Archive for the ‘Bottoms Up’ Category

Drink whenever "Jarome" is mentioned by first name.

There will be a lot of media hype surrounding the results of this afternoon’s out-of-conference game in Boston, but there’s also a pretty significant historical event that could happen on national television tonight.

There hasn’t been a lot to cheer for in Calgary over the last few years. The team made the playoffs each of the first four post-lockout years, but they failed to advance past the first round in either. The last two years have them sitting in five points and three points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

They’re just one of those teams that are not pretty enough for the dance, and not quite ugly enough to make Daniel Wagner’s Bottoms-Up segment every week. This season, six points out at the halfway point, it looks unlikely that the Flames will make a post-season run, while not being bad enough to get good draft position for a potential game-changing player to be their next superstar.

That said, with a four-game homestand coming up on the schedule, starting tonight against the Minnesota Wild, Flames fans may be able to cheer for Jarome Iginla’s 500th goal.

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Bottoms Up is a weekly feature on Backhand Shelf that admits that sometimes the underdog doesn’t win: sometimes they just lose and lose and lose some more. In this edition, the Blue Jackets can’t stand it.

Of all the teams in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets are the Charlie Browniest.

The Blue Jackets’ resemblance to the sad sack protagonist of Peanutes should be immediately apparent. Like Charlie Brown’s baseball team, the Blue Jackets can’t win a game, but they (or at least general manager Scott Howson) also share Chuck’s eternal hope, refusing to fire coach Scott Arniel, make any big trades, or show any sign of desperation.

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Bottoms Up: Stay Positive

Bottoms Up is a weekly feature on Backhand Shelf that admits that sometimes the underdog doesn’t win; sometimes they just lose and lose and lose some more. In this edition, you’ve gotta stay positive.

In the spirit of the season, I’m going to avoid negativity in this week’s Bottoms Up. Instead, I want to look at the worst teams in the NHL in a positive light. What has gone right for the league’s basement dwellers this season?

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Bottoms Up is a weekly feature on Backhand Shelf that admits that sometimes the underdog doesn’t win; sometimes they just lose and lose and lose some more. In this edition, we look at the losers who somehow managed to lose to these losers.

Some of you know that I run a Canucks blog with Harrison Mooney (of Puck Daddy fame) called Pass it to Bulis. I bring this up because this past week the Canucks played games against the last place teams in the Western and Eastern Conferences, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Carolina Hurricanes. And lost.

Yes, last season’s Presidents’ Trophy winners and Stanley Cup Finalists lost to two of the worst teams in the league. And I had to write the bloody game recaps. Ugh.

It got me wondering: what other teams have lost to the cellar dwellars of the NHL? The four teams currently cooking with a hot plate and a toaster oven have a total of 37 wins; not all of those wins can be against fellow other teams at the bottom of the league. So which teams have experienced the ignominy of losing to the Hurricanes, Islanders, Ducks, and Blue Jackets?

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Bottoms Up is a weekly feature on Backhand Shelf that admits that sometimes the underdog doesn’t win: sometimes they just lose and lose and lose some more. This week, I explore how they sometimes win, completely undermining the stated purpose of this feature. Jerks.

The Carolina Hurricanes half-heartedly celebrate a victory over the Edmonton Oilers, their only win in their last nine games.

Of the four teams currently inhabiting the NHL’s basement, making grilled cheese in their toaster ovens and sleeping on futons, two are scouring the classifieds looking for their own place, while two are rearranging their cinderblock and two-by-four bookshelves.

I might have let that metaphor get away from me, but you get the picture: two of the bottom four teams in the NHL are trending upwards, looking to escape the basement, while two are crashing and burning and setting themselves up for a long stay in the cellar.

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The Islanders have finished in last place in the Atlantic Division four seasons in a row, but I was convinced that this year would be different. I was certain that the Islanders long rebuild would start to pay modest dividends and that they would at least be in the hunt for a playoff spot. That may seem like a foolish belief given their track record, but I had good reason to think they would be able to turn things around.

Instead, they sit in last place in the Eastern Conference with an abysmal 7-11-5 record and a league-worst minus-27 goal differential. It wasn’t supposed to be this way this season.

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Bottoms Up is a weekly feature on Backhand Shelf that admits that sometimes the underdog doesn’t win; sometimes they just lose and lose and lose some more. 

It’s November 19th, the Columbus Bluejackets are 3-13-2, and head coach Scott Arniel has not been fired. It has already been two weeks since Davis Payne was fired as the coach of the St. Louis Blues and people were shocked then that Arniel had not yet been fired. In those two weeks, the Blue Jackets have gone 1-2-1 and been outscored 12-8 in those 4 games. I’m mercifully not including the game just before Payne got fired, a 9-2 thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers.

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