Losing Again: A Puck Opera

Late-season games between teams at the bottom of the standings are never easy to get through. When the second-to-last Flames visited the last-place Avalanche, things got dull on the ice and off the ice, they got real. A play in verse seemed like the right way to figure out how things went down.
Share |

Individuals, we're told, make history, but they do not make it as they please: they—we—make history within circumstances inherited from given surroundings and from the past. No one knows this better than a backup goaltender in the NHL. The market for goalies has gotten weird over the last couple years: big long contracts still abound, but most of them seem frightening, fraught, redolent with regret. Mostly the contracts they get are shorter now, mostly the players come cheaper now. Mostly goalies are peripatetic now: all of them journeymen, buffeted from situation to situation, mediocre-to-awful one year, record-settingly great the next year, intermittently terrible and untouchable the next.

So: life is short, and the hockey season is long. The games within and constituting the season are short, the needed effort vast, the pay grade great, the fans urgent—and the management of certain teams, inscrutable. Two such teams met not very ago: last-in-the-league Colorado Avalanche, in year four of a rebuilding project of no defined length, versus the Calgary Flames, fresh off a hastily-decided-upon rebuild of their very own and icing a team minus the best player they ever had, traded for...what one would need to round up in order to call "not nothing." As always, the best seats in the house were occupied by the goaltenders, who, on this night of broken things and minimal stakes, were backups, pressed into service and then treated to very little worth watching. But they still have something to say. Both earned that right: MacDonald by stopping 39 of 40 shots overall, GiguËre by stopping all 10 shots he faced across the power plays five minor penalties gave the Flames.

These men wear masks, but they will not be muzzled. Most are men of few words, men who operate with quiet dignity and great restraint, as befits the challenges inherent to their profession. A few celebrate or would prefer you not act in a haberdasherical capacity uninvited, but it's rare that the average goalie allows expression beyond the mask. Until now. Now, two goalies who have been exceptionally average this year (with save percentages ranking 41 and 62 out of 80 as this is written) will. Be. Heard. If you like, you can simply read a transcript of what one had to say. And his follow-up. Or you can enjoy their entirely-a-real-thing art project.

Their chosen format for expression is, obviously, a play in verse, until they burst into song.

Losing Again



(Interior, night, The Big Can. Avs/Flames, second period: 80% of the season in the books, and they're not happy books that make kids smile. They're mean books, nasty books, the kind of books to make Jim Thompson flinch. No score yet.)

(Spotlight on: Flames goalie Joey MacDonald. 33, Nova Scotian, journeyman on his fifth NHL team.)

My name is Joey MacDonald, and I catch pucks by trade.
It's hard to work on ice, and ice is hard, and we fall,
And we hurt ourselves. Still the pucks come, each driven like a nail
I'm somehow supposed to put my body before. I do. It's stopped, I stall
for a second, catch my breath, hit my bottle's water, stale
like tonight's hotel bed and tomorrow's fart-sick air. This is the life I've made.

It's a good job, I work hard. Like how many others I've prayed
to do this for a living, and given up that and this
for the barest scraping chance to catch redirects, slappers, wrists
from the dot, and all the other shots, deflected to the wall
or caught or tipped wide or swallowed in my pads or anything at all.
Whew. Ignore the spray and taunt from dicks trying to throw me off my game—SHIT.



(Avs winger Brad Malone gets one past MacDonald, in silence. His first NHL goal.)



(Spotlight on: Flames goalie Jean Sebastien "J-S" "Jiggy" Giguëre. 35, Quèbècois, 47th most games played in goal in NHL history, among active goaltenders, 8th in games and shutouts, 10th in wins, 2003 Conn Smythe trophy winner for Most Valuable Player of the playoffs, 2007 champion. A man known to be honest.)

