You might recall, Gentle Reader, that the NHL had a “Super Saturday” a few months ago wherein all the teams had games in one day. It sounded like a veritable festival of hockey, 15 games all on the same day, until we looked at the schedule and discovered they were all playing at the same time. That’s not a Super Saturday — that’s a Stupid Saturday. It ended up being just like any other day on which the Devils play, in that we watched the Devils, checked up on everyone else’s scores afterward, and basically felt like there had only been one game played. Thanks for nothing, NHL. But today? Ahhhh, Gentle Reader, today is different. The NHL isn’t bragging about its scheduling, since there are only 12 games on the slate, but today’s a day they should be celebrating. Because there is wall-to-wall hockey today. And more than that, it’s wall-to-wall hockey that we actually want to be watching. We’ve been in eager anticipation of this day all week, and we want to share all the thrills and chills of a true Super Saturday with all of you. So join us, please, for an exclusive behind-the-scenes Super Saturday In The Life Of IPB.
10:20 a.m. Shit! We’re not ready to be ensconced for 13 hours in front of the TV yet! There are a few errands to be run, but at least we’ll be able to say tomorrow that yes, we did leave the house today. We’ll be back in a flash, because we gotta be ready for pre-game programming at 12:30.
11:40 a.m. We made it home in time, although we had to tweak our plans a little. The errands we were taking care of involved exchanging a pair of shoes Pookie received for Christmas and making, since we were going to be on that side of town anyway, a cupcake run at The Bent Spoon in Princeton. The plan tweaking came at The Bent Spoon, where they were still icing the cupcakes, and weren’t going to be ready for an hour. An hour?!? But… but… there’s hockey on! It was a bitter pill to swallow, but we left without cupcakes. Instead, we had to make due with mini-cupcakes. The sacrifices we make.
We are being beset today by what constitutes a severe snowstorm by Central Jersey standards, so there was no one in town. Consequently, we got an auspiciously good on-street parking space. Surely this means Super Saturday is going to rawk.
Oh, and yeah, Central Jersey standards of snowfall? Not very impressive.
12:15 p.m. We are really ready for Super Saturday now. The dip is made and eagerly awaiting its date with the chips, the cranberry syrup is infused and eagerly awaiting its date with the other components of our afternoon cocktail, and we’re all getting hungry for lunch. Bring it, NHL!
12:34 p.m. We tune the television to NESN for the Bruins pre-game show only to discover that our reason for auditioning Boston as the Tranny Gentlemen Callers — Getzi to the B’s Ducks, as it were — is out of the line-up. OK, Bruins-who-aren’t-Lucic, you’re going to have to step up and give us a reason to
love tolerate you.
1:00 p.m. Pookie is weighing pros and cons of adding the Bruins to the secondary team stable. “On the plus side, I’ve now seen a television commercial for EbscoHost. Since I use their databases to read Consumer Reports, I can only assume that’s a sign that the Bruins are a Secondary Team Smart Buy. On the negative side, their dramatic intro made every player look like Olaf Kolzig. I can only assume that’s a sign that this team sucks.”
1:10 p.m. The Bruins are underway, and our marathon has begun. We’re showing signs of Super Saturday, rust, though, and don’t have lunch ready. The problem? The cook has been busy laying out the pieces of a quilt. This is probably what Don Cherry does while watching hockey, too.
1:20 p.m. David Krejci scores the first goal of Super Saturday! Woo! Chara then wrestles with Eric “Hooters” Staal, working to further convince us that the B’s are the tertiary team for us. We’ll see, Zdeno, we’ll see. In the meantime, keep up the good work, boys!
1:26 p.m. It should be noted that we’ll be spending all afternoon, and perhaps all evening, making fun of Cam Ward thanks to his appearance in the “Ask the Canes” feature titled “Make a Dinosaur Noise”. “Ask the Canes” is one of our very favorite NHL multimedia project, mostly thanks to charmers LaRose and “Kazoo” Whitney, so we’ll periodically pull it on the computer to catch up on episodes we’ve missed. “Make a Dinosaur Noise” is filled with the guys making predictable roaring noises, some accompanied with T-rex-esque hand motions. Until we got to Cam Ward. Instead of imitating a tough, big, killer dino, he opts to make the noise a kittensaurus rex or littlelambadon might make.
