Guess we have to retire the Weekes Laser

Black ‘n Red continued their mad spending spree this morning, signing goaltender Yann Danis to a contract. Terms are unknown at this time.

Danis spent last season on Long Island, posting a 10-17-3 record in 31 games played (29 starts). The 28-year-old Quebec native posted a 2.84 GAA with a .910 save percentage.

Oh, and he also had three shutouts.

While we outstretch our arms to Mr. Danis, we must take a moment and mourn the loss of backup goaltender Kevin Weekes.

‘Kay, he didn’t die or anything, but we totally loved using the Weekes Laser. Sheesh. First Gionta, now this?

This hasn’t been a good month here at 2MA I’m afraid.

Rest in Peace, Laser. Rest in Peace.

We sure are going to miss you.

This will probably make your brain hurt.

So here we sit, on the brink of the 2009 playoffs.  Y’know,  the playoffs the Devils had no business being in after the events of November 1st, 2008 – the awkward-looking elbow injury heard ’round the world.

With one more game left in the regular season, the Devils are locked into the number three seed, having clinched the Atlantic Division championship by way of the Flyers loss to the Rangers (or the win over the Senators if you refuse to believe that any Rangers win could help us).  The only mystery left is who will be shipping up to Newark come Wednesday or Thursday.

There’s only three possibilities – The Carolina Hurricanes (whom the Devils face in the regular season finale at The Rock tomorrow), the Philadelphia Flyers (who travel to Long Island then finish off their season at home against the Rangers), or the Penguins (in Montreal Saturday night for their final game).

All three teams sit at 97 points, and will finish fourth, fifth, and sixth in the division when all is said and done.  Obviously, we get the team finishing sixth while the other two get each other in the first round.

So, here comes the fun part:  How can this all break down?  Who will the Devils get in the first round?  Let’s have a look-see (make sure you’ve got some coffee handy, this is gonna be a doozy):

We’ll start out slow and easy.  If the Devils cannot beat the Hurricanes tomorrow, they cannot face the Hurricanes in the playoffs, regardless of what happens with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. And let’s face it, if we lose to the Hurricanes tomorrow, they’ll have swept the season series, and it’s probably a good thing we’d be avoiding them in the first round.

Philly needs to gain three of four points to guarantee themselves the number four seed and home ice in the first round, guaranteeing the Devils a first round date with either the ‘Canes or the, uh, ‘Guins.

Now to make things slightly more interesting:  If the Flyers manage to lose in regulation both to the Islanders and the Rangers, we get Philly in the first round. We also get Philly in the first if all three teams finish with the same number of points OR if Philly earns only one point while Carolina and Pittsburgh earn at least one each.  Unlikely, yes, but stranger things have happened.

If all three teams win all of their remaining games, we’d get Pittsburgh in the first round (as previously mentioned, this would also happen if the Penguins and Hurricanes win and the Flyers gain three of four points as well).

Now we get to fun part:

If Philly wins out, we beat Carolina Saturday (regulation or otherwise), and Pittsburgh beats Montreal, we get the Hurricanes.  Other ways the Devils can play the Hurricanes in round one: Flyers gain two of four, Pittsburgh gains two, and the Hurricanes lose to the Devils (regulation or otherwise); Philly gains two, Pittsburgh gains one, Carolina loses to NJ in regulation.

The Devils will catch a first round date with Sidney Crosby and all the NBC cameras money can buy IF: All three teams earn the maximum number of points; Philly earns a minimum of three, Carolina earns at least a point, and the Penguins earn exactly one point; Philly earns two, Carolina earns a minimum of one point, and the Penguins earn exactly one point; Philly and Carolina earn exactly one point and the Penguins earn exactly zero points; Philly earns exactly one point, Carolina earns a maximum of one point, and Pittsburgh earns zilch.

Got it?  Good, there’s a test tomorrow.

