Gentle Reader, if you remember back to the first post-Marty game of this season, you might recall that we compared Kevin Weekes in that godawful Sabres game to George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. We were really just patting ourselves on the back for the obscure cultural reference, because we’re of the generation where obscure cultural references are almost a currency, but it’s suddenly struck us how deeply — and troublingly — apt the comparison is. Think about it, Gentle Reader: a handsome man is brought in deep over his head to replace an iconic face of a franchise. He fails miserably. And then he is replaced by a vapidly handsome, less talented hack who goes on to inexplicable success because the franchise around him becomes increasingly its own creature, less and less reliant on the insubstantial man at its core.
That’s right — Scott Clemmensen is the New Jersey Devils’ Roger Moore.
We can only assume that Sunday’s win in Tampa, and Zubrus’ four-goal night, were this season’s The Spy Who Loved Me, and it’s all going to be downhill in quality from here. What have we got to look forward to? Yeah, you guessed it. Our very own Moonraker.
So this has us wondering: how will the goaltending Bond trajectory play out after the season bottoms out? We figure Clemmer/Moore will finally be put out of his misery and then either Weekes will come back in for an atrocious Never Say Never Again encore or Marty will come back too soon from his injury to play the role of the over-the-hill Connery. After that, Lou will be forced to swing a trade for Dwayne Roloson/Timothy Dalton, with predictably dour results. And then? We’ll jubilantly return to the giddy, goofy heart of what the Devils are all about, in the form of a fully recuperated Marty/Pierce Brosnan. Sure, it won’t be his Cup-winning, Rangers-beating Connery-in-his-prime self, but there’s no denying Brosnan brought the Bond franchise back to relevance, and as long as the NHL still insists on the trapezoid rule, it’s not like Marty could ever return to his full Connery form anyway.
And the best part about the Bond trajectory is that it means that Marty will either turn into a sleek, ass-kicking Daniel Craig at the end of all this, or it means that after Marty’s gone, the Devils will reinvent themselves again with a super-foxy new goalie with steely blue eyes. Either way, we’re on board. We’d try to spring some sort of clever Bond line on you now to wrap this up, but all we can think of is Clemmer/Moore in Moonraker spouting lame “pithy” lines like “He had to go into space.” Yeah, we’re not trying either.