Caution: The following has MAD SPOILERS for "Before the Fall" - part II of the Hockey at the End of the World
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Okay, the following are quotes from the story, with links to information about the game being described, videos of the events, or other fun facts. I think I covered most of the games I talk about, but if you have questions about something I missed, just drop me a comment :) Also, at the very end, I've included the "Color Code" I used - ie, the NHL team that corresponds to each alternate universe team I describe. Enjoy!
One of the hotel’s dining rooms has been set up with a buffet and a projector, and a bunch of the guys are sprawled out in front of it. It’s early in the movie yet – the Hanson brothers have just made their first appearance, so Mike loads up a plate and finds a seat, and that’s when he figures out why Sharpie made them put in an appearance. Because Peter fucking Forsberg is here. Mike’s fork freezes halfway to his mouth.
It's worth noting, that even though I describe Forsberg as a skill player - dude could lay down some serious hits. I mean, he gave up his spleen for hockey
He has him centering Simmy, who he played with last year – so that’s great, and Handzus
– a great, hulking import, who’s on his fourth pro team in eight years, and thus has the air of a man who doesn’t expect to be around very long, but is nonetheless having a good time while he’s here.
His job is really simple: hassle guys into giving up the puck. Which means his goal in the second period is sort of an… accident?
Brashear especially looks like he might haul off and pop Jeff in the mouth as soon as pass to him half the time.
They’re down, playing sluggishly, like they could use some inspiration, so when one of the Red & Navy’s defensemen fucks with his stick one too many times, Mike thinks, fuck it. Now’s as good as time as any to pop his cherry. “Hey!” he snarls. “You ready to go?”
So, Carter did actually score his first NHL goal in the 10/27/05 game against the Panthers, but Richards' first regular season fight actually came on 11/10/05, against Arron Asham of the Islanders (which I've linked to above). According to HockeyFights.com, he got into in the preseason with Joel Bouchard, but I don't have access to that game so we'll just have to take their word for it.
She has blue eyes. And the corners sort of crinkle when she smiles. “Hi,” she answers him. “My name’s Julia
And the relevant passage from Orwell...
'I betrayed you,' she said baldly.
'I betrayed you,' he said.
She gave him another quick look of dislike.
'Sometimes,' she said, 'they threaten you with something -- something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, "Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so." And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.'
Mike’s response is cut off by Sarah blowing into the room. “Sorry, sorry, sorry,” she calls, hastily settling into a spot on the couch across from Julia. “Have you two gotten acquainted? Richie this is Julia Offred.
Offred is (one) of the names of the protagonist of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
"My name isn't Offred, I have another name, which nobody uses now because it's forbidden”
And then Sutton sends Primeau
into the boards, face first.
Not a video of the incident! Keith Primeau sustained a career-ending concussion. He went on to be a vocal advocate for TBI education and prevention, and is featured in the new documentary film Head Games.
The last time they played the Black & Gold they lost in OT to a goal scored by Pittsburgh’s new, young phenom
– some kid they jumped up straight from juniors.
A scene from that previous game. (Um, not a good video for Crosby fans)
And you’d think that after a certain point, scoring might lose some of its rush, but when Forsberg hits the bench, he’s got a vicious gleam
in his eyes.
A moment from the game I'm currently describing - again, not a good one for Sid.
Sharpie gives them one last, brilliant smile. “Don’t worry guys – you haven’t seen the last of me. I’m going to do amazing things
She slaps his arm with the bar rag. She calls him Nick, and he calls her June , which Mike doesn’t really get, but then, he doesn’t think he’s supposed to.
June is the other name of the Handmaid's Tale protagonist; Nick is her ally.
Despite all the changes, there is still, always, hockey. They’ve traveled down south to play the Black & Blue
, who they just cannot beat this year.
Really, Esche was in goal for this game, but there were just so many Flyers' goalies to keep track of, that I simplified.
He looks at them with flinty eyes. “Well, as of right now you have a new head coach. A new GM
It rapidly becomes clear what sort of team Stevens is trying build once Mike meets the new guys, and skates with them. He meets Cote and Hartnell. Boulerice and Downie, of course. And they’re all big guys. Tough guys. “Jesus. Are we building a hockey team or a boxing club?” he asks Jeff.
Oh man - the Flyers in the Fall of '07, holy fucking shit, am I right?.
9/25/07 Downie, and the fall out.
10/10/07 Boulerice, and the fall out.
10/27/07 Jones, and the fall out.
11/26/07 Hartnell, and the fall out.
