Sunday morning…and I think I see the sun…is that what it looks like?
First a little recap of what was…or wasn’t. Friday night the Devils traveled to a “home” game in Atlantic City against Hershey. First it didn’t feel much like a home game…3/4 of the audience were Bears fans making the 2 and a half hour trek (I think during some of the Bears broadcasts John Walton was advertising a hotel/game deal for those interested). But I will give the guys credit, despite a 5-3 loss, they were in it for most of the game. I chose to buy the video feed for this one just incase a second war on ice broke out…this time it was a little more subdued. Pierre Luc Leblond and Joel Rechlicz had round 3, I think Joel wanted to go a 4th time (what did Lukie do to him? I think they fought when it was Lowell/Albany a couple seasons ago when Joel was first getting started, I’ll have to look it up). But the most entertaining battle was one that never got off, Sheldon Souray took a run at Louis (presuming it was retribution for Louis knocking Dany Sabourin out for most of the rest of the regular season in the last meeting), suddenly you have a pileup in the corner. You see a bunch of guys grabbing at each other…then you see a red #22 crawling out from under the pile. You may all mock Louis as being a turtle, but in that case, it worked. He got off without a penalty and Souray ended up with a double minor for roughing. But of course the Devils couldn’t capitalize on the power play. Brian Willsie had two goals, the Bears went 3 for 5 on the power play, and the Devils just couldn’t keep up.
Fast forward to last night’s real home game against Manchester, the first place team from the Atlantic Division. With the Monarchs starting their All Star goaltender Martin Jones, I pretty much knew what was coming, but at least I hoped it would be competitive. Well…3 seconds in the party got started, Louis drops the gloves with Richard Clune and comes out a winner. Yes you read that right Louis didn’t duck, he took Clune down. Other than Leblond’s heavyweight bout with Justin Johnson and a Monarch checking the ref into the glass, that was about the only good things that happened. Despite the Devils outshooting the Monarchs 26-22 (a stat that shocked me because I didn’t notice most of them), Jones was a brick wall. Manchester won it 4-0. At one point the Devils had a 4 minute power play. One shot on goal in that 4 minutes. See, yelling “SHOOT!” never works people. I watched the Monarchs PK closely during each of the Devils power plays, the defense was all over whoever carried the puck at that time. Little hard to get a clear lane to shoot. Meanwhile, earlier in the day Adirondack shut out Hamilton 4-0 on the strength of Michael Leighton (just like old times for him) and a Denis Hamel hat trick. The Phantoms are now 2 points away from climbing out of the basement…and the Devils taking the worst of the worst spot. Now it’s panic time, and it’s not about to get any easier. Back to Atlantic City on Monday for a makeup with the Penguins, then at the end of the week it’s off to North Carolina for a three game road series against Charlotte. Looking at the Phantoms schedule, they travel to Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and host Binghamton next Sunday. My feeling is if the Devils don’t wake up soon, they’ll be in the basement by the time they get home from Charlotte.
After the game last night was a harrowing experience for me. First we learn that the post game autograph session with the team was just for the Scout Sleepover participants. No problem, I’ll go home early considering the wild weather pattern in the area…sleet, freezing rain, rain, even some lightning and thunder in a few locations along with hail. It took forever to get out of the parking garage, turns out it was just plain rain. Making the 10 minute commute home was no problem. Then came actually getting home. I have to park across the street from my apartment building because the two way road is so narrow you cannot park on the left hand side. So I always have to cross the street no matter where the car is. The road and sidewalks looked slushy but there was water flowing down the hill so I figured okay no problem. I step into the puddle and right on an ice patch, and start to slip. I tried to grab onto a snowbank, dropping my purse and my keys. My keys didn’t make the snowbank, instead they fell into the puddle…and the water current picks it up and starts to carry it down the hill and it wasn’t stopping. I dropped my bag onto the porch and started trying to chase the keys. Well, the sidewalk was pretty much rain slicked ice so I was slipping but not falling. I jump into the snowbanks and start marching quickly through the snowbank, furiously trying to reach the keys, fearing they would fall into the sewer drain and that would be it. Luckily a snowball in the road stopped the keys from going further. After thrashing through a pile of snow past the building, I finally caught up to the keys resting place and grabbed them. Now to go back up hill to my porch. Grabbing on to the stairs, railings, etc. I make my way back to the porch and got into my house. Worst part was as I was getting ready for bed, I suddenly remembered I had two bags from my trip to Target earlier in the day still in the trunk. Oh well it can wait till I go out to do laundry and last minute Price Chopper run.
Today is just a relaxing Sunday, as long as I can walk outside. Get my usual Sunday stuff done, maybe check in on the Charlotte game online, then pretend I care about the Super Bowl. I’m in an office Super Bowl squares pool, hoping to repeat my halftime $50 win from last year. I have my snacks ready…baking steak fries with melted cheese (yum and I don’t care how many calories it is either), some nachos and I have a 12 pack of Pepsi in the fridge (sorry not a beer person…however I do have a bottle of wine to finish if I’m so inclined). As for my pick, I don’t really have one…the Giants aren’t in it, but I seem to have more Steeler fan friends than Packer fans, so for their sake I hope Pittsburgh does well. And one of my squares lines up so I can win some money.