Archive for the ‘Phoenix Coyotes’ Category

Watch this space for a diary of tonight’s game against Phoenix. In the meantime, look! We found where Chico isn’t shopping:

Hell Toupee

We were all ready to be in a good mood for this game, but when we turn it on, we get the tail end of the pregame with Stan excitedly telling us all about the former Rangers playing for the Coyotes. Sigh. If only MSG+ would realize that Devils fans don’t like their pregame show narrated through Blueshirt-colored glasses. Also, it seems there’s no Doc tonight. Man, they’re killing us here!

In preposterous pregame pontification news, Stan thinks Rolston’s due for a bust-out game tonight. HA! We’re not waiting for that while hanging from a rope around our necks.


19:14 Hm. Steve tells us the Coyotes have lost five of their last six. And meanwhile, the Devils are coming off an emotional divisional win, and have had a faint whiff of “swoon” to them lately. Pookie: “Well, something’s got to give.”

16:13 Play has been choppy so far. Lots of offsides. Which is good, because this 9:00 start time is making it tough for us to get into it for the diary. (Nothing’s ever good enough for us, is it? 7:00 is too early! 9:00 is too late! Wah wah wah!)

13:00 We are discussing how hard it is to pay attention to games with play-by-play done by Gel-O, and Pookie says, as she turns up the volume a few ticks, “It’s tough when Gel-O is in charge.” Pause. “It’s a lot like Charles In Charge, except I never saw that show, so I have no idea what it was like.”

10:38 The Poppers, for the umpteenth time tonight, generate some great scoring chances on their shift. They seem to be a bit more than the Coyotes can handle. Pookie, ever the optimist, doesn’t necessarily believe in them: “Don’t you just feel like they’re never going to score again? I’m going off the Ranger game, I think.” Of course, that game made it seem like no one, anywhere, ever, was going to score again.

9:42 Marty and Whitey conspire to shut down a scrambling near-miss by the Coyotes, and we go to commercial reflecting on the conversation Chico and Gel-O had about the coaches in this game. They lit upon the fact that Tippett seemed tailor-made for the vacancy left with the Devils by Sutter, and remarked how the Devils aren’t sorry now with the pick they ended up making. And honestly, if you’d told us back then that we’d be as happy with Lemaire as we are now, we’d have laughed in your face. Or maybe punched you in the throat. It’s crazy.

8:42 The Rolston bust-out game hasn’t started yet. He gets a chance off a three-on-three rush, and hits the outside of the net. Pookie mistakenly thinks the shot went in, until she realizes who was shooting.

7:05 It’s the ZZ Boogersfors line on the ice now, and they’re just cycling and cycling and cycling around the perimeter, with absolute ownership of the puck, but not really breaking the D down to generate some scoring chances.

6:44 Isn’t that how it always goes? The Coyotes weather the ZZ Boogers shift, turn up the ice, and immediately score on a deflection off the rush. The goal is Lombardi’s, and it’s 1-0 Coyotes.

5:47 Pookie: “This has been a fast period. There haven’t been any power plays.” Pause. “Or icings.” It definitely seems like one of those games where all parties involved want to get in and out and over with as quickly as possible. Boomer, remembering the time we raced from the Staples Center to our hotel in Anaheim, suggests: “They need to get back to the hotel before room service closes so they can order dessert.”

4:37 The Coyotes get their first real shift of sustained pressure, and unlike when the Poppers were doing it, end up drawing a penalty. It’s a cross-check on Applesauce. When we come back from commercial, we see a replay of the situation, wherein Upshall elbows Applesauce in the jaw, then Applesauce comes back with a gently jab in the back, and Upshall goes down like he’s been stabbed in the kidneys. Chico is livid.

2:37 At least there’s some justice in the world, as the PP passes without a goal.

0:45 Pookie breaks the dull silence in the living room of stately IPB Manor: “I think they’re playing rope-a-dope.” Long silence. “They’re like, ‘We’re just going to sit back and wait for the shootout.’ The coaches are like, ‘You don’t get to go to a shootout if you’re losing,’ but the Devils won’t hear it.”

