Thursday, August 07, 2008

An Change, Briefly

So it seems I've not posted in a year and change. Amazing how that works, a blink, a calendar flipped until tossed to the wastebasket, the cellophane torn off a new (Italy in the kitchen, now).

Spencer's Senturion web appears to have gone by the wayside in the meantime, and so the link comes down. Spencer Callaghan, if you're out there, give a shout and all will be restored.

(Hockey season approaches, the treadmill beckons, soon, soon)


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Robertus Runs (Game 5)!

Pregame: Scott celebrates the fact that Charles Wang just bought out Alexi Yashin, Daniel Alfredsson's nose grows three sizes, Bret Hull offers me a discount on swampland in Florida. Of course Alfredsson shot the puck at Niedermayer.

Of course he did.

In fact, that's the reason Jill is rooting for the Ducks again. She started off rooting for the Ducks, and then Chris Pronger elbowed Dean McAmmond in the head (note: we were at dinner and did not see Chris Neil's high hit earlier in the game). She started rooting for Ottawa (to the point that I considered getting her a Senators' sweater, and then Alfredsson shot the puck at Niedermayer. Ye gods, people.

20:00: And we're off! We're in the booth with Bill, Brett, and Ray, The Ducks in black moving left to right in your weblog.

19:59: This is not Pizza Milano pizza. Scott went to that New York style place in Columbia.

18:20: That was entirely too fast - Ottawa penalty for holding (interference would do just as well) and an immediate scoring chance for Selanne. Frankly, the hold was positively Duckian in its stupidity.

16:35: And a quick, ticky tack call on Volchenkov for hooking,particularly on the heels of a possible goaltender interference


16:18:59: What is that quasi Florida State chant they're playing over the PA system?

14:41: Three straight penalties to Ottawa, this time to Spezza for holding (yes, it was a hold). The Senators have looked sloppy tonight. Even the elbow drop to Pronger was poorly executed.

13:30: Meszaros gets smoked.

Scott: "A lot of people are finishing their checks tonight. I like that."

11:30: Meszaros throws a beautiful check to break up the Ducks' rush.


10:40: Alfredsson bounces off Perry, leading to cheers from the Anaheim faithful and a Ducks scoring chance. Until then, the Sens appeared to be coming on strong. Welcome to the game, boys. Glad you could make it.

Penalty to Anaheim as we go to commercial.

7:15: Ottawa is looking tentative physically. A nice play by Getzlaf left the puck in Pahlsson's feet, and yet he was only weakly checked. Even Perry getting "run over" wasn't as bad as it looked or sounded - the Ottawa player hitting the boards caused the racket.

4:50: Meszaros gets smoked by Penner, followed quickly thereupon by a sketchy roughing call from the back official (Devorsky, rather than O'Halloran, who was three feet from the play). The announcers crow about a missed hook on Redden.

3:10: Devorsky takes one on the kiester. Alfredson picks up the puck to raucous boos. There is hope for sun belt hockey yet.

2:19: Rob Niedermayer smokes the Ottawa defender (not Meszaros this time) and goes to the backhand as the penalty expires to give Anaheim a two goal lead.

1:03: Excellent, excellent holding call on Selanne and a solid non-call on the followup slash.

0:00: And thus ends the first period!

Second Period!

During the intermission, we learned that Ottawa was brutal (quoth Ferraro), terrible on the puck, terrible off the puck, just terrible (quoth Hull), and emotionally stunted (quoth Bill). Why don't they just kick their dog, while they're at it.

Also, arsenic is like poison, gelling gelling is compelling, elephants will steal your identity, buns are still not biscuitesque, men are all about the latest in antiperspirant technology, and Brett Hull was a defenseman:

Scott: "Ray Borque had the best line in the intermission report!"
Robertus: "You mean Ferraro"
Scott: "Not Ferraro, the other guy"
Robertus: "That's Brett Hull, not Ray Borque"
Scott: "Right, Hull. Oh well, they're both defensemen."

Statistically, the game has been a dead heat.

20:00: And we're off! Ottawa starts with 10 seconds left on the power play, which is just long enough for Ottawa to carry the puck out of their end. It was fun while it lasted.

19:02: Scott: "My god, Emery made a save!"

16:06: Three minutes of relatively solid action in the Anaheim end, but scoring chances have been few and far between. The two Ottawa chances have been turned aside by the Anaheim backcheck.

