Tonight, in honor of our boys facing off with the favorite team of so many of our buddies in the hockey blogosphere, we’re shaking things up. Instead of doing an IPB-style game diary, we’re tipping our toques in homage to The Willful Caboose in the form of a TWC-style game diary. We’ve long admired Katebits’s effortless, breezy, and illustrative diarizing style; we strongly suspect the end result of this exercise will be a little like Ken Daneyko trying to emulate Niklas Lidstrom, so, uh, bear with us.
Schnookie’s Mood: Resignation. Hockey seasons are like the tides, and I think that Rangers game was a high-water mark, and now we’re in an ebb. It’s the cycle of life.
Pookie’s Mood: Cautiously optimistic that the Devils are on enough of a downswing that this game will not go into a shootout, unlike every single other Devils-Sabres game post-lockout.
Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: I was going to say Rupper, because he’s just such a friendly giant, but then I remembered that Zubrus is also a friendly giant AND he’s the reason Patty’s playing well lately. And as Patty goes, so go the Devils.
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Bryce “Iron Boar” Salvador. Last season, not a game went by when I didn’t bemoan that the Devils “defense” was barely AHL-quality. This season, when Marty went down, I thought, “Good grief, with our defense, we’ve got less than zero chance of succeeding at all!” Then, a month later, I realized that I hadn’t once worried about the D; I chalk this up to the steadying prescence of the Iron Boar. Paulie’s steadying prescence was obviously wasn’t enough, but between him and the Iron Boar? It’s magic.
Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik.
Schnookie’s Prediction: Based on our recent history with the Sabres, this game is going to be a total snoozer in which the Devils completely suck ass and I question my motivation as a hockey fan.
Pookie’s Prediction: 500-0 Sabres. In a shootout. Don’t ask how, just know it will happen.
Item Representing Our Hopes That The Devils Win This Game: An Egyptian mummy.
Mummies are educational; we’re interested, in an academic way, in how the Devils handle this possible ebb in the season. Mummies are also gross. Potentially, so are the Devils.
AFTER THE FIRST PERIOD
Schnookie’s Mood: Pleasantly surprised! That was a dynamic period, all things considered. Except for Holik. And Clemmer.
Pookie’s Mood: Giddiness tempered with caution. The first was much more uptempo for the Devils than I was expecting, but the second will, by nature, be the second period. That’s never good.
Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: Paulie. He was playing some seriously dreamy defense.
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Just as I announced that Zach was unquestionably my favorite Devil this period, Paulie Martin started showing off, making awesome plays in all three zones. Sorry, Paulie, I may be a Devils fan but I’m also human — score a goal, then we’ll talk.
Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Still Holik. Always and forever.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby “Stupid Penalty” Holik.
Schnookie’s Summary of Events: Other than that stupid goal by Staffy, the Devils looked sassy and fiesty and not at all like they were in some kind of letdown-game funk or post-Marty’s-injury gloom. The Sabres must be really confused, and thinking, “That’s funny. The Devils don’t do that at home.”
Pookie’s Summary of Events: The Devils shockingly capitalized on poor rebound control; the Sabres predictably capitalized on lazy back-checking by Elias.
Item Representing Our Hopes That The Devils Win This Game: Queen Nefertiti.
Offense is the sexiest defense.
AFTER THE SECOND PERIOD
Schnookie’s Mood: I’m not saying. The hockey gods might be listening.
Pookie’s Mood: Shocked! Did Sutter finally make the mad-scientist coaching move of convincing the players that there were playing the 1st period over again rather than the 2nd?
Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: Iron Boar!!! He’s an iron goal-scoring machine!
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Paulie Martin. (If the Iron Boar can score after I declare him my favorite at the top of the game, maybe Pauile can find that missing finish in the 3rd.)
Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: I have not seen anything to make me reconsider my heretofore unshakable belief that it is impossible to be a less favorite Devil than Holik.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik. I’m sorry Chico, but Holik playing as if he’s never been made aware of the post-lockout rule book is not compelling in any way shape or for
Schnookie’s Summary of Events: That might very well be the first time since Sutter started coaching the Devils that they scored in the second period. Into the other team’s net. Granted, they made up for it by giving one up to the Sabres about three seconds later, but still. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Pookie’s Summary of Events: It’s like both teams realized uptempo hockey is fun.
Best News We’ve Heard In A While: Stanta Claus will not be coming to Devilstown this year!
Item Representing Our Hopes That The Devils Win This Game: The Great Sphinx of Giza.
Answer me these riddles three… Who will win this game? When will Clemmer realize he’s just not that good? Who on the team can swim?
AFTER THE THIRD PERIOD
Schnookie’s Mood: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Elated! That didn’t look like an ebb AT ALL!
Pookie’s Mood: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Now that’s a hockey game!
Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: It’s a toss-up. Clarkson was foxy with all the goal scoring and Crunchy-flattening, but Paulie! Going berserk! Getting payback at that dirty, cheap-shotting punk Goose! They were all dreamy.
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Paulie didn’t score like I’d hoped I’d tricked him into doing, but I’ve never seen him get into a tussle like that before! In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him open his mouth to speak on the ice, let alone yell. He put the “sexy”, the “passionate”, and the “warrior” in “sexy, passionate warrior” tonight.
Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Sigh. I realize he contributed to Clarkson’s goal with that big hit. But he’s still Holik.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik. He’s probably borrowing Stan’s Santa costume right now so he can tape a 2-hour “Holikta Claus Holiday Special”. I don’t care if his old-school hitting set up Clarkson’s goal; I’m sure Clarkson could have scored it anyway.
Schnookie’s Summary of Events: I have been told more than once that the Sabres are not very good at hockey, but I don’t want to believe it. I want to believe the high-flying, big-swaggering Devils were just awesome tonight, other than the quick goals they gave up. They were dreamy! DREAMY! I loved this game.
Pookie’s Summary of Events: Lots of goals, lots of hitting, few whistles, and a Devils win? Sweet.
Item Representing Our Feelings Now That The Devils Won This Game: King Tut.
Some mummies are gross, but some are glamorous, sexy, solid-gold winners.