Sunday, April 1, 2007

Penguins Playoff Killers

Playoffs are on the horizon.
It's time to look back at some human beings who have destroyed Penguins playoff dreams in seasons passed.

The order is debatable, so we just threw all of them together with no rhyme or reason.
Except for the number-one killer...which is a no-brainer.


If you're devastated after reading this post, just visit the Top 10 Penguin Goals


10. Keith Primeau

Primeau -- French for "small penis."

The Penguins finished the 1999-2000 season with 88 points; good enough for the seventh seed in the playoffs. As per tradition in the '90s, the Pens faced Washington in the first round and convincingly beat them in five games. Next up were the number-one seed Philadelphia Flyers.

All the Pens did was go to Philly and win the first two games of the series. Stunning.
The series came back to Pittsburgh for games three and four...
Andy Delmore scored an OT goal for Philly in game 3...but suck it, the Pens were still up two games to one.

Game four is where we finally get to Keith Primeau.
This game went 5 overtimes. Disgusting.

Both teams were ringing shots off the post in the overtimes. You can still see the replay in your mind of Kovalev's shot earlier in the fifth overtime smacking the outside of the left post. The ebb and flow of this game meant that the Flyers would have the next great scoring chance.

At 12:01 of the fifth overtime, Primeau tugs our nuts.


9. Uwe Krupp


March 30, 1990 --- Buffalo at Pittsburgh --- Last game of season.
Some people may remember; some don't.
The game wasn't televised. Pens fans were forced to listen to the game on the radio.
The Pens were chillin with 72 points; sitting in fifth place behind the New York Islanders and their 73 points.
A win or tie in this game catapults the Pens into the playoffs. A loss sends the Pens to the golf course.
The game was tied 2-2 as overtime came.

Uwe Krupp scores on a shot from the point 1:00 into overtime.


8. Chico Resch

The Pens jumped out to a 3-0 series lead against the New York Islanders.
There's no way that lead could be blown...
But Islanders goalie Chico Resch took acid before game four.

From that point on, it wasn't even a contest.
In the remainder of the series, his GAA was 1.00.
The Islanders win the four games and advance to the next round where they almost accomplished the same exact feat against the Flyers, before losing in Game 7.

Resch turned the Pens "Century Line" of Syl Apps, Jean Pronovost, and Lowell MacDonald into mud during the furious 3-0 comeback.


7. John Tonelli

The year was 1981-82.

The Islanders were amidst their Stanley Cup dynasty.
They finished 54 - 16 - 10 (118 Points) --- Patrick Division Champions.
The Penguins finished 31 - 36 - 13 (75 Points) --- Fourth place. They sucked your balls.

The Pens were up 3 - 1 with 5:00 remaining in the deciding game of the teams' first-round playoff series.
Islander player John Tonelli assists on a Mike McEwen goal to make it 3-2.
With 90 seconds remaining in regulation, Tonelli scores to force overtime.
...John Tonelli scores again in overtime.

The Islanders went on to win the Stanley Cup by sweeping Vancouver in four straight.

If you think that was the last time the Islanders would crush the Pens' playoff lives, you're high.


6. Tom Fitzgerald

Vomit City.

After Lemieux's hiatus during the 1994-95 season, the Pens came out with a vengeance in 1995-96.
Still sporting one of the hottest offenses in recent NHL memory, the Pens captured the Northeast Division crown and the second seed going into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
They survived the Washington Capitals in the first round...with the aid of Petr Nedved's gender-transforming OT goal in game 4.
The Pens took care of the Rangers in five games in the second round, but they lost Ron Francis to injury.

The Eastern Conference Finals: Pittsburgh Penguins - Florida Panthers

Even the Panther players' moms didn't give Florida a chance in this series.
But the moms weren't banking on Florida tackling Lemieux and Jagr off of every faceoff.
Looking back, it's easy to say that this series was the catalyst of the garbage league that the NHL was turning into. It was sickening to watch.

