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Here’s what we all need to do after that suckfest in Philly — we need to just get back up on the horse and watch the Devils try to beat another lower-echelon Eastern Conference playoff-ish team. We can use tonight’s game to gauge how well we think they’ll fare against the actual lower-echelon Eastern Conference playoff team they’re going to face in the actual playoffs. It’ll be fun!

AFTER THE GAME, THE WOOL WE GATHERED:

We are fairly confident the playoffs, from a Devils perspective, are going to be nasty, brutish and short.

(Oh, and even though the game-losing goal was all Kovalchuk’s fault, in most egregious fashion, we still love him and hope he re-signs with the Devils and never changes his ways.)

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When we started IPB, our intention was not to blog about the Devils, necessarily, but rather to blog about being Devils fans. Or, more specifically, what it’s like being us, with a focus on our Devils fandom. Yeah, that sounds about right. Anyway, tonight we’re going to share an especially magical aspect of our hockey-watching lives, a thing we like to call “Pookie’s Late Night”.

Being a reference librarian in a library that is open until 9:00 every night, Pookie is required to work the night shift once a week. Normally she’s able to jigger her schedule around the Devils, but tonight she wasn’t able to. But instead of tivo-delaying the game, she has green-lighted Schnookie and Boomer to watch the game without her, and we’re going to write a game diary of the experience. This should be fun, because Schnookie and Boomer have a tendency to sit in sullen silence, or a state of suspended animation, on Monday nights while waiting for Pookie to get home. This is exacerbated by the fact that Schnookie spends all that time IMing with Pookie, and her attention span is only so broad. So stick around, Gentle Reader, and let’s see how much of the game we’re able to notice and/or remark on!

FIRST PERIOD

19:41 The phonk??? Patty’s centering Zach and Langer? Doc makes a point of mentioning this unusual situation, and nearly immediately, Travis takes to the ice. Whatever, Jacques. Whatever.

19:08 Perhaps confused by the rapid changing of top-line centers by the Devils, the Bruins take a quick penalty. The picture on Blersus is terrible, by the way. As if the Devils moved their arena to Calgary or something.

15:38 So far we have had this sole exchange about this game, following Doc informing us that Sobotka (CANS!) comes from the same hometown as Patty, the “lake district” Trebic. Schnookie: “Lake district?” Boomer, not looking up from the NYT crossword she’s doing online: “Hnm.”

10:02 WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! The Devils put together two good offensive-zone shifts, and then Clarkson scores on a typically enthusiastically crazy-assed shot while Niedermayer (the Lesser) is holding down the screening fort in front of the crease. The energy level is high at stately IPB Manor, where Schnookie looks up from her laptop to say softly, “Wow,” while Boomer doesn’t even bother looking up to say, “We scored?” 1-0 Devils.

8:53 Our Blersus sideline reporter has the kind of weave that Tyra gives the girl she’s most interested in breaking on ANTM. It’s probably supposed to look like some sort of Botticelli’s Venus sort of hairdo, but with the weird white balance Blersus is rocking tonight, it looks greenish. Like if Botticelli’s Venus’s hair got seasick on that clamshell.

7:41 The Clarkson goal has been downgraded in handsomeness to being a Niedermayer (the Lesser) goal.

6:10 In the midst of composing an email to Pookie, Schnookie looks up to see Egg making out with Mark Stuart at center ice. Apparently, it’s the aftermath of a fight over Langer’s honor. Whatever, Egg.

2:37 WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Marty laces a brilliant outlet pass to Clarkson for a breakaway goal that has Andy Brickley just losing his mind over the sheer awesomeness of it. 2-0 Devils, and this prompts an actual shout of glee from Schnookie. Boomer is in the basement puttering around with putting groceries away or something, and waits several minutes to ask what happened. We’re very engaged with the game.

1:50 WHAAA? WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! The announcement of Clarkson’s goal hasn’t even ended, and Doc hasn’t even started engaging with the “resuming after commercial” play-by-play, when the Devils outhustle the Bruins in the offensive zone and Zach is there to shovel a bad rebound past Thomas to make it 3-0 Devils. Boomer is still in the basement, and likely won’t notice the score until much later in the game.

0:00 Boomer reemerges from the Basement after the buzzer, and when Schnookie tells her Zach scored, she wonders aloud if maybe she should just stay downstairs. It’s clearly good luck.

SECOND PERIOD

19:34 Rats. The Bruins put Rask in Thomas’s place. Now the Devils won’t be able to carry on scoring at will!

19:17 Double rats. The Bruins come out skating hard down low in the Devils zone, and the inevitable terrible-angle shot beats Marty to make it 3-1 Devils. If this keeps up much longer, Boomer will be relegated to the basement again.

17:13 Leblond and Thornton fight for what seems like weeks. Brickley tells us it was “very tactical”. We found it “very boring”.

11:07 WOOOOO! No, wait, BOOOOO! The Devils have stabilized quite a bit since the first shift of the period, and after some sustained pressure, Niedermayer (the Lesser) tips a point shot into the net. It’s immediately waved off, as he clearly hit the puck with a high stick. Schnookie, watching the replay, says, “Yeah, that was pretty obvious.” She then looks over for corroboration from Boomer, and notices Boomer is sitting back in her armchair, “resting her eyes”.

10:49 Aw! Congratulations to Egg’s dad on his retirement today! Thanks for sharing that with us, Doc.

6:53 Poor Looch faceplants himself into the dasher behind the Devils net. He leaves the game for stitches, and Blersus shows us a zillion replays of it, if just so Doc can reminisce about the time Pando’s head got smashed open on the glass in Detroit. PandoNation loves that story.

5:53 Blersus gives us a little interviewy soundbite with Kovalchuk in which he is raving about Zach. He mentions Zach’s closing in on his 400th game, and that’s a shocking enough stat that Boomer stops “resting her eyes” long enough to agree with Schnookie that it’s ridiculous to think that Zach is almost old enough to get his own room on the road.

2:53 Looch is back and doesn’t look nearly as split-open as Pando did that time. Hmph.

2:00 The Blersus intermission show teaser features the studio host guy wondering aloud whether the Bruins are going to take matters into their own hands to make Matt Cooke pay for his non-suspended hit on Savard. Gee, we hope they do. That can only work out well, right, Todd Bertuzzi?

0:00 That period wasn’t as fun as the first one.

THIRD PERIOD

17:18 One of Schnookie’s tasks today while Pookie was at work was to cook some black beans and the October beans we grew in last summer’s garden, to be used in chili tomorrow. She is busy packaging the beans up in the fridge when the period starts, but seems to have missed nothing in the first three minutes of the period. Boomer, meanwhile, is deeply engrossed in computer solitaire before jumping into her job of cleaning up the bean pots. It’s a thrill a minute around here.

