Before we start with our commentary on the Penguins-Senators game, a few words on the Rangers. We send deeply heartfelt thanks to the scheduler who made it possible for us to not watch a single minute of their first round. And we send a deeply heartfelt “thanks for nothing, losers!” to the Thrashers, who went down with so little a fight. Stupid, stupid Thrashers. And we send to the Hockey Gods a deeply heartfelt wish that the Rangers’ next-round opponent be nothing less than a buzzsaw against which they are utterly and completely destroyed. We laughed the other day when we read a column in the OC Register being all sour grapes about the Ducks’ lost chance at a sweep; they ended up saying not sweeping was a better outcome for the Ducks because it meant a shorter layoff between the first and second rounds. Well, we’re not laughing now. We fervently hope the Rangers have as long a layoff as is humanly possible, and that they get cadaverously cold during it. Now. On to tonight’s game, and our running commentary.
– As much as we’re hating Patrik Elias right now, at least he’s not Recchi.
– There are not words to describe how annoying that stupid clock chime thing at Scotiabank Place for Sens power plays is.
– As much as we’re hating Patrik Elias right now, at least he’s not Orpik.
– Here’s what we love about playoff hockey: when the home team scores, then continues with impressive offensive pressure — smelling blood, the fans start derisively chanting the goalie’s name… and then the goalie absolutely stone-cold robs the home team on two successive plays. And the fans have to shut up. Love it.
– Random aside: you know who we bet the Islanders would really like in their lineup these days? Zach Parise.
– As much as we’re hating Patrik Elias right now, at least he’s not Malkin.
– Pookie suggests the Pens are Sid-killing. They’re tired of him giving them free sneakers and coffee, and taking media attention away from them.
– As much as we’re hating Patrik Elias right now, at least he’s not Gonchar.
– After Vermette makes it 2-0 we decide the Pens look like they’ve given up. This makes us sad. We’re going to miss these adorable, crazy kids. We think it is in the NHL’s best interest to do a “Penguins stars dispersal draft”. Clearly they want Staal, Malkin and especially Crosby to continue on in the playoffs and gain valuable experience. So why not establish them as sort of “artists in residence” on teams that are continuing on? In the unlikely event of a Devils advancement, we volunteer to take on the onerous task of tutoring Sid in the ways of playoff winning.
– Midway through the second we realize it is, perhaps, time for us to start warming to the Senators. We remind ourselves that we went into last year’s playoffs liking only the Devils and came out of it soft on both the Sabres and the Hurricanes. We need to be as cheap and easy this year, too, if we want to enjoy this. So in the spirit of the “It’s Not Poop!” NHL, Schnookie will grudgingly admit Spezza is not heinously ugly (although she still thinks he’s overrated, a belief she bases on how much crap she had to listen to about him during a 2003 Eastern Conference Final that, if she recalls correctly, the Senators did not win). Pookie doesn’t yet have anyone she’ll reluctantly embrace, but she’s sending out scouts. Boomer concedes the Mike Fisher thing (“He’s, uh… a possibility”), and we are all in agreement that we can cheer for Wade Redden. Players we will never, ever, ever love? Chris Neil and Mike Comrie. Comrie is such a snotty little jackass. Hate, hate, hate.
– As the second period winds down VS gives us a preview of their intermission show, promising a discussion of the Devils-Lightning series. Joe Beninati says, “I don’t think Tampa has seen the best of Martin Brodeur.” Pookie snarls, “They had better not!”
– As much as we’re hating Patrik Elias right now, at least he’s not Gary Roberts.
– You know what makes it very difficult to like the Senators? The fact that they’re coached by Bryan Murray.
– Have we mentioned yet how glad we are to have Patrik Elias instead of Mark Recchi? Even though we hate Patty? Yeah. That’s how crappy Recchi’s been in this series.
– We are told Schubert declares himself to be not a dirty player, but rather a physical player who functions as a “turnover machine”. In unison we declare, “The Devils have their own turnover machine. His name is Patrik Elias.”
– We are informed that Ray Emery drives an “optic orange Lamborghini”. Look, we already hated him for his desire to lionize a convicted rapist on his goalie mask and for the fact that he has said he enjoys his pet snake because he likes to watch it kill other animals. Did he really need to add that ammunition? (And does he think he’s fooling anyone?)
– With 4:23 left in the game, Pookie announces, “You know what I find disturbing? That no one is talking about how this might be Mark Recchi’s last game. Does this mean he’s definitely coming back next year?”
– Another thing we love about the playoffs: singing “Hey Hey Goodbye.”
– And another thing we love? The handshake line. We even love how self-congratulatory the hockey world is about handshake lines; it is a tradition that is just one of many reasons why the NHL playoffs are so much cooler than every other major professional sport.
– Oh, Sidguins. We salute you even in defeat. Thanks for being so adorable this season — you’ll be missed by IPB, but we’re already looking forward to TiVoing all your games next year that conflict with the Devils.
– Pookie has an idea: let’s try to raise enough money to buy the Rangers out of the playoffs and replace them with the Penguins. Surely there’s some way to do this. Could we get the NHLFA to do a bake sale or something? Surely the dark overlords who own the Rangers (and the Garden, and the Devils television rights [no conflict of interest there, NHL...]) would be willing to take a cash buyout equal to whatever revenue they would make by actually playing in the second round. And surely there are enough hockey fans out there who would rather watch those darling little Penguins get another crack at it than suffer through a team that only figured out how to win by adding Sean Avery to their lineup. Sean Avery, people. We think this can happen.