First off let me couch this post by saying that I'm not sure if I've written about this subject already. I did a quick search in the Blogger and couldn't find it so I guess I'm safe. My memory isn't great and my girlfriend frequently tells me that I use the same jokes over and over. She's heard me tell her about my cabbie with a ball cap over his turban 7,000 times - "What are you a Cleveland Indian?". Whoever I stole that joke from needs to be assaulted.
Wednesday was supposed to be question day but I want to start this a night early.
Let's say that you had to create a starting 5 from non hockey players, who would you pick? Assume that anyone you pick could actually skate and all that. Here's my made up hypothetical fantasy land lineup.
Starting Center - Allen Iverson
Why? In a perfect world my starting center would be the fearless, gritty playmaker who goes into the high traffic spots to make passes and create plays. AI is tough enough to go into corners and creative enough to set up his linemates. He's quick enough to dart in and out of trouble and has the court vision my team is looking for in a No. 1 center. Too many times AI gets criticized for being a shoot first guard but that could round out his effectiveness at the pivot. The guy can take bumps and still has a motor in his older age. Plus he's a total thug and I'm grabbing him before Brian Burke sends him an offer sheet. Consider AI a tougher tatted-up Pavel Datsyuk.
Right Wing - Face from the A-Team
Lieutenant Templeton "Face" Peck played by Dirk Benedict was a closer and a winner. He made everything happen for that A-Team squad and always got laid. When the team needed to up-armor the black van (like they did every 3rd episode) who finagled the parts? Yeah BA always straightened out the trash cans for metal sheeting but Face always managed to get the big ticket items using his charm. The guy was smooth enough to talk his way out of capture or into a woman's gaucho pants and badass enough to shoot a rocket to make a forest green Jeep full of Honduran military policemen flip on it's side. That combination of suave and grit with a side of pure finish makes him the perfect RW. Consider him Jeremy Roenick with slightly less cool hair.
Note: if Brad Pitt's character in Ocean's 13 could use a blowtorch like Face he might have made the starting lineup.
Left Wing - Pitt Bull
I'm looking for a left-handed Tochett or Neeley here. I need a guy on LW that goes north-south with a heavy shot and a pair of hands. This Spanish rapper Pitt Bull is gritty enough to be my left winger. Why? I saw a youtube video of this guy rapping on stage when some fan gets too close and he knocks the fan's ass out and keeps on rapping with the song. Let's see Eminem's pussy ass do that. I'm not a fan of his music but his name is Pitt Bull and he campaigned for John McCain last election so he skates onto my starting lineup right there. Consider him a Puerto Rican Milan Lucic.
Defense - Alexander Skarsgård
My first Dman needs to be the point man. Who knows what this guy is like in real life but Skarsgård plays the 2 coolest characters on HBO. He was Ice Man in Generation Kill (shame on you if you haven't seen this 300 times) and the Viking vampire on True Blood. Plus he's Swedish and I need a Lidstrom-type to man the point. Seriously, True Blood isn't all that great except for the vampire sex but what this guy did on Generation Kill was fantastic. His character was so badass and cool, such a leader. There were only 6 or so episodes of that series but I still feel like I owe this guy a beer. My girlfriend would set fire to my genitals for a chance to hug this guy and my lineup needs that calm killer on the point for the breakout passes and cutting off angles. Consider this guy Nik Lidstrom carrying an M4 with the night vision optics.
Defense - Matt Stairs
I need some muscle on D. NEED IT. Matt Stairs and his big mouth full o' chaw will keep opposing heads up and have guys looking over their shoulders. Stairs has been through it all. He's got scars and war stories and you're just hoping he doesn't have some violent flashback when you skate into his corner. God forbid he catches you at the foot of the crease or if he mistakes you for the family court judge that took away his kids in '98. And don't get in the way of the heavy shot from the point. He fires hard and often and is about as accurate as indiscriminate mortar fire. I can just imagine the presence Stairs would bring to my lineup when he's sitting on the bench during warmups smoking a Winston. Your boy's probably got a playoff beard started before the 2nd period and a water bottle full of stuff they used to power Sputnik. His teammates all know that he takes too many roughing calls but they put up with it because he makes his men feel 150 lbs bigger on the ice. Consider him a more muscular Marty McSorley with 10x more PTSD.
No one is fucking with that lineup.