March 8, 2010
The week ahead, Jersey Shore style
HELL of a weekend of hockey, wasn't it? Picking up four points against CHI and NSH is an absolutely monster boost to the good guys right now. No need to belabor the point here, but suffice to say, with the Flames on a nice little tear sitting only 1 point back, our hold on that 8th spot is a precarious one.
One week after the Olympics, the Western playoff picture isn't a whole lot different than it was before the break. We are, however, on the edge of a potential shakeup. As such, the TPL staff felt it wise to dissect the chase using the most vivid, damn near self explanatory metaphor we know - Jersey Shore. We'll assume, for purposes of making this metaphor work, that the 1-4 slots in the West are out of the Wings' reach. In my wildest dreams that chapter isn't yet closed, but as I don't want to have to scrap together bios from any more "STRONG ISLAND" chicks than is absolutely necessary, we'll examine the 5-8 slots and the guidos...make that teams...looking to fist pump their way into them.
J-WOW - Kings and Avs (80 points)
For the man brave enough to hit on a chick that can throw a solid right cross, J-WOW is the ultimate prize. This one isn't even close. Any fella dragging this (apparently non-Italian) stunner into a bar will immediately reap the benefits of being seen in public with the proudly-augmented brunette...including a windfall of hair product endorsements and cordial tips of the $3 fedora from fellow swordsmen.
The Western Conf J-Wow's right now are the Kings and Avalanche. They're sitting pretty with 80 points each. While they might not make a run at the #1 slot in their division, they would have to completely crap the bed at this point to slip out of the playoffs. Like J-Wow, I'm a little suspicious of each team because while they're dangerous, they both look like there's some crazy potential that might end up imploding within the next month...be that against Vancouver or while "battling the beats" at a local night club.
SNOOKIE - Smashville and Detroit (75-74 points)
Was this entire post rigged so that I could make a Detroit-Snookie parallel? Yes.
But bear with me...
With 75 and 74 points, respectively, Nashville and Detroit are very much a part of the playoff formula. Like Snookie, both teams are CLEARLY more interesting and relevant than the girls/teams below them and, if you had to pick, admit it - on sheer novelty value alone, you're likely taking out "Snickers" before any of the other options we'll discuss below. Is she the prettiest? Is she the most stable? Is she the LEAST likely to throw up all over your sheets? No. No. NO-NO. ...but if we're looking for arm candy in that charming beach villa, you have to make the tough call. If J-WOW is already taken, it's Snook in a landslide. Any man who says he's going with Sammy "Sweetheart" hates America.
In similar fashion, Detroit and Nashville are intriguing picks, but at this stage they're more "novel and daring" than they are "take home to meet your mother." Both teams have problems, but both have shown some resiliency...and like it or not...both teams are in the playoffs right now. Possession of that last playoff spot...at this point in the season...feels like more than 9/10ths of the law and ugly or not, if you've got it...if you're in the party...nobody cares how you got there.
ANGELINA - Calgary (73 points)
Casual Jersey Shore fans might not remember Angelina. She was barely on the show long enough to give some greased up Italian (as opposed to the gentlemanly, scholar-like Petrella-style Italian) a halfie on the dance floor. There were moments where you thought she actually might be cute, but as happens so often in our lives...THE SITUATION's wisdom reigned supreme when he said she wasn't relevant until she dropped about a dozen lbs..."go lose 10 pounds and then come talk to me."
Angelina didn't last in the harsh winter of brutality that is the Jersey Shore and, in similar fashion, I HOPE that Calgary just rolls over and dies. Soon. This pick is based more on boardwalk-style hopes and dreams than it is reality. I hated Angelina and I hate Calgary. Maybe I hate both because I'm jealous...of Calgary's goaltending...of Angelina's flowing hair extensions...or maybe I'm just staking out my territory and I don't want her to get anywhere near my man. Or my playoff spot.
THE ISRAELI CHICK WHO WAS ALL UP ON PAULY D - Stars, Hate Week, Notes, Wild (69-67 points)
Towards the end of DJ Pauly D's summer of enchantment, he came across this Israeli chick who, amazingly, wasn't terrible looking. At first you looked at her and you thought really, I think this might be a legit chick. ...and then you started speculating she was an MTV plant, because really, Da Shore is no place for classy girls like that.
Soon enough though, you saw the girl's true colors and by the end of the season she had revealed herself to be a full-blown stalker. Her problem wasn't so much her personality or looks, because by Shore standards, she seemed damn near legit. Her problem is that she didn't know when to go away. She wore out her welcome. Similarly, the Stars, Blues, Ducks and Wild don't seem to recognize that they need to gracefully fade into the background. Much like the Israeli chick, if the Wings are Pauly, we're sitting here waiting for one of these teams to wake us up in the middle of the night with a knife next to our throats yelling something incomprehensible. ...at which point it might be too late to do anything but marry her. Shudder.
The Western needs to do with these teams as Pauly did with the Israeli - put that bitch out of her misery and move on to more pressing matters. We all know though...especially with ANA...that this isn't going to be an easy task.
What we'd like to see happen this week:
LA has four games this week, half of them against teams currently in the playoffs. They start with the Blow-J's on Tuesday, move over to Chicago on Weds, then bow up against Dallas and Nashville on Friday and Sunday. If they could somehow crap the bed in 3 of those and we continue to play well, we might wake up next week within groping distance of a 6th seed and out of this pants-crapping mess we find ourselves in right now...waiting for the 8th place bar stool to tip over.
The other J-WOW in the group has a much easier week. Colorado starts off with a rough one against Vancouver, but then hits easy street with Florida on Thursday and Dallas (no doubt in an afternoon game) on Sunday.
As for our fellow Snookie, they've got a statement week on their hands. Their week starts off innocently enough, with ATL on Tuesday. From there, it gets ugly in a hurry. Their Thursday, Friday, Sunday slide includes SANJO, HATE and The Monarchy. That's three rugged games in four days. It's not out of the question that they lose that entire streak, and if they do, they could find themselves hanging out with St. Louis and the Israeli chick over by the tilt-a-whirl bulking up on funnel cakes.
Lots of hockey left. It's shaping up to be a fun close to the season. Here's to hoping we end up sipping Cold Duck with Snookie and J-WOW in a month and not booted off the show like Angelina.