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Archive for the ‘San Jose Sharks’ Category

WOO HOOOO!!! You know what we’re doing tonight? We’re watching real hockey on TV! WOOOOO!

March 2 2010

It is, like, the wee hours of the morning when the Devils finally return to our lives. It feels like it’s been a lifetime since we last saw them, since we also pretty much completely missed their last two games before the Olympic break, when we were in Buffalo. We hope they’re more up for this game tonight than we are!

It appears that Chico spent his break in the tanning salon, and his hair spent it in the silvering salon. The color of the week for sixty-four colors is “timberwolf”, and it looks like Chico’s rug aspires to attain that shade.

In super-duper exciting news, Clarkson is back tonight. What we’ve learned this season is that Pando has passed his drink-stirring straw to ClarksonNation’s young emperor-god. For better or for worse, David Clarkson is totally the straw that stirs the Devils’ drink. And apparently, unlike Paulie, he’s not dead.

FIRST PERIOD

19:05 The first big save of the game comes from Marty. So far he seems like he hasn’t forgotten how to play hockey, despite the reports to the contrary that we heard from the Olympics. There’s still plenty of Brahms to be played, though.

17:23 MSG+ gives us a graphic of the Devils lines and D pairings. We’re suddenly a lot less enthused about the return of the regular season. Pookie: “It’s not so much that I hate all these guys, it’s just that they’re like an entire team of Zubruses. I’m just like, ‘Oh right – Colin White. Oh right – Ilya Kovalchuk. Oh right – Andy Greene.'”

16:47 After Chico says sadly that he won’t even speculate when Paulie’s coming back, Pookie wails, “He’s never coming back. He’s not even cleared to shoot the puck.” Pause. “PaulieMartinNation has erased itself from its own map. It’s now the Lost City of PaulieMartinNation.”

15:43 Marty makes his third sparkling save of the game. Chico takes this moment to tell us that Lemaire is confident it won’t take the Devils long to “shake off the rust”. Schnookie: “The rust they were playing with before the break?”

13:35 Huskins must not have bothered learning anything about his opponent tonight, because he takes a lazy, ticky-tacky hooking penalty against Zharkov on a nothing sort of sequence in the Sharks zone. Although maybe he did learn a lot about the Devils, and figured the power play is not something to worry about.

11:35 The Devils power play was not improved by the two-week vacation.

9:06 While the teams mill about the neutral zone, Chico tells us that he asked Zach if those were tears in his eyes during the medal ceremony after the gold medal game, or sweat. And Zach answered that it was the first time he’d cried since peewee. Schnookie: “That’s ridiculous. He cries all the time.” Pookie: “What he meant to say is that it was the first time he’d cried since he killed a man in the ring.”

7:39 The stat of the night is that the Devils were 5-10-2 in their 17 games leading up to the break, but that’s nothing to worry about, because they’ve won 6 of their last 7… in San Jose. Thanks, Chico. Pookie: “That’s, like, over the last 10 years.”

5:10 Travis gets a gift of a turnover right in front of the Sharks net and opts to go for a drop pass into a highly-trafficked slot in the hopes of connecting with a slowly-advancing Langer. Why would he do that? Why??? Gah.

3:24 We’re still discussing Travis’s idiocy on that scoring chance. Pookie’s conclusion is that he’s afraid of the acorn. Schnookie: “He probably spent two weeks being terrorized by the acorn in Costa Rica.”

0:00 Well, it could have been a lot worse.

SECOND PERIOD

19:59 The period starts ominously, with a stat telling us the Sharks have outscored their opponents by about 30 goals in the second period this year. If the Devils are heading into the third period with a deficit any smaller than 25 goals, we’ll consider it a moral victory.

15:20 Pookie’s interwebs are acting up, and we’re distracted by it. Is this the Hockey Gods telling us we’re nuts for staying up this late?

14:04 The Devils weather a few Sharks rushes, then attempt to head up the other way; on this sequence, the rush concludes with a pass to Salmela, and even though he doesn’t receive the pass cleanly, and he’s not even facing the right direction, he still attempts a shot on net. His teammates are all horrified. Devils aren’t supposed to shoot, silly.

