Archive for April, 2008

Katebits: Max Afinogenov is totally a Russian spy. I bet he has a Morse Code transmitter disguised as an old tattered suitcase, and he transmits top secret information while on road trips with the Sabres.

Pookie: I think Staffy is secretly the undercover MI5 agent sent to keep tabs on Max.

Schnookie: It’s the only explanation for how Staffy kept his job this season. BURN!

Katebits: Oh come on! Staffy wasn’t THAT bad…..well, okay. He was putrid. He’s gotta be a spy.

Pookie: Staffy has the boorish American act down pat but then at night he goes back to his cookie cutter suburban townhouse, pulls the “Heroes Of Heavy Metal” off his shelf, which triggers the secret passageway to the basement where he sends his Morse Code reports while wearing a black turtleneck and a tweed coat. He’s secretly living a John LeCarre novel. Tinker, Tailor, Staffy, Spy: The Staffy Stafford Story. Or, more likely, it plays out like this:

Indiana Jones: Staffy is a master of disguise. He’s halfway to Cairo now. You’ll never find him!

[Cut to Staffy standing in the middle of a crowded Egyptian marketplace in skin-tight leopard-print pants, a cut-off t-shirt, and a white hard hat.]

Pookie: “My name is Spy. Staff Spy. I mean, Staffy. Staffy Spyford. No, wait, I’m not a spy! My name is Spy Staffspy. No, wait! Dammit!”

Schnookie: He’d be there in the crowd, totally lost, shouting, “Does anyone here know where I can find a restaurant that serves food without sauces or coatings?”

Pookie: “Oh, and no dates!”


Schnookie: He is SUCH a subtle international superspy.





Schnookie: Poor Staffy StaffSpy. He’s just so inept! No wonder Max keeps getting away.

Katebits: Staffy Staffspy is, like, the worst spy ever.






Sorry, that one was a little off the mark.

Schnookie: It’s amazing Staffy’s gotten this far in life at all.

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators

Pookie: This gets the top score thanks to Ottawa getting swept. It would have been funnier if popular opinion hadn’t caught up, in the second half of the season, to how bad the Sens actually were after the first five weeks or so of the season. But the “great team or greatest team” hype from those first few weeks remained so fresh in everyone’s minds that this sweep was manna from heaven to bitter fans like myself. 5 pennants out of 5

Katebits: Deeeeelightful. 5 pennants out of 5

Schnookie: My only regret about this series is that it was scheduled so I couldn’t ever watch it. Whose great idea was it to deny Devils fans the opportunity to soak up the Schadenfreude that was the completion of the Sens’ epic collapse? Did the schedulers forget that we lost to the Sens last year, too? Bastards. 4 1/2 out of 5 pennants

Patty (in Dallas): I didn’t get to see much of this one, either, since I was trying to follow the Devils. I know I’m the only one, but I was feeling kind of sorry for Ottawa. I don’t hate them and I felt bad for Spezza and Heatley. I never trust a team that comes screaming out of the gate like that, though. It almost never lasts. I’m happy for Sid, too. 2 pennants out of 5

Heather B: Ottawa re-signed all their free agents to huge contracts, committed to keeping their juggernaut of a top line together, and entered the season with almost the same team that played in the Cup Finals last year. And they still won exactly the same number of playoff games as the Sabres who didn’t qualify to play in the postseason. Well done, Ottawa. That’s a very special kind of collapse. 4 pennants out of 5

Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

Pookie: This series was BO-ring! And had the added annoyance of the fact that neither team showed me any reason to love them. Or even just like them more than the other. Or even just care enough to learn the players’ names. I’m also giving the shifty eyes at Habs fans. First it’s stealing “Ole, Ole” from Team Brasil. Then it’s singing “Hey Hey, Na Na, Goodbye” in Game 1 and justifying it by saying “It’s just tradition against Boston.” I’m sorry, but “Hey Hey, Na Na” in Game 1 is NEVER tradition! Finally, it’s rioting after Round 1. Obviously, they’ve got some pacing issues up there. It’s a marathon, kids, not a sprint. 1 pennant out of 5


A game-by-game summary:

G1: Go Habs!
G2: Go Habs!
G3: The Bruins are admirably pesky
G4: The Habs are kinda overrated.
G5: Really, Habs? That’s it?
G6: I don’t need this crap….Go Bruins?
G7: Damnit!

