Everyone knows how much I hate the winged wheel. More than fresh dog bertuzzi on my shoes on a sweltering summer day, only discovered when I smear it all over the floor mats of my truck. But a certain team has slowly earned its way to number two on my despicable list. And really, I'm having a hard time putting my finger on why that is. So I thought maybe a little introspective fanpost would help. Why do I hate the Adjectives? They've never been relevant on the NHL landscape, yet I care enough to hate them. Why? Let me count the ways following the jump.
1. Their unmatched goonery during, of all things, a playoff series a few years back during the Return of Foppa - Part 1. That got the hate ball rolling for me. I mean, for years and years, their paint dry style of play (with apologies to paint drying everywhere) had already bored me to tears and made me want to scream for a refund every time I had the misfortune of watching them play in the Can. But that series, including a game in the Can won handily by the Avs in which the goons really came out to play, nailed it for me. You can't compete with an organization with class? Goon it up then! From that little fuck Veilleux nailing Stats into the boards from behind (should have been a major and game misconduct, but he inexplicably only received a minor on the play), to Boogaard, Voros and Fedoruk cheap shotting Avs at every opportunity, including after whistles and from behind, I can't say that I've seen a worse show of, errrrr, "sportsmanship" in all of my years of watching hockey. From the AP recap:
They "collected" 101 penalty minutes in that game. They "earned" about 200. "F the Wild," I waxed poetically that night. Thankfully, the Avs put them out of their misery two games later and won the series 4-2 after being down 2-1. Unfortunately, if I recall correctly, the Avs' round 2 playoff series that year was cancelled.
2. The 1994/95 New Jersey Devils introduced the league to the left wing lock, which at the time in retrospect was a great thing, because they used it to sweep the evil winged wheel in the Stanley Cup finals as Claude Lemiuex won the Conn Smythe, setting the stage for a whole lot of Red Wing butthurt for years to come. But while the Devils used the system for success, and the Dallas memo Stars perfected it as well for a few years with clutch and grabber pair extraordinaire Hatcher and Matvichuk, the Wild used it to put the league to sleep for about their first 10 seasons of existence. If you can't beat 'em, clutch, grab, hold, trip, hook, and interfere with them until you win with boredom. Jacques Lemaire is to hockey as Edsel was to the automotive industry. It just wasn't pretty.
3. Maybe I should be hating Tony Granato for this, and I do, but Andrew Brunette, during his first stint wearing the convoluted cougar head forrest thing, ended Patrick Roy's career prematurely. And I was at that game. The year was 2003. The experiment was Tony Granato, part 1. The result was a disaster. (Good thing the Avs didn't try that experiment again!) The Avs were up in the series 3-1. The lower seeded Wild came back to win the series, game 7 being in OT in the Can. Bruno scored on Roy in what would be his last goal allowed in the NHL. Heartbreak city. Maybe a seed for my hatred? Sure, but certainly not the number one reason.
4. Cal Clutterbuck and other current cowardly cougar heads. Clutterbuck is great at what he does. He is an agitator. But he's the kind of agitator that everyone loves to, and absolutely should, hate. Because he's the kind that will whack you with his stick, run you from behind, and then almost never, ever, back up the crap he does by dropping the gloves. "F Clutterbuck," I find myself waxing poetically now as I watch the Adjectives (hmmm, maybe I need to work on my poetry?). And there's a topper to this. So you already have Cluttercoward pulling off his antics. But to add to the team cowardice factor, you also have guys like career floater Martin Havlat joining the mix. Havlat chopped at Foote's legs with his stick while Footer was engaged with coward number 1 during a game earlier this year. And of course, in typical Adjective fashion, Havlat ran like a little school girl when old man Foote challenged him on the cheap shot.
5. The blogger who embodies the very essence of the Adjectives, our favorite, the one and only B-Rey! OK, so we've beaten the "despicable" thing to death. And anyone who compares Foppa to Favre just isn't paying attention and/or doesn't know what the hell they are talking about, we all get that. But what kind of blogger starts a fight with another blog, one of the most despicable blogs on the planet no-less (Excluding Zetterberg, for those of you who don't know), and then backs down, puts their cougar head tail between their legs, bends over, grabs their ankles, and apologizes to those clowns? Wtf? Talk about someone non-deserving of a mancard. B-Rey essentially is the Clutterbuck of bloggers.
And I don't hate B-Rey, not at all. But * Come on man, grow a pair and stand up for yourself. Especially against EZ! (*Edited on Feb 14. I didn't hate B-Rey. Until today. Fuck him and every other fucking clueless clown who just doesn't get what Forsberg meant to our hockey fanbase.)
So there you have it. I have justified my hatred. I'd do the same thing for the wheel, but would need a book to do it, not a fanpost. Think "Blood Feud" without AD clutterbucking down to the enemy at every opportunity.