Whew! We just got home in time to plop some cheese and bread onto our plates and settle down in front of the TV for the game! It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year already, where friend hates friend and the Devils play the Sabres. Join us for some woolgathering and open threading, will you?
— At the outset of the game, we get the screen graphic showing us the Devils’ paltry lineup. It is hilariously three full lines, and then centered in the middle of the screen, surrounded by a sea of empty redness, is just “Mair”. Good luck and godspeed, Mairsy.
— Oh, and ew, Gel-O. Sigh. Like Devils/Sabres isn’t bad enough on its own.
— Two power plays in, we’re comfortable saying all the Devils (yes, all six of them) are fired.
— Late in the first period, Travis gets a penalty for taking Kaleta down in front of the benches, and the replay leaves us incensed. We have been hockey fans long enough to stop hoping that diving divers will eventually get theirs (they never do), but we can still hope that diving diver head-butters will.
— It seems, in the early going, that neither team is looking particularly hungry coming out of the intermission. Meanwhile, Chico is starting to expound on the Pominville/Hjarmawhateversson hit, and we know better not to listen to whatever it is he’s going to say. We focus doggedly on our cheese, and when we tune back into the game, Gel-O is talking about the play. Whew. Dodged a bullet.
— The Sabres get their first sustained pressure about five minutes into the period, and for a moment it looks like Taormina is trying to deflect a Buffalo shot into his own net. However, the puck stays out, thereby proving that Taormina is not a real Devil yet. Real Devils score there.
— Midway through the period we get a little video snippet of Zach’s batting practice with the Twins this past summer. He is in full sparkling-smile “DING!” mode in the video. Chico tells us, as we watch Zach beaming and laughing and being his most effortlessly The Cute One, that when asked about his experiences as a ballplayer in his youth, Zach chortled that he was “more of a contact hitter” than a slugger. Ohoho! He’s so dreamy.
— Pookie makes this amazing realization shortly after the Zach video: when you space out a bit when he’s prattling over the play about all the simple things the Devils need to do in order to become winners, Chico sounds an awful lot like Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
— In the first period the Devils seemed inclined to shoot the puck whenever they were in the offensive zone. In this period, on the rare occasions when they’ve had the puck, the Devils have opted to pass. And all of those passes have been broken up. Is this the Adam Oates Effect? Should the Devils not have one of the all-time great passers encouraging their offensive development? Is it just giving them all bad ideas?
— On the last shift of the period the ZZ Chuckles line gets some pressure in the Buffalo zone, but it peters out when Travis turns the puck over on a backhand pass off the boards directly to a waiting Sabre. We have this exchange about the play:
Schnookie: “That’s the second time he’s done that today.”
Pookie: “He’s all thrown off because he got head-butted.”
Schnookie: “Yeah, he probably has an inner ear problem.”
Pookie: “It’s his old war wound. It acts up around fucking pussy divers.”
— We get an interview at the end of the period with Taormina. It prompts this exchange:
Pookie, who keeps exclaiming that everyone involved in this game looks like Karel Rachunek: “He doesn’t look like Rachunek.”
Schnookie: “He looks like Tim!”
Pookie: “Well, I’ve never seen Tim and Taormina in the same place.”
— Things are continuing at their torrid pace when, after a whistle, Tallinder trips over his own feet and falls over. The crowd gives him a good-natured jeer, and from our vantage point, it looks like he gets up laughing. Heather will be pleased to know that he’s growing on us, despite his history of — ahem — having inappropriate chemistry.
— Creeping up on the midway point of the third, we go to commercial break. Pookie takes this opportunity to pull her hair back into a ponytail, and when she’s done she notices a hair has fallen out in her hand. “Oh no,” she laments, “One of my gray hairs.” Pause. “This game is so boring that…”
— Some zero-zero ties are the kind that Doc and Chico talk about at every single opportunity for the end of time, the kind that result in legendary halved and autographed game pucks, the kind that make you argue that goals aren’t the only exciting thing in hockey. And others are like this one.
— WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! And some zero-zero ties end in 1-0 OT wins thanks to sassy Taormina’s work on the puck, then Chuckles finally kicking off the Chuckles Era with a little “fuck this shit” goal-scoring.
— This win came as such a surprise to us that it took us a good 10 minutes to remember that Chuckles didn’t just score a goal there…
…he scored for a case of Chuckles.