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These guys again? And the Sabres too? Well, here we go, we guess. That’s the one problem with it not being the offseason – sometimes you have to watch some pretty awful hockey.

PREGAME

— We spend a delightful half an hour before the broadcast starts playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii. There’s nothing like watching Mario cheerfully plummet to his doom repeatedly in world 7-1 to put everything into perspective. The elephant seems to be trending highly unlucky, but miracle of miracles, Mario eventually pulls it out and clears the course. Lucky elephant, indeed!

— We spend a slightly less delightful few minutes in the broadcast’s intro wondering why our dinner isn’t ready yet. How long can it take baked potatoes to cook? This elephant wouldn’t know luck if it kicked him in the face.

— Tedenby sighting! We have a Tedenby sighting! The elephant is less pachyderm and more hummingbird-on-crack.

FIRST PERIOD

19:06 The arena looks laughably empty. The elephant is too lonely to bother choosing sides at first, but swings negative when Kovalchuk fancy-pantses his way through the entire Sabres team, gets Enroth sliding out of position, but shoots wide. Pookie: “Well, Enroth is really intimidating.”

13:05 We miss some action because our potatoes are starting to come out of the oven. You know what’s exciting? We’re eating with our new sporks!

November 8 2010

The elephant thinks our flatware is trending stylish.

10:27 There’s not a lot going on in this game, so Chico decides to pump us up by pointing out that Hedberg made a stop on the first shot he faced tonight, which is a big step up from the last time these two teams played. The elephant, like the crowd, is asleep.

9:46 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Enroth juggles an Elias shot from long distance, and Arnott is at the crease — being casually and politely observed by a Sabres “defense”man – to just be able to chip the tiniest bit of the puck into the net while drifting off into the corner. It’s 1-0 Devils! And Tedenby got the secondary assist! WOOOOOOOOO!! Schnookie: “That was all elephant.” Pookie: “Yup. That was the unseen trunk. It gonged in off it.”

7:26 The Sabres very nearly put the puck into their own net from the entire length of the ice on a delayed penalty to the Devils. Alas, the elephant is napping on the job, and luck isn’t with that slowly creeping puck – it taps the outside of the goalpost before coming to rest and drawing the whistle.

0:28 There’s a stoppage for some reason, and MSG+ takes the opportunity to plug their intermission content, including LICENSE PLATE REVEAL! EEEEEEEE! Pookie: “The elephant is looking up, up, up, baby!”

SECOND PERIOD

20:00 We get our Trenton Devils update before the puck drop, and Schnookie sadly laments about Doc’s calling them “the T-Devs”, “I wish he called them the TrenDevs.” Lucky elephant: “Me too.” Also, just for the record, we think it’s hilarious that Gel-O spent the intermission talking about how great the first period was. The Devils are up by one goal against the second-worst team in the conference. Pookie: “And a fluky goal at that.” Let’s not go crazy here, people.

14:36 The elephant mocks the MSG+ team’s crowing about how awesome the Devils are for having a whopping one-goal lead (Chico even goes so far as to call it a “cushion”) against the Sabres, and Pominville makes it 1-1.

14:23 The elephant says, “Soon I’ll be dancing on your graves, losers!” as Hedberg gives up a long-range goal to Roy-Z. 2-1 Sabres. Chico: “Whoa! That’s a shocker!” Pookie: “Chico. How is that even remotely shocking? Tell me when you were shocked.” Chico starts the replay by suggesting maybe the goal wasn’t wholly shitty, because maybe the shot was tipped ever so slightly by Tallinder, but you know what? That would only make it worse.

10:53 The diarist is not in the room when the Devils score. She comes back to find a 2-2 game, and says, stunned, “The Devils scored?” The other -ookie: “Yup. On a Vasyunovaround that bounced in off Clarkson.” The elephant is stunned – it doesn’t know what to think anymore.

9:32 Doc has a moment where he realizes his own looming mortality as Clarkson celebrates in front of the net after a Volchenkov shot, prompting Doc to shout “SCORE!”… except the puck is in the corner. The elephant chortles evilly.

8:16 Langer gets spun headfirst into the boards at the bench, and we will admit – we gasped with horror. Even for Langer. See? We’re not monsters. Ennis gets called for hooking on the play, so the one-for-the-last-33 Devils PP takes the ice. The elephant is like, “I don’t actually need to bother here, do I?”

