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Archive for the ‘Calgary Flames’ Category

Watch this space for our game diary*, and enjoy an open thread for all the hot, hot hockey action tonight!

*Just kidding. There won’t be a game diary tonight. Which means it’ll be the awesomest game ever…

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So it’s the Flames tonight, is it? We… don’t have much to say about them. Now will we after this game, probably, because it’s not in HD, and we can’t see anything that isn’t in HD anymore. It’s all just a blur of red and black and white.

FIRST PERIOD

19:29 We are apparently watching to see how the Devils respond to being so incredibly poopy on Long Island. So far we’ve seen a crazy chance for the Flames that Marty barely manages to shut down. In other words, it’s looking great!

17:58 Boyd, some guy on the Flames, hooks Havelid behind Marty’s net. He’s playing with fire, taking a penalty against the Iron Macho. (See what we did there? Fire? Flames? )

15:58 The PP might not have scored there, but the Flames can consider themselves warned. Next time won’t be so easy. Or, um, something.

13:18 Chico tells us about the mutual admiration society that is the Marty/Kipper dynamic. It seems Marty was his usual passhole-aggresshole charming self when asked about Kipper, and he made some dig wondering whether the media in Calgary was going to be all “Kipper’s too tired to play in the playoffs after starting 75 games”. Chico thinks he’s the only person who picked up on that, though.

12:53 Paulie hooks some random Flame guy in the near corner. We’re aghast.

12:15 We try to watch as the Flames muff the puck at the blue line, but it’s too dreadful. Pookie: “I can’t watch this picture! I can’t believe we’re not in HD because of the Knicks.” It’s a pretty gruesome insult.

9:35 Ahh, continued sloppy coverage down low, how we love you so. The Paulie/Oduya d-pairing forgets how to play hockey (Pookie: “I’m blaming Havelid for that.” Andy Greene: “Me too.”) and leaves Jokinen on the doorstep to make the game 1-0 Flames. Pookie: “Well, Olli Jokinen did invent hockey, or so I’ve been led to believe, so I can’t really expect anything less.”

7:02 Pando is benched again tonight, and thank heavens for it, otherwise we would have been robbed the splendor and majesty that is this Rupp/Roy fight.

IPB Fight

Yawn.

6:21 Pookie, watching the Devils flounder: “I’m sticking to my call of 3-1 Flames, even though they are clearly the superior team here, just because they’re that boring.”

5:12 Schnookie: “Now, Sutter has identified what the team did wrong after the trade deadline last year and isn’t going to let it happen again, right? Right?” Just then Shanahan takes a high-sticking penalty. Faaaaantastic.

3:08 The PK ends on a three-man Patty/Shanny/Zach rush that starts with a soft drop pass by Patty and ultimately yields a pretty weak shot by Zach. Chico tells us the Devils have a lot of zip in their steps tonight. Schnookie: “But none in their shots.”

0:56 Doc tells us this is Blobby’s 1300th game. Ah, but it only feels like his 3600th to us.

0:00 We can guarantee that Kiprusoff isn’t going to be too tired to play well in the playoffs if he keeps facing offensive pressure like the Devils have had so far tonight.

FIRST INTERMISSION

Gel-O, Dano and Stan talk about the proposed changes to the fighting rules in the NHL. As much as the fighting itself bores us in hockey, the talking about fighting bores us even more.

SECOND PERIOD

19:32 The Devils are as surprised as we are that this game is still going on, and they give up a near breakaway to kick off the new period. Whatever Sutter told them during the intermission sure made a difference.

18:52 Doc and Chico are going on and on about Iginla. Pookie, not at all cranky: “You know how many whits I care about Jarome Iginla? Not a one!”

17:31 We’re arguing amongst ourselves whether this is the March Swoon starting now, or whether it had started in Clemmer’s last few starts, but was artificially staved off by the Marty Bump. As Doc would say, though, no matter. Either way, this team is clearly swooning.

15:17 Pando lost his job for this? Shanahan takes a hooking penalty because he’s a step too slow in the defensive zone. Why are we still watching this? Pookie: “If it’s not 2-0 Flames at the end of this penalty, I will eat my hat.”

