MONTREAL - Anticipation for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals between Montreal and Washington has reached a fever pitch since rumours surfaced that Canadiens forward Scott Gomez will punch Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin in the face.
"We haven't seen excitement like this for a hockey game in a long time," said fellow correspondent Bill Mader. "Ovechkin is a guy who preys on goalies' emotions, is missing a tooth, and has a tremendous amount of money. Really, don't you want to punch him in the face?"
Whether it's true or not, the idea that Ovechkin may get badly hurt has captured the imagination of The Faithful, and win or lose, that's something most fans are willing to pay big bucks to see.
When chasing down how the rumour was started, your disquisitive reporter discovered that a trustworthy internet "Tweeter" (whatever that means) found and released a document showing that Gomez had booked a room in a local area hospital for one "Douchebag J. Ovechkin" for Wednesday night where he is expected to be recovering from "multiple blows to the face."
Once this was released to the public, Habs fans immediately began asking just how hard Gomez intends to roundhouse punch Ovechkin in the schnoz. Will he lose any more teeth? Was the choice of hospital such that he will receive poor medical care and come down with some disease that will cause him to writhe in pain for hours?
The news has resulted in fans pouring out theories of just how exactly this is all going to "go down." One fan suggested that Gomez will skate past the Capitals' bench and throw a haymaker at Ovechkin as nonchalantly as possible. Another posited that Gomez will make small talk during a faceoff and just as he is in the middle of commenting about how awesome Ovechkin is, he'll paste a bell-ringer square into Ovechkin's proboscis.
When reached for comment, Ovechkin was curiously demented. "It's great that everyone is thinking about me. I love the provender that the media brings to my noumenon."
Seriously, what does that even mean?
Gomez has not confirmed or denied the rumours at this point, though the Canadiens brass are trying to build on this hype and are marketing the game as the "Cold War". Get it? Because one is an American, and the other is an asshole?
Before NHL officials remedied the situation, the Canadiens Web site had also deployed a Flash game in which players were encouraged to beat a likeness of Ovechkin with a bat, a car, or another Ovechkin.
Another rumour going around has indicated that if the Canadiens can get to Game 6, Sergei Kostitsyn will light Ovechkin on fire.
More updates as events warrant.