7:58 WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE? Suck it, bad-luck elephant! Arnott just grips it and rips it from above the faceoff dot, and the shot ricochets off of an almost impossible number of things to find its way into the net. It’s the second PP goal in 11 games for the Devils, and now it’s 3-2 Devils. The good-luck elephant smirks at his bad-luck cousin, but Chico ruins the moment by immediately wondering if this is going to be “a hat trick night”. No, Chico, it isn’t.

6:09 The bad-luck elephant starts pummeling the good-luck elephant with his own upraised trunk, and Myers scores a goal from the mirror-image location of Arnott’s second. Only Myers doesn’t need 10,000 deflections on his shot because Hedberg is a terrible goaltender. 3-3 game.

5:00-ish We come back from commercial to see this awesomeness:

It's Like A Kind Of Torture...

That’s pretty much the exact same facial expressions you’ll find on the denizens of stately IPB Manor when we have to watch the Devils play! It’s like our living room, but with more expensive clothes! Pookie: “It looks like Marty’s regularly kicking Zach in the back of the head.”

1:53 If only the Devils could play this Enroth kid every day! Of all the ridiculous things, they score again. Langer makes it 4-3 Devilswhen he tries to feed Travis in front, but Butler does all the work for him by tipping the pass perfectly into his own net. The good-luck elephant stuffs the bad-luck elephant into a steamer trunk and sits on the lid.

0:00 The period comes to an end on a frenzied Sabres PP thanks to some idiocy by Arnott. It’s a bit of a shooting gallery in the waning seconds, prompting Pookie to remark, “It’s almost like the players are all stopping after every shot to be surprised that it didn’t go in.”

THIRD PERIOD

11:06 Rather like the Devils, we’re not paying very close attention to this period. Until it’s 4-4 thanks to Tallinder having no idea how to make decisions in front of his own net. We’re so glad that bad-luck elephant was manning the helm as the Devils GM this past summer, so the team could acquire such a dazzling defensive talent.

6:48 Bad-luck elephant starts sharpening his tusks to gore good-luck elephant when the Devils go on the PP.

2:42 Both good-luck and bad-luck elephants are shocked to see how quickly this period has passed. The hell? This game’s flying by! How unusual for Devils/Sabres.

0:57 Despite it being a clear night outside, our feed is completely breaking up. The elephants are trying to tell us something, but we’re not quite sure what it is.

OVERTIME

We have nothing to say about this because we can’t see what’s going on. What the hell is going on with our feed? It better not have fucked up our tivoing of ANTM, because while we don’t mind not being able to see this OT, we will NOT abide missing ANTM.

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We might not be especially smart people, but one thing we think we’ve finally figured out is this simple mathematical equation:

Ookies who are tired and cranky from having too much to do during the work day + a Devils team that is playing like they think it’s the first round and they drew the Rangers as their playoff opponent + writing a game diary = excruciating, unending pain.

So we’re going to enjoy (or, more accurately, “enjoy”) tonight’s game the way the hockey gods intended — with an open thread. We hope you’ll join us!

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This is one of those nights where the world has conspired to combine the Devils, the Sabres, Versus, and Pookie working the late shift at the reference desk. The combination of these elements is normally a volatile and putrid cocktail, but maybe this will be the night when everything goes great and Pookie ends up missing the game of the season. You won’t want to miss participating in an open thread of that, will you?

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Please join us tonight as we enjoy an open thread and some woolgathering for the much-anticipated debut of IronBoarsylvania.

— Before this game starts, we have to ask — what is it with the Sabres always being the team the Devils play right after they lose a crucial player to an injury? Last year the Sabres were our first post-Marty opponent, and the Devils gave up 20 shots in the first period. We can only assume the Devils are giving up 40 shots in the first now that they’re reeling from losing Paulie. Because Paulie is twice as important to them as Marty, right? Right?

— The potential for Johnny Oduya to take over as the temporary emperor-god in place of Paulie suffers a serious blow when he stands around watching while some stupid Sabre scores a stupid goal to make it 1-0 Sabres. Sure, other Devils might also have been at fault, but we both had crappy days at work and are drinking wine with dinner. We’re blaming that on Oduya and moving on.

