Rapper Lil' Jon, a fan of the Atlanta Thrashers, poses with the Stanley Cup. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images for NHL)
Are you excited for the post-season, folks? Because if down-to-the-wire races, Cinderella stories and Sidney Crosby fighting Panthers won’t do it, there’s only one thing left to get you amped.
Yes, the southern rap sub-genre that blows the roof off clubs with its aggressive and excitable up-tempo beats. Ever since crunk godfather Lil Jon started hanging out with Kari Lehtonen and the Atlanta Thrashers, it’s hard to think of hockey without hip hop. OK, it’s hard for me not to think about it. The following soundtrack for playoff contenders proves I failed:
“Neva Eva” by Trillville – Detroit: Fifty wins in four straight seasons and a cast that includes two-way maestros Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom means Chris Osgood can give up four goals a game and another Stanley Cup is still possible. You can neva eva/get on my level.
“No Problems” by Lil Scrappy – Boston: You don’t want no problems with me/we be 50-deep. There are only 20 of them on any given night, but it certainly seems like the Bruins go 50 deep, thanks to the emergence of players such as David Krejci, Blake Wheeler and Dennis Wideman. Plus, you seriously don’t want no problems with big Zdeno Chara.
“What You Know” by T.I. – San Jose: What do we know about the Sharks? They lose in the playoffs. What do we know about first-year coach Todd McLellan? He learned how not to lose in the playoffs, while coaching with Mike Babcock in Detroit. Your move, Fins.
“Presidential” by Youngbloodz – Washington: The Capitals have looked downright regal most of the season, let alone presidential. If Jose Theodore can replicate past post-season performances (don’t forget he was flu-ridden against Detroit last year), Alex Ovechkin and the boys can make an official White House visit as Stanley Cup champs.
“You Don’t Want Drama” by 8Ball and MJG – New Jersey: The Devils are sputtering towards the post-season and that farm in Alberta looks more and more tempting to frazzled coach Brent Sutter. Now Patrik Elias has groin drama? Say it ain’t so.
“Fireman” by Lil Wayne – Calgary: The Flames haven’t been world-beaters lately, but they do have a veteran-laden team and an all-world goalie in Miikka Kiprusoff who has been known to extinguish teams in the playoffs. You can spark it up and I’m-a put you out.
“Raise Up” by Petey Pablo – Carolina: North Carolina, come on and raise up/take your shirt off, twist it ’round your head, spin it like a helicopter. It may be a bit too cold for shirt-doffing inside the RBC Center, but the fans in Raleigh are getting crazy again. And why not? Cam Ward is back in Conn Smythe form and the Eric Staal-Erik Cole reunion has been outstanding.
“A Bay Bay” by Hurricane Chris – Chicago: The ‘Bay Bay’ Hawks are going to get a crash-course in playoff hockey this year, but unlike the one-hit wonder Hurricane Chris, expect them to be more competitive in the post-season next time around.
“Knuck if you Buck” by Crime Mob – Vancouver: As in, Canuck if you buck. Loss to Colorado on Sunday aside, Van City is once again looking like a team with all the elements necessary for a Cup run and I will never doubt Ryan Kesler again after the campaign he has put together.
“I Smoke, I Drank” By Body Head Bangerz – Montreal: I smoke, I drank/I’m supposed to stop, but I can’t. Habs fans have been doing a lot of both lately, but it looks like their team is out of the woods, at least in terms of making the post-season. Success in said playoffs? That’s another matter.
“Feds Taking Pictures” by DJ Drama – Anaheim: Oilers coach Craig MacTavish thought he had intelligence on a Teemu Selanne illegal stick, but got exposed when the measurements disagreed. But any team with Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and the Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry-Bobby Ryan combo must be under surveillance this spring, no matter what the goaltending situation is.
“No. 1 Stunna” by Big Tymers – Columbus: Had to feel bad for Steve Mason on the Kris Versteeg overtime breakaway goal Sunday, but if it’s any consolation, the Jackets’ No. 1 goalie will have a chance to be a stunner in the team’s first playoff run.
“I Ain’t Got Nothing” by David Banner – Philadelphia: Do the Flyers have anything left? Goaltending is once again a question and neither Martin Biron nor Antero Niittymaki has made a statement lately.
“Fightin’ in the Club” by I-20 – Pittsburgh: Sid the Kid dropped the mitts again in Florida Sunday and under the tutelage of interim coach Dan Bylsma, the Penguins are back to being a dangerous team in the East.
Ryan Kennedy is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey's Young Guns and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his column - The Straight Edge - every Friday, and his features, The Hot List and Prep Watch appears Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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