The NHL at 10%

Hockey is violent ballet; grace and guts. And yes, if you’re skating on the same thin ice I am, The Nutcracker would sell more tickets if we knew sometime during the Sugar Plum Fairy one of the dancers would get crosschecked.

Okay, we’re around the 10% mark of the season. No, there was not a 0% report as a) zero means no games have been played, and b) no one wants to be a zero. What you’re going to see here is a breakdown of each team so far by conference and who’s going to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup based upon the current standings. Let’s go East first.

Eastern Conference

Buffalo Sabres. They have one tick in the loss column, and a center forward whose name – Zemgus Girgensons – sounds like a place you could get a pita stuffed with Swedish meatballs. Yet, they’re pretty good.

Washington Capitals. They won the cup in 2018. They also have a Russian named Alex Ovechkin whose allegedly only 34, but looks older. Russian in Washington. Whooda thunk it? They’ll be in it all season.

Boston Bruins. Named after the native bears that roam the streets, the Bruins are pretty darn good. They have a well-rounded roster… and a defensive giant named Zdeno Chara, which is also a fine place to get a Greek steak.

Carolina Hurricane. One of the most inappropriate names in sports, the Hurricane are stuck in a spot where no team really wants to be. No, 4th is fine for now, Carolina not so much. Team Captain Jordan Staal runs a slow-paced offense. Get it? No? I’ll let myself out.

Pittsburgh Penguins. Weak-ass name for a strong team. Who wants be known as a bird that can’t fly and stinks to high heaven? But they have Malkin and Crosby who are not only fine hockey players, but mean crooners. Oh, and Jack Johnson, he can sing too.

Toronto Maple Leafs. What? A Canadian team? I know, crazy that a team is pretty good from the national birthplace of hockey. Solid team whose back-up goalie is Michael Hutchinson, the former, and deceased, lead singer of INXS. What? Too soon?

Florida Panthers. Their team tagline is ‘This is Florida Panthers Territory’ which is ironic as the real Florida Panther’s territory keeps getting smaller and smaller. They have Aaron Ekblad, which is exactly how you feel when you eat one of Buffalo’s pitas stuffed with Swedish meatballs.

New York Islanders. They don’t need a team tagline because they’re… mediocre. But they do have Cal Clutterbuck and Johnny Boychuk. The ‘Buck & Chuk’ line is just fun to say, but hold tight to your sons when you’re around Johnny.

The above eight would make the playoffs at the 10% point of the season. As for the rest who do not deserve the added bold to their name…

Montreal Canadians. Appropriate name, meh team.

Columbus Blue Jackets. Named after the only democrats in Ohio. They’re okay.

Tampa Bay Lightning. Should be playing better, and should have a better name.

Philadelphia Flyers. Probably the 4th best team… in their own city. Very average.

New Jersey Devils. Aside from Springsteen, nothing nice ever comes out of New Jersey.

Detroit Red Wings. Bad, which is good.

New York Rangers. Named after the Central Park Rangers who terrorized Ed Asner in Elf and are just as awful.

Ottawa Senators. No Senator is any damn good and they are proving it.

Who in the Eastern Conference goes to the Stanley Cup Final (and it is ‘Final’ not ‘Finals.’ Get over it.) Right now it’s the Washington Capitals. Unlike our ‘president,’ they’re playing really well on the road.

Western Conference

Colorado Avalanche. Young, pretty good. They have the best overall line-up since the Sakic-Forsberg-Roy era. Just need to develop a sincere hatred for the Red Wings.

Edmonton Oilers. They’ve sucked for a long time and seem to be back on track to at least make the playoffs. Also blessed with the Canadian phenom with the Scottish name – Connor McDavid.

Vegas Golden Knights. Only in hockey can an expansion team make it to the Stanley Cup Final which the knigg-its did in 2018. They still have Paul Stastny, who in hockey years is about 107. When you play the Golden Knights, all bets are off. Sorry – not sorry.

Vancouver Canucks. No one likes them, not even their own fans. They’ll put up a good game, make the playoffs, and then be hated by everyone from San Jose to Carolina. They have a goalie named Thatcher Demko, which sounds like a clothing brand you’d find at Costco.

Anaheim Ducks. They took the ‘Mighty’ out of their name years ago, and along with it took their power. Captain Ryan Getzlaf, in spite of his last name, is never funny. However, they do have a pretty decent team… just no power.

Arizona Coyotes. They used to be the Phoenix Coyotes, but they sucked so badly they felt the need to spread out their suckitude. A mixed bag of players off of former good teams, but one of their goalies is the ageless Antti Raanta which sounds a lot tougher if you just re-arrange the letters and make him Taint Artana.

Nashville Predators. Trashville loaded up with some darn good players so they could make a serious run in the playoffs as they start to gel better than Lloyd Bridges did in Airplane. They still have the Vunder-goalie Pekka Rinne which when said quickly sounds like an action scene in an Italian porn film.

St. Louis Blues. Hard to say, but they are the COUGH COUGH defending Stanley Cup Champions. Currently they sit in the last playoff spot, but with their pool of Canadians, they ought to make a good run.

So there are your current playoff teams from the Western Conference. This conference is going to be a huge battle to find out who ends up on top. As for the current bottom feeders…

Calgary Flames. They have as much firepower as a 1 year-old’s birthday candle.

Winnipeg Jets. Any team named ‘Jets’ is doomed (see ‘New York Jets.’)

Los Angeles Kings. They have ‘winter’ competition from the Rams, Clippers and Lakers. As such, no chance.

San Jose Sharks. Even the Sharks don’t know the way to San Jose right now, let alone a net.

Dallas Stars. Most misnamed team ever. Should be the either the “Starstruck” are the “Cowgirls.”

Chicago Blackhawks. Couldn’t stop a puck if it was square and had spikes, but… KANER.

Minnesota Wild. They were the North Stars before the North Stars shipped off to Dallas (hence, Stars – still dumb). Right now the Wild are mild.

As for the 10% winner from the Western Conference? Love to say the Avalanche as I am a fan, but I’m going to go with The Predators.

Stanley Cup Champion after 10% of the season is done? The Predators. I just got a shiver up my spine just saying that. Please let the next 10% of the season change my mind.

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