1:41 p.m. The first goal of the day that we missed is scored by some Bruin. (Yelle? Really? Stephane Yelle? Surely he died in Vegas.) We’re not too broken up about missing it, because we’re eating tacos.
2:07 p.m. Mark Stuart scores but we completely miss it because we’re futzing in the other room with Schnookie’s quilt. When we settle back on the couch, we see that Cam Ward has taken his kittensaurus rex act to the bench and the Bruins have turned on their juggernaut. As if on cue, Michael Ryder scores and a herd of deer run through our front yard. Signs, signs, everywhere are signs!
2:08 p.m. As the Bruins were swarming the Canes zone before Ryder’s goal, Schnookie comments, “Whoa, this isn’t a Bruins powerplay.” Pause. “Heh. Turns out it’s a power play for Carolina!”
2:25 p.m. Shut the fuck up about the fucking Young Stars game fuckings snubs, Jack Edwards.
2:26 p.m. Uh… That said, Krejci does seem to be a talented hockey player. He jumps on a juicy rebound and passes it behind his back to Ryder at the wide-open side of the net. Hey, Boston, wouldn’t Gionta look great in a spoked wheel sweater?
3:00 p.m. Carolina finally shows up for Super Saturday, courtesy of a foxy tip-in goal by foxy Justin Williams. Since it’s 5-1 now, it’s probably safe to say it’s too little too late, but hey. Good for them.
3:14 p.m. Schnookie, listening to the Bruins play-by-play: “I don’t like the name ‘Byron Bitz’.” Random Bruins player, calling for the puck and being picked up on the on-ice mics: “BITZIE!” Pookie, after the stunned silence as we realize that yes, a hockey player just called his teammate, with all respect and earnestness, “Bitzie”: “I bet Ward’s kittensaurus rex is named Bitzie.”
3:25 p.m. The game ends 5-1, Boston. These Bruins-who-aren’t-Lucic are pretty spunky (Kessel, aside) and so far Super Saturday is kicking ass. Our final thought on the Bruins is this: We can’t be the only hockey fans out there who watched Season 2 of The Wire, so surely we’re not the only people who call Sobotka “Cans”, right?
3:26 p.m. It’s on to Game 2 now, Pittsburgh/Colorado. Talk about a lose-lose. Although if the Pens are going to be continuing on their death-spiral of sucktitude, it should be a great time. It should be noted that when we change channel the Pens feed immediately attempts to kill our brains, first with an atomic-blast glare on the ice, and second with Bob Errey. Chasing Jack Edwards with Errey is not something we recommend to anyone but the most hardened hockey watcher.
3:34 p.m. Errey is telling us something about how the Pens should be attempting to right their listing ship, and we think his advice includes “surfing the wang”. Honestly, we have no idea what he was actually saying there.
3:56 p.m. Watching the hockey has been supplanted by gazing happily out the window and watching the snowfall, which has picked up with renewed vigor. It’s not supposed to last, but while it’s still light enough for us to see, we might as well enjoy it!
4:07 p.m. Only 3 hours into Super Saturday and it’s all ruined. All ruined! According to Tom Gulitti, the Devils have officially signed Brendan Shanahan to a one-year contract. Schnookie: “Well, it could be worse. We could have Scott Clemmensen as our starting g– oh shit!” Boomer: “I don’t know what Lou’s thinking. Next he’ll be signing Randy McKay again.” Schnookie: “Hey, Claude Lemiuex’s in the middle of a come-back!” Pookie: [Vomits copiously.]
4:10 p.m. We wouldn’t call this Super Saturday! We’d call it Shitty Saturday!
