Archive for the ‘Insightful Hockey Commentary’ Category

The other day we were discussing the Devils future over lunch and decided it’s time to start girding ourselves for the possibility of a Zachless existence. It sounds terrible, doesn’t it? What could possibly make that more sufferable? Well, Gentle Reader, you know us — we’re always thinking. And we’ve got a solution that will help not only the Devils but also another favorite team of ours.

If Lou can’t re-sign Zach, he should trade for Ryan Getzlaf. Seriously! We’d love to see Getzi getting to set up Kovalchuk. They’d be an unstoppable scoring machine, and if they weren’t that, then Getzi would be aimless, cranky, and his shirt would fall off a lot, which is almost as good. So, what would the Ducks want in exchange for their captain? Perhaps a return to their glory days of gooning their way to the Stanley Cup, right? Right! So, how can the Devils give them that? Two words: Boulton. Janssen.

WE KNOW! Genius.


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This past October we took a trip up to Buffalo and found ourselves spit-balling about the NHL with Katebits and Heather B. Among the topics of conversation were fighting and the shootout. Being the brilliant minds that we are, we quickly got to the bottom of both problems:

1. Staged fighting is stupid.
2. The shootout is here to stay but has grown a little stale.

We have no beef with caught-up-in-the-passion-of-the-moment fighting, like that awesome Getzi-on-Thorton beatdown from the playoffs a few years ago, but there’s really no place for the preening peacock style of staged fight between heavyweights in today’s NHL. Even putting aside the physical and mental health issues they pose, those fights don’t deter other players from taking liberties, rarely have any impact on the momentum of the game, and are, frankly, pretty boring. When you see your team has dressed a heavyweight, you know that it means the coach might as well just flush a roster spot down the toilet for the night. Lame!

Meanwhile, the shootout has become very predictable. Devils fans, for example, know that every shootout is going to go like this: Kovalchuck scores, Parise misses, Elias scores. Ho hum. The only fun part is watching to see if DeBoer has learned the players numbers yet when filling out the form to give the referees. If the NHL isn’t going to replace the shootout with All-Star Game-style super skills (seriously, NHL, we meant it — that would rawk!), it’s got to do something to jazz up the shootout, or else we’ll all get so jaded that we might as well just go back to the five-on-five trapping-to-get-a-tie OTs. ::shifty eyes::

Don’t worry, Gentle Reader, we have a solution! Katebits actually tweeted this at the time, but we feel like the idea is so solid that it deserves a full write up, especially in light of Brian Burke’s rant this week. Are you sitting down? Prepare to have your mind blown and your world rocked. Ready?

Instead of the coaches picking three shooters from their own team… the coaches should pick who shoots for the opposing team!

That’s right, the coaches should pick who shoots for the opposing team.

Think about it — of course the coaches would gravitate towards the worst players. Instead of seeing Kovalchuk, Parise, and Elias shoot for the Devils, the opposing coach would pick Janssen, Boulton, and, well, Tedenby. Sorry, Teddy. But here’s the thing, we want to see zany, little Tedenby trying to score in a shootout. We don’t want to see Janssen and Boulton taking shootouts. You know who else doesn’t want to see Janseen and Boulton taking shootouts? The coaching staff. How could they solve that? By not dressing Janseen and Boulton. You know who else doesn’t want to see Janssen and Boulton taking shootouts? Management. How could they solve that? By not drafting or signing players like Janssen and Boulton.

If for some reason (insanity?), the coaches and management did decide they really need enforcers, the enforcers will have the pressure of knowing the final result of the game could very well come down to their ability to score on an uncontested, staged breakaway. What are said enforcers going to do? Practice harder at being better skaters and shooters! How could that possibly be a bad thing for anyone? There’s a slight chance those skills could bleed into an actual in-game situation. Gone would be the days of ham-fisted goons! Instead we’d have, um, what’s slightly more subtle than a ham-fist? Welcome to the era of prosciutto-fisted goons!

