Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sit on the Business End of a Garden C.L.A.W. While Watching The View

From now on, if I post about Terry Frei, the title will be something that I would rather do than read his whole article. I was actually impressed when his article showed up in the RSS feed this morning, because it was very timely. I think what makes me so upset about him is that he's a national writer that only writes about the world around Avalanche hockey. I thought that maybe his article on was taken from The Denver Post, but it's very different (and can be found here.)

I was surprised to see the headline being about Brodeur's return. I knew he came back last night and had a shutout. I thought maybe this had surprised Terry enough to write an article about it. Then it turns out he shut out the Colorado Avalanche. So let's parade out the different parts of this national story that will piss you off, too.

NEWARK, N.J. -- The situation is not without its potential awkwardness, even if this is Martin Brodeur, the man who until Thursday night was only seven career victories short of both eclipsing and making history.

In their 50 games without him available this season, the Devils went 32-17-1. Scott Clemmensen made the most of his emergency recall, transforming his reputation from an organizational-insurance type to at least provisionally proven commodity as he and Kevin Weekes filled in.

If it eventually became arguable that he came back too soon, or that the Devils would have been better off, at least in the short term, if Brodeur were held out a little longer, it could have been at least slightly embarrassing.

Or worse.

So as Brodeur sat in the Devils' locker room following his 24-save shutout and New Jersey's 4-0 win in his return against the now-woebegone Colorado Avalanche, he didn't blanch when we brought up the issue of pulling his weight.

And at this exact moment all hope I had in Terry Frei's article left. It's going to somehow be about Colorado. Maybe Brodeur loves Denver's airport? Maybe he had something embarrasing happen at McNichol Sports Arena? Because it's not going to be an article about how a goalie came back from injury to shut out a team.

In one historical sense, it was a bit weird, at least with those with very long memories. It was slightly remindful of the night 29 years ago, when the Devils' predecessors, the Colorado Rockies, were what amounted to the Washington Generals, when they were the foils in "Miracle on Ice" hero Jim Craig's NHL debut for the Atlanta Flames on a flag-waving night in the old Omni. The Rockies put little pressure on Craig, and the first shot took forever to come, and it came from roughly Augusta.

On Thursday, another Colorado team minimally tested Brodeur, at least for much of the night. Chris Stewart got the Avalanche's first shot from near Weehawken -- OK, it was near the red line -- six minutes into the first period. This wasn't going to go down as the most heroic of Brodeur's three shutouts in his 11 games this season.

How is the fuck are these two situations related? Never in the history of the game of hockey have two games been so similar as these! It took a while for a team to take a shot and it came from far away! HOW IDENTICAL! If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that the Rockies and Flames were playing each other. I am so glad that Terry Frei has the memory of an elephant so that nobody could give a fuck about that game now as much as they didn't give a fuck about it 29 years ago. I know it's a shocker, but you can make goals happen by dumping in the puck. How about a goal from center ice?

All of that led a cynic (us)

Just you.

wonder if he had picked the Avalanche for his return because of the irony tied to his chase of Roy and the likelihood he wasn't going to have anything near the sharpest game of his life to make a triumphant return.

You know, kind of like walking before you run.

With 100% certainty, Martin Brodeur pulled out a pocket schedule and said "I want to come back against the Avalanche because I'm chasing Patrick Roy! He still plays for them, right?"

"It was just a good game for me to come back, as far as in the schedule," he responded. "As far as chasing the record, every day I'm going to have to deal with it. I'm excited about that, and I just want to get back. What's in my mind right now is getting back in top form for the playoffs. Winning it is what we're in the business to do, and hopefully, we'll get it done."

So the answer is no.

Once the record business is taken care of, and most likely it will happen in this stretch run, it will be on to the postseason for the Devils, again hoping to capture more of the spotlight in the area either one or two stops on the New Jersey Transit train -- depending on whether it's an express run -- from Madison Square Garden and Manhattan's Penn Station.

That will be a challenge. The Madison Square Garden Rangers just fired their head coach and sit a comfortable 2 points ahead of not being in the playoffs. I'm not too sure what Manhattan is doing here... the Islanders play about 40 minutes due east of Manhattan. They're also in dead last in the league.

1 comment:

Jack M said...

Clearly you're not basing your arguement on NHL '96 for the Sega Genesis's player/team ratings, so you've lost me.