11:22 For some strange reason MSG+ is running a promo on the bottom line talking up the Devils/Flames game later this week. They try to tantalize us with the exotic nature of that matchup by reminding viewers that this is the only Devils/Flames game this year. Schnookie: “Ooh, ooh – set the tivo!”

10:28 Chico tells us, flat-out, that Scott Niedermayer told his teammates in Canada that he wants to retire after this year, and that he wants to go to a contender. NOT THAT CHICO IS ONE TO BELIEVE OR SPREAD RUMORS, MIND YOU. And that can only mean one thing – he’s going to the Devils. NOT THAT CHICO IS SPREADING RUMORS OR THAT HE EVEN BELIEVES INTHEM, MIND YOU. It seems highly dubious to us that someone who wants to go to a contender would agree to a trade to the Devils. NOT THAT WE’RE ONES TO BELIEVE OR SPREAD RUMORS.

8:47 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dainius “The Human Snowplow (TM Chico)” Zubrus turns near-disaster into awesomeness when Kovalchuk passes on a three-on-two rush (honestly, what is with this team’s abject refusal to ever shoot?), then Nabokov mostly stops Zubrus’s shot but the puck sits in the blue paint behind him in the crease, then Patty scrambles to shove the loose puck into the net and misses, then Zubrus dives into the scramble and just like that it’s 1-0 Devils. Patty gets credit for the goal at first, but that’s only because the scorers here don’t realize that’s the Human Snowplow out there.

8:12 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that’s more like it! Clarkson, being the drink-stirrer he am, leads the Devils into the San Jose zone, shields the puck while waiting for his teammates to catch up (great defense, Rob Blake. Heh), then passes to Fraser at the high point… and Fraser actually shoots the puck. And scores. There might be a lesson in that. It’s 2-0 Devils, and timeout Sharks.

5:32 Gel-O’s play-by-play call has some ratcheting-up excitement as he tells us the Devils are on a two-on-two rush “that could be a three-on-two if they hurry…” Pookie: “Notice how all the Devils slow down when he says that.”

4:49 Awwww! An attempted Clarkaround! It’s been so long.

0:23 The Patty/Kovalchuk/Human Snowplow line takes to the ice, buzzes all around the offensive zone, gets a Pattyaround (but no goal), and draws a penalty to the Sharks. Who are these guys?

0:17 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAAA??? Is it? How can it be? Seriously? A power play goal? Right off the faceoff? From Ilya Kovalchuk? Travis wins the draw, passes right back to Kovalchuk, he waits until there are heaps of Sharks blocking the shooting lane, then lasers a shot through them all to make it 3-0 Devils. And we have absolutely no idea what is going on here.

0:00 We were hoping to emerge from this period no more than down 25-0, and ended up up 3-0. That’s like a 28-goal swing! We get an interview with the Human Snowplow, and he is shockingly orange. As if maybe he spent the last two weeks taking the sun rather than plowing snow. Pookie: “What’s his name again? It’s Mr. Plow.”

THIRD PERIOD

19:31 JoeTho starts things off with a bang by taking an interference penalty by hitting Zach in the neutral zone well behind play. Zach flings himself spinningly to the ice after the moderate contact, prompting Chico to wonder, after watching a replay, what “got” Zach to make him fall so dramatically. Pookie: “Air.”

18:38 Ha ha. Kovalchuk attempts to hand the puck to a Shark immediately in front of Marty’s net, then just barely scrambles to keep the Shark from getting a shot. Chico laughs and laughs. We don’t.

16:14 The wide-angle camera has developed a strange blue tint this period. It’s all getting a bit teal in here.

14:22 The Sharks look like they’re finally putting something together in the offensive zone, pretty much for the first time since the first period, but just as a cross-slot pass from the corner tries to make its way to a ready-to-shoot Heatley, Langer pounces from behind and yoinks the puck. Just like that, the Devils head up the other way.

14:16 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Travis spent the last intermission getting intensive acorn therapy, because, when fed the puck outside the blue line by Zach, he just walks in a few steps and rips a shot past Nabokov. 4-0 Devils, and boy did we not see this coming.

11:31 We marvel at how quickly this game is going. Schnookie suggests that the officials are on East Coast time and just want to go to bed. Pookie remarks that there seem not to be very many commercial breaks. We then agree that, after two weeks of watching the prime-time Olympics coverage on NBC, any time we can go longer than 45 seconds without a commercial seems like weeks of uninterrupted programming.

