Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Who's Who At The NHL Playoff Dance

You've probably heard of the playoffs referred to as "the dance" as teams prepare all season just to earn an invite to play extra hockey from mid-April to June. It's all about just getting into the dance as anything can happen in the NHL playoffs as countless teams have proven in the past. With all this dance talk going on we decided to reminiscence about school dances back in the day by comparing teams in the playoffs to kids at these dances. You could look back at school dances as cruel social experiments with so many different personalities squished into a gym with the expectation that every one will behave appropriately and that's exactly what the NHL playoffs are like.

Here's our comparisons of NHL teams to kids at a school dance and a little introduction to the prize they all have their eyes on:

The Hottest Girl In The School - The Stanley Cup

Everyone wants the chance to dance with her and assuming this dance is a senior prom they also want to take her home. She's the top prize that you dream about winning as a kid and eventually hoisting over your head similar to Patrick Swayze lifting Jennifer Grey over his head in Dirty Dancing (had to give the shoutout to Derek Sutton). 

The Cool Kids - Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks

These guys have the best chance of dancing with and taking the Hottest Girl In The School home. They are either tougher than most of the kids or they can dangle on the dance floor to get themselves in a good position to wheel. Ask most people who they think will win the Cup and one of these four teams will likely come up in conversation. 

The Spaz Case - Colorado Avalanche

This kid doesn't have much experience with dances and wasn't allowed to attend the past few due to behavioural issues. Nobody knows how this kid is going to act at the dance and he's likely to spend most of the night playing tag in the dark and drinking as much pop as he can before his parents pick him up. The Avalanche fit the mold despite leading the Central Division as they still enter the playoffs with low possession numbers and being a very fortunate 5-on-5 hockey club. The Avs are unpredictable and we won't be surprised with any result they have.

The Wallflowers - Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild

They're at the dance, but mostly just chilling on the outside perimeter away from any dance floor action. You know these guys are serious too when they're sitting down. The wallflowers aren't expected to make that much noise at the dance and will spend most of the night whispering in each other's ears about what TV shows they're missing that night. Dallas and Minnesota surged into the playoffs late as wildcards, but they'll be in tough against the top two teams in the Western Conference.

The Older Kid Who Was Held Back - Detroit Red Wings

He couldn't make up his mind if he was going to come to the dance or not, but in the end he had a good streak going and couldn't let his age ruin a good night of fun. While older than the rest of the kids, he's had a youthful rejuvenation recently and doesn't care what others say about him. The Red Wings enter the playoffs as the oldest team, but they've also got some young guns firing on all cylinders that could help change the perception of Detroit as a retirement home team.

The Bully - Philadelphia Flyers

This kid is feared by others and spends most of the dance causing shit. Whether it be pantsing kids or sacktapping other guys who are dancing with girls, this kid is not well liked. The Flyers led the NHL in PIM's this season and any team facing them in the postseason knows they like to intimidate. We've seen linebrawls in past postseasons and with division rivals in play we do expect some fireworks if things aren't going their way.

The Kid With A Crutch - Pittsburgh Penguins

There's always one kid with a broken leg or foot and this often generates a lot of empathy from the ladies. He'll get plenty of dances and attention while making other guys jealous to the point where they might steal his crutch and tease him. The Penguins led the NHL in man games lost this year, but they won't be getting much warmth from opponents as they still have the best player in the world on their team.

The Kid Who Wears Shorts All-Year Round - Tampa Bay Lightning

It's the Winter Wonderland dance and this kid is still in shorts! Nobody knows how they do it everyday and some might even respect them for the feat, but there's still some skepticism about trusting someone that doesn't wear pants... ever. The Lightning did an amazing job without Stamkos all year and bouncing back from watching their captain pout and demand a trade, but can they continue their success in the playoffs with such a young team?

Marty McFly At The Enchantment Under The Sea Dance - San Jose Sharks

They radiate swagger, but if shit hits the fan the Sharks could get some serious Marty McFly hands and disappear out of the playoffs. San Jose is becoming synonymous with choke in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and another exit without results could lead to some big changes in the offseason. It will be interesting to see how this team responds to adversity in the playoffs and if they can recover to finish their song or simply fade away.

The Wannabee DJ - Columbus Blue Jackets

This kid posts up near the DJ booth and constantly requests songs. They're the youngest at the dance and desperately want to fit in with the regulars so they awkwardly stay close to the "cool person" at the dance who happens to be a middle-aged man working a Grade 7 dance. The Blue Jackets are in tough against Pittsburgh, but will have plenty of fan support behind them as Lumbus has grown quite the following of non-playoff team fans.

The Rich Kid Everybody Uses For The After Party - New York Rangers

He gets a lot of love at the dance as everybody is overly nice to him to make sure they get an invite to his parents house following the dance. The Rangers are notorious for throwing money around, but are yet to be rewarded for it in recent years with only one conference final berth since the 2004-05 lockout. They could be a big hit these playoffs with more than enough talent on their roster, but they have tough opponents and could end up with plenty of electronics stolen and their Dad's liquor cabinet cleared out.

The Kid Who Starts The Ass Grabbing - Los Angeles Kings

He sets of a chain-reaction of assgrabbing like that scene in the Wedding Singer with his one courageous act. This kid's got confidence from recent success and once they get momentum they are hard to slow just like the LA Kings Stanley Cup run in 2011. With plenty of talent up front and a stud in net they could turn some heads by beating out their California brethren on their way to copping a feel of the Stanley Cup.

The Kid Who Tries To Breakdance - Montreal Canadiens

You all know this kid. A circle forms and he awkwardly jumps right in twisting and sliding all over the floor. They're the centre of attention for a few seconds and that suits the Habs in Canada as they are the only Canadian team in the playoffs for the first time since 1973. Many casual Canadian hockey fans will be backing them with support, but for Canadian rivals such as Toronto and Ottawa they'll be hoping for some embarrassing dance moves in front of the whole school.

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