13:45 Marty has had to make one solid save after another after another since we started paying attention to this period. It is as if the Devils think it’s springtime or something.

9:25 Now Blersus is talking about the Coyotes and the Devils vying for the Jennings trophy, and all we can say is that there’s still puh-lenty of hockey left to play. This is always the time of year when the Devils still think they’re going to win it, but then go on a rampage of losing every game by at least six goals before capping things off with the first-round playoff collapse. It’s like clockwork.

4:45 Yikes! Where did this period go? How is there less than five minutes left? And what’s with the Bruins being on the power play? Monday nights are strange. That’s all we can say.

1:03 The Bruins get the extra attacker out, and score to make it 3-2 Devils. It suddenly seems like we’re not going to have the luxury of not paying attention to the last minute of play. Unless the Devils are going to treat it like a first-round elimination game at home against Carolina, in which case, we’re better off not paying attention.

0:27 The Devils can’t clear the defensive zone, and Schnookie and Boomer have their first conversation exchange since the second intermission:

Schnookie: “Ugh. These stupid shitheads can’t do shit.”
Boomer: “Yep.”

0:00 The Devils barely hang on to the 3-2 win, and when Blersus cuts to the studio show, the host dude chirps that “it was a strong first period for the Devils, and that was all they would need.” Boomer: “Yeah, that and strong fingernails.” But… a win’s a win, right?

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Welcome back from the holidays, Gentle Reader! We hope that everyone had as lovely a Thanksgiving as we did here at stately IPB Manor. We also hope that you’re enjoying a tasty lunch of leftovers with this game, just like we are.

Whoops. We thought this game started at 12:30. Ha! It didn’t. Fortunately, we managed to discover our mistake early in the game…

FIRST PERIOD

18:20 Oh! There’s a game going on!

17:20 Uh oh. Clarkson gets hit by a shot from Chara and has to be literally dragged off the bench. Meanwhile, we’re all in a panic because this game is in standard def. NOOOOO!

16:06 Oh. Whoops. We’re just on the wrong channel. No worries! It’s in HD! Man, we’re a wreck today.

14:23 The Devils get their first offensive-zone possession that we’ve seen today (maybe they dominated the first 1:40? We’ll never know), and as Rask easily stops a Corrente shot, Pookie remarks, “I’m impressed any of the Devils made it to this game on time.” Schnookie: “Seriously. They were all sure this started at 12:30.”

11:49 Play has resumed its usual position in the Devils’ zone, and Fraser takes a penalty on Bergeron to stop a scoring chance. MSG decides to give us a replay of Bergfors drifting around the zone instead of the infraction. It’s like a little taste of Versus for the holidays.

9:59 By the way, we were vaguely fond of the Bruins last year, and we hate them this year. The difference? Lucic is always hurt these days. We’re not afraid to admit how shallow we are. Meanwhile, maybe Looch might get injured less often if he stopped insisting on living “pants-optional”.

9:02 Marty’s big citizen test is Tuesday. We hope he knows his presidents!

6:48 Right off a faceoff (in the Devils zone, natch), Krejci interferes with Sestito Puente. That’s something guys do at their own risk – Krejci’s going to wake up some morning to find severed cayenne pepper heads in his bed. Meanwhile, Chico tells us that the Devils’ PP needs to be good today, what with Clarkson being out. We feel it needs to be good today, what with the way the Devils can’t seem to gain possession of the puck at even strength.

5:45 Travis taps the puck into the goal, but sadly, the officials are a bunch of assholes who think that the rules need to apply here, so they wave the goal off because it only got into the net thanks to it being off the moorings. Worst rule EVER!

5:34 Travis whiffs on a wide-open, on-its-moorings net. We all chorus at the television that Travis is fired, and Pookie adds in horror, “I’m a stuffin behind – this is worse than Travis missing that shot!” (For the record, for last night’s dinner we followed the New York Times suggestion of baking stuffing in muffin tins; that way you get a whole bunch of serving-size muffins of stuffing, each with a delicious, buttery crust on all sides. After a few glasses of champagne, though, none of us could successfully say the phrase “stuffing muffin”, so we changed the name to “stuffin”. Cold leftover stuffins? Are insane.)

2:45 The shots are apparently 9-8 in favor of the Devils. That’s a pretty remarkable statement about how little the Bruins managed to do with their dominant puck possession and territorial advantage up until the Devils PP.

0:00 Hey! At the buzzer for the end of this period, Marty tied Patrick Roy for most minutes played by goaltender in NHL history. Pookie puts it best when she says, “That’s so cool.” Pause. “Marty’s the bomb.” Doc happily informs us that the Bruins are planning to make an announcement about this at the next stoppage of play in the next period. That’s nice of them.

We get an interview with Sestito Puente, and he looks shifty, like a guy who’s carrying luggage filled with illegal cayenne peppers.

SECOND PERIOD

19:50 We unmute a few moments late coming back from intermission, and miss whatever Doc and Chico are saying about Clarkson. We’re assuming the story is that he took a shot in the leg from Chara and won’t be back anytime soon.

19:00 Well, Marty is now the minute-iest goalie of all time. Chico thinks it’s poetic that his first career minute was against the Bruins.

16:54 Doc wishes aloud for an icing so that we can hear the arena announcement of Marty’s record instead of having to go to commercial. And as if on cue, the Devils ice the puck. It’s uncanny! (The announcement is quite nice, and MSG picks up a shot of some Bruins fans standing to applaud him.)

16:28 Okay, Devils, you can stop icing the puck now.

15:54 Marty is being asked by his team to show off exactly why he’s a legend (Chico’s word), and Pookie suddenly sighs, “It’s going to be so hard when we have to learn to watch this team with an average goalie. If that.” Pause. “Of course, we survived Clemmensen.”

14:10 The teams are trading icings, so MSG takes this opportunity to remind us of some of Marty’s other notable career records, specifically the 570 wins and 102 shutouts. Chico gets rambling about the shutouts and declares that Rask is also “in the running” to get the shutout record, and declares that he’s gonna find out how many shutouts he has, because he’s sure people are wondering. Yes. We are consumed with the question of how many shutouts Rask has in his career. We will never be able to rest until we find out. So thank heavens Doc steps in to inform the world that the grand total for Rask is two. He is indeed in the running to get to 103.

12:43 In the brief flurry of activity between icing whistles, Doc mentions that Sobotka has been hitting everything that moves. Pookie pipes up quietly with our “Wire”-themed nickname for Sobotka, “CANS!”, but her mouth is full of pins, so it lacks its usual enthusiasm. It’s probably more appropriate for the sleepy pace of this game to give such a subdued “CANS!” anyway.

