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Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Defence Rests

I had a prior commitment on this fine Thursday evening, and what I found out is that I should probably stop making prior commitments when a Jets game is on TV. I spent the night at a comedy club being entertained by comedian Bryan Callen, and I highly recommend his show. It was funny and he had he crowd in stitches at several points. I found myself distracted, though, as my Blackberry continued to buzz throughout the night. I thought I might be missing some sort of important text conversation or maybe I was being spammed by Nigerian princes in some sort of revenge plot. It turned out that I was really wrong.

The score was 3-1 after the first period when I flipped my phone over so that it was face down on the table. I was happy that the Jets were playing well, but there were still forty minutes to play and the Jets have coughed up leads like this before.

And then my phone buzzed. And it buzzed almost immediately again. I refrained from looking at it as Bryan Callen was breaking into his show. A few jokes in, and it buzzed a third time. I couldn't help it - I had to look. Shockingly, I found the Jets were leading 5-2 over the Flyers! Things were looking up, and Mr. Callen was hitting his stride after having picked on a few audience members.

After a few minutes, my phone started buzzing again. And then again. And yet again. I refused to look at it mainly because I was laughing my butt off at Mr. Callen's comedy, but it began to eat away at me. I held out as long as I could, but I finally flipped the phone over: 6-4 lead for the Jets after two periods! Sure, the lead had dwindled slightly, but the Jets still held the lead!

The conversation on-stage turned to killer kung fu ostriches - "ost-ratch-ehs" - and my phone began to seizure. While the talk of the ost-ratch-ehs had the crowd at the comedy club in an uproar, I can only imagine what was happening at the Well Fargo Center. I flipped my phone over, and the score now sat at 8-7! What in the...? What happened in that last five minutes?

The Jets scoring eight goals? The Flyers scoring seven goals? Bobrovsky and Bryzgalov playing horri... wait, that's normal for Flyers goaltending. Just ask Roman Cechmanek... if you can locate him.

As Mr. Callen had the crowd roaring with laughter, it began again: the Blackberry shakes. How many more goals were being scored? Did both teams just pull their goalies and say, "To heck with it"? I flipped the phone over again - Andrew Ladd from Wheeler and Little at 18:54 of the third period. Jets lead 9-8! WHAT?!?

The phone didn't buzz again that night, so I knew the insanity had ended, but Mr. Callen made the grade in his own right. I can see why he continues to get jobs in Hollywood on a variety of TV shows and movies: the man is funny, can do accents, and really works a room well. I highly recommend you check him out at your local comedy club or on Showtime. He said some really great things about Canada in the Winnipeg Free Press, and I have to say that his show was absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended if you get a chance to see him on-stage.

I got home, and I had to see the highlights. Ladies and gentlemen, here are all the goals from Thursday night with what appears to be every save made that night. 17 goals, plus one disallowed goal, will eat up five minutes of your life. Don't say I didn't warn you.

This game literally felt like a game from the high-scoring 1980s. 15 different players scored goals tonight, and Andrew Ladd capped off the game with the winner with just 66 seconds to play.

I'm not saying that this game would have been different had Chris Pronger been playing for the Flyers on this night, but I'm pretty sure nine goals wouldn't have been pumped past the Russian netminders. For the Jets, this game will certainly rank up there for the next few years in terms of offensive output, but the eight goals won't have head coach Claude Noel sleeping any better.

I'll be the first to say it: a win is a win is a win. 9-8 or 2-1, it's a win, and the Jets can use a few of them. Well done, Jets. Let's just tighten up the defence a little, ok? Right on!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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