Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Canada's Team: The Answer

Here we are, the eve of the 2014 NHL Playoffs. Above is my bracket for the NHL's bracket challenge, I'm taking a risk with the BJ's heading it to the East finals, but hey, YOLO.

(Did I use that right?)

But have we decided who is Canada's Team yet?  So far it's Chicago.

Part One.  Part Two.

  1. Chicago Blackhawks 11
  2. Montreal Canadiens 6
  3. Philadelphia Flyers 5.5
  4. Columbus Blue Jackets 3
  5. Minnesota Wild 2
  6. New York Rangers/Detroit Red Wings (tie) 1
  7. Phoenix Coyotes 0.5
  8. Dallas Stars 0
  9. Tampa Bay Lightning -5
  10. LA Kings -12
Like, runaway favourites.  Today we're looking at the final six, and it should be tough competition if Canadianness is linked to NHL success.  Away we go.


#6 Pittsburgh Penguins

Are they in Canada? No, they are in Pennsylvania, which is near-ish to Canada, but it lies on the wrong side of Lake Erie.  (as if there's a right side) -1
Ah, beautiful Lake Erie

What's the average temperature? Cold, it's in the north east and sites on a couple rivers. Good combo for just plain cold. +1
Does it snow there? Yes it does, averaging a metre per year +1
Are there Maple trees? Yes, everyone in north east N.America is lucky enough to be blessed with reminders of Canada everywhere. +1
Is there a Tim Hortons nearby? Pittsburgh is lucky enough to have one of Canada;s greatest exports.  +1

Roster Breakdown: 12 USAers, 10 Canadians, 2 Finns, 1 Russian, 1 German, 1 Czech, and 1 Brunei-born son of a US Ambassador, but chose correctly (that is Canada) 35.% Canadaian.  Under 40% Canuck, yet CBC puts them on Saturday nights instead of the Canadiens.
Captains? Captain: Sidney Crosby, Super-Canadian/Hockey Robot (3G, 1S) Alternates: Chris Kunitz, Canadian (1G, 1S) & Evgeni Malkin, Russian (2G, 3S, 3B) & Brooks Orpik, USAer (1S) They need an extra Alternate in Chris Kunitz to make up the the enigmatic Russian +2
Coach? Disco Dan Blysma, American -1
General Manager? Ray Shero, American -1
Owner? Mario Lemieux, hockey legend, Knight, scorer of five goals give ways. Oh., also Ron Burkle. SO + 0.5 for half Canadian ownership.
Starting Goaltender? Marc-Andre Fluery, who is, sadly, Canadain, +1
Most Points? Sidney Crosby, with 104 points (36G 68A) +1
Is their sweater Canadian enough? 
Black & Gold, the colours of Pittsburgh sports.  Not over Canada though.  Plus Penguins are from the South Pole, which is the opposite pole of Canada.  -2 for two things not Canadian.

Total Score: 3.5

Sorry CBC, but Pittsburgh is just not Canada's Team. Despite the best Hockey AI science could create, the Crosbot is not enough. 

Cheering for them as a Canadian is like: Hoping the obnoxious guy who's new to your school, but pretends to be a lifelong alumnus, becomes valedictorian.


#5 San Jose Shorks Sharks

Are they in Canada? No, Sadly, the bay area is not yet part of Canada.  Yet. -1
What's the average temperature? Like, 12 degrees.  While not terrible, it's uh, pretty damn good. +1
Does it snow there? Nope. Average snowfall is 0 +1 (the weather on 15/4/14 may have influenced me here)
Are there Maple trees? Yes, members of the Acer family flow into Northern California. +1
Is there a Tim Hortons nearby? Yes, you can get Tim Hortons Coffee there. +1
Roster Breakdown: 15 Canadians, 10 USAers, 2 Czechs, 1 Finn. 53.6% Canadian
Captains? Captain: Joe Thornton. Canadian (3G, 1S) Alternates: Patrick Marleau, Canadian (4G, 1S) & Dan Boyle, Canadian (3G, 1S) - Boy with leadership like this how have they not won before? I bet they all wear the right hats too. +3
Coach? Todd McLellan, Canadian, once played pro hockey in the Netherlands. +1
General Manager? Doug Wilson, Canadian, anti-jerk coach guy. +1 and +1 for the work in de-emphasizing the "win-at-all-costs" mentality with kids coaching. 
Owner? An American sports owning group. -1
Starting Goaltender? Antti Niemi, Finn -1
Most Points? Joe Pavelski, American, 41G, 38A -1
Is their sweater Canadian enough? 

