NHL Snark Rankings: Good Friday Edition
Now that the Stanley Cup playoffs have started, it’s time to review the final Snark Rankings for the regular season.
And then, be sure to check back in between graduation parties in late June, when the playoffs have wrapped up and one team is circling the ice, drinking out of the Cup. That's when you'll see my final Snark Rankings: Playoff Edition.
As the NFL Snark Rankings proved, we have to wait until all the games have been played in order to determine which teams are worthy. Who would’ve thunk the Denver Broncos made that list? It would be like the Boston Bruins or Colorado Avalanche making the Snark Rankings: Playoff Edition.
With the Christian holiday of Easter comes the celebration of resurrection. It's a fitting time to start the playoffs, because some of those teams could certainly use a reset button and gain a new life. Not that we’re staring at you, St Louis Blues, losers of six straight to end the regular season.
We’ll deal with you later …
- Buffalo Sabres – The Sabres end the regular season as our Top of the Snarks, right where they started. Losing seven straight games to finish up a miserable season will earn a team top honors, in our eyes, anyway. Perhaps a top draft pick will excite the fan base, since they've already jettisoned top goalie Ryan Miller before the trade deadline. The Pat LaFontaine and Alexander Mogilny bobbleheads only provide so much goodwill towards a mentally drained fan base. It’s doubtful this and the Buffalo Bills' draft pick would do much to rejuvenate the southeast Toronto fan base. It gets worse; even serial slimeball Donald Trump is sniffing around.
- Florida Panthers – Here’s a great case study about how numbers don’t lie. The Panthers finished 29th in the league in goals per game and goals against per game. They finished 30th, or dead last as I like to refer to it, in power play and penalty killing percentage, and their dreadful play prevented fans from coming to the BB&T Center in Sunrise, wherever the hell that is. Only the Phoenix -- actually, Glendale -- Coyotes had a lower average attendance. Are there many Coyotes in the Seattle area?
- Edmonton Oilers – Longtime Oilers great Ryan Smyth retired at the end of the season and was sent off in style as they defeated their division rival Vancouver Canucks, 5-2, on the last day of the season. They'll have another high draft pick to go with their several other high draft picks in recent history. I think it’s really going to take an infusion of classic Oiler greats like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Grant Fuhr to get involved with this organization before it turns around. There was only one Canadian team in the playoffs this year. What a disgrace!
- Calgary Flames – What went wrong in Alberta this season? It’s no wonder only Les Canadiens were a playoff team from the Great White North. Calgary fans proved this team doesn’t need to win in order to draw well, as the Flames finished seventh in attendance, smack dab between the Maple Leafs and Kings, and only one of those teams made the playoffs. Can you guess which one?
- New York Islanders – It’s pretty obvious where the Islanders season unraveled. Besides that 10-game losing streak right before Christmas, the Isles finished 29th in penalty kill percentage and 28th in goals allowed per game. So you can score all you want, but if you can’t survive short handed or stop the puck from going in the net, you’re going to have problems. The Isles encountered even more problems when stud center John Tavares suffered a season-ending injury during the Sochi Olympics. They don’t draw worth beans on Long Island, so wacko owner Charles Wang is going to muscle in on the Rangers' territory. Do we really need two teams in New York City?
The NHL went through some fairly radical realignment this season, and hopefully they’re up for future expansion as several teams struggle to compete and several other cities campaign for a franchise, like Seattle, for example. Did I mention they would be a terrific candidate for a real honest-to-God franchise. Sure, Hamilton, Ontario and Quebec City feel like they deserve a team, as the game was practically invented there, but let's just put teams in places where they will thrive and be successful.
After all, we’re not in Kansas, anymore, Toto. Not even in Kansas City. The Scouts became the original Colorado Rockies, who then did a Wang before doing a Wang was even a Wang and moved to the New York metro area.