This first round of the playoffs has been chipping away at our will to live lately, so we’re trying to be proactive tonight. No one’s going to make our happiness for us, so instead of passively waiting for hockey to bring the RAWK!!! to us, we’re going to bring the RAWK!!! to it. Or, in lieu of RAWK!!!, game diaries.
To start things off, we’ve got the Caps and Flyers, only because our cable is coming out of Philly, we’re either miserably stuck with the Flyers Comcast feed or blissfully unable to watch on VS, depending on your point of view. Regardless, it’s in HD, so that makes us happy.
20:00 Before the drop of the puck, it should be pointed out that we are really unfamiliar with the Flyers broadcasters, save for one. In case you were wondering where Bill Clement ended up after Pierre McGuire Eve Harringtoned him, wonder no longer. He’s doing color on Comcast for the Flyers. We have spent more than our fair share of Flyers games this season saying, “Hey, that guy sounds SO MUCH like Bill Clement!” and now we know why.
18:12 We kind of wonder what the VS guys are saying about the hit Ovie just laid behind Biron’s net. Clement is saying, “Alexander Ovechkin – ever the hunter”, and if that’s what the Flyers guys are saying… (And really, thanks, Bill, for reminding us why we don’t miss you.)
16:42 WHAT THE HELL? Downie’s in the lineup???? Pookie: “Are they trying to make hockey not RAWK!? Next what are they going to do, shrink their sweaters more and more with each intermission?”
16:12 Hartnell takes a penalty for being completely stupid, and the Flyers’ utterly delightful sideline guy (Coates?) gives us this rambling, nonsensical recap of what his thought process was when the Caps gave up the puck on the delayed penalty and he thought Hartnell was going to get a breakaway, and then was really sad when Hartnell touched and the penalty was called. This is sports broadcasting at its finest.
15:00 Hatcher’s brought his “A” game tonight, taking a penalty for trying to take Laich’s head off while already on the PK. Pookie: “So the Flyers aren’t hoping to win?”
14:18 Meh. The Caps score, and it’s 1-0 Washington. Pookie: “I’d like the Caps more if they were called ‘The Chaps’.” Boomer: “And if they wore backless pants?” Pookie: “No! If they were Englishmen who were good buddies.”
13:30 The Flyers go offsides on a shorthanded rush, but play doesn’t stop. The play-by-play guy calls, “And they call the play offsides…” but the play seems to continue, so he says kind of lamely, “And they don’t call the play offsides?…” but then play stops, and he says, “They do call the play offsides.” Pause. “It’s just so loud in here!” Before Caps fans get too proud of themselves, though, it should be pointed that there is no audible crowd noise during this sequence – it’s just the ridiculously loud PA announcement of the goal.
12:10 We come back from a commercial to a long shot of some Capital with lush golden curls cascading out from his helmet. Schnookie: “Who the fuck is that? It’s Little Lord Fauntleroy.” Pookie: “That’s Backstrom.”
9:18 Wow! Comcast has this “coming at you with the fist of God” graphic of 3-D style letters spelling out “GAME 7”. Frankly, for an operation that at times seems to be broadcasting out of someone’s basement, it’s pretty impressive.
7:39 Clement tells us that the Flyers are doing “lots of things well” in this period, listing stuff like defensive presence, smart decision-making, alert passing and puck handling, “contained” forecheck, and so on. Schnookie: “What is he talking about? I don’t think they have any shots yet.”
6:02 A prolonged shift of defensive-zone “bending but not breaking” (per Clement) actually ends up yielding a power play for the Flyers. Just as Pookie was starting to think about who the Caps will get in the next round, too. Well played, Semin – those lazy offensive-zone penalties are the best!
4:22 Comcast strangely decides to switch to the “behind the goalie” camera angle just as the Flyers settle in with the puck at the blue line, and Schnookie is about to launch into a rant about how much she hates that camera angle live, when a long shot squeaks through Huet, and the camera gives us a perfect and delicious look at the puck appearing through him and trickling over the goal line. Before we praise tonight’s director too much, though, we’ll say that even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut. 1-1 game.