11:14 Rats. Our hopes for Marty to silence his critics with a big, honkin’ shutout are dashed by Setoguchi (who had been brutally robbed on several plays in the first period, so he was kind of due), and now it’s 4-1 Devils.

10:22 Are the officials no longer on East Coast time? They finally call the Devils for a penalty, tripping by Hambone in the neutral zone. We have a bad feeling about this.

9:25 Are the Devils on East Coast time? They don’t handle their PK duties well, and Setoguchi makes it 4-2 Devils.

8:28 Remember back a few minutes ago when we liked the Devils? That’s over. We’re back to hating them again. A massive defensive breakdown ends with Pavelski making it 4-3 Devils, and it’s timeout New Jersey. We didn’t honestly think that we’d get to see a Devils win when staying up this late on a school night, did we?

7:40 Kovalchuk gets a breakaway, but he totally sucks. Pookie: “What has that guy done for us lately?”

6:44 This isn’t even the first time the Devils have given up three goals in a 2:39 stretch. Hell, this isn’t the first time they’ve done it in the last month. According to Gel-O, they gave up three goals to the Rangers in that same amount of time just five games ago. And Chico thinks they’re a contender.

4:45 We come back from a commercial to be treated to some highlights of Zach’s dogged backchecking in this game. It doesn’t work to distract us from the sinking feeling that the Devils are going to lose in regulation.

1:05 The Devils are keeping the puck in the San Jose zone, so Nabokov can’t get off the ice. It’s the one good thing they’ve done all period.

0:10 Langer flips the puck the length of the ice, and Kovalchuk gets to it before the Sharks players, but then can’t tuck it into the empty net. He makes up for it a few seconds later by breaking up the last-ditch rush through the neutral zone.

0:00 It’s almost 1:00 in the morning, and we suppose we can be big enough now to say that we’re happy with this. A win’s a win, but still. Not very encouraging.

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3:03 PM As much as we’re pleased that Shanahan is out of the line-up, it really does make us wonder about the effectiveness of shot-blocking. Is keeping Clemmer from facing four more shots from the blue line in one game worth taking yourself out of the entire next game?

FIRST PERIOD

3:06 PM What???? No Paulie???? NOOOOOOOOO! This game sucks.

3:10 PM WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Before we even really have a chance to settle in and start paying attention, it’s 1-0 Devils. On the replay, Chico goes out of his way to tell us the goal wasn’t Claude Lemieux’s fault. Chico, guess who we don’t care about? Yeah, Claude Lemieux.

3:15 PM The shutout streak is over (probably as a result of the Hockey Gods snorting in disbelief at Pierre McGuire asking Doc during the earlier NBC game, “Do you think Marty’s going to get his job back?”), as Rob Blake (surely he died in Vegas) beats Clemmer on a long, stoppable, very-reminiscent-of-the-2001-SCF shot. 1-1 game.

3:21 PM WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Gio, Rolston, and Maddog get a nice little cycle going that ends with Rolston tapping one right through Nabokov’s five hole. This is not, we don’t think, what either team had drawn up for this game. 2-1 Devils.

3:23 PM Clearly Paulie is the straw the stirs the drink. The Pauile-less d-corps can’t handle Marleau who camps out, undefended, at the side of the goal to knock an easy PP goal behind Clemmer. That’d be 2-2.

3:29 PM Chico chuckles that the talking points for these two teams is usually the strong defense but sometimes the storylines change. Good thing NBC’s not broadcasting this one. Pierre’s head would explode. On second thought…

3:29 PM What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here??? WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Clarkson, of recent “why is that guy still playing for us?” fame, gets the puck up high while Madden drives the net (?!? We know! Shocking!), then does a little Clarkaround/Clarknado combo move that involves building up a head of steam by skating a couple of circles around the puck, then spinning and firing it low into the corner of the net. It’s 3-2 Devils, and we’re not entirely sure Nabokov has realized yet that there’s a hockey game going on in front of him.

