to death. Team owner Eugene Melnyk is still the worst, and also the cheapest, so he’s probably perfect for this town. We should call Ottawa a village, not a town, and also the Sens have the worst nickname in history. There's no real logic or progression to the previous three sentences because you don't try to lend logic to the inexplicable. Just roll with the punches, never stop, and when they cry for help you wipe their ass.
The Senators are your younger brother who always force you to tag along every time you go out with friends. They always get too drunk too fast, and they force you to care after them while they’re throwing up in the bathroom sink while the girl you like just lets you there and leaves. THE POINT IS TO STOP DRINKING, MORON!
5. Montreal "Habs" Canadiens
After all this time, maybe we finally know why the Montreal "Habs" Canadiens decided to trade the team’s best (non-goalie category) and popular player & most wonderful ambassador. Apparently, the Habs would prefer that you not pledge to give $10 million to young children in need. They would rather have you race a cowboy?
What do I mean? Precisely what I wrote, that the Habs would rather have a cowboy on their lineup, that they would prefer that you shoot a cringeworthy commercial for McDonald’s where you literally race, in full Habs hockey gear, an actual cowboy on his fucking high horse. Seriously. I would laugh if I weren't crying.
"Shea Weber is from the Canadian West, guys. He’s big and physical, probably has hair on his fucking chest, and is a no-nonsense guy. He’s sort of like a cowboy on skates, you know, so let’s have him race an actual cowboy on his horse."
No, we don’t know, but by all means keep fucking sucking and maybe you’ll force Carey Price to retire rather than to suit up for you turkeys. Oh also: your fantoms at the old Forum never existed, idiots, sometimes you just win Stanley Cups you don’t deserve. Fuck you, Habs.
6. Florida Panthers
Do you realize these goons made the Stanley Cup final in their third year of existence in the 1995-96 season? LMAO what a freaking world we live in. There is literally nothing else noteworthy about this franchise that can't tell its butt from its mouth. Florida... Panthers? No. Silly, illiterate toads.
7. Buffalo Sabres
Oh, how much would Buffalo love to have their Sabres of old, of the Dominik Hasek, Miroslav Satan, Danny Brière & Chris Drury days, the Sabres of underperformance and underwhelming playoffs results. These days, the Bufflao Sabres are butt and nothing but butt, but the team couldn't even suck well enough to end up with McDice. Instead they're stuck with the Walmart knock-off version of Connor McDavid in Zach Eichel, which is perfect for the Walmart knock-off version of an American city that is Buffalo. Still, you can bet that Eichel will end up with more goals than the Sabres will win games this season. Ohhhh booya motherfuckers.
8. Detroit Red Wings
Give them this, the Detroit Red Wings are utterly mediocre now. They had a streak of 25 straight years of making the playoffs and hung on to this like it were their firstborn taking their first steps, when really how impressive is making the playoffs when half the teams in the league do it? Fuck you, Detroit. Maybe now you can focus on bigger and better things. Like why the fuck did you give free money to billionaires for a new arena, and why you settled on the worst pizza in the world for the name of your new arena (you paid for it yourself, Detroit, you could have at least decided on the place's name!) and why some neo-nazis are using your team logo.
Rock City, my ass. Make the playoffs for once in your life, losers.