Inspired by a tweet from A2Y (talk about emasculating) I've composed my rivalry depth chart for the 2009-2010 season. I'm sure it may vary for each one of you, so don't be afraid to hit the comments section full force from the safety of your own home.
10. Montreal Canadiens
Synopsis: Although the Sharks have little history with Montreal (read: zilch), nothing makes me happier than watching those smug, self important, soulless habitants implode in the playoffs. From rioting after a first round win against an 8 seed to booing their self appointed savior Carey Price to rigging the All-Star vote, I will actively root against their squad regardless of who is on the roster. The fact that Anaheim picked up some casual followers when Saku Koivu came over does nothing to help the cause.
Public Enemy Number One: The fans
To Sum It Up: It's a small world after all. (That's a reference to the Oompa line as well as the fact Montreal believes the world revolves around them. You know a sentence is crap when it takes that long to explain and is still a reach. Man I suck at this).
*Don't let these two blogs fool you- they're the only respectable Habs supporters on the planet.
Synopsis: Although Phoenix hasn't sniffed the playoffs since San Jose snuffed them out in 2002, the Coyotes have a way of always bringing their A game against the Sharks. No real animosity here, just a good old fashioned inclusion because we see them six times a year. For now, at least.
Public Enemy Number One: Matt Lombardi (only because I would kill for him to wear teal). Throw in Zbynek Michalek as well- I would love to see some Cain and Abel shit go down at center ice on October 12th.
To Sum It Up: Gotta feel for the fans here. I swear, no more moving jokes, especially with the court date set for tomorrow.
8. Chicago Blackhawks
Synopsis: A Western Conference team on the rise (albeit with cap troubles that make San Jose's look pedestrian), the Hawks are poised to become a top four team this season. Hell, they already are. Such are the spoils for being inept since the mid-nineties. The addition of Marian Hossa this offseason further solidifies their offensive firepower, and with young blueliners such as Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook able to play against top lines while putting points on the board, it's safe to say Chicago is here for the long haul. Give me a couple slobberknockers like last season in a playoff series and they might be knocking on the door to the top rival five. DON'T YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE?!?!
Public Enemy Number One: Brian Campbell
To Sum It Up: Ashes to flashes, taxi to bus.
7. Nashville Predators
Synopsis: The proverbial whipping boy of postseason's past may be low on talent most years due to salary limitations, but make up for it by working hard defensively and boasting a quick set of forwards. They do an excellent job of stretching San Jose's defense by sending a winger past the red line early in their breakout, causing a normally aggressive Sharks defensive core to pick their spots wisely when jumping below the circles. Obviously I really have nothing mean to say about the Predators because I don't mind their team at all, especially after Hartnell left. He should have been suspended for the hit on Cheechoo solely off the basis of looking like Bozo The Clown if Bozo The Clown was an actual person. That freaking guy man, that freaking guy.
To Sum It Up: The home of country music and college football.
Public Enemy Number One: Common courtesy would be to give the honors to Tootoo, but I'm going with Barry Trotz. Actually I don't like either of these guys. Insert something mean here.
PR Groups: On The Forecheck
6. Edmonton Oilers
Synopsis: Ah yes, the birthplace of postseason disappointment. No list is complete without the suddenly Dwayne Roloson free Oil (read: there is a God). While they may have taken a turn for the worst after knocking out San Jose in 2006, it doesn't matter- that one will forever sting like the vernacular disease you contracted while Craig McTavishing with two sultry blondes in a Porta Potty. Always a physical game in Alberta hiyo!
To Sum It Up: Oh Cana-booooooooooo.
Public Enemy Number One: Ethan Moreau, Shawn Horcoff
5. Los Angeles Kings
Synopsis: Ryan Smyth may be overpaid but he's a presence they need in front of the net when healthy. Brown's contract is ridiculous, and if Quick is the real deal they may be sniffing the 8th seed. Kopitar looks like he's spent too many late nights in Vegas and needs a cup of coffee. Forty years of futility is probably worse than the current playoff ineptitude San Jose is experiencing, but I've got a feeling they're making a run at the Pacific two years from now as long as they keep their core together. Lombardi has been patient as all hell but it seems to be working.
To Sum It Up: We had Gretzky and The Port of Los Angeles is the economic lifeline of the United States- that makes our hockey team relevant right?
Public Enemy Number One: Raitis Ivanans. I hate people that can kick my ass just by looking at me.
