It is never easy for us to remain alert after dinner on Monday nights, and it’s exponentially harder to do so the day we came back from vacation. But Gentle Reader, we will endeavor, for you, to stay awake tonight while soaking up all the kick-assedness the Sharks and Flames have to offer, despite the fact that we know exactly nothing about either one of these teams.
We’re getting the Flames feed on Center Ice, and the broadcasters are color-guy Charlie Simmons and the hilariously-named play-by-play man Roger Millions. He sounds like he could be Max Power’s cousin.
Ugh. The pre-game features a tribute to Owen Nolan for his 1,000th game; there are few players we can think of who are less inspiring than Owen Nolan, and this highlight reel is pretty funny for how many teams he’s played for. The big present here for Owen is a “custom-made” bottle of wine, presented to him by Mike Ricci – oh my god! We just want to know what products he uses! Oh, wait, sorry. The big present for Owen is a goofy ATV thing. The fans appear to be as underwhelmed as we are; are we the only people here who don’t think 1,000 games played is as remarkable a milestone as it once was?
19:26 Mr. Millions mentions that Jeremy Roenick is on the ice right now, and we are suddenly convinced we’re going to see him score his 500th goal, because what could be more fun than watching JR get to 500 on the night Owen Nolan played his 1,000th game?
18:23 We are getting acquainted with these teams and are informed David Hale is, remarkably, “playing in his second consecutive game for the Flames.” Way to go, Hale, getting yourself into the lineup twice in a row.
15:52 It’s very, very quiet here at stately IPB Manor. Boomer is settled into the calm contentment of a person who just bought an Xbox 360 so we can play the new Katamari game (Earl Sleek has created a monster), Pookie is losing herself in the never-ending maelstrom of researching how to make a TiVo Series 3 compatible with Center Ice on cable (the answer is “you can’t”) and our announcers are muttering about how things are going slowly because of the pre-game ceremony. Thanks, Owen Nolan, for always ruining everything.
14:10 Pookie looks up and asks, without irony, “Who are the Flames playing here? It’s impossible to tell what these sweaters are from afar.” Schnookie concurs, “It really is hard to figure why you’d work so hard to make yourself look like the Blues.”
12:35 We step away from the game for a moment to mess with the cable’s TiVo. Nope. Still not working.
10:38 Michalek leads the way on a spunky 2-on-1 for the first interesting play of this game. We are in agreement that we both really like Michalek… until Schnookie remembers she has Kiprusoff on her fantasy team. When she mentions she no longer likes Michalek for that very reason, Pookie points out her fantasy goalie is Nabokov. Oohhh… tension.
7:33 Pookie doesn’t care now which goalie wins. She has finally conceded defeat at the hands of Comcast, as it has, once again, failed to mesh with our TiVo and refused to allow us to record hockey games. Life is so endlessly brutal here at IPB Manor.
4:40 “No 500th goal for Roenick tonight,” Pookie guffaws as we watch several replays of San Jose fans’ least favorite glass-jawed free-agent pick-up wobbling on his feet after taking a stiff shoulder to the head from Regehr. Amazingly, Roenick stays on the bench despite the fact that his “bell” was clearly “rung” on that hit.
4:00 Millions gets a chance to say something we never thought we’d hear, “David Hale… shot… rebound… score!” Do we really have a Hale assist here? Or did Eric Godard direct it in with his hand? While we wait on the video review and get a close-up view of Godard on the bench, Pookie marvels, “The Flames all look exactly the same!”
No goal. Thank goodness. We don’t know what we’d do in a world where David Hale is getting assists.
2:21 It’s really a Monday night here. We dully stare at the TV screen for a few moments before Pookie declares, “Pizza places in Canada have the strangest names.” Schnookie: “Such as?” Pookie, pointing out the dasher ad, “Pizza 73.”
1:35 Matthew Lombardi gets called officially for holding the stick, but unofficially for melting the ice.