3:58 Fedorov tries to corkscrew Upshall’s head off with his stick and gets a double minor for high sticking. Comcast gives us a close look at the trainer smearing some kind of ointment onto Upshall’s bleeding chin, and Pookie says in disgust, “I was about to ask why that trainer is rubbing stuff into Upshall’s open wound with his bare hands, but then I realized this is the Flyers medical staff I’m talking about.”
3:42 Steckel bails Lupul out of a poorly-conceived on-on-four rush by tripping him. The Flyers go on the 5-on-3. This is some really smart hockey we’re seeing tonight.
1:42 The two-man advantage passes without incident, largely because Briere looks like he’s not very good at handling playoff pressure, and Lupul can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
0:38 HAHAHAHA!!! Briere gets the puck while the Flyers are trying to set up their PP umbrella, and flat-out butterfingers the puck over to a Cap to lose the zone. Boomer: “He’s no Captain Clutch!”
0:00 We’re not sure this RAWK!!!s, but it’s not awful. Yet.
Suck on this, VERSUS-watchers — our intermission show tonight features Chris Therien, Al Morganti and Michael Barkann. You can’t top an intermission featuring a gone-to-seed mid-’90s-era Flyer, the unique brand of crazy that is Al Morganti, and the US Open sideline commentary stylings of Michael Barkann. It’s sublime.
20:00 Before the puck is dropped, we are informed by the play-by-play guy (who has a totally Philly gym-teacher mustache) that Upshall, as the sole Flyers goalscorer, has just won a case of Tastykakes for a children’s literacy organization of some kind. Seriously. A case of Tastykakes. That is the most magnificent charitable promotion we think we’ve ever heard.
19:06 The Caps fail to score on a goalmouth scramble, and the play-by-play guy becomes, in his excitement, literally incoherent. It sounds something like this: “Hatcher gets the rebound andtherebounthehumminathegobbledygobbledytheAAAAAAAAAAND the Flyers clear.”
18:25 Downie takes a penalty. We don’t notice what it’s for, because we’re too busy trying to google that Tastykakes promotion. Surely they can’t be donating cases of Tastykakes to charities for each Flyers goal! Pookie actually thinks the announcers said that a random fan was going to get a case of Tastykakes from the charity for the goal, but there’s no way that’s right. (It turns out they do, in fact, give a case of Tastykakes to the children’s charity of the goalscorer’s choice. That surprisingly hilarious and adorable. We wish we’d never learned this endearing factoid about the Flyers. They probably elbow the kids in the face when they deliver the Tastykakes.)
17:08 Bill Clement, on Mike Richards: “Boy, if I was in a foxhole, and someone had to be in it… He’s the guy I’d want in it.” This after Richards draws a penalty on Fedorov on a shorthanded rush. We have so not missed Clement.
15:58 The play-by-play guy says with no small disgust in his tone, as the 4-on-4 draws to an end and the Flyers start their PP, “The Flyers… don’t carry the puck up with any intensity.” Schnookie ponders this, then proclaims solemnly, “The Flyers… are stupid.”
15:39 Pookie has found this online: “To completely cover the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey rink, it would take 172,800 Tastykake Juniors.” Pookie is mumbling, and Boomer says, aghast, “How would you power the Flyers rink with Tastykakes?”
14:27 Pookie shares some more from Tastykake’s site: “The Tastykake oven is half the length of a regulation football field.” Meanwhile, no one’s doing anything exciting on the ice. Well, nothing as exciting as a 50-yard oven.
11:08 The play-by-play guy mentions the game is reaching the midpoint tied, and asks Clement if that favors the Flyers. Clement does not take any time to consider this, and just says emphatically, “Absolutely.” Pookie: “‘Bill, the Flyers are down 8,000-0. Does this favor the Flyers?’ ‘Absolutely.’”