— Schnookie is extremely cranky tonight, and has also guzzled the aforementioned wine. In response to watching Boogerfors and Clarkson wheel around the Sabres zone with no purpose shortly after the early goal, she snaps, “Gah! I hate the Devils! Let’s watch the Blue Jackets instead. At least they’re in HD.”

— This game just keeps getting stupider. We have no idea how it happened, but suddenly it’s 2-0 Sabres. We were busy showing Boomer how to download a Battery Bar for her laptop, and missed the goal. From what we could glean from the surprisingly unillustrative replays, it was stupid. How long before Paulie comes back?

— Okay, so after the game got pretty far out of reach there in the first period (honestly, do the Devils look like they can overcome a two-goal deficit tonight?), we spent until intermission focusing our attentions on ordering an extremely exciting Devils-related holiday present for Boomer. Don’t tell her, though — it’s a surprise! Anyway, when we look up, Patty Elias is on our TV screen. Pookie squeals happily, “Patty! He is alive!”

— How far has Andy Greene come since losing Sutter as his coach? So far that when he scores on the PP to make the game 2-1 Sabres, Doc calls him Parise in his play-by-play. Then, when he realizes it wasn’t Parise, announces with complete disbelief that it was Greener of all people. Greene! Scoring on the power play! Who ever would have thunk it (other than us way back when Rafalski signed with the Wings, and we were all, “Pfft. Andy Greene is the younger, cheaper, BETTER Rafalski!”)?

— Late in the second period, Langer leads the Devils on a possible shorthanded odd-man chance, on which he is being defended by a guy with no stick. And when he goes to dish his telegraphed pass, he very carefully makes sure that it’s placed so that the defender can easily block it with his feet. Pookie wonders aloud, “Has Langer made a single good play yet this season?”

— Tonight’s “Chico Eats!” features Chico trying to defraud a local coffee establishment by using his comp tickets to get their Devils fan discount. Chico is such a rapscallion!

— SHOUT OUT! SHOUT OUT! Chico leads us in after a commercial in the third period with a little featurette about Crunchy’s mask. (Like we’ve never seen that before, just by the way. Find some new material, MSG+ 2.) And first he walks us through the “exploded Buffalo” on the front, then, when he gets to the back, he says, “‘Miller Time’. It’s a play on words.” (Okay, it probably doesn’t count as shout out when we’ve just been making fun of Crunchy all this time. Maybe it’s just hilarious that Crunchy is still, four years later, claiming that “Miller Time” is a “play on words”.) For the record, after the mask feature, Chico finds himself completely stymied trying to describe the hat Crunchy was wearing while showing off his mask. It wasn’t a fedora, but apparently had a “beak”. Chico, you can just leave it at “Crunchy was wearing a toolish/dumb hat”. We know what you mean.

— Also dumb? This game. Midway through the third, it’s 3-1 Sabres.

— When Goose tries to take Zach’s face off with his stick, Pookie realizes something we all should have known ages ago: Paul Gaustad can’t handle the Devils who are prettier than he is. That’s why he’s targeted Paulie and Zach. (That’s her theory and she’s sticking to it.)

— How many too many men penalties can one team take before someone on the coaching staff gets fired? (Pookie, ever single-minded, says when the Devils get called on the too many men during their power play, “When Lemaire was complaining about the too many men calls last time, I thought he was singling out Paulie for not paying attention. So at least this time I’m like, ‘It’s not Paulie’s fault!'”)

— The Devils take another penalty mere moments after killing the too many men one, and we finally decide life is too short to be watching bad hockey in standard def. We move on to find a different game in HD, ostensibly just during the commercial break. Not to watch for good, mind you. Just a nibble.

— We come back after the “commercial break”. It’s now 4-1 Sabres. Pookie, who mans the zapper at stately IPB Manor, says, “Whoops. Sorry we missed the goal. I’m going to assume it was Oduya’s fault.”

— Welp, that game was poopy. Thank heavens we’ve got Yodels and ANTM to fall back on.

