No team? No problem. Here’s a how to survive the playoffs.

by Dan MacRae

Aw NHL Naw

Have you been enjoying the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and Pizza ’n’ Pop Funtacular so far? If you’re like me, it can be a bit of a struggle to follow the playoffs when your team isn’t one of the 16 in the running for Lord Stanley’s most famous (non-sexual) prize. As a public service, I’ve put together some tips on how to make the playoffs work for you even if you don’t have a horse in the race.

(Note: Most ice hockey teams should consider replacing their human rosters with horse rosters. Once horses sort out how ice works, they’ll be unstoppable. Those mammals just want it more, y’know?)


1.) TEMPORARILY ADOPT A NEW TEAM Guess what? Your favourite team fucked you over! They owe it to you to like be good all the time and shit. They’re young millionaires who battle for glory and weird nightclub sex. This year they failed and now you’re filled with sadness and homemade booze, and you’ve got a weird neck bump that just won’t go away. THEY DID THIS TO YOU! YOU SHOULD BE THE CEO OF YOUR FAVOURITE COMPANY AND THROWING FABERGÉ EGGS IN THE FACES OF YOUR FORMER SCHOOLYARD RIVALS!

What I’m saying is it’s not bad to have a fun li’l fling with a different team over the summer. Not like a rival (if you’re a Flyers fan and you’re all in for the Penguins: FUCK YOU), but pick a club that appeals to you and root for them. For example, the Islanders are made of bits of magic and nostalgia and underdogginess. You can root for them with minimal bandwagon guilt. Oh wait, they’re out. Never mind.

2.) EMBRACE THE HATE You know what’s easier than finding a new team to root for? Rooting for teams to fail. It’s a petty way to go AND ALSO AN AWESOME WAY TO GO. There are loads of super-hatable franchises in this year’s playoffs that will have your spite glands all engorged and feeling tingly. Few things in this world are as beautiful as seeing a team you hate watch helplessly as another team shits all over their birthday cake.

3.) WATCH FOR THE BOMBAST CBC and TSN crank up their hockey worship in the playoffs and it’s awesome to watch. You get all these ridiculously over-the-top spots where Youppi! cradles a bloodsoaked Lars Eller in his furry arms while the choir bit of “Sacrilege” kicks in. It’s the best! Every hockey player is presented like a war hero that’s picked up a half-dozen Victoria Crosses in the course of three games. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE STRUGGLES THAT LOGAN COUTURE HAS BEEN THROUGH? WE AREN’T THROWING HIM ENOUGH PARADES! You don’t even have to watch the games. You can just watch the intro bit where Billy Joel’s “Pressure” blasts for three minutes and Craig Anderson looks solemnly at a water bottle. (When the “loaded gun” line hits, the water bottle gets a spin effect and I spill my Milk Duds everywhere.)

4.) TRY HEROIN The reviews are amazing! It’s like the Marquee Moon of things that can be injected into you!

5.) MAKE SOMEONE’S SUCCESS ABOUT YOU Remember when Ray Bourque won the Stanley Cup and everybody was all: “He did it! No wait, now that I think about it, we did it!” You can do that every year! (This is sort of an extension of option 1.) Hitch your wagon to Jarome Iginla or Saku Koivu (oops, too late) or anyone that’s ever felt anything for ice hockey in St. Louis (wait, also too late) and root for glory to come to them. When these folks win, you win! You can immediately call your dad and tell him to “suck it” and ride around town on a donkey covered in glitter. Sportz!

6.) GAMBLE GAMBLE GAMBLE Look at that money you have in your chequing account! You think all that financial crisis happening stuff in Greece and Cyprus and Ireland and Portugal (and I’m going to stop naming countries now) can’t happen here? The only safe investment is in your own sports outcome guessing power. The dirty secret when it comes to gambling is that it’s super easy! All you have to do is be right more of the time than wrong. That seems pretty straightforward. Heck, I’m pretty sure that bookies are required by law to give you at least one do-over for every three wagers. (IT’S THE LAW!) Plus everyone knows that all those dudes that get their legs broken are just into that as a sex thing.

7.) WEAR HOCKEY EQUIPMENT IN THE HOUSE AND GO FUCKING BERSERK Have you ever kicked a stove while wearing skates before? It’s what’s known as feeling MAXIMUM ALIVE, my friend. Your landlord’s a punk, he ain’t gonna do nothing. You’re wearing a helmet, what’s he got? A bike chain, a machete and the unwavering belief that he’s going to live forever? OH NO! Shut it down. Take off the equipment as soon as you can! Aagh, this hockey tape is stic-No Mr. Borelli I wasn’t wearing hockey equipment in the apartment. This? It’s for a play about… um… the equipment within us all? No, I don’t think you’re stupid. The stove? Um, that was raccoons maybe? And I think that’s the landlord’s responsibility because thePUTTHECHAINDOWNNOOOKJLJOJKHUJKGSDJKNGBJKSJGSDKB

Enjoy your continuing playoff funstravaganza!

 Dan MacRae has a skeleton that’s caked with jalapeño Cheeto dust. You can follow him on Twitter: @danmacrae