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Archive for October, 2010

We are pooped, Gentle Reader. It’s been an intense day of cake baking and bulb planting and fabric cutting, and now we’re ready to kick back with a scrumptious pasta dinner and a huge glass of wine, and to watch hours and hours of hockey. We’d love if you’d join us.

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Is tonight the night that the Devils remember how to play hockey? Or is it the night Johnny Mac gets closer to being fired? Or is it the night that Getzi’s shirt oops doesn’t fall off? Let’s find out!

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The one interesting thing that came out of the Sharks drubbing was Chico’s admission that David Clarkson is now sporting a lucky elephant of some kind. What kind, you ask? We’ve used our mad reporter skillz to find some leads; we’re not entirely sure which of these elephants is most prone to wrap-arounds, but we’ve attempted to rate the likelihood of each to be the poster elephant for the Devils’ lack of luck this season.

Film star Helen Twelvetrees on an elephant, Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney, 1936-7 / Sam Hood

0 out of 5 Wrap-Arounds: No self-respecting woman would be caught near these losers.

In ṿald, L. Ḳṿiṭḳo ; tseykhenungen Y. Ribaḳ / אין װאלד, קװיטקא ; צײכענונגען י. ריבאק

1 out of 5 Wrap-Arounds: While it does have its trunk raised “for luck”, it seems to be helping out a baseball player, not a hockey player.

Elephant's tea party, Robur Tea Room, Sydney, 24 March 1939 / Sam Hood

2 out of 5 Wrap-Arounds: The Devils PP meetings always involve oversized, novelty tea cups, but Clarkson’s not usually at those meetings. Plus, this elephant’s trunk is in the unlucky “down” position.

"Hattie" the elephant and Bill Snyder (LOC)

4 out of 5 Wrap-Arounds: Trunk up? Check. Demonstration of mad physical skillz? Check. Appearing, on paper at least, to have everything it takes to win? Check. So what’s the one thing keeping this from being the Devils’ good-luck charm? It seems to be responding to coaching, which we all know is something none of the Devils could abide, not even in their lucky talismans.

Oh! Look Who's Here!

4.5 out of 5 Wrap-Arounds: The lack of a trunk-up posture is made up for in spades by the Hambone-esque figure doing what we’d all like to do to the unlucky spirits cursing this stupid team of stupid losing losers. Oh, look who’s here! It’s the number one overall draft pick!

Moving the Fighting African Elephants

5 out of 5 Wrap-Arounds: If there was ever going to be a talisman standing in for this year’s Devils, it’s most definitely a disembodied elephant head that lives in a railyard.

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Good grief! It’s crazy late and the Devils haven’t even started yet? What is wrong with these West Coast games? This is a preposterous start time. We doubt our ability to stay up for the whole game, but please do join us for as much open thread as a late, late game can handle.

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If there’s one thing a strugging hockey team can be counted on, it’s a chorus of “we just need to get on a roadtrip so we can do some team bonding to get us all on the same page”. We’re not hockey players, so we don’t understand why “getting everyone on the same page” can’t be accomplished in, we don’t know… practice. We are, however, crack reporters. So we do know exactly what team bonding the Devils are up to on this long road trip.

Day One: The boys head over to San Jose’s hottest karaoke bar where Hedberg is encouraged to take the stage first. He cues up “Dancing Queen”, and proceeds to put on a worse performance than Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem. The audience predictably and understandably boos lustily. Langer grows inexplicably upset; “He deserves better, people,” he shouts at the crowd. “Don’t boo him — he’s trying.” The crowd rolls its eyes. Langer then takes the mic and launches into “When A Man Loves A Woman”… only he doesn’t bother actually singing any of the words. The crowd boos more. The remaining players get on the same page by agreeing to leave the karaoke bar immediately, because all this booing is hurting their feelings.