10:15 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! The Devils finally decide to take a foray into the Bruins zone, and after Rask shuts things down on one shot, the Devils swarm the net off the ensuing faceoff and Zach scores by shoving the puck and Rask’s leg into the goal. It’s 1-0 Devils, and even Chico has to admit that there’s something not entirely kosher about that play. The puck’s not frozen, so the official can’t blow the whistle, but if that had been scored against Marty, we’d all be pretty pissed about it. In the end, though, the consensus is that that’s the “new NHL” for you, with the defender not being able to take Zach out of the play, and frankly, we’ll take it! WOOOOOOOOOO!

9:08 Peters and Thornton fight. It’s so not interesting that we’re not even going to get out our fight picture (which is the only thing we like about fighting).

8:13 Langer takes a penalty, but we fail to see what it’s for. Considering it’s Langer, it was probably stupid.

6:48 MSG gives us a replay of the Langenbrunner penalty, and it is, as we suspected, a dumb one. Savard nails him with a sneaky little cross-check that goes undetected, and Langer goes nuts trying to get back at him. Chico makes some weird groaning noise while trying to best display his outrage and disgust with how questionable that call is. We wonder if Chico’s maybe watching a different bit of footage right now than we are.

6:30 Zach’s motor is warming up after the early-morning start today, and he gets behind the Bruins point man to start a shorthanded rush that yields a good shot from Travis and a penalty on a Bruin. Replay shows the slashing call is a bit of a phantom one, but Chico just waves that off. Because he’s only a little bit of a homer.

3:20 The Bruins just can’t handle Zach at all! He draws another slashing call while rocketing toward the Boston net as the ice, as Doc would say, shifts to favor the Devils a bit here in the second half of the period.

2:47 Well, that PP wasn’t long for this world. Rolston, ever the worst hockey player in the world, slashes Wideman in front of the Bruins crease. Chico insists that it was too minor a slash to count for anything, even though Wideman looks hurt on the play. Doc, bone-dry: “So in terms of slashes, you’re looking for something that will render a guy like Captain Hook?” Zing!

0:43 The Bruins squeeze every bit of advantage out of their 20-something seconds of PP at the conclusion of the four-on-four, but Whitey and Marty are heroically up to the challenge.

0:00 We get an interview with Zach. He seems to be trying out some new eyebrow aerobics, and it’s freaking our cameraman out.

THIRD PERIOD

19:48 Marty tries to clear the puck from the trapezoid, but it hits a stanchion, bounces out in front, the Devils D can’t recover, and Wheeler ends up tying the game. It’s 1-1, and why did we manage to get back in time for the end of this intermission? Poop.

16:15 We’re discovering now why we don’t often diarize matinee games, as we’re all puttering away on a variety of projects. It seems the game is still going on, though. It’s a lot less interesting now that we know the Devils aren’t going to win 1-0. Hmph.

14:46 Andrew Peters turns the puck over to the Bruins on the near boards in the defensive zone, setting up an easy pass to an attacker in the slot. Schnookie: “Andrew Peters is the worst hockey player in the world…” Pause. “Whose name doesn’t rhyme with ‘Blian Blolston’.” Pookie, “Good catch there. I was going to be like, ‘There better be a qualifier on this…’”

12:02 This entire period has been played deep in the Devils zone, and Chico decides now’s a good time to point out that the ZZ’s are “not controlling the puck the way they need to.” Yeah, none of the Devils lines are.

9:21 After forcing a turnover at the Devils blue line, the ZZ Boogerforses get a three-on-two. They don’t score, but they also don’t get an apology from Chico.

8:43 The fuck? Doc’s talking to us about how “if the playoffs started today”, the Devils and Bruins would meet in the first round. It’s November. Why is Doc talking about this?

5:22 You know what’s been more fun for us today than paying close attention to this game? Finishing up processing our pictures from our trip to the Museum of Natural History on Tuesday.

1:20 Doc and Chico have been talking up how the Devils managed to eke out a regulation win on their last trip to Boston thanks to last-minute heroics by Zubrus. Then they sigh heavily and remind us that Zubrus is injured.

0:42 Boomer: “If I could choose, I’d take having a strong period in the third over having a strong period in the second.” And how.

0:04 Whitey breaks his stick on a shot attempt at the high point, and then gets stuck racing back on the ensuing Bruins’ rush without his stick, but the Bruins manage to get around him with ease. Thank goodness Marty’s in net.

0:00 Regulation time ends in a tie, but Travis goes off to the bench in agony after blocking a shot after that last faceoff in the Devils zone. You know what, Travis? The guy on your team wearing the pads to protect himself from shots like that? He’s pretty good.

OVERTIME

4:13 Travis has miraculously survived his misadventures in shot-blocking, and is on the ice with Zach for the second shift of the OT.

1:45 Marty finally freezes the puck with a good glove save after what’s been a delightfully frenzied extra frame. It’s always fun when two teams spend 60 minutes locked in a battle of the wills, then just throw caution to the wind and go crazy in OT.

0:00 In some wonderful alternate universe, this counts as a tie. In this universe, the Devils get more shootout goals than the Bruins, and get the win.

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Our (HD) broadcast leads off with Gel-O reminding us that the Devils were terrible last night against the Sabres. Thanks, Gel-O. We’d totally forgotten. He then hands off to Doc and Chico, and Doc does a workmanlike job of sounding excited to be reporting that Yann Danis is starting tonight. We sound significantly less excited about it here at stately IPB Manor.

FIRST PERIOD

19:17 Chara doesn’t seem to read IPB – He fumbles the puck at the point, then, crumbling under pressure from Langer, falls over, leaving Langer to chug down the other way on a two-on-one. (He doesn’t score.) Silly Chara! There’s no reason to be afraid of Langer!

18:15 Our senile cat won’t stop yowling. The horribleness of listening to the racket it making us nostalgic for the Devils/Sabres game from last night. It’s just that bad.

17:02 Both teams’ fourth lines are out and Doc informs us that it will certainly be fun to watch them against each other. As we watch Peters lumber around the defensive zone, Schnookie sighs, “Just because his job is to fight doesn’t mean Andrew Peters is exciting to watch.” Boomer adds, “Even when he’s fighting.” The Bruins’ fourth line gets a grade-A scoring chance right on the doorstep, and Danis coolly stops it. We don’t think that’s what Doc had in mind.

15:12 Travis makes a typically foxy defensive move deep in the Devils zone. Pookie: “AcornsNation is just showing off how much better it is than IronBoarSylvania.”

13:54 Schnookie: “You know what I can’t spell anymore? ‘Pennsylvania’. I’m just looking at the ‘-sylvania’ on ‘IronBoarSylvania’ and thinking it looks wrong.” Pookie: “Would you prefer if I called it ‘IronBoarOpolis’?” Schnookie: “No, that’s just a city.”

13:00 The cat has not shut up yet. It seems he’s lost his kitty bearings in the front hall, and can’t figure out how to find the living room, which is right behind him. A friend recently informed us that a sign of cat Alzheimers is “inappropriate vocalization”. Meanwhile, the Devils put the puck into the net (behind Thomas, not Danis), but the whistle apparently blew. Doc and Chico have no explanation for it. It seems our officials are suffering a case of inappropriate whistling.

