The Pond Ain’t So Scary If You Know How To Swim

Honda-Center-Most-Feared-Building-in-the-NHL

If you say so

In the unassailable cult classic film, The Mighty Ducks, Coach Gordon Bombay, as portrayed by the illustrious Emilio Estevez, surmises that you never see a duck in a fight, because “The other animals are afraid. They know, if they mess with one duck, they have to deal with the whole flock,”

That may be true, but ol’ Gord fails to mention that if you did happen to get into a tussle with one of our feathered friends, that if you stepped on it, or hit it in the eye, or poked it with a stick, or, I don’t know, set it on fire, the other wannabe geese are probably not stepping in and you have earned the right to hoist the crown over your head, proclaiming you Grand Ruler Of All Ducks.

I mean quite honestly, if I fought a flock of ducks, I would trounce them so handily that I could set ten of them up in a triangle, and bowl the eleventh bird at the pile and get a strike and buy cheap beer in the lounge later on.

I suppose what I’m getting at is if your second round playoff opponent exists solely because of a popular Disney movie from before the days where anyone had the internet at home to entertain them, maybe it’s silly to be that worried about the outcome of the series.

Today, we’re going to talk about why it’s stupid to pay any attention to Calgary’s futile record at the Honda Center, and why we shouldn’t be concerned about our heroes in red playing there, outside of an increased chance of exposure to mumps (that was obligatory and I’m sorry, but you know I had to). My amazing pal Stace, who has a history when it comes to pointing out the inequities of the Ducks, will join us to give the perspective of a Duck hating hockey fan living in Southern California (if you enjoyed her thoughts on how boring the Blackhawks are, you’ll want to stick around), and, in general, we’ll just make fun of Anaheim for being the low brow shitdemon of the league where sorrow is born and misery is raised as an insolent son with boundary issues and loves Sublime.

The Honda Center Curse

4436260001_large

Image via a google image search I did using the phrase “Shitty Honda”

When I was in high school (and based on what I saw on MacLeod Trail the other night, this phenomenon still exists), the trend was for bored idiot teenagers with no money, style, or decorum to buy 12 year old Honda Civics, adorn them with faux chrome rims, LED ground lights, and a spoiler that they made in shop class that looked like it was a spoiler they made in shop class. These students, who typically did not have friends named anything other than Scooter or Cody, spent all the money they cobbled away working the night shift at Taco Bell on these “enhancements” to their rides, and while these offered zero in the way of performance upgrades (I mean really man, the car has a bent axle), at least the car LOOKED like it could handle itself on the streets, right?

The answer is no, it couldn’t. 

(as an aside, we can blame a lot of this abomination of youth on Vin Diesel, who is secretly a shaved gorilla with an oxygen deficiency and an uncanny ability to fail upwards in spite of a crippling dearth of substance, but mass appeal to the lowest common denominator. In short, the perfect representation of Ducks’ hockey)

Teenaged shitboxes that have littered the paved landscape of North America during my generation’s rise into adulthood are why it’s perfect that Anaheim’s barn is the Honda Center. They dressed it up real nice with some fancy OC (don’t call it that) palm trees and a colour scheme that was selected by only the most ambitiously stupid Mouseketeers, but that just serves to make it look louder and more exotic than it is, and you really shouldn’t be afraid of it defeating you.

So no, faithful Flames fans, pay no heed to Calgary’s mammoth losing streak in Southern California. That building wants you to think it’s haunted, but the only ghosts that reside in that building are the Capser action figures that Clayton Stoner plays with before the games and is very bad for not putting them back in the bin when he’s done with them.

Blah Blah Blah, the Flames haven’t won in Anaheim since 2004 (except for when they beat them in 2006, in the playoffs, but that doesn’t help with the narrative that everyone’s REALLY EXCITED to use in this series)

I’ll give you a second to read that again, because you’re probably picturing Clayton Stoner playing with toys, and yes, it’s adorable, but let’s focus here: the Flames have won at the Honda Center in the playoffs, and that’s all they need to do this time around as well. The only streak anyone needs to be concerned with is from Ryan Kesler, because I assume that’s just a thing he does all the time now.