Black and Teal aren't very Canadian colours, nor is a shark.  Unless there's a beaver riding said shark.  Although, with the wacky concepts Hockey Canada lets Nike comes up with I'm sure Teal will be a national colour soon.  Let's call it even.

Total Score: 6

Woah, a California team ties Montreal! Good for the Sharks, shame on your Canadiens.

Cheering for them as a Canadian is like: Rooting for a team that looks fantastic on paper, you know their top players by name, they dress sharp, but just can't put it together and win, dammit!

So it's like cheering for Canada at the World Jrs.


#4 St. Louis Blues

Are they in Canada? No, they're in Missorah. And I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before Canada recognizes Missourah  -1

Does it snow there? Yes, it does, it upsets the dinosaurs greatly. +1

Are there Maple trees? Sugar, Black, Red, and Silver maples. FOUR KINDS WOW! +1
Is there a Tim Hortons nearby? They will if they don't already! +1
Roster Breakdown: 14 Canadians, 7 USAers, 4 Swedes, 2 Russkies, 1 Czech. 50% Canadians
Captains? Captain: David Backes, USAer (1S) Alternates: TJ Oshies, American & Alex Steen, Swede, Barret Jackman, Canadian (1G, 2B) & Alex Pietrangelo, Canadian (2G, 1S) - huh, the only two with Golds are the Canadians... +2
Coach? Ken Hitchcock, much feared Canadian +1
General Manager? Doug Armstrong, Canadian +1
Owner? St. Louis Blues Hockey Club, inc. So uh....no? -1
Starting Goaltender? Ryan Miller, Amercian, Silver Medalist. -1
Most Points? Alex Steen, Swede 33G, 29A - Alex Steen? As in "Leafs traded him for Lee "my brother is a dink" Stempniak? " -1
Of course

Is their sweater Canadian enough? 

Double Blue & Gold.  Colour combos of the CFL, but not Canada.  They can have half a point for that. +0.5

Total Score: 3.5

I always had an interest in St. Louis, but I'll admit, I usually forget they exist.  If not for Pietrangelo being an ex-IceDog I probably would have forgotten to put them on the list.
Miss you!
What cheering for them as a Canadian is like: Hey remember when Wayne Gretzky was on the Blues?  Yeah most people don't. 


#3 Colorado Avalanche (I can't believe they're so high in the standings)

Are they in Canada? No, they are pretty much in the middle of the US -1

What's the average temperature? Pretty average for hockey cities. +1
Does it snow there? Oh yes, they earned that Avalanche name. +1
Are there Maple trees? A search of the colorado state forest service list of tree says...no, surprisingly. -1
Is there a Tim Hortons nearby? Google says no, Yelp says you have to go to Saskatchewan. -1
Roster Breakdown  20 Canadians (yeah, really), 3 USAers, 1 Swede, 1 Czech, 1 Russian 76.9% Canadian
Captains? Captain: Gabriel Landeskog, Swede (1G, 1S) Alternates: Cody McLeod Canadian & Paul Statsny, USAer (1S, 1B). Only one Canadian out of TWENTY as leaders? That's a bad Patrick Roy! Bad! +1
Coach? Patrick Roy.  Yes, that Patrick Roy. Canadian, mad man. +1
General Manager? Greg Sherm- no, I can't play along, It's Joe Sakic. +1
Owner? American, booooo -1
Starting Goaltender? Semyon Varlamov, Russian. -1
Most Points? Matt Duchene, 23G 47A, Canadian. +1
Is their sweater Canadian enough? 

