Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ducks Gameday—Columbus discovers Anaheim

Columbus Blue Jackets (15-21-4, 14th in west) at Anaheim Ducks (28-8-6, 1st in west)

(Our scene opens sometime in the 2006 offseason in the NHL war-room, where two lab technicians are busy putting together the second half of the 06-07 schedule, feeling rather proud of how well they had done on scheduling the first half.)

Tech 1: Oh crap, you know what I just realized?
Tech 2: What’s that?
Tech 1: Frick! Columbus is in the western conference!
Tech 2: Yeah, in the Central division. So what?
Tech 1: Damn, that means they have to play Anaheim four times this year!
Tech 2: Oh, what did you have scheduled for them thus far?
Tech 1: Uh, never mind. We can make this work!

And thus, tonight in Anaheim’s 43rd game of the season, we get to see those rumored Blue Jackets for the first of four games this year. (There is a second act to that play, by the way, where Tech 1 forgets about the match-up again, and recovers by fitting Columbus in three times over the Ducks’ last dozen games—all within the last 3 ½ weeks of the season).

Um, as for the match-up itself, Columbus fans should be relieved to know that two former Blue Jackets Francois Beauchemin and Todd Marchant are both out with injury, so there’s no need to feel tangible shame in getting fleeced by Brian Burke. Anaheim fans, on the other hand, should be relieved to know that former Mighty Duck Sergei Fedorov is still making in excess of $6M, so it was still a good trade for the mild-spending Ducks.

And though I am not really troubled by the Ducks’ 3-game losing streak, should tonight’s game turn sour, then we are looking at a pretty daunting week in DET, @NSH, @DAL, and COL. With the Sharks and Stars closing the division gap, it could make for an interesting finish.

Prediction: Ducks 4, Blue Jackets 2. Bryzgalov brings order back to the Anaheim nets, and goals by McDonald, Kunitz, Pahlsson, and Moen. Should be a pretty full house tonight, I’m guessing, as it is free hat night at Honda Center.

p.s. For Columbus coverage, check out Army of Ohio and End of the Bench.


Drew said...

Dang, now you make me feel like I have to write something about the game *before* it happens.

C'mon brain....

Earl Sleek said...

Oh, don't worry too much about that, really it's more my own insecurity.

Ducks are 15-4-2 in games where I make a gameday post, 13-4-4 when I neglect to.

Pretty close, but I guess after losing 3 straight maybe a little superstition might help this team.

Anonymous said...

a full house for tonight's contest is probably expected. I can't even think straight just yet, but in any case, toss in my prediction:

Ducks 2, CBJ 1. one of the call-ups gets one in, the other from a vet. maybe teemu since he's being honored tonight.

Drew said...

Okay, it's up. Not the best ever, but not bad considering I'm "working".

You going to the game? I was going to look for you in the Sleek drunk seats.

Earl Sleek said...

Nah, I don't get the Sleek drunk seats again this season until the last game Apr. 4th vs. the Sharks.

I think my kid brother might be going with one of his friends, though, but I have no idea where he's sitting, other than it's lower bowl somewhere.

Drew said...

2-0 after 2, and I'm sorry we sent a Midget hockey team to play against you guys.

I'm turning in for the night. If (when) it gets worse, at least I'll be sleeping.


VeryProudofYa said...

That's probably the most devastating blind punch I've seen thrown.

ANd how about selanne blowing up on the 5-on-3? I was almost sickened.

Anonymous said...

If I come to town, can I sit in the Sleek drunk seats? They sound so exciting! Tell me when is good and I'll hop in the hgcopter.

Earl Sleek said...

Holy fuck that game hurts.

Ducks up 3-0 with 10 minutes left, drew goes to bed and dreams happy Blue Jacket dreams, and boom-boom-boom-boom it becomes a 4-3 deficit.

And then, just for fucking drama, they award Selanne a game-tying penalty shot with 20 seconds left, but no dice. He should have used the replica silver stick he got before the game.

Grrr. I don't know if it is a good thing, but I watched this game DVR'd and my buddy called me coming out of the game with an ominous sound in his voice, so I figured we blew it before I saw what happened, but that doesn't really dull the pain too much.

Ducks are now the only team in the western conference without any points in 2007.

Temujin said...

Ducks are now the only team in the western conference without any points in 2007.

And the Canucks are undefeated in their last six. Jeebus, why couldn't the Ducks/Canucks games be taking place right now???

VeryProudofYa said...

I think the bigger issue here is with Carlyle throwing Jackman out there. I'm all for confidence boosters, but once he got his third minus, they should've played for the tie and tossed out players that have a shred of defensive ability.

But nah, let's throw him out again so can make a bad pass. Awesome.

Earl Sleek said...

Finny has a good reaction piece.

Not to get all sexist or anything, but now you girls know what a kick to the nuts feels like.