(image h/t GameFan)

BEES EVERYWHERE! THEY ARE STINGING THE SHIT OUT OF MY FINGERS! QUICK HIDE THE ROYAL HONEY! DO IT BEFO Oh hi, I didn’t see you walk into the internet. My name’s Dan and I’m here to take you on a whirlwind tour of the comings and goings of the National Hockey League. (Also there are swearz ‘n’…well that’s about it.) Away we go!

The Mouse & The Mask: When I was a kid, I always dreamed of being a goalie. (That or a bounty hunting rapper/NBA center that got paid in Blockbuster gift certificates.) Playing goal just seemed like such a cool gig. You were on the ice the entire time, all the good ones were at an Arkham Asylum level of batshit crazy (Ed Belfour seemed capable of blowing up a hospital or two) and most importantly YOU GOT TO WEAR A GOALIE MASK! A FUCKING GOALIE MASK! For a dumbass kid like me, that’s like fantasy crack: “Y’mean I gedda wear a mask? And paint it up all kinds of cool colours and have dragons and guitars and pizza parties on it? Who do I haveda kill to make this happen?” There was only one problem: I was a shit hockey player and there was no chance I’d ever get to go in net in a proper game.

Dan’s Goaltending Attributes

Speed: Sluglike

Agility: Fridgelike

Hand-Eye Coordination: “Alarmingly lacking.” – Midland School Division

Work Ethic: None

Water Bottle Squeezing Skill: Subpar

It wasn’t until later in life that I realized wanting a goalie mask was sort of a weird aspiration. I’m a grown-ass man. I can wear a mask whenever I want. Going out to the grocery store to buy a box of Fruit Roll-Ups so I can make Fruit Roll-Up gloves? IT IS MASK TIME! I don’t even have to put something on it that a goalie would normally have . (A lot of goalie masks look like they were designed at Randy River. Possibly by Sir Randy River himself!) I can just strut around in a mask with an airbrushed Wendy Williams on the front if I feel like it. Maybe even put a wig on top of it if that’s what I choose. WHERE ARE YOUR WIGS, MARTIN BRODEUR? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT!

/throws crystal vase against the wall

(I dunno, LaBarbera’s probably 78th) Best in the World: Did you know that Coyotes goalie Jason LeBarbera has a CM Punk mask? I didn’t. Granted, the artistic rending of Punk looks more like Colin Farrell going through a really rough late 90s breakup, but I’ll take it anyway. Wrestlers all up on masks and stuff is a development I’m comfortable with.

Enuff Z’Nuff For Ruff (That was a bit of a reach wasn’t it?): Lindy Ruff is no longer the coach of the Buffalo Sabres. I’m still trying to process the news. I think I aged 60 years when I found out. Pennies are gone? It was like we never used them in the first place. The guy that sorta looks like Martin Mull isn’t coaching shit up in Buffalo? I DO NOT RECOGNIZE THIS SPINNING ORB THAT I LIVE ON! The Sabres have always been one of those teams that you only half paid attention to and could use the fact Ruff was always the coach to bullshit your way around conversations.

“The Sabres? I don’t know, dude. They’re a team that needs their goaltending to be top notch if they’re going to make any serious waves this season. I think Ruff’ll get them into the playoffs, though. What? He’s not there anymore. Is Stu Barnes still there? Really? Who’s the Prime Minister? Are you serious? Wow! Anything else I should know? Hold up, what’s this ‘cotton gin’ you speak of?”

The Sabres could always re-hire Ted Nolan as their head coach. They won’t because the NHL’s fucked up like that, but it’d be kinda neat. Nolan somehow managed to get a mid aughts Islanders team into the playoffs. Shit, with a resume like that I’d let him be my doctor.

Fake Sharks, Real Zombies: HAHAHAHAHAHA At least the San Jose Sharks will never get weird and unfamiliar. They crashed back to (and possibly through) Earth over the past couple weeks, which is a nice feeling. I don’t have any sort of specific ill will towards the Sharks, it’s just that I like to be reminded that they’ll never win a Stanley Cup. I don’t need a top, it’s San Jose”s Chargersesque futility that I use as my totem.

Hodge Podge: I like Dave Hodge. You might too. Or you might not. That’s okay. (Maybe you have beef because he snubbed you in his annual Best Albums list.) I came across this the other day and I figured it merited being snuck into the column.

(Hodge is also quite the charmer when he sings along with Kathleen Edwards in the video for I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory.)

Additional TSN Note: Hi TSN. Is there any way you can police how much the word “sick” is used on SportsCentre? It’s weird having 1998 Jim Rome staples mixed in with hoser slang when I’m watching highlights.

Real Talk: I cringe when I hear the term “beaking” in any context. I just fucking hate it so much. Just GAAAAAAAAAAAH! Maybe it’s because I’m an old man or something. I don’t know.

Hang out with Dan on Twitter or in the comments. Cuz everybody wants a piece of the action.