I promise you there will be literally no more Star Wars talk in this post.
With tonight being the last night of NHL action before the Christmas break (also known as the “Almost Nobody In The Movie Theater” Break depending on your feelings on now only vaguely Christian holiday plans), and with two of the three Canafornian teams in action at zero hour, I thought it would be nice to check in to remind you that a) I’m on Christmas Break and no on likes me so I have free time, and b) stuff is happening in our little corner of the Pacific Division that is only kinda bad and still worth paying attention to but not really!
Also, the Oilers don’t play tonight, so to summarize what’s going on with them, I don’t know. maybe go break your shoulder and see if anything comes to mind.
(PS There will absolutely be more Star Wars talk. I was trying to lure you into a warm and fuzzy false sense of security, like the inside of a TaunTaun)
Jets Thrashers @ Flames
Much like the Planet Hoth, the Flames’ special teams continue to be ice cold as this dismal campaigns rolls on. Calgary sits comfortably in 30th place on the power play, clicking at about an 11% “success” rate, while the penalty kill, also dead last in the league, suggests the only things the Flames know how to kill is my patience in Bob Hartley.
There are, of course, solutions to these problems, such as taking one of your finest penalty killers in Josh Jooris, planting him firmly up high in the press box with God and Ladislav Smid watching, and replacing him with the returning Lance Bouma and his cement mixer face. Bouma’s specialty on the penalty kill is to take everything you hold dear in your life, and shatter every last bit of it until you are a hollow husk of the human you once were, while he and his neighbourhood demon friends laugh at you as they piss sulfur and ketchup on your ashes.
That is to say, Lance Bouma kinda sucks in all the roles his coach gives to him, and yet, he still gets them. It’s fucking fun.
JOE COLBORNE IS ON THE FIRST GODDAMN LINE TONIGHT DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE IS A VERY LARGE AND VERY STATIONARY FIRE HYDRANT. This is a continuation of the experiment of “just what kind of hot garbage can we give to Johnny Gaudreau that he can still turn into gold?”
The answer, so far, has been everything, but now he’s basically getting Jar Jar Binks on skates as a linemate, and I feel like this is going too far.
The good news for the Flames is that the Atlanta Thrashers are in town, and sporting an identical record to that of Calgary, which is to say, they are not very good. And also way more racist.
Jets Thrashers have one road win to their name in their last 11, and like the Flames, have only been able to win in the confines of their tiny stupid arena that is literally smaller than Dustin Byfuglien.
Anyway, I hate this team. Bob Hartley has ruined me like watching Star Wars sequentially will one day ruin your kids. Save us Mikael Backlund, you’re our only hope.
A New Hope
The Pacific Division is the hockey equivalent to A Christmas Story while all the other divisions are all Die Hard and Christmas Vacation, but that does mean that even if your team is bad, there’s still a chance for some level of success as the season goes on. For the Sharks, it means maybe finishing second in the Division and not having to deal with the Kings until after a far better team eliminates them in the first round (or St. Louis, god how funny would it be if it were St. Louis).
For the Flames and Oilers, it means you can assemble a hodgepodge team of broken parts and misfit toys and still challenge for a place in the postseason despite your team packing less of a punch than The Phantom Menace. All I know is that as we come over the horizon onto the back half of this 2015-16 season, things are going to get a lot worse, a lot funnier, and there’s a very good chance that the Ducks are going to end up losing out on Auston Matthews because the Oilers won the draft lottery AGAIN. And that’s really something.