This is getting ridiculous. Did they specifically get people who hate the Devils to pick our 15 To Remember? Because yes, FSN, we remember this game. NOT FONDLY.
19:59 We get almost no intro because this was a long one. We just jump right into the play-by-play, as Doc is complaining about some stupid-assed thing Stan said in the pregame. Ahh, how badly we miss hockey — there’s just a shortage of stupid Stan stuff in our lives right now.
19:27 Gomez and Gio combine on a nice passing play on the rush, and Gio somehow stupidly pushes a ginormous Nittymaki rebound wide of a gaping net. Was there ever a point this season where Gio was burying those chances?
18:31 Wow — this is one of the six games over the past two years that Forsberg played for the Flyers.
17:38 Marty doesn’t stand a chance when Lukowich is on the ice. A shot from the point gets tipped in, allegedly by Ben Eager, but we all know it was Choco who made it go in. Pookie points out that every goal call against the Devils from mid-December through mid-March last year went something like, “Let’s go back and look at that again — I think it might have gone off Brad’s [name a body part].”
15:40 Chico gives us a rundown of how the Flyers had been playing of late leading into this game, and concludes that he suspects this will be the toughest game the Devils play against the Flyers this year. He’s prescient, our Chico is.
14:44 After a smart, dynamic pinch by Lukowich (feeling guilty for his propensity for tipping in own goals), Travis does his best Brylin impersonation and artfully tips home a short-range rebound. He and Zach look adorably fresh-faced and excited in the goal celebration. We can only assume Gomez was rolling his eyes at them on the bench. Just, you know, because he’s a slag-faced whore.
13:49 Mike York gets called for hooking. There is something about Mike York that makes it impossible for us to remember what team he’s on. Is that just us, or does everyone else, when they encounter him on their opponent’s roster, say, “When the hell did York become a [team name]??”
12:33 Pitkanen, feverishly jealous of Zach’s Trapper Keeper good looks, decides to whack him in the chin. Zach dutifully bleeds to draw a double-minor (and then looks petulant and demanding on the bench as he sticks his chin out while waiting for a trainer to administer to it).
12:15 As the Devils take one unscreened, flat-footed shot after another on this 5-on-3, Pookie suddenly realizes, “Oh my God! We’re not going to have Raffie on our PP next year! That’s awesome!”
8:33 It seems one of the things FSN wanted us to remember in this game is the clinic the Devils just put on about how to mount an ineffective power play. It was especially artful for the way it combined a fruitless 5-on-3 with a double-minor spent exclusively in the neutral or defensive zones. Nice.
8:04 At a mention of a shot by Gagne, Pookie pipes up, “Poor Simon Gagne. If only he had a team that was his own.” Yeah, have fun with trying to lay claim to Gagne’s team, Briere.
6:38 Chico tells us Travis looked especially happy after his goal because it was his first since December 26. Chico stumbles on his words saying that Travis really “let loose”, prompting us to giggle that he pommerdoodled himself a little bit with the excitement of the moment. (Meanwhile, the Poppers are flying in this game; every time they get the puck in the neutral zone, they just blow their way up into the offensive zone, swirling and passing and swaggering. We like this line.)
3:54 For all that we roll our eyes at how the scoring in this game went — and how not-necessarily-memorable it is on that account — we will grudgingly admit that both teams are really skating. This game is the polar opposite of that snooze-fest from last week they picked for us.
1:59 Patty protests vociferously when he’s called for hooking behind his net. Pookie suggests he’s saying, “No, I’m a superstar. Superstars don’t take stupid penalties.” We get a reaction shot of Julien, and all we can think about is the Devils shooting pucks at him during practice.
0:00 We can’t believe the first period is over already! What a difference it makes when both teams are actually skating hard, unlike certain games on Long Island we can think of.
19:07 Doc informs us this is the fifth of eight meetings for this season, and Chico adds that, going into this game, the Devils had won the previous 7 meetings between these teams. No fucking way.
18:26 Gomez blatantly hooks Jeff Carter to the ice behind the Flyers net, because on top of being a slag-faced whore, Gomer is also lazy and undisciplined. But that’ll still be $7 million well spent, Slats, don’t worry. (A reaction shot of Julien shows our erstwhile coach rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Is he trying to signal that it was Gomer who shot at him?)
