Puck Daddy has been posting eulogies for the NHL Clubs ousted in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are written by rival fans to give it that extra umph. For example; After the Sharks were defeated by the St. Louis Blues in five games, a Los Angeles Kings fan wrote San Jose's eulogy soaked with sarcasm and littered with backhanded compliments.
It was brilliant.
Call it riding the coattails. Call it unoriginal. Call it an act of copycatting. But I've enjoyed reading these eulogies so much that I've decided (and been asked by a reader of mine) to partake and write my own. Below is the celebration of the life and mourning the passing of....
....the 2011-12 Pittsburgh Penguins
Michael Cosmo DeNicola
Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here on this beautiful Tuesday morning, as you are all aware, to pay our final tributes to the 2011-12 (shoulda been Cup Champs) Pittsburgh Penguins.
Much like the Philadelphia Flyers, the Arctic Pigeons spent most of their season without their faithful Captain, but managed to press onward with great intensity and marveled success.
Stepping up their game on the scoresheet in Crosby's absence were skaters like Evgeni "Geno" Malkin, James Neal, Jordan Staal and Chris Kunitz.
Aside from building a reputation as this League's biggest bad guy, Penguin forward, Matt Cooke, had found Hockey Jesus prior to the 2011-12 schedule getting underway, and had completely changed his image from a dirty, idle burden to an effective, physical variable as the season grew forth.
Mr. Cooke --
I guess you could say it's been a true honor watching you transition from a useless psychopath to an emphatic third liner. All it took was ending a centerman's career with a nuke shot to his skull, a few hundred leading elbows, a big time suspension, and a Majority Owner telling you to get your act together or it's back to Belleville, Ontario, shoveling coal.
No man undeserving enough bears a Championship ring like you, Matt. It shows our children that teamwork and candid sportsmanship are null lessons in completing one's ultimate goal. And unfortunately for you and your career's newly discovered epiphany, the 180-degree turn paid off like a broken condom.
Good night, sweet prince.
There was one man (some say a "hero".....but what's a hero?) that rose above the century mark in points scored this NHL season among all players. No other had busted the cherry off this ceiling, except for the extremely talented Evgeni Malkin.
Malkin spent his childhood skating the ice-filled, abandoned nuclear sites in Magnitogorsk, Russia. Oddly enough, Evgeni's face looks exactly how his hometown's name is spelled....
Quite the ladies man
With 50-goals and 59-assists (109pts) under his belt entering the post-season, Geno was favored to be the unstoppable skater throughout the Stanley Cup run. And why shouldn't he be?
Evgeni is size, skill and wizardry rolled into one enormous, 6'3" mountain of steel. He could turn a lifeless play along the boards into a highlight goal scored through an army of defending opposition in a matter of seconds. Skating away from the Eastern Conference QuarterFinals victorious was almost a certainty with Malkin's stick guiding the way alone.
You could imagine the frustration Penguins GM, Ray Shero, was experiencing while watching his Club go winless in the first three contests, and his star #71 pot not one puck. It had turned Shero into a wreck, and his hair gray.
After Game 3, Shero had taken it upon himself to console Malkin in person....
Though Shero's words of encouragement sparked three goals in the final three games from Evgeni, it was still not enough to structure a miracle 0 - 3 comeback in the hindmost stages of the black & gold vitality.
Mr. Geno --
Not all the headhunts powered by unadulterated rage in the world could close the chapter on Sean Couturier's brilliant dominance over your game. You've exposed a great weakness of yours for seasons to come.....and most likely go.
A moment of silence for this Russian comrade....
James Neal --
You had successfully gone from 2011 Trade Deadline Bust to 2012 Star Status by becoming this season's player with the most power-play goals scored (18).
Second only to the aforementioned Evgeni Malkin, you finished the regular schedule as the highest points scorer on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Your genius on the ice bloomed into one of the League's biggest threats which certainly carried into the QuarterFinals.
Not only were you a commanding factor on the scoresheet, but you tested that fine line between good-natured physicality and frog-leaping into the heads of your opponents like a 747 departing a runway.
Your astounding ability to convince the NHL's brass that your charge on Couturier in Game 3 was unavoidable....could never be contested by a single living perjurer. Not even Jafar and his Cobra Staff could hypnotize the Sultan any better than how you managed to brainwash Brendan Shanahan.
But alas, your deluded sorcery could not distance you from the blatant swing you took on Claude Giroux's melon on that same shift, and you were forced to spend a game in a suit and tie while serving a laughing stock of a suspension.
For this half-masterpiece of false testimony, I bid you safe travels to the hockey purgatory you'll no doubt occupy for the next five calendar months.
And who could forget about the Return of the King?
The Face of the League.
The Czar of Tears.
Sid "The Kid" Crosby.
Calling it a "pleasure" to see a talent such as yourself return to the game you love from an injury no man should ever suffer.....would be an immense understatement.
I mean that with God's honest sincerity.
Though I may be a Broad Street Bullies fanatic, the purist and unbiased sports fan in me appreciates the raw ability this sport of hockey encompasses in its professional super stars. Especially from Crosby.
With that said, an even larger pleasure I took was witnessing what every fan of the game (minus those whom hail from The 'Burgh) knew all along.....
.....you're a candy ass
If you weren't instigating a brawl, you were skating away from one you started. If you didn't get it your way, you'd frustratingly push an opposing player's equipment from his reach like disposing of a late night catch rag.
Thank you, Sidney, for your antics which unfolded before millions of North American eyes simultaneously. Thank you for giving myself -- and all Pens-hating fans out there -- a golden example of why your capital status is nowhere near what the paid hockey analysts fabricate and force-feed down the throats of every puck lover out there.
You were an inspiration for all the wrong reasons, and now -- more than ever -- your exposed inner (spoiled) child will forever be the bricks laid at your feet, awaiting each step you take forward in the Post-Season Afterlife.
And to the rest of the (professionally predicted Cup winning) Pittsburgh Penguins I say....be at peace. Enjoy the premature time spent with the family and friends back home. Swing favorably through your Pinnacles with your mighty Callaway woods. Try your best not to strain a thumb muscle switching back and forth between all the Eastern Conference SemiFinals match-ups.
Fare thee well, my rivaled souls....
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