The Hater’s Guide to Week 20

This is a weekly feature that takes an uncharitable look at the Senators’ upcoming opponents.

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Me, resplendent in chambray (not pictured: you, sweating through cheap polyester)

We’re going to preview this week’s games with a series of short, one-act plays.

Tuesday, February 16 – Senators vs. Sabres

“Tim Murray Orders Breakfast”

MURRAY: *into drive-through box* Small black coffee.

BOX: Will that be everything?

MURRAY: Yes.

BOX: Would you also-

MURRAY: No.

BOX: For an extra-

MURRAY: No.

BOX: Alright sir, that’ll be-

MURRAY: $1.35, coming around.

FIN

PREDICTION: If you’re a GM, there are two ways you can drink coffee during a hockey game. One is the Tim Murray way, which involves sitting perfectly still for three hours, fingers steepled against your lips, just staring at the cup through designer frames and waiting for it to spontaneously combust. The other is the Bryan Murray way, which involves cursing and arm-waving and screaming and is basically the exact opposite. Either way you never drink the coffee, because those guys down there just cannot break the puck out no matter how many drills we run, Jesus. But the Bryan Murray way is more fun to watch, at least. Senators 5, Sabres 0.

Thursday, February 18 – Senators vs. Hurricanes

“Tickets”

*SCENE: Outside the PNC Arena. Two scalpers stand on opposite corners trying to outdo each other.*

SCALPER 1: Tiiiiiiiickets. Get your Canes tiiiiickets. Tickets here.

SCALPER 2: Tickets.

SCALPER 1: Lots of tickets, still available. Tickets!

SCALPER 2: Good seats, good seats. Who needs ’em, I got tickets.

SCALPER 1: Tickets!

SCALPER 2: Canes tickets. Just selling, not buying.

SCALPER 1: Tickets here. Any section.

SCALPER 2: Tickettttttttttttttttts.

SCALPER 1: 10th anniversary Cup season, check it out, tickets.

SCALPER 2: Tickets, I got ’em.

SCALPER 1: Little Nathan Gerbe, come see him. Tickets!

SCALPER 2: Tiny little Nathan Gerbe! Tick! Ets! Here!

SCALPER 1: Come see a top 5 CF% team, if you’re holding a ticket!

SCALPER 2: Get ready to see a low-PDO team bounce back, name a seat, name a price, get a ticket!

SCALPER 2: TICKETS!

SCALPER 1: TICKKKKKKKKKETTTTTTTTTTTS!

*Silence, followed by a low, howling wind from the ghost dimension*

SCALPER 1: Come on, let’s get a beer. What is PDO?

SCALPER 2: No clue. I’ll say anything.

FIN

PREDICTION: You know how when you meet a friend at the game, and your friend has a real, printed ticket – and not one of the cheap red-and-white Capital Tickets ones; I’m talking about one of those season-ticket holder versions with a picture of a sweaty Marc Methot on it – and you bought yours on Stubhub and all you have is a crumpled printout? And you pull it out of your coat pocket, and somehow there’s mustard on it, and your friend is just staring at the ground awkwardly as the CTC usher tries to scan it and it doesn’t read, and it doesn’t read again, and you’re about ready to slink out of there and just wait at the bus loop for three hours when you finally hear the ticket reader chime? And the usher gives you a warm smile, letting you know you’re just as welcome as anyone else, and everything is okay for a minute? That’s exactly the kind of compassion we need more of in this world, and exactly the kind of compassion the Senators won’t be showing for the Hurricanes in this game. Your friend’s more of a prig than Frasier Crane, by the way. Senators 5, Hurricanes 0.

Saturday, February 20 – Senators vs. Red Wings

“THE FAMILY ALFREDSSON LEAVES DETROIT” (working title: “THE SOUND OF MELNYK”)

BIBI ALFREDSSON: Children, your father and I have decided to leave Detroit. But we have to hurry. Come along now, and be quiet.

*Fraulein Schmitt enters with two Red Wings in full uniform*

FRAULEIN SCHMITT: I tried to stop them.

DANIEL: That’s okay, Fraulein Schmitt.

ZETTERBERG: Going somewhere, “captain”?

DANIEL: We were just going for a walk, Herr Zetterberg.

DATSYUK: Convenient, you are supposed to report to Red Wings camp tomorrow.

DANIEL: Was I? I don’t remember receiving a telegram about that, Officer Datsyuk.

ZETTERBERG: You’ve received several and I’m here to take you directly myself.

BIBI: Well that’s impossible, gentlemen.

DATSYUK: Why is that?

BIBI: Because… the Family Alfredsson is singing at the Windsor Casino tonight. It’s all arranged. We should really get going.

DATSYUK: How convenient. Let’s go, captain. General Holland is waiting.

ZETTERBERG: Stop! You will sing! You will ALL sing! But only because I want it to be so. I want the people of Ontario to see that nothing has changed. I shall escort you myself.

*cut to Windsor Casino Theatre*

MC: Please welcome the Family Alfredsson!

ALFREDSSONS: There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too,
And up in Kanata an absurd little pub
Is selling its Big Rig Brew;
Ruutu, Cheechoo,
Remember those guys, P.U.,
But we don’t need much revenue,
To say goodbye to you.
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu.

*curtain falls; applause*

MC: Let’s hear it one more time for the Family Alfredsson! Come on out! The Family Alfredsson! . . . The Family Alfredsson?

DATSYUK: They’re gone!

FIN

PREDICTION: It’s 2016 now, and the idea of a Saturday night game against Detroit being a premier matchup seems like a brief, odd historical phenomenon, like pogs, or Macklemore. Look for the TV broadcast to feature half a dozen shots of Daniel Alfredsson in a private suite, looking as Zen and unknowable as ever. Senators 5, Red Wings 0.

Season prediction record: 25-26-6

Next week: West coast Canadian road trip! So don’t worry, no playoff teams.

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