Two signs about tonight’s game:
1. Pookie, on her drive home from work this evening, saw an oil tanker truck from a shipping company she had never heard of before. This is notable because she drives 100 miles every day in her commute, and is fairly well versed in all the trucking companies that frequent the highways of New Jersey. The truck in question? “Langer”! It had a dynamic logo, all movement and awesomeness and zoom, with a big arrow pointing Langer onward, ever onward. The problem? It was heading south. We figure the only sign that could have been more clear would be if it was driving down a toilet.
2. We’re not in HD tonight.
19:22 We’re sure something good is happening with the Poppers in the Leafs zone, but it’s in standard def. We can’t be bothered to try to see. How did we live before HD?
17:03 Chico informs us that the Devils are gunning for a franchise record for wins in a season, which means they’re going to lose.
15:17 Gerber coughs the puck up to Rolston behind the net, then falls over on his way out to the crease. The Devils politely wait for him to regain position before thinking about putting the puck netward.
14:03 We have been trying all during this period to figure out why none of us feel like we’re watching a Devils game, and Pookie finally puts her finger on it: “It’s the non-HD. It makes me feel like we’re killing time during another, better game. Also, it makes me dizzy because it’s blurry and I feel like I have to squint.”
13:28 Travis decides to jolt us awake with a monster shift, full of swaggery moves and sexy yoinky steals, and the end result is Zach drawing a hooking penalty in the slot.
11:28 Wow, that PP passed quickly and without event.
10:58 Awwww, it’s a sad day for Devils fans. Madden has lost his Maple Leafs touch. He gets a mini-breakaway, but ends up rolling his shot wide. Back in the day, Madden on the breakaway against the Leafs was golden. It’s the passing of an era.
10:02 Further supporting our faith in the symbolism of that Langer truck, Whitey and Mottau decide to fall apart completely in their own zone, turn the puck over, and leave Grabovsky open in the low slot. He fires a knuckler through Marty, and it’s 1-0 Leafs.
8:54 Doc is, for some reason, talking about Langer’s high school career. Pookie: “I can’t really imagine Langer in high school.” Schnookie: “I figure he’d be one of those guys in the ‘80s with a mustache.”
8:47 The fuck? Pookie: “Marty’s completely lost it.” Out of nowhere, Hamilton (who???) whips a wrister through a bunch of lazy, shitty d-men, and Marty isn’t paying any attention either. It’s 2-0 Leafs.
7:35 Apparently the Devils have lost consistently to the Leafs since the lockout. Huh. We’ve blocked all those games out.
6:42 Chico tries to tell us that the Devils can just toss this period out and have good second and third periods. We try to tell ourselves that there are 12 other games on the docket tonight, and sure any one of those would be more interesting than this one.
4:52 The Blobby line is holding the puck in the offensive zone in spite of itself, until finally Rupper’s attempt at a short-range pass to the point gets carefully aimed at a spot where there are no Devils. Boomer: “How about we try shooting at the end that their goaltender’s standing in?”
4:04 Yay. We just witnessed another first NHL goal for an opposing player. Some kid named Hanson is facing no defensive pressure at all from Oduya, so he walks down the slot and fires home a soft rebound past Marty. 3-0 Leafs. Pookie: “I’m worried about Marty.” Pause, as she watches the replay. “I’m worried about all of them.”
3:13 Travis fires a puck over the glass in the offensive zone, and as some boos rain down from the stands, Chico says, “What the Devils need now… is… a goal.” Pookie: “No Chico, what they need now is four goals.”
2:19 Seriously, put a fork in the Devils. We can’t stress this enough. It is going to be a short first round, thank heavens. We don’t know how much more of this crap we can watch.
2:09 For some idiotic reason, the Leafs take a penalty. We have a very good idea of what the next two minutes are going to hold for the Devils.
1:25 After Zach spends some precious PP moments fruitlessly attempting to score by shooting the puck into the outside of the net, Pookie sighs, “The Langer truck was heading south on Route 9, but I’m going to assume that has nothing to do with Zach.”
0:46 Gio takes a stick from Finger up under his visor and gets badly bloodied. He immediately goes to the dressing room, holding his eye, and the Devils go to a two-man-advantage.
0:25 Shanny is the latest guy to make Gerber look good, when he fires his point-blank chance on a back-door play into the crook of Gerber’s arm.
0:00 Well, that was, quite possibly, the worst period we’ve seen from the Devils since, well… we can’t think when. That just flat-out fucking sucked.
Gah. That’s all we have to say about this game. Just… gah.
18:06 We’re distracted from the craptitude of the Devils PP on a double-minor thanks to our 100mm macro lens and some Valomilks. That’s right – taking pictures of candy is more interesting than this game.
