It seems sort of strange that we should have to chase yesterday’s amazing game against the Pens with another game right away. Shouldn’t the schedule have built in some time for savoring? What gives? Anyway, we’re back in the saddle already, with the Devils in Chicago and in lo-def. BOOO! We wanted 2009 to go out with a bang, and instead, it’s going out with a murky haze of what might be two of the top teams in the NHL, but might also just be some red- and white-colored blobs moving around a blueish-white TV screen.
Our intro is all about Madden, whom we’d pretty much forgotten. If Marty lets him score tonight, our entire decade will have been ruined.
Wait, never mind – it doesn’t matter if Madden scores, because Stan manages to fit a whole bunch of so-lame-they-don’t-even-qualify-as-terrible puns about various players’ names before the game starts. And with that, our decade has been ruined. And the cherry on top is that Peters is back in the lineup tonight. Did we ever say we liked hockey?
17:11 When Land Zhark’s name comes up in the play-by-play, it’s greeted with a chorus of “Candygram!” here at stately IPB Manor, and then Pookie suddenly blurts, “Blandygram!” Pause. “Have I said that before?”
16:30 Chico chortles about Peters’s excuse for his tie-down issue in the last game he played. Apparently he was “so excited he forgot to tie his sweater down”. On the one hand, we want to complain about what a complete fucking idiot he is, but on the other hand, we really liked that he got tossed out of that game early. Peters makes life so difficult.
13:47 The first big scoring chance of the night for the Devils comes from some hustle by Zach in front of the net. It’s stopped by Huet, and then our audio picks up some jubilant female squealing that makes it sound as if Gel-O and Chico are broadcasting from a party boat. Which, considering the legend of Gel-O that Stalky thought up last season, is probably the case. It is the New Year, after all.
8:59 We miss a few minutes while assembling our meringue mushrooms, and come back to hear a story that Madden asked Marty to bring him a few game-used sticks that he could give to people in Chicago. And Marty apparently said that if Madden scores on him, those sticks will get packed up and go ahead with the team to Minnesota. Heh.
5:50 Marty makes an amazing save on what looks like a gimme at the far post (or maybe the Blackhawk just whiffs on his shot, or hits the post – we can’t really see because this picture is so terrible. It’s like we’re watching through the windshield of the Med U.S.A.) on a delayed penalty, and after the shot, Madden goes down in a giant, flailing heap, his gloves flying everywhere as he clutches his face as if his life force is ebbing out of it. Pookie then reminds us of our favorite Maddenism from his Devils days: “THAT STICK TOUCHED MY EYE!” We go to commercial, and when we come back Chico is confused about whether a second penalty is being called on the play, with the initial whatever-it-was, and then the high stick on Whitey. It turns out that Whitey is in the box, but only for one penalty. Madden hasn’t gotten any better at drawing high-sticking penalties than he was in Jersey.
5:16 Blandy didn’t bring his A game with him on this trip, it seems, and Brouwer scores the first of what we suspect will be many Hawks goals tonight. 1-0 Chicago.
3:31 The Med U.S.A. is taking on water! Blandy didn’t even bring his B game with him on this trip, and after he whiffs on an attempt to just carry the puck in the defensive zone, Eager scores. It’s 2-0 Chicago, and you know what? If the Devils are going to have a let-down game (which they clearly are, and we can’t blame them for that, since we’re not exactly all that interested in them playing tonight either), would it killthem to let the hot guys on the Blackhawks score? What’s with this Brouwer and Eager crap? Why not Mr. Beefy or Duncan Keith?
0:00 Remember how good that game against the Pens last night was? Remember that feeling? Yeah, we don’t either.
19:38 Gel-O brings us back to the action by casually mentioning that the Devils are down by two. Schnookie: “Yeah, but it feels like 17.” Pookie: “If they let in another, I’m throwing mushrooms at their heads.”