14:20: Two straight minutes in the Ottawa end. Hull mentions that Ottawa is losing all the battles, and he's right. I just checked to see if Anaheim was on the powerplay.
11:15: Jill joins us for the back half of the game, which I described as the "pasta station" of 2-0 games (we had a lackluster experience at a tasting on Monday evening). Jill offers to fill Scott in during the "intermission. Intermission?"


8:30: Alfredsson bounces the puck off Corey Haim Perry and INTO THE NET! Two-one Anaheim!

6:36: Spezza and Sens coack Bryan Murray get into it on the bench. Ottawa seems to have come alive here in the back half of the second period.
5:10: The next five minutes could not pass fast enough for Anaheim.

4:16: Sens defenseman Craig Phillips puts the puck into Emery's feet, EMERY PUTS IT IN THE NET FOR AN ANAHEIM GOAL!
4:16:58: Scott: "You know, they shoot people in Colombia for that."

3:25: The "EM-ERY! EM-ERY!" chant begins in earnest. A classic!

3:15 : We're treated to the Eddie Olczyk checking clinic after a bad elbowing penalty on Ottawa (the call was good, the penalty, bad



0:17: The EM-ERY chant begins again after a brief, unyielding silence.

0:00: And the teams go to the locker rooms, and Jill launches on a tirade about the trifling tasting we had last week.

See you in 20 minutes!

Third Period!

Robertus Runs Game 5

20:00: And we're back!

19:03 The conversation about college professors continues over from the intermission, with a brief interlude to explain the difference between a "fight" and a "battle."

17:04: Everyone misses a check behind the net. Both teams are playing with the desperation befitting the situation (it's a Cup clincher, you know).

15:59: A quick shot from Niedermayer, Moen deflects and GOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL!

14:12: Slashing on Cristoph Schubert of Ottawa. Anaheim needs to keep the ice tilted and not let Ottawa back in the game. Thirteen minutes is still a lot of time.

13:26: Scott decries that nobody will be able to leave the stanley cup on the side of the road.

12:37: Antoine Vermette goes in on a BREAK AND PENALTY SHOT! Penalty shot!

Here comes Vermette into the hashmarks a deke and LOSES THE PUCK!

THat has to be the dagger in the heart (he says with 11:50 left) of Ottawa - to have a free scoring chance and not manage to get a shot is a backbreaker.

8:50: Spezza fires the puck ten feet wide of Giguere.

Scott: "Can Ottawa call time out and go tag in Buffalo? That's the only way they're coming back.

7:33: Whereupon a discussion of playoff beards is undertaken.

5:52 I wonder how quickly Selanne gets the Cup during the postgame festivities.

5:14: A quick shot on goal by Ottawa, turned away by Giguere.

5:12: The next five minutes cannot pass too fast for Robertus.

4:31: Scott: "Still, if you're gonna see the biggest comeback in sports history..."

Jill: "If this is gonna be the biggest comeback in sports history, Ottawa will have to shoot the puck.

3:27: Number of times "x is an awful lot of time" has been said: seven.

2:57: The coffin was already nailed shut. Corey Perry just lit it on fire. Six-two, Anaheim.

1:38: The boys in the booth debate whether this is Selanne will retire at the end of the year. Selanne isn't Borque, who was on his last legs in Colorado, so his future is very much up in the air.

0:52: Spezza and Heatley on the ice to end the game. Emerick goes on about T-shirts.

0:00: Zero seconds is not enough time, and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks are your 2006-2007 Stanley Cup Champions!

Coming Soon! Robertus recaps!

Robertus Ran Again!

Upstairs in the bumblebee office
and stinking to high heaven after 5k on the treadmill, about to grab a shower and change before the puck drops. We're in the presence of His Lordship, you know.

Jill is stuck at work this evening, so tonight I'm joined by my old friend Scott on the La-Z-Boy. He's bringing grub from the Pizza Milano across the way. The beer is in the crisper, and we'll be back for Game 5!

Coming Soon! Robertus Runs Game 5!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Robertus Throws Elbows!

  • I holed up in the local watering hole, strangely empty (or not so strangely) for 9 PM on a Saturday night, convinced the bartender to turn off Bull Riding and turn on the hockey game (the first intermission). Although the barkeep found the NBA Conference Finals and the Ultimate Fighter without prompting, he had to ask me (twice) where to find the game. Nice marketing, NHL.

  • Between periods in Game 2, Calvin Brodeus Snoop Dogg was interviewed by Scott Oak of the CBC. The interview was fascinating not just because Oak riffed on Snoop’s trademark -izzle spizzle, but also because he mentioned possibly starting/sponsoring a youth hockey league in addition to his youth football league.