Day Two: Marty insists that the team should engage in an activity he has been historically great at — bowling. The boys all eagerly line up to hop on the team bus, but John MacLean, without warning, informs Kovalchuk, who had no fewer than 15 perfect games under his belt during his tenure in Atlanta, that he’s not welcome on this particular trip. When the bus driver asks why Johnny Mac just made his star bowler stay at the hotel, Johnny just snarls, “He knows what he did.” The remaining players power through their bafflement and continue on to Anaheim’s finest laser bowling joint. They figure it’ll still be a great outing without Kovalchuk’s rolling prowess, because they still have Marty to knock down a ton of strikes. Except Marty suddenly appears to not know how to bowl anymore.

Day Three: With some time to kill in the morning before gametime, the team bus heads over to Disneyland, a trip that has historically been reliably cheap, satisfying Lou while still being fun for the players. Except things go horribly awry… now that most of the boys are tall enough to ride the rides. Lou spends the morning cursing the day he ever let Gionta and Rafalski leave.

Day Four: Patrik Elias leads the team on a walking tour of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hank Tallinder wonders later what everyone was talking about. He’s a little bit abashed (but not a lot) later when told he was supposed to be looking at the sidewalk, not the sky. After the Walk of Fame tour, Zach picks up a Star Homes map and insists the team bus make some celebrity stops. Sadly, Kovalchuk doesn’t get to go, because MacLean wordlessly orders him off the bus before they set out.

Day Five: Langer gleefully toasts the previous night’s Kovalchukless flight from LA to Vancouver with a champagne brunch in the team hotel. The boys spend the rest of the day lolling around the hotel spa, waiting for Kovalchuk’s Greyhound to arrive. They make a game of it, trying to guess why MacLean kicked him off the flight.

Day Six: In a repeat of a Vancouver-area team-bonding trip from two years ago (which, incidentally, did not lead to the team winning a Stanley Cup) (or even a playoff round), the team heads back out to a neighborhood curling rink. The team of Zach, Travis, Zubrus, and Taormina goes out to an early lead, and is looking to easily beat the team of Langer, Arnott, Egg Pelley, and Vasyunov (Kovalchuk is asked to leave the rink for wearing inappropriate curling slippers by a rink attendant who looks suspiciously like John MacLean). Langer then decides he will be replacing Zubrus on the other team, causing them to lose their lead and then the match. Taormina learns an important lesson about “playing the Devils way”. “ZZ Pops,” Langer gruffly says to the kid on his way out to a “curling winners only” celebration at a hot nightspot, “That’s what gets us where we’re going. All ZZ Pops.”

Day Seven: Travis requests that team revisit one of his favorite activities — cake baking. MacLean just goes to the nearest grocery store and buys a cake. Travis spends the rest of the day trying not to cry.

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Just before the start of this season we had big plans to invent a champagne cocktail that incorporates a Chuckles candy in honor of the bright Kovalchuk future of the Devils. We were going to style it all fancy, with a vast, Sandra Lee-esque tablescape in shades of red and black. And then we got distracted by something shiny, wandered off, and never did it. Perhaps the Hockey Gods intervened without our knowing it, though, because it seems far more apt to look beyond just the champagne drink and instead review the entirety of the still-young season in cocktail form.

The Chucklestini

Chucklestini

Fill a shaker with ice. Add 2 oz. vodka, 2 oz. cranberry juice, and 3/4 oz. cointreau, and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and add a black Chuckle.

The Sudsy Chuckle

Sudsy Chuckle

Angrily pour a can of beer into a beer mug, creating as much unnecessary foam as possible. Drink the beer. Garnish the dregs with a green Chuckle.

The Chuck-Two-Oh

Chuck Two Oh

To a plastic patio glass add one yellow Chuckle. Top with plain, unflavored seltzer.

The Cat’s Pajamas

Cat's Pajamas

Fill your pet cat’s bowl with tap water and set aside. When the cat has naturally added chewed-up mice to the bowl, float an orange Chuckle.

The Shallow Grave

Shallow Grave

Find a secluded patch of dirt and dig a small hole. Drop a red Chuckle into the hole and cover lightly with dirt.

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We might be back at stately IPB Manor, but we’re clearly not back into the swing of writing blog posts. Until we regain some semblance of a work ethic, please join us for an open thread.

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