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Archive for the ‘Inside the Out-of-Town Scoreboard’ Category

Tonight is an unusual sort of evening of hockey at stately IPB Manor in that Pookie is at work, but Schnookie and Boomer are powering ahead with the playoffs despite her absence. The siren song of Pens/Sens Game 3 is too strong to ignore, so we’ll be watching from here, while Pookie keeps herself apprised at work by checking up on the score online. Sounds fun for her. Heh. Anyway, enjoy an open thread below, and we’ll be updating our thoughts on tonight’s action as we go along.

— CBC treats us to some footage of Senators arriving at the arena in suits. Yayson continues to prove himself the Getzi of the East, looking quite darling in his skinny suit. Heatley then proves that he is not the Vinny Lecavalier of the North, looking more sloppy than suave in his tieless get-up.

— Holy. Flirking. Schnitt. You know, when the Devils opened The Rock, they unveiled this awful, cheesy video of a faceless “hockey player” showing up at the arena on a train and then turning into an actual devil. We were mortified. Well, that video clip looks SO COOL in comparison to what the Sens have going on at center ice before the anthems. They’ve got this beefy, shirtless actor in a Roman legionnaire outfit, with the leather skirt and the red cape and the plumed face mask/helmet thing. And he’s giving some overwrought motivational “oratory”, but his mic keeps cutting out, so we’re getting just about every other word he’s saying. And when he tries to dramatically draw his sword for emphasis (not a euphemism), his helmet topples off balance, and he spends the rest of his appearance trying to keep the helmet from falling off. We are speechless. Finally, Boomer finds her ability to speak and asks, “Are you telling Pookie about this?” Schnookie: “I don’t think I can. This is indescribable.”

— The game has wild pace so far, as Fleury’s playing out of his mind, but the highlight so far for us is the safety-first PSA spot about the exposed nail. The narration is extraordinary, about how a poor little gnarled, rusty nail in a pallet no longer has a job, now that he’s twisted out of the wood and become a nasty, bloodthirsty spike. So, feeling neglected and unloved, the nail chooses not to be ignored any longer… just as someone kneeling under the pallet rises to his feet and meets the nail head-on with his balding pate. Cut to black, and there’s a gruesome sound effect of the nail rending flesh. Seriously, it sounds like the nail has just functioned as a can opener digging into his brain. This commercial is amazing.

— So, it’s a scoreless game, the Pens are up 2-0 in the series, the Sens have been shut out in one of those games, and Fleury’s stopped something like 25,000 shots by midway through the first… and the fans are chanting derisively at Fleury? Seriously, this is something the league needs to address. There is a right and a wrong way to derisively chant a goalie’s name. It’s not that hard, people.

— Now that the Sens have scored early in the second, why are the fans not chanting “Fleury”? This makes no sense to us.

— Rollie the cat, who likes Pookie best, doesn’t like tonight’s Pookieless congregation in the living room of stately IPB Manor. Midway through the second period, she makes her appearance, looking for a lap to curl up in. After surveying her options, she moves on. We thought we’d mention this to make Pookie feel better about all the hilarious Sid Gatorade commercials she’s missing.

— We’re full of insightful commentary here tonight — as the second period winds down, with the Pens having stormed back after giving up the first goal, Boomer’s assessment is, “That was a better period for the Pens.” Someone should be paying us for this! Because we could totally not be publishing this for free, you know.

— There’s something about the CBC feeds that brings out the “I could do that!” in Boomer. Every commercial we see for some kind of regional service industry, Boomer says, “I could do that!” She went through a “Maritime truck driver” phase, and lately has been in a “PEI nurse” phase, but tonight it looks like she’s moving on to become an auto glass repairman in New Brunswick.

— The announcers are trying to tell us early in the third, after two quick Pittsburgh goals, that it’s a shame the score has opened up like that, because this game has been so “evenly played” by both teams so far. We aren’t buying it. If they mean that the Sens had a great first period, barely hung on the second, and are not entirely obliterated yet now, then yes, we’ll agree. Otherwise? WRONG!

