Wednesday, April 25, 2007

NHL's First Round Losers & Their Political Counterparts

Wednesday night brings the start of the second round in the NHL playoffs. Eight teams still have dreams of hoisting the Stanley Cup in June. However, their first round victims face the bitter reality of an early off-season. For each of these teams, their first round disappointments mirrored the setbacks of notable United States politicians. In order of seeding, here are the first round casualties and their U.S. political counterparts.


3. Atlanta Thrashers: Jimmy Carter.
Both the team and the president hail from Georgia. Carter was bounced from the White House after four years, and Atlanta’s playoff run was also over in four. Time will tell if the Thrashers rebound to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins: Alberto Gonzales. Like the beleaguered attorney general, the Penguins had no answers for the Senators.

7. Tampa Bay Lightning: Al Gore. Tampa Bay and Gore were ultimately undone by a loss in Florida. This time, Martin Brodeur played the part of the Supreme Court. The Lightning will spend the off-season lecturing about the dangers of melting ice rinks.

8. New York Islanders: William McKinley. Like Theodore Roosevelt’s predecessor, the Islanders met their demise in Buffalo. You weren’t expecting such an old school reference, were you?


4. Nashville Predators: Carl Weathers.
Of the three main stars of Predator (along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse “The Body” Ventura), he’s the only one who hasn’t been elected governor. What more does Apollo Creed have to do to impress voters? The man died for his country in Rocky IV.

6. Dallas Stars: Lyndon Johnson / George W. Bush. The Stars dropped Game 7 to the Canucks in Vancouver. But they’re not the only Texans with losing efforts in foreign countries.

7. Minnesota Wild: Walter Mondale. Like the Wild versus the Ducks, Mondale hailed from Minnesota and flopped against a favorite from California.

8. Calgary Flames: John Kerry. In 2004, Kerry was damaged by right wing veterans. This year, Calgary was undone by Red Wing veterans.