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Archive for the ‘Mike Mottau’ Category

We feel like we’ve been very divorced from the Devils lately, what with missing the Islanders game on MLK Day, then being out late this Friday and Saturday for the Montreal and Islanders (redux) games. Maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder, though? Probably not. Anyway, here’s our take on the state of the Devils, as seen from far, far away.

1. EJGRgunner made the great point after last night’s game that Zach has apparently taken the Fuck This Shit torch from Langer. And Langer has given it up without a fight. The “C” might still be on Langer’s sweater, but the true Captain Fuck This Shit of the Devils is now Zach. This doesn’t really come as a surprise, considering that Zach is ten times the player Langer is, but still. It merits mention that, from a million miles away where we’re standing, it seems to have happened this week.

2. We may or may not have mentioned in this space that we are participating in a group project on Flickr called sixty-four colors, where the assignment is to take pictures of a specific color every week, as chosen by random draw from a box of 64 Crayola crayons. This week (our first in the project), the color was sea green. Now, we assumed we’d fail, because who the hell ever sees anything that’s sea green? As it turns out, though, as soon as you start looking, there’s sea green everywhere. Likewise, ever since Zubrus got hurt we’ve moved Mike Mottau to the top of our list of guys we are most likely to forget are Devils. We never, ever, ever noticed him. Then, a couple weeks ago, Pam mentioned in the comments here that he was the player she was most eagerly anticipating getting to the end of his contract. Since then, the only thing we can ever see about the Devils is how much he sucks. Mike Mottau being a terrible hockey player is like the sea green of the NHL.

3. As has been well-documented here, we’re pretty down on the whole NHL-involvment-in-the-Olympics thing. One of the reasons why is we’re always very sure a key Devil is going to get hurt playing in what is essentially an all-star exhibition tournament.* This year we were getting big time vibes that Elias was going to be the one to pull a groin or get a high ankle sprain or break a forearm (which in our experience is the most horrible, unhealable hockey injury ever). So what do the hockey gods do? They go and give Patty a concussion well before the all-star exhibition tournament even starts so we can’t even blame it on the stupid old Olympics. (*We’re all about all-star exhibition tournaments, just not when they interrupt the regular NHL season; if the NHL brought back the World Cup we’d be first in line to buy tickets. OK, maybe not buy tickets, but we’d be all over watching it. Think about it, NHL. You know you want us being all over watching hockey in the summertime.)

4. Speaking of the most horrible, unhealable hockey injuries ever, we miss Paulie Martin. The Devils are pretty good at initially recovering from going down a key player, but it’s like everyone’s decided Paulie is never, ever walking through that door ever again, so it’s not worth trying to play well until he comes back.

5. Is anyone even sure Yann Danis is still alive? Because it seems to us like maybe he died by accident a month or so ago, and the Devils just don’t want anyone to know. They’re being all like, “Oh, he’s still with the team. He’s still an important part of the team! He’s totally alive and a key player on our roster. He’s gonna play tonight, in fact. That’s how alive and part of this team he is. Playing tonight. For reals. Totally.” Then, an hour later, they’re like, “Uh, he, uh… got stuck in traffic. He’s not gonna be able to play tonight. Um… *shifty eyes*… he’ll be back tomorrow. Or the day after. Something like that.”

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Boxworthy and Bernice

Boxworthy hanging out with Bernice the pigeon (or, as I just typed it, “Bernice the penguin”, which would have been pretty awesome) at Rockefeller Center. –Schn.

David Clarkson

David Clarkson, spotted near Park Avenue. –Schn.

A Bevy of Devils

White, Greene, Martin, Zubrus, Parise, Egg, Maddog, and Rolston hang out in NYC. –Pk.

Grand Central Clock

Sheldon Brookbank, Ken Daneyko, Scott Stevens, Colin White, Andy Greene, John Madden, and Brian Rolston, in hoity-toity roman numerals. –Schn.

