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Archive for June, 2009

The Ecstasy: Yay! We re-signed Oduya! Every time we’ve looked at the pending UFA lists in the last few months, his was the only name on there that set our hearts a-flutter. We would have been some very sad Ookies if he’d flown the coop, so thank goodness our very own Johnny Handsome remains our very own.

Also, Yay! Scott Gomez’s life is about to get a lot more miserable. Have fun playing for Jacques Martin, Gomer! And enjoy the scrutiny as you very expensively continue to not be Vinny Lecavalier. HAHAHAHAHA!

The Agony: Wait, someone actually took Gomez off Glen Sather’s hands? BOOOOOOO! That blows. What kind of world do we live in?

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So, Gentle Reader, we have all survived another Draft. How exciting! And as difficult as it is to believe, given how thrill-a-minute the Draft is on TV, our not-trip to not-Montreal was equally exciting. Yesterday was our “later rounds of the Draft” day in not-Montreal, and Mats was happy to show off how we would have spent our time if we’d actually been there.

First, he listened to some music — we made special playlists just for this road trip, and Mats was really proud of how his turned out.

Mats Listening To Music

Then, after an exhausting few minutes spent paying only the slightest attention to the later rounds of the Draft, Mats settled in for a long afternoon nap.

Mats Napping

Now that he thinks about it, Mats is actually glad he didn’t end up paying for a hotel room to spend so little time soaking up the sights and sounds of Montreal. Not-road-tripping definitely has its benefits.

Another great benefit of only being not in Montreal? We don’t have to spend today driving home. Instead, we’re going to put up our feet, put on some movies, and stitch the day away.

Mats Sewing

“Wheee!” says Mats. “This is so much more fun than sitting in the car all day! This was the funnest Draft weekend ever!”

Mats with Thread

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It’s the most wonderful a kinda fun the somewhat tolerable a day of the hockey season: Draft Day! After making the trek up to Ottawa to witness it in person last year, we’re making the trek to the couch to witness it on television this year. While this means we can’t whoop and holler for our boy Lou in the back of a half-filled arena, it does mean we can diarize it. We’ll be updating the diary as the night goes along.

6:59 PM We finally settle the internal struggle of Draft Coverage vs. Jeopardy! by switching over to VS. Here goes!

7:00 PM Pookie is crushed to discover Hedman looks nothing like Viktor Krum! For this reason alone she hopes the Devils don’t draft him with the somethingteenth pick in the first round.

7:04 PM Wow, the building looks packed. Packed with people who were deemed worthy of winning the snooty ticket lottery. Well fiddle-dee-dee says we.

7:17 PM We are so awesome. Our cable box isn’t plugged in, and a giant storm has just blown in. As Garth Snow steps to the podium for the Big Moment, our satellite picture conks out, and we scramble to get the cable hooked back up again. We suspect something similar would have happened in the arena if we’d been in attendance. Which might be why Montreal made sure we didn’t get tickets.

7:18 PM The cable gets hooked up just in time to see John Tavares hugging his family. Oooh, the tension and intrigue!

7:25 PM So the first big trade is Pronger for Lupul, Sbisa, and two first round picks. We’re not sure what memo we should be sending out: “Hey, Anaheim, you do realize that’s Joffery Lupul, right?” or “Hey, Philly, you do realize that’s Chris Pronger, right?”

7:35 PM Brian Burke is mic’d up tonight (of course), and sounds drunk. We’d think Leafs fans would be worried about his inebriation, but considering the way things have been going over the last few years for them, Leafs fans are probably past caring.

7:40 PM The Halliburton, ON tourism board is thrilled that the town’s black fly problem was highlighted on television this evening.

7:44 PM It only takes 44 minutes for Pookie to think to look up when the Devils pick in the first round. 23rd. Huh! Who knew?

7:47 PM This television coverage is throwing into sharp relief our disappointment that no one hired Pierre as GM. If it goes on much longer, we might even be happy to see the Devils hire him into the front office just to get him off our television set.

7:51 PM Speaking of the Draft (heh), today’s Not On The Road With IPB activity involved Victory Euro Mats taking a trip to the Not Montreal Botanical Gardens (aka our front yard garden).

Botanical Mats1

Here he checks out a rare specimen plant called “marigold”. Those Quebecois are so fancy with their flowers!

8:03 PM Pierre announced before the Coytoes picked that he would be “shocked — shocked!!!” if they didn’t select Ekman-Larsson. Draft viewers all over North America let out a sigh of relief, as the Coyotes do just that, saving us all from hours of Pierre’s shocked reaction.

8:11 PM Schnookie: If this isn’t the least compelling television… No wait. The Major League Baseball Draft is less compelling.” Pookie: “Major League Baseball games are less compelling.” Of course, Pierre doesn’t call MLB games… Maybe the joke’s on us?

8:20 PM A caption on the screen tells us newly-minted Star Scott Glennie is comparable to Jeff Carter. Pookie does a spit-take. “He doesn’t look anything like Jeff Carter!”

