Star Wars Gameday -- Episode VI: Return of the Playoffs

Game One: (5) Nashville Predators at (4) Anaheim Ducks, 7:30 pm
On The Forecheck and Anaheim Calling -- for a much more down-to-earth look at things!

(Author's note: I'm long overdue for the final chapter of my Star Wars rip-off opus; in case you missed them, go back and check out Episodes IV and V -- A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back -- some of my finest work back there.  Once again, I've procrastinated enough on this post that it's ended up sort of rushed, but I'm happy enough with the results.  You'll note one casting change from those old posts, but I was never going to be able to effectively draw Chara the Hutt anyways.  Onwards!!!)

Not too long from now in an arena not too far from here...

Cam Puckmover has returned to his home
arena in Anaheim in an attempt to rescue
his friend Getz Solo from the clutches of the
stingy goalkeeper Pekka the Hutt.

Little does Cam know that the Eastern Time Zone
Empire
has secretly begun construction on a
new armored space station even more powerful
than the first dreaded Death Wing.

When completed, this ultimate weapon will
spell certain doom for the small band of west coast
rebels struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy...

Cut to: the desert planet of Anaheim.  Two Finnish droids, Saku D2 and Teemu PO, attempt entry into the crease of Pekka the Hutt, but are denied entry by the solid positioning of Shea Web Fortuna.  The droids insist on delivering a message to the goaltender himself, and after a give-and-go play they are finally permitted to pass.

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Once inside Pekka the Hutt's lair, Saku D2 plays the message from young blueline master Cam Puckmover, warning Pekka of his intention to rescue captain Getz Solo (who had been encased in captainite and sent to Pekka by the evil Darth Pronger).  Pekka the Hutt does not appear threatened by the message, however, and Salacious Blum's cackling laughter fills the hall.

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"I've got a bad feeling about this" whispers Teemu to Saku.

Later that day another visitor arrives at Pekka's crease -- a menacing-looking bounty hunter, along with the captured enforcer Georgebacca.  Pekka the Hutt is impressed by the acquisition, but he is willing to pay only half the bounty -- cost certainty and all.  The negotiations quickly turn deadly, however, when the bounty hunter pulls out a lethal weapon...

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Pekka chuckles heartily.  "This bounty hunter is my kind of scum -- fearless and inventive."  Pekka and the bounty hunter settle for to a 24% rollback and a hard bounty cap -- crisis is averted, and Georgebacca is taken back to the holding cells.

Of course the bounty hunter is none other than Princess Luca Sbisgana in disguise, and later she sneaks back into Pekka's lair to free Getz Solo from the captainite.  A disoriented Getz awakens with no ability to take open shots or look where he's passing, and Luca tried to quickly shake him out of it.  But suddenly they hear a familiar menacing laughter from behind the curtains.

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It's a trap -- Pekka the Hutt has captured them all, and once again Cam Puckmover becomes the rebellion's last hope.  The next day a mysterious dark-robed figure approaches Pekka's crease.  Once again Shea Web Fortuna steps in to intercept, but this time his weak mind is quickly overcome -- Cam is now much more trained in the blueliner ways that Obi-Wan Niedermayer and Master Lubo had taught him.

Rotj05_medium

Pekka the Hutt is outraged at Shea Web Fortuna's weak-minded foolery, and is also upset at his own underestimation of the young blueliner.  Still, Pekka is not without resources -- with a few quick obnoxious bursts from a train whistle he summons his pet menace...

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The Tootoo is a powerful yet lumbering attacker, and Cam has to use all his agility and training in order to sidestep its blind-rage lethal charges.  Each time Cam avoids being hit, the Tootoo's frustration and determination grows, until it clumsily manages to get its own head trapped in the zamboni door -- exhausted, Cam emerges victorious from the one-on-one battle.

Pekka is once again furious.  He orders all the captured rebels to be taken out to center ice for execution -- they will all be thrown into the Neutral Zone Trap, where they will be forced to dump and chase pucks for all eternity.  Things indeed look bleak for our heroes, but Cam does have one last-ditch plan.  Already Perry Calrissian is secretly undercover as one of Getz's guards; if Cam can execute a surprise move he just might be able to catch Pekka and his forces off guard...

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To be continued?...  Tune in tonight!

* * *

I haven't done any real previewing of this series, but that's for three reasons: (1) I'm lazy, (2) series previews are everywhere, and (3) I'm kind of at a loss what to say.  I did answer some Ducks questions over at On The Forecheck, but I'm really unsure how this series will go -- at their best, the Ducks can beat anybody and at their worst they can lose to anybody. 

Sure, the Preds won 3 of 4 games this season and scored at least 4 goals in every game, but only one of those games came towards the end of the season, and that was Hiller's wobbly start.  The Ducks' goaltending questions are certainly not over, but the team has improved its play down the stretch for Ellis and Emery; if they can continue to do so then who knows?  This Anaheim team certainly can win tight games.

At the very least, we know this.  One of the Kings and Sharks will stage their twelfth franchise series victory in the coming weeks, and one will not.  We Ducks fans may win or may lose this series, but we won't be doing either alone on this blog. 

Duckwatchingboc_medium
Found this in the archives -- works just fine.

For tonight, though, the Ducks own BoC's center stage, and I should be around for game comments.  Stop on by for the drama!

Prediction: Things look bleak as the Ducks are repeatedly captured and imprisoned by the evil forces of Pekka the Hutt.  But in a critical moment of crisis, Saku D2 launches a puck to Cam Puckmover, who is able to perform a move that Pekka never sees coming.

Go Ducks.

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