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Archive for the ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Category

We, um, missed you?

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OK, OK, are you sitting down? How’s this — imagine you’re watching a game that’s gone to a shootout. The shootout is tied after three attempts. Do you want to see a fourth lame attempt at yet another forward shooting at the goalie? Or do you want to see… wait for it… a goalie race?! WE KNOW! Brendan Shanahan, ball’s in your court.

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There’s a sketch from the comedy show “Stella” where Michael, Michael, and David are talking to a woman in a NYC loft. She wants to get away from the guys so she points behind them and says, “Look! A baby deer!” All three guys turn and look and she ducks out. Michael says, “I think she just wanted to leave.” David says, “You mean all that time she was talking about the baby deer, she was lying?” They go to leave, dejected, and then the other Michael says, “Hold on, guys, I’m going to go look for that baby deer one more time.” We realized this weekend that our relationship with the Devils at this point is such that we’re just sitting here saying over and over and over, “I’m going to go look for that baby deer one more time.”

On that note, Playoffs are coming! We’re going to go look for that baby deer one more time.

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Lots has happened this week in hockey and here’s what we have to say about it:

1. Burrows had it coming (all divers do).

2. Ovechkin is a douchebag (power forwards who are praised to high heaven for dishing out the physical play but who are let off the hook when they don’t pay the price for it are).

3. Marty Brodeur is the shit (all goalies who have had as much consistent success as he has are. Oh wait, there aren’t any goalies other than him who have!).

Anyway, we don’t have much more to say about these topics because it’s officially the Hockey Season Doldrums now. We know this because instead of engaging in any serious conversation about any of these things, we spent our post-giant-glasses-of-red-wine-with-dinner tipsyness discussing whether clips of Carl Sagan auto-tuned to create dreamy electronica songs are interesting. Don’t worry. It’s just a phase. We’ll get over it.

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APPLEBEES HOSTESS: “I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t eat here without pants. It’s a policy put in by the corporate heads.”
PAULIE: “Well they can go fuck themselves!”

***

OFFICIAL HOCKEY HALL OF FAME STATISTICIAN: “I’m afraid ‘plastic star’ is not an officially recognized award.”
ZACH: “You can go fuck yourself!”

***

GROCERY STORE BAGGER: “There are no more plastic bags. You’re going to have to take paper.”
LANGER: “You can go fuck yourself!”

***

ART STORE CLERK: “Nope, we don’t have block crayons. Only stick ones.”
TRAVIS: “You can go fudge yourself!”

***

ANDY GREENE: “Uh, there isn’t an all-star game this year. The NHL is participating in the Olympics instead.”
STAN FISCHLER & RICH CHERE: “They can go fuck themselves!”
ANDY GREENE: “Word.”

***

US BORDER GUARD: “ClarksonNation is not recognized by the United State of America. This ‘passport’ has booked you a one way ticket to the detention room, mister!”
CLARKSON: “You and your ‘real’ nation can go fuck yourselves! Er, I mean, here’s my real passport. No, no! Don’t deport me!”

***

MARTY: “I’m the all-time wins and shutouts leader! Go me!”
PATRICK ROY: “You can go fuck yourself.”
MARTY: “::Smirk::”

***

LOU: “And that completes our trade of Cam Janssen for Bryce Salvador.”
BLUES GM: “Aw, fuck me. Cam Janssen?!”

***

YANN DANIS: “Please, sir, I’d like to start.”
LEMAIRE: “Go fuck yourself.”

***

ANDREW PETERS: ::Breathes::
THE OOKIES: “You can go fuck yourself.”

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One of the really wonderful things about being a sports fan is that you never know what’s going to happen in any given season. Now that a reasonably substantial chunk of hockey has been played in the ’09-’10 season, it seems like we can start looking at the bigger picture and thinking about what have been the biggest surprises for us in the early going.