So who should we be rooting for, and to do what?  I wish it was that simple.  All three teams scare me a little, honestly:  Carolina because we have yet to solve them this season, Philly because it would be an intense, hard-hitting rivalry series, and Pittsburgh because they have scary-good talent and the black-and-white stripes on their side.

For purely selfish reasons, I will say that I personally hope the Devils avoid Pittsburgh in the first round, because I like MSG+’s coverage more than NBC and Versus, and there’s no chance in hell a series featuring Sidney Crosby doesn’t get at least two nationally televised games.

Beyond that, it doesn’t really matter who the Devils get in the first round, it’s going to be a tough series no matter what.  The way the boys in red n’ black have been playing lately, there are no cupcake opponents from here on out.  Ultimately, it’s up to the Devils to take care of Carolina at The Rock on Saturday, head into the playoffs having won four of five games, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

Oh, and if there really is a possibility of the Devils opening the postseason with home games on Thursday AND Friday as has been rumored (rather than Wednesday/Friday or Thursday/Saturday), well then, I hope we face whatever team prevents that.  Yeah.

Thoughts From Section 209… Devils/Flames: 3/10/2009

Hey, I’m still alive (and I know… I skipped a month in review)…. to coin the NHL Network commercial I’m dealing with “non-hockey related issues” (yes only 5 people really only know what the hell I am talking about but I feel bad enough I’m dragging them into my stuff (especially the one who didn’t know what she was in for, without naming her name)… so I’ll spare the rest of you… just feel better in knowing I write better when angry, so at the very worst the readers win :p)… and I was gonna do a thoughts from 214, but that game sucked as bad as that shithole arena in Long Island!! So anyway… I live… I function… I rant!!!!

the Good:
– One shortie, one power play (FUCK YOU SAM ROSEN!) and one even strength goal…. that’s balance!
– MB30 bounces back nice from the fiasco in Long Island
– Shanny, Rolston and Havelid on the scoresheet… depth and scoring is gonna take us far come Tax Time….
– Zach Parise… AAAAAHHHHHH (apparently I do this for any hockey player I cheer for who wears #9, boy or girl :p)…. one step closer to re-writing Devils history… 9 goals to tie and I think it’s 18 points (I have to leave for work soon and I want breakfast so i am not looking it up)… to re-write them all!! And you have to love the constant persistence of that line and NEVER quitting on a play!!
– Mike Keenan being Mike Keenan and randomly pulling Kipper (who unlike Nabby when he came here did NOT disappoint…. I like to watch Calgary, San jose and Dallas when we ain’t playing)…. so we get to make bad Macarena jokes at the random Flames backup-jobber OF DOOM!!!!

the Bad:
– Bad first Period… but I admit I was in as much of a fog as the team then so it was ok!
– that goal with 9/10 of a second left… yeah they don’t matter in the long run… but I have a sick wanting to see Clemmensen win the Jennings Trophy and those goals kinda hurt that!!!
– Getting texted by an over-ly dramatic ex-209er who INSISTS on telling us all she’s coming to a game on the 28th… but sitting on the OTHER SIDE OF THE BUILDING… man I’m tempted to sell my tickets that game *eyeroll*, the more you get away from high school the more life becomes it!
– trying to decide which tastes worse…. cold popcorn or period-old chicken fingers and fries… I’ll leave it at … I ate the damn fries in the second period…yeech, thank God for Sun Tavern post-game (even when Pat forgets to put in my order for the potato skins then blames the kitchen for burning them… least I got a free shot o’Jack from it!!)

the Funny:
– The contest people came up to Section 208 tonight to give away a DVD gift set with some T-Shirts and one of the funniest non-summer movies of last year (yes I’m a movie geek what the hell do you think I do all Summer….WWE 24/7 and movies!!)…so if anyone who got the Role Models Prize Pack would love to donate their copy of the movie to their favorite recapper… PLEASE!!!!! :-)
Anyway…. so they are setting up…. the go to row 5 I think… whatever… the row is half empty… people see what is going on… they JUMP LEAP and RACE to all the empty seats… CMON FREE STUFF (people hopping on seats like steps was hilarity!)…. and they get ready for it… Sammy starts a PICK B chant for the what we assums is upcoming trivia question…. and of course the normal 209+ Section hijinks ensue… they go to the segment… you can’t even HEAR the PA system…. all you hear is CHOOSE B …. CHOOSE B…. the blond lady is like fuck this… here’s your prize packs I’m outta here… and we will NEVER get free stuff again… GOOD JOB GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– the Dion Phaneuf razzing was kinda funny too….. more so when I fed him the Celine Dion obvious line and hearing drunken karaoke babbling of their hearts will go on…. niceeee!

