Hair bands and hockey hair: a marriage made in heaven. We're dropping the needle on 30 songs that say something about each of the 30 teams, using nothing but cheesy videos from the 1980s. The Eastern Conference list is below -- feel free to mullet over. (Western Conference is here.)
BOSTON BRUINS: "Don't You (Forget About Me)," Simple Minds
Everyone's all caught up in the West Coast domination thing, but you can't discount the Bruins, the hardest team in the East. They changed very little in the offseason, have been good for many seasons and have had their core together for many seasons. Replacing Jarome Iginla's 30 goals will not be easy, but somehow these guys always find a way to win, no matter how many goals leave. And if they can find a way to beat the Canadiens ...
Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby
Don't you forget about me
Don't don't don't don't
Don't you forget about me
BUFFALO SABRES: "Road To Nowhere," Talking Heads
This was as close as we could get to "We're On The Road To Finishing Last, So We Have a Better Chance of Getting Connor McDavid Or We'd Even Take Jack Eichel, As Far As That Goes."
They can tell you what to do
But they'll make a fool of you
And it's all right, baby, it's all right
We're on a road to nowhere
CAROLINA HURRICANES: "Mad World," Tears For Fears
No offense to Tim Gleason, but there's not much new happening here. Which, as you might expect, is how a team that finished so low in the Eastern Conference and failed to make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season should operate. Sarcasm. No wonder Jim Rutherford left.
All around me are familiar faces
Bright and early for their daily races
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: "Here I Go Again," Whitesnake
So, you're Scott Hartnell, playing fairly well on one of the league's most desirable teams. Then, poof, you're suddenly dealt to Columbus, with little indication as to why. It's enough to make your hair stand on end. More, that is.
I don't know where I'm going
But I sure know where I've been
Hanging on the promises
In songs of yesterday
And I've made up my mind,
I ain't wasting no more time
But here I go again
Here I go again
DETROIT RED WINGS: "Broken Wings," Mr. Mister
Who are we to stand in the way of obvious symbolism? Man, the Red Wings really miss Nicklas Lidstrom.
So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again, learn to live so free
FLORIDA PANTHERS: "Money For Nothing," Dire Straits
Dave Bolland is a good player, but five years at $5.5 million per? The Panthers must feel his intangibles are off the charts, because his tangibles -- which were never great, as he has never scored 20 goals in a season -- are declining to disappearing.
That ain't workin'
That's the way you do it
MONTREAL CANADIENS: "Under Pressure," Queen and David Bowie
Getting to the final four is a great selling point for every team in the league -- except if you're the Canadiens, whose fans consider anything short of a parade to be a failure. Can Carey Price rebound from his playoff injury? Can P.K. Subban continue to light it up without causing a brush fire in the dressing room? Will the Habs get back to the conference finals? And so on.
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: "Don't Worry, Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin
If there was a state of denial, it's New Jersey. It's not enough that Martin Brodeur, the greatest goalie not named Patrick Roy, is unceremoniously being pushed out -- the team's scoring woes are to be addressed by a frequently injured Martin Havlat and a decent-but-declining Michael Cammalleri. Whether it's on the ice or off, this franchise is not what it used to be, but no one in Newark seems all that concerned.
Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got no girl to make you smile
But don't worry, be happy
'Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
NEW YORK ISLANDERS: "Is There Something I Should Know?" Duran Duran
Even with a new building on the horizon, the Islanders are still considered a team to stay away from. Heck, it's so bad, they aren't even on national TV this season. And their offseason signings -- Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Cory Conacher and Jack Skille -- show only the downtrodden or desperate decide to head to the Isle. Somewhere, a frustrated Clark Gillies is throwing boulders at a Sasquatch.
Maybe next year, maybe no go
I know you're watching me every minute of the day yeah
I've seen the signs and the looks and the pictures that give your game away yeah
There's a dream that strings the road a broken glass for us to hold
And I cut so far before I had to say
Please, please tell me now, is there something I should know
Is there something I should say that'll make you come my way
NEW YORK RANGERS: "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)," Cinderella
The Rangers will always have King Henrik. But their chances of returning to the Cup finals are looking as arid as the setting in this video, after losing Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot and Brad Richards and replacing them with Dan Boyle, Lee Stempniak and ... Tanner Glass? Zoinks.
Don't know what you got till it's gone
Don't know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It's just this song
And it ain't easy to get back
Takes so long
OTTAWA SENATORS: "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)," Glass Tiger
Jason Spezza is now a Dallas Star. Weird, huh? First longtime captain Daniel Alfredsson moves on, then Spezza bails. Sounds like some woe is living in O-town.
Oh can this be true
If you could see what I have seen
Broken hearts and broken dreams
Then I wake up and you're not there
Pain finds me everywhere
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: "I Don't Care Anymore," Phil Collins
Are they even trying to be good? Something just doesn't feel right about this team.
Well, you can tell everyone I'm a down disgrace
Drag my name all over the place
I don't care anymore
You can tell everybody about the state I'm in
You won't catch me crying 'cause I just can't win
I don't care anymore, I don't care anymore
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: "Say You, Say Me," Lionel Richie
Sidney Crosby, you're good, you're special and, doggone it, people like you. You're great, you're really, really great. A shining star, truly. But, dude, you have one Stanley Cup. So, now you've got a new coach -- a new friend, of a sort -- who can show you how to win. And, if you somehow lead your team to the big prize, people will be dancing on the ceiling.
As we go down life's lonesome highway
Seems the hardest thing to do is to find a friend or two
A helping hand, someone who understands
That when you feel you've lost your way
You've got some one there to say I'll show you
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: "Sledgehammer," Peter Gabriel
Get ready, Bolts fans. This could be your year. GM Steve Yzerman has made some savvy moves in his relatively short tenure, stacking up on good defensemen in the offseason and re-signing Ryan Callahan. That, coupled with the return to health of super sniper Steven Stamkos and stonewall Ben Bishop mean these aren't your Chris Gratton-variety Lightning.
I've kicked the habit
Shed my skin
This is the new stuff
I go dancing in, we go dancing in
Oh won't you show for me
And I will show for you
Show for me, I will show for you
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: "Land Of Confusion," Genesis
Dave Nonis decries the use of advanced stats in the NHL. Then, after new sheriff Brendan Shanahan rides into town, the Leafs hire a noted advanced-stats guru as the assistant GM. Who's in charge here again? How long will Nonis have a job? Is the captain staying or going? Is James Reimer the backup? So confusing.
There's too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see
This is a land of confusion
WASHINGTON CAPITALS: "Turn Me Loose," Loverboy
Alex Ovechkin's summertime heartache aside, you know he wants to be turned loose by whomever his coach happens to be, and this season he's got Barry Trotz behind the bench. Will it happen? Will he be given the green light by yet another coach? And, if so, will he actually try while backchecking?
I was born to run
I was born to dream
The craziest boy you ever seen
I gotta do it my way
Or no way at all