In the series:
Jagr - 1 G
Lemieux - 1 G
Power play - 4 for 32

Picture: Barrasso getting owned by rats.
Florida fans would throw rats onto the ice after every goal because Panther Scott Mellanby went down on a rat prior to Game 2 of their first-round matchup against the Boston Bruins.

The tone of this series was set early in Game One when Panther goalie John Vanbiesbrouck stoned Lemieux on a breakaway.
Game 3 gave us the Barrasso-Beezer fight.

What an oaf.

Penguins took a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 in Florida.
Florida wins it; setting up a Game 7.

Game 7 was a blur.
It was a Saturday night.
Sergei Zubov scored on the power play for the Pens.
That's pretty much it.

There is, however, one thing that is easily recollected when thinking about that Game 7.

Tom Fitzgerald's shot from the Eat 'n Park in Dormont finds its way past Barrasso 6:18 into the third period to break a 1-1 tie.
Imagine the New Jersey Devils holding a 2-1 lead in Game 7 of an Eastern Conference Final -- it was kind of like that.

Pens lose 3-1.

It remains the closest we've been to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1991-92.


5. Garry Valk

When you do a Google Image Search of a player and you get the picture of the goal you're looking for, you know that person hasn't done anything else in their life.

The 1998-99 playoff season was made up of heroics.
The Pens limped in with the 8th seed and had to face number-one seed New Jersey in the first round.
Down 3-2 late in Game 6, German Titov set up Jagr in front to tie the game with less that 3:00 remaining.
In overtime, perennial playoff hero Marty Straka set up Jagr who beat Marty Brodeur...and the series went to a 7th game.
The Pens managed just 13 shots in that game, but 4 went in.
Marty Straka scored with 5:30 remaining to give the Pens a 4-2 lead.


The second round brought the Toronto Maple Leafs into our conscience.
The best part about this series: Dan Kesa scoring in Game One for the Pens.

The Pens were up 2-1 in the series, but Toronto came roaring back.
Toronto was up 3 games to 2 going into Game Six at the Civic Arena.

The Pens jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, but Toronto came back in the second with 2 goals in 26 seconds.
They later took the lead, but Jagr tied it up before the third.
A scoreless third spelled overtime.

We're not sure if Barrasso was that far out of position on the actual play.

"There's such a fine line between winning and losing in overtime.
When we get into overtime, we seem to find a way to win."

-- Mats Sundin on Toronto's 3-0 overtime record in the 1998-99 playoffs.


4. Aleksey Morozov

Picture: Morozov wanting the puck so he can show how much he sucks at playing American hockey.

The 1997-98 season: The post-Lemieux era begins...or so we thought.
The Pens, behind Francis and Jagr, captured the second seed going into the playoffs.
Their first-round opponent was the Montreal Canadiens.

Game One in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins' goal scorers this game: Brad Werenka and Jiri Slegr.

The game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation.
Early in the overtime, Martin Straka is awarded a penalty shot.
But because people were in love with how Aleksey Morozov's name sounded, the Pens gave him the chance on the breakaway instead of Marty.


Alexsey Morozov.
Andy Moog.
Game One on the line.


Benoit Brunet scores for Montreal with under 2:00 left in that first overtime to win Game One.

Mark Recchi and the Canadiens go on to win the series 4-2.


3. 2000-01 New Jersey Devils

Mario returned.
Jagr won the Art Ross.
Moose was loose.

The playoffs started, and the Pens beat the Caps in six games in the first round.
The second round had the Pens jump out to a 2-0 series lead against Buffalo before losing three straight.
The Pens had to come back to tie it late in Game 6 and then won in overtime.
Game 7 gave us a new hero in Darius Kasparaitis.

Bring on the Devils.

Mario was tired.
Jagr was tanking.
The Devils were trapping.

The Pens lost Game One but somehow managed to win Game Two in New Jersey.
Games three and four at Mellon Arena were so pathetic, it wasn't even funny.