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We may have mentioned in passing that the inestimable Katebits from The Willful Caboose is visiting stately IPB Manor this weekend. The ostensible purpose of the visit was wholly quilt-related, but now that we’re all fabricked-up, we’ve discovered that today has, quite possibly, the most perfect schedule of all time. We’ve got the Devils live at 2, to be chased by the tivoed Tranny Gentleman Callers, then the Sabres live at 7, to be chased by the tivoed Tranny Brides. It’s a dream come true! So join us, Gentle Reader, as we woolgather and quilt and soak up a springtime day of hockey (while refusing to actually go outside, where it happens to be glorious and playoffy, just as an aside). We will update this post as we go along.

12:55 pm
Pookie: I think it’s a sign that we’re going to have a great day of hockey that I managed to punch in the correct channel number for NESN on my first try! This is almost unheard of!

Katebits: [doubtful] That sounds like a… uh… great sign?

Pookie: Well, I can’t think of a better sign!

1:10 pm
We’re not sure finding NESN was a good thing. We caught the very end of their pregame show, in which they counted down the top five signings in hockey this season. They were, from fifth to first, Marion Hossa, Blake Wheeler, Michael Ryder, Scott Clemmensen, and Brian Campbell. NESN: where to go if you don’t really want intelligent hockey commentary.

1:22 pm
The first goal of this monster day of hockey is scored and it’s Mark Recchi. Woo? Meh, we’ll pretend it was Milan “Badass” Lucic instead, because… why not? Woo!

2:05 pm
Okay, the Bruins are a-tivoing, and now it’s time to hunker down for the debut of the Iron Macho! WOOOO!!!! We’re sure it’s going to shape up as the best trade deadline move of the year by far. And to think, Martle thought the Devils stood pat.

2:09 pm
Havelid has been a Devil for not even one minute of game action and the consensus is he must fix his missing tooth. Now. Not later, now. It’s okay, Iron Macho, we’ll hold the game for you.

2:12 pm
The Iron Macho Era begins badly, and the Islanders score because all the Devils, including Marty, are standing around like morons. Katebits has been insisting all morning that she thinks the Devils are going to win, but we think she’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

2:30 pm
Further proving Katebits is wrong, wrong, wrong, Okposo victimizes Paulie and puts one behind Marty. Before the game started, Pookie predicted a Doc Ok hat-trick. Well, he’s a third of the way there!

2:34 pm
Tambellini scores on a breakaway, just barely squibbing the puck under Marty. And we have learned there is one thing Clemmensen does better than Marty: play matinee games. Sigh. Chico says, after the replays of the goal that put the Islanders up 3-0, “Who saw this coming?” Pookie and Schnookie, in unison: “ME.”

2:29 pm
The Islanders get another breakaway off a blocked Devils shot. Schnookie, watching Marty blocker the shot to the near corner: “On the bright side, I don’t think we’re going to meet the Islanders in the playoffs.”

3:00 pm
After the third goal, MSG+ ominously showed us the spot in the zamboni tunnel where Weekes normally sits, the message being that he had gone into the dressing room to start stretching for the second period. But as the intermission ends, it seems Marty has won the latest battle of “No, I’m in charge around here” passhole-aggresshole-iveness with Sutter, and so Weekes is still sitting. Chico tells us that the Islanders “did everything but drive Marty from the net” in the first. The four of us: “There’s still plenty of time.”

3:02 pm
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Gio scores on a gorgeous tip of a Whitey shot. We spend a few minutes marveling at how NHLers can deflect pucks into specific spots on purpose

3:04 pm
…and then all of a sudden it’s 4-1 Islanders because the Devils totally suck. We hate the Iron Macho.

3:07 pm
Okay, we’ve been sitting here grousing on and on and on about how the Poppers aren’t getting any ice time, and how that’s totally why the Devils are sucking so bad, and when they finally do get a rare shift, we are in such foul moods that we suspect they’re just going to let us down. But they don’t! Langer gets a goal to cut the lead to 4-2, and then they put on a clinic of how not to celebrate overmuch after scoring in a game where you’ve been collectively terrible. Capitals.

3:25 pm
Ugh.

3:32 pm
Double ugh. It’s hard to remember the last time every single Devil looked this shitty at the same time.

4:10 pm
We’re still paying attention, but only enough to notice vaguely that Patty has scored (on an assist from Paulie!!! EEEE!) on the power play. It’s 6-3 now, and Katebits says cheerfully, “The comeback begins!” Pookie: “Yeah. There’s still plenty of time left for the Devils to remember how to play hockey…” Katebits: “…and score three quick ones!”

