Sunday 25 Sep 2016

Hillary, Trump and Hockey
Bob Stark

"They beat me. They're that good right now. They're that hot. I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy."

Boston Red Sox Pitcher Pedro Martinez, 2004.
During the next game Pedro pitched at Yankee Stadium,
the Yankee fans greeted him with chants of "Who's your daddy.”

 

A friend of mine wrote me last night during the speeches broadcast on CNN by Hilary Clinton and 'the Donald' and aired on CNN, after their huge, quite possibly decisive, victories on 'Super Tuesday 4,' in the good old USA. Her fine opinion on all things electoral down south consisted, in part, of being terrified that if Hilary got the job "then we'll know the end of times will be nigh!" This doctrine was augmented, post-Trump speech, by suggesting, "I do tend to think we're heading for the Apocalypse.”

 

I had already been thinking that so-called 'Super Tuesday' was like a movie franchise, this latest being 'Super Tuesday 4,’  and the latest blockbuster pre-summer release, directed by horror-master Wes Craven, the screenplay written by Joel and Ethan Coen, with cinematography, make-up, and set designs et al by Max Ernst and Dadaist artists.

The 2016 USA election cycle, ever since 'the Donald' came down the escalator at Trump Tower, to serve notice on 'rapists' Mexicans that he was going to build a wall and make America great again, has been like watching a disaster horror movie. Who needs Jurassic Park 4? Of course, everybody knew that the lead character, "get me Goldfinger with worse hair, combined with the Green Goblin with 100 dollar bills stuck all over him," was a political dinosaur whose own internal escalator didn't always get up to the top floor.

Coming down an escalator was merely grand symbolism, an omen that the man with the major mane would, if ever elected, be taking the country down the tubes as well. Now, here we are several months later and it has all morphed into a Ken and Barbie horror movie. There are a few extras, such as Ted Cruz, popping up every once and awhile as one of the “Munsters.” John Kasich is on the wrong set, wrong time; he should be on Lot 2 for the sequel to 'The Shining.’ Bernie Sanders is the wise old owl. He hoots from an olive branch, on a long dead tree, with deep cross-country roots, to remind Americans to, 'Beware the Guys of Goldman Sachs.’

Very surreal; it’s very Dada, daddy. Everybody stuck together, with crazy glue, from a collage of cut-outs in their past. Pull the string behind Ken or Barbie's back and even the scriptwriter isn’t responsible for what they're going to say next. Last night when 'the Donald,’ already in hot water for his derogatory comments in previous movies about women, opined that if 'Barbie Clinton' were a man, she'd get only 5% of the vote. That is, she was only in the race due to her playing the woman card. On the other hand, my friend noted that "HC" would make “the Iron Lady” seem more a puff pastry.” 

Well, Clinton has certainly been around quite some time; she has more baggage that JFK airport at Christmas. As well, she may be, as one pundit said, the first president-elect to win an election from jail. Those 'damn e-mails' may earn a conviction. Trump is like the Wizard of Oz's evil twin brother, with a biker gang around his walled castle and old white men, in white sheets, handing out pamphlets at Walmart stores.

Any scriptwriter will tell you that real life is always more interesting, and surprising, than make-believe with a pen. Pass the buttered popcorn.

Ah but we're Canadians. We can escape into the big home LCD screen and watch hockey, broadcast, albeit from US Cities. Fear not. The Stanley Cup will rise shortly before the Republican Convention in Cleveland, so you won't miss any of the action to come on the convention floor, or the riots and protests outside.

Okay, enough frivolity, here are my predictions for Round 2, although I note the Dadaist tendencies of the NHL movie-makers who have scheduled things such that we'll know the results of the first game of the second round before we know the results of the last game of the first round. Who fell down the rabbit hole on that one'; is it “Alice in Wonderland,” the sequel?

