Monday, May 15, 2017

Oh No, Canada!

Dear Justin Trudeau,

I hear you wanted all Canadians to cheer for the Ottawa Senators in the NHL playoffs because, well, I'm not sure why really. With all due respect, I do cheer for Canadian national teams in hockey at all levels. I always want Team Canada to do well internationally from the Olympics to Miss Universe. 

Always a bridesmaid

What I don't understand is how the leader of our nation can fall for this media-induced annual push to cheer on a so-called "Canada's team" when there is one Canadian-based NHL team left in the Stanley Cup chase. If you are this gullible to fall for this ruse, I worry about what the Orange Man down south may try to put past you. 

Hey, Justin, how'd like them oranges?

In 2017, for this Canadian based in your former teaching grounds my cheering order among the Final Four goes Penguins, then Ducks, and Predators if they end up vs. the Sens (sorry, I like the fans in Honkytonk Central over Boucher 1-3-1 hockey). So "all" Canadians minus at least this one will not be heeding your call to cheer for the team who seem to think a Roman Centurion is a Senator. 

Stronger and sexier than a Trojan

The border has never really played into what team I want to win. In fact, it probably does the opposite given the Canadian-based teams tend to be super annoying to the rest of us outside the Centre Of The Universe (i.e., the Maple Leafs), have smug fans who live on past Cup glory (i.e., Habs fans), have been rivals in playoffs past (i.e., the Flames), have had horseshoes in lucking into superstars (i.e., the Oilers) or been as non-descript a boring franchise as the NHL has had (i.e., the Senators especially in the Jacques Martin era). 

Probably the only other Canadian-based team I'd ever cheer for other than the hometown Canucks (which, trust me, is harder than you think given the GMs employed here over the decades) are the Winnipeg Jets because that team usually has had similar hard luck and its fans are truly the best in Canada (sorry, Habs fans). Plus who doesn't love the team of Hull, Nilsson and Hedberg, Hawerchuk and Selanne, Pokey and the Bandit!

Fleury and Murray Lite

No, Mr. Trudeau Version 2.0, I choose the teams I cheer for as the playoffs move on based on how they play and if they have interesting players. Also, although upsets are fun and exciting, when it comes to the eventual Stanley Cup champion, I prefer my championship teams to be, ya know, actually good. 

Enough with the "low seed, treat the regular season like it means nothing" teams sneaking in a Cup. Yes, I'm talking to you the 2012 Los Angeles Kings who won less than half of their games in the '11/12 regular season. THAT'S championship pedigree? Grabbing the eighth seed thanks to overtime and shootout loser points then riding a hot Quick goalie to glory?

If that's the criteria to "building" a championship team, sign the rest of us up, will ya? Change the name of the sport to GOALIE then!

So, I honestly do not want the 12th overall Ottawa Senators nor 16th overall Nashville Predators stumbling into a Cup. Isn't the Canadian way about fairness? You taught school. You know floundering in mediocrity the whole school year and then acing the final exam really is not what it should be about. 

Nothing against Erik Karlsson or Bobby Ryan nor P.K. Subban or Pekka Rinne but c'mon now!

I want to see greatness. I grew up in an era of dynasties. Call me crazy but seeing the Carolina Hurricanes win a Cup in 2006 and then proceed to miss the playoffs ten times in the next 11 seasons just doesn't seem right to me.

I mean, if it's Canadian glory you seek, do not shun the Canadians who do great ambassadorial work for our nation such as Marc-Andre Fleury or Ryan Getzlaf just because they ply their Canadian-trained skills outside our borders.

If anything, you should dial it back on "Canada's team" all together as you might actually be seeing the Edmonton McDonuts vs. the Taranna Mike Babcocks in a Stanley Cup Final sooner than you can book another vacation on a government jet.

So, my advice is stick to politics, Captain Canada, and let us hockey fans choose whatever team gets us out of our seats with excitement in the next few weeks.  

 Hey, I'm Captain Canada!