Because of the TiVo delay tonight we’re zipping at high speed through the pregame, vowing to stop only for Preissing and Getzlaf interviews. So we opt out of watching Chris Simpson’s report on the motivational dressing room signs and t-shirts the Ducks are deploying.
Doc’s intro to the game proper includes the question, “What bearded warrior will make the difference?” We guess that means it won’t be Getzi, then.
In discussion of the Senators’ performance in Game 1, Eddie earns his paycheck with the hard-hitting analysis that Volchenkov and Fisher were the best two players on the team.
With a vista shot of the pre-game lightshow in the Honda Center, we get a chance to admire our favorite recent development to the pregame pomp and pyrotechnics: the giant pictures projected on the ice. That looks cool.
At the end of the introductory chit-chat, Eddie concludes that this is pretty much a must-win for the Senators (Oh, really?), which means it should be another great game. Well, he predicted that before Game 1, so we can only hope he’s right and we get another match of that caliber.
Oh! An on-ice interview with Getzi! Yay… oh no. Stop it. Please, cameraman, back off. Hurry! OH IT’S TERRIBLE! THOSE TEETH! Yowza. Getzi’s teeth should never be shown in that kind of lingering, HD closeup.
19:28 Already Emery looks just as awful as he looked in Game 1, as he struggles with a Nieder shot but manages not to cough the puck up clean to Teemu in front.
19:01 It looks to us like the Spezza line has been broken up. That, uh, seems like a panic move.
17:43 The Senators have come out with an attempt to set the physical tone, but that little bitch Comrie proves that he’s really not the guy to be trying to do that. After the teams trade a few huge hits, Comrie launches himself headfirst at Beauchemin, misses, slams hard into the glass, and gets called for boarding. If it wasn’t so late here at stately IPB Manor, we’d rewind and watch that over and over again.
16:03 After watching Prongsie skating up center with the puck, Pookie declares, “Pronger looks like he was put together by committee.” Boomer adds, “A blind committee.”
14:20 Baby Crunchy’s beginner’s luck has run dry; he sets a pick at the blue line to make room for Teemu and gets called for interference. What are the chances the Ducks can kill this off? Or better yet, what are the chances they don’t take another penalty to go down two men?
13:36 Pookie has been very troubled by Teemu’s hair tonight, and finally figured out how best to describe it: “It’s like a dorkier, flatter version of Engblom’s.”
12:53 The Ducks get a great backhanded clear of the zone, and we are totally excited because we think we just had an Earl Sleek sighting. After three camera sweeps up rink, Boomer is annoyed. “Sit down, Earl!” she barks. She always hated people standing up in front of her during play at Devils games.
11:55 Doc gets all excited as a Volchenkov hit hurls Perry into the boards behind Emery, but the hit is called boarding.
11:33 What is up with this? Emery keeps making save after save. Hrmph. We are especially peeved that he stops Getzi in close on a great set-up from Teemu.
10:23 The roles have been completely reversed for Ottawa here — Emery is stuck bailing out his D as the penalty killers bungle chance after chance to clear the zone.
9:29 Doc elicits a bunch of giggles here as he calls a whistle at the Ottawa blue line, “No matter, the play was offsides.” That’s our favorite Doc-ism. We actually considered using some variation on it as our blog name.
7:29 We thought that whistle was for icing, but apparently it was actually a charging call on Thornton. No one seems capable of hitting clean tonight.
6:36 Now, that’s what we expected to see: a stupid-assed penalty from Pronger. While he was penalty-killing! He tosses his head back at the call like a twelve-year-old girl. (The replay shows he slashed Comrie and Pookie snarls, “He should get an award for that.”)
6:00 Giggy decides if Emery of all people can be the best penalty killer for the Senators, then he can do the same for the Ducks. He makes about 16 monster saves before getting a whistle after coming hard out of his net to snatch up the puck.
5:30 Holy crap. Wow, but that was some awesome 5-on-3 penalty killing. As fans of all things defensive-minded, we wipe away tears of joy at the communication, the support, the amazing blocking of passing and shooting lanes by the 3-man unit, and the miraculous goaltending by Giggy. That was a thing of beauty, and if we had orange towels we’d be whipping them over our heads right now.
3:30 Okay, it is really getting annoying that the Ducks haven’t been able to take advantage of Emery’s mistakes. On a harmless shot from Perry at the point, Emery completely bobbles the puck to Moen in front, but he must have been as surprised as everyone else that Emery couldn’t handle that shot cleanly and doesn’t even manage a shot.