0:30 Whitey can’t hold the point after an offensive-zone penalty, and Mueller ends up blowing past him for a breakaway. 2-0 Coyotes, and Pookie sums up the play, “Peter Mueller: faster than Colin White.”

0:00 Well that was lame!


19:32 Gel-O opened the first period by raving about how the Devils are the best road team in the NHL, and he’s opening this period by telling us they’re 1-2-1 on the road against the Western Conference. What a difference 20 minutes of hockey makes.

18:41 Zach pulls up to get a quick shot off the rush, and Boogerfors’s follow-up on the rebound goes well wide. Zach and Boogerfors are never going to score again! (Actually, Boogerfors’s raison d’etre lately seems to be to remind Devils fans why you don’t ever want to be counting on a rookie to be one of your top scorers all season.)

16:17 The Brian Rolston Break-Out Watch of 2010 is still ongoing, as he draws a penalty to Yandle on the rush, but then fails to turn three consecutive shot attempts into real scoring chances, and feeds Applesauce a bobbling pass that Applesauce can’t handle when he loses the point. He’s the worst hockey player alive! BOOOOOOOO!

15:16 We would like very much for the Devils to spend their next practice doing an exhaustive remedial passing workshop.

15:01 As Oduya retrieves the puck from behind Marty’s net again, Pookie says dryly, “This is the best power play I’ve ever seen.”

14:43 Oh shit. It’s another penalty on the Coyotes, when Rolston (!?!) gets tripped in the neutral zone. You can put a fork in the Devils, because the 5-on-3 is absolute murder.

14:29 Travis puts everyone out of their misery by holding Hanzal up off an offensive-zone faceoff. While we wait for the teams to get set in the Devils zone after the whistle goes on the penalty, Chico goes through a bizarre series of mental contortions coming up with potential scenarios wherein the Devils could score on the 12-second 4-on-3. Pookie: “Chico. Please.”

13:48 Pookie is stunned when a Devil manages to hold the puck at the point. “Oh my God,” she gasps, “A Devil kept the point! All we need now is for one to keep the point and score a goal. Then we’re right back in it.” That’s sarcasm, in case your sarcasm-meter isn’t working.

10:27 No. Way. The Brian Rolston Break-Out Watch of 2010 might be over. He leaps off the bench to take a sick two-zone pass from Egg to get a breakaway on which he scores. We know! We didn’t think either of those guys had that in them! It’s 2-1 Coyotes, and WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

10:19 The Coyotes are unraveling! They can’t handle being scored on by Brian Rolston, of all people, and one of them takes a slashing penalty. The Devils have got them right where they want them. Either that, or they’ll keep on sucking with the man advantage.

8:19 They went with the latter.

5:54 This is our conversation while the ZZs are pinning the Coyotes in their zone:

Schnookie: “You know why I think the Devils are swoony? Because they’ve had a consistent lineup lately. They don’t have guys coming in and out of the roster, and having brief windows to prove themselves. ”

Pookie: “They need to—”

Schnookie & Pookie, in unison: “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

As we are complaining, Travis and Zach conspire to force a turnover coming off the near boards, and Travis walks down the slot to laser a shot past Bryzgalov. 2-2 game.

3:56 Pookie notices that the little Coyotes logo next to the team name on the scoreboard at the top of the screen looks like it’s howling the time clock.


1:19 Every time Gel-O mentions Lepisto in the course of his play-by-play, we get nostalgic for the Sestito Puente Era.

0:00 That was less lame!


20:00 Before the drop of the puck, Gel-O goes on at length about how if Marty wins tonight, it’ll be the fastest he ever got to 30 wins in a season in his career. What a difference 20 more minutes of hockey makes.

19:28 Marty stumbles but manages to hold fast against a bouncing shot. Chico happily points out that the Coyotes have now matched their shot output from the entire second period.