    ATTENTION NHL MARKETING DEPARTMENT AND USA HOCKEY!: A major hip hop star has expressed interest in starting an inner-city hockey league. Repeat! A major hip hop star has expressed interest in starting a grassroots league in a largely untouched market. Please contact your local Dogg at your earliest convenience.

  • My verbatim quote to Jill and the bartender after seeing Chris Pronger’s hit on Dean McAmmond: "See you in Game 5."

  • Warning! Non-Hockey Item! It means that LeBron James will have a hard time dunking the ball on Tim Duncan, because Scoop Jackson is hanging from his d*ck.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Robertus Runs (Game Two)!

And we're back!
A hair over fifteen minutes until the puck drops, and Jill walks in the door in the nick of time to open up the Generic MacBook Word Processor (I am a Macintosh luddite, really). Fortunately, she moves downstairs to hop on the exercise bike instead of staying here, to point and laugh.

-15:00:: Chris Simpson outside the Anaheim locker room with the breaking news that a team must bond together to win the Stanley Cup. Thank you, Chris.

-11:40: Back to the booth with Bill, Keith, Brian, and Mark. Keith barks that the Ducks won't win another game if they don't stop taking bad penalties (witness Jackman clotheslining Comrie, which wasn't as bad as it looked - Comrie rifled a slapshot after the offsides whistle, which is extremely dangerous. Given the noise in the Duck Pond Honda Center, it's possible he didn't hear the linesman, but still. The saying is "play hard until the whistle," not "play hard after the whistle."). Both Ottawa goals were scored on the power play in game one, so the Ducks would do wise to stay out of the box.

-8:00: Mike Emerick and Eddie Olczyk in the booth. Chris Simpson on the Anaheim bench. Chris Simpson couldn't make it in the NHL.

-5:00: No national anthems in the broadcast today. Apparently, Michelle Phillips wasn't in voice.

-1:00: Now, let us see what rewards may be reaped!

0:00: And we're off!

17:55: Chris Kelly gets creamed along the near boards, followed quickly by Mike Comrie boarding Marc Francois Beauchemin. Anaheim takes the man advantage.

17:00: This powerplay was built by Home Depot, which explains the faceoff in Anaheim's end.

16:45: Emerick wonders why the "shelf" (the top of the boards in front of the glass) is necessary. Witness Kris Draper.

14:20: Interference penalty on Anaheim - Versus flashes the graphic that Ottawa scores on 20% of their power plays (good for the #2 ranking in the regular season). One thinks a producer could have told that to Keith Jones about twenty minutes ago.

12:25: Giguere makes his first save of the evening as the Ottawa power play expires. The Anaheim penalty kill was not pretty - the Senators had several chances down in front of Giguere in the low slot, but only managed one shot.

11:55: A shaky boarding call on Volchenkov - Perry turned, but Volchenkov unloaded on him
10:00: Fifteen seconds left in the Anaheim power play, and Jill is falling asleep on my shoulder. Ottawa! Anaheim! Only on Versus!

9:55: A LONG OUTLET PASS TO.... ... Volchenkov... who falls down... and... eeesh.
9:54: Wasn't Volchenkov just sitting for two entire minutes? I would've thought his legs would be fresher than that.

9:50: I try to stand up and go get a soda, but can't. I ran three miles an hour ago, you know.
7:30: Our third boarding first charging penalty of the game, this time to Sean Thorton of the Ducks for a late hit on Oleg Saprykin.

6:36: Pronger goes to the box for slashing Mike Comrie on the hands. Ottawa has a minute of 5-on-3.

6:25: Corvo makes a nice play to keep the puck onside, leading to some close down-low chances for the Senators. Giguere will need to play out of his mind for the next two minutes.

5:30: Spezza sends a gorgeous pass to Mike Comerie, who shoves the puck into the post. Apparently, the net was too open, and that pass was too slow and right to him.

4:30: And the penalty expires and Chris Neil annihilates Beauchemin behind the net. Ottawa seems intent on matching the physicality of Anaheim tonight.

4:28: Versus airs the Absolut Vodka pillowfight commercial for the fourth time this evening.

3:04: I feel bad for Andrej Meszaros. His name is mentioned almost solely in a negative context - "Andrej Meszaros just got smoked!" He seems a decent fellow.

2:16: Jill asks the million dollar question: "Why isn't this being shown on regular TV? I mean, a network?"

1:53: A roughing call on Ottawa for, as Jill put it, "Basically throwing that guy down to the ice." She didn't call it "field" or "court." I call this progress.

