Game Day Blog 55/82: Give Me My Goddamn Jerseys, Panthers @ Oilers

“IT’S REAL!”*

*Narrator: It wasn’t real.

Ohhhhhh I’ve been waiting all year for these shitbags.

Tonight’s Opponent: Enron.

What an iconic photograph:

The Hurricanes staff helping future 2017-18 Jack Adams winner Gerry Gallant into his taxi after he was fired will never be not funny. Florida cans him, makes him take his own shit off the team bus, and then leaves him to hitchhike on the side of the road like an illegal immigrant until the opposing team’s staff help him into a taxi and the paparazzi pounce like he’s a pregnant Kardashian. It’s poetic; an absolute masterpiece.

What do they have? Apart from the ridiculous canning of Gallant, who was 11-10-1 at the time of his firing and was five months removed from a Jack Adams nomination after doing the unthinkable and making the Panthers competitive, the Panthers handed Vegas two-third of the Knights’ first line. When you break that unequivocal disaster down, it looks like this: Jonathan Marchessault (54 points) and Reilly Smith (48 points) for a 4th round pick in 2018 and the team’s willing decision to protect Alex Petrovic (4 points), all because they didn’t like Smith’s contract and are apparently incredibly stupid. And of course, they literally promised fans (me) free jerseys with the purchase of season tickets and then proceed to not give said jerseys to fans instead. I legitimately talked myself into their Ponzi scheme despite the fact that I considered myself to be, by all other evidence, a reasonably intelligent adult. This, of course, was back when I was far less sadistic and vulgarly opinionated. I was innocent. Young. Full of life. Full of hope… The Panthers had just endured an exciting first round playoff exit, and I was swept off my idiotically naïve feet watching this team embrace the role of underdogs in a short yet epic playoff experience. I was so psyched to get a couple jerseys. Maybe stitch Huberdeau on the back…

They told me they ran out of mediums…

Well, four years later and apparently they still don’t have any fucking mediums because I still don’t have any goddamn jerseys. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be an average-sized adult male in that repulsive swamp they call Sunrise and to not be able to purchase an appropriately fitting jersey of the local hockey club for FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS. You people disgust me. The Panthers make the Marlins look like they’re run by Apple execs.

Bob Luongo is still injured but James Reimer makes his return to the crease tonight.

What do we have? After dropping a dump the size of the Waste Management landfill on 170th street on our three game divisional road trip, we have now fallen to a hopeless 0.2% chance of making the post season. Unlike my missing jerseys, I’ve all but come to terms with the fact that we will not be watching Connor McDavid in the 2018 NHL playoffs. That is gut wrenching to think about. We have a player who is on pace to score more goals and accumulate more points this year than during his 2016-17 MVP winning season and we will not be one of the last 16 teams competing for the Stanley Cup. There goes his rookie contract. One playoff appearance in three years is all Chiarelli and McLellan have to show for Connor McDavid’s first three seasons. It was almost impossible to fuck that up, and yet, here we are. It’s deja vu all over again.

That game against San Jose was atrocious. Our fourth line climbed us out of literal hell. We take the lead early in the third. And then we inevitably give it all right back to the Sharks. I would have sent Pat Maroon to the first offer that came our way right after the game ended because he completely mailed it in during that entire trip. Things are so bad that I’m thinking about taking a long vacation far away from North America just so I can physically and emotionally distance myself from Chiarelli’s roster (I say Chiarelli’s roster because that doesn’t include Connor and Nuge and Leon, as technically it was Mac and Tambo who landed us those players). Just living in the same area code as Milan Lucic has made me lethargically incompetent, and much like Milan, it’s been months since I last scored too.

I looked at buying out Lucic the other day, and the results are not pretty:

Basically, we’d be paying him until Age of Aquarius ends. Look at that cap hit between now and the 2022-23 season, aka one year after the next fucking Olympics. No, no no no no no this is not good. To add another layer of dump icing on top of this shit cake, Chiarelli gave him a full no movement clause until 2021-22… the second last year of his cap annihilating contract, when he can give a list of eight (!!!) teams. That contract is impregnable. It might as well be tattooed on both sides of the Ford Hall across 104th street. Unless you painfully remove it and deal with that hideous scar for the rest of time, it’s not going anywhere. We picked this guy over Taylor Hall. We don’t deserve nice things.

Todd:

Disgusting, repulsive, rhetorical propaganda. We need to “dig in” so we can use that momentum to “go out on the road and play well” would have been an appropriate quote if the Oilers hadn’t just crushed the Tampa Bay Lightning at home and then proceeded to lose three straight games on the road, promptly kicking our nuts out of the playoffs. We have nothing creative or helpful to say anymore. It’s all robotic gibberish. Nothing matters anymore.

For the love of Christ, don’t give up a goal on the first shot tonight. And please, Connor, can you single-handedly beat the Panthers for me?

Did you know? This summer, in another personal “fuck you” to me, the Florida Panthers hired Chris Pronger as a senior adviser to president of hockey operations to general manager Dale Tallon. Everything about this franchise should be dropped-kicked into an active volcano.

Prediction: Oilers win 4-1. We do not allow the first shot of the game to go in. We d not give up a first period goal. Connor gets points on all four. God help us.