11:59 As we have been discussing Mahmoud’s diagnostic issues, Pookie has decided to look up why Rollie keeps developing small, unexplained bald patches. She discovers that it might be a sign of what is essentially kitty OCD. Rollie’s probably anxious because her namesake is most certainly the worst hockey player in the NHL.

10:02 Doc murmurs during the course of his play-by-play, “If they had Milan Lucic… If they had Marc Savard… If they had Jay Pandolfo… If they had Patrik Elias…” Pookie finishes for him, “This game might be interesting, and I might not be reading about cat alopecia.”

8:14 Pookie is still trying to solve Rollie’s hair-loss problems, and suggests that if she was called “Sid” she might not be so patchy. “Or maybe her secret cat name is Getzi! ‘Oops. My fur fell off.’” Pause. “Or maybe she loses a patch of fur every time Rolston does something bad. She’s just been lucky that the Devils haven’t been playing lots of back-to-backs.”

6:35 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s time to change Rollie’s name to Clarkson! Boogerfors finds himself on a two-on-one off of a broken sequence of plays in the Devils’ zone, fires a big slapshot that trickles through a hard-challenging Thomas, and Clarkson is there to tap the loose puck all the way into the net. It’s 1-0 Devils, and the timing on this is perfect, as Chico was, just before the play started, telling us how the Devils had 12 giveaways last night and forced only 2. Our blood was starting to boil at that stat, but now we’re feeling all happy and WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

5:01 At the exact same moment that Schnookie is pointing out to Pookie that the Iron Boar got an assist on Clarkson’s goal, IronBoarSylvania suffers a terrible blow from its emperor-god taking a terrible hooking penalty behind the Devils net. Chico promises us, though, that the Bruins PP is “terrible”.

3:29 For the first two thirds of it, the Bruins PP really is terrible. We spend it discussing how a number of Nations are trying to woo Pookie tonight. Schnookie suggests BoogerforsNation is making the best pitch, but Pookie insists that will never happen. Regardless, we both like the idea of Bergfors flirting like Woody Allen in “Love and Death”.

3:01 Chico really wasn’t kidding about the Bruins power play, was he?

0:00 We missed the last three minutes of the period because we were watching clips on YouTube of “Love and Death”. We look up to see Gel-O interviewing Clarkson, and Pookie exclaims, “GOD, he’s handsome.” Of Clarkson. Not of Gel-O.

SECOND PERIOD

19:59 The game resumes with a start. One second we’re watching commercials, the next second we’re looking at an almost ridiculously handsome Clarkson on the bench, and Doc is mid-sentence.

19:38 The Iron Boar was as taken by surprise by the start of the period as we were, and he takes a slashing penalty to break up a Bruins odd-man rush.

19:01 Shit. The lousy PP Of the Bruins looks like it may have broken Whitey. He gets hit by a point shot, and, despite being pinned in the zone, looks gimpy. This PP is clearly not terrible enough.

18:19 Well, Whitey seems like he might be okay. We’re still not happy with the relative crappiness of the Boston power play.

17:28 Just as we are discussing how the Bruins PP might just be actually terrible, Iron Boar gets out of the box, the teams go to even strength, Oduya gets his stick broken by a point shot, and the Bruins score on the rebound. It’s a 1-1 game. Chico tells us that Oduya has been the victim of some bad breaks, but also has been playing like crap. Even Chico doesn’t believe in OduyaNation’s chances.

16:52 Oh for fuck’s sake. Peters and Ference jostle a bit in front of the benches, and when Ference takes a little posturing swat around Peters’s shoulders, Peters makes like he’s been butt-ended in the mouth. That’s just shameful. He should be benched for that shit.

15:25 We are informed that this is “a completely different beginning to this period for the Devils than in the first.” Yes. This period is looking a lot more Devils/Sabres-ish. It’s as if the Devils think they’re playing at home.

12:14 Any old time Zach decides he doesn’t want to be invisible anymore works for us.

11:40 By our unofficial count, the Devils have not had possession of the puck once yet this period.

11:00 Doc informs us that Andy Greene will be 27 tomorrow, and then adds “another defensemen is 56 today.” Pookie, while Doc waits for us to guess who he’s talking about: “Colin White!” (It’s Denis Potvin.)

8:51 On some rare Devils puck possession and offensive-zone pressure, the puck ends up bouncing in front of the net, with Thomas stuck overcommitted to the side of the crease, and Zach is unable to get a stick on it. Apparently our challenge to Zach to start contributing has fallen on deaf ears.

6:06 Doc and Chico are discovering the birth months represented by both teams’ rosters, and are totally puzzled that there are so few players born in the last quarter of the year. They won’t stop talking about it, and how it makes no sense to them. We do not have any Malcolm Gladwell fans in our broadcast booth, it would seem.

3:44 We both leave the room for a moment, and when we return we catch the Bruins failing to convert a scoring chance not unlike the one Zach muffed about five minutes ago. And Boomer reports that Oduya has left the game with a “lower-body” injury. If you’re thinking about buying some real estate cheap, that beachfront property in OduyaNation might be just what you’re looking for.

2:09 Whoa! All of a sudden it looks like Zach and Zubrus have realized they’re supposed to be playing hockey! They charge up the ice on a two-on-two, with Zach carrying the puck, and Chara trips Zubrus up to put the Devils on their first PP of the night.

0:00 We’re stunned — stunned! — that the Devils didn’t score on that PP. And so the period draws to a close, and to be perfectly frank, it’s not 20 minutes of hockey we’ll ever fondly remember. We will, however, very fondly remember this interview with Applesauce, who is in fine Boston-accent form.

THIRD PERIOD

18:06 We have fallen silent, as it’s starting to sink in that we are going to have to be leaving the house at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning to make the first in a series of trips into NYC for Schnookie’s work. We don’t like waking up early. In case you were wondering.

16:23 Up until this moment, we have been very impressed with Danis. (We make that qualifying statement because we realize he is fully capable of being a total pile of puke for the next 16 minutes.) Honestly, this is the first time we can remember not being terrified every time the puck goes near the net when Marty’s backup is in.

10:36 Seriously, we’re going to be on a train at 7:00 tomorrow morning. That’s just inhumane. (Now that we’re distracted by our plans for tomorrow, this game is not capturing our imaginations.)

9:20 This period has been marked by the teams taking turns racing down the length of the rink and then looking offensively inept. It’s been a doozy.

9:19 We come back from commercial to see the Bruins mascot knocking Chuck the Duck over in the parking lot during some fan fest-y activities before the game. We’re horrified. Pookie: “That bear has just rocketed to the top of my List, ahead of Butthead, and Marc Staal, and Paul Gaustad.”

