Our pregame show tonight is a celebration of Patty’s awesomeness from the Stars game. Our hearts are so aglow with fondness for him that we’re sure he’s going to utterly suck tonight. As is his wont when we’re not reminding him how much he sucks.
We are very cranky after a bad day at work, and tempers are flaring during the first commercial break. The return to the broadcast gives us Stan. That… isn’t helping.
17:44 Tempers are still flaring. We’re both sorry we ruined each other’s lives. Meanwhile, PL3 and Konopka (who has the coolest name in hockey, might we add. Seriously, Zenon Konopka? You couldn’t make that shit up! He could be the bad guy in cheesy airport thriller novel) fight.
That probably wasn’t one of those boring premeditated fights. No, it went down something like this:
Konopka: “Pierre-Luc, you’re not listening to what I’m telling you.”
PL3: “I was just busy doing a bunch of other things, many of which you asked me to, Zenon! My mind was occupied!”
Konopka: “But I always listen to you when you tell me shit!”
PL3: “Well, now you’ve ruined my life!”
Konopka: “And you’ve ruined mine.”
It’s so much like real life.
16:00 Pookie: “You know why my life as a Devils fan has been so much better this year?” Schnookie: “What?” Pookie: “See? Now you’re not listening to me!” Schnookie: *Death glare* Pookie: “It’s because I don’t listen to the pregame show anymore, so I don’t have to hear Stan ask Lemaire every night why he’s not dressing PL3.”
14:43 The Devils get a great scoring chance when Langer gets a great feed from Zach, but Smith stones him. We’re busy getting our scrumptious-looking lemon icebox pie out of the oven.
14:14 Egg draws a groan of disgust from the crowd when he takes an offensive-zone hooking penalty. This is the point in the game when Schnookie realizes it’s being played in New Jersey. Pookie: “Yeah, if it was in Tampa, it would have had a 7:30 start time.” We should be so lucky.
13:21 Downie tips a point shot past Marty to make it 1-0 BOLTS!. Bummer. The scorers seem to think it’s Foster’s goal, but they’re totally wrong. Meanwhile, that icebox cake smells intoxicating.
11:25 Ohlund trips Land Zhark to put the Devils on the PP.
9:58 Is this a let-down game? Were the Devils as psyched about that win against the Stars as we were, and now they’re like, “whatevs”? Because we can’t really blame them.
4:47 After a great shift of cycling and forechecking and general offensive goodness, Boogerfors places an absolutely perfect feed from behind the net to the guy on the doorstep… but it’s Pando. PandoNation sends up a keening ululation mourning the blown scoring chance.
3:01 Land Zhark tries to pass from the far boards to Egg just above the faceoff circles, but Egg loses the puck in his skates. Schnookie: “Well how is Land Zhark supposed to do anything good if he’s skating with Egg and PL3?”
2:46 Vinny, desperately sad about not being a Devil, high sticks Fraser. The Devils now get to bring their territorially-dominant but not-scoring PP back on the ice.
0:46 That PP was territorially dominant, but failed to score.
0:00 The Devils were by far the better team in this period, but the Lightning converted their one scoring chance, so there you go. Chico sends us to intermission telling us that hockey isn’t always fair. Maybe the Devils just need better scoring chances, Chico.
19:22 The Iron Boar high-sticks a BOLT! while chasing down a puck in the corner to Marty’s left. Chico doesn’t think this is a good call, and while watching a slo-mo replay of the Iron Boar hitting the guy in the face with his stick, argues, “Would this be a penalty if he didn’t hit him in the face?” He concludes that no, it wouldn’t be. As most penalties wouldn’t be, if they weren’t committed.
16:24 After a series of replays to find out what happened, MSG+ finally tracks down a replay from early in the BOLT! PP that shows the tip of Marty’s skate catching the back of Malone’s thigh on a wacky little play in front. Then we see a replay of the BOLT! trainer checking for blood, and taking Malone back to the dressing room to patch him up. Doc starts to say something about Curt Schilling and the bloody sock, and Pookie cuts him off, “Don’t make me hate you, Doc.”
15:28 Perhaps the Devils’ best chance at winning this game was when they were dominating in the first period, because they’re unraveling badly here in the second. A series of turnovers in the defensive zone leads to a big save by Marty, and then the Iron Boar taking a tripping penalty.
14:46 Niedermayer (the Lesser) has a chance to clear the puck from the high slot, but misplays the puck while facing toward the goal, so he ends up just lacing a perfect pass to Bochenski to rip a shot over Marty. It’s the BOLTS!’s third scoring chance of the night, and second goal. 2-0 BOLTS!. Pookie: “I don’t think the Devils are sorry they’re ruining my life.”
13:39 The Poppers are wheeling swaggeringly up the ice, but at the end of some sassy passing, Travis seems to decide the incoming shot might go into the net, and stops it instead of tipping it. Thanks for nothing, Travis.
12:23 Schnookie: “This game sucks my ass.” Pause. “Why do we always play Friday night games against Tampa? Has there ever been a good Friday night game against Tampa?” Pookie: “Has there ever been a good Friday night game against anybody?”
9:58 The BOLTS! pounce on the puck in the neutral zone, then, bang-bang, Stamkos is scoring on the rush. It’s 3-0 BOLTS!, and this game is just really weird. The Devils have all sorts of statistical advantages, and have had, for the most part, the better of the play, but it still seems pretty right that they should be losing by three.
9:12 We come back from commercial to a “the lights went out at The Rawk” delay. This is just what we were hoping for – something to make this game go on even longer.
We step away from the TV for a while and when we come back, we’re still in delay, but it looks like maybe Stan is telling us something about the status of the lights. Schnookie asks Pookie to unmute the TV, just in time to hear Stan saying, “And in those days, there was no flying. So there was a blizzard –” and we don’t listen to any more of it. Schnookie: “I’m sorry. I thought maybe he was actually reporting on something.” Pookie: “They probably thought he was, and instead he was getting all, ‘In those days, there was no flying and we all wore onions on our belts…'”
Fifty (50) (FIVE ZERO) (AS IN, ALMOST AN HOUR) minutes later, it’s still a lighting delay. We can’t decide who to feel more sorry for – the people who’ve been sitting at the arena all this time, or us for having to listen to a 50 (FIVE ZERO!!!)-minute extemporaneous intermission show.
Okay, after almost ninety (90) (NINE ZERO) minutes of delay, we decide that if we’d been at the game, we’d have packed it in by now. And so we’re packing in the game diary. If the play resumes, we’ll just diarize it as if we were on the turnpike driving home and missing it. Heh. Our summary of tonight’s game? Wow, that sucked.