Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars

“Forced Watching” is a weekly feature where the loser of the wagering game on the podcast is forced to watch the least interesting game on the schedule (in the opinion of the winner), and write about it. No offense if your favourite team is involved. Well, some offense.

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Hey, welcome back to the post that gives me severe anxiety and is apparently just what I do now. This week we’ve got Calgary vs. Dallas in what is sure to be a barnburner. Couldn’t be more excited. When you have a chance to watch the 13th and 14th place teams play each other, I mean, you really just can’t pass that up.

I look forward to all your kind words.

1st Period

20:00 - Alright, FOX Sports Southwest. Been a while. Let’s do this.

20:00 - I’m actually very curious to see how the Stars rebound from that smackdown at the hands of the Blackhawks they suffered on Sunday. Ralph and Razor (missed you guys) talking a lot about leaders stepping up, being humbled/humiliated, etc. Speaking off, Jamie Benn is goalless in his last 7 games so let’s hope that changes tonight. I was robbed of Benn awesomeness last time I was forced to watch the Stars, here’s hoping that doesn’t happen again.

20:00 - There is apparently something called the Lone Star Emmy Awards and Ralph and Razor apparently won one a few weeks back. Can’t argue with that. Very excited to listen to them again. Actually.

20:00 - Mark Giordano and Dennis Wideman starting on D for the Flames. $9 million in very average defense! You go, Jay Feaster.

18:49 - I kind of want Jordie Benn to become really good so the Benns become a new version of the Staals or Sedins. I just think we could use more brother tandems in hockey. I think it’s neat. You know, narrative and stuff.

17:49 - The Flames are on a 7 game road losing streak in what was, if I’m not mistaken, the very first edition of Forced Watching against these very Dallas Stars. It also stands as the only one of these damn things I didn’t do. Here’s to the Flames breaking their road futility and to me breaking my futility at…life.

17:14 - Good chance for the Stars early on but Joey MacDonald makes some nice saves on Fiddler in close. Fiddler kind of just put it right into Joey’s pads but, hey, it’s Joey MacDonald.

16:57 - Razor tells us that the Stars players like to talk about how smart Jordie Benn is and how high his hockey IQ (so to speak) is. The dream is alive! And then he shot it into his own bench. Heh, that was great.

16:34 - Razor just made the same joke I did about Benn shooting it into the bench. Great minds, buddy.

15:01 - Matt Stajan giving Ray Whitney all sorts of trouble in the corner. Whitney just can’t get it past Stajan which, if this is an indication, is really not a good sign for the Stars.

14:57 - Loui Eriksson hasn’t gone more than 3 games without changing linemates this season? Really? Wow.

14:20 - Ralph says that Eriksson is on “a modest two game point streak which is pretty impressive around here these days.” These guys are the best.

13:45 - Has anyone watched this The Americans show? I’ve heard good things and this commercial for it is super intense. It’s like Homeland but with more marriage problems is what I took from it? And Margo Martindale is in it and she is great. Asking questions on this thing seems kind of silly, doesn’t it?

13:45 - Flames are the first team to go to the power play. Jay Bouwmeester rips some hard passes, you guys. Yeesh.

12:39 - This might come as a shock to you guys but the Flames power play does no look very good so far. That being said, the Stars have only killed 65% of their penalties on this homestand (thanks Razor) so something has to change here.

11:36 - Antoine Roussel (hey bud) comes out of the box and gets a great pass from Cody Eakin to draw the penalty. Make that a penalty shot. Excitement? I didn’t expect to see you tonight.

11:36 - Roussel tries to go #BShelf but ends up missing the net. MacDonald cut off the angle really well there, had it read the entire time. Still, that was fun. Do that more, game.

11:36 - Dallas PA guy just played “I Like To Move It Move It.” I hope he plays “Saturday Night” next just to keep with the Dance Mix ’95 theme. I owned/own Dance Mix ’95 on cassette. I honestly couldn’t tell you why.

10:40 - Hudler’s going to the box for hooking and Dallas’ arena announcer goes “Dallas Stars are ON. THE. POWERPLAY.” Does he do that every time?

10:25 - Let’s see Calgary’s 28th-ranked penalty kill at work!