1:17: Jill threatens to take away the MacBook as Ottawa clear the zone.

0:00: The first period draws to a close and we're tied at zero. I'm running downstairs to heat up some leftovers. If I can stand up.

Second Period!

During the break, we've learned that buns are not even a little biscuitesque, my manliness needs enhancement, Enterprise will pick me up, ice hockey knocks out my fiancee and her guinea pig, and when someone knees me in the face, I'm not thinking about what my trainer told me. I'm thinking "ooooooooooouch!"
Also, macbooks get really, really hot.

20:00: And we're off!

17:00: The play has been pretty consistently in the Ottawa end, but not much to write about.

16:45: Jill asks whether a slightly late hit was a "Penalty? Penalty, right? Not foul?" Progress.

15:38: Anaheim with the puck down low, Samuel Pahlsson tries to score one from behind the net. We're coming up on about five minutes of continued pressure in the Ottawa end.

13:10: Were this football, it would be a series of three-and-outs. In baseball, runners stranded on second. In basketball, the NBA Conference Finals.

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

11:49: Jill: "It looks like they're just randomly hitting it."
Robertus: "Yes, yes it does."

10:00: Jill: "Hey, don't try the veal. Veal is baby cows."
Robertus: "Not just baby cows. Sweet, delicious baby cows."
Some guy is not kicking a cameraman for the money. Some guy is not kicking a cameraman for the fame. Some guy is not kicking a cameraman for the glory. He's kicking a cameraman because, when he steps in the ring, he f*cking hates me.

9:58: Jill's first impression of Chris Simpson: "AAAAAAH! Scary lady!" Progress.
9:15: Meszaros gets smoked again, leading to a nice play by Wade Redden in the corner and, ironically, a Teemu Selanne scoring chance.

8:10: Captain Canada "of the New York Islanders" (enjoy that while it lasts) in the Versus suite. Jill remarks on his lackluster dental work.

7:00: Some ugly/beautiful play around the Ottawa net leading to a few nice saves from Emery.

6:15: Jason Spezza makes a beautiful pass to Rob Niedermayer, leading to another tough save by Emery. Spezza has looked... troubled... so far this evening. I half expect him to go to the Anaheim locker room between periods.

4:30: Ray Liota, James Caan, and Snoop Dogg in attendance tonight. No word from Cuba Gooding Junior.

2:52: Somehow, Anaheim has mustered 24 shots in the game so far.

2:45: Jill: "Wow, Messier won the Cup six times?"
Robertus: "Yes, yes he did."
Jill: "Who is he with? Ottawa or Anaheim?"

1:56: Late penalty to Ottawa for a trip.

0:24: A very late call on Anaheim for a hook.

0:00: And the second period draws to a close, the score tied at nil. Anaheim leads in horseshoes and hand grenades. Frankly, if they didn’t change ends between periods, they’d only have to zam half the ice.

Quickly, we get our sixth course of the Absolut Vodka pillowfight commercial. Also, Versus informs us that the real drama doesn't begin until the Tour de France. Not the Stanley Cup finals. Tour de France. Nice marketing, Versus.

Back in twenty!

Third Period!

During the intermission, Scott calls me to discuss Brian Engblom's hair. The adjective most used: Trifling. Jill adds "it looks like it's all messy and out of control, and he put some Dep in it."

Mais... boum!
Quand notre coeur fait boum
Tout avec lui dit boum
L'oiseau dit boum, c'est l'orage
L'éclair qui, lui, fait boum
Et le bon Dieu dit boum
Dans son fauteuil de nuages

ATTENTION SECURITY GUARDS! Buns are not like a biscuit. They are not biscuitesque. Not even a little bit. Ye gods. I gained three pounds just looking at it.

20:00: And we're back!

18:13: A few close calls in the Anaheim end.

18:12: Wait, a male friend called me on the telephone from a restaurant to comment on a television commentator's hair. I think I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

16:37: Mezaros gets smoked again, leading to Anaheim's best chance of the evening (a knucklepuck off the crossbar - correctly and decisively waved off).

15:00: The Anaheim checking line dominates the play down in the Anaheim end, leading to a small scuffle. Heatley crosschecks Pahlsson , Pahlsson elbows Heatley. Good times.

14:15: Jill: "Saturday is on NBC! See? That's a real network!"

14:08: Anheuser Busch breaks into the KFC/WEC/Geico triumverate to inform us that foreigners sound funny.

12:16: Jill: "Someone score already!"

10:52: Jill and I spent the last two minutes deciding that the gold in the Ducks' uniform is "kinda orangey," which I suppose justifies the orange-painted fans in attendance. Sadly, Snoop Dogg is unpainted.