The first round was however more a theme of fairy tales than movies, with several teams, Sharks and Blues, slaying dragons, while the Prince discovered that Cinderella's glass slippers didn't fit the Panthers skates so he placed them quite comfortably on those of the New York Islanders.

New York Islanders versus Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay is like Sleeping Beauty or Rip Van Winkle or even that hare who had such a lead on the turtle, stopped for a wee nap. Wake up Bolts! Here comes the turtle in the race, the Islanders! If one is looking for a 'team of destiny' maybe look to Brooklyn. Tampa got through the first round with some ease, beating the Red Wings in 5 games, depending on one line and the terrific goaltending from Ben Bishop. The Isles watched their second hand net-minder man, Greiss, morph into Terry Sawchuck. Battle weary, but not battle worn, if the Islanders take a game in Tampa this could be an upset. Beware the Johnny Apple Seed Tavares wearing the glass slippers. I love a good fairy tale.

Islanders in 6 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins versus Washington Capitals

As many believe, this is a premature Eastern Conference Final. The Caps found themselves up against yet another second hand goalie that went into a zone. If only his teammates could have scored a few goals, the Flyers may have come all the way back from a 0-3 deficit. The Pens lit up Henrik Lundqvist, in the Rangers net. Alas, the Washington defence is healthier than the one the Rangers iced between games and put out on crutches. Holtby is likely a Vezina trophy winner. This one is a coin toss. I got the one with the loon on the back.

Capitals in 7 games.

St. Louis Blues versus Dallas Stars

Never mind the Hop at this dance. Do the Lindy Ruff: “my kingdom for a goalie" The Stars rely on out-scoring their opposition, which they did against the Wild. "Leaky” would be understating the Dallas defence and goaltending. The Blues are solid, top to bottom and they just knocked-off the champions in a riveting seven game series. When you can hold Jonathan Toews to no goals and Patrick Kane to one dangle in OT, will the high-scoring Stars pose a problem? Pietrangelo and other players seem to be on a mission. Like the previous round, the Stars will need that home-ice advantage, which overall has not been much of an advantage across the play-offs. It won't be enough.

Blues in 6 games.

San Jose Sharks versus Anaheim Ducks or Nashville Predators

In back reference to Dallas and St. Louis series, I'd like to point out to all those Canadian 'tankists,’ wishing their team the lowest place in the standings so as to grab the highest possible draft pick, that both Jamie Benn, of the Stars, and Brian Elliott, of the Blues, were in the nosebleed selection section. Twenty-three goalies went in the draft before Elliott did. League leading scorer Benn went in and around the 4th Round. Add Sharks leading goal-scorer in the play-offs, 'Little Joe' Pavelski, who was the 205th player selected in his draft year.

As for the upcoming series, as long as Jumbo Joe's and Brent Burns' beards don't get so long as to trip them up, it might be a fairly safe bet to pick the Sharks over the Predators. On the other hand, the battle will be a little more difficult should they face the Ducks. I will cut to the quick here. I'm cheering for the Sharks. GM Doug Wilson, former Ottawa 67, has suffered long enough. Brent Burns is unashamed to flash those, missing, hockey teeth, but there are no gaps in his play. Unlike the Panthers, SJ is not afraid to play all four lines. You can't dance on three legs. Only caveat: if Ducks' Cory Perry gets angry, watch out. I'm sticking with the Smith Brothers Cough Drop guys, hoping they don't choke!

Sharks in 6 games against whomever wins game seven tonight at the Duck Pond

 

Bob Stark is a musician, poet, philosopher and couch potato. He spends his days, as did Jean-Paul Sarte and Albert Camus, pouring lattes and other adult beverages into a recycled mug, bearing a long and winding crack. He discusses, with much insight and passion, the existentialist and phenomenological ontology of the Vancouver 'Canucks,' a hockey team, "Archie" comic books and high school reunions. In other words, Bob Stark is a retired public servant living the good life on the wrong coast of Canada.

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