Archive for the ‘Jamie Langenbrunner’ Category

Remember back a bunch of weeks ago when the Devils were catastrophically bad and seemed to be completely unwilling to make the drastic changes that obviously needed to happen? And we were all utterly puzzled by Lou’s inability to just fire Johnny Mac already? Well, Gulitti’s column today about Langer facing off against his old team post-trade shed a new light on the situation, and it’s all making sense to us. Gulitti reports that Langer was asked to waive his no-trade clause way back in training camp, but for whatever stupid reason he decided not to, and now we understand that the entire first half of the season was just Lou doing everything he could think of to get rid of the erstwhile Captain Fuck This Shit.

Tons of injuries? Weren’t enough to get rid of Langer.

Heaps of losing? Wasn’t enough to get rid of Langer.

Rock-bottom, shitty coaching? Wasn’t enough to get rid of Langer.

The threat of veteran players being humiliated by getting put on waivers? Wasn’t enough to get rid of Langer.

Being forced to play games in horrible, stranding-players-in-their-cars snowstorms? Wasn’t enough to get rid of Langer.

Lou tried everything, and none of it worked. Langer’s stubborn petulance was more than a match for Lou, who has clearly lost a step. The only thing he could do was pick up the “in case of emergency break glass” hammer and bring in the Angel Summoner. Can you even imagine if that hadn’t worked?


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We feel like we’ve been strangely silent about the Devils so far this season, so we’d like to take a moment away from our just-started Dallas travelogue slideshow to share with you our thoughts about the putrid pile of puke that is our favorite hockey team.

— The Devils are like a red, red rose. If you are allergic to roses. And it’s got bees in it. Killer bees. And you keep forgetting that it’s covered in thousands of those little tiny thorns that get stuck in your skin and feel like white-hot metal barbs even though they’re practically microscopic. And if you don’t realize that the little tiny thorns stuck under your skin are probably covered in teensy tiny bee eggs, so then the bees hatch inside your skin. The Devils are like that.

— The Devils are like that awful co-worker who knows exactly how much time has passed since his or her working test period or last disciplinary action so that he or she knows exactly when he or she can break the rules, or show up to work late and/or drunk and/or high, or yell at customers, or steal stuff from someone else’s desk, all without being fired. Like clockwork, they can be counted on to perform when they absolutely have to so as to not get canned, but the rest of the time they’re only known for being unreliable. We can only assume the Devils knew that the game in Anaheim corresponded to the end of their probationary period. If they lost that game, people would have been held accountable. But since they won, their boss could only rip up the already drafted “written notice” and start anew. And thanks to all the injuries, they know they have a built-in excuse for poor performance, but instead of just letting it lie there, they’re going to try to play it for sympathy. You know that type — totally manipulative, lazy, self-centered, and falsely entitled.

— The Devils are like that bad book you should have put down 25 pages ago. The plot drags, the characters are boring, and whatever you’re thinking might happen to make it better if you just give it one more chapter doesn’t. But it’s not even like it’s bad in an interesting way, where you could get angry at the characters, or keep reading in the hopes that misfortune will rain down on them, or that the writing is so horrid that it’s laughable. It’s just bad.

— The Devils are like the team in the NHL with the worst captain. Seriously, how is it even possible to quantify how terrible a captain Langer is? The best part is the way he bitches every time the fans boo the Devils at The Rawk, because if he played in a market that was even just the tiniest bit more intense, he would have been stripped of his C ages ago. He’s a captain who pouted publicly after getting a “maintenance day” in an essentially meaningless game at the end of last season. He’s a captain who scores on average less than 18 goals a season (and less than 50 points total), but who has had coaches fired for not playing him on the top line. He’s a captain whose team has looked listless, unprepared, uncaring, and gutless in every (brief) postseason during his reign of terror. Wait, now that we mention it, the Devils aren’t like the team in the NHL with the worst captain, they are the team in the NHL with the worst captain.

— The Devils are like a team of idiots who are constantly trying to one-up each other with how idiotic they can be. Why is it every year there’s some guy who gets a summertime injury, but who waits until the regular season to get surgery on it? Zach’s knee injury is like a virtuoso performance at that particular game; Langer and Patty with their sports-hernia/groin surgeries are probably seething mad that they didn’t think of it. (And while we’re on the subject of injuries, we should add that the Devils are like the Flyers of the mid-’90s, in that their medical staff seems to be a bunch of malicious quacks. Wait, malicious quacks? Dr. Chuck the Duck, we presume?)

