Devils/Tampa Bay 4-3-2009….thoughts from Section 209

Well I told ya it wasn’t going to be pretty (it NEVER IS when you play in this kinda funk and you come out of it), but hey this is the way things go back to “normal” and things come back on track… add some ironies, and here we go!!!

(one small update too…I will hit a Devils season in review next weekend after the Carolina game… seems silly to do one with 2 weeks to go… and based on playoff run a lengthy playoffs in review should be on the slate too)

The Good:
— SCORING!!! Welcome back to the scoresheet:
Brendnan Shanahan (if this turn-around leads to the long playoff run I expect still from this team you can thank this man’s penalty shot… to be you-tubed later… for the start of it)
Jay Pandolfo… never could an ugly wobbling shot be so pretty
ZACH PARISE…. AAAAHHHHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! (5 goals and 6 points in 5 games is NOT out of the question to see Parise still set some recrods despite the late game skid… hell it could happen tonight it Patrick Lalame plays 🙂 )… good to see him back in the goal scoring column, they need him now more then ever with Elias still out…..
— We had a goalie go down with an unknown injury and there was NO SHIRT-TOSSING RETARD SWEATING AND THROWING SHIRTS AT FANS… THEY ACTUALLY LEARNED… hooray!!!!
— THEY WON… and the ship seems righted again… finally!!!!

the Bad:
— POOR KEVIN WEEKS!!! Yes I feel for the guy… fucker finally gets a game and yeah the first goal was kinda *ugh* (I think Salvador did get a piece of it)… but he plays well after …. and then one bad shot to the knee… and while some people are saying it was karma to let mb30 play on his little night… I think I could stop 7 of 10 shots on the NHL Level, even after 3 games in 6 nights myself…..
— Penalty killing… still not so good…. the power play looked and moved the puck a LOT better… confidence is a good thing… but I hope it wasn’t just because of opponent
— Even the crowd for the most felt out of sync and kinda drifting in this game… yeah they picked it up after Pando’s weird goal, but it wasn’t a golden night for anyone all around….

— Floor hockey + Paddle down goaltending + concrete floor == one SORE AS SHIT WRIST the day after…. and ensuing lame masturbation jokes :p

the Funny:
— Hey at least as a goalie… when I throw the stick blindly at the puck…. it’s actually going in net… and dammit I hit the puck (maybe one of the coolest looking non-saves I ever made!)
— Lil Nicky, yelling to find out about Wimpy was pretty damn funny… good to see our #1 draft pick back from his suspension for “academic reasons” (I have to wonder why we all get penalized for our lil star’s own misdoings….)… but when you’re in a funk even the fans can act the same… it kinda happened last night… not the best of night for crowd noise… maybe we’re saving it for tonight and ye olde Sun Tavern!!! (no who am I kidding.. they’re all going to see Pat the David Clarkson clone….speaking of… I’m fucked if he don’t work tonight eh??)… not to mention the reaction from the lil guy when his sister screamed something right next to him from bullhorn to eardrum…. a WTF look from a kid that in theory don’t know what the F the F stands for!! (I only say this cause his dad reads this… the rest of us KNOW he knows all the cool bad words!)
— Well not a hockey thing… but if you’re a wrestling fan and you ever want to disturb your friends (this one is fun trust me)… if you ever watch a Chris Benoit match again … when he goes to chop someone in the corner… yell DANIEL… *crack*… DANIEL!!! Each time he chops yell it angrier and angrier…. I guarantee you will disturb the living shit out of your friends (and damn it’s fun!!)

See ya all tonight at Sun Tavern… oh this should be fun!!!!!!!!

The Day After

It’s been said over and again, by Scott last night, by comments both here and elsewhere, by talking heads on TV.  Last night, simply, was amazing.

I sat down to try to put something up on this blog before heading back to my much-less-thrilling day job, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to say.  I’m 60 words into this thing and I still don’t know, really.

I do know that last night’s game re-affirmed my love for this game, for this team, for that goaltender, for this franchise.  I’ve never been to a Stanley Cup Final game – I can only imagine that the atmosphere in the Rock last night was as close as it gets without Lord Stanley’s mug riding on the outcome of the game.

