We’re reporting from the belly of the beast here tonight — watching the Devils vs. Stars in Dallas with Patty (in Dallas) of Penalty Killing. We’re pretending to be reasonable adults who can socialize nicely while watching our favorite teams but… Look at that hobo! Seriously, though, this situation is far too stressful to allow for the full game diary treatment, so we’ll be checking in with periodic woolgathering about the game and the experience of watching from behind enemy lines. Wish us luck! Or wish Patty luck. Depending on the score, of course.
6:10 PM Just for the record, we’re only getting this on the Dallas feed (and it’s not in HD). If Doc and Chico say anything interesting, be sure to let us know. Whose great idea was it to fly to Dallas to watch the Stars play in Newark, anyway?
6:12 PM Langer scores on what seems to have been a pretty stoppable backhand. Schnookie: “WOOOOOO!!!! YES!!!!” Patty: “*Stony silence*” Schnookie: “I’ll pack my bags…”
6:19 PM Things are awkward here when Patty flubs a pass to Paulie at the point on the PP. We sigh aggrievedly at his ineptitude, mutter something about him being fired, then realize we need to add an “Elias” every time we talk directly to the Patty on the TV.
6:23 PM Just when we’re not so sure about this Letourneau-Leblond kid (maybe he’d be more comfortable if he wasn’t being forced to cut the Letourneau so the Devils can save on their sweater letter budget), and have written off the fourth line of him, Rupper, and Clarkson, Rupper has a snazzy shift of smart defensive plays, sassy offensive plays and adroit skating. Does this mean he’s good, or does it mean that Clarkson and Leblond are just so bad that he looks good?
And as we’re pondering Rupper’s abilities, Ralph and Razor are talking about the Langenbrunner trade (seven years ago!); in their reminiscence, they mention Langer scoring from center ice for the Stars agains Osgood. Patty: “I remember that! I was such a new fan then that I didn’t realize it was bad to let goals in from there.” Heh. We all seem to have learned about that from Osgood.
6:38 PM The Devils are on the PP again and are repeatedly firing long shots directly into the penalty killers standing motionless in front of them. Razor says something about how great the shot blocking for the Stars has been this period, and we can only assume the Stars players are thinking, “We get credit for blocks on those? The guys are literally just tossing pucks straight into us.” Meanwhile, the Devils are thinking, “How are we supposed to tell the difference between the white sweaters and the white ice?”
7:06 PM We are deeply immersed in the important business of eating crudites and dip for dinner, but we notice when Razor breaks down a Stars offensive chance that involved all three forwards collapsing behind the net and then coughing up the puck when there turns out to be no one in the crease to receive the inevitable pass out in front. The play is apparently very characteristic of the Stars, and happens to be one we Devils fans know all too well. Razor posits that if they ever turn the nets around to face the end boards, there will be a lot of guys who will end up scoring a lot more goals. We can actually really get behind this idea.
7:09 PM The Devils have a genius new strategy — send two guys with no finish (i.e. Madden and Paulie) barreling down the ice at the goalie. The goalie will sit back thinking neither one could possibly score! Then… Voila! Devils score!
7:12 PM Someone doesn’t like us saying he doesn’t have finish and puts another away. 3-0 Devils. Hm… This has us thinking of a genius new strategy. That Parise kid? He’s got no finish.
7:13 PM Rats. The Stars pull Turco. The Devils never score on the second goalie to enter a game. Poop.
7:30 PM The payoff for not getting the Devils feed tonight is hearing Razor refer to Travis Zajac as an “alpha male”. Travis Zajac. Our Travis Zajac. Yeah.
7:54 PM Oddly enough, the zany, wild, crazy play that ended the second period did not pick up where it left off when the puck was dropped for the third.
8:06 PM Zach’s like, “Who’s the Alpha Male now, Robin?!” Travis: “I’m Batman.” We’re pretty sure that goal was a direct response to the highlight reel of “the future superstar, Parise” on the Stars pre-game show that featured shots of Zach scoring on an empty net and clips of Brylin chipping the puck off-sides.
8:07 PM Clarkson’s added a new shot to his repertoire — a long shot from the face-off dots. It’s the anti-Clarkaround, and it’s (so far this season) a zillion times more effective.
8:30 PM Wowza! We were not expecting anyone other than Elias and Parise to score this season. We were not expecting a 5-0 beat down tonight. We were not expecting to ever see Marty get within 5 shutouts of the record. Dare we say it? We’re pleasantly surprised all around!