After getting our fill of a devastated Stan Fischler lashing out after the Rangers loss, we switch to the Ducks-Canucks game, which we’re getting in HD! All the better to soak up the Horatio Hornblower beauteousness that is Ryan Getzlaf.
– It is very telling how much we dislike Luongo and his compatriots — we are ardently cheering for the Ducks. This is a reversal for us that’s almost as shocking in its scope as our cheering for Carolina in the Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup Finals last year. But as much as we seem to be favoring the Ducks here, there is nothing that will make us like Pronger, Selanne or Rob Niedermayer.
– The Ducks PA announcer sounds like Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants.
– Hey, why isn’t Baby Crunchy playing in this game? We like the Ducks a lot more when he’s in the lineup. (Younger, less talented brothers of established players are always fascinating to Devils fans.)
– What’s up with this? The Canucks are outplaying the Ducks so far. We tuned in to watch Luongo making the long, mopey skate back to the bench after giving up 6 goals in the first 5 minutes.
– You’d think after all these years of being the flag-bearers for PandoNation that we’d be over the Boston accent thing. But when Andy Brinkley refers to “Vancouvah” we all giggle and say, “Who?” People who talk differently than us are funny.
– Okay, here’s why we should be coaching the Ducks: we’ve come up with the perfect strategy to get them out of any jam. Not to belabor the Horatio Hornblower thing (because really, Getzlaf doesn’t look that much like him), but in the A&E movies they rely overmuch on a deus ex machina scene-ender we like to call “The ‘It’s The Indy!’ Wipe”. In the movies the eponymous hero is serving as a midshipman on a ship called The Indefatigable, and all of his many off-ship adventures (like being pinned on a beach by French troops, or accidentally sinking the captured supply ship he’s captaining) are resolved with a secondary character popping up in front of the camera, pointing at the horizon and shouting excitedly, “It’s the Indy!” If we coached the Ducks, every time they found themselves in any kind of trouble we’d just have a player who isn’t Getzlaf shout those magic words and we’d suddenly find ourselves out of trouble, on a new shift, somewhere else on the ice. It would be great.
– During intermission we get to watch the highlights of the Sabres-Rangers game and Engblom describes the Drury deflection thusly: “And no swing-and-a-miss here! That is a perfect baseball deflection.” We try not to vomit in our mouths and finally shout at the TV, “Just say it, Engblom. We know you want to.” But he miraculously manages to leave it just an understood “Hey, did you know Chris Drury won the Little League World Series?” The mystical, unspoken “Trumbull” that hangs in the air casts a pall of silence over our living room for the length of the next two commercial breaks. It’s that powerful, is Drury’s LLWS championship.
– Our favorite fan of the playoffs: the Canucks fan VS slaps their logos over as we come back from commercial. He’s wearing a foam Canucks puck head and is talking very seriously on his cell phone while covering his other ear… with his giant foam hand. FANTASTIC.
– The big news coming back from intermission is that Willie Mitchell is “going to try it”. We are so relieved he’s going to give it a go after being hit hard in the first. Because what is a playoff game without Willie Mitchell? (Oh, it seems he’s advanced himself considerably as a player since leaving the Devils. Oh well. We kid because we’re ignorant.)
– Luongo is still not only in goal, but pitching a shutout. Bo-ring!
– Vigneault’s green-on-green-on-green monochromatic wardrobe does not impress us. We decide he looks troublingly like a male version of our high school college guidance counselor, except slightly less jewel tone.
– The way the announcers are calling it, this is becoming the Willie Mitchell watch. We don’t pay enough attention to the Canucks to know if this is appropriate, but it seems that if Willie Mitchell is the most important guy on your team, maybe you’re not the greatest team in the world.
– Naslund scores, and in the ensuing crowd shot we see some really drunk Canucks fans holding up a homemade “CBC” sign of the type where you’re supposed to use “clever” words that start with the letters “CBC” (like the old chestnut, “Can’t Beat Cujo”), but in this case the fans have just written “Canadian Broadcasting Company”. We can’t decide if it’s a case of them being a bunch of dullards or if it’s just a really meta sign. After rewinding to watch them again, we conclude from the precarious angles at which they are holding their beer cups that those fans are not the meta types.
– The Ducks just tied the game in the best (non-Getzlaf, non-Baby Crunchy) way possible: Selanne getting stoned on a breakaway (tee hee!), then Luongo losing the rebound (tee hee!) and Moen stuffing it past his lame, prone body. All the guys we want to see fail on that play did.
– Corey Perry looks frighteningly like Miranda from “Sex And The City”. (Not that we watched “Sex And The City”. We’ve only ever seen it in the hilariously neutered TBS version whenever we’re staying in hotels.)
– Mic’d up features Chris Kunitz skating around telling everyone who will listen, “D-to-D pass.” By the time he’s done it sounds not unlike he’s saying, “Show me all the blueprints… Show me all the blueprints…”
– Despite the fact that they keep getting into penalty trouble for it, we can’t disapprove of the Ducks’ sudden penchant for running Luongo.
