Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 02 2014 05:35PM
For the second consecutive day, the header photo of my article is probably much more important than the actual post. In any event, I was messaged on AskFM (my inbox is overflowing with questions at the moment, but I want to space out full-on mailbags a bit) a few days ago, specifically asking the most important hockey question I've ever received.
Which Pokémon would you want playing for the Leafs?
Let's try to nail this one down.
First and foremost, we need to consider the conditions that this game is played on. Hockey, of course, is played on ice. Many Pokemon types would either succomb to or destroy the rink, and as such, we need to weed out non-Ice Types.
According to Bulbapedia (which, for my money, is one of the single greatest resources on the planet), there are thirteen pure ice type Pokemon, eleven half-primary, and fourteen half-secondary. That's a total of thirty eight potential Pokemon to add to the Leafs roster, which is probably the amount of forwards they'll have on the roster by Tuesday at this rate.
While we've already wiped out 681 of 719, there's a way to make this list shorter. The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team with a lot of history, and pride themselves as being an Original 6 organization. By being around longer and spending more time in everybody's memories, this automatically makes them better than all the other teams out there. Most believe this to be the same when it comes to Pokemon, so we'll use the original 151. If you disagree, well, one of the remake's of the first gen was called Leaf Green, so it's clearly destiny (just ignore the second half of the title).
The list has now gone down to five. We have Dewgong (Water/Ice), Cloyster (Water/Ice), Lapras (Water/Ice), Jynx (Ice/Psychic), and Articuno (Ice/Flying).
All of these Pokemon have their advantages, but when you think about it, just one of them could be used to play hockey. Dewgong would flop around and die. Cloyster can't move. Lapras also needs to swim, and as we know, leaving your feet is totally against the rules in the National Hockey League, so Articuno, as legendary as he is, is quite simply not an option.
This leaves us Jynx. While Jynx gets in via process of elimination, a "Guess Who?" style of choice rather than a Pokemon Battle, it also has a lot to bring to the Leafs roster. The Leafs want to get into teams heads; players like Leo Komarov and David Clarkson are examples of this. Their closest thing to an "identity" in the past few years was the pushing around and "getting into the heads" of their opponents.
Do you know what the best way to get into somebody's head is? Psychic abilities. Jynx brings that as a half-psychic Pokemon. It's move set? Don't get me started. Wake-Up Slap. Mean Look. Fake Tears. Double Slap. Lick. Draining Kiss. Body Slam. ICE PUNCH.
Ice Punch. Are we sure that Jynx wasn't a genetic creation, a-la Mewtwo? This is the Pokemon that Randy Carlyle has been waiting for.
It doesn't stop there. Jynx is the fastest Ice-Type Pokemon of the original 151, and the 5th fastest Ice Pokemon overall. It's Speed rating is 95. Go start up NHL 14 right now and find me a 95 in Speed. You won't. Not even Phil Kessel. Jynx is faster than Phil Kessel.
Powerplay unit down? NO PROBLEM! Jynx is a 115 in Special Attack. That's the fourth highest of any ice type, in any generation. Those are Ovechkin numbers. Special Defence of 95 as well, so Jynx can play on the Penalty kill as well.
Admittedly, Jynx's 5 on 5 numbers are a little bad (50 Attack, 35 Defence, 65 HP), but that's nothing that some Vitamins can't fix. I'm aware that those Vitamins cost $9800 Pokedollars, but if anybody can afford them, it's Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
In summation, the Leafs are looking for "the one". Their Crosby, their Ovechkin, their Stamkos, their Tavares. Or their Weber or Subban, I guess. But little do they realize that with some creative thinking and a couple of Ultra Balls, the Leafs can scoop up a hidden Gem.
Might not be the best choice for the superstitious, though.