12/01/07 Cote, and the fall out.
They also get Smith from the Blue & Orange, and he’s promptly named captain
He’s sort of shocked to find out they moved Forsberg over the summer. But then again, maybe he’s not.
The game is a solid win. And sure, beating the White & Orange is a bit like taking candy from a baby, but it’s still a win.
Eager shakes his head, looking innocent. But then, he always looks innocent. Except when he’s beating the shit out of someone.
She takes his face in her hands. “I caught your game against the Blue & Green. You played wonderfully.”
Crosby actually turns out to be prophetic, in a way, although also totally wrong. Because when things finally do boil over, Eager gets tangled with Laraque, and they both go down swinging; Hartnell starts some shit with Armstrong, and then Whitney takes a swing at Jeff.
From the 12/11/07 game against the Pens. See also: This. Oh, Sid.
A muscle jumps in Coach’s jaw. “Richards, have you ever heard the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops
“Or how about the expression, pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before the fall?”
That night they lose by one to the fucking Navy, a team they’ve been beating all season. In the handshake line, the Navy’s Russian superstar holds onto his hand a beat too long, and – there’s no love lost there, but Mike can appreciate a guy who’s as willing to throw the body as he is to score. Plus, Mike was the first guy in the NHL to beat the crap out of #8, so he’ll always have a soft spot for him for that reason.
Spring, and they’re up against the Navy again, this time in the conference quarterfinals. They win two, then drop one in Washington, and now they’re back home, waiting in the tunnel.
The crowd keeps it up too, they play to a wall of sound for three full periods, one overtime, and the six minutes of the second OT that it takes Knuble to get the puck in the net, with an assist from Jeff.
But they just can’t close out the series. They drop Game 5 in Washington. They’re about to lose Game 6 at home.
With Biron in goal, but again, simplifying.Game seven comes down to overtime
, again. Mike can feel the blood pulsing just beneath his skin. “We are not washing out in the first round again,” he tells them.
And John Stevens really does jump up and down; it's sort of adorable.
They take out the Blue & Red
in the semis, easy.
I felt sort of bad for blowing past the Habs like this, twice. So here, have some highlights.
Then they run into Pittsburgh. Headfirst. The first game is a fucking bloodbath
. They spend most of it down 4-0, and it ends 4-1.
Note: This is actually the '09 QF series, stitched onto the Flyers' '08 playoff run. Purely because this was the more interesting series to watch.
Before the second game
, Mike doesn’t even have to say anything. Everybody just knows.
They explode out of the gate in Game 3 – the crowd is behind them, screaming, Orange flags waving.
That is when the fights break out. They’re in the middle of a change, and the stragglers on their fourth lines tangle with the Black & Gold’s, sticks flaring into life up and down the boards, whistles going off everywhere. And then Kunitz gets Hartsy down on the ice
Oh man, this game. (4/19/09) And this video is awesome, especially for the last two seconds, where Carter shoves his stick in Crosby's face. And for the way everyone is protective of Timo, because Timo is awesome.Game four is brutal
. Jeff is useless with the puck – no shot, almost no pass
They win game five in Pittsburgh, but Jeff has to be dragged back to players’ quarters.
Saturday is also Game Six of the fucking Conference Finals.
“Fucking Christ,” Mike mutters. Because Upshall was doing great. Upshall was putting up points last year. Why the fuck would they dump Upshall?
Cap space, mostly. This is where the Flyers picked up Daniel 'Car Bomb' Carcillo from the 'Yotes - who is either amazing, or a holy terror depending on whether you're playing for or against him, and who 'Hawks fans should know and love.
They don’t ever really talk about it again, except briefly, in passing right after Loops goes. Coach says quietly, “he’s going to a solid team. He’ll do well there.”
Well, actually he'll only last a couple seasons there before being traded to the Leafs, poor guy.
Stevens nods. “The Gold. We picked up Pronger in exchange for him. He’s going to be a big add to our D.”
And we all know how that turned out. Although, unlike many Richards fans, I also really like Chris Pronger. And as a researcher whose work involves TBI, I hate hearing about concussions knocking these guys out of the game. Also, fun fact, this was the second time Lupul was traded for Pronger.
Mike leans forward into the microphone. “Um. Well, we played our hardest, but it wasn’t enough. The Red & Navy has some really good skaters, and we just – weren’t as good as them tonight
Mike frowns. Three games is hardly a streak. And never mind that they won the three games before that. Never mind that Mike scored his second ever hat trick last week.
