— The pre-game features the interviews the Devils filmed during training camp about Marty breaking the records. Man, if we’d known then that the record still wouldn’t be tied by March 14th…
— We cannot get enough of Marty’s comments about everyone emulating Roy’s style instead of his. We’ve noticed since he’s come back that we’re constantly confused by Marty’s hybrid style. He seems to us to be standing up more than before he got hurt, but surely we’re just so used to seeing only the butterfly that when a goalie stays upright it looks foreign. Marty? Don’t ever go away again.
— A pre-game graphic informs us that Marty’s lost 15 games in Montreal. No the fuck way. Really?! That’s got to be a typo, right?
— The pre-game is going on forever. Are the Habs trying to ice Marty?
— The Canadiens are taking zillions of penalties. Are they trying to ice Madden?
— WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just as we are getting ready to crack that the PP units seem not to care much about Marty’s record, Patty cranks a point shot to beat Halak on the seven-second two-man advantage. It’s 1-0 Devils, and really, who ever believes that’s going to happen when Chico starts going on before the draw that if the Devils can win the offensive-zone faceoff, they’ll have a few chances on the 5-on-3 during that handful of seconds? We sure don’t, and Patty sure showed us.
— Even our black hearts think it’s cute that Denis Brodeur is working the game tonight for the Habs.
— Madden gets a breakaway and shoots wide. Chico posits that his shot was affected by a bad slash he suffered on his hand in the early moments of the game. Schnookie: “Or maybe Madden’s just not a very good shooter.”
— WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s record night tonight! Rollie gets his 300th career goal on a monster slapshot from just inside the blue line that Halak completely misses. It’s 2-0 Devils, and Pookie cracks, “The ghosts of the Forum want Marty to win tonight.”
— Aw, bummer. Plekanec scores after the Devils crumble in the face of Montreal cycle. 2-1 Devils, and the ghosts of the Forum say to Pookie, “HA!”
— Patty has picked up a goal and an assist tonight, and with a few minutes left in the period, MSG+ gives us a stat screen informing us that Patty’s now tied with Johnny Mac at 701 career points. WOO HOOOO!!! Of course, Marty will probably race down to the other end of the ice to stop Patty from picking up any more points, just so he doesn’t steal his record-breaking thunder. HAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding. It’s not like Patty’s Jarome Iginla or like the Devils are the Flames. No one cares about the Devils’ scoring leader, because they’re just not a team with a winning tradition like the Flames.
— The Habs fans are booing a goalie interference call against Tanguay, and we can’t figure out what their problem with the call is. Pookie: “He basically skated up next to him, kicked him over, and tried to kill him like Mystique.” Pause. “For all I know, he is Mystique in Tanguay form.” Schnookie: “Ew. Why would she be looking like him?” Pookie, outraged: “To kill Marty!”
— The period comes to an end with the Devils on yet another PP. They don’t really manage to set up much of a shot, though, until the little siren sounds, but if there’d been two more seconds in the period, Zach would have been able to convert on an open net. Pookie says sadly, “Zach would have scored there! Stupid time. Marching on.” Pause. “I think I’m going to leave this last swallow of wine in my glass.”
— We get a Jimmy Cavallo interview with Rolston, and Rollie is, as always, all skeevy winks.
— Schnookie: “So far, I have nothing to say about this period.” Pookie: “Me neither. I can’t believe it’s already over four minutes old.” Zubrus tries to carry the puck in off a turnover in the neutral zone and beat a defender one-on-one, but fires his shot lamely into the guy’s shinpads and peels off. And we still have nothing to say.
— The net gets knocked off the moorings on a play deep in the Devils zone, and as the Devils retrieve the puck and carry it back up the ice, the whistle finally blows because Marty isn’t putting the net back in place. Every other goalie in the league would have fixed it there, but Marty’s all, “Nope. That’s not my job.”
— The Habs are warming to the task here (or perhaps the Devils are cooling to it?) and Marty has to make a save that is only the coolest thing we’ve seen all day. He gets beat through the five-hole, but because he’s in a half-butterfly, his back leg just sweeps to the side and kicks the puck to safety behind his back. Have we mentioned yet that we totally heart Marty?
— We aren’t liking this period nearly as much as we liked the first. The Habs are getting sustained pressure at will. We’re curled in fetal positions, whimpering weakly, hoping against hope that the Devils might remember that they’re supposed to be playing hockey some time soon.
— Ouch. That period was brutal, but at least the Canadiens didn’t actually score. We suppose it was nice of the Devils to let Marty have to be the story of the game if it ends up being a game where the story would be all about him anyway.
— During the intermission, Jimmy Cavallo decides things are a bit too Montreal tonight and calls Denis Brodeur “Donny”. “Ah,” thinks Jimmy, “Now we’re bringing the Jersey!”
— The Iron Boar is fired, taking a penalty for firing the puck over the glass. We get a look at Sutter on the bench, and his facial expression mirrors our own.
— No matter how crappy we’re feeling about a game, Chico’s always Chico. During a stoppage on the Montreal PP, he informs us that George Hainsworth’s nephew lives in New Haven. Thanks, Chico!
— Patty has a beautiful steal which leads to a great opportunity for him to do some nifty toe-drags before teeing up point 702. Or not. Halak, it seems, doesn’t want to end up the answer to the triva question everyone will be asking fifty years from now.
— Paulie puts on a display of puck-carrying-d-man awesomeness. It doesn’t come to anything, but PaulieMartinNation swoons nonetheless.
— WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have we mentioned tonight that we heart the Poppers? They put on an awesome shift that includes brilliant puck pursuit by Zach, a foxy wraparound sequence by Travis, and then an unstoppable wrist shot from the slot by Langer. 3-1 Devils. Pookie, by the way, has spend this entire game thinking the Devils had one more goal than they did, so she exclaims happily, “Now it’s 3-1!”
— Chico informs us that Marty is “the most popular Montreal athlete to never play for Montreal.” That… doesn’t seem that impressive. We’re pretty sure “Popular Montreal Athletes Who Never Played For Montreal” is a pamphlet the stewardesses hand out in “Airplane!”.
— The second half of this period has been played much more to our liking. The fans are booing lustily, just the way the Devils coaching staff drew up.
— And when the final horn sounds on 551 for Marty, the entire crowd gets on their feet and gives him a huge ovation. That? Is awesome. The Devils players pile on to congratulate him, then he takes a solo bow to the appreciative crowd, then skates off the ice through an applauding line of his teammates and coaches. And we’re not going to say we cried, but we’re not going to say we didn’t.