(Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
The scene: Fresh off a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, a few members of the Chicago Blackhawks go out for some beers. Daniel Carcillo and Patrick Kane have a few too many and are left to find their own way back to the hotel. Missing wakeup call, the team accidently leaves without them, leaving Carcillo and Kane to find their own way to Columbus…
ACT I: A BLUE VOLKSWAGON JETTA, JUST OUTSIDE ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Dan Carcillo: I still can’t believe we missed the flight. You’ve become a bad influence on me, Kaner. I hope that the team comps me for the car I had to rent.
Patrick Kane: Whatever, man, I like having you around.
Carcillo: What do you mean by that?
Kane: Well, it’s just that… when Tazer’s around, everything has to be so serious. “No limousines, no girls, and especially no candid nudie shots to his sister…”
Kane: Yeah, he’s a bit of a drag, to be quite honest. If I had to make the drive from St. Louis to Columbus, I’d rather do it with you.
Carcillo: Columbus… that’s where we’re going?
Kane: Yeah, why?
Carcillo: [quickly shifts gears, does a u-turn over median] Uh… I think I know a shortcut.
Kane: Anyway, it’s nice sharing the road with you. We can just chill out, rock out to some tunes, whistle at some cute ladies…
Carcillo: In your case, some not-so-cute ladies.
Carcillo: Nothing. So, who does Columbus have that’s good, oh, crap, they have that Jody Shelley guy, right?
Kane: Yeah… wait, what, no. No they don’t. He was on your team in Philly last season, Dan.
Carcillo: Was he? I don’t seem to remember anybody named Jody. That seems like a guy I’d remember…
Kane: Nah, they’re not very good at all.
Carcillo: They have a fighter?
Kane: Yeah, Dorsett. Not a bad player, either. He can bring it.
Carcillo: I can’t wait to drop my mittens with him. I’ll show him what happens when you take on the, um, wait, what team do we play for?
Kane: [sighs] This happens every time with you.
Carcillo: Sorry, man, it’s hard when we aren’t wearing the sweaters. I’m usually pretty good at matching those up with team names.
ACT II: OUTSIDE A STARBUCKS, SOMEWHERE IN INDIANA
Dan Carcillo: Dude, wake up. We ought to get some coffee.
Patrick Kane: Ah, good. Alright, where are we?
Carcillo: Not sure, but we’ve crossed into Indiana. We’re about halfway through.
Kane: I think we’re running out of music. I can’t believe I still don’t have the new Nickelback album on my iPod yet.
Carcillo: Man, what a classic band they are. My Mom used to have a picture of John and Ringo and the rest of them.
Kane: I don’t think that’s Nickelback dude. But can we stop at a Starbucks or something? I need some coffee. I am still hung right over.
Carcillo: Yeah, it was a pretty wild night. Remember when we found that duck in the middle of the street?
Kane: Classic, man.
Carcillo: Still, wish I hadn’t drank so much. Look, dude, I just noticed in the mirror I dented my beautiful pearly-whites. I think I may have pulled them last night.
Kane: Um, you lost those teeth a long time ago dude. Since before I knew you.
Carcillo: Kidding. I could have sworn [pulls up through Starbucks drive-thru] Yeah, can I get two Big-Mac meals, and [turns to Kane] is coke alright for you?
Intercom: We don’t serve Big Macs. This is Starbucks. There’s a McDonalds across the street.
Carcillo: I keep mixing those two up.
Kane: I’ll handle this. [To intercom] We’ll get two vente, extra-hot Pike Place, no-foam, one-shot hazelnut, two vanilla, mixed with organic soy melt, and hold the sugar. And make it quick, we’re in a hurry.
ACT III: LEWISBERG, OHIO, A DINER
Patrick Kane: I’m not sure about this town. I think I had a bit of a run-in with a bus driver here during my minor hockey days. Act cool.
Dan Carcillo: That’s the only way we know how, Kaner.
Kane: Right. This looks like a sweet diner. Full-on 50s theme, like that movie with John Travolta and Uma Thurman.
Carcillo: Good call. Reservoir Dogs. I was a really big fan of that one. Say, I think the waitress is undressing me with her eyes.
Kane: No way dude, she’s looking at me.
Carcillo: You get all the girls. At least let me have this one.
Kane: Remember the deal we made. You wingman for me, and I lobby to get you more ice-time.
Carcillo: That doesn’t seem fair.
Kane: I’m beginning to wonder whether you’re a team player or not… oh, damn, I think that the guy at the counter is giving me the evil eye. Maybe that was the bus driver…
Carcillo: Whatever man, let’s order. [Waitress walks up] Say, can I get a Big Mac meal with…
Waitress: This isn’t a McDonalds.
