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(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers who hated them the most. Here are The Committed Indian Staff and Cieslak from HockeeNight.com, fondly recalling the 2013-14 St. Louis Blues. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
By The Committed Indian Staff and Cieslak from HockeeNight.com
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it—or in Ken Hitchcock's case, doomed to eat it.
We come here today to mourn the loss of the St. Louis Blues from the Stanley Cup playoffs. And by “mourn,” we mean feel the same sense of loss one gets when they no longer have a rash in a place you can't reach without a mirror.
Much like the late King Joffrey Baratheon, the Blues were an impure inbred. They were anointed to the throne before they accomplished anything, hated by all, loved by none and in their death, we were reminded why everyone hoped they choked on a cocktail of poison, saliva and rat turds (which is actually the second most popular dish in St. Louis, next to whatever three day-old trash Al Hrabosky’s is serving).
Let's review, shall we? In 2011, the Blues bit it to the Los Angeles Kings while scoring six goals in four games. They responded to this loss in the following offseason by picking up exactly no proven scorers, in the hopes that vermin-infested pylons like Chris Stewart, David Backes, Timothy Leif, and a dozen more could simply dry hump their way into more goals. Assuming they even know the games are decided by goals, which is at best, unclear.
We move on to the following spring, and the Blues performed their now patented move of going up 2-0 in a series over the defending champs before vomiting up stomach acids all over themselves for the next four games, scoring 10 goals in total. The Blues responded to this setback in the offseason and next by acquiring rotting elk corpse Brenden Morrow, jester smurf Derek Roy, syphilitic badger Steve Ott, toughest-man-alive-with-two-linesmen-holding-him Maxim Lapierre and re-signing dweller Ryan Reaves among other moves. This is akin to trying to improve your child's grades in English class by beating him about the face with a rolled up Penthouse.
(Coincidentally, this is also an AP course in St. Louis high schools.)
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. What makes this even better is that coach Ken Hitchcock is a Civil War buff but apparently after all his research about The War Between The States, Hitch concluded that the South could have won if they'd only had “wanted it more” or “imposed themselves more” or “SANDPAPAERGRITHEARTFAAAAARRRRRT.”
On the ice, that mentality is embodied by no one person more than captain David Backes. While anointed four years ago by the neutral public as somewhat of a folk hero prior to the Olympics for punching out members of Team Canada, Backes has been exalted by the St. Louis faithful for showing the FIRE and PASSION to win, despite winning absolutely nothing of substance in his NHL career.
Blues fans stand by the motto of, “Our captain can kick your captain’s ass” as if that actually means anything to anyone that isn’t face first into a bowl of disgusting toasted ravioli or has a 3rd grade education level. Neither of which can be found in St. Louis city limits.
That Backes missed two games of the series after an illegal hit from Brent Seabrook was almost immaterial, as Backes wasn’t a factor even before the hit, and he’s been erased three postseasons running by real No. 1 centers in Anze Kopitar twice and now Jonathan Toews. But hey, he rescued a bunch of dogs from Sochi, so the legend grows despite the fact that there’s no evidence to suggest that he’s not eating those dogs or turning them into some kind of unholy hybrid of a Cruella DeVille/Mr. Burns dog skin coat.
His clocking by Seabrook (admittedly illegal) also caused visiting Cardinal fans (because Cardinal fans don’t actually watch baseball until September) to try and seize the moral high ground in another sport and anoint themselves the guardians of sporting morality, which forced the hockey world to look at their roster and burst a kidney laughing. St. Louisians then went back to their favorite hobby, passing out in their car at an intersection.
His running mate on the Blues top line, another American Hero (™), would be one Timothy Leif Oshie; called “TJ” despite the fact that his middle name does not begin with the letter “J”, nor is he a junior in the academic sense. Timothy Leif parlayed his one discernible skill on the ice, the shootout, which means nothing, to great notoriety in the Olympics.
Once again, in a game that meant nothing against Russia in the preliminary round.
And naturally, during his seconds of early morning fame nine time zones ahead, Oshie made sure to let everyone know that the troops are the REAL American Heroes. This was sure to warm the cockles of the hearts of the residents of a city that makes the events depicted 500 years in the future in the film Idiocracy seem like it’s giving humanity far too much credit, as well as precipitated about 486,000 not-all-that-latently-racist internet memes contrasting the selflessness of hockey players compared to those evil, selfish NBA players.
Those NBA players who love their strip clubs and late nights almost as much as Timothy Leif.