8:29 PM Normally we’d say we’ll be happy if the Devils draft a warm body, but after seeing Ottawa’s pick, we’ve decided to ratchet up our demands to “a warm body who didn’t blow out his ACL and his MCL six months ago”.

8:35 PM Boomer is deeply engrossed in a mystery thriller novel in front of the TV. Schnookie needles her that she’s not being a very good hockey fan, but as Pierre’s voice prattles on in the background, she responds very dryly, “Oh, I’m listening.”

8:39 PM For more information on V.E. Mats, go to http://www.interchangeableparts.wordpress.com.

Botanical Mats5

8:43 PM It only took us 43 tweets to call a friend a classless beeyotch. We’re clearly off our games. We’ve got a lot of training to do to get back in shape before Training Camp.

8:48 PM As Mahmoud the Cat helps himself to Boomer’s dinner while she’s engrossed in her book, Schnookie accuses her of not paying any attention. Boomer says, “I am too paying attention!” Schnookie, “Oh yeah, name all the picks so far!” Boomer: [confidently] “Tavares, Hedwig, Duchene. And Assif Mandvi.”

8:50 PM TSN pans back to show the whole board and Boomer says, “Alright, I did miss one. I didn’t see when Elkhorn Legman was drafted.” We’re not sure anyone saw Elkhorn Legman get drafted. Yet.

8:55 PM When the Islanders trade up for the 12th pick and Pierre starts ejaculating about A) them not drafting Zach, and B) how “on the rebound” the Islanders are. Garth Snow promptly goes off the board to pick some guy who was projected at 23rd (Hey! That’s OUR pick! BOOOO!), and Pierre wilts while reporting that this kid is not very strong. Buck up, Islanders fans. Maybe whoever Snow didn’t pick will turn out to be an all-star for the Devils!

Meanwhile, here’s Mats reclining at the not-Botanical Gardens under a canopy of catnip.

Botanical Mats6

9:22 PM We are horrified! HORRIFIED! When Nick Leddy is drafted by Minnesota, TSN shows a graphic listing notable past winners of the prestigious Mr. Hockey award. A notable name is notably left off said list. The announcer then begins to describe how Leddy is a fast-skating, puck-moving d-man who opted out of the USDHL so that he could stay at his Minnesota high school to win a state championship. Hmmmm… Does that sound like anyone to you? Sound like a notable past winner of Mr. Hockey? Hmmm? Hmmmmm?!?!? We repeat: we’re horrified. It’s almost as if TSN isn’t manned by members of Paulie Martin Nation. Well, we never!

9:52 PM WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Pookie called it! When we went into commercial with the Flames on the clock, she said they were trading to the Devils. When we come back from commercial, sure enough, they have. Gary does not mention the name “Brent Sutter” when he tells us the details of the deal.

9:55 PM When we get our first look at future Devil superstar Jacob Josefson, Pookie says happily, “He looks so fresh-faced!” Pause. “Of course, the next time we see him, he’ll look like Charlize Theron from Monster.”

9:59 PM We get a shot of the Kings’ runner kid just sitting around, eating an apple. Schnookie: “I could be a runner! That kid’s just eating. I’ve been doing that all day!” Pookie, slightly tipsy: “Yeah, but he’s eating something happy.” Pause. “Healthy.” Schnookie, eyeing the plate of cupcakes next to her: “I’ve been eating things that are happy all day.”

10:21 PM SHOUT OUT! SHOUT OUT! No matter how out of game shape we are, we’re always up for an “interchangeable parts” shout out! We have no idea what they were talking about but… SHOUT OUT! SHOUT OUT!

10:27 PM Day-um! Peter Chiarelli taunts the Montreal fans before making his pick! That’s just the way our Tranny Gentlemen Callers roll. We’re pretty sure Looch wrote his speech for him.

10:34 PM When the Ducks get around to making the 26th pick, one of the TSN panel guys reads some notes telling us all the teams that have traded this particular pick. After he reels off all the cities, Pierre showily leans back and chortles, “Ha ha ha! You’d need a map!” Schnookie: “Or a piece of paper with the cities listed on it.”

10:49 PM Pierre has been insisting all night on making this broadcast into “The 2009 NHL Entry Draft: It’s All About Zach Parise”. The only way he can top this next year would be to spend the entire broadcast in a split-screen insert showing a live shot of him standing outside Zach’s bedroom window, holding a boombox over his head that’s blasting either “In Your Eyes” or the HNIC theme song.

11:00 PM At long last it’s over. We don’t have to listen to Pierre again until next season. WOOOOOOO!!!!! Now it’s Columbo time. He would never get his draft predictions wrong. Never.

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Today began bright and early with loading up the car, bidding Stately IPB Manor fond adieu, and setting sail for Montreal*. Before beginning the journey, Victory Euro Mats consulted the trusty nine-years-out-of-date road atlas to make sure the route was properly planned. How’s it looking, Mats?

June 25 2009

Looks like Mats is ready to go! “Wheeee! Road trip!” he squeals.

