ARGH! We’re not in HD again??? But the Islanders are? This is an OUTRAGE! MSG has all its dumb commercials about how they’re not going to let anyone ignore Marty on his march to history, but heaven forbid they should have Marty in HD or anything.
By the way, we would like to take this moment to say that we were not responsible for Travis’s Wikipedia entry being vandalized. If it had been us, you’d have known it.
20:00 Before the drop of the puck, we get the goalie matchup. We suspect this Tordjman kid is about to get his first NHL 40-save shutout. The new guys always do against the Devils.
19:42 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Or not! The game starts off with a classic “we’re scoring in the first minute” shift by the Poppers, where Langer cuts across the crease to feed Zach for his 40th goal of the year! WOOOOOOO!!! 1-0 Devils, and we happily clink wine glasses to toast our very own superstar.
17:33 After Marty makes a stop while holding the post in the face of some scrambling, we get a look at Wayne on the Phoenix bench. Chico wonders aloud how much this losing season must be torturing Wayne. Schnookie: “Yeah. Another losing season for a mediocre coach. It must be terrible for him.” Chico isn’t listening, and just keeps blathering on about how the problem in Phoenix is that Wayne hasn’t been given any talent to work with. To which Tom Renney says, “Fuck you.”
17:04 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chico: “Well sure, there was some worry that the Devils would take this game lightly…” The Devils: “We are taking this game lightly.” But they just can’t help scoring. In this case, Madden is powering along down the ice, minding his own business, then he lunges to get his stick on an Oduya shot, and Tordjman has no answer. It’s 2-0 Devils.
13:25 There’s a bit of passive play in the Devils zone that almost leads to a good scoring chance, but Prucha tips the puck to the glass instead of on net. We kind of feel like the Coyotes have actually had the better of the play here.
11:37 Jovo takes Patty down behind the Coyotes net in a move that you could kind of consider a slew-foot. Schnookie: “Yeah, Jovo’s feeling pretty brave back there now that Brylin’s not patrolling the ice.”
11:04 Zubrus, the tall man’s Brylin, takes Jovo out with a butt-end to the eye socket. He gets four minutes for high-sticking.
10:26 Oh sure, the Devils are totally not taking this game lightly. The whole PK, from Marty on out, forgets what they’re doing, and Upshall sweeps a bouncing puck into the net while everyone in red stands around watching in horror. 2-1 Devils.
6:35 We’re all deeply immersed in our cheese dinner, and not really paying attention. That’s probably the problem the Devils and Tordjman are having.
5:22 Doc and Chico discuss how Marty’s seen 12 shots already. Only 12? We were just talking about how it felt more like 600.
2:50 Oh, there’s still hockey going on? We’re embroiled in a discussion of the Jon Stewart/Jim Cramer feud. We can’t even tell you, Gentle Reader, how much we’ve been enjoying that.
0:00 The good news here is that the Devils are up 2-1, and lately the first period has been by far their worst. We get an interview with 40-goal-scorer Zach Parise. He tries to pretend that he doesn’t think he’s hot shit now.
Gel-O and Dano talk to some guy about the NJ high school hockey championship, and things turn, as they always do, to Jim Dowd. Go Ocean County!
17:46 Doc and Chico are telling us to go to the alumni event at which Chico’s playing this weekend, and after talking it all up, Chico tells us that fans can find where the game is “by Googling it. Or…” Long pause. “Or… looking at… that other thing.” Doc tries to cover for him by saying that any search engine will do. Pookie, ever the kindly reference librarian, says, “Chico’s just being smart and knows Google Maps is better than Mapquest.”
16:11 Hey! Yesterday was Gracie Sutter’s birthday! And KtG’s! Happy birthday to both of them.
13:12 You know what? The Devils just don’t look like a juggernaut so far.
12:49 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! This game is totally shaping up to be one for the ages. The Shanny/Zubrus/Clarkson line lulls the Coyotes D to sleep, and Shanny feeds Zubrus in the high slot to make it 3-1 Devils.