4:23 p.m. Our plan today was to give the Thanksgiving Cooler recipe Schnookie found on Absolut’s website a try. As soon as she got up to mix the drinks, though, the news came down the wire about Shanahan. As a result, the recipe was heavily modified to allow for a lot more alcohol, and was renamed the Oh Shit Shanny. Sure, it tastes great, but at what cost? At what cost???? (This better mean we’re trading for someone totally kick-ass.)
5:00 p.m. We’d love to be enjoying the continuing downward spiral of the Pens, who are currently losing 4-2 to the Avs, but we’re too despondent about Shanny. (Okay, we’re still enjoying the Pens game. There’s just a lot less glee there. The stink of Shanny is everywhere.) (Also, this is the second game we’ve seen today and the second goalie-pulling. Is this a sign of things to come?)
5:04 p.m. The Pens make it 4-3 on a stupid fucking shorty from stupid fucking Gronk. (Errey’s call is what brings out the “stupid fucking”s from us: “It’s been a few years since our maaaaaan Mr. Staaaaaaaaaaal scored short-handed!”) We pour another round of drinks.
5:06 p.m. Immediately after Errey crows that the line before the game was that if the Pens scored shorthanded, they’d win the game, some Av kid we’ve never heard of (we’re clearly not paying a lot of attention, since he apparently already has a goal today) scores on the same PP to make it 5-3. HAHAHAHAHA! We still have the capacity to feel joy!
5:24 p.m. Okay, we might have been exaggerating when we said it was “wall-to-wall” hockey today. Now that the Pens have lost, 3-5, we’ve got an hour and a half until the next games start. Oh well. Time for football. The Ravens all look like they’re wearing dance tights thanks to the combination of white shirt and black pants and socks.
6:01 p.m. Now that we’re buzzed and our blood sugar is sky-high, it’s time to make sure those mini cupcakes are edible.
6:02 p.m. Yup. They are.
6:47 p.m. We can’t choose a team we dislike less in this Baltimore/Tennessee matchup. Not that we have anything against either team; we just don’t like either of them. That’s… kind of our default, isn’t it? Anyway, it should be noted that before our hockey marathon even started, Pookie jostled the side table that holds our Wii and Chunky Beaverbutt plummeted head-first over the edge. Schnookie remarked, “Chunky’s taken a dive!” but Pookie didn’t even notice. Until now. When she looked over to the side table, took a long look at Chunky, and said, “Wow. Chunky really did take a dive. Did anyone already say that he’s like a little brown Sputnik?”
7:01 p.m. Those of you dark-hearted souls who hate our Tranny love will be happy to know we’re getting blacked out of the Flyers/Leafs game on NHL Network, and it’s one of the very rare nights when the Comcast feed is on our dish, but we’re getting blacked out of that too. It seems we fall into the very narrow regional zone wherein we’re in-market enough that we can’t watch the NHL Network feed, but out-of-market enough that we can’t watch the Philly feed. So we’ll be vagabond Saturday night fans tonight. Our only HD option for the Sabres game is the Wings feed, and Mickey Redmond is really not something we want to have to deal with, so we’re settling somewhat unhappily on the Wild/CBJ game. For now.
7:21 p.m. The CBJs are up 1-0 on a Filatov goal that was scored as a result of a catastrophic pokecheck attempt by Harding. Boomer’s head has exploded, because, thanks to Clemmer, she is now on a one-woman campaign to eradicate pokechecking from all NHL goalie’s repertoires. Yes, we come by our irrationality honestly.
7:41 p.m. It’s intermission and it’s 1-1 in a thoroughly non-scintillating game. We start jumping around between our other options. Ugh. The Rangers are up 1-0 on the Sens, the Caps aren’t losing to the Habs, and the Sabres are still only in HD with Mickey Redmond. We settle on the Rangers and hope for a miracle.
7:44 p.m. There’s only so much jubilant Sam and Joe a girl can take, so we flip to the non-HD Sabres feed. They’re doing an intermission segment in which Toni Lydman is talking about his adorable little daughters. We’re kind of shocked that Katebits’ beloved monster has children. Toni is surprisingly personable but he speaks in a deep, rumbly, metronomic voice; Pookie thinks the segment is delightful, but Schnookie finds his speech patterns are putting her to sleep.
