Perhaps the most amazing development for tonight’s match, according to what we’re learning from the pregame, is that it’s in Newark, not Dallas. We had no idea. This 7:00 start time is really taking us by surprise!
Also surprising? That LandZharkNation’s military assault on ClarksonNation was so effective. Clarkson’s out for 2-3 more weeks? Seriously? What is going on with the Devils this season?
We’re busy putting dinner together when the game starts. Honestly, this would have been so much easier if it started at 8. On the one hand, spaghetti and meatballs is so worth it. On the other hand, we seem to have missed an injury to Rolston. Seriously, what is going on with the Devils this season?
14:19 Okay, we’re all settled in. And just in time to hear Doc talking about that “12-game goal-scoring drought” Travis is in. AcornsNation narrows its eyes at Doc and hisses, “What drought?”
12:54 Our Geico Quotebook is Turco praising Marty, and Chico tells us that it means a lot because Turco is “one of the greats to ever strap on those big pads”. This elicits a round of gobsmacked “What???“s around the living room at stately IPB Manor. Pookie generously suggests that maybe Chico just means “relative to the other guys playing at the same time he was”, but even that seems a stretch.
11:25 Huh. It seems Rolston wasn’t too badly hurt, as he’s busy being the worst hockey player alive right now.
10:57 Ribeiro is such a ninny that he has no idea that Rolston’s the worst hockey player alive, because he trips him “accidentally” while the Devils are on their way out of the defensive zone. Chico actually thinks this shouldn’t have been a penalty, because Chico’s bringing the crazy tonight.
9:29 Chico’s been chortling through this entire ineffectual PP about how Zharkov has developed a habit of passing to places on the ice where no one is. Pookie starts discussing how that’s not a funny joke, and Boomer snipes, “It’s not funny if you don’t check to see if anyone’s home before you ring the doorbell, Land Zhark.” Schnookie says forlornly, “Candygram.”
3:47 Whoops! We’ve been focusing on eating dinner and sharing notes about our days, not on game diarizing. Shots are even, the scoreboard’s even, play looks even. Carry on!
1:57 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Way to carry on, Devils! Hambone leads the way on a nice breakout from deep in the defensive zone, then Rolston gets all “I’m not the worst hockey player alive!” inside the Stars blueline, losing the puck, then getting the puck, then losing the puck, then getting the puck, then getting the puck toward the net through a thicket of Stars up high, and Patty’s there in the slot to tip the shot through Auld to make it 1-0 Devils. Chico promptly curses the outcome of this game by telling us the Devils are 13-0 when they’re leading after the first period this season.
1:06 Pando suddenly finds himself in alone on Auld, but can’t score. Pookie: “I’d say that he’s never going to get a better chance than that, but he’s pretty good for about 10 of those a year.”
0:18 Perhaps the Devils don’t want the pressure of that 13-0 record leading after one period, because they get pinned in their own zone for the last minute of the period, and Niedermayer (the Lesser) takes a hooking penalty.
0:00 What we liked about that period was that both teams kind of waited for us to get settled in before doing much of anything. That, and Fistric gives us the heebie-jeebies. (Hi Patty!)
18:18 Oh, penalty killing. How we love you so.
17:27 It looks like the Devils are about to put together one of those awesome relentless-pressure offensive-zone shifts, but then Patty attempts a Land Zhark Special (a pass to no one), and the Devils lose the zone. Somehow it’s cute when Zharkov does it, but a lot less so when Patty does.
15:18 Langer has five of the Devils’ last eight goals? Really?
15:17 Patty takes a penalty for cross-checking Ott in the head off an offensive-zone faceoff. Because Patty’s bringing the stupid tonight. MSG+ gives us some replays showing Ott’s usual douchebag schtick leading up to the cross-check to the head, so he probably deserved it, but still.
14:15 Marty demonstrates what it looks like when a goalie actually is one of the greatest to strap on those big pads.
13:01 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Patty’s sorry he took a stupid penalty. And he knows exactly how to make up for it, while also delivering another figurative cross-check to the head. After getting out of the penalty box, he carries the puck up the far wing with Langer on a two-on-one, doesn’t have a pass, and just lasers a shot over Auld’s lamely flapping glove. It’s 2-0 Devils, and that’s one hell of a “fuck you” unassisted goal.
11:39 We’re busy dealing with a runaway meatball emergency when the Stars take a penalty. We’re such good diarizers!
10:24 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! ACORNS! ACORNS! TRAVIS ZAJAC!!!! The PP moves the puck sharply around the perimeter, and suddenly Travis just walks a few steps down and cranks up a shot that blows through Auld (possibly tipped in front, but AcornsNation hopes by a Star, not by Boogerfors), makes the game 3-0 Devils, leads to a Dallas timeout, and gives us the marvelous play-by-play sequence of Doc telling us the Stars have taken a timeout, followed immediately by Chico saying, “I don’t know what the delay is – Oh, I know! The Stars have taken a timeout!” WOOOOOOO!!!!