Andrew Peters

Andrew Peters may suck at hockey, but he’s good at identifying street addresses. –Pk.

Marty Brodeur

Marty. A very, very blurry Marty. –Pk.

David Clarkson

We caught this building right after it attempted a wraparound. –Pk.

Marty and the Ookies

We saw Marty in the city and waved hello. –Pk.

Dano and Scotty

Dano and Scotty keep 34th St clean. –Pk.

Mike Mottau

Applesauce! –Schn.

Zach, Zubrus, Paulie, Scottie, Dano

Zach, Zubrus, Paulie, Scottie and Dano, clockwise from the top. –Schn.

Travis Zajac

Travis showing off his Milford Academy education at work, as he blends in to this train departure board at Grand Central Station. –Schn.

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Now that it’s after Thanksgiving, that means it’s full-time Christmas Season! WOOOO! It also means the quarter mark of the NHL season has passed, so Santa has a substantial enough body of work to assess when he makes his list of which Devils have been naughty and which have been nice. Sure, he’s still got a month or so to check the list twice, so these are entirely unofficial results, but we’re proud to say that we have spies in Santa’s workshop who have smuggled out — at great personal cost, no less — the preliminary draft. Let’s take a look at who on our team can expect a shiny new hockey stick for Christmas, and who’s in line for a honkin’ lump of coal.

Forwards:

Dainius Zubrus: Nice After spending last season being the 6’5″ Sergei Brylin, Zubrus has spent the last few weeks being the not-flakey Jason Arnott. We knew it! We knew he could be a good linemate for Patty! We don’t expect him to keep this up for very long, but even for just a few games, it’s worth a great present from Santa.

Zach Parise: Extremely Nice Santa should stop two or three times at Zach’s house this year for how extraordinary Zach’s first quarter has been. When all was darkness and despair, Zach was a bright shining light of talent, heart, and third-in-the-league-in-goal-scoring. We’ve been hearing for years that Zach is all but guaranteed to be the next captain of the team (we personally are pulling for Travis, but that’s a whole other post) and so far this season, we’ve seen why. When everyone else was content to say the season was a lost cause, Zach said, “Pshaw! Lost cause my arse! I’ll score fifty goals! What? Our defense and goaltending sucks so bad it won’t help? Whatevs.”

John Madden: Undecided Is it just us, or does it seem like Madden hasn’t been playing this year, even before he was injured? Santa has no idea. He’ll probably put him on the nice list, just because Madden’s a stalwart and a cranky-pants, but he’s our stalwart cranky-pants.

Brian Rolston: Naughty Oh, some people might say you can’t judge Rolston because he’s been injured all season, but you know what? That’s exactly why Santa’s stuffing his stocking with nothing but coal. You can’t go filling Devils fans with hope by being the first sought-after free agent to sign with New Jersey, then fail to make the power play instantly awesome right out of the gate, and then get injured in such a way that no one knows when or how you’ll ever be back, and have that injury happen to be the starting point for the most devastating team-wide run of injuries we’ve ever seen. No, Brian Rolton’s on the very top of Santa’s naughty list.

Brian Gionta: Nice Enough to Not Get Coal But… We had high hopes for Contract Year Gio. Those hopes haven’t really been fulfilled. He’s not been terrible, but we’re hoping Santa’s elves don’t knock themselves out making Gio’s toys this year. Give him a wooden train or two, but make them small enough to be packed in a suitcase come Trade Deadline Day.

Jamie Langenbrunner: Naughty, But Surprisingly Only Barely Langer can thank his lucky stars that Zach is a superstar and Travis remembered how to play hockey this year, because the resurgent ZZ Pops line is the only thing saving his petulant, stupid-penalty-taking, ineffective-captaining, open-net-missing, sucking-on-the-point-on-the-PP, craptacular ass. It’s hard to imagine what Patty did to make Sutter hate him so much, because there’s no way in hell that Langer is any better a captain than Patty was. But again, he’s the Pops for the Poppers (and that’s “pops” as in “lousy old man”, not “pops” as in “he’s what makes the offense pop”), so his lump of coal will at least be attractively wrapped.