Oh, and by the way, that playoff win means nothing either. The winning goal in that game was scored by Chuck Kobasew and assisted by Chris Simon, who was probably feeding on someone’s tendons at the time, so let’s just say that matchup against Sean O’Donnell and Andy MacDonald won’t factor prominently in this series.

But it does show you that the regular season record in Orange County is miles more irrelevant, and the idea of never winning in that building is about as possible as the Honda Center being proclaimed as the most feared arena in hey wait a second where have I heard this before?

More like HondWAAAH Center

(Stace is taking over now. If you’ve skimmed through the whole article so far, you are correct, but read this part, because this is where it gets real.)

From what I’ve seen in this brief playoff break between the first round and the second round, it seems as if many people, including noted flam fan Ryan Lambert, believe that it will take some sort of miracle to defeat the Ducks. Many believe that the flems, like they have all season, will have to go against all odds and never quit and do the thing, etc., but this time, it’s different. It’s different in a sense because the Ducks, despite their #blessed Southern California lifestyles, their fancy cars and their fancy stats, are notorious crybabies. 

Let’s start with Captain Diaper Baby, Ryan Getzlaf. Now I would like to apologize to all babies I may have offended in my previous sentence, considering most babies are born with more hair than Getzlaf and also throw less fits. Babies are usually cute. Getzlaf is not cute. Getzlaf is like your facebook friend’s baby that is not cute at all but the parent still posts pictures of it every time it does anything “noteworthy” aka shit that all babies do, as if being ugly was something that they had to overcome to achieve mediocrity. Now from a hockey skills standpoint, Getzlaf is not mediocre by any means, in fact it pains me to say that he is actually an excellent hockey player. What brings him down to less than mediocre ugly baby status is his inability to lead by example. His inability to accept that maybe, just maybe, calls aren’t always going to go your way, and that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Ducks are in the top 5 for most penalized teams for a reason. 

A rich part of Orange County hockey culture, which is a thing that I just made up, is that everything is a conspiracy against the Ducks and that the refs will do anything in their power to screw over these angelic creatures. This is something that is instilled in their fan base, the players, the management, and their faithful announcers. From top to bottom, the Honda Center is metaphorically covered in tin foil. 

In the playoff years previously for the Ducks (aside from that fluke 07 cup run, how the fuck do you score Ottawa as an opponent?), the Ducks, although maybe they weren’t as for real as they are this year, seemed to come apart at the seams in every series they were eliminated in. There’s always one player who is the catalyst to these meltdowns too. In 2011, it was Jordin Tootoo. In 2013, it was Justin Abdelkader. In 2014, it was almost Garbutt until the league decided that they hate the Stars more than the Ducks, so it ended up being no one for the Kings-Ducks series (the Ducks were not a good team last year, guys). To help further your understanding of this, the Ducks = the Canucks. Micheal Ferland, who perhaps took a strong lead as one of my favourite flums last series, made the Canucks and their fans fall apart in a hilarious fashion and then danced on their graves with two goals in their elimination game. Ferland is without a doubt Anaheim’s worst nightmare. The Thrashers did not have a Ferland on their team, which is why it was so easy for Anaheim to sweep them. 

The nerds of the world will argue until their underwear rips from an atomic wedgie that numbers mean everything and that the floms aren’t actually very good, and maybe that’s true, but this makes the pressure almost unbearable for their forthcoming opponents. The flans have nothing to lose–if they lose this series, the season is still an overwhelming success and their fans will be happy. If the Ducks lose this series, it’ll be another Bruce Boudreau playoff collapse aka a day that ends in Y, and the hooligans at the local skateparks will revolt and loiter outside of mom and pop corporations all over Orange County. 

As Floob (flooby, as he likes to be called), previously stated the faux Honda Center curse means nothing. Last year the Ducks had the best home record in the NHL, only to get eliminated in an embarrassing fashion, at home. In 2013, the Ducks also got eliminated in an embarrassing fashion, at home. Do you see the pattern here? No? Let me help you.

All those stupid little regular season factoids that announcers like to gush over are meaningless in the postseason.

Trust me, I’m a Sharks fan, I would know about regular season success not being an indicator for postseason success.

