Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, October 17, 2008

BoC Gameday—Aww, you saved your first "W" for me?

San Jose Sharks (4-0) at Anaheim Ducks (0-4)
Battle of the Western Conference Extremes


Ain't the Ducks a bunch of sweethearts? I mean, some fans are forced to watch their team get a season's first victory on TV, but the Ducks have managed to work things out so that I can come experience it in person. That's right, it's time for another Sleek sighting at the ol' Honda Center, sporting the lucky green shirt and drunk-yelling "Positivity!" from Row B. If you're attending the game and want to say hi, you can probably catch me during the intermissions in the lower-level concourse furthest from Katella Avenue.

Now you might think that I'm terrified or worried about tonight's game, but to tell you the truth, I've already attended it -- five years ago, if you can believe it. (Uh-oh, flashback.) If you recall, optimism was very high back in the start of the 2003-04 season. The Mighty Ducks were fresh off an upstart Stanley Cup G7, and even though Oates and Kariya had departed during the summer, their vacancies seemed decently filled with the signings of Fedorov and Prospal. High hopes came crashing back to earth early, however, as the 03-04 Mighty Ducks began their post-Finals-appearance season with a horrific 0-4 start, getting outscored by the whopping margin of 12 to 2 (!).

I don't recall how I managed to score tickets to the fifth game, but I do remember conflicting feelings about the start of the season. Was this Ducks team, such a giant-killer last spring, all of a sudden the worst team in the league? How was I supposed to react to the team's horrid start in my first Pond visit since the miracle run?

For the record, the Mighty Ducks ended up with a mixed result in the game I attended. They did pick up their first standing point of the season, but fell in overtime to Joe Thornton's Sharks Bruins. The thing I remember most about that night wasn't anything that happened on the ice, however, but rather it was the moment I got home and realized that I no longer was carrying a wallet. In my eager (younger) attempt to drown the Ducks' struggles in liquid amnesia, I apparently had left it sitting on the beer counter after flashing my ID. If anyone does recall finding a wallet that night (the Pond had zero clue the next day), now you know the secret identity of Mr. Sleek -- and if you're feeling particularly malicious, I never did get around to cancelling that Blockbuster Video card.

Now I'm not exactly sure why I decided to bring up that story -- it's certainly a very different Ducks team than it was five years ago, and I don't even think the parallel 0-4 records signify the same problems. One thing that I do notice, however, is that I'm a much less panicked fan this time around. Maybe I've grown up a bit, maybe I'm disillusioned a bit, who knows? I do think that one of the Ducks' TV guys (Bill MacDonald, maybe?) brought up a helpful point after the Oilers loss, though. It wouldn't be that difficult to shrug off a 4-game losing streak if it happened in the middle of the season, and I'll add it's preferable to mourn in October than in April.

So regardless of early-season records, I figure I'll be in good spirits tonight. Sure, I'll be drinking (it's still me), but instead of a drown-my-sorrows attitude from five years ago, tonight's just an exciting matchup on what promises to be a crazy-season roller coaster ride. Oddly enough, I think the 0-4 start has actually been a little bit liberating; I'd probably be more stressed about tonight's result if the teams had identical records.

Anyways, if you're following the game on TV, feel free to join Mr. Plank's interactive liveblog over at We Bleed Teal. Sharks fans, Ducks fans, wayward Kings fans, disheartened Angel/Dodger fans -- all are welcome, I'm sure. If the puck goes near the Ducks' penalty box and you spot a green shirt on the bottom of your TV set, though, make sure to give him a "Positivity!" shoutout. Every little bit counts.

Prediction: Sleek manages to hold onto his wallet this time, and that makes all the difference. Ducks 4, Sharks 3. Goals by Carter, Getzlaf, Pahlsson, and Pronger.

Go Ducks.

13 comments:

Earl Sleek said...

Oh yeah, plus a happy birthday to fellow Ducks blogger Finny!

May it be full of positivity.

Julian said...

Colorado won last night, so we are officially the worst team in the league!

Woo hoooo!!! We're number one!

Maybe I don't quite have this positivity thing down yet...

Earl Sleek said...

Maybe I don't quite have this positivity thing down yet...

Heh, you're not that far off. I haven't really defined the term too well, but essentially it's just a mindset that there is no such thing as bad news.

You can yell it after a GF, or yell it after a GA. A win, or a loss. It can either be a purely facetious statement, or it can be only focusing on silver linings.

Negativity: Man, it sucks being last in the league.

Positivity spin #1: Man, it's awesome being last in the league!

Positivity spin #2: Thank god we're not peaking in October.

Julian said...

How about "At least we won't have to worry about giving anyone raises next year!"

Earl Sleek said...

Exactly. I'd add some positivity spin about next year's ticket prices, too, except the Kings proved me wrong on that one this past summer.

Ksy92003 said...

I came to this blog about halfway through the last season, so maybe you could explain something to me, Sleek: why do you predict Pahlsson to score a goal every single game? Even some games the Ducks aren't playing?

Earl Sleek said...

Sleek: why do you predict Pahlsson to score a goal every single game?

Oh, a few reasons, I suppose. Pahlsson is my favorite NHLer, and has been for several years. I'm quite in the "Pahlsson is God" camp that habitates on the Duck HF boards (though I refuse to post there anymore).

Also, it's for irony's sake, so nobody takes the predictions very seriously. It's just sort of funny to predict a goal every game for Pahlsson, fully knowing he'll probably get five on the season.

And heck, I did it throughout the cup year, so I guess there's a little superstition/habit in there, also.

But mostly, it's just positivity.

Earl Sleek said...

Oh, and also: the whole notion of gameday posts is something I've lifted from Battle of Alberta, where Sacamano would make a post/prediction for nearly every game (back in the day), and he had a very similar pattern with Radek Dvorak, probably for a lot of the same reasons I've listed.

So in a way, it's also a running tribute to an ideal or something.

brokeyard said...

Whenever I hear that this "Paulson" fellow in D.C. or w/e screwed up our economy, I always picture his name spelled like the Swedish Fish I'm familiar with.

WestCoast Ray said...

Sleek you forgot the goal by Perry in the first five minutes. How do I know? I'm leaving the Perry sweater at home tonight. So then Perry, goal, eh!

Morbo said...

Sleek: why do you predict Pahlsson to score a goal every single game? Even some games the Ducks aren't playing?

Doth shall not blaspheme in the name of thy lord, or Samuel shall strike you down with the power of a thousand Swedish rosy cheeks.


Earl, the main NHL board at HF is now run by double standard wielding, douche nozzle, Ducks haters who feel it necessary to ban poor Morbo for pointing out their lack of IQ, critical thinking and reasoning skills, or their generally bad personal hygiene.

Shame, since I do miss "Bertuzzi"-ing up the Ducks board over there.

Earl Sleek said...

Earl, the main NHL board at HF is now run by double standard wielding, douche nozzle, Ducks haters who feel it necessary to ban poor Morbo for pointing out their lack of IQ, critical thinking and reasoning skills, or their generally bad personal hygiene.

I don't understand why you inserted the word "now" in there, but Morbo, you're my hero!

I'm only self-policed in my HF avoidance.

jamestobrien said...

Snarky message boards always seem to dissolve into immature sub-snark, don't they?