Yesterday we took Boomer to see her first game at The Rawk. Because the Devils were playing the Wings, it was “Honor the 1995 Cup Team” night, and they showed a little two-part documentary during the intermissions about that SCF. It was a standard-format documentary, with a narrator reading a script over game highlights, flavoring snippets of the real-time TV commentary from the series, and frequent flavoring clips of interviews with Devils players reminiscing about that Cup run. What was hilarious was that every interview clip of Shawn Chambers involved him stated whatever obvious thing the narrator just said. Like the part where they got to Nieder’s coast-to-coast goal in Detroit, and after the narration explained that Nieder was young and fast, Chambers popped up to say, “Scott Niedermayer was such a fast skater.” Thanks, Shawn! In that spirit, here is a documentary post about our day yesterday, with Shawn Chambers providing the insider commentary.
Narrator: It was a perfect December Saturday at stately IPB Manor. There was hockey on the TV, quilt fabric to be cut, Christmas cookies to be eaten, presents strewn about everywhere, and snow gently falling outside. And there was a festive spirit in the air, as the Ookies were taking Boomer to her first game at The Rawk that evening.
Shawn Chambers: It was snowing outside. And that’s a lot of presents.
Narrator: At about a quarter to five, the denizens of stately IPB Manor put on their Devils sweaters, loaded up their camera bags, and piled into the car; they were finally going to try driving to a game instead of having to wait for the train. Armed with Christmas carols on their iPod, everything should have been perfect for an easy drive to Newark, but the Ookies and Boomer hadn’t counted on the lousy weather. Snow is great when you’re home and don’t have anywhere to go, but it’s a completely different creature when you’re trying to drive in it.
Shawn Chambers: Snow is hard to drive in!
Narrator: While Pookie struggled with the low visibility, Schnookie tried to take pictures to preserve a sense of the yuckiness of the roads for generations to come. Ultimately, Pookie did a better job with the driving than Schnookie did with the camera.
Shawn Chambers: Someone needed to take the camera away from Schnookie.
Narrator: The drive was an adventure. There was a call to 911 to report a minor accident that, as it turned out, had already been reported.
Shawn Chambers: The Ookies and Boomer called 911. They were trying to be good citizens.
Narrator: There were the weird new traffic patterns on Rte. 1 in New Brunswick.
Shawn Chambers: The traffic patterns on 1 in New Brunswick are weird.
Narrator: And then there was the matter of the driving directions to the parking garage that the Devils offer on their website.
Shawn Chambers: The Devils offer driving directions to the arena parking.
Narrator: Before leaving the house, the Ookies tried to match up the directions with a look at the area on Google Maps, but the interchanges between the Turnpike, 78, 1-9, and everything else around Exit 14 is nothing but a tangle of ramps and cloverleafs when you look at a map.
Shawn Chambers: The map makes no sense.
Narrator: But as it turns out, the directions on the Devils site are tragically vague. It would have been helpful to clarify whether a person should be taking the ramp for 1-9 north or 1-9 south, and also to figure out whether they really mean that the exit to 21 is three miles after getting on 1-9 (north? South? Who even knows?).
Shawn Chambers: Those directions make no sense.
Narrator: Before long, after getting off the Turnpike, the Ookies realized they were lost.
Shawn Chambers: The Prudential Center isn’t in Elizabeth.
Narrator: It was 6:15 at this point, and the GPS system in Pookie’s car wasn’t helping, because no one knew what the area they were looking for was supposed to look like, thanks to the street map in that area being a Gordian knot, and the Devils-provided driving directions being a pile of poop. Some bickering flared up.
Shawn Chambers: Schnookie was sorry she ruined Pookie’s life, and vice versa. Boomer was sorry that she got dragged into this in the first place.
Narrator: Wishy-washiness set in, that sense of “we’ll just keep driving in a straight line in this direction forever and ever now that we’re lost, because there’s simply no point in ever trying to be found again” ennui. Pookie’s iPhone’s GPS was brought into play. The iPhone told the Ookies that they were 1 hour and 48 minutes from the arena. It was 6:30.
Shawn Chambers: That sucked.
Narrator: Despair overtook the stately IPB Car. They were going to miss the game at this rate. But then they realized that the iPhone was giving them walking directions.
Shawn Chambers: It’s faster to drive than to walk.
Narrator: It turns out they were just 12 minutes from the arena. But they hit every stoplight in Elizabeth and Newark along the way, so they arrived inside the arena just as the Devils starting lineup was being announced.
Shawn Chambers: They didn’t miss any action!
Narrator: The trauma of the trip to the arena was quickly forgotten, though, because Boomer’s mind was blown by the awesomeness of the arena, and by the awesomeness of their seats.
Shawn Chambers: The fifth-row seats rocked. They had a really good view of the ice, and of the Devils bench. It was cool.
Narrator: As if they knew this was Boomer’s Christmas present, the Devils decided not to suck in the first period, unlike recent games. In fact, they went up 2-0, including one of those crazy Johnny Oduya goals where he gets the puck in his own zone, starts skating, realizes the other team sucks, and just scores on his own. He does that whenever the Ookies are at the game in person, so it was a great convergence of his return to the lineup and their return to Newark.
Shawn Chambers: Johnny Oduya likes the Ookies.
Narrator: The Ookies are total girls, and got all excited when Zach took off his helmet on the bench.
Shawn Chambers: Zach’s dreamy. I love it when he takes his helmet off on the bench.
Narrator: Having been in the building in October for Marty’s shutout against the Hurricanes, the Ookies were highly confident they were going to see the record-setting shutout on this night. They were wrong.
Shawn Chambers: 2-1 is not nearly as good a score as 2-0.
Narrator: But things started looking up again when PandoNation’s emperor-god got an assist! Welcome back to the lineup, Pando! Pando also almost scored a goal, but the puck was pulled off the goal line by a Wings defender; Schnookie thinks that should have counted.
Shawn Chambers: 3-1 is a very good score, and 4-1 would have been even better.
Narrator: But this is the Devils, and it wouldn’t be a Devils game lately without a blown third-period lead.
Shawn Chambers: 3-3 is not nearly as good a score as 3-1.
Narrator: AndyGreeneNation’s emperor-god took a bit of a stumble in the eyes of his adoring people.
Shawn Chambers: It wasn’t Blandy’s best game.
Narrator: But a game in person is all about the experience, and Boomer and the Ookies had a great time. There was lots of action on the ice, and the chicken fingers in the Fire Lounge were plentiful.
Shawn Chambers: Chicken fingers taste good.
Narrator: The only problem was that rude guy in front of them who wouldn’t sit down.
Shawn Chambers: Victory Euro Mats is so rude. He thinks he’s the only person at the arena.
Narrator: In the end, Boomer’s Christmas present turned out to be a 4-3 shootout win! WOO HOOO!
Shawn Chambers: In actual hockey terms, that’s less a 4-3 win than a somewhat disappointing 3-3 tie. The Devils didn’t fool Boomer that much.
Narrator: But it was a great a great night, and the stately IPB Car did not get lost on its way back home.
Shawn Chambers: Getting home is nice.