Seriously, though, can you think of any other simple rule change that would do more to encourage teams to win in regulation than this? And if the games do go the distance, imagine how much more fun it will be to watch as a fan? We’ve all seen the best players in the game take breakaways. Won’t it be more fun to scheme over who you think would be the worst player for the other team to be forced to send out against your team’s goalie? Moreover, we all know the long shootouts are the ones that are the most fun. This set-up will undoubtedly lead to shootouts that require five or more rounds. Fans will get their money’s worth!

It’s brilliant. The only possible outcomes of instituting this rule would be any combination of the following:

1. Enforcers being forced to either become more skilled or be replaced in the lineup.
2. More games decided in regulation and overtime.
3. The shootout becoming more interesting for the fans.

NHL, the PA may have rejected your realignment plan, but there’s no way they’d reject this. Do it! You’ll thank us later.

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Dude, everyone else in the league fired their coaches today, and the Devils didn’t? It’s madness! How does something like this happen? We’ve got no beef with DeBoer, but honestly, we must not let there be a coach-firing gap. Lou, get on it. You’re starting to look like you’ve lost your edge.

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Say, have you ever seen the “Darmok” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation? [SPOILERS!] It’s the one where the Enterprise meets an alien race that has stymied the Federation for decades and decades because they are so unintelligible. And then the alien ship kidnaps Captain Picard and beams him down to the nearest planet along with their own captain, who keeps proclaiming shit like, “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!” and “Shaka, when the walls fell!” and “Temba, his arms wide!” And after a few days’ ordeal trying to communicate with the alien captain, while fighting a monster that lives on the planet, Picard realizes that this seemingly gibberish-babbling race of aliens is actually communicating with metaphors from their culture. The crew of the Enterprise uses “Juliet on the balcony” as an example of human culture spoken that way to mean something romantic.

Anyway. So there we are early this evening, watering the garden, and Pookie suddenly realizes that our sunflowers, which were tiny seedlings just a few days ago, are now towering beasts. They are like mighty oaks. And to express their awesome stature and strength? She stands, arms akimbo, and bellows, “Stevens, in the neutral zone!” Ahhh, when dork worlds collide.

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…who think of this video whenever concussion-prone guys (*cough*Gagne*cough*) get another concussion?

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— For a variety of uninteresting reasons, Pookie arrived at work this morning with about 20 minutes to spare and a hankering to find videos about Beaks on YouTube. She found this:

When she sent the link to Schnookie this exchange ensued:

Pookie: I found a HILARIOUS video of Beaks and CoreyPerry CoreyPerry. Fighting in Juniors. At the end of a playoff game.
Schnookie: Oh my god.
Pookie: I was laughing out loud in my car. It was Muppet Baby Douchebags.
Schnookie: I’m honestly not sure who I’d think wins that. Of course, we’re ALL winners here.
Pookie: It was like what I imagine baby peacocks would be like if they were chimpanzees learning life skills by copying their parents.
Schnookie: (After watching the video) Oh my god. That’s a beauty. I love Beaks tossing his head. Like, I’m sure he thought, a wild stallion. He looked like Beaks of Chincoteague there. A little wild pony.

— For a variety of uninteresting reasons we ended up discussing Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers during dinner tonight, which, of course, spiraled into an exchange of Simpsons quotes. When Schnookie pulled out the “how will anyone know it’s a Honda without the H?” scene, Pookie suddenly declared that Looch had eaten the H off all the Hondas he’s ever seen. Schnookie agreed, because Looch just loves to eat the letter H. Pookie then remarked, “That’s why that Bruins/Habs game was such a melee. Looch just sees all those little H’s on the sweaters…”

— Boomer made us all laugh really hard after dinner when she tried to read aloud the blurb about Nora Roberts’s upcoming release, Catching Fire, a romance novel about smokejumpers. Boomer launched into the first sentence of the blurb, “There’s little as thrilling as firefighting…” but said instead, “There’s little as thrilling as firefarting.” We still haven’t stopped shrieking with laughter. Being a grownup is grand.

— We got a crazy new fisheye lens for our camera today. VE Mats loves it.

Fisheye VE Mats

So does Rollie.

Fisheye Rollie

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Dude, is it just us or is there really nothing to say about the Devils these days?

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