— The Devils are like the lentil balls in yogurt we got from the Indian place tonight. There were good ingredients in those lentil balls, like lentils and yogurt, and, um, tamarind? But they were really sort of disgusting. Because those ingredients weren’t working together like an orchestra. And whoever created the recipe decided they should be served ice cold. WTF? Basically, the chef had a decent starting point, but then fucked every step up along the way. That dish was a systematic failure wrapped in lentils drenched in yogurt tamarind sauce.

— The Devils are like an orchestra. An orchestra led by someone who doesn’t know anything about musical instruments, the people who play them, and, well, music in general. We had been pretty psyched for the Devils to do the same thing this year that the Flyers did that year they sucked so bad and finally fired Bobby Clarke. We hoped that sweeping changes would be made with the inner workings of the organization to finally wrest the team out of the past’s cold, dead hands and launch it into a bright future. And then the bloated corpses of the late-contract veterans would be shipped out of town to desperate renters in exchange for tasty prospects and future all-stars. And the season would end with a top-two draft pick. And then we’d all wake up the next season and have a team that goes to the ECF. But then we remembered this is the Devils. There are no organizational changes with the Devils. They don’t move expiring-contract UFAs for draft picks or prospects (because really, who would want draft picks or even just a live body under the age of 23 when we can keep the band together for one more five-game loss in the first round?). And if they got a top-two draft pick, Lou would stand there at the podium at the Draft, wearing that “cat that got the canary” smirk, while shocking the hockey world by going off the board to draft Adrian Foster’s older, less-talented, more chronically-injured brother.

— The Devils are like a team that plays in a state that’s about to start selling Devils-themed license plates! Woo-hoo! Seriously, for all this, we are some kind of psyched for license plates.

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So we’re watching the SCF game tonight, and about midway through the first period a commercial comes on for Pizza Hut. It features two little bratty kids in baseball uniforms talking about how losing isn’t all that bad, because when they lose, their coach takes them to Pizza Hut. Neither Schnookie nor Boomer have seen the commercial before, and Pookie lets it run about halfway before saying, “Yeah, I saw this commercial the other day. And I was like, ‘Shut the fuck up, Jamie Langenbrunner.‘”

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The arborist visited stately IPB Manor today, to assess the lightning damage.

The Black Locust's Last Photoshoot

You can see in the middle of the top of the tree there where the lightning struck; a big part of it is looking very dead, and a chunk of that dead part has fallen over, dangling precariously high above our yard.

The Black Locust's Last Photoshoot

There was some faint hope that maybe just that portion of the tree could be trimmed off, and the rest could soldier on, but alas. Look at the base of the trunk:

The Black Locust's Last Photoshoot

That hole there? That’s where the lightning exited the tree. So… the whole thing, which was not entirely structurally sound to begin with, is coming down. Either Friday or Saturday. After delivering the bad news, the arborist further made our days by suggesting that the daffodils and crocuses around the base of the tree, the flowers that are annually our only source of joy while the Devils are in their swoon, likely got vaporized by the lightning too. Fucking Nature.

With the departure of the black locust, which might very well be the tallest tree in our neighborhood, we turn our affections to the Cox’s Orange Pippin apple tree as our new favorite tree.

Cox's Orange Pippin

It’s hardly majestic, but something it does have going for it is that it’s highly unlikely to be struck by lightning any time soon. Pookie is hopeful that it’s going to turn out that the black locust was housing bad Devils spirits, and, like the tree in “Sleepy Hollow”, a rampaging Jamie Langenbrunner used to rise up out from underneath the tree on his hellbeast black steed and wreak havoc on our playoff dreams every year. Our itsy-bitsy apple tree is way too small for him to do that with. And if he did manage to figure out how to do that, he’d just get tangled up in the deer fencing. So maybe this is a good thing?

Go Into The Light, Black Locust

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While some teams are getting all excited to be playing in the Stanley Cup Final, our stupid team is doing no such thing. Instead, they’re hanging around the American Museum of Natural History.

Brian Rolston

Ugh. Brian Rolston. He’s not a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a good sense. He’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the “old, dried up stack of bones” sense. –Schn.

Jamie Langenbrunner As A Rock

Jamie Langenbrunner. He’s such a square. — Pk.

Colin White

This is a very appropriate setting for Colin White, because watching him play hockey makes me want to eat arsenic. –Schn.

Dainius Zubrus

For some reason, Zubrus is my favorite Devil to find in the wild. And this is my favorite Zubrus I’ve spotted. –Schn.

