We have recently had a pair of brilliant realizations about the true characters of two of this season’s most newsworthy players. The first player is Scott Clemmensen. You probably recall us claiming Clemmer was going to be Roger Moore to Marty’s Sean Connery, where he’d start off okay and then ultimately tail off into Moonraker-esque sucktitude. Well, we were wrong about that. Clemmer’s more nefarious than that. Of course, he’s hardly a brilliant evil mastermind like Moonraker‘s Hugo Drax — nope, instead, Scott Clemmensen is our Plankton. Just as ambitious a self-declared evil genius as Drax, but completely lacking in any kind of self-awareness. We are eagerly awaiting the moment when he opens the Chum Bucket (or Clem Bucket, as the case may be) right across from Marty’s stall, starts monologueing about how he’s going to run Marty out of business and get the secret recipe for Krabby Patties (or honeyed dormice, as the case may be), and just as he’s reaching his full criminal mastermind crescendo, Marty will walk by and completely obliviously step on him.
The other realization we’ve had regards Zach. The thing about Zach is that… well… it just Zach. We love him beyond measure, he’s been a clear-cut candidate for “greatest Devils forward of all time” since pretty much his rookie year, and in the playoffs two years ago against Tampa he basically declared to Devils fans everywhere that there is no ceiling on what we can expect from him. But he’s not big, he’s not (contrary to some reports) fast, he isn’t flashy or flamboyant or showy or whatever; his game pretty much starts with hard work, builds on more hard work, works a bit harder, has a heaping dose of talent and skill, and then mixes in a whole lot more hard work. It’s all about the motor with Zach, so much so that we tend to lose sight of exactly how good he is. So we’ve kind of been chortling at the way observers outside Devils circles have been calling him a “superstar”. We mean, superstar? ZACH??? Well, guess what, Gentle Reader. Those people are right. We watched last night’s game against the Islanders in a state of minor spoilage — we knew he had two assists in the match. So imagine our surprise when it turned out he also had two goals. The thing is, though, that it made perfect sense, because that’s just how a superstar rolls. For the last few years we’ve tried to temper how much we gush about him because it’s hard not to think, “How good can he be? He’s a Devil, after all.” Last night we finally freed ourselves from that thinking.
So that’s where we stand today: Zach’s a superstar and Clemmer’s Plankton. It’s this kind of brilliant insight that makes us such great hockey pundits.
(It should be noted that we wrote this post while watching the Flyers-Senators game. At one point on the Sens feed, the announcers started discussing the recent switch-up of starters in net for Philly, and they put up a graphics screen of previous Number 1 goalies in the Flyers organization over the last few seasons. The list was: Garth Snow [1995-96], John Vanbiesbrouck [1996-99], Brian Boucher [1999-00] [He's our favorite], Roman Cechmanek [2000-01], Robert Esche [2002-03], Jeff Hackett [2003-04], Antero Niittymaki [2003-03], Martin Biron [2006-07]. As soon as it appeared on screen, Pookie sighed happily, “Look at all those old friends.” Heh.)