May 01, 2005

Stanley Stick preview: comeback sets stage

Sunday's losers may just have what it takes to be winners in the Stanley Stick, which begins next week.

Paul One and his mates stormed back from an eight-goal deficit in Sunday's game to force overtime. And while they ultimately succumbed 21-19, the veteran forward says his team played with the kind of heart and determination that will be key to prevailing in the two-game championship series.

"We came back and pushed it to overtime and that bodes well for the Stick," says One, who knows what it takes to engrave his name on the championship trophy as he inhabits multiple panels. "I don't know how much people were playing for today as much as they were playing for the game next week."

"You want to have confidence going into the Stick," says Gump, who's knack for causing chaos in the crease to create rebounds for his linemates propelled his side's unlikely comeback. "It was a great team effort today, it gets you excited about the Stick."

"The way the team rallied really shows who the character guys are," says Elvis. "Games like today put it all into perspective, it lets you see how the team can turn it around."

Indeed, after falling behind 11-3, it would have been easy for Elvis and his mates to just pack their equipment bags and hope for a better team selection next week. They were in disarray, neglecting their defensive assignments, coughing up the evil orange plastic ball in their own end and floundering in the offensive zone.

But with next week's championship looming, Paul One wasn't about to give up.

"You're never really out of it," says the veteran centerman, who continued to charge hard into the corners even after he was hobbled by a twisted ankle. "I don't think you ever let your head get down, you keep plugging away, and today proved you can still have a chance."

Nine straight goals, including a freak shot that bounced high off the fence behind Lobsterboy's net, caromed off the back of his leg and then dribbled over the goalline, tied the game at 15.

"A few bounces went our way, built a little momentum," says Elvis. "That was enough to get us going."

In fact, for a brief moment, it even got them the lead, 17-16. The game had become a test of character for both sides.

"You've always got to battle every moment because your lead can slip away pretty fast," says Bird. "Everyone wants to show they've got what it takes to win."

That meant getting back on their gameplan, says Wendel. "We just kept pushing. We stayed focused and confident that we could make the goals and make things happen."

And while his side may have won the game on the scoreboard, both sides say they felt like winners.

"Nobody can be upset today," says Gump. "We're proud of that comeback."

"It's a bit of a moral victory, I think," says Elvis. "We definitely feel better about the comeback after such a rough start, and you can take something from that."

"We've got a lot of guys who are at the top of their game right now," says Wendel.

This season's earlier start to the Stanley Stick may mean some roadsters aren't in peak physical form, but, say some, it should make for a spirited, competitive series.
"I think the game itself will be better because the last couple of years it's just been incredibly hot and the games have lagged," said Bird. "Both sides are usually the same when it comes to skill, so it'll come down to whoever works the hardest and gets the bounces."
"I think it's a good idea, especially with the weather starting to get so hot," said Wendel. "It's gonna come down to who's the hotter goalie and to which team can make the passes and the plays when they need to."
"Making it a bit earlier might even help the game," said Paul One. "Everyone is a little sharper."

Unabomber returned to the court Sunday after missing most of the season with torn ankle ligaments. And while his fitness may have lagged, his rapier shot was as sharp as ever, as wary defenders gave him too much time to tee it up.
After the game, the powerful pointman declared himself ready for next week's Stanley Stick. His presence could prove pivotal as defenders will have to pay close attention to the added dimension he brings to his teams offense.
"It'll free up a guy because someone will have to cover the pointman," said Unabomber.

Next week's Stanley Stick is the first of a two-game series, the only time in the season when teams are carried over from one week to the next. Those teams will be chosen by a card draw. Players not present for the card draw will not be put on a team and will have to hope for a scratch to get a playing spot in the second game.

Posted by jaysuburb at May 1, 2005 05:38 PM

Looks doubtful that I'm going to be able to make it once again. Good luck everyone.

Posted by: ottoman at May 8, 2005 04:29 AM

I think we should rally against Lobster! And remember if you fall on him, punch him in the balls. ha ha

Posted by: billy idol at May 5, 2005 06:15 PM

Zeus, grant me the favour of having Elvis and Wendel play on the same team against paul-one leg, so that the inanity can end.

We will all miss the fiery temper of the colonel, who will we rally against?

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 5, 2005 04:07 PM

Aww Geez, you figured me out Wendy... it's true Im jelous you never say nice things about me -probably cause Im still deeply wounded that my mommy never did either.

Still prefer to have a one-legged One than a fancy-lad lawyer on my side.

Rest up and heel that ankle One -if not for next week but the following game.

Posted by: elvis at May 5, 2005 01:47 PM

Aw Elvis, you're just jealous that I say nice things about everyone else but you. There there, it's OK, you've got Paul One-Leg to give you some loving.

Posted by: wendel at May 4, 2005 05:12 PM

Saltly, trash talking posts, it must Stanley Stick time again.

