One time this immensely annoying man at my old job gave me a very baggy St. Louis Blues jacket that smelled like a thousand beers and cigarettes because he thought they were my favourite team.
The jacket was about 5 times too big for me (he was a huge fat man) and I promptly donated it to a thrift store. This might seem like a pointless anecdote, but it totally isn’t if I create a forced metaphor.
The Blues are like the jacket: a nice gesture, coming from a good place. You want to like them, and if they were just slightly different they could be amazing, but, nope, they’re just a XXXL sweaty old stinky jacket that’s going to end up on a dingy old rack in a Value Village.
This Blues squad should be so damn likeable and awesome. Their core is really cool: grizzled old bastard David Backes, budding Russian superstar Vladimir Tarasenko, a couple of young d-man studs in Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo, and lots of other interesting pieces like Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen. (As an aside, am I the only one who feels weird referring to good hockey players as studs? It just reminds me of dreamy beefcakes on the beach.)
But, for some reason, they’re not likeable. Not likeable at all. I’m narrowing it down to one thing: their coach, Ken Hitchcock.
He’s my lowest ranked surly obese coach in the NHL.
He’s WAY less likeable than Barry Trotz.
He’s WAY less surly than Claude Julien.
He’s WAY less unpredictably emotional than Michel Therrien.
He’s way less handsome in the face than Bruce Boudreau
He kinda looks scary and stern, like if he was the boogyman or the fictional coach in the movie “Air Bud,” who, in an extremely tragic and graphic-for-children scene, whips a bunch of basketballs at one of the kids on his elementary school basketball tema during a 1 on 1 training session, and while the kid is cowering in fear, Air Bud intervenes and bites the mean ‘ol coach in the butt or thigh. I may have just invented this scene in my mind, and if so, I apologize.
Give this team John Tortorella, and they’re an instant cup-winner, guaranteed.
YOU MY BOY, BLUE!