Now I’m lost and confused and I don’t know what to think. -8 pennants out of 5

Schnookie: Whose idea was it to schedule this series so I could see almost all of it? There were not two teams I cared less about in the playoffs than Montreal and Boston, and after seven games, I still don’t care. Note to the Canadiens: if you need seven games to beat the Bruins, you are NOT the juggernaut I’m looking for. 0 pennants out of 5

Patty (in Dallas): Again, the EC series just kind of wander past me. I had very little feeling about this one, but I kind of like Montreal because they wrapped up Mike Ribiero in a pretty bow and gave him to us as a gift. 3 pennants out of 5

Heather B: I love Montreal’s crazy, maniacal crowd. I love the singing, the taunting, the chanting, and as long as there’s no one hurt I even secretly love the rioting after the first round. I think Buffalo’s standards are a little higher at this point but come on. We all know if the Sabres (or Bills) ever win a championship you may as well kiss your family, hug your friends, and dance into the night to celebrate because Buffalo will not be standing by the time the sun comes up. 5 pennants out of 5

Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Pookie: Game 7 going into OT? That warrants at least an automatic 3 pennant rating. Anything more I cannot say for fear of getting my Devils fan membership card and kit revoked. 4 pennants out of 5

Katebits: I’m just glad it’s over. 5 pennants out of 5

Schnookie: I secretly loved, loved, loved this series. It had awesome hockey, huge momentum shifts, rocking buildings, the Flyers Comcast announcers, and, um… well, as a Devils fan I feel I should stop myself now before publicly admitting that I was happy with the outcome. 5 pennants out of 5

Patty (in Dallas): I’m happy the Flyers moved on. I still like Derian Hatcher (I know, I know) and I was really happy that Joffrey Lupul got a little love. The Oiler fans just roasted him for his one season there and then Hatcher tried to kill him. It’s nice to see he’s okay. 3 pennants out of 5

Heather B: I was cheering for the Flyers and Danny Briere and quite frankly, starting to worry for my safety and sanity but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a one round fling. I was only using them to get rid of the Caps and Alexander Ovechkin both of whom I found less endearing the more people told me I was supposed to love them which happened a lot. Zip it, Versus. I’ll love who I want! 5 pennants out of 5

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

Pookie: Let’s just pretend this one never happened, shall we? Thanks. 0 pennants out of 5

Katebits: The Devils are not good at hockey, and the Rangers are not good at not being loathsome. This was just a bad scene. 1 pennant out of 5

Schnookie: This was the single least pleasant playoff series I have ever had the misfortune of suffering through. And the Devils lost, to boot. It was so bad that I’ve been touch-and-go about whether I have the energy left to watch the rest of the playoffs at all. THANKS A LOT, Hockey Gods. I’m going to be emotionally damaged by this one for years to come. -10 billion pennants out of 5

Patty (in Dallas): I hated to see what this series did to Schnookie and Pookie. Poor Devils, struggling against the Rangers. And poor All of the World for having to watch Sean Avery lower our beloved sport to his level. I hope he has a career-ending injury while he’s an intern at Vogue. 0 pennants out of 5

Heather B: I missed a few games in this series but for the record, I can’t think of a single situation where I wouldn’t take Marty Brodeur over Sean Avery. If I need to build a hockey team, I’m taking Brodeur. If I need a date for a boring, dress-up event, I’m taking Brodeur. If I need a babysitter in a pinch, I’m taking Brodeur. If I need someone to help me move, I’m taking Brodeur. In the battle of good vs. evil, I always go with the fatso. 2 pennants out of 5

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Detroit Red Wings vs. Nashville Predators

Pookie: Nashville put up enough of a fight to make it interesting and their fans almost suggested that the title of “Feel Good Story” was being wasted in Washington. Those wacky two quick goals get my vote for the most exciting moment of the First Round, and when you add in the Arnott goal celebration concussion, well this Devils fan can’t resist! Good times! 4 pennants out of 5

Katebits: I thought I didn’t care at all about this series….but then that crazy Lidstrom goal broke my heart. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. 4 pennants out of 5

Schnookie: This seemed like just another boring Red Wings playoff series until Nashville’s fans turned out to be awesomely awesome. After a year spent hearing how laughably craptacular a hockey city it was supposed to be, they really showed the superior hockey media, didn’t they? Of course, two great games do not a series make. Sorry, Nashville. 3 pennants out of 5

Patty (in Dallas): I knew I was going to root for Nashville because I always want Detroit to lose. But the Preds actually grew on me with their raucous fans and their spunkiness. And I thought the catfish somebody threw on the ice was charming. When Detroit fans throw octupi, it’s just hackneyed. Still, the Wings advance, so maybe I should remove a pennant. 4 pennants out of 5

