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Archive for the ‘This Is No Laughing Matter’ Category

The other day we were discussing the Devils future over lunch and decided it’s time to start girding ourselves for the possibility of a Zachless existence. It sounds terrible, doesn’t it? What could possibly make that more sufferable? Well, Gentle Reader, you know us — we’re always thinking. And we’ve got a solution that will help not only the Devils but also another favorite team of ours.

If Lou can’t re-sign Zach, he should trade for Ryan Getzlaf. Seriously! We’d love to see Getzi getting to set up Kovalchuk. They’d be an unstoppable scoring machine, and if they weren’t that, then Getzi would be aimless, cranky, and his shirt would fall off a lot, which is almost as good. So, what would the Ducks want in exchange for their captain? Perhaps a return to their glory days of gooning their way to the Stanley Cup, right? Right! So, how can the Devils give them that? Two words: Boulton. Janssen.

WE KNOW! Genius.

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This past October we took a trip up to Buffalo and found ourselves spit-balling about the NHL with Katebits and Heather B. Among the topics of conversation were fighting and the shootout. Being the brilliant minds that we are, we quickly got to the bottom of both problems:

1. Staged fighting is stupid.
2. The shootout is here to stay but has grown a little stale.

We have no beef with caught-up-in-the-passion-of-the-moment fighting, like that awesome Getzi-on-Thorton beatdown from the playoffs a few years ago, but there’s really no place for the preening peacock style of staged fight between heavyweights in today’s NHL. Even putting aside the physical and mental health issues they pose, those fights don’t deter other players from taking liberties, rarely have any impact on the momentum of the game, and are, frankly, pretty boring. When you see your team has dressed a heavyweight, you know that it means the coach might as well just flush a roster spot down the toilet for the night. Lame!

Meanwhile, the shootout has become very predictable. Devils fans, for example, know that every shootout is going to go like this: Kovalchuck scores, Parise misses, Elias scores. Ho hum. The only fun part is watching to see if DeBoer has learned the players numbers yet when filling out the form to give the referees. If the NHL isn’t going to replace the shootout with All-Star Game-style super skills (seriously, NHL, we meant it — that would rawk!), it’s got to do something to jazz up the shootout, or else we’ll all get so jaded that we might as well just go back to the five-on-five trapping-to-get-a-tie OTs. ::shifty eyes::

Don’t worry, Gentle Reader, we have a solution! Katebits actually tweeted this at the time, but we feel like the idea is so solid that it deserves a full write up, especially in light of Brian Burke’s rant this week. Are you sitting down? Prepare to have your mind blown and your world rocked. Ready?

Instead of the coaches picking three shooters from their own team… the coaches should pick who shoots for the opposing team!

That’s right, the coaches should pick who shoots for the opposing team.

Think about it — of course the coaches would gravitate towards the worst players. Instead of seeing Kovalchuk, Parise, and Elias shoot for the Devils, the opposing coach would pick Janssen, Boulton, and, well, Tedenby. Sorry, Teddy. But here’s the thing, we want to see zany, little Tedenby trying to score in a shootout. We don’t want to see Janssen and Boulton taking shootouts. You know who else doesn’t want to see Janseen and Boulton taking shootouts? The coaching staff. How could they solve that? By not dressing Janseen and Boulton. You know who else doesn’t want to see Janssen and Boulton taking shootouts? Management. How could they solve that? By not drafting or signing players like Janssen and Boulton.

If for some reason (insanity?), the coaches and management did decide they really need enforcers, the enforcers will have the pressure of knowing the final result of the game could very well come down to their ability to score on an uncontested, staged breakaway. What are said enforcers going to do? Practice harder at being better skaters and shooters! How could that possibly be a bad thing for anyone? There’s a slight chance those skills could bleed into an actual in-game situation. Gone would be the days of ham-fisted goons! Instead we’d have, um, what’s slightly more subtle than a ham-fist? Welcome to the era of prosciutto-fisted goons!

Seriously, though, can you think of any other simple rule change that would do more to encourage teams to win in regulation than this? And if the games do go the distance, imagine how much more fun it will be to watch as a fan? We’ve all seen the best players in the game take breakaways. Won’t it be more fun to scheme over who you think would be the worst player for the other team to be forced to send out against your team’s goalie? Moreover, we all know the long shootouts are the ones that are the most fun. This set-up will undoubtedly lead to shootouts that require five or more rounds. Fans will get their money’s worth!

It’s brilliant. The only possible outcomes of instituting this rule would be any combination of the following:

1. Enforcers being forced to either become more skilled or be replaced in the lineup.
2. More games decided in regulation and overtime.
3. The shootout becoming more interesting for the fans.

NHL, the PA may have rejected your realignment plan, but there’s no way they’d reject this. Do it! You’ll thank us later.