17:39 Knuble smacks a loose puck past Marty to take a 2-1 lead, and we find ourselves wondering what percentage of Gomer’s penalties the Devils killed during his tenure in Jersey. Most likely a very small percentage.
16:49 We kind of space out a bit during a stoppage in play, and tune in to hear Chico assuring us that Forsberg will finish the season in Philly. Okay, Chico. (Considering that a slurpy shot of him on the bench earlier prompted Schnookie to say, “Hey, there’s an example of addition by subtraction”, we don’t have a lot of patience for Chico’s fawning over Foppa.)
14:27 Patty has a lucid moment where he realizes his linemates are Gio and Gomer — he wisely decides to pull up on a rush and crank a booming slapshot, which Nittymaki just manages to get a tiny tip of glove on.
13:03 Chico is having a prolonged conversation with himself about a piece of stanchion that has fallen onto an abandoned corner of the ice; he is fascinated that no one on the ice has noticed it.
12:17 Some guy named Nate Guenin takes a holding penalty while he tries to cling to Zach in an ardent embrace as Zach attempts to carry the puck down the boards. We can’t blame him.
11:54 The Flyers fans, unaware of how dreadful the Devils are with 2-man advantages, rain boos on the officials for calling roughing on Hatcher after Derian uses the handle of his stick to abrade all the skin off the tip of Gionta’s nose. When Gio goes to the bench, the trainer looks at him and shrugs as if to say, “There’s nothing I can do about that. Now, if you want to take that red clown nose off I can… oh. Um. I’ve got some bad news, Brian…”
11:44 Who would ever have guessed the Flyers fans know more than we do? Turns out they had every reason to be worried about a 5-on-3. Nittymaki leaves a loose puck right in front of himself, and Gomer and Travis whack away at it until it pops into the net. Travis has officially busted out of his slump with two goals! We get a shot of him sitting on the bench next to Pando, with Johnny Mac standing behind them. Pando is speaking animatedly to Johnny Mac, and Pookie surmises Pando’s saying, “So then I shot a puck at him, and he didn’t even do anything…”
8:08 This game is just an endless stream of hockey flow. The teams are flying up and down the ice, turnovers are being forced and great passing plays are springing great offensive chances — and suddenly Patty lets loose with one of his patented, swaggering, wide-stance rebound goals on the rush that he loves scoring in Philly. And now we’re reminded why we don’t look back with warm fondness on this game. The Devils have a 3-2 lead this late in the second? And the final score ends at what, exactly?
(It should be noted that on February 1, Captain Patty Elias had exactly eight more goals than rookie Travis Zajac, who had not even been expected to make the team at the start of training camp. Pookie is outraged by this, but Schnookie points out that it’s not surprising, considering who Patty was skating with.)
4:32 It is hilarious what a difference one UFA day and hindsight makes; when we first saw this game we completely lost our minds when Eager slew-footed Gomez while they were both off the puck. Now? We can’t get enough of it. Do it again, Eager!
Meanwhile, Gio took a high sticking penalty. We will refrain from making jokes about how Gio’s too short to high stick anyone. Yes, that’s been done to death, but yes, we still think it’s funny.
2:38 We are discussing who wears what number for the Flyers and Schnookie jokes that the Flyers hopefully offer 88 to any takers every training camp. Pookie: “How big a jackass would you have to be to take 88 in Philly?” Schnookie: “I can only hope Briere does.”
0:02 The period was kind of flagging a little, and Fedoruk, being a meathead with his name tattooed in gothic letters across his back, took a roughing penalty for getting a bit too frisky off the puck with Colin White. On the delayed penalty, Marty sassily played the puck just at the blue line and tossed a very nice pass up to Patty. He is making a good argument to be allowed to skate at forward next year…
0:00 So, um, yeah. The Devils take a 3-2 lead into the third. And the final score is what, exactly?
19:42 Oh dear. Fedoruk broke Whitey. He has not returned to the bench with the rest of the team.
18:41 What we’re beginning to suspect is that if Raffie had ever figured out how to set up at the point on the PP somewhere inside the blue line, instead of somewhere in the neutral zone about midway between the red line and the blue, maybe we would have liked him better.
