Before we start tonight’s diary, we’d like to take a moment to direct your attention to a worthy cause. Our wonderful friend Jean Lea, owner of the most magnificent stitching shop in the world, The Attic Needlework in Mesa, Arizona, hosts an annual silent auction of handmade Christmas tree ornaments to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The auction is happening this Saturday (Nov. 21), and we are feeling very triumphant here at stately IPB Manor because Boomer’s contribution, a collection of little Christmas houses stitched in silk on linen, are the ornaments with the highest set minimum opening bid. Um, not that it’s a competition, but still. Boomer’s a superstar. Heh. If you’re in the market for handmade Christmas tree ornaments and other decorative items, and would like to learn more about the auction (they do take bids over the phone and email), check out the Attic’s website.
Meanwhile, on the ice, the Devils are sporting a fancy new look, one that’s got 100% more Dean McAmmond and Tyler Eckford. Apparently Doc would like the Devils’ new look to be 100% more orange, though, because during the pregame, in talking about the Predators’ two big ex-Devils, he waxes poetic about the good old days when Steve Sullivan and Jason Arnott were Flyers. See? We’re not the only ones!
16:17 We kind of get caught off guard at the start of the game thanks to finishing off dinner, and when we turn our attention to the game, we are surprised to discover McAmmond is wearing 11. Sentimentality, thy name is Lou.
15:16 Wha? The Devils appear to be ready to clear the puck, with Rolston dawdling along while gaining possession in front of the net, and suddenly Arnott pokes the puck through his slow-poke feet and beats a completely startled Marty to make it 1-0 Predators. When Chico wonders how that play even happened, Pookie explains the obvious, two-part answer: Marty loves giving up goals to ex-Devils, and Rolston is the worst hockey player on Earth.
13:42 The Devils get the opportunity now to get a power play goal and be right back in it, as Chico would say.
11:42 The Devils do not get a power play goal to find themselves right back in it.
11:25 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Colin White is a goal-scoring machine! Or at least Colin White shots are goal-scoring machines. Zach and Travis combine, after a failed attempt at a goal-mouth feed, to retrieve a rebound, feed it out to Whitey at the point, and then set up enough traffic in front to allow Whitey’s shot to beat Rinne (or maybe deflect the shot past him). It’s a 1-1 game, and Chico tells us that Whitey has switched to fancy sticks, on Zach’s recommendation. We are surprisingly charmed by the thought of Zach pressuring Whitey into buying sticks that have fancier features than the workmanlike variety he would normally choose. Pookie: “Zach probably gets kick-backs from Easton. He’s like Bob Vila.”
9:00 Doc is confident that the goal is going to be credited to Zach eventually, and tells us that’s a six-game goal-scoring streak for him now. Schnookie: “You know what? I think Parise’s for real.”
8:41 Tootoo is on the ice, and with him comes those annoying “toot” train whistles from the crowd. If Frisby is participating in that at this game tonight, he’s banned. And we’ll know, Frisby.
6:29 Oh dear. Chico is now trying to tell us about the Finnish version of baseball, as related to him by Pekka Rinne this morning. Or rather, Chico is threatening to tell us about it later, to which Doc says, “I’m looking forward to this.” Pookie: “That makes one of us, Doc.”
5:36 We come back from commercial to Chico telling us about this Finnish baseball, and this is what he ends up telestrating:
The game is called “pesapallo”, and Pookie cracks that Finns everywhere would look at Chico’s illustration and be like, “That guy’s insane. Our game is just like baseball. Where is he getting these ideas?” Then she looks it up online and reports, stunned, “Either Chico’s actually right, or he’s constructed an elaborate Wikipedia ruse.”
0:52 Oh god. The tooting. Make it stop!
0:22 Sometimes Zach’s the gong-er, and sometimes he’s the gong-ee. He gets a mini-break here, but only has time for a midrange slapshot that Rinne stops and deflects out of play with his head. After the whistle, Patty and Tootoo take coincidental minor penalties. Probably because Patty can’t stand listening to that stupid tooting anymore.
The break in action here is a great opportunity to check out this really cool video of what is essentially a human keyboard that we saw on Mental Floss today.
19:00 Zach starts his second period by cranking a giant shot at Rinne. Pookie: “Zach looks like he wants to score a real goal tonight.”
18:52 Zubrus starts his second period off with a bang by blocking a shot that leaves him hobbling sadly to the bench.
17:13 Clarkson tangles with Tootoo, probably just to silent those dumb whistles, and ends up getting a penalty for holding.
16:03 Two of the Devils PKers lose their sticks, so the Preds are, as Doc exclaims, playing a 5-on-2, but before anything horrible can happen, Patty coolly breaks up the attack and clears the zone. Good penalty killing is so foxy.
13:36 It is a shooting gallery in the Devils zone right now, but the Predators keep failing to register actual shots thanks to lots of missing the net and shockingly smart play by Eckford.
12:35 The Devils put on a clinic of terrible defensive-zone turnovers and generally looking completely hapless in their own end, and Schnookie finally shouts in exasperation at the TV, “You guys are all fired!” Just then, a tic-tac-toe passing play down low by the Preds gets broken up by some an extremely calm, deft Devils d-man. Pookie: “Whoa. Who was that? That wasn’t—no, he got sent down…” Schnookie: “That was Mottau.” Pookie, shocked: “Applesauce??”
