Ice-Cold Takes (playoff edition): Dustin Byfuglien, Tom Wilson, catfish beer luge

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 29: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets and Roman Josi #59 of the Nashville Predators get physical after the end of the second period in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 29, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 29: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets and Roman Josi #59 of the Nashville Predators get physical after the end of the second period in Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 29, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Ice-Cold Takes is a weekly NHL humor column where we visit what is trending around the NHL. It’s also the official column of missing person, Phil Kessel. Please come home, Phil.

The NHL playoffs are in full swing and we are being graced with four matchups that I don’t ever remember being so excited about. Both the Eastern and Western Conference semifinals have been the ultimate representation of what hockey is in the spring: insanity.

The league is peaking right now, with some of the best hockey we’ve ever seen being played. Arenas and the streets surrounding them are packed with fans every two nights, led by the Winnipeg crowd that has been restlessly waiting for this playoff run for 30-plus years. Winnipeggers want you to know how wild they are.

Have you ever been so hungry for something that the minute you get your hands on it, you eat it faster than you can breathe? Winnipeg is doing this in regard to playoff hockey. Fortunately for them, the food keeps coming and the 30,000-plus who attend each game (inside and out) can keep feeding. We see you Winnipeg.

Meanwhile, Boston’s top line is out here embarrassing a Vezina Trophy-candidate goaltender, the Capitals are actually up a game on Pittsburgh (for now — relax, Caps fans) and Vegas is inexplicably still winning. Losing money to Vegas, having never actually been to the city, is one of the most insulting things that’s ever happened to me. Here’s what else is going on around the league:

Trending Up

1. Dustin Byfuglien 

Winnipeg’s favorite Biggest Loser success story has been great lately (he scored two goals as I was writing this). The Jets locker-room leader is not only playing good hockey, but showing that he can rag doll multiple professional athletes if he wants to.

This clip looks like a dad separating two brothers from fighting. Buff is up here splitting up his two kids who are fighting over the last cookie. “No! You, here. You, over there! What would your mother think if she saw you fighting like this?!”

You’re in a time-out, Nashville. You dropped a  game at home to Winnipeg after out-shooting them 100 to 15. Now, you head back to the least-friendly arena in sports. The Bell MTS Center is currently a soccer arena filled with hockey fans. They are loud, angry and deathly loyal (they packed the stadium in typical white-out fashion for an away game). It’s harder to win a hockey game in Winnipeg right now than it is for people not to sing along to “Sweet Caroline.” (BAH! BAH! BAAHHH!)

Dustin Byfuglien going dad-mode on the two Nashville players might as well be a metaphor for what Winnipeg is going to do to Nashville in Game’s 3 and 4. Byfuglien also punches his own players in the face when they do good things:

Never change, Buff.

2. Boston Bruins fans

Not to be outdone, the common Bruins fan has lost a bit of the spotlight lately, with the rise of teams such as Nashville, Winnipeg and Vegas. This Bruins fan reminds us that no matter how many traditions, singing and chanting you want to do, Boston still owns the category of “crazy.”

When the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs last week, fans took to the streets (and the underground tunnels?) to celebrate:

Why? Because it’s the Cup, I guess. Why not? Boston doesn’t care much for cute chanting, but the feeling of a good puddle-angel can’t be matched. And as the age-old saying goes, a bit of dirty street water won’t hurt you.

3. Tampa Bay fighting man

Sometimes you get a little too close to the action. This man at the Lightning vs. Bruins game on Monday night was having flashbacks to his playing days (or boxing days) when a scrum broke out in front of him:

I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing here, but he’s fired up! If he was 10 years younger he’d be hopping over the glass and grabbing the first Bruins player he could find. Sign this man to Bellator. He’s already in the right age group. There were a couple uppercuts in there that I want nothing to do with.

Don’t ever say Tampa Bay fans don’t care (or else this guy will show up outside your living room window and start banging on the glass).

Trending Down

1. Fake news

Over the weekend, many websites reported on a tweet stating that the NHL had to make a phone call to Brad Marchand, asking him not to lick anyone anymore. First of all, the NHL trying to separate Brad from those he cares about is truly disgusting. Shame on you and your close-mindedness, NHL. Here is one of many tweets reporting on the supposed issue:

Marchand, never one to shy away from a twitter response, claimed fake news on these reports, insinuating that such a call was never made:

Rejoice, everyone! Love lives on for another day! Elliotte Friedman, check your sources.

2. The Titans O-line at the Predators game 

Look, I’m all for the beer luge and/or drinking beer out of strange places, but running a fresh six-pack of Bud Light down the body of a dirty catfish is next-level disgusting.

Okay. Hand up. I lied. I was actually pretty excited about this. Seeing these guys beer-luge a catfish and then act like a bunch of Stone Cold Steve Austins firing up the crowd made me want to party. Has anyone ever chugged a beer off of the octopus at Little Caesars Arena? Your move, Detroit.

Let’s make the unexpected beer luge a regular thing this summer. Not just for college kids, but for all of us. Pour a beer down those expense reports your boss asked for. Doctor says your blood pressure is too high? Chug a beer through that skeleton man in his office to show him how chill you are. Want to get yourself fired up for your team’s upcoming game? Beer luge off of your dog! (Please, don’t actually beer luge off of your dog.)

Kudos to the Winnipeg fan who is responsible for this:

3. Tom Wilson

We know two things about Tom Wilson. He has the most generic name in the league and he’s a dirtbag.

After a questionable hit that probably should have resulted in a suspension in these NHL playoffs, Washington Capitals Tom Wilson decided to double down on the league office’s decision not to suspend him by giving them another reason to:

Tom. Come on, man. People are still upset that you didn’t get a game for this and you go and lay another very questionable hit. Have some common sense basic human decency. The league will no doubt be handing out at least a couple games for this hit after the backlash the Department of Player Safety faced for not suspending him the first time.

Update: He has a meeting with the DoPS Wednesday. Shocker!

Wilson has seven points through nine games this postseason. He needs to show a bit more discipline when it comes to making dumb and dangerous hits like these. Losing him for a game or two might cost the Caps this series. Who are we kidding, though; it’s not like they are going to win anyway.

Betting Locks of the night (5-9)

The two losses last week should hardly count. They were written to mess with the juju of the Maple Leafs (and it worked), so let’s pretend I’m just 5-7, which is not much better. Let’s get back to .500 tonight.

Vegas (+117) over San Jose: I lost a bunch of money betting against Vegas this year; it’s time they start paying me back. That’s how Vegas works, right?

Boston vs. Tampa Bay (over 6 goals): Neither of these two goaltenders has been particularly great and there’s no reason to think the Bruins don’t have another offensive explosion at home in Game 3.

Next: Hockey-loving good dog Mr. Chow takes in Sharks game

For more from the NHL playoffs, make sure to follow FanSided and stay tuned to our NHL hub for all the latest news and results.

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