When the doorbell rings, they think they’re ready for him, but when they tug the door open, they are stunned to find a massively rotund, gray-haired Marty Brodeur facing them.
IPB: Oh crap. Are YOU our playoffs future?
GoPF: [Around a mouthful of powdered sugar donut.] You bet I am. Who did you think it would be?
IPB: We have no idea. Please tell us you’re representing the near future…
GoPF: You wish. I’m going to be getting every playoff start for the Devils for the next 30 years. Now come with me — you know the drill. We’re going to look at your future to scare you into loving the playoffs now.
IPB: The next 30 years???
Ever-Growing Spectral Chain: *CLANK!*
GoPF: You know, I’ve got a box of donuts and a plate of honeyed dormice with my name on them waiting on the other side. Let’s get this over with, okay?
IPB: [Resigned.] Fine.
A puff of powdered sugar flies off his fingers as the Ghost snaps them. Suddenly the trio is in a desolate, dark graveyard, where a couple of sinister figures are digging in front of a headstone.
GoPF: [Nonchalantly.] Oh look. Gravediggers.
IPB: GRAVEDIGGERS? On our graves?
GoPF: Looks like it.
IPB: Well, good luck to them. We haven’t got anything worth digging all the way into a grave for, and certainly nothing we’d ask to be buried with… Hey! Wait a second! What does this have to do with the playoffs?
GoPF: I don’t know. You’re the ones who told the Zach Ghost that you know this story. I’m no literary critic — you figure it out.
IPB: You’re keeping us from sleep for an allegory even you don’t get?
GoPF: [Irritated.] Okay, smarty-pantses, I’ll do all the thinking here. What you learned from Arnott Ghost is that you mostly like playoffs where the Devils do well, but you are capable of liking playoffs where they don’t. And you learned from Zach Ghost that there are things in this year’s playoffs that you are capable of liking. And now you’re seeing a terrible vision of the future. Maybe this means that if you keep on the path you’re on now, you’ll end up in a gruesomely awful place like this because the Devils aren’t going to be good forever.
IPB: They’re good now?
Ever-Growing Spectral Chain: *CLANK!*
GoPF: You know what I mean! They’re still making the playoffs, aren’t they? No, what I’m talking about is them being hugely bad.
IPB: Like the Penguins were? So we’re looking at first- or second-overall picks for five straight years? Then we’ll be good again! No biggie. That’s how you build in the NHL these days.
GoPF: I was thinking more like Panthers bad.
GoPF: Or worse than that, Blues bad.
IPB: You mean, like, “irrelevant for three decades” bad?
GoPF: [Solemnly.] Oh yeah.
IPB: [Shakily.] Heh heh. No. No, it could never get to that…
GoPF: Not only will they not matter, but they could be called on the TV by John Kelly–
IPB: [Cutting him off.] NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh god, make it stop! MAKE IT STOP! We’ll do anything! We’ll change! We promise!!
Suddenly the Ookies realize they are weeping into their front lawn, and there is no one around. They get to their feet unsteadily, then, trembling, retire to their respective rooms. In the morning, they exchange few words while embarking on a mission they both understand as necessary. After making a few stops along the way, they make a quick trip to Pittsburgh, where they are shown in to the Pens dressing room. The team is still partying in fashion not unlike their phantom visit the previous night.
IPB: [In tiny, timid voices, just as Sid is squeaking, "God bless us, every one!"] Excuse us, Penguins?
Sid: [Haughtily.] Who are you? How did you get in here? And what is that you’re carrying?
IPB: Um, it’s a really long story, Mr. Crosby. But the thing is that we’re on a kind of “Christmas Carol” mission, so we stopped on our way here to buy the finest goose from the big store window, and we want to give it to you.
Sid: [Snorting with disgust.] A goose? Are you fucking nuts? [To a security guard near the door.] Show them out.
IPB: Wait, what? [They are roughly ushered toward the door, goose and all, and as they stumble out, they shout back over their shoulders.] Well fuck you, Penguins, and your basement! We’re going to take this goose to Detroit. We bet they’ll appreciate it.