4:34 pm
Chico may very well have summed up this game the best when he says, “Well, the ‘pulling the goalie down three goals’ experiment for today may be over.” It feels like this game’s been going on for ten hours.

4:37 pm
Devils/Islanders matinees are hugely draining. As the final minute ticks down off the clock, we realize we need to send for supplies or we’ll starve. We call TJ’s Pizza and tell them to send one of everything.

4:39 pm
Hey! Pookie called a hat trick. Sure, she called Okposo, but still.

4:45 pm
Now that the Devils’ reign of terror is over, we return to the tivoed Bruins/Blackhawks game. We are greeted with this wondrous sight:

bruins-tiffany-lamp

We’re amazed. Katebits declares that she wants a Sabres Tiffany lamp, but Schnookie and Pookie are wary… If there was a Devils Tiffany lamp at stately IPB Manor, it might be meeting an ignominious end right now.

5:06 pm
NESN is advertising a Rays/Red Sox Spring Training game, and Pookie loudly declares, “I’d rather die than watch that!” Pause. “Okay, baseball’s not that bad…” Pause. “Of course, if I died, that would mean no more Devils/Islanders matinees.” Schnookie: “But there’d be no more quilting either!” Pookie, unswayed: “No, that game was really terrible.”

5:16 pm
The supply ships have arrived.

sustenance

We have two games and the third period of the Bruins left to go. We just might survive now.

6:04 pm
The end of the Bruins game would have been much more exciting if we hadn’t been from the future. We make a vow to try to not be from the future for the Flyers game.

6:17 pm
We’re watching Chris Pronger’s “Day In The Life” and it is a train wreck of douchiness. It’s mesmerizing.

7:15 pm
Aaaaaaaand we’re under way with the good hockey game for today! WOO HOOO!!!! We smell Sabres blowout.

7:24 pm
Rats. The Sabres game is picking up right where the Devils left off. As Alfredsson scores off the draw on a power play, Katebits says, “Okay, the Sabres have never come back from behind in any game. We can turn this one off now.”

7:35 pm
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Staffy decides to prove Katebits wrong, shoots some finger guns at Pookie through the TV, then ties the game with a foxy, foxy goal. So far this is way better than a certain matinee we watched earlier that we can think of. (Hint: not the Bruins game.)

7:58 pm
The culinary highlight of our day is going to be the leftover s’mores roulade, a dessert that our family calls “Slug In The Snow” (long story). It looks really scrumptious after Schnookie had to pretty much wad it into a ball to fit it inside the cake dome for ease of refrigeration last night.

slug

It’s room-temperaturizing as we speak, and looking especially sluggy.

8:27 pm
BOOOOO!!!! Donovan blows a long-range shot past Lalime, and it’s 2-1 Ottawa. Schnookie: “I was really getting ‘Sabres are going to score’ vibes, too.” Pause. Katebits: “I was not.” Who’s the negative nellie now?

8:45 pm
The Sabres draw a power play, and Pookie totally pooh-poohs it, declaring that she is going to go downstairs to start pressing seams on her quilting, “because I’m not going to miss anything.” Oooh. Them be fighting words. No sooner is she downstairs than Vanek ties up the game on a sassy spin-a-rama shot that the Sens goalie pretty much guides into the net.

8:46 pm
Katebits, watching as the play goes deep into the Buffalo zone: “This reminds me of that Flyers game where they just kept keeping with them and tying the game up, and then the Flyers would immediately go ahead and score again immediately after that.” The Sens promptly go ahead and score again immediately after the Buffalo goal.

9:21 pm
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Best! Goal! EVAH! Schnookie has been saying ALL WEEKEND that she KNOWS Yo-Yo’s going to score, and Katebits was all, “No, he NEVER scores!” all the time. And who just scored? WHO??? Yeah, that’s right. Yo-Yo. SUCK ON THAT, NONBELIEVERS!

9:24 pm
We spend the shift after Yo-Yo’s goal having a deep philosophical discussion about whether this is the Flyers game all over again. Katebits says yes, Schnookie says no, because Ottawa doesn’t have the power of Beaker. So of course, Ottawa scores again. Katebits 1, Schnookie 0.

