Ah, yes. May in the NHL. Fans of teams recently discarded from the playoffs are now forced to float around from team to team looking for brief moments of happiness in their otherwise futile lives. Six years ago, every Kings fan was in the same boat.
Now the Kings have risen to the ranks of oppressor and I... don't ask you to cheer for them, actually. You really don't need to cheer for the Kings. Seriously. We have a lot of fans. The Kings sell out their games and even draw not-super-pitiful crowds when they probably should. Plus, I know, the Kings are now super-awesome and you hate them. I get it. I would probably hate the Kings too if they were constantly running roughshod over my team.
So I don't ask you to cheer for them. Cheer against Anaheim instead.
This is an easy one. Anaheim is complete trash from top to bottom. From the fact that they have imprisoned the biggest Kings' fan in the world (seriously, does Bruce Boudreau ever stop talking about how great the Kings are?) (I know you used to coach the Monarchs but bud it is time to let go) (it's creepy at this point) to the fact that their uniforms are complete garbage, the Ducks are just an abomination. I mean, nothing inspires confidence and intimidation like a duck's webbed foot, I guess. "What if it touches me, will I die?" is a thing not one person has ever thought about a duck's foot.
There are just so many reasons to hate Anaheim. We'll lead off with the easy target: Corey Perry. Fuck Corey Perry. I feel like this is ignored entirely too often. Anyone with eyes and ears can tell you that Corey Perry is bad, but it still isn't a cry I ever hear often enough. Corey Perry is really goddamned terrible. He is absolute scum, and I say this as a by-default bad person based on the fact that I am a hockey blogger. Most recently, Corey Perry speared Jamie Benn in the junk, as if having to bunk with Tyler Seguin isn't a harsh enough punishment for merely existing.
Corey Perry is what many of you think Dustin Brown is. At the heart of every scrum in this series will be Corey Perry trying to knee or spear or slash or even just plain ol' temper tantrum his way to the penalty box or dressing room. And he will succeed, many times over, because he gets frustrated when his team gets run over, and his team is a railroad to the Kings' train.
Ol' C-Pears isn't the worst thing about the Ducks, though. That title belongs to one man, and one man alone. It's an impressive feat, what this man has done. The Ducks are a mountain made out of garbage and used needles and this man is the most disease-infected peak on the hill. He has turned complaining and homerism into an art form. I mean, no one's buying the art, but that doesn't stop him from smearing his discharge all over the canvas.
"Hazy" -- as the kids would call him if the kids didn't find him strange, annoying, and a bit creepy to be frank -- is somehow NBC's choice to be the color commentator for game 1 of this series, despite the fact that he is both biased toward the Ducks and a complete buffoon. Brian Hayward is the John Smith of the NHL, and the Stanley Cup is his Pocahontas. He will paint a picture so pretty and completely false that he might confuse you and make you think that he is the rightful heir to the trophy, but he most assuredly is not. If you point any kind of critical eye toward any story he tells you, it does what most things relating to the Ducks do: it falls apart.
His most recent claim to fame is a bizarre rant about Ryan Garbutt that saw him clamor for a suspension. Note: Ryan Garbutt did not get suspended, nor did he try to decapitate Corey Perry. Which is really a shame. Why not, Ryan? Give it another go next year, pal. We all believe in you.
Rest assured that this is not the only time Brian Hayward has gone off the deep end in defending his employer's nonexistent honor. There was also that one time that James Wisniewski actually did try and decapitate Brent Seabrook, and Hayward wondered openly about whether or not Seabrook was embellishing. As Seabrook's lifeless body laid limp against the end-boards and slid down to the ice like a good guy getting shot in a mediocre 1940's western.
There are many more Hayward-moments that I'm sure would have been documented if any non-Ducks fan on the entire planet actually chose to watch the Ducks for more than a few minutes at a time, but they don't. And they shouldn't. Thankfully, a very smart person threw together this extremely informative clip on Hayward and the Ducks.
Hayward has been given a spigot for his lunacy to spout from and he takes full advantage. He's made Ducks fans dumber for a generation, and he'll do it for another generation given the chance. He's once again set them up beautifully to swallow a bitter pill because there isn't a shred of honesty about the team he works for in a single one of his broadcasts. The Ducks will again fail, probably miserably, and their fans will be blind-sided so hard that it's like they're actually being hit by Corey Perry.
In all honesty, there are many, many reasons to cheer against Anaheim. The few I've laid out are just the foundation for the worst house that hockey has ever built. I am imploring you to do the right thing here. Make fun of the Ducks. Laugh at them. Join in with the rest of the west coast that has already realized what a hilarious mess of a team SoCal's least important city has produced. You don't have to cheer for actual saint Dustin Brown. You don't have to root for a team that just won the Cup. Just cheer against Anaheim. Thank you.