14:50 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Ham. Pookie meant ham. Whitey and Langer dart down the rink on a well-covered and harmless-looking shorthanded rush, and Langer squeaks a trickling shot through Kiprusoff. It’s a 1-1 game, and we have no idea how Kipper didn’t stop that. (Pookie, meanwhile, says, “I don’t like ham. I think I said I’d eat a Valomilk if the score wasn’t 2-0 Flames at the end of the penalty.”)

13:19 Chico tells us that Havelid has a shorty with the Thrashers this year. Pookie: “I cannot comprehend of Havelid doing anything good.” And to think, we loved this guy when the trade was announced.

11:45 The Devils are warming to the task now, and Rupp gets a chance with Kipper down and out where, if he had even a modicum of skill, he’d have been able to roof the puck over him into the gaping net. Instead, Rupper has to slowly pivot over the puck, calibrate his shot, take some time to set his aim, and then hit the crossbar. Schnookie: “Pando could have done that.”

11:07 Doc is talking about how the ice is tilted now in the Devils’ favor. Pookie: “It’s the circus’s fault. It fucked up the ice because all the elephants sat at one end.”

10:51 The scorched earth PP is back on the ice thanks to an interference penalty to the Flames.

8:43 Langer is apparently shooting with a flubber puck that Kipper just can’t handle; he gets a shot from above the faceoff dot that dribbles tantalizingly through the crease, but Zach can’t quite lunge in time to get to it. (Zach is never going to score again.)

7:14 Rolston’s fired. He takes a cement-footed holding penalty in the offensive zone at the end of his shift.

4:30 Our picture blinks out for a long moment. We can’t decide whether we’re happy when it comes back. Heh.

3:52 Some dastardly Flame hooks Travis. TravisNation narrows its eyes angrily – that better be the worst infraction they commit against him tonight. Poor Travis, getting hooked like that. It’s not fair.

1:57 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Rolston’s hired again! (Although Rollie the cat is not thrilled when we cheer for her namesake’s goal.) He’s ready and waiting at the top of the crease for this time when Kipper mishandles an incoming shot from the left faceoff dot, and he sweeps the puck into the net for a 2-1 Devils lead.

1:22 Gio’s fired. He seems not to have clued into the fact that the officials are calling everything, and takes a lazy interference penalty.

0:45 Patty leaps up the center of the rink on a shorthanded chance, but his spinarama pass to the trailer on the play is to Paulie, who we all know has no finish.

0:20 Chico told us after Rolston’s goal that Paulie got a secondary assist, prompting Pookie to exclaim, “Pancakes for everyone!” But now the PA announcer is saying it’s Zubrus’s assist. Pookie, dejected: “Everyone, give back your pancakes.” Pause. “Travis is like, ‘I already ate mine.’”

0:00 We liked that period a lot more than the first. Other than the part where Paulie was robbed of what was rightfully his. We get an interview with a winktacular Rolston, who shoots down Stan’s attempt to nickname him “Deft”.

SECOND INTERMISSION

This intermission is all white noise, as it’s just blah blah blah Stancakes.

THIRD PERIOD

18:43 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the phonk? The Poppers (seeming the only line not shaken up tonight), have a wacky, slow-moving shift in front of the net, where everyone collapses around the crease. Kipper thinks he’s frozen the puck, and is lying on his side helplessly, but Langer keeps digging, and just when it seems everything has been frozen, Zach is flat on his face in the blue paint and the official behind the net is signaling goal. There’s a video review, but the end result is a new Flames goalie and Zach’s 39th goal. 3-1 Devils.

18:13 Rupper’s fired. Or perhaps benched. He takes one of the ever-popular lazy offensive-zone holding penalties that are all the rage with the Devils these days.

18:05 Marty misses a pokecheck off the faceoff, but instead of crumbling like his predecessor this season, he calmly sits down and waits for Cammalleri to whiff on his shot.

15:27 The Devils D is looking ahead to the next game already, and let Lundmark walk out from the corner and fire a wide-open shot from the low slot. Marty makes a delicious sliding stacked-pad save, and kills the rebound in his chest protector, prompting Chico to say something about how when you get a shot against Marty, you need to get the first one off right because there isn’t often a second one. Pookie channels Nykwana Wombosi and snarls, “If you are going to kill me, kill me dead.”