— As it turns out, we were right and the announcers were wrong. Again. Yeah, we’re getting used to it. The Pens game winds down with a whimper, and concludes with an emphatically workmanlike 4-1 win for Pittsburgh. Oh, Sens, you’ve made us so happy this Spring!

— We tear our focus — no, wait, it’s the playoffs, so we mean to say that we tear our F.O.C.U.S. away from the hockey for a while to make and eat dinner. Pookie arrives home just in time to see all hell breaking loose in Nashville as the ’08 Playoffs conspire to provide even more unexpected and amazing drama than we could have expected. We also get a good laugh at Arnott getting hurt celebrating his gamewinner. How extraordinarily Jaaaaaaaason Arnott.

— We liked the Wild/Avs series a lot more when it was in Minnesota. And when the Wild were winning. We wrap dinner up in time to be F.O.C.U.S.ing again on a 1-0 Avs lead. Booo!

— One of the disappointments so far of the ’08 Playoffs is that Pretty Ricky doesn’t lead into his VS intermission banter by saying “You’re attractive” to anybody. Of course, no one else in the studio is attractive, so we suppose it’s to be expected.

— We’ve hit the wall impossibly hard. Boomer’s retreated to bed, and Pookie is fading fast, so just as we are about to call it quits on an interminably dull Avs/Wild game, the Wild come out of nowhere to tie the game at 1 midway through the third. FINE. We’ll watch a few more minutes.

— The lesson we’ve learned about the Wild and the Avalanche is that neither one of these teams can hold a lead. Thanks a lot, guys. We all love playoff OT, but it’s Monday night. We’re beat. Would it have killed the Wild to win in regulation?

— With the television the last light on at stately IPB Manor, Bouchard nets the OT winner for the Avs, and we finish off a thoroughly delightful night of hockey. It’s always so nice when all the right teams win!

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After last night’s bonanza of crap from the Devils, we’ve realized that we have absolutely nothing constructive to say about our favorite team (and the ostensible subject of this blog). We also have very little to say about them that isn’t constructive. It just… suck. And who even knows what they’ll look like tomorrow. This year’s Devils is a maddening beast. So anyway, instead of going through the painful process of trying to think of something Devilly to talk about, we’re going to do something even more painful: look at the standings. We are willful ignorant of the standings for most of the season, but it’s gotten to the point where even we can no longer claim they’re not relevant. So… what have we got here?
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Greetings, Gentle Reader! We regret to inform you there will be no formal diary for any of tonight’s games. After a week of diaries, we’re ready for a night off! However, we’ll be around offering some commentary and thoughts. First on the docket is Sabres-Hurricanes. Secondly, we’ll be cueing up Pens-Leafs on TiVo delay. We’re waiving our usual plea of “no spoilers!”, so comment to your heart’s content.

We’ll be updating this as we go along.

— It is no secret that we are nerds. So it was with much delight that we stumbled on this video on nhl.com:

TOM PREISSING WINS OUR HEARTS AND MINDS

Tom Preissing made a font joke! Not only that, but it was a font joke that Pookie has referenced twice (garnering no response, she’ll add) in the last two weeks while teaching the basics of Microsoft Word at work. How, we ask you, can we not love this guy! Courier New! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
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We are strangely drawn this week to the Ducks, so here we are again with the team we love to hate (and hate to love), taking on the Flames. Here’s hoping this one is a bit more interesting than the Ducks-Canucks were. It’s no mean feat finding the game, though, because our Center Ice is totally wonky tonight; we find the FSN feed on a channel telling us it’s airing “Upcoming: Bruins @ Lightning.” But of course!

We polished off a growler of beer with dinner tonight, in the hopes that killing off a few of our brain cells would make Hayward more palatable. So far… not so good. He furrows his brow and intones to us like he’s Nicole Kidman in “To Die For” that tonight’s the night a guy named Jarome Iginla (you may have heard of him) becomes the all-time games-played leader for the Flames. That’s kind of a surprising thing to hear – it seems like just yesterday Iginla was a young kid bursting onto the scene. Has he really been around that long, or are the Flames just a franchise that doesn’t keep guys for long?