4. Calgary Flames
Synopsis: Dion Phaneuf walks like he just, well, you'll see. There's a reason they compare him to John Travolta. Olli Jokinen looks like Crazy Craving from the Honeycomb commercials. Kipper has the most obvious hockey nickname I've ever heard and bothers me for some reason. After that though, I just end up hating the sweater and not the player. Jarome Iginla has killed the Sharks over the years but you have to be a lush to not respect everything about him. Robyn Regehr is one of my favorite NHL players in the league today. I was sad to see Keenan go because he makes me laugh so much. Oh man. This may be sacreligious, but I always root for Calgary after the Sharks get bounced in the playoffs (which admittedly isn't very often considering they have trouble with the first round). There, I said it. Feel free to fire me. Oh, that's right, you can't. Cause I run this show bitches. Trade Marleau, Michalek, Vlasic, and a first for Iginla and Regehr and I'll buy both their jerseys. Then flip Cheechoo and a third for Glencross and I'll buy another. Do you want more? I SAID, do you want more?
To Sum It Up: <3's and kisses for Robyn! Until we play them in the playoffs. Then good ol' jingoism gets the best of me.
Public Enemy Number One: Dion Phaneuf. Darryl Sutter for firing Keenan and depriving me of watching him run another goaltender into the ground.
3. Detroit Red Wings
Synopsis: ...then flip Mitchell for Langkow. Oh hey. Yeah Detroit? I don't think anyone likes Detroit except Detroit fans, and even they don't like Detroit because the Wings don't win the Cup every single season. I hope Chris Osgood misses getting inducted into the Hall of Fame by one vote so he can complain about it and dive onto the stage. I hope Tomas Holmstrom swings to hit a puck out of the air against the Sharks in the playoffs again, only this time he hits
Lance Armstrong Nik Lidstrom where the jersey don't hang. I hope many things when it comes to Detroit and, hell, this sums it up rather eloquently. Read that or I make a necklace out of your teeth.
To Sum It Up: Not trying to be a twit, just honest- should Detroit even be this high on the list? We haven't really had any success (at all) in The Joe over the years, and I sort of feel weird putting them up here. Yeah I hate them and all, but it's sort of desperate to say they're a rival when you can't win in their building (hell, not getting blown out would be a treat every once in awhile). Remember way back when? The day when I peaked as a blogger, before the big time got to me and I pulled a Joaquin Phoenix? Well I do. And I want to share:
In your eyes, has the Sharks' historic start shifted the balance of power in the Western Conference at all? Why or why not?
PLANK (SJ): No. Until Detroit gets beat, nobody is doing a damn thing. There's just something special about that team in May.
I get really sad when I think about Detroit. If they are "The Dynasty" then we are "The Dynasty That Never Was". Let's move this along before I get all teary-eyed and start hugging somebody.
Public Enemy Number One: Ken Holland. Stop doing what you do.
2. Anaheim Ducks
Synopsis: My psychiatrist says it's too early to talk about these things.
To Sum It Up: Okay, fuck it. You know what bothers me the most about Anaheim more than anything? Their success. This is a team that came into the league after San Jose and yet has managed to win a Cup, lose another Finals in a seventh game, make the Conference Finals three times (including both SCF appearances), and beat the Sharks in the only playoff series they played. I mean, shit. What else can you say?*
*An acceptable response would be, "Plank, these last two entries are pretty depressing. You may need help."
Public Enemy Number One: Anyone who is balding, a crybaby, plays goaltender, stomps on children, or just wears that jersey.
1. Dallas Stars
Synopsis: Imagine a kid with hopes and dreams. A kid who used to go out with his dad and skate on frozen lakes, pretending that he played for his state's team. His father would tell him stories of great players like Neal Broten, causing the kid's eyes to sparkle and dream of the day he would watch them lift the Stanley Cup. Life was good, life was simple. Life made sense.
Then in come the moving vans. Norm Greed cheats on his wife and she forces him to move the team. The little kid moves too, this time to an area that is just beginning to fall in love with hockey. He is welcome here, and with a smile and skip realizes that someday he'll stop throwing urine filled baloons at random passerby.
But wait, there's more. Turns out his old team had the audacity to lop off half the name (a metaphor for slicing the kid's heart in half) and turn into a goddamn wrecking crew in the playoffs. 1998. 2000. 2008. Three series wins over the Sharks and a Stanley Cup later, the vile taste remains.
I will tell you one thing, and I will tell you this. The year San Jose beats Dallas in the playoffs is the year they win the Cup.
To Sum It Up: Read me.
Public Enemy Number One: Mike Ribiero. Dude is a corn filled turd.