0:35 Woo. We are mildly cheering for the Sharks, even though Roenick is on the ice. Following JR careening headfirst into the boards behind the net, Thornton snaps a shot toward the net, it bounces off Roenick (probably concussing him further) and Ryan Clowe is there to put it away to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. This causes Pookie to descend further into the depth of despair because she “almost picked Clowe up” but second-guessed herself. Pookie is obviously a lousy fantasy GM.
0:11 Stephane Yelle just can’t wait for the next period to take a penalty, and gets called for tripping. Some of us are surprised to discover Yelle is still in the league, to be honest.
We do not have the words to describe how much we love Home Hardware commercials; seriously, the random tools they highlight for us are such a hoot. Tonight’s tool is a fancy-schmancy utility knife that is shaped like a shark and looks spectacularly lethal. Boomer recently did a number on her thumb with our bread knife, and she can’t help but shudder with fear thinking of how effective a flesh-cutting tool that shark-knife could be.
19:32 Our announcers seem to think we should be looking for Dion Phaneuf to score tonight. If that doesn’t happen, we’re going to hold it against Millions. There’s nothing we hate more than being misinformed.
16:42 We fail to notice what’s happening because we’re so excited that we’ve received in the mail the first of the Williams-Sonoma catalogs featuring their ridonkulously good Christmas candies. Pookie goes off on a bit of a monologue about how she feels about that: “I’m Pommerdoodling! The candy! It’s almost November! But then I realize it’s almost November… and where is the hockey season going? It makes me do the opposite of Pommerdoodling. I’m Comriedoodling. Or Gomerdoodling.”
13:50 Is Marleau having a terrible start of this season? We’re not paying very close attention yet to the Western Conference (what can we say? We were on vacation), but his blind drop pass on a nice 3-on-2 rush that went perfectly tape-to-tape onto a Flame’s stick kind of had that “Marleau in the playoffs” look to it.
13:44 Someone named Torrey Mitchell (for reals? That’s as fake-sounding a name as Roger Millions) takes a hooking penalty to put the Flames on the PP. A shot of Mike Keenan on the bench includes a view of a fan behind the bench who is sporting the most remarkable mustache we’ve seen in quite some time. Boomer: “It looks like it was drawn on.” Schnookie: “It does. It’s like Groucho Marx.” Pookie: “It’s like he’s one of the Pep Boys!”
12:43 Woo. And wow. Phaneuf does the opposite of scoring as promised, and is unable to muscle Michalek off his own rebound on a one-on-one short-handed play. That was an impressive goal, showing off the speed, sticktoitiveness, and all-around “being better than Kiprusoff”-ness we’ve come to expect from Michalek in this game. 2-0 Sharks.
9:28 During this commercial break we see a spot for The Keg with a crooning sort of lounge-lizard song that begins, “Every moooooo-ment…” Pookie improvises the rest of the song, “A pizza 73 is made… a slice of heeeeeeaaaaaaa-ven…” When we come back from commercial, Boomer notices the “Mr. Lube, Mr. Lube” ads going around the outsides of the dashers at the Saddledome. For some reason this starts her mumbling, “I’m down to just two buckets of kitty litter, so tomorrow I’m going to go out to buy some more.” Her statement is met with confused silence. “It’s just what Mr. Lube made me think of,” she protests, “which just proves what an ineffectual ad campaign it is.” Pookie retorts, “Unless Mr. Lube is a kitty litter manufacturer, which would make it an almost frighteningly effective campaign.” Gentle Reader, this is what Monday nights at IPB Manor are all about.
8:38 Cheechoo (who we’re pretty sure is having a crappy start to his season, but we could very well be making that up, too) takes a hooking penalty in the offensive zone. Not smart.
6:38 The Flames fans are sounding distinctly unhappy, but Millions politely describes the situation as the fans starting up a “humming”. Boomer: “That’s not humming. That’s booing.” Pookie: “No, it’s humming.”
5:23 The Sharks finally make things look interesting, putting on a shift of sustained pressure, with shots and cycling and skating all over the offensive zone, and they are rewarded with a power play when Rhett Warriner ceases being able to play defense and has to hook a Shark.
