The Highlights of MK’s 2008-2009 Season Pt. 3

ALL-STARS, ctd.

Since I’m not telling what Carey Price said after he found out Tim Thomas heard what he said…I will say that Carey was text messaging and talking to his mom on the phone during the All-Stars game. HE WAS ON THE BENCH!

When he went through his phone telling us who he was text messaging, I was like, “Are you for real? YOU were text messaging on the bench throughout the entire game?”

He was like, well…except for when I was on the ice that one time.

See why this kid cracks me up…UNBELIEVABLE.

I enjoyed watching the Skills competition and watching the guys scoring goals right underneath me during the game. I will admit that I was cheering Zach Parise upstairs. He was, after all, the only Devil there.

And the Cirque du Soleil act was awesome. Kind of fit in with the whole Alexander Ovechkin circus act.

I did learn that when you interview Evgeni Malkin, you have to immediately go and talk to Ovechkin right after that. Why? Because Malkin still does not have a complete grasp on the English language and will say things wrong. Ovechkin clears everything up. Of course, I learned this right after I printed something Malkin had said then talked to Ovie about it the next day.

After that I learned…look for Ovechkin after interviewing Malkin.

OR note to self…go back to NYU and finish taking Russian classes. Have three more classes to go before I get my certificate in Russian.

THE RETURN OF MARTIN BRODEUR

Marty’s return meant the departure of a great goaltender, Scott Clemmensen. You will never meet or interview a guy as smart as Scotty in the locker room. He writes our columns for us.

Just stick the tape recorder in his direction and in less than 6 minutes, he’s verbally written your entire column for you. No joke.

Usually when the star is around, the backup goaltenders rarely are shown love unless they spend their evening in net.

Kevin Weekes makes for a memorable moment when we were talking about the trials and tribulations that go on out on the ice. Right as we were talking about this very subject on how things can change so rapidly in front of your eyes (as a goaltender), David Clarkson tripped over his own feet in front of us.

Weekes exclaimed, “Like that!”

We both bursted out laughing and Clarky, all red faced and embarrassed, could not think of anything to say before he muttered, “Shut up,” and walked on.

When Marty returned to the ice, it felt strange because we had grown so accustomed to seeing Scotty in net. It took us a few games to readjust our eyes again.

We lost Scotty, but ended up witnessing history as Marty became the most winningest goaltender ever in the history of the NHL. We watched one amazing win streak after another as Marty’s teammates brought the victories right to his throne.

Tis a beautiful moment in the history of the NHL.

DOC EMRICK’S NIGHT/MOST MEMORABLE GAME

As tearful as it was to celebrate Doc’s admittance into the Hall of Fame, Jamie Langenbrunner gave Doc a game to remember.

Jamie Langenbrunner had a lot to talk about after the come-from-behind win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. With just 31 seconds left in regulation, Langenbrunner tied up the score to send the game into overtime. With just one minute left on the clock in overtime, he scored the game winner for the Devils, 4-3.

Out of all the games I witnessed this season, my most memorable game was this win on Doc’s special night. Jamie had me saying, “HOLY LANGENBRUNNER!” Heck, just thinking about it still has me saying, “HOLY LANGENBRUNNER!” ;)

GOALS, GOALS and MORE GOALS

I usually don’t tell anyone this, because it’s an inside joke between me and Parise, but I thought I’d share this.

Do you want to know what Parise and I talk about every single time we see each other in the locker room? We talk about goal scoring. We talk about it after practically every game.

I actually keep a running tally of how many goals Zach has as compared to the other leading goal scorers in the league. If there’s a game elsewhere, I’ll watch the box score and keep track of who scored a goal that night and alert Zach if he needs to pick it up a bit.

This is all in an effort to stay in the top 2 position. Unfortunately in the end, he fell behind to third place. That is at no fault of his own. The new defense first tactic that Sutter put in place at the end put Zach at a serious disadvantage and he wasn’t able to score as many goals as he would have liked to in the end (he even mentioned it in Vegas…I think he was a little mad about it).

So when Zach tells other reporters that he’ll talk to me afterwards and they want to know why…he’ll tell them that I’m going to discuss who’s where in the goal scoring race and how many goals he needs to score. It’s not newsworthy. LOL.

But I will say this…every now and again if I get onto him about falling out of second place, he’ll score a couple of goals right after that…and he doesn’t even realize it until I point it out to him.

Before there were goals to talk about, we talked about Thomas Vanek. The rivalry between those two is so strange and weird…goes back to their college days. But that’s a long winded story…

SAWCHUK/ZAJAC RELATED?

Ok, most Devils will tell you…Michelle does her homework. I find stuff out that you don’t think I’m going to find out. I do my research. The internet is my encyclopedia.

I was reading up on Terry Sawchuk, because…well, he was before my time and if you’re going to talk about Marty racing to break Sawchuk’s record then you need to know a thing or two about Sawchuk. Right?

Well, I uncovered a little Wiki mistake that had me going HUH? I mentioned it to Marty first. Then I went up to Travis Zajac to ask if it was true.

Terry Sawchuk’s Wiki definition said that if Terry was still alive then Travis Zajac would be his cousin.

Of course, I’m standing there going…wow, wouldn’t that be weird that a relative of Sawchuk was on the same team as the man that was trying to break his record.

When I mentioned it to Travis he was like, “I am?” I told him where I found it and then next thing you know, Trav has to do some investigating in his family tree.

Well, word got around that I uncovered this little Wiki thing and I barely if ever see Travis in the locker room, so one of the other reporters asked what he found out…ends up Travis is NOT related to Sawchuk. Wiki bad encyclopedic resource strikes…

Oh, and I will say this…you will find that it is very rare that I interview Travis Zajac. There’s a reason why. I tend to steer clear of Trav b/c he always has some sort of flu, cold, etc. Considering the state of my health, I steer clear of people I know are sick.

Trav coughed on me once and I almost went hypochondriac on him.

But what I find interesting is that you would never know for one second if he was sick out on the ice because…well, he’s still damn good.

WORST PLAYOFF MOMENT

Since my column changes during the Playoffs to accomodate what FoxSports wants, I only need to pick up a quote here or there. I take one good quote and print it. That’s it. No more.

During Game 7, I had written everything up as the Devils winning it, because frankly, we thought they were. 80 seconds left in the game and everyone in the press box is cursing up a storm because we all have to rewrite our columns and miss our deadlines.

When I ran into the locker room to gather quotes, I realized that next time a team is thrown out of the playoffs, I’m not visiting their locker room. It is too emotionally disturbing to do so.

The feel of an entire room filled with men that have been defeated down to the very last cell in their body is the worst thing in the world to see and feel. I’m super-sensitive to things like emotions and let’s just say that I could not write for a month after that.

My editor had to email me a month later to make sure I was ok.

But really, the thing that disturbed me more than anything (and several other reporters will say the same thing) was seeing Zach Parise sitting in his stall in complete shock. He was unmoving and just kept saying, “I don’t know what to say.” He kept telling the reporters he needed a moment.

Really, it gave a lot of us nightmares for weeks. That’s just something no one should ever witness, let alone feel it.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next installment…the NHL Awards.

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