Wow. Just, Wow.

Alright, so let’s establish the obvious — last night sucked. The game sucked, the line-shuffling sucked, wasting a house full of Devils fans sucked, and the hoards of obnoxious children sitting in front of me sucked. Oh, and the Islanders trapped us like a bunch of fools all night long. That sucked, too. Seriously — how the frosty hell do you get shut-down by you’re own defensive style?! Jeebus.

Moving on, there’s only one thing I think that sucked more than the aforementioned suck-factors: The way the Islanders are getting shafted by the Town of Hempstead.

It truly was a disgusting display of “affection” by the town at last night’s game. Ok, we all know the situation with the Lighthouse Project, right? Well, if not, you’ll have to do your homework before you can understand this. But, let’s begin with the ceremonial puck-drop preceding the game. Town Receiver of Taxes, Donald X. Clavin, Jr., was greeted to a downpouring of boos as he walked out to drop the puck between Jamie Langenbrunner and Bill Guerin. Later on, during a TV-Timeout, a video played to a packed Coliseum from Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray proclaiming “We’re All Islanders!” and “Hempstead Loves The Islanders!” — her promo was even more ill-received than Clavin’s puck-drop. Not to mention the loyal Islander fans are being teased mercilessly as every game they are shown the preview-promo of the Lighthouse Project before the pre-game warmups.

Just seeing the Town slap the team in the face with that kind of blatant “we’re pretending to give a sh!t” PR-attempt was downright nauseating. I mean, c’mon. Ok, yes, I am a Devils fan. But I live on Long Island and have respect for the Islander franchise — as almost all Devils fans do — and, despite the rivalry, I would love to see the Lighthouse Project become a reality. However, if Hempstead is not willing to pony up the cash to get the project rolling, they should keep their promos and fake-love the hell out of the Coliseum and anything else related to the Islanders. The fans aren’t stupid and don’t deserve to see half-hearted, smile-through-your-teeth “apologies” from the town that is pretty much banishing the franchise from the Island altogether. It’s a bush-league way of giving the proverbial “finger” to one of the Island’s greatest assets – the fans that practically empty their wallets to sit in a Mausoleum and watch the NHL’s worst franchise try to stay alive.

I may not feel your pain, Islander fans, but I feel for anyone that has to take it on the chin like that from their elected officials. Hopefully, the overwhelmingly negative reception of those promos will open some eyes and get something rolling.

Oh, and nice job on the shut-out.

Bastards.

Thoughts from Section 209…. Devils/Islanders, 2/11/2009

Well it wasn’t pretty and the game itself was not so fun… but this is why you sit in Section 209… something ALWAYS happens and it makes even the dullest of Islander stompings into a fun. one-of-a-kind night! So much storytelling to do I just wanna get to it!!!!

the Good:
– It’s ok to go just a LITTLE gay guys…. when it comes to Zach Parise… really… let it go….. one big AAAHHHHHHHHH, HE’S DREAMY… you’ll see!!
– Weekes was good… not special… but damn good to see the brotha get a game in net in his freaking month!! (and no matter how many times I made the joke tonight the girl next to me was NOT getting it… if I made a Jew joke, she’d been on it like white on rice mofo!!)
– how many times do the Devils put up a 50-burger in the shot column and WIN?? Damn!!!!
– Shoot-comment at standard Rangers fans at game when they celebrated the Islanders goal:
“Hey they did in ONE shot and 3 minutes what you couldn’t do in a FULL GAME… stop cheering!!”
– Andy Greene made some nifty-ass plays tonight!
– Paul Martin had a subtle 3-assist game… kinda the way I like my defenders to be.. on the scoresheet and not too noticed!
– MV-PARISE!!!! Get on the damn bandwagon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– and hell they won one that very much had classic letdown on it looking the games played last week and the ones coming this weekend, so I’d call that one helluva win!!!
– I kept telling the Islander fan tonight… “two points closer to Tavares sir!!”