3:45 Woo. Yikes. The Flames demonstrate very little understanding of the whole “don’t let a guy stand unmolested smack-dab in front of your goalie on the power play” thing, and are burned by it when Steve Bernier sets a screen and tips Craig Rivet’s point shot to beat an oblivious Kipper. 3-0 Sharks, and Kipper is out of the game.
2:41 A shot of Bernier on the bench shows off how much he looks like if Pominville and Yashin had a kid.
1:14 This period has left us with the impression that the Sharks are a considerably better team than the Flames, but we have no idea whether that’s true. We wonder aloud how these teams are doing in relation to one another, and Pookie admits, “I really do think the Flames are good, but that might just be wishful thinking because I have a lot of them on my fantasy team.” We thought this experiment in cross-conference fantasy leagues would make us pay more attention to the conference that doesn’t matter to us, but we were wrong.
0:02 A mishandled puck by the non-Kipper kid in net now (McElhinnennnennnennney, or something like that) almost gets shoveled into the net by an alert Shark, but wouldn’t you know it – there’s David Hale making the big defensive play to stop it.
Canada might have the funniest pizza-place names, but it also has the most heinous-looking pizzas in their commercials. A spot for the Panago meatball pizza makes us think perhaps we will never eat pizza again.
Ooh! A feature on Patrick Marleau being the Grand Marshall of the San Jose Grand Prix. He looks and sounds like the biggest nerd, going so far as admitting he’s “gone go-karting, but nothing… too fast.” He even demonstrates his beauty-queen wave while in the parade with Miss San Jose Grand Prix. We would be lying if we said we didn’t just fall a little bit in love with the extravagant dorkiness of one Patrick Marleau.
18:01 David Hale of all people chips a great pass up the boards to start a nice rush for the Flames that Lombardi is unable to finish. The Flames end up with a power play, but we forget to pay attention to why.
16:24 Millions, apropos of nothing, says, “Keep in mind – no big Wayne Primeau in the lineup tonight.” Oh, well that explains it!
14:25 Woo. For reasons we will never understand, the Flames decide there’s no point to defending Michalek when Roenick is carrying the puck around behind the net. JR makes a nice pass to Michalek, all alone in the crease, and Michalek proves he’s better than Kipper and McElhinnennennennnennneny, netting his second goal of the game. 4-0 Sharks. (And that’s two assists for the obviously concussed Roenick. Yes, Gentle Reader, we are neurologists. Or brain specialists. Or head doctors. Or whatever.)
13:25 Godard and Murray (Flame and Shark, respectively, to those of you from the Eastern Conference who might be reading this) engage in an epically long and epically boring fight. It goes on so long that Pookie declares, “I could have eaten an entire Pizza 73 during this. I could have eaten 73 Pizza 73s.” The exciting outcome is one punch thrown and an instigator penalty to Godard.
Pookie says, while watching the players mill about the penalty boxes, “The new sweaters make the players look like Barbie dolls. I mean, the clothes fit them as well as Barbie’s clothes fit her.” She has a point.
11:45 The big guns are not on the PP because Ron Wilson doesn’t seem to want to run up the score, and Wilson’s graciousness is rewarded with a lazy hooking penalty by Clowe.
8:46 Simmons is boldly going out on a limb suggesting this game is all but over.
5:59 As the Sharks keep up some sustained offensive-zone pressure, Boomer asks about the crowd, “Are they humming again?” Yep. They are.
4:13 It’s almost impossible to believe the Flames put on such a listless and lethargic show after the wildly emotionally-charged pre-game Owen Nolan ceremony. We are simply stunned they didn’t rally around so inspiring a guy and so inspiring an achievement.
2:35 Pookie is terribly conflicted when Langkow breaks up Nabokov’s shutout (on a very sweet pass from Huselius). PanBoxer-on-PanBoxer scoring plays are never a pretty sight.
1:52 Simmons points out the Sharks have taken only one shot this period. And scored on it. And to think, we were wondering why it felt like such a barn-burner.
0:00 And so the buzzer blows on a thriller of a Monday night, with the Sharks winning 4-1. If the Flames were hoping to win our love tonight, they failed miserably; seriously, who gives up two assists to Jeremy Roenick? That’s just so wrong!