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1. You know that scene in “The Cutting Edge” when Doug goes to the Mosley estate for the first time, and Kate totally dismisses him, and then Jack tries to pay him off for his trouble, and in the course of the conversation explains that all the guys who came before Doug weren’t “pressure players”, and then Doug wads up the check Jack wrote for him, counteroffers “double or nothing”, and drains a perfect shot into the fireplace accessories in the swanky office, and then Jack decides that Doug is totally the guy for the job, and then it cuts to Kate eavesdropping outside the office, and she’s all, “Oh, I just came to say goodbye,” and Jack’s all, “Doug’s going to be staying with us for a while,” and Doug’s all, “I’ll see you at practice tomorrow,” and Kate’s all, “Whaaaaa?” and Jack’s all, “It’s the end of the line, honey”? You know that one? That’s exactly how we want the Devils’ new coach hiring to play out. With Lou as Jack, someone awesome as Doug, and Jamie Langenbrunner as Kate. When TG gave an informal rundown of the people he thought were in the running for the coaching gig, he seemed to suggest that the captain/coach relationship was something that had to be considered in the hiring process. But why? WHY????? What on earth has Langer done to prove that he deserves that kind of respect? We want Lou to hire a coach just to spite Langer. Hey, if it backfires and the team loses, how would that be any different from him hiring a coach Langer does like?

2. There are three words/phrases we never want to hear on television again: a) bra, b) family jewels, and c) isn’t is shame that players use composite sticks because they break all the time and wooden sticks never, ever broke and the sun shone every day blah blah blah. Get over it, cranky wooden stick people! They weren’t perfect and we all like players shooting harder and more accurately, so sit down and your dumb wooden card table, punks, and shut up.

3. Unrelated to hockey, we’d like to suggest something for corporate America: “taking a driving day”. It’s like a sick day, but you get to cash it in whenever your commute takes twice as long as normal (provided your commute is longer than 30 minutes to start with). On that note, Pookie will be enjoying a very nice driving day tomorrow after her two fucking hour commute this evening.

4. Schnookie thinks this “taking a driving day” thing should also apply to commutes shorter than 30 minutes. Because there was that one time a few years ago when there was an accident between her office and home, and it took her fifteen fucking minutes to get home. She’s owed that back, with interest, and will be enjoying a day off tomorrow too.

5. We know we’ve mentioned in this space that we were planning a controlled burn for our hockey fandom, and can we just say? It is awesome. All that figurative underbrush was building up in the metaphorical forest of our fandom, and this postseason has afforded us a chance to manage a modest little forest fire to clean everything up. With the Devils out, we just don’t care anymore (other than the delicious elimination of the Caps), and won’t care again until October. It’s like we’re going to wake up next fall in a sparkly-new forest, where some strange team will have won a Stanley Cup we weren’t watching, and it’ll all be fine. Meanwhile, summertime is awesome… and there’s a WORLD CUP right around the corner! WOO HOOO!

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As you’ve probably already noticed, Gentle Reader, we don’t have much enthusiasm for NHL participation in the Olympics. Also, we don’t have any regard for anything Brian Burke says. But we put all of that aside when we read the flattering things Burke had to say about the Devils with regards to naming Langer captain of the US Olympic team. We’re now willing to concede that he’s batshit crazy about every subject except the sheer awesomeness that is the Devils organization’s commitment to character. We love that Lou looks to draft and sign players who are the right fit for the team, rather than just the statistically best guys available. We love that the team develops complete players. And we love that the organization is getting that recognition at such a high level.

BUT. (There’s always a “but”, isn’t there?)

We can’t help but wonder if maybe that’s not the real story here. After all, it is Brian Burke. And if he’s batshit crazy about everything else, how likely is it that he’s not doing something crazy in naming Langer the USA captain? Highly unlikely. So what could be his motivation? Sure, naming Langer captain instead of the inexplicably-included Drury is a bit unexpected and off-the-board, but it’s not really batshit, per se. And Burke’s a guy who probably fancies himself a Machiavellian genius. No, there’s something more afoot here. Could it be that he gave Langer the “C” for another notable Devils-developed trait?

Could it be that he’s using Langer (and giving Zach and Rafalski “A”s, to boot) to coach-kill Ron Wilson during the Olympics?

Now that we’ve said it, it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

* * * * *

In other news, we’ve realized with absolutely no sadness at all that our plans for tonight will require that we be getting to the Devils/Rangers game on Versus on a few hours’ tivo delay. Rats. We’re so broken up to be missing it. Try to soldier on without us in an open thread for it and all the other games on tonight’s docket. Spoilers are welcome!

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