Is it Game 4 already? Guess so! We’ll be here, Gentle Reader, not with a full diary but just a smattering of our thoughts as the game goes along. If we believed in signs, we’d be a little confused today. All day long a day-or-two-old baby deer has been camped out next to our garage, all spindly legs and fluffy white spots. That suggests the helpless, hapless Pens of Games 1 and 2 might have something in store. Of course, the fact that when we turned on the TV for tonight’s hockey, the channel was set on NHL Network, which was showing highlight clips of Scott Stevens leveling Kozlov, Lindros, and Francis, suggests the juggernaut Wings might return to form. We’ll just have to tune in to see which portent wins out — cute baby deer, or Scotty Stevens’s elbow.
— Hossa gets the Pens on the board and our feed quickly flips over to the not-so-subliminal messages suggesting we buy Flyers season tickets. We see visions of what the Flyers would do if they were facing down a baby deer and decide we’ll skip those season tickets, thanks.
— We become deeply engrossed in Baby Deer Watch ’08, and spend several long moments watching breathlessly as the baby deer makes its adorable, wobbly way across our backyard through the gloaming, disappearing silently into the woods where its mother is waiting. When we come back, the score is 1-1. We have no regrets; the baby deer is a million times cuter than this hockey game, no matter how good the game is.
— As the period winds down, still 1-1 and with the teams trading chances off some turnover-filled, end-to-end wheeling, Pookie waxes nostalgic: “I’m just thinking back to the Devils’ Sykora trade, and all it gave us… A Stanley Cup with Jeff Friesen, and then the joy of not having Friesen or Tverdovsky on our team anymore, while still not having Sykora! It’s the trade that keeps on giving!”
— It would behoove NBC to tell Pierre to stop thinking “X got into Y’s kitchen” is a cool thing to say.
— We also wouldn’t mind if the MSM would quit thinking that we care about a player’s nationality. We don’t care any more about Lidstrom being the first European captain to win the Stanley Cup than we do about Modano being the highest scoring American. They’re all just hockey players. We’ve past the point where anyone is going to like or dislike Lidstrom more or less because he’s a “furriner”.
— We don’t watch much of the Red Wings, so we were very excited to get to see these Datsyuk and Zetterberg fellows we’d heard so much about. But you know what? They kind of seem like piles of puke. Madden totally should win the Selke over those two guys.
— Boomer spent the first intermission complaining that she’s ready for hockey to be over, that the playoffs have gone on too long.
Boomer: You know what I’m tired of? Pierre McGuire!
Schnookie: But we didn’t even seen him in the second and third rounds.
Boomer: So? I’m tired of him!
That, NBC, is the power of Pierre McGuire. Please, use that power sparingly.
— The second intermission studio segment, with its “banter” and “analysis”, leaves us in a state of stunned silence. It’s finally broken by Schnookie asking, “Was that just a new nadir for intermission shows?” Boomer: “I hope so. Because if it can get lower than that…” She trails off ominously.
— Hudler scores to put Detroit ahead. We didn’t get a great look at the play thanks to the difficult-to-decipher weather warning map our local NBC feed put up. We think they’re might be a severe thunderstorm warning for our county, or it might be in Maryland. Damn our US educations, not teaching us geography better! (Marc-Andre Fleury, however, has no such excuse for not getting a good look at the scoring play. What the hell?)
— The Wings ended the game with some prevent defense, but proving hockey pundits everywhere wrong, it did not prevent them from winning. The final thirty seconds looked like we might be in for some OT, but mercifully the Pens couldn’t quite put the puck in the net. Monday night the Cup will be in the building. Given how much better the Wings have looked than the Penguins, we’ll almost forgive the fans if they start chanting “We want the Cup” before the 3rd period.
— So, in the end, it seems Scotty Stevens’s elbow won out over the baby deer. Better luck next time, Bambi.