Blobby Holik: Naughty There’s nothing Holik could have done to make Santa put him on the Nice List because, come on, Santa’s no dummy.

Mike Rupp: Nice As a jolly, fun-loving guy, Santa surely must love Rupper, what with his big grin and easy-going manner. We love Rupper, too, especially since this year’s he’s getting one of the greatest gifts we can bestow upon a Devil: The IPB Order of Pleasantly Surprising. That’s right, with Asham off being predictably bad with Philly, Rupper’s taken over the mantle of that player of whom we’re mostly likely to say, after a high-energy shift or an expected goal, “my, but I’m pleasantly surprised!” What fourth liner could ask for more?

Travis Zajac: NICE!, With A Capital “N-I-C-E” He’s still a tiny bit afraid of the acorn, but Travis has not only remembered how to center the ZZ Pops line, he’s become even more dynamic doing so. Santa is going to pile mountains of toys under Travis’s tree (that’s what she said!) to reward the way he’s become a dynamic, confident, powerful player in every zone. Of course, we fully put forth that we are totally blind to Travis’s flaws, but apparently so is Santa.

Jay Pandolfo: Nice, As Always Santa, like every important person of influence, is a citizen of PandoNation. Pando could have been sucking so bad that he was a healthy scratch every night and he’d still get every present he asked for. Sure, he’s not scoring as much as he was when he was in a contract year, but Santa doesn’t expect goals from Pando. We all spent half of last season with our hearts in our throats waiting for Pando to overcome his tragically shifted bits, but this year he’s bucked the teamwide injury trend and been his usual stoic, penalty-killing, defensively delightful emperor-god self. Santa will reward that handsomely.

Petr Vrana: Naughty Vrana Vrana Vrana! No matter how many times Santa sees his name on his list, it still doesn’t make him an NHL player.

David Clarkson: Nice Looking Santa’s elves are expected to be creative (no one wants the same dolly or toy truck year after year, do they?) so it would only follow that Santa would appreciate creativity in his gift recipients, too. So far this year, Clarkson has shown a shocking willingness to attempt moves other than his patented Clarkaround. Sure, those other moves aren’t really resulting in a huge increase in points, but as long as Clarkson’s still one of the prettiest names on Santa’s list, he won’t need to worry about making space in the coal bin. Santa may be smart, but he’s also pretty shallow.

Patrik Elias: Nice-ish, But Trending Nicer There was a time this season when Patty was heading up the Naughty list, but Santa’s been swayed by his recent resurgence. It might be because he’s got the same linemates every night for the first time in the Sutter Era (thanks to all the injuries making it impossible for Sutter to keep shuffling guys as much as he’d like to), it might be because Zubrus has been possessed by ghosts of the A Line, and it might be because he’s suddenly realized that with Marty out, the team MVP award is up for grabs (psst, Patty — as long as Zach’s on the team, that award’s not actually up for grabs), but whatever the reason, Patty’s playing decently again. For that, Santa will be bringing, like, an orange to put in the toe of his stocking, and maybe some shampoo, like a friend of ours always got in her stocking as a kid. He’ll need a few more good games before Christmas if he wants to upgrade past hair care products.

Defense:

Sheldon Brookbank: As a Defensmean, Naughty; As a Forward, Nice Santa doesn’t usually do the conditional thing (if there’s too much wiggle-room, the elves get confused), but in Brookbank’s case, there’s not much choice. Maybe he’ll get a Transformer in his stocking that goes from coal to toy and vice versa depending on where Sutter puts him in the line-up.

Colin White: Nice He didn’t spend the beginning of this year devastating the Devils d-corps with an eye injury, so Santa’s bringing him that pony he’s always dreamed of.

Andy Greene: Undecided Uhhh… right. Santa’s highly likely to accidentally fly right over Greener’s house, completely forgetting that he’s supposed to stop there.

