The Hockey Maven strikes back
The term "maven" makes me think of a crabby old woman in a moo-moo who was ridden hard and put away wet as a younger woman. She's fat and flabby, smokes Lucky Strikes and loves to tell you how you should run your life. Here are some excerpts from a sunny Devils end-of-season retrospective by Stan Fischler of the MSG Network with my Steven Colbert-style "the Word" counter-points in parenthesis:
No matter how you shake it, a letdown against Carolina was inevitable and yet the Hurricanes series was there to be won. (...even the Blackhawks have the chance to win a series that stands 0-0)
And it could have been won had in 20 excruciating seconds the Devils not fallen victim to an extraordinary set of bad breaks. ( ...like letting Alex Mogilny rot in Albany, or trading for Ken Klee at the deadline and leaving him and Matvichuk on the pine at crunch time?)
Leading 2-1, John Madden took the center ice face-off. Normally the puck would fall flat.This time it landed on its end, when Madden pulled it back the rubber orbited like a Texas Leaguer instead of smoothly sliding to defenseman Brad Lukowich.(...go ahead and blame the puck Stan, it can't write an Op-Ed or blog)
The arcing puck enabled Carolina to quickly invade the Devils zone before Lukowich could clear the disk to center. Devil after Devil failed to get a handle on it as the puck eventually reached the front of the net. (...like Sauron's ring seeking it's master, huh Stan?)
Lukowich moved Eric Staal, but right in the direction of the oncoming pass. Poof!
(..."Poof?" The only time I would use such a word is in describing the play of Mike Ribiero or Pavel Brendl. Now we see Stan stooping to blaming fairy godmother magic to explain the Devils woes.)
Just like that the puck was in the net with only three seconds remaining! In overtime, Jersey had its chances before another stroke of bad luck killed them. (...if you want to call leaving a defenseman free for a one-on-none rush, "bad luck")
Over a half-century of covering hockey, I never witnessed such a succession of unbelievable bad breaks. (...four games to one-damn the bad luck!)
The Devils still don't want to give the Hurricanes their due. In a few articles I've read, they whine about the missed opportunity to take advantage of the early exit of the Sens and Philly. Like the Maven, they seem to blame this series loss on a series of unfortunate events. With nobody to mug in the corners, Colin White is left to wrastle with the issue of whether to keep his Pulp Fiction inspired chops and porn star stash. Marty Brodeur is left wonder if he really believes all the hype that follows him around. Many pundits said Cam Ward would flinch once he took a look at the legend at the other end of the ice. Cam was crisp, he got flamed, and ultimately finished the better goalie in the series. And we thought Brodeur had the market cornered on bounceback ability...
Alas for Fischler and the Devils. The 'Canes now move on and Stan goes back to reminiscing about those great Islanders teams of the 80's. (...Yeah, see, where's your Niedermeyer now?)
Monday, May 15, 2006
The Hockey Maven strikes back
Posted by M15D at 5/15/2006