A Gumper Stumper

Newsy Lalonde wouldn't like it. Neither would Mud Bruneteau. Nor Odie Cleghorn.

The Colorado Avalanche has once more shoved its bloody but proud face into the middle of the National Hockey League playoff picture, and so have teams from such distinctly non-Canadian, well-above-zero climes as San Jose, California, and St. Louis, Missouri. Hockey purists -- which is to say, people who wear snowshoes to work and remember that Bernie Geoffrion won his first Art Ross Trophy in 1955 -- have to love this year's second-round match-up between Mother Country rivals Toronto and Ottawa, and you know they can't wait for the Montreal Canadiens to knock off those moonshine-swilling, stock-car-racing interlopers from (mon Dieu!) Raleigh, North Carolina.

In the bastions of hockey tradition (including a certain grimy city in Michigan), Avalanche fans are still regarded as rank newcomers -- ignorant of the sport's history, unfamiliar with the nuances of its rules, and thus undeserving of the transplanted team's two Stanley Cup wins.

Well, that may have been so way back in '96, when Colorado won its first Cup and the suits in the $400 seats at McNichols Sports Arena didn't know the difference between the five hole and the fifth hole. But those intervening seasons in the company of Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic have turned Avs fans into knowledgeable sophisticates. Care to test your big-league hockey knowledge? Take this simple multiple-choice quiz.

1. Hockey was invented by:
a. Gump Worsley
b. Members of the Rotary Club in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
c. Wolfgang Puck

2. The capital of Canada is:
a. Moose Jaw
b. Arvada
c. Unbelievably cold

3. Sylvain Lefebvre is:
a. A raspberry-infused duck breast on a bed of roasted shiitake mushrooms, accompanied by chervil-scented polenta
b. A topless dancer at the Gold Club in Trois Rivieres, Quebec
c. Not the player he used to be when he was here

4. Define "cross-checking":
a. What the Romans did on Good Friday
b. What the pilot tells the stewardesses to do before the plane lands
c. What you do when that sunuvabitch on the 'Wings cheap-shots you on the changeover and then grins at you through that three-dollar upper plate of his. It'll get you two minutes in the Sin Bin, eh, but it's worth it for the chance to kick that bent-nosed goon's ass from here to Winnipeg

5. The greatest hockey player of all time is:
a. Gordie Howe
b. Wayne Gretzky
c. Gump Worsley
d. Definitely Caucasian

6. Beat writers scrambling to make deadline after a double-overtime playoff game love to type this name:
a. Miikka Kiprusoff
b. Dimitry Afanasenko
c. Teemu Selanne
d. Lubomir Sekaras
e. Nick Smith

7. Who is Gump Worsley?
a. Tony Soprano's psychiatrist
b. The car parker at Morton's Steakhouse
c. Mud Bruneteau's first cousin over to Dolbeau
d. Ecoutez, mon ami. The Gumper was the greatest goalie who ever laced 'em up for the Habs, even though the press never admitted it and he had to share those Vezina trophies with Charlie Hodge and even Rogie Vachon. Never in the history of ice hockey was there a guy harder than our Gump, and if it wasn't for him, Beli-veau and Geoffrion and Rocket Richard would never have gotten those scoring titles and the Canadiens wouldn't have won all those Stanley Cups, and what else can I say about the Gumper except that he spent 21 years in the league and played 862 games, and the reason his face looked the way it did -- I would say it had character -- is that they hadn't invented the mask yet and the Gumper took his share of rubber in the chops for la gloire of the Canadiens, and there will never be another one like him chez nous

8. "Hooking" is:
a. Rude
b. Another two minutes in the Sin Bin, eh, but worth it anytime you can take out that cauliflower-eared asshole on the Bruins before he can stick his no-good double-parked nose into our nice little odd-man rush, and anyway I'm always looking for a chance to kick that no-good sunuvabitch's ass from here to Manitoba
c. An easy way for a girl to make a buck at the hardware salesmen's convention in Toronto

9. The capital of Ontario is:
a. Gretzky
b. Gretzky
c. Gretzky

10. Following a late-season mishap in 2001, Avalanche star Peter Forsberg lost his:
a. Dog
b. Spleen
c. Mind

11. "Icing" is:
a. What Sarah Vaughan told Earl Hines to get the job
b. The stuff on the outside of cake
c. Not good when you're trailing with 1:37 left to play in the third

12. Hockey in the former Soviet Union is still characterized by:
a. Hard-nosed defensive play
b. Frequent vodka breaks
c. Summary executions

13. Which city was not home to one of the six original NHL franchises?
a. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
b. Tyler, Texas
c. Bangkok, Thailand
d. Arvada

14. What is Gump Worsley?
a. The capital of Canada
b. One of the six original NHL franchises
c. The stuff on the outside of cake

15. There are virtually no minority players in hockey because:
a. Tiger Woods picked golf
b. Barry Bonds picked baseball
c. No black man with any sense of personal style whatsoever would get within twenty blocks of those lame-ass uniforms with the big lumpy pads and the stupid little hats unless he wants to look like some fat-ass white boy from North Dakota or some fucked-up place like that

16. If Mario Lemieux says he wants to marry your daughter (sister, cousin, orphaned godchild, etc.), you say:
a. Sorry, she's in love with Claude Lemieux
b. Sorry, she's in love with Mario Andretti
c. How many season tickets do we get?

17. In the Montreal Canadiens' unprecedented glory years, their greatest achievement was:
a. Refusing Expos season tickets
b. Keeping Route 132 from Leclercville plowed and sanded
c. Getting Gump Worsley elected Emperor of Quebec

18. Before moving to Denver, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy:
a. Spoke excellent French
b. Kept the tire chains on his Peugeot all winter long
c. Never heard of chicken-fried steak

19. The average pair of NHL game tickets costs more than your car did because:
a. It's expensive to make ice in Raleigh, North Carolina, in May
b. Patrick Roy needs lots of chicken-fried steak
c. Gump Worsley says so

20. The New Jersey Devils used to be:
a. The California Angels
b. Tough in the post-season
c. Tony Soprano's psychiatrists

21. The Stanley Cup is:
a. The most coveted trophy in professional sports and the undying dream of every kid who ever laced up a pair of skates before a Saturday-afternoon pond-hockey game in frigid Minneapolis or froid Moose Bay
b. One ugly-ass piece of overgrown silverplate
c. Probably going elsewhere this year


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