Paul Martin: Nicest! Two seasons in a row now we’ve seen the team go into a tailspin when Paulie’s missed more than two games due to injury. No, he’s not the Niedermayer replacement we were promised (remember those days, Gentle Reader? Ha! Sigh.) but he’s clearly the North Star leading the d-corps to respectability. He’s also played well enough to convince Sutter to let him have carte blanche in the offensive quadrants — now if only he can convince all of us (especially his father) that he can finish. Fortuantely, Santa’s a Devils fan (we mean, duh! Whose team colors does he wear? Yeah. We rest our case) so making the nice list isn’t contingent on being a good finisher. (Unless your name rhymes with Blian Blionta.)

Bryce Salvador: Super-Duper Nice The Iron Boar went from “guy who was so bad in the playoffs last year that it was later reported that he was playing with an injury” to “guy we don’t really like being a Devil” to “Pookie’s fifth- or sixth-favorite Devil”. That’s quite a trajectory of niceness!

Mike Mottau: Naughty Sorry, it’s too soon after his deserved two-game suspension for Santa to be bringing Mottau the guitar and dog he asked for when he was a kid. Sure, it was an accident that he threw such a dirty hit, and he truly didn’t mean to hurt anybody, but still. Santa can’t go rewarding that kind of behavior. If Applesauce really wanted those things, he should have waited until after Christmas to go around hitting people in the head.

Anssi Salmela: Nice, And Batshit Bonkers Finally — finally — there is a d-man on the point on the Devils power play who will wildly fire the puck no matter what things look like in front of the net. And more than that, he so loves firing the puck no matter what things look like in front of the net that he is remarkably capable of retrieving it after it ricochets off people in front and keeping it after defenders have been able to stop his ill-advised shot attempts. But he’s crazy! It’s marvelous! We love it! And so does Santa.

Johnny Oduya: Much Nicer Than This Time Last Year Santa’s all about rewarding improvement, and for that, Oduya’s going to get some wicked awesome educational toys that teach fine motor skills — just like us, the elves don’t want Oduya regressing back to his “dropping the stick at every key opportunity” ways.

Goaltending:

Marty Brodeur: Naughty Every other record that Marty’s approached in his career has caused his game to go into a giant tailspin — just look no further than every time he approached 48 wins in a non-shootout season. So we fully expected that trait and his traditionally slow starts to seasons to combine to make the first two months of this year excruciating as we waited for him to round into form before surpassing Patrick Roy on the all-time wins list. So what does Marty go and do? He comes out of the gate on fire, plowing his way mercilessly toward the wins and shutout records. But that’s not how it was supposed to be! More than that, he changed his mask. As soon as he put on that douchey, stupid, website-promoting mask, we all knew bad things were going to happen. And oh how terribly, terribly bad those things have been. We hope he enjoys his giant lump of coal this Christmas, and more than that, we hope that “MB30” mask of his makes him happy this June when he’s watching one of his rivals accept the Vezina. In the meantime, we’ll just keep vomiting on the floor every time we have to hear the words “Scott Clemmensen, New Jersey Devils starting goaltender”.

Kevin Weekes: Naughty Sure, it’s not his fault, but he’s naughty by circumstance here. If he’d been even remotely passable as a starting goalie, we’d all have been spared the Clemmensen Reign Of Terror.

Scott Clemmensen: Naughty Just… no. He’s still on Santa’s naughty list for the way he whined to The Sporting News about how unfair it was that he had to sit on the bench because the Devils were giving too much playing time to a guy who can rightly consider himself one of the all-time greats. And now that he’s smugging it up after games with Stan Fischler about what a total bad-ass goalie he is just because the Devils finally had to pay for putting all their eggs in one goaltending basket, he’s doubly on Santa’s shit list. In fact, Santa isn’t even going to bother giving him coal, because to add insult to injury, Clemmensen’s been very good in net simultaneously with being very bad. No, Santa’s just not even going to stop at Clemmer’s house. He’s going to be like us and keep pretending Clemmer isn’t even on the Devils roster. Wait, Clemmensen who now? Isn’t he the guy who couldn’t crack the Leafs depth chart last season? Sigh. Is it March yet?