17:28 It looks for just a moment like Patty and Niedermayer (the Lesser) are getting in on a two-on-one, but Lombardi makes himself a human blanket getting back on the backcheck, and ties up Niedermayer (the Lesser) to the extent that all he can do when Patty gets him the puck is push it weakly into Bryzgalov’s glove. It’s so pathetic that even Chico laughs about how easy a save it was.

16:11 Fraser flings a bouncing puck over the glass, and gets called for delay of game. It’s okay, though, because he’s cute. And we’re shallow. And we’ll change our tune if the Coyotes score on the PP.

14:12 With a thicket of players in front of Marty, the Coyotes manage to muster their first PP shot of the night. It does not lead to a goal, so we’re still okay with Fraser.

10:18 Schnookie: “Well, how is Patty supposed to do anything when he’s out there with Niedermayer (the Lesser) and Rolston?” As if to prove her point, Patty uncorks a nifty little pass to unleash Rolston all alone in front of the Phoenix net, and Rolston ends up backhanding a pass to no one. Meanwhile, Niedermayer (the Lesser) stands dumbly to the side, watching the play unfold. Pookie: “I’m beginning to regret ever saying anything nice about Rob Niedermayer.”

8:17 We get a look at a cute family sitting in the stands – Chico’s daughter, son-in-law, and sister. Chico puffs up and starts telling us all about how much they all love being in the Southwest, and how his sister is snowbirding for just a month, and blah blah blah, and play seems to still be going on, but he doesn’t care.

8:08 The Chico family is terrible luck, as the Coyotes score on a cross-crease feed from the near corner, all before Chico’s done talking about his sister and daughter. Winnik looks like he’s gotten the goal, and then gets high-sticked by Fraser on the play, drawing a penalty. Replay shows that Fraser not only took a terrible penalty, but also actually tipped that puck into his own net. We are not okay with that. It’s 3-2 Coyotes, and the Devils are now going down a man.

6:52 Fraser is the worst player on Earth. Michalek scores on a loooooong shot to make it 4-2 Coyotes. Pookie: “This shows us why we should not only not have a shootout, but we shouldn’t have a third period, either. This game should have ended a 2-2 tie.” This also shows us why Gel-O shouldn’t spend an hour at the outset of the third period telling us all about how this is going to be Marty’s 30th win.

6:20 Pookie, to the TV: “Listen guys. Paulie Martin isn’t walking through that door.”

4:44 The Brian Rolston Break-Out Watch of 2010 has no idea what to make of things when, with absolutely nothing good going on for the Devils, Rolston wheels at the point to fire a no-look shot toward the net that Hambone tips over Bryzgalov to make it 4-3 Coyotes. WOOOOOOO? The hell?

3:50 The Devils also don’t know what to make of that last goal, because they’re getting pinned in their own zone rather than trying to build some kind of momentum.

3:27 You know, we defended Applesauce in the comments here earlier today (albeit weakly), and how does he thank us? He thanks us by abandoning his man in front of Marty’s crease while the Devils are being badly outworked in their own zone, watching in horror as Phoenix gets the puck to that guy at the top of the crease, watching in relief while Marty makes a crazy stacked-pad save, then skating out to the top of the crease to cross-check the guy in the head after the fact. Thanks, Applesauce. Thanks for nothing.

1:04 The Devils have the extra attacker out. Our hopes are not buoyed.

0:30 Boomer jokingly complains while the Devils scramble fruitlessly, “What’s Langenbrunner doing out there?” Pookie adds, equally joking, “What’s Niedermayer doing out there?” Pause. “Wait. Seriously. What is Niedermayer doing out there?”

0:00 Well, that ended up lame.


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ARGH! We’re not in HD again??? But the Islanders are? This is an OUTRAGE! MSG has all its dumb commercials about how they’re not going to let anyone ignore Marty on his march to history, but heaven forbid they should have Marty in HD or anything.

By the way, we would like to take this moment to say that we were not responsible for Travis’s Wikipedia entry being vandalized. If it had been us, you’d have known it.


20:00 Before the drop of the puck, we get the goalie matchup. We suspect this Tordjman kid is about to get his first NHL 40-save shutout. The new guys always do against the Devils.

