COHEN’S NERD CORNER – GAME OF THRONES PACIFIC DIVISION PREVIEW
What’s that you say? Not enough Geekery here at Ye Olde Royal Halfe? FEAR NOT! It’s time for another infrequent installment of “Cohen’s Nerd Corner”…. or as I prefer to think of it….
With the new NHL Season comes a new Divisional Alignment. Here’s a brief glimpse at the teams and the fans of the newly expanded Pacific Division…….
…if they were characters in Game of Thrones.
The Pacific Division is dead. LONG LIVE THE PACIFIC DIVISION!
WARNING : as always… HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!
The Lannisters/Los Angeles Kings
The House you love to hate appears to have everything it wants. Robb Stark and his rebels are dead, the support of the Tyrells means Stannis Baratheon is of little consequence and now even Jaime Lannister has been returned. After years of being one of the richest Houses in the Realm, The Lannisters appear to finally have the dynasty they longed for.
The team other fans love to hate appears to have everything it wants. The goalie controversy has been resolved, Dustin Brown has been signed to a long term contract extension and now even Willie Mitchell has returned. After years of being one of the richest teams in the League, the Kings appear to finally be a perennial Cup contender.
Theon Greyjoy/Phoenix Coyotes
Theon Greyjoy was the youngest son of Balon Greyjoy. Born on the Iron Islands, a barren unforgiving cluster of Islands, he was taken hostage and sent to live with the Starks in Winterfell as a consequence for the Greyjoy Rebellion. He is currently called “Reek” and is held hostage while being endlessly and mercilessly tortured by Ramsay Snow so the Greyjoys will withdraw their forces from The North.
The Jets were one of the newest teams in the NHL. Born in Winnipeg, barren unforgiving city in the middle of nowhere, they were sold and sent to play in Phoenix in 1996 as a result of mounting financial concerns. They are currently called “The Coyotes” and their fans have been held hostage while being endlessly and mercilessly tortured by Jerry Moyes, Jim Ballsilie, countless lawyers, the Glendale City Council, Gary Bettman and others while desperately hoping potential owners won’t withdraw the franchise from Phoenix and move it North.
And by Phoenix I mean Glendale.
Daenerys Targaryen and her Khalasar/Anaheim Ducks
The Mother of Dragons has been building an impressive fighting force on Essos. She commands an enormous army of former slaves, has 3 young dragons and counts on the council of former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Barristan Selmy. Now seemingly on the cusp of accomplishing great military victories she has accepted the fealty of the mysterious Second Sons commander, Daario Naharis, an act that may weaken the once “undying loyalty” of her one time protector, Jorah Mormont.
The Mighty Ducks have been rebuilt into an impressive team in Anaheim. They blend a veteran corps of former Stanley Cup Champions, young talented newcomers and the veteran leadership of Finnish stars Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. Now seemingly on the cusp of accomplishing great victories in the playoffs they have re-signed their mysterious Swedish goalie, Viktor Fasth, an act that may weaken the once reliable play of their one time All Star, Jonas Hiller.
Jonas Hiller reacts to Fasth’s contract extension.
House Tyrell/San Jose Sharks
House Tyrell is one of the strongest Noble houses in Westeros but despite generations of political maneuvering have never managed to claim The Iron Throne. The Tyrells are relying on the younger generation to help them achieve this goal as Margaery is betrothed to King Joffrey and her brother Loras is betrothed to Queen Regent Cersei Lannister. Despite the important roles the younger Tyrells are playing their grandmother Olenna, the Queen of Thorns, is still a powerful and important figure in Court Politics.
The San Jose Sharks are one of the strongest teams in the Pacific Division but despite years of making the playoffs they’ve never managed to win The Stanley Cup. The Sharks are relying on the younger generation of players to help them achieve this as Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski recently signed contract extensions. Despite the important roles the younger Sharks are expected to play the Sharks are still loaded with All Star Veterans in Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle.
The Nights Watch/Vancouver Canucks
The Nights watch was once a formidable fighting force that patrolled The Wall in The North. Now a shadow of their former selves they find themselves facing the threat of old threats they hoped never to see again. Complicating matters is the questionable loyalty of Jon Snow who has recently returned to Castle Black after prolonged time spent making love to Wildlings north of The Wall.
The Vancouver Canucks were once a formidable franchise that routinely placed first in the Northwest Division. Now a shadow of their former selves they find themselves in a new division with former Division rivals the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets (now Phoenix Coyotes). Complicating matters is the questionable loyalty of Roberto Luongo who was recently restored as the starting goalie after prolonged time making love to the bench in support of Dan Schneider.
Sansa, Bran, Arya and Rickon Stark/Edmonton Oilers
House Stark was once a formidable power as Wardens of the North. Now they are reduced to a frightened group of children fighting to survive. For 3 seasons we’ve seen glimpses of their potential but little else. Whether it’s beauty, supernatural abilities or bravery each of the youngest Stark children seems destined to use that potential in shaping the future of Westeros. Except Rickon.
The Edmonton Oilers were once a formidable franchise and a Stanley Cup winning dynasty. Now they are reduced to a losing team made up of high draft picks earned through multiple losing seasons. For 6 seasons we’ve seen glimpses of their potential but little else. Whether it’s forwards, defensmen or goalies the The Edmonton Oilers seemed poised to capitalize on their youth and talent and finally challenge for a playoff spot and possibly even the Stanley Cup. Except Ryan Smyth.
Robb Stark and his Banner Men/The Calgary Flames
Robb Stark is dead. His mother, his wife and his unborn child are dead. Winterfell is in ruins. As shocking as it was to see the Stark rebellion wiped out in a single night it was only a matter of time before Robb Stark was forced to face the consequences of marrying Talisa. It will be a miracle if House Stark can ever recover from The Red Wedding.
Jarome Iginla is gone. Mikka Kiprusoff, Jay Bouwemeester and Alex Tanguay are gone. The Saddledome is in ruins. As shocking as it was to see the Flames dismantled in a single season it was only a matter of time before The Flames were forced to face the consequences of their horrible management. It will be a miracle if The Red C can ever recover from this house cleaning.
Flames fans react to the news of Iginla being traded to the B̶r̶u̶i̶n̶s̶ Pens.
Like any season of Game of Thrones, the 2013-2014 NHL Pacific Division should be a confusing mess of new names, new faces and shifting balances of power. So here’s a helpful prediction of the final rankings:
1st – The Los Angeles Kings
The Once and Future Kings may not have won a Pacific Division Banner in the crappy Old Pacific Division but they will surely finish first in the inaugural season of the new and improved Pacific Division.
2nd – San Jose Sharks
The perennial pretenders to the throne will continue to come up short while impressing everyone with their inability to capitalize on their potential.
3rd – Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
These upstart crows are the wild card of this new Pacific Division and could pose a threat.
4th – Vancouver Canucks
The King in the North will continue to beat up on it’s neighbors and no one else.
5th – Phoenix Coyotes
Hopefully this is the year we can all say “The Coyotes always pay their debts”. Until they pay the Kings Ransom they owe Wayne Gretzky I predict the rains of Castamere will fall upon the…. I’ll stop now.
6th – Edmonton Oilers
The Court Jesters of the Pacific Division will no doubt lead the league in outrage over inappropriate “cellys” but will continue to compete for a spot in the Draft Lottery.
7th – Calgary Flames
I would rather watch Baseball.