I don’t believe in anything, but I do believe that underneath all the horrible shit in the world, is some good, and that good is the Flerms. They’ve already done the world a favor and eliminated the Kings from being able to participate in the playoffs at all, while also eliminating in the Canucks. This is the vigilante hockey team that we’ve been so desperately hoping for. This isn’t about stats anymore, this is about justice. Justice for all of my, uhhh, I mean, our suffering sports feelings, or lack there of. 

The world does not want the Anaheim Ducks to be happy. Considering that Corey Perry is the host body for the Anti-Christ, do we really want that creature to experience any type of euphoria? Who knows how many school buses he will hijack if the Ducks win the series. Who knows how many pets in the Orange County area will turn up missing if the Ducks win the series. Who knows what kind of toxic gas will be unleashed if the Ducks win the series. I like living in Orange County but I don’t think that my heart can take another Anaheim Ducks parking lot Stanley Cup parade. The world needs a hero, and that hero is the Flames. 

Do the thing, Flams. Do it for me. and I guess other people too.

(thanks as always, stace, you’re a big get for Flames fans)

The Honda Accord

CAoNdRfUQAEpSkP

Last time I was at the Honda Center, this banner of Ducks legend Rene Bourque symbolized how the Ducks’ organization really gets hockey

In reality, the Flames are in for what might be the toughest challenge this young squadron of conquerors will ever endure, but as a million of uninspired sports writers have said a billion times before me, that’s why you play the games.

Getzlaf and Perry? Real good Bald, mumpy, probably appeared on The Real World together without anyone noticing, but man can they cry score. Ryan Kesler? Cave dweller who snacks on rusty swing set chains. Also, decent second line center. Also, lists Varsity Blues as his favourite Shakespeare play. But, can skate.

But Tim Jackman is mostly an oak tree at this point, Frederik Andersen grows up to be Kevin McAllister’s older brother Buzz in the Home Alone movies, and Matt Beleskey is going to miss most of the series in favour of the Orange County regional LARP tournament. This team can be beat, and while the Flames lack a lot of tools, they do have SOME (okay, the top line , plus 2/3rds of the second line and one defenseman), and if they utilize all those correctly while milking all that crazy ass magic that has propelled them this deep into the season, maybe this series won’t be as ugly as it looks on paper.

I mean, it’ll still look ugly. You can’t slap a spoiler on the Ducks and make it look good.

Signoff

murz

  • ville de champignons

    Just want to say grats for the amazing underdog season the flames are having. So happy you destroyed the canucks(hate them almost as much as you do). good luck against the ducks. Dont think you have a chance but…that team just keeps on proving ALL experts wrong! Hope your team continues to improve. my son doesnt understand how great the “battle of alberta” was in the past. Having said that its really nice to know that nobody in calgary can see whats happening in edmonton. dont listen to the eastern media. we are only about 3 pieces away from having a “weapon of mass destruction” just like the famous quote on Star Wars….THATS NOT A MOON! THATS A SPACE STATION!!! cheers 🙂

    • Danomitee

      The “weapon of mass destruction” you speak of is Katz.It looks like he finally got a wake-up call by winning the Bingo game.My guess is he was told that McDavid didn’t want to play for his buddies.

      It will take Chirelli a few years to fix the mistakes.

      Name a team that isn’t 3 players away from awesome?

      • Danomitee

        Guess it all depends on what you think is awesome. Another possible dynasty…multiple stanley cups. Thats what awesome means when your an oiler fan. Grats on the Grey cup though.

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          What’s a matta, no team to cheer for in the (last 9) playoff? Awww, too bad. How about we give you a lotto ticket so you can have something to be proud of?

          Good for you, you won something. Don’t get used to it, since the new GM/POHO doesn’t “know something about winning”. Maybe as a 2nd tier fan, you can cheer your next draft pick instead of cheering for wins.

          Good job, guys. You are part of the dynasty of lotto winners.

  • Danomitee

    “This is the vigilante hockey team that we’ve been so desperately hoping for.”

    Yes. The Flames are Batman. The Punisher. Darkwing, uh, Scorch.

    Go forth and dispense justice, Flames, with extreme prejudice.

  • Hilarious article. Flames win in 7 is my round 2 prediction, with the final win in Anaheim. And we finally can laugh about that disastrous 3-0 shutout loss in a Game 7 against the Ducks years ago.