9:38 - Jamie Benn and Jaromir Jagr passing to each other on the power play is something I could watch on repeat for a very long time. In fact, on this power play anyway, the Stars passing has been pretty nice all around.

8:51 - I feel like this team (the Stars) should be much better than they are. They’ve got some great skill guys in Benn, Jagr, and Eriksson, and a pretty solid goaltender in Lehtonen. How is this team in last place in the Pacific? Am I crazy? Don’t answer that.

7:13 - Lots of whistles and breaks in play so far. Three pucks into the bench, couple penalties. Quality of play hasn’t been awful thus far, however. I’ll count that as a win. For now.

7:13 - Guy Carbonneau is in the building! And it’s his birthday! And he can speak two languages! Ralph and Razor were very excited about those latter two points.

6:43 - Goal? That was weird. Cole whips it on net and it goes right off Derek Smith’s skate as he goes to block the shot and into the back of the net. Own goal. I’ve been watching a lot of soccer lately, trying to get the lingo down.

6:22 - Shots are 10-2 for the Stars. Truly amazing that the Flames are getting dominated. Would never have seen that coming.

5:43 - Does Southwest Airlines owe royalties to that “Wipeout” show for their commercials? All they are is a guy running over Wipeout-like obstacles.

5:43 - Stars’ season ticket holders get a VIP parking spot in the owners’ lot? That seems…odd.

5:33 - Cody Eakin thinks he scores but the ref thinks other wise. Looked like it went in and bounced out off the inside of the bar. Razor – “I’m just calling goals cause I’m desperate for the Stars to score on this homestand.” You and me both, brother.

4:11 - Goals! A nice rush from Nystrom leads to a failed pass to Roussel but the Flames are stuck puckwatching and Nystrom grabs the loose puck and puts it behind MacDonald. 2-0 Stars.

3:28 - Punchfight! Iginla vs. Eakin? What the hell? Iginla can throw some bombs. These guys are just whipping each other around in front of the bench and throwing bombs and everyone cheers and loves it. Man, hockey is stupid sometimes. And, yeah, they stopped to take their helmets off. And…Razor just referenced the Marquess of Queensbury Rules. Wow. Deep cut. I like it.

1:49 - Whitney is allowed to take all the time he needs coming out in front of the net and shows some great patience and finds Eriksson wide open in front of a wide open net. This is turning into a beat. Flames defenders just watched Whitney. Wideman kind of tried to block the pass with his foot but unfortunately, for him, his foot wasn’t anywhere near the puck. 3 goals on 3 straight shots.

0:00 - One period in the books. 3-0 Stars. This ain’t so bad. Let’s see how much worse the Stars can kick the hell out of the Flames.

2nd Period

19:42 - Benn and Jagr, passing all day. Play forever, please, Jaromir.

18:41 - The Flames come out with more energy to start this period (more = some) and are doing a good job of keeping it in the Stars zone. Until Jagr is awesome and takes it out by himself, makes some nice stickhandles and forces MacDonald to make a really nice kick save to keep this thing 3-0. Oh, and it was at the end of a 2 minute shift for Jagr. Seriously, play forever.

17:40 - Jagr has apparently only played 27 games against the Flames. I know he played in the Eastern Conference for forever but I would have expected Jagr would have like 60 games played against every team in the NHL.

16:41 - Eric Nystrom has been really strong tonight. Nobody on the Flames has really been able to knock him off the puck tonight. He’s carried into the Flames’ zone successfully at least 4 times so far tonight.

16:09 - Some great passing between Glencross, Stajan, and Stempniak almost leads to a goal but Stempniak (or was it Stajan? Never mind, I don’t care) ripped it high over Lehtonen’s glove and into the boards. Really well set up play, great through the legs drop pass from Glencross.

15:30 - Oh, come on Gamecenter. Stop not working.

14:17 - Cammalleri is just making Stephane Robidas look like a fool. Robidas is doing his damndest to knock Cammy off the puck but he’s just going back and forth behind the net with Robidas on his back, not losing possession the entire time.

13:54 - Jamie Benn is awesome. He just did one of those “no, that’s my puck” crosschecks to the back of Stajan. It became his puck. Razor thinks he’s in “beast mode.” Makes as much sense as anything, really.