Heather B: R.I.P. JP Dumont’s playoff beard. The world is a sadder, less colorful place without you. I’m glad this series ended when it did because I was starting to develop a crush on Jordin Tootoo and that was destined to end messy. Still, I did love hearing Vince Gill do the anthems and I was pleasantly surprised by Nashville’s kicky crowds especially after the off-season they had. I’m glad they were able to make the series interesting. 4 pennants out of 5

San Jose Sharks vs. Calgary Flames

Pookie: I know this went to Game 7 and the series had all kinds of zany lead changes and come from behind wins but… It was the Habs/Bruins of the West. When you find yourself sitting in front of a Playoff Game 7 giving yourself a pep talk about how dammit you will find this game fun, you know you’ve got a problem. 1 pennant out of 5

Katebits: I loved this one! It was a three ring circus of mental fragility, bad defense, and sketchy coaching. Plus, Cujo! 5 pennants out of 5

Schnookie: I had a really hard time liking either of these teams. I found myself reveling in Flames goals, and then thinking, “Aw CRAP! Now the Flames are winning!” But at the same time, the Sharks just leave me cold. On paper, I enjoyed this series. But the enjoyment of a series isn’t played on paper, and in my real-life heart? I never really engaged. 2 1/2 pennants out of 5

Patty (in Dallas): By the time this series was over, I didn’t care who won. I think we can beat either team. I don’t look forward to Jeremy Roenick being all over my TV screen for a whole series, but I’ve been toughened up by six games in a row with Pronger and Bertuzzi waltzing all over the place. 2 pennants out of 5

Heather B: This series was less about who played the best and more about who avoided screwing up the worst in the end. Both teams were a mess and the Sharks are getting destroyed in the next round unless they show up a totally different team. And dude, San Jose, I tried to tell you about Brian Campbell. That’s not him struggling, that’s just how he plays defense. On the positive side, I’m totally in love with Calgary’s crowd. They’re unbelievable. 3 pennants out of 5.

Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche

Pookie: This one held great promise with the first few games, the fabulous fans (Montreal — you could learn a lot from M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A on how to be lovably enthusiastic) and the carefree OT finishes. But then, for the last few, I sorta forgot this one was even going on. 2 pennants out of 5

Katebits: This series was equal parts boring, thrilling, and annoying. 3 out of 5

Schnookie: Hey! If we could combine the amazing energy of the games in Minnesota with the amazing energy of the games from Nashville in the Preds/Wings series, we’d have the most fantastically lovable, thrilling first-round winner. I’d call them the Predawild. Or the Wildators. And it would be IMPOSSIBLE not to cheer for them. 2 pennants out of 5

Patty (in Dallas): Didn’t really care about this one, except that I was glad Colorado won so that I could relax about meeting Detroit in the next round. Still, I hate the Avs, and Peter Forsberg needs to retire already. I wish I had seen the game where the Wild fans sang. I missed that. 1 pennant out of 5

Heather B: I watched about five minutes of this series. I didn’t really get attached to any of the players and this series always seemed to be on opposite one I really cared about which is too bad because I did intend to fall in love with Mikko Koivu since I already love Saku. Better luck next time, Minnesota. 0 pennants out of 5

Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks

Pookie: This series is what Playoff hockey is all about. Good triumphing over evil; GM’s foolish mistakes costing the team; poor leadership being exposed; scrappy teams taking advantage of their opponent’s miscues; vindication for a deserving goalie; the loathsome defending champs going out with a whimper. That’s RAWK! 10 pennants out of 5

Katebits: This series lost an entire pennant due to the confusing black and white color schemes of the jerseys involved. I couldn’t keep track of which team was wearing the black jerseys from night to night. Other than that? Perfection. 4 out of 5

Schnookie:THIS is what I want a playoff series to be like. There is NOTHING I would have changed about it, except, as Katebits points out, the unis. 5 pennants out of 5

Patty (in Dallas): The hugely overrated Ducks vs. the “limping through March” Stars and the Ducks looked like crap and the Stars looked awesome. The Ducks tried to play the bully game “that won them the Cup” and all they really did was traipse to and from the penalty box. The last minute of Game 6, in front of the home crowd, after we had given up the first goal, and had scored three goals in the third, with Chris Pronger in the penalty box, and Mike Modano with the puck on his stick, looking at an empty net, was my favorite hockey moment in YEARS. Eleventy-billion pennants out of 5

Heather B: Despite the danger of cheering for Dallas while living in Buffalo, I really do like this Stars team and I enjoyed watching them dismantle the defending champ Ducks. I think the Stars were the best team in the first round so I’m curious to see how they play the Sharks. I hope they win in a delightfully embarrassing fashion. Two thumbs up for Marty Turco who I’ve always liked and who just gets more adorable every time I see him. 4 pennants out of 5

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Welcome to ModFan!

