Mmm. Devils/Rangers. Versus. It’s like a match made in heaven.
Before this game starts, we just want to make something clear. There are some things in life that we really, really, really, just flat-out do not care about, and nothing will ever change that. Things like other people’s kids. The nutritional content of a plate of cheese. The Brodeur/Avery “story”. No amount of talking about this – anybody talking about it – is going to make us care, and we’re just not going to participate.
During the Doc/Darren Eliot pregame banter, we find ourselves wondering whether Eliot is drunk. And speaking of drunk, the studio banter includes Keith Jones looking directly into the camera and stating with solemn intensity regarding the Rangers’ playoff chances, “Henrik Lundqvist. Remember that name.” Us: “Never heard of him!”
19:50 We know right off the bat that Sutter’s not interested in winning, because Blobby’s on the ice.
19:28 What is going on with the picture tonight? It looks like some kind of over-processed, over-designed “prestige” Oscar-bait period movie. Like, we expect Clint Eastwood to start squinting out of the shadows any minute. And to make matters worse, the camera operator keeps moving the camera so that the puck carrier is positioned in the middle of the screen, so if someone’s skating up the near wing, half our screen is taken up with the crowd. It’s like Blersus has never filmed a game in MSG before.
17:17 Eliot informs us that neither team can take “unnecessary penalties” in this game. Pookie: “Blobby.” Schnookie: “That’s Blobby’s problem. He thinks all his penalties are necessary.”
15:43 Paulie clearly hates Blobby, too, because when Blobby leads the way on an odd-man rush, Paulie makes sure he’s not able to reach the feed in front of the net to finish. At least, that’s how we’re reading that.
14:56 Travis hooks Staal behind the Prawn’s net, and Eliot drunkenly remarks during the replay (we know! A replay!) that Staal’s feet came out from under him awfully quickly for a guy getting hooked in the elbow. Pookie adds “showing up Travis with a dive” to the long list of transgressions Staal’s committed against our favorite Devils.
14:16 Doc remarks that Madden has left the ice flexing his leg. Oh no. Without Madden, the Devils PK might suck.
13:35 No worries. Madden is back. Well, other than the worries that the Devils PK will still suck.
12:04 We’re totally distracted by how shitty this picture is. How does Blersus manage to make hockey in HD look like crap?
11:18 There is a little scrum in front of the Devils net after Marty shuts down a mid-range shot, and as we go to commercial, Doc tells us the Rangers have nine shots so far. It seems like much more.
10:46 Paulie’s fired, as he turns the puck over to Gomez just inside the Devils blue line. It’s really great to see that the Devils are working hard on righting their ship.
9:53 We come back from a commercial to hear Doc informing us “both teams are a man short for another 40.” What? They’ve been four-on-four? We feel like we’ve never seen hockey before when we watch Blersus. We have no idea what’s going on. This might take another round of Show Us Your V’s.
8:35 Travis gets herded into a big collision with Gomez, and Pookie starts shouting, “Come on, Travis! Make him pay! Get ‘em!” Pause. “What, you’re going to let him bump your grocery cart like that?”
7:34 The game suddenly starts to look really strange. It’s a bit unsettling, how it’s still the same two teams, wearing the same unis and all, in the same building… but now they’re at the other end of the ice, the one where the guy in the blue sweater is standing in the goal. (For the record, it’s the Patty/Gio/Zubrus line, oddly deviating from their teammates’ game plan of “let’s suck for 60 minutes and see exactly how badly we can lose!”)
6:28 Doc coyly remarks that Rupper and Clarkson are the Devils’ top penalty-takers, and that sends the denizens of stately IPB Manor into a mild tizzy, as we believe the Devils’ top penalty take must be Blobby. But then we realize that means PIM, not necessarily “unnecessary penalties”.
4:40 Zach kick-starts a great rush for the Poppers, but Langer decides at the end to fine-tune the play rather than just putting the puck on the net, so it comes to naught.
0:36 The last few minutes have looked like the Devils are hoping their coaching staff is going to count “shot attempts that hit the defender standing three feet in front of you” as quality offensive-zone play.
0:00 If that’s the period Sutter was hoping for from his skaters, things are a lot worse in Devilsland than previous thought. Also, as Pookie says, we’re bummed “that Paulie has decided now to let his putrid side through. He’s like Dr. Pancake and Mr. Putrid.”
As you already know, Gentle Reader, our happy place this season has been with a certain Tranny Bride team that plays a stretch down I-95 from stately IPB Manor. This past weekend Pookie was stuck spending a slow Saturday on the reference desk, and to help pass the time, did some reference work about our beloved trannies. And what she found was too good not to share. So now, please indulge us as we spend our intermissions retreating from Blersus to our happy place.
After this photo was taken, the dog on the left, Mitzi, challenged Cote to a fight. Figuring it was for a good cause (this photo was taken for a good cause, right?), Cote good-naturedly agreed. Mitzi landed 237 consecutive punches to Cote’s head before the officials stepped in.
20:00 We come back from intermission to hear all the numbers related to the carnage of the shot totals from the first period. On the bright side, at least there’s no longer any conflict among us about whether the Devils are in their March Swoon.
18:17 Schnookie: “Oof. I hate having to diarize games that are a foregone conclusion.”