FIRST PERIOD

18:27 What is it with Canadian rinks? Do they not consider lighting their buildings for television up there? The picture here, as it did in Vancouver on Tuesday, looks remarkably murky.

17:26 Pronger picks up where the Ducks left off in their last game, and takes an interference penalty. This sets Hayward back off into his comical peevishness about how the Ducks didn’t give themselves a chance to win by putting themselves down two men 600 times against the Canucks.
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Whew! That was close! After looking forward to watching this game for the last 48 hours, we almost couldn’t find it anywhere on Center Ice. Perhaps needless to say, that would have sucked – it’s hard enough to get through the light VS-friendly schedules on Mondays and Tuesdays. Of course, now that we’re here, we realize we’re going to get to enjoy the insipid stylings of Brian Hayward, and we can’t help but reconsider how badly we want to get to see this game.

Our lead-in on the Ducks feed is talking about Bertuzzi’s return to Vancouver, and we get a look at his mugshot, poorly photoshopped onto a Ducks-orange background. Pookie: “God! He looks in that picture like if Malkin was being played by a two-bit dinner theater actor.”

FIRST PERIOD

20:00 You know who we really don’t care about? Todd Bertuzzi. We spend our time between anthem and opening faceoff watching him standing out on the ice while the broadcasters talk about how Butzi was all worried about how the fans were going to treat him, and how the fans cheered him, and blah blah blah. Pookie splutters, “How stupid are Canucks fans that they’re cheering him?” She then buries her face in her hands and mutters, “I need to just let this go.”

18:24 The Getzi line putters around a bit while Hayward informs us that if the Ducks could get some consistent secondary scoring, they’d be harder to match up against. Really? (It never ceases to amaze us how little insight a person needs before they can be considered an “expert”. Thus, we guess, the popularity of bloggers.)
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We have the option tonight between the regular FSN Anaheim and the HD, rinkside feeds. We’re looking forward to experiencing the differences between them, since it’s nice to have a plotline to focus on when the teams you’re diarizing about are complete strangers to you.

FIRST PERIOD

18:27 We’re really quick on the uptake, and take a surprisingly long time to realize this HD rinkside feed doesn’t have play-by-play. That might work for us if we’re watching two teams we know anything about, but since this is the Kings and the Ducks, not so much.

17:09 Having a feed with play-by-play is great and all, but this picture blows. The insipid announcers make us wonder if a feed without them might be an improvement, since they become the 10,000th announcers to crack jokes about how Matt Moulson’s name kind of sounds like a certain brand of beer. It’s like the “Miro Satan should play for the Devils” joke, but a billion times funnier and more original.

16:22 Prongsie and O’Donnell decide the best way to defend Cammalleri is to double-team Dustin Brown behind the net. Fortunately for them, Giggy’s up to stopping Cammalleri’s point-blank shot.
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Ahhh… random Penguins/Western Conference games – nothing makes us feel more like relaxing Fall hockey quite like that. Tonight’s opponent: the Avs. Steigy kicks things off by telling us it was an “absolutely beautiful day” in Denver, and Pookie says, “Of course it was – Sid was there!”

Intriguing – Sabourin is starting his second in a row. Who says they don’t have faith in Fleury in Pittsburgh? And in the other net, our favorite punchline Jose Theodore. This should be fun.

FIRST PERIOD

17:59 Schnookie stops puttering with the laptop and announces, “I have not been paying attention here.” Pookie brings her up to date: “Sid’s first shift was kind of buzzing.” That’s all either of us cares about.

17:18 Sid puts an end to the buzzing by taking a tiny little swat at an Av in front of his net and gets called for roughing.

16:46 Gronk makes Sid feel better about himself by taking an even worse penalty, a hook while already down a man. We’ve been told Sid f-bombs fly when he’s in the box, but we haven’t seen them yet. Pookie: “I hope they’re when he yells at Gronk for taking that penalty.”
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