I love that this game fell on St. Patrick’s Day.  There was a nice, loose atmosphere to the crowd – whether it was the history-in-the-making aspect, the beer flowing pre-and-during game, or (most likely) a healthy combination of both, it made the Rock truly feel like home for perhaps the first time.  Sure, there was the stray Blackhawks fan (and the obligitory guy in a Rangers jersey despite their team actually playing a pretty important game at the same time), but last night, the Prudential Center was the DEVILS building.  That is what it should have felt like during last year’s playoffs, and hopefully will feel like this year.

I love that Patrik Elias’ record-setting assist was a primary assist, and that everyone in the building saw the play and recognized it for what it was instantly.  The eruption for Patty’s assist was worth the price of admission alone, regardless of Marty’s feat.  I love that the response to Patty’s record-breaking point was so intense and so overwhelming that I actually had to look up who scored the goal just now, because for the life of me, I couldn’t remember.  It was Brian Gionta, by the way, and it was shorthanded.

I love that there was no scripted cheesy celebration after the game, that Gary Bettman didn’t hit the ice to shake Marty’s hand and present him with a plaque.  There will be time for that before another game, but the celebration last night was rightfully focused on Brodeur.  As awkward as it became after a few minutes, I love that he was given scissors and cut down the net.  I love that the rest of the team jumped in to help out so Marty could take his victory lap.  Without his team, he wouldn’t have won one game, let alone 552, and without his team, he would still be cutting that net down this morning.

I love that we had the greatest play-by-play man in all of hockey (and arguably all of sports) in house to call the historic game, just as we have the greatest play-by-play man in all of hockey to call every game, historic or mundane.  Doc Emrick, as we’ve stated many times on this blog, is one of the greatest perks to being a Devils fan.  We’re lucky to have him.

We’re a lucky fan base in general, I think it’s safe to say.  We’ve got the greatest goalie of all time.  We’ve got the greatest point-scorer in Devils history on the ice right now.  We’ve got the greatest announcer.  We’ve got three Stanley Cups, four Eastern Conference championships, seven Atlantic Division championships, sixteen consecutive winning seasons, eleven consecutive playoff appearances.  A good number of those will likely go up by the time this season’s over.

We’ve also got among the greatest fans in hockey.  Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to be a Devils fan.  We’re too quiet.  We can’t fill our building most nights.  We’ve got a preoccupation with the team on the other side of the Hudson.  We’ve heard all of that before and undoubtly will continue to hear it for a long time.

But last night – last night I was proud of our fan base.  Proud of our franchise.  Proud of our owner, GM, coach, team, game-day crew, ushers, building, city, state.  Last night was one of the greatest nights I have ever experienced as a Devils fan.  A night I will never forget.  Thank you, Mr. Brodeur.  Thank you, Mr. Elias.  Thank you, Mr. Lamoriello, Mr. Vanderbeek, Mr. Sutter.  Thank you, Mr. Langenbrunner, Mr. Clemmensen, Mr. Weekes, Mr. Martin, Mr. Parise, Mr. Zubrus, everyone who’s ever skated with a Devils crest on their chest.  Thank you to everyone involved in getting that building where it is, to the people who make the games happen every night.

Thank you to those who read what we have to say on this site, whether you like us or…not so much.  Thank you, Devils fans.  Last night was special, because of all of us.  Hopefully, this is not the last time that building feels like it did last night.

…not bad for not knowing what I wanted to say, eh?

Thoughts from Section 209, Devils/Hawks…Records and St. Patrik’s Day!

Good God… it’s funny how on a team based on TEAM, to even set all time records as a TEAM….
10 in a row at home…. record!!
Parise steps closer and closer to Devils Team History with 2 more assists…..
Patrik Elias is now the Devils All-Time Leading Scorer…..
… and oh yeah mb30 passes Patrick Roy to be the NHL Winningest Regular Season Goalie ever
(and did I even mention an insane bar crawl before the game???)

So much to get to here!!!

