Volume 96, Issue 99
Friday, April 4, 2003

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Avalanche over Care Bears?

Just over two months since his ejection from the Super Bowl for what authorities called "an unfortunate incident involving Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, a can of cannola oil, a bearskin rug and four pounds of ground beef," the Gambling Man returns for the looming NHL playoffs.

Screw traditional hockey analysts. The only way to determine a winner is to analyze the participants' team names in a one-on-one showdown. After logic dictates a victor between two names, that team name advances to take on another name, until a Stanley Cup champion is eventually apparent.

The Western Conference: Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Edmonton Oilers

To begin, let's compare an Oiler with a Star. What have stars ever done for anybody? Ask yourself that? You wish upon one, and the next day you still wake up in soiled bedsheets, surrounded by empty vodka bottles, lying next to Charlie Sheen. Where's the justice? Oilers produce the sweet syrup that keeps our ignorant, over-consuming world turning – Oiler it is.

An Oiler could subsequently beat a Canuck (a Canadian would be far too reserved to take on a grizzled, veteran of the oil industry) and a Mighty Duck (Walt Disney – may you burn in hell eternally), but would fall short when it comes to battling a Red Wing. Why you ask? Well, what if the Red Wing was the wing of the Red Baron's plane? Pretty scary, huh? I thought so.

That brings me to a Wild – what the hell is a Wild and when can I hit whatever one is with a steel pipe? A Red Wing versus an Avalanche? At first glance, you'd want to go Red Wing, but what if the Red Baron's plane was grounded because he was stopping for coffee – then the Avalanche would clearly get him. Finally, a great Blues song could be written about an Avalanche, but I find it hard to believe that a musical genre could defeat one of mother nature's most powerful forces.

Winner: Colorado

The Eastern Conference: New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals

Since a Capital is simply a large letter of the alphabet, I find it hard to believe that it could beat a Bruin, which according to B-town hockey apparel, is apparently a large, ferocious bear (does not apply if the letter in question is Z, which is certainly not a letter anyone would want to meet in a dark alley). However, a Maple Leaf, known for coming from a tree which also produces syrup, may be able to bribe a bear into submission. Lightning can and often hits trees – goodbye Maple Leaf (I'm still crossing my fingers and hoping lightning also hits U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield). Lightning could likely also destroy a Flyer (normally a publication filled with advertisements and useless community news). A Senator, closely associated with the greatest empire in history – I'm talking Rome, not Sharealot, home of the Carebears – should conceivably be able to take a bolt of Lightning and survive. However, could a Senator beat the Devil, lord of eternal darkness? Probably not. But what if the Devil was too preoccupied with getting a manicure and watching re-runs of Bosom Buddies? Then you'd have to go with the wily Roman politician.

Winner: Ottawa

Stanley Cup Winner: Colorado (in six games). Because every empire must fall, whether due to avalanche, plague or its decision to make Dr. Phil a celebrity.


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