3:40 PM Chico tells us that he doesn’t see the craziness of this game disappearing at all as it goes on. We beg to differ. There’s an intermission coming up, during which both of these coaches are probably going to throw a clot. We eagerly anticipate the final two periods being a shut-down D-stravaganza.

FIRST INTERMISSION

That feature about the sculpture moving in at The Rawk is the coolest thing we’ve ever seen.

SECOND PERIOD

4:05 PM The Devils are in the midst of not scoring on a PP, and Schnookie suddenly shouts, “Oh my god. I have just had the most HORRIBLE thought. Obviously, Marty’s not going be the Devils’ MVP this season. If Clemmer wins it instead of Zach, I am going to kill somebody.” Pookie, calmly: “That won’t happen.” Pause. “Zach would burn down The Rawk if that happened.”

4:10 PM The Iron Boar skewers Travis’s eye with his stick blade. This game just got way less fun.

4:16 PM The team fund just got richer as Rolston wins the $1,000 Shanny had on the board for the first guy to take a stupid penalty that negated a PP. Zubrus shakes his head on the bench, because that slash was totally committed by him, but the officials tagged Rolston for it, probably because they looked at all the Devils on the ice and figured him as the guy most likely to do something stupid like that.

4:24 PM Langer takes a high stick in front of the Sharks net, and the Devils go back on the PP. Chico points out that, in Travis’s absence, the Poppers are being centered by Holik, and the line is staying out for the start of the power play. Boomer: “Well, that means the power play will be negated before too long.”

4:32 PM The Sharks get a great scoring chance, and Clemmer manages to make a groin-exploding post-to-post save that goes to review. It’s the old “the puck is probably in the net, but the goalie’s pads are over it” situation that always goes against the Devils, whether it’s Zubrus losing a goal on the play or the Ducks getting one, and for the first time that we can remember, the call goes the Devils way.

4:34 PM Far be it from the Devils to take advantage of a good break. Buoyed by the non-goal call, the Gio/Patty/Zubrus line puts together a good rush that ends catastrophically with Zubrus skating himself out of a scoring chance, and then Cheechoo ties the game at 3 heading up the other way and firing a mid-range shot that Andy Greene decides needs to be assisted with a little deflection action on its way toward the goal.

4:40 PM The Devils’ good luck is gone now, as they get called for back-to-back iffy penalties to go down two men. And with 12 seconds left in the period, Setoguchi makes it 4-3 Sharks. We start a “BULLSHIT!” chant in the living room of stately IPB Manor.

SECOND INTERMISSION

Dano spends this intermission frothing at the mouth about what a dumb waste of time the video review was of the non-goal by the Sharks, because in his opinion, the puck was kicked in in the first place and shouldn’t have counted anyway. Pookie: “And so begins Dano’s descent into Stan-dom.”

THIRD PERIOD

4:59 PM Chico Eats features Chico making cotton candy (or candy floss, to our Canadian friends). The only thing the segment was missing was Kevin Weeke’s porno music as Chico’s narration mentioned how the girl in the cotton candy booth was “good with her hands”, and “he didn’t know when to pull it out” but when he did “the shaft broke”. We wish we were making this up. That never happens when Gracie Sutter guest stars.

4:07 PM WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Sharks start off the third period in predictable “make-up” penalty trouble, and Zach is right on the doorstep on a 5-on-3 to motor his way to a bunch of rebounds and finally tap a pass from behind the goal line to Patty, who is waiting in the crease. Patty makes it a 4-4 game.

4:13 PM WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On another PP (this one off a ticky-tacky hooking penalty by Setoguchi), Zach fires a huge shot from above the faceoff dots that Nabokov doesn’t handle well, and with the Sharks PKers being a bit unattentive, Langer streaks down the slot and fires the big rebound home. It’s 5-4 Devils, and Boomer cracks, “The officials just skated by the Devils bench and said, ‘Happy now?'”

4:20 PM Zubrus is carrying the puck in the neutral zone on the PP, and turns it over. Pavelski then carries into the zone against Rolston, and just as Schnookie is darkly muttering “Zubrus is not having a game to remember,” Clemmer gives Pavelski a huge hole between his arm and the goalpost on the short side, and it’s a 5-5 game.

4:30 PM WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Let us present “The Devils’ Sixth Goal: A Play In One Act”:

[The Devils pass the puck around the perimeter, and Rolston gets the puck up high but opts not to shoot and continues the passing.]