Carcillo: What is wrong with these places? Okay, how about… Er, what’s this one? I have a tough time matching the words up with the pictures.
Kane: He’ll have a medium-rare cheeseburger. So will I. Also, a couple of Cokes. And… [pulls out car keys] we’re pro hockey players driving up to Columbus. Our rental car is a four-door Volkswagon. Missouri plates. You’re more than welcome to join us.
Waitress: That’s very tempting sweetie, but I’ll just bring you the burgers.
Kane: Sure you will [winks].
Carcillo: Kaner, I want to be frank about something here… lately I’ve felt a little left out of the group. I don’t really understand why I was brought on the team.
Kane: What? Dan, you know we go to bat for you. It’s good having you in the lineup. [mutters under breath] Just not on the ice.
Carcillo: Yeah, it’s just that, well, I’m not fulfilled. I don’t think coach appreciates what I can do. I have to be a bit of an idiot to get noticed. That’s how people know me from back in Montreal.
Kane: Montre… what? Dan, you played in Philly, and Phoenix before that.
Carcillo: I think I would have remembered that. Either way, it’s like I…
Waitress: [With burgers] Here you boys go. And, [to Kane] I think I just might take you up on your offer. [Winks] I’ll meet you out back.
Carcillo: Yeah, see? You have it all. The talent, the goals, the ladies. You’re just like that asshole who scored the goal to beat us in the Cup Finals. Man that guy was a joke, and had such a stupid haircut too.
Kane: I think I might see what you mean. I score more than Tazer. I think I’m a better player. I was the one who came up big in the Finals, but he’s the clutch, serious guy that a whole nation loves. I’m just sort of a bit of an afterthought and a joke. I feel like I’m just a punchline to a lot of stupid jokes that appear on dumb hockey blogs.
[Both characters eat in silence. The man across the bar looks at Kane again. He wipes grease from his chin]
Kane: We’d better get out of here. That guy is looking at me funny. I may have done something to his bus.
Carcillo: Who knows? He may have caught me with his daughter.
Kane: Let’s bounce. Um, I don’t have any cash on me…
Carcillo: Aw, man, it always seems like you leave me with the cheque.
Kane: It’s 50-50. I’ll get you back, man.
ACT IV: A HIGHWAY IN CENTRAL OHIO, JUST OUTSIDE OF COLUMBUS
Dan Carcillo: Can you two keep it down back there? [Frustration] Man, am I ever glad that we found that duck last night…
Carcillo: I feel like you get me better than my teammates do. Well, especially that guy back there. I drove him halfway across the country and he responds by taking a girl along. [Yells to Kane and the Waitress] You know some people wait until they’re in private before they start doing things like that!
Carcillo: You’re much better conversation than Tazer.
Carcillo: Hey… [To Kane] HEY KANER! We’ve reached Columbus city limits!
Kane: [Appears from back seat, lipstick over his face and collar] Oh, snap! [To Waitress] Baby, it’s been fun, but I think I have to be at practice.
Waitress: You told me you loved me!
Kane: I do. Tell you what. [Pulls out Blackberry] You can BBM me anytime you’re rolling through Chicago, or Buffalo in the summer.
Waitress: But… I left my hometown for you.
Kane: I know. You’re very sweet. Hang on… [climbs over backseat to ride shotgun]
Duck: QUACK! QUACK!
Kane: Hey buddy, forgot you were there. [Places duck on lap] So, we headed to practice?
Carcillo: Yep. Not sure where the rink is, but I’m sure the signage will point us in the general direction. Hockey must be big in this town.
[Carcillo exits highway, stops at red light]
Waitress: [Yelling from backseat] You’re a jerk, Patrick! [Climbs out of car]
Kane: Babe… wait!
[Car door slams]
Kane: Ah, well. I wonder why they never stay.
Carcillo: Her father must be proud of her.
Kane: Hey, there’s the arena! We made it! And with ten minutes to spare!
Carcillo: Indeed… [pulls into player’s parking lo] All right! Let’s get this on.
Kane: Dan… wait. I’m sorry. I was a real jerk to you this trip. For that I apologize. I think I’ll always sort of be a little selfish, and you’ll always sort of be a little clueless, but I think we can be great friends.
Carcillo: Yeah, you kind of annoy me sometimes, but you’re a good dude deep down. Maybe we just needed a bit of growing up. This trip accomplished something. I can’t think of anybody else on this team I’d rather have been with than you.
Kane: That’s so nice of you, Dan.
Carcillo: Well, mostly because I can’t think of who is on our team.
Kane: Ah, well, it was a nice thought anyway.
[The two exit the vehicle and silently walk into Nationwide arena to rejoin their Chicago Blackhawk teammates]