Oh. I see the problem. We don't have good players. And the bad ones we have don't try hard.
That man doesn't even have a stick; he's using the broke dick of a dead dog.
That can't be good. That can't be helping. Leave the dead dog's broke dick in the yard—
don't bring that shit to the rink. God, I'm in a fog
tonight. I keep seeing through these twerps into what I guess
is my history. I don't see EJ firing rockets wide,
I see Chris Pronger elbowing faces into a bloody mess,
but he's long gone, Chris Pronger, and EJ's the help I've been supplied;
you go to work with the workers you have
no matter how much it hurts your hope or or dreams—or your pride.

Not fifty other men have gone out more than I have against the tide.
I'm tired. (I'm not discouraged.) I tried. I'm angry; this is a drag.
These men whose shirts match mine don't work jobs like they care.
Bosses yell, nothing works, help is a hovering mirage and these guys just stare.



(A cold and sad tableau of limp, hesitant defensive decisions and airy executions with no follow-through strand Giguëre on an unpleasant ice floe. Five minor penalties come and go. Goals come. Lights shine alone on Giguëre, who resets each time as if nothing had gone wrong before, as though nothing wrong could come again.)



(All the skaters seem to freeze and fade to the background. Lights pick out the goaltenders as they place their sticks atop the nets, adjust their helmets and maks, and skate—ungainly, as goalies do—to center ice, where they link arms, spin, and face the audience for a SONG (occasionally addressing a line to their teammates, or to each other, as members of select fraternities might).)

WE ARE THE MEN be-hind the maaaasks
          HOW DO YOU DO so glad you aaaasked
WE STOP THE PUCK don't let it paaaast
          GET OFF THE ICE if you are gaaaased
JUST CLEAR THE ZONE I'll kick your aaaass


They shoot the puck at me
I stop dropped to my knees
I skate like I'm on skis
But I stop those puuucks


I've played now for fifteen years
I've picked up trophies while in tears
I can only do so much back here
But I stop those puuuucks

WE ARE THE MEN be-hind the maaaasks
          HOW DO YOU DO so glad you aaaasked
WE STOP THE PUCK don't let it paaaast
          GET OFF THE ICE if you are gaaaased
JUST CLEAR THE ZONE I'll kick your aaaass


(Each man sings his song, with the other responding to each line.)

They shoot the puck at me
We do our job for all to see
I stop dropped to my knees
We wreck our hips and knees
I skate like I'm on skis
Our D-men ignore our pleas

I've played now for fifteen years
You've seen things we all call weird
I've picked up trophies while in tears
You've won it all and heard the cheers
I can only do so much back here
After this game, you'll need a beer

WE ARE THE MEN be-hind the maaaasks
          HOW DO YOU DO so glad you aaaasked
WE STOP THE PUCK don't let it paaaast
          GET OFF THE ICE if you are gaaaased
JUST CLEAR THE ZONE I'll kick your aaaass

Curtain. Perhaps some mild, smattered applause.

Illustration by Bogdan von Pylon.

Share |


Thank you for having the time to discuss this topic. I truly appreciate it. I’ll stick a link of this entry in my site. aparelhos auditivos

This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.. facetiming santa claus

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job! jewelry

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. boutique pr firms

play with the cool third-graders, their older brothers would tell me that these new CATS had nothing on their ‘cats. Elliott, Kerr and Lofton, they said, were better than the punks we worshipped. Los Angeles

Actually I am not habituate to reply a comment on blogs but this blog caught my attention and I am compelled to write a comment here to express my gratitude to you. I would like to appreciate for this awesome work.
essay writing services

Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it… subway surfers download

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. discounted hand bags

Greetings, I find perusing this article a delight. It is to a great degree supportive and fascinating and all that much anticipating perusing a greater amount of your work.. Zbigz

A debt of gratitude is in order For sharing this Superb article.I utilize this Article to demonstrate my task in college.it is valuable For me Great Work. assisted living placement in Durham

This is not merely printing but additionally design of these things. The majority of useful available not only to Hot Prints stores but additionally online. low cost flyer printing marketing

You bear through a awesome vacancy. I sanity definitely quarry it moreover personally suggest to my buddys. I am self-possessed they determination be benefited from this scene. free credit reports from all 3 bureaus