9:28 We come back from a commercial to see Stan interviewing Steve Kelly on the sidelines. Yeah. Steve Kelly. We’re sorry, but any manufactured event that celebrates Steve Kelly is not classless.
7:59 In the Steve Kelly interview, Steve mentions that the intermission film about the 2000 Cup run included the Stevens/Lindros hit. That, and the three-goal lead, have clearly wound up this feisty crowd, because we are treated to a mighty “Rangers Suck!” chant right now. Keep up the good work, fans!
4:51 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Zach blocks a shot in front of Marty, and faster than anyone can even register it, the Poppers are flying up the ice thanks to Zach’s sassy outlet pass. Travis dishes to Langer, and then Langer catches Zach trailing the play, and Zach beats Auld to make it 4-0 Devils. We love it when the Poppers have their shit all together! Also, we love it when, after a replay of a Devils goal, Chico informs us that the other team’s goalie is looking rattled.
1:49 It’s another Devils PP, apparently on a hooking infraction by Robidas. We were too busy chanting “Rangers suck!” to notice the play.
0:00 We are discussing whether we should have hot chocolate tonight, and Schnookie insists we should, because she spent half an hour outside in downtown Trenton today, in the frigid, windy, terrible cold, waiting for her ride home from jury duty. Boomer thinks we should because she walked halfway across Princeton in the frigid, windy, terrible cold to pick up our two growlers of beer from Triumph. And Pookie thinks we should, because it would celebrate how “right now — right now — this game is Swagger City.” That’s the best of the three reasons.
We get an interview with Patty, and Pookie says, “I can say this because he’s in the dressing room right now and can’t hear me: I love Patrik Elias.”
17:10 This period is boring. The Devils haven’t scored in it yet.
15:54 Doc’s warming the cockles of our hearts by regaling us with tales of Scott Stevens’s 2000 ECF. He goes on and on about how Scotty was doing such stalwart work making great defensive plays and helping Marty out and all that stuff. Pookie: “And scaring the shit out of all the other Flyers.” Heh. That series was the best, wasn’t it?
14:44 Patty continues his mastery of the Ott situation by hitting Ott in passing on his way up the ice, and then staying cool when Ott comes back after him at the other end. Ott ends up getting a roughing minor, and Patty ends up getting a delicious assy little smirk in and then skates to the Devils bench. It’s a beautiful thing.
12:34 We’re singing “Hambone” over and over again, and cracking ourselves up doing so, when suddenly we hear Chico say, “This could go on as long as the chinchilla story if I don’t get it all in now.” That’s such a fantastic comment to hear out of context; we don’t want to know what he was talking about.
11:11 Even back at even strength, the Devils continue to play in the Stars zone as if they were on the PP. The crowd roars approvingly.
9:35 Whoa. We come back from commercial now to get a sideline Stan interview with Ken Sutton. Pookie: “Now Ken Sutton I remember.” He describes the 2000 Cup run as “neat”. Yes. It was “neat”. Among other things.
7:11 Rolston fires a slapshot from the high slot that comes off the glass so fast that it reminds us of the Mythbusters we watched last night where they were trying to create a scenario where someone would fire a gun, have the bullet ricochet off three surfaces, and end up bouncing back and killing themselves. That shot was hard, yo.
6:41 Speaking of self-inflicted wounds off three ricochets, the Devils cough up the puck behind their net, it tic-tac-toes around the perimeter of the slot, but then Marty manages to make an out-of-position save that we totally didn’t see coming.
6:31 The phonk? Niedermayer (the Lesser) decides he’s had just about enough of Jamie Benn, and they scuffle. Replay shows Benn hit Niedermayer (the Lesser) near the benches, then continued after him with some little swats to the face before Niedermayer (the Lesser) upgraded the situation to a full-blown shoving match.
5:59 Pookie, sighing happily: “This game is my favorite game of 2010.”
4:34 The Hambone-led group looks like they’re putting together some four-on-four offense, but Fraser ends up bobbling the puck at the point. Pookie snaps, “Fraser! You’re…” Pause. “Cute. You just keep on mishandling that puck at the point, if you want to.”
3:34 On a delayed penalty, Doc mentions Fistric in his play-by-play. Pookie corrects him, “Fistric skates down the wing with a whole bunch of overdue library books that he’s never going to return!” Oooh, burn. (We fail to note who took the penalty and for what. This game diary is like the Versus version of this match.)
2:00 Blandy leads a shorthanded three-on-one. His option to pass to is Pando, though, so nothing comes of it.
1:34 Oh, penalty killing. How we love you.
0:53 There’s a stoppage right after the PA announcement of the last minute of play, and MSG+ edits the moment perfectly, as Doc says, “He announced one minute left in the game…” Pointed pause. “But you can see at the top [of the screen]…” Pointed pause. Cut to a close-up of a smiling Marty. “53 seconds left.” What are you trying to tell us, Doc? Heh heh heh.
0:00 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! That. Game. Rocked. And honestly, how awesome is Marty? How awesome are our Devils right now? SQUEEEEE!