10:13 What in the fucking HELL? Thoreson hits a Caps defender in the slot into Huet, and Kapanen spins around off to the side to fire the puck into the now vacated net. And it COUNTS. 2-1 Flyers, and that is just an unconscionably bad call. And we even want the Caps to lose.
7:48 A Cap stands up a Flyer on the far wing at the blue line, and the Flyers announcers wonder aloud if the Flyer had even touched the puck. (He had.) Clement then tries to absolve his team by saying sagely, “The calls are evening out.”
6:33 Downie takes another penalty, this one on a scrambling sequence in front of Biron’s net. The announcers start worrying aloud about him taking extra penalties on the ensuing scrum, and Boomer says, “That’s what you get for putting a sociopath on the ice.” (On the replay, Clement says, for no obvious reason, “Head on a swivel. Head. On a swivel.” Schnookie asks, “What?” Pookie explains, “Head on a swivel. Duh. How many times does he have to say it?”)
4:31 The power play expires, and Ovie finds himself with acres of ice in front of Biron as the Flyers have all apparently decided the game is over or something. 2-2 game. His effusive celebration would probably be a lot more meaningful if he didn’t act that way after his insignificant goals, too.
1:32 Apparently if you wanted to build a three-foot-wide sidewalk out of Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets from Center City, PA to Atlantic City, you’d need over 30 million Krimpets. That’s more than we’re likely to find at our nearby Kwik-E-Mart, so maybe we’ll have to scale our plans down to a two-foot-wide sidewalk.
0:00 The period ends with Pookie informing us that the orange- and lemon-flavored Tastykake Juniors are apparently exclusive to WaWa. You learn something new every day.
Therien spends his intermission telling us how good Hatcher’s been in this game. He says he’s got video evidence of this, but aside from one play where he broke up an Ovechkin pass on a two-on-one, Comcast does not provide this evidence. Therien is left insisting weakly, “I can think of three examples! We just don’t have it here. I swear, there are three examples. Really. There are.” Chris? We don’t believe you.
20:00 We’d be all wrapped up in this game, it being tied going into the third of a game 7 and all, but Clement has assured us that this one is in the bag for the Flyers, so the drama has kind of been dispelled.
17:58 As there is a delay before the puck drop on a Caps icing, Pookie declares, “I am just assuming now that when Clement tells us things are going great for the Flyers that actually it’s disaster.”
17:23 Briere gets his first touch of the third, and Schnookie wonders, “Did he even play in the second period?” Pookie: “I don’t think so. As evidenced by the fact that the Flyers were leading for a while.”
14:58 Everyone in the building is unhappy with a non-call after Ovechkin goes down at the Washington blue line following a modest tap on the back by Hartnell. The Caps fans are furious that there was no penalty on Hartnell, and our intrepid announcing team is furious there was no dive. Coatesie goes so far as to say it was “like he was shot out of a cannon”; we think he neglected to mention the “fucking ballerina” part of that hockey cliché.
13:50 What in the hell? Hartnell gets smushed into the boards and lies motionless on the ice for a long while afterwards, while his own teammates continue to carry the puck around the Caps zone. When it becomes clear that nothing is being called – not even an injury stoppage – he suddenly leaps to his feet and promptly receives a pass and puts a good shot on net. Pookie: “That. Was so. Bad.” Our play-by-play guy disagrees with her, and instead gushes, “What a recovery!”
10:25 Comcast tosses a little Flyers season tickets promotion into the feed after the puck is deflected out of play. They try to dangle the carrot that if you buy your season tickets now, you’ll get discounts on the remaining home playoff dates for this season. Um, Flyers? We… don’t think that’s going to be much of a sweetener for the pot.
9:16 The microphones being used for the play-by-play here are barely strong enough to withstand the announcer guy’s incoherent rage when the Caps get a three-on-two after a Flyer turns the puck over on what the announcer thinks was a stick-breaking slash. “GobbledyhumminaflibbityAAAANDTHEREISNOCALL!!!”