17:08 Afanasenkov whips a sneaky wrist shot around Lukowich, Marty makes the initial save, and then Afanasenkov skates around Choco with ease, tosses the rebound off Marty’s arm and into the net to tie up the game. Pookie: “Choco’s saying, ‘I didn’t deflect that in! I can’t honestly say I had nothing to do with him being able to score that, but I didn’t deflect it in.’”
14:28 Did we say this game has great flow? It seems like the last half hour has been spent right in front of the Devils blue line, with each team taking turns handing the puck over to the other.
9:48 David Hale, working to punch his ticket to Calgary, takes a magnificently lazy interference penalty by shoving Jeff Carter over behind Marty’s net while the puck was miles away.
8:44 Poor Paulie. He was almost the hero, managing to fish a puck out from behind Marty earlier, but the Flyers regain possession and take the lead several plays later. Colin White has another of his episodes and pushes Knuble into Marty, making it laughably easy for Knuble to tip a shot into the net.
8:04 Langer is not happy with the way things are going here. After Oduya gets drilled head-first into the stanchion between the two benches (No worries — Johnny hops to his feet with body language that screams, “What’s everyone so excited about? My skull is made of solid titanium. They can’t hurt me that easily.”), he cranks up a screamer of a slapshot from above the faceoff circles, and Nittymaki just completely flubs it. 4-4. Ah, the patented Langer “Fuck this shit” game-tying goal. Gotta love it.
4:10 Now, this has been a very entertaining game. There is no denying that. But there is not a Devils fan alive who is pleased to revisit a game in which the Devils led 3-2 going into the third, but end up having to come from behind when the Flyers make the score 5-4 on a Forsberg goal with just over 4 minutes left. This, Gentle Reader, is not Devils hockey.
2:22 Even with the Flyers crashing into their own goalie and pushing him behind the goal line, Gomez is still not able to get on the puck and score into the open net. Of course, part of the reason he couldn’t do anything there was that Forsberg was demonstrating his mad captaincy skillz and warrior heart by taking a penalty for cross checking Gomer twice to the ice. And proving he’s worth at least $7 million a year, Gomer takes the Devils off the power play (trailing by one with just over 2 minutes left in the game) by following Forsberg to the bench and cross checking him back.
1:54 Marty Brodeur is such a punk. Calder skates into him after he’s caught the puck, and as Marty embellishes falling over, he just — oops! — ends up whip-kicking at Calder’s legs. Just, you know, how you do when you’ve been bumped into while you’re on your knees.
0:32 Who needs Gomez? Langer and Zach sure don’t — Langer gets a pass from Gio while coming around behind Nittymaki’s net, he passes it out to Zach in front, and Zach shovels it over Nittymaki to tie the game. We’ll say one thing for the 2006-2007 Devils: they were impossibly resourceful and cool on countless occasions facing one-goal deficits with time running out. They seemed to do this kind of thing with impunity.
3:31 Marty is called upon to shut things down while the Flyers zoom around the offensive zone with alacrity. It looks like a power play, so outmatched are the Devils right now.
2:29 Marty makes his 6,000th save of the OT after another smart Flyers rush. It is ridiculous that the Flyers didn’t win this game.
1:36 Marty makes his 6,001st save of the OT after Raffie gets the puck deep in his corner, looks up at his options, and makes a perfect tape-to-tape, cross-zone pass to the Flyers point man.
0:50 On a slowly-developing play in the Flyers zone Gomer makes a lazy, slow drop pass to Patty, who can’t help but overskate the totally unexpected pass; Patty manages to recover, though, passes back to Raffie at the blue line. Raffie uncorks a shot that has just enough magic on it to make Lukowich use his goal-tipping powers for good instead of evil. That’s right: Lukowich. Crashing the net. Go figure. The Devils pour onto the ice to adorably celebrate the hilarity that is blowing a 3-2 lead to a last-place team and having to get a last-minute goal to force OT, then being outshot 10 billion-to-1 in OT, then having to get the game winner from a stay-at-home defenseman who strangely found himself parking in front of the opposition’s goal on a broken play. Chico comments as the Flyers intrepid captain is whining to the officials during the celebration, “Forsberg is not happy about something.” Schnookie suggests, “Losing?” Pookie: “Sometimes with Forsberg, it’s hard to tell whether he cares about that.” Burn.