Feschuk: Get pumped! For ponies and sorrow!

There’s plenty for Canadian hockey fans to get excited about this season. Most of it has nothing to do with hockey. (Kagan Mcleod)

What does the upcoming season have in store for Canada’s NHL teams? Let’s take a look.

Vancouver. Inarguably, the greatest development of the off-season was the hiring of John Tortorella as coach of the Canucks. It’s only a matter of time until Tortorella’s searing rage and palpable frustration provoke a physical reaction in which one of his eyeballs explodes out of his face. That’s just science. And I bet he won’t even bother to retrieve it. Instead, he’ll just storm into the dressing room and scream, “I don’t even want that eyeball, because if I had that eyeball then I’d just have to see TWICE AS MUCH OF YOU GUYS SUCKING!” Cut to the Sedins sitting, impassive and expressionless. Prediction: Second in the Pacific in points, last in coach eyeballs by quantity.

Edmonton. Welcome, people of Edmonton. Please, sit. This intervention is for you. Relax—this is a safe place. We’re worried about you, people of Edmonton. The new season is about to begin and are you really going to do this again? Are you actually going to get optimistic about the Oilers? Why do you do this to yourselves every fall? WHO HURT YOU TO MAKE YOU THIS WAY? Prediction: Sixth in the Pacific, first in “potential” for the fifth straight year.

Montreal. I’m not saying the Habs napped through the playoffs last spring, but how else do you explain the hilarious pillow marks on P.K. Subban’s face? Anyway, Montreal fans are back to believing in their team. Spend even a few minutes skimming fan sites and you’ll emerge believing that Alex Galchenyuk is an amazing forward, a super genius, a sharp dresser, a compelling singer-songwriter and a good source of 11 essential vitamins and minerals. Prediction: Sorry, Michel Therrien says predicting things shows a lack of respect.

Toronto. Reflecting the Leafs’ genius negotiating strategy of HERE TAKE THIS MONEY, Toronto will pay $36 million over seven years to David Clarkson, an undrafted winger who has scored 30 goals exactly one (1) time as an NHL player. A crash-and-bang power forward trying to replicate a career year for an unforgiving fan base still reeling from how their team pulled defeat not merely from the jaws of victory but from way down in its intestines where it was already being digested and was all gooey and, like, gross? What could go wrong? Prediction: “No, David, relax—they’re not saying ‘boo.’ They’re saying ‘Booooavid.’”

Ottawa. Good news, Sens fans: This is finally the year that Milan Michalek’s knee is going to be 100 percent! This message has been brought to you by the last four years that Milan Michalek’s knee was going to be 100 percent. By the way, Ottawa: It’s hard to take seriously any team that tries to psych up its fans at the rink by playing videos that celebrate Stanley Cup titles won before movies had sound. Prediction: The knee will be 100 percent… for 13 percent of the season.

Winnipeg. Listen, I’m not saying the Jets are going to be terrible. I’m not saying it—however, I am typing it in a magazine, placing it on a banner pulled by an airplane, conveying it through interpretive dance and sending it out to ships at sea via semaphore, the language of flags. Prediction: Now in the West, the Jets are in playoff contention the same way the tambourine player is “in” the band.

Calgary. Hey, Flames fans—here’s what The Hockey News says about your team: “The outlook is bleak in Calgary… but there’s still reason to get excited.” Let’s take a moment and ponder what that reason could be. Certainly we can agree it must be unrelated to the team’s roster. Wait, I know—maybe the Flames are giving away free ponies? Ponies are definitely a reason for excitement! But they’re also better in net than Karri Ramo. CONUNDRUM. Prediction: At some point in February, the Flames’ season will actually make the “sad trombone” sound.

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