7:48 Clement tells us it was a “smart play” for the Flyers to have a terrible change on which they almost get called for too many men but end up with too few because a handful of guys jump off the ice when they realize what’s going on. Considering the confusion leads to the Caps getting some sustained offensive-zone pressure, we think the “smart play” would be to make the change right in the first place. But we’re hardly experts like Bill Clement.
6:03 It is now a shooting gallery in Biron’s zone. If Clement wasn’t whimpering and curled up in a fetal position under his chair, he’d probably be telling us this is exactly how the Flyers drew this up.
3:32 Our announcers don’t have much to talk about, because their team is not able to get the puck past the Washington blue line. Since the camera has not had to pan far enough to the right to show Huet in what seems like ten minutes, it’s hard for them to sugar-coat this for the thin-skinned Flyers fans who are watching but might not have realized their team is sucking ass.
2:53 The building goes up when the Flyers D turns the puck over to Ovie all alone in the high slot, and he takes a week to crank up a shot… that turns into a really poorly-conceived fake-shot pass.
0:38 The arena is playing that music that GOB used for his magic act in Arrested Development. Hasn’t that music been ruined for sporting events? Seriously. Hasn’t it?
0:00 Our double dose of diarizing is going into extra innings!
Therien, Morganti and Barkann are funereal. Barkann’s fake tan, though, is jubilant.
20:00 In case you’re a Flyers fan who was concerned about how badly outplayed the Flyers were in the third period, fear not – Clement says it augurs well for the Flyers that the Caps did “everything but win the hockey game” in that period. Right.
18:50 “FlibbetyperjibbityhumminawowzakablowzaSCOTTIEUPSHALLAAAAAND Huet has it!!!” Admittedly, Huet makes a very good save on a good rush and then follow-up by Upshall. But this broadcast kind of makes us want to pretend it wasn’t a good play at all.
17:55 “FlibbetyperjibbityhumminawowzakablowzaOVECHKINAAAAAND Biron makes the save!!!” You know? However this game ends, we’re going to wager a guess that this play-by-play guy’s handling of it will not go down as one of the calls of the ages.
15:56 After Smith (once and future Devil!) deflects an Ovechkin shot over the glass, Schnookie says to Pookie, “I like how every time the Caps get the puck on their sticks, you say, ‘Aw fuuuuck.’” Pookie nods and chirps, “Yup! I’m being Bunk tonight.”
15:45 Poti trips Umberger and gets called for it. Coates: “In overtime you get fatigued. And the definition of ‘fatigued’ is you don’t do the things you’re supposed to do.” Pookie: “Yes. That’s the dictionary definition.”
14:20 Huet takes a shot off his mask, and there is a bit of scrum to the side of his net after the rebound kicks over the glass. We are all kind of spacing out while the players jostle and the Caps in-house organist plays some jaunty tune. All of a sudden, Pookie realizes what he’s playing: “My god. This is like the Darth Vader Theme polka.”
13:56 We guess that Darth Vader Theme polka was more than the Caps could take. Briere tries his hardest to choke the game away by flubbing the puck in the high slot, but the Flyers keep the puck, and Huet loses track of the rebound on the long shot. Lupul’s right on the doorstep, and he punches the puck right past him. 3-2 Flyers, and the series is over just like that, and just in time for our second game of the evening. Well timed, Caps and Flyers (and Clement was right all along! Go figure!)!
We don’t flip over to VS right away, and watch the handshake line, while beer bottles and other detritus litter the ice, and Chris Simpson stands on the Flyers bench looking haggard and lonely. She was probably hoping to get to make out with Ovechkin after the gamewinner.
FLAMES v. SHARKS
19:00 Neil Smith delivers this hard-hitting analysis – apparently the Sharks fans will be devastated if the Sharks lose this game, while the Flames fans will be elated. We had no idea that’s how these Game Sevens work.
17:15 We are informed to be looking for Michalek and Tanguay to potentially be the difference-makers tonight. Pookie: “Tanguay’s still playing?”
16:52 The pace is positively torrid tonight, and as the Flames get called for their third icing, we get a long look at Ron Wilson trying not to have obvious flop sweats on the bench. He is typically fussily dressed, and Schnookie says of his light-gray-and-blue-plaid suit, “He looks like he’s going to a Scottish summer wedding.”
