NHL: The Tirty-Tree & a Tird report

A full third of the way through the 2019-2020 season. I waited as patiently as a Zamboni smoothing ice for the Colorado Avalanche to get to game 27 of the season. Yes, technically game 27 is 32.9 percent of the season, but game 28 leaves you at 34.1 percent so as that mediocre politician and awful (I assume) hockey player Mick Mulvaney stated, ‘deal with it.’

Plus, a lot of the other teams have reached game 28. The Red Wings have reached game 30, a blessing for them to get this season as far in their past as possible as fast as they can. Good St. Joseph the Crosschecker they are awful.

I’ll try to build upon the 20 percent report and see where how our playoff teams would be set up if we were to end the season right now.

Eastern Conference

Eastern Conference playoff teams at 20 percent: Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricane.

And what do we find at the third mark?  Ladies and gents, unlike the stretch from 10 percent to 20 percent, we have changes. Boston Bruins. They’ve hit the zenith, pushing the Capitals down a peg to number 2. Yes, they both have identical points right now, but the Bruins have played one fewer game. The Bruins are poised to have a great season, even with a player named Par Lindholm, who frankly sounds really average.

Washington Capitals. The virtual tie with Boston has them angrier than Devin Nunes at the impeachment hearings but not nearly as dumb. They are set to make this a way more successful season than the senate will have with their impeachment trial.

New York Islanders. Stuck in the third slot, which given the rise of some teams, is still awfully good. These Long Island skaters are ready to make this NHL season their own better than the Muppets took Manhattan (I know – it’s a different island, comments not necessary).

Philadelphia Flyers. Wait, where the hell did they come from and what happened to the Maple Leafs?! Toronto took a few games off, so to speak, and Philadelphia has gone whack-a-mole crazy, winning their last 5 to vault into 4th in the playoff scenario.

Toronto Maple Leafs. I’m kidding, not here.

Carolina Hurricanes. They’ve moved from 8th to 5th and would probably like to move out of the Carolinas, period. There’s no ice in Carolina that hasn’t been manufactured, yet somehow they’ve managed to keep their strong-winded players on the playoff chart.

Toronto Maple Leafs. LOL. Not here either.

Pittsburgh Penguins. They’ve gone from 6th… to 6th. Not exactly a stellar stretch, but with Sydney ‘The Crooner’ Crosby they have had some moments of puck glory. Huh… Puck Glory sounds like a good name for a Shakespearian character who does porn.

Toronto Maple Leafs. No, a thousand times no.

Florida Panthers. They are sticking around and remain in 7th. Frankly, Coach Q is getting a lot out of this team and the way his former team is playing, there must be a tiny smile behind that mustache crinkling his cheeks that maybe he was right. Suck on it, Bowmans.

Buffalo Sabres. Now in 8th, they keep sliding like a hot dog down the throat of an eating competition professional. Frankly, I worry the success of the Buffalo Bills is starting to get to them.

As for the rest of the Eastern Conference at point Tirty-Tree & a Tird …

Montreal Canadians are still socloseithurts. They are a point out of the eighth spot. One. Lousy. Point. Kind of similar to them being French – socloseithurts.

Toronto Maple Leafs. Hey look who I found! Quite a bumpy stretch for the Leafs. They fired their celebrated coach, Mike Babcock, and discovered they might need him a bit more than they thought.

Tampa Bay Lightning. Should be better. Seriously.

New York Rangers. They don’t have the speed to keep up, but yet remain two points out.

Columbus Blue Jackets. You’re still in Ohio. Sorry.

Ottawa Senators. They’ve lost five straight, yet are still capable enough to pass a few bills of the 400 the house has sent to them… wait, that’s our senate I was thinking about and they’ve passed no bills. Zero for 400. Lame bitches.

New Jersey Devils. Has lost three straight and moved their bad skating asses down to second to last. Even then they are light years better than the…

Detroit Red Wings. They’ve lost eight straight. There are some hockey fans who feel they’d have a better time listening to Papa John Schnatter talk about eating 40 ‘pizzas’ on 30 days than watch this team take the ice.