11:32 Blobby decides to force Jovo to relive his Brylin misadventures, too. It’s the first time this season that we’ve liked something Blobby did.
10:27 Marty has to make a series of saves that he was probably not expecting to have to do tonight. When he looked at the calendar, we suspect he wasn’t circling the Coyotes as a tough night.
10:16 What??? No! Doc tells us who the next player’s dog pictures are going to be from, and it’s Shanny. Who does he think he is? He thinks he can just waltz in here, boot Pando to the press box, then win us over with pictures of his dog??? That bastard.
7:09 We are reminded during the course of the play-by-play that a certain ex-Ranger is in the lineup for Phoenix this evening. Schnookie: “Shit. We’re going to need at least another couple of goals before I’m comfortable with Nigel Dawes out there.” Certified Marty-killers are Marty-killers wherever they play.
6:57 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gio laces a gorgeous diagonal pass to Patty on a long two-on-one, and Patty puts a shot on net, it gets stopped, rattles around Tordjman’s five-hole, and then all of a sudden the puck’s in the goal. It’s 4-1 Devils, and we can’t help but think this isn’t really a case of the Devils playing that much better than the Coyotes tonight. It’s just that… well… Mickey Mouse. (And Patty is now within three points of the all-time Devils scoring record.)
4:11 Doc tells us that Shane Doan (who used to live pretty much in our neighborhood in Scottsdale, we feel compelled to add) has six relatives in the Rodeo Hall Of Fame. Except he says it like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Pookie: “Doan’s family is just classy that way.”
2:25 Havelid actually makes a good defensive play, stripping a Coyote of the puck deep in the Devils zone. Pookie: “He’s the Iron M now!” Schnookie: “Yeah, he’s earning back all the letters.” Pookie: “Yup. Sutter stripped him of his A-C-H-O.”
1:36 Salvador and Prust fight.
It’s kind of weird how frequently the Iron Boar fights, isn’t it?
1:25 Doc gets all excited as a Coyote starts bulling up the far wing, and shouts, “Here comes a chance for Shane Doan!!!” We all settle in to watch the amazingness, and instead Oduya just calmly angles him out of the play, and Doan ends up sliding into the crease while Oduya skates off with the puck. Pookie: “I feel like that was just Doan’s career in a nutshell.”
0:22 Chico is talking about Patty, and it’s just brilliant. First he goes on and on and on about how Patty could have been a Ranger, “skating with Scott Gomez” (in case any Devils fans have forgotten about an example of a Devil who signed with the Rangers as a free agent), but Patty stayed with the Devils because he’s loyal and hard-working and dedicated and committed and sexy and generous and handsome and perfect and dreamy (we’re paraphrasing). Meanwhile, the unspoken part is that Gomez is decidedly not any of those things. After finishing up with his passhole-aggresshole assault on Gomer, Chico then informs us that Patty is the UN ambassador from Czech. Pookie: “UN. ICEF. He forgot the ‘ICEF’.” Schnookie: “Sutter’s stripped Patty of his ICEF.”
DAMMIT! Shanny wins us over in his interview here! DAMN HIM!!! When Gel-O makes him watch his assist on Zubrus’s goal, he asks if it was a tough pass to make or a hard play to see. Shanny, totally deadpan, says, “Yes. That’s a very tough pass to make. Most guys wouldn’t see that. It’s a very hard play.” Gel-O, however, doesn’t realize Shanny’s joking, and, to his everlasting credit, Shanny suddenly looks like he feels bad for putting Gel-O in that position. FINE! Pando couldn’t have done that.
“Chico Eats!” tonight features a family that was there courtesy of Garden Of Dreams, and the kids got to shake hands with Chuck the Duck. It’s adorable.
19:03 Dawes tries to Marty-kill with a wrister from the faceoff dot to Marty’s left, but, shockingly, Marty stops it. Perhaps the magic hasn’t conveyed between teams?