Mats WHEEEE!

Because Mats is all about safety (note the sunglasses that double as a face shield), he starts his trip by buckling in. “Click it or ticket,” he chirps.

Buckle Up, Mats!

With the bags stowed in the back, and all occupants of the car safely buckled in, it was time to hit the road. The trip from Stately IPB Manor to Montreal is pretty much a straight shot, but some steering is still required. On previous trips we’ve developed a system of Pookie driving in busier areas and on all on- and off-ramps, while Schnookie does the endurance driving on the highway. This time Mats volunteered to do all of it, so we sat in the back playing cribbage.

Mats Driving

One of the best things about a roadtrip (aside from driving mixes and having an excuse to watch crappy television in hotel rooms) is watching the scenery go by as you drive. This time around we were eager to try out our new wide angle lens in taking photographs of the highways between here and there as we zipped along. Look at how beautiful it is!

Mats On The Road, Or Not

Heeeeey, waaaait… Upstate NY looks an awful lot like our garage… What gives, Mats?

Mats In Trenton

Are we still at Stately IPB Manor? We haven’t gone anywhere, have we?

*OK, not really. Today began shortly after noon when the denizens of stately IPB Manor finally rolled out of bed and began a day of cutting quilt fabric, tweeting about potential Heatley deals like all the other good blogging girls and boys, and enjoying not being at work.

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Gentle Reader, starting some time in January we hatched a hair-brained scheme to hit the road with our closest Flyers/Habs-fan friend kristin for some quality first-hand Draft experiences in Montreal. We mapped routes. We put in for vacation time. We booked hotel rooms. We planned all manner of “how we’re going to meet future NHL superstars” scenarios. And then? Horror. We didn’t win the snooty Montreal Draft ticket lottery, and were left with nothing where the nutmeats of our vacation plans had been. (We would like to say for the record that last year we just emailed the Senators and they more than happily sent us heaps of tickets to the Draft. We think it goes without saying that the Ottawa organization is way awesomer than the Canadiens.)

But even worse than having to cancel our travel plans at the last minute is that we have to cancel our blogging plans too. That’s right — no travel diary for you, Gentle Reader. Instead, we will offer up a non-Travel Diary. Here is what we are not doing tonight:

— Packing all of our coolest hockey-themed t-shirts. Last year the old 2000 Stanley Cup t-shirts were taken out of mothballs for the Ottawa trip (did we mention how much better a Draft that was than this year’s?) and they served us well, as Schnookie was wearing hers when she had her show-down in an otherwise deserted arena concourse with Butthead. Butthead was clearly intimidated.

— Printing up driving directions from Google. Instead, we will write up our own walking directions leading from our beds to the fridge to the couch. That’s all the distance we’ll be traversing over the next five days.

— Planning various and sundry junk foods to eat in the car during the 8-hour drive. Instead we’ll eat those various and sundry junk foods while simply being sedentary for 8 hours. It should be hard, but we’ll persevere.

— Learning to speak French. Suck it, Montreal. (Did we mention we liked Ottawa more than Montreal?)

— Obsessively checking to make sure that we do, indeed, have tickets and that they’re for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Instead, we will obsessively check to make sure that we do, indeed, have seasons 3 and 4 of Columbo on DVD.

So stay tuned, Gentle Reader. We will be updating our non-Travel Diary as all the thrills and chills unfold. Join us not on the road, will you?

(UPDATE: We are now offering up-to-the-minute not-on-the-road Draft coverage in our very special new Twitter feed.)

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We’ve been busy hosting the marvelous Kate the Great here at stately IPB Manor the last few days, so we haven’t been able to put our regular high levels of effort into blogging; our apologies, Gentle Reader, for not doing a better job of assessing the possible outcomes for the Devils at the upcoming draft. We know you’re dying to hear our thoughts about all those potential future Devils, but alas, you’re going to have to do without. Instead, we’d like to share a creative project we’ve been working on for a while now, an ever-growing photo album we call Devils In The Wild.

Zach in the Wild

Zach Parise

Scotty Stevens in the Wild

Scott Stevens

Whitey

Colin White

Scotty & Dano Masks

Scott Stevens & Ken Daneyko

Patty In The Wild

Patrik Elias

Travis Zajac

Travis Zajac. Heh.

Paulie Martin

Paulie Martin

Nieder and Raffie

Niclas Havelid Karel Rachunek Brian Rafalski & Scott Niedermayer Mike Mottau

June 8 2009

Paulie Martin

Zach Parise

Zach Parise

Dano & Scotty Doldrums

Scott Stevens & Ken Daneyko

Scotty In The Wild

Scott Stevens

A Very Special Devils In The Wild

It’s… us!

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Every year we watch the NHL Awards and every year we think “this is the worst pain on Earth!” So… uh… join us for the worst pain on Earth! Will Zach win the Lady Byng? Will Beaker when the Selke? Will the musical acts be even more ear-bleedingly-awful than last year?

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