So, now that I’ve done some sleuthing regarding the Eastern Conference at the third mark of the season, I am going to go out and tell you the Eastern Conference team most likely to reach the Stanley Cup Final is… The Boston Bruins. Seems easy to pick the team in first, but the Washington Capitals still have Alex Ovechkin, the man I’d most like to have Vodka shots with but not turn my back on.

Western Conference

I give up. This is not possible. I tried to work out a comparison of where the Western Conference sits at the third mark versus the 20 percent mark but honest-to-offsides it has been a too crazy. It’s like some of these teams need to either a) stop taking Xanax, or b) get on Xanax.

St. Louis Blues. They were so bad a few seasons ago they practiced outside on a rink using the arch as the goal and still missed, but now they’re smokin’ hot and are a solid five points up (AKA nearly a third of Detroit’s total) on the current team in second.

Edmonton Oilers. Still in position 2, so very consistent. They’re starting to fill their up fans collective heads with visions of sugar plums and Gretzky faeries dancing on ice. Slow it Edmonton.

Calgary Flames. They were a solid 3rd, and now they’re… LOL. Not here. Who sits in 3rd now are the…

Colorado Avalanche. They seem to have found their stride. Their hot scorer Nathan MacKinnon is sniping, Mikko Rantanen (a fine Finnish dish with borrowed pasta and Swedish meatballs) is back and they’re goal differential is a whopping 24 which is 9 better than the next team – St. Louis.

Arizona Coyotes. From 8th to 4th they have gone steadily up the ranks like a turtle – but not one on skates, that’d be really dumb and cruel.

Winnipeg Jets. Hey weren’t the Canucks here? Yes, but now it’s the Jets “woo-who-who-woo-who-who – JETS! I can almost remember their funny faces… JETS”. OK, enough. They’re good.

Vegas Knights. Once they were 7th, now through grit and determination they’ve made it to 6th. They’ve won four straight, so they have that going for them… and casinos.

Dallas Stars. The Cowboys only have one star, but the Stars have… well not much more. They’ve played well enough to get to 7th, so they’ve moved up four slots. Yee and Haw together equals Yawn.

Vancouver Canucks. Once 4th, now 8th. They are still in the plus column for goal differential, but criminy they have been so so average. This team is as fun as watching salt melt ice.

Who fell out of the playoff picture? We mentioned the Flames, who went from out at 10 percent to in at 20 percent and then right back out again. But man did others take a dive as well – Nashville and Anaheim both took a wrong turn on the ice and double axled right into the boards. The also-rans are now:

San Jose Sharks. Still as lethal as a barnacle on a whale’s ass but managed to move up to 9th.

Minnesota Wild. They’ve gone 7-0-3 in the last ten games to rocket up to 10th from their tepid position of second to last. Still, all that effort gets you to 10th. That shows how bad they were.

Hey look who I found…

Calgary Flames. Apparently every player is good with a Yo-Yo as they certainly are doing that on the ice.

Nashville Predators. Remember way back when the Predators were really working on tearing up the conference? Remember that? Well they don’t. They’ve been listening to too much country and pissin’ in the wind.

Anaheim Ducks. Wings clipped, ugly duckling, daffy, whatever duck line you can come up with that could stand for bad hockey, it fits.

Chicago Blackhawks. At one point, they had a streak. It looked like maybe they might turn things around, but then they realized they are a slow, slow team. The Avalanche just beat them on two consecutive nights (the old ‘home-and-home’ series) 5-2 and then 7-3.

Los Angeles Kings. They had been fighting so hard to become the worst team in the league, but Detroit just laughed at them and said, “hold my Stroh’s.”

As for the Tirty-Tree & a Tird winner from the Western Conference? This conference is a bitch to predict, but I’m going to go with the current hot hand at the moment – the Colorado Avalanche.

As for the Stanley Cup Champion at this point in the season? While I would love to get on the Avalanche wild ride to glory, I’m going to have to go with the Boston Bruins.

See you at the halfway mark the first week of January.

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