As is our destined path down the dark road of hockey lore, your sport of choice always finds a way to twist the knife into the open wounds with just enough force as to then sprinkle some salt in while asking how your day is going.
But never fear! While you may look at the Conference Finals and decide projectile vomiting or the NBA playoffs are more enjoyable (yikes), here's a handy guide to help navigate you through what's left of this dumpster fire of a season.
The New York Rangers
Alain Vigneault: Ah yes, he who inherited a decent squad in Vancouver and brought them within a sniff of the Cup was then gifted a very strong squad in NY and is attempting to walk them back into their second consecutive Cup final. If only we could all be born on third base.
Tanner Glass: Mr. Glass! Last seen in Vancouver in the 2010-11 season where he actually scored goals on a line with Peter Schaefer and added some helpers to goals from Mario Bliznak (here) and Alexandre Bolduc (here). My head hurts writing that sentence.
No good can from this team going all the way. Zero. None. Nada. The league will love it, newspapers will love it, talk radio will love it, schedule makers will love it and Rangers fans - a thoroughly detestable lot - will cling to this until the end times. Not to mention seeing Coach OZ lift the Cup will produce a summer full of false narratives on our end. Nope nope nope.
Jason Garrison: The poor BC native who didn't want to leave finds himself eight wins away from a Cup. Sadly Vancouver can only have some many blueliners who can't put the puck on net and he was last in line. I'm sure he's OK with the trade by now and, if not, I'm sure a few errant slap shots at neck level no where near the net will help him blow off some steam.
As retirement community option 1B for Vancouver defensemen - 1A is over in Sunrise thanks to the brave trail blazing of Edward Jovanovski - Tampa is a happy choice for our sunsetting, expensive blueliners to call it a day. First Ohlund, then Salo and now Garrison is a trend we can support as long as you keep tossing Vancouver draft picks. They're allowed to win a Cup if they have sandals and a Mai Tai ready for Kevin Bieksa in a few weeks.
The Anaheim Ducks
Jason Labarbera: Chances are you remember Barbie for one of two reasons: (1) he was part of the four-headed monster in net (Luongo, Schneider, LaBarbera and Sanford) for Vancouver during the 2008-09 season or (b) his colorful lids.
Ryan Kesler: ...deep inhale...So the guy who cut and run from the Vancouver franchise by handcuffing the new GM saying he only wanted to go to one of two teams and was going to hold out if not moved and held his breath and covered his ears going lalalalalalalala finally got the beach life in a soft market he so desperately needed playing alongside cretins that makes him appear only mildly repulsive by comparison and - wouldn't you know it - both teams are now the last two standing in the conference gets exactly what he wanted at least so far unless the Ducks fall flat on their faces which of course couldn't possibly happen unless there is a just and loving god above our heads who has a master plan for each and every one of us....exhale...
You're kidding right?
None: It's the same group of mindsuck high-elbow monsters that have been there for the past decade, only now they do silly things like believe Antoine Vermette or Daniel Carcillo are solutions to anything and give $2,000,000 to Brad Richards because they secretly hate themselves and don't know how to properly express it yet.
I suppose they get props for not having a goaltending controversy totally derail their happy train. They're also the best shot left at stopping Kesler's dreams and from Vigneault reaching the one goal that has alluded him through his career. LES SIGH.