9:10: Four or five shots down low on Emery, still no goals of which to speak.

7:06: Apparently, I blacked out for two minutes there.

6:12: The puck seems to be bouncing oddly tonight.

5:44: Dany Heatley turnover (a misguided pass to Spezza, who might be wearing Anaheim Ducks boxer shorts under his equipment) leads to a gorgeous shot from Pahlsson and GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!

5:43: I think I just heard Spencer's heart explode.

Making the sale makes me jump out of bed in the morning. Because I'm an asshole.

4:20: Excellent shift from the Heatly-Spezza line coming out of the commercial break. Emerick identifies a five syllable "let's go Ducks" chant, and Volchenkov scores with Penner. If you can't score with the puck, score with an opposing player.

Jill: "I never would've guessed E-Surance was a sponsor."

3:11: Shcaeffer misses an open net, and the puck goes all the way back to Ottawa's end.

2:00: Perry makes a gorgeous shot from his knees.

1:30: Meszaros unloads all his repressed aggression on Perry.
0:47:Emery leaves the net for the extra attacker.
0:10: The Ducks wisely don't play the Ottawa icing.
0:00: Ducks pull out the victory to take a 2-0 series lead.

Bill Clement: "Keith, what's your take?"
Keith Jones: "Well Bill, the Senators just got owned. And now, a word from Kentucky Fried Chicken."

Robertus Ran!

Three minutes until the big broadcast and I'm sitting on the burgundy couch wrapped in a burgundy towel, dripping sweat on Jill's macbook after a 3.25-mile run on the treadmill (a little under 40 minutes, not bad for being out of shape). Versus shows the closing sequence of Youngblood (god bless them) and I run upstairs for a quick shower before the puck drops.

Coming Soon! Robertus Runs: Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sixty Minutes Gone

and done now, with Travis Moen scoring late and Ottawa unable to answer despite a forty-second six on four owing to a boneheaded Chris Pronger hook - and not the Niedermayer crosscheck the boys in the truck queued up twice for our viewing enjoyment (nor is there a sight like a kidney bruising).

Nor is there a sight as Brian Engblom's hair, or the battery light blinking red, or the back of eyelids in a dark bedroom half a dozen flights of stairs away.

Forty Minutes Gone

And Ottawa out to a 2-1 lead on a gorgeous knucklepuck shot from Wade Redden, but a pocketful of chances by the Mighty Ducks are undoubtedly keeping Spencer on the edge of his seat. Shots, faceoffs, and hits are about even, but (as Messier just pointed out) Anaheim has taken some fairly boneheaded penalties - including a crosscheck from behind by Mic'd Up Ryan Getzlaf. There is no sound like the bruising of a kidney.

Breaking News from the Department of Professional Scorekeeping
At 1:38 in the first period, Mike Comerie Mike Fisher Mike Comerie Mike Fisher Mike scored after a nice pass from Andrej Meszaros.

More Breaking News from the Department of Professional Scorekeeping

Mic'd Up Ryan Getzlaf scores on a soft backhander to tie the game.
According to Mike Emerick, the Honda Center fans stood for an entire minute. Don't wear yourselves out, Anaheim fans, it's a school night.

Twenty Minutes Gone

Back on the burgundy couch, now on my betrothed's MacBook instead of busted up Gateway, drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper and eating a Boca Burger during the commercial break
And everywhere I go
There's always something to remind me

of another place and time

Forgive me, I'm rusty and easily distracted.

As Jill is by Mark Messier's gigantic head and Brian Engblom's hair. As is some producer who booked Steven Stills to butcher the national anthem (YouTube forthcoming, no doubt) after an attractive young woman belts out O Canada. No matter the score in thirty eight minutes, Canada wins.

The game is tied at 1 with 19:30 left in the second, Niedermayer carrying up the ice - a hook on Wade Redden. Jill, distracted, cleans out the guinea pig cage.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Robertus Runs!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm proud to present to you the First Quasiannual Robertus Runs running diary of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals!

8:00:Coming to you live from the burgundy couch, in stunning High Definition, fresh from a post-run shower, it's time for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, only on NBC. And CBC. Hoser.

8:02: Eddie O relates that "two things must happen for Carolina to win the Cup: More discipline and fewer penalties." He neglects to mention that Carolina must score more goals than Edmonton.

8:03: David Hasselhoff, Brandy: America's Got Talent!

8:04: Uninteresting local car dealer commercials, I step away to boil the water for dinner.

