Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Watching Hockey on a Long Weekend

Providence beats the Rangers, twice
The Bruins are better than the Rangers. Saturday, Chuck Kobasew scored twice, Z Chara actually shot a few from the point, and Scott Gomez was the only Rag to report for work (Jagr scored, but it was one of the wonderful Jagr goals -- Chara fell down in front of him and, finally, Jagr was in position to shoot). In related news, I was watching Ghostbusters on VH1 during the commercials (why, oh why, would a TV station in 2007 show a full-screen version of any movie?), and I'm pretty sure I saw a #68 Rangers jersey floating away from the firehouse after that prick from the EPA forced the shutdown of the grid.

Wait for it.


Tip your waiter.

Joe Micheletti, a traitor, seems amazed Claude Julien would encourage his cast of superstars to "go into a defensive shell" when they have a lead against a team some people picked to win the Stanley Cup.

It's fun to watch the Rangers. Remember Henry Lundqvist?

The Bruins won again Sunday. I couldn't watch (busy around the house), and was lost in football land Sunday evening. The Rangers are awful. It's fun.

Islanders are a bore, lose twice

This is what the opening of an Islanders game typically looks like to me:

Between bath time for the kids and putting them to bed, I usually jump in somewhere toward the end of the second period, trying to piece together what's happened thus far, and trying to guess what Deb Kaufman might be wearing tonight. The Flyers game was a wash for me. I had it up on the computer, but the room where our computer lives essentially is a converted porch, and it's cold, cold, cold anytime the outside temp. drops into single digits. I checked in and out and dragged the wife in to watch the third period, but gave up at 5-3.

The game, according to Howie and Chunk's retarded buddy from Goonies, was loose, fast, and apparently featured a fight between Derian Hatcher and Trent Hunter. I hear it wasn't much to miss. The Isles don't match up well with the Flyers, mostly, I think, because the Flyers display an interest in actually winning games and not "not losing" them. Not losing is the Isles strong point. Winning, methinks, is a ways away.

Notes I took during the game: Billy Jaffe keeps saying "rim-around." I really wish he would stop. Jesus. Did Derian Hatcher fight Trent Hunter? (yes, and Hunter lost -- but he's Trent Hunter, that's to be expected. Hunter is big, but Derian Hatcher spends his off days beating on old ladies in grocery store parking lots.)

Saw much more of the Carolina game, and realized the Bruins are better than the Rangers and the Islanders. I thought Micheletti sounded like a fool criticizing the Bruins for slinking back into a defensive shell with a one-goal lead, because the Bruins are pretty good at that sort of thing. The Islanders aren't as good. The difference: The Bruins have a few guys who are legitimate threats to score (Kessel, Savard) or create scoring opportunities without dragging the whole team into the zone with them. Mike Comrie occasionally goes on little forays against two or three defenders, but unless Wade Redden is in front of him, he rarely makes it to the circle. The Bruins play four men back and stacked at the blueline, and Phil Kessel gets three scoring chances.

Up one late in the Carolina game, the Isles go into defensive posture, and, unfortunately for this team, that basically means Carolina spends the rest of the game in the Islanders zone. Every Isles' possession results in a (bad) soft dump into the opposing zone. Oh, and Andy Sutton isn't worth shit. He took a lousy penalty before OT that led to a Hurricanes goal. I know the defense is depleted, but Snow paid $3 million for him, and he's here for three years. (As you can see, I'm not exactly full of insight today.)

Deb Kaufman watch: Saturday she was in some kind of blue sweater she must have found at Coldwater Creek, or some other menopausal nightmare store. Did nothing for me. Butch Goring, though, looked crazy as hell (and might have gotten a haircut ... if I'm casting a Vietnam movie, Goring is my Willem Dafoe). I can't remember what she was wearing Monday. That pains me. Must have been equally dull. I'll be better.

Billy Jaffe? Saturday night, laying in bed, freezing, watching the Isles lose to the Flyers. Down two, the Isles get some traffic, take a shot on net. Mike Comrie sees the rebound, skates directly away from the goal, hopes puck magically flies out of scrum onto stick. Billy Jaffe? "The Isles get a shot here." Back to Howie. If hockey was popular, and the Islanders mattered to anyone besides the three of us and a few people on Long Island, Frank Caliendo would have a Jaffe impression that would rival Madden. (I just learned Billy didn't play professional hockey. I had assumed, incorrectly, that someone as boring and obvious as him could find his way into the booth only with some reasonable pro-level connections. He played for Michigan and at the Maccabiah Games, held in Israel in 1997. Here. I know, I know, Wikipedia. I checked it out elsewhere.)

Elsewhere on TV
I watched the Giants and skipped the Avs-Jackets game, as, I'm guessing, did most of the rest of the world. Monday it was too cold on my first floor to watch TV, so I went to bed early. Country living.

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