The Good:
— that crowd…. hot shit…everyone in the house (well minus one since that douchey Commissioner was in the arena!) was all over the place and it was a party on the level of game 7 in 2003… EVERYONE was into this game… the place was electric, and you KNEW the special-ness even if you were the most retarded of sports fans (or the guy in charge of the league!)
— I’m gonna take that one step further… I’ve been going to a lot of games over the years… I’ve sat with a lot of people… and done my share of going to games solo as well…. but over all the years and all the people I’ve gone to games with/wanted to leave on the side of the road/ all that kinda stuff… I seriously think with the rotation of people I go to games with now… it’s the most awesome group of people I’ve ever enjoyed going out with and doing stuff around… and I don’t thank you guys for it… so I am now!! It means the world to me to FINALLY be able to have peeps to share this stuff with WHO GET IT as handily as I do!! (that’s what this is all about ain’t it??)
— the fitting irony of passing John MacLean’s record against Chicago, who against MacLean did score his most famous of goals…. very fitting!
— Video of Elias and MB30… coming soon to: http://www.youtube.com/crashliner (not to mention pics are up on my facebook AND myspace)
— The RANGERS SUCK chants were kept to a damn minimum tonight… and THANK GOD… this was a night about the DEVILS and NHL HISTORY… not a night to flex your inferiority complex!
— Jamie Langenbrunner telling mb30 to take a lap and enjoy it while his teammates cut the net off the posts for him (and in fitting irony the first guy to start snipping was poor Weekes!)

the Bad:
— Well I kinda missed the first Hawks goal getting all the videos of Patrik setting history… and then the second goal kinda gave you an OH SHIT moment of making it 3-2… but it did make the end celebration even more important (AND THANK YOU HOCKEY GODS FOR NOT MAKING THIS GAME A FUCKING SHOOTOUT!!)
— Colin White got hurt… it sounds minor… but it’s a blip in the radar you kinda don’t want now… not like Jay Leach and Andy Greene can’t fill in…. but they’re NOT on WHITE POWER’s level

the Funny:
— well the pre-game bar crawl OBVIOUSLY…. that was greatness in many levels (well until I look at my debit card statement later :p)…. Soda Bread… drunks trying to find the next bar (not to mention people trying to cross Broad Street without even looking at the damn traffic light!)
— the guy in front of us making some dumb gay comment to his friend across the row… and I got annoyed and flagged him for obsessive metro-sexuality… and boy did he take offense to it!! He launches into some tirade about it… that to be honest the crowd had DROWNED OUT… so I just have this annoying, whiny sexually confused idiot babbling… and all I see is like the kids on those old Charlie Brown specials and we’re trying hard to NOT laugh in his face for it!!!
— Little Miss Mike Peluso to my right doing her best impression of said Mikey… “Coach… I can’t take the shift!!” (was that subtle and ambiguous enough??)

enough of my stuff… go ahead guys…. add your moments too!!!!

Thoughs from Section 209…. Devils/Avs, 2/26/2009

It’s funny how the more things change… the more they stay the same isn’t it??? For the first time in what feels like forever, the Devils are at 100% full-strength… and kinda just took it out on the Avalanche essentially (and entertainingly) toying with them all game…. it’s 7 years late… but oh well… can’t bitch too much tonight!! And yeah there was an important injury return or two tonight…..

— I had to start with this here because I wasn’t sure where to put it since it’s neither good nor bad nor funny …. so it goes first…. comments on the return of MB30 (and get used to it I will not call him by his name as long as he wears that damn mask which is not only ugly and silly looking but it will drive me INSANE until it’s burned in a fit of roid rage… wait that’s baseball players…. taking off the team logo and putting your own stupid logo is the classic “I am more important then the team thing” (guess the hockey Gods showed him this year :p)…. and it just annoys me… but i’m good at being annoyed)… yeah he looked good and played well… was hardly tested… hell Zach Parise had the best save of the night…. and it was nice to see MB30 get the big pop from the crowd on his return… but geeezeeeee… you’d think this team was the 8-9 seed and fighting for their playoff lives instead of a-top of the conference….