Game Three
3 - 0 Loss

Game Four
5 - 0 Loss


Pens lose Game Five 4-2.
Bye Jagr.
Bye Playoffs.


2 & 1. Glenn Healy and David Volek

If you don't know the backdrop of this, you shouldn't even be here.
If you've blocked it out of your memory, you are excused.

The 1992-93 Penguins were easily the most dominant hockey team Pittsburgh has ever seen.
The Penguins were 56 - 21 - 7.

Mario Lemieux had come back from Hodgkin's disease and somehow scored 400 points in 11 games after returning in early March.
The Penguins also went on their illustrious winning streak at the end of the season.

When they playoffs arrived, everyone knew the Pens were taking the Cup.
They beat the Devils in five games.
Then the lowly New York Islanders walked into town.

At that point, the Penguins had won 15 of their last 16 playoff games.
But the Isles were all business. They came into Mellon Arena and beat the Pens in Game 1.
The Pens would win the next two, but Islander goalie Glenn Healy played out of his mind in Games 4 and 6.

It all came down to this.

May 14, 1993.

Stevens basically had his career ended in the first period. See video.
The Pens got on the board early with an Ulf Samuelsson goal, but Glen Healy was on PCP.
Healy was out of his element against these Pens, and everyone knew it.

The Islanders kept peppering Barrasso with shots and eventually had a 3-1 lead with about 5:00 remaining.
If you remember when we talked about John Tonelli before...this was basically the same situation -- a fact Mike Lange pointed out in the broadcast of the game.
Instead of John Tonelli -- enter Ron Francis.

Francis scores with less than 4:00 left to make it 3-2.
With exactly 1:00 remaining, Francis deflects a Larry Murphy wrister past Glenn Healy to tie the game.
Some people say it is the loudest they have ever heard the Arena.

Overtime started...and ended.
At the 5:16 mark of OT, everyone's life changed.
David Volek became a man we would remember for the rest of our lives.

Caution: Put on old clothes because you will crap and vomit all over yourself.


Mike Lange's call of those moments in Game 7.

His call of the tying goal late is well worth watching this thing.
The video is pretty much garbage, but just go with it.

Mike Lange's Call of Game 7 Moments


If you want to research anything pertaining to hockey, here's what we used.


Tales From The Pittsburgh Penguins -- Joe Starkey


The HockeyNut


Anthony Lenze


Anonymous said...

"...because Panther Scott Mellanby went down on a rat..."


FritoWill said...

your right, i puked.

I am going to have nightmares for the next 2 weeks, you jobbers.

Nick said...

i hate you guys right now.

Anonymous said...

I hate this, but this thread will really separate out the bandwagoners and the real fans.

And I need to clean the puke off my keyboard. Or upchuck, as I called it when I was in elementary school and lots of this shit went down.

Schiff said...

Lonny Bohonos sucks balls too...

Schiff said...

I was at the Uwe Krupp game... I can vividly remember the air being sucked out of the building when he scored. Practically the entire arena sat silently in their seats for a LONG time after than goal. However, that loss put us in position to draft Jagr... stil, Uwe Fuckin' Krupp!!!

Doppler said...

Thanks....for the memories.

Two game 7's Oct 92 and the Pirates and then the Pens in 93.

It's bad enough remembering them without the video.

No wonder I hate the Braves and Islanders so much.

Still love the blog.


I'll even say is opening day. GO BUCS!!

Loser Chris said...

That Isles video is just to painful... I am NOT going to watch it again. Thanks for the stomach punch guys. It's a good thing I don't have a dog or else you probably would have come down here and run him over.

Anonymous said...

I can remember the Florida Rat series very well. All the talk was about the stupid rats and it sort of seemed like a special year for Florida. But I'll never forget the penguins being thrown on Beezer when the series came to Pittsburgh. Isn't it amazing how that playoff run isn’t even half as memorable as the 2001 run?? at least for me, and that's all that matters

Staff said...

yeah, i feel the same way in regards to more memories coming from the 2001 run.