8:07: I return to Bill Clement calling game 7 "the ultimate dessert" (two esses, because you want seconds). I'm hoping the ultimate dessert will be whatever ice cream my girlfriend is bringing over aaaany minute now.

8:08: Aaaaany minute now.

8:10: Four words. Rod Brind'Amour. High Definition.

8:11: Brind'Amour. One word, or two. Discuss among yourself while I'm off to put the ravioli on and answer the phone some four flights away.

8:16: Back on the burgundy couch in time for O Canada, sung by a pretty enough blond with a decent voice, who gets off to a rocky start but is carried along by the Carolina faithful. It's good to see the network (NBC now) staying live in the arena during the anthems instead of cramming in another Dodge Ram or Heineken commercial (more on that in a minute, no doubt).

8:18: 'Canes fans chant something unintelligible at "red glare," not unlike Baltimore's "O's" at "oh say does that Star Spangled" and Red Sox "A-Rod, You Suck" pretty much all the time.

8:19:Your officiating staff for this evening, Referees Bill McCreary and Brad Watson, Linesmen Greg Devorski and Jay Sharrers, and Special Guest Referee Bill McCreary's Moustache.

8:20: McCreary does a Sammy Sosa-esque chest-tap-kiss-the-puck-point-at-the-wings-point-at-the-sky routine before dropping the puck, and Game Seven is underway.

8:21: Raffi Torres has been checked roughly 14 times, leading to some colorful words for the referee.

8:22: After a crazy minute and a half, Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward shoots through four Oilers and three Hurricanes and buries one in the back of the net.

8:23: Canes fans call for a penalty on a small hip check away from the play. If they think the referees will call that during a game seven, well, they're probably Canes fans.

8:25: Big hits from Recchi and Staal in rapid succession. They'd better be careful, lest they get too excited and

8:26: Minor penalty to Staal for goaltender interference. You can't check the man in the big pads, even if you'd like to.

8:27: Ales Hemsky tries to skate through two hurricanes, two sticks, four arms, a bear trap, and some quicksand.

8:28: Pronger mortally wounds Kevin Adams with a shot, Canes kill the penalty and press the attack. This has been an absolutely furious 7 minutes. You couldn't ask for anything more.

8:28: Former Tomas Klouchek memorial award winner Radek Dvorak makes his presence felt by firing a weak shot off the leg of a Canes defender, and we head off to commercial break.

8:32: Dodge, Bud Light, Please drink responsibly. Don't drink and drive. Dodge. and we're back in the Oilers end.

8:34: The sideline reporter (ice-side reporter?) repeats that this is the first time we've seen Peter Laviolette change out of a matchup in these Stanley Cup finals. One hesitates to point out that the Canes led 3-1 after four games.

8:35: Edmonton presses down low, leading to a few nice saves from Cam Ward (no relation). Commercial break.

8:36: Coors Light. I'm beginning to wonder where my girlfriend is. She's bringing the beer.

8:38: Cole cuts off a Breisois-esque Steve Staios pass, leading to a two-on-two break and a holding penalty on Edmonton.

8:40: Former New York Islander Roman "The Hammer" Hamrilik launches a rocket into the blocker of Jussi Markonenn, leading one observer to wonder, How is that deal working out, Mike Milbury.

8:41: Perfeclty timed cut to FNYI Coach Peter Laviolette on the Canes bench. In a sarcophagus on Long Island, Mike Milbury quietly spins.

8:42: Oh my god, a burglar!

8:42;05: Nope, my girlfriend Jill, beer and ice cream in hand!

8:50: Carolina power play, even though NBC just showed five replays of a Carolina player punching Chris Pronger in the face.

8:55: Steve Staios makes a diving save and covers the puck, preventing a goal. Steve Staios is not a goaltender. However, because of a delayed penalty call for a beautiful elbow on the other end, there is no penalty shot. Edmonton goes down two men with four seconds and change to go.

9:01: Still talking, still talking. Puck drops, period ends. We head into commercial break (Sunday Night Football!) with Carolina leading One nil.

9:08: John Davidson sitting in front of a monitor with John Davidson and a monitor with John Davidson and a monitor with John Davidson and a monitor with John Davidson...

9:09: Attention NBC, the dark splotch you just highlighted as "the puck" is "the corner of the net." Had Steve Staios fallen on top of the net, I would have been impressed.

9:10: Kelly Clarkson, two albums and a motion picture. Reuben Stoddard, one album, rivalry with en fuego Clay Aiken. Taylor Hicks, Ford commercial during the first intermission of the NHL finals.... followed by a commercial for the Maryland Lottery. And Kentucky Fried Chicken.

