– The Sabres have brought Ronan Tynan out to sing “God Bless America”. We’re concerned how this delay will effect Ryan “Crunchy” Miller (we can’t not call him that — doesn’t he look like a guy who not only eats yogurt-covered raisins, but makes his own yogurt-covered raisins? Maybe it’s just the hair. Regardless, we’ve been calling him that so much this season we can barely remember his real name), who historically loses focus in the final 2 minutes of the game; does this mean the Rangers will get an extra few minutes shooting at a distracted Crunchy?
Having Ronan Tynan sing “God Bless America” before your game does not mean you’re the Yankees.
– We once attended a baseball game with an anarchist friend of ours and must have been the only 3 people in the entire stadium not to stand for “God Bless America” in the 7th inning stretch. Since we had also spent the entire game eating pistachios instead of peanuts, we felt like we’d delivered a big “fuck you” to the system. Yeah, we’re tough. You don’t want to mess with IPB! Unless you’re bigger and stronger, in which case we’ll fold like tents.
– Avery knocks Spacek over. Pookie predicts Spacek will promptly take a stupid penalty. Miraculously, he doesn’t! Schnookie responds, oozing sarcasm, “But how did that happen? Avery’s on his game!”
– Sam comments that the crowd isn’t into it. Schnookie shouts at the TV “Of course they aren’t! They had to sit through a lengthy, schmaltzy song from Ronan Tynan! And a maudlin speech before the song even started! Of course they’re not feeling like it’s the playoffs!”
– Midway through the first we have the following exchange:
- Schnookie: I don’t like how the Sabres are playing…
Schnookie: Mm hm.
– It being Friday night, and we being the hip, happening chicks we are, we spend the better part of the first period eating dinner and solving the New York Times crossword puzzle. We keep really only half an eye on the proceedings on the ice, and completely kick the puzzle’s ass. 50 Across: Best Blog Ever. 3 letters… Hm… Could it be, IPB? (The extra B is for bargain, of course.)
– At one point Sam notes, “The fans are booing Jagr.” Then he adds, “I still can’t figure that out — he never played for Buffalo.” It is as if it makes perfect sense to him that fans would boo him only where he used to play.
– The Sabres stink up the joint on a 4-minute power play, then promptly take a penalty. This BLOWS. Buzzsaw, Sabres. Buzzsaw.
– Al Trautwig interviews Sean Avery’s parents. They must be so proud.
– Pookie declares, “If Vanek wants to sign with the Devils next year, that would be fine with me.” He just puts on some fantastic moves to beat a bunch of Rangers but hits the crossbar. Pookie is thrilled with the idea of Vanek skating with Parise and Zajac, and proposes we trade Gio for him. That could happen, right? (Don’t answer that.)
– Why is nobody meeboing us? We’re lonely! Looooooooonely!!!! (Oh, wait… do normal people do things other than sit in front of a hockey game while working the NYT puzzle on Friday nights?)
– Pookie announces that Shanny is looking more and more like he’d be a really bad Robert DeNiro impersonator at a roadside BBQ joint in Mississippi. “You know, like that person who doesn’t look anything like a person, but it’s Mississippi so it doesn’t matter?” Schnookie’s not entirely sure what she’s talking about, but is beginning to understand why no one is meeboing us.
– With less than 4 minutes left in the second Sam informs us the Sabres have only 7 shots in the game. Dude, this sucks so bad.
– Zubrus is our favorite non-Stafford, non-Crunchy Sabre. We want to wear out our TiVo watching and rewatching as Jagr drags his sorry ass into the dressing room after that hipcheck. Joe Micheletti tries to convince himself everything is okay because “Jagr wasn’t even limping.” Hello, Jagr dislocated his shoulder swinging his arm weakly at Scott Gomez last year. The less sinister things look around him, the more likely it is that he’s grievously wounded. Jagr’s just that kind of player.
– The Rangers score. Crunchy just looked like he was in the pre-credits sequence of House, and he thought he caught the puck even though he didn’t. And he’s standing there wondering why the voices of all the people around him asking, “Crunchy? Are you okay?” are sounding a little distorted and echo-y in his head, and then everything fades to black as a voice off-camera shouts, “Somebody call 9-1-1!” That’s how bad that was. Schnookie moans, “Oh Crunchy! He needs my tender loving.”
– Rats. Jagr is back at the start of the third.
– SWEET! That was some kind of beautiful deflection for Drury to tie up the game. And just as beautiful? Malik’s giveaway on that goal. Nice. (Pookie’s glee about that goal is mitigated by how stressed she is about whether Stafford got demoted to a lesser line, as he wasn’t on the ice for that. She is amazingly focused on Staffy’s line assignments. It’s almost scary.)
– Pookie clarifies about her earlier Shanny/DeNiro comments that she means Shanny frequently does this saggy-faced frown that is very bad-DeNiro-impression-esque.
– MSG shows us footage of their “Rangers Viewing Party” in NYC. We get to see a handful of Ranger fans in a theater cheering the first goal. We are glad to know there are people doing even lamer things with their Friday night than we are. We might be sitting here waiting for our meebo to bloop, but at least we’re not hanging out with a bunch of Ranger fans.
– A sideline report featuring an in-crowd interview with Paul Mara’s dad proves that Al Trautwig is tanorexic.
– Future Devil Vanek finishes the world’s only gorgeous broken play to take the Sabres first lead of the night. Holy jumpin’, but that was a gorgeous pass from Staffy between both his and the Ranger defenseman’s legs (Pookie: “He just displayed his mad croquet skillz”).
– Matt “Bitchface” Cullen takes a penalty and Sam is insistent that Crunchy also took one. Schnookie is ready to go right through the tv screen to smack Sam around for besmirching Crunchy’s good name. Despite all of Sam’s best wishes, the Sabres are going on the power play.
– As Joe and Sam marvel at the quick Buffalo passing, they tell us the Sabres do passing drills where they can’t have the puck on their sticks for more than 3 seconds. We surmise the Devils do drills where if they don’t keep the puck on their sticks for at least 30 seconds they get tasered.
– Crunchy proves himself deserving of Schnookie’s love. That save on Jagr… spectacular!
– Is there anything more exciting in hockey than a one-goal game game where the trailing team is on the power play for the final two minutes? That kill? Was awesome.
– MSG rewards our viewership with a delightful shot of Tom Renney’s pinched “I don’t understand how this could be happening to someone as great as me” face. And then Joe wonders how the Rangers are supposed to cope with knowing they controlled play for the majority of this game, yet still couldn’t win. We are so, so thrilled to hear that. Poor Rangers. Back to the drawing board, we guess.
– The postgame report on MSG, NY starts with a Stan Fischler monologue bemoaning the lack of “justice” that the Rangers didn’t win this game. Stan is utterly off his rocker. Last year, after the Devils finished sweeping the Rangers, our favorite comment came from a shell-shocked Al Trautwig, “Somewhere in New York, Bobby Granger is crying.” If the Sabres can keep this up, we suspect it will be Stan disappearing into the depths of Gotham with tears streaming down his cheeks.