Pens - Avalanche would have been interesting.

Sorry for stirring up the bad memories, everyone.
It had to be done.

Jon said...

I agree that it had to be done. I think I've gone soft in my hate for the Devils and Islanders, forgetting why I hated them so much in the first place. But after watching that video, I hope the Isles never make the playoffs, or at least as long as DiPietro is thier goalie.
I can only imagine how tortured we would be had we not won two cups. Should've been more, but they'll come in due time.
And like schiff was gettin' at, all those losses put us in place to draft the team that we have now. So it's all good...Lonny

tiffany said...

Well, changing the subject to something a bit less depressing (if you could consider it less depressing).....does anyone know what happened to the Leafs fan that had the "medical situation"?

dying alive said...

The Isles have screwed us over in the playoffs several times now. I hate those jagoffs almost as much as I hate the Flyers. If neither of those teams ever made the playoffs again, I'd do the effing riverdance up and down Liberty Avenue.

Rico Fatastic said...

Wow, I remember listening to that Buffalo end of the season game on the radio when I was nine. When we lost in OT, I turned into some kind of mass of tears and anger, because I couldn't understand why Buffalo wouldn't just let the game end in a tie so everyone could go home happily. Rightfully so, my dad slapped the tasted out of my mouth (figuratively speaking) and taught me a valuable lesson about life and sports: you play to win the game.

Looking back, this game was my first experience dealing with playoff-level disappointment as a Pittsburgh fan. Unfortunately, I've had a lifetime of Islander goals, Francisco Cabreras, and AFC Championship Games to reopen this wound. It never gets easier.

That does it. Stanley Cup or bust.

Pronovost said...

It's not much consolation, but since we've come this far (re: Volek), at least consider that the Pens probably would have been done in the next round anyway, playing against Patrick Roy and the charmed Canadiens. Or -- much worse -- they might have lost to Gretzky and Barry Freakin' Melrose in the Cup final.

Why would they have lost? Remember, Stevens' season was over after the first period of the Isles game, and Mario was (as Bill Clement put it earlier in the series) minute-to-minute. Mario was injured in game one of that series, on an innocent-looking play in front of the net. He wasn't the same the rest of the series, other than perhaps in game six.

Aw, hell, never mind. I'm still not over it.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I remember the Leafs OT goal in the 99 playoffs distinctly.

I had dragged two TVs into the room, one to watch the game, and the other to watch WWF Raw is War (hey wrestling was fucking HUGE that year).

If I'm not mistaken, didn't the puck get behind Barasso and just sit there for a moment before a Leaf banged it home?

That was also the year that the Dallas Stars won it all. I had residual hate for the Stars leftover from my hate of the Cowboys.

dying alive said...

He may not have destroyed our playoff dreams, but no list of people who have screwed the Pens in the playoffs is complete without the biggest douche in NHL history, Adam Graves.

Anonymous said...

Gary Volek is most likely pumping gas somewhere in Long Island, sporting an Islanders T-shirt...


Staff said...


Adam Graves....he should've been on here.

dying alive...we salute you.


Staff said...

I had dragged two TVs into the room, one to watch the game, and the other to watch WWF Raw is War (hey wrestling was fucking HUGE that year).

Louis wrestling was in my mind at its peak. It just couldn't gotten any better. Than it just stopped being fun.
In High school I would stay up to watch raw,even though I had to get up the next day at like 6.
I couldn't turn it off.

Graves was a homo. If the Pens lose that series he is #1


mike m said...

the leafs fan was resucitated on his way out of the building fyi, i caught that on msnbc of all places

Jon said...

To further illustrate the deterioration of the NHL in the early 90's, in the video around 4:04, notice Slippery Rock Joe get held and tackled as he was trying to make a play on the puck. No call, what a joke.
Tiff, i'll make u a drink as soon as you're of age young lady. I don't contribute to the delinquency of if you'll excuse me I'm going to go fondle my sweaters...I mean make fondue cheddar

Dwayne said...