15:58 Our favorite (???) ex-Devils d-man on the Flames gets his first namecheck in the play-by-play, and Pookie says what we always say when he gets mentioned on the TV at stately IPB Manor: “Hale Schmale!”
13:14 The previous sarcastic torrid pace has been replaced by a real torrid pace, but the swinging from end to end is brought to an entirely unimpressive climax when the Flames set Hale (Schmale) himself up for a shot that he fires on a one-timer from the high point and gets all glass. His aim has not improved much since leaving Jersey.
11:55 It’s fair to say that these announcers are way less entertaining than the Flyers guys were. If we can’t rely on them for material, we’re just going to have to insist that Soupy start playing more catastrophically.
11:31 We come back from a commercial to hear from Billy Jaffe that the Sharks have 13 game’s worth of Game 7 experience, “but that’s not counting the three by [assistant coach] Tim Hunter.” Pookie: “Assistant coaches don’t count!”
9:03 Whoops! We suck as diarizers! We leave the room for a second, and when we come back the Sharks are spreading the D down low on the power play, with Cheechoo lasering a gorgeous pass through some inept defense by Hale (Schmale), and Joe easily firing the puck home for a 1-0 Sharks lead.
7:53 Well, we’d like to be reporting on what’s going on in San Jose as a penalty is being called, but VS thinks we’re more interested in hearing what’s going to be on the intermission show than we are in the Michalek penalty for hooking. And really, why do they pimp their intermission show like that? It’s not like there’s a competing Sharks/Flames intermission show on some other channel that we’d all be flipping over to watch if not for the promise of Jonesy’s input on the VS intermission.
7:37 We were warned ahead of time that the Sharks are not very good at killing penalties. We believe it now. The PK unit stands around watching as the Flames set up a tippable point shot from Aucoin that deflects somehow off Iginla and past Nabokov. 1-1 game.
7:14 What happened to the torrid pace? Everyone’s milling about absently, and we’re told, “there are penalties on Clowe and Nolan” for roughing in a scrum. Pookie: “I thought he just said ‘Clowan Nolan’.”
5:22 Our play-by-play guy is driving us nuts with his pronunciation of “Michalek”. He says it like “Mi-colic.” It’s really, really annoying. And that’s our story.
2:48 Celine Dion just loves too much, and can’t let go of a Shark in the corner to Kipper’s right. The official tries to let it go, because he’s Celine and all, but finally the foul is so egregious that it has to be called. So far we can say with authority that taking penalties has been a bad idea in this game.
0:48 Well, Celine showed us. The Flames look a lot less amateurish on this PK, and manage not to give up a goal to career G7 underachiever Joe Thornton. Or any other Shark.
0:00 This game feels like quite a letdown after the Flyers/Caps game. We think it might be the lack of Tastykake. In fact, we suspect both goalscorers actually went to the Philly-based children’s literacy foundation from earlier and stole that case of Tastykake.
So. How many Butterscotch Krimpets do you suppose it would take to build a three-foot-wide sidewalk from the Shark Tank to the Golden Gate Bridge?
18:58 In the middle of a conversation about Jim Playfair, VS takes pity on us and cuts the audio. When it comes back, Neil has stopped talking and we’re back to play-by-play.
18:12 We get some “Keys to the Game” in which all signs seem to be indicating a Sharks win: The team scoring first has won 10 of the last 11 Game 7s, and the Sharks are 2-0 in games this series that have been tied after one period. That said, if we’re following trends in this game from the last one, the Flames will win because the team that has been badly outplayed has won every Game 7 so far tonight.
17:00 Pookie decides she’s going to have to find her own awesomeness in this game, because it’s kind of hiding itself from us right now.
16:27 Just as we’re grumbling that this game is kind of dull, Nolan gets a long breakaway on which the puck gets behind Nabokov. However, on further review, it seems the initial shot hit Nabokov, but the rebound hits Nolan’s leg and then goes in. We’re going to review… and it’s a goal. 2-1 Flames. (The more they showed replays of that goal, the more we’re realizing that the Flames’ socks are monstrously ugly.)
