–We TiVoed the Penguins-Senators game, and we’re getting the Sens feed on Center Ice. We compose this open letter to SportsNet after their introductory footage of various besuited Pens and Sens arriving before the game:
Love, Interchangeable Parts
We parse the various outfits in slow motion as they stroll through the frame — we admire Maxie Talbot’s skinny tie and strangely textured suit (it seems to us that he is rarely ever seen in any material that isn’t strangely textured), marvel at how Sid manages to make even the most basic of suit-tie combos look exquisitely dorky, and HELLO! Wow, Wade Redden just gets better with age, doesn’t he? If we were still living in the age of VCRs, we’d have just burned a hole in the tape watching Wade over and over again in slow motion. Less impressive? Daniel Alfredsson’s leather jacket, which is improved only by comparison to the color guy’s even worse leather jacket. We quickly compose another open letter:
Have you ever considered making your on-air talent dress like professionals?
Love, Interchangeable Parts
Seriously, this guy looks like he’s starring in a dinner theater adaptation of “Life On Mars”.
–The most immediate benefit of the Devils clinching the division title before we queued this game up is that we can cheer, unfettered, for the Pens. Sadly, we are quickly depressed when Spezza scores. (Pookie and Boomer are in agreement on the Spezza issue: for all the hype he got before he came into the league, he qualifies in our minds as a bust.)
–A massive scrum ensues after Colby “CheeseTed” Armstrong runs Emery, then the Sens respond by shoving with Sid. Pookie, enthusiastically: “Let the playoffs begin!” (Dinner Theater is disgusted — disgusted — that CheeseTed made no effort to avoid hitting Emery. You’d think he just kneed Emery in the groin or something, for the way Dinner Theater is reacting.)
As the penalties are sorted out, Pookie composes some more open letters:
Wear a visor.
Get a haircut.
–As if to underscore how much of a bust he is, Spezza takes a slew of penalties on Ruutu. Facing a five-minute major power play, the Pens must be really annoyed at Whitney’s ten-minute misconduct.
–We thought Canadians were supposed to be sophisticated consumers of this sport, but the SportsNet broadcast guys are among the worst homers we’ve heard all year. They splutter with outrage when Sid is not called for a weak, retaliatory wave of his stick at a Sen after an offsides whistle; the play-by-play guy describes the perceived offense as “a cross check to the kidneys.” Please.
–Pookie composes another open letter:
Dear Gary Roberts,
You know how much I hate you, but I would like you a lot more if you would run Emery really, really hard.
Your humble servant, Pookie
–Is there anything in hockey that doesn’t send Bryan Murray into paroxysms of whining? Anything? After Ouellet ties the game, Murray flashes onto our screen gesticulating with self-important outrage.
–Dear Gary Roberts,
That goal you just scored was nice. But next time can you hurt Emery when you do that? Just scoring isn’t enough to win my love.
Kindest regards, Pookie
(We don’t doubt the following letter is en route as we type:
Anything for your love. It pains me so that you hate me.
Warmest admiration, Gary)
–At the beginning of the second period the announcers muse on what the impending playoff series between these two will be like. They decide it will all come down to goaltending. Seriously? Marc-Andre Fleury and Ray Emery are the keys to this series? That should be interesting, at the very least.
–Pookie feels it is necessary to voice how much she hates Chris Neil. But she adds that beating Neil up was the signature move that made her favorite Sabre, Drew Stafford, famous.
–We can’t wait to see this playoff series; neither team is capable of going more than 15 seconds without taking a stupid penalty. We’ve already had an elbowing major, and now we get a triple-minor. Can they make it a best-of-57 series? Anyway, Pookie announces she is adding “discipline” to the list of things she is concerned about for the Pens, along with “goaltending”, “defense” and “special teams”. (She is throwing “inexperience” out the window, and Schnookie has to agree — surely the Senators’ experience with repeated, pathetic playoff failure cancels out the current Pens’ lack of any kind of winning history.)
–We are not surprised to see Heatley score. The only problem with TiVoing games concurrent with Devils games this time of year is that Doc insists on updating us with out-of-town scores. We knew it got to 2-2, but the rest of this game is uncharted waters for us.
–After it looks like Malkin had all of his limbs broken on a hit from Neil, we decide the worst part about being non-athletic girls is that we have no perspective on stuff like that. Every time a player falls over we all cringe and worry he’s irreparably injured because we have no first-hand experience with anything even closely resembling contact sports. We never even beat each other up as kids.
–Because you can never have enough America’s Next Top Model in your hockey, Pookie declares she is henceforth going to call Ryan Whitney “Whitelle”. Or Wholahay. WholahayTed.
–Pookie: “These people. Are terrible. Broadcasters.” For the umpteenth time they misidentify a Penguin on a penalty call. They also seem to call Malkin “Jenny”. And here at IPB do the “Forrest Gump” references ever fly!
–We are treated to a profile of Wade during the intermission. Wade seems to be involved with a specialty boat accessory company. This is so unexpected none of us even knows where to start.
–We like Canadian commercials. Pookie wonders which pizza chain Sid liked best while growing up: Panago, Pizza Pizza or Boston Pizza. She considers emailing “Inside Penguins Hockey” to find out. She does not seem interested in finding out what the other Canadian Penguins preferred.
–Three minutes into the third period we find ourselves getting bored. Where are all the crazy penalties?
–We are displeased with how much the Pens are jumping the gun on the playoff beard thing. Maxie has a fu manchu going on (of which we would heartily approve if the timing was different), and a lingering, slurping closeup of CheeseTed at the outset of the period suggested he’s already started on his promised mustache.
The playoffs have not started yet. At least act like you’ve been there before.
Love, Interchangeable Parts
–The announcers get to bragging that the average age of the Pens is older than that of the Senators. We don’t like that kind of talk. The Pens skew old thanks to OldTed (Recchi) and OlderTed (Roberts). Since we don’t like either of those guys we don’t think they should count. (And seriously, the average age of dirt is younger than Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi.)
–That. Was so. Awesome. Dinner Theater thinks the Meszaros was afraid of CheeseTed so he went soft on D, leading to Maxie’s delightful gamewinner with 9.7 seconds left. When we are watching non-Devils games we almost always want to see the home crowd go home unhappy (we think this mentality might figure in our Devils fandom in the first place), and it just doesn’t get unhappier than that. Thanks, Maxie and CheeseTed. And now we can’t wait for this playoff series to start.