Devils 3 Flyers 1
This one looked like the Devils cared about as much as we did during the first two periods (Friday night is NYT crossword night, and tonight’s was a doozy. Yes, we are, as Jon Stewart said of his own puzzle habit, ninety years old), but then the strangest thing happened: they found a way to win. For the zillionth time this year Marty played out of his mind, keeping the Devils, as Doc and Chico pointed out, in a game they had no business hanging around in. And for the zillionth time this year a random, unexpected Devil scored a huge goal, and this time it was our very own elevator buddy from our recent road trip to Buffalo, Mike “Folk Hero” Rupp. And fascinatingly enough, the entire team seemed to respond. How encouraging to see such a confident, controlled third period, even though Marty lost his shutout bid (that was Schnookie’s fault. She let the Hockey Gods hear her think, as the third was winding down without a single peep of offense from the Flyers, “Oh yeah. 13th shutout in the bag!”). A very exciting development in the eyes of Interchangeable Parts tonight was the realization that Zach is officially now the team’s motor. That title used to belong to Pando, but the elder statesman of keeping the team’s legs churning has passed the torch; when Zach is skating hard, the whole team skates hard. When he’s not… it’s ugly. We’d had some quiet concerns the injured guys wouldn’t come back in top form, but Patty on the Island and Maddog tonight have quelled those fears. Now if only there was a way we could have unloaded Janssen instead of Clarkson to get Madden back. Needless to say, it’s discouraging to see Gomer go down, but we’re holding out hope it’s not a big deal. All in all, this game was all about a surprising turnaround, and we can only hope, a sign of the Devils waking up from the malaise they’ve been in for the past month.