Well, Gentle Reader, it’s come to this: a Sunday night game without all the regular injured guys as well as newly injured Gio and Iron Boar. And no Doc because he’s otherwise engaged at the Hall of Fame (if we’d known that would mean a night of play-by-play with Steve, we wouldn’t have been quite so happy about his induction), which means our intermission content is being hosted by backup studio host so incompetent that Boomer remarked that he seems like a high schooler auditioning for an internship with MSG. In other words, this should be a great evening! We’ll be updating our thoughts as the game goes along.
If you’d asked us this summer what would be the last thing we would expect of this season for the Devils, we probably would have said seeing Scott Clemmensen starting a game in November. Also, we freely admit that we’re pretty clueless when it comes to prospects but it’s still a shock to see a player in our line-up we’ve literally never heard of before. This Patrick Davis — if that really is his name — fellow had better be awesome!
Our broadcasters tonight won’t stop talking about how Craig MacTavish was the last guy in the NHL not to wear a helmet. We would love if, instead of that being the “Craig MacTavish” talking point, everyone would go on and on about how he pulled out Harvey the Hound’s tongue.
We are still trying to process the fact that Mottau had to leave the game with an injury sustained while sitting on the bench. If the Hockey Gods are trying to see how far we have to be pushed before we lose our senses of humor, they can stop now. We lost them ages ago.
The first period ends without really any whistles. Perhaps the officials are concerned that this plague of injuries is catching, and they just want to get as far away from the Devils as quickly as they possibly can. We get an interview with Jay Leach, and he’s by far the most articulate call-up we’ve ever seen. And he looks like if Mike Rupp and Mike Mottau (who did come back to the bench after being haplessly struck by a puck, but didn’t play) had a kid. We like him! He looks like he’d be your cool high school English teacher.
Oh oh oh Pando!
Chico and Steve are talking about the injuries to the top prospects in the Devils system right now; Halischuk is out with some kind of gruesome leg injury or other, Steven Gionta’s out with broken leg, and Rod Pelley’s got an upper-body injury. Pookie: “Even Egg???” Yes, it’s gotten that bad.
Poop. Souray scores, 1-0 EDM. Of course, if Marty was in net the same thing probably would have happened, given Marty’s keen interest in letting ex-Devils score.
Clarkson takes a lazy offensive-zone penalty, and the Oilers predictably score. We really don’t have much of anything to say to that.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Zach scores to pull the Devils within one goal, and to make us 2-for-3 on our pregame predictions — we called Mottau and Madden getting hurt, and a goal from Zach. Madden’s sitting on the bench right now feeling very nervous.
Here’s the Devils season in a nutshell: with three minutes left in a one-goal game and the Devils on the PK, this Jay Leach character is on the ice. No one had ever heard of him before tonight, and here he is being called upon in a “must stop the other team from scoring” situation.
Travis is doubly fired for taking that crappy goaltender interference penalty late in the third period, and then for firing the puck into the corner boards when he was facing a wide-open game-tying net. For shame, Acorns! We thought he’d left that kind of play behind last season!
Steve gives us a pitch for the upcoming Devils/Rangers game, and says something about the rivalry continuing between the two teams. Pookie: “The Devils and Rangers have a rivalry. New York and Lowell do not.”
Langer puts the icing on his “YOU’RE FIRED!” cake by taking a penalty right off an offensive zone draw. Travis glares balefully across the ice from the bench and screams, “YOU! I learned it from watching YOU!”
The game ends 2-1 Edmonton. And yep, this Devils roster is every bit as bad in action as you’d expect. They played fairly well defensively, but right now there is literally only one player on the team who is capable of putting the puck in the net. It would be nice to be able to say that’s because there’s a whole bunch of marginal AHLers on the team, but even taking that into account, what’s Patty’s excuse? Or Langer’s? Or Travis’s? With the way Zach’s playing, you’d think those two guys could be chipping in, too. Sigh. Whatever, Devils. Whatever.