7:48 p.m. Dammit, everything’s in intermission! This is just like the first Super Saturday! What was the NHL thinking?
8:00 p.m. Finally! There’s hockey on again! It’s been, like, twenty minutes! What was the NHL thinking? Is it really that hard?! Heh.
8:32 p.m. After all that complaining about intermission, we get a scoreless, blink-and-you’ll-miss it second period as our reward for sticking around. We can take a hint, Columbus and Minnesota. We’ll just leave you two alone, and go watch the Chicago/Nashville game that’s starting now instead. So there!
8:39 p.m. With a new game, we get new food — dinner! Tonight’s meal is pasta with homemade tomato sauce and calypso beans we grew in our garden. It’s part 3 of 5 in a taste test of all the bean varieties we planted. We know you’re curious, Gentle Reader, so we’ll say that the calypso beans are better than the october beans, but not as good as the tiger eyes.
And because the Oh Shit Shannies weren’t enough to soften the terrible blows of the day, we’re having some tall glasses of wine. Sometimes you need liquid reinforcements to get through 13 hours of hockey, you know.
9:17 p.m. Whoops, sorry Sabres fans. We take the opportunity of Blackhawks/Predators intermission to watch the last 3+ minutes of the Wings/Sabres game, and as soon as we flip over, the Wings break a 1-1 tie and take a lead. We don’t really get to see what happened, though, because just then one of our cats knocks a heavy object down the stairs, so there is much crashing and banging and cats flying everywhere. And as soon as everything calms back down, the Wings score again. We’ll… quietly back away from this game now and pretend we were never here.
9:36 p.m. We’re back to the game in Nashville now, and Eddie O. is telling us that Huet’s been great for the Hawks and that’s just what they need because “when you’re off to a slow start, as the Blackhawks are tonight, it’s good to have that from your goalie, keeping the game within arm’s reach.” We sigh wistfully, and Schnookie says, “Yeah, I remember what that used to be like.”
9:45 p.m. Following the scoreboard on nhl.com, we see that the Tranny Brides won 4-1 over Toronto. We’re pretty sure, based on how our track record is going this evening, it’s probably for the best that we were blacked out of the game lest the score been reversed.
9:46 p.m. Not, of course, that that would be a bad thing.
9:47 p.m. Dang it! Now we’re pissed about the blackout all over again! The now-with-more-Shanny Devils are going to need all the help they can get, including our mysteriously bad mojo tonight! [Shakes fists at the skies.] Damn you, Comcast! Daaaammn yooooouuuu!
9:59 p.m. We engage in a rather lifeless debate about whether we want to watch the Devils pregame. Schnookie mutters, “They’re just going to talk about Shanny, and I don’t want to hear it.” Pookie: “Yeah, that and how much the team is sucking.” Pause. Schnookie: “Boomer, do you have a preference?” Boomer: “We could turn on the football.”
10:08 p.m. We flip to the Stars/Coyotes game just in time to see that Southwest Airlines commercial with the guy kicking over all the DJ’s equipment while showing off his dance moves. Schnookie, cracking up for the millionth time even though you can see the punchline coming from a hundred miles away: “The day I don’t laugh at someone knocking over a bunch of shit while trying to dance is they day I want you guys to shoot me.” (We also see Dr. J’s Dr. Pepper commercial, and in a personal note to Patty (In Dallas), yes, his rug is very nice, but no, it’s probably too white for your living room.)
10:30 p.m. Doc’s back! Doc’s back! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! And his game intro is all about how this is Rolston’s 1000th game, and how all the guys they’re showing in the highlight reel played their 1000th games in Devils unis, and there in the highlight reel, right in front of us as a perfect summary of our thoughts on Shanahan, is Daaaaaaaaaave Andreychuk. That can’t be a good sign.
10:40 p.m. As expected, Weekes is in net and the lines are all wackadoo. We won’t bother noting who’s skating with whom tonight, because it’ll probably change with every shift.