– We are momentarily distracted from the third period as we attempt to dig up a picture of Randy McKay’s awesome moustache (fondly remembered as “The Randito Bandito”) from the 2001 playoffs. We look up in time to see Selanne, that dog, miss a wide-open net.
– Our intrepid play-by-play team discusses the implications of the Ducks possibly winning this game and conclude going down 2-0 is a bad thing. Brickley very seriously adds, “If you’re the lower seed you have to win on the road.” Really? We hadn’t realized that.
– Naslund takes a penalty for holding Getzlaf. Pookie volunteers to take a 5-minute major for that.
– Pronger continues his swath of destruction through the teams for which he plays by bloodying Selanne’s face with his stick while the Ducks are on the power play. For some reason Andy Brickley thinks that injury is an indictment on visors and should cause players to reconsider the wisdom of wearing them. Andy Brickley? Is a moron.
– Selanne misses on another great opportunity. Pookie: “Selanne blows. He’s like the Recchi of the West.”
– A commercial break brings us the joy of that “Discover Boating” commercial where a crazy-assed family goes around waving at everyone, and while they’re on land everyone looks offended and snubs them, but as soon as they hit the water in their boat, everyone else on the lake waves back. This always makes of think of our very own Paul Martin, who was interviewed by his hometown Minneapolis newspaper during his rookie year; in that interview he said of visiting NYC that it wasn’t his kind of place because it was crowded, everyone was hurried, and no one waved “hi” back at him. Poor Paulie. Such a little rube.
– At the rate Luongo’s going, he’s asking to be smote by the Hockey Gods a la Dwayne Roloson last year. (You can’t tell us all that diving and tossing off his mask at the slightest contact didn’t come back to bite him in the form of that Game 1 injury in the Cup Final…)
— Playing the roll tonight of Chris Pronger is Rob Niedermayer, taking a penalty to negate his team’s power play with under 8 minutes in the third. It must be very difficult for the Ducks to overcome having so many players who struggle to resist taking momentum-killing penalties late in games.
– Overtime, is it? Fine. We’ll stay up a little bit later.
– Wow, this is a real barn-burner. The Ducks clog the neutral zone, and the Canucks seem willing to spend 15 minutes setting up their breakout attempts from behind their net. Is this how everyone else feels when they’re stuck watching the Devils? (And why are the Devils always the ones who get a bum rap for playing boring hockey? So far this playoff year we’ve seen a lot more snoozefests out West than we’ve seen from our boys in rouge, blanc et noir.)
– Andy Brickley provides this kind of OT insight: “The next goal is going to be huge.” Like, game-winner huge?
– After watching the Canucks stutter three times on their attempted breakout we’re left feeling like the 2006-2007 Devils are positively Sabres-esque with their team speed.
– Naslund gets called for tripping Selanne, that dog. We think it should be two and two; that was a dive of Zajacian proportions. (To paraphrase the Simpsons, our take on this game is that Selanne’s dogging it while Getzlaf is out there working like a dog.)
– Schnookie wouldn’t mind if someone scored sometime soon. Her eyeballs are starting to dry out. Perhaps it would behoove her to blink more often.
– Double overtime, is it? Fine. We’ll stay up a bit later some more.
– We both get up to brush our teeth (gotta be ready to fall into bed as soon as this thing ends), and come back in time to hear Bill Clement sum up what must have been a discussion of potential OT goal scorers by repeating, “Remember Petr Klima.” Hey! We totally have been all night, with the “that dog” tag we’ve stuck on Selanne. Does that mean he’s going to score?
– Things are getting crazy here in double OT. We’ve got one strong defensive play generating a rush one way, then the same thing happening at the other end… but no goal yet. The real Horatio Hornblower would have scored by now, Getzlaf.
– That Brian Burke is such a genius stocking his lineup with meat-fisted goons. Billy Jaffe reports the fresh-legged Canucks are rolling four lines, but the Ducks’ 4th line didn’t see a minute of time during the first OT. It must be awfully nice for the Ducks to know they’ve got all that dead weight holding their bench in place.
– As much as we’re fans of the deliberate breakout, we both chortle at the fan pounding the glass behind the Canucks defenseman who pulls up and waits… and waits… and waits with the puck behind his net.
– If we were coaching the Ducks we’d have another great game plan for them: actually hitting the net with their shots. Luongo’s really probably a good enough goalie that he can keep shots that are going way wide from going into the net.
– You know, this game would be a lot better if it had been decided by a shootout. Kara Yorio. Gah.
– We were both looking down when all of a sudden the Canucks score. Giggy looks stunned and affronted. Our hearts swell at the sight, but we’re still sad the Ducks lost. Replay shows a lazy turnover on the boards by Rob Niedermayer, then some lame checking by Scott Niedermayer, then some Brodeur-vs.-Lecavalier-style goaltending by Giggy. Well, at least no one we liked got directly burned on that one.