Friday, March 28, 2008


You might not know Greg Wyskynski* but he writes the fantastic NHL Closer on Deadspin (and also for a new startup called AmericaOnline, which allows you to connect to the "information superhighway" via several local dialup numbers at speeds of up to 14.4Kbps on your internal/external fax-modem). I now find that I can't go a day without reading his humorous daily take on the NHL and the world around it, as his funny references and pictures pretty much sum up everything I wish this blog could be. We seem to have a lot in common, as he also hates Bettman and the shootout, and he's a Devils fan (and a Mets fan, Jebus help us both) originally from Monmouth County, New Jersey (we were probably neighbors!). Like me, he's also a little disturbed by the way the Devils been playing. So as I was lamenting the Devils' latest loss and their complete inability to beat the Rangers, I included the following sentence in an email:

"What are the odds the Devils miss the playoffs? They're only 3 points from the cut line, so I'd say 50/50 right now. Seriously, they are looking like the September 2007 Mets right now."
Not 5 minutes later did I read this on the freshly posted NHL Closer: The Rangers Are the No. 1 Cause Of Depression : "They might as well play the rest of their home games at Shea Stadium". That's pretty freaky, but I guess great (Devils) minds think alike. In all honesty, if they miss the playoffs this would be a bigger choke-job than the Mets and the Sabres combined, the latter of which were never really in the playoff picture at any time this season. And if I see Thomas Glavine warming up in the Devils pre-game skate, I am going to jump off the Pulaski Skyway. (I LLOL at the "have another donut, Marty" line. I think he's bulking up for when Bettman cuts the size of the goalie pads next season. Or he carries the practice pucks in his cheeks.)
As for last night's debacle, the Devils dominated early in this game but as usual had fuck-all to show for it (see also: 3/8 @ TOR). Somehow the Rangers end up winning it on a bizarre lucky goal by Devilslayer Nigel "Tufnel" Dawes (I didn't see it, I was flipping and watched Xavier tie their game and beat Huggy Bear in OT instead):
A pass by Chris Drury, who assisted on every New York goal, hit the skate of Devils defenseman Sheldon Brookbank and caromed in on Brodeur. He steered the puck into the onrushing Dawes, on the ice after being knocked down by Travis Zajac. Both players barreled into the crease, with Dawes pushing the puck over the line with his shoulder with 3:06 left.
With his freaking shoulder? Ugh. Yeah, this stuff happens in hockey all the time, but why did it have to be in the Strangers' favor? So not only is this Devils team not getting any breaks, they're also playing like bitches (0 for 25 on the PP). What can I do? Instead of watching the Philthy matchup tonight, maybe I'll just sit in a darkened room and listen to my deluxe edition CD of Jeff Buckley Live at Siné as he sings "The Man That Got Away", which crying into my bottle of Westmalle. Whoa, I'm starting to sound like KSK's Emo Eagles.

/smacks self in face

By the way, Avery For Men is the biggest bitch on the ice. I was forced to watch the MSG feed (the only HD broadcast of the game--thanks Dolan, you dick) and the Rangers production crew must be in love with him, because they showed close ups of him the whole fucking night. After every play, he (gets up off his ass and straightens his helmet and) complains about something, dropping an F-bomb at whoever is within earshot. Every time he's cleanly checked, or flops on top of the goalie, runs into the boards of his own volition--it seems he believes that someone else should be blamed for it. Everyone is obviously wrong except him. He's such a douche . . . but I guess it's great if he's on your team.
What is a Ranger anyway? I understand the Texas Rangers being called that, since they existed, but what's a New York Ranger? Did they ride on horseback through Central Park on their way to the rink? Kris enlightens me: "The original owner of the NY Rangers Tex Rickard. The New York papers started calling the team "Tex's Rangers." Man, that's lame. My only response to that is that I fucking hate Texas.
At least I can Schadenfraude my day away with this TSN front page epitaph for the 2007-08 fallen LEAVES:

Boo hoo! Bye bye LEAVES! As the old adage goes: "It must be spring, because the Leafs are out." Or maybe you like "Make like a tree and LEAF!" Either one works for me. I'm going to out on a maple tree limb, but maybe it's time to get rid of selfish assholes like Darcy Tucker and Mats Sundin who sabotaged the system by refusing to waive their no-trade clauses, thus preventing the team from making any improvements. I blame the ownership, whoever that is. I just found out it's a combination of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, CTV, TD Bank and Kilmer Sports. Wait, they're owned by a teachers' pension plan? No wonder they're a mess. As it is, they are the most profitable team in the NHL, so why should any of the owners care if they make the playoffs? Why mess with the status quo?
In his free time between doing nothing running his business and Photoshopping in "blood splatter" to his Sabretooth-beheading-Devil masterpiece, Kris mentioned something about the Sabres winning a game in Canada somewhere wherein Maxim for Men scored a goal as pretty as his flowing blonde hair. If you ask me, that's the ultimate garbage time goal: when your team is out of playoff contention! He'll probably go on a spree, scoring 7 goals in the final 6 games as they finish 4 points out. Whatever. I stand by my assertion that Maxim for Men can go screw.
NBC has another hockey "Game of the Week" at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning, and guess what? The Nothing But Crosby network is featuring the Sidsburgh Crosbys (against some other team)! I actually like The Kid, but the constant drooling over him MUST STOP. How about giving some attentoin to Lucic or Kane? And would it kill you to show a West Coast matchup? (I've only heard rumors that Vancouver has a team, is that true? There's a British Columbia now?) This Peacock Blocking is because they must get the hoc-key out of the way early to show some crappy non-major golf tournament, in a shitty combination of HD and SD, at 2:30 PM. I'm so sick of this crap. I hit a bird on the way into work today, and although I'm not sure what type it was, I really hope it was related to the NBC peacock. (Actually, I probably would have felt that.)
In other Crosbys news, "♪I see my Maryanne skating awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!♪" As Kris stated, Maryanne Hossa might be literally made of glass; ever since the trade deadline he's been fragile, playing in only 8 games. Oh, Ruutu (who last night overshadowed Crosby saving hockey yet again) might be a bigger douche than Avery, but it's close.
I'll leave you with a lovely shot of a hockey player who truly hates pants. Man, that's got to be cold.

* Yay me, I spelled his name correctly without looking. That's when you know you've been reading too much Deadspin. Check out his book Glow Pucks and 10-Cent Beer. Thanks again for the Deadspin blogroll shoutout, Greg.


Kris said...

I still don't see how you can consider the Sabres performance this year (or in the past month) a "choke-job." No one expected much from them this year (I did expect them in the fucking playoffs, but they just didn't manage it). And they haven't played better or worse in March than they did the rest of the year. They were below .500 at some point and never even flirted with the top of the conference.
To say that they've choked is to say that they actually played with some positive consistency this year: They've done exactly what was expected of them - mediocre mid-conference numbers. The management up there is hoping that Vanek becomes a 50-goal scorer, Derek Roy becomes the next Danielle for the Sabres and Pominville is better than Droory ever was. If that works remains to be seen, but to say they choked would be to say that there were independent expectations of greatness from this team.

I did want to mention also that Tim Connelly also has the Maryanne "Glass-affliction." Kid has lots of promise, but he's always injured, be that eating-apple-sauce-through-a-straw injured or my-hips-don't-rotate-correctly injured he's only been seen in 48 games this season, but he's got 40 points in those games.

Jeff K said...

I think specifically giving up 5 unexplained goals to the Sens, after being up 3-1 in the third, was a choke-job. (I'd call the Devils season in 1995-1996, where they missed the playoffs right after winning the Cup, a major choke-job as well.) And to go from President's Cup to nothing is a bit of a choke-job, I'm sorry. Hockey is a team sport, and you shouldn't collapse just because you lose two players to free agency--maybe they weren't that good or that deep to begin with. Miller has certainly taken a step back this season, and you can't blame that solely on defense or injuries.

I think we're all just disappointed that you couldn't knock Philthy out of the playoff race. At least the Devils got 2 points against them at THE ROCK last night, so I can breathe a little easier. You guys still have an outside shot, though the Kapitals aren't going away.

BTW, for Fan Appreciation Night you get a free Prudential Center print. Awesome! Is it autographed by the Prudential Center? Perhaps by the Chairman and CEO of the Prudential? The kids are going to go CRAZY for those. Hopefully I can get one on Ebay. /rolls eyes

Can't wait to view the Online Crosby Cam tomorrow! Are they going to show Pierre McGuire fellating him while Milbury hits him in the head with a shoe? (He's got a shoe fetish.)