12:32 - What is going on with you, Gamecenter? It looks like when a satellite feed is going screwy because of the weather. It’s pretty crappy outside but I don’t think Internet works that way. What is gumming you up, series of tubes!? It’s making it very hard for me to hear Ralph and Razor. I do not care for this at all.

11:54 - There it goes.

9:42 - Derek Roy juuuuust missed burying a great feed from Morrow at the end of a really, very good (minus the lack of goal and shots) power play for Dallas.

9:13 - That’s weird. I’ve been getting commercials all game but now I’m getting that “The game will return after the commercial break” screen. What gives? I want to watch my crappy, American commercials.

9:13 - Now it’s cutting to the commercial screen in the middle of play. That can’t be good. Hello? Hockey game? Where did you go?

9:13 - Oh my God, Giraldo Rivera is at this game! He has that big dumb grin on his face, too. I have so many questions about this. Is Giraldo a Stars fan? Does he have seasons? Is he what Geddy Lee is to the Blue Jays? There is no scenario in which I don’t find this endlessly entertaining.

8:43 - We’ve got a donnybrook here, boys! Eakin goes to the box and is a ginger, apparently, and kind of looks like the Sherminator from American Pie. Also, the PA guy started playing Du Hast while players are in a scrum on the ice. That is amazing. “Little Rammstein there” – Razor.

8:30 - Very anti-climactic goal (just in terms of crowd reaction) as Jiri Hudler gets his stick on the puck and makes a really nice tip top corner. 3-1. Do we have a game?

6:55 - Stempniak goes right around Jordie Benn to cut in front of the net and ends up drawing a hooking penalty on that very same Benn. Big power play here. I take it back, I don’t want to see a blowout, let’s see some more excitement. Go Flames PP.

5:25 - Hey! Look at that! 3-2. Great goal from Bouwmeester who goes bardown. And BShelf, actually. Bardown BShelf. Maybe he knew I was watching? Anyway, nice goal, we‘ve got ourselves a ballgame. 

3:13 - I wish Kipper was playing. Not because I particularly care about which Flames goalie I watch but because he’s on my fantasy team. Bobrovsky’s Burgers is absolutely floundering. Pretty much ready to call this a lost season. I blame Lund for making me draft Theo Fleury.

2:19 - Brenden Dillon gets off a monster of a wrist shot that MacDonald barely gets a piece of with his glove to knock it wide. The disappointing “oooh” from the crowd is the loudest I’ve heard them all night. That’s not a criticism, that was just a really loud disappointed “oooh.”

0:49 - Crowd’s really getting into it now. Cole is hauled down with no call on the play and…the glass is hit a lot? I think the entire first row stood up to hit the glass, there. Gets the point across just as much as booing does, I suppose.

0:00 - Well, I’ll be damned. I am looking forward to the third period of this game. I would not have expected that when this game started. What a pleasant surprise.

0:00 - Aw, Gamecenter isn’t letting me watch the Intermission break. I actually really wanted to see Razor’s interview with Guy Carbonneau. Shame. I still love you, Razor.

3rd Period

20:00 - Whoa, Ducks signed Corey Perry to an extension. Ducks fly together. Ducks for the Cup. Quack, y’all.

18:19 - The Dallas Stars are GOING. TO. THE. POWERPLAY. (Yes, he does, in fact, do that every time.)

17:55 - That was a really weird remix of Cherub Rock, PA guy. Really weird. This guy’s been all over the place tonight – that awful Smash Mouth cover of Why Can’t We Be Friends, Metric, I Like To Move It, whatever that remix was. I like the unpredictability but please never play that remix ever again.

16:02 - 3 shots on 3 power play attempts for the Stars. Not exactly the best plan for success.

15:28 - It is getting chippy out there! Nystrom decks Hudler and we’ve got another scrum. No Du Hast this time, sadly. Nystrom to the box for interference. Kind of a chincy call there. I thought Hudler was close enough to the puck (it hopped over his stick) when he was hit for play to continue. Refs disagreed with me and are probably correct because they are NHL referees and I am an idiot.