19:42 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Or not! The game starts off with a classic “we’re scoring in the first minute” shift by the Poppers, where Langer cuts across the crease to feed Zach for his 40th goal of the year! WOOOOOOO!!! 1-0 Devils, and we happily clink wine glasses to toast our very own superstar.

17:33 After Marty makes a stop while holding the post in the face of some scrambling, we get a look at Wayne on the Phoenix bench. Chico wonders aloud how much this losing season must be torturing Wayne. Schnookie: “Yeah. Another losing season for a mediocre coach. It must be terrible for him.” Chico isn’t listening, and just keeps blathering on about how the problem in Phoenix is that Wayne hasn’t been given any talent to work with. To which Tom Renney says, “Fuck you.”

17:04 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chico: “Well sure, there was some worry that the Devils would take this game lightly…” The Devils: “We are taking this game lightly.” But they just can’t help scoring. In this case, Madden is powering along down the ice, minding his own business, then he lunges to get his stick on an Oduya shot, and Tordjman has no answer. It’s 2-0 Devils.

13:25 There’s a bit of passive play in the Devils zone that almost leads to a good scoring chance, but Prucha tips the puck to the glass instead of on net. We kind of feel like the Coyotes have actually had the better of the play here.

11:37 Jovo takes Patty down behind the Coyotes net in a move that you could kind of consider a slew-foot. Schnookie: “Yeah, Jovo’s feeling pretty brave back there now that Brylin’s not patrolling the ice.”

11:04 Zubrus, the tall man’s Brylin, takes Jovo out with a butt-end to the eye socket. He gets four minutes for high-sticking.

10:26 Oh sure, the Devils are totally not taking this game lightly. The whole PK, from Marty on out, forgets what they’re doing, and Upshall sweeps a bouncing puck into the net while everyone in red stands around watching in horror. 2-1 Devils.

6:35 We’re all deeply immersed in our cheese dinner, and not really paying attention. That’s probably the problem the Devils and Tordjman are having.

5:22 Doc and Chico discuss how Marty’s seen 12 shots already. Only 12? We were just talking about how it felt more like 600.

2:50 Oh, there’s still hockey going on? We’re embroiled in a discussion of the Jon Stewart/Jim Cramer feud. We can’t even tell you, Gentle Reader, how much we’ve been enjoying that.

0:00 The good news here is that the Devils are up 2-1, and lately the first period has been by far their worst. We get an interview with 40-goal-scorer Zach Parise. He tries to pretend that he doesn’t think he’s hot shit now.


Gel-O and Dano talk to some guy about the NJ high school hockey championship, and things turn, as they always do, to Jim Dowd. Go Ocean County!


17:46 Doc and Chico are telling us to go to the alumni event at which Chico’s playing this weekend, and after talking it all up, Chico tells us that fans can find where the game is “by Googling it. Or…” Long pause. “Or… looking at… that other thing.” Doc tries to cover for him by saying that any search engine will do. Pookie, ever the kindly reference librarian, says, “Chico’s just being smart and knows Google Maps is better than Mapquest.”

16:11 Hey! Yesterday was Gracie Sutter’s birthday! And KtG’s! Happy birthday to both of them.

13:12 You know what? The Devils just don’t look like a juggernaut so far.

12:49 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! This game is totally shaping up to be one for the ages. The Shanny/Zubrus/Clarkson line lulls the Coyotes D to sleep, and Shanny feeds Zubrus in the high slot to make it 3-1 Devils.

11:32 Blobby decides to force Jovo to relive his Brylin misadventures, too. It’s the first time this season that we’ve liked something Blobby did.

10:27 Marty has to make a series of saves that he was probably not expecting to have to do tonight. When he looked at the calendar, we suspect he wasn’t circling the Coyotes as a tough night.

10:16 What??? No! Doc tells us who the next player’s dog pictures are going to be from, and it’s Shanny. Who does he think he is? He thinks he can just waltz in here, boot Pando to the press box, then win us over with pictures of his dog??? That bastard.