17:05 Paulie makes no effort to play a puck at the point. Schnookie: “Ugh! Why is Paulie so putrid?” Pookie: “I hope he’s not hurt again.” Schnookie: “Maybe he’s having a Hooters Pancake.”
15:25 Hey, whaddaya know? You let the Rangers skate around without facing any serious defensive pressure for long enough, and eventually even they are going to be able to score. 1-0 Rangers.
14:10 The Devils have not been jarred awake by the goal.
13:52 Finally there is enough offensive pressure from the Devils to warrant the Prawn freezing the puck. We think we might be getting the vapors. We go to commercial and Schnookie grumbles, “I hope the Devils have to ride bikes back to Jersey tonight.”
We come back from commercial to find out that Blobby managed to rope Gomez into taking an unnecessary roughing penalty to match his own. Will wonders never cease?
13:21 Shockingly, the Devils are just as bad in their own zone four on four as they are five on five. 2-0 Rangers. Marty whines that he was jostled on the play, but he wasn’t.
12:51 Continuing to stand still, the Devils D gets penalized. This time it’s Mottau, tripping Antropov on a one-on-one rush down the slot. On the bench, Blobby is unimpressed. He figures he could have easily turned that play into a double-minor.
8:47 The Devils are now playing as if they hope their coaching staff will see “clearing the puck as far as ten feet outside the blue line” as being as good as “scoring goals and shit”. Of course, considering that this is exactly what this team looked like at this time last year, maybe the coaching staff does think it’s just as good.
8:06 We come back from commercial to Chris Simpson interviewing… Tie Domi. Pookie: “Wait, they’re throwing Tie Domi at us? What next? Is Stephane Matteau going to come in here and start kicking our cats?”
4:57 Eliot remarks about how the Rangers are “making life miserable” for Marty in this game tonight. Schnookie: “Correction. The Devils D are making life miserable for Marty.”
4:54 And on cue, Marty gives up a shit goal from a mile out to Callahan. 3-0 Rangers. Pookie: “It’s nights like this that make me wonder why Sutter doesn’t just quit.” The Devils skaters are probably wondering the same thing. They’re probably like, “That’s funny. When we did this to Larry Robinson, he went crazy.”
2:46 We come back from commercial with a little intermission teaser that they’re going to discuss which teams in the East might be poised for early playoff exits. We raise our hands and eagerly shout, “Ooh! Ooh! Me! Pick me!” Then they cut back to the Devils. Yeeeeeaaaah.
0:00 It never ceases to amaze how a group of highly-skilled professional athletes can all forget how to play their sport and, more importantly, how to care about playing their sport all at the same time.
Chris interviews Sutter and asks him what the Devils need to do to get back into this game. Pookie, as Sutter: “‘I don’t give a tickety-boo!’ And he rips off his tie and storms out.”
Meanwhile, back to our happy place:
Per Se City
20:00 We have figured out what’s wrong with the Devils. When we were kids we were lazy and out-of-shape (just like now), but we were periodically required by our parents to play outside. During those awful summer afternoons of forced fun, we invented a marvelous game, “110 Degree, Energy Conserving Baseball”. The rules were that you couldn’t run. Or really move much at all. Any exertion would cost you an out. We think the Devils might have decided to address their Whitey/Paulie durability issues by instituting a “110 Degree, Energy Conserving” defensive scheme.
19:25 Patty’s out with Travis and Zach to start the period. Pookie: “Now they’re playing “110 Degree, Panic Button-Pushing Hockey”.
18:23 Langer is just as bad on the Gio/Zubrus line as he has been on the Poppers.
16:54 Rupp and Orr scrum a bit near an on-ice mic, so we at least get to hear some live-TV f-bombs tonight. Rupp gets the only penalty, and Blobby high-fives him on his way to the box. (Just kidding. Blobby never high-fives anyone. He’s probably big into “Too slow! No really, you’re too slow. And you’re stupid. You’re nowhere near as smart as me.”)
14:44 The hell? The Devils draw a penalty? Bench that guy, Sutter!
13:36 The power play is going much as expected. The best part about the recent systemic failures in all aspects of the game for the Devils is that they never seem to practice either. So we’re looking forward to watching this continue getting worse until it all just mercifully fades to black.
12:40 We get sent to commercial with Eliot blowing Doc’s mind by suggesting the trapezoid rule should be flipped so goalies can only play the puck in the corners, and Shanny and Sjostrom taking matching minors.
12:18 Doc remarks while nothing is happening on the ice that it’s an awesome thing what the Blues have been doing, clawing into playoff position in the West. Pookie: “I’d like to take this moment to thank Blues fans for not flooding the interwebs with, ‘We’re such a feel-good story, everyone should love us!’” *Cough*Capsfans*cough*
9:47 There’s scrummage that leads to the latest feed-the-media-beast footage of Clarkson roughing Avery up. Clarkson gets the extra minor.
4:26 You know how sometimes a team is just playing for pride? Well, what the Devils are doing now is the opposite of that.
2:56 Oooh. A Devils power play. Exciting. Doc suggests a goal here would give the Devils “some respectability.” Schnookie: “No it won’t.” Pookie: “Respectability left the building a looooong time ago.”
0:00 We would love to think this is rock-bottom, but there are still seven games to go. They can still get plenty worse.
You know what’s way better than this game? Our happy place:
AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s better.