9:35 pm
We’ve been sort of manic the last few minutes, swinging from high highs to low lows, but then the Senators get a long two-on-one, and as Katebits sadly wilts, “Here’s the fifth goal,” the Senators score. Our moods deflate.

9:37 pm
Alfredsson scores to make it 6-3. Our moods deflate further. Schnookie: “Of course, if they give up one more, we can have matching scores today!”

9:42 pm
This day of hockey is not going well.

9:44 pm
Okay. Things have kind of sucked today. But on the bright side, we’re getting the Flyers feed!

11:04 pm
We are having a wide-ranging, very serious conversation about how to solve the Sabres’ problems. It’s the kind of deep talk that happens most often at summer sleepaway camp. So far we’ve traded Staffy to the Devils for Andy Greene, and Madden has signed with the Sabres to wear the C. It’s going to fix a lot of things. Meanwhile, the Tranny Brides are making their weak little effort at salvaging our day of hockey, and more than that, we had the wildly charming experience of watching Beaker wolf down an energy bar while skating from the bench to a defensive-zone faceoff dot. *Swoon!*

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Tonight, in honor of our boys facing off with the favorite team of so many of our buddies in the hockey blogosphere, we’re shaking things up. Instead of doing an IPB-style game diary, we’re tipping our toques in homage to The Willful Caboose in the form of a TWC-style game diary. We’ve long admired Katebits’s effortless, breezy, and illustrative diarizing style; we strongly suspect the end result of this exercise will be a little like Ken Daneyko trying to emulate Niklas Lidstrom, so, uh, bear with us.

PREGAME

Schnookie’s Mood: Resignation. Hockey seasons are like the tides, and I think that Rangers game was a high-water mark, and now we’re in an ebb. It’s the cycle of life.
Pookie’s Mood: Cautiously optimistic that the Devils are on enough of a downswing that this game will not go into a shootout, unlike every single other Devils-Sabres game post-lockout.

Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: I was going to say Rupper, because he’s just such a friendly giant, but then I remembered that Zubrus is also a friendly giant AND he’s the reason Patty’s playing well lately. And as Patty goes, so go the Devils.
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Bryce “Iron Boar” Salvador. Last season, not a game went by when I didn’t bemoan that the Devils “defense” was barely AHL-quality. This season, when Marty went down, I thought, “Good grief, with our defense, we’ve got less than zero chance of succeeding at all!” Then, a month later, I realized that I hadn’t once worried about the D; I chalk this up to the steadying prescence of the Iron Boar. Paulie’s steadying prescence was obviously wasn’t enough, but between him and the Iron Boar? It’s magic.

Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik.

Schnookie’s Prediction: Based on our recent history with the Sabres, this game is going to be a total snoozer in which the Devils completely suck ass and I question my motivation as a hockey fan.
Pookie’s Prediction: 500-0 Sabres. In a shootout. Don’t ask how, just know it will happen.

Item Representing Our Hopes That The Devils Win This Game: An Egyptian mummy.

mummy2

Mummies are educational; we’re interested, in an academic way, in how the Devils handle this possible ebb in the season. Mummies are also gross. Potentially, so are the Devils.

AFTER THE FIRST PERIOD

Schnookie’s Mood: Pleasantly surprised! That was a dynamic period, all things considered. Except for Holik. And Clemmer.
Pookie’s Mood: Giddiness tempered with caution. The first was much more uptempo for the Devils than I was expecting, but the second will, by nature, be the second period. That’s never good.

Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: Paulie. He was playing some seriously dreamy defense.
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Just as I announced that Zach was unquestionably my favorite Devil this period, Paulie Martin started showing off, making awesome plays in all three zones. Sorry, Paulie, I may be a Devils fan but I’m also human — score a goal, then we’ll talk.

Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Still Holik. Always and forever.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby “Stupid Penalty” Holik.

Schnookie’s Summary of Events: Other than that stupid goal by Staffy, the Devils looked sassy and fiesty and not at all like they were in some kind of letdown-game funk or post-Marty’s-injury gloom. The Sabres must be really confused, and thinking, “That’s funny. The Devils don’t do that at home.”
Pookie’s Summary of Events: The Devils shockingly capitalized on poor rebound control; the Sabres predictably capitalized on lazy back-checking by Elias.