Maroon and Blue, again, almost red, but not.  half a point for that. 0.5

Total Points: 1.5

I expected more out of a team thats basically all Canadian.  Shameful, really. They even have lots of Canadian fans, since kids are big bandwagon jumpers and they were pretty damn good the minute they left Quebec.  Which I also fiund funny.  Leave Quebec, win a cup.  Maybe thats what the Habs need to do to get #25.  Swap places with the Bulldogs.

Cheering for them as a Canadian is like: You know that one guy in your hockey league that hasn't been doing very well, and you know he could do better then he has an amazing season and even though he's not on your team you want him to do well?  Yeah ,that's what cheering for this years Avalanche is like.

Oh also, the IceDogs used "Why Not Us" In 2012 as a rally cry. Change it, guys, change it.



#2 Anaheim Ducks

Are they in Canada? No, they're right next to LA, so we can probably just copy/paste those answers here. hold on. -1

What's the average temperature? 16.7 - A great temperature, but not what we're looking for. -1
Does it snow there? Well, Weather Underground says "According to the National Weather Service, measurable snow in Downtown L.A. has occurred only three times since California statehood, most recently on January 9, 1949". So, no, it doesn't -1
Are there Maple trees? Not naturally, no. -1
Is there a Tim Hortons nearby?  No, the closest location is Victoria, BC.It;'s just not hip enough. -1
Roster Breakdown 14 Canadians, 6 USAers, 3 Finns, 3 Swedes, 1 Italian, 1 Dane, 1 Swiss, 1 Teemu - 46.7% Canadian
Captains? Captain: Ryan Getzlaf, Canadian (4G, 2S) Alternates: Saku Koivu, Finn (1G, 4S, 4B) & Teemu Selanne, Finn (2S, 4B) - Only 1 Canadian, but I can't really argue with the A's.  But they don't get points. +1
Coach? Bruce Boudreau. Canadian. Do you know where he off-seasons?  Guess?  No, you're wrong. It's St. Catharines, ON for some reason. +1
General Manager? Bob Murray, Canadian +1
Owner? Henry Samueli, American, Felon -1
Starting Goaltender? Jonas Hiller, Swiss -1
Most Points? Ryan Getzlaf, Canadian 31G, 56A +1
Is their sweater Canadian enough? 

No, they aren't, they're jsut big black piles of nothing. -2 for being so bland.

Total Score: -5

Well, they fared much better than their neighbours the Kings, but not enough.  Maybe if they were still Mighty, maybe if I didn't hate their sweater for everything it's worth, but this team "meh"'s the hell out of me.

What cheering for them as a Canadian is like: You want Teemu to win in his last year.  Or you're a Habs fan who wants Saku to do well. Otherwise I don't know, you're in a coma?

#1 Boston Bruins

Are they in Canada? No, they're in Massachusetts, which is pretty Canadian looking at it, but it's the most not-Canadian Canada looking place ever. -1

What's the average temperature? Cold.  It's cold in the winter, hot in the summer. But mostly cold with a heavy chance of masshole. +1
Does it snow there? Yes indeed it does +1

Are there Maple trees? Yes, they are lucky enough to be graced with our excellent trees. Though they may get drunk and try to kick them down +1
Is there a Tim Hortons nearby? No, they prefer Dunkin' Donuts. Oddballs. -1
Roster Breakdown (% Canadian must be over 50) 15 Canadians, 5 USAers, 2 Swedes, 2 Slovakians, 1 Czech, 1 German, 1 Finn 55.6% Canadian
Captains? Captain: Zdeno Chara, Slovakian (2S) Alternates: Patrice Bergeron, Canadian (5G) & Chris Kelly, Canadian & David Krejci, Czech - Soon Charas reign of terror over Bruins management will end, and they'll give the C to a true leader. +1
Coach? Claude Julien, Canadien +1. 
General Manager? Peter Chiarelli, Canadian +1
Owner? Jeremy Jacobs (pictured below) American, the devil on earth, fan hater, lockout lover. -1
Seen here visting a childrens hospital for lunch

Starting Goaltender? Tuuka Rask, Finn, apprently not worth as much as Andrew Raycroft. -1
Most Points? David Kreci, Czech -1
Is their sweater Canadian enough? 