18:15 Chico tells us he doesn’t think the Coyotes are going to score three goals in this period. Frankly, we wish he wouldn’t talk like that.
17:58 Blobby’s fired. He takes a tripping penalty in the neutral zone, setting only the second power play of the game in motion (although the last one was a double-minor). We joke that we’re going to spend the rest of the game complaining that the Devils haven’t had a power play yet.
16:22 Travis and Langer do everything in their power to fail to clear the puck at the high point, but the Coyotes refuse to take advantage, so Travis suddenly finds himself on a quasi-break that requires a hooking penalty by Upshall. We stop complaining about the lack of Devils PPs.
15:19 We really aren’t complaining now. A Coyote bats the puck from waist height over the glass, and the Devils go on the 5-on-3. Chico tries to complain that it’s a bad call because the guy didn’t shoot the puck off the ice over the glass. Boomer: “He played the puck off the playing surface directly over the glass, Chico.” Pretty much.
15:02 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After some workmanlike puck movement, the Devils get a point shot, and Travis is there to calmly make the game 5-1 Devils. Chico very seriously tells us that “Coach Wayne Gretzky” said just the other day that teams should score 100% of the time on 5-on-3s. Why hasn’t he won a Jack Adams yet?
11:12 We are WOOOOO!ing with glee at the news first from the out-of-town scoreboard that the Predators are currently leading the Rangers in their game, and then from Chico that the Coyotes are the second-lowest scoring team in the NHL behind – you guessed it – the Rangers. Oh, low-scoring Rangers. You’re so delightful. Pookie: “Welcome to New York, Gomez.” HAHAHAHAHA!
10:01 We get a look at Patty and Travis on the bench, talking animatedly, Patty’s arm draped over Travis’s shoulders. We hope he’s warning Acorns about the oysters at Sheremetyevo. Chico then goes off on a flight of fancy that Patty should end up in the Hall of Fame someday. If he does end up there, Schnookie will make regular pilgrimages to shout at his plaque, “Patty, you’re fired!”
7:52 Patty, you’re fired! He blows past the D with a giant burst of speed, looks like he’s about to swagger around Tordjman, but at the last minute gets the puck stuck on the goalie’s outstretched toe.
7:33 Upshall charges Gio behind the Phoenix net, then tries to mix up with Patty, and then all three converge at center ice for the least scary shoving-and-shouting match in the history of the NHL. Patty and Upshall get matching minors.
6:14 Huh? We don’t really pay attention to what’s going on, and we guess we probably should have, because there’s a scrum in front of the Coyotes net in which three guys take on Clarkson, but Clarkson’s the only one who gets a penalty.
5:39 As the Coyotes mill about ineffectually in all the extra space in the Devils zone, Boomer says, “I wonder what Wayne thinks a team should do with a 4-on-3.”
4:20 Havelid tries to score by kicking a Coyotes pass back into Marty’s crease. Marty manages to cover the puck, then comes up laughing. Yeah, it’s all fun and games…
3:54 Clarkson and Prust have a fight that covers basically the entire rink and goes on for about 45 minutes.
This gets Chico going about the dialog in hockey about fighting’s place in the game, and you know what, Gentle Reader? We literally do not care. Keep it, ban it, whatever. Can we talk about something else now?
We come back from commercial and a Marty highlight reel with kick-ass martial music is playing. Yeah, the first of Marty’s big games could be Saturday night, in Montreal. As scripted. The part that’s going off-script? Doc’s not going to be there! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! No wonder Marty tanked that game on the Island – he didn’t want Gel-O getting the call for 552.
2:06 BOOOO! Reinprecht scores. 5-2 Devils.
0:12 A “Marty! Marty! Marty!” cheer goes up as the final seconds tick down.
0:00 And the buzzer sounds on a franchise-record ninth straight home win. WOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!