14:31 You know what would pep us up? More Soupy catastrophes!
13:56 Pookie is shaken out of her stupor when a turnover to the Sharks at the point turns into a shot that Setoguchi tips through Kipper while standing totally unchecked in the slot. “That was insane! -Ly awesome.” 2-2 game.
12:25 The excitement level is ratcheting up a few notches while the Flames’ wheels are falling off. We go to commercial with the fans cheering again and the Sharks heading to the power play. We’re sure if Bill Clement was the Flames announcer, he’d be telling us how the Flames are executing their game plan to perfection.
We come back from commercial to see that Setoguchi didn’t tip that Sharks goal. We don’t get to see the infraction Conroy got called for. Both Neil and Jaffe race to tell us that they knew Setoguchi hadn’t tipped the shot even before seeing the replay, because they’re both just that amazing.
10:56 Well, it would seen the rejuvenation of Jeremy Roenick is fighting the Washington Capitals for the title of “feel good story of the year”. As the Flames all stand around after Kipper gives up an awkward rebound, JR swoops down on the loose puck and fires it from a sharp angle over the prone goalie to make the game 3-2. VS tells us he’s figured in all three Sharks goals, and we remark that Ron Wilson did everything in his power to totally fuck up this series, as is his wont in the playoffs, by not dressing JR for G6. No sooner do we think this than Neil starts harping on it, too. It should be very encouraging to Sharks fans right now that this team just might be good enough to overcome Wilson’s ineptitude.
9:01 We can’t figure out why we’re happy for Jeremy Roenick here. Seriously, he’s Jeremy Roenick. That’s just wrong. Finally Schnookie decides, “It’s because it’s a big fat fuck you to Wayne Gretzky. Like, that he didn’t have enough respect for Wayne to play like this last year.”
8:11 Regehr trips Grier at the Calgary blue line, and as he trots to the box, Neil tells us the shots are 27-9 in favor of the Sharks. That’s the ticket, Calgary! (Of course, the way these two teams have played in this series, that may very well be the ticket.)
5:59 Hee hee! VS gives us a look at a stunned-looking Kipper after Pavelski eludes a few checkers, leaps on a loose puck right in front of the crease that has bounced off Sarich, and rips a lightning-quick shot up high that makes the game 4-2.
Keenan does the utterly predictable (for him) and pulls Kipper. Considering that was just the 30th shot for the Sharks, it makes a modicum of sense to try the “wake up the troops” goalie-switch move, but really, this is Game 7. Cujo? Really? Her?
5:07 HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! For old time’s sake, we’ve got to do it: “CUUUUU-JO! CUUUUU-JO! CUUUUU-JO!” The goalie-switch attempt at waking up the Flames fails miserably, as they all take a shift in their own zone as passengers with their not-at-all-warmed-up, 10,000-year-old back-up goalie sitting uncomfortably in the goal behind them. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Setoguchi pivots with the puck above the near faceoff dot and spins a quick, low shot that kisses off the inside of the post and into the net. 5-2 Sharks.
4:16 Our VS announcers, armed with hindsight, are now reaming into Keenan for pulling the goalie. Neil mentions that “a 4-2 lead is not insurmountable. If this year’s playoffs has taught us anything…” Schnookie: “Please. ‘If this series has taught us anything.’ Don’t try putting this on any other teams.”
3:33 Pookie: “Those Flames socks make it look like they all have saggy socks.”
0:30 Things have gotten boring again, now that the Sharks aren’t scoring on every shift.
0:00 Well! That was quite a period.
We don’t unmute, but it should be noted that Engblom’s eyes look especially beady tonight in HD.
18:15 We are slow to turn the sound back on when the intermission ends, and in silence, when Tanguay rings a short-range shot off the goapost, and with our terrible sense of depth perception, it looks like the puck has gone into the net. It, um, hasn’t. No need to get excited, people.