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Today, Mike “Doc” Emrick was given the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame. We know there are a lot of people out there who don’t care for his call, but we think those people are idiots we can’t say anything about Doc that will change their minds; we also know there are a lot of people who think Doc’s the best in the business and know that this award is well earned. We will never, ever forgot Doc calling the overtime of an absolutely insane Devils-Flyers game back in the late ’90s. The action was the fastest, most furious stuff you’ll ever see and Doc kept pace as only Doc can. When ESPN showed the highlights later they didn’t bother doing their own analysis — they just shut up and played the entire overtime with Doc’s call. That’s Doc in a nutshell for us. We consider ourselves as lucky to have had him as our play-by-play man as we do to have had Scott Stevens on the blueline, Marty in net, and Pando leading the charge. (Shut up! We heart Pando!)

Speaking of nutshells, we decided to celebrate Doc’s Hall of Fame career by making a cake. A very special cake. A cake that answers the question: what happens when you combine Mike “Applemotherfuckingsauce” Mottau and Travis “Acorns” Zajac.

AppleMFsauce

Forget JMFJ, AMFS is where it’s at!

Travis's Abacus

Travis’s abacus.

That’s right, it was time for a little applesauce cake, baked in miniature acorn molds. (That’s right, when Schnookie said earlier that we were “cooking up an idea for a post” she meant it literally! Hahahahaha! We crack us up. Sigh. When does Marty come back?) After some furious mixing, stirring, and baking, we had a handful of adorable acorn cakes that were good but not great — like Travis! — and which needed a touch more spice — like Travis! — but were better the more we thought about them — like Travis! (In the end the consensus was the recipe has the potential to kick ass — like Mottau!)

The cakes were so much like their Waldorf Kid inspiration, we figured they’d be appropriate medium for testing Travis’s math skills.

Hey Travis, how many months is Marty going to be out?

Marty

Three to four! Right!

Hey Travis, how many Devils are on IR right now?

IR

Very good! When Pauile Martin was added, that brought the total to six!

Hey Travis, how many goals are you going to score this year?

Travis's Goals

What?!? Two?? Come on, Travis! You don’t have to believe that bunk about you being a playmaking defensive center! You can score acorns! You can, you can! You can’t? Fine. If that’s the way you want to be. So, how many is Zach going to score?

Zach's Goals

More than you can count? Sweet! We’ll take it!

Hey Travis, overall, how’s the season going to end up?

Hill of Beans

Is that a hill of beans? Not funny, Travis! Not funny at all.

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Last night the IPB PandoPhone’s red light blinked cheerily. It seems we had a new message! A message from an IPB reader and harbinger of Pando goodness, one Cammy from New Jersey. Eagle-eyed Cammy discovered a special event had gone down recently in Boston that we must hear about. A special event involving Pando. A special event involving Pando and a bowling ball. Dude.

All of the pictures in this post came from the marginally-functional website for Noah Welch’s Hock, Rock & Roll

Dude! It seems Noah Welch organized a fun-filled bowling adventure to benefit Make-A-Wish (good on you, Noah!) and invited Boston’s hippest, hottest celebrity. Tom Brady was out of town, though, so Pando stepped in to fill his shoes. Cammy gave us a heads up that the website for the event — Noah Welch’s Hock, Rock & Roll — contained some pretty kick-ass pictures of PandoNation’s beloved (and feared) emperor-god.

Just being in the presence of PandoNation’s emperor/god made the woman on crutches able to walk.

Also, for the Devils fans out there, the one and only Mike “Pahk the Car in Hahvahd Yahd” Mottau was also in attendance.

No matter how many times he said he could prove it, none of these kids believed that Mottau is actually an NHLer.

