The NHL Mailbag is here once again and we’ve got some good questions this week. What should the goalie skills competition be at the All-Star Game? Why are people panicking about a lack of goals? Which movie trilogy should have stopped after the first movie? And is Westworld good? Mailbag, my friends!
1. Goalies AF
The Martin Brodeur Goal-Scoring Challenge
Goaltenders have to shoot a puck into an empty net from just outside their crease. Once they score twice, they skate down to the other end of the ice and have to hit the four targets like the regular accuracy shooting.
The Mike Smith Draw A Penalty Challenge
It’s a flop-off that’s judged by one person from each division. To add to the fun, local kids are the ones that bump into the goaltenders to send them flying.
The Henrik Lundqvist Eye-Fuck Challenge
A puck is shot past the goaltender, who then must glare at a teammate near the crease he feels is responsible for the goal. Points are awarded for exasperation, disappointment and anger. Brodeur is the judge.
The Gallagher Rebound Control Challenge
Players will fire shots from the blue line. The goaltender will be in his crease surrounded by various fruits along the ice. The goaltender will have to steer the puck into the fruits to create explosions. Most fruit destroyed wins.
How do I continue to give these ideas away for free?
2. Vegas Baby!
If Gallant is coaching Las… sorry… just VEGAS next year, I will bike from New Jersey to LAS Vegas for the home opener next season. He’s too good to take that job. He has a two-year deal, so there’s no rush. He will take another, better job.
This is great, because either I’m right or I’ll get some good exercise and wind up in Vegas.
3. Three For All
My short list:
— The Matrix
— The Matrix
— The Matrix
Absolutely. I believe if you touch the trophy, your team is cursed. I believe in witches and an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. I believe four-leaf clovers are lucky and throwing money into a fountain will lead to wishes coming true. I believe shooting stars grant wishes too. I believe in signs. I believe that at the end of a rainbow is a magical pot of gold guarded by a leprechaun that makes you answer three riddles. I believe in mystique, aura and karma. I believe the talking pictures on my movie picture box can see me.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to send out some thoughts and prayers to make the world a better place.
5. Not Bestworld!
It’s not good. I gave it 10 episodes. There’s no way a show that telegraphs all its twists can be considered good. It’s the latest HBO show with a great premise that doesn’t deliver on it.
My theory as to why people think it’s a great show is rooted in the idea that it’s intentionally tricking you into thinking so, thanks to three devices.
— British accents: There’s something about British accents that make you think a TV show or movie is better than it is. There’s something burned into our American DNA that tells us a thing with a British accent is superior. It goes back to colonial times. For some reason, we revolted then. Now, despite everyone on the planet figuring out the Man In Black and Bernard twists eight episodes in advance, we are hypnotized by British accents.
— Haunting music: Take any piece of 1990s or 2000s music and have it played by a piano, and suddenly that shitty-ass Radiohead song seems deep, meaningful and good. Imagine playing the actual “Black Hole Sun” over an old-west gunfight and not laughing your genitals off. Somehow, hearing it played on a piano makes it seem highbrow. It’s not. You know what shows play music at the end of each episode to play with your emotions? Bad ones. Fucking Castle does this. Westworld is not good.
— Naked sex robots: OK, these are fine.
Game of Thrones can’t get back on my TV soon enough.
6. Food playoffs
— MTL (poutine) over WSH (crabcakes) in 5
— NYR (pizza) over PHI (cheesesteaks) in 7
— CBJ (meatloaf) over PIT (fries) in 6
— OTT (ummm) over TBL (humidity?) in 8
It’s a poutine vs. pizza conference final with poutine winning Game 7 in triple overtime.
7. Please Like My Sportsman
It really depends on how the horses do that year. And what about e-sports? Maybe a dude will pull off the Castlevania, Tetris, Pitfall trifecta. It’s way too hard to say for certain, this early in the process.
Letang finished fourth in voting last year and was a finalist in 2013. Find better conversations.
9. Can’t Score
A slump is when you go on like five first dates over a six-month period and none of them work out. Six years of around 2.7 goals per game and this year being the worst since 2003-04 is way more than a slump. Seven years with scoring this bad is way more than a slump.
Maybe you don’t think this is anything more than a slump because you’re young? I have no idea, but I wonder if so many hockey fans don’t care about this lack of goals because it’s all you’ve ever known. Of all the ways to flaunt your youth in my face, not being perpetually disappointed by the NHL’s lack of offense is the most hurtful to me. Please stick to the classics, like having all your hair, never getting hung over and having hope about the future.
Oh, and to answer the other question — booze and lots of it. That probably makes watching 2-1 NHL games more tolerable too.