So it’s the Flames tonight, is it? We… don’t have much to say about them. Now will we after this game, probably, because it’s not in HD, and we can’t see anything that isn’t in HD anymore. It’s all just a blur of red and black and white.
19:29 We are apparently watching to see how the Devils respond to being so incredibly poopy on Long Island. So far we’ve seen a crazy chance for the Flames that Marty barely manages to shut down. In other words, it’s looking great!
17:58 Boyd, some guy on the Flames, hooks Havelid behind Marty’s net. He’s playing with fire, taking a penalty against the Iron Macho. (See what we did there? Fire? Flames? )
15:58 The PP might not have scored there, but the Flames can consider themselves warned. Next time won’t be so easy. Or, um, something.
13:18 Chico tells us about the mutual admiration society that is the Marty/Kipper dynamic. It seems Marty was his usual passhole-aggresshole charming self when asked about Kipper, and he made some dig wondering whether the media in Calgary was going to be all “Kipper’s too tired to play in the playoffs after starting 75 games”. Chico thinks he’s the only person who picked up on that, though.
12:53 Paulie hooks some random Flame guy in the near corner. We’re aghast.
12:15 We try to watch as the Flames muff the puck at the blue line, but it’s too dreadful. Pookie: “I can’t watch this picture! I can’t believe we’re not in HD because of the Knicks.” It’s a pretty gruesome insult.
9:35 Ahh, continued sloppy coverage down low, how we love you so. The Paulie/Oduya d-pairing forgets how to play hockey (Pookie: “I’m blaming Havelid for that.” Andy Greene: “Me too.”) and leaves Jokinen on the doorstep to make the game 1-0 Flames. Pookie: “Well, Olli Jokinen did invent hockey, or so I’ve been led to believe, so I can’t really expect anything less.”
7:02 Pando is benched again tonight, and thank heavens for it, otherwise we would have been robbed the splendor and majesty that is this Rupp/Roy fight.
6:21 Pookie, watching the Devils flounder: “I’m sticking to my call of 3-1 Flames, even though they are clearly the superior team here, just because they’re that boring.”
5:12 Schnookie: “Now, Sutter has identified what the team did wrong after the trade deadline last year and isn’t going to let it happen again, right? Right?” Just then Shanahan takes a high-sticking penalty. Faaaaantastic.
3:08 The PK ends on a three-man Patty/Shanny/Zach rush that starts with a soft drop pass by Patty and ultimately yields a pretty weak shot by Zach. Chico tells us the Devils have a lot of zip in their steps tonight. Schnookie: “But none in their shots.”
0:56 Doc tells us this is Blobby’s 1300th game. Ah, but it only feels like his 3600th to us.
0:00 We can guarantee that Kiprusoff isn’t going to be too tired to play well in the playoffs if he keeps facing offensive pressure like the Devils have had so far tonight.
Gel-O, Dano and Stan talk about the proposed changes to the fighting rules in the NHL. As much as the fighting itself bores us in hockey, the talking about fighting bores us even more.
19:32 The Devils are as surprised as we are that this game is still going on, and they give up a near breakaway to kick off the new period. Whatever Sutter told them during the intermission sure made a difference.
18:52 Doc and Chico are going on and on about Iginla. Pookie, not at all cranky: “You know how many whits I care about Jarome Iginla? Not a one!”
17:31 We’re arguing amongst ourselves whether this is the March Swoon starting now, or whether it had started in Clemmer’s last few starts, but was artificially staved off by the Marty Bump. As Doc would say, though, no matter. Either way, this team is clearly swooning.
15:17 Pando lost his job for this? Shanahan takes a hooking penalty because he’s a step too slow in the defensive zone. Why are we still watching this? Pookie: “If it’s not 2-0 Flames at the end of this penalty, I will eat my hat.”
14:50 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Ham. Pookie meant ham. Whitey and Langer dart down the rink on a well-covered and harmless-looking shorthanded rush, and Langer squeaks a trickling shot through Kiprusoff. It’s a 1-1 game, and we have no idea how Kipper didn’t stop that. (Pookie, meanwhile, says, “I don’t like ham. I think I said I’d eat a Valomilk if the score wasn’t 2-0 Flames at the end of the penalty.”)
13:19 Chico tells us that Havelid has a shorty with the Thrashers this year. Pookie: “I cannot comprehend of Havelid doing anything good.” And to think, we loved this guy when the trade was announced.
11:45 The Devils are warming to the task now, and Rupp gets a chance with Kipper down and out where, if he had even a modicum of skill, he’d have been able to roof the puck over him into the gaping net. Instead, Rupper has to slowly pivot over the puck, calibrate his shot, take some time to set his aim, and then hit the crossbar. Schnookie: “Pando could have done that.”
11:07 Doc is talking about how the ice is tilted now in the Devils’ favor. Pookie: “It’s the circus’s fault. It fucked up the ice because all the elephants sat at one end.”
10:51 The scorched earth PP is back on the ice thanks to an interference penalty to the Flames.
8:43 Langer is apparently shooting with a flubber puck that Kipper just can’t handle; he gets a shot from above the faceoff dot that dribbles tantalizingly through the crease, but Zach can’t quite lunge in time to get to it. (Zach is never going to score again.)
