37W, no. 9; newsletter by b.n.)
Who would have thought?
Who would have thought what?
I don't know. Who would have thought that the final game of the season, the Pirates would have been fighting for a Playoff spot? The way I saw it was, if the Pirates lost the game they would be out of the Playoff hunt. If they won? Well, if they won, I thought that they would end up playing the Pipe Down Dragons again. I say again, because I never got around to mentioning that the Pipe Down Dragons were the opponent for the final game of the season. The PDD were 6-1-0 at the start of the game while the Pirates were 3-4-1. So in my mind I was thinking, “Did I remember to grab that replacement wheel out the the kid's hockey bag before I left this morning?” Well, I was thinking that, but that was really off the subject and now that I think about it, I forgot what I was thinking when I wasn't thinking about the chewed-up wheel on the back of my left skate.
Did I mention that Kevin was there? Well, I find it a strange coincidence that I haven't seen him around lately and suddenly he returns and with it a giant Pig Flu epidemic sweeps the nation. I am not quite certain how it is all connected, but in the end I am certain that Kevin had something to do with it. On the other hand, it might have been Mike Farrell, but since Mike is not on the team I don't think it is fair to blame him for shutting down the airports in Mexico City. But then again ...
Oh yeah, so I am standing there before the game, and I have always been saying to myself, “Self, what is a 'Pipe Down Dragon'?” I always thought that it had something to do with the waterworks industry. Maybe it was the name of a sewer pipe re-lining machine. (Kind of like the “Muffin Monster” that you might find in your everyday sewer plant). But as I am standing there before the game, I found myself staring at one the white jersey's of one of the players that actually had some type of logo on it. (The guy gave me a funny look, but I kept staring anyway.) Anyway, the logo kind of looked like a saxophone with a miniature version of Puff the Magic Dragon dancing in front ... Huh ... I don't get it.
Oh yeah, eventually I should get around to the game. But before that, I should mention that in the last meeting between the Pirates and the PDD (and no, in case you were thinking it, their one loss was not to us) ... No, the last time these two teams played, the PDD came away with 5-2 win. I am not quite certain, but if my memory serves me correctly, I think that was the game that #67 started on defense (and then was moved up to offense). This time, however, the Pirates were taking no chances as #67 was kept far away from the blueline. And maybe that strategy paid dividends as the first goal ended up with #67 hitting Russ along the boards, who hit a fresh Marty off the bench, who was able to skate in and score. The PDD answered back, but the Pirates re-answered back as Dave stopped the puck and fed Marty, who skated down the left wing and scored. Hmm ... I'm sensing a pattern here .... but before there was anymore scoring the 1st period ended.
The final period saw more scoring of course. This time it was LeMatty, #67 and Russ who seemed to have set up some type of mythical mini powerplay: It seemed Russ got the puck at the left face-off circle, passed the puck to the front and it was shot wide, but he ended-up with the puck again and passed and once again the puck went wide (or maybe the goalie blocked it, but that is really not the point); eventually (and really, it seemed to me that this happened like three or four times) instead of passing, Russ finally wound-up and shot the puck and — you guessed it — top shelf. CPH 3 to PDD 1. All was happy in Pirateland. But alas, it did not last long. While the Pirates had Marty to rely on, the Pipe Down Dragons had their own big gun to rely on — “The Green Panted Guy.” TGPG scorched us in our last meeting (I think he got four of their five goals). So, as the saying goes, “You can't stop him, you can only control him.” So with a 3-1 lead I guess we pretty much kept things under control as he picked up the puck in his own zone, stepped around the pressing defenseman and skated down on Harris; to make things interesting, he didn't shoot right away, but instead skated behind the net and wrapped the puck in. Ugggh!! But just as quickly on the following play, our version of TGPG (i.e. Marty) stepped-up and from behind the PDD goalie somehow banked the puck in for the hattrick (and the 4-2 lead). Then Grinberg took a penalty. Typically I wouldn't mention something as trivial as a penalty, but unfortunately Grinberg was still yapping about the penalty shot call from the previous week. (Strangely enough, Brian the Ref claimed that he had no memory of the event, but his memory slowly returned as Grinny reminded him every time he skated by.) So Grinberg goes to the box and #67 slides back to the vacated spot on “D.” Sensing disaster, Joe Baio jumped over the boards faster than you could say “Puff-the-Magic-Dragon-Smokes-the-Poop-Pipe.” Things really started to get interesting after that. The PDD would eventually score to climb within one. (And Grinberg would take another penalty ... and man was he getting agitated!) And did I mention that the game was becoming a little chippy?