2:16 A little pushing and shoving breaks out behind Emery’s net, and Baby Crunchy is in the middle of it. Pookie: “Ooh… Baby Crunchy, gettin’ angry. He’s all, ‘It’s NOT an electric tuba!’”
1:53 Fisher does his best Pronger impersonation and idiotically punches Perry in the head when he was already down. Two for roughing.
1:15 We feel like we’ve seen this before… a team that just insists on absolutely blowing on the PP against Ottawa. What was that team’s name again? Oh yeah. The Sabres. Sigh. Come on, Ducks.
0:00 As the buzzer sounds on the first period, we have a feeling of disquiet. We really don’t like that Emery had a good first twenty minutes, even with all the rebound control issues. But we did like that the Senators looked tentative offensively.
Oh dear. Tonight’s intermission features Mess presenting the overall Leadership Award for the year to Chris Chelios. Is it just us, or did Mess give that award this season exclusively to guys the same age as him? Shanahan, Niedermayer, now Chelios. (Yeah, yeah, we know. He gave it to Sid Crosby, too, but come on. Sid’s the fuddy-duddiest guy in all of hockey.) We applaud Cheli for his ability to not become physically ill from the emotions that must be overwhelming him at having been given this award.
We come back from commercial with a flavoring shot of the duck statue outside the arena. Pookie declares, “If you are putting a sculpture outside your arena and it’s not Wayne or Gordie Howe, you need to stop and reconsider.” Schnookie says, “Well, it was Disney…” to which Pookie retorts, “Well then they should have toppled the statue when the regime changed.”
18:09 O’Donnell brings a bit of that Devils magic to the game by parking behind his net for about seven minutes while waiting for a change. Ahhh… the five-man snoozeout. We love it.
17:03 We decide that if Perry played for a Devils rival, he would drives us nuts. There’s just something about him that’s annoying, the way things always happen to him. If that makes any sense.
15:59 Baby Nieder sucks. How does he not score on a wide-open, fallen-Emery net? Oh. He manages not to score because he has no control over his backhand.
15:26 The Pahlsson line absolutely dominates the Spezzas in the offensive zone, but after a bunch of near-misses, nothing comes of it. Other than, we hope, Spezza’s delicate little psyche crumbling even further.
13:33 If we were Senators fans right now, we’d be hoping and praying Spezza never touches the puck in his defensive zone. Because he’s apparently trying to set a record for most turnovers in one Stanley Cup Final game.
11:54 Oh no, Baby Crunchy! We cringe as he softly turns the puck over at his blue line.
11:12 After a series of well-conceived rushes by the Perry/Getzlaf/Penner line, none of which come to fruition, Pookie declares, “Penner is like the Derek Roy of this line. Only minus the diving. And most of the sucking.”
10:00 Baby Nieder decides to try his backhand again, but gets the same result as the puck whimpers into Emery’s glove. We get our first whistle since, like, last week. Come on, guys, give our laptop (“The IPB Machine”) a break!
9:11 The Ducks pounce well on a loose puck off the faceoff, but Nieder’s shot from the point just screams wide. Why couldn’t Emery put that into his own net?
8:13 VS catches the American fans up with what Canadian fans were “lucky” enough to see during Game 1 — Ryan Smyth in attendance. It’s nice to know Getzi’s not the biggest dolt in the building tonight.
7:32 The Senators third line gets a glorious chance on a catastrophically lazy turnover by the Getzi line, but whichever forward it was who took the shot somehow fired high.
6:32 Thornton drives hard to the net just as Emery is “covering” the puck and jostles it loose, but the officials decide the whistle had blown. That seemed like an awfully quick whistle for a guy who’s done nothing but bobble pucks for the last four and a half periods.
5:21 Eddie and Doc try to wring some sympathy out of the audience for Comrie as he stays down on the ice after a hit. “He’s playing with a hurt shoulder,” Eddie says. Boo fucking hoo.
4:42 Coming back from intermission, Chris interviews James Caan and Ray Liotta. This interview blows, as both guys sound like they have no idea why they’re there. (We also got a view of Snoop Dogg in the stands wearing a bushy fake Parros mustache. After Chris concludes her interview, Doc decides he wants to point out the mustache, but is clearly hesitant to say the name “Snoop Dogg”. For a moment we hope he’ll settle on “Mr. Dogg”, but eventually he manages to get the full name out. And it sounds just as hilarious as you might expect.)
1:56 Getzi dangles all over the offensive zone, but chooses not to shoot. Ridiculously, though, Comrie desperately tries to re-create Madden’s famous “Hey Ace” move from the 2001 ECF and just ends up looking even more like a moron than usual because Getzi is never for a moment fooled by it. Elsewhere on the sequence Preissing takes a tripping penalty.
