Firstly, the sport of hockey was robbed by not having a St. Louis Blues v. Nashville Predators second round series. After years of dull hockey, the Blues/Preds games were an absolute blast this year. Go ahead, remind yourself:
What could've been... wow.
Instead we have the matchup between the order of dry white toast and the ill-advised order of scattered-smothered-covered-capped hashbrowns at 3:44am.
CHICAGO vs. MINNESOTA
- Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook are all still there and all still good at hockey.
- Corey Crawford has overcome the odds, and is back on his road to redemption to justifying his ridiculous contract.
- Patrick Sharp has been surpassed by Marian Hossa for the title of "most underperforming 30+ year old guy in Chicago this spring".
- Brandon Saad is going to get paid this summer, and is now being referred to by Stan Bowman as the Hawks' own Yoko Ono.
- The Wild have their own core of very good players; Zach Parise, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Suter, and a dozen other guys that played college hockey.
- Devan Dubnyk has been the story of the year. Up until this year, we in Nashville had a very high opinion of Mitch Korn's talent evaluation and people skills. In a related story, Peter Laviolette never trusted Carter Hutton.
- Minnesota is very comfortable letting you try to play offense against them, and then burn you on the counter attack. Essentially, they're a hockey team with several highly paid players that are coached to play like a lower tier soccer team challenging Manchester City.
- It's a good strategy.
- Suter has only managed to play 26:05 a night against St. Louis. With the decreased workload, that's enough time for him to sneak in a tractor ride during the game.
- Dubnyk isn't leaving that net unless it catches fire or something.
- Corey Crawford allowed all kinds of goals on rushes against Nashville, and was seen wincing at shots. That's how Minnesota beats teams; they play for the breakaway.
- Scott Darling saved Chicago from a severe humbling. But at the end of the day, he's an AHL goaltender with an ECHL beard. The moment Chicago stopped protecting him and supporting him like he's the backup, he was toast.
- Check this out:
In the Parise-Suter era, the Wild rank 29th of the 30 teams in controlling shot attempts at 4v4. (44.8%; Buffalo is 30th).— The Narrative Slayer (@TonyWiseau) April 26, 2015
- As previously mentioned, Chicago has over $63 million dollars committed to 14 players on next year's team. So expect some desperation, which will be countered by Matt Cooke. Oh joy.
What you will need:
-Handle of bourbon, whiskey, rye, etc.
-Ginger ale or similar mixer without too much sugar, because it'll be a long night.
-Beer. I recommend a lager or a mild ale. You'll see why.
-Tumbler, shot glass, and pint glass.
-Twitter on your phone.
-For when you wake up: CLICK HERE
-In the first period, start with the straight liquor. You're about to watch a game featuring the Wild, so let's make this as enjoyable as possible. And chances are you'll be pulling for the Wild and you don't want people questioning you. I wouldn't think twice about questioning some poor guy wearing a Threadators shirt, smelling like Bulleit, and complaining that Jason Pominville was hooked. That's normally out of character for us. Serve it on ice in a tumbler.
-In the second, transition to the bourbon/ginger ale or similar. Now, I do recommend less sugar because you need to function in society at some point. You don't want this to be the death of you. In fact, this whole thing is a joke and chances are you'll be seeing a nurse if you actually do this properly.
But then again, if you're reading this... you are likely from Nashville or St. Louis or Florida and know what you're doing. Game on, just be safe. We are not responsible if you follow the instructions of this satire and wind up getting your stomach pumped.
-In the third, begin your transition to your beer of choice. Because at the end of this night, you want to smell like you've been through a battle.
-If overtime arises, double down on the beer. Multiply everything by two.
-Since this series features teams of the Great Lakes, where old men crowd the bars, you will need to master the most "old man" of all drinks; The Boilermaker. It's just a shot of whiskey/bourbon/rye dropped into a pint. If you're using mugs, even better.
