We have the option tonight between the regular FSN Anaheim and the HD, rinkside feeds. We’re looking forward to experiencing the differences between them, since it’s nice to have a plotline to focus on when the teams you’re diarizing about are complete strangers to you.
18:27 We’re really quick on the uptake, and take a surprisingly long time to realize this HD rinkside feed doesn’t have play-by-play. That might work for us if we’re watching two teams we know anything about, but since this is the Kings and the Ducks, not so much.
17:09 Having a feed with play-by-play is great and all, but this picture blows. The insipid announcers make us wonder if a feed without them might be an improvement, since they become the 10,000th announcers to crack jokes about how Matt Moulson’s name kind of sounds like a certain brand of beer. It’s like the “Miro Satan should play for the Devils” joke, but a billion times funnier and more original.
16:22 Prongsie and O’Donnell decide the best way to defend Cammalleri is to double-team Dustin Brown behind the net. Fortunately for them, Giggy’s up to stopping Cammalleri’s point-blank shot.
15:15 The game has left Rob Blake behind, and he gets called for intereference. From all we’ve heard about the Ducks, though, we’re not too concerned for the Kings’ chances of killing this off.
13:15 Whaddaya know? The Ducks’ PP does suck.
12:19 Okay, this rinkside feed rocks during commercials… because it has no commercials! We’re watching Giggy drinking at the bench! Oh, crap. Now we’re watching Bill MacDonald giving us tours of the bowels of the arena – no, wait, this is AWESOME! They’re showing us the stick room! And now the dressing room! And now the weight room! This is so cool! WE LOVE THIS FEED!
11:20 We now have no idea what’s going on because they’ve stopped play-by-play on both channels.
10:55 What? The Kings are on the power play, with 1:34 left on it. What’s going on here? Damn you, Rinkside Feed, for making us look like idiots!
6:55 FSN tosses us blithely to commercial after Blake throws one of his cast-iron ass hipchecks into Corey Perry, so we flip to Rinkside to watch him dragged off the ice by his teammates. It seems appropriately somber, silently watching an injured guy limp off the ice, but suddenly we’re watching a foxy ice girl, then we’re getting a report from an even more vacuous sideline reporter than Bill MacDonald. This guy tells us he doesn’t want to “spiculate” about the nature of the injury, but it’s always bad when a guy has to be helped off the ice by his teammates. Then, nearly in the same funereal breath, he switches gears to tell us how tall Pronger’s sticks are, concluding with, “That’s a lot of wood for Chris Pronger.” Thanks, Rinkside!
5:33 Cammalleri heads to the box for hooking (not that FSN or Rinkside show us a replay) and Rinkside tosses us to Bill for a tour of the Ponda’s bar lounge thingie. If they’re going to be showing us drunk people, we want them to be giving us a Rinkside special with Earl Sleek.
4:46 Our announcers have no idea what’s going on (that makes four of us) after LaBarbera bobbles a shot, and in the play-by-play chaos, Getzi steps into a mid-range shot that gives the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
3:30 LaBarbera decides the best defense against swarming Ducks is to lie spread-eagled way out of the crease after breaking up BabyCrunchy’s attempt at a power move, and Marchant is able to bury the loose puck in the vacated net. 2-0 Ducks.
2:12 Zeiler stands up to hit the only thing we like about the Ducks (that would be Getzi), knocking Getzi away from the puck, and Marchant and Beauchemin jump on Zeiler to defend their hottie. Marchant gets a double minor for roughing. We flip to Rinkside in the hope that their ice-level mics will be picking up Getzi spewing profanities at the Kings, but we’re out of luck. Pookie: “This experiment is dead to me.” (We also hope that Zeiler may have knocked Getzi’s awful, awful teeth out, but sadly, a shot of him at the bench reveals he just needs a little patch job on his chin. Stupid Zeiler. Aim higher next time, dude.)
1:13 Moen and Pahlsson get a long two-on-one, but Pahlsson pretty much whiffs on the shot.
0:13 Hey! It’s the one thing we liked about the Senators last year – Preissing! The Ducks have some trouble clearing the zone, and Preissing is able to shovel the puck through Giggy. 2-1 Ducks. Pookie: “I hope Preissing and Parros had a motherfucking economics-off before the game.”
0:00 This game has been startlingly entertaining! Keep it up, teams we normally don’t care about – you guys and your Rinkside feed have been delightful!
We are devastated that Rinkside doesn’t let us just watching the stupid fans-in-sumo-suits crap, and then the zambonis circling. We think that would be a great way to advertise the unparalleled excitement you get by attending games in person. The regular feed is giving us an interview with Brian Burke and Ron Hextall (we don’t know why, and we’re not sure we want to know). Hexy looks to be no bigger than Doc Emrick, and when Bill MacDonald jokes that they’re going to wrestle, then asks them which one would win, we expect Hexy to say, “Look at that guy! He weighs three times as much as I do!”
Congratulations, Kings and Ducks fans. Your rivalry is now officially called “The Freeway Face-off”. You probably don’t need a couple of Devils fans to tell you this, but that sucks.