10:51 p.m. It’s hard to tell whether the Devils are any better tonight, because everything sounds better with Doc calling it. Meanwhile, Chico’s trying to politely tell us that Quick, the Kings goalie, a fattie. Teams in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, Chico. Meanwhile, back in Jersey, Marty polishes off another plate of honeyed dormice.
11:00 p.m. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable! A power play goal! The first goal of the game! Scored by the Devils! Despite Chico’s insistence that it’s Langer’s goal, we agree with the in-house scorers that Travis tipped it. Just because Travis is cuter.
11:33 p.m. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! This game has seemed strangely mellow (perhaps we’ve been softened by a full day of hockey…), and all of a sudden Johnny Handsome is getting flattened and Patty is scoring on the PP about half a second later. Madness! And the goal comes thanks to Travis winning the draw and setting an almost identical screen to the one that netted him the goal in the first period. It’s like he’s trying to tell Lou that he doesn’t need Shanny, or something.
11:34 p.m. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Zach doesn’t need Shanny either!
11:50 p.m. We’d like to take a quick moment to thank Papa John’s. No matter how bad the Devils do play, as long as Papa John’s is advertising those chocolate turnover things for dessert, they won’t be the most disgusting thing on our television.
11:55 p.m. When we were watching MacGyver DVDs all last summer, we loved Dana Elcar’s delivery on Pete’s many reaction lines of “Oh no!” It always sounded over-the-top and ridiculously false, and was the exact same inflection every time he said it, no matter what he was responding to. “Pete, your appointment is running five minutes late.” “Oh no!” “Pete, I just walked past your car in the parking lot — you’ve got a flat tire.” “Oh no!” “Pete, there’s a terrorist at the event the President is attending, and he’s got a gun.” “Oh no!” “Pete, MacGyver’s dead.” “Oh no!” Anyway, Chico’s busy telling us all about how things went horribly awry when Langer tried to hit Dustin Brown, and suddenly notices the Devils have been called for too many men. And he says, exactly like Pete, “Oh no!”
11:57 p.m. Zubrus is like, “Maybe Shanahan’s not a bad idea…” as he loses the puck on a breakaway after coming out of the box for that too many men.
12:28 a.m. If Kevin Weekes is going to give up total shit goals like this one here, he’s going to make it very hard for us to continue to justify hating Scott Clemmensen. Or, as Pookie puts it, “Is it March yet?” Pause. “Is it next season yet?”
12:33 a.m. While being badly outplayed, the Devils manage to draw a penalty. Chico wonders aloud whether they can get the necessary “thrust” from this power play to right the ship again. Pookie: “Well, if they’re entering their Moonraker phase, they are going to need some thrust.”
12:35 a.m. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Well, if every team the Devils play for the rest of the year kill penalties as badly as the Kings, Shanny will be completely unnecessary. Rolston buries a point shot to regain the three-goal lead, and Doc and Chico have a great laugh at the PA announcer pronouncing Zubrus’s first name as if he is Roman: DAY-nee-us. Doc even tells us then that the score is “IV-I”. Heh.
12:47 a.m. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Just when we’re concerned that Zach has been injured on a hit that Doc describes as having “smeared” him, Travis distracts us with a gorgeous toe-drag move on a two-on-one to feed Langer for his easiest goal of the season. And Zach is back on his feet and looking chipper in time for the celebration, so there is much rejoicing.
12:57 a.m. In case anyone was wondering whether Rupp is still Zach’s henchman, he makes short — and dominant — work of wreaking Zach’s vengeance on Matt Greene for that smearing hit earlier.
1:01 a.m. WOOO HOOOO!!! What a wonderful way for the centerpiece of Super Saturday to play out! For the most part, the Devils remembered how to play hockey, and they made us forget, for at least a few hours, that Shanny is one of them now. All things considered, though, Super Saturday was a roaring success. Hey, NHL — let’s do this more often, okay? And let’s make sure the Devils win in a romp again next time, too.