There are only two words in the entire English language that we could think up to properly respond to Cammy’s incredible find: “wicked” and “awesome”.

PandoNation is swooning at the sight of those hairy arms!

It got us thinking, though, of what would happen if the entire Devils squad took a trip to local lanes. We suspect it would go a little something like this.

David Clarkson would be DQ’ed on every attempt for stepping over the line while attempting a wrap-around.

John Madden would score all 0’s because he would refuse to accept that simply glaring at the pins doesn’t make them fall down.

Paul Martin would make a bee-line for the snack machine and then head out back behind the building for some quality chillaxing time with his wacky tobaccky.

Patrik Elias would throw gutter balls on every toss, and then roll his eyes to the heavens in an exaggerated head-toss.

Johnny Oduya would get tossed out for breaking the floor after dropping his ball too often.

Brian Gionta would bowl a great first frame, but would then take such a nose dive the lane manager would insist on bringing in the lane bumpers.

Zach Parise would miss his turns because he was following Coach Sutter around offering to polish Sutter’s shoes, get a newer, better bowling ball, or picking up some fresh pitchers of beer.

Marty Brodeur would not be able to release the ball due to excessively sticky-fingers from his lane-side snacking on honeyed dormice.

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Tonight marks one of the most anticipated events of the hockey season here at stately IPB Manor. Gentle Reader, you’re probably scratching your head and thinking, “Whatever is it that could be a significant event in the NHL at this time of year? Surely the -ookies wouldn’t get excited for Forsberg’s triumphant return or Ovie’s ascendance into ‘Greatest Man To Ever Breathe’ status.” No, you’re right, Gentle Reader, we really wouldn’t get excited for those things. In fact, we curse the hockey gods for finding ways to make March hockey even worse than it usually is. No, no, instead we’re excited for that most delightful evening of televised entertainment — Makeover Night on America’s Next Top Model!

Having said that, it probably won’t surprise you to know that we have long dreamed of New Jersey’s Next Top Devil. It would be a show that combines our favorite elements of ANTM (namely: the solid 10’s on the Bill Simmons Scale of Unintentional Comedy) with our favorite elements of hockey (namely: the Devils). We’ve conjured up all sorts of scenarios in which certain players fit the archetypal roles of the contestants on Tyra Banks’ magnum opus. Marty would be the spunky plus-size girl, persevering in the face of a complete lack of respect from the judging panel. Gomez would have been the girl who thinks she’s being really funny, original and outrageous, but who is only hanging around because someone else screws up enough each week to get kicked off instead. Holik would have been the self-righteous girl who lectures all the other girls all the time about their modeling skills and everyday comportment, and then flies off the handle when the subject of the lecture rolls her eyes or mutters, “Bitch” under her breath. Brylin would be the one Tyra ousts for “not having enough personality”. Mike Danton would have been the girl who with the attitude who thinks she’s better than the show, only to end up working at Wal-Mart when Tyra kicks her sorry ass off the show in Week 6. Oh wait. No, Danton doesn’t need a ridiculous reality-show analogy, does he? Anyway, we’ve decided, in honor of Makeover Night, to take a look at how our current Devils would fare if NJNTD was doing the same tonight.
(more…)

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As always seems to be the case, the Devils are among the league leaders in team defense and goals-against average this season. And because this is always the case, we’re sure there are a lot of casual observers out there who are thinking it’s just more of the same in New Jersey. But in a column by Rich Chere in Sunday’s Star-Ledger, we came across a quote that we feel should put to rest any misconceptions people might be having about the caliber of players the Devils are skating on their blue line this season. While praising Colin White for playing so well after returning from a catastrophic eye injury, Mike Mottau said:

“It’s hard enough to play with two eyes.”

That’s right. This is the guy we call Mike Motherfucking Mottau. Applemotherfuckingsauce. Do you think Scott Stevens ever said anything like that? Scott Niedermayer? Ken Daneyko? Okay, Dano probably did, but that’s not the point. The point is that this is not your grandfather’s Devils blue line.

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