Our volume control isn’t fantastic when this (heinous, low-def) broadcast starts, so our opening statement for the evening is Pookie screaming at the television, “Gel-O, why are you shouting at me???”
Apparently we’re supposed to be really amazed at the Devils’ resilience for winning 20 of 30 with Zubrus out of the lineup. We suspect that’s more a statement about Zubrus than it is about the Devils.
19:32 Wait, what? Doc takes this moment to drop the terrible news on us that Zharkov’s out of the lineup tonight, and Andrew Peters is in. No wonder Gel-O was shouting at us – who can help but be angry when facing the prospect of an evening of Andrew Peters being in the lineup?
18:45 Zach and Travis (who got a title screen in the pregame that read “ZZ Tops the Charts”, prompting us to wonder if MSG+ has finally scraped the absolute bottom of the barrel) get a rink-length two-on-one, but the pass is too well defended, and Zach is left taking a not-entirely-great shot that Elliott easily blockers aside.
16:40 During the wait for a Devils-zone draw, MSG+2 shows us an iso of Zubrus’s last shift. Chico narrates is as an example of “Dainius doing what he does best”, and Schnookie asks, “Dainius doing what he does best? Does Chico mean that Zubrus is being forgotten by everyone on the ice?” Just then, the replay shows Zubrus following a Senator behind the Ottawa net, falling over, getting his stick blade caught in the glass, and then being hit by a Senator and a Devil while prone on the ice. Ah yes. That is Dainius doing what he does best.
15:52 Michalek gets a point-blank chance when he sneaks behind the D to receive a glorious feed from Alfredsson, and the Ottawa crowd is already cheering the goal when Marty casually just scoops up the shot with his glove while looking like he’s just nonchalantly standing in the crease. That is just super-sassy by Marty. And remember, you can’t spell “sassy” without “assy”. We love it.
12:13 Captain Fuck This Shit and Alternate Captain Fuck This Shit team up on a spunky sequence along the far boards, as Langer takes a hit but frees up the puck, then, with a glance over his shoulder, tosses it to a streaking Zach, who inside-outsides his way around his defender to rip a tricky shot on Elliott. But, for all that, they don’t score.
10:45 We are barely paying attention as we’re discussing the pork chile verde we made over the weekend, and suddenly the dumb goal horn is honking and all those poor souls who are stuck being Senators fans are cheering. The goal is Kovalev’s, and clearly the Devils shouldn’t be taking their cues from us about when to be paying attention to the game in front of them. 1-0 Senators.
9:42 The game goes to commercial with Rolston heading to the box after taking an offensive-zone penalty. Why must the Devils always play down to the quality of the picture of their MSG feed?
7:42 The Devils miraculously survive the idiotic Rolston penalty. Meanwhile, what’s uo with the Senators? Since when are they not a living joke? They make no sense to us.
5:56 Zach tries to bust up the wing after chipping the puck past the last Senators defender, but he gets just barely caught on a hipcheck while passing the guy, and tumbles to the ice. And when we say “tumbles” we really mean it. He, like, somersaults six or seven times, looks like he’s about to burst into flames, but then springs immediately to his feet to keep skating.
3:51 It only took 16 minutes and 9 seconds of listening to the way Doc says “Elliott” before Pookie pointed out how Doc makes that name sound just like ET did.
2:44 BOOOOOOOO! This game is shitty. What happened to the sassy Marty? The Devils are a bunch of dysfunctional morons in their own zone, all of them literally standing still with their arms pinned to their sides, and finally Cheechoo kicks the puck into the net to get what looks like a 2-goal lead. Pookie: “Jesus Christ. We just gave up a goal to Jonathan Cheechoo? That’s pathetic.” A lengthy review ensues, though, and the Devils get bailed out by the War Room, as the goal is considered to have been kicked in and is waved off.
2:04 Niedermayer (the Lesser) and Mike Fisher take a faceoff. Pookie: “Those two are like the ferrymen to Old NHLer Island.” Schnookie: “You know what’s great about that? Mike Fisher isn’t even old.” Pookie: “I know, but doesn’t he seem like a guy I should be really tired of hearing about?”
