With the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs just around the corner, we decided to help you with your fantasy draft… assuming it involves cars, of course! What follows are the best cars for the various positions found on your typical six-man on-ice squad.
We’ll start off with one of the toughest to gauge – and most important – positions on the ice. Oftentimes, a hot goalie can be what separates a Stanley Cup win from an early-round exit: think of Boston’s Tim Thomas in 2011, or Montreal’s Patrick Roy in 1986 and 1993.
The other thing about modern goalies is that there are several distinct styles, but they can be boiled down to two overarching types: the “blocking, get on your angle and make yourself big” style (see LA’s Ben Bishop, and formerly J.S. Giguère of Anaheim, Toronto, Colorado and Calgary fame); and the more “reactionary” style (best exemplified by LA’s Jonathan Quick and Pittsburgh’s Marc-André Fleury).
So we need two cars: you want to take up as much net as possible, but still be able to move when asked? Go with the Ford F-150 Raptor. Plus, with 330 cm of lift, it’ll easily be able to see over most screens set out by opposition forwards. If moving quickly and precisely is more what you’re about, then a Mercedes-AMG E 63 S wagon should to the trick, what with its big body panels, V8 and quick-response AWD chassis.
The best teams will often have two distinct types of defencemen: the salty, sandpapery big guy that makes sure the net front is clear but can rip a slapper too, and the quicker, more precision-minded Bobby Orr type that is responsible in his own zone, but can sprint down the ice when needed. For ages, the Chicago Blackhawks have had the best example of this – they would not have three cups in five years if it weren’t for the omniscient presence of big guy Brent Seabrook, and sniper Duncan Keith.
For the big boomer on the point, you want something big but that can also wield it. I have a hard time arguing against the case for the Mercedes-AMG G65 6×6 for this role. It’s got massive, twin-turbo V12 power for that booming point shot on the power play, but there aren’t going to be many that step to it to get to the blue paint, either.
For the more smooth-skating type that still needs to make life miserable for forwards and get to them quickly, we’d go with the Audi SQ5. Its AWD and larger size will keep it planted as the jostling in front of the net picks up, but demonstrates great agility too. Its turbocharged V6, meanwhile, will be sure to get it to the danger zones quickly.
This guy/gal tends to be one of the most versatile players on the ice: they have to be quick on the draw; they have to be able to get to the open spaces as they patrol the centre-ice corridor so the d-men have an outlet for up-ice passes; they have to be able to back check so the opposing guy doesn’t have a clear shot from the slot; and of course, they have to be able to put the puck in the net.
It’s very much a jack-of-all-trades situation, so you need a jack-of-all-trades car. The Honda Civic Type-R should do the trick; it’s sure to be fast and plenty agile and if the preliminary specs are any indication, it will have plenty left in the tank to pick the top corner with a laser-beam snapper once in position.
These are often the most electric players: think Vancouver’s Pavel Bure or Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin and the best ones come with a price tag to match. They have hands, straight-line speed and can let go of a laser-aimed wrister while in mid-stride. That’s a lot of computing that has to be going on at once, much like the supercar of today. We’d be pretty satisfied if we had a couple of Ferrari F12tdf’s spearing down the boards at the opposing net.
If you’re not a Boston Bruins fan, the words “Brad Marchand” are sure to make your blood boil. Same goes for non-Flames fans with “Theo Fleury” or non-Colorado fans (and especially Detroit fans) with “Claude Lemieux”. That’s because these guys were the best at what they did: they’d get under your skin and you off your game like nobody’s business, but they could score too. We like the Dodge Demon for this. It’s sneering, fat-tired and while it’s still very new, we bet it will be the bane of many a Camaro or Mustang owner very soon. And with all that power and drag-racer bits, you know it can walk the walk, too.
This can either be a forward or d-man; they often switch roles in the offensive zone during power plays (think towering Boston d-man Zdeno Chára sitting in front of the opposition’s goalie, or Jets’ winger Patrik Laine patrolling the point) because having an extra man on the ice affords them that luxury. While the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio may not have quite the net-front presence of a Chára, it’s a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing in that underneath all of that pretty bodywork is a fire-breathing twin-turbo V6 good for 505 hp. As good a car for a PP sneak attack as any.
Otherwise known as the “Don Cherry Special”, this player may be a little dopey-looking and may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but they’re big, they’re tough, they won’t back down and they’ve almost always got their team’s best interests at heart. Their loyalty can rarely be questioned. In that light, we’d love to have a Nissan Titan XD Diesel on our side any day.
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