Item Representing Our Hopes That The Devils Win This Game: Queen Nefertiti.

nefertiti

Offense is the sexiest defense.

AFTER THE SECOND PERIOD

Schnookie’s Mood: I’m not saying. The hockey gods might be listening.
Pookie’s Mood: Shocked! Did Sutter finally make the mad-scientist coaching move of convincing the players that there were playing the 1st period over again rather than the 2nd?

Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: Iron Boar!!! He’s an iron goal-scoring machine!
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Paulie Martin. (If the Iron Boar can score after I declare him my favorite at the top of the game, maybe Pauile can find that missing finish in the 3rd.)

Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: I have not seen anything to make me reconsider my heretofore unshakable belief that it is impossible to be a less favorite Devil than Holik.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik. I’m sorry Chico, but Holik playing as if he’s never been made aware of the post-lockout rule book is not compelling in any way shape or for

Schnookie’s Summary of Events: That might very well be the first time since Sutter started coaching the Devils that they scored in the second period. Into the other team’s net. Granted, they made up for it by giving one up to the Sabres about three seconds later, but still. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Pookie’s Summary of Events: It’s like both teams realized uptempo hockey is fun.

Best News We’ve Heard In A While: Stanta Claus will not be coming to Devilstown this year!

Item Representing Our Hopes That The Devils Win This Game: The Great Sphinx of Giza.

sphinx

Answer me these riddles three… Who will win this game? When will Clemmer realize he’s just not that good? Who on the team can swim?

AFTER THE THIRD PERIOD

Schnookie’s Mood: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Elated! That didn’t look like an ebb AT ALL!
Pookie’s Mood: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Now that’s a hockey game!

Schnookie’s Favorite Devil: It’s a toss-up. Clarkson was foxy with all the goal scoring and Crunchy-flattening, but Paulie! Going berserk! Getting payback at that dirty, cheap-shotting punk Goose! They were all dreamy.
Pookie’s Favorite Devil: Paulie didn’t score like I’d hoped I’d tricked him into doing, but I’ve never seen him get into a tussle like that before! In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him open his mouth to speak on the ice, let alone yell. He put the “sexy”, the “passionate”, and the “warrior” in “sexy, passionate warrior” tonight.

Schnookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Sigh. I realize he contributed to Clarkson’s goal with that big hit. But he’s still Holik.
Pookie’s Least Favorite Devil: Bobby Holik. He’s probably borrowing Stan’s Santa costume right now so he can tape a 2-hour “Holikta Claus Holiday Special”. I don’t care if his old-school hitting set up Clarkson’s goal; I’m sure Clarkson could have scored it anyway.

Schnookie’s Summary of Events: I have been told more than once that the Sabres are not very good at hockey, but I don’t want to believe it. I want to believe the high-flying, big-swaggering Devils were just awesome tonight, other than the quick goals they gave up. They were dreamy! DREAMY! I loved this game.
Pookie’s Summary of Events: Lots of goals, lots of hitting, few whistles, and a Devils win? Sweet.

Item Representing Our Feelings Now That The Devils Won This Game: King Tut.

tut

Some mummies are gross, but some are glamorous, sexy, solid-gold winners.

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Okay, so the Devils have won something like 50 of their last 51 games, and are coming off the most emotionally wild, high-highs-and-low-lows-and-then-high-highs-again game we can remember from any time in our decade-plus of fandom. Is there any chance tonight is a classic letdown game? Nah. No way. Anyway, stay with us, Gentle Reader, to hear our deep thoughts about tonight’s game as it unfolds.

FIRST PERIOD

7:00 p.m. No Doc again? Bummer. What’s impressive about the Docless MSG+ feeds is that they make us miss Steve in his host role, because that guy they have filling in for him is just. That. Bad. Pookie: “I don’t know what his name is, and I hope to never, ever, ever learn it.”

7:07 p.m. Lalime vs. Weekes? Now there’s a sexy matchup!

7:08 p.m. Wait, letdown? No way. Vanek scores while Whitey, Oduya and the Poppers stand around watching. 1-0 Sabres.