    • RedMan

      I guess you recognize a good asskicking from the last decade of playing the Flames… and while Edmonton’s ass was kicked out long before November was over, the Flames are still fighting… and that makes you proud???

      pfffttt Oiler fans, low expectations, thinking winning the lottery year after year is actually winning something.

      thanks for pointing it out though – I assume that, given your fan experience, you expect a little adversity to mean the team tucks tail and pees itself like you’ve witnessed so many times in sucksville, but of course the Flames will fight to the end. Hard to grasp for Oiler fans conditioned to believing losses are wins…

  • 365

    In 1 week, the oilers got one of the best hockey guys in the game (charreli), the next Crosby or better (mcjesus), O Connor wants to come to Edmonton when he can pick any team in the world to play for and Mckenzie tweeted that if Babcock is leaving Detroit it would be to coach Edmonton, that’s it. What a week for the oil.

        • TheoForever

          Go celebrate the winning of the 4th, 1st overall in 6 years, you guys are truly pathetic. Your team has been the worst franchise in NHL’s history, over a decade of bottom feeding. Good luck coming out of sewer, because MacJesus alone isn’t going to help you. 🙂

          • TheoForever

            We may be a joke now. But you guys have been a joke up till this year. Your best player in franchise history is theo fleury. If that doesn’t make you LOL then I don’t know what will. Joke of a franchise. 1 cup. Thank you, come again.

            P.S. McJesus

      • BigMcD

        The whole time Calgary was playing Vancouver and in the midst of a great series you creeps were all visiting the Oilers site so flock off. Nice whooping by The Flock tonight!!

          • BigMcD

            Siberia you say…. We now have Nicholson running the show, Chiarelli as GM, Gretzky says the best hockey player in 30 years , O,Connor the goalie has his pick where to play and it looks like he may sign in Edmonton, and the odds on favorite to coach . Mike Babcock.To top it all off in a year the best hockey arena on the planet. As Rick Flair would say …. Whoooooooo!

          • TheoForever

            Every player in the NHL, has Edmonton on NTC, weather sucks, wives don’t want to be there (…cough, Pronger….) Babcock isn’t coming. O’Conner could sign with you since there is no NHL goalies in your system. You only need 4 top 4 D-men, an NHL goalie, and about 6 NHL quality forwards. Good luck.

          • BigMcD

            If you cant admit that Hall , eberle, nuge now McDavid are not some of the best young talent in the league, you must truly be an idiot.
            Things are just starting to fall into place now.
            I bet you were fricken swearing for about 20 minutes when Oilers got the gold card. I would have loved to have seen that.

          • TheoForever

            you forgot Yak, German kid, Nurse, etc.

            I have always been impressed with the 3 kids you mentioned and their ability to lift your team out of the sewer, ohh, right….

          • TheoForever

            Hey BigD.

            You’re a typical Kool-Aid drinking oil fan. Let’s be realistic here.

            You did not draft and develop these players from the 4th round. You won the 1st overall pick 4 times for being an incompetent team. You won McDavid from a “Ping-Pong” lottery.

            Your team is highly incompetent when it comes to managing assets and players. So as much as you say you have “young talent”. You didn’t develop them. They fell in your lap.

            So please. Don’t flatter yourself. Last I checked…Sidney Crosby has only won 1 Stanley cup.

            Teams win cups. Good “teams”.

            Goodbye.

          • RedMan

            how old (or better, mature) does one have to be to actually type the word “fricken”? you do realize that this makes you look like a high-schooler fool wannabe right?

            One who has nothing better to do then to try and stir a pot with fans who are cheering for a team who is in their 2nd year of rebuilding, and is in the 2nd round of the playoffs, when your team was literally (literally!) out of contention before NOVEMBER was over?

            here bragging about how good you are “going to be”, for 5 or 6 years now? Don’t you see yourself, and how stupid that is?

            There’s an old saying that applies here: “You can’t run with the big dogs when you still piss like a pup.”

            That’s you and your team until you prove otherwise… all yapping and pissing themselves like the pups they are… so, when you actually do something besides winning the loser race, please, come rub it in our faces, but bragging about how good you are going to be??? my god, have some self respect boy.

  • BigMcD

    What bugs me is that as crappy as Edmonton has been , calgary has had way better teams over the past ten years and you have absoluely nothing to show for it.