7:14 Rolston’s fired. He takes a cement-footed holding penalty in the offensive zone at the end of his shift.
4:30 Our picture blinks out for a long moment. We can’t decide whether we’re happy when it comes back. Heh.
3:52 Some dastardly Flame hooks Travis. TravisNation narrows its eyes angrily – that better be the worst infraction they commit against him tonight. Poor Travis, getting hooked like that. It’s not fair.
1:57 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Rolston’s hired again! (Although Rollie the cat is not thrilled when we cheer for her namesake’s goal.) He’s ready and waiting at the top of the crease for this time when Kipper mishandles an incoming shot from the left faceoff dot, and he sweeps the puck into the net for a 2-1 Devils lead.
1:22 Gio’s fired. He seems not to have clued into the fact that the officials are calling everything, and takes a lazy interference penalty.
0:45 Patty leaps up the center of the rink on a shorthanded chance, but his spinarama pass to the trailer on the play is to Paulie, who we all know has no finish.
0:20 Chico told us after Rolston’s goal that Paulie got a secondary assist, prompting Pookie to exclaim, “Pancakes for everyone!” But now the PA announcer is saying it’s Zubrus’s assist. Pookie, dejected: “Everyone, give back your pancakes.” Pause. “Travis is like, ‘I already ate mine.’”
0:00 We liked that period a lot more than the first. Other than the part where Paulie was robbed of what was rightfully his. We get an interview with a winktacular Rolston, who shoots down Stan’s attempt to nickname him “Deft”.
This intermission is all white noise, as it’s just blah blah blah Stancakes.
18:43 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the phonk? The Poppers (seeming the only line not shaken up tonight), have a wacky, slow-moving shift in front of the net, where everyone collapses around the crease. Kipper thinks he’s frozen the puck, and is lying on his side helplessly, but Langer keeps digging, and just when it seems everything has been frozen, Zach is flat on his face in the blue paint and the official behind the net is signaling goal. There’s a video review, but the end result is a new Flames goalie and Zach’s 39th goal. 3-1 Devils.
18:13 Rupper’s fired. Or perhaps benched. He takes one of the ever-popular lazy offensive-zone holding penalties that are all the rage with the Devils these days.
18:05 Marty misses a pokecheck off the faceoff, but instead of crumbling like his predecessor this season, he calmly sits down and waits for Cammalleri to whiff on his shot.
15:27 The Devils D is looking ahead to the next game already, and let Lundmark walk out from the corner and fire a wide-open shot from the low slot. Marty makes a delicious sliding stacked-pad save, and kills the rebound in his chest protector, prompting Chico to say something about how when you get a shot against Marty, you need to get the first one off right because there isn’t often a second one. Pookie channels Nykwana Wombosi and snarls, “If you are going to kill me, kill me dead.”
14:59 Clarkson gets hauled down as he slides headfirst through the Calgary slot, and the Devils PP gets back to work scorching the earth.
13:51 The PP shooting gallery has everyone thinking 4-1, but it finally peters out on a fanned shot attempt. During the whole affair, Zach is fired for hitting the outside of the goalpost on a gaping-net shot.
12:13 Phaneuf hits Holik. Pookie: “That’s the ugliest player-hitting-player combination the league can throw at us.”
8:53 We’ve noticed Havelid on the ice for the first time tonight. Nothing good can come of this. He’s the worst Iron Macho ever.
5:11 The Devils are playing a totally workmanlike third period, but after an icing, Sutter calls a timeout. We see a closeup of the bench, and both he and Travis are chortling up a storm. This is not one of those really tense timeouts.
4:15 Gio easily bests Phaneuf while chasing a puck up the wing. Just sayin’.
3:08 Zubrus tries a wraparound, but ends up just sort of skating in a straight line into the corner. Schnookie: “Zubrus needs to go to Clarkson’s skills camp.”
2:52 The Iron Boar gets his stick on a shot just inside the blue line and ends up deflecting the puck into his own chin.
2:27 The other day, MSG+ showed us pictures during a game of Applesauce’s pug Nellie. (Yes, pug.) Doc takes a post-icing stoppage to tell us that Applesauce appreciated them showing the pictures, then floated tantalizingly that there are other players on the team who also have dog pictures. We are so excited to see these! Get on it, MSG+!
1:53 Whitey fires the puck over the glass. And this was going so well, too. At least it’s not a lazy hooking/holding penalty, though. We’d praise Whitey for originality during his exit interview.
1:29 The Iron Boar is back on the ice, and we agree he’s just relieved the Iron Macho of his “Macho”. That’s right – he’s the Iron Macho Boar now. And Havelid is just the Iron.
0:45 We are remarkably calm. We never felt this good with the Devils sitting on a two-goal lead, on the PK, with Clemmer in net.
0:01 Screw you, Calgary. They manage to get the puck past Marty off a buzzer-beating scramble. Whatever, losers. It’s 3-2 Devils, and Marty is flat-out cracking up.
0:00 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Wow! The Flames are the Greatest Team Of All Time Since The Trade Deadline, and the Devils just comfortably beat them (less a crappy first period). What does that say about the Devils?