4:01 Yikes! Where has this game gone? It’s almost over! We don’t have a lot to say about it, though. Just lots of yawning at this point, but that has less to do with the game and more to do with it being late in the week.

3:01 Too bad Frisby got dibs on Clarkson, because he’s had a good game tonight. Lots of sassy shots and grittiness. And handsomeness. Here he turns a nothing sort of one-on-two into a decently deceptive mid-range shot, and then he psychs Thomas into almost trying to beat him up.

1:26 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! WOWZA! That was awesome! The Langer/Zach/Zubrus line finally decides to get going, and they have a wild sequence of bang-bang passing and wheeling one-timers, then Zach squeaks a shot under Thomas that Zubrus pounces on to tap all the way into the goal, very much like Clarkson’s goal in the first. It’s 2-1 Devils, and we’re awake now!

0:35 The Devils fail to play well against the extra-attacker-aided Bruins. After a series of failed clearing attempts, Doc and Chico get to extol the virtues of the Unseen Hand when a Boston point shot richochets in toward the goal, gets past everyone including Danis, but clanks off the crossbar. Whew.

0:20 Is this small payback for that time the Devils got called for icing while on the PK against the Rangers in the playoffs? The refs colossally blow an icing call on the Bruins, when the blow the whistle even though Whitey clearly touched the puck before it crossed the goal line. No, it’s not quite on a par with the Ranger-game icing, but it’s at least a beneficial whistle when there shouldn’t have been one.

0:00 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win!

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PREGAME

Mood: Psyched! It’s warm and sunny out, we’re watching afternoon hockey (that isn’t on NBC, thank heavens), we’ve got plans to grill for dinner tonight… basically, it feels like playoff season. And our matchup today is a game between first and second place against a team we don’t have a lot of baggage with, so we can just sort of chillax and enjoy this one. This is like playoffs lite, and we appreciate that.

Favorite Devil: How to choose just one? We love them all so much*! For brevity’s sake we’ll pick the recently recurring three stars: Zach, Patty and Marty.

*Don’t get any grand ideas Blobby. That was a rhetorical “we love them all so much”.

Least Favorite Devil: Blobby. It’s just a matter of principle.

Sign of Spring representing our hopes for this game: One of the crocuses blooming in the front yard of stately IPB Manor.

Crocus

It’s getting to be that time of year again. WOO HOO!

AFTER THE FIRST PERIOD (1-0 Boston)

Mood: Complacent. It’s that time of year for spoiled Devils fans.

Favorite Devil: Travis “Leading the League in Plus/Minus” Zajac. Yeah, yeah, it’s a deeply flawed stat… Until your guy’s leading the way!

Least Favorite Devil: Whoever it is who can’t count to five + a goalie. We’re fairly certain Blobby can’t count that high.

Sign of Spring representing this game so far: A standardized test.

apexam-jpeg-image-600x252-pixels

Late-season Devils/Bruins games always remind us of taking AP exams and the like. We actually liked taking standardized tests — there’s something kind of wholesomely boring about them. But for all that it seems like a mundane way to pass a few hours on a Saturday when you’re a teenager, if you fuck them up, that’s your whole future down the drain. Just like this game.

AFTER THE SECOND PERIOD (4-1 Bruins)

Mood: Grumpy. Of course, since it’s just not our Devils if they’re not finding new ways to piss us off, it’s grumpiness laced with a sense of relief. The recent juggernaut version of the Devils was messing with our heads.

Favorite Devil: Andy Greene. WE KNOW! Seriously, her?

Least Favorite Devil: Blobby Fucking Holik. Now and forever.

Sign of Spring representing this game so far: Spring cleaning.

spring-cleaning

On what planet is this a good thing?

AFTER THE THIRD PERIOD (4-1 Boston Final)

Mood: Moving on. Stupid Devils.

Favorite Devil: Zach. He might never score again, but we’ll let him off the hook today for how the Bruins kept brutalizing him.

Least Favorite Devil: The penalty killers, who have completely forgotten how to play hockey lately, and all the guys who are supposed to keep the Bruins from brutalizing Zach. Blobby.

Sign of Spring representing this game: It’s skunk season again.

skunks

This game stunk.

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It’s a perfect Friday evening at stately IPB Manor, Gentle Reader – we’re having beer and artisanal cheese for dinner, we’ve got the Devils playing the Bruins on TV, we’re staring down the barrel of a holiday weekend… The only problem is that we made went into NYC today for a hectic tour of the Greek Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art while waiting on processing for business visas for some people in Schnookie’s office. So we’re exhausted. We are not as young as we used to be. We’re going to try to keep up with the game diarizing thing, but we make no promises. “Foot-weary after a day in the City” + “huge plate of cheese and bread” + “lots of beer” = sleepy Ookies.

Oh, and it needs to be mentioned, we go into the City for one day and we come back to find out that Chico’s been nominated for an Emmy???? What’s going on here? We adore Chico, but unless they have a category for charming rambling inanity, or kind-hearted shallow-thinking sports analysis, we’re not entirely sure what they’re thinking.

FIRST PERIOD

18:54 We start the game off with a Clemmer-riffic bang, where the D pairing decides not to pay much attention to a slow-moving puck in the far corner, so a mildly-forechecking Bruin kind of whiffs it toward the net, and Clemmer decides that he’s going to play it to a defender, but he either doesn’t communicate his intentions to them or they’re not listening, so what should have been a total non-event of a play turns into a great scoring chance for the Bruins.

17:04 The Devils get a succession of good chances, and then the big, slow, dumb fourth line takes the ice as Doc tells us Sutter’s line-matching. We sigh with disgust. We thought Pando lost his job because Sutter wasn’t doing that anymore.

16:07 Pookie: “If we lose tonight, I’m going to say we lost to the best team in the East. If we win, I’m just going to say that Boston clearly isn’t that good.”

15:42 Clarkson takes a page out of the Bruins’ book from the last meeting between these teams, and when Chara holds him up behind the Boston net, Clarkson goes down like a sack of potatoes. He draws the penalty in what is perhaps the first successful dive by a Devil all year, and it leaves a strangely bitter taste in everyone’s mouths, not least Doc’s and Chico’s. Sure, we all complain that the Devils don’t draw enough penalties because they never embellish, but as soon as they actually do it, we all kind of what our old “win with honor” team back.

13:42 If there is a lesson to be learned from that power play, it’s that more often than not, hockey justice prevails. (Although, to be fair, Chara was holding Clarkson. There just should have been an even-up call.)

9:54 It appears the Devils refuse to try to score on anything other than a cross-crease pass from deep in the corner. It would help in finishing that play if there was someone on the other side of the crease to receive the passes, but it looks like the Devils are honing their skills at making the pass before moving up to Step Two of the process.

