Everything Else

You have to hand it to Brad Marchand. Some people saw “Wag The Dog” and just enjoyed it. But some saw it and thought they could apply it to their own lives, no matter the forum. Because look at all the things his wandering tongue distracted us from.

The first and foremost thing we stopped paying attention to when Marchand wanted to know how to get to everyone’s chocolate center was that the Bruins overall were something of an illusion. Actually, a massive illusion. They were one line and a goalie having a renaissance season.

How do we know that? Because of the way everyone drops when Patrice Bergeron wasn’t on the ice. Charlie McAvoy, the moon-faced mouth-breather that looks like every Tufts student who got lost in Kendall Square on a Saturday afternoon that went wrong, spent most of the year bathing in the plaudits and accolades and the little cartoon tins of Skoal that emote from admirers in Quincy and Dorchester. He was great when Bergeron was keeping the puck in the other end. But every time you looked up this spring, he spent more time in the trail-technique than Sargent Stedenko.

Brad Marchand’s taste-buds-in-wanderlust also kept most people off the fact that Zdeno Chara is old and slow, which tends to happen when one is the size of an armored truck and 40. Good thing they re-signed him for another year. The Hawks beat the Bruins five fucking years ago by going straight at him with speed. How was that going to get better now?

It also, somehow, convinced people that Rick Nash–Rick Goddamn Nash who has been the posterboy for playoff incompetence since just after the last Tool album was released–was a prime deadline pickup.

Rick Nash.

Rick Nash had the same exact season that Brandon Saad did and yet everyone thinks Saad should be turned into cow feed. But it makes Rick Nash the piece you have to have. Seriously, what is this happy horseshit?

All that teeth-gnashing over tongue-lashings, combined with Pierre McGuire’s hit-fetish, swayed people from paying attention to David Backes–he of the $6 million for three more years–managed all of one goal this playoff run. Goes nice with his one goal from last year’s. They make a nice set! Too bad he won’t be able to count to two from here on out but hey, shit happens.

But perhaps the biggest piece of genius that Marchand touched upon when he touched his tongue upon those who did not invite it was that Marchand continued his playoff dog ways that he’s been perfecting since 2012. Coming into this spring, in 47 playoff games Marchand had managed six goals. And sure, the cure for that, at least temporarily, was to play a team that didn’t have a defense and a goalie who was convinced he was a glass of orange juice in Toronto.  There’s curing the disease and just treating the symptoms, though. Put in front of an actual goalie and defense, Marchand managed no goals and four points in four straight losses. Fucking dynamo stuff, that.

It’s kind of amazing how the Bruins got here, with that defense and nothing behind that top line. Sometimes hockey is just fucking weird. It also helped that they were in a division with five garbage teams they could harvest the organs of. Going 12-0 against Ottawa, Detroit, and Montreal sure provides a hell of a shine. Better than turtle wax, you’d have to say.

Naturally, Boston fans and media are taking this defeat lying down like they always do, doing the reverse sirens’ song they specialize in that makes everyone want to leave the East Coast the minute they get off work. Next fall we can look forward to really hot, “NO ONE SANG THE ANTHEM LIKE FAHKIN’ RENE! NO ONE DENIES THIS!” God help us if the Bs hire a woman or minority to replace him, given the oh so liberal nature of the Boston sports scene. It’ll be a full week on FartStool. That is if they’re done complaining about the refs by then. Or 2050.

The Bruins look set for the future, though if McAvoy’s face continues to get in the way of his vision and defense it might not matter. And there’s still Don Sweeney in the GM chair, the guy who decided Dougie Hamilton wasn’t worth it but Torey Krug and his broken GPS were. Highlight stuff there.

So goodbye, Bruins. You were a Copperfield trick that had us all fooled. But eventually, Claudia Schiffer wises up.



Everything Else

Derek Dorsett won’t play tonight. Nor ever again. You probably saw every Canadian writer climbing over each other to show how much they cried into their hanky about his retirement due to a second neck injury. Funny how a guy who ran into everything head-first had to retire due to a neck injury.

Yes, it’s always sad when someone has to leave something they love before they’d like to. Especially when it’s an athlete whose body let him or her down. But then again, that’s basically what Dorsett signed up for with how he played. As The Joker would say, “It’s all part of the plan.”

Every sport goes weepy for players like this, though hockey seems to take it to the extreme. Any player who is perceived as, “giving everything,” is seen as some displaced warrior. But really, shouldn’t “giving everything” be the bare minimum we ask? The reason Dorsett and players of his ilk look like they’re giving “more” than anyone else is because they have less skill than anyone else. The game is harder for them, and thus they have to resort to whatever they can to stick.

Dorsett certainly had a “presence,” but we’re willing to bet the Canucks can find five guys right now in Utica who would “leave it all on the ice” simply to be in the NHL and run into whatever they can or can’t see. That’s certainly not going to get them any closer to a Cup they’ve never claimed. And they’d be just as effective as Dorsett was, and if they stuck around for a few years they would get the same tributes when they had to retire when their head fell off or neck turned to graham crackers.

Meanwhile, when the Sedins retire among the celebrations there will be a large discussion of whether they failed because they never won a Cup. They’ll pile up 2000+ points combined, but they’re held to that standard.

It’s utter shit, of course. Teams still don’t seem to learn the lesson of the Penguins or Hawks or even Kings. None of these teams had someone who could do nothing but just be an unchained wrecking ball. Perhaps the most annoying Hawk during their three runs was Michael Frolik, and that’s only because he was always back up in yo’ ass with the resurrection on the forecheck. Andrew Shaw was annoying, but he also scored 20 goals or so per season as a Hawk. While the Kings had that rep, they won because Kopitar and Carter and Doughty beat everyone up and down the ice.

But hey, Dorsett played like we would have if we’d gotten the chance to be on our teams, because he really wasn’t all that much more skilled. Let’s all have a good cry. And then go and yell at the 50 other guys in the league who do the same thing and don’t really get anyone anywhere.

Game #36 Preview




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