Devils lose again, check on spelling of “Couturier”

The other team from Jersey that's awful and -- probably -- smells like pee.

This is the 666th post in TPL history. Pretty fitting, given that the Wings just sent the Devils back to Hell, also know as “New Jersey.” The final score was 3-1 Good Guys.

:: Darren Helm fired a missile over the glove hand of Martin Brodeur just “a hundred and three seconds into the contest” (more on that ridiculous counting of seconds in a minute). That dude is on FIRE lately, amassing twelve points in his last fourteen games. It’s nice to see him taking advantage of the opportunity created by the absence of a few regulars.

:: Speaking of which… what was with all the Red Wings hitting the ice tonight? Rafalski took a shot off the thigh (which hurts), Darren Helm blocked a shot with a foot (which hurts a little less), and Patrick Eaves caught a stick to the face (which never happened to me since you’re forced to wear a full shield in college).

:: There was a scrum in front of Jimmy Howard that definitely would have been blown dead if Tomas Holmstrom was involved in any way. Nevertheless, the Devils tied it up, and the score would remain 1-1 until the third period.

:: The Wings finally got a power play, courtesy of Eaves’ scratched up face. No one on the Devils post-game, Jacques Lemaire included, could understand how in the world hitting an opposing player in the face with your stick could possibly be a penalty. Surely, since it was an accident, the Wings and refs would say “aw shucks, Brian Rolston, that’s alright… ‘slong as you didn’t meana.” I’ll admit, it was odd that no call was made on the play, allowing the Devils a very good scoring opportunity. But that call’s automatic, and if you’re allowed to check for blood after an already-two-minute high sticking penalty, why not after a play in which there was clearly an infraction you missed?

:: The Wings would get a full two minute five-on-three and in true 2010-11 Red Wings form, dickfingered it away.

:: Valtteri Filppula made it 2-1 about five minutes into the third, and Johan Franzen sealed it with a tree stump of a goal in the final minute.

A few weeks back, I admitted that I enjoyed listening to the Penguins broadcast. Their play-by-play and color team were excellent that night, and I was very impressed with their work. For the second time in recent weeks, I was forced to watch an opponent’s feed — this time, thanks to my living in the greater New York area. MSG’s team is Doc Emrick, and Chico Resch (who sounds like a grown up Kermit the Frog who can’t pronounce anyone’s names correctly).

For some reason, Doc Emrick is held in high esteem in the hockey world. It seems like every few weeks, he’s being honored by someone or other, for something or other. In 2008, he was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame for his contribution to broadcasting. He has a “New York Emmy,” whatever the hell that is (what I do know is he has six fewer actual Emmys than I do). We’re expected to fall all over ourselves, fawning over his hockey knowledge and his ability to call a game accurately and smoothly, despite everyone on Earth making fun of how often he lets out a DRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE.

Unlike the Penguins team, this was painful. Doc Emrick is nothing short of useless in that booth, and I’m forced to ask — like another dinosaurific New York institution, Stan Fischer — what the fuck is the attraction? Is it impressive that Emrick can change the inflection of his voice to be conversational when he quickly adds 15 seconds to a minute and tells us there’s “75 seconds left” in a period?

Maybe it’s his knowledge of the history of the game? At one point tonight, Chico asked him “when was it that the Jets left Winnipeg?” and he lets out a brilliant “I don’t recall. It was the nineties.” Yup, that must be it.

Perhaps its his world-class analysis of Detroit’s shot totals. “Fifty is kind of normal around here. Sometimes they get sixty.” What? They’ve gotten sixty maybe once — and it was likely during the Red Machine/Beautiful Game years when the Coyotes were still in Winnipeg. You know…the nineties. In the 49 games the Wings have played this season, they’ve hit 50 once (a 5-0 loss to the Kings, and it was 51). 2%. Kinda normal around here. In fact, they’ve only hit forty SEVEN times, and all but one of those were under 45. It’s certainly possible he was being cute and using some hyperbole… but it was still annoying and blatantly incorrect, something that a young hockey fan wouldn’t see through as being ridiculous and misguided.
EDIT :: Thanks for the catch in the comments… Doc may have been talking about the number of wins Detroit expects. That’s probably absolutely true, in which case — I flubbed this one pretty bad. I certainly misunderstood, probably because he had just finished referring to the shots on goal, and apologize for the error. He still sucks.  =)

While watching MSG, I was treated to other hockey gems, like “players who have played their whole careers with one team” — featuring a superfluous fourth place reference to a player not playing tonight, as well as “C. Draper,” which is incorrect on several levels. Kris “With a K” Draper played with the aforementioned Winnipeg Jets. That’s alright… an easy thing to overlook, it was probably all the way back in the nineties.