The horn to end the game sounds and they’ve just finished cleaning the floor with the Red & Silver.
They go on a nice run in November, racking up some serious points. But then Emery goes down
Emery discusses his injuries (not video of the injuries themselves).
But in the end, it isn’t any of his guys. It’s Stevens.
So, contrast this (from 2007) and this (from 2009) and you have the Flyers organization in a nutshell. Okay, okay, the NHL at large too, to be fair.
On Thursday they hosted the Blue & Green (3-0, them, Mike nursing a sore jaw after his annual dance with Bieksa
, fuck his life).
They lose. They lose eight fucking two, and the Navy doesn’t even have Ovechkin aboard.
Fun fact: Ovie wasn't in this game because he was serving a two-game suspension for his hit on the 'Canes' Gleason.
Midway through December they lose to the Red & Blue at home
, and after the game, with microphones shoved in his face, Mike has to bite his tongue to keep from saying that at least they only lost 2-1. Like it’s a good thing.
Mike is watching Don move around the room. He strips off his bloodied shirt. He’s wiry, torso scrawled with tattoos: a dove, a portrait of an old-fashioned looking woman in pince-nez spectacles, an encircled A.
Emma Goldman, <3. Also, "Don" was named after Don Fehr. Because he's working to unite the players. Get it?? Sorry.Brodeur is a fucking badass
I don't care who you root for, this is a true fucking fact. And I say that as a Kings fan.Game three
, they’re back in Philly and there’s no sign that Jeff’s been there. Mike ramps it up, slamming around the ice, a careening dervish.
Yeah. This would be the game where Richards breaks Krejci's wrist. Oops.
The Orange netminder pitches his blocker
– Mike can hear him scream all the way from the bench.
Careful - that actually is video of Boucher's injury. And if you've ever had a knee injury, it's brutal to watch.
Game six, another train ride back to the Orange, another night on home ice, riding the roar of their supporters. Mike racks up a goal, an assist, and comes within inches of a fight when Savard drives him into the boards
and Lucic takes the opportunity to smack him in the face with his stick.
So this actually happened in Game 5 - and this video (shitty quality) is the only footage of the incident I could find online, but watch for my favorite part, which is Gagne flying in and throwing himself into the fray. Amazing. Game 5 was also the one where Giroux was knocked the fuck out. God bless the Bruins, an awesome series to watch.
Game seven. Boston opens the scoring, scores again, and then scores again
, all in the opening fifteen.
You know, I came into this story with the intention of making Laviolette one of the bad guys - but you watch this game, and you have to give the man mad fucking props. He was cool as a cucumber and fucking on it.GAME ONE, the Red
But really, there’s only so much he can do. The game ends up being a battle of third- and fourth-liners. And both goalies are jittery, pucks are going in tonight.
Dude, you ever want to know what goalie nerves look like, check out this game.GAME TWO, the Red
The opening faceoff is a war of escalation, conducted in miniature.
Oh man, I WISH I could find video online of the first three seconds or so of this game. It is like a case study in the psychology of line-matching. If anyone can find it, let me know will you?GAME THREE, the Orange
GAME FOUR, the Orange
Note: I reversed the order of goals scored in this game.GAME FIVE, the Red
GAME SIX, the Orange
Patrick Kane’s goes in.
Clearly, most of these correspond (more or less) to uniform colors. The exceptions are because all the Canadian teams start with "The Blue & ________" and because, like, half the NHL teams use some variation of red and blue.
Chicago - The Red
Columbus - The Silver and Blue
Detroit - The Red and White
Nashville - The Gold and White
St Louis - The Blue
Calgary - The Blue and Black
Colorado - The Burgundy and Blue
Edmonton - The Blue and Orange
Minnesota - The Red and Green
vancouver - The Blue and Green
Anaheim - The Gold
Dallas - The Green
Los Angeles - The Black
Phoenix - The Maroon
San Jose - The Teal
New Jersey - The Red and Black
New York (I) - The White and Orange
New York (R) - The Red and Blue
Philadelphia - The Orange
Pittsburgh - The Black and Gold
Boston - The Yellow
Buffalo - The Navy and Gold
Montreal - The Blue and Red
Ottawa - The Blue and Gold
Toronto - The Blue and White
Carolina - The Red and Silver
Florida - The Red and Navy
Tampa Bay - The Black and Blue
Washington - The Navy
Winnipeg* - The Blue and Gray
* yeah, definitely just pretending they were always in Winnipeg. *shrug*