Cursed: A Story of Why the Nashville Predators are Doomed.

This season for the Nashville Predators has been, at times, defined by injuries to many of the team’s top players. While it seems that the majority of the starters have spent their time on the injured reserved list or as an unhealthy scratch, the Predators’ centers seem to be at the nexus of this storm of injuries. Matthew Lombardi, David Legwand, and, more recently, Cal “What Kind of Name is Cal” O’Reilly have or will or will continue to miss time for a veritable Mix-Your-Own Jelly Belly bar of injuries.

We’re rapidly approaching the halfway mark of this 2010-2011 NHL season and I’ve become increasingly concerned at the rate by which our players are getting injured. And so, since I’ve got the time, I did a bit of research in hopes of discovering why centering a Predator’s offensive has become such a major health concern. Fortunately, with very little effort, I was able to determine the exact cause for why the Preds centermen seem cursed to drop like Sean Avery during a fight.

Unsurprisingly, the source of the Predators’ plight is none other than popular Calgary Flames centerman Olli Jokinen. Now, wait, how can this be? The only Predator to play with Olli Jokinen for any period of time was Wade Belak during the 2007-2008 season after Beeler got shipped off to the Florida Panthers by the Maple Leafs in exchange for some German flaake. That’s true, but as we all well know, trying to curse Wade Belak is impossible since his tribal tattoos were clearly designed to repel the dark spirits that inhabit the Air Canada Centre. And while we me may never know if the tribal symbols would’ve guarded him from waffles we do know that Belak’s tattoo was also able to protect him from two things: scoring and Olli Jokinen.

Tell me that's not the look
of a man that knows he's
It wasn’t until a few seasons later that the Olli was able to spread his curse to Nashville. But first, a little background on Olli Jokinen. Towards the end of Jokinen’s final season with the Panthers, the Finnish born forward was touring Miami searching for some Leipäjuusto, when he found himself confronted by two gentlemen representing the Santa Muerte religious cult. Fans of the Showtime program Dexter may be familiar with this poorly handled subplot from the recently concluded Season 5 (which was a pretty good season if you ignore the subplots that were never properly concluded outside of a few winks and smiles between characters just to say “hey, I think you might be a murder/drug dealer, but that’s cool because you faked evidence to remove from the scene of a murder that I’m almost certain you committed.” It was stupid). So, these two men cursed Olli Jokinen. It’s up for debate as to when the curse actually got hold of the player. The two popular theories were that the curse took hold and caused him to get shipped to the desert, or, more likely, when he got shipped from Phoenix up to balmy Calgary. Either way something happened on that March 4, 2009 trade that sent Olli Jokinen to the Flames that eventually lead to the curse reaching Nashville.

To handsome to be cursed?
Apparently not....
One of the primary assets that Calgary traded in order to gain the rights to Jokinen was future Predator Matthew Lombardi. While these two players may never have played on the same team, or maybe even met in person, Olli Jokinen was struck with an incredible thought. Far above the Midwestern clouds he would be able to shove his curse off onto another, unsuspecting NHLer. Sadly, and quite amazingly, the Fin was successful and Lombardi soon was home to a curse that would only emerge a year later when he joined the Predators for training camp in the early Fall. What was also amazing was that the world also discovered that while Olli Jokinen was cursed, he also was an mediocre hockey player with stats inflated after playing the bulk of his career in the league’s weakest division; moral of that story, Jokinen sucks and the Flames are managed by crazy people.

Anyways, once Lombardi came to Nashville the curse, which had been sinisterly incubating like Mike Milbury the day before he goes on the air with Jeremy Roenick, emerged and began to infest the team’s other centers. Since then the team hasn’t been able to ice all four of the opening day forwards since the second game of the season. Fortunately, the youthful exuberance of Nick Spaling and Jerred Smithson’s power of invisibility has kept those two safe through the first half the 10-11 season, but we must all be wary of when the curse may strike again.

1 comment:

willn's said...

Chris ,I enjoyed reading the article on Nashville predators and that the poor reputation of these two players is drowning the whole team in return bring them disfavour, unpopularity and a series of punishments from other teams. Its possible. They’re principal here’ and it’s not clear what went wrong with the team as a whole. Nice.

As always actions speak louder than words; what have the Predators done to guarantee the team’s success.? It will be good if looses are bookmarked to prevent a trend and ensure mistakes are not repeated. I mean the insufficient strategies, poor results, tactics leading to injuries, weak team cohesion ie fans, players and management etc.
Team cohesion and longterm team goals to become strong points and need for a recovery process some how to combat any negative outcomes since the team has a large supporter’s base and suffering inconsistencies.