7:09 We are reminded during the course of the play-by-play that a certain ex-Ranger is in the lineup for Phoenix this evening. Schnookie: “Shit. We’re going to need at least another couple of goals before I’m comfortable with Nigel Dawes out there.” Certified Marty-killers are Marty-killers wherever they play.

6:57 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gio laces a gorgeous diagonal pass to Patty on a long two-on-one, and Patty puts a shot on net, it gets stopped, rattles around Tordjman’s five-hole, and then all of a sudden the puck’s in the goal. It’s 4-1 Devils, and we can’t help but think this isn’t really a case of the Devils playing that much better than the Coyotes tonight. It’s just that… well… Mickey Mouse. (And Patty is now within three points of the all-time Devils scoring record.)

4:11 Doc tells us that Shane Doan (who used to live pretty much in our neighborhood in Scottsdale, we feel compelled to add) has six relatives in the Rodeo Hall Of Fame. Except he says it like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Pookie: “Doan’s family is just classy that way.”

2:25 Havelid actually makes a good defensive play, stripping a Coyote of the puck deep in the Devils zone. Pookie: “He’s the Iron M now!” Schnookie: “Yeah, he’s earning back all the letters.” Pookie: “Yup. Sutter stripped him of his A-C-H-O.”

1:36 Salvador and Prust fight.

IPB Fight

It’s kind of weird how frequently the Iron Boar fights, isn’t it?

1:25 Doc gets all excited as a Coyote starts bulling up the far wing, and shouts, “Here comes a chance for Shane Doan!!!” We all settle in to watch the amazingness, and instead Oduya just calmly angles him out of the play, and Doan ends up sliding into the crease while Oduya skates off with the puck. Pookie: “I feel like that was just Doan’s career in a nutshell.”

0:22 Chico is talking about Patty, and it’s just brilliant. First he goes on and on and on about how Patty could have been a Ranger, “skating with Scott Gomez” (in case any Devils fans have forgotten about an example of a Devil who signed with the Rangers as a free agent), but Patty stayed with the Devils because he’s loyal and hard-working and dedicated and committed and sexy and generous and handsome and perfect and dreamy (we’re paraphrasing). Meanwhile, the unspoken part is that Gomez is decidedly not any of those things. After finishing up with his passhole-aggresshole assault on Gomer, Chico then informs us that Patty is the UN ambassador from Czech. Pookie: “UN. ICEF. He forgot the ‘ICEF’.” Schnookie: “Sutter’s stripped Patty of his ICEF.”

DAMMIT! Shanny wins us over in his interview here! DAMN HIM!!! When Gel-O makes him watch his assist on Zubrus’s goal, he asks if it was a tough pass to make or a hard play to see. Shanny, totally deadpan, says, “Yes. That’s a very tough pass to make. Most guys wouldn’t see that. It’s a very hard play.” Gel-O, however, doesn’t realize Shanny’s joking, and, to his everlasting credit, Shanny suddenly looks like he feels bad for putting Gel-O in that position. FINE! Pando couldn’t have done that.


“Chico Eats!” tonight features a family that was there courtesy of Garden Of Dreams, and the kids got to shake hands with Chuck the Duck. It’s adorable.


19:03 Dawes tries to Marty-kill with a wrister from the faceoff dot to Marty’s left, but, shockingly, Marty stops it. Perhaps the magic hasn’t conveyed between teams?

18:15 Chico tells us he doesn’t think the Coyotes are going to score three goals in this period. Frankly, we wish he wouldn’t talk like that.

17:58 Blobby’s fired. He takes a tripping penalty in the neutral zone, setting only the second power play of the game in motion (although the last one was a double-minor). We joke that we’re going to spend the rest of the game complaining that the Devils haven’t had a power play yet.

16:22 Travis and Langer do everything in their power to fail to clear the puck at the high point, but the Coyotes refuse to take advantage, so Travis suddenly finds himself on a quasi-break that requires a hooking penalty by Upshall. We stop complaining about the lack of Devils PPs.