Schnookie: “God, Rolston, we pay you $5 million a year for your slapshot! What are you doing passing there?!?”

[Rolston gets the puck back and cranks an enormous slapshot that gets tipped by Clarkson through Nabokov and trickles into the net. 6-5 Devils.]

Finis.

4:36 PM The final three minutes are just insanely fantastic. The Devils on the PK, the Sharks with the extra attacker, the crowd in full roar… Let’s just say that we both suddenly found ourselves in that “You know what’s awesome? Playoff hockey is awesome” state of mind. The frenzied seconds finally tick away on a 6-5 Devils win, and life is just sublimely good.

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Gentle Reader, we promised that as soon as the Rangers were out, we’d start diarizing again. Why did we need the Rangers to vacate the playoff premises before getting back in the saddle again? Because they were the only Atlantic Division team our schedules permitted us to diarize all eight regular-season games, and then had five playoff games to boot. We couldn’t handle it anymore. But sweet merciful Hockey Gods! The Rangers are gone! Thank you, Penguins, for finishing them off in OT today; we spent this evening enjoying a playoff goggle toast to a happy playoff future:

And now that we’re lightly toasted, we’re ready to enjoy the Stars/Sharks game in full diary form. Stay tuned during intermissions as we update.

Ahhh. There’s nothing better than settling in for a night of hockey on Blersus that we know will not feature any talking-up or highlights lauding a team we hate. It’s so freeing! Of course, less freeing is the highlights package setting us up for Game 6 of the Sharks goals from Game 5. The fact that they still haven’t given us an angle that conclusively proves Soupy’s “goal” actually went into the net has us highly doubtful. Pookie puts it best when she says, “I’m going to go to my grave believing that didn’t go in.” (To be fair, we’re fairly confident it did go in, since if it hadn’t, we’d be hearing about it, but really Blersus. Would it kill you to give us the overhead? It’s the principle of the thing.)
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It feels like the first weekend night of summer (mostly thanks to the fact that we’ve had to resort to cleaning out our TiVo backlog to kill time until the game started) so we’re taking the lazy summer approach to blogging tonight. Enjoy this open thread, Gentle Reader!

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Why, Hockey Gods? Why?! Why did you schedule the Pens-Rangers game at 7, and the Stars-Sharks at 7:30? What possible purpose does that serve? Sigh. Well, we’ll be here anyway, flipping back and forth from game to game as we go Around The Dial tonight.

— Being the negative nellies that we am, we are just in the midst of announcing how we fully expect the Pens to lose tonight when Hossa scores just over a minute in. Before the crowd even has a chance to work up a good anti-Sid boo-ing, too. Heh. Doc sounds a bit delighted when he dryly says, “Well that bollixes up the Rangers plans, doesn’t it?”

— Taking a page out of the Empty Netters playbook we find ourselves saying, “What? The Staals are brothers?!” Pookie was just praising Blersus the other night for letting the “brothers on opposing teams” storyline lie, but now Doc and Edzo seem to be relishing it as Marc steamrolls Gronk.

— We get up during commercial shortly after the Rangers score their first goal to clean up from dinner, and come back to find the Pens up 2-1 and going on a double-minor power play. We decide to spend the rest of this game standing in a huddle in front of the kitchen sink.

— The first period was mostly dominated by the Rangers, but ends up 3-1 Penguins. Doc delights us when he says, as the clock is winding down, “The buzzer is going to sound very loudly.” The self-congratulatory and self-vaunted MSG Rangers crowd is providing the dictionary definition of Pensblog’s “stunned”.

— We switch to the Sharks/Stars game during intermission, and we’re horrified. The Comcast Sharks feed is atrociously awful. This is the playoffs, Comcast, not Junior Pairs ’83. On our cable the picture is so murky and blobby that we literally can’t read any of the players’ numbers, and while the picture is slightly improved on our satellite, the sound on DirecTV makes it sound like Randy and Drew are calling the game over tin-can-on-a-string phone from a booth on the bottom of the sea.

— We flip back to the Pens game and hear a chorus of boos. Is Crosby on the ice? No, it’s just the Ranger faithful booing the fact that the Blueshirts iced the puck on the power play.