0:44 Pookie thinks maybe Home Depot should not want to be sponsoring this man advantage. She explains, “Someone might be thinking right now, ‘If I go to Home Depot, my deck will end up being built with the same shoddy quality as this power play.’”
0:24 Because it just isn’t a Ducks game without dumb penalties, McDonald takes his team off the PP with a hooking minor.
0:00 And the book is closed on another period, this one a lot more methodical than the previous four. The Ducks clearly had the better of the play, but somehow it just never felt like anyone was actually going to score.
We are absolutely floored as Mess embarks on a bit of commentary that is actually hard-hitting, in that he declares, “If the key players for Ottawa don’t recognize that they’re being dominated, this is going to be a short series.” Wow! Since that Assistant GM position opened for the Rangers, Mess has stopped pulling his punches as a broadcaster, hasn’t he? Meanwhile, Jonesie looks like he has an inky hedgehog on his head.
Marchant and his exquisite claim-jumper beard are mic’d up. He might as well be speaking a foreign language, since we have no idea what he just said. Actually, his is speaking a different language: jock. We, uh, are not jocks. That sportsmen-on-the-field-of-play jargon is lost on us.
18:17 After some wild scrambling in front of the net, the Ducks manage to get the clear, with things all back at even strength. Nice penalty killing, boys. (That sequence did raise the question of how hard the Senators are allowed to slash and chop at Beauchemin behind the net, and the answer apparently is “very hard”.)
16:37 McDonald taps a lovely pass to Teemu right at the top of the crease, but his deflection just flutters up to the crossbar and falls harmlessly on the goal line.
14:50 After another shift of having his pants skated off by the Ducks’ checking line, Heatley gets all pissy and tangles at the benches with Pahlsson as they both go to change.
12:44 Bryan Murray has gone back to his “break up the Spezzas” plan from earlier. McAmmond is out with Heatley and Spezza.
11:35 Pookie has fallen silent. When asked why so quiet, she explains, “I spent 45 minutes today looking a pictures of bunion surgery and now all I can think of is the insides of my feet.” Boomer asks, “Why were you doing that?” Pookie snaps, “I don’t know. Maybe because I’m a reference librarian and someone asked me for information about bunion surgery.”
9:52 We have all now fallen silent with contemplation of the insides of our feet.
8:56 Teemu’s line gets some glorious chances on an extended sequence, but the moment passes most egregiously after McDonald has a juicy rebound bounce over his stick right in front of a gaping net.
6:52 Giggy alertly stops a quick shot through a screen of about a zillion players. He’s paying more attention here than we are, thank goodness.
5:44 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PandoNation, for just this one glorious moment, happily calls itself PahlssonNation (it’s all about the Selke nomination brotherhood, people). On a putrid turnover in the neutral zone by Heatley (Eddie nearly vomits with outrage watching it in replay), the Pahlssons swarm into the offensive zone, then the man himself shoots through a screen made by Corvo (who, hilariously, is facing Emery, probably with a look on his face that says to Rayzor, “What? Why are you looking at me like that? I’m totally doing my job right”) and beats Emery gorgeously high to the far side.
4:20 The Spezzas, reassembled, try to atone for their sins. Giggy makes a ginormous save on Spezza.
4:01 Perry just almost breaks free from the D on a really nice pass up the middle by Pronger, but he’s not quite fast enough to get away from Volchenkov.
3:56 We feel like we’re going to throw up. Is there anything better in life than the waning moments of a 1-0 game in the Stanley Cup Final?
3:15 Schaefer has a chance that he will relive in his nightmares for the rest of his life — with a wide-open net, a calm puck and about a month to pull the trigger, he somehow shoots wide.
1:45 Perry gets a really clever chance spinning around on his knees at the side of the crease, but Emery is strong enough to stop it.
0:45 The Senators finally get the puck deep and Emery is able to get to the bench.
0:00 An open letter from IPB to the Anaheim Ducks:
Dear Anaheim Ducks,
Thank you so much.
Hugs and kisses,
Pookie and Schnookie
That, folks, was a fantastic hockey game. Just outrageously, fantastically, gorgeously awesome. What made it especially nice, from our perspective, (and as Jonesie points out) is that it was suspenseful and close on the scoreboard, but really looking at it overall, the Ducks completely dominated. So it was tense and fun in a “close game” way, but also thrilling to enjoy watching the Senators get their asses handed to them.