Carolina (25-22-5) at San Jose (36-7-5)
Man, it's been a while between games, hasn't it? If you haven't recovered from the Super Bowl and/or the Sharks Drinking Game, it's time to wake up and welcome the Carolina Hurricanes into town.
When trying to come up with something creative to say about the Hurricanes, one name pops into my head. It's not Rod Brind'amour, Ron Francis, or Eric Staal. No sir, it's the Nature Boy Ric Flair. Woooooooooooooooooo!
That's right, if you didn't know this, Flair pops up on the RBC jumbotron to walk that aisle with style and profile after the Canes score a goal. As much as I love my team, I'd give my left nut to have The Greatest Wrestler In The History Of Time celebrate a goal. He's just a tad bit cooler than SJ Sharkie, and the funny thing is that Flair's originally from Minnesota but he's not a Wild fan.
(Short aside: For anyone who was in high school or college during the great WCW/NWO days of the late 90s, my hockey-loving roommates and I loved it when Flair would suck up to the hometown fans by referencing their player and a rival player. Example: they're in Pittsburgh and he'd say something like, "BUFF BAGWELL, you're ERIC LINDROS and I'm JAROMIR JAGR! WOOOOOOOOOO!")
Ok, so to prep for today's big contest between the on-again/off-again Hurricanes and the Sharks, I'm going to write a pro-Sharks rant in the style of Ric Flair. If you don't know Flair's speech patterns, listen to this first, then read the stuff below. Beware: there are a lot of capital letters involved.
DAAAAAAAAAAAAAN, WOOOOOOOOOOOO, MY GOD, BOYLE, how ya doin? How's that right wrist? Do you, for one second, think that the for one second it will keep you out of the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes? I DON'T THINK SO! I think that DAN WOOOOOOOOOOOOO BOYLE is ready to WALK THAT AISLE, WALK IT WITH STYLE WOOOOOOOOO AND PROFILE.
[Translation: Dan Boyle returns tonight]
(Holds up four fingers)
NOW YOU LISTEN, ERIC STAAL. You look into my eyes and you tell me that you can beat the FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE SHARKS DEFENSE? I'm talking BOYLE. I'm talking BLAKE. I'm talking, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, VLASIC AND EHRHOFF! You may think that you're tough, with your NHL 2008 cover shot but KNOW THIS! ROB BLAKE MAY BE THE OLDEST RIDE IN THE PARK BUT HE'S GOT THE LONGEST LINE. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! And Boyle is jet-flyin', limousine ridin', kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin, son of a gun who fires up the Sharks power play in a way that no one -- NO ONE -- in the history of the NHL could. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
(Takes off jacket and throws it on the floor. Does a random elbow drop and starts sweating through dress shirt.)
[Translation: Eric Staal leads the Canes in scoring]
Now, Rod Brind'amour (laughs), Rod Brind'amour. My god, YOU THINK YOU'RE HURT? YOU THINK YOUR BACK ACHES? YOU WANT TO KNOW PAIN? How about surviving A BROKEN BACK IN A PLANE CRASH? (begin full-on screaming with eyes bugging out) HOW ABOUT CARRYING AN ENTIRE WRESTLING ORGANIZATION ON YOUR BACK FOR DECADES? DECADES! HOW ABOUT BEING THE...SINGLE...GREATEST...CHAMPION...IN...THE WORLD? Hurt? HURT? Let me tell you something, Rod Brind'amour, you don't know hurt. But if you're sitting out tonight, pal, it's out of fear...NOT HURT! FEAR OF THE HORSEMEN! FEAR OF WOOOOOOOOOOOOO PATRICK MARLEAU! FEAR OF WOOOOOOOOOOOO JOE THORNTON!
(Does another elbow drop on his jacket.)
[Translation: Rod Brind'amour is out]
Now, Cam Ward. 17 straight starts. YOU THINK THAT'S SOME SORT OF ACHIEVEMENT? How about being a SIX-TEEN-TIME WORLD WOOOOOOOOOOO HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION? Through BLOOD AND SWEAT AND TEARS, through YEARS AND YEARS, MY GOD, Cam Ward, maybe, JUST MAYBE you can call yourself a player when you play like a CHAMPION. Because...TO BE...THE MAN...YA GOTTA BEAT THE MAN! And EVGENI NABOKOV, WOOOOOOOOOOOOO, IS THE MAN! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
[Translation: Cam Ward's been inconsistent. Yeah, yeah, I know he's got a Conn Smyth and Stanley Cup, but just go along with it, ok?]
Tonight. TONIGHT. TO-NIGHT...THE SHARKS WILL WALK THAT AISLE WITH STYLE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AND PROFILE and show YOU, Eric Staal, YOU, Ray Whitney, YOU, Cam Ward AND ALL THE REST OF YOU...whether you like it or not, LEARN TO LOVE IT BECAUSE THE SHARKS ARE THE...BEST...TEAM...IN THE LEAGUE...TODAY! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
(Cue Also Sprach Zarathustra, op. 30 AKA Ric Flair's theme music AKA the 2001 song)