9:11: Why does Kentucky Fried Chicken use Sweet Home Alabama for its theme song? Has anyone investigated this?

9:14: Don't I wish my girlfriend was hot like Heinneken Light?

9:15: Quoth Jill: "Wow, John Lovitz has fallen really far."

9:15:05: Quoth Jill: "And if Subway is trying to promote their subs as healthy, shouldn't they get a thinner actor?"

9:17: John Davidson smartly gets NHL Director of Officiating Steven Walkom, who looks at everything but the camera while explaining why there was no penalty shot on the Steve Staios miracle save.

9:19: Commercial for Tide to Go featuring Kelly Ripa in a restaurant, thus immediately losing all credibility.

9:20: Thus begins the second period.

9:23: Whoops, that was a goal. Carolina now has another thing in common with France.

9:25: Beautiful save by Maarkonenn leads to a quick break for edmonton and a faceoff deep in the carolina end...

9:26: ...which turns into a Carolina two-on-two break and another Spacek holding penalty.

9:26:05:... and a Frank Kaberle powerplay goal. Carolina goes up 2-0. More importantly, when did Kaberle stop going by Frantisek?

9:31: Attention NBC. For your Inside the Glass feature, please hire an attractive female sideline reporter. Not that the PC looking gentleman is doing a bad job, but

9:32: Are you agitating my dots?

9:32:05: My god, that line was spoken by none other than Mac Robinson, former court clerk for Harry Anderson on Night Court.

9:33: No sooner than I type "Mac Robinson" than Maarkonenn makes another eye-popping, groin-splitting save to keep Edmonton in the game.

9:34: Edmonton needs to score a goal posthaste. Because whoever scores more, wins!

9:36: Play stalls in the neutral zone. Did I mention that Jill brought ice cream? And beer?

9:36.05: Samsonov makes the kind of no-look drop pass I make in my men's league all the time. Like my passes, this one goes directly to the other team, leading to an odd-man rush.

9:38: I'm sure the swiss flag was for Canes backup goalie, and has nothing to do with the red-and-white colors shared by the Hurricanes and Switzerland.

9:39: I kinda wish Heinneken Light were hot like my girlfriend.

9:40: They've cut the "silly little fairy" comment from the dodge commercial. Now, the poor sap who gets turned into a stupid little fairy has no context. C'est la vie.

9:47: Jill and I discuss the philosophy of rooting, she siding with the "it's better to root for the underdog," I with the "I'm just rooting for a good game" doctrine. Oh, and Bud Light is always worth it. And there's nothing cute about the Dodge Caliber. Silly little fairy. Wallen goes off for hooking with three minutes and change in the second.

9:50: Big call here, Aaron Ward gets the axe for delay of game, the new penalty for shooting the puck directly over the glass. Edmonton has a 5-on-3 for nearly two minutes. Scoring might be a good idea.

9:50:05: Quoth Jill: "Man, that's pretty bad if they can't score when they're up two men." You heard it here first.

9:51: Ryan Smyth picks up a penalty for hooking, reducing the next minute to a one-man advantage.

9:54: Hurricanes kill the penalty, and thanks to the Smyth hook, have a one-man advantage for 59 seconds.

9:55: So far, we've seen one shot of the Hurricane's owner, two shots of the Hurricane's bench, and maybe three shots of the Oilers' bench, and zero shots of players' girlfriends and wives. Attention FIFA and NBA Broadcasters: The action is not in the owners box or on the players bench. Please stop showing Bruce Arena. Please continue showing Eva Longoria at your convenience.

9:58: The second period draws to a close, Carolina, two nil.

9:58:03: All I need is love. And a Chase Manhattan credit card. Somewhere, Paul McCartney quietly spins in his grave.

9:58:07: Eva Longoria dates Tony Parker, who comes from France, who had a goal stolen from them by a tough call, just like the Hurricanes. Attention NBC, please show Eva Longoria in the Carolina stands.

10:01: Bill Clement relates that Carolina is 8-0 in these playoffs when going up by two goals at any point during a hockey game. Also, they are 15-0 in these playoffs when outscoring their opponents.

10:08: Bill Clement asks the broadcast booth what Edmonton needs to do to get back into the game. Jill answers: "Score more goals". She's a quick study.

10:10: Woo hoo, woo hoo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo hoo, woo hoo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo hoo, woo hoo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo hoo, woo hoo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo hoo

10:14: I kinda wish Heinneken Light was hot like Guinness. BRILLIANT!