14:59 Clarkson gets hauled down as he slides headfirst through the Calgary slot, and the Devils PP gets back to work scorching the earth.

13:51 The PP shooting gallery has everyone thinking 4-1, but it finally peters out on a fanned shot attempt. During the whole affair, Zach is fired for hitting the outside of the goalpost on a gaping-net shot.

12:13 Phaneuf hits Holik. Pookie: “That’s the ugliest player-hitting-player combination the league can throw at us.”

8:53 We’ve noticed Havelid on the ice for the first time tonight. Nothing good can come of this. He’s the worst Iron Macho ever.

5:11 The Devils are playing a totally workmanlike third period, but after an icing, Sutter calls a timeout. We see a closeup of the bench, and both he and Travis are chortling up a storm. This is not one of those really tense timeouts.

4:15 Gio easily bests Phaneuf while chasing a puck up the wing. Just sayin’.

3:08 Zubrus tries a wraparound, but ends up just sort of skating in a straight line into the corner. Schnookie: “Zubrus needs to go to Clarkson’s skills camp.”

2:52 The Iron Boar gets his stick on a shot just inside the blue line and ends up deflecting the puck into his own chin.

2:27 The other day, MSG+ showed us pictures during a game of Applesauce’s pug Nellie. (Yes, pug.) Doc takes a post-icing stoppage to tell us that Applesauce appreciated them showing the pictures, then floated tantalizingly that there are other players on the team who also have dog pictures. We are so excited to see these! Get on it, MSG+!

1:53 Whitey fires the puck over the glass. And this was going so well, too. At least it’s not a lazy hooking/holding penalty, though. We’d praise Whitey for originality during his exit interview.

1:29 The Iron Boar is back on the ice, and we agree he’s just relieved the Iron Macho of his “Macho”. That’s right – he’s the Iron Macho Boar now. And Havelid is just the Iron.

0:45 We are remarkably calm. We never felt this good with the Devils sitting on a two-goal lead, on the PK, with Clemmer in net.

0:01 Screw you, Calgary. They manage to get the puck past Marty off a buzzer-beating scramble. Whatever, losers. It’s 3-2 Devils, and Marty is flat-out cracking up.

0:00 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Wow! The Flames are the Greatest Team Of All Time Since The Trade Deadline, and the Devils just comfortably beat them (less a crappy first period). What does that say about the Devils?

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This first round of the playoffs has been chipping away at our will to live lately, so we’re trying to be proactive tonight. No one’s going to make our happiness for us, so instead of passively waiting for hockey to bring the RAWK!!! to us, we’re going to bring the RAWK!!! to it. Or, in lieu of RAWK!!!, game diaries.

To start things off, we’ve got the Caps and Flyers, only because our cable is coming out of Philly, we’re either miserably stuck with the Flyers Comcast feed or blissfully unable to watch on VS, depending on your point of view. Regardless, it’s in HD, so that makes us happy.

FIRST PERIOD

20:00 Before the drop of the puck, it should be pointed out that we are really unfamiliar with the Flyers broadcasters, save for one. In case you were wondering where Bill Clement ended up after Pierre McGuire Eve Harringtoned him, wonder no longer. He’s doing color on Comcast for the Flyers. We have spent more than our fair share of Flyers games this season saying, “Hey, that guy sounds SO MUCH like Bill Clement!” and now we know why.
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For some reason we thought this game was scheduled to start an hour later than it was. Thank heavens MSG decided for the thousandth time this season to interview Brandon Dubinsky during the first intermission of the Rangers-Senators game, or we never would have gone to peruse the guide to see what else was on and notice the correct start time for this one. So there you go – something the Rangers are good for. Namely: driving a hockey fan to desperately change channels in search of something, anything less heinous to watch.

Steve opens the broadcast by telling us all about how this is Sutter v. Sutter tonight, and oh by the way, Zach’s out with the flu. Pookie: “We’re losing tonight.”

FIRST PERIOD

19:44 Filling in this evening for Zach on the Popper line is… Rod Pelley. While we love Pelley, he is not quite as interchangeable with Zach as maybe we’d like in this situation.