8:57 After the teams swap icings and mill about for a while, the Devils D decides to see what would happen if they stop paying attention to what’s going on. Clemmensen scrambling is what happens. Pookie: “I’m not feeling very good about our chances tonight.”

6:15 The Devils weather a few more shifts of relentless (but still contained) pressure in their own zone, then, when they finally get the puck into the other end, Savard trips Paulie on the near boards. Now there’s a penalty with honor. Savard and Paulie jaw at each other a little bit, and Pookie declares she is going to heartily boo Savard every time he takes the ice from now on. Considering she still boos Marc Staal for injuring Paulie last year, Savard better believe her.

4:22 The PP sucks. Pookie: “I’m sensing a 0-0 final.” Schnookie and Boomer, in stunned unison: “You really think Clemmensen can shut out the Bruins.” Pookie: “Um… after the first. Let me finish my thought.”

3:20 Why is Clarkson still in the lineup?

0:50 Well, we know why Zach and Langer are in the lineup – MSG+ gives us a graphic informing us that there are only two games in the last 15 where neither of those guys scored. Um, not that the Devils are slowly returning to being a one-line team, though. *Pointed glare at the slumping secondary scorers*

0:00 This was not one of the world’s most exciting periods. We’ll chalk it up to being a feeling-out period, and adjust our expectations for run-and-gun awesomeness in the next two frames.

FIRST INTERMISSION

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MARTY!!!! MARTY!!!! MARTY!!!!!

SECOND PERIOD

We come back from intermission to see Chuck the Duck standing outside The Rawk holding a heart-shaped box of chocolates and wearing a pinstriped three-piece suit. Chico: “Chuck is wearing those pinstripes because they make him look taller.” Okay, he totally deserves an Emmy.

17:40 It’s probably fair to say that Clemmer has been completely hung out to dry on this shift. Just further feeding his Plankton ambitions, we’re sure.

17:09 Patty hooks Chara in the offensive zone. Chara goes down like Clarkson. Because life is inherently fair, Patty gets the only penalty on the play. Meanwhile, Pookie is floating a theory that the team plays better after MSG+ shows us Chuck the Duck: “He’s the straw that stirs the drink.” Schnookie: “No one’s stirring much of anything yet in this one.” Pookie: “Right now all the guys are just standing around a Capri Sun, listlessly poking at the straw.”

16:01 Langer chips the puck out of the defensive zone to send Travis down the wing shorthanded, and Travis, with Chara defending him, totally fakes the Bruins into thinking he doesn’t see Paulie joining him on a wide-spread two-on-one, then laces a lovely, soft pass to spring Paulie on a mini-break. Paulie, as we all know, has no finish. But we swoon anyway.

11:03 Hm. We’ve not been paying very close attention the last few minutes. In case you’re reading this to know what actually happened, no one scored.

10:12 Schnookie really hopes she just misheard Chico – the Devils have a whopping NINE shots so far in this game. Gotta love when you play in a measuring-stick type of game and measure up very poorly.

9:02 WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA????? WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Pookie has had a terrible case of the hiccups for the last few minutes, and declared just moments ago, “I need the Devils to score here, to startle my hiccups out of me.” Madden wins an offensive-zone draw completely cleanly, passes back to the Iron Boar at the high point, and the Iron Boar just whips a long shot through Thomas. Pookie: “Consider me shocked!” And, no joke – her hiccups are gone.

3:04 Holy crap. Clemmer is clearly feeling the heat from Marty, and is totally saving the Devils’ bacon tonight. After breakdown after breakdown in the defensive zone, Clemmer coughs a huge, juicy rebound up the crease, and then makes a crazy, miracle save on the kicked-in shot from the onrushing Bruin.

0:00 That period was WAY cooler than the first!

SECOND INTERMISSION

Dano shows off a valentine he got from a six-year-old. Have we mentioned lately that we love Devils games on TV?

THIRD PERIOD

We start the period off with “Chico Eats!” and in this episode, Chico enjoys some meatloaf from the concourse at The Rawk. In the feature, he demonstrates how you can take the meatloaf to your seats, and, in so doing, takes someone else’s seat and has to be ragged further down the row. Well played, “Chico Eats!”, well played.

16:12 We have settled into a quiet contemplation of the game, which is now in its “desperate chess match” phase. We are jolted out of our stupors briefly thanks to an amazing diving backchecking play by Oduya to shut down a breakaway.

15:28 It seems Shanahan’s not into the idea of playing intelligent defensive hockey with a 1-0 third period lead, as he takes a penalty for a dumb clearing attempt that goes over the glass behind the benches.

14:11 Travis dogs a Bruin in the Boston zone while killing the penalty, and Pookie says softly, as the chase plays out, “Travis is hunting the most dangerous game.”

11:23 Uh oh. MSG+ gives us a graphic telling us how long it’s been since Clemmer’s given up a goal. If the Bruins can’t score now that MSG+ is playing the mojo like that, they’re stupid.

7:47 This is some good, old-fashioned, super-fun defense-first hockey. It feels like old times. And doesn’t lend itself well to commentary.

4:58 Patty is so fired. Shanny actually has a good block of a shot attempt from the Bruins point, then carries the puck up the wing and opts to go for the criss-cross play with Patty rather than going to the net. And Patty partially fans on his shot, then meanders lamely off out of the play. Sigh.

2:36 We discuss what, exactly, has been the defining characteristic of this game to date, and we conclude that the best description of it would probably be “cerebral”. If you like your hockey brainy, this was the game for you.

0:47 Okay, here’s trouble – the Bruins have pulled Thomas.

0:00 HOLY CRAP! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the hell???? Clemmer with back-to-back shutouts? Dogs and cats living together! We may have been underselling this game at the outset, but now that it’s a 1-0 win, we’re going to say that the Bruins really are that good. Heh.

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This has not been an easy couple of weeks, Gentle Reader, as PandoNation has watched its emperor/god get shunted aside to make room for one of our all-time least favorite players. We’ve been angry and mopey by turns, and today, with the news that Pando was once again going to be scratched, but this time in his hometown, we reached breaking point. Here’s the thing – several years ago a friend of ours was devastated when her favorite player was traded from the Devils. We asked her if she was a fan of that player or a fan of the team, and she honestly couldn’t answer. We don’t want to be like that. We don’t want to be the fans who are more devoted to any one player than the team, even one who is as emblematic of all that’s good about his team as Pando. We had a long (totally work-related) discussion this afternoon that culminated in this proclamation from Schnookie:

I have no control over it, and it frustrates me too much to think about. Not least because I don’t want to be the person who hates her team because they’re jerking around her favorite player. Favorite Player should be nasty, brutish and short. Pando’s not it anymore. Travis is. The Favorite Player is dead! Long live the Favorite Player!