Welcome, Gentle Reader, to the Modular Fan, aka ModFan! In the 1940’s, Le Corbusier designed a system of proportions called “The Modular Man“; if all buildings were designed using this system, he claimed, human beings would find architecture perfect. We are here to create, in rambling blog form, a Modular Man for hockey fandom. And by that, we mean a blog that is driven by nothing more than the whims of five hockey fans as they see the season through. Those five hockey fans are: Heather B. of Top Shelf, Katebits of The Willful Caboose, Patty (in Dallas) of Penalty Killing, Pookie of Interchangeable Parts, and Schnookie also of Interchangeable Parts. Strewn across the country, with differing rooting interests at heart, and with varying years under the hockey-fan belt, the bloggers of ModFan will … uh… um… take you on a magical journey of ….heartwarming hockey related anecdotes….and, uh, other hockeyish things.

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Soupy Soup

From Game 3 of the Sharks/Flames series:

Katebits: I think the Sharks are getting nervous! It’s time for a Soupy blunder!

Pookie: Have you noticed Soupy’s hair is the same color as the trim on the Sharks sweaters? It’s like two monstrosities were made for each other!

Katebits: I have to admit, Soupy looks good in a Sharks sweater. Not “hot” good, but definitely “matchy” good.

Heather B.: Soupy definitely doesn’t have a good track record during those nervous times.

Patty: That would be so sweet if Soupy’s blunder got it tied. Then the Sharks began their collapse.

Heather B.: And then Soupy will sit at his phone waiting for the Sharks to call with his 18-year 30-billion-dollar contract and he’ll wait and wait and wait…

Patty: And his wedding dress will get all dusty and cobwebby.

Schnookie: Soupy’s going to be this year’s Souray, but mixed in with some Mike Peca. He’s going to have his agent issuing statements every few days saying, “Soupy’s still available, but he’s TOTALLY turned down GIANT offers from the following teams…”

Heather B.: After talking to andrew, I’m totally thrilled. Either Soupy’s going to ask the Sharks for a huge deal and they’re going to laugh and point at Joe’s three year extension OR he’s going to cave and sign with them for three years and Buffalo’s going to go batshit insane with anger and fury because he and his agent sneered at Darcy’s three year offer. Both options will be VERY amusing.

Katebits: I want Soupy to sign with the Blue Jackets or something! No Sharks! I want his team to be CRIPPLED by his contract.

Heather B.: Oooh, the Blue Jackets would be good! Then he really will cease to exist because everyone knows no one but Rick Nash plays there.

Schnookie: Oh, and if he signs with the Blue Jackets, Ken Hitchcock will LITERALLY kill him.

And I’m ever so impressed by Soupy’s great work as a defensive mentor! I love the CBC announcers saying Ron Wilson has got to be wondering when Soupy’s going to show up in this series. I figure Wilson’s weighing his options and figuring an invisible Soupy is better than the kind of damage Soupy’s really capable of inflicting.

Heather B.: Yeah, NO KIDDING. These guys should be praying that Soupy stays invisible. Last time he was noticeable in Buffalo he was a -12 over the course of three games.

Schnookie: Don’t tempt Soupy! He can top that -12 in three games!

Patty: Woo hoo! The spin-o-rama!

Schnookie: That was the BESTEST spin-o-rama EVER. I can just imagine the dull look on dimbulb Soupy’s face as he slowly realizes he no longer has the puck after putting on his UNSTOPPABLE patented move. Hey, jackass — CHIP THE FUCKING PUCK OFF THE GLASS.

Pookie: I think if that spin-o-rama had led to an empty netter the rest of the playoffs would suck. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We can’t waste all our schadenfruede in one week!

Schnookie: You’re so right. We need to pace ourselves.

Katebits: You are TOTALLY right.

Save this feeling, ladies! Store it up! HOCKEY RAAAAAWKS!

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Katebits: I had an amazing revelation about the Caps/Flyers series. I hate both teams, and I want them both eliminated. I think the Caps are a way better team and are more likely to win another round if they advance. The Flyers on the other hand are pretty bad, and there’s NO WAY they could wind up winning the conference or something (right? right?). SO, I’m rooting for the Flyers in this round because they will SURELY be eliminated by whoever comes next.

Pookie: Katebits, that’s brilliant reasoning! In fact, it’s reasoning that I’m going adopt as my own! (I was starting to dance close to outright cheering for the Flyers watching today’s game. And that’s not a good idea.)