19:19 Pahlsson gets another chance on a shortie two-on-one, and still can’t score. Our Ducks announcers are hopeful that LaBarbera is looking over-aggressive and will be smote eventually for that tendency.
17:01 We realize these announcers are talking about something, but we have no idea what. Pookie: “It’s like they’re hitting a register I’m just not capable of hearing. All I’m picking up is [Meow Mix song]. Getzlaf.”
15:32 Perry miraculously survived the cast-iron ass attack and is back on the ice now.
15:07 We are intrigued by the Duck method of defense (and yes, Prongsie’s on the ice for it) to let Handzus slowly meander out from behind the net, turn himself around to be facing the net, then try to calibrate his aim, and then shoot at Giggy. Of course, it’s Handzus, and no harm comes from it, but still.
14:02 Perhaps ashamed of the aforementioned Handzus thing, the Ducks proceed to head up the ice and fire about 65 shots on goal.
13:47 Rinkside, during commercial, takes us way upstairs to introduce us to the man Bill MacDonald calls the “guru of lighting and special effects.” Only he pronounces it “gu-RU”. He asks for a “reader’s digest” explanation of what he does, and Pookie (of the former career in technical theater) groans, “Never ask a lighting guy for a quick, reader’s digest explanation of what he does.” (Bill also asks the guRU what his favorite effect is, and Pookie suggests, “Setting the mascot on fire.”)
13:30 Marchant gets called for hooking. We discuss how this is possibly the most fun game we’ve seen all year; Pookie explains, “I don’t think it has anything to do with the game, though – it’s all the stupid announcers.”
10:01 Giggy is forced to make a point-blank save on Zeiler, and the poor Ducks announcers are forced to point out that the Ducks are getting totally distracted by their seething, blinding hatred of Zeiler to be able to make good decisions with the puck. (Oh, and they’re kind of overwhelmed by the Kings forecheck, too.)
9:34 Rinkside shows us that Bill has made his way to the video review booth. There are no guRUs in this booth, just a guy with shaggy hair and a blazer with an NHL insignia on the breast. Our directors decide this guy is lacking that certain je ne sais quois that Ducks feeds should have in spades, so they switch to give us a view of the ice girls, and more specifically, the ice girls’ asses. We flip back to the regular feed.
6:50 JMFJ takes a roughing minor. The Ducks announcers are chortling about how he used to date Andy Murray’s daughter. Thanks for the factoid, Ducks announcers. They are also taken totally by surprise that their team is on the PP, since they, like us, are not really paying very close attention to what’s going on. They’re just so amused by their own stupidity, we guess.
5:09 Our regular-feed director gives us a smashingly interesting shot of JMFJ’s feet as he shuffles out of the box in a cloud of misery and shame after Huskins scores on a long point shot to make it 3-1 Ducks.
4:37 Rinkside now has Bill showing us the booth where they manage the LED screens in the arena. Pookie announces she’s having overwhelming déjà vu just as Bill leads us down a dark hallway and out onto a balcony that houses the organ player. We flip back to regular FSN when play resumes, but they’re showing us the Rinkside feed. It takes us a good long time before we realize we can watch this game without commentary back on Rinkside… but in HD. When we flip back, we see, with absolutely zero context, a King on the bench having a trainer futzing with his teeth. This is a quality, quality way to be watching televised sports.
2:34 The announcers here are vapidly conjecturing that Doug Armstrong was fired for not firing Dave Tippett. Pookie: “If that’s the case, way to go Army! Fight with honor, and you will win! Or get fired.”
1:14 They might have a two-goal lead, but the Ducks are still having trouble with Zeiler, whom Huskins and O’Donnell tag-team to haul to the ice. Holding penalty to Huskins. The announcers say something about some player possibly being “more impactful”, a phrase Boomer takes issue with. Pookie placates her by saying, “Well, they could have used the word ‘impactier’.”
0:00 We are not going to be suckered in by Rinkside this intermission – we know they’re not letting us watch Score-o. No, they’re trying to force us to watch that dumb show about the “science” of sports. (Okay, that’s a lie. We flip over to Rinkside and are rewarded by a lingering look at the Ducks’ gloves all drying. Pookie declares she’d be happy to just watch the gloves for the entirety of the intermission.)
We totally unfairly judged this intermission show ahead of time — not only are they showing us the zambonis going around in circles, but they’ve got Bill aboard one of them interviewing the driver. We love, love, love that they’re just wandering around the building asking everyone about the jobs they do. We’d like to see this extended beyond just the obvious people; we want to hear them talk to the stick company sales reps, the travel coordinators, the hotel managers who accommodate the teams’ request, people like that.
After the zamboni feature, we see the non-Bill sideline guy (read: really, really stupid guy) giving us a tour of the Kings’ stick area behind the bench. He walks us down the stick-prep table, holding up things like the paint can, the baby powder, the propane torches, telling us what each is for. Then he points to a tool that he describes as “an anvil.” Boomer, oozing disgust: “That’s a vice, you nitwit.”
17:46 The period starts like gangbusters. Just kidding! There’s a stretch of time where the feed loses the on-ice mics, and it’s just silence and the announcers. Looking down, we think there’s a stoppage in play, so imagine our surprise when we glance up and realize the Ducks are in the throes of getting a scoring chance.