And so begins a new age here at stately IPB Manor. After almost a decade of Pando primacy, it’s time to let the apotheosis happen, let Pando ascend to the firmament, hang that 20 in the rafters of our hearts, and crown Travis an emperor/god.

If this means Travis is going to be traded this year, we quit.

FIRST PERIOD

19:34 Do the Bruins shoot at the wrong goal? Are they the opposite of everyone else? Seriously, the teams are both facing the wrong way to start this out.

18:28 TravisNation’s emperor/god starts the game off with an easy shot that Thomas has no problem stopping. Hm. New emperor/god, same old shit.

17:44 It should be noted that Chico spent the intro to this game comparing Zach to a mountain lion. Yes, we are going to spend all evening making that sound that the Panthers play after their goals. No, there’s nothing Zach can do to stop us.

16:57 Nothing much is happening in the Devils zone, and all of a sudden Thornton and the Iron Boar toss their gloves in the air and have a fight that involves the Iron Boar leaping on Thornton like a mountain lion. Zach seethes with jealousy on the bench.

IPB Fight

It should be noted that we don’t really like when Iron Boar fights – it seems like it shouldn’t be his job, and we feel even more so when he skates to the box waving his hand as if it’s hurt.

15:57 The emperor/god of PaulieMartinNation flattens Lucic at the blue line. It doesn’t do much good, though, as the Bruins set up in the Devils zone and proceed to spend an entire shift looking like they’re toying with the Devils until Clemmer is forced to cover the puck in his typical bobbly fashion.

14:09 Chico gives us the Tim Thomas Tale of Redemption, and Pookie says, “I’ve just figured out what Thomas’s story is! He’s the girl who gets cut on the third episode of ANTM, and says ‘You’re going to hear from me again.’ And now Tyra’s hearing from him again.” Pause. “Clemmer’s story isn’t that good. He’s the one who gets to stick around because he’s an obnoxious reality show contestant.”

12:12 Our obnoxious reality show contestant makes a very good quick save off a shot from the slot. Whatever, Clemmer. Whatever.

11:05 Shortly after giving up the puck directly in front of his own goal, Madden hurtles headfirst along the far boards into Clarkson, and looks rattled for a moment. We wonder if maybe Pando might be playing himself back into the lineup right now.

10:32 Doc also thinks the name Byron Bitz is hilarious. He doesn’t say it in so many words, but we can tell.

9:23 Chico says, “Good news for the Devils: Dainius Zubrus has a big snarl for this game tonight.” We are puzzled, as Schnookie thinks he said that Zubrus has a big smile for this game.

8:31 The teams trade rushes, but the Bruins’ rush leads to sustained offensive-zone pressure. Pookie: “We’re not winning this game.” On the bright side, though, it appears that Paulie may have broken Lucic.

6:58 The Devils finally set up in the Bruins zone for the first time in what seems like months, and what happens? Shanahan takes a lazy hooking penalty on the near boards. Boomer: “I told you! What did I say? I said he’d take a penalty. Leave him on the bench!” We might be ready to not be the fans who hate their team for pushing Pando to the margins, but that doesn’t mean we’re ever going to relent on Shanahan. (It should be noted that Wideman took an enormous dive on the play. It was a legit hook, but also a legit dive if they’d wanted to call two and two.

6:41 Wheeler is sprung on a breakaway on a nifty set cherry-pick play, and Whitey manages to cleanly dive at him from behind and throw his stick into his feet. Wheeler still gets a shot off, though, and it beats Clemmer, but bounces out off the pipe. Of the lack of a penalty shot call on the play, Pookie says, “Well, that evens out the dive non-call.”

4:59 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What in the hell??? The Devils stay strong in the face of a pretty uptempo PP and suddenly Langer and Travis are rushing down the other way on a two-on-one. Langer doesn’t have a pass option thanks to some strong D, so he just flings the puck toward the net, where it bobbles around all over Thomas for a moment then bounces through him and just over the goal line. Just the way Langer drew it up. 1-0 Devils.

2:26 Hm. It seems Paulie did not, in fact, break Lucic. He’ll never be a henchman for Zach at this rate.

1:51 We come back from commercial to see a teaser for the upcoming intermission content; MSG is going to be providing us with “an insight into Tim Thomas”. Only one?

0:00 The period comes to an end with Whitey smushing Kessel on the near boards, and he gets interviewed on account of it. Now, we watched most of the big Bruins/Caps game earlier this week, and we’ve got to say, this was a way more feisty, up-tempo, intense period than we saw from that one.

FIRST INTERMISSION

Holy shit, you guys — Tim Thomas invented yoga.

SECOND PERIOD

19:55 Chico points out that the Devils, having given up nothing in the first, have further cemented their standing as the best first-period team in the league. Yes, but now it’s the second period. And there is no way they’re the best second-period team in the league.

18:45 Zach suddenly finds himself at the side of the slot with the puck thanks to a Chara turnover, but he’s not quite able to beat a down-and-out Thomas. Pookie: “That’s why mountain lions shouldn’t play hockey.”

18:21 Langer’s fired. The Poppers are swirling madly, and when Thomas leaves a rebound in front of an open side of the net, but Langer’s facing the wrong way with his stick held at waist height, so he has no chance of putting it away.

17:46 Well, that was our favorite non-goal-scoring shift of all season. The Poppers just put on a clinic, and the whole thing culminates in a delightful exchange of Lucic trying to get back at Paulie by steamrolling him out of the zone and out of camera range, then Paulie springing back into the picture to deftly keep in a clearing attempt by the Bruins to set up one last good scoring chance before Thomas finally gets a whistle.

14:35 The fans are starting to get restless about the relentless Devils offensive pressure, and just as the boos are starting to crescendo on a Zubrus/Patty/Gio shift, Gio puts an end to the Devils momentum by taking a hooking penalty.

13:03 Patty whips a no-look backhand pass to spring Travis and Oduya on a short-handed rush, and honestly, we don’t know who this team is. Since when do the Devils look this interested in skating during the second period? Does this mean the third is going to suck? We don’t trust this game at all.

10:36 Things resume to normal when the Devils’ big, slow, dumb fourth line takes the ice, gets pinned in their own zone, and then, just as the Bruins look to be giving up control of the puck, Holik hauls Savard down from behind and gets called for holding. (Yes, Savard could have been called for the embellishment; once again we have a textbook case of when there is a legitimate infraction and a legitimate case for diving to be called as well.)

9:17 Schnookie: “I get the feeling that the momentum has…” Pookie, finishing for her: “Irrevocably transferred to the other team? Yes. The Unseen Hand has scampered down the ice to the other bench.”

8:36 That was a surprisingly emphatic PK. So emphatic, in fact, that Chico has to marvel at how every Bruins pass seems to be just “a couple of feet off. Or one foot.” For the shorter Bruins, that’s a big problem, but for Chara, there’s a wide margin of error when setting him up for a one-timer.