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Immediately following the conclusion of tonight’s Devils/Sens game we had a brilliant idea for a rule change. In the wake of the big realignment decision, we figure the BOG would be open to even more sweeping changes, so we’ll put this out there for them to consider. Now, we fully put forth that this rule change would help the Devils quite a bit in the immediate future, but looking long-term, this will likely be a benefit to all the teams. So here’s the deal:

In our new, improved NHL the first period would be 20 minutes, the second period would be 20 minutes, and the third period would be 19 minutes and 45 seconds.

We know. It’s brilliant. Think about it, BOG. We don’t even care if you flat-out steal it and try to claim it as your own idea. Just make it happen.

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— For a variety of uninteresting reasons, Pookie arrived at work this morning with about 20 minutes to spare and a hankering to find videos about Beaks on YouTube. She found this:

When she sent the link to Schnookie this exchange ensued:

Pookie: I found a HILARIOUS video of Beaks and CoreyPerry CoreyPerry. Fighting in Juniors. At the end of a playoff game.
Schnookie: Oh my god.
Pookie: I was laughing out loud in my car. It was Muppet Baby Douchebags.
Schnookie: I’m honestly not sure who I’d think wins that. Of course, we’re ALL winners here.
Pookie: It was like what I imagine baby peacocks would be like if they were chimpanzees learning life skills by copying their parents.
Schnookie: (After watching the video) Oh my god. That’s a beauty. I love Beaks tossing his head. Like, I’m sure he thought, a wild stallion. He looked like Beaks of Chincoteague there. A little wild pony.

— For a variety of uninteresting reasons we ended up discussing Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers during dinner tonight, which, of course, spiraled into an exchange of Simpsons quotes. When Schnookie pulled out the “how will anyone know it’s a Honda without the H?” scene, Pookie suddenly declared that Looch had eaten the H off all the Hondas he’s ever seen. Schnookie agreed, because Looch just loves to eat the letter H. Pookie then remarked, “That’s why that Bruins/Habs game was such a melee. Looch just sees all those little H’s on the sweaters…”

— Boomer made us all laugh really hard after dinner when she tried to read aloud the blurb about Nora Roberts’s upcoming release, Catching Fire, a romance novel about smokejumpers. Boomer launched into the first sentence of the blurb, “There’s little as thrilling as firefighting…” but said instead, “There’s little as thrilling as firefarting.” We still haven’t stopped shrieking with laughter. Being a grownup is grand.

— We got a crazy new fisheye lens for our camera today. VE Mats loves it.

Fisheye VE Mats

So does Rollie.

Fisheye Rollie

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Dear NHL,

Contrary to what you might think, Columbus Day is not a holiday that is widely observed by employers in the US. Perhaps some of the games scheduled today that featured two American teams could have been saved for any of the “no games scheduled” days later this season?

Just a thought,
The Ookies

**********

Dear Tom Gulitti,

We truly think you are the greatest beat-reporter blogger in the business, and we are inclined to agree with you that Ilya Kovalchuk alone is not going to cure the Devils attendance woes. But please read the above open letter to the NHL. In light of our observations there, perhaps the attendance for today’s game should not be viewed as a definitive statement about Kovalchuk’s worthiness as a big draw.

If you’d like to stand by your statement, though, we guess you’re free to be as disingenuous as you want.

Passive-aggressively,
The Ookies

**********

Dear Tom Gulitti,

Maybe it wasn’t Kovalchuk who was the problem. Maybe it was Crosby.

Blowing your mind,
Boomer

**********

Dear Devils,

Please see the above letters.

Yes, we had to work today. Pookie also had to work late today. That means we have the choice of tivoing your game that was stupidly scheduled when we are both at work, and then watching it beginning at 10:00 pm after Pookie gets home. In light of your effort in your previous two games, we opted not to. Thanks for proving us right not to bother.

Lovin’ Losin’,
The Ookies

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3-2-1 Hockey: 13

August 9 2010

Not too long ago, we were all elated because the Devils had signed Ilya Kovalchuk. There was much hoopla and rejoicing, and there was a big press conference (their first one ever!!11!!!!1!), and it was all going to be awesome. And then the NHL rejected the contract. And then we found out that the team knew the contract was going to be rejected but went ahead with the announcements and the “ooh, ooh, buy season tickets!” crap anyway. And then the NHLPA grieved the contract rejection, so we all had to wait for arbitration. And today the arbitration came down in favor of the league. So Victory Euro Mats did what any sane unofficial Devils mascot would — he found a sturdy beam on the patio table out on the deck, and hanged himself.

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The scene: ChucklesNation International airport, in the deserted arrivals hall.

Gary Bettman darts out of a shadowy doorway, slinks around the perimeter of the hall, forages a half-eaten cinnabon from a garbage can, hisses softly at the Ookies, then scurries away.

The Ookies: “We got our cymballs out of storage for that?”

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