We love these playoffs, we really do. Honest. Cross our hearts and hope to
become Rangers fans die. We’ll be happy when any one of the four teams still playing wins the Cup, even the Vegas Tranny Bride Flyers (if you can call what they’ve been doing the last two games “still playing”). That said… there’s just nothing to say. The playoffs as they stand right now are perfectly cromulent and we’re perfectly content with them. However, contentment doesn’t put blog posts on the table. Happiness does, though, and so we’re setting our Playoff Goggles to “Time Machine” mode and are turning our sights to the season past. It took us an entire hour-long pizza lunch to find five things we really truly enjoyed about this season but find five things we did. Today we present Day 1 of our five day mini-series, “NHL 07-08 Regular Season: Through a Lens Playoff Goggle-ly”.
Day 1: Paulie Martin
When you openly commit to being a part of [Player X]Nation before Player X has established himself as not being wretchedly awful, you set yourself up for disaster. When that player is a RFA when you’re making that proclamation, it’s even worse. And when you go the extra mile by buying his sweater before he signs his contract and/or has a chance to prove he’s not a train wreck all the time, you’re really riding for a fall. But in Paulie Martin’s case, we couldn’t help ourselves. Just the way we were part of PandoNation long before Pando had made himself a regular in the lineup, so too did we pin our wagons to the star of a guy we had frequently referred to as “Putrid Paulie”.
We tried to tell ourselves he wasn’t putrid all the time, and that we didn’t just like him best because we thought he was cute. Seriously — it’s not like he’s Zach. We’re Pando fans! We’re not shallow! He was just not as bad as a lot of the other guys, and we felt a little sorry for him for having such high expectations placed on him; it’s not like he was going to become Scott Neidermayer overnight! And so we entered the 07-08 season wishing the best for our little Paulie Martin, fairly confident that he would not be as bad as Oduya was at the end of last season, but he would also probably not be as good as Neider on Neider’s worse day. Pardon us, days. Many, many days. But we digress. Whatever the reason, he was our emperor/god and we were his Nation, and the only thing to do about it was sit back and pray he didn’t make us look like idiots.
Well, Gentle Reader, as you well know, things went very well for PaulieMartinNation this year. In a season of maddening underachievement for just about everyone wearing the Engma, Paulie was a beacon of awesomeness, smooth-skatingness, leader-of-young-gopherness, and hope. Okay, not hope, but we’re Devils fans — we wouldn’t know what to do with hope if we had it. We’d probably berate it with withering sarcasm until it flew away on its little Dickensian wings. But again, we digress. The fact is, in a season filled to the brim with boredom, malaise, and a fairly steady undercurrent of woe, Paulie Martin and his ascension to emperor/god was a huge bright spot for us.