Earlier this month I spun some jams for the playoff teams. Now let’s talk about everybody else. People will get fired. People will get traded. Lottery balls will bounce. Some of these teams will probably be good next year. Some of them will be very, very bad. At least one team will be thrilled, while other fan bases will cry foul and treason and slander the good (hohoho) name of the NHL.
Just like the Playoff Playlist you’ll find a song for each of the 14 teams that missed the playoffs. There’s a Spotify playlist directly below, and Youtube links for the songs that you can reach by clicking the artist/song title.
Boston Bruins (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Heads Will Roll)
I get the feeling Bruins fans would love to some changes at the top. Surprisingly, Julien is back. The bloodlust will only grow if the B’s look as shrugworthy as they did for most of this season. They’d have been better off being actually bad, but that’s tough to do with Rask, Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, etc still in the fold. Maybe Sweeney et al will figure it out before the guillotine gets them.
Carolina Hurricanes (D.A. Wallach – Long Way Down)
We’re heading for a new era of Carolina hockey with Eric Staal gone to the Rangers and Cam Ward most likely either signing elsewhere or taking a back-up role. I suspect things are gonna get worse before they get better for the Canes, who could frankly use another high pick or two anyway. But hey, actually keeping and developing young players to build the team around is at least the right direction to go.
Ottawa Senators (The Goo Goo Dolls – Better Days)
Eric Karlsson deserves so much better. Sens ownership hates spending when the team is winning, so I can’t imagine things are going to get too much better in the short term since they already have RFAs to sign including Mike Hoffman. But hey at least they’re paying Dion Phaneuf 7 million dollars for a bunch more years…
New Jersey Devils (Klaxons – Surfing The Void)
Another team desperately in need of some top end talent. The Devils could really use some lottery luck, since they’re just competent enough to win at a mediocre clip. See, trading for Schneider sort of worked…? There’s some decent mid-20s talent on the roster but not nearly enough of it. They also have Travis Zajac for five more years at around 6 million per, because you wouldn’t want people to get their hopes up I guess.
Colorado Avalanche (Radiohead – Just)
YOU DO IT TO YOURSELF, JUST YOU. YOU AND NO ONE ELSE.
Montreal Canadiens (J-Live – Great Expectations)
Expectations weigh heavier than they should on the Habs. This is a pretty bad team with a few elite players mixed it. Unfortunately for Habs fans, Therrien is back for another season and Bergevin seems to think the team is just dandy. (Note: They are not dandy, they are not dandy at all.) They’ll be better next year with a healthy Carey Price. Probably even a playoff team. But that’s going to hurt in the long term unless they come up big with the lottery balls this time around.
Buffalo Sabres (Metric – Help I’m Alive)
The Sabres suddenly seem like a revived organization after a year under Dan Bylsma. Sure they still suck, but they improved over last year and they looked better in all aspects on the ice. Another high pick to pair with Eichel can’t hurt. The Sabres fans aren’t used to optimism though so they might just spend next season being confused.
Arizona Coyotes (The Killers – A Dustland Fairytale)
Hey, they could land a hometown boy. Maybe you heard. The ‘Yotes are apparently going heavy on the analytical side of things this summer having fired Don Maloney. Maloney was extremely well regarded through all the arena/relocation nonsense in recent years, so I’m very curious as to how they proceed to build this team. Matthews would certainly help…
Winnipeg Jets (Morcheeba – Enjoy The Ride)
The Jets got a little taste of postseason play, but right back to the wasteland this year. This is not a surprise when Pavelec is your goalie, IMO. At least he’s heading into his last contract season. So Jets fans, enjoy the fact that you have an NHL team again at the very least. Hellebuyck time next year? He looked pretty darn good this year and he’s been consistently successful at every level. I mean… he can’t be WORSE than Pavelec can he?
Calgary Flames (The Moth & The Flame – Red Flag)
When your coach (90s Man Bob Hartley) says things like “we didn’t block enough shots” as a reason for why your team underachieved in 2016, that is a good sign that your coach might not be the best coach. But hey it’s Calgary so of course, Hartley ain’t going anywhere. The Flames have talent. But they could use a goalie. Maybe they can add Patrick Roy, which is a sure fire way to make a Hartley team win something.
Columbus Blue Jackets (Black Kids – Hit The Heartbreaks)
Ah, Lumbus. You were supposed to be good! What happened?! They made the big offseason splash of Brandon Saad. Then they were just kinda sad all season. They even added Seth Jones, who is pretty good! Maybe they can get a full Bobrovsky season next year and jump back into the postseason. They’ve got a pretty young core… but they also have Torts and I do not trust Torts to y’know… do things well.
Vancouver Canucks (Strangers You Know – Smoke And Mirrors)
Canucks fans spent most of the last year wondering if their GM was high, I suspect. Jim Benning has been running the team for most of two years and his moves are almost all towards the “Huh?” end of the “What’s the point of that” scale. This team has had personnel problems going back before Benning, but he’s still the guy who signed Ryan Miller and traded for Brandon Sutter (and then gave him four times what he’s worth) for some reason. It really feels like Benning has no clue how good his own team is most of the time. At least Virtanen and McCann could be good. Maybe he can draft well?
Edmonton Oilers (Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards)
Even in a year where McDavid looked great and they picked up several wins on last season, it felt like another slog through the wasteland to follow the Oilers. Several months with McDavid on the shelf didn’t help, but even with him it’s not like Edmonton was on fire. Talbot seems (to me) like a good goalie. But their defense is still extremely meh and their offense has promise but not enough actual results. I’m expecting more improvement but more painful stretches too next year. Will they win the lottery? Oh probably.
Toronto Maple Leafs (Tame Impala – Let It Happen)
The Leafs have vaulted into competence as an organization. Sure the team stinks but at least it’s a young stinky team with upside instead of the old stinky team with no hope that they’ve been for a half decade. As long as they can avoid the urge to try to get better faster, they should be fine. They have a good coach, good management and a base of young talent. Just keep adding more and it’ll work out eventually. Steady as she goes, Leafs.