1:18 Oh, good thing we bothered having that Cheechoo goal waved off, because the Senators take almost no time at all to get it back. Mottau (it’s always Mottau, isn’t it?) gets a rebound on his stick right in front of the net, opts to make the high-percentage play of blindly flinging the puck straight up the middle, finds Spezza with his pass, and Spezza blows a shot through Marty. 2-0 Senators. It hasn’t even been a full period yet, and this game has become vomitously interminable.
0:00 Honestly, that was despicable.
18:32 When the period started, Doc did his usual bookkeeping announcement of there being no carry-over penalties from the previous period. Schnookie: “Yeah, but I bet there’s plenty of carry-over suck.” Now, after 90 seconds of the Senators staging a shooting gallery in the New Jersey zone, the Devils are proving us right.
16:20 Chico thinks this might be the Devils’ big break – a too many men penalty on the Senators. Boomer: “See, they’re going to get right back in this!” Pookie: “Yeah. If losing by one goal instead of two is ‘right back in it’.” Doc opts now to dryly point out that the Devils are 0-for-24 on the PP over their last nine games. Those numbers seem low. Surely it’s been a lot more fruitless power plays over a lot more games.
14:59 The PP is being just as shitty as you’d expect, but Chico tries to drum up some rah-rah attitude by explaining that all you need to be successful on the PP is “hunger as well as skill.” Pookie: “There you go, guys. They’re just ‘hunger and skill’ away from being right back in it.”
14:20 Make that 0-for-25 over ten games now.
13:07 The Devils are failing to keep the Senators from playing keep-away in the Ottawa zone while Doc is apologizing profusely for misleading us. It turns out the Devils are actually on a 1-for-25 run on the PP, because they scored with the man advantage on the Island the other day. Well that makes it all better.
11:57 It’s the point in the game where Doc and Chico are assessing the game-blowing interception by Brett Favre last Sunday. No, they’re not missing anything hockey-wise.
11:05 Everyone roars back to life for a second when Davis leaves the puck behind while attempting to skate out of the slot, but the momentary excitement fades when it’s Cheechoo who scoops it up for a great scoring chance. It’s reassuring, after our panic in the first that the Devils had given up a goal to him, to see him shoot well wide.
9:10 We believe we’ve mentioned here before that we are ardent fans of the great television show Make It Or Break It. If you’re not familiar with it, MIOBI is a soapy teen show about gymnasts, and it rocks. So anyway, last night’s episode featured the heroines performing in a gymnastics expo, and when they grumble about having to participate in it, their coach explains that their preparation for the event is going “to be all about fun. F-U-N.” Needless to say, this prompted a lot of jokes about how Lemaire was saying that to the Devils, only a bit more like, “Today’s practice is all about fun. D-E-F-E-N-S-E.” Or “S-O-U-N-D D-E-F-E-N-S-I-V-E P-O-S-I-T-I-O-N-I-N-G.” Now we’re hoping their next practice will be about fun. B-A-G S-K-A-T-E.
6:34 That weird Davis kid gets the puck behind the Senators net, spins, and falls over. Pookie: “Well, Davis has a tornado move of his own.” Schnookie: “What has that ever gotten any of the Devils?” Pookie: “At least we know he’ll fit in.”
4:13 It’s sometimes really hard to fathom why we bother watching when the Devils are playing like this. Spezza taps a shot in off a great diagonal pass across the zone. The best part is that he’s being “defended” by Mottau while doing it, which means he just has to stand there and put his stick between Mottau’s feet to easily put the puck into the net without any kind of impediment or hindrance from Mottau. It’s almost hypnotic how bad it is. 3-0 Senators.
2:45 Schnookie: “Is this going to be the night we finally just don’t watch the third period?” As if on cue, play is stopped thanks to some kind of fracas behind the play, and when the camera catches up with the scuffle, it turns out to be Peters standing all lunkishly over a fallen Ruutu, possibly thinking that this is finally going to be the time that pesky guy fights him to even up the roughing penalty he’s already taken. It’s like Charlie Brown thinking Lucy’s finally not going to pull the football away. It wouldn’t be quite so galling that he’s a terrible hockey player if he wasn’t also so fucking stupid about it. Yeah, this would be the night we finally just don’t watch the third period.
0:00 Did it suddenly become April and no one told us?
We got up and walked away, and didn’t miss anything.