NHL: The 20% report

Okay, so we are 20% through the season. Yes, as of this writing there are a few stragglers who have yet to reach the 20% mark… and there are a few teams over it. That’s scheduling for you. Hockey players need well-deserved breaks between games. It’s a brutal sport on one’s body, yet of course there is majesty to watching men on ice dazzle with their skating skills but still be able to smoke an opponent into the boards for merely sneering at them.

You may recall, well I am sure you will because EVERYONE READS this well-put together report, and my hockey knowledge is nearly as good as the Bantum-level hockey kid across the street, that the 10% report went sort of like this:

Eastern Conference

Their 10% playoff teams: Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricane, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders. At 20%, the Eastern Conference whoo, it’s like a whole new puckgame.

It’s not. No changes in the teams, just in their order.

Washington Capitals. They moved up from 2 to 1, and still have Russians on their team. Sounds ominous.

Boston Bruins. They’ve climbed a Zamboni and smoothed their way to position 2, and they have goalie Tuukka Rask, which sounds like the answer you would get from a daring first-time Norwegian ski jumper.

New York Islanders. Moved from 8 to 3. Well done for them. Their leader is Captain Anders Lee – no relation to Robert E. or Spike.

Toronto Maple Leafs. A bit of a move up for the Leafs. Was seriously hoping for a fall so I could make a bad ‘Leafs fall’ dad joke, but no such luck. They are coached by Mike Babcock, who’s a damn fine coach. I expect them to make a good run in the playoffs.

Buffalo Sabres. From first to fifth. They are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, and they have Rasmus Ristolainen, but I hear there’s an ointment for that.

Pittsburgh Penguins. Still a strong team, but they had a bit of a fall. They’ll be fine… and they have defenseman Kris Letang, which is French for Kris The Tang.

Florida Panthers. Well look who moved up a whole spot to number 7, 45’s favorite team. He, the man who won’t be named, nominated Florida Panthers owner Vincent ‘Vega’ Viola to be the Secretary of the Army. He declined. The only thing the Panthers have going for them is Coach Q.

Carolina Hurricane. Yep, still clinging onto the last playoff spot like a slip clings onto a crossdresser’s hairy legs. Carolina is no place for hockey.

As for the rest of the Eastern Conference at point two-oh…

Montreal Canadians are socloseithurts. They are only in 9th because they’ve won fewer games than the Hurricane. That’s it.

Philadelphia Flyers. Congrats. You moved up a notch. Whatever.

Tampa Bay Lightning. You moved up too, and you’re still far enough away from Mar-a-Lago that the Bloated Circus Peanut can’t negatively affect you.

New York Rangers. Another up-and-comer? Probably. You would have extra adrenaline too if Private Bonespurs was fleeing your state.

Columbus Blue Jackets. You fell like Grandma’s Souffle and taste just as awful.

New Jersey Devils. You are in the same exact position. Congrats to your level of sad mediocrity.

Ottawa Senators. Hey, you moved up a notch. Even a Senator is better than being from…

Detroit Red Wings. It’s kind of enjoyable seeing them this bad, but wow they are so bad every player is fighting to get into the penalty box so they don’t have to play.

Who in the Eastern Conference goes to the Stanley Cup Final? Based upon current streaks and their stellar first fifth of the season? It’s still the Washington Capitals. Maybe it’s Washington’s year. They grab a couple championships while our feckless ‘leader’ grabs some… bench. Bench is good, like permanent bench.
Western Conference

At 10%, we had the Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues making the playoffs. Now? Everyone is still the same… except for the Anaheim Ducks. Apparently they’ve been sending out a decoy team in their place and have now fallen out of the playoff ranks. Taking their place? The upstart and pretty hot, Calgary Flames. But Calgary is also get set to play Game 20 of their season which is ridiculous. They’ve played 5 more games than New Jersey… but then again, New Jersey doesn’t really want to play. So, in order we have:

St. Louis Blues. Holy hat trick, the current Stanley Cup hoisters gone from playoff position 8 all the way to the top in the span of less than ten games.

Edmonton Oilers. Still in position 2, so very consistent. Also still have that crafty Canadian with two last names: Connor McDavid.

Calgary Flames. They are hitting their stride and should continue to do well. And they have Matthew Tkachuk, a man with three ts, yet only has need for one.

Vancouver Canucks. They’ve moved up to sit at number 4. They are playing well… until the last two games when they lost to the Blues and then to the Blackhawks of all teams. But they still have that woofer of a center, Jay Beagle.

Nashville Predators. Trashville hasn’t sucked, but haven’t been outstanding either. OK, they have sucked a bit. They just lost to the Avalanche 9-4. Nine. That’s not good hockey, people.

Colorado Avalanche. Fallen from 1 to 6. Oof. That’s a sucky time getting from 10% to 20%. Inconsistent. They scored 2 goals in two games against Dallas… then scored 6 goals in one period against Nashville.

Las Vegas Golden Knights. Have played better and have nothing to show for it. 7th spot, and still have Marc-André Fleury between the pipes. If you go to McDonald’s and ask for a Marc-André Fleury, you’ll just get plain vanilla.

Arizona Coyotes. Yep. Still holding tight to the lower part of the seeding, this time with a loose grip on 8th. The Coyotes is where Blackhawks go to retire, like Marian Hossa. His contract expires in 2021, but he hasn’tplayed since 2017.

So who, besides the aforementioned Ducks, is out of the playoffs as of right now?

Winnipeg Jets. Same spot as the 10% mark. Same confused defenseman in Dustin Byfuglien, who is not playing and whose last name, obviously, is pronounced ‘Buff-Lin.’

Dallas Stars. Hey, they moved up… but still struggle against every team not named Avalanche.

Chicago Blackhawks. They inched up too, but still are not playing hockey anywhere near the level it would take to make the playoffs, and… KANER!

San Jose Sharks. They’ve slid a bit, like a fat dog on a snowy slope.

Minnesota Wild. Same place as the 10% report, and still playing hockey deserving of their nickname, the Mild.

Los Angeles Kings. They’re trying desperately to get LeBron James to lace up some skates. They’ve got to try something. They’re nearly as bad as the Red Wings.

As for the 10% winner from the Western Conference? Oh, I so hate to say this, I do. But right now it’s the St. Louis Blues. They’re melting ice from city to city right now.

Stanley Cup Champion after 20% of the season is done? Oh, man may the Deity of High Sticking whack me a good one if this comes true – the St. Louis Blues.

See you at the tirty-tree and a tird mark.

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