File photo: Peter Adler.
There are two things you can expect to see the moment the NHL playoffs begin: one, the Edmonton Oilers cleaning out their lockers and going home. Two, because of this, some non-genius in Edmonton will decide to take out his frustrations and make a desperate bid for postseason pageviews from a large fanbase still watching hockey come spring by writing a Vancouver Canucks hit piece.
It’s tradition. I suspect they may draw straws. Get the short one, and it’s your turn to blow some tiny thing out of proportion, point to it as evidence that the Canucks are the great evil, use the 2011 riot as supporting evidence, and then openly root not just for their failure, but also the return of Jesus, who will descend from the cloud and cast them into the lake of fire.
This year’s winner: Peter Adler of the Edmonton Journal, who has written — and this is the actual headline — Here’s Hoping the Unprofessional Vancouver Canucks Crash Out of the Playoffs.
It’s batcrap insane and amazing.
Now normally, we don’t feed the trolls. (We just comb their wild and wacky hair!) But Adler deserves our pageviews, in my humble opinion. If this guy is brave enough to put his byline on something this moronic, well, that’s an act of bravery that needs to be recognized. Peter Adler is basically Randy Quaid in Independence Day: an insane hero who would never have achieved such heroism if not for the insanity.
So let’s dive right in!
Here’s hoping the San Jose Sharks show the Vancouver Canucks the shortest way to exit in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Beating the Vancouverites in four straight games, preferably all shutouts, would be a good beginning.
And let’s hope the irate Vancouver fans, instead of torching their city once again, and turning it upside down, would drag head coach Alain Vigneault out of his office in the Rogers Arena and impose a bit of public flogging upon him. And if they find that his boss, general manager Mike Gillis, agreed with the coach’s most recent actions, put a cane to his backside once or twice, too.
Yes. Adler, apparently back from an enlightening trip to Singapore, advocates the corporal punishment of Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault. Think about that. This article, which appears on the Edmonton Journal website, says that the Canucks’ coach and General Manager literally deserve to have their asses beaten.
But not for no reason. I mean, you have to have a reason to cane a man, right? Fret not. Adler worked really hard to come up with one.
Why? Because of the blatant show of lack of sportsmanship and disregard for the paying public, that’s why.
In their last regular game, the Canucks faced the Edmonton Oilers Saturday at Rexall Place. They didn’t dress some of their better players and then, to rub it in, they had Henrik Sedin appear on the ice ONCE, for all of 22 seconds. Once his first and only shift was over (no shots, no hits, no nothing), they sent Sedin to their dressing room.
The reason for the charade? So as not to break his team-leading ironman streak of 940 games played.
Yep. Henrik’s cheeky little streak-saving shift? That’s a paddlin’. Same with talking out of turn, looking out the window, and staring at Peter Adler’s sandals. Paddling the school canoe? Oh, you’d better believe that’s a paddlin’.
Henrik’s streak was a bit of a cheap move, no doubt. But resting one’s players is sort of a rite of passage for playoff-bound teams. You can understand how an Edmontonian might be surprised to learn this, though. It’s been awhile.
Guess what: it DOES so mean something. Not only to the Oilers. It also means something to the fans, that is, to the people without whose money all those pampered gladiators would be either playing for free (and paying for the ice in their neighbourhood arenas) or engaging in work that is actually useful to society at large.
Disrespect to your opposition shows a glaring lack of sportsmanship.
Peter Adler is claiming the Canucks are the ones disrespecting the fans of Edmonton. Did he watch Kevin Lowe’s last press conference?
But Adler doesn’t just want the Canucks to get birched. He also thinks the league should step in. After all, here they are, trying to recover from a lockout, and the Canucks are showing additional disrespect to the paying customers by shrugging off the last game of the season.
It would be in the league’s best interest to severely punish those perpetrators, before the real boss – the paying customers – take over to inflict some pain on them by themselves.
Just you wait. One day, the offended customers of Edmonton will be given the opportunity to not buy playoff tickets. Then you’ll really be sorry!
Meanwhile, the Oilers’ players pushed it over their final weekend in order to earn their contract bonuses, because if anything tells the fans of Edmonton that their club is playing for them and not money, it’s watching the home team turn on their A-game after being eliminated from the playoffs to pad their bank accounts.
In any case, I’m sure the paying fans in Edmonton were really upset about watching their favourite team rack up seven goals, including a hattrick from their electrifying young rookie, Nail Yakupov. Whenever I see my favourite team lay a drubbing on an opponent, I get downright incensed. I have to use incense to calm myself down.
But the star paragraph of this incredible rant comes when Adler — who has been doing journalism for more than half a century – looks down at the WWLAD bracelet on his wrist and asks, “What would Louis Armstrong do?”
A personal memory here: many decades ago, I got to spend a week in the company of Louis Armstrong, one of the greatest jazz musicians (if not THE greatest) of all time. He was performing in Prague, then-Czechoslovakia, and I was helping out with a documentary and interviewing him, too. He played several nights in a hall that had seen better times, the atmosphere was electric, but the air was much worse than in a badly constructed sauna, and Mr. Armstrong, an old man by then, would play his heart out every single night. I asked him about it, and his answer should be hanging in all of the professional sports teams’ dressing rooms: “Most of those people have never seen me before, it’s the first time they see me perform live. I’ve got to impress them, so they come back. Without them, I’m nothing.”
If there was anyone who had nothing to prove, it was Louis Armstrong.
Sure, but Armstrong never won a Cup. I’d suggest it’s because he refused to rest up in advance of the Jazz Playoffs.
Either way, the Canucks couldn’t even be bothered to play “What a Wonderful World”. It was the worst concert ever.