Erik Karlsson: Troll God
The Ottawa Senators cooked the Penguins last night 5-1. It was a bloodbath. A beatdown of biblical proportions. The flightless birds tobogganed in the first 13 minutes of the game and couldn’t get up from there. However, the game wasn’t won for Ottawa last night. No no no. Last night was purely the payoff. Game 3 of the ECF was won much earlier than that and it all starts with Erik Karlsson mentally putting Sidney Crosby in his back pocket during game 2.
Now I don’t think Erik Karlsson is necessarily the “bad boy” of hockey. But this is definitely a case of the cool kid at school casually shitting on the teacher’s pet. Crosby is the face of the NHL. He’s clean cut. You know absolutely nothing about his personal life outside of hockey. He’s been touted as “The Next One” since he was like 14. Erik Karlsson isn’t that. He’s got the flow. He’s always packing a lip during games. He’s wheeling around an absolute ROCKET of a girlfriend or wife or whatever she is. Everybody loves to love Karlsson. Everybody loves to hate Crosby.
If you’ve ever been to high school–which is still a few years away for some of the Go Pres Go crowd–you know that the teacher’s pet usually goes on to become extremely successful in life while the cool class clown usually ends up hanging around his hometown for way too long continuing to buy the high school kids beer and hooking up with every girl on her 18th birthday. The advanced analytics of the phenomena don’t appear to be in Erik Karlsson’s favor. But it’s great for the time being so let’s just enjoy it while it lasts.
P.S. – I’m getting real nervous about Erik Karlsson eventually reaching the point of mass-popularity that he ends up catching the Steph Curry effect. Eventually the world has to turn against him. It’s not today. It won’t be tomorrow. But if everybody continues to love him at the rate we’re loving him now, it’s not too far away.