10:15: Close up of Stanley Cup who-dat Chad LaRose.

10:16: Jill comments on the pointy chin of an Edmonton player, and the third period is underway.

10:16:05: Dvorak botches another close play straight off the draw, leading to a long Salo-killer shot on Jussi Maarkonenn. Faceoff deep in the Edmonton zone.

10:18: Edmonton takes Jill's advice. Franco "Stop Calling Me Fredo" Pisani roofs a bouncing puck over Cam Ward, leading Mike Emrick to wonder if Pisani will win the Conn Smythe.

10:20: Jill makes the save of the day, pointing to a shot of Oiler's coach Craig McTavish. And, like a halo behind his head, cleavage. In High Definition.

10:21: Edmonton presses the attack in the first five minutes of the third frame. They should be cautious, lest they take an undisciplined penalty or give the puck away behind their own net.

10:24: Pasta, beer, girlfriend, couch, hockey, ice cream, high definition TV. Have I died and gone to Heaven?

10:25: .... I was on the treadmill earlier.... perhaps I had a heart attack.

10:27: Jill asks whether some incidental contact behind the net is a penalty. I reply that, with 13 minutes to go in a one-goal Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, you would have to pull out a gun and shoot someone on the ice to get a penalty.

10:28: I wonder if Damon Wayans and Bruce Willis are watching the game.

10:30: With 10 minutes left in the third and leading by one, Carolina seems content to sit back and let Edmonton Attack.

10:31: Carolina gets two quick shots on goal. You know, because I'm an idiot.

10:33: Chris Pronger hip checks Mark Recchi into the Stanley Cup parade.

10:35: Raffi Tores goes down, looking for a penalty. Judging from the replay, Torres did not get shot.

10:36: Bret Hedican goes off for shooting another player. Or roughing. It's rather loud in the arena.

10:37: Jill asks if she's agitating my dots.

10:39: Quoth Jill, now wearing an Edmonton sweater and hat, and a foam no. 1 finger, "c'mon now guys, lets get it going".

10:40: Edmonton are now "Jill's guys".

10:42: The new Passat: Getting impatient nancy boys out of trouble with large men in pickup trucks.

10:44: Cam Ward wins the Conn Smythe with just over three minutes left to play in the third period with a fantastic save on Fredo Pisani.

10:48: Edmonton pulls Markonenn with 1:14 left to play.

10:48:05: Quoth Jill, "Now if only Carolina pulled their goalie." I think she's stumbled on the Oilers' key to victory.

10:48:10: Edmonton calls a time out to plot how to remove Cam Ward from the game.

10:51: Empty Net goal by Justin Williams with a minute and change to go. Jill runs out to her car to change into her Hurricanes' sweater and hat.

10:51.01: Jill gives me a non-foam finger.

10:54: A small scuffle with about 20 seconds left to play, penalties to Torres and Williams for roughing and roughing.

10:55: Kevin Adams gives FNYI Coach Peter Laviolette a noogie with 15.1 seconds left. Five, four, three, two, one.

Carolina Hurricanes, your Stanley Cup champions.

Coming Soon! Robertus Reflects on Game 7, plus Robertus at the Bat!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Robertus and the Canadian Hat Trick

Finally planting derrier back on the burgundy couch, halfway through the Devils/Hurricanes game three, Carolina leading two games to none, the current game tied two a piece. It is far too late to prognosticate, with three series tilted two nil, and Anaheim up by a hat trick.

Last night, a little past half eleven, future Trivial Pursuit answer Joffrey Lupul to give Anaheim a seemingly insurmountable lead over Patrice "Breeze By" Brisebois and the Colorado Avalanche. The once proud Avs find themselves in a situation reminiscent of 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders or, because I prefer memories gained in my lifetime, the 2004 Bahston Red Sox. The next game will determine whether the Avs have a David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, or Dave Roberts.

As Carolina/New Jersey slips into intermission, I turn to my favorite internet find, NHL Radio. In a marketing move that can only be called brilliant, the National Hockey League offers streaming of the local radio broadcasts for both teams in every game. Unlike certain other major sports league, these broadcasts are completely free to the internet-savvy, but largely hockey ignorant, public. It is the opinion of this nonpaying customer that the NHL would do well to advertise this feature of, that the internet-savvy public can learn about their excellent game.

And so the puck drops on another period, and I become mezmerized by the silver metal box on the television stand.


Post Scriptum! The Senators have tied their game at one apeice, as Spencer quietly has a coronary in his Ottawa flat.