Katebits: The other great part of the plan is that we can viciously cheer against the Flyers in the next round. Just when they thought they had won our love, we can yank it cruelly away. We’ll cheer them on to victory only to CRUSH them in round two!

Schnookie: That’s a FANTASTIC rationale. Because you’re absolutely right — they won’t advance. (I’m tailoring my choices on who stands the best chance of beating the Rangers, though. I’m not sure. I feel like Montreal is ALLEGEDLY a juggernaut that wouldn’t break a sweat against them, but I didn’t like what I saw from them last night. And I know that the Rangers gave Pittsburgh fits this season. So I’m hard-pressed to pick my next opponent for the Rangers. I think I want them to get beaten by the juggernauty Caps from the second half of the season, but I hate those Caps almost as much… It’s just so DIFFICULT! Basically, I’m throwing up my hands, letting go and letting playoffs, and I’m living in the moment. GO FLYERS! Heh.)

Pookie: I think the Rangers would be capable of beating themselves after crushing the Devils. They’ll get all full of themselves (Gomez? Avery? Jagr? Never!) and expect their next opponent to be as crappy as the one they beat without breaking a sweat. (See: Senators, Ottawa v. Ducks, Anaheim.) Washington, Philadelphia, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Ottawa are all plenty capable of scoring at will. (Boston? No. Not as long as Julien’s around.) So we’ve got a really good chance of the team matching up against NY next round giving them a harder time then they were expecting. Also, whoever does match-up against them will surely set a game plan of shooting low and shooting a lot, thereby driving Devils fans everywhere to drink.

Schnookie: No worries there — I’m already drinking.

Heather B.: But… But… THE FLYERS?! No, I can’t do it. I can’t cheer for anyone in that series. I’m just going to close my eyes and refuse to look until it’s over.

I think pretty much everyone who will be left standing can beat the Rangers unless Lundqvist goes nuts. And even then I don’t think they have it.

Katebits: I’m not cheering FOR the Flyers, I’m cheering AGAINST the Caps, who are a FAR FAR bigger threat to make a serious run, in my opinion. (It’s not savory, but it’s what must be done.)

Schnookie: Exactly. It’s the same as it was for me in the SCF last year (and the WCF) — I’m cheering for the more venal team’s opponent. It’s a small step up from just cheering against the Caps, to be fair, but I’m not sitting here hoping for vast Flyer success.

Heather B.: But I want them both to looooooose. Why can’t they just both lose?

I will admit that I’m a little scared of this series because, deep in my heart, I like and miss Danny Briere. I’m afraid if I watch it at all, I’ll end up cheering for him especially if I’m rooting AGAINST the Caps. I don’t want to be the girl who cheers for Danny!

Schnookie: You wouldn’t be that girl! You’d be the girl who, out of necessity, is cheering for that guy on the Flyers whom you don’t entirely hate, as he endeavors to pull an upset against a team you hate. There’s a big difference!

Pookie: Heather, why don’t you try to channel Marty Brodeur and say, “I don’t worry about Danny Briere because he’s not a Sabre anymore.” Then look at the Flyers and go, “Hey, that Daniel Briere is quite the little player! I like the cut of his jib!”

Katebits: But Heather, as soon as the series is over, you can VICIOUSLY turn against him! There is NO WAY you’re going to want to keep cheering for the Flyers! They’re the freaking FLYERS!

Pookie: It’s like anti-cheering! You get their hopes up, you hold up proverbial signs for them to see cheering them on during skate around. Then next round, they’re there expecting your signs — and you won’t be there! It’s a beautiful, cunning, dastardly plot!

Katebits: I think making them think we love them and then doing a cruel about-face is WAY meaner than rooting against them from the beginning. This is psychological warfare.

Pookie: EXACTLY! It’s so cruel! It’s just what the Flyers deserve!

Heather B.: Okay, you’re right. I’m not cheering for Danny, former Sabre. I’m cheering for Briere, Caps killer. And when the Flyers move on I’ll cheer for Saku to Koivu his hobbit ass.

Pookie: [In the cheery tone of a dancer in a 50’s musical] Now you’re getting it, Heather! Now you’re getting it! Yeeee-haw!

Heather B.: Is this where we break into a group song/dance number?

Katebits: Playoff Goggles!: The Musical

Pookie: The Overture is starting, but getting into the sad motif from “The Devils Getting Swept Theme”. Fortunately that motif is very short. It then segues into “The Undisciplined Penalty Waltz as performed by The Ducks Dancers”.

Heather B.: At the very end can we get Sweeney Todd on Pierre?

Pookie: You bet.

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