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Archive for June, 2007

Okay, some of us (ahem, Schnookie) were disinclined to blog tonight’s NYT puzzle effort because certain other parties (ahem, Pookie) finished first, but after realizing Pookie would still be struggling blindly with the left-hand side of the grid without her help, Schnookie finally relented. (Pookie, at this point in this narrative, raises her eyebrows in haughty disbelief.)

Unlike last week’s puzzle, this one contained only real words, so that was a marked improvement. However, it wasn’t especially difficult — are they getting easier, or are we getting better at this? It only took us 36 minutes (while eating dinner and splitting a bottle of wine) by the “Master and Commander” DVD clock, as opposed to our traditional 56 minutes, and that’s a time we’ve been getting for the last few months. A bit disappointing. Get on that, Shortz!
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The 16th in our 118-part series.

Scott Stevens

In honor of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, today we want to celebrate our very own Number 4. We came kind of late to the Scott Stevens party — by the time we became fans he had grown out of his “deranged, dangerous” phase, and was at the tail end of his “offensively potent” phase. But that’s okay, because we think we still got to enjoy the best years of him. The Scott Stevens we knew was the Stanley Cup Champion Stevens, the steady-as-a-rock Stevens, the hard-hitting-but-disciplined Stevens, the stalwart Stevens, the “Captain Dad” Stevens. Our buddy Morgan has been a Devils fan almost from the team’s start in Jersey, and he once regaled us of how he felt when he found out the Devils had acquired Scottie. He said he’d never been more excited about picking up a player, and hadn’t been since; the thing about Stevens coming to New Jersey wasn’t just that he was a superstar. It was the he was a superstar who fit the personality of the team. His arrival on the Devils was about more than having a big-name player to “legitimize” the team — he was finally the right player around whom to build a winning tradition.

We love Scottie for the big plays, the booming hits, and the savvy on the blueline. We love him for being, for all those years, the heart and soul of our team. And of course, we love him for the three Stanley Cups. But with all of that, we also love him for teaching a generation of Devils kids coming up through the system how to win as Devils.

So as we embark on the second year of the Elias Era, we look back today at the glory days of the Stevens era and say, “Congratulations, Scottie on the Hall of Fame thing, and a million thanks for being one of the reasons we love hockey.”

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SPECTRE Saturday

By Morgan, Week Five

November 16, 2004
Senators 0
Devils 15

This is the last Devils game I get to do until Week 12 so I’m going all out! The Swamp was rocking tonight, as the greatest fans in hockey came out in droves for the Doc Emrick bobblehead promotion. The popcorn was fresh and full of buttery goodness, and there was excitement in the air. Dominik Hasek pulled his “groin” in warm ups, and spent the rest of the night betting on trotters at the Big M. The Devils struck early as Wade Redden had a clearing pass intercepted by Jay Pandolfo fifteen seconds into the contest. Pando snapped a beautiful wrist shot top shelf passed the stunned Martin Prusek. “Prussie should have seen that coming,” said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, “He’s been here long enough to know what Wade does against the Devils.” The Senators tried to mount a counter attack, but were frustrated by the Devils tough defense. Finally, declaring himself “bored”, Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer corralled the puck in his own end, rushed the puck end to end and roofed it past a continually stunned Martin Prusek. When Wade Redden yelled at Nieder that he could “so never do that again,” the smooth skating defenseman corralled the face off, skated behind his own net, rushed the puck end to end and scored on his back hand. “Way to go Wade!” chided his Senator teammates. (more…)

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We’ve settled in to watch, on TiVo delay, the second installment of “15 To Remember”. Tonight Pookie is testing the limits of her newly discovered “lack” of superstitions; all year she swore her “What Happened To Whitey In Outer Space” t-shirt was bad luck, so she’s wearing it in defiance of the Hockey Gods, since she knows the Devils win this one. Schnookie has her doubts about this exercise, because she knows the Devils win this one, but suck while doing it.

This game was the Devils home opener, and the intro, narrated by Doc, gives us chills all over again — it’s a delightfully Doc-ish, purple prose-y Devils history montage. Awww… We’re suckers for that.

FIRST PERIOD

19:46 You know what our summer really wasn’t missing? Darcy Tucker. But now here he is. Rats.

18:44 Patty is still skating with Langer and Zajac, and he’s looking a little petulant about it.

18:02 Apparently it’s not interference when Pando gets hauled off his feet a rink away from the puck! We demand justice!
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The 15th in our 118-part series.

LarionovBucks Night

On a day that saw Scott Stevens voted into the Hall-of-Fame, we here at IPB want to take a moment to honor a player who fell short on the ballot this time around as a reason we love hockey: Igor Larionov. Way back in the 2003-2004 season, the Devils still had ol’ Igor on their roster, and he was driving us crazy. It was an odd season for the Devs — they were the defending Stanley Cup champs, to be sure, but there wasn’t a single person watching the NHL who suspected they were going to repeat, and for the first time in years there was upheaval on the blue line. Dano was gone. Nieder was was on his way out via free agency. And Stevens was concussed, but still ostensibly with the team, and no one was supposed to talk about it and [Lou’s voice infiltrates the consciousness now to say: “FORGET YOU EVER HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THIS”]. (It was very strange.) This was also our last year as season-ticket holders, so we went to almost every game, perched high in the last row of section 227, and tried to stave off slumber. The Devils were really that boring.
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Today’s entry in our ongoing, open-ended series is from Patty (In Dallas), who has brought a surprisingly welcome Stars-fan perspective to the world’s most Sabres- and Ducks-centric Devils blog on the interwebs. So settle in, Gentle Reader, and give it up for Patty! (And remember, if you’d like to be as big a superstar as Patty, just email a reason you love hockey to us at interchangeablepartsblog [at] gmail [dot] com.)

Why I Love Hockey – Skating

I spent my formative years in Houston, Texas. We had a snowstorm when I was 13 and school was closed for two days. It didn’t even stick to the sidewalks. If you had neglected to mow your grass that week, it would have been poking up through the snow. That was my first snow experience. And my last, until I moved to Tulsa in high school. I say this to explain how absolutely foreign ice skating is to me.

Therefore, I’m fascinated by the fact that grown men can skate. I’m wildly impressed by what they can do on skates. I love the big, wide arc that defensemen cut when they back up to defend a breakaway against. I love the huge dig that they make when trying to avoid the opposition behind the net. I love watching the game in HD, because you can see the skate cuts in the fresh ice at the beginning of a period.
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The 14th in our 118-part series.

The Devils Logo

In light of all the new sweaters being unveiled, we’d like to take this moment to discuss how subtly classic the Devils logo is. It has an “N” and a “J” and little devil horns and tail. And nothing else. New Jersey Devils. What more do you need? It’s as quietly staid as the team; the logo has no extras, no fancy swirling flags, no sparkly embroidery, no cartoon animals. Like the team, it’s also versatile — it’s the perfect logo for little kids to draw on signs for their favorite players as well as the perfect logo for adults to get tattooed alongside Stanley Cups to commemorate the best years. The most wonderful thing about the Devils logo, though, is Marty’s mask. For those unfamiliar with the story, he had his mask painted when he was still unsure how much time he would spend in Utica. The Utica logo contained the same be-horned lettering, so Marty had painted a sort of nondescript letterish type thing with horns and tail on it, so he could wear it in the minors or in the big show. And now, having cemented his status as a future Hall of Famer, he’s still wearing that same variation on the logo. We can only hope with all our hearts that when the new Rbk sweaters get rolled out, that the logo is still the same cherished devil-horned NJ.

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