NHL Puck Culture

A ‘Brand New’ NHL Western Conference Season Preview

The new NHL season is almost upon us, so naturally, it’s time for some largely pointless and eventually irrelevant season previews.

Except, these previews are going to be slightly different.

For the Western Conference, I will preview each team by way of Brand New songs. Don’t know who Brand New is? Well, I feel bad for you – but the good news is that by the end of reading this article you’ll have enough of a taste of Jesse Lacey and the boys from Long Island that you can pretend to be an expert at your next post-hardcore emo get together!

Anaheim Ducks – Seventy Times7
“Everyone’s caught onto everything you do, everyone’s caught onto…”

The Ducks have won five straight division titles but this is the end of that run. No Lindholm, Vatanen and Kesler to begin the season means the Ducks might as well hand over the Pacific crown to McJesus and the boys north of the wall.

Arizona Coyotes – Jude Law And A Semester Aboard
“So tell all the English boys you meet, about the American boy back in the states. The American boy you used to date. Who would do anything you say.”

John Chayka became the youngest General Manager in NHL history when he was named boss of the Coyotes at just age 26. Many of his classmates from college were probably still in their first job after graduating, still paying off their student loans and wondering why their first love, Jenni never returned from her OE…

Calgary Flames – Gasoline
“You tried to put the fire out but you used gasoline!”

The Flames have one of the best defensive cores in the NHL, only Nashville or possibly Anaheim could debate that. Johnny Hockey and Boring Sean Monahan are both studs and they have one of the best shutdown lines in hockey. However, their plan to fix last season’s goaltender woes was to trade for Mike Smith – “Hey Brian Burke, here’s a fresh barrel of petrol to pour over the fire!”

Chicago Blackhawks – Okay, I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t
“Keeping quiet is hard, cause you can’t keep secret if it never was a secret to start. At least pretend you didn’t wanna get caught.”

The ‘Hawks are so hard up against the cap ceiling the paint is starting to come off on the cheeks! Oh but wait, what’s this? Marian Hossa who’s 42-year contract which is now paying him only $1M a year in real cash now, can’t play because of a mysterious skin irritation and goodbye goes his $5.275M cap hit.

Colorado Avalanche – The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot
“Call me a safe bet, I’m betting I’m not…”

The title says it all really. The once mighty franchise which was the envy of all around the NHL now can’t even get out of its own way. Surely they can’t have as bad a season as the historically bad one they had last year, right?

Dallas Stars – You Won’t Know
“You won’t know… You won’t know… Yeah, You won’t know…”

New Year, new coach, new goalie, new result…right? Who knows! Ken Hitchcock is back, Ben Bishop is the saviour in goal and Marc Methot and his nine fingers are here to help on defense.  Surely that means a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Stars?

Edmonton Oilers – Soco Amaretto Lime
“While we walk around this town like we own the streets. And stay awake through summer like we own the heat…”

No team in the West has a brighter future than the Oilers and it won’t be long before Conor McDavid is hoisting the cup above his head while everyone else looks on and wishes it was them – “You’re just jealous cause we’re young and in love!”

Los Angeles Kings – Same Logic/Teeth
“This is the same logic that got us into trouble the first time.”

Things haven’t been too good for the former Kings of the NHL lately. Bad contracts, underperforming stars and injuries forced the Kings to fire their Coach and GM in the Summer and replace them with fresh blood. Well not really, more like the Assistant Coach and Assistant GM.

Minnesota Wild – The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
“Were neither clear nor descript, we kept it safe and slow, the quiet things that no one ever knows.”

One of the more unexciting teams in the NHL. Not because the brand of hockey they play isn’t exciting; Bruce Boudreau loves high scoring teams, but for a team in the hockey capital of the United States, is there anyone other than Wild fans watching their games? The Wild could make or miss the Playoffs and not many people would know.

Nashville Predators – Mix Tape
“This is the first song for your mixtape. It’s short just like your temper, but somewhat golden like the afternoons we used to spend before you got too cool…”

The darlings of the NHL last season will now become that best mate who is now getting attention from all the cool kids and never wants to hang out anymore.

San Jose – Jaws Theme Swimming
“And we learn as we age. Wait for nothing. And my body still aches.”

Could there be any other song for the team from the bay with a shark for a mascot? Patrick Marleau left and Joe Thornton remains, but how much does Jumbo Joe have left in the (shark) tank?

St. Louis Blues – Not The Sun
“Just pretend that you want me. To be my babe, To be my babe…” 

Is this the year that the Blues and their ‘on again/off again’ situation with goalie Jake Allen finally ends and they change their status from ‘It’s complicated’ to ‘In a relationship’? Jake certainly hopes so.

Vancouver Canucks – Failure By Design
“This is a lesson in procrastination. I kill myself because I’m so frustrated. And every single second that I put it off, means another lonely night I got to race the clock.”

Nobody really knows what the Canucks are doing. “Let’s bottom out and get draft picks. Let’s sign Loui Eriksson and Sam Gagner!” Enjoy just missing the playoffs while not being bad enough to draft a franchise changer…

Vegas Golden Knights – At The Bottom
“There’s a lake and at the bottom you’ll find all my friends”

It probably won’t be a great first year for the Vegas Golden Knights. However, they might have a pretty good home record as teams may stray and fall victim to the all that Sin City has to offer!

Winnipeg Jets – Secondary
“Stop these looks and letters. This isn’t for the better. You put me down…  It’s for the worse, you’re not my girl.”

There’s only one other team in the West that has a future anywhere close to the bright lights of the Oilers. Laine, Elhers, Trouba, Scheifele, Hellebuyck, Connors and so many more. Fans of other teams will look over at the Winnipeg Jets longingly and wondering why that can’t be mine and thinking bad thoughts.

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