The 75th in our 118-part series.
Marty Scoring A Goal
It didn’t take us long to figure out, in our first season as Devils fans, that Marty Brodeur desperately wanted to score a goal. It didn’t take us much longer to realize that we wanted him to do that almost as much as he did. Whenever the Devils were protecting the lead with the other team’s goalie pulled, Schnookie would completely involuntarily shout “Give the puck to Marty! Give the puck to Marty!” And we weren’t alone. As soon as the other net was vacated during Devils home games, a buzz would go through the crowd, and you could practically see Marty licking his chops behind his mask. To be honest, it wasn’t a matter of “if” so much as “when”, but still. We wanted to see it in person. And in the very first playoff game we ever attended, against the Canadiens (really, who else did we think he’d do it against?), Marty made good.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Reasons We Love Hockey on September 5, 2007 |
4 Comments »
The 74th in our 118-part series.
The giggling shame when your team scores a really soft goal.
We think we’ve established pretty well in this space that we are cold-hearted, spiteful fans. When we have no vested interest in a game we’re watching, we generally cheer for the road team just so the fans we’re watching will go home unhappy. We don’t often feel bad wishing injury on players we don’t like. We like when teams that aren’t the Devils make embarrassing mistakes. But even we feel the slightest twinge of shame when the Devils score really, really soft goals. We’re not talking about just plain old soft goals (the ones that take a replay before Chico admits the goalie should have had it), or even just really soft goals (the ones where Chico is still able to retain a tiny shred of self-respect while defending the hapless goalie while the Devils are engaged in a subdued helmet-touching and butt-tapping celebratory huddle on the ice). We’re talking about those terrible, terrible goals that leave the scored-upon team’s fans in stunned silence, the ones that the goal-scorer doesn’t want to celebrate because he knows how crappy it was, the ones that sometimes conclude with the scored-upon goalie staring at the puck in his own goal and laughing uproariously (if that goalie is Marty Brodeur and it happens to be G6 of the 2003 SCF). Mind you, we don’t feel a great deal of shame for cheering those goals. Just a teensy-tiny bit, as we jeer and laugh and taunt the other team through our television. But it’s a nice kind of shame, a happy shame, a feeling that says, “I love that this game is full of fluky things like that last goal, and I love knowing that my team could just as easily be on the unlucky side of that.”
Read Full Post »
the 73rd in our 118-part series.
7:30 start times
The off-season throws into stark relief everything that’s wrong with a life without hockey, perhaps the most significant being that we lose all sense of routine. During the season everything runs smoothly: we come home from work, change into leisure pants (read: “pajamas”, because we’re nothing if not foxy here at stately IPB Manor), make a nice dinner, settle down to eat in front of the pre-game show, then have everything cleaned up and the evening ready to unspool by the time the East Coast games start. It’s a delightful routine — “lovely”, even, if we do say so — but it hinges on one essential element: that the games start at 7:30. A 7:00 start time throws everything into a panicked compression (who can have dinner ready by 6:30?) and 8:00 leaves too much downtime. A 7:30 puck-drop, though, is utter perfection.
This is a bittersweet reason, Gentle Reader, for us to love hockey. You see, after over a decade of 7:30 start times, the Devils seem to be switching to 7:00. Why would they do this? Do they want us to be unhappy? Do they have stock in the frozen pizza industry and figure we’ll eat a lot more of them when we no longer have time to prepare fresh meals? Do they want to be — God forbid — more like the Red Wings? Whatever their motivation, it’s a bad one. 7:00 is wrong, wrong, wrong. But 7:30 is one of our favorite things.
Read Full Post »