SURPRISE #1: We actually like what Jacques Lemaire has done with the Devils. We can be gracious and admit that we were wrong about him (so far). Now, we keep hearing that the non-Devils feeds of Devils games spend the better part of their time fixating angrily on how trappy the Devils are, and we’ve gleefully read through many a sour-grapes comment thread on opposing team blogs where the fans of the teams that are losing to the Devils bitch (to the point of giving the Devils all their marbles) to high heaven about the trap. But just how Stephen Colbert says he doesn’t see race, we don’t see the trap. Seriously. We never notice it. Not when the Devils are playing it. Not when the Devils’ opponents are playing it. We barely notice it when the announcers point it out during games. It’s so prevalent that we kind of just don’t care about it. We just care about the Devils not ossifying like they did at the end of Lemaire’s last go-round in New Jersey, and were terrified we’d see that right out of the gate this year. And what a pleasant surprise — they’re sassy! The defense (before they all got injured) jumps up into plays a billion times more often than they did under Sutter’s regime. The forwards still seem to go into the offensive zone, but they also know how to play in their defensive zone, unlike during Sutter’s regime. Hell, they even score into empty nets! We know we’ve already apologized to Lemaire in this space once, but we’re happy to do it again today. Are the Devils peaking too soon, and we’ll spend March and April wistfully recalling the heady days of the November Juggernaut? Probably, but that’s to be worried about in March and April. For now, we’re just going to keep luxuriating in the deliciousness of the sassy, injury-overcoming, pleasantly-surprising, youngster-heavy Devils.

SURPRISE #2: David Clarkson, Niklas Bergfors and Andy Greene. None of those guys are emperor-gods quite yet, but they are all definitely the regionally recognized demi-emperor-gods in outlying tropical-paradise islands. Like, AcornsNations Cruise Lines does a steady business sending the citizens of AcornNations on weeklong, all-inclusive tours of the AcornsNation Clarkson Islands and the such. Of course, Bergfors Islands better not get too comfortable as a PaulieMartinNation protectorate, because PaulieMartinNation is not afraid to abandon Bergfors Islands’ sorry ass if need be.

SURPRISE #3: During Thursday night’s open thread, IPB Irregular EJGRgunner made a startling discovery — the missing piece in getting Bergfors to ascend to emperor-god status is that he’s not the Swedish Chef. In unrelated Bergfors news, Jacques Lemaire told TG over at Fire & Ice that Bergfors had a crappy game because Zach Parise has superstar offensive talent but also works harder than anyone on playing defense so why can’t Bergfors. Thanks to our superior skills at investigative reporting and the press passes we received for being such professional Devils bloggers, we were able to procure video tape of the confrontation that followed between Bergfors and Zach’s representative.

SURPRISE #4: Tonight we were watching the Blue Jackets (our new Tranny Gentleman Callers, which is a surprise in and unto itself) playing the Ducks, and at one point RustyKlesla injured himself on a play that strongly resembled this:

This prompted the BJs announcers to launch into the “shocking, unheard-of number of injuries in the NHL” angle, in which they started gnashing their teeth and pulling out their hair over how injuries could possibly be taken out of the game. When thinking about solving the problem of injuries like RustyKlesla’s, we were surprised to realize that we know exactly how to fix the game:

1. Remove the banana peels from the trapezoid. Without the ability to obstruct those banana peels, defensemen are helpless to keep them from carpeting that area of the ice.
2. Replace the boards with haybales.
3. Replace the stanchions with pipe cleaners.
4. Replace the glass with that see-through bouncy castle window material.

These are changes that could be put into effect immediately, without altering the rulebook. If the GMs want to consider expanding on it, perhaps they can reach an agreement by the start of next season to just replace all the league’s rinks entirely with bouncy castles. We think this is a fantastic idea, and wonder why more people haven’t been talking about it.

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No matter what conference your favorite team plays in, Gentle Reader, you have surely noticed one of the Laws of the Natural Hockey Universe: announcers are incapable of referring to Corey Perry as anything other than “Corey Perry”. Unrelatedly, we’ve lately taken to watching the Columbus Blue Jackets when the Devils (and the Trannies and the Ducks and any number of other gentlemen callers) aren’t on. Since Rick Nash is “carrying the flag”, as they say in Ohio, for the Too Oranges and the Craig Andersoxers, it behooves us to tune in. While doing the important scouting to keep Nash from goldbricking on the job, we discovered something fascinating somewhat interesting worth blogging about when there’s nothing else doing*. Rusty Klesla? Is the Corey Perry of the East(ern part of the Western Conference)! Who knew? Just try to say just “Klesla”. If you’re a hockey announcer and you’re reading this (hi, Doc!), we bet you can’t. Not only that, but we also discovered that Corey Perry is the Fedor Tutyin of the West(ern part of the Western Conference). It’s this kind of research that earns us the big bucks.

*Technically, one could argue that there is “something doing” in Devilsland, but honestly, what is there to say about Elias practicing? “It’s great he’s practicing!” “We hope he comes back soon but not too soon!” “Maybe he’s what the team needs to win at home!” “Purple monkey dishwasher!”

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