Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tom Stivali's 2011 NJ Devils Awards...Jersey Shore Style

Tom Stivali writes for In Lou We Trust, the SB Nation page for the New Jersey Devils (during games, you can often find me commenting on their game threads).  He's also on Twitter (@TStivali), where he sarcastically listed his 2011 Devils "Award" winners one night last week.  I was amused by this (although I do not follow "Jersey Shore" regularly), and asked him if he wouldn't mind writing it up in blog-form and being the first-ever guest writer for Down Goes Avery.  He obliged, and well, here you have it, the first guest writer on DGA.

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It’s hard to give out team awards to a group that didn’t make the playoffs.  In order to have a little bit of fun with things I thought utilizing everyone’s favorite show (or at least my favorite show) in providing some superlative awards to the New Jersey Devils this year.  Jersey Shore has become a cultural phenomenon over the past two years.  Love it or hate it, the show has provided us with a number of personalities that will be around for a long time.  Without further delay, my 2011 New Jersey Devils Year End Awards….Jersey Shore Style.

The Deena Nicole Cortese Meatball Award: David Clarkson and Nick Palmieri tie for the award given to the players who fall down entirely too much.  On the bright side neither Clarkson nor Palmieri performed the ‘Jersey Turnpike’ on any players in the locker room.

The Angelina Pivarnick Award: Jason Arnott is given the award for the player it seemed like a great idea to bring back for a second go around.  Angelina’s return in the second season started off well, but quickly devolved to her just being a nuisance to everyone in the house.  While Arnott was never a nuisance to the Devils he was clearly miscast as a second line center. 

The DJ Pauly D/Vinny Bromance Award: Zajac/Parise. No explanation needed.

The Ronnie Ortiz-Magro Roid Rage Award: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-LeBlond (PL3) for snapping and attacking a Capital leading to his suspension/banishment to Albany.  I enjoy playing ‘What point of his cycle do you think he is on?’ as I watch.  I also enjoy the fact that he destroyed Sammi’s entire room and the other guys were too scared of him to say that he went too far. 

PL3’s suspension was extremely costly for the Devils.  They were under major salary cap constraints and could not bring up anyone else to fill his roster spot.  This momentary lapse in judgment led to his playing out the year in the AHL, where he managed to score 8 goals. 

Danny T-Shirt Guy Award: John MacLean.  Danny owns the t-shirt shop where the cast members are forced to work during the season.  Danny was able to manage the cast when they were young and had not yet seen success (MacLean in the AHL), but was a disaster when trying to manage them the following year (MacLean in the NHL). 

The Ryder Award: Johan Hedberg.  For those of you who do not watch the show Ryder is Snooki’s friend from home who pops in and visits Snooki during the season.  She’s the perfect backup Jersey Shore cast member.  She’s not good enough to be a regular cast member, but good enough to fill in once and awhile to give the cast a spark. 

The Situation Award: Vladimir Zharkov wins the award given to the player who takes tons and tons of shots, but who you never see score.  Honorable Mention:  David Clarkson.

The Clogged Toilet Award:  The New Jersey Devils PSE&G Powerless Play.  During this past season, the cast dealt with a clogged toilet for the majority of the time they were in the house.  No one could figure out what was wrong.  If that doesn’t describe the Devils horrific power play, I don’t know what does.

The Aarvin Award:  This is a tie between Stephen Gionta and Olivier Magnan for the award given to the player that made you scratch your head as you pondered why he was being given any ice time.  (Hat tip to David Sarch and Matt Ventolo for the help here.)

DGA edit: umm, Adam Mair?!

The Sammi ‘Sweetheart’ Giancola Award:  Jamie Langenbrunner.  Much like Sammi, Langenbrunner’s cranky attitude/misery did its best to destroy the season.  Let’s not blame Langenbrunner 100% because ‘it’ was in the room.  'It’ seemed to follow Langenbrunner to Dallas, similar to the demon that follows that girl from Paranormal Activity around.

The JWOWW Award:  This award goes to Brian Rolston for starting out poorly and then re-inventing himself mid-season.  You can easily parallel the JWOWW/Rolston resurgences with the dumping of Tom/MacLean.  So Roger is Jacques Lemaire...

The DJ Pauly D Award: Jacques Lemaire. Jacques wins this award for saving the respectability of the franchise, having great one liners and for loving to tan (c’mon, we all know that is why Jacques likes Florida).  Also, this award forces its winner to yell: IT’S T-SHIRT TIIIIIIME!

The Vinny G Award:  Travis Zajac.  Solid, unspectacular but always gets the job done.  Like Vinny, Zajac is more than willing to do the ugly things to make sure his team scores.


The ‘Suck It’ Award:  This award goes to all the print media, bloggers, Bobby Holik and the 42 Los Angeles Kings bloggers/fans (I think the Kings have more bloggers than fans) who claimed throughout the fall that the Kovalchuk signing was terrible  He’s a force of nature and the Devils are lucky to have him for the next 14 years.