And I guess this leads to part 2 of my whole MB30 time here…. I was kinda worried about this… and in a few ways… kinda sad he’s back… I know… you just spit out your coffee… but here let me explain and no matter how blind an MB30 backer you may be… admit it… the 4 months without him have been FUN and about this ENTIRE TEAM… and not some guy chasing an empty regular season record that NO ONE cares about (well two of them if you count shutouts)…. each night was kinda fun an unpredictable… and it’s why this year has been the most fun I’ve ever sat through as an observing fan… and I guess I’m just bummed out the ride is over… it’s like the teacher is back in the classroom and it’s time to get serious, ya know?

the Good:
— this was the most alive I’ve seen the crowd in the building for a non-Ranger game in a long long long time, and that was kinda good to see people come back to life (and any night you have a 20 minute chant about T-Cells…. it’s fun!!)
— Paul Martin was back too and didn’t seem to skip a beat, hell he even had two assists!
— Zach Parise had a sick game… the goal of the night… the save of the night and kept the play alive in that 2 minute sequence where Zajac FINALLY scored (it looked like an NHL 09 shift where you just keep shooting until there is no surrender!!) MVParise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Elias and Gionta also both looked pretty sharp tonight and it was nice to see Patrik get in the goal column again… if those two top lines are going come tax time, this team is going to be a MAJOR force in the NHL Playoffs
— so now MB30 has a 4 month shutout string eh?? *heh*
— blinking and see 1-0 Rangers, become 2-1 Panthers… I admit I *LOL*-ed a tiny bit!

the Bad:
— Man Colorado is a dreadful team… no life… no effort… less goaltending, some of that was the Devils buzzsawing them
— ummm… it’s kinda hard to find something else out there to bitch about in this one, penalty killing was perfect, power play clicked…. 4 goals, Elias scored… well you can say that the 3rd and 4th lines were kinda
quiet and Holik was not-so-good… but then you’re just pissing on the MB30-party…

the Funny:
— on my way to arena some silly person trying to scam money from people by asking for bus-far since “his brother never came to pick him up”…. I feel the need now to carry a sign “HOCKEY FAN CARRIES NO CASH” just to keep that kinda crap to a minimal level.. and besides… I never DO carry cash (well unless the people I sell my extra tickets to actually pay me that night!)… my poor debit card looks more used and beat up then any level of Sean Avery sloppy seconds… heh an Avery joke in MB30-reunion night….
— as I was walking my laps before the game I saw some fan who looked JUST LIKE Bobby Holik (well just a lot younger and skinnier… poor bastard… well unless it’s his kid… then he’s justa rich, ugly bastard :p)
— I do always get a kick out of some stuck-up hockey mom getting pissy at the over the top and way drunken commentary from our section (and like I said… 209 was ALIVE tonight)… but this silly mom… it’s ok for your 4 year old kid to say that Scott Gomez loves the cock (and he’s in the right place for it… well unless the NHL goes to San Francisco)… but yet you get upset and cover the kids’ ears when they make a silly joke about “T-Cells….. but who’s buying”… CMON HOCKEY-MOM!!!! Parents are weird I tell ya!

Capitals @ Devils LIVECAP!

9:27 PM: So that’ll do it for me tonight.  Hey, I’m willing to bet you’ll see a more traditional Mackie-type Mackie rant later this evening!  A silver lining after all?  Goodnight gang!

9:26 PM: I guess you can’t win them all, of course.  And the streak was something to behold, considering how many of the games were on the road (and in the west, for that matter), and Langenbrunner’s heroics the last handful of games.

9:25 PM: I want January back.  February sucks.

9:24 PM: …and there’s the empty netter.  5-2 Capitals and the eight game winning streak’s officially dead.  Eric Fehr with the goal.

9:23 PM: Clemmensen’s on the bench, six attackers on for the Devils, 1:30 left in the game.

9:21 PM: This is terribly disappointing.  That last power play goal by Washington sucked the life out of the team and the crowd.

9:18 PM: Four minutes to go in the game.

