(Ed. Note: SportSquee describes itself as "an online girls' locker room," and it's one of our favorite sites that celebrate female sports fandom. Margee is the Queen Bee of Squee, and an occasional contributor to Puck Daddy -- please recall her epic "Art of the Playoff Beard" post from last season. Margee agreed to break down some of the top Stanley Cup contenders from a female puckhead perspective, as we head into the playoffs. First up, it's the Boston Bruins. Enjoy)
It's that time of year again! Time to accept the fact that your team just may not make the playoffs. Time, yet again, to clear the trumpets and the calliope out of the way so that you can jump on the bandwagon of a whole new team for eight weeks. But how to choose what wagon to which one should hitch oneself? Here's your handy-dandy guide to picking your post-season team.
Cool Guy: Milan Lucic
With the unfortunate retirement of NHL uber-male Gary Roberts, it seems as if Lucic is poised to embrace the titanium testosterone of The Roberts. Think about it: Brother is a straight-up beast. Name another player who possesses more of the Robertsian [expletive]-it-let's-get-this-stuff-done-boys attitude than this guy?
Mike Richards? Maybe. But you don't really feel like he can fell an evergreen with a well-timed fierce look a la Lucic and the Gary.
Dion Phaneuf? Come on. He's more Dread Pirate Roberts than Gary Roberts.
Now, Lucic is young and has yet to fully grow into the crushing manhood of a true Gary Roberts (or rock the necessary tightly-coiffed goatee). But Lucic just seems like he'll do whatever he has to do to get the team the win. Be it score, battle in the corners, or beat the crap out of Jarkko Ruutu while nursing a broken nose. All things that would make Gary Roberts clench with burly pride.
Street Cred: They're Cam Neely's Old Team
Dude. You can coast on Cam Neely street cred for a long, long time. The uber-power forward is nuclear winter cool. What other player can boast of being a much sought-after archetype that current teams cannot seem to fill, having appeared in the Mighty Ducks Trilogy, and beating up Jim Carrey in a Farrelly Brothers movie? The Bruins can dine out on their Neelyness for the next decade, as far as I'm concerned.
Ninja: Marc Savard
How is it that Marc Savard swoops to the top of the stats list year after year and he scarcely gets a mention when people are talking about the best players in the NHL? Homeslice is so stealth he could pilot a plane into NASA's backyard and no radar would ever pick him up. Every year he dishes and dishes, collecting assists with lusty vigor (and it's not like he's been bookended by Dany Heatley and Alex Ovechkin). Savard is the quietest badass in the league. And he really tried to make the whole soul patch thing take off. Have to appreciate that kind of effort.
Comeback Story: Phil Kessel
There are a few candidates on the team that could vie for this spot. Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas, for instance, who were lounging in hammocks on the middle-tier of hockey goalies and are turning in concurrent banner years. Zdeno Chara could take it for overcoming the humiliation of being cast aside for the likes of Wade Redden in Ottawa and having green teeth. Or Patrice Bergeron for overcoming an impressive, Tim Connolly-esque string of concussions and for living life with Adrien Brody's nose.
But you have to give it up for Phil Kessel. Sure, Phil the Thrill all-too-often sports one of those Spencer Pratt-ish flesh-colored beards, but he beat cancer. As a rookie. Most rookies can't even beat the herpes they get on their first road trip to Montreal. Kessel has a sexy game, too. He's fast, has the hands of a true sniper, and always seems to come through in the shootout. Pratt beard or not, it's hard to root against him.
Uterus Killer: Andrew Ference
Ference looks like Jared Leto's clean, crunchy, non-douchey brother. But far more magnetic than Ference's face is his off-ice commitment to global issues. He drives a Prius and speaks out about going green. And he traveled to Africa with Right to Play and diarized it for NHL.com. Even if he looked like Mike Ricci's foot, he'd be the hottest guy on the team with that resume.
Why You Should Root Against Them
Low Point: The Trade
At the Annual Best Players of NHL Cocktail party, Joe Thornton usually gets to sit on the dais with Crosby, Ovechkin, and Lecavalier, sipping sidecars and violently buttering his toast. Such a player as he would surely be safe from trade for Marco Sturm and some dudes, right? Not so much. In one of the most bizarre trades in history, the then-anemic Bruins dumped Thornton for said German and two other dudes most of us don't remember. I like to call them Shemp and Cousin Oliver. The Trade is the kind of franchise skidmark no launderer can ever wash out.
Nerd Alert: Aaron Ward
He's not actually registering hard on the Nerdlinger Scale, but the Bruins don't really have any major d-bags, so he'll have to do. He stood up to Jaromir Jagr when he was with the Rangers and got made out to be a real pot-stirrer in the New York papers. But he was a Ranger then, and that does things to people.
Franchise Rep: They're Massholes!
The unfortunate thing about rooting for the Bruins is that the team is based in Boston. And, let's face it, it's kind of a national pastime to root against the state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston in particular. Probably ever since you met that guy in the Patriots hat in your dorm who hid cans of Beast in his windbreaker when you went to the bar so he wouldn't have to pay. And now more than ever since most New England teams are so good.
If you pick the Bruins as your playoff team, remember, you may have to pal around with Bruins fans. Boston fans. Can you hang with that? Do you have the stuff? How about the old school Bruins teams who out-Massholed their fans? Those dudes stormed the stands and beat the snot of out of Ranger fans. Fans! Rangers fans, yes, but still, that's extreme. Mike Millbury beat a guy with his own shoe! And that's not even the worst thing he's ever done! You have to be pretty unhinged to hang with that sort of crowd.
"I Love Lucic" shirt available here.