7:59 Kessel, that skanky little bitch, slashes the Iron Boar. The Iron Boar goes to the bench looking injured, and Kessel goes to the box.

7:00 This is an emphatically awful PP. Of course, it’s got Shanahan and Holik skating on it, so what did we expect?

6:34 Zach lace a perfect pass from behind the net through Thomas’s legs to Langer streaking down the slot, and Thomas makes an insane split save to get a foot on the shot. We’d fire Langer, but that was a really good save.

6:21 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Poppers dig hard at a tiny rebound off a Paulie point shot, and as the Bruins scramble to hold the post, Zach tosses the puck toward the paint from behind the goal line and it banks in off a stunned Thomas. 2-0 Devils.

4:31 Doc tells us that Rupp tortured him earlier today with a discussion of baseball, in which Rupp tried to convince Doc that Manny Ramirez was going to sign with the Pirates. Chico says very seriously, “You know that’s not true for two reasons. One is that the Pirates aren’t going to spend that kind of money. And the other is that Manny’s going to want to play for a team that has a chance to win, which the Pirates don’t.” Doc, feigning injury: “They’re not???” Chico, tenderly: “I know, I know. You don’t normally find that out until early April.” Have we ever mentioned how much we love Doc and Chico.

2:38 A potentially potent Bruins rush comes to naught thanks to some random chance (we may not have noticed the play), and Chico tells us it was the Unseen Hand at play. It definitely seems to have scampered back down the ice toward the Devils bench again.

0:00 The fans at the game don’t agree with us, but these forty minutes have been, without question, the best two periods we’ve seen in ages.

SECOND INTERMISSION

Boomer has busy this evening figuring out all the details that go into the transfer of power from PandoNation to TravisNation, like printing new money and stuff like that. Long after the conversation has moved on, she suddenly pipes up, “Oooh, you’ll have to issue new stamps, too.” That’s why we keep her around — she dots all the “i”s and crosses all the “t”s.

THIRD PERIOD

We come back from intermission to see footage of the old BC days for Clemmer, Mottau and Gio. We had no idea Gio and Mottau played together. In case you were wondering.

19:00 Lucic gets a mini-break, but his lumbering stride lumbers too much, so Oduya cuts him off. Lucic tries to crank a giant slapshot before running out of real estate, and in so doing, launches Oduya’s stick toward the glass. Remembering how Lucic stripped Greene of his stick during the second period, Pookie declares, “Lucic hates the Devils’ sticks!”

18:43 TravisNation throws up from sheer nerves as Travis rips a sassy little wrister through a defender, but hits the post. We demand a review of that! We’re pretty sure it went in. (Um, after further review, we’re pretty sure it didn’t.) Stupid Unseen Hand.

17:41 The hell? Kobasew strips the puck from an oblivious and criminally lackadaisical Clemmer behind the net, then tries to wrap the puck around to stuff it into the vacated goal, but for some reason ends up stuffing his shot hard into the short-side post so it just stays there. In the ensuing wrestling over it, the puck somehow kicks up into the air, and it looks like Clemmer has managed to pull it off the goal line with his glove. How… did that not go in?

Oh, Unseen Hand, you vixen. A video review ends up showing that the puck did go in, and it’s 2-1 Devils. It looks not unlike Salvador shot that into his own goal, too. He must hate the thought of a Clemmensen shutout as much as Boomer does.

13:43 It must be post-All Star Break, because we are nervous as all hell.

13:21 The Bruins fly up the rink on a three-on-three rush, and as soon as they gain the zone, bodies and sticks start flying everywhere. The Devils finally retrieve the puck, and the whistle blows as it’s Whitey who’s crumpled on the ice, clutching at his throat, neck, and shoulder. We go to commercial break as the fans lustily boo (why? The Devils had the puck when the whistle went, morons), and Whitey staggers to the dressing room. When we come back from commercial, we see on replay that Krejci basically ended up skewering Whitey in the throat with the toe of his stick on the rush. Whitey has already returned to the bench, and we get a long look at the vicious welt all over his neck.

12:49 Poop. The Devils to a hapless job of defending a play where the Bruins carry the puck behind the net, and leave Savard alone in front to put a half-whiffed-on shot past Clemmer, who is slow to figure out which side of the net the puck is on. 2-2 game, and Pookie half-jokingly declares, “I am so sick of Clemmensen.” We’re not nervous anymore.

10:51 Chico says what we’re all thinking on a play by Bitz: “Well, Doc, it’s Bitz puttin’ on the Ritz!”

8:40 We have seen so little of the Bruins end of the ice in this period that Doc drily remarks, “It has been a 60 minute game for over a century…” Burn.

8:31 There is what seems to be the first offensive-zone draw for the Devils in the period, and immediately off it, Rupp gets called for picking Savard. Replay reaffirms our long-standing dislike of Savard based on his days with the Rangers where he was the league leader in whipping his head back as if he’d been high-sticked on every play. The first two penalties taken by the big, slow, dumb fourth line could have been two-and-two; this one is just a flat-out missed call where the official bit on the dive. Oh well.

6:30 Just as we are about to say there’s justice in the world, and the PK ends successfully, the PK doesn’t end successfully. Wideman fires a shot from below the blue line, and Lucic appears to tip it past Clemmer to make it 3-2 Bruins. Clearly the trade-off for a good second period from the Devils is to have the usual second period in the third.

3:33 We pin all our hopes and dreams on our new emperor/god as he works the puck up the ice after Langer makes a nice play on the far boards to clear the defensive zone, but then Doc calls Travis “Shanahan” and our hearts break.

2:04 Clarkson isn’t seeing much ice time now, either, having lost his spot on the third line to none other than Shanahan. Shanny’s like a virus spreading across this entire team.

1:45 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Patty! Patty! Patty Elias! It looks like absolutely nothing is going on as Gio pulls up with the puck in the corner to Thomas’s right, and then Gio flings a prayer of a shot/pass toward the net, and Patty, crashing the crease, deflects the puck off his foot and/or leg into the net. 3-3 game.

1:10 Clemmer manages to get a piece of a giant slapshot from the point, and Boomer mutters darkly, “Do you think he can hang on for just this much longer?” We’re suddenly nervous again.

0:16 Zach gets a chance from an impossible angle at the side of the goal, but hits the outside of the net. He then tries to bank a shot in from behind the goal line, and Thomas says, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

0:00 Whew! That’s one more point than we thought we were going to get after watching the wheels fall of in the third period!

OVERTIME

3:49 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY FLIRKING SCHNITT! WOOOOO!!!!!! Travis and Langer work the puck smartly off a dump-in, Travis sweeps a pass out to Whitey at the point, Whitey fires a rebound-creating shot at the net, Travis jostles the puck loose, and then Langer is there to whip the puck past Thomas. 4-3 Devils! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

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