You know, Harris often claims that there is a member of the PDD that actually reads the newsletter — Like HE IS READING THESE WORDS RIGHT NOW. I always dismissed those claims. Nobody reads this newsletter. Well, maybe Tony reads it, but he only reads it to see his name in it. Other than him, NOBODY reads this newsletter. Well that is what I thought until the final seconds of the game. Something happened in the final moments: Marty was on the floor ... some PDD dude jumped on top of him ... Kevin went in to pull off the PDD dude off of Marty ... then some other dude went in to pull Kevin off the original PDD dude ... and then from there it was mayhem. It was at that moment that I realized that there really was a Pipe Down Dragon dude that reads the Coastal Pirates Newsletter. After he was pulled off of Kevin he began yelling, “Take this and shove it in your newsletter!” (or something like that) and then he yelled, “I should get a waterbottle for this!” (or something to that effect) I looked up at the clock at the moment and there was :01.3 seconds left in the game. One final face-off. All #67 had to do was win the puck back and the game would be over. And as promised, #67 delivered. Unfortunately though, TGPG was still able to race in and fire off a shot, though it was well wide of the net. (When #67 spoke to Kevin after the game about it, #67 was amazed about how much time it actually took for those :01.3 seconds to click off. Kevin enlightened him to the fact that the refs put :03.5 seconds on the clock after the melee.)
The game might have been over, but the excitement hadn't subsided as Brian the Ref had clearly had enough of Grinberg. As the handshake lines were forming, he turned to Grinberg and said, “Not another word out of you or you are suspended.” And to his credit, Grinberg didn't say a word. Unfortunately though, he kind of zipped his lip and smirked and poor Brian couldn't take it and blurted out “That's it — You're suspended!” and skated-off to the scorer's box. Russ was quick to follow and the last I heard, the suspension had been lifted (until the next time Grinberg complains about the puck ... or the penalty shot ... or the tripping call ... or the interference call ...)
I don't know why, but Tony seems to bash #67 every week in the Sunday Newsletter. (It started when the Pirates beat his Wednesday Night Cannibals in the Finals, I believe). But he must have been sensed something this week when suddenly the razzing stopped. What could he have seen coming? Well, perhaps he foresaw the Cannibals' loss to the Buckshot and the Bruins' victory that would bounce his Cannibals out of the Playoffs. Hmmm.
FOR THE RECORD
Attendance (players): Cassens, Gucci, LeMatty, Maccanico, Matthews, Newcomb, Nicolosi, Baio (sub), Grinberg (sub), McLaughlin (sub). Net: Harris.
Scratches: Genalo, Gesior, Miller.
Scoring: 1st period: 2-1 Pirates: Goals by Maccanico (Newcomb, Nicolosi); Maccanico (Matthews). 3rd period: 4-3 Pirates: Goals by Nicolosi (Newcomb); Maccanico (none).
date of game: 4.29.09
Ok, I'll be the first to admit we've lost our share of games in the final :30 seconds, but I was stunned when I went to www.njdevils.com the day after their last-minute loss to the Hurricanes and saw the above headline. Hmmm, doesn't Doug Hine (former GoodSports league hockey director) work for the Devils now?
1) MARTY MACCANICO
For the hat and for claiming both the Art Ross and Richard Trophies for season scoring.
2) RUSS NICOLOSI
For his 2-point night.
3) BRIAN NEWCOMB
For some key face-offs and for shattering his own personal record for “Longest Newsletter Every Written.” Congrats Brian!