All Things Hockey In The Carolinas

Friday, December 5, 2008

We're boned. Seriously...

I took a couple of days to cool off and think things over before I posted about the Hurricanes' recent tragic turn of events. Only I didn't cool off. And after some thought, I am not afraid to say it:

We're totally and deeply boned!!!

Now before any potential JR kool-aid drinkers get their panties in a wad, let me give the disclaimer: I loved Peter Laviolette as a coach. And I hated to see him fired. But I also think that something had to change, and maybe it was the right time for him to move to Tampa [Ironically, Rick Tocchet is giving 3 to 1 odds that this is where Lavi will end up]. And to be perfectly clear, I don't fault Paul Maurice for this. It's nothing personal. I think he is a nice guy and I can't blame him for accepting a coaching job rather than sitting around taking VCR repair courses at Regina Technical Institute and Beauty College. BUT...

WTF? Paul Maurice? Seriously? Why would they do that to us? I mean, damn! It makes no sense! I could understand if they'd threatened this in the week or so before season ticket invoices were due:

"Dear STH, if you do not renew your package by [applicable date], we will fire Peter Laviolette and hire Paul Maurice so you won't be able to enjoy the games on television either..."

But dammit, they already got my money! And, if they just wanted to be sadistic, they've got my address on my season ticket holder file. They know where I live. They could've just sent some random employee to come to my house, ring my doorbell, and then kick me square in the balls when I opened the door. It would've felt the same to me, but they would have at least gotten the satisfaction of seeing the shocked and pained expression on my face when they did it. But this? This is just senseless abuse.

And then, to add insult to injury, they don't even come out and say what they really mean. The least they could do is be honest with us and release a statement that says:

Dear loyal season ticket holder,

Thanks for your hard earned money. Instead of using it to improve the team, Mr. Karmanos has decided to buy that private island in the Bahamas he's always wanted. And a Porsche. We hope you enjoy the return of the boringest hockey ever played. If you're a good boy and don't boo, we'll paint Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart's numbers on the Zambonis and have the arena staff drive them in a counter-clockwise pattern during the intermission so you'll feel more at home. If you don't like it, go f**k yourself.

Sincerely yours,

The Management.

Nope. We aren't so lucky. To add insult to injury, they (the team, the NHL, the media) are spinning this like crazy; as if we are too stupid to see that this is nothing more than another cheapskate maneuver designed to pocket a greater percentage of our cash. They still believe that we are just a bunch of ignorant, inbred NASCAR fans who won't notice the difference. Don't believe me? Look around. Nearly every article contains this line (or one nearly identical):

"Maurice, 41, is the winningest coach in franchise history with 268 wins in 674 regular-season games."

Obviously, they believe that we are unable to do simple arithmetic. Unfortunately for them, I lernt my cipherin' in skool back in da holler, and I can subtract 268 from 674. And I can even subtract the 99 frigging ties and see that there's 307 losses to go along with those 268 wins. Yes, technically, he is the winningest coach in franchise history. But he's also undeniably the LOSINGEST COACH IN FRANCHISE HISTORY!!!

If "Mo" had more wins than losses, then I wouldn't bitch about the semantics of this. But when the guy has lost more games than he's won, it's pretty damn cheeky to pick the adjective 'winningest' over 'losingest', when both are legitimately on the table.

And they are also trying to whitewash the whole thing by saying that they are going to continue to play an aggressive and exciting style of hockey. Here's the quote:

"We are not going to try to change the identity of the team in terms of how it plays, because it's built a certain way," Maurice said. "It's built with speed and it's built to be aggressive. Because of that we're going to try to continue that. " (Emphasis added).

Really? That's good to know. So, 2 days into this glorious goat f**k, let's see what that statement really translates into:

"Before practice Friday, Maurice’s second with the team, the Hurricanes discussed their defensive positioning in the neutral zone, taking an approach Eric Staal called “not so aggressive, . . .”

Can you say "trap" and "dump and chase" boys and girls? I thought you could.

I could say a lot more, but I've already said enough. I can only hope that by some cosmic miracle, this works out for the Canes. But I'm not optimistic. Playing lockdown hockey with a bunch of "offensive defensemen" doesn't inspire my confidence. And if Thursday's game was any indicator of what is to come, it shouldn't inspire yours either.