10:50 Before an offensive-zone draw for the Devils, MSG+ gives us a close-up shot of Peters and Tootoo yapping sort of lamely at each other. We spend a few moments making up a series of not-very-funny conversations they could be having, and Pookie finally breaks through with: “Peters says ‘Give a hoot. Bench me!’” It’s hard work, people.
3:15 Yikes. This period is almost over. It seems like the Predators have been the better team so far.
1:54 Pookie: “The one thing I’m getting vibes about is Zach scoring a real goal, and it seems like he’s not going to. And the Devils are playing like crap. I can’t believe my vibes could be wrong.”
0:16 The one Devil not playing like crap? Marty, who makes an amazing kick save on a point-blank shot by Tootoo after Marty had missed a sweeping stick check around the side of the net.
0:10 Eckford takes a penalty on the rebound after Marty’s huge save.
0:00 Doc tells us as the teams head to the dressing rooms that the Devils had 12 shots in that period. We don’t believe it. As we wait for Gel-O to appear with our intermission interview, Doc reads a promo for the Devils game on Wednesday the 25th, at which fans 18 or older will receive a compact fluorescent lightbulb. Which is a nice idea, but we’ve already switched to CFLs. If we go to that game, can we have, like, game-used equipment or something cool instead?
Before the puck drop, Doc suddenly starts talking over some flavoring shots of Nashville, “It’s Nashville. There are lots of places here for a duck.” Sure enough, we then see Chuck the Duck perched in the foreground of a shot of a local act performing, and he seems to have a garbage can tucked under his wing. Doc is puzzled by the garbage can. We can only assume that Chuck is a heavy drinker.
In other news, Zubrus will not return to this game.
18:51 Stupid Jason Arnott. He scores after some good puck movement by the Predators PK. It’s 2-1 Nashville.
16:06 This game blows.
15:21 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! This game doesn’t blow anymore! Of all the crazy things, Dean McAmmond — Dean McAmmond — carries the puck around behind the Nashville net, hanging on to it until Zach starts crashing the net, then tosses it out in front for Zach to tap through Rinne. 2-2 game, and Schnookie asks Pookie, “Does that count as a real goal for Zach?” Pookie: “No.”
11:00 When asked by Doc, Chico informs us that no, Zach does not ever get tired.
5:56 Not more tooting!
5:12 MSG+ gives us a photo tour of the various Devils fans in attendance in the lower bowl, but neglect to show Frisby. Did he wear a Predators sweater tonight? To be better attired for using his tootoo whistle?
4:48 The official announcement comes down that the scorers have credited, at long last, the first Devils goal to Zach. Chico wonders why it took so long, and Pookie posits, “The smoke finally turned black.”
4:01 We are puzzled. A timeout has been called, out of the blue, and we hope aloud that it’s one of those terrible McTavish-type timeouts that cause the other team to lose to the Devils. But then we find out it was Lemaire who called it. Crap. Now the Devils are never going to win!
0:00 Okay, so the timeout wasn’t the Devils’ undoing. They get to the end of regulation tied at two. We’ll take it!
3:22 A pair of Predators run into each other while trying to gain the Devils zone and cough up the puck. Rolston pounces on it, darts up the ice, and tries to blast a shot through Rinne, but alas, even when he’s being good, there’s still too much “worst hockey player on earth” in him to make a play like that work.
1:49 Marty gets completely hung out to dry when Andy Greene and the Iron Boar spend about a month waiting to invent the perfect play when they have full possession of the puck behind the net before finally coughing it up to the Predators in front. Marty is, however, up to the challenge.
0:00 Well, it wasn’t the Devils’ best game ever, but it also wasn’t their worst. We’re not too upset with a tie, all things considered.
We don’t normally have anything to say about the shootout, but tonight Doc makes a point of telling us that ZZ Pops is taking the shootout, going in Zach/Langer/Travis order. Pookie sniffs, “It’s more Z Pops Z in this case.” It should be noted that one of the little house ornaments that Boomer made for the silent auction we mentioned at the start of the game had an error in the pattern. When the panels were all assembled into the little house shape, instead of saying “Home Sweet Home Christmas”, it says “Home Home Sweet Christmas.” Pookie dubs this shootout order the “Home Home ZZ Pops”.
Zach fails to score on his shot attempt, and then this Santorelli kid beats Marty by skating at full steam directly at Marty and then lasering a shot right through him. We crack up. It’s the Lord Nelson move – never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at him. And then what the hell???? Travis, needing to score to keep the shootout alive, loses the puck when it bobbles over his stick, but manages to keep his forward momentum while reaching behind himself to backhand what one presumes is meant as a face-saving lame-assed shot attempt… that catches Rinne completely by surprise and skitters into the net. Of course, the next shooter for the Preds scores on Marty, so it’s all for naught, but that might be the funniest shootout goal we’ve ever seen. We can now all let go of that first time Scott Gomez scored by totally whiffing on his shot (which was charming the first time, then cheeky when he did it next on purpose, then became proof of what a complete dick he is every time after), because there’s a new “adorable shootout goal by mistake” sheriff in town.