We barely know what to expect here tonight, with the Devils on an unheard-of three-game winning streak. Doc and Chico lead things off by talking about the improved team defense in Atlanta last night, but then kill our buzz by bringing up Vinny Lecavalier’s numbers. Nothing like Tampa’s one-two punch of Marty killers to make our holiday weekend complete!
Steve gives us a soundbite with Langer in which we hear about how the Devils’ room was “too quiet” when he came back from injury. Langer tells us, with an embarrassed smile, that there are “a couple of things Pando does” that have become “tradition” in his efforts to loosen up the room. Boomer suggests it’s his Raccoon dance, and Pookie wonders why Patty’s animal noises aren’t enough to keep the guys loose.
The Sutter Era might have all kinds of differences from other eras in Devils history, but one thing remains the same: Marty is in goal tonight.
19:35 We have advised Kate the Great to watch for Lecavalier and St. Louis; Marty doesn’t make us look like geniuses, though, and stops St. Louis’s first chance.
19:05 Zach comes out looking like a guy who remembers he scored at will against this team last April. On this shift, Vinny takes a hooking minor.
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It’s leg three of our day, the Game Diary Marathon ’07, and has this ever been a marathon and not a sprint. The Canadiens, Senators, Islanders and Devils have done everything in their power to make us think there’s nothing good about hockey, so let’s see if the Lightning and Caps, on TiVo delay, can make things better.
Joe B. is bringing the puns on the Caps feed, cramming about 17 groan-worthy puns into the intro. When we cut from the “previous game” highlights in the intro to a vista shot of the Verizon Center, CC says, dripping sarcasm, “Ohhh. Look at all the people.”
19:03 Schnookie, still feeling the sting of the Devils loss, snipes when Holmqvist makes a nice shrugging save on a point-blank shot, “Oh, so we have two goalies in this game who aren’t NHL-caliber.” CC leaps over Pookie and the entire length of stately IPB Manor’s couch to claw at Schnookie’s eyes.
17:59 Ovie wipes out on his way to the net, just as we agree that we will all be disappointed by anything less than an Ovechkin hat trick tonight.
17:46 Pookie expresses her dislike for Backstrom’s hair as he steps in on a faceoff, and CC says happily, “It’s a Swedish mullet! It’s so cute!” Pookie: “Cute? I do not think that word means what you think it means.”
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Finally it’s time to crack open tonight’s game, after a lengthy TiVo delay! We’d thought Pookie had solved all of her Wednesday night hockey-game conflicts, but we guess we were wrong.
Steve cheerfully leads things off by telling us both combatants tonight are riding some losing streaks; something’s gotta give! And we’re predicting it will be Tampa Bay’s road losing streak that will give.
Doc and Chico then tell us about the line and d-pairing changes. Travis and Zach have been reunited, just in time to go as Batman and Robin for Halloween. Chico tells us Zach claims he hasn’t found “a comfort zone” with anyone other than Travis, prompting Pookie to say, “Travis is like, ‘Aw crap. He’s getting clingy now.’”
Steve and Dano appear, cramming more pre-game features into the start of this game than we thought possible. Boomer cracks herself up pointing out how much higher the arm of Steve’s chair is than Dano’s. It’s about two feet higher, and she posits he’s on top of a phone book and a podium, too.
Before the drop of the puck we see a prolonged shot of Sutter on the bench; just to the side of the screen we see a trainer opening a bottle of water and then handing it to Sutter. “God,” Boomer says, exasperated, “He can’t even open his own bottle?” We watch him take a few swigs and then Boomer suggests, “Unless the trainer was slipping him a mickey there.”
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