9:16 PM: Too many blocked shots, can’t get anything on Theodore, and the penalty to Brashear is over.

9:13 PM: Brashear goes away for goalie interference.  I missed it.  I’m guessing it was either stupidly blatant so the ref couldn’t ignore it, or an attempt at a pity penalty to make up for the crap call before.

9:09 PM: WEAK.  Nylander scores on the power play that comes as a result of a BS call.  4-2 Capitals.  Now I’m pissed.

9:06 PM: Oh come on now.  Rupp does an excellent job of creating a play for himself, drives on net, stopped by Theodore.  Rupp is tripped up by a stick as he drives, and makes some contact with Theodore…so of course, Rupp’s off for goalie interference.

9:02 PM: Elias with a snapshot on the doorstep that looked like it was in, but alas, was knocked aside by Theodore.  Mine eyes, they deceive me.

8:58 PM: Clarkaround try!  You keep going for it, Clarkie.  One day.  One day.

8:57 PM: I like how “Oduya picks up Langenbrunner at center” when Cap’n plays wing and was against the boards on the blue line at the time of the place.  I miss Doc.

8:56 PM: WOW another shorthanded chance, this time a two-on-one for Zajac and Madden, Zajac can’t bury the shot, however.  Crowd’s woken up, that’s for sure.

8:55 PM: CAPN CLUTCHENBRUNNER!  SHORTHANDED!  3-2 Capitals and we have a hockey game kiddies!  Also, Jamie’s only got one goal so far tonight, he still needs his requisite second goal yet!

8:54 PM: Oh, right, we’re still on a penalty kill.

8:53 PM: We be back yo.

8:35 PM: And that’s the end of two.  Not quite as bad as the first, but still plenty of room for improvement.  3-1 Capitals, stick around for the third.

8:34 PM: Clarkson goes down for hooking behind the play.  We’re also in the last minute of the second period.  We can’t be taking penalties tonight dammit.

8:32 PM: Hard work shift by Gio, sadly with nothing to show for it but possibly some black-and-blues.

8:30 PM: I wonder what Doc does when we play on Versus and he’s not the announcer.  Or what Chico does when there’s a game on Versus and Doc is the announcer.

8:26 PM: The Penguins apparently have a player named Luca Caputi, who has scored in their game.  Tuukaa Rask has some competition for best name in the NHL.

8:23 PM: We finally got that flow I mentioned earlier, end-to-end quickness going on.  Elias with a nice toe drag to pick up Gionta on what was a one-on-two, then breaks his stick going for the shot.  Curses.

8:22 PM: You know, I like the idea of Rupp-Holik-Clarkson, but don’t much care for the idea of Rolston-Madden-Shanahan.

8:19 PM: Elias and Parise get the assists.  With merely a one man advantage, we’re back to not being able to keep it in the offensive zone.  Dang.  And now that advantage is over.  Double dang.

8:17 PM: ROLSTON!  A BLAST from the blue line through a Zajac-ian screen and it’s 3-1.  Still on the PP.

8:16 PM: ‘nother Capitals penalty, and the Devils get a…wait for it…wait for it…2 MAN ADVANTAGE!

8:15 PM: Mike Green’s a hooker.  It’s not a smear tactic, either, the referee says so.  Hence, we’re on a power play now.

8:13 PM: Parise to Zajac on the doorstep and it’s put just wide – maybe off the post.  It’s gonna be one of THOSE nights, eh hockey Gods?

8:10 PM: Couple of nice shots blocked in front and never even make it to Theodore.

8:06 PM: We’re not winning very many loose puck battles this eve, and as such, the majority of the play this period (and in the game) has been in the defensive zone.  And as if that’s not bad enough, they’re playing Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at The Rock.  This game’s getting worse and worse!

8:04 PM: Terribly sorry for the delay, got caught up at the store.  Second period is on, and it’s…3-0 Capitals.  Dammit.  Nylander.  What the hell is going on here?

7:45 PM: That’s the end of the first – 2-0 Capitals.  Back in seventeen.

7:44 PM: Two straight post shots for Washington – for god’s sake, let’s just get out of this period alive!