14:30 Chico: “I’m sure the Leafs cannot believe how much free rein they’ve had here in New Jersey.” No fucking kidding. We expected the Devils to lose tonight, and even we can’t believe exactly how bad it’s been.
11:28 Doc and Chico are complaining that there hasn’t been a stoppage yet in this period. While we appreciate that the game is trying to get itself over with quickly, this relentless a barrage of incessant suck-assedness is like a form of torture.
10:45 Finally we get a commercial. The “$5 Foot Longs” Subway jingle has never sounded so good.
10:16 It’s a thrill a minute here. Hanson interferes with Pando and sends the Devils PP back on the ice.
8:04 Gentle Reader in the distant future, if you read the scoresheet for this game, do not be fooled by whatever impressive shot total the Devils amass before the final buzzer. They’re really not playing that well.
5:56 Chico’s voice drips with disgust when he points out that the shots are 28-12 in favor of the Devils right now. We, meanwhile, are far more interested in our stitching.
5:40 And we go to commercial with Rolston heading to the box for hooking. Pookie: “How ever will they score that goal Chico seems to think they need?” We come back from commercial with Chico telling us, of course, that the Devils goal will now have to be a shorty. Naturally. Why didn’t we think of that?
2:50 The Devils are on the power play again. We love scoring baseball (more than we love watching it, so it doesn’t happen very often), but the fact is, it’s very difficult to keep up on every single play. So one of our favorite bits of advice we ever got about being a sports fan was a hall-of-fame baseball broadcaster explaining his personal notations in his scorecards; for the plays he missed, he marked down “WW” for “Wasn’t Watching”. That’s what this power play was for. A Leaf got two minutes for WW.
1:37 Gerber makes his 10,000th simple save of the night, and Chico says, before praising the save, “You could criticize the Devils for some things tonight…” Pookie: “No, you could criticize the Devils for all things tonight.”
1:05 We get behind the play and thoroughly enjoy getting to watch about half a minute of play in fast forward. At the end of the zapping, Langer scores to make it 3-1 Leafs. We don’t stop to watch the play in regular speed. In fact, Pookie exhorts the television, “Don’t stop a-rockin’, fast forward!”
0:00 We hate this game.
19:08 We’re planning our summer viewing already, and ordering the first few seasons of “Medium” as we speak. Yeah, we’re old ladies. We’re not ashamed of that. And what can we say? We finished “Murder, She Wrote” last summer!
18:26 It’s 4-1 Leafs on a WW. Boomer: “Guys, can we leave now? I want to go home.” Pookie: “Can we cash in our LarionovBucks to just not have the Devils go to the postseason?”
16:49 Chico keeps belaboring how many shots and scoring chances the Devils have been credited with tonight, but what that means is just that we’ll get to hear a bunch of postgame quotes from the players about how they were trying hard enough, but didn’t get the breaks, or were facing a hot goalie, or whatever. Schnookie: “That’s just bullshit, because there has never been a single point in this game where I’ve thought, ‘Ooh, the Devils almost scored there.’” As if on cue, Zach has an opportunity where he has the puck on his stick, he’s at the top of the crease, and Gerber is down and out at the other side of the goalmouth, and Zach doesn’t even get a shot off.
16:33 Pookie: “The Devils’ battle level is so low it can’t even be called a battle level. Their tea party level is low. Their doilymaking level is low. Their tiddlywinks level is low.” Pause. “But their sucktitude level is high.”
12:34 Amazon is now, thanks to our purchase of four seasons of “Medium” on DVD, recommending “Ghost Whisperer” to Boomer. Those of you who have met Boomer will appreciate how hilarious that is.
9:55 Pookie: “Well, this answers the question about how we should have been feeling about the Tampa and Buffalo wins.”
7:43 Chico mentions that Patty is injured. Schnookie: “Get well soon, Patty.” He adds that Havelid is out, too. Schnookie: “Ugh. I thought he’d be addition by subtraction.” Pause. “That’s what those two wins were. The Havelid Injury Bump.”
2:29 We go to commercial and are asked by the Cialis narrator, “What are you waiting for?” Pookie: “This game to end.”
1:34 We get a close-up of Paulie on an offensive-zone draw, and he has a bandage of some kind across the bridge of his nose, like he’s involved in the bookstore hold-up in Bottle Rocket.
1:00 There is a hearty cheer from the remaining crowd for the announcement of the last minute of play.
0:00 The game winds down with Chico telling us, “You can’t say the Devils didn’t try hard.” Pookie: “The Devils didn’t try hard. There. I said it. And I meant every word.”
In some seasons we’d be sad that there are only two games left in the regular season. This year, though? They can’t be over soon enough.