In fact, dim the lights and install some exposed wood paneling in your home for the proper effect. You can also deploy some flat soda on your floor and loosen the legs of your table for even more of the desired effect. Do you still have one of those tube TVs? No? Just play some Styx and REO Speedwagon in the background during the game.
Blackhawks Specific Actions:
-When Kris Versteeg is on the ice, watch him closely. If he falls on the ice in any fashion, take a sip. If he draws a penalty, take two. If he gets an embellishment, take three. If a goal results from this event, finish the glass.
-If a goal against happens while Michal Rozsival is on the ice, take a long drink. If Keith was also on the ice, finish half your glass.
-There are goals, then there are "Crawford Goals". In the event of a Crawford Goal, which we'll define as 5, 6, 7 holes or pucks that glance off of his glove, follow these instructions; First Crawford Goal of the night: 1 sip/drink. Second Crawford Goal of the night: 2 sips/drinks. Third Crawford Goal of the night: 4 sips/drinks.
-Finish your glass during a goaltending change.
-When you see either Darling or Crawford on the bench, drink throughout the duration of the camera shot.
Patrick Kane or Duncan Keith score the overtime winner.
Mark Lazerus throws shade at something that Minnesota fans do in the arena, or around town. Take a drink and giggle at the thought of a Chicagoan making light of how other people act in a hockey arena.
Wild Specific Actions:
-If Matt Cooke gets an isolated camera shot for any reason, drink throughout the duration of the camera shot and try not to vomit.
-Drink whenever Mike Yeo is shown on the screen.
-If Minnesota spends more than 2 minutes in their own defensive zone, begin drinking. If they score immediately after leaving, finish your drink.
-If a goal is scored against Minnesota with either Suter or Parise on the ice, take a big gulp.
Zach Parise or Jason Zucker score the overtime winner.
Michael Russo takes exception to an "obvious" no-call on the ice, real or not. Take a drink and side-eye the TV.
Commentary Specific Actions:
-Every time Suter and Parise's matching contracts are mentioned, drink until play resumes.
-Every time a former team of Devan Dubnyk is brought up, take a drink and scold the TV.
-Every time the word "motor" is used, take a drink.
-Every time a player's college or junior team is mentioned, drink.
-Every time Andrew Shaw or Matt Cooke is praised for their game, drink.
-Every time the phrases "Madhouse" or "State of Hockey" are mentioned, drink.
-Every time Corey Crawford is praised for his mental toughness, drink until Doc starts calling the game again. If Crawford allows one in the next 5 minutes, finish your glass and refill immediately.
-When you hear "Layla" by Derek and the Dominoes or anything by Prince, drink.
-When you hear some pre-2000 song by Tool in Chicago, drink.
-When you hear some awkward organ and drum machine cover of a classic rock song in Minnesota, drink.
-When Hawks fans are shown drinking during the anthem, drink.
-When you spot either team with 6 players + goalie on the ice, penalty or not, finish your glass.
That's it. Good hunting. A worst-case scenario would be Matt Cooke taking exception to an obnoxious Kane celebration, mauling him in front of the Chicago bench prompting guys to leap to the ice, which makes both beat writers to react accordingly, "Sober" by Tool is played, and Yeo is just staring into the soul of man. All of this occurring while Edzo talks about the strength of Corey Crawford to continue on after witnessing Dan Carcillo repel from the pressbox and break Erik Haula's arm, and that Cooke was being a team leader. Then Parise scores through Crawford's legs on a "real hustle play, that kid from North Dakota" which prompted Versteeg to sell a phantom elbow.
"...And the Madhouse on Madison is stunned."
"I don't think Devan Dubnyk saw anything like this in Hamilton last year."
Good luck, friends.
*(Ed. Note: On the Forecheck, in no way, endorses abuse of alcohol, consumption by anyone under the legal drinking age, or operating a motor vehicle or machinery while intoxicated. This article is just for fun and not to be taken seriously, and we are not responsible if it is used in any other manner. If you choose to imbibe for any reason, please do so as a responsible adult.)