7:42 PM: This is why I miss Doc & Chico – at least one of them would have told us that the Old Guys Line was not just a practice thing – Rolston, Madden, and Shanahan are skating together.  Meaning Clarkson’s been dropped to a line with Rupp and Holik – Crash Line 2.0 if I ever saw one.

7:39 PM: I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with tonight’s game – besides the score, of course.  There’s no flow to this game.  So many whistles – offsides, puck out of play, that sort of thing.  It’s kind of annoying, really.

7:38 PM: Clemmensen’s scaring the crap out of me tonight.  Again.  As usual.

7:33 PM: The game’s kind of lagging.  Devils having issues even getting the puck into the offensive zone.

7:31 PM: A surprisingly loud Rangers Suck chant.  Perhaps referring to what we will never speak of again?

7:28 PM: Power play over, and I’m not so sure that we even got a shot on goal during the course of those two minutes.  Poop.

7:26 PM: Paramount to making something happen and being awesome, however, is puck possession, which we seem to be having issues with so far on this PP.  Sigh.

7:25 PM: Nylander to the box for Washington for high sticking, so we’re on a PP.  Making something happen here would be all kinds of awesome.

7:24 PM: Oh for chrissakes.  Tic-tac-toe passing play right off the faceoff and Brooks Laich has basically the entire net to tip in the power play goal.  2-0 Capitals, and where the HELL did our recently awesome penalty kill go?!

7:23 PM: Cap’nbrunner in the box for hooking.

7:22 PM: …did the world REALLY need a reality series about horse jockeys?

7:20 PM: Zubbie wants to continue the world-famous ZubbieCounterContest, but loses the handle on a drive in the slot.  ZubbieCounter remains at 24.  Penalty coming, apparently to the Devils because the fans are booing, but Versus won’t tell us until these words from their sponsors.

7:18 PM: Oh dammit.  Great penalty kill wasted, Mike Green sneaks down and pops one above Clemmer’s glove.  1-0 Washington.

7:17 PM: Niiiice bit of penalty kill by Captainbrunner, getting the puck deep into the Caps zone and not forcing a shot – just hanging on to it for awhile.

7:15 PM: Brashear gets to be a one-man show of puckhandling behind the Devils net.  BRASHEAR.  Eesh.  Devils take a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty, being served by Zubbie.

7:14 PM: The crowd doesn’t look so hot so far.  I hope there’s a bunch of stragglers on the way because of the weather.

7:11 PM: Parise/Zajac/Langenbrunner are buzzing early.  Elias/Zubbie/Gio with an early chance too.  Weeee.

7:10 PM: Aaaaand the puck’s finally on the ice at The Rock.  Jose Theodore’s in net for the Caps, Clemmer for us.  I like it when Theodore’s in net, I seem to recall the Devils lighting him up on numerous occasions.

7:08 PM: There’s some sort of jersey retirement ceremony going on on the other side of the Hudson.  Again.  Now let us never speak of it again.

7:01 PM: Last time these teams met, the Devils broke a four game losing streak by winning 6-5 in the shootout, after allowing Alex Ovechkin to score with one second left.  I remember that game – I was at that game.  As I recall, every time I was not in my seat, we scored.  Every time I was in my seat (or even anywhere NEAR my seat), they scored.  By the end of the night I was watching the shootout on a TV set near the Fire Lounge on the main concourse.  The sacrifices I make for this team!

6:58 PM: So here’s what we got: The Devils ride into this game on an 8 game winning streak.  The Capitals, as of this very minute, sit one point ahead of the Devils for 2nd in the conference.  Win in regulation, and the Devils leap-frog the Caps.

6:57 PM: Why do I love you guys so much?  It’s ’cause you’re awesome, yes…but the things I put myself through just to please y’all…Devils/Capitals coming up on Versus…not only does this mean no Chico…it also means, once again, NO DOC!  Sigh.  I’ll LiveCap it anyway.  Because 2MA is all about the love.

Devils @ Atlanta LIVECAP

9:44 PM: Brent Sutter: “Ankle sprain. He’ll be fine.” Uhhhhhh…yeah. Kay. Thanks, Brent, you’ve been quite informative.

