Interior, the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room inside the United Center after their morning skate the day before their Conference Final series against the Los Angeles Kings is scheduled to start. The media has left and the players are sitting at their stalls talking, joking and getting out of their gear. Patrick Kane is chatting with Brandon Bollig in the stall next to him.
Kaner [To Bollig]: Bro, did you know that the Kings coach is into fisting?
Bollig: Who, Sutter?
Kaner: Yeah bro. I saw it for myself one time.
Bollig: You saw Darryl Sutter getting fisted?
Kaner: Yeah, bro. Some dude was elbow deep inside him.
Bollig: The fuck?
Kaner: Junior hockey in London, bro. Dude came to scout me. Went up to meet him in his hotel suite for an interview and the door was kinda open or whatever and I knocked and went in there and he was bent over the bed in the room with some bro elbow deep inside him.
Bollig [Aloud to the room]: HEY, BROS! KANER SAYS HE WATCHED SUTTER GET ASS-FISTED IN SOME KINDA FUCKED UP HOTEL SEX GAME?
Michael Handzus [To Marian Hossa in Slovak]: Bollig strikes me as the type of fellow who might do well in the carnival industry. Guessing the weight of the common folk as they pass by his stand in the midway. Or perhaps as a ticket-taker at the Tilt-a-Whirl.
Hossa [To Handzus]: While I agree with your point that his natural element is in the carnival, I see him more as a sideshow oddity, "Come see the the only known hominid specimen from St. Louis, Missouri known to speak in complete sentences!" or some such variation upon that theme. But I heartily agree with your sentiment that he should be relegated to a traveling carnival where the country folk could pay a nickel to see him in a cage. A wonderful thing to consider.
Handzus and Hossa laugh together for a couple of moments.
Patrick Sharp [To Ben Smith]: What's Bollig shouting about?
Ben Smith [To Sharp]: Something about fisting Darryl Sutter? I'm not sure.
Sharp: I never did understand why Stan gave him that extension.
Smith: He told me he buys a thousand dollars worth of Skoal every week. Says you never know if your next game will be your last and if it is you want to be sure to have enough dip on hand to get you through the lean times.
Sharp: Sound thinking.
Corey Crawford [To Nick Leddy]: You know how they play that Tool song Stinkfist sometimes during games?
Leddy [To Crawford]: Yeah?
Crawford. That song's about fisting.
Leddy: It is?
Crawford: Yeah, man. Check out the lyrics sometime. Pretty creepy.
Leddy: Huh. Why do they play a song about fisting during games?
Crawford: Dunno. It's weird.
Leddy: Bollig is always asking me to smell his fingers.
Crawford: Me too but Tazer says that when he does that I should just tell him I can't because it messes up with me tending goal properly. Seems to work.
Leddy: Lucky. I actually have to smell his fingers and they always smell like a dog's fart.
Crawford: Sorry, man. That sucks.
Leddy: It really does.
Marcus Kruger [To Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson in Swedish]: Why are the Cubs so shitty?
Oduya: I think it's because their owners are carrying too much of a debt load from the overly-leveraged sale from the Tribune Company so they're broke and now all they can do is sell the fan base hope with all these minor leaguers that won't even make the show for another year or two. Plus they got themselves into a tight spot with the rooftop owners and they seem to be banking on a new cable tv deal sometime in the next few years but there is no guarantee that they will reap the same kind of lucrative contract that the Dodgers were able to procure a couple years ago. Can't even get a shovel in the ground to renovate the stadium.
Hammer: Their PR department really is a tire fire too. First they chuck all of those get well cards for Ron Santo in the garbage then they toss that cake in the dumpster and now they put up a mural outside Wrigley showing Charles Lindbergh landing at the stadium as some sort of celebration after his trans-Atlantic journey in 1927. Except that didn't happen at Wrigley, it happened at Comiskey.
Kruger: Why don't they spend more money on replcement level players at least and maybe they could be at least be competitive. It's embarrassing. I don't know how they can explain this to their season ticket holders.
Oduya: It's a travesty.
Duncan Keith [To Brent Seabrook]: Beer me.
Seabrook tosses Keith a Kokanee from a small cooler in his stall and opens one for himself. They clink their cans together in a silent toast.
Jonathan Toews steps into the middle of the room to address the team. The room falls silent.
Tazer: Just to set the record straight, Darryl Sutter is not a sexual deviant.
Bollig: I HEARD HE'S INTO FISTING BRO!
Tazer [Staring hard at Bollig]: Darryl Sutter was a proud Blackhawk player and coach and deserves our utmost respect. But to be clear he does have a rare medical condition that explains what Patrick saw in that hotel room in London.
Kaner [Aloud]: I bet he just likes to get his prostate milked when he's punching the clown. Pretty standard. Is that it, Tazer? He likes to get his prostate milked?
Tazer: No. Darryl is actually a muppet.
Gasps can be heard from all over the dressing room.
Tazer: It's true. He was created in Jim Henson's workshop sometime in the late 1960's. He requires a puppeteer to move and speak and that is what Kaner saw, the puppeteer just doing his job.
Kaner: Do you think he knows Janice cuz I would like to fuck her.
Tazer: As she is constructed from felt, it would not be possible to engage in coitus with Janice.
Kaner: Speak for yourself, bro.
Kruger raises his hand and gestures at Hammer and Oduya: We would like to meet the Swedish chef, if possible.
Hossa [Aloud]: I should like meeting Grover.
Seabrook [Aould]: Duncs and I want to meet Bert and Ernie.
Keith nods silently.
Sharp [Aloud]: Smitty and I would like to meet Statler and Waldorf.
The noise level in the room increases dramatically as the guys start talking about their favorite muppet characters.
The room quiets down.
Tazer: Let's focus on the game tomorrow. You must put aside your fascination with muppets for the next two weeks and remember that even though we beat this team last year in the playoffs, they had a lot of injuries. It won't be so easy this year. We have the home ice advantage so let's go out there tomorrow and play our game and take care of business!
Genreal cheering and yelling in the room.
Tazer [Above the noise]: And after we beat LA, I'll take you all to meet Kermit this summer.
Room goes crazy.
You can follow me on Twitter @nCornick for additional stupidity.