13:33 - Good kill from the Stars. Kept possession for most of the 2 minutes, didn’t allow the Flames to get anything resembling a scoring chance.

13:04 - Loose puck in front but Glencross can’t get the shot off. I am enjoying this hockey game.

11:57 - What a shift for Jarome Iginla. Basically going 1-on-4 and stick handling himself into keeping possessioin then, after Cammalleri lost the puck, Iginla just took it back from the Stars and generated a couple of scoring chances. I would like to see the Flames trade Iginla at the deadline. I want to see him in a playoff race. I feel like that’d be fun.

10:49 - Oh, come on, Gamecenter! Unfreeze. Why don’t you freeze when I watch games I don’t like.

10:16 - Thanks.

9:07 - Ralph and Razor are now trying to guess what some Led Zeppelin tribute band is called. Do these guys have a podcast? I would totally listen to that.

7:54 - Loui Eriksson goal! Nice pass from Benn that gets tangled up in the feet of Giordano, Eriksson uses some sweet hands to get control of it and put it over an on the ground Joey MacDonald. 4-2. Ray Whitney also just fought off two defenders and just recovered from a broken foot. Just saying, athletes are amazing.

5:45 - Eriksson double-shifting with two goals on the night. I hope he gets the hat trick. He always entertains me during these. Last time he scored that great OT goal against the Blue Jackets, now this. Play him for the remaining 5 minutes, actually.

4:46 - Tanguay decides to stop being invisible and scores a goal. Takes the puck off the boards from a shoot-in from Backlund and gets it past Lehtonen. Wish he had done the triple deke but, whatever, excitement is back.

4:05 - Nice save by MacDonald on Whitney who was left in front of the net but MacDonald closed up the five-hold to make the save and keep this a one goal game.

3:39 - Jagr has a pass to Eakin on a 2-on-1 broken up. I didn’t know that could be done.

1:25 – Faceoff in the Stars’ zone, Flames empty net. Here we go.

0:28 - Oh, Stajan just shoots it wide! And the Stars clear it. Robidas blocks a shot (that look like it probably hurt) and then got up to clear it.

0:00 - And there it is, Stars win. Have to say that the Stars crowd was uniformly excellent tonight. Not Jets fans excellent but excellent in their own right.

That was actually pretty fun and, with the way the Western Conference is shaking out this year, could actually end up being a meaningful game in a possible playoff race. Probably not but you never know. I’m going to go watch Shamless and pass out. See you all next week probably.

Comments (10)

  1. Jake, just letting you know that I’m sorry you have to do this but it is awesome. You’re my 2nd favorite on the podcast but only because Justin is an Islanders fan!

  2. I think the First forced watching was Calgary vs Minnesota before Minnesota was any good and Ryan Suter remembered how to play Hockey.

  3. Presumably wherever the Gamecenter servers are located they take in a satellite feed and convert it to an online feed. It’s possible that weather wherever they are could be affecting things.

    Also, sometimes it feels like there’s just a single dude sitting in the Gamecenter headquarters who has to handle blocking the commercials for all the games, and is just overwhelmed at all times and can’t keep up.

  4. The Americans is actually a pretty good show. It can ramp it up sometimes and get pretty intense. No Homeland, though.

    • I like Americans a bit more right now because they’re still keeping it subtle. Homeland is verging dangerously close to 24 territory.

  5. The forced watch game recap always makes me smile, which i s good because my team hasn’t scored in 3 games. Please Jake continue to pick badly, and remember you only have to suffer for like 3 hours to make us all feel better

  6. ive never read one of these before but this was good.

    you’ve secured another click from me.

  7. The thing I love about the forced watch is that it showcases the depth of the game (albeit to people who already watch). You make it sound like there really is no bad game to watch. Maybe the NHL should hire you for marketing.

    PS Love the cast, I’m rooting for a win out of you this week Goldsbie

    • Oh, believe me, there are plenty of bad games to watch. But, I mean, it’s a professional sports league. If you love the sport, it’s hard to find an atrociously, painfully bad game. They happen from time to time just as they do in every sport but it’s hard to, from anything other than a stylistic perspective, really and truly complain about having to watch a hockey game.

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