9:41 PM: Alright, so no word on Rolston yet. If they say anything that actually means anything, I’ll post it up here. I’m expecting “lower body injury” (or possibly “head cold”) with no actual idea as to how long he’ll be out. If it’s different, I’ll let you know. If not, goodnight all!

9:24 PM: And, like the game itself, the first LiveCap of the season is in the books, it wasn’t pretty, but it happened. I’ll stick around a bit longer to see if we get an update on Rolston’s condition, but I’m not holding my breath…

9:22 PM: GAME! 1-0 Devils. It wasn’t pretty, the offensive production still sucks, the power play still sucks, but it’s a win nonetheless. Marty’s now 10 wins from tying Patrick Roy for most all-time by a goalie (11 from breaking the record), and six shutouts away from tying Terry Sawchuk for most shutouts of all-time., seven from breaking the record.

9:22 PM: BEAUTIFUL defensive play by Martin to prevent a shot on goal on the rush. Twenty seconds to go.

9:21 PM: Empty Thrasher net.

9:17 PM: Ice is tilting Atlanta’s way with two minutes to go. Meep.

9:15 PM: ANOTHER two-on-one featuring Jay Pandolfo, another non-shot-on-goal. At least no one crashed in a heap into the boards this time, though, so, y’know, take what we can get, yes?

9:13 PM: No updates on Rolston (what, you expected the Devils would reveal anything ever at any time?), but the replay reminds me a little Sidney Crosby’s crash into the boards last year that resulted in his high ankle sprain. Let’s hope that’s not the case here…

9:12 PM: Still 1-0, seven minutes to go in the game. Zubrus is now centering Elias and Gionta, so I guess the great line shake-up of the second period has ended. The 32 fans in attendance are chanting! It sounds impressive for 32 people.

9:09 PM: Rolston hit the boards after losing an edge, Chico says he needed help getting into the locker room because he couldn’t put much weight on his foot. Me no likey.

9:07 PM:Elias and Rolston two-on-one gets broken up, and after the play, Rolston is down and looks to be hurting…crap. Just…crap.

9:05 PM: Shorthanded two-on-one for Madden and Pando, Madden passes, and Pando fires it directly into Lehtonen’s pads. Another two-on-one, Elias and Pando, again nothing doing. But it’s chances, at least! …right?

9:04 PM: Atlanta’s on a power play and I have no idea why. Either I wasn’t paying attention or MSG didn’t think it was important to tell me. Neither would be surprising. Atlanta hits the pipe on the power play.

9:01 PM:Penalty kill’t. Big save by Marty (and then again possibly by Salvador’s backside) at the end of the Thrasher power play. Our power play may be awful, but at least the penalty kill’s holding up it’s end of the bargain…

8:58 PM: Paul Martin going off for a holding-the-stick penalty, Thrashers to the PP again.

8:55 PM: Marty with a save on Bogosian. Come to think of it, has Bogo scored yet in his pro career? Marty seems to like giving up first career goals…

8:52 PM: Third period’s on, goal credited to Rolston after all. Zubrus and Gionta on the assists.

8:35 PM: And that’s the end of period #2, 1-0 Devils. 20 shots on goal (I still refuse to believe that). Third period coming up soonish.

8:33 PM: The official announcement at the arena is giving the goal to Langenbrunner from Rolston and Zubrus. Lehtonen with a huge glove save on Elias keeps it a one-goal game.

8:31 PM: FINALLY! Rolston, let off the point at the power play, forces his way in front of the net and jams home his own rebound. Devils lead 1-0, Rolston notches his first of his second Devils go-round, and the Devils power play finally picks up another goal. Alllll right.

8:30 PM: Exelby takes the roughing penalty for his tackle of Langenbrunner, the ever-dangerous Devil power play takes the ice.

8:27 PM: Now it’s Rolston, Langenbrunner, and Zubrus. And hey, even a little scrummy-ness involving the Cap’n and Garnet Excelby. The most life I’ve seen tonight. The 32 fans in attendance even seemed to wake up.