Seriously, has anyone made more out of a meaningless Olympic performance than this dude? Timothy Leif is just another word for “Shaun White.” And he makes engine noises while he skates.
This year was going to be different though. Their ownership group, headed by chairman Tom Stillman, finally let up on the purse strings and allowed the team to make a blockbuster trade near the deadline.
And who did they decide to pick up? A 33-year-old goalie who hadn’t won a playoff series since 2007. “Yeah, but that was out in Buffalo. Wait til he gets to play in front of a team like ours!”, because really who doesn’t play their best hockey cleaning up the messes that circus bear Roman Polak leaves? Miller’s out of St. Louis so fast he might even leave his Joy Division posters.
And how exactly did that team in front of him help? Well, for a second year in a row, the Blues were up two games to none and had a chance to put their boot to the throats of the opposing team in Game 3. And they responded by failing to put a single puck in the net in each year. Not one.
Both years, they then responded in the following three games by only averaging two goals a game and only one lone goal in their elimination game. They’ve shown exactly as much offensive punch as a petulant toddler, which is the team motto.
And yet what has been the rallying cry among the denizens St. Louis this year?
“Get rid of Miller.”
By our unofficial count, the Blues had about 47 minutes of power play time in Game 6 against the Hawks this year and failed to get a single goal from it. Yet Ryan Miller and his softies (Hi Patrick Sharp!) are to blame. These fans blindly believed the trade for Miller would make them champions the same way they believe they really are the “best fans in baseball” simply because every year a few hack writers drudge up the topic for an easy article.
But hey, anyone in St. Louis who can write two complete sentences is basically anointed royalty.
And how will this team best be remembered? Will it be as one of the biggest disappointments in franchise history for an organization that is stock full of failures? Maybe, by some. For us, nothing personifies this year’s Blues more than a simulation bya mediocre video game that predicted the Blues would win the Stanley Cup. That’s right, a video game that hasn’t done anything to improve itself in more than a decade and values fighting over anything else predicted the Blues would be the best team in the NHL. Enjoy that picture of a digital David Backes hoisting Lord Stanley. It’s almost as realistic as the days when we’d watch Kyle Calder and Mark Bell skate around with the Cup after we enhanced Jocelyn Thibault’s attributes to a 100.
When Ryan Reaves was given a contract extension the reaction was typical: here’s a guy who can give you the illusion of toughness and game altering hits. They ate it up like Reaves eats up the runoff from the Purina Building, which he lives behind in one of their dumpsters.
Yes, Blues fans believe that in Reaves’s five minutes of ice time he’s able to make an impact on the game. The only impact he makes is the trail of ooze players are left having to avoid until the Zamboni can clean the ice. But he’s not the one true paragon of St. Louis hockey.
We’re reminded of the Blues holding a special night for toilet baby Barret Jackman, who once won the Calder Trophy in what must have been the absolute worst NHL season in its history. This is a franchise who felt an active player, a third-pair, replacement-level defenseman whose best finishing move is punching people in the back of the head behind the play deserved his own night. Everything anyone needs to know about the Blues can be summed up in the career of Barret Jackman.
Before finding hockey, Barret Jackman was best known for his emergence from an East St. Louis sentient pile of discarded St. Paul Sandwiches to a real boy. Once Blues scouts discovered his ability to skate they doctored up a fake Canadian background and signed him. The Blues were able to harness his perma-sick breath smell and his innate ability to channel the sexual aggression of a feral hyena into an inexplicable run as an NHL player.
And yet for 12 years, despite acquisitions meant to reduce his role Barret Jackman is still here. He’ll be most remembered for this gif but his real legacy is his ability to stick around.
Not unlike the cockroach which can survive nuclear holocaust, Barret Jackman is never leaving St. Louis. Mostly because he’s engineered a DNA-altering drug from his family’s jenkem peddling business that’s allowed him to become an immortal time lord.
Blues fans love Barret Jackman because he’s everything they are. A teeming turdcloud of jorts and Larry the Cable Guy boxsets. A populace pregnant with provel. He is everything Blues fans want in a player: a nauseating, filthy smog-cough of a man who’s done nothing but offer up cheapshots and turnovers. He’s been walked past more than Quizno’s. He is St. Louis Blues hockey, and no amount of John Hamm promos will ever change that. You don’t all bleed Blue because you’re such fans, but because of everything you’ve had to ingest in that place.
So we say goodbye to the Blues, a team and city that is the prostate exam of the league and country, respectively. A necessary process that is unpleasant for all involved and everyone is simply relieved when it's over. And everyone needs six showers after dealing with them. Toodles.