Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Here he comes, down the hero canal...

Look, he's crowning! You see him? You see this man? This is Jussi Markkanen. That's right: Jussi fucking Markkanen. One half of Conkkanen. Juicy Rebounds. The other Finnish Flash. Old... Goalie Person.

What's the matter? You scared? You don't like all the consonants? Well, tough shit, asshole. Jussi likes 'em. In fact, he loves them. Hugs and kisses them all day. Dresses them up nice. Takes them to the zoo. Buys them ice cream. If they come across a vowel, they fucking kill it. Just stab it to death, right there in front of everyone. Jussi hates vowels. If he could, he'd stab every vowel in the world — just stab and stab and stab until all that's left are the sounds of his heaving chest and his shoes grinding against the pavement as he whirls around looking for one more vowel to kill. But in this perfect dream of his, they're aren't anymore vowels. You've murdered them all, Jyssy. Look upon your mountain of dead and rest. You've done all you can.

Jussi knows this can never be. It kills him inside to know that despite the number of consonants in his name, he is still 35 per cent vowel nonetheless. This dichotomy consumes him. It drives him, keeps him from sleeping the night before a game. Once he hits the ice, every puck fired his way is a vowel, and he fucking hates them. Here comes a U! KICKED INTO THE CORNER. E! BLOCKERED OVER THE GLASS. A! CRUSHED IN HIS LEATHERY TRAPPER LIKE A MOUSE DROPPED INTO A BOA CONSTRICTOR'S TERRARIUM. O — well, you don't even want to know what he does with Os. Even a passing mention would make the hardest killer on North Carolina's death row blanch and crumple to the floor like a Civil War-era debutante who just discovered that the general store ran out of her favourite colour of chiffon. Why? Because Jussi is hard, bitches. Harder than you could ever possibly imagine.

And tonight, we're going to see just how hard he is. Aside from that tight, burning ball of hate that he keeps buried deep inside him every minute of the day, Jussi's greatest weapon is how much his opponents underestimate his talents. Hey, just look at his stats this season: 15-12-6? .880 save percentage? 3.13 GAA? Is this guy a goalie or just a bunch of stray cats taped together and stuffed into an Oilers jersey? Well laugh it up, fuckers, because Jussi is more than his stats. He's a competitor. He's a fighter. Behind that faint wisp of Laplander mane and those boyish good looks lies the heart of a killer.

You think he doesn't want that Cup? Think again. Tonight you're going to see the best game Jussi Markkanen has ever played in his life. Remember that stretch at the end of October, when the Oilers, fresh off of two devastating 7-1 and 5-3 losses to Colorado, responded with five straight wins, the longest winning streak of the season? Well, guess who was in net.

October 28: Jussi walks his team into Dallas and steals a 5-3 win from the inhospitable confines of the Reunion Arena. 22 shots, 19 saves, .864.

October 29: Next stop, Tennessee and the high-flying Nashville Predators. Jussi goes toe-to-toe with one of the league's best goaltenders in Tomas Vokoun and emerges victorious, letting in a single goal en route to a 5-1 win. 24 shots, 23 saves, .958.

November 1: Brief stopover in Edmonton gives Jussi just enough time to post identical numbers against the sad-sack Columbus Bluejackets. 5-1 win, 24 shots, 23 saves, .958.

November 3: Jussi stands tall in a 4-3 overtime win over eventual Presidents Trophy winners and perennial playoff disappointers the Detroit Red Wings. 38 shots, 35 saves, .921.

November 4: Jussi plays back-to-back games for the second time in eight nights and again faces close to 40 shots in a 7-2 flattening of the St. Louis Blues. 36 shots, 34 saves, .944.

My point, sirs and ladysirs, is there once was a time when Jussi was the backbone of this team. He was a tender we could count on, capable not of stealing games, but maintaining them, of putting up strong and even occasionally remarkable numbers behind an Oilers offence that seemingly couldn't help but score.

His time now comes again. So go forth, Jussi Markkanen. Go forth and maintain. Hold the fort while the Oilers blow past Carolina's stutter-stepping defence and blast puck after puck after puck past some 22-year-old punk from Glen Allen on their way to a hard-fought 5-2 win. Remember the vowels, Jussi. Remember your hate.

You think I'm going to smile for this Beardwatch photo? Fuck that. I'm not even going to shower.

GOILERS.



PS: Please don't start Conklin.


[UPDATE}: I'm auditioning for a copyediting job until 9 p.m. tonight and Mike is working later than that, so we won't be able to help set up another game night for all the Toronto bloggers who came out last time. But feel free to use this thread to organize amongst yourselves and I'll do my best to come join you when my shift is over. RAD??

13 comments:

Coluch said...

This post is a transcipt of my thoughts while I WAS showering this morning... stats included.

Me said...

You've got a great playoff beard going there! What's the purpose of the "birthing" tunnel during practices? Why not just have them walk out like they normally would during a game?

PS: I came across your website yesterday - great job!

Jes GÅ‘lbez said...

d00d, Jussi is Finnish. They love their vowels. You have them confused with Czechs and their 'weird-vowels' like Vrbata, Slegr, and Jiri Crha.

Chris! said...

Hey, just because other Finns may love vowels doesn't mean that Jussi does to. He's an INDIVIDUAL.

Neil said...

Jussi, as a national figure of some renown, actually has exemption from the Finnish government for having a mere five vowels in his name (two below the national minimum). There's a town near his birthplace whose name is 17 "A"s with various accents. Only wolves can pronounce it correctly.

Andy said...

I know that town, it got its name when a succulent beauty named Anja emerged steaming from a secluded sauna. She tripped on an empty and plunged her tremendously tangible torso into the snow. It was an event to be timelessly treasured, and her verbal response became the name of the town. They re-enact it with a yearly festival, which The Juice never misses, cuz he's our kinda guy. His desire to have something comparable occur for us on Whyte Avenue is the mojo he's needed to solidify his play.

Sean said...

It's Markkanen - http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=168123&hubname=

Now let's all breathe a collective sigh of relief.

---HockeyDude--- said...

Those of you who've bashed Ty Conklin are probbably the same ones who shit on Dwayne Roloson after his 3 game losing streak following the trade. I'm tired of hearing it ! Have some faith in the guy, he's got "Hot Streak" potential, where as Jussi is... just plain jane Jussi ! Remember when Tommy Salo went down, and Ty brought the Oilers down the stretch a couple years ago ? He can do that for us again. But if they play Jussi, so be it ( could you just eat your words when one of them proves you wrong ?)

mike w said...

Good luck with the audition, Chris.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Jussi's a lapdancer?

Desdemona said...

E - I - E - I - Oh crap....

Sean said...

hockeydude, if you'll check the archives on my blog, I have been a huge Roloson supporter since day one. Fortunately Roloson grew to the potential I knew he had, whereas unfortunately, Conklin has consistently made me want to kick the crap out of anyone who happens to be within a few meters of me.

N said...

This is the funniest post I have ever read anywhere on any topic. Wow. Well done.