— The Penguins seem to have forgotten that they were going to have to play another 40 minutes after the first period. As everyone stands around the Pens zone, mesmerized by Jagr’s vagina facial hair, 68 ties the game at three and this game plummets from delightful to flat-out stupid.

— Okay, the game becomes considerably less stupid again when Malkin makes it 4-3 Pens on the power play. The building immediately falls deathly silent again after the goal, and Pookie remarks, “It’s like they’re maniacally quiet tonight.”

— We flip during intermission again to the Stars/Sharks game, and the sound has not been improved. Seriously, are they using voice distorters for this?

— Okay, the Sharks feed is giving us headaches. The ambient noise from the arena is doing this muted throbbing thing that makes us feel like our ear pressure and sinuses are all messed up. This is physically unwatchable. How can a professional sports broadcasting channel have such unbelievably bad sound design?

— Midway through the third period, all traces of stupidity have left the Pens/Rangers game. It’s 5-3 now, and after watching the Rangers piss away another power play and then look listless and pathetic while the Pens return to even strength, Edzo says with no small disgust, “Well if you’re going to just dump the puck, someone has to go and get it.” It’s great to see that the Rangers are lifting the entire recent-era Devils playbook, instead of just the “sound defense” part of it.

— WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did we think at any point during this Pens game that it was stupid? Because it turns out is was awesome. Unmitigatedly awesome from start to finish. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

— Meanwhile, under the sea, the Stars have tied things up in Dallas, where it’s 1-1. We flip over just in time to see Hagman drawing a penalty shot; it turns out not to be the most exciting play in hockey if you’re a Stars fan. We’re sure Sharks fans enjoyed it greatly, though.

— The Stars force Nabokov to make a desperation save with just over a minute left in the third period after Lehtinen makes a dazzling steal on two presumptively rushing-onto-offense Sharks at the San Jose blue line. Schnookie: “That was the most beautiful steal I have ever seen.” Drew Remenda: “That’s just ugly hockey.” Hm. We seem to be on different pages here tonight.

— The Stars/Sharks game goes to OT, and we spend the intermission watching the Rangers postgame on TiVo. Heh heh heh. Let’s see what Stan thought of the Pens game tonight.

— Stan is pinning the entire loss on Hollweg. Of course. He’s decided the Rangers’ inability to score on that protracted stretch of 5-on-3 had nothing to do with it.

— And meanwhile, over in Dallas, the Comcast feed has righted its audio just in time for us to revel in Norstrom’s OT goal and a Stars 3-0 series lead. What a fantastic night of hockey!

UPDATE:

— We go back to the TiVoed Rangers postgame, and get to hear Gomez saying, “We owe it to our fans to win one.” Hm. We hope Rangers fans aren’t actually going to believe Scott Gomez thinks he owes his fans anything other than chasing the biggest paycheck he can find, even if that means signing with his fans’ least favorite team. He’s big into honoring his fans’ feelings that way.

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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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Hey look – it’s a Western Conference team! We’re getting the vapors here, as we gird ourselves for a relaxingly “meaningless” game (in as much as any game worth two – or three – points can be meaningless) against the Sharks right before the meat of the Stretch Run.

Our intro tonight features a fresh-faced and enthusiastic Steve telling us about how Lou is back from the GM meetings, then Doc pointing out that twilight is falling later and later these days, meaning the playoffs are right around the corner. We love these wacky FSN guys. Our highlighted Devils players during Doc and Chico’s segment is the Zubrus/Travis/Gio line from the Carolina game, which FSN dubs “Z-Z-Rocket”. Schnookie: “No. I REFUSE Z-Z-Rocket.” Pookie: “How about Z-Z-Vinny?” Schnookie: “That’s better.”

After regaling us with the awesomeness of the last Devils game, Doc delivers the bad news: no Brodeur/Nabokov matchup tonight. Well, it’s been quite a while since the Devils have made a little-played rookie WC goaltender look good, so why not tonight?

FIRST PERIOD

18:49 Is it just us, or was the Carolina game already decided by now? It’s like a classic let-down game!

17:57 The teams are still feeling each other out, but the fans, sparsely distributed through the arena, are in full “Rangers suck!” roar.
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