19:13 We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that the picture tonight is surprisingly good for a coming-from-Calgary feed. The sound, though, is really bizarre, and sounds like the crowd noise is being piped in through a long metal tube.

19:06 Madden carries the puck up the wing on a three-on-two, and shoots way wide.
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We are strangely drawn this week to the Ducks, so here we are again with the team we love to hate (and hate to love), taking on the Flames. Here’s hoping this one is a bit more interesting than the Ducks-Canucks were. It’s no mean feat finding the game, though, because our Center Ice is totally wonky tonight; we find the FSN feed on a channel telling us it’s airing “Upcoming: Bruins @ Lightning.” But of course!

We polished off a growler of beer with dinner tonight, in the hopes that killing off a few of our brain cells would make Hayward more palatable. So far… not so good. He furrows his brow and intones to us like he’s Nicole Kidman in “To Die For” that tonight’s the night a guy named Jarome Iginla (you may have heard of him) becomes the all-time games-played leader for the Flames. That’s kind of a surprising thing to hear – it seems like just yesterday Iginla was a young kid bursting onto the scene. Has he really been around that long, or are the Flames just a franchise that doesn’t keep guys for long?

FIRST PERIOD

18:27 What is it with Canadian rinks? Do they not consider lighting their buildings for television up there? The picture here, as it did in Vancouver on Tuesday, looks remarkably murky.

17:26 Pronger picks up where the Ducks left off in their last game, and takes an interference penalty. This sets Hayward back off into his comical peevishness about how the Ducks didn’t give themselves a chance to win by putting themselves down two men 600 times against the Canucks.
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It is never easy for us to remain alert after dinner on Monday nights, and it’s exponentially harder to do so the day we came back from vacation. But Gentle Reader, we will endeavor, for you, to stay awake tonight while soaking up all the kick-assedness the Sharks and Flames have to offer, despite the fact that we know exactly nothing about either one of these teams.

We’re getting the Flames feed on Center Ice, and the broadcasters are color-guy Charlie Simmons and the hilariously-named play-by-play man Roger Millions. He sounds like he could be Max Power’s cousin.

Ugh. The pre-game features a tribute to Owen Nolan for his 1,000th game; there are few players we can think of who are less inspiring than Owen Nolan, and this highlight reel is pretty funny for how many teams he’s played for. The big present here for Owen is a “custom-made” bottle of wine, presented to him by Mike Ricci – oh my god! We just want to know what products he uses! Oh, wait, sorry. The big present for Owen is a goofy ATV thing. The fans appear to be as underwhelmed as we are; are we the only people here who don’t think 1,000 games played is as remarkable a milestone as it once was?

FIRST PERIOD

19:26 Mr. Millions mentions that Jeremy Roenick is on the ice right now, and we are suddenly convinced we’re going to see him score his 500th goal, because what could be more fun than watching JR get to 500 on the night Owen Nolan played his 1,000th game?
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Well, Stately IPB Manor is taking on water today, and it seems like the weather is trying to rub my face in a really obvious metaphor for how the entire weekend went, playoff-wise.

I would start here by laughing at Pookie and her whole “I’m stuck attending a conference in the middle of the best round of the playoffs” angst, but I have no leg to stand on. For one thing, I knowingly enrolled in a week-long pastry class at the Culinary Institute of America during last year’s first round and missed the bulk of the Devils first-ever vanquishing of the Rangers. For another thing, Pookie actually has a career that demands attending conferences with some regularity, and I have no career dynamic to speak of. So I’ll lay off her on this one. Instead, I’ll turn to the water in my basement.

When you buy a house in our part of central Jersey, you really have to expect a certain amount of flooding. The land in our township is essentially just one giant sponge. So when it rains like it has for the last 24 hours here (one might describe this deluge as semi-Biblical), it is entirely to be expected that you’re going to be suffering that violated, helpless feeling of having water seeping across your basement floor. Likewise, when you watch the first round of the NHL playoffs and you have violent dislikes for any number of participating teams, you have to expect to be unhappy with at least some of the outcomes. I fully put forth that I run that risk when I decide to care. But still. Sigh. Did it have to be this unpleasant? (more…)

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