15:19 We really aren’t complaining now. A Coyote bats the puck from waist height over the glass, and the Devils go on the 5-on-3. Chico tries to complain that it’s a bad call because the guy didn’t shoot the puck off the ice over the glass. Boomer: “He played the puck off the playing surface directly over the glass, Chico.” Pretty much.

15:02 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After some workmanlike puck movement, the Devils get a point shot, and Travis is there to calmly make the game 5-1 Devils. Chico very seriously tells us that “Coach Wayne Gretzky” said just the other day that teams should score 100% of the time on 5-on-3s. Why hasn’t he won a Jack Adams yet?

11:12 We are WOOOOO!ing with glee at the news first from the out-of-town scoreboard that the Predators are currently leading the Rangers in their game, and then from Chico that the Coyotes are the second-lowest scoring team in the NHL behind – you guessed it – the Rangers. Oh, low-scoring Rangers. You’re so delightful. Pookie: “Welcome to New York, Gomez.” HAHAHAHAHA!

10:01 We get a look at Patty and Travis on the bench, talking animatedly, Patty’s arm draped over Travis’s shoulders. We hope he’s warning Acorns about the oysters at Sheremetyevo. Chico then goes off on a flight of fancy that Patty should end up in the Hall of Fame someday. If he does end up there, Schnookie will make regular pilgrimages to shout at his plaque, “Patty, you’re fired!”

7:52 Patty, you’re fired! He blows past the D with a giant burst of speed, looks like he’s about to swagger around Tordjman, but at the last minute gets the puck stuck on the goalie’s outstretched toe.

7:33 Upshall charges Gio behind the Phoenix net, then tries to mix up with Patty, and then all three converge at center ice for the least scary shoving-and-shouting match in the history of the NHL. Patty and Upshall get matching minors.

6:14 Huh? We don’t really pay attention to what’s going on, and we guess we probably should have, because there’s a scrum in front of the Coyotes net in which three guys take on Clarkson, but Clarkson’s the only one who gets a penalty.

5:39 As the Coyotes mill about ineffectually in all the extra space in the Devils zone, Boomer says, “I wonder what Wayne thinks a team should do with a 4-on-3.”

4:20 Havelid tries to score by kicking a Coyotes pass back into Marty’s crease. Marty manages to cover the puck, then comes up laughing. Yeah, it’s all fun and games…

3:54 Clarkson and Prust have a fight that covers basically the entire rink and goes on for about 45 minutes.

IPB Fight

This gets Chico going about the dialog in hockey about fighting’s place in the game, and you know what, Gentle Reader? We literally do not care. Keep it, ban it, whatever. Can we talk about something else now?

We come back from commercial and a Marty highlight reel with kick-ass martial music is playing. Yeah, the first of Marty’s big games could be Saturday night, in Montreal. As scripted. The part that’s going off-script? Doc’s not going to be there! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! No wonder Marty tanked that game on the Island – he didn’t want Gel-O getting the call for 552.

2:06 BOOOO! Reinprecht scores. 5-2 Devils.

0:12 A “Marty! Marty! Marty!” cheer goes up as the final seconds tick down.

0:00 And the buzzer sounds on a franchise-record ninth straight home win. WOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!

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What is up with this? Why do the respective emperor/gods of our [Playah name]Nations want us to be so unhappy? Once again we’re Pandoless today, but we’re also now Paulieless, thanks to his lingering lower body injury. BOOO!

Doc starts things off by saying there is “nobody who does not like matinees”. We beg to differ. We get some chitchat about the Devils’ performance of late (good) as well as the Coyotes’ (we spaced out, sorry). Somewhere in there Wayne gets mentioned, and we hiss angrily through clenched teeth. Chico’s nose grows 24 inches and he stammers through an attempt to say he thinks Wayne is a good coach who just hasn’t had the good team he wants. Sure, Chico.


19:23 What the hell? Sutter’s shaken up his lines again? We are reaching the point with him where we just sigh, “Our is not to question.”

18:50 The Coyotes have started Tellqvist, whom Chico assures us has been sitting a lot lately. Does this mean the Devils won’t put more than 12 shots on him?

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