15:17 The VS guys are desperately trying to drum up some false sense of drama here, by regaling us with the Spengler-Cup legend, then the tale of his triumphant backstopping of the Flames crazy win in whichever game it was this series. They seem to think if they talk about it enough, it might just happen again. We hate to be the ones to ruin this for them, but… It’s not going to happen.
14:57 Nabokov appears to remember how to play goal, making two consecutive sharp saves on a hard-charging Flame.
14:43 Wait, check that thought about Nabokov. Some Flame we’ve never heard of (the guy who just had the two hard-charging shots) rips a hard wrap-around feed into the crease that hits off someone in front and beats Nabokov. It’s 5-3 Sharks now, and there is a brief flash of suspense as the officials go to Toronto for review, but the goal stands.
9:16 Wow, but diarizing two game 7s in a row is draining. We look at the clock and realize that the Sharks are basically just chewing up the remaining time, and they’re doing it effectively. Where did the last five minutes of play go?
8:45 There is a long delay as the Sharks are loathe to let a guy go into the box for high-sticking Langkow, and fairly so, because replay shows it was actually a Flame who did the high-sticking. VS gives us a long look at JR on the bench, and he is also sporting some Little Lord Fauntleroy hair. Of course, his oft-broken face kind of ruins the Fauntleroy look for him.
6:45 The San Jose fans are in full roar after the PK is successfully completed. They aren’t singing, though, so we feel like the San Jose police department shouldn’t be too worried for their cars when this one’s over.
5:40 Neil tells us Keenan is going to “put his best players out on the ice and leave them out on the ice for the remaining 5:40.” Really? That would be so awesome if Iginla and Phaneuf stayed out for the entire rest of this game.
4:40 The Sharks pin the Flames in their own zone and Neil apoplexies, “You’ve got to get the puck in deep!” Schnookie: “I would start with getting the puck out of your own zone before trying to work up to ‘getting the puck in deep’.”
3:21 The Flames finally do get the puck in deep, and Neil suggests this might be a shift where they manage to get something started. If by “getting something started” he means giving up a three-on-one while Cujo is trying to get to the bench, then he’s spot-on with that analysis.
2:58 Cujo succeeds in getting to the bench. Let the craziness commence! (If the Flames are anything like the Devils, it should take the Sharks about 15 seconds to score into the empty net.)
2:17 A Shark has a shot from the Flames blue line at the empty net and misses. Pookie: “That’s the kind of play that comes back to haunt you as the Flames go and score three quick ones in the next 2:17.” Pause, as she watches the Sharks easily take the puck from the Flames and clear it to center ice. “Or not.”
1:51 The Sharks get called for icing. Neil tries to make his head explode to make this sound exciting. Considering the Flames have managed exactly zero good scoring chances since their last goal, we’re not really buying it.
1:00 Still no great scoring chance for the Flames. The Sharks are managing to overcome the albatross that is being coached by Ron Wilson, and are not giving an inch.
0:45 Someone calls a timeout after Nabokov catches a loose puck in his crease, and VS pans the ecstatic crowd before settling on a woman in a black Sharks sweater who’s standing stock still amidst a throng of towel-waving fans, her arms crossed, and a sour look on her face. Way to find the one person in the building who looks like they don’t care, VS.
0:30 Pookie points out that Joe’s beard looks green. “It’s like he’s got Patrik Elias’s old bleached hair glued to his chin.”
0:24 The waning moments have provided us the hilarity that is the Sharks being totally unable to score into the empty net. The best chance is when Marleau finds himself with the puck to the side of the net, wide open, with nary a Flame between him and the yawning goalmouth, but somehow he manages to fire a shot that Iginla easily scoops away from the goal line with his stick.
0:00 The streamers fall from the rafters, and the Sharks advance after making things much harder on themselves in this series than they should have.
And speaking of making things hard on oneself, we’re exhausted after doing this double diary. We don’t have the energy for any postgame, as we quickly turn off the TV and stagger off to bed.