"It's time to look back at some human beings who have destroyed Penguins playoff dreams in seasons passed."

no, no it's not! it really isn't!

"Sorry for stirring up the bad memories, everyone. It had to be done."

no, no it didn't! it really didn't!

this is alot like going into a relationship with a new, super awesome girl, by going over all the fucked up shit the last few harlots you've been with. way not cool!

Anonymous said...

So much for March kicking the Pens' ass. They went 12-3-2 through what was supposed to be the hardest part of their schedule.

Teej said...

Yeah... painful bringing up these particular memories... but they also spark memories of the awesome times me and my friends would have playing roller hockey at the nearby tennis courts come playoff time back in high school...

Time for new playoff tales... go Pens

Steve in Denver said...

Wow, that 81-82 series loss to the Islanders was my first big Pittsburgh playoff disappointment. I was used to the Superbowls and a recent World Series. I got into hockey as a young kid in 79-80. Michel Dion was friggin huge in the early 80's once they realized he needed a new contact lens prescription. Anyhow, the goal that tied the game in game 7 was a cheap dump in to the corner. It hopped over the stick of the Pens D man (Randy Carlyle Or Ron Stackhouse), and just got thrown in front...goal. I also remember a sweet Trottier goal in that series.....he came flying down the left wing and uncorked a wicked shot from outside the faceoff circle. Dion was WAY out to cut down the angle, and it stuck right inside the post, top shelf, glove side.
Good to get the bad memories out there so that we appreciate the upcoming playoffs. Regardless of what happens, you guys all have to appreciate what the Pens have given us so far this season. It's all a bonus at this point. (but I do really want a cup).

Steve in Denver said...

There is a NHL Fan Association that exists. As far as I know, it's the only one out there. They do share info with the NHL and the NHLPA, and got pretty vocal during the lockout. They've got a huge survey going on right now. Check it out if you're interested.
This is not an endorsement...make your own decisions!
The way I see don't get to bitch if you don't speak up about the game we love.

Rick said...

Yeah Teej, it does have that Chester Hill court feel to it. I'm surprised you didn't comment on the clip of video that ruined your life and instilled a still-evident hatred for the Isles. haha.

Korn said...

As soon as I saw the list, I said "Volek is number one". I still remember that shocked feeling when they lost. I was 15 years old at the time and I sat stunned, unmoving in the chair I was watching the game, for close to an hour. I couldn't believe it. Even typing this, my eyes well up thinking about how much that one hurt.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the Devils have fired Claude Julien a week before the playoffs. This is interesting to say the least.


Dwayne said...

Oh knoez, Bill from King of the Hill got fired! Whatever is he going to do now, Hank?

Seriously, though, that is psychotic. I never in a million years would have seen that coming.

Dwayne said...

Seriously though, if you would have asked me earlier in the day what chances were of the Devils firing their head coach, I would have said "Never in a hojillion manillion gazillion seventyillion years." Pretty surprising news, to say the least.

Steeltown Mike said...

I guess they finally found about about Coach J's games with the neighborhood kids. :)

Halfway down this article.

dying alive said...

Not the first time the Devils have fired a coach right before the playoffs. I don't remember who the coach was, but they did it a few years ago as well. They also had one quit right before the playoffs last year, IIRC.

Anonymous said...

I believe that coach was THE Kevin Constantine. I could be wrong.


Jon said...

It was Robbie Ftftftorek, and Larry Robinson resigned last year before the playoffs.

Go Pirates...I hope Jason Bay slam dunks a touchdown all the way into that stupid train

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Yeah, wrestling sucks now.

There's no way I'd drag an extra TV into a room during a Pens playoff game just to watch it now.

But in 1999 when the Rock ruled the earth, I think I would've actually become physically ill if I missed an episode of Raw is War.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

By the way, on that traumatizing 93 loss to the Isles...