Black & Yellow, colours of great Canadian teams as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Kingston Frontenacs.  Okay maybe not great teams, but teams anyway.  No points lost to make up for bad company.

Total Score: 1

Boston, home of the start of the Americans Revolution, the extinction of the Fenway Flounder worth escaping the tyranny of King George.  I was hoping for a higher score, I do have a soft spot for the Bruins.  It was just not meant to be, B's.

Cheering for them as a Canadian is like: It's like swallowing all of your pride, biting your tongue, and smiling politely as the guy in front of you in line at Tim Hortons screams at the cashier for being out of Boston Creams.

Well those are our choices, what a bunch they are.  Let's run down the list.

  1. Chicago Blackhawks 11
  2. Montreal Canadiens/San Jose Sharks (tie) 6
  3. Philadelphia Flyers 5.5
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins/St. Louis Blues 3.5
  5. Columbus Blue Jackets 3
  6. Minnesota Wild 2
  7. Colorado Avalanche 1.5
  8. New York Rangers/Detroit Red Wings/Boston Bruins (tie) 1
  9. Phoenix Coyotes 0.5 Didn't make the playoffs
  10. Dallas Stars 0
  11. Tampa Bay Lightning/Anaheim Ducks (tie) -5
  12. LA Kings -12
There we have it Canada, you have to cheer for Chicago. So says the list.  They're clearly the most Canadian team in the world, and if there's one thing the privately owned corporation that the NHL is, it's about national pride!

Wait, wait, I'm told we have a late comer to the competition.

#0 Mystery Team

Are they in Canada? They are in Canada, the United States, Russia, Germany, anywhere a waffle is drowning in maple syrup, anywhere Rush is blasting out a stero, anywhere jeans are being paired with a jean jacket un-ironically. +1

What's the average temperature? 98.5, the temperature of life. +1
Does it snow there? Only when it's aesthetically pleasing or there's tobogganing to be done 
Are there Maple trees? Everywhere you look +1
Is there a Tim Hortons nearby?  There is never one out of reach +1
Roster Breakdown 26 Canadians - 100% Canadian
Captains? Captain: Sidney Crosby, Canadian (3G, 1S) Alternates: Johnathan Toews, Canadian (6G, 1S) & Shea Weber, Canadian (4g, 1S) +3
Coach? Mike Babcock, Canadian +1
General Manager? STeve Yzerman, Canadian +1
Owner? Everyone, from babies to great grandparents. Except PQ voters. +1
Starting Goaltender? Carey Price, Canadian +1
Most Points? Drew Doughty, Canadian 4G, 2A +1
Is their sweater Canadian enough? 
Red, White, some gold. Oh yeah these babies are Canadian.  That back one is even an ad for Petro Canada! +3

Total Score: 15.

What cheering for them as a Canadian is like: Breathing. Eating. Sleeping

Well, with 15 points it looks like the 2014 Mens Olympic Hockey team is our winner!

Congratulations guys, you are Canada's Team!


Enjoy the playoffs everyone. If you're NHL team is in, congratulations, enjoy the roller coaster of emotions.  If not, just watch & enjoy the games without any of the worry, or pick any team.  It could be your back up team (Penguins), it could be the team of that one really awesome player you want to see do well (Anaheim), it could be a team that has players you loved in Jr (St. Louis). It could be a team someone else in your family loves (Boston/Montreal).

Whatever your reason, cheer on, enjoy the games, and if you're a Leafs fan, cheer for a Boston collapse. 

1 comment:

  1. Ummm... terrible copout!!! I thought we had an understanding about who it should be rigg-- er... who should win!

    (Also, did you let your wife fill out your bracket? Seriously, habs in the finals?)