15:41 We realize we’re flagging now, suffering what Pookie claims is the inevitable let-down after the unnatural high of the absurdity and weirdness that is the combination of these two feeds tonight. She then launches into a lengthy amusement park analogy that has Boomer wondering if there was something more than just peppermint in these fancy-schmancy Williams-Sonoma brownies we’re eating.
15:24 As if the Kings have heard our complaints, Frolov does some nifty skating and feeds Moulson for an easy tap-in goal. 3-2 Ducks, and hey! That guy? Moulson? You know what his name sounds like?
12:53 Rinkside takes us during this commercial break to the owner’s suite. Pookie marvels, “Now there’s some Earl Sleek action!” as the owner staggers drunkenly to stand in front of the camera. He also drags his wife to his side, and Pookie adds, “That’s the owner?” Pause. “’s wife?”
11:55 Blake, still being passed by by the game, trips Moen at the Ducks blueline to keep that bastion of blazing speed and finishing touch from getting into open ice. Excellent – more Ducks PP.
8:49 There’s a penalty on the Ducks, but we don’t know what for because it’s midnight, which means we all have to start annoying each other by prattling on about what chores we’re going to be doing the next day. There is much discussion right now about mulching around our fruit trees in the front yard and getting cars inspected. Never a dull moment at stately IPB Manor!
7:22 We’re now tense after having argued about how we didn’t want to be talking about mulching fruit trees and inspecting cars, so we fail to notice why the Ducks are now down two men. We are not being the best professional game diarizers we can possibly be.
6:49 Good thing for the Kings that Cammalleri isn’t distracted by his yard’s landscaping needs and how long the lines might or might not be at the inspection station at the DMV – right as the first penalty expires, he blasts the puck from the point past Giggy to tie the game at 3.
5:45 After several commercial breaks during which we strangely lost the HD Rinkside on our dial, we flip back to the right channel, just in time to see the doofusy sideline guy delivering this groundbreaking news: the players use light, composite sticks, and said sticks break sometimes. He brags that he’s taking JMFJ’s broken stick home with him, where his kids will “cherish it like it’s gold”. That’s so great that his kids will treasure JMFJ’s garbage so. When he finishes speaking the director decides to reward the broadcast’s male viewers with more ice girl footage. We opt for commercials instead.
4:18 Giggy shows off that he’s not always just an immobile, elephant-sized butterfly goalie, and makes a great, diving, sprawling save. Pookie grumbles after her initial impressed reaction, “Actually, he didn’t make that good a save there. That guy just shot right into him.”
1:09 Perry gets called for elbowing a King to the ice while going after the puck in the corner. Our announcers decide he’s being called for slashing and spend what seems like an eon watching the replay and whining that there was no slash on the play.
0:00 So we head into OT at three goals a piece, and the Kings on the power play. During the commercial we get further tours of the various and sundry equipment gewgaws behind the Ducks bench, and really, we don’t think we’ve ever seen such a staggering combination of stupid and smarmy as this non-Bill sideline guy.
We get a “Honda Center Fact” on Rinkside telling us it takes 200 man hours to convert the building from hockey to non-hockey events. Pookie: “That’s almost as many hours as it takes to shovel our driveway when it snows.”
3:59 Perry steps out of the box, and Pookie announces, “This Ffffreeway Ffffaceoff is fffffan-fffffucking-tastic.”
3:49 Getzi takes a weak shot that LaBarbera handles without much difficulty. Pookie composes an open letter to him:
Thanks for sucking. I want the Kings to win.
She then responds in her Getzi voice,
Getzi no can read.
0:31 McDonald has some serious wheels, busting up the center of the rink, but he apparently has no commensurate puck-handling skillz, because he ends up just leaving it behind right inside the blueline.
0:19 Blake and Kunitz exchange some swats at each other and both get called for it. The announcers grouse, as we go to less than 20 seconds of three-on-three, that the officials have decided they’re going to “decide” this game. The fuck?
0:00 A scrum develops at the boards in the Kings zone, out of which a little Pronger-on-Handzus fist-swinging ensues. Pookie decides that if she ever gets Pronger’s autograph, she’ll ask him to make it out to “Ima Doucherocket”. (Hilariously – and deservedly – Pronger gets an instigator out of this all.)
We flip to the HD feed and get to see, up close and in way more detail than any person ever should, a glimpse of exactly how copiously Giggy sweats. We feel compelled to mop up the floor in front of the TV when the shot is over.
We decide to watch this in HD. Because what’s better than being able to see in exquisite detail how Getzi bobbles the puck on his approach? He looks really… smart. We’ll spare you the details here, Gentle Reader. Suffice to say, the teams are trading penalty shots. As Doc likes to say, we’re deciding a game by having quarterbacks throw balls through tires. Instead of giving a blow-by-blow of the Ducks “win”, we’ll leave you with this thought – we think Kopitar should be like Stan Neckar (bet you didn’t think you’d be reading his name in a game diary here, did you?), and pronounce his name “Kopitash”. Seriously. This really bugs us because we totally expect that -sh at the end of his name.