I wanted to share this information with my friends on the social network facebook.2015 pilot car covers

The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention. งานคีย์ข้อมูล

In the early you know to go to the journal itself roll to the report region to see if other comments allow this.Vessel not with Backlink Advantage Demon which I possess been using and I can archer you it does conscionable that. It simplifies the affect and goes out and searches for pertinent sites in your status that accept secure matter, it does all the apply for you.How chilly is that?! buy seo package

Much obliged to you for peopling get the data they require. Incredible stuff of course. Keep up the considerable work!!! lebanon escort

I have perused your web journal it is exceptionally useful for me. I need to express profound gratitude to you. I have bookmark your site for future upgrades. lebanon escort girls

Goals come. Lights shine alone on Giguëre, who resets each time as if nothing had gone wrong before, as though nothing wrong could come again.)
minecraft launcher download free |
free psn card code generator

I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates. Real Estate Tighes Hill

I do. It's stopped, I stall
for a second, catch my breath, hit my bottle's water, stale Wedding Planner San Diego

It is very conceivable to develop your rundown utilizing a few these thoughts joined, which is most likely your most logical option. gain twitter followers free | clash of clans tipps angriff

Goals come. Lights shine alone on Giguëre, who resets each time as if nothing had gone wrong before, as though nothing wrong could come again.
minecraft launcher download free |
free psn card code generator

I should say only that its awesome! The blog is informational and always produce amazing things. cheap floor rugs

overall, GiguËre by stopping all 10 shots he faced across the power plays five minor penalties gave the Flames. Loft plan reviews

Thank you so much you have given the great blogs site by which we can get more advantage.

The written piece is truly fruitful for me personally; continue posting these types of articles.
Chris Walker - SEO company Denver

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. philadelphia home remodeling

I have spent a good time here at your blog reading. Must Keep the ball rolling buddies!

Thank you so very much buddies! I like your all best ever posts daily here. My hat is off to you on your special working.
best essay writing service

I am always searching online for storys that can accommodate me. There is obviously a multiple to understand about this. I feel you made few salubrious points in Attributes moreover. Detain busy, awesome career! concrete floor staining

I conclude I have selected the smart and inconceivable website along with interesting stuff.
Chris Walker - SEO companies

I was searching for decisive information on this topic. The information you have provided in the blog is really important.
Chris Walker - best SEO expert Denver

Here you will learn what is important, it gives you a link to an interesting web page: หารายได้เสริม

I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you! feldco company profile

Gives you the best website address I know there alone you'll find how easy it is. feldco

This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. feldco jobs page

I was pinning away for such type of blogs, thanks for posting this for us. feldco twitter profile

You are doing the very nice job guys by your efforts people will get much knowledge on the latest things well. Feldco's Facebook page

seo I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really that good low obl unique domain visit this site hurry up waiting your order. Thanks alot! dofollow blog comments

It is an awesome site.. The Design looks great.. Continue working like that!. phen375 reviews – best diet pill to lose weight

If you don't mind share more like that. fat diminisher system

Wow what a Great Information about World Day its extremely pleasant instructive post. a debt of gratitude is in order for the post. roblox robux generator online

Great site and a great topic as well I really get amazed to read this. Apprendre la photo

I acknowledge all that you have added as far as anyone is concerned base.Admiring the time and exertion you put into your online journal and point by point data you offer.Thanks. tattoo supply

If you don't mind share more like that. mirrored wardrobe

I was taking a gander at some of your posts on this site and I consider this site is truly informational! Keep setting up.. escorts in beirut

This update varies from one app and most of the compatibility updates are free, but if your application is a too old, then you may need to buy an upgrade.iPhone repair nottingham

Is it alright to post some portion of this on my site essentially present a hyperlink on this page? Regulated loan rates

Buy backlinks I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post Dofollow Blog Comments

Incredible review, I'm certain you're getting an extraordinary reaction. loft conversions