17:49 Just as Pookie gets up to check on the mushrooms, the Devils make themselves into mushroom targets by all stopping in the neutral zone to watch while the Blackhawks get a two-on-one way in close, and Ladd makes it 3-0 Chicago. At least Mr. Beefy got the assist, so there was some pulchritude involved. Boomer sums things up well by sighing, “Well, put this in the loss column.”
16:50 The Devils respond well to falling into an insurmountable hole by taking a penalty. Chico tries to cheer us up by mentioning now that the Hawks have such a terribly-managed salary cap that they are in a hard-and-fast “win now” situation. And you know what? We’re petty enough that it does help to hear that.
15:34 Gel-O decides to tell us now that the penalty was to Mottau, for holding. We don’t really care. It’s all of the same here on the bleak ship Med U.S.A.
13:51 Zach fails to score on a penalty shot. Pookie points out that he’s gone an entire game without a goal, and maybe it’s time for us all to get worried again.
13:03 The Chicago crowd gets to roar with derision at the patheticness of the Devils when Rolston winds up to take a giant slapshot on the fly, and a Hawk just skates up behind him and takes the puck away. Don’t get too excited, Hawks fans – after all, Rolston is the worst hockey player on earth.
8:30 Hey! There’s Mr. Beefy! Taking a tripping penalty! Thanks for letting a handsome guy on the scoresheet, Devils. Oh, and now it’s time for the first PP of this fine, fine let-down game. Should be exciting.
6:04 As if this game is feeling sorry for us, the Devils get another PP. Chico tells us the Devils need to start doing something to generate something. We’re not waiting for that while hanging from a rope around our necks. (We have spent the last few minutes reading the final entry on the Top Ten Reasons Why This Feminist Is A Sports Fan” list we linked to yesterday. The reason is “Sports are Joyful”. Schnookie reads it aloud to Pookie and Boomer, and after we contemplate that, we agree the author can only be saying that because she hasn’t seen this game.)
4:04 This entire fucking power play has been in the Devils’ zone. It is capped off, though, by Madden attempting a spin-a-rama shorthanded chance. It’s exactly as hilarious as it sounds.
2:25 If we had to come up with a list of top ten reasons why we hate sports, this game would be at least six of the items on that list. Gotta love going from the high highs to the low lows.
0:44 Boomer puts things into perspective by asking, “Which would you rather have? The shutout against the Pens, or winning this game?” She makes a good point, but would it have killed the Devils to give us both?
0:00 Woo hoo! Only 20 more minutes! (We get an interview with Andrew Ladd, and as Pookie emphatically hits the mute button, she snarls, “Shut up, Ladd. I don’t like you.” Pause. “And my friend doesn’t like you either.” Boomer then adds, “And shut up, Stan.” Schnookie: “I like you even less.”)
19:38 Pookie is busy staging a meringue mushroom photoshoot, and can’t unmute the TV. So we’re spared whatever Chico’s trying to say right now about how easy it’ll be for the Devils to get back in this.
18:44 Back-to-back icings is not, we don’t think, how the Devils are going to get back in this.
17:40 Pookie finally comes back into the living room and says, “Well, at least it’s not 4-0, which is better than last time I came in from the kitchen during play.” As if on cue, the Hawks take a delay-of-game penalty. Chico tries to suggest that the comeback is starting here. We’re not sure we believe him.
17:12 A clearing attempt whips into the Hawks bench and drills Hjarmalsson in the side of the head. He goes down hard and is slow to get back up, then staggers slowly off the bench into the dressing room. That’s not cool.
15:19 Well now it’s 4-0 Chicago. Instead of watching this game, would you like to see some baby pictures of our meringue mushrooms? Why, of course – we’d love to share them with you!
10:30 We return to paying attention the game in time to hear Chico telling us all about how John Madden’s kid was all sad about having to leave New Jersey, and blah blah blah, and if he’s trying to get us to gain sympathy for the Madden family while we’re watching this crap, Chico’s crazier than we thought.
4:49 When Madden scores from long range to make it 5-0 Chicago, we call it quits. Pookie: “There goes that decade.”
0:00 Welp, that sucked from tippy top to tippy bottom. Regardless, Happy New Year, Gentle Reader!