I guess I didn't take as hard as most people did. We'd just won two cups, and I figured we'd get our third that year. But when we lost I think I just figured that it was a fluke, and that we'd rampage through the NHL and get the third Cup the next year.

In otherwords, I thought it sucked, but was no biggie.

When I was a kid, I guess I really didn't think about the fact that I could be sitting around in my mid-20s with STILL no third Stanley Cup. Otherwise I would've found that loss as devastating as everyone else on here that had some foresight.

Same thing with the 94 AFC Championship.

Back then, the only one that killed me was the 92 NLCS. Because even as a young kid, I still realized that the Bucs were getting rid of most of their good players and would suck for the foreseeable future.

... I just didn't realize that "foreseeable future" meant "14 years".

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tee said...

Goddamnit guys. Why did I watch that right before bed? Gotta hand it to Glen Healy though...for a guy that was pretty Jobberish he had a knack for big games. I believe he holds the record for most saves in a shutout.. something like 50 saves.. I'm too tired to fact check that, but hell 42 saves against the 93 Pens is probably more impressive.

karri said...

Awww...Steeltown Mike...
"Devils coach Claude Julien invites little boys over to play Mouse Trap at his house.
If the boys lose, they are molested.
Claude Julien's record: 120-0."

Really good archive find! ;)

Spencemo said...

I remember that whole rat thing... I suppose it is good to exorcise your demons before embarking on a new challenge. Or not...I've got a headache now...

Shawn said...

As bad as David Volek was I can at least say I remember watching it on TV and wanting to punch myself in the nuts. Well, that might change this year: I'm a longtime fan living in North Carolina. I can't have a dish where I live and my cable company (Charter Communications) doesn't offer Center Ice in this area. And if that weren't a huge enough dump in my mouth, they are considering dropping Versus from the channel lineup...on THURSDAY. No joke. The only warning we get is the ticker crawling across the bottom of the screen right now saying call Charter and complain. I've done that. And, surprise, they suck.

If any of you guys can muster up any sympathy, I'd be grateful to steer you to the following link where you can help tell the cable company to go to hell.

Thanks. And, I know, I can get Center Ice online if Versus is dropped but that's like $150 bucks and you have to watch on your computer. Lame.

Jon said...

Shawn, dude what can I say. You've had some pretty impressive planets align against u. Good luck in coping, maybe you'll catch some luck and a nice HD flatscreen monitor will "fall off a truck" and land on your porch. Give 'em hell dude.
And Louis Louis, I think you summed it up perfectly about the feeling of the Islanders loss. No big deal, we'll be back. I think all of the devestation that piece-of-human-garbage-Bream's-busted-up-knees-can-hardly-run-but-just-enough-to-break-our-hearts placed on us was knowing that that was it. We'd never be that close again. At least the Pens and Steelers have given us great teams to watch and cheer for. Have I mentioned I can't wait for the playoffs to start?

Anonymous said...

Julien's firing was a conspiracy....
the Devils players wrote up a petition and gave it to the GM telling him that they were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their coach congratulating them after a win, in the shower, by slapping their asses...repetitively..


Anonymous said...

RE: March 30, 1990 --- Buffalo at Pittsburgh --- Last game of season.

Oddly enough - I was at the Islander game that night - we needed to beat Philly to eliminate them, which we did, then of course Pens needed to get at least a point out of their game with Buffalo to knock out the Isles. When the game ended they put up the Pens/Sabres OT on the big board, the whole place stayed and the team even stayed on the bench to watch. Obviously when Krupp scored the lid almost came off the building.

At the end of the day - Isles made the playoffs and I believe lost in the first round, 4 - 1 to the Rangers (of all things...).

More importantly, as a result of the final standings, the Pens moved up in the draft, one spot ahead of the Isles and selected a young stud named Jaromir Jagr with the 5 pick...Isles selected a "never was" named Scott Scissons with the 6th pick. Need I say more? As an Isles fan we may have won the battle, but we most certaily did not win the war!


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