7:14 p.m. Lalime mishandles a rebound, then flails around outside the crease while a Devil skates around behind the net for a fantastic wraparound stuff attempt… and misses. We groan with disgust at the missed scoring chance, then realize it was Blobby Holik taking the shot. If we could get in a time machine to go back a few seconds to readjust our expectations for that play, we would.

7:38 p.m. As the period is winding down, Chico says something about how the Devils are showing way less energy than they did last night. Considering we barely even noticed the game was on, we probably can’t complain. It’s a letdown game for Devils bloggers, too!

SECOND PERIOD

7:54 p.m. “Chico Eats!” tonight features Chico serving dollar dogs to a group of Devils fans while wearing a three-part sign around his neck that says “New Jersey Hot Dogs” “Beat” “Buffalo Wings”. He also loads up the dogs with two hot dogs per bun. And then tells us he works out a lot “because you have to pay the piper if you want to eat like that.” Au contraire, Chico. We eat like that and don’t ever work out. You just have to be willing to be fat.

7:55 p.m. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Patty is fighting hard to steal Langer’s title of Captain Fuck This Shit. After a nice breakout feed from Whitey to Gio, Patty gets a chance to crank a shot over Lalime’s glove that kisses in off the crook of the crossbar. 1-1 game.

8:05 p.m. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Blobby rips a low, fast shot from the slot that Lalime inexplicably doesn’t react fast enough to. It’s 2-1 Devils, and the response to the goal here at stately IPB Manor goes something like this:

Schnookie, looking up with surprise from her stitching: “Whoa!”
Boomer and Pookie: Stunned silence.
Pookie: “I had no idea Blobby had that in him.”

8:12 p.m. Steve needs Doc’s guide to pronouncing NHL names — he is calling Goose “Gow-stad”. So, um, if you’re out and about, give a moo for the Gow-stad.

8:16 p.m. When Oduya takes a cross-checking penalty in front of Weekes’s net, Steve tells us the Devils have killed their last 17 penalties, and the Sabres lost their game last night largely on the strength of their PP sucking. So it comes as no surprise when Staffy promptly scores on the man advantage. 2-2 game.

8:19 p.m. Leach and Mair fight.

IPB Fight

Whatevs.

8:35 p.m. The second period ends without much fanfare. We find ourselves wondering why the Garden of Dreams isn’t offering a Chuck-The-Duck-themed prize. In all the (deserved) hullabaloo over “Chico Eats”, poor Chuck the Duck has been somewhat forgotten. We want to bid on the opportunity to have a photo shoot outside various NHL arenas with Chuck!

8:39 p.m. In the intermission banter segment Chico proves he also never, ever wants to learn the name of the lame fill in studio guy. He calls him “Steve”, then catches himself. While No-Name buffoons about having called Chico “Doc” earlier so it’s all good, Chico clearly looks likes he’s praying that the voices in his ear-piece feed him the correct name for the doofus next to him. It sounds like the truck doesn’t come through for him, so he just starts blurting out random names, and seems to hit on “Jimmy” by mistake.

THIRD PERIOD

8:56 p.m. It takes until now, five minutes into the third period, for Steve and Chico to mention the Zach/Staffy connection. Sheesh, MSG+. It’s not that hard. If you’d just asked us, you could have had that angle covered by the end of the pregame!

9:05 p.m. Patty’s fired. He takes a bad penalty on a 4-on-4, and Roy scores on the ensuing 4-on-3. It’s 3-2 Sabres.

9:08 p.m. Steve mentions in the course of his play-by-play that this could be the Sabres’ second win in New Jersey this season. We realize that, by a quirk of scheduling, they’ve been the team in town to capitalize on the hangovers from the two biggest emotional moments of the season for the Devils this year, in the first game after Marty’s injury and now tonight. Maybe Lou should talk to the schedulers and see if he can’t arrange for the Devils to get the Rangers on similar letdown nights.

9:10 p.m. Vanek capitalizes on more sloppy, flat-footed defensive play by the Devils, and it’s 4-2 Sabres.

9:27 p.m. The game ends with the Sabres winning 4-2. We can’t really be even the tiniest bit upset about this game, nor can we really blame the boys for being flat-footed and dispassionate, not after last night’s wild game. This was the let-down-iest let-down game that ever was a let-down game.

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