8:26 PM: Rupp/Zajac/Parise? Really?

8:24 PM: Cangelosi just said the shots for the second are 13-5 Devils. I refuse to believe this. There is no way I’ve seen thirteen Devil shots on the night, let alone this period.

8:19 PM: Clarkson wraparound try! Gasp and shock, it’s not even close.

8:15 PM: Zubrus charging in on a three-on-one, opts to shoot…and misses the net entirely. Blast.

8:13 PM: I wonder how we managed to win two games so far this year considering I can’t recall ever actually scoring any goals…

8:06 PM: Hey hey, something interesting! Brodeur with a stop on the big blast by White (not Colin, Todd), leaves a huge rebound and manages to get in front of the follow-up shot as well. Stellar stop by Marty. The 32 fans in the building agree.

8:04 PM: I think Sutter’s futzing with the lines again. Clarkson was just out there with Holik and Rupp. Zubrus is centering Rolston and Elias at the moment as well.

8:01 PM: God, Lehtonen is leaving some juicy rebounds. However, in shades of last year, the Devils can’t do a damn thing about it. Penalty’s over, though. Devils have killed three of three of ’em tonight now.

8:00 PM: Okay, second period on, Devils still on the PK. A little bit more…something, this period? Anything? Please?

7:42 PM: Aaaaand that be the end of a very boring first period, scoreless after one. See you in seventeen for what can only be a more interesting second. I hope.

7:39 PM: Welp, least they killed that one. Holik gets booed by the 32 Atlanta fans in attendance tonight. Yet another Devils penalty coming up, Zajac for hooking. Less than a minute to go in the period.

7:36 PM: See, this is why I miss Doc. Cangelosi lied to me, it’s actually Atlanta on the power play, not so much the Devils.

7:34 PM: And just as one penalty expires, and new one commences. The Devils get their turn on the power play, again. So in two minutes, the score will still be zero-zero, again.

7:31 PM: And so Colin White goes off for interference. This game is rather boring. Sorry. Last year’s early-season game in Atlanta was all kinds of crazy. I miss that game. A little.

7:26 PM: Even Chico’s mentioning how few fans are in the building. And is also touting the Thrashers “Buy a ticket, eat all you want for free” sections deal. Chico Eats: HOTlanta Edition!

7:23 PM: How they managed to not get it in, I don’t have the slightest. Good pressure again, but once again, nothing doing as far as scoring. Devils PP is now 0-for-2 on the evening, and 1-for-13 on the year. Ouch.

7:22 PM: I say it every time the Devils play Atlanta, but DAMN the Thrashers have ugly jerseys.

7:20 PM: ‘nother penalty on the Thrashers, this one interference on David Clarkson. Don’t the Thrashers know they don’t have to interfere with David Clarkson, that he’s perfectly capable of stopping his own progress? Regardless, Devils PP again.

7:17 PM: You know, as a Devils fan, I should be used to empty arenas…and yet, I keep finding myself strangely drawn to the swaths of empty seats whenever the camera catches the stands. It’s almost hypnotizing.

7:15 PM: A nice chance in front for Pandolfo, who sends a backhander at the Atlanta goal with the speed of a honey-soaked tortoise. Sigh.

7:13 PM: Surprisingly strong on the puck deep in the zone, but Atlanta manages to clear each time. We’re not looking stellar tonight boys.

7:11 PM: Schneider with a puck-over-the-glass deal and the vaunted (ha!) Devils power play hits the ice. Oh boy oh boy.

7:09 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Atlanta. You wouldn’t know it from the crowd though. My goodness, and they say we don’t draw in Jersey. Hot damn.

7:01 PM: Oh dammit. First LiveCap of the year, and Doc’s sick. Sigh. Get well Doc. Other Devils news for tonight: Salmela’s hanging out in the press box tonight, and Andy Greene gets into his first game of the year. He’ll be paired with Johnny Oduya.

6:45 PM: What’s that coming over the hill? It it a LiveCap? It it a LiveCap? Ahhh musical references no one will get…see you in 15!