the Bad:
– Good Lord, the Islanders…. but I’ll say this… if Bettman wants this team to stay in Long Island (and you can BET he doesn’t).. when this team bottoms out and has the worst record in the league… if they get Tavares it could be the player to save and turn that franchise around… players will want to come there to play with him…. fans will show up again… this is the ray of hope the Islanders NEED (and I want them to stay) and get them back and maybe even get the arena on track again… you rigged a lottery for Crosby… CMON BETTMAN!!!
– Gionta had one of his “you must be THIS tall to score” nights and we know he’s not tall, but this was a night to get away with it!
– Come to think of it… that whole first period was enough to make you want some coffee!!!
– Come to think more of it.. I’ve never seen what felt like such an uninspired effort get 50 shots (bless you oh top line!)
– Jay Pandolfo… nice to see the hands didn’t soften in your exile!

the funny:
– OK, so anyone who knows me and where I sit and all my stupid quirks and how I’ll let the dumbest thing send me off the handle and on a federal witch-hunt to seek and destroy any random assholes who get in my way… you KNEW this was coming:
on my way up to my seat in 209… you know the SAME one I had since day one, the same one I will have when this place is torn down…. I get asked to show my ticket…..
Problem #1: I sit in the SECOND CHEAPEST SEATS IN THE ARENA.. who’s gonna move up there?? (ok everyone does :p)….and it’s not like you REALLY LOOK… it’s a bullshit gesture that simply annoys me… I have work, life and the US Govt to do that… I don’t need it at games, so I don’t acknowledge it
Problem #2: As ushers… you have two jobs… get people to their seats fast… and MAKE THEM WAIT FOR THE FUCKING WHISTLE… and really you do NEITHER… so until you do the part of the job I ACTUALLY care about… I am not helping you on your bullshit annoyances…..

So you can imagine when the lil lady asked for my ticket and I told her I’ll do it when you make people wait for the dam whistle during play and kept going… THAT went over well (and I have WITNESSES up the wazoo that I did this and this is not some bullshit fan boy fiction!)

So I keep going… and uh-oh.. here comes mister supervisor… I think 5 or 6 people knew where this was GOING!!!
He makes the mistake of asking me what my issue is… I told him and I was not too peachy about it either mister, about my issues with the ushers and how I am sick and tired of clueless dopes standing in the aisle during power plays when the ushers should be making them wait till play stops!!
“they’re people sir”
“no they’re dopes”
“people”
“I’ll tell ya what… come on my side of the fence as an attendee… you’ll see… they ARE DOPES!!”
He promises to make them stop people before the whistle and he’s like…. you feel better… want me to let you rant more… at that point I let him off and tell him he could retire sitting there letting me air all my bitches at him!!! (the funniest part was I was trying like hell to not laugh but people thought I was really pissed… it’s kinda like watching me at a Football Sunday (and GOD I MISS THOSE)… it seems angry but damn it’s in fun!)… and I even turned to Xavier and told him damn that felt good!!
– Moral of the story… 6:00 into the period… people randomly walking all over the section *eyeroll*
– Best Sammy Woo line of the night…..
Gimme a … P…..A……R….. I…..S……E!!
Nah that don’t work…. too long….
Gimme a…… Z……A…….K
(everyone) IT’S C!!!
…. AND ANOTHER K !!!!
IT’S AN H!!!!!!
…. we tried!!!!

(Good God.. I do it again on Friday… bring the rage!!!)