Elvis, I've had my ankle in full out R.I.C.E mode for three days and I still can't see my ankle bones through the swelling. It's in rough shape, so, come Sunday you may not want my hobbling, hop-a-long style of play on your team.

That said, here's hoping to us sipping.

Posted by: PaulOne at May 4, 2005 03:17 PM


-it's not so much the 'nice' comments but the frequency in which you post them -ensuring your nose is as far up absolutely everyones ass as possible.

I only hope when you find yourself in a courtroom defending a client you dont stick to the 'nice-guy' playbook and grow some balls. I'm sure they wont be as receptive to your "Gee whizz guys -at least we gave it a good effort" attitude when there's something at stake.

-Wink, without wasting too much time time on you, Ill only say that Ill see you on the court... oh wait a sec ...maybe I wont! Aren't you the guy who decided it was better to watch last year? Yeaah ...thats right. It wasn't the ball hockey court you dominated last stick, but rather a big sugary coffee frapaccino treat that you were attacking so mercilously.

Maybe this year, the other founding Father will decide to show up instead of drink up.

Hmmm Paul, I dont know. That's a tough call.

Both Lobster and PFG know what's at stake -and shine under pressure. Whatever the draw, One will be glad he's on my team and the other will come to hate me.

Looking forward to winning another stick with ya One.

Posted by: elvis at May 4, 2005 02:53 PM

W & W, a little hard on the Elvis weren't you? I enjoy his light hearted takes. Granted he's not writing newspaper columns or legal briefs, but, he's posted some of the greatest RHI board slams (especially when talking about the Colonel or New Guy).

Elvis, great idea on how to fix the card draw, it should totally work out the way we've planned it. Forgot to ask, who do you want as our goalie?

Posted by: PaulOne at May 4, 2005 12:48 PM

Wendel, what kind of lawyer spends so much time on the message board--get me out of jail now!

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 3, 2005 02:58 PM

Elvis, why exactly do my "nice" comments bother you so much? Between that and your gay jokes, you seem to be trying to cover some deep insecurities.

Posted by: wendel at May 3, 2005 02:52 PM

Typical Elvis...not having an original thought. Good thing everybody else leaves the gay jokes alone or you'd have no material.

Posted by: Wink at May 3, 2005 02:26 PM

Good call Wink.

Wendel, on occassion you have the ability to make me sick to my stomache with your sissy-boy comments.

Posted by: elvis at May 3, 2005 02:23 PM

Well, unless work decides otherwise, I'm planning on coming out to the stick. I'll probably drag my gear out there just in case.

I'd love to participate in the stick, but I don't want to force another goalie to give up their spot, as this year everyone else has played more games than I have.

Posted by: ottoman at May 3, 2005 01:38 PM


Why don't you just teach the world to sing in perfect harmony?

Posted by: Wink at May 3, 2005 10:44 AM

Yikes PFG & Paul One hope you're both feeling better by game day. The Stick won't be the same without either of you.

Ottoman, would you be up for coming as a "back-up", ready to step in if one of the starting goalies gets injured or is concerned about aggravating an injury? You've been an important part of this season, you should be part of the Stick.

Posted by: wendel at May 3, 2005 10:16 AM

That's a very good question Ottoman, considering i'm suffering from cramps today (wait for it, elvis...), and what appears to be a more than minor groin pull. It appears conditioning really will be a factor for next week's game. If my 'lower body injury' looks to be less than what it worth playing on, i'll let you all know...

Posted by: pfg at May 2, 2005 10:33 PM

I haven't been out enough this year to warrant taking a spot from you guys. That's why I volunteered my services as something to shoot at while the guys are sitting.

Who are the goalies for the stick anyways? (Lobster and PFG?, Gump and Billy?, Lak?)

Posted by: ottoman at May 2, 2005 05:46 PM

You are always welcome Ottoman, you helped to solve the goaltending attendance problems we have been having. How about a game where we switch goalie equipment, you can wear my welfare, second hand, gump-smelling gear! :)

Elvis, don't bet on Paulone, he is at the doctor right now, looking over his ankle, oops, lower extrmety injury

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 2, 2005 04:40 PM

If I come out next weekend, would anyone be interested in just taking shots? Or should I just come out and be a spectator?

Posted by: ottoman at May 2, 2005 03:31 PM

For what its worth -All I know is that with me and Paul 1 teamed up for yet another consecutive year we're sure to take the stick again. Must say I loved that draw!

Posted by: elvis at May 2, 2005 02:20 PM

The losing side sure got a lot of press coverage this week. Wonder which side Jay Suburb played on ...

Posted by: wendel at May 2, 2005 08:59 AM

Hi Guys,

Looks like you had a good game today. Just a heads up, I won't be able to make the Stick this year - I've got an educational commitment on May 15th that I just can't get out of. So I guess that puts me out for next week as well. Damn that Commissioner and his early Stick schedule.

Have a great time!

Posted by: The Colonel at May 2, 2005 12:10 AM